How Much Does A Kayak Weigh? (Can You Even Carry It?)

how much does a kayak weigh

Kayaks are very fun to ride on. They are water vehicles that give you the delight of portability and adventure at the same time. You can enjoy any water bodies if you have this particular boating amenity.

If it is your first time buying a kayak, there are several factors that you have to consider. One of these is the weight of the boat. You wouldn't want to get a kayak of which load is too much for you to handle.


But how does much a kayak weigh? Is this particular boat not as portable and lightweight as what is typically shown? Well, I am going to answer these questions in the following sections.

First-time kayak buyers are quite curious as to why the weight of the boat matters in the selection process. A number of these individuals believe that the weight doesn't matter anymore. What you need is just a high-quality kayak, and you are good to go.

If that's your line of thinking, you are definitely missing an important thing here. You see, the weight of the kayak actually determines the convenience that you can feel while using it.

Imagine if you are going to use the kayak continually. But this time, think that your original location is somewhere in the middle of urban sprawl. Of course, you need to load your kayak to a vehicle, even if there's no roof rack. You transport the kayak to your desired boating area, which could be potentially miles away from your home.

Once you have reached your destination, you need to unload the kayak and drag it to the water. Now, can you imagine yourself doing this process all by yourself? After all, there are instances where you need to travel alone. If you bring a heavy kayak, transporting it would be genuinely cumbersome on your part.

Check out this video from REI on how to transport a kayak:

I am not saying that a heavy kayak is terrible. No. That's not the point here. Some heavy kayaks are those that have been built with more durable materials so that they can withstand punishments. They have sturdier hardware that adds to their overall weight.

Like I have said earlier, deciding for the weight of the kayak is for your own convenience. If you have a reliable troop that can help you in carrying and transporting the kayak, there's no problem in getting those heavy units. But if you are just alone, you might need to opt on lightweight models.

How Much Does A Kayak Weigh?


Honestly, there's no exact answer to this question. I cannot give a generalized figure because there's a variety of kayaks that exist out there. Each of them has been built differently. Therefore, you can expect that they don't share the same weight.

Most of the time, the material that has been used in constructing the kayak is the one that affects its weight. Interestingly, there's an inverse relationship between the weight of the kayak and its price. You'll be surprised that those lightweight kayaks that have been made from composite material are expensive. Meanwhile, heavier units tend to cost cheaper.

Fiberglass sits somewhere between a composite and plastic kayaks. Hence, you can say that they have a moderate weight and their value is at the mid-level, too.

Of course, you shouldn't also forget about the size of the kayak. The bigger and longer the kayak is, the heavier it becomes.

Let's take a closer look at these types of kayak materials and their potential weight.

Plastic (Polyethylene) Kayaks

Entry-level kayaks are not really made from cheap and ordinary plastics. Instead, they are tailored from polyethylene, a type of heavy-duty plastic that has a lot of industrial applications. This material is being used in automotive parts and other day-to-day amenities.

Just like I said earlier, polyethylene plastics are inexpensive. Therefore, a lot of beginners are opting for them. Their weight can range from 30 pounds to 90 pounds, depending on the size and the hardware present on it. If you don't think that you can handle this weight, you should just move on to other options.

Composite Kayaks

There are a variety of composite materials that can be used in a kayak. The first one that I have mentioned is fiberglass, which has an average weight of 30 to 40 pounds, especially if it is a small unit. Other types of materials are graphite and Kevlar.

Based on my experience (and other kayakers as well), graphite is the lightest composite material. You can handle it easily, especially if you have some built muscles. However, you should be wary of its price. This one tends to get expensive. It can be said that this type of kayak sits on the high-end category, which is somehow ideal for professional kayaking applications.

Approximately, the average graphite kayak only weighs 20 pounds. That's something that you should consider.

Folding and Inflatable Kayaks

These are the kayaks that boast their portability among their other features. Most of their manufacturers always advertise that these kayaks are made for those people who are always on the go. However, this doesn't mean that they are already the lightest option in the open.

A folding kayak, for instance, has a collapsible design. It is typically crafted from wood or other heavy-duty kayaks. Sometimes, this particular kayak can weigh around 30 pounds.

On the flipside, an inflatable kayak is said to be light. After all, it doesn't have any solid piece of hardware that should bother its user. Even your kids can handle this kayak easily, as long as it has not been filled with air yet. Many types of inflatable kayaks are made from Hypalon or polyurethane.

When not used, an inflatable kayak can fit on small storage systems such as your duffel bag. There's no need for a roof rack when it comes to this kayak! Safe to say, the kayak, when filled with air, has a weight of 10 to 20 pounds.


Now that you know how much does a kayak weigh, you are already aware of which type of kayak you are going to choose. You should also remember your preferences and capabilities in the selection process. You will be able to get the right one for you once you have taken these factors into account.

With that being said, I hope you enjoyed this content. If you have questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to leave them in the comment section.

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