Have you ever been out paddling on a boat and thought you could use a better, more labor saving experience? Then a kayak sail is exactly the thing you are looking for. The best kayak sail allows you to have a safe, enjoyable rideby efficiently harnessing the wind power as you glide down the water smoothly without any stress.
The perfect kayak sail for you can come in any shape, size or style, depending on the different wind conditions or capacity of the kayak. But it should always be the most efficient one out there in the market. To help you pick the best kayak sail for your boat, here is a definitive guide with all the details, product information and reviews that you need for making the right choice.
Top 10 Best Kayak Sails 2020
1. Cruise Inflatable SUP Kayak Bundle by Bluefin
If you are looking for a comprehensive, all-in-one SUP-kayak package, then the ultimate SUP kayak bundle Cruise by Bluefin should be a perfect choice. It is a complete kit that comes with a lightweight and durable paddle shaft with up to 28 PSI capacity and exceptional stability. Originally a SUP, the board can be quickly transformed into a SUP kayak with added seat for a pet or co-passenger, and a GoPro Mount on the nose.
The Cruise package is completed with specially designed fiberglass lightweight kayak paddles, a smart lock fin, a double action pump for inflation, and a SUP travel backpack. It is an all-rounder product that can be used by amateurs and veterans alike. It is hailed by patrons as one of the best kayak package under the price range of $500.
- Quick and easy conversion from SUP to kayak
- Stable maneuverability
- Safe for sailing in the ocean
- Comes in three sizes – 10’8”, 12” and 15”
- The pump for inflation can be a hard work and time-consuming
- Parts can be expensive to replace once the warranty is up
Buy it here: Cruise Inflatable SUP Kayak Bundle by Bluefin
2. RapidUp Sail by Advanced Elements
RapidUp kayak sail by Advanced Elements is ideal for you if you want something simple and convenient. It comes with a unique, ergonomic shape that helps you significantly to sail in a downwind situation. The product is made of durable, zero-rip material and comes attached with a non-corroding frame which allows the sail to spring open when deployed.
RapidUp is the best kayak sail for a quick fix, easy to configure solution to your comfortable sailing. Because of its quick self-launching feature, the product is liked by many who wants a no-nonsense, relaxing trip round the water. The package comes with two stabilization lanyards, one dousing lanyard, one carabiner base clip and a storage bag.
- Fits on a variety of SUP boats and kayaks
- Compact and portable design
- Three transparent see-through windows for visibility
- Not enough surface to catch low or medium wind
- Takes a strong gust to properly set sail
Buy it here: RapidUp Sail by Advanced Elements
3. The Bay ST by Oru Kayak
A lightweight, easily foldable kayak kit meant for fun and adventurous outings, the Bay ST is Oru Kayak’s original model. It has a sleek look and can be transformed from box to boat and back to box in five minutes. But it is also sturdy and durable for safe sailing at all times.
The Bay ST is a perfect fit for intermediate level kayaking on calm waters. You can take it out to lakes, rivers and even in the ocean on days when the waves are not too violent. Weighing only 28 lbs., the kayak comes with a maximum capacity of 300 lbs. The best part about this kayak sail is that it is extremely portable, so you can take it along with you on an adventurous trip right in the trunk of your car.
- Durable, rust-resistance surface
- Can be used by beginners as well as experts
- Foldable down to a suitcase and easily portable
- The assembling procedure a bit difficult for some people
- Some experienced instability and disassembling of the kayak early on in their purchase
Buy it here: The Bay ST by Oru Kayak
4. Downwind Kayak Wind Sail Kit by Olilio
For anyone looking for a simple, easily deployable, hassle-free kayak sail Olilio’s 42 inches Downwind Kayak Wind Sail kit is an ideal choice. The round-to-oval shaped sails come in a variety of shades to add a splash of color to your sailing experience. All of them have a see-through window in the middle for your easy visibility.
The material used to make the kayak sail is extremely durable and also eco-friendly. It will work perfectly in high wind situation, but also keep the craftiness of the kayak to a minimum. The sail is compatible with not only kayaks, but canoes and SUPs too. Clipping and strapping the sail is quite easy, and it provides considerable protection from direct sunlight as well.
