The Best Kayak Trailer To Safely Transport Your Kayak

Unless you live a stone’s throw from the waters’ edge, you are going to need a way to transport your kayak. If you have a truck with an open bed, you may be able to load your kayak in the back, tie it down, and transport it that way. But, if you’ve got a regular car, and aren’t the owner of a folding or inflatable kayak, you’ll need a different option.

Kayak trailers make taking your kayak to the water convenient and easy. Just load up your boat, strap it down, and drive to your destination. However, choosing a kayak trailer is not as easy as using one, and there are lots of different models available.

Confused by the choice of kayak trailers? Don’t worry – we’re here to help:

Malone MicroSport

malone best trailer
Price

$$

  • Easily transports 4 kayaks
  • 12in wheels

Yakima Trailer

yakima expensive
Price:

$$$

  • Amazing construction quality
  • 16in wheels

Ironton Trailer

irontop trailer cheap
Price:

$

  • Affodable, quality kayak trailer
  • Uses 12in tires

1. Ruff-Sport Trailer

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The Ruff-Sport Trailer is not specifically designed for carrying kayaks, and yet it is more than up to the task. If you are looking for a versatile kayak trailer that you can also load up with bikes, surfboards, or camping gear, this is a good choice.

Key features:

  • Galvanized, rust-resistant frame
  • 400 lb. capacity
  • 137 inches long x 64 inches wide x 23 inches high
  • Weighs 200 lb.
  • 12-inch wheels
  • Waterproof LED lights included

Made from high-quality materials, this kayak trailer can be used for all your outdoor leisure transport needs. Long and wide enough to carry several kayaks at the same time, this well-priced trailer is ideal for those on a budget.

Pros:

  • Well-priced
  • Excellent suspension
  • Easy to load
  • Good weight capacity

Cons:

  • Requires some self-assembly

This isn’t the most technically advanced trailer available. Still, its simple design and robust construction mean it more than fit to carry your kayaks. Even better, you can use it to carry your tent, fishing poles, SUP, or any other outdoor equipment needed for your adventures.

2. Malone Auto Racks MicroSport Trailer

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Malone is a well-known trailer manufacturer, and they are a brand commonly associated with quality. The Malone MicroSport Trailer might sound like it should be small, but it’s actually a good-sized trailer that can carry several full-sized kayaks with ease.

Key features:

  • Four kayak capacity
  • 800 lb. weight capacity
  • 159 inches long x 55 inches wide x 30 inches high
  • Weighs 197 lb.
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • 12-inch wheels
  • Spare wheel/tire included
  • Removable kayak racks

Despite being made for four kayaks, the Malone MicroSport can easily be configured to carry just one. Simply remove the unused supports and free up space for whatever else you want to carry. Fitted with high-speed wheels and wheel bearings, this trailer is ideal for highway use.

Pros:

  • Large capacity
  • Customizable set-up
  • Robust but light design
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • No license plate holder
  • Some self-assembly required
  • May be too big for solo kayakers

If you want to transport not just your own kayak, but those belonging to your family and friends too, the Malone MicroSport trailer could be precisely what you are looking for. But, for solo kayakers, it’s probably unnecessarily big.

3. YAKIMA 78-Inch Rack and Roll Trailer

One of the best and most durable kayak trailers

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The Yakima Rack and Roll trailer is more than just a cute name! This 78-inch wide multi-purpose trailer is ideal for carrying several kayaks and any other equipment you need for your outdoor adventures. It’s especially good on rough surfaces and is definitely built to last.

Key features:

  • 300 lb. weight capacity
  • 132 inches long x 78 inches wide x 22 inches high
  • Weighs 160 lb.
  • Adjustable motorcycle-style shock absorbers
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Locking wheels and hitch

This trailer by Yakima is light and easy to handle. It has a built-in stand so you can load it up before attaching it to your car. It’s doesn’t have the biggest load capacity, but 300 lb. should be more than enough for most kayakers.

Pros:

  • Very smooth ride
  • Versatile design
  • Light and easy to handle
  • Good security features

Cons:

  • Some users report that this trailer was tricky to assemble
  • High price point

Providing you have the time and patience for some self-assembly, the Yakima Rack and Roll trailer is an excellent choice for weight-conscious kayakers who may want to transport several boats at once. It’s quite expensive, but you get a lot of trailer for your money.

4. Ironton Personal Watercraft and Boat Trailer Kit

Great – more affordable – trailer option

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Kayak trailers can be expensive, often costing two or even three thousand dollars. This trailer from Ironton bucks this trend and instead is a very budget-friendly if basic kayak trailer.

