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10 Best Lightweight Kayaks: Easy to Carry & Paddle for 2024

By: Dave Samuel
Updated On: May 10, 2024

As a kayaking enthusiast, I’ve had the chance to test various models over the years, and I’m intrigued by the innovations in the 2024 lineup of lightweight kayaks. These top ten kayaks, including the sleek Pelican Maxim 100X and the versatile INTEX Challenger Inflatable Series, have caught my attention for their blend of portability and performance.

They promise to enhance the paddling experience without the usual hassle of transportation and storage. However, there’s more to ponder beyond weight and ease of use, such as how these kayaks handle different water conditions.

Let’s explore what sets these models apart and which might be the best fit for your aquatic adventures.

Here is a Quick Overview of Our Best Lightweight Kayaks in 2024

Image Product Price
Pelican – Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak
Pelican – Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Size: 10 ft
  • Material: High molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE)
OCEANBROAD V1 Inflatable Kayak
OCEANBROAD V1 Inflatable Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 308 lbs
  • Size: 10.5 ft
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Pelican Argo 100X EXO
Pelican Argo 100X EXO
  • Weight Capacity: 275 lb (125 kg)
  • Size: 10 ft (305 cm)
  • Material: RAM-X™ PREMIUM HMWPE
INTEX Challenger K1
INTEX Challenger K1
  • Weight Capacity: up to 220 lbs
  • Size: 9 ft
  • Material: Heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl
INTEX Excursion Pro
INTEX Excursion Pro
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Size: 12’7″ x 3′ x 1’6″
  • Material: Plastic
Intex Explorer K2
Intex Explorer K2
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Size: 10ft 3in x 3ft x 1ft 8in
  • Material: Vinyl
Perception Flash 9.5 | Sit Inside Kayak
Perception Flash 9.5 | Sit Inside Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 325 lbs
  • Size: 9′ 6″
  • Material: Polyethylene (PE)
Oru Kayak | Foldable Kayak
Oru Kayak | Foldable Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Size: 9′ x 32″
  • Material: 5 mm double-layered, custom-extruded polypropylene
Sevylor QuickPak K1
Sevylor QuickPak K1
  • Weight Capacity: up to 400 lbs
  • Size: 8 ft 7 in
  • Material: 21-gauge PVC, Tarpaulin bottom
Intex Dakota K2
Intex Dakota K2
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Size: 10.5 feet
  • Material: Durable Vinyl

1. Pelican – Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Pelican - Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak
Image Source: Amazon
TypeSit-in Recreational Kayak
MaterialHigh molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE)
Hull DesignShallow V Chine Hull
Weight39 lbs
Length10 ft
Load Capacity275 lbs
FeaturesAdjustable Ergoform backrest with seat cushion, Molded footrests, Carrying handles Bottle holder and drain plug
StorageStorage Platform with a Mesh Deck, Storage hatch with bungee cord

The Pelican Maxim 100X, at just 39 pounds, is perfect if you’re seeking a kayak that’s easy to carry and maneuver. Its compact design, measuring 10 feet in length, allows you to navigate through water smoothly while ensuring it fits in your garage without hassle.

You’ll appreciate the upgraded storage options, including a front hatch secured by a bungey cord and a rear tank well covered with mesh, perfect for stowing your gear safely during your paddles.

Moreover, its shallow V-chine hull enhances both maneuverability and tracking, making it ideal for serene lake outings or mild river adventures. The added safety features, like floating blocks and a flatter hull type, offer peace of mind as you paddle, ensuring stability and buoyancy.

Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate kayaker, this kayak adapts to your needs, offering a comfortable, reliable, and enjoyable experience on the water.

Best For: Intermediate kayakers looking for a lightweight, easily transportable kayak with enhanced maneuverability and stability.


  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry and transport.
  • Shallow V-chine hull improves maneuverability and tracking.
  • Comfortable seating with adjustable ERGOFORM backrest and ERGOBASE seat cushion.


  • Initial stability may be challenging during entry and exit.

2. OCEANBROAD V1 Inflatable Kayak

Best Lightweight Kayaks: OCEANBROAD V1 Inflatable Kayak
Image Source: Amazon
Seating Capacity1
MaterialPolyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Weight Capacity308 lbs
Length10.5 ft
Boat Weight38.5 lbs
Paddle Length86 inch
Included Components‎kayak seat, footrest, hand pump, directional fin, duffel bag, repair kit (wrench & patch)

For solo adventurers seeking effortless paddling, the OCEANBROAD V1 Inflatable Sit-in Kayak Kit offers exceptional stability and easy setup. You’ll find it’s crafted from heavy-duty vinyl, ensuring durability while you explore calm waters. Its 10.5-foot length and 308-pound weight capacity accommodate most paddlers comfortably.

