11 Best Kayaks for Big Guys (2023 Reviews and Guide)

Being a big guy has some advantages. Unfortunately, paddling a kayak isn’t necessarily one of them. But don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of our top picks for the best kayak for big guys, including specifications and the pros and cons.

Finding the perfect kayak is no easy task if you’re a big guy (or gal). There are so many shapes, sizes, colors, etc., it’s hard to know where to start when looking at them online or in person.

That’s why we put together this list with great options for big guys who want an awesome new kayak.

So sit back, relax and get ready to unleash that beast of a kayak.

If you are in a hurry, here is our top pick

Our Top Pick

Sea Eagle

Sea Eagle 380x Inflatable Kayak

Capacity: 3 people or 750 pounds
Weight: 40 pounds
Durable PVC construction
Rigid, high-pressure drop-stitch floor
Customizable to fit your needs

Best Kayaks for Big Guys

Production of the best kayaks for big guys has started, and we hope that this article will be helpful to you when it comes to buying a good kayak for yourself or your family members.

Kayaking is a great sport and activity that everyone can do, but kayaks for big guys are tough to find.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of 11 awesome kayaks for big guys so they can enjoy kayaking as much as any other person with lighter-weight equipment.

Sea Eagle 380x

Finding the right kayak for big guys can be challenging. Many kayaks are made for smaller people and don’t have enough room for more prominent folks and their gear.

The Sea Eagle 380x is an excellent option for bigger paddlers because it’s roomy and gives you a ton of room for gear. There is room for up to 3 people, and it has a 750-pound weight capacity.

You can paddle this kayak solo, and I can tell you from experience it’s a great boat to paddle by yourself. One great thing about this kayak is that it only weighs 40 pounds, so it’s pretty easy to transport compared to other models.

The removable drop stitch floor gives you added rigidity and stability, and you can even stand up with the right moves (depending on your balance and knees).

It’s also easy to transport as it folds nicely into the carry bag. The removable skeg is a must for flat water since it improves tracking in rivers and lakes.

One great aspect of Sea Eagle 380x is that it is rated for up to class IV whitewater rapids. So if you are adventurous and want to challenge yourself, take the skeg off first.

>>Check Pricing at Sea Eagle<<

Sea Eagle has a variety of packages available to choose from. You can use the base package with inflatable seats and a standard paddle or upgrade the seats, paddle, and more.

If that is your style, you can add a swivel chair and a trolling motor. All of the packages come with paddles, a repair kit, a carry bag, and a high-pressure pump, everything you need to hit the water.

I recommend buying a Sea Eagle electric pump because you can set the pressure and automatically shut it off. The electric pump saves you time.

>>Read the full Sea Eagle 380x review<<

If you are an angler, the kayak isn’t set up with rod holders and other fishing gear, but it’s easy to take a fishing bucket, and there is plenty of room for a lot of gear. I highly recommend this kayak as one of the best kayaks for big dudes (or gals)

This kayak is perfect for paddling solo or tandem with friends.


750-pound weight limit
Easy to transport
Comes with paddles and a pump
You don’t need a rack on your car
High-pressure, rigid drop stitch floor


Not a lot of storage space
Vinyl could puncture

Perception Pescador Pro 12

perception Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 12' | Dapper
  • Premium Fishing Experience: The Perception Pescador Pro 12 is a sit-on-top kayak...
  • Comfort First: This fishing kayak features an adjustable lawn chair seat, offering a...
  • Durability & Stability: Built to last, the Pescador Pro 12 is made from high-quality...
  • Angler-Friendly Design: With its spacious storage and comfortable seating, this kayak...
  • Adventure Ready: Whether you're fishing in lakes, slow-moving rivers, or calm coastal...

Finding a kayak for big guys means you need a boat with plenty of length, width, and stability. The Perception Pescador Pro 12 gives you all of this and is a boat tailored for big guys.

It has a length of 12 feet and a width of 32 inches which gives you enough room to maneuver around.

The weight capacity of the Pescador Pro is 375 pounds, and the boat weighs 64 pounds. The weight capacity combined with the length and width makes this kayak great for big guys.

