Gear

The 8 Best Kayak Trailer Selections You Need To Try

Last updated on August 23, 2022 by Ben Snatler

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EDITOR'S PICKS

Recommended
Best Overall    
Malone MicroSport™ 2 Kayak Trailer Package thumbnail

4.5/5

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Super easy assembly
  • Can accommodate up to 800 pounds
  • Easy to load and transport
Recommended
Runner Up      
Malone Auto Racks MicroSport 2-Boat FoldAway-J Kayak Trailer Package thumbnail

4.4/5

  • Well constructed
  • Easy to load and transport
  • Runs smoothly even at a highway speed
  • It's foldable for easy storage
Recommended
Best Value      
Malone EcoLight 2-Boat J-Rack Kayak Trailer Package thumbnail

4.6/5

  • Lightweight and easy to travel
  • 400 pounds capacity
  • Easy assembly and storage
  • Sturdy, well-built, and easy to maneuver

MORE PICKS TO CHOOSE FROM

Kayaking on the water can be peaceful and fun, but it can become a daunting task once they are out of the water. Let's face it, kayaks are heavy, and transporting them isn't exactly a walk in the park. But with a kayak trailer, you can easily haul your kayaks from one place to another! It sounds easy enough, but given the variety of options on the market, finding a good kayak trailer that is well-suited to your needs can be a challenge. 

Whether you are on the fence about building a DIY kayak trailer or buying a manufactured one, we have done some research for you. Unless you are handy enough to rig or weld, you are better off purchasing a manufactured one. Below, we've rounded up the best kayak trailers available on the market and created this guide includes handy kayak trailer reviews and shopping tips to help you out.

The 8 Best Kayak Trailers You Need to Try

Malone MicroSport™ 2 Kayak Trailer Package

Best Overall

overall 

4.5/5

Quality

Sturdiness

Ease of Use

Cost

Malone MicroSport™ 2 Kayak Trailer Package

Features:

  • Galvanized steel frame with 60" aluminum cross rails
  • Spare tire with locking attachment

Malone MicroSport Kayak Carriers are a versatile and robust option for carrying multiple kayaks. This medium-duty beauty sits low on the ground, ensuring easy loading and unloading. It sports marine-grade galvanized steel and aluminum construction and has wheels with sealed bearings, along with an extra-long reinforced tongue for higher speeds and loads. 

The v-style Malone MicroSport Trailer is designed to secure your kayaks in a deck-down position, reduce wind resistance while driving, and improve your car's gas mileage. It also comes with tie-downs and easy assembly, which is a major plus. With a carrying capacity of 800 lbs, these trailers are compatible with many vehicles. You can also use them to haul accessories. 

Material

Aluminum, Steel

Weight

197 Pounds

Dimensions

96.4" l x 45" w x 18.5" h

Pros:

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Super easy assembly
  • Can accommodate up to 800 pounds
  • Easy to load and transport

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Doesn't have much room for accessories

Malone Auto Racks MicroSport 2-Boat FoldAway-J Kayak Trailer Package

Runner Up

overall 

4.4/5

Quality

Sturdiness

Ease of Use

Cost

Malone Auto Racks MicroSport 2-Boat FoldAway-J Kayak Trailer Package

Features:

  • Fit 2 kayaks w/ room for bikes
  • 800 pounds capacity

This MicroSport™ 2 Kayak Trailer Package is very similar to the one above. With this package, you can carry two kayaks and still have additional storage space for gear and equipment.

What is the difference between the two packages? One of the major differences is the carrier style. MicroSport™ 2 Kayak Trailer Package features a foldaway J rack kayak carrier, while the one above features a V-style carrier. V-style carriers are designed to transport kayaks in a bottom-top manner. Allowing your kayak to lay flat on its belly will improve gas mileage through lower wind resistance. The j-style rack is popular as it allows side loading. However, they are less wind resistant with a higher profile.

