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Kayaking is an excellent sport that deserves to be loved and treasured by all. With modern technology and advancements, sporting outfitters are leaning toward designing kayaks that are best suited for female body types.

Consider your height, weight, and body type when searching for a perfect kayak, as it can affect your experience. You want to pick a watercraft that is comfortable and designed to perfectly suit your body.

Paddling through the water tones obliques, biceps, and back muscles. Spending time in the sunshine is the perfect way to release endorphins and get quality Vitamin D in your system. Sunshine is the best medicine!

This next section is a detailed list of the best kayaks for women and what to look for when searching for recreational kayaks. These kayaks are designed to be lightweight, easily portable, and allow comfortable paddling.



Best for Taller Women

Perception Tribe 9.5

  • Material:
  • Item Weight: 46 Pounds

Best For Female Form

Ocean Kayak Venus 11

  • Material:
  • Item Weight: 44 Pounds

Most Comfortable Sit-Inside

Perception Sound 9.5

  • Material:
  • Item Weight: 38 Pounds

Best for Beginners

Sun Dolphin Aruba

  • Material:
  • Item Weight: 40 Pounds

Most Affordable

Pelican Maxim 100X

  • Material:
  • Item Weight: 36 Pounds

User-Friendly Sit-On-Top

Emotion Kayaks Spitfire

  • Material:
    Hard Shell
  • Item Weight: 45 Pounds

Best for Intermediate Paddlers

Wilderness Systems

  • Material:
  • Item Weight: 55 Pounds

Most Innovative

Perception Hi Life 11

  • Material:
  • Item Weight: 55 Pounds

Most Compact

Old Town Canoes

  • Material:
  • Item Weight: 47 Pounds

Best Inflatable

Airhead Montana

  • Material:
  • Item Weight: 27 Pounds

Our Top 10 Picks For Best Kayaks for Women

We have found ten of the best kayaks for women that are built with quality materials and care to maximize the fun of your adventure. Whether you’re an advanced kayaker or just starting, there is an amazing kayak for anyone looking to get out on the open water.

1. Perception Tribe 9.5

Perception Tribe 9.5

This Perception Tribe kayak was built with your body in mind. Comfort is key when you’re out on the water, and the last thing you want is to be crammed in sit-inside kayaks with no leg room. It’s almost as bad as being stuck on a ten-hour flight with no legroom!

adjustable seat

I love that this top sitting kayak has a comfortable padded seat and adjustable foot braces for paddlers of all sizes. The adjustable backrest is equipped with breathable mesh and molded thigh pads for added comfort during your paddle. Multiple footrest positions aid in stability.

Perfect for paddlers who are looking for a fun, easygoing kayak. I recommend this Perception kayak to our taller paddlers; you’ve got lots of extra legroom in this model!


  • Material: Polyethylene.
  • Weight: 46 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Length: 9’5″


  • Extremely durable and equipped with ergonomic carry handles. This is the lightest among the Perception Tribe Kayak models for women.


  • On the pricier side of a recreational kayak, it comes with several additional features that make it worth the price.

Perception Tribe 9.5

The Price of “Perception Tribe 9.5” varies, so check the latest price at

2. Ocean Kayak Venus 11

Ocean Kayak Venus 11

The Ocean Kayak Venus is my favorite kayak because of its sleek structure and ergonomic design. This is an attractive option if you’re looking for a kayak because it was built wonderfully while keeping the female figure in mind.

kayaks for women

The Comfort Hybrid seat is specifically designed to better accommodate the female anatomical center of gravity. The leg room is molded in the kayak to fit your legs perfectly without feeling cramped.

I love that Ocean Kayak Venus is an inclusive option and allows women to find a watercraft that suits their needs. Might I add that this is the most beautiful colorway in a kayak I have ever seen? It comes in a stunning blue ombre pattern that blends in with the water.

This kayak is best suited for mellow waters and relaxing rivers.


  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Length: 10’8″
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 225 lbs


  • The Ocean Venus comes with easy-to-carry side-mounted handles for your convenience.


  • These kayaks sell out fast, so join the waitlist or search for a sporting outfitter that sells and carries them.

Ocean Kayak Venus 11

The Price of “Ocean Kayak Venus 11” varies, so check the latest price at

3. Perception Sound 9.5 Sit-Inside Kayak

Perception Sound 9.5

The Perception Sound kayak was built with comfort in mind, and it comes with easy-to-access under-the-seat cubbies to store accessories and fishing equipment. Perfect for cruising slow-moving streams and mellow ocean waters.

I love that this sit-in kayak doesn’t completely cover your legs, and you have a lot of room to stretch. It can be a pain when you’re out on the water, but you can’t stretch that cramp bugging you for the past hour.

