Many top publications have often cited a Grand Canyon kayaking or rafting trip as the number one adventure vacation in America. There is a good reason why this amazing place always made it to the top of these lists. The Grand Canyon features sandy beaches, hidden slot canyons, and white water rapids. You can also enjoy tasty meals, meet great people, and learn many things about your surroundings and maybe even yourself!
Anyone who has already done a trip there knows why this is usually described as a life changing experience or the trip of a lifetime. You live isolated for two weeks in a place where there is no computer to download apps or check email, and no cell reception. You discover that you can actually be happy with less while living out of a small bag. For a kayaker, there is always something timeless, magical, and intense about the Canyon. It’s the epic dream of every kayaker: kayaking Grand Canyon!
The beauty of the river therein lies in its exceptional vastness. You are literally traveling through an open air geological museum marked by rocks that are almost two billion years old. You feel small compared to the majestic canyon towering a mile over your head. A kayaking trip through the Grand Canyon can be an opportunity for unlimited introspection and tremendous growth. You’ll certainly feel inner peace and sheer joy, inspired by the beauty of wild nature.
How To Kayak The Grand Canyon
As a kayaker, there are two ways to have a Grand Canyon trip: private or commercial. Each of them has its own value. If you want to do a private trip, a permit from the National Park Service is required. You may get it through a lottery, but this might take several years. The length of the trip can be up to 21 days, but it is limited by what season you start your journey.
Another way is to do a commercial trip. The 16 permitted outfitters use either motor rigs or oar boats. This can cost you from two to three times more than a private trip, but it can a lot easier. The size of the commercial groups is also limited. As a kayaker, it is likely that you would prefer the oar trips of the two types of commercial trips, because they are more kin to a kayak.
A kayaking trip through the Grand Canyon is either 225 or 280 miles long, depending on where you take the river. The Canyon has been described as a hard Class 4 to an easy Class 3, but in fact, it can be both.
On many of the harder rapids, you can also find some fairly easy portage of a sneak route. In reality, the hardest rapids in the Grand Canyon (Lava, Crystal, Hermit, etc.) are in the Class 3 range. They are easy to approach, as long as you are set correctly. However, if you are thinking of soloing, a Class 4 experience might be a must.
Instead of the usual Class 1-6 scale, the Canyon is rated on a Class 1-10 scale. That makes it difficult to translate to your known system. However, for a kayaker, most of the river is not hard in the Canyon.
Also, not all of the river trips through the Grand Canyon start and finish in the same places. Here are some sections:
#1. Glen Canyon Dam
You can begin at Glen Canyon Dam for a smooth water day trip. You will reach the shore of the river through an access tunnel. The trip ends at Lee’s Ferry, 15 miles downstream. This a simple float, good for beginners and it doesn’t expose you to any whitewater rapids.
#2. Lee’s Ferry
Lee’s Ferry is considered to be “Mile Zero”, and is the Canyon’s beginning. For this reason, most river kayaking trips start here. There’s a campground and boat launch in the area.
#3. Phantom Ranch
You can reach Phantom Ranch (at river mile 89) from Lee’s Ferry after a journey through the Grand Canyon, lasting several days. This section between Phantom Ranch and Lee’s Ferry is known as the “Upper” Canyon.
At river mile 226, Diamond Creek is the next access point. This place is a popular choice to finish a kayaking trip and exit the Canyon.
Preparation Trips For Kayaking the Grand Canyon
What is needed to start a kayak trip? Here are some basic preparations before you start your adventure through the Grand Canyon:
Permit – The first step is obviously to get a permit, with the winter permit being the easiest to acquire. Then you can also enjoy a true canyon experience, avoiding the blazing hot summer temperatures and crowds of boaters. However, the weather can be cold there during the winter, so this is only recommended for experienced kayakers who can take the cold. The price for a standard group permit is $400 (up to 16 people). For a smaller group up to 8 people, the price is $200. You have to pay this money up front, regardless of whether you plan to go solo. In fact, to go down the Canyon costs $100 in permit fees per person. You will be refunded the difference if you go solo on what was originally a $400 standard size permit.
Skill Preparation – Since the most difficult rapids in the Grand Canyon are mostly in the Class 3 range, you can figure them out quite easily, even if you never did them before. However, it is recommended that you be very confident of your skills, because things can easily go wrong.
Car Logistics – The shuttle will be among the most expensive of the trip factors. However, you can’t avoid it since you shouldn’t leave your car unattended in a parking lot for 3 weeks.
Food – The menus are a matter of personal taste. During a winter trip, it might be a good idea to add some protein powder, Snickers, nuts and a lot of oil for extra energy. Choose foods based on their size, not weight, since you are self-supporting in a kayak.
Firepan – Especially in the winter, you’ll need to have a firepan to keep warm and cook with.
Groover – This is a portable toilet. Whatever way you build it, ensure to allot around 40 cubic inches per person per day.
Boat – It’s pretty cheap to rent boats from the Flagstaff area outfitters if you don’t have your own.
Welcome to the Killer Kayak’s Best Kayaks 2017 Buyer’s Guide! We are super excited to present you with a comprehensive yet versatile report to help you navigate these rough waters with a kayak that will get you to shore (HA! GET IT?! Pun definitely intended).
