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Availability of Kayak Carriers for Toyota Camry Without a Roof Rack


We have a Toyota Camry and I am tired of having to depend on my friends truck to get up and go kayaking. My husband is also interested in getting a kayak. We have no bars on top. Do we need them? Is there a system out there that would work for us??


Expert Reply:

Kayak carriers come in many varieties and some do indeed require a roof rack be present on the car. But there is also a lightweight and cost-effective type called a foam block kayak carrier that can be used on a vehicle with a bare roof, such as your Toyota Camry.

Apart from being less costly and lighter than other types, these foam block kayak carriers allow your car to retain its normal appearance when you're not hauling your kayaks. They are also really easy to store inside the trunk when not in use.

The linked page will show you our available foam block kayak carriers from SportRack (a division of Thule) and from Swagman. All have essentially the same general construction. All foam carriers include bow and stern tie downs.

My two novice kayaks weigh about 40-lbs each and two of these should be within the weight limit for most passenger cars but it is a good idea to check your Camry owner's manual for any guidance regarding its roof weight capacity and to confirm the weights of the two kayaks.

If you prefer a different type of kayak carrier, such as the popular J-style like # TH834 that requires a roof rack, then please let me know the model year and version of your Camry and I'll be glad to recommend a roof rack. The more advanced roof-rack-mount type carriers can include features such as rollers for easier loading from the rear of the car, such as with Yakima's HandRoll # Y04082-2, which fits round or square type roof rack crossbars.

I linked an article on kayak carriers that may be helpful to you as you consider your preferences and priorities.

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