Kayaking can be the sport you wait for a sum of time to enjoy. Now, for fulfilling of the purpose, one need to transport it to the beach, here, the kayak rack for car without rails helps in the efficient way to take them right on the spot. Our guides hold the relevant information that might help you buy the best kayak rack for car without rails. The important things you need to know before buying the kayak rack have been explained here—mainly includes; car roof ratio, kayak dimensions, the material of the kayak rack, durability, ease of installation, size capacity, and holding capability.

Editor's Pick


Malone J-Pro 2 Kayak Carrier

Material: Alloy Steel
Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 6 inches

Based on the universally convenient features—aesthetic design holding, durability, fitting ease, and high-end quality, we have selected Malone J-Pro 2 as the recommended model.

Things You Must Know Before Buying the Kayak Rack for Car

Certain things are necessary for you to check in order to get the right product—this will more likely increase your radiancy of the knowledge so that when you roam the market, the preferences would be already cleared;

Know your Car’s Base Roof Setup

the base roof of your car plays a keen role in the adjustment of the kayak rack. The stock roof can be simple/plain or have a certain mounting of crossbars on them. Make sure to know some of these;

  • Whether the roof has a crossbar.
  • The weight capacity that the crossbar can bear.

What if my Vehicle Does have the Crossbar?

Most of the off-road vehicle has crossbar installed on the roof as stock, but if one does not have it, then make sure you install it before getting on to the attachment of kayak rack. The reason behind the need is; if you need a kayak rack for cars without roof rails—then the crossbars will allow the adjustment of such kayak carriers.

Types of Kayak Rack

Certain types of racks are inn for carrying the kayak. Each of the sort is credited to give off different convenience for the user. These types of kayak rack for cars are;

Saddle Kayak Rack

The kayak is placed horizontally in the saddle kayak rack—The main streams of use are from the professional kayakers. The horizontal placement of the kayak leaves a good sum of space on the vehicle roof.

Aerodynamics: Because of the horizontal placement of the kayak on the roof of the vehicle, at higher speeds, there is no much bother from it—the ride is much safer and secure.

Stacker Kayak Rack

The stacker kayak racks are significantly known for holding multiple kayaks at a time. As per holding of different kayaks, the saddle kayak rack leaves accommodation for other supplies on the roof—but as for the stacker kayak rack, the placements of kayak is vertical, thus allowing for more kayaks.

Aerodynamics: due to the vertical placement of kayaks, it cannot be secure for faster and windy rides—many people consider this method a bit difficult.

J-Cradle Kayak Carrier

The J-cradle kayak carrier is significant for its placement of kayak—they are inclined at 45 degrees. This way the kayak is protective of its foam and has a very low ratio of tearing damage. The placement angle allows space for other kayak and if not, then for supplies as well. Plus, it looks much aesthetic.

Aerodynamics: The inclined kayak at 45 degrees on the roof, gives in a much safer ride in the faster speeds as well.

Ease in Installation

The rack comes in different installation processes, that can be and cannot be hustling.

Release Handles

The method involves the releasing of handles and the kayak is held or freed up. Their certain characteristics are;

  • This is convenient for short-distant uses.
  • The mounting and demounting are much quicker.

Screw Mounting

This sort of mounting requires certain dedication in installation and tool work is necessary. Their certain characteristics are;

  • They require screwdrivers and pliers for mounting and demounting.
  • The process would require some time.
  • The grip is much firmer than the release handle technology.

Mounting System

The mounting system of the kayak rack plays a vital role in the convenience of the user. Clamps and straps come in different installation measures.

Screw Brackets

Kayak rack for cars without rails have various screw brackets that mainly decides whether the racks would stay on the roof permanently or that they can be portable and unmounted.

Crochet Brackets

For the holding of kayaks upright—crochet brackets are popular. As the installation of the kayak is much easier. The mounting of crochet brackets allows the user to uninstall the rack whenever they are done with the transportation.


The material of the kayak rack is significantly important to look in—thus, while selecting the material, make sure to follow these;

  • The material should be soft—the kayak would not face any tearing.
  • The material should be gripping, as you don’t want your kayak to slip off right.

