average Kayak storage space

Hi I have done a large amount of backpacking and some kayaking and I just recently became interested in kayak camping but all of the guides I have found seem to be from a car campers perspective any advice to a backpacker for kayak camping? Also how much storage space is in a kayak the average backpack is about 65 to 75 liters what is the average kayak storage? How much do you need for a multiple week trip with resupply every 5 days?

lots of variables

– Last Updated: Feb-03-15 2:08 PM EST –

First, some manufacturers provide volumes of hatches, but most don't. And even so, with hard walls, you can't always make full sue of all the space.

Next, there are lots of variables here which make it hard to answer this question. But the two big ones are:

1) How tightly you pack

2) What kayak you are looking at.

On how tightly you pack, most backpackers don't have any trouble putting their stuff into a decent sized kayak. Kayaks carry weight real well (you are floating it, not carrying on your back, so often not much of a concern), so it is only how much you can fit in the boat. Keep in mind, if paddling salt water, you likely have to carry your water with you (where in reasonably clean fresh water places, you can filter).

That brings us to the other issue - what sized boat you are using. People do multiple night overnighters out of 8' whitewater boats, but it is much tighter than using a 17' touring boat (which have been used for trips around continents). But even so, there are large volume 17 footers and small volume 17 footers, which make big differences.

In general, for a week plus, most people would recommend a touring (or sea) kayak that is at least 16 feet long. With a boat like this, a backpacker would generally have plenty of space for multi-week trip with resupplies.

There is an article in California Kayaker Magazine that talks about the basic types of boats that could be a good reference. Can be read online at http://www.calkayakermag.com/magazine.html. Issue #10.

skeg or rudder
You will likely be looking at boats that will have either a skeg or a rudder, with virtues and drawbacks to each. For camping, other things being more or less equal, the ruddered boat will have more storage space. The skeg box typically lives in the rear hatch and takes up some room and also reduces packing flexibility.

resupply every 5 days, your options are pretty open. By far the heaviest single thing you will carry is food and fuel for your stove.

A touring boat will take your entire backpack without trouble plus some extras. You will have enough room for what you need, some of what you want, and food. My pack is 75L but it doesnt run full mostly and it all went in my 17’ kayak (Sea Lion). The sons is the same pack, and he was good in a 14.5’ touring (Carolina). We both lashed real camp chairs to the decks simply for comfort at camp. I have a buddy that ended up with gear on the deck in a 13(.5?) Old Town Castine, so at a guess, unless you are extra compact, probably a 14+ touring at a minimum.

Kayaks are huge
It depends a lot on the kind of paddling you will be doing. Ocean vs rivers. Not a lot of multi week camping done on lakes.

There are several good options now for kayaks that can run big whitewater and carry gear. This article might get you started


For ocean paddling you are talking an expedition kayak.

Hard to find used but I would look at

Prijon Kodiak - I’ve used it a lot on multiday ocean trips and it carries about three to four times more gear than you would think about back packing - plus drinking water. It’s not fiberglass and you an sometimes find a deal on a used one (maybe not in texas).

The Nordkapp (Valley) if you find a used one is a great boat for extended trip paddling on the ocean.

No one answer
My old Squall sea kayak had about 90 cubic somethings. My shorter Vela sea kayak probably has half that. A rec kayak with only one sealed bulkhead less than that.

There really is no need to ask here anyway. Most kayak manufacturers post volume along with the rest of the information for their touring kayaks and more aggressive rec boats. If there isn’t anything listed, it is probably a boat that lacks good storage options.

another question

– Last Updated: Feb-03-15 6:10 PM EST –

I would me doing the majority of the Mississippi. As well as local week trips. Any kayak recommendations budget 3000 max but would prefer to spent under 2000. I am a intermediate am 5'10 and weigh 140lbs?

My wife and I do kayak camping
We do between two and seven days, and love it.

I have an 18 foot long by 21" wide QCC-700 and it has large front and rear compartments.

One of the things you might look for in your search for a kayak is the size of the compartment covers.

Make sure you get the largest openings you can find.

You will have no problem camping for five or six nights if you have a large enough kayak.

Jack L

most any will work
You are in a size where likely most any of the off the shelf kayaks will work. I’d advise taking some time to test drive whatever boats you can find (new or used) in your area and find the one you like best before buying.

The exception to this is used boats - if it is in decent shape and priced correctly, you can buy it, paddle for a while, and if you don’t like it, sell it for close to what you bought it. Consider it a long term test paddle.

Solstice Titan
from Current Designs holds 57 gallons. With freeze dried food and MSR dromedary water bags velcroed to keel areas, the Titan holds everything and a cart leaving you wondering where the sleeping bag goes.

Dont forget drybags
Even though the hatches are SUPPOSED to be water tight I have seen many that aren’t. So having everything in dry bags is a must in my opinion. Most 15 to 16 foot kayaks can hold around 130-150 liters. Some more some less. If your used to back packing you shouldn’t have any trouble at all. Some kayaks are HUGE inside like the Titan mentioned above, friend has one of those its huge inside hatches. Most bear canisters wont fit inside but a Ursack works at least for me. Iam not a backpacker and cant imagine carrying everything I like to bring on my back. A kayak will seem like a luxury to you.