July 17, 2021

Top-Rated Buyer's Guide: Best Kayak Tents

July 17, 2021

Top-Rated Buyer's Guide: Best Kayak Tents

Kayaking is not just about your kayak and the endless water streams! It's also an opportunity for you to head out and explore the outdoors. It's because of this particular endeavor that you need the best kayak tents. 

Kayak camping is not a new thing. Practically, most kayak enthusiasts have done it already. But of course, unlike traditional camping, this one has unique requirements. It's quite similar to backpacking--the fewer your items, the better. Because of this, you have to be conscious when it comes to picking your equipment, such as your tent.

The following are some of the tents that can be used for kayak camping. 

7 Best Kayak Tents

 Floor Area Peak HeightPackaged Weight Minimum Trail WeightCapacity
REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint 31 square feet3.33 feet5 pounds4 pounds2-person 
Marmot Limelight 2P Tent with Footprint 33 square feet3.58 feet5 pounds5 pounds2-person 
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent 29 square feet3.33 feet3 pounds2 pounds2-person 
Exped Lyra II Tent 30.1 square feet3.93 feet4 pounds4 pounds2-person 
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent 20 square feet3 feet4 pounds3 pounds1-person 
TETON Sports Vista Quick Tent 20.5 square feet2.83 feet4.6 pounds4 pounds1-person 
NEMO Kunai 2 Tent 26 square feet3.67 feet4 pounds3 pounds2-person

1. REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint

PRODUCT LINK

When it comes to kayaking, you want something that is lightweight and easy to pack. The REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent falls into that category. This 3-season tent has a spacious interior and offers two large doors and vestibules. It gives enough space for single users and their camping gear. The tent comes with an X-pole configuration for a hassle-free setup. It also improves the vertical spacing of its interior.

The ceiling vents of this tent are adjustable, which enables you to deal with condensation. It also prevents the tent from becoming damp and hot. Interestingly, its fly doors can be rolled up to the roof, ensuring that you can have a good view of your surroundings. Moreover, the tent has a rectangular, symmetrical floor that maximizes the comfort that you feel while inside it. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Seasonality - 3-season tent
  • Capacity - 2-person tent
  • Packaged weight - 5 pounds
  • Trail weight - 4 pounds
  • Floor area - 31 square feet
  • Peak height - 3.33 feet
  • Canopy fabric - Polyester
  • Pole material - Aluminum
  • Footprint - Available
  • Rainfly - Available
  • Vestibule - Available

2. Marmot Limelight 2P Tent with Footprint

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The existence of the Marmot Limelight 2P Tent made it possible for kayak camping to become convenient and hassle-free. This 3-season tent offers comfort and protection wherever you want to go. It comes with a polyester footprint for maximum water and condensation defense. It is also equipped with near-vertical walls to improve its overhead space. 

The large double door on its front and the D-shaped door on the rear allows fuss-free entry and exit. There are also vestibules on the doors that you can use for gear storage and lounging. The DAC Press-Fit poles are tailored from high-grade aluminum 7000, which ensures stability and rigidity. Meanwhile, the poles and clips have been color-coded so that you can assemble the tent easily. Finally, all the seams of the tent are taped to prevent the entry of unwelcomed elements. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Seasonality - 3-season tent
  • Capacity - 2-person tent
  • Packaged weight - 5 pounds
  • Trail weight - 5 pounds
  • Floor area - 33 square feet
  • Peak height - 3.58 feet
  • Canopy fabric - Polyester
  • Pole material - DAC Aluminum
  • Footprint - Available
  • Rainfly - Available
  • Vestibule - Available

3. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent

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The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent is definitely a good choice for kayak camping. This one flaunts brand-new features, such as revamped materials and design choices. Its hardware is tough, and the assembly procedure is quite user-friendly. The tent has two awning-type vestibules that further extend its usable space. They can provide you with ample space for your camping equipment. Furthermore, the tent comes with multiple pockets on its interior for item organization.

