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Paddling your way through serene waters in your kayak can be a blissful experience, but getting your kayak to those waters can sometimes feel like the ultimate buzzkill. When it comes to transporting your kayak, the age-old debate remains: should you use a trailer or a roof rack? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of each option to help you decide which method is best for you and your trusty vessel.

Pros and Cons of Using a Trailer

Trailers are designed for carrying large loads, and transporting your kayak is no exception.

Pros

The pros of using a trailer include:

Easy Loading

With trailers such as the SylvanSport GO EASY towing kayak trailer, you enjoy a low-profile design that allows you to load your kayak at a more comfortable waist level—no more struggling to lift your kayak onto your car’s roof!

Tow more boats and bikes

Typically roof racks can accommodate 2 kayaks. But what if you have more boats or wish to bring kayaks AND bikes on your trip? The GO EASY trailer can accommodate up to 4 bikes and boats with a rack capacity of 300 lbs and total carrying capacity of 495 lbs to 565 lbs depending on the model you select giving you freedom to put coolers, duffle bags and equipment on the gear deck. 

Water-Ready

Trailers such as the GO EASY have completely waterproof wiring harnesses and LED lights, which let you back directly into the water for an easy on-and-off-loading experience.

Ability to Tow A cooler, Paddles & extra gear

If you select a trailer with a solid gear deck, it provides extra room to stow coolers, PFDs, paddles and camping or fishing gear. This storage space is especially useful if you have a smaller vehicle.

Cons

The cons of using a trailer include:

Storage Space

Trailers demand more storage space, which might be a concern if you have limited room in your garage or parking area. One benefit of the SylvanSport’s GO EASY trailer is that it was designed to tilt on its end for more compact storage than other trailers. Only eight square feet of floor space is needed for storage of this trailer.

Extra Cost

A good trailer may cost more upfront than a roof rack, but trailer owners will often share that they use their boats more frequently than they did with roof racks making the investment worthwhile.

Pros and Cons of Using a Roof Rack

Roof racks are another popular choice for kayak transport, and they feature their own pros and cons.

Pros

The pros of using a roof rack include:

Space Saver

A roof rack takes up minimal storage space since it’s installed directly on your vehicle.

Simplicity

Roof racks are relatively easy to install and remove, and once mounted, your kayak is ready for transport.

Cons

The cons of using a roof rack include:

Physical Strain

Loading and unloading a kayak onto a roof rack involves lifting the kayak over your head, which can be a strenuous and potentially risky endeavor. And for those who own larger SUVs with higher roof lines, a roof rack may not even be a feasible option.

Potential Damage 

Hoisting a kayak onto a roof rack increases the likelihood of damaging your car and kayak if not done carefully or if your roof rack isn’t properly secured.

Messier & Noisier

As one former roof rack owner noted, “putting the kayak on the roof of my car after a full day of paddling was a pain. Washing the car to get rid of the saltwater and sand the kayak dripped on my roof was worse.” Depending on how the the kayaks is loaded, the roof rack set-up can be noisy as well.

Which To Choose: Trailer or Roof Rack?

Ultimately, the choice boils down to personal preference, budget, and convenience. In many cases, a trailer such as GO EASY by SylvanSport offers a more comfortable, secure, and durable option, making it a preferable choice for those who regularly transport their kayaks. The investment in a good-quality trailer guarantees a smoother and safer experience for you and your gear.

Your kayaking adventures deserve smooth sailing from start to finish—and that includes how you transport your prized watercraft.

Learn More: SylvanSport GO EASY Kayak Towing Trailer

June 2024 –  $250 Off all GO EASY models sold on Sylvansport.com. Offer valid through June 30, 2024.