Lugging a kayak back and forth to the water can be a drag, especially if you’re out boating often. The last thing you’d want to do after a long day of paddling is haul your boat all the way back to the car. To make your life that much easier, we’ve researched the best kayak carts on the market. Whether you’re on a budget and just need something simple, or you’re interested in top-dollar efficiency, we’ve got you covered.
When buying a kayak cart, it is important to consider the type of kayak which you own and what cart will work best for you. Just as there are a multitude of kayak styles, there’s a heap of different kayak carts to pick from, too! Choosing the right one will make every day you spend on the water way less work – and more fun.
1. Suspenz Smart Airless DXL Cart
Material: Aluminum frame with stainless steel hardware
The combination of durability, ease of use, value, and customer rating has deemed this cart the best! Airless wheels and a solid build make this cart a great option for those seeking more durability. Airless wheels banish any heartache over flat tires – a comforting thought when traveling over rough terrain! Rubber padding along the undercarriage protects your boat while securing it to the rig. Holding up to 125 pounds, this cart offers a long-lasting and reliable option for lighter and mid-weight boats. When your adventures are done and it is time to store, the Suspenz Cart comes with a mesh carry bag that all the parts will fit in.
2. OxGord Kayak Dolly
This strap-style cart with all-terrain wheels offers an excellent budget option for use with both kayaks and canoes. A sturdy frame and added kickstand make for easy loading and transport. Due to their stability and versatility, strap-style carts are the most popular cart out there, which makes this a great option for lighter weight boats. The durability won’t last forever, so consider the weight of your kayak and watch the wear and tear. Despite the low price point, this cart can still carry up to 165 pounds.
3. Ctug Kayak or Canoe Cart
Material: Reinforced composite material
The Ctug cart is one of the most versatile carts on the market. Carrying boats up to 300 pounds, this cart can easily tread over the most rugged of terrain, while only being 10 pounds itself. Puncture-free wheels, heavy duty rubber tread, and a lightweight design make this cart a fantastic option for those who choose a wilder put-in.
4. Hobie Heavy Duty Plug In Kayak Cart
Material: Stainless Steel
Made for plug-style kayaks, this cart is simple to use and ideal for sandy put-ins. Hardy construction materials lend a hand in carrying up to 400-pound boats. Foam-filled tires? No
need for an air pump! The price is not for dilly-dalliers – if you’re looking for a bargain, perhaps continue your search. But if you’re looking to hit the beach with your boat every weekend, this cart will blow the others out of the water. (Pro Tip: The vertical bars go through the scupper holes, so this cart will only work on kayaks with scupper plugs.)
5. Malone Xpress Scupper-Style Cart
Material: Anodized Aluminum
This plug-style cart fits securely into the scupper holes of your boat, and sports a foam pad for maximum hull protection. At a lower price point than the Hobie cart, the Malone Xpress is an ideal option for boats under 200 pounds. Rubber tires with foam interiors make this cart a breeze to pull through sandy areas—the perfect option for a lightweight ocean kayak.
6. TMS 2X Jon Boat Kayak and Canoe Cart
Carrying boats up to 75 pounds, this strap-style cart offers versatility and durability, all at an affordable cost. This cart is compatible with kayaks, canoes, and small boats, making it a great option for someone with multiple vessels. An aluminum build and spring-loaded kickstand make it lightweight and easy to use. Though this cart is listed at a very affordable price, it is important to note the inflated wheels. Those who are planning long hauls over rugged topography should consider a more durable option; shorter distances and mellow terrain are what this cart is made for.
7. Bonnlo Boat Kayak and Canoe Cart
Material: Aluminum Alloy
This cart is another versatile option for those on a budget. The strap-style carry and lightweight aluminum build make this cart easy to use and a bit more durable than the OxGord dolly. A spring-loaded stand allows you to easily transfer your boat from water to cart. If you’re looking for a simple and affordable option for kayaks and canoes under 165 pounds, this cart fits the bill.
8. Nixie Sports Deluxe Heavy Duty Cart
Built for kayaks under 132 pounds, this strap-style cart is surprisingly durable. A lightweight aluminum build and foam padding make this cart easy to use no matter how far you need to tow your boat. A spring-loaded kickstand allows for easy loading while all-terrain tires navigate brilliantly though sand and gravel. Though not suitable for heavier boats, this cart is a hassle-free option for lightweight kayaks.
