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Best Lightweight Fishing Kayak – Portable Friendliness!

Mark Armstrong
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In the world of fishing, finding the ideal angler kayak that effortlessly combines portability and performance is a pursuit for many avid anglers. 

This guide explores the top contenders in the realm of lightweight angler kayaks, designed to enhance your fishing experience without weighing you down.

Want to know the best lightweight fishing kayak? My top pick is the Aquaglide Chelan 120, weighing less than 30 pounds. 

Top 12 Best Lightweight Fishing Kayaks Reviewed

1: Aquaglide Chelan 120 (the lightest)

Aquaglide Chelan 120Pin
  • Weight: 28.3 pounds
  • Weight Capacity:  300 pounds
  • Length: 11 foot 3 inches
  • Width: 32.5 inches
  • Depth: 11.5 inches

The Aquaglide Chelan 120 is the lightest fishing kayak and is even lighter than most recreational and touring kayaks, weighing just over 28 pounds. 

It’s extremely portable, being an inflatable kayak that can be carried in the included backpack. However, this does not come with a pump. 

There is plenty of space on the deck, with the drop-stitch floor providing rigidity for improved stability and performance on the water. This is pretty quick over the water and can handle both flatwater and moderate rivers.

One of the best features of this kayak is that it has a Universal Accessory Mount. This lets you mount a rod holder (not included) in a convenient central spot on the deck. You’ll also find MOLLE plates with mesh bags so you can organize your tackle and gear. 

There are splash guards at the bow and stern, both with bungee cords to secure gear to the deck. There are D-rings and webbing loops for tying down additional gear. 

For comfort, there’s a padded seat with a high backrest for support. The backrest is adjustable. I like that the seat also benefits from having storage pockets and the front and back. The adjustable footrest lets you stabilize yourself in the seat. 


  • Can be transported in a backpack
  • Very lightweight
  • Accessory mount


  • Pump not included

> More Aquaglide kayak reviews

2: Sea Eagle 385FTA FastTrack Angler (best tandem)

Sea Eagle 385FTA FastTrack AnglerPin
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 635 pounds
  • Length: 12 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Depth: 9.5 inches (tube diameter)

The Sea Eagle 385 FastTrack Angler is a tandem kayak that’s built for versatility and convenience. 

It can be paddled tandem or solo and it even has the stability for standing up, allowing for easier and more comfortable casting. The non-slip EVA padding on the deck helps to make standing safer.

This stable fishing kayak can handle most types of water, including up to Class II rapids. 

It’s packed with features for the experienced angler, including front and rear spray skirts with built-in fishing rod holders, tool and tackle holders, plus bungee cords for securing gear. There’s also space under the spray skirts to store larger items and an angler ruler along the sides of the kayak. 

Another excellent feature of this inflatable fishing kayak is that it has four separate air chambers. Having multiple air chambers is better for safety and buoyancy as it helps to keep you afloat if one chamber happens to suffer a puncture. 

However, this is made from tough, durable material that’s built to handle dogs’ claws, dropped hooks, and sharp rocks. 

A downside to this is that there’s not much legroom for two large adults when paddling tandem. This also affects how much gear you’re able to bring. I recommend it for fishing with a child or a dog. 


  • Durable material
  • Good tackle storage
  • Stable fishing platform


  • Not the most spacious for two adult anglers

> Full Sea Eagle 385 FTA review

3: Sea Eagle 350FX Fishing Explorer (best inflatable)

Sea Eagle 350FX Fishing ExplorerPin
  • Weight: 51 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 575 pounds
  • Length: 11 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 39 inches
  • Depth: 11.5 inches (tube diameter)

The Sea Eagle 350FX is a solo inflatable fishing kayak that’s designed to handle almost every type of water. However, it does tend to catch the wind, which can make paddling tricky.

Rated for up to Class IV whitewater, this is a stable kayak with plenty of room and a high load capacity to accommodate you and your fishing gear. 

This is the ultimate inflatable fishing boat, with six built-in rod holders for multiple fishing rods, tackle and tool organization, a fish ruler, and a spacious deck with non-slip padding. You can stand up to cast, with the durable and stable drop-stitch floor providing the ideal platform. 

There’s a handy FlexBrace footrest, which is ergonomically designed to offer comfort and stability during long fishing trips. 

Another feature that I like is that it has anchor trolley attachment points, so you can easily install an anchor system (not included).

There are various packages you can choose from, with one including a swivel chair for all-day comfort and enhanced visibility. However, to minimize weight, I’d recommend opting for the inflatable seat or the EVA foam seat. 


