July 25, 2022 15 min read

Kayak Trailers

Orange kayak stack on a kayak trailer

Unless you have an incredible river flowing down the bottom of your backyard, you’re going to need a way to transport your kayak to other destinations. Sure, you can go down the roof rack route, but roof racks can be difficult to load, especially if you’re a solo paddler. 

If you don’t have the upper body strength to haul your kayak onto your vehicle's roof, or if you have more than one kayak, then a kayak trailer is the solution to all your kayak transportation needs. 

Kayak trailers come in a range of variations, and we’re here to narrow down 7 of the best kayak trailers on the market to make your life a whole lot easier. To find out which kayak is suitable for you, keep on reading!

Benefits of Kayak Trailers

Man transporting a red kayak on a kayak trailer

If you are on the fence about whether a kayak trailer is right for you, then there are a few benefits that may sway you in the right direction. 

Easy to Load

The first benefit of a kayak trailer is that they’re easy to load. Loading your kayak onto a roof rack system can be a struggle, especially if you’re a smaller paddler who likes to head out solo. There are roof-rack systems that aid in loading, but they still require you to lift your kayak up past hip height. 

A kayak trailer, on the other hand, is far closer to the ground, meaning you only have to slide your kayak on and secure it into place. This low height makes it safer to remove the kayak as you don’t have to reach for an object over 40 lbs on your vehicle’s roof.

Can Carry More Than One Kayak

The second and one of the most important factors that persuade people into buying a kayak trailer is that they can carry more than one kayak at a time. If you’re a family of paddlers who regularly enjoys taking your kayaks out on the weekend, then transporting all your kayaks on the roof would be difficult. Maybe even impossible.

Depending on the trailer you choose, you can carry multiple kayaks at once, making it easier to get all of your family's kayaks to the water's edge. 

Safer Over Long Distances

A kayak trailer is the best and safest way to transport kayaks over long distances as they securely lock onto your car. With a roof rack system, there is always a risk of your kayak flying off the roof if the straps aren’t tightened correctly. 

Kayaks on a roof have a greater force pushing against them than kayaks in a trailer. The vehicle pulling the trailer along acts as a windbreak which lessens the possibility of the kayaks moving around.

Choosing a Kayak Trailer: Things to Consider

Kayaks loaded on kayak trailer

With any purchase, there are a few things you need to consider before committing to a specific kayak trailer. After all, the best kayak trailer for you will be different from the next person. 

Trailer’s Maximum Weight Capacity

One of the most important factors to pay attention to when buying a kayak trailer is its maximum weight capacity. This weight capacity indicates whether the trailer will be big enough to accommodate your kayaks and all of your additional kayaking gear

The best thing to do is to weigh all the kayaks that you regularly take out with you. Make sure to include any of the gear that you’d ideally like to strap onto the trailer too. Once you have a final number, your potential kayak trailer should be able to hold this amount of weight and then some. 

How Many Kayaks Will You Transport?

Along with the amount of weight they can carry, kayak trailers also have a maximum amount of kayaks they can carry. Most kayak trailers can typically hold between one and four kayaks. Obviously, if you’re a family of four, then a four kayak trailer would suit you, and if you paddle solo, then a smaller single kayak trailer would work in your favor.

There are even multi-kayak trailers that can hold over ten kayaks at a time, but if you’re hauling this many kayaks, it might be worth getting a trailer custom-made. 

What Size is your Kayak?

Kayak trailers are designed to hold either single or tandem kayaks up to a specific size. So, along with meeting the weight requirements, your kayak also has to meet the length requirements. 

Measure your longest kayak and compare it to the trailer’s dimensions. Overhangs can be dangerous while driving, so ensure your trailer is able to accommodate your specific kayak length. 

Will You Carry Other Gear?

Carrying kayaks is one thing, but if you want to get the most versatility out of your kayak trailer, then you need to think about what other gear may be loaded into the trailer bed. 

For example, if you’re all about the outdoors and enjoy kayaking, cycling, and camping, then ideally, you’d want a trailer that can hold your kayak, your bike, and any camping gear. These trailers are called multi-sport trailers and are designed to be more versatile than standard kayak trailers.

