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Have you ever gone kayaking and found yourself absolutely exhausted before you even get the kayak into the water?
A kayak cart is a small frame with wheels that makes the transition from car (or home) to water much easier. Generally, these are two wheeled devices to make kayak transport less strenuous.
We’ve found the best kayak cart on the market is the Railblaza C-Tug because of its ease of use. But there are lots of other excellent kayak carts out there to suit all types of kayaks.
Check out this guide to find the right one for you.
- Railblaza C-Tug Kayak Cart (Best Overall)
- Suspenz DLX Balloon Sand Cart (Best For Sand)
- Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart (Best For Fishing Kayaks)
- YakAttack TowNStow BarCart Universal Kayak Cart (Most Versatile)
- Bonnlo Scupper Kayak Cart (Best Scupper Cart)
- Bonnlo Universal Kayak Cart (Best Budget Cart)
11 Best Kayak Carts
1: Railblaza C-Tug Kayak Cart (best overall)
- Weight capacity: 260 pounds
- Cart weight: 10 pounds
The Railblaza C-Tug is the world’s best-selling kayak cart and I think it’s the best out there too.
This is a durable and lightweight kayak cart that can handle a decent amount of weight. The wheels are puncture-free with airless tires and high grip rubber tread so you can pull this cart over all types of terrain with ease.
A great feature of this folding kayak trolley is the no-tool assembly. It’s quick and easy to assemble and disassemble – takes under a minute! However it might not fit in smaller storage hatches on your kayak, since it’s a little bulky.
Another useful feature of this is the rubberized pads that provide a secure base for your kayak, so that it doesn’t slide around. There’s also a strap to help keep it in place.
We also think the kickstand is pretty helpful when loading your kayak onto the cart, as this helps to prevent the cart from moving.
The reinforced axles and strong frame, with non-corroding parts, make it ideal for hauling heavy kayaks in a variety of environments. But it may not work as well for kayaks with pontoon hulls because of the shape of the saddles.
- Rubberized saddle pads
- Puncture-free wheels
- 264-pound capacity
- Not great for pontoon hulls
- Might not fit in small hatches
2: Suspenz DLX Balloon Sand Cart (best for sand)
- Weight capacity: 175 pounds
- Cart weight: 15 pounds 7 ounces
The Suspenz DLX Balloon Sand Cart is a fantastic option for hauling your kayak to and from your favorite beach launch. But it’s not cheap. The large air-filled balloon tires help to give your kayak or canoe a smooth and effortless ride over soft sand.
This DLX beach cart features a durable aluminum frame and stainless steel hardware but it’s not as lightweight as some of the other kayak trolleys. It also has a handy dual-arm kickstand to provide extra stability for loading and unloading your kayak.
This can be ideal for both sit-on-top kayaks and sit-inside kayaks. It can also be used to haul a canoe.
There are rubber bumpers on the frame to protect the hull from scratches and dings. And it has an arched axle so it can ride over uneven ground more easily and without getting stuck.
This also comes with a hand pump to inflate the balloon tires. And there are two quick-release locking pins to keep the kayak wheels securely in place.
This can handle a wide range of kayaks, and can be ideal for getting heavy fishing kayaks to the beach. The DLX beach cart can also fold up (the wheels can be removed and deflated) and be stowed in a hatch or on the deck of your kayak for easy storage.
- Perfect for beaches
- Works with most types of kayaks and canoes
- Balloon tires with tire pump
- Collapses for easy storage
- Not particularly lightweight
- Not cheap
3: Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart (best for fishing kayaks)
- Weight capacity: 450 pounds
- Cart weight: 13 pounds
The Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart is a kayak cart that means business but it’s not cheap. This kayak trolley can handle just about any kayak or canoe. It has a whopping 450-pound load capacity so it should have no problem hauling even the heaviest fishing kayak.
The airless wheels are designed for rolling over rough terrain without having to worry of getting a flat.
