Looking for the best sea kayaks? Since all sea kayaks are the subset of touring kayaks, we will also share the best touring kayaks in this post. As a matter of fact, most people find no difference between sea and touring kayaks. These touring and sea kayaks are designed to paddle on open waters like lakes, bays, and obviously the ocean. Before we jump into the procedure of finding the best touring kayaks, let’s check a short comparison chart of best sea kayaks and touring kayaks.
- Best Touring Kayaks and Sea Kayaks 2018
- Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak
- Ocean Kayak 16 Feet Two Expedition
- Necky Manitou Sport Kayak
- Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 Kayak
- AirFusion Elite Inflatable Kayak
- How to Find The Best Sea kayaks and Touring Kayaks
- Final Verdict
Best Touring Kayaks and Sea Kayaks 2018
|Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV||14.5 Feet||4.8|
|Necky Chatham 18 Composite||18 Feet||4.7|
|Ocean Kayak 16-Feet Two Expedition||16 Feet||4.8|
|Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125||12 Feet||4.6|
|Sea Eagle Razorlite 393rl||12.8 Feet||4.7|
|Wilderness Systems Thresher 155 Kayak||15' 6"||4.7|
|Wilderness System Tempest 170||17'||4.7|
|AirFusion Elite||13 feet||4.6|
|Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Kayak||16' 6"||4.9|
|Sea Eagle Razorlite 393rl||12'10"||4.9|
Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak
Best Touring Kayak: Riot Kayaks is very popular for producing quality sea kayaks for a long time. Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV is a flat water day touring kayak with a reasonable price. This excellent day touring kayak comes with a length of 14.5 feet and weighs only 60 pounds. As we know, touring kayaks have larger lengths than usual kayaks, this one’s length is appropriate for your day touring adventures
With the slender bow and slim deck profile, Riot Kayak Edge 14.5 is one of the best touring kayaks on the market.
Finding a stylish touring kayak with useful features might be hard work for most. But once you lay your eyes in this elegant touring kayak, you will inevitably fall in love with its features, beautiful body, and performance. Since it is a touring kayak, it is needed to have a good kayak seat to make sure you feel comfortable on the trip. Thankfully, the advanced custom-fit seating system comes to the rescue. It’s comfortable and offers a great fitting for most users.
There are other useful features like the pilot rudder system, adjustable sliding foot braces, front & rear storage compartments, drainplug, shockcord storage with safety straps, bars and more. Due to the large size of the kayak, it tracks very well. I can write all day, but I guess I have made my points clear to prove why this is one of the best sea kayaks in the market.
- Advanced custom fitting system for comfort
- Pilot radar system
- Length of 14.5 feet
- Stylish and elegant design with highly-visible color
- Adjustable sliding foot braces and integrated thigh braces
- Great tracking
- Front and rear storage compartment with dual density hatch cover
- Reflective lifelines, security bar, security straps and more
Ocean Kayak 16 Feet Two Expedition
Best Tandem Sea Kayak: If you are planning to take your buddies for a kayaking tour, Ocean Kayak 16 Two Expedition is the fastest tandem touring kayak you will find on the market. Be it a one day trip or a weekend adventure; you are ready to roll with this touring kayak. There are two adult seats with a small child or pet’s seat provided in this kayak. This Ocean Kayak weighs only 75 lbs and can handle 500-600 lbs.
Due to the highly visible color, it is easy to spot this tandem touring kayak. The 16 feet long length allows the users to sit comfortably in comfort plus seats. It also comes with molded-in foot braces for more flexibility. The stern oversized tank well with bungees and bow deck bungee storage is enough for a weekend-long tour. It is equipped with other features like the side carry handle for easy transportation, molded-in cup holders, two side-mounted paddle keepers and more.
- Spacious design
- Two adults with a small child or dog
- Comfort Plus seats with molded-in foot braces
- Stern Oversized tank well with bungee storage
- Highly visible color
- Side carry handles for easy carrying
- Paddle keepers
- Skid plate
- Best for using in warmer places
- Molded-in cup holders
- 16 feet long
Necky Manitou Sport Kayak
Best Cheap Sea Kayak: Finding a sea kayak with a limited budget can be tricky and annoying. If you are a seasoned kayaker, you will know that most sea kayaks are expensive. For people who are looking for a budget friendly sea kayak, Necky Manitou is the best sea kayak in the market. This sea kayak comes in four different colors with a very reasonable pricing.
