Kayak weight isn’t usually on anyone’s list of things to look for when buying a kayak. It may not be that important to many consumers, and it pales compared to the kayak’s specifications, dimensions, brand, or model.
Thermoformed plastic, carbon fiber, and fiberglass are all used in the construction of some kayaks. However, others are even lighter, weighing between 25 and 100 pounds.
The length and width of a kayak, along with the material used in construction, have a significant impact. Although an inflatable kayak is extremely light, it may not be appropriate for your needs.
For weight, durability, and price, stay with thermoform and rotomolded kayaks if you’re just getting started. Although lighter isn’t always better, it’s important to consider the materials used to construct your kayak.
Some reasons besides material and kayak durability are loading a heavy kayak if you are alone. In addition, there is the weight limit of a roof rack or carrier, especially if you have over one fishing kayak or are transporting a larger tandem kayak. (Find the Best Kayak for Dogs)
In our guide, you can find out more about the weight of a kayak and the areas it can have an impact. By the end, you’ll learn what you can carry and what needs a kayak cart to get to the water.
How Heavy is a Kayak?
A single recreational kayak weighs, on average can weigh around 35 pounds (16 kilograms). A tandem kayak can weigh anywhere around 65 pounds (27 kilograms), and the heaviest kayaks being fishing kayaks, can weigh up to 120 pounds (54 kg).
Thus, kayaks like a lightweight kayak weighing much lighter at around 20 pounds (9 kg) to over a 100-pound kayak (45 kg).
The average weight of a kayak is determined by the intended use and many other factors. When buying one, you need to take a lot into consideration.
You can find weight has a huge impact on using the kayak if you use it quite often. You might not enjoy kayaking as much if you continually lug a 50 pounds kayak around by yourself or try to load it on your roof rack or truck after a full day of paddling.
How Much Does a 10 ft Kayak Weight?
The first thing to affect kayak weight is the material it is made of. Manufacturers use different materials for their own kayak lines. (Learn How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn)
Polyethylene is a hard plastic used in kayaks to make automobile body panels, food crates, and other items. Polythene is a cheap option, yet not the lightest. Lifting one of the wider polyethylene fishing kayaks onto your truck can be a struggle.
Kayak’s made from composite materials such as fiberglass, graphite, and sometimes kevlar are far lighter than polyethylene. Any average-sized adult can carry these types of kayaks without too much effort. However, they are more expensive.
Folding kayaks have a strong waterproof fabric skin and a folding frame made of wood, metal, or plastic. Folding kayaks are substantially lighter than the other two types of kayaks mentioned above, weighing roughly 30 lbs for the same size as the kayak.
Before you can ride on the water, inflatable kayaks must be inflated with air. However, since these are just air and fabric, even a fully inflated kayak is light enough for youngsters to carry. Inflatable kayaks can be folded to fit into a carry bag or a backpack when deflated. Kayaking doesn’t get as accessible as these types of kayaks.
Some kayaks are lighter by making them shorter, or they have lighter materials and can still deliver a kayak’s strength-to-weight ratio. Here, you’ll notice the weight differential for a 10-foot kayak, which can range from 30 lbs. for an inflatable to 60 lbs. for a 2-person kayak.
Kayaks with a shorter length
Shorter kayaks are lighter than longer kayaks. However, the kayak’s weight comes from the material and needs considering. A 10-foot polyethylene fishing kayak or recreational kayaks, for example. The weight of kayak can be over 60 lbs., making it heavier than a 13-foot touring kayak made from heavy-duty PVC, which can weigh as little as 30 pounds.
Kayaks with a longer length
Sea kayaks and touring kayaks are far longer than other single-person kayaks as features such as speed are governed by length. (Read About Using Kayak Pulley System)
Fortunately, longer solo kayaks may not be heavier than other solo kayaks. The hulls are often made from light composite materials to save weight while keeping rigidity.
Tandem Kayaks for two people are noticeably heavier than single-person kayaks. They are often also longer and wider, making it a struggle to carry one of these on your own.
How Much Does a 14-foot Kayak Weigh?
When you look at how much a kayak weighs, you’ll quickly discover that inflatable kayaks weigh less than their hardshell opposites.
While they may not work out much lighter, it does mean you can carry a larger kayak, paddle, and pump for inflation easier than if you were carrying a hardshell kayak of equal length.
If you carry an inflatable kayak of around 14-feet long, it could average 10-20 pounds lighter than the weight of a kayak made from other materials.
Inflatable kayaks weigh less, yet it shouldn’t be any justification for purchasing one of these over a heavier counterpart. You don’t want to buy an inflatable as it’s lighter and then find out you can’t use it as you intended.
Most often, they will be a sit-on-top kayak rather than a sit-inside kayak. Kayak fishing could also not be suitable for some kayak anglers who need a hard shell, and the carrying capacity of the kayak offsets the kayak weight.
You may think lighter is better, yet you’ll find these don’t have as much carrying weight capacity as a larger sea kayak, fishing kayak, or tandem kayaks for long excursions.
Hardshell kayaks are stable and are a recommended choice compared to inflatable kayaks.
The average hardshell kayak weights are around 65 pounds, although you can find models weighing less than 50 lbs. Average size kayakers can manage to carry a kayak of this size and get it onto a vehicle roof rack. (Find the Best Fish Finders for Kayaks)
Can a 300 Pound Person Kayak?
Kayaking is a sport that anyone can enjoy; paddling is also a great way to get toned up and lose weight.
For the larger person, kayaking can help you lose weight, yet there are also considerations here. You can find a heavier kayak is more appropriate as it offers more storage space, more room to move around in, and a larger carrying capacity than shorter kayaks.
Here are the key areas for anyone who is larger than average and wants to grab hold of a paddle and start kayaking.
Kayaks Weight Capacity
One of the most important decision criteria for larger than average kayakers is finding safe kayaks. Knowing how much weight your kayak can support is the major criteria. While shopping, remember there has to be a maximum weight capacity of a kayak you have in mind.
Any kayak shouldn’t be too close to your body weight as it needs to carry you, your paddle, and all your gear weight. Besides this, you need room to spread your gear, so you maintain buoyancy.
A good weight buffer presents lots more stability and confidence when you are new to the sport.
Kayak Weight Considerations
It’s worth mentioning that a kayak’s actual weight impacts its maximum weight capacity. To verify a kayak’s weight and add it to the total weight you’ll need in your kayak.
Here’s a simple calculation you can use to determine the boat capacity for you:
The Weight of Kayak plus your bodyweight (dressed inappropriate clothing and personal floatation device), plus gear/.8. Doing this gives you around a 20 percent weight buffer between the paddler weight and how much the kayak can carry safely.
So, if you are 275 pounds, plus a 50-pound kayak, and have 25 pounds of gear, you’ll require a kayak with a capacity of around 400 pounds minimum to be safe.
While you can use kayaks under this weight, it is best to stick to these weight limits for safety reasons.
Kayak Width and Length for Larger Individuals
Getting into and out of a kayak is one of the obstacles that people with huge bodies face. Your kayak will be more stable if it has a wide hull.
This makes it easier to get in and out of your kayak without risking tipping it over. Not to mention how much easier it will be for you to get into your kayak.
Kayaks with a hull that has a width of 30 inches minimum are the best recommendation for boats carrying larger paddlers.
It doesn’t just offer stability; it makes it easier to get into and out of using your hips. In addition, wider hulls enable you to stretch out in a relaxed position to sit comfortably.