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Which canoe carts are best?

You have been looking forward to a day on the water in your canoe or kayak. What you are not looking forward to is getting the canoe from your vehicle to the water itself. With most canoes weighing more than 50 pounds, finding the right canoe cart can lessen the strain on your back and make the day more enjoyable with easy transport to the shoreline.

For overall ease of use and durability, the Newcod Kayak Cart is a top pick.

What to know before you buy a canoe cart

Frame and hardware materials

Most canoe carts utilize aluminum. This keeps them lightweight and resistant to rust. Some frames are made of stainless steel, which is excellent for durability, but could be heavier to transport. Composite or plastic canoe carts may not be as sturdy. 

Avoid models with plastic hardware, which can break and corrode. Steel hardware is the best option because of its rust resistance.

Weight capacity

There is a wide range of weights for canoes and kayaks, with most weighing over 50 pounds. Carrying more than one canoe or kayak affects the weight capacity too. Remember to include the weight of paddles, coolers and any other equipment you will use as you calculate your maximum weight capacity.

Most canoe cart carriers can hold 120 pounds and up to 300 pounds for some carts. Most models will hold between 150 to 165 pounds. Finding a suitable weight capacity is essential to keep the canoe cart moving easily. 


Nearly all canoe carts require some assembly. Look for models that are easy to connect with just a few pieces. Some models come without any need for tools. Others require a standard wrench and screwdriver. Putting it together and taking it apart are essential things to consider to save time and frustration.

What to look for in a quality canoe cart


Tires are a critical part of any canoe cart. Ranging from 9 to 12 inches in size, taller and wider tires help the canoe cart traverse all terrain. You will find both inflatable and solid tires used by manufacturers. Solid tires are not susceptible to puncturing, and you can replace them easily.


It is small in stature, but a kickstand can make a big difference. Like a bicycle kickstand, a canoe cart kickstand keeps the cart steady while loading and unloading the canoes and kayaks. Look for models that include one- some even have two.


Bumpers play a key role in protecting the canoes and kayaks while being transported. Foam and rubber bumpers are standard, but rubber is best in terms of durability.


There is a wide range of warranties offered for both the canoe cart frame and subsequent parts. A few manufacturers provide lifetime warranties on the frame, while others offer several years. Depending on how often you plan to use the cart and how rough you will be with it, a longer warranty might be a good investment.

How much you can expect to spend on a canoe cart

Canoe carts start near $50 and can exceed $100 for wider and more durable models. Middle-range carts typically cost $55-$75.

Canoe cart FAQ

Q. Are straps necessary to use with a canoe cart?

A. Some wider canoe cart models can handle a canoe or kayak without straps over a short distance. However, to best protect your canoe or kayak, it is recommended to use straps. Most models come with straps included. However, some of the straps that come with canoe carts are not the sturdiest available, so consider purchasing a separate set to ensure the canoe’s stability, focusing on the strap length (longer is better) and metal buckles for more reliable security.

Q. Will canoe carts work on all ground surfaces?

A. Most canoe carts transport easily across grass, sand and gravel. The most important consideration is the tires. Wider tires work better on different surfaces. Treaded tires also improve portage, especially if the ground surface is wet.

What’s the best canoe cart to buy?

Top canoe cart

Newcod Kayak Cart

Newcod Kayak Cart

What you need to know: This cart is very easy to assemble, durable and has a good weight capacity.

What you’ll love: Large tires allow for this cart to work well on different terrains. An aluminum frame with rubber bumper pads is an excellent transporter. It can also be used for paddle boards, floating mats and more.

What you should consider: Users report the cart may struggle in deeper sandy terrains.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top canoe cart for the money

Wistar Canoe Cart Carrier

Wistar Canoe Cart Carrier

What you need to know: This cart is extra sturdy due to a stainless steel frame and has a high weight limit for the price.

What you’ll love: A 220-pound weight limit allows you to transport multiple canoes and kayaks simultaneously. The cart covers all terrains and is easy to assemble. Wide tires provide easy turning. It even comes with a kickstand.

What you should consider: Some types of canoes and kayaks can be unstable during portage.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Bonnlo Kayak and Canoe Carrier

Bonnlo Kayak and Canoe Carrier

What you need to know: This cart is affordable, lightweight and ideal for smaller canoes and kayaks.

What you’ll love: Made from aluminum, this cart is easy to assemble and transport. The solid tires prevent punctures. You can use the cart on both gravel and sand so that you can go just about anywhere.

What you should consider: This cart is best suited for smaller canoes and kayaks and shouldn’t be used with larger ones.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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