I bought one after a friend of mine told me about how she used hers to tow her boat from her house to the beach; which was about half a mile away. This got me to thinking about how I usually went about getting my kayak down to the shoreline, which was to hoist it up on my shoulder and carry it down to the water from were I parked my truck. Followed by a second trip back to the truck to get my extra large Tupper Ware container with all my gear in it, followed by a third trip back to the truck to get rid of the container.
That's three trips in all which is a lot of running back and forth not to mention that being the paranoid type that I really hated leaving my kayak and gear on the beach out of sight while returning to my truck each time. So after researching it I decided to go ahead and buy a Paddleboy Original for the following reasons.
Solid wheels: I wanted wheels that were not going to go flat, yet still provide adequate traction and support for most of the terrain that I expected to tow my kayak over. If you plan to tow your kayak over sand or long distances then solid wheels may not be the best choice for you, instead go with one of the larger inflatable wheel models.
Foldable: Remember what I said about all those trips to the truck? Well if you cannot fold the carrier up and place it inside of your kayak then your going to have to make a trip back to your vehicle to lock it up or leave it on shore. The Original folds down to a compact size and fits into the rear hatch of my Prijon Barracuda or Touryak.
One other foldable feature that I was looking for was to not to have to take the thing apart so I could place it in my rear hatch. The Original solves this problem by being collapsible, all you have to do is pick it up and it folds.
Straps: when I get down to the water I'm like a little kid in the candy store and all I want to do is get going, so one of the things that I did not want to do was spend a great deal of time strapping the carrier to the kayak with ratchet straps etc. The Original solves this problem by securing the carrier to the kayak with an adjustable bungee cord and hook that maintains pressure on the carrier to keep it from sliding off the kayak, works for me.
Easy on and easy off, just the way I like it. If you think, you are going to be hauling your kayak over a lot of uneven terrain then a full strap on model I think would hold the kayak to the carrier better.
End mount: you have two choices when it comes to mounting your carrier to your kayak, either center or end mount, each has its advantages. For me I went with the end mount because it was faster and easier to attach to the kayak, but for every advantage there is a disadvantage and for the end mounts its the weight you have to support when towing the kayak, if you have a really heavy load or have to go a long distance then go with a center mount
Overall, I am very pleased with the Paddleboy Original. I probably could have made one myself but after buying the material and spending the time putting it all together I would have, saved little and I do not think it would have been foldable.
If you plan on crossing the Tundra with a ton of gear then there are other models you may want to consider, but for the average, I just want to get my kayak from my vehicle to the water sort of person then this product is perfect.
The Paddleboys fit and finish is very good, the wheels are heavy duty enough as is the metal frame and bungee cord. I see no reason why with proper care that this product shouldn't provide years of dependable service, and while the cost is more than I wanted to pay I think it's offset by the money I saved in medical bills that I didn't have to shell out for fixing my aching back. Money well spent!
Overall I am very happy with it. I park at the marina wherever there is a space, put the cart on the stern, and grab the bow handle and pull the boat to the water. I push the bow out into the water, and most times get the cart off without getting it wet! It collapses small enough for me to put it inside the rear compartment (I put a towel there in case it does get wet), and off I go. When I come back to the ramp, I get the cart out, lift the stern out onto the ramp area, and slide the cart into place. I must say it works well, and does the job I ask of it. It stays in place on hard surfaces and grass pretty well. I do think the tires would be too narrow for sand, but they do make a different model for that use.
My only complaint was the price. I paid $98.00 for it, and for what it is, I think it is a bit over priced,. BUT... It seems sturdy and should last a long time. I guess my back is well worth the money I spent. Would I buy one again after using this? Yes!