How Much Does A Kayak Weigh? (Not Too Heavy I Hope!)

It’s easy to get excited when you’re about to buy a kayak. All you want to do is get out on the water and begin your first adventure.

But before you get too excited, you need to be thinking about the weight of the kayak. This is often determined by size and the material.

Carry kayak - Is It Heavy?

This is very much the case if you need to transport the kayak to and from the water. Maybe you need to lift it up to the roof of a car and drive to the lake? Or do you need to lift and walk the ‘yak from your shed to the river bank?

You’ll need to make sure you can comfortably carry (or sometimes drag) the kayak to where it needs to go.

That’s why it’s important to think about just how much the kayak weighs. This applies to canoes too!

How Heavy Are Kayaks (and Canoes!)?

There are a few variables here, so if you thought this was going to be a one-line answer, then we're afraid you’re out of luck!

Ball-park kayak weights are anywhere between 20 pounds, right up to 80 pounds and more.

The best way to find out the weight of a kayak is to use your favorite online search engine, and search for the model of kayak you're interested in. Then either go to the site of the reseller, or the kayak manufacturer’s site (these should be in the search results). You should be able to find out the details of weight and weight capacity (how much weight the kayak can hold) from there.

What Material Is The Kayak Made From?

The most common kayak material types are:

  • Plastic (Polyethylene) > Cheaper but heavier
  • Fiberglass > Mid-priced and mid-weight
  • Composite > Expensive but lighter

What About Inflatable & Folding Kayaks?

Note that some of the inflatable and folding kayaks (and canoes) on the market can be particularly light. Another bonus is that they pack away, making them much more manageable to transport around.

However, there are disadvantages to both folding and inflatable kayaks too (compared to hard-shells). You can check out more here

Of Course, Tandems Are Heavier!

If you need to carry two people in a kayak, then you need more kayak to do the job. More kayak means more weight.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. There’ll be 2 people to lift the kayak around, so this should make life a lot easier!

But if you plan on taking a tandem out on your own, and you need to lift it about? You may well struggle with this!

Shorter Kayaks Are Lighter, But…

...You lose stability!

It might sound like a good way to shed the weight by opting for a shorter kayak. Yes, if it’s shorter it’s lighter. The only problem with this mentality is that the kayak will not be able to displace the water as well as a longer one.

Another downside to shorter kayaks is that you compromise on storage space. The longer ‘yaks have quite a bit more space to store your bits and pieces. If you’re planning on going on a camping trip, for example, that’s when you’ll curse the day you chose the shorter kayak to save some weight.

Wrapping Up

As we said before, ​kayaks can weigh anywhere between 20 and 80 pounds, sometimes even more.

Most kayaks weigh between around 35 (solo) to 60 pounds​ (tandem).

If you have an idea of the kayak you like, we recommend you go to the manufacturer's site and check out the specs for that model.​

Think carefully about the kayak weight before buying, if you need to carry the kayak anywhere. This is especially important if you need to lift a kayak up onto a car roof.


Do you own a heavy or light kayak? Do you have a question on the subject? Jot it down below​...

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