Need advice about transporting the kayak

Need advice about transporting the kayak inside the hatchback.


I start to feel love with kayaking since last summer. And try to buy a used hard-shell kayak. I don’t feel comfortable with putting the kayak on the top of my car (Toyota Matrix hatchback). Not sure if it is good idea to transport it inside the car. My car has 8’ long space with the front seat down, and there would be more space with the back window open. So if I buy a 8’7” or 9’ kayak, do you think it would fit inside my hatchback?

Thank you very much in advance.

Toyota Matrix here
Gets that 8 foot length by folding down the front seat.

Not sure how wide your kayak is. If it’s over 26" there isn’t much room to jam it up front without compromising the console betw. driver & front passenger seat. Especially if, as I do, you drive a stick.

It’s great for transporting a 2x4x8 or a piece of PVC. For transporting a sandy/dirty/semi wet kayak at the end of the day, not so good for keeping the interior clean. If that’s not a priority for you, have at it. Just realize that algae and stuff decomposes over time :wink:

I cartop all three of mine (one at a time of course!). They range from 11’8" to 15’11". The modest amount spent on rooftop carriers and tie downs was way less than the cost of having the interior steamcleaned and detailed.

appreciate your help

thank you so much for the quick reply and help. It is very useful and I am going to think about that…

If you are in Boston, get a cable and
lock to pass around one side of the kayak seat, and around your rack. This will slow them down. It would be best to get the boat off the car entirely during your work week.

recomend a good roof top system
a professional roof top is a must for convenients and saftey. These systems can be expanded so you can bring your girlfriends kayak too (even on top the matrix). Cost run between $200 and $250, well worth it for peace of mind. Check out yakima and thule websites. P.S. Get the locks, or never leave it unwatched.

Don’t do what I did
I stuck my WW boat inside my Subaru Outback for a quick shuttle across the road to the top side of some falls. Slammed the hatch shut, and drove the bow into the front windshield, creating a nice spider crack larger than my hand!

Another reason using a rack might be a good idea.

Man, that windshield would cost twice what rack would cost!

You are obviously better off with a rack. That being said, if you are tight-budgeted, you can try the kayak pads/strap kits out there for around $30. Be aware that without any roof rack at all, the center strap will have to go through the car. The strap eventually will start to tear your door seals if used often. It’s a safe system when used with the bow & stern ties, but you’re looking at 15-20 minutes load time until you are VERY good at it. If you have flat straps, be sure to put a twist on either side of the yak or you have a constant (and LOUD) vibration using your car interior as a speaker well. Serious headache within minutes . . . .

Again, if you have the cash for a good rack, you’re way better off. This said by a frequent car-topper too cheap for a rack on a very old car. I just got a new vehicle, and come spring, it’s getting a rack.

Get A Rack

– Last Updated: Feb-03-07 10:46 AM EST –

you just gonna mess up the interior of your car, trying to get a kayak in and out. The only crafts I throw into my Aero SX are my waveskis. These are 8' and under and less than 20 lbs. Even then it's a pain to maneuver 'em around, never mind the fact that the peripheral vision on one side is partially blocked while driving. The Waveski is shallow enough at the tip that I can lift it up over the front seat so I still have a view out the passenger side rear view mirror. Won't be the case with a kayak.

If you think you like kayaking, then a rack is in your future anyway. Plus, racks provide anchors to lock down your kayak. This allows you to not worry about your leaving the kayak on top of your car in the city for any length of time. Small kayaks, by the way, are much easier and tempting to steal than long ones.


thank everyone who offer the advice
Thank Sing, wkerriganoh, g2d, mtpapaddler, friendlyfire and dasteely for your time and great advice. They are very useful. After reading those, I pretty much give up that idea. Rack seems to the be the only good way to carry the kayaks. Appreciate the help.