5 Best kayaks for a big guy in 2021 (Sturdy Inflatables)

5 Best kayaks for a big guy in 2021 (Sturdy Inflatables)

Max Capacity = Total Load Requirement (for a big man and some gear)

So, which kayaks are the best for BIG GUYS? Kayaks that have the correct weight capacity for the kayaker, a cockpit width, and length that allows a big man or woman to get in and out easily, and are sturdy enough to allow you to indulge in the form of kayaking you want to do.

1. Sea Eagle - 380x Explorer Inflatable - NMMA Certified

Sea Eagle Boats

Description

Go on your journeys together. The 380x is built for one or two people to ride. With our most powerful kayak series ever, you can now do what others can only dream of! Specifically designed for whitewater, open water, and now downwind sailing! It’s big enough for two, but it’s also small enough for one! The 380x is a one-stop-shop!

SE 380x specifications:
Weight
40 lbs. (18 kg)
Size
12’6″ x 3’3″
Capacity
3 people – 750 lbs (340 kg)
Air chambers
2 tubes + 1 air floor
Whitewater rating
Class IV rapids
Extras
Skag, Drop-stitch floor, 1000 Denier PVC, 16 drain valves
Yes

Sea Eagle - 380x Explorer

2. Sea Eagle 420x Explorer Inflatable - Capacity 855lbs.

Sea Eagle Boats

Description


This rugged and sturdy inflatable kayak, the largest in the Explorer Series, weights just 42 pounds, can handle Class IV rapids, and is also great on the open water. The 420x is the kayak for you whether you intend on hiking, going on overnight trips, or just need more storage space.

SE 420x specifications:
Weight
44 lbs. (20 kg)
Size
14′ x 3’3″
Capacity
3 people – 855 lbs (388 kg)
Air chambers
2 tubes + 1 air floor
Whitewater rating
Class IV rapids
Extras
Skag, Drop-stitch floor, 1000 Denier PVC, 16 drain valves
Yes

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer

3. Aquaglide Chelan 155 - 600 lb. Capacity

Chelan 155

Description

The Chelan 155 is a true tandem inflatable kayak for performance touring, with hull speed and paddling efficiency designed for solo use, two adults plus gear, or a child or pet. A rigid and responsive open cockpit inflatable kayak is created by combining rugged DuratexTM tube construction with a drop-stitch, hard-bottom base.

Aquaglide Chelan 155 specifications:
Weight
38 lbs
Size
15’-1” X 36”
Capacity
1 or 2-person | 600 lb. max weight.
Air chambers
3
Whitewater rating
Mild rapids, Flatwater
Extras
Drop-stitch Floor, Duratex™ – reinforced PVC, Posi-track Weedless Fin
NA

Aquaglide Chelan 155

AIRE Outfitter II Tandem Kayak - Capacity 525lbs

AIRE Outfitter

Description

The AIRE Lynx II, a 12-and-a-half-foot tandem inflatable kayak, and can handle a very large person at 525lbs. capacity. It perfectly blends consistency, functionality, and style, in our opinion. It comes in five different colors: red, blue, green, yellow, and orange, so whatever color you choose should be available. It’s made of high-quality, long-lasting PVC to ensure that it lasts for years and can withstand the elements.

It has three air chambers for additional protection in the event of a puncture. Even so, it doesn’t take long to inflate, and it should be up and running in about 8 minutes, which is relatively fast when compared to other inflatable kayaks. 

This is a great option if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line inflatable kayak for two people or a large single kayaker.

AIRE-Outfitter II specifications:
Weight
46 lbs
Size
12'5"' X 41"
Capacity
525 lbs
Air chambers
3
Whitewater rating
Class III & IV rapids
Extras
Welded Seams, fits Larger Adult, Fabric Denier x Material Weight: 1100 x 24/27, self-bailing floor
N/A

Aquaglide Chelan 155

Innova Halibut Fishing Kayak

Innova-Halibet

Description

Portable, weighing just 46 pounds, and completely fitted for easy access to remote lakes and rivers in the local or backcountry. Fits easily in a car or SUV. The contoured hull and bow to stern floor tubing provide fast-tracking, stability, and responsiveness. For stand-up balance, it uses a marine plywood floor insert.

A fully adjustable inflatable seat adds convenience, sits high on a plywood platform for better visibility and easy in-out access, and includes a comfortable three-position rod holder. Wooden work deck with various hull positioning and accessory mounting changes. In 10 minutes, it transforms from a completely seam-sealed 100L dry bag with rolltop closure and shoulder straps to water.

