As any kayaker knows, getting your equipment down to the water can be the most challenging part of any expedition.
This guide will go over some of the best models available on the market and help you to decide which kayak caddy might be the best option for you. Our favorite cart is the TMS Boat Kayak Canoe Carrier Tote Trolley, thanks to its sturdy, maneuverable design.
Best Overall: 5 Star : TMS Boat Kayak Canoe Carrier Tote Trolley
This cart can carry a single kayak down to the water with no trouble. The design also holds other vessels such as canoes, making it a versatile choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
The TMS Boat Trolley can hold up to 150 lbs. It has a solid metal frame made of lightweight aluminum piping and anodized stainless steel. This makes it easy to carry and maneuver, yet durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear.
Two large 9-½” wheels let you roll this dolly smoothly across most surfaces. Each flat-free tire is 3-½” wide with heavy treading, offering support and stability even on uneven terrain. The wheels can handle sandy areas without getting stuck, making the TMS trolley a good choice for those who enjoy beach or lake kayaking.
Two 3-½” foam bumpers along both arms of this kayak doll prevent your gear from getting scratched or dinged during transport. Both arms are connected by a durable 13″ nylon strap to keep them in place.
A 12-ft strap allows you to tie your kayak in place. When you’re in motion, you don’t have to worry about dips and bumps knocking your kayak off balance. The straps are thick and strong enough to hold even heavier vessels in place.
When you’re loading or unloading your kayak from the trolley, a robust double-leg kickstand helps keep the frame safe and stable. The stand is spring-loaded, keeping your canoe propped up so that you can load it out of the water.
This trolley breaks down during disassembly to a compact size, making it easy to store and transport. The wheels attach and detach in just minutes, and the frame itself is foldable. It only takes one person to set this assembly up or dismantle it when needed.
The TMS offers the same features as most high-end kayak caddies, but without the price tag. It’s an affordable choice for the budget-conscious kayaker.
- Holds up to 150 lbs
- Safe and simple loading
- Easy to store and transport
Most Versatile: 4 Stars: Wistar Canoe Cart Boat Kayak Canoe Carrier Dolly Trailer Tote Trolley Transport Cart Wheel
The Wistar Kayak Canoe Carrier is adjustable and versatile, making it ideal for most kayak styles and many types of canoes.
This kayak caddy comes in two styles depending on how much stability you need when loading and unloading your equipment. There’s a one-leg model with a single kickstand and a two-leg option with a kickstand on either side.
This caddy allows you to load and unload your kayak onshore and out of the water. The stand is spring-loaded, keeping it propped up at a comfortable height.
Both options are budget-friendly and offer everything that you need to get your kayak from Point A to Point B. The design can handle most terrains, from pavement and compacted ground to sand and gravel.
The Wistar cart has two tubeless 9-½” tires that maintain constant air pressure for a smooth ride use after use. Each rubber wheel measures 3-¼” across, making them wide enough to roll smoothly on most surfaces.
Diamond tread on both tires gives them grip on smooth or slippery surfaces. They ensure that you can safely transport your kayak without worrying about the cart losing traction or sliding around as you push it.
This caddy is easy to assemble and disassemble in just minutes and without any assistance. The wheels disconnect with simple stainless steel fasteners and a chrome lynchpin. It collapses to a compact size that’s light enough to pick up and carry to your car.
These kayak wheels boast a 150 lb capacity, making the Wistar an ideal choice for most standard kayak sizes. The frame contains solid metal, including aluminum pipes, along with anodized stainless steel. It’s lightweight, yet strong enough to support your kayak.
The cradle forms a v-shape that’s held in place by a 13″ nylon strap, preventing the arms from opening and dropping or damaging your kayak. Two foam pads on either side of the cradle protect your kayak as you move.
- Two models to choose from
- 150 lbs capacity
- Extra-large tubeless tires
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
Best for Hobie Owners: 4 Stars: Hobie Trax 2 Plug In Kayak Cart
This kayak wheels cart works specifically with the Hobie Trax 2-30 Hardshell Plastic Kayak. It also fits the Hobie Outback, Oasis, Outfitter, Compass, Sport, and Revolution Series.
The Trax 2 Plug In Cart doesn’t fit most other styles of kayaks, including Hobie inflatables, the Pro Angler series, or the Island Series. However, its design fits other Hobie kayaks perfectly to give your equipment a safe and snug ride down to the water. You don’t have to worry about your kayak slipping and sliding around or coming loose during transport.
