Kayaks are an amazing way to get out there and explore the coastal regions, lakes, and rivers of our big blue planet. They can be a relaxing way to enjoy a day on the water, or employed in water sports like fishing or riding the white water that a raging river throws up.
But how do you transport your kayak to the waterfront?
Unless you’re one of those lucky individuals that actually live right next to the water, you’ll need a trailer to transport your kayak. This is why we have put together a list of the best kayak trailers reviews.
So let’s dive in and find the perfect one for you…
Top 9 Best Kayak Trailer In 2020 Revews
1 Malone MicroSport Kayak, Canoe, and Bike Sports Trailer
If you enjoy the outdoors and have toys, including kayaks, canoes, or bikes. Then it would be wise to get yourself a trailer that can haul anything you throw at it, and the MicroSport Trailer from Malone is just one such option.
How many kayaks will it hold?
With a maximum capacity of 800 lb. the extended heavy-duty tongue will let you bring along up to 4 kayaks measuring up to 20’ long. The crossbars are compatible with almost any gear carrier, including those from Malone, Yakima, and Thule. Great for those looking for a kayak hauler they can use for other toys in their garage.
Easy to assemble?
Each trailer is accompanied by award-winning detailed instructions for an easy 2-3 hour assembly. The pre-fitted electrical, mechanical, and hub assemblies save you time in setup, and tow-behind design eliminates the hassle of loading gear on the roof while also saving on gas by keeping you more streamlined.
How big is it?
The maintenance free, galvanized axle has sealed hubs and wheel, and measures 54” while the aluminum cross rails measure 60”. All of this rides on 12” galvanized slotted wheels with chrome acorn nuts, providing a tough trailer that can stand the test of time.
- Holds up to four kayaks.
- Works with bikes, canoes, gear carriers, as well as kayaks.
- Maximum capacity of 800 lb.
- Not the most expensive on this list, but far more expensive than some.
2 Malone XtraLight Kayak Trailer Package
The second of three options from Malone on our list of the best trailers for kayaks is a bit smaller than the above, and thus, better for those unlikely to need to haul around as much gear. Because not all of us need to carry around quite that much gear.
How many kayaks will it transport?
The XtraLight Trailers from Malone includes two V-style hull-down kayak carriers. So while you’ll not be able to bring along as many kayaks, you need not worry about having to strap them down on their side before hitting the road.
Made in the USA…
Quality is always a concern when purchasing new gear, and when it comes to a piece of transport equipment to be pulled at speed behind your vehicle, this becomes even more of an issue. Lucky, it’s still true that Made in America generally means better quality than with some cheaper imported models. Designed for kayaks up to 14’, this galvanized steel frame with 58″ steel-coated load bars is a great lightweight kayak trailer.
What’s the ultimate haul limit?
Rated to pull up to 275 lb., you’ll definitely be more limited than with the above kayak trailer reviewed, but we expect this to cover most kayak trip gear loads just fine. The 8” high-speed galvanized wheels are also a bit smaller, and for those looking to save some money, this is a reasonable downgrade from the MicroSport 4 Kayak Trailer above.
- Hauls up to 275 lb.
- Supplied with 2 V-style kayak carriers.
- Made in the USA.
- Doesn’t fit some wider kayaks.
3 Malone MicroSport Trailer w/2 SeaWing Kayak Carriers
Taking the first entry on our list of the best kayak trailers a step further, our next entry is exactly the same trailer but a small addition that makes your life easier from the beginning.
SeaWing carriers included…
While the MicroSport Trailer that we reviewed in the first review can hold up to 4 kayaks when mounted on their side, this option provides 2 SeaWing carriers for easy loading and unloading. It may take up more room on your trailer to mount the kayak hull down, but it also makes life easier for packing and unpacking.
Still the same heavy-duty trailer…
It may take up a bit more space on your trailer to have the kayaks mounted in this fashion, but you’ll still have plenty of space to load up those carriers with gear.
It even comes with a spare tire…
We didn’t mention it on the first listing above as it would have just been lost amongst all the other features detailed there, but the MicroPort Trailer has a galvanized spare tire with locking attachment, so you’re covered there as well…
- Includes 2 SeaWing kayak carriers.
- Works with bikes, canoes, gear carriers, as well as kayaks.
- Maximum capacity of 800 lb.
- Pushing the expensive side of trailers for kayaks.
4 RIGHT-ON TRAILER Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer
Coming in with a different style altogether with this multi-sport trailer, RIGHT-ON TRAILER offers a vertical-stacking style kayak trailer. With room for more than just your kayak, this is a great option for those taking wider boats to the water.
