Best Recreational Kayaks

Best Recreational Kayaks in 2018 – Top Models Compared!

Have you been looking for some of the best recreational kayaks? Well, if you are a kayaker, then you have probably wondered about the best way to experience the breathtaking view of a seacoast. In many places, kayaking is considered a sport, but it can also be a perfect selection of leisure activities of your lifetime.

There are so many types of recreational kayaks and knowing which model best suits you can be tough. So, if you have been on the search of the best kayaks, then this review is going to serve you a lot of good. Check out the recommended recreational kayaks that you can think of buying this year. These are top rated recreational kayaks that will give you the best water experience.

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Product Name

Brand

Weight

Check Price

recreational kayak

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak

44 pounds

Recreational Kayak

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks

47 pounds

 Lifetime 90118 Manta Tandem Sit on Top Kayak

Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak

Lifetime

60 pounds

Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak

47 pounds

Recreational Kayak

Old Town Heron 11XT Recreational Kayak

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks

41 pounds

Sit-in Kayak

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak

Sun Dolphin

39 pounds

Sit on top Kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak 

Sun Dolphin

40 pounds

Top 7 Recreational Kayak Review

After testing and comparing the features of different recreation kayaks, here are the individual reviews of our top products in the list. They are amazing kayaks that will allow you to explore and reach areas which are difficult to access.

1. Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

The Ocean kayak is an exemplary piece of artwork. This piece is extremely agile and ideal for sports or even leisure activities. One of the major problems that most kayakers have is storage. Others prefer to store their kayaks in their garage outside. Well, for a piece that you have paid a more money to acquire, that seems like a significant risk.

The Ocean kayak does not expose you to such risks. Measuring only 9 feet, the kayak is small enough to fit in one corner of your store. The kayak weighs 44 pounds, so you can transport if easily at the back of your pick up or even on top of your saloon car.

The piece is fitted with the tree form hull that allows you more stability, maneuverability, and tracking. This kayak has a carrying capacity of 325 pounds. This means that if you are two average adults, you can probably go kayaking together. Also, if you find yourself to be a bit overweight, the kayak is suitable for you as it would support your weight.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lightweight for transport
  • Small for simple storage
  • Suited for adults and children
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    Seat back cushioning
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    Adjustable back support for comfort

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Back support and cushions
  • Used by adults and children
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    Conveniently portable

Cons

  • Looks like you will pay a premium for this model, more so when you are shipping it from another country.

Verdict

Designed with extreme glamour and style, the Ocean Kayak is best for families. Its wide range of users allows it to be used by everyone in the family, saving you the expense of buying other kayaks for the children.

2. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

Designed for a single user, the Vapor 10 has got the looks and style. It is probably the best single-user kayaks on the market. This model makes kayaking an enjoyable sport. It provides you the right sitting angle and support that makes you want to go kayaking the whole day.

If you are tired of peddling, there is no big deal! With this kayak, you can put your paddle on the installed cockpit rim paddle-rest, and possibly grab a can of beer while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the lake. This kayak also has the benefit of storage and transport as it is relatively small.

You can probably tie it up the rooftop of your car. If you want to go peddling solo into the waters, this kayak gives you the efficiency and comfort you need. You might want to take note of the build material of the vapor 10. The kayak features a linear polyethylene plastic that is UV stabilized. Everybody wants to be safe when kayaking. Anything that saves you from being hit by the UV rays is probably a good thing.

Highlighted Features:

  • Light build material
  • Size able for transport and storage
  • Comfort flex padded seats which are adjustable
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    Comfy knee/thigh pads
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    Foot-brace system for veracity

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy Storage
  • Fairly priced
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    Padded seats and back support

Cons

  • Single user, not suitable for couples. Though not a big deal if you are just one person looking to have some personal time.

Verdict

If you are just the kind that loves going out to clear your head alone, this kayak best suit your needs. It is the best affordable kayaks on the market.

3. Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak

If you have been looking for good recreational kayaks for the money, then the Lifetime 10 Foot Manta is it. This kayak has been fitted with quality features, making it the best kayaks for so you can probably take one or two of your friend's kayaking.

This is a sit on top model, so if you have some trust issues, it would probably not be the best for you. Though you would get the best experiences viewing breathtaking sceneries. For a kayak with such a huge carriage capacity, the kayak is lightweight; about 60 pounds, allowing you to transport it with ease.

It features a durable polyethylene plastic that makes it easier to transport and store. Since it is a sit on top kayak, it is fixed with high and dry seats. Therefore, even when there are a bit of waves, this kayak might not be affected. The high seats keep your toes from the water levels. With the double-sided bracket in this model, you can paddle in turns with your friend and this might actually give you much coverage. You can go kayaking for a long distance.

