When my daughter turned 13 she asked me, “How much do kayaks weigh?” Because I’d told her she’d have to carry and launch it all by herself. So we did a ton of research to find out just how heavy kayaks are.
So how much do kayaks weigh? The average recreational kayak weighs 35 pounds (16kg) for a single kayak, 65 pounds (27 kg) for a tandem kayak, and fishing kayaks can get up to over 120 pounds (54 kg). Most kayaks weigh anywhere from 20 pounds (9 kg) to over 100 pounds (45 kg).
Obviously the weight of your kayak will depend on what you plan to use it for as well as several other things. So, study your options, because weight’s a big factor in the everyday use of your kayak. At the end of a tough day paddling, you might not want to lug 50 pounds around by yourself. Or worse, end up dragging your nice new kayak on the ground because it’s too heavy.
I’ve included the weights of popular picks in each of the most common kayak types to get you started.
How Construction Affects Kayak Weight
It helps to understand the effect that constructions materials have on kayak weight. Lighter isn’t always necessarily better. What your kayak’s made of will affect not only it’s weight but it’s durability as well.
There are four basic ways to build a modern kayak. Here’s how they affect kayak weight:
- Rotomolded kayak weight – Rotomolded kayaks are solid, one-piece plastic molded kayaks. They’re built by melting plastic pellets and molding them into the shape of a kayak. They’re the cheapest kayaks to make, but they’re also the heaviest kayaks to carry and paddle.
- Thermoform kayak weight – These kayaks are molded as two separate pieces and then sandwiched together top and bottom. They’re almost as light as fiberglass composite kayaks, just about as durable as one-piece rotomolded kayaks, and they’re inexpensive. It makes them a popular choice for beginners who want a versatile, affordable and medium-weighted kayak.
- Fiberglass/composite kayak weight – Fiberglass, kevlar and graphite composite kayaks are lighter than rotomolded kayaks and very smooth and fast in the water. But less weight and better performance come at a price. They’re more expensive.
- Wood kayak weight – Depending on the type of wood and the fiberglass resin used to waterproof them, wood kayaks can be heavy. Wood is a kayak purists material and though beautiful and relatively lightweight, they’re expensive to build and easily damaged.
If you’re just starting out, stick with thermoform and rotomolded kayaks for weight, durability, and price.
How to Find a Kayak’s Weight
You can usually find the weight of any kayak by going to the manufacturer’s website and navigating to the page for a particular kayak model. If the weight numbers aren’t right on the front page of details for an individual kayak, look for a section that says something like “More Details” or “Specs” or “Technical Specifications”. The weight number should be pretty easy to find there.
In a Store
In researching this article I shopped at several brick and mortar stores to see if I could find kayak weights printed on the boats. Oftentimes they didn’t list the weight on the kayak’s price tag. I ended up pulling out my mobile phone and searching for the kayak weight numbers online.
A better way would be to ask a sales associate if you can see the manual that came with the kayak. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they most stores had the manuals for individual kayaks in their warehouse.
Single Kayak Weight
How much does a single kayak weigh? A single kayak weighs roughly 35 pounds. Typical single kayaks weigh anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds, depending on building materials and accessories they come with.
Your first kayak is most likely going to be a single kayak and you’ll probably want to ask yourself a couple of questions. Obviously the first is, “How much does it cost?” But it’s more important to figure out how much a kayak weighs.
Because you’ll probably spend as much time carrying your kayak to and from the water, lifting it up over your head, and hoisting it on and off the roof of your car as you will paddling it.
Here are few examples of how much a single kayak weighs:
- 26 pounds (12kg) – Perception Kayaks Prodigy XS Weight
- 35 pounds (16kg) – Field & Stream Kayaks Blade 80 Weight
- 36 pounds (16kg) – Pelican Kayaks Trailblazer 100 NXT Weight
- 36 pounds (16kg) – Perception Kayaks Tribute 10.0 Weight
- 39 pounds (17kg) – Pelican Kayaks Mustang 100X Weight
- 40 pounds (18kg) – Pelican Kayaks Bandit NXT 100 Weight
- 44 pounds (20kg) – Perception Kayaks Swifty 9.5 Weight
- 45 pounds (20kg) – Field & Stream Kayaks Blade 9.7 Weight
Tandem Kayak Weight
How much does a tandem kayak weigh? The average tandem kayak weighs approximately 65 pounds. Most tandem kayaks weigh between 50 pounds on the light end to around 75 pounds on the heavier end.
If you’ve got a significant other, best buddy, or just someone you’d like to kayak with, the two of you can share the duty and weight of carrying a tandem (two-person) kayak to and from the water. Because tandem kayaks will be a bit heavier than solo kayaks, but when you split that weight between two people, I’ve actually found it to be an easier haul.
