The Best Kayaks for Beginners: Taking The Plunge

Best Kayak for Beginners

You love the outdoors. In fact, your fondest childhood memories are of family camping trips and playing in the woodlands with friends. But recently, an out of sync work-life balance sees you spending less and less time outdoors.

So, you've decided to do something about it (good for you!). You're going to rekindle your relationship with mother nature and you've promised yourself to spend more time with her. But how?

You’ve thought about fishing, considered hiking, and even played with the idea of getting a dog - none of your ideas causing you to leap off your seat with excitement.

That was until you came across kayaking...

"You mean I get to be the captain of my very own ship and explore anywhere I choose?"

In that moment, your sense of adventure was reignited and you knew instantly that this was going to be your thing.

Kayaking is a great way to tone up, to bond with friends, to reduce stress, and to just have fun out on the water. It ticked all your boxes and now it was just a matter of getting started.

So, now the question is: "what kind of kayak should you get?"

There are so many different kinds of kayaks, and we understand the confusion and difficulty in picking one. After all, we were once in your shoes.

For that reason, we decided to help you out and rounded up our top kayaks for beginners.​ Our list of kayaks represent good value, are a sturdy build, and are easy to maneuver (even if you've never paddled before).

Our Recommendations for the Best Kayaks for Beginners!






Our Rating

Sevylor Quikpak K1

18 lbs

400 lbs

8.5' x 36" x 30"


Perception Striker 11.5

65 lbs

500 lbs

11'6" x 33" x 17"


Lifetime Manta

60 lbs

500 lbs

10' x 36" x 19"


Dagger Zydeco 9.0

36.5 lbs

220 lbs

9'1" x 28.5" x 14.3"


Wavesport Recon 70

43 lbs

150 lbs

7'9" x 25.5" x 14.3"


Scroll down to see full reviews!

Sevylor Quikpak K1 Inflatable Kayak

Coleman Quikpak K1 Kayak Review

The Seyvor K1 Inflatable kayak is a sit on-top kayak that comes complete with a comfortable seat, plenty of on board storage, an 86 inch long paddle, and an incredibly attractive price tag.

Its durable, “guaranteed not to leak” airtight double coated system will retain air even in the event of a puncture.

This is perhaps the best kayak for beginners, due to its ease of paddling, 550 pound capacity, plenty of on board storage, ease of transport (as it's inflatable), and affordability.

The Seyvor is best for fishing or other flatwater uses, though some have used it on the ocean without a problem. But due to the fact that it’s inflatable, it will be more stable and comfortable on lakes.

At less than $150, this kayak is perfect for those who just want to get their feet wet (pun intended).

Perception Striker 11.5 Angler Kayak

Perception Striker 11.5 Kayak Review

The Perception Sport Caster is a 12.5 foot kayak that is perfect for anglers and novices alike.

This sit-on-top kayak has some nice added features that make life easy such as paddle stays, fishing-rod holders, and a padded multi directional seating.

It also foot rails for added comfort and stability, and bungee cord rigging for ample storage. This kayak also has handles on both sides, making it easy to lift and transport.

It sits low to the water, which can cause the kayak to puddle. However, some paddlers enjoy a little water in their boat to cool them down on hot days.

The kayak is praised for it’s stability; you can hang your legs off the side and remain stable, and you can easily get in and out of the boat without it tipping.

At around $600, this kayak is a fair price and makes a great starter kayak for those who intend on kayaking lakes and slow rivers and are interested in a spot of fishing.

Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak 10ft

Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak Review

The Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak may be the only kayak you’ll ever need. And at just under $550, it is a good deal for a boat that will last you, literally, a lifetime.

It is a tandem kayak (as you can probably tell from the name), but it can fit three people. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it solo if you're short of mates.

The tunneled hull aids with stability and there's little chance you'll tip this kayak.

The Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak comes with two floatable paddles, two padded seats, and foot wells for stability and added comfort.

And it also has tons of storage. There is a large bungee cargo area at the bow, paddle clips for storing paddles when you're not using them, bottle holders to free up your hands, and a couple of extra little pockets for small items.

It has side, front, and back holders so you can carry it easily, and at 66 pounds it shouldn’t be too tough to transport. This kayak will perform well in whitewater, still water, and the ocean.

Dagger Zydeco 9.0 Kayak

Dagger Zydeco 9.0 Kayak Review

The Dagger Zydeco 9.0 is a great kayak for those just starting out.

The 36 pound kayak is reported to be Zydeco’s easiest to paddle kayak. It also has a long body, which helps with both stability and speed for any new rider.

As it's a sit-in kayak, you'll take on less water and have a dry, comfortable ride.

It comes with side handles and bungee deck rigging for easy transporting and storage.

This kayak can hold up to 220 pounds, so it will easy accommodate you and enough gear for a weekend camping trip.

It’s easy to maneuver, light-weight, and ideal for calm water. And at under $450, it’s also great value for beginners.

The Wave Sport 70 Sport Recon Kayak

Wave Sport Recon 70 Kayak Review

The Wave Sport 70 Sport Recon Kayak is one of the top kayaks in the market for whitewater rafting.

It runs close to $700, but you're certainly getting bang for your buck.

The Wavesport is not only good for whitewater rafting, and it can be used for recreational kayak or fishing. It is considered an all-purpose kayak, and has lot’s of adjustable features so you can customize the fit and feel of the kayak to your specific needs.

The construction of the kayak is also very sturdy, and you can be rest assured you'll have this kayak for a long time.

Although short, the kayak is actually very roomy inside, so you don’t have to worry about slimming down to squeeze into it.