Best Touring Kayaks 2019 | Reviewed By Experts

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Touring kayak is a kayak which is developed for paddling on open calm waters. It can be in the ocean, river or lake. Kayaking is the most exciting experience ever. When you have a great touring kayak you are bound to enjoy it even more.

There are many touring kayaks. As a customer, you might wonder which the ideal one to buy is. They come in different sizes and shapes. The perfect touring kayak is one that will last long. It should also be pocket-friendly. The design should also give you enough storage for your items. Read on to get the guide to the top 10 touring kayaks. This article is an eye-opener for you to get an exemplary touring kayak.

My Top Picks for the Best Touring Kayaks

The touring kayak by Intex is budget friendly. The dimensions are 20×36×123 inches in size. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak weighs 400 pounds. The model is inflatable with two paddles. The seat can be easily adjusted for comfort. The kayak is specially designed for lakes and small rivers. With a streamlined body, it is excellent for speed. It has a skeg that can be removed. This Kayak is suitable for beginners in the sport.


  • The price is affordable
  • It is comfortable due to the adjustable seat
  • The kayak can fit two people
  • It has a yellow color that is visible hence, guarantees the safety
  • The package comes with repair patches, paddles and manual air pump


  • It does not have a storage area
  • It is not long-lasting

2. Riot Kayak’s Edge 14.5 LV

YakPads High-Back Gel Paddle Saddle

It is another excellent pick for a kayak. It is made of polyethylene. It has a slim, attractive design which makes it awesome. They come in yellow and orange colors as the best choices. It measures 14.5 feet by 22.5 inches by 12.5 inches. It has a weight of 60 pounds hence it is lightweight. The bow is slim, and the seat is padded. 


  • The padded seat makes kayaking cozy enough
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    It has a pilot rudder system
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    The slim deck line for stability purposes
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    It has a storage area that you can place some items


  • The kayak is quite pricy which means that you have to dig deep into your pocket.
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    There is limited space for the legs at the cockpit area 

3. Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12-foot Sit-In Kayak

Skwoosh High Back Kayak Seat with adjustable lumbar support and waterproof nylon seat | Made in USA

The primary construction material is standard polycarbonate. The kayak is ideal for beginners. It measures 144×29.6×14 inches. It has a lightweight capacity of 47 pounds. The kayak has adjustable footpads and seats. The straight line keel is responsible for smooth tracking in water. A storage compartment makes it possible to keep your clothes and other necessities.


  • It is easy to carry because of the few pounds it has
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    It has enough storage capacity
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    The retractable handles which keep it in a secure place
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    The seat gives unimaginable comfort during a long ride
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    It is budget friendly


  • Experts cannot use this type of kayak since its meant for newbies
  • It is low in speed hence can do well with fishing

  • It is not strong enough for vigorous sports

4. Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Kayak

Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech Seat for a sit-on-top Kayak

Kayak's model is inflatable. Advanced Frame Kayak has dimensions of 35×21×12 inches. It weighs 52 pounds and can carry a maximum capacity of 550 pounds.

The kayak has three layers of polyester; hence it is sturdy. It can resist punctures because of the high-quality material. The keg has an advantage in tracking performance. The seats are padded and can be modified. The Advanced Frame Kayak has ample storage for other things.


  • The kayak can carry three people maximum
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     The in-built aluminum ribs help in tracking
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    - With the padded seats that can be changed, comfort is offered
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  • Advanced Frame Kayak is costly
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    It cannot carry heavy people

5.  Driftsun Voyager 2person tandem inflatable Kayak

Surf To Summit GTS Sport Sit-On-Top Kayak Seat, Universal Sit On Top Kayak Seat, Kayak Seat, Kayak Seat Cushion

The size is 12 feet by 35 inches by i6 inches when fully inflated. The design is lightweight at 27lbs. The bottom is made of Tarpaulin PVC which is heavy duty. This offers optimal protection against damages. The sharp-pointed bow makes up for a high performance in calm and violent waters.


  • It is compact and easy to navigate the water
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    It comes with a full package of travel bag, aluminum paddles, hand pump, padded seats, and rear tracking fin.
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    It is long lasting
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    Its inflation happens within a short time


  • It is expensive; hence, it does not come cheap

6. Sea Eagle Razorlite 393rl Inflatable Kayak Pro Package

Manta Ray Deluxe Kayak/Canoe Seat

The pro package includes an air pump, patch kit, double paddle oar, and carrying case. The kayak can be inflated with 7 minutes. It weighs 35 pounds; thus, it is light. The slim design does well in vigorous sea kayaking. It can survive tough waters because of the PVC make. Its dimensions are 12 feet by 1o inches by 28 inches.


  • Allows for speedy entry and exit due to the stern molds and rigid bow
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    It has drop stitch technology for a firm and stable kayak


  • The kayak has a budget which is overpriced

7. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Deluxe Molded Foam Kayak Seat with detachable back packs. Kayak Fishing Seat. Backpack comes with 2 rod holders.

It is inflatable and has enough space for one person only. It weighs 27.2 pounds. The size of the kayak is 30×15×108 inches. The seat is inflatable with a comfortable backrest. It is made from welded material which lasts for a while. It has a manual hand pump, repair patch and aluminum oar. The bright green color is attractive to the eye. It can easily be spotted from some distance.


