The Best Kids Kayak for Safe Fun on the Water!

Best Kids Kayak

Last updated on January 7, 2023

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Are you planning to go kayaking with Kids? Then the best kids kayak is the right place for you. I know that rentals are common in most kayaking locations like ArizonaMarylandKansas City etc. However, it's a lot more convenient if you have your own kayak. Having your own kayak is a lot safer since you'll be sure that your pieces of equipment don't have defects which might lead to serious consequences.

This is ultimately true if you're kayaking with kids. Most kayaks in rental stores are only for adults and if there are any for kids, most are not in pristine condition. On the other hand you have to give the kids an exciting experience as well as the safety that is the ultimate objectives of the parents.

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You've found the right place if you're planning to buy a kayak for kids. Unlike others, this article won't be a mere review of products. What we will have today is an all in one discussion that will talk about reviews of the best kids kayak, buying guide, and facts.

Factors that should be considered while buying a kids kayak

It is important to buy kayaks for kids in the market so that they can have fun when in water. There are many factors that one should put into consideration when buying a kayak for kids. Some of these factors include;

Age of child

When you want to get your child the best, then you need to consider their age. Kids kayaks are designed differently for kids of different age groups.


Children's kayaks should be made from a material that can serve your kid to the fullest and which is also durable enough. It will not make sense if you buy a material that cannot serve your child through their activity while in water. The best materials with which to build kids' kayaks are aluminum and plastic.

Seat Type

Kids kayak can either have a seat with a backrest or without a backrest. If you go to the sea where they will be paddling against waves, then it is advisable to buy your child a seat that has a backrest so that they do not suffer from pain in their back when paddling.


Kids kayak come in different sizes depending on the age of your kid. You should find out the size of your child before buying them a kayak so that you can buy the one which suits them best.

Weight capacity

This is another important factor because kids at one point or the other would be using the kayak with their friends. The weight capacity should be checked before buying a kid's kayak so that your child does not overtop it and sink the kayak.

Kayak paddle for kids

You should buy your child a paddle that fits them well and comfortably. There are different sizes that you can choose from depending on your kid's age and height.

A kayak paddle for kids is a type of paddle that can be used to propel the kayak forward and also allows your child to maneuver it. This means buying a kayak with an adjustable paddle so that it can develop along with your kid.

Hull Shape To Be Kept In Mind

The hull shape is something that needs to be very carefully taken into consideration when it comes to buying kayaks for kids. The thing that you have to keep in mind here is the fact that this particular aspect of the kayak will determine how well your kid does when it comes to paddling them around. One should therefore not neglect the importance of doing proper research prior to making the actual purchase. The kayak that you buy should be such that it falls in line with your expectations it. Some of the various hull shapes available include the following:

Round – this particular type is known for being pretty stable. However, one must keep in mind that these are not very good in terms of tracking.

V-shape – these kayaks are known for their ability to track really well when compared to the round ones. However, this type is not very good in terms of stability.

Multihulls that feature flat bow and stern with high rocker in the middle area. This particular multi-hull design enables one to have the best of both worlds. This type is very good in terms of tracking as well as stability.

Catamaran – these are known for their ability to track reasonably well, however they are not very stable kayaks.

One should also pay attention to the direction that the kayak features its hull shapes. They can either be V-shape, which is the most common, or they could be tapered.


Since kids are always playing, you can buy them a cheap kayak which they would love to play with. This will mean buying within your budget but after checking all the above factors.

Types of Kids Kayak 

Smallest kids kayak

These are small-sized kayaks that are designed for children of specific age ranges. They can be used in cases where the kid is playing with other kids on the water or fishing with the adults.

Biggest kids kayak

There are also bigger-sized kayaks; they cannot be used by children but are more like teenagers. This type of kayak is for those children who already know how to paddle and they want a bigger kayak where they can use their friends.

Comparison Table of 10 Best Kids Kayak

We have analyzed top 10 Best kidskayak based on their dimensions, weight and other features like prices, power and everything. Here you go and pick the right one.

Top Editor's Pick For Kid's Kayak in 2023

Let's stop beating around the bush and head towards the review section of this article!

I know that there are lots of good kayaks sold online. Deciding which ones to buy might be mind breaking because each has its own unique and enticing features. To help, I've compiled 5 of the best kayak for children for you to narrow down your search.

