Top 10 Best Kayak For Kids In 2019 [Reviews & Buying Guides]

Kayaking has becoming the dominant favorite watersports among varieties of people, including children. Your youngster has just developed a newfound love for paddling, and you need to buy a kayak? There are a plethora of options on the market, but the best kayak for kids is one which is secure and stable.

This guide gets you started by recommending 10 of the best kid friendly kayaks available on the market. We are focused on helping you decide on features that are the most important when buying a kayak for your child. Then we will answer some questions which often bothers first-time buyers.

However, for those who wants to jump straight to our final verdict, here are our top picks.

best value

  • Sit-on top kayak
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Built in “swim-up step” feature for easy boarding
  • Great UV resistant

POPULAR

  • Sit-in kayak
  • Built in innovative Tag Along Tow system
  • Tough to prevent capsizing
  • Check Circle
    Foam billets to ensure kids' safety

The mere fact that you’re reading this indicates that you are considering to introduce your child to the popular water-sport – kayaking. For this to be successful, you need one of the best kayaks for your kids.

Kayaking offers several benefits to children. It enables them to learn how to solve problems creatively, even under pressure. The water-sport also builds a spirit of persistence in the child and teaches him/her about rewards and risks. 

If you are a parent who enjoys paddling, you can create good memories with your kids when kayaking with them.

Top 10 Kids Kayak [Table of Comparison]

We have designed a comparison table below for your easy reference. However, it is important to note that the positions are in no particular order of importance. 

ProductSpecifications & FeaturesOur Rating


Lifetime Youth Wave
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-on-top

Length: 6 feet

Width: 24 inch

Maximum Capacity: 130 lbs

Weight: 18 lbs

Material: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

5.0/5.0



Price: $$

More Details


Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-inside

Length: 7 feet 5 inch

Width: 25 inch

Maximum Capacity: 115 lbs

Weight: 26 lbs

Material: Single layer Polyethylene

Extras: Innovative Tag Along Tow system

4.9/5.0



Price: $$$$


More Details


Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-inside inflatable

Length: 9 feet

Width: 30 inch

Maximum Capacity: 220 lbs

Weight: 27.2 lbs

Material: High strength polyester fiber

4.5/5.0



Price: $

More Details


Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-on-top

Length: 9 feet

Width: 31 inch

Maximum Capacity: 325 lbs

Weight: 44 lbs

Material: Single layer Polyethylene

4.6/5.0



Price: $$$$$

More Details


​Best Choice Products 6ft Kids Kayak
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-on-top

Length: 6 feet

Width: 26 inch

Maximum Capacity: 121 lbs

Weight: 21 lbs

Material: HDPE

4.8/5.0



Price: $$

More Details


Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-inside

Length: 8 feet

Width: 28 inch

Maximum Capacity: 260 lbs

Weight: 27 lbs

Material: Rugged UV-stabillized Fortiflex® HDPE

4.3/5.0



Price: $$$

More Details


Sun Dolphin Bali SS 6-Foot Sit-on top Kayak
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-on-top

Length: 6 feet

Width: 26 inch

Maximum Capacity: 140 lbs

Weight: 28 lbs

Material: Rugged UV-stabillized Fortiflex® HDPE

4.6/5.0



Price: $$

More Details


Ocean Kayak Banzai Kids' Kayak
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-on-top

Length: 9 feet 6 inch

Width: 28.5 inch

Maximum Capacity: 230 lbs

Weight: 36 lbs

Material: Single layer Polyethylene

Extras: Tag Along system

4.8/5.0



Price: $$$$

More Details


Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top 8 Foot Kayak
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-on-top

Length: 8 feet

Width: 31.5 inch

Maximum Capacity: 240 lbs

Weight: 39 lbs

Material: UV protected HDPE

4.4/5.0



Price: $$$$

More Details


Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Type: Sit-on-top

Length: 6 feet

Width: 24 inch

Maximum Capacity: 140 lbs

Weight: 22 lbs

Material: UV protected HDPE

4.0/5.0



Price: $$

More Details

10 Best Kayak for Kids Reviewed

1. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

best kayak for kids

If you are in search of a recreational kayak for kids, specifically around the age of five and above, weighing up to 130 lbs., then the Lifetime Youth 6 ft. Wave Kayak with paddle is a good buy.

