Best Touring Kayaks in 2020



Pakayak Bluefin 14 Ft Kayak, The Only Hardshell Packable Kayak - Packs Down into Included Rolling Bag That Fits Inside of Your Trunk! Nests into Itself for Ultimate Portability and Storage! Review:


I just got my Pakayak! It's still here in the living room. She hasn't even touched water yet and I am sold! I put her together and it was pretty darn easy... I reckon carrying her downstairs is the only drawback but it still beats carrying a whole kayak! At 5'11 I feel snug in the cockpit, but the placement of the seat seems to really support my back, exactly where it really needs it! I was worried I may need to get a new seat for it but right now it feels as if I'm going to SHRED some water everywhere I go! My car trunk needs some permanent space cleared away so she can be ready to go.



Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump Review:


 Great product. I purchased toward the end of summer for $94. So the the price does fluctuate with the season. Took me about 20min in set up the 1st time. About 15min for subsequent attempts. I've taken it out 3-4 times in the last 2 months. Collapses down small enough to fit in the trunk of a small car. The paddles work, but I felt were on the small side for me. This kayak is somewhat wide also. I ended up getting a 96inch paddle but i'm 5'10''. My 5 yr old daughter does ok with it. When I stretch out my legs, I have to tuck my feet to the sides of the front seat. The skin of the boat is reasonably strong. You'd have to scrape against some jagged metal or be hit head on by a hard pointy branch for this to puncture.

For the boating itself, this craft is ok. It doesn't seem as smooth or can go as fast as a hard plastic boat. But that's fine considering it's $100-200 less. I even took it through some mild rapids (still choppy enough to splash me good) and it held up fine.
The fin/skeg works fine and is easy to install but requires decent hand strength to remove (a good thing). It basically clicks in place and you have to push a tab down to remove it. I drilled a hole and put a fishing line through it in case the skeg falls off as suggested by others, but this is unnecessary. I even started heading away from shore once and the skeg, and only the skeg, hit an underwater boulder. I was going about 3mph when it hit and came to a dead stop, all 200+ lbs of the boat and people. The skeg edge was a little scratched but in place at the end. Maybe Intex updated the skeg after it 1st came out. I'm going to remove the fishing line before the next trip because it is unnecessary and gets seaweed,etc caught in it creating more drag.

If you were to give me the choice (price not an issue) b/w a hard plastic boat and this, I'd pick the hard boat. That said, I'm very happy with this very inexpensive and easy to transport kayak.



SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak Review:


I've been using this kayak weekly since April 2017. I love it! I'm a poor grad student so this was all I could afford, but it's flipping fantastic. I weigh about 165 lbs. and it still sits 6-8" above the water. It's a bit tipsy, but nothing you can't get used to. It's so light I don't even have to drop it off at the boat ramp, I can easily carry it from my car. Pro tip: use a gardening foam kneepad as a seat cushion, it's way more comfy. The tracking isn't great, but the real question is: can you have awesome adventures for this super cheap price? Yes. Hell yes. I'm including some of my favorite pics here. I use it on calm lakes and slow moving streams. I would definitely not use it in waves more than 1 ft. This purchase has completely re-defined how I interact with nature in my town. It's easily the best purchase I've made in the last 5 years. I can't recommend it highly enough for those empty-pocketed souls who crave the water. Will I eventually upgrade to a fancy fiberglass, streamlined 14 footer? Of course. But until I have the cash to toss into a fancy kayak and kayak carrier, I will happily travel all the lakes and reservoirs I can find with this little beast. Kayaking doesn't have to be for the wealthy. You can afford this.



SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak Review:


Im 6'1 and 260lb with long legs.

Build quality:
Other reviews mentioned a number of shortcomings I was prepared to deal with, see below. However upon getting and testing this Kayak, very few of the issues affected me. Its solidly built and after using it, I am quite pleased. I was using rentals from a popular rafting company on the river before and this kayak is much better. The cockpit is wide and entering/exiting even while solo from a beach to get onto the river was a breeze. The foot pegs and thigh pads are great and allow for a decent degree of control. I am tall and even the deepest foot peg slots are still a little short, but I can still sit comfortably in it with my feet on the pegs without compromising comfort too much.

