12 Best Lightweight Hard Shell Kayak – All You Need to Know

  • By: Rachel Marble
  • Date: June 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 14 min.

We need a kayak to have a ride to rivers and lakes to enjoy on our own. Many people prefer buying a kayak made up of hard shell material because it is the one that offers higher stability and is also stronger than other kayaks. These are also more durable and long-lasting.

We have tested a number of hard shell kayaks and mentioned the best ones in this guide. You can review them all and find the most suitable and best lightweight hard shell kayak that could meet your needs.

Let’s have a look at them!

Comparison Chart

ProductBrandColorWeightSeating CapacityPrice
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10Old Town Canoes & KayaksCloud47 poundsOneView Latest Price
Lifetime Payette Sit Inside KayakLifetimeOrange46 poundsOneView Latest Price
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-ft Sit-in KayakSUNDOLPHINLime40 poundsOneView Latest Price
Perception Hi Life 11 Hybrid KayakPerception KayaksDapper55 poundsOneView Latest Price
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational KayakOcean KayakSunrise57 poundsTwoView Latest Price
Emotion Guster Sit-Inside KayakEmotion KayaksOrange48 poundsOneView Latest Price
Pelican – Sprint XR Sit-in KayakPelicanNeptune/White/Cyan41 poundsOneView Latest Price
Pelican Maxim 100X Recreational KayakPelicanYellow36 poundsOneView Latest Price
Perception Kayaks Carolina Sit Inside Touring KayakPerception KayaksDapper49 poundsOneView Latest Price
Lifetime Youth Wave KayakLifetimePink18 poundsOneView Latest Price
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing KayakLifetimeTan56.5 poundsOneView Latest Price
SUNDOLPHIN Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing KayakSUNDOLPHINOlive44 poundsOneView Latest Price

12 Top-Rated and Best Lightweight Hard Shell Kayak

1. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10

Key Specifications

BrandOld Town Canoes & Kayaks
Item Weight47 pounds
ColorCloud
Seating CapacityOne

Features

This kayak is considered the best lightweight hard shell kayak manufactured by Old Town Canoes and Kayaks models because it is available in lightweight and is also made up of hard shell material. You can get this kayak in cloud color and it comes with one seating capacity. It means it is suitable for only one person. 

Do not overweight this kayak because you will lose balance when riding it on the water. This kayak is suitable for lakes, rivers, and coasts. We can say this kayak is best for beginners to learn how to paddle. 

This kayak has been made up of a durable material that lets it last for a long time. It comes with adjustable and comfortable seats. Its padded seats let you stay comfortable during your ride so you can stay there for a long time.

Our Verdict

We recommend you buy this kayak if you want to visit slow-moving rivers, ponds, and lakes for a long time.

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“I am super excited to try this kayak out. I bought it due to its wide cockpit to keep my 50 pounds dog with me while riding”

Pros
  • Durable
  • Strong
  • Easy to access
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Difficult to clean

2. Lifetime Payette Sit Inside Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandLifetime
Item Weight46 pounds
ColorOrange
Seating CapacityOne

Features

Lifetime Payette Sit Inside Kayak is a durable and long-lasting kayak that makes it the best lightweight hard shell kayak manufactured by this brand. You can get this kayak in orange color which makes you easily visible in the water. This kayak is UV-resistant which means it does not get damaged due to harmful rays of sunlight.

You are provided with great strength and stability when you ride it on the water. You can ride it even if the pressure of the wind is high. You can easily handle this kayak. This kayak also comes with some extra storage space to let you put some other stuff with you.

If you have a pet and want to enjoy the ride with it, you can take your pet with you. This kayak comes with a weight capacity of 250 pounds so make sure you do not overweight it.

Our Verdict

We suggest you buy this kayak because it comes with multiple footrest positions and a large cockpit with a backseat to comfort you.

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“After looking at a lot of kayaks online and in stores, I bought this kayak a month ago. After using it twice, I am completely satisfied with the purchase”

Pros
  • Comes with 5-year warranty
  • Long-lasting
  • UV-resistant
Cons
  • Slow in water

3. SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-ft Sit-in Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandSUNDOLPHIN
Item Weight40 pounds
ColorLime
Seating CapacityOne

Features

Are you looking for the best lightweight hard shell kayak? Do you want a durable kayak? Do you want to have a trip to a small water body? If yes, then you must have a look at this kayak manufactured by the SUNDOLPHIN brand which never compromises on the quality of its products.

