What Are The Best Bed Extensions For Fishing Kayaks?
Many manufacturers produce bed extenders for kayaks or long loads (canoes, pipes, or lumber). We have listed some of them below and described each one.
Yakima Racks LongArm Truck Extension
The Yakima LongArm Truck Load Extendsion is one of Amazon’s top choices in kayak trailers. With the ease of use, quality craftsmanship, and great customer service, it is easy to see why. The Yakima boat mount can extend a standard truck bed by four feet and holds a five-foot wide crossbar. The hitch extender is perfect for hauling kayaks, ladders, or other lengthy items. It is made from aluminum, is easy to handle at only 12 lbs, and fits into a standard 2” receiver.
The Yakima has three mounting positions to choose from: a flat open bed position for when the tailgate is down, a truck bed rail setting that works with a tonneau cover, and a vertical position for cab-level mounting. In the lower position, the hitch is rated for 300 lbs. (The Longarm might handle kayaks just fine, but any other heavy load, not so much).
The Yakima longarm extension is finished with a rust-resistant black powder coat which is rust-resistant, and the company includes a storage bag for help when it is not in use. At a couple of hundred dollars, it is a bit more expensive than other longarm extensions on the market at a couple of hundred dollars.
(Without a doubt, our favorite feature is the built-in bottle opener at the end of the crossbar. We would like to salute the brainiac who came up with that idea with a nice tall cold one).
Yakima is based in the Pacific Northwest and has been in business since the late 70s. This company is passionate about kayaking, cycling, and other outdoor activities. If you need to haul some equipment to your favorite spot, chances are Yakima has a rack that will work for your situation. The company offers a limited lifetime warranty on the extender, and their customer service is impeccable. This company just gets it, and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
- Company is excellent
- Easy to install
- Adjustable settings
- Corrosion-resistant finish
- One-year warranty
- Weight capacity might not be suitable for heavier loads
MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Extender for Pickup Trucks
MaxxHaul is one of the leading producers of trailer hitches, and the MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Extender is a capable entry. It is rated the number one kayak hitch on Amazon, with a 4.7 out of 5. It is also an Amazon choice winner. The hitch fits into a standard 2-inch receiver and has a black powder coat finish with durable steel alloy construction. Two sizes are available, extending 37” or 53.2” depending on the need.
The quality that sets this bed extender apart from its competition is its versatility. Clevis pins allow the hitch to be adjusted to different levels and configurations. Need a shorter extender to transport kayaks? It can do that. Need an additional workstation? The sidebars fold down. News to raise the height for a ladder setting on the cab? It does that. The Maxxhaul has welded loops that act as tie-downs for added security. The hitch is rated for Class III or IV hitches and can handle 350 lbs.
The MaxxHaul hitch is a bit heavier than most bed extenders (its steel alloy and length contribute to this factor. It is priced at less than one hundred dollars, which makes it a very budget-friendly choice.
MaxxHaul is a Chinese company with corporate offices in Shanghai. Their national sales office is in Oxnard, CA. The hitch is made overseas. The company has been producing a variety of hitch solutions since 1999. As far as we can tell, the hitch has no warranty.
- Can adapt to various heights
- Steel alloy construction.
- More solid feel
- Buget-friendly price
- Not USA made
- No warranty
Boonedox Groovy T-Bone
The Boonedox Groovy T-Bone is a kayak rack that is pretty close to perfect. The T-Bone is made of high-grade aircraft aluminum. The unit weighs 18 lbs, making it easy to load and unload. The T-Bone extends the bed to various lengths up to 4 feet to accommodate multiple projects. The clevis bolt system allows the crossbar to be placed at different heights. The cross bar is 50” wide with adjustable plastic brackets that can be changed inward to help secure the kayak in place.
The T-Bone hitch is curved as it extends from the hitch toward the kayak, allowing the hitch to have excellent ground clearance. (No more scraping the hitch when you bank toward the water’s edge). The Groovy T-Bone has a plastic housing over the crossbar to keep the load from scraping as you load it. The hitch is rated for 300 lbs, more than enough for most outdoor projects.
The hitch crossbar has grooves in the plastic covering that can act as a gear holder if needed. This hitch is pretty expensive (upward of $300), and while the folks at Boonedox will throw in a plastic cover for your kayak, we wondered if they wouldn’t just keep the tarp and lower the price a bit. That said, the Groovy T-Bone hitch receiver has a 4.6 rating on Amazon. Their customer service is responsive to customers’ concerns which is a testament to their company culture.
