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15 Best Lightweight Kayaks (Portable, Easy to Transport and Carry)

The best lightweight kayaks will make the journey in and out of the water a total breeze. It’s always so enjoyable to get out on the water and paddle around without much effort. However, it can be a total pain to lug around a heavy watercraft before and after your kayaking trip.

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Justin and I adore kayaking when we travel, whether it’s close to home or somewhere around the globe. We’ve gone kayaking at the 1000 Islands; sea kayaking in Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec; paddling around an island in Put-in-Bay, Ohio; kayaking past manatees in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; through the mangroves in the Key West, and I’ve even written about the best kayaking adventures in Australia.

Best Lightweight Kayaks

Once you own your own kayak, it’s much easier to arrange a paddling trip without booking a kayaking tour. You can choose to go kayaking whenever you like. It’s easy to spontaneously drive up to a lake or river and launch your watercraft. But, you’ll soon realize that if you don’t own a lightweight kayak, a paddling trip can become more of a chore than a pleasure.

Here’s everything you need to know about the best lightweight kayaks on the market. I’ll show you which ones are the most portable and lightweight out there. Some of these kayaks fold up and pack easily into the trunk of your car. Some of these kayaks are inexpensive and some of them are a little pricier with more features. Out of this list of the best lightweight kayaks, there’s the perfect one for you (and I’ll help you find it!).

Quick Summary: What are the Best Lightweight Kayaks?

Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here’s the quick list of the best lightweight kayaks featured in this article:

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak

Oru Kayak Inlet Folding Kayak – 10′

Eddyline Sky 10 Kayak

Aquaglide Chinook 100 Inflatable Kayak

Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak

Aquaglide Deschutes 130 Inflatable Kayak

Perception Joyride 10 Kayak

Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Kayak – 12′

Sevylor Quikpak K1

Ocean Kayak Malibu

TAHE Beach LP3 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Sea Eagle Sport Kayak

Explorer K2 Kayak

Intex Challenger Kayak

Why Choose a Lightweight Kayak?

Why Choose a Lightweight Kayak?

While there isn’t a one size fits all approach to choosing a kayak, there are many advantages to buying a lightweight kayak over a heavier model. Transportability is a major factor. You’ll want to be able to easily transport your kayak from the car to the water, especially if you’re venturing out on your own.

As I’m often a solo female traveler, I’m proud to boast that these are some of the best kayaks for women, simply because I’m able to carry them on my own. Similarly, these are among the best kayaks for senior citizens, too!

In addition to being able to easily carry these light kayaks, many of them don’t require a roof rack on your car. The inflatable kayaks and folding kayaks are less bulky and more compact. Throw them into the trunk of your car. Many of them even fold into their own case, meaning that you can fly with them as a piece of checked luggage.

A lightweight kayak will encourage you to explore new terrain. With a heavy kayak, you might be tempted not to lug it to some faraway body of water. These best lightweight kayaks can be carried to more distant lakes or archipelagos you always wanted to explore.

With that said, lightweight kayaks aren’t meant for sea kayaking or paddling through intense river rapids. You will need to use a proper sea kayak for sea kayaking, and a kayak rated for the class of rapids you are looking to pursue. If you’re newer to kayaking, I highly recommend taking a look at these paddling safety tips.

Should you fall out of your kayak, a lighter vessel is a bit easier to tip back over. I’m fortunate that I haven’t had my kayak tip over just yet, but it isn’t much of an issue if it does. You’ll also be quicker to gain speed in a lightweight kayak over a heavier kayak because you’re simply paddling with less weight on board.

Here are the Best Lightweight Kayaks

These are some of the lightest kayaks on the market compiled into one handy list for you. I’ve shared 15 light kayaks in total, starting with the best single person kayaks and moving onto the best lightweight tandem kayaks. Without further ado, here are the best recreational kayaks to consider adding to your arsenal of outdoor adventure gear.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame

Specs:
Weight: 36 lbs
Length: 10′5″
Max Capacity: 300 lbs

When you’re shopping for the best lightweight kayak on the market, there are a few key factors where the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak succeeds. This kayak combines the design elements of a folding frame kayak and an inflatable kayak.