Don’t let the capacity of the kayak fool you. The large size of the boat doesn’t mean it’s hard to handle or steer. On the contrary, it performs quite well on lakes, slow rivers, and calm waters.

Broad sidewalls and a straight-tracking keel work together to create a great kayak for all types of waters.

Some features include a mesh seat with two-level adjustment, adjustable footpegs, and a large storage area on the bow and stern.

Check the price at Amazon

Check the price at Backcountry

The mesh seat and the breathable material make this kayak perfect for those who want all-day comfort, even during their longest trips.

You can use the boat for day trips, overnight camping, and fishing. It’s stable enough to stand up in and has a wide hull, making it perfect for fishing.

The one drawback is the weight. It’s a bit heavy at 64 pounds, so it might be difficult for some people to load up on their own or move from location to location without help. A kayak cart will be your best friend in this case.

If you’re a bigger guy that doesn’t mind a heavier boat, then the Pescador Pro will definitely be a great choice. It has plenty of length and width, which big guys need to be comfortable while out on their kayak.

The Perception Pescador Pro 12 is the perfect boat for any outdoor enthusiast. In addition, the Pescador Pro 12 is an excellent kayak if you’re a bigger guy looking for a boat with plenty of room, comfort, and performance.


375-pound weight limit
Plenty of legroom
Adjustable seat
One-piece durable construction
Accessory rails and plenty of storage


Kind of heavy to load and unload
Weight limit not as high as some other kayaks

BKC UH-RA220 11.5-foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

BKC UH-RA220 11.5 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included (Camo)
  • THE PERFECT KAYAK FOR OUTDOOR FUN: The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC RA220 Angler has...
  • FULLY LOADED ACCESSORIES: Our kayak comes equipped with an ergonomic aluminum frame...
  • CRAFTED FOR STABILITY: Our Roto Molded single Piece High density polyethylene...
  • WATER-RESISTANT STORAGE: Keep all your valuables dry inside the BKC RA220's 3...

A big guy kayak needs to be easy to get in and out of and have plenty of space to wiggle around. The BKC RA220 11.5-foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak is an excellent choice.

The kayak is 11’6″ long, 34 inches wide, and has a weight capacity of 550 pounds. This is a robust kayak great for paddlers of all skill levels.

It has all the features you can ask for, including plenty of watertight storage space, a built-in cargo area with elastic tie-down straps, an adjustable seat, and footrests. In addition, the kayak features ample storage space that makes it ideal for your fishing essentials.

The kayak is highly stable and offers you a safe and comfortable ride. The kayak’s stability makes it an excellent fishing kayak for big guys and beginners.

It has plenty of fishing rod holders, accessory tracks, and room for a fishfinder and tackle box.

BKC 11.5 foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak is one of the best kayaks for big guys as it provides ample legroom, which you can’t find in other kayaks.

The width also makes it easier to move around once you are inside the kayak – just what big guys need.

The downside is that the kayak weighs 68 pounds, making it hard for some people to load and unload.

The kayak is extremely durable, made of rotomolded single-piece high-density polyethylene, so it can take what you dish out.

The spacious, open cockpit allows you to enter and exit the boat very quickly, while the wide beam makes it perfect for moving around while you are on board.

The kayak has adjustable footrests that allow you to adjust the seats according to your preferred height and comfort level.

The BKC UH-RA220 11.5-foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak offers excellent storage space inside the boat. In addition, the cockpit is wide enough for easy entry and exit, making it an excellent kayak for big guys.


550-pound weight limit
Ready to go fishing
Watertight hatch storage
Plenty of legroom
Lots of storage


Might have more accessories than you need
Pretty heavy to lift by yourself

Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack

Kayaking is a great way to get out on the water and enjoy nature, but it can be hard for big guys. Enter the Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack inflatable kayak.

Sea Eagle has been designing high-quality inflatable boats for years, so you can be assured that they know what is best for kayakers. They also have a great warranty, which shows their commitment to customer satisfaction.

The Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack kayak is perfect for larger folks who want to enjoy a day of paddling. It’s lightweight at only 35 pounds and has a weight capacity of up to 635 lbs. Plus, it’s easy to transport in the back of your car or truck.

This kayak is designed with high-pressure drop stitch flooring that provides greater rigidity and stability while paddling, plus a large removable rear center skeg for tracking.

This Sea Eagle kayak is robust and can handle up to 3 paddlers, but you can also easily paddle it solo. Going solo gives you plenty of legroom and storage capacity for all your gear.

The Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack comes with everything you need to hit the water, including inflatable seats, paddles, a repair kit, high output pump, and a carry bag.

>>See Pricing at Sea Eagle<<

The great thing is that Sea Eagle allows you to upgrade different kayak options as you see fit and meet your specific needs.

You can upgrade the seats and paddles and even add a sail or a trolling motor if that’s your jam. That’s one thing I love about Sea Eagle boats, which is the ability to customize.

If your goal is to enjoy kayaking but don’t want to spend a ton of money, the 385ft FastTrack kayak might be just what you’re looking for. Easy to use and easy on a budget, this kayak gives big guys a chance to enjoy a day of fun on the water.


635-pound weight limit
High-pressure drop stitch floor adds rigidity
Can handle up to class III rapids
Lightweight only 35 pounds
Plenty of storage space


Not set up for fishing if that’s your thing
Can get blown around in the wind

BKC PK12 12′ Single Propeller Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak

BKC PK12 Angler 12' Solo Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak, Propeller-Drive w/Instant Reverse Pedal Drive, Rudder System, Paddle, and Upright Aluminum Frame Backrest Support Seat
  • THE PERFECT KAYAK FOR OUTDOOR FUN. Our Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC PK12 kayak is built...
  • FULLY LOADED ACCESSORIES: Our kayak comes equipped with an ergonomic aluminum frame...
  • PEDAL DRIVE SYSTEM: Get your kayak moving faster than ever with or without a paddle...
  • CRAFTED FOR STABILITY: Our Roto Molded single Piece High density polyethylene...
  • EXCEPTIONAL FISHING FEATURES: 2 flush-mount rod holders will keep multiple baited...

If you are in the market for a big guy kayak, the BKC PK12 is an excellent choice for folks who want to paddle hands-free.

This kayak has everything you need to go out on the water easily. Plus, it’s easy to get on and off, so you can spend more time fishing and relaxing than getting in and out of your boat.

The BKC PK12 kayak is designed to be the best for big guys. It’s 12 feet long, 32.75 inches wide, and has a weight capacity of 460 lbs.

The BKC PK12 Kayak is different from most other kayaks because it has a pedal drive system that sets it apart from other kayaks. This allows you the option to paddle or pedal.

The BKC PK12 is a fishing kayak best suited for small lakes and slow-moving rivers.

The kayak has an ergonomic aluminum frame seat, two water-resistant hatches, and a bungee cargo tie-down. The kayak also has an upgraded, heavy-duty double paddle.

The downside to this kayak is the weight. The BKC PK12 weighs 70 pounds, making it challenging for some people to load and unload the kayak alone. You may want to invest in a kayak trailer or a load-assist unit to help.

The kayak is very durable and has a rotomolded single-piece high-density polyethylene construction which helps stand up to harsh weather and water conditions.

This BKC Kayak is perfect for hunting down hard-to-get bass or pickerel or if you are looking to enjoy the scenery.

The pedal drive propulsion system makes this kayak incredibly quiet and allows you to get up close and personal with your prey.

The BKC PK12 is an excellent kayak for big guys with a robust weight limit and stable design.


460-pound weight limit
Durable rotomolded construction
12 feet long x 33 inches wide
Pedal drive
Large front storage area


Weighs 70 pounds, tough to load on a car rack
Might have more features than some folks need

Sea Eagle 370

Looking for a lightweight kayak that can hold up to 650 pounds?

The Sea Eagle 370 is the perfect inflatable kayak for big guys. It has a weight limit of 650 pounds and can fit up to 3 paddlers with its robust design.

