Best Kayaks for Kids

It drives you mad when you see your kids, instead of playing soccer or baseball in the backyard, are spending hours on gaming consoles. You want your kids to get up close with nature and explore its endless beauties. We all feel you but you should not be pushing your views and ideas on them too hard because that would discourage them further. Rather you need to take a different approach altogether and that is getting them involved in kayaking.

Kayaking is a great outdoor activity and it can make your kids stay fit and strong. Besides that, kayaking with your kids will definitely help you build a solid bond with your kids that you will treasure for the rest of your life for sure.

Kayaks for 4 to 8 Year Old Kids

1. Lifetime Youth Wave Sit-On-Top Kids Kayak

Lifetime Youth Wave, as the company claims, is specifically designed for kids within the age group of 4 to 8 years. Now, as we have advised in this article that we should never allow 4 or 5 years old kids to kayak alone but that does not mean we should be restricting them from enjoying the thrill and excitement of kayaking. All you have to do is to keep a watchful eye on them all the time and purchase a kayak that offers both stability and has all the safety features included. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak matches all these requirements.

Your kids are certainly going to love this Kayak as it is available in different bright colors. This is a Sit-On-Top kayak and therefore, there is very little chance of getting stuck in case the boat gets overturned. Getting out of this kayak is easy. Weighing just over 18 lbs, Lifetime Youth Wave Sit-On-Top Kids Kayak has a weight capacity of around 130lbs which is more than enough for your kid.

Tuck it in the back of the truck and you can drive with it for miles without any trouble. It is extremely lightweight and therefore, it should not be a problem carrying it around.

Thanks to the presence of the self-draining scupper, Lifetime Youth Wave Sit-On-Top Kids Kayak will not get filled up water ever. So, there is no reason to panic whatsoever.

Paddling and directing the kayak to different direction is easy as it gets. Twin Fin design structure has something to do with its easy maneuverability. And it is extremely durable as well. It is also probably one of the most affordable kayaks available in the market. So, in case you are running low on budget, you can opt for Lifetime Youth Wave Sit-On-Top Kids Kayak.

Features –

  • Made from high Density Polyethylene that adds to its strength and durability
  • Ergonomic Cockpit Design
  • The kayak is well protected from UV rays
  • 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
  • Multiple footrest positions
  • Paddle included

2. Best Choice Products Sports Kids Kayak

With molded finger handles and open cockpit design, Best Choice Products Sports Kids Kayak is the ideal kayak for a 7 years old kid. What sets this kayak apart from other Kayaks is that it has got a backrest and a padded seat that would ensure a smooth and comfortable journey ahead. Overall, it has a great balance for kids and therefore, there is no such chance of tipping over. In short, this Best Choice Products Sports Kids Kayak could be the perfect kayak that you are looking for to give your child a taste of kayaking for the first time.

The molded finger handles make it easy for the kids to get a good drip on the kayak and the open cockpit ensures stability. At the initial stage, seat adjustment might take a bit of doing to get it right but once you are done with this seat adjustment thing, everything else would be just fine.

For kids, this kayak has provided three different foot positions which is quite impressive by any standard. Did we mention that Best Choice Products Sports Kids Kayak is extremely durable in nature and it can withstand the wear and tear of the sunrays thanks to its UV-resistant polyethylene construction.  This kayak is also available in multiple colors and we can assure you that your kids are going to love it.


  • It has weight capacity of 130 lbs.
  • 50” two-fin paddle included
  • It weights around 18 pound
  • Easy to carry around
  • Stable and flexible in nature

3. Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak for Kids

Don’t get fooled by the small design of the Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak for Kids because it gives other kayaks a run for their money in the performance front. You need to appreciate the fact that despite having smaller structure, the stability of this kayak can rival to that of a standard size kayak. Maneuvering this kayak is a kids’ play. It comes equipped with a front toggle and side handles and these makes transporting this kayak as easy as pie.

The best thing about this small Kayak is that it has ample storage space where your kids can keep all his favorite stuffs and toys. Since this is a sit-on-top Kayak, getting in and out of this kayak is a breeze. 24-inch wide beam will definitely add to the confidence level of your kids if they are kayaking for the first time as, the beam offers greater stability compared to other kayaks.

Just like any other standard kayaks for Kids, Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak for Kids is also made from UV-resistant polyethylene. Since the kayak has a weighing capacity of 140 pound, you would not have to purchase another kayak till your kids hit puberty. Since the kayak weight just 22 pound, carrying it around should not be a struggle at all.