Below, you will find the Best Kayaks 2017 Buyer’s Guide short & simple guide. Want more detailed information? No problem! Click on the kayak name and you will jump to a more detailed write-up for that kayak.
Simple, right? Let’s get started with our collection of best kayaks 2017!
Despite its entry level status, this Sea Eagle kayak is sturdy and does not get punctured easily thanks to its hull material, which is sun and salt water resistant. Additionally, this kayak can accommodate loads of up to 650 pounds.
One of the kayak’s main selling features is its price. This kayak is relatively cheaper than other kayaks in the Sea Eagle sport line of kayaks. However, the SE370 included in the SE370 kayak package are two paddles, inflatable seats, a pump and a carry bag. The carry bag is made from a heavy duty material and features shoulder straps for easy carriage of the kayak. Being an inflatable kayak, the SE370 is foldable for ease of carriage.
Furthermore, this kayak weighs 32 pounds, making it easy to carry around. The removable inflatable seats add to its versatility as it can be used as a one person kayak as well as a two person and a three person kayak.
Type: Inflatable Number of seats: 1 Weight capacity: 250 pounds
The Sevylor Quickpack K5 1-person kayak is a lightweight one person kayak. Considered to be one of the best single person kayak on the market, this Coleman kayak’s seat folds into a backpack for easy carrying. This unique backpack has padded shoulder making it easy to carry the kayak from one point to another. It takes approximately five to ten minutes for the kayak to set up the kayak from the backpack.
For storage, this kayak boasts of a rear zippered storage compartment that is large enough to accommodate a wide assortment of items. Additionally, the front of the kayak offers additional space for the storage of essential kayaking equipment. D-rings make it easy to mount additional equipment to the front of the kayak:
Measuring 10 feet in length and 3 feet in width, the Coleman K5 offers plenty sufficient leg room for kayakers of all heights. Constructed from 900D polyester this kayak has a tough and durable top. As for the bottom, the manufacturer opted for a 24 gauge PVC. Electronically welded seams add to the kayak’s durability and performance. The 24 gauge PVC used to make the kayak’s bottom is extremely tough and is, therefore, hard to puncture.
Included in the K5 package are an aluminum paddle and a pump. This kayak is airtight, courtesy of two double lock valves. The latter valves are backed by a three chamber system that guarantees safety in case the kayak is punctured. The kayak’s lift handles make it an ideal kayaking option for hiking and navigating through remote waterways.
For easy access to the kayak, it is fitted with molded handles. Apart from the molded handles, the kayak also features accessory straps that allow for easy storage of gear on the kayak. Additional storage space is provided by a mesh storage compartment.
While it offers plenty of storage room, this Chinook Kayak’s best-selling feature is its integrated fishing rod holders. The latter holders make it a versatile kayak that can be used for kayaking as well as recreational fishing. Thus, this kayak is an all-around recreational kayak.
The kayak’s seats are also very well made and boast of a comfortable backrest. These seats are comfy and are equipped with storage compartments.
Overall, with a capacity of 550 pounds, the Chinook XP Tandem XL Inflatable kayak is the best option for families looking for a recreational kayak. Is it any wonder that this made our best kayaks 2017 selection at #3? Go ahead and read our pros and cons for the Chinook XP tandem kayak.
Is large enough to accommodate two adults and a child
Offers plenty of space to store kayaking equipment and other items
Is made from a tough and durable material
Is easy to set-up
Features comfortable seats with backrests
Is a versatile kayak and can be used for fishing
Pump is sold separately
4. Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible Kayak
Type: Inflatable Number of seats: 2 Weight capacity: 550 pounds
Best Kayaks 2017 – #4: The AdvancedFrame Kayak measures 15 feet long and 32 inches wide. Weighing 56 pounds, it is a little heavier than the three aforementioned kayaks. It has a Tracking Fin system. The seats are removable with adjustable back supports. Its durable polyester material offers incredible resistance to abrasions or punctures, whilst the aluminium frame reinforced stern adds to the tracking performance.
Its rigid bow helps you glide through the waters; the superb experience will keep you in the best of spirits and can be fairly matched to regular hard-shelled kayaks. There is plenty of storage space: bungee deck lacing and D-ring tie downs allow you to stash your gear away. Moulded rubber handles make carrying the AdvancedFrame a lot easier.
Type: Inflatable Number of seats: 2 Weight capacity: 550 pounds
At a record 42 pounds when most inflatable kayaks weigh around 100 pounds each, the BIC Yakkair Kayak is a lot more than just a lightweight, easily portable boat. It’s incredibly durable as well – special care was put into its high pressure floor.
At a length of 13’5’’, and a width of 37’8’’, it also possesses an integrated keel system, which means it can be maneuvered with ease. Tracking capacity is also augmented. The kayak has room for two adults. Features include two fishing backrests with rod holders, paddle attachment, a carry bag with a pump and repair kit, safety grab lines, bow protector, and a mesh storage in the rear and the front. It comes with a complete system that encompasses the hull and pump, as well as a backrest.
The Yakkair is transported in a backpack with wheels – truly convenient and comfortable! What’s more, it takes minutes to set up so you can carry it to the most tortuous fishing locations without a lot of trouble. The lightweight coupled with the keel system integrates the benefits of a traditional hard-shelled canoe with the modern inflatable boat. The sturdy material of the Yakkair will prevent it from getting damaged by fishing hooks or other snagging objects.
