Kayaks, across the board, tend to be quite heavy.
This means that unless you’ve got some considerable upper body strength, you are going to require assistance to carry the vessel from one place to another.
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- Best Kayak Carts
- What You Need to Know Before You Buy A Good Kayak Cart
Even if you are using a vehicle to transport your kayak, you are probably going to have to carry it some of the way to the water.
This is why we recommend that every kayaker has their own kayak cart. It can prevent damage being done to both you and your kayak.
When choosing the best kayak carts for this guide, We concentrated on choosing models that are durable, are adaptable to various kayak sizes, and that are easy to move around.
Here are the ones that are the greatest value for money:
Best Kayak Carts
The design of the cart ensures that it is capable of carrying essentially all types of kayaks.
This is largely due to the fact that the cart has a loading capacity of 200lbs. It can easily hold even the heaviest tandem kayak.
The Clipper Deluxe is also quite stable with a locking kickstand. Once setup, the cart will hold its position as you place the kayak on it. Even if you struggle trying to position the vessel on the cart, you can be reassured that it is not going to fold or fall over.
There is a lot of padding on the cart, where the kayak rests. This prevents the occurrence of scratches or dings on the kayak while it remains on the cart.
Perhaps what is truly outstanding about the Clipper Deluxe, however, is its airless wheels. The ten-inch wheels provide more than enough of cushioning.
This means that regardless of the type of surface that the cart goes over, the movement will be smooth with minimal bumps.
When the cart is not in use, the wheels can be easily removed, allowing to fold the cart into the flattest shape possible.
This way, you can easily store it either in your home or in your vehicle and not have it take up too much of space.
The Clipper Deluxe comes with its own tie down straps, which is suitable for kayaks of all shapes and sizes.
- 200lb load capacity
- Locking kickstand
- Padded frame
- 10 inch, airless tires
- Universal frame supports canoe or kayak
- Includes airless "Never-Go-Flat" removable 10" tires
- Oversized padded frame protects boat and includes stabilizing locking kickstand
- Includes tie down straps
- 200 pound loading capacity
It is made from UV resistant plastic and stainless steel. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about corrosion or the degradation of the materials due to constant exposure.
Most importantly, you can use this cart around saltwater areas and there will still be no damage.
The other thing that we liked about this cart was just how easy it was to assemble and disassemble it. Once you get the hang of the process, you can get it done in under a minute and there are no tools required.
Also, since the C-Tug can be broken down into so many smaller parts, it makes storage an absolute breeze. This is definitely a cart that you can travel with.
So, how does it perform when carrying a kayak?
Incredibly well, actually. First, this cart is able to take up to 300lbs in weight, which means that all kayak carts can easily be handled.
The design of the hull pad affords greater stability and works equally well on both narrow and wide kayaks.
The soft material on top protects the kayak hull from any damage.
Then, there are the wheels.
These are large, puncture-free wheels that you can pull over the harshest of surfaces without worrying about tears or holes.
The grip on the wheels also allows traction on smoother surfaces.
- Load capacity of up to 300lbs
- Made from UV resistant plastic and stainless steel
- Puncture-free wheels
- Can be deconstructed
- Tool-free assembly
- Puncture-free wheels with high grip rubber tread
- Lightweight 10 lbs. (4.3 kg)
- 300 lbs. (120kg) loading capacity
This is because it is constructed from stainless steel and powder coated aluminum.
Together, these components will resist corrosion and even some form of damages as well.
In addition to being durable, this cart is capable of holding some impressive weight as well. The Smart Airless DLX is able to carry up a kayak weighing up to 125lbs.
What makes this cart particularly useful, however, are the large ten inch, airless wheels. Since they cannot be punctured, you can take them over most surfaces, even sharp rocks and stones.
At the same time, they offer up smooth movement, which means that your kayak isn’t going to be bumping along.
However, as a safety measure, the frame of the DLX does have padding – they are rubber pads placed at appropriate points on the cart.
This is to prevent any scratches or dents in your vessel. The rubber pads have grips which help to keep the kayak in place.
There is a dual arm kickstand to make sure that your cart doesn’t budge at all while you are trying to secure the kayak onto it.
The accompanying straps are long enough to go over most kayaks and to hold them down securely.
Despite its rugged setup, this cart can actually be folded down quite flat and even placed in a bag.
The airless tires can be quickly removed which helps in making this cart more portable.
- 125lbs load capacity
- Constructed from powder-coated aluminum and stainless steel
- Foldable frame
- Removable, 10inch airless wheels
- Rubber pads
- Airless 10" tires, they will never go flat!
