Kayakers know that the one thing that takes all the joy out of the experience of kayaking is having to lug your 50 boat from the parking lot to the water. That’s where kayak carts come in. A kayak cart is a way to take the load off of you and easily transport your kayaks from the car or campsite straight to the water. We’ve compiled a list of the 9 best kayak carts of 2023 as well as some tips and info to help you pick the right one for you
Our Top 3 Choices
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For carrying your kayak to the water their are a variety of kayak cart options and styles. For this review our top pick the RailBlaza C-Tug Kayak or Canoe Trolley Cart has some of the best features needed in a kayak cart, a high load capacity, solid construction, and all terrain tires making transport of large kayaks extremely easy
9 Best Kayak Carts In 2023 Reviews
1. RailBlaza C-Tug Trolley Cart – Top Pick
As one of the most durable carts on the market this cart took our top spot for the best kayak canoe carrier for the number of features it has built in to this small 10 pound cart. This kayak carrier is made of corrosion resistant polymers making it weatherproof and still light.
The weight limit on this kayak cart is a massive 300 pounds and the airless wheels are a great benefit for going off road with your kayak cart. The high grip rubber thread wheels are an added benefit when maneuvering and using your kayak cart.
The cart also comes with a number of accessories including an instant locking kick stand that holds the kayak cart stationary during loading and unloading. The foam bumpers are adjustable to protect your kayak and the foam bumpers have holes designed in them for straps to secure your kayak canoe to the kayak cart.
Best of all this kayak cart is completely tool free for assembly and disassembly and can fit in the hull of your kayak without ever noticing it was there.
Heavy-duty plastic polymer construction, 300lb weight limit, airless all terrain wheels, built in kickstand
- Weatherproof polymer construction
- All terrain wheels
- Weighs just 10 pounds
- Built in Kickstand
- None, widely considered the best kayak cart on the market
2. Suspenz DLX Cart – Best Airless Tire Cart
The Suspenz Smart Airless DLX Cart is a heavy duty aluminum frame kayak cart. The kayak cart includes stainless steel hardware so you won’t have to worry about weather on account of the whole thing being solid aluminum and steel that is coated to protect from rust and corrosion.
It comes with both straps and buckles to function as both a sit-in and sit on top kayak cart for easy carry. The seat of the kayak cart includes rubber bumpers to protect your kayak during transit so that it is not damaged from any rocking while moving.
The wheels are made of solid plastic making them rust and corrosion proof like the rest of the cart and the load capacity is 123lbs
Aluminum and steel construction, buckles and straps for dual seating options, hard plastic wheels
- Aluminum frame with steel hardware
- Comes with straps and buckles for sit in or sit on top carry
- Airless plastic all terrain wheels
- Only holds 123 pounds (but the versatility and ease of use make up for that)
3. TMS Cart Carrier – Best Budget Option
This is our affordable kayak dolly from TMS. Made of solid aluminum tubing, it is rated to hold up to 150lbs. The ideal kayak weight for the kayak cart is around 100-120lbs to not overload the kayak cart. The cart is lightweight and easy to assemble or disassemble for easy storage in your car or SUV.
The tires are 9 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 1/2 inches wide, suitable for moderately rugged terrain. The tires are not airless as in most kayak carts, they are merely made to be puncture resistant. The cart comes with a pump for easy pumping and the wheels are incredibly durable. With all the benefits of this affordable option, it is well worth the purchase price.
aluminum tube construction, 150 max weight capacity, easy to assemble
- Aluminum is light and sturdy
- easy assembly/disassembly for storage
- Wheels are not entirely puncture proof (But they are incredibly durable)
4. Seattle Sports Kayak Cart – Best Heavy Duty Option
The Paddleboy is a heavy duty kayak trolley cart with a frame made out of powder coated steel. This is our best kayak cart for longer and heavier kayaks. It has up to a 300 pound weight limit so that you won’t have to worry about the weight of your kayak. This makes it the perfect option for kayaking or other sports as well.
The wheels are solid urethane and are built to reduce vibration while traveling making this kayak cart a great off road travel option with wheels that will never go flat. The Seattle Sports Paddleboy also includes a unique spring loaded kickstand for easy loading and unloading. A cinch strap is also included to hold your kayaks in. It features a folding cart design
In terms of versatility, this is a universal kayak cart for kayakers that have wide, long or heavy kayaks and need a stable solution to get to the water.
