Best kayak cart for different terrains: 5 reviews and buying guide

Kayak Cart
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Once you are in possession of a kayak, the next big thing is figuring out how to transport it. Given that your kayak isn’t foldable or inflatable, you’ll most likely need a kayak cart. You see, the most strenuous part of kayaking is actually getting your kayak from your vehicle or campground to the water.

You need a sturdy trolley that offers easy on-boat storage, transports your kayak safely, and is easy to guide. Besides reviewing the 5 best kayak carts, we also share a buying guide near the end of the article. This will allow you to make an informed decision when choosing the best kayak cart for your specific needs.

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

Best kayak cart reviews

Onefeng Sports Kayak Cart Boat Carrier

This sturdy kayak cart is designed with an adjustable width axle, spring button features and sporty red and black plastic wheels. The plastic wheels prevent problems that are common to inflatable tires such as air leaks. In addition, these eco-friendly tires have rubber sheaths to avoid slippage. 

The cart frame has a padded design and comes with a black cover for maximum protection of your kayak. The weight capacity is equal to 175 pounds and the 10 foot strap is attached to the rubber cones. This allows your kayak to be securely attached to the cart for safe transportation to and from waterfront locations. It is also possible to easily disassemble the kayak cart for storage in your kayak hatches or at home. 

It features an updated connection method for attaching the straps to the cart that does not require the lynch pin. Rather than using this pin, it connects the spring knob to the dollie tube, promoting good tire use for years to come. This makes the design more attractive as the lynchpin is often lost. It also has a 10 foot strap attached to the cart, which ensures that your kayak is securely attached to the trolley and does not slip.

Pros
  • This kayak model has high quality mounting rods for kayak loading.
  • This trolley for transporting kayaks is well-built and sturdy.
  • Easy to dismantle, this kayak dollie fits well in kayak hatches.
  • This convenient kayak cart can even be stowed behind your kayak seat.
Cons
  • Cart straps can rub on the wheels and break.
  • The aluminum sections of this cart seem too lightweight for carrying heavier kayaks.

Suspenz Smart Airless DLX Cart

This bright yellow and black cart for hauling kayaks holds up to 125 pounds and comes with durable rubber pads for a kayak to rest on. Its airless 10-inch tires will never incur a flat and can travel over various types of terrain, smooth and rough. The cart frame is made of powder-coated aluminum, and the hardware is stainless steel.

This frame folds to a compact size of 27 x 13 x 3 inches and fits in a mesh storage bag. It is designed with the latest quality materials and is structured to provide ultimate comfort and ease of use while providing long lasting wear.

The durable straps of this kayak trolley keep your kayak firmly in place, slightly suspending some of the weight. This prevents your kayak from absorbing the shock of bumps in your path to and from the water. Lastly, this make and model are known for their practical, advanced design for use by kayakers of all ages.

Pros
  • This kayak cart is easy to assemble and break down for storage.
  • This cart’s rugged, airless tires are great for rolling over varied types of terrain.
  • This trolley is stable and very easy to load and unload.
  • When using this cart with its smooth operation, your kayak can feel as light as a feather.
Cons
  • This cart is sometimes difficult to guide on thick grass-covered ground.
  • This trolley can tip if the kayak weight is not distributed well during loading.

ABN Universal Kayak Carrier

A key advantage of this kayak cart is its ability to also haul canoes and paddleboards efficiently. This model is made of powerful anodized steel for supporting and hauling heavy loads up to 200 pounds. Its measurements are 22 x 9.2 x 13 inches and has 9.5-inch knobby inflatable tires.

It is easy to guide over uneven surfaces such as gravel, sand and rough woodland paths. Its extra-large foam bumper pads safeguard your kayak from surface scrapes, scratches and dents. Also, it includes a 12-foot tie-down strap for securing your kayak during transport.

Similar to the other kayak cart reviews, this kayak cart is easy to fold and store once you remove the lynch pin that connects the tires to the cart frame. It can actually fit into a large-size backpack or in your kayak hatch areas of storage once folded. This dolly also features a convenient kickstand that is spring-loaded, which is of great help when positioning your kayak.

You can inflate the tires of this cart using a bike pump. Once inflated, these durable knobby tires support smooth, easy, non-jarring movement across a wide array of surface types. This allows for fast and easy transport of your kayak.

