Best Recreational Kayak for a Woman- Top Picks

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Generally, kayaks are designed with a male-skewed design, but kayak’s popularity is increasing among women day by day. In addition, women are exploring water more than before, so manufacturers are producing the best recreational kayak for a woman.

Well, now one question might have popped up in your mind. What is the difference between male and female kayaks?

In fact, there are no major differences. Women’s kayaks have to be the lightweight and short length for convenient transportation. Also, a more expansive cockpit, smaller builds are necessary to meet their comfort level.

Here, we reviewed kayaks that are best suited for women.

Best Recreational Kayak for a Woman

What is the Best Recreational Kayak for a Woman?

Best Overall: Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak

This kayak consists of several impressive features like an adjustable backrest, padded cushion, bottle holder, roomy cockpit, etc., making it an ideal option for a woman.

Best for Comfort: Pelican Sit-in Kayak Argo 100X KFF10P300-00

It features a modifiable backrest and a well-padded cushion to give you superior comfort in a kayaking session.

Best for the Design: Pelican Sit-in Recreational Kayak MDP10P100-00

The plastic construction makes it lightweight and more durable than other kayaks. So, you will face less trouble carrying the kayak.

Best for 2-person: Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Explore the water with your beloved one with this 2-person kayak. It is designed to ensure safety and comfort when you are on the water.

Best for Long Kayaking Session: Old Town Vapor 12XT Recreational Kayak

This kayak is so stable that you will not feel insecure. Also, long kayaking sessions will be enjoyed every time due to its soft cushion and adjustable seat.

Best for Recreational Purposes: Pelican Recreational Performance KNP12P100-00 12-ft Kayak

Everyone wants to make their recreational period memorable. It is crafted to let you continue your water adventure with less hassle.

Comparison table – Top Recreational Kayak

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6 Best Recreational Kayak for a Woman Review

Finding the best kayaks for women is not an easy task. Women are picky, and they consider many things before buying any item. While doing extensive research, we kept these points in mind. In this section, find the top-rated kayaks review for your reference.

1# Best Overall: Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak

Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak
Technical Details & Specification
Item Weight:36lbs
Maximum Load Capacity:275lbs.
Seating Capacity:1

Pelican kayaks are well-known for outstanding stability, and the Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak is also no exception. When sit-inside and you are on the water, this kayak offers superior comfort. Also, the highest stability is confirmed because of its Shallow V Chine hull.

It is made of rugged and strong plastic, making it scratch-proof. Moreover, the kayak is lightweight so that a woman can carry it quite comfortably to the shore. For convenient carrying, it consists of front and rear T-handles. Another essential feature is; it weighs only 36lbs.

Furthermore, the kayak has a cockpit table with a bottle holder for easy access. So when you feel thirsty, simply grab the bottle easily and have a sip. Its footrest is molded for optimal comfort, but it is not adjustable. Additionally, the secure foot bracing prevents stiffness from developing in the heel.

A kayak seat is an essential accessory that needs to be soft. Otherwise, the paddler will not feel comfortable when kayaking for a long time. Keeping this point in mind, the seat of this kayak is well-cushioned, the backrest is padded and adjustable. In addition, you will find a drain plug at the bottom of this kayak that ensures water infiltration.

The Good:
  • Comfortable and adjustable seat cushion
  • Significantly stable on the water
  • The cockpit is spacious
  • Allows you to cover a long distance with minimal effort
  • The storage platform is covered with a mesh deck to protect the gears from water
The Bad:
  • The storage hatch is not water-resistant

The Pelican Maxim 100X is an excellent sit-in kayak for recreational purposes and best for 1 person. With impressive stability, a beginner can easily paddle it on calm water. In addition, it is UV protected and retains its true color for a long time.

2# Best for Comfort: Pelican Sit-in Kayak Argo 100X KFF10P300-00

Pelican Sit-in Kayak Argo 100X KFF10P300-00
Technical Details & Specification
Item Weight:36lbs
Maximum Load Capacity:275lbs.
Seating Capacity:1

The Pelican Sit-in Kayak Argo 100X KFF10P300-00 will be a great choice if you seek an easy-to-use versatile kayak. As a result, you will have a relaxing, stable, and enjoyable kayaking session regardless of the weather condition. This kayak is specially crafted for average paddlers and for those who need outstanding maneuverability.

This kayak is manufactured using the Pelican’s Twin Arched Multi Chine Hull. As a result, it provides amazing stability. In addition, its cockpit is so spacious that you will not face any trouble getting into it. The generous design of the cockpit also allows you to carry essential kayaking gears without hassle.

