Kayaking is a great summer sport. If you love the outdoors and are up for a challenge, this is one of the best ways to spend your day. But you need to consider how you will be transporting your kayak. Taking one kayak is not a problem; you can install it on your car’s roof. Even two of them can be fitted there, but what if you have multiple kayaks? For that, you need a kayak trailer; some of the best ones have been reviewed below.
Important Features to Consider
Kayaks have been around for ages. They are originally believed to have been developed using animal skins for hunting in the oceans. They used to have a covered deck and cockpits, but the design has changed a lot over the years and has been adapted to meet the new requirements of sports rather than hunting.
Keeping the modern kayak in mind, kayak trailers are developed to make their transportation easy. When buying one of them, the following are some of the things you need to look for.
Multi-kayak trailers are used for transporting two or more than two kayaks. They are designed to carry them like a stack, i.e., one on top of the other. They can be as small as having a capacity of two to four kayaks or as large as having the capacity of 20 or 30 kayaks.
The capacity also depends on the size of the individual kayaks. If your kayaks are too big for, the trailer might get out of balance, so you need to be mindful of your requirements.
The kayak trailer should be made of something that can bear the weight of all the kayaks on it without breaking or bending. There are multiple options for this. Most of the kayak trailers that you will see in the market use one of the following materials.
Aluminum is a soft, ductile, and non-magnetic material that is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and hence it finds itself in many products. Some of its uses include kitchen utensils, cars, aircraft, cans, window frames, etc.
All these different products make use of different properties of aluminum. For example, it is used in aerospace because of its incredible lightness combined with its strength. These same properties come in handy in kayak trailers as well. It is also very corrosion resistant and is hence durable.
- Non-Galvanized Steel
Steel is an iron alloy with some carbon for added strength. Due to its sturdiness, it finds a lot of applications in construction and other different appliances. It is the go-to element in a product where strength cannot be compromised.
There are different types of steel for different types of products. Non-galvanized steel is a simple type with no protective coating. This might make it cheap if you are not looking to spend too much on the kayak trailer. But also keep in mind that it will rust very easily.
- Galvanized Steel
Galvanization involves creating a layer of protective zinc on top of certain metals, including steel, to prevent rust. Galvanized steel serves as a low-cost alternative for stainless steel, which is known for its corrosion resistance. The process of galvanization also adds to the strength of steel and makes it durable. Therefore, if you are working on a budget but still require a durable and sturdy product, this will be a good option.
Suspension systems in kayak trailers are a secondary need. They are not considered vital, but a kayak trailer with a good suspension system does come out on top of the rest. Such a system is supposed to protect the kayaks from uneven and rough rods.
The trailer you buy should be long enough to accommodate your kayak, or else it is of no use even if it is one of the best in the market. Before buying one, check the tongue length of the trailer. It is the distance from the trailer’s hitch to the axle. Compare that to your kayak, and if it matches or if it is bigger, then you are good to go. There are also tongue extensions if the difference between the tongue length and the kayak length is small. But before considering that, look for a trailer that matches your kayak.
Tires and Wheel Size
Smaller wheels are often recommended because they improve the stability of the system and also make it low profile. But keep in mind that they wear out sooner than larger wheels. You should also make sure that they are compatible with the car or trailer you will be towing your kayak trailer with.
Best Kayak Trailers
Now that we know the basics of any kayak trailer, we are ready to search the products. We have made a list of the best kayak trailers that you can buy based on the features mentioned above.
Yakima Rack and Roll 78 Trailer
This Yakima trailer is made of lightweight aluminum. It has a clean silver finish that looks great behind your car and not out of place. Because of its aluminum construction, it is very sturdy and resistant to rust or corrosion. It can be attached to all classes of hitches, i.e., I, II, and III, with a two-inch ball. It also comes with a flat-four light vehicle connector. These connectors serve as a means of connection between the vehicles and the trailers and provide some control to the trailer.
It features a handle that can convert into a hand cart. To prevent your trailer from being stolen, there are locking levers and keys. For easy storage, the wheels and tongue can be removed easily and hung on the wall. The total load it can carry is 250 pounds and has a length of 11 feet. Remember, before purchasing it, make sure you match this with your kayak’s weight and dimension.
- It has a capacity of 250 pounds
- The width is 78 inches
- Its length is 11 feet
- The height is 22 inches
- It is compatible with class I, II, and III hitches
- Aluminum construction makes it light and strong
- Compatible with all types of hitches
- Can be turned into a and cart as well
- Safe from theft through its lock and key
- The most expensive option
Trailex Ultra Light Duty Boat Trailer
This is a multi-purpose trailer that not only functions as a kayak trailer but also as a small canoe and boat carrier. Because of its small design, it is used as a boat dolly as well and is used to launch small boats into the water. It also saves you on fuel costs and makes towing easier.
