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What Are the Different Types of Kayak Carts?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Kayak carts help a kayaker transport the vessel over land to the water with ease. These carts usually feature wheels of various styles mounted to frames that temporarily attach to the kayak. The method by which the cart is secured to the kayak will vary by model, as will the size and shape of the wheels. Kayak carts usually allow a person to pull the kayak by hand, though some carts can work in conjunction with a bicycle to allow for even easier movement of the very long kayak vessel.

Plug-in kayak carts feature wheels mounted to a frame with upright posts that slide into specially designed holes on the bottom of the kayak. This is a very stable and easy system, though it will only work with kayaks designed to receive the posts of plug-in kayak carts. The wheels included on this type of cart can vary; wider, balloon-type wheels are designed for use over rough terrain and especially in muddy conditions, though they will be more expensive than other types of wheels. Hard plastic wheels are durable and less expensive, but not as good at handling muddy conditions.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Strap kayak carts feature a cradle-like frame on which the kayak will sit, and straps that run over the top decking of the kayak to secure it in place. This method is fairly easy to use as well, though there are more moving parts than a plug-in cart and it may be slightly more difficult to secure the kayak in place at first. The straps will need to be secured over the kayak, which means care must be taken not to scratch the kayak or overtighten the straps, potentially leading to damage to the hull or deck. The cradle of the cart will usually feature some sort of padding to protect the hull from scratches or dents.

If you plan on taking the cart with you when you go boating, you may want to consider folding kayak carts that can be stowed on board. These carts tend to be fairly lightweight and compact, and they are hinged or otherwise designed to break down easily so they can lay flat under the rigging on the kayak. These types of kayak carts will not be as heavy duty as other versions, so they will not handle transport over rough terrain as easily, but they are lightweight enough to be taken on the boat and transported with ease.

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