For a lot of people, the thought of taking up kayaking as a regular hobby or sport is far too expensive a prospect. However, this certainly does not need to be the case. Kayaking can be as cost-effective as you so want it to be.

One of the many great things about the sport is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a kayak to get one that’s of high quality. Dependant on the style and type of kayak that you are in the market for. In this guide to the best cheap kayaks, we’re going to take a look at the features that you should be typically be looking for in a kayak – i.e. those that are fundamental to the good working of a kayak, as well as some reviews on the best cheap kayaks that are available on the market today.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak, Olive, 120"
Sea Eagle 330 Pro 2 Person Inflatable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat with Pump and Oars
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak (Blue, 12-Feet)
Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak (Paddle Included), Blue, 6'
Intex Explorer K2
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
Sea Eagle 330
Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12
Lifetime Youth Wave
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Length: 10'3"
Length: 10'
Length: 11'2"
Length: 12'
Length: 6'
Maximum Capacity: 350 lbs
Maximum Capacity: 275 lbs
Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs
Maximum Capacity: 395 lbs
Maximum Capacity: 130 lbs
No. Of Seats: 1
No. Of Seats: 1
No. Of Seats: 2
No. Of Seats: 1
No. Of Seats: 1
Body Type: Inflatable
Body Type: Hardshell
Body Type: Inflatable
Body Type: Hardshell
Body Type: Hardshell
Kayak Type: Sit On Top Solo
Kayak Type: Sit On Top Solo
Kayak Type: Sit On Top Tandem
Kayak Type: Sit On Top
Kayak Type: Sit On Top
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Intex Explorer K2
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Length: 10'3"
Maximum Capacity: 350 lbs
No. Of Seats: 1
Body Type: Inflatable
Kayak Type: Sit On Top Solo
Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak, Olive, 120"
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
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Length: 10'
Maximum Capacity: 275 lbs
No. Of Seats: 1
Body Type: Hardshell
Kayak Type: Sit On Top Solo
Sea Eagle 330 Pro 2 Person Inflatable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat with Pump and Oars
Sea Eagle 330
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Length: 11'2"
Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs
No. Of Seats: 2
Body Type: Inflatable
Kayak Type: Sit On Top Tandem
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak (Blue, 12-Feet)
Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12
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Length: 12'
Maximum Capacity: 395 lbs
No. Of Seats: 1
Body Type: Hardshell
Kayak Type: Sit On Top
Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak (Paddle Included), Blue, 6'
Lifetime Youth Wave
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Length: 6'
Maximum Capacity: 130 lbs
No. Of Seats: 1
Body Type: Hardshell
Kayak Type: Sit On Top

The Best Cheap Kayaks

Intex Explorer K2 – Cheap Inflatable Kayak

The Explorer K2 by Intex is a kayak that’s very well-known in the market, due to the fact that it excels in a number of categories. Not only is it cheap and cost-effective, it’s of high quality and makes for a boat that extremely practical for 2 passengers.

Something that makes this cheap inflatable kayak stand out from others on the market, however, is the removable skeg that is fitted on the bottom. Boats that are fitted with a skeg are able to track well and much more easily though the water. In waters that are moving, a skeg is very useful. The skeg that’s fitted to the K2 can be removed and reattached whenever you like.

Space inside the boat is good too. It’s 10’3” in length, and therefore has a good amount of legroom for both passengers. In other areas of comfort, the K2 excels too. The adjustable and comfortable seating makes sure that the K2 is a great place to be for however long you like.

A fantastic obvious benefit of the K2 being an inflatable is storage and portability – more particularly, the ease of both. In addition to being easy to store and move around, the K2 offers the ultimate convenience. The boat comes supplied with oars as well as an air pump – there’s everything that you’ll need to get the boat from the box and on to the water in as little time as possible.

