The Perfect Sport Buyers Guide

How Much Does A Kayak Weigh?

how much does a kayak weigh

Kayak weight isn’t normally on the buyer’s list of features to check for when purchasing a new or used kayak. For most consumers, the kayak’s specifications and dimensions, brand, and model are far more significant. 

Those who want to get a little more technical with their search may consider the volume, rocker, hull material, and other features of the kayak. However, the weight of the kayak continues to be overlooked.

How much does a kayak weigh?

Kayaks can weigh anywhere from 20 pounds to 60 pounds, or even more, on average. The weight of your kayak should be reasonable for you to carry about. 

It’s not worth it if you have to sit for 5 minutes for every 10 metres you traverse in your kayak. To get to and from the water, you’ll need to transfer your kayak. 

It’s possible that you’ll need to strap your kayak to the top of your car and travel to the lake from time to time. You may need to lift and walk the kayak to the riverside if your shed is too near to the river. 

A hefty, laden kayak is more prone to be buffeted by the wind, waves, and current. You won’t be able to keep your balance while catching fish or lightweight changing if you have a hefty kayak. 

A good seat will help you maintain your balance and keep you safe from injuries.

Is the kayak’s weight an important factor to consider?

If you’ve ever owned a kayak or gone kayaking with a friend or family member who does, you’re aware that you must first get the kayak to your paddling location before you can begin paddling. 

So, first and foremost, you’ll have to get the kayak out of the garage or shed. Then you’ll need to hoist the kayak over the vehicle and onto a kayak roof rack and unload the kayak gently to prevent harming the kayak and the car’s paint. 

After that, you’ll have to carry the kayak a little distance from the parking area to your launch point. And once you’ve finished kayaking, you’ll have to do it all over again. 

Carry your kayak from the water to the parking lot, load it onto your vehicle, and then unload it when you arrive home before returning it to the garage or shed.

Let’s assume you finally decide to purchase your own kayak and embark on a solo paddling adventure. 

Can you imagine completing all of that on your own, with a hundred-pound kayak and all of the kayaking gear and equipment you’ll need? And even if you could, how exhausted would you be if you hadn’t even begun paddling yet?

This is why it’s critical to think about the weight of the kayak you’re considering purchasing. You’ll want to make sure you can carry your kayak safely and comfortably to the beach, riverbank, or wherever your launch location is.

Several factors influence the weight of a kayak, including the material it is built of, the kayak’s total size, and so on.

What influences a kayak’s weight?

The following are some of the factors that influence a kayak’s weight:

  1. Kayak material type

Plastic or Polyethylene is a less expensive yet heavy option.

Fiberglass is a mid-priced, mid-weight material, while composite is more expensive but lighter. 

Fiberglass, kevlar, and graphite composite kayaks are lighter and faster in the water than rotomolded kayaks. However, lighter weight and improved performance come at a cost. They are more costly.

Wood kayaks may be hefty, depending on the type of wood and the fibreglass resin used to waterproof them. Wood is a kayak purist’s material, and while it’s lovely and lightweight, it’s also expensive to construct and easily destroyed.

Rotomolded kayaks are typically manufactured from melted plastic pellets that are machine-shaped into a kayak shape. Kayaks of this type are usually rather hefty.

The top and bottom halves of the kayak are manufactured separately in thermoform and then joined together like a sandwich. They’re classified as medium-weight kayaks.

  1. Dimensions of Kayak

The total mass of a kayak is determined by its size in proportion to its physical measurements. The larger the kayak, the heavier it is – that much is self-evident  but you must also examine how the structure and size of the kayak interact.

  1. Type of kayaks

Every kayak has a distinct weight capacity which are briefly explained are as follows:

  • Single Kayak

The weight of a single kayak is around 35 pounds. Single kayaks typically weigh between 30 and 50 pounds, depending on the materials used in their construction and the extras included.

  • Tandem Kayak

A tandem kayak weighs about 65 pounds on average. The majority of tandem kayaks range in weight from 50 pounds to 75 pounds. 

If you have a significant other, best friend, or simply someone with whom you’d like to kayak, you may share the responsibility and weight of transporting a tandem two-person kayak to and from the sea. 

Because tandem kayaks are slightly heavier than solo kayaks, the weight is shared by two individuals.

  • Fishing Kayak

Kayaks for fishing range in weight from 35 pounds on the lightest end of the spectrum to over 120 pounds and above. 

Fishing kayaks that are heavier, more feature-rich, and more costly may weigh up to 225 pounds. You’ll need to start looking into a kayak cart to move bigger fishing kayaks to and from the sea after you reach a certain weight, approximately 60 pounds in a single fishing kayak. 

Even if you could raise all that weight over your head, you’ll have loose fishing gear and tackle in your kayak, which will add weight and clutter.

