10 Best Kayak Roof Racks for Subaru Legacy

Subaru Legacy is a Sedan. Like any sedan, Subaru Legacy has a low storage capacity. So, when you are going kayaking you will be stressed out over how to carry the kayak. You will need a roof rack for your Legacy and there are hundreds of kayak racks on Amazon. So, to make your job easier and less time-consuming, we have listed the 10 best kayak roof racks for Subaru Legacy according to your need.

Best Kayak Racks for Subaru Legacy
  • Foldable, sturdy & portable
  • Can be used as a stacker for 2 kayaks
  • Comes in fully assembled form
  • SKS locking system
  • A bit pricey

Our Verdict

Yakima Jaylow has all the qualities to be the best j-rack on the market. It has many useful and convenient features with its fantastic design.

What type of Roof Rack do you want for your Legacy?

What is the best roof rack for Subaru Legacy? (Overall)

YAKIMA JayLow J-Style Fold Down Rooftop Kayak Carrier is the best roof rack for Subaru Legacy.

What is the best Subaru Legacy roof rack for the money?

TMS J-Bar Kayak Rack is the best Subaru Legacy roof rack for the money.

What is the best Saddle for Subaru Legacy?

Malone Seawing is the best Saddle for Subaru Legacy.

What is the best Stacker for Subaru Legacy?

Malone Stax Pro2 is the best Stacker for Subaru Legacy.

What is the best J-Cradle for Subaru Legacy?

Thule Hull-a-Port XT is the best J-Cradle for Subaru Legacy.

What is the best roof rack for carrying 2 kayaks on Subaru Legacy?

IKURAM R J-Style Folding Kayak Rack is the best roof rack for carrying 2 kayaks on Subaru Legacy.

What is the best Lift-assist roof rack for Subaru Legacy?

Thule Hullavator is the best Lift-assist roof rack for Subaru Legacy.

What is the best Temporary Pad for Subaru Legacy?

HandiRack Inflatable is the best Temporary Pad for Subaru Legacy.

Best Kayak Roof Racks for Subaru Legacy (Comparison Table)

  • Foldable, sturdy & portable
  • Can be used as a stacker for 2 kayaks
  • Comes in fully assembled form
  • SKS locking system
  • A bit pricey
  • Very Cheap
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel
  • No locking system for security
  • Doesn’t provide any help with loading kayak
  • Can carry 4 kayaks
  • Instant remove
  • Can be folded down
  • Aluminum-built
  • A bit pricey
  • Have to buy additional straps
  • Low price
  • Easy Installation
  • Is removable when not in use
  • Very sturdy and durable
  • No folding option
  • No locking system
  • Lift-assist
  • Instant remove
  • Load kayak from waist level
  • One key locking system is sold separately
  • Aluminum-built
  • Expensive
  • Only works with Thule crossbars
  • Foldable, sturdy & portable
  • Can be used as a stacker for 2 kayaks
  • Comes in fully assembled form
  • One key locking system is sold separately
  • Integrated StrapCatch
  • No compartment to carry the paddle
  • Durable, Sturdy, extra padding for safety
  • Budget-friendly
  • Comes completely assembled
  • Paddle carrying cradle
  • Can be folded down
  • No locking system
  • Foldable for overhead clearance
  • Easy installation
  • Very cheap
  • Durable, Sturdy, extra padding for safety
  • No additional compartment for paddle or straps
  • No locking system
  • Durable, Sturdy, extra padding for safety
  • Easy Installation
  • Very low price
  • No folding option
  • No locking system
  • Quick and easy to install and remove
  • Versatile
  • Good carrying capacity
  • Temporary solution
  • Budget-friendly
  • Not durable like crossbar racks
yakima jaylow

Yakima JayLow Folding J-Cradle Rooftop Kayak Rack is the top choice for us because of its useful and convenient features. It is beautifully designed and is very sturdy. It is the ideal kind of j-cradle from one of the most trusted brands in this market.

The JayLow is a traditional j-rack with an additional feature of stacker mode. In j-rack, mode its arm is locked to a 45-degree angle and can carry one kayak. And in the stacker mode, the arm is locked into 90-degree, so you can carry 2 kayaks on both sides of the arm like stacker style. It can carry around one boat of 80 lbs or two boats weighing 110 lbs combined.