- Extremely lightweight – weighs only 0.92 lbs. per unit
- Comes in four different colors – blue, orange, red, and green
- Easily deployable and foldable
- Comes in a handy storage bag
- Works only for downwind sailing – that too with lots of gust
- The package does not come with an assembling manual, which caused problem for some customers
Buy it here: Downwind Kayak Wind Sail Kit by Olilio
5. Foldable Board Wind Sail by VGEBY1
VGEBY1’s quick fix, easy to handle best kayak sail is a perfect companion for your kayak, canoe of inflatable boat. High quality PVC is used to build the surface of the sail, which makes it very lightweight, long-lasting and also extremely water resistant. The sail comes with simple operation which even a beginner in kayak sailing can easily learn. To make the boat go ahead you have to hold the clip, and to make the boat stop, you have to lay it down.
The sail is absolutely perfect to get you from one spot on the water to another using a quick breeze. With a little bit of practice, you can understand the controls of the sail pretty well. The sail comes with a storage bag which is easy to carry in your hand, backpack or in your car while you are headed towards the lake or river.
- Adjustable straps – can fit a boat of any size
- Very easy maneuverability
- Moves quite fast on little wind
- Comes in only one shade – orange
Buy it here:Foldable Board Wind Sail by VGEBY1
6. Foldable Kayak Sail by Fafeims
Fafeim’s Foldable Kayak Sail has a large surface area, meant to sail in strong winds quite safely. With a diameter of 108 cm, the sail can harness a lot more wind than regular kayak sails and utilize a gust of wind optimally to push you forward along the water.
Like any round-shaped kayak sails, Fafeim’s comes with a central see-through window. But the sail itself contributes towards UV rays protection and keeps you safe from the direct ultraviolet radiation of the sun on a long day of paddling.
- Comes with sturdy 5 mm elastic rope and two 1 cm ribbons on each side of the round
- The kayak sail is available in three distinct colors – red, blue, green
- High quality PVC is used for the body which is durable and water resistant
- Cannot be used in boats which are too narrow
Buy it here: Foldable Kayak Sail by Fafeims
7. Summer Fashion Kayak Sail by Hosmide
Think about hot summers and exciting paddling trips down the lake or river – the one thing you will need with that is the Summer Fashion Kayak Sail by Hosmide. The sail comes in a round shape, which is one of the most sought-after designs by recreational kayakers. It has a big surface area with 108 cm, allowing more wind to be harnessed and used in the propelling of the boat.
The sail is very easy to assemble, attach, deploy and fold. Like many other round kayak sails in the market, this one too can protect you from harmful UV rays. It has a window in the middle for you to see where you are going.
- Material crafted by durable polyester taffeta
- The seams are triple stitched and perimeter batten is strengthened with a hardy composite material
- The sail can only be used for kayaks and not for canoes or SUPs
- The design and color is similar to many other brands – no such uniqueness there
Buy it here:Summer Fashion Kayak Sail by Hosmide
8. Marine Bilge Pump by Best Marine and Outdoors
An important equipment of kayaking is the pump. Best Marine and Outdoors make unique bilge pumps that are floatable and come with 2 ft long reversible hose pumps that attaches on either end. It is easy to carry and takes up little to no space. You can take the pump with you out paddling and be in safe hands in case something goes wrong.
Sailing is a safe activity, but there is no guarantee out there in the water. Mishaps can happen, whether you are out on a canoe, kayak or an SUP. The pump will help you quickly fix the situation and get water out of your boat. Best Marine and Outdoors pump weighs a pound, is 18 inches long and 2.5 inches wide. Thanks to the double ended hose, it is easy to handle during a crisis. Simply push one end of the hose in and leave the other end to pump the water out.
- Very easy to use, especially in time of an emergency
- Either end of the hose can be used, therefore saving time
- Extremely high suction rate
- No electrical failure or short circuit problems
- A bit bulky to carry on a narrow kayak
- Some people experienced break down of the pump on early attempts
Buy it here: Marine Bilge Pump by Best Marine and Outdoors
9. Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board by Bright Blue
Bright Blue offers a complete package for kayaking and canoeing lovers in the form of the Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board. The dimensions of the paddle board – 10’6” in length, 32” in width and 6” in thickness is ideal for a nice sail down the water on your summer vacations. Be it for fishing or for simple recreation, the SUP is just perfect for lakes, rivers, streams and even seas.
The package comes with a complete set of paddle boarding equipment – an adjustable aluminum paddle, detachable center fin for the nose, coil leash, hand pump with single/dual action and pressure gauge, repair kit with the fabric and valve wrench and a carry bag with thick shoulder straps. The paddleboard itself is quite sturdy and attraction, and has a capacity of 15 PSI max.
