Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Afsar
Humans have been using kayaks for a long time. Early Eskimos used driftwood to make frame for kayaks. If we go beyond that, early kayaks were wrapped with sealskins. The time has changed and now manufacturers are making kayaks with different types of materials.
You can find a lot of cheap kayaks in the market, thanks to manufacturers for using cheap yet durable materials. Not everybody is ready to splash a big amount of money for kayaking. If you are one of them, then this article is for you.
We are going to share some handpicked cheap kayaks for you. We will also share the pros and cons of these kayaks. We believe these are the best kayak for the money.
Table of Contents
Best Cheap Kayaks 2023
|Intex Challenger K2||Inflatable||4.6||Shop now at Amazon.com|
|Sevylor Quikpak K1||Inflatable||4.5||Shop now at Amazon.com|
|Sun Dolphin Aruba 10||High Density Polyethylene||4.8||Shop now at Amazon.com|
|Lifetime Tamarack||High-Density Polyethylene||4.8||Shop now at Amazon.com|
|Lifetime 8 Foot Lotus||High-Density Polyethylene||4.7||Shop now at Amazon.com|
|Vapor 10||polyethylene||4.9||Shop now at Amazon.com|
|Sevylor Tahiti||Inflatable||4.2||Shop now at Amazon.com|
Intex Challenger k2 Kayak
If you are looking for the cheapest kayaks on the market, this one should fit the bill. Intex Challenger is an inflatable kayak with a very low price. This kayak should be used for recreational purpose only. It comes with a highly visible green color for easy detection. It has been made of super tough and rugged puncture vinyl.
It is even UV damage-resistant for long term durability. In order to provide more security, it uses two separate air chambers. The inflatable I-beam also provides a great amount of rigidity and stability. What’s more, the Boston valves provide easy inflation and deflation.
- Extremely cheap price
- Highly visible green color
- Rugged super tough vinyl used
- Puncture and UV damage-resistant
- Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation
- 86 inch aluminum paddle included
- Maximum weight capacity 400 pound
Sevylor Quikpak K1
Sevylor Quikpak K1 can be inflated or deflated within 5 minutes only. 21-gauge PVC construction is used to make this cheap kayak. The material is quite strong to withstand lake water. While there is bungee storage to keep necessary gears, it also offers a cute little seat for comfort. The bottom of the kayak is made of tarpaulin bottom to prevent punctures.
There are multiple air chambers, so if anyhow one of them gets punctured, the rest will keep the kayak floating. However, the Airtight System is guaranteed not to leak. The double lock valves can be used for easy inflation and deflation. Read: Quikpak K1 Review.
- Quick 5 minute setup
- 21-Gauge PVC construction
- Tarpaulin bottom for extra protection from punctures
- Airtight System guarantees no leak
- Cheap price
- The backpack system turns into a seat
- Different features like cup holder, carry handles, bungee storage
- Comfortable backrest
- Only for recreational
- Can’t handle slightly rapid water
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a cheap sit-in kayak. Unlike the other cheap kayaks, this one is made of strong material for high durability. Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex high-density polyethylene is used to make this incredible kayak. Despite being sit-in kayak, it comes with a large open cockpit. SO getting into in this kayak is fairly easy. The large convenient storage is also great if you are going for a day long trip.
There are other features like the carrying handle and water bottle holder. You can grab this cheap kayak in several colors. With a great price and features, this is surely one of the best cheap kayaks on the market. Read: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 review
- Strong rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-density Polyethylene
- Large open cockpit for easy entry
- Padded seat for comfort
- Carrying handles for easy carrying
- Carrying handles for easy carrying
- Reasonable price
- Available in different colors
- Slow tracking, but for touring great
Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak
If you are into fishing, the Lifetime tamarack is a great cheap kayak for you. This incredibly cheap kayak is designed to help the anglers. Made of UV-protected High-density polyethylene this kayak is there to stay for a long time. Fishing requires you to have fishing gears like kayak GPS, kayak fish finder, and more; thanks to tamarack for providing enough storage options. There are two 6” storage compartments in the rear and center to keep gears. It even provides several rod holders to keep your kayak fishing rods. What’s more, the footrest is great to have the space you want. Read Lifetime Tamarack Review.
- UV-protected High-density polyethylene
- The flat bottom provides great stability
- Made for fishing
- Plenty storage option
- Fishing rod holders
- Multiple footrest options
- Great durability
- Tracking could be better
Lifetime 8 Foot Lotus Kayak
Lifetime is popular for its cheap but amazing kayaks. Lifetime 8 foot lotus kayak has a length of 8 feet. Made of high-density Polyethylene construction, the Lifetime 8-foot kayak is highly durable. Like a good kayak, this one also comes with multiple footrest options. This kayak comes with a good hull design for providing excellent stability and tracking.
