Do you love spending time on the water? If so, do you enjoy fishing or exploring in remote places? Paddling a kayak is a fantastic way to spend more time on the water, whether on a lake, a river, or the ocean.
Kayaks come in many designs, shapes, and sizes. And having a lightweight kayak can be especially beneficial. They’re easy to carry from your car to the water’s edge and are much easier to maneuver in the water than heavier kayaks.
So, we decided to take an in-depth look at the best lightweight kayaks currently on the market. Let’s go through them and find the perfect one for you…
- Top 7 Best Lightweight Kayaks Reviews
- Best Lightweight Kayaks Buying Guide
- So, what are the Best Lightweight Kayaks?
Top 7 Best Lightweight Kayaks Reviews
1 Lifetime Lotus Sit-on Top Kayak
Small but mighty…
First on our list is the Lifetime Lotus Sit-On Top Kayak. This recreational kayak is 8 ft long and 30 in wide. It is constructed of high-density polyethylene, which means it weighs only 38 lbs. And has a weight capacity of 250 lbs
It may be small, but it isn’t lacking in features or comfort. It has an adjustable seat rest and multiple footrest positions, both designed to make your kayaking a comfortable experience.
Enjoy the view…
Behind the seat, there is a tank well storage area with bungee cords on top – perfect for bringing some supplies with you. It also has a cleverly molded paddle cradle, so when you stop and enjoy the view, you don’t have to worry about where your paddle is.
Carrying the Lifetime Lotus Sit-On Top Kayak to and from your car couldn’t be easier. It contains a center carry handle and front and rear t-handles.
Stable and controllable…
This kayak is made to behave on the water. It has great stability and is designed to be flip-resistant. With its twin skegs, is it also very easy to track, especially for an eight-foot kayak.
Also, when you buy the Lifetime Lotus Sit-On Top Kayak, you also receive a durable 86.6-inch paddle.
- Paddle included.
- Designed to be very stable in the water.
- Adjustable backrest and multiple footrest positions.
- Budget friendly.
- 5-year warranty.
- Not the fastest kayak on the market.
2 Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
Light as a feather…
The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is a recreational sit-in kayak. This kayak is 9 ft long and 30 in wide. It has a weight capacity of 220 lbs. It is designed to behave like a traditional hard-shelled sit-in kayak, but it is, in fact, inflatable. As it’s not made of hard plastic, this is an incredibly light-weight kayak. In fact, it weighs just 27.2 lbs, roughly half the weight of comparable hard-shelled kayaks.
As it’s inflatable, it also means that this kayak is easy to transport in your trunk. It comes with a convenient carry bag, so when you’re not using it, it’s a breeze to store in your home.
What’s in the box?
The Intext Challenger K1 Kayak comes with a hand pump for easy inflation. While the Boston valves ensure fast inflation and deflation, it also comes with a repair patch should you spring a leak, as well as an 84-inch aluminum paddle.
This sit-in kayak is designed for comfort. It has a surprisingly spacious cockpit and a comfortable inflated seat with a backrest. If you want to take some gear on your trip, no worries, this kayak has a large cargo net in front of the cockpit and also has a grab line on the front and back.
If you’re thinking that an inflatable kayak isn’t going to perform well, think again. This kayak comes with a removable skeg to improve tracking. It also features inflatable l-beam floors to increase its stability.
- Extremely lightweight design.
- Spacious cockpit.
- Stable design.
- Large storage area at the front of the cockpit.
- Carry bag for easy storage.
- Extremely good value.
- Only includes a 30-day return policy.
- Skeg can detach easily.
- 220 lbs. weight capacity.
3 Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak
When you want to get somewhere…
The Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-In Kayak is a little different. It’s 10 ft long, which makes it bordering on the length of a touring kayak (it’s still classed as a recreational kayak). This extra length makes it a perfect choice for someone who is looking to cover some distance on the water. While it may have the length of a touring kayak, it has the stability of a recreational kayak at 30 in wide. It has a weight capacity of 250 lbs, so you have plenty of spare weight to carry any supplies you might need.
This sit-in kayak is constructed of durable UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene, meaning it will last and is designed not to fade.
It’s a little less lightweight than some designs, weighing in at 40 lbs. Although it does contain two carry handles, so it’s still easy enough for a pair of paddlers to carry it from your car to the water’s edge.
Comfort all the way…
But what we really love about the Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-In Kayak are the comfort features. The cockpit is large, and it has an extremely comfortable seat. The padded seat back is completely adjustable so that you can easily find your perfect paddling position. It also has adjustable foot braces and thigh pads. These features allow you to use your core to get the most out of each stroke.