The safety of your child on the kayak is of top priority. That’s why this kayak features a steady paddling platform with scupper holes (self-draining) to ensure that your child doesn’t topple over from the kayak and the kayak doesn’t fill up with water while your child is on it.

Read More

2. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak 

Specially made for kids, the Old Town Heron Junior iconic recreational kayak is one of the best ultralight kayak options for your kid. If your kid has the energy and enjoys paddling and splashing around water with the rest of the family, the Heron Junior Kayak is the perfect kayak at 7.5 ft. long and weighing just 26 lbs.

Read More

3. Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak

Purchasing an inflatable kayak is not a bad idea. If you are not sure about your child’s potential for the kayaking sport and you don’t want to spend much money, then an inflatable kayak is the best option.

The Intex Challenger K1 is one of the best inflatable kayaks on the market. It is stable, durable, and budget-friendly. Fully inflated, this Intex Kayak is 9 ft. long, capable of handling older kids and even adults with minimal experience.

Read More

4. Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-on-Top Recreational Kayak

The Ocean Frenzy Kayak is a compact, versatile and high-class recreational kayak for children, for river kayaking or ocean adventurers. This one-person kayak is stable and responsive, behaving correctly on the surf and flat water. If you prefer a compact recreational kayak that offers a whole lot of fun, you should check out this kayak.

Besides, this Frenzy kayak includes comfortable padded seats for extra support and cushioning. You can easily transport the kayak as it provides carriage handles for the bow and stern and molded integrated side handles.

Read More

5. Best Choice Products Kids Kayak (6ft)

If you have been longing for a kayak that will fast become the love of your child, then this kayak with Backrest and Paddle is an ideal option. Fully designed for kids, this kayak is easy to handle, and it serves as a good training tool for your kid.

Nothing is worse in kayaking than getting butt sore after only a few minutes, especially on long trips. This feeling is multiplied in kids, and that’s why the comfy padded seats of this is a great add-on. Apart from its amazing seats, this kayak includes a “swim-up step” feature that allows a kid to climb in from the water quickly.

Read More

6. Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-In Kayak - Best Youth Sit In Kayak

Kids who are little older, between the ages of 8 and 12, and who weigh more will enjoy a kayak like this Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8. Kids can feel secure on the water while on an 8 ft. kids kayak supporting 260 lbs. With a traditional-covered sit-inside deck, this Aruba kayak is an excellent option for youngsters who do not enjoy getting wet. You can also include a spray skirt for enhanced protection from the elements. This lightweight and versatile kayak paddles easily and offers thorough stability.

Read More

7. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 6-Foot Sit-on-Top Kayak 

Are you looking for a comfortable kayak which you can transport anywhere effortlessly? Then, this Sun Dolphin Kayak might be the best answer to your search.

This Bali kayak is rugged and simple, featuring a stable width. This kayak is also a perfect option for beginner kids as it trains them on kayaking, particularly balance. Do you want your kid to comfortably participate in the family’s day out on the water? Get this Bali kayak. It is lightweight, versatile and it tracks and paddles well in water. Moreover, energy-filled kids enjoy the open cockpit on this kayak, which allows them to get in and out with ease.

Read More

8. Ocean Kayak Banzai Kids’ Kayak  

The Ocean Kayak brand is well-recognized for their outstanding kayaks, particularly their kayaks for kids. The Ocean Kayak Banzai does not fall below this exceptional standard. The Banzai Kayak is somewhere in between a traditional kayak and a sit on top.

