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Kayaking is a very popular water sport. A kayaker uses a small and narrow watercraft named kayak. A kayaker will use a double-padded paddle to row to move forward or maneuver. Sometimes people often confuse canoe with kayak, but there are differences between kayak and canoe. In most part of the world, people are exposed to the fun of rowing a kayak. Despite introduced about 4000 years ago, people still love kayaking. Though the kayaks have evolved in many ways, the fun remains same.
As the society evolved, so did the kayaks. Nowadays, we have different types of kayaks for different types of activities. The most common type of kayaking is recreational kayaking in rivers and lakes. A lot of people also use them for fishing, touring, racing and other forms of activities. No matter whether you want to paddle solo or with your partner, you can always have a kayak which is ready to meet your needs.
Best Kayak Reviews 2017
|Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame||10' 5"||Recreational|
|Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90||9"||Fishing|
|Malibu Tandem Kayak||12-Feet||Recreational|
|Useful UH-TK181 12.5 foot||12.5 foot||Tandem Fishing|
|Sun Dolphin Aruba 10||10'||Recreational|
|Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5||14.5-Feet||Touring|
|Sea Eagle SE370K Inflatable Kayak Pro||12 feet||Multi-purpose|
|Tarpon 100 Kayak||10'||Recreational|
|Advanced Elements AE1007-R||15'||Recreational|
|Sun Dolphin Journey sit-on-top Fishing Kayak||10-Feet||Fishing|
|Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak||10 Foot||Tandem fishing|
|Sun Dolphin Excursion 10||10-Feet||Fishing|
|Wilderness Systems Pungo 120||12 feet||Recreational|
Advanced Elements frame kayak is a hybrid of folding and inflatable kayak. Advanced Elements used an improved design which makes it easy and quick to set up the kayak. They used built-in aluminum ribs in the bow and the stern which offers great tracking to the kayak. Advanced Elements used three layers of material to offer incredible extreme puncture resistance.
If you are just looking for a kayak to paddle on a calm river or a lake, this is one of the best kayaks for you. Due to the unique design, it can cut through the water to move forward smoothly. Ther stern of the kayak will act as a skeg to offer improved tracking performance. Though most inflatable kayaks offer lousy stability, this one is an exception. It offers a vast amount of stability to the users.
Dubbed as a day touring kayak, it’s great for paddling on the weekend adventure or a family picnic. The high support with the adjustable padded seat offers great comfort to paddle long hours. Unless you are fishing, Advanced Elements advanced frame kayak is a great kayak for you.
- 3 layers of material offers extreme durability and puncture resistance
- Built-in aluminum ribs in bow and stern for better tracking
- Unique design makes it easy to setup
- Hull design offers better tracking and stability with improved performance
- Cuts through the water easily
- Moderate onboard storage without sacrificing leg room
- High support with adjustable padded seat allows long hour paddling with comfort
- Highly visible color to notice easily on the water
- Excellent portability
- Bungee deck lacing storage
- D-ring to attach more gears and accessories
- Molded rubber handles for easy transportation
- Heavy-duty duffle bag for easy transportation
- Available in one color only
- Slightly heavy
Fishing from a kayak is exciting. While the fishing boats cost thousands of dollars, you can grab a fishing kayak with a low budget. Vibe Kayaks may not be popular as major manufacturers of kayaks, but they do have earned massive respect for bringing incredible fishing kayaks with a reasonable price. Vibe kayaks Skipjack 90 is one of my favorite kayaks for its amazing maneuverability and stability. Fishing from a kayak requires you to move easily and quickly, which you will find in Skipjack 90 vibe kayak.
Ivibe Skipjacks 90 is equipped with 2 sealed hatches to keep your necessary gears like fishing tackle boxes. You can easily access the rear cargo storage with the bungee tie down and keep gears like fishing coolers. You will find 4 flush mount fishing rods with caps. You can mount up to four kayak fishing rods catch as many fishes you want.
The length of vibe skipjack is 9” and it weighs only 46 pounds. Vibe kayaks used rotomolded single piece polyethylene to make this kayak. A vibe deluxe seat is included with the package which offers excellent comfort while you fish for long hours. The best part of Vibe skipjack is its reasonable price. If you want, you can check the tandem Skipjack 120T option too.
- Excellent maneuverability with stability
- Smaller size to move quickly
- Two sealed hatches
- Four flush mount fishing rod holders with caps
- Available in different camo colors
- Deluxe seat for comfort
- Mounting point for Scotty, RAM, Vibe and other mount accessories
- Easy to handle
- Designed for fishing
- Seat’s durability could be better
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a recreational kayak with a low budget. Aruba 10 features a big cockpit with sit-in design. The big cockpit design allows the users to get in easily and quickly. SunDolphin used rugged UV-stabilized Forti flex high-density polyethylene to make this kayak durable and sturdy.
