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With so many kayak options and features on the market today, this fun watersport’s versatility is taking off in the types of adventures sea lovers can have! Things like different body designs, the best kayak anchors, ocean computers and more, kayaking can be enjoyed by a variety of people. Most commonly used to move us from one point to another, it gives us the opportunity to paddle along the shoreline taking in the scenery, get out on the ocean for an exhilarating workout, and much more.
While the kayak will take you to explore many places, the kayak anchor allows you to stay put when you’ve found an area you’d like to experience further. Whether you’d like to pack a lunch and take a break for a picnic, or simply stop to take in the beautiful sunset, an anchor allows you to safely dock your boat without worry of it floating away. It’s times like these that choosing the best anchor style to suit your needs becomes essential to the quality of your experience.
We’ve created this guide to help you choose the best anchor for kayaking, and a simple buyer’s guide so you can determine which features are right for you. Here is everything you need to know about kayak anchors:
Top 5 Comparison Chart
10 Best Kayak Anchors Reviewed
1. Best Marine Kayak Anchor
The Best Marine is a four prong folding anchor that weighs 3.5 pounds and folds to a size of 12 x 3 inches, taking up minimal space and easily stored in your kayak. The anchor is galvanized and rust resistant making it a quality, heavy-duty and durable system for securing your kayak on an adventure. Additionally, the construction is lightweight and the anchor prong locking system is great both while open and closed
The Best anchor has many convenient features which set it apart from other options available on the market. It has a 40 foot long anchor line, a nylon storage bag for protection stowing, a safety marker buoy and stainless steel carabiner. The carabiner allows for quick and easy connections and release of your kayak, and the anchor line will stay afloat with the attached buoy, to assist in finding your anchor upon your return.
To ensure worry-free purchasing, this kayak anchor comes with a one-year, no questions asked, money-back guarantee.
2. Extreme Max 3006.6548
The Extreme Max 3006.6548 is a four prong folding anchor that weighs only 3.5 pounds. Because it folds up for easy transport, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored in your kayak. This anchor comes in a variety of weight and finish options to best suit your needs on the water. Additionally, it features a 25 foot long anchor line, a padded nylon storage bag, a safety marker buoy and a snap hook.
The snap hook feature on this kayak anchor allows for quick and easy connections and release of your kayak, and the anchor line will stay afloat with the attached buoy to assist in finding your anchor upon your return. Furthermore, the marine-grade foam marker buoy is designed for visibility on the water to ensure you, and your boat’s, safety. Overall, this anchor is easy to transport, durably made, comes with a variety of convenient features, and is available in different sizes and finishes to best suit your kayaking needs.
3. Gradient Fitness Marine Anchor
The Gradient Fitness Marine is a four prong folding anchor that weighs only 3.5 pounds and folds to a compact size of 12 x 3 inches. This design takes up minimal space in your kayak gear or cockpit, and is easily stored inside with ease. The anchor is rust resistant ensuring it’s able to withstand the rugged environment at the beach, and the elements that come with it.
This kayak anchor features a 25 foot long anchor line, a padded drawstring storage bag, a flotation safety marker buoy and a stainless steel snap hook. The snap hook allows for quick and easy connections and release of your kayak, and the anchor line will stay afloat with the attached buoy to assist in finding your anchor upon your return. Additionally, this buoy is designed for added visibility in the water to protect both you and your vessel.
To ensure worry-free purchasing, this kayak anchor comes with a 90-day 100% money-back guarantee.
4. Airhead Complete Grapnel Anchor System
The Airhead Complete Grapnel is a four prong folding anchor that weighs only 3.3 pounds. Because it folds up with ease, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored inside of your gear, or your kayak. Additionally, it comes available in this 3.3 pound option, or a 5.5 pound option which features a longer, 50 foot attachment rope. This choice gives you the freedom to choose which weight and size is right for your kayaking needs in the water, and to ensure you have an anchor strong enough to hold your vessel.
The Airhead has several convenient features, including a 25 foot marine-grade long anchor line, a nylon padded storage case, a high visibility red marker buoy and a snap hook. The snap hook allows for simple and fast connections and release of your kayak, and the anchor line will stay afloat with the attached buoy to assist in finding your anchor upon your return. Additionally, this anchor is designed for kayaks and a variety of other vessels, including sailboats, personal watercrafts, inflatable boats, canoes, float tubes and more.
5. OceanMotion Kayak Anchor Kit
The OceanMotion Anchor Kit is a galvanized anchor, four prong folding anchor that weighs only 3.5 pounds. Storing is made easy because the anchor can be easily folded and placed in a padded nylon cinch-top bag, and stowed away inside the kayak or your kayak dry bag. The padded storage bag helps prevent damage to your kayak, and provides a safe place to securely store your vessel during the off season or while it’s not in use.
This kayak anchor features a 40 foot long, reflective and braided nylon, marine-grade and UV resistant rope, along with a stainless steel clasp for attachment to your kayak. A marker buoy is attached, so you are able to disconnect your kayak, leaving the anchor and returning later. This lightweight and durable anchor is highly versatile for a variety of vessel types, including canoes, kayaks, jet skis and more.
6. Skog Å Kust SandSak 2-in-1 Sand Anchor & Dry Bag
The Skog A Kust SandSak is a unique and versatile option for anchoring your kayak, due to the fact that it also can be used as a waterproof dry bag for your clothes, devices and personal effects. Made of a durable 500D PVC material with high-frequency welded seams, this bag is designed to last and to provide strength while securing your vessel.This anchor is a 20 liter SandSak that holds 50+ pounds of sand or aggregate inside. It features rust-proof stainless steel attachment clips, d-rings and a handy bottom strap for quick and easy emptying. Additionally, it comes with a 12 foot long braided floating rope and a marker buoy for easy retrieval and spotting. The rope is highly visible and floating to ensure it’s easy and convenient to get back to your anchor destination. Overall, this anchor is a high quality, convenient and durable anchor that doubles as a dry bag for carrying your kayaking gear.
7. Seattle Sports Kayak Anchor
The Seattle Sports kayak anchor is a four prong folding anchor with a sliding collar that’s ultra lightweight, weighing only 1.5 pounds. Because it folds up with ease, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored in your kayak bed, storage compartments or waterproof duffel. This product has the added option to purchase a 3.25 pound anchor available, depending on your vessel type and needs on the water.
Featuring a lengthy 50 foot anchor line that is a highly visible bright yellow, this kayak anchor has one of the longest ropes on this list. It also includes an attachment ring and two carabiners, and a drawstring storage bag for easy stowing. Additionally, a drawstring storage bag is included for easy transporting and stowing while it’s not in use. The additional accessories included with this kit provides flexibility in how you choose to rig your anchor, and what type of vessel you’re able to secure.
8. Crown Sporting Goods Galvanized Folding Grapnel Boat Anchors
The Crown Sporting Goods is a four prong folding anchor with a sliding collar that weighs only 3.0 pounds. Because it easily folds up, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored inside of your kayak bag or vessel. This product is also available in the option to purchase a 1.5, 5.5, 7.0, 9.0, 13.0 or 17.5 pound anchor. This is ideal for choosing a weight that is specifically designed for your kayaking needs on the water.
Made of long-lasting and corrosion-resistant galvanized steel, this anchor is designed to last for many adventures to come. It easily locks into place for a secure hold of your vessel, and folds for compact storage when it’s not in use. The design of this kayak anchor is ideal for coral, stone, heavy weed, gravel and other bottom surfaces. Additionally, it’s suitable for use in low currents and great for a variety of vessels such as kayaks, canoes, inflatables and more. If you are interested in an anchor that is durable and affordable this may be the option you want to consider.
9. Extreme Max 3006.6545
The Extreme Max 3006.6545 is a four prong folding anchor with a sliding collar that weighs only 3.5 pounds. Because it folds up into a compact and highly portable device, the anchor will take up minimal space and is easily stored inside of your kayak. This anchor is also available in a variety of sizes including 1.5, 5.5, 7.0, 9.0 and 12 pound designs. This is great for choosing the proper size to suit your vessel type and weight, and your needs in the body of water you’ll be adventuring in.
If you’re looking for a simple anchor that folds to a compact size with ease, but doesn’t come with additional extras such as a rope and buoy, then this option may be right for you. While it doesn’t come with any extras, it’s a quality option for use in a variety of surface terrains, such as grass, weeds, rocky bottoms, and more. This kayak anchor is designed for short hold use in low to no current waters.
