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Transporting your kayak from your home to the water and back again can be a pain if you don’t have the right gear.
Want a quick answer? The Malone MicroSport Seawing package is our favorite. What are the best kayak trailers?
Racking kayaks or canoes on the roof of your car can be a struggle. That’s where a kayak trailer can help.
There are many different trailers. We’ve looked at the extra features that make a good kayak trailer and compiled a buying guide to the best kayak trailers out there with our round up of some of the top kayak trailers.
Top 14 Best Kayak Trailer Reviews
1: Malone MicroSport 2-Boat SeaWing Kayak Package (best of best)
- Weight capacity: 355 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 2
This MicroSport trailer package could be a good choice for longer vessels and sea kayaks and for those looking for a kayak trailer that is complete with everything you need to be ready to load. But it’s not cheap compared to some other kayak trailers.
This kayak trailer is a dedicated dual kayak trailer that can hold two kayaks up to 20 feet, with a load capacity of 355 pounds. It measures 159 inches by 65 inches, with 65 inch rectangular crossbars that are compatible with many car rack accessories.
Another feature is its galvanized steel frame, giving it durability in a range of conditions and dependable service for saltwater use. It also benefits from 12 inch galvanized wheels and comes with a handy galvanized spare tire with a locking attachment to make sure your boats are properly secured.
The trailer comes with two sets of two SeaWing kayak carriers, that are padded and wide to help give your craft more protection when you’re on the road. It also comes with the mounting hardware and straps, so you’ll be ready to load your kayaks securely as soon as it’s assembled.
Note, it doesn’t have an extending tongue and doesn’t come pre-assembled.
- Cradles included
- Great for longer kayaks
- Tie down straps included
2: Malone MicroSport Trailer (best j-cradle kayak)
- Weight capacity: 350 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 4
With this trailer you can safely transport up to four vessels of up to 19 feet at the same time – ideal for the avid kayaker. Made with a marine grade pre-galvanised steel finish, it measures 164 inches by 78 inches and also has durable, good quality wheels.
The 78 inch steel crossbar is coated for added durability and is designed to fit most car roof accessories and the kayak trailer has a carrying capacity of 350 pounds. The package features four sets of J-Pro 2 yak carriers, which feature a protective foam covering and a corrosion resistant frame. The kayak carriers are designed to fit most sit-inside and sit-on-top yaks.
The trailer comes with a spare tire, for those emergency situations, as well as straps and other hardware to secure the trailer correctly, so if this is your first kayak trailer you will have everything you need to get your yaks out on the road.It has easy to follow instructions for the assembly process. But it takes a few hours to assemble.
- Holds up to four kayaks
- Spare tire included
- J-cradles included
- Takes a while to assemble
3: Ruff-Sport Trailer (multi-sport trailer)
- Weight capacity: 400 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 2+
This one from Ruff-Sport measures 11 and ½ feet by 64 inches. It is designed to carry two or more kayaks plus two bicycles on one trailer and can also be configured if you need to carry SUPs and surfboards or a small watercraft. So could be a good choice if you participate in a lot of watersports and want to haul all your gear. It also has DOT approved lights.
The galvanized frame kayak trailer has large 12 inch wheels, with soft springs to reduce vibration at highway speeds, and the frame is made from galvanized steel, meaning it’s strong and durable, not to mention being well suited to saltwater environments. However, the hardware is not stainless steel so it may not have the same durability.
It takes a little bit of time to assemble and it does not come with padded crossbars, but they can be purchased separately. It does, however, have a fold up locking stand, as well as submersible LED lights not always found on other models.
- Carries multiple sports equipment
- Folding tongue
- Submersible lights
- Padded crossbars not included
- Not stainless steel hardware
4: Malone MicroSport Kayak Base Trailer (best low bed trailer)
- Weight capacity: 800 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 4
If you’re looking to transport up to 4 kayaks, this one from MicroSport could be a good choice. It boasts being easy to assemble, with clear instructions (and an award winning instruction manual), and features a galvanized steel frame for added strength and corrosion resistance.
