10 Best Kayaks For Beginners 2021 – Reviews and Buying Guide
Are you looking for the best kayaks for beginners? Before getting a beginner kayak, you need to understand what types of kayak and for whom you are getting the kayak. If you are searching for a kayak for kids, in that case, you will choose one with less weight and easy managing ability.
There are different types of kayaks available in the market. Since we are talking about beginners kayak, you need to understand the purpose of the kayak. Mainly, there are two types of kayak: sit-in or sit-on. A sit-on-top kayak will allow you to sit literally on the top of the kayak. On the other hand, if you use sit-in kayak, you will be surrounded by the cockpit and sidewall of the kayak.
The material of the kayak plays a great role too. There are hardshell and inflatable kayaks on the market. Inflatable kayaks are much easier to move and manage. SO it is up to you to choose inflatable kayaks or hard shell kayaks. Right after the comparison chart, we will discuss more benefits of these.
- 10 Best Kayaks For Beginners 2021
- How To Choose The Best Kayak For Beginners
- Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
- Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak
- Lifetime Wave Youth Kayak
- Ocean Kayak Frenzy
- Wilderness Systems Pungo 120
- Eddyline Skylark Kayak
- Sun Dolphin Journey 10 Foot Sit-on-Top fishing kayak
- Coleman Colorado 2 Person Fishing Kayak
- Emotion Glide Sport Kayaks
- Coleman Quikpak K1
Our Top Choice
Available in three different colors, Ocean kayak frenzy is the best beginner kayak in my opinion. It is best for using recreational purpose in lake and river. Top notch manageability, balanced tracking, and maneuver, Frenzy comes with numerous other features which make it the best kayak for a starter.
10 Best Kayaks For Beginners 2021
|Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-in kayak||Recreational||4.7|
|Ocean Kayak Frenzy||Recreational||4.9|
|Sun Dolphin Journey 10||Fishing||4.7|
|Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior||Recreational (kids)||4.7|
|Eddyline Skylark Kayak||Sea kayak||5|
|Lifetime Wave Youth Kayak||Recreational (kids)||4.9|
|Emotion Glide Sport Kayak||Recreational||4.4|
|Ocean Kayak Banzai||Recreational||4.3|
|Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11||Recreational||4.8|
|Coleman Quikpak K1 Kayak||Recreational||4.5|
|Coleman Colorado 2 Person Fishing Kayak||Fishing||4.8|
How To Choose The Best Kayak For Beginners
There are few factors to check before getting a beginner kayak. Once you check these simple and easy to understand factors, you will be able to grab a perfect kayak for your next journey.
- Sit on top vs. Sit-in kayak: Kayaks are usually two types: Sit-on-top and sit-in. In the sit-in kayak, you will be surrounded by the cockpit, and you will sit in the kayak. Sit-in-kayaks are used in cold areas, where you get to keep yourself warm while sitting in a sit-in kayak. On the other hand, sit-on-top kayak allows you to sit literally on the kayak. Anglers usually choose a sit-on-top kayak for their smooth movement and upper level than the water level.
- Type: There are different types of kayaks based on the purpose of the users. There are fishing kayaks, recreational kayaks, sea kayaks and more. The most beginner will look for either recreational or fishing kayaks.
- Size: Size is important when you are choosing a kayak for either adult or kids. Usually, an adult will be happy with a 10 feet kayak, but for a kid, you will have to choose a shorter kayak.
- Safety: Since you are looking for a kayak for beginners, you need to choose one with good safety. We have mentioned some top safe kayak for beginners.
- Inflatable or hardshell: If portability and managing is an issue for you, you can choose inflatable kayaks. However, most of the times the Hardshell kayaks provide better security and stability. See best inflatable kayaks.
- Price: Usually, inflatable kayaks are cheaper than the hardshell kayaks. Some hardshell kayaks can be found at a low cost too.
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a recreational sit-in kayak for beginners. Sun Aruba 10 is 10 feet long sit-in kayak which features a large cockpit to get easily in or out of the kayak. This is basically a recreational kayak used in lakes and rivers.
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is made of rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene for better durability. It offers the necessary features to make it an enjoyable time on the water. It comes in several colors for people who love colors.
There are a lot of other features like a convenient storage area, adjustable foot braces and more. You can get it at a very decent price. Read full Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-in kayak review.
