How to Transport a Kayak Without a Rack | Genius Transporting Hacks


Kayaking is a hugely popular outdoors activity across the U.S., with about 16 million people who kayak. It’s a great sport to enjoy and an excellent method to spend time in the natural world. Perhaps you’re among the thousands of enthusiasts who have purchased a quality kayak and are eager to get it loaded up and set off to the place you’d like to go. Unfortunately, a kayak needs an enormous amount of care, particularly when it is moved between points “a” towards “b”. How can you accomplish this? The easiest method is to transport a kayak without a rack.

The only issue is there may not a rack fitt in your vehicle. Also, it’s not feasible to throw the 13 feet. Mass onto your back as you travel to the location. So it’s a matter of how to transport a kayak without a rack and get it home or to the water without a single?

How to transport a kayak without a rack

The new kayak is in the water, and you’re planning to take it to the nearest beach. It was then that you realized you’re still unable to put in the roof rack to your vehicle. Then, you’ve come across an issue that is how to carry a kayak without a rack. Don’t worry! We’ve got the solution you’ll need. This easy guide will walk you through the steps to transport a kayak without a rack.

Checkout: How to carry a kayak

Make a homemade pool noodle roof rack

This is a fantastic alternative and one I’ve tried myself.

Step 1

There are only the essentials to be able to do this. This includes:

Pool Noodles: Find pool noodles at the local grocery store or at your local supermarket. They are made from polyurethane (durable and soft plastic) that is perfect for securing large objects without causing damage to the kayak or vehicle. They are tube-like and have holes in the middle to assist you in setting them over your car. There’s a need for at least two according to how big your car is. As a general rule, for every 3 feet. On the roof of your vehicle, you should use one pool noodle.

Hollow Tubes in Aluminum Hollow Tubes: As an alternative, hollow aluminum tubes greatly strengthen swimming pool noodles. Be sure to purchase the right size so that the tubes will not exceed the roof’s width by a large distance.

Ratchet Straps (Cam Buckle): They are constructed from tough nylon that helps anchor the kayak. The amount of the ratchet straps and pool noodles should be equal. Additionally, the straps for ratcheting must be twice as long as your car’s roof. Finally, you should have at minimum 5 Ratchet straps to prevent accidental damage.

Bungee cord: A bungee rope is an optional feature. The length of the cord must be more than the length of the car by at most one quarter.

Step 2

Since pool noodles are usually larger than the car’s width, you’ll need to reduce them to the appropriate size with scissors. Once you’ve got them to the proper size, you can put them in the roof’s car with one at the rear, one on the front, and a final one in the middle. Next, attach the noodles with an elastic cord through each of the holes in the noodles and secure the cord to the roof’s interior.

Learn more: How to tie down a kayak

Step 3

If your kayak isn’t heavy in weight, you could easily carry it up by yourself and put it on your pool’s noodles. If, however, it’s heavy, you should find a person to assist in placing it on top of the roof. The proper lifting techniques of yaks can prevent damage to your kayak or car or injuring yourself. Carefully lift it off on the floor with its hull up, and its cockpit is facing upwards, and then place it on the roof of your vehicle’s and pool noodles. The kayak must turn to ensure it’s evenly distribut in the areas where it’s most powerful. The kayak’s centre should be on the middle noodle of the pool. This will ensure that your kayak won’t scratch the paint on your car. After that, the noodles must adjust, so they’re in the right place.

Step 4

Once you’ve put your kayak onto the noodles in the pool, you can place some of the straps across the front of the hull. Then hang the straps close to the front doors. While doing this, make sure that you keep all your doors to your car open. This allows you to put the straps with ratchets onto the roof of your vehicle instead of windows, which could cause difficulty for the doors to open. Next, attach the straps to each other and secure the kayak with care.

Be sure that the straps are secured enough to allow the kayak to sit securely over the noodles. Be careful not to over-tighten your straps, or you could end up damaging your vehicle’s roofing or even the kayak’s. Repeat the process at the rear of the kayak and make sure the straps have been securely fixed as you make the needed adjustments.

