10 Best Kayaks for Camping 2020 | Buying Guide

Kayak camping can be a thrilling adventure – you get to see the open waters in the morning and organize a camp on a breathtaking bank at night to make the most of beautiful scenery. If you really want to enjoy every trip, you need the best kayak for camping.

A standard recreational kayak won’t be the best if you are to camp for long hours in the open waters. Essentially, kayaks for camping offer a lot of organized storage, a greater comfort level, and all in all a pleasant camping environment. 

Camping on a kayak can be one of the most fun activities and is a great way to interact with nature. You can also take your friends and family along to have a nice and memorable picnic. But all of it can be fun and entertaining only if you have a kayak that is capable of making your adventure on the ocean, lake, or river pleasant and thrilling.

If you are someone who likes kayaking or you’re learning the art of kayaking, then you possibly know that the internet has a load of distorted info when it comes to kayaks. So, before you get out on the water, it is vital to have a safe and reliable kayak. As camping professionals and kayaking enthusiasts, we have chosen the 10 best kayaks for camping to help you pick the impeccable option for your next outdoor venture.

Top 10 Best Kayaks for Camping

In this review, we have also recommended a few pointers to look for before buying a kayak specifically for camping. So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

1. Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak

Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak Fishing Package
  • Exterior: 12' 6" x 2' 10" / Weight: 32 Lbs. / Capacity: 3 Persons or 650 Lbs.
  • Whitewater Rating: Up to Class III
  • Chamber: Three (Port, Starboard and Floor) / Air Valves: 5 Deluxe One Way
  • Material: 38 mil PolyKrylar (K80 PVC) / Seam: High Frequency Welded
  • Inflation Time: 8 Mins.

If you are looking for a kayak that can accommodate three individuals easily, this might be your favorite pick. It makes camping fun by providing an extra zone of comfort with its spacious capacity to carry quite a lot of kayaking and camping gear. 

The Sea Eagle SE370 inflatable kayak is pretty durable and can inflate and deflate quite easily and simply. This kayak can be a top-rated kayak for camping. It measures 12′ 6″ x 2′ 10″ in length and width, 

Both keys in the base will have the capability to provide it a fantastic degree of monitoring and rate. This kayak is great for whitewater camping. It possesses 3 chambers named Port, Starboard, and Floor and possesses 5 deluxe one way air valves. 

The covering of the kayak is made out of 38 mil PolyKrylar (K80 PVC) and is strongly welded into the structure to provide extra sturdiness. The kayak assembles and disassembles easily in a time span of 8 minutes.

PROS
  • Accommodates three individuals easily
  • Durable
  • Easy inflation and deflation
  • Wonderful monitoring
  • Large capacity
CONS
  • Not much versatile

2. Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak
  • Great for rivers and lakes
  • Adjustable padded seat back
  • Light weight design easy to carry
  • Storage compartment
  • Recessed drink holder

Sun Dolphin is recognized for their popularity in camping kayaks. Aruba 8 is a solid but also lightweight kayak great for several recreational activities on camping. 

Aruba 8 comes under the category of ‘sit-in’ kayaks and is pretty simple and reasonable. That doesn’t make it inferior in terms of the range of features it offers. It has a widespread and capacious cockpit, making it comfortable and impeccable for beginners.

The Aruba 8 comes with a padded seat for comfort and moderation. It’s also modifiable, so you can change the adjustability according to your liking. A molded paddle holder ensures you have a lower risk of having to run after runaway paddles and keeps them unbroken.

It offers sufficient storage and a secure compartment to keep things dry. Overall, Aruba 8 is a great kayak for camping purposes.

