A successful journalist and news reporter in the past, George is now focused on freelance work to be able to dedicate more time to the most important things in his life: family, friends, his dogs, and fishing.
John is an avid traveler, hiker, and RVer. Moreover, it seems like he knows everything when it comes to fishing and hunting: his father started sharing all the tips and tricks he knew when John was a kid. No wonder we trust his opinion every time a new article is being created.
Last updated: February 20, 2021
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Are you a big guy who enjoys cruising in your kayak, but also a guy who has trouble finding one that can support your weight and fit your legs comfortably? If so, you will want to pay attention to your purchase. With so many models available, it can seem like a daunting task, but there is no need to worry because we are here to help you find the best kayak for big guys!
Like any other big or small boats, kayaks have a certain weight limit depending on what type we are talking about. Recreational ones are usually bigger and can carry more weight and people. It this guide, we will take a closer look at features that can be quite important for you apart from weight capacity. Stick with us, and by the end of this article, you will know everything about finding the right model for you!
"An outstanding model with quick-adjust footrests, large storage zones and two upright rod holders for those who enjoy fishing.Adjustable seat.Durable construction.A lot of room for your items and gear."
This nimble, sit-on-top kayak for individual use is an excellent option, whether you are planning to take it out to a river, lake, and even an ocean. Your perfect companion on a fishing trip, the Perception Pescador Pro 12, is one of the best fishing kayaks for big guys.
It has a lawn chair style mesh seat that has 2 levels and quick-adjust footrests that are like a dream come true for tall, big guys. The breathable mesh of the seat allows ultimate all-day comfort, saving you from those horrible backaches after a day-long fishing trip. Next, the seat is removable, allowing for easy cleaning. It can also be lowered for relaxed paddling or raised for optimum casting at peak fishing hours. The leak-proof, one-piece construction has exceptional buoyancy that adds safety to your kayaking trips. But, this model doesn’t have a whitewater rating.
The small 12′ x 32-1/2″ x 14-1/2″ dimensions make it have a small weight of 57 lbs. However, it can carry up to 375lbs. This is good news for all the big guys out there who find it difficult to support their weight on regular kayaks.
Its large front and rear, open storage for cooler, tackle, and other gear are just added bonuses. Integrated accessory rails on each gunwale for fish finders, rod holders, and other accessories make it even more appealing, especially when compared with other models on the market.
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is a 2-person fishing kayak, and it’s one of our favorite picks for big guys. The 18-gauge PVC construction of this boat is rugged for lake use, according to NMMA certification. These materials used, such as 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon for cover, provide protection from punctures, making it a valuable purchase you can enjoy for a long time.
It’s an affordable sit-in model with two seats, meaning you won’t have to be all by yourself on those fun kayaking trips. It’s a relatively large-sized kayak, with 10-3/4’ x 3-1/4’ exterior dimensions. It weighs 40 lbs. and has a weight capacity of 470 lbs. Such a large weight capacity ensures that it can only support two big guys while still keeping them stable and safe. The unique selling feature of this kayak is that its airtight system is guaranteed not to leak, which is something other inflatable models can’t ensure.
Amazing news for fishers is that its Berkley quick set rod holders are adjustable for enhanced hands-free fishing, and the trolling motor fittings expand your fishing capabilities. Also, it has holders that help secure paddles out of the way, a Boston valve which is double threaded for easy inflation/deflation, mesh storage pockets to keep gear and snacks close at hand, and the D-Rings that are an easy way to attach other equipment. It takes a while to inflate, though.
The Sea Eagle 380x Inflatable Kayak is a premium, two-person, sit-in kayak with a maximum weight capacity of 750 lbs. This not only makes it great for support heavy body weight, but its extra tough inflatable design also ensures perfect balance, so two heavy-built adults can enjoy a rowing trip, along with space and weight capacity for gear. It’s a relatively lightweight model at 40 lbs., and has dimensions of 12-1/2’ x 39″.
It’s made of 1,000-denier polyester fabric that resists all punctures making it a durable as well as valuable purchase. The unique selling feature of this particular model is its four extra-large, easily convertible drains that work in both wet and dry conditions. On top of that, the Sea Eagle 380x has a whitewater rating that is suitable for up to Class IV. Also, it’s quick and easy to set up and inflates within eight minutes. Its pro packaging includes several extra accessories such as two TBS tall seats, two 8′ AB40 paddles, a kayak carry bag, two stow bags, A41 foot pump, a repair kit, and instructions. This kayak for big guys has a 3-year warranty, so any promises it fails to fulfill will be covered. However, it doesn’t have a very large storage space if you use it for two persons.
