Can You Put a Kayak on a Jeep Wrangler?

Jeep Wranglers are popular vehicles for outdoor enthusiasts, and many people wonder if it is possible to transport a kayak on a Jeep Wrangler. The good news is that with the right equipment and proper planning, you can safely and securely transport your kayak on your Jeep Wrangler for your next adventure. In this article, we will explore the different options available for carrying a kayak on a Jeep Wrangler.

The Importance of Proper Equipment

Before we dive into the different methods of transporting a kayak, it is important to emphasize the significance of using the proper equipment. Investing in quality racks, straps, and other accessories will ensure that your kayak remains secure during transportation. Always choose equipment that is specifically designed for kayaks and compatible with your Jeep Wrangler’s make and model.

Kayak Racks

One of the most common methods of transporting a kayak on a Jeep Wrangler is by using kayak racks. These racks are specifically designed to attach to the roof or rear of your Jeep Wrangler and provide a stable platform for securing your kayak. There are several types of kayak racks available:

  • Roof Racks: Roof racks are installed on top of your Jeep Wrangler and provide a secure base for attaching your kayak. They come in various styles, including crossbars or full-length roof racks.Make sure to choose one that matches your specific needs.
  • Hitch Racks: If you prefer not to install roof racks, hitch racks are an excellent alternative. These racks attach to the hitch receiver at the back of your Jeep Wrangler and can accommodate multiple kayaks.
  • Spare Tire Racks: Another option for carrying kayaks on a Jeep Wrangler is a spare tire rack. These racks utilize the spare tire mount to provide a stable and secure platform for your kayak.

Straps and Tie-Downs

Once you have installed the appropriate kayak racks, it is essential to secure your kayak properly using straps and tie-downs. It is recommended to use at least two straps to secure the front and rear of your kayak to the racks. Additionally, using bow and stern tie-downs will further stabilize your kayak during transportation.

Pro Tip: Always ensure that the straps and tie-downs are tight enough to hold your kayak securely but not too tight that they damage or deform your kayak.

Considerations for Soft-Top Jeep Wranglers

If you own a soft-top Jeep Wrangler, there are a few additional considerations when transporting a kayak. Soft-top Jeeps may have limited weight capacities and may require additional support to prevent damage to the soft top while carrying a heavy kayak. Installing additional supports or using foam blocks between the roof and the kayak can help distribute the weight evenly.

Safety Precautions

Kayak transportation on a Jeep Wrangler requires careful attention to safety precautions:

  • Check Your Equipment: Before every trip, inspect all equipment including racks, straps, tie-downs, and any other accessories for signs of wear or damage.
  • Distribute Weight Evenly: Properly distribute the weight of your kayak on the racks or hitch rack for balanced weight distribution.
  • Secure All Loose Ends: Ensure that all straps, tie-downs, and loose ends are securely fastened to prevent them from flapping in the wind during transportation.
  • Observe Height Clearance: Be mindful of the height clearance when passing under bridges, parking in garages, or entering tunnels. Kayaks on top of a Jeep Wrangler can significantly increase the overall height.
  • Drive with Caution: Transporting a kayak on your Jeep Wrangler may affect its handling and maneuverability. Drive at moderate speeds and be cautious of strong winds or sudden movements.


Transporting a kayak on a Jeep Wrangler is indeed possible and can be done safely with the right equipment and precautions. Whether you choose roof racks, hitch racks, or spare tire racks, always ensure that you have the proper kayak-specific equipment for your Jeep Wrangler model. By following safety guidelines and properly securing your kayak, you can enjoy hassle-free adventures with your kayak and Jeep Wrangler combination.

Photo of author

Emma Gibson