If you’re like me, then clutter is in your bloodstream. Every new space I inhabit eventually gets filled with half-finished projects, knick-knacks, and gear of dubious usefulness. The same thing goes for my kayak.
A good kayak crate will allow you to organize all your fishing tackle in one easy to reach spot.
This means you’ll never need to fumble around for that fishhook remover or pair of fishing pliers – they’ll be stashed in a convenient, easy-to-reach spot.
While you could always go with the tried and true milk crate in your rear tank well, newer kayak fishing crates come loaded with features that make them invaluable to any angler.
Quick Answer: 5 Best Kayak Crates
Why do you need a kayak crate?
Beyond just storing fishing tackle, a good kayak crate gives you a stable platform to mount multiple rod holders, flags, lights, as well as stash any gear you might need in a hurry. These crates are typically mounted to your sit-on-top kayak deck with multiple lash down points – so they won’t shift around – even in rougher conditions.
Many kayak crates come with a wide variety of external mounting options, giving you nearly infinite setup configurations for your rods, camera mounts, nets, etc..
Large internal storage areas give you enough space to store plenty of fishing tackle – with room to spare for an anchor, freshwater, food, plus anything else you wish to keep close at hand.
Top 5 Kayak Crates
How to pick the right kayak crate for you?
Whether you’re a kayak angler looking to better organize your tackle, or a recreational kayaker looking for a container to store some food and cold beverages, there’s a kayak crate out there with your name on it.
Types of Kayak Crates
From the humble milk crate to sleek, modern, kitted-out crates with all the bells and whistles, there are now more options than ever when it comes to kayak storage.
Kayak Milk Crates
The humble milk crate has been used by kayak anglers for decades – and for good reason. It’s durable, costs next to nothing, fits perfectly into a tank well and is endlessly customizable. It’s also lightweight which makes it easy to transport.
Many kayak anglers will cut the bottom off of one milk crate and use zip ties to mount it to the top of another crate creating a makeshift lid. If you’re interested in going down this route, make sure to pick up rod holders and bungee netting to secure your crate.
If you’re into DIY then check out this how-to video on how to make your own kayak milk crate:
These are sort of a hybrid between a milk crate and a soft insulated tackle bag. They can typically fit a standard milk crate either inside or outside the main compartment. This allows you to add extra rigidity with a crate, or alternatively use the bag as a freestanding storage container.
These bags aren’t only good for kayaking either, they work well as freestanding tackle bags for shoreline or pier fishing.
High-end Kayak Crates
Newer high-end kayak crates have come a long way from their humble beginnings. They utilize high-tech construction materials to increase durability while staying ultra-light. Many are equipped with a multitude of external mounting options, allowing you to customize your setup endlessly.
Many high-end crates are also water-resistant, protecting your gear and tackle from getting soaked in a sudden downpour or capsize.
If you already have kayak accessories from a manufacturer like Yakattack or Hobie, then you’ll be able to mount your gear onto their compatible kayak crates.
Mounting a Kayak Crate
Mounting your kayak crate to your kayak’s tank well is pretty straightforward, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
- Make sure to measure your kayak’s tank well to ensure the crate will fit inside. Typical kayak crates will fit inside the vast majority of sit-on-top kayaks – but if your kayak is particularly narrow then check to be sure. Also, make sure it will fit comfortably behind your kayak seat.
- Mounting a kayak crate can be done with bungee cords, clips to D-rings or just placed inside the tank well.
- Another consideration to keep in mind is the padding underneath your crate. Soft silicone or rubber non-slip pads will keep your crate from shifting around and reduce noise while you’re on the water.
- Lastly, consider what would happen in case your kayak capsizes. Obviously, this isn’t a common occurrence, but you’ll want to make sure your kayak crate and its contents would be secure in case you do tip over. Consider using some bungee cord netting over the top of your crate if your kayaking in rough conditions.
Featured image courtesy of Hobie Kayak and Hobie Fishing. Source.
I’ve loved being in the outdoors for as long as I can remember. I grew up fishing, canoeing, and camping throughout the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s what lead me to start this site and share my passions for fishing, diving, kayaking and more. Nowadays you can find me writing about my passions or (preferably!) preparing for my next outdoor adventure.