Other Features to Consider

Colorful kayak on a kayak trailer

Although the things we listed above are the most important things to consider, there are also some other factors that you should pay close attention to. 

Tire and Wheel Size

Tire size plays a role in the height of your trailer and how well it will perform on different terrains. 

Smaller tires will keep the trailer lower to the ground, making it easier to load and unload the kayaks. But, these smaller wheels will have great difficulty in off-road conditions and may not last as long as larger wheeled variations. 

Larger tires, on the other hand, are capable of handling rougher terrains which can really come in handy if your chosen waterway is off the beaten path.

Suspension System

A suspension system isn't a necessary requirement for most people transporting their kayaks on standard roads. But, if you regularly take your kayak over rough and bumpy terrain, then a suspension system would make the world of difference. 

Tongue Length

The trailer’s tongue length is what determines how long of a kayak the trailer can transport. The longer the tongue (the distance between the axle and the hitch), the more versatile your kayak trailer will be, as it can safely transport longer kayaks.

Storage

Sometimes, storage of the trailer gets overlooked, but it is actually a really important thing to consider before you purchase. You might find the perfect kayak trailer, but if you have nowhere to store it, then you’ll run into some issues.

Before you hit that checkout button, consider where you’re going to store the trailer when it’s not in use. This could be a garage, shed, or under a deck. 

Take out your tape measure and measure the available space in said area and compare it to the trailers you’re looking at purchasing. If the trailer will fit, you’re good to go! If not, then you’ll either have to opt for a smaller trailer or find a better storage solution.

Some companies have even thought long and hard about this issue and designed folding kayak trailers that can be stored far easier than traditional ones.

Trailer Construction

Low bed kayak trailer

If you’re after a durable kayak trailer, then you’ll need to pay attention to the materials used to make it. After all, a kayak carrier can be an expensive piece of kit, and you don’t want to have to replace it every few years. 

There are three most common materials used for kayak trailers, and these include aluminum, non-galvanized steel, and galvanized steel. 

  • Aluminum - Aluminum is slightly more expensive than other kayak material options, but this price reflects in how lightweight and durable the trailer is. Kayak trailers made from aluminum are rust-resistant and incredibly lightweight, making them really easy to move. 
  • Galvanized steel - Galvanized steel frame kayak trailers come in at the mid-range price point. These frames are sometimes coated with steel or a layer of zinc to improve their resistance to corrosion or rust, even in saltwater environments. 
  • Non-galvanized steel - The cheapest of the tree are non-galvanized steel kayak carriers. Although non-galvanized steel is strong, it rusts and corrodes if it comes into contact with saltwater. If you’re an avid sea kayaker, then this option might not be the one for you.

Types of Kayak Trailer

Low Bed

A low bed kayak trailer has a frame that runs low to the ground. These trailers are the easiest trailers for loading and unloading as you barely have to lift the kayak up off the floor. As well as this, they’re also incredibly lightweight and are great for smaller vehicles that may not be able to tow heavy objects.

Stacked

Stacked trailers also usually have a low bed frame. However, they come with multiple racks, so you can load numerous kayaks at once. Trailers that are designed for 6+ kayaks will typically have a more elevated frame and better suspension.

Multi-Sport

Multi-sport trailers were constructed to not only hold kayaks, but also bikes, paddle boards, and canoes. These trailers are the best option for people who partake in numerous outdoor activities.

Foldable

We briefly mentioned before that there are even foldable kayak trailers on the market. These trailers are great for people with limited space as they can be folded and stored upright in a garage or shed.

GILI’s Top Picks: By Budget

Best Budget
Rambo bikes canoe trailer and kayak trailer
Rambo Kayak Trailer

The Rambo Bikes Canoe Trailer is a unique trailer that was designed to be hauled by bicycles. Although you can’t transport it on your car, it is a great option for transporting your kayak locally, especially if you enjoy cycling also.