Boonedox is made in North Carolina and started as a machine shop trying to improve outdoor gear. Since then, they have grown into a supplier of apparel, racks, and outdoor gear.
- Made In USA
- Plastic cover over crossbar
- Fits 2’ receiver
- Stainless steel rings for tie-down
ECOTRIC Foldable Pick-Up Truck Bed Hitch Extender
The Ecotric Foldable ranks high in numerous review sites for its ability to haul heavy loads. The hitch is rated for 400 lbs, made of super-strong alloy steel, and finished in a black powder coat. The hitch extends the bed up to four feet and has an adjustable crossbar. The hitch folds down when not in use which is excellent for storage when the extender is not in use.
The Ecotric can be positioned to bed rail height or laid to bed level with an easy clevis lynchpin system. The crossbar has two welded loops on each end for tie-downs, which are very convenient. The hitch extends 46 inches from the tailgate, and the crossbar is over 50 inches wide when fully extended.
Ecotric is a New Zealand electric bike maker that dabbles in many other things, like bike racks or bed extenders. The company began in 2017 and has become a leader in e-bike development.
- Wide cross bar
- Adjustable and foldable
- Rated for increased load protection of 400 lbs.
- Not American made
- Company is not a hitch maker exclusively
PENSUN Truck Bed Extender, 2 in 1
This Pensun 2 in 1 Bed Extender is the second highest rated kayak holder on Amazon’s website scoring a 4.5 out of 5 rating. The extender works in two ways, an extension of the cargo bed or, with a simple adjustment, haul items protruding from the roof rack, making it ideal for an SUV or truck cab height. The quality that makes the Pensun attractive is the sheer weight that it can hold (it is rated for 800 lbs). It can easily handle heavy loads, like lumber, should you need it to do so.
The Pensun is made of steel with a powder coat finish and has an adjustable width of 27 ½” on the crossbar and 18” - 27” for the height. With the ability to extend the cargo bed an additional 6’ - it is easy to see why the Pensun has gained so much popularity.
The hitch installs easily, weighing only 30 lbs, and fits into any 2” receiver hitch. The bed extender comes with a one-year warranty. Two packages are available, depending on whether you want to pay $30 more for some stickers and reflective tape. There is no question that the Pensum unit can carry long items (there are even welded loops on the end of the crossbar for tie-downs).
(While the Pensun seems very popular, buyers should not be aware of a few reviews complaining about pin holes not lining up. In addition, the bar is prone to scratches, and welds can sometimes be sloppy). Despite that, most reviews on multiple sites are positive and informative.
Pensun is a Chinese company with distribution centers in both Los Angeles and Atlanta, so they should be able to ship your purchase quickly. Pensun has become a large manufacturer of OEM auto parts and supplies for many of the current automobile manufacturers.
- Strong, durable hitch
- Foldable for easy storage
- Excellent load capacity
- Adjustable for short bed truck
- Not USA made
- Company should throw in reflective security tape
Koxuyim Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender
The koxuyim 2 in 1 bed extender is the ideal hitch for hauling fishing kayaks, pipes, lumber or ladders. It weighs almost nothing (18 lbs), which makes it easy to install, as it fits into any 2” hitch receiver. The hitch is rated for 800 lbs.
The adjustable length extends the cargo bed up to 48.75 inches, and the distinct load-carrying positions help make this hitch the ideal solution for whatever project you might have. (We appreciated that the hitch was designed for the crossbar position to be above the bed height, which tilts the kayak (lumber, long pipes) inward toward the cab, preventing accidental spillage.
The sidearms can be folded down to allow for wider cargo. The two-in-one configuration means that the hitch is also adaptable to a different vehicle should you need to carry lumber on a roof rack instead of horizontally from the cargo bed.
The crossbars work on a quick-release clevis pin system, allowing you to adjust and carry long items. The only drawback is that the locking bracket for the pin traverses the crossbar, sitting on top of the long arm, and could interfere with loading by scraping items.
The company includes safety stickers and a flag with its products and offers expedited shipping if you need to get your hitch quickly.
- Very adjustable in height.
- Load capacity crossbar of 800 lbs.
- Great hitch for long-distance hauling
- Inclines toward cab to keep items from falling out
- Safety package included
- Not USA made
- Some reviews about rattling.