Looking for cheap kayaks for sale can be a daunting task and not only because of the multitude of types, but also because of the wide variety of products.
Because of that, our main focus at here is to show you the best rated cheap kayaks on the market right now.
We’ve already done all the homework for you and researched the market for the top rated cheap kayaks. We put together a list with the kayaks offering the best value for money.
If you are a new kayaker, you probably should take a look at our cheap kayaks under $200 guide first.
Kayaking has gained immense notoriety over the past years. It’s no longer a sport for professionals only, but also a recreational activity for less experienced users.
Over the past decade, kayaks have diversified in terms of types, designs, uses and functions.
Some kayaks are suitable for one person, while others can take two people and even a child or a dog.
There are more considerations to keep in mind when about to purchase one, yet your expectations and water activities represent the main factors.
For instance, some users may like touring, while others will love the speedy profile of a rapid river. Some people enjoy fishing, not to mention spending quality time with their families.
If you are new to the definition of “kayaking”, we strongly recommend you taking a look at this getting started guide first.
All in all, this article exposes the best rated cheap kayaks in the most popular categories.
These are the best selling models and they’re popular for some good reasons. Take your time to browse the list for more information, but make sure that you also know what you expect from this experience. Only then you can make an informed decision.
Top Rated Cheap Kayaks in 2018 – Editors’ Choice
- The #1 Inflatable Kayak: Intex Challenger K1
- The Top Rated Cheap Tandem Kayak: Intex Challenger K2
- The Best Low-cost Ocean Kayak: Ocean Kayak Frenzy
- The Best Low-cost Sit-On-Top Kayak: Lifetime Manta Tandem
- The Best Affordable Recreational Kayak: Sea Eagle 330
- The Best Cheap Fishing Kayak: Old Town Vapor 10 Angler
The #1 Inflatable Kayak – Intex Challenger K1
- Measures 108 x 30 x 13 inches
- Weighs 23.9 pounds
- Can take users up to 220 pounds
- 30 gauge material
- Made from heavy duty vinyl
- Puncture resistant
- 2 different air chambers
- Inflatable I-Beam for stability
- Backrest, Boston valves, Repair kit, 84 inch paddle, Cargo net for storage
- Pump and aluminum paddle included
Cheap inflatable kayaks come with a few major benefits over traditional kayaks.
Most importantly, they can be deflated, which means you can transport and store them in a backpack.
You won’t have to rent a trailer or purchase a support for your car.
Also, they’re lightweight and provide the exact same feel and experience.
Most commonly, they’re made from nylon, Kevlar or PVC.
They usually come with a full package, including the pump, so you can use them out of the box.
Just like hard kayaks, they come in a variety of styles and shapes.
Intex Challenger K1 is definitely the best cheap inflatable kayak you could ever find!
Weight and Portability
Weighing under 24 pounds, the Intex Challenger K1 is easy to take to the beach or transport inside a backpack. It’s comfortable to transport and doesn’t ask for any special arrangements.
Despite its lightweight profile, it can take riders up to 220 pounds in weight. When fully inflated, it feels like a hard kayak.
Portability is one of the main benefits of inflatable kayaks and this unit makes no exception either. You can fit it inside the boot of your car or on the other seat.
Storing it is just as easy – let it dry, fold it and hide it inside your garage.
Buoyancy and Stability
There’s a common misconception about this cheap inflatable kayak and its stability.
Some kayaks are, indeed, a bit harder to control and more suitable to experienced users.
This model is ideal regardless of your skill level. Maintaining your balance is piece of cake because it features the I-Beam support.
In other words, you can sit in any position – even on your knees. You can also stand up without risking to splash into the water.
Comfort and Practicability
There are no doubts about the comfort – the Intex Challenger K1 features a comfortable seat, as well as a backrest. Both parts are well padded and soft, so they won’t put any pressure on the lower back.
The cockpit is also designed with space in mind, especially as it can take heavy people.
As for practicability, you will love the cargo net in front of the seat. You can lock down pretty much anything you might be carrying with you, from bags and accessories to backpacks.
