Just to be clear, a kayak is a tough little fellow, string enough to weather hail, snow, heat or shine of you keep it outside all year. However, being smart about storing your kayaks properly between seasons is a great way to extend their life by many years. Even if you just found a good wrap for your kayak stored outside, you’re giving it years more of life.
It makes no difference whether your kayaks are made of fiberglass, plastic or coated fabrics, they will degrade in the presence of ultraviolet radiation, abundant in sunlight. Another slow killer is moisture — and if you’re wondering why moisture would harm a vessel that is primarily meant for water sports, the truth is that water causes deterioration as well.
Too cold, and the hull may crack. Too hot, and they could get bent out of shape. Fortunately, there’s no dearth of storage ideas when it comes to a popular activity like kayaking. Here are just 11 of the best of ’em, including two that you can do yourself on the cheap.
1. Rack Storage
Sometimes all you need is a simple, two-seater rack because all you have are two kayaks. The one shown here can heft as much as 175 pounds, is made from solid steel, and is rust-resistant and weather-proof, which makes it perfect for indoor or outdoor storage. Despite its lightweight form factor and footprint, it can hold a 20-foot, 32-inches wide, 18-inches deep kayak just on its upper tier.
2. Wall Mount Rack
These are probably be among the most popular kayak storage ideas in the world. The wall-mounted J-rack not only frees up precious floor space but holds the craft on its side, minimizing its protrusion into the storage room. In place and stocked, it extends no more than 22 inches from the wall and can hold up to 125 pounds. Its cradling strap system guards against the hull getting distorted by its own weight. Best of all, you can hook this up anywhere — walls, fences, any place that you can drive a bolt into.
3. Ceiling Rack
It’s a whale! It’s a dolphin! No, it’s just that smart overhead kayak ceiling storage racks you got for your two large kayaks. Made of solid steel, it can comfortably — and safely — hold up to 150 pounds. That would be two large kayaks up to 30 inches wide. Thanks to the adjustable height, the racks can accommodate kayaks up to 18 inches high.
4. Single Sling Storage
If all you have is one kayak and not a whole lot of time, then one of the simplest solutions is probably — just a sling like these ones on Amazon. A system like the one shown here is not only highly affordable but also installs in minutes using easy connected carabiners with adjustable buckles. The strap is adjustable and the rig can hold up to about 135 pounds, so your single boat should be just fine.
5. Vertical Storage with Yakups
This heavy-duty baby, the original branded Yakups vertical racks for storing kayaks, is guaranteed to last a lifetime. It’s adjustable, can fit up to 4 standard deck-height kayaks in trays 24 inches wide, and is protected by solid stainless steel guardrails. Perfect for indoor storage — or outdoor, when you’re ready to hit the road.
6. Suspension Storage
Though having a full-grown kayak hanging over your head as you walk around your garage might be a little unsettling at first, suspension storage is a great way to keep your kayaks safely stored while freeing up precious wall and floor space. This design can hold 125 pounds easily, and includes a pulley system for raising and lowering the craft, rubber-coated tools, and a safety lock to prevent unintended release. Who wants to be hit on the head by a falling boat?
7. Kayak Wall Holder
There’s a reason why wall holders are among the most popular kayak storage methods. Of course, everything depends on whether you choose to go high or low. Higher will mean a bit more work to hoist the kayaks into place but will give you handy storage space below for other things. Note, though, that this system is not recommended for drywalls or plywood.
8. 4-Kayak Storage Mount
This 4-kayak storage mount that you could easily set up against one of your garage or workshop walls is versatile enough to handle a range of kayaks from whitewater, recreational and tandem to even paddlers. Each tier can hold up to 100 pounds, with thick felt padding so that your kayak doesn’t sustain unplanned scratches and dents. Each storage level is adjustable to accommodate different sizes of kayaks.
9. DIY Kayak Outdoor Storage Shed
A good kayak can be your friend for a decade or more if you take good care of it between seasons. But what if your home or garage just Ian’t big enough? Outdoor storage is your best option and you can certainly buy pre-fab shed a store. Your better bet, though, would be DIY because you can tailor the shed to available space, number of kayaks and budget. A well-designed shed will keep your kayaks safe from the sun’s UV rays, cut down exposure to moisture, and guard your kayaks from extremes of any kind.
10. DIY A-Frame Storage
The simple, lightweight, easy-to-carry A-frame in the picture was created by Brian Nystrom, inspired by two sawhorse brackets he found at a yard sale. Light enough when empty for one person to move about, strong enough to hold six kayaks, and sturdy enough to climb on — in case you’re trying to drape a tarp over it, for example. The one in the picture has already survived several New Hampshire winters.
11. Hybrid Kayak and Gear Storage
It’s called a hybrid because with its 12 feet of nylon cam buckle straps, it can securely hold kayak accessories instead of a kayak, such as a skinny cargo box, or paddles. The powder-coated, corrosion-resistant steel mounts, super-light at 6 pounds each, can hold a total of 150 pounds, and are made for indoor or outdoor use. If your woodshed is too small, you can set the hybrid up again the outer wall.