If you have already experienced dealing with mild winds, waves, and currents, you may feel that you are already ready to head into and explore the largest body of water. You may venture through the open sea already as long as you have already experienced kayaking in lakes, mild rivers, and other water bodies where the current is not too strong.
At this point, you may find it challenging to select the best ocean kayak. This online review features eight top-rated water vessels. We can help you discover the suitable ocean or sea kayak for you. This online discussion also features a buying guide and frequently asked questions and answers from which you can gain more useful insights.
Table of Contents
Top 8 Best Ocean Kayaks Reviewed
- Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Inflatable Kayak
- Oru Kayak The Bay ST
- Oru Kayak The Coast XT
- The Classic – Medium (Yak) by Alpacka Raft
- Old Town Topwater 120 PDL Kayak
- Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 Kayak
- Castine 140 Touring Kayak by Old Town
- Dagger Stratos 14.5 S Kayak
#1. 380x Explorer Inflatable Kayak by Sea Eagle
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Maximum Load Capacity: 340 kilograms or 750 pounds [3 persons]
- Construction: 1100 Decitex Reinforced
- Color: Blue
- Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
- Designed for: Ocean kayaking, Whitewater, Flatwater paddling, Open-water, Down-wind sailing, Up to Class 4 rivers, 3 people
- Other features: 16 super-fast, self-bailing drain valves, Removable slide skeg
You will never feel bored nor disillusioned with the high-quality inflatable ocean kayak by Sea Eagle. The company has been serving paddlers since 1968, and for more than half a century, you can trust it with your ocean kayaking adventures.
The 380x Explorer Inflatable ocean kayak by Sea Eagle is one of the best ocean kayaks today. It is über-versatile that you can utilize it in your assorted adventures. You can use this all-around boat in whitewater, explorations, camping, fishing, touring, and flatwater paddling.
Furthermore, you can enjoy paddling the Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Inflatable Kayak when going down-wind sailing and open-water outings. You do not have to worry about getting your time wasted because this excellent watercraft can get inflated in less than ten minutes!
The marvelous Sea Eagle kayak also features a rugged design and assures that you will remain dry, comfortable, and stable throughout your water journey. Besides, it features 16 super-quick, self-bailing drain valves you can keep open or closed, depending on your water activity. The Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Inflatable Kayak also comes with a removable slide skeg that gives you enhanced tracking on open water.
Moreover, you will undoubtedly never feel unhappy in the ocean because this highly rated, 40-pound water vessel can accommodate up to three people. Yes, that is right. For as long as you do not exceed the maximum weight limit of 750 pounds, this watercraft can accommodate not one or two but three passengers! So, do not hesitate to call your family members or pals for a lovely paddling day out in the ocean bay now!
|Easy to inflate and stow||Minor complaint about the straps|
#2. Oru Kayak The Bay ST
- Product Dimensions: 12 feet X 25 inches (at cockpit)
- Weight: 28 pounds
- Maximum Load Capacity: 300 pounds
- Construction: Polypropylene that is double-layered, 5 millimeters, and custom-extruded
- Color: White
- Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced, Beginners
- Designed for: Recreational paddling on oceans, Camping excursions, River and lake adventures, Day trips, Paddles close to home
- Other features: Adjustable backrest, Zipper channels, Fairing handles, Seat pad, Removable bulkheads
You can enjoy your ocean adventure with the lightweight and features-filled Oru Kayak Bay ST. This versatile watercraft will make you feel excited and relish the peace of mind as you paddle in vast water bodies.
Moreover, the 28-pound water vessel is easy to carry. It is less than half of a conventional kayak’s weight and features a big suitcase’s dimension. The Oru Kayak Bay ST is sufficiently compact that you can keep it in your car’s trunk, garage, or closet. Also, you can even hike with it into remote waters or check it in an airplane.
