Whether you’re out camping or are simply looking for something to do with your family, kayaking is a beginner-friendly activity that anyone can enjoy as long as you’re near a lake. Not only does kayaking bring the whole family together, but it is also extremely entertaining for the children. Just be sure to have all the right equipment, like rucksacks for hiking.
While it is important for everyone to look out for each other, the most important step before you even begin kayaking is to get safe kayaks that are reliable and durable. This way, you and your family can spend more time enjoying yourself instead of having to constantly worry about each other’s safety. Your next kayak adventure starts with these five kayaks that professionals prefer.
1. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
Intex is a reliable brand for kayaks and their Excursion pro Kayak is a popular choice. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it is also portable and easily stored. This inflatable kayak has seats for two with a polyester core that provides steadiness for kayakers while stopping tears and punctures. This kayak is also PVC laminated on the outside to aid durability.
This kayak is lightweight, can be inflated easily, and comes with accessories including seat belts and mounting racks. It supports up to 400 pounds of weight. That said, the kayak may get deflated after awhile. There have also been complaints about the pump spoiling too easily.
2. Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak
The Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak is an affordable kayak that is non-inflatable, unlike the Excursion Pro. It comes in different color variations to ensure that kayakers can be spotted out in the open waters. It features a storage space at the back as well as a convertible back support for maximum comfort while kayaking. This kayak is lightweight and is designed for smooth boarding and exiting of the craft. It emphasizes practicality as it has a removable cup holder and a holder for your paddles.
The downside to this option is that it can only hold up to 260 pounds of weight and can only be used in certain water bodies. Customers have also feedbacked that the kayak is not balanced.
3. Lifetime Tamarack Angler Kayak
The Tamarack Angler Kayak from Lifetime features a state of the art design which includes UV-blocking mediums as well as a layer of polyethylene exterior coating, a floor that aids stability, and maximum maneuvering control. It is also very lightweight.
For comfort, the kayak features adjustable footrests, a back, and bottom support, and multiple holders for fishing rods mounted on it. This kayak is ideal for fishing trips so do keep that in mind if fishing is your hobby. There is also plenty of storage space with one in the middle and one at the back. With two shock cords, T-handles, and chine rails, your ride is sure to be a comfortable and stable one. However, do note that there is only one seat in this kayak which can only hold a maximum weight of 275 pounds.
4. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Fishing Kayak
This kayak is great for fishing or kayaking adventures. The seats are adjustable and the vessel is fitted with an array of features like rod holders and storage compartments to make your trip comfortable. This one-person kayak is stable, weighs only 62 pounds, and can be spotted easily. For its weight, it can carry an impressive 425 pounds of weight. The Sea Ghost kayak is also fitted with a toe-rudder system that conserves your energy in turbulent conditions. A clear disadvantage is its price, coming in at almost $1,000.
5. Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak
This inflatable kayak is portable, versatile for different water bodies, reliable, and well-made. Not only is it light, but it can also support at most 550 pounds of weight. This craft is made for two people and is designed for strength, stability control, and durability.
The seats are built-in on this inflatable craft which makes setting up fairly easy. The seats are also adjustable and can even be modified to fit solo riders as well. The kayak also comes with a bag for easy transportation.
Coming in at $700, this can be a little pricey for an inflatable kayak. Reviewers also provided feedback on the deflation on long rides as well as the vessel being asymmetrical.
Tips when buying your kayak
First and foremost, ensure that the kayak can hold the weight that you’re intending to use it for. Next, consider storage options. This might seem trivial but it might save your life if you’re looking for some extra clothes or food for long trips. Ideally, kayaks should be lightweight. As a guide, most kayaks on the market weigh between 35 to 100 pounds. On top of the weight of the kayak, consider whether there are ergonomic features like handles and carry bags that make your life easier when you transport the craft.
It is also important to look at the material of the kayaks. Fiberglass is budget-friendly and long-lasting while Kevlar is even stronger and lighter but can cost a bomb. Crafts made of Royalex is a good compromise of price and quality. The material also plays a part in the weight of the craft so do keep that in mind for the portability factor.
When it comes to safety, you should look out for features that enhance stability even in turbulent waters. Ensure that safety is emphasized in the design of the craft such as the presence of a sturdy base. Something less important is the add ons that come with the kayak. While the accessories can provide great comfort while kayaking, it should not be the one making or breaking your decision. Safety and control should always come first.
Another factor includes the choice between a sit-in or a top seat design. While storage and control are better in the former, leaving and boarding the craft is easier in the latter design. If you’re a kayaking beginner, you might not know that some kayaks cannot work in certain types of water bodies. Ensure that you check with the manufacturers before making the investment, if this information is not already provided. Inflatable kayaks are safe but there are some factors you can consider to maximize their safety rating. They are the manufacturer, durability of the material, weight capacity, and types of water bodies approved for the craft.
As you can tell, there are plenty of factors to consider when buying a kayak. There is the price, durability, safety ratings, approval for different water bodies, weight capacity, portability, storage, etc. You need to establish your needs and priorities so that you can choose the kayak that best meets those needs. On our list, the Advanced Elements Inflatable kayak is the closest to the best compromise of all the factors we discussed. Of course, your top pick might differ from ours but that’s alright. As long as it works for you and your family or friends, everyone is in for a safe and fun kayaking time on their next adventure!