Reviews And Buying Tips For The Best Touring Kayak

The Best Touring Kayaks

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 8/13/2022

You are expanding your kayaking horizons may be necessary whenever paddling on your neighborhood lake or river seems like too much of a constraint for you. When you have the perfect touring kayak, even longer days on the water during which you cover many kilometers or overnight trips during which you sleep under the stars become more pleasurable and comfortable.

Touring kayaks are known for their swiftness, slick designs, and comfortable cockpits. Their hulls are constructed to allow them to bear the weight and travel the distance with relative ease. In this article, we will look at the many aspects that should be taken into consideration when purchasing a new best touring kayak, as well as examine the finest touring kayaks currently available.

The Best Touring Kayaks

Eddyline Fathom

Eddyline Fathom Kayak

  • Length: 16 feet 6 inches (503 cm)
  • Width: 22″ (56 cm)
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Weight: 50 lbs (22.5 kg)
  • The capacity is 340 pounds (154 kg)

The Eddyline Fathom is the company's most advanced touring kayak. It comes equipped with everything you need to succeed in sea kayaking, including all of the required components. The sturdy V-shaped hull has sharp chines and a rocker that is relatively shallow yet is nonetheless well-balanced. Your kayak will be able to track even the strongest wind while turning smoothly and maintaining a high degree of secondary stability due to all of these features working together.

Your tracking will improve with a skeg that drops down, which will help you stay straight even in rough seas and high gusts. Because you can adjust this, you will always have complete command over the amount of skeg you apply. You can store your camping gear in either of Fathom's two huge hatches, one located in the bow and the other at the stern of the vessel. A smaller day hatch is located behind the cockpit, and it is the most excellent location for storing tiny objects that need to be accessible quickly when traveling.

These watertight bulkheads separate the hatches from the cockpit so water cannot get in. The upper deck of the kayak has reflective deck lines around the edge, and these lines are bridged with bungee cords so that there is more storage space. These deck lines have several uses, including securing equipment, storing replacement paddles, and facilitating rescues.

When you get back into your kayak, you won't get hung up on any fittings on the upper deck because they are all recessed. It is possible to retract both handles into their respective housings. This enables you to paddle your kayak without creating additional drag in the water or having handles that flap about your upper deck. You will have the most room possible inside the cockpit using Eddyline's infinity seat system, which is both comfy and low profile. This kayak comes with a backrest as an essential feature, but the backband, which is more adaptable and connected, may be purchased as an additional accessory. Internally, there is a footrest that can be adjusted, which contributes to the support and connection.

Pros:

  • A high-end touring kayak that is also suitable for the ocean
  • Plenty of room for storing things.
  • Powerful while also receptive
  • Swift and sophisticated

Cons:

  • The narrow shape makes it unsteady for beginning paddlers.
  • Expensive

Delta Kayaks Delta 16

Delta Kayaks

  • Length is 16 feet (488 cm)
  • Width: 22″ (56 cm)
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Weight: 48 lbs (21 kg)
  • The capacity is 330 pounds (150 kg)

The Delta 16 is a touring kayak that belongs to Delta's high-end, top-of-the-line range. Compared to their mid-range counterparts, these kayaks are somewhat longer and thinner. Because of this, they can cover ground more quickly and are better able to perform movements in confined spaces.

Paddling a Delta 16 is more accessible thanks to its low rocker profile, which provides better traction on the water. This works well with the delineated keel line to ensure that you remain on the correct path throughout your tour. The Delta 16's waterline is thin and lengthy, allowing it to maintain speed while traveling through the water quickly. A press-lock mechanism and a sturdy exterior shell are included on each of the three hatches on the upper deck. Whether going out for the day or staying for the night, these hatches will keep your belongings safe and secure while you are on the water.

When you get back into your kayak from the top deck, the deck lines surrounding the top tier's exterior are recessed so that you won't get hung up on them. If you require a paddle float rescue, elevated lines behind the cockpit will allow you to fit your paddle through the opening easily. It is safe to store your regular paddle and spare paddle in the paddle parks located at the bow and stern of the vessel.