This durable PVC construction is built to last, and it’s easy to transport with its lightweight design, weighing in at just 32 pounds. That is one thing I love about Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks. They are lightweight, easy to carry, and have a robust carrying capacity.

Thanks to the rear skegs, you won’t have any trouble tracking in this boat, which helps keep you paddling straight toward your destination.

In addition, the I-beam floor construction gives the kayak stability and rigidity, which is excellent for bigger folks.

>>Check Pricing at Sea Eagle<<

>>Check the price at Amazon<<

Even though the boat is built to carry a heavy load, it still has features that make it very versatile.

The adjustable seats are perfect for those who want to paddle solo or tandem. In addition, if your paddling abilities have been limited due to back issues, the Sea Eagle 370 kayak also has a variety of seats to choose from, including an adjustable padded seat.

Another excellent feature of Sea Eagle boats is the ability to choose customizable accessories. As a result, you can make your Sea Eagle 370 suit your needs perfectly.

>>Click here to read our Sea Eagle 370 review<<

The SE 370 comes ready to hit the water and includes a paddle, adjustable seats, an air pump, a repair kit, and a carry bag. You can choose different options as you see fit.

What makes the Sea Eagle 370 one of the best kayaks for big guys? It’s lightweight, easy to transport, has plenty of room for your gear, and has a robust weight capacity. So if you are looking for an extremely portable option, this is perfect.


650-pound weight limit
Durable PVC construction
Fits up to 3 paddlers
Comes with pump, paddles, repair kit and carry bag
Very spacious and stable


Doesn’t have a high-pressure drop-stitch floor
Takes some time to inflate manually

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak | Premium Angler Kayak | 12' 3" | Mango
  • The Premiere sit-on-top kayak is now even better and more comfortable
  • Fast, efficient and straight tracking
  • The most comfortable and adjustable Phase 3 air Pro seating system features cool...
  • Large Rear storage well for crates, coolers, fishing equipment, scuba tanks & camping...
  • Large, padded foot rests for support and comfort; Easy to adjust locking lever to...

Are you looking for a new big guy kayak? Then, the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 is an excellent choice. It’s made of durable polyethylene plastic, has a 350-pound capacity, and has an Airpro seating system.

This fast, efficient, straight-tracking boat also features a front storage hatch with a protective skid plate, a mesh cover for rear storage, and a removable DryTec dry box.

It’s easy to paddle, and maneuver and also weighs 63 pounds. With its excellent performance in big water conditions, this is also a tremendous flatwater kayak for big guys.

The Airpro seating system supports you in all the right places and helps you adjust your position as needed during your trip. In addition, the honeycomb ventilated fabric help keep you cool when the weather warms up.

The Tarpon 120 offers solid primary and secondary stability (when the boat is on its edge). With its excellent maneuverability and straight tracking, you’ll find that this kayak is easy to paddle.

There is a lot of storage on Tarpon 120, with a front hatch and mesh storage behind the seat. The dry box can be easily removed and is perfect for storing items you need to keep dry, like your phone, wallet, and other small gear.

Check the price at Amazon

>>Check Pricing at REI<<

The kayak has a spacious, open cockpit with plenty of legroom. You will love the adjustable footpegs to get the right fit.

Accessory gear tracks let you customize the kayak for your paddling needs. For example, you can add mounts for rod holders, a fishfinder, an action camera, etc.

If you want even more storage, you can purchase optional hatch kits to install behind the seat and in front of the cockpit.

Read my full Tarpon 120 review

The Tarpon 120 kayak is known for being durable, sturdy, and stable when enjoying flat water conditions (and occasional big water) and being fast and easy to paddle.

This is also great for big guys because it offers plenty of legroom with adjustable footpegs. In addition, it’s responsive enough to keep you safe in tight spots or when paddling in wakes.


350-pound weight limit
Durable PVC construction
Durable polyethylene construction
Covered front storage
Plenty of rear storage


Weight capacity lower than other models
A bit heavy compared to the weight capacity

Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 Inflatable Kayak

Finding the best kayak for big guys can be tricky. The Blackfoot Angler 130 Inflatable Kayak from Aquaglide solves this problem with its lightweight and durable design.