Not just for kayaks…
This multi-sport trailer is designed with the use of trackpads on the 64” crossbars that can carry small boats, canoes, stand up paddleboards, bikes, kayaks, and much more. You can even install Yakima® or Thule® roof rack accessories to give you a place to store even more gear.
How much can it haul?
With this design, you can bring along up to six bikes mounted to the crossbars, or multiple kayaks stacked on side-by-side depending on their design. It’s a great option for those looking for a trailer for a range of outdoor sports activities.
With two levels to load up, you’ll likely have room for everything you need.
We also like that the tongue stand locks in place and can be folded up to save space when not in use. The one thing that we can see being an issue is the low-quality finish, which some have reported peals more quickly than expected.
- Vertical stacking design.
- Designed to hold roof rack accessories.
- Folding/Locking design.
- Assembly is more difficult than with the Malone options above.
- We’ve heard reports of the paint chipping.
5 RIGHT-ON TRAILER Ruff-Sport Kayak Trailer
Again we have a similar option to the above listing from the same manufacturer, but this version is for the single tiered trailer. So, you only get a base trailer, but without the upper level to store even more gear. This makes it more stable as a kayak trailer for cars, as well as more streamlined.
Can it still haul the same amount of gear?
Yes, and no. The trailer is constructed of the same materials and in the same dimensions with 64” wide crossbars, but this frame will not accept the multi-sport rack due to slightly different dimensions and mounting plates.
Make sure you re-read that last point…
Especially if your first thought was to start off with this base and then add the rack down the line as need calls for. This trailer may be the same 11.5’ length as the multi-sport trailer above with similar 12-4.80 wheels and submersible LED lights, however, it’s not the same base model. Something to consider if you’re likely to want to add that rack later.
Great trailer for fishing kayaks, cargo boxes, bicycles, SUP’s and more…
Being more or less the same price as the multi-rack option above, we would expect this to be a better option for those with a lower profile vehicle. Or, for those who don’t need that extra trailer storage.
- One of the least expensive options in this category.
- Vertical stacking design.
- Folding/Locking design.
- Lower quality than some others reviewed here.
6 Yakima Rack and Roll Trailer
Taking quite a long skip, jump, and a leap in price, we now present the Rack and Roll Trailer from Yakima, which is more than twice the price of our last entry on the list of the best trailers for kayaks. If you’re looking for a high-end trailer, this might be the one for you.
It’s bigger as well…
Yakima makes a larger trailer than our other options, with a 78” crossbar. That’s more than a foot wider than our other options above, so you’ll have plenty of space to strap down your kayaks, bikes, or anything else you want to take along.
But is it worth the extra expense?
Well, there are a few benefits to a higher-end trailer. For one, there’s locking levers with keys to prevent anyone stealing the wheels or tongue, which is definitely a plus for those of us who often lead our truck and trailer out of sight.
The Rack and Roll Trailer also comes with independent suspension provided by adjustable, dual-spring progressive rate motorcycles-style shock absorbers that allow for up to 4” of wheel travel. This gives you a nice smooth ride so your kayaks and other gear won’t get jostled around overly much on the road.
What’s the weight capacity?
The trailer can hold up to 300 lb., so you shouldn’t have any trouble bringing along everything you need for your adventure. Plus, if you had any more weight in the trailer, you certainly won’t be able to use the carrying handle that can be used to turn the trailer into a hand cart for short distance relocation, or a manual turn around on narrow roads.
- Carrying handle makes it easy to move around.
- Compatible with Yakima accessories.
- 300 lb. capacity.
- Not the easiest assembly.
- Considerably more expensive than other options reviewed here.
- Rusting and other quality control issues unexpected from this price point.
7 TMS Cart-Canoe/Kayak Trolley Trailer
Moving in a completely different direction now, we have the Kayak tote style trailer from TMS. No, this is not all that comparable to the above kayak trailers.
But you’ll still likely want one of these for the following reasons…
When you have a long beach to walk before you hit the water and you can’t back your vehicle all the way there, it’s a good idea to have a kayak trolley packed away on your trailer. This option from TMS has 150 lb. capacity and works with kayaks or canoes, and has a 12’ long tie-down strap for use with multiple kayaks.
Will it slide across uneven terrain?
To an extent, yes. The solid metal frame is wrapped in foam bumpers on each arm to protect your watercraft, and the large 9.5” x 3.5” wide flat-free tires glide across sand and gravel quite nicely. The frame is aluminum pipe with an anodized stainless steel coating for long-lasting construction that assembles quickly and easily.
What’s the best feature?