Check Latest Price
Best Mid-Range
Ironton steel folding utility trailer kit
Ironton Steel Folding Utility Trailer

The Ironton Steel Folding Utility Trailer is the perfect mid-range kayak trailer option for those with limited storage space. The trailer can hold up to 1170 lbs and stands upright once folded in half.

Check Latest Price
Best Premium
Ruff-Sport Trailer Galvanized finish for kayak
Ruff Sport Kayak Trailer

Ruff Sport released a multi-sport trailer that can hold kayaks, SUPs, bikes, and cargo boxes. The galvanized steel frame is accompanied by 12’ wheels and soft springs to absorb road vibrations.

Check Latest Price

7 Kayak Trailers

Ironton Personal Watercraft Trailer

Ironton makes some of the top kayak trailers in the low budget range, so if you are looking to stick to a budget, then you should definitely check them out.

The Ironton Personal Watercraft Trailer is an extremely simple-looking trailer, but sometimes, simple is all you need. The two padded boat racks on the trailer can hold up to 610 lbs worth of weight, giving you the ability to transport even the heaviest kayak to your chosen waterway.

Ironton created their Personal Watercraft Carrier from powder-coated steel and accompanied it with 12-inch tires, which offer up a smooth ride, even when reaching up to 55 mph.

One of the downfalls of this trailer is that it can only hold a single kayak, so if you were looking to transport more than one kayak, the Ironton Personal Watercraft Trailer isn’t for you.

Ironton Personal Watercraft and Boat Trailer kit

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Suitable for a single kayak
  • Padded kayak racks
  • Made from steel
  • Weight capacity: 610 lbs
  • Total weight: 216 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.5’ x 4.3’ 

What we love:

  • It can hold a kayak with a weight of up to 610 lbs. 
  • Ironton designed it to be simple looking. 
  • It was made from powder-coated steel, which is durable and rust resistant. 

What we don't love:

  • It can only carry a single kayak.

Ironton Steel Folding Utility Trailer Kit

The second Ironton trailer to make our list is the Steel Folding Utility Trailer Kit. If you have heavy kayaks, fishing kayaks, or tandem kayaks, then this is definitely one to consider. In total, the Steel Folding Utility Trailer can hold up to 1170 lbs worth of weight which, in our opinion, is extremely impressive. 

To be able to carry this astonishing maximum load capacity, the frame of the trailer was designed out of rugged steel. If you know anything about metals, then the weight of steel can add up, so the Steel Folding Utility Trailer is one of the heavier kayaks to make our list. But, you win some, you lose some. 

If you’re a paddler whos tight for at-home storage space, then this trailer might also be for you. When it’s not in use, you can fold it in half and stand it upright. Ironton even added wheels to the base to make it even easier to move around.

Ironton steel folding utility trailer kit

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Compatible with kayaks up to 20’ feet in length
  • Foldable design
  • Compatible with most roof rack systems
  • Made from steel
  • Weight capacity: 1170 lbs
  • Total weight: 250 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11.25’ x 5’ 

What we love:

  • It has an incredible maximum weight capacity meaning you can carry even the most heaviest of kayaks.
  • It can be folded in half to fit into tight storage areas. 
  • It is reasonably priced considering how much weight it can carry. 

What we don't love:

  • It can take a few hours to set up.

Right On Trailer Ruff Sport Kayak Trailer

The first Right On Trailer to make our list is the Ruff Sport Kayak Trailer which was designed to be able to carry kayaks, SUPs, and bikes, all on the same trip. One thing Right On Trailer carefully thinks about when creating their trailers is how compatible they’ll be with separately purchased rack systems.

You see, to secure different outdoor equipment to the trailer, you’ll need to add saddles, J-racks, or stackers. The Ruff Sport Kayak Trailer is compatible with most Yakima and Thule racks which tend to be the most popular systems on the market.

The low-bed ruff Sport trailer is built from galvanized steel which is extremely strong and durable. The downside is, however, it may rust over time if you don’t take proper care of it. 

Without using stackers or other racks then, the Ruff Sport is a dedicated dual kayak trailer as it can hold two kayaks side by side. Obviously, though, if you want to carry more boats, then you can add a stacker and stack them as you please. 

