Explore The Different Types And Features Of Kayak Roof Rack For Cars Without Rails

Kayaking is a super sport, but it’s buying and transportation are two different things. You need a safe and simple way to transport, whether you wish to take it home after you buy it or you are planning for future kayaking trips.  Is it possible to tie your kayak to your vehicle’s roof with the rope? There are chances that you damage your Kayak and your vehicle’s roof, if the Kayak stays on for long after leaving. To transport your kayak safely and conveniently you need a quality and durable – Kayak roof rack for cars without rails, you can go here.

You may be confused as to which one is the best for your needs, when you see the available options and styles.

Types Of Kayak Racks

You should know the differences in the rack types, before you decide to purchase one. They are placed in four categories –

  •     Temporary pads
  •     Saddles
  •     J-Cradles
  •     Stackers

How To Choose A Kayak Rack?

To choose the right Kayak rack for your car is not so easy. There are many factors to evaluate, when you choose the roof rack that suits your needs.

What’s The Base Roof Set Up Of Your Car?

Prior to selecting which roof rack to purchase , check your car to see what is already on the roof. There are four possibilities –

  •     Bare roof
  •     Side rails
  •     Factory crossbars
  •     Aftermarket crossbars

If the roof of your car is naked or fitted with side rails, then inflatable or foam pads are the only solution for carrying your Kayak, as there is nothing on the top of the car to attach the gear mount to.

When you like to have a sophisticated carrier, specifically designed for carrying Kayak, then you should have crossbars. If the car has factory crossbars, you may purchase one of the gear mounts designed for kayaks like saddles, stackers or J- cradles. Just check if there are weight limitations . If there are no crossbars, then you need to purchase a set of excellent roof rack crossbars.

Temporary Pads

Some SUVs are fitted with factory racks but many vehicles do not, specially cars. Temporary pads don’t require any base rack system to be installed on your car’s roof. They Come handy in the naked roof find situation. Temporary pads are easy to install and easy to remove. They have straps going around  inside of your car along the roof and over-the-counter so they are attached to inflatable or foam padding.

Temporary pads are only for short trips and for those who don’t carry Kayak  often. They are not for speedy travel. When you want a cheap and quick solution, to move a single Kayak to a local lake or river, then temporary pads are a perfect choice for you.


The pads that extend from your base right to bottom of Kayak are saddles . They may be as  single cradles or two separate pieces adjusted. Provides a bigger surface for Kayak to rest on  top of the car. Saddles provide additional security, that is you may travel through storms and heavy winds and the boat will stay put. Saddles apply aerodynamics of Kayak to cut down on wind resistance, therefore additional fuel cost and noise.


These are J style Kayak racks and  world’s most popular Kayak roof racks. They are called so as they are designed in J form. They are side loading racks at 45° angle on crossbars, giving more space to other adventure gadgets. If your car has a narrow roof and you want to cart a couple of Kayaks, saddles and rollers will not be useful, as they hold the Kayak in a vertical position.

J cradles are stable and secure and quick to load and unload. You need not load your Kayak from the back of the car , you can take the whole boat and side load it. If you’re in a heavy Kayak struggle, find strength to haul them sideways. This is true when the weather is rough or when you are exhausted from hours of kayaking. J Cradles are not ideal for paddlers who are too old or short, to lift boat to roof of car


Kayaks are set in an upright position on the sides of stackers, talking about 50% less crossbar space for the boat and giving maximum boat capacity. You can carry a Kayak and stack it against another Kayak. You can carry nearly four Kayaks on top of your car. Reason for choosing stackers – they are not expensive but easy and secure to install. They go well with any type of kayak except Kayak with  wide tandem sit on tops.

There are many companies that manufacture  roof racks but to get the right brand depends on what you want to use it for, your budget and your experience. Many Kayak carrier brands have lots of features that are similar to each other, still there are differences that make each one different from other. Some brands have special features which makes racks better in some aspects and some have all round aspects to their products, that keeps them on top of the list . When you understand these differences then choosing the right Kayak according to your needs will be easier.

There are many Kayak Carriers available in the market, manufactured by a large number of Companies. Given below is a list of some of the best Kayak carriers available in the market today –

  •     Thule
  •     Yakima
  •     Malone
  •     TMS

These are few bestseller Kayak careers available in the market and online. You can choose the one which suits your needs and enjoy your trip without any stress. If you are a new Kayaker, you may be worried about Kayak flying off during transport or how to lift the boat off the car onto the ground without any damage. You can buy plenty of ropes and strap it to the roof but there may be chances that you damage both the Kayak and the roof of your car in this process. This article may help you handle those situations and give  hassle-free transport experience.

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