Best Kayak Trailer in 2020 - Buying Guide

  • By KayakPro
  • Last Update: August 5, 2020
  • Easy to Maneuver and Use
  • Can Carry Multiple Kayaks
  • Not Prone to Corrosion
premium pick
  • Smooth and Easy to Tow
  • Stable and Durable
  • Galvanized Steel Frame
  • Coated Metal Frame
  • Multi-functional trailer
  • Can carry a kayak and Bike
Going to your kayak adventure may not be as easy as you think but the best kayak trailer can help. Do you need to bring four or more kayaks and your other gear with ease? Read on if you want one with the best bang for your buck. Transporting one kayak on the bed of your truck or on the roof of your car is not always a piece of cake. That is especially true for long and heavy kayaks. It gets more complicated if you are transporting multiple kayaks.

Even if some may fit your vehicle, you are worried that it might get scratched along the way. You can have peace of mind when you use a kayak trailer.

If you have considered getting a kayak trailer, perhaps you already saw the many options available and it can be daunting to compare them one by one. To help you out, we have reviewed some of the popular and well-constructed kayak trailers.

Reviews of the Best Kayak Trailers

1

Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks

Features of the Malone MicroSport Sports
43 Reviews
Features of the Malone MicroSport Sports
  • Transports 4 kayaks up to 20' long (800 lb. capacity)
  • Galvanized steel frame with 60" aluminum cross rails
  • 54" galvanized axle with sealed hubs & wheels (maintenance free)
  • Easily assembles in 2-3 hours with award winning instructions

The Malone MicroSport is the best choice for those who don’t mind towing a slightly heavy trailer. Made of galvanized steel which is a bit heavy, it’s probably the only drawback we found with this trailer. Other than that, it is among the best products in this price range.

This trailer can carry up to four kayaks, which makes it great for families or those who frequently go on canoeing trips with their friends. The best thing about this trailer is its ability to handle kayaks that are up to 20 feet long.

And it does have a high maximum capacity of 800 pounds, considering that tandem kayaks generally weigh about 60 to 80 pounds. Since it is galvanized, you may rest assured that it does not rust or corrode easily even when exposed to saltwater.

It is also worth mentioning that it comes with 60″ aluminum cross rails that are rock solid. These cross rails provide additional support for the whole trailer, making it extra stable and durable.

What some might not know about this trailer is that it also has the ability to carry bikes. Its structure is designed for such versatility. Moreover, it has a 54-inch axle with sealed hubs and 12-inch slotted wheels which are just the right dimension to keep the trailer stable, with its center of gravity closer to the ground.

These parts are maintenance-free and help you save on cost in the long run. Malone understands the challenges of assembling a kayak trailer out of the box. That is why they made this trailer easy to assemble with easy-to-follow instructions. But even so, it takes about 3 hours to assemble the parts.

Pros
  • Easy to maneuver and use
  • Durable
  • Extra stable
  • Not prone to corrosion
  • Comes with pre-wired lighting system and pre-assembled wheel hub unit for easy assembly
  • Has a high weight limit
  • Can carry multiple kayaks (up to 4
Cons
  • Needs a big storage space or area

2

Malone XtraLight Trailer Package

Features of the Malone XtraLight
35 Reviews
Features of the Malone XtraLight
  • Features. Designed for kayaks up to 14'. Galvanized steel frame with 58" steel-coated load bars.
  • Includes two sets of V-style hull-down kayak carriers. 8" high-speed galvanized wheels. Composite fenders.
  • Weight Capacity: 275 lbs. 5-year manufacturer's warranty. Made in USA.

We just can’t get enough of Malone trailers, and this is another best-selling trailer from them. Malone is one of the leading sports trailer companies in the US, and over the years, they have proven their place in the industry. 

Compared to MicroSport, this trailer is a bit smaller as it can only accommodate kayaks that are up to 14 feet long with a total weight capacity of 275 pounds. Overall, it is a well-made and sturdy trailer.

It features a galvanized steel frame that comes with 58-inch coated load bars. These bars offer additional frame support and make the trailer more stable. It is also lightweight and pulls and maneuvers smoothly.

We all want a trailer that allows us to easily secure and adjust the kayaks. And this trailer works that way with its two sets of V-style hull-down carriers. Moreover, it comes with 8-inch high-speed wheels and composite fenders.

Pros
  • With a 5-year manufacturer warranty
  • Smooth and easy to tow
  • The frame does not easily rust
  • Stable and durable
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Some customers reported that their package arrived with some missing parts.

3

RIGHT-ON TRAILER for Kayaks, Canoes & More

Do you prefer having a multi-rack multi-functional trailer? If yes, this trailer is worth considering. It has a second-tier rack made up of 64-inch wide crossbars that offer a unique storage system.

