There’s nothing worse than hauling a heavy boat back to the car after rowing in the hot sun all day! The best kayak carts will allow you to transport your boat, spoils, and gear with less effort allowing you to have a more enjoyable experience.
Quick Top 5 Kayak Carts
*Keep reading below for full reviews
Why Do You Need a Kayak Cart?
Simply put, kayaks and canoes are heavy. You won’t want to be carrying a boat upwards of 200 pounds loaded with gear even if you have two people.
You’re already going to get a back, shoulder, arms and ab workout from your day on the water. There’s no need to risk straining or pulling something before you even make it to the water.
What to Consider Before You Buy
When shopping around for the best kayak cart, there are several things you should take into consideration beforehand. Otherwise, you could end up with a bad case of buyer’s remorse when you find out your boat won't fit on it. Take the extra time to think about what you need before you buy.
What Style Boat Do You Have?
Determining the type of boat style you have can significantly reduce your options when it comes to your kayak cart options. Most kayak carts are built for a traditional round or V-shaped bottoms just because recreational kayaks represent the largest segment in kayak sales.
However, there are many other variations of kayaks and canoes that might not work. If you have a kayak designed for sea or whitewater you might want to double check with the kayak cart’s manufacturer to decide if it will work for you.
The length of your boat may also be a determining factor when it comes to choosing the best kayak cart. Longer boats may be harder to balance, resulting in the need for a cart with bigger wheels.
Many kayak carts are universal allowing them to accommodate your needs. You might want to consider choosing a more versatile option if you have multiple boats that you use regularly.
What Weight Capacity Do You Need?
Most kayak carts will have a weight capacity listed on them. The carts are individually tested to determine the maximum weight they can handle while maintaining their usefulness.
It’s important to remember that weight capacity not only refers to your boat weight. All that fishing gear, water, and snacks can add up to a good amount of weight.
If the kayak cart you're interested in doesn’t have a weight capacity listed you can do a bit of work on your own to determine if it will work for your needs.
A kayak cart with a higher weight capacity will have some of the following attributes.
- Large wheels
- Adjustable frames to accommodate larger boats
- A ratchet strap system
- Aluminum or stainless steel construction
- Minimal plastic moving parts
What Tire Type Do You Need?
The type of tire you need in your kayak cart varies depending on how you plan to use your boat. Think about the average length of trip you will be taking and the terrain you will face getting your kayak to the water.
Bigger wheels are better for rougher trips through areas such as gravel, grass, and deep sand. However, they can be bulky if you plan to take them on the boat with you. Smaller wheels are ideal for easy portage with minimal twists and turns.
Although size is a significant factor in the wheel you need, it’s not the only element that can affect how well your cart will work for you.
Manufacturers are coming out with new and improved wheel designs all the time. Many airless tires perform better than their bulky air filled counterparts. You may want to think about choosing a puncture-free option if you are taking your kayak off-road.
Features to Look for in a Kayak Cart
While you may not think all of the follow features are necessary on your kayak cart, more than a few of them will save you time and energy. Take a look at some of these attributes to determine which will allow you to move your kayak or canoe with less effort.
Compare them to your list of possible choices to find the right fit for your needs.
- Kick Stand
Having a kickstand on your kayak cart can be a major advantage. It will allow you prop the cart up, and keep it in place while you slide your boat onto it. A kickstand will also enable you to leave your kayak cart onshore for a quick load once you are out of the water.
- Boat Protection
Finding a kayak cart with added padding will give your boat the protection it needs. The last thing you want is acart that will scratch your boat’s finish. Padding in the right places will prevent this from happening and save you the time it will take to re-seal your boat’s coating.
- Quick Assembly
Many kayak carts these days can be broken down and put together rather quickly. However, many arrive assembled with welded parts and can’t be taken apart. If you plan to take your kayak cart for a boat ride, it may take up valuable space if it can’t collapse.
A kayak cart that is lightweight and easy to use is of particular importance for boaters who plan to use their cart to help with portage spots. Portage can be heavy work, but it can also prevent you from risking your safety in threatening rapids.
