Are you looking for an easy way to get your kayak in and out of water? Kayak landing kits provide an accessible way to launch and land your kayak.
- Why Get Kayak Landing Gear?
- Types of Kayak Landing Gear
- Things to Look for in a Kayak Landing Kit or Cart
Best Kayak Landing Gear
- 1. Boonedox Groovy Landing Gear Standard Kit
- 2. Boonedox Groovy Landing Gear Kit for Hobie Pro Angler
- 3. Bonnlo Kayak Cart Canoe Dolly Fishing Kayak Carrier
- 4. GanFindX Lightweight & Quick-Detachable Sit-on-Top Kayak Trolley Cart
- 5. GanFindX Portable Aluminum Kayak Cart Dolly With Wide-Body Solid Tires and Feet
- 6. Bonnlo Kayak Beach Cart with Balloon Wheels
- 7. RAILBLAZA C-Tug With SandTrakz Wheels
- 8. Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart
- 9. KayakLanding Landing Kit
- 10. Native SideKick Wheel Transport System
- 11. Boonedox Groovy Landing Gear, Shoalie Kit
- Wrapping It Up
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In this article, we will discuss different types of landing gear and give you a list of the best landing gear kits you can buy on Amazon and elsewhere.
Why Get Kayak Landing Gear?
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Kayak landing kits or carts are very useful for solo kayakers who don’t have anybody to help them get their kayaks to the water.
Kayaks can get heavy when carrying them alone for long periods, and you need to conserve that energy for paddling.
Even if you park close to the shore, you’ll still need to carry your kayak to and from your car; you can seldom park right by the water.
However, you can use a kayak cart to wheel your kayak straight out of the water and right up to your car. Kayak landing gear is also useful for launching your kayak.
For example, the type of landing system that attaches to piers and docks will help you get into your kayak without worrying about it flipping over as you get in and out.
Types of Kayak Landing Gear
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Kayak landing gear generally refers to equipment that makes it easier to land your gear on the shore, get it out of the water, and transport it on land.
They come in various forms. Some kayak landing kits are nothing more than a set of wheels that you can attach to your kayak and roll it into the water.
Usually, those wheels swing over your kayak once you get into the water, and you swing them down again when you want to land. There are also kayak carts, which are carts you can use to wheel your kayak to and from the shore.
These carts do not attach directly to your kayak like the previous type, but rather are separate pieces of equipment that you can put your kayak on while wheeling it to the water.
You can also slide your kayak onto them when getting out of the water. Kayak carts are extremely practical when you are on a solo kayak trip and need a way to get your kayak from point A to point B without tiring yourself out.
More elaborate landing gear can be attached directly to piers or docks and provide a stable platform for your kayak to rest while you get in and out of it.
If you’re a senior, check out our helpful article on getting in and out of the kayak as an older adult. Kayak landing gear can also refer to gear that helps you unload your kayak from your car rack.
However, they are more commonly called lift-assist systems, and we will not be covering them in this article. We discuss easy-load kayak racks in another article.
Things to Look for in a Kayak Landing Kit or Cart
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Choosing the right kayak cart or landing kit isn’t always easy. Here are some things you should search for in your kayak landing kit or cart.
There are different types of kayak carts. Some kayak carts have two poles that you slide into the scupper holes of your kayak.
These make sure the kayak is firmly held in place, but the problem is that only certain kayaks are supported. While sit-on-top kayaks typically have scupper holes, sit-in kayaks usually do not.
Furthermore, these types of carts damage your kayak easily. You can also find kayak carts that have a place to rest the kayak, whether bars, cradles, or pads, and provide straps to secure it in place.
These carts are best for sit-in kayaks that don’t have scupper holes. However, you will need to ensure the kayak is securely strapped into place, or else it might slide off during transport and get damaged.
Some carts are unique in that you can mount them directly onto your kayak. You can then swing the wheels up once on the water.
Most kayak carts don’t make it that easy, though, as you need to get your kayak on and off the cart while getting in and out of the water.
In addition, you need a place to store such carts; you might have to take off the wheels or disassemble it to store it in your kayak hatch.
Finally, some landing kits mount directly onto a pier, but if you’re a traveler who often launches from different spots, it’s not going to be very useful.
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Most kayak carts come with airless wheels that allow you to transport the kayak on different types of terrain.
Large balloon-style wheels are common as well – these large wheels might be more expensive, but they make it easier to wheel the cart on muddy ground.
However, they have disadvantages as well. Balloon wheels can get punctured, and dealing with a flat tire on your cart is never fun. Furthermore, you might have to carry a pump around with you.
Since the wheels are bigger, they are also harder to store inside your hatch.
Make sure the cart has corrosion resistant aluminum rods. Otherwise, it will rust easily, especially if you use the cart in the water. You should also store your cart in a cool and dry place when not in use.
Foam or Rubber Padding
Using a cart can damage your kayak if you’re not careful. Make sure any cart you get has foam or rubber padding around the aluminum rods in strategic places to avoid damaging your kayak.
