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Open Water Kayak: The Top 8 Ocean Kayaks

Top 8 Open Water Kayak in the Best Ocean Kayak

Top 8 Open Water Kayak in the Best Ocean Kayak

Updated on 6/20/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail πŸ‘‹ 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

Do you sense that the time has come for you to join the familiar and explore new territory? Or are you looking for open water kayak of adrenaline for no other reason?

In any event, venturing out onto the vast sea and giving ocean kayaking a shot will cause you to emerge from the experience a different person.

Kayaking on the open ocean will give you a fresh perspective on the sport. Having the most incredible ocean kayak to accompany you on your next journey is essential to a successful experience.

On the other hand, finding one is not as easy as it may sound, given the abundance of currently available choices.

With the help of this guide, I hope to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for you to select the sea kayak that best suits your needs!

If you click a link on this page and proceed to make a purchase, we may be eligible for a commission, but doing so will not result in any additional charges. Discover more by reading on.

Want It Now? The Study That Took 43 Hours to Complete:

Wilderness Systems Tempest 165

Wilderness Systems Tempest 165

Wilderness Systems Tempest 165

Why is it an improvement?

  • Design of a sit-inside kayak that combines stability, maneuverability, and efficiency for a comfortable and risk-free experience while traveling the ocean.
  • Because the hull is shaped, it cuts through the water like butter and is designed to be both quick and stable.
  • The TruTrak adjustable skeg makes it simple to alternate between maneuverability and easy tracking in a straight line.
  • All of the bungee rigging that is handily situated, three dry storage hatches, and a reflective safety line are included.
  • The Phase 3 AirPro XL seating allows you to remain in your kayak out in the open water for as long as you like without reducing the level of comfort you experience.
  • Integrated bulkheads that contribute to an increase in buoyancy.
  • Under challenging conditions, paddlers have better control over the kayak thanks to padded thigh braces and footrests that can be adjusted with ease.
  • Integrated nook for storing a compass on a kayak.

The All-Inclusive Guide To Your Marine 'Yak: The Best Ocean Kayak

Do you know that if you paddle a kayak through the ocean, you can go to some of the most beautiful hidden coves and cobblestone beaches the world has to offer?
The virtually limitless horizon, seagulls, and even the gorgeous coral reefs, which you can only see if you choose to get out of your kayak and go diving, are just some of the things that come with the package. You can only view the reefs if you decide to get out of your kayak and go diving.

1 Month Living From The Ocean In a 17ft Canoe

When it comes to kayaking in the ocean, the experience is more than enjoyable; yet, it does require careful preparation to be successful.

As an experienced paddler, I'll do everything I can to show you the many enticing aspects of ocean kayaking.

However, if you are new to paddling on open water, I would recommend that you read my guide on sea kayaking for beginners first.

Do You Need A Particular Kind Of Kayak To Go Into The Ocean?

Kayaking in open water presents paddlers with an entirely new set of challenges and opportunities. This thrilling and oh-so-rewarding experience has several facets, including powerful currents, regular ocean sprays, and the wind, all of which contribute to the overall excitement.

And you are correct; there will always be a threat posed by one of them. As a result, you require a one-of-a-kind kayak that is capable of handling the situation:

Ocean kayaks must endure and manage the powerful currents, changing tides, and anything else that open waters may throw at you. Includes the waves, which are something you won't experience while paddling in rivers.

Rough Water Sea Kayaking

Paddling a kayak that is not up to the challenge in the ocean can lead to a complete loss of control and, yes, even capsizing if the kayak is not up to the effort. There is no question about it.

If you want your kayak to withstand the ocean's more challenging currents and waves, you should seek one that is longer and thinner than the average kayak, which will allow your kayak to handle the conditions better.

Next, it must have a significant amount of storage space, not to mention a high weight capacity, because you always need to be ready for whatever comes your way, and there are always things that may surprise you. When you are a significant distance from the coast and do not have the right gear, abrupt changes in the conditions of the ocean and the weather could have devastating results.

To summarise, ocean kayaks must have exceptional tracking performance in addition to high levels of efficiency. The vast sea will do everything it can to toss your kayak off course; a rudder system or skeg can help you stay on track and continue paddling in the same direction as you were going before.

Which Model of Kayak is considered the Most Suitable for Use in the Ocean?