It’s compact and easy to set up with no assembly required. All you have to do is unfold the kayak, inflate it, and begin your paddling adventure.

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak folds into the small dimensions of 30x17x10″, meaning that you can bring it just about anywhere. At the same time, this lightweight kayak is made with high quality and sturdy materials.

It is manufactured with its PVC Tarpaulin Hull Material, a polyester fabric sandwiched by numerous layers of vinyl, for maximum durability. Its rigid aluminum frame reinforced bow allows you to glide through the water with ease, while the aluminum frame reinforced stern acts as a skeg, which increases its tracking performance.

This kayak feels quite spacious with ample legroom and storage space. Plus, there’s an adjustable padded seat with fantastic support, so you’ll be able to paddle for hours without feeling sore. This is one of my favorite lightweight kayaks and one of the best inflatable kayaks on the market.


Oru Kayak Inlet Folding Kayak – 10′

Oru Kayak Inlet Folding Kayak - 10'

Specs:
Weight: 20 lbs
Length: 10′
Max Capacity: 275 lbs

In this list of the best lightweight kayaks, I had to include at least a couple from the Oru Kayak brand. The Oru Kayak Inlet is one of the world’s lightest and most compact foldable kayaks. It folds into a box that’s about the size of a guitar case (40x19x10”), and can be transformed from box to boat in under 3 minutes.

While you may not normally feel comfortable trekking with a heavy kayak, you can carry this one wherever you’d like to paddle with ease. Venture to that distant alpine lake, no problem! One advantage to choosing the Oru Kayak Inlet is that it’s not an inflatable kayak. Unfold it and you’re ready to go.

The Oru Kayak Inlet is sleek, reliable, and durable, made out of 5mm double-layered custom-extruded polypropylene. It is manufacturer rated for 20,000 folds and exceeds the U.S. Coast Guard recreational vessel requirements. It’s perfect for paddling on calm waters, like bays, rivers and lakes, and ideal for beginners and experts alike.

You may have seen Oru Kayaks featured on Shark Tank, Forbes, CNN, Wall Street Journal, and Oprah Magazine. It’s a small business brand and they proudly back up their products with a 12 month warranty and 30 day money back guarantee. You’ve got nothing to lose by giving this one a try.


Eddyline Sky 10 Kayak

Eddyline Sky 10

Specs:
Weight: 32 lbs
Length: 10′
Max Capacity: 250 lbs

The Eddyline Sky 10 Kayak is a reliable, sturdy, and well made watercraft that’s quite possibly the best single person kayak. This a 10 ft kayak that has a pleasing design in lime green or yellow. While it doesn’t inflate or fold up, it only weighs 32 pounds so you can easily carry it from one place to the next.

It is made out of carbonlite composite ABS construction that resists abrasion, and it also has a UV-resistant exterior. There are two storage areas at the bow and stern of the kayak. Plus, there’s a soft foam seat and backrest, as well as a large cockpit for entry.

This kayak is designed for its durability and its comfort. It’s among the most top rated sit in kayaks for this reason. Go kayaking all day if you wish. The Eddyline Sky 10 Kayak is recommended for flatwater kayaking at places like lakes, sheltered shores and gently flowing rivers.

There’s zero setup time, just pop it in your hatchback or on top of your car, then unload and paddle at your destination. This kayak has a steeper price tag than some of the other ones I mention in this article, but it is an amazing investment if you love kayaking. These composite kayaks are made in the USA.


Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak

Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak

Specs:
Weight: 38 lbs
Length: 8′
Max Capacity: 250 lbs

Are you looking for a small sit on top kayak? The Lifetime Lotus Sit-on-Top Kayak is one of the best kayaks under 10 feet, coming in at only 8 feet long. There’s the option to purchase one or a package of two kayaks at a time in case you’d like a matching kayak for your adventure buddy.

