10 Best Pedal Kayaks Reviewed In 2019 [Buying Guides Included]

One of the sleekest aquatic vessels in existence, kayaks are watercraft that have a small and narrow structure. This structure has a streamlined design that allows for the efficient momentum of the vessel.

Kayaks are used for different purposes like sailing for sport, fishing, transportation of persons and goods, and even for relaxation purposes.

Manually powered kayaks are propelled using human power, and one can do this by using hands or feet. Hand-powered kayaks are fitted with oars, poles or paddles. While feet-powered kayaks come with either pedal and a crank or with a treadle.

Pedal-powered kayaks are considered the better option, and this article tells you about the 10 best pedal kayaks out there, followed by a guide for things to look out when buying one. However, for those who wants to jump straight to our final verdict, here are our top picks.

best value

  • Built in Pilot drive pedal system - allows reverse pedalling.
  • Spacious to cater big-sized users.
  • Leak proof and buoyant.

Popular

  • Fits 2 paddlers.
  • Larger hull than average pedal kayaks.
  • 4 handles allows smooth transportation.

Pedal-powered kayaks are the best for almost every sailing need you might have; this includes fishing and leisure sailing. These kayaks are highly recommended because they leave your hands free to hold items like a harpoon, a fishing hook and line, a camera, a fishing paddle or even a book.

Also, these kayaks allow you the option to use manual tools like oars, paddles, or poles to power your vessel when sailing. This feature comes handy if you find your legs tired, injured, or suffering from a muscle cramp.

Another major plus is the increased speed that pedal kayaks bring to the table. Relative to the speed produced, the effort used is minimal. Pedalling a kayak is often compared to walking or riding a bike; it is that easy.


Top 10 Pedal Kayaks [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


Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 10 feet

Width: 34 inch

Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs

Weight: 94 lbs

Hull Material: Polyethylene

Can be pedaled in reverse

Adjustable seat position

5.0/5.0



Price: $$$$

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Wilderness Systems Radar 115 Fishing Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 11 feet 8 inch

Width: 34.5 inch

Maximum Capacity: 450 lbs

Weight: 85 lbs

Features S.M.A.R.T hull technology

Tri-powered kayak ( Paddle + Power + Pedal)

Type of Pedal: Helix PD pedal drive

4.9/5.0



Price: $$$$


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Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-PK14 Tandem Pedal Drive Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 2 persons

Length: 14 feet

Width: 34 inch

Maximum Capacity: 660 lbs

Weight: 99 lbs

Hull Material: HDPE

Type of Pedal: Dual pedal drive system

4.8/5.0



Price: $$$$

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Hobie Mirage Compass Duo Tandem Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 2 persons

Length: 13 feet 6 inch

Width: 35 inch

Maximum Capacity: 475 lbs

Weight: 127 lbs

Hull Material: Rotomolded polythylene

Type of Pedal: Dual MirageDrives

4.5/5.0



Price: $$$$$

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​Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 12 feet

Width: 36 inch

Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs

Weight: 128.5 lbs

Hull Material: Rotomolded polythylene

Type of Pedal: Hobie Mirage Drive 180 with turbo fins

4.6/5.0



Price: $$$$$

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Hobie Mirage Oasis
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 2 persons

Length: 14 feet 6 inch

Width: 33 inch

Maximum Capacity: 550 lbs

Weight: 127 lbs

Hull Material: Rotomolded polythylene

Type of Pedal: Hobie Mirage Drive 180

4.2/5.0



Price: $$$$$

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Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal Recreational Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 12 feet

Width: 34.5 inch

Maximum Capacity: 450 lbs

Weight: 100 lbs

Hull Material: Single layer polyethylene

Type of Pedal: PDL drive

4.6/5.0



Price: $$$$

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Native Watercraft Titan Propel 12 Pedal Fishing Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 12 feet

Width: 39 inch

Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs

Weight: 138 lbs

Hull Material: Polyethylene

4.3/5.0



Price: $$$$

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Perception Pescador Pilot Fishing Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 12 feet 5 inch