A great feature of this kayak cart is that it has dual heights. This means you can set it in the high position for unusual hull shapes to avoid the hull rubbing on the wheels. The low position can be ideal for fishing kayaks with higher loads, offering a lower center of gravity to avoid tipping over.
The durable aluminum alloy frame features bunker bars with rubber pads to hold your kayak in place. The bars also have an adjustable width to suit different widths of kayaks.
One thing that we found frustrating with this heavy-duty kayak dolly is that it’s not quick to dismantle or assemble. It’s not collapsible so each part has to be separated to fit inside a kayak hatch.
- Holds up 450 pounds
- Dual height for hull clearance
- Flat-free tires
- Adjustable width
- Not foldable – needs dismantling
4: YakAttack TowNStow BarCart Universal Kayak Cart (most versatile)
- Weight capacity: 450 pounds
- Cart weight: 17.5 pounds
The YakAttack TowNStow BarCart is built for versatility. It can be ideal as both a kayak and canoe cart.
You could even use it to carry a paddle board and other outdoor gear or, potentially, more than one kayak at a time (if you have the right straps). It’s worth noting that this kayak cart doesn’t come with any straps.
One of the best features of this tough kayak cart is the dual position frame. The anodized aluminum frame can be positioned as crossbars (roof rack style) or bunk style. This gives you the option of carrying your kayak on bars perpendicular to your kayak’s hull or parallel to it.
Because of this convenient frame and high load capacity, you can haul a heavy kayak with any type of hull, including tunnel hulls. The rubber bumpers are strategically placed to prevent hull damage.
The no-flat tires are ideal for rolling over hard surfaces, such as concrete boat ramps or gravel paths. The frame can fold down for storage and the wheels remove at the push of button for tool-free convenience.
However, this is not a lightweight kayak carrier. But it is strong and durable. It’s also not cheap.
- Great for tunnel hulls
- Can be used with other boats
- High load capacity
- Durable tires
- No straps included
5: Bonnlo Scupper Kayak Cart (best scupper cart)
- Weight capacity: 120 pounds
- Cart weight: 8 pounds
This Bonnlo Scupper kayak cart can be ideal if you want to carry a sit-on-top kayak. It won’t work with sit-inside kayaks as the frame of this kayak dolly slots into the scupper holes on the kayak hull.
This has puncture-free solid PU tires that are 3.5-inches wide for stability. You can even pull the cart over sand. However, I don’t recommend using this kayak cart to pull a heavier kayak in very deep sand unless you want to get stuck or have a really difficult time.
The Bonnlo Scupper kayak cart is actually a pretty cheap kayak cart, so it offers good value for money for carrying a sit-on-top kayak back and forth to the water.
It works best over hard surfaces and for carrying lightweight recreational kayaks. But it has a decent load capacity of 120 pounds.
There are rubber bumpers on the lightweight aluminum frame to protect the hull of your kayak and the frame can be folded after removing the wheels. There is also a kickstand to keep the cart still for easy loading.
- Affordable trolley cart
- Lightweight frame
- Wide plastic wheels
- Works on a variety of surfaces
- Not the best for heavy kayaks
- Not for sit-insides
6: Bonnlo Universal Kayak Cart (best budget cart)
- Weight capacity: 200 pounds
- Cart weight: 7.5 pounds
The Bonnlo Universal Cart is a cheap kayak cart with decent load capacity and a lightweight frame with a spring loaded stand.
It can be easily folded as one piece and you can remove the 10-inch diameter wheels for easy storage on board your kayak. However, it probably won’t fit inside a hatch, as it’s too big. But it can be secured to the deck of most kayaks.
This can be ideal for both sit-on-top kayaks and sit-inside kayaks, with a versatile frame that can also handle a canoe or a paddle board.
The wide airless wheels can be great for hard and rough terrain. The durable tires can also handle sand but ideally not if the sand is too soft or your load is heavy.
A nice feature of this budget kayak cart is the foam padding on the frame to help protect your kayak from scratches and dents while you’re loading or transporting.
