I had the challenge recently of carrying a kayak or two down the water from the parking lot at Lake clementine. So I did research and purchased the Harmony Cart – http://www.harmonygear.com/product/0/8023290/_/Boat_Cart . Here is my product review of this cart and my recommendations if you have the same challenge I did.
First, let’s start by saying that in the box there were no directions, but seriously like I would have read them if they were in there to start with.. So I took it out of the box, strapped it to a single kayak at home to test It out. I rolled it around the court and for the most part it felt like success. To note, I was rolling around the Malibu XL 3 person kayak and I also had a witness, my daughter was watching me do this and even said it was “cool” how you could roll the boat around w/o issues.
So fast forward out a week or so, I was in Auburn, Cali – Lake Clementine – Uppers. I had a few kids with me, therefore it was time to put the Harmony Cart to a full test on rough terrain. From the parking space to the water is about a 25% drop in the grade, with about a 100’ from car to water, with rocks mixed from 3 to 6” round w/ some mixed sand right when you hit the water. I loaded up the boats w/ all the gear, stacked them up correctly (which means the bottom boat had no seats connected so it would stack cleanly), then I strapped the boats onto the cart. First I didn’t think about where the load was balanced and where I was strapping it to.. Therefore first attempt was a complete #FAIL as I started rolling the cart just collapsed and the wheels started to drag? Why so? Well you can’t connect to the back bar on the rack as the point of the strap, you need to connect to the front bar (this is a BIG deal and something I wish I knew prior). At this point a bro in the parking lot saw my dilemma and jumped in to help me down to the water. This is another testament to the super awesome folks in Auburn and how cool folks are to lend a hand.
We made it to the water, had a great day (actually EPIC time) paddling around the lake and then it was time to get back to the jeep. Our theme in our family is “Hillikers don’t’ give up”, so with that being said it was time to try it again to get back to the jeep. I spent more time thinking about where is the best point in the kayak to strap it, which is the right bar to use and also where should I be pulling from, bottom boat. I loaded the boats, unstrapped the seats from the bottom, put all the gear in the top and started my way back up the grade. Well I made it about 75% up the grade and it collapsed again, so I restrapped, tried again and it was a #FAIL again. I finally made it to the jeep, loaded the boats and was thinking how could I have failed on such a simple thing like a boat cart.
When I got home I checked the tire pressure (perfect), I checked the box again (no instructions) and I then I tried it again on flat ground. It was PRIMO, no problems.
So.. My review of this product is that it’s great for roads, great for flat ground, but as soon as you bring in a mixed terrain of rocks and sand it is not going to pass the test. Would I buy it again? Don’t think so.. or shall I say “not so much”. I did hear a guy at Kayakcity.com mention that he made his own with tires from Harbor freight and pipe from Home depot.. So the next day it’s a little cooler than a 100 I’m going to build my own and test it out.
If you have built your own or have a better idea please let me know. Thank you