If you’re still worried about destroying your precious BIC, you can use a protective cover made of canvas. It’s better to be safe than sorry. The lone kayaker will be happy to note that the Yakkair can be used for solo kayaking by putting in one seat and filling the rest of the canoe with other equipment.
The seats are padded and foamed, with one of the seats at a higher elevation on a removable platform. They’re pretty comfortable too, with high backrests, mesh storage pockets, and an infinite adjustment system. Keeping the paddlers dry is the job of the forward splashguard, which is yet another feature of this wonder-boat. The integrated cockpit has drains that can be closed.
The drop stitch floor of the boat is hard as rock to promote stability and durability. Stowing away your bags and other gear couldn’t be any easier: the bow deck rigging and abundant tie-downs bolster storage efforts. It also has seven mount plates to add your Scotty fishing accessories (unfortunately, these don’t come with the kayak). But you do get a kayak cooler. The moulded carry handles assist in helping you get on or off the canoe, and help with carrying it around too.
The biggest problem seems to be the relatively large size of the Blackfoot; it can be difficult for one person to carry around. There have been complaints about the seat as well, which some claim is not very supportive. A good reason why it’s a little bit further down our list of best kayaks 2017 🙂
Type: Inflatable Number of seats: 2 Weight capacity: 396 pounds
The Innova Helios II kayak is made of nitrylon rubber and measures 12’6’’ by 30 inches. With a weight of only 33 pounds, it breaks the records of both the BIC Yakkair and the Aquaglider Blackfoot. It is most suited for flatwater kayaking.
The seats are very supportive with backrests, so if you have a long trip planned, you don’t need to fret about back-aches from sitting too long. The carry handles help in carrying the kayak. Inflation time is quite commendable as well: it can be fully inflated within 6 minutes.
The 3 main air chambers keep the kayak afloat and the rigid floor encourages appropriate tracking. Also included in the kayak are deck netting and gear bungees. The footrests are adjustable.
The Helios can be easily adjusted for a single kayaker. You can set it up quickly. The material is resistant to possible abrasions or punctures: that’s a lot of stress off the mind concerning damage to your precious canoe. The hull of the Helios balances stability and speed, and doesn’t let you down on traction either. Worried about where the canoe ranks? It has a Class 1 river rating – that is quite an achievement.
The Driftsun Transparent Kayak is the favorite kayak for the people who would like to snorkel without getting wet. It has clear transparent shells allowing one to observe the water beneath them from a unique point of view.
The Driftsun Kayak Company has created this kayak to be durable and lightweight. It features an anodized aluminum frame, inflatable chambers, and comfortable EVA adjustable seats. However, all these seats are easily removable for easy stacking and storage. Additionally, the polymer hull is corrosion and UV resistant. This prevents the hull from yellowing.
Driftsun Transparent Crystal Clear kayak has two seats that can be used by either children or adults. One seat can be removed easily for solo navigation. Additionally, all purchases made directly from the Driftsun Company have one year Warranty.
This baby needs to be highlighted as one of our coolest best kayaks 2017 pick!
It offers an option for one or two people so can use it as needed
Has a lot of storage space allowing you to store your camera, phone, bottle of water, flask of coffee or even something heavier
It is relatively affordable compared to its competitors in the market
Although the kayak is made of strong materials, you have to limit its use to avoid getting scratches that reduces transparency
Here is the Driftsun kayak in action:
9. Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Angler Kayak
Type: Hard-shelled Number of seats: 1 Weight capacity: 550 lbs
Best kayaks of 2017 Seletion #9 is an amazing fishing kayak: the Vibe Sea Ghost! Fishing enthusiasts and outdoorsmen are adventurers at heart. A little bit of rough weather and wind will do little to deter them from hauling in that big catch. Their equipment, however, has to pass muster and keep up – it just won’t do to have your boat or other fishing gear fail on you in that crucial moment.
There is a kayak that meets these demanding performance requirements. A boat that is tough and versatile enough to handle all waters, and all conditions. The Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Angler Kayak is a rotomolded single piece polyethylene single-seater kayak that boasts a wide hull able to tackle every water condition from raging rivers to choppy surf. Its construction and design offers an extremely stable ride, perfect for fishing or recreation.
Let us examine this kayak in greater detail. It weighs in at 74 pounds, and features the Vibe Hero seat for comfort, built-in cupholder, as well as a toe-controlled rudder system that provides that aforementioned stability in the water. There is a variety of attachments that allow you to stow cargo and gear, including a sealed centre console and integrated tracks for paddles and fishing rods. After all, a boat is no good if you cannot fit all the necessary gear into it.
Stability features such as rudders and frame seats
Great storage options
Value for money
Rudders have a bit of slack
Side walls flex a little
10. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-Top Kayak
Type: Hard-shelled Number of seats: 1 Weight capacity: 250 lbs
Sometimes, boating enthusiasts want a middle ground between the ease-of-use of an inflatable kayak and the stability of a hard-shelled kayak. Something that is easy to transport and move in and out of the water, but also something that does not sacrifice too much of the durability and feel on the water that only a hard-shelled boat can provide. The Sun Dolphin Bali SS kayak may be just the thing meet that middle ground.
Weighing in at 44 pounds, this single-seater kayak constructed with UV-stabilized Fortiflex high density polyethylene is tough yet light in weight. What does this mean? It means that the material used to build this kayak will never break down even if it is stored wet, and will never fade with sun exposure. This material also allows a greater degree of tracking and paddling, giving you stability whether you are boating down a river or in a lake.
Comfort and storage are also important considerations, and the Sun Dolphin Bali SS provides ample options. The open seating makes ingress and egress a breeze, while the paddle holder and adjustable foot rests make extended boat rides a joy. A dry storage compartment keeps all your essential boating gear safe, and for more storage, a Portable Accessory Carrier (P.A.C) is also available. Many additional accessories are available, but all the essentials, including a paddle, are included.
At this price point, few other kayaks can compare with the Sun Dolphin Bali SS’ design, construction, and versatility. It is meant for paddlers of all skill levels, and perfect for family outings. Its design emphasizes stability and ease of paddling, allowing even children to paddle with confidence. However, the absence of rigging means that those who want to use if for fishing have to rig it themselves.
Tequila! GTX Tandem kayak is a highly stable, fun, versatile, and high-performance kayak from Point 65. Tequila! was designed and made in Sweden by the award winning engineer Magnus de Brito using the new Point 65 Snap-TAP technology under Europe and US patents. The Tequila! GTX tandem is among the fasted sit-on-top kayaks that can be easily changed from solo to tandem.
The Tequila! GTX tandem kayak is fitted with a new tracking keel that helps in keeping it straight while in water. Additionally, its modular structure makes it easy to carry, store, and haul. Tequila! GTX has a snap-tap modular system making it easily convertible from tandem to solo and vise versa by easily removing or adding the extra mid-section seat. It has super comfortable AIR seats with pneumatically adjustable backrest.
Tequila! GTX as a modeled in bottle and cup holders as well as a built in paddlepak slot. These features makes the Tequila! more comfortable since you don’t need to worry about where to keep your water bottles and cups if you carry some drinks with you. This feature makes the Tequila! to be one of the most comfortable kayaks.
Easy to transport, store and carry
Stable, strong, and safe sit-on-top kayak
The AIR seats have adjustable seating position
Has built-in bottle and cup holders
Tequila! Is not recommended for a weekend touring expedition
12. Oru Kayak Bay Kayak
Type: Hard-shelled Number of seats: 1 Weight capacity: 300 lbs
Type: Hard-shelled Number of seats: 1 Weight capacity: 600 lbs
An updated version to the Hobie Pro Angler 12 (which also made our best kayaks of 2017 list below!), this fishing kayak is a thing of beauty! From the Hobie H-Rail mountain system to the tackle management system to the cup holders (yep!), everything seems to have been designed with your comfort and fishing needs in mind.
With the MirageDrive system, paddling is easy as pie. Also, there is ample storage compartments without anything ever getting in the way. There is a huge bow hatch for storing bulky items and an 8 inch round hatch located in the stern tank well; it’s perfect for carrying a cooler or a live bait.
Large size; make sure it will fit in your carriage space
14. Seaward Passat G3 Kevlar
Type: Hard-shelled Number of seats: 2 Weight capacity: 500+ lbs
If you have been frustrated with options for a sleek tandem kayak, then we are pretty sure that you will love what you see here: the Seawrd Passat G3 Kevlar is a sleek beauty designed with tandem kayakers in mind. This kayak can be used in somewhat rough waters and should be used in long distance kayaking. It has also gained reputation as a “light” and high-performing kayak.
With its Kevlar construction, it is based on the original Passat hull which has been acclaimed by adventure racers worldwide. As far as seating goes, you can use the screwknob behind the seats to adjust them high and low. Using the straps, you can even adjust the angles of the seat. It edges smoothly and tours at 5+ knots.
If you want to read about its build, check out our Seward Passat G3 Kevlar review. Being such a great kayak, no wonder this kayak made it on our best kayaks 2017 list.
348 liters of dry storage in total
Excellent storage space
The only problem is with the cabling for the rudder placement in and out of the water, requiring manual work
15. Old Town Vapor 10 Angler
Type: Hard-shelled Number of seats: 1 Weight capacity: 250 lbs
While officially an angler kayak, the Old Town Vapor 10 Angler is a recreational kayak with versatility. It contains solid storage space with a large cockpit and offers a stable ride. Whether you’re a novice or a skilled kayaker, thanks to the shape of the hull, you will find that the Vapor 10 Angler responds and tracks rather smoothly to your paddling.
The Vapor 10 provides more than ample room for your gear, including a dry hatch with a lockable top, a cooler, dufflebag, and nice room for more stuff. Also, there is nice room behind the seat for a sleeping bag and of course, more gear, between your feet.
The drain plug location isn’t at a good spot for actually finding the perfect position to get the water out
16. Hobie Pro Angler 12
Type: Hard-shelled Number of seats: 1 Weight capacity: 500 lbs
Alright, so where are we on the Best Kayaks 2017 List? #16! Let’s keep chugging along…
The Hobie Pro Angler is one of the best fishing kayaks produced by the Hobie Cat Company. This is a hard shelled kayak with the capacity to hold upto 500 pounds. The really cool thing about the Hobie 12 fishing kayak is that it navigates really well whether you use it in choppy waters or a nice, calm lake!
