The Perfect Pickup Truck Racks For Carrying Boats

Are you looking for a better way to carry your kayak, canoe, or rowboat? Your boat may be a little long to safely carry in your trucks bed. But with the right overhead pickup truck rack, hauling your boat will be a cinch. Best of all, your truck bed will be free for any other cargo you want to haul to the water.

AA Products Inc. X35 is the best Kayak rack

Promo photo of an overhead rack kit for carrying your kayak in your pickup truck.
AA Products Inc. X35 | AA Products

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AA Products Inc offers a whole range of pickup truck racks. Its X35 is specially designed for Kayak owners. Other rack companies offer expensive Kayak saddles you can buy separately and attach to their pickup truck racks. But AA Products bundles its overhead pickup rack together with its Kayak saddles, mounting hardware, and ratcheting straps. Car Bibles rates this setup as one of the best boat racks available.

One major benefit of the X35 is that you can install it with the included C-clamps and without drilling holes in the bed of your pickup truck. One downside is that this rack does not attach to the “utility track” system included in some truck beds.

The kayak package’s full name is the KX-355-BLK and it usually runs $400. We’ve seen it on sale as low as $315.

The Ecotric Adjustible is the best for long boats

Advertising photo of a steel pickup truck rack.
Ecotric Adjustable Full-Size Truck Contractor Ladder Rack | Ecotric

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When you picture an overhead truck rack, you may already be picturing the Ecotric “Adjustable Full-Size Truck Contractor Ladder Rack.” This patented steel rack extends over the cab of your truck, making it ideal for hauling longer boats.

According to Forbes, Ecotric makes the best heavy-duty rack available. This rack boasts a 1,000-pound payload capacity. What’s more, Ecotric powder coats it to prevent premature rust.

Some customers have complained the rack’s assembly directions are hard to understand and even that installation hardware is missing. But the true do-it-yourselfer should have no issue. with the Ecotric.

This rack runs between $330 (Walmart) and $425. If you are carrying a boat too long for even the Ecotric, check out the adaptable multy rack.

The Thule TracRac SR Overhead Rack is the best aluminum pickup truck rack

Promo photo of Thule's aluminum overhead pickup truck rack.
TracRac SR Overhead Rack | Thule

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The Thule TracRac SR is one of the best overhead pickup bed racks for hauling boats–or anything. But at $800, it is also one of the most expensive.

What makes this Thule so great? For starters, it is an aluminum rack with a 1,250-pound maximum carrying capacity. Thule’s roof bars are even rated for a lightweight rooftop tent.

The Thule TracRack is light and aerodynamic. Thanks to its aluminum construction, the TracRac SR weighs in at just under 60 pounds. The Thule engineers shaped the rack’s crossbars more like a plane’s wings than traditional crossbars, so it cuts through the air better.

Learn about rooftop tentsRead how to tie your cargo down properly, or see the Thule TracRac SR in action yourself in the video below:

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