How to transport a kayak without a rack & roof step by step ultimate Guide

Transporting a 14-foot touring kayak is always an important thing to consider. Often you have to find a way to shift your Kayak between your kayaking destination and your house. Even you have the kayak rack; it’s always not the perfect way for everyone. So, you need to know how to transport a kayak without a rack.

Don’t get panic. In this context, you will find the easy solution step by step to transport your Kayak.

why do you need Transporting a Kayak Without a Roof Rack

Here is the guide to transport a kayak without a rack. Following this method, you will be able to know how to transport a kayak in a truck.

Step 1: Put the Pool Noodles on Top of Your Car

First of all, you have to ensure your pool noodles are the proper shape for your vehicle. These pool noodles should sit across the roof without considerably protruding on either side. Even you get lots of noodle fixing out, and then you’ll need to trim it to make it the correct shape. 

The pool noodles give a durable and flexible base to protect the roof of your vehicle from accidental abrasion. Then Set the pool noodles roughly every 3 feet, relying on the size of the roof of your car, ensuring you set one in the middle and the other two both right and left side.

After placing the noodles, you have to run one set of your ratchet straps. Firstly, you have to the hole in the middle of the pool noodles. And then to the inside of your vehicle, via the open doors, before protecting them in place.

Step 2: pick up Your Kayak and set on top of the Pool Noodles.

Once you set the noodles securely, you have to lift your Kayak at the top of your car.

Kayaks, mainly the longer touring and sea models are unwieldy and cumbersome. Therefore, this part should do by two people.

Then Flip your Kayak above. Thus, the cockpit is facing down and ensures one person on each end; pick the Kayak onto your car’s roof, so the middle of the Kayak is turning on the middle pool noodle. The noodles will prevent the Kayak from harming your car as also keeping it in place.

Step 3: make the Kayak secure with Straps.

How to transport a kayak without a rack & roof step by step ultimate Guide 1

So, your Kayak is in place. Now you need to make secure your Kayak with a car. Open the rear and front door of your vehicle and then pass one area of the ratchet straps above the front of your Kayak.

Fix the straps inside your car and use the ratchet strap to protect it in place. When you’re passing the straps throughout your vehicle, consider to twist them to stop them from making a rich pitched howling nose when you are driving.

Then repeat this step with the back of the Kayak. Ensure the buckles are in an effortless to reach a place; thus, they can be attuned on the fly. 

Some tips you should know on How to Tie a Kayak down the Right Way: 

  • You should not over-tighten the straps. If it is, it may cause it to bow, mainly if it’s a plastic hull. Also, it can enduringly affect the shell and its act on the water.
  • Weather can affect your straps. So, check your belts carefully for any loosening before driving.
  • Eventually, the nylon ends of ratchet straps can make fray, making them hard to pass through the buckle. You can repair this by charily exposing the frayed end of the belt.

Step 4: Tie down Kayak with Straps

You are almost done! Make secure your Kayak with straps. Now you need to stop it from moving backward or forwards. The final thing you hope is your Kayak sliding off the roof if you need to brake unexpectedly.

To entirely secure your Kayak, string another set of ratchet straps through the front toggles of the yak and then protected them to the tie-down spots beneath your car, using a securing hook. Besides, you can do the similar at the rear using the rear bear handles and the towing latches to protect the straps. So now you know how to put the two kayaks on the roof rack by yourself.

How to transport a kayak without a rack ? watch this video



1. Can you transport a kayak on a small car?

With the crossbars and rack installed and the lines at the ready, you can set your Kayak on top of your small car. With two people, take the Kayak at each end by the hull and then lift the boat overhead.

2. Do you need crossbars for a kayak rack?

If you want stylish carriers that are exclusively kayak designed for the business of carrying kayaks, then you should get crossbars. You can move to purchase gear mounts designed for kayaks, for example, saddles, stackers, or j-cradles.


Hopefully, you have understood how to transport a kayak without a rack. Just keep in mind that safety is always essential, so ensure keep your kayak is safe and protected on top of your car before you start driving. You should check your buckles often and then you are ready to get out on the water!

Leave a Comment

eighteen − 17 =