I need help choosing a kayak

I have been kayaking several times before and am looking for a nice intermediate level kayak to call my own.
I’m looking for something not overly long (probably 11 feet max) nor overly heavy as I will be loading it myself. As it is my first kayak I don’t want to spend too much money but I want good quality that will last me a long time without ‘growing’ out of it.
I have been given recommendations of the perception joyride 10, wilderness systems pungo 105 and aspire 100 and the riot edge 11.
Would anyone be willing to give there own recommendations or suggest which of these kayaks may fit me best?

What type of trips are you planning to do? Length/duration? Types of water? Locations? Activities that the kayak needs to be ready for (fishing, camping, surfing, etc.)? What is your basic body size height, weight, shoe size, etc.?

I would likely be doing day trips of different durations and nothing overnight, at least not yet. I would also probably be paddling on some larger and smaller lakes and some rivers.
I would also just be using the kayak for kayaking and maybe photography, no fishing for me and unless i’m on a long trip there is no ocean nearby.
I’m a rather tall but slim female, 5’9” and around 130lbs!

No intermediate kayak is going to be 10’, although I’m not sure what intermediate means to you.
To me , it means the boat is capable of conditions beyond flat water. It also means nothing shorter than 12’, preferably 14’.


What kinds of kayaks have you used previously and are there any features in those that you liked or didn’t like?

I’ve never used any of the ones you’ve listed but based on the specs the Riot Edge looks pretty good for your usage. It has a skeg and one bulkhead, and it’s a little narrower than the others with a smaller cockpit, which might be better for you since you’re not a large person. You might consider longer lengths too … a slightly longer kayak might be both more versatile as well as easier to put on your car. (A 10 foot kayak is probably the most awkward size for putting on your car especially if you have a tall car, like an SUV. Too big to just place up there but too short to lean it and slide it up.)


None of the boats you mention belong on the ocean further than you can swim to shore. Same for many larger lakes due to wind and waves.

These are beginner, not intermediate, boats because they should not be used in challenging conditions.

Getting a kayak on the roof is largely a matter of the right tools, some cost some money, and in fact the hardest ones for someone to manage alone tend to be to 10 to 11 ft boats like this. Because they are too short to slide, which you can with longer ones. Members of our local paddle group who have gotten these often need more help than many of us with longer boats.

IMO you are not ready to spend money on a boat right now, because you could easily get something that you will regret by the end of next July. At least if you buy new.

I suggest you spend the winter looking for kayaking resources around you and come out in the spring with a more solid idea of what intermediate means for your paddling. Your first choice will be a happier one.

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That’s a real tough criteria to meet . Look for used kayak 14’ with bulkheads and ability to use a skirt on it.


Not to beat a dead horse that kayak I paid 680 for. I have 4 other similar hulls most I paid for any was 900. You look you’ll find a deal. I bought a 22’ tandem for 900 also in great shape.

I’d look for something in their transitional line of kayaks.

Loading is technic I load the 22’ kayak on my 7’10" Ford Excursion myself and I’m 69 in two months.

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I would love to get a longer kayak however I only have storage room for a kayak that is a maximum of 11 feet.
I don’t necessarily need a kayak that can handle the ocean, to me I was looking for intermediate in the sense of higher quality than someone trying kayaking and buying something similar to a pelican or sun dolphin. I also don’t find it as necessary for stability to be a main feature.
I had previously rented an evoke muskoka, a necky kayak and a current designs kayak (I can’t remember the exact models).
I really love having a storage compartment and a comfortable seat.
For reference these kayaks were probably around 12’ and they all handled the roughest conditions I will likely be kayaking in very well.

While I do agree with Celia that you would probably be better off waiting until you have more experience with various models, if you are intent on buying now you might want to look at the smaller Eddyline kayaks. They are well made. light weight and nicely outfitted. Their shorter models perform better than most others in that length class. This one might suit you well: Rio | Lightweight Kayak for the smaller paddler, 35 pounds - eddylinekayaks

I admit I am puzzled when people say they lack room to store a kayak. If you have space to park a car (the average compact car is 13.5’) you usually have room to stash a mid sized (12’ to 14’) boat. If the issue is being in an apartment, check out the Pakboat Puffin Saco folding kayak. Only 24 pounds, can be stored in a closet folded up in its duffel bag and sets up to be a sturdy and comfortable 12’ recreational kayak that can be used open or with the deck. I have an older model of this in my fleet and have taken it to Europe checked as baggage.

If you are looking at a Riot Edge 11 you may as well look at the Edge 13. It is a good boat and it has a forward hatch and bulkhead which are good to have. There is about a 1 to 2 pound manufacturers weight difference. I understand the storage issue but if you can make it work than you would be better off.

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You might take a look at the Hurricane line of kayaks. The Santee does have both bulkheads and I have seen a paddler successfully doing a paddle float re-entry into one.


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Have you looked at the Pakayak?

Another note on the Eddylines. I think most/all of their current models have at least two watertight compartments, fore and aft. Flotation front and rear is extremely important - either with watertight compartments (and bulkheads) or via appropriate air bags

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The Eddyline Sky 10 really does look nice for someone who is truly limited to a 10 to 11 foot kayak. It doesn’t have a huge cockpit like other small kayaks so it could actually make use of a spray skirt to advance to slightly choppier water, and at 26 inches wide it’s narrower than other recreational kayaks so it should track and perform a little better. It has two sealed bulkheads for flotation. And it’s only 36 lbs. It seems to check off many of the boxes.

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All Eddyline kayaks have dual sealed bulkheads, even their 10-foot Sky.

@Abbyg We bought a nice Old Town rec-kayak this spring and using it all summer on local flat water lakes and mostly flat river floats all summer and I would like you call it a nice intermediate kayak. Quite a big step up from the Walmart stuff and that stuff. It had a rear-sealed bulkhead that is great for keeping some gear with you and dry and also provides a nice amount of floatation. Then I bought a 18” yoga ball and stuffed it under the bow deck and blew it up and it floats upside down great. We go out in two boats and we figured out how to reenter using each other for assist. I added a bow painter line and a couple little tweaks and they are wonderful all around calm water fun boats.

I think many people can be very happy with a good quality 10’ rec boat.


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You are not marrying the kayak for life!

Buy a boat that you feel will meet your needs and paddle it. If not happy sell it after 7 to 10 uses as your list of wants will be better defined for your next boat.

The Old Towns are quite heavy in all size ranges compared to other brands. So I don’t think that would suit her needs. The 10’ OId Town Sorrento weighs as much as my 15’ sea kayak. Short boats are hard enough to lift onto a rack without being heavy as well.

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As happens here often, several of the reply posts are irrelevant regarding the original post. It does not matter how much a 15 ft sea kayak costs or weighs if the poster only has 11 feet to store it!

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Looks like the 10’ Sorrento is 45lbs, which is actually a little less than the models the OP listed. So I assume that’s an acceptable weight that she would consider.