Best Lightweight Kayaks

Advanced Elements PackLite

Exploring water bodies on a kayak can be such a thrilling experience, and doing so with a lightweight kayak can make the whole experience worthwhile, especially for beginners. This is because, with a lightweight kayak, you can easily maneuver and transport the waterbodies without any hassle.

Well, if you are new to kayaking or have been exploring the ocean or the sea with your heavy-duty kayak, and you are looking to explore calm or slow-moving water bodies, this post is for you. In this post, we have researched and gathered 10 of the best lightweight kayaks to help you make a sound choice, and also, we have added a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision regarding the type of lightweight kayak that might be ideal for you.

So, without paddling around any longer, let’s launch into it and explore the rapids of information on lightweight kayaks!

 

Our Topmost Picks

  • The lightest kayak available: Advanced Elements PackLite (4 lbs)
  • Best inflatable sit-inside: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Ultralite (17.5 lbs)
  • Best inflatable sit-on-top: Aquaglide Deschutes 110 (18 lbs)
  • Best folding: Oru Kayak Lake+ (18 lbs)
  • Best value sit-inside: Perception Flash 9.5 (41 lbs)
  • Best budget sit-inside: Pelican Argo 100X (36 lbs)
  • Best sit-on-top: Eddyline Caribbean 12FS (45 lbs)
  • Best value sit-on-top: Perception Tribe 9.5 (48.5 lbs)
  • Best budget sit-on-top: Pelican Sentinel 100X (42 lbs)
  • Best touring: Eddyline Sitka ST (43 lbs)

 

 

1. Advanced Elements PackLite: The lightest kayak available

What We Like:

  • It is super light making it easy to transport and carry
  • Durable design
  • Mesh bag makes it easy to carry

What We Don’t Like:

  • It doesn’t include a paddle.

Advanced Elements PackLite

 

Carrying the Advanced Elements Packlite kayak is just like carrying a laptop. This kayak weighs an astonishing 4 lbs and can be deflated and stored in a portable mesh carry bag, making it a great choice for anyone who always wants to carry their kayak with them. Inflating the kayak is super easy since you can use any of the military-style valves to inflate it. That being said, you will have to get the pump yourself.

Weighing 4 lbs, this kayak can carry a load of up to 250 lbs, thanks to its durable construction made with reinforced and eco-friendly PVC-free materials. Talking about construction, this kayak features a three-chamber design: the outer chamber, the floor, and the inside chamber, which has a width of 35″ for maximum stability.

One downside is that it doesn’t come with a paddle; you must purchase one separately. Another downside to note is that due to its lightweight, it will be challenging to maneuver or maintain balance in windy weather conditions.

 

 

2. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Ultralite: Best inflatable sit-inside kayak

What We Like:

  • Velcro paddle holders
  • Lightweights
  • Great tracking
  • Comfy cockpit design

What We Don’t Like:

  • Limited storage

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Ultralite

 

If you are looking for a lightweight inflatable sit-in kayak built for performance and portability, we recommend you check our Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Ultralite. As the name suggests, this kayak is lightweight, weighing only 17.5 pounds, with a dimension of 10’5″ in length and 32″ in width; this kayak gives you the stability you need to explore lakes, inland waters, calm waters, and bays.

The AdvancedFrame features a 3-layer material build, making this vessel super durable and susceptible to puncture. When inflated, the vessel assumes a sturdy, streamlined shape, and this is because the bow and stern of the vessel feature an in-built aluminum rib framework, which enhances the tracking ability of the vessel.

Setting up this vessel takes an average of 8 minutes; all you need to do is to inflate it and insert the accessories, and then viola, you’re done. However, one notable accessory we found useful was the foot brace, which ensures proper posture and maximizes comfort. As stated earlier, if you are looking to bring a lot of items with you, it might be a hassle because the vessel comes with a little bit of storage space in front of your legs and a bungee deck lacing on the stern and bow.

 

 

Oru Kayak Bay ST Folding Kayak

3. Aquaglide Deschutes 110: Best inflatable sit-on-top kayak

What We Like:

  • The durable and easy-to-clean outer skin
  • Great stability
  • Adjustable sets

What We Don’t Like:

  • Relatively slow

Aquaglide Deschutes 110

 

Many kayakers love the Deschutes line of kayaks because of the commercial-grade Duratex PVC outer skin, which is rigid and easily dries off after kayaking. Another reason to love this vessel is that it is an 11-foot kayak with tons of storage space at the rare; therefore, if you have a couple of items you want to bring with you, this vessel has just about the storage you need for that, making it ideal for day trips.

