If your child is into kayaking, finding the best kayaks for kids can definitely be a challenge. When shopping for a kayak, you’ve probably had more luck finding adult-size ones than kid-size ones.Finding a kayak for your kid can be done if you know what to look for.
There are five things to keep in mind when selecting a kid’s kayak, and this is one of the aspects we will examine. As long as you have an eye for details, you will be able to determine which kayak is most suitable for your child.
Once you know what to look for, you will quickly figure out there are many choices for your kids. You might not only discover many different kayak products your children will enjoy but also might have a great bonding experience as you get to know your child better after determining their personal preferences when it comes to kayaks.
How To Choose The Best Kayak For Kids: A Guide For Parents
What Makes A Good Kid’s Kayak?
The first thing you have to realize is the best kayak for kids are immensely different from an adult kayak. We recommend when you are first starting your child out on kayaking, keep it simple. For starters, you will want a kayak with a low maximum weight capacity. Generally, if your child is between 2 to 6, a good rule of thumb is to to get a kayak that has a maximum weight capacity of 130 pounds or less. Luckily for you, the best kayaks for kids are fairly reasonable, usually ranging from $70 to $100. It is imperative for you to get a lower price model simply because you are not yet aware if your child will continue the sport or not. Moreover, you should be aware of which models are the best for your child. Usually, a sit-on-top kayak is the easiest model for your child. These are great choices for a kids first kayak because it is easy for your child to recover if the kayak tips. The great thing about a sit-on-top kayak is they can take a beating. Let’s face it, kids can be hard on things. This is why kayaking for kids requires an expert who knows which models are best.
Different Types of Kayaks for kids
Of course, there are different kayaks you can consider for your kids as well. All have advantages and disadvantages dependon on what your child’s personal preferences are. You might be surprised at just how versatile kayaks can truly be. There are kayaks for the ocean, rivers, and lakes. Kayaks also host different designs, including sit-on-tip and sit-inside versions. There are also single, inflatable, hard shell, and a children sit-on-top models as well. Truly, kayaking with children has never been so easy. There are also many great models to consider. First, it is widely known that one of the best kayaks for sitting on top is the Sun Dolphin SS 10’ option. The greatest thing about this choice is it is designed for most kids to use easily, but able to still perform well on the water. How about the best kids inflatable kayak? We strongly consider the Blue Wave Sports Nomad 1-person Inflatable Kayak. Durability is one of the greatest things about this kayak. This model is reinforced with 24 gauge PVC construction that will last and avoid most wear and tear. I know the great thing about this kayak is that it can give your child great stability which is a great option for a beginning kayaker.
Of course, some kids like to fish, so what of that? Is there a kayak that will support that pastime? There is – the lifetime 10’ Sport Fisher Kayak is constructed of polyethylene with a spacious open design allowing anyone sufficient room to fish.
Do you have more than one child who enjoys kayaking? If so, you need a good tandem kayak. One of the best ones out there is the Sea Eagle 370K Inflatable Kayak. This model provides markable stability on the water, making great allowances for two kayaking buddies. Moreover, this tandem option is also easy to transport and carry.
Along the same lines, a good kayak for a family would be the Malibu Two Ocean Kayak. This is a great option for a mother and father to bond with their children. If your child enjoys a swimming, this kayak option has an open design that allows him or her to get out of the kayak with little difficulty. Your child can have a fun swim during your kayaking excursion and be able to easily climb back in! If that weren’t enough, this kayak also has comfortable seats complete with backrests. This means everyone, mom and dad included, will be able to embark on a kayaking adventure without any cramps or discomfort!
Weight and size of kayak for children
The weight and size of a children’s kayak is important. The weight, length, and width of a small kid’s kayak will naturally be smaller, but that is a benefit. Also, realize shopping for a youngsters kayak is a lot different than shopping for an adult kayak. First of all, you have to allow for the child’s level of experience kayaking when selecting the correct model. Paying attention to the weight is an important first step. When looking at weight, remember a child will need to be able to lift and transport the kayak easily on their own. Length is important too because kids do not need a kayak that is too long or too big. A good rule of thumb is to go for a kayak that is between 6 and 8 feet long. This length will ensure the easiest handling and maneuvering for your youngster. Of course, it is also important to ensure the kayak is not too wide. Kids have shorter arms, so they will not be able to handle a kayak that is too wide. Kayaking with children does not have to be difficult as long as you keep these dimensions in mind.
