Loading Two Canoes

With a few simple steps we can show you how to secure two canoes to most vehicles, even small hatchbacks. We do so by using a two-canoe roof rack. It’s simple, won’t scratch your car and is inexpensive to rent. Fifteen minutes should be all the time you need to securely tie them down and be on your way.

Cost: $15

Includes: two padded roof-top racks, adjustable tie-down straps, rope

  1. Place the canoes on the ground, one on each side of your vehicle. Make sure they are positioned equally from front to back parallel to your car.
  2. Place the two padded roof-top racks on the roof of your car. Adjust the width so that they are centered.
  3. Lift one canoe at a time onto one of the roof racks. Ask a friend to lightly brace one canoe by holding it at its side, while the second canoe is being lifted onto the car.
  4. Attach a tie-down strap to the front and back of each canoe.
  5. Secure the tie-down straps to a strong metal brace or hook under both the front and rear bumpers of your car. Since every vehicle is different, it may be difficult to find a good place to secure the straps. If you’re having trouble, please let us know. We can provide you with Quick Loops, a handy attachment that fits securely under your car’s hood or trunk. They provide stable, strong hooks, but won’t scratch your car.
  6. Tighten the straps slowly just so everything is stable.
  7. Attach a rope to the end of one roof rack and toss it diagonally over both canoes. Tighten the rope and secure it around the other end of the roof racks.
  8. Re-tighten the tie-down straps so that both canoes are secure. Tie off the straps with a knot.
  9. Give both canoes a test for stability and you’re ready to go!



My crew and I have been paddling remote whitewater rivers in Canada and the USA successfully for over 40 years. Algonquin Portage Store and Outfitters is the best outfitter we have used — ranked #1, first class, top shelf!

Donald R. Lawson