Kayak Sails – Our Top 5 (Best 2020 Guide)

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Top 5 Kayak Sails – Best 2020 Guide. 

Kayak sails add a lot more fun to the kayaking experience. Lots of avid kayakers often think of sprucing up their rigs with extra gear to make their trips more enjoyable.

Adding a kayak sail can elevate the experience on the water in an instant. 

Just look at how easy Kayak Sails are to use and enjoy!

Kayaking is a water sport that has numerous health benefits.

Unfortunately, not everyone has what it takes to paddle long distances or even short distances. It could be because of the lack of energy, stamina, or other health problems.  

Don’t let that stop you!

Everyone deserves to have fun with this incredible sport, and this is where kayak sails come in. A basic level kayak sail can help kayakers with health problems to enjoy the kayaking experience without paddling frequently. 

We tested a couple of kayak sail kits, and the results were quite astonishing. Below you will find the good and the bad of mounting a sail onto a yak. 


What I love about kayaking sails is that it can help relieve stress on the arms. A kayaker can choose whether to paddle or not since the watercraft draws power from an alternative source, aka, the wind.  

To describe it simply, using a sail on a kayak will allow the user to relax and enjoy the beautiful view around without focusing on paddling.

Today, we will talk about kayak sails and their essential details.

Why Use a Kayak Sail? 

A kayak sail can help cover longer distances without the need to paddle continuously. Then you can enjoy a drink, eat lunch, take a picture, and even make video calls.  

Also, since the paddler can cruise steadily without using the paddles, the hands can be used to engage in a fun activity such as fishing.  

A kayak sail is the top gear of choice for many expert kayak anglers. Since the sails allow the boat to move silently without the paddles splashing the water, the rate of success for the anglers is much higher.  

Apart from all those benefits, a kayak sail can add a lot of fun and enhance the kayaking trip. If there is a need to get back to the shore quickly, with the right sail, speed can be achieved with less effort.  

We recommend that you get one of these sails for your kayak if you want to go sightseeing.

Negatives to Kayak Sails

There are some negatives to using a kayak sail:

  • a kayak sail can cause the boat to become unstable, especially when the winds are extremely forceful. 
  • The chances of tipping over increases significantly when the sail is mounted in the wrong position.
  • Using the wrong type of sail can also cause problems.  

These are just some of the reasons why you should consult a professional if you are not comfortable installing your own kayak sail.

If you feel confident in your skills, here’s a good video that shows step-by-step how to install a kayak sail.

What Type of Kayak Sail Do I Need? 

Are you planning to go on a kayak adventure? It’s a great start to know exactly what type of kayaking thrills you. If you’re considering getting a kayak sail kit, you’ll probably be cruising in calm waters. 

You may already know that kayak sails come in different shapes, designs, and sizes. To help you ease the task of choosing the best sail kit, we decided to add a mini buying guide. Here are some of the most crucial factors that need to be considered.  

Factors for Choosing Kayak Sails. 

The type of sail you need to choose should be based on:

  • your level of experience with kayaks
  • how you intend to use it
  • the kind of kayak you have.

Some kayaks, as you’ll see in our review, function best on narrow kayaks. Others won’t work on inflatable kayaks at all. Make sure you know your needs before shopping.

Remember: if all else fails, ask an expert.

Types of Kayak Sails

There are four types:

  • Circular sails
  • L-shaped sails
  • Free-standing sails
  • V-shaped sails or Downwind Spinnaker

Allow me to give you a rundown of these different types of sails and how they perform.  

Circular Sails – 

The most common and most popularly used kayak sails are circular sails. Anyone can use this type of sail, but these sails are best suited for the people who are at the learning stage.  

Circular sails are usually easy to install. They are mounted at the center of the kayak, which means they are meant for downwind. However, this can be a challenge because downwind is not always available.  

But circular sails are most convenient when it comes to storage, setting it up, or stow it when it is not needed. Also, these can be fitted on to almost any type of kayaks, so if you’re a beginner, this type of sail would be a great pick.  

V-Shaped or Downwind spinnaker – 

V-Shaped or downwind spinnaker works best with larger boats. They are usually mounted on the bow. Much like the circular sails, the downwind spinnakers works best in downwind.  

These sails are not suitable for smaller boats because they have a top-heavy design. Because of this, the stability of the kayak can be compromised, particularly in strong winds.  

L-Shaped sails – These types of sails are mostly used by professional sailors and highly experienced kayakers. Free-standing sails require a lot of maintenance, and you may also have to make a few modifications to your kayak to install it correctly.  

These sails are recommended for professional kayakers as it is not so easy to use. With this type of sail, a kayaker can move the sail to change the direction of travel.  

Factors to consider when choosing the type of kayak sails. 

Material used. 

Manufacturers use a lot of different materials. The durability of the sail depends on the type of material used. The material used also contributes to the weight of the sail.  

There are three most common materials used in the making of kayak sails. These are plastic, carbon fiber, and cloth.  

