Some experiences are always better when we share them with our friends. Maybe you want to do something fun outdoors; then kayaking can be a good choice. You and your friends can have fun kayaking in 3-person kayaks while at the same time keeping fit.
Kayaks can offer different purposes. From fishing in the lakes to white water rafting, everything is possible. Single-person kayaks are good for a start, but 3-person kayaks have their advantages. You can take your dog or a friend if you have two extra seats.
The guide below will help you choose the best 3-person kayak to use when you go out for weekend kayaking trips.
Quick Picks: The Top-Rated 3 Person kayak
In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!
Advantages of 3-Person Kayaks
You get a chance to paddle with someone. If you love to go on adventures with your friends or family, you then need something to do together. Paddling seems interesting as it makes people work together.
Reduced cost. Typically, a 3-person kayak will be cheaper than having three single kayaks. So, if you have concerns about your budget, a 3-person kayak is your savior.
Smaller storage space. A 3-person kayak will always take less space in your garage than three single-person kayaks. This is suitable for people with limited storage space.
Easily portable. If you want to take your kayaks to the waters, for a 3-person kayak, you will need only one roof rack. With three single-person kayaks, you will have to get three roof racks plus an extra van to carry them.
Suitable for beginners. New kayakers are more comfortable in a 3-person kayak than a single person kayak. This is because one of the paddlers is more experienced. You can also introduce a friend or your child to kayaking when using a 3-person kayak.
More efficiency in terms of performance. A 3-person kayak tracks better in water than a single person kayak. This is because three people create more power and forward motion, thus faster. This is important for those interested in races.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best 3-Person Kayak.
There are a lot of features you have to look at when buying a 3-person kayak. They can get confusing, but you will see the most important factors to consider in this guide.
Probably, the most critical factor. You have to ensure that there is enough room for the 3 paddlers to fit comfortably. The measurements taken include the length, width, and cockpit depth.
Taller paddlers will require a longer kayak. For three people to fit comfortably, the minimum length of the kayak should be ten feet.
When checking the width, do not forget the additional gear you may require as you go kayaking. If you carry a lot of things, you will need to take a wider 3-person kayak. This will make sure you do not scramble for space with your gears.
The cockpit depth is vital when it comes to stability. Mostly, the deeper the kayak is, the more stable it is. This is especially important for a 3-person kayak as it carries more people.
The type of kayak that you want to buy always depends on your budget. Three kayaks will always be more expensive than a single or tandem kayak.
A 3-person kayak is much cheaper than a single person kayak in the long run. You get value for your money. So, for those who love to have fun in groups, a 3-person kayak is suitable for them.
The materials of a 3-person kayak dictates the durability of a kayak. Typically, a kayak made of thicker materials is more resistant to punctures and tears.
For the inflatable kayaks, you look at the denier count. The higher the denier count, the thicker the material. This will provide extra resistance when you bump against rocks.
Inflatable 3 person kayaks are less heavy than their rigid brothers. Weight plays a big role in the transportation of kayaks. Therefore, inflatable kayaks are easier to transport than hardshell types.
Every kayak has a maximum weight capacity that you have to consider.
The weight capacity shows you how much weight the kayak can hold. It is expected that a 3-person kayak would have a higher weight capacity compared to a single-person kayak.
You can add your weight with those of your buddies and gear to get a suitable kayak. This will ensure you are getting a kayak that will not sink because of excess weight.
Top 5 Best 3-Person Kayaks
This kayak is designed to be perfect for outdoor fun. The extra space is enough to fit three persons, making it ideal for friends and family adventures. You can also carry the fishing equipment during the epic fishing trips.
This model is further crafted for stability. The polyethylene material used makes it possible for the kayak to be used in oceans and rivers. This can be done while supporting up to 595 pounds. The 34-inch beam offers excellent stability for fishing, whatever the conditions.
It possesses waterproof storage. This means you can keep all your valuables dry inside the dual watertight hatches. Each seat has its own storage hatch; thus, all your gear will always be in reach. The rear cargo will help you hold all your outdoor gear and fishing stuff.
There are built-in fishing rod holders in this model. This will help you keep several baited lines in the water at once. Also, you will be able to keep the fishing rods out of your way during paddling.
- It is comfortable with fully padded seats
- Waterproof storage is available for your valuables
- It has many fishing rod holders for versatility
- Many find it pricey
This inflatable kayak has a weight capacity of 650 pounds, which is enough to carry three people. It is light as it weighs 32 pounds, making it easy to transport.
It has two deluxe inflatable seats that can be adjusted to your preferred position. The seat backrests are adjustable too. You can also fit your additional gear in the stern or bow comfortably.
This model comes with two skegs at the bottom, which help in straight tracking and achieving top speeds.
A foot pump and a carry bag are part of the package. The foot pump will help you inflate the kayak in a matter of a few minutes. You can fit your kayak in the carry bag to make it easy when transporting it.
This inflatable kayak has a class III whitewater rating. As such, durability should not be an issue with the kayak.
It comes with two four-part aluminum kayak paddles. Aluminum shafts make the paddles strong but remain lightweight.
- It is comfortable with adjustable seats
- The kayak has a large storage space
- Easy to inflate it fully
- The middle seat is not the most comfortable
The kayak measures 85.8 by 47.2 by 13.8 inches. This is enough space for three people to fit in comfortably. It can be nice to use such a kayak with your partner and kid to help them learn more about kayaking.
The maximum weight capacity is 440 pounds. It means it can carry three adults without sinking. The age grading for the kayak is 6+. If you find your kid is interested in kayaking, then consider the stated age.
