Getting into kayaking usually comes with a lot of questions and doubts, many of which include obtaining the kayak and then handling it.
Someone who has never owned a boat or anything similar does not have any idea about how challenging it can be done to so.
While actually buying a kayak is a problem on its own as well as a big decision and a lengthy investment, an even bigger deal is how to handle it and bring it to the water.
Kayaks are not small which automatically means that you will have problems whenever you want to take it out and bring it to your local beach, lake, or river.
Even the smallest of models, which are usually those 10 feet long, is quite a challenge to store, maintain, and of course transport.
Most kayakers use trailers that they tow with their vehicles or place them in the beds of their trucks. While both options are more than viable, not everyone can do it.
Buying a trailer is expensive and those who do not have trucks are at a disadvantage.
What about sports utility vehicles though, the popular SUVs?
They are surely big enough to accommodate 10-feet long kayaks, right? Well, yes, they should be, but it is not that simple.
Fitting a kayak is not enough. It needs to be safe in transport, not damage the SUV, and not hurt the driver and passengers.
On top of that, it needs to be within road rules and traffic laws.
So can you fit a 10-feet long kayak in an SUV? Read on to find out more about this.
It Is Possible
Without further ado, let us address the titular question.
As a matter of fact, yes, you can fit a kayak that is 10 feet long in an SUV.
What is more, you can only do it with kayaks of this size since bigger ones like 12 feet or 14+ feet long paddling boats are impossible to transport in an SUV.
Therefore, you are in luck. If you still do not have a kayak but own an SUV, it is important to know this.
Make sure to aim for a kayak that is 10 feet long and not an inch more, or it will be a struggle.
Kayaks that are 10 feet in length are considered smaller, but some may still stick out of the back of your vehicle.
With this being said, if possible, you should buy a kayak according to your SUV. The best type of paddling boat to buy would be an inflatable or folding kayak, but we understand that this is not always possible.
Having either of these means that the seats do not have to go down and that you can fit the maximum number of passengers in the car.
A full-sized kayak implies disrupting the space and not carrying anything else in the back.
Tips for Securing a Kayak Inside an SUV
The best option is to always transport the kayak on the roof, but the roof is also often used for other items and commodities.
It also requires additional items like special carriers and tie-downs.
Doing it inside the SUV does seem like an easier solution but you need to know how to secure the boat while it is there with you.
It needs to be inside in its entirety, it should not slide around or move back and forth. The rear door (especially the window) of the car also needs to be secured, and locking it is not enough.
Metal D hooks inside your SUV act as perfect anchor points to which straps can be attached.
Since they are metal, they will keep the kayak in place and give it a secure hold.
Plastic anchors should never be used. Find anchor points on the kayak, or scupper holes, to which you will also attach straps.
Before putting the kayak in, fold down the last row of seats in your SUV to fit it inside more easily.
Not all cars are equal and some may actually be easier to accommodate a kayak in with a few seats up.
For example, you can slide the kayak sideways with only the left or right sear being down and then secure the kayak to the inside of the door.
Whatever you do, the kayak should not be sticking out the back.
Use elastic straps to secure the kayak to anchor points.
Once you think you are done, use a bit of force and try to wiggle it around, side to side and front to back.
If it stays in place, it should be good to go. Cam straps are the best choice, but elastic tie-downs with hooks also do wonders.
Conclusion and Takeaways
Having an SUV makes a lot of things easier. Whenever you need to travel, it is easier because of so much room.
The fact that it is a sporty vehicle means good performance like speed and handling.
The utility part gives it various features that make it useful in numerous situations, from city driving to off-roading.
They are popular for a reason and more and more people opt to buy them instead of coupes and sedans, even trucks.
Fitting a kayak inside a regular-sized SUV is therefore more than possible.
It is a very optimal way to do things and often a much better solution than trailers or trucks.
Trailers are too much work and they influence driveability, while trucks do not offer that much protection since they are completely open and exposed to the elements and debris.
The most important thing to remember is that you own an SUV and not a kayak, meaning you should browse kayaks and make your purchase based on your vehicle.
Keep it 10 feet long and look for a model that has places where it can be tied down.
Thinking ahead will save you from trouble and prevent you from limiting the number of people inside the car as you travel on your kayaking trip.
Meet Maria Alexander, the fearless adventurer steering the ship at KayakPaddling.net. Her mission? To convince you that life’s too short for dry land and that the best stories always start with “So there I was in my kayak…”