- Built to Last
Both water and saltwater are enablers of fast oxidation. Chances are, your kayak cart is going to be getting wet more often than not. The best kayak carts are made from metals such as anodized aluminum that are rust and corrosion resistant.
Check your manufacturer’s specifications to find out if their kayak cart will last as long as you need it.
How to Use Your Kayak Cart
Choosing the right kayak cart can seem easy. However, there are some things that need to be taken into consideration beforehand. With the following YouTube video, you will not only learn a few more tricks to finding the perfect kayak cart to suit your needs, but you will also learn the basics of how to use it.
The Best Kayak Cart
This portable kayak cart from Suspenz may appear small, but it’s stable on even the roughest terrain like sand, gravel, and grass. Designed to fit a variety of boats up to 125lbs without problems.
Truly portable this kayak cart can fold down incredibly small, and you're supplied with an easy to carry mesh bag that is perfect for tossing on the boat once you get to the water. It can even be used as a paddle with in a pinch.
The airless tire design has just as much stability as is larger pneumatic competitors and seems to hold up with a good bit of abuse. Made with a lightweight stainless steel and aluminum frame making this kayak cart is rust resistant as well.
Unfortunately, the straps on this cart are just not as secure as you might hope. For an extra secure fit, try swapping out the removable clasp strap with a stronger ratchet strap system.
This New Zealand based company is making waves in the water sports industry. U-Tug is constantly developing their designs and improving upon them. This design might just be their best yet.
Made with high-quality composite materials this kayak cart is capable of a load capacity of 300 pounds which is relatively unheard of in the industry.
The puncture free wheels are ideal for just about any terrain. The wheels can handle turns pretty well even when fully loaded as well.
A heavy duty kickstand allows stability for efficiently loading bigger boats. Once you’ve got your boat secure, give it a quick kick to lock it in place, so it's out of your way.
This kayak cart is not ideal for keeping your boats stored. In fact, when a heavy boat is left long-term on this cart, the wheels can warp slightly, rendering them less efficient.
This V-shaped kayak cart cradles the hull of both kayaks and canoes. Large, pneumatic tires give you a smooth ride so you can easily transport your boat to the water.
This cart is highly versatile. It breaks down quickly with a chrome lynchpin when you're ready to transport or store it. The dolly shape allows you to prop this cart up for a speedy, hassle free load.
Whether you carry this kayak cart onto your boat with you or keep the dolly propped up onshore for a quick load out of the water, you will be impressed with the versatile design.
A strong off-gassing smell also comes with this kayak cart. Since you likely won’t be using this kayak cart inside your home, it may not be a big deal. However, you may want to let it air out a few days before storing it.
The Clipper Deluxe is a sturdy cart for both canoe and kayak ground transport. Tested and approved for a total weight capacity of 200 pounds, makes this kayak cart more versatile than others.
Made from an anodized aluminum frame for a cart that is both lightweight and corrosion resistant. The padded frame may seem a bit bulky but well worth it when it comes to protecting your boat’s finish from scratches.
Big, durable ‘never go flat’ tires do the trick. They plow through even the bumpiest, rockiest ground so you can get to those uncharted areas easily.
The strap system with this cart can tend to come loose on long hauls. You may need to tighten it up every so often if you plan to take this kayak cart more than a mile or so.
Both easy to assemble and store, you can’t go wrong with this durable kayak cart.
TMS has made your life easier with this deluxe canoe and kayak cart. Everything about this product is easy to use making it ideal for everyone from beginners to boat enthusiasts.
Easily assemble your kayak cart with only a few seconds time. Afterward, load the boat with the help of the dual-legged kickstand. Finally, use the simple 12-foot long strap system to tie down your canoe or kayak.
Large tires roll smoothly even in deep sand or gravel. L-foam bumpers give your boat the protection it needs to avoid scratches and scrapes during travel.
Although this cart has a lower loading capacity than most at 120 pounds, it’s still a great choice for transporting smaller vessels.
If you plan to teach a beginner about boating, this might be your best bet. This is an all-around easy to use kayak cart designed for everyone.
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