Width: 33.5 inch

Maximum Capacity: 475 lbs

Weight: 95 lbs

Hull Material: Polythylene

Type of Pedal: Pilot drive pedal system

4.2/5.0



Price: $$$

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Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak
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Type: of Kayak: Sit-on-top

Kayak Capacity: 1 person

Length: 12 feet 9 inch

Width: 34 inch

Maximum Capacity: 425 lbs

Weight: 103 lbs

Hull Material: Rotomolded polythylene

Type of Pedal: Hobie Mirage Drive 180 with ST turbo fins

4.1/5.0



Price: $$$$

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10 Best Pedal Kayaks Reviewed

1.Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel Pedal Kayak 

Best Pedal Kayaks

The Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel kayak is the sleekest member of the Slayer kayak family, the makers of one of the best pedal kayak. This is a light but stable kayak, which is easy to maneuver and perfect for sport sailing. 

This kayak was built with a propel pedal System. This is quite good because it allows your kayak to be pedaled in reverse. This feature is convenient when you go fishing, and you have a frisky catch to contend with.  

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2. Wilderness Systems Radar 115 w/Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak   

The Radar 115 has been designed for versatile sailing. It works very well for any solo fishing trips you might take, especially with a pedal system that leaves your hands free enough to angle efficiently.

In smaller waters, paddling is easy and helps with maneuverability. But with larger water bodies, the pedaling increases the efficiency of the energy. You can also use the helix MD motor drive, which you need to buy separately. This motor increases the convenience you enjoy.

Apart from the high cost of purchase, the only drawback is the size of the center front hatch. It is quite small, and not useful for much. This doesn't stop the Radar 115 from being one of the best-rated pedal kayaks in the market.

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3. BKC UH-PK14 Sit On Top Tandem Pedal Drive Kayak

When you need fun, safety, maneuverability, eco-friendliness, speed, and stability, the UH-PK14 is your best option. This pedal powered kayak is designed to suit any sailing needs you might have, and with two seats available, it doubles the fun.

The dual carriage and steerage reduce the amount of energy you and your partner have to put into pedaling. Fear not, this does not stop you from sailing solo if you have to and you can still achieve great speeds if you combine pedaling and paddling.

The UH-PK14 has a larger hull than regular kayaks. This serves to provide more room for the extra seating and legroom; it also increases the weight of this pedal kayak.

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4. Hobie Mirage Compass Duo Tandem Pedal Kayak  

With Dual MirageDrives pedal system, the Compass Duo can’t go wrong. This hobie pedal kayak is very suitable for your fishing needs, recreational needs, transportation needs, and sporting needs.

The sleek design and glide technology enhance the speed of the vessel, reduce drag, and make the kayak easy to maneuver in water bodies.

With a double seating arrangement, this pedal kayak lets you bring along a partner, your child, or even one of your furry friends. The storage room, above and below deck, allows you to store enough gear for two people. We think this is an excellent opportunity for you to have a picnic on your kayak.

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5. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 Pedal Kayak - Best Pedal Fishing Kayak

With the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler, you can now improve on your fishing game. Every feature on this pedal kayak ensures convenience at every step of your fishing process.

Its stable frame allows you to stand and cast your line. It has hatches that will enable you to hold up to eight rods. It offers an impressive storage and organization system.

The seating system is very comfortable, and its ergonomic design allows adjustments to be made to the back, the base, the height and the lumbar, till you find the perfect position. The Pro Angler is up there with the best pedal kayak for fishing.

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6. Hobie Oasis Pedal Kayak

Shaped like a bullet, the Hobie Oasis is the speeding kayak of choice. Its narrow shape and lightweight construction materials allow this kayak to glide fast and smooth through rivers, lakes and even the ocean. As a result, the Hobie Oasis is perfect for sports sailing as it gives you a winning edge.

This pedal kayak does not sacrifice capacity for speed. Even with its narrowness, there is enough legroom for both sailors. Also, there is adequate space for hauling gear and equipment of considerable weight. Its seating is quite comfortable and encourages long stretches of sailing.

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7. Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal Recreational Kayak  

This product from Ocean Kayak is widely accepted for good Pedal Kayak construction and design. It is built to ensure your maximum comfort and relaxation, with little need for physical exertion.

