Kayak as Luggage holder

I had a brainstorm the other night, when I was thinking about loading up for vacation.

We ride with our two yaks up top, and was wondering if I could fill them with odds and ends (nothing too heavy) and have some good method of covering the cockpit area so nothing would fall out, or get wet (in case of rain).

Anyone ever tried this? or have any ideas?


yep, good idea
depending on how much weight your total rack system can handle, the kayaks make a great place for storage…i always store the paddling gear in them and since i’m always carrying at least 2 kayaks i can take gear that i may or may not use but am glad to have on hand—like drysuits in florida

Lots of Times
It works very well.

cockpit covers
get a couple of cockpit covers, check the weight limitations of your rack and off you go.


(I don’t usually load anything in them as I load and unload by meself most times and the extra weight would hurt) but if the kids and all were in the car with their stuff taking up trunk space I guess i would.

Every trip to Maine, two long boats on the bottom, with stuff jammed in, followed by two ww/ or surf boats on top.


I do it myself
but I try to load only relatively light items in the boat. Don’t want to raise the C of G and make my Outback unstable as the sideways G-Force exceeds 2.0

I think that most of the weight should be in the cockpit, between the cradles. Only light stuff (PFD’s, sleeping bags, sleeping pads etc) goes into the bow & stern compartments.


Same here
With a cockpit cover, it’s fairly easy to get the awkwardly sized stuff like the PFD into the cockpit area. I’d recommend neoprene cockpit covers though - have had nylon ones come loose while traveling and seeing your gear fly out could really hurt (and cause an accident).

One trick for extra safety, run bungie(s) around the middle of the boat securing the top of the cockpit cover as well. We use one, if it’s a big cockpit two may be in order.

Not made anymore, but…
Fat Eddy’s Threadworks used to make a bag called the Two-Timer Cockpit Bag. It was a Cockpit cover with a rubber mesh bag attached to it to help store items in your kayak. It looks like Fat Eddy’s doesn’t make it anymore, but a few are still around at the retail level:


Hope this helps,


keep it in the cockpit, much better than steaming funky wet gear in the car.

yup, but
use cockpit covers, went to the lake one day, put paddles, pfd’s and boogie boards under front deck, jammed 'em good. Got to the lake, no boogie boards!

kayak trip storage
We always put everything in plastic trash bags as well as using cockpit covers or hatch covers. We also keep a folding 3 step ladder/foot stool in the jeep so we can unpack before unloading. We mostly put PFDs, beach towels, relatively lightweight “stuff”, like the others said.

so, are trhere any tried and true ideas
for securing said cockpit cover? to be precise, on a pungo.

bungies? duck tape? those black binder clips they use for papers?

i’ll be travelling with the little floaty thing “right side up” for the first time on my next road trip. aside from the possibility of using it for lightweight cargo, it seems to me that having the cover on would help streamline the air flow.

buti know for a fact the wind will tear the cover off in a second if i don’t emply added security…

thank you. :slight_smile:

Plastic boats
are often problematic in the retaining cockpit cover department. I used to have a Perception Corona, and it was a 50/50 chance of popping off.

  1. Clip the grab loop to a deck bungiw with a cheap-o toy carabiner. Atleast you won’t loose the cover.

  2. Roughen the cockpit rim with coarse sandpaper for a better grip on the cover.

  3. Wrap a strap around the belly of the boat. Some newer covers come with straps already installed.


Large Duffle bag
I put all our PFDs and assorted kayak gear in a large duffle bag in the cockpit. Then use an extra tie down strap over the cockpit around the kayak and roof rack, and through the handle of the duffle, to keep it in the cockpit. Worked fine even in the Loon 160T cockpit.


Thinking of luggage- I bought two suitcase holders the other day from Walmarts. They make ideal kayak racks when you are cleaning or repairing your boat. Cheaper than conventional kayak racks.

a handufl of companies made
items like these…the best i ever found was a Bomber gear…it still pops up on ebay somteims…it had a belly strap to snap shut so that the bag COULD not leave at all…the fat eddy’s is GREAT i love it…but harder to connect to your boat…voyageur used to make one as well…

i use the bomber gear one sometimes but usually just a zippered duramesh cockpit cover from NRS for wet gear storage…

We use the boat as a cargo carrier
In addition to a cockpit cover (which is only good for keeping out the elements and improving airodynamics), I tie everything inside down with a rope. Keeps your sleeping bag & pillow off of the road.

Kayaks as luggage holder

We filled our boats with tents and other heavyish items when we flew them as hold luggage - Used to be a great way to avoid excess baggage (as the boats were carried for a fixed price)

Sadly the airlines caught on and the boats now have to go empty

Securing a cockpit cover
The cockpit cover I have has a heavy bungy with a plastic clip on it that you attach to a bungy on your boat so it won’t fly off during transport. I think it’s a Snapdragon; got it from QCC where I got my kayak.

too heavy
We try not to overload our yaks as we have a giant gas sucking Suburban. It’s enough just to get the boats up top!