14 Best Sea Touring Kayaks in 2022

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A variety of Sea Touring Kayaks
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Sea kayak touring is one of the most exciting and unique ways of exploring the natural wonders of this planet. Whether you’re paddling to the far reaches of a fresh-water lake, or crossing the open ocean to reach a remote archipelago bursting with wildlife, using human power to propel your touring kayak is one of the most satisfying and sustainable ways of traveling.

Selecting the best sea touring kayak will seem daunting at first because there are many brands and styles on the market. To simplify matters ask yourself three basic questions before beginning your search for the most ideal boat: where, what, and who?

Where you will be paddling for the majority of your trips will determine what style of boat you will need. Paddling gentle rivers, lakes, sheltered coastlines and inlets will not require the same touring kayak as someone choosing to cross large stretches of open ocean. Similarly, a light day touring boat can be unsafe in the open sea.

What kind of trips you’ll be doing will also determine the type of investment you’ll want to make in your sea touring kayak. Touring a local estuary and doing the occasional light overnighter will require less volume and cargo space than someone wishing to do longer, multiday trips.

Who the paddler is and what kind of paddling experience you have will determine what type of sea touring kayak you’re looking for. A beginner paddler isn’t a great match with a high-performance sea kayak that doesn’t have the same stability as an entry-level boat.

We have reviewed the eight best touring kayaks on the market for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level paddlers. You can also read our guide that follows for more in-depth advice on choosing the right model of boat for your unique needs and skill level.

The Top 8 Sea-Touring Kayaks in 2022

All the Sea-Touring Kayaks We've tested

Best for Beginners

eddyline-samba-139-featured
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The Eddyline Samba is a great entry-level touring kayak. Its thermoformed construction means it’s lighter than a roto-molded polyethylene boat and has good primary stability from its 22.5-inch beam.

At only 43 pounds, the Samba is easy to transport to the water, load onto your vehicle, and glides through the water with ease. It has a built-in skeg, which can be deployed to keep the boat tracking in a straight line in windy conditions, and comes with an adjustable seat, back band, and footrests that offer optimum support and comfort.

The stern and bow hatches provide ample dry storage for weekend getaways, and the deck bungees allow you to store and transport additional gear and equipment within arm’s reach when you’re paddling.

The Eddyline Samba is a great kayak for light touring paddlers seeking comfort and stability.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Thermoformed ABS
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Weight: 43 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.4

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Good for weekend touring
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    The drop-down skeg enables straight tracking
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    The exterior is UV-resistant
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    Lightweight for its length
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    Durable ABS composite construction

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markSells out quickly. Hard to get your hands on.
  • check-markSteering using a skeg as opposed to a rudder can be more difficult for an entry-level paddler
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Eddyline Samba 13’9”

Best for Stability

old-town-castine-140-14-featured
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Crafted with performance and comfort in mind, the Old Town Castine 140 touring kayak is a good choice for both beginners and seasoned kayakers taking on weekend or light touring expeditions.

The Castine 140 features an ACS2 seat with a low-profile backrest, phone cradle, and quick-seal hatches with CrossLock closures. It comes equipped with carrying handles that help with transporting heavier loads. Deck bungees also make access to gear more convenient.

Using roto-molded polyethylene, the Castine 140 will be heavier than a thermo-molded or fiberglass boat. However, the advantage of a durable, plastic boat means it’s more robust and can be dragged up the beach fully-loaded without too much concern of damaging the hull.

Thanks to the wider cockpit, adjustable thigh braces, and footrests, this boat is able to fit paddlers of all shapes and sizes. It also has a wider beam providing excellent stability and confidence for paddlers to face more challenging conditions.

The Old Town Castine 140 is a robust touring kayak for beginner and intermediate paddlers searching for comfort and affordability.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Roto-molded Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 375 lbs.
  • Weight: 53 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.2

Reasons to buy:

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    Robust
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    Dual storage compartments give you plenty of room for storing your gear
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    Can accommodate paddlers of all shapes and sizes

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markHeavy in comparison to thermoformed or fiberglass boat
  • check-markRudder sold separately
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Old Town Castine 140 14’

riot-kayaks-edge-145-featured
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Riot Kayaks classify the Edge 14.5 as a day touring kayak, but the bow and stern hatches provide ample storage space for overnight or weekend trips alike.

The Edge 14.5 is a Polyethylene-made kayak that has stood the test of time. It comes equipped with a built-in rudder system, a custom seating construction with sliding foot braces, and reflective lifelines.

If you’re planning on bringing a few changes of clothes and other essentials for a multi-day trip, you can rely on the dry sealed hatches for waterproof storage and additional deck bungees to store the gear you want access to on the water.

The Edge 14.5 has a wide, comfortable cockpit, excellent handling and stability, and can be used both for flat-water and ocean paddling. It’s a robust boat for beginner to intermediate paddlers looking for a comfortable, cost-effective option to get themselves on the water for light multiday trips.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 325 lbs.
  • Weight: 60 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

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    The custom-fit seating system ensures comfort
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    Cost-effective option for multi day trips
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    For both flat water and sea touring on the open ocean

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markPatience might be required for shipping
  • check-markHeavy in comparison to thermoformed or fiberglass boats
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Riot Kayaks Edge 14’5”

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The Dagger Stratos 14’5 is a stable boat for entry-level paddlers, but a fun and versatile boat for paddlers with a little more experience who like to play in the waves and tackle the open ocean.

Dagger, who is well-known for building high-quality white-water kayaks, also has a range of superior touring kayaks including the Dagger Stratos 14.5. This kayak comes in large and small versions to accommodate paddlers of all shapes and sizes.