The well set system allows even more space in the cockpit, as you no longer need to clutter it with your stuff.
The Top Rated Cheap Tandem Kayak – Intex Challenger K2
- Measures 138 x 30 x 15 inches
- Weighs 33.57 pounds
- Made from heavy duty vinyl
- Puncture and UV resistant
- 30 gauge material
- Can take users up to 400 pounds in weight
- Comes with two aluminum paddles, repair kit and pump
- 86 inch paddles
- 2 air chambers
- Inflatable I-Beam floor
- Net for storage
Tandem kayaks are ideal for families or couples, as they can take two users at the same time.
They’re mostly used as recreational kayaks. They’re larger and obviously more stable, but that means they’re also heavier – up to 100 pounds or even more.
Given the extra width, rolling over is almost impossible.
Just like most other types of kayaks, these ones are available in multiple sizes based on your expectations – more speed, a better maneuverability, extra stability and so on.
If you and your partner are new to it, it makes more sense to focus on stability, rather than speed.
Materials, small features and storage options are just as diversified.
Sturdiness and Comfort
The K2 model from Intex is based on vinyl. It’s a heavy duty material that can take a good beating. It’s puncture resistant, but it will also withstand UV rays without losing its colors or brightness.
Unexpected situations may still occur though, so the package also includes a repair kit.
This cheap kayak has a sporty design, but without compromising on comfort. Its streamlined construction makes paddling piece of cake.
It might be challenging for two newbies to paddle in the same rhythm, but you’ll get used to it very quickly.
Stability and Buoyancy
The natural buoyancy of Intex Challenger K2 makes capsizing almost impossible. It’s a main concern for newbies, yet there’s nothing to worry about.
Even if both users are new to this sport and don’t necessarily paddle at the same time, they’re less likely to roll over.
Stability leaves no room for mistakes with the I-Beam support. You can easily stand up without splashing. The I-Beam support adds to the overall weight this kayak can take to up to 400 pounds.
Sizing and Portability
The Intex Challenger K2 measures 138 x 30 x 15 inches. It weighs under 34 pounds. The wide base makes it stable on the water without sacrificing maneuverability.
It comes in a full package, so you also get two 86 inch aluminum paddles, as well as an Intex pump.
In terms of portability, its weight makes it simple to carry around without too much hassle.
It’s also inflatable, so you won’t need a trailer or support for your car. Just deflate it, toss it in a backpack and hit the beach.
From this point of view, it’s also easy to store.
Excellent Low-cost Kayak – Ocean Kayak Frenzy
- Measures 108×31 inches
- Weighs 43 pounds
- Made from polyethylene
- Can take users up to 325 pounds
- 18 inch seat width
- Molded cup holder, Bow and stern carry handles
- Carlisle Day Tripper 2 piece aluminum shaft paddle, Asymmetrical blade design
- Push button breakdown for easy storage
- Adjustable padded seat
- Molded foot braces, Removable bungees, Drain hole
- Accessory eyelets
Although Kayaks were originally designed for rivers, these days, you can also find ocean kayaks. In other words, they’re more stable and can be used by complete newbies as well.
Furthermore, they’re suitable for calm waters, yet certain features will help them handle rough waters with no issues at all.
Ocean kayaks are usually cheaper than other types of kayaks. They come in different sizes as well and they can also be inflatable or hard.
Although not so efficient on rapid rivers, some models come with specific properties that make maneuverability and speed part of the game.
After a deep research, we believe that Ocean Kayak Frenzy is the best affordable kayak for ocean you could ever find!
Let’s take a look to see why!
Durability and Adjustability
Ocean Kayak Frenzy is designed with durability in mind, which inevitably adds to its sturdiness and performance as well.
It’s made from polyethylene and makes a good choice for calm waters, yet its shape makes it suitable for rivers as well.
Comfort is a main priority while kayaking, especially if you do it over long distances. Fortunately, the seat is adjustable, so you can optimize your position and even change it every once in a while.
Moreover, the seat is also padded to prevent numbness and lower back pains. The molded foot braces add to the comfort as well.