What makes it unique is its added ability to support all your accessories and outdoor gear aside from your kayak, and you can mount a bike on it too! 

Based on what customers say, this trailer pulls nicely and smoothly. That means you should have no issues with turns and maneuverability.

Looking at its galvanized steel structure, you can tell that it is a stable and durable trailer. From the ball to axle, it measures about 10 feet so you could safely load long kayaks on it.

Pros
  • Coated metal frame does not easily rust
  • Multi-functional as it can carry bikes, too
  • Second-tier rack can carry a kayak and a bike
Cons
  • Instructions are a bit tedious

4

Malone MicroSport Trailer Two Kayak Transport Package

Features of the Malone MicroSport
22 Reviews
Features of the Malone MicroSport
  • Transports 2 kayaks up to 18' long
  • Includes 2 sets of SeaWing kayak carriers
  • Galvanized steel frame with 60" aluminum cross rails
  • Easily assembles in 2-3 hours with award winning instructions

This is another great trailer from one of our favorite brands. This MicroSport trailer shares many similar features compared with the first one in this review, but it can only hold two kayaks. It does come with a spare tire with a locking attachment, a feature that is not available in the first trailer.

The MicroSport Trailer Two Kayak Transport Package is designed for hauling long kayaks of up to 18 feet long. It is made of a galvanized steel frame with 60-inch aluminum cross rails, making the components of this trailer less prone to corrosion and rust even when exposed to the elements. 

The wide cross rails are a good feature as they make the entire structure extra tough and durable. We would also like to mention that it comes with two sets of SeaWing carriers which allow for easy and quick mounting of the kayaks.

This kayak trailer does a great job in towing. In fact, some customers say that you would hardly feel it behind your vehicle. It also turns smoothly even in sharp corners. This trailer makes a good alternative to the first Malone trailer we mentioned earlier if you don’t intend to carry three or four kayaks.

Pros
  • Easy to maneuver
  • SeaWing Carriers make loading and unloading of kayaks a breeze
  • Durable and stable
  • Comes with a spare tire
Cons
  • Can be a bit challenging to set up

5

Malone Auto Racks Trailer Kayak Transport Package

Features of the Malone Auto Racks
23 Reviews
Features of the Malone Auto Racks
  • Easily transports 4 kayaks without having to lift them onto your vehicle's roof
  • Marine grade pre-galvanized steel frame, 78" wide x 164" long
  • Includes 4 Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers, Five-year warranty
  • 78" coated steel cross rails (fits most attachments), 2" hitch

This is an awesome trailer that makes hauling of multiple kayaks hassle-free. And since it’s a Malone trailer, you can expect that it delivers great performance while on the road.

The Malone Auto Racks Trailer Kayak Transport Package may not be cheap but it surely beats many trailers in terms of construction, design, and functionality. This kayak can easily transport up to four kayaks without a problem as long as they don’t exceed its maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds.

It comes with four patented Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers that keep the kayaks snug and secure even on long trips. Moreover, its design includes 78-inch coated cross rails that fit most attachments. This means you can have peace of mind that your kayaks are safe and secure.

On the road, you should have no problem towing this trailer. It runs smoothly even on highway speeds and is very easy to maneuver.

Pros
  • With a 5-year manufacturer warranty
  • Rides well with no bouncing around
  • Comes with tie-down straps and J-Pro2 to secure your kayak
  • Solid construction
Cons
  • Some customers have reported issues with assembly instructions

6

Malone XtraLight Base Trailer

Features of the Malone XtraLight Base
22 Reviews
Features of the Malone XtraLight Base
  • Features. Designed for canoes and kayaks up to 14'. Galvanized steel frame with 58" steel-coated load bars.
  • 8" high-speed galvanized wheels. Composite fenders. Weight Capacity: 275 lbs.
  • 5-year manufacturer's warranty. Made in USA.

If you are looking for a sturdy and extra light base trailer, this product might just be what you are looking for. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of other Malone trailers, it does a good job at hauling medium-length kayaks of up to 14 feet and is also reasonably priced.

This trailer is constructed using a steel frame that is galvanized so that it will not be prone to rust. Considering the small size of this trailer and its use of 58-inch coated load bars, you can tell that it is built to be extra durable and will not easily bend when loaded.

Moreover, its maximum carrying capacity is 275 pounds, allowing you to bring more than one kayak. On the road, this trailer pulls and makes turns easy. It is also quite stable because of its 8-inch wheels which have a lower center of gravity.

