pickup truck and kayak

Kayak Don’t Fit the Truck Bed?(3 Solutions)

In this post, I’ll show you how to use your truck to transport your kayak.

If you’re not buying the kayak online(which I don’t recommend), you’ll face the problem of transportation. People who own the pickup truck will tend to transport them in the bed of the truck. It is an easier way to transport your kayak comparing to use a normal car. But often time kayaks are just too long for the normal truck bed.

Take an example, If you plan to buy a 12.5 feet long sea kayak and you own a Toyota Tacoma which has 5 ft long truck bed(Standard short bed) there are going to be 7.5 feet hanging out the truck.

So, how to transport a Kayak in a truck bed without damaging them? A: The easiest method of transportation is simply throwing the kayak in the back of a pickup truck and securing it with simple tie downs.

How to do it? Here we go.

  • Simply leave the tailgate down and allow the kayak to stick out the back of the truck.
  • Angling the kayaking from one corner of the truck to the other will reduce the amount of overhang.
  • Tie it down, most trucks will have tie down loops low on the walls of the bed. If your trucks tie-down loops are mid-way or at the top of the bed walls you’ll have to either install aftermarket loops lower on the walls, or find a way to properly secure it around the bumper, or other parts of the bed.
  • To tie the kayak down, send a rope or strap through the grab handle and secure to the truck.
  •  If you feel like you don’t get the enough down pressure, using the bed tie-down points. You can run one strap across the tailgate down to the hitch. Then you can do one on the bed tie downs. Sometimes I even have a couple pieces of paracord coming from each side of the bed that I tie to the kayak handle by the truck cab to make sure the kayak can’t shift side to side. Probably overdoing it but I can do it all in 3 minutes and I’m never worried about it moving around.
  • Once you put it in, you’ll want to load all gear on the boat inside the bed, keeping as much weight in the bed as possible, it will help to balance the kayak.
  • Don’t forget to make sure that you place some form of a marker on the end of your kayak so that other road users are aware of the long object, a red flag on the end will do the job.


I think this is the easiest way to do it, but there’re some alternative solutions to this problem.

Kayak Truck Utility Rack

Owning a good kayak truck utility rack is a good investment if you plan on transporting your kayak to your favorite rivers and lakes on your vehicle. A top-quality kayak is expensive and highly valued. If you try any other form of transportation method, you run a significant risk of your kayak becoming loose and falling off of your vehicle as you drive as well, which would be a huge disaster.

A utility rack is a much more practical option if you need to carry more boats at a time. It is a durable system which makes it the perfect option for those who kayak all the time and don’t mind the added weight permanently attached to a truck. Even if you are semi-serious about living the outdoor life, a utility rack might be the better option for you.

Yet, the amount of choice makes the selection of the perfect kayak rack for your truck tricky. There is a wide variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. This is not a product review article, so I’ll just give the brief idea and a few recommendations.

I will recommend the AA-Racks Model X35 800LB, which my friend owns it. I think it works very well and the price is reasonable. It’s a quality rack. You can take them off in minutes. I saw it can easily fit two 10ft kayaks. Comes with Allen Head bolts and nuts. So, you can hang them on the wall when not in use.

Product description

  • The X35 features a tested loading capacity of 800 lbs. It is powder coated in the color of matte black
  • The rope hook on the side of all four uprights provides the security for tying the tools or loads
  • There are FIVE drilling holes on the upright plate, which make X35 more compatible bolting on different sizes of bed margins. It also has another tab (C-Clamp) (ASIN: B0789DDLBJ) to choose which No Drilling Required
  • The top section is built with Two “T” sleeve bars plus Middle Cross Bar. The Double-barred Middle section won’t easily dent or bend, making it even stronger than a one-barred design
  • The extendable design also makes it compatible with different Truck-bed Width ranged from Min.51 Inch – Max.71 Inch. It also has X34(ASIN: B077GPLTFX) to choose which compatible with small pick-up Truck-bed Width ranged from Min. 38 Inch – Max. 51 Inch

kayak truck


T-Bone Truck Extender

Many of my kayaker friends use this extender. They love it so much that even promotes me to get one. So, I did so research on the internet. The Boonedox T-Bone Bed Extender is an adjustable truck bed extender made from aircraft grade aluminum.

The curved design allows the consumer to traverse uneven ground without the worry of dragging and damaging their products. Boonedox crafts each T-Bone Bed Extender with aircraft aluminum, which makes it lightweight yet strong and 100% rust free. The Boonedox T-Bone Bed Extender adjusts to accommodate all stock truck bed heights and is wide enough to support up to 2 kayaks or canoes comfortably. 

Here are some user feedback from paddlers. One of them told me that it is perfect for helping him carry his kayaks to the water and the curved design eases my fears of dragging this product on the ground when traversing variable terrain.

I also found the T-bone is very solid and durable but also lightweight and easy to manage. When he gets to the water and unload the kayaks. He unhooks the T-bone and locks it in the bed of his truck very quick and seems effortless.

I might get one of those systems in the future. If you’re on a tight budget like me. Just use the method I show you at the top of the article.



Hope you find this article helpful. I didn’t give you all the solution I find on the internet. I kinda want to keep it simple. If you find anything in this post wrong or outdated, please leave your comment below. I will update it as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading. Happy Kayaking.

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