Kayak fishing has become more and more popular over the years. And with the sport becoming so popular, it’s not hard to see why. Kayak fishing is a great way to get up close and personal with the fish you’re targeting. It’s also a whole lot of fun!

The best kayak outriggers help to keep your kayak balanced and stable in the water. They are an essential accessory for kayaking, whether you’re fishing from your kayak or just want to ensure you don’t capsize when you’re on the water.

Popular Choice

Hydrodynamic Stabilizer SPRING CREEK


Spring Creek Manufacturing Hydrodynamic Canoe Stabilizer Float Package for kayaks

Top PickMost Popular

Kayak Sidekick Ama Kit HOBIE


HOBIE Kayak Sidekick Ama Kit, white

Best Value

Kayak Outriggers System BROCRAFT


BIOCRAFT Kayak Outriggers System, both sides


HOBIE Kayak Sidekick Ama Kit


HOBIE Kayak Sidekick Ama Kit, white

General Impression

This one-piece inflatable kayak outrigger system, which Hobie has brought to market, rises directly to the top of the list when talking about the best kayak outriggers available today. The Sidekick Ama Kit features two inflatable pontoons for kayaks, both of which can be filled with a single breath and are made for simple installation and use via the one-way valves. They pack down to less than five pounds and take up virtually no space compared to other systems.

The shape of the support bar makes adjustments an easy task that will effortlessly change the height of the heavy-duty PVC pontoons. While inflatable pontoons are a tricky commitment for a kayak stabilizer system, these have proven to be durable and come with a patch kit for emergencies. The Hobie Sidekick Ama Kit is a favorite amongst kayakers of all different varieties, from fishing to ocean photography, the immense stability provided means staying dry whilst rocking the boat.


BRAND: Hobie
TYPE: Inflatable pontoons
WEIGHT: 5 pounds
DESIGN: Inflatable one piece design
MATERIALS: Heavy Duty PVC with rust-resistant aluminum arms
MOUNTING AND INSTALLATION: 4 Bolts with expanding well nuts


  • High-quality build that will stand up to tough environments
  • Pack down to a lightweight and transportable size
  • Simple installation
  • A well-respected name in kayaking
  • Easily adjustable system


  • Higher price
  • Low quality plastic spring-loaded buttons used to hold sidebar in place

BROCRAFT Kayak Outriggers/Stabilizers System


BIOCRAFT Kayak Outriggers System, both sides

General Impression

For a fixed and molded plastic PVC system, look no further than Brocraft. These make a great choice of kayak fishing outriggers, as the two 32″ aluminum arms will easily hold a rod in place. The stability of the Brocraft Kayak Outrigger is impressive. It would be very difficult to get a boat to tip in any swell with these installed. They are fully adjustable, and so are easy to set up with as little drag as possible while kayaking. Everything you get out of these stabilizers makes them the best value out there when comparing all our qualifying factors and the price. 

For beginners to the world of using outriggers for a kayak, this is a great option. The installation is simple, and these kayak stabilizers will provide some of the best buoyancy found on the entire list. On top of supreme buoyancy, the durability and build quality of the Brocraft Kayak Outrigger is top-notch. They are built of an incredibly durable PVC that is supported by rust-resistant, strong arms that are sure to last a long while. 


BRAND: Brocraft
TYPE: Molded PVC floatation devices on two aluminum arms
ARMS WIDTH: 2 x 32″ arms
WEIGHT: 9.5 Pounds
DESIGN: 2-piece stabilizer
MATERIALS: Molded PVC floatation devices with aluminum arms
MOUNTING AND INSTALLATION: Side/deck mount with snap button release


  • Impressively easy installation
  • High-quality materials for durability and longer lifespan
  • Great for beginners
  • Superb buoyancy capabilities
  • Fully adjustable
  • Two-year warranty


  • Slightly challenging to adjust on the water
  • Mounting nuts are known to loosen with extreme movement

SPRING CREEK MANUFACTURING Hydrodynamic Float Stabilizer

General Impression

The Spring Creek Manufacturing Hydrodynamic Float Stabilizer is incredibly dynamic and versatile, as it is a great outrigger for kayaks and canoes. The mounting system is a simple clamp that can be a bit trickier to fit onto kayaks but still provides excellent stability. The arms are adjustable and come in four different lengths depending on the width of your boat and the level of stability you are after. Overall, we see these as a great choice for canoes, and an even better choice if you are wanting to move them back and forth between canoes and kayaks.

