The 10 Best Kayak for Kids [2023 Guide]

If you would like to bring your kid along during your next kayaking mission, it’s advisable to buy them one that they can use on their own. Yup, that’s right. However, even the best kayak for kids needs to be closely examined to ensure that it is:

  • Safe to use
  • Stable
  • Age-appropriate

And so, in the following quick paragraphs, we’d like to review some of the top-rated options available out there in the world. Plus, we’ll provide you with a buying guide that you can conveniently refer to as you make a purchase.

Best Kayak for Kids

Top-Rated Kids Kayaks: Comparison Table

Before we dive deeper into the details, here’s a summed up list of the 10 leading kayaks that we happen to believe are the best. Take a look and keep scrolling down in case you’re looking for further details.

1Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle72 x 24 x 9 inches20 pounds
2Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-on-Top144 x 34 x 20 inches57 pounds
3Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set108 x 30 x 13 inches26.2 pounds
4SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak120 x 30 x 13 inches40 pounds
5Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak103 x 36 x 30 inches20.3 pounds
6Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-on-Top Kayak108 x 31 x 18 inches49 pounds
7Best Choice Products 6ft Kids Kayak72 x 26 x 7 inches34.1 pounds
8Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak96 x 28 x 16 inches30 pounds
9Emotion 90245 Spitfire Sit-On-Top 8 Foot Kayak96 x 31.5 x 14 inches41.8 pounds
10Sun Dolphin Camino 8-Foot Sit-On-Top Kayak96 x 30 x 12 inches40 pounds

1. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle

Balance while kayaking is important as it is likely to prevent your kayak from flipping over. As such, this Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak seems like a good choice since the cockpit is said to be ergonomically designed for better balance.

The scupper holes at the cockpit come in handy in case water accidentally gets into the kayak. The water is drained out which in turn ensures the kayak does not get submerged.

There are footrests of multiple positions to fit kids of different ages. However, this kayak has no seat pad and you may have to purchase one separately.


  • Molded finger handles
  • Scupper holes for drainage
  • Ergonomic cockpit design
  • Lightweight and durable


  • Lacks a seat pad

2. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-on-Top

Are you looking for a kayak with three sitting positions and enough space for two people and a child? Ocean Kayak Malibu could be your kayak of choice because the seats are said to be adjustable, making it possible for you to sit where you prefer.

Using this kayak is said to be easy plus it is a sit-on-top vessel with a weight of 425lb which is likely to be simple to control. Furthermore, the screw-in drain plug is helpful in taking water out to prevent your kayak from going under.

This seems like a good kayak but some customers have reported that it is unstable when the waters get rough. As such, they find the kayak to be risky since it is kids who are supposed to be using it and it may flip over.


  • Overlapping footwells
  • Three sitting positions
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Adjustable seats


  • Unsuitable for rough waters

3. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak with Aluminum Oars

Have you been searching for a kayak that your child can comfortably control? Well, this one from Intex seems like a good choice since it is said to be lightweight but stable in calm waters.

The aluminum ors are said to be durable although somehow a bit heavy, especially for young children. In addition, the seat on this kayak is adjustable and inflatable, so it is probably very comfortable for your child’s use.

According to Intex, this kayak is made of high-density vinyl that is supposed to be resistant to puncture. Unfortunately, some customers have complained that they found holes on the kayak when they went out to use it which caused the kayak to sink.


  • Durable paddle
  • Inflatable seat
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Manual hand pump included


  • Tears easily

Also read: 10 Best Fishing Float Tube [Buyer’s Guide]

4. Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak

In case the water sprays have been bothering you each time you are out kayaking, this kayak from KL Industries seems like a better choice to solve the issue. This is because the kayak is designed with a spray deflating collar.

The kayak seat is padded and adjustable for your comfort besides having back support. In addition, the adjustable foot braces are said to be efficient when it comes to positioning your feet even for long hours.

This kayak is designed with a narrow bow and stern likely to make tracking a simple task. However, some customers feel that the storage space on this kayak is limited hence you have to carry very few accessories.


  • Spray deflating collar
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Seat with back support
  • Narrow bow and stern


  • Limited storage capacity

5. SevylorQuikpak K1 Kayak

An inflatable kayak can be advantageous as it floats easily but it can accidentally get punctured, rendering it useless. The good news is here: the inflatable kayak from SevylorQuikpak, which is designed with multiple air chambers, is supposed to still float even when one chamber gets punctured.

With an airtight system, this kayak is purported not to leak so it is likely to serve you well. Besides that, the double valve lock is meant to help you when inflating and deflating the kayak.

This kayak is said to be lightweight but stable and you can use it as a floatie whenever you wish to. However, the paddle is likely to be of a low quality which makes it break easily, meaning you may have to make frequent replacements.


  • Multiple air chambers
  • Lightweight and stable
  • Double lock valves
  • Seat with a backrest


  • Low-quality paddle

6. Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-on-Top Kayak

You can adjust the seat on this kayak in four different ways in order to be comfortable on that long kayaking adventure. Moreover, the seat is padded and has a backrest that is said to help prevent back strain and make the ride more comfortable.

Four sets of footwells on this kayak are meant to fit any leg size to keep the paddlers comfortable. Furthermore, there are scupper holes that are supposed to drain out any water that gets into the kayak that may make your feet wet.