Adjustable seat:
Not fully adjustable, but forward or backward. It has 1 plastic clip on either side of the seat near where it is secured to the rivet like a school backpack would have and the only movement it does is forward or backward. I am a big guy so I loosened it so the seat stays against the cockpit plastic back and never had any problems. Smaller/shorter people may want to lock it more forward so the nylon straps and plastic are supporting them closer to the foot pegs.

Storage:
Ample storage. Water bottle holder on front worked decently and so did the paddle holder for dry storage (tends to come loose while being carried or moved quickly also do not use paddle holder while on the water). Rear compartment is kind of a joke to open while on the water unless you can turn totally around, but is really nice if you are with people who can paddle up to you for access or if you go to shore. The rear compartment has a rubber/foam seal around it and is secured by bungee cables arranged in a star pattern that hook onto the plastic hooks on each side. However its really iffy on actually sealing and more often than not tends to hold well because of the bungee alone. The shape of the plastic around the lid make it really easy to just sit on top of the hole instead of sealing and covering it. It will not stop water if you flip even if it is secured properly, but it keeps the compartment very dry while just floating/paddling even if light rapids and with spray.

Issues I thought I would have:
- Razor sharp plastic/edges:
The Kayak I received had a wider plastic rim on the cockpit compared to what I was expecting. I was prepared to sand/dremel this down but did not need to. I was able to use, move, and load the kayak with no cuts or pain even when handling from the cockpit. Maybe they fixed this on new models, but maybe not.

- Included paddle:
Whether or not you get a paddle is determined by the model. The "SS model" comes with a paddle so if you got a paddle you have the sun dolphin aruba 10 SS. as far as I know the only difference between ss and not ss is the paddle. I contacted the seller to confirm mine was coming with a paddle. A third party retailer may not even know the difference and might list it as the wrong model. The paddle it comes with in any case is good if you paddle once a year, but garbage for actually moving quickly and maneuvering well. Its also heavy. I bought a decent fiberglass/plastic one for 90 here on amazon.

- No seat cushion:
Not an issue for me as I felt planted securely and firmly. If you are small/thin framed, might want to grab one so you can plant your butt in the seat. If you are rolling around the cockpit it will be uncomfortable and inefficient. I paddled for 4 hours no seat without issues.

- Weight limit specified to be 250lb on product leaflet but I weigh more than that and also bring a few pounds of gear/snacks/water and still dont have issues with floating too low to the water or losing speed/control. Your mileage may vary so do your research.

- No leaks yet:
Lots of reviews mentioned minor leaks from various rivets/bolt holes that I was prepared to reseal with glue. I have not experienced this problem on class 1 and 2 rivers. My cockpit/bow was entirely dry for the duration of my trip and required no draining other than minor droplets from spray.

Happy to answer questions if I can.



SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak Review:


Sun dolphin Bali 13.5 ss kayak. Scupper holes allow water to drain out of the deck...but also allow eater in. I thought this was a misunderstood concept when everyone was complaining that the kayak "leaks." No....it does actually leak. Granted i was in a moana-esque surf on the ocean, but the storage compartments allow in water and are not water tight. The kayak will actually fill up with water and they know this as there are drain plugs at the ends of the kayak to allow you drain the kayak. You will need an additional waterproof container to put in storage compartments if you dont want your stuff soaked in whitewater conditions. I imagine that in valm water it wont be as much of an issue.

Kayak bent when being transported until I secured the nose. This was due to lack of stiffness compared to length and freeway 70mph speeds.

There ate actually 3 seats and 3 storage compartments....one review stated erroneously that the kayak wasnt as pictured but mine was exactly as pictured.



SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12-Foot Sit-in Kayak Review:


4 Stars but...... this kayak needs a bit of work. It arrived quickly and was delivered professionally. Coming from a manufacturing background I am realistic as to how these are built and the type of people that build them. As expected there was a lot of plastic shavings and debris inside the kayak and all the cutouts for the cockpit opening, compartments etc. had rough and sharp edges on them. Those I cleaned up with a razor knife and sandpaper. There are two foam pads, one on either side of the cockpit, to protect your thighs against scraping on the edge of the cockpit. Those were halfway peeled off but being as how the kayak was delivered in Arizona I am sure that being stored and delivered inside of hot moving vans the heat just warmed the glue up and it gave way. That’s not too big of a deal because it actually allowed me an opportunity to move them to a better position and permanently secure them with gorilla glue.
There is a really cool covered console right in front of the cockpit. I have an Iphone 8+ and even out of the case it will not fit in it. The cover was not fitted very well over it and I’ve had to trim off quite a bit of the sides of th cover to get it to drop down all the way. Additionally the two screws that hold the cover to the hinge protrude from the bottom so far that they impact against the tray and keep the lid from closing down all the way. I’m going to hit the bottom of them with a little sander/grinder which will hopefully allow it to close further. I’m also going to apply a strip of sticky-sided foam (maybe a half inch or quarter inch wide) all around the console area to see if the lid will provide a more water tight fit.
There is a space about 2 inches tall from the bottom of the seat to the inside of the hull so when you sit in the seat it sags down to the hull. I’m going to get a chunk of closed cell Styrofoam ( not the crumbly white stuff) and set it in place under the seat and glue it in position.
I purchased a length of 5/16 fuel line and slit it lengthwise. This was glued to the edges of the cockpit so that when I get in and out of the kayak I don’t scrape my legs on the plastic I will probably do this around the exposed edges of the seat area as well although it’s not that critical there.
The seat pad may be a little thin so I can’t really give that a review until I get on the water for a couple hours. There is a small round hatch in front of the cockpit that just opens up to the interior of the bow of the kayak. It’s a 6 inch opening so you’re limited as to the size of the items you can put in although it’s probably a couple cubic feet of space. Behind the cockpit is a large “box” with an aproximately 8 inch diameter opening that appears to be watertight. That watertight compartment can be removed from the kayak if you wish to have the recess it sits in open for a small pack or something like that.
The bungee cord on the front and back are at least quarter inch thick and appear to be very sturdy.
There is a foam bulkhead in front of your feet between your feet and the front compartment but I can guarantee you it is not watertight. It is a big piece of foam that has been slid into position and held by mere pressure. I will probably take some very strong glue and glue it into position leaving gap at the bottom for water to drain through to the front drain hole.
This appears to be a pretty decent kayak and I’m excited to see how it handles on the water.



SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak Review:


