Best Kayak Cart

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Best Kayak Cart

You would think that finding the best kayak cart would be a rather straightforward exercise, but a quick look online reveals that this is not the case as not every kayak cart will fit every kayak.
With that in mind we have written a buyers guide below where we look at some factors to consider and offer some recommendations.

Before looking at the buyers guide lets run through the 7 best kayak carts


Railblaza c-tug kayak cartOur favourite
Wilderness Systems heavy duty kayak cart– A premium kayak cart
GanFindX – Quick-detachable stainless steel, sit on top kayak cart – Scubber mounting option
ABN Universal kayak carrier– Popular, but is it suitable for fishing kayaks?
Suspenz all-terrain SD airless kayak and canoe cart– Great fresh water option
Suspenz airless END kayak cart – End cart option
Bonnlo universal kayak carrier – Great value option


Jump to our Buyers Guide Below…

Railblaza c-tug kayak cart– Our favourite

The New Zealand made Railblaza ctug kayak cart is a lightweight, snap together cart made from reinforced composite material, so rust is not an issue. 

The hull pads are scratch free and being able to adjust the angle helps a great deal in creating a snug fit. The pads are adjustable up to nearly 45 degrees so this can be a good option for deeper v-shaped hulls. The distance from pad to pad is about 19”.

The standard Kiwi wheels as well as the Sandtrakz are puncture free, and as the name suggests, the Sandtrakz wheels are specifically designed for sand. The standard wheels in our experience have handled everything well except for fine, dry sand. Fortunately (or unfortunately) we haven’t been back to that beautiful fishing spot and so we have not needed Sandtrakz wheels.

Features:

  • Tool free assembly
  • Lightweight, sturdy materials- 10 lbs
  • 260 lbs loading capacity
  • Puncture free wheels
  • Easy to disassemble and store inside kayak

Potential downsides:

  • Kickstand can snap off too easily
  • Straps might not be long enough on wider kayaks

This kayak cart is heavy duty indeed with a 450 lb carrying capacity. If you are going to change over to the beach wheels the weight limit drops to a still decent 330lbs. The two height options for the rail are pretty clever- they are the result from being able to mount the rail either on top of or underneath the axle.

Along with being able to adjust the height to 16 or 18”, the distance between the rails is also adjustable up to 16”.

The Wilderness Systems heavy duty kayak cart is solidly built from marine grade, high strength, heat treated aluminium alloy and considering how robust it is, it is still pretty light at 13 lbs. 

This kayak cart is priced right up there, but the weight limit is impressive and if you have a heavy fishing kayak, loaded with all your gear, that weight limit might be just what you need!

Features:

  • Adjustable rail height and width for a snug fit against your kayak
  • 450 lbs weight capacity
  • Cart weighs 13 lbs
  • Puncture free wheels

Potential downsides:

  • When disassembling there are bolts and pins to potentially lose 
  • Straps sometimes struggle to fit around larger kayaks so may need to use your own straps

This plug in cart is only suitable for sit-on-top kayaks and is simple to use- no tying down involved.

This cart is built from stainless steel and rubber, with puncture free wheels. The result is a strong, light, easy to assemble cart that weighs 3.9 lbs and has a weight capacity of 250 lbs. 

Attaching the cart to your kayak involves holding the kayak on its side before you position the plugs in the scupper holes, so sadly you will need to remove all the gear that can fall off. This potential negative is balanced in my mind by the advantage of no straps and not having your kayak slip out of the cart halfway along your journey.

Features:

  • Width between the plugs from 2.6 – 17”
  • Quick tool-free assembly and disassembly
  • 250 lbs weight capacity
  • Cart weighs 3.9 lbs

Potential downsides:

  • The plugs may be too short, leaving your kayak rubbing against the wheels, however customer service appears to be amazing and has organised longer poles for people in the past.
  • All the loose gear on your kayak needs to be removed before joining the cart to your kayak.

ABN Universal kayak carrier– Popular but is it suitable for fishing kayaks?

The ABN Universal kayak carrier is suited to transporting kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, float mats and jon boats. 

