Best Inexpensive Kayak under $500 (Year 2018)

Shopping for a high-quality kayak doesn’t have to be a difficult proposition because of a limited budget. The market is flooded with very reliable kayak designs that cost less than $500. But, you must know how a good model looks like.

This is why we are here. To help you choose the best inexpensive kayak under $500. For your selection, we have shortlisted and reviewed seven products that come highly recommended by most users. You can also use the information for reference in future purchases.

Best Inexpensive Kayak under $500 Review

No. 1 Advanced Elements AE1012-G Frame Inflatable Kayak Review

The Advanced Elements AE1012-G is a highly rated, inflatable kayak under your budget. At 32.4 pounds, it is lightweight and stable for different kayaking adventures. At its price, you will not get the most advanced design qualities, but you will get a kayak with quality performance.

The hull is made of durable material and it offers superior stability and maneuverability. The stern and bow feature inbuilt aluminum ribs. This construction pierces the water in style as you sail deep into the waters. The stern acts as a SKEG for first-rate tracking performance.

What you will truly admire about this kayak is the adequate storage space. This includes plenteous on-board stowage area for extended weekend trips. The kayak is fitted with hand holders for carrying it overland.

This kayak is usually preassembled by the manufacturer. However, it will only take you a short while to unfold, fill with air, and install the seat. Moreover, the padded seat is adjustable for extended paddling and comfort.

Pros

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    The boat’s hull is made from exceptionally durable materials that form a three-layer design for superior performance.
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    The bow and stern are incorporated with built-in aluminum ribs that allow for effortless maneuverability and tracking.
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    The adjustable cushioned seat allow for easy changing of seating positions and optimum comfort when paddling for hours.
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    The three-layer construction offers greater puncture resistance, providing you with advanced performance similar to that of a rigid hard-shell kayak.

Cons

  • It does not come with paddles; you will have to incur additional costs.

Verdict: The Advanced Elements AE1012-G comes highly recommended by most users, primarily because of its high-quality features and failsafe performance.

No. 2 Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak Review

The Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave is the ideal kayak for kids who are five years and above. This unique model is available in four color options, including blue, pink, orange, and lime green. The high-quality construction is available in a 6-feet size and comes with a paddle.

It features a wide stance for stable paddling; a quality that ensures your kid’s kayaking is safe. Your kid can easily re-center this canoe, thanks to the swim-up step and sloped back end. The boat is UV-protected for split, crack, and fade resistance.

The boat’s construction is equipped with multiple footrest positions, which allow your kid to conveniently adjust his or her legs for comfort. Balance is usually a problem with kids, but the problem is resolved by the ergonomic cockpit design.

Unlike most conventional kayaking vessels, the Lifetime Youth Wave is fitted with self-bailing scupper holes that ensure there is no water on the cockpit area. For superior surf riding and tracking, the kayak is fitted with a twin fin design.

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Pros

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    The Lifetime Youth Wave is a very user-friendly kayak for children who are five years and older.
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    Your kid’s motor skills and balance are enhanced by the ergonomic cockpit construction.
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    The multiple footrests allow your child to adjust his or her leg position for preference and comfort.
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    Your kid will rarely face problems with re-entry, due to the patented swim-up construction.
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    The twin fin structure allow for effective surf riding and tracking.

Cons

  • The kayak does not have toggle handles.

Verdict: The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is the perfect gift to buy your son or daughter for his or her summer weekend adventure.

No. 3 Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Kayak Review

The Vibe Skipjack 90 is a well-built kayak for water-bound activities, especially river kayaking. This is a small, lightweight boat that is highly maneuverable. It is solid and stable for its size, and it is remarkably wide for a kayaking boat.

It has a well-pronounced edge on both sides, helping with stability when dealing with fast flowing river water. It is fitted with rod holders, which is nice for a small canoe. It comes with two sealed hatches for tackle storage and additional gear.

The two sealed hatches are very waterproof and they are easy to open. You just have to pull the lock and twist clockwise to open. It is fitted with four carry handles for overland transport, but you can always attach a parachute cord and pull it in or out of the water.

This kayak comes with a pretty comfortable seat that is padded for comfort. The seat is adjustable; therefore, you can conveniently change the seating position. There are three distinct colors (blue camo, hunter camo, and sea breeze) you can choose from for preference.

Pros

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    The Vibe Skipjack 90 is a remarkably wide kayak that can conveniently handle the moderately sized waves/current of a river, a lake or an ocean.
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    The kayak is made of high-density polyethylene material, making it highly impact-resistant.
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    The four carry handles allow for easy transportation of the kayak overland, and you can also pull it to your car with a parachute cord.
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    The two sealed hatches are very waterproof for tackle storage and additional gear.
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    The rear cargo storage space with bungee provides additional storage area for crates and coolers.

Cons

  • The seat structure and positioning may not be convenient for some users.

Verdict: The Vibe Skipjack 90 is undeniably a high performing kayak that is popular among river kayakers. Even though, you might experience some manageable design flaws.

No. 4 Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Sport Kayak Review

The Sea Eagle 370 is a high performing inflatable sport kayak for fishing and other kayaking adventures. This is one of the most budget-friendly by Sea Eagle. This kayak can be set up as a one-person boat and can carry up to 650 pounds per setting.

