Transporting a kayak on the roof of your car does not have to be complicated. But sometimes, it does get a bit complicated when your car does not have any rails installed on its roof. If your car does not have any roof already installed on it, don’t feet disappointed because there are hundreds of different varieties of Kayak roof racks for cars without rails available in the market. These kayak racks that can be installed on the roof of your car even when the rails are missing. They are easy to install and does not need you to drill any holes.
Best 10 Kayaks Racks for Cars
That Don’t Have Rails
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1. Alfa Gear Universal Roof Rack Pad
Alfa Gear Universal Roof Rack Pad sits precisely on the top of your car and allows you to carry a kayak or any other sporting gears for that matter safely and securely even when you don’t have any rooftop bar attached. Made from 600D fabric, Alfa Gear Universal Roof Rack Pad can stand the test of time. The extra-long strap allows you to transport your kayak on the top of your vehicle without jeopardizing the overall stability. It can be attached to Trucks, Minivans, SUVs, or any other cars for that matter effortlessly.
The installation process is as simple as it can possibly get and it does not cause any vibration during the transportation process. The maximum weight capacity of the Alfa Gear Universal Roof Rack Pad is around 400 lbs. Packing up is easy given its folding design.
2. WooWave Kayak Roof Rack Pads
WooWave Kayak Roof Rack Pads are designed to allow cars without rails to transport kayaks on their roof without spending a fortune on it. Its exterior is made from nylon that has made it impervious to the vagaries of nature and can withstand extreme fluctuations in the temperature. Its interior is made from an EPE foam pad that helps to cushion impacts during the transportation process. Compatible with almost all kinds of vehicles, WooWave Kayak Roof Rack Pads allow you to transport a wide range of watercraft like surfboards, SUPs, kayaks, and more with ease and elan.
Aerodynamic design makes the journey more comfortable and its lightweight design makes it extremely popular among paddlers of all age groups. The straps are waterproof and that means, they will last long even when they are exposed to extreme weather. These straps are made from heavy-duty polyester and therefore, they are highly resistant to abrasion and the harmful UV rays of the sun. Known for their impressive break strength, WooWave Kayak Roof Rack Pads will help you keep the kayak in place during the entire transportation process.
3. Onefeng Sports Kayak Roof Rack
Onefeng Sports Kayak Roof Rack is extremely lightweight and that means, you can take it off when you are not using it. The durable plastic block should be able to weather extreme climatic conditions. To keep the roof of your car and the kayak safe and secured throughout the journey, Onefeng Sports Kayak Roof Rack is made exclusively from TPE. The maximum loading capacity of this kayak roof rack pad is around 165 lbs which are quite impressive, to say the least.
4. Best Marine Kayak Roof Rack Pads
Best Marine Kayak Roof Rack Pads are made from premium quality 600D polyester fabric that makes it super durable. Keeping your kayak secure and safe are the straps and the EPE foam. The EPE foam helps reduce shocks during the transportation process and thus eliminating any possibility of damaging the kayak or the roof in the process. If you face any difficulty while trying to install this roof rack, you can always check out the video tutorials uploaded by the company on YouTube. These tutorials are fairly easy to follow. If you are one of those people who find inner peace while kayaking on remote land, Best Marine Kayak Roof Rack Pads could be your best buddy as these pads will take the pain out of the kayak transportation process to a great extent.
5. Orion Motor Tech Roof Rack Pad
Designed for short trips., Orion Motor Tech Roof Rack Pad allows you to transport a kayak even when your car does not have any rail installed on it. It will not last a lifetime for sure but one thing is certain that it will get the job done. Don’t expect any exotic features in Orion Motor Tech Roof Rack Pad because the only purpose of this roof rack is to allow people to transport a kayak without installing a roof rack. Orion Motor Tech Roof Rack Pad will keep the roof of your car protected from dents and scratches and the kayak will remain stable throughout the journey. Made from ultra-soft material, Orion Motor Tech Roof Rack Pad come standard with heavy-duty straps that can be adjusted at will. The maximum weight capacity of this kayak is around 165 lbs. Orion Motor Tech Roof Rack Pad will put a stop to vibration which is kinda relief.
6. TIROL Auto Soft Roof Rack
Transport your kayak safely on the roof of your car with Tirol Auto Soft Roof Rack. It works fine even if your car does not have any rails installed on it. Compatible with most cars, Tirol Auto Soft Roof Rack lets you transport a 60lbs kayak with ease. Keeping the kayak in place are the buckles that are made from premium quality materials to ensure a safe and secure journey. Your kayak will not fall off during the journey no matter what. Ultra-soft padding will keep the hull protected from dents.
7. Neolife Soft Roof Rack Pads
Made from 600D polyester, Neolife Soft Roof Rack Pads are designed to allow you to transport your kayak short distances without spending a lump sum on it. The main USPs of Neolife Soft Roof Rack Pads is that they are waterproof and are highly resistant to corrosion. You can even use it in the harsh winter months without facing any such issues. The straps are 12 feet long and 19 inches pads are wide enough to keep your kayak protected in case of some eventualities. Its universal design makes it compatible with almost all cars that are commonly available in the market. Anti-slip Design helps to keep the kayak in place. The straps are made from polyester and these straps are resistant to both abrasion and water.
Seah Hardware Universal Roof Rack is one of those few kayak racks available in the market that come attached with straps that go around the car. The best thing about this kayak roof rack is that it is very easy to install and taking it off also does not take long. It stops your kayak from rattling while driving in the highways which is a big plus.