Examples of how much a tandem kayak weighs:
- 57 pounds (26kg) – Ocean Kayaks Malibu Two Tandem Weight
- 67 pounds (30kg) – Perception Kayaks Tribe Tandem – 13.5 Weight
- 70 pounds (32kg) – Sun Dolphin Kayaks Bali 13.5 SS Tandem Weight
- 72 pounds (32kg) – Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Ocean Weight
- 73 pounds (33kg) – Pelican Kayaks Sentinel 130X Tandem Weight
- 78 pounds (35kg) – Perception Kayaks Rambler Tandem – 13.5 Weight
- 84 pounds (38kg) – Lifetime Kayaks Emotion Spitfire 12T Tandem Weight
Fishing Kayak Weight
How much does a fishing kayak weigh? Fishing kayaks can weigh anywhere from 35 pounds on the light, budget-end of the spectrum to over 120 pounds and up. Heavier, more feature-rich, and more expensive fishing kayaks can get up to over 225 pounds.
At a certain weight, around 60 pounds in a solo fishing kayak, you’ll have to start looking into a kayak cart to transport heavier fishing kayaks to and from the water. Because even if you could lift all that weight over your head, you’re going to have loose fishing gear and tackle that will add weight and clutter to your kayak.
Here are a few examples of how much fishing kayaks weigh:
- 45 pounds (20kg) – Perception Kayaks Sound 10.5 Fishing Weight
- 47 pounds (21kg) – Ocean Kayaks Caper Angler Weight
- 55 pounds (25kg) – Pelican Kayaks Strike 120X Angler Weight
- 60 pounds (27kg) – Field & Stream Kayaks 12′ Eagle Run Weight
- 70 pounds (32kg) – Ocean Kayaks Trident 13 Angler Weight
- 85 pounds (38kg) – Jackson Kayaks Cuda HD Fishing Weight
- 103 pounds (46kg) – Hobie Kayaks Mirage Compass Fishing Weight
- 129 pounds (58kg) – Hobie Kayaks Mirage Pro Angler 12 Weight
Inflatable Kayak Weight
How much does an inflatable kayak weigh? A typical inflatable kayak weighs approximately 30 pounds. An inflatable kayak can weigh anywhere from under 20 pounds for an inexpensive inflatable kayak to well over 50 pounds for more durable and reliable inflatable kayaks. It all depends on the quality of construction, the materials used, and the size of the kayak when it’s inflated.
As you’d expect, the lighter the inflatable kayak is the more prone it is to failure—materials ripping, coming unglued, or stitching coming loose. Don’t get me wrong, there are some excellent inflatable kayaks on the market. It’s just that, from my research regarding quality inflatable kayaks, you aren’t going to save that much weight with an inflatable kayak.
What you’re really saving with an inflatable kayak is space. Because in order to make a durable, reliable, and compact-portable kayak, manufacturers have to use materials with some substance to them. And that makes them heavier than you’d think.
Take a look…
Examples of how much inflatable kayaks weigh:
- 18 pounds (8.0kg) – Goplus Inflatable Kayak’s Weight
- 26 pounds (12.0kg) – Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak’s Weight
- 26 pounds (12.0kg) – Advanced Elements SPORT Inflatable Kayak’s Weight
- 27 pounds (12.5kg) – Driftsun Voyager 2-Person Inflatable Kayak’s Weight
- 28 pounds (12.5kg) – Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Kayak’s Weight
- 31 pounds (14.0kg) – Intex Explorer K2 Tandem Inflatable
- 39 pounds (17.5kg) – Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Fishing Kayak’s Weight
- 52 pounds (23.5kg) – Advanced Elements Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak’s Weight
Pelican Kayak Weights
How much does a Pelican kayak weigh? Most Pelican kayaks weigh close to 40 pounds, a great weight for beginners. Pelican Kayaks can weigh anywhere from 19 pounds to 78 pounds depending on size, weight limits, and function.
After looking up the weight specs on each and every one of the kayaks on Pelican’s website, I can tell you that Pelican hits just about every number between their lightest weight (19 pounds) and the heaviest kayak they produce (78 pounds).
As one of the most popular and affordable kayak brands, many Pelican kayaks weigh right in the sweet spot for recreational solo, sit-inside, sit on top, tandem, and entry-level fishing kayaks. That sweet spot, and yes this is totally subjective, is around 40 pounds.
I included just about every kayak that Pelican manufactures in this list, just to give you an idea of the wide array of weight choices you have if you decide Pelican is your brand of kayak.