Designed as a sporty boat for beginner to intermediate paddlers, the Stratos 14.5 can be to be used for multi-day trips involving long distances and is equipped with high-quality features to support the journey. The kayak has an ergonomic CFS seating system that has built-in leg lifters and adjustable slide lock XL footrests.

There are also two storage hatches at the bow and stern of the boat for storing plenty of food and camping gear. You won’t have any trouble navigating the kayak in rougher water either, as the TruTrak skeg technology is fully adjustable for your control and comfort.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Roto-molded Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Weight: 57 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4

Reasons to buy:

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    Suitable for expeditions and overnight trips
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    Can accommodate larger paddlers
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    Fast and maneuverable

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markSteering using a skeg as opposed to a rudder can be more difficult for entry-level paddlers
  • check-markHeavy compared to thermo-molded or fiberglass boats
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Where to buy:

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Dagger Stratos 14’5”

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The Delta 15.5 GT is a kayak designed for entry-level and experienced paddlers alike. This lightweight sea touring kayak has two large storage hatches in the bow and stern of the boat, as well as a day hatch to keep your precious belongings accessible and dry.

The thermoformed construction of this boat means it’s a plastic boat that carries and paddles like a fiberglass boat at half the cost. It’s a popular model for solo paddlers. It can be transported easily and has the versatility to be paddled on flat water and the open ocean for multiple days at a time.

This comfortable cruiser is great on longer trips, while its stability allows you to explore more challenging waterways. The external rudder system enables you to maneuver the boat with ease, and its long waterline and v-shaped hull make tracking in strong winds and big seas less daunting.

This boat features Delta’s Press-Lock Hatch System, making accessing and stowing your gear away easy, and the multi-position Contour II Seat System keeps you comfortable on longer crossings.

This boat is ideal for beginners and well-loved by intermediate and experienced paddlers who are looking for a lighter boat that doesn’t compromise on performance.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Thermoformed ABS
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Weight: 49 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy:

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    Lightweight
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    External rudder provides great maneuverability
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    Comfortable Contour II Seat System
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    Versatile in different water types

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markNot as durable as a roto-molded polyethylene or fiberglass kayak
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Where to buy:

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Delta 15’5” GT

Best fiberglass Kayak

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The Seawood Tyee is a world-class touring kayak built in one of the world’s most beautiful paddling destinations on Vancouver Island, BC. This fiberglass boat has the stability necessary for entry-level paddlers with the features and performance sought after by more experienced paddlers.

The 17’ length of this touring kayak makes it excellent for longer trips, as it will travel faster and more efficiently through the water. It is equipped with a Smart Rudder System, which makes deploying and retracting the rudder simple, and allows for great maneuverability through larger seas.

The Tyee has a storage capacity of 58.9 gallons, meaning you can store multiple days of gear in this boat easily. It has a 24” beam, which gives the boat stability but doesn’t hamper the more experienced paddler who is focused on achieving speed and distance in this boat.

The Tyee’s fiberglass construction makes it robust and able to carry a lot of weight without the risk of flexing like a thermoformed boat. It is also a lot lighter than a roto-molded polyethylene boat but with the same durability. It also comes with a UHMW Keel Guard to protect the boat when dragging it up the beach or sliding it onto your roof racks.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: fiberglass
  • Weight Capacity: 230 lbs.
  • Weight: 56 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Robust fiberglass construction
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    Smart Rudder System provides great maneuverability
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    17’ length allows the boat to move faster and more efficiently
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    Plenty of storage

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markMore expensive than a roto-molded polyethylene boat or thermoformed kayak
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Seaward Tyee 17’

Largest Cargo Hold

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The P&H Scorpio is a touring kayak often selected by intermediate to advanced paddlers. It’s a robust roto-molded polyethylene boat built to be battered by big seas and dragged up beached laden with sharps rocks and shells.

The Scorpio is a multi-day sea-touring kayak, although it can be used equally well on day trips. It has the storage capacity to store multiple weeks’ worth of gear and food, and the stability to face large swells and rough seas with confidence. It has a wide enough cockpit to provide comfort when paddling for longer days, and excellent stability to pause and eat a snack on the open ocean.

The Scorpio was built with expeditions in mind. It has molded inserts for a compass and sail system, secure split-paddle storage, and a low-profile back deck for easy rolling and re-entry.

The Scorpio comes in three sizes, the SV, MV and LV, for small, medium and larger paddlers. The hull was designed from its fiberglass sibling, the P&H Cetus MV, and its ‘v’ body with rounded chines enables this boat to glide well through the water.

The P&H Scorpio MV also comes equipped with either the CoreLite X Skeg or Skudder for even greater maneuverability. This is the ideal sea touring kayak for intermediate to advanced level paddlers who want to tackle longer expeditions and long open-water crossings.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Roto-molded Polyethylene
  • Paddler Weight Capacity: 275 lbs.
  • Weight: 64 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Robust roto-molded polyethylene construction
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    Comes with an insert and option for additional sail system
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    Great stability for open-water crossings
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    Low profile back deck for easy rolling and re-entry

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markHeavier than a thermoformed or fiberglass boat
  • check-markCan be expensive and take a long time to deliver from the UK
Read full review

Where to buy:

p-and-h-scorpio-mv-17-3-product-image

P&H Scorpio MV 17’3”

Best for Advanced Kayakers

p-and-h-valkyrie-17-8-featured-image
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The P&H Valkyrie is a high-performance sea touring kayak. Despite its polyethylene construction, this boat is built for speed and maintains the added durability of a boat that can handle being bounced around in rough seas and rubbed up against sharp beach debris.

