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With all of the advancements and options available in today’s kayaks comes the increasing versatility and types of adventures individuals can experience. The majority of the time, kayaking is intended to have us moving from one point to another. Whether that’s paddling along the shoreline taking in the scenery or getting out on the ocean for an exhilarating workout.
However, there are just as many times we will want to be stationary; angling for the big one at your favorite fishing hole, relaxing and taking in the view or a beautiful sunrise or sunset, taking a break from your paddle for a refreshment or bite to eat, or just finding a relaxing spot to enjoy the sun and a good read. It’s times like these that choosing the best kayak anchor becomes essential to the quality of your experience.
Making the right decision of which anchor is best suited for you depends on the size and weight of your kayak. You will want an anchor that is heavy enough to keep you from drifting and secured in the direction you want to be facing. For a kayak an anchor in the 3 pound range should be adequate for most circumstances.
Other factors you are going to want to consider include the following:
- How easy is the anchor to lift out of the water, to maneuver and to stow away.
- Damage to your kayak and your safety should be your top priorities. Avoid homemade anchors or anchors not intended to be used with a kayak.
- A design that will not drag along the bottom and will secure you in a stationary position.
- Length of the rope needed.
- A marker buoy for easily locating your anchor.
To assist you in your search the following guide is provided to answer your questions and to assist you in choosing the best kayak anchor which will meet your individual needs.
Top 5 Comparison Chart
Top 10 Best Kayak Anchors Reviewed
1. Best Marine Kayak Anchor
The Best Marine is a 4 prong anchor that weighs 3.5 pounds and folds to a size of 12 x 3 inches, taking up minimal space and is easily stored in your kayak. The anchor is galvanized and rust resistant making it a quality and durable system.
The Best features a 40 foot long anchor line, a nylon storage bag, a 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.
2. Extreme Max 3006.6548
The Extreme Max 3006.6548 is a 4 prong folding anchor that weighs 3.5 pounds. Because it folds up, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored in your kayak. This product comes with multiple weight and finish options.
The Extreme Max features a 25 foot long anchor line, a padded nylon storage bag, a marker buoy and a 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.
3. Gradient Fitness Marine Anchor
The Gradient Fitness Marine is a 4 prong folding anchor that weighs 3.5 pounds and folds to a size of 12 x 3 inches, taking up minimal space and is easily stored in your kayak. The anchor is rust resistant.
The Gradient Fitness features a 25 foot long anchor line, a padded drawstring storage bag, a flotation 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.
4. Airhead Complete Grapnel Anchor System
The Airhead Complete Grapnel is a 4 prong folding anchor that weighs 3.3 pounds. Because it folds up, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored in your kayak. This product has the option to purchase a 5.5 pound anchor with a 50 foot rope.
The Airhead features a 25 foot long anchor line, a nylon padded storage case, a marker buoy and a 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.
5. OceanMotion Kayak Anchor Kit
The OceanMotion Anchor Kit is a galvanized anchor, 4 prong folding anchor that weighs 3.5 pounds. Storing is made easy because the anchor can be folded and placed in a padded nylon cinch-top bag. The padded storage bag helps prevent damage to your kayak.
The OceanMotion features a 40 foot long anchor line, that is a reflective, braided nylon marine grade rope 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.
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. It is made of a durable 500D PVC with high-frequency welded seams.
The Skog A Kust is a 20 liter SandSak that holds 50+ pounds of sand or aggregate. It features 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.
7. Seattle Sports Kayak Anchor
The Seattle Sports is a 4 prong folding anchor with a sliding collar that weighs 1.5 pounds. Because it folds up, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored in your kayak. This product has the option to purchase a 3.25 pound anchor available.
The anchor comes with a lengthy 50 foot anchor line that is a highly visible bright yellow. It also features 2 carabiners, a ring and a drawstring storage bag. The additional accessories provides flexibility in how you choose to rig your anchor.
8. Crown Sporting Goods Galvanized Folding Grapnel Boat Anchors
The Crown Sporting Goods is a 4 prong folding anchor with a sliding collar that weighs 3.0 pounds. Because it folds up, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored in your kayak. This product has the option to also purchase a 1.5, 5.5, 7.0, 9.0, 13.0 or 17.5 pound anchor.
If you are interested in just 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 4 prong folding anchor with a sliding collar that weighs 3.5 pounds. Because it folds up, the anchor will take up minimal space and is easily stored on your kayak. The product has the option to also purchase a 1.5, 5.5, 7.0, 9.0 or 13 pound anchor.
If all you want is an anchor that easily folds away into a very small size but doesn’t come with any additional extras the Extreme Max is a good option.
10. Danielson Galv Anchor Folding
The Danielson Galv is a 4 prong folding anchor with a sliding collar that weighs 3.0 pounds. Because it folds up, the anchor takes up minimal space and is easily stored in your kayak. The anchor is galvanized making it rust resistant.
Kayak Anchor 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 common anchoring system used by kayakers is a grapnel anchor. The anchor has 4 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. 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 than other anchors, 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. 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.
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. Bruce anchors gain holding power be digging into the bottom.
Not technically an anchor for a kayak, they are designed to slow the movement of your kayak. 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.
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, otherwise it will keep dragging across the bottom. Once you’ve ensured the product has a quality design then you will determine how much you need the anchor to weigh. For 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 sink into the silt/mud or to lodge on an object (rocks, branches, roots, or other debri) on the bottom of the body of water.
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 7 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.
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. 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.
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.
Safety Tips For Anchoring a Kayak
Your top priority when you are anchoring your kayak should always, always be your safety. 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 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 you kayak into the position you want to be anchored, open the prongs/flukes of the anchor and securely locking 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 7 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, while they will prove 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.
It could be debated whether an anchor is necessary on a lake or pond. The wind, much like a current will affect the positioning of your kayak. An anchor can be deployed in a few minutes providing a quick solution to combating these issues.
All of the anchors we have recommended have pros and cons. We have listed our top five choices in order: Best Marine, Extreme 3006.6548, Gradient Fitness, Airhead Complete, and OceanMotion. We have also provided 5 additional kayak anchors with unique anchoring systems for your review and consideration.
Hopefully this information will assist you in choosing the anchor that best fits your needs. Let us know in the comments sections which kayak anchor is your preference.
For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, please visit the following articles.
Megan Jones is the lead author of Seaside Planet. She is an avid surfer, scuba diver, and travel enthusiast who takes any opportunity she can to spend time in the ocean. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.