This kayak caddy has a larger sidewall than most designs, which helps prevent the pinching that can lead to valve damage. This comes in handy with heavy loads, which are more prone to stress during transport.
The Hobie Plug In Cart includes post collar clamps, which can reduce the load you place directly on your kayak’s hull. They do so by displacing weight around the scuppers, keeping your kayak safe from stress damage.
The frame itself contains welded stainless steel. It’s slightly heavier than other options, but incredibly durable and offers a high weight capacity. The axle is also solid stainless steel and resistant to bending or warping.
Two 24-cm blow-molded polyurethane pneumatic tires give you a smooth ride across just about any surface. This caddy’s wheels are incredibly durable, with a 176-lb capacity that’s higher than many other similar cart models.
While they might be robust, the wheels also offer more yield than in many other kayak carts. You can deflate them when using the caddy on sand or soft soil, reducing your risk of kicking up dirt or getting stuck.
Both wheels are removable, making this kayak doll easy to move and store. The cart collapses to make it more compact and includes a retaining bungee cord that you can use to keep the frame in a locked position when it’s in your trunk or your closet.
The Hobie Cart also includes a carrying bag with a shoulder strap. It’s perfectly sized to let you fold and carry your kayak cart with ease. You can even stow it in the storage compartment of your vessel.
- Fits select Hobie kayaks
- Heavy-duty welded design
- 176 lbs capacity
- Easy to fold and store
- Inflatable tires
Best for Large Kayaks: 4 Stars: Bonnlo Boat Kayak Canoe Cart Carrier Dolly Trailer Tote Trolley
This set of kayak wheels offers a higher carrying capacity than many similar models, making it a good choice for people with bulky or heavy kayaks. It can hold up to 165 lbs and is versatile enough to fit most kayak and canoe designs.
The frame is made of solid aluminum, making it incredibly lightweight for such a heavy-duty dolly. Foam bumpers on either side of the cradle protect your kayak’s hull from scratches, dents, and more as you move.
The Bonnlo carrier is easy to set up and disassemble as needed. It doesn’t require any tools by your bare hands. You can break down and fold the frame to store or transport it without taking too much space.
The tires are also easy to add and remove at any time. A simple lynchpin assembly makes it easy to take the wheels off for storage, making the dolly assembly compact enough to fit inside your backpack.
When you’re loading and unloading the kayak wheels, a 12″ spring-loaded stand keeps the cart upright and stable. It allows you to load your kayak quickly onshore and out of the water without having to worry about your cart toppling.
Both tires have a solid, airless design so that you never have to be concerned about getting a flat. They boast a streamlined design for quick, effortless maneuvering across a wide range of terrains.
The 10″, solid polyurethane tires roll smoothly across everything from loose sand and gravel to rocky woodland surfaces. Treading along the entire surface ensures that you don’t lose your grip when it’s wet, icy, or slippery outside.
The Bonnlo carrier comes with all of the accessories you need to keep your kayak safe as you move it. The cart comes with two 7-¾ ft ratchet straps. These allow you to secure your kayak to the caddy during transportation to keep it locked in place.
- 165 lbs capacity
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Solid polyurethane tires
- Simple assembly and disassembly
Best for Pavement: 3 Stars: Harmony Gear Kayak Cart with No Flat Wheels
The Harmony Gear Kayak Cart comes in two different size options depending on the type of kayak you prefer. The small model can hold up to 150 lbs, while the large option has a weight capacity of up to 165 lbs.
For fashion-conscious kayakers, this kayak wheels cart comes in two bright and bold color options. You can choose between a turquoise blue and an olive green finish, allowing you to match your style preferences or even your kayak itself.
The color coating is anodized to help protect the cart’s exterior from wear and tear. The frame is 100% aluminum, making it lightweight yet durable. The entire assembly is corrosion resistant to prevent damage from wind and weather while outdoors.
Inside, the aluminum frame is padded with foam to protect your kayak from scratches. There are four separate pads, offering safety and stability around your kayak’s hull from all angles.
The frame can accommodate almost any hull shape as long as it’s within the model’s weight capacity. The Harmony Gear Cart is a versatile option for those who have more than one kayak that they use regularly. It can also come in handy for households with multiple kayakers.