It is compatible with Yakima SteamLine and round, square, factory, and aerodynamic crossbars, and it comes with adapters for Yakima round bars but can be used with other round load bars as well. Note: there must be a minimum of 24 in. of the distance between your crossbars to use the JayLow. It also has durable padded contact points that provide protection and grip while traveling.

One of the convenient features of this rack is that it comes fully assembled out of the box. We don’t have to waste our time assembling it. It is also easy to install, just simply attach the rack’s clamps to your bars and tighten the thumbscrews. And we should also mention that the JayLow comes with heavy-duty securing straps and bow/stern tie-downs.

Another convenient feature is the SKS (same key system) locking system that Yakima provides. One key lock and unlocks all your Yakima gear and presumably anyone else’s. It is a decent anti-theft system. Although it would have been nice to have it included, it is sold separately.

We like the Yakima JayLow. It maybe is built for convenience’s sake. It’s a bit heavy on the price but can’t complain about its features.

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  • Foldable, sturdy & portable
  • Can be used as a stacker for 2 kayaks
  • Comes in fully assembled form
  • SKS locking system
  • A bit pricey
AA-Racks Steel Jetty Saddle Rack

The Steel Jetty Saddle from AA Racks is a low-cost and efficient way to transport your kayak. It is a basic saddle roof rack that can get the job done, nothing fancy. It is made of steel and can carry one kayak with any hull shape.

It has a universal fitment system. It also comes with bow-stern tie-downs but you should always buy extra straps for more safety. You can load your kayak from any side of the vehicle. But the pads don’t roll 180-degree, so you won’t get any help from the rack when loading your kayak. The pads have rubbers for gripping your kayak in place. The Pads are also water and sun-resistant. It doesn’t have any locking system to secure your saddles from theft.

It will be your best choice if you are a minimalist, who is just looking for a saddle set to just carry your kayak.

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  • Very Cheap
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel
  • No locking system for security
  • Doesn’t provide any help with loading kayak

Best Stacker

3. Thule 830 The Stacker

Thule Stacker 830

If you are looking to carry 4 kayaks on your car roof, Thule has the right option for you. The Thule 830 is a top-rated stacker that can hold 2 kayaks securely on your roof. You can also carry 4 kayaks at a time, 2 on each side if you have space on your crossbar. And you also need to buy additional straps. But you need to be careful because stackers are not as safe as saddles or j-cradles. A Stacker system gives you plenty of room on your roof to carry other cargo if you are only transporting 1 or 2 kayaks.

This stacker is very easy to install. You don’t need any tools and it is a universal fit on any crossbars. It also can be folded down when not in use for overhead clearance and fuel efficiency. It can fit kayaks up to 34 in. wide and 10 ft. long.

This aluminum-built rack from Thule is our top choice for stackers. But it’s a bit pricey.

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  • Can carry 4 kayaks
  • Instant remove
  • Can be folded down
  • Aluminum-built
  • A bit pricey
  • Have to buy additional straps

Best Value

4. TMS J-Bar Kayak Rack

TMS J-Bar kayak rack

If you are looking for a rack that is easy on the wallet you should try this rack from T-Motorsports. It is very popular amongst kayakers. It is tough, made of alloy steel, and is easy to install. The best choice for occasional kayakers.

This rack is renowned for extra strength and durability. This wide-mouthed j-shape rack even can carry a larger boat, such as a sea or touring kayak. It can carry a kayak about 36 inches wide and 75 lbs weight. It also has adjustable pads on the carrying arms to protect your boats from damage during transit. And this rack can be mounted onto any type of crossbar.

You need to do some assembly after taking it out of the box. All the parts that you need are already in there. There are some people who complained about the instructions for assembly that come with the rack. But the assembly process is not that difficult. (see the video)

It has universal fitting clamps like most other j-style racks. You can load your kayak easily from the side of your car. The j-cradle will hold your kayak at a 45-degree angle which leaves space for other stuff like a bike, luggage, cargo box, etc. It comes with two loading straps included, but we suggest buying additional straps for a more secure tie-down.