There is convenient gear storage with shock cord deck rigging. You can easily keep necessary gears there to access them easily. An adjustable padded seat with high back support is provided in Aruba 10. There are other features like the adjustable foot braces, water bottle holder. Carrying handles and more.A lot of people trusted sun dolphin Aruba 10, and I also recommend it if you are just using for recreational purpose. Note that it is suggested to be used in rivers and lakes only.
A lot of people trusted sun dolphin Aruba 10, and I also recommend it if you are just using for recreational purpose. Note that it is suggested to be used in rivers and lakes only.
- Best for lakes and rivers
- Large open cockpit allows easy entry
- Made of rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex high-density polyethylene
- Available in several vibrant colors
- Storage with shock cord deck rigging
- Water bottle holder
- Adjustable foot braces
- Carrying handles for easy access
- Reasonable price
- Moderate stability. Not recommended for choppy or rough water
Not everyone loves solo paddling session. If you want to take your partner or a friend for a kayaking adventure, you should get a tandem kayak. For recreational kayaking, Ocean Kayak 12 feet Malibu is my favorite. It’s one of the best kayaks for parents with a child or dog. The three seating positions in the bow, stern, and middle allow the users to paddle solo, tandem or with a child.
Equipped with two comfort plus seats, Malibu 12 is destined to make you feel comfortable on the paddling time. As the name suggests, Malibu Two is a 12 feet long kayak which weighs only 57 lbs. The maximum capacity of this kayak is 375-425 lbs. You will find three molded-in seat wells, gear straps, side carry handles for easy portability, skid plate and more.
It’s great for use in lakes, rivers, backyard pond or any flat water. However, if you want to paddle solo, you can do that from the center seat. Despite all these great things, it comes with a very competitive price.
- Three seating positions
- Best Kayak for a small family
- Easy to handle and offers great stability
- Can be paddled solo from the center seat
- Available in three different colors
- 2 Comfort plus seats allows long hour paddling session
- Three molded-in seat wells
- Gear straps
- Molded-in handles for better portability
- Competitive price
- Overlapping foot wells
- Multi-purpose: Can be rigged for fishing
- Optional storage hatch can be installed (not included in the package)
- No storage compartment
Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak With Pro Package
If you are looking for a lightweight kayak, this is one of the best kayaks for you. For a long time, Sea Eagle has excelled at building excellent tandem inflatable kayaks. Three things make an inflatable kayak stand out. First, it needs to be durable to withstand marine environments. Second, it needs to offer a considerable amount of comfort to allow the paddlers feel comfortable. Third, the kayak should offer a right amount of stability. Fortunately, all of these factors are available in Sea Eagle SE370K_P inflatable kayak with pro package.
You will get two paddles, two deluxe inflatable seats, foot pump, carry bag and repair kit with the package. It has been certified by the NMMA which inflates within 8 minutes. With a length of 12’6”. It weighs only 31.97 pounds. Up to three people can use this kayak, thanks to its maximum weight capacity of 650 lbs. Sea Eagle used sun and water resistant hull material made of 38 mil k-80 PolyKrylar.
Thousands of people used and loved this inflatable kayak for it’ stability on the water. While it may not be a choice for rough water, it’s perfectly fine for the lake and rivers. Despite all the great things about Sea Eagle SE370K_P, it comes with a very reasonable price.
- Great to use in lakes and rivers
- Can hold up to three person
- Inflates within 8-minutes
- 2 paddles included
- 2 deluxe inflatable seats
- 2 Carry handles
- Made of sun & saltwater resistant hull material 38 Mil K-80 PolyKrylar
- Versatile performance
- Good stability, tracking, and performance
- Can’t handle big swells
Kayaking is a very popular water sport. A lot of people are trying to hit the water with this small vessel. You can use a kayak for different types of activities. While kayaking, you can do several kinds of activities like fishing, diving, scuba diving, going for camping, touring and even snorkeling too. For example, you can use your kayak for recreational purpose, fishing or maybe just for touring purpose.
Nowadays many people are using fishing kayaks for fishing, as they are way cheaper than average fishing boats. Kayaking is becoming very popular day by day for its low cost and other benefits which are hard to find on big boats.
There are several types of kayaks on the market, and several kayak manufacturers are trying to provide the best kayaks to the kayakers.