I'm a female turning 63 recovering from a prolonged illness with reduced strength and stamina. As usual, at my last doctor visit he told me to get more exercise. I hate exercising; it's torture and boring. However, I love to fish and many in my fishing club have started kayak fishing and have recommended it to me. Well I found this on sale at Wal-Mart for a honey of a price and jumped on it as an early birthday present to myself. I take it out 2 - 3 times a week and couldn't be happier. I'm getting some good exercise and building more muscle mass. I've only had it a short while and already lost 10 lbs! If paddling correctly you work your arms and core. Mine arrived in excellent shape and I have had none of the problems some have complained about. I did notice that if you're leaning towards one side for a while, the scupper holes will let some water in (maybe a gallon?). This alarmed me at first and is probably what scared some reviewers. However, I found that when I sit straight, so the keel is level in the water, the water quickly drains out through the scupper holes. Stability was good. I'm a newbie kayaker and had no problems. Only fell out once when I got my fishing rod caught up in a tree and instead of pulling up my anchor and repositioning the kayak, I tried reaching too far behind me and way left and oops over I went - my bad. Although I was in water over my head and I don't have the strength as yet to hoist myself back on top in deep water, I just swam pulling the kayak behind me to the shallows and re-entered. I always wear a PFD and stay close enough to shore that I can swim to the shallows and of course keep everything teathered. Tracking is fine for my style of paddling; I'm not a power stroker or racer. A strong wind came up later in one of my trips and even this old bird had no problems paddling against current and wind even after 4hrs on the lake paddling and fishing and being pretty tired. No problems with water entering the interior, as some have stated. As a precaution, I removed drain plugs and turned over, but no water came out. Love that it comes in so many beautiful colors (I got the lime green). I'm 5'10" and 190 lbs and find it very comfortable. It's not too heavy for me, so I can load it into the back of my truck by myself. I actually prefer that it doesn't have rod holder's, as I can put rod holder's in the style and place I prefer. For now,I just place my rod between my legs with the tip over the bow and that works fine. All said, if you want a sit on top kayak for casual paddling and/or fishing that's economical, colorful and fun, and not too heavy to lift this is a winner.
UPDATE: I have now had this kayak for over a year. I live near Lake Palestine, in east Texas and take it on the lake 2 - 4 times a week during good weather, approximately 8 - 9 months out of the year. It has held up to rough treatment very well. Where I launch, I have to go about 75 feet over gravely ground to the water. Lazy me, I usually just drag it on the ground. I know, I'm bad, but this kayak has held up, only minor scratches. I also back up and wedge it on the rocks under the over pass to fish, still, only minor scratches. I have added an anchor trolley system, side handles and rod holders (all purchased from amazon). All in all I have less than $300 invested and have had so much fun. Also, I regularly supplement mine and my neighbors diets with fresh fish. I would definitely buy this kayak again.



Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12-Foot Sit-on top Kayak Review:


I have had this Sun Dolphin Bali 12ft for a year now. I shopped online extensivley to find one that would fill my special needs. Its the lightest one available. 45#. Open bow offers more storage and comfort for my JR Terrier. Yes I installed side handles to lift it with . Not a big deal.
Tracks well .... Especially if you know the correct way to use your paddles.
Cons:
No seat pad on bottom, which is ridiculous since. Its the low point and you will get a wet butt if you take in water
plan to spend extra for a suitable seat $$$$
No scupper holes but a sponge works great Decals will peal off ...I can live with that
My first Kayak and im hooked . it goes with me on my Rv Vacations. I recently added a Anchor Trolley and rod holders so I can go fishing with it I'm small 5' old 65+ and female trying to find a nice stable kayak that I can load into the back of my truck is a challange. The price was the Bonus $385. Including shipping I'm happy with my choice and have really enjoyed this Kayak
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Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat w/ Paddles Review:


I've had this boat for a bit over one month and been out three times with my wife. Overall, I love this boat, but would not get rid of my hard-shell kayak for it.

I've had a hard shell 10.5 foot "fishing" kayak for several years now, plus paddled on several types of rented yaks, and was looking to buy a tandem seat kayak to get my wife out with me. Storage was a concern as my hard shell already takes up a lot of garage space, and I didn't want to get a boat that we would only use a couple of time a year. Loading a 12 foot+ tandem kayak on top of my SUV and getting it the ten+ miles to/from the water was also a concern. An inflatable seemed like the perfect solution, especially one that allowed me to reconfigure the seats to use as both a single-person and tandem boat.

First up; this is a solid and well-made boat, easily comparing to any commercial-grade inflatable boat I've been around. Having an inflation gauge to get proper pressure on the side tubes takes a lot of worry out of properly inflating this boat. After three tries, my wife and I can set it up in about 30 minutes. Take down is a little faster only because I just throw everything into the back of our SUV loose, knowing I'm going to be cleaning everything once I get home anyway. The foot pump is excellent, and I see no reason to use an electric pump. I did try inflating the boat with a little Coleman pump that I have for an inflatable mattress and water toys, but the pump doesn't have the "omph" to blow up something with as much volume as this boat. Having a drain plug at the stern and a tow point on the bow are nice touches, and show that this boat is well thought out.