The kayak features a three-chamber design for increased safety and Halkey-Roberts valves for quick inflation and deflation. You’ll appreciate the padded EVA seat and adjustable footrest for added comfort during long paddles.

Moreover, this model includes useful accessories like a hand pump, paddle, and a duffel bag for convenient transport and storage. Whether you’re fishing or just cruising, this kayak provides a stable and enjoyable ride. Remember, it’s best suited for flat water and not for rapid streams.

Best For: Casual paddlers and fishing enthusiasts looking for a durable, stable, and easily transportable inflatable kayak.


  • High durability with heavy-duty vinyl construction and a drop-stitch floor for added rigidity.
  • Includes essential accessories such as a kayak seat, paddle, hand pump, and duffel bag for convenient portability.
  • Features three-chamber construction and Halkey-Roberts valves for enhanced safety and easy inflation/deflation.


  • Some users report the seats lack sufficient back support, requiring potential additional investment in alternative seating.

Also Read: 10 Best Kayak Fishing Nets for Epic Catches in 2024!

3. Pelican Argo 100X EXO

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Pelican Argo 100X EXO
Image Source: Amazon
Length10 ft (305 cm)
Beam28 in (71 cm)
Depth14 in (36 cm)
Cockpit Width24.5 in (62 cm)
Cockpit Length50 in (127 cm)
Weight36 lb (16.3 kg)
Max Capacity275 lb (125 kg)
FeaturesBottle holder, Carrying handles, Drain plug, Molded footrests, Adjustable backrest, Storage hatch with bungee cord and a tank well

Ideal for novice and experienced paddlers alike, Pelican’s Argo 100X EXO Recreational Kayak offers unmatched stability and lightweight convenience, ensuring your paddling efforts are minimal.

This kayak’s twin-arched multi-chine hull provides superb stability, making you feel secure as you navigate through various water conditions. Weighing just 36 lb due to its high molecular weight polyethylene construction, you’ll find it incredibly easy to transport to and from your water adventures.

The kayak isn’t just about stability and easy handling; it also focuses on your comfort. With an adjustable ERGOFORM padded backrest and seat cushion, you’re set for hours of comfortable paddling. Remember, it doesn’t come with a paddle, so you’ll need to purchase one separately.

Despite this, the overall user satisfaction remains high, praising its performance and value for money.

Best For: Novice and experienced paddlers looking for a stable, lightweight, and comfortable kayaking option.


  • Exceptional stability due to the twin-arched multi-chine hull.
  • Lightweight design makes transportation easy.
  • Comfortable seating with adjustable ERGOFORM padded backrest and seat cushion.


  • Paddle not included with purchase.

4. INTEX Challenger K1

Best Lightweight Kayaks: INTEX Challenger K1
Image Source: Amazon
Seating Capacity1 person
Weight Limitup to 220 lbs
Length9 ft
Width2 ft 6 in
Weight27 lbs
MaterialHeavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl
Air Chambers3 (including safety auxiliary chamber)
ValvesBoston valves for quick inflation/deflation
FloorInflatable I-beam floor for rigidity
FeaturesCargo net Grab lines, Removable/adjustable seat Removable skeg, 86-inch aluminum oar, Hi-output hand pump

If you’re seeking a kayak that’s simple to manage and quick to set up, the INTEX Challenger Inflatable Kayak Series stands out with its lightweight, compact design and included high-output pump. This model, crafted from SuperStrong PVC and rugged tough 30 gauge vinyl, guarantees durability and safety with its noticeable graphics.

You’ll find it includes everything needed to get going, such as a collapsible oar, a comfortable adjustable seat with a backrest, and a removable skeg for excellent tracking ability.

It weighs just 27 pounds and can support up to 220 pounds, making it ideal for solo excursions. Plus, the cargo net offers convenient storage for your gear. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, this kayak’s stability and ease of assembly will enhance your water adventures.

Best For: Solo kayakers looking for a lightweight, easy-to-assemble, and compact option for their water adventures.


