Best Kayak Trailers - 2019 Reviews & Guide​

kayak trailer and tourist bus

Set off on a weekend adventure with your friends and family! You can easily haul all of your outdoor gear when you choose one of these sturdily built kayak trailers.

Your kayaks, surfboards, and bikes will stay securely strapped down no matter how long the road trip to the nearest lake, river, or beach. 

We’ve found the top five kayak trailers and based our decision on top-rated criteria. You’ll also read our in-depth buyer’s guide and have all of your questions answered (if you are looking for a less expensive solution, check our guide about kayak carts here).

RIGHT-ON TRAILER Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer by Right On | Durable Transporting Trailer for Kayaks, Sups, Canoes, Bicycles & More
RIGHT-ON TRAILER Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer by Right On | Durable Transporting Trailer for Kayaks, Sups, Canoes, Bicycles & More

RIGHT-ON TRAILER offers two excellent trailer models on this list, so you’ll appreciate this Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer. It uses the ‘bunk bed’ approach to providing more room for not just including an extra kayak or canoe, but also your bikes.

Product Highlights

This Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer can fit lots of gear in its space. The frame is really sturdy and structurally sound, while the tires are Department of Transportation certified for high speed.

They are large and tough for years of travel. The crossbars are 64” wide to support all roof rack accessories from Yakama and Thule. From fender to fender measures 56” wide.

The length from the axle to the ball is about 10 feet, so you can fit kayaks that measure up to 19 feet and 16-foot canoes. Everything fits sturdily onboard, so nothing will sway or bounce even at highway speeds.

What’s To Like About The Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer By RIGHT-ON TRAILER

The Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer has a second tier rack to carry plenty of gear. You can easily fit multiple fishing kayaks, children’s kayaks, surfboards, stand-up paddling boards, or cargo boxes, and there’s room for up to six bikes on top. There is enough space for four kayaks on the bottom. You don’t need to load a roof rack.

To run the wires, you can use stiff wire cable and tape your wires to it, then feed the cable through the rails. It also comes with a Certificate of Origin and a Bill of Sale for registration purposes. Shipping is really fast, and RIGHT-ON TRAILER is a company that provides great communication.

What’s Not To Like About The Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer By RIGHT-ON TRAILER

While the material for this kayak trailer is coated metal, it can easily begin to rust if it’s scratched. Assembly can take up to 15 hours, though many buyers have said they did it in less time. The general instructions could be easier.

You’ll need to purchase items to put it together and washers for the screws so you don’t damage the surface finish. Some screws could be missing, so count them as soon as you receive the trailer. Also, many parts are delicate and could get damaged or scratched just from being shipped.

PROS

  • checkSturdy and stable
  • checkTwo tiers to fit lots of kayaks and gear
  • checkShipped fast

CONS

  • Have to purchase materials to put together
  • Long time for assembly
  • Coated metal scratches easily
RIGHT-ON TRAILER Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer by Right On | Durable Transporting Trailer for Kayaks, Sups, Canoes, Bicycles & More
Ruff-Sport Trailer - Galvanized Finish for Kayak, Bicycle, and SUP

Another really well-made and exceptional product from RIGHT-ON TRAILER, the Ruff-Sport Kayak Trailer has many features and benefits for you. There’s plenty of room to put two kayaks and two bikes side by side. This is so well made and yet lightweight, it is easily pulled behind you.

Product Highlights

The galvanized steel frame on this Ruff-Sport Kayak Trailer features 64” wide crossbars. That’s over five feet of wide space for you to carry your fishing kayaks, children’s kayaks, stand-up paddling boards, surfboards, and bicycles side by side.

The crossbars also support roof rack accessories from companies like Yakama and Thule. There’s a fold-up locking tongue stand to keep it steady. The LED lights come standard with this trailer. You won’t feel it bouncing on the highway, thanks to the soft springs to absorb the vibration.

What’s To Like About The Ruff-Sport Kayak Trailer By RIGHT-ON TRAILER

The first thing to like about this kayak trailer is the large 4.8” x 12” tires. They’ll drive smoothly on the road. The galvanized finish is resistant to corrosion from saltwater, which is useful for ocean kayaking. You can carry up to five or six kayaks on it, so it’ll also carry a 16 foot canoe.

