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How Much Does A Kayak Weigh?

For those looking to get fit and enjoy the great outdoors, nothing beats kayaking. But how can you find the right one for your needs?

When it comes to choosing a kayak, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • How you plan to use your kayak
  • Where you plan to use your kayak
  • How much you want to spend
  • How much your kayak weighs

Generally, a kayak weighs 20-70 pounds, the weight of these boats will depend on the size and materials used in construction but most popular models are generally lightweight. 

For example, your average 11-foot kayak weighs about 50 pounds. 

These boats are typically designed to be carried by one person for short distances over level ground.

They can also be loaded onto a kayak roof rack or kayak cart for longer trips, and the boat’s weight should be light enough to make this possible.

If you’ve ever wondered how much kayaks weigh, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover average kayak weights and how to choose the right kind of kayak for you!

The Main Types Of Kayaks

Three people riding one touring kayak and two recreational kayaks

There are two main kinds of kayaks: recreational and touring. 

Recreational kayak models are wider, shorter kayaks that have a flatter design for improved stability. 

The weight of a recreational kayak is usually a bit higher than a touring kayak, due to the types of materials used in their construction. Of course, a tandem kayak will also weigh more because it is a bigger boat!

Touring kayaks offer a sleek, narrow design to maximize speed through the water.

Additional features may include a seat with foot braces so you can adjust your position in the cockpit, and a cargo well behind the seat for carrying gear.

The average weight for most popular kayaks will depend on the length of the boat, with shorter boats typically weighing less than longer ones. 

A typical 11-foot recreational kayak weighs around 50 pounds or more. 

Touring kayaks are generally lighter, ranging in weight between 35 to 55 pounds.

The kayak’s material will also affect how much weight it carries.

For example, smaller recreational kayaks are typically made out of rotomolded polyethylene or thermoformed plastic, which reduce the overall weight while still being durable for years on end.

Both rotomolded kayaks and thermoformed kayaks are considered ideal options for lighter kayaks on the market today. 

How Much Does A Kayak Weigh?

Seven kayaks of different sizes propped up vertically

Kayaks are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Here’s a breakdown of the most common models and their weights:

14-Foot Recreational: 60 to 70 pounds

If you’re looking for a kayak with more speed and storage, this is the model to choose.

This may seem like a heavy kayak, but the storage and stability offered in these models is hard to beat. These longer kayaks also are often used for racing.

14’ Touring: 45 to 55 pounds

Since these boats offer enough space to carry large amounts of gear, they can provide adequate stability while kayaking without sacrificing speed.

11’ Recreational: 50 pounds

These are the most popular models.

They’re designed for stability, ease of use, and a comfortable ride.

People who are looking for a fishing kayak tend to opt for this type of single kayak.

11’ Touring: 35 to 55 pounds

These models are less stable than their 11-foot recreational counterparts, but they’re also lighter, making them ideal for those who enjoy long trips on open water.

Unfortunately, their lightweight design also makes them more expensive.

9’ Recreational: 30 to 40 pounds

These shorter kayaks are ideal for children, and they tend to be sturdier than the 11-foot design.

9’ Touring: 35 pounds

This model is ideal for long trips on open water, and is typically more expensive than other types of recreational kayaks.

5’3″ Recreational: 20 to 30 pounds

This shorter kayak is ideal for children and shorter adults, and is the smallest recreational model available.

5’3″ Touring: 25 pounds

This boat is generally used for open-water touring in a smaller craft.

This kayak’s weight makes it ideal for riders under 130 pounds.

Twin Kayaks

Also known as “double kayaks” or “tandem kayaks”, this twin-seater is designed to carry two people.

If you’re looking for a kayak that will keep you and your kayaking partner close, you can’t go wrong with a tandem kayak. 

Tandem kayaks weigh about 50 to 55 pounds, and they’re great for people who are looking for speed and all-around water fun.

Since you will almost always be accompanied by a partner when using a tandem kayak, this boat’s heavier weight shouldn’t be a problem.

How Does My Weight Factor Into My Kayak Choice?

Your height and experience level should be considered above all other factors when choosing the right boat for recreational use.

You also need to factor in the kayak’s weight limit before you make a purchase. 

Each kayak’s weight limit will vary from model to model.

Be sure to review the weight limits of every boat you’re considering to ensure that the one you choose will be comfortable and safe for your next kayaking adventure.

Which Kayak Is Right For Me?

In order to choose the best kayak for your needs, you need to think about where you plan to store it, how much gear you need to carry, and how often you intend to use it. 

1. Where will you store your kayak?

If you’re limited on space, we recommend opting for a smaller model.