The backrest of the Contour II seating system may be adjusted in any way you choose. This offers a high amount of support in various situations, allowing you to maintain a comfortable position regardless of where you are on the water.

A skeg, often known as a rudder, may be installed as an optional addition.

Pros:

  • Sleek and speedy kayak
  • Seating that is both adjustable and supportive
  • Hardcovers with press-lock latches on the hatches

Cons:

  • Newcomers may have trouble maintaining their balance.
  • Rudders or skegs are supplementary.

Dagger Stratos 14.5

dagger-stratos-14.5

  • Length: 14 feet 6 inches (442 cm)
  • Width: 24.5″ (62 cm)
  • The polyethylene that has been rotomolded as the material
  • Weight: 57 lbs (26 kg)
  • The capacity is 315 pounds (143 kg)

The Stratos is a kayak designed to accommodate paddlers of varying skill levels. Compared to other touring kayaks, the middle part is noticeably broader and has a less pronounced v-shape. Because of this, it is more solid and forgiving to those who are just starting. Because of the sharp V-shapes at each wing end, the Stratos maintains its speed over water and tracks efficiently in the wind. When surfing, there is a small amount of rocker kick in the bow of the Stratos, which is just enough to keep the boat above the water. Because of this, it works very well in rock gardens and the ocean waves.

It is helpful to know that your kayak can tolerate some rough treatment if you want to use it in areas with rocks, such as in and around the rocks. Rotomolded polyethylene is used in the construction of the Stratos. It may be heavier than other kayaks, but knowing that your kayak is durable can remove some of the stress from your life.

Adjustable, supportive, and comfortable gear from Dagger is marketed under the ConTour brand name. The floating back band may be raised or lowered to any position to maximize comfort and circulation, and the seat system includes leg lifts. The outfitting of your kayak should consist of thigh braces, hip pads, and footrests to provide you the possible control over it.

You can steer in a straight course regardless of the direction the wind or current is blowing by using the height-adjustable TruTrack skeg system. Most of the storage space comprises two sizable and airtight hatches. Bungee cords are tied to the lines surrounding the upper deck to provide additional storage space and safety in the event a rescue is necessary.

Pros:

  • Molded from solid polyethylene.
  • Stable and forgiving for beginners
  • Outfitting that is both adjustable and connected

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Peak speed compared to others.

Riot Enduro 14 

Riot Enduro 14

  • Length: 11 feet 8 inches (355 cm)
  • Width: 27″ (69 cm)
  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 59 lbs (27 kg)
  • The capacity is 351 pounds (159 kg)

A broad and sturdy touring kayak, the Riot Enduro 14 is a kayak that, at first appearance, appears to be quite similar to a touring kayak. Beginners will love how stable the Enduro is whether they are launching or landing it because of its overall shape, which is ideal for them.

Although you probably won't be able to travel very far in this kayak, the fact that it's so roomy and comfy makes up for it. Because of the boat's spacious cockpit and adjustable Flex4 seat, you won't have trouble spending the entire day on the water. Because the utterly adjustable backrest and the extra thick seat pad are both intended to shed water, you won't spend the day sitting in a puddle even if you adjust them to their highest settings.

In the Enduro 14, the grooved hull and drop-down skeg system allow you to strike a balance between tracking and agility. It can handle a variety of circumstances and is one of the kayaks on this list that is most suited for paddling on rivers with a calm current.

When you're out on the water, having watertight hatches both in the front and back gives you plenty of places to keep your gear. You may store some objects close at hand by using the deck lines on the top of this kayak. A rod holder is located just below the cockpit on this boat. The Enduro is primarily designed as a touring kayak. Still, it also can function as a fishing kayak if you are willing to paddle a little further in search of the ideal fishing place.