It consists of a front storage hatch with a bungee cord, permitting you to store valuables when on the water. Also, the rear deck is covered with mesh fabric that protects kayaking gears from falling out. You will also love to know that it has a cockpit table with a bottle holder to keep you hydrated on a humid day.

Another worth mentioning feature is the adjustable footrest, meaning that this kayak is ideal for any size paddler. Also, the Ergofoam padded backrest and seat are adjustable, which means you can adjust them according to your comfort level.

The Good:
  • 2 bottle holders for carrying enough drinking water
  • Suitable for all size paddlers
  • Promised to make your kayak session relaxing
  • Extremely comfortable well-padded Ergofoam backrest and cushion
  • Twin hull multi chine hull confirms excellent maneuverability
The Bad:
  • A little bit overpriced than its rivals

A woman will be able to maneuver and control this kayak conveniently for its short length. In addition, it is so stable on the water that a novice paddler can take her skill to the next level.

3# Best for the Design: Pelican Sit-in Recreational Kayak MDP10P100-00

Pelican Sit-in Recreational Kayak MDP10P100-00
Technical Details & Specification
Item Weight:42lbs
Maximum Load Capacity:300lbs.
Seating Capacity:1

Ask an experienced paddler which one is the best recreational kayak for a woman? They will answer, “choose a model from Pelican.” We also recommend Pelican Sit-in Recreational Kayak MDP10P100-00 with a lower center of gravity and low profile deck for comfortable paddling.

A recreational kayak for women should be lightweight since women can’t carry heavy-weight kayaks like men. Keeping this point in mind, the manufacturers built it using RAM-X PREMIUM material, making it exceptionally durable and lightweight. Also, you can comfortably carry it in your vehicle’s back.

Another impressive feature of this kayak is ERGOCOAST portable seating system. When required, you can easily remove the seat and use it for other purposes. Isn’t it amazing? At the front and rear area, ergonomic handles Are available to carry the kayak wherever you need. 

Many paddlers want to capture memories of kayaking. In order to make the image capturing task easier, the kayak consists of two 1” rigging tracks, allowing you to mount a camera. In addition, all accessories are assembled, which means; you don’t need to spend additional time or effort to take the kayak into the water.

The Good:
  • Built of RAM-X PREMIUM material
  • Hard to break, easy to carry
  • Simple to access quick-lock hatch
  • Bungees are positioned inconvenient place
  • Stable in water
The Bad:
  • Dents and scratches may come easily

With so many basic features, this kayak is suitable for beginner women paddlers. It is incredibly stable and you can use it for fishing too. The kayak is easy to paddle and use, promising to make your kayak sessions comfortable.

4# Best for 2-person: Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
Technical Details & Specification
Item Weight:57lbs
Maximum Load Capacity:425lbs.
Seating Capacity:2

Who doesn’t want to spend quality time with family and friends? The Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak is a 2 seater boat, permitting you to explore the water with your beloved ones, family, and friends. More importantly, it comes with 3 seating positions that support tandem or solo paddling.

The seats provide 4-way adjustability. Thus, you can adjust the seat position as per your comfort level. Also, the seats are molded to give you the utmost comfort when paddling for long hours. Moreover, they are slip-resistant; this way, the seats stay in their position even if they get wet. However, it is unsuitable for rough water.

This ocean kayak performs well on a lake. Effortless to paddle and very stable. Even on a big lake with large boat wakes. Easy, safe and secure carrying of your kayaking gears is possible with the included gear straps. More importantly, these straps are durable which will not wear and tear easily.

There are two scupper holes in the seat well area of the front paddlers and two scupper holes in the foot area of the rear paddler. You can plug a scupper which will prevent water from coming in from the underside of the kayak. Its color is also nice, making it easy to spot on the water.

The Good:
  • It’s stable and easy to maneuver
  • Easy to get in and out of the water
  • Extremely comfortable seat
  • Solidly constructed to give you many years of service
  • 425lbs weight capacity
The Bad:
  • Less spacious to carry kayaking gears

This is one of the popular kayaks for women. Its price and features are just suitable for casual kayakers. You can spend romantic time with your boyfriend and husband, paddling this boat.

5# Best for Long Kayaking Session: Old Town Vapor 12XT Recreational Kayak

Old Town Vapor 12XT Recreational Kayak
Technical Details & Specification
Item Weight:48.26lbs
Maximum Load Capacity:375lbs.
Seating Capacity:1

From a vast range of recreational kayaks for a woman on a store’s shelf, this kayak will surely grab your attention. Why? With an excellent color combination, the Old Town Vapor 12XT Recreational Kayak wins the heart of many women. In addition, this kayak prioritizes comfort above everything else, and that is why it is designed with a spacious cockpit and extra legroom.