This lightweight kayak is smoothly and attractively lined in a way that makes it easy for kids to enjoy paddling and maneuvering through the water.

Read More

9. Emotion Spitfire Sit-on-Top Kayak (8ft)

Are you on the hunt for a high-quality and performance kayak for your kid(s)? Then, the Emotion 90245 Spitfire Sit-On-Top 8 Ft. Kayak is a great choice.

This unit is made of a high-density Polyethylene, which enhances its durability and strength. You can be sure that this boat won't puncture easily. It is specifically designed to meet the stability, performance, and affordability requirement of paddlers. 

Read More

10. Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak 

When you’re a parent of five-year-old, space is the number one factor you’ll be on the lookout for. The Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak is a unique 6 ft. kayak with an integrated cup holder and rear storage. This is enough space for anything a young paddler wants to bring along with him.

Read More

Kids Kayak Buying Guides

What makes a good kayak for kids? This is a critical, must-ask question before you purchase a kayak for your kid. Even if you are familiar with adult kayaks, those for children are different. They come in various lengths and weights. Also, there are some integrated features you need to be on the watch-out when looking for the kids' kayak on the market.

However, before browsing through these kayaks, there are some essential questions you need to answer, which will guide your search.

Your Child's Age

The answer to this question is a fundamental checklist before buying kayak for your child. The age of the child will determine if they’ll be able to paddle on their own or you’ll need to tandem with them.

For children of below ten years, you can get a kayak that allows you to ride tandem with them. At this age, children exhaust their energy quickly. So, it is recommended that you purchase a children's kayak with a tag towing system. Thus, when the child gets tired while paddling in the middle of a waterbody, you can hook the kayak to another one. 

Children, between the ages of 10-13 with essential paddling experience, can manage a small-sized kayak to guarantee a better experience. Then, children between the ages of 14 upward can ride medium and large-sized kayaks as they have some basic knowledge. Make sure to get the right paddle size for them as well.

The Skill Level

As above-mentioned, the experience of the child plays a vital role in purchasing a kayak. Does the child have enough swimming experience? Does the child have paddling arms?

All these are questions you need to answer as they’ll guide you in choosing the best kayak for your child. After all, there is no fun in purchasing a kayak that your child won’t be able to ride.

However, even after getting answers to these questions, a web search will show you the numerous amount of kayaks for kids that are available on the market that may fit your criteria. To ensure that you do not go on a desperate search, find a suitable kid's kayak from this article as we have already narrowed down the search list for you.

Types of Kayaks

Once you start your search, you'll undoubtedly encounter the phrase "sit-on-top" or "sit-in". What exactly do they mean? The difference between both is the kayak’s cockpit. The sit-in kayaks are the conventional kayaks where the cockpit is enclosed, and it is sometimes combined with a spray skirt to prevent water in the kayak. This type of kayak is best for those who paddle in cold water climates.

On the other hand, the sit-on-top kayaks are modern variations which feature an open cockpit and a fully enclosed hull. These kayaks are ideal for recreational purposes as they are compatible with many water activities.

Most consumers prefer sit-on-top kayaks for their kids because they are stable and safer. However, the kids sit-in kayaks are faster and more comfortable. If you are looking for other types of kayak for recreation purposes, make sure to check out our article on the best kayak models out there.

Factors That Affect the Water Performance of the Kayak

  • Width
    Width is essential to the maneuverability and stability of the kayak on the water. If your child is new to the kayaking world, finding the most suitable kayak is paramount.

    Your child will find it challenging to continue kayaking if his/her first experience if full of constant falling into the water. The wider a kayak is, the more stability it offers. However, you have to take into account your child’s ability to maneuver the boat. If the kayak is too wide, the child might often struggle with controlling it.
  • Length
    The kayak’s ability to maintain tracks and speed, while on the water, is a function of its range. A longer boat might perform better on the water. However, shorter boats are more comfortable to maneuver.

