Kayak Outriggers add stability and safety to your kayak.
No matter how experienced you are, safety is something that should never be taken for granted whenever you are spending time on the water.
The stability kayak outriggers add to your kayak can not only help increase your safety but can also be particularly useful when kayak fishing.
Being stable in the water can help you stay in a strong position to land your next big catch so an outrigger for your kayak might be exactly what you need for your next outdoor adventure.
In this article, we look at eight of the best kayak outriggers available to help you get the most from your time on the water.
Best Kayak Outriggers: Quick Picks
If you are in a rush and need to get straight to the point, here’s a quick summary of our top picks for the best kayak outriggers.
The Yak-Gear Kayak and Canoe Outrigger Stabilizers Generation 2 keep your kayak stable in the water even if you stand up to stretch your legs or get a better view of the water.
The floats have been re-designed and give you a comfortable (and stable) adventure whether you are in calm or choppy waters.
Simple to install, it won’t take you long before you are back out on the water with your new kayak stabilizers attached and ready to go.
Not only does the Hobie Kayak Sidekick AMA only weigh five pounds, but it can also be installed with ease.
Once attached to your kayak, you can have this outrigger inflated with just a few breaths and it can be deflated for storage in just a few seconds.
It’s also highly adjustable to make sure you can customize its position to benefit you the most.
Inflatable and budget-friendly – the Pactrade Marine Boat, Kayak, And Canoe Stabilizer keeps you stable on the water without breaking the bank.
Made from durable PVC, this kayak stabilizer can be quickly removed with just the press of a button making it very convenient and practical.
Best Kayak Outriggers and Stabilizers: Full Reviews
Despite only weighing five pounds, the Hobie Kayak Sidekick AMA is one tough kayak outrigger.
The outrigger arms are made of rust-resistant aluminum and the inflatable floats can be adjusted to three different height modes giving you a high level of adaptability and customization.
All the nuts and bolts you need to install are included in this complete kayak outrigger kit.
- Made from heavy-duty PVC and rust-resistant aluminum
- Lightweight at only five pounds
- Can be inflated and deflated very quickly
The Pactrade Marine Boat, Kayak, And Canoe Stabilizer is an inflatable kayak stabilizer system that is compatible with pretty much all kayaks and canoes.
All nuts, bolts, and stainless steel mounting hardware are included so this is a very budget-friendly kayak stabilizer kit.
It gives you good levels of stability even while standing in your kayak so you can always feel comfortable while out on the water.
- Suitable for use with most kayaks and canoes
- Provides a stable platform on the water, even while standing
- Durable materials for toughness and longevity
If you like standing in your kayak while fishing, then the Brocraft Kayak Outrigger allows you to do this comfortably without fear of your kayak becoming unstable in the water.
The molded PVC floats are tough and durable and the tube arms are made from marine-grade aluminum.
The stainless steel mounting hardware adds yet another layer of toughness and durability as well making it one tough kayak outrigger.
- Comes with two fishing rod holders
- Adjustable mounting brackets so floats sit above the waterline reducing drag
- Snap button release for quick attachment and detachment of outrigger kit
YakGear Kayak And Canoe Outrigger Stabilizers Generation 2 is a kayak stabilizer kit that keeps you extremely stable in the water thanks to the re-designed floats.
When looking for the best kayak outriggers, you want adjustability, practicality, durability, and stability – this kayak outrigger provides all of this while still being affordable too.
Each of the outrigger arms can be lifted independently which is very useful if you are closer to the bank on one side of your kayak than you are on the other.
- Pre-installed threads on the floats to make installation much easier
- Easy to remove to help make transporting your kayak more practical and convenient
- Complete kayak outrigger kit – comes with everything you need
The Scotty #302 Kayak Stabilizer System is another one of the kayak outriggers on this list that come with two fishing rod holders showing how well suited it is to kayak fishing.
Inflatable pontoons give you an extra 30 pounds of buoyancy and are made from heavy-duty (and very tough) PVC.
Although this might be a more expensive kayak outrigger, you can actually use it in saltwater as the arms are made from anodized aluminum.
- Gives you 30 pounds of additional buoyancy allowing you to stand and fish comfortably
- The thick outer shell is tear-resistant and puncture-resistant
- Two fishing rod holders included
The Spring Creek Canoe And Kayak Stabilizer is a complete kayak outrigger package.
It is made from tough polyethylene plastic so it is long-lasting and durable. It is also lightweight to help keep the weight of your kayak down.
A simple design makes this kayak outrigger easy to install and use.
- Lightweight but very tough and durable
- Comes with 1 universal receiver, 2 canoe stabilizer floats, 2 telescopic arms, and 1 set of clamps.
- Designed for minimal drag and increased stability
This is another inflatable kayak stabilizer that makes kayak fishing more stable and comfortable.
The Lixada Kayak Stabilizer System has an adjustable mounting bar that helps you get things set up quickly, correctly, and in the best way for you.
Extra buoyancy is provided while drag is kept to a minimum to make your journey through the water smooth and relaxing.
- Very easy to install
- Height adjustable to help you find the best position for you
- Lightweight but still very tough
Kayak Outrigger and Stabilizer Buyers’ Guide
Outrigger Flotation Styles: Inflatable vs Solid PVC
There are two main types of kayak outriggers and stabilizers – they are inflatable or solid PVC.
Each one has pros and cons and, ultimately, it will be your decision which type you prefer.
Inflatable outriggers are designed to be inflated right before you enter the water and then deflated for storage at the end of your outdoor adventures.
While this does make them very practical, it does mean that they can be punctured. Inflatable kayak outriggers and stabilizers are very tough and they don’t puncture easily but there is always a small chance that it could happen.
It’s definitely worth keeping this in mind if you head out to places where debris could cause some problems.
Solid PVC outriggers have a solid shell so are extremely tough and difficult to damage in the water.
The main disadvantage they have is storage. As they are solid floats, they have to be stored in their current state and shape which can be challenging if you have limited storage space.
Size Options for Kayak Stabilizers
A kayak stabilizer system, on average, is between 30 and 36 inches. There are some out there though which are a bit longer or a bit shorter than this average.
In simple terms, the longer each arm of your stabilizer system is, the more stability it will provide. This is because your kayak will have a larger surface area which decreases the likelihood of it tipping from side to side.
You do need to keep the size of your stabilizer system in mind as it does increase the overall size of your kayak which may create issues in some waterways.
Some kayaks are made with pre-drilled holes for a stabilizer system to be added to them later on. This is not always the case though and some kayaks will require you to drill the holes yourself if you want to add an outrigger.
Some outrigger mounting systems are designed to be permanently attached to your kayak. Others may use locking side and deck mounts which allow the stabilizers to be removed if you are not using them.
When buying a stabilizer system, be sure to check the mounting hardware lines up with any pre-drilled holes in your kayak.
Making a DIY Kayak Outrigger
You can actually make your own kayak outrigger system although it will take a bit of time and effort.
If you are keen to save yourself some money and want to make a DIY kayak outrigger, you will need some plumbing pipes, clips, and bolts.
With a bit of research, you should be able to find some basic instructions which you can then adapt as necessary to make your outrigger.
Frequently Asked Questions about Kayak Outriggers
What do kayak outriggers do?
Kayak outriggers add stability and balance to your kayak while out on the water.
They have pontoons on either side of your kayak which increases the buoyancy as well as acting as stabilizers reducing the risk of it tipping over or rocking from side to side.
To make sure your outrigger gives you the most stability it possibly can, positioning is very important. Ideally, you want your outrigger positioned so you do not need to rearrange or adjust it if you are moving around in your kayak.
Towards the back of your kayak is usually a good position as it is less likely to get in the way while you’re paddling and it won’t get caught up in any fishing line.
Do kayak outriggers work?
Yes, they do.
Providing you have a good quality outrigger and it is positioned properly, your kayak will be more buoyant and more stable.
How to decide do I need outriggers?
Deciding whether or not you need outriggers or not can come down to specific, personal information.
Kayaks are narrow vessels meaning they are prone to tipping over in the water. If you are kayak fishing then you will be much safer if your kayak is more stable and buoyant, thus reducing the chances of it tipping over in the first place.
If you are not a strong swimmer, then a kayak tipping over sending you into the water can be a very dangerous situation to be in. Outriggers can help prevent this from happening, making your fishing trip much safer and more enjoyable for you.
You should also think about typical wave height and general water conditions that you head out into. If wave height is quite high or the water is particularly choppy then outriggers can help keep everything more stable and safer for you.
How long should my kayak outriggers be?
If you enjoy kayak fishing, you will want your kayak to be nice and stable while on the water.
As a general rule, kayak outriggers of 30 to 36 inches in length will be sufficient. This tends to be a good length for increasing buoyancy and stability enough without adding lots of drag and weight to your kayak.
What angle should outriggers be?
You want the floats of your outriggers to sit on the waterline to give you the most amount of stability while adding the least amount of drag.
Attaching the floats or pontoons at an angle of 90 degrees is usually about right.
Most of the kayak outriggers on this list have adjustable heights which is a very useful feature. It is worth bearing in mind though, that any adjustments you want to make will be easier (and safer) if you do them on land before heading out onto the water.
Moving around in your kayak and making adjustments once your kayak is in the water makes life much more challenging and a lot less stable.
Are their disadvantages to having outriggers?
Yes, for sure. The extra width that they provide are a big advantage for stability, but that impacts on the maneuverability of the kayak and your ability to get up into small creeks or get close to pylons etc. and bring fish aboard.
All of these difficulties can be managed, but just be aware that there are slight trade offs for stability.
Above all, safety has to come first so if you are not a strong swimmer, have health issues or don’t rate your ability to get back into your kayak if you get flipped, then err on the side of caution and get some outriggers.