To have an enjoyable and safe kayaking experience, you need the right kayak for the type of water you will be kayaking in, whether calm water such as lakes or fierce ocean waves. Touring and recreation kayaks are designed to be on top of stable water, and are generally easy to get into and sit in, and make great choices for both novice and seasoned paddlers.
However, buying the best kayak for lakes can be a tricky task given the myriad options to choose from. We’ve rounded up three of the best options available in the market to help ease your buying decision.
Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle
The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak tops our list of best kayak for lakes for several reasons starting with its lightweight yet robust construction. It is designed for kids ages 5 and up and can accommodate up to 130 lbs of weight. The Youth Wave Kayak tips the scales at just 18 lbs and is equipped with molded finger handles on each side, making it easy for kids to transport it from the vehicle to the water.
Available in a choice of six exciting colors namely blue, green, lime, orange, pink and yellow, the Youth Wave Kayak by Lifetime is crafted from superior quality polypropylene, so you can rest assured it will last you for many years on end. In terms of ease of use, the impact resistant Youth Wave Kayak features a slope at its end, which, along with a swim-up step, allows the rider to easily get back into the kayak from the water.
The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak showcases a twin-fin design to enhance tracking and surf riding. Adding to this, it features UV protection to prevent against fading, cracking or peeling. The cockpit of the kayak is ergonomically designed to assist with balance and motor skills, and is generously spaced to accommodate slightly wider riders. The Youth Wave Kayak is ready to go right out of the box, and even comes with a two-piece paddle, so you don’t have to go out and buy one separately.
- 130 lbs. weight capacity
- 6 colors available including pink and blue
- Molded finger handles on each side
- 5 year limited manufacturer warranty
- Durable HDPE construction and twin0-fin design
- Multiple footrest positions
- Ergonomic cockpit design
- Quality of the included paddle could be improved
Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12-Foot Sit-in Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Aruba is a one-person sit-in kayak that can be ordered in a choice of three appealing colors – blue, lime and red. It measures 144 x 29.6 x 14 inches and weighs 47 lbs, and can handle up to 25 lbs of weight in its rather large cockpit. This lightweight kayak is easy to haul around on your kayaking adventures on the lake, and tracks and paddles with ease while simultaneously offering unmatched stability.
The Sun Dolphin Aruba Kayak features a covered console and a portable accessory carrier, which doubles up as a handy, extra storage area. It is constructed from class-leading high-density polyethylene, and is topped with rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex to protect against the harmful rays of the sun. This 12-foot kayak does not come with a paddle, but makes up for the lack of it with its premium features such as integrated flush mount fishing rod holders.
- 3 colors available
- Made from high density polypropylene and UV resistant
- Flush mount fishing rod holders
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Covered console and portable accessory carrier
- Only seats 1 person
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak
The AdvancedFrame Kayak by Advanced Elements is in a league of its own with three-layer material construction for extreme puncture resistance. This inflatable kayak is available in a red/gray color finish, and is fitted with aluminum ribs to define the bow and stern and to enhance tracking.
The kayak is appointed with a plush, padded, adjustable seat, so you stay comfortable even when kayaking for long hours on the lake. It weighs just 36 lbs and is spread across 10.5 inches, making it a great choice for novice and seasoned paddlers. The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak is made from a highly durable double coated rip stop fabric. It is complete with reinforced bow and stern seams and bungee deck lacing.
Its main inflation chamber is divided into two separate air chambers, which surround the entire kayak for optimum safety when out of the water. Adding to this, the AdvancedFrame Kayak features an inflatable coating to attach a spray skirt to help keep the bigger waves out and the warmth in on a cold day.
The generously spaced storage compartment of the kayak offer the right amount of room to store your essentials, which, along with its compact footprint, makes it a great choice for extended trips. Other noteworthy features of the AdvancedFrame Kayak include a skeg tracking fin, D-ring tie down, neoprene paddle guard and an integrated pressure relief valve on the floor.
- Built tough and can handle up to 250 lbs of weight
- Large storage compartment
- Weighs 36 lbs and measures 10.5 inches long
- Integrated aluminum ribs in the bow and stern
- 3-layer construction
- Padded seat and adjustable back support
- Comes with folding seat, duffel bag, repair kit and user guide
- A little on the expensive side
The three kayaks mentioned on this list ring in with all the right features for a safe and comfortable kayaking experience on the lake. If you’re looking for a kid’s kayak, the Lifetime Youth Wave is a great choice and is perfected suited for ages 5 and up who weigh up to 130 lbs.
For a lightweight kayak that can handle a fair bit of payload, the Sun Dolphin Aruba is your best bet given that it is constructed from high density polypropylene. And if you’re looking for a kayak that you can probably use on the lake and ocean, the inflatable AdvancedFrame Kayak is worth a second look owing to its three-layer construction and several high-end components.