It has a carrying capacity of 800 pounds and is designed for a maximum kayak length of 20 ft, so most yaks and canoes will be able to fit on this one comfortably. It’s 65 inches by 159 inches, including the extra long tongue (8 ft), and it benefits from having 12 inch galvanized wheels with marine grade bearings.
The 65 inch wide powder coated steel crossbars make it compatible with most car rack accessories and it also comes with a pre-wired electrical system for lights. But it doesn’t come with cradles or straps and you may want to add a cable lock so that your boats are adequately secured on the two crossbars when you transport your kayaks.
- Easy to assemble
- Low bed for easy loading
- Great for long kayaks
- Cradles not included
5: Malone XTRALIGHT Trailer Package (best V-style carrier)
- Weight capacity: 275 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 2
The XtraLight package could be a good choice if you have a recreational or fishing yak. It can carry up to two yaks at once and can accommodate yaks that are up to 32 inches wide and 14 feet long on V-shaped cradles, so most recreational kayaks will fit on this kayak trailer. Of course, you can carry one kayak if you wish.
With a weight capacity of 275 pounds, this one will be able to handle even the most rigged fishing yak. But if your kayak is very wide, this might not be the right trailer.
It’s made in the USA with a powder coated steel frame (marine grade galvanized steel) and galvanized axles with leaf spring suspension system to minimize road vibration. The powder coating helps to prevent corrosion.
It’s super lightweight so it’s easy to maneuver by hand if necessary.
The kayak trailer measures 134 inches by 58 inches, with a two piece reinforced extended tongue. The package comes complete with 4 padded V-style carriers for safely holding your yaks as well as 12 foot loading straps and mounting hardware, so it can be a good choice if you’re new to the sport.
Comes with ratchet straps to help secure your kayaks on the trailer.
- Lightweight kayak trailer
- Two sets of V-style kayak carriers
- Durable kayak trailer
- Not for very wide kayaks
6: Right-On Trailer Multi-Sport (best stacked trailer)
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 4
If you’re looking to carry many kayaks at once, this Right-On Multi-Sport kayak trailer could be a good choice. It features a two tiered rack system that can let you carry several kayaks on both the top cross rails and the bottom, as long as the load is under 300 pounds. However, you may want to add your own padding, as this kayak trailer doesn’t have any.
Its multi-sport design means you can also carry other equipment, with enough space for mountain bikes, SUPs or canoes, so it could be a good choice for family trips with camping gear, as it can also hold cargo boxes to give you additional storage space.
The 64 inch crossbars are round and are designed to be compatible with a range of accessories from other brands, including Yakima and Thule. For safety on the road, the kayak trailer also has rear lights.
- Multi-sport kayak trailer
- Two tiers
- Round crossbars
- No padding
7: Ultra-Tow 4ft x 8ft Aluminum Utility Trailer Kit (best folding trailer)
- Weight capacity: 1170 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 2+
This Ultra-Tow 4×8 foot Aluminum trailer might be a good choice if you’re looking to customize a trailer to your own specifications, as it is not a kayak-specific trailer. It features a rust resistant aluminum frame (rather than galvanized steel) and has a high weight capacity of 1170 pounds, giving you the opportunity to carry more than one kayak or heavy kayaks.
You can carry three kayaks with one in the center halfway point of the trailer’s cross rails.
This is a versatile trailer that can be ideal for hauling kayaks, canoes and anything else you might want, including ATVs if you add some bunk boards or marine grade carpet.
Like other models, a great feature of this trailer is that it folds for easy storage, meaning it doesn’t take up much room in your garage when it’s not in use. It has 12 inch tires and comes with an LED light kit for safety if you’re hauling your heavy load in the dark.
In order to carry a number of kayaks safely you may want to install cradles (sold separately) to this trailer. You can also add additional racks or bars (sold separately) if you want to carry a few kayaks or additional sporting equipment.
