Top 10 Best Kayaks for Camping

Kayaks are a great way to enjoy the outdoors, and campers know this better than anyone. There is nothing quite like spending a few days camping, kayaking, and fishing in remote lakes and streams. But in order to have the best experience possible, you need to have the best kayak for camping.

There are many different types of kayaks on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. In this article, we will help you choose the best kayak for camping by discussing the different types of kayaks and their features.

We will also provide a buyer’s guide that covers what to look for when choosing a kayak, as well as some tips on how to care for your kayak.

Kayak and a camping tent

Top 10 Best Kayaks for Camping

Camping kayaks are a different breed of kayak altogether. While regular kayaks are best for navigating calm waters and/or fishing, camping kayaks are best for traversing rivers and streams, as well as lakes and ponds. So, if you’re looking for the best camping kayak that can handle a bit of everything, check out the list below.

Oru Kayak Beach LT

The best camping kayak for those who want a little bit of everything, the Oru Kayak Beach LT is great for both novice and experienced kayakers alike. It’s also one of the most versatile camping kayaks on the market, as it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater environments.

The Oru Kayak is made of heavy-duty polyethylene and offers a UV treatment of 10 years. Additionally, it has 300 pounds weight capacity and can accommodate up to two people.


  • Weighs only 26 pounds
  • Can accommodate up to 300 pounds
  • 12 feet long and 28-inch wide
  • Comes with a pump, carry bag, and repair kit


  • Extremely lightweight and easily transportable
  • Very versatile and can be used in a variety of different environments
  • Stable and easy to control


  • Some users have reported that the included pump is not very effective

BKC Angler Touring 14.75-FT Kayak

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line kayak for camping trips, the BKC Angler Touring 14.75-FT Kayak is a great option. This kayak is designed for stability and comfort, with a roomy cockpit and plenty of storage space. It also comes with a fishing rod holder and fish finder, making it the perfect kayak for anglers.

The BKC Angler Touring 14.75-FT Kayak is an excellent choice for serious campers who want a high-quality kayak that can handle all their gear. Furthermore, it’s one of the best kayaks for fishing, thanks to its thoughtful design features.


  • 14.75-foot length provides stability and roominess
  • Comes with a fishing rod holder and fish finder
  • Plenty of storage space for gear
  • Ideal for serious campers and anglers


  • Made of polyethylene for durability
  • Weight capacity: 330 pounds
  • UV-resistant and user-friendly
  • Features rudder system for easy maneuvering


  • Some users find the seat uncomfortable
  • Can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces

Pelican Maxim 100X

The Pelican Maxim 100X is a versatile kayak that’s great for both beginners and experienced kayakers alike. It’s stable and easy to maneuver, making it a great choice for camping trips. It has sufficient storage room for all your camping gear, and the included paddles make it easy to get around.

The Maxim 100X is made of high-quality materials, and it’s built to last. It’s also comfortable to sit in, thanks to the padded seat and adjustable footrests. Additionally, it has various features, such as a water bottle holder and a cockpit table for your convenience.

If you’re looking for a great all-around kayak for camping trips, the Pelican Maxim 100X is a great choice. It’s comfortable, stable, and easy to use, and it comes with everything you need to get started.


  • Molded footrests
  • Paddle holder
  • Water bottle holder
  • Cockpit table
  • Weighs 39 pounds
  • Capacity: 275 pounds


  • Stable and easy to maneuver
  • Quality construction
  • Comfortable seat and footrests


  • Seat is not as adjustable as to its competitors

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

The Intex Excursion Pro is a great choice for campers who want a kayak that’s durable and easy to use. It’s made from high-quality materials, and it can hold up to 400 pounds. It also comes with two paddles, a foot pump, and a repair kit, so you’re all set for your camping trip.

The Excursion Pro is easy to inflate and deflate, and it’s also lightweight and easy to transport. It has a comfortable seat with an adjustable backrest, and the footrests are also adjustable. Additionally, it has a storage compartment for your gear, and the included bungee cords help keep everything in place.


  • Holds up to 400 pounds
  • Comes with paddles, foot pump, and repair kit
  • Comfortable seat with adjustable backrest
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Storage compartment
  • Bungee cords included


  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight
  • Ease of transport
  • Comfortable seat


  • Not suitable for speed

Wilderness Systems Tempest 170

Do you want a kayak that is best for both speed and maneuverability? The Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 is the best camping kayak for those who desire both qualities. It has a length of 17 feet and a width of only 22 inches. The kayak also weighs only 57 pounds, making it one of the lightest kayaks on the market.

The Tempest 170 is best for lakes and rivers. If you are looking for a kayak to take on longer trips, this is an excellent option for you. It has 2 dry storage hatches and 4 bungee straps to help you secure your gear. The kayak also has a rudder, which makes it easier to control in windy conditions.