Sizing and Capacity
The Ocean Kayak Frenzy measures 108 x 31 inches. It’s a standard size for most kayaks – ideal for stability, as well as decent speeds. The seat is 18 inches in width.
While this cheap kayak can take heavy people, make sure you can comfortably fit inside.
In terms of capacity, you can be up to 325 pounds in weight. The manufacturer recommends 275 pounds only, yet experienced users can weigh more. Its capacity targets the overall storage capability too.
You have a stern tank well with removable bungees, as well as a bow deck bungee.
Portability and Small Features
With just 43 pounds in weight, the low-priced Ocean Kayak Frenzy is easy to carry to the beach. You’ll need proper support on your car for it though. However, it’s easy to load or unload.
It comes in a classic size, so you can store it in a garage.
Small features include a molded cup holder for your long trips, as well as bow and stern carry handles. The Carlisle Day Tripper 2 piece aluminum shaft paddle is included in the package. The asymmetrical blade design and the dihedral shape guarantee for a smooth stroke that won’t make you feel tired.
The Best Low-cost Sit-On-Top Kayak – Lifetime Manta Tandem
- Measures 120x36x19 inches
- Weighs 60 pounds
- Made from lightweight plastic
- 500 pound maximum weight capacity
- Single or tandem use
- 2 soft backrests
- 2 double sided paddles
- Front and rear carry handles
- Tunnel hull design
- High and dry seating
Sit-on-top kayaks are designed with recreational needs in mind. Since you’re not trapped inside the kayak, you obviously can’t really ride it on rapid rivers, but only on calm waters.
It’s excellent for newbies and beginners, but it can also make a good choice if you like activities like touring, diving or fishing.
Sit-on-top kayaks do have a small depression instead of a seat, so they’re different from surf boards.
You’ll still have a designated place. Access to storage is easier, while the extra width adds to stability.
However, for the same reason, speed is also compromised.
The Sit-On-Top Kayak is highly recommended to those who don’t like confined spaces, as well as users who don’t feel comfortable in traditional kayaks.
Sizing and Versatility
Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak measures 120 x 36 x 19 inches. It’s both longer and wider than traditional kayaks, so there are no reasons to feel unstable on top. The extra size adds to the overall weight as well. It weighs 60 pounds.
In terms of versatility, this low-priced kayak allows you single or tandem uses. Basically, you can use it yourself, but you can also get your partner or a friend to enjoy the water ride.
It can easily take two heavy users, as its maximum weight capacity goes up to 500 pounds.
You won’t have to worry about purchasing extra accessories for tandem uses, as you have two soft backrests and two double sided paddles in the package.
Stability and Safety
Apart from the extra width, this budget kayak also features a tunnel hull design.
Such a construction adds to stability, making it a good choice for beginners.
Tracking is seriously improved as well. Simply put, it’s almost impossible to roll over.
Unlike most sit-on-top kayaks, the Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak features high and dry seating. Riders won’t have to sit on the kayak floor, but they’ll be a bit higher.
Build and Storage
Despite the heavy profile, this cheap kayak is entirely made from lightweight plastic. The material is durable and less likely to dent or crack if it takes some beating.
In terms of storage, you can keep stuff everywhere around you. You have a massive interior storage hatch to keep your stuff safe, making the Lifetime Manta Tandem suitable for long camping trips as well.
Sea Eagle 330 – The Best Affordable Recreational Kayak
- Measures 132×34 inches
- Weighs 26 pounds
- 500 pounds maximum weight capacity
- Tandem uses
- 9 inch tubes
- 3 inflatable chambers
- Made from polykrylar hull material
- I-Beam construction
- Draining valve, Spray skirts, 2 skegs, Repair kit, Pump, UV and puncture resistant
Recreationsl kayaks are self-explanatory.
While most types of kayaks can be used with recreational purposes in mind, this type makes the difference if all you want is fun. Practically, you won’t have to pay for professional features that you’ll never use, but just the basics.
Recreational kayaks make good choices for those who want to develop some whitewater skills, as well as those who want to try paddling on oceans, lakes or even rapid rivers.