Above all of this, the thing we love most about the Ruff Sport Trailer is that it can be folded and stored upright to save on space when it's not in use. 

Ruff-Sport Trailer Galvanized finish for kayak

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Compatible with kayaks up to 20 feet in length
  • Foldable design
  • Compatible with most roof rack systems
  • Made from galvanized steel
  • Weight capacity: 600 lbs
  • Total weight: 201 lbs

What we love:

  • You can attach separate racks and stackers to hold numerous outdoor equipment making it a very versatile kayak trailer.
  • Without additional racks, it can hold two kayaks side by side.
  • It has a foldable design, so it can be stored in small spaces.

What we don't love:

  • The boat trailer kit isn’t very easy to assemble.

Krypt Towers Multi-Sport Trailer

The Krypt Towers Multi-Sport Trailer is another trailer that can only hold a single kayak. This trailer, however, has a lower maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs, but this limit should still allow you to be able to carry heavy kayaks or fishing kayaks without any trouble.

One feature that sets this kayak apart is that it can be adjusted to fit different types of water equipment. At its shortest, it can be 4.5 feet, and you can then further adjust it to 7.5 or 11 feet, depending on how long your kayak, canoe, or paddle board is. 

Its tires also deserve a special mention as their 16 inches and are designed to run over a variety of terrain that other trailers may struggle with.

Krypt Towers also gives you the option of including a T Bar Dolly to make transporting the trailer when it’s not in use even easier. 

Krypt Towers Multisport Portable Carry and Launch Small Boat Trailer

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Adjustable to be compatible with a range of kayak lengths
  • Suitable for only a single kayak
  • Made from aluminum
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs

What we love:

  • You can adjust the length of the trailer to meet your specific kayak length.
  • The tires were designed to be able to tackle a variety of different terrains.
  • You have the option of adding a T Bar Dolly to make transportation of the trailer when it’s not in use easier.

What we don't love:

  • It only carries one kayak. 

Right On Trailer Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer

An excellent multi-functional trailer is the Right On Trailer Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer. Now, it may not seem like much, but this trailer can carry kayaks up to 15 feet in length, as well as canoes, SUPs, cargo boxes, small sailboats, and bicycles. 

In total, the multi-rack trailer is 11.5 feet long, 5 feet wide, and weighs in at 165lbs. This light trailer weight and the trailer's tire design make it easy for one person to push the entire trailer over flat surfaces. As some trailers can be difficult to push and maneuver, it is great to see that the multi-rack trailer can be handled with just one person. 

When it comes to weight capacity, Right On Trailer has suggested that the multi-rack trailer works best with a total load of up to 300 lbs due to its softened springs. This 300 lbs weight can be made up of just kayaks or a combination of other outdoor equipment. It can even hold up to 6 bicycles with the correct configuration!

Right On Trailer also wanted their multi-sport kayak trailer to be durable, so they designed it out of powder-coated steel. Powdered coated steel is highly resistant to rust, so you’ll have peace of mind knowing your trailer is protected from the outdoor elements. 

Finally, they also made the crossbars compatible with most roof rack systems, meaning your kayaks, bikes, or SUPs can be securely fastened in place to your favorite saddles, J-cradles, or stackers. 

Multi sport multi rack kayak trailer

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Compatible with kayaks up to 15 feet in length
  • Softened springs
  • Compatible with most roof rack systems
  • Made from powder coated steel
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Total weight: 165 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11.5’ x 5’ 

What we love:

  • The design of the multi-rack trailer is simple and streamlined.
  • It can hold kayaks up to 15 feet in length.
  • You can attach different roof rack systems to the crossbars so you can transport bikes, SUPs, kayaks, canoes, and cargo boxes.
  • It is made from powder-coated steel which is extremely weatherproof.

What we don't love:

  • Kayaks longer than 15 feet aren’t suitable for the multi-kayak trailer.

Rambo Kayak Trailer

The Rambo Kayak Trailer is unlike the other trailers on our list, as it was designed to be hooked up onto a bike instead of a vehicle. We thought it deserved a special mention because it is perfect for those who enjoy both kayaking and cycling. 

