1 or 2 Person Kayak

Hi There - I am looking for a kayak for our cabin on a fresh water lake. I am a total beginner but am excited to spend some time on the water!

Costco is currently offering 2 Pelican Kayaks. One is a single person “sit-in” model, and the other is a “sit on top” that holds two people.

Why should I consider sit-in vs. sit-on-top?

The 2 person seems to make sense so there are options, but can you have a two person kayak but only use it for one person? Is the weight of the kayak to heavy for one person to paddle?

I appreciate any advice.


reviews and weight

– Last Updated: Mar-18-07 2:25 PM EST –

Here is a link to read about Pelican yaks.


Weight of course would play a factor when transporting out of the water. I will let others discuss soloing in a two seater but it can be done. I read others do this in Old Town's.

Sit-in vs. Sit-on
is really a matter of personal choice, but generally a Sit-on usually will be a wetter ride as you are more exposed to waves washing over the gunnels. These are great when you paddle in warm water, but can make for a cold ride when you paddle in more northern climes. You may have to dress differently (e.g. long pants vs. shorts) when you’re more exposed to wind and waves. Many Sit-in cockpits can be closed with a spray skirt which helps keep overwash from waves out of the boat, thus making for a dryer ride overall. Sit-on kayaks are usually easier to get back onto if you capsize or stop in deep water to swim, etc. I don’t see many Sit-on kayaks where I normally paddle in upstate NY, but see them quite a bit in our coatal waters of Long Island. Personal choice - try both if you get a chance. Lots of the smaller independent dealers (not Costco and other big box stores) have demo days where you can try out different models. Depending on where you live you may find a dealer offering demo days close by. I still have a while to wait as the ice is rather thick on the lakes.


Many other people will give you better advice on boat choice. I can give you advice on tandem vs single. It mainly depends on who you go kayaking with. I had the same choice three years ago. I knew I would primarily be going with one of my sons. Tandem seemed safer, but I went with two swifties. It allows my sons to go out together, alone, and each can go and explore something interesting on their own when I am with them.