The 10 Best Kayaks In 2021
A kayak can take you practically anywhere: tranquil lakes and stormy seas, meandering streams, and surging whitewater. A kayak is your ticket to relaxation, adventure, or maybe just some good exercise.
But you need to pick the right watercraft. Your kayak is responsible for keeping you safe, comfortable, and – this is really important – above the surface of the water. We’re here to help you choose wisely.
These are the best kayaks of 2021 for any budget. Whether you’re looking for a simple starter kayak to paddle around your local pond or an advanced setup for your next seafaring escapade, one of these vessels can be your trusted companion and conveyance.
1. Oru Kayak Bay ST
One of the most innovative kayak designs in recent memory, the Oru Kayak Bay ST is lightweight, versatile, and compact. Very compact. This is a folding kayak that weighs just 26 pounds and can be folded and unfolded in minutes.
You can toss it in the trunk. You can check it on an airplane. You can throw the handy strap over your shoulder and stroll on down to the water to unfold it. It’s pretty cool.
Far from being merely a unique design, this is also a great kayak for experts and beginners alike. The hull is stable and has a reinforced cockpit and structural bulkheads for rigidity.
The body of the kayak is made of 5mm double-layered polypropylene, which is resistant to punctures and abrasions. It can also be folded and unfolded thousands of times without weakening.
2. Delta 16 Kayak
When a storm blows in, you want to be in a kayak that can handle it. The Delta 16 is that kayak. This 16-foot sea kayak is where you want to be when the surf gets rough.
The Delta 16 Kayak is nimble and responsive. It offers the perfect combination of tracking and maneuverability to keep you on-course no matter which way the wind blows. It helps that the Delta 16 is designed with a shallow V-hull and a sharply-angled chine. It’s wonderfully stable and it turns on a dime.
This kayak has ample storage space too, including a hard-capped day hatch and bungee deck rigging on the bow and stern. That makes it great for multi-day excursions and long-distance float/camping trips.
3. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
It’s safe to say inflatable kayaks aren’t for everyone or every situation. But they have their devotees, and there are times when a simple watercraft like the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak really shines.
This basic, reliable kayak is great for lazy river float trips with a group of friends, or for paddling around your local lake or pond. It’s also great for anyone new to kayaking who wants something budget-friendly to start on.
The Challenger K2 is made of rugged vinyl that’s resistant to abrasion and UV damage. It’s puncture-resistant, within reason. Try to avoid sharp rocks. The K2 does have two separate air chambers, along with a rigid I-beam inflatable floor.
The kayak comes with a patch kit, two 86-inch aluminum oars, and a high capacity pump for quick and easy inflation. The whole package weighs next-to-nothing and is very easy to transport.
4. Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0
When you’re fishing from a kayak you need one thing above all: stability. The Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0 is engineered to be steady and secure on the water so you can battle big fish without the worry of tipping.
With a spacious sit-on-top design, ample storage, and accessory mounts for easy customization, this is a great all-around kayak for all your adventures. It also has an adjustable (and removable) captain’s chair for comfort and mobility.
The Pilot Drive propeller system is another great feature of the Pescador Pilot 12.0, allowing you to easily propel the boat by foot power, leaving both hands free. The pedal system even works in reverse.
5. Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus
A lot of tandem kayaks feel cramped and uncomfortable, but Old Town’s Dirigo Tandem Plus – a two-person variation on their popular Dirigo series of kayaks – seems to have solved that problem.
Turns out, it was a pretty simple solution. The Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus has two separate cockpit openings, each of them spacious and non-confining. There’s also a removable child seat for a third, smaller passenger.
This kayak is smooth-running, maneuverable, and built for comfort. It’s a little on the heavy side at 72 pounds, but that’s the price you pay for extra seating. You can also move the stern seat forward and use it for solo paddling.
6. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12
Bass beware. The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 is one tricked-out fishing kayak. This innovative watercraft has six-rod holders, a built-in tackle storage system, and the ability to navigate tight spaces where few kayaks have gone before.
The steering fins are designed to glide over obstructions like rocks and logs with no problem, so you can get right up into that thick cover that fish love to hide in. Best of all, the MirageDrive 360 technology gives you unprecedented mobility.
You move the kayak by pedaling with your feet and steering with your hands. You can go forward and reverse at full speed and even turn a full 360 degrees in place.
There’s a little bit of a learning curve to the steering and pedal propulsion systems. But once you get the hang of it, the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 is almost shockingly fast and maneuverable.
7. Jackson Kayak Zen 3.0
Whitewater requires a special breed of kayak. You need something that’s tough enough to bounce off rocks without splitting the hull and stable and well-balanced enough that it insists on staying upright, no matter what.
