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Tall and Comfortable: The Best Kayaks for Tall People

Kayaks For Tall People

Kayaks For Tall People

Updated on 10/22/2023
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott


Finding a suitable kayak for tall adventurers can be challenging. But the good news is, after extensive research, several kayaks have been identified that cater specifically to the needs of taller paddlers. Among the top picks are the Pungo 125 from Wilderness Systems, known for its extra legroom and outstanding performance, and the Loon 126 from Old Town, which is recognized for its space and stability. If fishing is your thing, the BKC RA220 11.5-foot Sit-On-Top Angler is a top contender, while the X-13 Fish And Dive Sit-On-Top Kayak by Malibu Kayaks is perfect for ocean adventures due to its impressive load capacity. For those on a budget, the Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12-foot Sit-On-Top Kayak offers a delightful introduction to kayaking.

Every kayak mentioned boasts features catering to the larger paddler, ensuring comfort and a memorable kayaking experience. Whether you prioritize comfort, fishing features, or stability, there's undoubtedly a kayak tailored for you. So, don't let height be a hindrance; choose the perfect kayak and confidently embark on your water adventures. Happy paddling! 🌊🚣‍♂️

I won't deny it, and I'm neither big nor tall. My height peaked at 5 feet 8 inches in 6th grade, and I had never considered that kayaks for big and tall people would be difficult to find. As it turns out, it is.

Don't worry. You're in good hands!

I've read a lot of forums, reviews, and manufacturer's websites to find which kayaks are safe and comfortable for larger paddlers and have found six that fit the bill.

You can finally paddle around comfortably, whether big-boned, long-legged or have feet rivaling Shaquille O'Neal's.

Read on to compare the best kayaks for big guys if you're tired of feeling like 6 pounds in a 5-pound bag.

Two People Kayaking

Two People Kayaking

The Contenders: Kayaks For Big Guys(Big and Tall Kayak)

Here are the best kayaks for tall people:

Kayak Wilderness Systems Pungo 125

Pungo 125 Kayak
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With an extra 6 inches of legroom, this model is upgraded from the classic Pungo 120 model. Wilderness Systems Pungo 125 model will never go out of style with outstanding performance without compromising cargo space.

The Old Town Loon 126 Is A Recreational Kayak

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A spacious cockpit with a removable work deck offers ample storage and customization options. Those concerned about a "tippy" kayak will find comfort and stability in this kayak.

Best Fishing Kayak for Big Guys: The BKC RA220 11.5-foot Sit-On-Top Angler

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Best Fishing Kayak For Tall Person: Brooklyn Kayak Company's fishing kayak is a top-notch example of a kayak for a bigger person that delivers value for money. A 450-pound capacity and many features make this a dream for any angler. (best fishing kayak for large man)

Pescador 12 Kayak Perception

Among the best features is the Stadium-Style Pro Seat, which offers two positions for paddling or fishing and is incredibly comfortable, so you'll never feel fatigued. Featuring a capacity of 375 pounds, this should be another top contender for those who enjoy fishing.

X-13 Fish And Dive Sit-On-Top Kayak By Malibu Kayaks

Packages are significant when it comes to big things. With a 450-pound capacity, the X-13 can carry dive tanks, fishing gear, and even children, thanks to the front and rear child seating areas. You can't beat the Malibu if you fish in the ocean swell or require maximum load capacity.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12-foot Sit On Top Kayak.

Even hefty paddlers will enjoy this large, open, sit-on-top kayak. With a simple design, this paddle is perfect for paddlers looking for some exercise and fun on the water at an affordable price.

Reviews Of The Best Kayaks For Large People

Below, you will find our in-depth reviews of kayaks for heavy people.

Wilderness Systems Pungo 125 Is The Best All-around Kayak.

A classic all-around kayak, the Pungo 120 from Wilderness Systems is one of the most reputable brands in the industry. Due to the success they had with their 120, Wilderness Systems wanted to expand.

The Pungo 125 has been upgraded. Larger paddlers will appreciate this kayak's larger cockpit and the added speed and storage.

