Do you love kayaking but the idea of dragging a heavy kayak along the shores drains you? Well, in that case, what you need is an excellent lightweight sit on top kayak. Short and lightweight kayaks are incredibly portable, and you can store the kayak anywhere from your closet to the trunk of your car.
Kayaking is an exhilarating sport that takes you closer to nature and the pristine environment. The features of a lightweight kayak is especially important for solo kayakers. A lightweight kayak gives you the freedom of kayaking anytime and anywhere you want. You can stop worrying about the portability of kayak and start enjoying the trip itself.
Sit on top kayaks further enhance your kayaking experience as they are easy to handle and have a large cockpit area for you to move comfortably. If you are an avid angler, you need to look no further than a good lightweight sit on top kayak. But what is the best lightweight kayak? You might wonder.
Don’t worry as you have arrived at the right place. I have listed the ten best lightweight sit on top kayaks available in the market. I have also provided reviews of each lightweight sit on top kayak and the final verdict.
Lightweight Sit on Top Kayak – [Top 10 Review]
The Sea Eagle 330 Sport Kayak is one of the lightest kayaks on our list as it weighs a minimal 26 pounds and is also inflatable. The inflatable kayaks have grown exponentially in recent years. In the past, they were no more than kids toys, but they have become an exciting alternative due to its space and weight advantage.
When deflated, the kayak has dimensions of 9.25 x 17.91 x 33.46 inches, whereas it inflates to a massive 11 feet in length. The Sea Eagle 330 has an actual cockpit space of only 9.5 feet in length and 13 inches in width. You can take a companion, a kid, or a pet with you on this kayak.
Furthermore, the hull is puncture-resistant as extra-thick K-80 polykrylar material gets used in the construction. It also comes with a three-year warranty. The kayak is very resistant to impact damage, and you can use it upto Class III rapids. Overall, the Sea Eagle 330 is a lightweight inflatable kayak with exciting features.
- Weighs a minimal 26 pounds
- You can take along a companion, a kid, or a pet
- The hull is puncture-resistant
- Extra-thick K-80 polykrylar construction material
- Comes with a three-year warranty
- Very resistant to impact damage
- Rated for Class III rapids.
- Not enough space for two large adults
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak inflatable tandem kayak is ideal for kayaking with a companion. The compact kayak has a sit-on-top design with a wide area cockpit that gets extended up to the hip of the kayaker and subsequently protects the kayaker from strong waters.
The double-action pump inflates the kayak in a few minutes. The kayak weighs around 37 lbs which is slightly heavier than average but when deflated the kayak fits into the size of a suitcase. The maximum weight limit is 400 pounds, which might not be enough for two large paddlers.
Moreover, the inflatable seats have adjustable straps that make them comfortable and provide plenty of support for every paddle. There is a removable skeg that helps to keep a straight line tracking through the water. The kayak comes with only 90 days warranty, but this is what you can expect at such a modest price tag.
- Compact, Sit-on-top design
- Wide area cockpit for stability
- The inflatable seats have adjustable straps
- There is a removable skeg that helps in tracking
- Modest price tag
- Great for kayaking with a child or pet
- The rear seat is closer to the front seat than necessary
- Only 90 days warranty
The Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Sit On Top Fishing Kayak is an excellent kayak for finding your favourite fishing spots in the unknown. The nine feet long kayak is 32 inches wide, and stable enough while reeling in a big catch.
The sturdy hull and the maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds is an advantage. At 46 pounds, the kayak is quite substantial. There are four-pole holders set around the cockpit area. The kayak also has two large sealable hatches where you can store your catch without getting the kayak dirty. The highly adjustable seat lets you switch positions from paddling to fishing.
Furthermore, the kayak comes with two paddles, plugs, liners, and others. The Vibe Kayaks has a limited lifetime warranty. The only downside is that the kayak would be even better if it has slightly more storage space for fishing gears or a cooler. Overall, the Vibe kayaks skipjack is a great lightweight sit on top fishing kayak for all your fishing adventures.