9. Pro Source Ultra Durable Boat Carrier
A great deal and the perfect option for carrying lightweight boats across mellow terrain – what more could you want from a cart? Rubber padding protects your boat from wear and tear, but more importantly? Simple assembly. Hello, user-friendly. Though this cart is very budget-friendly, note that the inflatable tires and simple construction will not offer as much durability over long distances and rugged surfaces.
10. Seattle Sports Scupper Swift
Material: 35mm anodized frame
This Seattle Sports cart is built with a plug-style carry system that secures into your boat’s scupper holes. An adjustable axle makes this cart extra-versatile, able to carry almost any
scupper-style boat under 150 pounds. Airless flat wheels allow this cart to move across rugged terrain without the headache of popping a tire. If you’re looking for both durability and versatility, then this cart is perfect for your light- to mid-weight ocean boats.
Never purchased a kayak cart before? There are a few things to keep in mind before making your decision.
Why should I purchase a kayak cart?
Kayak carts are designed to economize your trek to the put-in and back. But most importantly, they help to protect your boat as you travel across rocks, gravel, sand, and other rough terrain.
Types of kayak carts available:
Options for kayak carts are about as diverse as options for the boat itself. There are two main styles of carts to consider: strap-style carts and plug-style carts. Strap-style carts are built to work best with sea kayaks and larger boats. The hull generally sits on top of foam or rubber padding, and a strap securely fastened the boat to the rest of the cart. These types are the most versatile; they can accommodate a wide variety of boat styles, including canoes. Plug-style carts are designed to fit into the scupper holes of the vessel and are best used for ocean kayaks. A simple design makes these carts easy to use and tough to break. However, these carts are not as versatile as strap-style carts; if your boat does not have scupper holes, this cart will not work for you.
What type of wheels do I need?
One of the most important things to consider when buying a kayak cart is the type of wheels it has. The more durable carts will have puncture-free wheels, allowing you to confidently take them through rough terrain. Many carts have rubber tires with foam inserts instead of inflatable tires that are likely to pop on sharp rock or other jagged items. These rubber tires are the most common and are best for use on beaches as they provide traction through sandy areas.
Some carts will have flat, plastic wheels that often add rubber lugs for added traction. These are the best for rough and rocky surfaces—there is no chance of a tire popping with these! If you are planning longer treks on land through rugged terrain, this is the best option for you. For those looking for a budget-friendly option, air-inflated tires tend to be more affordable, though not as durable and reliable. If occasional short walks to the put-in in mellow areas are all you’re planning, then a cart with inflatable wheels will get you by.
Weight and durability:
Take into account both the weight of your boat and the weight of the cart itself. Heavier boats require sturdier carts, but lighter weight carts make the haul more efficient. Be sure to look at the maximum weight capacity on the cart to ensure it can hold your boat. Planning to take the adventurous route to the put-in? Be sure to find a cart with maximum durability. Consider carts made with rubber padding and tougher metals instead of foam and lightweight aluminum. For casual put-in’s at the beach or lakeshore, a simpler, lightweight aluminum cart will get the job done.
Storage and transport options:
Think about where you will store your cart when it’s not in use, and how you’ll carry it or stash it while you’re out on the water. Many carts collapse and fold up for convenient storage. If you plan to carry your cart with you on the water, look for a lighter weight cart that breaks down and packs up in a jiffy.
Accessories to consider:
Many carts offer additional accessories like spring-loaded kickstands and extra long straps. If you have a particularly heavy boat, a spring-loaded kickstand can make the loading process a breeze, requiring less heavy lifting. Strap-style carts often come with extra-long straps, or additional accessory straps. Want to make sure your paddles and PFD are secured for the ride? Be sure to find a cart with these features, and you’ll be good to go! If that just reminded you that you need a life jacket (which is mandatory), we have reviewed those as well here.
Whether you plan to take your vessel across a mellow beach or through rugged, rocky terrain, there is an option out there. It’s crucial to consider the weight of your kayak when selecting a cart; you don’t want to end up with something burlier than you need, or find your cart collapsing under the weight of your boat. Thankfully, the array of options makes it possible to find the right cart to get you to the shore and back with ease. Finding the perfect kayak cart makes days out on the water more enjoyable, so you spend less time hauling and more time paddling!