There are a number of advantages to choosing the Lifetime Lotus Sit-on-Top Kayak. First, its design provides fantastic stability and tracking. It comes with a paddle, so you don’t need to make that additional purchase (many kayaks listed here do not come with a paddle).

There are drainage holes in the cockpit area to keep the water out and away. There’s a large storage area with a bungee cord to secure your belongings. The kayak is also made out of a high-density Polyethylene, it’s UV protected (protects against cracking and peeling), and it comes with a 5 year limited warranty.


Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120

Specs:
Weight: 49 lbs
Length: 12’2″
Max Capacity: 325 lbs

One of the longer kayaks on this list, the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak is one of the best lightweight kayaks in production. It provides amazing performance out on the water in terms of speed and stability, plus it provides the ultimate in comfort. This kayak is efficient and easy to paddle.

This kayak is fully adjustable, from its thigh pads to its slidelock XL adjustable foot braces. Its patented Phase 3 AirPro seating system supports your lower back while you paddle. While this is one of the heavier kayaks on this list of light kayaks, its rigid handles make the kayak very comfortable to carry.

And it seems as though they’ve thought about every little detail. There’s a hatch with a sealed bulkhead that provides dry storage. There are two mounting platforms that will allow you to mount a phone or a camera. There are even cup holders and a removable dry box.


Aquaglide Deschutes 130 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Deschutes 130

Specs:
Weight: 21 lbs
Length: 13″
Max Capacity: 400 lbs

This isn’t your average inflatable kayak. Aquaglide Deschutes 130 Inflatable Kayak is a comfortable, day touring kayak that weighs a mere 21 pounds and has a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds! Its long and narrow design allows for amazing tracking and you’ll glide across the water with ease.

It’s made with Duratex reinforced PVC, and its FeatherFrame crosspiece support provides a durable structure without any heavy aluminum parts. The seat has a padded cushion and a high, supportive backrest that’s breathable (perfect on warm days).

You’ll be able to put this kayak together within minutes. Remove it from the bag, inflate the three chambers, and you’re all set. The open cockpit design is a breeze to get into and out of, and the splashguards at the bow and stern of the kayak will help keep you dry.

The front and rear bungee cords will help you secure a variety of items to bring with you on your kayaking adventure. This is one of the best inflatable kayaks on the market that may have you thinking….hard-shell kayak who?


Perception Joyride 10 Kayak

Perception Joyride 10

Specs:
Weight: 50 lbs
Length: 10″
Max Capacity: 275 lbs

The Perception Joyride 10 Kayak is one of the heavier best lightweight kayaks on the list, but it is a top-rated, high quality, hard-shell kayak that is worthy of being mentioned. It’s a sit-in kayak made out of polyethylene plastic, and it has a padded and adjustable seat. There are thigh pads for extra comfort, too.

The front and rear carry handles make this one a breeze to transport from one place to another, though it may be easier if you carry it with another person’s assistance. There’s a large storage compartment in the rear of the kayak and it also has drink holders.

Another fun feature of the Perception Joyride 10 foot kayak: its patent-pending Selfie Slot! There are ledges for your smartphone so you can capture multiple angles of your kayaking journeys. In addition, it comes with two solo mount recesses, so you can mount your favourite after market accessories without drilling any holes in the kayak.


Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Kayak – 12′

Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Kayak - 12'

Specs:
Weight: 26 lbs
Length: 12″
Max Capacity: 300 lbs

From my earlier review of the Oru Kayak Inlet, I’m sure you can tell that I’m a big fan of these foldable kayaks. The Oru Kayak Beach is another excellent folding kayak, inspired by the art of origami. This foldable kayak collapses to the size of a backpack and it’s incredibly lightweight. Unfold it and you’ll be paddling the lake in moments.

Its durable 2-layer polypropylene material can be folded and unfolded thousands of times without breaking, and the kayak is also puncture resistant. The kayak is incredibly stable on lakes and slow moving rivers. This is the perfect vessel for beginner and experienced kayakers.

