When you’re out kayaking, have you ever longed to simply enjoy the scenery and have someone else do the job of paddling for you? Or maybe your arms were fatigued and you wanted someone to take over for you while you rested a bit? You need a kayak sail in your life! The best kayak sail kits harness the power of the wind allowing you to zip along the water. So, they not only take some of the strain off your tired arms but also let you enjoy the scenery sans lengthening your journey time. Kayak sails can be particularly useful during long or multi-day kayaking trips where you have to paddle for a long while. Thus, they can take over for you for a while, allowing you to enjoy the trip and have fun rather than making it look like work.
Plus, if you’re kayaking somewhere on the open water where there’s a lot of breeze, then they can be extremely helpful in propelling you along the water. Moreover, kayaking sails come in a variety of styles, sizes, and shapes, with each one used for slightly different kayak hulls or wind conditions. To that end, here are the 13 best kayak sail kits for your next expedition.
How To Choose The Best Kayak Sails?
Kayaking might look like it’s fun, but it does require a fair amount of work and experience. This is why you have kayaking accessories such as the Best Kayaking Paddle-Floats, the Best Kayaking Outriggers, and even the Best Kayak Helmets to keep you safe. Similarly, the best kayaking sails also help better the kayaking experience, especially when there’s a breeze or your arms are tired from the paddling. So, what all should you consider before buying kayaking sails? Read on.
Basically, what happens is that certain products from certain brands are specially made for those brands of kayaks, and will usually not fit on other types of kayaks. For instance, Sea Eagle’s sails are customized for the Sea Eagle inflatable line of kayaks. Thus, you don’t require to do any additional customization such as drilling, etc. If you don’t want to do any DIY, then it’s best to go for sails from specific brands. That said, if you have kayaks from brands that don’t make sails, then it’s best to go for universal sied sails that’ll definitely require a good amount of DIY or customization work. Since kayak sailing as a sport is still growing, you might not find customized sails all the time.
Types of kayak sails
Essentially, there are three different types of sails – tall L-shaped tails, V-shaped tails, and circular tails.
- Tall L-shaped Sails – Generally used by professional kayakers, L-shaped sails can usually be moved to different directions depending on where the wind’s blowing from and where you want to go, and can be pivoted too. This kind of sail requires a good amount of customization and upkeep and is thus not recommended for beginners.
- V-shaped Sails – V-shaped sails usually go only in one direction and are for heading downward. Due to their large surface area near the top, smaller kayaks could tp over in extremely windy conditions.
- Circle Shape Sails – Finally, we have the most popular types of kayak sails, circular sails as they’re what beginners prefer. They come with just three clamps and are very easy to install to the kayak’s front or the back bungees. Typically, they only go in one direction and cannot be adjusted either.
What material your kayaking sails come in can make a lot of difference in its longevity. The three main kinds of materials are carbon fiber, cloth, and plastic.
- Carbon Fiber – Lightweight and super-durable, carbon fiber is one of the better materials when it comes to kayaking sails. It’s extremely long-lasting and doesn’t get damaged either.
- Cloth – Cloth is another favorite when it comes to kayaking sails, with the only downside being that it becomes heavy and will lose its efficiency when wet.
- Plastic – The commonest of all materials, plastic is what most circular sails are built of. It’s not only durable but also very easy on the pocket.
Choosing a sail based on your kayaking experience is one of the most recommended ways of choosing kayaking sails. If you’re a beginner, then we’d suggest you begin with a circular sail. When you progress to the intermediate level, head to the L-shaped sail. This is important as going for an L-shaped sail first without any experience could be extremely dangerous, especially if you have no knowledge of different wind currents and how to keep yourself safe.
How fast can kayak sails take you?
Generally, most of the kayak sails come with a rating of the number of knots of wind that they can be suitably used in. For instance, if a sail’s rating says 5-30 knots, then it’s best not to exceed the suggested wind speeds. Since wind speeds can cause lighter kayaks to tip over, stick to the speeds mentioned and you should be fine.
LoneRobe Downwind Wind Sail Kit
One of the best kayak sails is the LoneRobe 42 inches Downwind Wind Sail Kit which is perfect for budget-friendly beginners. The sturdy and reliable sail has a smaller diameter and won’t approach more than 10-15 knots, which is ideal for beginners. While it does require heavy winds to get anything useful out of it, it’s durable and offers UV protection to alleviate sun damage while out on the water. Made from ultra-lightweight PVC, the material is long-lasting and durable too.
Despite being slightly smaller in size, it’s compatible with most vessels and boasts a large and clear window for seeing ahead. Moreover, the clips are straps are adjustable and easy to use for controlling your movements. Even though you need to be careful with the wire frame when folding it for storage, this is one affordable and easy-to-use option to start off sailing with.
- Easy to attach and deploy.
- Made from lightweight PVC material with UV protection.
- Needs heavy winds.
Dyna-Living Durable Downwind Wind Sail
Are you on an ultra-tight budget? We’d highly recommend the budget-conscious Dyna-Living Durable Downwind Wind Sail. It’s a low-risk, affordable option for folks who have never used a kayak sail kit before. Crafted from a polyester taffeta material, this sail is best used in winds below 10-15 knots which will give it a nice boost downwind to propel your craft forward. It’s on the smaller side with a deployed diameter of a little over 42 inches, making it perfect for smaller and single-person crafts.
When it comes to ease of use, this is one amazing and universally compatible sail that’s easy to attach abolsutely on any kayak. While some of the straps hook onto the top of the boat, others wrap around the underside. Thus, if you want to idle a bit or head back upwind, then you can simply unhook the top straps for letting it lie flat atop the boat. While it doesn’t come with instructions, it’s one of the most easiest sails to use.
- Universally compatible.
- Not the best quality.
VGEBY Wind Sail
Props to the VGEBY Kayak Sail for its lightweight and budget-friendly nature. Ideal for casual sailors and newbies, this foldable kayaking sail is easy to use and universally compatible with most vessels. The PVC material used to make this sailcloth keeps things from getting inefficient or heavy when splashed with water. What’s more, it uses sturdy and robust metal carabiners for attaching to your craft, ensuring that it’ll never come loose. Plus, since it’s so lightweight, you can rest assured that it’ll never tip over your boat and is a big boon for speed too.
Despite it not working in very fast winds, the sail has a lot of other plus points. Besides its eco-friendly material, the sail is very foldable, portable, and very easy to carry and store. Finally, thanks to its compact design, you can deploy it quickly when the weather takes a turn, allowing you to take advantage of the winds.
- PVC sailcloth won’t absorb water.
- Gets bent easily.
Dilwe Foldable Kayak Sail
The Dilwe Foldable Kayak Sail that comes in three vibrant colors of red, green, and blue is an excellent circular sail for beginners meant exclusively for downwind use. The affordable sail, which costs anywhere between $40 and $50 boasts adjustable straps that make it compatible with a wide range of boats. Thus, it offers exceptional longevity and reliability, despite being relatively heftier as compared to other modelsSo, it’ll give you a few good extra knots of boost, but it isn;t the fastest.
That said, the Dilwe sail is incredibly sturdy and made from a high-quality PVC material that makes it resistant to damage, tears, and rips. What’s more, the material is also water-resistant, so it won’t absorb water or be weighed down by it. Besides being equipped with UV protection, it has a large window for visibility too. Plus, it’s easy to fold and store in the included storage bag as well. Finally, the design is compact and built for ease of use – all you need to do is clip it to the craft and go.
- Large central window.
- Easy to deploy.
- Universal fit and compatible.
- UV protection.
- Durable and affordable.
- Slightly heavy.
