ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST TOURING KAYAKS COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST TOURING KAYAKSTOURING KAYAKS REVIEWSDELTA KAYAKS 12.10WILDERNESS SYSTEMS TSUNAMI 145 WITH RUDDERDAGGER STRATOS 14.5LEDDYLINE SKYLARKWILDERNESS SYSTEMS PUNGO 120EDDYLINE RIOPOINT 65 WHISKY 16DELTA KAYAKS 14PERCEPTION TRIBUTE 12.0HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST TOURING KAYAKSHULL MATERIALWEIGHTTRACKING SYSTEMSIZELENGTHWIDTHSTABILITYMANEUVERABILITY Blue skies, blue waters, beautiful vistas and a steady breeze — all these point to a great day to go kayaking! In fact, why not make it a three-day weekend? Pack your food, sunscreen and camera. Let us help you find the best touring kayak for your trip. While reading our guide, you will need to consider where you’ll be kayaking and how you want your kayak to feel on the water. Here at The Adventure Junkies, outdoor gear is our specialty. We love to break down information into bite-sized bits of knowledge that can help you grow into an adventure sports guru in no time! For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Sea Kayaks | Sit on Top | Tandem | Canoes | Inflatable Kayaks Paddles | Seats | PFDs | Dry Bags | Anchors | GPS Wetsuits | Drysuits | Gloves | Shoes Fishing Kayaks | Rods | Reels | Rod Holders | Fish Finders SUPs | Inflatable SUPs | Paddles QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST TOURING KAYAKS 1. DELTA KAYAKS 12.10 VIEW AT REI 2. WILDERNESS SYSTEMS TSUNAMI 145 VIEW AT REI 3. DAGGER STRATOS 14.5L VIEW AT REI 4. EDDYLINE SKYLARK VIEW AT REI 5. WILDERNESS SYSTEMS PUNGO 120 VIEW AT REI 6. EDDYLINE RIO VIEW AT REI 7. POINT 65 WHISKY 16 VIEW AT AMAZON 8. DELTA KAYAKS 14 VIEW AT REI 9. PERCEPTION TRIBUTE 12.0 VIEW AT AMAZON COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST TOURING KAYAKS PICTURETOURING KAYAKBEST USEMATERIALWEIGHTTRACKING SYSTEMPRICERATING PICTURETOURING KAYAKBEST USEABS or PolyethyleneWEIGHTTRACKING SYSTEMPRICERATING Delta Kayaks 12.10OverallABS43.0 lbsNone$$$5.0 Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145OverallPolyethylene56.0 lbsRudder$$5.0 Dagger Stratos 14.5OverallPolyethylene52.5 lbsSkeg$$5.0 Eddyline SkylarkDay TouringABS41.0 lbsNone$$$5.0 Wilderness Systems Pungo 120Day TouringPolyethylene49.0 lbsNone$$4.8 Eddyline RioDay TouringABS35.0 lbsNone$$5.0 Point 65 Whisky 16ExpeditionPolyethylene55.0 lbsSkeg$$$5.0 Delta Kayaks 14ExpeditionABS45.0 lbsRudder$$$3.8 Perception Tribute 12.0Budget Polyethylene42.0 lbsNone$4.0 TOURING KAYAKS REVIEWS DELTA KAYAKS 12.10 Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: Short overnights HULL MATERIAL: ABS plastic WEIGHT: 43.0 lbs (19.5 kg) TRACKING SYSTEM: None SIZE: Length: 12.8 ft (3.9 m), Width: 25.0 in (63.8 cm) STABILITY: High stability MANEUVERABILITY: High maneuverability PROS: Adjustable, multi-position seat, 2 dry storage areas, bungee deck rigging at bow/stern, perimeter aid lines for self-rescue, 300 lb (136.0 kg) weight capacity CONS: Not enough storage for longer expeditions WILDERNESS SYSTEMS TSUNAMI 145 WITH RUDDER Check out the latest price on: REI | Backcountry BEST FOR: All around kayaking HULL MATERIAL: Polyethylene WEIGHT: 56.0 lbs (25.4 kg) TRACKING SYSTEM: Rudder SIZE: Length: 14.5 ft (4.4 m) Width: 24.5 in (62.2 cm) STABILITY: Moderate stability MANEUVERABILITY: Moderate maneuverability PROS: Phase 3 AirPro seating system, foot pedal-controlled rudder system, domed bow and stern hatch, Paddle Park to secure paddle, 350 lb (158.8 kg) weight capacity CONS: Stability and maneuverability sacrificed for speed DAGGER STRATOS 14.5L Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Fun, variable paddling HULL MATERIAL: Polyethylene WEIGHT: 52.5 lbs (23.8 kg) TRACKING SYSTEM: Skeg SIZE: Length: 14.5 ft (4.4 m) Width: 23 in (58.4 cm) STABILITY: High stability MANEUVERABILITY: Moderate maneuverability PROS: Rockered bow shape to aggressively punch through waves, adjustable drop skeg, supports multi-day tours, ConTour CFS seating system, 315 lb (143.0 kg) weight capacity CONS: Length, price