The most unique thing about this fishing kayak is that it is powered by the MirageDrive 180 technology. Instead of tiring out your arms, the Angler 12 has a leg paddling system that is easy and efficient to use and perfect for those hard fishing days. Not only that, but it also comes with a seat with lumbar support and can be raised upto 5 inches.
There are plenty more awesome features to be admired about the Hobie Angler 12 kayak: for instance, it has a dual steering system which is awesome, allowing for primary and secondary steering. Also, you can store up to six fishing rods horizontally, leaving you with more than ample storage space. Another common sense choice to add as a best kayaks 2017 contender.
Comfort was a main feature when Hobie Cat Company created the Hobie Pro Angler 12!
Rust resistancy proved with testing in salt waters
6 horizontal fishing rod holders!
If $$ isn’t an issue, then none
Best Kayaks 2017 Buyer’s Guide Conclusion
These are the best of the best kayaks 2017 has to offer! However, we understand that this site is mostly (99%) dedicated to inflatable kayaks. This list is a mix of inflatable, hard-shelled, and everything in between. We understand that you may be looking for only inflatable kayak reviews.
Kayaking is what we are all about here, just take a look at all the inflatable kayak reviews we have here for you! However, it dawned on us that there are plenty of people for whom selecting one might be difficult, or simply, that they are new to buying an inflatable kayak.
So, we compiled a list of factors for you to consider before putting your $$ down on any and created this inflatable kayak guide! If you are looking for overall best kayaks in 2017, check out that link!
For starters, consumers should understand the different types of inflatable kayaks that are available in the market. Choosing a particular kayak model depends on the intended usage. Typically, each kayak is designed for a definite cause.
Inflatable Touring kayaks are characterized by a long and thin shape. This design eases the act of traveling through flat water. Touring kayaks offer versatility as they can be used in both fresh and ocean waters. Also, most touring kayaks are rudder-compatible to boost steering.
White Water Kayaks
Unlike the touring kayaks, the whitewater inflatable kayaks come with a short and wide design. With this structure, minimal effort is required in steering as the moving water tends to propel the vessel. Moreover, the large design ensures that the kayak is stable, while the reduced length enhances navigation around obstacles like rocks. A key selling point for white water kayaks is the presence of scupper holes, which drain water from the cockpit and d-rings.
Inflatable sea kayaks resemble touring kayaks as they are long and thin. However, they are specially designed for use in sea waters. They also have added features such as scupper holes.
Inflatable fishing kayaks come in different lengths, ranging from short to long. The distinct characteristic of this vessel is its round shape at the front and back, which gives them stability. They also come equipped with unique features geared towards fishing activities such as rod holders, anchor cleat, and bait bucket.
An inflatable sit-on-top kayak comes with an elevated seat, which positions the kayaker on top of the vessel. This design makes the kayak more stable compared to the conventional design, where one has to sit in the cockpit. Sit on top kayaks also feature scupper holes that make them efficiently self-draining.
2. Storage and Portability
The two main advantages that inflatable kayaks offer over the hard-shell types are easy portability and little storage space. In fact, a deflated kayak can be fit into a large backpack. Nonetheless, buyers should keep in mind that some inflatable kayaks are constructed using heavy duty material, which makes them less compact. As such, a kayak buyer has to strike a balance between the ease of storage and the quality of construction material.
3. Material of the Kayak
Inflatable kayaks are made using one of three materials namely; Hypalon, Nitrylon, and PVC.
Hypalon is a type of synthetic rubber, which is mainly used in constructing the high-end kayaks. The benefit of hypalon is that it is durable and, thus, offers resistance against extreme weather, chemicals, the intense UV rays of the sun and impact.
This material originates from vinyl polymer plastic. As such, it is not as durable compared to its Hypalon counterpart. However, it is cheap, and the mode of construction makes it a cost-effective option for kayakers with a limited budget.
Nitrylon inflatable kayaks are relatively new in the market. They came about after the controversy associated with PVC. Nitrylon is considered an eco-friendly material for kayak construction. Moreover, it is resistant to punctures and abrasion and performs well in cold environments.
The weight of an inflatable kayak is also an important specification, especially for hikers who have to carry the vessel around. Heavy duty kayaks are made using a thick material, and, are thus more resistant to punctures. However, taking a heavy inflatable kayak might be wearisome; hence, the need to purchase a lightweight kayak.
5. Seating in the Kayak
When it comes to structure, an inflatable kayak may have single, double, or triple seating. Usually, the seats run along the length of the kayak. Most white water kayaks come with room for just one kayaker. Conversely, touring kayaks can accommodate up to three passengers. Therefore, if you intend to go kayaking with a friend, you should opt for kayaks that offer double or triple seating.
6. Inflatable Kayak Accessories
Some accessories are essential for kayaking activity, and they include paddles, air pumps, repair kits, and PFD’s. Depending on the model of kayak that you purchase, these extras may or may not be included in the package. Preferably, you should opt for high-quality paddles and dual action air pumps.
