I'm buying my first Kayak today...

Those of you who have cars that have no preistalled bike/kayak rack, how do you transport yours? I would rather not install a rack permently. Any suggestion would be much appreciated!

Foam for short term, Saris for long n/m

In the passenger seat or the trunk

I’ve tried a coupe of things.
First, I went with pool noodles under the boat and some ratchet straps around everything. Careful with the ratchet straps and composite boats - mine was just a plastic boat and I wasn’t too concerned. I was actually more paranoid about the boat moving than hurting it.

Next, I bought some foam blocks/CAM straps. I didn’t like these, as I never felt like I could get the setup snug. I went back to the pool noodles.

Finally, I went and bought a (!removeable!) Thule rack for my car. Now I screw the rack into place and put the boat on top. When I’m not transporting the boat, I take the rack off of the car.

Why no rack?
In case you haven’t had time to find this out, the third party racks that these days usually bolt to the front/back rails in a car or slide into the grooves on the roof of older cars are fairly easy to pop off and store in the garage. Or you can accept a slight loss in gas mileage for the advantage of it being much easier to find your car in a crowded parking lot.

But a lot of this comes down to what you have on the roof now. Do you have a rack at all? If you don’t, and it’s a car rather than a truck, it can get pretty dicey to transport in high wind. We’ve seen some boats that were very close to flying off the roof coming back from Maine that were resting on foam blocks and secured by straps thru the top of the windows of compact sedans.

Inflatable Kayak Rack

– Last Updated: Sep-26-08 1:18 PM EST –

A lot of my friends who own cars use these because they don't want permanent. They are very durable and everyone likes them.

This is a link I found one of them at for under $100.00 - http://www.orsracksdirect.com/malone-handirack-inflatable-roof-rack-mpg452.html

and good ole ebay - http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/INFLATABLE-ROOF-RACK-CARGO-BAR-CARRIER-KAYAK-LUGGAGE_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZ72Q3a1205Q7c39Q3a1Q7c66Q3a2Q7c65Q3a12Q7c240Q3a1318QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem260290086704QQitemZ260290086704

Good luck and congrats on your kayak.

Look at detachable surfboard pads
Tere are racks you can by for about 40. They are on long straps that attach/detach quickly, would work fine for smaller boats or larger boats when you are not traveling long distances.

Learn to like racks
Seriously. Get used to the idea of a “permanent” rack such as Thule or Yakima on your car. I think they look pretty good.

The more difficult and time consuming it is to install/remove your rack, the less likely you are to use your boat.

Another alternative is a trailer if it fit’s your situation.

Permanent rack? My Yakima racks take
10 minutes to put on and 5 to take off. Very secure and hardly ‘permanent’ except how long they will last.Pool noodles or anything that lays on your roof will eventually scratch the car.

Handirack Inflatable
it’s been used a lot from my friends for years. It even has nice clips you can harness off of. Easy to install and durable - don’t go rack if you don’t want to. Everyone has their own opinion - me as well :slight_smile:

yup. My yakimas also quick on/off
I take mine off to minimize possible sun damage to the saddles. Takes only a few minutes. Re-installation can be made faster by marking the position for the clips on the car with contrasting color crayon, saving re-measuring.

Dun’t know about de Handirack
itself, but de company’s video be a hoot wit dat Engleesh humor an’ inyerendoos.



Get a rack, leave it on the car (unless you know you will not be kayaking until next summer). Be ready to go kayaking. Keep your precious boat from flying off your car.

…is transported in the trunk or the back seat of my car…

…but then again, mine is an inflatable!!!

Here you go…
I have been using one of these for over a year and while mostly hauling one 15’ SOT kayak, I have hauled 2 with a Yakama J cradle: http://www.discountramps.com/car-top-carrier.htm

Easy on and off and fits most any sedan…price is right too. They also carry a J cradle, although I really like my Yakama cradle.