Here at Best Cheap Kayaks it is our goal to help you make the very best choice when purchasing a kayak. We do all of the upfront research and reviews to help you make a budget friendly purchase. Enjoy more time on the water with more money in your pockets!
Kayaking as a form of recreational sports is gaining popularity in many parts of the world. It is a sport that appeals to individuals who have diverse interests. The main types of kayaking that are currently prevalent are whitewater kayaking, recreational kayaking, sea kayaking and fishing kayaking.
A kayak is a narrow and small boat that is manually propelled by a human being with the help of a double blade paddle. The deck of a kayak is covered and certain kayaks have more than one cockpit, to seat the kayakers or paddlers. The kayak had its origin among Eskimo hunters in the Arctic regions of North America, Greenland, and Asia.
Modern kayaks come in different models depending on their functionality or intended use. The most important consideration while choosing the best cheap kayak is to decide the one that will suit a specific paddling environment. Whereas some kayakers would prefer touring lazy rivers, others would like to surf the rough seas and yet others would want to go fishing. Other consideration include whether the kayaker is going solo or with a partner, will there be children accompanying the kayaker, the cost, etc. This article aims to list the purpose and benefits of the following different types of kayaks that can help anyone to choose the best cheap kayaks.
Best Cheap Inflatable Kayaks
These kayaks are easily portable, can be carried by hand inside a bag. These hybrid kayaks are made of specialized PVC, nylon or Kevlar knitted fabrics. They can be easily inflated using electric or hand or foot pumps. They use low pressure air of less than 3 psi. Such kayaks are used on calm bays or for advanced river kayaking. They are reasonably stable and easy to master. They can be compactly put away when not in use. Modern inflatable kayaks having multiple sections are being designed with a view to reduce weight and increase portability.
- Nimble, durable kayak is made of durable welded material
- Eye-catching graphics for added safety on the lake or slow-moving river
- Cockpit is designed for comfort and maximized space
- Inflatable I-beam floors add stability
- Cargo net to store extra gear
- Grab line on both ends of kayak;
- Inflatable seat with backrest
- Comes with 84-inch aluminum oar, high-output hand pump, and repair patch
- 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 Reviews
“My husband I enjoy kayaking and once we saw the prices of fiberglass kayaks, we hesitated to buy. I saw this inflatable kayak on Amazon and showed my husband who told me not to get it because they would puncture easily and blow away or fill up with water quickly- he could not have been any more wrong. After purchasing two, we took them on their maiden voyage today and both of us were very surprised; they were easy and quick to inflate and navigated perfectly in the water. The material of the kayak is very thick and durable and I am in the process of having all of our friends purchase this item as well.”
“This is the best deal I could have possibly gotten for a kayak. All the other problems i read about in inflatable kayaks were nonexistent in this kayak.I read a review for some 300 dollar inflatable kayak where the bottom leaks water into the kayak. After taking this kayak for a ride today, this complaint seems ridiculous. The kayak was well built. It never filled with water. I ran over rocks and it did not tear, and it was really comfortable. I’m 5’9 but i am sure it could fit someone around 6’2 without the foot rest thing. It inflates really quickly for its size, although the pump is kinda cheaply made. The paddle is great too. It tracks pretty well while you paddle, but will drift if you stop paddling for too long. I just wanna add that it comes with a cargo net on the bow of the boat which is not in the picture but this is a bonus. This is a HUGE STEAL! Buy this kayak.”
Best Cheap Tandem Kayaks
A tandem kayak can seat two paddlers at a time. Tandem kayaks are used for recreational purposes and usually used by seasoned enthusiasts. It is not easy for two beginner kayakers to paddle together in a synchronized fashion. Trying to learn kayaking using a tandem is a slower process.
A tandem is very useful when taking a family member or friend who is uncomfortable on the water. Tandems are also very stable. However, if they do roll over, they fill up with a lot of water and rescues become difficult.
Tandem kayaks are heavy and their weight is usually between 75 and 100 pounds. Tandem kayaks made of either fiberglass or Kevlar are also reasonably heavy. Manufacturers usually make plastic tandem kayaks up to a length of only 13 feet. However, tandems made of composite materials go up to 23 feet in length. Usually cost savings gained from using a lighter material is compensated by the length of the tandem kayak. Some enthusiasts opt for shorter tandems to reduce the weight. It is important to note the fact that shorter tandems are less stable than longer ones. Tandem kayaks are difficult to resell if you own one. Solo kayaks are the most preferred ones in the market.
- Kayak offers two people a sleek, easy-paddling, and highly portable craft to explore lakes and easy rivers
- Made of company’s rugged, Super-Tough vinyl that’s puncture- and UV damage-resistant for long term durability
- High visibility graphics allow others to see you easily on the water, and craft is US Coast Guard approved
- Measures 30 by 15 by 138 inches (W x H x D) inflated, with 350-pound maximum weight limit
- Includes two 84-inch aluminum oars, high-capacity pump, and repair patch kit
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Reviews
“I like this kayak a lot it was fun to take it out today and it handled well.I didn’t expect it to come with a good pump 2 paddles, a patch kit, inflation ruler and carry bag. I also own a Savylor Tahiti I bought a year ago. I had to purchase all the other gear for the Tahiti.I got this kayak because me and my girl friend are a little bigger and where over the weight limit of our Tahiti now we both have a kayak. I think this one actually tracks a little nicer then the Tahiti but its build quality is a little weaker. This kayak really feels and handles in the water more like a real one compared to the Tahiti handles more like a canoe.Both kayaks will spin if not handled carefully or if used in high winds.I see all the bad reviews complaining about Intex but heck for 65 bucks they cant afford to provide support.Heck the accessory s alone would cost you 57 dollars if purchased separately.”
“I ordered this kayak over the sevylor tahiti because it was a lot cheaper, and it already included all the accessories needed to go into the water. So it already included 2 dual sided paddles, a manual pump (which works unbelievably well, it took me about 10 minutes to have the boat fully inflated), and it also included patches so you can do your own repairs.
The very first time i took it out of the water i was very impressed with it! I read a lot of reviews here complaining about its tracking. It almost drove me away from buying this product, but now i am very happy that i ended up buying it. The tracking problem is an issue if u take it out when its very windy. For instance, if a gust of wind blows from your side, it can spin you around, but it can easily be countered by paddling the right way to counter-act the spin. Hope this makes sense.
The quality of the boat is very impressive as well. Overall, I am very happy with this buy, and would easily recommend it to anyone looking for a nice boat to take out on the lake for a fun weekend. For the price i paid for (70$), you really cant complain about anything. It was an absolutely amazing deal!”
Best Cheap Ocean Kayaks
Ocean kayaks were so called to distinguish them from other kayaks that were used in rivers. Ocean kayaks are stable and can be used even by beginners who are learning to paddle. Manufactured of fiberglass or polyethylene they are cheaper than certain other types of kayak. Some ocean kayaks are designed in such a manner that the cockpit does not get filled with water when the kayak capsizes. Re-entry is also easier and less traumatic. Ocean kayaks are manufactured to have more hull width. This helps them to handle rough waters easily.
- Capacity: Seats one adult, 275-325 lbs capacity
- 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: Large comfortable molded-in seat and molded-in foot braces
- Storage: Stern tank well with removeable bungees, bow deck bungee
- Additional Features: Bow and stern carry handles, molded-in cup holder
Ocean Kayak 9-Feet Frenzy Reviews
“This is my first kayak, and what a great beginner yak. We use it for camping and just load it into our RV. Although I do think it is larger than I thought it would be making it difficult to handle myself. However for two transporting is great. I plan on using it to try some fishing on the lake this fall. All and all great for the lake and it is hard to tip. We are very happy with this purchase and I would recommand. I did do research on a kayak before I purchased. some of the other retailers have cheaper pricing, but when you add in the shipping ( free with Amazom ) Amazon was the cheapest by far!”
“I was looking for a light/easy to handle kayak to play in the surf while I was with my kids at the beach and the 9 foot frenzy seemed like a good choice. I have had this kayak for five months and it has fit the need perfectly. I have paddled other sit on tops from Necky and Perception, but for the price the Ocean Kayak was an easy choice.
