Best Recreational Kayak of 2018 & Buying Guide

Kayaking is one water sport that can be done in different waters by people of all ages. If you are doing it for recreational purposes, you do not need to have major lessons or even an instructor.

Kayaking can be done for sports or leisure both. It is a healthy activity since you have to move around the paddle in the water to proceed your boat.

Most kayaks are designed for one or two people only, but some are primarily built for 4 to 8 people as well.  The best recreational kayaks allow many other features like paddle holder, waterproof compartment, and other features that allow the best possible experience for kayakers.

This buyer’s guide will help you find the best Kayak for recreational purposes and then assist you with the market survey with our top picks.

Product

Ranking

Our Rating

Price

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

Best Overall

Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak

2nd Choice

Emotion Glide Sport Kayaks

3rd Choice

Ocean Scrambler Recreational Kayaks

4th Choice

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

5th Choice

Buyer’s Guide:

The following buyer’s guide will help you understand the different aspects of the best recreational kayaks. To pick the one that suits you, you will have to take a close look and a proper survey.

Remember to never compromise on quality since it can be life threatening in this particular area.

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

1. Are sit-on-top Kayaks a good option to use as a recreational kayak?

Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak

Sit-on-top kayaks are exceptional especially if you are new to kayaking. They are highly stable and allow easy transportation in water.

They are so stable that even if your kayak does not have a slider to slide back up from the water; you can climb into them because of the stability. They require a wetsuit and a proper sitting position. 

They are also more likely to get you wet. However, one disadvantage is that they do not hold more than one person and do not feature waterproof compartments or other features like this.

2. What are sit-in kayaks?

Sit-in kayaks are boats that have a seat to sit inside and keep you drier than the other option. You can dry storage for your valuable, and it increases paddling performance.

 It is a good choice for colder waters since it does not make you wet. These kayaks also feature more than one seat often to allow more people at one.

Sit-ins are also more controlled and can be handled by children and small skilled people better. However, climbing back onto them is very difficult without toppling the whole kayak in the water.

Emotion Glide Sport Kayaks

Emotion Glide Sport Kayaks

3. Should the Kayak have cargo space?

4. Should inflatable kayaks be considered?

Inflatable kayaks are a good idea for increased mobility and trips in the calm waters. However, the better quality you buy, the more features you can enjoy.

Inflatable kayaks are generally for one person only. In addition, they can be purchased for recreational purposes; however, they can be very dangerous.

Moreover, if you are taking your pet with you, they can prove profoundly harmful since they can get punctured. Furthermore, you will have to go through the hassle of blowing it up. So in case you do not have a pump, it may not seem a very bright idea.

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

5. What should the capacity be?

Recreational Kayaks are designed to hold one, two, or even more people at once. It is up to your preference what capacity your kayak should be.

However, check the maximum weight it holds and tries to keep the burden under the maximum for safety. Moreover, some Kayaks will specify the weight of pupil and additional weight for cargo.

Moreover, the specs need to be followed since cargo will have a compartment and the weight will be divided accordingly. Some kayaks hold only one person, but the weight capacity is not enough for a bigger person, ensure you buy the one that carries as much weight as possible.

6. What kayak shape is ideal?

Kayaks have many different shapes from you to choose. Flat bottoms are the best for recreational purposes. They allow the most stability in water and better control over the boat. Rounded Kayaks are usually for day touring kayaks.

Moreover, they travel faster and are convenient as tourist kayaks. The V-shaped kayaks are the best for long distance journeys in the kayak. They are highly stable, yet their best feature is the secondary stability which allows them to recover when tipped.

7. What material should the kayak be?

Kayaks come in two different materials. Polyethene is the most popular material for a kayak. It is inexpensive, yet the quality sets correctly. Moreover, it is its durability allows it to be impacts and scratches resistant. However, the sun can cause it to easily brittle down.

Thermoformed ABS is the fabrication of acrylic over plastic. It creates a glossy effect and is more expensive than the other. It is light in weight yet massively durable. Furthermore, it even holds more weight capacity. It is resistant to the sun and does not wear down in high temperatures quickly. Moreover, it is easily repairable as well.

8. What accessories should the kayak have?

Some kayaks offer accessories that are included, so you do not have to go through the hassle of buying them separately. They are highly recommended, and it is important that you purchase the one with the most additional accessories. The following are a few that should be included.

