Kayaks are an excellent way to explore the great outdoors, but sometimes you need a little extra stability on the water. In this article, we will share the best kayak outriggers. If you struggle to stay upright on the water or hook a big fish and need more stability, please stay tuned.
Fortunately, there are floats (amas) that can help you maintain greater stability when paddling. In this guide, we will walk you through the best outriggers for kayaking. After we finish the reviews, we will explain all the details about kayak outriggers, including how they work and who needs one.
If you need extra stability on the water, please stay tuned.
In a hurry? Here are the top picks:
- 1 Best kayak outriggers
- 2 YakGear Kayak & Canoe Outriggers
- 3 Meter Star Kayak Floats
- 4 Pactrade Marine Kayak Outrigger
- 5 Scotty #302 Kayak Stabilizer System
- 6 Lixada Kayak PVC Inflatable Outrigger
- 7 Brocraft Kayak Outriggers
- 8 What is a kayak outrigger?
- 9 Why do you need a kayak outrigger?
- 10 When should you use an outrigger?
- 11 How to choose the best kayak outrigger
- 12 Great for beginners
- 13 How to mount a kayak outrigger
- 14 Benefits of a kayak outrigger
- 15 Cons of using an outrigger for your kayak
- 16 Conclusion
Best kayak outriggers
What outrigger should you choose for your next kayaking adventure? This article will show you the main features, pros, and cons and answer some common questions about each model.
YakGear Kayak & Canoe Outriggers
- The YakGear Outriggers provide an easy to install safety net for everything from...
- The outriggers are attached by using a RAILBLAZA StarPort base (included) mounted to...
- This set comes with 2 outriggers for the port and starboard side of your watercraft....
- 2 adjustable Outrigger arms and floats, 2 Ralblaza Starport HD mounts, all...
- The Amas (floats) provide stability when paddling is a problem. The included amas...
- Adjustable outrigger arms
- 30-inch arms
- RAILBLAZA StarPort base included
If you are paddling through rough water or need to stand up to reel in a big fish, YakGear has you covered. Anytime you find yourself rocking and rolling on the water, these floats will come in very handy.
The YakGear outrigger comes ready to go with two blow-molded floats, two adjustable arms, and two StarPort HD’s from RAILBLAZA, one for each side of your kayak.
The arms are 30 inches long and give the paddler afloat base about 22 inches from the kayak. Anytime you need to remove the outriggers, like for transport, you can easily remove the floats leaving the mounts in place.
The floats also come with pre-installed, threaded brass inserts. You can use the inserts, along with a RAILBLAZA MiniPort and a camera mount adapter, to get some great pictures or video with an action camera.
Comes with mounting brackets
You can add an action camera
You need to drill into your kayak
If you are looking for extra stability on the water, the YakGear Kayak & Canoe Outrigger is one of the best kayak outriggers. It’s easy to install, adjustable, and has a spot for an action camera.
Whether you are reeling in that big fish, paddling through rough water, or just getting started kayaking, this outrigger will help you keep your balance and stay dry.
Meter Star Kayak Floats
- Exclusive Offer,Free Comes with 4 repair patches,Designed and manufactured...
- This Float Great for kayak, canoe, boat, paddling, fishing, standing and beginners.
- Inflatable and Lightweight design; durable and portable to carry; very easy to...
- MAX PSI 4PSI/0.3BAR.Lightweight, durable and portable to carry, 2 floats weighing 2.6...
- This outrigger stabilizers are to provide a stable platform to make you feel more...
- Lightweight design
- Easy to install
- Great for kayaks and canoes
If you want to feel more secure and stable while you are kayaking, the Meter Star kayak floats are an excellent investment. These outriggers will help stabilize your kayak in choppy water or when you are trying to reel in big fish.
The Meter Star kayak outrigger is lightweight and extremely portable. You can easily take them with you whenever you are on the water. The floats are inflatable, easy to carry, and install.