The extra space in the Oru Kayak Beach could fit a cooler, a backpack, or even your dog! It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, and there’s a large open cockpit that is a breeze for all paddlers to get in and out of. Although it’s a more expensive price tag than some of the other kayaks on this list, it’s a worthwhile investment.


Sevylor Quikpak K1

Sevylor Quikpak K1

Specs:
Weight: 20 lbs
Length: 8’7″
Max Capacity: 400 lbs

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 is the ideal kayak for beginners. It seems to tick many of the boxes: it’s lightweight, it has a large maximum capacity, and you can’t beat the price. This could be the best kayak for beginners. It’s a great idea to see how you enjoy kayaking before you invest in something more expensive.

This kayak has a quick set-up as you only need to inflate it. Its rugged 21-gauge PVC construction and puncture resistant design sets you up to have an enjoyable day on the lake. There are multiple air chambers. If one gets punctured, the whole kayak won’t lose air.

There’s also a comfortable backrest and multiple foot rests so you can enjoy the ride. It functions as a sit-on-top kayak, meaning that you can easily hop off the boat and into the water for a swim. The kayak also includes a paddle and an air pump, so no need to purchase those items separately.


Ocean Kayak Malibu

Ocean Kayak Malibu

Specs:
Weight: 54 lbs
Length: 9’5″
Max Capacity: 325 lbs

The Ocean Kayak Malibu is a fantastic sit-on-top recreational kayak that navigates through the waters with ease, even if it gets a little wavy out there. The sit-on-top hull is designed for stability in surf, and it’s also great on lakes and rivers, too.

This one is a bit on the heavy side, and nearly doesn’t make it into the category of ‘best lightweight kayaks’. It’s such an excellent watercraft with so many advantages, it’s worth lugging a few extra pounds around.

For instance, its features include: molded foot wells with calf rests for added leg support, molded paddle rests, bow and stern toggle handle grips, molded side handles, and three cup holders. Its molded seat and backrest provide optimal support and comfort.

On Amazon, there’s a whole collection of Ocean Kayak Malibu products, including lengthier kayaks, tandem kayaks, pedal kayaks and even a family kayak (fits two people, plus a child or a dog). I loved using Ocean Kayaks when paddling in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Aquaglide Chinook 100 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Chinook 100 Inflatable Kayak

Specs:
Weight: 23 lbs
Length: 10′
Max Capacity: 400 lbs

The Aquaglide Chinook 100 is an ultralight inflatable kayak, coming in at only 23 pounds. This is one of the best lightweight inflatable kayaks out there. It has an all-purpose, open-cockpit where you can paddle solo or tandem. It can hold two kayakers, as well as some extra gear or lunch.

This kayak has a simple setup and rolls away into a bag for storage when you aren’t using it. The open cockpit design allows you to enter and exit the kayak with ease. The HexShell 600-denier ripstop polyester boasts strength, durability, UV protection and puncture resistance.

There’s a removable floor that adds durability and makes it a breeze to clean, plus the seat comes with a supportive and breathable high backrest for hot days. This is one of the best lightweight tandem kayaks you can find. It’s great for you and a buddy (or your dog!), and you’ll surely have an amazing day out on the water.


TAHE Beach LP3 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

TAHE Beach LP3 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Specs:
Weight: 32 lbs
Length: 12’6″
Max Capacity: 507 lbs

Have you ever seen a three person tandem kayak? The TAHE Beach LP3 Tandem Inflatable Kayak is ideal for families, seating two adults and a child (or dog). It comes with everything you need to get out on the water. There’s the kayak, three paddles, an inflation pump, and a repair kit that all fits neatly into the included backpack.

The TAHE Beach LP3 Kayak features an hydrodynamic hull for easy paddling, plus three removable fins for tracking and control. There are three adjustable and removable inflatable seats, and bungee cords at the back for additional storage.

You can inflate this kayak in five minutes and be out on the water in no time. It’s best for solo excursions or family outings, and ideal to use on lakes and gently flowing rivers. If you’re a family that loves to kayak, you should definitely consider this one for your next adventure.


