Disclaimer: We may receive a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
Best Lightweight Kayaks Reviewed
If you love to go on adventures or to explore new locations and scenes, then a kayak is one of the best things you can have to make your hobby more enjoyable.
This boating must-have gives you the option to head out on a paddling experience any time you want without worrying about vehicle racks, storage, or how to get your big party boat into the water all by yourself.
Kayaks are a fun and practical way to have some leisure and create memories with family and friends. You can discover lost coastlines and beaches which are inaccessible via land or set up an exciting first date near home. However, few alternatives are available based on the features you’re looking out for and your budget.
The best lightweight kayak can come in a variety of build types. They can come in the form of an inflatable kayak, a foldable kayak, or a one-piece hard shell, can also help you determine which choice is best for you.
Furthermore, the size of your kayak is an essential factor worth considering since it can easily take the fun out of the paddling experience and slow you down, especially if it’s bulky.
There are various reasons why you should avoid big and weighty kayaks. These reasons include making it difficult to maneuver tight bends, how challenging they are to control, and how they can delay you if you need to recover from it capsizing.
What’s more, oversized and heavy kayaks can be pretty expensive compared to their lighter versions. A high-quality lightweight kayak is vital to enhance your experience and make you comfortable, as one individual can easily carry it. It saves you the trouble of stressing over your trip’s logistics and instead enables you to focus on enjoying the experience.
Purchasing the right lightweight kayak can be challenging, as you have to decide whether you prefer a folding kayak, an inflatable one, or another that comes in an integrated design?
To help you choose and make your shopping experience simpler here’s a helpful and practical buying guide to inform you of the right features in a lightweight kayak you should look out for, as well as some of the best options on the market.
It’s essential to choose the best lightweight kayak to enhance your boating experience. Below are some of the highly recommended ones.
Check Out Our Favorite Lightweight Kayak
Top Lightweight Kayaks Comparison Chart
Best Lightweight Kayak
1. ADVANCED ELEMENTS Lightweight Kayak
If you seek a lightweight and superior performance, the ADVANCED ELEMENTS Lightweight Kayak is an excellent option as it delivers outstanding speed and tracks in a 17.5 lbs package weight.
This ADVANCED ELEMENT kayak type is best suited for flatwater kayaking and is made of Ripstop polyester or polyurethane tarpaulin materials. It features a three-layer material with built-in aluminum ribs to define its bow and stern, improve tracking and deliver a high puncture resistance.
The ADVANCED ELEMENTS Lightweight Kayak comes with plastic molded handles for easy transport, a strengthened hard-edge bow and stern, a Neoprene paddle guard, and a storage compartment.
It also features welded seams and a tracking fin to keep you moving straight through the water. Additionally, it comes with a duffel bag with shoulder straps, a repair seat, and a folding seat. It’s stable and holds well, meaning you don’t have to worry about tipping over when kayaking.
The ADVANCED ELEMENT lightweight kayak is excellent for the summer since it’s easy to inflate, transport, and store, making it a solid choice for your on-the-go adventure and summer vacation.
The kayak is simple to set up and requires not more than 10 minutes. The average individual should have no challenge in carrying it over a 50 yards distance. Its sturdy nature helps it to maintain balance even when the water is turbulent.
Additionally, you should have no problem staying in a straight line when it’s properly inflated. As a plus, the ADVANCED ELEMENT lightweight kayak is also visually appealing, adding to its numerous advantages.
2. Pelican Recreational Lightweight Kayak
The Pelican Recreational Lightweight Kayak is built using a twin arched multi-chine hull and offers excellent stability that rookies love. Despite boasting a solid bottom, anxious paddlers may initially find that the kayak tips initially, mainly when there’s a little wind. However, it’s still a safe option for your boating adventures.
The Pelican Recreational Lightweight Kayak is furnished with brilliant stability and joined with an expansive cockpit, making it simple to get in and out of your kayak.
It also has an ergonomic carrying handle weighing only 42lbs. This feature enables you to easily carry the kayak to any place you choose to go.
Additionally, this lightweight kayak is made with premium RAM-X material, an extremely tough high molecular weight polyethylene containing an advanced resin layer for greater rigidity. At the same time, it maintains its conveniently lightweight nature.
Its Ergocast versatile seating system means you can easily remove the kayak seat and use it anywhere while maintaining your comfort. The Pelican Recreational Lightweight Kayak has a maximum capacity of 300lbs and a streamlined design that makes it faster than most recreational kayaks.
Like many built by the Pelican company, the kayak is lightweight and poses a solid structural design, meaning they don’t break down quickly. It has earned high reviews from most kayakers.
More so, the Pelican Recreational Lightweight Kayak’s light design makes it an appealing alternative for anybody that needs a small kayak without having to buy the inflatable or foldable kayak models, which comes with additional setup and breakdown requirements.
3. Oru Foldable Lightweight Kayak
The Oru Foldable Lightweight Kayak can float effortlessly on the water with its smooth and ergonomic plan.
It gives you the option to move it effectively inside strong waters regardless of whether you’re a novice or not.
The Oru Foldable Lightweight Kayak is produced using a solid 5mm custom polypropylene and can survive a great deal of wear and tear.
The kayak offers ten years of UV guard against color fading and harm and has gone through extreme testing to verify its sturdiness and unwavering quality, meeting the requirements of the US coast guard. The Oru Foldable Lightweight Kayak, which comes in a red and gray design, has underlying aluminum ribs that characterize the bow and stern and enhance tracking. Its three-layer materials make it resistant to puncture, so you don’t have to worry about it deflating.