The narrow, high-volume vertical bow allows this boat to surf waves like no other, while maintaining maximum waterline length for tracking and speed. Like the Scorpio, the low-profile back deck provides ease for re-entry, and the soft chine design of the hull makes this boat easy to roll.

There is ample storage in this boat, although the hatches are a lot longer and narrower than the Scorpio. The Valkyrie will move through the water much faster than the Scorpio, which means it can achieve greater distance on longer multi-day trips. However, this boat is designed for a more experienced paddler and it’s 21” beam can feel tippy for those new to sea kayak touring.

The paddle entry cutaways in this boat are a favorite feature, as they allow for a more vertical blade entry and efficient paddle stroke closer to the kayak. Like the Scorpio, the Valkyrie also has molded inserts for a compass and sail, and in addition, comes with a SmartTrack External Rudder system for superior handling and maneuverability.

The P&H Valkyrie is an excellent sea touring kayak for intermediate to expert paddlers. It’s ideal for those looking to paddle long distances, who are focussed on speed, and who enjoy a downwinder or two while riding the waves.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Roto-molded Polyethylene
  • Paddler Weight Capacity: 255 lbs.
  • Weight: 55 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Robust roto-molded polyethylene construction
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    Comes with an insert and option for an additional sail system
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    Low profile back deck for easy rolling and re-entry
  • check-mark
    Versatile enough for some surfskiing

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markHeavier than a thermoformed or fiberglass boat
  • check-markCan be expensive and take a long time to deliver from the UK
  • check-markHigh-performance boat with less stability. Not for beginners
Read full review

Where to buy:

p-and-h-valkyrie-17-8-product-image

P&H Valkyrie 17’8”

eddyline-rio-119-featured
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The Eddyline Rio Sea Kayak is an ideal sea kayak for small to medium size kayakers and offers great maneuverability and has the potential to store lots of equipment and luggage.

The Eddyline Rio is one the most proficient and highest rated recreational touring kayaks currently available on the market. Constructed from thermoformed ABS plastic that gives this sea kayak its distinctive look and performance as a composite kayak.

This sea touring kayak features a number of impressive features including hard chines that produce responsive turns and reinforce the kayak’s tracking. Additionally, the Rio has lots of storage potential, with 10-inch bow and stern bulkheads for safely storing valuables and gear. This is further extended by deck bungees for on deck storage. This kayak also features retractable carry handles for convenient transportation.

The Eddyline Rio is for kayakers who are looking for a high quality recreational sea kayak that is lightweight and compact while providing lots of storage space for equipment and gear.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Thermoformed ABS plastic
  • Weight Capacity: 270 lbs.
  • Weight: 35 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.8

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Lightweight and compact
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    Lots of storage
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    Great maneuverability and tracking
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    Comfortable padded seating with adjustable seat

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markLess buoyancy means this kayak sits very low in the water
Read full review

Where to buy:

eddyline-rio-119-sea-kayak.jpg

Eddyline Rio 11’9”

perception-expression-116-featured
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The Perception Expression Sea Kayak is a beginner-friendly kayak that offers excellent value for money. It’s easy to transport as well as safe and stable for touring through choppy waters.

The Perception Expression Kayak is constructed from robust roto-molded Polyethylene. This material has proven resilient and versatile on the water. This sea touring kayak also features an adjustable Zone DLX seat and leg lifters giving you complete support for both the upper and lower parts of your body.

Being lightweight and rich with high-end features, it’s often the number one pick of those willing to hone their kayaking skills. The perception kayak is further equipped with a cockpit-deployable skeg system known as TruTrak – the kind that helps with tracking in windy conditions.

A storage hatch placed behind the seat and the bungee cords in the front guarantee a spacious and accessible sea kayak.

The Perception Expression Sea Kayak is for any kayaker who wants to develop their skills in a versatile and robust kayak.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Roto-molded Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Weight: 44 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.6

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    The bow and stern carrying handles are super comfortable.
  • check-mark
    TruTrak skeg system really helps with tracking in choppy winds.
  • check-mark
    Great for day touring

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markLess ideal for longer trips
Read full review

Where to buy:

perception-expression-116-sea-kayak.jpg

Perception Expression 11’6”

wilderness-systems-tsunami-126-featured
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Wilderness Systems created the Tsunami 125 Sea Kayak for paddlers who like challenging themselves touring in harsher conditions. Made for more comfort and for larger paddlers.

This swift sea touring kayak features a deep hull and a relatively spacious cockpit that is the contemporary standard for long day trips. The Tsunami is equipped with two hatches located at the bow and the stern of the kayak, an under-dock storage area, and two removable mesh deck bags.

The Phase 3 AirPro seating is designed to be fully adjustable with its 3D foam ergonomic construction that enables ample airflow. The flexible Slidelock XL footrests and padded thigh braces add comfort that allows you to feel one with the craft. Also, the Tsunami 125 is constructed from rigid, durable materials that will last a long time if well maintained.

The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 Sea Kayak is ideal for kayakers who want comfort and a large cargo holding capacity to store equipment and gear.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Roto-molded Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Weight: 51 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.3

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    There are two mesh gear pockets for keeping your small items secure.
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    Phase 3 AirPro seating offers a superb level of comfort on long trips.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe entry might seem too tight for some.
Read full review

Where to buy:

wilderness-systems-tsunami-126-sea-kayak.jpg

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 12’6”

perception-carolina-12-featured
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This sit-inside sea kayak from Perception Kayaks is best suited for paddlers attracted to touring through choppy coastal waters over calm rivers. In particular, larger kayakers who need more space will appreciate the larger cockpit.

