How do I carry 3 kayaks on roof of Suv

I just purchased 3 Pelican Kayak’s that weight 26 lbs. each and are 8 ft. long. My problem is, that I need to carry all 3 on top of a SUV. Is there a cheap but safe way to do this, if it even possible. Need any advice! Very new to the sport and going to use them with my grand children, so I need to be able to load them by myself most of the time. Thanks in advance! Can’t wait to get on the water.

Yakima Stackers
Will do the job.

I do it all the time.
Put J cradles on each side and a set of saddles in the middle.

Use 78 inch wide bars

Jack L

Get a set of stackers (Yakima, Thule, Malone) and you’ll be all set. That’s the cheapest way to do it.

Why use 78s if he can do the job with
stackers on much narrower bars? I could load 3 kayaks on edge with stackers on 48 inch bars on my Accord.

Thanks, I am going to check it out. Sounds like what I want.

Thanks all. I am a she, and need to be able to load easily. Think I will put one of them small step ladders in my suv to help.

Save your $$
For an 8’ plastic kayak, no need for cradles, J-cradle, etc.

Tie then directly the cross bars. 2 side-by-side, and the third upside down on one of them, facing the opposite direction. Make the straps go through secure points on the front and back of each kayak.

Why ?
Because with the stackers you need to do a juggling act.

My method simplifies the whole loading procedure.

I have stackers that I haven’t used in ten years.

She asked and I answered

Jack L

Well, I’m a giant, not an elf, so
I don’t need to juggle. And most SUVs aren’t large enough to carry 78" bars (you do mean 78") without endangering everyone.

Last time I looked, a “SUV”

– Last Updated: May-22-11 7:03 PM EST –

was a "SUV".
I have 78" inch bars on my little Ford Escape, and I have them on my Ford F-150.
Most SUV's are as big or Bigger than my F-150
That is my recommendation and I'll stick with it to make life easy for the OP

Jack L

Loading kayaks.
A few suggestions:

A step ladder is a very good idea.

Most places that you launch from, there will be people around. Don’t be shy to ask for help. I used to use a 100 lb double which my gf couldn’t hold one end, so I had to corral a passerby into helping.

To load, place some sort of protection on the back of the car (rubber door mat), place one end of the kayak on it, then push the kayak from the back end, sliding it along.

Agree, have extended my bars to 100"
to carry 3 canoes on van on occasion. Marked the tips with some bright duct tape. Keeps passer byes away from the body paint. Stacking and strapping directly to factory bars can work but would put some foam around them first, and in between, to keep things from slipping (pipe insulation or slit swim noodles). Can looks a bit like the Clampets but works. R

stackers should work
Here is a link I found to another site that has a picture of someone using them to carry 4 kayaks.

I hope this helps you.

will work but the photos in the link show J cradles on the outer two kayaks, can’t really tell about the two center boats. There are several ways to do it and no right way for everyone.

Get some good straps…
and stand them on edge. You should be able to do it easily. Here’s a canoe and 4 kayaks on my Grand Am.

Yes, but it can also be done with rope.
Polyester rope if possible, because it stretches less than Nylon when wet.

We have looked at a couple of options and my husband likes your idea. Seems simple and easy to do. Thank you for your help as well with everyone else’s advice.

Thanks Watermark
Some great ideas! Yes, these are cheap one’s for us to try out to see if this is something that we will want to pursue. Have done more research and I do not need the stackers and all that after all. I think I was trying to make this more difficult then it should be…lol. Used to being in a bass boat, so this is a really different experience for me. Thank you for your advice and ideas, you helped me save some money!

Thanks eckilson
Wow, the picture is great. Now I have a better idea of what I am doing… thanks.