Best Kayak Trolley | WFLA

Which kayak cart is the best?

A solo paddle on crystal clear water. A group outing among the tumultuous waves. A lazy float on a winding river. Here are some of the places a kayak can take you. But first you have to put this kayak in place. The best kayak carts make it easier to carry over the roughest terrain. Adding one to your gear list means you’ll no longer be tasked with dragging (and potentially damaging) your boat into the water.

The Suspenz Smart Airless DLX Cart is designed for kayakers who regularly hike to remote locations before paddling.

What to know before buying a kayak cart

Inflatable or airless tires

Kayak carts have inflatable or airless tires. Inflatable tires allow you to customize the pressure depending on the terrain (e.g. less pressure on sand), but they are susceptible to punctures and less durable. Balloon tires and inflatables are two inflatable options.

In contrast, airless tires are not adjustable but are generally sturdier. They can handle rocky and rough terrain without worrying about damage. Foam and plastic tires never need air and never deflate, but may not perform well on sand.

Trolley type

The type of cart you select is based on the type of kayak you own.

  • Cart: Carts roll on two wheels attached to a plastic or metal frame. They are ideal for uneven terrain and provide strong, balanced support.
  • Cart: Carts are longer and look like a boat trailer. They can extend the full length of your kayak and can support heavier loads.
  • Sabotage: If your kayak has scuppers – openings in the hull designed to drain water – then a scupper cart is a good choice. It features arms that thread through the scuppers to keep the boat stable.

weight capacity

Each kayak cart is rated on how much weight it can safely carry. If you are kayaking in a group or your boat is heavy, look for a higher weight capacity.

What to Look for in a Quality Kayak Trolley

Protective bumpers

Protective bumpers prevent scratches where your boat’s hull comes into contact with the dolly. These are usually made of rigid foam covered with strong plastic or synthetic material. The best bumpers dry quickly, which prevents mildew from growing.

Ratchet straps included

When transporting over rough terrain, ratchet straps hold your boat to the rack. Just one or two ties can mean the difference between an easy trip and repeatedly hoisting your kayak onto the trolley.

big tires

Bigger tires add weight, but they also lift the kayak and allow you to move over bigger rocks and downed tree limbs. Large tires can also increase the weight capacity of the cart.

Foldable frame

Even hard-core kayakers take at least a month or two off every year. The best kayak carts feature a collapsible frame that fits in a carry bag or ties off easily with straps. This allows you to store it in a small space until your season starts again.

How much you can expect to spend on a kayak cart

Prices vary depending on weight capacity and extras included with the cart. Expect to spend $50 to $500 for a cart.

Kayak Trolley FAQ

Do you need a kayak trolley?

A. While it’s true that some kayakers do just fine without a trolley, having one makes it easier to get into difficult set ups. It’s one thing to slide your 50-pound, 5-foot kayak down a short stretch of sand and quite another to hoist it overhead for a half-mile ride through the woods.

Kayak carts also make moving your kayak easy. Consider the distance you need to travel between where your kayak is stored and the car for loading. With the average recreational kayak weighing 35 pounds (and some tandem kayaks reaching 100 pounds or more), even just using the cart for loading makes for an easier experience.

How to maintain a kayak trolley?

A. It is important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. However, caring for a kayak cart is simple.

  • After each tripcheck for dirt and debris.
  • Water the hose any mud or grime.
  • If your tires are inflatablecheck for punctures and repair if necessary.
  • For long term storagefold flat and store in a carrying case if you have one.

What is the best kayak cart to buy?

Top Kayak Trolley

Suspenz Smart Airless DLX Trolley

What do you want to know: It’s tough, durable, and ideal for those who frequently hike to get in the water.

What you will love: The frame is made of rust-resistant powder-coated aluminum. The hardware is stainless steel and sturdy. The carrier can hold up to 125 pounds on 10 inch airless tires. A mesh bag for transport is included and the trolley folds up when not in use.

What you should consider: It doesn’t hold a lot of weight.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Best kayak cart for the money

Abn Universal Kayak Carrier

Abn Universal Kayak Carrier

What do you want to know: Choose this cart for kayaks up to 200 pounds.

What you will love: It is sturdy and affordable for such a high weight capacity. The frame is anodized steel and the 9.5-inch tires are knobby for moving over rocky surfaces. It has bumper pads and folds up for storage.

What you should consider: Some users found it wobbly.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Bonnlo Kayak Cart Carrier

Bonnlo Kayak Cart Carrier

What do you want to know: It is best for sea kayakers traveling on sand.

What you will love: This carrier holds 165 pounds on 12-inch inflatable balloon tires that are designed to more evenly distribute weight for easy movement over quicksand. The frame is all aluminum and easy to assemble, and the included ratchet straps keep your kayak secure.

What you should consider: Inflatable tires are more prone to punctures and may not be as durable as airless versions.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Register here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.

Suzannah Kolbeck written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.