Ocean kayaks come in a variety of different types, each with different uses that they are best or designed for.
In this guide, we’re going to guide you through some of the various points surrounding ocean kayaks, including some advice on which are best to go for, what you should consider when you’re trying to decide which one is best for you, and a description on the different models available and what each of them have to offer.
After we’ve had a close look at what you should consider/know about ocean kayaks before you buy one, we’ll review in detail some of the best ocean kayaks on the market. We’ll have a look at what each has to offer in terms of their key features and best points.
What Should You Look For In An Ocean Kayak?
Just like purchasing any kind of kayak, there are a number of points that you should take into consideration before you purchase an ocean kayak. There are a few different main types of ocean kayak that are available, including those that are optimized for fishing, for touring, for storage, and for shorter trips on rougher waters.
What Style Of Boat Is Best For An Offshore Kayak?
Ocean kayaks come in two different variations, sit on top and sit inside. Depending on what you’re planning to do on your offshore kayak whilst out on the open, your needs may be more suited by a sit inside or sit on top option.
Sit On Top Ocean Kayak
Sit on top kayaks refer to those that you quite literally sit on top of. No part of you’re body is sheltered or constrained by the boat itself. When deciding whether or not a sit on top is suitable for you, you should consider a number of points.
What are you using the kayak for mainly? If you’re planning on using your ocean kayak mainly for fishing, you should look or a sit on top option. Sit on top kayaks tend to have a lot more storage space than sit-inside varieties, and also allow you to move both your upper and lower body freely. A good amount of movement is essential when fishing, particularly if you need to stand up to cast whilst you’re out at sea. Landing a fish is much more effective if you’re in a position that you can move around to get the rod in the correct position.
Sit on top kayaks are very accessible indeed. They are far easier to get in and out of that sit inside kayaks, and are also much easier to get back into should your boat start to capsize or you fall out. When you’re out on the open ocean, you want to be staying on your boat as much as is absolutely possible.
You can move around much easier on a sit on top kayak compared to a sit-inside kayak. Due to the fact that sit inside kayaks don’t restrict the movement of your lower body whatsoever, you can move around on a sit on top kayak much easier. This is perfect for if you’d like to stop the boat and relax.
Storage opportunities on a sit on top kayak are vast. Sit on top kayaks have a lot more storage space than sit inside kayaks. Unlike a sit-inside kayak, the entire surface of a sit on top kayak can be used for whatever you’d like. As the paddler, you sit in the middle of the boat. Sit on top kayaks often have either end dedicated to storage, with both wet and dry/secure storage available.
Sit Inside Ocean Kayak
Sit inside kayaks refer to those kayaks in which the rider is enveloped within the boat. A sit-inside kayak covers the bottom half of your body and is far more restrictive than a sit on top kayak on which you can move around freely.
Sit inside kayaks do come with a good number of advantages, as well as disadvantages. In a lot of situations, a sit-inside kayak would be more suitable than a sit on top kayak, and vice-versa.
Sit-inside kayaks have very good handling. They are very easy to move around on the water compared to sit on top kayaks. In terms of offshore kayaks, a lot of people do prefer a sit inside option for this very reason. More so than ever, a good sense of direction coupled with high-quality tracking is extremely important when you’re out on the ocean. Straying off-course when you’re at sea is far easier to do than when your paddling on a lake, for example.
Sit-inside kayaks are also very stable, more stable than their sit on top counterparts. Stability is an extremely important category for an offshore kayak to excel in – small and large waves, as well as under-water currents, can cause a small boat such as a kayak to become knocked about quite considerably.
You should make sure that the shape of the hull that’s on your kayak is well-suited to what you’re planning on using it for.
Flat Hull – kayaks with flat hulls are best for use on calm waters, such as smaller ponds and lakes that aren’t likely to be affected by waves or currents.
Rounded Hull – A kayak that has a flat hull is great for cruising through the water with minimal effort. They are far more streamlined than flat-bottomed boats. They aren’t however quite as stable and can tip over more easily.
V-Shaped Hull – V-shaped hulls are not found as commonly on kayaks. They are designed for higher speed boats that are meant to plain on top of the water.
Depending on what you’re looking to use your ocean kayak for mainly, you may or may not require a good amount of storage for your boat. If you’re planning on angling whilst out at sea, you should ensure that you choose an ocean kayak that has a sufficient amount of storage for all of your equipment. Likewise, if you’re going on any trip that requires you to take a lot of equipment, you should make sure that you have a kayak that can accommodate this in both weight and storage space.
If you’re going out on a trip that you’re going to be sitting down on for a reasonable amount of time, you should make sure that you choose a kayak that’s fitted with as comfortable a seat as possible.
Best Ocean Kayaks
Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem – Offshore Kayak For Two
The Malibu Tandem from Ocean Kayaks is a very well-known vessel indeed. It’s a sit on top kayak that’s great for use on the ocean. It can comfortably fit two people, but could also be paddled solo if you’d prefer. With this tandem kayak, there’s the option to take or not to take someone else out on the water with you.
The seating arrangement in the Malibu is fantastic – they can be taken out and put back in at your leisure and can be put into whatever part of the boat you like. This makes this boat so unbelievably flexible in so many ways. You could have just one seat in the boat, or you could sit in a different position at different times depending on the water conditions.
The storage opportunities aboard this boat are ample too – there is both wet and dry storage available, meaning that you’ll always have somewhere to put your equipment and possessions.
Carrying this Ocean Kayak around is easy too, it’s equipped with carry-handles and is very lightweight at just 57 pounds. Even though it weighs in at only 57 pounds, it’s able to carry up to 425 pounds of load weight.