ADVANCED ELEMENTS Rapid Up Kayak Sail Kit
One of the best circular-shaped universal sails is the Advanced Elements RapidUp Kayak Sail Kit, which is ideal for downwind river rides and for beginners. Besides being compatible with most vessels, it’s a high-quality sail made from ripstop nylon sailcloth that’s easy to use, doesn’t have a complex steering system, and neither does it have a bulky mast. Moreover, it adds velocity to your trips sans requiring much work from you. Moreover, it’s also easy to disassemble when you want to go slower or when the wind dies down. It lays flat on the deck after unclipping from the midship section.
Its wide compatibility thanks to the customizable fit and adjustable attachment straps is what makes it so popular with kayakers. Moreover, it even has large, clear windows on the sides and the front, so you don’t have to worry about blind spots which is an issue with circular sails. Finally, portability isn’t an issue either, as the sail weighs less than a pound and has no mast.
- Foldable and portable.
- Quick to deploy.
- Works on almost any craft and easy to use.
- Only for downwind use.
Hobie Mirage Kayak Sail
Do you have a Hobie vessel? You’ve got to get this amazing Hobie Mirage Kayak Sail that’s been made for Hobie crafts, especially its Mirage line of kayaks. When paired with the Mirage’s pedal drive fins, the L-shape sail design provides both resistance and lateral balance, avoiding toppling the craft in high-speed winds. The boomless mast design employs handheld lines for control and steering, making it extremely easy to store. All you need to do is unclip it from the mast, roll the cloth, and stash it in the included storage bag.
Armed with this amazing sail, your boat can reach speeds up to 45 knots! A high-end sail perfect for seasoned sailors, this freestanding kayaking sail kit is more than worth its price tag.
- Boomless mast.
- Can reach up to speeds of 45 knots.
- Freestanding and versatile.
- Easy to install.
- Unsuitable for beginners.
- Can be used only on Hobie kayaks.
Sea Eagle QuikSail
The Sea Eagle QuickSail is one hell of an amazing universal kayak sail that is compatible with all SeaEagle vessels and other major kayak brands as well. There’s a lot to like about this sail kit, starting with the V-shaped downwind spinnaker. This shape of the sail is perfect for traversing long distances as it catches speed on open water. Made from sturdy and durable materials hoisted on an equally strong aluminum frame, this one needs D-rings midship for hooking the sail ropes. The sail itself is a NeiPryde sail that’s amongst the best windsurfing equipment in the world. It can withstand high wind speeds without running the risk of rupture. Besides being durable, it’s also incredibly lightweight and weighs just two lbs!
The nearly seven-foot-tall self-standing rig allows your boat to reach speeds up to 7 knots. A large and clear window at the base allows for uninhibited and unhindered visibility. Perfect for lengthy trips and speed, this sail can be used continually for years without any wear and tear.
- Carrying bag included.
- Built to last.
- NeilPryde laminated sailcloth.
- None, really.
WindPaddle Scout Sail
The smallest sail from the WindPaddle lineup, the WindPaddle Scout Sail is one of the best products for shorter recreational kayaks. The smaller surface area of the circular sail doesn’t take up a lot of storage space, and can still push your boat along. While the sail has a limited amount of maneuverability, it has a ton of ability for shedding air when the wind levels are high. It can easily be controlled via the two cords that are attached in a flexible design and manner for the same.
What makes the Scout really amazing is that it’s the most portable and lightest of all WindPaddle sails. Despite its limited wind speed range of 4-13 knots and pulling power, it’s absolutely spot-on for kayak anglers who want to troll without the paddles or for recreational kayakers who want to move slowly.
- Can be used on any kayak, but is preferable for a shorter one.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Too small for larger kayaks.
