Kayaking is a popular family friendly outdoor activity that almost anyone can enjoy. Whether you are a person who uses a kayak often or a first timer interesting in buying their first kayak or canoe for a weekend trip to the lake, you’ll probably notice two things, they’re big and they can be quite pricey. Not everyone has a ton of floor space for large pieces of outdoor equipment, so instead many have to look for other options for kayak storage. One option you may want to consider is garage storage.
Rather than simply storing them on the floor in your garage, an excellent option for your kayak is a ceiling hoist. Investing in kayak hanging systems will let you store multiple kayaks without taking up valuable floor space. Not only that but you want to take care of your expensive outdoor equipment so have a secure and effective means of storing, loading and unloading your equipment is a worthwhile investment. Here we’ve picked our top 5 kayak hoists for your garage ceiling. We’ll give you all the details you need to know when going to buy your first kayak garage hoist.
Why Use A Kayak Hoist System?
If you’ve already purchase your first kayak then you know that a kayak is expensive. Not only are they expensive they’re big. Most of us don’t have the space in our homes or garages for a small boat. This is where a kayak hoist system can come in handy. A good kayak hanging system can get your precious water equipment off of the floor and into the air. The best kayak hoist to use is likely going to be a ceiling hoist. Simply attach the kayak hangers to the rafters or a ceiling joist and you’ve got a perfect storage solution for your kayak.
Our Top 3 Choices
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The Rad Sportz 1003 Kayak & Canoe Lift Hoist Kayak For Garage / Canoe Hoists is our top pick for best kayak hoist hanging system for your garage ceiling because of its durability, quality reinforced materials, safety features, and lightweight design. Despite weighing only 3 pounds it can safely and securely hold up to 125 lbs and is good for up to 12 foot ceilings. It also comes with a full warranty. The extra security of the safety locking mechanism as well as the rubber coating on the hooks is an added bonus that kayaking enthusiasts will be thankful for.
Now we’ll get into our list of the Top 5 Kayak Hoist Hanging Systems For Your Garage Ceiling.
Best Kayak Hoist Hanging System for Your Garage Ceiling
1. Rad Sportz Kayak & Canoe Lift Kayak Hoist – Best Overall Pick
This one by Rad Sportz is in the top of its class for both price and quality. This product has a 125 lb weight capacity despite only weighing 3 lbs itself. The hooks are designed with a rubber coating to protect from scratches. With high quality straps combined with rubber coated hooks the Rad Sportz kayak hoist is a product you can rely on.
The safe locking feature ensure that your kayaks stay safely locked in even if the pulley system fails. The hoist system is designed to be easy to use and easy to install. It can be mounted directly to the ceiling or to a 2 x 4 and then bolted into the ceiling with accompanying bolts. The overall high quality combined with a full warranty (unlike other products that offer no or limited warranties) makes this the best kayak storage system for the price. Similar products are often lacking some of the extra features this system offers such as the coated hooks or reinforced straps making it one of the highest rated hoist systems on the market.
Hooks are designed with a rubber coating to protect from scratching. Pulley system has reinforced straps. Lifetime warranty.
- Easy to Install
- Rubber Coating on the Hooks to Prevent Damage
- Safety Locking Mechanism to Prevent Slipping
- Lifetime Warranty
- Not Suitable for Every Ceiling (That’s Ok, 12 Feet Is Plenty of Height)
2. Harken Kayak Hoist – Best Multipurpose Kit
Harken’s hoist kits are the perfect products to to build your own hoist system. Comes in a variety of weight classes to hold just about anything from paddleboards and wakeboards to kayaks and canoes. Comes as a universal kit with hooks, cleats, rope, pulleys, block and tackle pre-assembled. Assembly comes with written instructions and illustrations making it easy to install, even for the most inexperienced do it yourselfer. The kit comes with safety locking cleats that hold your gear in place even if you let go of the pulley. Stainless steel ball bearing keep your pulley system functioning properly for years and the 5 year warranty will help protect your investment.
The pulley system uses a double braided pull cord and increases the force of your pull so that you can lift even the heaviest items making them much easier to raise and lower. This is an excellent option for kayak storage with a variety of configurations. You could even set up multiple kits to store all of your outdoor equipment safely away on your garage ceiling. If you’re looking for a custom way to store your kayaks then this kit should be at the top of your list.
Universally designed to fit all kayaks, canoes, wake boards and paddle boards, Pulley System Evenly Distributes Weight For Steady Lifting and Lowering. Doubled Braided Cord and Stainless Steel Pulleys
- Multipurpose Design
- Durable Construction Designed to LIft Heavy Objects With Ease
- Customizable With a Range of Products
- Comes With Enough Pieces to Store Multiple Kayaks, Canoes, or Other Items
- Maximum Weight Varies By Kit (But With Multiple Options You Can Configure One to Suit Your Needs!).
