How Much Does a Kayak Weigh? (6 Types Compared)

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: October 6, 2020

So, thinking of purchasing your first kayak Kayaking is a fun activity that is becoming increasingly popular all across the US. If you are a beginner , then you may be in need of purchasing a kayak for yourself. A kayaking beginner must know what the average weight of a kayak is.


In general; an Inflatable Kayaks weigh 30 pounds which are 13.60 KG. And Tandem kayaks weigh about 40 pounds which is basically 18.14kg (slightly heavier Inflatable Kayaks). Depending upon whether you are a solo paddler or use kayaks for fishing; the kayak weight may vary. It also varies from kayak manufacturers and keeping the end-user in mind.

I was once a kayaking beginner, I had my first kayaking experience with riding a low weight, easily manageable kayak. But, it wasn’t as manageable as I initially considered it to be. Low weight kayak is not a solution for beginners. There’s something called weight limit.

The kayak weight limit is determined by the manufacturer for higher efficiency and safety on the water. You don’t want to exceed your weight limit (by choosing a heaviest kayak or a lighter kayak than the average).

I was very excited to purchase my first kayak, so will you be. You just can’t wait to take out your first kayak for a spin on the water and begin your adventure.

6 Types of Kayak Weigh Compared (A Table)

Kayak TypesWeight Capacity (Average)Who It Matters?
Fishing Kayak120lbsTo fish like a pro. 
Recreational Kayak35lbsTo have occassional leisure time on a lake or calm river.
Inflatable Kayak30-50lbsPeople who don’t bother about the kayak trolly or kayak cart. 
General Kayaks (all types – single kayak and combined)50lbsFor any type of kayaking. Anything heavier than this would be difficult to manage. 
Tandem Kayak65lbsTo kayak with partners.
Sea Kayak or Touring Kayak55lbsTo move your kayak faster in wave.

Besides, the fishing kayak can be 120 pounds (at max), a single recreational kayak can be 35 lbs and so. But for general kayakers, 50 lbs is enough to carry and anything heavier than this would be difficult to manage!

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Image – https://felixwong.com/2012/09/kayak-sailing-at-richard-lake/

Are Kayaks Heavy or Light?

On average, kayaks can weigh anywhere between 20 pounds, right up to 60 pounds, or even more. Your kayak should pack a manageable weight for you to carry around. If you have to sit 5 minutes for every 10 meters you have crossed with your kayak, then it’s not worth it!

You need to transport your kayak to and from the water. Maybe sometimes you need to lift your kayak up to the roof of your car and drive to the lake. If your shed is too close to the river that you need to lift and walk the kayak to the riverbank.A heavy, overloaded kayak is likely to face the rough wind and turmoil waves and current. If you have a heavy kayak, you won’t be able to maintain your balance while catching a fish or lightweight shifting. A quality seat will make sure that you maintain balance and safety against injuries.

Why Kayaks Weight Varies?

The best way to find out how heavy your kayak is to use search engines. You could search through Google to look for the model you might be interested in. Then, you could go to your manufacturer’s site or the site of the reseller. You should be able to find important information about weight and the weight capacity (Source: Kayaking Adventure) of your kayak from there.

But ideally, a kayak the weight is from 20 Pounds to 600 Pounds.

As I said before, the weight of a kayak is dependent on the material and size.

You may look into the material your kayak could be made from. The most common kayak material types are:

  • Fiberglass Material & Carbon Fiber: Kayaks made from fiberglass material are priced medium and weighs medium too.
  • Composite Materials: Professional trainers recommend this type of kayaks. They tend to get expensive and lighter in weight.
  • Polythylene (Plastic): This is the most affordable section of kayaks. However, they are typically heavier than the other two types.
  • Rotomolded: This kind of kayaks are usually made of melted plastic pellets and shaping them towards a kayak by machines. Typically such kind of kayaks are heavy. 
  • Thermoform: The top and bottom part of the kayak are intially made and then the were joint together like a sandwitch. They can be categorized as medium weigh kayaks. 