The Oru Kayak Bay ST is extraordinarily robust. Its manufacturer subjected it with ultraviolet or UV treatment for one decade and utilized 5-millimeter, double-layered, custom-extruded polypropylene. Thus, this best ocean kayak is incredibly abrasion-resistant. Plus, its maker built it to last and capable of resisting punctures.
You will feel wowed with this lightweight, versatile, and portable kayak in terms of the beneficial features. The fully adjustable footrest will make you relish maximum convenience, especially if you are up to 6’3” tall. Besides, it is easy to loosen or tighten the footrest’s straps to adjust its length. The six zipper channels are perfectly watertight as well, making this kayak’s assembly quicker than ever.
Furthermore, the Oru Kayak Bay ST comes with full deck lines for help during rescues or attaching your gear. If you are a petite or tall paddler, it has a fully adjustable backrest that delivers support. You can slide this backrest to your desired height by merely loosening the knob on the seat’s rear.
This performance, closed-cockpit boat played in 6-foot waves and tested on Class 3 rivers, undoubtedly does not disappoint. Being a sporty and quick kayak, you can surely enjoy it for being capable of managing various landscapes and conditions, including ocean kayaking and paddling in smooth lakes.
|Able to access locations other kayaks cannot||Minimal storage space|
|Convenient for storage and transportation
#3. Oru Kayak The Coast XT
- Product Dimensions: 16 feet X 25 inches (at cockpit)
- Weight: 36 pounds
- Maximum Load Limit: 400 pounds
- Construction: Rust-resistant hardware, 5-millimeter, double-layered custom polypropylene; Ultraviolet or UV protection against damage and color-fading
- Color: White
- Skill Level: Advanced
- Designed for: Adult, Youth, Frequent professional performance paddling on oceans, rivers, and lakes, Travel, Fishing
- Other features: Adjustable footrest, Thigh braces, Adjustable backrest, Zipper channels, 30-day, money-back guarantee, A full, 12-month warranty
The Oru Kayak The Coast XT will give you the best kayaking experience of a lifetime. It is among today’s best ocean kayaks available in the market. Besides, the Oru Kayak The Coast XT is a lightweight and foldable boat. You will feel impressed with Oru Kayak’s ingenuity, pioneering its boat’s foldable and origami-inspired structure. Hence, you can assemble the watercraft in as fast as less than five minutes.
Also, when folded, the innovative fold-out water vessel is small enough to take along with you. It is a highly portable watercraft that folds to the dimension of a sizable suitcase. You can store the Oru Kayak The Coast XT nearly anywhere.
In terms of durability, you will feel impressed further because Oru Kayak created The Coast XT using ultra-tough and cutting-edge materials, including rust-resistant hardware and the 5-millimeter, double-layered custom Polypropylene. The company also subjected its largest and most sophisticated creation to one decade of ultraviolet or UV protection treatment. Hence, you can expect the state-of-the-art boat to stay safeguarded against damage and color-fading.
Also, Oru Kayak’s ocean watercraft underwent long durability and strength testing, rated at 20,000 folds, and surpassed the recreational vessel standards of the US Coast Guard. Therefore, whether you are boating alone or with your family members or friends, you can relish the peace of mind in the Caribbean or the Arctic with the Oru Kayak The Coast XT’s supreme performance.
|Easy to assemble and disassemble||Few buyer complaints about leakage problems|
|Foldable and portable
|Easy to use|
#4. Alpacka Raft The Classic – Medium (Yak)
- Product Dimensions: 92 inches long [Exterior Length]; 37.25 inches wide [Exterior Width]
- Weight: 6.8 pounds [Cargo Fly]
- Maximum Load Capacity: 400 pounds
- Construction: Proprietary 210-denier high count nylon hull; 840-denier ballistic nylon floor
- Color: Sierra Red
- Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced or Expert
- Designed for: Ocean bays, Lakes, Rivers
- Other features: 4 bow grab loops, 2 stern grab loops, 2 strap plates, Classic seat bottom, Inflatable seatback, Inflation bag, Stuff sack, Basic repair kit
Do you want to enjoy the Alaskan Arctic’s cold and rocky rivers in a simple but elegant way? Also, do you want to have fun in the local lake and river without straining your budget? Then, the medium-sized Alpacka Raft The Classic is right for you.
