Let Us Help You Find the Best Touring Kayak for The Money If You Have 1000 Dollars to Spend
Touring kayaks are designed for use out on the sea or lake. Able to travel long distances, these kayaks are created with performance in mind, and they offer features that make your ride a little more comfortable.
WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Aspire 105 Kayak Sonar One Size
Our favorite for 2020
PERCEPTION Rambler 9.5 Kayak Lime/Yellow Green One Size
A very close runner-up
Riot Kayaks Quest 10 HV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak
Ideal kayak for a leisurely cruise on the water
Whether this is your first time buying a touring kayak or you need to upgrade your old one, you may not know which model to choose. We’re going to review our top picks, but here are some things to keep in mind when comparing models:
- Kayak Type: Are you looking for a solo or tandem touring kayak? As their names suggest, solo kayaks are designed for single-person use, while a tandem kayak is designed for two-person use.
- Size: Consider the dimensions of the kayak. Long and narrow kayaks are quicker, but harder to turn and are less stable (i.e. better for more experienced kayakers). Short and wide kayaks are slower, but offer more stability and are easier to turn. The kayaks we’re going to review come in a range of sizes, so you can choose one that meets your needs and skill level.
- Construction: What is the kayak made of? Hard plastic models are more rugged and durable, but they’re more difficult to transport. Inflatable models offer easy portability, but they’re more vulnerable to puncturing. The right option for you will depend on your personal preference and whether you have the means to transport a large, solid kayak.
- Quality: The quality of the kayak is important, and the construction of the model plays a role in this. Kayaks made with high-quality materials last longer and are easier to maintain. Aside from the construction and design of the kayak, consider user reviews. Models that are highly rated are more likely to give you a better experience.
Reviews – Our Picks for the Best Touring Kayaks in 2020
WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Aspire 105 – Boasting a maximum weight load of 400 pounds, the Aspire from Wildness Systems is a great option for single users who need a kayak with a high weight limit. With storage in the stern and on-deck rigging, you can stow all your gear with ease.
While this model was designed for recreational touring, it performs just as well in flat-water and river running. Made from polyethylene, this kayak can take a beating and keep on floating.
A rugged, arched hull adds to the durability of this kayak, while the chines and high-volume bow help kayakers of all levels maneuver the water with ease.
As for comfort, the Phase 3 AirPro provides you with a comfortable ride and lifts your legs. With dimensions of 10’6” L x 29” W x 15.5” H, this kayak is a little on the shorter side.
WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Pungo 120 – With a similar design to the Aspire model, the Pungo kayak features a 325-pound weight limit and a rugged design that makes touring a pleasure. And with dimensions of 12’ L x 29” W x 13” H, this model is right in the middle of the Pungo lineup in terms of size.
Equipped with a Phase AirPro3 seat, this kayak offers a comfortable ride, and the removable console gives you just enough space to store a drink or two on board. The stern bulkhead provides extra cargo storage for your gear.
The hull features a modified V design for true tracking, while the hard chines create bellowed sides along the middle.
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced kayaker, the Pungo 120 will help you feel stable while giving you the challenge you crave.
Sea Eagle Razorlite 393RL – The 393RL from Sea Eagle is the first inflatable kayak with a drop stitch design. This solo kayak is lighter and narrower for maximum speed and performance.
The hard-nose stern and bow are tapered, while the drop stitch technology helps this kayak cut thorough waves like a hot knife through butter. With a performance-based design, this kayak can paddle at up to 6 mph.
A comfortable full-back, wraparound seat provides a comfortable ride, while storage space puts your gear right at your fingertips.
The 393RL boasts a 500-pound weight capacity, but weighs just 33.5 pounds – great for solo kayakers.
If speed is one of your top priorities, this kayak may be the ideal choice for you.
Riot Kayaks Quest – The Quest kayak from Riot Kayaks was designed for enhanced maneuverability and comfort, with a compression-molded cushioned seat that’s fully adjustable.
The sealed bulkhead keeps your gear dry, while the cup holders put your favorite drink right at your fingertips.
The adjustable foot-braces allow for a custom fit, while the shock cord storage on the foredeck provides space to stow your gear. The sealed bulkhead provides storage and keeps your gear dry.
Measuring 10’ x 30” x 11”, this kayak is on the short side, and weighs 50 pounds.
For leisurely cruises on the water, the Quest kayak is a great option.
PERCEPTION Rambler 9.5 – Designed with performance and durability in mind, the Rambler kayak from Perception features a molded seat, molded-in footrests and molded-in side handles. With a focus on customization, the molded-in features provide a more personalized fit, while the stern and bow carrier handles offer various carrying options.
The center console provides space to store small items, and the rear tank well features bungee cords for storage of larger gear.
Constructed with polyethylene plastic, this kayak offers exceptional durability thanks to its seamless construction. It’s abrasion- and UV-resistant, too, for even more strength.
Whether you enjoy kayak fishing or just want to take a leisurely cruise on the ocean, the Rambler 9.5 is a great option, and will provide you with years of use.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Right Touring Kayak If You Have A 1000 Dollar Budget
- Gear Storage: Touring kayaks are used on large bodies of water, which means you’ll likely be bringing gear with you on your trip. Whether you’re fishing or just going out for a cruise, you need space to store your gear. Some models offer sealed storage that will keep your items dry, while others have corded wells that provide ample space for bulkier gear. Decide how much storage you need and which type you prefer. You may also want a model that has cup holders for easy, accessible drink storage.
- Accessories: Does the kayak come with paddles, or a storage bag (inflatable kayaks)? Also, consider any accessories that are included, as they can offset added expenses. If this is your first kayak and the model you want doesn’t come with a paddle, you’ll need to buy one separately.
- Performance: Consider the kayak’s performance. Some models, like the 393RL are designed for sped, which is a great option for more experienced kayakers. But other models are wider and shorter, which makes them more stable and the better option for beginners. Choose a kayak with a performance that’s in line with your experience level and needs.
- Cost: Kayaks are an investment, and it’s important to consider quality over cost. Does that mean you should choose the most expensive model? No. Set a budget, and choose the best quality kayak you can afford.