  • Plastic – The most common material used in making kayak sails is plastic; it is light, durable, and has water-resistant properties. Plastic sails are much cheaper too, but these are not very durable.  
  • Carbon fiber  The best material for making kayak sails is carbon fiber. It is many times stronger and lighter than steel. It can also withstand a lot of abuse and harsh treatment. 
  • Cloth –  Kayak sails made of fabric are also very strong and have high durability. But since the material can become heavier when it gets wet, this type of sail is not practical when it is raining. 

Width of the sail. 

Getting the right sail that is not too small or not too large is crucial. The sail should be large enough to catch enough wind and propel the boat forward. But it shouldn’t be too big that when a strong wind blows, it becomes too powerful to keep it under control. 

Top 5 Kayak Sails

Now that you’re well equipped with all the required knowledge about kayak sails, let’s take a look at five best kayak sails for 2020. We chose these kayak sail kits after carefully examining the test results of each model. Take time to check out each one of these carefully and see if any of these meet your requirements.  

#5 – Advanced Elements Rapid Up Sail. 


This is a circular shaped sail that can be used with different types of kayaks and canoes. However, it works best with boats that have narrow decks or even inflatable boats. 


  • Fits all types of kayaks – Unlike some other designs that are specifically built for a particular type of kayak, this one is a universal kayak sail. This means it can be fitted on most kayaks regardless of the shape or size of the boat.  
  • Compact design – One of the reasons why we included this one on our list of top 5 kayak sails is because of its unique yet intelligent design. It’s compact and portable, and it is made of extremely tough and durable rip-stop sailcloth. 
  • Clear visibility – Another good reason why we chose this kayak sail is that it has three windows. Windows help provides a clear view. Being able to use a kayak sail, and having clear visibility of what’s in front is a great thing.
  • Easy to install and easy to use – The Rapid Up Sail is very easy to set up. It has an internal spring frame that can be used to put the sail up or stowed when it is not required. Furthermore, installing or mounting this sail onto any kayak is very simple; anyone can do it within a few minutes. 
An excellent demonstration video for the RapidUp Kayak Sail

This kayak sail is designed to work in downwind conditions, which also means that it will not work in upwind conditions. So, this is something that needs to be considered when purchasing. 

Why did we choose it?

This is a unique kayak sail kit in terms of design. The Rapid Up Sail serves two primary purposes: to harness the power of the wind to propel the kayak, and it also acts as a protective shield from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.  

#4 – Hobie Kayak Sail Kit. 


This sail kit is designed to be used on Mirage kayak models, and Hobie Kayaks. You might also want to know that this sail cannot be mounted on inflatable boats, so you need to take that into consideration if you own an inflatable kayak. 


  • The unique system makes it easy to control – The Hobie kayak sail is extremely easy to manage. It uses a unique system that allows you to control the direction of the sail with just one hand. You can steer the boat with the other hand. It requires minimal effort to cruise if you have this sail installed onto your kayak. 
  • Large windows for better visibility – At the lower end of the Hobie sail, there is a large crystal clear window that provides incredibly clear visibility. You can be sure that you’ll have a very clear view of what’s in front of you even when you’re cruising with a sail on.  
  • Storage convenience – The Hobie kayak sail has a two-piece mast, and it does not have a boom. This means you can easily fold it when it’s not needed. You can simply fold it and secure it in place with the help of a furling hook. It also comes with a storage bag which makes it easier and convenient for transportation. 
Installation and demonstration of a Hobie Kayak Sail Kit

Why did we choose it? 

The Hobie kayak sail kit packs convenience with seamless control, which makes it a winner in our top 5 countdown.  

#3 – Sea Eagle QuickSail Kayak Sail. 


This is a reasonably large kayak sail. The sail measures 14 square feet when opened. This sail is recommended only for the larger boats as it can hurt the stability of the boat if it is smaller in size.  


  • Excellent performance – It’s no surprise why the Sea Eagle QuickSail Kayak sail is a champ when it comes to performance. Because of its large size, it can harness more downwind, and it can propel the boat up to 7 knots. Also, the paddle can be used as a rudder to steer the boat. This makes it much more exciting and thrilling at the same time, especially when moving at a higher speed. 
  • Super-strong frame for better balance and added stability – Since the size of the sail is large, it requires a heavy-duty, fortified structure. Sea Eagle QuickSail kayak sail comes with a sturdy aluminum frame. 
  • Highly versatile – In terms of compatibility, this sail is highly versatile. It can be used with any type of kayak excluding an inflatable kayak; provided, the size of the boat should be large enough.  
  • Easy storage – The foldable feature makes it convenient for storage. When it is folded, the 14 square foot is reduced to 43 inches. This makes it easy to be stored in the stern. 
  • Easy transportation – The Sea Eagle QuickSail Kayak Sail Kit comes with a nylon carry bag, which makes it easier to carry and convenient. 
Very little assembly required on a Sea Eagle QuickSail

Why did we choose it? 

This sail is one of the most versatile ones that we tested out. It also offers outstanding stability, as well.  Setup time is almost nothing but provides hours of enjoyment.

#2 – Olilio Kayak Sail. 

The Olilio 42″ kayak sail has a unique feature. It can be used with both kayaks and canoes. This sail is both durable and sturdy. it can be used on standard kayaks, inflatable kayaks, and canoes.


  • Compact and portable – This kayak sail is large enough to move you. But surprisingly, it’s very compact and portable, to keep out of the way when not in use.
  • Can be used on all kayaks – Despite its configuration, this sail can be used on all types of kayaks and canoes, including smaller kayaks. Easy to use design. Just hold it up to go forward. Lay it down to stop using it.
  • Easy installation – so easy in fact, it came with zero instructions. To be sure I knew what I was doing, I watched a few YouTube videos. I see why they didn’t send instructions. It’s self-explanatory. I included a video so you can see for yourself.
  • Fantastic performance and excellent stability – Made from durable eco-friendly cloth, you can rely on years of use.
Not an install but does show it in use. Very nice design.

In addition, this sail can be used on paddleboards and tandems.

Why did we choose it? 

This one is cheap and stupidly easy to use. It is easy to install and performs like a champ in the wind. 

#1 – Dyna Living 42″ Kayak Sail. 


This sail kit is probably the best for beginner kayakers. For starters, we highly recommend using this sail in medium or low winds. The Dyna Living 42″ kayak sail has a compact design and is easy to set up.  


  • Easy installation/set up – The Dyna Living 42″ kayak sail can be easily attached to the deck of a kayak. It has simple to use clips that you hold to use the sail. When you are done, just lay it down. This simple set up also allows the user to switch the sail between kayaks without any difficulty.  
  • It can be used with all kinds of kayaks – We can say that this sail kit is versatile because it works great with any type of kayaks. If the boat has anything like deck lines, handholds, or a bench seat, the Dyna Living 42″ kayak sail can be attached easily.  
  • Well balanced and easy to use – This sail is designed to put the sail’s center of force down low. This makes the kayak well balanced, very stable, and easy to use.  The 108 cm diameter is huge and catches plenty of wind.
  • Clear visibility – The Dyna Living 42″ kayak sail has a large window at the sail’s center panel, which provides a clear view.  
  • Extremely durable – The Dyna Living 42″ kayak sail is designed for durability, and it is made strong polyester taffeta. This will last for a very long time.  

Why did we choose it?

One of the best sails for recreational use, it is well balanced and has a robust build.  The huge 108 cm diameter makes great use of every square inch of wind to your advantage. Great for kayaks, inflatables, and canoes.

We have shared with you our Top 5 Kayak Sails. Now, we would like to take a little more time to share some kayak sailing tips with you. We hope this makes your experience go just a little bit better.

Advanced Tips for Kayak Sails. 

Practical tips to get the best kayak sailing experience.  

Have your kayak sail installed correctly. 

This is the most crucial step. For most people, it can be pretty hard to figure out exactly where to mount the sail. This is especially true in the case of the beginners – it might take some time, but it’s worth the effort.  

Also, most of the kayak sails are designed to work with any type of kayak. This could make the task of correctly mounting the sail on a kayak difficult. In this regard, we want to advise you to seek an expert’s help in case you’re not sure.  

Keep an eye on the weather. 

The wind is essential for a sail to work correctly, but since kayaks are small watercraft, a strong wind can cause the boat to tip over easily. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before moving into the waters.  

Most kayak sails come rated with a specific wind rating. So it is best to avoid sailing if the knots of the wind is above the estimated number.  

Do some trials. 

Getting familiar with the sail, the steering, changing the sail’s direction, and the techniques before going into the water is another essential thing. Also, try putting up the sail, and then put it back down, this will be of great help later on. 

Tip: practice makes perfect when trying out a new kayaking toy.

Pay attention to safety. 

Safety should be the top priority when you’re out sailing or paddling in the water. Never forget to put on the Personal Floating Device or a life jacket. Sails can be a great thing to play with when the weather conditions are right.

Still, it’s also important to remember that it compromises the stability of the boat. Look out for the wind beforehand, so you won’t be greeted by a storm or giant waves.  

Also, we do not recommend buying a sail that requires a lot of work and maintenance if you are more interested in having fun rather than seeking out for an adventure.  

Acquire enough knowledge of the surroundings. 

Knowing the surrounding is also another important thing. If the area is crowded, it’s not wise to sail in that area. Too many motorboats or large yachts can make it hard to enjoy a day with your kayak sail.

Choose a location where there is less traffic. Take your time setting things up. Double-check that all of your gear is working before heading out.

Common Kayak Sails FAQs

How safe is a kayak sail? 

Kayak sails are safe to use, but it can be pretty dangerous if it’s not installed correctly, or when the weather conditions are not right. To ensure that the sail is totally safe, make use of the instructions in the user manual when installing the sail.