Best Touring Kayak: Top Long Distance Kayak for The Money

Best Touring Kayak: Top Long Distance Kayak for The Money

It was a huge step for me, from my family canoe to my first kayak. From that point on, I fell in love with the freedom and agility of kayaking and learned to love spending time on the water.

You probably long for more if you are like me. You’re here to find out how to choose the best touring kayak.

My goal is to help you choose the best touring kayak for the money. We’ll go over all details together.

Best Touring Kayak | Top Long Distance Kayak for The Money

I will answer all your questions, and some you might not have thought of.

See Also:

Here are some suggestions for top-rated sea kayaks and touring boats:

5 Best Touring Kayaks: Top Long Distance Kayak for The Money [2024 Reviews]

1. Riot Edge 14.5 LV (Best 14 Foot Kayak)

Riot Edge 14.5 is smaller and more maneuverable than other touring kayaks.

There are two large storage doors and both front- and rear deck bungees. This gives you many options for gear storage and should make it easy to take enough gear on weekend trips.

Its hull is just over 14 feet long, which makes it easy to paddle in coastal waters. However, it isn’t too long to make it challenging to maneuver on rivers and winding streams. It also comes with a rudder system that improves its seaworthiness and allows for paddling in conditions less than ideal.

Although the Edge 14.5 has a narrower hull, it is not as stable as other options. Riot has a hard chine running along the hull to improve stability and prevent the Edge 14.5 from feeling too tippy despite being narrower.

The Edge 14.5 is an excellent value for money and packs in many features normally reserved for high-end sea kayaks.

Riot Edge 11 vs Riot Edge 13 vs Riot Edge 14’5″ in LV
Items:Riot Edge 14'5" in LVRiot Edge 11 Riot Edge 13
Retractable Skeg -✔️✔️
Rudder ✔️--
Weight 60 Pounds 42 Pounds58 Pounds
Lenght 14'5" in 11' Feet 13' Feet
Construction Material High Density Polyethelene High Density Polyethelene High Density Polyethelene
Fishing Rod Holder -✔️✔️
Storage Compartments Two - Front and Rear One - Rear Two - Front and Rear

See Also: Cheap kayaks for sale under $200

2. Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 (Best Sea Kayak for Touring)

The Pungo 120 is a perfect balance of stability, performance, comfort, and style. The Pungo 120 is 29 inches wide and offers more excellent stability and efficiency. This makes it popular with larger paddlers.

The Pungo’s shorter length makes it easier to transport and handle outside of the water. It is pretty short, but it tracks well because of its streamlined hull.

The Pungo is capable of handling coastal waters on good days. However, it lacks a rudder and skeg, so it is not suitable for paddling in marginal conditions.

The Pungo’s seat is a key feature that sets it apart. This kayak has one of the most comfortable seats in its price range.

The seat is made up of a mix of mesh and contoured foam that provides support and ventilation. The seat has multiple adjustment points that allow you to get the right fit, whether you are looking for comfort for the lower back or long days on the water.

The storage space is a bit limited, with only one storage hatch and two smaller deck bungees. It’s spacious enough for overnight trips but may be too small for weekend trips. This will depend on how light your luggage is.

The Pungo 120 kayak is well balanced and can be used for day-touring, but it also offers more stability and comfort than a larger kayak.

3. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 (Best Ocean Touring Kayak)

The Tsunami 160 could be a good choice if you plan to go on long-distance trips along the coast. The Tsunami 165’s 16-foot hull with an included rudder makes it easy to paddle. It tracks well through the water, even in wind and waves.

You will find two large storage hatches that can store your camping gear, as well as a day hatch and deck-bungees that allow you to access the gear you need while you paddle quickly.

The Tsunami’s uses the same phase 3 AirPro seating system as Pungo for an exceptional fit and comfort. This is especially useful if you plan to paddle for many days at a time.

Although it is more expensive than the others, the Tsunami 160 is an affordable and comfortable option that will allow you to explore new areas.

