A kayak loader is a device designed to help you load your kayak to the roof rack on top of your vehicle. Kayak loaders are not roof racks but they work in conjunction with roof racks. They are simply designed to help you load without having to lift the entire weight of the kayak. They can act as a second person, helping to take the weight of the craft as you lift it up onto the roof of your vehicle.
There are different types of kayak loaders you can get, depending on the loading help you’re after. Some are gas assisted, which can really take the weight off, and others provide a load support that can allow you to load one side of the kayak at a time, usually from the side of your vehicle.
What are the advantages of a kayak loader?
If you have a particularly heavy vessel, such as a fishing kayak, or a tandem/double, and you want to head out to paddle by yourself, it can be a struggle to load the craft onto your car. But with a kayak loader, you won’t need to lift the full weight of the vessel at once. If you have a tall car, it can be a lot easier to load a kayak with the help of a kayak loader. This is because it can give you the assistance that you need to get the kayak up to the height of your car’s roof without you having to lift its full weight.
Another benefit of this tool is that it can mean people can take their kayaks on the road without requiring a second person and without needing a boat load of upper body strength.
What qualities should be present in a kayak loader?
Gas Assisted Lift
Having gas assisting technology in your kayak loader can make it easier to get heavier kayaks onto the roof of your car. If you struggle with lifting your vessel above your head or if you have a taller vehicle or SUV, loaders with gas assistance can help by taking some of the weight of the vessel as you lift it to the roof, making your kayak appear significantly lighter.
Side and Rear loading
Loading a vessel onto your roof rack using a side loading rack can be easier, as it can let you stand closer to your vehicle. Loading from the rear could be more difficult if you drive a vehicle with an extended trunk, as you may find yourself standing at a greater distance from your roof rack while trying to load and you may need rollers.
Kayak loaders are great
As mentioned before, kayak loaders can be a great tool for loading your watercraft onto your roof rack if you’re on your own… no matter what type of vehicle you drive. They can also help you load heavier fishing kayaks or canoes. It can be a good idea to think about your budget, as well as your own strength. How often you’ll use the loader may also influence your choice.