The team at RetailMeNot is kind of obsessed with kayaking.
How could we not be? After all, we’re headquartered in sunny Austin, Texas, where an abundance of pristine rivers and lakes provide the perfect setting for paddling. It’s kind of the ultimate free summer activity. On any weekend, you’re likely to find us — swimsuit– and water shoe-clad and slathered in sunscreen — gliding around Lady Bird Lake on colorful kayaks.
As paddling enthusiasts and savings experts, we know a thing or two about hunting down deals on reliable kayaks. So, if you’re hunting for cheap kayaks for sale that won’t sink to the bottom of the lake, you’ve come to the right blog.
And so, after hours of research and 10 gallons of sunscreen later, we’re bringing you the finest cheap kayaks we found for under $250. And to help you pick the right product for your lifestyle and preferences, we’ve included a few key considerations to keep in mind when browsing affordable kayaks for sale.
1. Lifetime Spitfire Sit On Top Kayak
One of the best-priced, hard shell, adult-size kayaks around, the Lifetime Spitfire is made from a sturdy, UV-protected polyethylene. With a 240-pound weight capacity, molded in-seat and padded backrest, the kayak will comfortably hold one adult passenger. Our favorite thing about this kayak is its sit-on-top design, which lets you easily climb back in if you flip over or fall out. But — if you prefer a sit-in kayak — the Lifetime Ridgeline 98 sit-in kayak is similarly priced.
Things To consider: This kayak doesn’t come with a paddle, so you’ll have to purchase one separately. In addition, at 8 feet long and with a 240-weight capacity, it’s fairly small — it’s definitely for a single rider, and won’t work as a two-person kayak.
2. Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak
One of the top-selling inflatable models on the market, the Intex Explorer K2 is ideal for small bodies of water and short trips. The sturdy, spacious kayak can hold up to two paddlers weighing up to 400 pounds combined. The two-person kayak includes two seats, two aluminum oars and a high output air pump for ultrafast inflation.
Things To Consider: The vinyl exterior is fairly durable but can tear on rocks or debris. Should the exterior become torn, the inflatable kayak comes with a repair patch kit. Note legroom and space can be a little tight and the seats can get uncomfortable, so the Intex Explorer K2 isn’t recommended for long trips.
Price: $119.30 at Amazon
3. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak With Paddles
At 6 feet long, the Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is designed for paddlers ages 5 and up weighing up to 130 pounds, making it a good choice for youngsters, teens and even petite adults. The tough little vessel is suitable for exploring small and larger bodies of water alike, including rivers, lakes and the open sea. With an ergonomic cockpit, the kayak is comfortable enough for longer trips.
Things To Consider: Some reviewers report the handles are shallow, which can make the kayak tricky to carry out of water.
Price: $104 at Walmart
4. Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak
One of the best cheap kayaks for sale, the Intex Challenger K1, is a great starter vessel if you plan on taking solo voyages. Designed for one person, the 9-foot kayak holds up to 200 pounds. Aluminum oars, cargo net and repair patch kit are included. We found the legroom was adequate for riders under 6 feet tall.
Things To Consider: None of the kayaks included in this list are suitable for strong rapids or ocean currents, and the Intex Challenger K1 has a low profile that can take it water even in the milder currents if you’re not careful.
Price: $94.89 at Amazon
5. Sevylor Quikpak K1 Inflatable Kayak
For us, the biggest benefit of the aptly named Sevylor Quikpak (get it… “quick pack”?) is its ease of portability. Its clever design lets you carry the deflated kayak in its own backpack. Inflation and assembly take about five minutes, and the backpack folds into a seat. When inflated, the one-person kayak is around 8.5 feet long and holds an impressive 400 pounds.
Things To Consider: This ultra compact portable kayak doesn’t have much in the way of storage. With two small skegs, the tracking — or how well the kayak moves in a straight direction — isn’t suitable for serious kayaking or much more than the occasional leisure trip.