- Powder-Coated Aluminum Frame with Stainless Steel Hardware
- Boat Rests on Durable Rubber Pads
- Folds down to 27" x 13" x 3" into a Mesh Carry Bag
- Holds up to 125 lbs
This cart has an abundance of padding that assures that the hull of the kayak is properly cushioned at various points.
The cart has also been specifically designed to accommodate the shape of a kayak, with its v-design providing support for the elongated features of a kayak.
At the same time, there is a nylon strap fixed between the cradle arms. This way, the cradle will not open too far apart, causing the kayak to get dislodged.
The TMS cart is also quite tough as it is made from anodized stainless steel and aluminum.
The only real downside to this cart is that it can only hold a weight up to 120lbs, giving it the lowest load capacity on this list.
Its other attributes more than make up for this fact, however
For instance, the double leg kickstand ensures stability while you are loading your kayak onto the cart.
The wheels attached to the cart are large and sturdy, which means that it works well over all types of surfaces, even those that may be particularly uneven.
The grip on these wheels also allows you to move the cart over slippery sand as well.
Due to its flexible design, the TMS cart can be folded with ease to be almost completely flat. The wheels can be removed and then added later on to assist with this process.
- 120lbs loading capacity
- Anodized stainless steel and aluminum frame
- Large wheels with grip
- Foldable frame
- Capacity : 120 LBS 12 Ft long tie-down strap, easy to install. Solid Metal frame; foam bumpers on each arm to protect your Canoe / Kayak hull. Sturdy double-leg kickstand allows easy loading.
- Large(9-1/2"D) tires (3-1/2" wide) roll smoothly across sand and gravel. Stainless steel fasteners and chrome lynch pin. Quick assembly, only wheels need to be attached.
- Material : Aluminium pipe (20 x2mm) anodized Stainless steel. Works great as a kayak dolly or canoe dolly. Dolly breaks down for easy and convenient storage or transport.
- Part of the support stand features a 9-1/4"H spring-loaded stand which keeps the dolly cart propped up onshore for quick loading out of water. Large 9-1/2" diameter tires provide stable support on uneven terrain which is especially useful in sandy areas. Easily rest a kayak or canoe on the dolly cart platform, strap it down and it's ready to go. It is foldable, easy for storage.
- Transport a single canoe or kayak from the parking lot to the lake easily and hassle free with our Canoe and Kayak Dolly. It is designed to hold a canoe/kayak by the hull in a V-shaped cradle with 3-1/2 "L foam bumpers on each arm. Cradle arms are connected together with a 13" nylon strap to prevent the cradle from opening too far.
This is because unlike the other carts on this list, the Xpress cart doesn’t come with a frame, per se. Instead, there are two thin poles protruding above the wheels.
Sit on top kayaks have scupper holes, and you have to place the kayak on top, where the uprights are aligned with the scupper holes.
The distance between these uprights can be adjusted. This means that kayaks of most widths can be accommodated by this cart. The width can be adjusted from 6.5 inches to 16.5 inches.
Beneath the poles, there is a foam padded platform on which the hull of the kayak can rest. This ensures that there is no damage done to the kayak at all.
While the design of this cart may look meager, it is actually quite strong.
It is made from aluminum which will not corrode.
It is also capable of carrying up to 200lbs in weight.
The tires are airless and have been created to not go flat. As a result, you don’t have to worry about taking the cart over uneven, bumpy, or rough surfaces.
All in all, the Xpress cart is a great option for anyone with a sit on top kayak who is looking to limit the amount of hassle associated with loading and unloading their kayak.
- Loading capacity of 200lbs
- Adjustable width from 6.5 inches to 16.5 inches
- Airless tires
- Foam padding
- Fits all standard kayaks equipped with scupper holes
- Variable width locking control adjusts from 6.5" to 16.5"
- Non-corrosion aluminum frame
- 6" x 4" removable foam pad protects kayak
- 200 pound load capacity
The axle that sits between the uprights can be adjusted so the distance between them can be increased or decreased. This allows the uprights to fit into scupper holes of kayaks of varying widths.
As an added bonus, the uprights are padded. Therefore, they protect the scupper holes as well as the interior of the kayak once they are secured.
The cushioning at the bottom of the uprights also help to pad the hull a bit. However, this padding is considerably less than some of the other models so you should be careful of the kayak hull while transporting your kayak.
The other advantage associated with the Scupper Swift cart are the WaveChaser wheels.
These are airless which means that you don’t have to worry about them getting punctured. Due to their hardiness, you can take this cart over any type of surface without needing to be concerned about damage.
Though there is no load capacity specified, this cart should be able to hold about 150lbs in weight.
It is made from hardy, anodized metal which also helps to prevent corrosion and last you that much longer as well.