Stability is also important for a child kayak
One of the most essential features for a child kayak is stability. The last thing you want is a kayak that capsizes, especially while your child is still learning. Look for a kayak that has a solid anti capsize feature and you will definitely avoid this issue. Also, realize there are two stability features to look at when it comes to a kayak. Primary stability will help the kayak amid smooth waters, and secondary stability will help the kayak stay upright in rough and active waters. In a word – stability determines the best kayak for child activities.
Pay attention to durability
A good kayak for child activities will have longevity. Durability is an important feature for a child kayak. For starters, durability will allow your child many years of enjoyment without damaging the kayak through time. If your child is a beginner, a plastic kayak is better because plastic holds up well and is more affordable. Inflatable kayaks are considered the best kayak for kids because they offer good durability as long as they are handled and stored properly.
Finally, the cockpit is of extreme importance as well
When buying a juvenile kayak, pay close attention to the cockpit area of the child kayak. This is where stability comes into play as well. Simply put, the cockpit is the area of the kayak that appropriately positions your feet, knees, hips, and bottom within the kayak. The cockpit of a child for kayak will also be padded so you can stay in the kayak during a roll. A sea kayak will have a cockpit with a looser fit so you and your youngster can stretch and avoid cramps.
As you see, there is a lot to know regarding kayak models. However, the more you study, the better equipped you will be to select the best kayak for you and your family.
Top-10 Kids Kayaks in 2019
Choosing the right Kayak can be a nightmare. We know how much choice you are bombarded with – it can be mind-boggling! This is why we are here to help. We have gathered 10 absolutely amazing products that are suitable for kids. These Kayaks are top of the line and cover a wide variety such as sit on top and inflatable. Read on to find out about our top 10 kayak product reviews:
Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle 6 Ft – best kayak for kids in 2019
Lifetime specialize in outdoor gear, equipment and accessories. The Lifetime Youth Wave is undoubtedly the best kids kayak. It is suitable for kids 5 years and over and is recommended for use with adult supervision. It is a superb starting model and great for minors to learn the basics. Everything about this product has been carefully crafted and considered to provide optimal performance and safety for your young ones.
– Swim-up deck for easy access
– Multiple footrest options for extra comfort
– Paddle included
– Finger handles molded into the sides for added security and balance
– Ergonomic design that is comfortable and secure
– Lightweight and easy to carry
– Comes with a matching paddle
– Only suitable for 5 years and over
– It does not come with a seat pad or back
Overall, this kayak is simply fantastic for children. It is well designed – the developers have considered the size of youngsters and crafted a product specific for them. It promotes learning and helps your kids feel comfortable on the water and learn quickly.Check on Amazon
Best Choice Products Sports 6′ Kids Kayak with Paddle and Backrest – top-rated kids kayak in 2019
Best Choice Products offer a wide range of wholesale goods ranging from toys, housewares and outdoor equipment. Their Sports 6′ Kayak is one of the best small kids kayak around and is suitable for minors of between 4 and 10 years dependant on the size of your child. For the price tag, you gain a fantastic product that has some brilliant accessories and is ergonomically designed with many safety features. The following are some key features, and pros and cons:
– Open cockpit and side handles for easy carrying and transport
– Made from UV-resistant materials so the color won’t fade and material won’t degrade
– Molded foot wells for additional comfort and security
– Comes standard with paddle and backrest
– Cup holder, bottle holder, and storage for drinks etc.