  • Paddle: The right paddle depends on the kayak’s size, shape, and purpose, so it is important that your kayak has a paddle with it for the best experience.
  • Safety gear: Some kayaks offer safety equipment included. Life jackets and other safety gears are a legal requirement before you head to the waters.
  • Carrack: Unless it is not inflatable, your boat needs to be transferred. Ensure that it comes with a frame to make transport easier
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Top 5 Best Recreational Kayak Reviews

The following are kayaks that we found worthy of being our top picks. All of these include features that are unique and ideal in a kayak. Furthermore, check them out to get a market comparison before you buy the best recreational kayak for your leisure time.

1. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Review

The lifetime youth kayak comes in two vibrant colors and as the name suggests, is perfect for children 5 and up. It is designed for stability in calm waters, yet it can manage a few waves without tipping over.

Pros

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    Molded design for secure grip
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    Unique designs allow natural step up to the kayak from water
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    Included double-sided paddle
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    Perfect for children 5 and up

Cons

  • Holds only about 130lb
  • Does not include any other accessories

The lifetime youth kayak is ideal for children and small people since it holds just about 130lb. It has included paddle allows feasibility and the design have many advantages like easy mobility and easy to slip on from the water. The vibrant colors are a cherry on top for anyone who wants style with leisure.

2. Ocean Kayak  Malibu Recreational Kayak Review

The ocean kayak is perfect for recreational purposes in the sea. Furthermore, it is a sit-on-top kayak that is made for two people and a child. The sitting positions are made to ensure full comfort. It comes in three unique and vibrant colors. Its length allows stability in the ocean.

Pros

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    Hold about 425lbs
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    Three sitting positions available
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    Design encourages leg comfort
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    Safety straps intact

Cons

  • No additional accessories including the paddle
  • Design makes it harder to handle high waves

This kayak is called an ocean kayak, however, in even the medium waves, it can tip over. It holds about two people and a child and allows perfect comfort in all aspects. The safety straps make it safer to kayak. However, you will have to find the perfect paddle to go with it since paddles are not included.

3. Ocean Scrambler Recreational Kayaks Review

This sit-on-top kayak is designed for one person only. However, its unique designs give sit-on-top kayaks a new standard. With the seat cushioning and other features, it sets the bar high. The sunrise color gives you style along with quality.

Pros

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    Comfortable seat with cushioning
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    Comfortable leg position
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    Paddle keeper
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    Storage compartment
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    Cup holder
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    Hold about 350lb

Cons

  • Does not come with safety gear
  • You will have to buy your paddles
  • Weighs about 45lb making it hard to carry around

4. Emotion Glide Sport Kayaks Review

The emotion Glide kayak is designed to work for leisure as well as sports; this means that you can use it in calm waters with high speed. It is made of polyethylene which makes it durable and stable.

The glacier blue color is vibrant enough to not camouflage with the blue water. The design hold perks for sports as well as leisure.

Pros

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    Bow and stern rigging makes secure gear
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    Size and shape allows easy maneuvering in all kinds of water along with speed
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    Drink holder for additional leisure
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    Rare UV-resistant polyethylene

Cons

  • Paddles are not included
  • The short and maneuvering design can cause problems for unskilled kayakers
  • Not for rough waters

The emotion Glide kayak is made for sport, however; the biggest problem with it is that it does not provide stability in rough waters. You will need to go out and find the perfect paddles for this one as. However, the design allows easy turning and less tipping in the water. The material is polyethylene yet it is resistant to the sun’s rays, and the drink holder is for other leisure.

5. Ocean Kayak Scrambler Recreational Kayak, Envy Review

This ocean kayak scrambler is another sit-on-top kayak that has many inbuilt features. It is designed for one person, and the comfort of that person is taken care of with its seat cushioning. The plan includes an area for dry storage along with other additional features.

Pros

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    The seat is adjustable for any body type
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    Dry storage compartment
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    Paddle holder
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    Hull allows a good water break

Cons

  • Paddles need to be bought separately
  • Design makes getting back on the kayak a little tricky

This Kayak is a sit-on-top kayak, yet it will provide you maximum comfort no matter what your body type is. The dry storage compartment along with paddle holder, cup holder, and bungee cords, give a unique touch to the kayak. Furthermore, the hull is designed in a way that the water can break easily making kayaking more effortless. However, you will need to make much effort to get back to the kayak and to find the perfect paddle for this boat.

Wrap up:

Kayak is an unusual activity whether you are alone or with your loved ones. We hope that this buyer’s guide helped you understand the features of the best recreational kayaks.

With our product reviews, you can check out how there are different kayaks in various prices, and they create major differences. Moreover, remember to not compromise on the quality, since it can be life threatening in this case.

Furthermore, spend a little extra money to buy safety gear and accessories of kayaks in good quality or buy the ones that come with the product. Enjoy safe buying by checking each product correctly and being particular about what you want.