If you love kayaking as we at Torque News do, then you know that the vehicle you select is important. You will want one that is easy to use when it is time to transport your kayaks to the next location you plan to explore. Pickup trucks are great choices, but they come with compromises in other ways. Many folks need or want a crossover for their general needs, and they also work great when moving kayaks. However, there is one specific feature you can look for that will help. A front tie-down loop.
The vehicle in our image is a 2016 Subaru Forester. We love the Forester and it has taken us down many dirt roads and logging trails in our adventures. We find it to be a great off-roader and it is as good on-road as any vehicle in its class. During our first few trips, we used an under-the-hood temporary connection point. It worked, but the Forester, in particular, didn't have a great spot for the tie-down. We worried it may damage the light assembly.
On a whim, we climbed under the vehicle a little further and discovered the absolute perfect tie-down loops on both sides of the front of the vehicle. These worked much better and were more secure. Following the advice of many kayakers on our favorite kayaking Facebook Club, we ditched the straps and moved to rope for the front and rear tie-downs. They catch less wind and don't flap around.
Grab a Dollar Store wacky noodle and cut it in half to make the perfect paint protection sleeve. Having tested some great Jeep crossovers, we have seen similar loops in more easily accessible places on the front of the vehicles. Recovery and towing loops. These would work even better.
If you are considering a crossover on which to transport your kayaks, we strongly suggest you do some looking under the front bumpers. Look further back than you think you should. You may well find a welcome surprise.
In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.