If you love water sports and want to take things to the next level, then you’ve certainly thought about getting a kayak more than once by now. If this is the first time you need to buy one, things can be quite complicated. After all, there are a lot of features, but also a lot of manufacturers and models you can choose from and for the uninitiated, this can all be very complicated.
The purchase of a kayak is also a significant investment, so you need to exercise care before you spend your hard-earned money on something that needs to meet a series of requirements. After all, a good kayak will not only be safe, easy to use, and maintain, but at the same time, it won’t cost as much as an arm and a leg.
Best Kayaks in 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
Luckily, today we’ve put together a list of the top 10 kayaks you can currently buy that received the highest ratings from tens of thousands of users. So with no further ado, let’s check them out below!
- 10. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10
- 9. Strait Edge
- 8. Sun Dolphin Excursion 12-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
- 7. Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle
- 6. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10
- 5. Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible Kayak
- 4. Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame
- 3. Sea Eagle SE370K_P
- 2. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
- 1. Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On Kayak
10. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10
One of the first things you’ll get to love about this model is that it has a pretty big cockpit and since it’s also affordable, it definitely qualifies as a great buy. Getting in and out of the kayak is really easy, and if you want, you can even take your dog along with you for a ride. To include some of its basic features, they are the carry handles, the paddle holder, foot pedals, and the seat adjustment. If you want to use it in slow river and lakes, you’ll be impressed with how well this kayak will do. You also get comfortable knee/thigh pads, while the Glide Track Foot Brace system ensures great control and excellent fit.
- Great for paddling on slow moving rivers, ponds, and lakes.
- Single layer linear polyurethane makes this a very sturdy kayak.
- Comfortable knee and thick pads.
- While this kayak is indeed great, it does sell very well, so make sure you order yours fast otherwise it may get out of stock.
If you’re just starting to get into kayaking, then you certainly need to get your hands on the Vapor 10. This is a relatively affordable kayak that’s easy to get used, get in and out of, and it’s also quite spacious.
9. Strait Edge
One of the things you’ll be impressed with after getting the Strait Edge is the fact that it’s among the few kayaks that feature an aluminum bow and stern frame that’s excellent for improving tracking in open water conditions. This is an inflatable kayak that features a hull design which is similar to that of a hard-shell sit on top variant.
Thanks to the self-bailing design, this model can easily shed water when padding in greater waves. For a drier ride, the ports can be closed when padding in cold or calm waters. Given the fact that you also get 2-rod holders, you’ll enjoy greater versatility when fishing. Lastly, the kayak can be easily packed away in the included duffel bag, meaning you can easily carry it in a wide range of remote locations.
- Aluminum bow and stern frame improve tracking in open water conditions.
- Extreme puncture resistance thanks to the PVC Tarpaulin material (heavy duty).
- Very portable.
- Some users have expressed their dissatisfaction with this model saying that it doesn’t feel stable in high chop.
The Strait Edge is a top quality kayak that will not disappoint even the most demanding of kayakers. It’s well made, has excellent puncture resistance, and it’s also very portable. Therefore, no matter where you plan on having your next adventure, you can easily carry it there.
8. Sun Dolphin Excursion 12-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
This twelve-foot kayak is one of the better choices for rivers and lakes thanks to its portability, but also lightweight. The Sun Dolphin Excursion also features 2 flush mount rod holders, while the rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex polyethylene (high density) increases its overall durability. For a more comfortable paddling experience, the padded seat can be easily adjusted. Plenty of space is available, and you can also bring your dog in the open, large cockpit. For more comfort, convenience and protection, the Sun Dolphin Excursion feature a water bottle holder, shock cord deck rigging, and adjustable foot braces.
- Extra storage space thanks to the Portable Accessory Carrier.
- Retractable carrying handles, protective thigh pads, and adjustable foot braces.
- Large, open cockpit is great for larger people.
- This kayak may look light, but it’s heavier than expected, which negatively affects portability.
The Sun Dolphin Excursion is a well-made kayak that is sure to help you experience a lot of adrenaline pumping paddling sessions. It has a large cockpit, protective thigh pads to improve safety and comfort, but also extra storage space to store your things. What more can you ask for?
7. Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle
If you have kids and want to introduce them to the beautiful world of kayaking, then this is the best place to start. This kayak measures only six feet, and it’s excellent for kids ages five and up or for a maximum of one hundred and thirty lbs. Its swim-up and back end step makes it easier for the rider to get back into the kayak after falling into the water. Water can be easily drained thanks to the scupper holes, while the various footrest positions can accommodate a wide range of riders. The kayak also comes with a double-sided paddle.
- The best choice for introducing kids ages five and up to kayaking.
- Great one hundred and thirty lbs capacity.
- Lightweight eighteen lbs design makes carrying this kayak a breeze.
- The molding on some of the kayaks may not look very smooth.
If your kids want to learn all about kayaking or it was your initiative to introduce them to it, then the Lifetime Youth Wave is the ideal kayak to get for this purpose. Lightweight, affordable, and specifically designed for kids, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better in this price range.
6. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10
Do you love padding through river and lakes? Well then, it seems that you really need to check to the Sun Dolphin Bali SS. Made of solid UV stabilized Fortiflex polyethylene (high density), this bad boy paddles and tracks with ease, while also offering you excellent stability. Since it is very lightweight, carrying it from one river to another is easier than you think. Included is also a PAC which can be used as an extra storage compartment, tow behind, paddle holder or shock cord deck rigging.
- Amazing stability. The Kayak tracks and paddles very smoothly.
