Best Kayak Racks for Trucks with Tonneau Cover[Need to know]

Trucks that have bed covers — also called tonneau covers — have a lot of options when it comes to installing racks for transporting kayaks and bicycles.

Fortunately, the task of choosing the best kayak rack for trucks with tonneau covers just got a little easier.

You may be stuck wondering, can I put a kayak on a tonneau cover?

Do I need a kayak rack to protect my tonneau cover? Is it possible to have a truck bed rack system with a tonneau cover?

How do I select the right truck racks that work with tonneau covers?

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you already know how important it is to have this rack on your truck, but deciding between all of the different possibilities can be a bit of a challenge.

In this article, we’ll talk about nine different truck racks that will have you looking forward to finding them in the stores.

To make your life easier, we’ve selected our top three best picks, with a range of prices to suit any budget.

By the end of the article, you’ll also have a better idea of which rack will work best for you.

As you read this review, think to yourself, how important is this purchase to me?

Do I want to forgo quality to save a bit of money?

Or is this purchase important to you?

Kayak Racks for Trucks with Tonneau Cover: BEST PICKS

HIGH QUALITY OPTION: Putco Venture Tec Rack

  • This rack seems to be worth the price in all respects.
  • The weight capacities of the rack include 1000 pounds static, 600 pounds dynamic, and 300 pounds off-road.
  • It is also super easy to install because you can do so without a drill and using only a few simple tools.
  • You even get built-in tie-downs that support a 500-pound tie-down strength.

MID-RANGE: Universal Extendable Pickup Truck Rack Bed Rack

  • Since this rack will fit most full-sized pickup trucks and is fairly reasonably priced, it is a great option for most truck owners.
  • It is made out of sturdy aluminum and even has a powder-coated finish to guard against rust, scratches, and corrosion.
  • Even better is its capacity: 800 pounds for on-road and 500 pounds for off-road.

BUDGET OPTION: TMS Universal Aluminum Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Rack

  • This rack provides a lot of bang for your buck, including a load capacity of 800 pounds, which is higher than some racks that cost a lot more.
  • It is lightweight at 31 pounds so it is easy to maneuver, and best of all, it is compatible with all pickup trucks.
  • The rack is also made out of durable aluminum and therefore should last for many years to come.

Nine Best Kayak Racks for Trucks with Tonneau Cover: FULL REVIEW

Here are nine of the best kayak racks for trucks with tonneau covers and a few details about each of them.

1. Yakima, Overhaul HD, Adjustable-Height Heavy-Duty Truck Bed Rack

The Yakima truck rack can secure kayaks, bikes, surfboards, and so much more.

It is made out of aluminum construction with a powder-coated finish and offers same-key system (SKS) technology to ensure the rack system is securely attached to the truck bed.

The height is adjustable from 19 inches to 30 inches, and it is even made with a built-in bottle opener.

At a weight of 60 pounds, the rack provides a maximum on-road capacity of 500 pounds and a maximum off-road capacity of 300 pounds.

It even has integrated tie-down points to make it super easy and fast to add any type of accessories that you’re planning to add to your truck.

This bed rack fits most pickup trucks with the exception of certain Toyota and Nissan trucks, which need a bed track kit accessory.

2. Kiussi New Truck Bed Racks: Two Cross Aluminum Bars

This rack set is perfect because it fits most pickup trucks on the market, and it’s affordable for everyone at under $300.

You can load a kayak, canoe, bikes, snowboards, and so much more, and it is super easy to install.

The racks are adjustable from 49” to 64” and come in either black or silver to match or complement your pickup truck.

In addition to all of this, these two 63-inch bars have a powder-coated finish that is virtually rust- and corrosion-resistant. It is a low-profile cargo rack with a T-profile that allows you to install your racks using only internal screws, making them easy to install and very secure.

And because of its low profile, this rack offers reduced wind noise, which is something that you’ll appreciate on those long road trips.

3. TMS Universal Aluminum Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Rack

Made out of high-quality aluminum, the TMS truck rack has a width that adjusts to the width of the truck and a height that is adjustable from 8 inches to 9.5 inches.

It is lightweight at around 31 pounds. and is compatible with all pickup trucks.

This rack also has a load capacity of 800 pounds, which means that it can accommodate nearly everyone.

It is also the perfect rack or rooftop tent, and if you have a truck bed cap or RV, it makes your next road trip a lot easier.

This is a very sturdy truck rack that won’t disappoint.

4. Truck Hero Elevate TS Rails

These rails are lightweight at roughly 12 pounds and measure 74.25” x 3.75” x 3.88”.

They fit truck beds and standard short beds measuring from 6’4” to 7’.

Best of all, you can install the rails in minutes without having to drill and with no special tools.

The Elevate TS rails are also very reasonably priced, so you can make your truck look and function better without breaking the bank.

These rails also accommodate both T-slot-equipped truck racks and inside-mount truck bed covers, so they are a very versatile accessory for your pickup truck.

5. Universal Extendable Pickup Truck Rack Bed Rack

This rack is roughly 64” x 19” x 8” and is made in a universal design, which means that it will fit most full-sized pickup trucks. It is made to accommodate kayaks, bikes, surfboards, rooftop tents, lumber, and much more.

Made out of aluminum and with a powder-coated finish, it is easy to install and can even be installed without any drilling or special tools.

In addition to all of this, you get an on-road capacity of 800 pounds and an off-road capacity of 500 pounds.

