Buying advice for 10 foot kayak

I need buying advice. My Ford Freestyle will hold a ten foot long kayak when the front passenger seat is laid flat. I want to transport my kayak that way because it is quick, secure and easy to load. I’m a pretty spry sixty seven year old male, 5’8" and 160 lbs. who has kayaked on lakes for over a decade in a twelve foot Pungo. I want to use the kayak for recreation and fishing — primarily in slow moving, shallow, rocky, rivers (the Delaware and Schuylkill) near Philadelphia, PA. I really don’t know where to start. Sit-on-top or traditional? Brand and model?

Any help out there?

Pungo 100
If you liked the Pungo 12-footer, you can get a Pungo 10-footer:

Fishermen seem to prefer sit-on-tops, but in your part of the country that might not be an appropriate choice. Unless you only paddle in warm weather.

The Tarpon 100 is pretty much the sit-on-top version of the Pungo, and is 10 feet long. My wife has one and loves it. But it’s heavy for its length, like most SOT’s.

You might also look at the Perception Prodigy:

Front windshield…
Just be aware, I’ve seen 5 busted front windshields because either the person loading the kayak in the car shoved the kayak in too hard and fast or they hit the brakes hard and…smash.

Happy paddlin’

perception sparky/swifty/keowee
9.5 ft, light at 38 lbs and very comfortable for such a simple boat. i like the earliest version of this boat, the keowee, because its hull is a little slicker. there are many many used ones out there. the new price is around $350 so you could probably (maybe?) find a used one cheap. maybe not. mine (my daughters actually) is not for sale. its a great “guest boat”

Be very careful
I’m one of those idiots who has put a kayak inside my car, thought it was all the way in, but slammed the hatch shut and drove the bow into the front windshield, creating a nice spider crack bigger than my hand.

Other downsides to consider:

  1. If you paddle in stinky water, or beach your boat at a muddy spot, you’ll want to clean the boat before putting it inside the freestyle, else your car will soon stink.

  2. If it is a few inches too long, and you travel with the hatch slightly open but tied down, in many situations, your car will quickly start to fill with your own exhaust fumes.

  3. Until you try to slide the boat into your car, you won’t know if it creates other complications, like blocking your passenger window view, interfering with the gear shift, etc. Plus you then have to load your gear around the boat.

    If you already have a 12 foot Pungo you like, you might consider spending your money on a top loading system that makes it quicker and easier. Carrying the boat in the car is not quite as convenient as you might think.

Pungo 100
If you liked the 120 then I’d try the 100. If you find one it will be easy to see if it fits in the car. You’ll probably be happirr in the Pungo than a SOT and it will be much easier to load and carry.

Report back your final choice to satisfy our curosity.

Best of luck in your search

Paddlin’ on


Maybe you’d like to consider…
an inflatable or folding kayak, and save that car (and your back) altogether? If you’re the spry and adept paddler you say you are, with the right small “soft” boat you should not find that phenomenal a performance difference from the average bargy, high volume 10 foot hardshell rec boat (although both will be significantly different from your Pungo 120, which I’ve also paddled.) I’ve been on both waters you mentioned in inflatables (a Stearns Cordova and Sea Eagle 380w/skeg) and did just fine. Afterwards, they were wiped-off, deflated, and tossed back in the trunk. I can’t talk about any particular folding yak brands, but from what I know of their size-weight specs, the ease of use is similar. SOTs (Under 12, hard or soft, self-bailing) are a blast in beach surf, and okay for some lite fishing (I say “lite” because a big sea bass once towed me some distance in a 9’6" SOT that I rented down in Florida. Finally did reel him in though.) Be sure and wear a drysuit during any PA/Northeast winter trips.

You are right on track !
Several points

  1. What is your secret tof being “spry” at that ripe old age.

  2. what is your secret at being “160 pounds” the day after Thanksgiving" ?

    Now for some answers:

    We always used to put our two 9’-5" Keowees in the back of our little Jeep Cherokee, (the old good model).

    We used to leave the hatch back open and have the back seat folded down, and I would use one rope on each to tie tham so they wouldn’t slide out the back.

    We now do the same with our little Ford Escape.

    Yesterday one of my son-in laws (or is that sons in-law ?) bought three ten foot long Wilderness Systems klayaks at Dick’s Sporting goods on a half price sale. He paid $190 each. - so if you watch the sales there, it looks like you could get a good deal.

    Make sure which ever kayak you get it has floatation in both the bow or the stern. Usually the inexpensive ones just have a block of foam in both places.

    Any kayak with out flotation is not worth a dime in my estimation unless you feel like putting some air bags in, and if you do that you will have to deflate some of the air after each use.

    Where you live I would get a sit-in rather then a sit on unless you are strictly going to use it in the hot weather.

    If you want to step up a bit there are several models that are made primarily for fishing, but with all the extras they will be heavier.

    Good luck,



Go folding
If you like the condition your car is in then go with a folding kayak like a Pakboat Puffin (there’s a 12 on eBay! storefronts) otherwise the interior of your car will eventually look like the launch ramp and the Freestyle is a rather too nice to mess up the interior of.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Will tow a 15’ SOT for quite a while. Being towed is part of the fun.


– Last Updated: Nov-24-07 10:40 AM EST –

Hurricane makes the Santee 100 which is 10' and weighs about 33 lbs. It has hatches and bulkheads but it does cost more ($750) than the average plastic yak. There are also some inflatable boats out there with rigid inserts. I believe it is Advanced Elements and costs about $400. They are both linked to this site in the buyers guide.
By the way I am also 67 (5'10"x 170) My wife and I paddle an average of 3 days a week. We also walk and ride bikes. We were hiking 2 days a week until her knee gave out last year.

I have no problems hauling a 11 ft kayak in my Firefly hatchback. Mind you the hatch doesn’t close. A Freestyle should haul 12 footers easy.

The so called fishing models have
a couple of rod holder tubes, that’s about all. Adds maybe 10 ounces.

Heritage Featherlite

You should look into Inflatable Kayaks. The will definately fit into your car and you can pretty much get whatever size you want. They are easy to set up and break down as well.