The Classic’s nickname is the Yak. It is an ocean kayak that is sufficiently lightweight to fit in your backpack. Besides, this water vessel is capable of delivering adventure-driven pleasure in the backcountry straight from your backyard. The medium-sized Alpacka Raft The Classic will not disappoint you in your water expeditions.
Moreover, the Yak will make you feel wowed by its simple but highly functional, no-fuss seating system, adventure-tested hull, bombproof construction and materials, and the minimalist attachments.
When you buy the Yak, you get plenty of choices to customize it as well. You can select from several build configurations, which are Self-Bailing, Open, Removable Whitewater Deck, Cruiser Deck, and Whitewater Deck. Plus, you can purchase extra tie-downs. These are factory-installed handles, grab loops, D-Rings, and strap plates.
When availing of the medium-sized Alpacka Raft The Classic, you can select the one with the Cargo Fly Zipper. This system is the gear storage solution for packrafts that offers you the ultimate advantages. It consists of an airtight zipper installed in the watercraft’s stern so you can load your belongings inside the tubes. The Cargo Fly Zipper gives you improved paddling performance and more secure and drier gear storage due to the lower gravity’s center.
|Easy to inflate and deflate||We got nothin'|
#5. Old Town Topwater 120 PDL Kayak
- Product Dimensions: 12 feet [Height]; 33.5 inches wide [Width]
- Weight: 83.3 pounds
- Maximum Load Capacity: 500 pounds
- Construction: Rotomolded Polyethylene
- Color: Boreal
- Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
- Designed for: Flatwater paddling, Ocean paddling, Saltwater
- Other features: Ultra-stable Double U hull design, On-board rod and tackle storage, Three flush mount rod holders, Rudder control trucker knob, Non-slip, ethylene-vinyl acetate or EVA foam deck, Manufacturer’s 5-year warranty
If you are looking for the best ocean kayak that is very easy to maneuver, the Old Town Topwater 120 PDL Kayak is the product you should purchase. This lightweight and compact watercraft is sturdy. Plus, it features an easy-to-pedal drive that is saltwater-ready and maintenance-free.
Moreover, the Old Town Topwater 120 PDL Kayak offers you hands-free angling comfort, letting you pedal forward and reverse quickly. The historic manufacturer of this top-rated water vessel packed it with advantageous features. Therefore, you get tremendous value for your hard-earned cash or financial resources.
The Old Town Topwater 120 PDL Kayak includes a super-stable Double U hull design that delivers a stable ride for sitting or standing. Hence, you can haul gear, sit, or stand on this boat! Besides, you can enjoy the other beneficial features of this rotomolded Polyethylene-made water vessel such as the on-board tackle and rod storage, a transducer mount, paddle storage, and three flush mount rod holders.
Smooth and buttery steering is also among the advantages of this water vessel via the rudder control trucker knob. Finally, you can feel pure comfort with the fully adjustable ergonomic seating. With these benefits that the Old Town Topwater 120 PDL Kayak offers, you can undoubtedly look forward to your ocean adventures ecstatically.
|Offers excellent value for customers' money||Expensive|
#6. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 Kayak
- Weight: 56 pounds
- Maximum Load Capacity: 350 pounds
- Construction: Polyethylene
- Color: Green and purple hues in the body
- Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced
- Designed for: Sea kayaking, Large paddlers, One paddler
- Other features: Keepers XL footrests, Adjustable padded thigh braces, 2 mesh gear pockets, Under-deck water bottle holder, Sealed bulkheads, Two storage hatches
If you seek considerable comfort while enjoying your day out in the sea, the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 Kayak suits you. This water vessel offers plenty of features that will make your ride convenient. The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 Kayak is stable in all water conditions and exceptionally rapid at the same time. It offers lots of conveniences.