It also has rubber bumpers on the double kickstand to stop the cart from rolling away while you’re loading or unloading your kayak.
However, a downside of the handy kickstand is that it doesn’t fold up very high to get out of the way for pulling along the ground. This means the ground clearance is limited.
- Folding frame
- Airless wheels
- Ideal for all types of kayaks
- Spring loaded stand
- Kickstand limits ground clearance
- Won’t fit in kayak hatches
7: Malone WideTrak ATB Kayak Cart
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
- Cart weight: 15 pounds
This Malone WideTrak ATB kayak cart has a generous load capacity and can be great for carrying heavier fishing kayaks and canoes.
The airless all-terrain wheels mean you can trundle over just about any surface to get your kayak to the water without worrying about getting a flat.
One of the best things about this kayak cart is the amount of padding on the frame.
The durable frame is wrapped with foam bumpers to prevent damage to your kayak hull.
It has two bunker bars that are each 24-inches long to support the kayak’s weight, with the foam padding also providing grip for the hull. However, you will need to use the included straps to keep your kayak secure on the trolley cart during transportation, especially going uphill and downhill.
Because of the bunk bars, this can be a good option for fishing kayaks with tri-hulls or pontoon hulls. Its high load capacity also makes it a good choice to use as a canoe cart.
This is a pretty heavy kayak cart. It’s also a little bulky. So it might not be the easiest to store on some smaller kayaks. The frame, while it folds flat, doesn’t fold up so it will remain 32-inches wide when dismantled.
It’s also not the easiest to assemble.
- Cam straps included
- Fully padded frame
- Fits all types of hull shapes
- All-terrain tires
- Large when folded
8: Hobie Trax 2 Plug-In Kayak Cart
- Weight capacity: 176 pounds
- Cart weight: 8 pounds
The Hobie Trax 2 is designed specifically to work with Hobie kayaks. It is a lightweight plug-in kayak cart that fits in the scupper holes.
It may work with other brands of kayaks as long as the distance between the scupper holes is 13-inches and the scupper holes on your kayak are at least an inch in diameter.
However, if you have a Hobie sit-on-top kayak, this can be an excellent option, although it is pretty expensive.
It’s made for beach launches so it has wide air-filled balloon tires. The pneumatic wheels are 9.5-inches wide, providing excellent stability for heavy kayaks and allowing you to pull your kayak easily along the sand or mud.
It has a decent capacity – enough to haul even the heaviest Hobie kayak fully loaded with gear. However, you might want to remove the gear before you try to unload the kayak from the cart. You have to lift the kayak quite high to remove it from the scuppers, meaning all your gear will probably fall out.
This is a durable kayak cart with a lightweight stainless steel frame for strength and corrosion resistance.
The wheels can be removed and the tires deflated for storage. But, unfortunately, the steel frame does not fold.
- Great for sandy beaches
- Designed for Hobie kayaks
- Good capacity
- Durable steel frame
- May not work with other kayak brands
9: Suspenz Airless END Cart
- Weight capacity: 150 pounds
- Cart weight: 12 pounds
The Suspenz Airless END kayak cart is a little different from other kayak carts. It features two vertical bars and two horizontal bars. This kayak cart is designed to carry the end of your kayak or canoe, much like if a second person was helping you carry it.
It comes in two sizes: large and extra large. Both sizes have a vertical height adjustment between 12 and 18 inches to accommodate deeper kayaks.
The large size has a width of 19 inches and the extra large is 24-inches wide. This means if your kayak is over 28-inches at the center, the extra large frame should fit your kayak.
The large frame is for kayaks between 20 and 28-inches wide. It’s not recommended for kayaks less than 20-inches wide. It will also not be suitable for carrying paddle boards, as these will often be too wide at the end to fit on the cart.
This Suspenz kayak cart features airless tires for puncture-free rolling. There is a padded crossbar and rubber pads to protect your hull. And the powder coated aluminum frame adds strength and durability.
