Kayak Transport

How Long A Kayak Can Your Vehicle Carry For All Vehicles

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!

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.

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Recommended Kayak Size Limits By Vehicle Size Class
(tap table to scroll)

Size Class

Model Example

Car Length (ft)

Kayak Length (ft)

Mini Car

Fiat 500

11.6'

8.5'

Small Car

Mitsubishi Mirage

12.5'

9.5'

Mid-Size Car

Chevy Sonic

14.5'

11.5'

Full-Size Car

Ford Edge

15.7'

12.5'

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.

Tracy Villarreal

You just purchased a new kayak, and your family is thrilled. You've already booked two kayaking excursions for the summer. But, do you know how to transport a kayak without breaking the bank?Utility trailers are a costly solution. You're not sure how much weight you can carry on your car's roof. But, you need to find a safe to haul your kayak. After all, there's nothing more depressing and dangerous

Read More

How To Transport Your Kayak In A Truck?

There are a few additional options for transporting your kayak using a truck. This article outlines some of the major options. 

Tracy Villarreal

Having a pickup truck is one of the most useful things I own. Anyone who owns one feels this way too. One of my favorite things to haul is my kayak.There are several ways you can transport a kayak in a truck.Smaller kayaks can fit in the bed with the tailgate up.Medium kayaks can be strapped in with the tailgate down.Larger kayaks can be hauled using a bed load extender.You

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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. How Long Are Kayaks?


Summary

  • 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

Thank you for reading this article. Please help us to provide more valuable content to you by leaving a comment below with any questions or topic suggestions.

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About the author 

Tracy Villarreal

Tracy has been fishing Texas' beaches, piers, and inshore waters for over 30 years. A kayak fisherman for the last three years, Tracy is dedicated to helping others make the most of their trips by writing informative tips, guides, and onpoint articles based on his own experience since 2018.

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