How To Transport A Kayak On A Small Car?

Small cars can generally transport long kayaks if a roof rack, kayak trailer, or attaching the kayak directly to the roof is used.


1: Lifting

Carrying your kayak is one of the first ways to transfer it. You can wear it like a large backpack on your shoulder.

2: Dragging

If you don’t have a long distance to travel, donkey work or pulling your kayak will suffice. However, keep in mind that if the ground is rocky, you may damage the hull.

3: Kayak Carts

A tiny kayak trolley is the best option. You can easily raise a kayak into position and then use it to get to the water’s edge. Some paddlers even flip the trolleys over and use the wheels as rollers to load the kayak onto the back of their vehicle or automobile. It’s extremely clever, and it’s less expensive than a Thule carrier.

Weight Restrictions

Most modest cars should be able to easily sustain the weight of a kayak. Even the heaviest kayaks on the market, which normally weigh less than 200 pounds, fall into this category.

Kayaks that are that heavy are quite uncommon, and they are primarily found in the form of fishing kayaks. If you have a super-heavy fishing kayak, you’ll be restricted by your ability to raise it onto the top of your car rather than the roof’s real weight capability.

However, it’s never a bad idea to double-check with the manufacturer of your vehicle to ensure that the roof of your smaller car can withstand the weight of your kayak. If you have a bigger kayak that you don’t feel comfortable hoisting onto your vehicle’s roof, we recommend investing in a compact kayak trailer that you can safely tow behind you.

Roof Racks for Kayaks in Small Cars


A roof rack is a way to go if you want to transport a kayak in a compact car in a safe and steady manner. So take a look at a handful of these little car kayak roof racks that are crossbar-mounted and roof-mounted.

1: HandiRack Inflatable Roof Rack Bars (Universal)

This kayak roof rack solution is ideal for tiny cars without crossbars or factory-installed roof rails. When you’re not using it, it takes up very little space in your trunk because it’s an inflatable solution.

The HandiRack device has two pads that inflate and fasten to your vehicle’s roof. This system is certified for safe usage at ordinary highway speeds and can handle kayaks up to 175 pounds once set up.

2: Kayak Rack by Leader Accessories

If your car already has crossbars mounted on the roof, this is a good kayak rack option. These racks, unlike the HandiRack (which must be removed after each usage), can be placed and left permanently attached to your crossbars. That’s because they fold down when you’re not using them, reducing wind resistance and so lowering your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. It also means that when you’re not transporting a kayak, you won’t have to worry about passing under any low branches and hitting these racks.


Is it possible to lift a kayak with just one person?

You might be able to carry your kayak on your own if it’s a smaller, lighter model. This will be accomplished by hoisting it onto one shoulder.

Should kayaks be facing inward or outward?

Always flip your kayak over and lay it on its side on your crossbars.

Do kayaks have an easy time flipping?

Many people believe kayaks are easily flipped over, yet they are much more solid than they appear.

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