Storing Kayaks in the Garage: 6 Ways

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Storing kayaks properly isn’t just about maximizing your space. It’s also important for keeping your kayak safe from the elements and preventing warping and damage that will ruin it over time. Storing kayaks in the garage offers many opportunities to keep your kayak safe from thieves.

In this article, we’ll look at six of the best ways to store your kayak (or kayaks) in the garage. Whether you have little space to spare or a fleet of kayaks to store, we’ve got the storage solutions you need.

What’s the Best Way to Store a Kayak?

When it comes to the garage, the best way to store a kayak is by using a kayak rack. These racks are typically available in three types: freestanding, wall mount, and overhead mount. Which is best for you will depend on your garage setup and how much space you have available.

According to, an authority on kayaking and water sports, there are four features to consider when choosing a new kayak rack: rack size, maximum weight capacity, number of kayak slots, and versatility.

6 Garage Kayak Storage Options

Freestanding Rack

Freestanding Rack
  • Ave. cost: $50 to $400
  • Best for: Garages with extra floor space

Freestanding kayak racks feature stabilizing feet and horizontal slots that allow you to store your kayaks off the ground. They are self-supporting, which means there’s no mounting hardware or drilling required.

Because you don’t have to drill into the wall to use this kind of rack, they are a great choice for renters. They’re also a good option if you need to move your rack around occasionally to accommodate vehicles or other garage storage needs. These racks are close to the ground, which makes them easier to load and unload than others, too.

On the downside, freestanding racks take up a good deal of floor space. And multi-kayak freestanding racks pose a tip-over risk, especially for families with curious children.

Freestanding kayak racks are ideal for renters or homeowners with floor space to spare in the garage.

Wall-Mounted Rack

Wall-Mounted Rack
  • Ave. Cost: $20 to $150
  • Best for: Those short on garage floor space who are looking for easy kayak access

Wall-mounted kayak racks resemble freestanding racks, but instead of a stand, they mount directly to your wall.

This setup frees up floor space and allows you to store your kayak as high off the ground as needed. These racks tend to be cheaper than freestanding styles since they require less material. The cheapest options consist of just two rack arms and mounting hardware.

But wall mounts also come with some downsides. Most importantly, they can be a little harder to load and unload from, especially if you have multiple kayaks racked vertically up the wall. And, since they require mounting, they are harder to install and require you to put holes in your garage wall.

Wall-mounted racks are a good option for homeowners with less garage space who need to access their kayaks frequently.

Wall-Mounted Sling

Wall-Mounted Sling
  • Ave. Cost: $15 to $30
  • Best for: Those short on garage space and on a budget

Kayak wall slings, also known as kayak wall straps, are an economical answer for kayak storage. Like wall racks, these are mounted to a vertical surface. But instead of rigid rack arms, they consist of flexible nylon straps that hold the kayak flat against the wall.

This storage option can help save even more space than a normal wall rack since they store the kayak flat. They’re also easier to install since they require less hardware. Plus, they’re impressively affordable.

On the downside, you have to lengthen and tighten the straps to get the kayak in and out, which is a bit cumbersome. Storing a kayak sideways isn’t ideal, especially if you’ll be putting it up wet since the water inside won’t be able to escape. And this method still requires you to put holes in your wall.

Wall slings are a great option for those looking for a budget garage kayak storage option. And for those who are really tight on space.

Overhead Suspension System

Overhead Suspension System
  • Ave. Cost: $20 to $80
  • Best for: Garages with high ceilings

Overhead suspension systems, also known as kayak hoist systems, are an ingenious storage solution for those with no floor or wall space. These strap storage devices use hoists and pulleys to secure your kayak or kayaks to the ceiling.

Overhead storage systems are a great way to save on space. In garages with enough clearance, you can easily install them over your parked car. They’re also fairly affordable, though the price can vary greatly depending on the quality and how many kayaks you need to store.

Of course, the biggest downside to these systems is that it takes some work to get your kayak in and out of them. And, like wall mount options, they require installation and force you to put a fair number of holes in your garage wall and ceiling.

Kayak hoist storage is a good option for those short on space who need to access their kayaks less frequently.

Portable Stands

Portable Stands
  • Ave. Cost: $55 to $150
  • Best for: Temporary storage

If space is less of an issue or if you only intend to store your kayak temporarily, then portable kayak stands are the way to go. These foldable storage options look like simple x-style camping stools with a sling or strap across the center. They come in sets of two to support each end of the kayak.

One of the biggest advantages of portable kayak stands is that they don’t require any installation. This means you can set them up wherever is convenient at the time. They can also be easily folded up and stored when your kayak is in use or when warmer weather allows for outdoor storage.

Some options even include wheels so you can easily move the stand outside when needed or for kayak maintenance.

But this option does take up a good deal of space. This is especially true if you have multiple kayaks since they have to be stored side by side instead of one on top of the other in most cases. And, given what you get, they’re a bit pricey, especially if your kayak requires an extra-wide or high weight capacity product.

Portable kayak stands are a great option for temporary storage or for those with space to spare who need frequent, easy access to their kayak.

Vertical Storage

  • Ave. Cost: Variable
  • Best for: Garages with extra corner space or limited horizontal wall space

Vertical or upright storage options are another possibility for the garage. While there are commercial products available that accomplish this, it’s just as easy to create your own vertical storage. All you need are bungees or straps to secure the kayak vertically against the wall and something to support the nose end where it touches the ground.

This video outlines simple instructions for making your own upright kayak storage for the garage:

If you’re handy, this option can save you money and a great deal of space. It’s also fairly easy to get your kayak in and out. Though, if you have a double seater or heavier model, it may require two people.

On the downside, storing a kayak upright can lead to damage over time, especially if you don’t properly protect that nose from the hard concrete floor. And, if you store your kayak wet, the water will pool instead of draining out the bottom.

Vertical kayak storage is a good option for those with limited horizontal space who want something easier to access than what overhead systems provide.

Kayak Garage Storage Solutions

When it comes to storing your kayaks in the garage, you have many options. Which is best for you will depend on where you have extra space, how often you need to access your kayak and your overall budget.

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Sara Seitz is a freelance writer and novelist. She lives with her husband and wildling toddler in Colorado where she spends her days working on their house, gardening, and reconnecting with nature.

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