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One of the attractive qualities about this boat beside the budget is the weight. It comes in at 32 pounds, which is highly manageable. It is a little bit narrow compared to similar or competing models, but it will carry all the important gear for your water-bound trip.

This sport kayak is integrated with two molded SKEGS, allowing you to cover greater distances with less paddling, especially on flat water. The SKEGS feature tough molded plastic material that is highly impact resistant, particularly when you come across rocks.

The narrow construction does not limit storage. Amazingly, it is fitted with a versatile storage box that features two rod holders. You can carry the necessary equipment on the available storage space. In addition, this state-of-the-art kayak comes with an AB30 paddle.

Pros

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    Sea Eagle 370 is the ideal kayak for a kayaker on budget.
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    It is an inflatable sport canoe; therefore, it is easy to pack and transport from one location to the next.
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    The two molded plastic SKEGS are almost indestructible and allow you to cover larger distances with less paddling.
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    The versatile storage box offers enough storage space for the essential kayaking equipment.
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    The deluxe inflatable seat is adjustable for comfort and strong for support, especially when sailing rough waters.

Cons

  • There is no enough room to set up a second seat; even though it has a large carrying capacity.

Verdict: If you are on a budget and in need of an easy-to-transport kayak, then the Sea Eagle 370 is the ideal choice.

No. 5 Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak Review

At a little under your budget, the Old Town Vapor 10 is a popular recreational kayak that has fitted the budget of most users. This uniquely made touring kayak is available in two color (sunrise and cloud) options for preference.

The single layer of linear polyethylene material used in the construction of the kayak does not sacrifice durability for weights. This makes the boat highly abrasion and impact resistant, especially when sailing/paddling river waters.

The kayak has a considerably large cockpit that can accommodate up to 325 pounds. In actual fact, you can bring a pet, and you will still be able to paddle and track without any problems. Your legs will fit perfectly and comfortably for extended paddling.

The comfort flex seat is adjustable and padded for all day seating and paddling. The seat is installed with an ergonomically made backrest that can be vertically adjusted for optimum support and feels comfortable in all seating positions.

Pros

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    The one-person construction is convenient for slow moving river waters, ponds, and lakes.
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    The single-layer linear polyethylene material offers advanced abrasion and impact resistance.
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    The glide track foot brace and knee pads offer optimum control and a good fit.
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    The stern well is spacious and provides easy access to important equipment, especially during fishing.
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    The comfort flex seat is padded and adjustable for all day seating and paddling.

Cons

  • It does not have adequate storage space for a heavy geared kayaker.

No. 6 Lifetime Tamarack Sit on Top Kayak Review

The Lifetime Tamarack is a resourceful kayak that will offer you good performance for the money. It is available in the tan color and one-person size for fishing, recreational, and touring kayaking summer weekend adventures.

The high-density polyethylene construction comes with a five-year warranty. Apart from the fact that the kayak weighs 52 pounds, it is fitted with rear and front carry handles for effortless overland transportation to and from your car,

The Lifetime Tamarack offers you apple storage space, including the stern and bow with bungee and the two sealed hatches. The hatches are waterproof and you can easily access their storage space by twisting and pulling up the lock.

Pros

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    The high-density polyethylene construction is impact-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and UV-protected.
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    The kayak has ample storage areas, including two sealed hatches and stern and bow storage with bungee.
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    The seat bottom and backrest offer good comfort for extended paddling.
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    The multiple footrests allow for easy adjustment of your legs for preference and comfort.

Cons

  • The seat backrest may not be universally comfortable for some kayakers.

Verdict: You should buy the Lifetime Tamarack Kayak for one simple reason, which is the ample storage space, especially if you are a heavy geared kayaker.

No. 7 Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person

If you are in need of an inexpensive kayak with an inflatable form factor, then the Sevylor Quikpak K5 should be your first choice. This uniquely made water-bound vessel comes with an ergonomic design that is not only easy to set up, but also foldable.

It measures 20 by 8.5 by 33.5 inches and weighs 35.75, making it compact and manageable when inflated. This is a very convenient kayak for a backpacker who loves kayaking. Basically, you will need a maximum of five minutes to completely set up the kayak.

The design is made of 24-gauge PVC material for lake use and durability. A puncture will not slow you down, because it is fitted with multiple air chambers. The entire construction is airtight to prevent leaking.

Pros

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    The quick five minutes setup saves you enough time for paddling.
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    It is engineered from 24-gauge PVC material for durability.
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    The multiple air chambers will keep you going even if one chamber is punctured.
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    Inflation and deflation is remarkably easy with the double lock valves.

Cons

  • The entire construction is susceptible to punctures.

Verdict: The Sevylor Quikpak K5 is another amazing inflatable kayak that is extremely easy to set up and collapse. But, you should expect a few challenges with the design.

In Conclusion

The Sevylor Quikpak K5 Kayak marks the end of our best inexpensive kayak under $500 reviews. You don’t have to sacrifice your favorite kayaking activity because of a tight budget. Our top seven kayak picks will not only fit the budget, but also offer quality performance.