Water Sports

Best Kayak Trailer Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking for the best trailer for your Kayak? Read on as we review all the top options available with the Pros & Cons of each.

Are you planning on hitting the water this weekend? Owning a kayak gives you plenty of aquatic adventures in salt and freshwater. Whether you’re competing in a paddle race across a freshwater lake or going fishing on the open ocean, kayaking is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors.

Kayaks come in different shapes and sizes, from 5-foot to 15-foot, depending on the sporting event. You need a trailer to help you get your boat to the water, or you’ll probably drop it and damage the hull if you decide to carry all that weight.

A kayak trailer takes the effort out of moving your kayak around. Strap it onto the trailer bed and haul it wherever you need to go. From car trailers to bike trailers, we decided to review the best models available. In this post, we’ll look at the best kayak trailers.

Our Top Picks

We went through dozens of models when choosing the best kayak trailers for this review. Out of all the models we found, these three kayak trailers represent the best of the bunch. We have car trailers, bike trailers, and hand-carry trailers listed, with something to suit everyone’s needs.

Whether you’re going away for the weekend and need a car trailer, or need a handheld model to get you boat from the beach house to the launch, we have a suitable model for you in our top picks.

Best Pick: TMS 2X Jon Boat Kayak Canoe Carrier

TMS 2 X Jon Boat Kayak Canoe Carrier Dolly Trailer Tote Trolley W/2 Free Cellphone Bag
  • Capacity : 150 LBS 12 Ft long tie-down strap, easy to install. Solid Metal frame; foam bumpers on each arm to protect your Canoe / Kayak hull. Sturdy double-leg kickstand allows easy loading.
  • Large(9-1/2"D) pneumatic tires (3-1/2" wide) roll smoothly across sand and gravel. Stainless steel fasteners and chrome lynch pin. Quick assembly, only wheels need to be attached.
  • Material : Aluminium pipe (20 x2mm) anodized Stainless steel. Works great as a kayak dolly or canoe dolly. Dolly breaks down for easy and convenient storage or transport.
  • Transport a single canoe or kayak from the parking lot to the lake easily and hassle free with our Canoe and Kayak Dolly. It is designed to hold a canoe/kayak by the hull in a V-shaped cradle with 3-1/2 "L foam bumpers on each arm. Cradle arms are connected together with a 13" nylon strap to prevent the cradle from opening too far.
  • Part of the support stand features a 9-1/4"H spring-loaded stand which keeps the dolly cart propped up onshore for quick loading out of water. Large 9-1/2" diameter inflatable tires provide stable support on uneven terrain which is especially useful in sandy areas. Easily rest a kayak or canoe on the dolly cart platform, strap it down and it's ready to go. It is foldable, easy for storage.

For those kayakers looking for the best overall option in this review, allow us to introduce the TMS 2X Jon Boat carrier. This package comes with two carriers for you and a friend. Each trailer consists of design and construction with lightweight aluminum tubing and stainless steel for excellent corrosion resistance at the ocean.

Premium Pick: Ironton Trailer

Ironton Personal Watercraft and Boat Trailer Kit - 610-Lb. Load Capacity
  • Rolls on 12in. tires
  • Roomy bed size is 77 1/4in.L x 40 1/4in.W
  • Overall size is 126 3/4in.L x 52 1/2in.W
  • White powder-coat finish adds durability
  • Includes lights, protective fenders and 1 7/8in. coupler

If you’re heading out on vacation or going to the lake for the weekend, you’ll need a trailer to haul your kayaks and other outdoor sporting equipment. We recommend this Ironton model as our top choice for the best car-tow kayak trailer.