First of all, this cozy ocean boat features the Phase 3 AirPro Tour seating, which is the most comfortable water vessel seat that will make you want to stay in the ocean longer. You can adjust this advantage in plenty of ways, letting you personalize your sitting position and fulfill your comfort requirements.
More coziness awaits you with the adjustable, padded thigh braces that let you connect better with your watercraft. Plus, the Keepers XL footrests are easily adjustable and can accommodate paddlers of various sizes. These perks and the SlideLock XL foot braces are flexible and allow you to maximize your convenience and guarantee the optimal paddling position.
The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 Kayak enables you to enjoy your sea kayaking time by letting you relish your favorite beverage. You can keep your beverage bottle close and out of your way via the under-deck water bottle holder. Also, on deck, you can keep your essential smaller belongings within your easy reach and secure through the presence of the two mesh gear pockets.
You can stow close-at-hand pieces of stuff using the small round hatch in the bow and the large, oval hatch in the rear. These two removable mesh deck storage hatches let you bring your favorite things and enjoy them while having fun in the ocean.
You can expect stability and enhanced confidence with the Tsunami 145 Kayak by Wilderness Systems. Its hull’s increased volume above the waterline and flared sidewalls facilitate these benefits. Besides, the foot pedal-controlled rudder system that includes deployment controls in the cockpit helps you track and steering when you need it the most.
You can feel safe with this product ranked as among the best ocean kayaks because of its reflective perimeter deck lines that ease your entry into the watercraft and optimizes your safety. Also, this excellent water vessel’s longer waterline enhances your efficiency and speed.
The soft carry handles let you experience a secure grip, and they are comfortable and easy on your hands at any angle. As you can see, if you want comfort in your ocean kayaking sessions, the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 Kayak is the watercraft you should buy.
|Offers excellent value for buyer's hard-earned money||Few buyer complaints about this boat being sluggish|
|Easy to use
#7. Castine 140 Touring Kayak by Old Town
- Product Dimensions: 14 feet long [Length]; 24.75 inches wide [Width]; 15 inches deep [Depth]
- Weight: 53 pounds
- Maximum Load Capacity: 375 pounds
- Construction: Rotomolded, Single-layer Polyethylene
- Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced
- Color: Lemongrass, Sunrise, Black Cherry, Photic
- Designed for: Sea Kayaking, Touring, One person, Medium-sized paddlers
- Other features: Active Comfort System 2.0 seat system, Thigh braces, Phone cradle, Adjustable foot braces, Deck rigging rope and bungees, Bow and stern carry handles, Old Town lifetime warranty
The Old Town Canoe Company is a historical manufacturer of kayaks and canoes. It is the world’s largest and oldest watercraft maker, headquartered in Old Town, Maine, in the United States. Also, the Old Town Canoe Company has been in operations since 1898. With its century-long existence of innovating canoe after canoe, the firm has remained true to its heritage and extensive legacy of superior-quality craftsmanship.
With this history of the Old Town Canoe Company, you will not regret it if you purchase one of their products: The Old Town Castine 140 Touring Kayak. This sit-inside watercraft is perfect for your sea or ocean adventures. You get the ideal balance of convenience and first-rate performance.
The Old Town Canoe Company’s creation is for medium-sized paddlers. You will feel impressed because the ocean kayak lets you feel custom-fit. It is profuse with advantageous features such as the stern and bow carrying handles and the adjustable thigh and foot braces supporting your feet and legs efficiently.
Besides, you get to relish the removable slide track day storage’s high functionality, allowing you to stow your belongings on the deck and the bow and stern QuickSeal hatches with CrossLock closures.
The Castine 140 Touring ocean kayak by Old Town lets you sit back and relax while paddling, thanks to its Active Comfort System or ACS 2.0 seat system. You can anticipate feeling cozy with the low-profile backrest, making the most comfortable and advanced ocean kayak cockpit available today.
