Best Kayaks For a Large Person in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide


Kayaks have always been excellent for fishing or relaxing. However, nowadays, they are becoming more and more popular to get back into shape.

If you’re a large person, kayaking is a great exercise where you can enjoy freedom and nature instead of being on a treadmill at a gym. You also won’t be losing your time because your trips will always be productive. In other words, the only thing you’ll lose at the end of your trip is some weight.

For this reason, manufacturers have designed kayaks that offer a lot of buoyancy and stability for people over 300lbs. Such yaks have excellent weight capacity and adequate length. They are also wide enough for large fellas to get in and out of easily without falling.

In this article, we have compiled a list of the best models on the market. You’ll also find some factors that you should consider before buying one and some frequently asked questions.

Are you ready to meet the best kayak for a large person?

Comparison Table: 

ModelWeight Maximum weight capacity Width 
Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak77 lbs. 650 lbs.  36 in.
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 13075 lbs.  550 lbs.  33 in.
BKC RA22070 lbs. 340 lbs. 32 in. 
Perception Pescador Pro 1264 lbs.  375 lbs. 32 in.
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 9046 lbs. 300 lbs. 32 in.

The 5 Best Kayaks For a Large Person in 2020

1. Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak – Highest Weight Capacity

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak

This kayak accommodates up to 650 pounds, which is the highest maximum weight capacity compared to the other kayaks on our list. This is mainly because it accommodates two people. Yet, it does not mean that you should always have a partner on board because it still tracks greatly with just one paddler. 

Another reason why Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak earned its place on the top of our list is that it’s the widest one coming at 36 inches. It’s also relatively long compared to its counterparts, given that it is 12.2 feet. 

Moreover, this yak is truly durable as it is made of roto mold injected body, ensuring that it lasts for many years with no cracks or punctures whatsoever. Plus, the two EVA padded seats will surely keep you comfortable all day long.

Whether you decide to go solo or take a partner, you’ll still enjoy the two wide storage areas along with a designated platform for ice chests where you can store all your equipment and tackle without needing to leave anything at the shore. 

Besides the two storage chambers, it features an airtight compartment so that you can take your phone, wallet and keys. It even comes with bungee cords, ensuring that nothing will fall into the water. 

While Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak is the heaviest on our list, it is easy to transport thanks to its two carry handles. Plus, it fits comfortably in the bed of a truck or a trailer! 

It comes with two rod holders and two aluminum paddles, so if you need it for fishing, you can use it right out of the box. 

Pros:

  • Durable 
  • Highest maximum weight capacity 
  • Tandem 

Cons:

  • A bit unstable in bad weather

Final Verdict 

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak is an excellent kayak for a large person thanks to offering the highest maximum weight capacity and being the widest on this list. What’s more, its comfortable padded seats and durable body are hard to reject. 

2. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 – Best For Fishing 

Vibe Sea Ghost 130

If you’re looking for a one-person kayak mainly for fishing, you won’t find one better than Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130.

It comes with a built-in rudder that saves your energy in lousy weather and helps you focus on fishing. 

What’s more, it comes with tackle tray holders and two flush-mounted rod holders so that you can enjoy hands-free fishing. In case you want to hold the rod, you can store the paddles in the two bungee paddle parks on both sides of the kayak. 

Are you already impressed? There is more! It also features a universal mount, allowing you to install a fishfinder transducer or other fishing accessories with a rectangular base. 

Like most fishing kayaks, this 33-inch wide yak is pretty stable that it doubles as a stand up kayak. This is an excellent plus for anglers because fishing while standing offers more control and a better view of the surrounding area. 

Actually, another reason it’s stable is that it is the longest one on this list, coming at 13 feet. Plus, it offers a maximum weight capacity of 550 pounds! Great news for tall and large fellas, isn’t it? 

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 is pretty durable as it’s made of Rotomolded high-density polyethylene. Plus, you won’t get tired thanks to its Vibe Hero seat that offers two positions, providing comfort for long days on the water. 

The seat is also breathable so that you can use the kayak without getting sweaty in hot weather while drinking a cold juice and then putting it in the cupholder. Even better, it features adjustable foot braces for different-sized people. 

As for the storage, you can take all the gear you need as it has a large center console, a 20-inch front oval hatch, a rear hatch and a large bungee rear tank well. 

Even though Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 is the second heaviest yak on the list weighing 75 pounds, its 4 Vibe Phantom-Grip comfy carrying handles help you transfer it with a little bit of ease. 

Moreover, this kayak tracks well in ponds, rivers, oceans and streams. 

