You’ve got the kayak and are amped for a day out on the water, but there’s one small problem; getting it there. If you’re not lucky enough to live close to a lake, river or the ocean, you have to find a way to transport your kayak conveniently and safely.
There are two options when it comes to transporting your kayak: you can, if you have only one, pop it onto the roof of your car and hope to goodness it’s still there when you arrive at your destination. Or you can get yourself a kayak trailer.
Types of Kayak Trailers
There are different types of kayak trailers, depending on how many you need to transport. Let’s have a look at what is available.
Single Kayak Trailers
A single kayak trailer can carry one kayak and is perfect for people who are just starting out or have one kayak and don’t intend getting another one for a while.
They are made of aluminum, which means they are lightweight, easy to assemble and durable. Most have rubberized steel suspension to prevent too much bouncing in the road. It has a weigh capacity of around 900 pounds.
Double Kayak Trailers
As the name suggests, you can transport two kayaks safely with a double kayak trailer. Like the single trailer, it is made of aluminum and can be assembled quickly and easily.
Four Kayak Trailers And Up
These trailers can carry four kayaks, or more, if necessary. This is especially useful if you are traveling with a couple of friends. It can hold kayaks weighing between 1200 and 1600 pounds.
If you are planning on buying one of these, you need to make sure your car’s engine can pull the additional weight.
A mini-kayak trailer is small and lightweight, and can even be attached to a bicycle. They are ideal for moving kayaks short distances.
Clearly, there are a lot of kayak trailers to choose from, which can make your buying decision that much more difficult. We’ve rounded up the 4 best kayak trailer options that’ll make your life easier, and your kayaking adventures a stress-free adventure.
Best Kayak Trailer Reviews
Right On Trailer Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer
What we like about the Right On Trailer is its versatility. The rack-style trailer can be used to transport kayaks, canoes as well as bikes, and it features a second tier to hold as many as six kayaks. The trailer can be configured in different ways, for example, you can load six bicycles at the top and four kayaks at the bottom.
Also, the crossbars measure around 64 inches and give you extra storage space for other accessories.
To keep your kayaks safe while traveling, the Right On trailer has springs that absorb any vibrations from the road. Compared to other two-tier trailers, this one is relatively light. And in terms of the price, for what you get, it’s an affordable choice.
>> Check Price Here <<
Malone Auto Racks MicroSport Trailer Kayak Transport Package with 4 Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers
This kayak trailer from Malone combines affordability, reliability and of course, quality. You can carry four kayaks at a time, and what’s really cool is they can be mounted sideways with the J-Pro 2 carriers.
At first glance, the trailer looks pricey, but everything is included, like the safety chains, the straps and even the spare tire. The aluminum frame is lightweight, but it can hold up to 350 pounds. It attaches easily to most tow hitches, and the galvanized steel frame means it’ll handle the elements with ease.
The trailer comes with a very good warranty, and it’s easy to see why this is such a popular choice.
>> Check price here <<
Malone XtraLight 2 Kayak V-Rack Trailer
The Malone XtraLight V-Rack trailer is made specifically for transporting kayaks, without much space for anything else. It features two V-shaped holders with handy built-in ratchet straps that keep the kayaks in place.
It isn’t the most versatile of trailers, but it does what it is supposed to well, and you can rest easy knowing your kayaks are safe and secure. The XtraLight is exactly that, so it’s a good idea to drive carefully on particularly rough and bumpy roads.
>> Check price here <<
Yakima Rack and Roll 78 Kayak Trailer
Let’s start off by saying that this is one heck of a trailer, but it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. It has loads of features, including a lightweight frame, good suspension and has a weight capacity of around 300 pounds.
Smart design and a clever mechanism let you collapse the trailer in a few seconds for easy storage, and it hooks onto your car quickly. The shock absorbers and independent adjustable suspension springs reduce the rattle and roll on the road.
The Yakima Rack and Roll is a quality kayak trailer that works well, and if you’re not too concerned about sticking to a budget, it’s a great choice.
>> Check price here <<
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Kayak Trailer
We’ve mentioned that transporting your kayak on your car roof is an option, but it’s not necessarily the best one. There’s a very good chance you’ll end up damaging both your vehicle and the kayak over time. You might even get to a point where it feels like too much of a hassle, and you end up using your kayak less and less.
Or you can invest in a kayak trailer. It’s more convenient, safer and you’re not limited to traveling with only one kayak. But how do you go about choosing a trailer, when there are so many available?
It’s easier than you think. First of all, you can choose from our list of reviewed trailers. Regardless of how many kayaks you have, your lifestyle, and your budget, we’re almost 100% sure you’ll find the perfect one for you.
