Best Lightweight Kayak In 2019 [Top 10 Reviews & Buying Guides]

Kayaking is the new big thing in watersports gaming, and it can be exhilarating to buy a kayak, particularly if it’s your first time buying one. Once you’ve decided to purchase a kayak, you need to choose from the numerous options on the market and you to have to narrow down your choices. One of the factors you have to consider is the weight of the kayak. Do you prefer a hefty or lightweight kayak? If you prefer a lightweight kayak, then you should continue reading this post.

Buying a lightweight kayak can be difficult as you have to choose between different types and designs. In this review, we are focused on helping you decide on the best lightweight kayak, which will best suit your needs.

We will get started by recommending the best top 10 lightweight kayaks available on the market. And for those who want to jump straight to our final verdict, here are our top picks.

best value

  • Recommended for recreational paddling
  • Lightweight, compact
  • Features a tarpaulin bottom, puncture-resistant

Popular

  • Modular design
  • Assemble and dissemble is easy
  • Check Circle
    You get to choose how many paddlers to go on this unit

If you enjoy kayaking on your own and you want to be able to transport and carry your boat easily, then you should seriously consider getting one of the best lightweight kayaks.

Lightweight kayaks are also short in length, so you can effortlessly pack it onto your car or home store. It is also easier for your kids to carry the kayak around. Nothing is better than being able to head out on a kayaking adventure spontaneously, without having to worry about how you’re going to get a heavy kayak to the water on your own and where you are going to store it. Only a lightweight kayak can afford you this freedom.


Top 10 Lightweight Kayaks [Table of Comparison]

We have designed a comparison table below for your easy reference. However, it is important to note that the positions are in no particular order of importance. 

ProductSpecifications & FeaturesOur Rating


Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-inside / Inflatable

Kayak Capacity: 2 persons

Length: 11 feet 2 inch

Width: 34 inch

Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs

Weight: 26 lbs

Hull Material: K-80 polykrylar

Usage:Up to class III whitewater

5.0/5.0



Price: $$

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Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 9.0 Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-inside

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 9 feet 1 inch

Width: 28.5 inch

Maximum Capacity: 220 lbs

Weight: 36.5 lbs

Hull Material:Rotomolded polyethylene

4.7/5.0



Price: $$$


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Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 8 feet

Width: 30 inch

Maximum Capacity: 250 lbs

Weight: 38 lbs

Hull Material:High-density polyethylene (HDPE)

4.8/5.0



Price: $$

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POINT 65° N Sweden Apollo
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 8 feet 8 inch

Width: 26.2 inch

Maximum Capacity: 220 lbs

Weight: 46.3 lbs

Hull Material:High-performance thermoplastic (HTP)

4.5/5.0



Price: $$$

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​Oru Kayak Beach LT Foldable Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-inside / Collapsible

Kayak Capacity: 1 adult + 1 small child or pet

Length: 12 feet

Width: 28 inch

Maximum Capacity: 300 lbs

Weight: 26 lbs

Hull Material:5mm double-layered custom extruded polypropylne

Feature:World's easist collapsible kayak

4.6/5.0



Price: $$$$$

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Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top / Inflatable

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 8 feet 7 inch

Width: 36 inch

Maximum Capacity: 400 lbs

Weight: 18 lbs

Hull Material:PVC

4.3/5.0



Price: $

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Intext Explorer Challenger K1
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-inside / Inflatable

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 9 feet

Width: 30 inch

Maximum Capacity: 220 lbs

Weight: 27.2 lbs

Hull Material:High-strength polyester

4.3/5.0



Price: $

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Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012-R Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-inside / Inflatable

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 10 feet 5 inch

Width: 32 inch

Maximum Capacity: 300 lbs

Weight: 36 lbs

Hull Material:PVC Tarpaulin

4.2/5.0



Price: $$$

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Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 Inflatable Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-inside / Inflatable

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 8 feet 4 inch

Width: 34 inch

Maximum Capacity: 250 lbs

Weight: 23 lbs

4.0/5.0



Price: $$

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Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-inside

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 8 feet

Width: 28 inch

Maximum Capacity: 260 lbs

Weight: 27 lbs

Hull Material:Rugged UV-stabillized Fortiflex® HDPE

4.2/5.0



Price: $$

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10 Best Lightweight Kayaks Reviewed

1.Sea Eagle 330

best lightweight kayak

The Sea Eagle is a model example of the great leaps in inflatable kayak technology. Its durability, quality, and ease of convenience are superior. You can use this SE-330 boat on any water – white water, oceans or smooth and calm lakes or ponds.

