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Gear Recommendation: What's the best kayak for tall person?

I am 6'1" and about 220 lbs, I'm looking for a touring sea kayak with ample leg and foot room. Of REI's offerings, which would possibly fit a tall person the best? Thanks.

4 Replies

Hi @Jagmonk and great question. As a kayaker myself clocking in at 6'1" and 2xx lbs (clears throat) I think I can provide some insight.

I'm not sure where you plan on kayaking, but I have found that an all-round sit-on-top has suited my larger frame really well. Getting in and out of the cockpit on a sit-in-kayak has been a challenge at times. For more info on the difference, check this out!

If a sit-on-top seems right, here are a couple of recommendations, including what I personally paddle.

The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 is the kayak I paddle most often. This 12-footer has a comfortable seat and adjustable foot plates. I can stretch my legs out completely in this boat when I want to just relax, or I can pull my legs up closer when I want the power to get moving. This boat also tracks nicely but is very stable -- it can support up to 350 lbs. I've put my niece in the back of it, and we were in great shape.

You can find some other great options from brands like Perception, Ocean Kayak, Eddyline, and more here . No matter what brand you go with, I would recommend at least an 11.5 foot length based on your build. Also, take a peek at the pictures and make sure the kayak has different options for placing your feet, whether its different notches or adjustable foot pads.

Hope this helps and have fun on the water!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-EricP I'll mostly be in Puget sound and surrounding waters, but I also want to explore lakes/rivers out as far east as Montana and as south as Oregon too so a sit-in is a must.  I have paddled a WS Tsunami 140 and 145 and I have found that the leg area is cramped, repositioning my legs within them was limited. I'm hoping that boats like the Delta 17, or Eddyline fathom would be forgiving for long legs, big feet. I regret not being able to try out boats before the shutdown, kayaking would be the perfect social distancing outdoor activity.


@Jagmonk Thanks for clarifying for us a little bit!

Like @REI-EricP, I am also a kayaker who comes in at 6' and XXX lbs (clears throat louder). I can also lend a little insight into a couple of options that might work for you.

My kayak of choice is the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120. The cockpit is very large and makes it easy(ish) to get in and out of. I find that there is abundant room for my size 13 feet and plenty of leg room. The only drawback is that it is likely too short for open water paddling. It excels on lakes and rivers, however, the wide cockpit makes for a wide boat that will not give you the speed and tracking you'll find in longer, narrower boats.

The best kayak for you may be the Eddyline Sitka XT Kayak. It is specifically designed with larger paddlers in mind to give them more leg room. At just over 15 feet long it should be able to also give you some of the touring performance you're looking for while also being fun to paddle on lakes and rivers.

Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-JohnJnailed it with the Eddyline Sitka XL. This kayak used to be called the Denali and is a real blessing to folks who need some extra room. Have fun @Jagmonk !

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.