A downside is the bungee attachment cord isn’t great at securing the kayak, which means it can come loose when traveling over rough terrain. It’s also not the best for pulling your kayak uphill.
- Carries the end of the kayak
- Good for kayaks and canoes
- Strong frame
- Airless tires
- Not great for uphill or uneven ground
- Not for very wide or very narrow vessels
10: RAD Sportz Kayak Cart
- Weight capacity: 150 pounds
- Cart weight: 9 pounds
The RAD Sportz kayak trolley is a lightweight kayak dolly that can be ideal for pulling heavy or large kayaks over hard ground. This is an affordable kayak cart that can be ideal if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option.
This RAD Sportz kayak cart has a powder-coated aluminum frame and rubber pads to support the kayak’s weight and protect the hull.
The airless kayak wheels mean you can pull your vessel to your favorite launch spots without the risk of getting a puncture. These tires are not so great on sand, though.
This can fold up to a decent size for transporting on board your kayak. The wheels can be removed easily and the entire kayak cart can be stored inside the included mesh bag for convenience.
The size of the frame means it probably won’t fit in most storage hatches but can be secured in a tank well or tied to the deck.
The RAD Sportz kayak cart comes with cinch straps included so you can easily secure your craft to the cart for traveling over bumpy ground. You may even be able to use it to carry more than one kayak at once, if you have suitable straps and your kayaks are within the maximum load limit combined. It can also carry canoes and paddle boards.
- Straps included
- Might not fit in storage hatches
- Not great on sand
11: Wheeleez Kayak Beach Cart
- Weight capacity: 176 pounds
- Cart weight: 10 pounds
This Wheeleez Kayak Beach cart is designed to carry both sit-inside and sit-on-top kayaks along sandy beaches. The 7-inch wide balloon tires are designed to handle all types of sand and other soft surfaces. These kayak wheels are 12 inches in diameter, giving a smooth ride for your kayak.
This kayak cart is built for a saltwater environment, with an aircraft-grade aluminum frame and marine-grade anodizing to prevent rust and corrosion. It also has marine-grade stainless steel fasteners for added durability.
The lightweight frame features foam pads to provide a soft, abrasion-free surface for your kayak’s hull. You can also use this to haul a canoe or other equipment.
Depending on the weight of your craft, you may be able to stack kayaks or SUPs to carry multiple at one time. There’s a separate rack you can purchase to make this easier. But you might be able to stack gear if you have sufficient straps.
The cart comes with two 13-foot tie-down straps included.
This can be a good set of kayak wheels for most kayaks but it might not work with very wide kayaks or kayaks with tunnel hulls.
The twin-leg kickstand helps to keep the kayak trolley in place while you load and unload your gear.
The frame folds for storage and the wheels can be removed. It should fit in some hatches but it won’t fit in all of them.
- Great for the beach
- Marine-grade components
- Can carry multiple items
- Wide balloon wheels
- Not the best for a tunnel hull
- May not work with very wide kayaks
Why Would I Want A Kayak Cart?
A kayak cart can help you get your kayak to and from the water with much less effort than carrying it alone. Find out more in our guide on how to carry a kayak.
While this can be particularly useful for heavy, large kayaks, such as tandems and fishing kayaks, it can be helpful for any type of kayak.
Yes, kayaking is a physical activity and can make for good exercise. But who wants to feel like they’ve been to the gym before they even get to the kayak?
No matter what type of terrain you have to cross to get to the water, a kayak cart can usually help.
You can usually load the kayak cart with other gear as well, which can be beneficial on family trips. And if you have kids, they can learn to transport their own kayaks without injury or overexertion.
Check out our guide on how to use a kayak cart.
What Are The Different Kayak Cart Types?
The platform cart is perhaps the most popular type of kayak cart. These kayak carts can generally carry most types of kayaks, including both sit-inside and sit-on-top kayaks.
They can also usually carry other types of outdoor equipment, such as paddle boards, canoes, and other small vessels.