10. Danielson Galv Anchor Folding
The Danielson Galv is a four prong folding anchor that’s compact and easy to stow away. With a sliding collar for securing it in place, this anchor also weighs only 1.5 pounds. Because it folds up with ease, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored inside of your adventure bag or your kayak storage space. The anchor is galvanized, making it rust resistant and durable to ensure its longevity.
This kayak anchor is lockable in an open or closed position, and it’s designed to secure kayaks, personal watercrafts and dinghies in place. Additionally, it’s available in a variety of four different sizes to ensure you find the perfect size anchor for your vessel needs. Without the inclusion of a marker buoy or line, this anchor comes as a single piece.
Choosing the Best Anchor for Kayaking: Buyers Guide
There are a variety of reasons why you may need or want to anchor your kayak. You may have found that great spot where the fish are biting and you don’t want to fight the current or keep repositioning your kayak. Perhaps you want to find a quiet spot on the lake to anchor and pull out your favorite book for a relaxing read.
No matter the reason, having an anchoring system that will maintain your position will be extremely important. Anchoring your kayak is relatively easy if you have the right equipment. The following information is provided to help you in understanding what factors should be considered in choosing the best kayak anchor for your needs.
There are various types of anchors that can be used with a kayak and the following are some of the more common designs.
The most common anchoring system used by kayakers is a grapnel anchor. This type of anchor has four prongs or flukes that catch the ocean bottom or river/lake bed, securing the kayak in position. The prongs fold and create a compact unit that is easy to stow and transport during your adventures on the water. The grapnel’s holding power comes from hooking to another object or the bottom of the body of water. As a result, grapnel anchors are much lighter in weight than other anchors, typically weighing between 1.5 and 3.5 pounds.
These anchors are usually heavy, as they rely on their weight for anchoring support. Therefore, they are not ideally suited for use in kayaks, requiring more storage space and additional weight taking up precious capacity in the boat. It’s shape looks like an inverted mushroom and gets it’s holding power from burying in the silt or mud on the bottom of the body of water for a secure hold.
This anchor relies exclusively on how heavy it is, such as a large block of cement/stone at the end of a chain. It’s holding power is based on the weight of the anchor underwater regardless of the bed of the body of water. Again, not an ideal anchor for a kayak, based on storage and the additional weight of the anchor.
If you are kayaking in a place where the bottom is silty or sandy, a Bruce anchor can be effective. This type of anchor gains holding power by digging into the bottom and creating a secure hold to keep your vessel in place.
Not technically an anchor for a kayak, drift chutes are designed to slow the movement of your kayak in the water. They function much in the fashion as a parachute. Tossed in the water, the drift chute will gradually fill with water, creating drag, and slowing the kayak down.
Anchor Design, Weight, and Size
When it comes to the best kayak anchors, weight matters, but you also want to make sure that you are buying an anchor that is well-designed to prevent dragging across the bottom. Once you’ve ensured the product has a quality build and construction, then you will need to determine how much the anchor should weigh. For use with a kayak, an anchor of between 3 and 3.5 pounds should be heavy enough to secure your vessel.
Although the weight is important, the size and number of prongs on the anchor help the anchor’s ability to sink into the silt or mud, and to lodge onto an object on the bottom of the water, such as rocks, branches, roots, or other debri.
Here’s a recap of the main features you’ll want to look for in the design, weight and size of the kayak anchor you choose:
- Ideal Kayak Anchor Weight: 3-3.5 Pounds
- Folding Design
- Four Prongs for Lodging to Waterbody Bottom
- High-Sinking Material
- Weight Designed for the Size of Your Vessel
Anchor Rope Length
Even if you have chosen an anchor with the correct weight and design for your kayak, if you have a rope that is too short, the anchor will not function as intended. The anchor line or rope needs to be approximately seven times longer than the depth of the water you will be adventuring in. The reason for this is because once the anchor hits the bottom it needs to lie on it’s side, so it can dig into the bottom. Thus, the line will need to be long enough to reach the surface with ease.