PROS
  • Modifiable and relaxed seat
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Sufficient storage
  • Carry handles
CONS
  • Offers basic features only

3. Oru Kayak Beach LT Kayak

Sale
Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak - for Day Trips, Picnics, and Casual Fun with Family and Friends …
  • THE FUN & FRIENDLY KAYAK – Quickly and easily get out on the wide open water! Your innovative Beach LT boat by Oru Kayak is made for casual kayaking on calm waters, such as lakes, rivers, and bays, so it’s perfect for beginners and experts alike!
  • FROM BOX TO BOAT IN MINUTES – Construct your kayak in under 5 minutes! Oru pioneered the Beach LT’s origami-inspired, foldable structure, so you won’t spend forever setting up or waste time lugging around a boat!
  • SLEEK, DURABLE, & RELIABLE – Although your kayak is small enough to carry when folded, it is most certainly mighty. Oru Kayaks undergo extensive strength and durability testing, rated at 20,000 folds and exceed U.S. Coast Guard recreational vessel requirements. Each kayak comes with a full 12-month warranty & 30-day money back guarantee!
  • NO ROOF RACK REQUIRED - Fits into the trunk of a small car or our Oru Pack carrying case [sold separately] for easy transport when hiking, bicycling, and using public transportation. Your Beach LT is the most convenient, transportable kayak imaginable.
  • AWARD-WINNING DESIGN - featured on Shark Tank, Forbes, CNN, Wall Street Journal, and Oprah Magazine, there are now more than 15,000 Oru Kayaks out on the water.

Oru kayak is said to be the world’s most lightweight and portable kayak and best for camping. It comes in the category of folding recreational kayaks that are swift and easy to get in and out of the water. This kayak is specifically built for camping activities on stable rivers, therefore, this kayak is impeccable for neophytes.

This kayak possesses the features that are aimed precisely for long trips on open waters. It possesses sufficient space to accommodate one adult and one child. This foldable kayak weighs around 25 pounds and can convert easily in a backpack-style strap making it perfect in terms of portability.

Oru offers an amazing deal when it comes to the warranty. Each kayak comes with a 12-month warranty and 30-days money-back guarantee which is a great deal to grab.

This smooth, durable, and reliable kayak assembles quite effortlessly and swiftly in less than 5 minutes, however, one downside to this kayak is its lack of rapidity and maneuverability.

PROS
  • Stable
  • Easy to operate
  • Amazing portability
  • Accommodates an adult and a child
  • Large cockpit
CONS
  • Does not come with paddles

4. AIRHEAD MONTANA Kayak

AIRHEAD MONTANA Kayak, 1 person
  • 9-foot, 1-man inflatable kayak; designed for lakes and moderate white water
  • All 3 air chambers are completely enclosed by rugged 840-denier nylon with
  • Lightweight, compact, and portable
  • UV and water-resistant coatings. Low drag and superior tracking with 4 bottom fins
  • Refer to the PDF attached below for User Manual

If you are planning to go on camping to lakes and moderate whitewater, then this can be a great choice. The kayak possesses three air chambers that are excellently encased in a strong and sturdy covering of rugged 840-denier nylon. This makes the kayak extremely long-lasting and durable.

Airhead Montana is quite a simple and easy maneuver. This inflate kayak measures 9 feet long and accommodates one individual only. In terms of portability, this kayak is pretty lightweight and compact making it great for long trips of camping.

This kayak features a large cockpit that has all the necessary features you need for a camping trip on a lake or river. Along with a comfortable seat, the kayak has soft and comfortable thigh pads to ensure maximum amount of comfort plus they are adjustable as well. 

The covering of this kayak is UV and water resistant along with all air chambers. All in all, this is a pretty ideal kayak for beginners due to its ease of use and basic features.

PROS
  • Strong material
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Three air chambers
  • Designed for versatile use
  • UV and water resistant
CONS
  • Inadequate storage
  • Accommodates only one person

5. Old Town Heron 9XT Recreational Kayak

Old Town Heron 9XT Recreational Kayak, Lemongrass, 9 Feet 6 Inches
  • Combines comfort and features at an Affordable price
  • Adjustable comfort flex seat with extra padding
  • Stern hatch provides space for storing gear
  • Adjustable support Track foot braces and thigh pads ensure control
  • Comfortable carrying handles

Old Town Canoes and Kayaks have customized a variety of affordable kayaks which are amazing for camping purposes. Although these kayaks lack in versatile and modern features yet they are popular for their uncomplicatedness and accessibility.

