Best budget Sit on Top for fat 300lb guy

Hi. I am new to the forum, and soon to be new to paddling. I’m looking for some buying advice for my situation. I am 6ft tall and 300lbs. Definitely fat and out of shape (looking to change that). I can swim, but I am not a strong swimmer. I’ve ruled out a canoe due to safety concerns if I were to capsize (I’d never get back in at my current size, and don’t want to be tempted to take the kids with me until I have more experience on the water). I need something that is unsinkable to feel confident enough to try this pasttime.

I will be using the kayak primarily in the St. Lawrence seaway area, and some of the larger lakes in Algonquin park (just car camping for now). I enjoy some casual fishing and photography.

I am really considering the Pelican Catch 120. I know it is not high-end, but it is available locally at some big box stores with generous return policies (in case the whole paddling thing isn’t for me). I like the idea of a high seat, but worry about being top heavy / tippy. Weight capacity of 400lbs also a bit on the low end. Are there any large guys out there who own this model? Is it decent or junk?

Also looking at some of the Malibu kayaks (X-factor, X-13). X Factor sounds ideal, but very large, and no raised seat (less comfortable?) X-13 I have heard reports of it being tippy. Both models usually available on (a plus for me).

Anyway, just looking for advice on good “budget” kayaks for a 300lb n00b, preferably a sit on top. Thanks in advance.


– Last Updated: May-29-16 12:08 PM EST –

Malibu X-13 will easily handle your weight and love mine. I'm 215 and load it with 80lbs of gear and it's fine. Check out their Trio 11' model as it's rated at 500lbs. The Ocean Kayak Big Game is rated at 55o-600lbs. Look around for blems as you can save some $$.

Forgot to add: X-13 is not "tippy".

I’m 305
Hello friend. I recently got to try out some bargain basement 10 foot recreational kayaks. I’m pretty sure that I was over the factory weight limit, as I’m 305 pounds in my birthday suit and on that boat I was wearing some clothes and carrying a paddle. I spent days paddling around Lake Lanier in Georgia, and did fine. If you’re 300 lbs and looking at a boat rated for 400 lbs, I’d say you’re probably in pretty good shape! Are test events available in your area? Sometimes the big shops will have events scheduled with a demo fleet in a local pond or lake where you can try out some different boats before buying.

kayak for big guy
Try a used tandem boats made for 2.