WORDS: Scott Rawstorne from Global Paddler.
If you own a recreational sit-on-top (SOT) kayak and you are finding the process of getting to the water cumbersome then it is time you invested in a cart (aka trolley). If you want to ensure that your kayak won’t slip off your cart along the way, then it is a good idea to get a purpose built SOT kayak cart. If you would like to limit the chance of your cart damaging your precious kayak, then easily the best SOT kayak cart on the market is the Sea to Summit Solid Wheel Sit-On-Top Cart.
Carts for SOT kayaks with side by side scupper (self-drainage) holes vary from those used for other craft in that they have two vertical tubular prongs rising off the axle rather than a cradle sitting on top. This is because they use the scupper holes to get a firm grip on the kayak. It is possible to carry a SOT kayak on a cradle style cart but there is much greater chance of the kayak slipping off and getting damaged in the process. The width between the vertical prongs can usually be adjusted to fit a range of kayaks but the amount of adjustability can vary so it is essential to check that the cart you plan on using will fit your kayak.
The Sea to Summit Solid Wheel Sit-On-Top Cart has two vertical tubular prongs like other SOT kayak carts but there is one very important difference. The prongs on the Solid Wheel Sit-On-Top Cart are encased in a tapered rubber cone which ensures a better fit with the scupper holes on the kayak and softens the point of contact. This is important because most recreational SOT kayaks are made from rotationally moulded polyethylene and the nature of the construction process means that the area inside the scupper holes is often the weakest part of the of the hull. It is preferable not to have anything hard banging around in there.
There is a wide range of adjustability in the space between the two vertical prongs on the Solid Wheel Sit-On-Top Cart so it will fit the side by side scupper holes on most kayaks and there is one more big advantage. It has a quick release clamp which allows you to lock your required width into place. This is a great help when loading your kayak onto the cart. It can be infuriating if your cart keeps changing size during the loading process.
As its name suggests, the Solid Wheel Sit-On-Top Cart has solid wheels. This means that they will never puncture or go flat. The tread is 90 millimetres wide and covered with thermoplastic rubber to give it unparallelled grip on most terrain. The wheels are a generous 250 millimetres in diameter which helps in two ways. Firstly, the cart can be positioned closer to the middle of larger kayaks (lengthwise) so you don’t have to carry much of the weight; you simply have to tow. Secondly, they enable the cart to roll easily over rough ground. The wheels can also be removed for easy storage.
I am a big fan of The Sea to Summit Solid Wheel Sit-On-Top Cart. It is the only cart I use for the SOT kayaks in my Ballina Kayaks hire fleet.
The Sea to Summit Solid Wheel Sit-On-Top Cart retails for $189.00. It is a little more expensive than some other carts but this is definitely a case of you get what you pay for. Use the store locator on the Sea to Summit website to find the Sea to Summit stockist nearest you.
- Tapered rubber cones to fit scuppers from 24mm to 48mm
- Adjustable axle width from 180mm to 400mm
- Strong oversize 6061-T6 anodised alloy tubing and welded construction
- Tie-down attachment points
- Light-weight innovative design