8 Best Kayak Trailers: Tow With Confidence In 2020

Perhaps it’s your first kayak, or maybe you’ve been kayaking for years. Either way, if you have one, you need a way to transport it. 

So, it might be time to start looking into the best kayak trailers available on the market.

I’ve rounded up the cream of kayaking hauling to create the top kayak trailer reviews – and shared some useful tips on selecting kayak trailers – all to help you make an informed trailer purchase!

We may receive a commission if you click a link on this page and then go on to purchase something, but at no extra cost to you. Learn more here.

In A Rush? The Winner After 37 Hours Of Research:

Malone MicroSport XT Trailer

Malone MicroSport XT Trailer

Our Rating: 5/5 Stars
★★★★★

Why is it better?

  • Corrosion-resistant frame, made of galvanized steel is rugged and durable 
  • Features aluminum spoke wheels and diamond-plate fenders 
  • Boasts an 800-pound maximum weight capacity Fits up to four 20-foot kayaks 
  • The 8-foot tongue is both retractable and removable for storage Features DOT-approved lights and bearings The 65-inch coated steel, rectangular bars fit most accessories and gear carriers
  • Easy-to-follow instructions and pre-fitted chassis components for quick assembly 
  • Comes with a five-year warranty

How to Choose the Best Kayak Trailer: Important Features To Consider 

Colorful Kayaks on Kayak Trailer on Coast of Bar Harbor

I’ve seen quite a few kayak trailers that screamed “Buy me” – but turned out to be rather underwhelming in terms of quality and capacity. 

I don’t want you to fall into that all-too-common trap of spending your hard-earned cash on something that looks good but doesn’t meet your needs – and kayak trailers are no exception to this rule! 

So, without further ado, here’s an overview of factors and features that matter the most – a kayak trailer buying guide, if you will!

Trailer’s Maximum Capacity: Is It Big Enough For You?

Kayak Trailer with kayaks and paddles

When researching possible kayak trailers to buy, the trailer’s maximum capacity is probably the most critical feature to pay attention to when choosing a suitable kayak trailer for your needs: 

It determines whether or not the trailer can accommodate all your equipment, both in weight and size. 

Take a moment to think about the size and weight of your kayaks and the number of kayaks you’ll haul regularly. That should be the bare minimum in terms of the trailer’s capacity. 

Here, I’ll break it down for you. 

How Many Kayaks Will You Haul? 

That’s the first question you should be asking when choosing the best kayak trailer. 

If you kayak alone, the answer’s simple enough. If you often go kayaking with the family or a group of friends, you should consider how many kayaks – and any additional gear – you need to carry and choose a trailer accordingly. 

Every kayak trailer, no matter how big or small will come with a maximum weight rating – 250 to 350 pounds on average – a limit that you should never exceed

Furthermore, different trailers accommodate different numbers of kayaks: 

Most people – including solo kayakers, families, and groups of paddlers – will find the average trailer capacity of one to four kayaks more than enough. There are multi-kayak trailers that can handle ten or more kayaks at a time, but at this point, you might be better off considering a custom-made trailer. 

What Size Are Your Kayaks? 

Kayak trailers are explicitly built to accommodate either single or tandem kayaks – but only up to a specific size. You need to make sure that the trailer you’re getting has the capacity needed to fit your largest kayak – in terms of both weight and length

Driving around with a considerable overhang – or exceeding the trailer’s limits – is never an option. Safety first, people!

These restrictions can be a bit frustrating – and you’ll probably have to do some measuring and math – but you’ll figure it out. Plus, most manufacturers already list the trailer’s dimensions and the maximum kayak length that can fit in it! 

Trailer’s Construction: Materials & Weight 

Kayak Trailer with canoes on beach

Kayak trailers are made a from variety of materials, the three most common ones being:

  • Aluminum – If you can afford to spend a bit more and would appreciate having an ultra-lightweight trailer, aluminum is the way to go. Aluminum kayak trailers are generally light, straightforward to move, and rust-resistant – but they do cost more than steel ones. 
  • Non-Galvanized Steel – Non-galvanized steel is the cheapest material out of the bunch, and more durable than aluminum. However, without proper maintenance, kayak trailers made of steel tend to corrode and rust when exposed to saltwater
  • Galvanized Steel – Considered the mid-priced option, galvanized steel – or steel coated with a layer of zinc – is an excellent choice due to its resistance to rust and corrosion. The zinc barrier makes it ideal for saltwater environments. Plus, it’s cheaper and more robust than aluminum. 