  • Includes all necessary accessories for immediate use, such as paddles, pump, and repair kit.
  • Features a comfortable, adjustable seat with backrest and removable skeg for enhanced stability.
  • SuperStrong PVC construction and rugged 30 gauge vinyl ensures durability and safety.


  • Carrying bag is of average quality and may not withstand heavy use.

Also Read: 13 Best Kayak Helmets: Protect Yourself on the Water! (2024)

5. INTEX Excursion Pro

Best Lightweight Kayaks: INTEX Excursion Pro
Image Source: Amazon
Kayak TypeInflatable
Item Weight44.7 Pounds
Inflated Size12’7″ x 3′ x 1’6″
CapacityUp to 2 people
Max Weight Capacity400 lbs
FeaturesBuilt-in footrest, adjustable seats, 2 aluminum oars, 2 fishing rod holders, GoPro camera mount, phone mount, high-output pump, repair patch

The INTEX Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak Series, featuring SuperTough PVC and adjustable seats, is perfect for you if you seek a lightweight, versatile kayak for both river and lake adventures. This series offers adjustable footrests and fishing rod holders, supporting up to 400 pounds, making it ideal for duo expeditions.

You’ll find the included 86-inch aluminum oars and high-output pump incredibly useful, ensuring you’re ready to hit the water swiftly. Certified for safety, this kayak also features carrying handles for easy transport.

It’s foldable, so you can easily store it in your car trunk or home without taking up too much space. With high ratings and positive feedback on its stability and setup ease, you’re looking at a reliable choice for your aquatic adventures.

Best For: Outdoor enthusiasts looking for a portable, versatile kayak suitable for fishing and leisure paddling on both rivers and lakes.


  • High stability and ease of setup enhance user convenience.
  • Lightweight design with carrying handles makes transportation and storage effortless.
  • Includes useful accessories like 86-inch aluminum oars and a high-output pump.


  • Some users reported issues with the durability of the carry bag and paddles.

6. Intex Explorer K2

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Intex Explorer K2
Image Source: Amazon
Item Weight36.70 lbs
Seating Style2-person
Maximum weight capacity400 lbs
Inflated size10ft 3in x 3ft x 1ft 8in
FeaturesBoston valve, inflatable seats with backrests, aluminum oars, Removable skeg

For effortless paddling adventures, the Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Set stands out as a lightweight and compact choice, perfectly suited for lake and mild river enthusiasts. It’s equipped with an inflatable I-beam floor for stability and high-buoyancy side chambers that guarantee you’re safe and steady on the water.

You’ll find it’s easy to transport and store, making your trips hassle-free. This kayak’s designed for two, holding up to 400 lbs, and comes with aluminum oars and inflatable seats with backrests for comfort. It includes a high-output pump, making setup quick and easy.

Users often praise its durability, handling rocks and sticks without a hitch. Just remember to dry it thoroughly to dodge mildew and consider an electric pump for even faster inflation.

Best For: Casual kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a stable, convenient, and affordable solution for water adventures on lakes and mild rivers.


  • Highly durable and can withstand contact with rocks and sticks.
  • Lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport and store.
  • Includes essential accessories like aluminum oars and a high-output pump.


  • Storage and drying can be challenging, requiring careful maintenance to avoid mildew.

Also Read: 13 Best Kayak Shoes Ranked: Find Your Perfect Pair for 2024

7. Perception Flash 9.5 | Sit Inside Kayak

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Perception Flash 9.5 | Sit Inside Kayak
Image Source: Amazon
MaterialPolyethylene (PE)
Length9′ 6″
Deck Height12.5″
Boat Weight41 lbs
Max Capacity325 lbs
SeatHigh-back with comfortable padding, suitable for a wide range of paddler sizes
StorageCenter cup holder Molded-in rod holders, 10″ rear storage hatch Stern storage hatch
Additional FeaturesPaddle park with bungee Drain plug Spray skirt compatibility Multi-chine hull design

Why not choose the Perception Flash 9.5 Sit Inside Kayak, renowned for its stability and lightweight design, making it perfect for effortless paddling. Weighing just 41 lbs and boasting a capacity of 325 lbs, this kayak combines ease of transport with robust performance.

It’s crafted in the USA from durable Polyethylene, ensuring it withstands various water conditions. You’ll find the adjustable foot braces and built-in rod holders make it a comfortable and practical choice for your water adventures.

Whether you’re maneuvering calm coastal waters or exploring inland lakes, the Perception Flash 9.5 is designed to offer a stable and enjoyable paddling experience. Plus, the five-year limited warranty on the hull and deck offers added peace of mind.