General Impressions: It is wide and stable and makes getting out through the surf easy for even novice paddlers. The tri hull design has a rounded keel that runs the length of the kayak which helps this track well even under hard paddling. The formed in seat is quite comfortable enough for sessions up to two hours and the foot wells provide plenty of area for your feet when rough conditions require a lean and hard paddle or bracing. The kayak loads easily due to its low weight and I use foam blocks on the roof of my SUV to strap it down because the width and shape of the hull don’t seem to work well with the hully rollers I use on the other kayaks. (The foam blocks are available from Amazon. I use the kit from Seattle Sports, comes with straps and carrying bag – a must if you don’t have a rack! For this kayak you would want to purchase the wide blocks – 18 inches.)”
Best Cheap Sit-on-Top Kayaks
Sit-on-top kayaks have been built with the recreational or beginner paddler in mind. Sit-on-top kayaks are mostly used for activities such as fishing, diving, touring, and surfing, or any other activity where the paddler needs to enter and exit the water fast. Here instead of sitting inside the kayak, the kayaker sits on a depression provided on the top surface of the kayak. They may also have to change positions of seating, and access storage wells and hatches. These kayaks are a trifle wider than the traditional kayaks, and are, therefore, slower. Sit-on-top kayaks are more comfortable and paddlers feel less confined. They come in single and two-paddler designs and modern sit-on-top kayaks have additional fittings like backrests.
- Designed for single or tandem use
- (2) 2-piece sport paddles included
- Fits up to 3 people
- Forward cargo area
- Tunnel hull design provides ultra stability and great tracking
- UV protected and will not fade or turn become bridle due to sunlight
- Durable and impact resistant
- Has Built in storage straps for loose items
- Has built in carrying handles
Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak Reviews
“I’m new to kayaking and bought this for my husband and 5 year old to ride with me (I bought a single top-rider for myself). Yesterday we had this out on the lake for the first time and we fit all three of us on the kayak. The kayak felt very stable on the water; I think you’d have to try pretty hard to tip it over. My daughter also ended up jumping over the edge toward the end and she got on and off with very little effort. If I had it to do all over again, I’d just get two of these instead of the single seat top-rider. It seems like it would work well with one, two or three riders.”
“I’m a first time kayaker, at the age of 50. This kayak is stable and easy to paddle. I’ve kayaked solo AND with my 61 year old aunt and it was enjoyable both ways! Easy to get in and out of, easy to maneuver in the water, easily put in and taken out of the water. It’s love, I tell you!!!”
Best Cheap Recreation Kayaks
Recreation kayaks can be used by beginner paddlers to learn whitewater skills. They can also be used by the seasoned paddlers to paddle down a river. They are comfortable and easily maneuverable. Recreation kayaks are longer than whitewater kayaks and can be used as moderate types of rivers. The recreation kayaks are not designed to do all the moves of the freestyle kayaks.
- Two-person inflatable kayak weighs just 26 pounds, but has 500-pound load capacity
- Constructed of puncture-resistant, extra-thick K-80 polykrylar hull material
- Nine-inch tubes, I-beam construction, and high-frequency welded seams; rated up to Class III whitewater
- Comes with inflatable spray skirts, inflatable front and rear seats, two oars, reliable foot pump, and carrying bag
- Includes limited three-year manufacturer’s warranty
Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak Review
“I cannot say enough good things about this kayak. I have owned mine since 2000 when I purchased it while living in Atlanta, GA. Inflation is simple, the bag properly stores everything you need, and the fit and finish of the boat are superb. In its time I have taken my Sea Eagle on calm lakes and rivers in the south numerous times without incident, but I have also tested it a fair amount. We have run it on Section III of the Chattooga in SC including Bull Sluice and also on the Nantahala including the Falls. While this is not the most demanding whitewater out there it is class II and III and I want to back up the mfr. claims that this boat can handle this water. We have also had it in the Atlantic Ocean numerous times and it’s a ton of fun to ride waves and crash if you’re not careful. We now live in Indianapolis and take it on the White River during the warm months and it is holding up just fine. I can recommend that if you are interested in this boat to look into alternative paddles, as my personal kayak paddle does a much better job for me than the included paddles. We also installed the skeg on the underside of the boat and have found that this improves the yaw of the boat considerably, although it is not a make or break addition. I hope this review helps anyone considering investing in one of these boats. Enjoy the water!”
