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Recommendation for the purchase of our first kayak

We are looking to buy a kayak.  It would be for someone who is 5' 11" and weighs about 240 lbs.  Do you have any recommendations.  It would be our first kayak purchase but we have kayaked before.  



5 Replies

@happytrailswatson Thanks for reaching out!

Kayaks are such a fun way to get out on the water! We're excited for you and happy to provide some insight. In order to provide the best recommendation, we'd appreciate it if you could answer a few more questions for us:

  • What kind of water are you planning on paddling? Lakes? Rivers (slow or fast)? Ocean?
  • Do you have a preference to a 'sit-in' or a 'sit-on-top' kayak?
  • What are your cargo needs for the kayak? Are you planning any longer/multi-day trips?
  • Are you using the kayak for fishing?

These questions will give us a really good idea of some kayak recommendations for you. Thanks!

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

@REI-JohnJ@REI-EricP  Lakes, Rivers, possible estuaries.  Do not have a preference but would like it to be easy in/out.  We are in our 60's.  Day trips only and not for fishing.

Eventually, we would be buying two, looking at one for hubby first.


Hi @happytrailswatson !  @REI-JohnJ is right about how much fun kayaks are.  I'm not an REI employee, but wanted to share with you that I am a big fan of Emotion Kayaks.  I have 5 Glide models, One for me, my mom, each kid and a spare.  These have served me and my family well for the last 10 years.  They are stable, easy to control, and comfortable.  

Looks like REI has the Emotion Revel 10, that looks like it would be easy to get in and out of, and would be a good choice for you.  Sit on-top kayaks are easier to get in and out of, but I think the sit-in style is better suited to your needs.

Good luck and enjoy!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

thanks!  Originally we thought we would buy tandem kayak - what are your thoughts on that?



Thanks for getting back to us with some more details on what you're looking for, it will definitely help guide our recommendation. Here are a couple of kayaks that are worth checking out:

There is a lot of really good information about choosing a kayak in this Expert Advice article on How to Choose a Kayak, we encourage you to check it out as well. All four of the kayaks listed above are wide (for stability on the water) and have pretty big cockpits (for ease in entry and exit), the smallest being the Eddyline Sky 10 at only 35 x 18.5. They give you a broad range of kayaks with hatches or without, depending on your preference. None come with rudders, but rather have shaped hulls that help promote tracking (holding a straight line while paddling). The longer kayaks will also track better simply on the merit of their length.

Lastly, in terms of a tandem kayak, that is definitely an option. You'll want to consider how much, if any, solo paddling you will be doing, as tandem kayaks are often great for two people and just okay for paddling alone. It is also worth taking into account how much more a tandem kayak weighs if you are considering a solo paddler. The Old Town Dirigo 155 Tandem Kayak is a good option to look at that has an adjustable stern seat to accommodate solo paddling.

Hopefully this helps, feel free to reach back out with any other questions! 

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