- Read our review guidelines
A kayak canoe hybrid can be an ideal boat if you’re looking for versatility. But what exactly is it and when might you use it?
We know how important it is to want to find that perfect boat, so we’ve put some information together to help you discover whether one of these crossover boats might be right for you.
What Is A Hybrid Kayak?
A hybrid kayak combines the best features of a kayak with the best features of a canoe. This can give you the best of both worlds in one vessel.
These types of boats are generally designed with the open deck and cockpit of a canoe, which can maximize your storage space. But instead of a traditional bench-style seat, you’ll usually find these types of boats have a kayak-style seat with a backrest and additional padding. The seat is often raised off the floor for improved comfort.
One notable kayak feature of these vessels is the size, making them more compact than standard canoes. A hybrid will also usually have lower profile sides than a traditional canoe and a hull shaped more like a kayak. This can make a hybrid easier to maneuver on your own and more convenient for transportation compared to a traditional full-size canoe.
Hybrid kayaks can be useful for fishing because of the increased space to move around and store gear. This reason can also make them great for solo camping trips.
However, if you’re looking for a speedy vessel that can handle rough water, a hybrid might not be the best choice. These boats are generally designed for relaxed flatwater paddling and they tend to favor stability over speed.
What Are The Advantages Of Owning A Hybrid?
The inside of a hybrid is designed similar to a canoe, so it’s entirely open, generally with no enclosed storage within the hull. This can give you more freedom and more room to work with when it comes to storing your gear. However, you might need dry bags for items that you don’t want to get wet.
Another great advantage of the open canoe design is that there’s room for your dog to join you, with space for him or her to move around and sit comfortably.
Hybrid vessels tend to have a high level of stability, particularly on calm lakes and other flatwater. This can come in handy if you plan to fish, as you will probably find you can stand up for easier casting.
Some hybrids will often offer a combination of primary and secondary stability, but these types of vessels are not usually designed to handle rough waters.
One of the main benefits of a hybrid is that it can be easily paddled on your own using a twin-blade kayak paddle. These types of boats tend to be shorter than standard full-size canoes, which means they can be easier to turn and maneuver in small bodies of water. Maneuvering them on land can also be easier, especially if you’re by yourself.
Hybrids tend to be lightweight, making them more convenient for solo paddlers to transport and load onto car roof racks.
Kayak Canoe Hybrids We Like
1: Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman
- Length: 11 foot 9 inches
- Width: 32.5 inches
- Weight: 56 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 354 pounds
The Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman is a compact and lightweight canoe that is built for one paddler, similar to a pack canoe. This means it’s designed to be easily transported on a car roof rack and easier to maneuver on your own, both on land and on the water.
This is a stable, durable boat that’s made from three-layer polyethylene, similar to a kayak, meaning it can stand up to knocks and bumps. This durability and stability can make it ideal for fishing on flatwater, even for beginners.
This boat has great features for added comfort, including a contoured, padded seat with an adjustable backrest for lumbar support. There are also padded armrests which can be ideal if you’re a photographer, hunter, or angler.
You’ll also find an accessory track for personalizing the boat with your gadgets. Additionally, there are built-in rod holders, a molded cup holder and even a shotgun shell holder. The adjustable foot braces help you to stabilize yourself and give you better paddling posture.
- Built-in fishing features – rod storage and gear tracks for easy mounting of accessories
- Compact – easy to maneuver on small bodies of water and load onto a roof rack
- Comfortable seat – padded, adjustable backrest and adjustable foot pegs
2: Native Watercraft Ultimate FX 12 Kayak
- Length: 12 foot 2 inches
- Width: 31 inches
- Weight: 57 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
This Native Watercraft Ultimate FX 12 is a durable polyethylene kayak that’s built for stability. It features a tunnel hull that has been redesigned in a flatter style so that there’s more room for standing, letting you fish more comfortably. The hull has also been designed to increase secondary stability to better handle moving water.
A great feature of this boat is the High-Low First Class seating system that lets you slide forwards and back, as well as position yourself higher or lower on the deck for improved visibility and paddling comfort. You can also take the seat out to sit on while you’re camping.
You’ll find bungee rigging at the bow and stern to help secure the gear in your boat. There are also built-in gear tracks so that you can attach accessories without drilling into the hull. Another handy feature is the tight line trolley kit for your anchor system – there’s one on each side for different wind/current directions.
- Anchor trolley system – lets you attach an anchor for better positioning while fishing
- Adjustable seat – high-low positioning and sliding adjustment for tailored comfort
- Tunnel hull – great stability
A hybrid canoe kayak can be a fantastic boat if you want the convenience of a kayak with the load-hauling space of a canoe. These boats are designed to offer the best design features of both vessels to make fishing and camping trips easier.
Standard canoes can be somewhat bulky and cumbersome, especially if you’re on your own. That’s where the hybrid comes in – letting you paddle solo in a more compact craft without sacrificing a canoe’s open cockpit design.
What are your thoughts on hybrids? Let us know in the comments.