Step 5

Many people don’t think about tying the kayak’s bow stern, thinking that securing the centre portion is sufficient. However, it is crucial to secure the rear and front grab handles and then secure them to your vehicle’s towing eyes located at your vehicle’s rear and front. Securely securing the bow and stern will prevent the kayak from speeding off moving. It’s also recommend to stop for intervals and inspect the straps to ensure they’re secure during the trip.

Make use of an inflatable kayak

Inflating a kayak is probably the most efficient method of transporting it without needing a roof rack. Additionally, it is pocket-friendly. The inflatable kayak can easily roll up and put in the trunk compartment of your vehicle. Additionally, keeping the kayak in storage is possible if you plan to not take it out for a long period. The only drawback for these kayaks is that they’re more likely to develop punctures if used for long periods.

Use an inflatable roof rack

An inflatable roof rack is similar to installing bars on your roof vehicle, however, without the cost of setting it up. It’s a feasible option to use regular kayaks, and the best part about these is that they have already-installed straps for holding. Make sure you make the appropriate precautions to avoid putting too much load on the device, over-inflate it, or even pop it. It also recommend to remove the material from its inflator and keep it safe when not in use, as excessive heat exposure could cause damage to the product.

Use of trailer

Although it is a good option to transport your kayak trailer for your kayak isn’t cheap. It’s nevertheless a great choice. If you’re not interested in making constant adjustments to your vehicle. It’s also a great option for those who drive several cars and don’t want to put roof racks on each of them. If you plan to use a trailer to carry your kayak, ensure that your car equip with an attach cabinet. If it’s not, then you’ll need to look for alternatives to pull the trailer with no hitch.

While expensive, it is thought to the most suitable option for transporting a kayak because of its flexibility. Many trailers have room for other things you’ll need for your adventures, such as paddleboards, bikes and so on. It is also possible to carry additional equipment like angling equipment to have additional fun. Trailers are also handy for moving large items and can also double as a storage area for kayaks and other uses. In this scenario, you’ll need to locate a space to store the trailer as well.

Use a foam car top carrier

A car top-mounted foam carrier is another option to consider if you want to transport kayaks without a roof rack. Start by placing two blocks of foam on the roof of your vehicle using the ratchet straps, which are securely connected to the roof of your vehicle. Then, you place your kayak onto the foam and anchor it with ropes. Be aware of disturbing noise generated by the ropes when you drive. The most important aspect you must keep in mind when choosing this option is to attach the foam blacks, followed by the kayak.

If you do not adhere to the instructions incorrectly, the foam blocks could be sliding around and making it difficult to work. Kayaking is an excellent activity for children and adults alike during the summer. It’s, therefore, crucial to learn how you can safely transport your kayaks, even if your vehicle doesn’t have a roof rack. When you’ve learned to make use of the basic and essential equipment, You’ll be able to set out on your next adventure in kayaking.

How to transport a kayak without a rack: Tips

Before you try the transport of your kayak with the vehicle you have, it is important to read the manual for your vehicle to determine the weight the kayak can safely hold. This will allow you to be more cautious to avoid overloaded vehicles and other risks that aren’t worth it. Be patient while preparing your car for kayak transportation to ensure that you are not missing a vital detail that could end up costing your money in the future. Be aware of the weather conditions under the vehicle you’ll transport your cargo. It recommend to transport your yak on a calm and clear day. If the weather is turbulent or the terrain is rough, you should consider taking extra precautions when performing the job.

If you want to transport a kayak with rack then you must read this guide on how to put a kayak on roof rack.


You do not need to shell out an arm and a leg to transport a kayak without a rack to wherever you’re going. Be aware that safety is the most important thing, and you must ensure that your horse is secure and secured on top of your car before heading away. Driving for long distances is most likely not the best idea, however. Did you like discovering this low-cost alternative to an outdoor rail as well as a kayak trailer? We hope you’ll have the opportunity to build the DIY kayak rack next time you’re without a vehicle to your craft. Don’t forget to let us know what you’ve been working on by commenting, or perhaps you’d like to share this with others, so they can check it out.

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