Best kayaks under 200 - header

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As the popularity of kayaking increases, it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself grabbing a kayak and venturing onto the water if you are not already into the sport. And believe me when I tell you that kayaking is one of the greatest water sports of all time.

However, the thing with kayaks is that they aren’t exactly cheap as the price range could easily get into thousands of dollars, especially for high-end kayaks. This has brought the notion that kayaking is an expensive sport onto some people.

But kayaking is a sport for all, a sport for people of all ages and classes, a sport for people with varying budgets. This means that there is always a kayak for you regardless of your budget and this article is focused on the best kayaks under $200. For a budget below $200, you can get a practical kayak that will serve you well and ensure you have a nice time on the water.

The main thing about kayaks under $200 is practicality. They are designed to provide you with all you need to get paddling and exclude any fancy or unnecessary features. These kayaks are especially suited for beginners or people who don’t kayak very often.

There are several brands on the market offering kayaks under $200 and I’ve done a lot of research and testing to come up with a list of the best kayaks under $200 available today. Continue reading to find them out.

The 7 Best Kayaks Under 200 Dollars for 2021

Intex Explorer K2 KayakOur Top Pick

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump

$229.99  in stock
47 new from $200.00
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:15 am

I start this list with the Intex Explorer K2 which I think is very awesome for a kayak under $200. The K2 is an inflatable kayak that confers superb compactness and portability on it. This kayak weighs just 14 pounds and it fits into a backpack-sized storage bag when deflated. This makes it very convenient and easy to transport or store the Intex K2 yak.

This kayak is made of rugged and high-quality vinyl that features a 30 gauge construction. As a result, the K2 is very durable and can easily withstand punctures, tears, bumps, and so on. I think the concern of most people about yaks under $200 is durability. However, the K2 can last for a very long time with proper maintenance.

With a load capacity of 400 lbs, the K2 is capable of accommodating two people – one large paddler and an average paddler. This kayak functions well on lakes or a quiet river as it’s very stable and easy to maneuver. There is also a removable skeg for directional stability. I must also mention how comfortable this kayak is as it makes paddling more comfortable.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: inflatable kayak / sit-inside kayak
  • Kayak size:  10ft 3 in x 3 ft / 312 x 91 cm
  • Kayak weight:  30.6 lbs / 13.9 kg
  • Weight capacity:  400 lbs / 180 kg
  • Person Capacity: 2 persons

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Directional stability.
  • Easy to maneuver.
  • Comfortable.
  • Rugged material.

Cons

  • Paddles are not adjustable and may be a bit short for some paddlers.

Intex Challenger Kayak Series

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump

$146.99
$90.99
 in stock
43 new from $90.99
1 used from $167.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:15 am

Thanks to the hull design of this kayak, the Intex Challenger glides comfortably on water. This combined with the fact that this yak performs well in windy conditions makes the Intex Challenger a great buy for beginners and a kayak under $200. The smaller design of this kayak makes paddling easy and this makes it easier to maneuver this vessel. And being an inflatable kayak, it is very easy to transport or store this vessel.

Thanks to the damage and puncture-resistant material, this kayak is very durable and can take a bit of abuse. It can withstand sharp objects, punctures, and tears. And should any part of the yak get damaged, there is a repair kit included in the package to help you fix it.

This yak is also very comfortable thanks to the included adjustable seats that have back support. There is also more legroom in this vessel due to its size and this makes it more comfortable to sit on this kayak. There is also enough space for you to store your gear thanks to the built-in cargo storage net.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: inflatable kayak / sit-inside kayak
  • Kayak size:  11.5ft x 2.5 ft / 350 x 76.2 cm
  • Kayak weight:  37.7 lbs / 17 kg
  • Weight capacity:  400 lbs / 180 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1-2 persons

Pros

  • Easy to transport and store.
  • Excellent performance on water.
  • Comfortable.
  • Sufficient storage space.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • The included hand pump isn’t the easiest to use.

Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:15 am

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 kayak is a product of smart and efficient design. It comes packed in a very light and neat-looking backpack which will be used to transport or store the kayak. The Quikpak K1 can be assembled and inflated in less than 5 minutes and this will even decrease with time as you get more familiar with the kayak.

It is impressive to see the backpack of this kayak turn into a comfy-padded seat. You can now see why I called this kayak a product of smart and efficient design.

This kayak is made from strong and rugged 21-gauge PVC which confers incredible durability on this vessel. I like that the bottom is further reinforced with tarpaulin to make it more resistant to punctures and tears. After all, it’s the bottom of kayaks that receiving the most abuse.

You’ll find bungee cords in the storage area of this kayak and they help secure your gear. The adjustable footrests included in this kayak is a nice touch as it makes you more comfortable as you paddle your way across the water. While this kayak is designed to accommodate one person, it can easily accommodate very large paddlers comfortably.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  inflatable kayak / sit-inside kayak
  • Kayak size: 8.58 ft x 3 ft / 261 x 91 cm
  • Kayak weight: 38 lbs / 18 kg
  • Weight capacity:  400 lbs / 180 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person

Pros

  • Smart and efficient design.
  • Light and portable.
  • Comfy-padded seat.
  • Good performance on water.
  • Incredible durability.

Cons

  • N/A.

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle, 6 Feet, Green

$169.00  in stock
8 new from $169.00
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:15 am

Remember when I said kayaking is a sport for all? I wasn’t kidding! The Lifetime Youth Wave is a sit-on-top kayak designed for kids because they deserve to enjoy the fun of kayaking too.

This kayak is a great way to introduce your child to kayaking and is already considered a wonderful “starter kayak” by many parents. This kayak weighs about 18 pounds. Now, your child can’t carry this but one parent easily can so this is not a problem.

I also like the weight capacity of 130 lbs as this allows older kids to use this yak. It’s easy to enter or exit this kayak and there is even a swim-up ladder that allows kids to easily get back inside the yak when they go swimming. The Lifetime Youth Wave has an ergonomic cockpit and comfortable seat that helps improve the balance and motor skills of your kids.

I’m impressed with how easy it is for kids to paddle this yak. And it’s also very stable and difficult to capsize. This kayak is a great gift to give your child on any gift-giving occasion. I’ve heard reports of kids completely overjoyed at being gifted this kayak by their parents and literally sleeping in it at home because they now have a yak to call their own, haha.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  sit-on-top kayak
  • Kayak size: 6 ft x 1.99 ft / 183 x 60.9 cm
  • Kayak weight: 18 lbs / 8.6 kg
  • Weight capacity:  130 lbs / 59 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Excellent starter kayak.
  • Superb stability.
  • Easy to paddle.
  • Comfortable seat.
  • Great gift idea.
  • Long-lasting.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Bestway Hydro-Force Koracle Kayak

Bestway Hydro-Force Koracle Inflatable Kayak Set | Includes Double-Sided Paddle, Built-In Oar Clasps, Fishing Rod Holders, & Storage Compartments | Convenient & Portable Kayak w/ Hand Pump, Model: 65097E

$216.77  in stock
3 new from $216.77
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:15 am

I think the lemon green color of this kayak is pretty cool. But the color is for more than aesthetics as it increases your visibility on the water in case of an emergency.

The Bestway Hydro-Force kayak is a powerful budget vessel that performs excellently on lakes, oceans, or rivers. It’s an inflatable kayak that fits into a small backpack and thus, can be carried around or stored easily. You can easily bring this kayak along on a car, train, bus, and even a plane. And it’s very easy to inflate or deflate this kayak.

Made of sturdy PVC, this is a very rugged kayak that can withstand almost anything you throw at it. The seat is very comfortable and there is even an adjustable footrest for added comfort. Fishing enthusiasts are going to fall with this kayak as it comes with rod holders.

