Best 14-Foot Kayaks

Experience the ideal balance of speed and versatility with our favorite 14-foot kayaks. Perfect for day trips and extended adventures.

best 14 foot kayaks

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If you’re in the market for a kayak that offers a great balance of speed and maneuverability, a 14-foot kayak is an excellent choice. These boats can handle a variety of activities, from day trips to overnight expeditions, and come in various designs and styles to suit different paddlers.

We’ve reviewed nine of our favorite 14-foot kayaks, highlighting their unique features and specifications to help you choose the best one for your needs. For more information, check out our comparison table and buying advice.

Our Top Picks

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top picks. Or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.

Best Recreational Sit-Inside: Eddyline Equinox

Length: 14′ | Width: 25″ | Weight: 45 lbs | Capacity: 360 lbs

Eddyline Equinox

With a narrow hull and a high chine design, the Eddyline Equinox provides the performance of bigger, more expensive expedition-style kayaks in a smaller package. While the shorter length and lower load capacity reduce your trip length capabilities, this high-performing kayak is excellent for weekend escapes or full-day adventures.

The bow hatch opening is a little on the small side at 10,” but the stern hatch is oval-shaped with a generous 17″ opening. These two areas, along with the room in the cockpit and beneath the deck bungees, provide ample storage space for all your gear.

The hard chine design and slim profile help the Equinox track beautifully in calm or slightly choppy water. However, there’s no skeg or rudder, so paddling through rougher tidal conditions or in nasty cross breezes can be difficult if you’re not an experienced paddler.

While the Equinox is a plastic kayak, it uses an ABS Carbonlite material to help keep the weight down at a manageable 45 pounds. This, coupled with the retractable and ergonomic carry handles, makes it one of the easier expedition-style kayaks to transport both to and from the water.

Reasons to buy:

  • Narrow and efficient to paddle
  • Solid tracking thanks to high walled chines 
  • Lightweight ABS Carbonlite material for easy transport

Reasons to avoid:

  • No rudder option

Best Value Sit-Inside: Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140

Length: 14′ | Width: 25.5″ | Weight: 53 lbs | Capacity: 325 lbs

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140

Heavier and wider than the Equinox, the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 is a cheaper model that feels more stable and forgiving for beginners. And while this doesn’t mean that you should paddle into rough water with impunity, it does minimize the rocking and helps beginners feel comfortable.

However, the wider hull makes tracking and maneuvering less responsive than skinnier kayaks. But Wilderness Systems does offer the Tsunami 140 with a rudder to make tracking and maneuvering easier.

It’s slightly heavier at 53 pounds but is still light enough that tandem carries shouldn’t be a problem. The storage layout is similar to most sit-inside kayaks, with watertight hatches and deck bungees in front of and behind the seat. Additional pockets are attached in front of the cockpit for smaller items.

The load capacity is 325 pounds, which is plenty for day trips and quick overnight journeys, but there are better options for more extended adventures.

Reasons to buy:

  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Clever deck pockets for small items like a phone, GPS, or snacks
  • Rudder compatible

Reasons to avoid:

  • Best for single-day or quick overnight journeys

Best for Sea Kayaking: Delta Kayaks Delta 14

Length: 14′ | Width: 23.5″ | Weight: 45 lbs | Capacity: 340 lbs

Delta Kayaks Delta 14

The silky, V-shaped hull of the Delta 14 isn’t just eye-catching but has also helped it find the perfect sweet spot between speed, maneuverability, and stability. Fast enough for hardcore paddlers but stable enough for beginners to feel comfortable, the Delta 14 is an excellent sea kayaking option for various skill levels and interests.

The load capacity is on the small side for big touring trips. But for a couple of days out, the big bulkheads in the bow and stern are more than suitable. There’s also a handy day hatch accessible from the seat for those things you need to stay close and dry. The usual deck bungee system is also included.

The Delta 14 comes with a skeg which, combined with the design of the hull, helps it tackle a broader range of water conditions than other kayaks on this list. But if you’d prefer additional assistance maintaining course and steering, the Delta 14 is also rudder compatible.

