Best Kayak For The Money

Do you want to go kayaking but are short on cash, or only have so much of a spending budget?  Then you’ve come to the right place - we have the solution.  

If you’ve been looking into this already, you may be concerned that kayaking is an expensive sport, but we’re very pleased to inform you that it doesn’t have to be.  You can get yourself a really good kayak without having to break the bank.

We can’t wait to show you our Top 6 good-value kayaks.  We’ve got some thorough product reviews on them coming up, and after that, we’ve got a buying guide for you which runs through everything you might want to think about before you settle on which one is best for you and your pocket.

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Best Kayak For The Money - Reviews

You don’t need to be a fisher to appreciate this sit on top fishing kayak.  It comes from Lifetime, a well-established brand in the field.

It has a good durable build, constructed of UV-protected high density polyethylene.

It’s really good for long stints out on the water because it’s so comfortable, with its Multiple Footrest Positions for Different Size Riders and Adjustable Padded Seat.

It’s easy to paddle, thanks to its stable flat bottom, deep hull tracking channels, and chine rails.

It’s one of Amazon’s bestsellers for the category, and as you may expect from such a popular brand and from a fishing kayak in particular, there’s room to stash your stuff.  Two 6 inch storage compartments, one at the back and one in the centre.

It’s also easy to transport, at 10 feet it will get in the back of most trucks, and there are handy T-handles at the front and back.

If you did want to go fishing with it, there are fishing rod holders available.

  • Length: 10 foot
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Weight: 52 pounds
  • Capacity: 275 pounds

You don’t need to be a fisher to appreciate this sit on top fishing kayak.  It comes from Lifetime, a well-established brand in the field.

It has a good durable build, constructed of UV-protected high density polyethylene.

It’s really good for long stints out on the water because it’s so comfortable, with its Multiple Footrest Positions for Different Size Riders and Adjustable Padded Seat.

It’s easy to paddle, thanks to its stable flat bottom, deep hull tracking channels, and chine rails.

It’s one of Amazon’s bestsellers for the category, and as you may expect from such a popular brand and from a fishing kayak in particular, there’s room to stash your stuff.  Two 6 inch storage compartments, one at the back and one in the centre.

It’s also easy to transport, at 10 feet it will get in the back of most trucks, and there are handy T-handles at the front and back.

If you did want to go fishing with it, there are fishing rod holders available.

  • Length: 10 foot
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Weight: 52 pounds
  • Capacity: 275 pounds

It’s no surprise to us that this kayak is flying off the shelves at Amazon.

It’s a sit-in inflatable kayak that can take the weight of 2 people, so you don’t have to do your kayaking alone!

However, if you did want to kayak by yourself, you can remove the second seat, and get more room for storage.

As it’s inflatable, you get great value for money - perfect for the budget conscious amongst us.

It’s rather stable for an inflatable, which is thanks to its removable skeg.

It comes with its own oars, and an air pump, so you can get kayaking as soon as your kit arrives.

It’s a nice bright yellow which may appeal to safety conscious kayakers who want high visibility in an emergency.

  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight: 30.6 pounds
  • Capacity: 400 pounds

The Aruba SIK from Sun Dolphin is perfect for flat water or lake use. At a length of 10 feet, it’s easy to maneuver around and convenient to transport, yet at the same time, it also features plenty of room to stow all your gear (whatever that might include).

It’s made from durable polyethylene plastic, and the seat is both padded and adjustable. There are also adjustable foot braces in the cockpit and protective thigh pads. Together this makes for super comfortable kayaking, and these features can also help you to keep the vessel stable.

There are other handy features, too. A storage hatch behind the seat for example, and a water bottle holder. There are even bungee cords on the deck, which is great for securing additional gear to the craft.

  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Capacity: 250 pounds

This youth’s kayak from Lifetime is 6 foot long and is designed for use for children of ages 5 and upwards, and for weights of up to 130 pounds.  It’s great for kids who are learning various paddling techniques in calm waters, or for a nice sunny day at the beach.

It’s a sit on top kayak made from durable UV protected polyethylene.

We love the stable hull, with its reverse chine which provides extra flip resistance. It also features self-bailing scupper holes in the cockpit area. 

There’s a swim-up platform, thanks to the sloped back deck, to help kids easily climb back on after a dip in the water.  And the kids will love the specially molded seat too.

  • Length: 6 foot
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Capacity: 130 pounds

What we love about the Vibe Skipjack 90 sit-on-top yak is just how stable and easy to use it is - great for beginners!

It’s very comfortable for a budget kayak - it’s deluxe seat features a padded bottom and adjustable seatback.  This is a nice feature when you’re on a long paddling session.

It’s really good for storage too, with a center storage hatch which will keep your small items dry and there’s also storage decks to boot, one at both the front and one at the rear.  And for even more storage options, there’s bungee rigging too.

What makes this a good kayak for taking fishing is it’s built-in rod holders.

We love that the price includes a paddle - when the box arrives you have everything you need to go kayaking!

  • Length: 9 foot
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Weight: 46 pounds
  • Capacity: 300 pounds

Best Kayak For The Money - Buyers Guide

Even when you don’t take your budget into account, there’s still a lot to consider when choosing your kayak.  Here are some of the more important factors you’ll want to consider.

