Best Kayak For Big Guys: 8 Stable, Spacious, and Comfortable Picks

Men Kayaking on The River

Best Kayak for Big Guys: Endowed with an exceptional height or a hefty build? That shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good kayaking day out while being cramped up in a kayak meant for the average sizes!

Even with a large and tall frame, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the pleasures of outdoor activities.

It all comes down to choosing the right equipment that’s the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle.

You might have searched for numerous kayaks and still couldn’t find the comfiest size.

Well then, we scoured the markets, picked out, and analyzed for you the Best Kayaks For Big Guys.

Not only that…

… our top pick, Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12, covers all the essentials for large and tall frames very well! Wait for it!

This review includes:

  • Pros and Cons of each;
  • The key takeaways for each kayak;
  • Specifications;
  • Where we think these products excel and where they fall short;
  • Lots more…

Can’t wait to have the time of your life in a kayak that perfectly hugs your size?

Start the engine now.

Let’s begin.

8 Best Kayaks for Big and Tall Guys – At Least A kayak with 400-lb capacity

1. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12: Best for Big and Tall Guys

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

What We Love

The Hobie Mirage stands as our top pick for several reasons. First, its 500-pound weight capacity and luxury seat are perfect for big guys to feel snug and comfortable no matter how long they stay on the water.

How comfortable can you get, you ask? The seat’s ergonomic design and fully adjustable system support your needs, whether you want more space for your legs or stand and cast your line.

If your arms start to get tired, Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 also comes with a patented pedal drive system to help you take care of other essential tasks.

That’s not all.

The 2 H-rails and easy-access dry storage access provide plenty of room for you to store or rig your fishing gear.

Thinking of bringing an extra rod? Mounting plates? Tackle bins and fish finders? It’s not a problem for the Hobie Mirage.

Now, this could sound too good to be true. However, Hobie Mirage is a trusted and reliable brand known for manufacturing high-performance and high-quality fishing kayaks.

What We Don’t Like

The Hobie Mirage is quite pricey. A fishing kayak with this impressive build and superior features doesn’t come cheap. However, even at a hefty price tag, it’s worth every cent.

2. Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 Kayak : Best Kayak for Tall Guys

Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 Kayak

What We Love

For the best bang for your buck, the Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 is a sit-on-top kayak that offers an excellent balance of price, performance, and comfort.

It even has a higher weight capacity than the Hobie Mirage, giving more room for large and tall people to sit, paddle, and kayak with comfort.

However

…the true gem of the Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 is the sliding suspension seat that allows you to adjust the kayak in the best way that fits your frame and height.

Now, if you’re wondering how well this kayak supports you, it does so with a gold star. The Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 has a standup assist strap and traction pads to add stability and safety while standing.

Finally, the bow and stern storage hatches provide more than enough space for you to store your gear and equipment.

What We Don’t Like

Even though the Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 costs half the price of what Hobie Mirage offers, it’s still relatively pricey for beginners.

3. Jackson Kayak Kilroy HD 13 Kayak

Current Color Jackson Kayak Jackson Kayak Kilroy HD 13 Fishing Kayak

What We Love

For its fantastic stability, the Jackson Kayak Kilroy is definitively one of the best kayaks for big guys.

Granted, it doesn’t have a kayak weight limit as high as Hobie Mirage or Wilderness Systems, but its wide frame is a quality design you can’t go wrong with. In effect, you’ll have plenty of room to make sure you’re comfortable.

If you’ve used a Jackson Kilroy in the past, the HD 13 model is the new and improved model.

Its re-shaped hull improves storage capacity, while its improved seat layout allows you to rest your legs in any position that suits you best.

One of my teammates even mentioned how it didn’t put any extra strain on his back and core. We also loved how easy it was to handle and how it easily moved in open water.

More importantly, what appealed to us was its stability and comfort being the top qualities the Jackson Kilroy is a known provider of.

What We Don’t Like

Due to its heavy and wide frame, the Jackson Kilroy HD 13 kayak may be difficult to transport.

Old Town Vapor 12XT Kayak

old town vapor 12xt kayak

With this product not being under the category of a minimum of 400-pound capacity for the tall guys, we made an exception for you who are looking for a kayak ASAP but with a tight budget.

But here’s the catch.

For a big stable kayak, it will be difficult to find under $1,200 in our experience.

