Kayak recommendation for 300lb person?


I’m new to kayaking, and am wondering what would be a good kayak for for someone who is close to 300lbs. I’m interested in using it on the local lakes, though I suspect the streams around here (except the Susquahanna river) would be too shallow. Ideally I would like to pack some light backpacking gear and take it across the lake, camp, hike, then come back and move on.

I’ve looked at some of the kayaks at the local sporting good stores but I don’t know what is or is not a good deal. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Hope this helps

Thank you
Thank you!

I was 296 and had a Perception America
The trim was good and I had plenty of freeboard. I sold it because I wanted more manuverability and got a Prijon Cruiser. Plenty of room in the cockpit in both. I’m 210 now and still paddle the Prijon.

Congratulations Suntan! That is a
great accomplishment!

Thanks String. What a story!

Hope you’re seriously considering
a canoe as an option. Higher seating position, easier to get in and out, easier gear storage, and a canoe is just easier to size for a big person and a bunch of camping gear.

lot of big folks just aren’t comfortable with feet at butt height and a canoe seat gets you closer to having your feet under you to get out. I’d go for max stability and experiment with seat arrangements and height.

First thing needed is an honest
evaluation of your fitness. Can you get in and out of a kayak on land ? on water ? I have a large friend who needs help getting in and out of a WS Pamlico 135T set up for single use.

Didn’t consider a canoe
Hmm, I never did consider a canoe. I’ll have to go to the lake this summer and see if they rent kayak’s and give them a try. It may not be for me due to fit issues and my size. I’m 5’11", so I have a fairly large girth.

Thank you all for the suggestions, very helpful!


Seat Strength?

– Last Updated: May-17-11 4:22 PM EST –

I'm over 300 lbs now (sigh) and the HUGE (no pun intended) concern I have is seat strength. I have a Wenonah Sundowner 18 purchased many years back when I was much younger and thinner, and - quite frankly - I am now afraid to use it because I'm afraid I'll break the rear tractor seat components. So there it sits.

Wish it wasn't so, but I don't know what to do about it ... and yes, Ive tried to loose the weight.

I found a post here that suggested adding some kind of support structure under the seat to spread the weight across the floor, but I haven't tried that yet. I picture some kind of box, put down saran wrap under it and then try injecting the door-type foam insulation under the box to shape to the floor. That might be beyond my capability.

I'm fine with kneeling - actually prefer it - but putting that much force on the edge of the seat could have its destructive issues too.

Here is that earlier related thread:

Large guy also…
I picked up a Vapor 12XT a couple years ago. The cockpit is wide and very long. Plenty of room. High enough capacity to haul things and my big ole butt. Stable, handles and tracks well. The only thing approaching a drawback, for me at least, is the large cockpit lets in sun and cooks my legs, and water splashes in in rougher water. A splash shield can stop the water and the sun if it is a real problem.

I am not a white water paddler, but all the rivers around here have class I or II bumps that one must go through to get down stream. I have had no problems so far.

Never had a problem getting in or out of it, however, I don’t paddle anywhere I can’t get to shore if I find myself out of the boat, which I have yet to get turned over.

Pungo 140
or a Tarpon 160 or a Wilderness Systems Ride. I do really like the sit on tops for heavier people but the Pungo is great if you can swim it to shore for re entering it.

Hey! I’m new also (and 280 lbs). I rented an Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT (which I think is 11 or 12 ft long sit on top).

I was in the Indian River in Cocoa Beach at Adventure watersports. I paddled up to a little canal and drifted in. When I tried to paddle I hit the ground. I freaked, as the wind was blowing me in, and I paddled/pushed my way out.

Point is, it wasn’t much, if any, over 6 or 8 inches deep! I was suprised because only a tiny bit of water entered the scuppers under my butt, until I pushed up behind me to get further back in the seat and that pushed it down enough to get me pretty wet. It was not easy to get out of. The water dropped off pretty fast and the kayak rolled over when I tried beaching it and getting out. Even when I got back and tried again while beached harder, stepping up out of a tiddly kayak with no hands (as that just pushed it over) was like getting up off the ground with no hands. It might have been easier to get out in a couple of feet of water, as I ended up soaked anyway!

Good luck!

Big Boy Boat
I’m a fairly new paddler(1.5 yrs) and a big guy.6"6"/300lbs with bad knees. I have had great luck with my first boat/: Hurricane sport expd 14’ 400 lbs cap. The boat has 2 water tight bulk heads, that can haul a weeks where of gear. The boat is also light 52#. Just something to look at for big guys.

Happy Paddling

Wilderness Systems 145
Is a good, all around kayak for a heavier person. My 300-lb friend loves his. It carries his weight and it tracks and turns well. Tne seat is comfortable.