You recently purchased a new kayak, paddle and PFD, and you’re all ready for some relaxing time on the water. You have everything you need and you’re officially considered a kayaker!
But wait… something’s wrong.
You have no way of transporting your kayak. You don’t own a pickup truck, your car’s trunk is too small, and you don’t have any crossbars.
You quickly realize your options are limited.
Unfortunately, that’s the predicament many kayakers find themselves in.
The J style roof racks work great if you have crossbars, but if you don't, it’s either blankets and ropes on top of your roof, a kayak hanging 8 feet out of your trunk, or the added expense of having to buy a trailer.
Luckily, there’s an easier alternative.
Our roof rack pads simply lay across your car’s roof and provide a soft padded surface to place your kayak on.
There’s one set of straps that attach the pads to your roof and another set of straps that attach your kayak to the pads. It’s that simple.
You don’t need crossbars and our pads can be used on any type of vehicle.
Roof racks pads aren’t anything new. They’ve been around for years and there’s multiple companies selling them, but there’s a few main differences between theirs and ours.
The first and most important difference is the length. Our roof pads are 38” long with 5” flaps on each end. A total of 48"
Why does this matter?
If you look at the other roof pad options, many of the pads are only 28-34” long.
These shorter lengths are fine if you have a narrow sea kayak, but what if you have a wider recreational kayak?
How can you fit a 34” wide kayak on 28” wide roof pads?
This never made sense to us, so we designed 38” long pads that can accommodate even the widest kayaks.
Our roof pads are made of durable 600D polyester fabric and high density, shock resistant EPE foam.
The foam is 2.5” thick, 5” wide and provides a soft, spacious surface that will keep your kayak and roof protected from bumps along the road.
The outer polyester fabric is thick enough to withstand the elements, but soft enough to not scratch your vehicle.
The two materials combined provide a safe way to securely attach and transport your kayak
Our roof pads come with a total of 6 straps.
Two 12’ straps are built into the pads and are used to attach the roof pads to your vehicle’s roof.
There’s a second set of 18’ straps that are used to attach your kayak to the roof and the pads.
And there’s two 15’ ropes that are used to attach your kayak to the front and rear of your vehicle.
Let’s dive in and explain how they work in more detail:
Step 1. Measure the width of your vehicle’s roof. Our roof pads are a total of 48” long. If your roof’s width is less than 48”, the roof pads may interfere with the doors. If your roof’s width is wider than 48”, you’re good to go!
Step 2. Remove the roof pads from the mesh storage bag and lay them across your vehicle’s roof. The front roof pad should be centered between the middle of the two front doors, the rear roof pad centered between the two rear doors.
Step 3. Open your car doors and bring the straps (that are already connected to the pads) through the inside of your car. Take the plain of the strap and run it through the bottom side of the buckle. Continue to tighten the strap until the roof pad is secured to the roof. Repeat for the second roof pad. Your roof pads are now attached to your vehicle.
Step 4. Place the kayak on top of the roof pads. It is important that the kayak is centered on the pads and the weight evenly distributed in the front and back.
Step 5. Take the two 18’ straps and place them over the top of the kayak. The straps should be lined up with the roof pads themselves. Again, with the car doors open, bring the straps through the inside of your car, buckle both ends together and tighten. Your kayak is now attached to your vehicle.
Step 6. Take the two remaining ropes and connect them to the bow and stern of your kayak. Take the end of the bow line and securely attach to the front of your vehicle, and take the end of the stern line and securely attach to the rear of your vehicle. These two lines add another layer of security. Please ask an auto body professional if you’re not sure how to connect these lines to your vehicle.
That’s all there is to it! Once you’ve got it figured out, the entire setup process takes less than 10 minutes.
IMPORTANT. Whenever you’re transporting a kayak on your vehicle’s roof, it’s best to test the tightness of the straps and overall set up of the roof pads numerous times before operating the vehicle at high speeds. Never assume everything is safe. Speed, wind, sharp turns and bumps can cause the kayak and straps to shift positions and loosen. Periodically inspecting the security of your kayak is highly recommended.
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When it comes to being outdoors and enjoying life, the mid-Atlantic region has it all! Centered between the more tropical southeastern states and the cooler, more varied seasons of the north, this area offers dozens of excellent paddling sites for all skill levels.
OK, so you’ve got your kayak, your sleeping bag, a tent and some bug spray. And you’re looking to go camping along a river for a couple of days. The key? Pack light and take only what you truly need. Remember that every ounce you pack is weight you’ll be moving as you paddle. Plan to conserve energy where and how you can.