Innova Halibut specifications:
Weight
46 lbs
Size
12’4” X 3’2”
Capacity
441 lbs
Air chambers
3 + 1
Whitewater rating
Flatwater fishing
Extras
Cannon rod holder, Splash decks, molded grab handles, stern drain hole, removable tracking fin, bottle holder
N/A

Innova Halibut Fishing Kayak

Is there a weight limit for kayaking?

Every kayak has a maximum weight capacity. A recreational kayak, for example, has a weight capacity of 250-300 pounds, a touring (sea) kayak has a weight capacity of 350 pounds, a sit-on-top kayak has a weight capacity of 350-400 pounds, and a tandem kayak has a weight capacity of 500-600 pounds.

A kayak’s weight limit is the “number” assigned to it by the manufacturer to help paddlers determine which type of kayak is best for them. Paddlers may also use it to find out how much gear and supplies they can carry on a cruise.

In general, a kayak’s weight limit refers to how much weight it can bear while staying afloat. So, if a kayak’s weight limit is 250 pounds, it means the boat can float a little on the water surface when carrying that much weight. Since the kayak can only float a little when carrying a load equal to its weight limit, it will lose all stability and maneuverability when fully loaded. That is why it is important not to overload a kayak beyond its weight capacity.

The weight limit of a kayak refers to how much weight it can carry while not being submerged. So just because a kayak’s weight capacity is 350 pounds doesn’t mean a 350-pound kayaker can use it. Actually, for a sit-on-top kayak, this would mean the boat would be barely afloat, with the majority of it submerged — and there’s no way you’d be able to paddle it.

When a weight capacity is specified, the paddler size for the kayak is always a plus or minus about 30-35 percent of the weight capacity that would provide a safe zone. The ideal weight for a boat would be around 262 pounds or less for a weight limit of 350 pounds; this only applies if the paddler does not carry any equipment. The maximum boat paddler weight would however be around 230 pounds if clothing, shoes, gear and accessories are included.

Can you kayak if you are overweight?

The main issue is that many bigger people are introduced to the sport in a boat that is too small for them, leading them to become humiliated or frustrated and leave the sport rather than finding a boat that suits.

I was happily surprised and encouraged to see a few very big guys in the water who were expert paddlers when I first started paddling many years ago. I had the impression that kayaking was all about strength and fitness, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is all about technique and finesse. It’s important to have the right boat for your size and intent.

Displacement is the answer to weight power. Longer and wider kayaks displace more water, allowing them to bear more weight and handle larger people.

What if I get in the kayak and it sinks while I’m sitting in it? What if I fall off and am unable to remount? When someone suggests kayaking to a larger person, these are some of the usual worries and explanations that come to mind.

Find kayaking to be the new yoga. Instead of thinking about jiggling a little while walking for exercise, you can burn calories while sitting down while having fun in a beautiful setting. Kayaking as exercise also benefits from the brisk motions involved in the sport. Continuous activity improves cardiovascular wellbeing by raising the heart rate. Save your feet, go kayaking!

What size kayak do I need for my height and weight?

The longer or bigger the kayak, the more room you and your equipment have. Thus when you’re tall, in an extended kayak, you often feel comfortable, as there’s more room for the legs. But, not always, however some kayaks are available in various volume sizes. This may be a better measure of the height you may need. A kayak’s volume usually refers to the amount of space within the cockpit. For instance, small volumes have less space than a medium or large boat.

The volume rating will also normally refer to the total boat volume in gallons or cubic feet, which may be misleading sometimes because the storage space inside the hull is included.

Height  and Length Graph for Kayaks

Height Weight applicable for
Low Volume Kayak
< 5 ft. 6 in.
< 140 lbs.
Minimal amount of gear for day treks
Medium Volume Kayak
5 ft. 7 in. – 5 ft. 10 in.
150 lbs. – 180 lbs.
Moderate amount of gear overnight treks
High Volume Kayak
> 5 ft. 10 in.
> 180 lbs.
Essential gear for multiple day treks

Volume Rating

Volume: Kayaks are sized based on their volume. Whitewater kayaks can hold anywhere from 45 to 95 gallons of water. Larger paddlers and those paddling big water or falling waterfalls will benefit from larger boats that sit higher in the water and resurface faster than smaller boats.

Up to 5 feet 6 inches tall and 140 pounds.

Shorter or smaller paddlers can benefit from a low-volume boat. Since the cockpit is smaller and the deck is lower, you can better align your hips, thighs, and feet inside the boat, giving you more leverage over your vessel.

Kayaks with a low volume can handle paddlers up to 5 feet 6 inches tall and 140 pounds. Since you have more power over a low-volume boat, you can find it easier to navigate. In rougher waters, where you might want or need to edge your boat, this can be useful.

