Kayaking is a thrilling experience, offering a unique perspective of nature from the water. But before you can glide through serene lakes or tackle challenging rapids, you need to get your kayak to the water. That’s where a foam block kayak carrier comes into play. Selecting the right one can make the difference between a smooth journey and a potential disaster. Let’s check out the nuances of choosing the perfect foam block kayak carrier for your needs.
Understanding Foam Block Kayak Carriers
Foam block kayak carriers are a simple and cost-effective solution for transporting kayaks. They are especially useful for those who don’t have a dedicated roof rack system. The carrier typically consists of two foam blocks that cushion the kayak and protect both the vehicle and the boat from scratches and dents.
A foam block carrier usually comes with two foam blocks that you place near the front and back windshield of the car. If the straps come with car clips, you can attach them to the car’s door frame, making the setup convenient.
Best 5 Foam Block Kayak Carrier
01. WOOWAVE Deluxe Foam Block Kayak Carrier
Having tried out the WOOWAVE Deluxe Foam Block Kayak Carrier, I’d like to share a couple of insights. The carrier is pretty impressive in terms of its durability, despite some challenges I faced during installation. With the foam padding needing a bit of stretching to fit, it’s wise to be cautious, especially if you’re concerned about causing scratches to your car roof. Although, the included storage bag is a nice touch, making it handy to keep everything together when not in use.
Functionality-wise, this kayak carrier shines when you have to transport multiple kayaks. I managed to fit two on my car’s roof with ease. Also, for those who might be worried about the fit due to unique roof bar designs, the foam blocks are quite adaptable. A friend of mine, who owns a Hobbie quest 13, found the carrier’s shape to be a perfect fit.
However, a word to the wise – if you’re on the shorter side or lack the strength to lift a kayak alone, this might pose a challenge. Also, do take note of the strap humming at high speeds. A slight turn, as suggested by another user, does the trick. All in all, WOOWAVE offers a budget-friendly, effective solution for kayak transportation, but ensure you’re ready for a bit of manual effort during the setup.
- Can transport multiple kayaks.
- Durable foam padding for protection.
- Suitable for various roof rack models.
- Comes with a convenient storage bag.
- Foam padding may require stretching during installation.
- Might not be suitable for individuals with height/strength limitations.
- Possible minor scratches on car roof.
- Installation might require extra effort depending on roof bar design.
02. AQUARM Universal Foam Block Kayak Carrier
Alright, let’s talk about the AQUARM Universal Foam Block Kayak Carrier. First off, I appreciate the UV resistance and the anti-tear strength of the foam blocks. They’ve got some decent heft to them and seem durable enough for most outdoor escapades. The included cam buckle straps and load straps make securing the canoe a breeze, which is always a win in my book.
However, when it came to installation, I hit a slight hiccup. I have aerodynamic cross bars on my roof rack, similar to another user, and found that the foam block’s material wasn’t as flexible as I’d hoped. In fact, I had to do a bit of DIY magic and widen the slot on the block to fit them on the bar without causing any damage. Not a major deal-breaker, but something to be mindful of.
The metal buckles attached to the roof rack pads are user-friendly and ensure that the rooftop cargo remains safe and sound during transport. And, let me tell you, the portable storage bag? A total lifesaver. It’s compact, easy to throw in the car, and keeps everything organized when not in use. Overall, AQUARM has delivered a solid product, but it might require a bit of elbow grease for those with specific roof racks.
- UV resistance and anti-tear strength.
- Comes with 15ft cam buckle straps and 12ft load straps for safety.
- Metal buckles enhance security.
- Convenient portable storage bag included.
- Foam block might not be flexible enough for some roof racks.
- Potential damage to the block during installation.
- Slot modification might be required for certain bar types.
03. Attwood 11438-7 Universal Foam Block Kayak Carrier
The Attwood 11438-7 Universal Foam Block Kayak Carrier caught my eye as I searched for a solution to transport my kayak on my 4-door car. Given my short 30-minute trips to the local kayaking spot, this kit seemed like a promising fit. While it holds up pretty well for short journeys, I’d advise folks not to push their luck on longer hauls especially above 60 mph. Regular strap checks are essential.
Now, while the foam blocks do their job in protecting my car from scratches, I’ve noticed a slight downside. The blocks tend to get squished after prolonged use. I also had a heart-stopping moment when a gust of wind almost sent them flying off my roof while I was setting things up. A quick hack? Throwing a towel over the blocks to keep them anchored. Additionally, be prepared for a bit of a hum or buzz from the straps at higher speeds, but that’s easily remedied with a few strap twists.