Budget Pick: CAMBA Universal Kayak Trailer

CAMBA Universal Kayak, Canoe and Paddleboard Carrier; Features Patented All-Terrain Wheel Technology
  • The CAMBA Kart is different to all other kayak or canoe trollies; Features British engineered CAMBA technology; Hemispherical wheels are mounted on unique floating axles that together make portaging easier for paddlers in any environment
  • Patented CAMBA wheels instinctively adapt to all terrains including sand, mud and gravel; Watch the video to see how these clever wheels work; Floating axles create suspension for each wheel keeping loads stable and balanced over uneven ground or up or down steps; Exceptional levels of manoeuvrability
  • Universal anodized aluminium frame supports loads of 110lbs (265lbs static); Frame can be quickly disassembled for storage; No tools required; Foam pads protect the load; Spring loaded stand assists loading; Tie-down strap included; Unit weight 8lbs
  • 10 x 3.75inch CAMBA wheels are puncture proof; Easy to remove for cleaning and storage; Sealed stainless steel bearings provide optimal rolling performance; Wheel hub material Polypropylene; Tire material TPR; Non-corrosive components
  • Detailed instructions for assembly and disassembly included together with maintenance guidelines; Please see infographic for strapping guidelines

The Camba Kart wins our best budget model in this review. We feel that the value on offer with this model makes it a top choice for your kayak. The Camba features unique wheels that reduce the contact area with the ground. As a result, you get a trailer that moves effortlessly over the roughest terrain.

Kayak Trailer Reviews

Now that you have an idea of what to expect from the best kayak trailer, let’s unpack our top picks in further detail. We’ll also look at a few other models we feel are excellent additions to this review of the best kayak trailers.

TMS 2X Jon Boat Kayak Canoe Carrier – The Best Overall Kayak Trailer

This hand trailer wins our award for the best overall kayak trailer in this review. If you’re looking for a hand model, this is a top choice. Featuring design and construction with aluminum tubing, you get a lightweight and durable frame capable of carrying one kayak up to 150-lbs in weight.

This model is the ideal choice for any size kayak and comes with air-filled tires to get you from your car to the launch without any hassle. The padded racks form a V-shape to match the contour in the hull of your boat, and you get straps to tie the kayak securely during transport.

The folding stand makes it easy to mount and remove the kayak, and you get anodized stainless steel fittings and hardware with excellent corrosion resistance. This model suits kayaks from 12 to 15-feet in length, and you get two carriers included in the purchase price.

Pros:
  • Durable aluminum tube frame supports up to 150-lbs
  • Supports kayaks up to 12 to 15-feet in length
  • Large air-filled tires
  • Straps and padded carry frame
  • Suitable for single boats
  • Folding stand
  • Comes with two carriers in the set
Cons:
  • Not for cars

View Details

Ironton Trailer – The Best Premium Kayak Trailer

Kayak owners looking for a car trailer should check out the Ironton model. This car kayak trailer includes large 12-inch, air-filled tires. There’s no spare included, so you’ll need to ensure you buy one separately if that’s important.

This model features design and construction with galvanized steel for strength and corrosion resistance. The spring axle provides excellent suspension, and this model can carry up to four boats, for a total loading capacity of up to 600-lbs.

The foot-locking support stand makes for easy unloading of the trailer, and you get a full electrical harness with LED parking lights, brake lights, and blinkers included. The rack pads for this model are available separately.

Overall, this model is a solid choice for a car trailer system, and one of the best models for your money. The wide 64-inch crossbars have plenty of space, and the wheels feature mudguards to prevent splashback on your equipment.

Pros:
  • 64-inch crossbars for carrying two kayaks side-by-side
  • Suitable for carrying up to four boats
  • LED lighting connects to your car’s signals
  • Large 12-inch wheels and folding prop stand
  • Soft suspension and durable galvanized steel frame
Cons:
  • Not suitable for hand carrying

View Details

CAMBA Universal Kayak Trailer – The Best Budget Kayak Trailer

The Camba Kart wins our top choice for the best budget buy in this review. It might not be the cheapest piece of equipment, but it does offer kayakers the best value for money. With the Camba, you get a unique suspension design and cambered wheels.

The cambered suspension provides excellent traction to the wheels, allowing you to move the boat effortlessly over any terrain. This model is an excellent choice for the beach or any other launch where you encounter rocks and uneven surfaces.

The independent suspension on each wheel helps you effortlessly maneuver the kart around obstacles. You get a set of tie-downs included to keep the kayak secure during transport, and the rubber-coated plastic wheels absorb vibration while remaining lightweight.

This model breaks down in seconds, folding together for compact storage in the trunk of your car. The aluminum frame supports a load capacity of up to 110-lbs, and you get a folding kickstand included in the design.