- Portable Accessory Carrier can be used as a backpack, tow behind or for extra storage.
- You can easily enter the kayak, thanks to the open cockpit design.
- The seams aren’t that strong, meaning that they may break and cause the kayak to fill with water.
Great for people who are on a budget, the Bali SS is a beautiful kayak that will take you on a wide range of adventures without sacrificing comfort and safety. Its excellent stability, PAC, and open cockpit design make this one of the best buys ever!
5. Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible Kayak
Whether you plan on padding in tandem or solo, the Advanced Elements Advancedframe Kayak is an ideal choice for any adventurer. This model features a double coated fabric, but also two adjustable back supports that improve comfort when sitting in the kayak. If you’re also the type who loves to take a lot of gear along, then you’ll be happy to know that this model features a dry storage compartment for that purpose. The Advanced Elements Advancedframe Kayak features three layers of material for amazing puncture resistance, and built-in ribs (made of aluminum) define the bow and stern while improving tracking.
- Three layers of material make this kayak extremely resistant to punctures.
- Excellent high support.
- It is as portable as an inflatable kayak.
- This is indeed a great kayak, but it’s a bit expensive.
If you’re serious about kayaking, then there’s no better choice in this price range than the Advanced Elements Advancedframe Kayak. Lightweight, easy to get in and out of, and extremely resistant to punctures, this bad boy will take you on an adventure you’ll never forget.
4. Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame
The AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Kayak is an excellent 15-foot kayak that you can paddle on your own or in tandem. With the optional double decks or single cord, you can easily convert it into a tandem or solo kayak in just a few seconds. The kayak features the versatility of an interchangeable deck and a rigid bow and stern frame. Easily inflatable, the kayak also features a repair kit, two folding seats, and comes with a duffel bag.
- 3 seat location sallow for paddling tandem or solo.
- Adjustable padded seats and high support allow you to paddle for hours on end.
- Extreme puncture resistance thanks to the three layers of material.
- The kayak is well made and also very fast, yet is’ a bit heavy.
The AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Kayak is an excellent choice if you want to paddle comfortably and safely no matter where your next adventure may be. Easy to get in and out of, extremely resistant to punctures, and easy on the wallet, you’ll love this kayak the minute you use it.
3. Sea Eagle SE370K_P
The Sea Eagle SE370K_P is a kayak that’s very simple to use, and at the same time, it features a very simple, yet comfortable design. The kayak features deluxe inflatable seats, a repair kit, a carry bag, a foot pump, and it’s NMMA certified. You can start paddling in just eight minutes since that’s how long it takes for the kayak to be inflated. With a six hundred and fifty lbs capacity, the Sea Eagle can hold up to 3 medium-weight people for an adrenaline pumping adventure you’ll never forget.
- Saltwater and the sun resistant hull material.
- Can hold 3 people for a combined weight of 650 lbs.
- NMMA certified.
- The SE370K_P can be inflated in just eight minutes.
- If you don’t buy directly from Sea Eagle, there is a chance that they may not honor the client satisfaction policy.
With the SE370K_P you can start your adventure in as little as 8 minutes. Not only that but since it can hold up to 650 lbs and 3 people, it’s easy to imagine just how much fun you can have with it. Highly recommended!
2. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
The Sevylor Big Basin is a three-person inflatable kayak that is made of heavy duty PVC, but also durable tarpaulin (for the bottom) which makes it ideal for easy for paddling on whitewater and calm lakes. If you’re unlucky and you’ll eventually hit a snag, you can rest assured that you’ll get to the shore thanks to the multiple air chambers this model features. To improve comfort while riding, the Sevylor Big Basin features adjustable seats, while the spray covers to ensure that you’re going to stay dry during your trip.
- Tarpaulin bottom and heavy duty PVC build quality make this a very rugged kayak.
- Block splashes and stay dry thanks to the spray covers.
- Simple deflation and inflation thanks to the double threaded Boston Valve.
- Some of those that used this kayak said that keeping it inflated was a bit challenging.
If you want to get a sturdy kayak that will take you on a great adventure on whitewater and lakes, then look no further. The Sevylor Big Basin is a great choice and not only is it comfortable to ride, but also features spray covers to keep you dry and is made of heavy duty PVC which greatly improves durability.
1. Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On Kayak
Made of high density, UV resistant polyethylene, the Lifetime Muskie Angler Kayak is among the best kayaks you can currently buy. It features a stable flat bottom for improved stability, multiple footrest positions for a comfortable ride, but also an adjustable padded seat back and seat pad. No matter where your next adventure may be, you can easily take the kayak with you thanks to the rear and front t-handles. The HDPE construction and stability chine rails make this a really solid kayak that’s perfect for a wide range of waters.
- HDPE construction makes this a very sturdy kayak.
- Improved comfort thanks to the seat pad and seat back pad.
- Rear and front handles make transport the kayak very easy.
- Some people may find this kayak a bit heavy at 57.5 lbs.
If you’re looking for the best, then this is it. The Lifetime Muskie Angler Kayak is a really well made, hard-shell kayak that’s extremely resistant to a wide range of damages and at the same time, it’s simple to get in and out of. Given the fact that it’s available for far less than $500 is a big plus. Highly recommended!
Buying your first kayak can be a very complicated and complex journey, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Our list reviewed some of the top kayaks you can currently buy and should be an excellent guide for anyone who wants to get into kayaking. Be sure to read it carefully and then take a decision based on your needs, budget, and how frequently you’re going to use the kayak. Good luck!