Complete Guide on the Best Way to Transport Kayaks on Car

Complete Guide on the Best Way to Transport Kayaks on Car

The best way to transport kayaks on car is one of the first things to consider when you are buying a boat. While it is possible that kayaks can be carried using any vehicle, the rack systems used to mount the kayak into the car are not created equally. Some are considered better options than others.

There are also factors to consider when deciding on the to transport kayaks on car. It also often depends on the kind of vehicle you are driving or using to transport the kayaks. Looking at the various aspects of different vehicles and how these affect the way you transport your kayak will help lead you to the best way to transport kayaks on car.

Carrying Kayaks on Pickup Trucks

Carrying Kayaks on Pickup Trucks

The best way to transport kayaks on car and probably the easiest is when you have a pickup truck. This is when you can simply throw the kayak on the back on the track and secure it with a couple of tie downs. You can just leave the tailgate of your truck down and allow the kayak to stick out at the back of the truck. You should also attach a red flag to its end.

Some pickup trucks also have a hitch receiver. It allows for an easier loading and unloading of the kayak in the car. It is also the safest way to secure the kayak to the vehicle for transport and is much more economical compared to other roof rack systems.

There are also products found in the market that can be the best way to transport kayaks on car such as the extend-a-truck. It can slide into the truck’s hitch receiver and will act as an additional support for your kayak.

Transporting Kayaks Using 4-Door Cars

The best way to transport kayaks on car if you are using a typical 4-door car is by using a removable soft rack system. This is made with a pair of foam tubes which has straps that run through the center of each soft tube.

This soft rack system can be installed into the car by setting the tube on the roof of the car through the windshield and into the rear window. Run the strap through the car doors and cinch it tight. You can now set the kayak on the tube outside down. Use the remaining of the foam tubes’ straps to secure the kayak.

Aside from being economical, this rack system is very simple and doesn’t require permanent installation. However, remember to secure the bow and stern into the bumper when you are using this rack system to prevent it from flexing.

Transporting Kayaks on SUVs

Transporting Kayaks on SUVs

Most of the SUVs now have a luggage rack on top of the roof or side rails as standard equipment. Having a luggage rack that is already installed on the roof of the SUV is one of the best way to transport kayaks on car.

For SUVs that have side rails but don’t have crossbars, you are going to need to invest in some quality aftermarket rack systems. Several aftermarket rack manufacturers also offer add-ons to their crossbars that can help secure kayaks on top. Crossbars come in different sizes or lengths. Longer crossbars can pass through the mounts and into the side of the car.

However, choose crossbars depending on the size of your vehicle. It should not be too long to avoid any hazard for your forehead. It shouldn’t be too short either, or it won’t cover the whole length of your roof.

Kayak Tie-Down Strategies on Cars

Most of the rack systems or mounting systems have straps that are needed to secure the kayak to your vehicle. They usually have self-locking buckles which are both easy to use and are quick to cinch down to provide an excellent grip. The straps often have a padding to prevent hull damage, especially during transport.

However, if tie-down straps are out of the equation and all you have is a rope to tie down the kayak on your car, make sure that it is water-resistant and non-stretch.

No matter what kind of tie-down you use, follow these guidelines for securing your kayak for the best way to transport kayaks on car.

  • Use at least two straps to secure the kayak in place. The straps should also run across the width of the car.
  • Secure the ends of your kayak into the bumper of the car. You can either use a bow or stern tie-down set with ratcheting systems or a typical tie-down strap.
  • Avoid strapping the kayak in place too tight to avoid any extra tension that can crack the fiberglass or deform plastic hulls.

After choosing the best kayaks, looking for the best way to transport it using a car is another thing to consider.