  • Weight Capacity of 140 lbs
  • Kayak weight is 22 lbs
  • Self bailing scupper holes

Kayaks for 8-12 Year Old Kids

1. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 8-Foot Sit-on top Kayak for Kids

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 8-Foot Sit-on top Kayak for Kids is a versatile and lightweight kayak aimed at kids within the age range of 8 to 12 years. At the first look, the kayak may look like a bit unstable but once you get into it, you will start realizing the fact the Kayak offers an amazing level of stability. It is great for tracking on water and can be maneuvered easily on choppy water.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak for Kids is 8 feet long and has a weight capacity of 200 lbs which is more than enough for an 8 years old kid. It is considered to be one of the best kayaks for first timers and since it weighs less than 30 lbs, it is fairly easy to move them around.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak for Kids is ideal for those kids whose height is around 4 feet to 5’5’’. However, even if your kid is taller than 5’5’’, the kayak can still be manageable given the fact that your kids have some basic training on kayaking.

Two storage bins are included in this kayak. On the rear side of the kayak is a large storage area where your kid can keep meals and on the front side is a small storage space where phone or similar item can be stored.

The deck of the Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak for Kids has a little more depth compared to other standard traditional flat-hull kayaks. It adds to the stability of the kayak and gives the much needed confidence to those kids who are paddling for the first time in their lives.


  • Open cockpit area
  • Lightweight
  • Padded seats
  • Weighs just 30 lbs

2. Perception Kayak Tribe Sit On Top for Recreation

Perception Kayak Tribe Sit On Top for Recreation is another versatile kayak from the house of Perception. It does not matter whether you are planning to kayak on open sea or on a local lake, Perception Kayak Prodigy can be your best buddy. Tuck in your truck and off you go. Weighing just around 42 lbs, this is a lightweight kayak that makes a perfect fit for kids.

If you kids are bit fussy about the seats because the seats of most kayaks are not that much comfortable, probably Perception Kayak Prodigy will make them a little less cranky. Sporting a nice looking Zone DLX seats, it is going to bring a smile on your kids’ face for sure. It boasts of a large cockpit area. To protect your kids’ thighs and knees, Perception Kayak Prodigy has padded some vital areas of the boat.

In case the boat gets capsized, which is very rare of course, your gears will stay protected because the kayak comes fitted with a watertight stern hatch. To offer better control on the movement of the kayak, the company has included foot braces. Perception Kayak Prodigy is a great boat for covering more ground and for rowing for long hours.

This kayak is really fast. When we say it is fast, we mean it because your kid when paddling on this kayak can even guide past you in matter of few minutes. This is a small yet extremely flexible kayak ideal for 8 to 10 years of old Kid.


  • Lightweight, weighs just 42 lbs
  • Adjustable Zone DLX seat
  • Polyethylene hull

Kayaks for 12 Years Old Kids and Up

1. Sun Dolphin Journey Kayak for Kids

Designed with permanence in mind, Sun Dolphin Journey Kayak for Kids is great for paddling on rivers and lakes. Tracking is a breeze with this kayak and it offers an amazing level of stability which is great for beginners or for the kids.

Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene is used to produce this magnificent kayak and it is well protected from sunrays. Extremely durable in nature, this kayak is almost impossible to tip over and thereby making it ideal for kids who are prone to make silly mistakes while kayaking. If you have grown a passion for fishing, this kayak has got you covered. Rod holder for fishing is included in this kayak. What else you could be asking for?


  • Adjustable padded seat and foot braces
  • Large open cockpit
  • Swivel rod holder
  • Water bottle holder
  • Protective thigh pads
  • Mount rod holders

2. Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak By Ocean Kayak

Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak By Ocean Kayak is made in the USA. So, there is very little room for criticism when it comes to quality and durability. Fishing of this kayak is something that deserves appreciation. The seats and even the handles are not made from cheap plastics rather they have metal body. The seat is padded and the stitching is done with care. This kayak stays stable and keeping it straight on water should not be too much of a trouble.

Believe us if you decide to purchase Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak By Ocean Kayak for your kids, you will not regret this decide ever. Weighing just 43 lbs, loading and unloading should not be an issue for anyone. Don’t listen to people who are saying that this kayak is narrow or short for big guys. You will not find it uncomfortable at all. There is enough room for moving your legs comfortably and for stretching out every now and then.

It is a small but fast kayak; ideal for those who want to cover more ground. With little effort, this kayak can track very well on water.