Perception Kayaks Joyride 10 | Sit Inside Kayak for Adults and Kids | Recreational and Multi-Water Kayak with Selfie Slot | 10' | Déjà vu

Perception joyride 10 is an ocean blue colored kayak which is really suitable for kayaking in public and private beach resorts. However, this product's color isn't the reason why it's on this list. This kayak made it here because of its innovative features. The seats are very comfortable, it has a storage compartment (useful for bringing something while kayaking), and has a built-in phone holder (allows your kids to take selfies while kayaking without risking their phones to dropping).

  • Very stable suitable and is suitable for kayaking in beach resorts.
  • The built-in phone holder is remarkable since it allows one to take selfies without risking the phone to plunging in the deeps.
  • The cockpit is really spacious, claustrophobic kids and adults will have no trouble using this.
  • Slightly heavy. Kids ages 10-15 might find it impossible to carry or drag this.
  • Kids might not like the ocean blue color since it looks dull.

Perception Kayaks Hi Five | Sit on Top Kids Kayak for Kids up to 120 Lbs.| Youth Kayak with Paddle | 6' 6" | Sunset

The award-winning Hi Life is now available as a sit on top kayak for kids! From the team that brought you the best-selling Perception Sport Sit On Top kayaks, the Hi Five is designed to be a hybrid approach to kids kayaking. It can be paddled standing or sitting and comes with a bright yellow, perfectly kid sized paddle. The elevated seat makes sit on paddling easy while the large front deck area is perfect for standing up and paddling. The rear swim-up deck makes climbing on board easy and the Perception Hi Five is the perfect kayak for kids up to 120 pounds. This sit-on-top kids kayak comes with a bright yellow, perfectly kid-sized, 2- piece paddle that features smaller blades and handles diameter for small hands.  The kid hitch & tether option - front solo mount location provides a quick teth.

 This kids kayak is perfect for kids who want to have all the fun of kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding combined into one package. Order your Perception Hi Five today!

Perception Kayaks Hi Five | Sit on Top Kids Kayak for Kids up to 120 Lbs.| Youth Kayak with Paddle | 6' 6" | Sunset
  • Comes with a kid sized paddle.
  • Easy to sit on and paddle.
  • Large front deck area.
  • Rear swim-up deck makes it easy to get on board.
  • None!

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle, 6 Feet, Green

The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is specifically designed for kids ages 5 and up, with a weight capacity of 130 lbs. At only 18 lbs, it's lightweight and easy to transport, with molded finger handles on each side. The sloped end with swim-up step allows the rider to easily re-enter the kayak from the water, and the twin fin design assists in tracking and surf riding. It's constructed of high density polyethylene for superior strength and durability, with UV protection to prevent fading, cracking, or peeling. Multiple footrest positions accommodate different size riders, and it comes with a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty.

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle, 6 Feet, Green
  • Perfect for kids of all ages.
  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Durable HDPE construction.
  • UV protection to prevent fading, cracking, or peeling.
  • Multiple footrest positions to accommodate different size riders.
  • 5-year limited manufacturer warranty.
  • Uncomforting backrest.

Kayak Lifetime, 6', Youth, with Bonus Paddle

This kayak is amazing! I bought it for my son and we have had a blast. It is very stable, easy to use, and great quality. The seat is comfortable and the paddle that comes with it is nice too. My son loves going out on this kayak every day! We are so happy with this purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good kayak for kids!

The Lifetime Wave Kayak is a great kayak for kids ages 5 and up, or up to 130 lbs. The wide stance provides a stable paddling platform to keep your child safely in the kayak. Its sloped back end and swim-up step allows the rider to easily re-enter the kayak from the water. With scupper holes, multiple footrest positions, and great stability, this kayak is perfect for kid's recreational paddling.

Kayak Lifetime, 6', Youth, with Bonus Paddle
  • Stable and easy to use.
  • Great quality.
  • Comfortable seat.
  • Paddle included.
  • Perfect for kids ages 5 and up
  • No backrest available

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

The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is a great introduction to the sport of kayaking. Made with an ergonomic cockpit design and molded finger handles on each side, it’s easy for kids to sit in and maneuver. The reverse chine provides enhanced stability with a swim-up step that makes it easier for kids to get in and out of the water. An adjustable seat back allows you to customize the fit based on your child’s height while a built-in carry handle makes transport simple.