Pros:

  • Plenty of room for storing things.
  • Covering that is resistant to water and is adjustable.
  • Rod holder for touring anglers
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • The short stature restricts the peak speed.
  • Tracking is accomplished mainly through the use of the skeg.
  • Heavy

Perception Kayak Carolina 14

Perception Kayak Carolina 14

  • Length is 14 feet (427 cm)
  • Width: 24.5″ (62 cm)
  • Material: rotomolded polyethylene.
  • Weight: 53 lbs (24 kg)
  • The capacity is 300 pounds (136 kg)

Perception The riding quality of the Carolina 14 is prioritized to be both pleasant and reliable. This steadiness begins the moment you step into the water and lasts for the entirety of your adventure. The Carolina 14 is a versatile kayak that can easily accommodate bigger paddlers and functions well in various settings and kinds of water. The keels at both ends of the hull are distinct, and the rocker profile is shallow. The hull has a reasonable length overall. Because of its shape, the Carolina 14 sailboat tracks well and turns gently. There is a possibility that it is not the longest or the quickest kayak on our list; nonetheless, it strikes a balance between speed and comfort, allowing you to spend extended periods on the water.

Perception Kayaks offers one of the touring choirs with the most adjustability and is called the Zone DLX sitting system. Adjustable tilt is available for the seat base, and the backrest can be adjusted in all directions (forwards, backward, forwards, and backward). You can then use this to find the optimal posture to maintain your connection and control, enhance your comfort, and remain outside for longer. The storage space of the Carolina 14 is divided between two watertight hatches. Deck lines and bungee cords have been installed for protection and extra storage space. You will have better control over your turning and tracking if you install a rudder in this kayak.

Pros:

  • Kayaks are easy to paddle, sturdy, comfortable, and ideal for beginners.
  • Adaptable to a variety of different kinds of water
  • Strong enough to resist the wear and tear of prolonged use

Cons:

  • The flatter middle section limits the peak speed.

Eddyline Equinox

eddyline Equinox 14 'de

  • Length is 14 feet (427 cm)
  • Width: 25″ (63 cm)
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Weight: 45 lbs (20 kg)
  • The capacity is 360 pounds (163 kg)

The Eddyline Equinox is a hybrid kayak that combines the stability and breadth of a recreational kayak with the hull form and speed of a genuine sea kayak. It's easy to get in and out of this kayak and launch and land it. But don't let that deceive you; it can still cover a lot of territory in a short amount of time and navigate through the wind with relative ease.

The Equinox is a lightweight kayak that is made from ABS plastic. Despite its plastic construction, it offers the rigidity and reactivity you expect from a fiberglass kayak. In contrast to the Fathom, the Equinox is more suitable for short travels on lakes and rivers that move slowly rather than extended journeys further out to sea. The lower stature and additional rocker make it easier to bounce over waves, but they also somewhat reduce the board's maximum speed and tracking skills.

The Infinity seating mechanism allows for simple adjustability by sliding forwards and backward and then locking into place in your chosen position. The Equinox comes equipped with a backrest out of the box, but you have the option to replace it with a backband if you prefer. Footrests that may be adjusted inside the kayak keep you firmly planted in your seat.

There is a large amount of room available for storing your belongings in the boat's bow and stern storage hatches. Deck lines and bungee cords with recessed connection points provide additional storage space free of snags.

Pros:

  • An excellent touring kayak that excels in all aspects
  • Stable and an excellent choice for paddlers just starting.
  • A satisfactory degree of tracking

Cons:

  • No skeg or rudder system
  • Expensive

Sea Eagle 393RL

Sea Eagle 393RL

  • The length is 12 ft 10 in (391 cm)
  • Width: 28″ (71 cm)
  • Fabricated using 1100 Decitex Reinforced Material
  • Weight: 35 lbs (16 kg)
  • The capacity is 500 pounds (227 kg)

It has been several years since there was a significant advancement in the field of inflatable kayaks. Due to advances in both technology and design, recreational inflatable boats have evolved into competent alternatives to traditional touring kayaks. With their RazorLite series, Sea Eagle has established itself as the industry leader in this design.