One of the major plus points of this trailer is that it has a suspension system as well, making the drive more smooth and safe for the kayaks. The V-cradle has fully adjustable brackets to fit all types of small boats. For safety purposes, it has submersible tail lights, so it is visible at night. A safety chain helps to lock it and keep it from being stolen.
The fender helps to protect it against any impact, much like a car’s fender. The rear loading roller makes loading and unloading easier through a rollable rod, and the lift handle makes lifting and storing the trailer itself easy. It comes with its 1⅞ inches ball coupler to attach with the vehicle’s hitch.
The maximum load capacity is 220 pounds, and it can accommodate boat lengths of up to 17 feet.
- Has a maximum capacity of 220 pounds
- Its total length is 15 feet and 2 inches
- The width is 15 inches
- Compatible with 1⅞ inches ball coupler
- Very small and lightweight
- Used for carrying small boats as well
- Has a leaf spring suspension assembly
- Used as a boat launching dolly
- Not suitable for large kayaks
Trailex Six Kayak Capacity Trailer
Made of high-quality aluminum, this kayak trailer can carry up to six kayaks or 12 SUP (stand-up paddleboards). But keep in mind that the load capacity is 450 pounds in total. The aluminum frame is accompanied by three adjustable vinyl extrusions on top of which the kayaks are placed.
Extrusion is a process of making tubes or pipes, etc. and vinyl is used because it does not damage the kayak like a metal would. There are also vertical tie-down bars that are used to secure the kayaks in place. They are used in many vehicle applications.
For a smooth ride, the trailer has a leaf spring suspension that is coated with epoxy. Epoxy coating is the most widely used coating in industrial applications. It is popular because of its hardness, durability, and abrasion, impact, and chemical resistance.
It comes with a two-inch ball coupler, submersible tail lights, safety chain, fenders, rear loading roller, and lift handle.
- The maximum load capacity is 450 pounds
- Its length is 15 feet and 3 inches
- The width is 68 inches
- It uses aluminum for its frame
- The compatibility is with 2-inch ball coupler
- Made using lightweight aluminum
- Has a large capacity and maximum load
- Load is secured using tie-down bars
- Uses epoxy coated leaf suspension
- Not compatible with all hitches
Hobie Kayak Trailer
This is a versatile multi-kayak carrier that can be used to accommodate different sizes of kayaks. It has different configurations, including single, double, and double/double. The double/double configuration has a 96-inch wide crossbar which accommodates tandem islands. The wheels are eight inches and galvanized, making the assembly stable and safe from corrosion.
It is made of lightweight aluminum and has a high load capacity of 550 pounds. It also has the option of buying accessories like cradle sets that are custom-made to fit your needs and center tower system with a sail hanger. There is room to add an equipment box on top as well. There is also space for a lot of load on it, but the trailer itself is lightweight due to aluminum construction. This also makes it corrosion resistant in the process.
- Has a maximum load capacity of 550 pounds
- Its length is 16 feet and 1 inch
- The length is 96 inches
- It is compatible with a 1⅞-inch ball coupler
- The construction material is aluminum
- Has a high load capacity
- Accommodates two tandem islands
- Can carry any kayak
- Galvanized and durable wheels
- Assembly takes about four hours
Boonedox KT Kayak Trailer
The Boonedox KT kayak trailer claims to be one of the strongest and is made using rust-free aircraft-grade aluminum and a high-quality axle. The rust resistance helps in these trailers as they come in contact with water a lot.
The number of boats or kayaks you can carry is up to you because it has not one but many configurations that you can change according to your need. You can add J-cradles on it for carrying the kayaks at an angle. You can also put the load directly on it in a straight manner.
The crossbars are 80½ inches wide, allowing you to add two or three kayas easily. Instead of multiple kayaks, you can put one large kayak on it as well. The strength of the aluminum is able to handle the weight. You have to use a two-inch attachment ball to tow it with a vehicle. The wheels are about 20.5 inches tall, giving a smooth ride and cushioning the load when going over bumps.
- It carries two to three kayaks
- The construction is of aircraft-grade aluminum
- 20.5-inch wide wheels
- High-quality Torflex suspension
- Wide tires mean a smooth ride
- Aircraft-grade aluminum makes it highly durable and string
- Assembling the trailer is a simple bolt-on process
- The J-cradle kayak holders are sold separately
Malone XtraLight LowMax Base Trailer
The Malone LowMax trailer has a very high capacity of 600 pounds due to its leaf spring suspension system. The crossbars are 78 inches wide, giving it a lot of space to carry multiple items. Because these crossbars are not too high from the ground, loading and unloading are made easy. Even heavy boats can be lifted without damage.
The wheels are eight-inch wide and have a diameter of 20 inches. These dimensions are considered good for most roads and allow the trailer to go at a speed of 70 miles per hour. The construction material is galvanized steel, making it highly durable and strong. It is also accompanied by a five-year warranty.
