Best Kayak For Beginners in 2022 – (Ultimate Guide & Reviews)

Getting started in kayaking can start on the right foot by choosing the best kayak for beginners. This is a great choice for recreational use because it’s easy to inflate and deflate, transport and use, and repair.

But beware as many kayaks for beginners aren’t exactly safe to use on flat water for extended periods, mainly because of their thin vinyl material.

You should be careful about considering the durability of the material, the sturdiness of its overall construction, and the safety features incorporated into the kayak.

Your choice can make the difference between a beginner continuing with and stopping on his kayaking adventures.

The best inflatable kayaks for beginners are usually light in weight, easy to handle on smooth waters, and quick to respond, even turn on a small radius.

Many have rigid to semi-rigid frames, oftentimes with stiffening bars running down the length of the floor, for greater performance.

Most, if not all, are made from PVC materials including tarpaulin and vinyl, which may or may not be treated with a special coating.

best kayak for beginners

Kayaks For Beginners Comparison Table

Best Kayak For Beginners Reviews

From these five top-rated inflatable kayaks, you will likely find the greatest kayak for beginners for yourself or for your family member, even as a gift to your friend.

I must say that these kayaks are also tested for their ease of assembly and disassembly, ease of use on water, and ease of repairs in case of punctures. The easier the kayak is to use, the more likely you will be encouraged to continue kayaking.

1.Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

This 2-person inflatable kayak has a low-profile suitable for beginners tackling their first forays into calm waters, such as lakes, slow-flowing rivers, and estuaries.

The bright yellow color coupled with colorful graphics makes it so easy to spot from shore or from the water.

The more experienced kayakers of the group will want to keep a closer eye on the beginner for obvious reasons.

If you’re a beginner, you can take along a more experienced kayaker on your first trip just to learn the ropes. The two-person kayak means that you can either sit at the front or the back depending on the skills you want to learn.

Since this is an inflatable kayak, you shouldn’t have major issues setting it up either in your home first for testing and then on site.

You must read the instructions manual for the step-by-step guide first, inflate the kayak using the high-pressure manual pump, and inspect the kayak for damage.

The inflation and deflation process is a breeze, too, thanks to the two Boston valves – one valve each on each side of the kayak. You can easily pull the fully inflated kayak in and out of the water using the grab handle and grab line.

You don’t have to buy an other paddle as there are already two 86-inch aluminum oars in the package. You will also get a pump, a carry bag, and a U.S. Coast Guard identification.


  • It has a carry bag
  • Carries two persons
  • The kayak is inflatable
  • It has 86 aluminum oars
  • Brightly colored to spot from the shore
  • Low profile that is suitable for beginners


  • Can only be used in calm waters

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2.Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set

This is a great single-person kayak because it’s already a complete package. You will get the inflatable kayak itself as well as its accessories including an 84-inch aluminum oar and a high-output hand pump.

You can just inflate it on site, push it toward the water and start kayaking but be sure to wear your safety gear (e.g., life vest).

The Intex Challenger K1 kayak is made from sturdy and strong welded material suitable for use in smooth waters. As a beginner, you shouldn’t use it for use in rougher conditions, not even in the open sea in bad weather. This is a minor disadvantage since it can be used for recreational purposes in other areas.

You will find the cockpit a comfortable place for paddling and idling. Your rear has the benefit of firm cushion while you paddle for an hour and idle for another hour, for example. You can sit back on the backrest and relax while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Your fears of tipping over can be reduced, thanks to the semi-rigid I-beam floor. The I-beam construction adds stability to the kayak, a must for beginners.

You and your cargo should keep within the 220-pound weight limit for best performance although the kayak itself weighs in at 27.2 pounds, fully inflated.

Your cargo can be strapped down using the cargo net at the front. Be sure to balance your cargo so that the kayak can float well.


  • It is inflatable
  • Has an 82 aluminum oar
  • It comes with a firm cushion
  • Has an output hand pump
  • Made from strong and sturdy material
  • Has a cockpit that makes it easy for paddling


  • Can only be used by one person

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3.Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Review

This has such an eye-catching design that you will likely consider it as the best kayak for beginners if only for this reason.

The high-visibility bright green color makes it easy for more experienced kayakers to spot the beginner, whether from the shore or while on the water. The sporty graphics add to its visual appeal.

If you’re a beginner, your basic paddling skills should be sufficient to smoothly push the kayak through the water. This can be attributed to the Challenger K2’s streamlined design from bow to stern as well as its smooth yet sturdy hull material.

The material is Intex’s trademark Super-Tough vinyl, which has been proven highly resistant against punctures and ultraviolet damage.

While it may look small, it can actually accommodate two kayakers in a comfortable manner, thanks to the roomy seats. You can pile on your gear, supplies, and equipment but stick to the 400-pound weight limit.

You may even plan for a weekend kayaking trip to get the hang of the sport while your gear can be stowed in its cargo compartment.

The Challenger K2 also has high responsiveness even with a beginner at the helm. You and your kayaking buddy can quickly paddle using the two 84-inch aluminum oars, which can withstand several uses before these have to be replaced.

