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Best Kayaks Under 300 Dollars – Our Top Picks for 2024

Exploration Junkie is reader-supported. If you buy through links on this page we may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.  As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. At the time of publication, all listed kayaks were $300 or less.

Owning a kayak is really exciting but the process of buying one can be complex. The first thing that determines the type of kayak you buy is obviously your budget. Kayaks, especially the high-end, models aren’t exactly cheap. But there are a number of budget kayaks you can get with a budget under $300. These kayaks are ideal as starter kayaks for beginner and recreational paddlers.

The best kayaks under $300 mentioned on this page provide you with all the essential features you need to get paddling and master kayaking. People that are also new to kayaking and don’t know how much time they are going to dedicate to the sport or how and whether they are going to advance the hobby should take a look at these kayaks. As you become more experienced in the sport, you may consider upgrading to a more expensive yak if you have the budget.

I’ve done a lot of testing and research to come up with a list of the very best kayaks under $300. I’m talking about cost-effective, efficient, and durable kayaks that will provide you with a full kayaking experience. Continue reading to learn more about these yaks.

The 7 Best Kayaks Under 300 Dollars for 2024

Emotion Guster Sit-Inside Kayak

Emotion Kayaks Guster 10 Sit-in Kayak, Lightning

 out of stock
as of April 21, 2024 4:57 pm

I’ll start with the shape and design of this kayak which I think is pretty cool. And I like that this yak comes in different color options so you can choose the one you like the most. The Emotion Guster kayak is going to get admiring glances from fellow kayakers when you go paddling.

However, this vessel isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s very compact and portable and this makes it very easy to carry and store. The carry handle definitely makes carrying this vessel from your car to the store very easy.

Thanks to the adjustable padded seat, this kayak is very comfortable which will contribute to an enjoyable experience on water. The weight capacity of 275 lbs will accommodate most paddlers and their gear. This kayak is very stable and difficult to capsize.

There are front and rear shock cord straps that you can use to secure your gear. And there is an oval hatch beneath the deck which provides more storage space.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  sit-inside kayak
  • Kayak size:  10ft x 2.5 ft / 312 x 76 cm
  • Kayak weight:  48 lbs / 22 kg
  • Weight capacity:  275 lbs / 125 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person


  • Aesthetically pleasing.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Adjustable padded seat.
  • Very stable.
  • Long-lasting.


  • The built-in storage is not water-resistant. However, you can always put a dry bag there.

Perception Hi Five Kids Kayak

Perception Kayaks Hi Five | Sit on Top Kids Kayak for Kids up to 120 Lbs. | Youth Kayak with Paddle | 6' 6" | Déjà vu

$370.75  in stock
as of April 21, 2024 4:57 pm

Kids gotta have their own kayak, right? The Perception Hi Five is an excellent kayak for children and a way to introduce them to what is one of the greatest water sports of all time. I like that Perception designed this kayak in such a way that it can be paddled standing or sitting. The 2 piece paddle is designed for the small hands of kids as it features smaller blades and handles diameter.

The elevated seat is very comfortable and makes paddling easier for the kids. As this is a sit-on-top kayak, entry and exit are very easy and kids can leave the kayak to go swimming. Getting back into the yak after swimming is very easy thanks to the rear swim-up deck. There’s also a kid hitch and tether system that allows your kid to attach his/her yak to your own and get a tow when they are tired or simply for fun.

This yak is upgradable as you can always add paddle leashes and tethers, deck pads, and so on. The Perception Hi Five kayak is a great gift to give your kids on any gift-giving occasion and the smile this vessel will bring to their face will let you know you’ve made the right decision.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  sit-on-top kayak
  • Kayak size:  6ft 6 in x 2 ft / 198 x 61 cm
  • Kayak weight:  21 lbs / 9.5 kg
  • Weight capacity:  120 lbs / 54 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person


  • Excellent starter kayak for kids.
  • Light and portable.
  • Very stable and difficult to capsize.
  • Easy entry and exit.
  • Easy to paddle.
  • Comfortable seats.
  • Durable.


  • No major shortcomings.

Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe Inflatable Kayak

Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe 2 Person Inflatable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat w/ Pump & Oars

$242.99  in stock
as of April 21, 2024 4:57 pm

Everything about the Sea Eagle 330 kayak is all about convenience. This kayak is an inflatable kayak and is about the size of a backpack when deflated. This makes it very easy to transport and store this kayak. Inflating this kayak is also very easy thanks to the quality pump included in the package. The inflation process takes a couple of minutes and you’ll be on the water paddling in no time.

Thanks to the extra-thick K-80 polykrylar hull material, this kayak is very rugged and durable. It can withstand sharp objects and consequently punctures, tears, and so on. The I-beam construction and nine-inch tubes make this kayak very stable and capable of withstanding class III rapids. You’ll find 2 skegs on the bottom of this yak and they bring about better tracking and speed.

The interior of the Sea Eagle 330 is very roomy and there are two removable and comfortable seats. A number of accessories such as paddles, hand pump, carry bag, and repair kit are included in the package.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  inflatable kayak / sit-inside kayak
  • Kayak size: 11ft x 2.8 ft / 335 x 86 cm
  • Kayak weight: 26 lbs / 12 kg
  • Weight capacity:  500 lbs / 227 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1-2 persons


  • Easy to transport and store.
  • Quick to inflate and deflate.
  • Excellent stability on water. Can withstand class III rapids.
  • Good tracking.
  • Very rugged and durable.


  • No major shortcomings.

Sevylor Quikpak K5 KayakOur Top Pick

Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak , Gray

$109.89  in stock
5 new from $109.89
2 used from $105.49
Free shipping
as of April 21, 2024 4:57 pm

The Sevylor Quikpak K5 kayak is an inflatable kayak with a smart and efficient design. Starting with the size of the Quikpak K5, it’s one of the most convenient kayaks to transport or store thanks to the compact and portable design. This yak folds into a backpack when deflated and the backpack turns into a comfy and padded seat that brings about an enjoyable kayaking experience. Talk about efficiency at its best.

It’s very easy to inflate this kayak with the inflation process typically taking less than five minutes. The 24-gauge PVC material is very rugged and confers incredible durability on this kayak. The bottom of this yak is further designed with tarpaulin and polyester for extra protection as it’s the part that’s going to receive the most abuse.

Thanks to the multiple air chamber, this kayak will not sink should it ever be punctured. And the airtight system ensures that the kayak remains inflated after inflation. And the double lock valves make the inflation/deflation process easier as they use two locking points.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  inflatable kayak / sit-inside kayak
  • Kayak size: 10ft x 2 ft 8 in / 304 x 81 cm
  • Kayak weight: 25.5 lbs / 11.6 kg
  • Weight capacity:  250 lbs / 113 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person


  • Smart and efficient design.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Airtight system.
  • Easy to inflate/deflate.
  • Good stability.
  • Durable.


  • The included paddle isn’t the most comfortable. However, you could always get better ones for a small fee.

Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak

Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle, Sandstone, 101"

$520.78  in stock
2 new from $520.78
as of April 21, 2024 4:57 pm

I like the color of this yak which I think is pretty cool and eye-catching. The Lifetime Hydros Kayak is very lightweight and easy to transport. You can easily transport this kayak with your vehicle without it constituting any burden. And it’s easy to transport this yak from your car to the shore thanks to the front t-handle. Storage at home is easy as far as you have a bit of space.

On the water, this kayak has proven to have good speed and stability. It’s difficult to capsize this yak and it’s easy to get in and out. You can even get out of the yak when to swim and return easily by using the molded-in swim-up deck. There are front and rear shock cord straps that help to secure your cargo.

Made of high-density polyethylene that is UV protected, this kayak is very durable and you’ll be using it for a long time thereby getting value for your money. There are two flush rod holders which fishing enthusiasts are going to appreciate as well as an adjustable rod holder.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  sit-on-top kayak
  • Kayak size: 8.4ft x 2.4 ft / 256 x 74 cm
  • Kayak weight: 38 lbs / 17 kg
  • Weight capacity:  225 lbs / 101 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person


  • Cool and eye-catching color.
  • Easy entry/exit.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry/store.
  • Good speed and stability.
  • Includes rod holders.
  • Good durability.


