Can You Carry a Kayak on a Small Car?

Can You Carry a Kayak on a Small Car?

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and love spending time on the water, kayaking is an excellent activity to consider. But what if you have a small car?

Can you still carry a kayak with it? The answer is yes! With a few tips and tricks, you can safely transport your kayak on a small car.

Choosing the Right Kayak

Before we delve into the logistics of carrying a kayak on a small car, it’s important to choose the right kayak for your needs. Opt for a lightweight kayak that is easy to lift and maneuver. Look for models specifically designed for recreational purposes or touring rather than larger, heavier kayaks meant for whitewater adventures.

Invest in Roof Racks

To safely transport your kayak, invest in a set of roof racks. These racks are mounted onto the roof of your car and provide a stable base for securing your kayak. Make sure to choose racks that are compatible with your specific car model.

Types of Roof Racks

There are various types of roof racks available:

  • Rail system: This type of rack has tracks that run along the length of your car’s roof, allowing you to slide and adjust the position of the crossbars.
  • Fixed point: These racks have fixed attachment points that are specific to certain car models. They provide a secure fit but may not be as versatile as other options.
  • Bare roof: If your car doesn’t have factory-installed rails or fixed points, you can opt for bare roof racks. These racks use clips or hooks to attach directly to the edges of your car’s roof.

Consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper installation of your chosen roof rack system.

Securing Your Kayak

Once your roof racks are installed, it’s time to secure your kayak properly. Follow these steps:

  1. Positioning: Place the kayak upside down on the roof racks. Position it in the center of the racks to distribute the weight evenly.
  2. Straps: Use strong and durable straps to secure your kayak to the roof racks.

    Loop the straps around the bars and through the carrying handles of your kayak. Tighten them securely, ensuring that there is no movement or shifting of the kayak during transit.

  3. Bow and stern tie-downs: To provide extra stability, attach bow and stern tie-downs. These straps anchor your kayak to the front and rear ends of your car, preventing any forward or backward movement.

Safety Precautions

When carrying a kayak on a small car, keep these safety precautions in mind:

  • Check for clearance: Make sure that your kayak doesn’t obstruct any view or interfere with other vehicles on the road. Be cautious when entering low-clearance areas such as parking garages or drive-thru lanes.
  • Tighten regularly: Periodically check and tighten the straps during transit to ensure that they remain secure.
  • Avoid high speeds: It’s recommended to drive at moderate speeds when carrying a kayak on top of your car. High speeds can create additional wind resistance, potentially affecting stability.

In conclusion, you can definitely carry a kayak on a small car. By choosing the right kayak, investing in roof racks, and following proper securing techniques, you can safely transport your kayak to your favorite paddling destinations. Just remember to prioritize safety and enjoy your kayaking adventures!

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet