If you are in a rush the best kayak outrigger is the Brocraft Kayak Outrigger System.
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner to the kayak industry or you’ve been kayaking for years on end, you can always benefit from having outriggers or stabilizers on your kayak. Perhaps the most vital factor to always keep in mind while you’re kayaking is its stability.
Your kayak has to remain stable throughout your whole trip, and the stability affects many different things about your ride, including your speed, direction and even your safety and comfort. Outriggers are essentially classified as stabilizers that extend from your kayak, and they help to distribute the weight of your kayak more evenly.
They help to keep everything in the kayak balanced overall, and they drastically diminish the chances of your boat capsizing. Many people are aware of outriggers, but they aren’t sure which ones to buy or what exactly they’re looking for. Here are some of the best outriggers and stabilizers on the market as well as some different considerations for your convenience.
The Best Kayak Outriggers go as follows:
- Brocraft Kayak Outrigger System – (Best Overall)
- Yak-Gear Kayak or Canoe Outriggers – (Best Value)
- Scotty Kayak Stabilizer System – (Most Versatile)
- Hobie Sidekick Ama Kit – (Most Durable)
- Lixada Kayak PVC Inflatable Outrigger – (Budget Option)
Table of Contents
1. Brocraft Kayak Outrigger System (Best Overall)
- 32” aluminum arms to attach floats to kayak
- PVC foam floats
- Stainless steel mounting hardware
- Two power locks to adjust
- Bright yellow floats
Offering the most beneficial features as well as the best stability and buoyancy, the Brocraft Kayak Outrigger is the most highly suggested product for you and your purposes. It comes with everything that’s needed for operation and assembly, so you don’t have to worry about any extra purchases. And it offers a durable and lightweight overall construction.
More specifically, this stabilization system features a lightweight aluminum construction with the 32-inch bar that attaches the pontoons to the product’s mount on the kayak. Not only that, but the pontoons themselves feature a durable PVC foam material that keeps the floats on top of the water and offering the most amount of buoyancy possible.
The foam material helps to eliminate the possibility of any damage from developing onto the pontoons, so this outrigger system can work for either fought or mild and calm waters. You even have the ability to adjust the floats to your preference. They have two settings that can be locked into place to ensure sturdiness. And the adjustment feature helps you to customize the boat’s level of stability and buoyancy for your liking.
To ensure maximum stability, the mounting hardware is composed of a stainless steel material that keeps the extension arms from coming loose while you’re paddling through the water. The pontoons themselves feature a smaller design that can reduce the risk of you hitting the floats while you’re paddling, fishing or engaging in other activities while on the boat.
- Lightweight and durable construction, with aluminum bars and a stainless steel mount
- Pontoons are smaller and bright yellow, reducing the risk of them getting in the way
- Includes everything needed for operation and assembly
- Stainless steel mount doesn’t have any waterproof features, so they risk developing rust overtime if not taken care of
2. Yak-Gear Kayak or Canoe Outriggers (Best Value)
- Patented side-shaft design
- Upward movement on one-side moves the other downward
- EVA/PVC foam material
- Mount system fits all over the boat
- Polymer-dipped shafts and arms
You’re advised to consider Yak-Gear stabilizers because they’re classified as the product having the best value overall. More specifically, these stabilizers have the ability to function with either canoes or kayaks, and they’re suitable for engaging in a range of activities while you’re on the boat.
This outrigger product comes with a patented side-shafted design that gives you the ability to mount these stabilizers practically anywhere on your boat for the extra stability you need. Some previous customers say that they may be more difficult to function and adjust, since they come with a feature that gives them the ability to move one side upward while the other side is moved downward.
But once you engage with the stabilizers and work with them for a little, they’re easy to understand and adjust. This one-side function feature is actually extremely beneficial for kayaking in waters that have more waves, since the outrigger can provide stabilization while you’re going through waves. Other outriggers risk losing that stability when they’re in rougher waters, since the outrigger’s arms can usually only lock into one place, making them go beneath the waters surface in rougher waters.
Furthermore, this Yak-Gear stabilization system can easily be installed for your convenience. Not only does this product come with everything that’s needed for assembly, but it has the ability to be assembled anywhere on the boat.
The floats themselves are formulated with an EVA foam material that’s beneficial for waters that have more debris. The foam material doesn’t risk popping or developing as much damage as inflatable floats in water with debris, making them great for more rapid water activities.
Lastly, the arms of this outrigger kit contain polymer coating on them, making them more durable and stable in the water.
- Produced with a durable EVA foam material
- Convenient feature makes one side go upward and the other downward for easy wave clearance
- Includes everything that’s needed for assembly and installation
- May be difficult to set up
3. Scotty Kayak Stabilizer System (Most Versatile)
- Inflatable floats
- 30 pounds of buoyancy
- Improved locking brackets
If you’re looking for a versatile outrigger, then this Scotty product is beneficial because it can conveniently work for any type of kayak as well as canoes. It’s classified as an inflatable kayak that can offer up to 30 pounds of extra buoyancy. Given that, many customers prefer this stabilizer just for the high amount of buoyancy that it’s capable of offering.
In addition to that, you can easily install and remove this stabilizer system because it features improved locking brackets. This, in addition to the inflatable construction of the outrigger, makes this product highly recommended for camping trips or all-day trips.
- 30 lbs buoyancy
- Improved locking brakes make keep the floats in place
- Easy installation and removal
- Can be used for a variety of different uses
- More expensive than some of the other outriggers on the market
4. Hobie Sidekick Ama Kit (Most Durable)
- 3 position height adjustments
- Stainless steel construction
- PVC inflatable floats
The Hobie Sidekick Ama Kit is highly suggested for you if you’re looking for a more durable outrigger system. This Hobie product features an overall stainless steel construction that even has a stainless steel mounting frame for optimal stability. Not only does the stainless steel construction benefit the stability that your kayak has overall, but it’s also great for using in waters that are more rapid.
When you’re kayaking in more rushed waters that have constant waves and even debris, then your outriggers risk becoming wobbly or losing stability in some cases. By having a stainless steel frame and mounting bar, you don’t have to worry about the outrigger becoming loose. And it can help you to maintain stability through any waves that you’re around.
More specifically, this Hobie Sidekick stabilization kit offers great customization with it’s height adjustment having three positions that you can choose between for your convenience. Many customers love the adjustment features of this product because it helps them to change between the amount of stability and buoyancy that the outriggers can offer overall.
As for the pontoons themselves, this Hobie stabilization system comes with two inflatable floats that can easily be inflated and deflated for your convenience.
- Features a fully stainless steel construction for maximum stability
- Don’t have to worry about the frame coming loose or unstable in waves
- Has 3 different positions you can adjust to
- More expensive than some other outrigger products available on the market
5. Lixada Kayak PVC Inflatable Outrigger (Budget Option)
- Inflatable floats
- Comes with 2 repair patches for the floats
- Works for kayaks and canoes
- Metal bar frame purchased separately
For those of you looking for a more affordable option, the Lixada Kayak is a great budget-friendly option. It features an inflatable PVC construction that can easily be set up within a few minutes. The pontoons feature a drain hole that can be quickly filled with air and deflated when you’re done using the product.
Given the inflated construction, this outrigger is recommended for easy portability. The pontoons are lightweight and durable at the same time, so you don’t have to worry about them getting in the way while you’re kayaking through the water. And they can be deflated so that they can fit in your backpack or with your other kayaking gear.
Furthermore, this Lixada outrigger product is extremely versatile. It can function on practically any type of smaller fishing boat, from a canoe or a kayak. It’s even great for offering stability in countless different activities, ranging from paddling, fishing, standing or even riding for beginners.
As for accessories, this kayak outrigger produced from Lixada comes with two repair patches that you can use for instances where the inflatable pontoons develop damage from any debris in the water. Previous customers really like the buoyancy and stability that this outrigger provides, and they love the overall construction as it’s out of the way from paddling or fishing line.
