Looking to purchase a canoe/own a small

I’m going to start canoeing and get my family into it and I own a small car. I’ve bought a roof rack and was just wondering if a 16 foot canoe would be too large to mount on top of my car it. is a subaru impreza Wagon any advice would be appreciated.thanks daryl

Which rack and how heavy is canoe?
Thousands of people transport 16’ or longer canoes on cars every year, so you should be able to, as well, if your rack is set up correctly and you learn how to secure the canoe to the rack correctly.

76 lbs thule rack
It’s a 76 lb canoe and the rack is a thule rated for 130 lbs and I still have to buy the straps I have a anchor point for the rear strap but not the front.I’ve seen the under the hood strap where you just pinch the strap by closing the hood And planned on doing that which I can buy thru thule as well.

Strap across first
The key straps are those that hold the canoe to the cross (load) bars. You mention Thule - are your racks aftermarket Thule that mount to the factory rails? If so, those should work great. You may want the canoe brackets as well. To start though, you should wrap & tape some foam pipe insulation to the bars. The end straps form the bow & stern are important, but less so than the cross straps with a good rack system. The end straps provide a measure of safety if the is a failure in the mail straps. They also cam provide some control in strong side winds.

can be done
My ex and I had a 16 foot 84 lb canoe and regularly hauled it on Thule racks both atop his 1999 Honda Accord and my 2002 Subaru Outback. No problems at all. We carried it hull up, used a pair of long Thule buckle straps (the blue and yellow logo ones – not cheap but strong and durable with good buckles) around the midsection and also always guyed the stern and bow to the car bumpers with nylon rope.

I have a friend who carries an 18’ sea kayak on a tiny SmartCar.

i have a few friends
who carry 2 canoes on Subie wagons, though i think they are Outbacks or Foresters. Not sure on racks, but a nice tip is to put tennis balls on those crossbars if they’re outboard if your car. Makes for good visibility and less chance of poking your eye out.


– Last Updated: Apr-02-15 8:53 AM EST –

Ah' used ta carry me 17"+ OT Tripper an' a OT wood/canvas 16' Guide on me ol' 1973 Ford Pinto all de time... But it had welded rain gutters an' ah's had 2x4's on Quik & Easy towers. Aaahh, dem waar de good ol' days.


…we don’t have a Subaru, but have had 13-16’ canoes on our Chevy Sonic, which is probably smaller? Tie downs under the hood are important and it rides pretty good.

Quik’n’ Easy’s
Yes, I too lament the departure of rain gutters and the wondrous Quik’n’Easy clamps. Used to have a set that went from my 66 Dodge contractor van through several vehicle to finally my 89 Caravan. Homemade width-adjustable crossbars of treated lumber – Lord, the heavy loads I used to haul of multiple industrial grade wooden ladders and bundles of steel conduit and strut on that rack all over the place. Even a small sailboat (Sea Snark). Never worried about rack failure.