The considerable ones, according to the prescription are;

  • Foams
  • Rubber
  • Latex
  • Spandex

Top 6 Best Kayak Rack for Car Without Rails

Malone J-Pro 2 Kayak CarrierPrice on Amazon
Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 SeriesPrice on Amazon
ARTIPOLY Kayak Roof Rack for 2 Kayaks
Price on Amazon
Malone VersaRail Bare Roof Cross Rail Rack
Price on Amazon
IKURAM Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack
Price on Amazon
Mrhardware 2 Pairs Heavy Duty Kayak RackPrice on Amazon

1. Malone J-Pro 2 Kayak Carrier

Price on Amazon

Hot Features

  • Vehicle Service Type: Passenger Car
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 10 Pounds
  • E-coated
  • Corrosion-Resistant
  • Limited Lifetime Guarantee
  • Steel Construction

The Malone J-Pro 2 acquires the firm grip to hold the kayak. The set consists of bow and stern that safely ties-downs the large kayak. The model is integrated with the e-coating thus, acting as counterpart for the rust that is usual in other racks. The adjustable pads make it work as universal roof rack no rails helping them to accommodate every sort of kayak dimensions.

The J-style allows the installation of another set on the roof, thus convenient for accommodation of another kayak. The light weight of 10 pound makes it portable and easier to disengage from the roof. Manufacturers give in the limited lifetime guarantee thus, easier for one to trust the liability. The set includes bow and stern, two 12-foot cam buckle straps for finest gripping.

2. Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series

Price on Amazon

Hot Features

  • Material: Santoprene
  • Item Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 6 inches
  • Universal Fit Pads
  • 180 Degree Rotation
  • Contact Surface Area per Cradle: 2.95″ x 7.87″
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Firm Grip
  • Easy Installation

The Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 gives in the universal fitting that can mainly deal with the kayak and canoes. The pads are super adjustable with adjusting knobs. The fitting is not only for the kayaks, but they fit most popular brands of the roof rack crossbars. The rotation is leveled up to 180 degrees with a large contacting area of 2.9 X 7.8, thus, giving off the robust grip for the kayak with different hulling shapes.

The durability of these sets is much higher as the material is resistant to corrosion, UV protected and waterproof. The security Allen Key adds in the aesthetic of the rack. The larger surface accommodation allows the user to deal in with the transportation with supremely increased stability.

3. ARTIPOLY Kayak Roof Rack for 2 Kayaks

Price on Amazon

Hot Features

  • Vehicle Type: Passenger Car, SUV, Truck
  • Weight: 17.26 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 10 inches
  • Type: J-Bar Carrier
  • 180 ° Adjustability Range
  • Holding Capacity: 165 lbs.
  • Paddle Holders
  • Extra Roping

The Artipoly Kayak Roof Rack has base material composition of aluminum that makes it much robust, light-weight and strong than the normal steel constructions. The rubber lining on the model allows for better gripping of the larger kayaks. The package has three extra ropes for the ultra-satisfaction of the user. The J-bar rack is designed to adjust in a range of 180°.

The usage is multi, not limiting to the kayaks but can be used for transportation of water to other sport equipment—canoe, boat paddle, wake surfing boards etc. The high-density foam embedded on the racks doesn’t let any tearing to the kayaks. The J-bar is integrated with quick raise and easy foldable design thus, allowing the highly convenient adjustment.

4. Malone VersaRail Bare Roof Cross Rail Rack

Price on Amazon

Hot Features

  • Material: Composite
  • Dimensions: 58 x 8 x 5 inches
  • Vehicle Type: Passenger Car, SUV, Truck
  • Weight: 12.5 Pounds
  • Loading Capacity: 135 lbs.
  • Rust-Free Coating
  • Attachment Straps

The Malone VersaRail Kayak Rail are made of composite material, thus being light weight and easy to transfer. The model does not require any cross bars on the roof of the vehicle. The attachment straps having wide 1. 5” safety length gives in the firm fitting for the user.