Best For: Outdoor enthusiasts looking for a stable, lightweight kayak that’s easy to handle and suitable for a variety of water conditions.


  • Lightweight design makes it easy to transport and maneuver.
  • Built-in rod holders and rear storage enhance its functionality for fishing and gear hauling.
  • Comfortable seating and adjustable foot braces cater to paddlers of different sizes.


  • Lacks dry storage, which might be inconvenient for those needing to keep items dry.

8. Oru Kayak | Foldable Kayak

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Oru Kayak | Foldable Kayak
Image Source: Amazon
Boat Weight17 lbs
Assembly Time1 Min
Construction5 mm double-layered, custom-extruded polypropylene
Size9′ x 32″
Capacity250 lbs
Cockpit Size64″ x 44″
Max paddler height6.4 ft

If you’re seeking a portable solution for calm water adventures, the Oru Foldable Kayak Lake might be your best pick. This kayak, the smallest and most portable in Oru’s lineup, assembles easily without any tools.

It’s crafted from durable polypropylene, making it resistant to punctures and abrasions, ensuring it can handle your peaceful lake and river escapades. Weighing just 17 lbs and compact enough to fit in the trunk of a small car, you won’t need a roof rack to transport it.

The kayak supports up to 250 lbs, making it suitable for most individuals. Customers have praised its portability and ease of assembly, though some suggest padded seats and foot supports for more comfort. Despite its higher price, the consensus is clear: its portability and ease of use justify the investment.

Best For: Outdoor enthusiasts looking for a lightweight, portable kayak for calm water activities.


  • Easily portable and fits in small car trunks, eliminating the need for a roof rack.
  • Quick and tool-free assembly, ideal for spontaneous trips.
  • Constructed from durable polypropylene, offering resistance to punctures and abrasions.


  • Limited to calm waters; not suitable for rougher conditions.

Also Read: 10 Best Kayak Trailers: Effortless Transportation Solutions

9. Sevylor QuickPak K1

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Sevylor QuickPak K1
Image Source: Amazon
Type1 person – Inflatable Kayak
Capacityup to 400 lbs
Length8 ft 7 in
Weight20.3 lbs
Material21-gauge PVC, Tarpaulin bottom
FeaturesBackpack system, Multiple air chambers, Double lock valves, Backrest, Multi-position foot rest, Secure storage
Inflation Time5-minute

Designed with a 5-minute setup and a unique fold-into-backpack feature, the Sevylor QuickPak K1 1-Person Inflatable Kayak is ideal for solo adventurers looking for effortless portability and quick water access.

You’ll appreciate the 21-gauge PVC construction and tarpaulin bottom that offer puncture protection while maintaining a lightweight profile. It features multiple air chambers, ensuring safety by keeping you afloat even if one chamber is compromised.

The kayak includes a backrest and a cargo net, enhancing your comfort and convenience on water trips. It’s equipped with double lock valves, streamlining the inflation and deflation process. With a weight capacity of 400 lbs and including necessary accessories like a paddle and hand pump, this kayak is ready for your next aquatic adventure.

Best For: Solo adventurers who value quick setup, portability, and stability in a kayak for recreational use on calm waters.


  • Extremely portable with its unique backpack-to-kayak design and lightweight at 20.3 pounds.
  • Robust 21-gauge PVC construction paired with a tarpaulin bottom ensures durability and puncture resistance.
  • Features like multiple air chambers and double lock valves enhance safety and convenience during use.


  • The included paddle may not meet the expectations of all users and might need replacement for optimal performance.

10. Intex Dakota K2

Best Lightweight Kayaks: Intex Dakota K2
Image Source: Amazon
TypeInflatable Kayak
MaterialDurable Vinyl
Seating Capacity2 people
Weight Limit400 pounds
Length10.5 feet
Width3 feet
FeaturesDual-skeg system, removable seats with backrests, 2 dry bags, carry bag, grab line, sturdy carry handles

For adventurers seeking effortless paddling, the Intex Dakota K2 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Kit with Accessories offers both lightweight portability and robust stability on the water. You’ll find it’s crafted from heavy-duty vinyl, ensuring durability and a comfortable ride with adjustable inflatable seats.

This kayak spans over 10 feet long and manages a weight capacity of 400 pounds, making it ideal for tandem explorations. The dual-skeg system enhances the kayak’s speed and agility, allowing you to maneuver easily through various water conditions.