All kayaks have weight limits, so the weight of the passenger(s) combined with the weight of your gear, including your anchor, are important. Some tandem kayaks have weight capacities of approximately 400 pounds. For example, if you have 50 pounds of gear, you weigh 200 pounds and your tandem partner weighs 170 you would be 20 pounds over this kayak’s weight capacity. This is why the weight of your gear is so important. Even a few pounds here and there can make all the difference with your ability and success while paddling.
Additionally, kayaks have limited storage space, so you will want to be considerate of how much space your anchor will require. Another consideration with storage is to ensure that the anchor is secured in a fashion when transporting so as to not damage your kayak or injure you or your passengers. Several kayak anchor kits include a nylon, closeable storage bag that is padded, which will provide a secure placement for the anchor.
Here is a recap of the key kayak anchor storage features to search for when choosing the best product for your needs:
- Compact and Highly Portable Design
- Lightweight Enough to Prevent Weighing Down Gear
- Padded Storage Bag is Ideal for Anchor Storage and Vessel Protection
Safety Tips For Anchoring a Kayak
Your top priority when you are anchoring your kayak should always, always be your safety on the water. The environmental conditions you find yourself in will vary each time you go out, so you need to use extreme caution when anchoring your kayak. The following are precautions you should take into consideration:
- Tell someone your paddle plan, which includes: where you are going, what you will be doing, how long you expect to be gone, and how many people are in your group. Then stick to your plan.
- You should always wear a personal flotation device while kayaking.
- Never anchor your kayak perpendicular to the water flow or current.
- Do not anchor in fast flowing current.
- A more stable kayak is the preference for using any anchoring system.
- Use a quick release system that will enable you to detach your kayak from the anchor quickly if a problem arises.
- When paddling in a new area, check with the locals regarding currents, shoreline conditions and weather patterns.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kayak Anchors
How do you anchor a kayak?
You will paddle your kayak into the position you want to be anchored, open the prongs/flukes of the anchor and securely lock them in place. Cast the anchor in a safe manner away from the kayak, waiting for it to sink to the bottom of the body of water. When it has hit the bottom, pull it towards you and then allow the line to run to its full length. Once you have a secure anchor hold, ensure your anchor is securely fastened to the kayak.
How do you attach an anchor to a kayak?
You can attach your rope to your anchor using a secure knot. We would recommend a figure-eight knot. Running the rope through a cam cleat will give you control over the rope and allow you to easily release it.
Also, using a carabiner on the end of the rope, opposite the anchor, will give you a simple and secure means for attaching your anchor line to the kayak. Several of the anchors we have recommended already come with this accessory, so you won’t have to purchase and attach to your system. A variety of hooks can also be used, however we would recommend using a snap hook to ensure the rope stays secured to the kayak.
How long of a rope do I need for the anchor?
The anchor line or rope needs to be approximately seven times longer than the depth of the water you will be on. The reason for this is because once the anchor hits the bottom it needs to lie on it’s side, so it can dig into the bottom.
Can I just use a DIY anchor such as an old coffee can with cement?
You can do this, however it only functions as a deadweight as was described earlier. The holding power, in water, is about twice the weight of the anchor. Deadweight anchors are not ideal for anchoring a kayak. You still have the issues of additional weight, consumption of storage space and potential damage to your kayak to consider.
What do I do if my anchor gets stuck on a stump or large rocks?
To help ensure you can always get your anchor free from obstructions, you can use a technique known as "rock rigging". This video shows you how to rig your anchor in this manner:
A quality kayak anchor is relatively inexpensive, and they will prove wildly beneficial in a variety of kayaking situations. Whether you are fishing, taking a break for a beverage and a bite to eat, taking in a sunrise or sunset, or just relaxing with a good book, a kayak anchor will come in handy. An anchor can be deployed in a few minutes, making it an essential for kayaking on any water body type.
All of the anchors we’ve recommended have both pros and cons. While no kayak anchor is perfect, all of the options reviewed in the list are quality and functional devices designed to support your kayaking adventure needs. Use this guide to get one step closer to your next adventure, and to learn everything you need to know about kayak anchors!
Has this guide helped you choose the kayak anchor that’s best suited to your next kayaking adventure? We would love to hear about it in the comment section below!
For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, please visit the following articles.
Megan Jones leads the editorial staff of Seaside Planet. They are a multidisciplinary team of outdoor adventurers, water sports lovers, and passionate beach goers. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.