As long as you have crossbars on the top of your vehicle, you can add a seat of the best kayak J hooks. They make it easier to transport one or two kayaks on your roof and they are pretty easy to use.
Personally, J hooks are one of my favorite accessories for transporting kayaks. They are highly affordable, easy to install on your vehicle’s crossbars, and super simple to load your kayaks onto.
That being said, the market is currently saturated with a high number of J hooks from varying brands. Some are more reputable than others, so it is really important to know what you are looking for when you are shopping for this kayak transportation accessory.
Fortunately for you, we are going to highlight the 10 best kayak J hooks we could find on the market. Plus, we are going to outline the most important factors to consider when shopping for J hooks.
So let’s get going!
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Table of Contents
- 1 Best Kayak J Hooks
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 Kayak J Hook Reviews
- 3.1 1. IKURAM Single J Hooks
- 3.2 2. IKURAM Double J Hooks
- 3.3 3. DrSportsUSA Single Pair Folding J Hooks
- 3.4 4. Malone Downloader Folding J Hooks
- 3.5 5. OxGord J Hooks
- 3.6 6. TMS J Hooks
- 3.7 7. Leader Accessories Two Pair Folding J Hooks
- 3.8 8. OUHOUG A001 J Hooks
- 3.9 9. AA-Racks 2 Pair J Hooks
- 3.10 10. Codinter Double J Hooks
- 4 Our Pick – IKURAM Double J Hooks
- 5 Enjoyed 10 Best Kayak J Hooks? Share it with your friends so they too can follow the Kayakhelp journey.
- IKURAM Single J Hooks
- IKURAM Double J hooks
- DrSportsUSA Single Pair Folding J Hooks
- Malone Downloader J Hooks
- OxGord J Hooks
- TMS J Hooks
- Leader Accessories Two Pair Folding J Hooks
- OUHOUG A001 J Hooks
- AA-Racks 2 Pair J Hooks
- Codinter Double J Hooks
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To be clear, the factors for buying kayak J hooks can be prioritized according to your personal preferences. So you don’t necessarily need to consider them in the exact order that we have outlined below.
One important factor to start with is to evaluate how often you like to go kayaking. If you are someone that likes to paddle multiple times a week, you probably don’t want to install and remove your J hooks every time you gear up for a paddle.
On the other hand, you might not want to have a tall set of J hooks on your crossbars all the time. If you work at a location that requires you to park in a parking garage, for example, you will have to consider the height that these hooks will add to your vehicle.
If you paddle a lot and you don’t want your J hooks to impact your vehicle’s fuel economy and accessibility when you aren’t paddling, then we’d suggest getting a set of folding J hooks.
These can be permanently installed on your crossbars and adjusted to their vertical positioning only when you are ready to transport a kayak.
On the other hand, if you only kayak once or twice in a month (or just transport your kayak on trips), you might be just fine with a more traditional set of J hooks. These are still very easy to install and remove as needed.
Plus, many of these traditional J hook models are quite a bit more affordable than the folding designs. So you can save a little money if you don’t particularly plan on using your J hooks all that frequently.
This one is pretty simple, but you should be careful to ensure that the J hooks you are interested in are rated for the weight of your kayak. You should not have a problem with most of these models if you have one of the best whitewater kayaks.
However, the heaviest of designs out there tend to be fishing kayaks. Some of these can easily weigh more than 100 pounds before you even begin to load in any of your kayak fishing gear.
So, just take a moment to double-check the original specifications of your kayak and then make sure that its weight is below the rated capacity of the J hooks you purchase. If you have made any modifications to your kayak, be sure to account for how those modifications may have altered the weight of your kayak during this step.
This factor easily could have been your first consideration because some of the J hooks you will find below are built for a single kayak while others can handle two kayaks. So, you can use the number of kayaks that you will typically be transporting to quickly narrow down your options.
That being said, you should also consider the possibility that your kayak quiver will expand in the future. If you can get an economical pair of J hooks at a lower price than a single set of fancy J hooks, for example, you might use this opportunity to prepare for transporting multiple kayaks in the future.