- Easy and quick inflation up to 15 PSI
- Military-grade PVC for the body and drop stitch structure on the inside
- Can carry up to 350 lbs. in the water
- Reasonable price compared to other similar products
- Should not be used in rough waters with rocks and boulders
- Many customers have had problem with the pump
Buy it here: Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard by Bright Blue
10. Instant Popup Kayak Sail by Mexidi
Instant Popup Kayak Sail by Mexidi is a powerful equipment for your kayak, canoe or other similar kind of boats. The seams of the sail are triple-stitched, giving it a sturdy foundation and strong wind harnessing ability. Other than a compact design and easy maneuverability, the sail is also easily foldable into a small pouch for portability.
The sail has a wide target range of around 4 to 13 knots. The polyester taffeta and PVC material makes it lightweight yet durable. When unfolded, it gives a circumference of 108 cm and therefore a big enough surface to catch a lot of wind.
- Fits into kayaks, canoes, inflatable boats, tandems and others
- Comes in bright green, red and blue shades
- Easily foldable and easily deployable
- The clear plastic meant for visibility is all the way across which causes problem in holding up
- Comes with plastic clips which often give away easily
- Some customers received the package with broken parts
Buy it here: Instant Popup Kayak Sail by Mexidi
Factors to Look for When Buying the Best Kayak Sail
Kayak sailing has become a much sought-after outdoor hobby, especially for those who are passionate about water sports. The activity in itself is quite rejuvenating yet exciting. But with a kayak sail attached, it allows you to sit back for a while, relax and take in the surroundings.
There are many good kayak sails out there in the market, the best ones being listed in this article above. However, knowing which the right pick is for you can be a tricky task. Here is a guide about the important things to consider while choosing the best kayak sail for yourself.
There are different shaped sails meant for different functionalities. The V-shaped ones are good for downwind sailing and suited for calm waters, while the taller, L-shaped sails can go in all directions and perfect for old-timers. The round shaped sails also go in one direction usually, but has a visor window for clear vision.
Cloth, plastic and carbon fiber are the three most common materials used in kayak sails. Cloth is heavier and tends to get even more so when it comes in contact with water, but is durable.Plastic is obviously much lighter and affordable, but not as long-lasting. Carbon fiber on the other hand checks all boxes with durability, extreme wear-and-tear resistance and light weight.
- Surface Area
A sail with smaller surface will have difficulty catching wind if it is low or medium. It need to be wide enough to set sail on a light breeze, but not too big that it becomes a tipping hazard. Depending on the kind of waters you will sail and the weather that prevails there, choose the surface area of the kayak sail wisely.
When you are buying a kayak sail, the last thing you should do is compromise with it quality. That is why it is very important to buy from a reputable and trustworthy brand whose material and technique you can rely on. You will be putting yourself and your loved ones at risk if you cut corners with brand quality.
Some kayak sails are priced at a high range, but it is not always a guarantee of best quality. Check the material, size, and other equipment provided in the package to see if it justifies the price range. However, compromising quality for the sake of money is also not a wise decision, especially when it comes to kayak sails.
Benefits of Using a Kayak Sail
Having a kayak sail has its own set of advantages.
- Less effort:You can give your arms a rest for one side of the sailing journey. You will have to paddle upstream and then the sail will let the wind do the rest.
- Free time:It leaves you free for relaxing, looking around, fishing, and other activities on the kayak. You can have some proper time away from everything else just for yourself.
- Experience:If you are planning to learn sailing big time and have decided to eventually sail larger boats by yourself, using kayak sails is a great first step. It will help build the foundation of sailing in the open waters.
- Protection:Some of the larger models of kayak sails also offer shade from the sun and rain. If you have forgotten your hat and sunglasses, no worries, your kayak sail has got your back.
- Convenience:Kayak sail set ups often provide unchallenging maneuverability, allowing you to sail through narrow and critical zones with ease.
Points of Sail in Kayak Sailing
Knowing the right point of sail is very important while kayaking or any other kind of sailing. It is the general idea of sailing according to the direction of the wind. Positioning your boat in the exact right alignment of the wind is a trick lost on many – but it is an art extremely required for sailing. There are four types of Points of Sail used by most expert sailors out in the water – close hauled, close reach, beam reach and running.
