Kayaking

The 10 Best Kayak Carts of 2021: End, Strapped & Plug-in

Best Kayak Carts

Photo: Pelican

A kayak cart is a small two-wheeled vehicle that is used to transport kayaks to and from the water via hand pulling. Instead of carrying your kayak over your shoulders, it is easier to use a cart because it holds all the weight. Your work will only be pulling and steering.

Despite having similar shapes and designs, these units have varying features that are ideal for different applications. In this review, we have outlined these features to make it easier for you to pick your best kayak cart. Take a look!

10 Best Kayak Carts – Review

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Railblaza Ctug

1. Railblaza Ctug (Best Overall)

  • Adjustable rubberized pads
  • Adjustable strap kit
  • Corrosion-resistant parts
RAD Sportz 1235

2. RAD Sportz 1235 (Best Budget)

  • Economical
  • 10-inch removable airless tires
  • Powder-coated aluminum frame
Seattle Sports Paddleboy ATC

3. Seattle Sports Paddleboy ATC (Best Folding)

  • High weight capacity
  • Heavy-duty steel frame
  • Flat-free solid urethane wheels
Wilderness Systems Kayak Cart

4. Wilderness Systems Kayak Cart (Best Heavy-Duty)

  • High 450-lb weight capacity
  • Height & width adjustable mounting blocks
  • Easy to load
ABN Universal Kayak Cart

5. ABN Universal Kayak Cart (Best Pneumatic)

  • Rides smoothly over uneven surfaces
  • High-strength anodized steel frame
  • Oversized foam bumper pads
Pelican PS1439-1

6. Pelican PS1439-1 (Best Lightweight)

  • Lightweight (7.6 lbs.)
  • Foldable with removable wheels
  • Inflatable wheels for smooth riding
TMS KY001

7. TMS KY001 (Compact)

  • Compact size with a foldable frame
  • Removable flat-free wheels
  • H spring-loaded stand
RAD Sportz 1236

8. RAD Sportz 1236 (Durable)

  • Powder-coated aluminum frame
  • Smooth riding pneumatic tires
  • Foldable frame with removable tires
Suspenz Smart Airless DLX

9. Suspenz Smart Airless DLX (With an Arched Axle)

  • High ground clearance
  • Powder-coated aluminum frame
  • Foldable to fit into a carry bag
Bonnlo Kayak Cart

10. Bonnlo Kayak Cart (With a U-Shape Stand)

  • Stable U-shaped stand with rubber pads
  • Solid aluminum construction
  • Large 10-inch solid polyurethane tires

PRODUCT

1. Railblaza Ctug

(Best Overall)

Railblaza Ctug
  • Adjustable rubberized pads
  • Adjustable strap kit
  • Corrosion-resistant parts

2. RAD Sportz 1235

(Best Budget)

RAD Sportz 1235
  • Economical
  • 10-inch removable airless tires
  • Powder-coated aluminum frame

3. Seattle Sports Paddleboy ATC

(Best Folding)

Seattle Sports Paddleboy ATC
  • High weight capacity
  • Heavy-duty steel frame
  • Flat-free solid urethane wheels

4. Wilderness Systems Kayak Cart

(Best Heavy-Duty)

Wilderness Systems Kayak Cart
  • High 450-lb weight capacity
  • Height & width adjustable mounting blocks
  • Easy to load

5. ABN Universal Kayak Cart

(Best Pneumatic)

ABN Universal Kayak Cart
  • Rides smoothly over uneven surfaces
  • High-strength anodized steel frame
  • Oversized foam bumper pads

6. Pelican PS1439-1

(Best Lightweight)

Pelican PS1439-1
  • Lightweight (7.6 lbs.)
  • Foldable with removable wheels
  • Inflatable wheels for smooth riding

7. TMS KY001

(Compact)

TMS KY001
  • Compact size with a foldable frame
  • Removable flat-free wheels
  • H spring-loaded stand

8. RAD Sportz 1236

(Durable)

RAD Sportz 1236
  • Powder-coated aluminum frame
  • Smooth riding pneumatic tires
  • Foldable frame with removable tires

9. Suspenz Smart Airless DLX

(With an Arched Axle)

Suspenz Smart Airless DLX
  • High ground clearance
  • Powder-coated aluminum frame
  • Foldable to fit into a carry bag

10. Bonnlo Kayak Cart

(With a U-Shape Stand)

Bonnlo Kayak Cart
  • Stable U-shaped stand with rubber pads
  • Solid aluminum construction
  • Large 10-inch solid polyurethane tires

1. Best Overall Kayak Cart: Railblaza Ctug

Railblaza Ctug

Photo: Railblaza

  • Loading Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Composite
  • Cart Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 30 x 10 x 6 in.