Which Model of Kayak is considered the Most Suitable

Which Model of Kayak is considered the Most Suitable

Regarding the performance of kayaks for paddling in the ocean, some models are more advantageous than others.

Touring kayaks, commonly referred to as "sea kayaks," are frequently thought to be the best alternative. That is primarily because they were designed with more expansive bodies of water in mind. It has superb handling and tracking capabilities thanks to a longer and more streamlined hull that has been tweaked to achieve them, making it more efficient than it has ever been on extensive excursions.

There is also the option of recreational kayaks; however, you should only consider purchasing one of these boats if you plan to paddle in calm bays and other coastal regions where the waves won't be too harsh.

It is not a good idea to use an inflatable kayak in the challenging waters of the ocean, even though it can be an incredible convenience when used in other conditions.

Out on the open water, you could, in theory, use any kayak as long as it fulfilled the following requirements:

  • Possesses a beam at least 14 feet long and between 20 and 36 inches in width; the length must be at least 14 feet.
  • It has a rocker that is not as visible, and it is designed with a hull in the shape of a V, which emphasizes secondary stability.
  • Have a center of gravity that is located lower than average
  • This design incorporates watertight storage hatches and integrated bulkheads, which are watertight chambers that increase buoyancy.Β 
  • Integrated bulkheads are also a component of this design.
  • It possesses a high degree of capability in maintaining its course and is outfitted with either a rudder system or a skeg that has the power of being retracted.
  • We are fashioned with thigh bracing and footrests to give the user a greater sense of control and support than would otherwise be possible. Β 

Sit-On-Top Models vs. Sit-In Kayaks: Is It Dangerous To Go Into The Ocean In A Kayak That Has A Sit-On-Top?

out and in

out and in

The two different types of kayaks each have their own set of benefits and drawbacks; nevertheless, the following criteria will ultimately determine which type of ocean kayak you will purchase:In what specific context do you intend to make use of it?

Sit-inside kayaks, often known as SIKs, have an advantage in challenging water conditions due to their enclosed cockpits, streamlined hulls, and lower centers of gravity. This fact becomes even more apparent when compared to several other types of kayaks. Sit-in kayaks offer a more comfortable and dry ride, enhanced handling and control, and higher efficiency, making them the ideal craft for ocean kayaking.

You do not want an ocean kayak with a high center of gravity, a wider beam, an open deck, or poor control in turbulent waters. These characteristics can cause the kayak to capsize, and all of these characteristics should be avoided when purchasing a sea kayak.

Keeping all of this in mind, here is how you should respond:

Keeping all of this in mind

Keeping all of this in mind

In general, a sit-on-top kayak is not built to withstand the rough conditions typical in open waters; a sit-in kayak would serve you better in nine out of ten cases if you were in this circumstance.

Despite this, you might still encounter an angler braving coastal waters in a specialized sit-on-top ocean fishing kayak, such as those produced by the Brooklyn Kayak Company (BLC website). These kayaks feature a tri-form hull design and flush mount rod holders for ocean fishing.

On the other hand, you should do so from the comfort and security of a boat when fishing in open water, which will make your experience much more enjoyable.

The discussion, on the other hand, isn't actually about sit-on-top kayaks versus sit-in kayaks all that much at all. It is essential to think about the kayak's configuration and its qualities, which brings me to my next point.

Considerations Before Selecting The Best Ocean Kayak

Now that you have a broad idea of the kind of kayak you'll need for your trip let's go over some additional factors you should consider while shopping for an ocean kayak.

Length and width are two dimensions that describe the ocean kayak.

Sit-On-Top Models vs. Sit-In Kayaks

Sit-On-Top Models vs. Sit-In Kayaks

Ocean kayaks often have longer lengths and narrower widths than recreational kayaks of the same type, and this is because ocean kayaks are designed to accommodate longer paddling distances. Ocean kayaks are easily distinguished from other kayaks thanks to their exceptional quality.

Most ocean kayaks have a length that runs anywhere from 12 to 18 feet, but the size of some tandem versions can reach up to 24 feet.

With a width ranging from 20 to 36 inches, they are noticeably more slender than the great majority of other varieties of kayaks, which their breadth can characterize. You will most definitely be giving up the steadiness that comes with having a giant beam, but you will gain effectiveness in exchange.

When it comes time to choose an ocean kayak, seasoned paddlers will likely provide the piece of advice that the longer the kayak, the better it will be for paddling in open water.