- Large open cockpit for easy entry and exit
- Adjustable foot braces
- Rugged UV-stabilized Forti flex high-density polyethylene for durability
- Carry handles for easy carrying
- Competitive price
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak
If you are searching for a kayak for your kids, Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak is an excellent option for you. This Kayak is specially designed for kids to use. It’s lightweight and weighs 26 pounds only.
There are tag alone tow system to keep a track and if required tow your child. It comes in two different colors to choose. Heron junior kayak is designed to accommodate a smaller body. Your kid can sit comfortably in this sit-in kayak for beginners.
It offers easy paddling and maneuver so that kids can feel easy and paddle easily on the water. What’s more, there’s a foam billet to prevent the kayak from getting drowned if tipped by the kids.
- Extremely lightweight
- Tag along two system
- Comfortable seat
- Designed to be used by the kids
- Can carry up to 100 to 115 pounds
- Easy paddling and maneuver
Lifetime Wave Youth Kayak
Lifetime Wave Youth is one of the best beginner kayaks for children (Best Kids kayak). This is a great kayak to make your youngster start paddling. It has been designed in such a way to allow the youngster to paddle easily and quickly. Since security is the most important thing to consider while getting a kayak for kids, wave youth comes to the rescue. It is impossible to trip the kayak unless a strong external force is used.
It comes with a lightweight design to make it weigh only 18lbs. The maximum capacity of Lifetime Wave Youth Kayak is 130lbs. It’s great to be used for children above 5. There are molded finger handles on each side of the kayak. It is perfect to be used on lake or ponds. If you want your kid to have more comfort, get them a good kayak seat. Always be more protective and make them wear a kayaking PFD for safety.
- Several built-in footrest positions
- Scupper drains to keep the cockpit dry
- Weighs only 18lbs, but maximum capacity 130 lb
- Comes with a paddle
- Great stability, thanks to the tunnel hull design with double-wedge fin
- Built-in paddle cradle
- Can be used in lakes and ponds
Ocean Kayak Frenzy is a sit-on-top recreational kayak for newbies. Ocean Kayak Frenzy is a one person kayak which weighs 43 lbs only. The maximum weight capacity of Ocean Kayak Frenzy is 275-325 lbs.
Ocean Kayak Frenzy comes with a highly visible sporty color. If you are just looking for a newbie friendly recreational kayak with hardshell, this is a good option for a decent price. Other kayaks like Pungo 120 will cost you more.
There are many other features like the molded handle, molded cup, comfortable seating with cushioning, storage with stern tank and bungees. Both adult and kids can be benefitted with this newbie friendly kayak.
- Highly visible sporty look color
- Comfortable seating with cushioning
- Ample storage for daily trips or picnic
- Carry handle for easy carrying
- Molded-in cup and side handle
Best Recreational Kayak: Pungo 120 is one of the best recreational and touring kayak for beginners. Wilderness System is popular for making amazing and high-performing durable kayaks. I am a big fan of Pungo 120 for its excellent stability, durability, and manageability. You can use Pungo 120 for recreational and touring purpose
Pungo 120 is a lightweight kayak which is made of polyethylene material. It weighs only 49 lbs. For such big and powerful hardshell kayak, it is accepted as lightweight. There are carry handles on the stern and bow for easy carrying.
The large spacious cockpit allows you to get in or off the Pungo 120 easily. However, if you want, you can use this kayak for fishing purpose too. You can easily install fishing gear like kayak fishfinder, kayak GPS and more to start fishing from the Pungo 120 kayak. There are numerous features of Pungo 120. You can find our full review here: Pungo 120 Review.
- Multichannel hull design for better secondary stability
- Comfortable seating system
- Sidelock XL foot brace system for quick and easy leg adjustment
- Carry handles on both sides for easy carrying
- Can be rigged for fishing purpose
- Great recreational and touring kayak
- Orbix stern hatch
- Kayak console for storage
Eddyline Skylark Kayak
Eddyline Skylark is a sea kayak for beginners. Usually, a sea kayak has a longer length than typical kayaks. A sea kayak will always have a long length for better tracking.
Eddyline Skylark is 12 feet long. Despite the fact that it is 12 feet long, it weighs only 41 lbs. Primarily Eddyline Skylark is a recreational kayak, but the feature and performance make it a good sea kayak.
