Top 9 Best Kayaks – How to Choose the Best Kayak Boats

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor May 7th, 2020 Posted in Sailing, Travel Gear Reviews No comments

If you’re interested to start kayaking, you have to choose the best kayak boat that’s suitable for your next adventure. We’ll discuss them all here.

Kayaking is a great water activity that makes someone wanted to try it again and again. To get the best kayaking experience, you need proper equipment, such as Kayak Boat. To get to know more about a kayak boat, there are several things that you have to understand, such as the boat types, the capacity, materials, and type of hulls.

Boat Types

There are 3 types of boat that you can use:

  • Sit-on-Top boat allows you to have direct contact with sun rays, wind, and waves. Sit-on-top kayaking needs a wide hull and centered boat to be able to sit stably above it. For you who want to go fishing, this type of kayak is the best option since it was designed to have slower mobility and low maneuverability.
  • Sit-Inside kayak has closed hulls, which makes you have better protection from direct contact with sun rays, wind, and waves. The boat also has a lower center of gravity since the hulls are below the surface of the water. The sit-inside boat has various sizes, from short and wide to very long and slim. Short and wide kayaks are suitable for relaxing, while long and slim kayaks are suitable for more extreme exploration.
  • Inflatable kayaks are easy to transport and have a lightweight (30 pounds). Since the boat can be pumped or deflated, it’s easier to put in the trunk. The disadvantage of an inflatable kayak is the slow movement price. Inflatable kayak mostly uses sit-on-top design for its boat.

Boat Capacity

To determine the boat capacity, there are two types of kayak boat that you should consider:

  • Single Capacity is designed for one kayaker and has the most flexibility regardless of the activities you do while on the kayak.
  • Tandem Capacity is designed for group kayaking, such as family or friends. It has more seats that it’s even suitable for kids around 5 to 6 years old. They can paddle the kayak as well. This type of kayak is usually more pricey than the single one.

Material

There are several types of material used to construct a kayak, but mostly are plastic-based material such as polyethylene or nonplastic material such as composite / thermoformed ABS.

  • Polyethylene has a tough characteristic and more affordable. But, it’s also heavier and if it’s punctured, the reparation is more difficult. Kayak boat made from this material is more suitable for recreation and relaxation paddling.
  • Composite or Thermoformed ABS is lighter, more stylish, and easier to repair. However, it’s more expensive and usually has more glide while on the water which makes it the best option for a long-distance or competition paddler.

Types of the Hulls

We know that kayak boat hulls determine the boat type if it’s sit-on-top or sit-inside. But you also need to know that the hulls types are various.

  • Rounded hulls are designed to make the boat have a greater speed and maneuverability;
  • V-Shaped hulls are designed for greater speed and straight paddling;
  • Flat hulls are designed for great stability; and
  • Pontoon hulls are designed for the best stability.

After understanding those important things about the kayak boat, you can determine which is the most suitable kayak boat for your necessity. Based on the types, the list below can be your option for selecting the right kayak boat for your exploration.

