13 Best Kayaks for Kids

13 Best Kayaks for Kids

If kayaking is a thrilling and fun-filled activity for you, then imagine how much fun our children will have! In fact, getting out on the water with a kayak is also an excellent way to drag your kids away from those screens and get them outdoors. One great way in which kids can join you out on your water adventures is by letting them ride in your kayak. However, getting kids their own kayaks is an equally excellent idea, especially if you want to get them used to a kayak and the activity of kayaking. The best kayaks for kids are lightweight, small, and are easy for children to steer. What’s more, many come equipped with a whole lot of additional safety features which you, as a parent, will greatly appreciate.

If the last thing you want to do is worry about your kids when they first start kayaking, looking for the most suitable and safest kayaks is a must. Luckily, there are many excellent options in the market that are specially designed by keeping children, their build, and their needs in mind. To that end, here are the 13 best kayaks for kids.

How To Choose The Best Kayaks for Kids?

Whether it’s choosing the Best Water Shoes For Kids, the Best Life Jackets For Kids, or the best kayaks for children, there are certain considerations such as size, weight, weight capacity, and more that don’t work the same way as they do for adults. So, what do you need to look for before choosing a kayak for your child?

Cost

One of the biggest concerns about children’s kayaks is that they tend to grow out of them so fast. That’s why these crafts come in a range of prices based on which features they come with. Additionally, you also want to make sure that your children are serious about kayaking in the longer term before investing more in a higher-level kayak. That said, the higher the kayak is priced, the more features it comes with.

Weight capacity

When it comes to children’s kayaks, the weight limits are very different as compared to those of adult kayaks. So, consider the weight of your little one and how long you think they’ll be able to use the canoe before they outgrow it. Also, you might want to go with a kayak with higher weight limits if you want to be able to use it too.

Weight

Since children weigh less than adults, their kayaks also tend to weigh considerably less than those of adults. That said, it also helps the little ones handle and carry their boats to the water on their own or with just a little bit of help. In fact, there are many options for lighter-weight models that are easier for children to steer as compared to larger models. Hence, if you want your kid to be able to carry their own boat, then choose a model that they can easily hoist.

Stability

What affects a kayak’s stability is the width and the shape of the hull. If you’re worried that your child might go too fast and tip over, then look for kayaks with pontooned hulls or wide flat bottoms. Sleeker kayaks tend to move faster and also have greater chances of tipping over, making them slightly unsuitable for young children. Also, always make sure that you outfit your children with all safety equipment no matter how stable the kayak is.

Style

Finally, we come to kayak styles, which can either be solid, also known as hardshell, or inflatable ones. Plus, there are also sit-on-top and sit-inside varieties too, and all of them have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Sit-inside kayaks, for instance, are slightly easier to steer but could fill up with water. Sit-on-top ones keep you well above the water but require additional deftness in steering. And while we all assume that solid kayaks are safer than inflatable ones, inflatable ones today take up very little storage space and are extra durable.

How to determine if kids can ride in their own kayak?

If your child is less than five years old or hesitant to ride in their own kayak, then it’s best of they ride tandem with you alone or with two adults. That way, they can experience the thrill of kayaking without worrying about being out there on their own. Once your child is five years old, they can practice their paddling skills with supervision before getting launching out in their very own kids kayaks. After going through a few chaperoned expeditions until the age of 12 years, they can transition to a full-sized kayak!

Sun Dolphin Bali Sit-on-top Kayak

13

Your little ones have the choice of three great colors, blue, red, and tangerine when it comes to the amazing Sun Dolphin Bali Sit-on-top Kayak. One of the best kayaks for kids, the Bali kayak is specifically great for children who are as young as three years old. So, it’s great for chaperoned practice out on a huge pool or a small body of water. Even children between the ages of six and nine years can enjoy this kayak, provided they weigh less than 140 lbs. Not only does the kayak paddle easily, but it tracks well too. Plus, it offers decent enough stability that it won’t tip over. And even if it does, your kids can reenter very easily, thanks to the open cockpit. Rounding up the features is the spacious and comfortable seating area, complete with a paddle holder.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-on-top
  • Length: 6 feet
  • Weight capacity: 140 lbs

Pros:

  • Durable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Stable.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include a towing system.

Check Price & Info

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak

12

Designed in two bright colors orange and blue, the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak is one nice-looking kayak for children. Not only are they large enough for your children to go paddling on their own, but also they’re small enough so you can tag it behind your craft. It tracks wonderfully easily, allowing your child to maneuver it very well using just simple strokes and minimizing their effort. The contoured and comfortable seat is made just for children and fits their small bodies well. Moreover, the 26-lbs kayak even has an internal foam billet so even if the kayak tips, it won’t sink. Rounding up the features is its nice 100-115 lbs capacity, allowing your kid to use it even when they grow older.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-inside
  • Length: 7-7.5 feet
  • Weight capacity: 115 lbs

Pros:

  • Comfortable and contoured seat.
  • Internal foam billet.

Cons:

  • None, really.

