I’ve been car-topping my kayaks ever since I started years ago. Every time I talk with an angler that’s been fishing as long as I have, or sometimes even anglers with half of my experience level, they all look at me like I’m insane when I admit that I still car-top my kayaks. It’s not like I’m some old timer that doesn’t want to get with the times, especially considering an old timer probably couldn’t get a heavy fishing kayak onto the top of a Tacoma very easily, I’ve just never had a good enough reason to pull the trigger on a new trailer. Though I have coveted them from a distance for years, I’ll admit.
When we were getting ready to leave for our Adirondack canoe trip a few weeks ago, I realized I wasn’t going to have enough room on my roof racks to fit two Old Town Penobscot 174 tandem canoes.
After calling up Malone Auto Racks, I drove two hours up to their Maine headquarters and picked up a demo MicroSport XT trailer, $1599. I was a little worried for the drive home from Maine, towing an empty trailer which I’ve been told can lead to a bouncing trailer, since they’re designed to carry stuff, not ride empty. When I voiced my concerns to Colin Malone, of Malone Auto Racks, he just laughed and said, “This thing tows so straight, it’ll be fine.”
Photo: The Malone MicroSport Trailer makes the put in and take out as easy as fishing from your kayak.
After towing the trailer with and without canoes, with one kayak and with two, I can say that Malone was right.
I never saw the trailer sway or bounce behind the truck and even on tight turns the trailer just tucks in and follows the truck perfectly. If the canoes weren’t bright red I probably would have forgot the trailer was even back there, you can barely feel it as you’re towing your boats to the water. Even backing up with the trailer is easy, as the trailer responds well to turning inputs and points down the trail or boat ramp with ease. The only problem I found was that when empty the trailer is so short I could barely see it behind my truck, so backing the empty trailer was a true test on my beginner trailer backing skills. Though the short trailer is much easier to drive around with than one with a giant wheelbase, so I’ll gladly take that trade off.
If you’re still worried about backing the trailer in tricky spots, I’ll repeat what Malone said to me when I picked up the trailer.
“My favorite part about the trailer is that you don’t even have to back it, you can just unhitch it and walk it to where you want to unload your boats.” He’s right, at only 230 lbs and nicely balanced, even with a few boats on the trailer, it’s easy to unhitch it and walk the whole trailer to whereever you want to store the trailer or drop off boats. That made it easy for dropping the trailer off at the house before heading off to the bar with a few friends, or even plopping the trailer in the parking space beside me when I couldn’t fit into one spot with the trailer on (though I recommend using a lock on the trailer if you do that–this thing is light enough that someone could run off with it). A trailer that you don’t even have to worry about backing? What more could a kayak angler ever want in their time-saving kayak trailer.
Photo: Stop dreading putting your boats on your truck, just get the right trailer and your life will be immeasurably easier.
The XT in the MicroSport XT name also means that the trailer features upgraded components you won’t find in the base model.
The XT has custom 12″ aluminum spoke wheels and diamond plated aluminum fenders that make the trailer look ready for the showroom and the retractable tongue makes storing the trailer a no-brainer. The 8′ tongue also means you can carry nice long boats without worrying about your tailgate getting slammed every time you turn. The tongue can be unlocked and retracted in seconds. Like the base model trailer, the XT has DOT approved lighting and bearings, pre-tested electrical system, pre-fitted chassis components, 65″ load bars, and assembles in less than three hours.
Malone MicroSport XT Trailer Key Features:
- Aluminum “star” spoke wheels
- Diamond plate aluminum fenders
- Retractable tongue w/rear bumper guards for vertical storage
- Pre-assembled hubs for a clean and simple installation
- 12″ tires with marine grade sealed bearings
- Standard 8′ long tongue can transport boats up to 20′ in length
- 65″ coated steel rectangular load bars fit nearly all car rack accessories
- 11 gauge pre-galvanized steel construction for years of service
- Five year warranty – Made in the USA
- Optional equipment that can be purchased includes:
- MPG465 Galvanized Spare Tire with Locking Attachment
- MPG481 Trailer Storage Trunk with Mounting Brackets
- MPG467 Trailer Tongue KickStand w/ Wheel
- MPG495 78″ Load Bars
- MPG497 Bike Rack (3rd load bar asmb required)
Malone MicroSport XT Trailer Key Specs:
- Width – 65″, Length – 159″
- Weight – 230 LB.
- Capacity – 355 LB. / 20′ Canoe or Kayak
- Frame – Marine Grade Pre-Galvanized Steel
- Hitch – 2″ Receiver
For more information about Malone Auto Racks, or their MicroSport XT Trailer, check out their website, MaloneAutoRacks.com.