Best Recreational Kayaks 2018 Reviewed With Buyer’s Guide

Having an adventure in a lake, river or in the sea is very exciting. When you think about going there, you should plan to have the best recreational kayaks as well.

This is a canoe that is narrow and is made of light outer cover that is water resistant. It has an entry point at the top where you can sit.

You use paddle that has a blade on each side to move it when it is on the water.

Choosing the top recreational kayak in the market can be very tasking. You need to have the information on the best one so that you can make an informed decision.

Today we will discuss several types and how to choose the best recreational kayak.

Best Recreational Kayaks For 2018

1. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 – Top Recreational Kayak

Top Recreational Kayak 2018

This is a kayak that is fit for one person only. You can only use it if you are confident in paddling because you will be alone while using it due to its small space. You would not like to capsize during your adventure.

It works well on still water like in a pond, lake or any other place where the water is calm. Do not use it where there are waves or where the water is moving at a high speed.

Its Features

  • Durability –  You will not have to worry about the durability. This is because it is made from linear polyethylene which is cozy and it last long.
  • Comfort – The seats are padded so you will be comfortable throughout the time you will be in your kayak. Suppose you need more space you can easily adjust their position without asking for assistance.
  • This will give you the freedom to move your feet when you need to.
  • Spacious –  There is sufficient space where you can store your items under the well shaped front rear. You can put your beverages, lunchbox, snacks among other staffs.
  • You can place your gear and dog at the flat space at the back.
  • Stability – This kayak is stable in water. You can easily carry it around because it weighs 48 pounds only.
  • It measures 121.9cm by 49.5 cm. This makes it portable. You can easily carry it on your own.

Benefits Of Using It

  • It is versatile.
  • You can use it for a wide range of activities. This includes fishing, sports and adventure among others.
  • It will give you good service for long.
  • This is because it is made from a linear polyethylene durable material. You will not need to buy a kayak every year.

2. Intex Explorer K2 Yellow 2 Person  (White Water)

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This is the best recreational kayak that is designed for two people. Suppose you do not know how to paddle on your own you can ask an expert to go with you.

It is also the best for a couple who want to have an outing on the water. They can both fit in and sit comfortably. It has ample space.

It works well on strong water like in rivers and lakes. This is because it has a unique design that is streamed line.

It comes with a repair kit that contains items you will need to use when it gets a puncture. Do not forget to carry your storage pack.

Its Features

  • Portable It is light so you are able to move it with ease. This is because it is inflatable; you can deflate, fold and pack it in your car.
  • Easy to use You only need to have a Boston valves and a hand pump to inflate it. When it is ready you and your partner will carry it to the water and get in through the top opening. It is easy to control through paddling when you are in the water.
  • Seats are inflatable
  • You will enjoy the comfort of the seats because you can inflate them to a level of your comfort. You can also adjust the backrests to where you are comfortable.
  • Compliance The National Marine Manufacturers Association has certified it through ABYC standards.
  • It is made of a strong vinyl and nylon material
  • The outer cover is made of a tough nylon that is blended with vinyl material and internal tubes.

Benefits Of Using It

  • It is stable.
  • It’s has 2 air chambers in its body. One is located at the main hull and the other one at the floor. This helps it not to sink even when a puncture occurs.
  • It has a bright color
  • It has contrasting shades and luminous color. You can see it from a distance when it is in the water. This helps in ensuring you are safe. People from other boats can spot it in case it is capsizing.

3. Old Town Predator MX 2017

Best Salt water Recreational Kayak

This is the best salt water kayak for fishing and sporting. It is stable and very comfortable. When you are in it, you feel like you are at the deck of a big boat.

It is shorter than other kayaks and its deck is wide open.

Its Features

  • It has scupper holes.
  • It has eight of them and they help in draining water when it gets in the kayak. Each of them has valves.
  • It has a unique shape.
  • This makes it to be stable even in strong water.
  • It has retainers that are attached on the side.
  • They help you to be able to carry it and place it in water.
  • It weighs 82 pounds, its shipping weight is 58.4 pounds.
  • Stability – It has unique seats that make you to be comfortable and stable when you are seated in it.
  • It has tough seal covers.
  • This is what makes it to be a perfect fishing kayak.
  • It has mounting plates that are removable.
  • It has two tip pods and tackles holders.
  • It measures 12” long.
  • It has predator codo and predator mix that helps an electric motor to move. This makes this kayak to move even in salt water.
  • They are located at the back. They help the kayak to move well in salt water.

Benefits Of Using It

  • It is comfortable
  • It has enough space to move your legs and the seats are comfortable as well. This means you can enjoy staying in it for a long time.
  • You cannot drain even when the water gets in the kayak.
  • This is because it has drainage that has plugs. The water cannot come in through them but it can go out.
  • It has long straps that you can use in case of an emergency. It can go to a standing position from a sitting position.

4. Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak

Good Inflatable Recreational Kayak

This is among the best recreational kayaks that are inflatable. It has a capacity of two people. You can invite your spouse or a friend to accompany you for fishing or adventure.

It works well on calm water like in lakes and still rivers. Do not use it when there are waves or storm.

Its Features

  • It has fins that can be disconnected.
  • They help in tracking.
  • It has a shape similar to a bow.
  • This makes it to be efficient.
  • It has tubes that are well filled on its sides.
  • They help the kayak to be more stable and to float better.
  • It is cozy
  • You can adjust the position of its padded seats anytime you want.
  • It has draining plugs.
  • They help in draining water that may be in the kayak and allow you to clean it easily.
  • It measures 11.2” by 37”.
  • It is portable
  • When you are not using it you can deflate, fold it and put it in its storage bag. Inflate it only when you are using it.
  • It has three air chambers.
  • They help in maintaining stability and keep it floating even after a puncture.
  • It weigh 31.5 lbs

Benefits Of Using It

  • It will last longer.
  • This is because it is made of hull PVC material that is tough.
  • It comes with a user guide that directs you on how to handle and use it. You will not be stranded.
  • It comes with a kit that has repair items. You will not spend extra money to acquire them.
  • The seats have bottle holders where you can place your water or beverages.
  • You will enjoy its flexibility. This is because it has an open shape so you can either use single paddling or double.

5. Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak with Paddles (Best Saltwater &  Fresh Water Recreational Kayak)

Recreational Kayaks Company Reviews

This is among the best saltwater and fresh water kayak. You can use it for fishing activities in the rivers and lakes.

It best suits people who are new in these activities. This is because it is easy to use since it is light. It has ample storage space where you can put the items you may need to carry.

Its Features

  •  It weighs 60lb.
  • It has a five years limited warranty.
  • It is made of a Roto molded strong polyethylene.
  • Its paddle measures 86.6cm by 304.8 cm.
  • Its color is olive green.
  • The paddles are made of aluminum and molded polymer.
  • It is flexible. You can paddle alone or while you are two.

Benefits Of Using It

  • You will enjoy paddling while you remain dry and warm.
  • It has ample space for your feet.
  • It is spacious enough to accommodate huge people.

How To Choose The Top Recreational Kayaks

There are a wide variety of recreational kayaks in the market. It would be tricky to choose the best recreational kayak when you do not have the information.

For that reason, I will give you all the factors you need to consider before you buy one.

The Types Of Kayaks

You need to have the knowledge of different kayaks that are available in the market. Identify the effective season for each as well. Some are cozy and warmer especially on cold seasons. The smaller ones tend to be warmer than the bigger ones.

Choose the one that you can be able to jump into suppose you capsize. The one with an open deck is better and safer.

Choose the one that is more stable. The shorter and wider ones are most preferred for this.

Where You Are Using The Kayak And The Purpose You Need It For.

Different kayaks are used for different purposes. Their stability also differs from one shape and size to the other.

Before you buy it consider whether you want to use it in a lake, pond or in a sea. Research on the probability of the weather, will it be calm or windy?

Will there be waves or will it be calm? How will the water temperature be? Analyze the type that would be highly responsive.

All this will help you to decide whether to choose a sit-on-top or sit-inside kayak.

Legth Of A Kayak

Length of a kayak is a major factor to consider before you buy it. This is because it affects its stability and speed. The ones that are narrow and longer tend to move faster. They have one disadvantage though; they are not stable and can easily capsize.

People who know how to swim can go for them because if the worse happens they can swim.

The shorter and wider ones move at a lower speed but they are more stable. Sit-on-top kayaks are wider and hence very stable. Most people go for them. It is always good to be safe.


You should buy the one that is easy to carry along. It should not be heavy so that you can be able to paddle for long and on your own.

It is inconveniencing if you will always require someone to assist you to carry it. That would mean that when you are alone you cannot use it.

It should be light enough for you to get it in and out of your car on your own. Alternatively you can get a sports trailer to help you carry it.

You can place it on the trailer while it is in your car. The only challenge is that the trailer is very expensive. It is better to buy an inflatable kayak to avoid all this hustles.

When you buy an inflatable one, be ready to deal with puncture that may occur. You will also be required to inflate it every time you need to use it and deflate it after use.

The Items You Need To Carry Along

There are kayaks that have more space than the others. Choose the one that will have some space to place your snacks, beverages and lunchbox.

Do not leave your life jacket behind; you may need it when you are in your outing.

You may need to carry simple chairs that you can sit on when you get to the sea shores. Suppose you would like to bring your dog along ensure that the kayak has an open deck at the back. The sit-on-top kayak would be suitable for this purpose.

When you carry many items they will make your kayak to be slow. Suppose you are in a group with different kayaks, you can give your friends some of the items for them to carry,

Go for the one that matches your needs since there are varieties.

The Shape

The shape of a kayak determines how stable it will be. The ones that are wider at the chine and the bottom are more stable.

Chine is a place where both the bottom and the side meet. It can be hard, rounded or malt. All these determine how easily it can turn.

Its maneuverability is determined by the upward curve that is located at the bow and stern. The ones that are rocked heavily can turn with ease. They are the best for using on rough water.

For the long distance you would need the one with minimal rocker. You can paddle them easily so you will not get tired quickly.

It is better when the bottom is flat, this will make it to be more comfortable and firm.

The Material Used

There are materials that are well known and people have embraced them in a big way.

(a) Roto Molded Polyethylene.

It last long because the material is very tough. It is not expensive; this means that many people can afford to buy it.

(b) Fiber Glass Or Carbon

These materials are not expensive and they are light in weight.

(c) Termoformed Plastic

This is a shinny material that is very attractive. It is light in weight; you can be able to carry your kayak on your own.

(d) Stretched Polyurethane

Nylon skin can also be used when it is placed above wood frame or aluminum.

(e) Wood Panels

These are very beautiful and light in weight.

Rudder Or Skeg

Rudder is effective for turning and tracking. It works very well on boats that are large in size and for fishing purposes. The kayaks made with it are good for sports.

SKEG is effective when you are going to rough water. Its fin placement is near the cockpit, this will ensure that the kayak remains in the water longer even when there are heavy waves.


You will be able to make an informed decision now. I have given you all the information you will need when choosing the best recreational kayak.

Ensure that you buy the right one for the right season. Buy the shorter one to enjoy more stability and  warmth during the cold season.

Do not leave your life jacket behind. Suppose you want to move at a higher speed go for the long one. Be careful because it is less stable.

Avoid carrying many items because they will slow you down. Choose the one with a wide open deck.

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