If you love the blue skies and the bluer waves of the sea, then why not spend multiple days at the sea? Or perhaps just the night and watch the stars away from the light pollution that plagues the cities. Well, then all you need to do is pack up food, snacks, water and perhaps a camera and escape the world using a touring kayak.
A touring kayak is most usually a long and narrow kayak that allows you to paddle it at great speeds. They have a lot of storage options for extended trips and tours. There are a lot of touring kayaks available in the market. Most popular ones for shorter trips tend to be sit-in kayaks as they allow you to stay drier. However, some kayakers do prefer the sit-on-top ones too. This is because they offer much more space and you can easily sleep in them as well.
So, looking to find the best touring kayak? Let’s face it! Finding a touring kayak is very difficult today. Manufacturers can claim their kayaks do a lot of different things or have these features. However, you can never know how well these features work unless you try them out yourself.
So, why risk it? We have reviewed all the best kayaks for you so you can choose the best one for yourself. Check out our best touring kayaks below:
Best Touring Kayak Reviews
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak-10 inches
If you’re looking for the most affordable yet portable kayak, then the Intex Explorer is perfect for you. It is perhaps the best two-person kayak that costs in the low range. The Intex is actually a touring kayak that is perfect for smaller water bodies such as lakes and mild rivers.
It has a streamlined design that makes it quite easy to paddle so you don’t have to worry about getting tired. Furthermore, it is quite lightweight. After being fully inflated, it weighs merely 31 lbs. On the other hand, it still has a high weight capacity of about 400 lbs. This is quite enough for two individuals and it is a best 2 person kayak.
The cockpit of the kayak includes a comfort-centered design. Moreover, the seats are quite soft and include backrests so you don’t get tired. The best part about the kayak is perhaps the easy setup. It comes with the pump so you can easily inflate it and deflate it. This one is a best kayak under 300.
The yellow and black graphic make it quite easy to spot the kayak in the river or the lake. The high visibility is an added advantage in case of emergencies. One of the biggest issues with most inflatable kayaks is that they can be punctured easily or do not tend to be very durable.
However, the Intex includes a rugged Vinyl material construction that adds to the durability. What’s more is that kayak includes an inflatable floor with I-beam which provides sturdiness and rigidity.
Also included with the kayak is a removable skeg with adds to the directional stability. This makes it easier to steer. A grab handle makes it easy to drag this kayak around. Lastly, it comes with two aluminum oars to help you paddle and tour.
- Rugged and durable due to vinyl construction.
- Great turning stability.
- Quick to inflate and deflate.
- Portable and lightweight.
- Can handle a large weight capacity.
- Vinyl tends to heat up under the sun which can be uncomfortable.
- There is not much leg room for the back seat.
- No storage options.
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak – 9 inches
The K1 kayak, as its name suggests is actually a 1 person touring kayak. The Intex Challenger K1 is actually quite similar to the Explorer as it also follows in the low range price category. However, it has even more advantages, in our opinion. Firstly, because it is shorter, it can be inflated even quicker. On an average, the kayak takes about 3 minutes to inflate.
Second, it has a dedicated storage area. There is also a cargo net in the front of the kayak where you can store any gear you need. You can easily store any survival gear or water bottles and the net will secure them.
The most interesting part about this touring kayak is the construction. It actually includes a durable welded material. This tends to add a much-needed durability to the boat. Appearance wise, the green color with the blue accents are quite eye-catching and improve visibility to a large extent.
Since this is inflatable, you can rest assured, it will not weight much. It weighs about 27.2 pounds while it can easily support 220 lbs of weight. For maximum comfort, the kayak also includes an inflatable seat that has backrests. This way you will be speeding along the river for hours on end without worrying about a sore back.
To make the kayak even more portable, there are grab lines at both ends of the kayak. This makes it easier to carry or drag the kayak around. Moreover, with this kayak there are two aluminum oars, 84 inches in length. These are the best kayak paddles since they are lightweight and easy to maneuver.
The K2 further comes with its own manual hand pump which you can use to inflate the kayak. The pump makes it a one-person job. Apart from that, a repair patch allows you to effectively deal with any punctures.
- Takes very little time to inflate and deflate.
- Rugged and durable construction with eye-catching graphics.
- Very lightweight and portable.
- Includes a storage area and secures it.
- Comfortable cockpit area.
- Not enough foot space.
- Is not very great at turning.
SUNDOLPHIN Boss SS Stand on/Sit-On Top Angler Kayak
One of the most important features of a touring kayak is the long dimensions. This makes them go much faster than intended. So, it is no surprise that one of the best touring kayaks, the SunDolphin Boss should come at a long 12.3 feet.
The SunDolphin is actually a mid-price range sit-on-top kayak that delivers stability. Most folks think that sit-on-top versions are not suited for touring as they can get you wet. However, we believe you can use these as well in the summers. The splashes of water can be quite refreshing under the scorching sun.
Apart from that, the kayak includes a front and rear storage well that allows you to store crates or buckets or whatever you want. These are secured with a bungee rope. Also included is a storage hatch where you can store your accessories and keep them dry.
However, it does to be quite heavy due to the length. The kayak weighs about 74 lbs. On the other hand, this does enable it to have a weight capacity of 500 pounds. Moreover, the flat stable platform allows you to stand on deck as well. In fact, to help you stand up, there are stand-up, non-slip pads, and a strap to provide you stability against the waves.
In addition, it is a twofold position seat so you have more room to stand up. This makes it perfect for camping inside the lake or sea in longer expeditions. You can fold down the seat and set up your camp bed.
When you feel like relaxing in the midst of an expedition, you can use the paddle holders to hold the paddles when not in use. This prevents the case of overboard paddles and won’t leave you stranded in the middle of the sea. The carry handles make it easier to carry it around.
- Enough room to stand up or set up camp.
- Various storage options to make it perfect for long expeditions.
- Includes paddle holders so you don’t lose them.
- Large weight capacity of around 500 lbs.
- Long dimensions make it faster to paddle.
- Difficult to transport or store it.
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12-Foot Sit-in Kayak:
The SunDolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak is the best touring kayak under 600. The sit-in design is quite desirable for many kayakers since it allows them to paddle at higher speeds without worrying about getting too wet. The Aruba is actually the perfect touring kayak since it is quite long which allows for better tracking.
However, the tracking does not mean that it is not stable. The kayak offers maximum stability and ensures that you can paddle with ease. It is the best touring kayak for beginners since it is quite easy to maneuver. It has everything that you might need from a touring kayak.
For longer expeditions, it has multiple storage options. First is a large storage hatch at the bag which has a separate Portable Accessory Carrier. This will keep all your accessories and stuff safe and dry. Furthermore, it includes in the front a smaller storage hatch to hold other accessories. The front embraces a bungee rope where you secure larger storage easily.
What’s more is that the kayak also comprises three fishing rod holders where you can store your rods. So, in the middle of your expedition, if you feel like catching dinner, you can do so with ease. Furthermore, the sit-in design will keep you dry. The collar on the cockpit will protect you from any splashes as well. Atop, this one is a best kayak for the money.
The kayak construction includes a rugged Fortiflex Polyethylene with high density. This adds durability and sturdiness to the boat. Plus, the polyethylene is UV stabilized meaning that the sun rays will not discolor it or damage it in any way. This is an added advantage for those who prefer longer runs. Surprisingly, it doesn’t weigh too much either. It weighs about 47 lbs, which is quite easily maneuverable by a single person.
- Lightweight and great at tracking.
- UV stabilized and very durable.
- Includes multiple storage options.
- Keeps you dry as well as your storage.
- Offers maximum stability so you can paddle with ease.
- Can be a little daunting to maneuver for shorter individuals.
- The hull material seems to be a little thin.
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak:
Another kayak from the SunDolphin, the Bali Tandem is a 13.5-inch beast that can easily accommodate 1, 2 or even 3 persons. This adds to the versatility of the tandem kayak. It is perfect for touring the seas with your friends or family. It is one of best kayaks in 2018.
The tandem kayak comes with two adjustable seats. This means you can adjust the seat according to your own comfort. The backrests allow you to sit comfortably for long amounts of time. However, you can also place a third seat in the middle of the kayak as well. On the other hand, if you want to use it all on your own, you can move the rear seat to the center. This will make it much easier for you to maneuver this large boat.
The kayak also includes adjustable footrests that make it much more comfortable for both the individuals. In addition to that, there are multiple storage compartments in this kayak such as the three covered storage compartments. These help keep your accessories and stuff dry. Also included is an onboard shock deck rigging at the back. This helps you store any larger backpacks, buckets etc.
