Whether it is summer or winter, water sports are fun all around the year. One of the most popular water pastimes is kayaking. If you are a nature and adventure lover, chances are you’re fond of it.
Though it had a gradual start as a sport, over the years it has gained immense popularity among adventure enthusiasts. In case you have never tried the sport and are searching for new water sports to engage in, then getting the best budget kayak might be ideal.
However, it is nearly impossible to have fun kayaking without the proper kayaking gear. Many people also think that kayaking it is too much work to really be fun. We understand, and that is the whole reason this guide was jotted down.
There are variations of kayak boats out there and the industry is bombarded with ample thousands of manufacturers producing quality, specific kayaks. The type of water plays a major role in kayaking, thus the kayaks are specially manufactured for everything from small creeks to the open oceans.
Today, fishing kayaks have become the buzzing trend in the fishing industry. Whether it is fresh water of salt water and even north to south, you will find a tackle shop, sporting goods shop, or online websites offering a number of fishing kayaks and useful equipments.
The rise in kayak fishing is sensible because kayaks offer greater stability as compared to canoes. Also, they are more portable and economical than the traditional fishing boats. Kayaks are extremely water friendly, giving it an upper hand in urban areas.
Since there is a lot of competition in the market, there are numerous choices for the consumer. It becomes difficult to streamline the best budget kayak that fits one need from an array of choices. This guide will help you in finding the best budget kayak for you and also give you a short tour in the world of kayaks. The guide covers the factors to keep in mind when buying a kayak and also reviewed the best budget kayaks of 2018.
Factors To Consider Before Buying the Best Budget Kayak
A kayak can be use for multiple purposes. It helps you to get to the scenic beachside campgrounds, explore an estuary, and enjoy the eye-popping view that is not visible from the shore.
As there are multiple ways you can make use of the kayak, there are also many options available in the market. It is no surprise that you might have trouble finding the best budget kayak. You may also refer the several comparison tables available online before buying a kayak. How do you know which kayak is best for you?
When you are planning to buy a best budget kayak, it is important to focus on a few key ideas.
As such you must be aware of the most factors that you should keep in mind before buying a best budget kayak for you.
When to Buy
Well, there is actually no particular season to consider. If you wish to save a significant amount when buying a kayak, then the off-season is the best time of the year. You can get amazing discounts and offers during this time. The best prices can also be availed when the selection is limited. This is because it is the time when retailers try to clear stock to make space for stocking new models.
When you’re reading kayak descriptions, you may not understand it at first and may think what it all means. Very often it refers to both the type and the brand, which can be baffling. In order to clear the air, you need to understand the difference between:
A brand and style of a kayak. There are dozens of them in the market space.
The type refers to the body or hull of the kayak. This is an important consideration than the former. It matters, as it determines the capacity and the ability of the kayak to handle different situations.
Your Body Size
When choosing the right kayak, it is important that you take into account your body shape and size as it will affect the overall balance and experience when using it. As such, you must consider your height and weight as it determines the length of the kayak. Also keep in mind your weight, and consider a margin to perfectly occupy your other paddlers or gear.
Weight considerations majorly depend on how you wish to use the kayak. For example, if you are planning an overnight trip on the kayak, you will need to carry extra gear with you. At this time, the considerations of weight and space tend to change.
Material- Fiberglass or Plastic Kayak
The major distinction between a fiberglass kayak and a plastic kayak is its look and appearance. A fiberglass kayak is shiny and gives a rich look and feel. On the other hand, a plastic kayak is more resistant to shock, and is ideal for those who wish to pull up the kayak on the edge, without the kayak being cracked or damaged.
Many holiday home owners prefer plastic kayaks over fiberglass ones. However, the material from which the kayak is made has no effect on the kayaks´ behavior in the water.
Where Do You Wish To Paddle
In case you require a kayak that is smoothly paddles in different types of water, then it must be a combination of a classic sea kayak and a lake kayak. Such kayaks that suit all waters are usually, 5 m long and have cockpit with decent height.
However, if you plan to paddle in inland water, then you can easily opt for a kayak that is a little shorter and has a lower cockpit. There is no harm to use a long kayak in calm water as it works well there. In case of wind, it might wise to get a longer kayak, at least 5.20 meters long. It will help in decent directional stability and also offer more speed
The length of the kayak basically matters the most when it is used for fishing purpose. This is because the length has a dramatic impact on the kayak’s performance in water. The key to decide the apt length of the kayak that you require is to consider the kind of water you will use it in. The rule of thumb is, shorter kayaks, less than 11 feet, are usually more maneuverable, and longer kayaks, more than 12 feet, are generally much faster.
