Carrying Two Kayaks on Bare Vehicle Roof

Question:

Can you mount two kayaks without a roof rack on your car? If so, what would you buy?

Expert Reply:

Assuming that the kayaks are narrow enough width-wise to safely fit on the roof of the vehicle, using two foam block carriers like part # SR5525 would be an option as long as the combined weight of the kayaks doesn't exceed the roof capacity of the vehicle. This option is designed to be used on a vehicle with a bare roof, and the straps that hold the kayaks to the roof will pass through the passenger compartment, the doors will need to be closed on the straps. This arrangement has two drawbacks. The straps running through the vehicle can allow rainwater to wick into the passenger compartment, as well as reducing the headroom for the driver and passengers.

The foam block carriers include bow and stern tie-downs.

Having a sturdy attachment point like roof mounted crossbars would be the best and safest practice. In most cases, this can be done fairly inexpensively. The racks could be removed when not needed. The foam tie-downs mounted directly to the vehicle roof would be fine for short trips, but I would be personally uncomfortable using them for long trips with lots of highway driving.

If you'd care to reply with the year, make and model of your vehicle, I'd be happy to recommend a more secure solution for you.

expert reply by:
Michael L

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