Not only does the dolly break down for easy storage, but it also has a spring-loaded stand that keeps the dolly propped up onshore. This not only makes loading and unloading considerably easier, but it also limits runaway trolley issues.
We should note that a number of users have had issues with exploding tires when set to the recommended psi, and a strong chemical wash. So, maybe don’t plan to store this in your home.
- Capacity of 150 lb.
- Considerably less expensive than a kayak trailer.
- Large 9.5” x 3.5” wide flat-free tires
- Quality control issues affecting tires.
- Lack of proper production wash can leave you with chemical smells.
8 Bonnlo Kayak Cart Trolley
A second option for a hand-pulled kayak trailer on our list of the best kayak trailer reviews comes from Bonnlo, which also provides No-Flat tires for assured arrival at your waterfront.
How does this differ from the last review?
The kayak trolley from Bonnlo holds a bit more weight at 165 lb. and the large full solid PU tires 10” x 3” wide reportedly do not have the bad smell some users reported on the above option from TMS. We really like the assembly on this Bonnlo option, as no tools are needed. The break down is that much quicker, which is great for storage and transportation.
On the other hand…
The two 12’ straps (yes, there’s 2) help you secure the kayak in place, but we found this to be somehow more difficult than with the above item. There is again a 12” spring-loaded stand to keep the dolly propped up for loading, and foam bumpers on each arm to protect the kayak/canoe.
We also found that this little trolley handles rough terrain with a bit less grace than some similar options, so if your favorite path is uneven, consider another option.
- Capacity of 165 lb.
- Least expensive option reviewed.
- Large 10” x 3.5” wide flat-free tires
- Not great on uneven road.
- Not the easiest kayak trolley to strap down.
9 Railblaza C-Tug Kayak or Canoe Trolley Cart – Best Kayak Trailers for River Kayaking
We round out our list of the best kayak trailers for sale with what just may be the best single kayak trailer we reviewed. Both durable and versatile, this kayak cart from Railblaza, known as the C-Tug is one of our favorites.
Just by looking at it, you can see a difference…
The wheels are made of high grip rubber tread, and can certainly handle a wider variety of terrain than the last item we reviewed above. Again, you’ll never need to concern yourself with punctured tires or forgetting to top up with air at the beginning of the season.
Take it with you everywhere…
The kickstand is adjustable, as are the rubberized pads that fit most hull shapes. This plus a tool free assembly, and the ability to dismantle in under 20 seconds all come together to provide one of the best river kayaking kayak trailers. It folds up small enough to fin inside many kayak hatches, so you have it with you when you exit the water.
What’s it made from?
Composed of reinforced composite material with thermos-bonded elastomeric hull pads and stainless steel reinforced axles, this kayak trolley will not rust and supports up to 300 lb. In the end, this is a great option, though a fair bit more expensive option compared with the last two kayak trolley reviews.
- Capacity of 300 lb.
- Constructed from non-rusting materials.
- Dismantles quick and easily.
- Considerably more expensive than the other kayak trolley reviewed here.
- Does not work with all kayaks/canoes.
Now that you have read through our list of the best trailers for Kayak reviews, we are going to break down many features and what you should consider prior to purchasing a trailer for your kayaks or canoes.
It’s Almost Time To Go Fishing
The first question, which you should double check before purchasing, is what size are your kayaks? Do you also have a canoe, if so, how long is that? Are you likely to expand your selection of lightweight watercraft?
It’s great having a folding kayak trailer that you can easily put aside when you’re not using it, but it’s even better to have one trailer that will pull all your outdoor and watersport supplies. Even those you purchase down the road when you realize how much happier you are when you’re out fishing, or paddling around in nature.
So, Again, How Long Is Your Kayak?
The above options range in both the length of kayak they can handle and how wide the crossbar supports are. This last bit affects the number of kayaks you can transport, so it relates to the section below (keep reading). If you have a longer kayak, just make sure you don’t exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you do, you will run into issues with too short of a tongue, which can push the kayak of the back of the trailer – or worse, when turning.
How Many Kayaks Do You Need To Transport?
Now there may be some out there just looking to head out alone for some quiet time, but there are also some oddballs that like to take their family and or friends out with them. If you’re one of the latter, it’s a good idea to make sure you can take everyone’s watercraft to save the fuel of a second trailer on a second vehicle.
No one likes having to mess with getting a kayak on and off the roof of their vehicle, and kayak trailers solve this issue completely. They also offer a great place to store some other gear that you don’t need in the cab of your car.
Are You Just Transporting Kayaks?