Pros:

  • Fast 
  • Excellent tracking 
  • Stable 
  • Allows you to install a transducer 
  • Wide storage 
  • Comfortable seat
  • Adjustable foot braces

Cons:

  • Only one-year warranty

Final Verdict

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 is an excellent fishing kayak for a large person. It features a universal mount, allowing you to install a transducer. What’s more, its 550-pound weight capacity is mind-blowing, especially that this is a solo kayak. 

3. BKC RA220 – Most Stable

BKC RA220

BKC RA220 is an excellent kayak for several reasons. The first one is that it’s the most stable sit-on-top kayak on our list. You can even use it as a stand-up kayak if you need to get a better look at the water around you or if you just need to stretch your legs. 

Another reason it’s suitable for large people is that it is 11.6 feet long and 32 inches wide, facilitating getting in and out of it. Plus, it accommodates up to 340 pounds, which is relatively good compared to its fellow yaks.

What’s more, it comes with a pre-installed rudder system, which helps you pedal with your foot instead of using pedals. This feature is not only great for giving you ultimate control in all weather conditions, but also because it facilitates maneuvering the yak. 

In case you want to use the paddle, you’ll enjoy the paddle parks that allow you to get them out of your way. This eliminates the risk of tripping over and falling. Plus, the two flush-mount rod holders keep fishing poles out of the way, so that you can paddle easily. They also keep lines in the water for hands-free fishing. 

You’ll be doing all of this while sitting comfortably in the chair, which you can recline to relax for extended hours. 

Plus, its waterproof storage and cargo area allow users to bring whatever they need on board, including their valuables because they won’t get damaged by water.

Sadly, it’s relatively heavy coming at 70 pounds. 

Pros:

  • Stable and can be used as a stand up kayak 
  • Features a waterproof storage 
  • Comfortable seating 
  • Comes with a pre-installed rudder system 

Cons:

  • Heavy 

Final Verdict 

If you’re looking for a stand up kayak, the exceptional stability of BKC RA220 won’t disappoint you. Moreover, its rudder system and reclinable chair ensure comfort.  

4. Perception Pescador Pro 12 – Most Comfortable Seat 

Perception Pescador Pro 12

Do you want a kayak that you can use for hours and hours without getting tired? Perception Pescador Pro 12 is the one as it features the most comfortable chair. The roomy and removable chair has a mesh zone, allowing for airflow, so you don’t get sweaty. 

What’s more, the chair features an adjustable back that you can tilt backward for relaxed pedaling or forward for sportier pedaling. It can also be lowered for relaxed pedaling or raised for optimum casting. 

Moreover, the entire seat slides forwards and backward to put you in the most comfortable pedaling position.

Since this sit-on-top yak accommodates up to 375 pounds, we believe that you can take all the gear that you need. That’s also possible because it offers a large front and rear storage with bungee cords, allowing you to bring a cooler and your tackle, for example 

In case you love fishing while standing up, you can remove the chair and use this as a stand up kayak. This way, you’ll also be maximizing the storage space. However, we’ve found some complaints claiming that this 32-inch wide kayak is not very stable. 

Anglers can use Perception Pescador Pro 12 for fishing because it has gear tracks and allows you to install a fishfinder. Plus, it comes with two modeled-in rod holders so you can enjoy hands-free fishing. 

Coming at 64 pounds, it is not really heavy. However, it still comes with an easily replaceable skid plate that lets you drag your gear-loaded kayak without fear of damage.

Plus, you can rest assured that it is an incredibly durable kayak thanks to its high-density polyethylene and one-piece roto-molded construction, making it UV, impact, and abrasion-resistant.

It’s excellent for lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers, streams and calm coastal water.

Pros:

  • Enough room for your legs 
  • Durable 
  • Features a fish finder console 

Cons:

  • Not safe in bad weather 

Final Verdict

Perception Pescador Pro 12 is perfect for those who need a comfortable kayak. Its chair is made with the comfort of large people in mind. What’s more, it’s suitable for fishing and durable enough to last for years. 

5. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 – Most Lightweight 

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 is the lightest and most affordable kayak on our list coming at 46 pounds. Nevertheless, it still comes with four easy-grip carry handles for transportation. 

Having a lightweight kayak is excellent, as it makes paddling a lot easier. In other words, with a light kayak, you will only be pulling your weight while paddling. 

Given that this one-person yak is nine feet long and has the lowest maximum weight capacity -300 pounds- compared to the other yaks on this list, we only recommend it for medium-sized people. 

We love it for its two paddle parks where you can secure the paddles when not in use. This way, you can rest assured that they won’t get lost in the water. 

It also has four flush-mounted rod holders, so you can enjoy hands-free fishing while having your favorite drinks, thanks to the built-in cup holder. 

