Best Canoe Carriers for Cars or Trucks [Our Top 10 Picks]

What’s the last thing you’d want to happen on a canoeing trip? It’s for your canoe to fall from what’s holding it up as you drive. It instantly ruins your trip, or worse, your canoe gets damaged.

And, don’t forget about the damage it can bring if it causes an accident on the road. This is the reason why you need the best canoe carrier on your next adventure.

Canoe carriers aren’t just another piece of gear for your vehicle to look sporty. They are there to transport your canoe safely. What are the best canoe carriers?

Our top 10 picks for the best canoe carriers are as follows:

  1. Rhino-Rack Kayak & Canoe Carrier Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. INNO INA445 Locking Roof Carrier Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Malone Big Foot Pro Universal Car Rack Canoe Carrier
  4. Yakima JayLow Rooftop Kayak/Canoe Carrier
  5. Rhino-Rack Nautic 580 Series Kayak/Canoe Carrier
  6. AA-Racks 2 Pair J-bar Folding Canoe Carrier
  7. Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series Kayak/Canoe Carrier
  8. Thule Portage Canoe Rack
  9. IKURAM J-style Roof Kayak/Canoe Carrier 
  10. Malone Foldaway-5 Multi-rack Folding Kayak/Canoe Carrier

Read on to learn more about the best rooftop canoe carriers, including the specs and features for each.

Also, take a look at our top pick on Amazon, the Rhino-Rack Kayak & Canoe Carrier, for its great reviews and price.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

10 Best Canoe Carriers

1. Rhino-Rack Kayak & Canoe Carrier

First on our list of the best canoe carrier for cars is the Rhino-Rack Kayak & Canoe Carrier.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Rhino-Rack Kayak & Canoe Carrier is designed to transport your kayak or canoe on the side to save space. It allows for a second watercraft to be mounted on the other side of your roof racks, depending on the length of your crossbars. 

Its space-saving design enables you to mount other accessories like a luggage carrier to transport extra gear. It also includes a cradle for carrying paddles. 

This canoe carrier comes with all the necessary accessories to get you started. These accessories include 2 cradles, rubber tube padding, stainless steel hardware, and 4 tie down straps. 

The universal fitment also allows this canoe carrier to be compatible with all current roof rack systems with specific fitting kits. So, whether you’re out paddling by yourself or with others, the Rhino-Rack Kayak & Canoe Carrier has you covered so that you can enjoy the most out of your day. 

Rhino-Rack has been creating world-class roof racks since 1992. Today, they’re the proud owner of Australia’s most diverse and innovative range of roof rack products, supplying high-quality gear to all industry segments.

  • Universal mounting/fitment (fits most popular brands of roof rack crossbars)
  • Has a space-saving design
  • Easy installation and side loading
  • Constructed with steel tubing that has coating protection 
  • With a built-in cradle to hold your paddles 
  • Comes completely assembled and ready to go 
  • Includes 2 cradles, hardware, rubber tube padding & tie down straps
  • Has an available S512X extension piece to carry an extra watercraft (sold separately)

2. INNO INA445 Locking Roof Carrier

Next on our list of the best-rated car top canoe carriers is the INNO INA445 Surf-Wind-Long Board Locking Roof Carrier.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The INNO INA445 Locking Roof Carrier is the ultimate surf, kayak, and canoe carrier rack you’ll need. It includes and locks and keys too.

This kayak/canoe carrier rack’s versatility extends to longboards and shortboards, sails, paddles, and SUP. This locking rooftop canoe carrier also features a floating strap system for convenient and easy loading. Its stylish installation is assured with the unexposed mounting bracket located under the bars. 

And since it has a universal mounting system, it fits aero, square, round, and most factory crossbars.

  • Has a floating strap system for easy loading
  • Easier mounting with its large lever
  • Ratcheting mechanism for secure tightening
  • Includes locks and keys 
  • Can hold 1 kayak or 1 canoe or 2 wind surfboards or 3 shortboards or 2 longboards or 2 SUPs
  • Made of rubber-coated stainless steel cable strap
  • Has available boards pads (INA771) that are sold separately
  • Limited lifetime warranty

3. Malone Big Foot Pro Universal Car Rack Canoe Carrier

The Malone Big Foot Pro Universal Car Rack Canoe Carrier is another one of our favorite car top canoe carriers.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Malone Big Foot Pro Canoe Carrier is one of the latest affordable canoe transport designs. It easily and virtually installs on any vehicle and trailer cross rail systems that can transport a canoe. This unit definitely offers a very affordable solution to get your canoe to the water.

This car rack canoe carrier is also the strongest four-point gunwale transport system in the industry. It’s enhanced with additional padding, which helps protect your canoe and wooden gunwales better than ever before. It can carry a single canoe weighing up to 90 lbs. as well. 

The Big Foot Pro is equipped with a solid polycarbonate frame that attaches to round, square, and factory oval cross rails. The frame guarantees boat stability during transport, while the padded deck area provides a smooth, non-jarring ride. 