If the local waters where you plan to use your kayak include more small ponds, creeks, and backwaters, then choose a kayak that offers great maneuverability over speed. In case you are planning to take bigger lakes, rivers, or the ocean, then opt for a longer model.
It is also imperative to factor and balance your body size into the equation. If you are 6 foot and weigh 290 pounds, then you possibly should choose a kayak that is 11 feet or more, regardless of the type of water.
In olden days, the kayaks were tippy and unstable. However, due to advancements and modern materials kayaks are much more stable and allow decent standing. Though stability is very important for fishing, but too much of it leads to the kayaks being less maneuverable and extremely tough to paddle.
If you have a big and heavy body, go for a kayak that is wider as it will provide more stability and balance. If you are a troller or an angler who covers long distance within a day, then a narrower and less stable model that offers easy paddling is an ideal choice.
If you are a fisherman, most of the space on your kayak is consumed by the gear and equipments. As such, it is imperative that you opt for a best budget kayak that has enough room for all necessities. Several models have been designed with integrated storage and live wells. Other models also have specific spaces molded for external storage such as milk crates and coolers.
Sit on-top kayaks often consists of internal hatches, while the sit-in models have more open space in the hull for accommodating gear. It is advised to make a list of all the belongings that you will most likely carry along with you when you go fishing. Also, visualize where will you place the things and if they will fit perfectly before you take any buying decision.
Significance of Keel
A keel is a fin shaped tool made up of plastic that sticks into the water from a kayak’s hull. It improves tracking and speed of the kayak. While several kayaks have keels attached to the body, some have retractable keels, and others have no keels at all.
If you are fishing in open water or trolling, then choose a keeled model, because you paddle more efficiently. However, if you merely floating on shallow rocky rivers, fishing in close quarters, or just like to fish standing up, then you can do without a keel on your kayak.
Particular Space To Occupy Electronics Items
A number of fishing kayaks in today’s time are specially designed to occupy modern electronics. One of the best examples of such model is the Lifetime Angler Kayak. In case you go fishing in lakes or the ocean, then this may be one of your priorities. But if you are floating shallow rivers, then it might not really be a matter of consideration.
The main disadvantage of the contemporary kayaks that offer many decent features like fishability, stability, and storage, is that all this makes it heavier. Keeping this in mind, when you are searching the web and doing your research.
If you wish to take frequent rides and plan to change locations often, then you would want a kayak that is lightweight and easy to carry or drag.
However, if you wish to be at a particular location, then you can be carefree and load the kayak with a significant amount of gear and accessories.
Generally, when buying a best budget kayak, it is noticed that the sit on top models are heavier as compared to sit- in models.
Anchor Or Drift
If you add a traditional or an electronic anchoring system to the kayak, then it can provide an good advantage if you fish in open water, or even in backwaters. This may add up to the total weight of the kayak. Thus, it can be difficult for anglers that enjoy drifting with the current and flow while fishing. As such it is important that you do your research well, because there are many anchoring methods available in the market to suit all types and budgets.
Importance of Paddling
While some kayakers like to row low, others like to row high. Each person using the kayak has his or her own different and unique paddling style. This is the very first thing that you must take into account before buying a new kayak. It is require that you complete understand your own comfortable paddling style and make a purchase accordingly.
A low-angle paddler generally rows via angling his shaft at a comfortable and gradual angle. Here the upper hand is placed below shoulder height. On the other hand, a high angle paddler generally rows via angling the shaft at a steep angle. In this case the upper hand is placed above shoulder height.
Each kayaker will use a different paddle length. As such, it is important to consider what your preferred paddle length is. If you miss out on this, it is possible that you end up with a paddle that is too short for you.
In general, there are four types of kayak paddles. They include,
Performance paddles – Such paddles are built for serious paddlers, who wish to acquire more power and performance.
Touring paddles – As the name suggests, such paddles good for touring. They give the paddler excellent comfort and durability.
Whitewater paddles – Such paddles can be easily manipulated or adjusted according to the needs and comfort of the user. They are also very durable and are tactfully designed to tackle the tough conditions.
Recreational paddles – If having fun is your main aim, then recreational paddles are just for you. These paddles can be used for fishing as well as exploration.
Sit-on-top or Sit-in Models
The major difference between these two types of models is that the sit-on-top enables you to sit on top of it, while sit-in model allows you to sit inside it. In the market today, the sit-on-top models much more popular. Many fishermen prefer to use this type as consists of a hull in it, helps the excess water to pass through, avoiding any possibility of it sinking in water.
Additionally, sit-on-tops have a huge cockpit area and also offers a great degree of inaugural balance. One has easy access to the gear, making it easier to get out and wade when required. On the other hand, sit-in kayaks have the ability to handle rough water with ease. Despite, the fact that it has wider cockpit, it will not be easier for you to get out and wade.
The kayak’s hull design will greatly influence on two major factors, namely the speed and stability. A hull that is attached with a well defined keel will provide the kayak with decent speed and tracking (i.e. the capacity to paddle in a straight line). However, you cannot compromise on the stability, unless hard chins are added to the design. On the other hand, a flat hull will provide a much better stability but will compromise on the ability to cut through the chop.
A sturdy design is yet another point that should be noted. A stern with an extended keel will give better tracking and a longer waterline but will maneuverability. However, a scalloped stern drops the waterline length and will make turning the kayak much easier.
Basically, brands are the name of a style of kayak. However, brands have a great influence and value in the market. When searching for looking a comfortable, durable and best budget kayak, opt for a renowned brand that fulfills all the criteria. For finding the best quality brand among the wide variety, all you need to do is search for the company rating in various forums.
After reading the above points, you would by now have a clear picture of the different types of Kayak that you can choose from. Also, you can understand the type of kayak best suitable for your use and needs. Needless to mention, when buying any product, the cost has a major effect. If the price is not in your budget, then you can opt for reasonable kayaks. But, do not cut cost merely to save a few pennies and compromise on the quality. Quality should be kept as the top priority, after all, it is an adventure sports that can lead to consequences due to your sheer ignorance.
This list is made keeping in mind the customer needs and budget, so be rest assured that you will not be disappointed. Read on to know more and pick the best budget kayak 2018, from our specially list.
Top 10 Best Budget Kayaks 2020
1. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak,
The Intex Challenger K1 kayak has several amazing characteristics that makes it an ideal pick. It is a one person inflatable kayak that provides both comfort and stability. The kayak’s cockpit is perfectly designed to offer decent space.
A person who is neither too tall,+ nor not too short can easily and comfortably fit into the cockpit. Additionally, it also has an inflatable backseat to avoid pain and pressure during long kayaking hours.
The kayak is designed with sporty graphics that enhance the safety and security of kayaking. This Intex model is available in two different colors; green and blue. It is canoe shaped and thin. The cargo net attached with it allows you to easily carry the gear and additional equipments along without gearing any sort of damages.
The kayak look has a cool and stylish look, all thanks to the sporty graphics. It is around 108 inches long and 30 inches wide. Its height is 15 inches and it weigh approximately 27lbs.
Though it is light in weight, the model has the capacity to carry a right amount of weight. Intex challenger k1 kayak offers an exemplary weight limit of 220 lbs or 100 kilograms including the user’s weight. Since this kayak is inflatable, it can easily fit into even a small and tiny space.
It offers some amazing durability. You can use the kayak for a long time without having to face any major issues and damages. Additionally, it has a beam supported system. As such, stability shouldn’t really be a matter of concern for you with this model. The kayak is stable enough not to suddenly flip over and drown. The paddles are easy to conduct and enhance the experience.
All in all, this sporty Intex Challenger K1 inflatable kayak allows you to enjoy kayaking completely. But, respect the limits as it is a budget-friendly kayak.
2. Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable
The Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Sport , weighs 6 pounds more and has the capacity to hold some good amount of weight. The kayak consists of a self bailing drain valve that enables you to quickly get rid of the excess water from the kayak when required.
It is quite a versatile kayak and is a works well in different water types. The Sea Eagle 370 model is affordable, stable and is an ideal choice for beginners. It is quiet sturdy and extremely hard to puncture. It can be literally dragged over anything and withstand tough situations. Though it is not a high-level machine model, it is a decent quality kayak. It is suitable for recreational fun, fishing and paddling adventures.
The Sea Eagle SE370 offers great sturdiness that is not found in many other inflatable kayaks within this price range. It can easily hold up to 650 pounds of cargo. The kayak maneuvers perfectly, it is quite responsive to quick turns and is provides ease in paddling. Also, the tracking and the speed is decent, considering its price.
The Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak is economical. Within a low range, it contains the kayak, the paddle(s), the inflatable seat(s), the carry bag, the pump and the repair kit. The only one necessity that it misses out is the lifejacket.
The Sea Eagle 370 model is lightweight. It is portable and can be brought anywhere with ease and comfort. In case you wish to paddle solo, then you can easily remove one of the seats. It can be adjusted according to your needs and desires without much effort and difficulties.
Though it is not the fastest or the best performing kayak in the market, it is comfortable, stable and super rugged. The kayak is also supported by a fantastic three year warranty. This affordable Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak is perfect for traveling as it is lightweight. It will suffice any beginner and also work wells for recreational use, families, fishing and camping.
3. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak has a bright color that is effortless to spot, thus offers great sense of security. Stability and durability are two major factors in kayaks and this model fares extremely well in both.
The kayak is built with SUPER-TOUGH 30-gauge vinyl over a 1200 denier nylon-shell with internal tubes. However, the paddles of the kayak are not as per the expectations; it does not perform so well in choppy waters. But, the kayak fairs extremely well in lakes and tranquil rivers. This Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is available at an affordable price. It is extremely comfortable and offers a superior weight capacity and can hold up to 400 pounds easily.
This kayak stands out in terms of space and comfort. It is very spacious and has inflatable seats with adjustable backrests that feel quite well. It is also apt choice for big and tall people, as there is enough space and not much pressure for weight. The kayak’s removable skeg provides improved tracking through the water and also lessens the side-to-side motion while paddling.
4. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
The Sevylor Quikpak model is a one-person kayak that comes with an aluminum paddle, tracking fins, and a dual-action hand pump. The other features consists an inflatable backrest, a built-in cup holder, and a recessed compartment. This coverless sit-on-top kayak comprises of a double I-beam construction.
It also has reinforced bottom, and electronically welded seams that offer extraordinary durability. It has a unique airtight and Double Lock valve system. This special system locks in air two ways, thus you do not have to fear about leakages around the valves. Also, the shell fabric is made of tough 21-gauge PVC that is resistant to sun as well as scrapes and punctures. The Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak is available under $130. It works wonders, but lacks maneuvering features.
5. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak
If you are looking for a decent kayak to begin with, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is one of the best options in the market today.
If you wish to have a small boat for your water activities then look no more. The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak is all you need.
It has all the elementary features that you need for a small kayak at a very economical price. Also, if you are pro paddler, then buying this kayak can be a great choice without costing you much. The Sun Dolphin kayak is perfectly designed to suit beginners, as well as experts.
Thus it is an apt kayak for children, weekend kayakers, and people who looking for a peaceful time in the river or lake. The Aruba 10 comes with a uniquely designed hull that is a good combination of turning and tracking. It also has convenient gear storage, along with shock cord deck rigging.
The kayak comes with adjustable foot braces and a spray deflector collar. The Aruba 10 model 10 feet long, 30 inches wide, 13 inches tall and it weighs at forty pounds. It can easily hold a weight of 2450 pounds.
The kayak is manufactured from high-density polyethylene that can withstand underwater obstacles and also the occasional run-ins with rocks. It comes with a two-year warranty that ensures protection and peace of mind.
The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 has a narrow stern and bow that keeps it going on the right track. It can easily cut through the water. It is very light and weighs only 40 lbs. It sits lightly on any type of water, thus enhancing the tracking ability. All these features assure excellent stability, for both beginners and experts.
As it is only a 10-foot kayak, it has a smaller load limit. It can carry only up to 250 lbs. There is however, an extra covered storage compartment behind your seat. All in all, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a decent recreational kayak for all the adventurous paddlers out there. It consists of all the basic features without burning a hole in your pocket.
6. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Kayak
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak has a solid construction that allows users of different sizes to fit easily and enjoy their ride without any disbalance or discomfort. Furthermore, it also has an adjustable back padded seat along with a seat pad.
