The search for the best camping kayak in 2021 can be tiring. However, your search can be much easier.

How?

By having a clear idea of what you are looking to purchase. In this article, I will be providing every piece of information that you will need to find the best camping kayak.

Best 10 Camping Kayak of 2021 Reviewed

1. SOARRUCY Inflatable Kayak

This kayak is made of high-quality vinyl for increased durability and longevity. The kayak is very safe as its design will easily be spotted when you need help. The bright orange color increases visibility and means that you’ll be spotted a lot faster than others. 

Furthermore, this kayak will offer you adequate stability and allow you to navigate with ease. It also comes with extra cozy floors, a seat, and a backrest. 

Pros

  • The package is comprised of all necessary accessories, including a paddle, pump, carry bag, and repair patch
  • It has a beautiful design
  • It is very durable
  • Its cargo net provides a lot of space

Cons

  • It has limited space
  • It may develop valve issues

Takeaway

This kayak will be a good choice because it is guaranteed to provide a high level of performance. 

2. Intex Challenger Kayak

This beauty is a very budget-friendly Kayak with storage that gives you all the qualities you would want to find in a Kayak. The design of the kayak is based on comfort and maximized space. The package also includes a repair patch, an 84-inch aluminum oar, and a Hi output manual hand pump with rugged vinyl construction. 

It has a generous cockpit and cargo net to take extra gear, and it can take up to 220 pounds weight maximum (100 kg). The I-Beam floor design makes the kayak more rigid while the two air chambers increase safety.  Inflation is also faster thanks to the Boston valves.

Pros

  • It is affordable
  • It is lightweight and portable
  • It can be inflated and deflated
  • It is great for kids

Cons

  • It may become punctured
  • It is not the biggest kayak

Takeaway

This is a kayak that will save you money and also meet your expectations.

3. AQUAGLIDE Navarro Inflatable Kayak

This is the right kayak for you if you will be paddling on a river. It performs excellently on wide rivers thanks to its extraordinary length. Its Duratex and polyester build also makes it lightweight and sturdy at the same time— which isn’t something you’ll see with a lot of Kayaks, that’s for sure. 

Additionally, this kayak comes with a highly comfortable Velcro seat and a high-quality puncture resistance drop-stitch floor. Finally, it offers an adequate amount of storage thanks to its zippered and spacious compartment. 

Pros

  • It is well-balanced
  • It has a stylish design
  • It is comfortable and sturdy
  • It is spacious

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with paddles and pump
  • You will have to purchase the zip-in deck separately

Takeaway

This kayak is simply the perfect choice for you if you plan to explore a river.

4. Oru Kayak – Foldable

The Oru Kayak is simply a floating origami creation. According to the manufacturer, it can be collapsed or put together in 3 minutes. Additionally, it is extremely comfortable and stable thanks to its width of 28 inches. 

Another excellent feature of this kayak is its open cockpit, enabling people of all sizes to enter it easily. In the end, what I love most about this kayak is how easy it is to carry around. 

Pros

  • It can be easily folded into a backpack
  • It is stable and easy to steer
  • There is sufficient room for a grown-up and a child
  • It is very portable

Cons

  • Tracking is quite difficult due to low weight
  • It doesn’t come with paddles

Takeaway

The standout feature of this boat is how portable it is. You will have no problem transporting it.

5. Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe

The various features of this kayak make it one of the very best that a camper can buy. Its standout feature is the spacious cockpit which allows two people to fit into it. It is also a very portable kayak. 

Furthermore, this kayak is manufactured from a polymer material that makes it highly durable. Additionally, you won’t have to bail this kayak manually, thanks to its self-bailing valve. Finally, it has two skegs that improve tracking and help it stay on course. 

Pros

  • It is easy to assemble and inflate
  • It has excellent tracking ability
  • The seats are designed to provide maximum comfort
  • It is stable

Cons

  • Deflation is rapid

Takeaway

You should buy this kayak if you were paddling with someone else.

6. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

Intex has another entry on the list, because why not? After all, they are one of the very best makers of Kayaks in the country. The Intex Excursion Pro is here because it is the best kayak for multi day trips. The overall design of this kayak is centered on keeping you afloat in all situations. 

Firstly, it is manufactured from high-quality and durable PVC with a polyester core. This makes it super resistant to damage yet very lightweight. There is no kayak more suitable for the ocean than this.

Secondly, it is suitable for both shallow and deep water thanks to its two removable skegs. So, you can always expect maximum stability. 

Additionally, it comes with two inbuilt fishing rod holders to help you enjoy fishing with family and friends. You may also make several helpful additions such as fish finders or GPS systems.

Pros

  • It is affordable
  • It doesn’t get damaged easily
  • It is very stable
  • It has specially designed footrests and bucket seats for comfort
  • Lots of accessories

Cons

  • Little legroom

Takeaway

This kayak is great for ocean paddling and multi-day trips. 

7. Driftsun Voyager

I have chosen to include this kayak because of its incredible functionality. It has the essential features that make up a good kayak. These include a beautiful design, durability, and portability. 

