What kayak should my mom buy?

My 72-year-old mother is ready to trade in her kayak for a lighter model. She has a Walden Paddlers Vision Expedition, 12’6", that weighs 41 pounds. She bought it new in 1998 and has used it often since then. These days, she is having trouble lifting it onto her car and is looking for another model that weighs around 30 pounds and tracks well.

She can afford a new boat, but would prefer not to buy high-end unless she has to. Used is fine but must be within reasonable driving distance of Southern NH. Advice and suggestions welcome. Thanks!


How about a hullavator instead? Or in addition to

35 lbs, not 30 but a friend has an Eddyline (Rio I think) that she enjoys. It has good speed, comfortable for her, and appeared to track well.

Perhaps your mom would enjoy a solo pack canoe that weighs less than 20 lbs. I’m enjoying my Hornbeck New Trick 11, which weighs only 15 lbs. Easy to car top, a delight to paddle.
Used ones are nearly impossible to find, but a new one is worth every penny.

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Impex Sea Breeze in K-light weighs around 30 but it also costs over 3K. You can check out specs at Lake George Kayak Company.

In the weight range you are looking for a skin on frame comes to mind.
I know there are a small handful of people that make them to sell.

Solid point. You can get 10.5’ canoes at well under 20 lbs

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I’m a year younger than your mom so I get the attraction of lighter boats.

Pakboat’s 12’ long Puffin Saco skin-on-frame folding kayak only weighs 20 pounds without the deck and 24 pounds with it. I have had an earlier version for 6 years – easy to set up and you can just leave it set up and carry it on a roof rack if you don’t want to bother with assembly. Being able to store it over the winter in a duffel bag in a closet is a plus.

And I have traveled with mine including checking it as airline baggage on a trip to England. I have had cats that weighed more than this boat! Very stable and has a quite comfortable seat. Unlike my older version, the new ones can be paddled with or without the deck. And Pakboat’s US dealer is located in Enfield, New Hampshire!

Photos of mine set up and in the water (that’s my cousin, not me.)


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While looking at Maine’s Craigslist, I came across an Eddyline Rio in Salem, MA. I know nothing about the kayak or seller.


Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. She’s leaning towards a small lightweight canoe, something like a Slipstream.


My wife fell in love with the slipstream wee Lassie after paddling it for just a couple minutes. She’s tiny (5’4") and to have something she can so easily handle was awesome. We ordered one in the fall and haven’t picked it up as slipstream is having a lot of delays with materials and hasn’t made my Sacandaga yet.

Stan is great to deal with and is in a tough spot right now. Just a heads up if you want to order one.

He can do it as light as 8ish lbs. Standard carbon/Kevlar is about 13 lbs. Absolutely wild how light they are

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I have always gone down to my local kayaking store and asked for trial runs before I bought anything they are very accommodating

Not always very practical since few kayak shops can afford the expense or floor space to stock a lot of models. And this year many dealers can’t even get basic stock in boats due to the huge drops in production during the pandemic and increased demand. Always ideal to be able to test a boat before buying it but of the 20 or so kayaks and canoes I have owned I only got to test 3 of them before handing over the money.

I guess I am different in that I do not require the newest model. I got a used rental. Two years old $700,00 off lost price. I tested it and love it.

I love my Eddyline Rio, It’s easy to load on the top of a car. Also, has your mom considered a nice inflatable? The Innova Swing weighs about 17lbs. packs into a duffle bag that will fit into the back seat or trunk of any car and tracks really well. I use it on days where I don’t feel like dealing with tie downs and putting a kayak on top or taking it down. Lastly, has she considered a small kayak trailer? Then your kayak is less then waist high. Easy to get on and off.

I ordered my Hornbeck canoe in early January, and the tentative date for delivery was late February or early March. They also had a 4 week delay of materials needed to build it, but even so, my canoe and the two that my friends ordered at the same time were delivered to central Florida on April 3. If I’d lived somewhere closer to upstate NY I probably could have picked it up a week or so earlier.

Slipstream also has a stellar reputation and I had communicated with Stan before I decided to go with another Hornbeck. Either company would be a great choice, and I actually haven’t heard anything negative about customer service or products from the other ultralight canoe companies (Placid Boatworks, Hemlock, Adirondack Canoes, etc.)

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Wenonah Wee Lassie 10’6" - aramid ultra light layup pack boat, 15lbs. Some available in New England.

This thread is a couple of months old but I recall the Wee Lassie being mentioned here and just saw a pristine one pop up on one of my Facebook paddling groups for sale for $450 in New Bedford. Massachusetts. Should be within a comfortable drive (2 hours or so) from the OP’s location in southern NH.


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I contacted my local kayak shop, tested out their boats (free of charge) and bought a Necky Vector SOT from their used boats. Great deal, half off retail for a year old boat well cared for.