This kayak cart has a frame of anodized steel and inflatable knobby tires which are good for most surfaces but can struggle in thick sand. It features 12’ tie downs, a spring loaded kickstand and oversized foam bumpers.

The bumper pads are not adjustable and so some playing around to figure out the best positioning is required. The wider style kayaks and canoes sometimes require longer tie downs than the ones provided, so expect to invest in some longer straps. 

For all the advantages of the ABN universal kayak carrier, I am not convinced that this is a great cart for fishing kayaks. The sheer width and weight of our kayaks combined with a fixed angle cart do not necessarily work well together. This cart would not work for our kayaks without significant modification, so whilst some people love it, I would suggest carefully considering the shape and size of your kayak hull before you made this purchase. 

Features:

  • 200 lbs weight capacity
  • Easy to remove the wheels
  • Collapsible frame makes for convenient storage
  • Durable anodised steel construction with oversized foam bumper pads

Potential downsides:

  • The tires initially smell nasty, so open the package in advance and let them air out
  • The angle of the bumper pads is not adjustable
  • This kayak cart can sometimes struggle in soft sand
  • No frame adjustment limits use on differnt shaped kayaks

This all terrain, super duty kayak cart from Suspenz has a 300 lb capacity and weighs 17 lbs.

It is built from powder coated steel so rust is a consideration in salt water situations. 

The 15” wheels should make light work of rough terrain on the way to and from the water and there is no need to worry about punctures with the airless tires.

The bunk bars are covered in a thick heavy duty foam and are adjustable with the option of 5 different positions. The platform that the bunks create ranges from 9” to 20” wide, and with this the wheel clearance changes- from 2” clearance at 9” up to 4” clearance at 20” wide. The exact size options for the platform are 9”, 11-½”, 12-½”, 19” and 20”. Suspenz is introducing XL bunker bars in early July 2022 apparently which will add another 2” clearance.

Features:

  • Spring-loaded kickstand and extra long cam straps
  • 15” all terrain, punctureless wheels
  • 300 lbs weight capacity
  • Adjustable bunks

Potential downsides:

  • Powder coated steel not great with salt water
  • Folds down flat but still bulky if you want to take the cart with you on    the water

This is our offering for the END kayak cart category. The kayak slips into the cart, no strapping required.

The frame consists of a powder coated aluminium which is resistant to corrosion. There are two options for the width of this cart- the extra large option has a 24” wide frame and the large option is 19”. The top bar is adjustable between 11- 20”. 

The 10” wheels use airless tires and the weight limit for this cart is 150 lbs.

Easy loading with the Suspenz Airless END Kayak Cart

Features:

  • Quick easy loading
  • Airless tires
  • 150lb weight capacity
  • 24” wide gap

Potential downsides:

  • Depending on the width of your kayak, and fishing kayaks can get very wide, you may not be able to slide your kayak very far into the cart. This effects how much of the weight of the kayak you will need to lift. 
  • Limited weight capacity

The Bonnlo Universal Kayak Carrier is a light, foldable cart of anodized stainless steel with a double kickstand to keep it stable when loading,

The airless wheels are wide (3”) and have a diameter of 10”, making this cart suitable for all terrains.

With these fixed angle carts, it is important to consider the profile of the hull of your kayak, as they don’t suit every hull shape.

Due to it’s stainless steel construction and double kickstand I personally would reccommend this over the ABN Universal kayak carrier which is similar in design.

Features:

  • 165 lb weight capacity
  • Airless tires
  • Easy assembly and able to fold down for storage
  • Spring-loaded double kickstand

Potential downsides:

  • Deep V shaped hulls potentially don’t fit this cart
  • The foldable frame could decide to fold itself up under your kayak. This is more likely to happen if your kayak is not firmly tied in and if it is doesn’t have great contact with the frame of the cart.

Best Kayak Cart Buyers Guide

Kayak Cart Style

Kayak carts come in various styles and it is important to work out if the cart you are interested in will fit your kayak.

One consideration is straps or no straps? Some carts require you to strap your kayak to the cart and others use strapless methods.

Carts that require strapping to tie down your kayak

These carts have a range of different shapes and features, and require you to strap your kayak to the cart.

