How to Hang a Kayak in a Garage: 2 Ways to Store While Saving Space

May 06, 2022

2 kayaks hung up on the wall

When it comes to storing your kayak, the garage is the preferred choice. Storing kayaks in garage spaces provides protection from the elements while making it easy to load up your boat and head out to the water. But if you’re like most people, garage space is a precious commodity you cannot afford to waste. You don’t want to keep your kayak in the garage at the cost of having to park your car outside - or crawl through a mess just to get around the garage.

That’s why we do not recommend you let your kayak take up floor space. And today, we’re going to teach you how to hang a kayak in a garage up off the ground. We’ll explain our two favorite ways to hang your kayak up in the garage: using storage racks or using a hoist system. Storage racks are a bit more simple, affordable, and versatile - but the hoist system is the ultimate space-saving device. As we make our way through this topic, we’ll help you gain an understanding of which of these two techniques best suits you and your kayak. Let’s start off with an important first question: is the garage really the best place to store your kayak?

Is the Garage Really the Best Place to Store Your Kayak?

If you’re fortunate enough to have a garage - and enough space to even consider storing a kayak in it - consider yourself lucky. We know many paddlers who have to get creative with how they store their boat - either using a spare bedroom, a shed, or worse - leaving it outdoors to endure the elements.

But let’s face it - your kayak is a big, bulky boat that takes up more space than you’d like. Is the garage really the best choice for you? Why can’t you store it outside under an awning instead, keeping that garage space open for you to park your car(s) and maneuver about? Here’s why we prefer storing kayaks in garage areas to any of the alternatives:

Advantage of Hanging Your Kayak in the Garage

As you’ll learn in our guide on how to store a kayak properly, the garage is in fact the premier choice. Why is that? Simple - it provides the greatest degree of protection. Sure, you’re going to have to carefully consider how to handle your kayak garage storage to save space. But this will greatly extend the life of your kayak. Sun damage, rain, and hail can all wreak havoc on your boat’s exterior. Similarly, critters can make their way into your boat if you store it outside. While it makes a great home for them, this can lead to the deterioration of your boat. And of course, storing your boat outside opens up the possibility of theft. All of these reasons contribute to our opinion that garage storage is the premier choice for kayak storage. However, if you find that this isn’t feasible for you, there are a few other ways you can store your kayak:

Other Ways to Store Your Kayak Safely

Of course, if you have an inflatable kayak then you should simply deflate it after each use and store it that way - saving space. Folding kayaks are another great space-saving boat you can consider upgrading to. But if you have a hardshell kayak that doesn’t fold up, what are your options?

For the full breakdown on how to utilize these storage tactics, we highly encourage you to read our complete guide on how to store a kayak. It covers not just kayak garage storage - but storing your boat in a shed, in a spare bedroom, in a storage facility - you name it. With that said, here is a complete list of storage options:

  • Outside (under a tarp and protected from sun/rain)
  • In a shed (you can build one or buy one)
  • In a spare bedroom (perfect for apartment dwellers)
  • Renting storage space (great for long term storage)

How to Hang a Kayak in a Garage Using a Storage Rack

Ready to learn how to hang a kayak in a garage? We’re going to start with the simpler approach: using a kayak rack for garage storage. As with anything, there are pros and cons to hanging your kayak with these.

While they still take up floor space, they will get your kayak up off the ground - which is an important storage tip in and of itself. You want your kayak elevated, ideally. But beyond just getting your kayak up off the floor, these racks can also support all your other gear. That includes paddle boards, skis, bikes - you name it. All your gear and toys can stay neatly organized in one corner of the garage - so you never have to search around for anything or uncover a buried kayak.

Hanging your kayak in a garage using a storage rack is as simple as finding the right rack for your needs, assembling it, and getting everything neatly organized.

