Are Fiberglass Kayaks Better Than Plastic? (Explained)

If you’re looking for a kayak, you might have come across a few different options. These include inflatable boats, hard shell plastic kayaks, and the more recent development of fiberglass kayaks. 

As with many things in life, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing between these different types of kayaks. However, we’ll try to clear up some of the confusion by answering some common questions about fiberglass kayaks and how they compare to other types of boats:

Kayaks fiberglass vs plastic which is better – YouTube
Fiberglass kayaks offer better performance and responsiveness.
Plastic kayaks are more durable and affordable.
Fiberglass kayaks are lightweight and easy to maneuver.
Plastic kayaks are heavier but provide better stability.
Both fiberglass and plastic kayaks can be repaired if damaged.

Are Fiberglass Kayaks Better Than Plastic?

There are many reasons why you should choose a fiberglass kayak over a plastic one. 

First, it’s important to remember that fiberglass is stronger than plastic, so if you’re an experienced paddler who wants to go on more challenging trips, then fiberglass is the better option for you. Fiberglass kayaks are suitable for all skill levels and can be used in any weather condition.

However, there are also some drawbacks to using fiberglass as opposed to plastic: they’re more expensive than their plastic counterparts; they tend not to last as long; they’re harder (and thus more expensive) to repair; they weigh more than other types of kayaks so carrying them becomes much more difficult after awhile (especially if you plan on traveling with one).

Overall though? We think that if you have the money then we’d recommend going with this type instead.”

When comparing kayak materials, it’s important to consider various factors. Our expert advice on inflatable kayaks provides insights into the benefits and drawbacks of different kayak options, including plastic and fiberglass.

Is It Right To Choose A Fiberglass Kayak?

If you are looking for a lightweight kayak, then the fiberglass ones will be your best choice. These boats are also strong enough to handle rough water conditions with ease. They can also last longer than the plastic ones, making them more cost effective in the long run.

If you want to make sure that your boat lasts for years without any problems, then it is better to invest in a high-quality fiberglass kayak rather than opting for cheap imitations of this type of vessel.

FeaturesFiberglass KayaksPlastic KayaksInflatable Kayaks
Recommended UsagePerformanceRecreationalRecreational

Is The Fiberglass Kayak Durable Enough?

The answer to this question depends on many factors. The first is the type of fiberglass boat you are referring to. 

There are two types of boats – those made from single-piece glass and those made from roto-molded polyethylene (a plastic). 

Both types have advantages and disadvantages but I will examine only the roto-molded polyethylene kayaks here because they are much more commonly used than their single piece counterparts.

This type of boat is often called “plastic” which can be confusing because most people associate “plastic” with cheaply made items that break easily and aren’t very durable. However, plastic kayaks are actually more durable than you might think! 

They’re also lighter in weight than their counterparts, making them easier to carry around when transporting them is necessary (like when going on long trips). 

On top of that, they’re easier to repair if something happens during your adventure trip like getting scraped against rocks while paddling down rapids or having something fall off into the water during transportation back home again after an adventure trip has ended successfully without any major problems at all 🙂

Are you an avid angler looking for the perfect kayak? Explore the advantages of inflatable kayaks for fishing in our comprehensive guide. Discover how these versatile kayaks can enhance your fishing experience.

Are Fiberglass Kayaks Safe To Use?

You may have heard that fiberglass kayaks are not safe to use. This is not true. Fiberglass kayaks are safe as long as you do not go out alone and you take precautions when preparing your craft for a trip. 

Make sure there is plenty of room for the boat to move around in the water, but not enough room for it to tip over easily. 

If possible, carry a life jacket with you so that if something happens unexpectedly, such as a collision with another watercraft or unexpected waves, you can float safely until help arrives (or until your partner comes back with another boat).

Safety AspectsFiberglass Kayaks
Impact ResistanceHigh
StabilityModerate to High
DurabilityModerate to High
UV ResistanceModerate
Risk of CapsizingLow to Moderate
Risk of LeakingLow

How Do You Clean A Fiberglass Kayak?

There are a few things you can do to keep your kayak in good condition and make it last longer. First, make sure that you never leave your kayak in the sun for too long. 

UV rays can break down the materials used to make your kayak, causing it to become brittle and weak over time. 

Also, try not to get your kayak wet when not using it or storing it; this helps prevent bacteria from forming inside of the vessel’s pores, which could cause mildew problems later on down the road.

Lastly but most importantly: regularly clean out all dirt buildup from inside of your boat using a mild soap solution (like dishwashing liquid). Make sure everything is totally rinsed off afterwards so that no traces remain behind!

Is It Expensive To Buy A Fiberglass Kayak?