Oh my! Welcome to the first Killer Kayaks Presents: Best Inflatable Kayaks 2016! As I begin typing this delicious guide, I’m realizing how fast this year has gone by. Now is the time to create those long gift lists and hand them to your family 😉
Since you stayed nice this year, the Killer Kayak Santa has decided to gift you with this Killer Kayaks Presents: Best Inflatable Kayaks 2016. Quickly scan through the list, see what suits your needs, and follow the links for the cheapest prices on the web.
I’m sure you didn’t come here to chit chat so let me get this baby going. I will be organizing inflatable kayaks by several categories, cutting your research time by HALF. Let’s get started:
Best Bang For the Buck Inflatable Kayaks!
Bruh! You want the best bang for your buck?! Tight on your budget or you simply don’t want to go broke spending on one of these babies? Well, this section is just for you! Have a look through, compare and contrast. Let’s start.
#1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
You can’t beat this best selling inflatable kayak: coming in under $100, this is as solid as they come if you want to purchase one and have never owned one. Some things to keep in mind are that that it comes with inflatable seats with a backrest and removable skeg (sometimes people prefer using it for additional anchoring and stability when steering). Here it is, with its sporty, fun look:
Technically, the Coleman QuickpakTM K1 is a one person seating kayak and is considered a sit-on-top kayak. Let’s take a look at the picture quickly so you know what that means:
A few quick pointers for you outdoor adventurers! The QuickpakTm K1 inflatable kayak has one of the fastest setups around and not is only on the eyes (you can see for yourself), but also, easy to assemble. This sturdy little baby can be used in a lake due to its 21 gauge PVC construction and its tarpaulin bottom. If this all sounds like French, that’s okay: just know you can use it safe and sound. Easily one of the best options we had to include in our Best Inflatable Kayaks 2016 list.
If you want an extra roomy inflatable kayak or a two person option and you’re on a budget, you should take a look at the Coleman Clear CreekTM inflatable kayak option. It will cost you well under $200 and, well, you can’t beat a deal like this! With a durable construction and technology, you should feel safe taking this into a lake. It comes with the standard adjustable seats and is NMMA certified.
Length x Width x Height: 14′ x 37″
Weight: 46 lbs.
Load Capacity: 600 lbs.
Lightweight, sleek, comfortable, compact and stable AIRE Super Lynx Inflatable Kayak offers many options for the adventurous paddler. It is designed as a versatile inflatable kayak that can be best used on flat water, moderate whitewater, or ocean bays. Repair kit and removable aluminum skeg are included as well as a 10-year warranty. Seats can be moved around for solo or tandem paddling, which makes it ideal for families who want to take a child or a pet with them on board.
#2. Sea Eagle Razorlite 393rl Inflatable Kayak
Exterior: 12’10” x 28” Interior: 11’7″ x 1’6″
Hull Weight: 33.5 lbs.
Load Capacity: 1 Person (300 lbs.) + Gear (200 lbs.) = 500 max total lbs.
Sea Eagle Razorlite 393rl is a strong, fast, comfortable, lightweight high-performance inflatable solo kayak for the adventurer. It is designed to be used best on ocean bays, lakes, and rivers. High pressure pump with pressure gauge, repair kit, and backpack carry bag are all included in the package. The RazorLite™ Series is NMMA Certified, built with drop stitch technology and best recommended for intermediate and above paddlers.
#3. Sea Eagle Fast Track Inflatable 2 Person Kayak
Interior: 11’7″ x 1’6″
Max. capacity : 2 adults or 635 lbs
Sea Eagle Fast Track Inflatable 2 Person Kayak features a sleek, lightweight design with a sharp, tapered bow which enables paddlers to go faster. It is ideal for long-distance paddling. Two AB40 paddles, two Tall Back kayak seats, two stow bags, carry bag, foot pump, slide-in skeg for improved tracking and a repair kit are included in the pro package. It is best used on large lakes, meandering rivers, bays and ocean coves.
#4. BIC Yakkair Fishing-2Hp
Max Load: 550 lbs.
The Yakkair HP2 Fishing can easily be carried in a wheeled backpack. It is designed to reach difficult fishing spots. The material Yakkair is made of is durable enough to prevent any potential damage from fishing hooks. Additionally, kayakers can use the YAKKAir HP2 solo by mounting one seat in the center. Two backrests and footrests, safety grab lines, abrasion protector, bow protector, carry handles, paddle attachment, carry bag, pump, and repair kit are included.
Best 2-Person Tandem Kayaks
If you want to enjoy a day out with your friend or partner but you only have one kayak, you might consider buying a tandem kayak. If you are ready to take on the cooperation and patience tandem kayak paddling requires, here are some of the best kayaks for you to glance through:
#1. AIRHEAD AHTK-2 Montana Performance 2 Person Kayak
Max Load: 500 lbs.
The AIRHEAD AHTK2 Montana Performance 2 Person Kayak is a lightweight, compact, and portable tandem inflatable kayak specifically designed for 2 paddlers, used best on lakes and moderate white water. Another strong contender to add to the Best Inflatable Kayaks 2016 guide!
#2. Lagoon 2 Inflatable Kayak
Max Load: 350 lbs.
Lagoon 2 is a tandem kayak has a stylish design, comfortable high-quality seats, and extra padded support, with high durability. The built-in rigid panel and the stern gives better tracking. Inflating, deflating and the transportation of Lagoon 2 is easy. It ensures maneuvers for natural movement.