Check Price & Info

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

11

The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is one of the best kayaks for kids for more than one reason. For one, it comes in three amazing colors, beige, blue, and green, suiting the sensibilities of most children. Secondly, it has a 130 lbs weight capacity, so it’ll be able to accommodate a growing child. Thirdly, it weighs all of 18 lbs, which makes it easy for even your child to carry it on their own to the water. There’s a lot more to like about the kayak such as the molded finger handles which improves stability by helping children keep their grip.

You’ll also find the reverse chine helping greatly with the stability, along with a swim-up step that allows kids to get inside the boat easily. Plus, the double wedge design pretty much guarantees that the craft won’t tip over. Two storage compartments at the front and back even allow your child to pack their own gear! Rounding up the features are paddle cradle, footrests, and the small drains that remove any water that enters the craft.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-on-top
  • Length: 6 feet
  • Weight capacity: 130 lbs

Pros:

  • Comes in three colors.
  • Storage compartments.
  • Molded finger handles and chine help with stability.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for towing.

Check Price & Info

Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak

10

The Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak is perfect for small children who want to explore either small lakes or backyard ponds or bodies of water. Measuring 6 feet in length, this uncomplicated and easy-to-use kayak boasts a shallow hull shape. It’s what makes it very easy for kids to get inside and take it out on the water. Moreover, it offers superb levels of stability and doesn’t easily tip either. Plus, the compact size of the kayak makes it easy for children to maneuver. The relatively flat cockpit allows your children to get in and get out easily and even use it as a portable dock. A lightweight 22 lbs design and a whopping weight capacity of 140 lbs allow even a growing child to easily use this kayak for a few good years.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-on-top
  • Length: 6 feet
  • Weight capacity: 140 lbs

Pros:

  • Hull design is great for stability and tracking.
  • In-molded side handles.
  • Durable.

Cons:

  • Practically none.

Check Price & Info

Perception Prodigy XS Sit Inside Kayak

9

Is your child a growing one? Then you’ll love the Perception Prodigy XS Sit-Inside Kayak, which is one of the most value-for-money good kayaks for kids. Don’t be fooled by the ‘XS’ tag – the craft is 10 feet in length with a weight capacity of a whopping 150 lbs! So, not only is it perfect for bigger kids, but it’s also a cincher for growing children, no matter their age. Slightly more expensive and sophisticated than the other kayaks on this list, the robust Prodigy boasts a host of comfort features, such as adjustable footrests and a padded seat. It allows children to stay comfortable on the water on longer kayaking expeditions. The sit-inside hull and cockpit-style offer optimal levels of stability, while the flotation foam in-built into the bow adds buoyancy too.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-inside
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Weight capacity: 150 lbs

Pros:

  • Padded cockpit ring.
  • Front and back toggle handle.
  • Adjustable footrests.
  • Padded and thick adjustable seat.

Cons:

  • Expensive.

Check Price & Info

Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak

8

Now, the Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak is one excellent, versatile, and all-rounder kayak, as it’s also perfect for adults. It not only features amongst the Best Kayaks for Lakes but even on the list of Best Fishing Kayaks Under $700, making it a great value-for-money boat for you and your child. It’s an excellent kayak if you want to take your child out on chaperoned trips around the lake. For starters, this boat’s emphasis is on stability, not speed. So, even if your kid bounces around, the kayak won’t tip over. However, what you’ll really appreciate is all the storage space you have, along with the bungee cord lacing on the deck. So, you can bring your and your kid’s necessities without sacrificing any gear.

The kayak also focuses on comfort with features such as elevated and contoured seats, adjustable footrests, and even paddle cradles for securing the paddles. All these lend comfort to your hands, legs, and back, allowing you and your child to actually enjoy kayaking the waters.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-on-top
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Durable.
  • Stable and excellent tracking.

Cons:

  • Virtually none.

Check Price & Info

Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak

7

One of the best kayaks for kids who are young adults or preteens is the Lifetime Lotus Sit-on-top Kayak with Paddle. The fact that it’s one of the Best Beginners’ Kayaks is just an indication as to how amazing this boat is for children who’re just starting out kayaking. Made from high-density polyethylene, the craft is durable, stable, and resistant to UV rays. So, your child will have no problem maneuvering it. They are also extremely comfortable, thanks to many footrest positions as well as the adjustable seat with a contoured backrest. What’s more, your child can carry all their own gear along as there is a lot of storage onboard the craft, including tank well storage and bungee cord lacing. Rounding up the features are the center carry handles and its lightweight design, making it an easy carry.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-on-top
  • Length: 8 feet
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable.
  • Adjustable and comfortable seat.
  • Lots of storage.

Cons

  • The backrest isn’t padded.

Check Price & Info

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

6

Yet another excellent kayak for older children and teens is the Sevylor Quikpak K1, which is extremely easy for your child to set it up on their own. What’s more, the inflatable kayak is very packable too, and your kid can fold it easily right into their backpacks! Made from 21-gauge PVC with a waterproof polyurethane bottom, the kayak is resistant to rips and tears so your child can explore any kind of surface without you getting worried. Plus, it’s extremely durable and strong too, along with being very comfortable thanks to the attached backrest and adjustable footrests. Your kid can even tie their own gear to the bungee space and sip on their favorite beverage from the drink holder! Stable and lightweight, this is one craft that your children will love.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-on-top
  • Length: 8.5 feet
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs

Pros:

  • Portable and packable.
  • Stable and lightweight.
  • Durable.