  • Six rod holders
  • Ideal for all waters
  • Standing platform


  •  Not great in windy conditions

4: Pelican Getaway 110 (lightest pedal kayak)

Pelican Premium Getaway 110 HDII Pedal KayakPin
  • Weight: 59 pounds (65 pounds fully rigged)
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds 
  • Length: 10 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 33 inches
  • Depth: 11.25 inches

The Pelican Getaway 110 is one of the lightest pedal kayaks on the market, weighing less than half of some of the more expensive pedal fishing kayaks. 

This Getaway 110 features a low-profile deck and a HyDryve II pedal system. The pedal drive features push-pedals and dual fins for hands-free propulsion. There’s also a rudder for easy maneuvering. But I’d still recommend taking a paddle with you, as turning and reversing can be tricky without a paddle. 

One of the best features of this kayak is the accessory rails that are built into the side carry handles. This helps to save space on the deck and lets you mount your own accessories and rod holders in a convenient spot beside the seat. 

It comes with a framed seat that can be removed and used as a beach or lawn chair. 

There’s storage space at the back, with bungee rigging to keep gear safe and secure. However, there’s no dry storage or dedicated space for smaller items.

Another feature I find useful is the tunnel hull. This adds extra stability for fishing trips on both flat and moving water. You can also stand up if you have good balance.


  • Pedal drive
  • Accessory tracks
  • Tunnel hull
  • Framed seat


  • Limited storage

> More Pelican kayak reviews

5: BKC FK184 (best for features)

BKC FK184 Solo KayakPin
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
  • Length: 9 foot
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Depth: 18 inches

The BKC FK184 is a compact fishing kayak that’s packed with angling features. This sit-on-top kayak is easy to paddle, even for beginners, thanks to its short hull being easy to maneuver. This makes it a good choice for smaller bodies of water and narrow rivers.

It’s also stable, allowing you to stand up. However, the molded footrests mean there’s not much flat deck space for your feet when standing up, which can be a downside compared to adjustable foot braces.

This feature-packed hardshell fishing kayak is lightweight and easy to carry. It has excellent storage options, including two watertight storage hatches. There’s also a rear cargo deck with bungees that’s ideal for storing a cooler or a fishing crate. 

You’ll find four flush-mount rod holders and one articulating rod holder, so you can rig the kayak to suit your fishing needs. 

Another benefit of this fishing kayak is that it comes with a paddle, so you can get out on the water right away.

One thing I don’t like, however, is the seat. It’s not the most comfortable for long fishing trips. 


  • Dry storage 
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Five rod holders


  • Not the most comfortable seat
  • Not the best for standing

6: Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Kayak (best budget)

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak - Best Tandem kayakPin
  • Weight: 37 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 470 pounds
  • Length: 10 foot
  • Width: 39 inches

The Sevylor Colorado is a budget kayak that’s designed for two paddlers but can be ideal for a solo paddler. 

This is a very wide, stable inflatable kayak. But it’s not the fastest on the water and paddling in a straight line can sometimes be tricky if there’s wind or currents. 

This is a compact tandem inflatable kayak that’s built for fishing. It features six fishing rod holders, including two swivel-mount rod holders and it comes with a carry bag. 

It also has the added benefit of having mesh storage pockets along the sides so you can keep your lures and tools organized and within reach. 

This fishing kayak comes with two padded seats but these seats are not the most comfortable if you plan to spend hours on the water. You’ll also find there’s not much legroom if there are two adults in the kayak, which is why this can be better suited to a solo paddler.

When paddled solo, there’s space for fishing gear on the deck, with D-rings to keep items tied down. There’s very limited space for gear when two adults are in the kayak.


  • Affordable 
  • Stable
  • Rod holders


  • Not spacious for two adults
  • Not the best tracking

> Full Sevylor Colorado review

7: Pelican Flash 9.5

  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 325 pounds
  • Length: 9 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 28.5 inches
  • Depth: 12.5 inches

The Pelican Flash 9.5 is a lightweight sit-inside kayak that can be great for both recreational paddling and fishing trips. This is a compact kayak so it’s easy to maneuver in tight spaces, such as rivers and ponds. 

The oversized cockpit means it’s easier to get in and out of compared to the small cockpits you might find on a sea kayak. This can give you a little more freedom of movement while you’re in the kayak as well. 

At the front of the cockpit, you’ll find a handy dashboard. This is ideal for storing smaller items and keeping essentials within easy reach. You’ll also find a bungee paddle holder here. 

There are two molded-in rod holders at the rear as well as a convenient storage hatch to keep gear safely stowed below deck. However, I’d recommend storing your gear in a dry bag before you store it in the hatch, as the hatch is not watertight. 