The Sea Eagle 393RL may be the shortest model in the series, but with over 13 feet in length, it can still move quickly and gracefully through the water. The entire kayak is constructed using the drop stitch technique, enabling it to have a more significant pressure applied during inflation. Inflatable kayaks with high pressure have a performance comparable to that of plastic kayaks; they are responsive, quick, and can track effectively in the wind.

This tracking is even more compared to a hardshell kayak thanks to the inclusion of a reinforced plastic bow and keel line to the 393 RL. If you are heading out in windy weather, it will be helpful if the skeg at the back of the boat is detachable and has a swept-back profile. As a kayak of its size, the 393 RL is on the narrow side of our list of best inflatable kayaks. Even though it has a broader width than some other kayaks on our list, as a result of its design, it may not be as stable as novice paddlers would like it to be because it was created with intermediate paddlers in mind.

The portability and storage simplicity of this inflatable kayak are two of the most significant benefits it offers. After being defeated, the 393 RL is a compact item that is not overly bulky, making it easy to store in the car's trunk or a closet at home. The time required for inflation is less than seven minutes.

Because the 393 RL is an open-top style kayak, you will not have the same level of protection in the cockpit as you would with the other kayaks on our list. Spray skirts at the ends of the kayak do their part to reduce the water that may enter the vessel, and drain bungs make it possible to empty the kayak while you paddle it. To connect the detachable seat to the detachable seat, four D-rings are installed.

Pros:

  • High-speed and accurate tracking for an inflatable.
  • Simple to both store and move around
  • Adaptable to a wide variety of water conditions and versatile in its use

Cons:

  • Kayaks with open deck designs do not provide the same amount of protection from the elements.
  • Some of the other kayaks on our list are better suited to extended paddles and carrying much gear.

Oru Kayak Coast XT

oru kayak

  • Length is 16 feet (488 cm)
  • Width: 25″ (64 cm)
  • Material: Polypropylene with a Corrugated Surface
  • Weight: 36 lbs (16 kg)
  • The capacity is 400 pounds (181 kg)

The Oru Kayak Coast XT is a folding kayak that, when packed up, may take up as much space as a big suitcase. When it's time to transport this kayak, it can be folded up and stowed away in the hold of an airline or the trunk of your vehicle. You may even hike into distant areas if you get the kayak pack as an additional accessory to go along with this kayak.

The Coast XT feels more like a rigid kayak once it has been fully unfolded and assembled than a folding kayak. Complete outfitting consists of everything from a seat with a backrest to footpegs, thigh braces, and more. There are deck lines and bungee cords on the upper deck, which serve as safety features and provide additional space for storage.

Extruded polypropylene with a double layer is used in the production of Coast XT. It will not be damaged even if it slides through rocks and beaches. The new and enhanced zipper channel closing mechanism requires less time to assemble, allowing you to spend less time setting up and more time enjoying the water.

The Coast XP has enough tracking through the water thanks to its keel line and minimal rocker profile. It has a lower weight than the other kayaks on our list, and thus it will be more susceptible to the effects of the wind. Removable bulkheads provide the kayak with greater rigidity, help you organize your internal gear, and reduce the amount of water entering the kayak if it capsizes. Although these bulkheads are not entirely waterproof, they will slow down the rate at which your kayak is filled with water. Coast XP is compatible with an Oru spray skirt, and it even has the capability of rolling if it capsizes.

Pros:

  • It is simple to transport.
  • Lightweight
  • High storage capacity and located inside

Cons:

  • Its weight can make it more susceptible to the effects of the wind.
  • There aren't any watertight bulkheads.

Oru Kayak Foldable Kayak - Stable, Lightweight Folding Kayaks
4.3/5
98%
Light weight
92%
Easy to assemble
88%
Portability
84%
Comfort
80%
Value for money
58%
Durability

What Exactly Is A Touring Kayak, And Where Are Some Of The Best Places To Paddle One?

What is a touring kayak and where can you paddle one?