For the range of $700 to $1,000, you’ll surely find models but with the least of comfort.

Our pick for that category is the Old Town Vapor 12XT Kayak.

As you know, the heavier you are, the more uncomfortable it gets inside the kayak. And that’s what this guy is here for.

What We Love

If you’re new to kayaking and are on a tight budget, we suggest the Old Town Vapor 12XT kayak for its superb price appeal.

At just under 800 bucks, you will be able to enjoy a smooth, comfortable, and relaxed ride.

What’s impressive about the Old Town Vapor 12XT is its speed coupled with stability. Whether you’re traversing through lakes, rivers, or class II and class III rapids, the Old Town Vapor 12XT performs impeccably well.

Its tracking abilities are also far more excellent than what you’d expect. It’s no white-water kayak, truth be told.

As for its cockpit room

…it’s surprisingly huge. No, wait, it’s massive! Getting in and out of your kayak will be a breeze, making it one of the best kayaks for big guys, not to mention tall ones.

Thanks to its low-seat position, expect better control in the water when riding this kayak.

As a bonus design feature, it has a cockpit tray and molded cup holder that’s perfect for two people to share drinks and snacks when kayaking long distances.

Finally, it also carries a molded-in tank to use for you live baits or even a cooler for drinks and snacks!

Best Budget
Old Town Vapor 12XT Kayak


  • Weight Capacity: 375 lb
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Width: 28.5 in
  • Kayak Weight: 56 lb


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What We Don’t Like

If there’s one drawback we’ve found, it’s the lack of dry storage. Sure, it’s still great for two people who are into a tandem kayak and recreational kayaks; however, this might be an issue for serious paddlers out there.

Although the Old Town Vapor 12XT is incredibly fast and easy to maneuver, this isn’t a high weight capacity kayak compared to the other very high weight capacity kayaks we mentioned.

Old Town Topwater 120 Kayak

Old Town Topwater 120 Kayak

What We Love

While the Topwater 120 costs slightly more than the Vapor 12XT, it’s also an upgraded model for larger paddlers looking for a high-weight capacity kayak for fishing with a wider frame.

Before we get into the Topwater 120’s performance, let’s talk about stability.

Its hull design features two outer pontoons separated by a keeled tunnel. This “UU” design, as Topwater calls it, pushes volume away from the centerline, and in effect, improves the stability.

The stability of its standup performance is also worth mentioning and just as impressive.

Thanks to the chines and wide beam, even if you lean hard on one side, the beam reduces draft and adds even more stability, making it nearly impossible to flip the Topwater 120.

Performance-wise, the Old Town Topwater 120 performs just as well as higher-priced backwater kayaks.

Storage-wise, it has enough storage hatches, an enlarged scupper, and a decent amount of flat areas for adding rod holders or extra accessories.

All in all, the Topwater 120 is among the reliable sit-on-top kayaks for big guys that easily handle maximum weight capacity, easy transporting, and superior stability that’s excellent for kayak newbies.

Old Town Topwater 120 Kayak


  • Weight Capacity: 500 lb
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Width: 33.5 in
  • Kayak Weight: 82 lb


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What We Don’t Like

It’s hard to say the Topwater 120 has any major drawbacks to its design.

Honestly

…the Topwater 120 is a well-rounded kayak for big people, and considering the price tag, it’s most likely a steal.

This sit-on-top kayak offers impressive stability, tracks well, has enough storage space, and maneuvers well in water that make it perfect for backwater or even snakehead fishing.

NuCanoe Pursuit 13.5 Kayak

NuCanoe Pursuit 13.5 Kayak with Fusion Seat

What We Love

The NuCanoe Pursuit offers an open-deck layout, making it easy to sit, stand, and move around while wrestling fishes.

If that’s your kind of game, you’ll love the NuCanoe Pursuit.

What makes the NuCanoe stand out is its combined performance of speed and maneuverability. A few good paddle strokes should be enough to build strong momentum and propel forward.

Its hull design is so efficient you can turn 180 degrees in just two paddle strokes. Not many kayaks have a hull design built as efficiently as NuCanoe Pursuit.

Speaking of efficiency

…NuCanoe Pursuit made sure to add a swivel adjustment to its seat for easy side saddling and in case you have to reach around to get something out of your fishing bag.