There’s also no bulkhead, so the hatch essentially gives access to the area behind the seat in the cockpit, with no separation between the cockpit and the storage area.

The seat is slightly elevated off the floor and features a padded seat cushion with a separate adjustable backrest. 


  • Easy to maneuver
  • Oversized cockpit
  • Rod storage


  • Hatch isn’t watertight

8: Old Town Loon 106 Angler

Old Town Loon 106 Angler KayakPin
  • Weight: 54 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 325 pounds
  • Length: 10 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Depth: 17.5 inches

The Old Town Loon 106 is a compact fishing kayak that’s crafted for comfort on the water. Despite its compact size, it’s great for a long fishing adventure. 

One of the best features of this sit-inside fishing kayak is the seat. The ACS2 seat is fully adjustable, including the height of the backrest, and features comfortable padding and ergonomic lumbar support.

The oversized cockpit provides ample room, even for tall paddlers, and there are adjustable foot braces. 

You’ll even find a removable work deck. The work deck features storage trays, dry storage, and a USB port to keep gadgets charged (battery not included). 

You can also mount accessories, such as a fish finder (sold separately), as there is an accessory track built into the work deck. There are two rod holders behind the cockpit.

There’s bungee storage at the bow and stern. Plus, the large stern hatch is sealed, providing dry storage for larger items. However, 

The fishing kayak has excellent tracking and is easy to paddle in a range of conditions. It’s stable but I don’t recommend standing up in this one. 


  • Extremely comfortable
  • Removable work deck
  • Good performance


  • Not recommended for standing

9: Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 

  • Weight: 47 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Length: 10 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 30 inches

The Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 is a lightweight sit-in kayak with an oversized cockpit and stable hull. This can make an excellent fishing kayak but it can also be just as good for recreational trips.

The Pungo features the fully adjustable Phase 3 AirPro seating system, which is what makes the most comfortable kayaks in the world, according to the manufacturer. Whether or not this is true is down to personal preference, so I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

The large cockpit is spacious and comfortable, with a SlideLock XL foot brace system for support. 

One of the best features of this kayak is the dashboard. This gives you mounting points for rod holders and accessories (sold separately), including an accessory track. There’s also a removable dry storage box and a battery recess (battery not included).

You can store gear below the deck in the stern hatch. There’s also bungee rigging at the bow and stern to keep additional items secure.

A downside to the Pungo is that there is no dedicated rod storage.


  • Battery storage area
  • Comfortable seat


  • No built-in rod holders

10: Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 

Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler Fishing Kayak 130Pin
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 650 pounds
  • Length: 13 foot
  • Width: 38 inches
  • Depth: 13.5 inches (tube diameter)

The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 is the ideal boat for an extended fishing trip. This inflatable fishing kayak has a huge capacity and lots of deck space, giving you plenty of freedom when it comes to storing fishing equipment and camping gear. 

This durable kayak is stable and can handle just about any type of water, including rivers, lakes, oceans, and surf. It features a high-pressure drop-stitch floor for increased performance and rigidity. 

One of my favorite features of this kayak is that it comes with a fishing cooler. As well as providing insulated storage for your lunch or bait, it also has fishing rod holders attached and a handy map case. 

The framed seat is designed for comfort and gives you a slightly elevated position off the deck for better visibility and a drier ride.

There is bungee storage at both the bow and stern, as well as spray covers that provide additional storage underneath.

There are MOLLE plates and Universal Accessory Mounts so you can easily install accessories and electronics (sold separately) to create a customized deck.  

Another thing I like about this fishing kayak is that it comes with a backpack so you can easily carry it to and from the water. A downside is that a pump is not included.


  • Spacious
  • Framed seat
  • Easy to customize


  • Pump not included

11: Vibe Sea Ghost 110

Vibe Sea Ghost 110Pin
  • Weight: 62 pounds (84 pounds fully rigged)
  • Weight Capacity: 425 pounds
  • Length: 11 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 33 inches

The Vibe Sea Ghost 110 is a versatile fishing kayak with all the bells and whistles. It’s not the lightest kayak on our list of fishing kayak reviews, and while I don’t personally consider it to be lightweight, it is a lightweight professional-level angler kayak. 

This is a stable kayak that allows for stand-up casting. It can also handle a variety of different waterways. The toe-controlled rudder helps when maneuvering and tracking in rivers and moving water.

This could be the best fishing kayak if you’re looking to customize it to suit your fishing game. 

The center console features gear tracks, mini hatches, magnetic lure storage, and a hinged lid for easy access. 