Necky Manitou Sport Kayak comes with 10 feet and 11 inches. Unlike most sea kayaks, this one is slightly shorter, but that doesn’t affect you having fun in the open sea. As you can see in the picture, the kayak comes with a comfortable and large cockpit opening. It helps you to get in the kayak very easily and quickly. The highly efficient hull of this Manitou Sport Kayak is made of polyethylene.
Most people who are new to sea kayaking hates the choppy water. However, having a sea kayak with highly stable kayak can be very beneficial for them. You will be glad to know that Manitou is blended with excellent stability and good tracking. This highly performing sea kayak is capable of delivering great stability even in harsh marine conditions.
About tracking, Necky Manitou also tracks very well. So if you are aiming for longer distances, you will appreciate the tracking, stability, comfort and adjustable seating of this sea kayak. It also comes with stern storage if you are carrying gears or other essentials like lunch bags. In a nutshell, this is the best sea kayak for beginners in our opinion.
- Hull made of polyethylene
- Available in different colors
- Soft chine lines
- Excellent stability
- Good maneuverable ability
- 60 liters of Stern storage
- Active Comfort system 2.0 seat for comfort
- Foam thigh pads provided
- Cockpit big enough to enter easily
- Excellent tracking
Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 Kayak
Best sea kayak for larger paddler: As the name says, this really is one of the best sea kayaks on the market. With spacious cockpit and a deeper hull, this sea kayak is highly recommended for larger kayakers. Packed with many impressive features, Tsunami 125 is the kayak you need for your next touring trip.
One of the most amazing features of the Tsunami 125 kayak is it’s Phase 3 AirPro seating system. It comes with six-way adjustment ability which lets you customize your seating position. Thus, you get to have the best seating position you need for a better comfort. It also has padding densities on the back and covers you where you may need them. This comes very handily for larger paddlers.
Domed bow and stern hatch covers offer a watertight seal and rugged storage option. The bungee deck rigging provides an ample gear storage to keep small and essential gears like a dry bag.
However, you will see tabs which are easy to remove. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 kayak is packed with other features like the adjustable padded thigh braces, paddle holder, SlideLock XL foot brace system, Bungee Deck Rigging, and more.
- Ergonomic carry handles with soft rubber construction for easy transportation
- Sidelock XL Foot Brace System for better comfort and better paddling position
- Phase 3 AirPro seating system offers six-way adjustment for comfortable seating position
- Adjustable padded thigh braces
- Domed bow and stern hatches
- Bungee deck rigging offers
- Stunning design with cool color
- Seat’s leg lifter with soft edge
- Paddle Park to let you go hands-free for scene watching
AirFusion Elite Inflatable Kayak
Best Inflatable Sea Kayak: An inflatable sea kayak? Is that what we are seeing? Yes, this inflatable kayak is ready to fight small to medium swells of the ocean. If you aren’t going to handle more than 6 feet high swells, then this is the best inflatable ocean kayak for you. Once inflated, most people can’t detect whether it’s a hardshell or an inflatable kayak.
Due to the easy setup, a lot of ocean kayakers loved this kayak. The slim design with aluminum alloy frame poles and pressurized air tubes offer great stability to the users. You will find a wide beam of 28 inches which makes it more spacious and helps achieve more stability to combat harsh conditions.
Unlike most inflatable kayaks, AirFusion Elite offers a good amount of storage on the rear hatch for easy access. Due to the 13 feet long design, AirFusion Elite offers great tracking ability compared to regular hard-shell kayaks. However, the 13 feet long design has made the maneuver slow, but it’s worthy of having better tracking when you are aiming for longer distances.
There are other features like the bungee deck lacing storage, optional fixed skeg, highly-visible color and more. About the durability, AirFusion Elite comes with highly durable and heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin material which provides excellent & extreme puncture resistance. In a nutshell, this kayak is for the people who are planning for sea kayaking but doesn’t want the hassle of a hard-shell kayak.