Touring kayaks are comparable to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in kayaking. These kayaks are designed to perform well in various water conditions, and these kayaks are better suited to white water or open ocean conditions. Still, most touring kayaks are designed to be used on calm rivers, open water in inland areas, and coastal regions. This means you are free to paddle a touring kayak virtually anywhere you please. They come with several safety features, some of which we will discuss shortly, and storage for your gear. Your first step toward overnight and expedition kayaking should be in a touring kayak.

What Are The Primary Distinctions Between Touring Kayaks And Sea Kayaks?

Sometimes it can be challenging to differentiate between a touring kayak and a sea kayak, and this may be because, deep down, they both consider themselves to be the same thing.

Touring kayaks are explicitly made for navigating open water, which is analogous to how some touring kayaks are made to handle more challenging white water conditions. When considering sea kayaks, it may be easiest to consider them touring kayaks with additional features. Due to the presence of these components, sea kayaks are suitable for use in more hazardous conditions, including open water.

What Distinguishes A Kayak Designed For Touring From Other Types?

What Distinguishes A Kayak Designed Touring From Other Types?

There are many different models of touring kayaks, each with its unique hull shape. Most touring kayaks, if not all of them, will have a few qualities in common.

V-Shaped Hull

V-Shaped Hull

The hull of most touring kayaks is either entirely or partially shaped like a v. A kayak with a noticeable keel line will track better in the wind or stream, requiring you to invest less energy on corrective strokes. You can spend more time paddling and less time correcting your course. A hull with a complete V-shaped bottom is more efficient than a hull with a flatter bottom. Kayaks with a V-shaped hull may reach higher peak speeds and go more effortlessly over the water. However, a V-shaped hull has limited primary stability, and beginners may discover that they have a sense of instability even when they are not moving.

Long Keel Line

There is a common perception that shorter kayaks are faster than longer kayaks, although this is not always the case. The form of the hull will influence this to some degree. Touring kayaks typically range from 12 to 16 feet and are known to be among the quickest kayaks available today. Touring kayaks suitable for beginners usually measure between 12 and 14 feet in length and are generally broader than their 16-foot-long cousins. Your kayak's length has an impact on its speed, capacity, and storage space, in addition to its stability. Additionally, it affects the boat's tracking, but the hull shape and rocker primarily determine this.

Chines

Chines are the pieces of your kayak that link the hull to the sidewalls. Kayaks can be regarded as having either a firm or a soft chine, depending on their construction. When they are lying flat and immobile, hard-chined kayaks have a feeling that they are more squared off and less steady. Hard-chined kayaks provide more secondary stability, allowing paddlers to lean further into turns without tipping over. Higher-end touring kayaks with hulls in the form of a sharp v have this characteristic.

Kayaks with soft chine lines give the impression of being more steady and forgiving. Rather than abruptly shifting between being flat and on edge, they typically roll from side to side. Touring kayaks with soft chines are often more suitable for open water excursions of shorter duration and rivers with a slower current.

Rocker

A kayak's rocker refers to the amount of curve from front to rear. A kayak with a low rocker is more like a flatboat, whereas a kayak with a high rocker has more of a banana shape. The rocker profile of many touring kayaks is relatively flat. This allows the kayak's bow to have a better hold on the water, allowing it to track more successfully regardless of whether there is a wind or a current.

When there are waves or currents, a kayak with a more excellent rocker may perform better. They have a greater riding height, a smoother ride over waves, and better maneuverability in confined spaces. A more significant amount of rocker is typically seen in touring kayaks intended for use on rivers or in ocean waves.

What Kind Of Material Is A Touring Kayak Constructed Out Of?

What Kind Of Material Is A Touring Kayak Constructed Out Of?

Polyethylene

Rotomolded polyethylene kayaks are the most durable touring kayaks on the market; nevertheless, they are also the heaviest. Plastic is the least expensive material used to manufacture kayaks. As a result, beginning and intermediate paddlers most frequently go for plastic kayaks as their vessel of choice.