This kayak is 13 feet long and weighs only 41 pounds, making it easy to transport and store. In addition, it has a robust 650-pound weight capacity, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to take your friends or family out on the water with you.

It also features a 40-inch wide floor with large side tubes for excellent stability. In addition, the single-layer Duratex tubes are airtight, giving you a stiff and very durable kayak.

The floor features 4 self-bailing scupper holes, which means that if there’s any water in your boat, it will drain out without help.

This roomy, sturdy, and robust kayak will serve many people well. However, where this kayak really excels is with the accessories and ability to customize.

There is plenty of room for gear, and the intuitive design makes it easy to mount fishing rod holders, gadgets, paddle holders, and even a trolley.

>>Check Pricing at REI<<

Webbing loops throughout the kayak are great for even more accessories. Aquaglide has thought of everything with this design. However, there is really too much to mention. It’s better to check the kayak out for yourself and see the lineup of features this inflatable has.

The seat is very comfortable, but it’s also easily adjustable, so you can find a customized fit. For example, there is a high position for increased visibility and a lower setting better for stability if you find yourself in rough water.

If you’re looking for a great inflatable kayak in which any big guy will be comfortable, look no further than the Blackfoot Angler 130 Inflatable Kayak from Aquaglide.

This feature-rich kayak is excellent for big guys looking to get out on the water.


650-pound weight limit
Durable Duratex-reinforced PVC construction
Wide, stable hull
Adjustable seat
Setup and ready to go fishing


Might have more accessories than some people need
Not as fast as a hardshell kayak

BKC PK13 13′ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak

BKC PK13 13' Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak W/Rudder System and Instant Reverse, Paddle, Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, 1 Person Foot Operated Kayak (Blue)
  • THE PERFECT KAYAK FOR OUTDOOR FUN: Our Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC PK13 kayak was...
  • FULLY LOADED ACCESSORIES: Our kayak comes equipped with an ergonomic aluminum frame...
  • PEDAL DRIVE SYSTEM: Get your kayak moving faster than ever with or without a paddle...
  • CRAFTED FOR STABILITY: Our Roto Molded single Piece High density polyethylene...
  • EXCEPTIONAL FISHING FEATURES: 3 flush-mount rod holders will keep multiple baited...

Kayaking is a great way to spend some time outdoors and get in touch with nature, but it can be hard to do if you don’t have the right kayak. Big guys shouldn’t have to settle for a tiny little kayak.

The BKC PK13 13′ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak is the perfect solution for big guys who want to enjoy their hobby without worrying about paddling.

This pedal-drive fishing kayak has everything you need for a day on the water. In addition, it’s loaded with accessories like watertight hatches, a hand-operated rudder, and an ergonomic seat, to name a few.

With its large cockpit opening, this boat is easy to get in and out without stepping over or around anything. The kayak is a rotomolded single-piece HDPE to stand up to the most demanding weather and water conditions.

One of the best features of this pedal-drive fishing kayak is the seat; it’s very comfortable and adjustable, so you’ll always be in a good position while you’re out on the water.

The three flush-mount rod holders are great to have when you’re fighting with a fish all day long, plus you can keep your gear close by with the bungee cargo tie-down system.

The BKC PK13 supports up to 550 lbs, so you’ll be able to take all your gear and still have a comfortable ride.

The kayak is best for flat water like slow-moving rivers, lakes, and inlets.

Spend a relaxing day on the water with this easy-to-use pedal-drive fishing kayak. It will make your day of fishing more enjoyable and help get you back to nature in style.

If you want to go kayaking but aren’t interested in paddling, this is the best kayak for big guys.

You’ll be able to go kayaking longer and enjoy yourself even more with the BKC PK13 13′ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak.


550-pound weight limit
Durable high-density polyethylene construction
Pedal drive
Watertight hatches for storage
Lots of rear storage


More expensive than other models
The rudder changes below the keel

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 | Sit Inside Recreational Kayak | Features Phase 3 Air Pro Comfort Seating | 12' 2"
  • A best-selling sit-inside Recreation kayak for small to medium sized paddlers
  • Best-in-class speed makes the Pungo the easiest to Paddle and most efficient kayak in...
  • The renowned hull offers reassuring stability without sacrificing performance
  • Phase 3 air Pro seat is fully adjustable and offers ergonomic support for your lower...
  • Adjustable foot rests accommodate paddlers of different sizes and thigh pads provide...