The Heron 9XT has a beam of 28.5 inches that enhances balance and stability of the kayak in the open waters. It measures 9 feet, 6 inches, and weighs around 39 pounds which makes it a great option to buy a kayak for camping as it can store quite some amount of things without exceeding its limit. In terms of portability, this kayak is impeccable.

Heron 9XT proposes a blend of comfort with the modifiable, multi-padded seat and the firm hatch that provides additional area for keeping kayaking gear. Moreover, the storage compartment is waterproof which can be greatly beneficial. So, it may not offer enough storage space but it is safe to say that your items will be safe from water.

This kayak features a large cockpit that has all the necessary features you need for a camping trip on a lake or river. Along with a comfortable seat, the kayak has soft and comfortable thigh pads to ensure maximum amount of comfort plus they are adjustable as well.

PROS
  • Modifiable seat
  • Soft and comfy thigh pads
  • Foot braces
  • Water-resistant storage
CONS
  • Pretty basic features

6. Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV Flat-Water Day Touring Kayak

Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak (Yellow/Orange, 14.5-Feet)
  • Well-rounded day touring kayak
  • Slender bow and slim deck line
  • Features a pilot rudder system
  • Advanced custom-fit seating system
  • Measures 14.5 feet by 22.5 inches by 12 inches and weighs 60 pounds

If you are seeking to tour big lakes and coastlines, this can be an ideal option for you. It is great for colder surroundings as it is a sit-in kayak. This kayak possesses a large comfortable cockpit along with fantastic monitoring performance that makes it great for long camping trips. 

The Riot Edge 14.5 is a small and compact kayak with adequate storage space making it ideal for weekend camping trips. Its sleek and lustrous shape makes it easy to paddle and is great to cover long distances. It possesses two huge storage hatches and both front and rear deck bungees, which provides you a lot of options for storing the gear.

This kayak has a slight narrow hull which makes it not the best in terms of stability as some of its competitors. But, Riot uses a hard chine to keep it stable and avoid it from tipping.

This kayak weighs around 60 pounds making it slightly heavyweight. It offers some great value features for the price it comes with.

PROS
  • Durable hull for frequent strikes
  • Seating with multiple modifications for maximum relaxation
  • Ideal for camping trips along coastal waters
  • Bungee storage hull
CONS
  • Best for flat water only

7. Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak

Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak, Paddle Included (Blue, 10-Feet)
  • Large open cockpit with adjustable padded seat with high back support
  • Convenient gear storage with shock cord deck rigging
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene
  • Spray deflector collar

Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak is pretty heavy but still can be managed by one person. Measuring 10 feet long and weighing around 40 pounds, this kayak is quite balanced and strong. It can prove to be an amazing investment. It is great if you want to go on camping alone because you won’t require an extra hand to help to maneuver the kayak. 

The kayak possesses two extended handles for moving it easily in and out of water. In terms of storage, the kayak is pretty spacious and can accommodate additional kayaking and camping essentials without exceeding the maximum limit. 

It comes with a large and comfortable cockpit and an adjustable padded seat that is quite comfortable and cozy with smooth back support.

The covering of the kayak is made out of UV-stabilized Fortiflex high-density polyethylene that provides this kayak extra sturdiness and long-lasting finish.

This Aruba sit-in kayak has great speed and its excellent control makes it a power pack for beginners as well as professionals. Although Aruba offers some amazing features, it lacks in providing reasonable tracking and practicality which is a disadvantage of this brilliant kayak!