The rod tubes, rod holders, and accompanying staging places molded into the front and sides of the NuCanoe Pursuit make it excellent for handling rivers with bridges, hazards, and tree overhangs.

Its strong performance performed similarly to the Wilderness Systems ATAK 140, which deserves praise. Although, if you haven’t had much experience standing on a kayak, it may prove to be slightly challenging.

What We Don’t Like

Two drawbacks we found with the NuCanoe Pursuit were adjusting the tension straps and the need for footpegs.

Adjusting the tension straps was a little challenging. As for the footpegs, even with heel braces, mounting footpegs on the track could be useful when you need to brace.

Other than that, its excellent hull design and performance place it among the highly recommended kayaks for big guys, especially if you have plans for fishing in rivers, marshes, and big open areas of water.

Bonafide SS127 Kayak

Bonafide SS127 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

What We Love

The Bonafide SS127 is another premium fishing kayak that marks maneuverability as its most prized quality.

Navigating and moving through choppy and rough white water is easy with the Bonafide SS127 while still being able to fish and maintain stability.

Fishing is also a lot easier and more comfortable, thanks to its high-rise seating and foldable frame. In effect, this allows you to bend your legs with ease and takes a lot of strain off your lower back.

Now, you might have heard…

…that high-seated fishing can be incredibly unstable. Most kayaks aren’t able to achieve the level of stability needed when it comes to high-seated fishing.

Not until the Bonafide SS127!

The SS127 isn’t an ordinary kayak for big guys.

The Bonafide SS127 is a product developed through years of research at Bonafide’s R&D (Research & Development) lab.

This means that the quality you see in the SS127 isn’t mere marketing tactics or lofty claims. It’s time-tested and proven to provide the comfort, stability, and quality you deserve to have.

The last and most noteworthy feature of the Bonafide SS127 is its turning capabilities. In fact, based on our tests, it’s actually as efficient as the NuCanoe Pursuit 13.5.

With these qualities, the Bonafide SS127 is an excellent kayak you won’t need to replace any time soon should you decide to get one.

Bonafide SS127 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak


  • Weight Capacity: 475 lb
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Width: 33.75 in
  • Kayak Weight: 94 lb


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What We Don’t Like

Despite its incredible performance and design, it’s an expensive kayak that not everyone will be willing to spend some bucks on.

Old Town Predator 13 Kayak

Old Town Predator 13 Kayak

What We Love

Old Town Predator’s kayak line comes with exceptional design kayak features that make it stand out from the pack.

Here are the two that are worth mentioning: three-stage Element seating and Tri-Hull design.

Its three-stage Element seating allows you to customize your seat in 3 stages:

  1. Fold the seat forward and tuck it away for transport purposes.
  2. Flip the seat to the rear. This is useful if you want to expand the standing platform if you feel like poling or sight casting.
  3. Lower the seat for easier paddling.

That’s not even the best part yet.

The Tri-Hull design provides excellent stability. Apart from preventing your kayak from tipping over, the hull features LT900 polyethylene material for maximum strength and durability.

Taken a step even further, Old Town added a slip-resistant Exo-Ridge and a standup assist strap for enhanced stability and to keep your gear dry and secure.

Now that we’ve mentioned its cream-of-the-crop features, let’s get into further details.

It has 6 removable mounting plates, which is beneficial if you want to customize your kayak with a GPS, fishfinder, slide tracks, or rod holders.

You’ll also have access to side-mounted holders useful for keeping your paddle secure. Finally, the Humminbird Transducer scupper port allows you to outfit your kayak with navigational equipment or side imaging technology.

What We Don’t Like

While the Old Town Predator 13 kayak is, without a doubt, incredible, it’s also not perfect. The one drawback we found was our inability to take out the seat instantly.

Sure, its three-stage Element seating makes for great customization benefits, but compared to other kayaks, you’d have to unscrew two screws to remove the Predator 13’s seat.

This may be an inconvenience for some people, but we don’t necessarily consider it a major flaw.

Kayaking Guide: Essential Features to Look Out For

Disclaimer: You want to enjoy the best way of kayaking, look at the video below and remember two things: Don’t do what he did and Do what he did. I’ll explain it to you after you watch it.

What makes a kayak ideal for big guys depends on 3 key features you should pay attention to.

Weight Capacity

The weight limit for a kayak should be the first feature to look for in kayaks for big guys. You can easily find it on the manufacturer’s website or label.

