Best Kayak for Beginners in 2021

Taking up kayaking is an exciting idea, but the challenge of buying the vessel itself can be overwhelming. Even beginner kayaks are available in a wide variety of types, brands, and models.

I can aid you in making the right decision by comparing the best kayaks for beginners. This buying guide contains all the information necessary to choose a kayak that best suits your needs and budget. Read on and find out which model is made for you.

10 Best Kayak for Beginners Reviews

Intex Explorer K2

The Intex K2 is one of the best, and most wallet-friendly, inflatable beginner kayaks on the market. This model is best for people keen to avoid using much space, but still need to enjoy touring on calm waters.

This kayak features an uplifted bow that keeps you dry when you are done with your sea touring. Furthermore, it has a bow and stern covers that allow it to maintain its shape. The kayak constructed with a durable 30-gauge vinyl that’s more than 1,200 nylon shell. This makes it durable and puncture-resistant.

The kayak also offers extended space, creating an adequate room for two adults and a child or your favorite pet. This makes it an excellent option for family adventures.

Things We Liked

  • Streamlined design for easy paddling
  • Highly visible because of the bright yellow color
  • Compact and lightweight

Things We Didn’t Like

  •  Only the main floatation chambers have fancy valves.
  • Quite shallow
  • Drifts a bit too easily

Sevylor Quikpak K1

The Sevylor Quickpak is an inflatable watercraft that functions the same way a traditional sit-on-top kayak. It’s designed to fold up into an integrated backpack and has padded shoulder straps that easily fit your car. The good news is, setting up the kayak will only take five minutes.

The kayak has a flat bottom and a hard floor and features a three-chamber design to maintain the boat’s solid shape. Additionally, the form offers added security in case you get snagged on water.

This kayak features a compact design and can hold up to 400 lbs. And has a built-in paddle that’s designed to break down to provide more storage and has a high-pressure hand pump.

Things We Liked

  • Can hold up to 400 pounds.
  • Backpack system converts into the seat
  • Has five air chambers
  • Very durable

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Heavy when folded
  • 90-day warranty limit

SUN DOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba

When searching for a sit-in-kayak, the Aruba 10-foot beginner kayak is the best pick to start. The kayak comes with an adjustable back pad for additional support together with adjustable foot braces. Therefore, this kayak can fit your body size for added comfort.

This fantastic kayak has a large open cockpit built with plenty of storage space and a portable accessory carrier. Thanks to the back-storage compartment that’s properly sealed, no water can get into the kayak.

In terms of stability and tracking, Sun Dolphin features a narrow stern and bow that helps the kayak keep track, making it slice perfectly on the water. It’s 30 inches wide too, making it a stable kayak perfect for beginners.

Things We Liked

  • Luxurious, adjustable seat
  • Wide cockpit
  • Ample storage space
  • Very lightweight

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Weak and heavy paddle
  • No seat cushions

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak

The Advanced Elements kayak is a hybrid inflatable and folding kayak. It has built-in aluminum ribs on the stern and bow that makes it slice through water like a knife. Furthermore, it has a stern that looks like a skeg that boosts the kayak’s tracking performance.

Interestingly, the advanced frame features extremely durable materials placed on a 3-layer construction. The kayak also comes with numerous high-end components. It has a wide onboard storage area for long-distance trips.

This ocean kayak has excellent support and adjustable padded seat that adds comfort when paddling for an extended time. Setting up the kayak is an easy task too, making this a highly recommended model for beginners.

Things We Liked

  • Sufficient storage room
  • Durable
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not a fast kayak
  • Not comfortable for larger kayakers

Lifetime Youth Wave

This is a lightweight kayak built for kayakers weighing under 130 lbs. And it’s constructed with molded finger handles on both sides to make it easy to transport. This sit-on-top kayak is built with High-Density Polyethylene that adds superior durability and strength.

This fantastic boat comes with numerous footrest locations for different size kayakers. Many thanks to the manufacturer for backing it up with a 5-year warranty. The kayak has a sloped end and a swim-up step that allows the rider to re-enter it.

Also, it comes with a wide stance that offers a stable paddling area to keep your kid safe while inside the kayak.

Things We Liked

  • Great kayak for kids
  • Durable
  • Easy to set up
  • Stable and does not tip easily

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Heavy to carry around – possibly too heavy for the target audience


Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe

Sea Eagle is an inflatable and an affordable kayak that’s portable and lightweight yet still durable and stable. It’s a three-person kayak with a 650 lb. Capacity and weighs 26 lbs. This model is best used as a white water kayak.

This great kayak comes with two movable and comfortable deluxe kayak seats that add back comfort. It also comes with a foot pump, two paddles, and a carry bag that makes convenient transportation.

Additionally, the sea Eagle has two skegs located on the lower part for proper tracking. The Sea Eagle features compact measurements of 19 inches by 11 inches by 39 inches and weighs just 49 pounds.

Things We Liked

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Stable and durable

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The inflatable seats are terrible

Driftsun Voyager Tandem Kayak

This fantastic kayak from Driftsun is one of the best tandem kayaks out there. It offers real value for money and is arguably the best for recreational activities. It’s an inflatable kayak, making it easy to transport in and out of water. Despite the light weight, the kayak maneuvers stably on water.