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak (Paddle Included), Blue, 6'
  • Ergonomic cockpit design is easy for kids to use.
  • Molded finger handles on each side.
  • Reverse chine for enhanced stability.
  • Swim-up step makes it easy to get in and out of the water.
  • Adjustable seat back.
  • Built-in carry handle.
  • Some kids may find the kayak too tippy.

Lifetime 90479 Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle, Orange

This Lifetime 90479 Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle is perfect for kids ages 5 and up, or up to 130 lbs. It only weighs 18 lbs., has molded finger handles on each side for easy transport, a sloped back end and swim-up step that allow the rider to easily re-enter the kayak from the water, and multiple footrest positions for different size riders. The reverse chine enhances stability, and it's backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty.

Lifetime 90479 Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle, Orange
  • Perfect for kids ages 5 and up.
  • Weighs only 18 lbs.
  • Molded finger handles for easy transport
  • Sloped back end and swim-up step for easy re-entry into the kayak
  • Multiple footrest positions for different size riders
  • Reverse chine enhances stability.
  • Backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty.
  • Some users have reported that the kayak is difficult to turn.
  • May tip over easily if not used correctly.

Rave sports sea rebel is perhaps the best inflatable kayak. It's very sturdy after inflated and highly portable when deflated. You should go for this product if you're looking for a kayak that's easy to store and carry around.

Another notable feature of this product is that it's very easy to inflate. Ten-year-olds will not have any difficulties inflating this kayak because no awkward folding or bulging occurs.

Lastly, I find it really assuring that manufacturers built this kayak for endurance. It's made of at least three layers of different materials which ensures that it won't tear easily when it comes into contact with sharp objects such as floating branches or protruding rocks.

  • Durable and won't tear easily.
  • Easy to store and carry around
  • Needs to be inflated thoroughly to avoid sinking.

Old Town Heron 9XT Recreational Kayak (Photic, 9 Feet 6 Inches)

What you will love about this kayak is its minimalist design. The design of Old Town Heron Junior recreational kayak only showcase features that are really useful. It did away with all the fancy curves and additional features that more expensive kayak has. As a result, this kayak is very lightweight and very maneuverable.

This might be the kayak that you need if you're planning to teach your kids how to kayak, The tag along tow system will allow you to attach this kayak to your own kayak using a rope. This ensures that your kids won't stray far from you while kayaking.

  • A minimalist design which makes this kayak lightweight.
  • Tag along tow system makes this the ideal kayak for teaching kids the beauty of kayaking as a hobby.
  • Lacks innovative features that others kayaks have
  • Cannot be installed with additional accessories such as selfie holder, storage compartment, fishing rods, etc.

Intex Explorer 300, 3-Person Inflatable Boat Set with French Oars and High Output Air-Pump

On a personal note, I wasn't really expecting anything from this product when it was delivered on my doorstops. There are 2 reasons why I decided to try this. First, it has a lot of positive reviews even though it doesn't showcase a lot of features. Second, one of my kids asked for this product as a birthday gift since it's color is attractive.

Upon testing, Intex Explorer Inflatable surprised me. I really thought that it has poor kayaking performance because its cheap. However, I was wrong. I took this product for kayaking in rapid waters and it remained pretty stable. The paddles are really comfortable on the hands and the kayak itself doesn't swivel or attempt to tip.

At least two kids may ride on this kayak at the same time.

  • Cheap in price but not cheap in performance.
  • Holds up really well on strong waves or rapid waters.
  • Doesn't showcase a lot of useful additional features.

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump

Kids who want to try whitewater kayaking will love this Intex Challenge K1 kayak. It has a narrow design that allows its rider to dodge rocks and other obstacles, present in the water with ease. The paddle oars are light but sturdy which allows for powerful paddling action without feeling any strains on the hands, shoulders, and arms. You should go for this one if your kids are bugging you for a whitewater kayaking experience. This is one of the best kids kayak.

  • Highly maneuverable kayak.
  • Has highly noticeable graphics or colors which makes it for kayaking in locations where powerboats are commonly zooming around.
  • Very light.
  • Needs to be dried after deflating to be stored with ease.
  • Single skin inflatable kayak.

