Best Kayak Anchors
Though kayaks are designed to move fluidly in the water, it does not mean that from time to time, they do not need to be halted and stopped. Whether you intend to do some fishing or merely want to take a rest in the current area, you are in, and kayak anchors can be your saving grace.
But, what makes them somewhat hard to shop for is you typically can’t get away with blindly buying one. Certain outside factors, such as the depth and aggressiveness of the waters you traverse on, will play an essential role in the buying process.
Today, it is our duty to provide you with the information and knowledge you will need to accurately and effectively shop for kayak anchors. After all, everyone out there is going to require something a little bit different.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 3 hrs of research
Works great for kayaks
Comes with anchor line
Available in stainless steel
Our Top Picks for the Best Kayak Anchors
1. Extreme Max Anchor Kit
Works great for kayaks
Comes with anchor line
Available in stainless steel
More line could have been included
Several of you out there will probably be interested in buying a kayak anchor kit, such as this one, as most will provide you most of the accessories you need. And, you guessed it, this one does too.Read more
With the options for either 3.5 or 5.5 pounds, you can buy the size that suits your situation the best. Either way, this grapnel anchor is designed with four flukes and works excellent in weedy and rocky bottoms.
For the 3.5-pound model, you can either buy it with galvanized or stainless steel. The 5.5-pound version, however, is only available with galvanized steel.
While the 25-foot polyethylene anchor line could have been longer, it is durable and also comes with a marker buoy. This buoy is made from marine-grade foam.
In addition to the durable nylon storage bag, the flukes can be locked securely in both open and folded positions. When not in use, it makes it easier to tuck away.
As noted, this is a grapnel-style model. As such, it is ideal for bottoms that are covered with coral, weeds, or even rocks.
For an affordable price, you can get one of the best kayak anchor kits on the market today. However, you may want to account for more line as 25 feet may not be enough.
2. Airhead Grapnel Anchor System
It is coated for enhanced protection
Comes with a durable nylon case
Each size will hold well in mud and rock
The included rope is a bit bulky
This kayak anchor system is about as good as it gets for kayaks. And, what is really nice is if you need an anchor with a bit of extra weight, this is sold in both 3 1/3 and 5 1/2-pound models.Read more
As noted, this model is sold in two different sizes. With both of them, what you get is a four-fluke folding anchor that can work ideally in gravel, rock, mud, and sand bottoms.
In addition to the fact that this is made with durable steel, it has also been coated with a protective finish to help prevent the metal from rusting.
Depending on the weight that you go with, you will either receive 25 or 50 feet of marine-grade rope. However, either way, the rope itself is a bit on the bulky side.
Past the fact that this is going to fit under most boat seats easily, it also comes with a durable nylon storage case. This case is padded, and this provides extra protection for the anchor.
Even though this kayak anchor system is designed for kayaks, it can also be used for several other boats. This includes canoes, watercraft, floating tubes, and even sailboats.
As a complete set, this is one of the better kayak anchors out there. Outside of the fact that the included marine-grade rope is a bit bulky, this set is fantastic.
3. Advanced Elements Anchor System
It is easy to remove from the water
Will grip to most bottoms
Comes with a mesh travel bag
The pin system could have been executed better
From sand to rock to kayaks to canoes, this model is quite versatile and useful. It also comes with 60 full feet of line and a mesh storage bag that can be quite useful.Read more
Though this is not the most massive model out there (it clocks in at three pounds), it works great due to its four-fluke design. With it, and its weight, this anchor will grip to several different types of water bottoms.
As with many other kayak anchors out there, this model has been engineered with galvanized metal. Of course, there is a threaded pin that holds the rope to the anchor and this pin can loosen if you are not careful.
All sorts of accessories are included with your purchase here. This includes 60 feet of line that you can use, a line float, a carabiner and also an attached buoy on the rope itself.
For both the anchor itself and the line that comes with your purchase, an included mesh travel bag can be utilized. This is designed to hold both of these items.
In addition to the fact that this will hold well to different types of water bottoms, it can also be used if you want to go out on your canoe.
Whether you prefer kayaking or going out on the water in your canoe, this anchor system can work well for you. It is incredibly versatile, and this may be its greatest asset.
4. Extreme Max Grapnel Anchor
Various weight options are available
It is available in both galvanized and stainless steel
It can be folded down somewhat compactly
No accessories come with your purchase
The pin can fall out too easily
Now, the major aspect to take away from this model is the fact that it only comes with an anchor. While you will need to account for the other accessories yourself, this grapnel anchor is still one of the best in the business.Read more
Thanks to the sheer amount of different weights that you can choose from, you can tailor the performance of this model to your needs. From 1.5 to 13 pounds, there are various options available.
While not every weight is available in stainless steel, some of them are. Now, if you go with stainless steel over galvanized steel, then you will pay the price.