Between 5 foot 7 and 5 foot 10 inches tall up to around 190 pounds

A medium volume kayak is typically designed for average-sized men, ranging in height from 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing up to 190 pounds.

This size of boat can be a good all-rounder, as it will usually fit most paddler heights conveniently and have enough storage space for a couple of days away. The volume of a kayak’s interior, usually measured in gallons. The type of boating you want to do can decide the size of the boat you need.

Over 5 foot 10 in height and weighing over 190 pounds

The cockpit of a high-volume kayak is normally larger. This kayak is made for paddlers who are at least 5 feet 10 inches tall and weigh more than 190 pounds.

If you’re smaller or lighter, high-volume kayaks can be more difficult to manage, and you may need to bulk it up to compensate for your reduced weight. If you have long legs or broad feet, however, you can find that a high-volume kayak suits you better for comfort.

Length Considerations
One of the most important factors in deciding whether or not you have a good time on the water is the length of your kayak.

As seen in most recreational models, shorter kayaks are built to navigate around and turn with ease.

Longer kayaks can have more precise tracking. This makes longer paddles more fun since it takes less energy to keep the kayak going fast and straight.

Width Considerations
A wider kayak will give you more stability and may even encourage you to stand while paddling or fishing. However, as the width of the kayak widens, performance in terms of speed and tracking can suffer. If this is a problem for you on the water, there are rudder/skeg solutions to help you overcome it.

As a result, a narrower kayak would result in faster paddling results because it can quickly cut through calm and choppy water.

Where should the heavier person sit in a kayak?

It’s crucial to choose who sits in the front and back of a tandem kayak because it has an impact on stability, maneuverability, and protection.

What is each paddler’s weight: If the paddlers’ weights differ, the heavier/stronger paddler should sit in the back of the kayak. This slightly raises the boat’s nose and increases handling. If your nose sinks into the water, you will lose speed and control.

However, if you’re paddling into strong winds, you may want to keep the kayak’s nose short. The heavier paddler should sit in front in this situation.

The kayakers’ experience: In most situations, the person in the back will be steering the kayak. If the water and weather conditions are a little rough, it is safer if the more experienced paddler sits in the rear.

However, if the weather cooperates, allowing the new kayaker to ride in the back seat is a smart idea. They will gain more experience and confidence in kayak power. The only way for beginners to improve their kayaking muscles is for them to get some practice.

Whitewater kayaks for big guys

Whitewater kayaking is a physically demanding sport. It necessitates a high degree of competence, focus, and a detailed understanding of water dynamics, as well as a good ability to handle stress and fear. Despite paddling’s challenge and inherent risk, it’s easy to become addicted to this adrenaline-fueled sport after only a few sessions in the water (or, in my case, simply watching a few kayaking YouTube Videos).

Choosing the right whitewater kayak for you can be a challenge, whether you’ve been borrowing your buddy’s extra boat to run Class V whitewater or you’re just learning how to roll a boat.

It’s just as important to pick the right boat size as it is to pick the right boat type. Paddler weights are recommended by all kayak manufacturers for each boat size. When making these suggestions, bear in mind that you’ll be wearing a lot of gear, which can add anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds of weight to your body when wet.

When following the suggested paddler weight table, it’s also normal to slip between kayak sizes. As a rule of thumb, I always size up because a boat that is too small can sag and be difficult to steer if it sits too low in the water.

Big Man Kayak Weight Considerations

It’s worth remembering that a kayak’s actual weight has an effect on its overall weight capacity. So be sure to check the weight of a kayak and apply that to the total weight you’ll need in your kayak.

Weight of Kayak + Your Weight + Gear Weight)/.8 (to account for a 20 percent weight buffer between you and the maximum weight a kayak can hold)

So, if I’m 250 pounds, plus a 50-pound kayak, plus 25 pounds in gear, I’ll need a 400-pound capacity kayak.  However, this results in tougher paddling, less stability, and slower speeds, as well as a lower riding position in the water. It’s almost unacceptably low.

Kayak Weight Capacity for "large" People

One of the most important determining factors for “tall” people when looking for suitable, safe kayaks is knowing how much weight a kayak can carry. So, if you’re out window shopping or browsing the web, pay careful attention to the overall weight capacity of a kayak. It shouldn’t be too close to your body weight plus your gear’s weight.

You’ll need to leave space for extra clothing, buoyancy, and the ability to navigate quickly.

When you’re out on the water, this weight buffer will help you feel more safe and stable. It will also aid in preventing the vessel from capsizing.