  • The included paddle is a bit short.

Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 Kayak

Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 Person Inflatable Kayak

$355.38  in stock
4 new from $322.98
Free shipping
as of April 21, 2024 4:57 pm

The Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 has an interesting and unique shape that’s attention-grabbing. But you see, the Lagoon 1 is a very powerful budget kayak that will provide you with an enjoyable kayaking experience. It’s lightweight, compact, and easy to transport or store. The inflation process is fast which means you’ll be getting in the water as soon as possible.

There are built-in rigid panels on the bow and stern to improve tracking. This allows this kayak to perform well on lakes, mild rivers, bays, and so on. The Lagoon 1 is also very stable, difficult to capsize, and easy to maneuver.

Thanks to the padded high-support seat and foam floor, this kayak is very comfortable. And this allows you to paddle for as long as you want without feeling any pain/aches. Also, there’s a zippered mesh storage bag where you can store items securely and safe from water.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: inflatable kayak / sit-inside kayak
  • Kayak size: 8’4” ft x 34 in / 254 x 86 cm
  • Kayak weight: 23 lbs / 10 kg
  • Weight capacity:  250 lbs / 113 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person


  • Lightweight and easy to carry and store.
  • Eye-catching design.
  • Quick inflation and deflation times.
  • Padded seats make this yak very comfortable.
  • Sturdy and long-lasting.


  • No major shortcomings.

MaxKare Kids Kayak

MaxKare Kids Kayak Youth Kayak with Foldable Back Rest, Cup Holders, Front & Rear Storage Hatches, Paddle, 6.1' Feet, 3 footrest Positions, Ages Years 5 and up,Weight Capacity of 121 lbs

$259.99  out of stock
3 new from $259.99
as of April 21, 2024 4:57 pm

This is another kayak designed for kids. The MaxKare kid kayak is very lightweight and can be easily carried by one parent. There are also handles that make it easy to transport this yak from the car to the shore. The high-density polyethylene material used to manufacture this kayak results in a very sturdy and durable product. It’s easy to paddle to this kayak and your kid will get the hang of it in a matter of seconds.

The maximum weight of 121 lbs allows older kids to also use this kayak. The folding backrest and grooved cockpit keep your kid comfortable when paddling. The adjustable footrest also improves comfort in the yak. And the ergonomic design teaches your child balance as he/she curiously navigates the waters.

There are storage hatches at the front and rear as well as two cup holders. And there are bungee straps that help to keep the gear in place. This kayak is a great gift to give your child on his/her birthday, during Christmas, New Year, and any other gift-giving occasion.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type:  sit-on-top kayak
  • Kayak size: 6 ft x 2 ft / 182x 62 cm
  • Kayak weight: 21 lbs / 9.5 kg
  • Weight capacity:  121 lbs / 54 kg
  • Person Capacity: 1 person


  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Stable and easy to paddle.
  • Great gift idea.
  • Durable.


  • No major shortcoming.

Best Kayaks under $300 – The Guide 

Now that you know the best kayaks under $300 available on the market, I’ll be taking you through a buying guide. There are a number of things that one must consider before buying a kayak in order to choose a yak that best meets your needs. Below are factors you should consider when getting a kayak.

What Can You Expect From A Kayak Under $300?

I get this question a lot from people as they worry about the performance and durability of kayaks below $300. I don’t think I have to point out that high-end kayaks are more sophisticated than those that fall under $300. This sophistication is the reason behind the price difference. And the good news is that beginner and recreational paddlers have no use for most features on high-end models.

You can expect kayaks under $300 to provide you with the basic features you need to get paddling. There are even some hidden gems (which I made sure to include on this list) that perform almost as well as kayaks costing $500 or $600. Most yaks under $300 are suited for lake and quiet river use but some can handle rougher waters.

As a beginner kayak, a kayak under $300 will provide you with all you need and help you master kayaking. The more expensive yaks may be a bit too much for beginners but that’s not to say you should not go for more expensive yaks if you have the budget. Ideally, I think beginner kayakers should first buy a budget kayak as a “starter kayak”. The reason for this is that they don’t need too many features when starting out and also don’t know how you are going to develop your new hobby.

When it comes to durability, kayaks under $300 can last a long time with proper maintenance and prove to be a total bargain.

Experienced or professional kayakers will need more features than what a kayak under $200 or $300 can offer and thus, should go for more advanced models.

Sit-Inside vs. Sit-on-Top Kayaks

In a sit-on-top kayak, the seat is built “on top” of the kayak. As a result, you are exposed to the elements while you actually “sit inside” a sit-inside kayak. Your legs will be underneath the yak in a sit-in kayak. Sit-inside kayaks are what come to the mind of most people when a kayak is being talked about.

Both types of kayaks have their advantages and disadvantages. Sit-on-top kayaks are known to bring about increased mobility since it is easy to enter and exit them. You can easily leave a sit-on-top kayak to go swimming and then enter the yak back when you are done.

So a sit-on-top kayak is an ideal choice if you intend to go swimming during a kayaking expedition. You are more exposed to the elements in a sit-on-top kayak and this is an advantage in hot climates as you receive enough wind and water splashes to keep you cool.

Sit-inside kayaks protect you better from the elements and are especially useful in colder climates. But there is nothing stopping you from using a sit-inside kayak in warmer climates.

Rigid vs. Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks have become very popular over the years due to the unparalleled ease of transport and storage they offer. Since they are about the size of a backpack when deflated, you can easily bring them in a car, bus, train, and even a plane.

This is particularly beneficial for people that don’t own a car. Storage is also easy as you can just toss them in the back of your closet or under your bed. Inflatable kayaks require more maintenance if you want to last long.

Rigid kayaks are the traditional type of kayaks and are made of materials like wood, fiberglass, composite, and so on. They are more expensive and sturdier than the inflatables since they are better able to withstand the elements. However, transport will be problematic if you don’t own a car or have a place like a garage or a barn to store. However, rigid kayaks require little to no maintenance.

Best kayaks under 300 - guide

How to Choose Your Kayak

Materials – Durability

The three most popular materials used to manufacture kayaks are polyethylene, ABS, and composite. Polyethylene is the cheapest and heaviest. However, there is the drawback of the material being susceptible to UV damage on exposure to sunlight.

ABS is more expensive than polyethylene and can withstand UV damage better. Manufacturers are now producing polyethylene and ABS to be more resistant to UV damage.

Composite is made from fiberglass or ultra-light carbon fiber. They are lighter than other types of materials and also a lot more expensive. It’s more common to see manufacturers using other types of materials since they make kayaks more affordable to most people.


I’m always ranting about never compromising the comfort of your kayak in every kayak related article I write. This is because your kayaking expedition will only be as enjoyable as the level of comfort your kayak offers. Imagine getting on the water and start experiencing pains and aches after just about 20 – 30 minutes. Yeah, not cool.

Always go for yaks with well-padded and cushioned seats. It’s even better if the yak has an adjustable footrest as this makes you more comfortable.

Weight & Portability

The size of your kayak will determine how easy it’ll be to store or transport it. Inflatable kayaks are by design easy to transport or store since they fit into a backpack when deflated. Rigid kayaks are not as convenient to transport if you don’t own a car.

But even if you own a car, you should still be mindful of the size of the rigid ou buy if you decide to go for one especially if you have to move the yak a long distance from your car to shore. Of course, you can still buy a bigger yak and solve the problem of moving it from your car to the shore by using a kayak cart.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of your kayak is the maximum amount of load it can carry. You should always be mindful of the weight capacity and ensure not to exceed it. Exceeding the weight capacity of your vessel means you’ll be sitting too low in the water and this will affect your paddling efficiency. Also, your yak will wear out faster.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the best kayaks under 300 dollars available on the market today. These kayaks will allow you to enjoy a full kayaking experience without spending an arm or a leg. You should take a look at these yaks if you are on a budget or are a beginner or recreational paddler.

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