For those with completely bare roofs like my small SUV, this kit is honestly a godsend. It kept my kayak stable for a long highway drive. But, word to the wise, marking the foam placement is crucial for round trips. The foam tends to lose its shape and firmness after a bit. Though not perfect, with some tweaks and cautious handling, the Attwood foam block carrier does its job. Would I use it again? Sure, but if you can invest in a roof rack, I’d say go for it.
- Affordable and cost-effective solution.
- Suitable for cars without roof racks or rails.
- Comes with necessary tie-down ropes.
- Foam blocks offer decent height for kayak protection.
- Foam blocks might deform over time.
- Potential to cause dents or marks on the car roof.
- Can be challenging to set up in windy conditions.
- Straps can produce noise while driving.
04. Rhino-Rack Foam Block Kayak Carrier
Rhino-Rack’s Foam Block Kayak Carrier is a neat solution for those who want to transport their kayaks or boards without burning a hole in their pocket. The first thing I noticed when I used them on my Rhino aero style rack was how perfectly they fit. It’s as if they were made for each other. Moreover, their design allowed me to load up multiple boats – a nifty feature when you’re out with a group.
Now, while these blocks are soft and have an impressive grip, it’s crucial not to get over-zealous with tightening. The last thing anyone wants is to notice their precious kayak’s bottom getting deformed. Another quirk I observed was an occasional whistling noise around the 45mph mark. Not a deal-breaker, but something to note for those who prefer a quieter drive.
A bonus? They slide off effortlessly, which means I can stash them away when not in use. This not only deters any potential sticky fingers but also seems to cut down on that aforementioned whistling. All in all, if you’re seeking a dependable, cost-effective solution that does its job without any flashy gimmicks, this carrier is a solid bet. Just remember to keep an ear out for that whistle!
- Affordable and cost-effective solution.
- Versatile, fitting a variety of roof racks and board sizes.
- Foam provides a snug grip, reducing the need for overtightening.
- Easily removable for security and reduces noise when not in use.
- Potential whistling noise around ~45mph.
- Over-tightening can deform kayaks or boards.
- Might attract theft if left on when not in use.
05. Pelican Sport Foam Block Kayak Carrier
The Pelican Sport Foam Block Kayak Carrier felt like a match made in heaven when I first paired them with my Pelican Mustang 10′ kayak. Right off the bat, I appreciated the flexibility these foam blocks offered, allowing me to shuffle them around for that optimal placement. On drives, it was evident that the kayak stayed firm and steady, with no alarming movements whatsoever.
One standout feature has to be the material. Made of EVA, these blocks are not only elastic but also robust enough to absorb shocks while on the go. So, potholes or bumpy terrains? No worries at all. Additionally, the adhesive nature of the EVA foam, combined with the added anti-slip material, ensures that everything remains in its place even on those longer journeys. The peace of mind this provides is simply unbeatable.
However, potential buyers might want to note that these blocks are ideally suited for Pelican brand kayaks. Also, while they are great standalone products, for a comprehensive setup, you might need additional components from the Pelican Kayak Transport kit. In summary, if you’re a Pelican kayak owner looking for a reliable transport solution, this carrier is undoubtedly worth considering.
- Compatible with the Pelican Kayak Transport kit.
- Flexible and shock-resistant EVA material.
- Adhesive properties keep pads securely in place.
- Additional anti-slip material for better grip.
- Best suited for Pelican brand kayaks.
- May require the purchase of other components for a complete kit.
Foam Block Kayak Carriers Pros and Cons
|Compatibility||Fits most vehicles and kayaks||Might not fit oblong crossbars|
|Cost||Affordable compared to rack systems||Quality might vary with price|
|Installation||Easy to install, no tools required||Blocks might move if not secured properly|
|Durability||Lightweight and easy to store||Can wear out over time|
|Protection||Cushions kayak and protects vehicle||Potential for kayak to shift if not properly secured|
Factors to Consider
1. Kayak Size and Weight
Before purchasing a foam block carrier, consider the size and weight of your kayak. Ensure the foam blocks can support the weight and are wide enough to provide stability during transport.
2. Vehicle Type
Not all vehicles are suited for foam block carriers. For instance, convertibles or cars with a sunroof might not be the best choices. Ensure your vehicle’s roof can handle the weight and size of the kayak.
3. Foam Quality
The foam’s quality is crucial. It should be dense enough to support the kayak’s weight without compressing too much. Additionally, the foam should be durable to withstand the elements, especially if you plan to leave it on your car for extended periods.
4. Strap Quality and Length
The straps should be durable and long enough to secure the kayak properly. Look for straps with a locking mechanism or those made of high-quality materials to ensure your kayak remains in place.
Benefits of Foam Block Carriers
Foam block carriers offer several advantages. They are affordable, easy to install, and don’t require any tools. They’re also versatile, fitting most vehicles and kayaks. Plus, they’re lightweight and easy to store when not in use.