Choosing the best touring kayak is crucial and can make or break a trip. Long kayaks are faster, while shorter kayaks require more effort to maneuver. A long kayak is recommended for those who want to paddle for long distances or if they want to carry camping equipment.
Best Touring Kayaks – Quick Comparison
|Product image||Product name||Editor's rating||Price|
|Intex Explorer K2||4.9||See pricing details|
|Wilderness Systems Aspire 105||4.8||See pricing details|
|Perception Carolina||4.8||See pricing details|
|Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140||4.7||See pricing details|
|Sea Eagle 385 ft FastTrack||4.7||See pricing details|
Top 5 Best Touring Kayak Reviews
1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak can carry up to 400 pounds and has enough room for two adults to stand up in it comfortably. It is a good choice for those who want a low-cost option to get them on the water in no time. It features a sleek design and is durable while retaining a canoe-like feel.
Intex Explorer K2 features a high-output air pump and breaks down for easy transport. The kayak comes with grab lines for safety and handles for easy paddling. This is an excellent option for families who want to spend a little time on the water together.
The Explorer K2 is an excellent option for light touring. Its low price makes it an affordable starter package for people with limited storage space. The inflatable seat takes just a few minutes to inflate and is secured with Velcro. It is also accessible to transport and store.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is the perfect touring kayak if you want to get out and explore the outdoors. It measures 16″ long and 13.5″ wide, weighs about 30 pounds, and is easy to carry alone. It has a comfortable bow and stern handles so you can easily take it.
The Intex Explorer K2 is a great kayak, but the cockpit is small and can be difficult to paddle in tandem with your partner if you’re not used to it. It doesn’t have a high-end seat, but it’s enough for two people and comes with everything you need to enjoy kayaking. The boat also doesn’t track well, but overall it’s an excellent value for money.
2. Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak
The Aspire 105 touring kayak from Wilderness Systems features state-of-the-art comfort, durability, and performance. The company has been designing kayaks for over 30 years, and its products are known for their quality, performance, and premium outfitting. They are built to meet the needs of both newcomers to kayaking and seasoned pros.
Aspire 105 is a lightweight recreational kayak that can hold up to 100 pounds. It has excellent tracking and is ideal for medium-sized paddlers. The Aspire 105 also features beginner-friendly chines and a spring-loaded skeg. It’s a perfect choice for long day trips and bayside breezes.
The Aspire 105 is a 10-foot-six-inch long touring kayak. It weighs about forty-eight pounds and can easily fit on a car roof rack or pickup truck. Although it is small in size, it has all the features of a touring kayak.
Wilderness Systems’ Aspire 105 touring kayak features a drop skeg, which is uncommon for kayaks of this length. It also boasts impressive maneuverability, with a turn of 180 degrees requiring only two sweep strokes. The package includes a cozy seating system and plenty of storage space.
This touring kayak is perfect for intermediate kayakers who want to explore new places and see wildlife in their kayak. Its flatter hull design allows it to track straight and true on flat, moving water. And it also has plenty of stability for long-distance paddling.
3. Perception Carolina Kayak
The Perception Carolina series of sit-in touring kayaks offers unrivaled comfort, speed, and agility for intermediate and beginner paddlers. The 14.0 model, in particular, has category-leading versatility and comfort. It’s also highly stable, making it an excellent choice for intermediate paddlers who need a boat that won’t tip over.
The Perception Carolina is comparable to the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 but has more storage capacity. It can accommodate paddlers up to 6’5 tall and weighs only 53lbs. It tracks well, is easy to handle, and features an adjustable backrest and foot pegs for comfort and safety.
The Perception Carolina 14.0 is a fantastic option for any tour and is ideal for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. Features include a Zone DLX seating system, Keepers foot brace system, bow, and stern deck rigging, and two soft-touch carry handles. It is also easily transported in a car, includes a Bow and complex rigging, and easy access to the engine and rudder controls.
Carolina touring kayaks come in all sizes and models and are ideal for various types of paddling. The Conduit is a perfect entry-level model, as it’s half the price of its competition. Its streamlined design is ideal for newer paddlers and has a solid hull. However, don’t expect it to be a fast tourer.
Perception’s Carolina touring kayaks are a good choice for those who want to travel with their family. They are lightweight and stable enough for the long haul and come with a rudder for long distances. The Carolina also has a hatch over the hatch to secure your gear and a notch in the rear deck for paddle float rescue.
4. Sea Eagle 385 ft FastTrack Kayak
The Sea Eagle 385 ft FastTracking kayak is an excellent option for you. It can hold two to three people and weighs up to 388 kg, making it an ideal choice for open water touring. The kayak also features a removable side skeg to improve tracking.
The Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack kayak excels in several areas, including portability and stability. It’s easy to handle and tracks straight, which makes it a perfect choice for a beginner or intermediate kayaker. However, it’s not designed for actual whitewater kayaking, which will push its limits.
