Because kayaks come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and types, choosing the best kayak will solely depend on what you would love to use it for.
In this review, we will ease out the burden of trying to choose the best kayak brands for yourself. You can scroll down for more details, but right now let’s take a look at the comparison table first.
Most tandem kayaks on the market right now can accommodate two people, but some cannot. Additionally, some kayaks are specially built for specific purposes.
It is also necessary to know that most kayak designs are perfectly made to cut through water surfaces, while others are specially designed to move through rough surfs on the streams or oceans.
Nevertheless, with all the beautiful features that kayak has, it is very important to choose the right one that specifically suits your intended purpose – but it can be challenging to choose the best kayak.
This review takes a detailed look at the best kayak to choose from when going for your next shopping.
Here, we have also taken a detailed look at top-selling kayaks around the world today by getting lots of information from customers’ reports, market views, and users’ reviews.
Here are some of the best kayak picks today. However, you can also take a look at our Buyer’s Guide for more detailed conviction (scroll down at the bottom).
In each category, we will talk more about what to look out for in each kayak and how to choose the best for yourself when going to buy a kayak.
So let’s jump right in!
The Best Kayaks of 2018 – Editors’ Choice
- The Best Inflatable Kayaks: Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame
- The Best Sit-on-Top Kayak: Perception Pescador Pro
- The Best Kayak for Beginners: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
- The Top-Rated Fishing Kayak: Malibu Kayak Stealth 14
For the in-depth reviews and buying guides for each kind of kayak, please take a look at these pages!
The Best Inflatable Kayak: Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame
- PVC Tarpaulin w/ 1000 denier polyester outer fabric
- Heavy-duty 30-gauge PVC main chamber w/ polyester inner cover & electronically welded seams
- 2 breathable foam mesh back seats, large storage compartment & rubber molded handle
- Bungee deck rigging, d-ring tie downs, paddle holders & neoprene paddle guard
- Hard-edged aluminum bow & stern ribs w/ reinforced seams & tracking fin (skeg) & landing plate
Before now, inflatable kayaks were just pool toys dangling on water surfaces. With the advancement in technology these days, inflatable kayaks are produced with a high-definition technology which can be specifically suited for family-recreational outings and so on.
Furthermore, inflatable kayaks are now sophisticated. Kayaking lovers now opt for inflatable kayaks due to the fact that it is durable and it can take care of even the most challenging waves or water surfaces.
Inflatable kayaks are portable, which implies that it can be tossed into a car. It can also solve the problem of storage as against rigid kayaks.
Inflatable kayaks are cheaper and lightweight and they are the right choice for family vacations and outings. It is also easier to handle it due to the fact that it has three paddlers.
Additionally, inflatable kayaks are very rugged and stable. Most of them have hulls that can help take scrapes, bumps and plunged logs without blipping.
These types of kayaks can be repaired easily when punctured. When it is punctured, all you need to do is to apply a glue after cutting a patch, then apply pressure on it.
We have compared some of the best inflatable kayaks on the market right now and came up with our top pick.
Our top picked inflatable kayak is the Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame due to its price, durability, and performance on water surfaces.
The Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame consists of durable frames with lightweight elements, thus, making it the best inflatable kayak for your outings.
Furthermore, the best inflatable kayak also has internal aluminum frames that are easily inflatable. The metal frame of the stern and bow helps this kayak to attain the speed of hard-shell models.
It is necessary to know that this kayak is our top-pick right now in the market because it offers both durability and portability at a lower price.
Another interesting feature of this outstanding kayak is that it also helps you to maneuver easily on water surfaces with much speed.
The Best Sit-on-Top Kayak: Perception Pescador Pro
- The perfect first sit-on-top fishing kayak
- Fast, stable, and designed to track straight in variable conditions
- Removable and adjustable camp chair offers ultimate comfort & easy storage
- Secure attachment & storage zones to keep every piece of equipment within reach
- Compatible with Pescador Paddle
Sit-on-top kayaks usually offer more benefits than other types of boats. These sets of kayaks are safe and stable to use. Also, they are less expensive and can be driven by beginners.
However, Sit-on-top kayaks do not have the ability to travel many distances and are not suitable for racing. They are suitable for calmer waters and since they are wider, they offer much stability.
Our best kayak pick when it comes to sit-on-top products is the Perception Pescador Pro. This is due to its hybrid nature. It can be used as a fishing kayak and it also offers agility and balance and it is less costly.
Perception Pescador Pro kayak is the greatest sit-on-top kayak in the market today as it offers much quality despite its cheap price.