There’s a transducer port for your fish finder (not included) with a protective lid to minimize obstructions and optimize down-imaging sonar technology. 

You’ll also find tackle tray slots, molded rod holders, gear tracks for accessory mounting, plus a large bow hatch and a spacious rear cargo deck with bungees to keep your gear secure.

The Hero seat is framed and has breathable fabric for comfort. It’s also elevated for better sight fishing.


  • Premium fishing features
  • Rudder included


  • Not as lightweight as some

> More Vibe Kayaks reviews

12: Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler 

Pelican Sentinel 100X AnglerPin
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
  • Length: 9 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Depth: 13.25 inches

The Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler is a lightweight sit-on-top fishing kayak that can be ideal for beginners and anglers on a budget.

This is a stable boat that can be ideal for kayak fishing in flatwater environments. It’s not designed for standing and it’s not the best choice for rough waters.

This budget fishing kayak is compact and easy to transport in the back of a pickup or on a car roof rack. It features two rod holders, two paddle or rod tie-downs, and a center console with compartments and accessory holders.

You’ll also find a rear cargo deck with a removable ExoPak storage compartment. The bow features a mesh cargo net to secure smaller items to the deck.

The ErgoLounge seat is padded with a tall, wide backrest. The seat is not the most comfortable for long trips, so you might want to take an extra cushion with you. There are adjustable foot pegs for different leg lengths and scupper holes for drainage.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to paddle
  • Great for beginners


  • Seat is not the best

> Full Sentinel 100X review

Does Weight Matter: Why Use A Lightweight Fishing Kayak?

Easy To Carry

One of the main reasons for using a lightweight kayak is that it’s easier to carry than a heavy one. This means you can load it onto your car roof rack more easily and safely. Plus, you can carry it to and from the water with ease. 

Find out how to carry a kayak.

Fishing kayaks are often notoriously heavy compared to other types of kayaks. This is usually because of the additional features they include, such as accessories and accessory mounts, a more robust seat, and additional storage compartments. 

Some angler kayaks will also have a rudder, motor mount, or even a pedal drive, which can all add weight to the kayak. This could mean you need a kayak cart or lift-assist device to get it from A to B. 

Lightweight Kayaks Can Be Safer

It’s not just about ease of use, a lightweight kayak will put less pressure on your joints and muscles when you have to lift it or haul it to the water’s edge. This means there’s less chance of you suffering an injury. 

Carrying a lightweight kayak compared to a heavier one also means there’s less chance of you becoming unbalanced and potentially dropping the kayak.

Fish In Remote Locations

When your fishing kayak is easy to carry and convenient to transport, you can take it to more remote launch sites for backcountry fishing trips.

Inflatable fishing kayaks, in particular, can be ideal for fishing in remote spots as many of them can be carried in a backpack so you can hike easily to hidden backcountry waters. 

Fishing in remote waters could increase your chance of catching fish, as there will be fewer anglers. 

What Is The Weight Range Of A Lightweight Kayak?

Most fishing kayaks under around 60 pounds are typically considered lightweight. 

Generally speaking, most fishing kayaks weigh more than 60 pounds, unless they’re very compact, have minimal features, or are inflatable. Some large angler kayaks can weigh over 150 pounds.

Lightweight fishing kayaks range from around 28 pounds to 62 pounds in hull weight

The Vibe Sea Ghost weighs more than this when fully rigged with the seat and accessories but is still within this range as a hull-only weight. 

Inflatable fishing kayaks will tend to weigh less than comparable hardshell kayaks.

How To Choose A Lightweight Kayak For Fishing?

Inflatable Versus Hard Shell

Inflatable kayaks are typically lighter than hardshell kayaks. Plus, they have the added benefit of being able to fit inside small cars, making transportation to your local waterway a lot easier. 

Some folding kayaks are also lightweight and easy to transport but these typically don’t have dedicated fishing features, which is why I haven’t included these on the fishing kayak reviews list.

Hardshell kayaks can often be easier to customize than inflatables, as you can’t drill holes in an inflatable kayak to mount accessories like you can with a rigid rotomolded kayak. 

If you want to be able to customize an inflatable kayak, you should choose one that has mounts and accessories included, for example, rod holders and accessory mounting points.

Read more in our hard vs inflatable kayak guide.

Storage Options

Storage is important for most kayak anglers. You need to make sure you have enough space on the kayak to store your essential fishing tackle.

Some fishing kayaks will offer dry storage, such as hatches, which can be useful for keeping small items safe, for example, lures and hooks. 