WindPaddle Adventure Sail
Another Windpaddle sail makes its entry onto this list. This time it’s the smaller Windpaddle Adventure Sail, which is specially designed to be used for sea kayaking. Despite its small size, the sail still has a magnificent surface area to power larger crafts. Despite that, it allows you to have finer control and won’t tip you into the sea. The control system and design of the Adventure are admirable. Besides that, the sail can be tipped forward to shed air if the wind gets too high. Plus, the two control cords attached to the batten allow for limited maneuvering.
This Adventure sail kit offers a good trade-off between the bulkiness of the pack and the overall speed. All-in-all, it’s an excellent kayaking sail that’s worth every penny paid for it.
- Easy to control.
- Can be used on any kayak.
- Smaller pack size.
- Slightly difficult to use for heavier kayaks.
WindPaddle Cruiser Sail
Yet another WindPaddle product features on this list. This time, it’s the WindPaddle Cruiser Sail kit that takes a lot of the effort out of touring in a kayak. Thus, it allows you to relax on your sailing journey while sticking to the journey schedule while maintaining good levels of speed. When deployed, the sail has a diameter of 56 inches, making it the largest of the WindPaddle sails. The circular sail boasts a flatter profile and a less flexible and heavier batten for handling higher wind speeds without constantly having to adjust it.
Since it’s majorly designed with sea kayaks and longer touring in mind, the Cruiser Sail also comes with thicker and longer control lines. Even though it’s designed for kayak touring, the Cruiser can fit any kayak. So, even if your boat is smaller, it can pick up considerable speed in windy conditions thanks to this sail.
- Longer and thicker control lines.
- Easier to use in high power winds.
- Larger size.
- Larger pack size.
Sdoveb Kayak Sail
The 44-inch long Sdoveb Kayak Sail goes a long way in maintaining good speed while being easy to control and handle, all while allowing you to enjoy and appreciate the scenery. The lightweight kayaking sail is also compact and can fold up easily into a 15-inch carry bag. Thus, it’s easily portable as well and is very helpful to carry around and store when it’s not in use. Made from environmentally-friendly polyester fabric, the sail is strong, sturdy, durable, and will last you for years to come.
Besides all of the above, The sail features triple-stitched seams and folds, complete with a border made from solid composite material. The strongly made sail also features metal carabiners between the pontoon and tie and is easy to handle thanks to the control whip.
- Good control lines.
- Slightly big in size.
Mexidi Foldable Kayak Downwind Sail Kit
If durability is what you’re looking for, then look no further than the Mexidi Foldable Kayak Downwind Sail Kit. With a strip made from strong composite material and triple stitched seams, this sail is as heavy-duty as it gets. Not only is it easy to set up, but it’s also easy to retract, store and consequently transport as well. Thanks to the large and clear windows that it has, you can see your way ahead without any hindrances or obstructions. What’s more, it even offers a wide view of the landscape behind.
Made from tough polyester fabric, the sail even stows away very nicely in a 16-inch huge bag, which makes it useful to transport around no matter where you are. The kit even comes with instructions for setup, making your job easy. Rounding up the sail’s features is the protective layer that offers it protection from the harsh sunlight and UV rays.
- Foldable and compact design.
- Easy to install.
- Powerful and unbreakable design.
- Available in four colors.
- Not ideal for longer sailing times.
Mcree Kayak Wind Sail
Sitting atop the list of best kayaking sails is the Mcree Kayak Wind Sail kit, which not only adds to the fun of the sport but rather takes it to the next level. The high-quality sail is made from a low-stretch fabric that doesn’t absorb water when wet, thus allowing you to use the sail even in light rainy weather. The construction is equally solid – it features a premiere batten made from a virtually unbreakable material while the seams are triple-for durability. The sail works like a parachute by propelling your craft forward, all wrapped up in an easy-to-deploy package.
Aside from all of the above, the sail even weakens UV radiation, protecting you from the sun. Moreover, it can be folded up quickly, which makes it very convenient to carry and store as well.
- Can support any kayak model.
- Compact and small design.
- Might not work effectively for heavier kayaks.