Material

Alloy Steel

Weight

250 Pounds

Dimensions

159" l x 65" w x 48.5" h

Pros:

  • Well constructed
  • Easy to load and transport
  • Runs smoothly even at a highway speed
  • It's foldable for easy storage

Cons:

  • It can take some time to assemble

Malone EcoLight 2-Boat J-Rack Kayak Trailer Package

Best Value

overall 

4.6/5

Quality

Sturdiness

Ease of Use

Cost

Malone EcoLight 2-Boat J-Rack Kayak Trailer Package

Features:

  • Marine-grade galvanized steel frame
  • Powder-coated 5-lug high-speed wheels and injection-molded fenders
  • Reinforced extra-long tongue with lift handle

This Malone EcoLight 2-Boat J-Rack Kayak Trailer Package offers the best value when it comes to a kayak trailer. The package includes the EcoLight™ Sport Trailer and a Malone carrier system, and it provides an excellent choice for safe and affordable kayak transport at a great value.

Designed to carry two medium-sized touring or recreational kayaks. Each kayak trailer comes with two sets of J-style kayak carriers that work best with traditional V-style hulls. Each unit is DOT-approved and Transport Canada-certified. It provides safe travel up to a maximum of 65 mph while transporting loads up to 400 lbs. Crafted from a marine-grade galvanized frame, leaf spring suspension, and galvanized heavy-duty axle, this kayak trailer can be assembled with common shop tools.

Material

Alloy Steel

Weight

145 POUNDS

Dimensions

n/a

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to travel
  • 400 pounds capacity
  • Easy assembly and storage
  • Sturdy, well-built, and easy to maneuver

Cons:

  • It can take a few hours to assemble

Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart with No-Flat Wheels

Best Kayak Cart

overall 

4.8/5

Quality

Sturdiness

Ease of Use

Cost

Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart With No-Flat Wheels

Features:

  • Engineered to transport up to 450 pounds of kayaks
  • Bunker bar frame
  • Two height options

If the water is only a short distance away or you are looking for something to help transport the kayak from your car to the water, then you must check out this Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart. It is engineered to carry 450 lbs of weight, making it one of the best choices for transporting fishing kayaks and angler gear.

The cart has a bunker bar frame design that keeps the kayak from slipping off the frame or twisting sideways. It is incredibly easy to load or unload the kayak when required. In addition, it comes with two height options, so you can select one according to the kayak you own for a customized approach. Crafted from marine-grade, high-strength, heat-treated aluminum alloy, this heavy-duty cart offers superior strength. With a collapsible design, this Wildnerness cart also offers easy storage and portability.

Material

Aluminum Alloy

Weight

‎13 Pounds

Dimensions

32" l x 25.5" w x 16" h

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty
  • Collapsible design for easy storage
  • Drives amazing in terrain or roots and rocks
  • It keeps the kayak from twisting sideways and slipping off the frame

Cons:

  • Expensive

Right-On Multi-Sport Rack Trailer

Best Multi-sport Trailer

overall 

4.6/5

Quality

Sturdiness

Ease of Use

Cost

Right-On Multi-Sport Rack Trailer

Features:

  • Can hold up to 300 pounds
  • Very sturdy frame

If you are seeking a versatile kayak trailer, then this double-deck RightOn Multi-Sport Rack Trailer may be what you need. The multi-rack kayak trailer can be used to haul two kayaks or four. It can also accommodate bikes, canoes, or paddleboards for an all-round outdoor adventure — as long as they're in the 300 lbs figure, you'll be covered. The trailer includes specific attachments for each piece of equipment, so you can easily mix and match your requirements for the day.

The rack trailer is easy to assemble with your classic toolbox items, resulting in a sturdy and structurally sound masterpiece that's easy to use on the road.