Features –

  • Padded Seat
  • 1 person sit-on-top kayak
  • Max weight capacity is around 300lbs
  • Weighs around 43 lbs
  • Molded-in cup holder
  • Molded in side handles
  • Bow and stern carry handles

In this article, we are going to learn why it is important for kids to learn kayaking and which kayaks are the best for your kids –

Why Kayaking is good for Kids?

You could have encouraged your kids to play baseball or archery or any other outdoor sport for that matter. So, why Kayaking? Well, Kayaking has numerous advantages that we are going to discuss below –

1. Strike a Perfect Balance

Playing video games is not that bad when done in moderation. There is nothing wrong in playing video game for an hour or two if your kids are also spending quality time outdoor.  You just have to encourage them to take part in some physically intensive activity like kayaking so that they can have the best of the both worlds. The objective should be to help them grow up a well rounded person. You job is to offer them guidance and not force your opinions and ideas on them because that would backfire for sure.

2. Kayaking is a Good Exercise

Remember the good old days of your childhood when you tend to get easily excited at the very idea of cycling around the countryside with your friends, climbing on tress, jumping from a cliff or just having a stroll on the road? Well, those days are long gone. Nowadays, kids are too busy to get involved in such ‘boring activities’. Rather they are talking over phone and communicating over social media sites. It is a vicious circle to break but you have to try.

The easiest way to make them get involved in some sort of active physically intensive activities is by encouraging them to paddle in open water. The very idea of padding through turbulent water is enough to grab the attention of those kids who spend hours playing Battlefield or similiar video games in their Xbox. Kids are inherently attracted to adventures and kayaking thankfully is all about adventures. A perfect match made in heaven. Just introduce the concept of kayaking to the kids and see how they jumped to the idea. You might be a little apprehensive initially and that is okay because probably you have tried multiple times with other sport concepts. But try this for the last time and believe me you will succeed.

3. Make Your Kids Fall in Love with Nature

We should appreciate Mother Nature. The smell of fresh grass, the sound of rain on window panes, the chirping of birds, the howling of wolves, the sound of waves they hit the beaches etc are something that all kids should experience as these ordinary experiences makes us feel happy and satisfied.  And Kayaking can help you and your kids to experience them all.

4. Kayaking is all About Fun

Do you want to feel the adrenaline rush through your veins?  Of course you do and believe me; you kids deserve to know how it feels to get that adrenaline rush. Kayaking is more than just having some fun. It offers one of a kind experience that no other outdoor activity can even remotely offer unless you don’t mind jeopardize the safety of your kids.

Experience like this can only tempt kids of 21st century to leave their phones for a while and take part in something physical and real away from the distraction of the virtual world. You don’t want you kids to become a couch potato. So, get involved and encourage them to join you in your next kayaking escapade.

5. Building Confidence Level

Kayaking can help boost confidence level of the kids. Once they start kayaking of their own, they will slowly but surely start gaining confidence. The joy of paddling in open water will definitely make them realize their potential that will definitely have a knock-on effect on their kayaking skills.

Kayaking and Fishing

Kayaking while fishing! Things could get better than this right? How come anyone hates fishing? The very idea of catching a fish for the first time is an experience that people tend to cherish for the rest of their lives. You simply can’t deny your kids from having the same experience.  Fishing is not all about killing time and enjoying a nice meal at the end. It is more about resilience, patience and it also helps to build character.

It is always a great idea to go outside and get your whole family involved in some productive activity. It helps strengthening the bond among family members. And of course, kayaking has its share of advantages too. It will make your kids feel happy and rejuvenated. It will help reduce stress level and increase the concentration level of the kids.

Since you will be kayaking for hours, there is enough scope for cooking up conversation with your kids. Does not that sound great? When was the last time you had a chat with your little ones? Probably you could not even remember it right? Well, don’t feel disappointed because kayaking giving you an excellent opportunity to strike up a conversation with your kids. The theme of the conversation does not have to be something serious. You can start off with some kayak safety tips that everybody should be aware of.

Kayaking is More Than An Adventure Sport

Most people tend to treat Kayaking as a form of adventure sport but it is more than that. Kayaking is more about respecting nature and appreciates its endless glories.

Education is not restricted within the four walls of a classroom. Real education starts where the classroom ends. Education is not supposed to be all about memorizing some stats and texts rather its sole purpose should be broadening the minds of the young students. So, get your kids admitted to the Academy of Real World and the gateway to that academy is – kayaking.