- Nine feet long kayak is 32 inches wide
- Stable enough while reeling in a big catch
- The sturdy hull and a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs
- Four pole holders set around the cockpit area
- Two large sealable hatches
- The highly adjustable seat lets you switch positions from paddling to fishing
- Comes with two paddles, plugs, liners, and others
- Slightly heavier in comparison
- Lacks ample storage space for fishing gears and cooler
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler Fishing Kayak is one of the most popular kayaks on the list. The kayak tracks well and is stable enough to stand and fish. There are chine rails for stability and deep hull channels for more exceptional performance. It also has ample storage space for accessories and comes at a reasonable price.
Sure, it might not have a cool paint job, but what the Lifetime Angler scores on is its compact design and fantastic functionality. There are Adjustable Padded Seat Back along with extra seat padding for comfort. You can find multiple footrest positions for paddlers of all sizes. The kayak uses the UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene as the primary material.
Furthermore, the lifetime angler fishing kayak has two front and rear T handles for portability. For fishing apparels, there is one adjustable fishing rod holder, and two flushes mounted rod holders. The 12 feet long kayak has a 275 lbs of maximum weight capacity. Overall, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler Fishing Kayak is another lightweight sit on top fishing kayak that comes at a reasonable price.
- The kayak tracks well and is quite stable for standup fishing
- Chine rails for stability and deep hull channels for tracking
- Compact design and fantastic functionality
- Adjustable Padded Seat Back along with extra seat padding
- Multiple footrest positions for paddlers of all sizes
- UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene is the primary material
- Two front and rear t handles for portability
- One adjustable fishing rod holder and two flushes mounted rod holders
- Lacks stylish paint job
- Some users complained about quality control
The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit On Top Kayak is an outstanding lighter tandem kayak. It is quite compact and fashionable. The versatile kayak is ideal for two adults, along with a child or a pet.
The sit-on-top kayak has a simple, easy-to-board design that provides great kayaking for beginners. The kayak’s three seating positions support solo, tandem kayaking, and tandem kayaking with a child or pet. There are a couple of Comfort Plus seats that provide four-way adjustability. This feature helps in providing a custom fit and further aids in slip prevention.
Furthermore, there are overlapping footwells that allow kayakers to position their feet comfortably. The sit-on-top kayak has a wide-open hull that makes it easy to get on and off the kayak. The pair of moulded-in handles and skid plate aids in the portability of the kayak. The maximum weight capacity is 425 pounds, and it measures 12 feet in length and 34 inches in width. There is a lifetime warranty on the hull.
Overall, the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit On Top Kayak is lightweight tandem kayak with great features.
- Lighter, compact tandem kayak
- Ideal for two adults along with a child or a pet
- Three seating positions
- A couple of Comfort Plus seats that provide four-way adjustability
- Custom-fit and further aids in slip prevention
- Patented overlapping footwells
- A wide-open hull that makes it easy to get on and off the kayak.
- The pair of moulded-in handles and skid plate aids
- Lifetime warranty on the hull
- Some users complained about the leakage in the kayak
The Airhead Montana Kayak is a 9-foot, 1-man inflatable kayak. It is specially designed for calm waters and moderate white water rivers.
Three air chambers are entirely covered by rugged 840-denier nylon material. This material makes the kayak compact, lightweight, and portable. There are water-resistant coatings protected by UV protection. The four bottom fins provide low drag and superior tracking. The kayak is perfect for lakes and white water rivers.
Furthermore, the kayak is easily inflated and deflated through 3 Boston valves with nylon covers. There are Stainless steel and nylon hardware which will not corrode 6 D-rings at bow and stern. There are drain plugs for a better drainage system, and side carry handles for portability. Overall, the Airhead Montana Kayak is one of the best and lightest inflatable kayaks.
- Specially designed for calm waters and moderate white water rivers
- Three air chambers covered by rugged 840-denier nylon material
- Compact, lightweight, and portable
- water-resistant coatings protected by UV protection
- The four bottom fins provide low drag and superior tracking
- 3 Boston valves with nylon covers
- Stainless steel and nylon hardware
- Threaded drain plugs for a better drainage system
- Some users complained about the leakage
The Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin Recreational Sit On Top Kayak is a stylish kayak that provides 1-person sit on top option. The 10ft kayak has a total weight of 57lbs.
