How to Carry a Kayak on a Roof Basket


Hi.... I have a 2017 Toyota Highlander. I would like a roof basket that is large in size and has the option of being able to carry a kayak or a sup or whatever else whim hits me, without having to take the roof rack off! I already have a thule trailer hitch bike rack, so bikes are taken care of. What are your suggestions? I was looking at the vagabond because it does give the option for the bike on top and honestly, I really like the aggressive look of it, but .... I just need your HELP! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!


Expert Reply:

The Kuat Vagabond X Roof Cargo Basket and 2 Bike Carrier # VX201-VX202 is a monster of a roof cargo basket at 73" x 41" and the added fork mounts for your bike and crossbars makes this a versatile cargo basket. The square crossbars allow you to attach a kayak or ski and snowboard carrier. I agree with you the aggressive style looks cool especially when you start throwing gear and a kayak up there. This basket will take up a good amount of space on your roof at 73" in overall length which may cause some hatch clearance issues depending on your roof rack configuration. It does have an extension that can be taken out that makes it 53" long. That is a pretty drastic difference if you're looking for the largest basket to fit your Highlander.

The Yakima OffGrid Roof Cargo Basket # Y07138-08 is a good middle-ground option at 62" long. It also comes with crossbars to attach a kayak or ski carrier. It doesn't come with fork mounts but you can attach a roof bike rack to the crossbars. I think this one looks really good but if you prefer a more aggressive look I would go with the Kuat basket.

The Yakima has a slightly higher weight capacity of 165 lbs compared to the 160 lbs for Kuat. The difference between the crossbars is Kuat uses a square crossbar and Yakima uses a round crossbar. Both styles will accommodate many different carriers with the exception of t-slot style carriers.

If you are looking for a kayak carrier the etrailer J-Style Kayak Carrier # e98878 is a good option for a folding carrier to save height clearance. It comes with a good set of straps too. If you sometimes haul a SUP picking up a set of crossbar pads like the Rhino-Rack SUP and Surfboard Pads # RRRWP05 will fit both baskets crossbars. If you're switching back and forth between your boats often I would go with a saddle style carrier that accommodates both kayaks and SUP. The Thule DockGrip # TH895 can carry a kayak or SUP so you don't need to swap carriers depending on what you want to carry. Since this will be on top of your basket I like the saddle style because your kayak wont stick up as high.

If you need a roof rack I have attached a link to all of the fits for your 2017 Toyota Highlander.

expert reply by:
Zach D

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Ahhh... thank you so much for all of your helpful information! Thanks also for making it easy to click on the options and quickly compare everything! I have just placed an order going off of your recommendations and I can't wait to get all this gear hooked up and get on the road! I will leave a review once I have had a few months using everything! Thanks 94864

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