Sea Eagle Sport Kayak

Sea Eagle Sport Kayak

Specs:
Weight: 26 lbs
Length: 11′
Max Capacity: 500 lbs

Is this America’s most popular kayak? According to Sea Eagle, their Sea Eagle Sport Kayak is their lightest and most portable kayak, that also happens to be America’s favorite! This rugged kayak is perfect for two people, but also portable enough to be transported by just one person.

Some of its best features include: two skegs on the bottom for better tracking & speed,  inflatable spray skirts, sun and saltwater resistant hull material, and a bow and stern grab line. This one is also a fantastic whitewater rafting kayak, suitable up to class III rapids.

Here are more extra features. Both the Sea Eagle website and Amazon offer packages including the kayak, paddles, inflatable seat, foot pump, repair kit, and bag. This is one of the best lightweight kayaks that’s inflatable and versatile. It’s suitable for recreational kayaking and kayaking the rapids, too.


Explorer K2 Kayak

Explorer K2 Kayak

Specs:
Weight: 30 lbs
Length: 10’3″
Max Capacity: 400 lbs

The Explorer K2 Kayak is one of the least expensive kayaks on this list (it’s only around $100!), so you can test the waters for a low price…quite literally! This is a comfortable kayak for anyone. There’s an adjustable inflatable seat with backrest, as well as a spacious cockpit.

It is made with heavy duty, puncture resistant vinyl. There are three separate air chambers and an inflatable I-beam floor for stability. In addition, there’s a removable skeg for directional stability, and a grab line on both ends of the kayak.

The Explorer K2 Kayak is a recreational watercraft meant for gentle lakes and rivers. You could have a really fun day with this one out on the water for a few hours. It’s perfect for vacations and holidays because it’s easy to throw this one in the back of your vehicle. It’s an affordable kayak that may have you rethinking a hard-shell kayak.


Intex Challenger Kayak

Intex Challenger Kayak

Specs:
Weight: 33 lbs
Length: 11’6″
Max Capacity: 400 lbs

Last but not least, here is the Intex Challenger Kayak. The Intex Challenger K is a slight upgrade from the Explorer K2 Kayak. There are removable and adjustable seats, grab lines on both ends, a V-shaped hull, and a removable skeg.

The Intex Challenger is made with a super tough vinyl material that’s puncture resistant, as well as UV damage resistant. There are Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation. Furthermore, this kayak comes with a cargo net in the front to hold some of your belongings.

The high ratings for this kayak will assure you that this is an affordable, yet durable investment. It’s excellent for cruising speeds and it has wonderful tracking capabilities. It’s reportedly great in windy conditions with some small waves, even though it’s mostly recommended for calm conditions on lakes and bays.


Best Lightweight Kayaks: A Complete Buyer’s Guide

Okay, so perhaps all of the above kayaks seem like great options. But, are you looking to pick the right kayak for you? In this buying guide, I’ve put together a list of considerations that will be specific to your personal needs when purchasing the best kayak on the market.

Types of Kayak and Their Use

Many different colourful kayaks

First and foremost, consider where you’ll be using your kayak. You should consider a lightweight kayak if you’re using it for recreational purposes, on gentle rivers, lakes, and bays. If you are going to go sea kayaking or ocean kayaking, I would purchase a more heavy duty vessel that can handle the intense waves of the sea. Same goes for whitewater kayaking.

Recreational Kayaks

Recreational kayaks are great general purpose watercrafts that are meant for paddling on lakes and gentle rivers. Most of the kayaks on this list are for recreational use. These are not the kind of kayak you should get if you’re going to paddle around the sea, ocean, or any kind of intense rapids. This list of the best lightweight kayaks showcases recreational kayaks, and not anything heavy duty enough to tackle ocean waves or whitewater rapids.