An affordable option for paddlers, this canoe carrier comes with 4 padded gunwale brackets, 4 universal-fit Jawz mounting blocks, 8 40 mm and 50 mm mounting bolts with T-knobs, a set of bow and stern safety tie downs, and 2 12-ft. buckle straps.

  • Car rack canoe carrier system with extra-strong 4-point gunwale system (rack/rails not included)
  • Polycarbon platform attaches to round, square, and factory oval cross rails
  • Its padded deck area offers superior protection for canoe and gunwales
  • Corrosion-free and UV-resistant
  • Universal-fit Jawz mounting hardware
  • Includes bow and stern safety tie downs and 2 12-ft. buckle straps

4. Yakima JayLow Rooftop Kayak/Canoe Carrier

Next on our list of the best canoe carrier for car reviews is the Yakima JayLow Rooftop Kayak/Canoe Carrier.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Yakima JayLow Rooftop Kayak/Canoe Carrier is very low maintenance. With multiple settings, this unit allows you to carry 1 boat in the J-cradle position or 2 boats in the vertical position. Plus, it folds down when not in use. 

It comes fully assembled out of the box with tool-free installation in about 10 minutes. When it comes to design, it includes an integrated cam lever that allows you to adjust the upright position with ease. The rack also folds flat when you’re not using it for better clearance and reduced drag.

It can fit 1 kayak/canoe up to 80 lbs. in J-cradle position or 2 kayaks/canoes up to 110 lbs. combined in a vertical, stacked position. The Yakima JayLow fits most crossbars too. It’s compatible with Yakima SteamLine, including round, square, and factory, and aerodynamic crossbars. 

This unit includes all the necessary hardware, heavy-duty straps, and bow/stern tie downs to secure your gear. 

  • Can carry up to 2 kayaks/canoes
  • It fits most crossbars
  • Includes straps and bow/stern tie downs and all necessary hardware to secure your gear
  • Has a versatile design with an integrated cam lever 
  • Easy, 10-minute, tool-free installation

5. Rhino-Rack Nautic 580 Series Kayak/Canoe Carrier

Another one of the best-rated car top canoe carrier is the Rhino-Rack Nautic 580 Series Kayak/Canoe Carrier.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

You’ll experience the very latest in kayak carrying technology with the Rhino-Rack Nautic 580 Series Kayak/Canoe Carrier. Rhino-Rack’s Nautic 580 Series is locally built by engineers with first-hand kayaking experience and features the next generation in design and technology.

This car top canoe carrier comes complete with 2 front Santoprene rubber pads designed to cushion your kayak and 2 rear spring-loaded, felt covered pads for ease of rear mounting. 

You can lock your cradles to your crossbars, minimizing the risk of theft with its unique and secure lockable cover plate. 

It’s also compatible with all current roof rack systems, which feature a bar channel. These stylish and low profile cradles are simple to use, making them an excellent loading accessory for your kayaks/canoes for every occasion.

The Nautic 580 Series comes with all the necessary accessories to get you started. These accessories include cradles, tie down straps, keys, and fitting instructions.

  • Fits most popular brands of roof rack crossbars with its C-Channel fitment 
  • Enables easy rear mounting with its felt-covered spring-loaded rear cradles 
  • Has a large 75 mm x 200 mm contact surface area for extra stability when transporting your kayaks/canoes
  • Features a secure core locking system
  • Includes 2 tie down straps and 2 rapid straps with unique buckle protector
  • Waterproof and UV-protected 
  • Resistant to corrosion and molds
  • MasterKey compatible
  • 5-year warranty

6. AA-Racks 2 Pair J-bar Folding Canoe Carrier

The AA-Racks 2 Pair J-bar Folding Canoe Carrier is another excellent addition to our list of the best all-around canoe carrier for truck.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

These J-bar style carrier racks are very versatile and can carry different types of items, such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, snowboards, and other outdoor gear. Each J-bar folds down, allowing your car to fit in most parking garages.

This folding J-bar kayak/canoe carrier rack is constructed with weather-resistant epoxy powder-coated tubular steel that can hold up to 150 lbs. It also features a foam cushion and rubberized base on the arms, and reinforced cargo strap patches to protect your cargo.

Each bracket of this heavy-duty hauler measures approximately 14-3/5 inches long, 4-7/10 inches wide, and 15-1/2 inches high. These measurements don’t include the mounting hardware.

  • 180° folding J-bar (allows your car to fit in most parking garages)
  • Comes with an anti-slip rubber pedal & foam protector
  • Easy kayak/canoe transportation solution
  • Safe and durable
  • Can hold up to 150 lbs.
  • With heavy-duty ratchet lashing straps
  • Comes with 2 sets of universal kayak/canoe car top carrier racks

7. Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series Kayak/Canoe Carrier

The Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series Kayak/Canoe Carrier is another top choice on our list of the best canoe carrier for car reviews.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Kayak/Canoe Carrier has a unique 180-degree rotation, making it easy for side mounting. It also features 4 Santoprene rubber pads designed to cushion your kayak or canoe. 

