Kayaking sessions are most certainly exhilarating fun. Any seasoned kayaker will tell you of little nuances that can take a kayaking session to another level. One such subtle factor is the weight of your kayak.

Here is an overview of kayak weights to enable you to pick the right kayak for any session.


A standard kayak weighs approximately between 18 and 90 pounds. The weight of the kayak will be determined by the material used to make it, its size, and other factors such as whether it has a rudder. For instance, a fiberglass kayak will weigh more than one made from polyethylene plastic.

Weight of different types of kayaks

• Rigid kayaks weigh the most because it is made from materials such as Kevlar, fiberglass, or even carbon fiber. It weighs between 35 to 80 pounds

• Folding kayaks are made of aluminum folding frames and polyester skin. It weighs between 20 to 40 pounds

• Inflatable kayaks are the lightest because they are made of PVC or some other rubber material. It weighs between 18 and 30 pounds

How heavy is a fishing kayak?

Generally, fishing kayaks are heavier than recreational ones because they have more gear such as rod holders and live wells. They usually weigh between 45 and 80 pounds. A higher weight capacity helps accommodate the weight of the fish.

Are kayaks heavier than canoes?

Canoes are heavier because they are wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. They weigh between 85 and 150 pounds. Other reasons for their heavier weight are:
• They are larger

• They have a flat bottom, making them more stable and thus able to accommodate more weight.

• Their frames are stronger to support more weight

Factors that affect your kayak’s weight

• The type of kayak you have; for instance, a tandem kayak will weigh more because it accommodates two people

• The length and width of the kayak also affect its weight. A longer and broader kayak weigh more than a shorter and narrower one.

• If your kayak has a rudder, it will add to the overall weight.

• The materials used to make your kayak will also affect its weight. For instance, a Kevlar kayak will weigh more than one made from polyethylene plastic.

Ways to lighten your kayak

• Remove unnecessary gear such as fishing rod holders and live wells if you are not using them.

• Choose a lighter kayak such as an inflatable one made from PVC or some other rubber material.

• If you are carrying your kayak in your car, roof racks explicitly designed for kayaks can help distribute the weight evenly and make it easier to maintain.

• You can also use a kayak cart to move your kayak from one place to another. It is helpful for a heavy kayak.

The heaviest kayak

There are some heavy kayaks in the market, including:
• The Wilderness System Tarpon 160i, which weighs 79 pounds

• The Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.0 kayak, which weighs 73 pounds

• The Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Angler kayak, which weighs 60 pounds

• The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 kayak, which weighs approximately 85 pounds

Lightest kayaks

Equally, some incredibly light kayaks have come through the production line, including:
• The Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak, which weighs 26 pounds

• The Intex Excursion Pro kayak, which weighs 32.61 pounds

• The Coleman QuikPak K12 Inflatable Kayak, which weighs 37.49 pounds

• The Advanced Elements AE1010 Inflatable kayak, which weighs 39.50

Other factors that affect your kayak’s weight

• Your weight; a heavier person will need a kayak to accommodate their weight.

• The type of water you’ll be kayaking in; for instance, if you’ll be kayaking in white water, you’ll need a sturdier and heavier kayak to withstand the currents.

• Paddles used; heavier paddles such as those made from aluminum will add to the overall weight of your kayak.

• The type of clothing you’ll wear; if you wear a wetsuit, it will add to the weight of your kayak.

Also, if you’re kayaking in salty water, your kayak will weigh more because salt water is heavier than fresh water.

Advantages of having a heavier kayak

A heavier kayak may be advantageous in some situations. An example:

• It will be more difficult for waves to capsize a heavy kayak.

• It will track better in the water; it will move in a straight line rather than being swayed by the wind or currents.

• A heavier kayak is more stable than a lighter one, thus ideal for beginners or those kayaking in calm waters.

Limitations of a heavier kayak

On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages to having a heavy kayak, including:
• It will be more challenging to transport and launch. You may need help getting it in and out of the water.

• A heavier kayak will be slower than a lighter one.

• It will be more challenging to maneuver in the water.

A lighter kayak offers:
• Ease of transportation; you can quickly put it in the trunk of your car or carry it on public transport.

• Greater speed and maneuverability in the water.

• The ability to paddle for extended periods without getting tired.

However, it limits you in that:
• It may be easier for waves to capsize a lighter kayak.

• A lighter kayak may not track well in the water and maybe swayed by the wind or currents.

• A lighter kayak may not be as stable as a heavier one, thus not ideal for beginners or those kayaking in calm waters.


How much do Pelican kayaks weigh?

The heaviest comes at 79 pounds while the lightest is only 26 pounds.

What is the lightest material for kayaks?

The lightest material used in building kayaks is PVC or rubber.

The most robust material for kayaks

The most robust kayaks are made of fiberglass or Kevlar. They are also the most expensive kayaks on the market.

The most expensive kayak

The most expensive kayak is the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14, which costs around $3300.

The cheapest kayak

The cheapest kayak is the Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak which only costs $300.