The triform hull design on this kayak is said to make it responsive and enhance stability. However, some customers who have used the kayak say that it is more suited for flat water since the rough waters seem to make the kayak loose balance.


  • Rear skid plate
  • Four sets of footwells
  • Scupper holes for drainage
  • Adjustable padded seat


  • Suitable for flat water

7. Best Choice Products 6ft Kids Kayak

Have you been searching the market for a durable kayak but you are yet to find one? Well, Best Choice Products 6ft kids kayak may be what you are looking for since it is said to be durable since it is made of plastic that is UV resistant which unlikely to discolor.

For your child’s comfort, the seat has a cushioned backrest likely to prevent their backs from straining in case they have to sit for long. Furthermore, the molded footwells are said to be more secure when it comes to maintaining the correct foot position.

This kayak is said to be light in weight and easy to maneuver, especially for kids. Besides that, transporting the kayak is likely to be hassle-free since it has built-in side handles for easy carrying but the paddle has been reported to break so easily.


  • Padded backrest
  • Open cockpit area
  • Durable and stable
  • Easy to maneuver


  • The paddle breaks easily

8. Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak

Since this kayak is said to be light in weight, using it and getting it to the water is likely to be effortless. Furthermore, the cockpit area is alleged to have sufficient space for your child to get in or out with ease.

There is a storage compartment on this kayak that is said to keep the items stored dry. Your child can comfortably adjust the seat’s padded back support for a relaxing kayaking experience.

The manufacturer claims that this kayak has good tracking and it is very stable. Some customers tend to disagree with this statement as they say that the kayak tracks poorly plus it is unstable in water, making them feel it would tip over easily. 

You can lean more about 10-Foot here.


  • Dry storage compartment
  • Padded seat back support
  • Easy to carry
  • Large cockpit area


  • Poor tracking

9. Emotion 90245 Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak

Do you consider having dry feet whenever you are kayaking a must for a wonderful adventure? Emotion 90245 Spitfire kayak is said to ensure your feet do not get wet because it has self- draining scupper plugs to ensure the cockpit area remains dry and comfortable.

Your child may be new to kayaking and still learning how to find the correct foot position. With this Emotion Spitfire Kayak, the molded footwells are said to provide a secure foot bracing which in turn is likely to prevent leg fatigue.

The padded back support is said to be great for a long day out kayaking. However, the flat hull, according to some customers, makes this kayak track poorly and adding a skeg may be a good idea to help with tracking.


  • Padded seatback
  • Scupper plugs for draining
  • Molded-in footwells
  • Light and durable


  • Poor tracking

10. Sun Dolphin Camino 8-Foot Sit-On-Top Kayak

You can use this kayak for a long time since it is said to be durable. We may attribute its durability to the polyethylene material used in the kayak’s construction that is also UV-sterilized and unlikely to fade.

Your child can sit comfortably while paddling since the cockpit is said to be large and open. Your child’s feet are likely to remain dry as the kayak self-drains which also prevents the risk of capsizing due to water filling up the vessel.

The square shape of this kayak’s stern is said to enhance its stability. Besides that, it is alleged to track well and it is easy to control, all which make it seem like a good choice, more so for kids.


  • Seat with backrest
  • Square shaped stern for stability
  • Self-bailing kayak
  • Molded-in carry handles


  • Recommended for calm waters

How to Choose Good Kayaks for Youngsters

If you’re still wondering how to select the ideal yak for your little one, these are the factors you need to pay attention to.


Please note that kayaks for the little ones are shorter in length than ones meant for adults. So, it’s important that you choose a unit that corresponds to your baby’s physical stature.

Inflatable vs Hardshell

You’ll also need to decide which one of these two kayak designs to settle for. Generally, inflatable kayaks as they are light in weight and easy to pack up. However, hardshell kayaks are easier to assemble and safer to use in different conditions.

SOT vs Sit-In Kayaks

One thing we like about sit-on-top kayaks is that they are quite accommodative to kids. And since kids don’t have much baggage to bring to their short trips, SOT kayaks tend to provide the best value for money.

Sit-in kayaks are ideal if the kid will carry some items with them. However, they might require frequent draining in case water splashes into them.


The main factor that affects kayak stability is the shape of the hull. Basically, wide hull make for safer kayaks while narrow and pointed ones are best suited for speed.

Who wants their kid speeding their kayak in the water? Of course, we’d all want out little ones to be safe at all times and that’s why it makes perfect sense to get them watercraft with a stable base.

And, of course, you want to make sure that whatever kayak you settle for has a relatively good width. Width partly affects stability as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you’ve read to this end, chances are that you still have questions lingering in your mind. Let’s now respond to some of those.

Are kayaks safe for kids?

Yes. But this depends on the type of kayak you choose for them. Ones made specifically for kids come with extra safety features for the young ‘kayaker’s.

At what age can a child start kayaking?

Kids of all ages can participate in tandem kayaking. However, we’d recommend solo kayaking only to kids aged 8 years and above. And even then, this should be done under close supervision.

Best Overall Choice

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak with Aluminum Oars is our preferred kayak for kids since it is said to be easy to use and the paddles are durable. In addition, the kayak’s design is claimed to make it more stable and safe for kids to use.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it – a comprehensive review of the awesome kayaks for babies. We hope that you’ve found it informative and that you’ll be able to make an informed choice going forward.

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