As noted, it appears as if this is merely only the anchor. It can’t be used by itself, so you will need to invest in some additional accessories to get rolling.
When you do not need to use this, it can be folded compactly. This is useful when you need to save much-needed storage space on your kayak.
It is yet another model that is more than suitable for different types of boats and rafts such as canoes and inflatable boats.
As an anchor, this is just tremendous. But, for some of you, it will not be as compelling as other options only because it lacks accessories of any kind.
5. Seattle Sports Anchor Kit
It comes with a storage sack
Comes with 50 feet of line
Different sizes are available
A little too light for ocean kayaking
This is another grappling anchor and, as such, it is going to be ideal for several different types of bottoms. But, for sandy and muddy bottoms, specifically, this works like a charm.Read more
In addition to being fantastic for muddy and sandy bottoms, this is also generally too light for ocean kayaking. For the record, the heaviest option weighs 3.25 pounds.
Regarding materials, this is built along the same line as many other models out there.
Your purchase comes with not only 50 feet of the line but also a couple of carabiners and a ring that allows the anchor to be quickly deployed.
All the included accessories and items you receive will fit into the drawstring storage bag that also comes with your purchase.
Overall, this is a rather versatile model. Then again, it is better suited for shallower waters and lighter boats.
Granted, you do not want to kayak in the ocean or anything like that; this kit should work incredibly well for several of you. All the accessories are well-made, and that is always a good thing.
6. OceanMotion Anchor Kit
Designed with stainless steel hardware
Ideal for all sorts of boats
Backed by a two-year warranty
Will not be heavy enough for some of you
Everything is included to get you up and running here. As a total package, the value that is offered from this option is just fantastic. That alone should be enough to sell most of you.Read more
At 3.5 pounds, yes, there are heavier models available on the market. For some of you, 3.5 pounds is just not going to be enough holding power, and that is fair.
If nothing else, take comfort in knowing that most of the elements of this kit are well-designed. The rope is made from UV-resistant nylon and the anchor sports a galvanized iron core. Oh yeah, and stainless steel hardware is also utilized.
In addition to the fact that you receive 40 feet of rope with this kit, you also get a reflective tracer. This can come in handy if you need to anchor in low-light conditions.
While the anchor itself is a bit bulky, it will fit nicely into the included padded nylon cinch-top bag.
As with so many others on this list, this kit is not limited to just kayaks. Even if you have a paddleboard, canoe, Jon boat or jet ski, this kit can still come in handy for you.
At the end of the day, this is not the flashiest choice of the bunch, but it gets the job done very well. Then again, for heavier kayaks such as tandems, some may need heavier.
7. Yak Gear Anchor Kit
The anchor and line are great
A 3.3-pound version is available
Features four individual tines
Not enough line is included
The included bag can be annoying to deal with
Some of the included accessories could have been better but hey, the anchor itself gets the job done very well. It is made from galvanized steel and is available in a few different weights.Read more
If the 1.5-pound version is too light for you, then you can opt for the 3.3-pound version instead. Either way, both are equipped with four, six-inch tines that can be deployed when needed.
It is not too much of a surprise that this was made with galvanized steel. After all, as you are beginning to notice, several other kayak anchors are made with this material.
Admittedly, the 30 feet of nylon rope, while a nice addition, is not quite sufficient enough. Past this, both Add a Rope and Rock Rig capabilities are included with this kit.
While it is nice that a storage bag comes with your purchase, the mesh inside can cause issues. The sharp ends of the anchor can end up getting caught up in the mesh material.
Speaking for the lighter of the two options (the 1.5-pound anchor), it is most effective in slower moving waters. In currents, more weight is going to be needed to stabilize your kayak.
Though the kit itself is lacking just a little bit, the anchor itself is more than respectable. And, for the price, this is going to be an excellent pick up for most of you.
8. MOOCY Drift Sock
Excellent for use in winds
Suitable for all sorts of rafts and boats
Sports tough ripstop fabric
Does not actually stop your kayak completely
Now, you want to talk about unique and different? Some of you would not even classify this as an anchor but, while it will not stop your kayak, it will slow it down.Read more
As you can guess, this does not anchor into the ground. Instead, the fabric acts as resistance to slow you down. But, this will not allow you to come to a complete stop.
Thanks to the reinforced webbing strap and the sturdy ripstop fabric, this is going to hold up exceptionally well over time.
Additional accessories are not needed for a design like this. So, no, nothing extra comes with your purchase.
At 24 inches in length and with the ability to be folded down compactly, this is about as portable as it gets.
This is best used to help stabilize your kayak during moderate winds. It will work better, though, for lighter and more nimble kayaks.
For sure, this is not going to be for everyone. It is also not going to work as a permanent anchoring solution. But, to offer a bit of variety, it is not a bad addition to your kayak.
9. Yak Gear YakStick
It is six-foot in length
Designed with a newly designed handle
It works really well in shallow waters
A few buyers have had issues with the tip breaking off
Alright, so this is something different entirely. The YakStick is simply a kayak anchor pole that is made of rigid fiberglass. It may not be up your alley but it works really well in shallow waters.Read more
As this is merely just a six-foot stick, it will only work in shallower waters. In such waters, however, it will grip and anchor very well to keep your kayak stable.
Because this is made of rigid fiberglass, you can expect it to last you for several years to come. Now, at the same time, various users have had issues with the tip cane coming off.
While this does not come with rope, there is a rope attachment that has been molded into the handle. Speaking of the handle, it sports a foam grip for your convenience.
The good news is this only weighs 22 ounces. But, the bad news is it does measure six feet in length. While good in the water, you will have to deal with this length when storing this pole.
In a way, this is more limited than other kayak anchors out there. Because you can’t expand the length of the pole, it will only work in shallow enough waters for the pole to be above water.
The YakStick is an excellent choice for those of you who are looking for something a little different. While not great for lakes or oceans, it will work splendid down rivers and such.
10. Danielson Galv Folding Anchor
It can be folded for easier storage
Designed with galvanized metal
Ideal for different types of boats
Does not come with any accessories
If you simply need an anchor but do not need any other accessories then this may be a great choice for you. It is a classic four-fluke design and can be locked in closed and open positions.Read more
Many of you will probably opt for the three-pound version over the 1.5-pound one. This adds enhanced holding power and, with the four-fluke design, should grip quite well to different types of bottoms.
To better prevent rusting, this has been galvanized. This is a typical process that a majority of anchors will go through.
This is not a kit and is merely just a folding anchor. As with other options like this, you will need to account for rope and other essential accessories yourself.
When not in use, this can conveniently be folded for storage. Granted that space in your kayak is often limited, this space-saving feature merely is tremendous.
The four-fluke design, coupled with the weight makes this an anchor that can be used in a wide variety of situations and areas.
It is 100 percent understandable if some of you will settle for nothing less than a kayak anchor kit. But, again, if you already own what you need outside of the anchor itself, consider this option.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This is important as not all models will sport the power you need to stop your kayak. So, look for those that do.
The first thing you need to understand is that there are different types of anchors that are on the market. But, when it comes to finding suitable options for kayaking, without question, the most popular are grappling hook anchors. These are also known as grapnel anchors, and they are highly recommended for kayaking.
For the record, these types of anchors consist of four individual hooks or flukes that grip into the mud, sand, coral, plants, rocks, etc. The flukes will lie on the bottom of the water and will latch onto anything that they come across.
Of course, not all grappling kayak anchors are going to be the same. And, the main difference between different models is going to be their weight (or only their size). While the physical size of the flukes will play a role, so will the overall weight of the anchor itself.
Most commonly, these models will either be 1.5 or somewhere between 3 and 3.5 pounds in total weight. In calmer waters and for lighter kayaks, you can get away with anchors that only weigh 1.5 pounds or so. However, in rougher waters and with heavier kayaks, you will want to opt for at least 3.5-pound models (possibly even more massive depending on the situation).
The material makeup of both the anchor and the rope (if one is included) are important.
If you took the time to go through this list, then you have probably concluded that many of these anchors will be made with steel. It is perhaps the most common material. But, there are many different forms of steel out there. And, the two most popular when it comes to smaller anchors are galvanized and stainless steel.
Of the two, galvanized steel is probably more widespread. But, that does not necessarily mean it is better. Now, galvanized steel merely references steel that has a thin layer of zinc coating. This coating helps the steel resist corrosion and allows it to stand up to the nature of water. Of course, galvanized steel does not perform very well in saltwater.
Now, as for stainless steel, this is merely steel that has been joined with chromium. The chromium is almost used as an agent to help the steel resist oxidation (rust). And, it holds up pretty well to saltwater. So, if you want to do ocean kayaking, go with stainless steel.
Of course, if the model you buy comes with rope, you want to pay attention to how that is made, as well. Typically, artificial fibers are the best as they have optimal elasticity. And, of them, nylon is up there in effectiveness.
Unless you already own the items you also need with an anchor, you may want to pay special attention to this section.
A fundamental question you need to ask yourself is, do you need an anchor or everything? If you already have the vital accessories to make the anchor work, you can avoid buying them. But, if you need everything, then it may be in your best interest to look for an anchor kit.
The first thing you will need is either a rope or a chain. Most kits will come with rope, for the record. And, outside of what the rope is made out of, you also need to assess its length.
Generally speaking, you should have seven feet of rope for every foot of water (depth). So, if you want to anchor in water that is seven feet down, you will need 49 feet of rope to work with.