Do you know that the Perception Pescador Pro kayak is a hybrid of a model called Wilderness Systems Tarpon, which is more costly?
During the time when the Wilderness Systems Tarpon was produced, it came up top-rated in all lists and reviews. But now, everyone can now enjoy the same quality with the Perception Pescador Pro kayak at a very cheap price.
Additionally, the Perception Pescador Pro kayak is versatile, thus, offering a unique and an astonishing experience when paddling on lakes, rivers, etc.
This excellent sit-on-top kayak is lightweight and very responsive during use. It also has exceptional seats and it is well-equipped.
This foremost kayak will give you more services than what you’ve paid for it. It is definitely the best kayak If you are looking for a great sit-on-top product to buy.
The Best Kayak for Beginners: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
- Large open cockpit with adjustable padded seat with high back support
- Convenient gear storage with shock cord deck rigging
- Adjustable foot braces
- Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene
- Spray deflector collar
As a beginner in kayaking, you might be stuck on getting the best models for yourself. However, the best kayaks can offer the best experience.
Fortunately, there are some kayaks that are beginner-friendly and you can learn how to paddle them within a short period of time.
As a beginner looking for a top kayak to use, there are certain qualities that must be looked at before you purchase one. Qualities like price, durability, and performance should be pondered upon.
When it comes to cost, beginners need to go for cheap kayaks due to the fact they are novices with no prior experience.
Also, durability and performance are also essential to cover up for the mistakes made by beginners during the kayaking activity.
Our best kayak for beginners is chosen based on beginners’ reviews. It is the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10.
The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is one of best trending kayaks for beginners on the market today.
This kayak is a 10-ft sit-in model that is notable among kayaking novices today and it has earned lots of positive reviews among them today.
When it comes to durability, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 offers a whole lot more and it can be easily maneuvered when moving on top of water surfaces.
Also, this kayak is stable and it has narrow-front sides to track while gliding.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to note that the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is suitable on calm water surfaces of lakes, ponds, etc. It is lightweight and offers unique features for beginners.
This is definitely the greatest kayak for beginners.
The Top-Rated Fishing Kayak: Malibu Kayak Stealth 14
- LENGTH: 14-Feet 4-Inch WIDTH: 33-Inch DEPTH: 12-Inch WEIGHT: 64 lbs MAX. CAPACITY: 550 lbs
- Malibu-Feet s new patented center bait tank system and casting platform.
- High Performance
- Unparalleled stability
- Loaded with features for the angler
Fishing kayaks are kayaks that specially made with certain features and characteristics made for fishing. Fishing kayaks usually have more cargo space for gear and fishing rods.
It is necessary to know that there are different types of fishing kayaks today and they come in different shapes and features.
Some of them have a streamline and wider body for buoyancy and balance.
A good fishing kayak can enable you to plunge on fishes without tumbling over. Some other models permit users to stand while fishing.
In this review, we have put together the best fishing kayak for anglers in order for them to have the best fishing experience. We would also let you know some reviews from ardent fishermen.
After doing some comparisons based on comparing the stability, durability, price, and also performance, our topnotch kayak in this category is the Malibu Kayak Stealth 14.
The top-pick kayak here, Malibu Kayak Stealth 14, is one of the best fishing kayaks in the market today and it is well-known for its durability, performance, and cargo space.
It is very necessary to know that this leading fishing kayak is very suitable to maneuver in different bodies of water- according to the manufacturers.
Also, the cargo space in the Malibu Kayak Stealth 14 is another beautiful feature that makes this fishing kayak a unique one. Nevertheless, the cargo space is usually referred to as the “live bait tank” and it is at the center of the kayak.
However, the center space comes with an outlet that helps to draw water in and out of the kayak. This outlet ensures that the live bait is kept in the right condition.
Additionally, Malibu Kayak Stealth 14 has a casting space that helps fishermen or users to cast deep into the water while standing.
With all these beautiful features, the fishing kayak doesn’t diminish in terms of its beauty and performances.
The Malibu Kayak Stealth 14 can ride smoothly through water surfaces, and it is stable.
If you want a fishing kayak, this one should be your best pick!
What You Need To Consider When Looking for a Great Kayak
Before looking for the best kayaks to purchase, there are lots of things that you need to consider.
You need to know the different types of models that are available and their intended use. When it comes to knowing their intended use, some kayaks are designed for a specific purpose.
Therefore, choosing the wrong kayak to what it is intended for might be very dangerous when kayaking. As a result, this review will help you to get the right choice.
