The handikart trolley is a portage trolley designed to handle both kayaks, Sit On Tops and Open Canoes. I reviewed the Handikart for Ocean Paddler Magazine, these were my thoughts.
Stylish, versatile, and easy to use the new HandiKart sets new standards for the transportation of kayaks & canoes. Light, but rugged, the HandiKart makes the transfer of equipment from the car to the water’s edge undemanding and effortless. Furthermore, the HandiKart folds up into a compact shape that is easily stowed in the kayak or canoe and can be quickly dismantled for when space is really at a premium.
Design & Construction
The Handikart utilises a very different design to many of the folding, V framed trolleys on the market. It comprises of a two piece frame connected by two webbing straps. The end of the two frame pieces clip together and the the frame then fans out with the webbing straps preventing it opening too widely.
The axles on the frame, onto which the wheels are attached, are inclined and pointout and down towards the ground rather than running parrelell to it as seen on other trolleys. The frame is constructed from 304 stainless steel and coated with softex material.
The wheels are hemispherical with a solid hub and puncture proof polyurethane tyres. They use a simple click and lock system to hold them in place.
Two sets of wide ebbing straps are attached to either side of the frame with a buckles attached at the end to pass over the top of the kayak and tie it down to the frame.
Because the Handikart frame breaks down into two parts storage is very easy. When the kayak was not fully loaded, I found I could slide the two sides of the frame down the rear compartment of my boat, either side of the skeg box. The wheels fitted neatly at the other end of the rear compartment against the bulkhead that divides the rear compartment and day-hatch compartment. Alternatively, the 4 parts that make up the Handikart could be neatly stowed in a drybag and then attached to the rear deck of the kayak if required.
Assembly and dis-asssembly was generally very easy. The wheel hubs have a push lock system. Slide the catch on the hub to the side, push on the wheel and slide the catch back to lock the wheel on. Fitting the two sides of the frame together was similarly easy providing the components were clean and free from grit. However, I did find removing the arm a tad tricky with cold wet hands as it involves pushing a small catch to one side to allow the tubing to slide free.
There is a definite technique to loading and strapping the kayak onto the Handikart. Once you have placed the kayak on top and fastened the rear strap, you need to lift up the front end of the trolley to ensure it is in contact with the kayak hull before clipping the strap together. On by first attempt, I attached the strap and pulled them tight without realising the end of the trolley was still in contact with the ground – this left a 3/4 inch gap between hull and trolly and once I lifted the bow to begin walking allowed the kayak to slew about on top of the trolley.
I also spent a bit of time sorting out the straps and ensuring they were adjusted to the correct length, with a overhand knot tied behind the buckle to prevent the webbing slipping within the buckle, something it had a habit of doing initially.
However, once I perfected the loading technique and organised the built in straps the trolley worked superbly. I tested the trolley on tarmac, rough grass/earth as well as sandy, shingle and muddy beaches. It coped well with all surfaces. It takes, perhaps, a little more effort to pull along hard surfaces compared to standard pneumatic tyres however the very large surface area of the tyres compared to standard wheels mean’t it handled soft surfaces significantly better than any other trolley I have tried. Because the weight is spread over a larger area it does not cut or sink into the ground.
Although the Handikart is a little less efficient over hard ground, it’s versatility on a range of surfaces combined with the fact that it breaks down into 4 parts, is so easily stowed and comes with all the straps you need to get going and will not suffer from punctures make the Handikart a very handy bit of kit. On top of this, those Sea Kayakers who also paddle Open Canoes or Sit On Top kayaks would be able to use the same trolley with their other boats. If you have a need for a trolley, I would highly recommend taking a look at the Handikart.
Price: Currenty £59.99 online
Manufacturers Website: Handiworld