List of 9 Kayak Boats that You can Choose From

Product NamesProduct ImagesAbout this ProductPrice
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 FootUse One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 1Vibe Kayaks produces a kayak with a type of Skipjack 90 that is suitable to use for anglers and recreational purposes. It is 9 feet long and sleek hulls. To facilitate angler, the boat is equipped with 4 fishing rod holders and built-in storage. This boat is a single boat that is constructed to be leak-proof, durable and equipped with built-in buoyancy to make it more safe and stable. The sleek hull ensures you to have a fast and nimble tracking.check price button2 dnd 300x178
Lifetime LotusUse One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 2Lifetime produces kayak in the Lotus series which is the sit-on-top kayak made from polyethylene and length up to 8 feet. It’s equipped with an adjustable quick-release seat back for your comfort. The paddle is included, so you won’t need to purchase the separate paddle for this boat. The tank is well stored with bungee cord lacing to secure loose items.  The boat also has multiple footrest positions that are suitable to be used by different size paddlers.check price button2 dnd 300x178
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem KayakUse One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 3Ocean Kayak Malibu can accommodate you who want to do sit-on-top kayaking together with family or friends. You can even use it as a single boat. This is a fun boat that’s suitable for all body size and abilities. The built-in seats are claimed to offer you stability and comfort for a full day of paddling. It’s equipped with paddle holders, molded-in side handles and bows and stern toggle handles, deck bungee, a screw-in drain plate, and more. The boat length is 13 feet long and maximum loading up to 500 pounds.check price button2 dnd 300x178
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Dirigo 120 Recreational KayakUse One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 4Old Town Canoes and Kayaks produces Dirigo 120 recreational kayak that’s ideal for a casual paddle around the lake or slow-current and flat rivers. It is made from three layers of polyethylene that offers great strength, flexibility, and lightweight manageability. Dirigo series has two different lengths and one tandem style. This Dirigo 120 type is offering a better tracking and weight capacity up to 350 pounds. This boat is maneuverable, even though it has a wide and roomy cockpit and excellent initial stability which makes it suitable for both advanced and beginner kayakers. It’s also equipped with wide storage for your clothes, gears, foods, and other essential things.check price button2 dnd 300x178
Sundolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in KayakUse One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 5Sundolphin Aruba kayak is designed for a fun water exploration. The boat offers maximum stability, versatile, lightweight, and suitable to be used by all age paddlers regardless of their capabilities. It’s equipped with an adjustable padded seat back, dry storage compartment, spray deflector or collar, recessed bottle holder, and paddle holder. As for the dimension, it is 96 inches long or 8 feet, 28 inches width, 16 inches thickness, and maximum load capacity is 260 lbs.check price button2 dnd 300x178
Perception Cove Sit Inside Tandem KayakUse One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 6Perseption Cove kayak is designed for multiple paddlers or tandem that is made from polyethylene and suitable for recreation purposes. It has 14 feet 6 inches long, 31.25 inches width, and weight for 71 lbs. With this dimension, the boat’s ability is to load up to 550 lbs maximum. The boat’s offering great stability and performance that makes paddling more fun for the family. It’s also equipped with a spacious sit-in design that allows you to get in and out easily. The seats are made from extra cushy ergonomic seat padding for a better cushioning with adjustable backrest for optional support and comfort.check price button2 dnd 300x178
Sea Eagle 370 DeluxeUse One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 7Sea Eagle provides an inflatable and affordable sport kayak it is lightweight and portable as it gets, yet still stable and durable. Even though it’s lightweight, when you unfold and inflate it, this tandem boat can hold up to 3 people with maximum weight up to 650 lbs. The hull is thick with great material formulation for greater strength, reliability, and durability on the water. The inflation process takes less than 10 minutes.check price button2 dnd 300x178
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak K2Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 8Intex excursion pro kayak is an inflatable boat made of 3-ply high impact and abrasion-resistant material and the floor s equipped with an I-beam system for high rigidity. It’s constructed with 3 chambers with a maximum weight capacity up to 400 Pounds and length up to 12’7”. The package of the boat includes pump, 3 paddles, pressure gauge, carry bag, and 2 fishing rod holders. The built-in footrest is adjustable and the seat with backrest is also adjustable or removable.check price button2 dnd 300x178
Brine Marine Inflatable KayakUse One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 9Brine Marine produces an inflatable tandem kayak that can be ridden by 2 people and still comfortable and stable enough to use by a single kayaker. It is made from UV coated premium marine PVC material and the floor has 3 inches thickness which makes it be super rigid. The boat is super stable which allows you to stand-up and do fishing without any worries. The capacity is quite large, up to 550 lbs and length up to 10 feet 6 inches. It’s also equipped with compact storage bags, pumps, paddles, and accessories.check price button2 dnd 300x178

Pro’s and Con’s of Each Kayak Boat

A. Sit-on-Top Kayak

1. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot

Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 1

Pros:

  • Even though it has a single capacity, but the load capacity is quite large, u to 300 Pounds.
  • Equipped with 4 fishing rod holders and fish finder mount or rectangular base accessories to accommodate anglers’ needs.
  • Easy access paddle rest and comfortable to ride.
  • It has a built-in seat and backrest, so you won’t need a separate seat.
  • To make it easier to mobilize, it has 4 molded-in handles

Cons:

  • Not delivering to some countries.
  • The backrest is a little bit brittle.