And while I can't argue with that, I do think it's imperative to take into account the added weight that comes with having a length of that magnitude:

Think about where you want to keep the kayak since not only will you need space for it, but you will also need a system created especially to keep boats. What are your plans for bringing it to and removing it from the water? Because of this same reason, you will likely require the purchase of a kayak trailer in addition to a cart to transport your kayaks unless you already possess an ample enough roof rack to accommodate the kayaks.

Length and width are two dimensions

Length and width are two dimensions

Pay Attention To The Shape Of The Hull Ocean kayaks

Have a propensity to feel excessively unstable when paddling in flat water, which is a desirable characteristic:

It would help if you looked for a kayak that has a feeling of instability even when paddling in calm waters and that has primary stability that is less than exceptional because this typically indicates a higher level of secondary stability. It would help if you also looked for a kayak with less than outstanding secondary stability.

For you to continue paddling in the rough waters, your kayak needs to have the ability to keep its stability and equilibrium even when the waves of the ocean have it tipped on its side.

The ability of a ship to keep its balance and remain stable on open water will be determined by several factors, some of which are its weight distribution, the symmetry of its design, and the materials used for the ship's hull. Nevertheless, the shape of the hull and its rocker also referred to as the curvature of the hull, is maybe the most significant thing to consider.

In light of this, you should go for an ocean kayak with a V-shaped hull since this offers the chance for enhanced secondary stability. Additionally, it would help if you are looking for a less obvious rocker because this will improve the tracking performance of the kayak.

The optimal weight that can be placed on a vehicle by law

The practice of sea kayaking frequently involves long-distance touring, which requires a greater quantity of equipment and provisions than the typical outing in a kayak:

The optimal weight that can be placed on a vehicle by law

The optimal weight that can be placed on a vehicle by law

  • Flotation aid for individual use (PFD)
  • Pulling lines
  • Spray skirt
  • Kayaking helmet
  • Kits for basic first aid and minor repairs
  • Not filled with peas emergency whistle
  • Navigational kayak lights
  • Paddle, leash, and floats are included.
  • Bilge pump
  • Secondary paddles, also known as backup paddles
  • Flotation bags (assuming the kayak doesn't already have bulkheads built into it)
  • Electronic tools for navigation, such as a compass and a GPS
    Do not even get me started on the necessity of bringing one's meals, high-energy snacks, water supplies, and any other personal gear that may be required.

For this reason, it is vitally necessary to get a sea kayak with a weight capacity suitable for the paddler's weight.

The tricky part is that you can't fill your kayak "to the brim," at least not if you want it to float after you've finished paddling it. That is a requirement if you want it to stay afloat. At any given time, the total weight of everything aboard, including your own body, should not exceed approximately 70 percent of the kayak's maximum capacity. This recommendation applies even if you are paddling solo.

Getting the appropriate size will ensure your comfort and give you more control.Β 

Getting the apfort and give you more control.

Getting the apfort and give you more control.

Here is some solid advice to keep in mind:

Make it a goal to find a sea kayak that fits you and the pair of pants that you find to be the most comfortable.

You want it to be comfortable to wear and have the "ideal" amount of stretch in it so that it can fulfill your needs. Because of this, the size of the cockpit, the amount of legroom available, and a seating system that is well-padded and provides support are all factors that matter more than you may think, particularly on more extended travels.

In addition, it is essential for you to control the kayak and how it "acts" while it is out on the water. Adjustable footrests and thigh braces, which should have the right fit for you, play a vital role in ensuring that you can exercise this control. These will be the primary contact points between you and the kayak whenever you are out on the water using the kayak, so be sure to pay attention to them.

Enough Capacity for Your Items

Enough Capacity for Your Items

Enough Capacity for Your Items

You have decided to go ocean kayaking. Therefore you should give some attention to the amount of equipment and other supplies, in addition to paddling gear, that you will require. Even though I have already supplied a list of items that ought to be in any sea kayaker gear, I have only scratched the surface of what is available.


Because it only takes a few fractions of a second for the water to become turbulent, you should constantly be ready for the likelihood that it will do so.

South Africa is included in Part I of the Ultimate Ocean Paddling Film.
The clichΓ© "less is more" does not apply to ocean kayaks in any way, shape, or form. It would help if you packed your things to leave as much room as possible for your paddling gear, so be sure to do so.

ocean paddling

It brings me to the second point that I would want to make:

You will discover that having built-in bulkheads, typically found in sit-in ocean kayaks, benefits you in more ways than one.