You can take as much gear as you want thanks to its two sealed hatches with bag inserts and sizable rear tank well with bungee cords. However, avid anglers may be disappointed with the storage space. 

All of this does not ensure a lovely trip; however, the comfortable seat does. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 features built-in ergonomic backrests and comfortable cushioned seats.

Like Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130, this one features a universal mount, allowing you to install a fishfinder. 

Another reason you can use it for fishing is its stability and durability as it’s made of ultra-stable rotomolded single piece polyethylene. Plus, it is waterproof and leak proof.

What’s more, you will enjoy the added built-in buoyancy that ensures you stay afloat in the face of normal-sized waves but no heavy currents. 

The sleek hull design helps it move as fast as possible and offers excellent tracking to go where you need. As for the deck area, it is slip-resistant, ensuring you don’t trip over even if you stand up. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight 
  • Budget-friendly 
  • Stable and durable 
  • Features a universal mount 

Cons:

  • The lowest maximum weight capacity 
  • Not stable during heavy currents 

Final Verdict 

If you are under 300 pounds and searching for the most budget-friendly fishing kayak, go for Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90. However, note that it’s dangerous to use in bad weather.

How to Pick a Kayak For a Large Person 

Before picking a kayak for a large person, there are certain factors that you should consider. For example, the kayaks should be wide enough to be stable, offer an adequate weight capacity and so on. Such factors are discussed in detail below. 

Maximum Weight Capacity 

Every kayak has a specific weight limit that, if exceeded, it will topple over. Having said that, you must pay very close attention to the weight limit of a kayak before buying it. Also, don’t forget to consider the weight of your gear. 

It’s always a good idea to leave a small margin because this will make you feel secure when on water. 

Some tandem kayaks can be used for a single person, and they handle more weight than one-person kayaks, so this is something you can consider. 

Width 

Another thing to consider is the width of the kayak. The wider it is, the more stable on the water. 

Going for wide kayaks also facilitates you getting in and out of it, which is usually a troublesome process for large people. 

Don’t go for kayaks that are less than 30 inches wide. 

Weight 

Many people wrongly believe that lightweight kayaks are more prone to break, while, in fact, some light kayaks are more durable than heavy counterparts. 

Getting a light one won’t only make it easy for you to transfer from place to place but also facilitate paddling because you will only be pulling your weight while rowing. This facilitates kayaking, and prevents you from getting tired quickly. 

Type 

There are three types of kayaks: inflatable, sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks. The sit-on-top kayak is the most suitable for large people. 

Inflatable kayaks are not known for their high maximum weight capacity. And since this is a crucial feature that we are searching for now, we can cross this type. 

Sit-in kayaks are self-explanatory. You get inside the kayaks, and your lower body is confined in a certain space. For this reason, this type is not recommended for large people. 

On the other hand, sit-on-top kayaks give your legs enough freedom as you can put them in front of you. What’s more, you can easily get in and out of those with no hassle. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Maximum Width of a Kayak on the Market? 

36 inches is the maximum width you can find. Such kayaks are highly stable and probably double as stand up kayaks. 

How Do I Make Sure the Weight Limit Suits Me? 

The best way to do so is by subtracting around 25% of the weight capacity provided by the manufacturer. For example, if the weight limit of the kayak is 350 pounds, it would only be safe for a person weighing 262.5 pounds or less. And that is if you are not carrying any gear. 

What Happens If I Exceed the Kayaks’ Weight Limit? 

If you do so, the kayak won’t be stable at all, and you will probably end up in the middle of the water with your gear surrounding you.  

Where Should the Heavier Person Sit In a Tandem Kayak? 

Whenever you are in a kayak, you must make sure that the weight is evenly distributed. So, if you’re in a kayak that accommodates more than one person, make sure that the heavier person sits at the back. 

Final Thoughts 

Now that we’ve reached the end of the article, we believe that you have found what you deem to be the best kayak for a large person. In case you’re still confused, we would love to spot the light on some models. 

On the top of our list is the amazing Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak for offering the highest weight capacity of 650 pounds. What’s more, it’s the only model you can paddle with a partner

In case you’re looking for the best fishing kayak, go for Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130. Besides its ability to take up to 550 pounds, it allows anglers to install fish finders and other fishing accessories. Moreover, the built-in rudder saves your energy in lousy weather and helps you focus on fishing. 

For optimum stability, you won’t find a better kayak than BKC RA220. It even doubles as a stand up kayak, so you’ll be getting two for the price of one! It accommodates up to 340 pounds, which is relatively good compared to its fellow yaks.

Categories Kayaks