Can You Put Kayaks on a Soft Top Jeep? 3 Options to Consider

Transporting a kayak can be challenging, especially when taking a road trip. Kayaks are bulky and can be difficult to secure to the roof of a vehicle, which can make transporting them a hassle.

One option is to use a soft-top Jeep, which can present its own challenges. So, can you put kayaks on a soft-top Jeep? 

You can put kayaks on a soft-top Jeep. However, you may need to use specialized carriers and straps to secure it properly, as the soft top can limit the available attachment points. You also need to consider the size and weight of the kayaks to ensure that the Jeep’s weight capacity is not exceeded.

Continue reading as we break down the factors to consider and the options available to transport kayaks on a soft-top Jeep efficiently. 

Can You Put Kayaks on a Soft Top Jeep?

You can put kayaks on a soft-top jeep as this type of jeep provides easy access to the interior, and the roof can be left open while the kayak is being transported, which can help reduce wind resistance and improve fuel efficiency.

You will need to use specialized carriers and straps to secure the kayak; however, the flexibility of a soft-top Jeep also allows for easy customization, so you can find the perfect set up to transport your kayak safely and securely.

Typically, a soft-top Jeep can carry one or two kayaks. Still, to ensure safe and efficient transportation, there are several factors you need to consider.

Factors to Consider When Putting a Kayak on a Soft Top Jeep

The factors you need to consider when putting a kayak on a soft-top jeep include:

  1. Size and weight of the kayaks: The size and weight of the kayaks will determine the type of roof rack or carrier that is needed. It’s important to make sure that the kayaks can fit safely on the Jeep and that the Jeep’s weight capacity is not exceeded.
  2. Roof condition: If the soft top is in poor condition, it may not be able to support the heavy weight of the kayaks.
  3. Roof strength: Soft tops may have limited support, so you’ll want to ensure the roof can handle the weight of your kayak.
  4. Attachment points: Soft tops may have limited attachment points, making securing the kayak more challenging.
  5. Straps: Ensure the straps are strong enough to hold the weight of the kayak and won’t damage the soft top. Proper positioning is also crucial to ensure that the kayaks do not slide off or cause any problems during your trip.
  6. Carrier compatibility: Make sure the carrier you choose is compatible with the soft top of your jeep. For instance, if you are using a roof rack or crossbar system to carry kayaks, it’s really important to make sure that the system is compatible with your Jeep and the kayaks.
  7. Loading and unloading: You’ll need to find a flat, stable surface to load and unload the kayak, as well as consider the height of the jeep and the kayak.

By considering these factors, you can ensure that your kayaks can be transported safely and efficiently on your soft-top Jeep.

How to Transport a Kayak on a Soft Top Jeep?

a photo of kayaks on a car rood to show can you put kayakson a soft top jeep

Here are some steps to transport a kayak on a soft-top Jeep:

  1. Choose the right carrier: Select a carrier that is compatible with the soft top of your jeep and can securely hold the weight and size of your kayak.
  2. Prep the jeep: Clean and dry the roof of the jeep to ensure the carrier and straps will stick.
  3. Load the kayak: Place the kayak on the roof of the jeep and secure it to the carrier using the provided straps.
  4. Attach the carrier: Secure the carrier to the roof using the attachment points provided, making sure the kayak is stable and secure. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific carrier and jeep.
  5. Adjust the straps: Adjust the straps so the kayak is snug against the roof of the jeep and won’t move during transit.
  6. Drive carefully: When driving, be aware of low-hanging branches and overpasses, and avoid sudden stops and sharp turns to prevent the kayak from shifting or falling off the roof.

By the way, If you have more than one kayak, make sure to check out our detailed guide to transporting multiple kayaks on a car rooftop here.

Options for Transporting Kayaks on a Soft Top Jeep

Roof rack or crossbars

The best way to transport kayaks on your jeep without damaging either. 

Roof Top Cargo Carrier

A more secure option designed specifically for transporting kayaks on rooftops. 

Straps and Tie-downs

The fastest and cheapest option, but must make sure it’s tightly and properly tied.  

When transporting kayaks on a soft top Jeep, there are several options available to ensure safe and efficient transportation. Some of these options include:

  1. Roof rack or crossbars: These are the most common method of transporting kayaks on a soft-top Jeep. Roof racks and crossbars provide a secure platform for the kayaks to sit on and can be attached to the Jeep’s roof.
  2. Rooftop cargo carrier: This specialized carrier attaches to the Jeep’s roof and is specifically designed for transporting kayaks. It usually provides a more secure kayak platform and can be locked for added security.
  3. Straps or tie-downs: These can be used to secure the kayaks directly the roof. It’s really important that you make sure that the straps or tie-downs are properly adjusted and tightened well to prevent the kayaks from shifting during transport.

Each of these options has its own set of pros and cons, and the best option for you will depend on the size and weight of your kayak, the condition of your Jeep’s soft top, and your personal preferences.

Soft Top vs. Hard Top Jeeps

A Soft Top Jeep and a Hard Top Jeep are both great choices for off-roading and outdoor adventures, but they offer different features and benefits. You need to have a good understanding of the difference between the two jeeps to ensure which one best fits your needs when it comes to transporting a kayak.

Soft Top Jeeps

A Soft Top Jeep comes with a fabric cover that can be removed and deployed over the vehicle’s top and rear window. This Jeep type is usually more affordable than a Hard Top Jeep and offers more flexibility in terms of open-air driving. 

It allows for a more captivating outdoor experience and is perfect for warm climates. On the other hand, Soft Tops are more likely to wear and tear and are less secure than Hard Tops. They also provide less protection and less sound insulation.

Hard Top Jeeps

A Hard Top Jeep has a permanent metal or fiberglass roof that covers the passenger compartment. Hard Tops are more durable than Soft Tops, providing better protection from the elements and more sound padding. 

They also offer a more secure, comfortable, and enjoyable ride and better weather protection. Likewise, it can provide more space for storage. However, Hard Top Jeeps usually are more expensive than Soft Top Jeeps and are less flexible.

When it comes to carrying kayaks, both Soft Top and Hard Top Jeeps have their own pros and cons. Soft Top Jeeps are more affordable and provide more flexibility for driving; however, they are less secure and provide less protection from the elements. 

Choosing between a Soft Top and a Hard Top Jeep depends on your needs, budget, and personal preferences.


In conclusion, a Soft Top Jeep can easily accommodate kayaks. With the right equipment and a bit of practice, you can safely and securely haul your kayaks to your favorite spot for a day on the water. 

Just make sure you take into consideration the weight, size, and shape of your kayaks, as well as the capacity of your Jeep’s roof rack. And always remember you secure the kayaks properly before hitting the road. Happy kayaking!

Kayak your way to Freedom

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