A removable skeg makes it easy to maneuver and is ideal for touring in different water conditions. It reduces yawing and improves tracking in flat water and whitewater tours. It is also durable enough to withstand bumps and can be stored in various sizes and weights.
The FastTrack kayaks have a large carrying capacity, and the 385ft comes with bow and stern grab handles for easy handling. You can choose between a Classic and a Deluxe version, which is suitable for open-water cruising. Whether you’re looking for a touring kayak or a family-friendly inflatable, you’ll find the right model.
5. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 Kayak
The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 touring kayak offers a classic design with modern deck lines that improve paddling performance. It’s designed with modern paddler comfort in mind and is built with a generous amount of storage space.
The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 touring kayak is a great all-around kayak. It tracks nicely and is long enough for an overnight trip. It also features a phase 3 Airpro seating system, fitted skid plate, and flared sidewalls for stability.
The Tsunami kayak features a performance-inspired deck with under-deck storage and removable mesh deck storage bags. The kayak hull also features flared sidewalls, increased volume above the waterline, and a longer waterline. It also features a stern skeg and a center-mounted rudder, making it easy to paddle through rough water.
The Tsunami is a fast, stable, and very comfortable boat. It has an adjustable Phase3 seat that lets you customize your position. It can be set for upright paddling or with the thigh rests raised for power paddling. The center also presents to resemble.
How to Buy The Best Touring Kayak?
There are many kayaks, so choosing the right one can make your kayaking experience more enjoyable and safer. To begin, you should determine the purpose of using your kayak. For example, a longer recreational kayak would be ideal if you plan on paddling across the country.
A high-performance kayak is designed to track straight and glide quickly. It is also more maneuverable and easier to maneuver in narrow river systems. For safety, you can choose a kayak with extra features like a rudder or skeg. Once you know your intended use, you can decide on your needed parts.
The seat back is another consideration when choosing a kayak. A heart that doesn’t provide adequate hip support will make it difficult to roll or hip-snap. High seat backs can also interfere with efficient paddling, so choose the one you feel comfortable in and can get into and out of easily.
Inflatable touring kayaks offer a variety of advantages over more traditional models. They are lighter, easy to transport, and compact, making them a good choice for travelers. They don’t require special storage equipment and can easily fit in a vehicle’s trunk. Inflatable kayaks are surprisingly durable and stable.
Before taking your kayak out on a trip, ensure it is fully inflated – this will help ensure the boat is stable when pressed. You can also attach accessories to the kayak, such as seats or fishing rod holders. Some kayaks feature cameras or other equipment for use while kayaking.
The construction of inflatable kayaks should be made of the highest quality materials possible. This will minimize the chances of malfunctioning and increase the durability of your new kayak. Materials such as Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene (CP) rubber are ideal because they prevent punctures and make fabrics more rugged. Other durable materials include HD40 gum, anti-abrasive, Denier ripstop polyester, Thermo welded internal bladder system, and PVC.
Inflatable touring kayaks come in many different styles and models. The most crucial factor to consider when purchasing an inflatable kayak is its weight. Inflatable kayaks should be able to carry the entire kayak and paddler, as well as the equipment. They are made with high-quality materials and can accommodate up to two people.
Read more: Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe?
Folding kayaks are ideal for casual paddling but are not suitable for touring. They are often not as sturdy as hard-shell kayaks and cannot provide the same level of performance. If you’re looking for the best folding kayak for touring, here are a few factors you should consider.
A small one can be easily carried in a vehicle, but a large one will be difficult to transport if you want to have a lot of gear. You will need a bigger kayak if you plan to paddle for many days.
If you want a kayak for touring, you need to be able to fit all your gear in the storage compartment and check the cockpit dimensions. You might want to choose a kayak with higher dimensions if you’re tall.
Also, it is essential to check the kayak’s ergonomics before buying it – especially if you are traveling on the water for long periods. A folding kayak is easy to store and transport, but it can’t be as portable as an inflatable kayak. Some folding kayaks, like the Oru, are lightweight but don’t sacrifice performance.
Sit-on Kayak or Sit-in Kayak
A sit-on-top kayak is more stable than a sit-in kayak, but you’ll have to get out of the kayak more frequently if you want to fish. You won’t have much space in a sitting kayak, and you’ll need to move around more often to keep upright.
The width of the boat and its length will determine its speed. A narrower kayak will move through the water faster than a longer one. A sit-on touring kayak is faster than an open-top kayak, but this doesn’t mean a sit-in kayak can’t be more quickly.
A sit-on kayak will offer more protection from cold water and a larger cockpit for fishing gear. If you’re kayaking in choppy water, consider buying a weather-proof kayak with a heated seat.
Read more: Sit On Top Vs. Sit In Kayak.