This kayak comes with one seat but it is not padded. So, if you want to ride the kayak for a long time, this one might not be suitable for you. For your information, the weight of this kayak is about 40 pounds which means it is light in weight.

You can get this kayak in lime color and it also comes in standard style. There is no texture or design on this kayak so some people may not find it attractive. This kayak also comes with a water bottle holder and carrying handles.

Our Verdict

You can get this kayak if you are looking for an affordable and simple kayak for yourself offering low weight capacity.

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“I used this kayak on the Lake Isabella and Kern River, and I love this kayak. It is also cat friendly to fit my cat perfectly!”

Pros
  • Convenient gear storage
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Water bottle holder
Cons
  • Not suitable for a long ride on the water

4. Perception Hi Life 11 Hybrid Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandPerception Kayaks
Item Weight55 pounds
ColorDapper
Seating CapacityOne

Features

We have mentioned this kayak which comes in a stylish design. So, it would be worth buying in 2022 because it is not only made up of a hard shell and is stronger than others but also enhances your personality. You can click amazing pictures while riding this kayak.

Let us tell you it is the best lightweight hard shell kayak to buy in 2022. It is a sit-on-top kayak that provides you with an amazing experience of paddling. This kayak might not be suitable for beginners so it would be best if you buy it when you are an expert.

You can get this kayak in dapper color. If you are not familiar with this color, let us tell you it is a combination of black and blue color which looks amazing when applied on a kayak. The shape of this kayak is also remarkable and no one can resist riding it at least once.

Our Verdict

We suggest you buy this kayak if you know how to paddle and how to handle the kayak in different weather conditions.

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“It is very easy to maintain this kayak and the stability of this kayak is unbelievable. The rear deck easily holds a cooler crate when I need it”

Pros
  • Stylish
  • Attractive color and design
  • Extra storage space
Cons
  • Not suitable for beginners

5. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandOcean Kayak
Item Weight57 pounds
ColorSunrise
Seating CapacityTwo

Features

This kayak has been manufactured by Ocean Kayak brand which is one of the famous kayak manufacturing brands. It comes with a seating capacity of two which means it lets two people enjoy a trip to the lake, or river together. So, you can enjoy kayaking with your friend or partner. The choice is yours!

This kayak also offers you some extra space where you can keep your personal stuff like a purse, food, jacket, etc. If you have a pet with you like a cat or dog, you can keep a pet mat, toys, pet food, etc., in the extra compartments. 

This kayak is made up of high-quality material so it does not get damaged due to the scratches of pets. The weight of this kayak is 57 pounds and it can easily bear the weight of two adults. You can get it in sunrise color.

Read also: Best 2 Person Inflatable Kayaks

Our Verdict

We suggest you buy this kayak if you are looking for a hard shell kayak for two people with an amazing appearance.

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“I went on this kayak with one other person as well as my dog, it easily handled the weight of three of us and offered great stability and rigidity”

Pros
  • More weight capacity
  • Suitable for two people
  • Comes with sit-on-top hull
Cons
  • Slow in water
  • Difficult to clean

6. Emotion Guster Sit-Inside Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandEmotion Kayaks
Item Weight48 pounds
ColorOrange
Seating CapacityOne

Features

Searching for hard shell kayak that is suitable for you? Do you know what factors to consider? Let us tell you that determining your needs is the first and foremost task to perform. You can then review a number of kayaks and indicate which one is the best for you that could meet your needs, requirements, and expectations. 

If you are looking for a durable and strong kayak for yourself to have a ride to the river or lake, you must have a look at this kayak manufactured by Emotions Kayaks brand. This kayak is available in two colors i.e. lime green and orange. Get the one you like!

No doubt, both these colors are bright and easily visible to others. So, if you need the help from someone, you can call upon anyone and seek help in no time being visible on the water. The weight of this kayak is about 48 pounds and is suitable for only one person. Its seat is not adjustable.

Read also: Best One Person Inflatable Kayak

Our Verdict

If you are looking for an affordable and easy-to-handle kayak, we would recommend you to buy this one that comes with a padded seat.

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“I have bought many kayaks and tried them out but this kaya is better than all of them. I am really enjoying this kayak as it is responsive and solid”

Pros
  • Long-lasting
  • High performance
  • Easy transport
Cons
  • Seat cannot be adjusted
  • Available in only two colors

7. Pelican – Sprint XR Sit-in Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandPelican
Item Weight41 pounds
ColorNeptune/White/Cyan
Seating CapacityOne

Features

This hard shell kayak Weighs 41 pounds which makes it light in weight. This kayak cannot be folded so you have to keep it in the roof rack for traveling purposes. You can get this kayak in a stylish design and texture that no one can take his eyes off this kayak.