Besides, the on the water kayak weight can be varied depending upon what you usually store on your Kayak Storage space and so on. 

In average, the foldable kayaks are the lighest in form if you talk about weigh. 

Weight of Some Popular Kayak Models

How much do you weigh? Conventionally, you can find kayaks from 20-60 lbs on average. Below is a list of popular kayaks and their weights:

  • Venus 10: weighs only 34 lbs, but can carry around 175 lbs. Venus 10 is specifically designed for women.
  • Nalu: weighs 40 lbs, and gives you flexibility. You can both stand paddling and sit paddling with a Nalu kayak.
  • The Caper: weighs 45 lbs, but can carry up to 325 lbs.
  • Tandem Kayaks: Tandem kayaks are heavier as they can carry multiple people. If you need more people in a kayak, then you will need more kayak to do your job. More kayak will add more weight. You will need more than 1 person to carry a tandem kayak. As a result, you can manage a tandem kayak.
  • Short Kyaks (or Lightweight Kayak): Short Kayaks are light. You may find short kayak perfect for your first kayak. You may look for a short kayak if you want to shed the weight. Yes, if a kayak is shorter, then it’s lighter. A short kayak won’t be able to displace water.

Another compromise you will have to make with short kayaks is with storage space. The longer kayaks are suitable for storing fish and fishing tools . The longer kayaks will have more space for you to store your pieces and bits.

Kayak Materials at a Glance (When Weight Is Considered)

Fiberglass > Mid-priced and mid-weight.

Plastic (polyethylene) > heavier but cheaper

Composite > Lighter but expensive

Obviously, single person kayaks are much lighter than tandem kayaks. Tandem kayaks have to be bigger and wider in size as they carry two people together. Tandem kayaks are often used for fishing. They can carry heavy weights.

If you want a lighter kayak, you will have to opt for a shorter kayak. However, shorter kayaks can get overturned by fierce tides. Shorter kayaks do not offer much space for you to stow your fishing tools or fish in.

Frequently Asked Questions about Kayak Weight

How heavy is a kayak in KG?
As 1 Pound is 0.45 KG, you can easily calculate the rest. Like if your single kayak is weigh 20lbs then in KG it would be 9.07kg. 

Should you care about the weight of a kayak?
Well, for traditional kayaks, you have to think about the transportation and carrying up (unless you have a Kyaak Trailer) issues a lot. So, it depends upon how much weigh you can comfortably carry to lift your kayak up to your car roof or trolley. 

Can a big guy use a lighter kayak?
Yes they can. Because, for almost all the kayak manufacturers test the weigh limit a lot and they offer the maximum capacity most of the time. For example – the Old Town Valopr kayak which weigh 47lbs has a capacity of 325lbs. 

Does kayak dimensions matter? or does it affect the weight in total?
Yes. The dimension of a kayak directly affects the weight. The less shorter kayak hull is – the less weigh it would be. 

Bottom Line

If you can’t find a suitable kayak for yourself, you will have a hard time on the water. The weight of a kayak is determined by its size and material. You don’t want to carry a kayak that is extremely difficult to transport or maneuver. Follow this guide to find yourself the most suitable kayak Happy kayaking!

2 thoughts on “How Much Does a Kayak Weigh? (6 Types Compared)”

  1. I just bought my first two kayaks. Both are the same model. But one I a lot heavier in the front than the other. So much than to carry it by the mid handle requires one to hold it up in the front also to be able to carry it. The other kayak carries with no problem, one hand. Is this normal or should I return it>

    Reply
    • It is normal. Not all the kayaks have the exact same weight. There is a slight variation of weight found due to the materials used to make them and sometimes some raw materials found slightly heavier than other and it results in a slight heavy kayak on the same product batch.

      Reply

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