Best Kayak for Kids [Reviews]

The Best Kayaks for kids [Reviews]

Kayaks for kids Have Come A Long Way In Recent Years, I Think They Are Great!

Check Out My Reviews Of The Best Kayaks for Kids Below

In a hurry and just want to find out what the best kayak for kids is? After our  thorough testing and research we highly recommend the Intex Challenger Kayak as the best by far.

Kayaking is often seen as an adult activity, but in all reality, there is no reason why kids can’t do it too — you just need the right kayak for the job. This is exactly what we are here to help you find today, the best kayak for kids of 2020.

We have some really nice options for you to check out, as well as a short guide on the most important things to look for when shopping.

Check Out Our Best Kayak for Kids Reviews

Best Kayak Overall

Intex Challenger Kayak

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This is a really neat option, as it is an inflatable kayak that is ideal for large children, teens, and small adults. It comes with some really high-quality features.


The Intex Challenger Kayak is inflatable, which automatically makes it convenient, at least in terms of storage and transportation. It has some good size to it, yet is very lightweight. It comes in at just over 27 pounds, which for a kayak this size is quite lightweight.

It’s very versatile in this sense. It comes with a high output hand pump for easy inflation and the air is just as easy to let out.

In terms of the size, it’s ideal for older children, but not very young kids. It has a maximum weight capacity of 220 pounds, so technically it works fine for adults too.

The Intex Challenger Kayak is made with high-quality vinyl which is impact and tear resistant, although sharp sticks or rocks may still damage it.

Something you might like is how this model comes with a removable skeg, which is designed to help keep you heading straight in the water.

This model also comes with an inflatable, removable, and adjustable seat. Keep in mind that this model features a closed deck, so legs are covered.

The addition of a cargo net on the front allows you to take important goods along for the ride. Both ends of the kayak feature grab lines as well. The Intex Challenger Kayak comes with the oar included.


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Ideal for large kids and adults
  • High weight capacity
  • Pump included
  • Tear-resistant vinyl


  • Not for very young children

>>Check Price on amazon<<

Best Lightweight Kayak

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

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If your kids want to get out on the water and you want to get them a very simple, good valued, and well-designed kayak that is ideal for young children, the Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is a good contender.


We all know that kids can be rough with their belongings, which is why the Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is made out of high-density polyethylene, which is highly impact resistant and about as tough as it gets, especially at this price point.

The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak itself weighs only 18 pounds, which is good because it’s light enough for mommy or daddy to carry with a single hand, and young kids could probably pick it up as well. It’s  portable due to this, not to mention its small size.

Although it weighs only 18 pounds, it has a weight capacity of 130 pounds, which is should be more than enough for any kid. This is a simple sit on top kayak, with a reverse chine for some added stability.

It also features a swim-up step, so your kid can go swimming off the kayak and then easily get back onto it. To help add some more balance and stability, this model also comes with finger-molded grips.


  • Lightweight
  • Simplistic design
  • Good weight capacity
  • Quite stable


  • Paddle is not the highest quality

>>Check Price on amazon<<

Best Sit-on-Top Kayak

Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak

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When it comes to very simple, basic, and affordable sit-on-top kayaks for kids, this Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak is a top choice. It’s plastic design might not look like anything special, but it’s quite durable.


When it comes to kids, the Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak is rather perfect, because the sit-on-top design makes it very easy for them to board and get off of it.

Moreover, this kayak is very lightweight, as it comes in at just 19 pounds, making it one of the lightest options out there.

This lightweight design, combined with its limited length, make it easy to store in a tight space, to put in the car, and to lift up with a single hand, plus it comes with a molded carrying handle.

The Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak features a swim-up deck, so kids can get onto it easily when swimming, and it’s designed with a really wide and stable base so it doesn’t tip over, whether during kayaking or when trying to swim up onto it from the water.

Moreover, the Pelican is a self-bailing kayak, so if any water gets in, it simply drains out all on its own. Your kids might also like how there are multiple footrest positions for comfort.

This model features a twin tunnel hull, something that allows for easy maneuverability, although it might be hard to keep it on a straight course.


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Multiple footrest positions
  • Self-bailing design


  • No paddle included

>>Check Price on amazon<<

Best Compact Kayak

Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak

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This is an inflatable kayak that is built for comfort and portability.

Keep in mind that this kayak is technically an adult kayak, although it works fine for older children and youth, just not for young kids.


What’s really neat about the Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak is that it is an inflatable kayak, which automatically makes it easy to transport and store in tight spaces. It weighs under 18 pounds, making it lightweight.

Moreover, the whole kayak, when deflated, can be carried in the included backpack carrying case. Even better, that same backpack carrying case turns into the seat for the kayak.

There is a high-output pump included which allows you to inflate the kayak in under 5 minutes.

