Best Kayaks For Beginners of 2022 | Editors Choice

Best Kayaks For Beginners

Last updated on July 16, 2022

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If you are in a search for the best kayaks for beginners you are in the right place. Kayaks for beginners have certain characteristics in common, such as greater stability and enhanced safety features.

Before finalizing your decision, make sure you are aware of your personal needs and skills. Every kayak model listed below has been chosen by experienced users, and it has some advantages and disadvantages, as well as different performance and characteristics.

Except for needs and wishes, buyers should consider transportation possibilities and kayak weight. To make a right and well-informed decision for kayak purchase, read the following chapters.


Comparison Table of Best Kayak For Beginners

In a nutshell I will be talking about the most of the following products. Click it if you're in a hurry and check it out on Amazon.

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Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak (Blue, 10-Feet)
Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak (Paddle Included), Blue, 6'
Pelican - Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak - Sit-in - Lightweight one Person Kayak - 10ft
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Blue, 8'7" x 3'
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output...
AIRHEAD MONTANA Kayak, 1 person
Dimension
120 x 30 x 13 inches
72 x 24 x 9 inches
120 x 28 x 14 inches
103 x 36 x 30 inches
138 x 30 x 15 inches
26 x 18 x 8 inches
Kayak Weight
40 Pounds
18 Pounds
36 Pounds
18 Pounds
33.53 Pounds
27 Pounds
Material
Hard Shell
Hard Shell
Plastic
Polyester
Inflatable
Inflatable
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Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak (Blue, 10-Feet)
Dimension
120 x 30 x 13 inches
Kayak Weight
40 Pounds
Material
Hard Shell
More info.
Product Name
Image
Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak (Paddle Included), Blue, 6'
Dimension
72 x 24 x 9 inches
Kayak Weight
18 Pounds
Material
Hard Shell
More info.
Product Name
Image
Pelican - Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak - Sit-in - Lightweight one Person Kayak - 10ft
Dimension
120 x 28 x 14 inches
Kayak Weight
36 Pounds
Material
Plastic
More info.
Product Name
Image
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Blue, 8'7" x 3'
Dimension
103 x 36 x 30 inches
Kayak Weight
18 Pounds
Material
Polyester
More info.
Best Seller
Image
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output...
Dimension
138 x 30 x 15 inches
Kayak Weight
33.53 Pounds
Material
Inflatable
More info.
Image
AIRHEAD MONTANA Kayak, 1 person
Dimension
26 x 18 x 8 inches
Kayak Weight
27 Pounds
Material
Inflatable
More info.

Expert Reviews on 7 best Best Kayak For Beginners with pros & cons


1. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10: Best Kayaks For Beginners

This sit-in, one-person kayak, is suitable for recreational kayaking on lakes and rivers. Some of the features included are paddle holder, adjustable foot braces, protective thigh pads, and adjustable padded seat that provides comfort. Carrying handles make it easier to transport the kayak. Storage space is large enough to accommodate all the necessary equipment. The material used in the production of this model Sun Dolphin Aruaba 10 is UV stabilized Fortiflex, which is highly durable and dependable. This is a best kayaks for beginners I think.

Pros
  • Limited lifetime warranty.
  • Separate water-bottle holder.
  • Made of UV Polyethylene material.
  • Adjustable foot braces.
Cons
  • Relatively heavy .
  • Suited only for slow rivers.

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak (Paddle Included), Blue, 6'

Only 6 feet long, this kayak is made of high-density polyethylene. It is highly durable and strong & also is a lightweight kayak. Molded side handles make it easy to carry for a single person. A double-sided paddle is included. According to the manufacturer, this kayak is suitable for children, 5 years and up, due to increased stability and control. It should be used in steady waters. As the capacity is just 130 pounds, this kayak is not meant to be used by adults. This kayak has a swim-up step that enables easy re-entering in case of a fall. This is one of the best beginner kayak.

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak (Paddle Included), Blue, 6'
Pros
  • Lightweight - 18 pounds.
  • Wide stance makes paddling platform very stable.
  • The footrest can be adjusted in multiple positions.
  • Small enough to fit in the back of the truck.
Cons
  • Too small for taller children despite the fact they weigh less than 130 pounds.                                                   

Pelican - Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak - Sit-in - Lightweight one Person Kayak - 10ft

This sit-in, one-person kayak, is suitable for recreational kayaking on lakes and rivers. Some of the features included are paddle holder, adjustable foot braces, protective thigh pads, and adjustable padded seat that provides comfort. Carrying handles make it easier to transport the kayak. Storage space is large enough to accommodate all the necessary equipment. The ERGOFORM Seating System includes an adjustable padded backrest cushion and a padded seat cushion providing better support.

