Monday, April 04, 2022

KCS Compact Day Trolley... test to destruction!!

KCS have produced and refined a lot of new designs over the period of the Covid pandemic. This is the KCS compact day trolley. It is ideal for day trips when you might need to carry your unloaded kayak for some distance over a hard surface from the car to the launch site. I found it especially useful when it is windy or if there are a lot of people about... think Charlie Chaplin's ladder!!!

It is custom made to fit each kayak, which ensures a really snug fit. On a P&H Cetus MV it did not budge once. However, it does not fit my P&H Aries 155 at all. Perhaps if you have two boats, you could get a trolley to suit the one with the thicker stern and pad it out with some removable black foam?

The prototype I had out on test worked really well  carrying all my day trip gear in the cockpit. However, this type of trolley is not designed for a fully loaded boat on a camping trip! The trolley is easily strong enough but your arm won't be strong enough to lift the bow for any distance!

The wheels coped with tarmac, paving bricks, fine but unsurfaced hardcore, short and long grass and firm hard sand. They did not work on soft surfaces such as dry sand or shingle. The wheels coped with small potholes and ridges but not a full sized kerb.

Talking of strength, like all KCS gear this is designed to last. Indeed, I will not be surprised if future sentient beings discover examples which have outlived the Anthropocene!

Let me introduce you to a friend:

Jimmy drives a 4WD tractor. I left the KCS Compact Day trolley on the grass verge at the side of the road leading to the beach (the small wheels are no good on soft sand). The trolley had a black strap and of course the rest of it is pretty black too. Anyway to cut a long story short, Jimmy did not see the trolley and ran ran over it twice. On the way down to the beach it was two tractor wheels and on the way back it was two tractor wheels and one boat trailer wheel that ran over the poor wee trolley!

I thought it would be trashed!!! How wrong could I be. The trolley body was completely unscathed, the axle was completely straight, the only damage was that both plastic wheel hubs were broken. Once these were replaced, the trolley was fully functional again. Ronnie from KCS even supplied a fluorescent yellow strap so that Jimmy could see it better next time!

At £82 not only is this trolley near indestructible it is also a bargain! 


  1. If you had to choose between a KCS compact trolley or one of its bigger brothers which would you go for?

    I bought the compact version, not realising it wouldn’t fit my Aries 155, but Ronnie at KCS has kindly offered to either swap it for one that will fit or give me credit towards a bigger version.

    But the choice is not straightforward - the compact version will only fit some boats so I could end up needing a second, while I fear that even with nine-inch wheels an expedition trolley won’t leave room in my Aries for food, kit and so on.

    I’d value advice.

    Many thanks


    1. Hi Jonathan, yes the Aries bow and stern are quite different to most kayaks so the compact trolley needs to be a bit wider to fit. You can then pad it out with foam to fit a narrower kayak. However if you are wanting to use your Aries for food kit etc especially if camping and wanting to do a portage then the expedition trolley would be a better bet. If it is just day trips there will still be plenty of room inside the hatches. The 8" pneumatic wheels fit in the Aries round hatches but the wheel manufacturer now uses steel valve stems rather than brass. These will rust and the seal with the inner tube will leak leading to a flat tyre. I much prefer the 10" foam wheels. When camping in my Aries I keep them in a deck bag. You can see them on my rear deck in this photo taken by my friend Ian: (copy and paste the link)

    2. I read your post carefully, Douglas, and get the clear impression an Expedition Trolley will give me the best of both worlds.. Since it will work with different boats - loaded and unloaded - I’ve asked Ronnie at KCS to put the price of my compact trolley towards an expedition trolley. Thanks so much for your advice and for going into such careful detail.

      All the best


  2. Hi Douglas. We pushed a loaded boat from the stern, with the trolley. It worked fine on hard sand.

    1. Hi Alan, thank you very much for this useful information. The Solway sand is very soft and the wheels do not work even with an empty kayak.