Are you looking for a new big guy kayak? The Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak is the perfect size for larger paddlers.

It’s 12 feet 2 inches long and has an easy-to-paddle design that offers excellent speed and tracking. The kayak supports up to 325 pounds (paddler and gear).

Plus, it features Phase 3 AirPro seating system with thigh pads to provide all-day comfort. In addition, the seat is designed to support your lower back making long days on the water much more comfortable.

The dashboard is outfitted with a removable dry box to keep your valuables like your phone, wallet, and other stuff you need to keep handy and dry.

SlideTrax™ mounting platforms are a great way to attach accessories like a fish finder, rod holders, an action camera, or other gear you want nearby.

>Check Pricing at Amazon<>>Check Pricing at Amazon<<

>>Check Pricing at REI<<

At 12 feet 2 inches long and weighing 49 pounds, it is easy for most people to load, unload ad carry this kayak. It doesn’t weigh as much as other hardshell kayaks on this list.

Two Orbix hatches with sealed bulkheads for dry storage help keep your larger items stowed away and dry. The replaceable skid plate protects the stern from damage in shallow water or rocky shorelines.

The padded cockpit coaming (thigh pads) gives you a spot to rest your legs when you are on the water for long periods.

The Pungo 120 is the best kayak for you if you want a large, efficient, comfortable, and durable vessel.

The Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak is the perfect size for larger paddlers. It’s an easy-to-paddle design that offers excellent speed and tracking and gives you a lot of value for the money.


325-pound weight limit
Durable polyethylene construction
Dashboard for gadgets
Watertight rear hatch for storage
Bungee storage


Not rails or rod holders if you are an angler
A little bit smaller, but still great for tall people

Perception Outlaw 11.5

Perception Outlaw 11.5 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak | Fold Away Lawn Chair Seat | 4 Rod Holders | Integrated Tackle Trays | 11' 6" | Grasshopper
  • The newest generation in affordable fishing
  • Designed to accommodate small to extra large paddlers
  • Optimized and elevated seating console - frame seat folds and is removable
  • Large bow and stern tank wells provide ample storage for crates and fishing gear
  • 2 double-barrel rod holders can accommodate up to 4 fishing rods

Looking for a kayak that can accommodate larger paddlers? Big guys need room to spread out, stand up and spread those wings.

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 is the perfect boat for you. This kayak has been designed to comfortably fit small, medium, and large-sized people.

It also has an elevated seating console, making it much easier to stand up and sit down while on the kayak. In addition, the elevated seat gives you a better view for site fishing.

You’ll be able to store all your gear in this kayak, too, because it comes with 2 double-barrel rod holders, ample storage space, and bungee storage on both the front and back of the boat.

The downside to this kayak is that there are no accessory rails for gadgets. But it does have Solo Mount recesses, so you can add mounts and accessories. Many people are used to rails, so this is a different way to mount your accessories.

The tankwell behind the seat is perfect for a cooler, fishing crate, or seat (for a dog or kid).

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 has a carrying capacity of 425 pounds. But be warned, this kayak is a beast, weighing 77 pounds.

The kayak weight is excellent for stability but not outstanding for loading and unloading, especially if you have a roof rack.

The kayak has a large deck area with a lot of space to stretch your legs. In addition, it has a large storage area in the bow, which is perfect for your dog or fishing gear.

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 is great for paddlers with larger builds or people who are taller. This kayak will suit your needs with its large tank wells, ample storage space, and bungee storage on both the front and back of the boat.


425-pound weight limit
Can fit a variety of paddlers
Plenty of legroom
Front and rear storage
Lots of space for accessories


Not rails or rod holders if you are an angler
A little bit smaller, but still great for tall people

How to Choose the Best Kayak for Big Guys

Finding the perfect kayak for you is difficult, especially if you are a big guy or gal. You may feel intimidated by the different shapes and sizes to choose from. Next, we will discuss what to look for when choosing the best kayak for large people.