The floats are made of high-quality PVC, like many inflatable kayaks. The downside is that the floats and the arms are sold separately. You don’t need a pump to inflate these floats. You just use your mouth.
The customer reviews on this product are hit or miss. Some people have indicated the outrigger doesn’t come with any instructions on how to install them. Most folks who left reviews say the floats work great.
Comes with four repair patches
Fits kayaks and canoes
Floats and rods are sold separately
Some users say it does not come with instructions
Take the reviews with a grain of salt. This outrigger is portable, lightweight, and inflatable, so it’s easy to pack up and take with you.
Pactrade Marine Kayak Outrigger
- This is a set of durable Outriggers/ Stabilizer System that is suitable for most...
- Stainless steel mounting hardware is included with the outriggers/stabilizer kit, as...
- Measurement of: PVC Float Kits – 27-1/2” (L) x 5” (W); Aluminum Arms/Poles –...
- The large, easy-gripping lock nuts offer simple adjustment on the outriggers. It has...
- This outrigger/stabilizer system has an ONE (1) Year Limited Product Warranty....
- Stainless steel mounting hardware
- Quick-release lock and unlock
- Fits most kayaks and canoes
The Pactrade kayak outrigger is durable and fits most kayaks and canoes. This setup is ideal if you will be paddling in rough or choppy water or for anglers who want to stand up and fish.
The kit includes stainless steel mounting hardware. The outrigger comes with two PVC red and white colored floats, aluminum arms (with locknuts), and two deck mounts. The mounts can be placed on the side or flat.
The kayak stabilizer arm is easy to adjust with locknuts. There is a red quick-release button to lock the outrigger and unlock it when you do not use it.
The downside is that the angle adjustment mechanism is made from plastic and could strip under stress.
Includes stainless steel mounting hardware
Floats are made of durable PVC
Can be used with sit-inside or sit-on-top kayaks
Can be hard to mount
The adjustment mechanism (gears) is made of plastic and could break
What makes this one of the best kayak outriggers? It’s easy to use, install, and versatile enough to fit various kayaks and canoes. The kit comes with everything you need to stabilize your kayak.
Scotty #302 Kayak Stabilizer System
- Country Of Origin : Canada
- The Package Height Of The Product Is 11 Inches
- The Package Length Of The Product Is 34 Inches
- The Package Width Of The Package Is 11 Inches
- Sport type: Boating
- Inflatable pontoons
- Aluminum arms
- Easy to install
With over 30 pounds of additional buoyancy, you will feel more stable and secure with Scotty Stabilizers on your kayak. The pontoons are designed to withstand obstacles, like rocks and trees. They are incredibly durable.
The floats are made from durable PVC and are easy to inflate and deflate. You can inflate them when you are ready to use them, so you don’t have to worry about storing them.
The included hardware mounts are easy to install and are high-quality. It also comes with two fishing rod holders.
You can inflate the pontoons with your mouth, which is inefficient, so you may want to invest in a hand pump.
Floats are made of durable PVC
Aluminum stabilizer arms
Fits kayaks and canoes
Bladders are easy to inflate
More expensive than other models
Slows your kayak down
Scotty kayak outrigger is excellent for folks who want to stand up and fish. This is one of the best outriggers for kayaking because they are durable, easy to inflate, and stabilize the kayak very well.
Lixada Kayak PVC Inflatable Outrigger
- Provides added stability for any vessel and make you feel safe and secure.
- Easily inflatable with several breaths and deflated in seconds.
- Comes with 2 repair patches.
- Lightweight, durable and portable to carry.
- Great for kayak, canoe, boat, paddling, fishing, standing and beginners.
- Double valve for easy inflation/deflation
- Fits kayaks and canoes
If you are looking for extra stability when you are on the water, these stabilizers are a great option. These are great for beginners, anglers, and everything in between.
The floats include a dual valve system that is easy to inflate with your mouth. The air will stay in and not escape, so you don’t have to frantically screw the valve cap on when you are done. The second valve is for deflating the pontoon. It deflates quickly and easily.
