How to Choose the Best Kayak Crate

Whether they know it or not, most people use some sort of a crate when they go fishing. Sure, choosing the best kayak crate will give you a solid build with numerous compartments and a top-notch organization. But when you think about it, even if you don’t have a crate, your backpack does the same thing.

Most people who go kayaking get some sort of storage with them, mainly for small bits that no one wants to loose around the boat. The crate is built for a more professional approach, as it also allows customizing the space inside for maximum storage capacity.

With these ideas in mind, is it really worth it?

Short Answer for the Best Kayak Crate:

Benefits of a kayak crate

Solid construction

Compared to a backpack, a kayak crate has a sturdier and more solid construction. It may seem like it’s not as flexible as a backpack, but that’s wrong. It offers a better approach, offers more storage, and can keep things dry in a more effective manner.


You can use the crate to store all sorts of small things and not only. Socks, sunscreen, food, keys, boxes, you name it. You can also store batteries and even larger items, depending on the size of the crate. They come in all kinds of sizes to accommodate everyone’s needs.

The idea is to stash things you don’t want loose in your boat.

Water resistance

Since they’re made of solid materials, these crates won’t take moisture as easily as other alternatives, like a backpack. If you splash a backpack, chances are some of the water may get in. Even if you have a water resistant one, water could still get in by the seams and zippers.

A crate is less likely to face such problems. It’s more stable too. You can install it into the kayak, but then, it depends on what crate you get and what type of kayak you have. Obviously, the more professional your kayak is, the easier it becomes to install the crate.


With these thoughts in mind, a kayak crate is not mandatory. You can do without one, a lot of people do. But then, it’s extremely useful and convenient. You only need to use a crate a few times to understand its benefits, and you’ll never go back to other options.

Furthermore, crates can be adjusted on the inside, so trays and compartments can be moved for maximum space efficiency.

What factors to consider when choosing the best kayak crate

Like for everything else out there, choosing the best kayak crate implies doing a bit of research. Make sure you start with your personal needs, such as things you normally take with you on kayak trips.

Capacity and size

The size and capacity depend on more factors. Again, what you usually take with you should give you a few hints, but at the same time, the crate should also fit on the kayak. If it interferes with the paddles or obstructs your movements, it’s too big.

You can also experiment and try moving it from one place to another to find a more suitable location, but only as long as it’s secure enough to go on water.

Material and quality

Different crates are based on different materials, and each of them has its own particularities. Keep in mind that you’re going on water, meaning you’re exposed to all kinds of elements. You need the kayak crate to be durable, but also resistant to corrosion and various weather conditions.

High quality solid plastic is a popular choice, especially since it’s also lightweight. Corrosion resistant metals will also do, but they’re more expensive. Plus, they tend to be heavier, so it also depends on your boat.

Internal storage and organization

There’s a reason wherefore you’re after a kayak crate, so make sure it can meet your requirements in terms of storage and organization. A well designed unit should give you compartments in more sizes, as well as the possibility to adjust them.

You should be able to accommodate all your gear, whether you need to move trays or dividers around. Customization is essential because everyone has different needs.

Keep in mind that a crate with countless small compartments is not necessarily a good option if you also want to store some large items.

Extras and attachments

In order to attract more buyers, many manufacturers provide all sorts of extras and attachments. Some of them are actually useful and will make your life easier. Others are nothing but random bells and whistles, so you’ll probably spend more for something you don’t really need.

What you need to pay attention to is the potential of an extra. Look for attachment points. Look for hooks, as well as rails. You want the possibility to add extra accessories, rather than get them in a package. From rod holders to other pieces of equipment, your options are countless.

Available budget

Last, but not least, like for anything else in life, you can’t buy something you can’t afford, right? The same rule applies when hunting kayak crates. Some of these units are basic and won’t really cost a fortune. For many kayak enthusiasts, they’re more than enough.

Some others come with extra features and modern capabilities, such as solar chargers and USB slots. Again, think about your actual needs first. If you need such things, fair enough. Otherwise, what’s the point of spending money on things you won’t use?

To get the best value for money, make sure you also go through a few reviews before making a final decision.

Top 5 Kayak Crates Reviews

Here are some of the best kayak crates on the market based on their reviews and price.

1. Plano PLAM80700 Kayak V-Crate

Plano PLAM80700

Best for storage organization

  • This is one of the best kayak crates you can find if you’re after a top-notch organization. When fully unfolded, it measures 25x16x18 inches. It comes with four utility boxes and has a unique V shape for convenient side access.
  • The angled fit is enhanced with some rubber straps, which will keep the sides in place. You can easily view the transparent containers stuck in there at a glance, so you’ll never find yourself looking for stuff while on a kayak.
  • It has a side rail system, suitable for attaching all kinds of accessories, including rod holders. However, such accessories are not included in the package. The base features a waterproof container, too. The unit is made of a solid blend material that will last for ages.


