How To Transport a Kayak Without a Rack For 2023- Choose The Right Method

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 if 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 transporting 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 in the proper shape for your vehicle. These pool noodles should sit across the roof without considerably protruding on either side. Even if you get lots of noodles fixed, and then you’ll need to trim them to make it the correct shape. 

The pool noodles provide 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 on both the 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 it on top of the Pool Noodles.

Once you set the noodles securely, you have to lift your Kayak to 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 and also keep it in place.

Step 3: make the Kayak secure with Straps.

How To Transport a Kayak Without a Rack For 2023- Choose The Right Method 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 twisting 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 effortless to reach a place; thus, they can be attuned on the fly. 

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 a 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 load kayaks on a car without a Rack?

  1. A tarp or large blanket to protect the car and kayak from scratches
  2. Two foam pool noodles or similar soft, flexible foam tubes
  3. Two bungee cords or strong straps
  4. A helper

To begin, lay the tarp or blanket across the car’s roof. Place the kayak on the tarp, positioning it so that the hull is centered over the car’s roof.

Next, place one foam noodle on each side of the kayak, along the gunwales (top edges). These noodles will act as padding to protect the car and kayak from scratches and dents.

Then, use the bungee cords or straps to secure the kayak to the car. Attach one end of each cord to the kayak’s bow (front) and stern (rear), then stretch the cords over the car’s roof and attach the other end to the car’s roof or door frame. Make sure the cords are taut and secure, but not so tight that they damage the kayak or car.

Finally, have your helper carefully lift the kayak onto the car’s roof, using the noodles to guide it into place. Once the kayak is on the roof, use additional cords or straps to secure it to the car if necessary.

How to transport a kayak on a car without a Rack?

how to transport a kayak on a car

Use a trailer:

A trailer is a great option for transporting a kayak if you have a larger vehicle or need to transport multiple kayaks at once. There are many different types of trailers available, ranging from small, single-kayak trailers to large, multi-kayak trailers. When using a trailer, it is important to make sure the trailer is properly balanced and the kayak is secured with straps to prevent it from falling off while driving.

Use a soft-top carrier:

A soft-top carrier is a nylon cover that fits over the top of your car and has straps to secure the kayak. These carriers are lightweight and easy to install, but they are not suitable for transporting large or heavy kayaks. They are best for shorter distances and lighter kayaks. It is important to make sure the straps are tightened securely to prevent the kayak from shifting or falling off while driving.

Use a roof rack pad:

A roof rack pad is a padded surface that you place on top of your car and then use straps to secure the kayak. This option works best for vehicles with a roof rack or a flat roof. The roof rack pad provides a stable and padded surface for the kayak to rest on, and the straps help to secure it in place. Make sure to use enough straps to hold the kayak firmly in place, and check the straps regularly to ensure they are still tight.

Use a trunk-mounted rack:

A trunk-mounted rack is a rack that attaches to the trunk of your car and has straps to secure the kayak. This option works best for smaller cars and shorter distances. The rack is easy to install and can be removed when not in use. It is important to make sure the straps are tightened securely to prevent the kayak from shifting or falling off while driving.

Use a pickup truck:

If you have a pickup truck, you can place the kayak in the bed of the truck and secure it with straps. This option works best for larger kayaks and longer distances. Make sure to use enough straps to hold the kayak firmly in place, and check the straps regularly to ensure they are still tight. It is also a good idea to cover the kayak with a tarp or other protective cover to prevent it from getting damaged during transport.

How to tie down 2 kayaks without a roof rack

Tying down a kayak without a roof rack can be a bit of a challenge, but it is possible with the right setup and some careful planning. Here are some steps you can follow to tie down two kayaks without a roof rack:

Choose a suitable vehicle:

: Make sure you have a vehicle with a large, flat trunk or hatchback that can accommodate your kayaks. You may also want to consider using a trailer hitch or other attachment to secure your kayaks.

Gather your equipment:

You will need a few basic items to tie down your kayaks, including sturdy straps or rope, bungee cords, and possibly foam blocks or other padding to protect your kayaks and your vehicle.

Position your kayaks:

Place your kayaks on the ground next to your vehicle, positioning them parallel to each other with the sterns (back ends) facing the same direction.

Secure the bow:

Begin by securing the front (bow) end of each kayak to the vehicle. You can do this by looping a strap or rope through the bow handle or loop and tying it to a strong point on your vehicle, such as a trailer hitch, bumper, or trunk latch.

Stabilize the kayaks:

Next, you’ll want to stabilize the kayaks to prevent them from shifting or rolling around while you’re driving. You can do this by tying a strap or rope from one kayak to the other, or by using bungee cords to hold them in place.

Secure the stern:

Finally, secure the back (stern) end of each kayak to the vehicle using additional straps or ropes. You can tie these to the same strong points you used to secure the bow, or you can use other points such as the bumper or trunk lid.

How to transport a kayak without a rack?



Can you transport a kayak in 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.

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.

What is the easiest way to transport a kayak?

Kayak racks are not necessarily necessary for transporting a kayak, as there are other options available for getting your kayak from one place to another. kayak racks can be a convenient and effective way to transport your kayak, especially if you frequently need to transport your kayak long distances or over rough terrain.


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!

Tony K. Henderson
Tony K. Henderson

Hello, My name is Tony K. Henderson. I love to do kayaking whenever I get the time and I am very much fond of fishing too. The techniques and knowledge of being a paddler are amusing. I have shared all my knowledge about kayaking and fishing on my website. Feel free to read them and know more important things and facts about kayaking and fishing. follow me Twitter

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