Both tires are filled with foam, making them resistant to both stress and punctures. You don’t have to worry about them going flat, even when traveling over sharp or jagged terrain.
The tires travel best on hard, compacted surfaces. They don’t tend to work well on soft dirt, sand, or gravel. Instead, this cart is best reserved for pavement and packed dirt.
The unique tread on these tires allows them to maintain grip even when the terrain is wet or slick. With compact surfaces, you often have to worry about water and ice, causing your cart to slip or even topple. However, the tread grips even slippery ground to help you maneuver with ease.
When you finish for the day, the Harmony Gear cart is easy to disassemble. It folds up into a compact design that will fit easily in most trunks, attics, or garage spaces. You can also remove the wheels as needed to make storage and transportation even easier.
- Two colors to choose from
- Made of lightweight aluminum
- Adjustable design
- Works well on hard surfaces
Best for Rough Terrain: 3 Stars: Malone WideTrak ATB Large Kayak/Canoe Cart with Bunks
The Malone WideTrak lets you tackle tough terrain with a high-quality, durable design that holds up against wind, weather, and wear and tear.
This kayak carrier works particularly well with rocky terrain. Two 12″ tires are large enough to travel smoothly across uneven surfaces, and their airless design means that you never run the risk of getting a flat tire.
This kayak doll is a versatile choice for any outdoor enthusiast. It fits most kayak styles, including fishing kayaks, sporting kayaks, and larger sit-on-top kayaks. It can also transport most canoes.
The WideTrak has a higher weight capacity than most other caddies. It can transport up to 250 pounds of gear, including oversize or heavyweight kayaks in nonstandard sizes. This includes tri-hull and pontoon-style kayaks, which can be challenging to find a cart to fit.
The extra weight capacity is mostly thanks to the cart’s 24″ adjustable padded bunks. These help to distribute weight and reduce stress, allowing you to transport large or non-traditional hull styles. Soft padding ensures that your kayak is safely cushioned and not at risk from scrapes.
The Malone WideTrak has a silver and black frame made of anodized aluminum. It’s durable yet lightweight, allowing it to support heavy loads without buckling. The fittings around the frame are made of stainless steel and are resistant to corrosion.
When you’re loading the kayak wheels, two built-in kickstands give you extra stability as you shift weight around. These kickstands help keep the assembly stable and upright at all times and prevent any accidents or injuries.
There are two 11′ cam buckle load straps included with this kayak cart. You can strap your kayak in during transport to avoid excessive shifting or rattling within the frame to reduce your risk of dings, scratches, or dents along the hull.
The entire frame folds down in just seconds. When the cart is not in use, you can fold it and store it in your trunk or the corner of your closet without wasting too much space. It’s also easy to pick up and carry to your next kayaking destination.
- Made for rough terrain
- 250 lbs capacity
- Adjustable padded bunk design
- Easy to transport
Best Budget Option: 3 Stars: Pelican Boats – Universal Canoe, Kayak & Stand Up Paddle SUP Cart Carrier
This budget-friendly kayak carrier offers a versatile, everyday solution for kayakers of all experience levels. It fits a wide variety of kayak designs, as well as certain canoe and stand-up paddleboard styles.
The frame is made of heavy-duty aluminum and is corrosion-resistant, making the carrier ideal for most outdoor conditions. It’s also lightweight enough to carry and maneuver on your own without any issues.
Along the cradle of the frame, two rubber pads keep your kayak safe from scrapes and scratches. This padding is much more durable than more common foam padding and will last longer with regular wear and tear.
When loading and unloading the carrier, a side kickstand helps to keep the assembly from tipping over. The kickstand is outfitted with a rubber stopper at the end to keep it from scratching up your floors as you work.
The Pelican Boats Universal Kayak Carrier is collapsible, letting you store and transport it with ease. It folds together into a compact design that’s small enough to fit in just about any car or storage space. You can even throw it into a duffel bag or backpack when traveling.
Two extra-wide tires are easy to remove and store when the cart isn’t in use. You can reattach them using a simple lynchpin setup.
The tires have a 110 lb weight capacity, allowing them to support most standard-sized kayaks. Unlike many other heavy-duty dolly designs, the Pelican Boats cart has wheels that can inflate and deflate as needed.
When slightly deflated, the wheels can tackle soft terrains such as sand and dirt. On the other hand, this dolly works well on smooth, compact surfaces such as pavement when fully inflated. As a result, this caddy can handle just about any terrain you might encounter.