Factors Considerations When Choosing Kayak For Touring
There are several factors to consider when choosing a touring kayak. These include the hull shape, foot braces, and more. It is essential to select a kayak that is suitable for your level of experience. Using a guide will make the process of choosing a touring kayak easier.
Kayak Round hull
There are many benefits to a round hull touring kayak. This style is a good choice for the beginner as it offers stability and maneuverability. It’s important to note that this design may not be ideal for experienced paddlers. Round kayaks may have less strength than square-bottomed kayaks, so beginners should consider this before buying one.
The hull design of a touring kayak is unique compared to other kayaks. Round-hull touring kayaks typically have less rocker and a hard chine. A kayak with little or no rocker may be difficult to paddle and track, while one with more rocker is more stable and easier to control.
A round-hulled kayak has more secondary stability than a V-shaped kayak and is ideal for touring or long trips. Another advantage of a round hull touring kayak is its secondary stability. The hull shape directly impacts the kayak’s stability and can make it fast or slow.
A round-hulled kayak is easier to maneuver, especially on flat water. They also have a low rear deck, which makes them easy to roll. The cockpit area is more open, allowing you to access compartments easily while at sea.
Kayak V-shaped hull
A V-shaped hull on a touring kayak is great for maneuvering through choppy water. The design also makes the boat easier to track in a straight line and handles waves better. Pontoon kayaks, which have a similar hull design, offer tremendous stability and excellent tracking. They are also great for one-person fishing.
Another hull type is the centerline hull, also known as a keel. This design makes it easier to paddle straight, but it is also more prone to damage if it runs aground. It is most commonly used on touring kayaks and racing kayaks.
Square kayaks are ideal for beginners and intermediate paddlers as they are easier to control and faster to turn. However, round hulls aren’t as stable as V-shaped ones and can be hard to track. While both offer stability, the V-shaped hull will improve your ability to plane on the wave.
Weight capacity of the kayak
If you’re planning to kayak long distances, a kayak with a longer length will be more maneuverable and provide better speed and tracking. There are a few considerations to make when purchasing a touring kayak. You’ll need to decide how large your kayak is and where you’ll store it.
The weight of your kayak will depend on the type of material it’s made out of and its size. Different materials weigh differently and require various accessories. If you’re planning to fish, for instance, you’ll want to consider adding a seat or additional storage. These features will increase the weight but also improve comfort and stability.
The weight limit of a touring kayak is generally between 25 and 250 pounds. A 250-pound kayak will still float on the water, but you will lose a little of its stability and maneuverability. Generally, the maximum weight a kayak can carry and still float is about 25 pounds.
Read more: How Much Weight Can A Kayak Hold?
Kayak Foot braces
When choosing a touring kayak, you should look for foot braces. These braces are used to support your feet while you paddle. They can also help you maintain good posture, which is essential when propelling a kayak. If you’re planning on using foot braces on your kayak – make sure they fit correctly.
Many kayaks also have thigh braces that allow you to press up your thighs to keep your feet firmly planted while paddling. These footrests help perform various strokes and maneuvers in the kayak. Many types of foot supports are available, from foot pegs to braces to pads.
Foot braces are available in some kayaks, but not all. You should check whether foot braces are adjustable for your height and make sure they allow you to move your legs comfortably. Also, check the size of the cockpit opening to ensure you’ll be comfortable. Most cockpits vary from thirty-four to 50 inches, and recreational kayaks are usually bigger.
Sinkage level measures how far your weight will sink into the water. The higher the number, the more stable your boat will be in the following seas. A lower sinkage level can make your kayak unstable, especially if you’re a newbie.
Consider the type of water you plan to paddle in before heading out on the water. Open coastal waters can be calm and clear or choppy and feature solid currents and winds. If you’re planning on paddling in these conditions, a sit-inside touring or ocean kayak is your best bet. Check out an interactive kayaking map to see where you can safely paddle in various situations.
When purchasing a kayak, it is essential to consider the seatback fit. It should be comfortable and support your back without forcing you to lean back. Also, it should fit snugly against your thigh braces – if it isn’t, you may have to adjust it in or out of the kayak.
A kayak’s seatback can limit your rotation, but it should be adjustable and robust enough to prevent you from slipping off the seat. The good idea is to incorporate situps into your daily workout routine to build the strength and endurance to sit up and stay centered.
A high-back seat will support your back and reduce fatigue. It will also allow you to make tighter turns, which will help you paddle longer and feel comfortable. If you plan on paddling for long periods, getting a seat with a higher back is essential.
Seatbacks are an excellent option for touring kayaks, typically more extensive than recreational kayaks. Touring kayaks are designed to be more maneuverable and comfortable and have camping gear.
Read more: How To Choose The Best Kayak Seat?
