Best Kayak for Kids 2018 - 10 Choices For Your Precious Little Ones

Much as we (adults) enjoy kayaking, our little ones would also love the opportunity to take part in this age-old activity as well. So, instead of limiting them to the usual games around the house, why not let them explore the waters a little bit. This way they can build their physical strength while paddling around. Basically, this awesome experience begins with finding the best kayak for kids. As it turns out, not all kayaks are suitable and, therefore, it’s important to insist on quality in order to let them enjoy themselves to the fullest.

The good thing about kayaking is that it exposes your little ones to a set of challenges. The more your kid struggles to maintain balance while wading deeper and deeper into the water, the more confident they are likely to become. As you might be aware, self-confidence is one of the most important qualities we need in order to make it in life.

A good kayak will provide just the right springboard your kid needs to become the best they can be. Indeed, you can count on the best manufacturers in town to deliver features such as:

  • Molded finger handles
  • Sloped backend
  • UV protection
  • Spacious interior among other wonderful additions

Top 10 Best Kayak For Kids on The Market - Compare and Ranking Chart

They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. Some promise grandiose while others boast stability. However, knowing which one to choose requires a bit of research and fortunately, the next few paragraphs will make sure you’re just ready to make that ultimate choice.

1. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

Made of high-density polyethylene material, no doubt this kayak is built with durability in mind. Not to mention, the material is UV-immune to ensure it doesn't split, fade or crack for long-lasting performance. In addition to this, it features an ergonomic cockpit design for enhanced balance as well as motor skills.


Additionally, it boasts swim-up deck design to allow the paddler to re-enter the kayak easily while in the water. Also, it is equipped with self-bailing scupper holes that drain the cockpit off any water to ensure you don’t get soaked wet. Besides, it is fitted with reverse chine which allows for better stability.

Pros

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    Various footrest positions to for multiple size paddlers
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    Includes molded paddle cradles
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    Excellent tracking ability thanks to the twin fin design
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    Boasts molded finger-handles

Cons

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    Lacks a dry compartment

2. Old Town Canoes Heron Junior Kids Kayak

If you are looking for a high-performance kayak for your kids, this model stands out as an excellent choice. At 26 pounds, it is very light in weight and comes with bow and stern carrying handles for ease of transportation. Besides, it is able to hold up to 115 pounds of load weight.

 
On top of that, the kayak features an internal foam billet to ensure it is not sent to the bottom of the lake in the event your kid tips it over. Thanks to its Tag-along Tow system, you can accompany your kid on all his trips by simply hooking up the kayak to your boat. 

Pros

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    Comes with a comfy seat that is contoured
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    Tracks well for easy maneuverability and paddling
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    You can choose from two vivid colors

Cons

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    For the price, load capacity is a bit on the lower side

3. Sun Dolphin Bali 6-Foot Kayak

Featuring a large and open cockpit, you can be sure your kids will have no difficulties entering and exiting the kayak. What’s more, the kayak is fitted with a very comfortable seating area in case your kid is going to be out on the water for long. Also, it comes with molded-in graduated foot wells to allow for different sized paddlers to ride the kayak.

As if that’s not enough, it comes with a convenient and secure paddle holder along with carrying handles for ease of portability. Besides that, it is constructed from rugged high-density polyethylene that is UV-stabilized to ensure it can withstand the test of time. 

Pros

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    Has great stability
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    Lightweight for ease of carrying
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    Tracks and paddles great
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    Self-bailing to keep the cockpit dry

Cons

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    Seat might need extra cushion

4. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

This is yet another great kayak for kids that feature heavy-duty vinyl construction for maximum durability. Basically, the kayak is not easily punctured. But if it gets serious punctures, you don’t have to worry as it’s fitted with two separate air-chambers to ensure you can paddle back to the shore safely.

In addition to this, the kayak features I-beam floor to ensure the stability of the kayak. It also comes with an inflatable seat alongside a backrest for enhanced comfort throughout the time your kid will be on the water. Besides, it is fitted with Boston valves that make inflating the kayak a breeze. 

Pros

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    Includes a removable skeg for improved tracking ability
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    Comes with a manual hand-pump and aluminum oar
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    Eye-catching graphics ensure safety
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    Grab lines for easy transportation

Cons

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    Does not dry up easily

5. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Kayak 

With a maximum weight capacity of 650lbs, this kayak can be used by both adults and kids. In fact, it can hold up to three people comfortably although it only comes with two inflatable seats. Besides, it comes with lashed-down spray skirts to protect you from water splashes.

The kayak also boasts 38 Mil k-80 PolyKrylar material that is both sun and saltwater resistant. Therefore, with proper care, this kayak can definitely last a lifetime. In addition, it is equipped with a self-bailing valve to keep the cockpit free of water. And thanks to its two skegs, this kayak tracking and speed is excellent. 

Pros

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    Inflates in just 8 minutes
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    Comes with two carry-handles and a carry bag for ease of portability
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    Certified by NMMA
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    Includes 5-deluxe one-way valves for quick inflation

Cons

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    Does not track well in fast moving water

6. Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak

This is a great recreational kayak that your kids can use on the lake or the river. It is a one-person kayak that features an open cockpit for easy entry and exit. In addition, it comes with a portable carrier that can be used as a tow behind in case you would like to tag along. The carrier can also serve as extra storage.
On top of that, it boasts a spacious seating area with adjustable foot braces to accommodate paddlers of different heights. It also incorporated with thigh pads to keep your child comfortable throughout the trip. Additionally, the kayak tracks with ease while offering optimal stability. 

