If you are an avid kayaker or are just now getting started in the sport, learning how to safely transport your kayak is important.
You may be wondering if you can fit a kayak inside an SUV, and the simple answer is a resounding yes, depending on the dimensions of your vehicle and the kayak.
What Are the Typical Sizes of Kayaks?
There is a wide range of possibilities when it comes to choosing a size for your kayak. The average of these vessels is around ten feet. Kayaks range from 6 to 16 feet in length.
When choosing a kayak, you are going to need to consider the length of your legs first. Measure from the top of your thigh to the end of your toes.
You will want to make sure there is plenty of room for you to stretch your legs inside the kayak.
Do you know, generally speaking, that the longer the length of the kayak, the faster it goes?
If you are kayaking in rapids, you are going to need a shorter kayak than one used for gentle river rides.
What Are the Typical Sizes of SUVs?
Many people drive sport utility vehicles to transport their kayaks. While numerous kayakers place their vessels on the racks on top of their vehicles, it may be easier to transport your kayak inside an SUV.
Most SUVs allow you to fold the seats down or remove them entirely. By folding the seats, you will increase the cargo capacity from around 39.2 cubic feet to 74 cubic feet.
This will give you plenty of room for average-sized kayaks, though ten-foot models may hang from the back and require anchoring with tethers.
What Kayaks Fit Best in SUVs?
Choosing a kayak to fit inside your SUV is not as difficult as you might believe. While you may be able to place a full-sized kayak in the back of your SUV, you will need to make sure you fold all rows of seats down or remove them, if you have the option.
The following are some of the best types of kayaks for SUV transport. If you are new to kayaking, consider these options, so you can use the back of your sport utility vehicle to move your kayak from place to place.
Choose a Shorter Kayak
If you love going on the rapids, you are going to need a shorter kayak to manage the force of the waves. A shorter kayak will fit much easier inside of your SUV.
With a shorter kayak, you should be able to shut the back without issue. The shortest kayaks are typically around six feet.
Choose an Inflatable Kayak
To ensure you can fit a kayak inside any SUV, even without the seats folded down, choose an inflatable model.
Once deflated, these kayaks can be folded into a small box and kept in the trunk of your SUV, along with the rest of your kayak gear, so you are always ready for your next rowing adventure.
Choose a Foldable Kayak
Many people who are new to kayaking may be surprised to learn there are foldable kayaks available on the market. These kayaks fold easily and can even fit inside the trunk of a sedan.
By purchasing a foldable kayak, you will not have to worry about folding down the seats in your SUV.
Retaining the seats in their normal positions will allow you to bring along friends and family on your kayak outings.
Tips for Securing a Kayak in Your SUV
No matter the size of your kayak, you are going to need to secure it in the back of your SUV so it does not slide around, fall out, or become damaged. You need to secure both the kayak and the rear door.
Follow these steps to ensure you can safely transport your kayak to your destination.
- Find the metal D-hooks inside your SUV. These anchor points allow you to attach straps. Because they are metal, they will offer a secure hold. Never use a plastic anchor.
- Next, you will need to find the anchor points located on your kayak. You will find these look quite similar to the D-hooks on your SUV.
- You may use the scupper holes for anchoring if your kayak has them.
- Fold your SUV seats down for more room to maneuver the kayak into your vehicle.
- Use multiple cam straps to safely secure your kayak in the back of the SUV. Make sure to secure the kayak from moving forward or backward. Cam straps are highly affordable and just as effective as ratchet straps for securing a kayak.
- If your rear door will not shut entirely, you will need to secure it in place, using ratchet straps. You MUST ensure these straps are highly secure so the rear door does not open while you are driving.
Kayaks Do Fit Inside SUVs
While a full-sized ten-foot kayak will fit inside the back of your SUV, you are going to need to fold down or remove the seats and will likely be unable to shut the rear door. Following the steps above will help you secure your kayak.
By purchasing a smaller vessel or one that folds or inflates, you will find a kayak that fits with ease in the back of most SUVs, given the approximate 39 cubic feet of cargo room, even with the seats in place.