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Kids Kayak: 4 Amazing Kayaks To Give Your Loved Kids

Kids Kayak

Kids Kayak

Updated on 9/24/2023
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail đź‘‹ Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott

TL;DR
Don't have time, here is the summary; Best Budget Kids Kayak is Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak, best for intermediate is  Scubapro Old Town Canoes, adult kayak that is kid-friendly Intex Inflatable Kayak, and best all-ages kid kayak  is Best Choice Products Sports 6' Kids Kayak

Get ready for an exciting kayaking season! It's the perfect time to introduce your child to the joy of their first 5-foot kayak! Kayaking is more than just a sport or a pastime; it’s a fulfilling way to bond with nature and create lasting family memories. The gentle splash of the paddles and the discovery of new landscapes create unforgettable experiences. With the desire for adventure and bonding, I initiated kayaking trips with my children, using specially designed kids’ kayaks.

I understand the daunting task of sifting through extensive information to find the ideal kayak for a child, as I experienced it while choosing one for my 12-year-old. To make this process simpler and more enjoyable for you, I’ve curated this guide, combining practical advice and recommendations from our adventures in places like Shannondale, Pocasset in Boston, and Maurice Gibb Memorial Park.

Choosing an excellent 5-foot kayak doesn’t have to be a complex task! This guide offers top recommendations and invaluable insights to assist you in selecting the perfect kids' kayak for your young explorer. Whether you’re an experienced kayaker wanting to share the thrill with your children or a family looking for exciting and wholesome activities, this article is your gateway to the world of children’s kayaking, ensuring fun and safety are at the forefront of every aquatic adventure.

Kids Kayak

Kids Kayak

Here Are Some Things To Keep In Mind

Imagine taking your child on a kayaking trip for the first time. They're excited to paddle their own Kayak, but you notice that the Kayak you rented is too long and heavy for them to handle. They struggle to control it and get frustrated, ruining their first kayaking experience. If you had chosen a kayak with the appropriate length and weight for your child, they could have had a much more enjoyable time on the water.

Before you go out and buy a kayak for your child, you need to consider first whether or not your children are old enough and what kind of Kayak you should choose. Take into consideration these aspects first before heading out onto the lake.

Is It True That Your Child Is Prepared?

It is crucial to ensure your child has some experience kayaking with you or spends time on the water before purchasing their Kayak. This may be accomplished by spending some time on the water together.

Do not launch them into the water if no family member has ever been in a kayak. This may sound like stating the obvious and beginning in less turbulent seas.

If you have a lot of expertise in kayaking, the only time you should take your children to areas with faster currents is if you are an expert. In any other case, your best bet is to inquire at local sporting goods stores, park associations, or park services about where children will have the most fun.

It is never too early to get your children involved in something new so long as they are eager and able to do so.

Don't Forget About Safety!

Taking them out on the water would be best until you know your children won't be in danger. Exits and rescues need to be practiced, and your children must spend time reviewing the material so they are at ease. For example, you take your child kayaking for the first time, and they accidentally capsize. Knowing what to do in this situation is critical to their safety. In this scenario, your child must know about water safety and how to handle an emergency, such as how to climb back onto the Kayak and paddle to shore safely.

kids kayaks

kids kayaks

How to Pick Out the Perfect Kayak for Your Child

If you know what features to search for, it is possible to find the ideal Kayak for children in a surprisingly short time.

It is crucial to consider what would match your child's experience level best, even though it could be a little different than what you require as an adult regarding weight, stability, or length.

The Kayak's weight is an important consideration, particularly for younger paddlers. They need to be able to raise it to transfer it quickly, which is why you also have the choice of using an inflatable version, which is also available to you.

Again, a kayak that is too long for a child is not a good idea to purchase for them. Regarding tracking and maneuvering, you should look for something between 6 and 8 feet long because this size will provide more straightforward handling and balance.

Width: You may not have given this any thought, but because children often have shorter arms, an overly broad kayak will result in your children constantly hitting their elbows when paddling. Although boats with a broader beam may offer increased safety, those with a narrower beam will be easier to navigate.

Stability is the most critical factor to consider, given that a child just beginning kayaking requires a vessel that offers excellent stability. In particular, this feature will provide children with the appropriate level of balance until their abilities improve.

It is essential to have a spacious cockpit for your child, mainly if they are new to kayaking or tend to capsize frequently. If they trip over it, they will have an easier time getting back in.

Towing — When shopping for kayaks for young children, look for ones that can be pulled. Through activities like these, children can become accustomed to being in the water, which will better prepare them for more challenging workouts. Suppose you don't feel confident enough in their abilities to leave them entirely alone, but you do believe they are ready to begin venturing out on their own. In that case, this is another fantastic alternative for you to consider.

