new canoe cart feedback

After following Rookie’s discussion on kayak carts I also ended up getting a Suspenz SD airless cart for use with my canoes. I used it today for the first time and I’m totally happy with it. The center balance design is much much nicer for longer distances than the cart I was using with wheels towards the stern of the boat since that left significant weight in your hand. The 16 inch diameter wheels were awesome in the tall grass and bumpy 2 track that is the main place I’ll use the cart. Now I just hope the (made in China) cart will keep working as well as it did today for a long time.

Here’s the cart down by the river on it’s kickstand. It’s super steady on the kickstand which makes it easy to load. I’m using two 1.5 inch NRS straps. With this cart it does take any time at all to get two straps on it.

Here it is with all my junk in it. I’m using small pieces of clear vinyl tubing on the gunnels to help the straps grip the boat.

Here’s a view of the path back from the river, the line of trees in the background is about halfway back to the car.

So thank you Rookie for blazing the trail on this one! My paddling partner seems pretty pleased as well.

So glad it’s working well for you, Tom, and that you like it. That looks like quite a hike and it’s just so much nicer to haul a level boat. Do you take the cart in your boat or leave it hidden?

I use a slightly different setup for the straps, pictured below. After I set my kayak on the cart, I run the straps across the cockpit then each strap end goes around the opposite lower bar, then up through its cam buckle. Habit, as that’s the only way I could keep a kayak from coming off my sand cart.

I locked the cart to a tree in a spot that can’t be seen from the river.

It’s kind of fun (or maybe funny) to figure out the details of a new routine. I think I’ll make sure the kickstand is always on the left and then I can figure out which side the cam buckles belong on so I’m not always in the wrong side of the boat when it’s time to tighten them. Maybe I’ll try your strap technique…but I suspect that you can reach over your kayak to get the strap end; I can’t. I figured out that you have to put the cart in the car BEFORE you put the boat on or you can’t open the hatch (duh). I only use one strap to hold the boat on the car for the drive down to the end of the block and I learned it’s better to use dedicated straps for the cart or you spend time wondering where the second strap is for the cart. Plus Zoey now understands that she has to wait quietly while I load the cart. Now I need a better cheap lock because the one my wonderful wife bought for me almost didn’t unlock after our first paddle. I may just get a length of coated gardening chain and a small key lock since I don’t need high security and I expect that I may leave the chain on the tree.

Just got back from REI with my new SD airless Cart………wheel so far out of flat, I’ll return tomorrow! Wheels were also plastic! I wouldn’t have to lock this to a tree.
Damn, I miss things from before Walmart captured America!

HI Dennis. I hope we didn’t lead you astray. Just FYI the SD airless cart is offered with either plastic wheels (17 pounds total) or spoked (28 pounds). Rookie and I got the one with spoked wheels. It’s still a crude design but for me it works well (so far). Maybe the Spring Creek carts are the best but I could not bring myself to spend $350 on a cart. FYI there are lots of cool videos on YouTube showing how to make a cart out of PVC pipe and you can also find info on the web for making a boat cart out of a baby stroller.

Sorry to hear that, Dennis. If “wheel so far out of flat” means that when putting it together you couldn’t get a wheel installed so it was perfectly straight, I had that same problem with the Seattle Sports LL Bean cart. Solved it by undoing the other wheel and moving the axle so both wheels were centered before attaching them. That cart was returned because it had 14" wheels.

As Tom noted, I have the 16" bicycle style wheels as well. Cart has worked great so far.