To get started, the kayak's incorporated bulkheads contribute to the enhanced buoyancy of the craft. These are the "walls" built into the kayak's hull on the inside, and they form watertight compartments. Because of the air trapped inside the kayak hull, it will continue to float even if the cockpit is submerged in water.

Even more so, bulkheads generally come hand in hand with watertight storage gates, which allow entry into these spaces and turn them into sealed, dry storage facilities. That is because bulkheads and watertight storage hatches are designed to work together, and this is because bulkheads are constructed to limit the passage of water into the area.

A Concise Discussion on the Numerous Alternatives That who Can obtain Regarding Tracking and Steering



It is essential to keep in mind that wind, waves, and currents can all have a significant impact on paddling performance. Ocean kayaks with more extended and leaner hulls tend to have better tracking, but this does not negate other factors' impact. When sailing in open waters, it is much easier to be blown off course by winds and currents than you might think.

When you find yourself in one of these predicaments, it is possible that "steering" solutions, particularly rudder systems and retractable skegs, will assist you in paddling in a straight line and keeping your path.

It is essential to keep in mind that you do not want the skeg to become a fixed part of the boat. The inability to make precise adjustments to the corrective component will have nothing but a negative impact on the way the kayak responds to paddle strokes.

Paddling Alone or Together: Which Is Better?

paddling alone or together

paddling alone or together

Tandem kayaks are a significantly safer alternative to paddling out on the water by oneself, making kayaking a lot more fun overall. They cost less than acquiring two separate kayaks and come at a lower total price.

However, who will test your capacity to collaborate as a group, and you will be required to cooperate and make a lot of concessions.

Take on the Water in a Double Kayak and Paddle Through the Waves.


When deciding which type of kayak is appropriate for the ocean, you should consider that tandem kayaks are not only heavier but also longer than solo kayaks.

Top 8 Reviews and Recommendations for Ocean Kayaks

1. Boreal Design Baffin P3 PE Skeg Sea Kayak

1. Boreal Design Baffin P3 PE Skeg Sea Kayak

1. Boreal Design Baffin P3 PE Skeg Sea Kayak

Larger Paddlers' Best Ocean Kayak

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Let's kick things off with the Baffin from Boreal, a 17.5-foot kayak designed for taller paddlers who frequently have trouble finding enough space and legroom in their craft.

When one considers the yak's size, it possesses an incredible talent and quickness for its size. Better tracking performance is possible because of the retractable skeg, which also helps enhance handling significantly overall.

In addition, it gives you several different storage options, has a capacity of up to 300 pounds, and still manages to give you the impression that there is plenty of room and comfort inside it.

You have the most control possible with the Baffin P3 since it enables you to accelerate without effort, has exceptional turning ability, and is quite responsive to the paddler's body motions. However, there will be a fee associated with it.

Our Overall Review
Read full review

Specifications and Data
Paddle craft with a seated cockpit made of polyethylene
17.5 feet by 2 feet, 65.8 pounds, with a capacity of 300 pounds.


  • A hull with many chine lines provides increased stability.
  • Controlled from the cockpit.
  • Maintains a good course without sacrificing its capacity to maneuver.
  • Seating is both comfortable and provides ample legroom for even the tallest paddlers.
  • Bungee rigging as well as several different storage compartments.


  • The skeg gets hung up quickly and might not last long.
  • It's a little vulnerable to things like weathercocking.
  • The P3 model is one of the more expensive options.
    The Baffin P3 is an attractive option for taller paddlers interested in venturing out onto the wide water since it is secure, sturdy, adaptable, and predictable in a positive way.

2. Wilderness Systems Tempest 165

2. Wilderness Systems Tempest 165

2. Wilderness Systems Tempest 165

The Best Kayak for the Ocean, Overall

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The first Wilderness Systems kayak on the list is the Tempest 165, a sit-inside model measuring 16.5 feet in length and featuring the incredibly comfortable Phase 3 AirPro seating. Just thinking about that makes you want to remain on the water for as many hours as possible.

Integrated bulkheads provide more buoyancy and space than those used for dry storage. In that regard, you will receive a capacity of three hundred pounds, several dome-shaped hatches, and a large number of bungee tie-downs.