At a weight of roughly 61 pounds, the rack is sure to be sturdy and to last for many years to come.

6. RetraxPRO XR Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

This truck bed cover is made specifically for the Dodge Ram 1500, one of the most popular trucks on the road today. In fact, it is compatible with nearly all T-slot accessories and can double your truck bed cargo capacity instantly. It is also so well made that it is guaranteed for life, which gives you great peace of mind from the moment it is installed.

This cover can support up to 500 pounds that is evenly distributed and has a retractable cover. Even better, you can lock it in place anywhere along the truck bed using a simple latch or key. It also comes in two bed sizes, 5’7” and 6’4”.

7. ADARAC M-Series Truck Rack

Made out of very durable aluminum, this truck rack is so easy to install that all you need are a few simple tools.

It has a very sleek profile thanks to the fact that the uprights are aerodynamic in design and angled inwards towards the truck bed, and it even comes with a weight capacity of up to 750 pounds.

The M-Series truck rack by Access looks great and works great, in other words.

This truck rack is compatible with all soft rollup tonneau covers made by Access and most covers that you mount in between your truck bed rails.

It is a very versatile and functional truck rack.

8. ADARAC Aluminum Series Truck Rack

The aluminum series truck rack supports up to 500 pounds if the weight is evenly distributed and has a weight capacity of up to 750 pounds. You can purchase optional tie-downs, and the uprights are super easy to install.

The rack itself can be installed without special tools and without any drilling, and the user-friendly end caps have an integrated tie-down loop that efficiently secures your cargo.

With this rack, you even get channeled cross bars that make attaching accessories super easy. And at under $700, it is affordable for almost everyone.

9. Putco Venture Tec Rack

This Putco rack is made out of high-quality aluminum and has a black powder-coated finish.

It comes with a limited lifetime warranty and requires no drilling to install, just a few simple tools that you likely already have around the house.

The built-in tie-downs support a 500-pound tie-down strength, and you even get a pass-through channel for in-stanchion wiring.

Even better are the weight capacities of this rack, which include 1000 pounds static, 600 pounds dynamic, and 300 pounds off-road.

Truck Racks That Work with Tonneau Covers: Buying Guide

Two guys who need a truck rack that works with a tonneau cover (1)

Before you head out and purchase your truck rack, there are a few things to keep in mind. This is especially true if you’re brand-new to pickup trucks and tonneau covers. Below are a few things to remember before deciding which truck rack is right for you.

Kayak Racks for Trucks with Bed Covers: Types

There are essentially two different types of kayak racks for trucks with tonneau covers, and they are:

  • Stake-pocket truck rack. There are a lot of models of this type of rack, and they work best when you have a truck that has holes already present in the bedrail. In other words, they fit in the truck bedrail’s stake hole and therefore installation is a breeze.
  • Truck headache rack. These racks offer maximum security and can securely tie all of the cargo in place so that there are no hazards. While there are some pre-purchase considerations involved, this type of rack is appropriate for many different types of pickup trucks.

Tonneau Cover Truck Rack Compatibility

Regardless of the type of truck you have, you need to know the measurements and do some research so you end up with a truck rack that works.

For instance, there are both hard and soft tonneau covers, and each brand of truck rack makes a product that is suitable for them.

Adarac and USA are two brands that make racks compatible with hard covers, while Adarac, Putco, and USA have models that are compatible with soft tonneau covers. If you have a retracting bed cover, look for models made by Pace-Edwards, Thule, Rhino Rack, and Yakima.

Whatever you’re looking for, make sure that you take the measurements of your truck first so you get a rack that fits perfectly in the end.

Tonneau Cover Kayak Rack Ease of Assembly

A good truck rack doesn’t do you much good if it takes you all day to put it together. If you read the directions about the rack, you’ll learn how long it takes to put the rack together and how complicated it is.

Keep in mind that some racks require you to drill holes in your truck, which is time-consuming, while others can be installed without drilling and with tools you likely have in your home already.

In the end, the decision you make depends on two things: which racks are available for your particular bed cover, and how much work you intend to put into getting the rack installed.

Loading Kayak Onto Rack

Just as how easy it is to put together your truck rack, you also have to look at what is involved in loading your kayak onto that rack.

This will depend a lot on what type of rack you’ve chosen, and once again, the instructions will tell you a lot about how easy the process is.

Best Kayak Racks for Trucks with Tonneau Cover: Summary

Choosing the best kayak rack for trucks with tonneau covers starts with knowing what type of truck you have and taking measurements so you can get one that fits perfectly.

You need to educate yourself on the type of bed cover you have and what you’ll be using the rack for.

In other words, you have to look at the big picture to learn exactly why you want and need a rack for your truck.

Here, we’ve helped show you the right kayak racks for trucks with tonneau covers, and answer common questions when it comes to choosing the right truck racks that work with tonneau covers, such as:

Can I put a kayak on a tonneau cover?

Do I need a kayak rack to protect my tonneau cover?

Is it possible to have a truck bed rack system with a tonneau cover?

Fortunately, this is easy once you know what to look for, and some online research can also help you get started.

Think about the opportunities a new rack for your truck gives you – you can store more, transport more, carry more.

Want to go camping AND kayaking? Done – you can fit everything you need in the truck.

Want to travel further on your next adventure? Done – you can fit more in your truck and carry essential larger items up above on the kayak rack.

Want to bring more people with you and fit everything in the one truck? Done – because you’ve maximised your storage space and improved your truck’s usefulness overall!