Pros
  • This cart will keep your kayak stable when going up or down a slope.
  • By turning over your kayak, you can achieve excellent secure placement on this cart.
  • You can easily assemble this trolley without instructions.
  • This kayak cart rolls very easily through loose gravel and sand and over thick grass.
Cons
  • This cart requires longer tie straps for holding a kayak during transport.
  • Unless you load your kayak so that the load weight is the same, this cart can tip completely.
  • Given the inflatable tires, there is a risk of a flat tire

Railblaza Ctug Kayak or Canoe Trolley Cart

This well-built green and black kayak trolley have rubber tread wheels with a strong grip that is puncture resistant. Moreover, it comes with a stand that can be adjusted as needed and is designed to drive on almost any type of surface.

The rubber kayak pads are sturdy, adjustable, and fit almost all hull shapes. No tools are required for assembly and it can be disassembled in less than 20 seconds. So whether you are at home preparing for kayaking or getting ready to get off the waterfront, this cart will not slow you down.

Made of reinforced composite materials, this model also offers elastomeric hull padding along with durable stainless steel axles that are rust-proof. Its weight capacity is 300 lbs making it an ideal choice if you plan on carrying lots of gear when going kayaking.

Finally, this model is known as the most versatile kayak cart in the consumer market today, for long-term use. Measuring 25 x 12 x 12 inches, it is designed for use by kayakers of all ages and sizes and stores easily in the hatch of your kayak.

Pros
  • This kayak cart does not rust, spot, or stain when exposed to saltwater
  • This trolley can literally be assembled and dismantled within a few seconds
  • This cart displays a streamlined, simple structure, but was designed using advanced engineering
  • When hauling your kayak on this cart, your boat stays completely secure, even on rough, bumpy terrain
Cons
  • When rolling through sandy terrains, the wheels of this cart can sink in slightly
  • Some kayak shapes are difficult to secure on this cart

Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart

This black trolley with a robust design won the 2018 award from Paddling Magazine for the best kayak trolley for transport, storage, and launch. Designed and manufactured to carry the heaviest kayaks on the market today, this trolley can carry up to 450 pounds.

This wagon model can be loaded and unloaded easily, even without a kickstand or scupper posts. During transport, the adjustable bunker rod frame protects your kayak from sliding sideways or twisting. The model also comes with two different heights: a high design for unusual hull shapes and a low post for kayaks with a lower center of gravity.

Like the other kayak carts above, this model is fully collapsible, making it easy to store in kayak hatches or other storage areas. It is manufactured from a marine-grade, heat-treated aluminum alloy to ensure optimal strength and its dimensions are 32 x 25.5 x 16 inches.

The no flat kayak wheels measure 12 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches in width. This model comes with a pair of beach wheels specially designed to roll over sand without sinking. Also, these handy and reliable wheels have no air, eliminating problems such as flat tires.

Pros
  • The two height choices for this trolley make it easier to use for virtually all kayak designs.
  • This kayak cart model is well-designed with expert padding, wheels, and tie-down straps.
  • This cart performs equally well on concrete, smooth wood ramps, and loose gravel surfaces.
Cons
  • Some of the nuts and bolts connecting the different parts on this kayak cart may rust
  • Without a kickstand, you need to load this cart quickly to ensure that it does not roll somewhat, making placement of the kayak difficult

How to choose the best kayak cart

Sit On Top Trolley

C-Tug Trolley

Beach kayak cart

Today’s advanced kayak cart designs offer special features to safeguard the structure of your kayak. For example, more contemporary kayaks are now designed with asymmetrical shapes. For this reason, the ideal point for attaching the cart is approximately 18 inches inward from the tip of the stern or bow.

Since the end sections are the sturdiest parts of the kayak, they are not easily damaged. However, the middle section of the boat can be weakened and incur damage if a cart is attached at that point. The best dollie designs also come with strong straps for easier and safe transport of heavy kayaks over longer distances.

In any case, here are four essential characteristics to consider when choosing your new kayak cart:

Load Weight Capacity

Check the weight-bearing capacity of any kayak cart model that you are considering buying. You want to be certain that the cart of your choice can easily carry your kayak. You also want to ensure that its load weight capacity can accommodate a few extra pounds. This will alleviate any concerns as well as transport your kayak filled with camping and/or fishing gear.