Built from the UV-, impact- and abrasion-resistant Polyethylene in the USA, the Perception Carolina offers maximum durability and long-lasting enjoyment. It features a Zone DLX ergonomic seat and a knee and thigh pad for ultimate comfort. The spacious cockpit entry increases the kayak’s already feature-rich construction by making it compatible with many kinds of spray skirts.

It comes with bow and stern storage hatches for convenient stashing of your valuables that are required for overnight stays. Pack your favorite pillows and travel-friendly blankets, and you’re set for a fun kayak weekend away.

The Perception Carolina is a great choice for anybody looking for a relaxing sea kayaking experience with maximum comfort and increased space.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 275 lbs.
  • Weight: 49 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.2

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    It has built-in bulkheads that provide additional safety.
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    The kayak is lightweight but maintains a high capacity.
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    Good padding around knees and legs
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    Comfortable and adjustable seat
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    Larger cockpit

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markNeeds a drain plug
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Perception Carolina 12’

eddyline-skylark-12-featured
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The Skylark is a great example of a sleek and efficient sea kayak that is guaranteed to make you feel comfortable and stable.

Great things come in small packages and the Eddyline Skylark 12” is no exception. With innovative deck rigging and a hull design that allows for superior tracking, the Skylark is awesome for adventuring around rivers and lakes.

It’s also an extremely stable and comfortable kayak that ensures you will be protected in the cockpit. This will keep out water and will maintain warmth even in the coldest conditions.

That being said, the short length and dimensions of the kayak will mean that experienced kayakers who are after speed might not be satisfied with the Skylark’s top speed. Some kayakers also find the seat to be uncomfortable, but this comes down to personal preference and can be adjusted.

Ultimately, the Eddyline Skylark is a great sea kayak for kayakers looking to develop their technique and who want to build their confidence before trying more challenging environments.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: ABS
  • Weight Capacity: 295 lbs.
  • Weight: 41 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.2

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Lots of storage with two storage hatches and two large deck bungees
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    Lightweight

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markExpensive
  • check-markRelatively slow for a sea kayak
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Eddyline Skylark 12’

perception-conduit-13-featured
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The Perception Conduit sea kayak provides the best of both worlds: it is suitable for beginners while also equipped with practical, high-quality features that attract experienced kayakers.

Constructed from high-density polyethylene, the Conduit 13 boasts an impressive weight and load distribution ratio. It’s built to be ultra-light yet equipped with enough power to withstand up to 295 pounds of weight. Just think about all the gear you could bring with you for the ride.

Two bulkheads, two storage hatches, and two carrying handles are all part of what you get with this deal. You get a fair amount of water-resistant storage space, improved safety, and increased buoyancy. You also get convenient features for easy transportation.

It’s the type of kayak that has it all – stability, speed, low weight, and an affordable price are the main characteristics that stand out.

The Perception Conduit 13 is the ideal sea kayak for kayakers of any level who are looking for a touring kayak that has many innovative design features.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 295 lbs.
  • Weight: 54.5 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.1

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    It’s beginner-friendly
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    The build quality ensures long-lastingness
  • check-mark
    Good all around balance between performance and stability

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markIt doesn’t have the best tracking.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Perception Conduit 13”

advanced-elements-expedition-elite-13-featured
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The Advanced Elements Expedition Elite Sea Kayak is an inflatable model that’s great for touring coastal environments and is ideal for day or weekend trips. As a classic touring kayak, this model might compromise performance, but it delivers on portability.

The Expedition is one of Advanced Element’s most ambitious products as they have managed to pull off an inflatable sea kayak that can compete with the more robust hardshell options.

Once adjusted correctly and Expedition is one of the most comfortable sea kayaks on the market. This inflatable kayak is a great option for kayakers who want to use their sea kayak in different areas as it can be deflated for more compact transportation.

Although the Expedition has a lot of cargo space, it can be slightly cramped in the cockpit for larger kayakers, and anybody taller than 6 feet might want to consider another option. Also, the tracking on this kayak tends to get worse in more strenuous conditions such as currents and waves as it is an inflatable, after all, making the Expedition best suited for flatwater lakes and rivers.

The Advanced Elements Expedition is ideal for travelers and kayakers who want a portable kayak that can also support a high capacity for equipment and gear.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: PVC Tarpaulin with drop stitching
  • Weight Capacity: 450 lbs.
  • Weight: 42 lbs.

Our Overall Review

3.8

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Inflatable and easy to transport
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    High back support
  • check-mark
    Lots of storage and capacity for gear and equipment

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markLack of space for larger kayakers
  • check-markTracking can falter with harsh conditions and strong currents.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Advanced Elements Expedition Elite 13’

riot-kayaks-edge-13-featured
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The Riot Kayaks Edge 13’ is a popular one in the world of sea kayaks – it is an affordable touring kayak with the features of a high-end model.

The kayak’s low-deck profile is one of the many features that draw the attention of seasoned kayakers. It makes you feel in control of your kayak and eases the maneuvering in all weather conditions. Even though the Edge 13’ lacks a rudder, it has a retractable skeg that makes up for this.

Additionally, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to maintain peak buoyancy in this kayak – the combination of the primary and secondary stability features guarantees increased buoyancy. With quick-lock foot braces that can be adjusted, reflective lifelines, drain plug, flush-mount rod holder, and thigh braces, this kayak will make you feel secure and comfortable.

