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Best Kayak Roof Rack for Cars Without Rails in 2024

Looking for the perfect kayak rack for cars without rails? We’ve done the research and found options to fit every budget, from affordable to premium.

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While many vehicles come equipped with roof rails, not having them shouldn’t deter your adventures. There are plenty of kayak racks for cars without rails, and we’ve sifted through the options to bring you the best of the best.

Types of Kayak Racks for Cars Without Rails

Before delving into the specific product reviews, it’s helpful to first understand the different styles of kayak racks available for cars without rails:

  • Clamp Attach Crossbars: These crossbars attach directly to the car’s roof using clamps. They’re popular due to their sturdiness and ability to mimic the traditional rail system.
  • Strap and Suction Attach Crossbars: Unlike the clamp attach variant, these crossbars use straps that go inside the car doors to secure the system. Additionally, some models employ vacuum towers. These towers create a strong suction on the car’s roof, ensuring the crossbars remain firmly in place.
  • Soft Roof Rack Pads: Perfect for occasional users, these pads cushion the kayak and protect the roof of your car. They’re easy to install and remove.
  • Inflatable Roof Racks: A newer entrant, these racks are inflated when needed, making them convenient and space-saving.
  • Foam Blocks: A straightforward and budget-friendly choice, foam blocks sit directly on your car’s roof. You just place the kayak on top and secure it with straps. For more on this method, see our guide on how to transport a kayak without a roof rack.

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