The Zen 3.0 from Jackson Kayak is all of the above, and then some. Its unique, torpedo-shaped design is as eye-catching as it is functional. This is a kayak that thrives in surging whitewater, with a rockered bow that helps it clear obstacles with ease.
The Jackson Kayak Zen 3.0 is one fun little boat too. Equally, at home in wide rivers and narrow streams, it surfs and glides across the surface and cuts right through when the water gets gnarly. It inspires the kind of confidence that lets you know you can get through some tight scrapes without fear of capsizing.
8. Perception Expression 11.5 Kayak
The Perception Expression 11.5 offers the best of both worlds for anyone in need of something a little more heavy-duty than a recreational kayak, but perhaps not quite as hardy as a touring kayak. It’s a compromise and it’s a good one.
Take it for an afternoon paddle on ponds and lakes. Ride it down mild rivers. Let it carry you over placid coastal waters. There are better kayaks for serious whitewater and open ocean adventures, but few that offer a better balance of characteristics.
Among the many charms of the Expression 11.5 are a progressive rocker for keen maneuverability, high-grade polyethylene plastic for durability, and front and rear dry storage for all your stuff. It has an upswept bow and peaked deck that shed water while providing speed and performance.
9. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105
With a newly updated design, the Tarpon 105 from Wilderness Systems is a great jack-of-all-trades kayak for all flatwater adventures. It measures in at a relatively trim 10’ 6″ but packs a lot of features into its small, agile frame.
The Tarpon 105 is built for stability and it tracks straight and true. It has an abundance of storage options for lots of gear and a dog-friendly rear deck if you want to bring a four-legged friend. This kayak has a sit-on-top-design. The seat is comfy and adjustable, but some might find it lacking in lumbar support.
The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 is right at home on calm lakes, rivers, and seas. It also has a lot of options for customization, like accessory rails that can accommodate fishing rod holders or camera mounts.
10. Crystal Explorer Kayak
The Crystal Explorer Kayak is an innovative transparent kayak that gives you a unique underwater viewing experience. Its advanced polymer hull is glass-clear, but also tough and corrosion-resistant.
This is a solid kayak; not just a novelty. Straight-tracking and steady in a light chop, the Crystal Explorer is durable as well as lightweight. It also has a removable seat and frame for easy storage.
There’s some extra care required to keep the kayak transparent – wash it after exposure to saltwater, don’t drag it on the ground, store it out of direct sunlight.
Paddling around in the Crystal Explorer and watching the underwater world through the kayak floor is a really incredible experience. Of course, the downside of this transparent design is that The Crystal Explorer is essentially invisible. Use extreme caution while paddling on lakes with a lot of boat traffic.
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There are countless different types and styles of kayak out there, but most can be broken down into two basic categories: recreational kayaks and sea kayaks. Recreational kayaks are typically smaller and are great for beginners or for exploring calm bodies of water. Sea kayaks, also called touring kayaks, are longer, have more storage capacity, and are designed for extended adventures and rougher waters.
Kayaks can further be divided into sit-on-top kayaks and sit-in kayaks. There are other variations too, like inflatable kayaks, and pedal kayaks, which are controlled by foot pedals instead of oars. Whitewater kayaks, too, are a breed of their own.
Though largely a matter of personal preference, there are situations in which both styles shine. Sit-in kayaks have a cozy cockpit; they’re more versatile, and often more stable. They tend to keep you drier and you can attach a spray skirt for cold weather kayaking.
Sit-on-top kayaks have a flattened, molded-in depression that one sits on. They are often thought of as kayaks for beginners, but that’s not always the case. Sit-on-top kayaks sometimes have removable seats, which make them ideal for activities like fishing.
The amount you spend should be proportional to the amount of use you intend to get out of your kayak, and the intensity of the conditions you plan on putting it through.
You can get an all-around solid beginners’ recreational kayak for a few hundred bucks. You can also spend thousands on an advanced kayak that will get you through rough seas and carry you on month-long adventures. The choice is up to you.
The Best 14 Leather Jackets for Men in 2021
With the winter months (hopefully) dwindling down, it’s time to start planning ahead to a time where we can wear thinner jackets and fewer layers. While it may be tempting to quickly shed your parka and grab for whatever piece of outerwear is nearby, don’t reach for last year’s wardrobe item just yet. Isn’t it time you try something new, like, say, a leather jacket?
Though it may seem all leather jackets are similar, there are actually many different designs and styles that work for different body types and tastes. In this article, we will take a look at the hottest leather jacket trends that have hit the market this season.
1. Aaron Brown Leather Bomber
The Aaron Brown Leather Jacket from The Jacket Maker is an excellent choice for any guy looking for that traditional bomber look. This awesome jacket features a slim cut and ribbed cuffs and waist. It’s made with incredibly tough, yet soft, goatskin leather, making it a great choice for guys that aren’t used to wearing leather jackets.