The outriggers are portable and easy to carry, so they are great for camping trips. The downside to this is that you have to buy the sidekick arms separately. The pontoons’ price is a solid value, but don’t forget you will need the arms too.
Available in three colors options
Easy to inflate
Double valve for quick deflation
Comes with two repair patches
Rods are not included
You can quickly stabilize your kayak with the Lixada inflatable outrigger. If you want to stand up while you fish or paddle on choppy water, they are a great investment. The pontoons are also excellent for beginners who want extra stability.
Brocraft Kayak Outriggers
- 32" long aluminum Outrigger arms attach to your kayak
- Tough, Durable Molded PVC Floats - COLOR: Yellow
- All mounting hardware is Stainless Steel
- Brocraft Two Years Limited Warranty
- 32-inch arms
- Molded PVC floats
- Stainless steel mounting hardware
If you are looking for extra stability from your kayak, you need to check out this kayak outrigger from Brocraft. This kit is excellent if you want to stand up and fish. The struts are lightweight, and the mounting brackets allow for positional adjustments.
Depending on your kayak set up, you may or may not have to drill holes to install this outrigger. Some tracks are compatible. Installation is pretty easy and can be done quickly with the included stainless steel hardware. The outrigger comes as a side/deck mount kit or a track mount kit.
The outrigger will hold you steady and even works on swells. If you are a beginner, an angler, or just want some extra stability, this is a solid option.
Mounting hardware is included
Easy to attach and remove the arms
More expensive than others
Keeping your kayak stable is not always easy. Using the Brocraft kayak outrigger can help keep you upright and dry. This is an excellent kit for anglers, beginners, and those in between.
What is a kayak outrigger?
An outrigger is a float attached to an arm (or frame). The arm is then attached to the side or the deck of a kayak. The floats extend from the kayak onto the water and provide the paddler with added stability. The goal is to give you extra stability making it difficult to flip the kayak.
Many of the kayak outriggers on the market can be deployed and retracted when you are not using them. This means you can use the outrigger when you need to stabilize your boat, and you can retract them for transport, storage, or when you are paddling.
These adjustable outriggers can be used on one side or both sides of the kayak. Outriggers are very versatile and provide stability when you need it. Some models are fixed, not adjustable. You will need to decide which option is best for your setup.
Why do you need a kayak outrigger?
Kayaks are inherently narrow, so they can easily glide over the water. Because they are narrow, kayaks can also be wobbly. The primary purpose of a kayak outrigger is to give the paddler extra stability on the water.
You don’t always need to cut through the water with the greatest of ease. There are times, like when you are fishing when a paddler might need extra stability. Many anglers like to stand up when they are fishing. This helps with your range of motion when casting, or an angler might need extra leverage to reel in a big fish.
If you are a new kayaker, it can be a little scary to be on the water. Slight movements left, or right can have the kayak tilting. If you want to be extra stable, an outrigger can help. It’s like training wheels for a kayak.
When should you use an outrigger?
There are many situations when an outrigger comes in handy.
Sometimes the best fishing holes are not easy to access. Kayaks are great for reaching shoreline that you can’t access on foot or navigating waterways a larger boat may not get to.
If you bought a recreational kayak then decided it would be fun to go fishing, you may need to invest in a kayak outrigger.
Often times anglers like to stand up while casting or reeling in a fish. When you are standing, you have an increased range of motion and can cast more accurately than when you are seated. If you plan to fly fish from your kayak, you need to be standing.
The problem with most recreational kayaks is that you can’t stand up in them. Many anglers will add an outrigger to a kayak for added stability. It makes it easier to cast and hit your spot, and reel in fish.
Yep, you can add a sail to your kayak and let the wind work for you. You can also get carried away, literally. If you add a sail to your kayak, you will need to add some stability.
The wind can help you kayak longer and cover more distance, but the force of the wind can also tip you over. An outrigger for your kayak can add stability and keep you from capsizing.