This kayak is available in a combination of three colors i.e. cyan, white, and Neptune. You are provided with a royal look when you ride it. It is a sit-in kayak so do not try to stand in it for riding it. For your information, this kayak is suitable for beginners as well as the experts as it is easy to use and handle. 

You do not have to spend time setting this kayak up because it is not foldable. Just take it out of the kayak car roof rack and go kayaking. It also comes with extra storage compartments so you can keep other stuff with you but not another human being.

Our Verdict

We would suggest you buy this kayak if you are interested in getting a stylish lightweight kayak with one seat and extra compartments. 

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“This kayak is well built and comes with a bulkhead behind the seat that does not let the water get in from the seating area”

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Attractive
  • Strong body
  • High stability level
  • Offers extra floatation
Cons
  • Not suitable for larger water bodies

8. Pelican Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandPelican
Item Weight36 pounds
ColorYellow
Seating CapacityOne

Features

Are you in search of the best hard shell kayak? Have you checked out the kayaks of the Pelican brand? If not, you are missing out on a masterpiece. Pelican Maxim 100X is one of the best kayak models manufactured by the Pelican brand that will surely meet your needs if you want a lightweight and strong kayak.

This kayak is the best for recreational purposes. Want to go on a trip to a lake? Get this kayak! Want to learn how to paddle? Buy this kayak! Need an affordable and stylish kayak? Go and buy this kayak, what are you waiting for!

This kayak is available in yellow color which looks amazing when you ride it on the water. It is a sit-in kayak so you can enjoy paddling comfortably. It also comes with a front hatch with bungee cords and a rear tank well mesh deck. A lot of storage is offered to you for storing your personal items.

Our Verdict

If you want a stable, safe, and comfortable kayak, you must prefer buying this kayak because it is also light in weight and is made up of durable material.

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“I am new to kayaking, so when I decided to buy this kayak, I wanted something I could handle on my own weight and length wise. This kayak looked perfect! I had a ride on it last night. Very pleased!”

Pros
  • Weighs only 36 pounds
  • Padded backrest
  • Safe ride
  • Easy transportation
Cons
  • Not suitable for rough weather conditions

9. Perception Kayaks Carolina Sit Inside Touring Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandPerception Kayaks
Item Weight49 pounds
ColorDapper
Seating CapacityOne

Features

Perception Kayaks is one of the best kayak manufacturing brands that offer its customers durable products and efficient services. You will never be disappointed by its products as all the kayaks are made up of high-quality materials. The needs of the customers are considered for the production of its kayaks to satisfy them.

This kayak is the best hard shell kayak you are looking for. Hard shell material has been used for the manufacturing of this kayak that making it durable and long-lasting. It does not get damaged due to external issues like hitting a sharp edge, or the claws of a pet.

The weight of this kayak is 49 pounds so it offers great stability when you ride it on the water. You are also offered high rigidity. We all need a kayak that is comfortable so this kayak takes care of your health and offers you an adjustable backrest. Thigh pads have also been added to provide you with more comfort.

Read also: Best Kayak for Pets

Our Verdict

We recommend you buy this kayak if you want to ride the kayak for a long time and stay comfortable riding it. It is also strong and stylish, so it would be worth buying.

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“I am so happy with this purchase! It is a lightweight kayak which is enough for me according to my weight and height. It is also a good crossover/hybrid option”

Pros
  • Padded seats
  • Comfortable backrest
  • Adjustable footrests
  • High versatility
Cons
  • Transporting is not easy

10. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandLifetime
Item Weight18 pounds
ColorPink
Seating CapacityOne

Features

Lifetime brand offers a wide variety of kayaks made up of different materials. Here you can find the kayaks for adults as well as kids. This Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is one of the best kayaks for kids that is made up of hard shells. The use of this material makes it durable and strong.

It is a water-resistant and UV-resistant kayak that lasts for a long time and does not get damaged easily. This kayak is available in pink color and also comes with paddles that make it easy for the kids to ride on the water. You can get it when you go to the pool with your family. 

This kayak is also good for your kid to learn how to paddle as there are molded finger handles on each side of this kayak. Your kid gets enhanced stability so you do not have to worry about your kid and enjoy swimming in the pool.