The tent's corner has impressive construction. Specifically, it features the proprietary TipLok Tent Buckle design that combines three essential functions into one: stake-out loop, rainfly connection and adjustment, and pole-tip capture. It is also notable that the tent's canopy is tailored from double ripstop nylon. As a result, it offers high puncture- and tear-resistance without being too heavy. Hence, bringing this outdoor shelter on your backpacking and kayaking trips isn't a problem. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Seasonality - 3-season tent
  • Capacity - 2-person tent
  • Packaged weight - 3 pounds
  • Trail weight - 2 pounds
  • Floor area - 29 square feet
  • Peak height - 3.3 feet
  • Canopy fabric - Nylon/polyester mesh
  • Pole material - DAC NFL
  • Footprint - Available
  • Rainfly - Available
  • Vestibule - Available

4. Exped Lyra II Tent

PRODUCT LINK

You'll never get wrong if you pick the Exped Lyra II Tent for your next kayak camping. In fact, you can surmise the quality of this tent to the following: compact, lightweight, and roomy. Similar to the other tents here, this one offers 3-season protection. The Exped Lyra II Tent can be switched into three modes: Optimist, Stargazer, and Breeze-Way. 

The Optimist Mode lets you set the tent without the fly for maximum ventilation and overhead view. Meanwhile, the Stargazer enables you to roll and secure the rainfly's end so that you can have panoramic sky views. Under the Breeze-Way setting, you can open both of its doors for enhanced cooling and air circulation. It also comes with a Privacy Mode that lets you attach the zip for guaranteed weather defense and privacy.

Needless to say, this tent has impressive construction. It comes with durable anodized aluminum poles and highly rugged polyester taffeta canopy fabric. Its rainfly is tailored from polyurethane-coated polyester. The tent's seams are factory-taped to prevent moisture and water breach. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Seasonality - 3-season tent
  • Capacity - 2-person tent
  • Packaged weight - 4 pounds
  • Trail weight - 4 pounds
  • Floor area - 30.1 square feet
  • Peak height - 3.93 feet
  • Canopy fabric - Polyester taffeta
  • Pole material - Anodized aluminum
  • Footprint - Not available
  • Rainfly - Available
  • Vestibule - Available

5. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

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The ALPS Mountaineering is definitely an excellent outdoor shelter if you plan to undergo arduous expeditions throughout your kayaking trip. This tent houses one person together with their camping equipment. It has a free-standing design featuring two aluminum poles. You can set it quickly, reducing the hassle of pitching and folding it.  

This tent features a polyester rainfly that provides good UV and water resistance. Its canopy fabric has high tear protection, too. Even if you use it regularly, the fabric doesn't stretch or wear at all. Despite being a 1-person tent, this unit offers a vestibule for additional gear storage. Moreover, it comes with multiple storage pockets, guy ropes, stakes, and a gear loft. The walls of ALPS Mountaineering Lynx have a half-mesh design. It allows uninhibited outdoor view and optimal ventilation. Its floor has a 2000-mm coating to maximize its defense against the elements. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Seasonality - 3-season tent
  • Capacity - 1-person tent
  • Packaged weight - 4 pounds
  • Trail weight - 3 pounds
  • Floor area - 20 square feet
  • Peak height - 3 feet
  • Canopy fabric - Polyester
  • Pole material - Aluminum
  • Footprint - Not available
  • Rainfly - Available
  • Vestibule - Available

6. TETON Sports Vista Quick Tent

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This pop-up tent is an appealing choice for those who want to do some kayak camping. The TETON Vista Sports Quick Tent enables hassle-free camping. Its assembly only involves rolling the tent, locking the poles, and securing the drawstrings. It requires no skill to pitch this outdoor shelter. Keep in mind that this unit is a one-person tent, but it has enough space for your items and gear.

Of course, the TETON Sports Quick Tent has enough capabilities to protect you from the weather. In addition, it has a waterproof rainfly that shields you from rain, wind, and UV rays. However, if you want a broader rainfly, you have to purchase Teton's Elite Rainfly separately. This tent is also suitable for leisure and relaxation. Its top has a full-mesh design that lets you see the stars without any interruptions. Durability-wise, the tent may not be the best. But it can hold on its own! 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Seasonality - 3-season tent
  • Capacity - 1-person tent
  • Packaged weight - 4.6 pounds
  • Trail weight - 4 pounds
  • Floor area - 20.5 square feet
  • Peak height - 2.83 feet
  • Canopy fabric - Polyester taffeta
  • Pole material - Aluminum
  • Footprint - Not available
  • Rainfly - Available
  • Vestibule - Not Available

7. NEMO Kunai 2 Tent

PRODUCT LINK

NEMO is a known manufacturer of high-quality, ultra-rugged tents. And its Kunai Tent is a wonderful option for simple backpacking and kayak camping purposes. Specifically, the NEMO Kunai Tent is designed for two-person use. It can handle moderately harsh conditions, thanks to its 3- to 4-season construction. It features an accurately tapered profile, ergonomic brow pole construction, and a wind-blocking interior. These things can protect you from inclement weather. 