The rack is adherent to corrosion because of load bar coating. The adjustable foot to the rail allows for much universal fit—convenient attachment on different vehicles. The rail is robust having a bearable capacity of up to 135 lbs. the commodity is not limited to the kayaks only, but the rail design lets other water supply such as canoe, wake surf boards, etc. easily on.

5. IKURAM Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack

Price on Amazon

Hot Features

  • Weight: 21.7 pounds
  • J-Cradle Technology
  • Aluminum Grade Material
  • Quick Foldable Design
  • Accommodation: up to 2 Kayaks
  • Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 11 Inches
  • Vehicle Type: SUV, Passenger Car, Truck

The Ikuram Kayak Rack is apprehensible for accommodation of up to the two kayaks at a time. The increased size of the carrier even allows for the stand-up paddle boards to settle on. The robust composition of aluminum grade loads on a burden of up to 156 lbs. (72 kgs). The kit is loaded with bow sterns, safety tie-downs and heavy-duty straps that ensures a safe and firm carriage of supplies.

The acrylic fabric sleeves are super soft, thus not letting any tearing damage to the kayak or other supplies. The design is easy to mount, convenient to raise and quick to fold. The release handles are installed to deal with the adjustment (increasing/decreasing) of overhead clearance.

6. Mrhardware 2 Pairs Heavy Duty Kayak Rack

Price on Amazon

Hot Features

  • Loading Capacity: 150 Pounds
  • 2 Pairs Roof Rack
  • Vehicle Type: Passenger Car
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Adjustable Padding
  • Easy Screw Installation
  • Dimensions: 17 x 6 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 15.43 Pounds

The Mrhardware Heavy Duty Kayak Rack is j-style carrier that is especially integrable to passenger cars. The model consists of each two set of mounting hardware that uses the loose to prevent the installation of typical screws. The package comes with 10-feet long ratchet rope having the width of around 1-inch, and high-quality buckle belts. The belts maintain a robust grip against the bumps of journey and making the ride safer.

The alloy steel construction is strong and durable to pass a certain lifetime—the tie-down straps are factory tested that can bear up to 600 lbs. of break strength. The mounting hardware design uses 2 pieces, equipped with EVA sticker that will more likely protect the car’s bar.


Planning to go for that kayaking trip occasionally or is it being your regular sports—the transportation is always a liability, such for almost every trip, one need to be cautious about the installation and the grip of the kayak. Dealing the query of transferring them safely, the robust kayak racks are useful in the manner. Instance, kayak rack for cars without rails allows the kayakers to travel with their rocking sets of kayaks while not giving them damage. Here, we have explained certain things that you must know about the racks, like—the types of kayak racks, installation processes, material used in them, placement of the kayak on the rack etc. Also, the enlisted models are according to the universality of use, durability, gripping quality, and extensive history of providing robust convenient to the kayakers.


How to transport 2 kayaks without a roof rack

Ikuram Carrier is the finest double kayak rack for car without rails that ensures the transportation of up to 2 kayaks at once. The model does not require any roof rack and holds the kayak firmly. the fitting over the roof is likewise easy and quicker.

How to transport a kayak without a roof rack

The kayak carriers for cars without roof racks are specifically made for the transportation of the kayaks. The strap and rope holdings allow the firm grip to them. Carriers places the kayak incliningly at a certain angle—the mounting and demounting is easier and quick.

How do you transport a kayak without a crossbar?

Any of the best kayak roof rack will allow the transportation without initiating a need for cross bar on the vehicle. Some of roof rack for kayak are directly installable thus, making it easier for the user to cope with conveyance of kayaks.

Do I need cross bars for a kayak rack?

The kayak racks mounted on the cross bars ensures a sober carriage of the kayaks—as the height from the base roof prevents liminary damage and tearing of the paint. Having factory inserted cross bars on the vehicle allows you to install various robust kayak rack types; stackers, or j-cradle etc.

How do you transport a kayak with a car?

If the car has cross bars, then it is certainly—directly possible to transport kayak with the help of kayak racks for cars without rails. The kayaks are placed on the racks and ready to go. The accommodation depends on the roof surface, cross bars capacity, size of the kayaks, and racks installed on the car.

Author Edward Grey

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