The Riot Kayak Edge 13’ is recommended for kayakers who want a more maneuverable and controllable sea kayak to ensure their stability and comfort.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Weight: 58 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    The padded and adjustable seat provides excellent comfort.
  • check-mark
    The two storage areas are spacious and accessible.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markIt doesn’t come with a pilot rudder system.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Riot Kayaks Edge 13’

pakayak-bluefin-14-featured
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From lakes to rivers and oceans, the Pakayak Bluefin Sea Kayak is suitable for any body of water. It cuts through waves like a knife and maintains a stable level of buoyancy in both salt and freshwater.

Weighing 59 pounds and measuring 14 feet in length, the Pakyak Bluefin is an extremely stable kayak. It has ample storage for all of your weekend essentials and some more for your small valuables.

This kayak features a pedal rudder system and a double-chined hull and doesn’t pose any issues when maneuvering. Even if you decide to use it in shallow waters, its performance will remain uncompromised thanks to the rudder that can be stored away. You can use it as a fishing kayak, too, if you’re a fan of bringing back home a fresh catch once in a while.

The Pakayak Bluefin is for kayakers looking for a very stable and maneuverable sea kayak that offers a lot of space and control.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Weight: 59 lbs.

Our Overall Review

3.6

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    It can be assembled in less than 3 minutes.
  • check-mark
    You can travel with it.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markIt’s quite heavy
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Pakayak Bluefin 14’

Related Reviews

Sea Touring Kayak Buying Guide

There are so many styles and models of sea touring kayaks on the market to consider when choosing the best and most appropriate kayak for your individual needs.

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To begin with, let’s make the distinction between a sea and a touring kayak? 

This is a tough question to answer, because all touring kayaks can be paddled on lakes, rivers, and the open ocean. There are, however, a number of features that make a touring kayak more suited to the sea:

  • Steering
  • Bow design
  • Durability
  • Stability

A sea touring kayak will be fitted with a skeg, rudder, or skudder system to enable the boat to track in windy and choppy conditions. Because the wind can blow faster and build up larger waves in the ocean than on lakes and rivers, sea touring kayaks must be designed to prevent weather cocking (the tendency to turn into or away from oncoming wind and waves).

Another design feature specific to sea kayaks is the bow of the boat. If the kayak has a knifing bow, is it designed to slice cleanly through waves without throwing spray. These low bows are advantageous because they are less affected by wind.

A lifting bow climbs over waves rather than going through them. These bows have additional buoyancy and volume to provide lift as the bow begins to get buried in a wave. Touring kayaks with a lifting bow sometimes have a more rockered hull, which enables them to lift and be maneuverer through waves more easily.

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Durability is a factor when you’re paddling in the open ocean too because you’re more likely to be battered by big waves and pushed onto shore into sharp rocks and debris. A fiber composite boat or a roto-molded kayak may be better suited to rougher sea conditions than a thermoformed kayak.

Stability refers to a boat’s resistance to capsizing. A touring kayak with greater primary stability generally has a flatter hull and is quite resistant to rocking. Primary stability means a paddler will feel more stable initially, but a kayak with high primary stability may capsize very suddenly once its initial resistance to capsizing is overcome by edging the kayak past a certain lean angle.

Secondary stability is a feature of more sea touring kayaks because kayaks with greater secondary stability can lean a lot further and will fight the urge to capsize. Although kayaks with high secondary stability may feel tippy at first, the design causes the kayak to want to return to an upright position even when leaned or edged all the way on its side.

As mentioned above, it’s critical to consider the questions that start with: where, what, and who. Where you’ll be predominantly paddling (open ocean versus protected waterways), what kind of trips will you be doing (day trips, light touring or expeditions), and who is the paddler (experience level and body weight or size).

There are also practical factors to consider like the availability of boats in your region, and a host of design factors and characteristics of the kayak itself including:

  • Materials
  • Length, Width, and Size
  • Skegs, Rudders, or Skudders
  • Storage & Weight Capacity
  • Chines

Your budget will also weigh into the equation.

This guide covers the most common questions that beginners to kayaking have and provides a good idea of what to look for when purchasing a sea kayak for touring.

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Materials:

What your sea kayak is made from will determine the following factors:

  • Cost
  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Speed
  • Lifespan

The most common materials used to build sea touring kayaks are:

  • Fiber composite laminates (fiberglass or Kevlar)
  • Polyethylene (used for most roto-molded boats)
  • ABS (a thermoplastic polymer used in most thermoformed kayaks)

fiber Composite:

Fiber composite is used in the majority of hardshell kayak hulls today. Kevlar can be combined with fiberglass to produce a lighter sea touring kayak. But kayaks made purely from Kevlar are generally only used for racing because they have poor compressive strength and can be punctured easily.

Fiber composite boats are lightweight and durable, easy to repair, glide faster through the water than plastic boats, and have a longer lifespan. They also lend themselves to having sharper shapes and edges for tracking and stability.

Fiberglass and Kevlar sea touring kayaks are a lot more expensive than their plastic counterparts. Although incredibly durable, care must be taken with these kayaks as they can crack if dropped or crashed against hard rocks, where a plastic boat would bounce off more easily.

A fiber composite boat is better suited to an intermediate to experienced paddler. A novice paddler could easily paddle a fiberglass boat, but for an entry-level paddler looking to get into the sport who isn’t concerned with performance and weight, a plastic boat is going to be more forgiving with bumps and bruises and a lot lighter on your wallet.

Polyethylene:

Polyethylene is a tough plastic that can take a lot of punishment and rebound off rocks where a fiberglass boat may crack. Polyethylene is commonly used in roto-molded boats where the plastic is heated to its melting point and then spun in a mold.

