Is it time to think about getting a kayak trailer? If you just bought a kayak (congratulations!), you may have come to the quick realization that getting it from your home to the water looked a lot easier in the brochure. You may have tried roof racks, cam straps or even stuffing it into your buddies hatchback – nothing working quite how you had envisioned it. Kayak manufacturers have focused on stability and performance in their recent designs, often sacrificing portability. The result has been a kayak that is great on the water but not great to get to the water! Our favorite way to make your time with your new boat feel less like a CrossFit workout and more like the brochure is a kayak trailer!
A kayak trailer easily tows behind most vehicles and typically requires a simple hitch and electrical connection to enable brake lights. They are low to the ground, easier to load and are able to carry even the largest of kayaks, making them the perfect solution to the kayak-wrestling dilemma. Many of the most popular trailers are also able to haul bicycles, canoes and even cargo boxes, making them as versatile as any roof rack and, with multiple sizes available, many trailers surpass roof racks in carrying capacity.
Best Kayak Trailers:
1. Malone Xtralight Trailer Package with 2 V-Kayak Racks
The Malone Xtralight Trailer Package with kayak racks topped our list as one of the best kayak trailers on the market. It’s packed with features that the dedicated paddler will love, including solid and sturdy construction, the inclusion of a personal rack system and two V kayak racks.
Retailing at under $1000, the Malone Xtralight Trailer Package brings a lot of great features to the table including solid and sturdy construction, the inclusion of a personal rack system and two V kayak racks.
All in all, that is a great value considering the 275-pound weight capacity, five-year warranty, galvanized wheels, fenders, 58-inch load bars, and galvanized steel frame.
This trailer is also ideal for kayaks and canoes up to 14 feet long. A smart choice for an all-around kayak trailer for an affordable price and immense value.
2. Malone Xtralight Base Trailer
The Malone Xtralight Base Trailer is a stripped-down version of the above kayak trailer and was designed to put whatever kayak rack you like onto the trailer. It saves you about 100 bucks, and you still get the great base frame of the Malone Xtralight Base Trailer without any bells and whistles.
Galvanized wheels, 275 pound weight capacity, 58 inch steel coded load bars, and also is great for kayaks and canoes up to 14 feet long. A great bang for the buck!
3. Yakima Rack and Roll Trailer
The Yakima Rack and Roll Trailer is one of the nicest trailers out there. It has the most feature-rich mix of suspension, lightweight design, ease-of-use, and ease of storage. Yakimas Rack and Roll trailer checks all the boxes and is an absolute dream to tow behind your car, especially if you have a smaller car.
Yakima’s premiere trailer has 78-inch crossbars and locking levers with keys to help prevent theft of your toys. It also includes a carrying handle, making hooking it up to your vehicle a breeze.
The Yakima Rack and Roll Trailer has a higher weight capacity at 300 pounds than many trailers plus heavy-duty springs that are independently suspended for a smooth ride for your boat. For an additionally plush ride, you can also adjust the dual suspension spring rate on the motorcycle style shock absorbers with 4 inches of wheel travel.
4. MicroSport XT Kayak Trailer
The MicroSport XT Kayak Trailer has been around for years and is considered one of the best-built trailers available. Its heavy duty build and custom 12-inch aluminum spoke wheels and diamond plate aluminum fenders make it one of the heavier options, but if you plan on going on a long trip or carrying a heavier load, this kayak trailer is for you.
The MicroSport XT Kayak Trailer is available with or without a retractable tongue for easy storage. We recommend not going with the retractable tongue due to it being a bit tricky to retract without cutting any trailer wiring, but it is a great option for those needing their trailer to store in a smaller space.
The Malone MicroSport XT Kayak Trailer has a 355 pound weight capacity which is the most for any trailer on our review. This kayak trailer is heavy-duty and built to last at an affordable price and value.
5. Malone MicroSport Trailer Package Two Kayak and Two Bike Transport
The Malone MicroSport Trailer Package with Two Kayak and Two Bike Transport comes next on our list for the top kayak trailer picks. With it’s ability to carry to two kayak and two bikes “out of the box”, it is the trailer most ready for fun without the need for any customization.
While we have it pictured with two J-style kayak racks on the outside and two bike racks on the inside, the placement of each rack and trailer configuration is completely customizable.
Built on Malone’s base frame that we love for it’s quality and value, the Malone MicroSport also comes with 12 inch galvanized steel wheels, sealed bearings, 65-inch coated steel load bars, two kayak carriers and two bike trays.
6. Malone Xtralight Trailer Package with Saddle Up Kayak Rack
Malone stepping it up again with the Xtralight trailer that comes with the saddle up kayak rack. You are able to get just the base of this trailer and add on different extensions based on what recreational toys you may have. With its leaf spring suspension you are sure to have a reliable transport even on rougher roads.
The electrical system is pre-fitted but you will have to assemble the design with the saddle up addition. This package contains all the materials for a secure cradle of your kayak, even two straps!
7. Right-On Trailer Multi-Sport Kayak Trailer
This kayak trailer can be padded to accommodate gear for any water activity including surfing, fishing, and kayaking. It is capable of carrying up to two kayaks and two bicycles at a time, side by side, while still being easy to tow.
Easy to load and unload, you will not waste much time getting in or out of the water and loading usually only requires one person. It has a very low-profile design, sturdy frame, and offers vibration-free transportation.
It includes a 64-inch crossbar, and the kayak trailer already comes equipped with lights and a flat four wiring connection. It has also proven to be more fuel efficient than a truck and better than having to load the equipment on the rooftop of your vehicle.