Kayak with adjustable seats
Adjustable seats in kayaks are an excellent feature for touring. They allow you to adjust the seat position while on the water so you can paddle comfortably for long periods. Many kayaks also feature straps that will enable you to adjust the straps while you paddle.
Some kayaks have a built-in leg lifter and adjustable foot braces, while others offer molded foot braces and thigh braces. Some touring kayaks also come with a foot brace. These are designed to provide superior final stability and easily adjust from the cockpit.
Choosing the right kayak depends on your personal preference and needs. Most kayak manufacturers sell kayaks in three different volume categories, which indicates the amount of space inside the boat for your gear and body.
Low-volume kayaks are suitable for small people under 5 feet tall, while medium-volume Kayaks are ideal for people between five feet seven and five feet ten inches. If you’re taller and weigh more than 180 pounds, you’ll want to consider a high-Volume kayak.
Pactrade Marine makes a seat for sit-on kayaks that are made from 600D polyester and neoprene. The center is secured using four secure mounting straps and has a non-slip surface. Detachable and comes with a backpack for storage.
Kayak with thigh braces
Adjustable straps that attach to the kayak’s seat provide extra control for the paddler. These are usually fitted on sit-on-top kayaks and are very popular among kayaking enthusiasts. You can slide them under your knees or adjust the straps to rest comfortably on your thighs.
Touring kayaks are designed with thigh braces to prevent accidental tipping. These braces are easy to adjust and are maintenance-free. They are corrosion-resistant and self-cleaning. They’re often molded into the kayak and feature foam pads for all-day comfort.
A good kayak has adjustable foot pedals to help you paddle comfortably. They should fit snugly against your thigh braces, allowing you to move your knees quickly and without difficulty. You should be able to rest your knees on the inner sides of the kayak to maintain a good balance.
Kayak with adjustable foot plates
Adjustable foot plates are a great feature in touring kayaks. This allows kayakers to adjust the height of their feet without compromising stability. It also comes with a seatback that can be easily adapted for comfort. This feature is beneficial for people with wide feet.
The most important thing is ensuring your foot is aligned with the foot pegs on your kayak. This will give you maximum control and comfort and ensure you don’t slip on the water. If your foot isn’t perfectly aligned, your feet will let you know!
A kayak with adjustable foot plates can help you paddle in different conditions. Some kayaks have keels to improve their handling in windy conditions. However, they are not common in touring kayaks.
Kayak with rudders or skegs
Rudders or skegs are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a kayak capable of navigating waves and maintaining a flat course. Rudders improve maneuverability, whereas skegs can provide lifesaving control in heavy seas. The main difference between the two is their mounting system. Both have advantages and disadvantages and may be appropriate for different situations.
A rudder is a small blade that extends below the water line and helps the kayak maintain its course. Once fully deployed, the rudder provides significant tracking. The rudder can be detachable, enabling you to carry out maneuvers in confined waters. Both rudders and skegs are located at the stern of the Kayak.
One type of rudder is a blade that extends from the stern end of the kayak and can be deployed or retracted with rudder lines. A rudder system requires additional costs. Another type is a retractable blade from the vessel’s stern end.
Kayak with sealed compartments
They are generally heavier and more challenging to get into than sit-on-top kayaks and may sink in rough water. The type of trip you plan to take will determine the type of kayak you purchase. Long-distance trips in the open sea and paddling gentle rivers and lakes require a much different boat than touring trips.
Recreational kayaks tend to be less versatile, track more poorly, and have less cargo space. Sealed compartments on touring kayaks increase safety as they trap air and prevent water from entering. An optional rudder makes the kayak easier to maneuver in rough seas.
Rudders help you track the boat in rough waters and get to shore quickly in the event of a capsize. Kayaks come in a wide range of styles. Some are double-decked, while others have a single-deck design. These boats generally have a length between 10 and 15 feet. Most are made of plastic. The shorter kayaks are easier to maneuver and transport.
Dimensions of a kayak
When choosing a kayak, there are several dimensions to consider. One is the volume, which is measured in cubic feet or gallons. This measurement should correspond with the dimensions of the kayaker’s body. A kayak with the same book can vary considerably depending on the materials used.
A narrow kayak is more maneuverable, while a wide one is less stable. A wider beam makes the boat less stable but can enhance tracking ability. Fishing kayaks are usually wider than standard recreational kayaks, allowing the fisherman to stand in them and cast their line.
The shape of the bottom of a kayak is one of the essential features to look out for when buying a new one. A rounded chine allows the kayak to track efficiently but is not ideal for novice paddlers. Those who want a smooth transition from the bottom to the sides should look for a Kayak with a softer chine.
If you want to go on a long trip, you can choose the best touring kayak that is easy to transport. The weight capacity of the Kayak will determine its speed and maneuverability. The color of the yak will have little impact on its performance. As for the price, it will mostly depend on the construction material.