At only 45 pounds, some paddlers can carry the kayak short distances solo. The comfortable and ergonomic handles also make the Delta 14 an easy kayak to transport.

Reasons to buy:

  • Included skeg helps immensely in windy conditions
  • Big bulkheads for storage
  • Excellent stability without sacrificing speed and efficiency

Reasons to avoid:

  • Cockpit may feel a little cramped for bigger paddlers

Best Sit-on-Top: Eddyline Caribbean 14FS

Length: 14′ | Width: 29″ | Weight: 50 lbs | Capacity: 350 lbs

Eddyline Caribbean 14FS

Narrower than most sit-on-tops, the Eddyline Caribbean 14FS provides an efficient and fast ride that can outrun most sit-on-top kayaks. For those willing to paddle hard, it can even keep pace with some sit-in kayaks of a similar size.

The framed seat provides plenty of support, and I like how tall the back is, making it a little more comfortable for the big and tall kayakers out there. The seat can also be easily removed, giving you a convenient camp chair at the end of the day.

Storage space can be found in a multitude of places, including a large, watertight bow hatch and an open-air stern storage compartment. In addition, a center day hatch i behind the seat for smaller items you want to keep close by while you paddle. 

Despite the narrow hull, the Caribbean 14FS remains stable. However, it doesn’t have the same performance or secondary stability as a sit-in. But as long as you stay close to shore and out of rough weather, the Caribbean 14FS performs excellently.

If fishing is your biggest priority, consider the Caribbean 14 Angler. It has nearly identical specifications as the Caribbean 14FS, and also comes with multiple rod holders, a removable front hatch liner, and a gear track system to mount additional accessories.

Reasons to buy:

  • Excellent stability despite the narrow hull
  • Lots of storage space
  • Impressive cruising speed

Reasons to avoid:

  • Maneuvering may be challenging for beginners

Best Value Sit-on-Top: Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140

Length: 14′ | Width: 28″ | Weight: 68 lbs | Capacity: 375 lbs

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140

Cost-effective but still providing solid performance and rock-steady stability, the Tarpon 140 is another rugged and reliable model from Wilderness Systems. Like the Caribbean 14FS, this is a narrower kayak than you’d expect from a sit-on-top, but that doesn’t compromise the boat’s stability, allowing you to maintain speed without fear of tipping over.

However, the Tarpon 140 feels a little more cumbersome on the water compared to the Caribbean 14FS. But if you’re concerned about this, the kayak can equip a rudder to improve maneuverability, and installation is relatively simple.

Even without a rudder, the unique hull design helps the Tarpon track pretty well in mild conditions. However, like many kayaks on this list, it isn’t meant for significant open water crossings and really challenging tidal areas. 

The seat is comfy, and the cockpit comes with several extra goodies like a cupholder and an accessory track so you can outfit your kayaking for specific activities like fishing. For storage, there’s a big watertight area in the bow and an open-air spot in the stern. 

Reasons to buy:

  • Included accessory tracks for customization
  • Excellent stability despite the narrow profile
  • Rudder compatible

Reasons to avoid:

  • Steering can be challenging in wind or waves

Best Inflatable: Sea Eagle 420x Explorer

Length: 14′ | Width: 39″ | Weight: 44 lbs | Capacity: 855 lbs

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer

We’ve looked at several kayaks with slimmer designs meant for more efficient paddling, but may leave something to be desired when it comes to load capacity. However, if you want to bring everything but the kitchen sink, Sea Eagle has you covered with the 420x Explorer. A beefy, wide kayak that can feel almost like a raft and will hold an impressive 855 pounds.

That raft comparison isn’t meant to be a criticism, though. While a wide inflatable like the 420x Explorer won’t be winning any races, it has fantastic stability and can handle calm ocean waters and go ripping through Class IV whitewater.

Made of a rugged polyester known as the Denier, the 420x is one of the more durable inflatable whitewater kayaks out there and can handle most collisions, bumps, and drops and still keep going. In addition, it has three chambers, so you have some insurance if you do happen to puncture one of them.

