My 10 Best Kayaks for Kids (Reviews & Comparison)

QUICK ANSWER: MY BEST KAYAKS FOR KIDS

MY BEST KAYAKS FOR KIDS COMPARISON:

Product:
Features:
Pros/Cons:
Price:
Best for budget
Best
SUN DOLPHIN BALI 6 FOOR SIT ON TOP
  • Length: 6ft
  • TYPE: Solid sit-on-top
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 23lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 140lbs
  • Features: High-density polyethylene, Open cockpit for quick entry, Lightweight design, Different footwell positions
    • Budget friendly
    • lightweight
    • tracks well
    • roomy
    • Lacks many handles
    • loading and unloading can be difficult
    Best for advanced kids paddlers
    Best
    OCEAN KAYAK BANZAI KIDS KAYAK
  • Length: 9.6 ft
  • TYPE:  Solid sit-on-top
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 36lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 230lbs
  • Features: Molded-in handles for easy carrying, Low profile for small bodies, Molded-in cup holder to keep hydration close
    • Low profile for easy movement
    • can be towed by parents when kids are tired
    • tons of useful feature
    • Can be a little bit difficult for learning
    Best for winter conditions and longer rivers
    Best
    INTEX CHALLENGER K1
  • Length: 9ft
  • TYPE: Inflatable sit in kayak
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 27.2 lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 220 lbs
  • Features: Inflatable seats with great backrest, A larger cockpit, Includes a hand pump, Aluminum paddle, Tough I-beam floor to offer stability
    • Added stability
    • durable
    • great in cold weather conditions
    • comes with a hand pump
    • A hole can render it useless
    Best for fishing or diving
    Best
    MALIBU MINI
  • Length: 9 ft
  • TYPE: Sit-on-Top
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 40 lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 375 lbs
  • Features: 32-inch wide beam for stability, Sliding adjustable foot braces for all sizes, Lightweight design, Comfortable carry handles for easy carrying, Large bungee storage areas
    • Stable for young paddlers
    • great storage space
    • lightweight
    • easy to grab handles
    • Doesn’t track well
    Best budget kayak for kids age 12 and above
    Best
    PELICAN SUMMIT 100X
  • Length: 10 ft
  • TYPE: Sit-In kayak
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 35lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 275 lbs
  • Features: Durable polyethylene construction, Adjustable seats for a different size, Great footpegs
    • Budget-friendly
    • maneuverable
    • adjustable seating for extra comfort
    • Doesn’t come with a paddle
    • inadequate storage space
    Best for kids between 4.6 ft and 5.5 ft
    Best
    SUN DOLPHIN ARUBA SS 8
  • Length: 8ft
  • TYPE:  Sit-In kayak
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 27lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 260lbs
  • Features: Wet & dry storage compartment, Adjustable padded seat-back for extra comfort, Paddle and drink holders for convenience, 28-inch wide beam for stability, Available in blue, red and orange
    • Stable
    • great features, and accessories
    • plenty of storage space
    • Sides are a little bit too high making it difficult to paddle
    Best for beginners
    Best
    OCEAN KAYAK FRENZY SIT-ON-TOP RECREATIONAL KAYAK FOR KIDS
  • Length: 9ft
  • TYPE:  Sit-On-Top
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 43lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 325lbs
  • Features: Responsive and stable design, 4-way adjustable comfort seats, Molded-in side handles for easy carrying, Removable bungee for extra storage 
    • Designed for stability
    • tracks well
    • maneuverable
    • easy to transport
    • You need to invest on scupper plugs if you don’t want water coming from the bottom
    Best sit on top with outstanding maneuverability
    Best
    OLD TOWN CANOES & KAYAKS HERON JUNIOR KIDS KAYAK
  • Length: 7.5 ft
  • TYPE: Sit-On-Top
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 26lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 115lbs
  • Features: Single layer polyethylene construction, Tag-along tow system for easy towing, Contoured seats for small  paddles, Molded cockpit design
    • Maneuverable
    • lightweight
    • Stable
    • Innovative tag-along tow system
    • You have to buy a paddle separately
    Best for stability
    Best
    BEST CHOICE SPORTS 6’ KIDS KAYAK
  • Length: 6ft
  • TYPE: Solid sit-on-top
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 18lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 130lbs
  • Features: Padded seats and backrest, Comes in yellow or blue, UV protected plastic, Includes a 50-inch paddle, Wide design to provide the much-needed stability
    • Highly stable
    • durable
    • molded-in footwells for the much-needed security
    • built storage
    • Not as comfortable as we would want it to be
    Best for growing kids and summer seasons
    Best
    EMOTION SPARKY YOUTH
  • Length: 6 ft
  • TYPE:  Sit-On-Top
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 22lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 140 lbs
  • Features: High-density Polyethylene construction, High-quality deck for stability, 4-molded footwell to accommodate growing children, Lightweight design, Great Hull design for stability, Self-bailing scupper holes for easy draining
    • Superior construction
    • stable
    • tracks well
    • lightweight
    • Not equipped with a back rest