The kayak offers excellent stability and manoeuvrability. The Yellowfin 100 provides optimum control and great for fishing. The kayak is portable and easy to carry it all around. There are also 4 Flush mount fishing rod holders for the comfort of an angler. It also has a comfortable Vibe HERO Framed Seat & a paddle.
Furthermore, the kayak has 375 Pounds of maximum load capacity. There are Fish Finder Mount and four fishing rod holders for comfort fishing. You can access 4 Accessories Gear Track for your ease. The Waterproof Cargo Hatches provides ample Storage Space. The Premium Seat is of top quality, and it also has 4 Phantom Grip comfort handles.
Overall, the Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin Sit On Top Recreational Kayak is a stylish kayak with outstanding features.
- Great stability and manoeuvrability
- Optimum control and great for fishing
- The kayak is portable and easy to carry it all around
- 4 Flush mount fishing rod holders
- Comfortable Vibe HERO Framed Seat & a paddle
- 4 Accessories Gear Track for your ease
- Waterproof Cargo Hatches provides ample Storage Space
- 4 Phantom Grip comfort handles
- Some users complained about the absence of skid plates on the keel
- Price slightly on the higher side
Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 Foot Sit On Top Kayak is an excellent lightweight kayak for beginners and young adults. The 6-foot kayak is very lightweight to carry.
The open cockpit design, along with sit-in-top design allows easy entry of the kayak. Even if you trip, you can quickly re-enter the kayak. You can try out various angling methods. There is a carrying handle that makes the kayak more portable. The kayak also comes in six different vibrant colors.
Furthermore, two flush-mounted rod holders secure your rods while you are not fishing. The extra padded seats provide comfort fishing and kayaking. The kayak is available in three vibrant colours. Overall, the Sun Dolphin Bali Ss 10 Foot Sit On Top Kayak is one of the best lightweight sit on top kayaks with exciting features.
- Large Storage compartment
- Lightweight, stable, and portable
- Large open cockpit for easy entry
- Available in three different vivid colours
- Great fishing kayak
- Padded seat back for comfort
- Two flush-mounted rod holders with one swivelling holder
- Great for beginners and kids
- Some users complained about the safety issue
The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak With Paddle 6 Feet is a great kids and beginners kayak. The kayak is specially designed for young kids and youths above five years of age.
The lightweight kayak has a maximum weight capacity of 130lbs. Lifetime is a reputed kayak manufacturer, and the 6 feet long kayak weighs only 18lb. The comfortable movement of the kayak is due to the moulded finger handles. The wide-open cockpit ensures successfully enter the kayak even if you fall in the water.
Furthermore, this kayak from a lifetime comes with a double-sided paddle and is perfect for recreational kayaking. High-quality High-density Polyethylene is the material used in making the kayak. You can maintain enough stability on this kayak with some practice. Overall, the Lifetime Youth Wave kayak assures excellent stability and is exceptionally lightweight.
- Specially designed for youth and young adults
- Wide-open cockpit for easy entry and exit
- Lightweight kayak at just 18 lbs
- Highly durable and provides excellent stability
- High-quality High-density Polyethylene used
- Some users complained about the kayak being hard to steer
Sevylor Quikpak K1 is a multipurpose inflatable kayak. It takes about five to six minutes to assemble the kayak. The easy-to-carry backpack system also works as a seat, and the kayak is quite portable.
The 21-gauge PVC construction makes the kayak rugged and sturdy. There is a tarpaulin bottom in the kayak that makes it strong enough to take abuse and prevent punctures. There are multiple air chambers which ensures that the kayak remains afloat even in case of leaks. The airtight system also prevents any leakage.
Furthermore, there are two locking points of the lock valves for easy assembling of the kayak. The multi-position foot helps in changing positions. The backrest helps you to lie back and enjoy the scenery. The bungee storage system helps to store fishing gear and other equipment. Overall, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 is a great lightweight, an inflatable kayak that comes at a reasonable price.
- 21-gauge PVC construction
- Double lock valves with two locking points for easy assembling
- Tarpaulin bottom to prevent puncture
- Three-chamber air design that keeps it afloat
- The airtight system prevents puncture
- Quick assembly in 5 minutes
- Low price tag
- Some users complained about the customer service
Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Lightweight Sit On Top Kayak
Weight of the kayak
The weight of the kayak is an essential factor to consider. You can carry a lightweight kayak and don’t need an additional roller or any other equipment to carry them. The kayak’s weight is most important for solo kayakers.