One of the best things about the Aaron is that it shirks the classic pouch pockets on the lower half of the jacket, opting for two buttoned patch pockets on the chest instead. This design gives it a more streamlined look than most bombers, without taking away from any of the authenticity.
2. Saint Laurent Leather Biker Jacket
There is a reason why leather jackets and bikers are usually associated with one another. Historically, many motorcycle riders have seen a leather jacket as a stylish way to protect themselves, not only from the elements but also from the possibility of a crash. While this may seem hard to believe – it’s not like leather comes with a large amount of padding, after all – leather has actually been shown to offer more protection than your average vinyl jacket or equivalent.
Maybe you’re not hopping on a motorcycle anytime soon, but you can still treat yourself to this biker-inspired Saint Laurent leather jacket. With a price tag surpassing $5,000, it’s certainly our premium pick on this list, but if you’re looking for the leather jacket of a lifetime, you have it right here. This pick is sure to come with the “for life” quality Saint Laurent is particularly known for.
3. Reiss Keith Leather Cafe Racer Jacket
Reiss is a British fashion retailer that’s been around since the 1970s. For the first 30 years of its brand history, it focused solely on men’s fashion before eventually expanding to carry items for women as well. However, the fact high-quality items for men are at the heart of this brand is very apparent through their simple wardrobe staples such as the Keith leather cafe racer jacket.
This Reiss jacket comes at a considerably lower price point than its counterparts, which makes it a pick that packs a lot of value. It’s made from super-soft leather and features a full lining. It’s the perfect choice for anybody who prefers a slim-fit jacket.
4. Lavendard Brown Leather Bike Jacket
The Jacket Maker has something for everyone, including guys that are a bit intimidated by purchasing their first leather jacket. Not only is the Lavendard incredibly affordable, but it also has a really approachable look despite its biker moniker. With open hem cuffs and a tailored fit, it looks great with badass-inspired outfits as well as everyday wear.
The Lavendard is made of real cowhide, which means it will take on a great patina over time. But it might be a bit stiff when you first get it. The more you wear it, the faster it’ll form to your body, break-in, and soften up. The fact that it goes with so many outfits will help speed up that process.
5. Ksubi Capital Leather Jacket
The Capital Leather Jacket from Ksubi comes in 100% authentic leather and is designed to have a biker fit. It’s heavy-duty with a protective interior quilted lining. It also features retro details such as antique zippers.
Kusbi is an Australian fashion label that’s existed since the 1990s. While the brand was originally focused on high-end denim, they’ve expanded their offerings over time to include other textiles such as leather. Items from Ksubi’s collections have been shown at such high-profile events as New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, and the company operates a flagship store in New York’s SOHO neighborhood.
6. Acne Studios Off-Centred Zipper Biker Jacket
Swedish fashion powerhouse Acne Studios is well-known for their basic wardrobe pieces, so it makes sense that they would have the classic leather jacket look on lock. We love the way this off-centered jacket packs a punch of personality with its multiple buckles and zippers, but we love even more the way that it does not compromise softness or comfort at the expense of appearance.
This jacket comes with a high-end price tag, but it has the high-end materials to match. It is made of 100% genuine lambskin and comes with an interior lining of 100% viscose. Its unique off-center zip takes its inspiration from street style.
7. Airin G-1 Black and White Leather Jacket
There’s only one way to improve upon a traditional bomber: Add shearling fabric. The Jacket Maker’s Airin G-1 Bomber will have ready to strap into the cockpit, ready to fly over Europe on a midnight air-raid. It has a thick polyester-lined collar as well as ribbed cuffs and waist for a nice, snug fit that keeps the wind at bay.
The Airin is made with real sheepskin, so it’s soft but super durable, making it a great choice for almost any type of casual wear. The dual front pouch pockets are great for a phone and a pair of gloves, so if you’re wearing it on a motorcycle, you’ll have the storage you need.
8. Saturdays NYC Leather Harrington Jacket
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand Saturdays NYC, prepare to fall in love. As a laidback lifestyle brand, Saturdays NYC infuses its love for all things surfer culture in all of its fashion offerings. While primarily known for their loungewear, such as sweats and pullover sweaters, they also happen to make one of the best leather jackets on the market right now.
The leather Harrington jacket features a smooth design and has deep pockets for your convenience. It is made of 100% lambskin leather and features a lining made of polyester. Staying true to its brand’s carefree nature, this jacket features a more relaxed fit than many classic leather jackets.