If you plan to go a long distance with this kayak, you can use the large storage hatch located behind the seat. The shock cord webbing is great for attaching other supplies you may need for your day trip. This best lightweight kayaks also contains a convenient water bottle holder on the front deck, with webbing so it can be securely fastened in rougher conditions.
- Great stability.
- Large storage hatch.
- Extremely comfortable and fully adjustable padded seat.
- Could have more webbing on the front of the kayak.
- Longer design can make it harder to maneuver for beginners.
4 Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Sport Kayak
A day of fishing, anyone?
The next lightweight kayak on our list is the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak. This is an inflatable kayak, ensuring that it is as lightweight as possible. Given that this kayak is 10 ft, 5 in long, I’m sure you will agree that its weight of only 26 lbs is impressive!
While this is a long kayak, it is also wide, in fact, 32 in wide. This makes it not only an extremely light option but an extremely stable one too.
What we like is that even though it is extremely light, it still has a weight capacity of 250 lbs, perfect if you want to spend the day on the water fishing, as you have amble weight capacity for your fishing gear. Bungee deck lacing and D-ring tie-downs ensure you also have enough storage space for your gear, while storage areas below the deck offer enough space for any other essentials.
Robust and comfortable…
With its spacious cockpit, removable seat and adjustable back support, you can rest assured you will have a comfortable day on the water.
This inflatable kayak is tough. It is constructed from 3 layers of PVC Tarpaulin, making it very resistant to puncture. Another great feature are the aluminum ribs in the bow and stern. These ribs are designed to improve tracking without adding any weight.
Quick as a flash…
It is very quick and easy to inflate, thanks to its spring values and Twistlok valves. These valves are compatible with most pumps. For added safety, this kayak has four air chambers.
When you aren’t using your Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak, it is easy to store with its very own duffel carrying bag. It also comes with a repair kit, in the unlikely event an accident happens.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Aluminum reinforcement ribs.
- Plenty of storage room above and below deck.
- Repair kit and duffel carrying bag included.
- Pump and paddle not included.
5 Oru Kayak Bay ST Foldable Kayak
Who likes origami?
The next lightweight kayak on our list is certainly unique. It is the Oru Kayak Bay ST Foldable Kayak. It’s a foldable sit-in kayak that takes transportation and storage to a whole different level.
This kayak is the longest we will review – 12 ft. It is also the narrowest at 25 in wide. This shape allows for more maneuverability in the water than some shorter and wider kayaks.
While this kayak is long, it isn’t heavy. In fact, it weighs just 28 lbs., but has a superior weight capacity of 300 lbs.
Goes the distance…
It’s made from durable polypropylene, and the manufacturer guarantees it will endure over 20,000 folds without problems. It is also treated with ten years of UV protection, so you can rest assured it will remain looking like the day you bought it!
The kayak has neoprene sleeves on the front and back to ensure it is completely waterproof. These sleeves also have carry handles that make carrying it a dream.
Need some practice…
When you aren’t using your kayak, it folds up to the size of a large suitcase for easy storage. When you want to use it, construction time is pretty quick, although practice does make perfect! We would suggest trying it out at home before you get to the water’s edge.
When it is in the water, the Oru Kayak Bay ST Foldable Kayak performs well. It has a large cockpit with adjustable footrests and an adjustable backrest. There is plenty of storage on the deck, with webbing at the front of the kayak to hold your gear securely.
- Innovative folding design.
- Easy to store and transport, and can even be checked in on airlines.
- Lightweight design.
- Good performance on the water.
- Quite a pricey option.
- Carry bag and paddle not included.
6 Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the lightest of them all?
Next, we have another recreational, inflatable kayak, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 1 Person Kayak. But this inflatable kayak has some different features than the ones featured above.
Firstly, this is the lightest kayak on our list, weighing only 18 lbs! Secondly, this is a sit-on top kayak, the only one person inflatable kayak of its kind in our list.
Massive weight capacity…
While it may be light, it is certainly also sturdy. It has a staggering 400 lbs weight capacity! This is the highest of all the others on our list. It measures in at 8 ft 7 long and 36 in wide.
It has been designed to have you on the water in just 5 minutes! This is partly due to its innovate backpack system. It allows you to carry everything you need to get going and then cleverly folds out into your kayak’s seat. It also has double lock valves for quick and easy inflation/deflation.
Safe and sound…
This kayak is constructed from 21-gauge PVC. It has a rugged tarpaulin bottom to help avoid punctures. If, however, you do hit a snag, the multiple air chambers will help you get back to shore.
As we mentioned earlier, this kayak is a sit-on top design. Its design allows you to stretch your legs, arms, and back comfortably. The backrest lets you lean back and enjoy the ride, while the multi-position footrest lets you find your most comfortable position.
Fancy a drink?