All the kayaks mentioned in this review have a weight capacity of 375 pounds and up, with 550 pounds being the highest weight limit on a kayak.

When choosing the best kayak

…it’s crucial to consider the weight of your gear too. Accounting for your weight alone might lead to choosing a kayak with a capacity that’s 50 lbs or 100 lbs short of your needs.

Additionally, the added weight capacity improves stability and your ability to maneuver. For the safest results, we recommend going for kayaks with a capacity of over 300 lbs. 

There’s also something called “weight buffer” to help you decide the best kayak that can support your weight. The buffer accounts for extra gear you want to put on your kayak, kayak weight, and how much you weigh.

Here’s a formula you can refer to make sure you choose the best kayak:

(Your Weight + Kayak Weight + Gear Weight)/ 0.8 

For example…

If you weigh 275 lbs, have gear weighing 40 lbs, and your kayak weighing 60 lbs, then:

275 lbs + 40 lbs + 60 lbs = 375 lbs / 0.8 = 468.75 lbs

The formula tells us the best kayak to go for would be a kayak with a 468.75 lbs or higher weight capacity, making a 500 lb kayak an ideal choice. 

Kayak Width

The best kayaks for big guys should also have a kayak width that makes it easy for you to get in and out of their kayak.

This is a challenge faced by many people. The risk of having a kayak that’s difficult to get in and out of is the possibility of your kayak tipping over.

A wider kayak makes it easier for people to move their hips in and out of. One of the best ways to measure a good kayak width is through the hull.

If the hull features a wide design, it’s stable enough. A good benchmark to follow when considering the kayak width for a big guy is at least 30 inches wide.

Kayak Length

Even with a kayaking weight limit and kayak width that provides good stability and balance, it isn’t wholly complete if it lacks the proper kayak length.

A short kayak length would result in an unbalanced and unstable kayak in the water. The final key feature to account for is kayak length.

The purpose of choosing a kayak with the right length is for one vital reason only: buoyancy.

As a result, you’ll be able to maintain an easily paddled width. Coupled with the right width and weight capacity andhave the best kayak for the ultimate outdoor experience.

Kayak Tips for Big and Tall Guys

Now that we have the proper measurements down, here are a few tips to help you choose the best kayak for big guys.

Sit Inside Your Kayak First

Most people will read the label and inspect a kayak’s dimensions to determine if it perfectly suits them.

However, the best solution is to sit inside your prospective kayak first.

Your leg length and shoe size are also just as important as your weight, size, and kayak weight.

Kayaks are usually described as low, medium, or high-volume kayaks.

But here’s the kicker.

If this is your first time shopping for one, don’t wing it. Just don’t!

This may not be a strict concern for sit-on-top kayaks, although sit-inside kayaks are a different story.

Nevertheless, it’s always best to make sure you get the right size by sitting inside first to determine the level of comfort, legroom, and stability you’d have.

Choose a Kayak With a Wider Beam

For a big guy, kayaks with a wider beam are a must. The same can be said for tall guys.

A wider beam ensures stability in the water and reduces the chances of your kayak tipping over.

Most kayaks today offer great stability, and for a tall and big guy, it shouldn’t be challenging to find kayaks that provide wider beams.

Make Comfort An Essential Priority

Your kayak of choice may have outstanding performance in the water, but if it’s uncomfortable to use after hours in open water, then it’s a serious problem.

Going for kayaks that offer the best comfort possible depends on 2 vital elements:

  1. A comfortable padded seat
  2. Sufficient cockpit width

If you’re still unsure, we recommend choosing sit-on-top kayaks since they’re more forgiving for tall and big guys. They’re also the best kayak for big guys who are still new to kayaking.

Conclusion: Best Kayaks For Big Buys

With weeks and weeks of research, it’s safe to say that we have narrowed down all the best kayaks for big guys that suit your budget, preference, and weight.

You won’t have to worry about these kayaks tipping over for reaching their maximum weight capacity especially with the best-rated Hobie Mirage Pro Angler that can be enjoyed by both new kayakers and anglers.

But if you’re tight on budget, you can still enjoy a great day out on the waters with the Old Town Vapor 12XT kayak for big guys.

We hope this review was able to help you choose the best kayaks for your size! For any questions, we’d love to hear from you below!

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