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The 20 Best Kayaks in 2024 [Inflatable, Hardshell, Fishing, Kids]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

768 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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These small and narrow water vessels are easy to propel using a set of oars, lightweight and portable enough to transport on your own, and offer an incredible amount of fun on the water for 1, 2, or even 3 riders.

Things To Consider With Kayaks

Inflatable Kayak
Kayaks come in a wide variety of different designs and sizes. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Kayaks come in a wide variety of different designs and sizes. So before you head out on the water, decide which type of kayak best suits your budget and your needs.

Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable Valve
Inflatable kayaks are easy to use, reliable, and can be ready to go in just a few minutes. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Easy to use, lightweight, and incredibly safe, inflatable kayaks offer a cost-effective and highly portable alternative to traditional hardshell kayaks. Made from high-quality woven fabric coated in vinyl, rubber, or PVC, these awesome little vessels come in solo or multi-rider versions and are slim and nimble by design.

Popular for use in whitewater sports and on lakes and calmer rivers, they feel sturdy on the water and are easy to maneuver. Cut through the water using your oars, and when you are back on dry land, most inflatable kayaks can be folded up small enough to stash in a backpack.

Bottom Line: Easy to use, reliable, and ready to go in just a few minutes, an inflatable kayak is a great way to enjoy the water without worrying about the expense of a hardshell vessel.

Hardshell Kayaks

These tough and sturdy kayaks are made from traditional materials such as wood, plastic, fiberglass, or composite materials and are ready to go the minute you reach the water. Generally considered safer than their inflatable counterparts (although this isn’t necessarily true), a hardshell kayak is a worthwhile investment for those who like to spend a lot of time in the water.

Their ergonomic design and solid construction lend themselves to offering a higher degree of control over the boat as you kayak, and if you are planning on kayaking out on the ocean or in whitewater environments, hardshell kayaks may be your preference.

As strong and durable as they are, hardshell kayaks can also be quite heavy, and some may even need 2 people to carry them from the house to the car and then down to the water.

Rustproof, puncture-proof, and designed to cut through the water with ease, a hardshell kayak is an excellent choice for more experienced kayakers or those who plan to enjoy more extreme adventures.

Sit-Inside Kayaks

These traditional-looking kayaks have an open cockpit that allows the paddler to actually climb in and sit inside the hull with their legs stretched out under the deck.

Some paddlers cover themselves with a “skirt” to keep the water out, and because they offer better protection from the elements, these types of kayaks tend to be popular in cold water areas.

Bottom Line: These hardshell kayaks are designed to remain incredibly stable out on the water, and even in the case of an occasional flip, you can still pull yourself out of the hull of the boat quickly.

Sit-on-Top Kayaks

Sit Inside Kayak
Sit-on-top kayaks are easy to slide on and off. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

User-friendly and perfect for water lovers of all abilities, these types of kayaks are very easy to get in and out of in an instant. Designed to be incredibly stable out on the water, a sit-on-top kayak comes with scupper holes that allow the water to drain right through them, giving you a self-bailing option when you need it.

Sit-on-top kayaks are also easy to slide on and off as you please, making them perfect for use in warmer water where you may want to hop off for a quick swim. Some sit-on-top designs can also double up as a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), and these fun and easy-to-use kayaks are a great choice if you don’t mind getting wet while you’re on the water.

Solo or Tandem?

While some kayaks are just big enough to carry a solo paddler, others have enough space for 2 or even 3 people to ride together. While the common misconception may be that a tandem kayak will simply offer more space for solo riders, buying bigger may actually affect the way you ride on the water.

Solo kayaks are lightweight and easier to maneuver than their 2-person counterparts, and some couples even prefer to use individual kayaks when going out on the water together. Tandem kayaks, however, are considered to be more stable on the water but can be harder to get to grips with.

Hot Tip: If you do opt for a tandem model, choose one with moveable seats so you can both be comfortable.

Shape

The shape of the boat determines how stable the kayak will be and how well it will perform in different settings. Shallow V hulls, for example, offer incredible secondary stability and are useful for paddling in choppy water, while boats with rounded, hard, or multi chines offer exceptional edging and tighter turns.

Rocker boats have an upward curve of the bow and the stern that helps to control just how well the boat maneuvers in the water. Heavily rockered boats are preferable in rough conditions, while those with a minimal rocker track are better suited to gentle paddles and long-distance touring.

Length

As a general rule of thumb, wilder rivers and waterways will generally require the use of a shorter kayak to keep you afloat, while longer vessels are more suitable for ocean kayaking.