Our Verdict

If you want a lightweight hard shell kayak for you kids under five years, get this kayak which comes with paddles and is also affordable

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“This kayak and its paddles are sturdy and easy to manage in the water. They also fit in a small SUV easily. So, it is a great purchase!”

Pros
  • Helps to learn how to paddle
  • Very light in weight
  • Comes with paddles on both sides
Cons
  • Only for kids
  • Low weight capacity
  • Only suitable for pools

11. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandLifetime
Item Weight56 pounds
ColorTan
Seating CapacityOne

Features

This kayak is the best for the experts to enjoy a ride to a lake or slow-moving river. It can be easily handled by the experts if the weather is quite rough but we suggest you avoid kayaking when the weather is too rough and extreme. 

The weight of this kayak is 56.5 pounds and is made up of a hard shell. It is a durable kayak that has a long life if well maintained. It does not get damaged due to harmful UV rays so do not worry about its body, just take care of your skin which can get burned due to harmful rays of the sunlight.

You can get this kayak in tan color which provides you a professional vibe. You can also use this kayak for fishing. Its front and rear t-handles make it easy to transport from one place to another.

Our Verdict

We recommend you buy this kayak if you want a strong, UV-resistant, and comfortable kayak. It also offers high stability when you ride it on the water. 

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“This kayak is extremely stable, fast enough for my needs, lightweight, tracks straight and holds all my track and gear”

Pros
  • Easy transport
  • UV-protected material
  • Adjustable padded seat back
Cons
  • Not suitable for beginners

12. SUNDOLPHIN Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

Key Specifications

BrandSUNDOLPHIN
Item Weight44 pounds
ColorOlive
Seating CapacityOne

Features

This kayak has been manufactured by a reputable brand names SUNDOLPHIN which has used a hard shell for its manufacturing. This kayak comes with a seating capacity of one which makes it suitable for only one person. But if you have a pet, you can take it with you.

The weight of this kayak is about 44 pounds and it can handle the weight of only one adult. You can get this kayak in olive color which is not a bright color but some people like this color who are not interested in bright colors. 

This kayak is the best for rivers and lakes due to its structure and weight. You can also visit fishing spots using this kayak. If you want to learn how to paddle, this kayak would be the best. Moreover, it is also easy to carry with the handles.

Our Verdict

We suggest you buy this kayak if you do not like bright colors like red, green-yellow, etc., want good stability, and portability.

Customer Reviews

This is what our customers say about this hard shell kayak:

“This kayak is great for the money. It is really stable and is best for kayaking. We are happy with it!”

Pros
  • Strong material
  • Lightweight
  • Great for lakes and rivers
  • Comes with portable accessory carrier
Cons
  • Not stylish
  • Not suitable for larger water bodies

Guide about Buying the Best Lightweight Hard Shell Kayak

You have to consider the following things to buy the best lightweight hard shell kayak:

Choose the Right Kayak Type

You need to buy the best and suitable type of kayak depending upon your needs and requirements. There are two types of kayaks i.e. sit-in and sit-on-top. You can use both of them for recreational purposes. Compare the benefits of both the kayak types and get the most suitable one.

Weight Capacity

Check out the weight capacity of the kayak before buying. Make sure it can easily handle your weight while riding it on the water. If you want to get a hard shell kayak for an adult, make sure it can bear a weight of more than 250 pounds.

Storage Space

Consider the storage space of the kayak when buying one made up of a hard shell. Buy the one that could let you keep your personal belongings with you too.

FAQs

What is the Benefit of a Hard Shell Kayak?

A hard-shell kayak is stronger and better than other kayaks made up of different materials such as plastic, polyethylene, etc. 

Which Locations are the Best for Riding Lightweight Hard Shell Kayaks?

Lakes and rivers are the best places to ride a lightweight hard shell kayak.

What are the Common Features of a Hard Shell Kayak?

The common features of a hard shell kayak are depth, width, length, weight capacity, seats, skeg, etc. 

How to Know Whether a Kayak is a Lightweight or Heavy Weight?

If the weight of the kayak is less than 60 pounds, it means it is a lightweight kayak

Can Lightweight Hard Shell Kayaks be used in Larger Water Bodies?

No, lightweight hard shell kayaks are designed for small water bodies like rivers and lakes. 

Conclusion

To sum up, we have provided you with the information about the best lightweight hard shell kayaks so you could indicate which one is the most suitable one for you. Make sure you buy the one that is under your budget and meet your exact needs.

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