#3. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
Exterior: 12′ 6″ x 34″ Interior: 10′ 8″ x 15″
Max Load: 650 lbs.
Sea Eagle 370’s form, function, and affordability make it one of the most popular tandem kayaks. This inflatable sports kayak is lightweight yet stable. Due to its thick material, it is very durable. It can be easily transported. What is more, the seats are detachable, inflatable and replaceable. Repair kit and pressure gauge are included in the package.
Sexiest Best Inflatable Kayaks
The sexiest, best inflatable kayaks are the ones with the slimmest proportions combined in an excellent design. They’re not just functional – they’re also built to capture the attention and make you and your pics pop!
#1. Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 Kayak
Length: 11 feet and 6 inches Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
This single capacity kayak comes with a dry bag for easy transportation. Built with mesh covered storage pockets, its slim and stylish olive-color makes it perfect for fishing solo in shallow waters as you maneuver its sexy body along the waters. One of the best features of this kayak however is the leg room provided. It comes with a paddling system that offers more propulsion and thus more speed with greater accuracy in direction. They’re built with fishing in mind – which is why it come with rod holders and carrying handles.
#2. Aquaglide Rogue XP Two Inflatable Kayak-Blue/White
Length: 10 Feet Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
This two person inflatable kayak doesn’t come with a pump or paddle but perfect in every other way. It includes a core seat and foot rest with a repair kit conveniently stored for emergency purposes. Built with a durable PVC Beam floor, the kayak material repels UV rays to protect the lower body of the user. With supportive core seats, it offers an adjustable and high backrest with a mesh storage pocket to keep all your essentials. This item is made with fishing and leisure kayaking in mind for a sleek and seamless maneuver on the water.
#3. Columbia XP Two Inflatable Kayak
Length: 13.5 Feet Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
Built for two persons, this beautiful blue kayak is both slim and sleek with enough space and weight capacity for lots of extra stuff. Made for fishing or just leisure exploration of the water, the item is built with 600D polyester and Duratex. Proprietary floor technology lines the bottom of the kayak topped by comfortable Core Seats. Accessories can be kept in the large mesh pockets, leaving your hands free while cruising. Other features you can enjoy with this model include transport handles, Splash Guards and backpack straps. Ideal for travel buddies or anyone who loves the water – this Columbia XP Two Inflatable Kayak should be an excellent choice.
Whitewater Rafting Kayaks
Whitewater rafting kayaks are built for durability enough to withstand the rapid force of the water. Capable of housing 2 or more people, the rafting kayaks in this list have proven their excellence when it comes to taking the bumps and bounces of water rapids.
#1. Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL Tandem Kayak 2016
Length: 12 feet
Built for two people, this Ocean Kayak makes use of materials guaranteed to withstand the unique saltiness of the ocean. Providing stability and ease of maneuverability, it can be paddled solo or with a friend – depending on your experience. The unit is actually made with family excursions in mind as it can take the weight of two people plus a small child or the favorite family pet. It doesn’t come with a paddle though so you’ll have to buy your own!
#2. Perception Kayak Prodigy Sunset
Length: 15.25 feet
This beautiful piece of kayak boasts of the color of sunset and performs beautifully when it comes to maneuverability. Made from polyethylene with seat material made from plastic, the unit can be used from practically all types of water from rivers, lakes, and oceans. Thanks to its weight of just 42 pounds, it can be quickly tossed on top of the car for long trips. The body is protected by additional materials to prevent scratching, tearing, or scraping the interior surface. The cockpit is large enough for ease of getting in and out while keeping the lower body protected from the sun. It also comes with foot braces for additional control.
Stunning in its orange color, this Emotion Spitfire Kayak has molded-in paddle keepers and padded seats. Weighing just 47.2 pounds, the kayak has side carry handles allowing for quick transportation from your home to the car to the beach. The foot wells are molded in for comfort and security for hours of kayak enjoyment. It also comes with an extra large storage hatch located beneath the deck. This should hold enough food and drinks to last you through the day as you go exploring the waters. For safety and security, the kayak also comes with self-bailing holes for water drainage, just in case some of them enter the cockpit. The shape is specially created for stability even during rougher water and to top it off – the orange is capped with UV protected materials.
There are 3 of these babies WORTH YOUR TIME AND MONEY AND FRANKLY, THAT SCARE THE LIVING POO OUT OF US! These kayaks are cool and edgy – affording users with something more than just convenient navigation through the waters. Made especially for those who want to really enjoy nature – these �neat’ kayaks have a crystal clear build.
#1. Crystal Explorer – Transparent Kayak/Canoe by the Crystal Kayak Company
Length: 11.1 feet Weight Capacity: 425 pounds
Including seats, paddles, and 1 year warranty – this Crystal Explorer kayak lets you explore the bottom of the ocean with very little effort on your part. Enjoy the colorful fish directly beneath you with the crystal clear build that doesn’t decrease the quality and durability of the model. Designed for flat and choppy waters, it has a removable frame and seats so that moving it from one place to another is quick and easy. One of the cooler inflatable kayaks today, it is built with a polymer hull and hardware that resist corrosion.
