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Best Touring Kayak

Updated On July 22, 2020

We consulted our kayak experts over a period of 3 weeks and over 60 hours we have taken every review and reference into account including hours of time in the water with our number one. These are by far our top 6 choices, other models did not even come close. 

Our review will cover;
  • Our Top pick Review: Pescador Pro 12
  • The best kayaks according to skill level and your budget
  • Our teams experience with each
  • Buyer guide tips that can save you $250 of return costs

Believe me, you don't want to get this purchase wrong, its best to get it right the first time or you'll spend $250 in return shipping fees like I did and hours refreshing tracking software. Well, help you find something that works.

Quick Summary: Top 6 - Best Touring Kayak of 2020


Our seasoned editors have picked and rated these products for each specific category and area of expertise to recommend you the best models and products we can. We receive commission from some of these affiliate links.
Best Overall: 1. Perception Pescador Pro 12
​12 inches model with large front and rear storage
Runner-Up: 2. Pelican Recreational Performance 
​12 inches model with adjustable footrests and Lightweight
Best Pedal Drive: 3. Hobie Mirage Outback
Lacks hold bar build quality and come with vantage CT and large covered bow hatch
Runner-Up for Any Paddler: 4. Wilderness Systems Radar 115
​​​11’6 inches model with M.A.R.T Hull technology
Best Affordable: 5. Riot Kayaks Boogie 50
​7’8 inches model with Drytech and Drainplug
Best Inflatable Kayak: 6. AQUAGLIDE Navarro 145
​​Comes with zip-open dry compartment to store paddles
 
Top 3 Quick Comparison
Product
Photo
Pros
Link
Best Overall
Easy to carry with detachable parts
Runner-Up
Comes with a  stern bulkhead for extra floatation
Best Pedal Drive
Has an adjustable seat for comfort

Our Reviews


Best Overall
This model has a spectacular speed when you compare it to similar boat classes.
Quick Specs
  • Length: 12 inches 
  • Boat Weight: 57 lbs 
  • Maximum Capacity: 375 lbs
The Perception Pescador Pro will continue to be a sought after touring kayak for a long time. Meanwhile, it has the necessary features and performance that sincere anglers require. It is a sit-on-top kayak for a single paddler and comes with polyethylene material. Fortunately, it is the best kayak for the sea available from reviews and still impresses more.

This model has a spectacular speed when you compare it to similar boat classes. Besides, you’ll get higher stability and confidence wherever you are than comparable sit-on-top versions.

Further, it is capable of trailing straight in a straight line during changeable conditions. It offers ultimate comfort as the whole seat glides forward and backward and it is portable. Thus, you’ll get a comfortable pedaling position. The spacious and detachable captain’s seat features zonal mesh to aid chill breeze. Also, the design of this model provides maximum durability and optimized weight.

The roomy cockpit allows for easy entry and exit. Above all, you can relax and enjoy your paddling adventure as you’ll get built-in buoyancy and stability. It has enough storage space for your goods, all thanks to the front and rear storage features. 
  • Can be used in various types of water
  • Easy to carry with detachable parts
  • High stability that gives you confidence
  • Comfortable seat and foot rest
  • Large storage capacity
  • Small size
Product Review
"The seat is outstanding! It’s basically a lawn chair for your kayak. I’ve gone for all-day trips and it was just as comfortable at the end as the beginning."
Runner-Up
It is perfect for starters, anglers, and people who desire firmness over tempo. 
Quick Specs
  • Length: 14.4 inches 
  • Boat Weight: 51 lbs 
  • Maximum Capacity: 325 lbs
With the Pelican Recreational sit-in touring kayak, you’ll get better performing hull designs. Besides, if you’re looking for a small additional capacity then try this model. It provides even better tracking and stability during difficult conditions. Meanwhile, it is ideal if you want to cover long intervals using minimum power. One cannot compare the technology of this model to others in its category.

Likewise, it is perfect for starters, anglers, and people who desire firmness over tempo. This version is fast enough if you need speed and utmost return of effort while touring. Also, you can enjoy a steady and moderate kayaking experience. You can paddle during the warm season on inert waters. Most importantly, it is a one of the most perfect kayaks for the sea.
  • Has an elegant design
  • Lightweight and easy to load and carry
  • High durability
  • Comes with a  stern bulkhead for extra floatation
  • Low maximum capacity
Product Review
"The Kayak is great, the layer of resin they put on the standard material these kayaks are made from gives it a more premium look, somewhere between the regular plastic and the nicer fiberglass boats."
Best Pedal Drive
This model comprises of a mega drive pedal for you to operate the boat at ease.
Quick Specs
  • Length: 12 inches 
  • Boat Weight: 400 lbs 
  • Maximum Capacity: 325 lbs
The Hobie Mirage is a famous pedal drive with outstanding characteristics. Thus, it is one of the most eminent sea kayaks version and quite comfortable. It has a reversible mirage drive to enable you to drive evenly through the waters. Also, you may be able to sail the kayak effectively with more stability.