Pros:
  • Independent suspension frame
  • Unique wheel design for crossing rough terrain
  • Folds away for compact storage in your trunk
  • Folding stand
  • Suitable for loads up to 110-lbs
  • Affordable and excellent value for money
Cons:
  • Not a car trailer

View Details

Yakima – BigCatch Kayak Fishing Boat Saddles

If you own a truck and want the best carry-stem for your kayak, check out the Yakima BigCatch. This roof rack system attaches to the load bin on your vehicle. You get all the hardware included with your purchase to set up this structure in seconds.

The aluminum framework features a durable, heavy-set design that supports up to 150-lbs. You get two over-sized cradles on the front and rear to securely lock your boat in place for transport to the lake, river, or ocean.

This model is suitable for kayaks up to 12-feet in length, and you get everything you need to install the roof rack system on your truck included with your purchase – even the wrenches you need to tighten it down. This roof rack system has design and function to act as a permanent accessory for your truck, with an attractive brushed aluminum finish.

You can increase the load-bearing capacity of this roof rack system with the Yakima SmarT-Slot Kit 4, sold separately. By installing this kit, you can carry two boats without any hassle.

Pros:
  • Suitable for most models of trucks
  • Easy setup for permanent installation
  • Aerodynamic construction
  • Supports weight up to 150-lbs
  • Tool-free attachment
Cons:
  • Not a portable carry system
  • Yakima SmarT-Slot Kit 4 sold separately

View Details

OxGord Kayak Cart Dolly

The OxGord is a premium model with a durable and robust design. This hand-trailer features a sturdy aluminum frame, with load capacity to support up to 165-lbs. You get padded frames for your boat, and straps to secure your boat for transport.

There’s a locking kickstand with rubber feet for easy mounting and removal of the kayak. You get stainless steel hardware that’s corrosion-resistant and a 1-year limited warranty on the frame.

The OxGord features a set of large, 10-inch, air-filled tires, allowing easy transport over rugged terrain to your launch site. This model also folds flat, allowing for easy storage in your vehicle’s trunk or load bay.

Pros:
  • Heavy-duty aluminum frame supports up to 165-lbs
  • Cam buckle tie-downs included
  • 10-inch air-filled tires
  • Corrosion-resistant frame
  • Folds flat for compact storage in your trunk
  • Folding stand
  • 1-year limited warranty
Cons:
  • Not a car trailer

View Details

Onefeng Sports Universal Kayak Car

This hand-trailer comes with an adjustable stainless-steel frame. Use the turn dial to set your preferred axle distance to suit your boat. This design makes this trailer and a great choice for both sea kayaks and freshwater boats, allowing you to customize the axle width to suit your kayak.

You get two large, treaded plastic wheels to help you navigate rugged terrain. The plastic wheels don’t absorb shock and air-filled tires, and they might catch on some rocks and cracks. However, they bring a lightweight design to this model that makes it easy to fold flat and store away in your trunk.

The spring button ratchet-strap design allows for quick-release of your boat and secure transport. On the top of the frame, you get two rubber bumpers, providing a universal fit to any size kayak.

Pros:
  • Adjustable frame range to accommodate wide boats
  • Large plastic tires
  • Spring button strap design for quick release
  • 215-lbs load capacity for the largest boats
  • Galvanized steel frame for corrosion-resistance
  • Soft rubber bumpers to protect your boat
Cons:
  • Tires are not shock absorbent
  • Not a car trailer

View Details

Malone EcoRack Kayak Cart

We wrap up our review with this and-trailer. With this model, you get an excellent budget buy, featuring rubberized plastic tires for a good balance between vibration-absorption and maneuverability, and lightweight performance.

The Malone EcoRack features an aluminum frame supporting up to 120-lbs, and a folding kickstand for easy mounting and removal of your kayak. The generous padding ensures you protect the hull of your boat, and the ratchet tie-down set comes included with your purchase for secure transport of your boat to the launch.

This model features a marine-grade frame with corrosion-resistant and lightweight design for easy transport in your car or truck.

