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Kayak Buying Guide

Whether you're interested in calm day trips, multiday adventures or catching the big one, find out how to choose the best kayak for you.

2 Min. Watch | Paddling

Recreation Kayaks

A good choice for beginners and short trips on calm waters.

Length: 9 to 12 feet

Best For: Lakes, ponds and other gentle waters with limited wind and current

Key Feature: Wider for more stability and easy maneuverability


Light Touring Kayaks

Ideal for paddling longer distances, with features for overnight trips.

Length: 12 to 15 feet

Best For: Coastal waters, canals, calm rivers and lakes in light wind/current

Key Feature: Dry storage for 1- or 2-day trips


Touring Kayaks

Great for intermediate to advanced paddlers, long distances and multiday trips.

Length: 16 feet or longer

Best For: Lakes, bays and open waters in light to moderate wind/current

Key Feature: Enough dry storage to hold gear and extra flotation devices for longer outings


Fishing Kayaks

Designed for the serious angler.

Length: 10 feet

Best For: Fishing in calm ponds, lakes and bays

Key Feature: Equipped with rod holders, anchor systems and storage for tackle and gear


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