Highlighted Features:

  • 2-sport paddling for double paddling
  • Lightweight build material
  • High and dry seats
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    High carriage capacity
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    Tunnel hull makes it stable ultimately

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy Storage
  • Fairly priced
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    Comfortable and stable
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    Suitable for beginners
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    Multifunctional

Cons

  • The back support seems shorter. It might not afford you longer kayaking time for taller kayakers. You can fix this by installing another back support and removing the one on the kayak

Verdict

This kayak is the best recreational kayaks for beginners. It is stable enough and can be boarded by the beginner and the instructor at the same time.

4. Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

With over 20 years of existence, the Ocean Kayak Scrambler has significantly increased its proficiency. This kayak has the best features for a recreational kayak. The kayak is a sit-on-top kayak giving you a good view of the sea. One of the defining features of this kayak is its efficient tri-form hull that gives you adequate stability while paddling. The hull responds efficiently to the ocean swells.

The tracking of this kayak is simply exceptional for paddling, fishing, and surfing. If you are a kayaker looking to have fun with a little versatility, the Ocean Kayak Scrambler is a perfect choice you can think of. The Kayak weighs about 47 pounds, making it easier to transport right from the roof of your car, or the back of your pick-up if you have one.

Even though it's a single user kayak, it gives you an adequate carriage weight. At 350 pounds max carriage, you can choose to add more supplies to your little kayaking trip. This is the kind of a single user kayak that you can even use for fishing because you can carry a reasonable number of fish. The kayak gives you a wide range of accessories that will be suitable for your little kayaking trip.

Highlighted Features:

  • Tri-foam hull for stability
  • Lightweight build material
  • Sizeable for better storage and transport
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    Effective tracks for surfing, fishing, and paddling

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Multifunctional
  • Easy to transport and store
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    Comfortable and stable

Cons

  • Relatively, yet deservingly expensive

Verdict

The Ocean kayak Scramble is for the paddler who wants to have fun while at the same time experiencing some level of versatility.

5. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron 11XT Recreational Kayak

The Heron 11XT gives the impression of a simple kayak but remains much sophisticated. This kayak is well priced and offers you maximum paddling experience. The 11Xt features a comfortable Flex seat that allows you some extra time for paddling.

You don't have to leave your paddling experience because you are feeling some pain on your back. Owing to its small size, the kayak is best suited for a single user. It weighs about 41 pounds, making it one of the kayaks that are easy to store and transport.

If you need to go to the lake and just stay there for quite some time with a can of beer or a soda, this model provides you with the storage space for your drinks. You can also use the storage to put your gear. For easy portability, the Heron 11Xt has to carry handles, giving you the ease to carry it after before and after use.

The Heron 11XT also comes with a thigh pad and foot braces, giving you full control of the kayak. You certainly do not want to be struggling with your balance when a few waves come knocking your kayak. The thigh pads and foot braces ensure that you stay at the task, which is to control the kayak.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comfortable handles
  • Lightweight build material
  • Adjustable foot braces
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    Thigh pads
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    Out-of-the-cockpit flare

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Portable
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    Requires small storage space
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    Good for beginners too

Cons

  • This model is relatively expensive compared to other single user kayaks

Verdict

When glamour and style is your defining preference, the Heron 11Xt recreational kayak is probably one of the kayaks you might want to look at. This model has all the defining features of class making it deserving of its price.

6. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak

The Aruba 10-foot is one of the top-rated recreational kayaks. This kayak blesses you with the convenience and style that makes your paddling experience to be one of the most unforgettable kayaking experiences. The Aruba 10 Foot is suitable for paddling on rivers and lakes.

It has got the protective thigh pad that protects your leg and gives you much control of the kayak. This model also has a large cockpit and a storage unit. You might want to through in a few bottles of soda. When you are getting exhausted from paddling, the Aruba 10 Foot offers you the options of resting your paddling stick on its holder.

When you are going kayaking, you might want to think that you might not run thirsty. Well, you can, and the Aruba 10 foot has your back. It features a water bottle holder which you can use to store some water just in case you feel thirsty. The large cockpit gives you adequate access to your cockpit accessories.

This kayak is a bit lightweight compared to most kayaks. It gives you an easy time paddling, and you do not need to use much strength when paddling. When it comes to the seats, this model has the best. Its seats are padded, making it one of the most comfortable kayaks to be paddling around.

Highlighted Features:

  • High-density UV-stabilizer polyethylene
  • Water bottle holder
  • Thigh pads protection
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    Additional storage space
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    Lightweight build material

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Plenty of storage
  • UV resistant
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    Water bottle Storage
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    Large cockpit

Cons

  • Not suitable for rough waters

Verdict

Rated as a top recreational kayak, the Aruba 10 foot sit in Kayak provides a wide range of features that justify its pricing.

7. Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on-top Kayak (Lime, 10-Feet)

The Ball SS sit-on-top kayak is yet another top-rated kayak. It provides you with premium features that make your paddling experience the most enjoyable ones. The kayak features a UV resistant polyethylene that shield's you from getting exposure to the UV light.

The kayak is the lightest, meaning you can just carry it to the lake or river without any problems. It is smaller in size so storage and transportation might not be a problem. The kayak also features a comfortable seat area making allowing you to paddle for a long time without feeling exhausted.

It is best used in the lakes and rivers. The kayak has a protective pad that assures you of versatility. If you want to carry some supplies to aid you in the kayaking experience, the Bali SS has an extra storage space. This kayak is undoubtedly a perfect choice in the market.

Highlighted Features:

  • Additional storage
  • Lightweight build material
  • Wide seating area
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    Adjustable back seat
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    Thigh pads
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    Foot braces for versatility

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Plenty of storage
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    Fairly priced

Cons

  • No cons could be found for this model

Verdict

The Bali SS is a near-perfect kayak featuring some of the most important attributes of kayaking. It is low-cost, hence affordable to many people. If you want a kayak that serves you well at a pocket-friendly cost, this would be it.

Best Recreational Kayaks Buying Guide

When choosing a kayak, you will need to do some research on some of the available recreational kayak reviews. However, choosing great recreational kayaks is a matter of understanding your personal preferences for leisure activities. Therefore, the following are some of the things that you might want to consider when choosing a recreational kayak.

Paddling Location

When choosing a kayak, you should be specific about where you are going to paddle. It could be by the seacoast, the river, or a lake. There are different kayaks made for these specific locations. For example, a kayak that does well on calm waters such as the sea or lake might not be as effective on running waters such as the river.

Sitting Positions

Kayaks come in different models. Some come with sit-in positions, while others, a sit-on-the-top position. Between these two options, it is important to understand the position that makes you comfortable. If you want to experience the openness of the scenery you have visited, you might want a kayak that you sit on top. That way, you get to experience every bit of elegance that the scenery has to offer. However, if you are the type of a kayaker who is a bit scared, friend, you might want to find comfort in the safety of the traditional sit-in kayak.

Weight of the Kayak and Your Budget

Sometimes you might be forced to take financial prudence given the economic challenges but we cannot sacrifice kayaking experience for that, can we? In the kayak industry, the build material of the kayak determines its weight and price. For example, a kayak made from mahogany is heavier, durable, and priced higher than one made from bamboo. Therefore, choose the top recreational kayaks for the money you have.

Material

It is important to consider the material of the recreation kayak before you buy. Most kayaks are designed with a polyethylene plastic material that is lightweight and durable.  You can also get kayaks made of composite material that provide great rigidity without compromising the weight.

Stability

If you are looking for the greatest recreational kayak for beginners, look for a model that is short and wide. Such kayaks are stable and very comfortable for first time users. The wide body makes it difficult to tip over the water as compared to kayaks with a narrow body.

Other Considerations

  • Type of kayaking
  • Whether you want a long or short kayak
  • Ease of transportation
  • Do you want a sit-in or sit on top
  • Cargo

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best recreational kayak?

A: The best recreational kayaks should be made of quality materials that are durable. Otherwise, recreational kayak is one that meets your recreational needs.

Q: How much weight can I put on my kayak?

A: That depends on the type of the kayak in question. Some kayaks can do even up to 500 pounds, while some can do about 250 pounds. You need to check the specified weight capacity of your kayak before using it. The weight capacity is often indicated in the manual of the kayak.

Q: What is the average weight of a kayak?

A: The weight of the kayak depends on the build material. If the kayak has been designed using mahogany, then the weight could be significantly higher. However, most kayaks range between 40 to 70 pounds.

Q: Are sit on kayaks more stable?

A: The stability of the kayak is best determined by the tracks. However, most of the sit on kayaks could be considered stable than sit –in kayaks because they have a wide exposure to the water surface.

Final Words

You can determine the level of comfort and safety of your kayaking experience by choosing the best recreation kayak in the market. If you do not have an idea on how to access some of the best recreational kayaks, you need to consult a recreational kayak buying guide. In it, you can get some of the best features that suit your kayaking needs. It is also important to search for the recreational kayak reviews so that you get a feeling of what other kayak users have undergone. The reviews can help you identify some of the best models of kayaks on the market. One more thing you must be careful about you safety issue during kayaking. So you please collect safety equipment along with kayak.

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