Sea Kayaks

Sea kayaks are equipped to tackle and cut through ocean waves. These kayaks are longer, more narrow, and usually equipped with a rudder or skeg. They are built to handle windy and more treacherous conditions. It is possible to find lightweight sea kayaks. They are usually tandem kayaks as you shouldn’t paddle around the sea by yourself.

Whitewater Kayaks

There are kayaks on the market built specifically for tackling whitewater rapids. Don’t even think about taking a recreational kayak through the rapids! Whitewater kayaks are sturdy and short kayaks. There are also some inflatable kayaks that are designed to handle whitewater rapids.

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Types and Materials

Best folding kayaks

There are a variety of types of kayaks when it comes to materials. These can primarily be divided into three categories: hard-shell kayaks, inflatable kayaks, and foldable kayaks.

Hard Shell Kayaks

Hard shell kayaks are the classic design that you’ll typically see when you rent a kayak from a tour company or professional outfitter. They are either constructed from plastic or fiberglass. Generally, hard shell kayaks will be heavier than inflatable or foldable kayaks, but they may offer better performance and durability in the long run.

Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks have a couple of key advantages: they are very lightweight, portable, and usually the least expensive of the lot. While they are more affordable, they may not perform as well on the water as hard shell or foldable kayaks. However, inflatable kayaks have improved vastly over the years, so the ones in this list do perform quite well.

You will also need to pump them up each time before you use them, so it will add a little bit of extra time to your trip. Check to see if your inflatable kayak comes with a pump. Many inflatable kayaks will not come with a pump, and you’ll need to purchase one separately. Make sure that the pump you are going to buy works with your kayak.

Foldable Kayaks

Folding kayaks can be the best option, offering the advantages of an inflatable and hard shell kayak. They are lightweight and portable, often folding down to the size of a suitcase. They’re usually made out of a collapsible material and a waterproof fabric. The foldable kayaks that I’ve mentioned in this article are extremely high quality and built to last.

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Sit On Top vs Sit In

Sit-in Kayak

You can either use a sit on top kayak or a sit in kayak. This is exactly how it sounds. Again, it comes down to personal preference as to which one you choose.

Sit-in kayaks are kayaks that you slide into and you’ll feel a little bit more secure within one of these. Most high performance kayaks are sit-inside kayaks. If you attach a skirt to a sit-in kayak, you’ll be protected from the water. However, you’re less likely to get wet inside a sit-in kayak, unless there are larger waves. Sit-in kayaks are ideal for colder environments as you’ll be a little more protected from the elements.

A disadvantage of a sit-in kayak is that you won’t have the freedom to move about or jump into the water as easily. Taller kayakers may feel too restrained by a sit-in kayak.

Conversely, sit-on-top kayaks are great for tall people because your legs won’t be confined to the cockpit. You will get more wet on top of a sit-on-top kayak, but many of these kayaks are self-bailing and won’t flood.

Overall, sit-on-top kayaks are a little less comfortable for long trips and they won’t perform quite as well as a sit-in kayak. They are a great choice for beginner paddlers or those who are paddling as a newer hobby.

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Main Considerations to Compare

Kayaking in the 1000 Islands

Once you’ve figured out which type of kayak you’re looking to buy (for instance, a recreational kayak that’s inflatable, folding or hard shell), there are a few other key factors to consider before you make your final purchase.

Weight of the Kayak

In this article about the best lightweight kayaks, this may be one of the main features you consider. All of the kayaks in this article weigh 50 pounds or less (there is one coming in at slightly over 50 pounds). You will need to think about the weight that you are willing or able to carry when transporting your kayak down to the water.

If you have issues carrying a kayak that weighs over 30 or 40 pounds, I would certainly consider getting one that weighs less than that. If it’s too heavy for you to carry, you may not end up using it very often.

Durability and Adjustability

All of the kayaks I’ve listed in this article are thoroughly tested and come highly recommended. They are also backed up by fantastic reviews. Keep in mind that some materials are stronger than others. Kayaks won’t last forever. Inflatable kayaks may suffer some punctures and will need to be patched.

Hard shell kayaks will last longer than some of the other types of kayaks. Some kayaks will also be backed by a warranty from the company.