The sleek design of these pontoons makes them hydrodynamic, meaning they can glide through the water seamlessly. This way, there is less drag while paddling and the pontoons can actually stay in the water without creating too much of an issue. The universal crossbar will extend out to 20 inches from the side of your boat and adjusts to fix onto different sections of it as well. This way, the system can be moved around and out of the way for unobstructed paddling.


BRAND: Spring Creek Manufacturing
TYPE: Molded plastic pontoons
ARMS WIDTH: 30″, 36″, 40″, 45″
WEIGHT: 10 pounds
DESIGN: Extendable crossbar with two pontoons
MATERIALS: Polyethelene plastic and steel arms
MOUNTING AND INSTALLATION: Clamps to edges of kayak or canoe


  • Versatility between different boat types
  • Variability in lengths with different sizes available
  • Hydrodynamic design for less drag in the water
  • 27 pounds of buoyancy per pontoon
  • Rugged and durable build quality


  • High price point
  • Better fit for canoes
  • Heavier than most other models

SCOTTY #302 Kayak Stabilizer System

General Impression

For another inflatable and adjustable kayak stabilizer system, Scotty hit the mark with its #302. Each PVC lined, inflatable pontoon offers 30 pounds of added buoyancy to the side of the kayak. The system attaches easily to the rod holders of your kayak which makes this a great option amongst those looking for top-tier kayak fishing outriggers. They also use a mounting system of four easily installed locking side deck mounts for quick and uncomplicated attachments.

The heavy-duty material of the pontoons ensures that you won’t be experiencing a vast number of punctures – even while traveling through stick-littered ponds or shallow waters with sharp rocks. Although, that being said, with inflatable pontoons the risk is always there of needing to shore up and fix a hole, possibly cutting your day short. The mounting hardware and stabilizer arms are made of more high-quality materials and do add to the longevity of this setup.


BRAND: Scotty
TYPE: Inflatable pontoons
ARMS WIDTH: 2 x 28″ arms
WEIGHT: 10 pounds
DESIGN: 2-piece inflatable outrigger
MATERIALS: Inflatable PVC floatation devices and anodized aluminum arms
MOUNTING AND INSTALLATION: Locking side/deck mount


  • High level of buoyancy and stability
  • Pack down to lightweight and portable size
  • Comes with fishing rod holders
  • Tear and rust-resistant materials
  • Easily installed


  • More effort involved in inflation
  • Inflatables always add a risk of puncture

PACTRADE Marine Boat Kayak Canoe PVC Outrigger Arms Stabilizer System

General Impression

Pactrade makes a Marine Boat, Kayak, and Canoe Stabilizer that is incredibly lightweight. At only five pounds and being made of highly durable air-filled PVC tubes, this system is great at doing its job. These kayak side floats are attached via two aluminum poles that are easily removable with a quick-release mechanism. The system doesn’t require a crossbar setup which means installation is easier but does sacrifice an amount of durability and stability.

We see these kayak outriggers as a good choice for those that aren’t hoping to go into any wild waters, but rather looking for some additional stability when fishing in calmer waters such as ponds or small lakes. If you are looking for something a bit more durable and reliable in difficult waters, another system will serve you better.


BRAND: Pactrade
TYPE: Molded PVC floatation devices
ARMS WIDTH: 2 x 31.5″ arms
WEIGHT: 5 pounds
DESIGN: 2-piece stabilizer
MATERIALS: Air-filled PVC tubes attached by aluminum arms


  • One-year warranty
  • No crossbar system
  • Quick and easily removed and adjusted
  • Durable PVC tubes on well-built arms


  • Hard to adjust on the water
  • Don’t provide the needed stability for difficult waters
  • Higher price for the quality

YAKGEAR Kayak & Canoe Outriggers (Gen 2)

General Impression

YakGear has given kayakers and canoeists alike a simple system that provides a wide base with premium buoyancy. The Generation 2 Outrigger Stabilizers utilize the RAILBLAZA Starport base that is first installed onto your boat, then easily accepts the stabilizer arms. When the kayak outriggers aren’t necessary, they can be easily removed and stowed away or just adjusted to a different angle out of the water. The RAILBLAZA base stays put, making the reinstallation quick and easy when waters start to pick up as the tides or winds shift.

With the addition of a hardy board, which is not included, these kayak stability outriggers can easily be transferred to a canoe. They are versatile and work well for many different applications. There can be a lot of difficulty with installation, as the kit does not come with the necessary hardware to mount to kayak rails but can still be found if desired.