Pros:
  • Good budget buy
  • Airless 10-inch rubber tires
  • Folding stand
  • Marine-grade aluminum frame for corrosion resistance
  • Cam buckle strap with foam padding on the frame
Cons:
  • Not a car trailer
  • Rubber tires don’t absorb vibration well

View Details

Other Best Selling Options

Bestseller No. 1
RIGHT-ON TRAILER Multi Sport Multi Sport Trailer
  • Configure to carry up to 6 bicycles (or a cargo box and 3 bicycles)
  • Carry kayaks, boards, SUP's, and Sunfish sailboats. Watch video to see what it can do: http://youtu.be/OVQ6dIjN9kc
  • Crossbars (64" wide) supports all roof rack accessories from companies like Yakama and Thule
  • Easy Loading and light weight: Perfect for small car pulling
  • More fuel efficient than carrying gear on a roof rack
Bestseller No. 2
Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks, Canoes and Bikes
  • Transports 4 kayaks up to 20' long (800 lb. capacity)
  • Galvanized steel frame with 60" aluminum cross rails
  • 54" galvanized axle with sealed hubs & wheels (maintenance free)
  • Easily assembles in 2-3 hours with award winning instructions
  • 12" galvanized slotted wheels with chrome acorn nuts
Bestseller No. 3
Ruff-Sport Trailer - Galvanized Finish for Kayak, Bicycle, and SUP
  • Galvanized steel frame with large 4.80 x 12" Wheels
  • Carry fishing kayaks, boards, SUP's, bicycles, and cargo boxes
  • Crossbars (64" wide) supports all roof rack accessories from companies like Yakama and Thule
  • Fold up locking tongue stand and LED Lights come standard
  • Soft springs and a sturdy frame to absorb road vibration
Bestseller No. 4
Malone MicroSport Trailer Two Kayak Transport Package with 2 Malone SeaWing Kayak Carriers
  • Transports 2 kayaks up to 18' long
  • Includes 2 sets of SeaWing kayak carriers
  • Galvanized steel frame with 60" aluminum cross rails
  • Easily assembles in 2-3 hours with award winning instructions
  • Galvanized Spare Tire with Locking Attachment

Kayak Trailer Buyer’s Guide

Now that you have an idea of the best kayak trailers let’s unpack everything you need to know about choosing the right model for your kayaking adventure.

In this section, we’ll talk about the features and functionality of the best kayak trailers, giving you everything you need to know to make an informed purchase decision.

What Kind of Kayak Do You Need? Hand-Trailer or Car Trailer?

When choosing your kayak trailer, the first thing to ask yourself is, what kind of trailer do I need? There are three types of kayak trailers available, and all of them have different functionality.

  • The car kayak trailer – The car kayak trailer hooks up to the tow bar on your vehicle. You tow this trailer around like you would any regular trailer. Most car trailers carry high load capacities up to 600-lbs or more. The car kayak trailer is the best choice for sedans and hatchback cars, and it’s the best option for hauling boats on long trips.
  • Truck and car roof rack systems – Truck roof rack systems are a good choice if you don’t want to spend the money on a freestanding trailer, and you’re only hauling one or two boats. These systems offer universal fitment to any truck, fitting to the side rails of the load bin. The roof rack system keeps the nose of the boat over the cab, minimizing the kayak’s overhang.
  • Hand kayak trailers – If you want a trailer to take your boat from the car to the launch area, a hand-trailer is the best option. When your kayaks fully-loaded with all your fishing gear, it could weigh several hundred pounds. A hand-trailer helps you keep control over the boat right until you launch it in the water.

Choosing the right trailer to suit your needs depends on your boat’s size, how much gear you carry, and how far from the car to your launch site. If you live far away from the ocean, you’ll need a car trailer or roof rack system to get you to the beach. You’ll need a hand-trailer to load your boat and move it to the launch spot.

Choose the trailers that suit your needs and your kayak and make your purchase from the top models mentioned in this review.

What Is Your Trailer Budget?

Starting, you need to settle on your budget. How much are you looking at spending on your kayak trailer? The cheapest hand-trailers go for $60 or more, with a premium kayak car trailer setting you back as much as $600.

You need to decide what kind of utility you need in your trailer and look at the options you have in your price range. We recommend purchasing your trailer from Amazon. This site has the best prices, with a wide range of competitive retailers offering great prices.

