Kayaking as a family seems like fun for most people. What is important is that your kids also have the right gear for the activity. As part of preparing your kids for kayaking, you should consider getting them the best kayak for kids.
Kids need the right kayak for their specific age. Some might be too big or too small for their age. It is why you should consider looking at the recommended age first for the kayak. We will look at more features you should consider when getting the best kayak for kids so that it is the right product.
Before we get to the reviews, here is a buying guide to keep in mind.
Quick Picks: The Top-Rated Kayak for Kids
Kayaks for 4-8-Year-Olds：
1. MaxKare Kids Four Seasons Blue Kayak
2. Lifetime 90479 Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle
Kayaks for 12-Year-Olds and Up:
5. Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak
6. Perception Joyride 10 Kayak for Kids and Adults
In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!
How to Choose the Best Kayak for Kids
The first thing you have to consider is your kid’s skills when it comes to kayaking and being in water generally.
If the kid does not know how to swim, then it is best to teach him or her swimming first. This is because the kid would be able to swim in case the kayak capsizes.
The same skills question applies to whether the kid knows how to use a kayak. It might be necessary to take the kid to attend some kayaking lessons before releasing him into the water alone.
The size is important in determining the best kayak for kids. The kayak is not supposed to be too big for the kid. Choose something of length 6 to 8 feet. This will ensure that you get the best handling and more balance when maneuvering the kayak.
As for the width, the kayak needs to be the right fit too. Do not choose a model that is too wide. This is because it will leave the kids hitting their elbows all the time. Choose something that is the right fit in terms of width too.
The weight needs to be within the range where the kid can easily lift it around with ease. It is why you have to consider the material used to make the kayak. The material needs to be good in terms of durability while at the same time, remain lightweight.
Each manufacturer would mention the kayak’s weight so that you know which type of kayak you are buying.
Look at the stability you are getting with the kayak first. This is the most important feature for the kids new to using a kayak. The feature would help the kid gain confidence and get the right balance when using the kayak.
The cockpit needs to be designed to offer more protection to the kid. Depending on the cockpit design, sometimes it can affect the stability you are getting with the kayak. Take the time to look at the different cockpit features to see how they offer more balance to the user.
It would be nice if you got the kayak from a top brand. A good brand understands what it needs to incorporate in the kayak to make it better. As such, you should always have a great time getting a kayak from top-rated brands in the market. All the models in this guide are from top brands, so you should be sorted.
The model that you buy needs to have the best features for the price. If you think that your kid will continue kayaking for years to come, then invest in a model with more fun and safety features. You are likely to come across reasonably priced options that will still be fun. It is all about researching more on them.
Top 8 Best Kayaks for Kids
Kayaks for 4-8-Year-Olds
The kayak is designed to be great for all seasons. You are likely to find it is safe, sturdy, and easy to use, even for kids. Considering that kids will be using it, the manufacturer made it to be durable and corrosion-resistant. You should then find it is awesome for your kids to have fun in it.
The grooved cockpit and foldable backrest make it easier to enjoy time in the kayak. You will notice that the grooved cockpit is ideal for providing 360 degrees protection to the kids. As for the folding backrest, it is good for providing more comfort when using the kayak.
There are cup holders and additional storage in the kayak. Your kids will store their water or beverage in the cup holder when relaxing in the calm water. The bungee straps and mesh cloth enclosure are also good for keeping personal belongings from flying away while kayaking.
- The kayak is lightweight
- The grooved cockpit provides protection
- It has an impressive amount of storage room
- Some kids find it too big to steer correctly
This best kayak for kids is designed for kids of age five and above. For this reason, it can be a nice present for a kid within this age group.
The design is simple compared to what you get with other models in the market. It might be the reason you get a lot more people going for it. Having the molded finger handles will make it easier for transportation. To make it better, it weighs 18 pounds only.
Having a sloped back end and a swim-up step provides for a comfortable sitting position for kayaking. Also, this design allows the rider to easily get back into the kayak from the water.
There are multiple footrest positions for the different riders. That is why it would be great for a wide range of kids of different ages and heights.
Another reason for picking this kayak is that it has the reverse chine that improves stability. There is no doubt you would feel safe when your kid is in the kayak having fun.
- The reverse chine provides stability
- It offers multiple footrest positions
- The molded finger handles provide easy transport
- Poor customer support
Kayaks for 8-12-Year-Olds
Intex is a top brand, so we expect that its kayaks would be great. That is what you get with this best kayak for kids. Many people find it fun, sporty, and streamlined. These are all things that would excite your kids all the time.
The streamlined shape is great for making it easy to paddle. There is no doubt you will find a lot more people who want to use this type of kayak for fun activities.
The bright green color easily appeals to many kids. There is also the addition of sporty graphics that make the kayak highly visible in the water.
The two 86-inch aluminum paddles will make it easier for the kid to paddle through the water. Aluminum is lightweight, so the kid should not find it hard paddling.
The model is rugged and strong. Even if the kayak is left in the sun for days, it remains resistant to UV damage. Also, it stands out for being highly durable.