Polyethylene boats are incredibly tough. They are less expensive than their fiber composite counterparts but also have a shorter lifespan because they degrade with UV exposure and are susceptible to wear and tear. When the hull gets scratched along rocks and sharp objects, parts of the plastic can begin to peel off.

Polyethylene boats are also prone to something called oil canning. Kayak oil canning is when the hull develops an inward dent, usually caused by strapping the boat down too hard when transporting it on the roof of your car.

Fixing a kayak that has oil canning is possible with hot water, a hair dryer or, sometimes, sunlight (depending on the climate) and patience. Used yaks can be bought for less money then subsequently fixed!

Both fraying of the plastic on the hull and oil canning will reduce the speed and performance of the boat. It’s also important to keep in mind that plastic boats are more difficult to repair at home than a fiberglass boat.

Polyethylene boats might be heavy, but they’re fantastic for entry-level paddlers who are less concerned with speed and performance. They’re affordable boats that can handle a lot of abuse being dragged up the beach or bumped against rocks without major concerns of damage.

A polyethylene boat won’t last as long as a fiber composite boat, but you’re more likely to want to upgrade to a new sea touring kayak before you need to retire your polyethylene yak.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene):

ABS is a thermoplastic polymer used in thermoformed kayaks. A Solarkote outer layer is also used to provide UV protection and gives the boat a shiny finish, similar to a fiber composite boat.

Thermo-forming involves laying a sheet of plastic over a mold and then sucking the air out from inside the mold. Unlike roto-molded kayaks, thermoformed boats are created in two halves like a fiber composite kayak and then sealed together with adhesive along the center seam.

Thermoforming is a more expensive process than other plastic assembly methods, but it creates a product that is much lighter than a roto-molded, kayak. The high-gloss finish also resembles a fiber composite boat and will glide through the water with greater ease than a polyethylene boat.

Like polyethylene boats, repairs on thermoformed kayaks are more difficult than fiber composites. Although tough, boats made from ABS are more prone to flexing than a roto-molded or fiber composite boat. They are, however, much less expensive than a fiber composite boat and will perform much the same.

Thermoformed boats constructed with ABS are a fantastic cost-effective option for someone looking for the performance of a fiber composite boat, without having to spend thousands of dollars. Thermoformed boats are fantastic for solo paddlers to transport too because they’re so lightweight.

Thermoformed sea touring kayaks are a great option for beginner to advanced-level paddlers who are looking at doing lighter-multiday trips. For longer expeditions, a more experienced paddler might choose a fiber composite kayak for its durability and ability to be repaired on the fly.

Length, Width, and Size:

Length:

The length of a sea touring kayak will determine how fast the boat moves through the water as well as how maneuverable the boat is. Generally, the longer the LWL (length Water Line), the faster and more efficiently the sea touring kayak will move through the water.

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Longer boats are more difficult to maneuver than a short, tubby kayak. But longer boats will track (remain in a straight line) better than a shorter boat. Longer boats also provide a greater storage area in the hatches to stow your belongings for overnight and multiday trips.

A paddler who is planning on short overnight trips and isn’t concerned about speed may choose a shorter touring or recreational kayak between 12’-15’ long.

The Samba, Castine and Stratos are good examples of boats that are better suited for shorter trips.

A more experienced paddler looking to go on longer multi-day trips or expeditions would likely be looking for a sea touring kayak that is 17’ or longer.

The Tyee, Scorpio and Valkyrie are examples of touring kayaks for extended expeditions.

Width:

The width of a sea touring kayak will determine how stable the boat is. The wider the boat, the more stable it will be. Stability is important, especially for those new to kayak touring, but the wider the boat is, the harder and slower it will be to paddle. This is because it’s more challenging to get your paddle vertical into the water for a more efficient paddle stroke.

A beginner paddler who isn’t concerned with speed may choose a wider boat for greater stability, while a more experienced paddler may choose a more narrow boat for greater speed and performance.

sea-touring-kayaks-width

Size:

The size of the boat generally refers to the size of the cockpit, but will also determine the length and width of certain touring kayaks. Some companies will have SV, MV, or LV (small, medium, or large volume boats) of the same model to accommodate a range of paddler shapes and sizes. LV boats will have a larger cockpit, will be longer, and will have a greater load capacity than an SV kayak.

The competency level of the paddler is of no importance when it comes to the size of your boat. What’s important is that the kayak ‘fits’ the paddler. The paddler should feel snug in the cockpit but not cramped. Equally, the paddler shouldn’t feel like they’re swimming in the cockpit.

A paddler should feel connected or as ‘one’ with the kayak when their knees are tucked beneath the thigh braces. This is vitally important when controlling and steering the boat in bigger water and when attempting to roll.

Skegs, Rudders, or Skudders:

Skegs:

Skegs are fins that are lowered into the water from a housing built in the rear compartment of the hull. The purpose of a skeg is to improve tracking so the kayak moves in as straight a line as possible. This can be particularly helpful in windy and choppy conditions.

Skegs do not move from side-to-side or aid the steering of a kayak like a rudder does. The advantage of a skeg is they produce less drag in the water than a rudder because they are positioned beneath the kayak.

The disadvantage of a skeg is that the paddler must use their hips to tilt the boat and steer, which is a skill developed by more experienced paddlers. 

Rudders:

Rudders are similar to skegs in that their primary purpose is to keep the boat tracking in a straight line. Unlike a skeg, however, a rudder can swivel from side to side enabling the boat to steer left and right.

sea-touring-kayaks-rudders

The advantage of having a rudder is greater control and maneuverability. The disadvantage is the drag it creates in the water and the fact that adding more moving parts to your boat means a greater likelihood of something breaking or malfunctioning.

