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Strap Two Kayaks to a Roof Rack


Two Kayaks on Roof Rack

Two Kayaks on Roof Rack

Photo © by George E. Sayour
Trying to strap two kayaks to a factory installed roof rack or aftermarket roof rack without roof rack attachments can be a challenge. Most roof racks will easily support and carry two kayaks at a time if they are placed on the roof rack using the proper method. This article will explain the steps for safely and securely strapping two kayaks to a roof rack. Some steps require further explanation. Click the heading of these steps for a more in depth explanation and a photo illustrating the procedure mentioned.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Understand the Procedure to Strap Two Kayaks to a Roof Rack
    Straps must be placed on the roof rack before the kayaks. Once the kayaks are on the roof rack it becomes difficult to get the straps into place. Also, the kayaks must be strapped down to the rack individually. Whenever two or more kayaks are strapped using the same straps you run the risk of them shifting during the drive and having the kayaks slip through the straps.
  2. Place The Straps on the Kayak Roof Rack
    Place two straps on each cross bar of the roof rack. Bring both straps to the middle of the each crossbar. The two straps that are the front crossbar should be resting on the middle of the windshield. The two straps that are on the rear crossbar should be resting against the middle of the rear window. Make sure they are not twisted and that you can reach them, particularly the ones on the front windshield.
  3. Place One Kayak on the Roof Rack
    Place a kayak on one side of the roof rack. You may need to try it in different positions to find the best way for your kayak to sit on the car. Keep the kayak as far to the driver or passenger side as you can.
  4. Strap the First Kayak to the Roof Rack
    Throw the straps over the kayak and secure the straps. Leave the straps loose at this point as you may need to adjust this kayak once you place the other one on the rack.
  5. Place the Other Kayak on the Roof Rack.
    Place this kayak on the roof rack and push it up against the other kayak. If there is plenty of room on the rack you can leave a gap between this kayak and the first one. If you are tight on space, adjust the other kayak so that you make room for both kayaks to fit on the roof rack.
  6. Strap the Second Kayak to the Roof Rack
    Throw the straps over the kayak and secure the straps. Tighten these straps so that this kayak is securely fastened to the kayak roof rack.
  7. Tighten Down the First Kayak
    Go back to the first kayak, ensure its position is still good, and tighten the straps down. If its position is off or it doesn’t want to sit on the rack correctly you may need to loosen up the other kayak and reset them both.
  8. Wrap the Kayak Straps Up and Recheck the Kayaks
    Give both kayaks and the roof rack a check to make sure you’re happy with how they are sitting. Wrap the straps up around the cross bars of the rack to ensure they don’t blow in the wind.


  1. Purchase straps that are just a couple of feet longer than you need.
  2. Have different length straps on hand.two

What You Need

  • Two Kayaks
  • Kayak Straps
  • Roof Rack

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