Start by Choosing Your Storage Rack

As you can probably imagine, not all kayak storage racks are created equal. Some are incredibly simple stand-up racks. On the other hand, you’ll find folding kayak storage racks that can be mounted up on the wall. When not in use, you can hold them up out of the way to save space. The ideal pick for you depends on a few factors:

  • How much space do you have? If you don’t have the wall space to hang something up, then you’ll be limited to the standing rack. On the other hand, if floor space is incredibly limited, the hanging rack may be your only option. Your unique garage configuration and sizing will dictate your ideal rack.
  • What do you need to hang? If you just have to hang up a single kayak, you will need a far smaller rack than someone who had to hang up two kayaks. Similarly, you’ll need a smaller rack if all you’re hanging is 2 kayaks compared to someone hanging 2 kayaks, SUPs, skis, a bike - you get the point. See if there is a way you can add all your gear to one rack to free up other space in your kayak garage storage.

Once you have a better idea of what exactly you need, you can head over to Outdoorplay and shop our collection of kayak storage racks. We have the most impressive selection of racks from the industry’s most trusted brands. That means you can shop with confidence knowing you’re getting the best of the best.

Safely Hanging Your Rack on the Wall

If you opt for the free-standing kayak rack for garage storage, this step does not apply to you - keep reading on to the next section. However, if you decide to go with a wall-mounted rack, you need to carefully plan out how and where - you’re going to install it. Even the most lightweight kayaks are quite heavy. This means you need to hang your rack into studs to keep your boat safe and secure. This will require the use of a stud finder. Be sure to carefully follow the installation manual that comes with your rack.

Assemble Your Rack & Organize Your Kayaks and Accessories

Once you’ve got your rack assembled, you can find the spot in your garage it fits best. You’ll want to be sure that the kayaks don’t get in the way of you opening your car doors or getting around the garage. From there, you can start to organize your kayaks, paddles, and other gear on the rack accordingly - using these racks is super simple. When it is time to head out to the water, you can simply unload your boat from the rack and head out on your adventure. For more information on how to transport a kayak, read our complete guide. We also have more specific guidance on how to tie down a kayak on a J rack. In the meantime, let’s move on to another approach to hanging a kayak in the garage - using a hoist system.

How to Hang a Kayak in a Garage Using Hoist Systems

If you have high ceilings in your garage, a hoist system can allow you to hang your kayak while saving valuable floor space. You’ll still be able to park your car(s) in the garage and your kayak will be safely secured overhead. This is our preferred method because it saves more space than a rack will - even the wall-mounted racks extend off the wall horizontally and take up some degree of space. Want to learn how to hang a kayak in a garage using the hoist system? Here is all you need to know:

Start by Choosing Your Hoist System

Just as you would need to carefully consider the specific rack you’re going to purchase, you need to start by choosing your ideal hoist system. As you’ll soon discover, a high-quality hoist system actually costs less than a high-quality storage rack. However, you can choose between manual hoists and electric hoists. The latter obviously costs more - but saves you energy and may be your ideal choice if lifting heavy loads isn’t possible for you.

And at Outdoorplay, you’ll find an incredible selection of durable, reliable hoists - at the lowest pricing online. With our price-matching policy, you’ll always have access to the lowest prices possible on these hoists. Get yours with free shipping today, and then proceed to the next step: installing your hoist.

Installing Your Hoist System

As we recommended in regards to installing your storage rack, be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with your hoist. This is the best advice we can offer in terms of how to install your system. If you stick with our selection of hoists, you’ll be well equipped to get the job done right as they include all you need for installation. And as we discussed before - it is imperative that you install your hoist system into the ceiling studs. This will prevent the kayak from falling down on top of your car - or worse, a person.

Which of These Methods Is Best for You? Final Thoughts on How to Hang a Kayak in a Garage

We’ve covered the two main methods of storing kayaks in garage spaces. The question now becomes - which of these methods is best for you? We’ve discussed the important considerations throughout this article, but we’ll summarize them for you once more below:

  • Do you have ample floor space and multiple kayaks/toys to hang? Stick with the storage rack. These are more versatile and can help you organize all your gear.
  • Do you need to hang your kayak up off the floor and out of the way? Use a hoist system. These will keep your kayak safely stowed overhead, keeping valuable floor space clear.

No matter which of these approaches you take, we want to once again remind you that Outdoorplay is the #1 choice for all your kayak storage essentials. But that’s just one small part of what we offer. We have all your kayak accessories covered. From kayak paddles to paddling lifejackets, spray skirts, and much, much more. Shop now and make hanging your kayak as easy as possible!

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