Using a rudder may take an entry-level paddler more getting used to than a skeg. But once the initial learning curve has been accomplished, a rudder will give a beginner paddler greater control of their kayak.

Some sea touring kayaks will give you the option of an external rudder system or a skeg.

Skudders:

Between skegs and rudders are skudders, which are very similar to a skeg. A skudder will drop down from a slot in the hull at the rear of the kayak. The difference in a skudder is that it has the ability to swivel like a rudder, and is controlled with a SmartTrack or similar system using the foot pedals of the kayak.

sea-touring-kayaks-skudder

The advantage of a skudder is that the paddler has greater control over their steering. The disadvantage with both skegs and skudders is that when stones or debris get caught in the slot, it prevents the fin from deploying and requires a fellow paddler to pull it out manually, or to get out of your boat to fix it.

Storage & Weight Capacity:

Storage and weight capacity are important considerations, especially if you’re planning on doing multi-day trips or expeditions. The larger the boat, the more storage capacity you’re going to have. But there are other factors in addition to the length or size of the boat that will determine your storage capacity.

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For longer kayak camping, trips storage capacity will be a priority.

Each storage compartment or hatch in your boat is fitted with a bulkhead that separates the hatch from the cockpit or other hatches. Bulkheads not only add support to the structure of the boat, but they play a pivotal role in keeping your gear and equipment dry.

The more hatches or storage compartments in your boat, the more bulkheads you’ll have. More bulkheads mean less storage space, because bulkheads take up space, especially in plastic boats where the bulkheads are made from a very thick piece of hard foam. It’s nice to have multiple compartments to separate your gear, but in the end, multiple compartments equal less storage space.

sea-touring-kayaks-storage-compartment

Weight Capacity is also important, not just for the amount of gear you’re hauling, but also for the weight and size of the paddler. When you over-pack a kayak above its recommended capacity, the boat will sit a lot lower in the water than intended. Heavier yaks can lead to water leaking into the cockpit and the boat will not perform as well as it should.

It’s unlikely you’ll ever sink your boat if you overfill it, but I’ve seen first-hand how a low and overloaded boat sits in the water. In anything other than flat, glassy conditions, water will inevitably seep into an overloaded kayak’s cockpit, even when wearing a spray skirt.

Chines:

Chines may not be a major deciding factor when purchasing a sea touring kayak, but because they determine the stability and maneuverability of a kayak, it’s worth understanding what they are.

Chines define the transition of the bottom of the hull to the sidewall. Chines are important because they dictate whether the boat has good primary or secondary stability, and how easy it is to get the boat on edge.

Soft Chine:

A kayak with a soft chine will be formed by a smooth, rounded arc from the keel line to the sidewall. Soft chines provide excellent secondary stability, which means they may feel a little tippy at first but are able to be leaned on the edge with less danger of capsizing.  Soft chine designs are also great for rough seas and moving efficiently through the water. 

Hard Chine:

A hard chine is a sharp curve at the lower edge of the sides approaching a right angle. A hard chine is designed to hold the boat on edge at a specific degree, which is harder to do in a soft chine boat.

Yaks with hard chines are good for calmer waters. The Eddyline Samba is one such example.

Multiple Chine:

Kayaks may be designed with multiple chines, which enables the paddler to edge the boat at varying degrees. Most hard chine boats with flatter hulls will have excellent primary stability, which means the boat feels incredibly stable when paddling in flat water.

If the kayak is edged correctly using a hard chine design, the boat will also feel very stable. But once the kayak has been pushed passed its edge, it will flip more easily than a soft chine design which is easier to correct.

Budget:

As mentioned above, the cost of a sea touring kayak will be determined by its construction and level of performance. A fiber composite kayak is going to cost more than polyethylene or thermoformed kayaks made from ABS.

Longer boats with greater storage capacity that are built for expeditions will also cost a lot more than a day touring or light-touring kayak. The Scorpio from P & H Kayaks might run up to $4000 for example.

sea-touring-kayaks-scorpio-close-up

The key is determining what you’re going to use the kayak for, where you’re going to paddle it, and assessing your skill level.

If money is not an issue, it doesn’t mean that buying the most expensive boat is going to match you with the best boat. If you’re looking for a lighter boat, you might want to consider a thermoformed boat that isn’t too long but still has enough storage space to fit all your gear.

If you’re looking for a fast boat you might choose a more narrow boat with less storage space.

If you’re looking for a boat with longevity that you can repair yourself, you may need to consider a fiberglass boat.

Price should not determine the touring kayak that is right for you, but once you have a list of the characteristics you want in a boat, you can then search out the most cost effective option with those options available to you.

Entry-level, light touring kayaks can cost you anywhere from $400 – $2000 USD depending on their construction and features. A more advanced expedition kayak is more likely to cost between $2000 – $4000 USD.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Sea Touring Kayaks

What is the best sea touring kayak?

The best sea touring kayak for a particular paddler must be determined by what the kayak will be used for, where the purchaser plans to paddle, and the paddler’s experience level.

Check out our list of favorite kayaks to determine the best sea touring kayak for you:

  1.  Eddyline Samba 13’9”
  2.  Old Town Castine 140 14’
  3.  Riot Kayaks Edge 14’5”
  4.  Dagger Stratos 14’5”
  5.  Delta 15.5 GT 15’6”
  6.  Seawood Tyee 17’
  7.  P&H Scorpio MV 17’3”
  8.  P&H Valkyrie 17’8”
What is kayak touring?

