Kayaking goes hand in hand with camping as they are all about adventure and appreciating nature. Trying the two together is like coming up with a superfood recipe.
Just imagine kayaking around the rivers or lakes during the day, and then in the evening, you can set up a beautiful camping site. You can still smoke some marshmallows while singing the night out. However, all of these will not actualize if you have the wrong kayak for camping.
To help you arrive at the best kayak for camping, the guide below has outlined several factors to consider.
Quick Picks: The Top-Rated Kayak for Camping
In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!
How to Choose a Kayak for Camping-Buying Guide
The storage space being enough is important. This is because you may wish to carry your camping gear and maybe fishing gear without worrying whether they will fit in the kayak. Overloading a camping kayak might also reduce its efficiency.
An additional advantage goes to kayaks with watertight compartments for storing valuables. You should also consider those with enormous tank wells and bungee cords for storage.
Camping gears should also be selected according to storage needs. For example, your tent should be lightweight and compact. You can still look up some guides on how to correctly pack your camping gear.
Maximum Weight Capacity
The weight capacity is a vital factor when looking for a camping kayak as you should not load your kayak beyond its limit. This does not only apply to the load weight but also the user’s weight. Ensure you have these weights in your mind.
Excessive weight reduces the performance of a camping kayak. It also increases the chances of your kayak capsizing or sinking.
How wonderful was your kayaking journey? It all comes down to the kayak comfort when determining if you enjoyed your kayaking trip. A cushioned seat comes in handy here to offer high levels of comfort.
Moreover, adjustable seats make you comfier as you can move into a more comfortable position. Inflatable seats provide other alternatives but make sure you check on their size as some may be too small for you.
You should not spend so much on a kayak that you may use like once in years or a kayak that will only last a few months. Mostly, the more expensive kayaks always last longer as they are made from higher quality materials.
The cheapest kayaks are made from low-quality materials. You should opt for affordable kayaks with more durable materials. Sometimes it is interesting to see how some affordable models are still good in durability.
Will it be too heavy? Imagine going for a kayak camping trip and being unable to carry your kayak to the river. This is especially true when you go on solo trips. Some kayaks may be too heavy for a single person to carry. So, keep the kayak’s weight in mind so that you do not purchase a very heavy kayak.
Stability is always an important factor no matter the waters you are kayaking on. Hull designs and tracking systems determine how stable a camping kayak is.
Also, the length and width affect the stability.
Ideally, narrower and longer kayaks are suitable for kayak camping and on open waters. On the other hand, wider and shorter kayaks are more suited for moving waters.
The camping place
Knowledge about the campsite is critical when it comes to planning for your trip. For example, if your site has thorns and water full of rocks, then an inflatable kayak should never be your choice.
It may sometimes be difficult knowing how your camping site will be exactly. However, you must get to know the general properties of the area around the camping site.
Most of the time, camping trips are not a day’s activity. You would take a few days during your trip. This necessitates a kayak that will stand strong for all those days.
Hardshell kayaks are probably the number one choice as they are made of HDPE material. You can also use inflatable kayaks, but they are more prone to accidents. So, remember to carry the repair kit.
Product Reviews of the 5 Best Rated Kayaks for Camping
We will look at the 5 best kayaks for camping so that you can pick the best option.
This kayak model has a weight capacity of 375 pounds. You can comfortably carry your camping gear plus some fishing gear if you want.
The stability is enhanced by its length of 12 feet and width of 32 inches. As such, you will need this stable kayak while going camping, not only for safety but also for an enjoyable trip.
The seat has a breathable mesh that can keep you cool when it gets hot. Also, the seat can be adjusted in two planes of movement. Moving the seat upwards or downwards allows for your knees’ accommodation and improves your view of the water body around you. You may also shift forward or backward to have more comfort for your legs.
There are large open front and rear storage spaces. You can store your camping and fishing gears then fasten them with a bungee cord. Moreover, there is space for a cooler in which you store the fish you catch.
For safety, it is built as a one-piece construction kayak, making it leak-proof. Such a feature will also improve its buoyancy.
Other accessories include rod holders and accessory rails. These are meant to make your fishing adventure easier.
- The model is stable
- It has a comfortable and adjustable seat
- Large storage spaces available
- It is safe
- Lacks a watertight storage compartment
Oru foldable kayak is one of the most fun kayaks to use. In open waters, it is easy and quick to get in and out. It is also suitable for calm water use, such as in rivers or lakes.
The model has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. As such, the kayak can comfortably carry you plus your camping gear. You may also bring your personal items like phones, cameras, and wallets.
The polypropylene material used to make the kayak is durable. First, it has UV-protection properties; thus, there is no cracking or bleaching of your kayak. Also, it is resistant to wear and scrapes caused by rocks found in the water.
This foldable kayak is one of the most portable kayaks.
