If you’re looking for a new kayak, you’ll probably need to look into a roof rack as well if you don’t already have one.

There are a variety of roof racks and systems designed to make transporting a kayak easy. They vary from very simplistic to very elaborate.

There are a few factors to consider to determine which one is right for you. First, weight and size of your kayak is something to focused on. If you have a kayak under 50 pounds you have a wide range of choices. But if you have a heavier, longer kayak, like a Touring style, you need to think about whether you will be primarily moving it independently or with a friend. In this instance, a roof rack with rollers help slide the kayak on and off more easily.

Before investing in a system, also consider your physical abilities, the distance you will be traveling to get to the water and the roads you will be traveling on.

There are a few different types and numerous manufacturers of car systems ….


  • Some accommodate two kayaks positioned on their side
  • Some are “v” shaped cradles as seen here
  • Some position the kayak secured with straps laying flat against the car top
  • There is another kind – a hanger-like system that has the kayak hanging off the side of a vehicle.


Good fit is the key – it has to fit your car and kayak properly and be able to be fastened securely so your kayak doesn’t become a “sail boat”! Each kayak should be secured individually – with two straps around the broadest width of the beam and a line for the front and the back.

To keep your roof system in good condition, remove it at the end of the season, clean it and store it along with your other kayaking gear.

Here’s a great clip on mounting your kayak on your vehicle.

I’ve spent my budget on my kayak and gear –
is there an inexpensive rack?
Yes – if you need to conserve on money – I suggest that you consider the foam pad type. They’re an inexpensive alternative to carry kayaks to and from a local site. They provide a cushion of foam between the kayak and your car roof and use straps that are passed through your car windows. Depending on your budget and needs, this method could service you for a while. I know a lot of folks who like and use this type of system.

Find the right one for you – fasten your kayak
and get to the water!

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