The kayak has cord straps and two fishing rod holders along with two 6 inch storage compartments. These compartments provide room for long trips and have the capacity to store a large amount of gear. This best budget kayak comes with a 5-year warranty at the time of purchase and is easy to transport from one place to another.
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler weighs only 52 lbs. It is famous as the sit-on-top or SOT style of kayak. The construction enables the rider a more comfortable and enjoyable paddling experience. This model also has a very spacious dry storage area, allowing you to accommodate dry stuff such food and other things for your trip. It has a fantastic legroom that enables almost all people of all different sizes to use the kayak comfortably.
Additionally, the flexible space allows a smooth loading and unloading experience. It also has handles that make your kayaking experience easy and comfortable. It works well on rivers as well as lakes. It is lightweight and easier to transport and offers a very comfortable ride and secure ride. All in all, it is an excellent value for the money and is extremely durable.
7. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-Foot
The Skipjack 90 by Vibe is specially designed for anglers who wish to have a highly maneuverable and stable kayak with a short length and width. It is a special fishing kayak that is small, convenient and comfortable for any beginner as well as pro anglers.
Also, this sit-on-top kayak is apt for recreational use. It offers the ultimate comfort and simplicity to paddle and is stable, allowing you to perform your casting by standing on it. It has an amazing storage facility,is portable, lightweight, simple to use. The manufacturers have made use of a roto-molded single piece polyethylene. As such it is light in weight and offer more flexibility while operating it.
It is a 9 feet long kayak with a narrower width. It has a single-person sitting capability and has an extruded hull design that offers immense stability and is extremely easy to track down the kayak. Furthermore, this model has lots of options to store your fishing gear and equipment. It includes two sealed hatches with bag inserts and rear baggage area with bungee tie for additional gear and tackles storage problems.
Also, it has four flush mount rod holders provide security to the fishing rod. It even has a cup holder where you can accommodate your drinks. The kayak has a deluxe fully padded kayak seat and is very easy to put on and off. The high-quality firm foam makes the seat much more comfortable. The backrest and footrests are also very flexible.
8. Ocean Kayak 12-Feet
The Malibu kayak is a sit-on-top model with a 12-foot length. It is not very suitable for long trips and does not offer much space to occupy the gear. The bow and stern have indentions have the capacity to fit a dry bag, but it only has a minimal deck rigging to hold it in. However, the boat is lightweight and weighs 58 pounds.
Thus, It is easy to carry and extremely portable. The Malibu kayak tracks pretty well and is quite stable. It has 34 inches width at its widest. It can be converted from a tandem to a single person kayak with little effort. Basically, it has three sets of foot wells. This means a seat can be put in the center of the boat, making it much easier to paddle solo.
The kayak has a maximum carrying capacity of 425 lbs, usually occupying two adults easily. It is a perfect option for young small couples or families. It has multiple padding positions and a patented footrest that offers comfortable rest.
9. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12-Foot Sit-on top Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak is an awesome kayak to utilize on lakes and rivers. It is made from rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene. It tracks and paddles easily, offering maximum stability to the user.
It is lightweight and easy to carry. Thus, it is portable and easy for transport. It has a large and comfortable seating area, with protective thigh pads and adjustable foot braces enhance comfort and versatility. All in all, the Sun Dolphin Bali is an apt choice for any adventure enthusiast.
10. Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Inflatable Kayak
The Dirftsun Voyager 2 Person Inflatable Kayak comes with a hand pump that enables the user to have it fully inflated within 5 minutes. Also, it has two aluminum paddles with ergonomic grip handles.
The paddles of the kayak can be removed for more comfortable storage. It has two padded seats that can be easily adjusted according to needs and comfort. The kayak offers a removable rear tracking fin that allows you to adjust to choppy waters better. Additionally, it also has a travel bag and repair kit.
The Voyager 2 is portable and does not require much effort help you go in the right direction. Each feature offers some special use and serves a purpose. If you want a comfortable and relaxing kayaking experience with Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Inflatable Kayak, just follow the guidelines. It comes with warranty and helps you make the most of your trip with worries and problems.
Kayaking is an experience to cherish, so it is important that you make the most of it. For this, you require the right equipment. We hope the above guide helps you in choosing the perfect best budget kayak for your adventure. Also, consider our list of the best budget kayaks 2018 before you make a final pick. Happy Kayaking!