The 10 Best Kayak Carts

Updated March 26, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. You're going to get enough exercise while paddling your kayak or canoe, so you might as well make it easy on yourself when transporting it to the dock or waterside by using one of these dollies. The carts we've selected can handle a variety of terrain, while also being easy to pull -- even after an exhausting day on the water. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best kayak cart on Amazon.

10. Hobie Heavy Duty

9. Apex KC-Dolly-Seat

8. Best Choice Products SKY1251

7. Seattle Sports ATC

6. Malone Xpress

5. PaddleLogic TrailTrekker

4. Malone Auto Racks Deluxe

3. C-Tug Trolley

2. TMS KY001

1. Suspenz Smart DLX

Finding The Right Kayak Cart

Kayaks come in a surprisingly wide variety of shapes, lengths, and weights. You can get an inflatable kayak designed for use by one person that weighs less than 25 pounds or you can get a rigid one person sit-in style kayak that weighs more than fifty pounds. When it comes to tandem kayaks, their weight can leap up to more than eighty pounds or higher.

So while some kayaks can easily be carried across large swaths of rough terrain by a single person, some kayaks necessitate additional assistance just to make the trek from the top of your car down to the docks or beach from which you'll launch the craft. Fortunately, there are plenty of great kayak carts that are ready to roll, as it were.

When choosing a kayak cart, first and foremost you need to select a unit that can safely support your boat. If you have a large multiple person kayak, some of the smaller carts might not be up to the challenge of hauling it. Make sure to check the weight rating of any cart you are considering, and keep in mind that the base weight of your kayak is not the right weight to consider; you will almost definitely have other gear tucked into your kayak while hauling it, and this gear can add weight quickly.

After weight capacity, next consider the size and design of a kayak cart. If you just need a cart to help you get your kayak down from a parking lot or yard to its launch point and you can leave the cart there by the water or you can quickly return it to a vehicle or building before you get into the water, the cart's size is of little importance. If, however, you need to collapse the kayak cart and tuck it into your watercraft with you, your options become more limited. These collapsible kayak carts are also often more expensive than their less flexible counterparts, but the convenience they afford their owner compensates for the cost.

Finally consider the type of terrain over which you will likely have to haul your boat. Some kayak carts have large, thick pneumatic tires with heavy treads; these are great options for rough and rocky paths or for use on grass or even sand, but such wheels might add unnecessary weight if you tend to travel on sidewalks and roads.

Other Gear Kayakers Must Consider

Once you have a great kayak and a rugged and ready kayak cart with which to haul it, you are almost ready for adventures out there on the water. But there are still a few items of gear you must have before setting out, and there are a few accessories you're sure to want.

Beyond the boat itself, your primary concern should be to select a great kayak paddle. They key to choosing the right kayak paddle comes in finding one that suits your height, but in this unique case, the overall height you stand off the ground is not of key concern: rather the "height" of your torso is the most important factor.

As a quick frame of reference, a paddler with a torso measuring two feet from belt to neck should look for a paddle measuring about 190 centimeters (kayak paddles are almost always measured using the Metric System), while a paddler with a toro measuring 30 inches needs a paddle that is about 220 CM in length.

The next piece of gear to get is a lifejacket. Even the experienced swimmer should wear a flotation device when kayaking, and the use of these devices is imperative if you are heading for whitewater. (Your swimming prowess won't help you much if you've been knocked dizzy by a rock or by the hull of your own boat.)

Once you have a paddle and a lifejacket, next consider whether or not you need a helmet. Again this is an absolute necessity for whitewater kayaking, but likely not needed if you are taking your kayak out on flat water or if you are kayaking in the ocean on calmer days.

A wetsuit is a great (if not necessary) choice for use in cold water and can keep you warmer and more comfortable during long paddling sessions. As for those accessories you might not need but are sure to enjoy, consider waterproof speakers for listening to tunes while you paddle and a waterproof camera for capturing memories.

A Brief Look At The Amazing Kayak

Humans have been making and using kayaks for thousands of years; the earliest examples of these versatile, durable boats may date back to the third millennium BCE, in fact. Traditional kayaks were made in much the same way for all the centuries leading up to the modern era: the natives of the frigid northern polar region would stretch the prepared skins of an animal over a frame made from bone or wood, creating a watertight craft that could quickly and numbly cut through the waters.

By the mid 19th Century, western interest in the canoes and kayaks of native peoples led to the experimentation with new craft building materials, though the basic design of the kayak would remain the same. Fabrics replaced animal skins as kayak coverings, and this approach remained the standard until the mid 20th Century.

In the 1950s, fiberglass kayaks emerged as the most popular type of boat, with the need for an internal frame largely negated thanks to the rigid material. Plastic supplanted fiberglass in the 1980s and remains the material of choice today. Kayak shape, however, and the way in which the nimble craft perform, has changed little in thousands of years.


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Last updated on March 26, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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