Kayaking is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. Spending time out on the open water either by yourself or with friends or a loved one is a great activity to try when camping or during the summer months! This guide will help you find the best kayak under 400 dollars that matches your needs!
Maybe you are looking for a high-quality kayak that you will be using daily or multiple times throughout the summer. Perhaps you are just getting into kayaking as a hobby and want to choose a kayak that is durable while still within your price range. Maybe you are looking for a kayak for a fishing trip that can hold all your fishing gear for a day out on the water.
Whatever the case, you’ll find plenty of different types of kayaks on this list such as kayaks for long trips, short trips, kayaks for multiple people, and more! Looking for a new kayak can be stressful- there are so many different options out there, all with unique features and you might not know which one is the best choice for you! This guide will walk you through all the different types of kayaks, and some of the best options for each type. Plus, they are all cheap kayaks, no more than 400 dollars a piece!
Check out our guide to the best kayaks for camping here!
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Best budget kayak
If you have just taken up kayaking as a hobby or you only plan to use it now and again, you might be looking for the best budget kayak available. You don’t want to spend a lot of money, but you still want something that is durable! After all, you don’t want to cheap out on a kayak and end up capsized in the middle of the lake! Here are a few kayaks at an affordable price that aren’t lacking in quality!
The Lifetime Tioga Kayak is a great option if you are looking for a kayak that is both reliable and affordable. It has adjustable footrests so you can be comfortable no matter what your size, a stable flat bottom, and a comfortable seat back if you are planning on taking a long adventure. It also has a 6 inch rear storage compartment so you can fit all of your gear! This is a “sit on top” kayak, and has tons of additional features to keep you comfortable and safe on your journey out on the water!
Best recreational kayaks
Sometimes you just have the itch to hit the open water and float until all your worries wash away. Maybe you aren’t planning on a fishing trip or getting a strenuous rowing workout in and just want a kayak that can support you and a drink in your hand. Here are a few kayaks that are perfect for a leisurely trip out on the water!
The Pelican Sit-In kayak is a great choice for a single person to use recreationally. It has adjustable footrests to accommodate different heights, a padded backrest and seat cushion to stay comfortable on the calm waters, and even has a cup holder to help you stay hydrated! This is a great kayak if you are looking for something affordable to just use as a casual hobby!
The Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak is a great option if you are looking for a sturdy and reliable kayak. It is very lightweight, weighing only about 40 pounds, and has multiple footrest positions for riders of all heights. Additionally, it has a combination tunnel hull design for stability and tracking, two flush rod holders, and one adjustable rod holder.
Best inflatable kayaks
Inflatable kayaks are perfect if you do not have a lot of space to store a bulky kayak. Transporting a traditional hardshell kayak can be tricky if you do not have a large garage or rack for your car. Here are some of our favorite inflatable kayaks that are both durable and don’t take up too much space!
The Intex Challenger K1 is one of our personal favorites on this list, and is easily the best inflatable kayak! It is an excellent choice if you are looking for a comfortable and sturdy inflatable kayak for one person. It has inflatable seats that come with a portable air pump, and only takes about 5 minutes to inflate! It also comes with aluminum oars, a removable skeg, and a storage area in the front of the kayak. We have a pair of these kayaks and have loved using them! Plus, they are super easy to store and both fit in the trunk of our small car.
The Intex Excursion Pro kayak is one of the best kayaks for under 400 dollars! It has a laminate PVC and polyester core making it highly resistant to damage, high pressure spring loaded valves for easy inflation, and 2 removable skegs for shallow water. It also has 2 fishing rod holders, a GoPro holder, and a phone mount! This kayak would also make a great inflatable fishing kayak.
The Sevylor Quickpak K5 is another great inflatable and affordable kayak for one person. It has a 5-minute inflation time so you can quickly get out on the water, and its carrying bag turns into a backpack! This would be a great option if you are hiking to a lake to go kayaking, as you can easily carry it on your back! Read more about what you should pack for a hiking trip here!
Top kayak for fishing
If you are looking for the best kayak under 400 dollars for fishing, this list will help you find the perfect one! You’ll need a kayak large enough for all your fishing gear and one that is comfortable enough to sit in for long days out on the water! These kayaks are perfect for an adventure on the water and are surprisingly affordable!
