23 September 2018!
Light Touring Kayaks
Light Touring Kayaks are a sub-category of touring kayaks as their shorter lengths (11.5′ – 13′) are similar to some recreational models while still offering improved outfitting and performance characteristics. 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 flat-water conditions, rivers, and even protected coastal paddling. With some models including both bow and stern bulkheads / hatches, these types of kayaks also allow paddlers to undergo day trips, overnight outings, and even casual weekend getaways. However, 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 and wider beam widths. Outfitting with deck rigging is sufficient and build quality, safety features, and efficiency rank in the middle of the road.
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 than touring and performance touring||Are not designed for paddling in larger bodies of water or in adverse conditions|