Pelican - Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak - Sit-in - Lightweight one Person Kayak - 10ft
Pros
  • Lightweight & easy to carry.
  • Adjustable foot braces.
  • Separate water-bottle holder.
  • It's easy to enter and exit.
Cons
  • Suited only for slow rivers otherwise moves very slowly.
  • Very narrow with a very sharp angle that obstructs primary stability.          

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Blue, 8'7" x 3'

SevylorQuikpak is easy to use and more setup options. It is also made of a very durable PVC material to make it last longer and not break even if it hits the rocks or the curbs. Aside from that, it has a tarpaulin bottom, which gives it extra protection from sharp objects that might puncture its body. For additional security, it has a couple of air chambers that allow the boat to stay on the water in case of damage.

 If you're asking for a fully functional and durable boat, this is the one for you. Aside from the protective features mentioned above, it also has its airtight system, which helps prevent leakage. To add to the overall ease of use, it has a double lock valve for quick inflation and deflation. This one of the best sit on top kayaks.

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Blue, 8'7" x 3'
Pros
  • Made of puncture-resistant PVC material.
  • Complete with a hand pump and aluminum paddle.
  • Guaranteed by Airtight System for not to leak.
Cons
  • Poor paddle build quality.
  • Quite too expensive for an inflatable kayak.

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air-Pump, Grey/Blue (68306NP)

This two-person Intex Challenger, inflatable kayak, is made to be used on slow-moving waters. It is extremely stable due to extremely buoyant side chambers, and also very comfortable. Large, inflatable, adjustable seat ensures maximum comfort. A front cargo net is big enough to enable all the necessary equipment storage. Aluminum paddle (86 inch), repair kit, and Hi output manual hand pump are included. Vinyl construction is rugged end this kayak is reasonably firm and durable. Inflating/deflating is fast and efficient. Directional stability is provided by removable SKEG. Inflatable I-beam floor ensures rigidity. Three separate chambers with Boston valves can inflate and deflate quickly. Except for the hand pump, this model is sold together with two 86 inch aluminum paddles. It is ideal for couples or a parent with a child, for exploring lakes and calm rivers.

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air-Pump, Grey/Blue (68306NP)
Pros
  • Handles that enable one-person carrying.
  • Puncture-resistant vinyl is highly durable.
  • Removable and adjustable Seat & Skeg.
Cons
  • For storing two-person equipment, space is limited.
  • The paddles are not adjustable.

AIRHEAD MONTANA Kayak, 1 person

Portable, inflatable, two-person kayak is ideal for steady waters, as well as for some moderate white-water adventures. Three separate air chambers are enclosed and protected with UV and water-resistant layer. Four bottom fins ensure stability, speed, and low-drag. Tri-laminate bottom reinforcement makes it extremely durable. When packed, this kayak is small enough to be transported anywhere, even to less accessible areas. It is ideal for camping trips or to be taken on a larger boat and used for local exploring. Side handles are suitable for carrying an inflated kayak, which is easily manageable. This should also be the best kayaks for beginners choice.

AIRHEAD MONTANA Kayak, 1 person
Pros
  • High stability, compact & easily portable.
  • Relatively lightweight (36.3 pounds) with high capacity (500 pounds).
  • Movable and removable inflatable seats which provide superb back support.
  • Can be transported in a trunk of your car.
Cons
  • Limited storage space.
  • Short warranty period.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak

This 2-person, inflatable, fishing kayak, is made for lake use. Tarpaulin bottom, together with nylon cover makes it highly resistant to any kind of puncture which can occur during fishing trips. If one chamber is punctured, the kayak will not lose its properties as it is constructed with multiple air chambers for enhanced safety. Storage pockets and D-rings provide plenty of storage space. This kayak is equipped with paddle and fishing rod holders, as well as the trolling motor fittings. Adjustable seats offer a comfortable sitting position for both users.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak
Pros
  • NMMA (National Marine Manufacturer`s Association) Certified.
  • Extremely high capacity (470 pounds).
  • Made for rough use.
  • Guaranteed by Airtight System for not to leak..
Cons
  • Fishing rod holders can get in the way of a paddle when paddling.
  • Little tight with two people.

Buyers Guide For Choosing Best Kayaks 

When buying a kayak, beginners should pay attention to the following:

Characteristics of different kayak types

Inflatable ones are ideal for users who often go camping to remote areas or travel a lot and would like to bring their kayak with them. They can be transported in a trunk and there is no need for a rooftop rack on top of the car. One person can easily handle them and they are easy to store in smaller houses/apartments. Inflatable kayaks are very stable, suitable for children, and the price is quite reasonable. The main downside is that inflatable kayaks prone to punctures and tears.