Wilderness Systems identified a need for high-performing kayaks that can accommodate more extensive profiles in the market. This model delivers on all fronts.

The cockpit has a removable console that makes entry easy, fifty-seven inches long. There are molds for holding a drink and two smaller ones that can keep fishing lures, snacks, or a camera if you're paddling in flat water.

Among the many features of this performance, the kayak is a Phase 3 AirPro seat, thigh pads, two storage compartments, and front and rear bungee deck rigging.

A couple of happy over-sized paddlers say:

"A size 15 shoe fits my height of 6-4 and weight of 225 pounds. In the 12-foot range, I struggled to find a kayak that would fit comfortably. My Pungo 125 kayak was the perfect choice after researching and trying out many kayaks! Puntos kayaks are incredibly comfortable - everything people say about them is true. For hours, I could sit in it without getting stiff or cramped. There's just something about its comfort. Additionally, the boat tracks well and has excellent stability. I would recommend it to paddlers of all sizes."

"First, I am 57, obese (280 pounds), and struggling with getting into and out of other kayaks I have tried. The cockpit of this kayak allows me to carry some camera gear, and I am comfortable in it."

As a result

If you are fat or more significant, finding a kayak that performs better and is more stable is difficult. For an excellent reason, Pungo kayaks have been a mainstay in the kayaking world for decades - they are successful models that can stand the test of time.

Related Closed Kayaks

Old Town Canoe and Kayaks Loon 126: The Ultimate Recreational Kayak

With many reputable brands of kayaks produced over the decades, Old Town Canoe is another mainstay in the kayak world.

The Old Town Loon was designed with extra carrying capacity, whether carrying gear for big paddlers, paddlers with a lot of equipment, or companions to accompany them in the cockpit.

The New Old Town Loon - Designed to Perform, Built to Last

Three years ago, Old Town completely revamped one of its classic Loon kayaks, which had been around for over 20 years.

Instead of a traditional kayak, they created a kayak that offers innovative, one-of-a-kind features not available anywhere else (like a USB charging port).

Our Overall Review
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They raised the bar in innovation while maintaining supreme comfort and performance for paddlers of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. 'Ultimate RecreatiIt was their goal to create the 'Ultimate Recreational Kayak,' and they succeeded.

One plus-sized paddler said,

I have never used a better recreational Kayak than the 126. My height is six foot two inches, and I weigh 270 pounds, so I have plenty of room to move around and reach wherever I need to go, even with a PDF on and a five-year-old in front of me. For a wider kayak, this tracks exceptionally well and has a high-speed hull. I took the work deck out on a trip in the rain and waves, and I can attest that it is entirely waterproof. Long trips are made very comfortable with the new seat, and it is easy to adjust. There's a lot of storage space in the hatch, and I can't recall having used a better recreational kayak for trips on lakes and rivers. This is an excellent Kayak, especially if you have a large frame or need to carry a lot of gear.

The only complaint about this kayak was that the front carry handle appears to come apart frequently and is subpar. It is reasonable to expect better quality on some of the features of this kayak for the price paid.

However, this was the only complaint I could find about it. Everybody else loves the Loon 126!

As a result

The Old Town Loon has been in production for over 20 years for a good reason. Adding cutting-edge features like a USB charging port, a fully removable work deck, and the most advanced seating system has made Old Town the standard for recreational kayaks.

The Loon's spacious cockpit allows larger paddlers to enjoy all the advanced features without sacrificing comfort or stability. Kayakers of all sizes can use this Ultimate Recreational Kayak.

Related kayak brands to avoid

Kayak With The Most Features: BKC UH-RA220 11.5-foot Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

The Riptide Angler SOT from UH-RA220 has features like their two-person kayak. The company describes this kayak as the "Swiss Army Knife of solo fishing kayaks." A comfortable seat, a foot-operated rudder, flush-mounted rod holders, tons of cargo space that is watertight and easily accessible, and much more!

However, more to the point, BKC UH-RA220 has a weight capacity of 440 pounds. This kayak is perfect for a big guy who worries about fitting all his gear into it.