Meanwhile, this model comprises of a mega drive pedal for you to operate the boat at ease. Since you’ll be making use of your leg muscles, you’ll need less energy to kayak. Another great feature of this kayak is its ergonomic design. So, you may be able to sail for longer periods. It has enough storage space if you need more for your goods.

However, if you’re on a low budget, it is ideal to consider other models as this is a bit expensive.
  • Spacious storage
  • Has an adjustable seat for comfort
  • Has support for pedal drive
  • Very stable
  • Heavy to carry
Product Review
"Awesome Kayaks. We just bought 2 - 2015 models locally since shipping isn't easy. We debated forever between the Outback and the Revo 13. We made the right call."
Runner-up for any Paddler Level
These touring kayaks provide ultimate performance for longer periods than other boats in its category. 
Quick Specs
  • Length: 11 feet and 8 inches 
  • Boat Weight: 85 lbs 
  • Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs
The Wilderness Systems Radar 115 is one of the bestselling tri-powered touring kayaks. And, it comes with paddle, power, and pedal capabilities. Meanwhile, this version is compatible with the helix PD pedal drive. You can also use it with the Helix MD motor drive. But, you may need to buy it separately. These touring kayaks provide ultimate performance for longer periods than other boats in its category.

Moreover, the radar features M.A.R.T Hull technology. Thus you’ll get stability, maneuverability, and acceleration. Also, it offers responsiveness and tracking all through the design in surroundings with plenty of water.

The radar boasts of two storage hatches and multiple electronic options. Luckily, there’s a smooth platform for standing and easy movement in several conditions. It is best for any paddler including skill level and advanced who want to go for kayak touring. 
  • Has side track rails for accessory storage
  • Features state-of-the-art outfitting
  • Comfortable foot rests
  • The seat is adjustable
  • Heavy to carry
Product Review
"This kayak is very maneuverable and great for small lakes, ponds and rivers. It is extrmely stable and paddles really well. It is also laid out well for fishing."
Best Affordable
It is a care-free surfing machine with super sharp rails on the rear. Moreover, the foot blocks are easy-to-shape. 
Quick Specs
  • Length: 7 feet and 8 inches 
  • Boat Weight: 35 lbs 
  • Maximum Capacity: 380 lbs
The Riot kayaks Boogie 50 is the perfect boat for rocky shores. Also, it is perfect for any paddler looking for an affordable model as the price is not high. Besides, it provides high-performance and features a surfing power seat.

Meanwhile, its unique size provides immense speed and carving power. It is a care-free surfing machine with super sharp rails on the rear. Moreover, the foot blocks are easy-to-shape. Loads of carving power enable paddlers of all types to enjoy the boat for long periods. 
  • Sleek design
  • Comes with easy-to-shape foam footlocks
  • Features  a surfing power seat for easy movement
  • Short length
Product Review
"Love it. Had a fluid Element before this boat. I love my fluid, but the boogie is faster and easier to carve."
Best Best Inflatable Kayak
The molded D-ring handles will prove useful when you fold the kayak and want to carry it along to another station.
Quick Specs
  • Length: 14 feet
  • Boat Weight: 40 lbs 
  • Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs
Want an inflatable kayak? The AQUAGLIDE Navarro 145 might just be what you are looking for and if so, then the search is over. This kayak is inflatable and you can always release the air when you are out of the sea. Again, it comes with a zip-open dry compartment that would help store your paddles.

The molded D-ring handles will prove useful when you fold the kayak and want to carry it along to another station. While at sea, the drop-stiched floor keep your feet comfortable all the time while the kayak's light weight makes it suitable for long walking stretches. This may be the best inflatable kayak you will find.
  • It is Inflatable
  • Comfortable seat and floor
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Made  of durable plastic
  • Not sold with paddles
Product Review
"Solid construction and super stable floor makes for a fun and confident time on the water."

Featured Explained


Rudder

A rudder is a blade that attaches to the stern of a kayak that pulls to and fro. Meanwhile, a well-designed sea kayak is ideal for boats. In other words, a rudder should be able to track well and operate in a straight line.