As you can see, these advantages are all made possible by the world’s oldest and largest canoe and kayak manufacturer. You may feel that you are missing out a lot in your life if you do not give the highly-rated ocean kayak a try.
|Awesome tracking||Does not include a rudder|
#8. Dagger Stratos 14.5 S Kayak
- Product Dimensions: 14 feet and 6 inches high [Height]; 23 inches wide [Width]
- Weight: 54 pounds and 8 ounces
- Maximum Load Capacity: 275 pounds
- Construction: Rotomolded Polyethylene
- Color: Red, Cosmos, Aurora
- Skill Level: Beginners, Intermediate, Expert
- Designed for: Sea kayaking, Open water paddling, Surf spots, Rock gardens, Multi-day touring adventures, One person
- Other features: Padded and foam seat, The retractable skeg tracking system, Full-size stern hatch and 10-inch bow hatch, Bungee deck rigging, Stern and bow soft-touch carry handles
The Dagger Stratos 14.5 S Kayak is a do-it-all kayak that you will enjoy in any adventurous water journey. This sporty water vessel is maneuverable and fast. You can enjoy paddling it in your multi-day touring expeditions and your day trips to your preferred surf spots and rock gardens.
This highly rated water vessel is one of the best ocean kayaks and comprises various features that facilitate your enjoyable and convenient water escapades. The height-adjustable TruTrak Skeg System helps efficiently track wind and current and deploys quickly from the cockpit.
Moreover, you can depend on the Dagger Stratos 14.5 S Kayak because it is highly durable. The manufacturer of this excellent ocean kayak utilized heavy-duty Polyethylene, so you get rugged sturdiness and outstanding performance.
Sheer paddling comfort is also within your reach, thanks to this watercraft’s ConTour CFS Seating System. Thus, you can relish the adjustable, comfort-control hip pads, leg lifters, soft-foam seat padding, and the ergonomic and adjustable floating back band. You can adjust and customize the fit of the SlideLock XL foot braces and adjustable padded thigh braces.
The Dagger Stratos 14.5 S Kayak offers you reliable, watertight storage via the presence of the full-size stern and 10-inch bow hatches. Both of them have bulkheads and keep your belongings dry. Gear storage is much more comfortable with the bungee deck rigging as well. Plus, the stern and bow soft-touch carry handles make it simple to take this water vessel. Therefore, with these advantages, the Dagger Stratos 14.5 S Kayak is a must-try ocean adventure buddy.
|Commendable tracking in various water conditions||Not for large paddlers|
|Features are easily adjustable
Our Favorite Ocean Kayak
You can be sure that you get fun and convenience with the Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Inflatable Kayak. Ocean kayaking is more enjoyable if you are not alone on the boat, right? So this watercraft guarantees that you will never feel unhappy on the watercraft.
The 12-foot-long Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Inflatable Kayak can accommodate up to three people on it. Hence, you can take your family with you and enjoy the ocean’s surrounding breathtaking views as you paddle. The Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Inflatable Kayak also does not limit your explorations in the largest water body.
This durable watercraft made using 1100 Decitex Reinforced is highly versatile. You can paddle with it in other water bodies like white waters, flat waters, open waters, and others. Plus, its rugged design guarantees that you will relish stability, comfort, and dryness throughout your ocean adventure.
The other ocean kayaks in this discussion are also well-made, safe, and satisfying to use. However, the Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Inflatable Kayak is more fun and convenient considering that it is sizable and facilitates ocean family bonding.
Buyer’s Guide to Ocean Kayaks
4 Essential Factors to Consider When Buying an Ocean Kayak
As you engage in ocean kayaking and head to a watercraft store, you may need assistance in picking the right product. The following factors are what you need to consider before making a choice:
Ocean kayaks come in various sizes. The most optimal ocean kayak is a long one. Besides, it should be narrow and lets you withstand challenging waves and currents.
Alternatively, short ocean kayaks are acceptable. Nevertheless, you can only use them for touring the coast.\
Fiberglass is the best material manufacturers use when building ocean kayaks. However, you may find products with this feature expensive. Fiberglass offers the water vessel more buoyancy.