300 weight limit, heavy duty stainless steel frame, solid urethane wheels, spring loaded kickstand
- Solid steel frame material
- All terrain tires
- Convenient kickstand
- The tires don’t do so well on loose sand (but they’re great for more rocky and rugged terriain)
5. Bonnlo Kayak Cart – Most Versatile Option
This is one is our option for one of the most versatile kayak carriers. It is one of the highest rated kayak carts out there and has all the features you want in the times where you’re heading to the water. This Bonnlo Kayak Cart combines a lightweight aluminum frame with solid 10″ by 3″ tires for an impressively smooth ride and a weight limit of 165 pounds. In particular, the large size of the tires makes carrying your kayak easier and supports the load more securely.
It features an easy folding system and the lynch pin held wheels come off in a flash. At only 8 pounds this cart is easily stored in the hull of your kayak or canoe and will barely be noticeable. The kayak cart comes with foam pads and fits a kayak canoe or other craft up to 12′ long with a convenient tie down strap.
Lightweight aluminum frame, 165 load limit, folds flat for storage, no flat airless tires for low maintenance
- Aluminum bar frame is lightweight
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Large wheels for easy travel
- Tires aren’t good on loose sand (The durability and stability make up for that though!)
6. Malone Clipper Kayak Cart – Best Universal Cart
This cart option by Malone is suitable as a sit on top or sit in kayak cart for kayaks. You can tie down your kayak or let it rest on the padded bars in the cart. It doesn’t attach to scupper holes but has convenient tie down straps.
The large airless tires allow for stable transport and the built in locking kickstand makes loading and unloading your kayaks a breeze. The frame is made from anodized aluminum and supports a hefty 198 lbs. The dual seating options will make sure that you can carry your kayaks in the cart no matter their shape and size. The cart folds flat for easy storage.
Dual seating options, padded bars, fold flat for easy storage, anodized frame
- Kayak cart supports on top or in seating
- Frame is lightweight aluminum
- Holds kayaks up to 198 pounds
- Folds flat for storage
- Universal kayak carrier
- Not as stable on loose sandy soil (very great for rough terrain though)
7. Hobie Kayak Cart – Best Scupper Hole Model
This option is for those kayakers who want a quick and easy means of getting their kayak from the car to the water. This is the best kayak cart option for kayaks with scupper holes as the kayak sits firmly on the bars that pass through the scupper holes for a secure locked in hold. It is designed as a solution for short distance carrying of a heavy kayak.
A scupper drain hole model may not be suitable for kayaks without drain holes, but works wonders as a transport for those that do. With solid, puncture proof tires it requires very little maintenance. The entire kayak cart weighs just 5 pounds and disassembles easily to fit in a proprietary storage bag that comes with it. It can then easily fit into the hull of your kayak.
Scupper hole kayak cart with lightweight design, puncture resistant airless tires, proprietary carry bag
- Only weighs 5 pounds
- Disassembles and stores in convenient carry bag
- Tires are airless and puncture resistant
- Not suitable for off road or long distance travel (but a great option for going from the car straight to the water )
8. Wilderness Systems Kayak Cart – Best High Weight Option
This is our highest weight rated kayak cart and for good reason, it sports a 450lb load capacity. This heavyweight player is a great universal kayak carrying option. The kayak cart itself weighs only 13 pounds and considering how much it can hold, this is extremely light.
The frame is specially made from heat treated aluminum to make it stronger and also corrosion and rust resistant. The frame rests on two 12″ airless tires. The tires provide a sturdy base for even the most heavy kayaks on the market. The frame is also adjustable to suit different sizes and alter the center of gravity on heavier kayaks to prevent tipping. Another benefit is that the solid tires are easy to remove and can be swapped for optional balloon beach tires. This makes transporting very heavy loads on loose sand or gravel much easier.
This particular cart has the highest weight limit on the market and with this much capacity you can make sure that your kayak, boat, paddleboard or any other watersports equipment imaginable is safe and secure and won’t overload your cart.
Massive 450lb max weight, heat treated frame to make sure the body lasts, wide load tires, adjustable center of gravity
- Highest weight limit on the market
- Adjustable frame
- Airless all terrain wheels
- Wheels are swappable for balloon beach wheels
- A bit bulkier than other options (but for how much it holds that’s not bad)
9. Bonnlo Kayak Cart – Best Beach Option
Just like it’s solid wheeled cousin, this kayak cart from Bonnlo is an impressive aluminum model with a 165 pound weight load and solid 2mm tubing for superior construction. The larger balloon wheels are perfect for carrying your kayak across loose gravel or beach sand, making it the perfect option for beachside kayaking.
The cart can be easily disassembled for storage back in your vehicle. The cart includes 7.75 inch ratchet straps to hold your kayak safely in the cart seat. It also comes with a convenient tire pump to inflate the balloon tires. If kayaking off a sand beach or travelling across sand dunes or other loose terrain this is the best kayak cart on the market for getting to the water easily.