When you order on Amazon, you get customer protection, and a no-excuses money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with your trailer. Narrow down your budget and top choices and purchase the trailer that suits your kayaking needs and your bank account.

Does it Have an Easy Setup?

Make sure that your trailer has an easy setup. If you’re taking it off the roof racks, you want a trailer that offers an easy-foldout. You can store this compact trailer in the trunk of your car and set it up in seconds.

Open the truck, fold out the trailer, and lift your kayak into position, it’s as easy as that. If you’re choosing a car trailer, make sure that it offers a wired set of lights, including brake lights, parking lights, and indicators. Ensuring the trailer is roadworthy is a vital part of picking the right model.

Your trailer should be a convenience, not a catastrophe. Make sure it comes ready to go right out of the box, with no need for complicated assembly and missing parts.

How Much Storage Space?

If you’re purchasing a hand-trailer, make sure you get a compact folding model. Folding kayak trailers allows you to break them down along the centerlines for easy storage in your car’s trunk. Folding trailers are easy to break down and unpack with minimal effort.

If you’re purchasing a car trailer, you’ll need to have the right amount of storage space in your garage or a boat shed outside on the driveway to park your trailer and kayaks. If you have two cars and a double garage, we doubt you’ll have the space to store your kayaks and trailers, unless you use an overhead pulley racking system.

An overhead storage system allows you to secure the trailer and the boats in your garage’s rafters, and you’ll have enough space to park both cars inside as well. The pulley system frees up the floor space, while still providing easy access to your trailer and boats on the weekend.

Pulley storage systems are readily available online from several manufacturers. We recommend looking at a model that offers quick-release pulley systems for effortless storage.

What’s the Size of the Tongue?

The tongue refers to the distance between the axle and the hitch on car trailers. You’ll need to ensure the shaft is the halfway point between the halfway point of a fully-loaded kayak. Therefore, the tongue’s distance determines the length of the kayak you can fit on the trailer.

Tandem kayaks and sea-kayaks are typically longer than river kayaks, and you’ll have to take this into account when making your purchase. For most freshwater kayaks, a 6-foot tongue has plenty of room to fit most boats. If you’re hauling a sea kayak, look for models with eight to ten-foot tongues.

How Many Kayaks Kit on the Trailer?

When purchasing your car kayak trailer, you’ll need to assess how many boats you can fit. Most car trailers have ratings up to 600-lbs, making it safe to carry four to six boats, depending on the specifications.

However, if you’re using a hand-trailer, you’ll need to be more careful. Most hand-trailers are only suitable for hauling one boat, with some models carrying two. Check the capacity you need and purchase the right trailer to suit your requirements.

What Kind of Accessories Come with the Trailer?

When choosing a car or hand trailer, check out the optional extras that come with your model. Look for trailers that offer special storage for oars, loading kits, cradle adaptors and sets, additional padding, and spare tires.

Does the Tire Size Matter?

Yes, the tire size on your trailer does matter. If you’re purchasing a car trailer, look for 12-inch or 13-inch air-filled tires on your trailer. Most car trailers should offer a spare, but some only include it as an optional extra. For hand trailers, we recommend you go with eight to ten-inch tires and look for air-filled tires.

Does the Carrier or Trailer Need Assembly?

As mentioned, you want to look for a trailer that comes fully-assembled out of the box. Some car trailers might come delivered in parts, requiring you to assemble them yourself.

You’ll need some mechanical knowledge and the right tools to assemble the trailer. If you don’t have either, we recommend you hire a handyman to do the job. Unfortunately, hiring someone to do the assembly work will end up increasing the cost of your trailer.

If you’re purchasing a folding hand trailer for your kayak, most come fully assembled in the box. However, there are a few models that may require minor assembly.

The Weight of the Kayak

The weight of your kayak plays a role in choosing the right trailer. With car trailers, you should be a load capacity of up to 600-lbs or more. However, hand-trailers vary from 110-lb loads to a maximum of 165-lbs, depending on the model.

Things to Look for in the Best Kayak Trailer

What are the components of a good kayak trailer? Check on these design factors before you settle on your purchase.