It is a DOT certified and interstate-rated trailer. It comes with a notarized bill of sale. You also get the instructions and all the hardware with it. It can easily be changed around to carry other items, and the modifications don’t take long. Overall, it’s just really solid and reliable.

What’s Not To Like About The Ruff-Sport Kayak Trailer By RIGHT-ON TRAILER

While we do like the wide amount of crossbar space, this Ruff-Sport Kayak Trailer doesn’t carry as much as the double-decker trailer. Also, the assembly is a pain; it takes at least six hours, and the instructions aren’t all that clear.

Many buyers have had to watch videos on the proper trailer wiring and hub assembly, and to pay attention to bolt sizes. It helps to be extremely organized when putting it together.

PROS

  • checkMade of galvanized steel
  • checkSolid and reliable on the road
  • checkEasy to modify for different cargo

CONS

  • Very difficult to assemble
  • Takes a long time to assemble
  • Not as much space as other trailers
Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks, Canoes and Bikes

Do you have a collection of kayaks? Then you’ll love being able to fit up to four 19’ long kayaks on this MicroSport Kayak Trailer. It fits a lot of heavy gear into a smaller space, so it’s easier to store than other kayak trailers. It’s built well and built to last. This will see you through plenty of outdoor weekends.

Product Highlights

This kayak trailer by Malone features a sturdy and tough galvanized steel frame. The cross rails are made of aluminum and measure 60” wide. The galvanized axle is 54” long and has both sealed hubs and wheels.

The slotted wheels measure 12” in diameter and have chrome acorn nuts that won’t rust or corrode. It doesn’t just carry kayaks – you can fit canoes, cargo boxes, and bikes on it, too. The weight capacity is 355 pounds.

What’s To Like About The MicroSport Kayak Trailer By Malone

It’s made of steel, so it is durable, reliable, and will last a long time. You’ll find it easy to hook and unhook to your vehicle. Also, the crossbars can act like a second roof rack to fit popular brands like Yakima and Thule. There is an extended heavy-duty tongue that accommodates long kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddling boards.

Unlike other kayak trailers, this one actually is easy to assemble; you can expect about two to three hours total, and the instructions are nice and detailed. It also comes with pre-fitted electrical, mechanical, and hub assemblies. You can tow up to 75 mph on the highway without bumping, swaying, or shaking. You don’t even need a trailer dolly.

What’s Not To Like About The MicroSport Kayak Trailer By Malone

Some minor negatives include the fact the trailer’s light kit only has four clips to secure the wiring in the frame channels; six would have been better. The license plate holder is made of plastic, not metal.

It would be helpful to include a parts list. It doesn’t ship with the VIN information required to register it, so you have to contact the manufacturer to request the title paperwork. If you want to stand it up against the wall of a garage, you have to buy the retractable tongue package.

PROS

  • checkVery well made and doesn’t sway
  • checkHooks and unhooks easily from vehicle
  • checkExtended heavy-duty tongue for longer items

CONS

  • No parts list with instructions
  • Have to request title paperwork
  • License plate holder is plastic
Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks, Canoes and Bikes
Wike Kayak & Surf + Sailboard Trailer

Need a light trailer that can accommodate up to 70 pounds, doesn’t take up space in your garage, and can be pulled behind your bicycle? Then consider this Kayak Trailer by Wike. Two thick-padded supports fit a kayak, canoe, surfboard, or sailboard.

Product Highlights

When the simplest and easiest design works, why get more complicated? When you just have one beloved item to tow and you’re tired of putting it up on your roof rack, then you’ll appreciate the simplicity of this kayak trailer. The design is ultra-light.

There’s a quick hitch to go behind your bicycle’s rear wheel, and it also has Smart Stick towing assembly. The 16” diameter wheels are made of aluminum and are removable, so you can fold the frame flat for storing. The platform base size is 24” x 28”.