The recommended total weight for this setup is 350 pounds, which means packing gear for an overnight trip will need to be carefully thought out. This is still a fair amount of weight, but YakGear is clear on the recommended weight capacity.


BRAND: YakGear
TYPE: Hard plastic floatation devices
ARMS WIDTH: 2 x 30″ arms
DESIGN: 2-piece hard plastic stabilizer
MATERIALS: Hard plastic and stainless steel hardware


  • Easy adjustability and removal when unnecessary 
  • Transferrable to canoe
  • RAILBLAZA Starport base is a great permanent installation
  • Provide great stability


  • Low weight recommendation
  • No hardware for other mounting options
  • Plastic construction is not top quality

CNCEST Inflatable Boat Stabilizers

General Impression

Cheap kayak outriggers that will still stand up to the test of wear and tear are hard to find. These are an inflatable, heavy-duty PVC pontoon system, and are supported by aluminum alloy bars that help make them adjustable and easily removed. They attach to your kayak outriggers with a locking ferrule rod for a safe and secure fixture on a bumpier ride.

These are a very simple form of cheap kayak outriggers that will do the trick, but not much more. They definitely add stability to the system but won’t be able to give you exactly what the other, more expensive options can. If you aren’t a big-time kayaker but are looking for something that helps you feel secure while paddling every now and again, these are a great choice for just testing the waters and to be in a safer fishing kayak with stabilizers.


TYPE: Inflatable pontoons
ARMS WIDTH: 2 x 39.76″ arms
DESIGN: 2-piece inflatable stabilizers
MATERIALS: PVC pontoons with aluminum arms
MOUNTING AND INSTALLATION: Locking ferrule mounts to outrigger


  • Beginner’s system that is good for learning on
  • Quick to set up and inflate
  • Dual valve allows you to deflate and store when not in use
  • Cheap price point


  • Not made for bigger waters
  • No repair kit included
  • Lower quality materials and build quality

Buyer's Guide

Kayak outriggers will allow you to feel a level of security and stability that otherwise isn’t found while paddling. From fishing and photography to kayaking with a kid on board, dumping and getting everything and everyone wet is always on the table. These systems help to greatly reduce that risk and work as a great kayak stabilizer. Of course, none of us want to dump and have to swim around finding all our gear. That desire doesn’t make this purchase any easier though. 

There is a lot that goes into the best kayak outriggers on the market today. In this guide, we will go over exactly what to be looking for in getting the best-fitting outriggers for a kayak. 

Buoyancy and Stability

Kayak stabilizer floats add a certain amount of buoyancy to the port and starboard sides of the kayak. It’s the biggest reason to ever consider even buying a kayak stabilizer kit. 

When fishing, or practicing photography, paddling with your kid in the boat, the amount that you will rock or need to stand is going to increase dramatically. Additional buoyancy is going to make sure that when you are standing, or when stronger swells arrive, the boat stays stable and doesn’t flip right over. 

Often, if you are diving, stabilizers can allow you to easily hop back up into your kayak without tipping. This is especially useful when you find yourself snorkeling in beautiful places and crawling back into your boat to move after a stunning school of fish that just swam away. 

Buoyancy is often measured in pounds and will be given in pounds per pontoon in the case of kayak stabilizers. This rating refers to how hard the pontoons push up against the forces trying to move them underwater. The higher the rating, the more force they can stand up against. If you are hoping to get out in the middle of a sea storm, which is highly unrecommended, a huge force is going to be needed to keep your boat right side up. A kayak with pontoons is going to increase safety along with buoyancy and stability. 


Whenever paddling with arms and pontoons attached to the sides of the kayak, there is bound to be drag created by the friction between the water and the pontoons. Fortunately, these outriggers for kayaks are often adjustable to lift the pontoons out of the water. 

Some of the best kayak outriggers will give different height levels so you can maintain an amount of stabilization but reduce the drag. Adjusting your outriggers is mainly for when you want to paddle and move around, possibly looking for a nice alcove to fish in or get that quick shot with the perfect light. 


Most kayak outriggers are going to be made up of aluminum, or alloy arms, stainless steel hardware, and PVC pontoons. This combination is the best balance of durability and utility in both fresh and saltwater environments as aluminum and stainless steel are highly rust-resistant. These materials don’t add a lot of weight to the system and can be easily transported. 