Tsunami 125 vs Tsunami 140 vs Tsunami 145 vs Tsunami 165 vs Tsunami 175
Items:Tsunami 165 Tsunami 125Tsunami 140Tsunami 145Tsunami 175
Weight 66 pounds51 pounds53 pounds56 pounds68 pounds
Max Capacity 350 pounds300 pounds325 pounds350 pounds400 pounds
Width 23-3/4 inches26 inches25-1/2 inches25-1/2 inches24 inches
Length 16' 6" 12' 9" 14' 14' 6" 17' 6"
Deck Height 15 inches15 inches14 inches15 inches15-3/4 inches
Seat Type Phase 3 AirPro Seat Phase 3 AirPro Seat Phase 3 AirPro Seat Phase 3 AirPro Seat Phase 3 AirPro Seat
Wilderness Systems True Fit Spray Skirt Size True Fit Skirt W7 True Fit Skirt W7 True Fit Skirt W7 True Fit Skirt W7 True Fit Skirt W7
Perfect for Paddler Size Medium Medium/Large Small/Medium Medium/Large Medium/Large

4. Eddyline Skylark (Best Touring Kayak for Tall Person)

The Skylark day-tour kayak is compact and easy to transport.

The hull is made from ABS plastic which is durable and light. The Skylark is an excellent choice for those who don’t want to carry a heavy kayak.

Both are 12 feet long, but the Skylark is larger than the Pungo. It has two storage hatches and more deck bungees.

It is also slightly narrower than the Pungo, so it glides better through the water.

Skylark is a high-end touring kayak with enough space to go on weekend trips. Although it’s more expensive due to its lightweight material, the Skylark is an excellent choice if you look for something easy to use on and off the water.

5. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame (Best Budget Touring Kayak)

AdvancedFrame is an inflatable kayak for paddlers who need something more portable than a traditional touring boat.

Although it may not perform as well, Advanced Elements does an excellent job creating something similar to a hard shell yet with incredible portability and flexibility.

You’ve probably paddled in an inflatable kayak before, and you know how difficult they are to control. The AdvancedFrame features aluminum ribs to help cut through the water.

The AdvancedFrame is a tiny 36 pound and folds down to 30″x17″x10″. This means that it can easily fit in any car’s trunk, even small cars with plenty of room for gear. It can be stored in a closet when not in use, making it an ideal choice for paddlers with limited storage space.

The AdvancedFrame has three layers of material that provide additional protection from punctures if you are concerned about its durability. Although it’s not as durable as a hard shell, it can withstand severe abuse.

Advanced Elements makes a tandem version of the AdvancedFrame that is portable and efficient. It can also be used for tandem paddling.

The AE1012 kayak is a fantastic choice. Even without the drop stitch floor or backbone, it tracks very well in water. It has been tested and proven reliable four times. It is durable and built well. The paddle holders are great, and so are the tie-downs. The Advanced Elements double-action pump, which inflates/deflates the kayak, was also purchased by me. This makes it easy to inflate the kayak to the correct pressure. It takes just 5 minutes to inflate the kayak. Although it takes some time to deflate, fold, and store the kayak, I find it easier as I practice. Some have complained about the kayak developing a mildew smell, but I haven’t experienced it. I leave the kayak inflated until it dries, then fold it up and store it. It weighs in at 40lbs and takes up about the same space as a large suitcase when stored. You can fit the kayak, pump, 2-piece paddle, and life jacket, as well as other accessories in your car’s trunk. It’s so easy to transport and set up that I think it will be out more often than a hardshell kayak. This kayak is a great purchase. – Chris Zaldain

The Best Touring Kayak Brands:

It is challenging to choose a touring kayak for 2023. Choosing a Long Distance Kayak that fits your needs, experience, distance, water type, and size is essential. While you can find boats between 12 and 18 feet, the best touring kayak for you may be a longer trip or a week of sea kayaking. There are many great touring kayak brands. If you don’t want to compare models, it is worth learning about the top touring kayak brands such as:

  • Current Designs
  • Boreal
  • North Shore Sea Kayaks
  • Eddyline Kayaks
  • Delta Kayaks
  • Valley Sea Kayaks
  • Stellar Kayaks & Surfskis
  • Kayak and Lincoln Canoe

The advantages of a Touring Kayak


The length and width of touring kayaks are typically greater than that of recreational kayaks, making them more efficient.


Kayaks that are longer and narrower have better tracking. This means that they move in a straight line rather than going sideways. They are more efficient, especially when paddled over long distances.

Storage onboard

Many touring kayaks are equipped with ample storage space and multiple hatches, making them suitable for multi-day trips.


Touring kayaks can handle more extreme conditions than recreational kayaks. This makes them better suited for exposed coastlines and large lakes.

How To Choose The Best Long Distance Kayak for The Money [Buying Guide]


There are three main types of materials that can be used to make touring kayaks. These are ABS plastic, polyethylene plastic, and composites. We will briefly discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Polyethylene Plastic

It is the most economical option and is fairly resistant to scratches. It is the most expensive option, but it is also the most vulnerable to UV damage. You should make sure that your polyethylene plastic touring kayak is stored in a covered area.

