Kayaks – even small ones – can be bulky and difficult to move around on dry land. A kayak trolley can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to moving your kayak from point A to point B.
Choosing a trolley for your kayak is easier said than done, however. There are many buying considerations, and not all carts may be suitable for all kayaks. In this buyers’ guide, we will take an in-depth look at the different factors that you have to consider. Then, we will review some of the best kayak trolleys available.
Types of Cart
The first buying consideration is the type of cart you need. There are three different types of kayak cart, each with its features, benefits, and drawbacks.
This type of kayak cart has a light weight, fixed wheels, and is generally stable and easy to use. However, you may find that some plug-in carts are difficult to transport in a vehicle.
Unlike plug-in carts, folding carts are more easily transported because of their compact designs. A folding cart’s mobility is one of the key benefits that make them the most popular type among kayakers.
This type of cart has the added function of protecting the kayak with a strap. If you regularly transport your kayak through challenging environmental conditions, this type of cart may be the most suitable.
No specific trolley type is more suitable than any other for moving kayaks. The ideal type depends on your unique situation and needs. For example, if you have to roll your kayak over rocks and uneven surfaces, you may prefer the stability that plug-in carts have to offer. On the other hand, if you have limited space in your car for a kayak cart, you may prefer one that folds.
How to Use Them
Loading your kayak onto your kayak cart and rolling it to where you want to launch may at first take some practice. The best place to start is at the stern of the kayak: lift it and move it over the trolley. When the cart is underneath the kayak, press the stern down and swing the front so that it is in line with the trolley and stern.
Next, make sure that the trolley is in the best place to provide adequate balance to the kayak. Since the stern may be heavier than the bow, this point of optimal balance may not necessarily be in the middle.
The next step is to strap the kayak down to the trolley, especially if you have to wheel it long distances. If you have a scupper hole model, this step is significantly easier.
When to Use Them
Dragging your kayak around is not only tiring, but it can also damage the kayak if you bang it against the ground, rocks, or other obstacles. If you are a solo kayaker, you may inevitably encounter times when you have to move the boat from a body of water to your car by yourself.
By George Francis Lyon (1795-1832) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
If you already have a day of paddling behind you, carrying a kayak over rough terrain to your vehicle may be a daunting prospect. To prevent dropping your kayak and to save yourself from wasting a lot of time and effort, give your kayak wheels by investing in a trolley.
Using a kayak trolley is particularly helpful if there is a long distance between you and the water. If you are moving across dangerous terrain, a stable cart will free up some of your concentration so that you don’t fall or hurt yourself.
Take a look at your options and decide which will be the best kayak trolley for you.
Malone Xpress Scupper-Style Kayak Cart
This kayak dolly is fitted with two adjustable height scupper holders, and its width can be adjusted from 6.5” to 16.5”. It has a minimalistic design, which makes it easy to fit and operate the kayak. If you have a top kayak or a craft that has scupper holes, look no further than the Malone Xpress.
Pros & Cons
- checkSturdy and durable
- Features two adjustable scupper holders
- Simplistic design that is compact and easy to transport
- Only suitable for kayaks with scupper holes
Malone Clipper Deluxe Universal Kayak Cart
The best feature of this kayak trolley is its ability to carry a weight of up to 200 lbs., making the first choice for canoes and large kayaks. The tires have a large diameter of 10”, so you will be able to haul heavy kayaks over treacherous terrain in record time and with ease. The wheels are also detachable to allow for easy transport.
Pros & Cons
- checkHigh weight capacity
- Large wheel diameter
- Detachable wheels to allow for easy portability
- Suitable for any type of kayak
- Low-quality fastening strap
Suspenz Smart Airless DLX Cart
This kayak dolly has a powder-coated frame and is one of the sturdier trolleys on this list. Like the Malone Clipper Deluxe, the Suspenz also features large 10” airless wheels that can handle any surface. If durability and quality are what you are looking for, this cart may be perfect for you.
Pros & Cons
- checkHeavy-duty 10” wheels for transport over any terrain
- Stainless steel hardware
- Strong aluminium frame
- Durable with long life expectancy
- Allows for easy mounting and use
- – High price tag
Apex KC Hybrid Kayak Dolly and Seat
This kayak dolly is unique in the sense that you can also use it as a little seat. It features a built-in kickstand with chair support, and it has rubberized grip tires for moving your kayak over rough terrain. The Apex KC is quite versatile and, apart from being low to the ground, it is a stable kayak dolly that will get the job done.
Pros & Cons
- checkDoubles as a garden chair
- Built-in kickstand with chair support
- Robust tires for every terrain
- Versatile and incredibly user-friendly
- Carrying surface is low to the ground
The best kayak trolley for you will depend on the type of craft you own and the terrain around your favourite spots to paddle. Luckily, there’s a cart to fit every kayak and nearly every budget!