Kids Kayak Buying Guide

How did I arrive with the list of the best kayak for kids you ask? Actually making a list similar to the one above is a walk in the park if you know some of the important steps or considerations when planning to buy a kayak. In this section, I will show you what these considerations are so that you can make a list of your own if you want.

Compare Prices

Kayaks are sold at different price tags. Believe it or not, there are cheap kayaks that go toe to toe with expensive ones. It's important to compare prices so that your investment won't go to waste.

For example, the cheapest kayak in my review is Intex Explorer Inflatable Boat Series. Even though it's cheap, this kayak has uncompromising performance similar to more expensive items featured here.

The gist is you may avail a great kayak without spending too much if you compare prices before buying.

Reading Reviews Isn't Bad

This consideration is really important if you're planning to buy a kayak in online stores. Online reviews provide a great deal of information about a particular product. You can say that reviews give you a first-hand look on the item without even trying it personally.

The kayaks mentioned here have 5 or 4-star ratings on Amazon which pushed me to buy and draft a product review about them.

The Kayak's Size Must Be Proportionate With Your Kids' Size

Kayaks are available in different sizes. There are those which are specifically made for large people while there are varieties designed for smaller individuals. Before buying a kayak try to assess if the kayak is suitable for your kids' size. Ideally, your kids shouldn't use large kayaks since navigating will be hard for them. Also, your kids might have a hard time hauling the kayak out of the water if it's too big.

Another reason why the kayak must not be too huge for the kids is for safety purposes. Kids will find it hard to ride again on big kayaks in case they tip over. On the other hand, smaller ones are easy to mount again since your kids can easily haul themselves back to the cockpit or seat.

An Expensive Kid's Kayak Must Have Useful Additional Features

What if you're kids want a really expensive kayak? In this case, opt for the ones which have a lot of additional features. Expensive kayaks that have free durable paddles, swimming vests, storage compartments, built-in phone holders, and other freebies are recommended.

To prove my point, Perception Joyride 10 Sit Inside Kayak became part of my review because it has the additional features that great expensive kayaks should have. I've made a comparison with other kayaks of the same price range but none compares to perception joyride 10.

A Good Kayak Must At Allow 1 or 2 Kids to Ride It At The Same Time

Buying a kayak that 2 kids can ride at once will help you save money. Kayaking equipment aren't very cheap. Therefore, if you have two kids and you try to give they're their own individual kayaking stuff, expect that your finances will become significantly affected.

Also, giving kayaks to each of your kids won't do because carrying them from one location to the next might be a hassle.

Maneuverability is Very Important

Your final consideration is maneuverability. Always and always go for kid's kayaks that may be navigated easily. This means that they should be really comfortable to use and allows your kids to go in the direction that they want with ease. A kayak that's hard to navigate is useless because it will destroy the thrill that kayaking offers to children.

Maneuverability is also important if you're kids want to pursue kayaking as a recreational sport. It will help them learn the basic techniques needed to become a professional kayaker. Aside from this, it's important for safety since it will allow your kids to avoid boats, rocks, or floating debris.

Basic Kids Safety Guideline | How to Paddle with Your Kid Safely?

Safety comes first, especially when it comes to kids. For this reason, any parent or guardian who wants to expose their kids to water sports should be familiar with the common safety rules during activities involving waterways. Paddling is one of these exciting activities that can provide adventure and fun for both kids and parents so learning how to paddle with your kid safely is key.

There are common mishaps that can happen when paddling and some of them can be dangerous especially if the kid is not closely watched by a fellow adult or guardian.

Before you paddle, here are some basic safety measures to consider:

1. Prepare your child for the activity; let them know what to expect.

2. Keep your child within arm's reach at all times; an adult should be on either side of the kid while paddling.

3. Do not let the kid hang over the paddleboard, boat or kayak, especially if they are still small and unstable.

4. Wear a life jacket that will keep your kid afloat and safe in the water; it should be properly fitted, not too loose or tight.

5. Inform other boaters that kids will be around during your activity; use a flag to alert others and paddle far enough from shore for this purpose.

6. Avoid leaving your child alone while you go get help during emergencies such as an injury, loss of footing, exhaustion, etc.