2. Lifetime Lotus

Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 2

Pros:

  • Easy to transport with the center carry handle.
  • Equipped with an adjustable quick-release seat back and paddle.
  • Secure loose items are included.
  • Suitable for leisure purposes.
  • 5-years limited warranty.

Cons:

  • Heavy.
  • Not suitable for kayakers taller than 6 feet.

3. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem Kayak

Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 3

Pros:

  • Suitable for all body size and abilities.
  • The seats are included.
  • The overlapping foot constructed greatly to allows the center-seated paddlers to have comfortable foot bracing.
  • Long and large capacity.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • Not delivering to some countries.
  • Doesn’t including paddles.
  • Heavy.

B. Sit-Inside Kayak

4. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Dirigo 120 Recreational Kayak

Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 4

Pros:

  • The boat length is 12 feet long and weighs 50 pounds with maximum loads up to 350 pounds.
  • Sturdy, lightweight, flexible, maneuverable, comfortable, and trendy design.
  • Wide storage hulls to storing your equipment.
  • Equipped with contoured poly seat with bottle holder, padded thigh braces, and adjustable foot braces.
  • Limited warranty.

Cons:

  • Heavy and needs a roomy space to store.

5. Sundolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak

Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 5

Pros:

  • Lightweight design to make it portable.
  • Suitable for all ages and capabilities.
  • The padded seat back is included and adjustable.
  • Comfortable, versatile, and stable.
  • The hull’s wide and deep.

Cons:

  • Not delivering to some countries.
  • Not suitable for paddler taller than 6 feet.
  • The paddles aren’t included.

6. Perception Cove Sit Inside Tandem Kayak

Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 6

Pros:

  • Adjustable and comfortable backrest and extra cushy seat padding.
  • Suitable for solo paddling since it’s equipped with adjustable bow seat positioning which offers a smooth and comfortable feeling.
  • Easy to carry.
  • Comfortable, durable, stable, and secure.
  • Leak-proof construction with built-in buoyancy to make it more stable.
  • The cockpit is large, as well as the dry storage room with easy on/off the sealed cover.

Cons:

  • Heavy and roomy space for storing.
  • Paddles are not included.

C. Inflatable

7. Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe

Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 7

Pros:

  • Tandem boat with a large weight capacity.
  • Certified by NMMA.
  • The package is including a pressure gauge and repair kit, seat-back, 2 paddles, foot pump, and carry bag.
  • The paddles have an asymmetrical blade and made from the aluminum shaft.
  • Equipped with 2 skegs on the bottom of better tracking and speed.
  • Easy and quick to inflate.
  • Great maneuverability and stability.

Cons:

  • The seat quality is so-so.
  • Overall packages are quite heavy.

8. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak K2

Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 8

Pros:

  • Made from super-tough laminated PVC with a polyester core which makes it lightweight and highly resistant to damage abrasion, impact, and sunlight.
  • It needs high-pressure inflation to provide extra rigidity and stability.
  • Equipped with 2 removable skews for deep and shallow water, 2 floor-mounted footrest, 2 fishing rod holders, and 2 adjustable bucket seats.
  • The mounting bracket is removable and adjustable.
  • It has a storage space in the bow and stern with stainless steel D-rings for tying down dry bag and gear.

Cons:

  • Heavy package.
  • The length of the paddle is short.

9. Brine Marine Inflatable Kayak

Use One of These 9 Kayak Boat for A Better Water Exploration Experience 9

Pros:

  • A super-rigid system which allows you to stand-up and fishing as well.
  • Designed for heavy-duty use with large capacity.
  • Comfortable, stable, and secure.
  • Compact storage.
  • Package including 2 stages high and low-pressure inflation pump, 2 folding seats, 2 paddles, repair kit, and storage bag.

Cons:

  • Not delivering to some countries
  • The repair kit doesn’t have glue in it.
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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at kach@twomonkeystravel.com

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