The Railblaza Ctug is our best overall kayak cart because it is versatile and very durable. It has thermo-bonded elastomeric pads that can be adjusted to accommodate most hull shapes. These pads have rubberized surfaces that keep your kayak stuck and scratch-free.

On top of this, you get an adjustable strap kit that fits around most kayaks to pin them to the pads. The kit includes a 4-ft strap, a 5-ft strap with a buckle, and 2 ladder locks for adjusting & fastening.

As for durability, the cart has a reinforced composite frame, stainless-steel reinforced axles, and puncture-free wheels with high-grip rubber treads. All these components, including the kickstand, are engineered to be corrosion-resistant for long-lasting use.

The unit can hold up to 300 lbs., which is quite a lot. Coupled with a 5-year warranty, this assures you of solid construction that is designed to last.

However, the cart is not foldable. Instead, it is easy to dismantle in under 20 seconds and the parts can fit inside your kayak’s hatch so that you never leave anything behind.

Pros:

  • Adjustable rubberized pads
  • Adjustable strap kit
  • Corrosion-resistant parts
  • Puncture-free high-grip rubber wheels
  • High weight capacity

Cons:

  • Not foldable

2. Best Budget Kayak Cart: RAD Sportz 1235

RAD Sportz 1235

Photo: RAD Sportz

  • Loading Capacity: 150 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Wheel Diameter: 10 in.
  • Cart Weight: 9.94 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 27 x 14 x 13 in.

This kayak cart is fairly priced and yet, it has high-quality features. It is fitted with large 10-inch airless tires that won’t go flat under the heaviest of loads. They are joined to a durable yellow powder-coated aluminum frame and overall, the structure can hold up to 150 lbs. in weight.

The frame has a spring-loaded double kickstand attached to it for stable loading while rubber cushions at the top prevent scratching and denting when loading or on the move. Tie-down straps are included to keep the boat from falling off.

Once you get home, you can remove the wheels then fold the frame and fit it into the included 27 x 13 x 3-inch carrier mesh bag for easy storage. On the downside, the cart tends to sink its wheels on soft sand. This makes it a bit difficult to navigate through such surfaces.

Pros:

  • Economical
  • 10-inch removable airless tires
  • Powder-coated aluminum frame
  • Spring-loaded double kickstand
  • Includes a carrier mesh bag

Cons:

  • Not ideal for pulling over soft sand

3. Best Folding Kayak Cart: Seattle Sports Paddleboy ATC

Seattle Sports Paddleboy ATC

Photo: Seattle Sports

  • Loading Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Cart Weight: 16 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 30.5 x 16 x 17.5 in.

Most folding kayak carts can’t hold a lot of weight due to the weakness in their joints. However, Seattle Sports’ Paddleboy ATC is different because it can hold up to 300 lbs.

This is made possible by a heavy-duty steel frame that has sturdy joints to hold all this weight and is powder-coated for maximum durability.

The unit also has durable flat-free wheels that are made using solid urethane, which is a soft material that minimizes vibrations when moving your boat. These wheels are directly attached to the frame (no axle) and this leaves the underside with a lot of ground clearance.

Adjustable top bars enable you to fit different hull sizes, and they are padded to avoid causing any damages to your vessel. You also get a large spring-loaded kickstand that is attached to the frame for stable loading.

However, the cart is very heavy because it weighs 16 lbs. Carrying it into and out of storage can be quite a hassle.