Due to the 8 foot long length, it’s very lightweight, precisely to be 38 lb. There are other features like the tank well storage with a bungee cord. This is a great cheap kayak if you are buying this for a kid or newbie. Check these kayak for kids.
- Lightweight design: 38 lb
- Easy to carry handle
- Hull designed for better stability and tracking
- Multiple footrest positions
- Ample storage option
- Made of high-density polyethylene construction
- Great for kids and newbies
- The paddle could be better
Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak
Old town canoes and kayaks are very popular for their quality kayaks and canoes. Vapor 10 is a great recreational kayak for outdoor lovers. Despite being durable and having lots of features, this kayak comes at a very cheap price. It comes with a comfortable flex padded seat for paddling all day with the comfort you deserve.
There are comfortable thigh pads for better comfort for the users. For easier access, you can use the bilge of the boat. It comes in two different colors, so you get a chance if you don’t like the color in the above picture. Read Vapor 10 kayak review.
- Great for paddling on calm water like lakes, ponds, and even slow-moving rivers
- The adjustable comfort flex seat provides great comfort
- Thigh and knee pads for comfort
- Keep essential gears at the bilge of the kayak
- A large open cockpit offers easy entry
- More features like molded cup holder
- Slightly heavy
Sevylor Tahiti Classic Kayak
Love to have partners in crime? In that case, you need to have a tandem kayak. We have a tandem kayak review post. However, this is one of the cheapest kayaks for tandem usage. It’s an inflatable kayak with a bright yellow color. The 21-gauge PVC construction is rugged enough for lake use. The airtight system ensures that it is guaranteed not to leak.
You can take your friend or partner while roaming that awesome lake in the countryside. There are other features like the backrest for comfort, a mini-double lock with Double Lock valves for easy inflation/deflation, spray covers, and more.
- 21-gauge PVC construction for ruggedness
- Can be used on calm water like lakes, pond,s and even slow-moving river
- Backrest for comfort
- High portability
- Easy inflation/deflation
- Airtight system to prevent leak
- Not rugged for choppy waters
- Durability could be better
- Poor stability
How To Choose Cheap Kayaks
- Determine Your Needs:
- Purpose: Your intended use for the kayak plays a significant role in the type you should choose. For instance, fishing kayaks often come with built-in rod holders and storage compartments, touring kayaks are designed for longer distances with better tracking, while recreational kayaks are generally stable and easy to maneuver for casual paddling.
- Frequency of Use: If kayaking is going to be an occasional activity, investing in a cheaper model may be more economical. Conversely, if you plan on kayaking frequently, it might be worth considering a slightly pricier model that will withstand regular use.
- Polyethylene: This is a common material used in budget kayaks due to its durability and affordability. However, it can be susceptible to UV damage, so storage in a shaded area or using a UV protective cover is advisable.
- Inflatable Models: Inflatable kayaks are usually made from PVC or nylon and are easy to store and transport. They are generally cheaper and can be a good option for occasional use or for those with limited storage space.
- Length and Width:
- Size: Longer kayaks tend to track better and are faster on the water, making them suitable for touring or covering longer distances. Shorter kayaks are easier to maneuver and are often chosen for recreational use or navigating narrow waterways.
- Width: A wider hull offers more stability which is ideal for beginners, fishing, or photography. Narrower kayaks are less stable but are faster, which could be suitable for more experienced kayakers or those looking to cover longer distances.
- Brand and Reviews:
- Reputable Brands: Brands with a good reputation are likely to offer better quality, even in their budget models. Look out for brands known for their durability and performance.
- Customer Reviews: Customer reviews provide real-world insights into how the kayak performs. Look for reviews that mention the kayak’s durability, comfort, and performance in the conditions you plan to use it.
- Used Kayaks:
- Pre-owned Options: Buying a used kayak can save a lot of money. Look for kayaks that have been well-maintained, and inspect them for any damage before purchasing.
- Rentals and Demos:
- Try Before You Buy: Renting a kayak or attending a demo event allows you to test different models and styles to find what suits you best. It’s a practical way to understand your preferences before making a purchase.
- Online vs In-Store Shopping:
- Price Comparison: Online stores often offer competitive prices and a wider range of models. Comparing prices between online and local stores can help you find the best deal.
- In-store Advantages: Purchasing in-store allows you to physically inspect the kayak and get professional advice. Sales events or end-of-season sales in local stores can also offer significant savings.
Afsar is an avid kayak blogger born near the coast. He has a passion for kayaking and started as a child. He has paddled in various conditions and locations and promotes responsible kayaking. Afsar’s blog is widely read, and they are a respected voice in the kayaking community, offering valuable content on kayaking trips, gear, tips, and tricks. Afsar collaborates with other bloggers and brands and continues to inspire others through their writing and social media.