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Best Trailers and Roof Racks for the Beach

The right gear haulers make the difference between beach misery and beach revelry. We’ve assembled ten great summer carriers that will transport everything from an ATV to personal watercraft to the smaller (but still vital) bits for the shore.



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Whether it’s an early morning solo surf or a weekend getaway with the whole family, every beach trip has a unique set of hauling needs. Joyful road-tripping can quickly become nightmarish if umbrellas are forgotten or bikes jiggle loose of their decades-old rack. Keeping everything organized and in check takes more than just a good memory: getting the right gear hauler makes all the difference between summer misery and summer revelry. We’ve assembled ten great summer beach haulers that will transport everything from an ATV to personal watercraft to the smaller (but still vital) bits. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Whispbar WB400 J-Cradle Kayak Carrier

Best Kayak Hauler: The Kayak WB400 J-Cradle easily integrates into the super-quiet Whispbar rack system to let you tote along your slippery adventure craft. Whispbar has saved you space on two fronts: it loads the kayak on its side, and the fold-down cradles stow away and virtually out of sight when not in use. It also adds security with the Integrated Locking System and installs and uninstalls without tools, so you have nothing but calm vibes as you paddle into the sunset.

Buy Now: $299

Mountainsmith Modular Hauler 4

Best Small Gear Hauler: So it looks like a grenade was dropped into the back of your SUV. Perhaps you’re independently wealthy and have ample time to waste. The rest of us need smart storage. The Modular Hauler 4 should make quick work of the mess and keep things tidy for many trips to come. The exterior pack holds four packing cubes made of RipStop Poly, each with its own convenient carry handles; or you can lug the whole load with the side panel straps. The Hauler is foam lined so it stands up, and the whole system folds flat when you’re done with it. No need to worry as you crest those dunes with aggression: the necessary compression straps and tie down loops provide ample security.

Buy Now: $100

Curt Roof Mounted Cargo Rack

Best Multi-Use Roof Hauler: If your beach car just can’t hold all the goods (or you tend to bring the whole house with you), the Curt Cargo Rack is ready for your worst. Made from strong but lightweight aluminum, it easily mounts to most roof racks and does especially well with amorphous loads that don’t fit neatly into a hard case roof box.

Buy Now: $125

Keeper Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag

Best Waterproof Roof Hauler: Yes, there are certainly times when a trip to the beach isn’t exactly a picnic. Rain, wind and plague-like hail can cascade down upon your precious roof mounted gear. Keep it all protected with Keeper’s affordable and totally waterproof cargo bag. The soft-sided bag covers odd loads, while the 15 cubic feet of storage space means you won’t lack for room unless you’re transporting a pipe organ.

Buy Now: $49

Thule Apex 4 Bike 9025

Best Hitch-Mounted Bike Hauler: What’s a day at the beach without your two-wheeled cruisers? The Apex 4 can load up to four bikes and protect them with its Hold Fast RDT (Road Dampening Technology) Cradles, which act like shock absorbers when you hit uneven pavement or bumps. The increased mast height gives you better ground clearance, and more room between the bikes ensures your kid’s pink Stawberry Shortcake paint doesn’t end up on your sweet Shinola.

Buy Now: $400

Igloo 45184 Glide Pro 110 Cooler

Best Booze Hauler: What, you invited everyone to a day at the beach and brought a piddly six-pack? Want to lose friends fast? Igloo covers all the bases with a telescoping handle, big knobby wheels and enough insulation to keep ice chilly for up to five days in 90-degree temps. Let the muscled freaks flex for the ladies — you’ll woo them with your ample icy brews and charming wit.

Buy Now: $87

Kendon USA Stand-Up ATV Trailer

Best ATV Hauler: The dunes are calling, and you can only answer properly — that is, with the roar of an ATV — if you’re prepped for serious hauling. This Stand-Up ATV Trailer can bring ATVs, motorcycles and other heavy artillery to the beach with ease, thanks to its 13-inch radial tires, which ride quietly and have great puncture resistance. Made in the USA with a high traction metal deck, the trailer also saves precious space by folding for vertical storage.

Buy Now: $3,330

Shadow Trailers Shad II Personal Watercraft Trailer

Best Watercraft Hauler: If you’ve never ridden a PWC at top speed, you haven’t lived. But you’ll need the right trailer to haul them seaside. More than just a trailer, the Shad II boasts winch mounts, 14-inch radial tires, a four gas can rack, diamond plate steps, LED lighting and a nifty locking storage box. Oh yeah, did we mention that it carries watercraft, too?

Buy Now: $4,495

Space Trailer 6500 HighRider

Best Everything Hauler: For ultimate shore trips (read: when you’re loaded up like a Shah’s caravan), the back seat and roof rack won’t get it done. The 6500 HighRider boasts 65 cubic feet of storage space and up to 1,000 pounds of payload so you can bring just about every beach toy you can think of. It’s got three extra inches of ground clearance for SUV and truck hitches, and the bigger knobby tires give it mild off-road chops. No word on whether your mother in-law would like to tag along in it.

Buy Now: $2,600

Airstream Sport

Best People Hauler: If you want to stay overnight but don’t savor the idea of a sand-filled tent, the Airstream Sport is your people and gear hauler extraordinaire. With that classic Airstream silver bullet silhouette in a smaller size, it’s just right for beach camping. Plus, after a day in the water and sand, you can clean up in the built-in shower and fry up some goodies on the range. And with capacity to sleep two to three people in the kind of digs that larger trailers can only dream of, it’ll have your friends punching each other out for a spot in your summer entourage.

Buy Now: $41,705

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