Best Kayak Trailer 2021

Mooring Marine is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Kayaks are a great way to explore the outdoors. They’re relatively cheap (at least compared to a motorboat), are built to last forever, are light enough to carry short distances, give you a great workout, and are incredibly easy to transport.

That being said, a hardshell kayak is hard to move around! unless you have a large 8-foot truck bed or an expensive roof rack built for kayaks, you’re going to need a kayak trailer unless your backyard is a river.

In today’s comparison, we’re going to break down and compare some of the best kayak trailers on the market. From sleek double-deckers that can hold 4 to 5 kayaks to small, lightweight trailers that your 4 or 6-cylinder family sedan can tow, we’ve got the low-down on the best quality, best deals, and most versatile trailers.

We’ll begin with the Best Kayak Trailer available, the Right-On Multi-Rack Trailer.


Best Kayak Trailer

Name
Top Choice!
Right-On Multi-Rack
Runner-Up
Malone MicroSport
Budget Pick
MaxxHaul Extender
Malone Microsport w Carriers
Right-On Ruff-Sport
Preview
Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer by Right On Durable Transporting Trailer for Kayaks, Sups, Canoes, Bicycles and More
Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks, Canoes and Bikes
MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Pick Up Truck Bed Extender For Ladder, Rack, Canoe, Kayak, Long Pipes and Lumber) , Black , 37 x 19 x 3 inches
Malone Auto Racks MicroSport Trailer Kayak Transport Package with 4 Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers
Ruff-Sport Trailer - Galvanized Finish for Kayak, Bicycle, and SUP
Price on Amazon
$1,800.00
$1,799.10
$69.99
$2,330.10
$1,099.99
Top Choice!
Name
Right-On Multi-Rack
Preview
Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer by Right On Durable Transporting Trailer for Kayaks, Sups, Canoes, Bicycles and More
Price on Amazon
$1,800.00
View on Amazon
Runner-Up
Name
Malone MicroSport
Preview
Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks, Canoes and Bikes
Price on Amazon
$1,799.10
View on Amazon
Budget Pick
Name
MaxxHaul Extender
Preview
MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Pick Up Truck Bed Extender For Ladder, Rack, Canoe, Kayak, Long Pipes and Lumber) , Black , 37 x 19 x 3 inches
Price on Amazon
$69.99
View on Amazon
Name
Malone Microsport w Carriers
Preview
Malone Auto Racks MicroSport Trailer Kayak Transport Package with 4 Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers
Price on Amazon
$2,330.10
View on Amazon
Name
Right-On Ruff-Sport
Preview
Ruff-Sport Trailer - Galvanized Finish for Kayak, Bicycle, and SUP
Price on Amazon
$1,099.99
View on Amazon

Our Top Pick: Right-On Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer

Right-On Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer

Key Points at a Glance

  • 12-inch galvanized wheels.
  • Can support up to four kayaks with appropriate hardware.
  • 800-pound weight capacity.
  • Transports up to 4 kayaks
  • Aluminum frame

The Details

Right-On Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer

Right-On is one of the best up-and-coming lightweight trailer brands on the market. While they don’t quite have the long track record of some of the more established brands, in the short amount of time they’ve been in business, they’ve developed an exceptional reputation for quality, aesthetic appearance, and ingenuity.

Their Mult-Rack kayak trailer embodies all of these characteristics and really caught our eye with its ingenious double-decker system that allows the user to stack multiple kayaks on top of each other.

You can easily fit four kayaks on this bad boy with minimal effort. Another great advantage of the double-decker design is that it provides more anchor points for straps so that you can ensure your kayaks are safe and secure.

Right-On Kayak Trailer

Going solo or just want a lower profile? You can easily remove the second tier of the rack and the trailer will look and function just like your typical single-level kayak trailer.

The best part? This versatile trailer is actually very cost-efficient. You would expect a trailer like this to cost thousands. However, it’s considerably more affordable than many of the other single-level trailers that we looked at.

One of the other features that we really liked about the Right-On Multi-Rack kayak trailer is its versatility. The top rack can be outfitted with a number of accessories designed to hold bicycles, surfboards, and more!

Now, you’ll finally be able to go on that long-awaited Grand Canyon trip to kayak and take advantage of some world-class mountain biking.

Last but not least, we have to mention the aesthetics of the Right-On Multi-Rack. It features a thick black powder-coat that’s designed to stand the test of time whether it’s being hit with sand, road debris, or saltwater.

This is the best kayak trailer around.


Our Runner Up: Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer

Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer

Key Points at a Glance

  • Can support up to 4 kayaks
  • 12-inch galvanized wheels. 
  • 800-pound weight capacity
  • Max Kayak length 20′

The Details

Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer

The Malone MicroSport Trailer is our runner up choice for Kayak transport. And you’ll be seeing the Malone name all over this article to come. That’s because they really are one of the best lightweight trailer brands on the market.

While this particular trailer may look simple and a bit bland in terms of appearance, its really a powerhouse when it comes to durability and weight capacity.

The MicroSport trailer is built to easily hold up to 800 pounds worth of kayaks and features an extra-long design so that you can put extra-large kayaks (or canoes) on it without a worry on your mind.

The entire trailer is galvanized- wheels, axle, and hardware. This means that you’ll never have to worry about rust! This makes it an excellent choice for saltwater kayakers.

The MicroSport trailer is priced pretty well, is easy to assemble, and works well. It’s our runner-up among the best kayak trailers.

Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks, Canoes and Bikes
  • Transports 4 kayaks up to 20' long (800 lb....
  • Galvanized steel frame with 60" aluminum cross...
  • 54" galvanized axle with sealed hubs & wheels...
  • Easily assembles in 2-3 hours with award winning...
  • 12" galvanized slotted wheels with chrome acorn...

Best Budget: MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender

MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender

Key Points at a Glance

  • Designed to work with standard 2-inch hitch receivers.
  • Features reflective tape for maximum visibility and safety.
  • Doubles as table support.
  • Galvanized steel bars.
  • Weighs just under 35 pounds.
  • Utilizes quick-release pins for easy setup/takedown.
  • Compatible with almost any vehicle.
  • Adjustible length and width for any size kayak.

The Details

MaxxHaul 70231 Extender for Kayaks

So, you want to take your kayak out, but you don’t want to invest $1,000 or more into buying an expensive trailer, and you’re not able to strap the kayak to the roof of your vehicle…

If this is you, then the MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender is an excellent choice! This ultra-lightweight accessory is designed to plug directly into your vehicles 2-inch hitch reciever (standard on most trucks and SUVs).

It may only weigh 34.5 pounds, but the durable galvanized steel arms can easily support over 100 pounds of weight.

Essentially, this system allows you “extend” the length of your bed by an extra 3 feet. It may not sound like much, but this is usually the exact length you’ll need to fit a long kayak or canoe in the back of your truck. Whether you’re working with a short 6-foot truck bed or you have an SUV with a small trunk, you’ll be able to support half of your kayak with your vehicle whiel the other half is supported by the bed extender.

The thing that we like the most about this particular truck bed extender is that you’re able to shorten and widen the length of the support bars to ensure a snug fit on your kayak. This ensures that you don’t have to worry about your boat bumping around and getting damaged whenever you go over bumps in the road or rocky terrain.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that the truck bed extender can also double as a table support! Simply flip the side support arms upside-down and you’ll have two table legs. Not only will you be able to take your kayak on an adventure, but you’ll also be able to have a sit-down lunch when you get back from a tiring day of kayaking.

Pretty cool!

MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Pick Up Truck Bed Extender For Ladder, Rack, Canoe, Kayak, Long Pipes and Lumber) , Black , 37 x 19 x 3 inches
  • Extends your truck bed for carrying longer...
  • Adjustable length and width gives versatility for...
  • Features 4 quick release clevis pins for quick...
  • Reflective tape on front and sides for visibility...
  • Side arms can be folded down creating the supports...

Best for Multiple Kayaks: Malone MicroSport Transport Package with 4 Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers

Malone MicroSport Transport Package with 4 Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers

Key Points at a Glance

  • Comes with 4 kayak holders.
  • Fits standard 2-inch trailer hitches.
  • Weighs only 197 pounds.
  • Supports up to 350 pounds of kayaks.
  • Made with durable galvanized steel.
  • Pre-fitted electrical/light assembly

The Details

If you’re in a kayaking club or your whole family is into kayaking, then you need a trailer that’s able to hold enough boats for everybody! This award-winning trailer system utilizes Malone’s high-quality MicroSport trailer base, but comes with 4 additional J-Pro holding mounts!

These mounts are designed to hold your kayaks at a slight angle, which is what allows enough space to hold all 4 kayaks comfortably. This differs from most kayak trailers with standard V-shape racks that require the kayaks to be laid flat side-by-side, taking up more space.

Although it may sound like a trailer like this would be fairly heavy, Malone is committed to making their trailers as versatile and compatible as possible.

This kayak trailer weights less than 200 pounds and can be easily towed by a small truck, SUV, or even your small sedan!

It can hold up to 350 pounds worth of kayaks and gear. This means that you can load your kayaks up with as much extra accessories as you need. It’s designed to work with your typical 2-inch trailer hitches found on most American trucks and SUVs.

Apart from its impressive technical features, the Malone MicroSport base trailer is made of some seriously heavy-duty materials. The frame is constructed with 100% galvanized steel that’s as corrosion-resistant as it is strong. This makes it the perfect choice for kayakers who regularly use their trailers in an ocean or saltwater environment.

The pre-fitted lighting and electrical lines are also sealed against water to prevent any corrosion on the interior.

Malone Auto Racks MicroSport Trailer Kayak Transport Package with 4 Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers
  • Easily transports 4 kayaks without having to lift...
  • Marine grade pre-galvanized steel frame, 78" wide...
  • Includes 4 Malone J-Pro2 Kayak Carriers, Five-year...
  • 78" coated steel cross rails (fits most...
  • 197 lbs. (base trailer), 350 lb. capacity,...

Best for Versatility: Right-On Ruff-Sport Trailer

Right-On Ruff-Sport Trailer

Key Points at a Glance

  • Large 12-inch wheels
  • Built-in tongue stand
  • Built with durable galvanized steel
  • 64-inch wide cross bars
  • Low-vibration leaf springs
  • Affordable price point

The Details

Right-On Ruff-Sport Trailer

If you’re looking for a small affordable trailer that’s easy to assemble and perfect for short-range road trips, then Right-On’s Ruff-Sport trailer is a great option. What makes it such a versatile option is its 64-inch-long crossbars.

Unlike other trailers which feature thick bars that are only meant for holding boats or boards, the Ruff-Sport trailer features circular bars that are fully compatible with most roof-rack accessories. This means that you can throw bikes, your kayak fishfinder, extra tie-down points, and accessories on with little to no effort.

The one drawback that we were able to find about this particular trailer was that it doesn’t come with a spot for license plates.

If you live in a state that doesn’t require small trailers to have separate plates, then this shouldn’t be a big deal. However, if your state does require small trailers to have plates, then you’ll need to get an aftermarket license plate holder installed

Aside from this one drawback, though, the Ruff-Sport is built to last. The frame is made from a sturdy galvanized steel that’s designed to be corrosion-resistant and can stand up to the wear and tear presented by salty climates. It’s worth noting that the nuts, bolts, and hardware are not galvanized, so be sure to hose down your trailer after taking it for a dip in the saltwater, or just avoid the salt altogether.

A nice final touch that Right-On included in this trailer is the built-in tongue stand. This keeps your trailer standing upright when you’re not using it (and protects the hitch) and also allows you to load and strap down your kayaks prior to connecting the trailer to your truck.

Ruff-Sport Trailer - Galvanized Finish for Kayak, Bicycle, and SUP
  • Galvanized steel frame with large 4.80 x 12"...
  • Carry fishing kayaks, boards, SUP's, bicycles, and...
  • Crossbars (64" wide) supports all roof rack...
  • Fold up locking tongue stand and LED Lights come...
  • Soft springs and a sturdy frame to absorb road...

Best Kayak Trailer Buyer’s Guide

Who Should Buy a Kayak Trailer

Most people who buy kayaks buy them because they want the freedom of being able to go out on the water whenever and wherever they want. But one of the big pains in the you-know-where is kayak transport. Sure, there are inflatable kayaks, and folding kayaks, but  there’s just something really nice about a standard hardshell kayak. The big problem with hardshells is getting them to the water.

For short trips- it’s easy. Just throw your kayak in the back of your pickup truck or kayak roof rack, tie it down with a length of rope, and you’re good to go. Assuming you have a pickup truck or a kayak roof rack.

What about when you have two kayaks, though? Or how about a couple of kayaks and an inflatable pontoon boat?

Having a lightweight, versatile kayak trailer is essential if you really want to live a life of adventure. You’ll be able to load up multiple kayaks (as long as your trailer has room) and other things like bikes, canoes, surfboards, and paddleboard, and then go on a week-long adventure to a completely different place!

Important Features to Consider

Let’s take a look at some of the most important features to keep an eye out for while you’re shopping for your next kayak trailer.

How Many Kayaks You Have

If you just have one or two kayaks, then you’ll probably be just fine with a small sport trailer. However, if you have multiple kayaks, then you might want to consider options like the Malone MicroSport trailer that comes with four kayak racks or the double-decker Right-On Multi-Rack.

Trailer Weight

If you want to maximize your fuel efficiency and minimize the wear and tear on your vehicle, then selecting a kayak trailer with the appropriate weight is an important step. While some kayak trailers are so light that you can tow them with a Honda Civic (literally), heavier trailers may require you to have a small truck with at least a V6 or 4-Cylinder EcoBoost engine.

It’s also important to factor in the width and height of the trailer. If your loaded trailer is taller than the vehicle towing it, then your kayaks may get more wind force (meaning you’ll have to strap them down more securely), and your fuel economy will be decreased. The same thing can be expected if your kayak trailer is wider than the width of your car.

Trailer Versatility and Available Attachments

There’s nothing quite like having a fully versatile trailer that you can use to take all of your favorite toys out with. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who doesn’t like to put a limit on how much fun they have, then selecting a versatile trailer or a trailer that can be outfitted with different attachments is a must.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions that we’ve seen from customers.

Can I Tow A Kayak Trailer With My Car?

One of the nice things about kayaks and kayak trailers is how lightweight they are! Most of the trailers we’ve reviewed in this article weigh less than 350 or 400 pounds which means that 9 times out of 10, you’ll be able to tow them with your small sedan.

That being said, if you’re hoping to tow your kayak trailer with your daily-driver, then you’ll need to install an aftermarket tow hitch system. This can usually be done at a local auto body or moving/trailer shop such as a U-Haul Dealership and typically costs between $400-800 depending on where you’re located.

Will A Kayak Trailer Decrease My Fuel-Efficiency?

The answer to this is yes. Pretty much anything that decreases your aerodynamics will have at least a slight effect on your overall fuel efficiency. While it usually won’t make a huge difference, you’ll definitely notice a decrease of 2-5 miles-per-gallon when it comes to your gas usage.

Can I Use My Kayak Trailer In Saltwater?

While many kayak owners primarily use their kayaks in freshwaters like lakes and rivers, coastal dwellers often use their kayaks in the ocean or brackish saltwater. Saltwater is typically corrosive and if your trailer doesn’t have durable corrosion-resistant parts, then it may be vulnerable to rust and/or paint chipping.

If you plan on using your kayak trailer in salt water, then it’s important to make sure that you buy a stainless steel or aluminum trailer with sealed, waterproof lights for when you back it into the water.

Additionally, try to hose down your entire trailer with fresh water after using it in the saltwater. This will help maintain the integrity of the paint/coatings, and prevent rust from developing.


Other Products We Looked At:

Malone XtraLight Trailer Package with 2 V-Kayak Racks

Malone XtraLight Trailer Package with 2 V-Kayak Racks
If you don’t need a versatile trailer that can be modified to hold bikes, surfboards, and such, then Malone’s XtraLight trailer is a great option for the average kayak enthusiast.

The best feature of the XtraLight trailer is probably its built-in kayak racks. It includes 2 V-shaped racks designed to hold 2 kayaks. Each rack is wide enough to fit even extra-wide fishing kayaks facing hull-down. The mounting system also features a built-in strap so that you don’t have to put extra thought and effort into tying everything down.

Despite its relatively small size and 275-pound weight capacity, the Malone XtraLight trailer is fully capable of making long journeys. It’s 8-inch wheels may be small, but they’re rated for high speeds so you don’t have to worry about driving slow on your way to your favorite kayaking destination.

The wheels are also galvanized (an uncommon but appreciated feature) which means that they can go in and out of saltwater all day without corroding.

Key Points at a Glance

  • 275-pound weight load.
  • Built-in kayak racks with strap.
  • 8-inch galvanized wheels rated for high speeds.
Malone XtraLight Trailer Package with 2 V-Kayak Racks
Malone XtraLight Trailer Package with 2 V-Kayak Racks
Weight Capacity: 275 lbs. 5-year manufacturer's warranty. Made in USA.

Malone Auto Racks Cross Bar System

Malone Auto Racks Cross Bar System

While this isn’t exactly a trailer, the Malone Cross Bar System is designed to turn your average utility trailer into the ultimate sports trailer.

This affordable system features two racks that can be mounted on any utility trailer with a raised side rail. Simply bolt the supports onto the side rail, fasten the nuts and bolts, and screw in the top bars. All-in-all, it shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes to install!

Need your trailer back to use for work? Simply loosen the fastening bolts, remove the bars, fold them up and throw them in your shed or the back of your truck.

One of the more thoughtful features of this crossbar system is that once installed, it’s designed to allow enough space for a full-sized 4-wheeler or a couple of dirt bikes to fit underneath. The bars can be positioned as far apart or close together as you want in order to accommodate a wide range of toys.

Bikes, surfboards, paddleboards, skis, snowboards- you name it. They’ll all fit as long as you get the appropriate hardware!

The only disadvantage of the system is that it can rattle a bit since it’s bolted directly onto the metal frame of your utility trailer. While this doesn’t affect the integrity of the system, it could result in some unwanted road noise. If you want to minimize this, you can wrap the crossbars with some foam tubing or rubber to minimize vibration sustained by your kayaks.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Lightweight racks can be easily installed or removed.
  • Compatible with most utility trailers.
  • Made with durable galvanized steel.
Malone Auto Racks Top Tier Utility Trailer Cross Bar System
Malone Auto Racks Top Tier Utility Trailer Cross Bar System
Dramatically increase utility trailer payload capacity; Easily installs to any utility trailer with raised side rails
$359.09

Conclusion

Kayaking is one of the most rewarding water sports you can get involved in! As long as you’re near a river, ocean, lake, or even a small pond, you’ll be able to find hours of fun and adventure. You’ll also get a heck of a workout while you’re at it!

Purchasing a kayak trailer is an often-overlooked part of owning a kayak and many first-timers neglect to buy one with their kayak. While you don’t necessarily need one, if you plan on leaving your backyard and finding some real adventure, then you’re going to want one!

We hope this guide has been helpful and informative! Stay tuned for more buyer guides and comparisons on some of the hottest marine equipment on the market.

Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks, Canoes and Bikes
Malone MicroSport Sports Trailer for Kayaks, Canoes and Bikes
Transports 4 kayaks up to 20' long (800 lb. capacity); Galvanized steel frame with 60" aluminum cross rails
$1,799.10