- It is highly durable
- It is lightweight
- The material is puncture-proof
- The material is not the easiest to clean
This is a kid-centric package inspired by the award-winning products from the same brand. The company saw a chance of reaching more audiences by creating a kid’s kayak. Well, they did a good job of ensuring that the kayak was really good.
By looking at the colors, it is easy to see why more people would want it. The colors are bright so that you can spot the kayak in the water from a distance.
Since it is centered around kids, the kayak is designed to fit the kid perfectly. Also, it has smaller blades that the kids would use comfortably to paddle through the water.
The kayak features an elevated seat that makes it easy for paddling. Do not worry as the grooved cockpit would protect the kid.
The presence of a swim-up deck makes it easy to climb into the kayak without tipping it over. You will also like its storage space for some extra gear.
- It is a lightweight kayak
- It has smaller blades for better control
- The elevated seat makes it easier to paddle
- The kayak could use straps to hold down the gear
Kayaks for 12-Year-Olds and Up:
This is another top choice as the best kayak for kids, thanks to its open cockpit design and lightweight nature. The molded carrying handle makes it a lot easier to carry the kayak to the water for some good times.
Another thing you will like about the kayak should be the twin tunnel design. Such a design is great for making the kayak easy to maneuver. The feature also adds more stability to the kayak so that the kid can have an easy time using it.
The molded footrests also make it easier and comfortable to paddle the kayak. There is also a paddle park in the kayak so that it is easier to store the paddle when not in use.
The drain plug is another important feature in the kayak. It will prevent water infiltration so that you can have a good time using the kayak without any worries.
Having a bottle holder should allow the kid to carry some water for hydration while in the water having fun.
- It is a lightweight kayak for ease of transportation
- The twin tunnel makes it easy to maneuver the kayak
- The molded footrests help provide a comfortable kayaking position
- It could use more color options
The kayak is great in terms of having fun and enjoying the water. This is because it is designed with fun in mind. That is evident from the design and color scheme. You are likely to find your kids loving every moment in the kayak, as it looks good too.
The kayak is good in terms of comfort too. This is thanks to the adjustable seat. It can be adjusted to the right sitting position for a lot more comfort.
The footrests are also comfortable. This makes them easily accommodate paddlers of different sizes. As such, kids of different ages and heights should have a good time kayaking in it.
There is also a convenient drink holder in the kayak. This will keep the kid’s favorite drink within reach all the time. The selfie slot lets the paddlers stage electronics or cameras for filming and viewing.
- There is a storage hatch for more safety of some gear
- It is easy to set up cameras for filming
- The kayak has adjustable footrests for comfort
- It is heavy for the kids to move it easily into the water
Inflatable Kayak for Kids
This is the best kayak for kids with the option of inflating it. As such, it is easier to carry the kayak to where you want before inflating it for use. The manufacturer made it easy to use as it also features a pump for easily inflating the kayak.
The seat is also inflatable. To make it better, you will find that it is also adjustable. As such, you can easily inflate it to the point that is comfortable enough for you. The cockpit is also designed for space and comfort. You would not have to worry about its comfort much.
The dimensions make this a great option to own today. This is because it features a size that two people can comfortably fit in it. And the maximum weight capacity is 400 pounds. You should find it is a great choice for adults too, thanks to such a capacity.
- It is easy to inflate it
- It comes with impressive directional stability
- Its color makes it visible from a distance
- It is only good for small water bodies
It is best if you consider this one also as the best kayak for kids. It is designed to take your summer times to the next level. To make it better, it can work even in large water bodies, unlike the other inflatable model above.
The model is good for fun activities and fishing too. Your kids can decide to take it for their fun outdoor water sports while taking it for fishing. The model seats only one passenger, so the kid should have all the comfort he needs.
The kayak comes with everything you need for getting in and out of the water fast when fishing. There are also additional accessories important for keeping the kayak working correctly. Such include an air hand pump, heavy-duty repair patch, double-sided paddle, and more.
The seat has an adjustable backrest. You would now easily adjust the seat, providing you with the best lumbar support. The four footrests will accommodate riders of different heights.
- The seat is adjustable for comfort
- It works for different water bodies
- It is lightweight for portability
- It takes long before completely inflating it
Is kayaking safe for kids?
It will only be safe if the kids have the right training and gear for the activity. We recommend that you take your time to get the right kayak by looking for kayaks meant for kids. Most would have a design meant to keep the kids safe.
Where should you kayak with kids?
It depends on the skills of your kid. If the kid is a beginner, then take him to small water bodies and pay close attention to the activity. You should always be ready to jump in whenever the need arises.
Once the confidence and skill grow, take the kid to open waters such as lakes to help him master kayaking even more.
What are some of the important kayaking safety
Always make sure that the kid has a life vest. This helps in keeping the kid afloat until you get there to help. Also, consider calm waters until the kid knows his way around the kayak.
Some feel the bright colors can also be great. They help with the ease of locating the kayak quickly in the water in case of something.