Our Overall Review
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Paddle performance is not compromised by its wide 34-inch beam, ensuring total stability. Most fishing kayaks are sturdy but feel like paddling in a bathtub, and Brooklyn Kayak Company has created a fishing kayak that is easy to paddle.

As with any kayak, you can stand up and fish from it, although some find that obnoxious. Despite the kayak's sturdiness, it isn't easy to feel standing up without a stability bar.

According to him,

You would be very off-balance trying to stand on your tippy toes with the feeting area on a downward slant.

Even with this flaw, the BCK UH-RA220 fishing kayak is worth considering.

In conclusion

Brooklyn Kayak Company has created another feature-rich kayak at a reasonable price. Whether you are looking for a fishing kayak for yourself or a significant other, you won't find one with more features than the UH-RA220.

The UH-RA 11.5 Riptide Angler has a weight capacity of 440 pounds and a beam of 34 inches, making it capable of accommodating any paddler. A kayak with this much gear will not be missed if you are looking for the perfect fishing kayak!

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The Perception Pescador 12 Kayak Is The Best Fishing Kayak For The Money.

Another stalwart in the kayaking industry, Perception, has created dozens of reliable and reputable brands of kayaks over the decades. That is certainly true of the Pescador Pro 12.

Perception Kayaks | Pescador Pro Overview

Pescador 12 is the right kayak for the serious angler looking for a fishing kayak with extra support and storage. This kayak fisherman's dream includes two molded tank wells, rod holders, cup holders, and an adjustable stadium seat.

Perception Pescador 12 has a weight capacity of 375 pounds, which should be sufficient for a significant angler and all his gear. Sitting on top of a kayak means not squeezing into a small cockpit or worrying about cutting circulation off to your legs.You will still get top performance from your fishing kayak with the Perception Pescador 12. While other fishing kayaks are incredibly stable and have many features, they are not as brutal as this kayak.

Only watertight compartments are missing from this kayak. However, some paddlers don't like reaching for them, and they take up much extra cargo space on the kayak.

A solid example from Perception is the Pescador 12. With all the features you need in a fishing kayak, you can get out on the water and catch fish quickly.

Perception Pescador 12, with a wide beam, extreme stability, and a 375-pound carrying capacity, is ideal for big guy anglers. As a fishing kayak, it performs well. Only the lack of watertight storage compartments should be considered. Other than that, this is an excellent buy for guys!

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The Best Offshore Kayak Is The Malibu Kayaks X-13 Fish And Dive Kayak

 X-13 is an impressive kayak, without a doubt. Malibu focused on building a fishing kayak that ticked all the boxes of a superior fishing kayak and didn't stop until they had made it.

The Truth about the Malibu Kayaks X-13 Fishing Kayak

Anyone looking for a kayak that meets any of the following criteria will find the X-13 Fish and Dive Kayak to be a perfect choice:

  • You need extra space if you're a big guy.
  • You like paddling with your young kids, spouse, or dog.
  • Knowing how to deal with choppy conditions when fishing in bays, oceans, or large lakes is essential.

The X-13 can address any of the above situations and more.

A 450-pound cargo capacity is one of the most impressive features of the X-13. This is a good option for big guys worried about sinking their kayak and anyone with a lot of gear to take with them on their kayak. The Jolly Roger is 13' 10" long, with plenty of storage space!

With multiple watertight storage compartments and front and rear bungee nets, the X-13 is ideal for extended fishing trips. You'll have enough room to store gear and provisions for a long, rough day.

It is essential not to overlook the dive function of the fish and dive kayak. A high weight capacity and impressive length allow plenty of space for storing dive gear such as tanks, fins, snorkels, masks, etc.

Dive or spearfish in an ocean environment, and you'll deal with waves ranging from a light chop to medium size. X-13s excel in conditions like these. Despite choppy or windy conditions, the X-13 paddles are straight and true.

Feature additions

The Malibu X-13 kayak has a couple of final points to mention. Several compartments on this kayak are watertight; their revolutionary Gator Hatch is the front compartment.