Considering the weight and dimensions of this vessel, it is not the narrowest or light, but its purpose is to guarantee stability, space, and comfort.

The jump seat is a particularly convenient feature that allows you the option of bringing your child with you while sailing. We recommend this model if you are using it for recreational purposes or for fishing expeditions.

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8. Native Watercraft Titan Propel 12 Pedal Fishing Kayak

The Titan Propel 12 is an upgrade for any kayaker. It is well-known for its stability and storage capacity. It is the fastest pedal kayak and more maneuverable than most kayaks. At the same time, it is also more stable, sturdy, and has more space.

The feature of solo sailing increases the prospect of complete relaxation during your kayaking experience. The spaciousness of the vessel ensures that you have enough legroom for a lengthy but comfortable sailing experience. Also, there is room for storing your gear and other necessary equipment.

As a result, this model is more suitable for recreational and fishing activities. It can be used in smaller water bodies like lakes and also sailing on the ocean.

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9. Perception Pescador Pilot - Fishing Kayak with Pedal Drive  

This kayak with pedals is suitable for your multipurpose needs. It works very well as a fishing boat, with its stability and storage space. It is spacious, with a very comfortable kayak seat, and this helps it work great as a relaxation boat. 

The Pescador Pilot uses a Pilot drive pedal system that propels the boat and allows you to pedal and move in reverse. The hands-free nature of this system will enable you to work separately with your hands, e.g., Taking pictures of nature, while still propelling with your feet. 

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10. Hobie Mirage Outback Pedal Kayak 

The Mirage Outback is another impressive watercraft from Hobie. This pedal kayak has been rigged to support almost every kind of fishing activity. This is apparent from the features it has been designed with.

An example is the extra-wide standing deck that gives you a stable and anti-slip platform for sighting and casting. There is also a transducer feature that lets you see inside the water from your vantage point. 

This vessel, in spite of its stability, has a good amount of speed. And also a lightweight quality that makes it agile and able to easily maneuver. 

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Buying Guide for Pedal-Powered Kayaks

A kayak is very handy and beneficial to own. That's why having a kayak of any kind is no small feat. A good amount of thought goes into the buying process. You need to put certain things into consideration. There is your budget range and the amount you are willing to spend on a kayak. Then comes the purpose you want your kayak to serve and the features you would like your kayak to have.

The first two factors are known solely by you, but you might not know all a kayak has to offer. Or you know, but you do not know how this should affect your choice. This buying guide brings to your notice, the essential factors to look when buying a pedal kayak.

Stability

Stability in a pedal kayak is essential because this increases the level of confidence. These kayaks allow you to stand, and fish are known for their exceptional level of stability.

This is because it is quite easy to rock a kayak when standing, and this can lead to an accident and/or loss of belongings. A characteristic of kayaks with excellent stability is that they have wide decks. Also, it is a near fact that kayaks with high stability do not fare well in the speed department. So if you need a kayak with high stability, you need to know that you might not find a fast one.

Lightness

The lightness of the hull of a pedal kayak depends almost entirely on its building material. The most popular of these is Polyethylene plastic. It is very tough, durable, and almost never abraded or punctured. These make it a popular choice for manufacturers, but it is also the heaviest of all kayak building materials. This limits its speed and makes transportation inconvenient.

Another material used is ABS plastic. Like polyethylene, it is tough and durable, but unlike polyethylene, it is much lighter and easier to move around. Most lightweight kayak used this material for their construction.

Composites like fiberglass and Carbon fiber, are another example of the materials used in kayak making. These kayaks are usually very expensive, but they are also really lightweight, easy to propel, steer, and maneuver. Also, they are entirely UV-resistant. If these features matter more to you than cost, then composite-built kayaks are the ones for you.

Capacity

The capacity your pedal kayak has to carry is not restricted to you; you also need to consider the weight of the rest of your gears. Wouldn’t it be funny if you load your vessel full of fishing gear before discovering that there is no room for you? So, if you are a gear lover, make sure the capacity is more than adequate for your needs when buying or choosing a kayak.