- Comes with 2 repair patches to fix the inflatable pontoons
- Suitable for various activities, ranging from fishing to standing up
- Easily assembled with a few breaths of air to inflate the pontoons
- Doesn’t come with the metal bar and mounting system
What to Look for When it Comes to Outriggers
The main purpose of outriggers is to keep your kayak more stable, but the different types of materials, designs and overall styles vary in stability. That being said, you need to find an outrigger that delivers the right amount of stability for you.
This can be determined when you think about the certain types of activities and the types of environments that you’ll be in with your kayak. Perhaps one of the best examples for someone needing maximum amount of stability would be a standup fisherman. The outriggers extended from the sides of the kayak can make the kayak more stable to balance in, and it resists the urge for the kayak to tip over.
Another example of someone that may not require optimal stability may be someone that’s new to kayaking and they’re simply looking for more balance while they’re getting the hang of the sport.
Since there are so many different kinds of outriggers on the market that range in the materials used, the brand and overall design, the prices will vary for these as well. Generally, people assume that the more expensive products will offer the most high quality benefits. But that’s not always the case, since many cheaper products can deliver just the same results.
That being said, you should review the different features that each outrigger offers. Think about which features are necessary for your specific situation, and go for the product that will work the best while still available at an affordable price.
A high quality, long-lasting and useful outrigger will generally cost anywhere from $80 to $150. But I don’t recommend paying more than $150 for a simple outrigger design with basic features.
There are various designs of outriggers on the market, so the specific type of installation for each style can vary. Regardless of the specific type of product you have, most outriggers on the market will come with the mounting hardware that’s needed in order to assemble the outrigger to the kayak. From that, you’ll want to install the mount onto the kayak and then install the attachments to the mounting frame.
Most kayaks will feature a design that comes with pontoons that can extend from the kayak for stability. The pontoons are filled with air, so they easily float in the water and help to keep your boat balanced, stable and maintained on top of the water. That being said, you’ll want to attach the pontoons to the arms of the certain kayak stabilizer that you’ve assembled on your boat previously.
You should also think about the certain location on the boat for the stabilizers. You’re recommended to install the outriggers nearing the rear end of the kayak, since this location won’t get in the way of your paddling techniques. Not only that, but having them in the rear end of the boat reduces the risk of your fishing line getting tangled if you’re fishing on the kayak.
When you’re installing the outrigger, you’ll want to adjust the system so that it keeps the kayak where you want in the water. Most outriggers let you adjust the arms of the system upward or downward. Adjusting the arms upward gives your kayak the ability to sit deeper into the water, and you’ll usually have less stability with that set up.
Not only that, but having the outrigger’s arms more upward and out of the water is recommended for traveling at faster speeds on the kayak. On the other hand, assembling the outrigger’s arms downward keeps your kayak more above the water. Even though this set up gives you more stability, it will essentially reduce the speed of the kayak through the water.
Lastly, some kayaks have a feature that allows the outrigger’s extensions to retract out of the water when you adjust them all the way upwards. This is beneficial because you can travel faster through the water to get to a certain location and then adjust the outrigger’s arms downward when you want more stability.
Outriggers reduce your speed through the water because they increase the amount of contact that your kayak has with the water. This increases the resistance of your boat, ultimately making the kayak move slower through the water.
Outriggers and stabilizers are essentially responsible for giving your kayak more buoyancy. They help to keep your kayak more stable while keeping you above the water more, so you essentially have the ability to place more gear on your boat. This is especially beneficial for fisherman, since they tend to have a larger amount of gear and carry extra weight along the way with the fish they catch.
The level of buoyancy differs greatly among the different types, brands and specific outriggers on the market. So it’s important that you think about how much your kayak weighs overall.
You should also consider the type of water that you’re planning on traveling in. Because they keep you above the water at varying levels, you may want to refrain from using outriggers in more rushed and rough waters. In rapid waters, you’ll want the boat to be as much into the water as you can in order to increase your control and direction of the kayak.
