How To Properly Strap Two Kayaks Into A Car Roof Rack


You may have transported your kayak before on the roof of your car. By now you must be an expert at it. However, what if you want to bring along a buddy to your kayaking adventures? This can bring its own set of challenges especially if you’ve decided to use one car.

The right tips will teach you everything you need to know about how to strap two kayaks to a roof rack. The great thing is that done correctly, most kayak roof racks will easily support two kayaks. It would help if you know how to strap a kayak to a roof rack. Let’s take a look at them below.

Understanding the procedure

The wrong way to strap the kayaks on the roof of the car is to first hoist them up and then try to attach the straps. This can be frustrating and it makes it easy to drop the kayaks which could damage them.

Instead, first, ensure that the straps are in place and then attach the kayaks one at a time.

On that note, you need to ensure that you have the right size straps. Getting straps that are too long will make hoisting and securing the two kayaks more difficult. The right size straps should be a few feet longer than you will require.

Even with lightweight kayaks of different sizes, it’s also important to ensure that you have straps that are of different sizes. Make sure that you check the straps for any signs of weakness or tears. The last thing you want is for the strap to snap when driving to your destination.

And when you do get to your destination, it’s good practice to observe kayaking safety practices.

How to strap the two kayaks on the roof rack

The first thing that you will need to make sure of is that you’ve placed the straps on the crossbars of the roof rack. Next, take the ends of the straps and bring them to the middle of the crossbar. The set up should be such that the straps on the front crossbar are lying on the front windshield.

On the other hand, the other two straps that are on the rear crossbar are lying in the middle of the rear window. Check to ensure that none of the straps are twisted.

Next, it is time to place the kayaks on the roof rack. Pick the first kayak and place it on the side of the roof rack. Sometimes you might need to try different angles and positions to find the best position for the kayak. To ensure that there is enough space for a second kayak, ensure it as far to one side as possible. This holds especially true for larger kayak models such as ocean kayaks.

Once you’ve secured the best position on the roof rack, take the straps and throw them over the kayak. Secure the straps but not too tightly. This is because there may be a need for you to fasten the kayak after you’ve placed the second one on the roof.

Now it’s time to place the second kayak on the kayak roof rack. Once you’ve hoisted it up, push it against the first one. If there is still plenty of room then feel free to leave a gap between the two kayaks. If you need to conserve space then you can bring them both together at the center of the car roof rack.

Next strap down the second kayak. Follow the same process as is with the first kayak by throwing the straps over the kayak. Tighten the straps to fasten the kayak securely on the roof rack. Go to the first kayak and make sure that it is still in the best position. If so, cinch it down with the straps for a secure fit.

If, however you notice that the position is off, you have the option of loosening the second kayak, adjusting the position, and then tightening the straps. Any loose or hanging straps should be wrapped down. Then recheck for stability and tightness of the straps. If you notice they are still not tight enough and the kayaks are budging then tighten the straps.

This, however, is not something you will worry about with inflatable kayaks as these can be folded and stored in the trunk of your car.

Different positions to load the kayaks


There are different positions that you can use on how to strap two kayaks to a roof rack. One way for ensuring that rain doesn’t get to the cockpit is to stack them with the upper part facing down. While you can use a single strap, using two provides a much more secure hold.

There is also the double-stack method which involves the two kayaks placed on top of each other with the cockpits facing each other. You can also use a single strap but it’s better to use two for the best hold.

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Sometimes you might not have enough room to carry two or more kayaks. However, the side-by-side method helps you do this. You will need a couple of friends to help you balance the load.

The process will involve you standing one boat on its side. Someone else will hold the first boat as you load the other kayak. And the great thing is that with the side-by-side method, you can load even more kayaks if you are planning to bring along a few more friends.

This is also true if you want to carry different kayak models such as white water kayaks and fishing kayaks.

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It is simple to strap and transport two kayaks on the roof of the car. However, it’s important to use the right process to make sure they are held down securely and don’t fall off and damage. Always make sure you check that the straps are tight before embarking on your journey.

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