Premium Kayak Loaders for Roof Racks in Australia

Need help choosing the right Load Assist? Read the definitive buyers guide down below. Read More

How to Choose the Right Kayak Loader For Your Needs

A kayak allows you to have fun adventures -- on placid or fast-moving waters, in a lake or in an ocean. But a kayak is no lightweight. In fact, it can weigh up to 55kg, depending on the material used to make it; and the two-person or tandem kayak is even heavier. 

So anytime you feel like paddling out, how do you make sure you can load it onto your car in the first place? And when you’re all done and exhausted, how do you transport it back?

This is where a good kayak loader comes in. 

What are Kayak Loaders?

Kayak loaders or lift-assist carriers come with load-assistance features to help you easily get your kayak on and off your car roof. Working in tandem with your vehicle’s roof racks, they provide various benefits:

  • They can fit various types of roof racks and vehicles.
  • They are built to enable one-person operations, so you won’t need an extra pair of hands to load your kayak on and off the top of your vehicle.
  • They protect your kayaks from potential damage.
  • They work for all sizes of kayaks and can handle up to 75 kg of weight.
  • Many kayak loaders are easy to install.

Types of Kayak Loaders

Depending on your needs, kayak loaders come in different types.

Universal side loader. This easy-to-use loader is the most ideal for single-person use.  Just put your kayak onto the loader and use it as a pivot to lift the kayak onto the vehicle’s roof rack.

This model usually comes with quick-release straps and a load stop to prevent your kayak from moving and sliding off your vehicle, thus securing your craft.

T-load hitch mount kayak loader. Also designed for single-person use, the T-loader is adjustable depending on the height of the roof of your vehicle from the rear.  

It acts as a lever that rotates up with the load, decreasing the effort in loading the kayak.  It also prevents wobbling, making it safer for loading. 

Kayak loaders with integrated rollers. Made for easy loading anytime and anywhere, kayak loaders with integrated rollers usually come with front and rear saddles that are assembled out of the box. All you need to do is attach the system to any roof bar, as it has a tilting technology that makes it a flexible option.

It also features a spring-loaded base that can accommodate various types of boats. And to further step up the functionality, it comes with moulded pads to cushion kayaks from possible damage.

Tilt-down kayak loaders. For those that will need to load kayaks from waist height, you can find kayak loaders that can tilt down. Featuring gas-assist struts, these loaders can support up to 18kg of weight, and come with extending arms that simplify loading and unloading.

Some of them are also designed to expand to accommodate wider kayaks. And they offer padded support for optimal protection.

Which Kayak Loader Should You Get? 

Before you decide whether you’re more partial to one or the other, consider these factors in choosing a kayak loader.

Budget. Side loaders start at $219, while T-load hitch loaders are usually priced at $599 but can run up to more than $1,000. Those with integrated rollers are typically sold for about $300, while tilt-down loaders can run as high as $1,500.

Set a definite budget and streamline your search process to include only the options that meet your conditions. Also, consider cost vs value: one kayak loader may cost more initially, but it can be offset by its lifespan, range of features, durability, and even product warranty.

Frequency of use. How often you use your kayak and take it out on the water should also factor into your purchase.

Type of materials used. Your kayak loader should be made of water-resistant and corrosion-free materials in order to function properly, and for a long time.  It should also be able to withstand frequent exposure to both fresh and salt water, the hot sun, and normal wear and tear. 

Vehicle type. Your vehicle height matters. A car would work with a shorter loader, but a taller truck or SUV will require a loader that is suited to its height.

Load capacity. The weight of the kayak would determine what loader to use.  For really heavy loads, look for one with a gas strut assisted lift.

Compatibility with your car’s roof rack. Whether you have cross bars or elliptical square bars, wing or aero bars, your loader should work well with your existing racks for smoother and easier operation.

How To Single-Handedly Load Your Kayaks To Your Vehicle With The Help Of Universal Side Loaders

  • Make sure the loaders are securely fastened to your vehicle’s roof racks.
  • Adjust height and tilt on T-loads.
  • Retighten screws or grips if need be.
  • Lift the front of the kayak onto the loader.
  • Once the kayak is in place, lift the back part and move it from side to side until it is at the center of the    vehicle and bars.
  • Push the kayak towards the front to evenly distribute the length of the kayak in relation to the vehicle.
  • Remove the loaders and store them properly.
  • Secure the kayak with load stops, straps, grips or ropes.  Some units come with anti-slip mats.
    Check to make sure that your kayaks are stable before driving off.

Get Quality Kayak Loaders at Roof Rack and Towbar World

At the Roof Rack and Towbar World, we offer a wide variety of high-quality and performance-tested kayak loaders from different brands like Rhino-Rack, Thule, and more to fit your needs, budget, and vehicle type.

Our selection features easy-to-use, convenient, and secure kayak loaders. With any of them, you’re sure to enjoy a day full of kayaking adventures out in the water. 

Our customer agents are also trained to provide excellent servicee when you visit us at our Artarmon or Burwood  location. Or give us a call at 02 8999 8878 today. 

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