Where should I store my kayak if I live in an apartment?

Kayaking is a fun and popular outdoor activity, but storing a kayak can be challenging if you live in an apartment or condo without much space. When looking for a place to store your kayak, the main factors to consider are security, protecting the kayak from weather and sun damage, and finding enough space. With some creative thinking and planning, there are good options to securely store a kayak while living in an apartment.

Inside Storage Options

Storing your kayak inside your apartment is ideal to keep it safe from weather, sun exposure, and potential theft or vandalism. However, finding room for a 12+ foot kayak inside an apartment can be tricky. Here are some potential options:

  • Store it in a spare bedroom, den, or large closet if you have the space.
  • Hang it vertically on wall mounted storage hooks or hangers.
  • Mount hooks or hangers to the ceiling to hang it overhead.
  • Store under a bed with wheels if it will fit.
  • Invest in an inflatable kayak that can be deflated and stored in a closet.
  • Use wall mounted modular storage systems to store vertically.

The main challenges with inside storage are finding open wall space and having high enough ceilings to store a kayak vertically. Measure carefully first and look for any unused space that will accommodate a kayak. Wall mounted solutions help save floor space.

Outside Storage Options

If bringing your kayak inside your apartment is not feasible, there are still options for storing it securely outside on your apartment property:

  • Store on your patio or balcony if allowed by your apartment complex.
  • Invest in a kayak storage rack or hoist system for your balcony.
  • Use a cable lock system to secure it on your balcony.
  • Store in a secured common area shed or storage unit if available.
  • Lock it to a rack on the apartment building exterior if permitted.
  • Use a fence mounted storage system in your backyard if you have one.
  • Store in your secured parking garage or carport if space allows.
  • Ask your landlord if they have a storage solution for residents’ kayaks, paddle boards, etc.

Storing a kayak on an apartment balcony, patio, or secured common area can work well if you have the right equipment and permissions. Always be sure to check your lease terms and with your landlord before storing a kayak outside your apartment door or on common property.

DIY Storage Ideas

If you are handy and want to take a DIY approach to storing your kayak at your apartment, here are some creative storage solutions you can build:

  • Build wall mounted brackets or slings to hang from ceiling hooks.
  • Craft a pulley system to hoist and lower your kayak from the ceiling.
  • Use PVC pipe to build a free standing kayak rack.
  • Build stacked brackets on your wall to store vertically.
  • Use wood planks and brackets to create hooks along the wall.
  • Build a rack from PVC pipe or wood to mount on your balcony or patio.

By getting creative with materials like PVC pipe, 2x4s, rope, eye bolts, and brackets, you can engineer a custom kayak storage solution. Make sure it is properly secured and safe for storing a 30+ pound kayak. Having some DIY skills and tools will help maximize your apartment storage capabilities.

Kayak Storage Accessories

Investing in some Kayak storage accessories can make storing your kayak in an apartment much easier. Here are some helpful products to consider:

  • Hanging straps to suspend from the ceiling or rails
  • Wall mounted kayak racks and hangers
  • Ceiling mounted pulley systems to lift and lower
  • Heavy duty kayak stands for upright floor storage
  • Inflatable kayak bags to store deflated kayaks
  • Sturdy kayak saddles to protect hulls
  • Cable locks and chains to secure outside
  • Kayak covers for outdoor storage

The right accessories can make all the difference when it comes to efficiently maximizing storage space. A sturdy pulley system allows you to store a kayak overhead. Inflatable kayak bags greatly reduce storage space when deflated. Investing in quality racks, hangers and locks will keep your kayak protected.

Kayak Storage Ideas for Small Apartments

Finding a spot for a full sized 12-14 foot kayak can be extra tricky in a small apartment. Here are some of the best storage solutions to consider:

  • Store under bed, couch, or other furniture on wheels.
  • Use an inflatable kayak and store it deflated.
  • Install high mounted wall hooks to hang vertically.
  • Use a pulley system to lift and lower from ceiling.
  • Build a custom rack on your balcony to secure it.
  • Use wall mounted modular or stackable storage systems.
  • Mount storage hooks high on your walls and hang horizontally.
  • Invest in a sturdy stand to store upright in a corner.