For this reason, these types of carts can be much more versatile than other types of kayak transport products.
Within this category, there are a few different styles of carts.
Bunker bars can let you carry kayaks and canoes with odd-shaped hulls. The bars provide the platform and the kayak or canoe is placed on top with the bars running parallel to the hull.
This means if your kayak has a tri-shaped hull or a pontoon hull, the bunker bars should be compatible, particularly if you can adjust the width of the bars.
Kayak carts that use crossbars as the platform can be super versatile when it comes to carrying kayaks, canoes, and SUPs. These work in the same way as crossbars on a roof rack.
The kayak can be placed on top of the two crossbars so that each crossbar is perpendicular to the kayak.
This also allows you to carry different shaped hulls, including pontoon hulls and completely flat hulls like those found on inflatable kayaks and SUPs.
Saddle Or Cradle Style
Most kayak carts are generally this style, with a cradle platform or saddle-style bars that support the kayak’s hull. These can be ideal for most kayaks as well as canoes and paddle boards.
However, because of the often V-shaped or curved cradles, these trolley carts can be better suited to kayaks with standard shaped hulls. Kayaks that are very wide and those with cat-style hulls may not fit on the cart without the wheels hitting the hull of the kayak.
Video: How To Load A Kayak On A Kayak Cart
Scupper carts are made for sit-on-top kayaks. They won’t be able to carry sit-inside kayaks, such as sea kayaks. The trolley attaches to the kayak via rods that fit directly into the scupper holes from underneath.
This type of kayak carrier has fixed wheels and is often viewed as the most convenient type of kayak cart due to the stability.
However, it can sometimes be difficult to find a scupper cart that works with your particular kayak, as not all scupper holes are the same distance apart or the same diameter.
End Cart Or Taildragger Cart
An end cart, also known as a taildragger, is a trolley that supports the end of the kayak. Imagine you have a friend helping you to carry your kayak or canoe down to the water and that’s how it works.
They don’t take the entire weight of the kayak. They act as the second person and take half the carrying weight. While some of these carts can be cheaper, they’re not always the cheapest option.
If you have a very heavy kayak, this is probably not the best trolley cart to use, as you’re still going to have to carry half of the weight of your boat. I know I wouldn’t want to carry half the weight of a 100-pound fishing kayak, even if it was on wheels.
What Features Should I Be Looking Out For?
The wheels will determine how smoothly and effectively your kayak carrier or cart transports your kayak.
When selecting your wheels, you should consider what kind of terrain you’re likely to encounter (tarmac, sand, grass, rocky trails etc.) as this can help you choose the best kayak cart for your environment, helping you to move your kayak effortlessly on your intended terrain.
Generally, the wider the wheels the more stable the trolley will be. Wider wheels also usually have less chance of getting stuck in soft ground.
These tires are just as they sound. They have no air in them. These are often solid plastic tires that are designed to roll over any surface with ease.
The main benefit of these types of wheels is that they don’t puncture. This makes them ideal for traveling over rough terrain, such as woodland trails, gravel, concrete and most other hard surfaces.
These types of tires are designed for sand and soft ground. They are inflatable and lightweight.
As their name suggests, balloon tires are much wider than traditional tires. This allows them to travel over deep sand without getting stuck. If you’ve ever tried lugging a stroller or riding a bike through sand, you’ll notice a difference with tires like these.
These types of tires can also be used in mud as well as on asphalt, like on the road or sidewalk.
These types of kayak wheels are standard air-filled tires, similar to what you would find on your car or bicycle.
These often have rubber tread and are generally lightweight because they’re filled with air and not solid. These wheels can be great on a range of surfaces and usually offer a smooth ride because of the flexibility of the tires.
A downside to pneumatic wheels is that they can puncture if you pull the kayak wheels over sharp objects on the ground.
Type Of Frame
This frame will be supporting and protecting your kayak as you take it to and from the water’s edge, so you want it to be strong and durable for starters.