The rack gets attached to the rooftop. But to secure that firmly in its position, you need to make proper use of its straps. Through the car’s door frame goes the straps and thus allowing you to transport your kayak even if your vehicle does not have any rails installed.
However, there is a downside of Seah Hardware Universal Roof Rack and that is – you can’t get it installed on a two-door car because (there is no easy way to put this) the space between two bars is very small. Thankfully, the crossbars are highly adjustable and flexible. You can get them installed and uninstalled in a matter of a few minutes.
You don’t have to do anything drastic to transform the roof of your car so that it can allow you to transport your kayak without developing a single scratch in the process. Transporting kayak has never been this easy and the entire credit goes to Malone VersaRail Bare Roof Cross Rail Rack. Malone VersaRail Bare Roof Cross Rail Rack beats its competitors hands down. You can easily increase the surface area on the roof of your car by distributing the suction cups evenly so that the weight gets evenly distributed in the process.
The best thing about Malone VersaRail Bare Roof Cross Rail Rack is that they don’t make much noise during the transportation process.
- A wrench is provided hence you need no additional tools for assembly
- Load bar coating is corrosion resistant
- Most rack accessories can fit in its rectangular shape
- Available with a load capacity of 135 lbs, its available with ready to install feature and is delivered absolutely accurate and complete
- Vacuum tower bases promise a pulling strength of 75 lbs alongside safety attachment straps with a wider dimension of 1.5”.
HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack Bars come equipped with a HandiPump that allows you to inflate the twin bladders in a matter of a few seconds. HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack Bars allow you to safely transport all your outdoor gears be it a kayak or heavy mountain bike.
Included are two heavy-duty tie-downs that is 9.8 feet long. It also has got two HandiRack twin tubes that help cushion impacts while driving on bumpy roads. A nylon drawstring travel bag is provided so that you can tuck this HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack inside it when not in use.
To help you tie down the kayak from the front and back of the car, Bow & Stern lines also provided. This makes the journey safer and eliminates the possibility of accidental falls. HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack Bars can carry up to 175 lbs load safely without jeopardizing the overall stability of the load during the transportation process.
Transporting a Kayak Without a Roof Rack
Transporting a kayak without roof rack is not rocket science but sometimes people over complicate things and ultimately, everything starts falling apart at the end. Just because your car does not have any roof rack installed, it does not mean that you have to drill a hole on the roof of your car. Nope, there are other ways to transport your kayak. Allow us to break it down for you –
Transport a kayak using a compact car without roof rackShow how to transport a kayak using a compact car without a roof rack at the best safety.
Parts You Will Need
You will need these two parts in order to transport your kayak safely on the roof of your car –
1. Ratchet Straps
Also known as Cam buckle, Ratchet Straps are mainly used for tying things and are equipped with appropriate items to allow you to transport things securely. Cam buckles are usually attached to adjustable buckles and they are primarily made from hard-wearing nylon so that you can place it around the kayak and or any other object for that matter. You need to tighten them up a little bit to keep the object in place during the transportation process.
2. Pool Noodles
Simply put, pool noodles are hollowed cylindrical objects and they are primarily made from polyethylene foam. You can easily spot these pool noodles in any nearby hardware stores. Since they are elastic, you can use them to tie down your kayak on the roof of your car in the absence of rail.
4 Steps To Transport Your Kayak Without A Roof Rail
So, it looks like you have got both the ratchet straps and pool noodles. Now, follow these 4 steps carefully to transport a kayak on the roof of your car even if it does not have a roof rail –
Step 1: Find A Place to Secure the Pool Noodles on The Roof Of Your Car
Pool Noodles are available in different shapes and sizes. Not all Pool Noodles can be used for tying up your kayak. Protruding parts of the pool noodles should be trimmed carefully once you have placed them across the roof of the car. Pool noodles create the base on which you can place your kayak and they will keep your kayaks from harm’s way during the transportation process. Maintain a distance of at least 3 feet between one pool noodle and another so that they can protect your kayak from abrasion.
Now you might be wondering how many Pool Noodles your car needs. Well, it all boils down to one thing and that is the approximate size of the roof the vehicle. So, the pool noodles are attached to the roof, securely right? Well, that is reassuring. Now, in the next step, you will have to run a Cam buckle through the open door of your car and then stretch it through the hole of the pool noodle.
Step 2: Place The kayak on the Top of Pool Noodle
In the next step, you will have to lift the kayak and place it on the top of your vehicle. Now, if the kayak is heavy, you might have to ask your buddy to give you a hand. The kayak should be placed face down. Don’t worry, pool noodles are there to keep your kayak safe from all the damages.
Step 3: Use Straps to Tie Down Your Kayak
In this stage, we will have to open the front and rear door of our cars and then run one end of the ratchet strap over the kayak. Now, the straps should be attached to one another inside the vehicle. The straps should be twisted a little bit otherwise you might have to deal with a lot of noise while driving. This step should be repeated for both the front and rear sides of the kayaks.
Step 4: Secure the Bow and Stern
Now, we have already stopped the kayak from making side to side movements during the transport by using the straps, we will have to make sure that the kayak does not slide down in the front or the back. Use ratchet straps and attach its one end to the carry handle of the kayak and attach the other end to the car’s tie-down spot. Do the same for the rear and everything will be just fine.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.