Key Points

  • 10’3” in length
  • Excellent amount of space on board
  • Tandem kayak that can accommodate 2 persons
  • Good tracking and stability thanks to the removable skeg
  • Inflatable kayak – excellent portability and storage
  • Comfortable
  • Material designed to be as durable and puncture-resistant as possible

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Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 – Best Cheap Kayak For Fishing

If you’re looking for a fishing kayak that’s both cost-effective and performs well, then you need loo no further that Lifetime’s Tamarack Angler 100. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman and kayaker, or are simply someone that is looking to give both a try for the first time, the Tamarack Angler 100 will serve both you and your bank account very kindly.

One of the most important things in a fishing kayak is comfort, of course. Due to the very nature of fishing, it’s likely that you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the same place, and therefore a lot of time sitting down in your kayak. That’s not something that you want to be doing if you’ve not got a comfortable seating position. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is very comfortable, with a padded and adjustable seat, as well as a number of different footrests that you can use in order to get into the most comfortable position for your time in the boat.

The Tamarack Angler 100 is constructed from polyethylene that is both durable and light in weight at 52 lbs – two features that are important in any kayak. Even though the Angler 100 weighs in at a mere 52 pounds, it can still support a load capacity of 275 lbs – more than enough for one person plus a good amount of equipment on board.

Given that the Tamarack is a fishing kayak, it’s got a number of features that enhance the fishing experience further, making it as easy and as comfortable as possible. Fishing additions include two rod holders, as well as ample storage above the deck, as well as two dry storage hatches – perfect for storing bait and tackle that you want to keep dry. The Angler 100 also has two drink holders and a paddle holder.

Key Points

  • 10’ in length
  • 31” in width
  • Can support up to 275lbs of load capacity
  • Lightweight at only 52 lbs
  • Fantastic for fishing, being equipped with ample wet and dry storage as well as rod holders
  • Extremely durable, being made for polyethylene with a high density
  • Comfortable – the kayak is equipped with a comfortable and adjustable seat, as well as a number of different footrest positions
  • A reassuring limited warranty period of 5 years

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Sea Eagle 330 – Spacious Inflatable Kayak

Similarly to the Intex Explorer K2, the Sea Eagle 330 offers the ultimate in lightweight storage and portability. At only 26 lbs, the 330 is extremely easy for anyone to carry around.

Once inflated and ready to go, the Sea Eagle is 11’2” in length. However, once deflated the kayak will easily fold away and store into a bag or box. Transporting the kayak s therefore very easy – there’s no need to worry about the requiring a large vehicle or roof rack to accommodate the Sea Eagle 330 – it can fit almost anywhere in any car! Storing the boat is very easy too – it can easily be stored in a cupboard inside, as opposed to a hard-shell kayak, which is likely to require an outbuilding or garage of some sort for storage.

The Sea Eagle is a tandem kayak that can support up to two passengers. Despite the light carrying weight, the kayak can deal with a load of up to 500 pounds.

One of the main concerns that people have when considering purchasing an inflatable kayak is the fact that it is inflatable. Whilst anything that’s inflatable can of course be punctured, the Sea Eagle 330 is extremely durable with welded seems, meaning that it’s highly-resistant to puncturing and tearing.

Key Points

  • 11’2” in length
  • 34” in width
  • Extremely lightweight and portable, weighing only 26 lbs
  • Durable material that’s tough against punctures and tears
  • Can support 2 passengers and 500 lbs of load capacity

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Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12

The Sun Dolphin Aruba SS is a 12’ kayak that is one of the best-known and most well-respected kayaks on the market at the moment. With a 12’ length and a 29.5” width, the Aruba SS is very well-proportioned.

Even though the Aruba SS is a modestly-priced kayak, that doesn’t mean to say that it can’t still offer some of the best in class stability. Due to the excellent dimensions, the tracking and stability of the Aruba is very good. If you’re a beginner, this is a particularly good point to know.

The Aruba SS 12 is an extremely durable kayak. It’s hard shell constructed from polyethylene means it’s not easily damaged, and offers the ultimate durability. The Aruba SS will be able to take a couple of bumps and bashes easily in its stride.