Hot Tip: Don’t forget a roof rack so you can easily transport your kayak to and from your adventures.

Skegs and Rudders

Kayak Skeg
A skeg will keep your kayak in a straight line. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Due to their design, most kayaks will naturally want to turn in the wind. With the addition of rudders or skegs, you can make it much easier to travel in a straight line.

Skegs are useful on longer journeys and use their depth to offer greater control, while rudders are activated by the use of foot pedals and can also be used to steer the kayak.

Storage Space

Kayak Storage Space
Most kayaks have a small amount of storage space. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Most kayaks have a small amount of storage space available that can be used to carry your fishing gear or personal items with you on the water. Sit-on-top models tend to come with molded holders for rods, paddles, and other accessories, while sit-in models generally offer more storage space for dry bags and tackle underneath the deck.

Bottom Line: Inflatable models will obviously offer far less storage space but may come with D rings or bungee cords for attaching coolers or basic essentials.

The 6 Best Inflatable Kayaks

Single-Person Kayak for Solo Adventures

Check on Walmart

Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars

With its compact dimensions, this inflatable kayak has been designed to be quick and nimble on the water, and with 84-inch oars included, it is incredibly easy to maneuver.

Made from tough and durable high-strength materials, it can withstand use on most types of open water, and with the ability to hold up to 220 pounds in weight, it is a brilliant choice for solo riders.

The spacious cockpit is home to a super-comfortable chair that has a backrest built-in, and the inflatable I-beam floor offers incredible stability, even in choppy water. With an additional cargo net, you can keep your personal belongings close at hand, and the grab lines on both ends of the vessel make it easy to pull out of the water.

As well as the oars, this kayak also comes with a repair patch and a high-output manual hand-pump, and with its rugged good looks and high-quality construction, this kayak offers endless hours of fun on the water.

What We Like

  • This kayak feels stable and secure

What We Don’t Like

  • The unusual angle of the seat straps can make the backrest fold-over

Big 2-Person Kayak for Little Adventures on the Water

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set

Designed to be used on smaller bodies of water, this comfortable 2-person kayak offers a stable and reliable ride. Made from heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl, it will stay watertight and buoyant for many miles of kayaking, and the inflatable I-beam floor helps to keep the vessel rigid at all times.

Despite its compact dimensions, this kayak has a spacious cockpit that is large enough for the 2 of you, and the inflatable seats with built-in backrests let you enjoy the water in style. Capable of carrying up to 400 pounds in weight, it is an excellent choice for use on lakes and rivers, and with a removable skeg, it offers directional stability for an easier ride.

The Boston valve on each side of the kayak ensures that it is always quick and easy to inflate using the pump included, and with a grab line and handle at each end, it is a cinch to pull in and out of the water. With 2 86 inch aluminum oars included, you can make your way through the water with ease, and the repair patch kit is on hand should you need it.

What We Like

  • The super-quick inflation and spacious seating area

What We Don’t Like

  • The seat feels a little low if you are tall

Family Kayak for Fun-Filled Adventures on All Types of Water

Check on Home Depot

Sea Eagle 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak

Offering an impressive weight capacity of up to 650 pounds, this awesome 3-person kayak weighs in at 32 pounds and is sturdy enough to be suitable for Class III whitewater rafting. Enjoy the thrills and spills of fast-moving water with this deluxe inflatable vessel that features 2 skegs on the bottom for better tracking and speed in all conditions.

Made from high-quality materials, this kayak comes with 2 super comfortable and moveable kayak seats that offer a good level of support for your back. It also comes with 2 paddles with asymmetrical blades and aluminum shafts to help you cut through the water for your additional convenience.

The 2 skegs on the bottom offer enhanced tracking and speed, and the foot pump makes for quick and easy inflation.

With 1-way inflation and deflation valves, this vessel promises to remain fully pumped up at all times, and the open and close drain valve helps to keep the water out while you kayak.

What We Like

  • Well-constructed and reliable family kayak

What We Don’t Like

  • The seats could be more comfortable

Super-Sturdy Kayak Stays Comfortable Even in Choppy Waters

Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak

The heavy-duty kayak can comfortably carry 2 people on the water, and the innovative design means it can be fully inflated and ready to ride in just under 5 minutes. Made from heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin that is guaranteed not to leak and rip- and tear-resistant nylon, this incredibly durable inflatable kayak even comes with its very own high-flow double action hand pump.

Designed to glide effortlessly through the water, the rocker profile and pointed nose entry bow will deliver excellent performance in both calm and choppy waters, and the removable deep fin offers incredibly responsive tracking. This kayak also comes with adjustable padded seats, 2 aluminum kayak paddles, and a double-action hand pump for your comfort and convenience.

Weighing in at just 27 pounds, it can be folded up and carried when not in use, and with its very own travel bag included, this awesome 2-person kayak is suitable for use by water lovers of all abilities.

What We Like

  • This kayak offers riders lots of legroom

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t deflate very quickly

Fast-Inflation Solo Kayak

Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak

This kayak is suitable for solo riders and is extremely quick to inflate. Featuring an innovative backpack carry system, you can take this clever little vessel hiking, trekking, and camping with you and use the backpack as a seat when you head out on the water.

With a pointed-nose entry, V-shaped hull, and continuous rocker profile, as well as a removable tracking fin, this inflatable kayak provides excellent performance in both calm and choppy waters. For added stability and buoyancy, this kayak also comes with high-volume side tubes, and the heavy-duty PVC bottom provides incredible protection against punctures and abrasions.

With double-threaded Boston valves, it can be inflated quickly and then retain the air to stay firm for many hours at a time, and the bow and stern handles are useful for pulling the vessel in and out of the water. With additional D rings and a bungee storage area, this is a great little boat for 1- or 2-person adventures out on the water.

What We Like

  • The super-quick setup

What We Don’t Like

  • The paddle could be better quality

2-Person Kayak That Comes Complete With 2 Awesome Dry Bags

Check on Home Depot

Intex Dakota K2 2-Person Heavy-Duty Vinyl Inflatable Kayak

This 2-person kayak can hold up to 400 pounds in weight and comes with 86-inch oars included. Designed to offer increased speed and agility in the water, it features a long skeg for straight-line tracking and a short skeg that makes for quick and easy turns.

Made from high-quality, extremely durable puncture-resistant vinyl, it has been constructed with 3 separate air chambers for increased stability. As a result, the I-beam floor is rigid and reliable, and with a grab line and carry handles, it is easy to drag in and out of the water.

For a more comfortable ride every time you hit the water, this kayak comes with inflatable and removable seats with backrests, and with 2 dry bags included, it offers plenty of space to keep your belongings close at hand. With sporty good looks and a practical design, this awesome little kayak also comes with its very own carry bag for easy storage when not in use.

What We Like

  • The high-quality design

What We Don’t Like

  • The storage bag is a little flimsy

Hot Tip: The proper gear is essential for a great trip out on the water. Check out our guides to the best swim shorts for men and women and best water shoes for men and women before your next kayak adventure.

The 6 Best Hardshell Kayaks

Stand Up or Sit Down in This Kayak and SUP Combo

Perception Hi Life 11 | Sit on Top Kayak

This awesome-looking sit-on-top kayak has been skillfully crafted to let you use it as a kayak or a paddleboard, offering you many hours of high-octane fun.

Safe and stable enough for use by the whole family, this boat was the winner of the Bronze medal at the prestigious 2018 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in the Sports, Leisure & Recreation category. The innovative front and rear swim deck design make it easy to climb on, in and out of the water.

Designed to be at its best in flat and calm coastal waters, this paddleboard and kayak combo works exceptionally with the HiLife convertible paddle that can be purchased separately. For additional comfort while you are kayaking, this model comes with an elevated seat and a supportive, fold-down backrest that offers thick padding throughout.

Perfect for longer trips out on the water, this kayak also has a built-in cooler tucked away under the seat that is perfect for keeping your drinks and snacks cool, and with a gear track for mounting your phone, camera, speakers, or fishing gear, this is a great boat for more adventurous maneuvers on the water.

What We Like

  • Lots of clever features

What We Don’t Like

  • The elevated seat design isn’t for everyone

Multi-Purpose Little Kayak

Perception Flash 9.5 Sit Inside Kayak

This solid and super-stable sit-in kayak is easy to paddle and suitable for all skill levels. With a spacious cockpit, it is easy to enter and exit, and with a high seat back and cushion, it offers incredible ergonomic support to keep you comfortable on the water. With an easy-to-access dashboard, it even offers an impressive amount of storage space for smaller belongings.

This kayak comes with molded-in rod holders that can be used to support your fishing rods out on the water, and the 10-inch rear storage hatch will keep your tackle box and other important items dry.