The kayak weighs just 28lbs. This makes it a great choice for you if you like to get in and out of the water quickly.  

The Driftsun Voyager is one of the top-rated two person kayaks available. However, it can also be rigged as a single-person kayak to create abundant space. This feature, combined with its front and rear bungee compartments, makes it one of the best kayaks with storage. 

Pros

  • It comes with a complete kit
  • Seats are very cozy
  • Setup is fast and easy

Cons

  • It doesn’t come cheap
  • Takes a lot of work to dry

Takeaway

You should purchase this kayak if you want a highly functional and versatile kayak.

8. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak

This kayak was designed especially for fishing and had all its features optimized for that. However, the great thing is that, in reality, it can be the perfect kayak for your camping trip.

The inflatable kayak comes with 1000D reinforced layered PVC, and it is very top-rated. And as a Kayak designed for long hours of fishing, the seat and leg space are awesomely comfortable. It has a considerable amount of space in it, too, whether you’re going to be carrying fishing gear or camping gear. 

It comes with a removable skeg, a dual-action high-pressure hand pump, a travel bag with backpack straps for folding it up and carrying it around once you’re done with it. It has a rigid drop stitch floor and can work perfectly for your camping or fishing trip. 

Pros

  • It offers sufficient space
  • It is easy to steer
  • It has comfortable seats
  • It is highly durable

Cons

  • It is expensive

Takeaway

You should purchase this kayak if you are interested in fishing.

9. AQUAGLIDE Navarro 110 Convertible

This kayak is a little on the pricey side, but it is worth absolutely every penny. I love how a spray deck can be added to it. This will enable you to keep your lower body dry as you paddle. 

It weighs 28 pounds (12.7 kg) and can take up to 250 pounds (113.4 kg). It is easy to set up and use and easy to deflate when done. It also glides through the water gracefully, thanks to its slender bow profile cut.

The small size and lightweight of this kayak make it an ideal option for beginners. However, its structure also makes it one of the best kayaks for multi-day trips. 

It is durable and extremely stable. So, you can expect it to perform well when you move it through fast-moving water up to class 3 and class 4 rapids. It has a decent amount of storage too.

Pros

  • It is lightweight
  • It is fast and durable
  • It is easy to pump
  • It is easy to carry

Cons

  • It is expensive

Takeaway

This kayak is quite expensive, but you will have a high-performing boat in your hands if you can afford it. 

10. Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak

This one is super special. It looks beautiful and works just as spectacular. It is made of a new kind of technology, RAM-X material, a kind of triple-layer polythene that is very lightweight but still very strong. 

The RAM-X also allows the kayak to use additional flotation devices with foam blocks placed between the deck and the hull, making the kayak more rigid. The entire kayak is only 42 pounds (19 kg) and can take up to 275 pounds (125 kg). 

It has a removable ExoPak in its rear tank well, and it also comes with bungee cords. It moves smoothly on any kind of water body too. 

Pros

  • It is lightweight
  • It is easy to steer
  • It is durable
  • It is an excellent choice for beginners

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with rod holders
  • It has no dry storage

Takeaway

It is an excellent sit-on-top kayak.

Buying Guide of Best Camping Kayak in 2021

A camping Kayak is a significant investment. Therefore, you have to ensure that you purchase the best camping Kayak in 2021 for your needs and wants. Below, I have listed the factors that will help you make the right choice.

Type 

This is the first factor that you should consider before buying a camping Kayak. There are three different types of Kayaks, and their unique properties making them more suitable for specific purposes. They are:

  • Sit-on-Top Kayak: This type of kayak offers more width and stability. It is also open at the top, and this gives room for water to splash. Hence, it is the best kayak for river camping. Furthermore, a sit-on-top is suitable for beginners and children
  • Sit-in Kayak: This type of kayak is long and narrow. It also has a cover in the waste area to prevent the kayaker from getting wet. Since it tends to keep the kayaker dry, it is an excellent choice for cold regions. Additionally, a sit-in kayak is faster and good for people kayaking for fitness. 
  • Inflatable Kayak: This type of kayak can be easily inflated or deflated. Inflation is usually done with a pump. It is also very portable and can be fitted inside a car. However, it is more difficult to steer and can become punctured. 

Usage

Another factor to consider is how you plan to use your kayak. Both sit-on-top and sit-in Kayaks are suitable for recreation, fishing, racing, and touring. 

  • Touring Kayaks: This is the right kayak for you if you enjoy exploring water bodies. It has enough storage space for your food and other camping supplies. Both learners and experienced kayakers can use touring kayaks. They are the best for camping.
  • Recreational Kayaks: This is the right kayak for you if you are interested in kayaking for fun. Since it is easy to navigate and stable, it is suitable for kids and amateurs. It is also suitable for rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.
  • Fishing Kayaks: A fishing kayak is a much cheaper option than a fishing boat. It is guaranteed to give you a great fishing experience thanks to its lightweight and ease of navigation. This kayak also has enough for all of your fishing equipment and catch. 
  • Racing Kayaks: Racing kayaks offer maximum racing speeds thanks to their lightweight and streamlined bodies. Steering and balancing them can also be a little complicated. Hence, they suit experienced kayakers better.