This versatile kayak was built with the female fisherwoman in mind, as it comes with rod holders and an adjustable padded seat to optimize maximum comfort. I think this kayak is perfect for medium-sized paddlers who want to have the most comfort.

I also love that these are not just women’s kayaks but also fishing kayaks because not all brands focus on both. With comfort and convenience in mind, I’m already sold. As a fisherwoman myself, this is an attractive option, and I would recommend this to a friend looking for a great kayak.


  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 38lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300lbs
  • Length: 9’6″


  • One of the lightest kayaks on the market, making it seamless to carry to and from your car. Who wants to carry a heavy kayak? Not me…


  • The largest storage area is protected by bungee cords, but it is behind the seat. Good thing there is a waterproof storage space at the front of the hull!

Perception Sound 9.5 Sit-Inside Kayak

The Price of “Perception Sound 9.5 Sit-Inside Kayak ” varies, so check the latest price at

4. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-In Kayak

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak

The Sun Dolphin Aruba is the perfect sit-inside kayak for beginners. Unfortunately, there is very little storage space, but you can always store your belongings under the covered stable hull.

This kayak for women is built for easy cruising around lakes and slow-moving waters. The spacious cockpit of the sit-inside kayak allows for comfort and mobility, and the padded backrest is much more comfortable than the hard shell seats some kayaks offer.

lightweight kayaks for women

I would highly recommend this kayak for smaller framed paddlers. It is compact and easy to navigate waters with a sleek design.


  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 40 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Length: 10″


  • Extremely user-friendly and one of the most affordable options on this list. Talk about more bang for your buck!


  • The Sun Dolphin doesn’t come with a paddle like some other options.

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-In Kayak

The Price of “Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-In Kayak” varies, so check the latest price at

5. Pelican Maxim 100X

Pelican Maxim 100X

The Pelican Maxim 100x is a step above the Sun Dolphin Aruba, and is user-friendly and one of the most inexpensive on this list. This sit-inside kayak gives easy access to the storage compartment and has a large enclosed cockpit to fit all body types.

women's sit on top kayak

The Pelican Maxim 100x kayak is so lightweight, and it has sturdy carrying handles at each end of the watercraft. Built for a recreational kayaker looking to maximize tracking abilities and is medium-sized in stature and weight.

When combined with other water activities, the sport of kayaking can form a sense of community. When you’re out on the water, you can join other kayakers and enjoy the calm water together.

If you’re out on the ocean, grab your snorkel mask from one of the storage spaces and get a good look at the sea life. You can also grab a fishing pole and cast a line if you are in the mood for kayak fishing!

If you’re someone who’s into fishing and are just starting out, you may look at the best fishing kayak under 500 and go light on your pocket until you get the hang of it.


  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 36 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs
  • Length: 10″


  • This kayak only weighs 36 pounds, making it pain-free for women to travel with and carry to the water.


  • I prefer the carry handles on the side, but that’s just me. The carry handles are at the front and back of this watercraft.

Pelican Maxim 100X

The Price of “Pelican Maxim 100X” varies, so check the latest price at

6. Emotion Kayaks Spitfire 9

Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak

When choosing a kayak, it all comes down to personal preference. This sit-on-top kayak optimizes comfort and leg room with its spacious cockpit and deck. I love that the kayak is molded so your legs can fit comfortably in the padded seat.

The Emotion Spitfire is also 9 feet long, so it is possible to fit in the bed of a truck, depending on the size of your vehicle. This is an excellent kayak if you are a small to medium-sized paddler. This is perfect for someone with a smaller build because it is compact and will narrowly traverse through the water.

best kayak for senior woman

This watercraft also comes with a waterproof storage compartment to store all your kayaking gear and personal items. It’s an added bonus that the compartment rests under your legs, so you won’t have to reach around to search for your sunscreen.


  • Material: Hard Shell
  • Weight: 45 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs
  • Length: 9″


  • The carry handles are at the front and back and on both sides of this sit-on-top kayak!


  • The backrest and seat are cushioned, but the material is not the breathable mesh that some of the other kayaks offer. Still a great option, though!

Emotion Kayaks Spitfire 9

The Price of “Emotion Kayaks Spitfire 9” varies, so check the latest price at

7. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100

Wilderness Systems Tarpon ladies kayak is for someone who knows what she’s doing and is looking for a step up from a beginner kayak. These sit-on kayaks are durable and extremely stable. There are nonslip pads on the bottoms of the deck, so you won’t slip getting in and out of the watercraft.