Plus, it carry handles at the front and back. This allows you to conveniently carry or drag it around. The paddle holders allow you to sit back and enjoy the view from the sea without worrying about the paddles going overboard.
The Bali comes in a mid-price range so it is quite affordable. Furthermore, it is available in about two different colors. Of course, the long length comes at a price. The tandem is quite heavyweight and tends to be quite hard to handle by a single person. We recommend using it as a 2 person kayak only.
- High weight capacity and long dimensions.
- Very comfortable due to adjustable backrests as well as footrests.
- Includes many storage compartments and keeps your stuff dry.
- Can be easily carried around.
- Includes paddle holders so you do not lose them.
- Heavyweight which makes it difficult for a single person to maneuver it.
- Not much leg room for three persons.
Riot Edge Flat-water Touring Kayak
The Riot Kayak Edge 14.5 inch Kayak is the perfect touring kayak as it is durable as well as stable. However, the Riot is actually in the high-price range. You can still rest assured that the high price is worth it due to the extensive features it has to offer.
The slim design of the kayak is perfect for gliding and cutting through waves for day touring or short overnight tours. The slender bow, as well as a thin deck line, allow you to gain higher speeds and complete your expedition faster.
The Edge Kayak offers you the maximum comfort possible. It features an advanced seating system which allows you to adjust the seat according to your own comfort. To allow you to rest your feet, the kayak offers adjustable foot braces as well. This means that folks of all sizes and heights can easily use the kayak and still be comfortable. Integrated thigh braces ensure that you can secure your feet. This makes it much easier to paddle through the rough waves.
Worried about the kayak filling up? The Edge includes a drain plug at the bottom which allows you to get rid of any water with ease. The sit-in design ensures that you remain dry all throughout the expedition.
Furthermore, the kayak includes rear and front sealed hatches to store your stuff and keep it dry. Also featured are two bungee storage wells where you store and secure your backpacks. The kayak is actually quite long, however, it still doesn’t weigh as much as others. It weighs merely 60 lbs.
The kayak is quite durable as it includes a polyethylene construction. This makes it track quite well so you don’t need to worry about ensuring the correct direction.
- Includes a drain plug to get rid of water.
- Ensures maximum comfort.
- Includes multiple storage options.
- Durable and rugged construction.
- Allows for better tracking and greater speeds.
- Too long for shorter individuals to easily maneuver.
- The seat can be a little rigid.
Third Coast Novi 100 Sit On Recreational Kayak (Blue/Orange/White)
Next up in our touring kayak reviews is a standard 10-inch kayak: the Third Coast Novi 100 kayak. This is a conventional sit on a kayak that allows you to enjoy the sun and water at its fullest. The kayak is quite suitable for rivers and lakes as well as the open sea.
One of the first things you tend to notice about the Novi is the maximum comfort it offers you. The kayak includes an adjustable seat with a padded deluxe back. You can easily adjust the back to suit your preferences with the pull straps.
Apart from that, it also includes adjustable footrests. This allows folks of all heights to be easily comfortable in the kayak. All this lets you spend much more time on the water without feeling awkward or tired.
Furthermore, the kayak includes two storage hatches which contain a bag inside them. The hatches are 9 inches and round in shape. The seal on the hatches ensures that all your stuff remains dry even with a lot of rough waves. This is a very desirable feature in such a sit-in kayak.
Also included is a bungee storage well at the back. The bungee cords help secure larger storage or equipment such as backpacks or tanks or even coolers. The kayak actually comes with a ditty tray as well where you can store your essentials.
The Novi further includes a paddle holder as well so you can relax and let loose. The side handles as well as the handles on the front and rear ensure you can easily carry it in all directions. An automatic drainage system automatically removes and drains any water inside the hull. This will help keep you dry even in the roughest of waters.
- Adjustable seat and foot braces for maximum comfort.
- Various storage compartments and wells.
- Automatically drains out water from the hull.
- Portable and lightweight.
- Includes paddle holders as well.
- Does not track as well as other boats in the series.
- Not very roomy for taller individuals.
Goplus Inflatable Kayak
When talking about the best kayaks under 200, who can miss out the Goplus Inflatable Kayak. Placed in the low price range, it is durable and quite portable. In fact, it is the best kayak for beginners since it is so easy to maneuver.