Moreover, rudders assist in paddling during changing conditions. Also, they keep the kayak on a straight path. You can use your feet to control the rudder.

Bow and Stern

In short, the bow and stern are basic parts of a canoe. The bow is the anterior part of the boat while the stern is the rear part. Meanwhile, the gap between the two is the boat’s total length. It is the bow that first comes in contact with water. Thus, it assists the boat to glide through during paddling. And it offers speed and ease of paddling for paddlers well.

The stern reduces turbulence and helps the kayak to go through with any available effort. Indeed, you might find the bow and stern where two or more paddler sits.  


Skeg

A skeg is a fold-up blade that comes out of an opening in the body of the kayak. Besides, you may find the skeg close to the stern. Also, you can’t use it to pivot as a slider drops and retracts it. That usually happens on one side of the cockpit.

Most importantly, the skeg trims the kayak anytime wind circumstances want to affect the boat. A well-built kayak can weathercock in windy conditions. So, go for the right one that comes with an affordable price. (1)


Hatches

Hatches enable you to reach any storage space inside your kayak. Some touring kayaks come with front and rear deck bungees that you may want to choose. Meanwhile, some compartments have dry storage units. But, there’s no guarantee that it could be watertight. So, put your items inside dry bags to prevent water from entering it. 

Most importantly, the best touring kayaks have enough storage space. There’re various kinds of hatches namely: rubber push-on, hardcovers, screw, and quarter-turn locks. Thus, you'll want any of them as a dry storage space.

Seats

This is one of the most crucial features in a touring kayak. However, if it doesn’t have a comfortable seating system, you might find difficulty in paddling for long. Also, a kayak with an incorrect design can cause some medical conditions.

That is due to impeded blood transmission back through your legs. Besides, a wrong seating position can cause muscular problems. The best touring kayaks have a comfortable seating system. (2)

Buyer's Guide  

Touring kayaks tend to be longer and stronger than most olden sit-on-top versions. Meanwhile, kayaking is a low-impact activity to increase strength. If you want to improve your cardio fitness, then try these categories of kayaks. Besides, you’ll enjoy the waterways and reduce the risk of joint wear and tear.                                                                        

Moreover, if you need a kayak that you can easily transport, then go for a lightweight model. Also, be mindful of poor quality kayaks as they’re not durable.

Things to consider before buying the best touring kayak

  • Material
  • Length
  • Cockpit size
  • Weight Capacity
  • Polyethylene plastic (3)


What is a touring kayak?

A touring kayak is a device that people use for paddling on lakes and oceans. Besides, they’re easy to maneuver and offer higher cruising speed. Also, they have cargo capacity and comfort during longer distances.

What’s a sea kayak?

Sea kayaks are built to sail far distances on flat water. Also, they’re seaworthy small boats for paddling on open waters. Mostly you'll find a seat inside or closed-deck version kayak.

How much is a sea kayak?

Most beginner touring sea kayaks should cost around $250. Meanwhile, you can see a fishing kayak of $300 while an inflatable kayak is around $70. You might want a carbon fiber or fiberglass composite kayak.


Conclusion

Meanwhile, this touring kayak reviews will be of great help to you. But, always paddle close to the shore in case of any emergency conditions. Touring kayaks have tons of benefits. So, the ball is in your court for you to decide and pick the one that fits you to solve some complicated problems. Bear in mind that paddling is fun in open water when you have the perfect touring kayaks. Also, kayak touring opens new opportunities to paddlers.

No matter the kind of touring kayak for the sea you choose, you’ll have a great time while paddling. In other words, the products in this review will offer you a nice kayaking experience. Most of them are perfect for fishing, adventures, and excursions. 
Our Top Pick
Best Overall
This model has a spectacular speed when you compare it to similar boat classes.
References
(1) weathercock - https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weathercock
(2) muscular problems https://medlineplus.gov/muscledisorders.html
(3) Polyethylene plastic - https://www.britannica.com/science/polyethylene

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About the author 

Andrew Bell

Andrew is a seasoned kayaker with 15 years of experience under his belt. He began kayaking as a way to reduce work stress but quickly became an avid kayak fisher and lure expert. He currently enjoys both lake and ocean kayaking and loves to write and share his experiences.


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  1. Thank you for this one, Andrew! It helps a lot to check sites like this that gives me idea and information about the things that I wanted to buy. Thank you! Will try the top 1 suggested here. Have a great day!

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