Beyond the Size

Finding the Perfect Kayak for SUV Transport: A Comprehensive Guide

Kayaking is an exciting recreational activity that many people have come to love. The thrill of navigating through the waves and rapids is a feeling that is hard to replicate.

If you own an SUV and want to transport your kayak, there are various factors to consider. In this article, we will delve into the dimensions of kayaks and SUV’s capacity to help you choose the best kayak for transportation in your SUV.

Kayak Dimensions and SUV Capacity

Kayaks come in different sizes, from 6 feet to 16 feet in length. The length you choose will depend on the intended use and your leg length.

A longer kayak is ideal if you like to cover great distances, while a shorter kayak is suitable for rapids and managing waves. The speed of your kayak can be determined by its length, with longer kayaks being faster.

When choosing a kayak for transportation, ensure that it fits in your SUV. You can either opt for a kayak that can be secured on top of your SUV or one that can be transported inside.

SUV’s cargo capacity is an essential factor to consider when deciding to transport a kayak. Fold-down seats in your SUV can create more space for your kayak.

The SUV’s roof rack can be used for anchoring your kayak with tethers. Typical sizes of SUVs range from compact to mid-sized to full-sized.

If you have a compact SUV, you may have to transport a shorter kayak that can shut the back easily, such as a 6-foot kayak. Mid-sized SUVs can accommodate an inflatable kayak that can be folded into a small box and can fit into any SUV’s trunk.

Full-sized SUVs can transport large kayaks that can accommodate friends and family and retain the SUV’s seats.

Best Kayaks for SUV Transport

Shorter kayaks for rapids

Shorter kayaks are ideal for rapids and managing waves. These kayaks can easily fit in the back of your SUV.

A 6-foot kayak can be a great option if you have a smaller SUV. The shorter kayak will not only fit easily in your vehicle but will also be easier to transport due to its compact size.

Inflatable kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are becoming increasingly popular because of their convenience and ease of transportation. These kayaks are portable and can fit in any SUV.

Additionally, they come with a pump that you can use to inflate them once you arrive at your destination. The inflatable kayaks are easy to store since they can be deflated and folded into a compact box.

Foldable kayaks

Foldable kayaks are a great choice if you want to retain the seats in your SUV. These kayaks can be folded up and stored in your vehicle’s trunk, leaving the backseats available for passengers.

Foldable kayaks can accommodate friends and family, and they come in different sizes. These kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport.


Kayaking is an exciting activity that can be made more enjoyable when you have the right kayak for transportation in your SUV. Kayaks come in different sizes and styles, so it is essential to choose one that fits your needs and preferences.

With a compact SUV, shorter kayaks are ideal for transportation. For larger SUVs, foldable kayaks are a great option since they are easy to store, lightweight, and can retain the SUV’s seats.

An inflatable kayak can fit in any SUV and is easy to store since it can be deflated and folded into a compact box. With all these great options, you can find a kayak that is perfect for your SUV and riding needs.

If you are planning to transport your kayak on a trip, it is essential to know how to secure it in your SUV. Proper security is necessary to prevent any damage to the kayak and ensure safe transportation.

Here are some tips for securing a kayak in your SUV.

Finding Anchor Points in Your SUV and Kayak

Most kayaks come with metal D-hooks that allow you to secure them to the SUV’s anchor points. The anchor points are usually found in the roof of the SUV.

Once you have located these points, attach the kayak to the anchor points using cam straps. Additionally, scupper holes on the bottom of your kayak, if your kayak has them, can also be used as anchor points.

The scupper holes can be used to attach bungee cords that will keep your kayak in place. Folding Down SUV Seats, Using Multiple Cam Straps, and Securing the Rear Door

Folding down the SUV seats creates more cargo room, allowing you to fit a full-sized kayak in the vehicle.

Once you have folded down the seats, spread a tarpaulin or blanket in the SUV’s cargo area to protect the vehicle’s interior from any damage. After folding the seats and creating a flat surface, place the kayak on the tarpaulin.

Next, use multiple cam straps to secure the kayak to the car’s anchor points. For better stability, the kayak should be strapped from multiple points.

The straps should be tight enough to keep the kayak stable but not too tight to cause any damage to the vehicle or the kayak. Make sure the kayak does not move or rattle while you are driving.

If the kayak is too long and extends out of the rear door, it is essential to secure the rear door to prevent it from opening while driving. Use ratchet straps to secure the rear door with the kayak’s handle.

Kayaks Fit Inside SUVs

Most kayaks can fit inside SUVs, making it easy to transport them. For instance, a full-sized ten-foot kayak can comfortably fit in an SUV with cargo room of up to 39 cubic feet.

The SUV’s size determines the length of the kayak that can be transported. Kayaks come in different sizes, so it is crucial to find a kayak that fits your SUV’s cargo space.

A longer kayak may not fit in a compact SUV, while a shorter kayak may not be suitable for open waters. Therefore, research various kayak options appropriate for different sizes of SUVs.


Proper security and transportation of your kayak in your SUV are essential to avoid any damage to both the kayak and the car. The anchor points inside the vehicle, such as D-hooks and scupper holes, can be used to secure the kayak.

Folding down the SUV seats and using cam straps and ratchet straps ensures the kayak is held securely in place and prevents damage while transporting. Remember to secure the rear door if the kayak extends out of the vehicle.

With these tips, you can safely transport your kayak, and enjoy your kayaking experience to the fullest. In conclusion, transporting a kayak in your SUV requires careful consideration of the kayak’s dimensions, finding suitable anchor points, and securing it using multiple cam straps.

By following these tips, you can ensure the safe transportation of your kayak and prevent any damage to it or your SUV. Here are some common questions and answers to help you transport your kayak with ease:


Can kayaks fit inside SUV’s? Answer: Yes, most kayaks can fit inside SUVs, with cargo space ranging from 39 cubic feet for a full-sized SUV to smaller spaces for compact SUVs.


How do I secure a kayak in my SUV? Answer: Use metal D-hooks, scupper holes, multiple cam straps, and ratchet straps to secure the kayak to the car’s anchor points.

3. How do I prevent damage to my SUV and kayak?

Answer: Use a tarpaulin or blanket to protect the vehicle’s interior, keep the kayak stable using multiple cam straps, and secure the rear door if the kayak extends out of the vehicle. 4.

What type of kayak is best for SUV transport? Answer: Shorter kayaks for rapids, inflatable kayaks, and foldable kayaks are all great options, depending on your SUV’s cargo space and intended use.

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