  • How many people do you want using the kayak at any one time?
  • How often do you plan on using your kayak?
  • Do you intend to use if for long excursions or camping trips?
  • Will you be using it frequently for just an hour or so at a time?
  • Where do you want to take your kayak?  
  • What types of water do you want to take it to?
  • What’s the climate like where you want to take it?
  • Different Types of Kayaks

There are various different types of the kayak out on the market today, and your answers to the questions above will influence which type of kayak you should get.  Let’s walk you through the different types of kayak available.

Sit on Top Kayaks

With a sit on top kayak, known as a SOT for short, rather than the seat being closed within the hull, your seat is on top of the deck.

This arrangement makes for a great choice when your kayaking when it’s really hot, in the summer for example, or if you’re going somewhere naturally hot.

The drawback to these SOTs is that you’re more likely to get splashed by the surrounding water.  But many kayakers are ok with that because they’re happy to just be able to get in and out of the kayak so easily.

SOTs are available in a wide range of materials, and in a range of different styles too.  Out of them all, the most affordable type is the inflatable (plastic) recreational kayak.

Sit Inside Kayaks

Sit inside kayaks, SIKs for short, in contrast to SOTs, are far more traditional, and rather than be seated on top, the seat is enclosed within a cockpit within the kayak.

Again, as with SOTS, there’s plenty of variation amongst SIKs, and you can different sit inside kayaks for different purposes and situations, such as whitewater kayaking, racing, or kayaking out at sea.

Learning to enter and exit a SIK may take some time to learn since you have to be careful that the kayak doesn’t capsize as you redistribute your weight.

The materials a SIK is made from can vary according to its purpose, but as with SOTs, the most affordable ones are the plastic and inflatable variety.

Inflatable Kayaks

If you find yourself on a particularly tight budget, you may well go for an inflatable kayak.  

Inflatable kayaks are actually more durable than you might expect, and if they were to get punctured, they are very easy to repair, and patch kits are readily available on Amazon and at other stores.

The affordability of having an inflatable kayak is not just down to the initial cost, however.  This is because you won’t be needing a trailer or roof rack to transport them around.  You can simply pack it into your trunk deflated, and then inflate it again when you get to the water.

The other advantage is that due to their relatively small size when deflated, you won’t need to set aside a huge storage area to keep it in, and you can simply stow it flat out of the way.

Kayaks Designed for taking Fishing

Kayaks can be quite popular with fishers (why wouldn’t they be) and many kayaks are designed with fishers’ needs in mind.  If you plan on taking your kayak fishing, you will need extra capacity in your kayak for all of your fishing gear, and of course, your catches.

Kayaks geared for fishing often tend to be heavier than other kayaks due to their extra rigging, so you’ll have to consider how you plan on transporting it.

2-Person Kayaks (also known as Tandems)

If you like having company when you’re out on the water, you might like a 2-person kayak, also referred to as tandems.  If you intend to do much of your kayaking with a partner, then it’s far more cost-effective to just buy one tandem than it would be to buy one kayak each.

You can also get tandems that can fit more than 2 people, so you could even have a third person or a pet join you too.  For small families, it’s a great way to get the whole family out on the water for some quality time.

Conclusion

With everything we’ve covered in our product reviews and buying guide (and in our FAQ section coming up shortly), you should now feel sufficiently well informed about budget kayaks to confidently choose one of your own.

It’s predominantly a question of what you hope to get out of your new kayak and how you want to go about using it.  The intended purpose of your kayak is the real key as to which one is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Buy A Cheap Kayak?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to scour the country looking for kayak outfitters to get yourself a budget kayak!  

If you don’t have a local sporting good store that stocks kayaks, there’s a wide range of kayaks available online.  Why not click through to one of the links on the above product reviews and have a good scout around.

Can I Modify A Cheap Kayak For Fishing?

The short answer is yes.  

You can buy a cheap kayak, and if you’re minded to, you can adapt it for fishing (or other activities) by adding accessories as you see fit, such as special rod holders for your rod, or mounts for electronic fish finders.

There are different ways of adapting it, you could use adhesives, or you could (sensibly) drill mounting points.

That said we did pick out an affordable kayak in our product reviews above that’s designed for fishers.  That would save you some hassle.  It’s our Number pick, the .

Are Affordable Kayaks Good For Duck Hunting?

Again, the short answer is yes. 

Kayaks can often be a great choice for duck hunting.  They are far quieter and more serene than a powerboat and are less likely to disturb passing ducks.

You can buy kayaks that are specifically designed to blend in with their surroundings for this very purpose.  Or alternatively, you can adapt it to so by painting a camouflage pattern onto it, and even add grasses and such to the outside, effectively making it seem invisible to your prey.

Do Cheap And Affordable Kayaks Last Long?

You can get a good lifespan out of your budget kayak, provided that you look after it.

Cheaper end yaks tend to be made out of polyethylene, which although durable and resistant to bumps and scrapes, can be weakened by the sun’s UV rays.  So our advice if you go for a polyethylene kayak, is to also invest in a protective cover for it to give that extra bit of protection when not in use.

Or, if you’re talking about inflatable kayaks, they’re super easy to repair too, and you can get repair kits from online stores like Amazon.

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