  • Made from sturdy polyethylene
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • Thigh braces with padding


  • Very stable
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Very comfortable seat
  • Lightweight
  • Rudder for easier control
  • Dry storage hatches


  • 17′ long not as easy to handle for novice kayakers

Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-In Kayak

The Sun Dolphin Aruba is an excellent option for anyone looking for a sit-in kayak that’s easy to maneuver and transport. It’s made of durable polyethylene and has a comfortable seat with adjustable footrests.

The Aruba also features two watertight compartments as well as a PAC (Portable Accessory Carrier), which is great for storing camping gear or other supplies. In addition, the kayak has a weight capacity of 395 pounds, making it great for larger individuals or those who want to bring along extra gear.

The kayak also has two rod holders, perfect for fishing trips. The Aruba is best for river travel and lakes and weighs only 47 pounds, making it one of the lightest kayaks on the market.


  • Made from durable polyethylene
  • Weight capacity: 395 pounds
  • Comfortable seat with adjustable footrests
  • PAC (Portable Accessory Carrier)
  • Two rod holders


  • Lightweight
  • Can easily transport
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Comfortable seat with adjustable footrests
  • Great for larger individuals or those who want to bring extra gear
  • Two watertight compartments


  • Difficult to track on coastal or open waters


The best kayak for camping has a variety of features that make it perfect for a day on the lake or river. The ADVANCED ELEMENTS Straightedge 2 is made with an aluminum frame and sturdy PVC tarpaulin skin that is resistant to punctures. The kayak also has an inflatable seat and backrest for comfort while paddling.

Furthermore, this particular kayak has 500 pounds weight capacity, making it great for couples or families who want to enjoy a day kayaking on the water together. Most importantly, the Straightedge 2 comes with a reinforced bow seam that allows for greater durability and stability while on the water.


  • Molded rubber handles and rod holders
  • Mesh pocket
  • Deck lacing with a bungee cord
  • Enhanced welded seams and inflation valves
  • Adjustable back support


  • Sturdy and durable
  • Adjustable and comfortable seats
  • Suitable for tall paddlers


  • No paddles or pump

Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV

The Edge is a fantastic option for a leisurely float on flat waters. Constructed from sturdy polyethylene, the 14-foot, 5-inch kayak weighs 60 pounds and can accommodate paddlers up to 325 pounds.

The Edge is also outfitted with a variety of convenient features, including two sealed storage compartments, adjustable footpegs, and padded seatbacks. Furthermore, it comes with built-in thigh braces to provide paddlers with added support and comfort.

The Edge is comfortable, stable, and easy to maneuver – perfect for a day of fishing or exploring.


  • Weight: 60 lbs.
  • Capacity: 325 lbs.
  • Material: High-density Polyethylene
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Features a bungee storage


  • Hull is sturdy and resistant to knocks
  • Adjustable seats for enhanced comfort
  • Deployable skeg for improved tracking


  • Not a good choice for rough conditions because it isn’t as effective in flat waters

Ocean Kayak Zest Two Expedition Tandem

If you’re planning on spending multiple days out on the water, or if you just want a kayak that can comfortably accommodate two people, then the Ocean Kayak Zest Two Expedition Tandem is the best option for camping.

This kayak is extremely stable and has plenty of room for all your gear, making it perfect for longer camping trips.

The Zest Two Tandem is made from heavy-duty polyethylene, so it’s built to last. Also, it has a variety of features that make it perfect for camping, including molded cup holders, paddle holders, molded footwells, and a gear storage area.

In addition to that, the kayak comes with two comfortable padded seats and a set of inflatable kayak paddles.


  • Heavy-duty polyethylene construction
  • Side-mounted handles
  • Kayak Weight: 75 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 600 pounds


  • Perfect for longer camping trips
  • Sufficient storage space
  • Child and pet friendly
  • Top speed and excellent tracking
  • High maximum weight capacity


  • Heavy and difficult to transport by yourself
  • Difficult to maneuver out of water
  • Not suitable for smaller waterways

Perception Pescador Pro 12

Last but certainly not the least, we have the Perception Pescador Pro 12 on our list. It’s a great option for both beginners and experienced kayakers alike. It has a comfortable sit-on-top design and plenty of storage space for all your camping gear. Plus, it’s perfect for calm coastal and slow-moving waters.

The Pescador Pro 12 boasts a lawn chair-style seat that is both durable and comfortable. What’s even better, the seat is easily removable. Therefore, you can take it with you on other adventures. The kayak also has a large front and rear storage area, perfect for holding all your gear.


  • Heavy-duty polyethylene construction
  • Features rod holders
  • Kayak weight: 64 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 375 pounds
  • Designed in the USA


  • Highly durable and comfortable
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Leak-proof
  • Adjustable and removable seat
  • Replaceable skid plate


  • Not the greatest for extended travels

Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for When Choosing the Best Camping Kayak

When it comes time to choosing the best camping kayak, there are a few things you need to take into account. Not all kayaks are created equal, and what might be perfect for one person might not be the best option for you.

Here are some things to look for when choosing the best camping kayak:

Size and Weight

The first thing to consider when choosing a kayak is the size and weight. You need to make sure that the kayak is big enough for you to paddle and store all of your camping gear comfortably.