“I tried out the 330 deluxe for the first time today and was impressed. I went to a local lake and set up on the beach. No one had a clue as I walked up with this bag what I was up to, as they were swimming. 7 or 8 minutes later, a kayak magically appears! That was fun in itself. It was easy to set up with the foot pump. It took 35 to 40 pumps to fill each of the 3 chambers, and no air escapes from the one way valves AT ALL. Then it’s just a couple of pumps each for the spray shields, and 4 to 5 pumps for each of the 2 seat chambers, also with one way valves, and your ready to fish. I test drove in the shallows for 3 or 4 minutes to get a feel for the kayak, which was the first time for me in any kayak, and I was off to the nearest patch of lilly pads, and within 10 minutes caught my first pickerel, and then bass out of my new sea eagle. Sure beats car topping a canoe. Then after 2 hrs., back to the beach, unscrew the valves, roll it up like a sleeping bag, put it in the duffle, and back in the pick-up. The deluxe seats are extremely confortable, very firm and support your back better than most office chairs, let alone canoe seats.This is a great way to fish any where you please,just on a whim. With no planning. Thats the only way to fish.”
Best Cheap Fishing Kayaks
Fishing kayaks are used to make forays into places where boats cannot reach out: inaccessible shorelines, reefs, shallow waters of the mangroves, etc. Fishing kayaks are very similar in design to sit-on-top kayaks. However, they are slightly wider to provide lateral stability. They are inexpensive and have lower maintenance costs. Customized fishing kayaks come with rod holders, GPS, solar panels and built-in tackle boxes among other facilities.
- Stable and efficient polyethylene hull with roomy cockpit and outfitting to make any angler smile!
- Adjustable padded Comfort Flex seat, thigh pads, and adjustable foor braces provide a comfortable seating area with excellent boat control
- Cockpit amenities include molded-in cockpit dash board, cup holder, and molded-in paddle park.
- Additional features include molded carry handles, Stern day-well for storage, and drain plug.
- Angler features include two behind-the-seat flush-mounted rod holders, anchor with trolley system, and deck bungee.
Old Town Vapor 10 Angler Fishing Kayak Reviews
“My Old Town Vapor 10 is awsome. I am new to kayaking and test drove both a sit in and a sit on top before making my purchase. I love the openness of the sit on but the warmth of the sit in. I decided on this kayak because of the open cockpit and I do not regret it at all. It’s like having a little of both types of kayaks. It is closed in enough that I stay warm in the cooler temps and is open enough to be able to feel the air circulating around me. I am able to recline back and put my feet up on top when I’ve been sitting too long for my legs. It’s very easy to reposition myself whenever I want to. The only thing I would change is the molded paddle rest is too far forward to be comfortable for me. I am 5’3″ so I have a shorter reach. I also weigh 210 lbs and still I do not sit down in the water very deeply. I use it for photography and it is very stable and tracks well. It is very comfortable and I can spend the whole day just putting around the edges of lakes shooting nature but when needed I can move across the water quickly and cleanly. I was actually able to move up beside a baby water turtle to within arms reach! I can’t say enough about this kayak and I would definatley recommend it. My husband even wants to take it from me and he’s 6’1″. There may be a 2nd Vapor in our future!”
“This Kayak is awesome! I was looking for something for myself so I could go fishing in the local pond and this kayak is perfect. Love the rod holders in the back and there is enough room in the cockpit for me and a big tackle box. It is almost as sturdy as being in a john boat but I wouldn’t try to stand up in it. The anchor is probaly the smallest one you can get so don’t count on it holding you in any real current, but it works for the most part. The day well does not come with a cover, but since I use it to hold my cooler I wouldn’t have a use for one. Seat is comfortable even after being out for 5 hours, also the thigh pads are a plus.”