- Easy setup
- Aluminum alloy frame with air pressurized air tubes for better performance
- Spacious design
- Nice stability
- Able to handle rough situations
- Bungee deck lacing
- Rear access hatch storage for easy access
- Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin for great puncture resistance
How to Find The Best Sea kayaks and Touring Kayaks
Sea kayaking is one of the most popular forms of kayaking. A lot of people are using kayaks for touring or camping purposes. If you want to grab one of the best sea kayaks you need to understand the factor which will determine the performance of it. Different people have different types. This is why you need to do proper research to identify the bet sea kayak for you.
Despite sharing some of the top touring kayaks and sea kayaks, we are going to help you find the one which meets your need. Just go through the factors, and you will be able to land the best sea kayaks for your cause.
If you already looked for some sea kayaks, you already know that they are costly. Most ocean kayak comes with a larger body for better tracking and offers a good amount of storage to make it more easy for the user to store items for a weekend or a day’s trip. Due to the larger sizes the kayaks usually have higher prices. This is a very important thing to consider when you are looking for touring kayaks.
One of the thing which increases the price of your kayak is the material of the hull. There are different types of materials used to make the hull of a kayak. It can be plastic, or it can be composite. Plastic kayaks are usually cheaper for being heavier. On the other hand, composite kayaks are expensive. However, you will find them very lightweight. So if you aren’t using a kayak cart, and carrying them by yourself, you will love composite sea kayaks.
There are other benefits of using composite kayaks as they come with a glossier exterior. Due to the good polish, some kayakers believe it enhances the tracking of the kayak. However, composite kayaks are more prone to get scratches when hit with sharp objects. On the other side, plastic kayaks don’t get scratches easily. And even if they do, it is relatively easy to repair them. These are my findings, and I hope you can use them while deciding to choose sea kayak.
Length and Width
As I have told earlier, sea kayaks are usually bigger than typical kayaks. Try to pick a kayak with a longer length. At first, it will take some time to gain speed, but you will be amazed at their tracking ability. It helps especially when you are looking for longer trips. However, longer kayaks are tough to maneuver, and they are expensive. I guess these are the trade-off for the impressive tracking ability.
The width of the kayak will have a relation with the length of it. A good sea kayak will have widths ranging from 50cm to 90cm. There are exceptions, but most of the kayaks will fall under this range. A sea kayak with higher width will have more stability, but they are slow and hard to flip. On the other hand, narrower kayaks are lightweight, easy to flip, has better tracking. However, they have lesser stability.
Flatwater or Choppy Water
Kayaking in choppy water is different than flat water. You can choose a casual sea kayak for paddling on flat water. However, the scenario will change when you are going to paddle in the choppy water. Flatwater sea kayaks are usually cheaper than the choppy waters kayak.
A kayak made of good material will not only offer better durability, but it will also provide better performance. You need to check the hull material, hatch material, bungee chords, paddle holder and more. In this way, your kayak will be able to survive harsh conditions and thrive on the water.
Rudder Or Skeg
If you are getting a new kayak for the open sea, you may want to get a rudder, a skeg, or maybe neither of them. Different kayakers have a different opinion about these things, but it is you who will decide. A rudder is used to set and control the direction of your kayak. On the other hand, a skeg is used to assist the tracking of the kayak in windy weather. If you are not sure how they work, you can do a little research about them on YouTube.
If you see clearly, you will notice that the sea kayaks usually comes with small cockpits. If you are a big guy, you may want a sea kayak with a wider cockpit. To feel comfortable or getting into the kayak easily, cockpits have to wider than waist. However, if you are planning for a casual day touring trip in flat water, you will be fine with a larger cockpit too. We have mentioned few kayaks with larger cockpits if you are not familiar with smaller cockpits.
I hope these piece of information are sufficient for you to land the best touring kayak. You will have to read the factors carefully, and that way you will have a clear idea about which one suits your need. However, the touring kayaks we posted are capable of making your day touring trips more enjoyable and fascinating.