The Yocalo inflatable kayak can be assembled easily within a short time. This is unlike some models that might take more time to inflate. Simply get the hand pump to inflate it in minutes.
The boat is durable as it is made with 0.6 mm PVC material. The materials used are safe and environment-friendly.
This model comes with 2 cushions, rope, aluminum oars, a repair patch, and a hand pump. You should now have everything that you need to go kayaking.
- It is stable with 5 independent air chambers
- The kayak is durable
- The model has a lot of storage space
- Beginners find it difficult to control
The reinforced layered PVC side tubes and heavy PVC Tarpaulin bottom provide durable protection from punctures. If you have always been worried about inflatable kayaks, this is an assurance that it is still a good kayak option to consider.
It is lightweight and easily inflates. It takes less than 10 minutes to fully inflate this kayak. Being just 28 pounds, it makes it easy to transport.
The Driftsun Rover kayak is 12 feet, six inches in length, which is enough for three people. The maximum weight capacity is 600 pounds.
This model is designed for running in rapids with eight self-bailing drain ports and rated for class IV whitewater. To make it better, it has a camera mount on the bow for capturing the action.
The whole package includes three adjustable padded seats, a tracking fin, a compact travel bag, and two aluminum kayak paddles.
The kayak stability is provided by the pressure drop stitch floor, ample rocker profile, and removable flatwater tracking fin.
- Easily portable as it is lightweight
- Fully inflates in less than 10 minutes
- It is durable
- It is wind sensitive that sometimes it can be hard to control
The Sevylor Big Basin is twelve feet three inches long, with a maximum carrying capacity of 490 pounds. With such a size, three people can fit comfortably. If you fancy a family kayaking scenario, consider this best 3-person kayak.
The body is designed to be used in flat water or slow-moving water. Having the heavy-duty PVC materials on the sides and tarpaulin bottom protects against punctures.
The kayak has three separate air chambers. This allows it to stay afloat even if one of the chambers gets punctured. It also includes the repair kit so that you can always repair the puncture in case they occur.
The airtight valve system makes inflation and deflation easy. A spray cover offers dry areas for gear in the bow and stern. It also keeps you dry as it blocks splashes.
It has adjustable seats; you can move them to your desired positions. The carry handles allow you to carry it in and out of the water easily.
- The kayak is durable and strong
- It is comfortable with adjustable seats
- No leaks due to an airtight valve system
- The storage space size could be better
Interesting Kayak Jargon You Should Know
There are terms that expert kayakers can use and leave you confused. In this section, you will be able to understand some essential unique kayaking terms.
Skegs or the tracking fin
This is a fin-like structure that extends down into the water below the hull of your kayak. It gives you a better ability to keep your kayak straight, especially when paddling in windy conditions.
Most manufacturers refer to it as a type of material. But, it is a knitting technique that produces a solid weave bond when two fabrics are joined.
Most modern inflatable kayaks are made using this technique. In some instances, drop-stitch kayaks can be inflated to high pressures of up to 20 PSI.
It stands for polyvinyl chloride. It can be found in two forms; rigid or flexible forms. It is the most common material used in making kayaks.
PVC is suitable for inflatable kayaks as it is relatively cheap and resistant to rust build-up. Also, it is soft for comfort during paddling and tear-resistant.
This is a unit for textile measurement. It represents the fiber thickness of individual threads used in a fabric. The higher the denier count, the thicker, stronger, and more durable the fabric is.
Possible Cons of 3-Person Kayaks
They are heavy. A 3-person kayak can weigh over 60 kilograms. This can prove to be tedious if you have to carry it on to the car. You will always need a helping hand.
You are always stuck with someone. Depending on how you see it, you may be stuck with someone you do not like. Paddling together is fun until you disagree with who is in the kayak.
Less control. In a 3-person kayak, you have less control over the boat. It is all about teamwork. However, if you do not get along with your fellow paddlers, it will not be fun.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can one person use a 3-person kayak?
Mostly, it is not fun to paddle a 3-person kayak on your own for a certain distance. The seats may be too far forward or backward. This will make you uncomfortable after some time of paddling alone.
However, some 3 person kayaks are convertible. It means you can switch the seats so that it can be made into a single person kayak. This is a suitable option for those who wish to go kayaking alone but enjoy a 3-person kayak’s flexibility.
How long is a 3-person kayak?
Usually, the length of a kayak depends on the use. Most three-person kayaks have a length of between 3 and 5 meters. The longer the kayak, the more weight it can carry. Longer models also offer more storage space.
How do you paddle on a 3-person kayak?
The paddling routine is the same as the one for a single-person kayak. The front-man sets the rhythm for the other two paddlers behind him. The paddler at the stern is responsible for the steering of the kayak. Stronger paddle strokes can influence the direction of the kayak. Backward paddle strokes are used to change the direction quickly.
How do I launch a 3-person kayak?
Many people do not want to get wet when launching a kayak. This makes launching a kayak very tricky.
When on the beach, you can walk the boat into the water so that it floats enough before you get in. It involves getting your feet wet, but it is quite easy to do.
If you are on a dock, one person can get into the kayak first. The one in the kayak will try to stabilize the kayak as the other two enter the kayak. Stabilizing can be done by holding on to the dock. After that, you are good to go into the waters.
If you love water sports, kayaking is something you must try for sure. Several days’ trip would be an exciting adventure. With the above guide, you will be able to pick the best 3-person kayak.
Taking your friends and family will make it more interesting. A 3-person kayak would be the most suited for such trips. You should never worry about the luggage because the kayak will provide enough space for storage. Do not forget to take your dog sometimes.