- Easy to customize
- Huge payload capacity
- Folds for storage
- Kayak carriers not included
8: Malone Auto Racks TopTier Utility Trailer (best budget mod option)
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 2
This galvanized steel Malone Top Tier Cross Bar System is a trailer top carrier that can be ideal for carrying up to two kayaks on top of your trailer on a tight budget. This budget friendly choice can let you store other gear inside your trailer, giving you additional cargo space as if you had two trailers.
It’s designed to be installed on an existing trailer that has raised side rails – it does not include the trailer. How much weight you’ll be able to carry will depend on your trailer’s capacity as well as the rack.
The rack is made from galvanized steel and consists of four 53 inch vertical bars and two 65 inch cross bars. It comes with all the hardware you need for attaching it to your trailer.
This rack system can be used to haul various gear, including stand up paddle boards, canoes, other watercraft or even building supplies. The rack does not come with straps or cradles for securing your kayak on a trailer – you will need to purchase those separately.
- Versatile kayak trailer rack
- Hardware included
- Durable kayak rack
- Trailer not included
9: Yakima Rack and Roll Trailer
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
- Number of kayaks: up to 6
With the Yakima Rack and Roll trailer you could potentially carry up to six lightweight kayaks if you use J-style cradle style racks (three with V-shaped cradles), as long as the maximum weight doesn’t exceed 250 pounds.
It might be better for lighter loads. But with the additional purchase of Heavy Duty Shocks the trailer can hold up to 350 pounds.
The trailer features 78 inch crossbars that are compatible with Yakima accessories and can hold mountain bikes and heavy boxes, as well as canoes.
It’s a lightweight aluminum trailer (instead of heavy galvanized steel) that measures 132 inches long and features LED lights for safety during highway travel. And a winch stand and lockable levers to prevent theft if you want to park and go scuba diving for a few hours. It also features a carrying handle so you can pull it by hand, which can make it easier to haul kayaks.
A handy feature on this quick assembly trailer is the small wheels at the back that can allow you to roll it up for easier vertical storage. The tongue skid plate and wheels are also removable so it can take up minimum space when stored.
For security, the Rack and Roll has locking levers with keys.
- Compatible with Yakima accessories
- Can be pulled by hand
- Lightweight trailer
- Kayak carriers not included
10: Malone EcoLight 2-Boat J-Rack Kayak Trailer
- Weight capacity: 400 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 2
The Malone EcoLight 2-Boat J-Rack trailer is made from marine-grade galvanized steel for durability and longevity. The heavy-duty axle is also galvanized and the leaf-spring suspension means it can travel smoothly over bumpy roads and rough terrain. It also has injection molded fenders.
It has a high load capacity of 400 pounds, so it can be ideal for hauling very heavy fishing kayaks with ease. It can carry kayaks that are up to 14 feet long and features two sets of J-hook carriers that help to provide a secure base for the hull of your boat.
The J-hooks are padded to protect your hull and the load bar is only 24-inches off the ground with protective fenders to make it easier to load heavy kayaks. Assembly is quick and relatively easy but the instructions aren’t great.
- High capacity
- Great for fishing kayaks
- Assembly instructions could be improved
11: Ironton 4ft x 8ft Steel Folding Utility Trailer
- Weight capacity: 1,170 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 4
This Ironton Folding Utility Trailer can be a versatile option if you’re looking for a durable trailer that could also handle hauling other equipment, not only kayaks, from time to time. This heavy duty trailer has space for up to four kayaks stacked on their sides, so it can be ideal for family kayak trips. But it’s a bare bones trailer, not a dedicated kayak trailer, so it doesn’t have padded kayak cradles. But you could purchase cradles like these separately.
You could also carry canoes, bikes or other cargo, as long as you safely secure your extra gear to the trailer’s frame.
This Ironton trailer has a higher than necessary weight capacity of 1,170-pounds, so there should be no problems hauling even the heaviest of kayaks or canoes.
A great feature of this galvanized steel trailer is that it folds up when not in use. This means you can easily store it in your garage and you can move it around on its wheels for convenience.