Kayak Length and Width

The length of the kayak is always essential, but it is crucial for large paddlers. A shorter one might not give you as much wiggle room, so choosing the right size for your body type is crucial.

A longer kayak will give you room to stretch your legs which can be necessary if you spend a lot of time on the water.

The width of the kayak is also essential. A wider kayak will help you feel more stable in choppy waters and provide additional storage space for your larger build.

A kayak should be wide enough to accommodate your size without feeling too crowded.

You might want to consider buying a big enough kayak for two or more paddlers. Many of these larger kayaks can be paddled solo, giving you more elbow room.

The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 is a wide, long and stable kayak that is great for bigger folks, and the Sea Eagle 380x.

On the hardshell side, the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 is an excellent sit-on-top kayak for big guys.

Weight limit of “Big Guy” kayaks

Kayak weight limit is a huge factor for everyone, not just people on the larger side. You need to have enough capacity for the paddler and all the gear.

You should use about 65% of the stated weight limit as the actual weight limit as a guideline. It will be much more challenging to maneuver if you overload the kayak and risk capsizing.

It’s important to choose a kayak that will support you and all the gear you take with you.

I used to paddle a kayak that had a 275-pound weight capacity. I am not a super large person, but it was very low in the water when I got in this kayak.

Sitting so low makes paddling more difficult, and the kayak was more prone to taking on water from rough conditions.


Many people make the mistake of buying a kayak without checking its durability, and it is crucial to do so. It may be tempting to buy the cheapest option; however, this could come back to bite you when your kayak starts leaking or cracks because you overloaded it.

Two red kayaks sitting on a beachPin

A kayak for big guys should be extra durable because the more weight in the kayak, the more stress the boat will be under.

If you buy an inflatable kayak, make sure the boat is built from durable materials, the seams are welded adequately, and the kayak is rated appropriately for the conditions.

Kayaking is a lot of fun, but you might run into rocks, tree stumps, or other obstacles, and your boat needs to be able to handle that.


Whether you are big or small, everybody wants to take gadgets and gear on a kayak.

Make sure your big guy kayak has the necessary rails, rod holders, or other built-in accessories that you will need for your activities.

Many people like to set up a fishfinder, GPS, extra fishing rods, an anchor trolley, etc., and your kayak needs all the goodies to do so.

Seating and Comfort

Comfort is important when paddling for long hours, especially if you have a larger build.

Kayak seats come in all shapes and sizes and are not necessarily the most comfortable thing to sit on for hours.

It’s important to have adjustable seats that allow you the freedom to change your position. For example, you may want to lean back and relax, and at other times, you need to be more upright to paddle ferociously.

Ensure your kayak seat is conducive to quickly adjusting and getting out of it when needed. Comfort is essential for an enjoyable day on the water.

Cockpit Size

The cockpit of a kayak is the opening where you sit. At least that’s the case with a sit-inside kayak (more on this in a bit).

You need space to move around and get comfortable if you are a big guy. You don’t want to be jammed into a small cockpit, and this could also be a safety issue, like if you can’t get out if you tip over.

The cockpit size is important because it needs to accommodate your legs and feet. In addition, you need space to move around so you don’t feel cramped.

Many kayaks have adjustable footpegs, so you can set them up for your height.

Another aspect of kayak cockpit design is thigh braces. These give you some security as you paddle and offer support for your legs against the side of the boat.

If it’s possible to sit in a kayak before you buy to get a feel for the cockpit, that is a good idea.


Kayak stability is essential for big guys. You may not want to end up overboard. Overall, kayaks are very stable, but some offer more stability than others.

Kayak stability comes down to primary and secondary stability. Primary is how stable the kayak is sitting on flat water, and secondary stability is how it handles when it’s on edge.

The stability of the kayak is crucial for a big guy. You want to make sure you can balance and stay upright in the kayak rather than falling out and ending up overboard.

A variety of different kayaks on the waterPin

Stability will also affect your ability to paddle correctly, so the boat must be stable.

The Aquaglide 130 is probably the widest kayak on this list and offers incredible stability as does the Tarpon 120.

Stability is extremely important for anglers since you want to stand up to cast and reel in fish. The last thing you want is an unstable kayak as you try to reel in the big one.

Type of Kayak

When we talk about “types of kayaks,” that can mean many different things, sit-on-top, sit inside, inflatable, hardshell, etc.

When choosing the best kayak for big guys, it’s important to understand the different types of kayaks. Here is an in-depth article for more information, but we will hit the highlights now.

Sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks have an open deck. You sit in an open area with no cockpit, as with a sit-inside kayak.

SOT kayaks have advantages in that you aren’t seated in a cockpit and generally have more room to wiggle around and stretch your legs. In addition, sit-on-top kayaks are easier to get on and off than a sit-inside model.

Many SOT kayaks are made for fishing, and you can stand up to cast and reel in fish. However, with a sit-on-top kayak, you are also completely exposed to the elements.

With a sit-inside kayak, you sit inside a cockpit, which can be more confining for large or tall people. You must step into the cockpit, and the kayak’s deck partially covers your legs.

Often, whether you choose a sit-on-top kayak or sit inside a kayak will come down to personal preference.

You can read more here for a comprehensive article about sit-inside vs. sit-on-top kayaks.

However, there are a few things that you can consider when choosing between the two types of kayaks.

One consideration is your mobility. For example, sit-on-top kayaks are best for people who desire more freedom, whereas sit-inside models are better for people who desire more protection from the environment.

Another consideration is how you plan to use your kayak and what features you require for that activity.

If you are looking for a kayak to fish in, it is important to find a model with rod holders and other features designed for anglers. Sit-on-top kayaks are better designed for fishing.

Sit-on tops are better suited for people who want more freedom of movement.

Inflatable kayaks come in SOT or sit-inside designs as well. Inflatables offer serious value and weigh a lot less than a hardshell kayak.

Many of the inflatable kayaks in this article have substantial carrying capacities and are lightweight, making them great kayaks for bigger folks.

Getting in and Out of a “Big Guy” Kayak

Getting in and out of (on and off of) is not just challenging for big guys. It can be hard for other folks as well. As mentioned above, a sit-on-top kayak is generally easier to get on and off. You don’t have to squeeze into a cockpit.

Boarding your kayak is something to consider before you buy a boat. You want to make sure you can get on and off without much difficulty.

Solo or Tandem?

If you paddle with two big guys, you need a big kayak. If you paddle solo, you can also pick a larger tandem kayak. Many tandem kayaks (especially inflatables) can be paddled solo.

But, if you are paddling with two big guys, you will need a pretty substantial kayak. The Sea Eagle 380x has a 750-pound weight limit and can be paddled by one or more people.

Safety Considerations

All people, not just big guys, need to be safe on the water. Wearing a life jacket is vital. It’s also critical to choose a kayak that will meet your needs as far as weight limit, stability, etc.

You also need to know how to get back in your kayak if you fall overboard. When looking for a big guy kayak, ensure it can safely handle you and your gear.

Transporting a Big Guy Kayak

As mentioned earlier, some kayaks, especially big kayaks, are very heavy. These heavy boats are not easy to transport to and from the water. If you use a roof rack, make sure you can lift the kayak and get it off the rack.

You might want to consider a kayak trailer or truck rack if that works for you.

If you are paddling by yourself, make sure you can load and unload without any help. Also, using a kayak cart can be a back and lifesaver.


Whether you are a big guy or gal, finding the perfect kayak can be challenging. Fortunately, we have compiled this list of our top picks for the best kayaks for big guys to help make your search easier and more enjoyable.

Whether you want a kayak that is lightweight enough to carry but still has substantial carrying capacity, or if you need something easy to transport by yourself on a roof rack – there’s an option here for everyone.

We hope this article helped take some stress out of buying the right kayak and provided insight into how much thought should go into choosing what type of boat would work well for someone like you.

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About the author
Steve Morrow
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.