Kayak Transport on Naked Roof

TheBlackWindTheBlackWind Registered User regular
I recently bought a couple of kayaks, and I was looking into a good way to transport them. I got them home using a borrowed set of inflatable HandiRails, but they make my gf pretty nervous, so I'm curious if anyone has any different recommendations.

We have a Scion XB and a Chevy Cobalt, neither with any sort of factory rack. Dependability is important, but we were hoping for a little cheaper than some of the 600-700 dollar sets we've seen.

Any recommendations on equipment or approach?

PAD ID - 328,762,218

Posts

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Considering what you probably paid for the kayaks (and the cars), I strongly recommend that you pay for a rack. You can buy the cheap foam blocks and use them, but unless you don't stick with kayaking they will not be a good long term solution.

    http://www.maloneautoracks.com/economic-foam-blocks-kayak-carrier-kits.php
    http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/yakima-standard-kayak-foam-blocks

    What is this I don't even.
    bowenDaenrisschuss
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    If you want to use your kayaks regularly, get a rack that you leave on. If it's a hassle to mount up your boats, you will use them less. Driving around with well secured boats is easier and less stressful as well. Especially if you ever have to drive through a windy area. Last but most importantly, it is much safer.

    My favorite brand for kayak rack accessories is Rhino Rack. Even their straps are better quality than Yakima and way better than Malone. If you do decide to go the blocks and straps route, get your straps from them.

    Cabezone on
    bowen
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Wasn't recommending brands, for the record, was just grabbing the first two block setups from Google.

    What is this I don't even.
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    the foam blocks are fine if you don't want to go for a rack setup, it just adds time to your racking the boats to go.

    you don't need factory rails to get a rack. i would bet real money that thule or yakima at the very least have a gutter mount clip that will fit your car.

    also spring for good long cam straps.

    camo_sig.png
  • TheBlackWindTheBlackWind Registered User regular
    Thanks for the advice and the brands to check out. A gutter mount might be a good in between for us. Was mostly just curious about how worth it a big investment would be, so that sets me on the right path.

    PAD ID - 328,762,218
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Wasn't recommending brands, for the record, was just grabbing the first two block setups from Google.

    I didn't actually look at your links, I just named the two most common brands.

    Cabezone on
  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    We got Thule roof racks for our kayak. They only take a couple of minutes to take on and off, so using them isn't really an issue at all for us.

  • MalgarasMalgaras Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    I would tend to lean more towards a roof rack + foam inserts that go on it as opposed to putting them straight on the roof. That's what my friend has been using as long as I can remember, and there's never been any issues. He throws a rug over the front windshield, then just kinda slides the kayak up on to the roof. I've seen people do it without the rails entirely, and if you want to put up with the hassle it's probably fine, although I imagine it'd be a nightmare to do solo if you ever need to.

    That said, I went with a stupid expensive lift assist rack and think it was absolutely worth it, but that's both because I am a wimp and that I frequently have to load a 70 lb sea kayak solo.

    The much bigger issue in my mind is making sure to secure it properly. The above is simply price vs convenience IMO. This is the non-negotiable safety stuff:
    • Two straps across the kayak, tight enough that the kayak doesn't move but not so tight that you are squeezing the kayak against whatever you are mounting it on, you can leave indentations in the hull that way.
    • Front and read tie-downs, again tight enough so the kayak doesn't move, but not so tight as to make the kayak flex (don't skip these, these are what keep the kayak from flying through the windshield of the person in front or behind you. it always amazes me to see people have a huge kayak on a tiny car without these).

    Malgaras on
    1tLJUH2O.png
    TheBlackWind
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Yeah, get a thule or yakima setup, they're both pretty bombproof.
    Proper option - the the boat stuff to hold boats nicely
    Cheap option - get the Towers/Rails then wrap them in closed cell foam and use rope+bungees.

  • BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    I haul my, just shy of 20 feet, sea kayak on some Thule AeroBlade load bars with a Yakima Sweetroll system on top of them. I can load my 95# Wilderness Systems NorthStar Pro on there by myself.

    I used foam blocks to get my boat home when I first boat it and was scared shitless that it would fly off. With this system I can drive 80 mph into a nice head wind or crosswind and it will never move an inch.

    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
    ― John Quincy Adams
  • TheBlackWindTheBlackWind Registered User regular
    Ok, definitely gonna go with the towers and bars so we aren't stressing the whole way home, plus we got some quality straps on the way. As far as the mounts go, J-Style are the gold standard for fitting two, correct? We looked at some like this as well, but I kind of question how easy it'd be to put together: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12625406

    If J-carriers are the way to go, I've found plenty of options.

    Thanks again!

    PAD ID - 328,762,218
  • BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    Yea everyone i know that runs 2 boats either uses one normal rack then a j rack for the other boat ot just 2 j racks.

    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
    ― John Quincy Adams
    TheBlackWind
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    eh, you don't need j-racks. as someone who used to guide and paddle a lot, j-racks are extraneous. what i would get is one of those folding center bars that come up or make your own out of pipe

    mts on
    camo_sig.png
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