Abs Plastic

ABS plastic is more expensive than polyethylene, but it has very similar durability. It is lighter and has better UV protection. You can see many of the distinctive two-tone designs made of two pieces of ABS plastic bonded together to make a waterproof design.


Composite materials like carbon fiber and fiberglass will make kayaks more expensive. These kayaks are much more durable than their ABS and polyethylene counterparts. However, they can be more vulnerable to impacts against rocks or other complex objects.

Capacity For Weight

Each kayak is designed to accommodate individuals of a given weight. Check the kayak manufacturer’s guidelines for weight capacities and weigh all gear you intend to take with you when on the road. To get an idea of the weight capacity for a touring kayak, add your gear weight to your overall body weight.


The paddling that you are going to do will determine the length you choose. It is important to remember that longer kayaks are more efficient at moving through water and have more storage. On the other hand, shorter kayaks are easier to maneuver and transport to the water.

You don’t have to worry about a few inches difference when choosing the right kayak length. But a few feet can make a big difference. You will need a bit more length if you intend to paddle longer distances or take your kayak with you on multi-day trips.

You’ll be able to paddle faster and more efficiently, and you will have more space for your gear. If you plan to use your kayak only for short day trips, a shorter kayak is a good choice.

Depth And With

You can determine the kayak’s depth by how much leg or foot room you have inside. Larger paddlers will prefer deeper kayaks. They also have more storage space. However, shallower kayaks are less susceptible to heavy winds.

A kayak’s width plays an essential role in its stability. Kayaks with a larger hull are easier for you to maneuver and balance. Kayaks with narrower, more aerodynamic hulls are more efficient and provide less resistance when you start moving. Overall, a kayak’s performance is affected by its hull design.

Cockpit Size

The size of your cockpit can determine your comfort level in kayak touring. A smaller, more comfortable cockpit will provide greater protection in adverse conditions and allow you to control the kayak’s movements. It will be easier to get in and out of your kayak with a larger cockpit.

Features Explained:

Bow And Stern

These are the terms used to describe the front and back sides of your kayak. It is easy to remember which one is which. A bow forward is the look your mother gives when you want to move your actions BACK.


A skeg is a fin that falls below your kayak. The skeg’s main function is to prevent your kayak from being blown off-course by strong crosswinds. The skeg is retractable in most touring kayaks when it’s not windy.

Tracking Fins

The purpose of tracking fins is similar to a skeg. However, they can’t be removed when you don’t need them. You can find tracking fins on many kayak types, but most commonly on inflatable kayaks. If you are certain that you won’t need them, they can be removed before you start paddling.


When not in use, a rudder can be stored on the stern of your kayak and then can be removed when required. A rudder, unlike a tracking fin or skeg, isn’t fixed and can be moved to assist you in steering your kayak.

Most kayaks have foot pedals that allow you to adjust the angle of your rudder so you can respond quickly to changing environmental conditions.


The hatches allow you to access the interior storage compartments, where you can store any gear you need to dry while kayaking. These hatches’ watertightness will depend on the type of closures used to close them.

What are the Differences between Touring Kayak vs Sea Kayak?

It is easy to spot the differences between touring and recreational kayaks. The lines between a touring kayak or a sea kayak can get blurred.

It might be a marketing trick used by kayak manufacturers to get you to buy a kayak that you don’t need. This argument would argue that sea kayaks and touring are one thing.

While there are some similarities between touring and sea kayaking, they are not the same thing.

The phrase “sea kayaks” is used to describe the conditions that a kayak can handle. Kayak touring may or not be included in this definition. Sea kayaks can be described as touring kayaks that are sea-worthy.

Both terms are often used interchangeably. However, it’s important to remember that not all touring kayaks are sea kayaks by default. It may be. However, it’s best not to jump to any conclusions.

Sea kayaks can be viewed as a subcategory within the touring kayak category that excels in open water.

I hope this clarifies things a little.

Conclusion: It’s Time to Explore the Sea on Your Kayak

Touring boats are designed for extended days of paddling and carrying more gear. There’s no right/wrong way to choose the best touring boat. Compare the boat you are considering buying with how you intend to use it.

A touring boat with less storage is best for those who wish to paddle more distances and with less effort. A boat with lots of storage is best if you plan to paddle a camping trip for a week without having to resupply.

You’ll find something that will help you achieve your goals on our list. It is a good idea to visit any boat before you make a purchase. When deciding on a boat to purchase, make sure you check out the warranty and return policies.

Check out other Kayaks here.

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