How Much Does a Kayak Weigh?

How Much Does a Kayak Weigh?

A kayak’s weight is one of the significant factors that you have to consider before buying. This because a kayak’s mass determines how easy it will be to transport. You may have to buy an additional cart so that you can wheel the craft to the water and back.

The kayak’s weight is also significant if you are a beginner. The answer to the question “How heavy is a kayak?” is mostly determined by the type of kayak, its materials, and the equipment you have on board.

Different Types

Kayaks can weigh anything from 20 lbs. to 80 lbs. There are many different types of kayaks, each with their own weight range. The lightest kayak types are foldable and inflatable boats.

When it comes to hard shell kayaks, single person or shorter kayaks are the lightest. Although these models typically don’t offer a lot of storage space, they are often the kayak of choice for professionals and beginners alike.

Tandems are the heaviest type of kayak because they have to accommodate two people at once. Since two people are operating the kayak, however, two people can help each other carry the boat back to the car.


The type of material that the kayak is made from also affects its’ weight. The most common materials are plastic or polyethylene, fiberglass, or composite.

Apart from weight, there are also significant differences in price between the different material types. Polyethylene is the most affordable kayak material type, but it is also the heaviest. Beginners or people that have strict budgetary constraints typically opt for polyethylene kayaks.

Composite kayaks are the best option in terms of weight, but they are much more expensive than polyethylene products. Fiberglass models cover the mid-range when it comes to price as well as weight.

Equipment on Board

man kayak fishing in lily pads in yellow kayak

One weight factor that kayak shoppers often overlook is the equipment on board. Beginners often think that they only have a paddle to worry about.

As they get into the sport, they start realizing that they have to account for all sorts of equipment, including a personal flotation device, a bilge pump, lights, batteries, fishing tackle, and repair kit supplies.

Onboard equipment can contribute significantly to your kayak’s weight, especially if you prefer to keep your gear stowed inside your cockpit to save time. A minimalistic approach to onboard equipment will not only keep your kayak’s weight down, but it will also help you to keep your cockpit organized.


If you don’t have the means to deal with a heavy kayak, consider opting for a small composite or fiberglass model. If you don’t have the bankroll, try to find a suitable cart that is compatible with your kayak.

Weight is often overlooked as a buying consideration. It is, however, a significant factor that can influence the way you experience kayaking as a sport. Take some time to find out what your needs are regarding kayak weight and what you can do to meet them.