The Deschutes come with a wide hull made of a tubeless laminated floor with a low center of gravity which gives it great stability, making it easy to paddle through lakes, bays, and even coastal oceans. This vessel has the high performance of a hardshell boat and the lightweight nature of an inflatable kayak. The seat is adjustable and features a breathable mesh material which makes it comfy to sit in all day.

 

 

4. Best folding: Oru Kayak Lake+ (18 lbs)

What We Like:

  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Lightweight
  • Beginner-friendly

What We Don’t Like:

  • The backrest is a little too flexible for back support

Oru Kayak Lake+

The Lake+ is an advanced version of the basic Oru Lake kayak. This kayak is built for comfort and for those who want to kayak for long periods.

The unique folding style of this kayak is what makes it a part of our list. The design of this boat is in line with the roots of origami, such that you can fold it as you would a simple origami or piece of paper, which means you can fold it up numerous times without any breaks or cracks.

This vessel is 31″ wide and 9ft long, making it a stable kayak ideal for beginners, and with a weight of only 18 pounds, you can fold it up easily and carry it anywhere– even kids can carry it. In addition, the Lake+ features a flexible yet sturdy adjustable seatback to adapt to your motion while giving you the necessary back support.

 

 

5. Best value sit-inside: Perception Flash 9.5 (41 lbs)

What We Like:

  • Great stability
  • The length makes it easy to maneuver
  • Comfortable seating

What We Don’t Like:

  • Limited storage space

Perception Flash 9.5

If you are looking for a fast, fun, and easy-to-handle sit-in kayak, then the Perception Flash 9.5 might be what you need. This vessel comes with a wide, stable haul coupled with a dual-tracking system that ensures your vessel stays and provides the vessel with great tracking to keep you in a straight line even when the waters are wavy, or the weather is windy.

The vessel comes with an easy-to-access dashboard for your items. Also, it comes with a 10″ rear storage making this rig not only ideal for most leisurely afternoon kayaking activities but for anglers as well, thanks to its molded-in fish rod holders. Not only that, but this kayak has a load capacity of up to 325 lbs, allowing you to carry as many items as you want with you.

The comfort of this vessel is commendable; it comes with foot braces and adjustable zone padded seating to allow you to tweak it to accommodate paddlers of various heights.

If you are looking for a versatile vessel that can handle various waterways such as calm coastal lakes, ponds, lakes, and slow-moving rivers, then the Flash 9,5 is a good choice.

 

 

6. Best budget sit-inside: Pelican Argo 100X (36 lbs)

What We Like:

  • Double arched hull
  • Removable seat

What We Don’t Like:

  • Limited storage options

Pelican Argo 100X

 

Pelicans are known for producing some high-quality yet budget-friendly kayaks, and their Argo 100X is nothing short of quality. This 10ft recreational vessel is built for stability and comfort thanks to its twin-arched hull for great stability and the ERGOLOUNGE seating system, which is padded with enough cushioning for comfort.

For additional comfort, the vessel comes with a padded thigh area, which prevents your thighs from sores. Even with its great stability, it has fairly good maneuverability. Where this vessel falls short is its storage options. Besides the storage at the stern, bungee deck storage, and the multipurpose mounts, there is little to write home about in terms of storage. That being said, the seat can be removed from the vessel and used as a normal seat or for additional storage.

Finally, I like the double-strap paddle holder, which securely holds the paddle in place when not in use, unlike that of the Perception Flash 9,5.

 

 

7. Best sit-on-top: Eddyline Caribbean 12FS (45 lbs)

What We Like:

  • Tons of storage space
  • Great tracking
  • Moderate stability

What We Don’t Like:

  • It might be heavy to carry around.

Eddyline Caribbean 12FS

Eddyline Caribbean 12FS is the ultimate sit-on-top lightweight kayak, which is true for several reasons. First, the FS in the name stands for “Framed Seat,” which means this vessel comes with a framed seat, which you do not get on most sit-on-tops on this list. That being said, the seat is removable, in case you need something to sit on at the beach or camping.

When their seat is removed, you can access a hatch behind the seat to store all your important items. And behind the hatch is a tank well for storing any item you need easy access to. There is also a hatch in front of the seat and another behind the tank well, all easily accessible. Also, two-track mounts hold your fishing, camera, and phone rods.