Material

Metal

Weight

205 Pounds

Dimensions

144" l x 64" w x 19" h

Pros:

  • Has a great stability
  • Built to last
  • Comes with specific attachments for every piece of equipment
  • It comes with a Certificate of Origin and Bill of Sale

Cons:

  • Tires may be a bit undersized
  • It can rust

Rambo Bikes Canoe and Kayak Trailer Cart

Most Versatile

overall 

4.3/5

Quality

Sturdiness

Ease of Use

Cost

Rambo Bikes Canoe And Kayak Trailer Cart

Features:

  • Thick and durable foam pads
  • Extends up to 10 feet
  • Lightweight design that can support up to 300 pounds

The Rambo Bikes Canoe and Kayak Trailer Cart is suitable for transporting your boat from the campsite to the water — with a bike! 

The trailer has padded contact points, which protect your boat from scratches when loading or unloading it. And it has 300 lbs capacity when used as a hand cart. It also features adjustable tie-down straps that help attach and secure your bike frame with ease, and it can hold 70 lbs of cargo, so you can also use it to transport your paddling gear. 

The only downside is that it has only one axle, which means it won't stay upright when loading your kayak onto it. But as long as you don't plan on hauling kayaks for long distances, it will be a fantastic option for transporting your kayak.

Material

Steel

Weight

33 POUNDS

Dimensions

35.5" L X 18" W X 7.1" H

Pros:

  • Comes with padded kayak carriers for damage prevention
  • Versatile. It can be used as a boat trailer and transport kayaks
  • Adjustable for different sizes
  • Can be maneuvered in places where other trailers can't go

Cons:

  • Single axle construction

Yakima 78-Inch Rack and Roll Trailer

Best Lightweight

overall 

4.4/5

Quality

Sturdiness

Ease of Use

Cost

Yakima 78-Inch Rack and Roll Trailer

Features:

  • Locking levers with keys
  • 78-Inch crossbars compatible with all Yakima accessories
  • 300 pounds load capacity

The Yakima 78-Inch Rack and Roll Trailer can hold up to 300 lbs and has unique features that can elevate your watercraft carrying experience. You can haul kayaks, equipment, canoes, and more with a long crossbar.

Crafted from lightweight aluminum, it offers a stable, secure ride for your water sports gear. The trailer features a shock-absorption system that gives you a smooth ride even on bumpy roads to minimize the risk of damage. It also has an anti-theft precaution in the form of locking levers embedded with keys to keep your load secure.

Material

Aluminum

Weight

160 Pounds

Dimensions

10.25" l x 161.19" w x 3" h

Pros:

  • Excellent security features
  • Made of quality materials to ensure durability
  • It comes with a carrying handle, which can transform it into a handcart

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • It can be tricky to assemble

Malone Auto Racks Malone SeaWing Stinger Combo w/Bow & Stern Lines

Best Roof Rack

overall 

4.5/5

Quality

Speed

Ease of Use

Cost

Malone Auto Racks Malone SeaWing Stinger Combo with Bow & Stern Lines

Features:

  • Malone Sea Wing + Stinger for easy loading
  • Corrosion-resistant polycarbon saddles

Not ready for a kayak trailer? Check out this Malone Auto Racks Malone SeaWing Stinger Combo w/Bow & Stern Lines. A roof rack option can be much more budget-friendlier than a kayak trailer, easier to store away when it's not needed, and also makes parking a breeze.

Malone Auto Racks Malone SeaWing Stinger Combo w/Bow & Stern Lines offers a simple way to transport the kayak with a modular loader that extends up to 25" back from the center of the rear crossbar to protect your vehicle and safely load the kayak. With an integrated V-block to align the kayak, retractable loading frame, and a simple "no tools" installation, this system is worth considering.

Material

Rubber

Weight

14.5 Pounds

Dimensions

24" l x 10.5" w x 4" h

Pros:

  • Keep your car scratch free
  • The combo contains everything you need in one box
  • Affordable price point
  • Easily to mount

Cons:

  • Some need a second person to help load and unload

How to Choose the Best Kayak Trailer For You

What's the right kayak trailer for you? Consider the following features before committing to purchasing a trailer.