Solid aluminum tubed frame, 165 load limit, large balloon tires, easy disassembly, built in straps and air pump
- Sturdy frame
- Easy assembly
- Includes tie down straps and air pump
- Balloon tires are too large for to store in your kayak (but they are easy to remove and store on-shore or in your vehicle)
Kayak Cart Buyer’s Guide
Before we get into the reviews we’ll break down the different types of kayak carts, their features and uses.
Kayak Cart Types
Just like the name says, these carts are designed to plug into the bottom of your kayak through the scupper holes. However, these models of kayak cart are not suitable for every type of kayak. They are intended for use with Sit on Top kayaks. This makes them an easy to install option if this is your preferred type of kayak, but otherwise, you may want to choose another style.
This style of cart is designed to carry any number of different kayak types. They are simply design to carry your kayak by strapping it into the seat or tray, similar to the way you would strap a kayak to a vehicle roof rack. They can generally accommodate extra wide and heavy kayaks so that transport is not an issue. This is one of the more versatile types of cart in terms of kayak storage
These are just like they sound as well, they strap onto the end of your kayak to form a sort of trolley. This allows you to pull them with the kayak behind them. Easy to maneuver and use, but not suitable for wider kayaks. Great option for anyone with small to medium sized kayaks who want to transport them with ease.
Now that we’ve dealt with some of the types of carts, we’ll dive into some of the considerations to make when talking about cart features and benefits.
One of the most important things for finding the best kayak cart for you is the weight capacity. Kayaks are heavy and how much of a load your cart can is important in knowing if that’s the cart you want for your kayak.
However, don’t simply buy a cart that can barely handle your kayak, the last thing you want is to constantly be worried that a couple extra pounds will break your cart. Plus there’s the potential for a kayak upgrade to be on the menu at some point some you want to leave yourself a good bit of wiggle room in the carrying capacity area.
You may also like: Best Canoe Carriers
The material that the wheels of your kayak cart are made from is a big consideration when choosing this type of kayak carrier. Are they made from standard rubber and need to be aired up? Are they instead made from some type of polymer material that is airless? Knowing which of the cart types offer airless varieties can be a real time saver when loading your cart to go kayaking.
One thing to consider is that airless tires will sink into loose soil or gravel. For these types of terrain you may want to look for models with optional balloon tires or air filled tires to be able to travel on any type of terrain.
It is generally advised to look for wheels that are airless and made of some type of plastic polymer that will be more durable and resistant. Even an all terrain tire can be punctured and leak , so when choosing which cart to use to take your kayak from the car or campsite to the water, take these things into consideration.
Most modern kayak carts are made from aluminum, making them quite sturdy and lightweight. It also gives them so built in weather resistance. However there are now a number of composite materials on the market that are even lighter and offer a number of other benefits. There are a few still being made from powder coated steel, though these are rare.
In general, the type of kayak cart you use will depend on what your needs are, composite and aluminum carts have almost the same load carrying capacity as steel ones, except in the most heavy of cases. If you are carrying light and medium kayaks, you can find a model of cart from any of the material types. Also, if you’re looking for other options in carrying your kayaks, you can check our post about the best kayak trailers.
The problem with steel kayak carts, though durable, they are generally not as easy to assemble and disassemble. Easy assembly and disassembly as well as the ability to stow the cart away once your kayak is in the water are important unless you want to tow your cart back to your vehicle before setting off in your kayak every time.
Knowing what accessories come with your cart is a big bonus. One of the things that is most common to be include with your kayak cart nowadays is a lockable stand for loading and unloading your kayak. These are great as they you give you a solid base to insert your kayak into the carrier or unload it without worrying about the wheels making it roll away.
Another convenient inclusion is a tiedown strap that corresponds to your cart, being the appropriate length and size to fit. Most kayak carts now come with one or two straps so that securing your kayak is much easier and simpler than tying it down yourself or trying to hold it in place.
Some manufacturers include a proprietary travel carrying bag with the cart for easy storage. Additionally for those that have inflatable wheels they may include a pump for airing the wheels up. This is a nice convenience. We have also listed some of the best kayak rack for a truck and the best kayak roof rack that are perfect in transporting your kayaks. But if you still need extra space for other things, you can opt for hitch mounted racks. Know more on our recent post about hitch kayak rack reviews. Also, if you’re looking for the best options to store your kayaks at home, you can read our recent post about the best kayak storage racks to learn more.
There you have it. Our list of the best kayak carts in 2023 and a buyers guide to help you make the right choice the next time you hit the rapids. Our top pick the RailBlaza C-Tug Kayak or Canoe Trolley Cart has all the qualities you want in a kayak cart that makes getting your kayak from the car to water no matter the terrain.
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