Expert Advice on Buying a Touring Kayak:
There’s nothing like being out in the middle of a vast lake and watching the sunset in a brand new touring kayak. The peacefulness of the water and the calmness of the night makes the research that went into choosing from one of the best touring kayaks of 2018.
Of course if you are here, you may not be quite at that point, but you’d like to be. We have created this guide to help simplify the research process. We’ve looked through numerous best touring kayak reviews and have come up with some information that, we feel, will be of great use to you.
One of the most important things you will want to look at is the material that your kayak will be made of. Granted, the most popular material is polyethylene or another strong plastic, you can find composite vessels, which primarily use fiber glass (keep in mind the plastic touring kayaks are cheap when compared to the composite boats). This is an important decision because the composite kayaks are lighter than plastic, which is a huge factor if you are going out on the water alone and have to unload the kayak… Alone. But, there is a problem with fiber glass boats too. They are more susceptible to damage than plastic, so you have to be careful about debris in the water, or paddling too closely to the edge of the bank.
Among seasoned kayakers, there is an age old debate: the rudder vs the skeg. Some of the best touring kayak reviews state that by using a rudder or a skeg, you’re cheating and you should learn how to steer the kayak on your own. While we cannot tell you which is the best way to go, we can give you a little information on the benefits of either option.
A rudder helps you to control the direction of your kayak while you are paddling.
A skeg is a keel on the bottom of the boat that can be raised or lowered from under the kayak. The skeg helps you to stay going in a straight line.
While these two pieces help to control the kayak, they have downsides as well. A rudder is thought to make kayaking too simple, whereas a skeg simply takes up too much room on the vessel. What’s even more interesting is that there are a good amount of the best touring kayaks in 2018 to have neither. This choice is basically a personal preference and your skill level.
Lastly, you should take into consideration the size of the kayak! You don’t want to choose the best touring kayak for the money but it has a tiny cockpit and you or someone else will be uncomfortable to ride in it! That would be a complete waste. Instead, sit in the kayak if possible. Take measurements of your body and compare them to the measurements of the vessel. Comfort is key!
We hope that the information in this guide was able to give you a little insight as to what the main features should be when you are interested in purchasing a touring kayak. Just keep these tips in mind, and we are confident you’ll be on the water in no time!
Things to consider:
- Determine the type of material that you want for your kayak. This will also play into how much you are willing to spend, so keep your budget in mind as well. Fiber glass composites tend to be more expensive than plain polyethylene. Fiber glass is lighter, but it can be damaged easier.
- Do you want to stay true to the nature of kayaking and go without a rudder and/or skeg—or do you want these two options? They will make steering the kayak much easier, even if other kayakers may balk at your decision.
- Make sure you choose the right sized kayak to fit your (or the person the kayak is intended for) needs. You want to be comfortable!
Top rated Touring Kayaks in 2018
Preception Carolina 12.0 Kayak
This kayak features a comfortable seat for those long hours out on the water. You have the ability to adjust both the seat and the knee pads thanks to the brace options either the inner or outer sides. The design of the hull makes gliding across the lake and other smooth waterways easy and quite stable. The kayak has plenty of leg room and you can tuck away your lunch for the trip under the stern hatch.
Necky Eliza Ocean Sea Touring Kayak with Rudder
The Eliza touring kayak is designed for the women, as it features a smaller cockpit which accommodate a small to medium sized woman. Because of the comfortable fit, it will help you feel secure within the kayak, while in complete control. The waterproof seat and the outfitting that is adjustable, reduces any pressure you may feel on the pressure points—while promoting excellent blood flow. The hatches on the stern and bow give kayakers enough storage space. The retractable rudder helps you to maintain control in tough wind and rough currents.
Advanced Elements, AdvancedFrame Expedition Kayak
This is a hybrid kayak that combines the stability of a folding frame with the ease of use and it being lightweight from the kayak’s ability to be inflated. This model uses a proven aluminium rib-frame technology to increase the effectiveness of a person’s paddling performance. The additional length of the kayak improves the tracking performance as well as the speed of the hull. There is ample storage space for those who tend to pack their gear on the heavy side.
Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak
The Riot Kayak features a slim bow and a narrow deck profile, when paired with the on-board rudder, you have enough chine and keel that helps keep track, but it can also give you a quick response with incredible character. This features a seating system that is custom fit, adjustable foot braces that slide into the desired position. The bulkhead creates a water tight seal in the front and rear compartments, keeping your gear and your lunch safe. Other useful features include a drain plug, reflective life-lines, integrated thigh braces, as well as paddle hook and safety straps.
Perception Tribute 14.0 Kayak
Small paddlers who require a fast and friendly touring kayak without sacrificing stability can appreciate this particular kayak. Because of the extra length of the vessel, you will glide across the water easily and quickly. The Zone DLX seating system provides you with incredible comfort while the slidelock foot braces give you a sense of security. The kayak can comfortably hold up to 250 pounds.