4 Best Thule Kayak Racks in 2024

4 Best Thule Kayak Racks in 2024

Bring your Kayak to your favorite lake or river is one of the most enjoyable outdoor experiences you can have. However, accomplishing this task can be frustrating and sometimes stressful. Have you heard of Thule? They specialize in making outdoor gear.

If you’re like me, once you have heard of a reputable company in a particular space, you want to see the products they offer.

Thule has a reputation for making reliable kayak racks, making it easier for you to transport your favorite kayaks.

4 Best Thule Kayak Racks in 2024

In this guide, I will cover the 4 best Thule kayak racks for your vehicle in 2024. It’s important to keep in mind, you want to buy the rack that is most compatible with the type of kayak you own. This is also a guide for kayak racks and not canoe racks.

Rest assured, these Thule racks listed are all reliable and would be a great investment for your outdoor adventures.

Our Pick

Product Title

The Thule Hullavator Pro is by far the best kayak rack I’ve used. This rack assists up to 40 lbs of weight when you are unloading or loading your kayak. Additionally, it allows you to accomplish this at waist height.

Thule Hullavator Pro

The Thule Hullavator Pro. A kayak roof rack.

The Thule Hullavator Pro is by far the best kayak rack I’ve used. This rack assists up to 40 lbs of weight when you are unloading or loading your kayak. Additionally, it allows you to accomplish this at waist height.

Thule has put this kayak roof rack through crash tests, wear and tear simulations to test its durability, and exposure tests to evaluate the its performance under certain conditions.

Lastly, weighs 40lbs and can support a weight up to 75lbs. Your Kayak will not get scratched or damaged while using this roof rack due to the padding.

Key Benefits

  • Load and unload your kayak on your own. It uses gas-assist struts that lift and lower 40 lbs of the kayak’s weight.

  • Allows you to load/unload your kayak at waist height due to double extending arms that lower the kayak by up to 3 feet.

  • 8″ padded support for maximum protection for your kayak.


This is by far the most expensive kayak rack on the list. Thule is now selling this rack for $756.96. If you are interested in buying this kayak rack but are tight on money, Thule offers “Afterpay” which allows you to use 4 interest-free payments.

The rest of the kayak racks on this list are by far more affordable, so please don’t panic.

Thule Compass

The Thule Compass. A kayak roof rack

For those not interested in paying for the previous option, The Thule Compass is a fantastic option. This roof rack goes through the same rigorous testing as the previous roof rack.

This roof rack has the ability to transport either kayaks or stand-up paddle boards. Due to the design of this roof rack, it allows you to carry your kayak in the J-style or saddle configuration. You can also carry two kayaks in stacker mode and up to 2 SUPs in saddle mode.

It also has thick rubber saddles that are padded to protect your kayaks and SUPs from scratches.

This roof rack supports kayaks up to 36″ and 130 lbs.

Key Benefits

  • Can carry a single kayak in J-style or saddle configuration. Or 2 kayaks in stacker mode and up to two Standup paddleboards (SUPs) in saddle mode.

  • Thick rubble saddles that protect kayaks and SUPs.

  • Fits all rack systems (no tools required).


This rack is $279.96. Like the rest of Thule’s products, they do offer shoppers to use “Afterpay”.

Thule Hull-A-Port Aero

The Thule Hull-A-Port Aero. A kayak roof rack.

The Thule Hull-a-Port Aero is another affordable option! This roof rack is a great option and goes through the same testing as the earlier options.

This kayak carrier has a stylish look and is very easy to use and integrates easily with the Thule roof rack systems.

When this roof rack is not in use, you can easily fold it using a convenient front-release handle. This roof rack also has durable soft rubber padding to protect your kayak while you’re driving.

It also has a theft-resistant design that keeps the carrier attached to load bars. The locks are included with the roof rack.

This roof rack can support up to 75 lbs.

Key Benefits

  • Quick raise or fold when not in use.

  • Soft rubber padding to protect kayaks during movement.

  • The theft-resistant design keeps property secured to load bars (locks included)


This rack is $279.96. You also have the option to use “Afterpay”.

Thule DockGrip

The Thule DockGrip. A kayak roof rack

This is the most affordable kayak roof rack on the list but is an absolutely great option. This roof rack carries your kayak in a horizontal position using its large cushioned pads. The cushioned pads act as a protector for your kayak and prevent them from being scratched. This kayak roof rack also goes through the same testing as the other roof racks.

This roof rack also has the ability to carry SUPs.

It fits a majority of Thule rack systems, a majority of round bars, and a majority of factory racks due to T-Track and FlipFit brackets.

It supports kayaks and SUPs up to 36″ wide and 85 lbs.

Key Benefits

  • Protects the hull with cushioned pads

  • Can also carry Standup paddleboards (SUPs)

  • Fits a variety of Thule rack systems, round bars, and most factory racks.


This rack is the most affordable rack on the list. This rack is $239.96, with the option to use “Afterpay”.

Who is Thule

Thule is a renowned Swedish company dedicated to improving outdoor and transportation experiences. With a product range that includes cargo carriers for vehicles, kayak racks, and many other outdoor and storage products, Thule is helping people transport their gear safely, easily, and stylishly.

Thule has constantly grown and is now a global brand. This widespread availability makes it so Thule’s innovative products are accessible to outdoor enthusiasts worldwide, making it easier for people to enjoy outdoor activities regardless of their location​

What is a Kayak Rack

A kayak rack is an essential accessory for outdoor enthusiasts who want to transport their kayaks safely and efficiently. Typically they are designed to mount on a vehicle’s roof. A kayak rack ensures that your kayak is securely fastened during transit, preventing damage to both the kayak and the vehicle.

The basic structure of a kayak rack includes cradles or saddles that conform to the shape of the kayak, providing stable support. Some racks come with padded arms to protect the kayak’s finish and straps or tie-downs to secure the kayak in place.

Benefits of Using A Kayak Rack

A kayak rack provides a secure and stable means to transport your kayak. It reduces the risk of the kayak shifting or falling off while you’re driving, which can lead to accidents or damage to your kayak and vehicle.

Another significant advantage is the protection of the kayak’s integrity. Transporting a kayak without a proper rack can lead to scratches, dents, or damage to the hull. A quality kayak rack, especially those with padding, holds the kayak gently, which preserves your kayak.

How Can Kayaking Benefit You

Those who are frequently outdoors may have old injuries that make it hard to load/unload a large kayak.

A kayak racks offer ease of loading and unloading. Features like sliding or tilting mechanisms mean less physical strain and make it possible for one person to load and unload the kayak without assistance.

This ease of use encourages more frequent outings, as the task of transporting the kayak becomes less annoying.

Security is another important aspect. Many kayak racks come with locks or compatible locking systems, adding an extra layer of security against theft.


To wrap everything up, Thule is a great company where you can feel confident that whatever roof rack you select, you will be happy with your investment. It’s important to invest in a reliable kayak roof rack so that you can preserve your kayak and your vehicle.


Are kayak racks necessary?

Yes, they are necessary if you have a desire to protect your kayaks or SUPs from the possibility of being scratched or damaged during transit. The kayak racks are designed to securely hold your kayak in place with padded bars.

How do you travel with a kayak without a roof rack?

You will need a truck bed or a trailer to accomplish this safely.

Editorial Note: We may earn a commission when you visit links on this website. This does not affect Mike’s opinions or evaluations.

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