Kayalite Review in Ocean Kayak Magazine
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Kayalite™ Kayak Light

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Kayalite kayak light

Considering a kayak light mounted on a suction cup, magnet or rigid pole?

There's nothing like the thrill of an offshore kayak adventure after dark, and finally there's a rugged and reliable product to tackle the night. The Kayalite is a high-visibility LED light like none other you've seen before.

From its durable construction and U.S. NATO tested submersible LED light, to its patented "Secure-Attach™" mounting technology, the Kayalite outperforms competitive lights and mounting systems for "vessels under oars." Clipped and pulled taut to an eyelet, deck rigging or kayak carry handle, you're good to go.

Do your homework. You'll find that the Kayalite is the #1 choice of professional paddlers around the globe.

Greg Stamer, Expedition Paddler

Pro paddler Greg Stamer recently wrote on paddling.net, "For the stern it's hard to beat the Kayalite." We had no prior contact with Stamer and his comments echo those of amateur and pro paddlers worldwide.

The wait is over, introducing our new
diffusion lens!
Kayalite diffusion lens
the Kayalite's new titanium-infused Lexan lens (top right) diffuses light, increasing visibility across the watersheet. Click here to learn more!

Kayalite kayak light on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP)

Wave Vidmar outfitted with Kayalu gear for 2012 Seaward Pacific Ocean Expedition

Unlike any other portable navigation light available, the Kayalite is virtually loss-proof and indestructable. It can take a blow if you happen to catch a branch or roll your kayak or SUP through a bed of reeds. It's waterproof. And it floats if accidentally dropped overboard.

Arctic explorer Wave Vidmar posted, "I chose the Kayalite for the Seaward Pacific Expedition because it meets all of the criteria I need in a kayak deck light. It's the only light I think is tough enough to handle this expedition and trust my life to."

The Kayalite can be fastened quickly and firmly onto any existing eyelet, deck loop or pad eye.

For night angling, the Kayalite won't tie up a rod holder, snag low-hanging brush or interfere with casts. The Kayalite stows easily in your crate. It's simpler to mount, easier to access and more affordable than any comparable DIY or commercial kit. If thrown on a rocky shore or stepped on, a Kayalite is tough enough not to sustain significant damage.

Design, engineering and manufacture of Kayalite kayak light.

Clipping a light to a kayak

There is simply no better portable, all-around light, whether at sea or navigating inland waters. The advantage of a Kayalite —whether on a sit-in kayak, sit-on-top, stand-up paddle board, scull, surf ski or canoe, is immediately evident once you clip its mast to your deck.

Kayalite kayak light for Expedition Kayaks

A portable 360° light engineered for serious paddlers.

deck loop or pad eye attachment

Kayalu does not sell or recommend navigation lights that we would not entrust with family and friends fors night paddling. Our night navigation products include the Kayalite™, Radpole™ and Surfpole™ multipurpose gear poles, and the Kayalu R25™ Electric Torch.

The Kayalite in any configuration (clear or diffusion lens, 1-LED, 2-LED or 4-LED modules) meets and/or exceeds requirements under U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rule 25 for vessels under oars (i.e. kayak, SUP, SOT, surfski, canoe). We've published our recommendations if you are outfitting your own kayak or canoe with a light for visibility and compliance with U. S. Coast Guard inland waterways and international regulatory standards for operating a "vessel under oars" at night.

kayak light at night

The secret of the Kayalite is our patented mast technology that overcomes the limitations of the rigid pole, suction-cup, magnets and other portable mounting solutions. It's built to work, and last a lifetime.

A tension cable passing through the center of the Kayalite mast holds the light firmly upright on its base while preventing it from accidentally detaching.

no suction cup needed

Plan on using the Kayalite in many ways with little risk of loss because of its steel breech clip, 1/4" thick nylon-coated tension cable and hand-crimped stainless steel hogring.

Attach the clip and pull it taut to your stand-up board or sit-on-top deck, canoe seat, laterally affixed to a mast — in a jam it can even be clipped to an existing bungee, tie-down, sheet or halyard.

Attach a Kayalite kayak light

The Kayalite can be mounted upside-down, pulled tight to a zipper under a bimini top, or clipped to a boom or mast to illuminate your deck.

The Kayalite's soft EVA foam rubber base protects glass, gel coat and teak.

By comparison, a single grain of sand caught under a kayak light with a suction-cup base can scratch a smooth deck surface. Over time, even a minor surface imperfection created by a suction-cup can damage the deck and render the cup's vacuum-seal unreliable.

The Kayalite is the only premium quality portable stern light that gives you the security of a clasping attachment system without requiring a bulky rigid permanent mounting. This is the basis of our patented "Secure-Attach" technology, whether you are clipping your Kayalite to an eyelet, deck rigging or a carry handle.

Kayalite kayak light for Expedition Kayaks

A seaworthy beacon, fully integrated...

The Kayalite includes a Tektite Mark III industrial marker light, bolted to the Kayalite's base using a marine-grade, stainless steel machine screw and matching nylon-insert stainless locknut (300 grade stainless, truly corrosion proof).

portable stern light

The Tektite Mark III light, waterproof and submersible to 1000 feet (300 m), features a bright white LED providing visibility required of a "vessel under oars" (i.e. kayak, canoe, SUP, etc.) per international, U.S. Coast Guard Rules 22 - 25 and inland waterways regulations, 200 hours of service on a single set of batteries, and an LED life rated at 10,000 hours of service.

The Tektite Mark III's three AA batteries (included) are easily replaced without having to unbolt the light from the Kayalite mast.

To visit the websites of international, U.S. Coast Guard and the USA state agencies regulating boating and paddling at sea and on inland waterways, click here.

night visibility / arc of curvature

Taller? Shorter? Not so fast!

The Kayalite is 18" tall (45 cm). During development, we evaluated performance of commercial and prototype stern lights on the afterdeck of a kayak — a watercraft with particularly harsh demands.

Stand-up Paddling at Night

Does a surfer on a stand-up paddle board need to mount a 7-foot pole with a 360° light?

Of course not.

We'd recommend that a stand-up paddler — whether standing on a SUP, SOT or SIK, mount a 360° light on the aft deck (within reach), clearing all physical obstructions on deck, and carry a waterproof flashlight or a clip-on light attached to the PFD for forward visibility as needed.

For more info, read our Recommendations for paddlers.

Short stern lights, most particularly those mounted within inches of a kayak's deck, may not be visible to others on the watersheet because of the arc of the horizon and the impact of ripples or waves. At surprisingly short distances, even a small disturbance on the watersheet can completely obscure the visibility of a kayak outfitted with a light that only extends 1-2 feet above the waterline.

The Kayalite's 18" height easily provides visibility while completely shielding your kayak's bow, paddle and forward surfaces from illumination, thereby protecting your night vision while properly respecting that of arriving boaters and paddlers.

At 18" in height, with a tensioning system engineered to provide some resilience to impact, the Kayalite is more likely than a tall, rigid pole to recover from a roll in shallows, sand or mud. Imagine your kayak upside down when you consider your options. That will be an important consideration if you execute a roll, flip or wash ashore in the dark.

And mounted within reach, the Kayalite can be easily turned off — another critically important factor when enjoying a moonlit evening in the company of other paddlers and boaters.

Suction cup kayak light
magnet hat kayak light
paddling safety vest

Trust a Kayalite, from dusk till dawn.

When paddling in darkness, you should never find yourself offshore with a portable light that could detach on impact, pull away or lose suction. And if you do, you should consider the odds of a recovery if the light fails, pops off or remains tied to a slim tether out of reach. And how do you respond, in a situation of distress? Plan ahead.

tall kayak light

Seasoned boaters and sailors are well aware: proper operation of navigation lights must always be a critical consideration whether on a calm lake, a river, or at sea.

The Kayalite stands alone, stable and strong yet resilient to survive the bang of a boat hook, a paddle-smack or direct impact. Once the Kayalite's steel clip is attached to your vessel, it remains attached even when its nylon-coated shock cord is loosened.

While a kayak pole with a rigid mount presents the possibility of impeding re-entry of a kayak after a capsize, perhaps snapping or breaking off if grabbed and pulled, the Kayalite can be quickly unfastened and pulled out of the way temporarily during an attempted re-entry.

What's more, the Kayalite floats if accidentally dropped overboard.

Fat Paddler Kayalite Kayak Light Product review

A portable 360° light worth its salt.

The Kayalite was designed to address risks and challenges associated with many portable and semi-permanent night navigation lighting solutions available.

Issues inherent in the design of portable navigation lights include:

  • the inability of suction cups and magnets to sustain slight to moderate impact
  • the inability of suction cups to adhere to rough, scratched or compromised surfaces
  • the potential for interference or injury on rigid brackets, poles and support structures
  • the deterioration of critical components with prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light and marine water
  • the unnecessary illumination of a paddle, forward deck and bow, potentially impairing night vision in darkness

The Kayalite rises to these challenges, and many more.

No suction cup. Because things go bump in the night.

How does the Kayalite attach to my kayak or canoe?   (view demo & video)

no suction cup needed

eyebolt and pad eye or deck loop

Our patented fastening system clips beneath the Kayalite's base to an existing eyelet or any deck loop, pad eye, topside drain plug or other fixed point of attachment.

Once clipped, the Kayalite's shock cord is pulled taut and cinched.

In a pinch, the Kayalite can be clipped to your kayak's deck rigging, carry handle, a free cleat or bungee — even hoisted on a halyard for use as a storm-proof mast light.

If you would like to install an eyelet on your kayak or boat, we offer a marine-grade Eyebolt Kit with do-it-yourself instructions.

Kayalite as tent light

In an emergency or on more stable surfaces, a Kayalite can quickly and easily clip on to one or more taut bungee cords.

A foam cushion under the Kayalite's base is designed to adapt to contours and protect the surface from scratches.

The Kayalite's base enables the light to be used free standing, so it can serve double-duty at a campsite table, in a tent — even as a weatherproof torch for a midnight hike in rain, sleet or snow.

To view a video and step-by-step info, open Attaching a Kayalu Product in a new window.
Kayalu Kayalite kayak light specifications

Kayalite KLT-1050 Specifications


Mast Material: ABS black, textured
Base Cushion Material: EVA foam
Fastener: plated steel breech clip
Mast Hardware: marine-grade stainless steel
Bungee Cable: saltwater-resistant nylon coated
Bungee Rings: marine-grade stainless steel
Locking Mechanism: jam cleat
U.S. Pats. #8,651,440, #8,814,111, patents pending.

Tektite Mark III (included)
Switch: Twist On/Off
Depth Rating: 1,000 feet (300 m)
Lamp: 1 LED
Lamp Life: 10,000+ hours
Burn Time: 200+ hours
Batteries: 3 AA Alkaline (included)
Materials: ABS and LEXAN
U.S. Patent #6,168,288

General Specifications

Height: 18 in. (45.72 cm)
Weight: 10 oz. (285 g)

Manufacture and Assembly
Made in the U.S.A.
U. S. Customs CBP Certification
(available upon request)

Amazon rating
Available now at our secure Online Catalog Store, $49.95.

Need info? Click here to visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

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Duncan Smith of Solent Seak Kayak with a Navbeam and Kayalite