People who are new into kayaking loves to buy cheap kayaks and then realize that they made a mistake. My suggestion is to purchase a kayak with moderate price and modest features. If you look for a specialized kayak for different purposes, then we have good news for you. We have written some best kayak reviews via scrutinizing their pros and cons.
In this kayak website, we are always judging and evaluating new kayaks, and you can get all of the reviews to find what’s best for you. However, if you love to purchase cheap kayaks, we have a list for that in this post too.
Let’s see how many types of kayaks are available in the market and their features. We have detailed reviews of these kinds of kayaks, and you can get the links in the paragraph.
Types of Kayaks Review
New to kayaking? Kayaking is an excellent water sport for most people. Every year a lot of people try kayaking in different places. The first rule of it is to have a kayak obviously. Not everybody is aware of how to find the best kayak for their type of kayaking. Many kayak manufacturing companies realized this problem, and they started making kayaks which are suited for beginners. For a beginner, it is wise to get a kayak which suits their budget. If you are not ready to spend big, that’s okay. There are lots of excellent kayaks available in the low budget. For example, the best kayak is not which is expensive, but the one which suits your style and has the potential to make your time more enjoyable.
We have already mentioned some novice kayaks in the best kayak reviews comparison chart. My suggestion would be to choose a kayak which comes with better stability, reasonable price, better portability, durability and an open deck. By considering where you may want to paddle, the decision may change. The best kayak for you can be a hardshell or inflatable kayak. Click in the header of this paragraph to learn more about these kayaks. Also, check the kids kayak.
Recreational kayaking is the most common type of kayaking. Recreational kayak is a type of kayak which is made & designed for casual paddling on lakes, river, streams, and other calm water. As most people are looking for something to do in the summer, they often choose the recreational kayak to spend some time on the water. No matter whether your budget is low or high, you can always get a recreational kayak which can surely make you have fun on the water. A report from 2016 says that the usage of recreational kayaks has doubled over 12 months.
Recreational kayaks are widely used and usually have a larger cockpit for easy entry & exit. Recreational kayaks usually have a wider beam which provides better stability on the water. Despite the fact that recreational kayaks have a wide beam, these kayaks are shorter than twelve feet in length. As a result, recreational kayaks are more stable, lighter, less expensive, and easy to handle. Note that; these kayaks have less tracking ability than longer kayaks. Due to the wider hulls, you won’t have fast speed with these kayaks.
Due to the incredible growth and demand of recreational kayaks, a lot of manufacturers are stepping into making more recreational kayaks. They are making different types of recreational kayaks to meet different people’s need. Assume, you don’t want to paddle alone, and you want to take your partner with you. In that case, you can choose a tandem kayak which lets you two lovebirds talk while paddling. Some may not prefer hard shell, and for them inflatable kayaks are available. More on inflatable kayaks are written below.
If you are not into camping or fishing, then recreational kayaks are fantastic for you. There are no other better types of kayaks to get your feet wet. You can roam, paddle, and enjoy the beautiful scenario while sipping your drinks. Some divers and snorkelers even use recreational kayaks to get to the point for diving or snorkeling. There’s so much to do with a recreational kayak.
In a nutshell, recreational kayaks are easy to enter & exit, lighter, has moderate tracking and priced reasonably.
Fishing Kayak – Best Fishing Kayaks Review
Fishing from a kayak is literally called the kayak fishing. This isn’t a new type of fishing as thousands of years ago people started fishing from their canoe or kayak sized vessels. As the kayak industry evolved, a lot of people started fishing from their kayak. Even though kayaks can be used for fishing purpose with just one single rod, people started rigging their kayaks to use more fishing gears. Manufacturers realized they could capitalize on kayak fishing, and started specialized kayaks for the fishing purpose only.
Fishing kayaks are special types of kayaks which are capable of holding a lot of fishing gears to make fishing more easier. A fishing kayak usually has one or two storage option to keep your necessary fishing gears. You will will need these storages to keep your dry bag or fishes on it. Some of the fishing kayaks even come with rod holders to hold your kayak fishing rods. You can mount your gears like fish finder or kayak GPS on the body of it.
Since the primary target is to make fishing better, it may not have a better tracking but maneuverability. Most fishing kayaks come with the hard shell, but you can find inflatable kayaks too. It is wise to choose a hardshell kayak, as the inflatable one might get punctured with the hook. However, some manufacturers are also creating puncture proof inflatable kayaks.
A fishing kayak can be used in almost all places except choppy water. Even though they offer incredible stability as you may want to walk on the deck or stand while fishing, they aren’t suitable for choppy water. Most of the time you will be fishing in lakes, rivers, backyard ponds, sea and other calm water where you can find fishes.