Not only that, but you risk popping or damaging the outrigger in more rapid or rushed waters, since there tend to be more debris that can damage the outrigger in those bodies of water.
Different Types of Outriggers
Filled with air, inflatable outriggers tend to have more buoyancy than other types of outriggers. As a result of that, they have less stability than foam inserts, given the inflated construction. Not only that, but they require more maintenance than other types of kayaks, since you have to blow them up in order to use them. And they risk popping in the water if you’re kayaking in water that contains debris.
As an advantage, you can easily store inflatable outriggers away when you’re not using them. Since they’re inflated, you can simply release the air from them when you’re done using them and store them away in your tackle box or in your car.
Offering a more durable construction, foam outriggers involve a foam material enclosed inside of a protective external structure that keeps water from seeping into the porous structure of the foam. Compared to inflatable outriggers, foam ones are able to offer more stability because of their more durable and sturdy construction.
As a result of their structure, their increased stability reduces the amount of buoyancy that your kayak has, but only in minimal amounts. Additionally, foam stabilizers are more recommended for waters that have more debris, since you don’t have to worry about any debris popping or damaging the structure as easily as inflatable ones.
On the downside, foam outriggers don’t have the convenience of easily being stored away when you’re done with them. They’re represented as a solid construction of foam, so you have to use and store them in the same way.
Homemade vs. Ready-made
As you’re browsing the market for kayak outriggers, you’ll notice that many people have tried to make their own outriggers in order to keep their kayak stable from things that they already have at home. The types of outrigger constructions that people follow when they make them at home can vary, but most people use foam inserts or other lightweight materials as the pontoon constructions.
Homemade outriggers offer you the advantage of possibly saving money and using some of the equipment that you have at home. Since you’re physically producing them, you also have the advantage of fully customizing your outrigger to fit your specific purposes. But they also require that you have all of the right equipment, which may mean that you have to go purchase some anyway.
Not only that, but they require that you know what you’re doing. You have to be knowledgeable about the overall construction as well as how to install it. There’s always the risk that the construction or the pontoons won’t function correctly and it won’t work in the water.
On the other hand, ready-made outriggers can be purchased at the store or online immediately, and they only require that you install them onto your kayak. They come with all of the tools you’ll need for assembly, and they’re produced by companies that sell them in large quantities. Because of that, they will likely function better than homemade ones.
Also, they are probably more convenient in the amount of space that they’ll take up on your kayak, since you can mount them more easily with the tools and construction that they feature. On the downside, you should expect to pay more for ready-made outriggers. You’re essentially paying for the time and convenience of having the outrigger made for you already.
It ultimately comes to personal preference. If you feel like you have the right equipment, experience and knowledge to produce the right outrigger, then you may want to try. But keep in mind the risks as well as the time that it takes.
Overall, each of these kayak outriggers are able to offer you a wide variety of features that are beneficial for practically any type of kayaking excursion. They each offer durable and lightweight constructions that can make using the outriggers easy while you’re kayaking.
Many outrigger constructions on the market right now offer durable features, but they get in the way of kayakers’ way when they’re paddling or fishing. But each of these products is able to stay out of your way while you’re on the boat.
Not only that, but they each offer great features that can help to offer you the ability to customize the amount of buoyancy and stability that you have while you’re kayaking. More specifically, most of them come with adjustment settings that can help you change the height of the pontoons in the water.
Even though each of them offers great features, choosing just one of them can be difficult. So you’re most recommended to purchase Brocraft Kayak Stabilization System from the market. Not only is it available for an affordable price, but it features extremely durable and lightweight materials in its core construction.
For instance, it comes with aluminum arms that extend to the EVA foam floats on the end. The mounting hardware is also all stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about the arms adjusting themselves with the waves or the arms coming loose over time.
Given all of these beneficial features as well as the affordable price, you should purchase the Brocraft Kayak Stabilization System