Shorter kayaks weigh less than larger models, which can benefit you if you’ll be lifting and carrying the boat by yourself. 

You can also find space-saving options, such as inflatable kayaks and foldable kayaks.

Inflatable kayaks are easy to store, and don’t require any extra equipment for transport.

An inflatable kayak is likely to be the lightest kayak you can find, with an average weight of 25 to 30 pounds.

2. How much gear do you need to carry?

Do you plan to fish, or perhaps spend your days exploring the coastline? If so, consider a kayak with ample storage that can carry all of your gear comfortably. 

If you’re in the market for a fishing kayak, it will be especially important to take your kayak’s cargo space into account. 

You’ll also want to check the weight limit for each kayak you consider. The more gear you have the more weight you will have as well.

It’s best to look for a kayak with a weight capacity that is a bit heavier than you, since the actual weight of the cargo in the boat will include your weight and the weight of your gear. 

3. How often do you plan to use the kayak?

If you’re an avid paddler, consider investing in a high-performance touring boat designed for speed and stability. 

Recreational models are more affordable, but since they are some of the heaviest kayaks, they also aren’t as fast or efficient.

If you’re more of a newbie who’s just getting into paddling, look for a model that’s easy to maneuver with extra stability.

4. What is your paddling experience?

Different kayak models are designed to meet various and specific skill levels. Consider reading up on different types of kayaks before you make your purchase. Your first kayak likely does not need to be the most sophisticated model on the market. 

5. Do you have any physical limitations?

If you have any physical limitations, it’s best to consult a kayak expert. They can help you choose the right boat based on your personal experience level and limitations.

6. What is your height?

Most recreational kayaks are designed for riders 5’2″ or taller, but there are also models available that are designed for shorter riders.

How to Haul Your Kayak

Two people carrying a kayak together

The weight of your kayak will determine how easy or difficult it is to transport your boat. 

Some single kayak models weigh less than 50 pounds and can be carried by one person.

Meanwhile, the heaviest kayak on the market weighs well over 100 pounds, so you might need help carrying that one to and from the launch area.

There are a variety of ways that you can transport your kayak. You can strap a kayak to your car roof rack, invest in a kayak rack, or place it in the back of a truck bed.

If you plan to take a longer trip and need to transport your boat by vehicle, and your vehicle doesn’t have a large luggage rack or carrier, consider investing in a kayak trailer. 

When choosing the right transport method, consider factors like your strength level, the weight of the kayak, and whether you will have assistance on-hand when loading and unloading your kayak.

Most Popular Kayak Models

A kayak’s weight is largely determined by the different materials used to construct the boat, in addition to the length of the boat. As you do your research, keep in mind that most kayaks of various lengths and materials are designed for specific purposes. 

If you’re considering kayak models made specifically for fishing, you’ll find that fishing kayaks come with several features that make it easier to store fishing equipment and keep your tackle within easy reach.

If you’re planning on paddling in open water and going sea kayaking, look for a sea kayak designed with stability in mind. Sea kayaks are available in a wide range of weights — anywhere from 20 to over 100 pounds! 

Whitewater kayaks, designed for fast streams and rough waters, are generally shorter and thus somewhat relatively lightweight. A whitewater kayak is typically made with a durable yet manageable hull material.

On the other hand, if you plan to float on calmer waters, consider a touring or recreational model with more maneuverability. 

An inflatable kayak is also a solid choice for flat water, and if you’re solely looking for the most lightweight kayak, this is probably your best option. 

What Makes Your Kayak Unique?

Multiple kayaks in a vertical position leaning up against a wall

What features make your kayak unique from the others on the market? Perhaps you want a kayak with a built-in engine, waterproof storage compartments, a product with a generous warranty, or one that is produced by a company with a good track record. 

A kayak’s weight can make a big difference in terms of how often you get out on the water. A boat that’s too heavy might make the whole experience seem more like a chore than a relaxing day out. 

As long as you consider your kayak’s weight carefully, you’ll be able to choose a boat that perfectly fits your needs and desires. 

Whatever your preference, there is likely to be an option that will meet your specific needs and desires.

What are kayaks made of?

The most common kayak materials are either plastic or fiberglass, but carbon fiber single person kayaks offer increased performance and maneuverability. 

A single composite kayak made with composite materials will almost always weigh less than a plastic kayak of comparable size. 


Since kayaks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and weights, be to consider several factors before making your purchase. As you narrow down your choices, think about what you plan to use your kayak for, where you plan to paddle, your budget, and your overall strength and skill level.

Now that you know how kayak weights vary, it’s time to find the best option for your needs. Start shopping online or visit a local kayak outfitter to see what’s available in your region!

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