This sit-on-top model of kayak by Wilderness Systems Tarpon is an excellent choice for big guys due to its 350 lbs. weight capacity. It’s a single-person kayak with the most comfortable and adjustable Phase 3 Air Pro seating system that features cool-touch technology, which makes sure your seat stays cool.
This particular model is designed for extra comfort in the company’s range of other boats, with its large, padded footrests providing excellent support. It also has a locking lever, which is easy to adjust to accommodate paddlers of different heights. Next, it’s packed with extra features that make it stand out from other alternatives, with its fast, efficient and straight tracking, large rear storage, which works very well for crates, coolers, fishing equipment, scuba tanks & camping gear, and it also has front storage hatch that offers dry storage.
Its removable dry box is perfect for storing wallets, phones, keys, and other valuables. A sectioned storage tray organizes smaller items like sunscreen, fishing lures, and snacks, helping you keep all your items safe and away from water. Finally, this kayak also has a magnetic water bottle strap system with sidetracks accessory rails so you can customize your kayak for fishing, filming, or adding other accessories. The only con is that it’s heavy with dimensions 12-1/4’ x 31” x 13-3/4″ and weight of 63 lbs., so it may be difficult to control in the harsh environment.
The Driftsun Rover 220 is a sit-in, inflatable kayak suitable for big guys. It’s a two-person boat, but it has ample space and a weight capacity of 600lbs. to accommodate well-built, tall, or big guys comfortably. Next, its adjustable EVA padded seat with high back support provides maximum comfort. The size is 12-1/2′ x 38″ x 13″, and it’s lightweight and saves time because it inflates to a full-sized kayak in less than 10 minutes and weighs a manageable 28 lbs. 1000D reinforced layered PVC side tubes and heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection from punctures.
On top of that, it has a rigid high-pressure drop stitch floor, removable flat water tracking fin, and ample rocker profile to deliver unmatched stability and control in both rough and flat water, and therefore, it’s highly maneuverable. If you’re an adventurous guy, then this kayak is your best option because it’s adventure-ready! With class III and IV whitewater rating, 8 self-bailing ports, plentiful tie-down points for gear, and front action camera mount, this kayak is perfect for adventures. Added features such as an adjustable 2-Piece aluminum kayak paddles, a deluxe double action hand pump, and a travel bag make it even better for rough water trips. Unfortunately, it can feel slower in water than hard body kayaks.
More features: heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin material, high support, adjustable padded seat, self-bailing in bigger waves, built-in aluminum ribs, rod holders, bungee deck lacing, D-rings, comes with carry bag
The ADVANCED ELEMENTS Strait Edge Inflatable Kayak is a yellow and gray kayak, which due to its color, proves to be safe and noticeable in water in case of an emergency or hazardous situation. This 34 lbs. inflatable kayak is 9-8/12′ x 35″ in size and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
It has just one but a very wide and spacious seat, which also has very high support. It’s adjustable to provides comfort for hours of paddling. Next, the built-in aluminum ribs define the bow and stern, in turn improving tracking to make the journey easier and safer. It is set-up as self-bailing in bigger waves, and close ports in calm or cold water, which is another technology that keeps the paddler safe. Also, it saves you time and effort because it is pre-assembled at the factory, and you need to simply unfold and inflate it. Once inflated, you can attach the seats, and you are good to take it for a ride.
Our favorite thing about the ADVANCED ELEMENTS Strait Edge Inflatable Kayak is that it’s made from heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin material that contributes towards its durability by providing extreme puncture resistance. The only drawback of this kayak for big guys is that it comes without a warranty, which is a risk some people avoid.
This kayak for big guys by Swimline Flare is known for being a smaller, lighter, and individual water vehicle, which works just as good as other alternatives but takes lesser space and is easier to carry. The Solstice is an inflatable kayak, which is a secure sit-in model with a single, but very comfortable seat.
The dimensions are 9-1/2′ x 37″, and it weighs as light as 29 lbs. However, the maximum weight capacity is only 315 lbs., which is not as great as other options from this list offer, but still a great deal for a smaller kayak that manages to accommodate big guys. It may be lightweight, but it’s still whitewater-ready with its sturdy build and a drop-stitch floor. The 1000 Denier nylon material is a super tough fabric which keeps it protected from wear and tear, making it last longer. Additionally, Solstice’s multi-position footrest is one of our favorite features, and it is also very popular among buyers who are looking for comfortable and wide leg space. Screw type drain valves make cleaning and drainage easier, so this model is very user-friendly. However, since the Solstice is so small, there’s only a small area available, but the carry bag it comes with can serve the purpose of carrying essentials.
The Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler is a single-person, sit-on-top, inflatable model that is perfect for exploring remote areas. It’s a relatively lightweight alternative that can still support the weight of average and big guys with its weight capacity of 300lbs. Specially designed for lakes and moderate white water, this inflatable kayak is not only lightweight, but also compact, and portable since its dimensions are 9’8″ x 35″.
This model has five air chambers and is made of Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin for extreme puncture resistance. Also, it has self-bailing ports, hard-edge bow, and stern for higher safety and better tracking. Another appealing thing here is that it comes with a carry bag, which allows you to pack it to a very small size. Seasoned fishers will also love this model because it has rod holders and some space for tackles and gear.
As for the drawbacks, people say that it is quite hard to dry after a long trip. On the other hand, it offers great comfort with its adjustable padded seat. With its high support, you’ll avoid any strain or pain during your journey. This is a class III whitewater model that shows great results in harsh weather conditions. Thus, you will love reaching remote locations with this kayak for big guys.
What we liked:
Lightweight, portable and compact
Safe and stable design
What could be better:
Hard to dry
Things to Consider
If you’re a tall or a big guy, we completely understand your struggle when it comes to buying a kayak that actually has enough space to not have you crouching or cramping the entire trip. Average-sized kayaks tend to have lesser seating space, which ultimately results in a painful experience for big guys. The good news is that you don’t have to look far because we have shortlisted the best kayaks for big guys, whether you’re looking for a ride to take fishing, paddling, rowing, or simply having a water adventure, we have you covered! Our list of the eight best kayaks for big guys is a compilation of all the popular models you can choose from.
How to find the best kayak for big guys?
First, you want to find out the weight supported, as well as how spacious and open the seat is. One major problem that big guys face when finding a kayak is that the weight kayaks can normally handle without losing balance or tipping over can be way below the weight of big guys. Another important thing to consider is the interior’s width, as the seat should be at least 30 inches. Wider kayaks also have better balance, which is great if you’re a big guy. You must not forget to consider the weight of the kayak itself, too.
Type of kayak
If you enjoy taking a kayak out to the water for a mid-summer day cruise or want to test it in rough weather, the right type of kayak can differ. The two main types are sit-in with closed cockpits, also known as recreational kayaks and sit-on-top, which don’t have a closed cockpit.
Sit-in kayaks are best for lakes, small ponds, family, and racing. They allow your lower body to be located inside the kayak. This style is highly recommended for those looking to kayak all year round, or those who want to stay warm and dry. There are specifically designed kayaks for specific cruises, like the Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak, which comes with extra features like rod holders designed to fishing. On the other hand, sit-on-top kayaks allow you to sit comfortably with your legs in front of you, on top of the kayak instead of inside, making it easier for big guys to get in and out.
The weight capacity of a kayak is basically the maximum amount your particular model can hold. This is especially important for big guys to consider because body mass on taller and bulkier guys is greater, which requires a kayak that can support their bodies without tipping over.
A useful hack for greater weight capacity is to get a 2-people kayak, which is likely to support your weight, and you can take it out for a cruise on your own without a second person. The fantastic example here is the Sea Eagle 380x Inflatable Kayak.
An important consideration when buying a kayak is to make sure you don’t get one with a weight capacity closer to your own weight, but leave a small reserve so you can carry your gear and feel safe when on the water.
The size is crucial to keep in mind when getting a kayak. The kayak’s width is especially important when it comes to balance and stability. If you’re a big guy, you will have to consider the interior dimensions to make sure you have enough space to move in your seat comfortably. It’s also essential for big guys to have wider dimensions because narrow ones make it harder to get in and out of the kayak. It’s proven that the wider the dimensions of your kayak, the lesser the chances of losing stability in bad water. Wider dimensions give you a comfortable space, as well as more space to carry your gear. The rule of thumb is to have a width of at least 30 inches, such as seen with the Perception Pescador Pro 12.
Number of seats
Recreational kayaks meant for family trips usually have a greater number of seats. However, other ones mostly have one. Kayaks with two seats are great for fishing and cruising with friends. Single-person kayaks, such as the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120, are a good option for big guys who like to cruise alone because they allow greater space for gear. Big guys can also take a large, two-seat kayak for an individual cruise because of their larger weight capacity and a lot of space.
Weight of the kayak
Now, this may seem irrelevant because many people check only the weight the kayak can support. You’ll be wrong to think that way because the weight of the kayak itself also matters. Light construction doesn’t mean they break easily. In fact, many lightweight models have the best durability, so it can withstand bumps, scrapes, and rough waves. On the other hand, heavier models offer better stability.