The kayak features a Tarpaulin and Heavy-duty bottom, making it puncture resistant. Also, it has a durable 840D coated fabric top cover that’s tear and rip-resistant. The kayak comes with a double Boston air valve that ensures that air won’t leak.

Additionally, it has three air chambers that add safety in case the boat gets a puncture. This kayak comes with everything used for paddling: two aluminum paddles, a pair of EVA padded seats, a deluxe action hand pump, a travel bag, rear tracking film.

Things We Liked

  • A quality kayak that inflates quickly
  • Comfortable seats

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No user instructions in the box
  • A bit short for two people

Perception Hi Life 11

Hi-life is an 11 feet boat for beginners that comes with a smooth tracking with enough stability to help you paddle as a SUP. This sit-on-top kayak has a fold-down seating mechanism and a cold storage section located beneath the seat where you can store your valuables while enjoying your trip.

It has a built-in tankwell for additional storage, and the center cup holder located on the front side of the seat for quick access. Perception Hi Life has swim decks that make a smooth re-entry and exit for pets and kids. The trackpads placed on the bow, stern and midship helps you put your footing during the paddle.

Also, the center rail that moves from the bow to the seat works as a slide track to help in mounting any accessories and functions as a carry handle to facilitate easy transport.

Things We Liked

  • Colder area for storage
  • Convenient for either sitting or standing
  • Comfortable seats

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Sways easily
  • Not suitable for big waves
  • Cup holder is not enclosed

Intex Excursion Pro

The Intex pro kayak comes with tough laminate PVC and a polyester core that’s highly resistant to sunlight, impact, and abrasion.

Furthermore, this kayak has aluminum oars with paddles on both ends to allow you to speed on the water quickly. The extended oars have sure grips for tight hold while paddling on the water. You can inflate this boat with less hassle to handle a weight of up to 400 pounds.

This fantastic kayak comes with two inflatable seats that provide welcome back comfort. Plus, the seats are designed to fit according to your stature. The mounting brackets help you fix the GPS units, swivel fishing stick holders, and even fish finders.

The removable skews help you maintain top stability as you move your craft across deep or shallow water. The back and front handles are essential in securing your boat along the shore using good ropes.

Things We Liked

  • Sturdy and resistant to damage
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Carrying bag included

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Very expensive

Lifetime Tamarack Angler

Are you looking for the best beginner kayak for fishing and general water cruising? The Lifetime Tamarack Angler is your best pick. It’s built with UV-protected and high-density polyethylene.

Additionally, this fishing kayak comes with numerous footrest positions designed for different size riders. It has an adjustable seatback that’s padded for additional comfort. This model also has rear and front shock cord straps.

This kayak has two mounted fishing rod holders and two six-inch storage compartments in the center and rear. it’s also worth noticing that this kayak is backed by a 5-year warranty.

Things We Liked

  • A fine beginner kayak
  • Five-year warranty
  • Durable

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive

Choosing the Best Kayak for Beginners in 2020

If you are buying your first kayak, it is common to make the mistake of not looking at the most critical technical points when buying a kayak. These are the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Stability

Greater length offers greater stability. Depending on where you are going to use the kayak, and for what, you can choose between a shorter and lighter model or a more extended and more stable alternative. Inflatable kayaks usually include rigid panels or aluminum arches, although the most stable will always be rigid kayaks.

  • Place of Use

If you are going to sail along the coast, you will need a kayak with rudder, fixed fin or skeg. If you are also going to surf kayaking, perhaps a model with a seat on the surface is better. In the case of river kayaks, it values ​​more factors such as stability or robustness, as well as maneuverability in turns. For recreational walks, consider a short kayak with a deep seat or a kayak with a top seat.

  • Type of Kayak

You can buy kayaks with seats on deck, and kayaks with seats with depth. For fishing and occasional recreation, I recommend the former.

  • Material

Polyethylene plastic is cheaper and abrasion-resistant, but it is also heavier and wears out in the sun. The ABS plastic is lighter and has better resistance to sunlight. The fiberglass or carbon kayaks stand out for their performance, hence why they are more expensive. You can also buy inflatable kayaks, which are a worthy consideration for beginners.

  • Capacity

It is essential to take the maximum weight recommended by the manufacturer, especially if you are going to use the kayak in a group or with equipment.

  • Seats and Comfort

The number of seats and a comfortable position is essential. Some kayaks are more comfortable than others, and you will potentially spend many hours sitting in the boat.

  • Dimensions

The higher the length, the more efficient navigation will be. Shorter kayaks spin better, so it all depends on the activity you are going to practice with your new kayak. The size of the cabin is small and comfortable one will give you more control and protection, while a large one makes it easier to enter and exit.

  • Weight

 A light kayak is more comfortable to transport. There are typically no significant differences in weight if you compare a lighter, inflatable kayak with a plastic one.


How Much Does a Kayak Cost?

The rigid Kayak type is the most expensive for its durability, strength, and speed. However, inflatable models are much cheaper.

Where to Buy a Kayak?

You can purchase kayaks from outdoor and adventure stores. However, shopping online using a retailer such as Amazon will typically save you a great deal of money.

How Do I Inflate A Kayak?

There are different ways to inflate a kayak. You can use a hand pump, a foot pump, or an electric pump.

Once you’ve made up your mind about the best beginner kayak for your needs, get out on the water as soon as possible. Don’t forget to share with us how your experience was!