3. Racor Garage Ceiling Storage – Best High-Weight Rack
Unlike the previous products on our list, this product is a heavy duty crank operated lift. Designed as a solid steel 4 x 4 platform, it is the ideal product for safely storing all of your outdoor equipment in one place. The robust engineering of the steel grating, nylon rings, and solid steel cables ensures that once you lift your items up, they stay there till you decide to bring them down again. Lifts up to 8 feet to provide clearance for vehicles and other equipment.
The product is designed to easily hold 250 lbs and the crank operation allows you to lift heavy loads effortlessly. The flexible mounting system and nylon rings that attach the platform allow it to be mounted to any ceilings, even angled ones. This is the perfect solution if you want to store several kayaks or even a variety of different gear all in one place without the hassle of multiple systems. Comes with everything included and easy to install.
Adjustable Mounting System, Solid Steel 4′ x 4′ Rack System. Supports Up To 250lbs.
- Heavy Duty Solid Steel Rack System
- Crank Based Raising and Lowering
- 250 lb Weight Limit For Multiple Kayaks
- Can’t Drop Your Kayak Right Onto Your Roof Rack (But Lowering It Is A Snap So No Worries)
4. Extreme Kayak/Canoe Hoist & Lift – Best Value Hoist
If you’re new to owning kayaks or just don’t have a lot of cash then this list item is for you. This product has all the features of other hoists but at a budget friendly price. It features a standard pulley system with hooks and straps for secure storage and easy raising and lowering makes this an ideal choice for a kayak owner on a budget looking to save room and stow away their kayak with ease.
All necessary equipment to install is their with mounting brackets included. The 50 foot cord is designed for easy single person operation and is useful for pulling object downs from a distance and makes getting too close under your equipment when trying to bring it down a thing of the past. 120 lb weight capacity makes it perfect for storing multiple kayaks or other gear in one place. A great starter hoist that only lacks a few of the extra features of more expensive hoists such as rubber coated hooks but a great choice for kayak storage for the price. An ideal kayak garage hoist to use when you’re just getting your feet wet kayaking so to speak.
- Easy Single Person Operation
- 120 lb Weight Limit
- 50 Foot Rope For Long Distance Hanging
- Lacks some of the special features of more expensive models (but it works great for the price)
5. VIVOHOME Heavy Duty Storage Rack – Best Heavy Duty Hoist
This hoist system is intended for garages and repair shops for lifting heavy items out of your way with easy. The rubber coated hooks made of solid iron ensure a solid hold for whatever item you hoist. Includes reinforced iron brackets and durable nylon rope for increase security. Also features a safe locking mechanism to ensure items do not fall once they are raise. The kit is designed for multipurpose use. It comes with 2 complete sets of hooks and pulleys, meaning you can mount and store multiple kayaks or other items at once
Unlike other kayak hoists on this list, this one uses iron construction and can be used to hold other items with or without the included nylon straps. This means you can store your kayak along with a ladder or other awkwardly shaped garage equipment without worrying if it will fit in the straps and hold properly. The system also lifts to a maximum of 12 feet.
Reinforced Iron Hooks and Pulleys, Durable Nylon Rope, Package Includes Two Sets of Pulleys For Storing Multiple Kayaks.
- Iron Construction
- Durable Nylon Rope and Straps
- Safety Locking Mechanism
- Kit Includes 4 Pulleys For Double The Storage
- No Warranty (With The Quality Construction You Won’t Need One Though)
Things To Consider When Looking At Buying Kayak Hoist Systems
Now we’ll cover some of the questions you’ll want to be able to answer when you go to buy your kayak hoist system, including space, operating types, installation, weight capacity, safety concerns, and price. Knowing all you need to know before buying a kayak hoist system will ensure you make the right choice for your needs.
The first thing you want to consider when buying a kayak hoist system is how much space you have. If you’re buying a garage ceiling hoist then how much space is in your garage? What is the ceiling height? Most kayak hoist systems are good for ceilings up to 12 feet. Make sure when hanging your garage ceiling hoist to set it into the ceiling joist so that it is secure and far enough away to avoid your garage door. Also, make sure you have enough room to back your vehicle into the garage and still have clearance to load your kayak onto the roof of your vehicle or transport rack. As for your bikes, you can check our post about ceiling bike racks for your ultimate guide.