New kayakers can start using Eddyline Skylark kayak to learn the water. Due to the long size, it has a poor maneuvering, but decent tracking. Unlike the other listed kayaks, this one comes with a high price for its design and features.
- Stylish design
- Ample storage for a day-long trip
- Sea kayaking adaptable
- Very lightweight
- Good tracking
A lot of people are looking for a fishing kayak to spend some quality time on the lake fishing. As most fishing boats are very expensive, many people are getting fishing kayaks. Sun Dolphin Journey 10 foot is a sit-on-top fishing kayak.
Sun Dolphin Journey 10 foot comes with two flush rod holder and one swivel rod holder. The sit on top design allows you to fish smoothly and move properly. The large open cockpit lets you easily get into the kayak.
You can comfortably sit on the kayak and have good stability. There are dry storage compartment and portable accessory carrier for storage. It might not be the best fishing kayak, but it will be very beneficial for the new users. A new angler will love the price and features of Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top fishing kayak.
- Open cockpit design
- Ample storage
- Two flush mount rod holders
- One swivel rod holder
- Adjustable foot braces for leg adjustment
- Dry storage compartment
- Portable Accessory Carrier
- Can be used for fishing on lake and rivers
- Competitive price
Coleman Colorado 2 Person Fishing Kayak
Ever wanted to go on a fishing trip with your buddy? Most hardshell tandem fishing kayaks will cost you a lot. Thanks to Coleman Colorado 2 for bringing this inflatable two-person fishing kayak.
Even though this is an inflatable kayak, you can depend on the 18-gauge PVC construction to use this on lakes. The 1000D Tarpaulin bottom with 840D nylon cover provides great protection from punctures. For more safety, it uses several air chambers.
There are lots of features which will enhance your fishing experience. It’s a great fishing kayak for beginners to start catching the fishes.
- 18-gauge PVC construction allows lake use
- Multiple air chambers
- Airtight System guarantees not to leak
- 1000D Tarpaulin bottom & 840D nylon cover for protection from punctures
- Berkley Quick Set Rod Holder for hands-free fishing
- Maximum weight capacity: 470 pounds
- Comfortable seat
Emotion Glide Sport Kayaks
Emotion Glide Sport is one of the best kayaks for beginners. Unlike other cheap kayaks, this one is made of high-density polyethylene to provide excellent strength and durability. Emotion Glide Sport Kayak is available in two different colors.
It uses an ST performance Hull to offer good tracking, speed and decent maneuverability to the paddlers. There are plenty of other features like bottle holder, adjustable foot braces and more.
Emotion Glide Sport Glacier Kayak offers a good comfortable seating system along with other necessary features to make kayaking much easier for beginners. If you are starting to kayaking, then this kayak from emotion is a great choice for you like novices.
- High-density polyethylene for superior strength and durability
- Comfortable CRS Seat
- Bottle holder
- Easy access to small gears
- Adjustable foot brace
- A competitive price
Best Cheap Kayak For Beginners: Coleman Quikpak K1 is one of the best cheapest kayaks for beginners. This is an inflatable kayak for one person. Coleman Quikpak K1 is a recreational inflatable kayak for beginners who want to go kayaking, but afraid of the cost.
It’s super easy to inflate and deflate this inflatable beginner kayak. It takes around 5 minutes to inflate Coleman QuikPak K1. Thanks to the Double Lock valves which offer two locking points.
Even though it’s cheap, the durability of this inflatable kayak is amazing. Coleman Quikpak K1 uses 21-gauge PVC construction, which is rugged enough for lake use. There are multiple air chambers to keep inflated if one of them is punctured. Check the full review: Coleman Quikpak K1 Review
- Quick inflation time
- Good durability via 21-gauge PVC construction and a tarpaulin bottom
- Great for lake usage
- The airtight system prevents puncture
- Easy to carry backpack style
- Multi-position footrest
- A storage area in bungees
It is not a hard task to choose the best kayak for novices. If you follow the few factors we have mentioned, you will be able to decide which kayak is suitable for your need. If the price is a very important factor for you, you should go with the inflatable beginner kayak. Inflatable kayaks are much easier to carry and serves greatly to the occasional kayakers. We will continue to add more beginner kayaks in the list. Meanwhile, you can suggest or post your favorite beginner kayak in the comments section. Happy kayaking.