Kayak touring is the water equivalent of hiking with a backpack. Kayak camping is actually a growing activity. Just like hiking, kayak touring can be categorized in different ways:

  • Day Touring
  • Light Touring
  • Multi-day touring
  • Expeditions

The difference between these categories is simply how long you’re touring for and how much gear you’re hauling. Kayak touring is a great alternative to hiking because you’re able to experience the joys of accessing remote environments using your own human power, but also carry multiple backpacks worth of gear.

Not all kayak touring trips are the equivalent of ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping). Expeditions require careful packing and selection of food and gear. But an overnight trip enables you to pack a two-burner stove, your most comfortable sleeping pad, and an abundance of food in most touring kayaks fitted with watertight hatches and bulkheads to keep the gear dry.

Kayak touring enables you to explore remote coastlines and islands that cannot be accessed by car or foot. It’s a unique touring experience that must be tried to be understood.

What is a sea touring kayak used for?

A sea touring kayak or touring kayak is used to explore a variety of waterways including lakes, estuaries, coastlines and open oceans with the ability to transport multiple days’ worth of gear. They are measured often by their volume capacity (eg.: Low Volume=LV)

A sea touring kayak will typically be between 12’-18’ in length and feature one or more watertight storage hatches using bulkheads between the cockpit and the compartment to keep your gear dry.

Unlike day touring kayaks or recreational boats which are generally 12’ or less, sea touring kayaks will feature a skeg, rudder, or skudder, enabling the boat to track in windy and choppy conditions and aid the paddler in steering the kayak.

Whether you’re on an open ocean expedition or a weekend trip in a sheltered inlet, a sea touring kayak will enable you to explore remote environments that cars cannot access using your own human power.

Should I wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) when kayaking?

The short answer is, yes, it is always wise to be wearing your PFD when paddling on a lake, river, or open ocean. Conditions can quickly change on the water, and even a quick pause in attention could cause a paddler to become unstable and flip their kayak.

PFDs are life-saving devices, and most regions will require you to be wearing your PFD by law. PFDs are not just for people who are unable to swim. Paddling on the water can be unpredictable. Flipping your boat in freezing or swift water can be life threatening.

There may be instances when you’re sitting on a calm lake on a stable sit-on-top kayak and question whether you should be wearing your PFD. Some laws may only require you to carry the PFD in your kayak. In this case, it’s up to the judgment of the paddler. But it’s good to get in the habit of always wearing a PFD when paddling a kayak. It may not only save your life, but it’s also a handy place to store your camera, snacks, and other belongings.

How do I balance in a sea kayak?

Firstly, it’s important to select a kayak with the appropriate stability for the level of paddler. A narrow hull will feel tippy for a beginner paddler.

Depending on the design of the hull, a kayak will either have good primary or secondary stability. Primary stability means the kayak will feel stable initially, but if the kayak is edged too far on it’s side, it may tip very quickly. Secondary stability means the kayak may feel tippy at first, but with a softer chine, a boat with good secondary stability can be edged a long way before the boat will actually flip over.

Additionally, the stability of your kayak can be affected by the way you load the hatches with gear. You will want to make sure that the front and back hatches are evenly weighted, and that you don’t have lots of heavy items like water and food all to one side of the boat.

Another great tip for feeling stable and balanced in your kayak is to always keep your paddle in the water. Your paddle acts like an outrigger, and will keep you balanced. If you’re ever feeling unstable in your kayak, the best solution is to keep paddling.

How fast is a sea kayak?

The speed of a sea kayak will depend on the skills and experience of the paddler, but the features of the kayak will also determine how fast and efficiently it can be paddled.

A fiberglass or thermoformed kayak will travel faster than a roto-molded polyethylene kayak because of how the finish of the material on the hull glides through the water.

A kayak with a narrow and longer hull will also move through the water more efficiently than a short kayak with a wider hull.

The resulting speed of any given kayak will also vary depending on the paddler. While an average kayaker will maintain a speed of about 3.5 miles per hour (or 2.5 knots), a more experienced paddler will be able to travel up to 8 miles per hour if they’re racing.

Are inflatable kayaks good in the ocean? (Inflatable Sea Kayaks vs. Hardshell)

Inflatable kayaks are not as good in the open sea as hardshell yaks. The advantage of an inflatable kayak is that it can be stowed in a bag and easily transported to your closest waterway.

The disadvantage of inflatable kayaks is they don’t have the same rigidity as a hardshell kayak made from a fiberglass composite. Although inflatable kayaks are wider and look more stable, rigidity is important because it provides greater stability, which is particularly important when paddling in the open ocean.

Because of their width and construction, an inflatable kayak will not move through the water with the same efficiency as a hardshell boat. Paddling on the ocean may require long, open-water crossings, which should only be tackled in a kayak built with speed and distance in mind.

Conditions on the ocean can change suddenly, and a paddler on the ocean needs the ability to move fast.

The steering capabilities of an inflatable kayak are also less superior than a hardshell kayak. Some will be fitted with a fin for tracking purposes, but most will not come with a skeg or rudder system, which allows for greater steering control. As mentioned above, strong winds and larger waves are more prevalent on the ocean, which requires the ability to steer and navigate through these more challenging conditions.

The best inflatable kayaks on the market are made from puncture and abrasion-resistant materials like PVC. Although all inflatable kayaks come with a puncture repair kit and can be mended on the fly more easily than a plastic boat, a hardshell boat is your best choice for paddling on the ocean.

What is ABS plastic?

ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, a widely-used thermoplastic polymer in hard plastic products. ABS material is a popular product for the blades of kayak paddles for their durability and lower cost. A lot of kayaks are molded into shape with techniques that use ABS materials for the same reasons. Heavier than carbon fiber, its robustness has many advantages nonetheless.

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