Kids Kayak: 4 Amazing Kayaks For Your Precious Ones

Kids Kayak: 4 Amazing Kayaks For Your Precious Ones

Kids Kayak

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 watercraft. 

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. 

It doesn't have to be a pain to find the best kayak for your kid! 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 is a kayaking option for kids. Historically, this manufacturer has made inexpensive, quality vessels, and the Youth Wave is no exception.

Brief Specs

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

As long as they weigh 130 pounds or less, kids five and up can cruise on their watercraft. It won't take them long to outgrow this kids kayak, so chances are they won't need to replace it before long! 

It's the perfect starter boat for a kid. They "expect to use it for several years to come."

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

  • Easily repaired with putty
  • withstands scrapes and impacts
  • resulting from belonging to a child

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

Young children 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 kids kayak onto a rack, truck bed, or trailer. However, it is possible to make your younger children more independent by providing them with a cart to pull the kids kayak to and from the water.


  • Quickly reenter the water after falling off
  • with the paddle included
  • Adjustable footrest to accommodate growing children
  • Strong impact resistance
  • Limited manufacturer's warranty of five years


  • weight of 18 pounds
  • Drilling is required to attach a seat
  • Water cannot escape through the bottom plugs

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

From Old Town, Maine, Old Town Canoe and Kayak manufactures water sports equipment. A rural business that has survived for almost a century by staying on the cutting edge of kayak design, the Heron Junior Kids Kayak carries on the tradition.


  • 115 lb weight capacity
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Dimensions: 25 x 16.2 x 89 inches

This kayak was named the best intermediate kayak because it is the perfect size between a youth kayak & an adult kayak - 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 vessel is easy to carry with its 26-pound weight and specially designed handles for small hands. For heavier vessels, use a cart, as discussed earlier.

Heron Junior features the same performance as an adult kayak but in a smaller package! Therefore, this craft is highly recommended for children who often kayak and enjoy the sport as a hobby.

It doesn't mean they won't take to the sport because they are new to it.

A mother and her two sons were delighted with their purchase. 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 severe young paddlers:

  • An easy-to-use tag-along system makes fatigue a thing of the past. Children can be easily towed back to shore by their parents.
  • Its body and seat were molded 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. The lightweight nature of this material enables the craft to be maneuvered with ease.


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


  • Expensive compared to other youth kayaks
  • Paddles are not included.


Kayaks that are kid-friendly: Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

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

The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is hard to beat when it comes to kid-friendly adult kayaks. The manufacturer makes high-quality inflatables, and they specialize in this one thing, and 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 kayak, this 1-person adult kayak, is perfect for an older youth paddler. 

Challenger fans say this 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. 

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 will be able to reach shore with the air in the other.
  • 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.

A handpump is included, but it cannot be easy to use for younger children. For complete independence, we recommend buying an electric pump such as this one to get their kayaks ready without assistance. This autonomy allows you to get your watercraft prepared without interruption as a parent.


  • Cheapest watercraft on our list
  • Beautiful design with bright colors and graphics 
  • Includes an aluminum paddle


  • The hand pump tires adults too quickly.
  • and is heavy for young children 
  • A light-colored blanket or another soft material can be used to cover a hot hull. Shades that absorb sunlight will make it even warmer.

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

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

Product Specifications

  • Maximum weight: 121 pounds.
  • Kayak weight: 18 lbs.
  • Measurements: 26 x 7 x 72 in.

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

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

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

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.


  • Children feel more grown up in the kayak because it looks very adult.
  • Rugged construction to prevent scrapes and holes
  • and 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.
  • making it difficult for children to transport to and from the water

Honorable Mentions

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

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

Emotion Sparky Kid's Kayak

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Kayaks for Kids

To help you decide, we have highlighted a few central themes throughout our article. Here are the most important factors to consider:

  • Your child's ability to move the kayak independently and the kayak's weight.
  • How much the kayak can hold.
  • The paddle is included in the box, and if it is a good fit for your child.
  • Budget
  • Including your vehicle and home's storage and transportation space.
  • Kayak comfort.
  • Your child's stamina, and if they might need to be towed.
  • Allow your child to choose the kayak that they want. You can ask them to choose between 2 watercraft 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 make sure you buy your child the best kayak for their needs, you should understand the importance of the takeaways before you make any purchases.


*Disclaimer: Board and Kayak earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

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