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How Can I Transport a Kayak with a Small Car?

Owning a small car or compact SUV doesn’t mean you should miss out on the chance to explore remote waters and paddle to your heart’s content. You may wonder, “How can I transport a kayak with a small car?” Fear not! With the right equipment, and proper planning, you can effortlessly transport your kayak wherever the adventure takes you. In this blog, we’ll explore several options to help you hit the water without compromising the safety of your kayak or vehicle.

Roof Racks: The Tried-and-True Method

Roof racks are one of the go-to solutions for transporting kayaks on small cars. Start by selecting a suitable roof rack that’s compatible with your car’s model and your type of kayak. Some popular options include J-cradles, saddles, and custom padding that cradle your kayak securely on your car’s roof.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for load limits and safe installation. Properly securing your kayak using straps and bow and stern lines and taking careful note of any overhead clearance issues will prevent any risk of damage to your kayak or vehicle. The roof rack method can also be harder for those with shoulder issues or with larger, heavier kayaks. Some kayak owners also get frustrated with the sand and dirt that inevitably gets on their car roof when the kayaks are being transported.

Foam Blocks: A Budget-Friendly Alternative

One inexpensive way to transport a kayak with a small car is to use foam blocks. You can quickly and easily place these lightweight and durable foam pads between your kayak and the roof of your small car. Just strap your kayak down with heavy-duty cam straps or rope, and don’t forget to secure the bow and stern lines for added safety!

Make sure to evenly distribute the kayak’s weight on your car’s roof. While this method is budget-friendly, repeated use may not deliver the same level of security as a dedicated roof rack system. If foam blocks and roof top are not completely cleaned of grit scratches can occur and the repeated use of foam blocks can cause wear on the clear coat or paint of your car.

Inflatable Kayaks: Pack Light, Paddle Big

Inflatable kayaks have come a long way in terms of quality, durability, and performance. You can transport your inflatable kayak inside the trunk of your small car, thanks to the convenience of being able to pack your kayak into a compact carrying bag.

This portable option eliminates the need for external carrying solutions and ensures your kayak stays safe from possible damage during transit. Modern inflatable kayaks deliver excellent stability, maneuverability, and comfort, making them suitable for various paddling conditions. Performance of inflatable kayaks do not match that of hardshell boats. Loading inflatable kayaks after a day of paddling can bring water and other contaminants into your vehicle.

Kayak Trailers: The Ultimate Transport Solution

For the utmost convenience, consider using a lightweight kayak trailer such as the SylvanSport GO EASY kayak trailer. Designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind, these trailers can safely and easily transport multiple kayaks behind your small car including small sedans and compact SUVs. The weight of the GO EASY trailer ranges between 235-305 lbs. An added benefit of trailers like the GO EASY is that you only have to hoist your kayak (or bike) to waist level versus trying to lift your boat onto an overhead roof rack. And the models with gear decks have room to carry other gear like tents, coolers, and fishing gear. Plus, when you arrive at the lake or river, you can back the GO EASY trailer right up to the water’s edge so that unloading the boats is a breeze. Trailers also make a great storage option for your kayaks and they are always ready to go! The suspension system of the GO EASY is optimized for the lightweight cargo of kayaks which means safer towing and less stress on the boats and gear. From lightweigtht whitewater play boats to heavy fishing kayaks, trailers like the GO EASY are the ideal transport solution.

The GO EASY can also be outfitted with bike racks and has the capacity to haul up to 4 bikes or boats. And when you’re not towing your toys, this versatile trailer can be used to tow mulch or small furniture items – essentially turning your car into a pick-up truck.

Now that you know the various options available for transporting your kayak with a small car, start planning your next outdoor adventure.. From roof racks and inflatable kayaks to the impressive SylvanSport kayak trailer, there’s a solution to fit every adventurer’s needs. So go ahead—pack your gear, strap your kayak on the car, and hit the open waters for a fun and exciting kayaking experience!

Explore the GO EASY trailer specs & photo gallery

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