  • Frame – The frame of your trailer determines its weather-resistance, corrosion resistance, and durability. For car trailers, we recommend you go with a galvanized steel model. The trailer needs some weight to it, and galvanized steel has excellent corrosion resistance. For and trailers and roof rack systems, aluminum tubing is a great choice for lightweight frames that are easy to control.
  • Wheels – Air-filled tires are the best choice for both car trailers and handheld kayak trailers. Air-filled tires navigate your trailer over bumps and harsh terrain without getting stuck. Plastic wheels don’t absorb shock, nut they are lightweight, and suit some hand trailer designs.
  • Padding – Look for models that come with durable padding to protect your boat. Poor-quality padding breaks away after a few months of use, especially with saltwater kayaks.
  • Stand – The stand helps you keep the hand trailer or car trailer level and prevents it from rolling away.
  • Tie-downs – Look for models that include tie-downs with the package. Tie-downs keep your boat securely in place during transport. If tie-downs don’t come included with your kayak trailer, you’ll have to purchase them separately, driving up your trailer’s cost.
  • Axles – Some hand-trailer models come with expandable shafts to suit wider boats or carry two boats simultaneously.
  • Warranty – Look for trailers that come with a manufacturer warranty on parts. A three-year warranty shows you are dealing with a brand that prides itself on quality.

Kayak Trailer FAQs

When is the best time of year to buy a kayak trailer?

Most kayak retailers offer the best deals on equipment like new boats, paddles, and carriers or trailers over Memorial Day weekend. The next best time to buy a kayak carrier or boat is at the end of August as the season ends. You’ll find great deals available during the Christmas period and January sales as well.

Should I transport my kayak facing up or down on the trailer?

For long hauls, we recommend carrying your kayak with the top of the boat facing the road. This carrying style provides even weight distribution, preventing the kayak from moving around. This position also prevents rain from entering the boat, and it also offers the best aerodynamics for transport.

However, if you’re carrying your kayak down to the beach on a hand-trailer, we recommend placing it right-side-up. This placement lets you load your fishing gear without any damage to your equipment.

How far can my kayak hang off the back of my truck or trailer?

If the boat extends more than 4-feet past the end of the trailer or the load bin on your truck, you’ll need to attach a red cloth to notify other drivers of the extended load. Some states, such as California, allow an overhang of up to 10-feet past the vehicle’s end. Check your local regulations for safety information.

Can you drive with the tailgate of your truck down and the kayak hanging off the back?

No, according to all the road regulations we could find, it’s illegal to drive or park your truck with the tailgate facing down in the loading position. There is an exclusion that states if the load prevents you from closing the tailgate, you might be exempt, but we don’t think that a kayak will qualify in this case.

Kayak Trailers – The Verdict

By now, you should have a good idea of the best kayak trailers and select the right model to match your boat and your transportation needs. Whether you’re walking down to the beach, or driving to the lake, there’s a model in this review to suit your needs.

If you’re still on the fence with your decision, why not choose a model from our top picks? The TMS 2X Jon Boat Kayak Canoe Carrier comes with two carriers, and plenty of space for 12 to 15-foot boats. The large air-filled tires make it easy to pull the boat over rocks and tough terrain, while the durable aluminum frame supports weight up to 150-lbs.

If you need a car trailer, we recommend the Ruff-Sport. This model has everything you need to pack four boats, or two boats and your mountain bikes. You get a fold-up stand and LEDs that connect to your car lights for blinkers and indicators. This model is a top choice for hauling your kayaks across the country.

If you’re looking for the best budget buy in this review with outstanding value for money, we recommend the Camba Universal Kayak Trailer. This model features independent suspension over each wheel, providing smooth movement over rough terrain. The aluminum frame supports up to 115-lbs, and it folds away for easy storage.

Adrienne is a traveller and blogger with many years experience of the outdoors life. An adrenaline junkie at heart she loves to try different sports and activities all year round. With a degree in journalism she combines her love of sports with writing here at BeActiveOutdoors.com Contact adrienne@beactiveoutdoors.com

1 Comment

  1. Looking to haul two 12′ Wilderness Tsunami kayaks and two bicycles back/forth from CT to FL via 2014 Subaru Outback; would use it/them locally in either location throughout the year. Thanks!

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