On the other hand, the most common material used in constructing ocean kayaks is Polyethylene. If you are looking for budget-friendly watercraft, those made using this durable plastic material are typically affordable.
Skeg and Rudder
You can consider your option as among the best ocean kayaks if you can steer it well in all water conditions. There are two kinds of steering for these water vessels:
This part of an ocean kayak helps in increasing the boat’s speed. On the kayak’s bottom, you can find the skeg in a small compartment. It moves up and down, developing how the ocean kayak can handle the wind and waves coming against or towards it. On the sea, skegs are incredibly beneficial, especially when there are strong currents.
This kind of steering for ocean kayaks is a piece of metal installed on the kayak’s bottom. Inside the watercraft, you can find a foot pedal that will allow you to turn the rudder to the right and left.
A rudder helps in effortless directional steering. It is highly useful in scenarios where it is significant for you to alter your direction fast.
You should avail of a sea kayak that offers as much storage as possible. Also, it should be waterproof. These features guarantee your safety in the ocean. Plus, if you get caught in an intense storm or your water vessel capsizes for any reason, your waterproof storage can save your belongings.
You should remember that the more storage your ocean kayak features, the better. Plus, you have the option of bungee or shock cord storage, waterproof containers, and dry bags.
Dimensions, construction material used, skeg or rudder, and storage are the four significant elements you need to consider to help you determine the best ocean kayak. There are other essential elements you should look into, but these four are the fundamental ones. If you find them in your kayak option, then you may consider purchasing it.
Ocean kayaks are watercraft designed for paddling in open waters and ocean bays. They are typically long and narrow. Also, they come in various brands, hues, designs, and prices.
Reading this brief guide enlightened you about the eight highly rated ocean kayaks today. Buyers wrote positive reviews about them, which outweighed the complaints expressed. These customers felt pleased with the eight ocean kayaks’ delivery of tremendous value for their hard-earned money, versatility, stability, comfort, and fun.
You can find more options from other online discussions about the best ocean kayaks available today. As discussed in this article’s buying guide, you should make sure to keep the essential factors you need to consider in mind because they will help you find a suitable ocean kayak.
Happy shopping for the best ocean kayak today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it OK for me to use my lake or river kayak in the ocean?
Most beginners ask this query, and the fast response is yes. You can utilize your river or lake kayak in the ocean. However, your trips should be short, and the weather should be mild and not windy.
Ocean kayaking typically requires you to have a long water vessel, usually 14 feet long. Also, your watercraft should feature two airtight hatches in case it tips over.
Q: What are the typical features of an ocean kayak?
Ocean kayaks are water vessels. Manufacturers design them to tackle open water conditions. Ocean or sea kayaks are longer than regular recreational boats. Also, in the ocean, these watercraft provide superior tracking. Ocean kayaks feature a lower center of gravity as well.
Q: How hazardous is it to kayak in the ocean?
Ocean kayaking is a risky activity. Therefore, you should always utilize ocean-specific boats capable of tackling strong currents and waves. Otherwise, you get high chances of toppling over or getting pulled away in the largest water body.
Furthermore, before paddling in the ocean, you should always check the weather predictions and conditions. Wear a helmet as well. This measure will safeguard you if the ocean kayak accidentally capsizes and leads you upside down on the water body’s bottom. Finally, be sure to pack flotation in the stern for buoyancy.
- Cheap Kayaks
- Kayak Helmets
- Kayak Carts
- Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
- Trolling Motors for Kayaks
- River Runner Kayaks
- Motorized Kayaks
- Crossover Kayaks
Torsten Bird is a talented and adventurous waterman from Western Australia, passionate about surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, hydrofoiling, skimboarding, snowboarding and skateboarding. Torsten has spent countless hours mastering his skills and his dream is to one day represent Australia as an Olympic athlete. Follow Torsten’s adventures on Instagram.