– Fantastic design that will keep your kids secure
– High quality materials used to ensure minimal wear and tear
– Paddle must be treated with care as it can break
– Paddle could be a little too short for some children
Best Choice Products have certainly created a great model that is suitable for youngsters. The safety features and storage are a superb touch that can make longer trips more enjoyable and practical.Check on Amazon
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak – one of the best children’s kayak
OId Town Canoes & Kayaks have a history of creating children kayaks and specialize in this industry. Their Heron Junior is a magnificent entry model and is perfect for ages of between 5 and 10 and it can carry a maximum load of 115 lbs. If your kids are not yet confident on the water or paddling themselves, this model can be towed which is a nice touch. It is a basic design but has everything you need so you can enjoy a family day out on the water. The following are some of the key features and pros and cons:
– Tag along system that allows the Kayak to be towed
– Carry handles on both the bow and stern
– Contoured seat for extra sitting comfort
– Lightweight design weighing only 26lbs – easy to carry
– Cool design with great colors
– Simple but effective design like a pro Kayak
– No room for storage apart from foot wells
– Does not come with a paddle or other accessories
Old Town have built a simple but effective product. This model is no nonsense and provides everything your children need to start learning Kayaking basics.Check on Amazon
Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak, 6 Feet – top rated kayaks for children in 2019
Emotion Kayaks sell a fantastic range of water sports equipment such as carrying devices, seats, and cradles. Their 6’ youth Kayak is a marvelous creation and is suitable for youngsters of 5 years and up – the vessel can accommodate most children up to 10 depending on size. This model has a higher weight capacity than some of the others at 140lbs but it is still extremely light, weighing just 22 lbs. Although it has a basic appearance, this product has some great safety features and your child will feel comfortable and secure.
– Front toggle handle and molded side handles for easy carrying
– Self-bailing scupper holes to help prevent sinking
– Comes complete with an all purpose paddle
– Weighs just 22lbs, easy to carry and maneuver
– Made from high density polyethylene making it durable
– Hull design provides superb stability and safety
– No back support
– No storage
As far as child size kayaks go, we feel the youth model from Emotion is a brilliant product. It offers a great combination of safety and usability for your youngsters.Check on Amazon
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 6-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak – one of the best kids sit on top kayak
Sun Dolphin offers a myriad of sports equipment and water accessories such as mooring covers, paddles, and water gear. The Sun Dolphin Bali 6-food sit on kayak has everything your child could need and is suitable for ages 4 to 10 dependent on size (It can carry a maximum weight capacity of 140lbs). This model has a range of useful design features that make it easy to use – it is brilliant for first-time users and those with little experience.
– Open cockpit for easy access and entry
– Front and rear toggle handles for easy carrying
– Ergonomically designed for great tracking and paddling
– Comes equipped with a robust paddle
– Created from UV-stabilized polyethylene for extra durability
– Large open seating area suitable for any size and build
– Extremely lightweight and easy to carry
– Available in three cool colors
– No foot wells or seat support
– Handling can be sluggish due to a flat bottom
Sun Dolphin has created a great entry level unit that has a no nonsense approach to Kayaking. It is not one of the most kitted-out best kid’s kayaks but it offers performance at a reasonable cost.Check on Amazon
Sevylor QuickPak Coverless Sit-On-Top Kayak one of the best children’s kayak
Sevylor are top dogs when it comes to water safety – they provide a myriad of ultra-safe water craft and accompanying accessories. The QuickPak Coverless sit-on-top Kayak has everything you need and is designed to be an easy to setup model that gets your kids on the water in a matter of minutes. It is suitable for ages 6 and over and adults can use it too! The following are some key features and pros and cons of this unit:
– Airtight system that prevents leaks
– Complete with air pump and rucksack for ease of use
– Front, rear and side carry handles for transportation
– Seat support to provide comfort for back
– Fully kitted out with pump, backpack and paddle
– Can be setup in less than 5 minutes
– High quality inflatable material that won’t leak
– Front storage unit with grid cover
– Inflatable: not as sturdy as a polyethylene Kayak
– Pump is not automatic therefore requires manual inflation
If you want an easy to use quick setup Kayak then the QuickPak is a brilliant choice. It has the added bonus of being great for kayaking with children, but also for adults too so the whole family can use it.Check on Amazon
Ocean Kayak Banzai Kids Kayak – high quality kayak for kids
Ocean Kayak have excellent experience in creating quality water equipment. The Banzai Kids Kayak offers exceptional quality and is extremely robust. It can be used as a tag along Kayak, or you can let your young ones paddle themselves. The following are some main features:
– Cup holder to store drinks for longer trips
– Tag along system for easy towing
– Molded side handles and rear toggles
– Great design with deep seat and sturdy sides
– Weight capacity of up to 230 lbs
– Lifetime warranty on the hull
– Does not come with a paddle
– Lacks a drain hole
The Banzai is suitable for kids anywhere between 4 and 12 years and has a great weight capacity. For kids, the tag along system is perfect but older children can paddle freely too.Check on Amazon
Intex Challenger K1 1-Person Inflatable Kayak – top rated kids inflatable kayak
Intex produces a myriad of outdoor furniture and also design a fantastic range of Kayaks. The Challenger K1 is a brilliant inflatable model that is suitable for children aged 6 and up. As far as inflatable products go, this unit has some super features. It gives you everything you need for your infants.
