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How to Secure a Kayak in a Truck Bed

Linex Oneupweb Kayak V2 Blogphoto 20210520

How to Secure a Kayak in a Truck Bed

Transporting a kayak in a truck bed is tricky. Since pickup trucks don’t have roof bars like a car or SUV might, most owners have to transport their kayak in the bed of their truck. But how?

Keep reading to learn the best way to transport a kayak in a pickup truck, from the experts at LINE-X®.

Make Sure Your Kayak Stays Put

The best way to transport a kayak on a pickup is with the tailgate down. Most kayaks won’t fit in the bed with the tailgate flipped up.

If you have an 8-foot bed, and your kayak fits, then transportation is easy. Otherwise, use the tips below to safely transport your kayak with your pickup:

  • Once the tailgate is down, slide the kayak in bow first.
  • Your kayak should have hardware or a grab handle at the bow and stern to pick up and transport the kayak. Use these anchor points to secure your kayak in your truck’s bed with the straps.
  • Run a cam strap through anchor points on the floor or bed rails of your truck bed and then through the bow of the kayak. The goal is to keep the kayak from sliding out. 
    • Don’t use ratchet straps since they can apply too much pressure to the kayak and damage it. If you’re using ratchet straps, be careful how far you tighten them.
  • For the stern of the kayak, run a cam strap through the anchor points in the bed of the truck and then through the grab handle or mounting point on the stern. The strap should make a “V.”
  • If your kayak sticks our more than four feet from your truck, you’ll legally need to secure red flagging to it to prevent someone from hitting it.

 Fitting a kayak in a truck bed

Other Kayak Transportation Options

Have a kayak to transport but need the space in your truck bed for your gear? Check out these other kayak transportation options:

  • RS Tonneau System

The RS Tonneau System from LINE-X is a rack system designed to mount above pickup truck beds. When paired with a kayak rack this system provides the best of both worlds— the convenience of a pickup bed, the security of a tonneau cover, and the ease of a kayak rack. This crossbar system also allows you to mount roof baskets, bike racks, and more above your pickup truck bed and keeps the bed free for all your gear hauling needs.

  • Kayak Trailer

Kayak trailers are inexpensive and light. You’ll barely notice you’re towing something! They also make launching and loading a kayak at a boat launch a breeze.

  • Kayak Rack

The only way to install a kayak rack on a pickup truck is to get a bed topper or crossbars. Crossbars mount over the bed of the pickup or on top of the cab and allow you to mount a kayak rack to transport your boat just like an SUV with load bars on the roof.

A pickup truck topper from LINE-X is another good option. Not only does it provide a secure mounting point for a kayak rack, it also keeps the gear in your truck bed secure, organized, and dry.


Find Pickup Truck Toppers Near You

Transporting your kayak in your truck bed is great for local trips. But when it’s time to travel farther, you’ll want that bed space for all your gear and luggage. A truck topper and kayak rack is the best way to mount your kayak securely and safely on top of your truck. Reach out to your local LINE-X dealer to discuss your pickup topper options.