Pros:

  • High weight capacity
  • Heavy-duty steel frame
  • Flat-free solid urethane wheels
  • Adjustable padded top bars
  • Stable spring-loaded kickstand

Cons:

  • Heavy

4. Best Heavy-Duty Kayak Cart: Wilderness Systems Kayak Cart

Wilderness Systems Kayak Cart

Photo: Wilderness Systems

  • Loading Capacity: 450 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Wheel Diameter: 12 in.
  • Cart Weight: 13 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 32 x 25.5 x 16 in.

Wilderness Systems’ cart is engineered to carry the heaviest kayaks. It has a heavy-duty aluminum alloy frame that can carry up to 450 lbs.

To keep it steady when moving, the unit has a low center of gravity that places the boat 16 inches above the ground. However, the mounting blocks can be adjusted to an 18-inch height to accommodate odd-shaped hulls that touch the wheels.

That said, the blocks are multipurpose components that are adjustable width-wise to prevent your kayak from twisting or slipping sideways. They are also designed to fall back to the ground for stability and easy loading, eliminating the need for a stand.

The top sections of the blocks are padded to avoid damages while the two included security straps enable you to tie your kayak firmly over them to prevent movement.

This whole piece is held by two large 12-inch flat-free wheels but has the option of switching to large pneumatic balloon-style wheels for pushing over sand and rough terrain. However, these are sold separately and have a lower weight capacity (330 lbs.).

On the downside, this product is very expensive but it is worth the money. It is also quite heavy because it weighs 13 lbs.

Pros:

  • High 450-lb weight capacity
  • Height and width adjustable mounting blocks
  • Easy to load
  • Padded top bars
  • Large 12-inch flat-free wheels

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Quite heavy

5. Best Pneumatic Kayak Cart: ABN Universal Kayak Cart

ABN Universal Kayak Cart

Photo: ABN

  • Loading Capacity: 200 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Wheel Diameter: 9.5 in.
  • Cart Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 22 x 9.2 x 13 in.

With its 9.5-inch pneumatic tires, this product is the best kayak cart for sand because it offers the smoothest ride over such ground. The air also cushions the vehicle from gravel, wooded, and other rough terrains.

The unit is built using high-strength anodized steel, which makes it quite lightweight (8 lbs.) but can carry up to 200 lbs. Its top bars are fitted with multiple oversized foam bumper pads that protect your vessel from scratches and dents as you pull it.

You also get a spring-loaded kickstand for quick & easy loading and a 12-ft tie-down strap to help you secure the kayak to the padded bars.

After use, you can fold the cart, then remove the wheels by undoing the lynchpins. This leaves you with a very compact frame that can be easily stored and transported.

However, the top bars are not adjustable to accommodate different hull sizes and no pump is included to inflate the wheels. You can use a bicycle pump though if you have one.

Pros:

  • Rides smoothly over uneven surfaces
  • High-strength anodized steel frame
  • Oversized foam bumper pads
  • Long 12-ft tie-down strap
  • Foldable with removable wheels

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable top bars
  • No pump

6. Best Lightweight Kayak Cart: Pelican PS1439-1

Pelican PS1439-1

Photo: Pelican

  • Loading Capacity: 110 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Cart Weight: 7.6 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 24 x 6 x 11 in.

Coming in at only 7.6 lbs., Pelican’s PS1439-1 is the most lightweight product in our kayak cart review. This has one main benefit, which is that it does not weigh down your kayak as much when you pack it onboard after reaching the water.

Additionally, the frame folds up to a compact size and the wheels are removable so that you can hide them in the hatch. That said, the unit is easy to assemble, which enables you to begin your journey back home after kayaking in no time.

The wheels are inflatable and they give you a smooth ride over uneven ground (sand, gravel, wood, etc.). Durable rubber pads are fitted on the frame’s top bar to prevent denting or scratching on your kayak.

However, the cart has a low weight capacity of 110 lbs. and no pump is included to inflate the tires.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Foldable with removable wheels
  • Inflatable wheels for smooth riding
  • Durable rubber pads

Cons:

  • Low weight capacity
  • No pump

7. Compact Kayak Cart: TMS KY001

TMS KY001

Photo: TMS

  • Loading Capacity: 150 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Wheel Diameter: 9.5 in.
  • Cart Weight: 8.18 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 22 x 13 x 9.25 in.