- Folds for storage
- Versatile cargo trailer
- No kayak cradles
12: Yakima EasyRider Utility Trailer
- Weight capacity: 500 pounds
- Number of kayaks: 3
The Yakima EasyRider Trailer can be the ultimate trailer in terms of convenience. Not only can this be towed behind your vehicle but you can also pull it by hand using the lift handle.
This means you can drive to the water, unhitch the trailer and pull it down to the water for easy launching – excellent if you have a heavy fishing kayak or multiple kayaks. You can also mount a rooftop tent to it or attach a cargo box.
It has a 500-pound capacity so it’s capable of hauling a lot of gear (as well as heavier boats) with a high safe towable limit. The EasyRider trailer can also be used to carry other items in addition to a kayak or three. This versatility comes at a price, however, as it’s not cheap.
It features Yakima crossbars so you can attach compatible kayak cradles easily. Cradles or marine carpeting are not included.
- Can be pulled by hand
- Versatile cargo carrying
- Yakima bars
13: Oziconcept Folding Kayak Trailer
- Weight capacity: 661 pounds
- Number of kayaks: up to 2
This Oziconcept Folding Kayak Trailer can be an ideal trailer if you’re short of storage space in your garage. This one folds up to the size of a doormat when not in use, so it takes up minimal space and just what you want for space efficient storage at home.
It has a generous capacity that can be great for carrying heavier kayaks up to 16 feet in length. So it can be ideal for either single or tandem kayaks, or some ocean kayaks. It comes with a crossbar extension so you can haul two kayaks at the same time. Or you can use the shorter crossbar for hauling a single kayak.
It’s not built to carry other items, so it may not be the perfect trailer if you want to haul additional equipment or outdoor gear. It can haul just kayaks.
It has internal tie-rod spring suspension and shock-absorbing load suspension. It also takes just 20 seconds to fold and unfold, so you can be on the water quickly.
- Folds into a small space
- Durable construction
- Ideal one or two kayak trailer
- Not a great trailer for other gear
14: Rambo Bikes Canoe And Kayak Trailer
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds (as hand cart)
- Number of kayaks: 1
Now, this one kayak trailer is a little different for our final offering but a worthy contestant. This Rambo Bikes Canoe and Kayak trailer is designed to be attached to a bicycle. This can mean you can cycle down to the lake with your kayak in tow – an easy way to transport your kayak without a car. But it has thin wheels, so it may not be great on sand.
This maintenance free trailer is designed to work with all Rambo brand bikes but can be compatible with other brands. However, you may need to do a little DIY to create a hitch attachment for the trailer which could eat into your free time.
It has a 70-pound maximum weight rating for towing behind a bike, so it can be ideal for hauling a recreational kayak or medium sized touring kayak, or even a lightweight fishing kayak (not a heavy kayak). It’s lightweight – this bad boy trailer weighs just 29 pounds and it can also be used as a hand cart with a 300-pound capacity.
The trailer features padding for most kayaks and comes with tie-down straps included but it has limited storage space for other gear.
- Lighter weight option
- Towable by bicycles
- Can be used as a hand cart
- May not work with all bikes
Kayak Trailers Buyer’s Guide
Before you purchase a kayak trailer there are some important features to consider.
Probably the most important question will be to ask yourself how many kayaks you plan on putting on the trailer, and whether or not you want extra storage space for other items or gear?
When you’re considering purchasing a trailer, think about where you’ll be storing it when it’s not in use. Some kayak trailers come with some parts that can be folded, allowing you to store them in smaller spaces in your garage. But you may want to keep the trailer somewhere handy for easy access.
It’s also a good idea to properly measure your available storage space to make sure the trailer you’re planning on purchasing doesn’t exceed those dimensions.
A lot of kayak trailers are made with coated steel, and this is a good material to choose with, generally speaking, decent construction quality. It is durable and strong and will wear well. You will probably find that most will have a galvanized coating that will give them extra protection against rust and corrosion.
Coated steel is particularly ideal for saltwater environments and can be more hardwearing than non-galvanized steel. Stainless steel hardware or stainless steel components can also be good materials for outdoor use.