Cart Wheel Design

Determine the composition and advantages of your kayak trolley’s wheels. You need to know whether the wheels consist of solid composite (air-free design) or require inflating. Solid wheels operate well on a variety of surfaces, including rough terrain. Inflated tires, however, are recommended for transport on sandy soil or beaches. If you plan to launch your kayak from a beach area for fishing, inflated tires are your ideal choice.

Cart Frame

Most lightweight kayak dollies today are made of aluminum, while some are made of sturdy composite material. The heavy wear kayak carts are constructed of powder-coated steel. Carts that offer easy disassembling at the waterside and easily fit into your kayak hatches are the ideal designs to buy. These trolleys are also easy to store at campgrounds since many can fit into lightweight storage bags when disassembled.

Accessories

Nearly all kayak cart models today are shipped with a stand that is spring-loaded to keep your trolley upright. This is especially important during the loading and unloading of your kayak. Many trolleys are also sold with free ratchet straps for securing your kayak to the cart. Some carrier carts are sold with storage sacks and pumps for the maintenance of inflatable wheels.

Additional tips for selecting the best kayak cart

First off, if you are new to kayaking, you may be experimenting with different kayak brands and styles. If so, you may want to borrow a kayak from a friend before buying one. Since many avid kayakers have more than one kayak, your friends will most likely be happy to loan you one.

That being said, your friends may not own multiple kayak carts. This puts you in a situation in which you will need to buy one so that you are certain no to damage the hull of the kayak. In this case, experts recommend getting an automotive-grade, injection-molded plastic design, since this type of cart will fit virtually any brand and model of kayak.

A kayak cart that is strong, durable, and made from superior quality materials will not only last longer but will also make transporting your kayak feel like a walk in the park. It will be able to roll smoothly over rough terrain without taking any damage. 

Lastly, aim for a kayak dolly that is easy to load and unload a kayak off from. The key point here is that it is easy to distribute the weight of the kayak evenly so that you can easily guide it from the vehicle to the waterside.

What are the Advantages of Top-Quality Kayak carts?

Optimal quality kayak carts are actually engineered to transport a recreational kayak of any size. Your kayak can be secured to the cart quickly and easily, regardless of the shape of its hull or stern. With the trolley now bearing more than half of the kayak weight, you can easily lift the free end. This way, you can simply guide your kayak and cart to the water while avoiding stress, strain, and fatigue.

Your ideal kayak cart will be equipped with kayak wheels that are suitable for all types of terrain. This makes it possible for you to guide your kayak over rocks, mud, and even soft sand. It should also be lightweight, compact, and easy to disassemble when you want to stow it in your kayak hatch.

Key Insights & Takeaways

We hope that after reading this kayak cart product review and guide, you will find it easier to choose your new kayak cart. Taking the time to explore the specifics and functions of your favorite models can help you make an informed purchasing decision. You will understand the benefits of each kayak cart design and which model suits you best.

Among the five top kayak cart choices discussed above, these are the main outstanding features and traits for each kayak cart:

The Onefeng Sports model offers an adjustable width axle and spring button features for smooth kayak transport. Its carrying capacity is 175 pounds. The Suspenz Smart Airless model is constructed of sturdy powder-coated aluminum and stainless steel. It hauls up to 125 pounds, rolling on solid kayak wheels that will never go flat.  

The ABN Universal kayak trolley can carry kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards and is composed of anodized steel. It can handle heavy loads of up to 200 pounds.

The Railblaza Ctug kayak cart comes with puncture-proof rubber tread wheels and a kickstand. This model can travel over virtually any type of terrain with a load limit of 300 pounds and fits nearly all hull shapes. 

The Wilderness Systems heavy-duty cart is designed to carry the heaviest kayaks on today’s consumer market. It offers a load weight capacity of 450 pounds and two different height choices for carrying kayaks with varied hull shapes and centers of gravity. 

As you can see, all of these kayak cart brands and models offer superior quality design, construction and features. They are all top-rated choices for use by today’s kayaking enthusiasts of all ages and levels of experience. 

However, our pick for the best kayak cart of the group is the Railblaza Ctug Kayak or Canoe cart. Considering its overall advanced design, quality, and features, it offers excellent, easy, and reliable kayak transport to modern-day kayakers.

Yet ultimately, you will make your own purchasing decision for a new kayak carrier. You are the very best person to understand your specific preferences and needs for this essential item of kayaking gear. Consider all of your options, and make a well-informed choice for many future days of adventure on the water. – Happy Travels!

Ally Mash
Ally Mash
Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.

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