Dimension

The length and breadth of your pedal kayak is another important factor. It is known that the lengthier a kayak is, the smoother its gliding is. A disadvantage of this is a marked loss of maneuverability, especially in narrow waterways.

On the other hand, wider kayaks are not as fast, but they are very stable and easier to maneuver in turbulent waters.

Speed

The speed of a pedal kayak depends on different factors. These include the amount of effort being used to pedal, the pedaling system, the shape and weight of the kayak.

A dual pedaled kayak would almost always move faster than a solo pedaled kayak. The shape of the kayak also matters; a narrow shaped and streamlined vessel will move much faster than a boxy, wide kayak. The weight of the kayak and its contents also matters. An almost empty kayak will move faster than a kayak carrying its maximum capacity. A lightweight kayak will move much faster than a heavier one.

While speed is very important, you should know that a pedal kayak designed to be fast also has a few drawbacks. Some of these include loss of stability, difficulty in maneuvering kayak, less space for storage, etc.

Comfort

Comfort in a pedal kayak is paramount; this is because most owners spend a lot of time in them. You need to look out for kayaks with comfort to avoid long stretches of discomfort or musculoskeletal disorders.

Features that provide comfort include spaciousness, ergonomically designed adjustable chairs, sufficient legroom, etc. You can check out this article for more cool kayak accessories to enhance your overall experience.

Convenience

The need for convenience cannot be emphasized enough. In a way, this ties in with comfort, because it allows you to have an easy sailing operation and experience.

Convenient features in the pedal kayak reduce the amount of work you have to do, and some of these features include inbuilt carrying handles, fishing rod and cup holders, enough storage space for coolers, and in some cases, an extra jump seat.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a pedal kayak be transported on the roof rack of my SUV? 

Yes, it can. Although it would be a lot safer and better for you if kayak racks are used. This is because they are specifically designed to hold kayaks without letting them move.


When getting and installing these racks, make sure to pay attention to the size dimensions of your specific kayak.

 

2. Can the pedal kayak go in reverse? And can I find fishing rod holders on the kayak?

Kayaks that come installed with the Propel pedal system can be pedaled in reverse. So this feature depends on the kind of system your kayak comes fitted with.

 

Rod holders are also not a standard feature on pedal kayaks, although they can be bought separately and installed on the kayak. All the kayaks on this list comes with fishing rod holders installed. 


3. How possible is it to stand up and fish out of a pedal kayak?

A few pedal kayaks are designed to allow you to stand and sight fish. They usually have a wide deck and anti-slip pads to keep you safe from accidents. Although, in most cases, anyone with a stable kayak, can stand to fish. You have to maintain balance and avoid rocking the kayak to do this. Make sure you know what to wear for kayaking and most risks can be minimized.

 

4. Is the plastic-like material used to make these kayaks UV-resistant? 

The most common material used is usually polyethylene plastic. It is very dense and strong. It is not UV resistant, and sailing in the outdoors for long periods exposes it to damaging UV rays.


This can be avoided by buying and applying a UV protectant and restorer. A quick application using a small towel before heading out should do the job. Apart from preventing the damage from happening, this substance also restores the look of your old and damaged kayaks.

FINAL VERDICT

Hobie developed the pedal kayaks, and they are a significant improvement over the original kayaks produced and used by the Inuit. These original kayaks were primarily built for fishing in a near freezing climate. But since then, several technological innovations have been made, allowing you to use kayaks for a variety of purposes and in different kinds of water bodies.

These improvements have led to the production of pedal-powered kayaks. Incorporating convenience, safety, comfort, speed, spaciousness, eco-friendliness, and others have given pedal kayaks an edge over other kinds of kayaks. Even though the best pedal kayaks tend to have a higher than average cost, their features are worth the price.

From all the products mentioned above, the Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel Kayak is our top pick. It is lightweight, stable and yet, easy to maneuver. This kayak is perfect for sport sailing too. It is compact and stable for standing, which allows you to click some pictures or do some fishing. We recommend this product and rate it 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.

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