Inflatable pontoons are prone to puncture, just like any air-filled object, and getting a flat tire is incredibly inconvenient at any time. The heavy-duty PVC will stand up to a lot but is not invincible like a more solid molded option. Here, it is about how much you want to be able to transport your setup. Inflatable systems pack down to virtually nothing. However, hard plastic or PVC molded pontoons take up more space in your car. 

Materials used often will affect the build quality. Obviously, when buying something this expensive you will want it to last as long as possible. So, look for the best possible materials. There is always the option of building it yourself in a DIY manner like these homemade sun dolphin kayak outriggers


Most of the best kayak outriggers these days are easy to install. Some do require drilling holes into your kayak, which can be intimidating and difficult to commit to. If you are looking for a system that you can install yourself, but don’t feel comfortable making major alterations to your kayak, inflatable systems are typically easy to set up and don’t require drilling.


What is a Kayak Outrigger?

Kayak outriggers are systems that widen the base of the kayak and add buoyancy into the system. They are great options for those who are trying to stand up in kayaks while fishing or practicing photography, and people who just want a little bit of additional security and stability. 

A kayak outrigger attaches to your kayak with a mounting system and can normally be added and removed when needed, so you don’t always have to paddle and maneuver around the system. For serious kayakers, this allows you to safely move into deeper and rougher waters. 

Do Kayak Outriggers Work?

Kayak outriggers normally add about an additional four feet to the width of your canoe and almost sixty pounds of added buoyancy. They definitely work. Just like any product in the world though, some will work better than others. It’s important to know what you are using them for in order to get the system that will work best for you. They also aren’t an invincible, sure-fire way to not tip. It will greatly reduce the likelihood, but if you try hard enough you can tip any boat. Know that they aren’t perfect, but they work wonders in the water on a normally nimble and rolling kayak. 

Which are better Inflatable or Rigid Kayak Outriggers?

The term better is difficult here. Inflatable or rigid kayak outriggers both serve different purposes. That being said, one is better for certain tasks or certain types of people while the other is better for other demographics. So, it’s unfair to say one is better than the other in all ways. 

Generally speaking, inflatable outriggers will pack down easier and are better to travel with. They also can be found for cheaper prices. On the other hand, rigid kayak outriggers are not prone to punctures and are better for durability. One isn’t better than the other, but both are great for certain things. 

Do Outriggers Increase Weight Capacity?

Yes. Since a kayak with outriggers has added buoyancy, they naturally increase the weight capacity. For example, a kayak pontoon on an outrigger system that gives a total buoyancy increase of 60 pounds but weighs 10 pounds, will increase your weight capacity by 50 pounds. This makes outriggers a great choice for kayaking with your kids, especially if teaching them something like how-to stand-up paddleboard

How Do I Mount a Stabilizer Kit on a Kayak?

Different stabilizer kits have different mounting systems in place. Most often, you will find that the mounting hardware requires drilling into your kayak and screwing the system in place. The arms of the outriggers will lock into these support systems and oftentimes have a quick release set up for easy removal when you’re done on the water for the day. We recommend finding a product-specific video or instruction manual to help you install any product. 

Where Should a Stabilizer for a Kayak Be Placed?

For the best functionality of a stabilizer, the system should be placed behind your seat about ¾ of the way back on the kayak. This placement allows you to still comfortably paddle without running into the stabilizer bars every time you make your retrieval. For fishing, this also makes sure that your line is not going to get caught in the setup which would make for a complicated knot system that can be hard to undo on the water. 

How do I Align an Outrigger on a Kayak?

Aligning the outrigger on a kayak refers to the angle the arms and pontoons are set at. Changing the angle and aligning it to your needs can be a tricky thing to figure out. Fortunately, a lot of systems have several different options to align your outrigger. When you are engaging the outrigger, the angle it is set at will determine how much your kayak can lean to one side. Set this at a higher angle if you want to really lean into one side, maybe to reach over the edge for raising an anchor or working with ropes and nets off the side of the kayak. 

Reach Out

As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!

David Stefanoski

David Stefanoski is an avid outdoorsman who loves to explore the deepest, most exciting crevices of nature and then write about them. From the maximum depth that a scuba suit can go, to the maximum heights that his legs will take him, David enjoys the outdoors in its warmest, sunniest days on the prairie, to the iciest, dampest little spots in Eastern Europe. After 15 years of trudging, his favorite outdoorsman activity is still chopping wood due to his large body size. He says it's like splitting toothpicks!

Leave a Reply