As long as you don’t make compromises in terms of build and construction quality, there’s no right or wrong choice here. Still, higher-end materials tend to last longer than cheap, non-galvanized steel; it’s something to keep in mind. 

Another thing to consider when creating your short of suitable kayak trailers – determined by choice of material – is the weight of the trailer and your car’s towing capacity. Most vehicles shouldn’t have a problem towing a trailer loaded with a few kayaks, but it doesn’t hurt to check. 

Kayak Trailers: Features That Often Get Overlooked 

Kayak trailer for small boats and kayaks in the water

Tire & Wheel Size 

Smaller tires generally work fine for kayak trailers that are carrying lighter loads, they make loading and unloading your kayaks a lot more convenient due to the slightly lower platform.

However, you find tend that the tires on kayak trailers fit with smaller wheels don’t last as long and can even limit your ability to go off-road

Perhaps it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but there will be numerous scenarios where you’ll need to go off-road to get to the water. That’s where kayak trailers with larger tires, capable of handling rough terrain, may come in handy. 

Tongue Length 

Considering that the axle will sit at the halfway point of the loaded kayak, the tongue’s length – the distance between the hitch and the axle – dictates the length of a kayak you can load onto the trailer and how easy it’ll be to tow it. 

Generally speaking, the longer the tongue, the safer – and more versatile – the kayak trailer. Shorter tongues can make it extremely hard – if not impossible – to tow a larger kayak. 

Sure, you can get a tongue extension, but if you want to keep things hassle-free, measure the length of your kayak right now and get a trailer that has a long enough tongue to accommodate it.

Does It Need Assembling? 

Car with trailer with kayaks and paddles

The chances are that your new kayak trailer won’t come pre-assembled, so don’t be too surprised when a pile of heavy boxes shows up at your door. If you’re mechanically inclined, this shouldn’t be a biggie; you’ll likely be able to put everything together in a few hours. 

If mechanics and assembly aren’t your forte – or you know that you don’t have the specialty tools to get it done – it’s better to get a pre-assembled one. 

Yes, it’s going to cost you more – but can you put a price on safety? 

Failing to assemble the trailer correctly can be down-right dangerous – as in “it might fall apart in the middle of the highway because you forgot to tighten a bolt” type of dangerous. 

Bonus Tip: Don’t stress about kayak trailers and their compatibility with different gear carriers / rack systems, including stackers, J- and V-style carriers. More often than not, these accessories are universally-fitting. 

Best Kayak Trailers Of 2020: Reviews & Recommendations

1. Malone XtraLight Trailer Package with 2 V-Kayak Racks 

Malone XtraLight Trailer Package With 2 V-Kayak Racks - kayak trailer

Malone XtraLight trailer, as the name implies, is the lightweight version of the MicroSport trailer. It clocks in at 174 pounds, but doesn’t compromise durability or the rock-solid construction: 

With a galvanized steel frame, 58-inch steel-coated load bars for additional frame support, leaf spring suspension and 275-pound maximum load capacity, there’s very little room for complaints. Plus, it comes with two V-style, padded hull-down carriers that can comfortably accommodate two kayaks up to 29 inches wide. 

Whether you’re packing a kayak for fishing or a recreational one, this trailer will handle it – as long as they don’t exceed the 14-foot limit. 