You will also need to know whether you will be mounting your new J hooks to round, square, oval, factory-installed, or aerodynamic crossbars. This will be supremely important to make sure that you can actually install your J hooks to your crossbars when they arrive in the mail.
So, go ahead and pop outside and measure the width and height of your crossbars. Also, take note of their shape, and you can use this resource to get a better idea of what crossbars you are working with if you are not familiar with the terms we mentioned above.
At the same time, it will be helpful to measure the total length of your crossbars from one side of your vehicle to the other. This will help you understand how much space different sets of J hooks will require on your crossbars when they are installed.
You may have seen a few cars rolling through your neighborhood with several different roof-mounted cargo options installed to their roof rack crossbars. There are rooftop tents, awnings, road showers, and so many other accessories that you might attach to create your ideal setup.
If you already have one or two of these accessories installed on your crossbars, you will need to make sure that you have enough room to attach one of these sets of J hooks. Even if your crossbars are currently empty, consider whether you may be adding other accessories in the near future.
Maximizing your rooftop cargo space is an art form that requires some practice. So do some thinking about what your ideal setup really looks like and then consider how much space your ideal set of J hooks will be able to take up.
These J cradles are made with aviation-grade anodized aluminum alloys, which makes them lightweight and corrosion-resistant. They are also water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about completely drying off your kayak after paddles or taking them off when it rains.
Each hook is secured to round or square crossbars using two bolts and twist-on star-shaped nuts. This hardware tightens the bottom of the hooks and the installation plate around your crossbars.
Plus, the hooks come with two heavy-duty cam straps to help you secure your kayak. These straps are rated for a break strength of 750 pounds, so there should be no concern with their ability to handle larger kayaks.
The release handle on the side of the hooks is what allows you to raise or lower the upright portion of the hook. This handle also allows you to adjust the angle of the vertical support to accommodate kayaks of different sizes.
Finally, these J hooks are a complete solution because they eliminate your need to transport your kayak paddle separately from your kayak. In the middle of the upright portion, there are paddle hooks to keep everything secure on the roof and out of your way.
When set vertically, you can easily set two kayaks parallel to each other on either side of the upright support. You can also use the release handle to lay the vertical support down and transport a single kayak flat on these racks.
When laid flat, these J hooks also become a multi-purpose roof cargo solution. You will be able to secure skis, snowboards, surfboards, and a variety of other outdoor recreation gear to these J hooks.
Overall, the bottom section is just over 29 inches wide and the vertical support is 19.3 inches high. These J hooks will still accommodate two kayaks up to 42 inches wide and weighing up to 158 pounds.
If you are transporting a shorter kayak with these hooks, you may not need to use the tie-down ropes. However, the hooks still come with cam-style loading straps for securing the main body of your kayak to the hooks themselves.
Speaking of the hooks themselves, they can support kayaks with a maximum weight of 110 pounds and they fold from both sides. This allows them to be stowed away completely flat when they are on your crossbars or you remove them to place them in storage.
The hooks are designed to be compatible with crossbars with a maximum width of 3.625 inches and a maximum height of 1.25 inches. Plus, these hooks are equipped with extra thick cushion pads that provide plenty of protection for the exterior of your kayak.
However, these hooks have a slightly lower maximum weight capacity than the previous model. They are rated to hold a maximum kayak weight of 75 pounds and they also fold completely flat when you are not using them.
One of the main benefits of these Malone J hooks is that they are compatible with many other Malone products. Malone is one of the leading brands in the kayak transportation industry and some of their compatible accessories include the SeaWing Saddle and the VersaRail Bare Roof Cross Rail Rack.
Coming back to these specific J hooks, however, they come with two sets of 60-millimeter and 70-millimeter mounting bolts and two cam-style straps to help you secure your kayak safely. This hardware makes the hooks compatible with most square, round, and factory-installed crossbars.
If you are looking for an extremely economical set of J hooks, look no further than these simple OxGord hooks. They fit universally on round, square, oval, and flat crossbars and they are constructed from heavy-duty steel tubing.