This Sun Dolphin is very comfortable too. It’s fitted with a comfortable and adjustable seat, as well as adjustable foot rests and leg pads for added comfort. Storage on the Aruba SS 12 is good too, with ample bungee-secured space as well as a dry storage hatch for those more important items that you want to keep out of the way.

Key Points

  • 12’ in length
  • 29.5” in width
  • Cost-effective
  • Excellent tracking and stability
  • Very durable – hard shell constructed from polyethylene
  • Comfortable
  • Ample Storage
  • A very well-respected make and model of boats

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Lifetime Youth Wave – Cheap 6ft Kayak For Kids

The Lifetime Youth Wave is a little different from the rest of the kayaks that we’ve reviewed – most specifically, it’s a kids kayak that’s only 6 feet long. This, however, doesn’t mean that it’s not still one of the best cheap kayaks around.

Getting the right kayak for your kid can be a difficult task, particularly if you’re looking for something that they’re going to be able to manage in the water easily. At 6 feet long and 24 inches wide, the Lifetime Youth Wave is a small design that’s well-proportioned for easy handling and good stability.

The Lifetime Youth Wave has some features that wouldn’t normally be found on other kayaks. For example, the rear of the boat has been designed so that children can easily climb onto the boat from the water – it’s also ideal for letting your child slide off of the back of the boat. The Youth Wave is perfect for both fun and practicality!

If you’re worried about the boat becoming flooded with your kids climbing in and out, don’t be! The Youth Wave has scupper drains that mean the boat won’t flood. This Lifetime kayak certainly isn’t a boat that’s designed for white or choppy water, but it’s the perfect design for smaller children that are looking to have some relaxing fun on calm waters. It’s also extremely cost-effective!

Key Points

  • 6 feet long
  • 29 inches wide
  • Great stability and easy handling for younger/smaller children
  • Modestly priced
  • A load capacity of 130 pounds
  • Very lightweight at only 18 lbs

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Sevylor QuikPak K1 – Convenient Cheap Kayak

The Sevylor QuikPak K1 is the ultimate cheap kayak for convenience and speed of use. It’s extremely easy to carry around, set up, and get out onto the water with.

If you’re a kayaker that’s constantly on the move, perhaps carrying the kayak around with you, you’ll be struggling to find a more suitable kayak than the Sevylor QuikPak K1. The K1 hardly requires any storage space whatsoever, and weighs in at less than 20 pounds.

The QuikPak K1, whilst offering the ultimate in terms of convenience, is not the most suitable for high performance however. The K1 is not quite like other kayaks, it is purely an inflatable and is quite close to being just a floatation device – it doesn’t come with a skeg/good storage etc. However, it does still offer a great way of travelling on the water on something that you can pull out of a backpack.

Key Points

  • Exceptionally lightweight and compact
  • 8’7” long
  • 35” wide
  • Can be easily packed away into a bag
  • Weighs a tiny 20 lbs
  • Arrives fully equipped with an oar, pump for inflation, and backpack
  • Multiple air chambers

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Points To Look For When Buying A Cheap Kayak

When you’re purchasing a cheap kayak, you should be sure to choose one that’s suitable for you and what you’re planning on using the boat for – obviously! However, choosing a boat that performs well all-round is even more important.

Suitability For Use

Depending on the type of use that you’re planning for the kaya, you should make sure that the cheap kayak you’re looking at is able to offer the features that are most suitable for that use. For example, if you’re looking for a cheap kayak for long trips, you will probably want to make sure that it has ample storage for your supplies for such a length of trip.

Similarly, if you’re planning on using the kayak for fishing, you’re going to want to look for rod holders, paddle holders, good storage, etc.

Stability and Tracking

A good level of stability and tracking is especially important. If you’re a beginner kayaker, it’s important to choose a design that is shorter and wider, as opposed to longer and thinner. Stability is also influenced by the weight of the boat – the heavier the boat, the more stable it is.

Durable Design

A durable design is essential. When purchasing hard shell kayaks, it’s very difficult to find a boat that isn’t durable. Inflatable kayaks are very durable too, it’s just good to read a number of reviews to ensure that they are going to be durable enough for your intended uses.