Kayak Trailers: The Ultimate Solution for Easy Transportation

Orange kayak stack on a kayak trailer

Whether you’re a solo paddler or a family of kayakers, finding the best way to transport your kayak is crucial. While roof racks can be a hassle to load, especially for smaller paddlers, a kayak trailer offers the perfect solution. With a range of options available, we’ve narrowed down the top kayak trailers on the market to make your life easier. Keep reading to discover which kayak trailer is right for you!

The Benefits of Kayak Trailers

Man transporting a red kayak on a kayak trailer

If you’re on the fence about whether a kayak trailer is the right choice for you, consider the following benefits:

Easy to Load

Loading a kayak onto a roof rack can be a struggle, especially if you lack upper body strength or have multiple kayaks. In contrast, a kayak trailer sits closer to the ground, making it easier to slide your kayak onto and secure it in place. This not only ensures convenience but also reduces the risk of injury compared to lifting a heavy kayak onto your vehicle’s roof.

Can Carry More Than One Kayak

For families or groups of paddlers, a kayak trailer is essential. Unlike roof racks, which are limited to one kayak, many kayak trailers can accommodate multiple kayaks simultaneously. This makes it much easier to transport all your family’s kayaks to the water’s edge without the need for multiple trips.

Safer Over Long Distances

When it comes to transporting kayaks over long distances, safety is paramount. Kayak trailers provide a secure way to transport your kayaks, as they lock onto your car. Unlike roof racks, which are subject to wind resistance and the possibility of straps coming loose, kayak trailers provide a stable and secure transport option.

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Choosing the Perfect Kayak Trailer

Kayaks loaded on kayak trailer

When selecting a kayak trailer, several factors should be taken into consideration:

Trailer’s Maximum Weight Capacity

Before committing to a specific kayak trailer, determine its maximum weight capacity. This will ensure that the trailer can accommodate your kayaks and any additional gear you may have. Weigh all the kayaks you regularly take out, including any gear you’d like to strap onto the trailer, to find a suitable weight capacity.

Number of Kayaks to Transport

Consider how many kayaks you need to transport on a regular basis. Most kayak trailers can carry between one and four kayaks, but there are options available for larger families or groups. For those with more extensive kayak collections, custom-made trailers may be a suitable choice.

Size of your Kayak

Ensure that the kayak trailer is designed to hold the size of kayak you own. Measure your longest kayak and compare it to the trailer’s dimensions. Look out for potential overhangs that could be dangerous while driving, and make sure the trailer can comfortably accommodate your kayak’s length.

Other Gear Considerations

If you plan on carrying additional gear, such as bikes or camping equipment, look for a kayak trailer that offers versatility. Multi-sport trailers are designed to hold not only kayaks but also other outdoor equipment, making them the perfect choice for those who enjoy a range of outdoor activities.

Other Considerations for Choosing a Kayak Trailer

Colorful kayak on a kayak trailer

In addition to the key factors mentioned above, there are a few other considerations worth noting:

Tire and Wheel Size

The size of the trailer’s tires can affect its performance on different terrains. Smaller tires are easier to load and unload kayaks from but may struggle in off-road conditions. Larger tires provide better support on rough terrains, which can be beneficial if you plan on exploring off-the-beaten-path waterways.

Suspension System

While not crucial for most standard road transportation, a suspension system can make a significant difference when navigating rough and bumpy terrains. If you frequently encounter challenging terrain, investing in a trailer with a suspension system can enhance your kayaking experience.

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Tongue Length

The tongue length of a trailer determines how long of a kayak it can safely transport. Longer tongues offer more versatility, allowing you to transport longer kayaks securely. Consider your specific kayak length and ensure the trailer can accommodate it without compromising safety.

Storage

Storage is an often overlooked factor when purchasing a kayak trailer. Before making your final decision, consider where you will store the trailer when not in use. Measure the available space in your garage, shed, or under a deck to ensure the trailer fits. If space is limited, explore options for folding kayak trailers that can be stored more easily.

Trailer Construction

The construction material of the trailer is essential for durability. The most common materials used are aluminum, galvanized steel, and non-galvanized steel. Aluminum is lightweight and rust-resistant, whereas galvanized steel provides durability, especially in saltwater environments. Non-galvanized steel is the most affordable but is prone to rusting if exposed to saltwater.

Types of Kayak Trailers

Low Bed

A low bed kayak trailer features a frame that sits close to the ground, making it extremely easy to load and unload kayaks. These trailers are lightweight and ideal for smaller vehicles.

Stacked

Stacked trailers also have low bed frames but come with multiple racks, allowing you to load multiple kayaks at once. Larger stacked trailers typically have elevated frames and better suspension to accommodate six or more kayaks.

Multi-Sport

Multi-sport trailers are designed to hold not only kayaks but also bikes, paddle boards, and canoes. These trailers offer versatility for those who engage in various outdoor activities.

Foldable

Foldable kayak trailers are perfect for individuals with limited storage space. These trailers can be folded and stored upright in a garage or shed, providing a convenient storage solution.

GILI’s Top Picks: Kayak Trailers by Budget

Ironton Personal Watercraft Trailer

The Ironton Personal Watercraft Trailer is a budget-friendly option that can carry heavy kayaks with ease. With its simple design and padded boat racks, it can accommodate up to 610 lbs of weight. Please note that this trailer is suitable for a single kayak.

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Ironton Steel Folding Utility Trailer Kit

For those with heavier kayaks or multiple kayaks, the Ironton Steel Folding Utility Trailer Kit is an excellent choice. With a maximum weight capacity of 1170 lbs, this trailer is designed to carry fishing kayaks, tandem kayaks, and heavy kayaks. Its foldable feature makes it easy to store when not in use.

Right On Trailer Ruff Sport Kayak Trailer

The Right On Trailer Ruff Sport Kayak Trailer is a versatile option that can transport kayaks, inflatable paddleboards, and bikes. This galvanized steel trailer offers compatibility with popular rack systems, providing flexibility for transporting different outdoor equipment. Its low-bed design allows for easy loading and unloading.

Krypt Towers Multi-Sport Trailer

The Krypt Towers Multi-Sport Trailer is a lightweight and adjustable trailer suitable for heavy kayaks or fishing kayaks. With its unique adjustability feature, it can accommodate different types of water equipment, such as kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards. Its 16-inch tires offer excellent stability on various terrains.

Right On Trailer Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer

The Right On Trailer Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer is a multi-functional trailer capable of carrying kayaks, canoes, SUPs, cargo boxes, small sailboats, and bicycles. Its 11.5-foot length and compatibility with most roof rack systems make it a versatile option. The trailer’s powder-coated steel construction ensures durability and resistance to rust.

Rambo Kayak Trailer

For kayak enthusiasts who also enjoy cycling, the Rambo Kayak Trailer is the perfect choice. Designed to be attached to a bike, this trailer weighs only 29 lbs and can carry kayaks up to 10 feet long and 3 feet wide. Its steel construction ensures durability, and the included tie-down straps secure your kayak in place.

Malone Microsport Two Boat Megawing Kayak Trailer

The Malone Microsport Two Boat Megawing Kayak Trailer offers premium features for the avid kayaker. With its marine-grade galvanized steel construction, it can carry two kayaks up to 20 feet long. The trailer’s unique V-style carriers provide added protection and improved gas mileage. Please note that this is the most expensive option on our list.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)