With a paddle park that lets you keep your paddles close at hand when not in use and easy-to-use front and rear handles for dragging the vessel in and out of the water, this is a practical and perfectly sound fishing kayak.

With a lightweight design and ergonomic shape, this kayak offers quick maneuverability and straight tracking, and with adjustable foot braces, it is easy to adjust the internal space to fit fishermen of all sizes.

What We Like

  • The easy-to-use design

What We Don’t Like

  • This is not the most comfortable sit-in on the market

A Kayak for Comfortable Rides

Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

This tandem sit-on-top kayak has 2 seating positions, making it suitable for use with 1, 2, or even 3 riders, and the open hull ensures that it is super easy to get in and out of.

With a patented overlapping footwell design, this boat lets you sit right in the center of the vessel for increased stability out on the water, and with a maximum weight capacity of 425 pounds, it is an excellent choice for family fun.

With a pair of Comfort Plus seats, you can enjoy 4-way adjustability to find the most comfortable seating position while you ride, and the unique design offers incredible slip prevention in wet conditions. The molded footplate can be used to stand or step on, and with molded-in handles, you can easily stay upright as you climb on board.

The lightweight construction and traditional shape ensure that this kayak always tracks well and handles beautifully, even in windy conditions, and measuring in at 12 feet long and 34 inches wide, it is easy enough to maneuver by kayakers of all abilities.

What We Like

  • The seats are spacious and extremely comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • The handles feel a little flimsy

Perfect for First-Time Riders and Those Who Look for a More Gentle Ride

Emotion Guster Sit-Inside Kayak

Made from high-density polyethylene, this easy-to-use kayak is perfect for use in large lakes and other bodies of slow-moving water. This is an excellent choice for inexperienced riders, seniors, and even those with disabilities as this kayak offers comfort and stability by the bucket load.

The high-performance hull offers reliable tracking and stability, and with the ability to hold up to 275 pounds in weight, this is a great solo sit-inside kayak.

With an adjustable padded seat back and grounded seat pad for additional comfort on the water, it is well suited to those who want to explore the water at their leisure. It is super easy to carry in and out of the water with front and rear handles, and the lightweight design is manageable for even the most inexperienced kayaker to get to grips with.

For your added convenience, this model comes with an oval hatch that offers useful added storage beneath the deck, and the front and rear shock cord straps are there to secure loose items like rucksacks and waterproofs.

What We Like

  • The impressive amount of storage

What We Don’t Like

  • This has the feel of a raft

Sporty Kayak Offers Incredible Performance Out on the Water

Pelican Recreational Performance Sit-in Kayak – Sprint XR

Featuring a deep V chine hull, this awesome kayak has been designed to withstand choppy conditions and fast-moving water. It is highly responsive at every turn, it allows you to shift your body weight into a better position to achieve a more satisfying return on effort in the water.

Made from incredibly durable high molecular weight polyethylene, this kayak features a top resin layer that offers increased stability on the water. With built-in keel extensions, it offers improved tracking, and weighing in at just 41 pounds, it is easy to carry using the ergonomic carry handles. This awesome kayak also features a stern bulkhead that delivers additional floatation when you need it the most.

For extra convenience, this kayak also features adjustable footrests for riders of all sizes, a G2 seating system that comes with a padded seat cushion and adjustable back, and a selection of storage options, including pre-installed bungee cords on the deck and a dedicated bottle cage.

What We Like

  • The seats are super comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t feel as stable as some other high-performance kayaks do

A Great Choice for Beginner Kayaks Who Like To Paddle in Style

Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak

This brightly-colored kayak is lightweight and easy to carry using the front and rear T-handles, and with a maximum weight capacity of 275 pounds, it is an excellent choice for those who like to ride on calm bodies of water.

Featuring a shallow V chine hull, it offers incredible stability and maneuverability, and with a padded seat and adjustable backrest, it is comfortable enough to ride in for hours.

Designed to be practical in any conditions, this kayak comes with molded footrests for a more upright seating position and a drain plug to help dispel any excess water that splashes in. For a more luxurious ride, it also comes with a cockpit table with a bottle holder, as well as a storage platform with a mesh deck cover to keep all of your personal belongings safely affixed on the water.

Perfect for beginner paddlers, this kayak tracks and paddles with ease while remaining stable and is an excellent choice for use in lakes and rivers.

What We Like

  • This kayak is very easy to enter and exit

What We Don’t Like

  • It can feel a little unstable

The 5 Best Fishing Kayaks

The Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Check on Home Depot

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series

This 2-person kayak is made from tough and super durable PVC materials and has a strong polyester core that ensures it stays afloat in all types of water. The high-molecule PVC can easily cope with the rigors of regular use in saltwater without diminishing its strength, and the durable design remains fade- and impact-resistant, making it perfect for fishing trips and long days out on the water.