– Cargo net at the front for storage
– Complete with an aluminum oar
– Includes comfortable seat and foot wells
– Includes repair kit and pump for easy setup
– The seat can be removed if you do not want to use it
– Paddle is extremely durable and high quality
– Will wear and tear over time
– Can be a little unstable on rough waters
Overall we feel the Challenger is more suited to calm waters and does not hold up as well on rough seas. It is certainly one of the best kayak for kids, but only in certain situations.Check on Amazon
Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
This is the second entry from Ocean Kayak in our list. This sit-on-top recreational kayak is suitable for older children right through to adults and can carry a maximum weight capacity of 275lbs. The following are some of the main features and pros and cons of this model:
– Tri-form full which gives extra stability and security
– Adjustable comfort seat for longer journeys
– Storage compartments for food and drink
– Molded side and rear handles for carrying
– Excellent ergonomic design that maximizes safety
– Large storage tank
– Not suitable for smaller children younger than 5
The Frenzy sit on top has some brilliant features and is well kitted out for a variety of different water adventures.Check on Amazon
SeaFlo Beginner Kayak Kids Youth Paddle Lake Ocean Blue Single Person 130lb Max – best kids ocean kayak in 2019
SeaFlo create anything from Kayaks and water sports equipment to pressure pumps and accumulator tanks. Their Beginner Kayak for Kids is a great entry model and can carry a maximum weight of 130lbs. It is suitable for children between 4 and 10 years and has a maximum length of 6ft. The following are some of the main benefits of this unit:
– Sides handles for easy carrying
– Attachable clips for towing
– Simple but ergonomic design
– Extremely lightweight at only 18lbs
– Simple design that will stay afloat and balanced
– Does not come with a paddle
This model may be basic but it is built from durable material and will keep your kids safe in the water.Check on Amazon
Frequently asked questions about kayaks for kids
Safety for your children when on the water is your number one priority. This is why safety is such an important factor. Understand fully the appropriate ages for kayaking before taking your kids out on the water. You do not want to put your young ones in potential danger. In the section below, we answer common questions relating to adolescent Kayaking so you can have peace of mind:
How old does a child have to be to kayak?
The minimum age a child can be is generally considered to be 4. At this age, you have to remember they will not provide much propulsion – you will have to do all the work. You should plan your trips accordingly – there is no point planning a full day trip if you will not have the strength or endurance to paddle for two people for that length of time. Bow riders and Duffers are suitable for people younger than 8. Moreover, it is not advisable to place a child in a small single boat until they are 10 years of age or above.
What is the best Kids Kayak?
Best Product: Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle 6ft
We have analyzed all the products and the best kayak for kids is undoubtedly the Lifetime Youth Wave 6ft model. The ergonomic cockpit design makes it comfortable and secure. Moreover, the molded finger handles is a great touch and can help with balance and stability. It is lightweight, easy to carry, and robust. Finally, the swim-up back deck and the footrest positions add to the ergonomic design. Everything about this product has been carefully considered. For adolescents 5 and above, this is the perfect Kayak.
That doesn’t mean the other products don’t have their merits. Each listed has their unique features such as the Best Choice Products Sports 6 and the Emotion Sparky Youth 6ft model. If you want a sit-on Kayak for example, the Sun Dolphin Bali and Sevylor QuickPak Coverless are two brilliant choices. Alternatively if you want an ocean boat, consider the Ocean Kayak Banzai or the SeaFlo Beginner product. Before choosing, simply consider where and when you will use it. Furthermore, look at your kid and consider their age, ability, and size. Don’t forget you can check out a myriad of other products here for your sea-fairing adventures.