If it is a cart that has rods that go into your scupper holes, look for plastic gaskets around the rods to protect your kayak’s hull.
It can be hard to find a cart that fits your kayak exactly. Fortunately, many carts are adjustable, regardless of style.
You should be able to adjust the width between the two poles in the case of carts for sit-on-top kayaks with scupper holes or adjust the width of the cradle in the case of carts for sit-in kayaks.
Warranty and Return Policy
A good kayak cart will come with a warranty that allows you to replace the item if it is faulty. A good warranty will last for at least six months, although many products have warranties that last for two years or more.
Furthermore, a generous return policy shows that the seller is confident in their product.
Best Kayak Landing Gear
1. Boonedox Groovy Landing Gear Standard Kit
This Boonedox landing kit is a set of wheels that attach to your kayak, making it easy to get it in and out of water.
It supports up to 180 pounds of weight and provides enough clearance between the ground and your kayak to avoid damaging it during transport to and from the shore.
Mounting the wheels is easy and doesn’t require you to flip over your kayak.
The kit comes with a few basic components, including D-clips, a bungee pack, and other elements that you can easily put together, although it might require some modification depending on the type of kayak you have.
2. Boonedox Groovy Landing Gear Kit for Hobie Pro Angler
This Boonedox landing gear kit is designed for Hobie Pro Angler kayaks, such as the Hobie Pro Angler 12 and the Hobie Pro Angler 14.
It carries up to 180 pounds, and it’s easy to launch your kayak and swing your wheels up once you get into the water. When you need to get your kayak out of the water and land it on shore, you can simply swing your wheels back down.
Once it’s out of the water, transport is easy.
Instructions on how to install the landing gear kit come in the box, although you can also find instructional tutorials on YouTube if you need video-based instruction.
3. Bonnlo Kayak Cart Canoe Dolly Fishing Kayak Carrier
This lightweight fishing kayak carrier is made of sturdy aluminum that is covered in foam bumpers in strategic spots to protect your kayak and accessories from damage.
The no-flat airless tires make it possible to wheel the kayak cart on any kind of terrain, whether you’re on the beach or your front lawn.
The 200-pound weight limit makes it easy to transport most kayaks to the water. Once you get to the shore, you might be wondering where to store the cart – but this one is foldable.
You can simply fold it up, detach the wheels, and store it in your kayak’s hatch. Then, once you’re done with your trip, take it out and use it to roll your kayak away from the shore; slide the wheels on the axles and secure them with the provided pins.
The double kickstand helps with stability, but one of the best features is the spring-loaded stand that helps you prop the cart onshore when loading your kayak out of the water.
Use the two 12-feet straps to secure your kayak on the cart once you load it out of the water.
4. GanFindX Lightweight & Quick-Detachable Sit-on-Top Kayak Trolley Cart
This kayak cart is designed for sit-on-top kayaks that have scupper or plug holes, as the vertical poles of the trolley go into the holes when transporting it.
The cart is made of industrial-grade aluminum, meaning it is long-lasting, and the wheels are airless and won’t get flat.
The wheels have strong spokes and can be used to transport your kayak on sand, gravel, wooded areas, and more.
The two vertical bars coming out of the trolley are adjustable, allowing for the transport of sit-on-top kayaks of different widths.
It is always easy to assemble the trolley, as it comes with just a few parts that you can easily put together in less than a minute. The blue metal gaskets on the bars help protect the hull of your kayak from damage.
When getting your kayak out of the water, lift it up and then place it on the poles of the trolley.
Alternatively, flip the kayak on the side and then stick the poles in, uprighting the kayak and trolley together and then wheeling them away.
5. GanFindX Portable Aluminum Kayak Cart Dolly With Wide-Body Solid Tires and Feet
This kayak cart has an interesting design. It comes with two plastic plates with strong suction cups to keep your kayak in place during transport.
There are also tightening belts to help you fasten your kayak in place. The crossbar to which the plates are attached can be adjusted, so the cart fits most kayaks, although very wide kayaks might not fit.
You can also adjust the plastic plates themselves to fit the curvature of your particular kayak.
The cart itself is made of corrosion-resistant industrial-grade aluminum and high-quality plastic, allowing you to use it in any kind of weather condition and even wheel it into the water.
The airless tires are eight inches wide and have no chemical smell; they are strong and durable, allowing for transport on any kind of terrain.
The cart comes with feet that allow you to stabilize the cart while loading and unloading the kayak. You can easily slide the kayak out of the water and onto the cart.
6. Bonnlo Kayak Beach Cart with Balloon Wheels
This kayak cart is perfect for the beach and sandy areas around rivers. If you enjoy ocean kayaking, it’s a great option.
The big balloon wheels are 12 inches wide, and while they are perfect for sand, they work well on other types of terrain, such as lawns and rough terrain, as well.
With a 165-pound weight limit, you can use this cart to transport most kayaks. It is easy to take apart and put together the cart; you don’t need any equipment to do so.