For handling, I'm comparing the Sea Eagle to a hard shell sit-inside kayak. Between the inflatable floor and thick inflatable seat cushions, the Sea Eagle feels more like a canoe than a kayak because of the higher center-of-gravity. In waves, the body flexes as opposed to the waves breaking over the kayak, and the flexing takes a bit of getting used to. The dual skegs do help the boat track, but the boat still feels "skittish" and tends to slide sideways with winds much easier than the hard shells I've paddled. I can see that any inflatable without the skegs would have extremely poor performance. It's possible that the shorter 330 might handle a little better.

The storage bag is plenty large for all the parts and accessories This boat in the storage bag is a bit too heavy and too awkward in size to reasonably pack as air travel luggage, but is small enough to pack into just about any sized car (even one of the so-called "Smart Cars"). I also don't see anyone packing it on their back up the side of a mountain to get to that hidden lake, but I suppose it could be done. The smaller, lighter, 330 might be more suitable for airline and backpack travel.

The paddles are long, but they do tend to brush against the sides of the boat and I have to use more of an angle to get them into the water than with hard shells. The paddles come apart in four pieces which makes storage easy, but the paddle ends tend to "rattle" a bit in the rod while paddling, which is a little disconcerting to me.

The seats (Pro Package) are reasonably comfortable, but I've only used this boat for short trips of a bit over one hour at a time so don't know how I'd feel after several hours paddling. I do miss not have foot pedals to rest my feet against while paddling, and my (middle) seat seems to move backwards slightly while paddling. The rear seat is pushed all the way against the back of the tubes, so seat movement is not a problem. I do like being able to reconfigure the seats. I've used this boat for two people, taken out one seat and positioned the other seat for one-person paddling, and even pulled the kayak up on a secluded beach, taken out our gear and both seats then used the boat for a two-person air mattress and nap.

I was really concerned about having a boat comfortably large enough for two people, and spent a lot of time posting questions on these review pages. I ended up with the 370 vice 330 so I;d have the extra room and honestly, the 370 is almost too large for us. I'm 5'10", and wife is 4'11-1/2", and this boat is very roomy for us. We probably would have been better off with the 330, but as one person posted; If I used this boat solo I'd have a lot more room to hold my gear. Larger people would probably want this larger size boat for tandem use.

A few small quibbles with this boat:

- The manufacturer provides an inflation gauge for the side tubes, but not one for the floor. Having an inflation gauge for the floor would be nice.

- The blue dye from the webbing on the seats bleeds onto the PVC when the webbing gets wet. I now have a couple of blue dye marks on the nice white hull, which annoys me. I'm hoping the bleed-over problem goes away once the webbing gets wet a few times.

- The pockets on the back of the seats could have been a little larger, given that this is the only storage built into the boat. It would also be nice to have a side pocket provided in the storage bag for small items.

A couple of tips for people who have read my review this far:

- Get some silicon grease and put a light coat on the rubber seals of the inflation valves. This will make it much easier to screw the valves tightly closed. You don't need much lube; a two ounce container should last a long time. (Don't use Vaseline as it might damage the rubber).

- Don't trust the paddle floats that come with the Pro Package. If you drop a paddle in the water it will float, but may float away and get out of your reach. Use proper paddle lanyards hooked to your PFD.



Ztotop 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Inflatable Boat,Two Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Foot Pump Review:


Prior to purchasing, I read many reviews and looked over many different covers for my 2017 7thGen Fire HD 8 Tablet, and finally decided on the Ztotop's Folio Case (Slim) with the Galaxy design. My main goal was to avoid the higher prices of the Amazon covers, have decent protection, stand-up ability, auto-wake/sleep functionality, and a hand strap for one-handed use. Oh, and find a design I like (of course). I'm happy to say that it has met ALL my expectations, without being too bulky.

From reviews, I was concerned it might be off-center / misaligned with the microphone cutout - but I have to say - It lines up perfectly on mine! I'm quite pleased. Plus, others have commented on how nice it looks (an added bonus).