Kayaking has been around for a very long time and is growing rapidly in popularity. It is an incredibly fun sport or hobby to get involved with and can take you to many beautiful lakes, rivers and oceans.
Kayaking is great way to get a good workout in and I personally attribute it to my health and vitality.
There are kayaks for just about everyone out there that are built with a specific purpose in mind. If its speed you are looking for or competitive kayaks for competition then there are those designed for this.
If you just want to cruise around and admire the natural landscape then you can get kayaks that are wider, comfier and easy to use.
The following post will highlight what I consider to be the best kayaks for each category.
I have dedicated this website to sharing a range of the kayaks for different needs and will also share some blog tips and advice and even just adventures I have been on.
So let’s take a look at the Best Kayak Brands and then I’ll share what I consider key features to look for when buying a kayak.
Best Kayak Brands
I have selected what I consider the best kayaks under the following 4 categories – beginner kayaks, fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks and sit on top kayaks.
Best Kayak for Beginners
For newbies to kayaking it can be a bit hard to know what to buy. There are many beginner kayaks out there that can really help you ease into the activity.
The things you want to consider are stability, build and the price.
As a beginner you probably won’t want to spend a large amount of money just in case you don’t enjoy the sport or can’t get out there as frequently as you like. I have taken this into account when choosing the best beginner kayak.
In my opinion the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak presents really good value for money for beginners out there.
Let’s take a look at why. If you are interested in the full article and comparison of other kayaks be sure to read my best kayaks for beginners post.
Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-In Kayak, Lime, 10-Feet
- 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
- Carrying handles and water bottle holder
The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak is durable and very stable which is ideal for beginners to the sport.
- Large open cockpit
- Adjustable padded seat with high back support
- Gear storage with shock cord deck rigging
- Adjustable foot braces
- Durable design
- Carry handles
- Water bottle holder
The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak is made from UV stabilized fortiflex high density polyethylene making this a sturdy and stable kayak.
It also comes with an adjustable seat for added comfort and a high back support.
10 foot is a good size for beginners as it makes it easier to paddle and maintain momentum in the water.
This kayak comes with many good reviews from fellow Amazon customers who have purchased one.
The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak is available in 6 different colors including, blue, lime, ocean, pink, red and tangerine.
Best Fishing Kayak
Many fisherman are opting for kayaks as opposed to boats for fishing trips. They are a lot easier to maintain and use and appeal to many people for this reason.
Fishing kayaks are specially designed to cater for fishing accessories and other features such as rod holders and hull space.
Generally speaking fishing kayaks have a bit more width to provide extra stability to the fisherman.
There are a huge variety of fishing kayaks available and something for every budget. I recommend reading my comprehensive post on the best fishing kayak reviews.
If I had to choose one fishing kayak it would be the Malibu Kayaks Stealth 14 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak.
This kayak is a more expensive fishing kayak but has only good reviews! Let’s take a look at the key features.
Malibu Kayaks Stealth 14 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak, Sand
- 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
Malibu Kayaks Stealth 14 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak is a fishermans dream when it comes to ease of use!
- 14-Feet long, 4-Inches wide and 33-Inches deep.
- Patented center bait tank system and casting platform.
- High Performance
- Very stability
- Lots of extra features and addtions
- Lifetime warranty
The Malibu Kayaks Stealth Sit on Top Kayak has a 3 hatch system for baiting solutions.
There are self priming plumbing options which can flush out the hatches and keep your kayak nice and clean.
In addition there are also side hatches for storing your items
With a stand up casting platform you really have no limits when it comes to fishing!
There is also an adjustable foot track system as well as 2 front and 2 rear rod holders.
The kayak weighs 64lbs and has a maximum user weight of 550lbs.
The Malibu Kayaks Stealth 14 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak also has a hinged gator hatch with a bungee system.
The rear also has a large 45degree hatch with a bag and a bungee system over the tank that can hold a 5 gallon bait bucket.
Best Inflatable Kayak
Inflatable kayaks are a great idea for those who don’t have the storage space or car availability to transport them.
These are a popular choice amongst many and they offer a great alternative and a much lower price.
They are also a great idea for hikers who hike to beautiful lakes and rivers and would like to go for a kayak!
There are many options when it comes to inflatable kayaks including single or double kayaks. Make sure you read my best inflatable kayak reviews post for a full list of options.
In terms of value for money for a single kayak I selected the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set. Let’s take a look at the key features of this kayak.