This versatile, lightweight kayak is factory pre-assembled, meaning you can unfold, inflate and attach seats within five minutes. Its high support and movable cushion seats offer comfort to paddle for hours, with its appearance and paddle similar to a rigid hard-shell kayak with inflatable movability.
The budget-friendly Oru Foldable Lightweight Kayak is ideal for any adventurer with a bit of space. It’s small enough to fit even in the smallest of spaces and excellent for voyaging since it can fit on trains, planes, cross-country boats. Since you can travel with it, you can go kayaking even when you’re away from home. Imagine taking a trip with the lightweight Oru kayak from your small apartment to the riverside of town.
4. Pelican Sentinel 100X Lightweight Kayak
The Pelican Sentinel 100X compact 9’6″ kayak is ideal for the sporting paddler searching for a simple to-store kayak with comforting stability and an open seating system.
It’s designed with licensed RAM-X material, which offers a solid yet advantageously lightweight kayak that accompanies a limited lifespan on both deck and hull.
Additionally, it comes with the ExoShell 13L removable storage partition. This handy accessory permits you to pack your stuff at home for quick stacking once you get waterside. It’s made with the exceptionally durable triple-layer RAM X material Weighing just 42lbs, the Pelican Sentinel 100X Lightweight Kayak is simple to convey and store with a limited capacity of 275lbs.
Its unique assembling process creates room for extra flotation in foam blocks between the kayak deck and underside. The kayak’s foam blocks make it stronger and guarantee a much safer paddling experience. Besides its superb quality, excellent pricing, and open design, the Pelican Sentinel 100X Lightweight Kayak has functional handles shaped into the sides for simple loading and unloading from the water.
The nice rubber bottom means your items won’t easily slide around while you’re seated comfortably. If you’re looking to bring along a partner or simply searching for a kayak that’s easy to use, then the Pelican Sentinel 100X is built just for you.
5. Lifetime Triton Angler 100 Lightweight Kayak
If you enjoy fishing in a serene lake, calm sea bay, or waterway, then the Lifetime Triton Angler 100 Lightweight Kayak can offer you a smooth fishing experience.
It’s purposely built with a focus on performance and stability. Likewise, the ultralight kayak comes with two flush mount holders and a massive tank well at the rear with bungees to hold your stuff.
Lifetime Triton Angler 100 Lightweight Kayak includes an integrated skeg to enhance tracking and maintain direction while rowing at the same time. The adjustable seat back, molded-in footrests, and inbuilt water bottle holder are some incredible highlights that offer kayakers additional comfort while on the water.
The switch handles on the bow and stern allow you to move the kayak to and from the water quickly, making this kayak a strong alternative for your next fishing expedition.
The Lifetime Triton Angler 100 Lightweight Kayak comes with a maximum weight capacity of 275lbs, an olive green color, and a width and height of 30.5in and 13in, respectively. For the experienced kayakers who would want to test themselves to the extreme, the Lifetime Triton Angler 100 Lightweight Kayak is an excellent fit.
It’s suitable for bigger children and adults alike. One tremendous advantage of this kayak is its easy maneuverability which is essential, particularly when navigating windy and unpredictable areas.
Top Lightweight Kayak Features To Consider
The prospect of having a kayak can be thrilling, yet with the number of alternatives available on the market, it can be challenging to choose one.
However, there are a few factors to consider; how you intend to use the kayak, for instance, fishing or recreational, where you intend to use it more often, either in rough or calm waters, and the kind of experience you seek. Whichever way, here are some vital tips to help you make the right choice.
Sit-in vs. sit-on-top
Deciding which of these two kayak categories works best for you helps you narrow down your options. Sit-in kayaks are the earliest builds and come with a cockpit. They offer some shelter from the water and wind.
Additionally, they provide extra coverage with a spray skirt and adaptable waterproof cover with an opening for your waist. This feature can help prevent water from entering the kayak. These models also offer additional storage rooms and are typically built with foot supports.
Despite some opinions, sit-in kayaks are beautiful and spacious, meaning you don’t have to worry about being confined to a bit of space.
On the other hand, sit-on-top kayaks are easy to use and appropriate for fishing or water sport activities. They’re adaptable and are generally a decent alternative for novice kayakers. This kayak type is more suited for warm conditions since the water may sometimes splash on you.
Sit-on-top kayaks are relatively easy to get on and off by providing a decent degree of steadiness. These kayaks are self-bailing and have scupper openings that permit water to drain directly through.
The kayak’s hull design, which is the bottom shape, is another essential consideration as it makes a massive difference in performance and stability while on water. This stability could be primary or secondary.
The primary one refers to how stable the kayak is at the point when you’re getting on, implying that there’s less possibility of flipping over the kayak when stepping in. The secondary stability dictates how likely you’ll flip over the kayak when you begin paddling.
It’s essential to remember that every kayak’s capacity differs and should be visibly stated when you’re making your kayak purchase. The weight capacity considers the bodyweight of the paddler and any extra items in the kayak. It can likewise include fishing tackles, coolers, and gear.
Length and width
Usually, the more extended and smaller the kayak, the quicker and straighter it goes. A kayak is more steady and simpler to turn if it’s more extensive and shorter, yet it might sacrifice speed.
If you’re new to kayaking rookie, a wider build can be a good choice as you become used to being on the water. A recreational kayak is around 8 feet to 13 feet in length and is built for rivers, small lakes, and still waters.