It features front and rear scupper holes to drain any excess water. It also comes with handles you can comfortably carry on both the front and back of the kayak.

conveniently located cockpit table

I would recommend this kayak for someone who can handle carrying a heavier kayak. 55 lbs might not seem like a lot, but it can be tough to unload a ten-foot-long watercraft on your own.

We get it; you’re strong…Remember, style and technique outweigh brute strength. Don’t get discouraged; you’ll get the hang of it! I believe in you!


  • Material: Rotomolded polyethylene
  • Weight: 58 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs
  • Length: 10″


  • Good weight capacity with over four storage compartments on board!


  • This kayak is one of the heavier options on this list only because the kayak is built with a thicker shell that helps in tracking ability through the water.

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100

The Price of “Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100” varies, so check the latest price at

8. Perception Hi Life 11

Perception Hi Life 11

This incredible model is not just one but two watercraft. Unlike anything else on the market, the Perception Hi Life is both a kayak and a stand-up paddle board.

With this model, you are practically purchasing two watercraft for the affordable price of one. Strong bungee cords are strapped at the front to hold accessories. My favorite part about this model is ample room in the front and back to have your pup join you on your adventure.

sit on top kayaks for seniors

This watercraft is designed for recreational paddling in slow-moving water. Imagine taking your kids out for a day in the sun on this kayak!

The narrow hull and watercraft length are built with women in mind, propelling you swiftly through the water without any excess weight or bulkiness. I will most definitely be purchasing this model in pink and blue color.


  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 55 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 280 lbs
  • Length: 11″


  • Won the 2018 International Design of Excellence Award


  • Limited storage space, but you can store accessories and drinks under your seat.

Perception Hi Life 11

The Price of “Perception Hi Life 11” varies, so check the latest price at

9. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Kayak

If you love feeling secure inside a kayak, this is the watercraft for you. The Vapor 10 is compact and has lots of volume. I would highly recommend this sit-inside kayak for a woman who is taller because there is lots of leg room for larger paddlers.

This is an easy-going kayak for beginners looking for a mellow cruise out on flat waters. I don’t think this is the most advanced watercraft, but it is priced perfectly for someone looking to take on a new hobby. It is featured with easy-to-carry handles on both ends.

most comfortable kayaks

Women tend to have a little better balance than men because of their center of gravity. A smaller, more compact kayak will cruise through the water, making it much easier to paddle!

Canoeing is one of the best ways to see nature fully while also having an amazing adventure. Check the complete detailed article on the best expedition canoe.


  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 47 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs
  • Length: 10″


  • It comes with a skid plate on the bottom to protect it from wear and tear. This kayak will stand the test of time.


  • There are no bungee cord storage spaces on the deck, but there is plenty of room under the hull!

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks

The Price of “Old Town Canoes & Kayaks” varies, so check the latest price at

10. Airhead Montana 1 Person Kayak

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Kayak

This last kayak is easy-to-carry, affordable, and so easy to use. Many women are unsure of the sport of kayaking because it can be difficult to carry a heavy kayak in and out of the water.

The Airhead Montana has a lightweight and high-quality construction, making the kayaking experience much easier. This is the lightest kayak on this list, coming in at only 27 lbs. It comes with a padded seat as well as adjustable footrests. I love that this kayak can be launched within minutes, and it takes up very limited storage space.

best women's sit-on-top kayak

One of my favorite things about kayaking is that you can enjoy the beauty of the water without smelling any boat fumes. If you get seasick easily, boating can be a bit of a drag. Kayaking is the perfect way to enjoy the water from a relaxed perspective!


  • Material: UV-resistant coating
  • Weight: 27.7 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Length: 9″


  • Inflates in under ten minutes! The most convenient kayak you will find that allows easier carrying


  • No waterproof storage space onboard, but there is ample room at the front of the hull

Airhead Montana 1 Person Kayak

The Price of “Airhead Montana 1 Person Kayak” varies, so check the latest price at

Kayak Buying Guide for Women

When looking for the best kayaks for women, below are some considerations to keep in mind.


When searching for a kayak, it is important you take your own personal height and weight into consideration. If you are a taller gal, I suggest one of the roomier sit-on-top kayaks to maximize leg room and get superior comfort. You should learn in detail about the kayak weight.

best kayak seat

Consider your own weight and the added weight of someone you might potentially take out on excursions with you, like your dog, for example.

Kayaks can be heavy to lug around, and if you aren’t used to lifting heavy objects, this can be a pain. Luckily there are several options in this list that are very lightweight and easy to transport.

Technology has come a long way in the sport of kayaking, and there are lightweight paddles on the market designed to make your trip enjoyable. Seriously, some of these paddles are so lightweight they are even made with fiberglass.

