Kids Kayak: 4 Amazing Kayaks For Your Precious Ones

Kids Kayak

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 8/14/2022

Your child is ready for adventure this kayaking season! You've watched them play together for years, and now it's time to get them their first kids kayak. 

When you do your research, there are a lot of articles, and you don't know which ones to trust. I ran into this problem when I was looking for the best kids kayak for my 12-year-old, so that's why I wrote this guide. 

Finding a good kayak for your kid doesn't have to be a pain! I found that out the hard way! Here are our four recommendations and eight takeaways for finding the right kayak for your kid.

The Four Best Kayaks For Kids

Youth Wave Kayak: Best Lifetime Kids Kayak

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle, 6 Feet, Green
Light weight

There's no question that Lifetime's Wave Youth Kayak or some may call it a kids wave kayak, is a wonderful kayaking option for kids. Historically, Lifetime manufacturer has made inexpensive, quality kayaks, and the Youth Wave Kayak is no exception. Lifetime wave junior kayak wonderful specs make it so appealing to many.

Brief Specifications

  • Age limit: 5 and up
  • Weight limit: 130 lbs
  • Kayak weight: 18 lbs
  • Measurements: 24 x 9 x 72

If your kid weighs 130 pounds or less and is five years old and older, they can cruise on their kayak. The Youth Wave kayak is big; your kids won't outgrow it for a long time.

Youth Wave Kayak is the perfect starter kayak for a kid. They "expect to use it for several years to come."

High-density polyethylene makes up the Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak. A kayak made of polyethylene has multiple benefits:

  • You can quickly repair the kayak, and it can withstand scrapes and impacts.

The swim-up step is an excellent feature of this kids kayak, specifically for kids. Combined with the sloped end, the swim-up step makes it easy for them to get back on. Even adults can use kayaks with less upper body strength this way.

Young kids may find the Youth Wave a bit heavy since it weighs 18 pounds. Transporting the kayak will require assistance. In other words, you will need an adult to hoist the kid's kayak onto a rack, truck bed, or trailer. However, making your younger kids more independent when dealing with the kayak is possible. You can provide them with a cart to pull the kayak to and from the water.


  • Kids can quickly re-enter the water after falling off
  • The kayak includes paddles.
  • The kayak has an adjustable footrest to accommodate growing kids.
  • The kayak has a strong resistance to impact.
  • Limited manufacturer's warranty of five years


  • The kayak weighs 18 pounds.
  • To attach a seat, you will need to use the drill.
  • Water cannot escape through the bottom plugs.

Many people consider the Youth Wave Kayak as one of the best kayaks for children.

Kayak for intermediate kids: Old Town Canoe and Kayaks Heron Junior

In Maine, Old Town Canoe and Kayak manufactures water sports equipment. Old Town Canoe and Kayak is a rural business that has survived for almost a century. It has stayed on the cutting edge of kayak design. The Heron Junior Kids Kayak carries on the tradition.


  • It has a capacity of 115 lbs weight 
  • The Old Town Canoe and Kayak weigh 26 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 25 x 16.2 x 89 inches

The best intermediate kayak is Heron Junior Kids Kayak because it is the perfect size between a youth kayak & an adult kayak. 

Having a maximum weight of 115 pounds and a length of 7 feet 5 inches, a child between ages can easily handle this transitional kayak. This kayak is easy to carry with its 26-pound weight and specially designed handles for small hands. For heavier kayaks, you can use a cart, as discussed earlier.

Heron Junior features the same performance as an adult kayak but in a small kids kayak version! Therefore, I highly recommend this kayak for kids who often kayak and enjoy the sport as a hobby. 

A friend of mine and her two sons were delighted with the Heron Junior Kids Kayak. Both of them have never kayaked before but are now huge fans. 

The Old Town kayak comes standard with several features that make it an excellent choice for young paddlers:

  • An easy-to-use tag-along system makes fatigue a thing of the past. Kids can be easily towed back to shore by their parents.
  • The manufacturer molded Its body and seat to fit a child's body, ensuring maximum comfort while sitting and paddling.
  • The foam billet makes this board stable and almost effortless to handle in the water. 
  • The polyethylene hull is unique in that it is only one layer thick. Kids can maneuver this kayak with ease due to the lightweight nature of this material.


  • Lifetime Limited Warranty
  • It keeps your child from spinning in circles the whole time you're out there, the perfect child size kayak.
  • Reduces fatigue and challenging headwinds
  • Great for kayaking kids!


  • Compared to other youth kayaks, the Old Town is expensive.
  • It doesn't include paddles.

An adult kayak that is kid-friendly: Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars
Easy to inflate
Leg room

No adult kayak can beat The Intex Challenger K1 regarding kid-friendly features. Intex manufacturer specializes in making high-quality inflatables. They're good at it.

A quick overview

  • Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Weight: 27.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 30 x 15 x 108 inches.

