Exploring the Versatility of Soft Top Jeeps for Kayak Transportation

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The Jeep Wrangler is a vehicle that offers a world of possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy boating, kayaking, or canoeing, a Jeep Wrangler is the perfect companion. In this article, we will delve into the realm of soft top jeeps and how they compare to their hardtop counterparts when it comes to carrying capacity.

Can You Safely Transport a Kayak on a Soft Top Jeep?

One of the great advantages of a soft top jeep is its ability to accommodate recreational kayaks. The necessary height allows for easy installation of exposed racks, which can be closed without removing the rack itself. While it’s true that positioning boats and kayaks on a jeep can be challenging, once you find the optimal setup, you’ll be ready for countless adventures on the water.

Is it Possible to Fit a Kayak Inside a Jeep?

The cargo capacity of a Jeep Wrangler is sufficient for many purposes, but fitting a standard 10-foot kayak inside is not one of them. However, foldable or inflatable kayaks can be accommodated in the cargo space, and smaller 8-foot kayaks may fit with some adjustments, such as removing side window panels and the rear hatch. Understanding the differences between soft top and hard top jeeps is essential, particularly if you are in the market for a new vehicle.

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Soft Top Vs Hard Top Jeeps: A Comparison

A soft top jeep features a fabric cover that can be quickly removed, allowing for the transportation of larger items that may not fit inside the vehicle. This type of jeep is less expensive than its hardtop counterpart and provides a clear view of the interior. On the other hand, a hard top jeep boasts a metal or fiberglass shell that encloses the entire cabin, offering better insulation and protection from the weather. While it is generally easier to carry a kayak on a hard top jeep, we will focus on how to transport one on a soft top.

The Best Methods for Transporting a Kayak on a Soft Top Jeep

There are two primary methods for transporting a kayak on a soft top jeep: using a utility trailer or installing a roof rack. A utility trailer can be towed by a Jeep Wrangler, but it’s important to ensure that the weight of the trailer and cargo doesn’t exceed the vehicle’s towing capacity. A roof rack designed specifically for jeeps with soft tops is another excellent option. Not only does it allow for easy installation, but it also enables you to open the top without removing the rack.

Best Roof Racks for Soft Top Jeeps

When it comes to roof racks, there are several reputable brands to choose from, including Smittybilt, Typer, Sucro, Exposed Racks, and Maxxhaul. Exposed Racks, in particular, have gained popularity among outdoor enthusiasts. Their patent-pending ‘Push Pin’ system allows for quick and easy installation of accessories. These racks are designed to carry items safely above the windshield, protecting them from damage. They are compatible with both hard top and soft top jeeps and feature durable electroplated and powder-coated crossbars.

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Installing a Roof Rack on a Soft Top Jeep

You may be wondering how to install a roof rack on a soft top jeep. Fortunately, there are numerous resources available, including video tutorials that guide you through the process step by step. Whether you choose to install the rack yourself or enlist the help of professionals, it’s crucial to ensure proper installation to avoid any damage to your vehicle.

Loading your Kayak onto a Soft Top Jeep

Loading a kayak onto a soft top jeep requires some care to avoid damaging the vehicle. If it’s your first time loading a kayak, it’s advisable to remove the soft top to prevent tears or damage. For lighter kayaks, lifting them onto the roof may be feasible. However, for heavier kayaks, lining them perpendicular to the vehicle and pushing them onto the roof is the best approach. Placing the kayak with the hole side down and the bow facing the front, securing it tightly with ratchet straps attached to any metal parts of the jeep, and further securing it with ropes or twine to the bumpers will ensure a safe and worry-free transportation experience.

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

While the roll bars on a jeep may seem like potential anchors for securing a kayak, it is not advisable to rely solely on them for support. Without a roof rack, the kayak will not be securely held in place, posing a safety risk to both you and other drivers. It is strongly recommended to invest in a roof rack to transport your kayak safely. Alternatively, if you prefer not to purchase a roof rack, many popular kayaking spots offer kayak rentals, saving you the hassle of transporting your own.

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Final Thoughts

In conclusion, a soft top jeep provides ample opportunities for kayaking enthusiasts to transport their vessels with ease. By investing in a suitable roof rack or considering kayak rentals at your destination, you can enjoy worry-free excursions on the water. So, load up your kayak and let the adventure begin!

East Coast Paddle Sports

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