They’re easy to handle and comfortable.
Sea Eagle 330 is definitely the best cheap recreational kayak you can find right now on the market.
Build and Durability
Sea Eagle 330 is inflatable. In other words, it’s lightweight and portable. It is entirely made of K 80 polykrylar hull material.
When fully inflated, it feels as sturdy and hard as classic kayaks.
It’s designed for tandem uses, so it has two comfortable seats.
In terms of durability, the material features 9 inch tubes, as well as the innovative I-Beam construction, which makes it quite stable. The material is thin and can resist punctures and beating. Moreover, it is UV resistant, so it will maintain its good looks in the long run.
Portability and Capacity
Given the inflatable profile, the Sea Eagle 330 is portable and easy to move around.
It only weighs 26 pounds. You can fit it inside a backpack and carry it yourself to the beach. You won’t need to attach it to your car or rent a trailer.
The same rule applies to storage – basic and efficient.
Its capacity goes up to 500 pounds. It’s the maximum accepted weight, so it can take two heavy users without going down.
Accessories and Sizing
The 330 model can be used out of the box.
You have a solid foot pump to inflate it, as well as a carrying bag for transportation. Spray skirts, front and rear seats are inflatable. It also features two oars. Storage is limited, but enough for recreational rides and even short camping trips. A repair kit is included in the package too.
The Sea Eagle 330 measures 132×34 inches. It’s both longer and wider than classic kayaks, so it’s stable even when two people go inside.
It is definitely the best product If you are looking for a cheap recreational kayak.
Old Town Vapor 10 Angler – Remarkable Cheap Fishing Kayak
- Measures 120×28.5×16.8 inches
- Weighs 44 pounds
- Polyethylene construction
- Roomy cockpit
- Adjustable foot braces, thigh pads and Comfort Flex seat
- Dashboard, Cup holder, Paddle park, Molded carry handles
- Drain plug, Rod holders, Anchor with trolley system, Deck bungee
Fishing kayaks are similar to traditional kayaks, yet they have some small specifications that make them more suitable for fishing.
Basically, they make excellent options for hardly accessible areas that you can’t reach with a regular boat.
When compared to classic sit-on-top kayaks, you may not spot too many differences. However, they’re wider for a more stable experience. Maintenance is also lower.
Small features usually make the difference, as some units feature rod holders, GPS holders or built-in boxes.
The Old Town Vapor 10 Angler is the best cheap fishing kayak you could ever find.
Comfort and Storage
The seat is designed for long hours in the kayak, so it’s built to be comfortable. Whether you decide to ride over long distances or just spend half a day in there, you won’t experience any pain.
Most materials in its composition can mold based on your body shape.
Furthermore, there is plenty of cockpit space.
Kayak fishing implies bringing a series of accessories, such as waterproof bags, safety equipment, food and specific fishing equipment. For this reason, you have multiple storage areas, as well as a cup holder.
Build and Craftsmanship
Like all the other models from this manufacturer, the Vapor 10 model is built from single layer polyethylene. Altogether, it weighs 44 pounds only.
It’s also relatively short for a fishing kayak – 120 inches only. Transportation is easy, not to mention maneuverability.
The strong hull can withstand lots of stress. If maintained properly, this low-cost kayak will support your fishing trips for ages.
Some of the fishing features include flush mounted rod holders, deck bungee and anchor with trolley system.
Hull and Cockpit
The hull stands up in the crowd, not only with its efficiency, but also with its stability. The cockpit is spacious and has a few specifications from comfort.
Apart from the cup holder, you also have a paddle rest and a dashboard.
Adjustable features add to your convenience. Thigh pads and the Comfort Flex seat can be adjusted based on your size. The Glide track foot brace system adds to your experience too.
In addition, take a look at here for the most outstanding cheap fishing kayaks under $500!
Bottom line, choosing some great cheap kayaks is not as daunting as it seems. The ones above are the best rated items in each category and given their features, it’s easy to tell what makes the difference.
Discover the top selling kayaks in each category and find out the cheapest ones there and take a look at their special features that make them stand up in the crowd!