- 110 lbs capacity
- Lightweight, corrosion-resistant aluminum frame
- Adjustable and collapsible
- Inflatable wheels
Why Use a Kayak Cart?
Many people choose to carry their kayak on their back for the so-called “last mile” of their trip, which can end up wearing you out before you’ve even gotten started. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution for moving heavy kayaks around as needed.
Kayak carts can make the last mile of your journey to the water easier than carrying your gear the whole way. By adding temporary wheels to your kayak, you can roll it to and from the water in just a few minutes without overexerting yourself.
There are near-endless options available on the market when it comes to kayak wheels. It isn’t always easy deciding which model might be the best fit for you and your equipment.
What to Look for in a Kayak Cart
With so many models available on the market, finding the right kayak cart for you can be a challenge. However, no matter which type you choose, there are several considerations to keep in mind when doing your research.
The most important part of any kayak carrier is the wheels. They’re what allow you to roll your kayak smoothly to your destination without causing any damage. You need wheels that are large and durable enough to handle whatever type of terrain you encounter.
Most kayak carts have oversize, extra-wide wheels to ensure that they roll smoothly without causing any unnecessary jostling. Larger wheels also offer more surface area for grip when it’s slick or wet outside.
Hard, solid wheels are best for rough or rocky terrain as well as concrete and compacted soil. Many kayak carts have solid tires filled with foam, plastic, or other material to ensure they never get a flat.
Some carts have inflatable wheels, which can come in handy if you tend to kayak in a range of different settings. While fully inflated wheels are good for solid ground, they don’t work as well on soft dirt and sand. In this case, it’s best to have wheels that you can deflate somewhat to avoid kicking up dirt or getting stuck.
You should make sure that whatever wheels you have plenty of tread along the outer surface. The wheels should be highly textured to prevent slipping and sliding, which can be dangerous for both you and your kayak.
While some kayak carts fit a specific kayak size, many offer adjustable features to make them more versatile. This is best if you have more than one kayak.
Many kayaks adjust along the cradle using thick straps, often made of nylon, leather, or other durable material. Some assemblies can adjust up to ten inches to fit both wide and narrow kayaks alike. There are even designs that will fit unusual styles, such as pontoons.
The frame of any set of kayak wheels should be strong enough to support your kayak’s full weight without bending or buckling. Most carts are made of metal to hold up against daily stress. Stainless steel and aluminum are both popular choices when it comes to the frame material.
If you choose a cart with a metal frame, make sure it’s able to hold up to wind and weather as well as wear and tear. It’s best to look for something corrosion resistant. Often, kayaks using aluminum components are powder coated to protect the frame from outdoor conditions.
While a kayak cart should be heavy-duty enough to support your equipment, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to move around. If a kayak cart is too heavy, you’ll have just as much trouble getting your gear into the water as if you were carrying it.
You need a kayak trolley that’s light enough for you to carry it around when not in use, and easy enough to maneuver when it’s out on the ground. If the cart is too heavy, you may not be able to push it across rough surfaces. It can also slip out more easily from under you, increasing your risk of accidents and injuries.
- Weight Capacity
The weight capacity is just as important at the weight of the cart itself. Look for a frame that can hold your kayak, whether you’ve got a small model under 100 lbs or a larger sports kayak pushing 250 lbs.
Most kayaks will advertise their maximum weight capacity to let you know whether the frame and wheels can safely hold your kayak. If you’re on the fence, it’s always better to go with something that offers a higher weight capacity than you need. Doing so will also give you more freedom in what size kayaks you purchase in the future.
While it might be easy enough to strap your kayak to your car and get going, actually hauling it that last mile can be a pain.
The right set of kayak wheels can save you a lot of time and frustration when it comes to getting in the water. They make it easy to move your kayak around without being forced to haul it on your back.
Many kayakers consider a set of wheels to be a key component of their kayaking gear. They prevent you from injuring or overexerting yourself, and they speed up the preparation process. A kayak caddy can also reduce your risk of accidentally damaging the hull of your boat.
With the right kayak caddy, you can make the most out of every outdoor adventure. Our favorite cart is the TMS Boat Kayak Canoe Carrier Tote Trolley. It has stronger, more durable wheels than options such as the Pelican Boats cart, and it’s more versatile than choices such as the Hobie Trax 2 Plug In Kayak Cart.