While wind and waves can make paddling challenging, the removable skeg does help you maintain course when the wind kicks up. The 420x can also be outfitted with an electric engine of up to fifteen pounds to make your adventures even more efficient and enhance the boat’s maneuverability at the same time.

Reasons to buy:

  • Room for up to three people
  • Durable construction that’s hard to rip or puncture
  • Takes less than ten minutes to inflate

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not the same performance or maneuverability as the hard-sided kayaks we’ve reviewed

Best Pedal and Motor Compatible: Jackson Kayak Knarr FD

Length: 13′9″ | Width: 37″ | Weight: 140 lbs | Capacity: 425 lbs

Jackson Kayak Knarr FD

Stuffed with customization options, rod holders, and a well-designed pedal system, the Jackson Kayak Knarr FD has all the tools you need to hit the water and bring home dinner. The boat measures more than three feet wide, giving it fantastic stability and allowing you to cast confidently even if the conditions aren’t perfect.

The pedal drive system is efficient and easy to use, providing the Knarr FD with a better top speed than you’d expect from a kayak of this length. However, if the pedal system isn’t enough for you, you have the option to install a motor. The kayak was specifically designed with this in mind.

The Knarr FD includes six rod holders elevated above the gunnels to keep them dry. The ample storage and load capacity also mean you don’t have to leave anything behind. And the custom Tri-Track system allows you to outfit the kayak however you want.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks. First is the weight, as the Knarr FD tips the scales at 140 pounds. I like the oversized grab handles on the bow and stern, but this is a heavy boat to move around, regardless. It’s also one of the pricier kayaks in this category. You get what you pay for, and the Knarr FD is a high-quality kayak, but it may be out of some people’s price range.

Reasons to buy:

  • Excellent stability
  • Easy pedal system and solid speed
  • Tons of customization options

Reasons to avoid:

  • Heavy weight can be tricky to transport to the water
  • Very Expensive

Best Sit-Inside Tandem: Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135

Length: 13′6″ | Width: 31″ | Weight: 72 lbs | Capacity: 500 lbs

Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135

Shorter tandem kayaks can sometimes feel a little cramped, but Wilderness Systems has done an excellent job of providing suitable room in the Pamlico 135. The rounded hull gives it surprising acceleration without compromising the kayak’s stability. And with two strong paddlers, the Pamlico easily cruises across the water. 

The well-padded seats are simple to adjust, and the extra padding around the thighs and hips is a nice addition. The wider hull and spacious cockpits make it easy to get in and out when floating free in the water. At the same time, the durable polyethylene plastic allows you to nose into most beaches for added stability when landing and exiting.

The drawback to all this extra space for the two paddlers is that there’s little left in storage space. Outside a small stern hatch and the deck bungees, there’s nothing else for dedicated storage. Of course, if one paddler is small, you can place them in the bow and shove gear towards the front, but this is an unfortunate consequence of a tandem this size. 

If the Pamlico 135 seems too small for you, Wilderness Systems does make a slightly bigger model, the Pamlico 145. The extra foot design has more legroom and a larger load capacity (550 lbs).

Reasons to buy:

  • Extra knee and thigh padding
  • Can be paddled solo or tandem
  • Big, open cockpits

Reasons to avoid:

  • Minimal dedicated storage space

Best Sit-on-Top Tandem: Jackson Kayak TakeTwo

Length: 13′9″ | Width: 37″ | Weight: 110 lbs | Capacity: 500 lbs

Jackson Kayak TakeTwo

The Jackson Kayak TakeTwo is a beefier and heavier alternative to the Wilderness System Pamlico. The sit-on-top design provides a more accessible paddling platform that beginners will especially appreciate. It may not be fast, but the overall paddling efficiency has improved markedly over previous designs.

Most of the storage is in the open, but there are plenty of places to put gear in the TakeTwo. Like other Jackson Kayak designs, you can accessorize and customize your kayak, which is especially handy if fishing is in your plans.