Water Type

While kayaks aren’t manufactured for a specific type of water body, it is better to choose a kayak that suits the area you wish to explore. 

  • Lakes: Either a recreational sit-in or sit-on-top kayak will be a good choice if the weather is right. A solely recreational kayak isn’t suitable for whitecaps.
  • Rivers: The right type of kayak for a river should be stable, easy to steer, and sturdy. You may choose a touring sit-in kayak or the recreational sit-in or sit-on-top option. 
  • Coasts: You will need a sit-in touring kayak for this type of water. However, the kayak should be equipped with a rudder, skeg, or tracking fin. A sit-on-top kayak will be a good choice in a warm environment. 

Shape

The shape of your kayak needs to suit your type of kayaking and experience for it to bring you the best. The things you should look at in your kayak’s shape include: 

  • Width: Wide kayaks are more stable but more difficult to control, while the narrow ones offer speed and less stability. 
  • Length: Long kayaks are faster than short ones. However, the short kayaks offer more balance and ease of navigation. 
  • Weight: The lighter the kayak, the easier it will be to steer and transport. 
  • Backrest: Kayaks that come with backrests offer more comfort. However, backrests can also be bought separately. 
  • Hull: The shape of the hull of your kayak (i.e., the underside) will also affect its performance. The types of hull shapes include the V-shape, flat, and a blend of both. 

Materials 

The materials used in manufacturing kayaks and paddles tell what is to be expected from them. 

  • Fiberglass: If you are a frequent paddler, you should go with a kayak and paddles made from fiberglass. They are durable and easy to carry. 
  • Aluminum or Plastic: These are the cheapest options. They are also most suitable for beginners. However, they can get cold and heavy in winter. 
  • Carbon Fibre: This is the most durable material for kayaks and paddles. It is lightweight and guaranteed to serve you for several years. 
  • Inflatable Materials: To prevent punctures, highly durable PVC or high-quality kevlar are usually used in manufacturing inflatable kayaks.
  • Built-in Wheels: Wheels make kayaks easier to get in and water. Some brands of kayak come with built-in wheels. But if you purchase a kayak without a wheel, you can get a kayak trolley later. 

Paddle

There is nothing like kayaking with the right paddle. Paddles make kayaking makes paddling easier and more fun. As a result, the paddle you choose should depend on several factors such as: 

  • Strength: As a kayaker, you will put your arms, shoulders, and belly to a lot of work. Therefore, you should consider your strength and avoid choosing a heavy paddle. A light paddle will also make it easier for you to paddle over long distances. 
  • Paddling Style: You should choose your paddles according to your speed. Large blades serve fast kayakers better. The blades of a fast kayaker should also be curved, asymmetrical, and feathered. Contrastingly, symmetrical and straight-sided blades are best suited to beginners. 
  • Adjustability: You will find an adjustable paddle to be easy to use and comfortable. This is because it can be easily shortened, lengthened, and rotated according to your needs and condition. This will also enable your loved ones to take turns in your kayak. Additionally, some adjustable kayaks can be separated into two parts to make them easy to carry. However, they do not last as long as single-piece paddles. 
  • Safety: To avoid getting stranded, you should get yourself a paddle leash. This will keep your paddle attached to your body. You may also go kayaking with an extra paddle to increase your safety. 

If you need a video description of many of the things here, you may click this link.

FAQ 

How do you pack a sit-on-top kayak for camping?

Sit-on-top kayaks come with limited storage space, so you have to pack carefully and evenly. Long and narrow supplies such as a rolled sleeping bag or a small tent should go into the kayak’s ends. You should also ensure that you will be able to access your items easily at the end of the trip. Touring kayaks have more space. Hence, they are better suited to camping. 

Is kayaking dangerous?

There are few risks involved in kayaking. These risks include unsafe water features, dehydration, and sun exposure. Fortunately, these risks can be easily mitigated. You can protect yourself by using a life jacket at all times, wearing sunscreen, and carrying extra water. You should also choose when and where you paddle with caution. For example, a beginner shouldn’t paddle on a flooded river. 

How do you secure a kayak when camping?

A kayak can be secured to a car rack or trailer with the aid of a cable lock. However, this can only be done if you park close to the campsite. Inflatable kayaks are easier to store than hard shells as they can be kept in tents. You will need to locate a nearby structure such as a tree to fasten a hardshell to.

What should you do if you fall off your kayak?

If you fall out of a sit-in kayak, you will have to bail it manually. So, you will have to return to the shore before you can get back in. A sit-on-top kayak is safer because you will be able to get back in easily. You can learn how to easily get back into your kayak here

Can you go kayaking if you can’t swim?

Kayaking doesn’t require excellent swimming skills. All you have to do is be courageous, pick a calm body of water, and wear a life jacket. If your boat capsizes, you should try to hang on to your kayak as it won’t sink. An experienced instructor will be very helpful too. 

Conclusion 

Going camping on a kayak can be a wonderful experience. I believe my work will provide you with adequate information on finding the best camping kayak in 2021.