This canoe carrier fits most brands of roof rack crossbars as its front, and rear pads are engineered to fit a variety of hull shapes. It has a large contact surface area that offers extra stability during kayak/canoe transport. 

  • Universal fitment
  • Features front and rear pads engineered to fit many different hull shapes
  • Has a large 75 mm x 200 mm contact surface area for extra stability when transporting kayaks/canoes
  • With security Allen key
  • Comes with 2 tie down straps and 2 rapid straps w/ unique buckle protector
  • Waterproof, UV-protected, and corrosion resistant
  • 5-year warranty

8. Thule Portage Canoe Rack

The Thule Portage Canoe Rack is next on our list for the best canoe carrier kit review.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Thule Portage Canoe Carrier has durable gunwales with soft, weather-resistant cushioned base pads to secure the canoe during transit. It also fits all Thule Rack Systems, round bars, and most factory racks with a single reversible mounting bracket (no loose parts).

This unit also includes all center straps with buckle bumpers and bow/stern tie downs to transport one canoe safely. 

  • Durable gunwales with base pads and ramped sides for easy loading
  • Soft, weather-resistant base padding 
  • Length of straps: 2×15 ft.
  • Includes all center straps with buckle bumpers and bow/stern tie-downs 
  • FlipFit bracket fits all Thule Rack Systems, round bars, and most factory racks with a single reversible mounting bracket
  • Fits flush to Thule AeroBlade with Xadapt12 T-track hardware kit (sold separately)

9. IKURAM J-style Roof Kayak/Canoe Carrier

Next on our list for the best canoe carrier for car is the IKURAM J-style Roof Kayak/Canoe Carrier.

Click here to see it on Amazon. 

The IKURAM J-style Roof Kayak/Canoe Carrier offers maximum protection for canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards, thanks to its oversized, thick, and all-weather rubber saddles that can stop the kayak from rubbing and getting damaged. 

This canoe carrier for cars has a universal and easy mounting design. Its J-cradle accommodates kayaks/canoes up to 72 kg or 148 lbs. and 42″ wide. It fits round, square, and the most oval-shaped factory-installed cross rails quickly and easily too. 

This canoe carrier kit includes everything you need to transport two kayaks/canoes vertically on the roof of your car. It’s made of high-quality anodized aviation-grade aluminum alloys and is lightweight, durable, and rust-resistant. You can also reuse it every year and for a longer time since it’s waterproof with anti-corrosion features. 

It has a multiple carrying function with an easy-to-assemble and quick-fold design. 

  • Easy, universal mounting design
  • Quick fold design with multiple carrying function
  • Made of aviation-grade aluminum alloy
  • Total load capacity: 220 lbs./100 kg per pair
  • Accommodates watercraft up to 42” wide
  • Package includes 2 racks, 2 straps, and 1 installation kit

10. Malone Foldaway-5 Multi-rack Folding Kayak/Canoe Carrier

Next on our list of the best rooftop canoe carrier is the Malone Foldaway-5 Multi-rack Folding Kayak/Canoe Carrier.

Click here to see it on Amazon. 

The Malone Foldaway-5 Kayak/Canoe Carrier can carry 1 recreational or touring kayak/canoe on its side. It can vertically stack 2 kayaks/canoes and capable of transporting any SUP size.

This canoe carrier is also built with thick oversized padding, corrosion-resistant coated steel, and heavy-duty molded parts. It features 1 pair of quick-release fold-down frames with removable 2-boat modules for transporting wide loads. 

Its universal mounting system fits a large cross-section of aftermarket load bars and most factory systems. Additionally, this unit comes with cam-style load straps, bow & stern safety tie downs, and SUP foam pads. 

  • Quick-release fold-down frames for low clearance
  • Fits most load bar designs
  • Has multiRack extension modules to carry SUPs and canoes
  • With SUP insert pads that provide cushion and hull protection during transport
  • Includes 11′ load straps and tie downs for 2 boats
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Ideal for camping or hiking

Conclusion – Best Canoe Carrier

So to recap, what is the best canoe carrier? Our top 10 best canoe carriers are as follows:

  1. Rhino-Rack Kayak & Canoe Carrier Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. INNO INA445 Locking Roof Carrier Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Malone Big Foot Pro Universal Car Rack Canoe Carrier
  4. Yakima JayLow Rooftop Kayak/Canoe Carrier
  5. Rhino-Rack Nautic 580 Series Kayak/Canoe Carrier
  6. AA-Racks 2 Pair J-bar Folding Canoe Carrier
  7. Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series Kayak/Canoe Carrier
  8. Thule Portage Canoe Rack
  9. IKURAM J-style Roof Kayak/Canoe Carrier 
  10. Malone Foldaway-5 Multi-rack Folding Kayak/Canoe Carrier