Featuring 2 floor-mounted footrests, 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders, and 2 adjustable bucket seats, it promises to remain both comfortable and practical, and with extra storage space in the bow, this kayak can easily hold up to 400 pounds in weight.

With a high-pressure inflation system and spring-loaded valves that make for quick and easy inflation and fast deflation, this fishing kayak also comes with removable skegs to help keep it on track in both deep and shallow waters.

What We Like

  • This great value

What We Don’t Like

  • The interior space feels quite small

A Great Entry-Level Kayak for Enthusiast Fishermen

Perception Pescador Pro 10 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Reel in your best catch ever with this incredible, molded fishing kayak. Easy to control on lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers, and in calm coastal waters, this is a perfect entry-level kayak for your first open water fishing adventures, and the leak-proof, 1-piece construction offers incredible buoyancy for reliable safety.

With a removable lawn chair that comes with a 2-level seat adjustment and a breathable mesh design, this kayak offers superior comfort out on the water.

Choose to lower the seat for a relaxing paddle, or raise it to find your most successful casting position and enjoy all the benefits this boat has to offer. This model also comes with quick-adjust footrests for paddlers of all sizes and upright rod storage in 2 integrated molded holders.

The spacious storage at both the front and rear of the kayak lets you keep your fishing gear close at hand, and the integrated accessory rail on each gunwale is just the right size for fish finders, rod holders, and a wealth of other mounted fishing accessories.

What We Like

  • Lots of practical storage space

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s a little cumbersome to carry

Exceptional Peddle-Driven Fishing Platform

Fishing Pedal Kayak For Anglers

This awesome fishing kayak comes with a practical pedal drive system that allows you to accelerate through water without worrying about scaring the fish. With a stable W hull shape, you can remain seated or stand up while you fish, and the larger size cockpit offers plenty of space for all of your gear.

Weighing in at 62 pounds, this kayak has 4 carrying handles to make light work of longer hauls from the car to the water, and the larger load capacity can handle as much as 500 pounds of weight on the water. Perfect for fishermen of all abilities, this model comes with 4 track rails for mounting your rods holders and accessories, as well as a dedicated bottle holder and a storage hatch.

Suppose you would rather fish sitting down than standing up. In that case, the cushioned chair is incredibly comfortable, and the deep-blade rudder system makes for easy and stable paddling that will keep you upright even in the choppiest of fishing conditions.

What We Like

  • Lots of storage and a spacious deck for standing on

What We Don’t Like

  • The seat strap isn’t the best quality

This Kayak Has Been Designed With the Needs of the Fisherman in Mind

Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Offering pedal-driven performance at an incredible price, this kayak offers versatile options and is perfect for use in lakes, ponds, rivers, and calm coastal waters. The 1-piece construction ensures leak-free kayaking, and with built-in buoyancy, this is a supersafe model for paddlers of all abilities.

With an impressive amount of storage space on the front and rear of the kayak, you can keep your cooler and fishing gear close at hand, and with an additional integrated accessory rail on each gunwale for your fish finder, rod holders, and other accessories, this kayak is 100% geared up for the needs of the open water fisherman.

Sit in comfort all day long with the lawn chair-style mesh seat that comes with 2 levels of adjustment for paddling or casting, and the breathable mesh construction will help to keep you feeling cool and comfortable all day long.

What We Like

  • The pedal drive is smooth and easy on the knees

What We Don’t Like

  • The rod holders aren’t the best

Fuss-Free Fishing Kayak for Anglers of All Abilities

Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak

Made from high-density polyethylene, this 120-inch adult kayak can comfortably accommodate up to about 275 pounds of weight. In addition, this sit-on-top kayak comes complete with a super-comfortable seat for long paddling and fishing adventures out on the water.

This model offers incredible stability, even in choppy waters, with a stable flat bottom with deep tracking channels and stable chine rails. The blow-molded design ensures that it will remain impervious to impact and damage from the sun, and the front and rear carry handles make it easy to transport from your vehicle to the water.

For increased comfort, while you are fishing, this kayak has a well-padded seat, and with 2 flush-mounted fishing pole holders, a top mount rod holder, and a paddle cradle, it has been designed specifically with the needs of the angler in mind.