You are just minutes away from getting in the water and hopefully making a big catch. All the accessories you need including a repair bag are included in the package.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  sit-on-top kayak
  • Kayak size: 8.8 ft x 3.3 ft / 270 x 101 cm
  • Kayak weight: 44 lbs / 19.8 kg
  • Weight capacity:  330 lbs / 150 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person

Pros

  • Light and compact.
  • Easy to inflate/deflate.
  • Comfortable.
  • Rugged.
  • Includes rod holders.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • The oars could be better.

Bestway Hydro-Force Cove Champion Kayak

Bestway Hydro-Force Cove Champion Inflatable Kayak Set | Includes Double-Sided Paddle, Extra Storage, Grab Rope, & Hand Pump | Convenient & Portable Kayak

$124.01  in stock
5 new from $124.01
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:15 am

This is the second Bestway kayak on this list and that should tell you that the brand makes good budget yaks. With a weight limit of 220 lbs, this kayak is designed to be used by one person and can easily accommodate larger paddlers. Thanks to the excellent stability and maneuverability, this kayak performs excellently on lakes, rivers, or oceans.

This kayak is an inflatable kayak and is very compact and portable. This offers ease of transport and storage to kayakers. Inflation and deflation are also fast and easy, And you are just a couple of minutes away from being on top of the water. The spacious cockpit and comfortable seats make this Bestway kayak very comfortable. Thanks to the large storage compartment, you can use this kayak for long kayaking expeditions.

All necessary accessories – double-sided paddle, air hammer hand pump, and a heavy-duty repair patch – are included in the package. And the high-quality PVC material makes this kayak durable and long-lasting.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: inflatable kayak / sit-inside kayak
  • Kayak size: 9 ft x 2.7 ft / 274 x 81 cm
  • Kayak weight: 42 lbs / 19.01 kg
  • Weight capacity:  220 lbs / 99.7 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person

Pros

  • Compact and portable.
  • Good stability.
  • Excellent maneuverability.
  • Includes all necessary accessories.
  • Long-lasting.

Cons

  • Included paddles could be better. You could however get a quality paddle for a small fee.

Sevylor Fiji Kayak

Sevylor Fiji 2-Person Kayak

$260.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:15 am

The Sevylor Fiji is a great budget kayak for beginners and recreational paddlers. You aren’t going to be able to do some kayaking with this vessel but you’ll have a nice time on lakes and quiet rivers.

Thanks to the 22-gauge PVC material, this kayak is very strong and durable. It’ll be able to resist sharp objects and consequently punctures and tears. And should there be a tear on this yak, it’s not going to sink thanks to the multiple air chambers.

Inflating this kayak is quick and easy, thanks to the mini-double lock and double lock valves, and you are just minutes away from getting on the water. The airtight system ensures that no leakage ensures allowing this yak to remain inflated after inflation. This kayak can accommodate 1-2 persons. You just have to remove the middle seat to adapt this kayak for one-person use.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  inflatable kayak / sit-inside kayak
  • Kayak size: 10.4 ft x 2.9 ft / 317 x 88 cm
  • Kayak weight: 22 lbs / 9.98 kg
  • Weight capacity:  400 lbs / 180 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1-2 persons

Pros

  • Excellent budget kayak.
  • Quick inflation and deflation times.
  • Very stable.
  • Air-tight system.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Included paddles could be better. You could however get a quality paddle for a small fee.

Other Buying Options:

Best Kayaks under $200 – The Guide 

Now that you know the best kayaks under $200 available on the market, I’ll now be taking through a buying guide. Here, you’ll learn all you need to know about budget kayaks so you can choose the one that best meets your needs. Below are things to consider before buying a kayak under $200.

What Can You Expect From A Kayak Under $200?

Kayaks can be as expensive as a thousand dollars and above. When you consider this, it may seem that kayaks under $200 can potentially offer you very little. However, this is not so. The difference between a kayak that costs less than $200 and the more expensive ones is the features.

The more expensive kayaks have a number of extra features. These features are more or less luxury (from the beginner’s point of view at least) that make those yaks look professional. Chances are that a beginner has no need for these extra bells and whistles.

