River Tripping Kayak

I do a fair amount of overnight river tripping in solo canoe. My son paddles both canoes and kayaks, and at the present time is more into his kayak. So I got to wondering… what kayaks would be good for multi day river tripping.

Needs to be lightweight, fast, capacity to haul a weeks worth of gear, run class II water, comfortable for an all day paddle, and effiecent enough to cover some distance.


Thnaks, Mike

River tripping kayak
I think you start with the Prijon Yukon and compare that to whatever else you come up with.



Carolina 14.5
I paddle the Perception Carolina 14.5, I do multiday paddles and carry all I need…I’ve used it on open lake and mid level class II river rapids, It is a ruddered boat, and between paddle skills learned as a canoeist, and the paddle skills learned since I took up kayaking, I find it manuverable enough, (Rudder with paddle skills is a plus). PLASTIC is a lot more forgiving in this situation, I tend to abuse the hull when the creeks and rivers narrow and go shallow…

Here’s a list to start with…
Prijon Yukon Expd.


Perception Enduro 12.5


Perception Acadia 12.5


Riot Stealth


Riot Voyager


Dagger Blackwater 12.5


Hope this helps,


For multi-day trips on class 1-2, why
would you put up with the lower weight capacity and difficult loading of a kayak? I paddle k-1, c-1, and open canoe, and I would rather take a loaded open canoe through easy rapids than a loaded Prijon Yukon. A loaded canoe does not blow around much on rivers, and it sure is easier to load and unload at the ends of the day.

Let your son flit around in the kayak, and you carry the gear. If you both have kayaks, and are carrying a week of food and gear, you aren’t going to be surfing and playing.

As I said, I am an open boater with an open mind, and just finished a 75 mile trip. Don’t mis understand, I love my SRT for it’s down river tripping capabilities, and what may be a biased opinion, I feel it is the best canoe made for it’s intended purpose. But while passing the miles away in the flatwater by one’s self, the mind tends to wonder. Like… Why is the sky blue? How long does it take for the water on my paddle to stop dripping? Why doesn’t the water ever get tired of moving downstream like I do? Could that be rain moving in? What would a kayaker use for such a journey?

Since my son is into kayaking at the present, it seemed like a fitting question.


and complete with links to boot.

With a few local demo days coming up, we’ll have some ideas of what boats to look for.


Loon 138
We use our Loon 138 for river tripping for all those reasons. Only 3 day trips so far but I could easily carry along 3 more days of dry meals. For a week I take it you are filtering your water since you are looking at kayaks? Imagine John McGregor’s Rob Roy and then reduce the length down to 14 feet (actually 13 feet 8 inches) and that’s a Loon 138. Great seat for comfort. Lots of storage space even with a bow float bag mounted up in there. Ours is tricked out with rear hatch and bulkhead so you might not want to go this route if you do not wish to do some customizing but feel a bulkhead (compartmentalization) is required. Great hull for river tripping. Load heavy towards the rear, seat slid all the way back. Lighter drybag(s) up by your feet. Deck storage. Turns well loaded like this. Paddles like a breeze. Stable. I can one-arm curl this boat onto my shoulder and carry it up an embankment to the campsites on the Aux Sable River. Get bored sitting in her? Arm lift yourself and put your butt on the deck behind the seat. This boat is that stable while you meander down river. Hit head or crosswinds on wide rivers? Slide the seat fore as needed to adjust the weight and bring the bow down. Keep going. Spare paddle in starboard paddle holder. Pump and bailing bucket (holds water like a canoe and bailing is often better) behind seat. Full skirt put on for rainy days and class 2 waters on the Ocoee river kept the cockpit dry.

Can you tell we have had much success and fun with this design?

Good luck on your choice!

Hey Mike,
My wife and I were in this same fix at one time.The only difference was that we also paddle some flat water.She wanted a boat that could do a little of both and also carry gear.I paddle open canoes myself and for a while got hung carrying all our gear and food.We ended up getting her a Dagger Blackwater 11.5.Although it may be too small for your son,he may want to try the next size up.She likes the one she has and can carry maybe half of our gear on extended trips.Neither is really overloaded so,we can both enjoy a lot more of what the river has to offer.No matter what the choice,good luck and have fun.