How Fast Can You Drive With A Kayak On The Roof?

You may ask yourself, “how fast can you drive with a kayak on the roof?”

The answer: it depends.

Tossing a kayak onto the roof of a car is a popular way to get to and from the water, but how fast can you safely drive?

There are a few things to consider when driving with a kayak on the roof of your car.

This blog post will explore factors that affect how fast you can drive with a kayak on the roof.

In addition, we will provide some tips for safely transporting your kayak on top of your car.

How Fast Can You Drive With A Kayak On The Roof?

As long as the kayak is well secured with straps and bow and stern lines, there is no reason you can’t drive 65-75 MPH. You should always obey the legal speed limit. If you are going to transport your kayak at high speeds, it is important to check your straps and lines frequently to ensure they are still secure. In addition, be aware of driving conditions (like high wind) when transporting kayaks on top of your car.

How To Transport A Kayak On The Roof

There are multiple ways to transport a kayak on the roof of your car. Some require a little more creativity than others.


Many cars come equipped with crossbars, but if yours doesn’t have them, you’ll need to invest in a set.

Crossbars provide a sturdy base for attaching items to the roof of your car, and they’re relatively easy to install.

Once the crossbars are in place, you can strap the kayak directly to them. Be sure to use strong, durable straps around the bulkhead areas and bow and stern straps to increase safety.

When transporting a kayak on crossbars, always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the driving and road conditions.

You can transport your kayak safely and securely with a little planning and care.


If you’re looking for a safe and secure way to transport your kayak, you may consider using J cradles.

These cradles, like Yakima’s JayLow’s, mount onto your vehicle’s roof racks and provide a stable platform for your kayak.

Additionally, they feature adjustable arms that allow you to customize the fit for different kayak sizes. On some cradles, the arm can be fixed at 90 degrees, which means you can carry two kayaks.

While J cradles are a great option for transportation, they can be a bit pricey.

However, many feel that the peace of mind that comes with knowing your kayak is securely mounted is worth the investment.

Pool Noodles

You can transport your kayak on pool noodles if you don’t have a kayak roof rack or crossbars.

Pool noodles are inexpensive, easy to find, and can work in a pinch.

However, they’re not the greatest solution for transporting a kayak.

To use pool noodles, run a strap through the noodle so you can attach the noodle securely inside the cab of the car and door jamb.

Then strap the kayak on top of the car and run these straps through the cab.

If possible, it’s best to invest in a proper roof rack or crossbars. But if you’re in a bind, pool noodles can get the job done.

Foam Blocks

Like pool noodles, foam blocks have straps that attach the blocks to the roof of the car by securing the straps inside the cab.

Foam blocks have a wedge cut out, and you set the hull of the kayak on top of the wedge.

Blocks are an inexpensive option to attach your kayak to the roof of your car.

Kayak Stacker

A kayak stacker attaches to crossbars and is a great way to transport for more than one kayak.

Make sure the kayaks are secure with straps, bow, and stern lines.

Other Ways To Transport A Kayak

Kayaks on the grassPin
Source: Paddle About

There are other ways to transport your kayak besides on the roof of your car. Here are a few examples.

Kayak Trailer

Kayaks are a great way to enjoy the outdoors but can be difficult to transport. You can easily haul your kayak from one destination to another with a kayak trailer.

Kayak trailers are available in various sizes and styles, so you can find one that perfectly fits your needs.

They can be expensive, but you can save money by making a DIY kayak trailer.

Kayak trailers are easy to load and unload because they bring the kayak closer to the ground.

This makes it much easier on your back and reduces the risk of damaging your kayak.

A kayak trailer is definitely the way to go if you transport more than one kayak.

You can find various models online or at your local sporting goods store.

Shop around to find the perfect kayak trailer for your needs and budget.

Truck Bed

If you own a pickup, the truck’s bed is an option to get your kayak to and from the water.

There are a few things to remember when transporting a kayak in the bed of a pickup.

First, it’s important to ensure that the kayak is securely fastened.

This can be done by using straps, bungee cords, or rope. It’s also important to position the kayak, so it’s balanced and not likely to shift during transport.

If you have a long or heavy kayak, like a fishing kayak, you may want to use a hitch extender to provide additional support.

Following these simple tips ensures that your kayak arrives at its destination safely and soundly.

Final Thoughts

Transporting a kayak on the roof of your car can be a safe and easy way to get it to and from the water.

With some planning and care, you can easily strap your kayak in place for a worry-free drive.

If you’re unsure how to transport your kayak, plenty of options are available, including J cradles, pool noodles, and foam blocks.

As long as the kayak is properly secured with straps, bow, and stern lines, you should have no problem driving up to 65-75 MPH.

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About the author
Steve Morrow
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.