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Easy Installation Guide: Kayak Rack on Jeep Wrangler Soft Top

You may be a person who likes to do a little fishing or wish to get more in touch with nature every weekend. To do so, you should install a kayak rack on your Jeep Wrangler so you can easily carry your kayak or canoe for fishing. 

However, can you install a Jeep Wrangler kayak rack soft top? Well, you can easily install a kayak rack on a soft top jeep wrangler. The rack can be mounted on the hitch or placed on the jeep’s roof to accomplish this.

Well, if you want to carry a kayak on your jeep soft top then this article is for you. We’ve covered a detailed step by step guide for installing a kayak rack on a jeep soft top. So, read on!

Can You Put A Kayak Rack On A Soft Top Jeep Wrangler?

Generally, you can put a kayak rack on the top of any type of jeep wrangler. Though hardtop jeeps are the most suitable choice for carrying kayaks, you can also carry a kayak on your soft-top jeep wrangler. 

You can put a kayak rack on your soft top Jeep Wrangler in two ways. One is to put it on the roof, and the other one is to mount it to the hitch. 

Roof-mounted kayak racks are useful for smaller kayaks, while hitch-mounted racks are preferred for larger kayaks. 

Tools And Materials Required To Install Kayak Rack On Jeep Wrangler Soft Top

There are certain tools and materials you must have to install a kayak rack on a Jeep Wrangler soft top. The use of proper tools and materials will ensure the perfection of your work. Here is a list of essential tools list:

  • 2′ × 2′ kayak foam cushion 
  • 12′ ratchet straps 
  • Paracord (optional) 
  • 2 heavy-duty sewing sheers

While buying these tools, ensure that the kayak foam cushion and ratchet straps have rubberized handles and coated hooks. You should also make sure that the sewing shears are in the right shape and sharp enough.   

How To Install A Jeep Wrangler Kayak Rack Soft Top?

Do you want to install a kayak rack on the soft top of your Jeep Wrangler? Well, this installation procedure will require some specific steps to go through. 

Below are the easiest steps to follow in the process of installing a roof rack. So, let’s learn how to install a kayak rack on a soft-top Jeep Wrangler. 

Step 1: Load the multipurpose 2′ × 2′ kayak foam cushion

First of all, install one piece of kayak foam cushion at the rear support bar. Then, place the other one on the windshield brace. Make sure that they are hung over the front and back edges of your jeep a bit. 

Step 2: Remove the side and rear window panels

Now, the next step is to remove the side and rear window panels or unzip the back and several inches of the window. 

But it’s a good idea to go with the first procedure so that you can remove the windows completely rather than zipping up the back. 

Step 3: Slide the kayak onto the rear foam

Now, it’s time to slide the kayak toward the rear foam. While doing this, make sure that the front side of the kayak crosses over the windshield. 

While doing this, you should also be aware of not sliding the kayak on the soft top directly. In this case, it’s a good idea to have a Paracord to assist you to haul the kayak onward. 

Step 4: Strap the rear edges of the kayak

After sliding the kayak to the rear foam, strap the rear side of the kayak using a rubberized ratchet strap. 

If the kayak includes a curve between the seat and the water-proof well, install the strap between these curves to hold it perfectly in place. 

Step 5: Tie down the kayaks with a ratchet strap

After installing the kayak rack on the soft top, it’s time to tie down the kayak rack properly. Use the other ratchet strap to tighten it over the roof of your jeep. Crank the straps around the kayak with the front doors of the jeep open.

While doing this, make sure that you’re not cranking it too tightly. Just do it with the required amount of tension. 

Step 6: Do a final check and drive on

Once you tighten the kayak rack with the straps completely, you’re done with your job and ready to drive your jeep wrangler. 

But after starting your jeep, give a final check throughout the top of the jeep if the straps are cranked properly. After that, you can start driving without any rush. 

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Jeep Wrangler Kayak Rack Soft Top?

If you don’t want to install a kayak rack on your soft top jeep wrangler and take help from a professional installer, you must be ready to bear some additional costs. 

The price of kayak racks can be under $100 or over $300. But the majority will run between $100 and $200. 

Besides, the tools and materials will cost between $65-$105. At the same time, the labor cost will be around $90.99 per hour. So the overall cost of installing a kayak rack on the roof of your jeep can be up to $250. 

Is It Safe To Install A Kayak Rack On A Jeep Wrangler Soft Top?

When you install a kayak rack on your soft top Jeep Wrangler with the proper management, then it is safe to do. There is nothing like you must have a hard time using a kayak roof rack. 

You can also install it on a soft top. All you need to do is follow some basic instructions while installing the kayak rack on your jeep. The things are: 

  • To strap the rack, use quality ratchet straps. 
  • Only use the rubberized straps.
  • Never load the kayak rack directly onto the rear foam.
  • Adjust the tension while tightening the rack with the straps. 
  • Don’t strap it too tightly.
  • Make sure that there are no hard particles on the top of your vehicle 


By now, we’ve already discussed some significant things you need to know while installing a kayak rack system on the rooftop. But there are still some questions to be answered. Below are the answers to those questions. 

How Many Kayaks Can Fit On A Jeep Wrangler?

Generally, a single recreational kayak can fit on a jeep wrangler. But J-cradles or stackers can help you carry two or more kayaks on your jeep wrangler. 

Should A Kayak Be Transported Upside Down In A Jeep Wrangler Soft Top?

No. For the best fit, you should transport the kayak hole side down, with the bottom facing up. You should also point the bow to the front of the jeep. 

Do You Need To Tie Down The Front And Back Of A Kayak With A Jeep Wrangler?

Yes. You should tie down the front and back of the kayak with the Jeep Wrangler. Besides, don’t forget to hook the ends of the straps to any metal parts of the jeep. 


In conclusion, we hope that you can now install a Jeep Wrangler kayak rack on the soft top. All you need to do is to follow the installation process suggested in this guide. You should also consider the factors we mentioned to ensure the safety of your kayak rack. 

Lastly, we also suggest you be more careful if there are any hard particles or sharp edges outside of the jeep. It can damage the kayak while placing it over the vehicle. Then it will cost over $200 to replace it. 

So, install your kayak rack and load up the kayak to enjoy a perfect day in nature. 

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