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak is made from 21 gauge PVC, and comes with a tarpaulin bottom to make it just that much more durable.

This is one of the few inflatable kayaks that can easily stand up to sharp rocks and sticks, although it does have its limits, and if one chamber is punctured, the multiple chamber design will allow it to still stay afloat. This kayak can support up to 400 pounds.

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak comes with a small cargo net in the front, so you can store a watertight bag on in. In terms of comfort, this model comes with multiple footrest positions, plus the inflatable seat rest will provide you with some much needed support.


  • Multiple air chambers
  • Pump included
  • Cargo net
  • Included backrest


  • Seat isn’t that comfortable

>>Check Price on amazon<<

Best Entry Level Kayak

Perception Prodigy XS Kayak

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If you’re looking for a nice little kayak, a solid shell kayak for your kid with a sit-in design and a few nifty features — all for a decent price, then the Perception Prodigy XS Kayak could be a good option.


The Perception Prodigy XS Kayak is made out of high-density polyethylene plastic, which is tough enough to withstand a good deal of impact, but of course, a big crash may result in a bit of damage. However, the hull is resistant to UV rays and to abrasion.

In terms of stability, be aware that this kayak is designed for slow-moving rivers and lakes, but the base is not very wide, so it won’t be ideal for fast-moving rivers.

That said, due to its relatively slim design, it’s perfect for chugging along. However, it does come with a foam bulkhead to assist with buoyancy and stability.

Thanks to the large and open cockpit, there’s plenty of room for the legs, and thanks to the padded backrest, your kids should be comfortable.

This model also includes quick adjustment foot rests, so the kayak can grow with your kids as they get older.

Keep in mind that the Perception Prodigy XS Kayak weighs around 26 pounds, which is fairly lightweight, however, it is 10 feet long, so if you are transporting it with your car, you’ll need a kayak rack.

However, due to its size, it has a fairly decent 150 pound weight capacity.


  • Great for slow moving waters
  • Quite durable
  • Adjustable foot rests


  • Not overly stable

>>Check Price on amazon<<

Learn All You Need to know with our buying guide

Before you go out and buy a kayak for your kids, let’s take a quick look at the most important purchasing factors you should keep an eye on.

Types of Kayaks

This is going to be divided into two categories, with the first being solid vs. inflatable. Inherently solid-shell kayaks will be more durable than inflatable kayaks, although they are much heavier and not nearly as portable.

The second differentiation is between sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks, with sit-in kayaks being better for serious kayaking, whereas sit on top kayaks are better for kids.


You want to pay attention to the length of the kayak. Kids don’t need a very long kayak, as it just makes it harder to maneuver. Shorter kayaks are easier to maneuver.

Also, look for the width of the kayak, because the wider it is the more stable it is. So, for kids, a relatively short and wide kayak is probably best.

Paddle Holders

Kids are kids, and that means that they easily get distracted and lose stuff, and yes, this goes for something as important as the kayak’s paddles.

A kayak with paddle holders is great for kids, because this way, when they get tired or distracted, they can put the paddles down securely without risk of them getting lost or sinking in the water.

Adjustable Foot Braces

This might  be one of the most important factors to consider. Foot rests are crucial for kayaks because it helps you brace yourself, thus making it easier to paddle and to sit upright.

However, kids grow fast, so having footrests that can be adjusted to match your kid’s growing frame is ideal. Some kayaks also just have multiple footrest positions, although this is less desirable than a single adjustable footrest.


The other thing to look for is stability, which as we mentioned earlier on, has a lot to do with the width of the kayak. However, for the most stability, look for a kid’s kayak that also has a relatively flat underside.

Best Kayak for Kids


How to Kayak With Kids

If your kid is in their own kayak, never stray too far from them, make sure they are wearing a life preserver, and if your kid is alone, make sure that they are able to man the paddles for the duration of the trip. If you are on the same kayak with your child, make sure that they sit in between your legs.

Safety Tips For Kayaking With Kids

  • Both you and the child should be wearing life preservers
  • Always ensure that your child is up to the task
  • Don’t take your kids on rough or fast moving waters
  • Having an emergency whistle on hand is an additional safety aid

Should I Get A Sit-on-top Or Traditional Kayak for My Child?

When it comes down to it, both types are fine, although very young kids will benefit from a sit-on-top kayak, as they are easier to board and to get out of.


Regardless of which kayak you choose for your child, make sure always to follow the proper safety procedures. Other than that, the kind of kayak you get will depend on the age and skill level of your child, so choose wisely.

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Ian Waterman
Ian Waterman Here, my true passions in life are all things water related like kayaking, fishing and most water sports. I love being outdoors and trying new things. Some of my fondest memories are camping as a small boy and fishing with my family Feel free to contact me anytime -