Getting creative with vertical and overhead storage utilizing all wall and ceiling space is key in a smaller apartment. An inflatable kayak can be a game changer since it stores in a closet when deflated. Hanging, pulley systems, and balcony racks allow you to get the kayak up and off the floor entirely.

Kayak Storage Tips

Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when storing your kayak in an apartment:

  • Always check your lease terms and get landlord approval for storage solutions.
  • Floor storage takes up valuable space – utilize vertical and overhead storage options.
  • Pad crossbars and hangers to avoid hull damage.
  • Poorly secured kayaks risk falling – use quality racks and hardware.
  • Use cable locks and chains to secure outside.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure which can damage and fade hulls.
  • Store inside padded kayak bags for protection when deflated.
  • Test pulley systems to ensure they can handle the weight safely.
  • Kayak saddles evenly distribute weight to avoid buckling or sagging.

Being strategic about utilizing all possible storage space, securing your kayak safely, and protecting the hull will allow you to store it successfully. Get creative with mounting systems and accessories to make kayak storage work in your apartment.

Transporting Your Kayak

Once you have your kayak safely stored between uses, you need an efficient way to transport it to the water. Here are some top options for transporting a kayak from an apartment:

  • Use a kayak cart to roll it from your apartment to your vehicle.
  • Carry with a friend or use straps to lift and carry alone.
  • Use roof rack straps or foam blocks to securely strap to your roof racks.
  • Tie down securely in the truck bed with straps and padding.
  • Use a trailer hitch mount to transport on a low profile trailer.
  • Invest in a kayak trailer to tow behind your vehicle.
  • Load inside an SUV or van safely secured if space allows.

Kayak carts with inflatable wheels offer an affordable and easy loading solution and work great for apartments. Roof racks are also very convenient if your vehicle allows for it. Just be sure to properly tie down and avoid dragging the hull at all costs during loading and unloading.

Alternative Kayak Storage Solutions

If you have exhausted all apartment and vehicle storage options, there are some other solutions worth considering:

  • Look into storage at local marinas, outfitters, or storage facilities.
  • Rent a storage unit and keep secured there when not in use.
  • Store at a trusted friend or family member’s house nearby.
  • Join a kayak share service and skip purchasing and storing altogether.
  • Consider buying inflatable kayaks to store multiple boats deflated.
  • Purchase a smaller recreational kayak under 10 feet to store.

Offsite storage with a marina, outfitter, or storage unit facility are great alternatives though you lose some convenience. Kayak share services allow you to skip storage entirely in exchange for a membership fee. Downsizing to an inflatable or smaller recreational kayak opens up many more apartment storage options.

Protecting Your Kayak

No matter where you decide to store your kayak in an apartment, be sure to take measures to keep it protected:

  • Use padding and protective bags during storage and transport.
  • Avoid dragging the hull and use kayak carts or carrying straps.
  • Use kayak covers for UV and weather protection outside.
  • Rinse with fresh water after saltwater use to avoid corrosion.
  • Invest in secure locks to deter theft.
  • Apply UV protecting wax to hull to avoid sun damage.
  • Never let straps or ropes rest directly on the hull.
  • Check for abrasions or cracks and touch up paint as needed.
  • Clean and dry hull thoroughly before storing in bags.

Taking steps to avoid scratching or cracking the hull during loading and protect it from sun exposure and inclement weather is key. Using padding, racks, cleaning and waxing will help keep your kayak in great shape for seasons to come.


While living in an apartment can make kayak storage more challenging, there are many great options to safely store your boat within or right outside your home. Understanding your apartment rules and lease terms is a first step to avoid issues. Measure carefully and get creative to find unused space that can accommodate a kayak. Vertical, overhead, inflatable, and offsite storage can help maximize your options. Investing in the right racks, straps, locks and accessories tailored for apartments will make storage smooth and hassle-free. With the right system, you can absolutely store a kayak in an apartment and maximize your paddling season.

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