There is a wide variety of touring kayaks made of plastic. They are rugged enough to survive hard beach landings, rapids in rivers with high water levels, and waves in the ocean. However, the weight will become more evident throughout lengthier excursions.

ABS

ABS

A piece of ABS plastic is heated and molded into a plug shape after it has been covered with acrylic. In comparison to polyethylene, ABS is not only more lightweight but also more long-lasting. However, it is not as well adapted to landing on beaches or in settings with many rocks. When it comes to touring kayaks, especially intermediate and high-end models, ABS is by far the most popular material choice. It is both rigid and sensitive enough to be utilized in conditions that might be difficult. Because of its lightweight, the ABS kayak allows its users to paddle for an entire day without fatigue.

Composites

There are several different ways that carbon, kevlar, and fiberglass may be combined to produce kayaks that are both incredibly rigid and very lightweight. However, they are costly, and their durability is inferior to that of ABS versions. The genuine fans are the ones who use composite kayaks the most since they are the only ones who can justify the price tag with their consistent use in challenging settings.

Comfort Is Essential

Comfort Is Essential

A kayak that allows you to become comfortable is essential for long days on the lake. A touring kayak can be equipped in various ways, but in most cases, they include a cushioned seat, a backrest or backband, thigh braces of some form, and footrests. You may improve your control of the kayak without sacrificing comfort by purchasing outfitting that is of a higher quality and completely customizable. However, some versions emphasize the flexibility of movement, reducing the amount of outfitting so that you may move your legs freely and keep the blood flowing when paddling.

In either case, you must pick a kayak that fits your body well and that you can spend extended amounts of time in. Features that allow ventilation on the seats and backband, a waterproof seal, and a spray skirt can be advantageous and prevent you from being overheated or from spending the entire day sitting in a puddle.

Storing Equipment In Your Touring Kayak

Storing Equipment In Your Touring Kayak

Day trips and excursions that last more than one day require you to bring a certain quantity of gear along with you. Most touring kayaks include anything from one to three waterproof hatches that you can use to store your equipment and ensure that it stays dry. These are separated from one another by bulkheads, which we shall investigate in a moment.

On the upper deck, you may often keep more miniature goods and those you need within easy reach, such as bilge pumps, spare paddles, and sponges. The bungee cord will usually span between the deck lines to hold your equipment in its current location.

Keep in mind that whatever you carry contributes to your weight. A kayak's carrying capacity considers the paddler and anything else they have with them. If you want to maximize the performance of your kayak and keep it performing at its best, you should never weigh more than 70 percent of its maximum capacity.

Bulkheads

Bulkheads kayakes

Your bulkheads that separate your storage rooms and your cockpit serve a vitally important purpose. If you flip your kayak and swim to safety, the watertight bulkheads will prevent the rest of the boat from becoming submerged in water if you capsize it.

If your bulkheads are wholly watertight and your hatches are sealed, the only area of your kayak that will fill with water is the cockpit. If your bulkheads are not entirely waterproof, the water will leak through the hatches. You can climb back into your kayak by performing a self-rescue maneuver or enlisting another kayaker's assistance. Once safely seated in your kayak, you can pump the water out of the cockpit and continue paddling.

Your entire kayak will capsize if it does not have watertight bulkheads, and it will be more challenging to rescue you. Without sturdy and waterproof bulkheads, it isn't straightforward to perform self-rescues.

Skegs Or Rudders

Skegs Or Rudders

Skegs and rudders are two standard pieces of equipment found on touring kayaks. Skegs are affixed to the bottom of the best touring kayak to improve their tracking ability. These may be raised or lowered from the cockpit, allowing you to steer your kayak even when the wind blows in the other direction.

Rudders enable you to turn your kayak without interrupting your stride while paddling it. To turn the rudder and the kayak, you must pedal with your feet to operate these controls. It is normal to adjust the rudders upward or downward, and if they are kept in the center position, it will also aid tracking.