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Our Tips For Choosing A 3-Person Kayak

There is this saying about the more, the merrier. Well, this applies to kayaking and while many people are familiar with 2-person kayaks, most don’t know about 3-person kayaks. Yes, 3 person kayaks are a thing.

You and your friends or family members can bond over the sport you love and adore. Or is it just you and someone else alongside your furry friend? Whichever it is, 3-person kayaks allow you to paddle with more people and offer more storage for all the gear of the paddlers.

One would think choosing a 3-person kayak should be a straightforward affair but there are so many 3-person kayaks out there that are garbage.

Let’s take a look at what are the things to pay attention to and consider when choosing a kayak for 3 persons.


If you take a look online or at a brick-and-mortar shop, you will quickly realize that your options for a 3-person kayak will most of the time be inflatable kayaks. And that’s fine! They are very resistant and long-lasting, and they offer many advantages like light weight and ease of storage. Let’s now go over the useful things to know when in the process of choosing your 3-person kayak.

What is Drop Stitching?

Drop stitching is a popular terminology used in the kayak industry and it refers to a knitting technique that is used to produce an extremely strong weave between two pieces of materials.

Many manufacturers have started using this technique to produce kayaks, especially the inflatable types and the result is very strong and high-performing vessels that can be inflated to pressures up to 20 PSI.

What Are The Benefits of Skegs?

Sometimes referred to as tracking fins, skegs are essentially “fins” that are attached below the hull of kayaks. Skegs can be easily attached to and detached from kayaks.

The main benefit of skegs is that they improve the tracking of your yak. Tracking is the ability of your yak to travel straight and skegs improve this especially when you are paddling in rapid currents or windy conditions. It can definitely be a clever, inexpensive addition to your kayak.

How to Choose Your 3-person Kayak

There are several factors you must put into consideration when choosing a 3-person kayak and I’ll be discussing them below:


Most of the 3-person kayaks are inflatable kayaks and this is a testament to the advancement inflatables have undergone over the years.

Most inflatable kayaks in the market are made from either PVC, Nitrylon, or Hypalon. PVC is the most commonly used material because it is very durable, water-resistant, affordable, and lightweight. It’s common to see manufacturers combining PVC with nylon for increased durability.

Nitrylon is another material used to manufacture inflatable kayaks and has the advantage of increased resistance to puncture and abrasion over PVC. It is also more eco-friendly. However, Nitrylon has the drawback of being heavy but its incredible resistance is still being taken advantage of as it is used to manufacture the bottom of kayaks which is one of the most vulnerable parts.

Inflatable kayaks made from Hypalon tend to be more expensive as it’s not easy to work with the material. Hypalon resists UV better than PVC. Also, it withstands abrasion better than either Nitrylon or PVC.

3-person kayaks - guide

Kayak Size and Cockpit Size

Three people is a lot and any kayak that is to be used by three people must have sufficient space to accommodate all the parties involved. This is why the minimum length for a 3-person kayak should be 10 feet.

You should always consider the gear all three people will be bringing onboard. Also, inflatable 3-person kayaks usually feature large tubes on either side and the result of this is a reduction in cockpit size and width. And you need as much room in the cockpit for comfort and stability.

There are models of 3-person yaks that are designed to be used by two adults and a child/pet while some are designed to be three adults.

Storage Space

3-person kayaks are generally longer and as a rule of thumb, the longer a kayak, the faster it is. The combined paddling of three people also means you can achieve faster speeds with 3-person kayaks.

Also, 3-person kayaks are also wider and this greatly improves their stability. Generally, tandem kayaks and 3-person kayaks are seen as great ways to introduce children and even adults to kayaking.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of every kayak is specified by the manufacturer. And it’s in your best interest not to overload your kayak if you don’t want to compromise its durability.

Always consider your weight, that of your partner if any, and your gear when buying a kayak, Then get one that can easily handle the combined weight.

Weight and Transportation

If your 3-person kayak is an inflatable kayak, then transportation and storage won’t be a problem. But if it is a hard shell yak made from fiberglass or carbon, then it’s going to be very heavy and bulky. And you’ll need a vehicle to transport it. Storage will also require someone with some space like a garage, shed, or barn.

Final Thoughts

‘The more, the merrier’ isn’t applicable to every situation or scenario. But when it comes to kayaking, this saying is spot on. 3-person kayaking allows you to bond with your friends, family, and loved ones. So do well to get one and have a nice time with your tribe.

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