The Sea Eagle is a solo kayak which can also double as a 2 person kayak as it holds a loading capacity of 500 lbs., even though it weighs only 26 lbs. Fantastic, right? It can carry two adults, but it only needs one adult to carry out to the water.

This SE-330 is very versatile and can be used for fishing, tracking, and even mini-touring.

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2. Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 9.0 Kayak

If you are a paddler on the hunt for a maneuverable craft with unique features that are not easily found in other recreational kayaks, then the Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 9.0 is a great option. The short ultralight kayak makes it easy to control it, even in tight corners. The kayak features an ideal roomy cockpit that allows for relaxation.

As expected, this Zydeco kayak is lightweight, portable, and is easy to carry around and transport. This kayak is very sleek and offers eye-catching aesthetics. Ergonomically-designed, this Zydeco kayak includes everything necessary to ensure users’ ease of convenience.

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3. Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak

This 8 ft. lightweight sit-on-top kayak is exceptionally light and performs well under different weather conditions. However, its extremely light construction makes it a better fit for still and calm waters. So, if you are in search of a kayak for ponds, lakes, dams and still waters, the Lifetime Lotus is an ideal option.

It is best used for casual cruising or fishing as its light construction doesn’t allow for tracking. Just make sure you get the right fishing paddle if you intend to go fishing with this kayak. The Lotus kayak is also very affordable, and you can be sure to get great value for your money. It comes with everything needed for a splendid sit-on-top 8 ft. vessel, even with an included paddle.

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4. Point 65˚ N Sweden Apollo Solo

Are you in need of a solo kayak? Do you need a modular kayak that is rigid, easy to transport, and versatile? For all these and more, the Apollo Sweden Apollo kayak is a formidable choice.

It is one of the best kayaks from the Point 65˚ brand. The ingenious design of this Point 65˚ kayak means that you can use it for solo, tandem, triple kayaking, and even more just by adding an extra mid-section. 

You can take apart this kayak for it to fit into your car trunk or reassemble it, all within a few seconds. Mainly designed to ensure comfort and stability, the Apollo kayak has much legroom, good contoured seats and foot braces, and a tankwell storage.

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5. Oru Kayak Beach LT Foldable Kayak

The Oru Kayak Beach model is an ideal recreational kayak for relaxation while exploring ponds, lakes, and slow-moving rivers. This kayak is innovatively designed to fold into a small box. This allows you to keep it in your car, or take it hiking in remote locations.

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6. Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak - Lightest kayak on the market

The Sevylor brand is well-known for its top-quality outdoor inflatables, particularly their inflatable kayaks. The Sevylor Quikpak does not fall below this high-ranking standard as it’s a top-notch leisure recreational kayak that is great for paddling.

Designed as a hybrid between a kayak and a floatie, the Sevylor Quikpak is compact, lightweight, and is the best for a casual paddle.

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7. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

If you’re on a budget but still on the lookout for a superb lightweight kayak, then you're on the right track. The Intex Challenger is a good option.

This ultra lightweight kayak is a no-brainer for its price as it features everything a user needs to have a good kayaking time. It's ease of use is also impressive because it takes only about ten minutes to inflate and merely a minute or two to deflate. The kayak is sporty, and its durability is upright.

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8. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame kayak is one of the most popular inflatable kayaks on the market for multiple reasons. First, it comes with a budget-friendly price, and you’ll get more than your money’s worth from buying.

Moreover, it is lightweight and can be enjoyed by paddlers of different ages. Its great looks and cost-saving accessories are also an added benefit. You can deflate, roll up and neatly store or transport this kayak in the included carry bag. It has excellent performance and is best suited for tracking and exploring.