Pros
  • With 5-year warranty
  • Made in the USA
  • Lightweight and easy to tow
Cons
  • Small wheels wear more easily than bigger wheels

7

Ruff-Sport Trailer for Kayak

Features of the Ruff-Sport
23 Reviews
Features of the Ruff-Sport
  • Galvanized steel frame with large 4.80 x 12" Wheels
  • Carry fishing kayaks, boards, SUP's, bicycles, and cargo boxes
  • Crossbars (64" wide) supports all roof rack accessories from companies like Yakama and Thule
  • Fold up locking tongue stand and LED Lights come standard

If you frequently go on outdoor adventures on land and on the sea, consider this trailer among your options. What makes it stand out for people like you is that it allows for versatility in what you can carry. With this trailer, you can haul not just kayaks but also SUPs, boards, bicycles and a wide range of boxes for your gear.

If you will carry the kayaks in J-style carriers, you will have adequate space for two bikes and two boats, but you should note that the total maximum carrying capacity is 400 pounds.

With this trailer, you don’t have to worry about getting your kayaks scratched due to bumps and vibrations during the trip. It features soft springs and uses large 4.80 x 12-inch wheels which help this trailer run smoothly on the road.

Of course, its sturdy design also contributes to preventing vibrations and excessive movements that can cause damage to your load.

Just like most of the kayak trailers in this review, the Ruff-Sport Trailer is also constructed using galvanized steel, making it an affordable and popular choice. It comes with 64-inch wide crossbars that support all roof rack accessories made by major companies such as Yakama and Thule.

Pros
  • Comes with a fold-up locking tongue stand
  • With LED lights for good visibility in the evening 
  • With soft spring to absorb vibrations
  • Versatile as it can carry different types of loads
Cons
  • Some users have reported issues with its assembly process

8

YAKIMA 78-inch Rack and Roll Trailer

Features of the YAKIMA 78-inch Rack
12 Reviews
Features of the YAKIMA 78-inch Rack
  • 78-Inch crossbars compatible with all Yakima accessories
  • Locking levers with keys prevent theft of wheels and tongue
  • Adjustable, Dual Spring progressive rate, motorcycle-style shock absorbers provide four inches of wheel travel. Independent suspension.
  • Includes a carrying handle that will turn your trailer into a hand cart.

This is one of the kayak trailers with many bells and whistles that you don’t frequently see in many other similar products. If you want to have those extra features and are willing to spend more, check out this trailer.

One of its unique features is the carrying handle that will automatically turn your trailer into a hand cart. It also has heavy-duty springs and an adjustable independent suspension system that help absorb vibrations during the trip, reducing the possibility for dents and scratches on your load.

In terms of versatility, this trailer is on top of our list as you can use it to haul kayaks, bikes and cargo boxes. This trailer was truly designed with your cargo in mind.

Considering its 78-inch crossbars, you can use this trailer to carry up to six (6) kayaks on cradles or up to seven (7) bikes as long as they are within its maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds.

Pros
  • With locking levers to keep the wheels and tongue secure from thieves
  • The aluminum frame is lightweight
  • Wide and can carry multiple gears
  • With springs and suspension that prevent vibrations
Cons
  • A bit pricey

9

Ironton Personal Watercraft and Boat Trailer

Features of the Ironton Personal
61 Reviews
Features of the Ironton Personal
  • Rolls on 12in. tires
  • Roomy bed size is 77 1/4in.L x 40 1/4in.W
  • Overall size is 126 3/4in.L x 52 1/2in.W
  • White powder-coat finish adds durability

The Ironton Personal Watercraft and Boat Trailer has a roomy bed size of 77 1/4 inches long and 40 1/4 inches wide and a big weight capacity of 800 pounds.

It is one of the trailers we can recommend if you are looking for a simple-designed trailer with high load capacity. It is also a good choice if you are looking to haul other personal watercraft such as jet ski or surfboards.

This trailer has a rugged steel frame and is powder-coated for a smooth finish. One interesting fact about the powder coat is that it is more durable and long-lasting than regular paint. It also makes the structure highly resistant to rust.

It is worth mentioning that this trailer meets DOT requirements and it already comes with a light set. Also part of the package is its hardware kit, safety chain, and protective fenders.

Pros
  • High weight capacity
  • Powder coat finish is durable and long-lasting
  • Uses 12-inch tires which do not easily wear
Cons
  • Some customers reported issues with the lights

How does a kayak trailer work?

A kayak trailer provides a base where you can load your kayak and other gear onto. The kayak typically sits in a prone position just like when you load it on top of a car. You need to secure your kayak with straps into the crossbar mounts of J-hooks.