However, the downside is that the lightweight kayaks can turn over if the waves are on the higher side. If you want a stable kayak, then the heavier kayaks are the best can withstand bigger waves.
However, it is hard to turn over if it tips in the water. These kayaks are best for tandem kayaking with a companion. To transfer the kayak out of the water, you can use a roller.
The Kayak beam’s width determines the behaviour of the kayak in the water. The wide beam kayak increases the overall stability of the kayak. The kayak will be more challenging to manoeuvre on such kayaks because you will require to exert more energy paddling due to the creation of the drag.
Narrow beam allows the vessel to go at a much higher speed because there is no resistance. The manoeuvrability is also improved, and the vessel is more responsive. However, kayaks with narrow beams can flip over more easily because they are less stable.
The kayaks listed are suitable for beginners and recreational kayakers. Kayaks with over 30 inches or broader beams provide more excellent stability perfect for anglers. Anglers love these because it allows them to stand up while casting or retrieving. Narrower kayaks ensure no drag and create more significant moments in water which makes it perfect for racing.
Shorter kayaks are more portable. There are 10 and 12 foot sit on top kayak but the ideal size of a lightweight kayak is 8 and 10 feet, and they can fit in the trunk of your car quickly. Short kayaks are more suitable for lakes and rivers. They lack speed but are easy to manoeuvre.
Whereas the long kayaks are perfect for marine waters where you require longer paddling sessions. They move at higher speeds as they have narrow hulls. Tracking might be an issue in the shorter kayaks because of their design.
You might require double the effort as compared long kayaks to keep it in a straight line. If you are a casual kayaker and speed is not on your priority list then the short, versatile kayak which you can take anywhere is best suited for you.
An inflatable kayak saves a lot of space and is light to carry. It can be easily stored in a compact backpack and makes it quite portable. These inflatable kayaks get assembled within minutes with the help of a pump. The material of the kayak gets made from special plastics consisting of several layers that make it puncture-proof.
These kayaks have separate air chambers inside in case one gets punctured, you will remain safe as the kayak remains afloat. The inflatable kayaks are the lightest, and you can always find kayaks weighing as low as 20 lbs. They do not cost as much as the hardshell kayaks.
Kayak hulls are generally made of composite materials like carbon fibre, fibreglass or hard-wearing plastics like Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS). Other kayak manufacturers also use polyethene plastic. Fibreglass and carbon fibre materials are stiffer, which aids to the overall performance.
These materials hold their shape well without any warps, dents, or scratches. On the other hand, Plastic boats are heavier, less stiff and less responsive than a kayak made with composite materials. However, while they lack these features, they are quite sturdy and damage proof from rocks and other external elements.
Longer kayaks do not necessarily mean more comfort. A wider cockpit is what makes a kayak more comfortable rather than the size and length. This is especially true for tall persons who need to stretch their legs over a specified period.
The storage compartment is another factor you need to consider. Having ample space to store all your fishing gears make kayaking a safe and pleasant experience. There are hatches and bungee cords on the outside for storage of your fishing and other accessories.
Two popular hull designs are available. The v-shaped hull is ideal for rougher and turbulent water. On the other hand, flatwater kayaks have a rounded hull, which is perfect for kayaking through flat coastal waters, calm waters, and lakes.
Kayaks might have powerful features, but nothing is more important than your satisfaction. You can stay longer and comfortably control the kayak. The adjustability of the kayak contributes to the comfort factor, and you can customize the kayak to your shape with adjustable seats, footplates, and thigh braces.
The Final Verdict
The kayaks listed above are among the best lightweight sit on top kayaks. However, if I had to select one, i would select the Sea Eagle 330 Sport Kayak. The Sea Eagle 330 Sport Kayak is a great lightweight sit on top inflatable kayak with outstanding features.
The kayak weighs just 26 pounds and has ample storage options. The Extra-thick K-80 polykrylar construction makes the hull puncture resistant. You can take your kid or pet along with you as well. The stable kayak is rate for Rated for Class III rapids and also comes with a 3 year warranty. Overall, this is a great lightweight sit on top kayak that fulfills all your kayaking demands.