Kayak Trailer

Malone Kayak Trailer | Buyer’s Guide

In Gear by Tanner V.

The Complete Malone Kayak Trailer Buyer's Guide

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The beauty of kayaking rests in it's simplicity. Put the boat in the water and paddle around to your heart's content.

What is not simple is getting the kayaks to the water. Heaving a kayak on top of your vehicle after a long day's paddle makes roof racks unappealing for some. Not to mention the difficulty in strapping down the boats so far above your head.

Kayak trailers are the perfect answers to those who struggle with the above. They stand only a couple feet high, which makes loading a breeze. However, trailers are much more of an investment than a traditional roof rack. The trouble is determining the best trailer for your specific needs.

Lucky for you, we are here to help! Malone is the giant in the kayak trailer industry so we have methodically broken down their fleet to wriggle out the best trailers for you!

If You Read Nothing Else..

The trailer base is the most important aspect to consider when making your buying decision. The carriers can be easily removed or replaced, but that cannot be said for the frame.

Breaking Down Malone Kayak Trailers

There are a bunch of different packages provided by Malone kayak trailers but they share three base trailer setups. The Xtralight, Microsport, and Megasport are the three base trailer setups produced by Malone. As there name suggested they get bigger and more heavy duty as you go from Xtralight to Microsport to Megasport. The analysis below will help you to choose which rig is best for you.

Xtralight - The smallest and most lightweight base trailer designed to haul 1-4 kayaks of 14ft or less behind any car with a trailer hitch.
MicroSport - The big brother of the Xtralight designed to carry 1-4 kayaks of 20ft. or less behind most vehicles.
MegaSport - The giant 1000lbs. of load capacity is designed for hauling 12+ kayaks or 2 fishing kayaks with lots of room for storage.

Malone XtraLight Series

  • Featherweight Trailer

  • Perfect for 14ft. or Less Kayaks

  • Marine Grade Galvanized Steel Frame

Category
XtraLight Base
Construction
11-gauge pre-galvanized steel
Trailer Weight Capacity
275 lbs.
Maximum Recommended Kayak Length
14'
Crossbar Length
58"
Trailer Dimensions
134" L x 58" W
Trailer Weight
164 lbs.

The Every-Man's Trailer..

The Malone Xtralight trailer is the perfect choice for those needing to carrying 1-4 kayaks but not wanting to load them onto a roof rack.
The Xtralight is Malone’s smallest trailer designed to carry 14ft. or smaller kayaks with a load capacity of 275lbs. The relative small size and weight allows this trailer to be towed by compact cars, even a Prius!
The frame consists of Marine grade galvanized steel meaning you will not need to worry about corrosion or painting for many years to come.
The trailer includes a wiring harness for connecting the taillights to your vehicle. This feature has come under some scrutiny because many find the lights are cheaply made. Have a go at installing the lights, but if they do not work correctly LED aftermarket lights are an easy fix.

For 2 kayaks you will want to get the 2-V Malone XtraLight. Transportation kayaks in this position is the most fuel efficient and the most natural for the boat. The hull of the boat is supported by two arms front and rear and straps run over the boat to pin it to the trailer.

For 4 kayaks, the only package Malone offers is the stacker option. This consists of two padded towers and four sets of foam blocks. The kayaks are rested on their sides on the foam blocks with straps securing them to the tower and trailer.


Malone MicroSport Series

Category
XT
Base
Weight Capacity
355 lbs.
355 lbs.
Max Boat Length
20'
20'
Crossbar Length
65"
65"
Trailer Dimensions
159" L x 55" W
159" L x 55" W
Trailer Weight
195 lbs.
193 lbs.
Trailer Length With Tongue Retracted
103"
N/A

Why Buy the XT?

Upright Storage

The XT offers a retractable tongue that allows the trailer to be stored upright indoors. The height of the trailer is able to be compressed from 159” (13ft. 3in.) to 103” (8ft. 7in.). With the tongue retracted, you can lean the trailer up against a wall to reduce it’s footprint from the size of a car to the size of a book case (15in.).
Malone includes a set of rubber bumpers to protect the taillights from damage when standing upright. This is truly, a comprehensive solution for those with limited space.

Aesthetics

The XT comes with eye-pleasing aluminum diamond-plated fenders and aluminum wheel spokes. The upgraded fenders and wheel spokes add no utility to the trailer, but they do make the rig look more sturdy.

Overall Thoughts

The Microsport Base and the XT are two very similar products. You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars more for the XT, but with it you get a more attractive trailer with a better storage capabilities. For most the base trailer will do the trick, but for some the XT’s flexibility will outweigh the extra price.

My recommendation is similar to that of the XtraLight as the MicroSport is simply a bigger version of that trailer. For 2 kayaks your best carriers are the Malone SeaWings. They are simple to use and very effective at safely transporting your kayaks.