Furthermore, the tent has a tub floor system that prevents the tent from becoming wet and moist, regardless if the ground is wet. The door and zippered mesh windows of the Kunai Tent allow ample air circulation within its interior. There's also a strut vent placed on the zipper flap that also enables ventilation. With its dual-stage stuff sack, you will be able to divide the load of the tent with your fellow camper--if you have one. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Seasonality - 3- to 4-season tent
  • Capacity - 2-person tent
  • Packaged weight - 3 pounds
  • Trail weight - 4 pounds
  • Floor area - 26 square feet
  • Peak height - 3.67 feet
  • Canopy fabric - Nylon
  • Pole material - DAC featherlight aluminum
  • Footprint - Not available
  • Rainfly - Available
  • Vestibule - Not Available

Tips In Kayak Camping 

I know a thing or two about kayak camping. One of them is that this endeavor is quite fun and exciting. When you are in your kayak, you will be able to access new terrains and spots where you can pitch your tent. Normally, these areas are not accessible if you are just doing some land-based expeditions. 

For instance, you can always go to a secluded island by just paddling. Isn't that an adventure worth seeing?

But of course, preparations are necessary to make this trip successful and safe. In a nutshell, having the right gear can make things smoother for you. 

  • Use dry bags - The hatches in your kayak can keep your items dry if you capsize. However, it is not guaranteed that everything can be dry. Hence, it is essential that you put your items in dry bags and store them in the hatches. 
  • Pack small - The reason why single and two-person tents are ideal for kayak camping is because of their space-saving features. Keep in mind that your kayak has limited space. You can't just store all the things that come to your mind. Look for smaller alternatives to usual camping gear. Don't burden the trip with heavy loads. Also, make sure that your essentials are accessible. You don't want to end up searching for them while you are on the boat. 
  • Balance properly - You would want your kayak to float evenly throughout the trip. Bringing heavier loads will make it difficult to maneuver your boat. You need to practice how to balance in the kayak, specifically in the center. Don't paddle on one side because it will cause your vessel to tilt. 
  • Don't put your things on the deck - You'll be surprised that a lot of accidents involving kayaks happened because of heavy camping equipment strapped on the boat's deck. Don't make this mistake. Always put your items inside the hatch. Or, carry them on your back. 
  • Be attentive to the weather - When kayaking, it is essential that you have an awareness of the weather. Pay attention to the forecast because it might help you avoid a disastrous atmospheric condition ahead.

How To Choose The Best Kayak Tents

Choosing a tent for kayak camping is something that you need to do diligently. Here are the guidelines that can help you pick the proper outdoor shelter for you. 

Tent Weight

Always consider the weight of the tent. Considering your intended application, you need a tent that is lightweight and compact. In this way, you can easily pack it inside the kayak's hatch. There are two weights used in classifying tents: packaged weight and trail weight. Packaged weight refers to the tent's weight plus its accessories such as the poles, rainfly, and guylines. Meanwhile, trail weight relates directly to the weight of the tent, rainfly, and poles. 

Seasonality

When choosing a tent, you have to make sure that you understand the concept of seasonality. The latter refers to the kind of weather and atmospheric condition that a tent can handle. Three-season tents are the most popular, as they can be used during summer, spring, and fall. For winter camping and more challenging conditions, you might want to opt for a 3- to 4-season tent or a complete 4-season tent. Keep in mind that a 4-season tent is ideal for mountaineering and summit expeditions. They can provide you with ample protection but expect to be heavy. 

Floor Size And Tent Height

Again, size does matter when it comes to the tent. Since you are going to use the tent for a weight-conscious application like kayak camping, you have no other choice but to streamline the tent's capacity. In this way, you'll guarantee that the tent will not become a burden during the trip. 

Since your option here is a small tent, you might want to settle on 1-person or 2-person tents. Furthermore, you have to accept that their vertical height is nowhere near those dome tents designed to house a crowd. But then again, your goal here is to have a tent that is easy to pack and carry. 

In Summary

Kayak camping brings extra flavor to ordinary camping. It lets you explore places that you have never reached before. The journey is entirely fun, and the destination will simply make your trip truly worthwhile. And the key for you to enjoy this adventure is having the right kayaking skills, preparation, and equipment. Don't ever forget to have the best kayak tents!

That's it for now. If you have inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below!

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