23 April 2017!
Premium Light Touring Kayaks are listed below in order of length (shortest to longest). Each kayak offers a precise ‘Frontenac Outfitters Review’ with in-depth Boat Statistics, Performance Ratings, Videos (most), and Canadian Pricing.
Light Touring Kayaks ~ A Brief History
Light Touring, or Transitional Kayaks, is increasingly the term of choice for kayaks that were formally referred to as Day-Touring Kayaks.
As shorter, wider, less efficient boats are increasingly being marketed by ‘big box stores’, the kayak industry is being flooded with poor performing crafts. Luckily, leading manufacturers are seizing the opportunity to produce higher quality kayaks that still meet the demand for smaller boats. These boats incorporate sleeker, more controlled-fitting designs in order to retain safety and performance.
As the name suggests, light touring kayaks perform well in flatwater conditions, rivers, and even protected coastal paddling. With models including both bow & stern bulkheads/hatches, these types of kayaks also allow paddlers to undergo day trips, overnight outings, and even casual weekend getaways. However, being shorter in length (11.5 – 13 feet), gear capacity is minimal in light touring kayaks, so a back-country trip becomes challenging due to the need for proper camping, cooking, and other larger gear items.
Light touring kayaks are suitable for beginner- to intermediate-skilled paddlers who desire a shorter boat that is easy to manage without sacrificing much in the way of performance. However, intermediate and advanced paddlers may find this type of kayak perfect as a secondary boat.
Stability and user-friendliness are the staples in this category of kayaks, which means they typically have higher backrests that are adjustable, wider widths, and a ‘no surprises’ feel of stability on the water. Materials of construction range include Polyethylene, Thermoform, and Composite with deck rigging being sufficient. Build quality, safety features, and efficiency rank in the middle of the road.
Materials & Average Price Point
Polyethylene: $690 – $1195
Thermoform: $1400 – $1700
Composite: no choices
- Delta Kayaks
- Perception Kayaks
- Riot Kayaks
- Wilderness Systems Kayaks
Pros & Cons of Light Touring Kayaks
|Improved fit vs. recreational kayaks for better skills development||Less ‘controlled fit’ offered compared to touring or performance touring kayaks|
|Increased safety features and gear capacity than recreational kayaks||Decreased storage space, positive buoyancy, and safety features vs. touring & performance touring kayaks|
|Ability to track more efficiently in comparison to recreational kayaks||Tracking & efficiency is poorer than touring & performance touring kayaks|
|Larger cockpits and width provide a greater fit range||Are not designed for paddling in larger bodies of water or in adverse conditions|
Note: ‘IF’ a kayak is ‘NOT’ listed from a manufacturer we carry it’s likely because we have superior choices! Why not call us to discuss the pros & cons of the kayaks you have interest in?