Kayaks come in different sizes depending on purpose and kayaker needs. Your vehicle has its own limitations to how long (and heavy) a kayak it can safely carry.
Do you wonder how long a kayak your vehicle can carry? This article has a chart of typical vehicles and their estimated size limitations and other handy resources.
Let’s get started!
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How Long A Kayak Can Your Vehicle Carry?
Carrying a kayak on the roof of your car is like navigating white water. It will want to rock from side-to-side and back-and-forth, as you travel down the highway.
The best technique to keep it in place is to strap it down in two places to hold it from side-to-side. Then, bind it on the bow and stern to keep it from spilling on your hood or behind you into traffic.
You will need to tie down the bow and stern of each kayak at an angle for stability. Because of this, we recommend limiting kayaks to 3 feet shorter as a minimum. This allows for the tie-down points to be with a proper angle. You will need to check the kayak rack requirements for additional details.
So, how long a kayak should you transport with your vehicle? Next is a guideline of vehicle size classes with length and recommended kayak maximum length.
Recommended Kayak Size Limits By Vehicle Size Class
|Size Class||Model examples||Car Length (Ft)||Kayak Length (Ft)|
|Mini Cars||Fiat 500||11.6||8.5|
|Small Car||Mitsubishi Mirage||12.5||9.5|
|Small SUV||Jeep Cherokee||15.1||12.5|
|Large SUV||Ford Expedition||17.5||14.0|
|Small Pickup||Chevrolet Colorado||17.7||14.0|
|Large Pickup||Chevrolet Silverado||19.1||15.0|
This chart represents the max kayak size recommended by vehicle class. It was developed from the manufacturer listed specifications.
Additionally, each state has laws pertaining to extended or oversized loads.
A vehicle or combination of vehicles may not carry a load that extends more than three feet beyond its front or, except as permitted by other law, more than four feet beyond its rear.Texas Department of Public Safety | Extended Loads
Not Sure How To Transport Your Kayak?
Here is a terrific post that guides you in choosing the best method for transporting your kayak. This is by vehicle and kayak size and how to decide about roof racks. Find out more at in this post.
How Long Are Kayaks Typically?
Ever wonder why kayaks come in different sizes? Here is a great article I found that describes the typical kayak categories and their typical lengths.
- Kayaks come in different sizes depending on purpose and kayaker needs
- Your vehicle has its own limitations to how long (and heavy) a kayak it can safely carry
- This article has a chart of typical vehicles and their estimated size limitations