- Close Haul: Close Haul is the situation where the boat is sailing very close to the wind. Sailing directly upwind is impossible as the wind comes in at a narrow angle.
- Close Reach:When the wind comes at a slightly greater angle than close haul but still towards you, it is called Close Reach. It is one of the fastest points of sail when you are out there with your boat.
- Beam Reach: Beam Reach is when the wind hits you perpendicularly at a right angle. The 90° wind wave hits the boat on the side, giving it neither a slow nor a very fast speed.
- Running: Last but not the least, Running is when the wind is directly behind you and you have to place the sail at a right angle to catch all that wind to push your boat forward.
Understanding of these four points of sail will not only make it an easier experience for you, but also a more enriching and fun one.
Tips for Kayak Sailing
Here are some useful tips for you that might come in handy when you go out for kayak sailing.
- Precaution: Before you set sail, make sure the sail is installed properly and there are no loose ends. Failing to do so will not only cause damage to both the sail and the kayak, but also pose threat to you. The kayak might flip and overturn as well.
- Compatibility: Check that the sail you are attaching with your kayak actually goes with it. Some sails are compatible with kayaks, canoes, SUPs and others, while some are for one particular kind. Installing a sail that does not go with your kind of boat will also end up in property damage and life risk.
- Start easy: If you are an amateur in kayak sailing and only beginning to take the first steps in the activity, keep things low. Start out in calmer waters like lakes which do not have water current or waves. Once you know you way around here, you can gear it up to a stream, a river and eventually the ocean.
- Trimming: When you are on the water, keep in mind about trimming the sheets. It will ensure that they are full of air and not flapping violently. A flapping sail is an indicator of lost wind energy. You don’t want that to happen. You want to use the full force of wind pushing your kayak forward.
- Can you sail a kayak?
Yes, you can sail a kayak. Irrespective of the size, shape, material or design of a kayak, all of them are sailable. Kayak sails can be used to save physical labor and energy while kayaking and leave it up to the wind to take you from place to place.
- Which kayak is most stable?
The kayaks with sit-on-top variety are usually bigger and wider and therefore much more stable in the water. However, these kayaks are not very fast. The speedy kayaks are the longer and narrower ones, which are less stable than the wider ones.
- What length kayak do I need?
8 feet to 12 feet kayaks are ideal for personal and recreational purposes. These are perfect for kayaking in lakes, rivers, streams and other comparatively calmer waters. For seas and oceans, going with a 14 feet to 18 feet kayak would be much safer.
- Should I buy a sit-inside or sit-on-top kayak?
If you want fun and easy kayaking and do not mind getting wet, sit-on-top kayaks are perfect. They are wider and more stable, and easy to get on and off. Sit-inside kayaks protect your body from wind and water as you will literally sit inside the cockpit. But freedom of movement will be comparatively less and getting out in case of a flip can be tricky. The choice depends on your preference.
- Do kayaks flip easily?
No, kayaks are specifically designed to be safe on waters. However, it depends largely on the weather, type of water and shape of kayak and kayak sail. Too big a sail on a narrow kayak can be a flip hazard. Too much weight on one side can also cause the kayak to flip over. Bad weather and rough waters can be a risk as well.
- How much do a good kayak cost?
The cost of a good kayak depends on the kind you are looking for. For example, only the paddleboard will cost around $100-150 for fiberglass models on average, while carbon paddles should be much more expensive than that, but also more reliable and sturdy. However, if you want to buy the whole package together, it would mean you will pay for the paddles, the sail, the gauge, the pump and anything else you want to include in the kit.
- How long does a good kayak last?
Whether a kayak will be long-lasting or not depends largely on its maintenance. How you take care of it will determine how long you get to use. Usually a good fiberglass kayak should at least last 4-5 years even after fairly regular use. Carbon paddleboards should last even more – a decade or so. However, if you neglect its maintenance or constantly take it to rocky or rough sailing zones, the longevity obviously drops with every occasion.
- How to stay dry while kayaking?
It is impossible to not get even a little bit wet while kayaking – you will be in water after all. However, sit-in kayaks do ensure a much warmer and drier experience since you will be sitting inside the cockpit. Sit-on kayaks would mean you inevitably get quite wet during sailing. But if you are sailing in cold waters and really don’t want any of it, you can try wearing waterproof apparel and shoes. You can use gaskets too, which seat our water from getting inside clothes around the neck and wrists.