How to Transport Kayaks, the Easy Way: Yakima EasyRider Trailer Review
With many kayaks nearing or even topping the 100-pound mark these days, a trailer becomes a serious consideration. There are many options. Some kayak shops sell pre-assembled trailers, and any local trailer shop could set up a basic small boat trailer to accommodate kayaks. Hardware supply firms also offer versatile utility trailers you could customize. Trailers add a bit of complexity and cost to your kayak fishing, but they more than make up for it in convenience. This is particularly true if you regularly transport more than one boat.
One nice, lightweight and versatile trailer package which can be ordered and shipped about anywhere is the Yakima EasyRider. It has an aluminium frame, weighs 175 pounds and is rated to carry up to 500 pounds. It can be configured as a double-decker, with one or two kayaks on the bottom deck, and two more on the upper Crossbars.
The Yakima Big Catch kayak saddles are an excellent addition here, conforming to the shape of the hulls and offering secure but cushioned support.
The EasyRider has coil-over-shock suspension, which is nice for the same reason. It’s a soft ride. Consult the handbook for optimal positioning of kayaks and other loads, for the best road-handling. Optimal tongue weight, between 10 and 15 percent of the total weight of the trailer plus its load, is important to keep trailers from swaying.
The EasyRider ships in five boxes and all the fasteners and hardware are included in two well-labeled packages. The kits include the necessary hex wrenches and Torx bits. The trailer comes pre-wired and includes plug-and-play, highway-legal lights and signals.
Instructions were very straightforward and assembly took about two and a half hours (more for final tweaking of kayak saddles, installation of a Topwater rod locker and other finishing touches).
In addition to socket wrenches and box wrenches, you’ll also want a torque wrench. A pair of milk crates will come in handy, too, to support the tongue while installing the jack, and to support the rear of the trailer when installing the wheels.
As a veteran of numerous “assembly required” projects over the years, I was impressed that I didn’t log a single piece of missing hardware. I even found the zip tie for the three-pin light connector, which I thought may have been left out (I supplied my own).
A few features I especially like. One is the swing tongue—you pull the pin and you can move the tongue out of the way, preserving garage space.
I also liked that it comes with a 2-inch receiver, same as is commonly used on larger trailers for powerboats. No need to switch hitch balls on my truck. (Four-flat adapter—there are no brakes on the EasyRider.)
The other sweet thing about the EasyRider—it’s a Yakima. It’ll accept all kinds of mounting hardware from the company, enabling the convenient and secure transport of bikes, cargo boxes and even rooftop tents (with extra support).
The trailer is 6 feet, 7 inches wide, about as wide as a mid-size SUV. With the tongue folded, it’s just over 9 feet in length, making for a compact footprint in a garage. MSRP $3,399
See more information on the Yakima EasyRider trailer and additional accessories at yakima.com