8. Ruff-Sport Trailer-Galvanized Finish for Kayaks
The Ruff-Sport Trailer is considered a universal kayak trailer and provides you with an easy and simple way to transport your kayak, boats, or canoes. This utility trailer was designed to be able to withstand a number of different weather conditions and will not rust like some others might because of the galvanized steel finish.
The Ruff-Sport Kayak Trailer comes equipped with standard LED lights and can withstand corrosion when used in saltwater locations. This kayak utility trailer can hold up to two kayaks at a time and is both a compact and sturdy option.
The kayak trailer also boasts of soft springs and a sturdy frame that helps absorb any road vibration. It is the perfect way to transport your kayaks and canoes for all your saltwater or freshwater adventures.
9. Multi-Sport Rack Trailer for Canoes and Kayaks
The Multi-Sport Rack Trailer is suitable for both canoes and kayaks and can also hold surfboards, bicycles and cargo boxes. It is very lightweight which makes for easier loading and the 64-inch crossbars help support most roof accessories.
The crossbars and tongue stand comes standard with this utility trailer, so you will not have to purchase anything separately. It has a low profile and stable design.
You can carry up to four kayaks or canoes on this trailer at a time because of the second-tier rack that is featured. It can also hold up to six bicycles on the top rack and four large kayaks or canoes on the bottom rack, at the same time.
10. MicroSport 2-Boat Seawing Trailer Package
The MicroSport 2-Boat Seawing Trailer can carry two kayaks at a time up to eighteen feet in length and also includes two sets of Seawing kayak carriers. The galvanized steel frame also helps to resist rusting and comes with 60-inch aluminum cross rails.
This trailer can be assembled in under three hours and is made with high-quality materials, superior design reliability, and still offers ample room to carry additional gear such as bicycles and cargo boxes. All in all, this trailer can hold an impressive 350-pounds.
Furthermore, it is also compatible with other types of kayak trailers including Malone and Yakima.
Important Kayak Trailer Specs We Considered
It’s a lot easier to load a kayak on a trailer then it is on top of a car kayak rack; especially some of the longer and wider kayaks and canoes that have been made for stability.
Fishing kayaks can be extra tricky to load on top of a typical car rack. Most kayak anglers use a kayak trailer. Kayak trailers make it easy to get your kayak to the water and at the end of the day when you are tired, it is easy to load back up and get home. A kayak trailer can also save you money in terms of gas mileage and fuel efficiency when compared to loading and hauling your kayaks on the rooftop.
Finding the right kayak trailer can be tricky. There are a lot of trailers out there to choose from. We’ve checked them out and looked at lots of different aspects of each trailer.
We look at the most important elements of a kayak trailer. From price, ease-of-use, number of boats you can carry, additional gear, bikes, and whether or not the kayak trailer is easy to store.
There are also a few other specifications we looked at closely on each kayak trailer including trailer price, suspension, tongue length, wheel size, load range, weight, and suspension.
Here’s what to consider for each of the specs mentioned:
is very important. Smoother the ride, the better shape your kayaks going to be when you get to the water. If you’re going on rough bumpy gravel roads, then the suspension is important. A lot of kayak trailers are less expensive because they don’t have suspension or offered very minimal suspension. In some cases, you might not need suspension. For example, if you are staying on smooth and well-paved roads, then your kayak trailers less likely to bounce around a lot. However, if you’re going on any gravel roads or off-road conditions, then you want to strongly consider suspension and vibration reduction.
Kayak trailer tongue length…
is also very important decision. The longer the tongue length (tongue length is the length from axle to hitch) the easier a trailer is to backup. Short tongue length will make it harder to back up straight and will not accommodate longer kayaks.
A lot of kayak trailers shave down cost by shortening trailer tongue length. One problem many people fall prey of is buying a short tongue or even garden trailers and expected to work on their long kayaks. They found out the hard way this doesn’t work well.
A tongue extender is used to help prevent your trailer from hitting your vehicle when you are making a sharp turn. A tongue extender is often used when the tongue length is too short.
is also a strong factor to consider. Smaller wheels cost less, but they also tend to be hard to find replacements for when needed. When your tire wears out, you want to have a tire this easily found.
Some people believe the smaller tires put undue stress on wheel bearings. I think this makes sense, although in our many years working with kayak trailers we never have seen this is an issue. In my opinion, it has to do with not only good bearings being used but also the trailers carrying a lot of weight.
Ease of storage…
is also an important factor to consider when buying a kayak trailer. All of our top picks are lightweight trailers that are easy to move and store. Any of the larger trailers did not make it to our top list.
We feel strongly that it’s important to have a kayak trailer that’s easy to move by hand when it’s not connected to your car hitch.
Finding the right kayak trailer for your needs is important, and with the many choices available it is necessary to narrow down what you need. It is also advisable to take your time and shop around, so you can find the perfect kayak trailer for your family that will offer the most convenience and simplicity for your trips.
If it is a tandem kayak you need a kayak trailer for, then you will definitely want to consider the maximum weight capacity of the kayak and whether or not it will carry the length of kayak that you own. Some trailers will need to be extended in order to accommodate a kayak of a longer length.
Multi Kayak Trailers
If you are an avid outdoorsman that enjoys boating and kayaking and other such activities, then you may want to be sure that your kayak trailer is capable of hauling a few kayaks at a time, rather than just one. This type of kayak trailer is ideal for a family or a group that happens to be traveling together and they are also designed to be able to carry bikes and other cargo including canoes.
Yes, they tend to be a more expensive option, but you will need to consider the total value you will be receiving by being able to haul all your toys at once.