What’s To Like About The Kayak & Surf + Sailboard Trailer By Wike

The aluminum frame on this cute bike kayak trailer makes it lightweight enough for one person to easily assemble, tow, carry, and store. There are precision-ground bearings to make it easy to bike around. It fits quite a few items, including a kayak, canoe, surfboard, or sailboard. The Smart Stick attaches to the bicycle seat post between 1” and 1.5” in diameter and extends beyond the rear wheel.

It comes with straps, but you can buy longer ones to fit a stand up paddling board, too. Once you get your kayak on the trailer, it’s easy to strap it down. Then you can detach your kayak from the bike and roll it down to the edge of the water without dragging it. Both assembly and disassembly are extremely easy, and you don’t need to register it because it’s not meant to go on highways.

What’s Not To Like About The Kayak & Surf + Sailboard Trailer By Wike

This doesn’t fit behind a car, so it can only be towed by bicycle. Also, it’s not easy to mount your kayak on the trailer without it rolling out from underneath you. To use the Smart Stick towing, your kayak must have a bow handle, bow ring, or bowline. So, you’ll have to check if yours does before purchasing this kayak trailer.

PROS

  • checkLightweight and easy to roll
  • checkNo need for registration
  • checkDetaches easily from bicycle

CONS

  • Only towed by bicycles
  • Rolls when trying to put kayak on
  • Fits only one kayak up to 70 lbs.
Wike Kayak & Surf + Sailboard Trailer
Malone Auto Racks MicroSport Trailer Kayak Transport Package with 4 Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers

When you need the sturdiness of kayak saddles to keep your outdoor equipment from moving around, then choose this MicroSport AutoRacks Kayak Trailer by Malone. You can fit up to four kayaks, canoes, paddling boards, surfboards, or sailboards on this trailer.

Product Highlights

A galvanized steel frame is the main reason this kayak trailer is considered the best. The wheels are also galvanized It supports up to 355 pounds, so you can haul plenty of gear. The crossbars are each equipped with four pairs of Malone J-Pro2 J-style kayak saddles.

The extended heavy-duty tongue is great for towing kayaks up to 19 feet long. You get two tie down straps for each kayak holder to keep them secure. There’s a trailer tongue adapter that allows you to recess the tongue to the back and reduce the overall length for easier storage.

What’s To Like About The MicroSport AutoRacks Kayak Trailer By Malone

The MicroSport AutoRacks Kayak Trailer is built really solid and not flimsy at all, so there is some weight to it. It won’t bounce, sway, or shake even when driving fast highway speeds, so it rides really well. It’s nice that it comes with a spare tire; it’s the only kayak trailer that does. The assembly instructions are very clear and easy to follow, which speeds up the most frustrating part of the process; the overall time is about six hours or less.

The kayak carriers are easily removable for using the trailer to haul other things, like bikes, canoes, or ski carriers. The load bars make it flexible. This trailer will fit cargo boxes, too. You’ll also like the longer size to accommodate plenty of gear.

What’s Not To Like About The MicroSport AutoRacks Kayak Trailer By Malone

Some buyers have had issues with the inclusion of certain parts, so make sure you have everything before assembly. The wiring connections have a tendency to short out. You’ll need a deep socket wrench to put it together.

Also, the rear load bar isn’t as stable as the front one when you carry cargo. If you have anything longer than around 18 feet, you’ll need to get the tongue extension kit. You will have to send in the paperwork to request the title from Malone to make it ready for the road.

PROS

  • checkHas carriers for up to 4 kayaks
  • checkRides smoothly and steadily
  • checkVery well built and sturdy

CONS

  • Assembly is complicated
  • Rear load bar isn’t as stable
  • Have to get title paperwork separately

BUYER’S GUIDE

It’s important to know what to look for when you purchase a kayak trailer. You want to invest in one that will last you for years, is safe to use with a vehicle, and can accommodate all of your outdoor equipment. There are five key features you should look for: the type of the trailer, its materials, its suspension system, its length of the tongue, and its wheel size.

Types Of Kayak Trailers

There are several basic types of kayak trailers. There’s the single-crossbar variety, where you can put them side by side. You can purchase the double-decker and stack them one on top of each other. Some trailers have special carriers that cradle the kayaks. Others are just for a single kayak and are meant to be pulled behind a bicycle.

The type of trailer you choose is dependent upon how many kayaks you own, their length, their combined weight, and the size of the vehicle you drive.

Materials Used

It’s important to choose high quality materials, since kayak trailers are meant to withstand the weather as you transport your gear. You want solid metals like aluminum and steel that won’t corrode or rust when it rains. Also, when you take your kayaks out of the water and place them back on your trailer, that water should drip right off.

Check out the materials in the tires, too. You want solid metal and thick tires to drive over pavement and sand.

Suspension System

Kayak trailers need great suspension systems to absorb the shock of driving on highways. The suspension system should be well made and provide gentle springs that allow the metal base to gently move. You know your kayak trailer has fantastic suspension when the ride is smooth, steady, and doesn’t bounce, jiggle, or shake.

Length Of Tongue

The length of the tongue is directly proportional to how long your kayaks are. These model trailers can haul up to an 18 foot or 19 foot kayak. Some also have an extended heavy-duty tongue or one can be purchased from the manufacturer. A longer tongue does lengthen the entire trailer, which makes it more difficult to back up and park.

Size Of Wheels

Larger wheel sizes are thicker and contribute towards shock absorption and a smoother ride, especially at faster speeds on highways. Wheel sizes can also accommodate all kinds of adverse terrain which is full of potholes or are sandy, rocky, muddy, and wet.

Kayak Trailer FAQs

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What Is A Kayak Trailer?

A kayak trailer is, well, a trailer that’s specifically used to haul kayaks! Unlike a boat trailer, these trailers are smaller, narrower, and some of them have carriers that are specifically designed to cradle the kayak. Kayak trailers can also carry other outdoor gear, most commonly cargo boxes, surfboards, stand up paddling boards, sailboards, and even canoes.

How Do You Choose A Kayak Trailer?

The first thing you want to do when choosing a kayak trailer is to see what size that you’d like. That depends on the kayak you already own. From there, you want to choose a trailer that gives you a smooth ride on the road and is made from high-quality materials to last for years. Kayak trailers need to be assembled, so you’ll want to take that into account as well.

How Do You Build A Kayak Trailer?

Assembling a kayak trailer is not as easy as putting together other items like furniture. You’ll need required tools, a lot of space on a nice sunny day, and you’ll want to lay out all of your parts to make sure you have everything. The first step is to attach the spring-mounting hardware for the shock absorption. Then you can add the interior crossbars. After that, one of the more complicated steps is to run the wiring through the tongue.

Make sure to leave enough cable length. When the wiring is finished, that’s when you finish putting the frame together with the bolts and washers. Assemble the springs and the axle in the back. Time to add the wheels and the lighting assembly brackets, as well as the license plate holder. Use the clips to run the wires on the inside of the frame.

Wheel wells and fenders go over the wheels. Finally, it’s time to add the racks on top with your J-hooks, saddles, or other carriers. Then you will need to get your title and registration to make it road legal (if applicable), then tie on your kayaks and go!

How Do You Tie Down A Kayak On A Trailer?

Place the kayak on the crossbars. You’ll want long, heavy-duty special kayak straps. Attach them on one side of the bar. Loop your straps around the kayak and put the loop through the bar. Tighten the buckle slide mechanism on the straps to make it snug. Wrap it again over the bar and then tie it in half-hitches on the straps near the buckle. If the buckle fails, you have it tied securely. Tie every kayak down on each crossbar.

Does A Kayak Trailer Need To Be Registered?

The trailers that need to be registered are those that you pull behind a vehicle out on the road. The bike kayak trailers don’t need to be registered. You’ll need to get the title paperwork from the manufacturer, and then take it to your local Department of Transportation office to register it.

Conclusion

We have narrowed down the options and chosen our favorite from the list: the MicroSport Kayak Trailer by Malone. Say goodbye to hoisting heavy kayaks on top of your tall SUVs and hello to this exceptional kayak trailer. It will save your back in the long run!

If you have just one kayak and want to take that back and forth to the water, then we also highly recommend the Kayak Surf & Sailboard Trailer by Wike. It’s lightweight, easy to assemble, and will ride behind you in style. 

Also, please check our guides to kayaking in IowaIllinois and Anchorage to decide about your next kayak trip!

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