So, kayaks under $200 contain the basic features that a kayaker needs. Eliminating the extra features is what makes their price as low as $200. I’ve seen some quality yaks under $200 offering performance rivaling some yaks that cost $400 or $600.

Beginner kayakers should consider buying kayaks under $200 as a ‘starter yak’. They can then upgrade to a more expensive kayak after gaining some experience. Starting with an expensive yak may not be the best idea as they are more difficult to maneuver. People that kayak a couple of times a month should also consider getting kayaks under $200.

Experienced or professional kayakers will need more features than what a kayak under $200 can offer and thus, should go for more advanced models.

Sit-Inside vs. Sit-on-Top Kayaks

Sit-on-top kayaks have an open cockpit that allows the kayaker to easily enter or exit the kayak. As the name implies, you sit ‘on top’ of this type of kayak. There’s more storage space due to the open design. Sit-inside kayaks are what comes to mind when people are talking about kayaks. They have an enclosed cockpit and you actually ‘sit inside’ the kayak.

Your climate and the type of activity you intend to participate in will determine the type of kayak you choose. Sit-on-top yaks are ideal for hot climates as the open cockpit exposes you to the elements. The wind as well as splashes of water that get into the yak keep you cool. On the other hand, sit-inside kayaks are ideal for colder climates as you are protected from the elements.

Rigid vs. Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks, as the name implies, can be inflated. These types of kayaks are easy to store and transport since they are about the size of a backpack when deflated. You can take them on a bus, train, car, bike, and even a plane.

For storage, you can store them under your bed, inside your closet, or in a corner in your room. Inflatable kayaks also have the benefit of being cheaper than other types of kayaks. However, inflatable kayaks are more affected by the elements and require more maintenance to prevent foul smell or algae growth.

Rigid kayaks are not as portable as the inflatables and are made of plastic, wood, fiberglass, and so on.This type of kayaks are generally sturdier than the inflatables and can withstand the elements better. Also, they require less maintenance than inflatable models.

Best kayaks under 200 - guide

How to Choose Your Kayak

Materials – Durability

Kayaks are made from different materials. The quality and type of materials which a kayak is made of will determine how sturdy/durable the kayak will be. Polyethylene is a popular material used to manufacture inflatable kayaks because it is affordable and strong. However, polyethylene is susceptible to UV damage. Manufacturers are now producing polyethylene kayaks to be more resistant to UV damage.

PVC is another material used to manufacture inflatable kayaks. It’s also susceptible to UV damage like polyethylene but some UV protection can also be impacted on the material. Some kayaks are also made of rotomold.

Rigid kayaks are made of materials like fiberglass, composite, and so on. And they are generally sturdier than inflatable kayaks.

Comfort

Comfort is one feature of a kayak you shouldn’t make any compromise on. Many kayaking expeditions have been ruined due to the kayaker feeling uncomfortable and experiencing pains/aches after getting on the water. As a result, always buy kayaks with comfortable seats. Some kayaks even have adjustable footrests for added comfort.

Weight & Portability

It’s important you put the portability of a kayak into consideration before buying as this will determine the ease of storage and transport. If you don’t own a car or don’t have storage space like a shed, garage, or barn in your home, then you are better off going for an inflatable kayak which will be about the size of a backpack when deflated. This makes it easy to store and transport it.

On the other hand, if you own a car and have enough storage space in your home, you should consider taking a look at rigid kayaks especially if you want yaks that are sturdier and more resistant to the elements.

Weight Capacity

There is a limit to the amount of burden a kayak can carry. And that’s why manufacturers specify the weight limit of kayaks. You should make sure any kayak you are buying can easily accommodate you, especially if your body size is on the larger side, and your gear. Exceeding the weight capacity of your yak will have an effect on how long it lasts as the kayak will wear out a lot faster.

Final Thoughts

These kayaks under 200 dollars are proof that you can enjoy a full kayaking experience without breaking the bank. These kayaks have all the basic features you need to have a nice time on the water. So, if you are a beginner or recreational paddler, you should take a look at these kayaks and you’ll be getting the bargain of the century!

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