EDDYLINE SKYLARK Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: River cruising HULL MATERIAL: ABS plastic WEIGHT: 41.0 lbs (18.6 kg) TRACKING SYSTEM: None SIZE: 12.0 ft (3.7 m) Width: 26.0 in (66.0 cm) STABILITY: High stability MANEUVERABILITY: High maneuverability PROS: Lightweight design, extended thigh supports reduce back and hip fatigue, duo foam backrest with forward lean and height adjustment, fused Carbonlite front/rear bulkheads, bow/stern bungee deck rigging CONS: Moderate weight capacity at 295 lbs (133.8 kg), no tracking system WILDERNESS SYSTEMS PUNGO 120 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Comfort for larger kayakers HULL MATERIAL: Polyethylene WEIGHT: 49.0 lbs (22.2 kg) TRACKING SYSTEM: None SIZE: Length: 12.0 ft (3.6 m) Width: 29.0 in (73.7 cm) STABILITY: High stability MANEUVERABILITY: High maneuverability PROS: Large, open cockpit, removable Kayak Konsole storage, Phase 3 AirPro seating system, full-size, watertight stern hatch with bulkhead, 325 lb (147.4 kg) weight capacity CONS: No tracking system, roomy construction not snug enough for smaller kayakers EDDYLINE RIO Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: Speed and efficiency for smaller kayakers HULL MATERIAL: ABS plastic WEIGHT: 35.0 lbs (15.9 kg) TRACKING SYSTEM: None SIZE: Length: 11.9 ft (3.6 m) Width: 24.0 in (70.0 cm) STABILITY: Moderate stability MANEUVERABILITY: High maneuverability PROS: Lightweight construction, hard chines for responsive turning, bow/stern bulkheads with hatches, compact size for easy transportation CONS: Not suited for larger people, low weight capacity at 270 lbs (122.5 kg) POINT 65 WHISKY 16 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Rough water HULL MATERIAL: Polyethylene WEIGHT: 55 lbs (24.9 kg) TRACKING SYSTEM: Skeg SIZE: Length: 16 ft (4.9 m) Width: 22 in (55.9 cm) STABILITY: High stability MANEUVERABILITY: High maneuverability PROS: Designed for excellent handling and maneuverability by Nigel Foster, inflatable backrest, 2 large oval hatches at bow/stern, spring-loaded retractable symmetry skeg system, 342 lb (155.1 kg) weight capacity CONS: Long length makes transport more difficult, weight DELTA KAYAKS 14 Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: Sea Kayaking Expeditions HULL MATERIAL: ABS plastic WEIGHT: 45.0 lbs (20.4 kg) TRACKING SYSTEM: Rudder SIZE: Length: 14.0 ft. (4.3 m) Width: 24.0 in (61.0 cm) STABILITY: High stability MANEUVERABILITY: Moderate maneuverability PROS: V-shaped hull for speed and stability, channel-mounted and individually tubed rudder lines, 2 large, dry storage hatches, bungee deck rigging at bow/stern, 340 lb (154.2 kg) weight capacity CONS: Slightly too long for great maneuverability PERCEPTION TRIBUTE 12.0 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Budget touring for small kayakers HULL MATERIAL: Polyethylene WEIGHT: 42.0 lbs (19.1 kg) TRACKING SYSTEM: None SIZE: Length: 12.0 ft (3.7 m) Width: 24.5 in (62.2 cm) STABILITY: Moderate stability MANEUVERABILITY: High maneuverability PROS: Zone multi-adjust outfitting system with padded seat, adjustable back band, watertight stern hatch with bulkhead wall, perimeter deck lines, bungee deck rigging CONS: No tracking system, low weight capacity at 240 lbs (108.9 kg) Gear up for kayaking, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Kayaking GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR KAYAKING HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST TOURING KAYAKS HULL MATERIAL The never-ending kayaking debate asks the question, “Which is a better hull material, composite or plastic?” Truthfully, there is no correct answer as it ultimately comes down to preference. Let’s look at the facts. Composite is sleek and rigid because it’s made of lightweight components like fiberglass, carbon fiber or aramid fibers (Kevlar). This material boasts high tensile strength and aesthetic superiority that plastic cannot compete with. Glossy, modern and swift on the water, composite is used in racing vessels and preferred by most kayak enthusiasts. The