Lightweight kayaks are easier to move around, and they are also better from a paddling point of view because they don’t require a lot of strength to push, so you don’t get tired quickly. This makes lightweight kayaks better for long cruises.
For how long will you use a kayak? The sturdiness depends on the material, as well as the weight of the kayak. You need to look for a kayak with a tough and strong construction, especially for inflatable kayaks, since you might want them to withstand harsh water conditions. Some options on our list, like the Solstice by Swimline Flare 1 Person Kayak,
are made of 1000-denier nylon material, which keeps it protected from wear and tear. Others, like the Driftson Rover 220, have 1000D reinforced layered PVC side tubes and heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin bottom that provide protection from punctures, making them even more durable. The weight of the kayak also affects its longevity because lightweight kayaks can move on rough waters smoothly, without having impacts.
This parameter mostly comes from the space, as in the width of the interior, or the seating area, as well as the material used on the seats and some extra features.
The wider the seating space is, the greater the comfort will be, especially for larger people, since they get enough leg space to not get cramped.
Other features, like adjustable EVA padded seat with high back support, offer better paddling experience in the Driftson rover 220. The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 is another example, which has padded footrests, as well as a locking lever, which is easy to adjust, to accommodate paddlers of different heights, providing great support and comfort.
The warranty is an important thing to consider when buying a kayak, especially if you plan to use it frequently. This assures that the product is of high quality. The manufacturer takes responsibility for fixing the product or returning your money in case the product does not meet any promises that it made. The Sea Eagle 380x Inflatable Kayak is an amazing option on our list of the eight best kayaks for big guys, which comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty. You can also come across some models that have 30-day no-hassle returns, which allows you to give it a try.
These are the bonus features exclusive to particular types or companies of kayaks that make them more appealing and affect other areas like comfort and durability directly. For big guys, features like adjustable footrest with padding or a multi-position footrest, like in the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 and Solstice, provide added comfort as well as an option to set the seat and leg space according to one’s needs. Self-bailing drains in some models make them safer. Next, bungees allow the cruisers to carry their gear and keep it steady on the kayak. Other common features are adjustable seats, carry handles, waterproof storage spaces, and thigh pads.
The prices of each kayak vary according to quality, materials, and other features, ranging from $377 to $1000, so everyone can find a product for their budget. At the lower end of the spectrum, you will find inflatable models with smaller max capacity.
Our most expensive pick is the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120, which costs $999. At this price tag, you will get two paddles, 750 pounds of weight support, and class IV whitewater rating.
It’s clear that the most comfortable kayaks for individual cruising cost more compared to recreational two-person. It’s crucial that you select the kayak that fits your price range while having other features that can be useful in the future. Thus, the prices vary greatly, which reflects on the fact that our list of the best kayaks for big guys covers the top-notch options at different price points.
Kayaks made from plastic are easy to care for and maintain because saltwater doesn’t harm the material. UV rays from the sun may affect the material, which is why it’s recommended to keep your kayaks away from direct sunlight when not using. Most kayaks can last for 10 to 15 years, depending on how properly they’re cared for. It’s no different when it comes to kayaks for big guys. They can be used for up to fifteen years, given that the user protects it from sunlight, cleans it after use, and dries it properly after every trip.
Kayaks for fishing can be both sit-in and sit-on-top types, depending on whatever you’re comfortable in. While sit-on-top kayaks work better for cruising, making it easier for them to get in and out. From a fishing point of view, we have a few sit-in picks that are perfect for that hobby. The Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is designed especially for that with its extra features that aid fishing. These features include fishing rod holders, space for gear, bungee, and paddle holders.
Kayaks are not hard to transport at all, especially the inflatable ones, because they weigh less and can be easily packed in a small bag. Kayaks for big guys aren’t any different from regular models here, apart from maybe the fact that they are wider, due to which a car or a truck is better to fit it in properly. The best way to transport a kayak for big people is on the roof of your vehicle. Lightweight kayaks can simply be mounted on the roof of even a small car. Some people prefer a rolling kayak cart to transport them, which makes this task easier and safer.
All the kayaks for large people that you can find in this list are high quality and reliable products. Let’s see our top 3 winners here!
Number one is our Editor’s Choice, the Perception Pescador Pro 12. This is an all-rounder, with its comfort, quality, stability, along with other outstanding features like breathable mesh material, quick-adjust footrests, and two upright rod holders.
Lastly, our premium option here is the Sea Eagle 380x Inflatable Kayak, which is fantastic for longer trips. It comes with two paddles and has a class IV whitewater rating. It’s no wonder why we’ve included this product in our list of the best kayaks for big guys.