7. If your kid is still learning how to paddle, go easy on them during their first attempts; little time in the water will make them tire easily and they may need assistance to remain safe under your watchful eyes.

8. Parents or guardians should be able to recognize signs of fatigue in their child; if they are too tired to continue paddling, find a safe spot to stop immediately.

9. Make sure that your kid has their own paddle(s) while learning how to paddle, not borrowed from adults or used longer/harder than they should.

10. Avoid running aground when possible; never cross through currents unless a tide chart or a guide can be reached for help.

Paddling is an exciting activity that should be pursued safely to avoid accidents and injuries, especially if it involves small kids who are still learning how to paddle. While there are no guaranteed mishaps that will happen when paddling with your kid, focusing on safety measures will better ensure that they will have a safe and enjoyable paddling experience.

Best Kids Kayak Q & A

1. What is the best kayak for kids? Inflatable, sit on top, or sit-in kayak?

The definition of the best kayak depends on your kids' kayaking experience. If your kids are beginners, I recommend that you go for sit-in kayak and inflatable kayaks because they're easier to control. Sit-on-top kayaks, on the other hand, will do well for kids who are about to learn more advanced kayaking skills.

2. What kayak should I buy?

Knowing the purpose of buying a kayak will help you answer this question. For example, if you're kids just want to kayak for fun, then an inflatable kayak is what you need since it doesn't require a lot of technical skills to be used. On the other hand, if you're kids want to try kayaking as a recreational sport, then you should buy a sit on top or sit-in kayak since they're harder to master and professional kayakers commonly use them.

3. Which kayak is the most stable?

Sit-in kayaks are the most stable since it has a cockpit that allows the user to balance with ease. If you're looking for stability, avoid buying inflatable kayaks or sit-on-top kayaks. Inflatable kayaks have the tendency to sink when not inflated well. On the other hand, sit-on-top kayaks, are designed in a way so that riders have to purposely balance themselves.

4. Which type of kayak is not recommended for small kids?

Never ever buy a sit-on-top kayak for your little one. Sit-on-top kayaks are difficult to use and are only suitable for kids ages 10 years old or more.

5. What is the best location for kayaking with kids?

Lakes, creeks, and streams are the ideal locations for kayaking with children. The calm waters of lakes are ideal for teaching kids how to paddle and ride the kayak properly. Creeks, and streams , on the other hand, are good for teaching children how to navigate their kayak.

When kayaking in streams or creeks, check if there are low head dams before kayaking. Most accidents that occur while kayaking are caused by these death machines which hides a vortex of unforgiving waters beneath. Kids caught in the mercy of low head dams have nil chances of survival even if they're wearing safety equipment.

6. Are Kayak Pools Good?

Absolutely! I really recommend that you teach kids how to kayak in kayak pools. They're a lot safer than lakes, creeks, or streams where accidents are bound to happen. Also, going to kayak pools will help you cut costs from traveling. If good kayaking sports are far from where you live, heading towards kayaking pools is a good alternative.

You can also have your own kayak pool if you have the money.

7. What Type Of Life Jackets Or PFD I Should Choose For My Kid For Kayaking?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the type of life jacket or PFD that you should choose for your kid will depend on a number of factors, including their age, weight, and height. However, there are a few general tips that can help you choose the right life jacket or PFD for your kid.

First, make sure that the life jacket or PFD is properly sized for your kid. It should be snug but not too tight, and it should allow them to move freely.

Second, consider the type of kayaking you'll be doing. If you'll be kayaking in calm waters, a less bulky life jacket or PFD may be fine. However, if you'll be kayaking in rougher waters, a more durable and heavy-duty life jacket or PFD may be a better choice.

Finally, always check the life jacket or PFD for any signs of wear and tear before using it. And make sure to regularly inspect it for any damage after use.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your kid stays safe while kayaking.

Parting Remarks:

There's no need for you to look further if you opt to try the products mentioned here. No need to be suspicious since the products that I've reviewed have a good reputation on other reviewers as well. Aside from this, the kayaks that I've introduced are products that you're kids will surely love.

Learn the considerations presented in the buying guide by heart and you will become an expert kayak buyer. You don't have to be picky but doing a little research before buying will help you a lot.

We're now at the end! I appreciate you staying with me. Pin my page on your favorites list and return soon!

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