Sit-on-top models are stable, suitable for children, and easy to use. Some models can even be stacked one on top of the other for easier storage. In the case of a fall, it is relatively easy to get back on the kayak from the water. These kayaks are heavier than inflatable ones and harder to carry. They also require rooftop racks for car transport.

Sit-in models are not suitable for small children and most of the sit-in models are made for more experienced users. However, some models are suitable for beginners. Sit-in models have greater maneuverability due to more round hull shape. Same as sit-on-top, they have to be mounted on a rooftop rack.

Both sit-on-top and sit-in models are more resistant and have higher durability. All three types of kayaks have models available for beginners.

Type of water surface and usage

The model of a kayak you should purchase depends on where do you plan to use it. All of them can be used in small and calm lakes. Some models are suitable for moderate white-water.

Ask yourself how much time do you plan to spend kayaking? If you are going on longer trips, make sure you choose a model with plenty of storage space for food, water, and everything you may need during the day. For prolonged usage, kayak should be very comfortable.

Some recreational models, such as the ones listed above, should be used near the coastline only.

If you are planning to use your kayak at sea, make sure all the metal parts are rust-resistant. For this kind of usage, longer and wider models are recommended.

Length, width, and capacity

When thinking about what are the best kayaks for beginners you should take size into consideration. If you have a chance, try to sit in it. The seat should be comfortable and pleasant. Some kayak models are more suitable for short people, some for tall. It is also a matter of personal preference and what position you consider to be the most comfortable.

The wider it is the more space you have. Also, wider models usually have greater stability. The longer the kayak is, it will have more storage space.

When considering capacity, don't forget about all of the equipment you plan to carry. It adds up to your weight and if that number is close to maximum capacity, it could cause a decrease in stability and control.

If you are buying a two-person model, make sure it is large enough to accommodate two adults and associated equipment.


Additional information

When thinking about kayaking, numerous questions appear. Here we are going to answer those frequently asked by inexperienced users.

Can I use kayaks for fishing?

The answer is definitely yes. But not any kind of kayak. If you are considering to buy an inflatable fishing kayak, make sure you choose the model specially made for that purpose. They have a greater puncture resistance and multiple air chambers for enhanced safety. Some of the standard parts of fishing kayaks are fishing rod holders and numerous storage spaces. These types of kayaks usually have greater capacity.

Sit on top models of fishing kayaks are also available on the market. Unlike recreational models, those also feature rod holders, storage space, and much more. Make sure you do proper research before purchasing.

Also, boat angling is forbidden in some lakes and rivers where both recreational kayaking and fishing from the shore are permitted. Always check the local rules and regulations.

Are kayaks good for exercise?

Kayaks are great for exercise, especially for people who have sensitive legs and shouldn't put pressure on them. Kayaking strengthens the upper body, including back and arms, which is extremely useful for people working long office hours while sitting in an irregular position. Paddling at a higher pace is an excellent aerobic exercise.

Make sure your moves are controlled in order to avoid injuries.

Are kayaks safe?

Kayaks are both fun and safe, especially if used in calm and steady waters. Some models are even produced specifically for children. Make sure you always have protective gear, including life-vest. Follow the recommendations given by the manufacturer when it comes to kayak usage. If kayaking alone, always inform someone about your plans, route, and expected return time.

Some additional tips are to always use sun protection lotion and a hat. If the water is cold use a waterproof suit. Avoid kayaking during bad weather.

Is kayaking easy to learn?

For the first time, choose a small pond or a lake with still water. A bright and sunny day with no wind would be ideal. Adjust the seat, footrest, and protect any belongings by storing them in a dry bag.

Hold the paddle in a way that blades are in lined. Control your motion and start slowly. Make sure the blades get under the water, avoid splashing them on the surface.

If there is wind, paddle upwind, it will be easier to get back to the starting point downwind. Set a reachable goal.

With a little practice, you will get much better and more confident. Recreational kayaking is not complicated or hard.

Is kayaking expensive?

Professional, competition-grade, kayaks are quite pricey. On the other hand, recreational models are sold at reasonable prices. Inflatable ones are usually cheaper and they are a great beginner option. Reputable manufacturers have quality entry-level models, and by choosing one of those you can't go wrong. Some models are sold with paddles included in the price. Except for kayak and a paddle, you should buy a life-vest, as that is an essential part of kayaking equipment.


Final Verdict

Kayaking is a very appealing recreational activity that is becoming more and more popular. The most important aspect for a beginner is to adequately choose among the best kayaks for beginners. Numerous models of various manufacturers are available on the market. Future kayakers have to evaluate different types of kayaks and choose a model accordingly. If you choose one of the seven models mentioned, rest assured you are buying a quality product. By following instructions mentioned in this article you should be able to decide which kayak completely suits your needs.

Make sure to take care of safety and enjoy your future kayaking adventures.

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