8 Best Cheap Kayaks for the Money [Unbiased Reviews]

Are you tired of the noisy city life? Why don’t you take a break and head to the countryside and wind down your weekend paddling in the lake?

Of course you are going to need an appropriate kayak for the occasion, and even better is that you do not have to break the bank to land the best vessel for the job.

So which are the best cheap kayaks? This is the question that this article shall attempt to answer, and we shall go a step further and guide you on the criteria you may use in selecting your ideal item.

To kick us off, we have reviewed some brands of kayaks that are budget-friendly yet high-quality.

Best Affordable Kayaks Breakdown (Reviews & Verdict)

Do you lack time to do tedious online research for the best inexpensive kayak? If you do, then you have come to the right place as we have done an extensive review of the following models, which we believe are the best in the market.

1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Cheap inflatable kayakbutton

If you want a budget-friendly kayak that you could use for paddling on lakes and mild rivers with your friend, the Intex Explorer K2 kayak would be a decent pick. It is an inflatable kayak that we believe is worth the investment.

What We Liked About It

First, this vessel is constructed out of heavy-duty and puncture-resistant vinyl material. This makes the vessel sturdy to serve you for a long time to come.

Another thing we liked we liked with this kayak is how easy it is to transport. The inflation and deflation processes are quite effortless, and you should be done within a few minutes.

The Intex K2 kayak features two adjustable seats with backrests for maximum comfort during paddling. Also worth mentioning are the repair patch kit and the high-output pump for a comfortable paddling experience.

What Could Have Been Better

We believe that the manufacturer could have used less delicate materials in making this vessel. This would have made it ideal for use even in the rough waters.


Ample storage onboard
Easy setup


Only for still waters

2. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Best Kayak Under 1000 in 2020button

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 kayak (see detailed review) is perfect for you if you enjoy fishing while paddling. It is packed with numerous useful features that make the vessel one of the top budget-friendly kayaks in the market.

What We Liked About It

The first benefit of this sit-on-top vessel is its comfort. It features an adjustable padded seat with a backrest. On top of that are multiple footrest positions to help you attain your most comfortable posture.

Is your safety assured? Well, we believe it is due to the deep tracking channels as well as the stability chine rails that keep the vessel stable.

As for transportation, the front and rear carry handles are there to make things easy for you.

You should have peace of mind knowing this vessel is designed to last for ages, and we can attribute this to the blow-molded high-density polyethylene construction.

We also appreciate the two flush-mounted fishing rod holders, as well as the two storage hatches for holding essential gear.

What Could Have Been Better

Since this vessel is designed for one-person use, it could have been lighter to ensure the user has an easy time in moving it from the vehicle to the water.


Very stable



3. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10ft Kayak

Budget-friendly fishing kayakbutton

Are you a beginner into kayaking? This 10ft vessel by Sun Dolphin would be ideal for giving you a perfect welcome. The kayak has simplistic features to provide you an easy time joining the game.

What We Liked About It

Let’s start with the construction whereby the polyethylene hull is sturdy to assure you of a product that would serve you for a decent period.

Even with this sturdy construction, the Aruba 10 kayak is lightweight enough for a single individual to lift it onto and off the car rack or pickup bed. The carry handles further enhance the ease of transportation.

We also appreciate the effort to make the vessel comfort with the adjustable deluxe seat with high back support as well as the adjustable foot braces for a comfortable position.

There is a storage hatch for holding essential items for the trip as well as a bottle holder for your drinks.

What Could Have Been Better

Although the vessel is perfect for beginners, the lack of advanced features means that the pros in the field would not have much joy in using this kayak.


Lightweight and portable
Ideal for beginners
Decent load capacity


It lacks a rudder system

4. Aquaglide Yakima Boat

Low price kayakbutton

If you want a budget-friendly vessel that meets the highest safety standards, the Aquaglide Yakima boat would be a reasonable pick. As an inflatable kayak, its main advantage is the ease of transportation and storage.

Let’s look at other features.

What We Liked About It

This is a two-person kayak with two padded and ergonomic Yakima seats for the ultimate comfort. It has a load capacity of 400lbs, and this is sufficient to accommodate you and your partner.

As for the construction, the vessel is made of 24-gauge PVC with Integrated Polyester skirts to give you a puncture-resistant product. The Boston valves on their part are made of high-quality material to give you an overall superior unit.

You also get a repair kit to ensure that you are ready to deal with any eventuality.

The 11-inch length and 31-inch width combine to give you a very stable and easy-to-maneuver kayak. These features combine to ensure that you are always safe as you paddle this vessel.

To wrap things up are the carrying handles for easy transportation.

What Could Have Been Better

If the vessel had rod holders, it would have allowed for a hands-free fishing experience, and this would have enhanced the overall comfort of using this vessel.


Easy to transport
Stable and easy-to-maneuver
High-quality construction


Does not come with paddles

5. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Under $100 Kayakbutton

We understand why many people often make the wrong conclusion on the affordability of the Intex Challenger K2. It has a cool and sporty look, yet the vessel is one of the most affordable brands in the market.

Let’s check out other notable features of this vessel.

What We Liked About It

To begin with, this under $100 kayak is crafted from puncture and damage-resistant vinyl material to ensure it serves you for a lifetime.

Also, it is brightly colored to enhance its visibility, and this serves as a safety feature in case the user gets lost in the water.

Then, the dimensions of 11.5 by 30-inches help in making the vessel very stable and safe.

Let’s not leave out the fact that when you purchase this unit, it comes with a pump, aluminum paddles, and a repair kit for a complete package.