For 4 kayaks, I differ from my XtraLight review and say to get the 4 J-Pro carriers. The MicroSport is wider than the XtraLight so there is no need for stackers. J-style carriers provide a more secure ride than stackers and are easier to tied down and manage.


Malone MegaSport Series

  • Great for Every Kayak Shape and Size

  • 1000 lbs. Load Capacity

  • Perfect for DIY Modifications

Category
MegaSport Base
Construction
11-gauge pre-galvanized marine-grade steel
Load Capacity
1000 lbs.
Maximum Recommended Boat Length
21'
Crossbar Length
86"
Trailer Dimensions (Without Crossbars)
14' 6" L x 68" W
Trailer Weight
325 lbs.

The Big Guns..

The Megasport category of trailers are most heavy duty of Malone trailer series. It was designed for two specific niches, but can be customized for pretty much any one. Malone targeted serious kayak anglers and people running day camps. 

Category
The Ultimate Angler
Construction
11-gauge pre-galvanized marine-grade steel
Trailer Load Capacity
1000 lbs.
Maximum Recommended Boat Length
21'
Crossbar Length
86"
Trailer Dimensions (Without Crossbars)
14' 6" L x 68" W
Trailer Weight
325 lbs.

For a Small Army of Kayaks

The Outfitter is a kayak hauling monster. The sturdy Megasport base supports a 3 tier rack with a load capacity of 1000lbs. Basically, the limiting factor is space if you can even manage to reach that. Conservatively the Outfitter can haul 11 kayaks safely. With all this capacity it is clear, this rack was designed for commercial use.
 
The Outfitter does not need kayak carriers, but you could attach some. Carriers would improve the security of each kayak, but reduce the amount of kayaks you can haul. I recommend checking out LINK TO BEST KAYAK RACKs if this seems like an option for you.
Category
The Ultimate Angler
Construction
11-gauge pre-galvanized marine-grade steel
Trailer Load Capacity
1000 lbs.
Maximum Recommended Boat Length
21'
Crossbar Length
86"
Trailer Dimensions (Without Crossbars)
14' 6" L x 68" W
Trailer Weight
325 lbs.

For the Serious Angler

 Fishing kayaks are the heaviest kayaks and as a result are the most difficult to transport. They are too difficult to get on conventional kayak roof racks and when you can, only one can be hauled one at a time. Malone not only solved this problem, but they didn’t stop at just transportation. 
 
Malone shows their creativity on the Megasport when they decided to construct a dedicated kayak fishing trailer. The feature packed 2 tier trailer is the perfect solution for anglers.
There are multiple versions of the Ultimate Angler trailer but the best is the one that comes with a set of the MegaWings. These vertical carrier last forever, secure your kayak the best, and are a breeze to load. The V shape conforms to the bottom of your kayak and is the perfect fit for most fishing kayaks.
 
Below the MegaWings, this package comes with both wet and dry storage crates. A wire basket is affixed to the rear of the trailer  that is perfect for wet PFDs after a long paddle. For more sensitive gear, there is a hard storage drawer stashed right in front of the wire crate.
 
Above the MegaWings are to cylindrical rod holding tubes and an optional upper platform that is perfect for an additional cargo box or strapping down a third kayak. The fishing rod holders are telescopic to accommodate up to six over sized fishing rods.\
 
The tires are wide and oversized. I prefer larger tires because I often find narrow tires don’t hold up in off road conditions. Many put-in locations will be dirt roads so this is a must. If a tire is to blow, this unit comes with a spare, lockable tire located on the tongue.

Kayak Trailer vs. Roof Rack

Roof racks and trailers both have their advantages and disadvantages. Most kayak carriers will work on either one, in fact. The best transportation method will largely come down to your physical ability/will and your wallet.

Roof racks create more physical strain because you most lift the load on top of your vehicle. Small cars may mean this is not much of an issue, but it can be a real problem for taller vehicles. Since your car acts as the frame, roof racks are usually less than $500.

Kayak trailers offer the user more flexibility and customization than a roof rack will. The load only needs to be lifted to waist height, so it is much less stress on the back and shoulders. Additionally, the trailers can hold significantly more weight than a roof rack. You do not have to choose what will stay and what will go.

Yakima vs. Malone Trailers

Yakima is an industry giant when it comes to kayak roof racks, but they have neglected the trailer business. Currently, Yakima offers only the Rack and Roll trailer. This trailer is in the 250-300lbs. load capacity range and almost identical to the Malone MicroSport.

Yakima is synonymous with quality and for that quality, they charge a huge price tag. The trailer is well built and appears to have a leg up on Malone by being easy to construct out of the box. You must ask yourself if paying double the price is worth saving two hours on a one-time build.