Some pine for a playboat that’s lighter and more responsive, others want a laid-back flatwater tourer to noddle around calm water with. But if you’re an adventurer, you want adventure-ready kayaks. No matter your current quiver of boats, there’s always one more model you just can’t help but add to your stable.
Almost every kind of double-bladed boater can benefit from the new frontiers in paddling technology that gets more interesting and exciting. Advances in materials and outfitting mean it’s easier than ever to dial in your dream boat.
Inflatable designs and breakthroughs in hull specificities can help you enjoy a few extra miles—not to mention make challenging whitewater just a little bit easier. These great new kayaks will boost your next on-water escape, no matter what you’re paddling into—hell or high water.
Enjoy Extra Miles and More Efficient Output With These Adventure-Ready Kayaks
1. Advanced Elements AirVolution
Best for Easy Storage/Touring
The key to hard-shell-like performance in a kayak that deflates to fit in your closet is high-pressure drop-stitch layers on its floor and sides (the same tech that makes inflatable SUPs so rigid). An open deck and loungeworthy seat on this rig ups the comfort for longer miles.
2. Dagger Code (shown above)
Best for Steep Creeks
The secret is out about the Code: With a flatter, planing hull for rough-water agility, wide stern for stability, and high-rise bow rocker for punching holes, it’ll help unlock your downriver game. Add multiple safety features, plus Contour Ergo Creek outfitting for comfort, and Class V will no longer be classified.
3. Jackson Kayak Antix 2.0
Best for All-Around Whitewater
One kayak to rule them all. That’s the Antix 2.0, a revamped quiver-killer blending play, river-running, and creeking. Its new planing hull surfs and squirts while staying stable in rapids. Three sizes of this refined “half slice” (featuring a slender stern) fit the whole Goldilocks gamut.
4. Alpacka Raft Expedition
Best for Shouldering the Load
Want to hike to a remote lake or river? Put hernias in the rearview with Alpacka Raft’s Expedition. The 8.1-pound packraft also includes thigh-strap and foot-brace attachments for whitewater, making it the perfect lightweight backcountry adventurer. Bonus: Stern zipper access for storing gear in the tubes.