You will not need any additional tools to install these J hooks on your crossbars. They simply screw on and tighten down using all of the hardware that is included when you make the purchase.
The dimensions of each hook measure roughly 20 inches long by 5.5 inches wide by 16 inches tall. They don’t offer the thickest padding you will find, but they still provide plenty of cushion for one of the best recreational kayaks at an extremely affordable price.
6. TMS J Hooks
The complete dimensions of these hooks measure approximately 17.25 inches wide by 15.5 inches tall by 6.5 inches wide. The space at the bottom of the hook also measures approximately 8 inches across.
These hooks are simple, easy to use, and they do not require any additional hardware or tools to install. Plus, they come with a set of two cam-style loading straps to help you secure your kayak down safely.
While there are other J hooks designed for carrying two kayaks, some of these feature a wide design that makes it impossible to attach other roof-mounted accessories to your vehicle’s crossbars.
By keeping these J hooks separate, you will have the freedom to space them apart and attach another roof cargo accessory in between. Or, you will be able to install one set on your vehicle and the other on your partner’s vehicle.
The vertical support on the hooks folds flat to improve your fuel economy when you are not transporting a kayak. They are also made with powder-coated steel, which provides excellent durability and corrosion resistance.
Each set of hooks is rated for a maximum kayak weight of about 100 pounds. They also feature a quick-release handle that makes it easy to fold them flat once you have unloaded your kayaks.
Finally, these J hooks are compatible with most square, factory, and aerodynamic crossbars, but they will not work with round bars. They also come with a total of four cam-style tie-down straps to help you secure your kayak.
That includes tie-down ropes and loops to help you easily secure the bow and stern of your kayak. They also come with cam-style tie-down straps and all of the hardware you will need to secure them to your crossbars without the need for any additional tools.
Speaking of crossbars, these hooks are compatible with round, square, oval, and flat crossbars with a maximum width of 3.5 inches and a maximum height of 1.5 inches. They have a maximum weight capacity of 150 pounds and can accommodate kayaks up to 36 inches wide.
The hooks themselves are constructed from thickened steel tubing and each hook has foam cushioning strategically placed to protect the hull of your kayak from damage. This makes them durable and resistant to damage and corrosion.
This is an advantage if you have other roof-mounted accessories, such as a Cargo Carrier. It also means that you could purchase this set at just about the same price at the IKURAM double and then install them on two different vehicles.
Each set of hooks can handle kayaks weighing up to 150 pounds and the ratchet straps that come with the hooks are rated for a break strength of 2200 pounds.
These hooks also fold completely flat when you aren’t using them and they are compatible with crossbars up to 3.625 inches wide and up to 1.25 inches tall.
These J hooks still allow you to change the position of the vertical support depending on what you are carrying. Keep it vertical to carry two kayaks or paddleboards on their sides or lower it completely to carry one kayak flat.
Plus, you can also use the platform created when the vertical support is laid flat to carry a variety of other outdoor recreation items. The bottom section on these J hooks is approximately 31 inches wide.
These J hooks are compatible with crossbars with a maximum width of 4.3 inches and a maximum height of 1.8 inches. They can also handle kayaks up to 42 inches wide and weighing up to 165 pounds.
Our Pick – IKURAM Double J Hooks
To help you maximize the storage space inside your vehicle, this J hook also features a paddle strap on the vertical support. This strap is flexible enough to accommodate two paddles so that you don’t have to find space for them elsewhere.
Plus, the aviation-grade aluminum alloys used in the construction of these J hooks make them durable and highly resistant to corrosion. That is a perfect choice for saltwater paddlers as well as those that seek freshwater environments.
Overall, I also love that you won’t have to constantly be loading and unloading these J hooks from your vehicle’s crossbars. The vertical support can be laid flat to reduce negative impacts on your fuel economy and improve your ability to strap other gear or household items to your rooftop.
You can even use the flat, 29-inch bottom section of these J hooks to carry lumber or other large materials for home improvement projects. We hope, however, that you are mainly using them to transport your kayaks or paddleboards to your favorite paddling destinations!