Looking to buy a touring or sea kayak? Sea and ocean kayaks are often referred to as touring yaks, but they are actually a subset of the touring variety.
Even though technically, the two categories are not always synonymous, we cover both categories as touring yaks in this top 10 list of 2016’s best touring and sea kayaks.
For reference, we survey customers’ touring kayak reviews and sea kayak reviews from the 2016 Amazon bestsellers list to create this compilation.
1. Ocean Kayak Zest Two Expedition Tandem Sit On Top Kayak Touring Model
The 16 ft. Ocean Kayak Zest Two Expedition is by far rated the best touring kayak according to consumers. Those who have purchased this boat note that the comfortable seating and easy tracking make this a great boat for long expeditions and day touring.
This tandem sit-on-top touring kayak can accommodate two adults and one child, human or canine. Paddlers will find plenty of bow deck storage and other amenities like in-mold cup holders and side mounted paddle holders.
Customers report that the Ocean Kayak Zest handles extremely well over waves during warm water sea trips. Though this tandem is designed for two, one person can solo tour in this rig with little effort.
2. Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak
The boat, though a bit heavier than some outside of the water, travels very fast and tracks very well in the surf. The paddler can adjust the seat and the foot braces for additional comfort during those long treks.
The pilot rudder system ensures that you get where you intend to go, and tons of storage makes sure that you have all the gear you need when you get there.
3. Riot Kayaks Enduro 12 HV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak
The 12 ft. Riot Kayaks Enduro is another favorite of touring kayakers. Similar to its 14.5 ft. counterpart, the Enduro is packed with features, but this compact yak is 2 and 1/2 feet shorter than the Riot Kayaks Edge.
The Enduro is shipped with an integrated retractable skeg, front and back bulkheads and a custom fit seat. The quick-lock foot braces allow the paddler to adjust foot rests on the go for maximum comfortable while touring.
Customers report that the Enduro has great tracking and is easy to steer. A paddle strap keeps the oar secure as you reel in your elusive catch.
4. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 Kayak
Customers love this sit inside kayak because of its comfort and speed. Maximum capacity for this solo rig is 300 pounds. You will have plenty of storage space for day trips and touring excursions with two hatches and bulkheads in both bow and stern.
The boat comes in two colors: Mango and Lime Green. That is, if you can find them in stock!
5. Riot Kayaks Brittany 16.5 Flatwater Touring Kayak
The pilot rudder system and retractable skeg make this boat track and turn like a champ. You won’t exert all of your energy keeping this yak on track! The kit includes safety straps, sure grip thigh braces and a reflective lifeline.
If you are looking for a high performance sea kayak, the Brittany will not disappoint.
6. Riot Kayaks Quest 10 HV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak
The 10 ft. Quest is another highly rated Riot Kayaks favorite of seasoned kayakers and novices alike. This sit inside touring yak is considerably wider than many of the slim-line sea kayaks, and it is great for leisure cruising and day trips.
The Quest is a solo yak with a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds. Many customers report that this yak’s small size allows them to transport the boat inside a hatchback car by simply folding down one of the car seats.
Enjoy solitude on the sea with the Riot Kayaks Quest.
7. Venture Kayaks Islay Light Touring Kayak
Haul all your gear for your trip in the bow and stern bulkheads and storage compartments. The ergonomic cockpit keeps you comfortable during long tours. The paddle park and pod are removable for cleaning and storage.
The Islay can accommodate loads up to 286 pounds.
8. Dagger Kayaks 14.0 Alchemy
With the proprietary True Track skeg system, the Alchemy tracks like a dream on both rough and sedate waters.
The Alchemy is available in two widths. The cockpit of the longer and wider large volume model is perfect for taller, larger adults, while the compact small volume model is perfect for smaller paddlers. You can adjust the seat riser and thigh pads quickly while touring.
9. Coleman 1 Person Sit on Top Touring Kayak with Paddle
This sit on top inflatable is affordable and designed for comfort on those long explorations. Slide into the soft puffy seat, rest your legs in the leg wells and relax on the cushy arm rests.
If you prefer to tour solo, this Coleman is portable and easy to carry. The Coleman Touring yak ships with an 86 inch double paddle aluminum oar.
10. Sea Eagle New Razorlite 393rl Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
The Sea Eagle New Razorlite is the second inflatable on our top 10 list. Most popular with reviewers is the Razorlite’s Pro Package, which includes a patch kit, double paddle oar, air pump and carrying case.
The high output pump inflates the boat to 10 PSI in a brief 7 minutes. Though this yak is an inflatable, the body is slick and slim, designed to look like a high end sea kayak.
Though the Razorlite weighs only 28 pounds when deflated, this kayak can handle a 500 pound load. Pile on the gear and set off on that long weekend excursion or short day trip with confidence when you’re traveling on the Razorlite.