I also love the seats, which can be easily moved and repositioned depending on whether you’re solo or paddling tandem. They can even be raised up and down or face-to-face. The high position will be appreciated by anglers as it provides a better view of the water and makes it easier to cast accurately.

Like most Jackson Kayaks, the price you pay for all these goodies and stability is extra weight. The TakeTwo weighs over 100 pounds empty. While the handholds are well-designed, this weight may be more than you and your paddling partner might want to take on.

Reasons to buy:

  • Can be paddled solo or tandem
  • Excellent versatility for both recreation and fishing
  • Fantastic stability

Reasons to avoid:

  • Heavy weight makes it tricky to transport 

14-Foot Kayak Comparison Table

KayakLengthWidthWeightCapacitySeatingCockpit Type
Eddyline Equinox14′25″45 lbs360 lbs1Sit-in
Wilderness Systems Tsunami 14014′25.5″53 lbs325 lbs1Sit-in
Delta Kayaks Delta 1414′23.5″45 lbs340 lbs1Sit-in
Eddyline Caribbean 14FS14′29″50 lbs350 lbs1Sit-on-top
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 14014′28″68 lbs375 lbs1Sit-on-top
Sea Eagle 420x Explorer14′39″44 lbs855 lbs1, 2, or 3Sit-on-top
Jackson Kayak Knarr FD13’9″37″140 lbs425 lbs1Sit-on-top
Wilderness Systems Pamlico 13513’6″31″72 lbs500 lbs1 or 2Sit-in
Jackson Kayak TakeTwo13’9″37″110 lbs500 lbs1 or 2Sit-on-top

14-Foot Kayak Buying Advice

Next, we’ll look at how the above kayaks differ regarding speed, maneuverability, comfort, and other factors that will help you decide which 14-foot kayak is best for you.

Sit-Inside vs. Sit-on-Top

The first choice to make when choosing a kayak is whether a sit-inside or sit-on-top is right for you.

Due to sit-in kayaks protecting your lower body from the elements, boats like the Delta 14 are preferable for wetter, temperate regions. Since you’re also seated closer to the waterline in a sit-in kayak, they can afford to be narrower without compromising their stability.

However, sit-on-top kayaks like the Eddyline Caribbean 14FS are more user-friendly and can be more forgiving. These kayaks are wider, with their seat placed higher above the water. While they don’t provide much protection from the weather, the wider design gives them a more stable feel with less rocking, which is great if you’re a beginner.

In general, sit-in kayaks will also have more dry storage space. Most, like the Eddyline Equinox and Delta 14, have two decent-sized watertight bulkheads. Sit-on-tops may have one dry storage area, but most of your larger gear will have to be exposed to the wind, waves, and rain while you’re paddling.


All the hard-shell kayaks on this list are made of a tough plastic material known as polyethylene. Some companies, like Eddyline, have designed their own type of polyethylene plastic (ABS Carbonlite), which is light and durable.

The lone inflatable on this list, the Sea Eagle Explorer 420x, is made of thick layers of polyester known as Denier. This material is rip and puncture-resistant when well-stitched, like on Sea Eagle kayaks. As a result, it can handle most collisions and impacts without causing serious damage that will require you to go to shore to fix it. 


Longer kayaks tend to be faster than shorter kayaks. But since we’re dealing with kayaks of similar length, we need to look deeper to determine which of these designs is the fastest.

Hard-shell kayaks tend to be faster than inflatables. Inflatable kayaks will bend and twist on the water as they don’t have the same rigidity as hard-sided kayaks. This causes your paddle stroke to lose power more quickly, requiring more energy to maintain your speed.

The extra width of a kayak like the 420x Explorer doesn’t do it any favors, either. Additional width means more resistance as you paddle through the water. So, in general, you can expect the narrower sit-in kayaks like the Delta 14 and Eddyline Equinox to be the fastest.

However, there are some exceptions to this. Tandem kayaks like the Pamlico 135 and TakeTwo have the added benefit of additional paddlers. This provides more power to offset the extra weight and allows them to outrun narrower kayaks.