#2. 2016 Caribe Clear Bottom Fishing Kayak
Length: 12 inches Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
Having by far the largest weight capacity in this list, the Caribe Clear Bottom Fishing Kayak is built with large fishing hauls in mind. Although only seats one – the kayak is capable of holding in numerous accessories for your fishing including baits, coolers, hooks, and biggest possible fish you can find in the waters. The cockpit is adjustable which helps you achieve that maximum comfort for fishing. The paddles however are not included with the kayak.
This ocean kayak has a completely transparent hull for an excellent viewing experience of the underwater. Lightweight but with a construction that’s built for choppy waters, this inflatable kayak has removable seats and frames so that you can fold it for easier storage. Polymer-made, it has enough colors for an aesthetic appeal but with a functionality that’s superior than most. Paddles and various other parts are corrosion-resistant and should last its users a long time of water enjoyment.
#4. See Through Canoe
Our last but never the least on our Best Inflatable Kayaks 2016 compilation: a market favorite, the “See Through Canoe” is a little different from the other items in the list today. For one thing, it’s navigated using a machine power which can generate a bit of sound. On the plus side however, this canoe lets you simply enjoy the waters without having to worry about paddling. Completely transparent, it has a 1 person capacity and a puncture proof surface to keep your mind at rest. The frame is made of aluminum and boasts of a roof cover to keep the sun and UV rays away from your eyes and skin.
Live in or close to San Diego? Visiting? One of the best things about San Diego is the sheer number of free and paid activities at your fingertips, within minutes! One of the most amazing activities you can do is kayaking in San Diego (surfing, canoeing, hiking… just ask the locals!)
Below, you will find a list of some of the most stunning and beautiful places in San Diego where you can go kayaking and canoeing, and in most cases, way more than kayaking.
Have a look below and explore the Finest City in San Diego:
#1. Mission Bay
One of the best places to kayak, in all of Southern California, is Mission Bay. Embodying everything deliciously lovely about California, you can do more than kayaking here. In fact, you can roll on right to the Aqua Adventures dock where you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and more. You can get help launching right off their dock and the rental rates are quite reasonable as well. A favourite spot amongst locals.
I’d be remiss not to mention all the launch points within Mission Bay, so here’s a short but sweet list: Bahia Point, Aqua Adventures Dock (as mentioned above), South Shores, De Anza Cove, Vacation Island, and Mariner’s Basin. Now, go forth and explore Mission Bay 😉
#2. Torrey Pines:
Torrey Pines State Reserve is a known popular hiking spot with some of the most picturesque views you will ever encounter. If you don’t go kayaking in San Diego here, explicitly, consider your trip a waste! Experienced kayakers love to go along the beach all the way to the La Jolla shores. Kayaking here would be on open waters and not for the faint of heart. You can learn more about Torrey Pines here.
#3. La Jolla Cove:
La Jolla literally translates to “The Jewel”. One of the most, if not the most scenic spots in San Diego, where else would you be able to view seals and sea lions barking away with pelicans flying in the background? Leopard sharks can also be viewed around these waters.
Interested in kayaking here? Check out La Jolla Kayak and La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks if you need to rent one.
Kayaking from here to Torrey Pines? This is a common workout for folks who live in the area.
#4. Lake Miramar Reservoir:
If you want to move away from the city of San Diego and explore a little bit further, then head up north about 15 minutes (from downtown SD) and arrive at Lake Miramar. Quaint and peaceful is what will describe your trip here.
#5. Lake Hodges:
Lake Hodges is located in Escondido, a good 30 minutes from the city of San Diego. If you want to experience what nature has to offer in the north county, Lake Hodges is your best bet. Other than kayaking, fishing is allowed as well. For information specific to Hodges, check out information here.
#6. Coronado Beach:
Hm, where else should you go kayaking in San Diego? Talk about one of the more posh beaches in San Diego! Coronado beach is the ultimate spot for tourists and locals alike if you want to combine shopping with water activities. From jet skiing to canoeing and everything in between, make sure that you hit up Coronado and have the chance to appreciate the diversity it has to offer.
#7. Marina Del Rey:
Now moving out of the San Diego territory, we will step into LA. Marina Del Rey offers beautiful white beaches and if you are completely new to kayaking, UCLA offers kayaking classes. You’re in the open ocean now but what a view!
There are two main launch sites: Mothers Beach and Marina Del Rey Boat Ramp. Need to rent a kayak in this area? Check out Marina del Rey Boat Rentals.
#8. Redondo Beach
The Redondo Beach Pier is where it’s at. If you choose to kayak here, you will experience views of a diverse marine life including seagulls, sea lions, pelicans, and of course, dolphins. Enjoy Rocky Point courtesy of Rocky Point Rentals.
#9. Alamitos Bay
Now in the Long Beach territory, located right across from Naples Island Canal. You may enjoy the beach, views of the waterfront homes, or drop into a restaurant for a bite to eat.
10. Huntington Beach
World renowned Huntington Beach? Do me a favour and check out Huntington Harbor Boat Rentals for your water sports needs because you don’t want to miss out on something as spectacular as this:
The Best Spots For Kayaking in San Diego Summary!
Go visit these places! Write to us! Let us know if we’ve missed a spot that should definitely be added. Are you a resident? Your input is valuable in helping us keep this list the best Kayaking in San Diego resource around! (PS. We are working on making this list better and bigger)