A kayak bike trailer can refer to two common trailer themes. 1. A kayak cart with a hitch connected to a bike used for transporting a bike. 2. A custom designed dolly or mini trailer connecting to a bike.
While there is no major label that designs these such as Malone or Harbor freight. The market has been expanding greatly over the past few years has had many independent stores creating their own custom kayak bike trailers and marketing them through online sales.
Why do I need a kayak bike trailer?
The uses for the kayak bike trailer vary but the main ones are obvious and include convenience and transportation issues.
- Quick transport to local lakes/rivers/ sea 5-45 minutes away
- Less hassle than loading a roof rack
- Save gas and parking on small trips
- Easy storage
- Can carry other objects when not used for kayaks
- Some have the option for undercarriage storage
- Full body workout! (Work your legs pedaling, then work your arms paddling when you get there!)
Things you may need for your kayak bike trailer.
- A flag or bright object behind the bike trailer, this is to insure that drivers behind you can easily see the kayak and no one comes too close behind or to the side of you
- Reflective lighting, this is a great consideration that you may not care about while your biking to your destination but keep in mind if you stay out late… on your trip back you will be biking home in the dark and need some way to have your kayak bike trailer stand out, either get flashing LED lights or some sort of reflective lighting so no car passing by comes too close to the curb or where your biking, without these we do not recommend going on the road.
- Security is a big consideration, though some people think no one is going to steal a kayak bike trailer since its so unique you would be surprised. We have seen instances of 10 spot kayak trailers stolen, anything can be stolen we recommend you get a lock. A second bike lock may work this will secure your kayak bike trailer.
What are my buying options for kayak bike trailers?
The options for purchasing a kayak bike trailer get interesting. You have to decide on whether you buy something that has already been made expressly for a bike, or you can decide to get a kayak cart or mini trailer and get a separate hitch. This boils down to whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or whether you prefer to save the time and opt for a product made expressly for the kayak bike trailer purpose.
Here are the top selling kayak bike trailers on Amazon right now and reviews of both if you choose to buy.
Salamander Bike Trailer Review
- Has an adjustable 6’ to 18’ tow bike trailer attachment, this is perfect to use it as a kayak bike trailer and the videos online actually show it being used expressly for the purpose of towing a kayak.
- Has a rotation/swivel of 180 degrees, good on turns
- Has a small storage bag for putting any of your extra gear!
- Can be dismounted from bike and used as a kayak cart
Recommendation: This is a great little kayak bike trailer, it not only lets you carry your kayak and go through those turns without issue but it gives you a little extra space for storage. The only thing we could recommend this kayak bike trailer can do better is the safety on the back. Since there is no flag or reflective lighting you will have to make sure you don’t take this one back late at night. Or you could opt to go to home depot and pick up some reflective lighting and put the lights on the two back support beams above the tires, this would be a great improvement over the initial design as well as a warning flag so drivers don’t come too close. Aside from this little safety caveat we definitely recommend this kayak bike trailer.
- Can carry multiple items, canoes boats, SUP
- Anodized aluminum(This may be more of a weakness then a feature)
- Can carry items of up to 75 pounds and 15 feet
- Includes straps and bike harness, arms, hitch and cart (you need to assemble these yourself)
Recommendation: This is a very usable kayak bike trailer. It’s actually the most rated bike trailer on amazon and the majority of the reviews have been good. The issues are again with safety, this does not have any reflective lights and would require you to install your own as well a flag would do you well. The biggest complaint on this one is the aluminum being privy to a lot of rust. Try not to get any salt water on this thing or it will start to rust eventually and you may need to paint it within 2 -3 years dependent on how humid the climate is you have used it in and how much salt water you got on it. I would recommend this kayak bike trailer however I would also recommend getting some rust resistant paint and eventually painting over it to keep it new.
How can I make a kayak bike trailer with a kayak cart?
We have seen a lot of different devices used for kayak trailers but the most popular do it yourself option has been using a kayak cart with a hitch that attaches to the back of the bike with a possible rope device holding your kayak up. This isn’t too hard to do and there are a number of places and sites that sell hitches the only issue here is this is best for a smaller kayak once you get to the larger 14” kayaks the weight increases and makes this a little less feasible, you wouldent want the string snapping midway through biking.
The Kayak Cart and Hitch Build
Kayak Cart Recommendations
It’s easy to just buy a kayak cart however the harder part will be building a hitch to the cart, but if you’re a doit-yourselfer you can use a range of different home depot products including pvc pipe and rock climbing mounts to connect to the backside of your bike.
There are a few kayak carts you can pick up for this task we recommend the following one since its had the most positive reviews and highest loading capacity for its price range.
Malone Clipper Deluxe Universal Kayak Cart
Click Here to See the Malone Clipper Deluxe Cart for $95 On Amazon
The Bike Rack Build
This is a bit of a harder one to recommend. There are a lot of do-it-yourself options for a hitch. A possibility is the bike rack hitch.
- Add a normal bike rack onto the back side of your bike
- Secure a length of tubing preferably square, a large diameter of pvc pipe or a rounded tube or something that you can bolt to the back of your bike rack and extend to about 1.5 / 1 foot past the rack
- Attach a length of chain or a rope that will hang down for the end
- Suspend the front side of your kayak if it has one mount point, you could use something like a ubolt or something similar if it does not you can put one upon it and some large washers on either sides so it will not pull through the top
- Use rock climbing hooks at the end of the rope or chain so it’s easier to hook to your kayak mounting point.
- You will probably need to play around with measurements to make it perfect.
Road safety tips for your kayak bike trailer.
This is a big one that everyone takes for granted. Safety. Your hauling a 75+ pound kayak down a road on a bike, wearing a helmet isn’t going to cut it!
- Reflective lighting. This is a big one I try to stress, the issue here is if it’s starting to get late and your biking back some drivers aren’t going to be able to notice you and you risk an accident. Some reflective lighting on the back of your kayak bike trailer or if you decided to make your own kayak bike trailer you can outfit it as you so choose. This can be bought at any hardware store or bike store so don’t be shy!
- Flag or alert. Some kayakers use different caution flags. These can be mounted on the back of your kayak bike trailer or the kayak itself and serve as a warning to drivers not to get too close. Sometimes if the kayak is dragging too low a driver of a larger vehicle such as a truck can get to close and actually drive over your kayak. Avoid this!