Lift Systems: Electric vs. Manual
When choosing what type of kayak hoist you want to buy you have to operation choices, manual, which generally involves using a pully system where you lift the kayak into the air by pulling a hoist rope. Your kayak is then help in place by hooks or straps. Most manual hoist systems have a locking mechanism built in to prevent the kayak from falling should you drop the rope or an accident occur.
Electric hoist systems generally involve a storage lift operated by electricity. These are great for their increased weight capacity and easy to use operation. You don’t actually have to pull and lift your kayak into the air. These can generally hold multiple items and are a great solution to store your kayak, so long as you have power to operate them. Price can be another issue as these systems are generally much more expensive. You also have to worry about hoist malfunction. These are the trade offs of not having to lift heavy equipment after a long outing .
Most kayak hoists are designed to hold a considerable amount of weight, usually 100 pounds or better. This is important for storing your kayak and any other items that you keep with it. You need it to lift heavy weight so that you don’t have to. Make sure that the pulleys can raise and lower your kayak without sagging or buckling under weight. Choosing a product with robust engineering that is strong enough to carry the load will ensure that you don’t have to worry about a strap breaking or a hook coming loose from your garage ceiling. Consider not only the item the hoist is meant to hold, but any other item that might go with it, for instance, if you’re storing your kayak with your paddles, life vests, and other gear, make sure your hoist has the body strength to hold all the items not just the kayak. We have also put together some of the best hitch kayak racks in 2023 for your vehicle to ensure your kayak’s safety during travel. Also, our post about kayak trailer can give you an ultimate guide on how to carry your kayaks easier. You can also check our post about kayak carts to know some options you can consider in transporting your kayaks straight to the water.
Assembly and Installation
When you go to buy a kayak hoist system you’ll probably notice that a lot of them look and seem similar. A kayak hoist is an excellent storage solution but not everyone has experience putting together a pulley system. None of us are likely experts at putting together a pulley system so making sure your kayak hoist is easy to install is highly important. Thankfully, most products come with instructions and even illustration to show you how to loop the the rope through the pulleys and how to securely mount them to the ceiling. You generally want something that comes with all the mounting tools needed, other than say a drill or electric screwdriver. More complex electric models may mean more work to assemble, though the added benefits are usually worth it. It is important to consider your skill level when selecting whether to get a more complex hoist system.
The one thing most customers who buy products are concerned about is safety. Not only should your kayak hoist be easy to install and easy to use, it should be safe. One feature you should look for is a locking mechanism this ensures that the pulleys will hold should you let go of the rope. Kayaks are heavy, expensive objects, when you store your kayak you want to be sure that it’s not going to fall. Make sure the strap system is sturdy enough or that the hooks are securely anchored into your ceiling. A high quality kayak hoist should be able to support all of the items you put on it. We have also looked at the best kayak roof rack for a safe transportation. Check our recent post!
Since we can’t just go out to the local supermarket and buy a dozen or so kayaks we want to ensure that our kayak storage will last for years just like our expensive kayak. The type of hoist you buy should be heavy duty to withstand repeated use and heavy weight. Even if you seldom take your kayak out, you want to store your kayak in a way that will keep it safe and protected without worrying about equipment failure. Rubber coated hooks to protect from scratches, steel pulleys, and strong pull cords will help to ensure that once you store your kayaks you won’t have to worry about damage. If you own a bike and you’re looking for the best garage bike rack to buy, our recent post might help you
As we discussed earlier, the difference in price for a kayak hoist can vary based on the number of features and the type of mechanism. A typical pulley system is generally less expensive. A storage lift however can be quite pricey. Choose the best kayak hoist system to meet your needs. It’s not only about how you store your kayak, but whether it is easy to use your kayak hoist, whether it is high quality, whether it has a feature you need or want and whether it has the necessary weight capacity. Some products even come with a full money back guarantee. Kayaks are expensive so make sure the kayak hoist you buy is worth the price.
Buying a product such as a kayak is a considerable purchase even for the avid outdoorsman. You’re likely investing a lot of money into a quality piece of outdoor equipment that you hope will last you a long time. You should have the same type of consideration when choosing a product to store your kayak and other outdoor equipment. Whether using a manual or electric hoist, ceiling hoists are one of the best space saving options there are for storing all your goods.
When thinking about what hoist to buy you should always consider a product with robust engineering quality that will stand the test of time along with your kayak. One that will safely store away your things until you are ready for them and one that fits your budget. The 1003 Rad Sportz Kayak and Canoe Lift Hoist is an excellent choice thanks to its quality, price, and all the extra features it brings to the table. This is one of the top hoists on the market thanks to everything it offers and the manufacturers lifetime warranty standing behind it. Definitely a solid choice.
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