The TMS KY001 is a very compact kayak cart because it measures 22 x 13 x 9.25 inches when in use. Its frame can be folded after use and the wheels are easily removable by removing the chrome lynchpins. This leaves you with very small pieces that can easily fit in your kayak.

That said, the tires are flat-free and have a large 9.5-inch diameter. Most importantly though, they measure 3.25 inches wide, which means you get a stable footing on sandy areas.

A 9.25-inch H spring-loaded stand is attached to the frame to make the cart stable when loading while foam bumpers on each arm prevent dents and scratches to your kayak. To keep the boat firmly tied to the arms, a 12-ft strap (with buckle) is included.

The product is also our best cheap kayak cart because it is very affordable. However, the arms are not adjustable to fit different hull sizes.

Pros:

  • Compact size with a foldable frame
  • Removable flat-free wheels
  • H spring-loaded stand for stable loading
  • Foam bumpers
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable arms

8. Durable Kayak Cart: RAD Sportz 1236

RAD Sportz 1236

Photo: RAD Sportz

  • Loading Capacity: 150 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Wheel Diameter: 9.5 in.
  • Cart Weight: 8.85 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 28 x 14 x 13 in.

RAD Sportz’s 1236 is characterized by a durable powder-coated aluminum frame that will give you years of service. This is joined to two 9.5-inch pneumatic tires, which can carry up to 150 lbs. and ensure smooth riding on any surface.

These wheels are easily removable by undoing the lynchpins, leaving you with a small foldable frame that is easy to store in your kayak.

You also get rubber cushions on the top bars to protect your vessel from damages, tie-down straps to secure it firmly to the frame during transportation, and a spring-loaded H stand for stable loading.

The only issues are that the top bars are not adjustable and no air pump is included for the tires. They come while inflated though but you may have to inflate them every once in a while if the pressure drops.

Pros:

  • Powder-coated aluminum frame
  • Smooth riding pneumatic tires
  • Foldable frame with removable tires
  • Rubber cushions
  • Spring-loaded H stand

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable bars
  • No air pump

9. Kayak Cart with an Arched Axle: Suspenz Smart Airless DLX

Suspenz Smart Airless DLX

Photo: Suspenz

  • Loading Capacity: 125 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Wheel Diameter: 10 in.
  • Cart Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 27.5 x 13 in.

This kayak cart is characterized by an arched axle between the wheels that gives a higher ground clearance to prevent being hit on uneven surfaces. The axle is attached to a powder-coated aluminum frame with stainless-steel hardware to maximize durability.

The vehicle is foldable and it can be compressed down to 27 x 13 x 3 inches to fit into the included mesh storage bag after use.

When unfolded, the bars form a V-shaped top that holds both flat and curved hulls stably. These bars have durable rubber pads that grip to the kayak to prevent movement or scratching when pulling. However, they are not adjustable to accommodate different hull sizes comfortably.

On the underside, there is a dual-arm kickstand that is very stable when loading. The only issue is the relatively low 125-lb weight capacity.

Pros:

  • Arched axle for better ground clearance
  • Powder-coated aluminum frame
  • Foldable to fit into a carry bag
  • Stable V-shaped top with rubber pads
  • Stable dual-arm kickstand

Cons:

  • Relatively low weight capacity
  • Non-adjustable top bars

10. Kayak Cart with a U-Shape Stand: Bonnlo Kayak Cart

Bonnlo Kayak Cart

Photo: Bonnlo

  • Loading Capacity: 165 lbs.
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Wheel Diameter: 10 in.
  • Dimensions: 27.5 x 13 x 12 in.

Bonnlo’s kayak cart is very unique because it has a U-shaped stand that sits stably on the ground and it has rubber bumpers that protect it from wearing out. This stand and the frame are made using solid aluminum, with the top bars having foam bumpers to protect your kayak from damages.

Two large 10-inch polyurethane airless tires are used to roll the frame and they are wide enough (3 inches) to give a solid footing on soft surfaces.

The tires are removable and the frame can be folded after use for compact storage. The unit is also very easy to assemble and two straps (2.75 & 5 ft.) are included for securing the kayak on the top bars. However, these bars are not adjustable to accommodate different hull sizes.