Learn Survival Skills

It is time to get real. Have you looked at the reports released by the conservative IPCC? Well, if you have not, you should take a look now. Things are looking very good my friend and chances are quite high that we are heading towards a catastrophic climate change. So, thing may go from bad to worse fairly fast. A 2C rise in temperature means the end of Civilization as we all know it and a 3C rise of temperature means, the complete annihilation of human beings. So, it makes sense that your kids are prepared for the mess that we are creating today and the best way to get them prepared to face this mess is by equipped them with some amazing surviving skills. Learning how to paddle in high current or in turbulent water is definitely one such skill that might save their lives one day and they will be thankful to you for teaching them how to deal with complex kayaking challenges.

And even if the world does not go down that road, learning some survival skills is definitely an advantage. In case, they get lost in the wild, these kayaking and fishing skills might save their day.


Patience is a virtue my friend but the problem is kids these days are impatient a lot. And we can’t blame them for that. They have become completely detached from the real world. They believe food comes from the shopping malls because they have never seen how the fruits grow on trees, how the animals behave in the wild or how the fish move in lakes.

Learning how to stay still for hours on a kayak to catch a fish can’t be taught in a school. It is something that your kids much experience. They must stay still, learn how to stay patience for hours and wait for the opportune moment before they make the right move to catch a fish. Pull the fishing rod too fast and you will miss it, pull it too slow and the fish might have moved already. Fishing on kayak is a subtle art that your kids must experience firsthand.

Protecting Wildlife

Do you know who pays for the management of wildlife in some remote places of the United States or any other parts of the world for that matter? Well, the hunters and the fishermen like you and me pay the licensing fees that go into keeping these places truly wild. If not for us, these places would have already been sold to loggers and miners and they would have cut down all the trees, polluted all the rivers, and destroyed all the wildlife for making some extra bucks. Yes, this is the sad truth and the truth hurts! So, you can make this world a better place by getting your kids involved in this conservation process by encouraging them to take part in kayaking and fishing and this will go a long way to limit the damages that we are inflicting on Mother Nature every single day.

Tips to Find the
Best Kayaks for Kids

Okay, so we have discussed in detail why it is so important to get your kids involved in kayaking. Now, we need to figure out which Kayak is the best for your kids. There are several factors that you need to consider while choosing a kayak for your children and we are going to analyze each of those factors here so that you can make a more informed decision –

1. Skills

Just knowing the basics of paddling is not enough. There are several other factors that you need to consider carefully.

Like for example –

  • how confident you are about your kids’ swimming skills?
  • Are you sure that they will be able to swim to the shore in case the boat gets capsized all of a sudden?
  • Are they strong enough to pull the kayak to the shore of their own?

These are some vital questions that you need to ask yourself before making the final buying decision. If your kids are not that great at swimming, it is never too late to get them enrolled to a local swimming club.

2. Have They Experienced Rolling Over?

If your kids have never tried rolling back over, it could be an intimidating experience for them. It makes sense that you teach them beforehand how to get out from a capsized kayak otherwise they will surely make silly mistakes when the time comes. If your kids find it difficult to get out easily from a capsized boat, maybe it is not a good idea to purchase a Sit-In Kayak. Opt for a Sit-On-Top Kayak instead.

3. Age of Your Kids

Depending on the age of your children, you will have to decide whether you allow them to paddle of their own or keep them in the large tandem Kayak. If you kids all fall under the age of 10, you should not allow them to paddle of their own because they are too tender for that. You should rather purchase a large tandem kayak where you can all sit together and enjoy the joy of kayaking.

If you kids are around 10 to 14 years old, maybe it would be a great idea to let them paddle for themselves. This is going to be a great learning experience for them. But again, there is no point in purchasing a kayak for them. A tandem kayak would be just fine. Keep them seated at the front side of the boat and watch them how they start paddling with so much energy and passion. It would be pure delight watch your kids falling in love with Kayaking.

If your kids have grown up a bit but not a teenager yet (15 years and older), you can buy a medium size kayak for them. But make sure you have taught them well the basics of paddling before allowing them to paddle of their own. Better safe than sorry.

4. Do Your Kids have The Stamina to Paddle for Long?

Paddling is a physically intensive activity and we should not ignore that. It takes lots of muscle power to keep the boat stable. Your kids will have to paddle for long hours to maneuver the kayak in the right direction and. So, you need to take a good hard look at your kids and figure out whether they are mentally and physically strong enough to kayak alone; if they are not that strong, you should rather settle for a tandem kayak.