Price: $159.99 at Amazon
6. Bestway Lite-Rapid Inflatable Kayak
The Bestway Lite-Rapid is another decent inflatable kayak suited for leisure trips on calm waters. Around 10.5 feet long and able to carry up to 350 pounds, it’s still fairly lightweight (27 pounds) for such a large vessel.
Things To Consider: A bag and pump are not included, so you’ll need to purchase them separately.
Price: $165 at Amazon
7. Pelican Solo Youth Kayak
The Pelican Solo Youth Kayak features a unique twin tunnel hull design, improving maneuverability, stability and safety overall. This beginner-friendly kayak is 6 feet long and holds up to 100 pounds. The Pelican kayak includes a bottle-holder, molded seat and footrests.
Things To Consider: The Pelican Solo Youth doesn’t come with a seat or backrest, so you may want to purchase one for comfort.
Price: $216.23 at Amazon
Still have questions about choosing the right kayak for your needs? We’re answering some of the most frequently asked kayak queries:
What Are Things To Consider Before Buying an Affordable Kayak?
Before you make your purchase and head out on the water, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your kayak’s manufacturer recommendations and general kayaking safety tips. Kayak Addicts has a detailed guide of things to consider.
Here are a few of the most critical considerations to keep in mind when shopping for and using a low-cost kayak:
- Stick To Leisure Trips on Calm Waters: Lower-price kayaks — especially inflatable ones — aren’t designed for rapids, strong currents or big waves. Inflatable kayaks, in particular, can be harder to control than their heavier, hard-shell counterparts and are more susceptible to wind and waves. With an inflatable or low-cost kayak, stick to calm rivers, ponds and small lakes on clear, sunny days rather than long journeys over choppy waters during adverse weather.
- Beware of Punctures: It may seem obvious, but it’s worth stressing: Even water with rocks or debris can puncture the most durable inflatable kayaks. It’s inadvisable to venture far from shore or journey great distances in an inflatable kayak. You should also avoid dragging an inflatable kayak on the ground, especially over gravel or rocks.
- Plan on Replacing Your Kayak Every Couple of Years: Cheap kayaks under $250 make good starter vessels, but you should replace or upgrade after a couple of years of use, tops. To make sure your kayak lives a long, healthy life, properly wash and store your kayak between uses.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe?
In a word, yes. Inflatable kayak technology has come a long way over recent years, and a quality inflatable kayak should provide years of fun for the average recreational user. Just follow your manufacturer’s instructions and review basic kayaking guidelines. For more information, get kayaking safety tips.
How Much Is a Kayak?
The kayaks we’ve included on this list are on the low end of the price spectrum. On the other end are touring kayaks and sea kayaks, which can run upward from $4000 to $6000. On average, however, a standard recreational or fishing kayak costs around $1,000.
The answer to the question “how much is a kayak?” may vary vastly by brand. We’ve broken down price ranges for the most popular kayak brands below:
- Oru Kayaks: This hot, innovative Bay Area-based brand manufactures unique collapsible kayaks. Foldable Oru Kayaks run from $549 to $1,999.
- Hobie Kayaks: From a popular waterspouts brand, Hobie kayaks are a sit-on-top style and range from $1,500 to $5,000.
- Old Town Kayaks: Marrying technology and tradition, Old Town kayaks prices range from $449 to $4,499.99.
- Pelican Kayaks: Pelican offers recreational, fishing and day touring kayaks. Price-wise, Pelican kayaks range from $259.99 to $1,099.99.
Where To Buy Kayaks
For variety, price and convenience, the best place to buy a kayak — pretty much hands down — is online. When shopping online, you can read reviews of different models, compare prices across different stores and choose from virtually endless options. Bonus: Most retailers ship your kayak for free, which means you don’t have to worry about lugging it home from the store.
Wondering where to buy kayaks online? Some of our favorite sites are Amazon, REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart and Backcountry.
The post Spend Your Summer On the Water With These Affordable Kayaks appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.