It has a handy storage area with a cargo net at the front of the kayak and even includes a conveniently placed cup holder.
The Sevylor Quickpak K1 1 Person Kayak also comes with a high-pressure air pump and a detachable paddle.
- Wallet-friendly option.
- Weighs only 18 lbs.
- Innovative backpack design ensures that the kayak can be carried easily.
- Paddle and pump included.
- Flimsy paddle.
- Not suitable for rough water.
- Poor tracking.
7 Sea Eagle 330
The last kayak in our list is the only two person kayak we have included. The Sea Eagle 330 is an inflatable kayak, which could be mistaken as a canoe. In fact, it can be paddled as either a kayak or a canoe.
First things first, how much does it weigh? For a two person capacity, it comes in at a lean 26 lbs. It measures in at 11 ft, 2 in long and 34 in wide. While it is lightweight, it still has a weight capacity of 500 lbs, easily enough for two adults to use it safely.
This kayak is designed to be easy. Easy to carry, inflate, deflate, and paddle. What more could you ask for?
Stable and maneuverable…
It is constructed of extra thick 33 mil. PolyKrylar and has an I-beam construction floor. This gives the kayak floor extra rigidity and makes it very stable in the water. It also boasts two skegs, so while being stable, it is also very easy to maneuver.
With its lashed down spray skirts, you get storage underneath. One downside to this kayak is that it doesn’t have ropes on the outside or sides, so everything you want to carry will have to be small enough to fit underneath.
Two to tango…
It is very easy to get in and out of, and the two inflatable seats are moveable and removable, which means you can find a seating position that is comfortable for the both of you.
As one of the best lightweight kayaks available, this comes with everything you need to get on the water. It includes two paddles, two inflatable seats, a foot pump, a repair kit, and a convenient carry bag.
- Very stable design.
- Lightweight with a great weight capacity.
- Paddles and pump included.
- No ropes on sides to tie gear.
- Tracking not the best.
We’ve gone hrough a pretty comprehensive list of the best lightweight kayaks currently available on the market. And regardless of which kayak you’re thinking of buying, we’ve put together a great check-list of things to look out for when making your purchase.
Should you opt for a long, narrow kayak or a shorter, wider one? This is an important question, and the answer will depend on where you plan to use your kayak.
Long and narrow kayaks are typically better for long distance paddling in open water because their shapes make them very streamlined, and they are easier to track in a straight line through water. Because of their narrow design, however, they are more prone to rolling.
A few best lightweight kayaks, such as the Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-In Kayak, have been designed to be long but wide, to make them more stable in the water. These kayaks offer a blend of straight tracking and stability.
On the extreme end, we have kayaks that are short and wide. These kayaks offer the most stability and are very difficult to flip over. They do, however, take more power to paddle and are more difficult to keep in a straight line.
Sit-in or Sit-on Top?
Kayaks come in two styles – sit-in and sit-on top.
Sit-in kayaks are the more traditional style, in which you climb into the kayak and slide your legs under the front deck. Sit-in kayaks typically have foot and knee braces so you can get more strength out of your paddle stroke. They are also designed to accept a spray skirt, which keeps water out of the best lightweight kayaks cockpit.
The downside to sit-in kayaks is that they are less stable than sit-on-top kayaks. If you do roll the kayak over, you’ll likely need to swim with it back to shore to get the water out of the cockpit.
Sit-on-top kayaks, on the other hand, are designed to simply sit on the top of the kayak – there is no enclosed area. These kayaks tend to be relatively resistant to rolling. Even if you do manage to flip it, simply turn it back over and climb back on.
Sit-on-top kayaks are popular in warm areas because they make it easy to go for a swim mid-paddle. You will also get a lot more water on you than you would in a sit-in kayak.
The seat is an important feature of a kayak. It directly impacts your comfort during a long day on the water. Ideally, you should be able to adjust the seat, and the back should provide padding to let you put power into your stroke.
If you’re looking at purchasing an inflatable kayak, make sure to check if the seat is also inflatable. Inflatable seats can be difficult to adjust and can lack firmness, making them less comfortable.
If you’re not sure that you’ve found your best kayak option yet, it’s well worth checking out our best Inflatable Kayak reviews, our in-depth reviews of the best Pedal Kayaks, and our reviews the best Ocean Kayaks currently available.
We hope our list above has helped narrow down your options and pointed out some details to look for when searching for your lightweight kayak – perhaps you’ve already chosen?
For us the…
…is the very best of the Best Lightweight Kayaks. We love the sit-on top design. And we also like the high and adjustable backrest and the multiple footrest positions. Also, we found this kayak to have the best storage options, and the center carry handle enables one person to carry this lightweight kayak easily. It is relatively short at only 8 ft, but it provides excellent stability and tracking.