     

    MY BEST KAYAKS FOR KIDS REVIEWS:

    SUN DOLPHIN BALI 6 FOOR SIT ON TOP

    • Length: 6ft
    • TYPE: Solid sit-on-top
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 23lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 140lbs
    • Features: High-density polyethylene, Open cockpit for quick entry, Lightweight design, Different footwell positions
    • Pros:  Budget friendly, lightweight, tracks well, roomy
    • Cons: Lacks many handles, loading and unloading can be difficult

     

    OCEAN KAYAK BANZAI KIDS KAYAK

    • Length: 9.6 ft
    • TYPE:  Solid sit-on-top
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 36lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 230lbs
    • Features: Molded-in handles for easy carrying, Low profile for small bodies, Molded-in cup holder to keep hydration close
    • Pros: Low profile for easy movement, can be towed by parents when kids are tired, tons of useful feature
    • Cons: Can be a little bit difficult for learning

     

    INTEX CHALLENGER K1

    • Length: 9ft
    • TYPE: Inflatable sit in kayak
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 27.2 lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 220 lbs
    • Features: Inflatable seats with great backrest, A larger cockpit, Includes a hand pump, Aluminum paddle, Tough I-beam floor to offer stability
    • Pros: Added stability, durable, great in cold weather conditions, comes with a hand pump
    • Cons: A hole can render it useless

     

    MALIBU MINI

    • Length: 9 ft
    • TYPE: Sit-on-Top
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 40 lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 375 lbs
    • Features: 32-inch wide beam for stability, Sliding adjustable foot braces for all sizes, Lightweight design, Comfortable carry handles for easy carrying, Large bungee storage areas
    • Pros: Stable for young paddlers, great storage space, lightweight, easy to grab handles
    • Cons: Doesn’t track well

     

    PELICAN SUMMIT 100X

    • Length: 10 ft
    • TYPE: Sit-In kayak
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 35lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 275 lbs
    • Features: Durable polyethylene construction, Adjustable seats for a different size, Great footpegs
    • Pros: Budget-friendly, maneuverable, adjustable seating for extra comfort
    • Cons: Doesn’t come with a paddle, inadequate storage space

     

    SUN DOLPHIN ARUBA SS 8

    • Length: 8ft
    • TYPE:  Sit-In kayak
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 27lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 260lbs
    • Features: Wet & dry storage compartment, Adjustable padded seat-back for extra comfort, Paddle and drink holders for convenience, 28-inch wide beam for stability, Available in blue, red and orange
    • Pros: Stable, great features, and accessories, plenty of storage space
    • Cons: Sides are a little bit too high making it difficult to paddle

     

    OCEAN KAYAK FRENZY SIT-ON-TOP RECREATIONAL KAYAK

    • Length: 9ft
    • TYPE:  Sit-On-Top
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 43lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 325lbs
    • Features: Responsive and stable design, 4-way adjustable comfort seats, Molded-in side handles for easy carrying, Removable bungee for extra storage 
    • Pros: Designed for stability, tracks well, maneuverable, easy to transport
    • Cons: You need to invest on scupper plugs if you don’t want water coming from the bottom

     

    OLD TOWN CANOES & KAYAKS HERON JUNIOR KIDS KAYAK

    • Length: 7.5 ft
    • TYPE: Sit-On-Top
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 26lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 115lbs
    • Features: Single layer polyethylene construction, Tag-along tow system for easy towing, Contoured seats for small  paddles, Molded cockpit design
    • Pros: Maneuverable, lightweight, Stable, Innovative tag-along tow system
    • Cons: You have to buy a paddle separately

     

    BEST CHOICE SPORTS 6’ KIDS KAYAK

    • Length: 6ft
    • TYPE: Solid sit-on-top
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 18lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 130lbs
    • Features: Padded seats and backrest, Comes in yellow or blue, UV protected plastic, Includes a 50-inch paddle, Wide design to provide the much-needed stability
    • Pros: Highly stable, durable, molded-in footwells for the much-needed security, built storage
    • Cons: Not as comfortable as we would want it to be