The kayak comes with an inflatable seat whose back can be easily adjusted according to your comfort preferences. In fact, you can even adjust the cockpit space to ensure maximum comfort. Furthermore, you need not worry about safety with the Goplus kayak. The kayak includes three independent blowholes. This means even if one of them gets damaged, the others can still continue to operate.
This helps reduce the risks in case of an accident. The kayak is actually quite easy to inflate and deflate. It comes with a hand pump that you can use on the spot to quickly inflate the kayak. Furthermore, it comes with an elastic safety rope that allows you to tow or drag it around and get it wherever you want. One of the best kayak brands that comes with best kayak accessories as it includes a baggage net at the front of the net. This allows you to store your bags or other stuff where it will stay secure and safe.
What’s more is that the kayak is extremely easy to carry and one of the best kayak roof rack. This is due to the extremely low weight. The kayak weighs merely 24.5 pounds. However, it has the capability to carry about 352 lbs.
It even includes a carry bag to help you carry it around in your back. What’s more is that the kayak is perfect for touring as its streamline design ensures better speed. The kayak comes with 2 oars as well so both the individuals can easily paddle. The material used for construction is PVC. This lends durability to the boat and allows you to use it in rugged waters.
- Very easy to carry as it comes with a carrying duffel bag.
- Rugged and durable material.
- Adjustable inflatable seats for maximum comfort.
- Ensures maximum safety due to three blowholes.
- Includes a netted storage well.
- Not enough storage for longer trips.
- Not suitable for very tall individuals or very heavy ones.
What Touring Kayak Fits You?
When it comes to touring kayaks, you can get confused over which one to choose. However, there are a few factors you should consider before you decide on one. That makes it easier for you to make a decision. These are:
If you intend to use the touring kayak in the lakes or rivers, then a small or very mediocre once will be quite sufficient. No need to waste hundreds of dollars if you’re just going to play it safe. For such purposes, an inflatable kayak will suffice. However, if you wish to use it over the seas or rough rivers, then you need a more durable kayak that will hold up better.
An imperative factor to consider is the length. The length can often determine the speed of the kayak as well as how well it will track. However, you do not want to go for a kayak that is too long as it will make it harder for you to maneuver it. So, for a standard height of 5’5″ to 6’1″, we recommend something about 12-13 feet.
Number of People
Another important aspect to consider is how various folks you want to seat in the kayak. If you’re only going to use it for yourself, then choose one that contains only one seat. Otherwise, go for a best 2 person kayak or even a 3 seat kayak.
Tracking is also an important part of touring kayaks. Find out from customer reviews how well the kayak can track. Of course, this could mean that it turns badly. In such a case, you should look for a skeg or a rudder to help in the turning.
Since touring involves long trips, you need to make sure that the kayak is extremely comfortable. Look for sufficient padding as sitting for a long time will get uncomfortable if the seats are not padded. We recommend going for adjustable seats as you can easily lay back. Backrests and footrests are also imperative features to look for. There are countless best kayak brands that offer these features.
For long trips and tours, you need to have sufficient storage space. Not only this, but most of these spaces should be sealed so if you have food or snacks, or electronics, it doesn’t get wet. Bungeed space is quite preferable as well so you can store buckets or bags under it. So, buy one that is best kayak for the money and help you take best kayak accessories with you.
The touring kayaks normally carry a long and slim design. This helps them gain more speed and cut the water with the least amount of resistance. The smooth texture, as well as the point on the front and rear, create as little drag as possible.
The shape of the hull would help you get better stability, both primary and secondary. However, the kayak will be much more stable when it is speeding through the waves across the seas than on a stationery water.
All in all, our best touring kayaks reviews will help you choose the best one for yourself. All our kayaks are comfortable, durable and practical. You can go on hour long journeys to even overnight tours and not worry about being tired or fatigued. Most of these come with paddle holders which are quite desirable if you want to go on long tours. This allows you to rest for a while and not worry about the paddles being lost or going overboard. You can eat, snack or drink.
In our reviews, we have included all kinds of kayaks. Inflatable, sit-on-top to sit-in and even stand on top. Some are even day touring kayaks that are perfect for shorter trips. This allows you to weigh all your choices and then make an informed decision as to which one will suit you best.
No matter what boat you choose, you are bound to find them to your taste. However, you should keep in mind that as time goes by your skills and preferences will change as well. So, don’t be surprised if you are looking for a new kayak in a matter of months or years.