The features this rack lacks are the folding option and a locking system. In this budget, this is the best choice we have. With its features, this tough steel rack will surely convince you to use it.

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  • Low price
  • Easy Installation
  • Is removable when not in use
  • Very sturdy and durable
  • No folding option
  • No locking system

Best Lift-assist

5. Thule Hullavator

Thule Hullavator

Basically, Thule Hullavator pro does what this name suggests, it elevates your kayak. That means it reduces your kayak weight by 40 lbs while loading your kayak because of its gas struts. Not only that, but It also makes your life a lot easier. Let’s talk about that-

While loading your kayak, you don’t have to worry if you are short or your kayak is heavy. You can load your kayak from the waist label. It’s so much easier to just sit the kayak on the rack and strap it securely. Thule also provides you with straps and bow-stern. After securing the kayak on your rack from your waist level, you can simply drag and guide it to the top of your vehicle. You can also adjust its width according to your kayak width. It can carry a kayak up to 36 inches wide and 75 lbs weight.

Hullavator is made of aluminum, so you know how durable it can be. You can also remove the rack in seconds for overhead clearance or when you are not using it. The removal of this rack from the crossbar is very easy so you have to buy Thule’s one key lock system which unfortunately is sold separately.

The most difficult thing for Hullavator is its assembly. It takes around half an hour to assemble, but you have to do this only once. So that’s a relief. Another thing is it only mounts on Thule crossbars. Another thing to look out for when buying this rack is, do you have crossbars that extend 4-8 inches beyond the rail anchors, or else it will damage your car.

We all know Thule and its desire to make its product perfect. The only thing I would have wanted extra on this rack is the Locks to be included. With its price, then it would have been very fair to us.

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  • Lift-assist
  • Instant remove
  • Load kayak from waist level
  • One key locking system is sold separately
  • Aluminum-built
  • Expensive
  • Only works with Thule crossbars

Best Advanced Folding J-Cradle

6. Thule Hull-a-Port XT J-Style

Thule Hullaport XT

This Hull-a-port XT j-cradle is from Thule, one of the most trusted brand in the automobile storage industry. There are no features in any j-cradles from any brand that this Hull-a-port XT doesn’t have, except the paddle carrying system. It is very useful and convenient.

The Thule Hull-a-port XT is a traditional j-rack with an additional feature of stacker mode. In j-rack, mode its arm is locked to a 45-degree angle and can carry one kayak. And in the stacker mode, the arm is locked into 90-degree, so you can carry 2 kayaks on both sides of the arm like stacker style. It can carry around one boat of 75 lbs or two boats weighing 110 lbs combined.

It is compatible with round, square, factory, aerodynamic, any type of crossbars because it has a universal mounting design. It also has durable padded contact points that provide protection and grip while traveling. You can also fold it down for overhead clearance and fuel efficiency.

One of the convenient features of this rack is that it comes fully assembled out of the box. We don’t have to waste our time assembling it. It is also easy to install, just simply attach the rack’s clamps to your bars and tighten with the stardriver. And we should also mention that the Hullaport XT comes with heavy-duty securing straps and bow/stern tie-downs. It also has an Integrated StrapCatch helps to easily manage straps while loading kayak.

Another convenient feature is the one key locking system like the SKS system from Yakima. One key lock and unlock all your Thule gear and presumably anyone else’s. It is a decent anti-theft system. Although it would have been nice to have it included, it is sold separately.

We all know about Thule and their product quality. The Hull-a-port XT is also no different. There is no doubt that it is a top j-rack on the market.

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  • Foldable, sturdy & portable
  • Can be used as a stacker for 2 kayaks
  • Comes in fully assembled form
  • One key locking system is sold separately
  • Integrated StrapCatch
  • No compartment to carry the paddle

Best J-cradle for 2 kayaks

7. Rhino Rack Folding J-Style Kayak Rack

Rhino Rack Folding J-style

Rhino Rack S512 J-style kayak carrier is a traditional j-cradle with some useful extra features. Like Yakima Jaylow, it also comes completely assembled and ready to go. It is made of aluminum, so it’s rust-free and corrosion-resistant. It has rubber padding to protect your boat. The feature that makes it stand out is that it has a paddle-carrying compartment.

The S512 can be set to any degree you want. You can fold it down to 0-degree for overhead clearance, 45-degree to carry like conventional j-style racks, and even 90-degree to carry 2 kayaks on both sides. You can tie down the second kayak on your crossbar. But if you don’t want to take the risk you can always buy the extension that Rhino Rack provides to have cushions on both sides.

It comes out assembled, is easy to install, fits almost all kinds of crossbars. It also comes with quality loading straps and tie-downs. The only thing that makes it inferior to Jaylow is that it doesn’t have any locking system.

With the price being fair, it is a great choice for you if you think the locking system is a waste of money.

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  • Durable, Sturdy, extra padding for safety
  • Budget-friendly
  • Comes completely assembled
  • Paddle carrying cradle
  • Can be folded down
  • No locking system

Best Basic Folding J-Cradle

8. Leader Accessories Folding Kayak Rack

Leader Accessories Folding

The folding rack from Leader Accessories is an average kind of j-cradle with a fair price. It’s an alloy steel product that is powder-coated to prevent rust and corrosion. It also has a Foam Padding and Rubber Pedal design to reduce the scratch of your kayak.

Except for the round bars, it is compatible with most other crossbars. It can carry up to 100 lbs. It is easy to install and more importantly, it has fold-down technology for more overhead clearance. You just have to check the measurements of your crossbars.

What it doesn’t have is the locking system, an additional compartment for extra straps, and paddle storage.

If you are on a budget and looking for nothing fancy, you might like this rack.

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  • Durable, Sturdy, extra padding for safety
  • Easy installation
  • Budget-friendly
  • Fold-down technology
  • No locking system
  • No additional compartment for paddle or straps

Best Basic J-Cradle

9. JDM Auto Lights J-Rack

JDM Auto lights j-rack

If you are looking for a basic j-style rack that is cheap you should try this rack from JDM Auto Lights. It is very minimal but has the necessary functionalities. It is tough, made of alloy steel, and is easy to install. It can be the go-to choice for occasional kayakers.

This rack has extra strength and durability. This wide-mouthed j-shape rack even can carry a larger boat, such as a sea or touring kayak. It can carry a kayak about 36 inches wide and 75 lbs weight. It also has adjustable pads on the carrying arms to protect your boats from damage. And this rack can be mounted onto any type of crossbar like the round, square, oval, and flat crossbars.

It is easy to install. You can load your kayak easily from the side of your car. The j-cradle will hold your kayak at a 45-degree angle which leaves space for other stuff like a bike, luggage, cargo box, etc. It comes with four loading straps included, but we suggest buying additional straps for a more secure tie-down.

The features that you might miss are the folding option and a locking system. In this budget, this is the best choice we have. With its features, You can get by using this rack.

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  • Durable, Sturdy, extra padding for safety
  • Easy installation
  • Very low price
  • No folding option
  • No locking system

Best Temporary Pad

10. HandiRack Inflatable Roof Rack

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Rack

If you are looking to carry your kayak but don’t have a crossbar then you should check this inflatable roof rack by Handirack. This straightforward rack will fit any vehicle. You can install it very quickly and easily (no tools needed). And not just kayak, you can carry many other things like luggage, furniture, skis, snowboards, etc.

The rack has two inflatable pads made of 420-denier nylon with air chambers inside. And no, you don’t have to fill the air chambers with your mouth because a double-action pump is included to fill the pads with air. You can simply store them in your trunk when not in use for more durability. The Handirack says it has a carrying capacity of 175 lbs, but these are air pads so go easy on them if you are going through highways or bumpy roads.

The Handirack is for some basic hauling, without the need to assemble, install, wrench, drill, or tighten anything. So use it as a temporary roof rack, not a permanent solution.

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  • Quick and easy to install and remove
  • Versatile
  • Good carrying capacity
  • Temporary solution
  • Budget-friendly
  • Not durable like crossbar racks

Visit our kayak rack section for more kayak rack guides.