If you are planning on doing any fishing, you will also need to make sure that the kayak can accommodate a fishing rod and tackle box.


Next is the material of the kayaks. Kayaks can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common are polyethylene and fiberglass. Polyethylene kayaks are less expensive and more durable, while fiberglass kayaks are lighter weight and easier to maneuver.


When you are kayaking, you want to make sure that you have a stable platform to paddle from. Some kayaks are more stable than others, so if you are a novice kayaker, you might want to opt for a kayak with a wider hull. This will help to prevent you from tipping over.


When you are camping, you will need to bring along a lot of gear. Make sure that the kayak you choose has enough storage space for all of your camping gear, including a tent, sleeping bag, and food. Some kayaks have built-in storage compartments, while others have external bungee cord storage.


If you are planning on doing a lot of camping, you will want to choose a kayak that is easy to transport. Some kayaks can be easily disassembled and fit into the trunk of a car, while others are too large to transport without a trailer.


Of course, you need to think about your budget when buying a kayak as well. The price of kayaks can range between a few hundred dollars and a few thousand dollars. You need to decide how much you are willing to spend on a kayak before you start shopping.


Another important factor to consider is comfort. You need to make sure that you are comfortable in the kayak before you take it out on the water. Some kayaks have padded seats and footrests, while others do not.

Maximum Weight Capacity

When you are choosing a kayak, you need to make sure that it has a high enough weight capacity to accommodate all of your gear. If you are planning on doing any fishing, you will also need to make sure that the kayak can accommodate the weight of a fish.


When you are kayaking, you want to make sure that the kayak is easy to maneuver and handle. Some kayaks are designed for speed, while others are designed for stability. You need to decide what you want from your kayak before you start shopping.


Finally, you need to make sure that the kayak you choose has a good warranty. Kayaks can be expensive, so you want to make sure that you are covered in case of any damage or defects. This will give you peace of mind when you are out on the water.

As you can see, these are a few things to consider when choosing the best camping kayak. Take your time and choose the kayak that is right for you. With a little research, you will be able to find the perfect kayak for your next camping trip.

Key Tips on How to Care for Your Kayak

Kayaks are a great way to explore the great outdoors, but proper care and maintenance are required to keep them in good condition for future trips. Here are 10 key tips on how to best care for your kayak:

Rinse Your Kayak with Fresh Water

Freshwater will help to remove any salt, dirt, or debris that may be clinging to your kayak. Be sure to give it a good rinse after each use. This will help to prolong the life of your kayak. You can also use a mild soap if needed.

Store Your Kayak in A Cool, Dry Place

Kayaks are best stored in a cool, dry place when not in use. This will help to prevent any damage that could be caused by heat or moisture. Plus, it will keep your kayak looking its best.

Protect Your Kayak from UV Rays

The sun can cause serious damage to your kayak if it’s left out in the sun for too long. Be sure to store your kayak in a shady spot when not in use. You can also purchase a kayak cover to help protect it from the sun’s harmful rays.

Keep Your Kayak Clean

A clean kayak will last longer and perform better than one that’s not well-maintained. Be sure to rinse it off after each use and give it a good cleaning on a regular basis. This will help to remove any dirt, grime, or salt that could damage your kayak.

Inspect Your Kayak Regularly

It’s important to inspect your kayak regularly for any signs of wear and tear. Be sure to check the hull, seams, and fittings for any cracks, leaks, or damage. It’s best to do this before each use to avoid any problems while out on the water.

Repair Any Damage Immediately

If you do find any damage on your kayak, it’s best to repair it right away. This will help to prevent further damage and ensure that your kayak lasts for many years to come. Also, be sure to keep a few repair supplies on hand, just in case.

Don’t Overload Your Kayak

Be sure to check the weight capacity of your kayak before heading out on the water. Overloading it can cause serious damage and even sink your kayak. So, be sure to pack light and only bring what you need.

Use The Proper Paddles

Using the wrong type of paddle can damage your kayak and make it harder to paddle. Be sure to use paddles that are designed for kayaks and are the correct length for your height. This will help to make paddling much easier and prevent any damage to your kayak.

Use The Proper Safety Gear

Whenever you’re out on the water, be sure to wear the proper safety gear. This includes a life jacket, whistle, and flares. All these items could save your life in an emergency situation. It’s crucial if you’re kayaking in remote areas.

Follow The Rules of The Waterway

Be sure to follow all the rules and regulations of the waterway you’re paddling in. This includes things like speed limits, no-wake zones, and noise restrictions. Breaking the rules can put yourself and others at risk and could damage your kayak.

So, there you have it – 10 tips on how to best care for your kayak. By following these simple tips, you can help to prolong the life of your kayak and ensure that it’s always ready for your next adventure.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask an expert at your local outdoor store. Now get out there and start exploring!

Vanessa Hopkins

Hi, I'm Vanessa. Long-time kayaker who's proud to be part of this community. I strive to provide our visitors with insightful guides with the aim to improve their kayaking experience. I've been working with SunshineKayaking for over 5 years, providing world-class services.

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