Lighter Weight Rec Kayak

I am looking for a 10 to 12 foot light weight kayak for my (5 foot, 110 lb) petite wife. She has a very heavy 9 foot Old Town right now that seems to get heavier every year. I’d like to find something 40 lbs or less and less than $1500 USD if possible.

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Swift canoes and kayaks but not 1500 new.

$3500 plus is too much. But they look like very nice kayaks!

Hurricane Santee might be a place to start: Recreational Kayak | Hurricane Santee 116 Sport


It costs to lose kayak weight.


Get her a kayak dolly. We have one we paid 40 bucks for and we stack two boats on it a 15’ canoe and a 10 rec kayak and one person can pull it along easy.

What model OT does she have now?

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How about a Eddyline Sky 10? 10 feet long 26 wide capacity 350 and weighs 32.

New MFSP is $1399. REI (and I am sure others too) carries them.

There are 2 used ones for sale in Florida for $1600 together or $820 each, per Craigslist here (no relation to me):

2 Eddyline Sky 10 kayaks - sporting goods - by owner - sale (


Look for used.

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This is a good deal, assuming the sale location is copacetic.

She’d be swimming in the cockpit of a Sky 10. Much too wide for a 5’, 100 lb person to feel at all connected to the boat.

Better fits will be found in the Eddyline Rio ($1749) or the Delta 12-S ($1470). Both are under 40 lbs and extremely popular with smaller paddlers.

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If you can find a used Epic GPX, they weigh in at 27 or 30 lbs, depending on layup. Two of my petite friends love them.

She might also consider an ultralight canoe. I am also not large and not getting any younger, and I am crazy about my Hornbeck NT 11, which weighs 15 lbs, and my Placid Boatworks SpitFire ultralight, which is 18 lbs, 12 ft.

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A new Hemlock Nessmuk in their heavy lay-up costs $1695 and weighs 17 pounds and you might be surprised at how strong and tough it would be.


Eddyline Rio would probably be my first choice, but it’s above the $1500 price point.
Take a look at the Canadian-made Delta 10 AR. It’s design is somewhat non-traditional, but at 37 lbs and priced at around $1100 (US), it’s worth a look.

I agree the Rio would be a great choice. Keep an eye out for a used one.

Another option that may or may not work - Wilderness Systems Tsunami 120sp. This is a plastic boat, and 42 lb, but great for a smaller person. No longer made, so would also be used only. Might not fit the bill but it popped into my head based on her size.

Oru folding kayaks are very light weight and you don’t have to put it on top of a car or whatever. You can carry it to waters edge easily and assemble it there
What’s popular in California is those Santee sport-116 that weigh in at about 35 lbs. My bad back can handle that weight Plus the cockpit is huge, making getting in or out so easy.

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Oru kayaks have been discussed on this forum. The consensus in that they should be relegated to very protected waters. No deck lines, no floatation, very difficult to self or assisted rescue, and handle very poorly in windy conditions.

That’s not to say they might not have a place for some kayakers, but most seem to agree that they should be used in conditions suitable for the average big box store rec kayak.

If you can find one, the Wilderness System’s Piccolo is scaled for someone her size (discontinued but they often turn up used, usually for under $600). The 20 1/2" beam would fit her well. Designed to be a kid’s kayak, a lot of smaller adults swear by it – it as a scaled down touring kayak that tracks well and is fast for its 13’ 3" length. Older models require flotation bags in the bow and stern but that’s not a huge issue.

The lightest option for a kayak would be a Pakboat Puffin Saco, a 20 pound 12’ 6" folding kayak that can be used with or without the deck. I have several folders including an earlier version of the Saco, the Puffin 12.

Current price is $1335 and it can be shipped in a carton from New Hampshire, their US stocking dealer. Easy to set up and you can leave it set up for the season if you don’t want to take it apart and reassemble. Plus you can break it down and store it in a closet in its duffel bag or take it with you when you fly somewhere on vacation, as I have done.

Here’s a link to Pakboat’s listing and a couple of my own photos, one of my cousin paddling my Puffin on Lake Erie and another of it set up outside my rental cottage when I flew with it to England 5 years ago. It fit into a rolling bag with all my paddling gear and I carried it strapped on the roof of my rental car while over there.



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Thank you everyone for the great information. A few good ones to look at. I’ll be taking her to local dealers to hopefully find a new boat before spring arrives with a new paddling season.

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We have friends with Oru’s and tehy love them.

Lots of composite boats would fit if price not too bad. Hurricane Santee Sport 116 (12’, 37lb) and Eddyline Skylark (12’, 41lb) is another good design. Rudder is always a good option for our partners.

Good luck
Chuck Guy