Your kayaking trip can start as soon as possible since the kayak is self-contained, so to speak. You will find the high-capacity pump used for inflating and deflating the kayak as well as a repair patch kit in the package.


  • Has an eye-catching design
  • It is made of super tough vinyl
  • Can accommodate two kayakers
  • You can pile your gear supplies
  • Has a high capacity pump for inflating and deflating


  • It has a small body

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4.Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak lives up to its name – you can easily unpack it from its carry bag, inflate it on site, and deflate it after use before stowing again in its carry bag.

The 5-minute setup is the fastest among inflatable kayaks for recreational use, too.

While it isn’t suitable for use in rough waters, such as fast-moving rivers and rapids, you can enjoy it on calm waters including lakes, rivers and estuaries with ease. You will love the durability of the 21-gauge PVC on the kayak’s sides and the tarpaulin at the bottom.

You can rest easy with the knowledge that the kayak’s material has high puncture resistance although you shouldn’t take chances by careering down rapids with large jagged rocks.

The inflatable kayak’s backpack system has a clever design – the backpack turns into a seat with a backrest! You can sit back and relax after an hour of paddling, a feature that many hard-shell and inflatable kayaks lack.

Your paddling efficiency will also improve by experimenting with your foot position on the foot rest, as well as with your padding styles.

Even with a puncture, your kayak will stay afloat for a mile or so, thanks to the multiple air chambers. The valves are designed to let the air in after inflation and let it out after deflation.

Other features include a secure storage area, a cup holder, and carry handles for portability. The kayak comes with a paddle and hand pump.


  • It has a carry bag
  • Has a secure storage area
  • Can be used in calm waters
  • It has a durable 21-gauge PVC
  • It has high puncture resistance
  • Has a backpack that turns into a seat


  • It May take time to inflate

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5.Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak

This is a solid, sturdy and strong boat that relative to its price, you will get the best value for your money.

The Sea Eagle SE370K kayak can be set up within 10 minutes or so, thanks partly to the efficiency of the high-output foot pump.  A few users say that they spent nearly 30 minutes inflating the kayak but most users attest to the ease with which it can be set up.

Tip: You can use a pressure gauge to get the right pressure level for inflation. You have to buy it although the foot pump already comes with the package.

Once inflated, you will find that it’s a surprisingly lightweight product – just 32 pounds. You can carry it from the shore to the water, with or without assistance depending on your strength.

When in the water, you will want to use the self-draining drain valve and one-way valves to keep water away from the cockpit. You will be less wet, too, thanks to the lashed-down inflatable spray skirts.


  • It is light in weight
  • Features a foot pump
  • Sturdy and strong design
  • The kayak is pocket-friendly
  • Has self lashed down inflatable skirts-draining drain valve


  • It takes time to inflate

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Things To Consider When Buying A Suitable Kayak For Beginners

When you are a beginner, finding the right kayak can be tough. However, if you have the right information on what to check, you can be sure to end up with a quality kayak that should serve you for a long. Take note of these important points.


When purchasing a kayak, you should always consider the design that it comes with because if you purchase one that is not in the right shape it will become very hard for it to float on water and thus making your kayaking trips boring. A kayak should be streamlined in shape to make sure it easily floats on water and also is faster.

When you choose the right design of a kayak, you will not be disappointed because it ensures you enjoy your trips and thus you can be able to have more of such. The design is an important aspect that should be considered.


Choose a kayak that fits you well and makes you comfortable and one that can also carry your gear with you. A small-sized kayak may not allow you to fit in well and also some may be very small in size and cannot carry your gear with you.

And that why it is important for you to always consider the size of a kayak that you want, one that can perfectly fit your family members too because kayak trips may not be fun when you do them as compared to when you try them out with loved ones.

Inflation And Deflation

When purchasing a beginner kayak, always consider one that takes less time to inflate and also less energy when inflating. Because if you purchase one that takes time to inflate and also consumes a lot of energy one may get tired of going to the kayaking’s trip when you remember the struggle you have to put for your kayak.

Deflating your kayak should take less time because no energy is required to deflate it. Kayaks that are easy to inflate and deflate are the best because they do not waste any of your time when inflating or deflating and thus you have a lot of time to enjoy the trip with your loved ones.

Final Verdict

I must say that every single one of these products can take the award for being the top kayak for beginners because of the combination of durability, stability and maneuverability, as well as ease of set up, use and storage.

But since your needs and wants will be different from the rest of your fellow beginner kayakers, you will likely prefer one over the other.

You should buy the best kayak for beginners for your case now and start learning the basics of kayaking. Soon, you will understand why kayaking is among the most popular recreational activities among family and friends!

Barry Robinson

Hi. This is Barry J. Robinson. I love to fishing, kayaking and blogging. I start fishing & kayaking when I was at the age of 18. I love to write about my fishing & kayaking review and parts review. Regularly writing about fishing and kayaking for various magazines, newspapers and websites.

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