Some kayak trailers also come with racks (and protective padding) as a package to keep your vessel safe during transit. However, it’s also possible to purchase separate padded racks/accessories for the ones that don’t have built-in padding (known as base trailers.)
These racks may also be used on top of a car but will depend on the particular model (check with manufacturer.)
Easy To Move
An important feature of a kayak trailer is that it is easy to move. A good trailer will be one that you are able to move by hand, even with a fully loaded kayak. A lightweight frame should be easy to maneuver which can make your kayak easy to move.
Some other trailers will come with suspension systems and this can be important for smooth rides, especially over bumpy terrain. A trailer with suspension will be able to travel over rougher terrain compared to other trailers without, as not all trailers have this. But if you’re traveling mostly over paved roads your trailer may not require suspension.
If you’re planning on traveling off-road to find the best paddling zones, you will probably want one with suspension to prevent it and your yaks from bouncing too much.
Tongue length, which is the distance between the axle and the hitch, will be an important factor when choosing your trailer because it is this that will determine the length of kayak you can carry as well as determining how easy it will be to tow.
The shorter the tongue length the less chance there is of being able to carry a longer or larger kayak and the more difficult it will be to back up in a straight line. The longer the tongue length the less likely it will be that you will jackknife and the easier it will be to travel straight when you’re moving backwards.
You may be tempted to choose a trailer that has smaller wheels as it may seem like it would be easier to load and unload your craft from a lower platform. However, while this may be the case, you will need to consider that smaller wheels will mean your tires will wear out more quickly than bigger wheels.
Smaller wheels will have to do more rotations in order to cover the same distance as that of a larger wheel, simply because it’s smaller. So your trailer could end up costing you more in the long run on long distance journeys. Smaller tires can also be more difficult to purchase.
If you’re looking for kayak trailers for your tandem kayak, the main things to consider are its maximum weight capacity and whether or not it can carry a vessel of your length. Many kayak trailers will have the capacity for carrying tandems, with some being able to extend to accommodate longer length boats (or touring kayak if you’re an experienced paddler).
Tandem yaks may tend to be wider than those designed for one paddler, which means you will need to look for a kayak trailer that is designed to handle wider boats, particularly if you’re looking to tow more than one tandem.
Kayak Trailer Loading Options
Multi-Sport Kayak Trailer
A multi-sport kayak trailer lets you store an assortment of different items, such as bikes and storage boxes in addition to a kayak or two. This can be an easy way to transport multiple items at once.
This can be a great option for camping trips or vacations where you want to do other sports as well as kayaking. Our top trailer pick falls into this category – Ruff-Sport Trailer
Extra Wide Side-by-Side Trailer
An extra wide trailer is designed to let you load kayaks, usually three, alongside each other. Often the kayaks are positioned on their sides.
This can help to minimize drag since the yaks are kept lower to the ground. The Rack and Roll trailer is a prime example of these types of kayak trailers.
Low Bed Kayak Trailer
A low bed trailer (like this one from Malone) can usually let you carry up to two kayaks positioned alongside each other.
This is often a good choice for minimizing drag as it keeps your gear low to the ground and is ideal if you only want to haul one or two yaks on your kayaking trip.
This can be great if you’re looking to carry multiple kayaks as this can let you stack them on top of each other without affecting the width of your vehicle.
You may be able up to four yaks on this type of kayak trailer – ideal for a group kayaking trip.
Multi-kayak trailers are designed to carry several kayaks, even as many as twelve, with options to store three alongside each other up to four rows high.
You may have seen these trailers used in commercial settings at kayak or canoe outfitters.
These can be useful for standard kayaks.
Trailer Top Kayak Carrier
A trailer top carrier works in a similar way to a roof rack on your car in that it provides raised crossbars to go on the top of your kayak trailer. These two outer bars can then be used to carry your kayak(s).
This type of carrier lets you haul other gear in your trailer, as it extends the carrying space vertically, freeing up the entire trailer. This one from Malone made our list .
Is Trailer Installation Easy?
