Kayak Adventure: Transporting Your Kayak on a Jeep Wrangler

If you’re a proud Jeep Wrangler owner and an avid kayaker, you might be wondering how to transport your kayak on your Jeep. With limited cargo space, it may seem impossible, but fear not! There are ways to make it work and embark on exciting kayak adventures with your trusty Jeep Wrangler. In this article, we will explore different methods to transport a kayak on a Jeep Wrangler, including the best roof racks for your car.

Can a Kayak Fit in a Jeep Wrangler?

The answer to this question depends on the size of your kayak. Most kayaks are too long to fit inside a Jeep Wrangler, especially those that measure up to 18 feet. However, there are still options available for you. If you have an inflatable or foldable kayak, it can easily fit in your Jeep Wrangler’s cargo space. Additionally, smaller kayaks around 8 feet long or shorter can also fit inside. For longer kayaks, you will need to transport them on the roof of your Jeep.

Kayak on a Jeep Wrangler

Two Ways To Transport a Kayak on a Jeep Wrangler

The method you choose to transport your kayak on your Jeep Wrangler depends on whether your vehicle has a soft top or a hard top. Let’s explore the options for each type.

For Soft Top Jeep Wranglers

If you have a soft top Jeep Wrangler, which features a fabric cover over the top of the car and the rear window, you have a couple of options. One option is to install a roof rack on your Jeep Wrangler, specifically designed for this type of vehicle. The roof rack will allow you to securely strap your kayak on top. Make sure to choose a roof rack that is compatible with your Jeep Wrangler and allows for easy removal of the soft fabric cover. Another option is to attach a utility trailer to your Jeep Wrangler and transport your kayak that way.

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For Hard Top Jeep Wranglers

Hard top Jeep Wranglers have a hard shell of metal or fiberglass covering the entire cabin. To transport a kayak on a hard top Jeep Wrangler, it is easier to use crossbars mounted on the roof. These crossbars provide a secure base for your kayak. Simply strap your kayak to the crossbars, and you’re ready to go.

How to Fit a Kayak on a Jeep Wrangler In 5 Easy Steps

Now that you know the different ways to transport a kayak on your Jeep Wrangler, let’s dive into a step-by-step guide on how to safely load and secure your kayak on the roof.

  1. Measuring Your Vehicle’s Roof And Choosing a Roof Rack: The first step is to measure the length and width of your Jeep Wrangler’s roof. This will help you determine the appropriate size of the roof rack you need to purchase.

  2. Cleaning The Entire Roof: Before installing the roof rack, make sure to clean the roof thoroughly, removing any debris or objects. This will ensure a clean and scratch-free surface for the installation.

  3. Kayak Rack Installation: The installation process will vary depending on the type of roof rack you choose. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the roof rack securely on your Jeep Wrangler. Make sure to position and center the kayak rack according to OEM safety guidelines.

  4. Loading The Kayak: Lift your kayak off the ground and carefully place it on the roof rack. If the kayak is lightweight, you can do it yourself. For heavier kayaks, it’s advisable to have a friend or family member assist you in aligning and balancing the kayak on the roof rack properly.

  5. Securing the Kayak: Use cam or ratchet straps to secure the kayak on the roof rack. Place one strap near the front and another towards the back. Additionally, use a rope or twine to tie the kayak to the bumpers of your Jeep Wrangler. Make sure the kayak is securely fastened but avoid over-tightening to prevent damage to the hull.

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Jeep Wrangler Carrying a Kayak

Can You Carry a Kayak on the Roof of a Jeep Wrangler Without a Roof Rack?

While it’s possible to carry a kayak on the roof of a Jeep Wrangler without a roof rack, it is not recommended. The roll bars of your Jeep are not designed to securely hold a kayak. Crossbars increase the load-carrying limit of your vehicle and ensure the safety of your kayak on the roof. If you do decide to use the roll bars, travel with caution, reduce your speed, and frequently check the state of your kayak.

Best Roof Racks for Jeep Wrangler

When it comes to choosing a roof rack for your Jeep Wrangler, it’s important to select one specifically designed for this vehicle type. Here are some of the most recommended roof racks for Jeep Wranglers:

  • Malone Downloader Folding J-Style Universal Car Rack Kay: This roof rack features a built-in boarding ramp and fold-down technology for easy loading and increased overhead clearance.

  • HandiRack Universal Inflatable Soft Roof Rack Bars (Pair): This cost-effective option uses inflatable technology to cushion and protect your kayak and car’s roof from scratches. It is suitable for transporting various cargo types.

  • Exposed Racks: Exposed Racks offer an easy-to-install solution for carrying your kayak on top of your Jeep Wrangler. It fits both soft-top and hard-top Jeeps and is durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.

  • Hooke Road Wrangler Roof Rack 2 Crossbars Hard Top Kayak Cargo Rack Compatible: This roof rack is compatible with various Jeep Wrangler model years. It features wind noise-reducing strips and offers a relatively low weight carrying capacity, ideal for lightweight kayaks.

  • Snailfly Cross Bars Roof Rail Racks Fit for Jeep Wrangler: This roof rack provides a double weight carrying capacity and is easy to install by mounting the rain gutter on the hard top. It fits almost all Jeep Wrangler model years.

  • Mopar Accessories 82215387 Rack KIT: This roof rack is designed for 2018 and 2019 Jeep Wranglers. It features all-aluminum construction with a black powder-coated finish for corrosion resistance.

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Now that you have the knowledge and options to transport your kayak on your Jeep Wrangler, you can confidently plan your next kayaking adventure. Remember to choose a method that suits your Jeep Wrangler’s specifications and invest in a reliable roof rack for optimal safety and convenience.

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Q: Can I transport a kayak inside a Jeep Wrangler?
A: Most kayaks are too long to fit inside a Jeep Wrangler. However, inflatable or foldable kayaks, as well as smaller kayaks, can fit in the cargo space.

Q: How do I choose the right roof rack for my Jeep Wrangler?
A: Measure your Jeep Wrangler’s roof length and width to determine the appropriate size of the roof rack. Consider compatibility with your Jeep model and the ability to remove the soft fabric cover without uninstalling the roof rack.

Q: Can I carry a kayak on the roof of my Jeep Wrangler without a roof rack?
A: It is not recommended to carry a kayak on the roof of a Jeep Wrangler without a roof rack. The roll bars are not designed to securely hold a kayak, and using crossbars ensures the safety and stability of your kayak.

Wrapping Up

With the right equipment and knowledge, you can transport your kayak on your Jeep Wrangler and embark on thrilling adventures. Whether you choose to install a roof rack or use a utility trailer, make sure to follow the proper loading and securing procedures to ensure a safe journey. Happy kayaking!

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