Pros:

  • Stable U-shaped stand with rubber pads
  • Solid aluminum construction
  • Large 10-inch solid polyurethane tires
  • Top bar foam bumpers
  • Includes two straps

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable bars

How to Buy the Best Kayak Carts

How to Buy the Best Kayak Carts

Photo: ABN

1. Type

End Carts

As the name suggests, this type is attached to your kayak at the end so that you can pull it as a wagon. The major problem with this is that it is not compatible with wide vessels. Additionally, it places some of the boat’s weight on your hand so you might get fatigued quickly.

Strapped Carts

These are the most common types because they are compatible with a wide variety of kayaks. Most are placed at the middle of the cart and they come with adjustable straps that are fastened around the boat to hold it tight.

Plug-in Carts

This type features large, strong pins that fit into a kayak’s scupper holes. It is more suitable to use with sit-on-top kayaks because most sit-in kayaks don’t have these holes.

2. Loading Capacity

This is very important to consider because it determines the boat weight that you can load above. You need to check how much your kayak weighs then pick a cart that carries slightly more.

That said, we recommend getting a cart that can carry as much as possible because you might upgrade to a larger, heavier kayak later on. For this, be sure to check out Wilderness Systems’ cart, which can haul up to 450 lbs.

3. Frame Material

There are two main things to consider about the frame: strength and durability. When it comes to strength, steel is the toughest but very heavy. On the other hand, aluminum is very light but cannot carry a lot of weight. The best compromise is an aluminum alloy frame, which is strong but not as heavy.

As for durability, most metal frames can undergo corrosion after some time even if they are powder-coated. However, composite frames are very durable because they are not affected by the elements. This is one of the reasons we recommend the Railblaza Ctug as the best kayak trolley.

4. Wheels/Tires

Kayak trolley wheels can either be airless or pneumatic. Airless types have the advantage of being maintenance-free because they can’t be punctured.

However, they don’t offer a very smooth ride because the solid material transfers all the vibrations to the frame. Also, they are not ideal for soft sand surfaces because most of them are narrow to save on the material used. We recommend these if you have a smooth pavement back home.

On the other hand, pneumatic tires offer a very smooth ride and most are wide enough to ride on soft sand without sinking. The only problem is they require regular maintenance such as pressurizing and mending punctures. If your path home has uneven surfaces, this is the go-to option.

5. Weight and Size

If a kayak trolley is too heavy, it will weigh down your kayak once you reach the water and place it on board. Also, it will be a bit cumbersome to store once you get home. As such, we suggest you go for the most lightweight piece that can carry your boat’s weight.

When it comes to size, the more compact it is, the better for ease of storage and transportation.

FAQs

1. How to Use a Kayak Cart?

Unfold/assemble the cart, place it midway on your kayak at an angle, then lower the stand. Pick up the front part of the vessel using its handle and place it on the top bars. Secure it using the straps and you are ready to go.

2. How to Secure a Kayak to a Cart?

Kayak carts usually come with two tie-down straps. With the boat above the cart, take one of the straps and wrap it around the rear crossbar. Run this strap above the kayak to the other side and wrap it around the rear crossbar on the other side. Finish off by fasting it on the buckle.

Repeat this process using the other strap but this time on the front crossbars of both sides. Make sure both straps are tight. Once this is done, you are good to go.

3. What to Do with Your Cart When Kayaking?

Most kayaks are foldable or can be easily taken apart to a compact size with small pieces. You can place these in your kayak (such as in the hatch) and go with them. Alternatively, if you have a safe spot on the shore, you can leave it there.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we recommend the Railblaza Ctug as our best overall kayak cart because it is versatile and very durable. It has adjustable rubberized pads that can accommodate different hull sizes and corrosion-free parts.

However, if you want a folding cart, we highly recommend Seattle Sports’ Paddleboy ATC as the best kayak cart. It can be compressed to a very small size but has a tough steel frame that can hold up to 300 lbs.

If you have a heavy kayak though, you need to check out Wilderness Systems’ cart because it has a sturdy aluminum alloy frame that can hold up to 450 lbs.

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