Aluminum and stainless steel can be two of the more common materials used in the construction of kayak carts. These can be tough materials as long as they are crafted with corrosion-resistant coatings and other rust-resistant components.
Corrosion resistance can be important no matter where you plan to paddle. If you paddle in saltwater environments then it can be even more important.
However, you should also remember to rinse the cart off with clean water once you’ve been in a sandy or salty environment. As you probably know, even the most durable materials are not completely corrosion-resistant if left in saltwater.
You should also choose a frame that’s suitable for your specific type of kayak. Remember to measure the width of your kayak to make sure it will fit securely on the cart.
Video: Types Of Kayak Carts
Weight And Load Capacity
This is another important consideration. The weight of the kayak cart is something to take into account if you plan to store it on your kayak and need to have lightweight accessories.
If you have to carry the cart on its own at any point, you probably don’t want it to be uncomfortably heavy.
On the other hand, these heavier kayak carts often have a higher load capacity than some of the lighter weight ones, so it could be a trade-off.
If you plan to haul a heavy boat, make sure you know its total weight so that you can look for a cart with sufficient capacity to carry it.
Fishing kayaks can be especially heavy. If you plan to load your kayak full of heavy fishing equipment or other gear remember to take the extra weight into account. Your kayak carrier should be able to handle more weight than you plan to load it with.
If the cart breaks because you’ve overloaded it, then it’ll be your own fault. It can also be pretty difficult to pull an overloaded kayak cart, as it puts extra strain on the wheels.
Many kayak carts can be folded down for easy storage on deck. Some of them are compact enough when folded and dismantled that they can fit inside storage hatches, making them more convenient.
However, if you don’t have a hatch or the trolley doesn’t fold small enough to fit, you can usually secure it to the deck of your kayak. Most will fold up to some extent.
A kickstand can be a useful tool on a kayak cart, allowing for easy loading and unloading. This works like a brake and prevents the cart from rolling while you’re trying to secure your kayak on top.
Some kickstands, however, can affect the ground clearance of the cart if they can’t be raised high enough to be out of the way.
Kayak Carts Frequently Asked Questions
How Important Is The Type Of Wheels On A Kayak Trolley?
The wheels of a kayak trolley are important if you want to avoid a flat tire or travel easily over sand.
Large air filled tires, such as balloon tires are better for sandy beaches.
Plastic airless tires are more suitable for hard surfaces and rough terrain.
Can I Use A Kayak Cart For Other Types Of Boats Like Canoes Or Paddleboards?
Yes, many kayak carts can be used for other types of boats, including canoes and SUPs.
However, not all kayak carts will be compatible with other vessels, as it will depend on the shape and size of the hull of the boat you plan to haul.
How Do I Properly Secure My Kayak To A Cart?
Most kayak carts come with straps.
These should be secured around the kayak and tightened enough that the kayak can’t move around when you’re pulling the cart uphill or downhill, and over uneven terrain.
Can I Store My Kayak Cart In My Kayak While I’m Out On The Water?
Yes. Most quality kayak carts should be able to fit in your kayak for storage. Some collapse or dismantle to fit inside a kayak hatch.
Others can be secured and stored on the deck.
Conclusion: The Finest Carts in Short
The winner of our shortlist of the best kayak carts is the Railblaza C-Tug. In my opinion, this is the easiest one to use out of all the kayak carts on our list. It folds up for storage, can carry a decent load, and it has durable tires for crossing all types of surfaces without punctures.
Another excellent option, and one I would recommend for sand and beach launches, is the Suspenz DLX beach cart. This can carry most types of kayaks and works well on a range of surfaces in addition to sand. It also folds up nicely.
If you have a heavier kayak with a different style of hull, I think the best option is the YakAttack TowNStow BarCart. This gives you the benefit of positioning the bars as crossbars or parallel bunker bars to haul almost any type of boat.
Remember to think about where you plan to use your cart and how much weight you want it to carry. Not all of these kayak carts will work with all types of kayaks.