downside of composite is that it is considerably more expensive than plastic hulls, by double or even quadruple and susceptible to impact damage. Its rigid nature offers no flexibility,and collisions with rocks frequently result in cracks in the hull. As a result of these combined factors, plastic kayaks are the most widely offered choice and recommended for most kayakers. In fact, all of the kayaks reviewed in this guide are plastic, made of either ABS or polyethylene. ABS plastic is the more lightweight, scratch-resistant, and expensive of the two. Polyethylene is thicker, heavier, and more durable. All plastic kayaks are said to have less “bounce” on the water, making them easier to maneuver. If you are interested in exploring composite kayaks, Seaward offers handcrafted Kevlar and carbon vessels. WEIGHT While composite is a substance of a lighter weight than plastic, buying a composite kayak does not guarantee easy handling and transportation. The same goes for plastic. Every kayak is different. The weight will mostly be determined by the length, with longer kayaks weighing more. If you plan to take on expeditions that require portaging, look for a lightweight kayak. TRACKING SYSTEM What is a tracking system, you ask? A tracking system is an accessory that enables a vessel to move in a straight line, existing as a rudder or skeg. A rudder is a moveable fin deployed off the stern (tail end) of the kayak that is controlled with foot pedals in the cockpit. A skeg, also called a keel, can be a stationary or adjustable fin on the bottom of the kayak below the stern. An adjustable skeg is able to be deployed at various depths below the vessel, depending on how much tracking is needed. Some kayaks do not have tracking systems, especially shorter kayaks, as they are already easy to maneuver. However, even the most easily maneuverable kayaks can be difficult to control in high winds without a tracking system. We recommend you test all the options before purchasing. SIZE Kayak dimensions are definitely important in understanding stability and maneuverability, not to mention comfort and transportation. LENGTH Touring kayaks usually range from 12 to 17 feet long. Long kayaks are ideal for touring since they temper turbulence and move more swiftly. They typically track better, too. With additional length comes additional difficulty in transportation and maneuvering. It’s wise to purchase a kayak cart unless you live on the water. WIDTH Wider cockpits offer more room for large people or people with additional storage needs. On the flip side, the wider a kayak, the less responsive it will be to the directional changes. This can be a good thing if you are interested in diminishing the effects of waves or wind, but can hinder your ability to carve quickly and easily. Smaller people will benefit from a thinner kayak as they offer enhanced responsiveness and are easier to paddle. STABILITY Kayak stability is measured in two parts, primary and secondary stability. Primary is the ability for a kayak to stay balanced while sitting flat on the surface. Meanwhile, the secondary is the ability for it to stay balanced when the kayak rotates onto its side. MANEUVERABILITY When choosing a touring kayak, it is important to consider where you plan to use it the most and what type of movement you are most comfortable with. If you plan on taking long or overnight trips, even expeditions, a speedy and lightweight but less maneuverable kayak would serve you well. If you will likely encounter choppy waves or wind, as one would in the mouth of a river or slight rapids, a highly maneuverable kayak will prove advantageous in your ability to stay safe on the water. KAYAKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSKAYAKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. KAYAK SAFETY 2. KAYAK SKILLS 6. DESTINATIONS 3. KAYAKING GEAR 7. KAYAK FISHING 4. KAYAK CLOTHES 8. SUP 1. BASICS 2. KAYAK SKILLS 3. KAYAK GEAR 4. KAYAK CLOTHES 5. KAYAK SAFETY 6. DESTINATIONS 7. KAYAK FISHING 8. SUP Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.