  • It has a cargo net to keep other gears.
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    It is extremely cheap
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    It is steady due to the beam floors


  • It cannot be used by advanced kayakers
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    Its durability is limited

8. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 Foot Sit-on-top Kayak

iROCKER Inflatable Paddle Board Kayak Seat

It has a smaller make as compared to other touring kayaks. It has an open cockpit that facilitates entry. The Portable Accessory Carrier can be used for storage. It is eye-catching due to its amazing blue color. The seating area is spacious and comfortable because of thigh pads.


  • It is pocket-friendly at a low cost
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    It offers comfort while paddling for long distances
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    Due to its lightness, it can be carried easily


  • It is only suitable for beginners 

9. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130

Kerco Explorer Sit-on-top Kayak Seat Back Equipped with Back Pack

The kayak is 13 feet in size. Weighing 75lbs, it provides excellent stability. It has toe controlled rubber system which is pre-installed. This will conserve your energy during long paddles. It has a large storage capacity on the back hatch and oval hatch. It can carry one person but with high-end comfort. The color it comes in is blue camo which is unique.


  • It is firm for advanced kayaking
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    It has 4 gear tracks essential for rigging
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    he kayak can be used for a while without constraints


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    It has a high price which can go over budget

10. Eddyline Skylark

Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat Detachable Back Backpack/Bag Canoe Backrest

The dimensions are 12 feet by 26 inches. Eddyline Skylark has a weight of 41lbs. The primary color of the kayak is pearl red. It is recommended for one person for the best performance. The hull is made from ABS plastic which is hard wearing. It is, therefore, fit for heavy kayaks. It has two storage areas which are the hatches and big deck bungees.


  • The narrow feature allows it to paddle through the water
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    It is a durable kayak
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    It has abundant storage places


  • Skylark is the most expensive kayak on this list. Only one person can fit into the kayak

The Touring Kayaks Buying Guide

When selecting a touring kayak, there are some factors to consider. You should bear in mind the following things.


Touring kayaks are priced differently. The cheapest ones are from as low as $50. Others are expensive at $2,000. Before purchasing one, try to figure out why they are assigned those prices. Sometimes, cheap kayaks are not durable. This is because of the material they were built from. An inexpensive material will give you a low-priced touring kayak.

It is a good idea also to buy what is within your range. What you afford is what you will get. The best kayaks are priced somewhere between $400 and $750. This is how you can get value for money.


The kind of material that the kayak is made from determines how long it lasts. The best one is polyethylene. It is closely followed by polycarbonate plastics. Other kayaks can be built from fiberglass which is light and easy to maintain. Kevlar is also great, but it doesn’t come cheap. It is the most durable material used for kayak construction.


The size of the kayak will give you a lot of benefits. You will get coziness, safety, and a cockpit to suit you. Size also goes hand in hand with the shape. The narrow kayaks can be limiting if you are big. On this account, a smaller person will be suited for a small size. As for people with a big size, they equally need a spacious kayak. This will make them comfortable at all times.

Level of expertise

There are kayaks meant for beginners while others are for experts. If it’s your first time, you should get the smaller ones preferably at 10 feet long. The small ones are good with calm water. Advanced people can go for the large ones from 12 to 13 feet. They can spread out and navigate with hard waters.

Rudder or Skeg

A rudder can control the navigation of the kayak. A skeg assists the kayak to go in a straight way. This means that with a skeg when you need to change direction, you will use your paddle and body. , on the other hand, gives an automatic change of direction. However, sometimes rudders might malfunction. Skegs have a limitation that they take up space in the kayak. Consequently, a rider should learn how to paddle on their own without relying on the two.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do I balance a touring kayak?

Balancing your kayak is vital. You should do it when you start the kayak. The storage hatches and the bungee should not be overloaded. This is because it will make one side of the kayak heavier than the other. Organize your items in a way that they can balance up.

2. What is the ideal kayak size for women?

The perfect size is 11 to 13 feet. The kayaks of these sizes are easy to paddle. They are long; hence they are steady in the water.

3. What is the best speed for touring kayaks?

The average speed varies from one person to the other. Beginners and experts have different speeds. Generally, 3 to 4 miles per hour is the approximate speed. Experts can go up to 7 to 10 miles an hour. It all depends on your skills.

4. How does the touring kayak differ from the sea kayak?

A sea kayak is explicitly made for the sea. The style mainly sits on top so that you won’t fall over. More emphasis while making sea kayaks is put on stability. The spray skirt maintains dryness. The touring kayak on the other end is made for calm water. They have narrow bodies for easy navigation and firmness. Touring kayaks cannot be used in the sea due to extensive water swells.

5. Should I buy an inflatable kayak?

Inflatable kayaks are commonly used. They come at cheaper prices. This is the main reason why they are bought by several people. An inflatable touring kayak is not as durable as you may think. Within a short time, it gets punctured. Getting it back to the original shape might be difficult. Instead of repairing it, you can opt to buy a new one. With an inflatable kayak, you will keep replacing it after a short time. This would cost you more if you didn't buy it in the first place.

Final Notes

The best touring kayak is Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. It has a reasonable budget, and it offers high-class comfort. The rest of the touring kayaks are distinct. They have varied sizes and function differently. The prices are also something to select from. As a buyer, you should consider whether it’s your first time in the sport. Those who are experienced will prefer larger kayaks.

Beginners will shop for the smaller touring kayaks. For safety reasons, it is paramount to practice in tranquil water. This way, you will be secure, and the kayak will be in good hands.