Kayaking is a great way of enjoying the outdoors and exercising. Once the kayak has been purchased it then needs to be carried to and from the water. There are many different ways to transport kayaks, but if you have a Ford F150, this guide will help you choose the best kayak racks for Ford F150 trucks.
Methods of Carrying your Kayak on Ford F150
There are 2 main methods of transporting your kayak on your truck. You can choose from any one of them. Both methods come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a brief guide to both of them, the choice is yours.
Truck Bed Racks
If you want more like a permanent solution for carrying your kayaks, this is the best choice for you. Nowadays, you have great options if you want your truck bed racks to be removable or not. There are many other benefits to truck bed racks, like carrying ladders, long pipes or dimensional lumbers.
Truck Hitch Rack
This hitch focused rack is useful when you want to carry your kayak on the bed of your truck but the kayak is longer than your bed, you can use this rack for more stability. You need to set up the red flag which comes with the rack though. If you have a tonneau cover on your truck and your kayak fits under the cover, then this choice is best for you.
Best Bed Racks for Ford F150
The AA-Racks Model APX25 aluminum truck bed rack is made from lightweight, rust-free aluminum. It can hold up to 800 lbs. of cargo, yet it weighs less than 43 lbs, where most steel models are about 50 to 60 lbs.
This model requires no drilling because it comes with eight heavy-duty universal mounting clamps for attaching the vertical brackets. The whole rack is powder-coated, so it resists corrosion and rust better than others.
It is easy to install and it comes with instruction photos in the user manual. It is also removable so you can take it off in the off-seasons.
The downside of this rack is it’s twice as expensive as its steel counterpart. And it doesn’t work with a utility track system.
This bed rack is simple and practical, yet it is ideal for carrying kayaks, lumber, plywood sheets, ladders, and construction materials. It attaches easily to pickup trucks with short beds, long beds, or crew cabs.
The TMS Adjustable Kayak Truck Rack is an inexpensive model which is made from alloy steel that’s built tough to handle your kayak. It’s relatively easy to install, and it doesn’t weigh too much (just 50 lbs), it can carry up to 800 pounds.
You can adjust the rack to fit any bed width between five and seven feet with a simple bolt. Also if you don’t want a permanent install you can clamp the rack to your truck.
There are better models out there, but this is the best kayak rack for a low cost.
MaxxHaul 70423 is closer to APX25 by design but it is a more budget-friendly version with half the carrying capacity. As it’s also made from aluminum, it is rust-free and lightweight. It weighs 55 lbs but it has a weight limit of just 400 lbs as mentioned earlier.
Most kayaks or canoes weigh less than 200 lbs, so the lower capacity of this rack isn’t a serious issue for hauling two kayaks, but it can be an issue when hauling other things. The verticals of the MaxxHaul’s are equipped with bumpers that keep your loads still.
This rack only takes about 10 minutes to install or take off. So, if you need a quick install rack, then this choice is for you.
The AA-X35 is one of the best because it comes with four j-racks pre-installed. The j-racks secure your boats in a semi-upright position rather than over the crossbars. They also provide extra attachment points and prevent the kayak from sliding.
The X35 comes with eight C-clamps so that you don’t have to drill your truck bed. They are not as quite secure as bolts but you have the option if you are looking for something that you can remove in the off-season.
This wonderful rack can carry up to 2200 lbs, which is higher than most other racks. It also comes with four ratchet straps and four bows/stern tie-downs to keep everything in its proper position. These extra utilities also justify the X35’s price, which is comparable to other aluminum-made products.
Best Hitch Racks or Extenders for Ford F150
MaxxHaul 70231 is the gold standard for truck hitch racks. It extends between 24 and 49 inches, which is long enough for any kayak. It also has 300 lbs capacity, which is excellent for a hitch rack.
This rack has many great features. One of them is it can be assembled and dismantled very quickly because of the quick-release pins. Another cool feature of this rack is that it can be folded down to create work areas. It also weighs just 32 lbs, which is very little.
Hitch racks are mostly less expensive and the MaxxHaul 70231 provides great value for its price with cool user-friendly features.
The Darby Industries 944 is kind of an average compared to other truck bed extenders. It has a carrying capacity of 350 lbs and it can extend 53 inches from the hitch. The downside of this rack is it is not fully adjustable.
However, the feature that makes this product stand out is that it can also be used for rooftop hauling if you have a crossbar setup for the rooftop. And it is the best option for your truck if you have a tonneau cover since it doesn’t interfere with the bed when in the rooftop arrangement and the cover can be rolled back if you are carrying your boat in the bed.
Another nice feature is that it is made from just three pieces: a crossbar, a bar extending back horizontally from the hitch, and a vertical bar. And you can break it down into pieces and store it behind your seat in the cab. It also just weighs 25 lbs and is an extremely portable kayak carrier for your truck.
This extender from ECOTRIC can go toe to toe with the MaxxHaul 70231 with its features. It has adjustable width between 28 to 48 inches and an adjustable height between 12 to 19 inches. It has a weight capacity of up to 750 lbs, more than double the capacity of the MaxxHaul.
This hitch rack from ECTORIC can also be assembled and dismantled quickly because it also features 4 quick-release clevis pins. It weighs just 27.5 lbs, which is very little compared to others. This hitch extender also comes with reflective tape and a flag.
The only downside of this rack is that it can’t be folded down like others. But the price tag with its adjustability and quick easy installation process makes it a good choice.