Taking its shape from a gator's head, the Gator Hatch has a triangular shape. Essentially, it is a storage unit stacked upon one another. Under the bungee net, you can store things under the top layer of the kayak. On top of that layer lies a middle layer. The middle layer provides space for additional gear, and the hull below allows for even more storage.

You can leave the middle layer entirely and store stuff in the hull. Malibu X-13 has a flip-up seat on the top layer of the gator hatch, so you don't have to remove the entire hatch to access the compartment. That's pretty neat!

Is that a flip-up seat I just mentioned? Of course, it is. Gator Hatches have molded seats at the top where a child can sit. It is entirely possible to take your little ones fishing with you. In addition, this kayak keeps you dry and stable to do so with peace of mind.

One user especially appreciated this feature. He said,

It's been a year since I bought this boat. My son (45 now 52 lbs.) is six now seven years old and sits on the front Gator Hatch child's seat. I'm 5'10" and 235 pounds. Taking my child for a ride in this kayak is just perfect! I love how stable yet fast it is.

Best Kayak for Big People At The Lowest Price: Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12

This is NOT the best kayak on this list. However, this starter kayak is suitable for big guys and girls, especially those just starting.

The main reason I include this kayak in this list is its affordability. It is, therefore, appealing. Because it wasn't expensive, many people can overlook its flaws.

The most consistent comment about this kayak is that it's pretty good for the price. Let's examine the Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12 in more detail. (sea kayak for a tall person)

Sun Dolphin Bali 12 SS

Positive points in Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12

As mentioned above, the Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12 kayak will be a great deal due to its price. Beginners often want to begin as cheaply as possible, just in case they decide it isn't their cup of tea. This is a good starter kayak for those unsure about trying a new hobby.

Many overweight people may be interested in kayaking to lose weight, which is fantastic. It's a low-impact exercise, and you usually do it in some of the most scenic places on Earth. How could you not like that?

The Bali 12 SS has an attractive price and comes with all the essential features: bungee nets for cargo storage, adjustable footpegs, watertight storage compartments (one of them is portable and can be pulled behind the kayak), and a paddle holder.

Furthermore, it performs reasonably well on stability and performance for a wide sit-on-top of 30 inches 12 feet long. Paddling with this kayak is good enough for most paddlers since it handles the basics well.

Negative points in Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12

Here's what's not so good. Despite being a sit-on-top kayak, many users have complained that getting into and out of it isn't easy. It happens because your bum is lower than your feet, throwing you off balance instead of being on an even plane.

The seat back supports you in the back but not in the booty. Some kayakers have purchased a separate hub or gel pad.

The seat in a kayak is also at the lowest point, so your booty will get wet. Typically, that's to be expected with SOT kayaks, but on this thing, there are no scupper holes, so the water accumulates instead of draining out. You shouldn't have any problems paddling this on flat lakes and rivers you should. The problem arises if you take the kayak out in choppy conditions or into the ocean (not recommended).

In conclusion

In our humble opinion, the best kayaks for big guys are the Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12 and The Malibu Kayaks X-13 Fish And Dive Kayak. They are reasonably priced and come with a fundamental and essential outfit.


Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best way to determine the right kayak size?

Make sure you fit comfortably inside your kayak for a pleasant water experience. A 12-foot-long boat may be more comfortable for someone 6 feet tall and weighing 225 pounds than a 10-foot-long kayak. Adjustable footrests in your kayak can help you adjust them to your height.

How long should a kayak be for someone 6 feet tall?

For a 6-foot-tall person, an average-length recreational kayak or a 12- to 14-foot day touring kayak will work well.

Is it possible to kayak if you weigh 350 pounds?

Kayaks have weight limits. Kayaks designed for recreational use have a weight limit of 250–300 pounds, kayaks for touring have a weight limit of 350 pounds, sit-on-top kayaks have a weight limit of 350–400 pounds, and tandem kayaks have a weight limit of 500–600 pounds.

How big is a 10 ft kayak?

If you're new to kayaking and plan to paddle primarily on lakes or slow-moving rivers, a 10-foot kayak is an excellent place to start. Recreational kayakers who like to venture out on the water with a small furry companion will also benefit from this length.