kayak carriers

what"s a good simple, economical, roof rack and carrier system for a petite kayaker?

the petite part has us stumped

It Ain’t Fancy, But…

– Last Updated: Jun-02-06 10:53 PM EST –

....we just use a straight rack setup - two BIC Sportsman crossbars, padded with strips of an old closed-cell foam gym mat. We've travelled 1000's of kms with that setup and two 'yaks, and have never had a problem. For us, it's good (see above), simple, and economical (BIC came gratis from a friend, the gym mat strips likewise - total investment one roll of duct-tape!).
We always use lightly-tensioned nose and stern lines in addition to the belly straps.
When we're using the Escort wagon (our summer beater, until #2 daughter laid claim to it this spring), I can easily load the boats myself; if it's the 4Runner, I can load the 45 lb. VOLKSKAYAKs comfortably by myself; I can't really handle Chris' >60 lb. Cape Horn 15 without help. Either another person, or else some sort of loading assist; a crossbar extension of some sort, rest the bow on it, then lift up the stern and swing it unto the roof, move the bow in, etc. Moral of the story is that light boats are better for the back and neck than heavies :->))

Is the question phrased as a good economical roof rack system or is the petite kayaker portion of the question inferring a easy method of loading onto a roof rack?

See you on the water,



It is easy…
This is easy, just show some guy your rack, point to the kayak and ask 'Could you help a lil petite lady in putting my kayak on my vehicle?

Heck, I may even follow you and help you take it off!

Seriously, if you have a factory rack and only one kayak, a set of the shaped foam blocks will do you very well for under $50 including straps. I started that way, and eventually found a Yakima system on Craigslist for $150. It holds 2 kayaks with saddles and roller.

what"s a good simple, economical, roof rack and carrier system for a petite kayaker?

Yeah - needs more info
I suspect this is talking about a small person getting a kayak on the roof of a vehicle, but how small is the person, how long is the kayak and how tall is the vehicle (also is it a sedan or a hatchback)? Sometimes longer bogger boats are a little easier because you can get them propped up then push 'em the rest of the way to slide over the back via something like rollers, but it all requires more description of the problem.

There is no "good econnomical"
roof top carrier for a kayak.

If you want a “good " kayak roof top carrier, you have to pay “good” money for it.

It is as simple as that.

My daughter is as petit as they come at 4’-11” and went through all the “economical” ways.

She now has a good expensive rack system with rollers and saddles and does not have any problem loading her kayak and canoe on top of the cap on her toyota pick up by herself.

And the bonus is the fact that she knows it is going to stay in place.



good AND cheap…
…don’t work together when it comes to roofracks. If you’re taking responsibility for strapping 40-70 pounds of projectile on your roof and driving 55 mph with it up there, it’s a good idea to invest in a professionally engineered system designed to keep it from coming off the car.

A Thule or Yakima rack will cost $180-300, depending on what kind of car you have. There are some economical and sensible alternatives to putting saddles on the car - a set of kayak foam blocks and enough straps to attach it will cost $50-70 additional. If you want saddles or j-carriers, it’ll run $110-150. As a bonus, you can attach your boat in about 2 minutes using a rack system, as opposed to 10 minutes of monkeying around with a jury-rigged system.

home built
I built my own rack system and have driven a few thousand miles at speeds up to 85 MPH.

You dont have to be an engineer to design a good rack. Common sense will do just fine

I have yet to see a home built rack…
…that can equal a Yakama or Thule, especially with their versatility of being able to put on and take off bike, ski and other other carriers.

I went the home built route many many years ago and eventually you come around to realizing why they have been in businees for so long.



i use a roof rack from pep boys($30)w/ foam blocks($20). the rack

attaches easily and holds very good. as far as the loading. get yourself

some rubber backed bath mats( 2-walmart $4). attach racks to roof, put

mats 1 on your trunk, 1 on the roof(back close to the glass)lift the

one end of the yak on to the mat on the trunk. push it up to the racks.

secure it down good to go. i’ve used this system since feb. with no

problems at all. i use ratchet straps to hold the yaks down.

hope this helps

tight lines