Price - The price is a significant consideration. Many options available at reasonable prices won't strain your finances and will provide your child with all they require, regardless of whether or not your child plans to continue kayaking.

Best Kids Kayak Reviews

There are a variety of options available for kayaks that are designed specifically for children. Still, we have selected the three best possibilities to assist you in choosing. These particular kayaks are designed to provide your child with the stability they require to begin paddling securely.

The Four Best Kayaks For Kids

Youth Wave Kayak: Best Lifetime Kids Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.7

Things we like:

  • 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

Things we don't like:

  • Not suitable for adults or older children
  • Low weight capacity of 130 lbs, may not be suitable for heavier children
  • Although lightweight, at 18 lbs it may still be cumbersome for some users to transport
  • Molded finger handles may not provide a comfortable grip for carrying
  • The slope at the end with a swim-up step may not be convenient for all users to re-enter from the water
  • Made of High-Density Polyethylene which may lack aesthetic appeal compared to other materials
  • Footrest positions may not be suitable for all riders, particularly those with non-standard foot sizes
  • 5-year limited manufacturer warranty may provide limited coverage and leave some consumers wanting more security
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There's no question that Lifetime's Wave Youth Kayak, or some may call it 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's 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 long.

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, which can withstand scrapes and impacts.

The swim-up step is an excellent feature of this kid's 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 a cart to pull the Kayak to and from the water.

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

Related Kayak with a toddler

 

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

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.6

Things we like:

  • 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!

Things we don't like:

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

Specifications

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

The best intermediate Kayak is the 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. 

The Heron Junior Kids Kayak delighted a friend and her two sons. 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. For instance, if your child is paddling for the first time and begins to feel tired or overwhelmed, they may need assistance from an adult. In this scenario, having a tag-along system can be a lifesaver, allowing the adult to tow the child back to shore safely.
  • 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.

 

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

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.4

Things we like:

  • Exceptional Durability: Made from high-quality vinyl, this kayak is built to withstand the test of time.
  • Convenient Inflation: Includes a pump for effortless inflating and deflating, ensuring quick and easy setup.
  • Lightweight Aluminum Oars: Crafted from quality aluminum, these folding oars are incredibly lightweight, providing ease of use and maneuverability.
  • Designed for Rapids: Developed specifically for use in rapid rivers and paddling under challenging conditions, this kayak offers optimal performance in adventurous environments.
  • Portable and Easy to Transport: With its lightweight design, this kayak is perfect for vacationing and allows for hassle-free transportation to your desired water destinations.

Things we don't like:

  • Construction using a single layer of skin: This design choice may not offer the same durability and longevity as products with multiple layers of material. Over time, the single layer may be more susceptible to tears or punctures. For a reliable and long-lasting option, consider products that feature reinforced construction or multiple layers.
  • Challenging to repack into the carrying bag when sandy or damp: If you plan to use this product in beach or damp outdoor environments, you may encounter difficulties when it comes to repacking it into the carrying bag. This inconvenience can be frustrating, especially when you're trying to quickly pack up and move on. Consider alternative options that offer easier and more convenient packing features, ensuring hassle-free transportation and storage.
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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 kid's 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

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.

 

 

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

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.4

Things we like:

  • 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.

Things we don't like:

  • 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.
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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 kid's 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, making 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 that can't entirely return 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. For example, let's say you're taking your child on a kayaking trip for the first time. After a few hours of paddling, your child may become restless and need a break. In this scenario, having a kayak with ample storage space can be a lifesaver, allowing your child to store snacks and gear and take a break when needed. This can also give you control over your day, as you won't have to stop and unpack everything every time your child needs a break.

 

Honorable Mentions

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

Our Overall Review
4.1
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Sun Dolphin Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.4

Things we like:

  • Tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability
  • P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) can be used as extra storage
  • Dry storage compartment with shock cord deck rigging
  • Open cockpit allows the easiest of entry
  • Large, comfortable seating area with protective thigh pads, adjustable foot braces and paddle holder

Things we don't like:

  • Lacks built-in fishing rod holders/li>
  • May not have enough storage for longer trips
  • Open cockpit may leave you more exposed to the elements
  • Does not include a built-in cup holder
  • Does not have a built-in anchor system
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Goplus 6FT Youth Kayak - kayak 6-Foot

Our Overall Review
4.7
Read full review

The most important factors to consider for Kayaks for Kids

Kids Kayak

Kids Kayak

We have highlighted a few central themes throughout our article to help you choose the best kid kayak. 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 can the Kayak 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 decide.

There is no way to go wrong with our four kids' kayaks 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.

FAQ

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.