Pros

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    Well-built for maximum durability
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    Compact and lightweight design allows for ease of carrying
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    Comfortable seating area
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    Has a large 395lb weight capacity

Cons

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    You will have to buy plugs separately

7. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with a Paddle

Designed specifically for children above five years weighing up to 130lbs, this little kayak has all it takes to be called be the best kayak for kids. First off, it is blow-molded from high-quality polyethylene to ensure great durability and strength. On top of that, it has a wide stance designed to ensure optimal stability in order to keep your kid safe in the kayak.

Additionally, it features swim-up design along with a sloped back-end to allow your kid to quickly re-enter the Lifetime Youth Wave from the water. Also, the kayak is fitted with multiple footrest positions which means children of different sizes can ride in it. There are also scupper holes to drain away water from the cockpit. 

Pros

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    Comes with a double-sided black paddle
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    Easy to transport thanks to the molded finger handles
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    Weighs just 18lbs hence very lightweight
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    Open cockpit allows for easy entry and exit

Cons

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    Comes in a flimsy packaging

8. Ocean Kayak Frenzy Recreational Kayak

Featuring a padded Comfort Plus seat back with great cushioning, this kayak makes it easy for your kids to paddle all day long. Further, the seat allows for four-way adjustability which makes the kayak perfect for different types of paddlers including adults. And for ease of carrying, it boasts solid bow and stern handles.

At nine feet, the kayak is small to store and easy to lift on the back of a car top. In addition, it features the popular Tri-Form design for enhanced maneuverability, stability and even tracking. Also, it comes with a replaceable skid plate at the rear to protect its underside from damage when it comes in contact with the ground.

Pros

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    A lot of storage options to choose from
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    Available in three bright colors with high visibility
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    Made of highest-quality materials
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    Very stable and tracks in a straight line

Cons

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    You might need to buy small scupper plugs to keep the cockpit off water

9. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Made out of heavy-duty and puncture-resistant vinyl, this kayak will definitely withstand the test of time as long as it is used in smaller bodies of water. It boasts a removable skeg that incredible directional stability. Also, it is equipped with two air chambers to ensure you stay afloat in case one chamber just pops.

Further, the kayak includes an inflatable seat that can be adjusted according to your child's comfort level. It also comes with a backrest that provides incredible support during those all-day trips. But probably the best feature is its bright yellow color that ensures great visibility in the event of an emergency.

Pros

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    Boston valves make inflation and deflation of the kayak easy
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    Holds up to 480lbs of weight capacity
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    Grab line and handle make it easy to transport the kayak
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    Inflatable I-beam floor ensures extra comfort

Cons

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    Too heavy for a child to carry

10. Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem Kayak

This is a two-person kayak but it can accommodate two adults and one kid. It features overlapping foot wells to ensure the center-seated paddler enjoy a comfortable ride. The center seat also allows for solo paddling. In addition to this, it comes with molded-in seat wells that allow for secure paddling.

As if that's not enough, the kayak is fitted with a skid plate that shields the underside of the kayak from damage for added durability. Besides, it includes carrying handles on the sides so you can easily transport the kayak from the car to the water and back. And when it comes to storage, it features a unique design that allows you to stack various hulls for easy on-dock storage. 

Pros

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    Easy to get in and out of the kayak
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    Tracks well and is very stable
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    Comfortable seat for three people to sit
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    Boasts high-quality construction

Cons

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    Pretty heavy 

Buying Guide- Which is Best For You?

Kids' kayaks are a little bit different from adults. As such, there are a few features parents should be on the lookout for when buying a kayak for their children. These features include:

Weight

One of the crucial factors to consider is the weight of the kayak. The best kayak for your child needs to be very light in weight. This way your kid will have an easy time moving it. In relation to this, you should also consider a kayak with carrying handles so that your child can easily move it. 

Stability

This is one of the features that gets overlooked quite easily yet is very important. Kids need a kayak with excellent stability especially if it will be their first time to use one. Good stability means your kids safety is guaranteed. So look out for units with skegs, fins or chines which are some of the features that help in stabilizing a boat.

Towing

Compared to adult boats, kids kayaks are designed to be shorter. Mostly, the best kayaks for children are between 6-feet and 10-feet in length. This is because they turn easily, lighter and very easy to carry. In addition, shorter kayaks have great maneuverability, are easy to track and more balanced. 

Cockpit Design

If your child is completely new to kayaking, then you should get him or her kayak with a large and open cockpit. This way your kid will have an easy time entering and exiting the boat. In regard to the cockpit design, you should probably opt for a kayak with a swim-up design so that in the event your child trips it, he will have an easy time re-entering. 

Final Verdicte

Kayaking is both very fulfilling and a fun sport that can definitely make your child learn a lot of things. Looking at all the kayak options for kids in this guide, we can say that all of them are a great buy depending on your child needs or preferences. However, the Old Town Canoes Heron Junior Kids Kayak stands out as our top pick. This is because it comes with a towing system, a comfortable seat and great stability in case your child tips it over. What's more, it tracks very well and is very light in weight.

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