Or, if you’ve got the time and energy to do your own research, take a look at our buyer’s guide which gives you all the intel you need to make an informed choice.
How many kayaks are you taking on your trip?
More often than not you want to get a trailer because you have more than one kayak. Our top 4 trailers all carry two or more, and some as many as six, like the Right On Trailer Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer.
You can, if you need to, also put a kayak on your vehicle’s roof, but it’s best not to overload the trailer. You can also buy speciality trailers that can carry 10 or more kayaks, but they’re more for those people who own or work for a kayak rental store, run a kids camp or tour with a kayaking team.
What types of kayaks are you transporting?
Something else to consider is the type of kayaks you will be carrying. For example, a tandem kayak or ocean kayak is usually longer than the standard solo kayak, which means you will need a trailer that can accommodate the extra length.
To avoid overhang and a possible accident it’s worth looking at the Malone Auto Racks MicroSport Trailer Kayak. Unlike a lot of other trailers, it has a length capacity of 19-feet.
What else are you taking with?
If you’re traveling with a group of friends, a kayak trailer that can transport other items like bikes, canoes and paddleboards is a good idea. And the Right On Trailer Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer comes to mind immediately.
On the other hand, if you know you’re not going to be hauling anything other than a kayak or two, then the Malone XtraLight 2 Kayak V-Rack Trailer is perfect.
How much does everything weigh?
When you are buying a kayak trailer, it is important to keep the weight capacity in mind. Most can hold two standard sized kayaks, while others like the Yakima can hold up to 300 pounds.
It is a good idea to make sure your vehicle can pull the weight of the trailer, as well as all of its contents.
What is it made of?
To make your life easier, a kayak trailer should be lightweight and durable. Galvanized steel is both, as well as rust-resistant.
Because your trailer will be in and out of the water and exposed to the elements, it is worth spending a little bit more on a trailer made from high-quality materials. The wheel hubs should also be corrosion-resistant.
Have you checked the wheels?
Talking about the wheels, most are made for roads and dirt roads, but for better handling, the tires are often on the small side.
Keep an eye on the tread, and upgrade if necessary.
How easy is it to move the kayak trailer?
Although it is often overlooked, it is important that the trailer is easy to move around, even with all the contents loaded on it.
Also, it needs to be easy to tow, and you must feel safe when driving, so look at the suspension of the trailer.
How much do you want to spend?
Ah, the ever-important question – your budget. A kayak trailer is more expensive than a roof rack, but as we’ve mentioned, there are definite advantages to having one.
Depending on how much you want to, or can spend, there will be a trailer to suit your budget. The Right On Trailer Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer and Malone XtraLight 2 Kayak V-Rack Trailer combine quality, durability and affordability.
However, if cost isn’t too much of a concern, then you can always go for the Yakima Rack and Roll 78 Kayak Trailer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kayak Trailers
We regularly get emails from our readers about kayak trailers, so we thought we’d include an FAQ section, to answer any questions you may have.
What is a kayak trailer?
Okay, this sounds like a bit of an odd question, but trust us, it’s a valid one. A kayak trailer is different to a normal trailer, as it is designed to transport kayaks safely and without damaging them.
A kayak trailer is made from galvanized steel or other marine grade materials that are rust-resistant, and they usually have padding to protect the kayak.
Do I need a lot of people to load a kayak trailer?
This is another fair question, especially if you are often the one left loading and unloading the trailer. Generally, one person should be able to do it on their own, but it depends on the weight of the kayak and the person doing the loading.
Also, trailers aren’t that heavy, so you should also be able to hook it up on your own. To make it easier, make sure the car’s tow hitch is as close to the trailer as possible, and do it when the trailer has nothing on it.
If you are battling, you can always ask someone to help. After all, the more, the merrier.
What kind of vehicle do I need to tow a kayak trailer?
This is a good question and one we get asked often. You don’t need an SUV or truck to pull a kayak trailer, any vehicle with a tow hitch will do. But you must make sure your car has the power to pull the trailer when it is loaded.
Also, remember the additional weight will make your car drive differently. It is essential that you drive slower and ensure the brakes are in working order.
Are there any rules and regulations when it comes to using a kayak trailer?
Yes, there are regulations when it comes to using a kayak trailer on the road. One of the most important rules is that if your kayak extends more than a certain distance, you must have a red flag on it to warn other drivers.
For most states, it is more than six feet. However, it is best to check with yours and make sure.
A kayak trailer not only makes your life easier, but it also makes getting ready for a kayaking weekend away that much more exciting. Have we left a trailer off that really needs to be on our list? Let us know in the comments below.