Kayak trailers should be pretty easy to install on most vehicles. The trailer coupler should fit over the ball on your tow hitch and then you can lower the trailer ball before securing it with the safety chains. The trailer coupler should be raised slightly above the height of your tow hitch so that you can lower it onto the ball easily.
Before you install the boat trailer you should probably make sure your vehicle is capable of towing the weight of your loaded trailer. You can usually find the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle in your vehicle’s handbook.
Video: How To Hook Up A Standard Trailer
Popular Kayak Trailer Manufacturers
The manufacturer can be important when choosing your kayak trailer. Good manufacturers will usually offer good customer service and may include some type of warranty with their products. As with anything you purchase, both a warranty and friendly customer service can be beneficial in case something does go wrong with it and you need replacement parts, for example.
Popular kayak trailer manufacturers, such as Malone and Yakima, will often come with or be compatible with other kayak accessories, such as J cradles. These most popular kayak trailers can be useful if you’re looking for something that’s ready to go and suitable to travel long distance.
When looking for a good manufacturer, it can be worth checking out their website to see what other products they make and whether or not they have a strong history of manufacturing trailers for kayaks.
Social media can also be a good source of information and useful tips for most manufacturers when checking out a particular brand . Often users will post their own experiences of a kayak trailer online, which can give you a better idea of what to expect.
Kayak Trailers: FAQs
Should I Get A Trailer Or A Roof Rack For Kayaks?
It will usually depend on personal preference and budget. Kayak trailers can be easier for loading and unloading compared to a standard rack on your car but roof racks can be less expensive and much easier to store when not in use.
Can I Build My Own Kayak Trailer?
It is possible to assemble your own kayak trailer out of an existing trailer if you are mechanically inclined. however, you will need to make sure that it’s safe and meets any regulations that you may have in your city or state. Here’s a video to check out.
Can I Use A Kayak Trailer To Transport A Bike Or Canoe Or Other Storage?
Some kayak trailers will have the capacity to transport other items, such as bikes and canoes but this will usually depend on the type of trailer you opt for. Most kayak trailers will specify if they are suitable for carrying other gear.
How Do I Lock, Tie Down And Secure Kayaks To The Trailer?
You can use cam straps to safely tie down and secure your yak to the trailer, making sure that the straps are tight enough that the yak won’t move during transit but not too tight as to damage your hull.
What Vehicles Are Best For Pulling A Trailer?
You don’t necessarily need a heavy duty vehicle to pull kayak trailers. But one with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (4WD) could be better, especially if you plan to cross muddy or sandy terrain.
What Sort Of Weights Can These Trailers Carry?
Most kayak trailers will have a weight limit, with the upper limit on the more heavy duty trailers being no more than around the 350 pound range. However, there may be some with a higher limit and many will likely have a much lower weight capacity.
No matter the weight, always be careful driving on rough roads.
Are There Any Laws I Need To Think About?
The laws on towing vary between states and local authorities but you will need to have a license plate light on the trailer and taillights. Each state has its own additional laws that you may have to double check.
Kayak Trailers: Wrapping Up
Now that you have seen some of the best kayak trailers that are available you should be able to choose the best kayak trailer and the right trailer for your needs.
Keep in mind where you plan to use it, such as the type of terrain or whether it’s over long distances, as this may affect the size of wheels you will need. Also, consider how many kayaks you’ll be hauling to and from the water and whether you plan to frequently travel with more than one kayak.
If you’ll mostly be paddling on your own or just with a family member, a boat trailer that can carry up to two vessels might suit you more than a larger trailer size and should also be less expensive. You can also use some kayak trailers to carry other items and gear, such as bikes and boards.
The Malone MicroSport is your best bet for a kayak trailer for one or two kayaks as it’s one of the best kayak trailers on the market. The Yakima Rack and Roll is also great for those looking to carry more than two kayaks.
If you have enjoyed discovering some of the best yak trailers on the market then please let us know by leaving a comment, or likewise if you have any questions for us. And don’t forget, you can always share this with your fellow paddlers and watersports enthusiasts.