     

    EMOTION SPARKY YOUTH

    • Length: 6 ft
    • TYPE:  Sit-On-Top
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 22lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 140 lbs
    • Features: High-density Polyethylene construction, High-quality deck for stability, 4-molded footwell to accommodate growing children, Lightweight design, Great Hull design for stability, Self-bailing scupper holes for easy draining
    • Pros:  Superior construction, stable, tracks well, lightweight
    • Cons: Not equipped with a back rest

     

     

    HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR  KIDS KAYAK

    As when you are buying a kayak for your own use, there are a couple of things you need to consider when buying a kayak for kids. As you sieve those tons and tons of kayaking for kids, here are some of the things you might want to consider at all times.

    DURABILITY AND MATERIALS

    We all know our kids, they are likely to put a kayak through some little abuse and for that very reason; we need to ensure we get them a durable kayak as possible. Normally, a kayak made from high-density polyethylene always comes highly recommended for kids and that is because of two reasons. First, such materials offer superb durability and second it is well known because of its longevity. With that, you can be sure the kayak will be able to withstand rough use.

    KAYAL WEIGHT

    Choosing the right kayak weight for your kids is also important and must be factored in at all times. This will not only help parents and kids carry the kayak with so much ease but also determine how safe your child. For example, imagine the boat capsizing all of a sudden and if it was too heavy, obviously, it will be very hard for your child to get out. So what is the right weight for your kid? Normally a kayak weighing around 18 to 36 lbs will be the best shot. With such a weight, a child can handle any issues without any problem.

    SIZE

    When it comes to kids kayak, length and weight are the two most important things. When shopping for your kid’s kayak, ensure you go for a short and wide kayak. With such a kayak, we are talking about great stability for beginner paddlers and also the right size for your kids to fit in nicely. Nevertheless, as your kid moves to advanced kayaking experience, you can get for a more adult-like design. In this case, a longer and narrower kayak will make a lot of sense.

    SAFETY FEATURES

    How safe your child when kayaking is paramount. It should be your highest priority. When sieving through that long list of kids’ kayaks, pay more attention to safety features that can help increase stability and also ease of entry and exit. When it comes to safety, here are some of the things you should be on the lookout for.

    • Hull design: As you might already know, the hull design can determine the number of things including the stability of your boat. For kids’ kayak, a double hull or pontoon hull will make a lot of sense. This provides a rounded bottom and that can in way minimize water effect on the boat and that will prevent it from tipping over.
    • Wider kayak: If your kids are getting started with this sporting activity, a wider kayak is what you should be going for real soon. It is stable and that will prevent those serious capsizing accidents in the water.
    • Open cockpit: Go for the largest cockpit possible. That alone allows for easy entry and exit. You really don’t want your child going through a lot of trouble when getting in or out of the kayak.
    • Sit on Top: Yes, it is true we have sit-in kayaks made for kids, but sit on top kayaks often comes highly recommended for kids. They usually come with simpler construction and highly durable. They are able to withstand any abuse by childrens kayakers.
    • Tow system and ropes: This is essential for parents. With this great feature, as a parent, you can easily tow the kayak to the shore in case your child gets tired and is not able to paddle anymore. As for the rope, if you can get a 20-foot rope, that would be really great.

    STABILITY FEATURES

    On top of the width of your kayak, there are other tons of features that help stabilize your kid’s kayak. First, are the chines; they are found on the boat hull and help stabilize the boat. In the recent past, we have seen kids boats come with reverse chines. These are typically fins that help stabilize the boat both laterally and also in tracking it in a straight line as your paddle.

    So when buying a kayak for your kids, ensure it comes with fins, Chines or even skeg. These features come with plenty of benefits such as great stability and flawless tracking.

    PADDLE HOLDERS

    This feature is often overlooked, but it does come with great benefits. They are normally depression in the plastic that is equipped with shock cord lashing that goes over the paddle. They look quite simple, but can truly come in handy. For example, should you decide to tow your kids, obviously, they wouldn’t keep holding on the paddle the entire time. This is where the paddle holder comes in.

    ADJUSTABLE FOOD BRACES

    Kids grow rapidly fast and you might want to take care of their ever-growing bodies. There is no other better way than with adjustable foot braces. Different foot braces will enable the kayak to fit different leg lengths better. That will also help you save a lot of money in the long run; you will not have to invest your money on a new kayak once your child grows up. All you will have to do is to adjust a few things and you are good to go.

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