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!
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The first Right On Trailer to make our list is the Ruff Sport Kayak Trailer which was designed to be able to carry kayaks, inflatable paddle boards, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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