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Tranporting a Kayak

Many thanks to Louis Poulin who kindly agreed to share the information he compiled for the Durham Kayakers Club.

This summary addresses roof racks and kayak racks. However, there are many more options and opinions out there to explore.

There are many different manufactures of roof racks and kayak racks on the market. From high end to more affordable options. All have pros and cons. From cost, to ease or difficulty of use, to application for the vehicle you plan on using to transport your kayak.

There are universal racks that will fit most vehicles, to racks that are made for a specific vehicle. There are vehicles that have factory rails and vehicles without factory rails, commonly called bare or flat roofs.

To transport your kayak on the roof of your vehicle the most common methods are

  • J racks
  • V or “saddle" racks
  • Foam blocks

J racks and saddle racks are more expensive but more secure method of transporting your kayak. Foam blocks are the least expensive and the least secure method of transporting your kayak.

Some of the most common rack manufactures are

A good roof rack and kayak racking system can enhance or detract from your day on the water. Unfortunately, the more you spend the better the racking system you will get.

Some retailers that sell roof racks and kayak racks are

Roof Racks for vehicle with bare roofs or flat roofs

Roof Racks for vehicles with roof factory rails

Kayak Racks to be attached to the cross bars

Load Assist Kayak Racks

Helps you get the kayak onto the roof of your vehicle


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