    So, you can purchase an average length kayak for your kid, which comes with a paddle that can help control and adjust the course of the kayak.
  • Weight
    The maneuverability, the speed and ease of transportation of a kayak are affected by its weight. It is recommended that you purchase a model that strikes a good balance for your kid between 20-30 lbs. Though the benefits of a lightweight kayak include portability and maneuverability, a too-light kayak can get tossed around during not-too-good weather conditions which can lead to loss of stability.
  • Ease of Transportation
    Also, the best kayaks for kids include holdable carry handles and toggles that make it easy to transport the kayak from the car to the water and vice-versa.

    However, if you are incredibly concerned about purchasing the lightest kayak model, you can buy an inflatable kayak, for instance the Intex Challenger K1. Inflatable kayaks are manufactured from plastic-coated materials, and they can be deflated to fit into a small backpack.
  • Color
    While the color of the kayak does not affect its performance on the water, kids generally love bright, eye-catching colors. A short route to make your kid fall in love with kayaking is by purchasing a bright-colored kayak.

Additional Factors

  • Safety: Nothing rivals the importance of the security of your child while on water. When they’re out on the water, you have to ensure that they are secure by purchasing a kayak with the best safety features. Safety in a kayak is in the form of stability.

    However, some of the best kayaks for kids may include additional safety measures such as a flotation device in the hull to prevent sinking or self-draining holes which prevent the kayak from filling with water. In general, make sure they are aware of the common dangers when kayaking.
  • Paddles: It is advisable that you purchase a kayak that comes with a paddle. A paddle enhances the user’s control of the boat. Buying a kayak without a paddle will generate extra costs for you. However, these paddles are often of better quality compared to the free ones.
  • Durability: Kids are often rough with their toys and gear. Unsurprisingly, this tends to apply to their usage of the kayak. So, you have to make sure that the kayak you purchase is tough enough to withstand roughness without puncturing.

    Most of the best durable kayaks for kids are constructed with top-grade polyethylene material because of its toughness.
  • Foot Braces: It is a well-known fact that kids grow at an alarmingly rapid pace. A kayak with foot braces which can be modified to size will ensure that your child can continue using the kayak even after a long period. Some kayaks are designed with molded-in braces which are also a good option.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How best can I thoroughly enjoy kayaking with my kid?

It is best to introduce your kids with a tandem kayaking. Then, as the child becomes accustomed to the water, you can purchase a single kayak for him/her. Also, when your child goes solo for the first time, it is better that you start on a small lake or quiet pond to build their confidence in kayaking.

 

2. What is the best location to kayak with my kid?

The answer to this depends, to a great extent, on your child’s level of skill. Small and calm water bodies such as lakes and ponds are best for younger kids and those who are still learning the basics of kayaking. However, as their expertise, experience and confidence increases, you can introduce them to larger water bodies. It is not advisable to have your kid paddle in an area with strong currents and the oceans are a no-no.

 

3. How to ensure maximum safety when kayaking with a kid?

Despite the fun of kayaking with your kid, it can turn out to be a bad experience if you do not take the necessary safety precautions. It is crucial that you are always putting on a life vest. Here are some other essential items to wear during kayaking.

FINAL VERDICT

Kayaking with your kid(s) is a fantastic experience that can create lifelong memories. Based on our finding, our top pick in this review will be the Lifetime Youth Wave. It is a recreational kayak which ensures that your child is safe and stable in the boat with its innovative safety features.

Moreover, this kayak has all the factors needed for the best kayak for kids – it is portable, lightweight, and can be easily maneuvered. We rate this product 5.0 stars out of possible 5.


5.0/5.0
Our Rating
Douglas Keister

I am an adventure fanatic that loves nature and adventure sports like kayaking, camping and water sports. I have been doing this for almost 10 years now and have learned quite a few tricks. With my experience, I hope to provide you with the most reliable and accurate information for your next adventure.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply: