Best Kayak Carts, Wheels, and Trolleys

Although we love kayaking, we must admit that kayaks are a pain to transport. They’re heavy, bulky, and awkward to carry more than a few…

best kayak cart

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We may earn a commission from links, but we only recommend products we back.

Why trust us?

Although we love kayaking, we must admit that kayaks are a pain to transport. They’re heavy, bulky, and awkward to carry more than a few meters.

Transporting your kayak from your home or vehicle to the water can feel more challenging than learning to kayak in the first place. Especially if you go kayaking alone or paddle tandem with a child.

I struggle to lug my 16-foot sea kayak up the length of a slipway, let alone carry it the short distance to my home. I doubt I’m the only one! That’s why we’ve researched and reviewed the best kayak carts on the market. For more information, check out our buying advice.

Our Top Picks

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top picks. Or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.

Best Overall: Suspenz DLX Airless Cart

Weight: 9 lbs | Load Capacity: 150 lbs

Suspenz DLX Airless Cart

Boasting a sturdy frame and easy setup, the Suspenz DLX Airless Cart is one of the most popular kayak carts available.

Fitted with 10-inch diameter tires, the Suspenz DLX Airless Cart allows you to easily tow your kayak across different terrain. And you can even change the wheels for inflatable balloon tires (not included) that specialize in transporting kayaks over sand.

The cart has rubber pads to cushion the kayak hull. These rubber pads also help prevent slipping and twisting, keeping the kayak in place while loading and walking.

The Suspenz DLX also features an attached two-strap system that lets you secure your kayak to the front and back of the cart. Because the combined length of each strap is 50-inches, they’re long enough to loop around most types of sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks.

Additionally, we like that this model has a dual-arm kickstand that keeps the cart steady when loading and unloading, particularly on uneven ground. Although the Suspenz DLX doesn’t have the highest load capacity, it’s still more than enough for most kayaks and gear.

Reasons to buy:

  • Durable frame
  • Puncture-proof tires
  • Rolls easily across different terrain 
  • Changeable wheels
  • Rubber pads minimize slipping and twisting
  • Stable kickstand

Reasons to avoid:

  • Lower load capacity than the competition

Best Value: Railblaza C-Tug Kayak Cart

Weight: 10 lbs | Load Capacity: 260 lbs

RailBlaza C-Tug Kayak Cart

When it comes to ease of use, versatility, and price, it’s hard to find a better-value cart than the RailBlaza C-Tug Kayak Cart.

Weighing in at just 10 lbs, the C-Tug is light enough to carry in your kayak. It also collapses down, allowing you to store it inside a hatch or deck recess. Yet, its high load capacity means that you can safely pull your kayak, paddle, and other gear wherever you need.

The axles are made from UV-resistant ABS plastic and reinforced with stainless steel, making them tough and corrosion-resistant. This means you can take this kayak cart out to sea without fear of rust.

We also like that it’s super versatile and fits most sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks. The cart’s hull pads adjust to various angles, allowing a secure fit for narrow touring kayaks or a wide bed for recreational kayaks. That means you’ll only ever need one cart, even if you choose to upgrade your kayak.

This model comes with a grippy rubber tread on the wheels, and it’s high enough to clear the curb and get your kayak over lumps and bumps en route to the water. And, because there’s no innertube in these tires, there’s no chance of getting a puncture.

Do you mainly launch your kayak from sandy beaches? You also have the option of fitting the C-Tug with RailBlaza SandTrakz Wheels (not included) which are designed to roll easily over loose sand.

The only fault we can find with the C-Tug Trolley is that the straps are not as heavy-duty as we would like. If you’re portaging a tandem or a heavy kayak, you might want to add an extra strap or bungee to secure the kayak in place.

Reasons to buy:

  • Lightweight
  • Puncture-proof tires
  • Suitable for most types of kayaks
  • Collapsible
  • Adjustable kickstand
  • Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid:

  • Straps could be better quality

Best Budget: ABN Universal Kayak Carrier

Weight: 8 lbs | Load Capacity: 200 lbs

ABN Universal Kayak Carrier

If you’re looking for a more affordable kayak cart, the ABN Universal Kayak Carrier is our top choice.

Fitted with 9.5-inch knobby tires, this kayak trolley rolls easily over grass, road, and gravel but also copes well with sand. However, unlike the Suspenz DLX and Railblaza C-Tug cart, this model doesn’t have a built-in strap system or adjustable hull pads, so you won’t get such a snug fit.

Foam pads on the frame cushion the kayak hull and help to keep it in place. However, you will still need to use the included 12-foot strap to tie your kayak to the cart to keep it in place while moving.

The cart is made from anodized steel, making it resistant to rust and corrosion from saltwater. In addition, the ABN Universal Kayak Carrier only weighs 8 lbs, so it won’t burden you when you’re on the water. Plus, at 16-inches wide, it’s suitable for most types of kayaks, paddleboards, and small dinghies.

One thing to note is that, although the wheels are removable and the frame folds flat, it’s less compact than other models in our review. So if your sit-in kayak has small hatches, you will struggle to fit this cart inside. That said, you could lash it to the deck of your boat instead.

Although it lacks some of the bells and whistles of pricier kayak carts, the ABN Universal Kayak Carrier will do the job and save you money.

Reasons to buy:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to set up/collapse
  • Rolls well on uneven ground
  • Durable materials
  • Spring-loaded kickstand

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not the most compact
  • No built-in strap system

Best Heavy Duty Cart: Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart

Weight: 13 lbs | Load Capacity: 450 lbs

Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart

Able to handle loads of up to 450 lbs, the Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart can carry tandems, fishing kayaks, and all your kayaking gear.