The kayak’s maximum load capacity is 375lbs, supporting heavier kayakers and their gears. With enough space, a paddler can carry the essentials of a whole day without hesitation. In addition, the boat is equipped with a single stern dry hatch, making it the best option for short overnight trips that need minimal gears.

This kayak comes with high deck height and a sizable opening of the deck, making it easier to get in and out into the boat. Besides, a fully adjustable flex comfort seat provides lumbar support during a long kayaking session. Thus, it is suitable for bird watchers, anglers, sportsmen, etc.

It has a rounded hull that provides a comfortable kayaking experience in calm water. Simultaneously, its hull design transitions to more of a V-shaped hull at the front. Thus, the design advances tracking capability over extended distances. Moreover, better control is confirmed due to the thigh pads and support track foot brace system.

The Good:
  • Dry storage in the rear hatch
  • Comfortable cushioned seat provides lumbar support
  • Highly stable on the water, ideal for anglers, bird watchers
  • The footpegs are nice
  • It is easy to carry one with one person
The Bad:
  • Unavailability of deck bungees

This kayak will let you fall in love with nature by allowing you to explore the water. You will have an utmost comfy kayaking session with the adjustable soft flex seat.

6# Best for Recreational Use: Pelican Recreational Performance KNP12P100-00 12-ft Kayak

Pelican Recreational Performance KNP12P100-00 12-ft Kayak
Technical Details & Specification
Item Weight:51lbs
Maximum Load Capacity:325lbs.
Seating Capacity:1

The Pelican Recreational Performance KNP12P100-00 12-ft Kayak is the best option for slow-moving water. It is specially designed for women with short length and lightweight features. In terms of stability, it is CHAMPION as it remains stable even in choppy conditions. Also, it is so responsive to your body weight and position.

Sometimes, extra floatation is necessary according to the situation, and it comes with a stern bulkhead. As a result, bailing out in any water becomes effortless. The truth is, this kayak is designed to continue your adventure on the water with less hassle and be more comfortable.

Your kayaking gears will always be safely stored and within reach because of its 4” hatch. Furthermore, the bottle holder is installed conveniently to avoid the hassle of grabbing the bottle. Besides, it is so roomy that you will not think twice about carrying all your essentials when heading into the water for a couple of hours.

Thanks to the Pelicans patented RAM-X PREMIUM material construction, making it is durable and lightweight. As a result, lifting and carrying it to the shore or storing the kayak in a vehicle trunk is a breeze. In addition, the ergonomically designed seat and backrest are super soft that guarantee maximum comfort.

The Good:
  • Specially designed for women
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Ideal for calm water
  • Deep V Chine Hull for better tracking
  • Impact and breakage-resistant
The Bad:
  • Expensive price tag

This kayak is made out of rugged polyethylene, ensuring long-term service with proper care. In addition, you will get extra space of mind as the roomy cockpit lets you carry the required gears for a long trip.

Buying Guide – How to Buy the Best Recreational Kayak for a Woman

Best Recreational Kayak

Learning the women’s body shape is essential when buying a kayak for women. At the same time, buying the right kayak can be easier if you consider keeping knowledge about the kayak.

This section focuses on sharing considerations that will lead you to the best recreational kayaks for women.


Kayaks are generally made of plastic and fiberglass. Plastic is a heavier material compared to fiberglass. However, lightweight materials have some drawbacks.

Fiberglass is a delicate material. Thus, fiberglass kayaks are expensive. Also, if they are dropped accidentally, they will break. Moreover, you have to take proper care and maintenance of fiberglass kayaks.

On the other hand, plastic kayaks are affordable. Furthermore, they are rugged and robust so that if dragged or dropped, the damage will not come quickly. Additionally, regular maintenance is unnecessary, which makes plastic kayaks much popular among beginner and professional paddlers. Finally, you can use plastic kayaks roughly.

Furthermore, a few kayaks are made of durable components like “Airlite” and “Duralite.” These materials are considered durable and lightweight. Therefore, they can be a good alternative, but these options are not as durable as plastic kayaks. On the other hand, though, these materials are lightweight and more durable than fiberglass.

Buy According to Your Choice

Choices vary from person to person. Undoubtedly, the type of kayak that you choose reflects your personality and individuality. This consideration is essential, especially when someone tries to influence your kayak buying decision.

Most of the time, we don’t buy a product without taking the opinions and thoughts of others. We read customer reviews also. However, I am not saying that taking opinions or reading customer reviews is unnecessary. The most important thing is that you have to know your requirements and buy a kayak.

Unfortunately, many women leave the responsibility to their boyfriend or husband to buy a kayak for her. But then, a husband or boyfriend buys a kayak for his wife or girlfriend when he wants to use it.