Key features:

  • Powder-coated steel frame
  • 610 lb. weight capacity
  • 126 inches long x 52 inches wide x 16 inches high
  • Weighs 216 lb.
  • 12-inch wheels/tires
  • Supplied with lights, fenders, and coupler
  • Adjustable width full-length boat supports

This robust trailer is more than big enough to carry several full-sized kayaks, providing you don’t mind stacking them on top of one another. You can adjust the width of the padded supports to hold your kayak securely in place. This trailer is no lightweight, but it’s outstanding value for money.

Pros:

  • Very well-priced
  • Rugged design
  • Supplied with all necessary extras
  • Huge weight capacity

Cons:

  • Powder-coated finish may be prone to chipping
  • Only really suitable for carrying watercraft
  • Quite heavy
  • Some self-assembly required

Providing you only want to transport kayaks and not bicycles or camping gear, and don’t mind a little extra weight, this trailer represents excellent value for money. It’s basic, but it does what it’s meant to do – make transporting your kayak to the water as easy as possible.

5. Malone XtraLight Trailer

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Kayaking is often best enjoyed alone or with no more than one other person sharing your tandem. That means you only need to transport one kayak at a time. The Malone XtraLight trailer is designed precisely for that purpose.

Key features:

  • Galvanized steel frame
  • 400 lb. weight capacity
  • Weighs 159 lb.
  • 134 inches long x 40 inches wide x 24 inches high
  • 8-inch galvanized wheels
  • 5-year warranty
  • Supplied with LED lights and fenders
  • Leaf spring suspension
  • Fully adjustable load bars

This trailer is ideal for almost any type of kayak, from small recreational kayaks to long, tandem tourers. The adjustable load bars mean that you can position them precisely to support your boat, and there are lots of tie-down points to keep it secure. It rolls very smoothly and is so light that you may not even notice you are towing it.

Pros:

  • Very smooth ride
  • Good shock absorbency
  • Easy to load and unload
  • Light and easy to handle

Cons:

  • No spare tire
  • No license plate holder
  • Some self-assembly required

Single kayak trailers don’t come much better than this model from Malone. It’s light, easy to load, and won’t affect your cars’ handling much it at all. Big enough for most kayaks, this well-priced trailer is highly recommended.

What To Look For in The Best Kayak Trailer

The right kayak trailer for you depends on several factors, such as your budget, how many kayaks you need to transport, and they type of kayak you own. You’ll also need to consider some additional factors, including weight, materials, suspension, and its size. Think about the following when deciding on what kayak trailer to buy.

1. Budget – kayak trailers can vary in price from budget to mid-range to expensive. Decide on your budget early, and then stick to it. Also, don’t think that a high-end trailer will be any better than a cheaper one. This is not always the case.

2. Carrying capacity – how many kayaks do you need to transport at a time. Some are designed for just one, while others can take six or more. Make sure your trailer can carry the number of kayaks you want to transport.

3. Type of kayak you own – tandem and touring kayaks are invariably longer than recreational kayaks. Some trailers are better suited to short boats, while others are made for longer boats. Choose the one that best accommodates your kayak.

4. Trailer weight – some trailers are heavier than others, depending on the materials used in manufacture. Is your car up to the task of pulling your trailer? Trailer weight is not a massive issue, but you should still think about it, especially if you are concerned about gas mileage. Remember, too, you may need to move your trailer by hand, so weight is doubly important.

Quality suspensions of the Yakima Rack and Roll

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5. Suspension – suspension is less of an issue if you are only carrying one kayak. But, if you are going to load your trailer down with several kayaks at once, suspension becomes more important. Trailers with suspension are usually bigger and heavier than those without, and also require more maintenance as they have more moving parts.

6. Trailer size – when not in use, you will need to have somewhere to store your trailer. Longer, wider trailers may not fit in your garage, so measure up before buying. Also, larger trailers handle differently when being towed then more compact models. If you are nervous about towing a trailer, smaller may be better.

Armed with this information, you should have a much easier job choosing the best kayak trailer for your needs. Still not sure how to proceed? Just check out our above selection of some of the best available, all tried and tested just for you!

Conclusion

Whatever type or however many kayaks you’ve got, there is a trailer that will get your watercraft from your home to the water smoothly and easily. Because trailers, even budget models, are quite an investment, you must consider your options before committing to purchase.

Use the information in this article to guide you and avoid buying the wrong type of kayak trailer. And remember, driving with a trailer is a skill, and you should practice it on a quiet road before loading up and heading for the highway.

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