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
- Nimble, durable kayak is made of durable welded material with eye-catching graphics for added safety on the lake or slow-moving river
- Cockpit is designed for comfort and maximized space, and inflatable I-beam floors add stability
- Cargo net to store extra gear, and grab line on both ends of kayak; inflatable seat with backrest
- Comes with 84-inch aluminum oar, repair patch and Hi-output manual hand pump
- Measures 30-by-15-by-108 inches (W x H x D), with 27.2-pound weight and 220-pound maximum capacity
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set is incredibly easy to transport and use.
- Durable design and build
- Comfortable to sit in and spacious
- Additional stability in the form of inflatable I-beam flooring
- Cargo net for gear
- Inflatable seat and backrest
- Hand pump and oar included
The Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak Set is made from welded material is surprisingly stable and durable.
There are I beams which can be inflated for additional stability in the flooring of the kayak.
Thanks to the inflatable seat and backrest this kayak is quite comfortable to use. It is also quite spacious and easy to inflate with the hand pump that is included.
Included with the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set is a 84 inch aluminium oar as well as a repair patch.
In total the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set measures 108 inches long x 30 inches wide by 15 inches deep. It is ultra lightweight at 27.2 pounds and due to this has a 220pound maximum user weight capacity.
Best Sit on Top Kayak
Sit on kayaks are mostly used by casual kayakers because they are very easy to use and are easy to get in and out of. These kayaks are designed so the whole lower part of your body is on top of the boat.
Sit on Top kayaks can be used for a huge variety of purposes including fishing, surfing as well as just recreational uses. This is because your body is completely out of the kayak and water so if there is an accident or the kayak flips you are not going to get stuck under it.
In saying that these are fantastic for causal kayakers, children and teens due to the safety factor. The only thing to consider is that you will be exposed to the elements a lot more! Double up the sunscreen!
There are a huge variety of sit on top kayaks to choose from like I mentioned earlier but I particularly like the Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak.
Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, Envy
- Renowned Tri-Form hull for stability, tracking and maneuverability
- Transport and Storage: 9 ft. length and only 43 lbs. means easy transport in the back of a pick-up or car top. Easy to lift and small to store.
- Seating: Durable padded Comfort Plus Seat Back provide cushioning, support, and 4 way adjustability for all day paddling comfort for any body type
- Stern tank well with removeable bungees, bow deck bungee
- Additional Features: Bow and stern carry handles, molded in side handles, molded-in cup holder, and replaceable rear skid plate for added durability
The Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak is responsive, stable and an incredibly popular kayak.
- Tri-Form hull for stability, tracking and manoeuvrability
- 9 ft. in length
- Total weight of 43 lbs
- Durable padded Comfort Plus Seat Back
- 4 way adjustability for all day paddling comfort
- Stern tank well with removable bungees, bow deck bungee
- Bow and stern carry handles
- Molded in side handles
- Molded-in cup holder
- Replaceable rear skid plate for added durability
Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak is a very well built and designed sit on top kayak for children, youth and adults.
Weighing in at just over 44lbs this kayak is easy to transport and store. It has a maximum user weight of 275-325lbs.
The Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak has really good user reviews which is a testament to the quality of this kayak. It is available in envy, sunrise or yellow.
Shapes of Kayaks
The shape of a kayak can impact a few different things including your manoeuvrability, speed and stability. In addition to this the length and width will also affect these aspects too.
The longer the kayak the easier it will be to gain and maintain speed, to carry any heavy load- for example a kayaking camping trip.
If you are planning to travel some distance via kayak I recommend finding a longer kayak, it will make it a fair bit faster.
Taking that into consideration if we have a shorter kayak then it will be a lot easier to turn and manoeuvre as there is less length and weight.
However, in windy conditions are shorter kayak will get blown around more.
Shorter kayaks are also going to be much easier to transport from your home to the water and are favorable amongst beginners.
When we consider the width it also pays to figure out how much stuff you will need to store or want to store in the kayak while out on the water.
Wider kayaks are also much easier to get in and out of and are a bit more stable due to this increased width.
However, due to the extra material the wider the kayak the heavier it is too which means it will also be a bit slower than a narrower kayak.
When it comes to finding a stable kayak you need to consider two things. Firstly, will it remain still and stable while you climb in and out of it?
This is a key thing for beginners as one bad experience can taint your future adventures! The secondary stability is that on the water.
You don’t want to be rocking and rolling around while paddling which can lead to capsizing. The more experienced you become the easier it is to manage both.
There are a huge range of kayaks available on the market so I hope to help you make informed decisions before purchasing! This post shared what I consider the best choices of kayaks for beginners, fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks and sit on top kayaks.