In short: yes. Fiberglass kayaks are more expensive than plastic ones, though they might be less expensive than other materials such as carbon fiber or aluminum. 

This is because of the cost required to manufacture them and ship them across the globe. If you want to save money on your purchase, we recommend buying used boats and reselling them once you’re done with them (or donating them). 

It’s a great way of getting your hands on an affordable boat without sacrificing quality – just make sure that you test how well it floats before purchasing!

AspectsFiberglass Kayaks
Initial InvestmentHigh
Long-Term ValueHigh
Resale ValueModerate to High
Maintenance CostsLow to Moderate
AccessoriesWide Range

Are Fiberglass Kayaks Easier To Repair Than Plastic Ones?

Fiberglass kayaks can be repaired with epoxy and fiberglass cloth, whereas plastic kayaks must be patched with epoxy and plastic patches. 

You should choose a fiberglass one if you want something that can easily be fixed when it gets damaged.

The good news is that repairing an old kayak is not only easier than buying a new one; it’s also cheaper. If you ask around your area, chances are there will be someone who knows how to do this work for cheap or even for free!

Durable and versatile, inflatable kayaks are gaining popularity among outdoor enthusiasts. Get an owner’s perspective on their durability in our article on inflatable kayaks’ durability. Find out what owners have to say about their experiences with these inflatable watercraft.

Do Fiberglass Kayaks Last Longer Than Plastic Ones?

A fiberglass kayak will last longer than a plastic one because it’s made from fiberglass, which makes it more durable. 

A fiberglass kayak won’t break down as fast as a plastic one because it is made out of resin that creates a bond between the fibers in the material. 

This means that your boat can withstand heavy use without showing any signs of wear and tear for much longer than most other kinds of boats. 

However, this also means that they will cost you more money in the long run because you won’t need to buy another one for many years (or even decades).

Proper drainage is essential for maintaining the performance and safety of your kayak. Learn about the importance of kayak drain plugs and whether they are universal in our guide on kayak drain plugs. Discover how these simple accessories can help you maintain your kayak.

Do Fiberglass Kayaks Break Down Sooner Than Plastic Ones?

The short answer is that it depends.

Fiberglass kayaks are more expensive than plastic ones, so if you’re looking for a cheap option, fiberglass may not be the best choice for you. 

The same goes for durability. If you want to get a lot of use out of your kayak and don’t mind spending extra money on maintenance, then fiberglass might be worth considering. But if durability isn’t an issue for you and cost is important, then plastic may still be your best bet.

The bottom line? The key difference between these two types of kayaks is their material (fiberglass vs plastic) and price tag ($500+ vs $250+) – but their performance depends on what YOU value most in your boat!

Considering buying a kayak but unsure if an inflatable kayak is the right choice? Our expert answer on whether inflatable kayaks are worth buying provides valuable insights to help you make an informed decision and find the kayak that suits your needs.


Fiberglass kayaks are great for beginners, but they also have their downsides. They’re not as cheap or easy to repair as plastic ones, and they don’t last as long either. 

If you want something that will last longer and won’t break down so soon, then it might be better to go with a plastic kayak instead!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful for further exploration:


Here are some frequently asked questions about fiberglass and plastic kayaks:

  • Q: Which is better, fiberglass or plastic kayaks?
    • A: The choice between fiberglass and plastic kayaks depends on your specific needs and preferences. Fiberglass kayaks are known for their lightweight and high performance, while plastic kayaks are generally more durable and affordable.
  • Q: Are fiberglass kayaks more fragile than plastic kayaks?
    • A: Fiberglass kayaks can be more prone to damage from impacts or rough handling compared to plastic kayaks. However, proper care and maintenance can help minimize the risk of damage.
  • Q: Do fiberglass kayaks provide better performance than plastic kayaks?
    • A: Fiberglass kayaks are often favored by experienced paddlers due to their excellent performance and responsiveness in the water. Plastic kayaks, on the other hand, can offer more stability and durability.
  • Q: Are plastic kayaks heavier than fiberglass kayaks?
    • A: Generally, plastic kayaks tend to be heavier than fiberglass kayaks. This weight difference can impact portability and maneuverability, especially when transporting the kayak or during long paddling trips.
  • Q: Can I repair damages to fiberglass or plastic kayaks?
    • A: Both fiberglass and plastic kayaks can be repaired, but the methods and materials required may differ. Small cracks or punctures in plastic kayaks can often be fixed with specialized repair kits, while fiberglass kayak repairs may involve fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin for more extensive damage.

Please note that the answers provided are general guidelines, and individual experiences or specific kayak models may vary. It’s always advisable to consult with experts or conduct further research for more detailed and personalized information.