Having at least one fishing rod holder can be beneficial in my opinion, since this can help you store your fishing rod safely while keeping it out of the way of your paddle and other gear. 

A rod holder is also ideal for hands-free fishing, particularly for trolling, so you can paddle across the water while your rods are doing the work.

Most inflatable kayaks will usually have flat decks that can be great for storing large items, such as a fishing crate, cooler, or camping gear. You may also find additional storage pockets on the sides or the seat but this is not always guaranteed. 

Inflatable kayaks might also have bungee cords at the front and back, with D-rings, accessory eyelets, and loops to secure items to the boat.

Hardshell fishing kayaks will generally have a cargo deck for a crate or cooler, with bungees to secure. The rest of the storage options will tend to be placed around the deck, in the form of molded trays or recesses, for example. 

Compact sit-inside kayaks will often have less storage for large items, such as a fishing crate. You may find you’re limited to a storage hatch and a cockpit tray.

Load Capacity

Load capacity is always something to check before you choose a fishing kayak. Fishing gear can be heavy so it’s important to make sure your kayak can accommodate you plus the weight of all your gear. 

Inflatable fishing kayaks will usually have a much higher load capacity than rigid kayaks of the same size.

Remember not to go over the weight limit. I recommend you stay well within the maximum load capacity of the kayak, no more than 70% of its capacity. Exceeding kayak weight limits can affect the stability and performance of the kayak.


Stability is a key feature of any fishing kayak. A stable boat will let you cast and reel in safely and comfortably. The best fishing kayaks are also stable enough to allow standing, which can be important for some people when kayak fishing.

Like many recreational kayaks, fishing-specific kayaks are often designed with primary stability or initial stability in mind. 

Check out the different kayak hull designs

Kayaks that favor primary stability over secondary stability are built for flatwater conditions and will usually not perform well in rough water (meaning they could flip).

If you want to paddle in moving rivers or choppy open water, a kayak that offers a combination of primary and secondary stability can be your best bet. 

Inflatable kayaks usually offer a good combination of stability for both flat and rough water, with some being rated for whitewater rapids.

Sit-In Or Sit-On-Top?

A sit-on-top kayak is often preferred for kayak fishing because of the ease of entry and the freedom to move around on deck. However, sit-in kayaks can sometimes be lighter because they use less material thanks to the hollowed-out cockpit. 

While both types of kayaks can be stable enough for fishing adventures, a sit-on-top kayak will often allow you to stand up. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to stand up in a sit-inside kayak.

Lightweight Kayaks: Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Lightweight Kayak Accommodate All Your Fishing Gear?

Yes, most lightweight kayaks have a decent load capacity. Inflatable kayaks will tend to have a higher capacity than hardshell kayaks of a similar size. 

Lightweight tandem kayaks offer more physical space than one-person kayaks, which can be useful if you’re a solo angler with a lot of gear.

How Does The Weight Of A Fishing Kayak Influence Its Performance?

The lighter the kayak the more likely it is to be affected by wind, which can affect tracking and speed. However, in calm conditions, you may find that a lightweight kayak is easier to paddle since it requires less effort to propel it across the water.  

Which Materials Are Typically Used In Manufacturing Lightweight Fishing Kayaks?

Many lightweight fishing kayaks are inflatable and these are often made from durable PVC and filled with air. 

Hardshell fishing kayaks are generally made from high-density polyethylene, which is often what recreational kayaks are made from. Fishing kayaks are often heavier than recreational kayaks because of the extra features and improved seating.  

How Much Do Light Kayaks Cost Generally?

Expect to pay over $1000 for a good-quality inflatable fishing kayak. A high-quality hardshell kayak will usually be around $1000 or more. However, you can find both lightweight hardshell and inflatable fishing kayaks for less than $1000.

Casting Off: With Weight Off Your Shoulders!

The best fishing kayak if you’re looking for the lightest option is the Aquaglide Chelan 120. This is one of the lightest kayaks on the market and it’s crafted for greater paddling efficiency than some of the other kayaks, with its drop-stitch high-performance hull. 

The Chelan 120 also benefits from having built-in accessory mounting points and can be easily carried in a backpack.

My runner-up pick is the Sea Eagle 385 FastTrack Angler. This packs a lot of features and space into one kayak, making it the ideal choice for angling with a buddy or a dog. 

An alternative, if you’re looking for a lightweight rigid kayak with plenty of features, is the BKC FK184. This is lightweight and a great kayak for ponds, lakes, and rivers because of its short, easy-to-maneuver hull. 

Remember to check out these kayaks for yourself to make sure they suit your specific fishing needs.

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