Owning a canoe is one of life’s greatest joys. You can blissfully canoe down the river and take in the surrounding sights.
But, this solitude can come to an abrupt halt when it's time to move your canoe from the water’s edge to your vehicle or vice versa.
Hauling your canoe is not an enviable task. Some models are extremely heavy and without the right equipment, you could find it very challenging to even move it a few inches.
This is where a canoe dolly comes into play.
A canoe dolly is a canoe owner’s dream come true. By using a dolly, you don’t need to break your back moving your canoe from your vehicle to the water and back again.
Instead, you simply place your canoe on the dolly and then transport it how and where you please.
Canoe dollies are also easy to set up and, when not in use, you can fold them up for convenient storage.
But, with so many on the market, it can be a minefield trying to choose the right one for your needs. That is why we have done the hard work for you and scoured the market for the very best canoe dollies available today.
Read on as we guide you through our selection of top-quality canoe dollies, as well as the pros and cons of each.
By the end of today’s post, you will be able to make an informed decision on which canoe dolly you should get.
Let’s dive in!
Best Canoe Dolly
OUR TOP PICK
Boasting an adjustable design, the Seamax Deluxe 4 by 4 Boat Launching Dolly can be adjusted to fit your canoe.
With four adjustable points, you can alter the leg length to make it shorter or longer, so your canoe fits perfectly.
Coming with 12-inch diameter and 4-inch width tires, you can be assured that these are high-quality and long-lasting.
They are produced with 4-ply reinforced vehicle grade rubber that is UV resistant for long-term use. These also stand up well against salt water and heat.
You can also opt for a 14-inch wheel upgrade if required. However, this is only if you will regularly use the dolly on sandy surfaces and with a heavy load.
If it’s a reliable, durable canoe dolly you’re after, the Seamax Deluxe 4 by 4 is certainly one to consider.
- Suitable for saltwater use - tested and proven to last up to ten years with regular saltwater use
- Offers four stages of length - compatible with a range of canoe sizes with four-wheel arm positions also available
- Durable - parts made from reinforced nylon and solid stainless steel for long-lasting use
- Pin sometimes falls out - can be hard to unlock at times
Seattle Sports are already well-known for manufacturing an array of quality products, and the Paddleboy ATC All-Terrain Center dolly is just another fine example.
Whether you own a recreational canoe or a larger-sized dinghy, this dolly will support it. It has adjustable straps so you can secure your canoe tightly and safely.
However, it works best with arched and flat-bottomed canoes, rather than tri-hull kayaks (see also 'Everything You Need To Know About The Tri-Hull Boat').
This dolly is made with sturdy urethane tires that are airless so they won't go flat or produce much vibration.
There is also a spring-loaded kickstand, allowing you to load and unload your canoe easily and conveniently.
This also reduces and even limits any wear and tear your canoe may suffer thanks to its feature to detect when tension is on the frame.
It will pop up, saving the sailboat from getting damaged.
The load capacity for the Seattle Sports Paddleboy is an incredible 300 pounds, although it only weighs 16 pounds itself.
And, once you’re done using it, it is fully collapsible. You can fold it up for easy storage when not in use.
- Fully collapsible - easy to fold up and store in small spaces
- Strong steel frame - made for long-lasting use with additional powder coating for extra protection
- Airless urethane tires - tires will not go flat or make much vibration when in use
- Hard to use on sand - works great on harder ground, but is hard to move on sandy terrain
When it comes to the paddle sports industry, Suspenz is one of the leading manufacturers. And, the All-Terrain SD Airless Kayak and Canoe Cart is no exception.
This is seen as a marvel of engineering by many in the industry, with a combination of stainless steel hardware and an aluminum frame.
Together, these provide strength and durability so you can use this dolly for years to come.
This best-selling canoe dolly comes with quick-release pins to easily set up for quick use and then set down when not in use.
It is fully foldable so it can be stored away easily and as quickly as possible.
To get your canoe on this dolly, all you need to do is place one end of it on this cart and, well, that’s it - you’re ready to go!
If you need to adjust its height, you can do so via its upgraded oval tubing. Therefore, it should fit many types of canoes and kayaks.
Constructed with an oval T7 7000 aluminum epoxy powder-coated frame, the Suspenz Smart Airless DLX Cart is built to last.
It is resistant to corrosion and its airless tires will never go flat. If you want a canoe dolly you can rely on, time and time again, this may be the one for you.
- Durable - made with an epoxy powder-coated frame that is corrosion resistant for long-term use
- Quick loading - easy to load your canoe on with no straps required
- Large width - measuring 24 inches across, this dolly should fit a range of larger boats
- Wheels sometimes move - some customers have reported that the wheels may move in the wrong direction when under a large amount of weight
Next up is an award-winning canoe/kayak cart that is, without a doubt, one of the best pontoon boat dollies (see also 'The 6 Best Trolling Motors For Pontoon Boats') on the market.
The Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Canoe/Kayak Cart is ideal for those who regularly need to move heavy loads in their canoes or kayaks.
In fact, this heavy-duty dolly can transport as much as 330 pounds.
Considering it also has large beach wheels, it’s no surprise you can transport your canoe over most terrains, too.
330 pounds not enough? No worries! You can enhance its load capacity to reach 450 pounds by using different wheels, but these will need to be bought separately.