It can be folded and transported easily, thus removing the need for a roof rack. You can even transport it in its carry bag.
It is easy to set up this kayak. You can get it into full shape in under five minutes. Therefore, you will not spend so much time on assembling your kayak but rather in the waters enjoying yourself.
The seat can resist bumps making it more comfortable. It can still be adjusted to a comfortable position as wanted by the kayaker.
Its cockpit is large with decent space for an average man’s legs.
- It easy to set up this model
- Easily portable
- It is comfortable
- Limited storage space
This kayak model is very easy to control. It has built-in aluminum ribs that define the stern and bow. This will improve kayak tracking in the water so that you do not struggle to control your kayak.
The inflatable kayak has a weight capacity of 550 pounds. You can comfortably carry it yourself, plus the camping gear. Moreover, the three layers of material on the body improve the kayak’s ability to hold more weight.
There is room for storage of camping gear and any additional personal items like phones or wallets. The stainless D-rings with the bungee deck lacing are also used to secure your camping gear into place.
It measures 29.9 by 10 by 16.9 inches when you inflate it. You will notice it has a wide beam that makes the kayak very stable. This stability is key, especially when fishing for the big fishes.
The kayak model is durable as it is made from heavy-duty materials. The model also features abrasion pads. This means despite the weather conditions; you can enjoy your trip without the worry of your kayak spoiling.
Comfort is an evident factor with this kayak. The seats are padded and adjustable with a backrest to avoid backaches. There is enough legroom for a person of any size.
- The kayak is comfortable
- It is durable
- There is enough storage room
- You might experience punctures depending on conditions
Lightweight, compact, and portable are the features that make this model attractive. It is reliable if you plan to go on a trip alone as it can carry one person only. You can use it in calm waters or moderate white water.
For safety, it has 3 air chambers enclosed by rugged 840-denier nylon. This is because if one air chamber punctures while in the water, the other two air chambers will keep the kayak afloat.
There are UV-resistant coatings on the body of the kayak. They make the kayak more durable reducing the worries of replacing your kayak.
You can store your camping gear at the front or the back. The bungee laces are used to fasten the load onto the kayak to keep them from falling into the water.
The kayak model is stable as it is short and wide. For improved performance, there are 4 fins at the bottom for superior tracking.
The bright color of the kayak is for your safety, as you will be easily noticed during a rescue mission. Also, bigger vessels will easily spot you.
- It is lightweight and portable
- The kayak is stable
- It is brightly colored for visibility
- Limited to carrying one person
This sit-in kayak has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. With such, you can comfortably carry yourself plus the camping gear.
For storage, there is a hollow compartment at the far back with bungee laces. Space is enough to carry your required camping gear. The laces are for holding the load in position. Also, there is a recessed drink holder.
The kayak provides high-quality comfort. This is because the seat is adjustable so that you can decide on your best seating position. More so, there is a padded backrest so that you can avoid backaches. Its cockpit space also allows enough room for the legs.
Its lightweight design will make it easier to carry and while loading or unloading it. Being portable, it erases the need for a kayak trailer.
The Aruba is stable and suited for lakes and rivers rather than the coastal areas. Also, its width is reasonable but not very comfortable for long distances.
- It is stable
- High-quality comfortable seat
- Lightweight and portable
- Limited storage space
Important Tips for Kayak Camping
Kayak camping is like any trip; thus, you have to do some preparations.
- You have to ensure that the camping gear is as light as it can get because you do not want to go over the kayak’s weight limit.
- You have to distribute your load evenly throughout the kayak in the bow, center, and stern. Make sure the heavier loads are at the bottom so that the kayak does not lose stability.
- You can use several smaller bags to make weight distribution easier. Also, it will be easier for you to find your things.
- Whether your kayak has a watertight compartment or not, you should use dry bags for electronics and other sensitive gear.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Safe is Kayak Camping?
Yes, it is safe. However, this can only be true if you follow the set safety guidelines for kayaking. There are limits that you should be aware of when kayaking. So, do not try anything that will endanger your life.
Will the camping kayak be comfortable?
It largely depends on how the manufacturer has built it. Some would have adjustable seats, wider cockpits, and other features whose aim is to improve on the comfort. Looking at the features of the kayak can help you decide better.
What is the best color for a kayak for camping?
Some people might not understand the fuss about the kayak color, but it is important. I would advise that you go for a kayak with high visibility colors. Such include yellow, green, white, red, and more. Such colors help you to be easily identified in case you need help.
Listing the kayaks is an easy task but coming up with the ideal kayak is a difficult task. Preferences change from one person to another. Even if you do not end up with the same kayak as your buddy, you may still be comfortable with it.
Go ahead and use the guide above so that you get the best kayak for your upcoming holiday. You can do more research before buying any kayak.