Best car to carry 2 kayaks?

I have a 2003 VW passat and carry 2 kayaks flat with extra wide load bars. One is a Carolina, and the other is a tandem Old Town Loon. My single Looksha !V is hanging in my garage and I can drop it in the car and back out no problem. That’s why I keep my car. Now I need a new car. Also want to carry a folding Trident Stowaway so I’d like to have some cargo space for that. Anything is higher than my current car at 57.6 in, so I will need to “slide” my boats up the back. (I do that now) I am an almost 60 yr old woman, and looking for the best car. Looked at Ford CMax but does not have tie downs front and back. (Has anyone used the Thule quick loop strap?) Also considering Forester, Outback, Rav4, Prius, Honda CRV (seats uncomfortable). I realize those are higher, but all reliable cars for the long term. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

Loop straps
can be made. Open the hood and find holes in the frame that you can run a bolt through. Remember to make a big enough loop in the webbing.

Thule loop straps are the same idea only they do not attach to the car. I have not used them and don’t know if they are a PITA.

I haven’t seen underbumper tie downs in years and for the last 15 have never looked.

I’m sure teh Thule Quick Loops Straps…
…would be fine. I use the Thule Hood Loop Straps (529) for the front tie downs on my 2012 Santa Fe and like them. You just find a couple of bolts under the hood, remove them and replace after putting them through the heavy eyelets on the straps. They fold back under the hood out of the way when you’re not using them. For the rears I just use two lengths of rope looped through two anchor points close to the rear hatch, which closes on them when they’re in use. Again, you just fold them away when you’re not using them.

Originally, I made up four steel plates and bolted them under the car to chassis members, but the new way is much easier.

I also use the Thule Hullavators. They are expensive, but being able to load boats at waist height is very easy and means it doesn’t really matter what car you have.

As above - use the hood bumpers
One loop on each side, just a basic strap from some place like Joanne’s or static line from a sports place. You can leave them hanging out of the hood - ours are permanent residents on both cars.

As to the rear - you may have to hunt but there is usually something to be found back there.

We are not fans of those blue lines with hooks on the ends - I think that is what you are talking about. Rather use real ropes that you can tie. We have seen too many cars going down the highway where the hook got loose in back and is dancing around the wheel well, a particular issue in the rear because it is harder for the driver to spot.

why not another VW?

new vehicle for kayak transport

– Last Updated: Apr-21-14 1:03 PM EST –

I faced this dilemma two years ago. I bought a 2012 CRV and hated it for the extremely vague highway stearing feel. Rented all the small suv's for a day or two so I wouldn't make the same mistake with a replacement for the vague stearing CRV.

Bought a 2013 Rav4 as it has three levels of steering feel, including "sport" which gives the good feel desirable at night, in rain, or snow.

The Limited trim level has optional blind spot warning, rear cross traffic warning and auto dimming mirror at night. Buy them without the nav system. All work well! It also has adjustable lumbar support and heated seats.

Regrettably, the roof is somewhat high so you probably won't want it.

Look at the VW Jetta wagon and consider TDI diesel for better fuel economy in spite of higher cost of diesel fuel.

jetta tdi wagon
My paddling partner just got one last week. It’s a pretty nice low car and with good mounting spots for a rack.

and you get 42mpg

Roof rails are a plus…
… and you get them with the Jetta wagon. Also check out the Subie CrossTrek. Folks seem to like them and the roof is not ridiculously high.

I’m driving a wagon with a very low roofline and it help greatly with kayak hauling.