However, it is not bad at all if their sizes are the same. The problem happens when their body shape is different.

If you plan to do so, be sure you will not get the best-suited kayak for you. As stated earlier, everyone’s body shape is not the same.

So, it is necessary to prefer your requirement and buy based on your preference.

Kayaks Weight

The weight of the kayak is one of the most important factors. Women are generally lighter than men, and it is pretty challenging for them to carry a heavy kayak to the shore.

A woman can easily carry and set up their boats if it is lightweight. Unfortunately, the average weight of plastic kayaks is 38lbs – 70 lbs. For women, carrying kayaks of more than 40lbs.s will be difficult. Here, a great piece of advice is, improve your stamina, learn the technique of easy carrying of the kayak.

One question might have popped up in your mind – are there alternatives to carry the kayak?

Well, the answer is YES! Wide collections of kayak racks, carts, and other tools are available which can assist you in carrying and loading your kayak. In addition, you can take assistance from your friend when kayaking around.

Learn Your Body Size

Knowing your body size is another essential factor before buying the right kayak for women.

Recently, kayak manufacturers introduced kayaks for petite women. Curvier and heavier women will surely face trouble paddling these kayaks. When women sit in a kayak, they should feel comfortable in their hips, thighs, feet, and butt.

Although using the adjustable seat, women can feel comfortable, but if the cockpit size is incompatible with the body shape, they will have a restrictive feel in the thigh.

So, when you are selecting the kayak for you, consider the 2 most significant aspects: comfort and fit. Avoid buying a kayak that gives you discomfort and doesn’t meet your fit.

Always remember, we are not equal in terms of body size and shape. What fits your female friend may not necessarily suit you as well.

Invest valuable time and effort to ensure in picking the best-suited kayak for you. Then, buy that one which goes right for you.

Kayak Types

The market is full of different kayak types. Here we discussed the 4 main types of kayak.


Sit-on-top kayaks are designed for a wide range of anglers. It is beginner-friendly too. The deck is open, which makes it easy to gen-in and out from the boat. Moreover, if you need to move around on deck, sit-on-top kayaks are suitable.

Moreover, regardless of the size, sit-on-top kayaks are the best option. You will get extra comfort. So, if you are a larger kayaker, additional comfort will give you benefits.

At the same time, less room is not much restricted in these kayak types, and it is suitable for longer legs also.


A sit-inside kayak is beneficial for year-round kayaking since you will get additional protection from water and keep you dry.

But if you are a beginner, getting into the kayak can be challenging. Getting out of the kayak would be difficult too. In this case, the sit-inside kayak’s cockpit has to be wider and larger so that you face less trouble getting into the kayak.


Fishing kayaks are a bit heavier compared to recreational kayaks. They consist of additional features such as patented rod holders, additional storage options for gear, and often more elevated seat options.

These features are helpful for those who want to go on long fishing trips. But, this kayak has drawbacks. You will require extra hands or a cart to carry these kayaks into the shore.

You will find sit-inside and sit-on-top fishing kayaks. Choose as per your fit and comfort.


Inflatable kayaks are best for those who have less space to store the kayak at home. You can conveniently store inflatable kayaks in a closet.

Simultaneously, these kayaks are significant if you think lifting a kayak is troublesome work. Inflatable kayaks are lightweight compared to other kayak types. Therefore, they will help you to save space. Additionally, they are easy to transport.

However, many people think that setting up inflatable kayaks is challenging. But the truth is, manufacturers, make it easier to set up inflatable kayaks.

Sea Kayaks vs Recreational Kayaks


What is the Best Recreational Kayak for a Short woman?

If you are a short person or looking for a kayak for your girlfriend or wife, consider the below points.

  • Low-profile deck
  • Narrow hull
  • Lightweight

The above features will give you enough stability and more safety on the water. Also, paddling will be much easier.

Is it possible to paddle a bigger kayak for women?

Paddling a bigger kayak will not be troublesome for a strong woman. It all depends on the person’s ability, strength, and confidence.

Can a woman carry a kayak?

Kayaks are now available with more specialized features like front and rear handles to make the transportation process convenient. In this case, inflatable kayaks are the best option as they are extremely easy to carry. Also, to have a recreational kayak, a woman can take assistance from other tools like racks, carts, etc.

Final Verdict

In summary, when you go shopping for the best recreational kayak for a woman, consider all the related aspects thoroughly. Don’t rush, or you will make a mistake in making a precise buying decision.

All the reviewed kayaks are easy to paddle, lightweight, and durable. Providing optimum comfort is their prime focus and allows you to carry valuable kayaking gears without hesitation.

We are telling you again and again, whatever model you choose, make sure to provide comfort and meet your requirements.

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