Which Kayaks for Camping Are The Best?

Kayaks are great sources of sport and fun and are used for recreation as well as for extreme sports, so they are versatile. As such, kayaks come in a number of configurations and materials designed for specific applications. If you are going to invest in one, you may wish to check and see whether there is a REI Garage Sale happening anywhere near you incase there is a deal to be had on your new purchase.

To decide which kayak you want or need, let’s take a look at the options available.

List of Top-Rated Kayaks for camping

Product ImageProduct NameMore Information
1. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak1. Intex Challenger K2 KayakMore Information
2. Intex Explorer K2 Yellow 2 Person Inflatable Kayak with Aluminum Oars & Air Pump2. Intex Explorer K2 Yellow 2 Person Inflatable Kayak with Aluminum Oars & Air PumpMore Information
3. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak3. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in KayakMore Information
4. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak4. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame KayakMore Information
5. Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak5. Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight KayakMore Information

The water source is key to deciding which kayak is needed, and the type of seating is either sit on top or sit in, totally different control and experiences. While boats are not categorized by the type of water, they float upon, for kayaks it helps to decide which the better model is.

Lakes are a great source of stable water for recreation and sitting on top is great for this location., but on windy days, white tops can make recreational kayaking hard.

Sea Coasts are usually for the touring models that come with a rudder or a skeg (a drop-down fin) and sitting on top is great for this location.

Rivers are not necessarily rapids, but they can come with rapid, and whitewater kayaking is a profession for the experienced kayaker. As such, even on calm rivers, you want a stable short recreational sit-in or sit-on-top kayak. For rapids, you will need specific materials to withstand the bangs and strains of the water and the rocks underneath.

The Best Kayaks for camping Reviews


1. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

This is the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak


The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is designed for fun and recreation. This model is made from vinyl and comes with an inflatable I-beam floor, a low-profile deck and functional high-buoyancy side chambers for stability and comfort.

There is a removable skeg that provides exceptional directional control, and you get an adjustable, inflatable seat with backrest that provides comfort during the ride. There is a grab line at each end of the kayak, making this a much more convenient model to manage.

This kit comes with two 86 inch aluminum paddle and an Intex high-output pump that makes inflation easy.
This is a 2-Person model and weighs 37.75 Lbs.


  • High visibility graphics
  • Low-profile design for easy paddling
  • Cockpit engineered for comfort and space
  • Rugged vinyl construction
  • Grab line on both ends
  • Cargo net for extra storage
  • Adjustable inflatable seat with backrest
  • Inflatable I-beam floor for comfort and rigidity
  • Removable skeg for directional stability


This is a classic 2 person kayak that is designed for fun and comfort.

2. Intex Explorer K2 Yellow 2 Person Inflatable Kayak with Aluminum Oars & Air Pump

This is the Intex Explorer K2 Yellow 2 Person Inflatable Kayak


The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is another fun and recreational kayak for campers seeking fun on the lakes and rivers. This model is Lightweight and compact, made from a rugged vinyl material and comes with an inflatable I-beam floor that is designed for comfort but offers rigidity.

This model also comes with a removable skeg that gives directional stability, and there are two adjustable, inflatable seats with backrests.

There is a grab line and grab handle at each end and also two 86″ aluminum oars and an Intex high-output pump. This model weighs 35.31 Lbs.


  • High Visibility Graphics
  • Low-profile streamlined design
  • Cockpit made for comfort and space
  • Rugged vinyl construction
  • Grab line on both ends
  • Adjustable inflatable seats with backrest
  • Inflatable I-beam floor for comfort and rigidity


This is an exceptional recreational kayak for camping and provides hours of continuous fun on the water.

3. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak

This is the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak


The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Kayak is one of the more popular recreational kayaks on the market today. This model is fabricated using a rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene monocoque body.

It is perfect for lakes and rivers, but not for white rapids although it is a single hull model, its main design and purpose if for fun. The design features a large open cockpit with an adjustable padded seat and adjustable foot braces.

The interior comes with a storage compartment, water bottle holder and protective thigh pads. The frame comes with shock cord deck rigging and paddle holders, as well as a pair for carrying holders for easy land transport.

This model weighs 40 Lbs and can hold up to 250 Lbs of weight.


  • Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene
  • Large open cockpit
  • Adjustable padded seat
  • Storage compartment
  • Shock cord deck rigging
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Water bottle holder
  • Carrying handles
  • Paddle holder
  • Protective thigh pads


A perfect solution for an individual kayak that provides you with hours of safe paddling on lakes and rivers, even in slightly rough and shallow waters too.

4. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak

This is the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak


The AdvancedFrame is the combination of a folding and inflatable kayak. This model uses built-in aluminum in the bow and stern for extra support and hull integrity. The stern is designed to act like a skeg, and the materials used in this model are made from a 3-layer construction.

To assure reliability and good performance the engineers at Advanced Elements added their BackBone and Drop-stitch Floor components. These are all found in the AdvancedFrame line, and the patented BackBone accessory creates a rigid pressure floor that has Drop-stitch technology for keeping a solid like feel. While each accessory offers their own advantages, both work to further enhance the rigidity and tracking performance of each AdvancedFrame kayak.

The material is a durable double coated Rip-Stop fabric, welded seams and a neoprene paddle guard that is taught over the frame. The kayak comes with bungee deck lacing and molded rubber handles. There is a storage compartment.

This model weighs 36 Lbs and looks like a hard frame, performs like a hard frame, but is a folding inflatable for compact storage.


  • Advanced Elements Spring Valve
  • Integrated Pressure Relief Valve in the Floor
  • Durable double coated Rip-Stop fabric
  • Bungee deck lacing
  • Molded rubber handles
  • Reinforced bow and stern seam
  • Hard edge bow/stern
  • Storage compartment
  • Welded Seams
  • Neoprene paddle guard
  • Adjustable back support
  • D-ring tie down
  • Skeg tracking fin


This is one of the best camping kayaks around, it is compact and strong, and while it is a foldable inflatable design, its structural integrity is amazing.

5. Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak

This is the Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak


The Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak is designed for campers and takes into consideration storage and haulage. As such, the body is made from foldable 5mm double-layered custom-extruded polypropylene, and takes only five minutes to assemble.

This model weighs 26 Lbs. and can support up to 300 Lbs., of the load. The cockpit is wide and designed for easy entry and exit with a 28″ wide port.

When folded this model fits into a large portfolio or suitcase.


  • A foldable kayak made for recreation
  • 5mm double-layered custom-extruded polypropylene
  • Lightweight and extraordinarily strong
  • Manufacturer-rated for 20,000 fold cycles
  • Up to 10-year UV treatment


This is an exceptional model, well thought out and designed for compact storage and easy assembly.

How To Pick A Kayak For Camping?

Rivers and lakes demand a short recreational sit-in or sit-on-top kayak with a skeg.

Kayak Categories

I mentioned above recreational and touring, so let’s look at all the types.

Recreational kayaks (sit-ins and sit-on-tops) are affordable; they are stable and easy to get in and out of. Controlling them is also easy and simple. Recreational kayaks are designed for flatwater and meandering rivers. These are not to be used for longer trips, waves or rapids.

Day is touring kayaks (sit-ins): These models are sleeker than the recreational models and come with a higher price tag. They are shorter than the recreational model and provide much better control during the ride.

Touring kayaks (sit-in sea kayaks): are longer than the other models, these are designed for long distances and come with either a rudder or skeg. Sue to their size, there is ample storage space for taking provisions that help you over the hours of paddling.

There are other options; these include the folding kayaks that are designed for apartment owners and people with limited storage space. They are not as rugged and hard-shelled as the standard models and is considered a form of touring kayak.

Inflatable Kayaks are also designed for the short of storage space and are purely designed for recreation; these are not for use in rough waters.

The best Kayaks for recreational camping are foldable and inflatable models that don’t take up much space and are used for fun on flat water surfaces.

Kayak Materials

The lighter the kayak, the better it is. However you must maintain hull integrity, as such, a few materials have emerged to lead the sporting kayak scene while standard materials are used for recreational and touring models.

Polyethylene plastic is the least expensive of all materials, it is hard and heavy, but abrasion proof and the only downside is that if stored in direct sunlight, the UV will degrade the material over time.

ABS plastic is a more expensive material, but not expensive by comparison to others. This material has better UV resistance; it is also thermoformed which gives you a stronger hull and is slightly lighter than the Polyethylene models.

Composites such as Lightweight fiberglass and ultralight carbon-fiber are the most expensive, where the carbon-fiber is considered to be the top of the cream and is totally UV resistant, hard, lightweight and perfect for rapid and whitewater boating.

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