  • Multiple compartments
  • Easy organization
  • Waterproof container
  • Convenient design


  • Might be a bit too large for small and compact kayaks

2. Plano PLAB88140 Weekend Series

Plano PLAB88140

Best for value for money

  • Designed like a crate, convenient like a backpack, that’s what you can expect from this option. It’s built like a crate, but it has the appeal and feel of a soft tackle bag. It measures 12×17.5×12.5 inches and also comes with two StowAway utility boxes.
  • Given the soft design, you can fit this crate into a hard one, but most kayak enthusiasts use it as a freestanding alternative. It has a durable fabric with water resistant capabilities, as well as numerous zippers, sturdy strap, and a few latches.
  • Boosting a four panel design, it carries most things you may need while on water. You can also adjust the inside by removing panels and rearranging everything, to ensure no space is wasted. The lid has its own storage, while the outside boosts plenty of tool holders and D-rings.


  • Easy to customize
  • Lots of room for attachments
  • Soft and conveniently
  • Water-resistant


  • One side zipper could be a bit inconvenient to use

3. Perception Splash

Perception Splash

Best for space efficiency

  • This is an excellent option if you’re after a high degree of customization and plenty of space efficiency. This kayak crate ensures no space is wasted whatsoever. Not only is it convenient, but it’s also compact and well organized.
  • The crate is compatible with pretty much every sit-on-top kayak on the market that features an open storage area, be it a stern or a tank well at the back. If there’s room for it, it will fit, simple as that. The lid is totally removable for simple and easy access.
  • Like other quality kayak crates, it can be customized with numerous attachments, such as organizers or rod holders. However, none of these things is included. In terms of build and durability, it’s made of waterproof materials and can take a good beating before showing any signs of wear and tear.
  • Whether you wash it or you have an accident, it has a valve for quick drainage.


  • Lightweight and durable
  • Waterproof design
  • Can take numerous accessories
  • Excellent internal capacity


  • One way valve for drainage can get clogged with time

4. Pelican Exocrate Fishing Bag

Pelican Exocrate

Best for fishing trips

  • Also built like a soft crate, this unit does retain its shape in the long run, but it offers a soft alternative, meaning you can squeeze it in here and there, without struggling too much. It can accommodate other crates, or it can be used independently due to all the panels included.
  • Despite looking soft, it’s actually very strong because it’s based on 1200D polyester. The material is strong, water and sunlight resistant. Despite the thickness and strength, the material is relatively lightweight, so you won’t notice any issues while trying to move on water.
  • While it can carry anything, this crate feels like it was specifically made for anglers. It comes with a couple of fishing rod holders, as well as draining holes. It has a bunch of compartments both on the inside and the outside. The reflective logo is a good feature for health and safety, as it adds to your visibility.


  • Soft and strong material
  • Plenty of compartments
  • Durable polyester
  • Built-in fishing rod holders


  • Straps or handles for transportation would’ve been handy

5. Yak Gear Kayak Angler

Yak Gear Crate

Best for beginners

  • Yak Gear has designed the best kayak crate for newbies. It doesn’t mean it comes with light features and no quality. Instead, it’s easy to use, easy to get along with, and most importantly, it offers some professional features at an affordable price as well.
  • Apart from the crate, you’ll also get an accessory pouch for small valuables, like keys or your phone. The pouch is quite large and measures 7×12 inches. It can also hold a tackle box. The package includes a rod holder kit, too, which will attach to anything without too much hassle.
  • The crate must be put together, but the process is quite intuitive. Designed for newbies, it offers a good product without any posh bells and whistles that no one really needs. It’s lightweight and guaranteed to last for a long time.


  • Solid build
  • Storage pouch included
  • Easy to organize
  • Lightweight


  • Assembly instructions are quite confusing

DIY Kayak Crate Tutorial

For those adventurous souls who cherish the spirit of customization and hands-on creativity, buying a ready-made product isn’t always the most appealing option. Why not craft a kayak crate that suits your exact needs and preferences? Not only is it a fantastic way to save some money, but it also allows you to inject a personal touch into your kayaking gear.

We understand the allure of DIY and the satisfaction of creating something with your own two hands. That’s why we’ve put together a step-by-step video tutorial to guide you through the process of making your very own kayak crate. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner just dipping your toes into the world of crafts, our video will provide you with all the insights and tips you need to embark on this fulfilling project.


Still feeling unsure about kayak crates?

  1. How can I attach a crate to a kayak?

Crates are attached like rod holders and may imply a bit of drilling, but it depends on the crate. Some of them simply stay in a certain spot, without being fitted.

  1. Are kayak crates suitable for experienced anglers only?

No. In fact, crates can take anything, from clothes and sandwiches to fishing gear. Different people use them for different reasons.

  1. Are kayak fishing crates waterproof?

It depends on the brand, materials used, and, of course, the price. Some units are waterproof, others are water resistant.

  1. Can you attach crates to any type of kayak?

Many crates are compatible with various types of kayaks. It’s not a general rule, though, so you need to double check upfront, but also consider the attachments and hardware coming with them.

Final words

Deciding on the best kayak crate does take a bit of work. It’s an investment in your comfort and convenience, as well as the safety of your belongings. It’s gaining more and more notoriety, especially given the extras coming with a crate or the potential attachments.

While it looks like crates are mainly aimed at professionals, that’s only a misconception. Anyone can benefit from organized storage, regardless of their experience or activity out there on the water.

About the author

My name is Brock Browning. I’m the founder of I have a passion, for kayaking that runs through my veins. It has driven me to create a central hub where everything related to kayaking comes to life.

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