Most of the time, when you’re heading out for a trip on the water, you’re going to need some gear beyond the kayak itself. For this reason, a number of our options above supply mounts for gearboxes and other trailer accessories. These can be a handy place to store your wetsuit, fishing tackle, and other gear you may need throughout the trip.
We Will Address The Wildly Different Final Three Product Reviews Further Below…
Many of the above options have space for bikes as well, or can be used to transport small watercraft with an engine. Because occasionally, we all want to get out on the water and not have to fight the wind or current.
There is even an option with multiple racks, so you can stack your kayaks and take the bikes, and a bunch of other gear. The top kayak is still lower than if you’d put on top of the truck, making it a great option for those heading out on a multi-sport adventure holiday.
Are You Good At Mechanical Assembly?
This may be a question that had not crossed your mind, but it certainly can be an issue with some options on this list. There will be some assembly required, and while some manufacturers supply detailed instructions, others do not. Similarly, you will need to not only assemble the nuts and bolts, but likely also the lights.
It’s generally all rather simple these days due to modern engineering, but it is something to consider as some models have been reported to need modifications.
What Size Tire Is Best For A Kayak Trailer…
The tire and wheel size can, as well as the suspension, can greatly affect your trip. If the trailer isn’t running smoothly, you’ll be overly concerned and not paying proper attention to the other ten thousand things going on while driving. It will also stress you out.
A bigger tire is going to handle bad pavement or gravel roads better than smaller ones, while inadequate suspension can cause damage to your canoes and kayaks. While smaller wheels will make the unloading and loading of the trailer a bit easier, they are less stable on rough roads and wear out a lot quicker as well.
Suspension And Tongue Length Are Key
For reasons largely discussed above, you need to pay attention to these two factors when choosing your kayak trailer. A longer tongue allows for longer kayaks, but it does make for larger turning radius and storage space requirements.
The suspension is crucial if you’re taking your kayak out on the less familiar waters of this beautiful world. You don’t want to have to trek to the water with a kayak on your back or lose them all due to a rough path. Better suspension means for better access to places others may not visit too often.
Pay Attention To Suspension If You Want Some Peace And Quiet, But Also… Rust
The final thing to consider when purchasing a kayak trailer is what the whole thing is made from. Steel rust, including steel nuts and bolts. If you’re headed to the water or loading a wet kayak…
Aluminum Is Saltwater Safe
This is really important to a number of us, as the ocean is a big part of the world to explore. Even if you play more in lakes and rivers, rust is a long term issue if you aren’t using a material like aluminum.
Steel Without Galvanization Generally Equals Cheaper Trailers
We aren’t solely talking about the cost either. Make note that many of the less expensive options out there tend to have considerably low-quality check requirements. This can lead you to having to make some modifications during assembly. However, steel is also stronger than aluminum, so it will hold more weight. Just keep the trailer out of the elements when storing it.
Galvanized Steel Is Better At Withstanding Corrosion
It’s also generally considered a mid-range material on the price spectrum for kayak trailers, so it provides you with half the best of both options. Beyond rust, you should also consider the weight of the trailer unloaded when choosing the best kayak trailer for you.
Heavy Trailers Can Make Moving Them Difficult
It’s worth remembering this when you chose from the top six trailers on our list, as you’ll inevitably need to move it by hadn’t on occasion. Whether it’s in and out of the storage space or trying to turn around on a tight road when something goes amiss, it’s good to be able to easily move things by hand.
This Is Why We Included Three Trolley Size Kayak Trailers
It’s all good purchasing one of the first six trailers for getting you across the city, state, or country for some fun paddling around somewhere new, but once you arrive…
You Still Need To Get To The Water From Your Parking Spot
Let’s face it; most of the time, those lines at the dock entry locations are crazy long and busy. Plus, part of the fun of a kayak is you can enter the water from almost anywhere in one. So, why not get a small tote trolley that you can pull behind you on that long walk down a path your vehicle isn’t allowed on?
For this, a kayak trolley is brilliant, but you still need to note a few things. Like, how wide of a kayak can it support. There are some limitations so these designs, so ensure you’ll be able to use it before you buy it.
Self-standing Is Nice For Loading
We really like the way some options sit up waiting for you to load them. However, we also think the most important thing is getting to the water in the first place, so on these small units pay attention to the wheels and suspension.
As well as a quality trailer, there are a few other things you’ll need for a superb time on the water. So why not check out our in-depth Best Kayak Seat reviews and our Best Trolling Motor for Kayaks reviews.
You should now have a clear understanding of what you need to pay attention to when purchasing a kayak trailer, and hopefully, you have already made a decision.
If you still can’t decide, we would recommend the
…to get you most of the way, and then the
…to get you down any winding path you can’t drive.