Best Cheap Kayak in 2020 [Our Reviews & Comparisons]

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A day on the water is always a treat, whether with the family or just enjoying some time by yourself. A calm setting, some healthy exertion, and a change from urban life can come together to make even a single day off into a relaxing and even exhilarating experience.

Kayaking can be one of the best ways to indulge in some maritime leisure. It affords the advantages of going boating and adds the independence of having a one-person crew. Kayaks are light and maneuverable, require little specialized technique as compared to other boats, and gives the user the chance to enjoy some personal effort and achievement.

Since all boating takes on a certain element of risk, it is natural for users to want the best craft they can get underneath them. Good gear can break the bank in most sports, but not here. There are plenty of great kayaks available for even a modest budget.

Keep in mind that once bought, a kayak can last for a while, making it a long-term investment into your future outings. Here are five of the best kayaks available for a boater on a budget.

Our Best Product Reviews and Comparisons

IMAGE PRODUCT
EDITOR’S CHOICE 1. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

  • Comes with everything needed, including sturdy aluminum paddles and a high-pressure pump
  • Easy to deflate and store
  • Carries a sizeable 400 lb
  • Second seat for more storage or passenger
  • Bungee net storage area on prow
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RUNNER UP 2. Sun Dolphin Aruba SS

  • Sturdy hull
  • Light in transport and use
  • Solid back support
  • Large cargo space
  • Drink holder included
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3. Sea Eagle 330

  • Two-person crew
  • Extremely stable
  • Tracks well
  • Can be deflated and stored easily
  • Comfortable seats
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4. Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 11.0

  • Padded cockpit
  • Waterproof storage
  • Stable and sterrable
  • Bungee rigging
  • Handles rough water easily
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5. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

  • Bungee rigging and two T-handles fore and aft
  • Multiple roomy storage compartments
  • Three fishing rod mounts, one swivel and two flush-deck
  • Wide enough to remain stable while fighting a fish
  • Improved chines on the keel for better speed and tracking
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1.Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Product Highlights

This kayak saves space with a blowup hull and money with a price tag below $100.

Features

  • Inflatable vinyl hull
  • Pump and paddles included
  • 400lb capacity
  • 11.5 feet long by 30” width

What We Like About Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

As an inflatable kayak, this is easily stored in a car or luggage while not in use, sparing the user the inconvenience involved in moving rigid models.

What We Don’t Like About Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

A kayak without a rigid hull is at greater risk of hull failure, and will sink faster if damaged.

PROS

  • Comes with everything needed, including sturdy aluminum paddles and a high-pressure pump
  • Easy to deflate and store
  • Carries a sizeable 400 lb
  • Second seat for more storage or passenger
  • Bungee net storage area on prow

CONS

  • Inflatable kayaks are not as durable as rigid hulls
  • Will need time to pump up before use

2.Sun Dolphin Aruba SS

Product Highlights

This kayak is a compact and light model for a one-person outing.

Features

  • Rigid polyethylene hull
  • Sit-inside model
  • 8 feet long
  • Carries 260 lbs

What We Like About Sun Dolphin Aruba SS

The rigid body and sit-inside construction gives exceptional back support and adds plenty of sheltered storage space.

What We Don’t Like About Sun Dolphin Aruba SS

At only eight feet long, this kayak may be more susceptible to turbulence and harder to keep on course.

PROS

  • Sturdy hull
  • Light in transport and use
  • Solid back support
  • Large cargo space
  • Drink holder included

CONS

  • Shorter and harder to steer
  • No second seat

3.Sea Eagle 330

Product Highlights

This kayak is a roomy two-seater with an impressive capacity and generous measurements.

Features

  • Accessories included
  • 500lb capacity
  • Inflatable hull
  • Weighs 26lbs

What We Like About Sea Eagle 330

This kayak can handle long trips and up to Class III whitewater in comfort, even with two passengers.

What We Don’t Like About Sea Eagle 330

There will be little storage onboard, and the craft as a whole is not very maneuverable.

PROS

  • Two-person crew
  • Extremely stable
  • Tracks well
  • Can be deflated and stored easily
  • Comfortable seats

CONS

  • Slow and heavy to steer
  • Minimal cargo space when fully manned.

4.Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 11.0

Product Highlights

The Zydeco kayak offers elements of competitive kayaking without breaking the bank for a top-range boat.

Features

  • Padded seating and leg areas
  • 11 feet long
  • Weighs 48 lbs
  • Dry hatch for luggage

What We Like About Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 11.0

This boat tracks easily and has the comfort and stability of a much more expensive craft.

What We Don’t Like About Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 11.0

Although nowhere near the price range of similarly outfited vessels, those on a tight budget might want to look elsewhere.

PROS

  • Padded cockpit
  • Waterproof storage
  • Stable and sterrable
  • Bungee rigging
  • Handles rough water easily

CONS

  • Hull material is thinner than usual
  • Relatively costly for a budget kayak

5.Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

Product Highlights

This is a fishing kayak, and is built stable enough to fight a fish and has room for a considerable amount of angling gear.

Features

  • Two storage compartments
  • Weighs 52 lbs
  • Supports 275 lbs
  • 10 feet x 31 inches

What We Like About Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

This kayak is built for comfort, stability, and storage, with plenty of room for fishing supplies and a sit-on-top padded cockpit that will allow the user to stay out for extended periods of time.

What We Don’t Like About Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

Those not interested in fishing can find a similar kayak for less.

PROS

  • Bungee rigging and two T-handles fore and aft
  • Multiple roomy storage compartments
  • Three fishing rod mounts, one swivel and two flush-deck
  • Wide enough to remain stable while fighting a fish
  • Improved chines on the keel for better speed and tracking

CONS

  • Costs more than necessary if fishing is not your thing
  • Relatively sluggish steering and hard to accelerate

Final Verdict

With these kayaks, it should not be hard to choose an option that will let you enjoy a day on the water without straining your resources. If properly maintained, you can be assured that these kayaks will afford many years of quality time with family, friends, and fellow kayakers.

Before selecting a kayak, make sure to take a moment and consider what applications it will be used for and how often. These factors can have a significant impact on which model is most advisable, and how well it performs in that role.

When getting a kayak for the first time, make sure to get the needed accessories with it. Most experienced kayakers will recommend a personal floatation device, a good paddle if one is not included, and a patch kit or biling bucket in case of a hull rupture. A small investment in safety and preparedness can go a long way on the water.

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