This kayak is not one that I would recommend to someone just starting. However, when piloted by someone who knows what they are doing, the Tempest 165 demonstrates unparalleled speed, tracking performance, and maneuverability.

It also has the distinctive TruTrak adjustable skeg system, which enables smooth transitions from manueverability to tracking depending on the conditions of the water.

Specifications and Data
Paddle craft with a seated cockpit made of polyethylene
16.5 feet by 1.7 feet, 55 pounds, with a capacity of 300 pounds


  • Multiple airtight compartments and bungee cord rigging are available.
  • Seating with Phase 3 AirPro technology for maximum all-day comfort.
  • It offers a combination of speed and agility that is highly addictive.
  • Retractable skeg for better tracking.


  • It is not a suitable choice for paddlers who are just starting.
  • This kayak is not the most cost-effective option.
  • It could be pretty tricky to navigate, depending on your level of expertise.
    To get the most out of Tempest 165, you'll need a steady hand and a lot of patience. But you're ready to paddle like a pro. The adaptability and speed of this board will live up to the expectations of even the most extreme adventurers!

3. Perception Carolina 14

3. Perception Carolina 14

3. Perception Carolina 14

The Finest Ocean Kayak for Leisure Use

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Are you seeking a yak that can handle the peaceful waters as well as the turbulent waves of the ocean? You will adore the Perception Carolina 14; that is certain.

This sit-inside kayak is only 14 feet long and weighs only 49 pounds, making it a more viable choice than my previous two recommendations.

It is nonetheless laden with features geared toward comfort, including a roomy cockpit that facilitates easy entry and footrests that can be adjusted in a flash.

It has front and rear dry storage hatches, a capacity of up to 300 pounds, and built-in buoyancy, which is always a benefit in sit-inside ocean kayaks. Additionally, it has built-in buoyancy, which is usually a plus.

Despite all of the benefits it offers, the exceptionally comfortable DLX seat did not manage to wow me. Paddling for long distances requires as much comfort as you can, but I'm not convinced this one has what it takes to meet those requirements.

Detailed Specifications:
Sit-inside kayak
Construction made of polyethylene
14 by 2 feet, 49 pounds, with a capacity of 300 pounds


  • Robust structure with integrated buoyancy for increased levels of safety.
  • Suitable for beginners and intermediate-level paddlers,
  • Maintains good tracking even without the skeg,
  • For an ocean kayak, light in weight and not prohibitively expensive.


  • Lacking the necessary comfort for extended periods of paddling
  • Turning can be complex and calls for considerable practice and familiarity.
  • It does not include a rudder in the package.
    You can depend on the Carolina 14 whether you are a beginner or an intermediate-level paddler because it is an all-around kayak. However, it is more stable in calm waters, so I would recommend it for paddling in clear waters close to shore.

4. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125

4. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125

4. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125

The Most Effective Ocean Kayak For Novices

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I want to present you to Tsunami 125 if you saw Tsunami 145 on the water and fell in love with it but thought it would be too big for you.

However, despite its diminutive size, it has all of the capabilities of its larger sibling, the 145.

It weighs 51 pounds, is considered "just right," and has a length of 12.7 feet, slightly shorter than the usual for ocean kayaks. As a direct consequence of this, it is remarkably agile, maneuverable, and easy to paddle.

In addition, the adjustable Phase 3 AirPro seat and the roomy cockpit of this kayak were developed explicitly with all-day paddling excursions in mind.

Thanks to its capacity of up to 300 pounds and its two dry storage compartments, you won't have any trouble loading up all of your gear. In addition, it has two mesh storage bags that can remove from the deck.

Paddleboarders of a greater stature may find themselves in a more confined space than others.

Specifications and Data
Rotomolded polyethylene structure sit-inside kayak with rotomolding technology
12.7 feet by 2.1 feet, 51 pounds, with a capacity of 300 pounds


  • Excellent for paddlers of all levels of expertise and inexperience.
  • Because of its generous size, the cockpit is relatively easy to access and exit.
  • An extremely comfy seating system, the Phase 3 AirPro.
  • Because of the way it was constructed, it possesses fantastic secondary stability.


  • It's possible that taller paddlers won't have adequate legroom.
  • Does not include a rudder control system in the package.
  • When you're out on the water, it can be challenging to reseal the hatch covers.
    The Tsunami 125 is a day-touring kayak that places a premium on the paddler's comfort. When adding stability and smooth tracking to the mix, you have a dependable companion to navigate the broad ocean.

5. Pelican Sprint 120XRΒ 

5. Pelican Sprint 120XR

5. Pelican Sprint 120XR

Low-Cost Ocean Kayaks: The Best Option

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Pelican's Sprint 120XR is the appropriate choice to take on the challenges presented by rough waves if you are prepared to have some fun in rough seas.

Because of the way the hull is constructed with a deep V chine, it considerably improves the kayak's secondary stability, maintains responsiveness, and provides a good return on the work expended.

On the other hand, its responsive nature is not the best choice for someone just starting sea kayaking.

In addition, the Sprint 120XR is an excellent choice for paddlers at the intermediate level and working toward developing greater self-assurance and comfort with their paddling abilities. A stern bulkhead also provides the vessel with some additional buoyancy, which is essential.

Because it is only 12 feet long and weighs 50 pounds, it is on the smaller side, making it easier to handle both on and off the water. It still has a surprising capacity of 325 pounds, which is quite impressive.

Specifications and Data
Paddle craft with a seated cockpit made of polyethylene
12 feet by 2.3 feet, 50 pounds, with a capacity of 325 pounds


  • bungee deck rigging, a rear quick-lock hatch, and a day hatch that is 4 inches in diameter
  • The stern bulkhead increases the buoyancy.
  • Keel extension that is already built in for improved tracking.
  • The hull's deep V-chine increases the secondary stability.
  • Budget-friendly


  • It's possible that the sensitivity to all of your body motions won't work for novices.
  • It may be challenging to empty the kayak.
  • There is not a paddle provided.
    The advantages of the Sprint 120XR include enhanced secondary stability and responsiveness to movements, a gorgeous design, and a reasonable price tag.

6. Perception Kayaks Expression 11.5

6. Perception Kayaks Expression 11.5

6. Perception Kayaks Expression 11.5

The Ideal Sea Kayak for Shorter Expeditions

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Regarding ocean kayaks, Expression 11.5 from Perception kayaks is the one that does it all. Because of its adaptability, forgiving handling, compact size, and comfortable seating, it is the ideal ocean kayak for straightforward day adventures on the vast water.

With only 44 pounds, moving and carrying it is a breeze. Therefore, if you are shorter than average, this 11.5-foot yak is the perfect size for you to ride.

Even when the boat is submerged in water, it is simple to enter and exit the cockpit because of its generous size. Nevertheless, adjusting the seating while paddling might be challenging; thus, I recommend doing so before setting out on the excursion.

This yak has a capacity of only 250 pounds, which means that it does not offer much storage space. If you're going on a shorter trip, it can accommodate all of your necessary boating gear, but you shouldn't bank on it for longer excursions.

Specifications and Data
Paddle craft with a seated cockpit made of polyethylene
11.5 feet by 2.1 feet, 44 pounds, with a capacity of 250 pounds


  • Design that is not only lightweight but also compact and easy to carry.
  • Large and straightforward to get into the cockpit.
  • A skeg that can be retracted to increase its tracking performance.
  • Enhanced buoyancy that is already built-in.
  • Affordable entry-level kayak for beginners.


  • It can be challenging to adjust the seat when on the water.
  • Because of the limited load capacity, lengthy journeys are not recommended.
  • It's possible that experienced paddlers won't find it to be tough enough.
    It could be a good choice for someone looking for an entry-level kayak. Expression 11.5 is a prime example of the proverbial adage that "the best things come in little packages" is true.

7. Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135

7. Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135

7. Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135

Among the Top Tandem Ocean Kayaks

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The Pamlico 135 from Wilderness Systems is the third kayak from that company to make it onto my list of the most incredible ocean kayaks. It only shows that these people know what they're doing when designing high-quality kayaks, which should have been evident by now.

If you have a chance to be in the company of someone who shares your passion for the water, the Pamlico 135, a two-person sit-inside with a capacity of 500 pounds, will be the ideal choice for the two of you.

The best part is that it can be converted into a kayak for one person whenever that is more convenient, even though it is typically more challenging to steer in that configuration.

In terms of storage, it does come equipped with a dry storage hatch in the back, but you'll have to squeeze all of your belongings into the cockpit itself.

Once more, I want to express how much I value the comfort and support for my back that the Phase 3 AirPro chairs provide. You can locate that "sweet spot" for longer journeys because of the additional flexibility.

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • This best-selling tandem offers performance for pairs
  • Converts with ease to solo use for a great day on the water
  • Features a signature rounded hull that delivers swift acceleration, helping you paddle longer distances faster
  • Phase 3 AirPro seats - fully adjustable, ergonomic seating with ventilated mesh to keep you cooler
  • Thigh and knee padding for comfortable support and optimal boat control
  • Large, padded foot rests for support and comfort; easy to adjust locking lever to accommodate paddlers of different heights
  • Dry storage hatch in rear to keep your gear secure and dry

Things we don't like:

  • Requires two people to operate
  • May be difficult to transport and store due to its size
  • Limited maneuverability compared to smaller kayaks
  • Can be challenging to navigate in narrow or shallow waterways
  • May not be suitable for solo use in rough or windy conditions
  • Not ideal for individuals looking for a lightweight or compact kayak
Show more
Read full review

Specifications and DataPolyethylene construction sit-inside tandem kayak with a cockpit for each paddler13.5 feet by 2.5 feet, 72 pounds, with a capacity of 500 pounds


  • The back support and comfort of Phase 3 AirPro seats are guaranteed.
  • Who can transform it into a kayak for one person, and the stern bulkhead foam provides additional buoyancy.
  • A cockpit that is relatively roomy in size


    Paddling by oneself can be a little bit difficult.A single wet storage hatch and bungee rigging that is kept to a minimum.It's on the more substantial side.It doesn't feature a rudder.The Pamlico 135 from Wilderness Systems is a two-person ocean kayak that is both sturdy and comfortable and should be considered seriously if you intend to enjoy your ocean experiences with another person.

8. Perception Conduit

8. Perception Conduit

8. Perception Conduit

The Ideal Ocean Kayak for Paddling Along Coastal Waters on Day Trips
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What if you're primarily interested in day trips around the shore, where the waves are usually relatively calm? In that scenario, this kayak, which is 13 feet long, might be the ideal choice for you:

The cockpit of the Conduit 13 is roomy, making it simpler to enter and exit the vehicle. There is also sufficient space for passengers to move around, making day tours a pleasant experience. The extra-cushioned seat and the foot supports that can be adjusted quickly add to the overall quality of the experience.

In terms of storage, it features two water-tight hatches for dry storage and front and rear bungee rigging, with a capacity of 295 pounds.

Additionally, the chined hull contributes to the kayak's overall stability, and the bulkhead flotation foam helps to increase the kayak's buoyancy.

The reactivity of this yak is also something to admire, which is a plus. On the other hand, I wish it came with a skeg or rudder system so I could fine-tune the tracking.

Specifications and Data
Paddle craft with a seated cockpit made of polyethylene
13 feet by 2.2 feet, 51 pounds, with a capacity of 295 pounds


  • A sizable cockpit with a seating area that is at least passably comfortable.
  • Options for sufficient storage for journeys lasting more than a day.
  • Flotation foam for the bulkhead, designed to boost buoyancy.
  • A blend between stability and maneuverability that is suitable for novices.


  • Larger paddlers may get the impression that it's unsteady.
  • Because of the high bow, it is subject to weathercocking.
  • It won't keep as much of a straight course without the rudder.
    The Conduit 13 was designed with the user's ease of movement and comfort. As long as you stay inside the coastal waters, it provides all you could require for day touring adventures.

Last Words For The Best Ocean Kayak

Last Words for the Best Ocean Kayak

Last Words for the Best Ocean Kayak

Kayaking out in the open ocean is sure to produce some truly unforgettable experiences, the likes of which may be brought back to life by the simple aroma of salt in the kitchen.

But the seas of the ocean can be unpredictable, so you need a yak that's just right for you.

Even though you cannot go wrong with any of my top recommendations, the Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 is deserving of the title of a most excellent ocean kayak.


Do I need to mention anything else about the industry-leading Phase 3 AirPro seating system, the TruTrak adjustable skeg system, the various dry storage compartments, and the hull form that glides through the water without compromising stability?

It is your golden ticket to witnessing marine life in all its beauty without worrying about your safety. Open water kayak on the ocean is guaranteed to result in some experiences that will stick with you for a lifetime.