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The 6 Best Cars for Kayaks (Top Vehicles For Transporting Kayaks)

The popularity of kayaking is exploding in the United States.

It is one of the easiest ways to get on the water, and there are some spectacular places to try it.

Not only is it fun and a great way to get some exercise, but you also get to connect with nature.

Given that kayaking doesn’t require much physical strength, it is an activity that the whole family can enjoy.

With the advent of pocket-friendly kayaks at big-box retailers, kayaking is within reach for everyone.

As per data, there are nearly 17 million kayakers in the United States.

This number is growing rapidly.

If the kayaking bug has bitten you, chances are you want to take your kayak out on the water all the time.

However, not all of us live stone’s throw away from a lake.

You need to transport your kayaks to the water, and this can be a challenge.

If your car is not great for hauling kayaks, it can take the fun out of this sport.

If you’re a frequent kayaker, it is best to invest in a car that can support your passion for it.

Here are some of the best cars for kayaks.

Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is a mix between a car and a crossover SUV.

It is extremely popular amongst adventure enthusiasts and makes for a great kayak hauler for several reasons.

The engine delivers 182 horsepower and has great mileage.

It has 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The X-MODE optimizes the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system to provide great traction and stability on difficult terrains.

The standard roof rails and integrated crossbars make it ideal for transporting kayaks.

You can easily fold these away when not in use.

Coupled with excellent safety features such as driver-assist and crash protection for all passengers, the Outback makes for a great option.

There’s also enough space for gear and luggage with a cargo space of 32.5 cubic feet.

It also comes with an 11.6-inch touch screen multimedia system and premium audio system to make those long journeys all the more enjoyable.

Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is a bestseller for a reason.

It is a powerful beast with features that provide you with the best of both worlds.

It comes with the best-in-class towing and payload capacity.

There are several powertrain options to choose from based on your needs.

The new interior is premium and has extra storage cubbies to store all your travel knick-knacks.

It also comes with a wonderful infotainment system to keep you entertained.

You can get up to an eight-foot bed, making it a stellar choice for carrying your kayaks and other paddleboard equipment.

Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is a versatile vehicle.

It is not only a family favorite but also makes for a good outdoorsy option.

It offers excellent cargo volume and luggage space, so you can load all your gear into it with ease.

It has a powerful engine and provides the best in class mileage.

No matter the terrain or the distance, you can enjoy it all with the CR-V.

It is also the best pick when it comes to safety.

The CR-V has a five-star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The only drawback is that it doesn’t come with roof rails.

You will have to set some money aside to get the roof rails and crossbars to transport your kayaks.

It is an excellent option for those looking for a vehicle that can serve all kinds of needs.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee is a popular SUV, particularly for those interested in off-roading.

It comes with an excellent terrain management system that gives you superior handling and performance on all kinds of roads.

The 4-wheel drive makes cruising on mud and sands a lot easier.

It comes with a powerful engine and impressive ground clearance.

The Jeep has 20 inch fully polished aluminum wheels and over 70 safety features for complete peace of mind.

It boasts premium leather interiors and several smart tech features that make it an excellent option.

It comes with standard roof-rails making it easy to carry a couple of kayaks on the roof.

Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Tahoe comes with plenty of space and has seven seats, making it perfect for large families.

The rear seats can fold down to give you extra space for luggage and all your gear.

It has a powerful engine, excellent towing capacity, and a great entertainment system.

Tahoe is a 4-wheel drive with 20-inch all-terrain tires, making it perfect for all kinds of roads.

It also has many safety features such as collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure alert, and automated emergency braking.

The Tahoe comes with built-in roof-rails.

You can install cross rails and kayak carriers to haul your kayaks with ease.

Kia Soul

If you’re looking for a car that is easy on the pocket but can still pack in a punch and support your kayaking passion, Kia soul is a great option.

It is a versatile hatchback that provides a blend of comfort, safety, and utility.

It has several safety features such as auto emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot collision warning.

Soul also has a powerful engine for its category and 16-inch alloy wheels.

It comes with seating for five but has a split-folding rear seat and decent cargo space.

The Soul also has a 10.25-inch HD screen for its infotainment system.

You can easily add cross rails and a kayak carrier to transport your kayak safely and securely.

What to Consider

There are several cars out there that can make for great kayak carriers, and these are a few that we recommend.

However, you should keep a few critical factors in mind before making a purchase.

cars with kayaks on roof

It’s wise to think about your budget. If you have the money, it makes sense to invest in a car that will provide maximum comfort and safety.

You should also give some thought to how often you’ll be using your car to haul kayaks.

If it is only a few times a year, it may not be a great idea to spend a lot of money on features that cater to your kayaking hobby.

Next, you should also factor in the number of people who will be traveling with you.

If you have a large family, it will be better to invest in a larger SUV.

Lastly, think about the terrains you’ll be driving across.

If it is going to be muddy or sandy areas, it makes sense to invest in a car with good ground clearance and terrain management features.


Kayaking can bring a lot of joy.

A car that makes it easy for you to find this joy often is a great investment.

With our recommendations, you are sure to pick one that meets your needs and budget.