  • Inflatable Kayak

An inflatable kayak typically weighs around 30 pounds. An inflatable kayak may weigh anything from around 20 pounds for a low-cost model to well over 50 pounds for a more robust and dependable one. 

It all relies on the quality of the build, the materials used, and the inflated size of the kayak. The lighter the inflatable kayak, the more likely it is to fail due to rips in the fabric, unglued seams, or loose stitching. 

On the market, there are some great inflatable kayaks. You won’t save that much weight with an inflatable kayak unless it’s a high-quality one. 

With an inflatable kayak, you’re truly saving space. Because producers must utilise materials with some substance in order to create a sturdy, dependable, and compact-portable kayak. As a result, they’re heavier than you may imagine.

  • Pelican Kayak

Most Pelican kayaks are under 40 pounds, which is ideal for novices. Depending on size, weight limitations, and purpose, Pelican Kayaks can weigh anywhere from 19 to 78 pounds. 

Many Pelican kayaks fall into the sweet spot for recreational solo, sit-inside, sit-on-top, tandem, and entry-level fishing kayaks as one of the most popular and cheap kayak companies. 

Around 40 pounds is the ideal spot, and sure, this is completely subjective.

  • Hobie Kayak

Hobie boats are heavier than most recreational kayaks. They’re all above 60 pounds, and the top-of-the-line models may weigh up to 240 pounds when fully outfitted with fishing equipment and gear. 

Hobie makes and sells just about every style of kayak you can think of, in every weight range. 

Inflatable and hard-shell pedal kayaks, island outrigger catamarans, leisure paddle, professional fishing, and inflatable and hard-shell pedal kayaks all range in weight from light to heavy to heaviest.

What is the best way to determine the weight of your kayak?

You may find out the weight of a kayak in two ways: online or in a store.

? Online Check

If you go to the manufacturer’s website and navigate to the page for a specific kayak model, you can typically find the weight of that kayak. 

Look for a section that states additional details, specs, or technical specifications if the weight figures on the main page of an individual kayak’s data aren’t correct. There should be no trouble locating the weight number.

? Check from store

Asking a sales associate whether you can see the handbook that came with the kayak is a better option. The manuals for particular kayaks could usually be found at the warehouses of most retailers.

Does the weight of the kayak make a difference?

However, all of this discussion on kayak weight misses the point slightly. 

Because, sure, size does matter. When shopping for a kayak that is the perfect size for you, the weight of the kayak isn’t the only factor to consider. 

Of course, you’ll need to be able to transport your kayak to and from wherever you wish to paddle, but while on the water, weight is crucial in:

  • Buoyancy refers to the amount of weight that your kayak can carry and how effectively it floats. Kayaks that are smaller and shorter can support less load weight.
  • Shorter and lighter kayaks are known for being “squirrelly” to paddle.
  • Cargo space – the shorter and lighter your kayak is, the less space you’ll have to store your belongings.

So, go ahead and pick a kayak that’s light enough for you to transport and launch, but bear in mind what you’ll be doing with it. 

A few additional pounds of kayak weight might result in a boat that is far more flexible. You can read our blog on How To Put A Kayak On A Roof Rack By Yourself


You should add weight to your checklist the next time you buy a kayak. However, there isn’t a set amount of kayaks that are too heavy. 

The best kayak for you is determined by your unique circumstances. Weight isn’t a problem for someone who lives near the ocean. People who do not possess a car, for example, rely on inflatable kayaks. 

If you’re looking for something in the centre of these two extremes, you may select between inflatable and fixed kayaks.

You’ll have a difficult time on the water if you can’t find a kayak that fits your needs. The size and material of a kayak affect its weight. You don’t want to move or manage a kayak that is tough to transfer. 

The following table is included to assist you in choosing the right weight kayak.

Type of KayakWeightMatters to what?
Single Kayak30-35 Pound Suitable for all types of kayaking. It would be tough to manage anything heavier than this.
Tandem Kayak50-75 PoundNeeded partner for kayaking.
Fishing Kayak 35-120 PoundTo be able to fish like a pro.
Inflatable Kayak20-50 PoundsPeople who are unconcerned about using a kayak trolly or cart.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you be concerned about a kayak’s weight?

Unless you have a lot of kayak trailer difficulties, you’ll have to worry about transporting and bringing up traditional boats. 

As a result, how much weight you can comfortably bear to raise your kayak up to your vehicle roof or trolley is a factor to consider.

Is it possible for a big person to paddle in a lightweight kayak?

Yes, they are capable. Because virtually all kayak makers put the weight restriction to the test and give the maximum capacity the vast majority of the time. 

The old town vapor kayak, for example, weighs 47 pounds but has a 325-pound capacity.

Does the size of the kayak matter? or does it have an impact on the overall weight?

Yes. The weight of a kayak is directly proportional to its size. The lighter a kayak hull is, the less weight it carries.