Technical Specs 

  • For 14-foot long kayaks 
  • Two-kayak, 275-pound capacity 
  • Weighs 174 pounds 
  • Galvanized steel construction 

Pros: 

  • Comes with four padded, V-style hull-down kayak carriers and straps
  • Compact and relatively lightweight galvanized steel frame 
  • Pre-fitted components for easier assembly 
  • Two-piece extended tongue 

Cons: 

  • Somewhat limited maximum weight capacity 
  • Only suitable for kayaks up to 14 feet long 
  • Tends to bounce at high speeds and rough roads

When it comes to picking lightweight kayak trailers, the Malone XtraLight is an excellent option, a true heavyweight of a trailer. If you want a dedicated dual-kayak trailer with a 275-pound weight capacity that is well-made, lightweight, and hassle-free – it doesn’t get much better.

2. Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer

Malone MicroSport Sports  - kayak trailer
  • Award: Best Four-Kayak Trailer 
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars 

If you often go kayaking with family or friends and need a way to transport four kayaks, this Malone MicroSport is probably the best kayak trailer for you. 

The galvanized steel and aluminum in its construction amount to a maintenance-free, rust-resistant, and robust – but relatively lightweight – 132-pound trailer. 

It boasts a mind-blowing 800-pound capacity – more than enough to carry multiple kayaks at onces – and has an 8-foot tongue length, so it’s no stranger to kayaks of up to 20 feet long. A great trailer for transporting on lengthy tandem kayaks.

As far as kayak trailers and assembly go, it’s effortless to build, even for the not-so-mechanically-inclined user, thanks to easy-to-follow instructions and pre-fitted electrical and mechanical components. 

Technical Specs 

  • For 20-foot long kayaks 
  • Four-kayak, 800-pound capacity 
  • Weighs 132 pounds 
  • Galvanized steel and aluminum construction 

Pros: 

  • Maintenance-free, rust-resistant construction 
  • The 800-pound weight capacity can handle multiple kayaks up to 20-foot in length
  • Easy assembly with pre-fitted electrical and mechanical components
  • All-terrain 12-inch wheels 

Cons: 

  • The price isn’t exactly budget-friendly 
  • The included tail light kit feels a little cheap 
  • Doesn’t come with the VIN needed to register it 

If you want an essential – but dependable – trailer that can transport up to four kayaks at a time, the Malone Micro Sport kayak trailer is always a safe bet. 

3. Malone MicroSport XT Trailer 

Malone MicroSport XT Trailer  - kayak trailer
  • Award: Best Overall Kayak Trailer 
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 5/5 Stars 

One more Malone MicroSport kayak trailer, and that’s it. If you liked the base model, you’re going to love the MicroSport XT trailer – an upgrade of my previous pick: 

The galvanized steel frame offers the same 800-pound load capacity suitable for up to four 20-foot long kayaks; the 8-foot tongue helps quite a bit. It’s corrosion-resistant, top to bottom – and easy to assemble, too!

Here’s where the “XT” part comes in: 

The custom 12-inch aluminum spoke wheels, and diamond-plate aluminum fenders give the trailer a ready-for-the-showroom look. Plus, the retractable and removable tongue makes storage a no-brainer. 

Technical Specs 

  • For 20-foot long kayaks or canoes
  • Four-kayak, 800-pound capacity 
  • Weighs 270 pounds 
  • Galvanized steel construction 

Pros: 

  • An 800-pound – four-kayak capacity 
  • Corrosion-resistant galvanized steel and aluminum construction 
  • Retractable and removable tongue for storage
  • Compatible with most gear carriers 
  • Leaf spring suspension for a smoother ride
  • Pre-fitted components for easy installation

Cons: 

  • The most substantial kayak trailer on my list 
  • Not the most affordable option you’ll find 
  • The wheels required additional balancing before highway drives

It’s the little details that make the MicroSport XT the most durable and efficient multiple kayaks trailer. Plus, with 800-pound capacity, the possibilities are endless! And for this very reason we believe that’s its one of the best trailers available to buy today.

4. RIGHT-ON TRAILER Multi-Sport Trailer 

RIGHT-ON TRAILER Multi-Sport Trailer  - kayak trailer
  • Award: Best Budget-Friendly Kayak Trailer
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars 
  • Price: 5/5 Stars 

The Right-On trailer doesn’t seem like much – but its multi-functionality stands out in the crowd: 

Offering a little bit of everything – an affordable price, sturdy construction, and multi-purpose design – the Multi-Sport can be configured to carry more than just your 15-foot kayaks: 

The round, 64-inch crossbars and 300-pound capacity handle kayaks or canoes, SUPs, small sailboats, bicycles, and cargo boxes – everything you need for outdoor adventures. The trailer’s powder-coated steel frame remains relatively lightweight at 162 pounds. 

Plus, it offers exceptional compatibility with virtually any roof rack systems, spring suspension for a smoother ride, and a handy fold-up tongue stand.

Technical Specs 

  • For 15-foot long kayaks
  • Two-kayak, 300-pound capacity 
  • Weighs 162 pounds 
  • Powder-coated steel construction 

Pros: 

  • Multi-functional design and versatile carrying options
  • Has a fold-up tongue stand 
  • Compatibility with other roof rack systems and accessories
  • The spring suspension absorb road vibrations 

Cons: 

  • May require additional paint touch-ups to prevent rust 
  • You have to purchase padding for the crossbars separately 
  • Assembling the trailer might take some time

As far as budget kayak trailers go, the Right-On Multi-Sport’s functionality is hard to beat – especially at this price point. If you want a cheap and convenient solution for your gear, this is it!

5. RIGHT-ON TRAILER Multi-Sport Double Deck Trailer

RIGHT-ON TRAILER Multi-Sport Double Deck Trailer - kayak trailer
  • Award: Best Two-Tier Kayak Trailer
  • Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars 

This Multi-Sport trailer is similar – or, almost identical – to the previous Right-On model. It boasts the same powder-coated steel construction, round 64-inch crossbars, a fold-up tongue stand, and shock-absorbing springs.

But, it comes with a twist – it features a fully functional second tier! 

The second-tier rack features the same 64-inch crossbar, instantly doubling the available space for kayaks and equipment. The 300-pound load capacity is somewhat restricting, but the array of towing possibilities is still there. 

The addition of the additional rack doesn’t increase the weight – or the price – by a lot. This one’s a steal! And, without question is one of the top kayak trailers for two kayaks – or more.

Technical Specs 

  • For 15-foot long kayaks 
  • Four-kayak, 300-pound weight capacity 
  • Weighs 190 pounds 
  • Powder-coated steel construction 

Pros: 

  • Four-kayak capacity and a slim, double-deck design 
  • Multi-functional carrying options and rack system compatibility 
  • Has a built-in folding tongue stand 
  • Features spring suspension for a vibration-free ride

Cons: 

  • The 300-pound capacity is somewhat restricting 
  • The tires seem small compared to the trailer as a whole
  • The paint chips and develops rust easily

If you want to retire your roof rails for good, this Multi-Sport trailer’s dual-tier frame could be the answer. Double the rack means double the space for all your gear! 

6. YAKIMA Rack and Roll Trailer

YAKIMA 78-Inch Rack And Roll Trailer  - kayak trailer
  • Award: Best High-End Kayak Trailer 
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars 

Yakima Rack and Roll trailer – what a clever pun – is a highly functional, feature-rich, versatile trailer. The sleek but sturdy trailer boasts a relatively lightweight design, exceptional ease of use, and a multi-kayak capacity: 

The trailer’s aluminum construction weighs 161.2 pounds, has an extra-wide 78-inch crossbar, a 300-pound weight capacity, and a motorcycle-style shock-absorbing suspension system for smoother rides.  Great option if you’re looking at premium kayak trailers for two kayaks or more.

It’s fitted with a carrying handle, so you can quickly transform it into a hand cart, and locking levers on both the wheels and the tongue. These could potentially prevent theft while you’re out paddling. 

Technical Specs 

  • For up to 17-foot long kayaks or Canoes
  • Multi-kayak, 300-pound capacity 
  • Weighs 161.2 pounds 
  • Aluminum construction 

Pros: 

  • Extra-wide, 78-inch crossbars 
  • Adjustable, dual-spring shock absorbers 
  • Carrying handle for hand cart use
  • Stores upright when not in use 
  • Locking levers on wheels and tongue 

Cons: 

  • Thin wheels are prone to get stuck or damaged
  • Limited load capacity for a multi-kayak trailer
  • It’s a costly option
  • Additional carriers purchased separately

The Yakima Rack and Roll trailer packs some unique “bells and whistles.” If you can appreciate the versatility and extra features, this is the trailer for you!

7. Hobie – Trailer Hobie Alum Kayak

Hobie – Trailer Hobie Alum Kayak  - kayak trailer
  • Award: Best Two-Kayak Trailer
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars 
  • Price: 4/5 Stars 

The “bare bones” design doesn’t look very inspiring, but with the Hobie trailer, this can be an advantage. A few simple touches – and a couple of accessories – and you can customize this trailer any way you want! 

The 200-pound aluminum frame isn’t the lightest one you’ll find, but it’s still maneuverable enough. Moreover, with 550-pound carrying capacity and the ability to fit two inverted kayaks on its wide, 84-inch crossbars, you’re getting a versatile kayak-hauling platform. 

The 8-inch wheels could be a bit bigger – bigger wheels mean better off-road performance – but they hold up pretty well, nonetheless. 

Technical Specs 

  • For 18-foot long kayaks 
  • Two-kayak, 550-pound capacity 
  • Weighs 200 pounds 
  • Aluminum construction 

Pros: 

  • Has an impressive 550-pound capacity for a two-kayak trailer 
  • Versatile in terms of available accessories 
  • The 8-inch galvanized wheels hold up well 
  • Extra-wide 84-inch crossbars 

Cons: 

  • Way too expensive for what it offers
  • Assembly takes way more than the advertised 2 to 4 hours 
  • All accessories have to be purchased separately 

I can’t label the Hobie trailer as a “bad” option; it delivers as promised. However, I feel like it doesn’t offer anything innovative for the money. 

8. Rambo Bikes Canoe Trailer and Kayak Trailer

Rambo Bikes Canoe Trailer And Kayak Trailer  - kayak trailer
  • Award: Best Trailer For Bikes
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars 
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars 

Most kayak trailers on my list were made for hardcore use – big, bulky, and with a massive capacity – but not the Rambo Bikes Kayak Trailer: 

The frame’s steel construction and the mind-blowingly low, 29-pound weight are enough to set this one apart. More importantly, this agile kayak trailer doesn’t attach to your car; you haul this one with your bike! 

It’s best suited for kayaks up to 10 feet long and 3 feet wide, with the weight capacity ranging from 70 to 300 pounds, depending on whether you haul it by bike or by hand. 

Technical Specs 

  • For 8 to 10-foot long kayaks 
  • One-kayak, 70-pound capacity 
  • Weighs 29 pounds 
  • Steel construction 

Pros: 

  • Extremely lightweight at 29 pounds 
  • Decent load capacity for the size 
  • Features tie-down straps for security 
  • Padded contact points prevent scratches 
  • Can be used by hand 

Cons: 

  • You can’t attach it to a car for longer trips
  • It has a limited single-kayak capacity
  • Lacks any form of suspension  
  • Doesn’t feel as sturdy compared to the rest

Rambo Bikes Kayak Trailer has its limitations, but if you want a way to transport your kayak by bike – or even by hand – this is the trailer for you! 

Final Verdict Which of the Kayak Trailers Is The Best?

If you’re getting tired of car-topping your kayak, it might be time to pull the trigger and get one of the best kayak trailers

Which of the kayak trailers should I buy, you ask? 

My vote goes to the Malone MicroSport XT Trailer

The galvanized steel construction does make for a slightly heavier trailer, but the corrosion resistance and general sturdiness are worth it. Plus, with the addition of diamond-plate fenders and aluminum spoke 12-inch wheels, the MicroSport XT is one of the best-looking kayak trailers out there! 

You also get an 800-pound capacity, a long tongue length with the ability to fit four 20-foot kayaks on there. When it’s not in use, you can retract – or remove – the tongue for more accessible storage. 

From assembly to towing, when come to kayak trailers, the MicroSport XT trailer is convenience at its best!