Here at The Adventure Junkies, we believe in hard work. We also believe in the adage, “work smart, not hard.” Kayaks are typically heavy, long and unwieldy vessels. Your energy is best spent on the water, not the trek through the woods (or parking garage), which is why we want to help find the best kayak cart for you.
Kayak carts are two-wheeled devices that support one end of a kayak to allow for easy transport. If you plan to make kayaking a regular hobby of yours, a kayak cart should be viewed as a necessity rather than a superfluous purchase. We’ve listed the best 10 kayak carts for all different kayaks and terrains.
For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out the Best Kayak Roof Racks.
Quick Answer - The Best Kayak Carts
- Seattle Sports ATC
- C-Tug Trolley Cart
- Malone Clipper Deluxe
- TMS KY001 Cart
Comparison Table - Best Kayak Cart
|Seattle Sports ATC||Powder-coated Steel||15.0 lbs||300 lbs||$$$||4.1|
|C-Tug Trolley Cart||Reinforced Composite||9.8 lbs||300 lbs||$$||4.3|
|Malone Clipper Deluxe||Aluminum||10.00 lbs||200 lbs||$$||4.5|
|TMS KY001 Cart||Aluminum||8.3 lbs||150 lbs||$||4.9|
Reviews - The Best Carts for Kayaks
Seattle Sports ATC
BEST FOR: ALL-AROUND KAYAK CARTING
PROS: Designed to haul kayaks, canoes, John boats, and larger craft, foldable, spring-loaded kickstand
CONS: Some users report wheels are low quality, not durable
WHEELS: Bike tires, 16.0″ (40.6 cm)
VERSATILITY: High, can cross many terrains
C-Tug Trolley Cart
BEST FOR: PACK-IN CAMPING
PROS: Folding, UV-resistant, corrosion-free, tool-free assembly, fits most kayak and canoe hulls, SUP boards, fits in most kayak hatches, 7.9 ft strap, removable kickstand
CONS: Some users reported wheels coming off on long treks
WHEELS: Puncture-proof wheels, high-grip tread, 10.0 x 3.5″ (25.4 x 8.9 cm)
VERSATILITY: High, supports many activities, weights
Malone Clipper Deluxe
BEST FOR: WIDE KAYAKS
PROS: Folding, oversized padding on the frame protects the boat, locking kick stand, tie-down straps included
CONS: Some users reported poor performance on sand
WHEELS: All-terrain Rover
VERSATILITY: High, can support other vessels over many terrains
TMS KY001 Cart
BEST FOR: LONG HAULS ON A BUDGET
PROS: Foldable, 12.0 ft long tie-down strap, solid metal frame, foam bumpers, stainless steel fasteners, spring-loaded stand for quick loading
CONS: Kayak tends to bounce around during transport, some users needed extra bungee cords
TIRES: Inflatable all-terrain, 9.5 x 3.5″ (24.1 x 8.9 cm) tires
VERSATILITY: Moderate, not suited for large, heavy kayaks
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST KAYAK CARTS
Kayak carts are usually made of either steel or aluminum. Occasionally, they are made of plastic or composite. While steel is suitable for freshwater excursions, it will corrode if exposed to saltwater or ocean air.
Aluminum is lightweight and will not corrode. Look for a powder-coated or aluminum frame to ensure your investment lasts.
Decide where you will be using your kayak the most before settling on a cart. Strength and durability can come at the expense of portability unless the cart is designed to accommodate both. You will need to consider the weight of your kayak in addition to the weight of the cart.
Do you live on the beach? Maybe your favorite stream is only accessible via a rocky trail through the forest. As with cycling, you wouldn’t ride a mountain bike in a race judged on speed, or a road bike in a downhill mountain race. The wider the tire, the more stable a wheel will be.
Not all tires are created equally. Some are all-terrain inflatable, some are molded plastic and some are foam-filled. An all-terrain tire, ideally puncture-proof, is the way to go if you intend to cover rougher surfaces.
The fact that you are browsing The Adventure Junkies gives us reason to believe you may be an adventure junkie. If you prefer to splash your way through as many different water sports as possible, a kayak cart that can carry a variety of vessels would be your perfect match.
Some carts offer an adjustable width or flexible saddle to accommodate thin, wide, or multiple kayaks and maybe even stand up paddle boards.
Look for a cart with a weight capacity over 150 lbs for maximal versatility. This may not be necessary if you own a single, lightweight or inflatable kayak. Those with heavy, tandem kayaks or interested in accommodating stand up paddle boards will find a higher weight capacity useful.
In recent years, kayak carts that fold flat or easily dismantle to enable easy on-board storage have become very popular. It’s not ideal to have to leave a possession purchased with hard-earned money on the shore in hopes it will still be waiting upon your return.