When it’s time to load and unload, it couldn’t be easier, and all without the need for scupper posts and kickstands.
And, with two security straps included, you don’t need to worry about your canoe slipping off the dolly at any point.
The Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Canoe/Kayak Cart is fully collapsible for easy storage and is made from very strong, marine-grade aluminum, which is also heat-treated for added durability.
It has two height options so you can set it high for unusually-shaped hulls that could rub on the wheels or set it lower to prevent your vessel from tipping over.
It’s no wonder this dolly was awarded the best in the transport/storage/loading category by the 2018 Paddling magazine!
- Easy loading and unloading - no need to use scupper posts or kickstands with this design
- All-terrain balloon-like large wheels - can use this canoe dolly on all terrains, including sand
- Foldable - easy to fold up and store, even in large kayak hatches
- Bolts could be better quality - may need to purchase new bolts after some time as they are prone to rust
Our final choice today is the very popular Railblaza C-Tug Canoe Trolley.
Made with reinforced composite, that is also corrosion resistant, this canoe dolly will soon become your most faithful companion on various canoe trips.
Weighing only ten pounds, the C-Tug can transport up to 300 pounds. However, this is on flat, smooth terrain.
On more challenging surfaces, this load capacity will decrease but stick around 250 to 260 pounds, which is more than respectable.
This has been specially designed for tandem paddlers who have heavier canoes or vessels that need transporting across uneven terrain.
We love how easy this is to assemble and disassemble. We managed to do it in less than 30 seconds!
When the dolly is positioned and ready to go, you just need to move the two hull pads into position and slide the wheels into the trolley’s platform.
Then, simply lock the canoe in tightly and securely.
The wheels come with molded rubber tread tires that will not puncture. These also give you excellent grip on various surfaces, such as gravel or sand.
And, if you want to add some features, all C-Tug accessories are compatible with this trolley.
The kit itself, though, is impressive enough with toggle-locked cross-breams, a strap kit, and a kickstand included. Value for money!
- Easy to assemble and dismantle - designed to set up and disassemble in less than 30 seconds with no tools required
- Suitable for heavy canoes - can support up to 300 pounds of sailing vessels
- Non-puncture tires - rubber-tread tires are almost indestructible for reliable, long-lasting use
- The kickstand is a little flimsy - when used in cold weather, the kickstand can become quite brittle and prone to breaking off
Before you decide on the canoe dolly from our list, there are some important factors to consider.
Below are some key features the best canoe dollies have.
From the cost of the dolly to the material it is constructed from, you must take these into consideration to ensure you invest in the best possible canoe dolly for your needs.
Whatever you’re buying, its durability is critically important. But, don’t get fooled thinking that a product with a higher price tag equals better quality and durability. This is not always the case.
Read customer reviews, as these people have tried and tested the canoe dolly. If they state that it has lasted for a long time, it is safe to assume the material is of high quality.
If not, move on until you find a trolley with the best reviews. For dollies, you should be looking for them to last at least ten years, if not longer.
We all have a budget we need to stick to, whatever we are buying. Fortunately, canoe dollies are available at a range of prices so you should be able to find one to suit your budget.
However, these prices tend to vary depending on their durability, materials used for construction, features included, and brand value.
Find a budget before you start browsing for canoe dollies so you can narrow down your search and make it easier for yourself to choose one sooner.
It goes without saying - safety is paramount when transporting your canoe. Therefore, you need to use a canoe dolly that is structurally sound and strong.
It must be able to support the weight of your canoe and have the right accessories to secure it, so the canoe doesn’t slip off.
Also, when storing the canoe and dolly, ensure it is out of the reach of children to avoid any possible injuries.
Ease Of Use
The last thing you want to do is deal with a canoe dolly that is hard to assemble and disassemble. The easier it is to work, the more time you can enjoy canoeing.
Look for hassle-free dollies that meet your requirements, and ones that are also easy to clean after use.
Maintenance is important to keep the dolly in good shape for longer. The easier this is to perform, the less stress you will have.
If you have limited space, you need to consider the dimensions of your canoe dolly for storage.
Many are foldable so you can store them in small spaces, but you should always check whether they will fit in your desired storage space before investing in them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Types Of Canoe Dollies Are There?
You can choose from three types of dollies and they all come with different features. The trolleys are:
- Foldng carts - these can be transported easily due to their small build, making them ideal for kayakers.
- Plug-in carts - these are made with fixed wheels and are lightweight for added convenience. This type is also very stable.
- Strap carts - this type of dolly has a strap that is responsible for protecting the kayak when moving it from one place to another
What one you should get depends on your needs. Of course, you will need a stable dolly to ensure your canoe is safe in transit.
But, you also need to consider how easy it is to store and the surfaces you will be traveling on regularly.
If you will be on uneven terrain frequently, the plug-in dolly might be the best option. But, if you want something that stores away easily, a folding cart is the right one for you.
Do All Canoe Dollies Support All Canoe Weights?
Simply put, no, they do not. Some can transport heavier canoes than others.
Therefore, you must ensure you know the weight of your canoe before purchasing a dolly so that you can be sure they are compatible with one another.
On the whole, canoe dollies are quite lightweight and easy to maneuver, even if they have a heavy load capacity.
The most versatile dollies tend to support weights of over 150 pounds, but some can withstand up to 400 or pounds.