To make the storage of the trailer easy, the tongue and bumpers are detachable. You can remove them and then place the trailer upright. It also features plug-and-play LED lights, D-Ring tie-downs for securing the load, and tongue lift handles. Lastly, the ball coupler compatibility is of two inches.
- Has a maximum load capacity of 600 pounds
- Its length is 11 feet and 3 inches
- The width is 78 inches
- It is made of galvanized steel
- The compatibility is with a 2-inch hitch receiver
- Gives a very smooth ride
- Has a five-year warranty
- Great capacity of 600 pounds
- D-ring tie-down secures the load in place
- Has a heavyweight of 206 pounds
Malone XtraLight LowMax 2 Bike 2 Kayak Trailer Package
This XtraLight trailer is made of marine-grade galvanized steel for rust resistance or strength. The trailer also has a leaf spring suspension system for a smooth ride, even under full load. The crossbars have D-ring tie-downs to secure the load in place. The wheels are 20-inch wide and are platoon style. These tires work on most roadways and make the ride smoother. They are also powder-coated and have galvanized steel fenders. The coating and fenders protect the wheels from damage.
It can not only carry kayaks but bikes as well. It has J-style kayak carriers and tray-style bike racks for two kayaks and two bikes, respectively. The tongue and rear bumpers are detachable to make the storage of the trailer easier. It also has plug-and-play LED lights.
Assembling the trailer is easy because the hubs are pre-assembled, the electronics are pre-wired, and the chassis are pre-fitted. The height is only 24 inches, so loading and unloading kayaks and bikes are very easy.
- The maximum load capacity is 600 pounds
- Largest kayak length it can accommodate is 17 feet
- Has a 78-inch width
- It is made of galvanized 11 gauge steel
- The hitch ball compatibility is of 2 inches
- Maximum load capacity is very high
- Has a five-year limited warranty
- Assembly process is very simple
- Can transport both bikes and kayaks
- None found
Malone XtraLight LowMax 2
The LowMax 2 trailer also has a load capacity of 600 pounds. This high capacity is due to marine-grade galvanized steel. This trailer is similar to the previous one, but the only difference is that it does not carry bikes.
It also has a leaf suspension system and 20-inch wide wheels that make the ride very smooth and protect the load. This makes the total height of the trailer 24 inches, making loading and unloading easy. The total width is 78 inches, allowing for plenty of room to load the kayaks. The tongue is detachable from the trailer for easy storage. To tie the load down securely, it has D-ring tie-downs.
For easy assembly, there are pre-assembled hubs, pre-wired electronics, and pre-fitted chassis. The manufacturer also provides a five-year warranty. The maximum recommended length of the kayak the trailer can accommodate it 17 feet, where most recreational and touring kayaks fall in the range of 12 to 17 feet.
- The maximum load capacity is 600 pounds
- Its total recommended length is 17 feet
- It has a width of 78 inches
- The hitch compatibility is of two inches
- The construction material is galvanized 11 gauge steel
- Gives a very smooth ride
- The load is put on securely with D-rings
- Has a very sturdy and durable construction
- It is DOT (Department Of Transportation) approved
- None found
More Things to Consider before Buying
These were our best picks for kayak trailers. They accommodate various sizes and weights. Not only that, but they also accommodate different types of loads like bikes and boats. Some other things to keep in mind when buying kayak trailers are the following.
Size Of Kayak
You can not put just any kayak on the trailer. It should be able to handle the weight and the size of the kayak without getting out of balance or breaking. The recommended length of the kayak or boat is usually given with the trailer. If it is not given, then measure the tongue length and remember that the kayak should not be larger than that.
These trailers do not come cheap. You will find that their range starts from a thousand dollars and more. Before investing in any product, do your research because you can find good-quality kayak trailers within budget. Our list also includes some of these options, but of course, in some cases, you have to consider quality over price.
The storage space of the kayak trailer can be determined by its width. The wider it is, the more kayaks it can accommodate. The maximum number of kayaks also depends on the crossbars and the configuration of the trailer. Some trailers have various configurations that change the number of items you can carry.
Are You Mechanically Inclined?
Using and assembling a kayak trailer is not rocket science, but it needs you to have some mechanical ability. Some trailers have a lot of elements that are pre-assembled, so if you have never done anything like this before or do not know how to do it, you should opt for these. But if you feel that you are handy with some tools, you can assemble any trailer. They also come with instructions, so it should not be too difficult.
Kayak trailers are a great option when you don’t want to damage your vehicle’s rooftop or your items during loading and unloading. This also makes loading heavy items easy as you don’t have to lift them very high. These trailers are not just for kayaks but for small boats, bikes, and other items as well, though kayaks and bikes require different brackets and racks so that they fit better and are more secure. Look for either galvanized steel or aluminum as they are the best material options.