When you’re enjoying time out on the water, how much your kayak weighs might not seem important. However, you’ll need to carry your kayak to and from the water.
You may also need to strap the kayak to the roof of your car, and at home, you might want to hang the kayak to better protect it from damage. For all of these reasons, knowing how much a kayak weighs can be incredibly helpful.
How much does a kayak weigh?
Kayak weights vary due to several factors. Even if two kayaks are the same size and material, if they are made by different companies, their weight can be different.
In general, though, most kayaks weigh between 20 and 100 pounds, and the average kayak weighs between 50 and 65 pounds.
Length and what the kayak is designed for are some of the biggest factors when it comes to how much a kayak weighs. Single kayaks are usually relatively short since they only need to seat one person.
These kayaks are usually about 10 feet long, and they’re designed so that one person can move them to and from the water. For these reasons, they need to be relatively light, so most single kayaks weigh around 35 pounds.
Tandem kayaks are designed to seat two people, so they usually need to be longer. Some tandem kayaks are still only 10 feet long, but these kayaks tend to be unstable.
To offer increased stability, most tandem kayaks are at least 12 feet long, and you’ll find that the average tandem kayak is between 12 and 13 feet long, although some can measure as much as 14 feet.
Because of their added length, tandem kayaks are heavier and usually weigh around 65 pounds.
Sea or fishing kayaks are the longest kayaks, measuring between 12 and 17 feet. These kayaks also need to be more durable to take on the rougher waters found further out to sea.
These factors mean that sea kayaks can be quite heavy, and they often weigh between 80 and 120 pounds.
What the kayak is made of is the other deciding factor in how much it will weigh. Rotomolded kayaks are solid plastic kayaks.
They’re inexpensive to make and sell, so they’re a popular option for novice kayakers. These kayaks are the heaviest kayak option.
Thermoform kayaks aren’t a solid piece like rotomolded kayaks but are instead two pieces that fit together. These kayaks are lightweight and inexpensive, making them an excellent novice or intermediate kayaking option. They’re also surprisingly durable.
Fiberglass kayaks are about the same weight as a thermoform kayak and are lighter than a solid plastic kayak. They are quick in the water and offer a smooth kayaking experience. However, they can be a little bit more expensive.
Composite kayaks are made of fiberglass and another material, which could include graphite or Kevlar. These kayaks are very light and are quite easy to maneuver, but they are more expensive than other kayak types.
Wood kayaks are favored by many kayakers as they represent a traditional design and can be true works of art. Wood itself isn’t too heavy, but different types of wood offer different weights.
The material used to waterproof the wood can also add weight. Wood kayaks also tend to be fragile, and they can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
Inflatable kayaks are also available. These kayaks are easy to transport and are generally inexpensive. However, they’re more prone to damage.
Inflatable kayaks aren’t much lighter than other kayaks, either. They usually weigh between 20 and 50 pounds. You can easily tuck them inside your car, though, instead of carrying them on the roof, and storing these kayaks is also simpler.
For example, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak weighs 30.6 pounds and has a maximum weight limit of 400 pounds.
How do I find my kayak’s weight?
With the information above, you can make an informed estimate about how much your particular kayak weighs. If it’s short, it’ll weigh less, for example, but if it’s plastic, it might weigh a bit more. You may want to find the exact weight of your kayak, though, and there are a few ways to do that.
The easiest way to find the exact weight of your specific kayak is to search online. Type in the brand, model, or number for your kayak and look for weight, technical specifications, or more details. Most kayak manufacturers provide detailed information about each kayak’s specific dimensions and weight on their website.
For example, a quick search on Dickssportinggoods.com shows the Pelican Mustang Kayak having a weight of 39 pounds and a maximum capacity weight of 300 pounds.
If you’re shopping for a kayak, you can also check each kayak’s weight in the store. Surprisingly, most kayaks don’t have their weights printed on their signs or tags. However, a store associate can help you look through the kayak manual to find the weight.
Can my car roof rack hold a kayak?
How much a car roof rack can hold varies depending on the rack type, but most roof racks can hold up to 165 pounds. This means that you can use a roof rack to transport almost any type of kayak except the largest fishing or sea kayaks.