The reason this is vital is the anchor itself needs to lie away from your kayak once it hits the bottom of the water. Anyway, moving on, some kits will also come with a buoy. It can be useful to know exactly where the anchor is at the bottom of the water.
Oh, and some kits will come with carabiners, clips, rings, or anything that can be used to attach the anchor to your kayak. Keep all these vital accessories in mind.
Anchors will not always be in use so it is better if they can easily be stowed in your kayak. Also, you need to transport them from location to location, anyway.
It is safe to assume that you do not want to haul around a cumbersome kayak anchor. At the same time, if you need a heavy-duty model that is going to keep you steady in rougher waters, you should not buy one that is lighter to make it more portable. Instead, follow these other factors.
Firstly, can the flukes be folded up? You see, with most grappling hook anchors, the flukes will be able to be folded up when they are not in use. While subtle, this is going to allow you to save so much-needed space on your kayak. After all, not everyone owns a fishing kayak that is loaded with storage space.
Secondly, some sellers will include a dedicated carrying bag with your purchase. Typically, if this is the case, the container will be padded for protection. Keeping in mind that anchors can easily rip through the cheap fabric, it is vital for padding to be implemented.
Just because anchors are simple in nature it does not mean they lack versatility. Most of the ones that you will see will be adaptable to different situations.
Even though this guide has proven that there are specific anchors that are optimized for kayaking, it does not mean that these same models are not versatile. It all is in the manner in which you define the word versatile, quite frankly. For this section, we are looking at kayak anchors regarding where they can be used and what they can be used for.
For the former, this is why grappling hook models are so lovely. Due to their simple and practical design, these anchors can be deployed in all types of bottoms, and they will grip. Such bottoms include mud, dirt, coral, plants, and rocks, to name a few.
Now, what about what these types of anchors can be used for? They can all work great for kayaking. But, depending on the size and weight of the individual model, some of them will also be ideal for canoeing, paddle boats, and possibly even jet skis. Again, though, it does depend on the design of the individual anchor.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Without question, this is the most important section for you to wrap your head around. What you need to understand is that depending on where you kayak and the conditions, in which you kayak, you may need a heavier-duty anchor. Whichever model you buy needs to have enough holding power to stop your kayak from moving when you need it to. That is the entire point of an anchor.
Most models are going to be made out of steel. However, as many of you know, different coatings and alloys can be added to steel to change its properties. Two of the most popular types of steel, when it comes to making smaller anchors, are galvanized and stainless. Of course, do not forget about the design of the rope (if one is included with your purchase).
An anchor by itself is not going to do you a whole lot of good. You need a way to retrieve it from the water and to attach it to your kayak. This is where kits can come into play. Many options on the market will come with most of the vital accessories that you will need. Then again, if you already own these items, you can merely just by an anchor separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is a kayak anchor trolley?
This is something that has not been addressed yet but is something you want to be fully aware of. You may wish to order yourself an anchor trolley system. But what exactly will it do for you?
Well, it will allow you to move your anchor from the stern to the bow (and vice versa). All in the meanwhile, you can do so without moving from your seat. It adds convenience to your anchoring options.
q: Is there a proper technique to follow?
The good news is the process of anchoring your kayak is not going to be too difficult. First things first, you want to reach a point where your kayak is as still as you can get it. From there, you want to release the anchor in an appropriate area.
Then, payout the line to ensure you are not underneath the anchor and to ensure it secures you. You will know if it secured to the bottom or not as you will feel resistance if you try to paddle away.
q: What happens if you need to anchor at night?
When the sun sets and the night approaches, you will want to ensure that you are highly visible on the water. To do so, you may want to use an anchor light. This is not only going to help you anchor out but it will also allow others (if anyone else is out on the water) to see it.
q: Okay, so do kayaks need anchor lights?
Yes, this question is a direct follow-up to the previous one. It was alluded to that you should consider buying an anchor light at night. But is this required? Because non-motorized kayaks are considered vessel under oars according to the U.S. Coast Guard, it is not mandated.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard regulations, a vessel under oars can use such lights but also does not have to. However, if opted against, either an electric torch or lighted lantern will be needed to show a white light. This is to prevent collisions with other vessels.
q: How do you retrieve your anchor?
What happens when the time comes when you need to continue on with your journey? In other words, how do you retrieve kayak anchors? This is as simple as throwing them in the water, for the record.
To begin, make your way to where the anchor is located (by pulling the rope). When you are right underneath it, give the rope a little tug until the anchor becomes free. When it becomes free, pull it up with the rope and store it in your kayak.
q: Should you use chain or rope?
Most kayak anchor kits will come with rope and not chain. But, which one is better? Quite honestly, rope is the better of the two options. Sure, chain has the added advantage of being immune to fraying (as it is not made of fabric) but that is about it.