How to Transport 2 Kayaks Without a Roof Rack

If you are thinking about transporting 2 kayaks, but do not have a roof rack on your vehicle, there are several options. This article will cover three options – the Foam-block system, J-cradles, and Stackers. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages. Read on to learn about the best option for your vehicle. Also, be sure to use the correct kayak straps and secure them tightly to prevent them from coming undone.

Alternatives to a roof rack

The benefits of using a roof rack to transport 2 kayaks include safety, space, and security. The downside to roof racks are that they increase fuel consumption, making it more expensive to run. Also, they make vehicles top-heavy and are not suitable for off-road driving. A cradle is a better option for long-haul travel. There are several different types of kayak carriers available for your vehicle.

Roof racks are standard in many vehicles. Most SUVs come with luggage racks that can accommodate a kayak. Some cars and trucks have a full roof rack system. Whatever type of roof rack you have, you should know how to secure the kayak. A roof rack is usually simple to attach to the vehicle and requires only a few attachments. Once attached, a roof rack is an easy and convenient way to transport your kayak.

Foam-block system

For transportation, foam blocks are perfect. You can use them in place of roof racks or you can cut them in pieces and tie them to the kayaks. The length of the foam block must be at least 20 inches long, four inches wide, and about two feet tall. It should fit snugly on the kayaks and not extend beyond the width of the vehicle. You can tie the blocks in place with rope, if necessary.

Using a foam-block system is ideal for short distances, but they can be insufficient for long distances. It’s advisable to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to ensure proper fit. Also, don’t place the foam-block on the sunroof because it doesn’t have enough weight capacity. If you do use a roof rack, drive slowly and gently. During the trip, inspect the kayaks for damage or instability. They’ll make a lot of noise, so it’s a good idea to take extra care while transporting them.


Using a roof rack is not the only way to transport kayaks. A good way to carry more than one kayak is with a roof rack. J-Cradles are a good option if your roof rack doesn’t allow you to load two kayaks at once. Just ensure to make sure the kayaks sit parallel to the vehicle. Using two people, lift the kayak over the roof rack. Tighten the straps to secure the kayaks securely to the rack.

Choosing the correct roof rack is important. If you have a flat roof, you may want to install a roof rack with J-Cradles to avoid damage to your vehicle’s paintwork. For a Jeep, a roof rack may not be necessary. J-Cradles can be mounted on factory-fit crossbars. If your roof is not flat, you may have to install a temporary pad instead.


Stackers for transporting two kayaks are a great solution if you want to carry both of them without using a roof rack. These devices allow you to stack more than one kayak on the roof of your vehicle. They work by allowing the kayaks to be stacked on their sides and are most commonly used for lighter whitewater kayaks. However, you can use them to transport other types of boats, such as touring and recreational models. The stacker bars are simple to install and use. To use one, simply put a kayak on a crossbar, slide the cam strap above the crossbar, and throw the strap over the kayak.

Another popular option is a Yakima JayLow package that comes with all the necessary kayak straps. Yakima’s Showboat package has corrosion-resistant stainless steel crossbars and hardware and a padded carrying cradle that makes loading your kayak easy. Stackers for transporting two kayaks without a roof rack can accommodate two eighty-pound kayaks.

Utility trailers

Utility trailers for transporting two kayaks do not require a roof rack. The rack can be attached to the roof of a pickup truck. They come in many different shapes and sizes, and are easy to use. A roof rack does not take up much storage space when not in use. To add a roof rack to your trailer, simply mount J-bars and tie down straps to the trailer’s roof.

If you are considering purchasing a kayak trailer, keep in mind that they have longer tongues than conventional utility trailers. This prevents the kayaks from slamming against the back of the vehicle while turning. Although you can purchase a flat-bed trailer at a hardware store, you will likely need to modify the tongue yourself. However, if you are handy with tools, you can do this yourself for around $1,500.