Perfect for longer fishing excursions, it also comes with 2 6-inch center compartments for useful storage and multiple footrest positions that allow you to find the perfect position for fishing.

What We Like

  • The minimal design is surprisingly packed with features

What We Don’t Like

  • The polyethylene material can get hot in the sun

Hot Tip: Our guide to adventure and activity essentials for your next vacation has a wide recommendation of fishing and kayak accessories for your next trip.

The 3 Best Kayaks for Kids

Kayak and Paddleboard Combo for Younger Water Lovers

Perception Hi Five Sit-on-Top Kids Kayak for Kids

This kid-size version of the award-winning Hi Life kayak design offers all the fun of kayaking and paddleboarding in 1 easy-to-use package. Perfect for kids under 120 pounds in weight, they can really get to grips with the water regardless of whether they prefer standing up or sitting down.

The bright yellow colorway is easy to spot out on the water, and the 2-piece paddle set features smaller blades and a more compact handle that makes them easier to operate with smaller hands. With an additional kid hitch and tether option, this kayak has a front solo mount location for quick and easy tethering to larger boats, and the large front deck area is perfect for letting kids stand up and paddle.

For their comfort and convenience, your little one can enjoy an elevated seating position for casting out their fishing lines, and the upgradeable design allows you to connect deck pads, paddle leashes, and lots of other solo-mount compatible accessories to ensure that your youngest adventurers love every minute they spend out on the water.

What We Like

  • Feels safe for little ones

What We Don’t Like

  • The color scheme is different from the picture

Let Them Paddle or Play With This Swim-up Wave Kayak

Check on REI

Lifetime 90479 Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak

With its very own paddle included, this basic but brilliant kids’ kayak is suitable for children aged 5 years or older or up to 130 pounds in weight. Measuring 6 feet in length, it is easy for them to maneuver, and the ergonomic design ensures that it safely cuts through the water while remaining incredibly stable and secure.

With a sloped back-end and a swim-up step, your littlest paddlers can climb in and out of the kayak with ease, even from in the water, and the super-stable paddling platform is wide enough to keep your child safely ensconced in the kayak at all times.

With multiple footrests to choose from, this kayak is good for riders of various sizes, and the molded finger handles and paddle mount will keep little fingers inside the vessel and the paddle close at hand.

Brightly colored and great fun to play in, this is the perfect recreational kayak for use on calmer bodies of water.

What We Like

  • The easy to use design and bright color

What We Don’t Like

  • A seatback would be a comfortable addition

Perfectly-Proportioned, Scaled-Down Version of an Adult Fishing Kayak

Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak

This bold and bright, 6-foot sit-on-top youth kayak is suitable for use by older children, beginners, and anglers who value stability over speed. With a kid-friendly aluminum paddle included, this kayak and its accessories have been perfectly scaled down for use for smaller paddlers.

With a self-bailing design, this kayak offers incredible stability in calm bodies of water, and with a built-in drain plug, it is easy to empty should any water breach the top or the sides. With a supportive backrest, it is suitable for many hours of use on the water, and the safety flag makes it easy to identify from a distance.

The molded carry handles and lightweight design ensure that it remains easy to carry from your vehicle to the waterfront, and with a swim-up rear deck with a handle, it is easy for your little ones to make their way back into the kayak, even from the water.

What We Like

  • Great kayak for introducing children and beginners to the water

What We Don’t Like

  • The paddle isn’t the best

Final Thoughts

From quiet fishing trips to whitewater adventures, the right kayak will deliver you hours of fun on lakes, rivers, and coastal waters. With plenty of different styles and types to choose from, you can easily find a vessel to suit your needs and budget, and from the youngest water lover through to experienced old hands, kayaking is a popular way to enjoy life out on the water.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most stable kayaks?

Pontoon hulls are generally the most stable kayaks and are typically found in fishing kayaks. The downside to these types of kayaks is that they are slow and difficult to maneuver.

Do inflatable kayaks puncture easily?

A well-made inflatable kayak will be difficult to puncture, and abrasion-resistant, too. That said, accidents do happen, and it is best that you also have a puncture kit for your kayak.

Can I leave an inflatable kayak inflated?

We strongly recommend not leaving an inflatable kayak inflated when not in use as it causes unnecessary stress on the seams and valves.

What should a beginner wear when kayaking?

The most important thing a beginner should wear kayaking is a life jacket or a personal flotation device. Clothing-wise you’ll want to wear quick-drying board shorts or a swimsuit paired with a rash guard. Water shoes are also a great idea.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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