Tracking on this kayak is exceptionally easy thanks to its 12 ft length; it also ensures enough room to accommodate tall kayakers. In addition, it features a gull-wing design with sharp stern lines for more precise tracking.

The paddle grips are super convenient, even more convenient than that of the Argo 100X; all you need to do is to push your paddle into the grip, and you’re good to go.

 

 

8. Best value sit-on-top: Perception Tribe 9.5 (48.5 lbs)

What We Like:

  • Great stability
  • Awesome customization options

What We Don’t Like:

  • No handle/storage for the paddle when not in use.

 

Perception Tribe 9.5

 

The Perception Tribe 9.5 is designed for kayakers who might need a little bit more room than what other kayaks offer. This kayak is designed for maximum stability, and the somewhat streamlined shape gives it great tracking for whiles allowing for a little bit of maneuverability whiles you are on the waters. In addition, it comes with an adjustable seat and footrest, allowing for great comfort.

In addition to the bungee storage in the stern and bow, it has an easy-to-access center storage hatch for all your items. In addition, it has a versatile mount, which can hold anything from a fishing rod to a camera. However, despite the impressive storage options, you might need help finding the right spot to store your paddle when it isn’t in use.

This vessel can support weights up to 325 lbs, making it ideal for the lazy after leisure or some recreational fishing activity.

 

 

9.Best budget sit-on-top: Pelican Sentinel 100X (42 lbs)

What We Like:

  • Waterproof storage compartment
  • Removeable crate
  • Great stability

What We Don’t Like:

  • Poor design of footrest

Pelican Sentinel 100X

The Sentinel 100X is a budget-friendly sit-on-top kayak that offers great features for fishermen. Starting with storage, there are many storage options at the stern with a bungee cord cover and at the bow with a mesh cover; however, one thing you would love is that the storage at the stern comes with removable storage. A center console is also available to store and hold items you want to avoid getting wet. And you also get two fish rod holders.

Comfort on this vessel is applaudable by featuring an adjustable footrest and an ERGOLOUNGE Seating system. The stability on this vessel is great, allowing you to engage in all your fishing activities. This vessel has a length of 9.6″ and can hold a maximum load capacity of up to 275 lbs, which is enough for the average angler.

 

 

Oru Foldable Kayak

10. Best Touring: Eddyline Sitka ST (43 lbs)

What We Like:

  • Great tracking
  • Tons of storage space
  • Great wind and waves control

What We Don’t Like:

  • It is expensive

Eddyline Sitka ST

If you are a small to medium size-paddler looking for a kayak for touring, then we present the Eddyline Sitka ST to you. This vessel is just as impressive as the Eddyline Caribbean 12 FS.

For starters, this vessel can handle any touring kayaking activity from saltwater late-night adventure to lazy afternoon kayaking down the river. This vessel is built for high performance and maximum comfort by offering excellent tracking of a touring kayak and the playful nature of recreational kayaks. Even though it is a high-performance kayak, it is lightweight. Regarding storage, you have some bungees available; however, the most common storage options are the water-tight hatches.

If there is something you will love about this kayak, it is that the cockpit coaming is aggressively fixed in place to prevent water and even bugs from getting in. Also, the cockpit has tons of padding for comfort, making this vessel ideal for those long touring hours. Also, the seats have been designed to provide trim control for those wavy moments by adjusting them forward or backward.

 

 

How To Choose A Lightweight Kayak:

Choosing a lightweight kayak is more complex for beginners. In this section, we will break down the various features to look for to choose a kayak that best matches the purpose.

1. Seating Style

The first thing you will need to decide is the style of sit of the kayak. Generally, there are two types:

Sit-inside
Sit-on-top

Each style has disadvantages and advantages, making them ideal for specific activities.

i.Sit-In

These kayaks feature the hull of the kayak being enclosed in a cockpit. This means getting access to your seat; you will have to get into the cockpit, which can make entering and leaving the vessel challenging. However, this cockpit design provides a more warming effect, making these kayaks ideal for individuals in colder climates.

The cockpit design also makes it difficult for water to get inside, ensuring you stay dry. This feature is why it is used for vigorous kayaking activities such as whitewater and racing. However, you must note that it can be difficult to get rid of when water gets into the hull.

Another advantage a sit-in kayak has is that they are faster, thanks to its narrow size, which also makes them lighter– again, which is why they are used for vigorous recreational kayaking.

The first downside to these kayaks is their need to be more stable. Therefore, they are ideal for intermediate to advance kayakers– beginners can try them; however, they will feel wobbly when maneuvering the vessel.

ii. Sit-On-Top

These kayaks provide great stability, making them ideal for beginners. Unlike a sit-inside with an enclosed hull/cockpit, sit-on-top kayaks have an open hull, making it easy to step in and out.

Sit-on-tops are wider, and as such, they provide much stability making them ideal for beginners who want to get a grasp of kayaking and also makes them ideal for anglers as well.

However, the downside with this type of kayak is that there is no protection against the elements of the weather, such as cold temperatures and water; as such, most kayakers tend to use them in warmer climates. That being said, due to the open hull design, water easily gets in and out, and your chances of getting wet are higher than that of a sit-in.

2. Material

The material of the inflatable kayak is something to check out for. This is important because the type of material can let you know how prone your vessel will be to punctures.

As you may have noticed from some of the kayaks, some were made with reinforced PVCs, whiles others were made with just PVCs; however, there are some options beyond these, which include:

PVC: This is a preferred choice in inflatable kayaks, and these types tend to be affordable, durable, yet lightweight.

Haplon: This is a premium alternative to PVC for inflatable kayaks, with some benefits, including its resistance to UV rays and saltwater.

Carbon Fiber: This is used in high-end kayaks due to its excellent strength-to-weight ratio.

Kevlar: Just like carbon fiber, this material is used in high-performance, lightweight kayaks; however, the difference is that Kevlar is known for its durability, whiles carbon fiber kayaks are known to be more responsive.

3. Speed

At this point, we know sit-in kayaks are relatively faster than sit-on-top, but then given two kayaks of the same type, how do you know which one is faster? To decipher this, you will need to compare the shape and length of the keel; generally, the more streamlined a kayak is, the faster it will be, and the longer and narrower it is, the more speed it can attain. But it is important to note that you compromise stability when opting for speed.

4. Manurevuebility

Whiles narrow and longer kayaks have speeds, they can be quite difficult to maneuver; this is because, due to their length, they will be required to displace more water before taking a turn, making it generally more difficult. Generally, shorter kayaks with wider beams are easier to maneuver than longer vessels.

Also, the shape of the hull can affect maneuverability. For example, vessels with rounded hulls are easy to maneuver since they have less contact with the water. Therefore, if you will be navigating more tight spaces, consider this.

5. Comfort

Comfort is another thing to consider when choosing a kayak. Therefore, we recommend you try out a kayak to ensure it has enough legroom and sitting space before purchasing one. But then, if you are purchasing one online, like the ones we suggested, you want to look out for the following:

Ensure the kayak have an adjustable seat or legroom to accommodate the various leg position.

Footrest; this is important because it ensures that your legs are in the right position, which goes a long way to ensuring that you have the right posture.

The seat has some cushioning or is comfortable to sit on. Ensure that the seat is well-padded to prevent pain after sitting for some time.

6. Stability & Tracking

Getting a kayak that is more stable or less likely to move about is crucial. As stated earlier, sit-in kayaks tend to be less stable than sit-on-tops. However, when it comes to tracking, the focus is on how well the kayak can stay in a straight line, and this is where sit-in shine. Due to the narrow shape of most sit-ins, they tend to maintain a straight-line movement even when you do not paddle.

Cheap Kayak Comparative Table

Kayak Length Width Weight Seating Capacity Cockpit Type Structure
Pelican Argo 100X 10′ 28″ 36 lbs 1 275 lbs Sit-Inside Hard shell
Pelican Sentinel 100X EXO 9’6″ 30″ 42 lbs 1 275 lbs Sit-on-top Hard shell
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two 12′ 34″ 63 lbs 1, 2 or 3 475 lbs Sit-on-top Hard shell
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 10′ 31″ 51 lbs 1 275 lbs Sit-on-top Hard shell
Intex Challenger K1 9′ 30″ 28 lbs 1 220 lbs Sit-Inside Inflatable
Sea Eagle 370 12’6″ 34″ 32 lbs 1, 2 or 3 650 lbs Sit-on-top Inflatable

Welcome to our comprehensive guide,

where we have tasked our Review Team with a singular objective: to identify and review the top-rated and most sought-after products on the market today. We take great pride in the quality and reliability of our reviews, which are carefully crafted with your satisfaction in mind.

Our team of experts always takes into account key factors such as durability, price, quality, and overall value when conducting their assessments, so you can rest assured that you are getting the most accurate and relevant information possible.

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