To know more about the type kayak to choose, you can try the different models that are available in a kayaking shop.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to know that length and shape can affect the performance of a kayak.
Also, you can chat-up with the seller of a kayak and ask more about the weight and ask if you can be able to try out some of the kayaks in the shop before you purchase. With this, you can be able to get the best kayak for yourself.
Although, there can be a challenge that you can’t try it on water when in a shop, this is why you need to read on so as to know the basics which are going to be stated in this article.
The Different Types of Kayaks
As stated earlier, it is very necessary to buy kayaks which are suitable for its intended use. It is also necessary to know the type of kayak that will be suitable for the water body that you want to paddle on.
This can be done by getting the type of kayak suitable for the right modes.
Here are the different kayaking styles or modes that you need to take note of before purchasing any kayak yourself. Of course you can just take a look at our best kayak picks above without digging a lot into this.
Touring kayaks are kayaks used for tour fascinating places.
It is important to know that these types of kayaks are longer and narrow than some of their counterparts.
In this article, we recommend that touring kayaks should be used by experienced handlers who can utilize the streamline design for their own benefits. Experienced handlers will find touring kayaks a very good choice since they have the skills needed to make good turns.
Touring kayaks are the best choice to travel long distances and they are well-equipped to make your journey a suitable one.
Some of the best touring kayaks you need to know are Sun Dolphin products, Riot Quest, Riot Edge, and Riot Brittany.
|1||SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak (Ocean, 8-Feet)||31 Reviews||$228.42 from $188.75||Buy Now on Amazon|
|2||SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak (Blue, 10-Feet)||168 Reviews||$296.47 from $263.48||Buy Now on Amazon|
|3||Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak (Red, 12-Feet)||49 Reviews||$569.99 from $449.00||Buy Now on Amazon|
As the name implies, recreational kayaks are specifically used for recreational purposes.
It is important to know they are the most prominent mode that you will find in shops and markets.
However, these types of kayaks aren’t expensive as the touring kayaks, they aren’t as long as the touring kayaks and they are user-friendly – even beginners can use this type of kayak.
Recreational kayaks don’t really have that technicality as other modes or styles have; they are sit-in type of kayaks which imply that you only need to sit in the kayak than sitting on top of it.
However, recreational kayaks aren’t meant for strong ocean or river waves and winds.
|1||Perception Rhythm Sit Inside Recreational Kayak - 11'||No ratings yet||$549.00||Buy Now on Amazon|
|2||SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak (Tangerine, 8-Feet)||31 Reviews||from $207.94||Buy Now on Amazon|
|3||Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak (Ocean, 10-Feet)||168 Reviews||from $272.34||Buy Now on Amazon|
It is quite important to note that sea and touring kayaks aren’t the same.
The difference is that touring kayaks are usually much longer (12 to 14 ft.) than the sea kayaks (10 to 12 ft.). So if you are planning on just a smooth vacation but not traveling in a far distance, then a sea kayak is actually the best for you on the sea.
However, sea kayaks are sit-on-top kayaks, this means that you can only sit on them. This makes them have a high stability than some other kayaks.
Some examples of the best sea kayaks are Ocean Kayak Frenzy, Ocean Kayak Scrambler, and Perception Pescador.
|1||Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak (Red, 12-Feet)||49 Reviews||$569.99 from $449.00||Buy Now on Amazon|
|2||Perception Kayak Tribe Sit On Top for Recreation||10 Reviews||$519.56 $509.00||Buy Now on Amazon|
Sit-on-top Kayaks are usually kayaks that involve the user sitting on top of it besides the dint of your feet and baggage.
Most recreational and touring kayaks fall under this category.
There can be used by beginners, due to the fact that they are user-friendly.
Sit-on-Top kayaks are very stable and durable.
Furthermore, Sit-on-top kayaks are mostly used for warm climate, due to the fact they can wear out.
Additionally, sit-on-top kayaks are mostly used for recreational use but some can be used to swim, dive, fish, etc. Above all, they are very safe to use anytime.
Besides the best sit-on-top we mentioned above, you can take a look at these products: Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10, Lifetime Kokanee, Lifetime LotusLifetime Tioga, Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12, etc.
|1||Lifetime Tioga Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle (2 Pack), Lime, 120"||22 Reviews||$649.00||Buy Now on Amazon|
|2||SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak (Ocean, 10-Feet)||150 Reviews||$369.01 from $272.34||Buy Now on Amazon|
|3||Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle, Tan, 120"||140 Reviews||$399.00 from $380.00||Buy Now on Amazon|
Fishing kayaks are specially designed kayaks for fishing.