Examples of how much Pelican kayaks weigh:
- 19 pounds (8.5kg) – Pelican SOLO (youth)
- 27 pounds (12.5kg) – Pelican ARGO 80X
- 34 pounds (15.5kg) – Pelican ATHENA 100XP
- 35 pounds (16.0kg) – Pelican TRAILBLAZER 100 NXT
- 36 pounds (15.5kg) – Pelican ARGO 100X
- 37 pounds (17.0kg) – Pelican ARGO 100X EXO
- 38 pounds (17.0kg) – Pelican COVE 100XP
- 39 pounds (17.5kg) – Pelican SPRINT 106XP
- 40 pounds (18.0kg) – Pelican ARGO 100XP
- 41 pounds (18.5kg) – Pelican SPRINT 100XR
- 41 pounds (18.5kg) – Pelican ARGO 100XR
- 41 pounds (18.5kg) – Pelican ARGO 100XP ANGLER
- 43 pounds (19.5kg) – Pelican SPRINT 120DT
- 45 pounds (20.5kg) – Pelican SENTINEL 100X ANGLER
- 48 pounds (22.0kg) – Pelican ARGO 120XP
- 49 pounds (22.0kg) – Pelican ICON 100XP ANGLER
- 50 pounds (22.5kg) – Pelican SENTINEL 100XR ANGLER
- 51 pounds (23.0kg) – Pelican SPRINT 120XR
- 54 pounds (24.5kg) – Pelican THE CATCH 100
- 55 pounds (25.0kg) – Pelican SPRINT 140DT
- 58 pounds (26.5kg) – Pelican SENTINEL 120XR ANGLER
- 66 pounds (30.0kg) – Pelican ARGO 136X TANDEM
- 67 pounds (30.5kg) – Pelican ARGO 136XP TANDEM
- 69 pounds (31.5kg) – Pelican THE CATCH 120
- 73 pounds (33.0kg) – Pelican SENTINEL 130X TANDEM
- 78 pounds (35.5kg) – Pelican THE CATCH 130 HYDRYVE
Hobie Kayak Weights
How much does a Hobie kayak weigh? Hobie kayaks weigh more than the average recreational kayak. All of them are over 60 pounds and at the high end, fully rigged with fishing accessories and gear, they can weigh as much as 240 pounds.
Hobie kayaks are in a class by themselves. Hobie manufactures and sells just about every type of kayak there is in every weight you could imagine. Island outrigger catamaran, recreational paddle, pro fishing, and inflatable and hard-shell pedal kayaks all run the spectrum from light to heavy to heaviest.
Here are some examples of how much Hobie kayaks weigh:
- 75 pounds (34.0kg) – Hobie MIRAGE PASSPORT fully rigged
- 87 pounds (39.5kg) – Hobie Mirage Outback Fishing Kayak
- 91 pounds (41.5kg) – Hobie Mirage Revolution 13
- 103 pounds (46.5kg) – Hobie Mirage Compass Fishing Kayak
- 111 pounds (50.5kg) – Hobie MIRAGE I14T inflatable fully rigged
- 129 pounds (58.5kg) – Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12
- 148 pounds (67.0kg) – Hobie MIRAGE PRO ANGLER 14 WITH 360 DRIVE fully rigged
- 240 pounds (109.0kg) – Hobie MIRAGE TANDEM ISLAND outrigger kayak
How Heavy is a Kayak in KG?
Kayak websites sometimes forget to include a kayak’s weight in kilograms (kg). (I’ve been guilty) The simple formula if you run across that problem is:
- 1 pound equals 0.453592 kg or…
- The way I remember it is to estimate that a kayak in kg is a little less than half the poundage of a kayak.
- So a 30 pound kayak would be roughly 14 kg. (Actually 13.6078 but I was close!)
Kayak Weight Matters, But Not as Much as You Think
All this talk about kayak weight misses a little bit of the point though. Because yes, weight is important. But how heavy a kayak is isn’t the only thing to consider when you’re looking for a kayak that’s the right size for you.
Of course you’ve got to be able to carry your kayak to and from whatever water you want to paddle, but once on the water, weight plays an important role in:
- Buoyancy – how much weight your kayak can support and how well it floats. Smaller, shorter, kayaks support less cargo weight.
- Stability – shorter and lighter kayaks are notoriously “squirrelly” to paddle.
- Cargo space – the shorter and lighter you go with your kayak, the less room you’ll have to stow away gear.
So, by all means choose a kayak with a weight that’s light enough for you to carry and launch, but keep in mind what you’ll be using it for. A couple extra pounds of kayak weight might just get you a much more versatile boat.