Cons:

  • Slightly unsuitable for choppy or windy waters.

Check Price & Info

Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak

5

If you have older kids and the entire family is serious about kayaking, then we’d highly recommend the Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak. The maneuverable and lightweight kayak is also an excellent starter boat for children, thanks to the 260-lbs weight capacity and limit. There’s a lot to like about this kayak, starting with the retractable paddle handles for supreme packability. The spacious cockpit has adjustable foot braces, protective thigh pads, and padded seats, all of which contribute greatly towards comfort. You’ll also find the bow and stern storage space as well as shock-cord deck rigging for attaching gear. Rounding up the features are the two flush-mounted rod holders, making it a great all-around kayak.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-inside
  • Length: 8 feet
  • Weight capacity: 260 lbs

Pros:

  • High-quality lightweight build.
  • Durable and portable.
  • Comes with two rod-holders.
  • Lots of storage space.

Cons:

  • Practically none.

Check Price & Info

Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak

4

Available in three vibrant colors of red, yellow, and blue, the Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak is perfect for smaller and younger paddlers who want to indulge in close-to-shore cruising. With a 100 lbs weight capacity, this sit-on-top kayak is easy for your child to get in and get out of. It’s self-bailing too, making it ideal for shorter trips close to the shore. What’s more, it even comes with a safety flag, which goes a long way in helping you keep an eye out for your babies as they head out in the open waters. Moreover, the hull shape and open cockpit allow for maneuverability and lends stability too. Finally, the handle on the swim-up rear deck helps children pull themselves back on board after a jump or a fall.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-on-top
  • Length: 6 feet
  • Weight capacity: 100 lbs

Pros:

  • Comes with a cup holder, molded footrests, and handle on the swim-up rear deck.
  • Features a safety flag and a child-sized paddle.

Cons:

  • None!

Check Price & Info

Intex Challenger K1 -1-Person Kayak

3

An excellent kids kayak for young adults who’re serious about kayaking is the value-for-money Intex Challenger K1, which also happens to feature amongst the Best Inflatable Kayaks under $500. With a 220 lbs weight capacity, it can easily accommodate your adolescent kid as well as their gear. The large cockpit sits on a closed deck, not allowing water to seep inside. Plus, thanks to the rigid beam floor and the grab lines on both ends, the craft stays highly stable too, while heavy vinyl material adds to the durability. Besides the storage areas, what you’ll like about the kayak is the eye-catching and visible design, allowing you to keep an eye on your kids. Finally, the craft even comes with a high-output manual pump, allowing your kid to set it up within less than 10-15 minutes.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-inside
  • Length: 9 feet
  • Weight capacity: 220 lbs

Pros:

  • Easy to inflate and deflate.
  • Great quality of the build.

Cons:

  • None, really.

Check Price & Info

Best Choice Products Sports Kids Kayak

2

If your kid is just beginning to learn kayaking and wants an easy-to-handle boat, then look no further than the Best Choice Products Sports Kids Kayak. Not only is this kayak easy to handle, but it’s also easy to carry. Hence, if you want your child to be able to haul their boat all by themselves, then this is what you should be investing in. After all, it weighs just 18 lbs! Going further, the kayak has a front handle with a rear wheel and two side handles. So, the kids don’t need to haul it all on their own. Despite being something of a starter kayak, it has many grownup kayak features such as a padded and comfortable seat, a cup holder, and storage compartments. All these together will allow your little one to learn kayaking techniques and seamlessly transition to larger kayaks.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-on-top
  • Length: 6 feet
  • Weight capacity: 121 lbs

Pros:

  • Roller wheels and side and front handles.
  • Open cockpit.
  • Storage compartments and front bungee.
  • Comes with a child-sized paddle.

Cons:

  • Virtually none.

Check Price & Info

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

1

We finally come to the top of the list of best kayaks for kids, a spot that’s occupied by the inimitable Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak. Perfect for recreational kayaking, the kayak comes in four vibrant colors, blue, red, green, and pink. The highly-rated children’s kayak has a lot going for it, starting with its ease of use and affordability. The wide, pontoon-like base lends a ton of stability to the kayak, making sure that it won’t tp over. Moreover, the impact-resistant construction keeps it floating much to your relief. What’s more, the molded finger handles and lightweight design allow older kids to carry and launch the kayak on their own. Plus, if they jump or fall into the water, the boat can even be turned into a diving board. Finally, the swim-up step and sloped back end make it for them to climb back on.

Specifications

  • Style: Sit-on-top
  • Length: 6 feet
  • Weight capacity: 130 lbs

Pros:

  • Multiple footrest positions.
  • Wide and stable bottom.
  • Swim-up step.
  • Comes with a kids paddle.

Cons:

  • None!

Check Price & Info

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top