PROS
  • Superb stability
  • Ample of storage
  • Large and comfortable cockpit
  • Great for beginners
CONS
  • Sub-par practicality
  • Average tracking

8. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 Touring Kayak with Rudder

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 Touring Kayak with Rudder, Mango, 16'6"
  • Designed to cover longer distances; ideal for multi-day trips
  • Suitable for mid-to-large sized paddlers
  • Features the most comfortable kayak seat out there to keep you on the water longer
  • Easily adjustable Keepers XL foot rests accommodate paddlers of different sizes; adjustable padded thigh braces add comfort and allow for a good connection with the kayak
  • Three storage hatches and bulkheads: sealed bulkheads provide water-resistant storage in hatches and more buoyancy for added safety

If you are seeking to head out on long expeditions along coastal waters, the Tsunami 165 could be a great option. Its 16-foot hull and the rudder that it comes with makes paddling and tracking highly efficient, even in adverse weather conditions.

This kayak possesses two larger storage hatches for storing the kayaking and camping necessities as well as a smaller day hatch for easy grabbing of gear while paddling.

One feature that stands out this kayak from the rest in its league is the most comfortable combination of adjustable seats. It ensures ventilation along with steady support along with padded thigh braces. It offers the feature of multiple adjustments which means you can adjust the seat according to your preference.

It comes with an ergonomic soft touch handle that makes carrying the kayak easy. Although, Tsunami 165 is a bit pricey than other options on the list but is definitely the most comfortable option that will make your camping trip 10x better.

PROS
  • Ideal for long camping hours
  • Efficient to paddle
  • Great tracking
  • Sufficient storage
  • Most comfortable seat
CONS
  • Pricey

9. Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 Kayak

Wilderness Systems 9730545110 PUNGO 140 kayaks, Midnight, 14'
  • This kayak lets you go the distance in the comfort of a sit-inside
  • Ideal for larger paddlers
  • Fully adjustable seat with mesh fabric for greater airflow
  • Boat length: 14'
  • Boat weight: 58 lbs

This kayak from Wilderness Systems sits in the range of Pungo series that is well-known for their balance between performance, stability, and comfort.

The Pungo 140 offers adequate storage space for long camping trips. It possesses two larger storage hatches for storing the kayaking and camping necessities as well as a smaller day hatch for easy grabbing of the gear while paddling.

This kayak is ideal for long camping expeditions because it features Phase 3 AirPro seats that offer an impeccable level of comfort and modification. Although, the wider hull does not make it as efficient as Tsunami 165 but it does provide extra stability and a larger cockpit.

The larger cockpit size makes it ideal for tall and large individuals. The Pungo 140 weighs around 58 pounds making it slightly heavyweight. It offers some great value features for the price it comes with and is worth checking out!

PROS
  • Great performance
  • Extra stability
  • Amazingly comfortable
  • Adequate storage space
  • Ideal for larger paddlers
CONS
  • Wider hull
  • Lack of rudder

10. Perception Pescador Pro 12 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Perception Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 12' | Red Tiger
  • Your perfect first fishing kayak
  • Lawn chair style mesh seat with 2-level seat adjustment and breathable mesh for ultimate all-day comfort and no pain
  • Seat can be lowered for relaxed paddling or raised for optimum casting
  • Leak-proof one-piece construction with built-in buoyancy for added safety
  • Large front and rear open storage for cooler, tackle, and other gear

If you are planning to go on camping and wouldn’t mind doing a bit of fishing, the Pescador Pro 12.0 could be a great fit for you. This kayak is featured as a fishing kayak because of the huge front and rear tank wells that ensure maximum amount of space for the camping gear. 

The Pescador Pro is a sit-on-top kayak that makes it easy to get on and off without tipping over or into the water. This kayak is self-bailing which means it automatically pumps out any water that gets inside the kayak. 

The seat of this kayak is pretty versatile in use. It can be removed from the kayak and used as a double duty camping chair. This is pretty ideal to not carry an extra set if you are to sit around the campfire at night during camping.

The 32.5” hull is legitimately wide, so the Pescador Pro isn’t the most proficient kayak for longer distances but serves a solid river camping kayak due to its excellent performance.