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is a great choice for an inexpensive fishing kayak. It has an adjustable padded seat back, two fishing rod holders, multiple footrest positions, and extra space for storage in the front and back of the kayak. It has a sharp bow for speed and tracking, and has a flat-bottom hull design for great stability! It also has plenty of storage space for all your fishing gear!
Best tandem kayaks
Tandem kayaks allow more than one person aboard. If you are looking for a kayak that both you and a friend, family member, or loved one can enjoy together, a tandem kayak is a good idea! This list of kayaks are ones that you can enjoy with someone else, and are an affordable option if you aren’t looking to spend an arm and a leg!
The Intex Explorer K2 kayak is one of our top picks for the best kayaks under 400 dollars for 2 people! This is an inflatable tandem kayak, making it perfect if you do not have a lot of storage space in your garage or a kayak rack for your vehicle. This kayak is perfect for smaller bodies of water (probably not for any super deep waters!) and has inflatable seats and backrests. It comes with 2 paddles, a portable air pump, and is a fun yellow color!
The Intex Challenger K2 kayak is another good choice if you are in the market for a tandem kayak that is also inflatable. Just like the Intex Explorer, the Challenger has inflatable seats, aluminum paddles, and bungee cords storage space in the front of the kayak. The Intex kayaks are very easy to inflate (only takes about 5 minutes), and are lightweight to move around!
Looking for a kayak that can hold 3 people? Check out the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak! It can hold 3 people, and has a weight capacity of 490 pounds. It is made of heavy duty PVC and is best to use out on the lake. The adjustable seats make it easy for all 3 people to get comfortable, and has carry handles to make it easy to move around!
Best kayak for long distances
If you are planning to be on the water for a long time, you’ll need a kayak that is reliable and comfortable. You won’t want to be out on the water all day without a comfortable seat and enough extra storage for all your gear! This list of kayaks are great for longer journeys, and are all also all under $400!
The Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 kayak is comfortable enough to take on long journeys on the water! It has a rigid bow and stern for improved tracking, while being lightweight and easy to maneuver. This inflatable kayak has a built-in seat to keep you comfortable all day long, and has bungee deck lacing for extra storage space.
Best Kayaks for beginner kayakers
Maybe you have never been kayaking before, or you only plan to go out on the water once or twice this summer. If this is the case, you won’t need a big, fancy, expensive kayak to enjoy yourself. These are the best kayaks under 400 dollars for beginners that will set you off on the right foot to kayaking like a pro! Who knows, maybe in the future you’ll get yourself a nicer one!
The Emotion Spitfire Sit-on-top kayak is a great option for beginners. It has all the important features that you would need in a basic kayak while still being an affordable option if you are on a limited budget. It has flush mount rod holders, secure foot bracing, and is lightweight for easy transport! This is the best option if you are looking for something that has all the important factors that a kayak should have to keep you secure and safe, while still being affordable.
The best inexpensive kayak for beginners is the Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak. Inflatable kayaks are perfect for beginners because they do not require much storage space due to their compact size, and you don’t need to buy a kayak rack for your car when you are not certain you will use it that much! This kayak is perfect for quick day trips on the water, and has paddles designed for recreational paddling so you don’t need to worry about having anything too fancy as a beginner!
Wondering what to wear kayaking? Check out our guide for what to wear kayaking in the summer!
Best Kayaks for kids
In the market for a fun, safe, and reliable kayak specifically for kids? You won’t want to get a huge, adult-sized kayak! Your child will love having a boat that is just their size that they can easily maneuver and feel independent using all by themself!
The Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave kayak is a perfect option for kids ages 5 and up, up to 130 pounds. It weighs just 18 pounds, making it easy for little hands to carry around, and has adjustable footrest positions for all heights and sizes. The best part is, this kayak has a sloped back so kids can jump and play in the water and be able to easily get back on the kayak!
The Perception Hi Five Kayak is another great kayak option for kids! It has elevated seats to make paddling easy for kids, and kids can even paddle standing up if they want to! It also has a swim up deck in the back for easy re-entry after they jump in the water, and comes in fun colors!
Looking for a new kayak can be stressful- there are so many options out there, it can be hard to figure out which is the best choice for you! Hopefully, this guide gave you some options no matter what your needs are so you could find the best kayak under 400 dollars that meets your needs!