If you are going kayaking with your friends then you need a kayak rack that can hold multiple kayaks. That’s where the kayak stacker comes in.
A stacker can hold up to 4 kayaks max. In this article, we will discuss what is a stacker rack, what are the pros and cons of a stacker rack, why should you buy a stacker, what you need to look for when buying a kayak stacker, and most importantly what is the best kayak stacker rack for your car?
Thule 830 is the best option for carrying 4 kayaks. It is a very strong stacker. Its installation is easy and so is its removal. It fits on almost all types of crossbars. And it can be folded down. The only worrying part is it can get stolen as it doesn’t have a lock system.
Best Kayak Stacker (For 4 Kayaks)
Thule 830 is our top choice in the best kayak stacker list. It is made of aluminum. It can carry a kayak that weighs 75 lbs and is 34 inches wide and 10 ft. long.
It is the best option for you if you want to carry 4 kayaks securely. But you have to buy extra straps for this process. Just make sure your car roof has the space for 4 kayaks.
Thule 830 is a universal fit. It fits Thule rack systems, round bars, and other factory crossbars. The stacker can be folded down for overhead clearance. Or you can take it off very quickly and re-install it easily.
Just a few tips, you need two people to secure the kayaks because after loading one kayak one of you needs to hold that kayak while the other one loading the second kayak. And always buy another set of straps for extra security.
The main problems with Thule 830 are one it doesn’t support Thule’s one key lock system and two it is pretty expensive but also it is worth it if your intention is carrying multiple kayaks.
Best Kayak Stacker (Budget-friendly Choice)
Malone Stax Pro 2 is the best kayak stacker budget-wise. Its price is comparatively low to the other options. It is perfect for carrying 2 kayaks; also you can carry 4 kayaks but it’s a bit risky.
If you want to carry more than 2 kayaks you should buy extra ratcheting straps to tie it securely.
The Stax has octagonal posts that are made of Aluminum and injection-molded nylon platforms. The stacker blocks are there to stabilize and cushion the boat during transport.
It also folds down when not in use to reduce drag and fuel cost.
It has universal JAWZ mounting hardware; so it can be assembled without any tool. And it can be used on square, round, and most factory oval crossbars.
The Malone Stax is sold at a very low price considering it has a lifetime warranty. Most importantly it is easy to install and easy to use.
Best Kayak Stacker (Alternative Option)
Yakima BigStack is the alternative option to Thule 830. It is made of strong alloy steel to support multiple kayaks in rough drives. And the Premium Hullguard padding of the stacker protects your boat from dings and scratches.
The BigStack will be perfect for you if you and your friends are going on a whitewater kayaking adventure and need to carry 4 whitewater kayaks on top of your kayak.
The stacker also includes coated metal buckles and heavy-duty straps to protect your gears and car. And to manage the straps for multiple kayaks it has the AnchorHead tie-down feature.
Let’s talk about its useful features. Firstly, It has universal mounting hardware and it fits on factory, round, square, and aerodynamic crossbars.
Secondly, it can be folded down to give you overhead clearance like parking in a garage. Thirdly, it has a lock option; but the SKS (Same Key System) is sold separately.
Best Kayak Stacker (Our Last Choice)
If you don’t like our previous choices or if you are a loyal user of Rhino-rack, you can consider the Rhino-rack Nautic Stack. It is a medium price-ranged stacker; not too high and not too low.
This stacker can carry up to 4 kayaks depending on the length of your crossbars. When you carry multiple kayaks make sure to tie them up very securely.
Not to mention Rhino-rack already provides you with the tie-down straps and all the necessary hardware. But even then you should take extra precautions always.
The stacker has universal mounting hardware to fit on most of the crossbars. It comes out fully assembled so you just have to install it on the rack. The stacker arms can also be folded down for overhead clearance.
What is a Stacker (Vertical) Kayak Rack?
A stacker, also known as a vertical or high-capacity kayak rack, is a type of kayak rack that can hold multiple kayaks. A stacker system saves your roof space by carrying the kayaks to their sides.
You can carry up to 4 kayaks as long as your roof has the space for them. It will also make more space on your roof for extra cargo if you have to carry fewer kayaks.
Advantages of Stacker Kayak Racks
The biggest advantage of a stacker rack is that it takes less space on the roof. When you load your kayak at a 90-degree angle you can fit more kayaks on your roof.
On other types of racks you could have carried up to 2 kayaks and that’s it. But a stacker gives you the opportunity to carry 4 kayaks.
Disadvantages of Stacker Kayak Racks
There are really not many disadvantages of a stacker. But a concerning issue about stacker is that it provides less security for the kayaks.
A stacker is mostly 2 vertical bars and you have to tie the kayaks around them. So you have to tie down the kayaks very securely because the bars can not provide that much support.
It is the setback that keeps the stacker behind other types of kayak racks.
Stacker Kayak Racks: Pros and Cons
How Much Does a Stacker Kayak Rack Cost?
Stacker racks aren’t that expensive. A stacker kayak rack typically costs between $100 and $200.
The more price of a stacker the better are the qualities and features of a stacker like the foldability and locking options
Should I Buy a Stacker Kayak Rack?
You should buy a stacker if you have the need to carry multiple kayaks on your roof. We have provided the necessary information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of a stacker.
Also, we have shown you the best kayak stackers on the market and their specs. Now it’s up to you to decide whether you want to buy a stacker or you want to buy a j-rack or a saddle.
You will find the necessary information regarding them as well on our site.
Thule 830 is the best option for carrying 4 kayaks. It is a very strong stacker. Its installation is easy and so is its removal. It fits on almost all types of crossbars.
And it can be folded down. The only worrying part is it can get stolen as it doesn’t have a lock system.