Sailboats have a keel to act as a counterweight to the lateral force of the wind. Kayaks don’t have a keel, so an outrigger is your best bet.
How to choose the best kayak outrigger
Choosing the best outrigger for your kayak may seem daunting. The outriggers look complicated and cumbersome. It’s not as difficult as it may look and comes down to a few aspects.
Choose a float that is going to have enough buoyancy to support you and your kayak. Some floats are inflatable, so you need to make sure the outrigger can hold enough air to keep you from capsizing.
The end game is to keep your kayak from tipping over, so make sure the float will be able to support you.
Does peace of mind really have a price tag? Sure it does. You should plan on spending a few hundred bucks on a good kayak outrigger. Hopefully, you don’t end up spending more on the outrigger than your kayak.
It’s hard to find a solid outrigger at a lower price point, and you want to make sure you are getting a quality product that will do the job it’s intended to do.
Many outriggers are designed to fit a variety of kayaks and have adjustable arms so you can get the fit just right. Once installed, you can adjust the arms while you are on the water.
When you install the outrigger, you can play with the adjustment feature to ensure you know how to set it when you are on the water. You will be able to set the floats correctly for your kayak and water conditions.
Inflatable vs. PVC
As we have discussed, kayak outrigger floats are typically either inflatable or are made of PVC. Each has its pros and cons.
Inflatable floats have a tough outer layer surrounding a membrane. They are typically made with the same materials you find with inflatable kayaks. These are nice because they are easy to store when they are deflated. You can quickly inflate them with your mouth when you hit the water.
The downside to inflatable floats is they are subject to puncturing. If you tend to launch or paddle in areas with a lot of debris or obstacles, you need to be aware of this.
PVC floats are solid and provide excellent buoyancy. The only downfall is that PVC floats are not as easy to store as inflatables.
Great for beginners
Even though outriggers are not explicitly designed for this, they are great for beginners. The outriggers provide additional stability to the kayak, which can help if you are new to the sport. It’s kind of like a pair of training wheels for a kayak.
How to mount a kayak outrigger
Mounting the outrigger will depend on your kayak and set up. You may need to drill holes in your kayak to install a mounting bracket. Some outrigger kits can fit with built-in tracks and rails that come on some kayaks.
As far as placement goes, some people like to install the outrigger toward the back of the boat to keep it from interfering with the paddle stroke. Other people prefer to have the outrigger on the bow, which provides more stability for standing.
When you install the outrigger, you need to make sure the floats are parallel to your forward and backward movement. You don’t want the floats to be toe-in/toe-out.
It’s up to you where you install it, but you may be limited with your particular kayak. You will need to check and see if the outrigger will fit your kayak.
Benefits of a kayak outrigger
The benefit of using a kayak outrigger is to keep the kayak stable and keep you from capsizing. Anglers use outriggers frequently to allow them to stand up while fishing. It’s a lot easier to cast and pick your spots, especially when you are fly fishing when you are standing up.
Other people use outriggers for rough or choppy water or when they have a sail attached to the kayak. The benefit is it adds stability to your kayak.
Cons of using an outrigger for your kayak
The biggest downside of using an outrigger is that it slows you down. If you are fishing, this may not be a big deal for you. Also, with adjustable arms, you can lift the outrigger out of the water and paddle easily.
If you are using a kayak sail, the outrigger is designed to keep the kayak and paddler from tipping over. Yes, the biggest drawback is speed, but you probably aren’t buying an outrigger with speed in mind. Kayak outriggers are designed to stabilize side-to-side motion, and they are popular with anglers.
If you are looking for the best kayak outrigger, you have a lot of choices. Outriggers are excellent for anglers, who need added stability when casting and reeling in fish. Adjustable arms are great for getting the right angle when you are on the water.
If you paddle on rough or choppy water or use a kayak sail, you might want to invest in a kayak outrigger. Make sure whatever model you choose will fit your boat. Keep in mind if you want inflatable floats or PVC.
If you have any questions in your search for the best kayak outrigger for your boat, be sure to drop us a line.