Rambo created their bike kayak trailer from steel which in total only weighs 29 lbs without a kayak stacked on top. This trailer is best suited for kayaks up to 10 feet long and 3 feet wide and can hold a maximum weight of 300 lbs. 

The padded contact points protect your kayak from any damage, and Rambo even included tie-down straps to secure your kayak in place.

Rambo bikes canoe trailer and kayak trailer

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Adjustable to fit different kayak lengths
  • Made from steel
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Total weight: 29 lbs

What we love:

  • It is the perfect solution for those who enjoy cycling and kayaking.
  • It is easy to install on a bike. 
  • It can hold up to 300 lbs.

What we don't love:

  • It’s only practical for those with bicycles.

Malone Microsport Two Boat Megawing Kayak Trailer

The Malone Microsport Two Boat Megawing Kayak is the most expensive trailer on our list, but it comes with a few added features that the other trailers do not. 

Malone designed their trailer from marine-grade galvanized steel and included an extra-long reinforced tongue to hold two kayaks up to 20 feet long. The trailer weighs in at around 197 lbs, and with a maximum load capacity of 800 lbs, you won’t have any trouble transporting even your heaviest kayak.

What makes the Malone Microsport Two Boat Megawing so unique is that there are four V-style carriers to hold your kayak in place. These carriers will keep your kayaks safe over long distances and also help to improve your car’s gas mileage by storing the kayak deck-down. 

Some other features that none of the other trailers include are a full-sized galvanized spare wheel and a leaf spring suspension, so it can take on even the bumpiest of roads.

The biggest downfall of the Malone Microsport, however, is the price which is more than double all the other kayaks on our list today. 

Malone microsport 2-boat megawing kayak trailer

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Compatible with kayaks up to 20 feet in length
  • Leaf spring suspension
  • Included V-style carriers
  • Made from marine-grade galvanized steel
  • Weight capacity: 800 lbs
  • Total weight: 197 lbs
  • Dimensions: 13.3’ x 6.6’ 

What we love:

  • The Mircosport can hold long kayaks up to 20 feet in length. 
  • Its large weight capacity can support even the heaviest kayaks.
  • Included are four V-style carriers so secure your kayak in place.
  • It also comes with a spare wheel. 

What we don't love:

  • The incredibly hefty price tag.

FAQ’S

🏆 Are kayak trailers worth the investment?

If you’re an avid paddler, have trouble loading your kayak to a roof rack, or if you have numerous kayaks you want to transport at once, then yes, kayak trailers are worth the investment. 

With that being said, however, they are upmost of $500, which is a hefty investment that not everyone can make. For paddlers who only take their kayaks out a few times a month, then a kayak roof rack system would be better suited and far more affordable than a trailer. 


👍 Are kayak trailers the only way to transport a kayak?

Although kayak trailers are one of the easiest way to transport kayaks, they aren’t the only way. Kayak roof rack systems are the more popular kayak transportation option as they are far cheaper than a trailer.

Roof rack systems attach to pre-installed crossbars on your roof and act as a carrier for your kayak. We have gone into some of the Best Kayak Roof Rack Systems for paddlers who’d prefer a more budget-friendly option.

If you have a truck, you can also transport your kayak in your truck’s bed with a tailgate pad. A tailgate pad simply slips over your tailgate and acts as a resting mat for your kayak to be clipped onto.

Megan Bryant
Megan Bryant

Based in Bali, her favorite SUP spot is the GILI Islands themselves. Travel is another passion of hers - she dreams to see the entire world one day.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Kayak Expert Advice

Man on a yellow packraft
8 Amazing Lightweight Packrafts

August 08, 2022 14 min read

Read More
Sit-on vs Sit-in kayaks
Sit-On VS Sit-In Kayaks: Which is Better?

August 08, 2022 10 min read

Read More
best kayak paddles to enhance your paddling trips
10 of the Best Kayak Paddles to Enhance Your Paddling Trips

August 08, 2022 15 min read

Read More