What Could Have Been Better

We cannot ignore the fact that there are numerous complaints from customers about the product arriving damaged. The manufacturer should be keen on this issue to avoid damage to its reputation.


Brightly colored
Easy assembly and disassembly


Poor packaging

6. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 SOT Kayak

Cute watercraftbutton

Are you looking for the best affordable fishing kayak? If you do, then the Vibe Skipjack 90 should be at the top of your list. It is easy to use, and this makes it a top choice for beginners.

What We Liked About It

We shall start with the comfort features, which include the padded seat bottom and the adjustable padded seatback. All these are designed to make your paddling sessions comfortable, even when they involve long hours.

What about the storage? In this case, you have storage decks at the front and back with bungee rigging. On top of these is the center storage hatch that you could use for keeping your small items, such as keys and phone, dry.

There are also the built-in rod holders to add to the overall convenience of this vessel.

Lastly are the four molded-in comfort handles to aid in the carrying and transportation of this kayak.

What Could Have Been Better

Although the seats are comfortable, they feature plastic buckles that are flimsy and are not very efficient for their intended purpose.


Wide and stable
Ample storage
Comes with a paddle


Flimsy seat buckles

7. Lifetime 10ft Tandem Kayak

Best tandem kayak under 1000button

Wouldn’t it be cool to own a vessel that you could use alone or with a friend? That is precisely what the Lifetime SOT kayak offers since it is designed for use by a single individual or by two people.

Other than that, the kayak has other impressive features, which we shall analyze below.

What We Liked About It

Let’s start with the Roto-molded low-density polyethylene construction that makes the kayak damage and UV-resistant, and this translates to high durability.

The vessel may be well-made, but it is still lightweight at 60lb. This weight, coupled with the two molded carry handles, makes the kayak easy to transport.

We also like the tunnel hull design that enhances the stability and tracking of the kayak to make it extremely hard to tip over.

The backrests and the multiple footrest positions are some of the features that enhance the comfort of this vessel.

Further, there are self-bailing scupper holes that help in draining the cockpit of the water that has seeped in.

What Could Have Been Better

Even though this vessel is designed for two-person use, the seats are too close together, and it creates an awkward situation when two people are paddling. See our full review of this kayak.


Easy to maneuver
Easy to store and transport


Too bulky for a single person to carry

8. Aquaglide Rogue Two-Person Kayak

Kayak on a budgetbutton

The last item on our list is the Aquaglide Rogue, which is an inflatable kayak that is one of the best budget-friendly kayaks for recreational activities.

Let’s discuss its notable features.

What We Liked About It

To begin with, the Aquaglide Rogue features Aquaglide’s proprietary XP floor technology and a 600D polyester deck cover, which combine to give you a sturdy and durable product.

Then, it has a wide outline to make the kayak hard to tip over. Further, it has an open stern that would give you an easy time re-boarding the vessel from the water.

The open cockpit design is crucial in ensuring that drainage of water is an effortless affair.

Another feature is the two seats with backrests for maximum comfort. We are not going to leave out that this unit comes with a repair kit and a user’s manual.

What Could Have Been Better

The manufacturer could have made the cockpit roomier and with multiple footrest positions for more comfort. This does not take away the fact that the company tried his best with the seats.


Wide and stable
Comes with a repair kit
Easy to use


Has no rod holders

The Buying Guide for Budget-Friendly Kayaks

If you are wondering how you can get the best budget-friendly kayak amongst the many options available in the market, there are several factors that you need to consider.


The lifespan of a vessel majorly depends on the materials used in its construction. The material should be sturdy enough to ensure the vessel does not fall apart when it comes into contact with rocks and other hard objects.


In this case, we are referring to the width and length. A wider vessel is more stable and hard to tip over. On the other hand, the longer the vessel, the faster it is with superior tracking. However, longer vessels usually are hard to maneuver.

The Design

The design of the vessel has an impact on how it performs in the water. For instance, a kayak with a flat bottomed hull is generally more stable than that with a v-shaped hull.

Meanwhile, the vessel with a v-shaped hull would be faster than a flat-bottomed vessel since it cuts through the water faster.

Safety Features

Your safety should be the top priority. So besides your vessel not capsizing, it ought to have throw-bags, flares for signaling, tow lines, and should also be brightly colored for easy location.

All these are crucial to your survival in the water with this vessel.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have included this section to ensure that, after reading this article, you would have a clearer picture of inexpensive kayaks.

Q: How durable are cheap kayaks?

A: It all depends on how you maintain your vessel. Typically, most of the cheap kayaks are made of durable polyethylene material, but you could reinforce it using a UV light resistant cover.

Q: Can I add extra accessories to my kayak?

A: Yes, you can. Some of the accessories that you could add to your vessel include Dry Bags, a cockpit cover, and a kayak cart, just to mention a few.

Q: Are kayaks designed for specific purposes?

A: Yes, they are, and you need to get this right. Using a kayak for the wrong purpose would lead to unsatisfactory performance. Additionally, it is dangerous to use the vessel on a water surface other than the one which was intended.

The Best Overall Choice

Cheap inflatable kayakbutton

The kayak that stood out during our research on the best affordable kayaks is the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. It is well-made, easy to set up and transport plus has sufficient storage on board for anything you need for your trip.

Final Thoughts

We hope that our article has fully convinced you that you do not have to dig too deep into your pockets to get the best cheap kayak in the market. There are low-cost and high-quality options that would still deliver superb performance.

Check out our list of reviewed products, and we believe your ideal pick should be somewhere there.

Erick Thompson

Hi, I'm a fishing & kayaking enthusiast who enjoys sharing tips and tidbits with newbies, intermediates, and experienced anglers alike.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *