kayak for 5'-6" 112# person


I’m looking for a kayak for exploring rivers and small lakes, and longer trips. I’m 5’-6", 112 pounds. Kayak weight 40 lbs or less would be great. Looking for something that tracks much better than my creek boat.

Thank you for any help.


Look around for

– Last Updated: Nov-13-13 2:15 PM EST –

A Perception Tribute 12 in thermoformed plastic "air lite". It's a recently discontinued model but there might be a shop with one.

Pricier option is Current Designs Vision 120sp 32lbs

Delta 12S
Check out the Delta 12S. 12’ x 24" 38# for smaller framed paddlers. Fore and aft hatches, front day hatch, full deck rigging, thermoform construction. I own one and love it!

Kevlar Perception Shadow 16.5 - 46 lbs

Disclaimer: This is my boat and is a bit snug for me and my mukluks - I’m 5’6" and 160 lbs.

It’s plenty maneuverable, yet very easily kept on track.

It’s a lovely kayak for smallish paddlers.

Good luck in your search.

Pygmy Selkie
or Murrelet - Take a look at these if you have workspace available. I’ve built two Pygmies (not either of these)and they are fairly easy to build & don’t take much in the way of wood working skills. They are also not fragile - I can attest that they can take use … and if you built it you can repair it when you do bang it up.

WS Tsunami SP might work for your weight.

The SP would make a decent day boat at 112lbs but that doesn’t leave much room for gear. I’ve had a 130lb paddler in one of ours and it was riding a little low. Very comfortable (I’m told) but the knee braces aren’t workable so you’re sitting open in an over sized cockpit. A similar boat to the SP that has been catching my eye is the Tahe Lifestyle Solo PE. Triple layer and a decent looking cockpit. I’m hoping to see one this spring. I wish they made it 19.5-20" wide and 14’ long though.

Here is a listing for one with suggested paddler weights.


If posting a link like that is not allowed let me know and I’ll remove it.

Murrelet is big for her but Selkie would be great. For the cost of a new composite boat this would be worth it.

Eric Schades Merganser 16 is nice but heavier.

Impex Mystic…plastic or glass

work well. These weigh in at 44-46 lbs, Kevlar at 40 lbs.

If you’re looking for
A fast, light weight, stable and gorgeous sea kayak–take a look at a Novus Composites 15’-8" at nckayaks.com.

Thank You
Thank You. I’m so glad I thought to ask here. Great help. I put your suggestions and ones I had found into Excel so I can compare the numbers at least. Highlighted + and - features for each one (compared to the one I have). Now I have a much better idea of what I’m looking for, and a good list to take to the dealer.

These are the brands he carries: Current Designs, Dagger, Heritage, Hurricane, Liquid Logic, Necky Kayaks, Ocean Kayak, Old Town, Perception, Wilderness Systems

and I found others that you mention which can be shipped, but not a place to try them out, yet.

I had totally forgotten about Pygmy Boats, so thanks for reminding me. I’m a builder and would love to build that Selkie.

I haven’t found Delta anywhere near me, but the 12S is coming to the top of my wish list–narrower cockpit, >40 lbs, plenty of storage, and I like that hull shape.

In another discussion, it was mentioned not to even consider a kayak under 14 feet. Do they track that much better than a 12-foot? Vision 120 (32 lbs) vs Vision 140 (43 lbs). Is the extra weight worth the 2 extra feet in length on long trips?

Thank you again.


Mystic is a great boat
I had a 36-pounder in kevlar. Rolls like a dream. Just don’t drop it off the top of a car.

G in NC

Thank You
It’s an Impex Mystic 14!

Thank You for all your help.


Find a used Picolo
From Wilderness Systems. Had my niece from Germany in one and is the same size as you.

Look at these photo’s and a couple of video’s. This was her first time out in a kayak!