Despite its diminutive size, the Scupper Swift can be broken down further.
You will have no problem getting it to fit even into the smallest of storage areas.
- Constructed from anodized metal
- Padded uprights
- Adjustable width
- Airless WaveChaser wheels
- Sit on top cart
- Cushioned uprights
- Beefy 35mm gauge axle
- Anodized red finish
What You Need to Know Before You Buy A Good Kayak Cart
There are a wide variety of kayak carts available for purchase.
Of course, a majority of these will not be suited to your requirements.
Here are some useful guidelines to help you make the right decision:
The Different Types of Kayak CartsThere are three main types of kayak carts.
These are strapped carts, plug-in carts, and end carts.
The most popular type of kayak cart is the strapped cart.
Here, the kayak is balanced on the frame of the cart and then fixed to it with thick and sturdy tie downs. This type works with a variety of kayaks and ensures most of the weight of the vessel is being supported by the cart.
Then, there are the plug-in carts. These kayak carts are specifically made for sit on top kayaks as they contain scupper holes. As the name suggests, the kayak is placed over the uprights on this cart, aligning them with the scupper holes.
If you choose to get one of these carts, it is imperative to make sure that the width can be adjusted to accommodate the size of your kayak scupper holes.
The end kayak cart is not as widely used as the types above. These carts are fixed to the back portion of the kayak, holding this part in place. The front end can either be attached to a bicycle or small vehicle or you can drag the kayak yourself.
“The main problem with this design is that you have to contend with a considerable amount of weight”
Size Compatibility with Your Kayak
All of the carts are able to carry kayaks of varying length so this is not something that you need to be concerned with.
Nonetheless, you will have to figure out whether the cart is able to accommodate the width of your kayak.
This is an issue that typically arises with plug-in kayaks as the upright width needs to fit the scupper holes. At the same time, you need to be careful with strapped and end carts as well. It is not just a matter of comparing the widths.
You also have to determine just how well your kayak is being supported as it rests on the frame.
Even without being secured by additional tie downs, your kayak shouldn’t be moving around too much.
Load Capacity Of The Kayak Cart
Then, you will need to check just how much your desired cart can carry.
On average, most kayaks tend to weigh between 30 and 95lbs. Of course, there are always exceptions and some can weigh less or more. It is important that you know the precise weight of your kayak before choosing a cart.
What you need to remember, however, is that you will probably not just be carrying only the kayak with you.
You will also need to take equipment, additional gear, and other items.
Therefore, the cart is going to need to be able to carry all of this. This way, you won’t have to make numerous trips to your vehicle and back.
As a rule of thumb, it is best to choose a cart that has as large a load capacity as possible. You will find that most carts can carry between 120lbs and 300lbs.
The Type Of Kayak Wheels
It is only once you begin comparing kayak carts that you realize just how much variation there are in the type of wheels.
There are inflated ones, airless options, those made of synthetic ones, and more.
If you have a smaller, lightweight kayak and are preparing to move around on largely concrete surfaces, you can opt for narrow wheels.
However, if you intend on tackling rocky terrain or your kayak is quite heavy, it is best to stick with wider wheels.
The inflated wheels do move quite easily and they do offer a certain amount of cushioning for kayak.
Unfortunately, there is always the chance that it may get punctured and going flat.
With airless wheels, you get the same level of impact protection but without needing to worry about rough surfaces.
The wheels made of plastic are quite tough although you may find that there are a little more difficult to move across various surfaces.
Also, if you push it across rocks and stones, it may get damaged over time.
The Frame of The Kayak Cart
Of course, the frame needs to be as sturdy as possible as it needs to be able to support an entire kayak.
“This is why you should stay away from substandard materials”
Instead, focus on anodized aluminum and stainless steel.
These offer up strength and one other important feature: corrosion resistance. If you tend to spend a lot of time on the beach, you need to make certain that the frame is protected from corrosion.
Otherwise, you will find your cart giving out sooner than anticipated.
On another note, you should also consider the stability of the frame.
This is provided in two different ways. The first is with straps, typically made from nylon, that rest between the cradle arms. This prevents the cradle from opening up too wide and causing the kayak to slip.
The other structure is the kickstand.
This is what guarantees that the frame will remain open and upright while you load the kayak onto it. You should check that both these features are of good quality and durability.
Most of the kayak frames can be folded or dismantled. If the frame can be folded, you should see just how flat it can lie to determine if it can be stored properly.
In the event the frame is meant to be assembled and disassembled, then you should ascertain that it takes only a short while to do this.
This is what you need to focus on most if you want to get the best kayak cart possible. You should be able to find what you need in the list provided to you above.
Last update on 2018-07-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API