Another factor to consider, especially if you’re taller, is adjustability. It is important to be comfortable, especially for longer paddling sessions. Some kayaks come with adjustable seats and footrests. You may also want to make sure the cockpit is big enough, too. Many kayaks have main cockpits that are very small spaces to get into…keep that in mind!

Weight Capacity of the Vessel

The weight capacity of the kayak is another factor to consider. I’ve listed the weight capacities of each kayak and tandem kayak. Think about the weight of you, your paddling partner, and perhaps even your dog if you’re taking your furry friend on board.

Also, determine the weight of the items you plan to bring on board with you. Make sure that the kayak can hold you and your equipment without exceeding the weight capacity of the vessel. When researching the best lightweight kayaks, it’s important to consider the kayak’s weight capacity.

The Price

And finally, it may all come down to the price. You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions. How often will you be kayaking? How much money are you willing to invest in your paddling hobby?

You might want to splurge on a top of the line kayak if you have the budget for it. If you only find yourself kayaking a couple of times a year and you don’t want to spend too much, one of the lower priced kayaks in this list could work really well.

Buying a really cheap kayak without great reviews won’t be your best bet. You don’t want your kayak to break or deflate after only a couple of uses. That’s just a waste of money, time, and you’ll end up buying a new kayak in the end.

I’d invest in a kayak that is built to last many years. Purchase one that works within your budget and the specifications that I’ve mentioned above. There’s a great kayak out there for everyone!

The Verdict: What are the Best Lightweight Kayaks?

What is the Best Lightweight Kayak?

What are the best lightweight kayaks? It all comes down to the personal preferences that I mentioned above. When considering the type of kayak, its weight, its price, its construction materials, and more, a lot of that is up to your own choices.

For example, it might be the best hard shell kayak in the world, but if you need a kayak that fits in the trunk of your car, a folding kayak might be best.

In my opinion, my top picks for the best lightweight kayaks are the Oru Kayak Beach LT for its foldability, portability and durability; the Eddyline Sky 10 Kayak for being such a lightweight hard shell kayak (with a sleek design); and the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak for being the best lightweight inflatable kayak on this list.

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Frequently Asked Questions

Have any more questions about the best lightweight kayaks out there? Here are a few quick fire questions in this FAQ section that may help you out.

What is the lightest kayak?

The inflatable and foldable kayaks tend to be the lightest in weight. From our list, the Oru Kayak Inlet weighs only 20lbs, the Aquaglide Deschutes Inflatable Kayak weighs only 21lbs, and the Sea Eagle Sport Kayak weighs only 26lbs.

What is the lightest weight tandem kayak?

There are many lightweight inflatable tandem kayaks on the market. The Aquaglide Chinook 100 weighs only 23lbs and it supports a maximum weight capacity of 400lbs!

What brand makes the lightest kayak?

Overall, the Oru Kayaks are the lightest kayaks on the market. These are foldable kayaks that don’t need to be inflated. They go from box to kayak in under 3 minutes. They only weigh about 20 to 25lbs in total.

What should I wear when kayaking?

Layers are key when kayaking. Dress in lightweight layers that you can remove or add depending on the weather. It might feel really hot on shore, but the breeze off the water can make you feel chilly. Always wear lots of sunscreen and you might need some bug spray, too.

Do I need to wear a PFD?

Yes! It is a requirement that you wear a PFD when kayaking. It is essential for your own safety.

Are longer or shorter kayaks better?

It depends. Longer kayaks may be more suitable for taller people, and they may offer more storage space. Longer kayaks will also sail more efficiently while short kayaks will turn quicker. Wider kayaks are more stable and less prone to tipping than more narrow kayaks.

Sit-in kayak or sit-on-top kayak?

Sit-on-top kayaks are best for beginners and the most user-friendly. They’re best if you don’t mind getting wet and you’re looking to go swimming while kayaking. Sit-in kayaks are better in colder weather, offer better performance, and best for paddling longer distances.

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