If you want a fishing kayak to meet all of your demand, then you may have to pay a little bit more than ordinary kayaks. Note that most of the fishing kayaks are made of polyethylene for their low cost and high durability. A good fishing kayak will help you to mount fishing gears on kayak like kayak fish finder, portable fish finder, fishing rods for kayak, etc.
However, there are cheap fishing kayaks also. It is advised to get sit on top kayaks as they happen to be the best for fishing. You will be able to move and cast freely without any hassle.
Some of the fishing kayaks allow you to stand on the kayak. It’s important because you won’t love to sit for hours. There is some kayak design (twin hull -catamaran) which will allow you to both paddle and fishing from standing position. See our article on best sit on top kayaks. While going for kayak fishing, you need to get prepared also; you will need a fish finder, kayak paddle, life jacket for fisherman, fishing rods, catch cooler for a kayak. If you want to save time while going for kayak fishing, then use the best trolling motors for kayak.
Sea and Touring Kayaks – Best Sea Kayaks
Have you seen long and narrow kayaks on the sea? They are called sea kayaks or touring kayaks. Basically, all sea kayaks are called touring kayaks, so we are going to write them within one category. A touring kayak is a long kayak which is designed to be used in open waters of ocean, lakes, and bays. Usually, a touring kayak is made of strong materials with a long length. A sea kayak can carry up to three people. So paddling with one or two fellow paddlers can be done with sea kayak too.
A touring kayak usually comes with a covered deck with the ability to install a spray deck. Usually, a touring kayak will come with a long length to ensure better tracking ability. The tradeoff is the maneuverability of the kayak. You will be able to cut through the water with ease, but turning the kayak will be slow.
Sea kayaks are used for the long journey which can last few hours to many weeks. Yes, you didn’t read that wrong, many paddlers use sea kayaks for long distances. They usually take them for camping in a remote place. This is why a sea kayak or touring kayak will have much larger storage capacity than regular kayaks. You will be able to store your camping gear, fishing gear, food, water, cloth and more.
A sea kayak will have a length of 12 to 24 feet. It is highly unlikely to see a 24 feet sea kayak, but they do exist. Most of the times you will find 14 feet sea kayaks on the shore. Since it’s large, it will have a higher weight. As a result, the portability is low for touring and sea kayaks. Besides the tracking ability, the large length also plays a good role in providing better storage option for users.
Touring kayaks are usually made of rotomolded polyethylene, fiberglass, thermoformed plastic and other strong materials. Some manufacturer also provides wooden sea kayak if you want one. There are also some modular sea kayaks which can be folded to smaller parts for better portability. Touring kayaks are fun for most people, but they are usually expensive.
Whitewater kayaks – Best White Water Kayaks
200 hundred years ago Eskimos developed the whitewater kayaking for transporting their goods to different places. Eskimos most probably used them for necessity but not entertainments. But later people found this amazing, and people love the raw fun of cutting through the whitewater rivers. And it ends up being a popular type of kayaking.
Nowadays Whitewater kayaking is a very popular form of kayaking. In this kayaking form, you will be kayaking on rapid moving water like whitewater river. Whitewater kayaking is loved by many seasoned anglers who know how to handle the rapid. People started using specialized kayaks for whitewater kayaking purpose.
Due to the act of the style, whitewater kayaking is divided into subcategories like the river running, creeking, slamom, playboating, squirt boating. All of these subcategories requires you to get different types of kayak to perform well. For example, playboating and creeking can not be done with the same kayak. They will require different and personalized kayak for better performance.
White water kayaking is kindly difficult than normal kayaking as there are some risks in the process. This is why the kayakers are always suggested to learn the thing from a mentor before jumping to the white water. You will have to learn the basic like the paddle strolks, rolling and roll aftermath, boofing, and more.
Since whitewater rivers are classified into five different classes, you will have to learn about them. For example, the Class I is the easiest river class type where your grandma can paddle with ease. On the other hand, Class VI is the extreme type of rapids which is very risky for both a newbie and a seasoned kayaker. Also, check if your kayak is able to handle such rapid or you might injure yourself. Please note that the grading of the class can change upon the flow of the water.
Most whitewater kayaks will come with a shorter length to move easily and perform stunts on the water. To be honest, you will also have to have the skills to perform stunts. Also, check these best kayaking helmets to keep yourself secure.
Surf kayaking is an activity of surfing in the ocean waves with a kayak. Unlike regular kayaks, surf kayaks are usually small in size and have better maneuverability. These surf kayaks are designed to be used in surf zones with a small paddle. Though surf kayaking is new to most people, a lot of them seems to happily ready to enjoy the thrill.