Thus, you can store the cart in your kayak hatch while on the water. The cart is made of aluminum pipe anodized stainless steel with foam bumpers on the arms to protect your kayak from damage.
It has a spring-loaded stand that keeps the dolly in place while you are loading your kayak out of the water and onto the cart.
There are also two ratchet straps that come with the dolly which you can use to keep your kayak firmly in place during transport, so it doesn’t slide off. This product comes with a two-year warranty.
7. RAILBLAZA C-Tug With SandTrakz Wheels
This kayak cart comes with extra-large puncture-free wheels that you can use on sandy beaches – according to the seller, it requires half the effort while rolling it on sand compared to a regular kayak cart.
In addition, the outer rims compress when in use, making them perfect for soft surfaces like sand.
However, they are very efficient on hard surfaces as well, and their design makes the transition from soft to hard surfaces and vice versa easy.
The aluminum is corrosion-free, so you can use it in water, and there are two adjustable pads on which to place your kayak. Simply roll it into and out of the water as needed.
The cart is small and can fit into most kayak hatches, making it easy to store it when on the water. It takes just a few seconds to dismantle it, so you won’t waste any time doing that.
Its weight also makes it easy to store – it weighs just 10 pounds. At the same time, it supports up to 300 pounds of load. I’t comes with the C-Tug Kickstand, which is compatible with all C-Tug models, not just this one.
8. Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart
If you need to transport a heavy kayak, you might find that many kayak carts and landing gear systems are not sufficient.
For example, the Boonedox landing gear kit only has a weight capacity of 180 pounds – what if your kayak weighs 300 pounds, and you have extra gear to add to that? In that case, this heavy-duty kayak card from Wilderness Systems is for you.
It supports up to 450 pounds in weight. It uses a unique bunker-bar style cradle that fits into the contours of a kayak’s hull to keep it in place.
Not only that, but it has two settings – low and high – and it comes with two straps to fasten your kayak into place. You can dismantle it easily and store it in your kayak’s hatch.
9. KayakLanding Landing Kit
This landing kit from KayakLanding is one of the most useful kits to have if you are a solo kayaker who needs help launching your kayak from docks and landing them once you finish your trip.
It comes in two styles: the Bent Tube J Cradle and the Welded Square J Cradle. The Bent Tube J Cradle is for kayaks and canoes that are not wider than 31 inches.
It features two galvanized bent tube J-cradles, cross member planks, and pivoting hull boar brackets.
It takes around an hour and a half to assemble the system. It is easy to attach and mount it to any typical pier.
The Welded Square J Cradle system is also for kayaks and canoes up to 31 inches in width. However, the Bent Tube system is for when the distance between the pier and the water is 12 to 42 inches.
On the other hand, the Welded Square system is for shorter distances between the water and pier – even less than 12 inches (although the maximum is also 42 inches).
Once mounted to a dock or pier, the system provides stable support for your kayak – with enough stability for you to stand in your kayak while it is still on the cradles.
Getting in and out of the kayak is easy, and there are grab-hold bars to make it easier. Simply place your kayak inside the cradle, get into it, and push yourself out with your hands once you are ready to launch.
Landing the kayak is just as easy. Simply slide your kayak into the cradles, using the bars to control your movement and pull yourself in.
Then, just stand out and get onto the dock or pier it is attached to. It’s a bit expensive, though, and it’s best if you have a regular pier that you always use, as you can install it and just leave it there.
If it seems too pricey, consider financing. The site allows you to pay with monthly installments using financing that is easy to qualify for, making it a bit easier to afford.
10. Native SideKick Wheel Transport System
This wheel transport system, by Native, is designed for Native kayaks and watercraft. It is made to make it easy to transport your kayak to and from the water.
It is a bit heavy, so it will add a bit of weight to your kayak while on the water, but it’s still worth it.
The cart can withstand the weight of all supported Native kayaks plus some tackle gear. There is an optional upgrade that will include support for all Propel models except for two – the Manta Ray and LT models.
Native has a generous return policy for the SideKick Wheel Transport System, allowing you to return the item within 10 days, as long as it is not damaged and still unused.
However, you will have to pay for shipping unless you bring it back to the store in Fletcher, North Carolina, in person. The product is designed for Native kayaks only.
11. Boonedox Groovy Landing Gear, Shoalie Kit
This landing gear kit is designed for Shoalie fishing kayaks. It attaches easily to your fishing kayak, with the wheels swinging up and staying out of the way while kayaking and fishing.
You can swing them down once you want to land, just like other Boonedox landing kits. Similarly, it has a weight limit of 180 pounds and provides excellent ground clearance.
Wrapping It Up
Even if your kayak cart is made of corrosion-free aluminum, it is still important to wash it off with clean water after every use, as the accumulated salt, sand, and dirt can damage it in the long-term.
You should also be cleaning your kayak regularly. Furthermore, kayak carts are never designed for high speeds, so don’t use them to drag your kayak behind your vehicle; that’s what kayak trailers are for.
You can also make a DIY PVC kayak cart if you enjoy DIY projects.