Several kayaks on this list come with ergonomic carrying handles, and this makes the excursion less of a hassle. Maximum weight capacity comes in handy on longer paddling trips.

Mode of Transport

Another thing you want to consider is your vehicle or mode of transportation. Some of these kayaks could be stored in the bed of a truck with tie-downs or will need to be strapped on top of your vehicle using a roof rack. You can invest in the best kayak racks for pickup trucks.

This list is compiled of easy-to-carry kayaks that are lightweight, and there is a variety of watercraft available.

Most sports require another person, but not kayaking. No need to book a tee time or check if your friend is available for a tennis match when you can take yourself out on a cruise on the water.

Being out on the open water is therapeutic, and a wonderful way to get some exercise, even if you are by yourself. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins that help both your mind and your body.


Before investing in the right kayak, think about the water you plan on paddling around in. There’s a kayak for every purpose. You have recreational and touring kayaks, sit-inside kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, and the famous inflatable kayak.

If there’s a local lake nearby and you want to spend your summer afternoons there, then look for a kayak built for calmer waters.

If you want a kayak that will stand the test of time and whoosh you past water rapids, I suggest you find something built for the experienced kayaker. Don’t overestimate your abilities; the last thing you want to do is be stuck out on a white water rapid with a kayak built for floating in a pond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Much Difference Between Weight in Kayaks?

It all depends on the kind of kayak you want to purchase. If you’re looking for an inflatable kayak, those are the most lightweight option. They inflate in minutes and can be easily stored anywhere.

If you want to purchase a kayak that can potentially float you and your child or dog, then the kayak will be heavier. The more heavy-duty and durable the material of your kayak, the more it will weigh.

Hard shell kayaks or solid kayaks are built with a thicker material like high-density polyethylene, for example. On the other hand, inflatable kayaks are built with a thinner canvas-type material like PVC.

Purchasing a lightweight kayak seems like the easiest choice, but you still have to consider your height and weight. If you purchase a kayak that might not be suited for your height, you could find yourself struggling to get in and out of the kayak when you’re in the water.

Keeping a kayak stable after you’ve flipped it, especially sit-inside, can be very tricky. Although, purchasing a elegant lightweight kayak always seems more appealing; there are still some other things to consider. Take it from me; I’ve flipped a kayak or two in my day.

What Is the Best Kayak for Shorter Women?

Depending on your size, carrying around a kayak and loading it onto the top of your vehicle can be tricky without a friend there to help you out.

If you are among the smaller paddlers, I recommend an inflatable kayak or one of the previously mentioned kayaks that are 9 feet long. These kayaks are usually lighter and more comfortable, and more compact!

Can Women Paddle Larger Kayaks?

It might be hard to transport the watercraft out on the water without another person to help you lift it up, but it is doable.

If you are an active person and are used to lifting heavy objects, this should not be a problem for you. However, keep in mind, if you are not very active and have a hard time carrying heavy objects, I would try looking for a lighter kayak. Because some kayaks are big and bulky, they can be tough to navigate around the water.

Keep in mind some stores have a try-before-you-buy system, so you can try out a few different kayaks before purchasing one. This makes the kayak-buying experience more user-friendly.

Is Kayaking Good for Strength?

Kayaking is a great way to work out and tone your muscles. It is a good way to increase your fitness level. It will increase the muscle strength in your arms, back, waist, and legs.

You can sit down and relax while getting a great workout. Paddling and digging deep into the water is a great way to build muscular strength for both men and women.

With time and practice, your body and muscles will adjust to the exercise, and you will become an expert out on the water. Trust your body and mind; you can do it!

Final Thoughts

Kayaking is an incredible sport that deserves to be loved by all. Ladies, don’t let the big heavy equipment deter you from enjoying a beautiful day out on the water. There are a number of kayaks perfectly designed to be enjoyed by women, featuring comfortable seats and easy-to-carry handles.

This sport is about technique and balance, and kayaking is an amazing way to get some quality cardio while traversing through the water. Whether you’re tall or small, there is something on this list for all.

Get outside; the water is calling!

Categories: Kayaking

Hannah Reed

My name is Hannah Reed and I am a University of California Berkeley graduate with a degree in Media Studies. I have had the privilege of living in Paris, as well as traveling to fourteen different countries. My favorite activities include surfing, fishing, hiking, and snowboarding. I love spending time in the snow on Mammoth Mountain or Big Bear. I love trying new things and I love the thrill of adventure. I am the author of four novels and am currently working as a freelance writer. When I'm not writing, I love cooking, reading, and playing tennis.


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