9. Berluti Piped Venezia Leather Jacket
Unlike the other options we’ve included so far, Berluti is known less for being a fashion brand and more for being a leather maker. Since its inception in the late 19th century, the Paris-based manufacturer has been producing fine leather clothing items and accessories, from belts to bags to jackets.
Berluti’s piped Venezia leather jacket is the apex of luxury leather fashion. Made from a distinctive brown shade, this jacket line has been around since the 1980s – and it’s a style that certainly stands the test of time.
This jacket is made from 100% authentic patinated calfskin leather and features shoulder patches and a buttoned collar. For optimal breathability, the jacket even features ventilation eyelets.
10. Dean Black Leather Biker Jacket
Let’s be honest.. A traditional racing-style biker jacket is about as cool as it gets. With the high band-style collar and heavy-duty zippers on the front of The Jacket Maker’s Dean Leather Biker Jacket, you’re sure to get that badass look.
The Dean is made with 100% real cowhide leather, so it might be a little stiff at first, but it will break in and patina like none other. The Dean features three zippered pockets on the front as well as zippered cuffs, providing that authentic racing jacket-look without killing your bank account.
11. Kingsman Burnished Leather Jacket
Kingsman is a line of high-quality clothing pieces that exists as a collaboration between Mr. Matthew Vaughn, director of the film The King’s Man, and international online fashion retailer MR PORTER. The line features items that are inspired by classic military style and timeless sensibilities.
The burnished leather jacket from the Kingsman line is unique for its length as well as its appearance. It draws direct inspiration from an aviator jacket worn on-screen in The King’s Man, a period piece that takes place in the 1940s. The jacket is made out of sturdy cow leather and buttons made of buffalo horns. It also features two linings – one made of cotton, and one made of viscose.
12. AllSaints Milo Leather Biker Jacket
AllSaints is a British fashion brand from the United Kingdom. Since its founding in the 1990s, it has grown to an international presence that consists of more than 200 retail stores across Europe, North America, and Asia. The brand is mostly focused on fashion for women and men, though it also sells footwear and other accessories. It has primarily seen its popularity grow thanks to its popularity among a celebrity clientele.
AllSaints makes a number of leather jackets, but the Milo biker jacket is definitely one to write home about. This is a jacket that brings out the very best of two very different worlds – including a soft composition and sharp edges – since it is made of tender lamb leather and decorated to the nines with perfectly-placed zippers and buckles. It also has a distinctive slim fit.
13. Golden Bear Sherpa Jacket
San Francisco brand Golden Bear may have its roots in ship workers in the San Francisco Bay since the 1920s, but it’s evolved today to combine both utilitarianism and high-end style. Although not as recognized outside of its native northern California, to know the stylish jackets of Golden Bear is to love them.
The sherpa jacket, in particular, is exquisite. Like any Golden Bear clothing piece, it’s designed to be worn for life, and fortunately, it comes with a style that will be sure to stay in fashion for decades to come, with brown distressed leather and a notable shearling collar that can be detached.
14. Tom Ford Zip-up Leather Jacket
Tom Ford is well-known for their high-end scents and formal clothing, but they have a strong foot in the casual jacket sphere as well. Not that this zip-up leather jacket is something you would wear to a casual house party. Its sleek edges and formal design make it more than suitable for a fancy professional event or night out on the town.
True to its brand’s roots, no attention to detail was spared in the creation of this particular wardrobe piece. Its straightforward design features 100% authentic leather and a cotton and polyamide lining. It is truly meant to last for life. Made in Italy, this jacket has shallow pockets in the front and a zipper down the center.
Leather Jacket FAQs
While there are many different unique leather jacket configurations out there, there are four classic syles you should be most aware of. In no particular order, they are the leather bomber jacket (also called aviator jacket), the leather racer jacket (sometimes called moto), the trenchcoat, and the fencer. While bomber jackets and racer jackets tend to be more relaxed, the trenchcoat and the fencer are more dramatic.
If you care for your leather jacket correctly you should have a wardrobe piece that’ll last you a lifetime. Most leather jackets cannot be washed at home and must only be handled professionally. The first step to taking proper care of your jacket is to adhere to this rule.
You should also keep your leather jacket dry as often as possible and keep it away from extreme heat or cold air. If you are not going to be wearing your leather jacket for a period of time, such as during a warm season, then you’ll want to be sure that you are hanging it up correctly – this means out of direct sunlight and in a properly-ventilated area.
Determining how much to pay for a leather jacket is a very personal matter. For an authentic leather jacket, you will probably be paying, at a baseline, $500. However, this price can easily skyrocket from here, depending on the jacket’s materials and manufacturing process.
Some leather jackets can cost as much as $10,000! There is no right or wrong number – it’s instead about the brands you like and the style that you envision for yourself.