A trailer has a hitch that attaches to the back of your vehicle. Not all vehicles can tow a kayak trailer. It’s important to check if your vehicle supports this capability.

Materials used

If you shop around, you’ll find out that many of the trailers are made of aluminum, non-galvanized or galvanized steel. These three materials have their pros and cons which you need to consider:

Aluminum – Aluminum is lightweight, does not rust or corrode and is very durable. And since they are lightweight, they typically have higher load capacities than steel. Those are the characteristics that you would want in a trailer.

However, aluminum is not cheap and that’s why you would find that aluminum trailers are among the most expensive options available.

Non-galvanized steel – It is one of the most affordable materials for making trailers and it is also stronger than aluminum. However, this material is prone to rust and corrosion especially when exposed to saltwater.

These trailers can be purchased at a very cheap price but in the long run, you may have to spend a lot more because they typically do not last as long as aluminum or galvanized trailers.

Galvanized steel – The galvanized coating on steel makes it highly resistant to abrasion and water. Galvanized trailers are typically in the mid-range price.

Maneuverability

You would want a trailer that is easy to hook and not difficult to maneuver even when it is fully loaded. This characteristic may be hard to prove if you are comparing your options online.

The best way to check whether or not a trailer you are considering is not difficult to maneuver is to read its reviews.

Suspension System

A suspension system allows you to tow the trailer on unpaved or rough roads without damaging your kayak. If you will be driving on smooth roads only, a suspension system may not be necessary.

Torque Length

A trailer you are buying should be long enough to hold your kayak. That is why it’s important to check the length of the torque as it is the distance between the trailer hitch and the axle.

If it’s too short compared to the length of your kayak, there’s a good chance that it can’t do its job properly. As a general rule, get a trailer with a torque length that is close to the length of your kayak.

Wheels

Yes, the size of the wheels does matter. Small wheels make the trailer closer to the ground, improving its stability. However, the main drawback of small wheels is that they also generally wear out more easily because they work twice as much as their larger counterparts do to cover the same distance.

Maximum Load Capacity

Trailers have a maximum load capacity or maximum weight that they can handle. If you are buying a trailer with built-in racks, all you need to worry about is if its maximum load capacity is enough for your kayak. But if you are buying a trailer with no built-in racks, you should also factor in the load capacity and installation of aftermarket racks. 

Additional features

When comparing trailers with similar features and of the same price range, it’s important to also consider the additional features one product has or offers. These features may include a torque jack for lifting the trailer, spring and a gearbox, etc.

Conclusion

Looking at all the kayak trailers we have considered in this review, it’s hard to choose our top choice. But after checking the different factors that need to be considered and taking into account the cost of each trailer, we’ve finally come up with our top choice, the Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks.

Two of the factors worth noting about this trailer is it has one of the highest load capacities at 800 pounds, and it is one of the few that can carry kayaks of up to 20 feet long. It is stable, durable and it runs great at highway speed. Most importantly, it is among the least expensive kayak trailers on this list.

FAQs

If you have limited space in your garage, this is where the size and dimensions of your kayak trailer would matter. You can either buy a small kayak trailer, just enough to fit the extra space in your garage, or buy a foldable model that you can easily store when not in use. Of course, this won’t be a problem if you have a large garage or if you can safely and legally park it elsewhere.

Before buying a kayak trailer, you also need to decide how many kayaks you plan to carry with you at a time. For most enthusiasts, a trailer that can handle one kayak may not be enough.

You also need to take into consideration your friends or family members tagging along in your paddling adventure. If you love kayaking with friends or family, it’s a good idea to get a trailer that can haul at least two kayaks. 

Take note of the dimensions of your kayak/s as they will help determine the right trailer dimension you should get. If in doubt about a trailer’s capacity to handle your kayaks, don’t hesitate to contact the seller to confirm. You don’t want to buy a kayak trailer that is a tad too small for your kayaks as it can be a hassle to return it. 

The vehicle type affects the type of kayak trailer that you should choose. For instance, compact AWD SUVs can typically tow 1,400 pounds while many larger SUVs and pickup trucks can pull 1,650 pounds. If you aren’t sure about the towing capacity of your vehicle, it’s best to refer to the owner’s manual of your vehicle.

When you buy a kayak trailer at your local store, there’s a big chance that it’s already completely assembled and ready to go. But one drawback of buying locally is the limited options available to you. With limited options, it can be hard to find a kayak trailer that suits your needs. 

That is why buying a trailer online has become popular. When you buy online, your options seem limitless. However, there is one major drawback. Your trailer will come in a big box and it may require several hours to fully assemble it. You need to be mechanically inclined and patient enough to read through pages of instructions.

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Last update on 2020-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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