This type of kayak has a center space and an outlet to keep the bait. It also has very good rod handlers and other accessories.
It is important also to keep in mind that fishing kayaks come in different shapes and designs and they fit into the sit-on-top category.
You also need to know that you don’t have to use a fishing kayak just to fish, many sit-on-top kayaks have the ability to perform fishing activities without any disappointments.
But if you need extra space for your bait, then a fishing kayak should be your pick.
|1||SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak (Olive,...||124 Reviews||$313.88 from $275.02||Buy Now on Amazon|
|2||Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle, Tan, 120"||140 Reviews||$399.00 from $380.00||Buy Now on Amazon|
|3||Perception Pescador Pilot - Fishing Kayak with Pedal Drive||25 Reviews||$1,799.00 from $1,529.09||Buy Now on Amazon|
Gone are the days when inflatable kayaks were bad options for kayaking.
But with the advancement in technology, inflatable kayaks have now become the best picks around the world today.
Inflatable kayaks are portable, durable, stable and cheap.
They can perform various activities on water like fishing, and they can be used as recreational kayaks.
Some of the best inflatable kayaks that you need to know are Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame, Perception Kayak Pescado Pro BS, and Sun Dolphin Aruba Siting Kayaks.
|1||Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with...||2127 Reviews||$75.00 from $69.99||Buy Now on Amazon|
|2||Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with...||889 Reviews||$213.99 from $91.98||Buy Now on Amazon|
Whitewater kayaks are usually short and it has a curved end for easy navigation.
These types of kayaks are used to navigate whitewater torrents.
In this review, we advise users to use sit-on-top models for steadiness in high torrent conditions.
|1||Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem White-Water Kayak with High...||18 Reviews||$799.99||Buy Now on Amazon|
|2||Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with...||2127 Reviews||$75.00 from $69.99||Buy Now on Amazon|
Tandems are also great choices in kayaking, they are great for recreational purposes and suitable for any type of conditions.
Some of the best tandems you need to know about are, Ocean Kayak Malibu, Brooklyn Kayak Company Tandem, Ocean Kayak Malibu XL Tandem Kayak, and ocean Kayak Zest Two Expedition.
|1||Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with...||2127 Reviews||$75.00 from $69.99||Buy Now on Amazon|
|2||Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak,...||62 Reviews||$699.99 from $699.00||Buy Now on Amazon|
|3||SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali Tandem Kayak (Lime, 13.5-Feet)||23 Reviews||$707.62 from $599.00||Buy Now on Amazon|
One of the notable aspects that needs to be considered while choosing the best kayak is the dimension.
However, the dimension of a kayak has to do with its width, length, and depth. Therefore, before you go out there to purchase a kayak, you need to know its dimension so that it can be suitable for your use.
For a start, beginners need to know that short kayaks are great for them, not long ones in length. This is due to the fact that short kayaks can maneuver easily without having many skills to do so – this is why recreational kayaks are short in length.
On the other hand, longer kayaks are the best choice for tracking purposes and they are suitable for experts. Longer kayaks have the ability to travel long distances without swerving – this is why touring kayaks are longer.
When it comes to the width, the wider the kayak, the more stability it achieves. A wider model tends to be balanced but it may be slow during movement.
Narrow kayaks have more speed than wider kayaks and it is a disadvantage to beginners because they can’t be maneuvered easily. Conclusively, narrow kayaks are meant for the experienced.
Additionally, the depth of the hull of a kayak also determines the level of extra storage in it. This is one more reason why fishing kayaks are used to keep baits.
The shape of a kayak also determines how good a kayak is.
You need to know that kayaks come in different shapes. The shape of a kayak determines the speed and performance.
Furthermore, a flat bottom hull can be seen on recreational kayaks and they are suitable in stable waters. This is more reason why recreational kayaks can be used by anyone because they do not require any special training or whatsoever.
Kayaks with round hulls are less stable, but they offer much more stability than V-shaped. It is necessary to know that V-shaped kayaks have the highest speed and they need lots of training to handle them.
Taking a look at the sides of then you will notice the shape of the kayak, which may be in a banana shape or cucumber shape, this is referred to as the ‘hull rocker.’ The hull rocker determines straight a kayak will travel.
Kayaks come in different shapes and sizes, and before you go on your next kayaking activity, then you need to choose the best for your intended use.
Well, you can’t choose the best kayak for yourself if you don’t ponder upon the specifics stated in this review.
With the information stated here, I bet you can get the greatest, finest and ideal kayak for yourself at any point in time.