Pedal or motorized kayaks, like the Jackson Kayak Knarr FD, can also move quicker than their dimensions would suggest. 


A narrow kayak is advantageous for steering for many of the same reasons as when determining its speed—less water resistance when trying to turn is more than welcome.

Kayaks like the Eddyline Equinox also have V-shaped hulls that are more responsive to your body and paddle’s movements and allow the boat to be manipulated more. 

Installing a rudder on compatible models like the Delta 14 and Tsunami 140 can make maneuvering much more straightforward and user-friendly. Pedal kayaks like the Knarr FD are also simpler to steer into tight places and made even easier if you add an engine.


We’ve come too far in kayaking technology to consider kayaks that don’t have comfortable seats. I’m happy to say all the kayaks on this list have padded and adjustable seats that should support most paddlers.

I especially like the seat from Eddyline that they’ve put into the Caribbean 14FS and Angler models. Not only is it well padded and comfortable, but the back is higher than most seat designs. This can be greatly appreciated by taller paddlers like myself (I’m 6’3″), as it gives more support than traditional kayak seats.

Some sit-inside designs, like the Delta 14 and Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135, may feel a little cramped for some. So if you can, sit in your kayak and get a feel for how you fit before purchasing. You don’t want to find out it’s a tight squeeze on your first day on the water.

Stability & Tracking

All of the kayaks we’ve reviewed have solid stability. The only difference may be how comfortable and familiar you are with the type of kayak you’re paddling. As we’ve mentioned, narrower sit-in kayaks will feel rockier when you start out, but as you learn to use them, you’ll realize they’re just as reliable as sit-on-top models.

Adding a rudder to a kayak will help with tracking and allow you to compensate for factors that can make your kayak weave and move off course, like wind, waves, and tides. Kayaks like the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 and Tarpon 140 can have a rudder added if you wish.

Skegs are also included on the base models of the Delta 14 and Sea Eagle 420x Explorer. These won’t help you steer or turn, but they can be helpful when paddling in windy conditions.


Like comfort, there’s no reason to opt for a kayak lacking in durability. The hard-shell models on this list are tough and able to absorb plenty of collisions on and off the water.

I’d still encourage you not to drag your plastic kayak long distances, especially over rough ground like boulders or rocks. This can cause the hull to scratch and hamper the boat’s overall efficiency.

The Sea Eagle 420x Explorer requires you to be more careful. However, it is still one of the more durable inflatable kayaks available. The drop-stitch kayak floor and Denier material can handle much of the same use as a hard-sided kayak.

Portability & Storage

There’s a wide range of kayaks on this list, and how easy they are to transport varies greatly. Lightweight kayaks like the Eddyline Equinox can be carried by two people with little trouble. Stronger, independent paddlers may even feel comfortable solo carrying these kayaks for short distances.

Then there’s the Jackson Kayaks. These two kayaks are over 100 pounds, with the Knarr FD weighing 140. These will require a kayak cart or two people to carry and a large vehicle to safely get them to the water’s edge.

For storage, it’s hard to beat the Sea Eagle 420x Explorer for overall load capacity. But while it can hold a lot of gear, it has little dedicated storage space. On the other hand, I love all the storage space you get with the sit-in designs like the Delta 14. It may not have the same load capacity, but there are plenty of places to keep your gear dry.

The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 also has clever pockets attached to the bungee cords in front of the cockpit. This saves you the trouble of putting all your day gear into kayak dry bags and stuffing them under bungee cords. Instead, your trail mix or phone is just a zippered pocket away.

The Verdict

This diverse lineup of kayaks means that it’s hard to crown one best overall. So much of what “the best” kayak is for you will depend on what you want to do.

Planning a long weekend kayaking trip over some challenging water? Look no further than the Delta Kayaks Delta 14. But, of course, that slim profile and extra speed won’t do you much good if you plan to go fishing with your kayak. If that’s the case, boats like the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 or Jackson Kayak TakeTwo are better options.

Whatever kayak you decide is the best for you, I hope this list has helped narrow down your choices and will get you out on the water as soon as possible.