It comes with 86-inch long oars, an air pump, and a carry bag, ensuring you’ve got everything needed for a day on the water. Plus, it’s easy to transport and store, thanks to the grab line and sturdy carry handles. Whether you’re hitting the lake or the river, this kayak’s a great fit for your aquatic adventures.

Best For: Outdoor enthusiasts looking for a lightweight, portable, and stable kayak for two-person water adventures.


  • Durable heavy-duty vinyl construction.
  • Includes essential accessories like oars, an air pump, and a carry bag.
  • Features adjustable inflatable seats for enhanced comfort.


  • Limited capacity of 400 pounds may not suit all users.

Also Read: 8 Best Foldable Kayaks for 2024 | Conquer Water ANYWHERE!

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Lightweight Kayaks in 2024

When selecting a lightweight kayak, it’s essential to evaluate several key factors that impact performance and satisfaction.

You’ll need to assess how the kayak’s weight influences its maneuverability and the durability of the materials used in its construction.

Additionally, consider how easy it’s to transport the kayak, its stability on the water, and how comfortable it’s during use.

Kayak Weight Impact

Choosing a lightweight kayak greatly enhances portability and ease of use, particularly for those who often paddle solo. These kayaks are a breeze to lift onto car racks and carry to the water’s edge. I’ve found that maneuvering them in and out of the water is equally straightforward. Conversely, heavier kayaks often need an extra pair of hands or even specialized equipment to move around, which can really limit their convenience and accessibility.

It’s crucial to take into account the kayak’s weight when selecting one that matches your physical abilities and preferences. Opting for a lightweight model can transform your kayaking experience, making it more enjoyable and less of a hassle to get on the water.

Material Durability

Lightweight kayaks often incorporate materials like high-density polyethylene or polypropylene, which not only guarantee durability but also maintain the kayak’s ease of use. These materials assure the kayak can handle frequent use and resist impacts with rocks or debris in various water conditions.

High-quality materials like SuperTough PVC or RAM-X strike an ideal balance between lightness and strength. When I’m choosing a kayak, I look for one that boasts these durable materials because it affects not just the longevity but also the safety and performance during my paddling adventures.

A robust kayak material means I don’t have to worry as much about damage, letting me focus on the joy of exploring waters far and wide.

Transport Ease

After considering the durability of materials, another key aspect I evaluate in kayaks is how easily they can be transported. Lightweight kayaks are a game changer for me, especially since I often paddle alone. Their reduced weight makes loading and unloading from my vehicle much easier, which is a relief for someone who isn’t keen on wrestling with a bulky kayak.

I particularly appreciate models with ergonomic handles or carry straps. These features greatly ease the walk from my car to the water. Plus, their compact size means I can store them in my small garage or even inside my apartment without taking up too much space. Opting for a lightweight kayak definitely streamlines my paddling adventures.

Stability Features

When selecting a kayak, I prioritize stability features to guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience on the water. I look for models with a shallow V-chine hull; this shape enhances stability and maneuverability, making it easier to handle.

Kayaks with a multi-chine or twin-arched hull also catch my attention because they offer increased stability, which is essential, especially in choppy water conditions. Additionally, I check for kayaks with internal foam or floating blocks as these add to the kayak’s buoyancy and safety.

I prefer a wider hull base as well, as it provides better initial stability, particularly useful for beginners like me who appreciate a forgiving kayak when learning.

Comfort Considerations

One must also consider comfort features in lightweight kayaks to guarantee a pleasurable paddling experience. Adjustable padded seats and backrests are vital; they provide support and cushioning, which are essential for those long days on the water.

I also look for adjustable foot braces or footrests. These allow for proper leg positioning, which can make a huge difference in comfort during extended paddling sessions.

Features like cup holders, storage compartments, and bungee cords add convenience and accessibility, enhancing the overall experience. I prefer kayaks with ergonomic designs and padded components to reduce fatigue.

It’s also wise to choose models made from high molecular density polyethylene for their durability and easy handling.


Choosing the right lightweight kayak from the top picks of 2024, like the Pelican Maxim 100X or the INTEX Challenger, means you’re all set for an easy-to-handle and enjoyable paddling adventure.

Remember to take into account the kayak’s material, portability, and the accessories it comes with. These factors guarantee you get a kayak that’s not only easy to transport but also comfortable and stable on the water.

So, gear up and get ready to enjoy the water effortlessly!

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