The kayak comes with two built-in rod holders to hold the fishing equipment in place. The kayak also features an accessory track system that comes in handy and can be customized according to your liking. 

The Pescador Pro 12.0 is the first ever fishing kayak to be made in the USA. It is designed with molded and hand assembled material giving it extra sturdiness. All in all, the Pescador Pro 12.0 can be a great camping kayak with the additional thrill of fishing.

PROS
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Removable seat for versatile use on camping
  • Ultimate comfort
  • Solid performance
CONS
  • Isn’t the most efficient boat for longer distances

What Should You Consider Before Buying a Kayak for Camping?

Having your own kayak is a thrilling thing. Even a simple unit opens your camping capability to new levels. Whether you want to master white water or just have a discreet paddle, a kayak subsists to back your journey.

We’ve done the compulsory investigation to get you in the water with the correct equipment. We’ll look at some salient features to consider before buying a kayak for camping. 

Storage

Camping kayaks should definitely have extra storage. You should have enough space to carry extra camping equipment with you to be comfortable all day without overburdening the kayak and decreasing its performance. Always look for kayaks with large tank wells, watertight sections for valuables, and bungee cord storage on the external hull.

When picking camping gear, buy items that are considered lightweight and compact. This relates specifically to your tent, which will most probably take up most of the storage space. You can also find a helpful guide to learn how to pack your kayak for camping and what to bring.

Comfort

Kayak camping trips may take several days as they are a great way to explore and witness the beauty of nature and great outdoors. Keeping this in mind, look for a kayak that is comfortable enough to ensure a long period of time kayaking. Look for kayaks with adjustable seats and foot plates to ensure maximum comfort if you have a larger frame. Kayaks featuring knee and thigh pads minimize friction on the lower body while also giving higher stability during adventurous turns.

Performance

The performance of your kayak depends on the type of environment you use it in. If you buy a whitewater kayak and use it on the flat water surface of a lake, then it will show poor results due to its lack of tracking.

You should be certain about where you actually want to use the kayak. So before buying a kayak for camping, performance really matters. Touring, tandem, and sea kayaks all have various handling assets and perform best in the environment they were aimed for. Having a strong idea in which of those environments you’ll be expending most of your time is a big step toward getting the right kayak for camping.

Stability

The stability of the kayak through the water is pretty essential and will be obvious by the design of the hull but also the proportions and figure of the flippers which are below the kayak. This may correspond to its checking capability that you would like to be as huge as you can.

The checking signifies the kayak’s ability to move in a straight pattern if it is paddled. The straighter the kayak, the greater the stability. This might also affect other such regions like the steadiness and the frequency. A well-designed kayak will have the aptitude to master these dares.

Maximum Load

Always pay consideration to the maximum load of your kayak when arranging and planning a camping trip. There is absolutely no need to expanse your boat’s capacity to its limit. Weighing down your kayak with additional gear can damagingly disturb its performance, and even escalate the danger of you taking on water or tipping.

Durability

If you are heading off to a camping adventure then you need to know that your kayak should have the aptitude to stand up to some rough and coarse behavior. There should always be an equilibrium here between the load of the kayak and just how sturdy it is.

If you’re planning about executing a camping trip using an inflatable kayak then it is a wonderful idea to know your area and explore whether you’ll be stopping on nearly any shrill stones. Inflatable kayaks are exceptionally tough but it is a nice idea to be sure that you have extra sections and know about inflatable kayak maintenance and repair.

Bottom Line

Above is the list of our top 10 favorite kayaks for camping. Buying a kayak is a very private experience and it diversifies from one person to another. As long as your desires are quite apparent, you will end up with an ideal kayak. 

You can use the advice given in this article to make an informed and tasteful decision when buying your own personal kayak.

Keep in mind that it is vital to perform your own research before investing money into buying because you know the best of what you want. But always remember about what kind of kayaking you plan on doing before purchasing any kayak.

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