Some of these carts have pads which your kayak rests against. I find it useful to be able to adjust the angle for a snug fit against your kayak. The larger the area sitting against your craft, the less likely your kayak and cart are to part company at an inopportune moment. Our Railblaza c-tug is one of these types of carts.

Some carts have a bar which sits against the kayak. Depending on the brand, the bar can be adjustable both in width and sometimes height. The bar can be positioned crosswise across the width of your kayak (as in a cradle) or lengthwise depending on the brand. The potential for width adjustment is very useful to allow you to position the bar in a suitable spot against your kayak so that you can firmly tie it down without causing damage. 

The option of height adjustment can be very useful too. Some kayaks with deep hulls don’t fit on a short cart and being able to adjust the height allows you to find the optimal position to support your kayak without it rubbing on the wheels or having the lowest point resting on the axle.

Carts which do not require tie down straps

Plug-in kayak cart

These carts have plugs which fit into the scupper holes of sit-on-top kayaks, such as the GanFindX Kayak Cart reviewed above. This is a great design for keeping your kayak attached to the cart, but is only suitable for sit-on-top kayaks.

End carts

These carts slot over the end of your kayak for quick loading, and also do not need straps. The Suspenz Airless END Kayak Cart is an example.

Frame material

Kayak carts can be manufactured from steel to aluminium to plastic. They need to be strong enough to handle the weight of your kayak so consider the weight capacity. For heavier kayaks I would reccommend the Wilderness Systems heavy duty kayak cart.

If you fish only fresh water then a steel framed kayak cart like the Suspenz All-Terrain SD Airless Kayak Cart might be an option for you but if you fish salt water or want something more durable then aluminium or stainless steel will do well both in salt water and fresh, as will plastic.

The weight of the actual cart is also a factor if you are planning on taking the cart with you on the water, lighter is better, provided its suitable for the environment you’re fishing in.

Wheel Type

Wheels range from tires that need pumping up to solid tires which don’t. The size of the wheels is an important consideration for storage when you are not using the cart. If they are small enough and detachable the cart could be stored in a hatch. Otherwise if you are not going to strap them somewhere to your kayak, you have to take it back to your vehicle.

The other consideration for wheels is what terrain you are predominantly going to be travelling over. Soft, fine sand can be hard work and some brands of carts have specific tires to better deal with this situation.  

Ease of assembly or disassembly

Some kayak carts do not come apart easily for storage, others, like the Railblaza c-tug or GanFindX are easy to disassemble without tools. This is a factor to consider especially if space is limited or if you are wanting to be able to take the cart with you on the water.

When it comes to choosing a cart I would recommend looking at your kayak, taking some measurements and reading some reviews to see which cart might work best for you.

Adjustability

With fishing kayaks generally being larger than recreational kayaks it’s important to have as much adjustability in a kayak cart as you can. Some of the kayak carts we have reviewed here have little or no adjustability and therefore are limited to certain hull shapes. As discussed take time to study your hull shape and take that into consideration when purchasing a kayak cart.

Best Kayak Cart – Summary

Considering that a kayak cart is basically a device with wheels to assist you in getting your kayak from point A to point B, there are a good variety of options. Rather than choosing by style or brand I would recommend looking at your kayak, especially the profile of its hull, and deciding from that which sort of cart will suit you best.

For example, a deep V hull is likely to be very unhappy with the ABN Universal Kayak Cart design but will better suit something like the Railblaza c-tug with adjustable hull pads or Wilderness Systems or Suspenz kayak carts with bunk bars.

Sit-on-top kayaks have the option of plug in carts like the GanFindX. These really appeal to me- no need to tie them down tight and not having to deal with kayaks twisting and slipping out- but the kayak needs to be emptied of gear so that you can load it at 90 degrees. This could end up really annoying, considering how much gear we use.

The END carts, like the Suspenz Airless END Kayak Cart are another variation, great if your kayak fits, but nearly useless if it doesn’t. Yet again, it really pays to have a clear picture of your hull and size of kayak in your mind when working out which kayak cart is best for you. 

We hope this review has been helpful in finding the best kayak cart to suit your needs.

Feel free to check out our other transporting tips here.

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