Hauling Kayak

I’d like to receive recommendations on vehicles to use for carrying a kayak (10-12ft). I’m new to the outdoor/kayaking hobby and own a very small car. I’d like for the price to be around $5K. I’d be using the kayak for fishing.

So far, I’ve come across a 2001 X-Terra and 2003 Chevy Tahoe.

Pictures of vehicle with kayaks are encouraged. Thank you all for the help!

How small?
A 12’ kayak is quite short, not a problem to carry. I carry up to 17’ on a Mini with no worries. A well-engineered rack is all that is needed to carry a boat on a small car. You can carry a rowing shell on a Smart with the right rack.


Check out the websites for Thule and Yakima and see what racks they have that will fit your current car.

If you just have a bare roof you can always consider just using the foam blocks to carry your kayak. I know lots of people who say they are great for the price.

Under 12’ poly kayak
throw it in the back of a pickup truck.

too bad
Too bad you’re so far away from me. I’ve got a nice 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe for sale for $4900.

Seriously, if you are looking at used cars you might want to consider the Hyundais – there are several early to mid 2000’s wagon models that are good boat haulers and they tend to sell for about 20% less than similar vehicles by other more popular marques. They are solid, well-made cars with good ground clearance for getting down dirt roads. They also tend to get better gas mileage than other makes of the same size. I have regularly hauled multiple kayaks and canoes up to 18’ on this one I have.

small is good
My paddling partner puts his 21 foot surfski on a VW Golf with some extra support from a hitch mounted support.

Another friend puts four 17’ boats on a toyata matrix hatchback.

The standard vehicle in our group seems to be a Subaru wagon though any small hatch back works well.

You don’t need a huge vehicle to haul a kayak.

Thank you
Thank you all for the prompt replies. I’ll reconsider whether I should really look at getting another vehicle and will do my research on buying a rack. Thanks again!

I love my 4Runner. Its a 2002 and hauls all my gear perfectly. I started with a 10ft kayak and now regularly haul 17ft kayaks. Here is a picture of me hauling a 27ft rowing shell…


Definitely a good pick!

Why buy something else
I have a buddy that has two trophy 144’s(12 ft)and he puts both on top of his 2 door hatchback. a few pool noodles to put them on and a couple straps and rope and youre good to go. I have two 12 footers and i have a 208 chevy 1500 crew cab short bed and i strap them both down on top of tail gate with one end propped on roof.

My Durango
A pair of Hully rollers and some ratchet straps are all I need to haul my 100+ pound Pro Angler 14. It’s a 2000 Durango.


And loaded, before being tied down.