Our most affordable kids kayak, this 1-person adult kayak, is perfect for an older youth paddler. 

Challenger fans say this kids kayak provides "fun and flexibility without the hassles of storage and transportation" and "fun and versatility."

Because the floor has an inflatable I-beam, it's extra stable, and the backrest lets your kids sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Parents will love the bright color. They'll be able to see their kid from shore! When they're first learning kayaking, this design is incredibly comforting. 

Children kayak

Vinyl makes up the Challenger. It's different from polyethylene and has its benefits:

  • Resistant to punctures, which are common among new paddlers
  • Two separate air chambers. Even if one of them pops, your child can reach shore with the air in the other.
  • The kayak has a strong base for those who don't have sea legs.
  • If your child wants to fall asleep looking at their new toy, it can be folded up and stored anywhere, including their room.

The kayak comes with A handpump, but it is not easy to use for younger kids. For complete independence, we recommend buying an electric pump to get their kayaks ready without assistance. This autonomy allows you to prepare your kayak without interruption as a parent.


  • Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is the cheapest watercraft on our list.
  • It has a beautiful design with bright colors and graphics. 
  • It Includes an aluminum paddle.


  • The hand pump is hard to inflate, even for adults.
  • This kids kayak is heavy for young kids. 
  • When you use A light-colored blanket or another soft material to cover a hot hull, shades that absorb sunlight will make it even warmer.

The best all-ages kid kayak is the 6' Kayak from Best Choice Products.

With fun features kids of all ages will enjoy, the Best Choice Products 6ft Kids Kayak is reasonably priced, well-built, and well-designed.

Product Specifications

  • The maximum weight is 121 pounds.
  • Kayak weight: 18 lbs.
  • Measurements: 26 x 7 x 72 in.

More minor kids will likely need assistance carrying a kids kayak that weighs 18 pounds. Carts are available, but you may not need one. Your kids can drag it along by removing the wheel on one end.

Polyurethane and UV-resistant are color-saving materials. They make up this Best Choice kayak's construction. Furthermore, the hull has multiple footwells. Thus, your growing child can use the boat for years. 

Those little arms who can't quite make it back to the shore can tow with the front handle and skeg wheel. 

There is a foldable, removable, built-in backrest that you can use if you're concerned about comfort. The molded cup and bottle holder will also make your children feel like adults.

You can also store all your gear and snacks in the back, covered by netting. They have complete control over their day, and you have control over yours.


  • Kids feel more grown up in the kayak because it looks very adult.
  • Best Choice Kayak has rugged construction to prevent scrapes and holes.
  • It has towing capabilities in case your child gets tired before reaching the shore.


  • For easier maneuverability, you may need a new paddle since the one included is short and flimsy. Such paddles make it difficult for kids to transport to and from the water.

Honorable Mentions

Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak, 10-Feet

Sun Dolphin Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak

Goplus 6FT Youth Kayak - kayak 6 Foot

Most important factors to consider for Kayaks for Kids

Kids Kayak

We have highlighted a few central themes throughout our article to help you decide which is the best kid kayaks. Here are the most important factors to consider:

  • It would be best to consider your child's ability to move the kayak independently and its weight.
  • How much the kayak can hold.
  • The kayak should come with its paddles.
  • Budget
  • Considering your vehicle and home's storage and transportation space would be best.
  • Kayak comfort.
  • Your child's stamina, and if your child needs to tow the kayak.
  • Allow your child to choose the kayak that they want. You can ask them to choose between 2 kids kayaks and let them make the final decision.

There is no way to go wrong with any of the four kids' kayaks on our list. To ensure you buy your child the best kids kayak for their needs, you should understand the importance of the takeaways before making any purchases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a 5 year old go kayaking?

Yes, A 5-year-old kid can go kayaking. Kayaking can be enjoyed by children as young as 5 or 6, depending on the kayak and the child. It is possible for a child as young as four to control a paddle in the bow position of a tandem kayak. Using a paddle of their size is a great way to introduce them to paddling without requiring them to control the kayak.

What age can kids kayak on their own?

The best age to start kayaking is 7-10 years old. Children of any age can participate in tandem boats with a qualified partner, but kids aged seven to ten are best suited to learning to kayak in their boat.

Can I take a baby kayaking?

We don't recommend taking newborns while kayaking. The age limit for kayaking is not set; however, a newborn or infant baby (0-12 months) should not be taken on a kayak. With children, it isn't so much about their age as it is about their ability and maturity level.

Is there a 6 foot kayaks?

Lifetime WaveTM Kayak has a length of 6 feet and is suitable for children weighing up to 130 pounds or older (at least five years old). Your youngster will remain secure in the kayak thanks to the broad stance, which gives a solid platform for paddling.

What size are junior kayaks?

Children's recreational kayaks usually are six to nine feet long and no wider than 25 inches. Kids kayaks have smaller seats, widths, and depths to make it easier for beginning paddlers to get to the water.