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9. Advanced Elements Lagoon 1

The Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 is a fun, lightweight boat that is nimble, stable, easy to manoeuvre, and excellent for kayakers of any ability level.

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10. Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak

If you’re new to the kayaking watersports and you need a top starter kayak, the Sun Dolphin Aruba is an excellent solution for your needs. Further adding to the benefits, this Aruba kayak is a traditional-covered sit-inside deck, making it a superb option for paddlers who do not enjoy getting wet.

You can include a spray skirt for enhanced protection from the elements. Moreover, sit-in kayaks are renowned for being more stable and faster in water. This lightweight and versatile kayak paddles easily and offers thorough stability.

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Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Lightweight Kayak

Buying a lightweight kayak is a decision that you have to consider thoroughly, examining all the ins and outs. But most importantly, you have to ensure that you purchase one that is comfortable for you. That is, you need to ensure that the kayak is spacious and can be easily transported.

Below are some of the critical factors you necessarily have to consider before buying a lightweight kayak.

Length

One of the most significant upsides of a lightweight kayak is its portability. Most of the kayaks we’ve reviewed are between 8 – 10 ft. long and this ensures that you can put it in your car or a small storage area. A shorter kayak offers better maneuverability and is an ideal choice for paddling in rivers and lakes. Short kayaks are not that great at tracking, though the Sea Eagle 330 is an exception.

Nonetheless, short kayaks are fun and versatile. You can spontaneously decide to paddle with hassle-free short kayaks. However, if you need a kayak for paddling at high speed in ocean water, then a longer kayak will be a better option for you.

Weight

If you’ve decided that a lightweight kayak is the best option for you, then this means that the weight of your kayak is of paramount importance to you. All of the lightweight kayaks we've reviewed in this article will ensure that you enjoy your desired easy transportation, setup, and storage

Compare the weight of each kayak to know which best suits you. If you enjoy solo paddling, then you're on the right track with a lightweight kayak. However, you must be sure that a lightweight kayak is really what you want.

Though heavy kayaks are considered to be more stable on the water, most of our reviewed models include additional features that make up for the lightweight and enhance stability.

Hull Shape

There are two basic kayak hull shapes. The first is the V-shaped hulls which enable the kayak to paddle through turbulent rough waters. An ideal model of the V-hull shaped kayaks is the Sun Dolphin Aruba SS kayak

On the other hand, flat-water kayaks have a rounded hull which makes them more suited for calm rivers, lakes and flat waters, rather than rough waters. An example of a rounded hull kayak is the Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 9.0 kayak.

Puncture and UV Resistance

Getting punctures on your kayak, especially when you’re still on the water can be very frustrating. Leaks on a lightweight kayak can lead to you ending up in the water. So, this is a vital factor always to check out before you purchase a lightweight kayak.

Though inflatable kayaks are more prone to getting punctured, the best of them consist of the tough layered outer skin, which makes them puncture resistant. If you enjoy lounging in the sun after paddling before packing up, then a UV resistant kayak might be the better option for you. Click here for a more comprehensive guide on kayak repair.

Construction Material

Durability in a lightweight kayak can spell the difference between money well-spent and wasted money. The construction material of the kayak determines its resilience. Before buying a kayak, learn about the material used in construction.

The most popular kayak construction material is polyethylene. This is because it costs less but is still denser than other materials. Purchasing a lightweight kayak constructed with polyethylene is the right choice.

Moreover, if you’re new to kayaking, you’ll need a kayak that can withstand all the tortuous learning curves which you are about to go through. So, investing in a very durable kayak is the only choice when you’re just starting.

Price

Though it sounds cliché, ensure that you set up a budget before perusing the different kayaks on the market. Failing to do this might lead you to spend way more than necessary in a kayak.

Set a price range that you’re okay with and try your best to stick to it. There are good-quality kayaks on the market which you can purchase without breaking the bank such as the Lifetime Lotus Sit-on-Top kayak.

Sit-on-Top or Sit-in Kayak

Choosing between a sit-in and a sit-on-top kayak is left to what you want to enjoy in your kayak.

Sit-on-top kayaks are best used for recreational activities in warm climates. The large open cockpits designed in a sit-on-top model makes entry and exit from the kayak very easy. Most consumers use sit-on-top kayaks for fishing, swimming, and diving activities. If you enjoy basking in the elements, then this is a good option because there is no protection and you are guaranteed to get soaked. 

However, sit-in models have an enclosed cockpit and a cockpit rim where you can attach a spray skirt. The sit-in models protect your body from the elements, and they keep users warm inside the kayak.

If you want to use your kayak for traveling or you paddle in a cool-climate location, then a sit-in kayak is a better choice. However, they do not afford you the same freedom to move in and out of the water quickly.

Inflatable Kayaks

If you need a kayak to go on a hiking expedition in a remote location or you need it to travel on a plane, this type of kayak is perfect. They are sold with a backpack or a bag. It is incredibly compact, can be easily stored and carried to whatever location. Most of them are sold with a hand pump with which you can make your kayak fully functional within minutes.

However, the main concern about purchasing this type of kayak is the construction material. Most are made double layers of either polykrylar like the SE-330 or polypropylene like the Oru Kayak Beach LT Foldable kayak. A good construction material ensures that it is puncture and abrasion resistant. It also allows you to fold the kayak multiple times without the fear of wear and tear.

As an additional safety precaution, most top-grade models are designed with multiple air chambers. So, if one gets punctured, the others can keep the kayak inflated. Another plus of these kayaks is that they are cheaper than hard-shelled options. 

When it’s time to take your inflatable kayak on the water, ensure that it is always rigid. Ensure that it is always fully inflated to provide the best stability. Always have a hand pump with you. Though they are not as fast as hard-shelled kayaks, they are more versatile.

Accessories and Features

While buying a kayak, it is profitable to learn about its features and accessories in detail. Most of the top-quality kayaks are sold with accessories such as a hand pump (for inflatable kayaks), repair kits, paddles, and duffle bag. 

These accessories are necessary as they provide you with better kayaking experience. After finalizing your purchase, you should get the accessories from the manufacturers. A kayak without accessories will mean extra cost for you.

If you’re a tall person, then a vessel with a larger cockpit is a better option. Another feature for you to take note of is adjustable seats and foot braces. This provides better control and comfort.

Ask Reviewers

It is imperative that you research thoroughly about a kayak before making the final decision of purchasing it. Review sites, such as this one, are beneficial. You can also read direct reviews from users of the kayak and ask them about the real features and performance of the kayak.

From the reviews, you can learn about the type of manufacturer’s warranty if it is full or limited and for how many years.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I place an onboard motor on my lightweight kayak?

Yes, you can. However, this is only possible with kayaks that are made with hard materials and not inflatable kayaks. Mounting the motor will need you to drill holes into the hull, and it can’t work with inflatables.


2. What is polyethylene?

This is a standard plastic used in making kayaks. It is very affordable and also substantial. Kayaks made from polyethylene are usually sturdy and resistant to punctures and abrasions. However, unless stated that it is UV resistant, the polyethylene materials fade quickly if it is continuously exposed to the sun.


3. Can I use an inflatable kayak for touring?

Yes, you absolutely can. You can take them out for overnight or full-day paddles. Just make sure you know what to expect when kayaking at night.

FINAL VERDICT

Kayaking is a beautiful adventure, and you don’t have to worry about storage or transportation while doing so. Though all the products mentioned above are industry-standard, our top pick for the best lightweight kayak is the Sea Eagle 330 kayak

One outstanding feature of this kayak is that it can be used on different water types (both rough and calm). Also, consumers can enjoy both solo and tandem kayaking with this kayak. It is also considered as the best inflatable kayak in the market today and we rate this product 5 stars out of the possible 5.


5.0/5.0
Our Rating
Douglas Keister

I am an adventure fanatic that loves nature and adventure sports like kayaking, camping and water sports. I have been doing this for almost 10 years now and have learned quite a few tricks. With my experience, I hope to provide you with the most reliable and accurate information for your next adventure.

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