This model is made from marine-grade, heat-treated aluminum, which is resistant to rust and corrosion. It also comes with large easy-rolling airless tires so you can cart your kayak over rough terrains without getting a puncture.

When transporting your kayak to sandy beaches, you can swap the airless tires for Wilderness System’s Beach Wheels (not included). Overall, it’s one of the best kayak carts for versatility and durability.

The bars are adjustable widthways, stopping your kayak from slipping or twisting while you move the cart. This highly adaptable design provides a secure fit for narrow V-shaped hulls, wide flat hulls, and almost anything in between. Additionally, foam padding protects the kayak hull from scrapes and helps to hold it in place.

We also like that the bars have two height settings. The higher setting allows you to use this kayak cart with deeper hulls and long kayaks. But it also prevents the hull from scraping the ground when crossing bumpy terrains. Meanwhile, the lower setting offers better stability.

Another practical feature is that its bunker-bar design makes it super easy to load. Just lift one end onto the cart, secure it with the two included straps, and tow from the opposite end. No need to lift all your kayak off the ground.

Once you’ve reached your launch point, the cart collapses, but you’ll need a larger hatch to store the 12-inch wheels inside your kayak. Alternatively, you can secure it to the deck with its straps or use your kayak’s deck bungees.

Reasons to buy:

  • High weight capacity
  • Made from durable materials
  • Adjustable bar system
  • Puncture-proof tires
  • Easy to load

Reasons to avoid:

  • Pricey
  • Won’t fit inside small hatches

Kayak Cart Buying Advice

kayak carts on sandy beach

While all kayak carts are built for the same purpose, not all are made the same way. Some are designed for carrying heavy loads on rough ground. Meanwhile, others are better for tackling beaches or walking on a road to the nearest waterway.

Whatever you use, there are important things to look for in the best kayak carts. In this section, we’ll highlight some key features, so you know what to consider before shopping.


When it comes to wheels, the main choice is between airless tires and inflatable tires. Airless tires are usually made from rigid plastic, and some have a grippy rubber tread. They have an advantage on rough terrain because they can’t get a puncture.

However, inflatable tires, like mini car tires, tend to roll better on uneven ground, and I’ve never had a puncture while using them. They also have more bounce, so it should be a quieter journey when taking your kayak along a road.

Fortunately, you may not have to choose between airless and inflatable tires. Thanks to their collapsible design, most kayak carts have removable wheels. It’s, therefore, easy to swap between the two types depending on where you’re launching from. In short, the best solution for you might be to choose the cart with the best frame and then purchase an extra set of wheels.

Additionally, pay attention to the wheel diameter and width. Larger and wider wheels are much better for carrying your kayak over unpaved roads, mud, and sand. Just bear in mind that large wheels might not fit in your kayak’s hatch.

Frame Material

What the kayak cart frame is made from is important if you plan to take your boat out on salt or brackish water. Some metals are prone to rust, so we recommend choosing carefully. Aluminum, stainless steel, or anodized steel are durable metals that can take bumps and scrapes and won’t rust when you take them out to sea.

ABS plastic is another rust and corrosion-resistant option; however, it’s a less durable material than metal.

Size & Weight

Of course, the best kayak cart for you will need to fit your kayak. The carts we’ve reviewed fit most types of touring and recreational kayaks. However, we still recommend checking the measurements against your kayak’s hull.

Likewise, you’ll need to consider how you will store your cart on the water. Some carts fold flat with wheels that can fit inside a hatch. But you might need to fix larger frames to your kayak’s deck. From our selection, the Suspenz DLX Airless Cart and RailBlaza C-Tug Cart are the most compact when folded.

While you probably don’t want to add much weight to your kayak, heavier frames tend to be more durable and offer a greater load capacity. Kayak carts like the C-Tug Trolley offer a compromise at around 10 lbs. Meanwhile, heavy-duty kayak carts may weigh up to 15 lbs. 


Adjustable kayak carts offer a more secure fit which should minimize side-to-side movement, particularly on bumpy ground. Some adjustable carts let you angle the pads to fit flush with your kayak’s hull. Others adjust widthways, allowing you to carry narrow or wide kayaks.

If you have more than one kayak and only want to buy one cart, then you’ll need an adjustable one. Similarly, make adjustability a priority if you plan to upgrade your kayak later. 


Typically strap-style kayak carts come with quick-release buckles, but some are attached to the cart’s frame while others aren’t. Of course, there are pros and cons to either setup. If you’re prone to losing things, consider a built-in strap system.

On the other hand, you have a bit more flexibility if the straps are not attached. They’re helpful if your kayak is an unusual shape. You also have the option to swap the included straps for heavy-duty straps or ratchet straps if you have a particularly large or heavy kayak.

Additional Features

Additional straps or extra-long straps come in handy when you want to attach extra gear, such as your paddle, life jacket, or kayak crate. Also, consider extra-long straps if you have a very wide kayak or you plan to stack two sit-on-top kayaks on one cart.

Kickstands are also helpful for stabilizing your cart while you get ready to hit the water. Dual-arm kickstands offer extra stability, while adjustable kickstands help to balance long kayaks. Alternatively, look out for carts like the ABN Universal Kayak Carrier, which has a spring-loaded kickstand for more effortless loading.

The Verdict

Kayak carts are one of the most helpful kayak accessories I’ve come across. They save your back, protect your kayak’s hull, and make it easier to get out on the water.

While kayak carts look similar, some have stand-out features that make them better than others. Although there are plenty of great options on the market, the Suspenz DLX Airless Cart stood out for us. It impressed us with its durability, portability, and functional design.

Ultimately, the best kayak cart for you will depend on a few important factors: the size and weight of your kayak, the type of terrain you’ll be carrying it over, and your budget.