Most surf kayakers are using whitewater kayaks for their small and sturdy designs. For example, playboating kayaks can be used for surf kayaking. Surf kayaking can be as dangerous as whitewater kayaking as you should not get out of your kayak. Otherwise, you will have to swim to the shore on your own, which we don’t recommend at all.
It is suggested to learn the basics from a professional and use proper kits like using best kayak PFD when you are going for surf kayaking.
Inflatable Kayaks – Best Inflatable Kayaks
There was a time when inflatable kayaks are used to be water toys. But time has changed and so does inflatable kayaks. Inflatable kayaks have changed over the last couple of years, and they are stronger than ever. People are using inflatable kayaks from whitewater to fishing, and they can finally compete with the hard shell kayaks.
Inflatable kayaks are used in all types of water kayaking, and they are made of better raw material than previous. As a result, no matter whether you are planning to go for a fishing kayak or just a random recreational kayak, you can always rely on the inflatable kayaks. Before purchasing an inflatable kayak, you need to understand your usage pattern and decide upon that. Check these best inflatable kayaks.
Sit on Top Kayaks – Sit on Top Kayaks Review
Based on sitting style, there are only two types of kayaks available in the market. They are called sit on top kayaks and sit-in kayaks.
Sit on top kayaks allow you to literally sit on the kayak. Sit on top kayaks are widely used by the anglers for their open cockpit which offers easy entry and exit. The open cockpit also allows the users to move on the deck easily. You can find all types of kayaks with sit on top ability except the whitewater kayaks.
Sit on top kayaks are primarily used in warmer places. Since it won’t cover your body, it allows the user to chill at the sunlight. It is suggested for the newbies to choose to sit on top kayaks as even if they trip the kayak, the water will drain easily. Also, the easy entry/exit is an advantage for them.
These kayaks are loved by recreational lovers too. You can do casual paddling, photographing, diving, snorkeling or fishing from it. Fishing for a long time while sitting can be annoying. You can always stand up on a sit-on-top kayak while taking a sip at the coffee.
Another advantage of using this types of kayaks is the ability to drain water quickly. Once you finish kayaking, you can easily drain the water from it. If you are wondering, yes, the water also drains easily when you are kayaking, thanks to the scupper holes. Furthermore, these kayaks offer great stability to the users. If you aren’t from a colder area, my suggestion is to grab a sit-on-top kayak.
Sit In Kayaks
Sit in kayaks are widely used in colder areas. The deck will be covered, and the cockpit will be smaller to keep the kayaker insider the kayak. These kayaks will also keep the kayaker dry unless you trip or go for whitewater kayaking. Speaking of white water, almost all of them comes with sit-in sitting style. It ensures the kayaker safety and allows them to do tricks on the water.
Just like it’s good sides, there are some disadvantages too. If any water gets into the kayak, it’s tough to get rid of it. Most of the time it takes longer times than the sit-on-top kayaks. So before making a roll or flip, you need to realize that the water will be on the kayak.
Usually, these kayaks are more like a vehicle to the users. Both of sit on top and sit in kayaks will have the almost same body, but sit in kayaks can keep you dry, and helps prevent the cold wind to bother you. However, if the entry and exit advantage are important to you, I would not suggest sit-in kayaks. If you want easy get in and out advantage, you should choose a kayak with wide cockpit, but bear in mind that the water might flow in easily. Note that, if you are into fishing, these kayaks won’t be beneficial to you. You will not be able to move between the space of decck if you are using a sit-in kayak.
Tandem kayaks are the types of kayaks where more than one person is on the kayak. A tandem kayak can be a fishing kayak, touring kayak or maybe just a recreational kayak. Most of the times sea kayaks are tandem kayaks. Tandem kayaks are usually bigger than standard kayaks, and they may cost you more.
Tandem kayaks can come in a hard shell or even in inflatable form. There are inflatable kayaks available in the market too. Tandem kayaks may come either in sit on top or sit in style. It’s up to you to choose the right one for you.
Anglers who love to fish with other people tend to get tandem kayaks. There are some excellent tandem fishing kayaks which allow several persons to get along while fishing on the kayak. Please note that tandem kayaks are heavy. Use the best kayak carts to transport.
If you want to take your child or dog or maybe your spouse, then tandem kayaks are the best. There are some tandem kayaks which are specifically made for kayaking with kids or dog. Many happy couples love to kayak along with their partners. For them, a tandem kayak is a great option. In a nutshell, tandem kayaks are fantastic when you want a company while kayaking. Check the best tandem kayak reviews.
We will continuously update this best kayak reviews article. I hope you get a kayak which fits your need. However, don’t forget to buy the necessary kayak accessories for enhancing your kayaking.