- Weight: 57 pounds
- Length: 12 ft
- Width: 34 inches
- Fully adjustable and removable seating
- Excellent wet and dry storage opportunities
- Overlapped footwells that make for an extremely comfortable position
Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Ocean Three Person Kayak
The Sea Eagle SE370 is an inflatable ocean kayak that offers almost unrivaled value for money. At just under $300, it really is very difficult to fault this boat at all. Being both tandem and inflatable, it is very easy to transport and carry around. It’s amazing that out can get two people out onto the water in comfort with something that can be rolled up and easily fitted into the trunk of your car.
The SE370 from Sea Eagle comes equipped with two seats that can be inflated and either added or removed whenever you want. It’s supplied with a paddle for each person on board too.
Even though this is a lightweight inflatable kayak, when it’s out on the water it’s able to carry up to 640 pounds worth of weight! Extremely impressive indeed. The boat is also fitted with skegs, which makes it extremely stable and great at moving through the water in the desired direction.
We previously stated that the SE370 can carry up to 650 pounds in weight, but we didn’t say that the boat itself only weighs in at 44 pounds! It’s so very easy for one person to carry this boat around and it only takes a quarter of an hour to get the boat inflated if you use the foot pump that Sea Eagle provides in the box. In addition to the foot pump and paddles, Sea Eagle also provides a durable carrying bag that fits the kayak nicely for after you’ve finished your day of boating.
- Weight: 44 pounds
- Length: 12 ft
- Width: 2 ft
- Extremely durable
- Comes supplied with spray skirts to keep you dry in rougher waters
- Includes paddles and foot pump, as well as a pressure gauge and a kit for repairing the boat in the event of damage
- Made of three air chambers – even if one part of the boat deflates, the rest will still stay afloat
Ocean Kayak Prowler – One Person Sit On Top Ocean Kayak
The Prowler from Ocean Kayak is, without doubt, one of the most loved, if not the most loved ocean kayak on the market. It’s a one-person sit on top kayak that has one main focus – to be as great as possible for that rider whilst out on the water.
For a one-person kayak, the Prowler has a very impressive rated weight holding of 325 pounds. You definitely don’t need to worry about bringing yourself plus a little extra equipment with this Ocean Kayak.
At over 13 feet in length and only 28 inches in width, the Prowler is a very long and narrow vessel. It’s great for touring and getting up to speed with ease. If you’re in the market for a kayak that’s fast and that you plan to do a lot of miles in one trip, the Prowler is purpose-built.
- Weight: 56 pounds
- Length: 13’4”
- Width: 28 inches
- Weight capacity of 325 pounds – even though the Prowler only weighs 56 pounds, it can carry up to 325!
- Sit on Top Kayak – the Prowler is very easy to get in and out of
- Fully adjustable seat that can be moved in four directions
- Both dry and wet storage – as well as on top of the boat, the Prowler has a sealed hatch that you can use to keep your valuables dry
- Great For Fishing – As well as touring, the Prowler is a great kayak to take out fishing. It’s fitted with rod holders and cup holders, making for an easy and relaxed fishing experiences
Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181 – Best Ocean Kayak For Fishing
If you’re looking for an ocean kayak that you’d like to take fishing, the UH-TK181 from the Brooklyn Kayak Company could be a great choice for you.
The UH-TK181 is well and truly kitted out for the ultimate fishing performance. It’s got seven different rod holders, three of which are articulated for great usability. You can easily get a good amount of hooks into the water with this boat.
There’s plenty of storage space on the UH-TK181 too, with storage areas that are waterproof, as well as those that are on top of the boat. In addition to great storage and usability, the UK-TK181 is fantastic for stability. It will allow you to enjoy fishing in a variety of different water types.
- Weight: 85 pounds
- Length: 12’5”
- Width: 34 inches
- Load capacity of 440 pounds – there’s plenty of potential for this boat to take a good amount of equipment, no matter what you are using it for
- Ample storage – as well as having normal storage on top of the boat, the UK-TK181 has waterproof storage as well
- Extremely good stability and tracking
- Well-drained – there are 8 scupper drain points in this kayak, meaning that any water that enters the boat is drained out right away.
- Portable – this boat is fitted with four handles for carrying too. At only 85 pounds in weight, it’s very easy for a couple of people to move this boat around
After reading a bit about what to look for in an ocean kayaks and the different types that are available, we hope you feel a bit more informed in terms of what the varying models have to offer. Let’s take a final quick look at what we love best about each.
The Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem is a very good all-round ocean kayak for two people. It’s particularly versatile, in that the seats can be added and removed as you see fit. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and very well-made.
The Sea Eagle SE370 is a great inflatable kayak for the ocean. It can fit easily into the trunk of your car and makes for a very sturdy and durable vessel once inflated. It comes with everything you need to get out on the water right away too – paddles, a foot pump, and even a high-quality carrying bag.
Ocean Kayak Prowler – The Prowler is the ultimate one person sit on top ocean kayak. It’s based on a long and linear design, that makes it a great boat for touring around easily at high speed on the ocean. If you’re looking for a vessel that you can comfortably travel a fair distance in one day in, it’s the option to go for.
BKC UH-TK181 – The EU-TK181 is the kayak that’s made for fishing on the ocean. It’s fully kitted out with rod holders and is a very comfortable place to be for two people out on the ocean fishing. In addition, it’s got wet and dry storage – plenty of spaces to store both your fishing equipment and your catch! It’s a very stable boat too, making it a great little vessel to fish from. It comes with seating and paddles included and is very well-priced indeed. It’s difficult to find a fault in the fantastic BKC UH-TK181.