Storage

Knowing how much space you need to store the trailer will ensure easy access to the kayak, making loading and unloading your kayak a breeze. If you don't have room in your garage, invest in a foldable kayak trailer. Lightweight kayaks with removable or retractable tongues are also practical options, as you can easily store them in small spaces.

Assembly

Kayak trailers come in a box and require tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, and rubber mallets and at least half a day to assemble properly. And some are easier to assemble than others. So, if you're not a DIYer, do your research to find one that's easy to assemble. 

Tongue Length 

The tongue length of the trailer is the distance between the coupler and the axle. The longer the tongue, the larger the kayak you can transport on it. If you use recreational kayaks, the tongue size won't matter. However, if you are seeking trailers for larger kayaks like sea kayaks, you will need a trailer with a longer tongue length. 

Weight and Capacity

How many kayaks will you be transporting at a time? Will you be carrying inventory along with it? If you use heavy boats or kayaks with the family, you want to look for a trailer with sufficient capacity. It's ideal to invest in a strong trailer that won't dislodge under pressure. This is especially important if you plan on using the carrier to transport outdoor equipment like paddle boards and bikes on your trips.

Material 

Kayak trailers can be made of different materials, with aluminum and high-quality galvanized steel being your top two options. What you select, however, will depend on how often you use the kayak. If you go kayaking occasionally, a lightweight option like aluminum will do the job. However, aluminum kayaks can be expensive, so do your research before investing in one. 

And if you spend a lot of time kayaking and/or need to transport your kayak over long distances, consider heavy-duty galvanized steel. It's more durable than regular steel and comes with rust-resistance benefits — even after being constantly exposed to saltwater — to give you more bang for your buck. 

Suspension

The suspension affects the trailer's ability to carry loads, which is more useful if you're hauling multiple kayaks. It absorbs bumps and shocks from hitting potholes and uneven surfaces on the road, ensuring the kayak trailer's stability. 

Hence, choosing one that has a sound suspension system is important for safety. Keep in mind that there are extra parts in trailers with suspensions, so they will be heavier and harder to maintain than those with no suspension. 

Wheel Size

Smaller wheels put the trailer a little lower to the ground for loading purposes and are suitable for lightweight kayaks. They also give you better gas mileage, but they can puncture on rough roads and wear down over time.

So, if you're looking for durability, look for larger wheels. They're suitable for hefty kayaks and can also be used to lug around accessories. In addition, they can handle rough terrains and give you more ground clearance, making them more suitable for driving on the highway. 

Versatility

You need to check out multi-sport trailers if you are looking for a trailer that allows you to haul an assortment of different items and gears. Whether you are seeking a canoe trailer or kayak trailer, with a multi-sport trailer, you can carry both.

Types of Kayak Trailers

Here's a brief introduction to different types of kayak trailers, so you can make an informed buying decision depending on the kayak you own. 

  • Single kayak trailer: They're designed to haul a single kayak. 

  • Multiple-kayak trailer: They carry more than one kayak and have additional space to carry accessories and fishing equipment. 

  • Stacked trailer: This family-friendly option can handle up to four kayaks without adding to the width of your vehicle. They have a low-bed frame and can typically carry kayaks in a 2-row by 2-high design.

  • Trailer top kayak carrier: In this type of carrier, the kayak sits on top of the rack, and you can easily integrate this function into simple standard box trailers. You can then use the space below for gear and accessories. 

  • Side-by-side kayak trailer: They have a wide design and are used to eliminate overhead lifting by allowing you to load the kayaks next to each other. 

  • Multipurpose sports trailer: It holds kayaks but can also haul bikes, canoes, paddleboards, and camping gear. 

Budget

Kayak trailers' price varies, and they can get quite expensive. Before looking for one, decide on your budget and stick to it.

About the Author

Ben Snatler

Ben is a veteran boat captain, scuba instructor and sailing instructor. He grew up on boats and spent nearly the past 20 years working on all types of boats, yachts and even cruises doing all sorts of jobs, from maintenance to safety. He is fully certified with the american sailing association.