Your kids can also enjoy the wonderful experience of kayaking. However, care and attention must be taken to ensure the safety of your kid while kayaking. Similar to the adult kayak, except that kid kayak comes in a smaller size and with extra safety measures.
Read further on our expert guide to choosing the best kayak for kids while some of the best kids kayak will be reviewed.
Kids kayak comes with a shorter length compared to adult kayaks. This length is ideal for kids as they will do most of their kayaking in slow and gentle rivers. Short-length kayaks are easy to maneuver than longer boats. They are much lighter and easy to control and move around. Most kid’s kayaks are pre designed to fit most kid size.
Weight ratings should be checked before choosing a kayak size for your kid. Manufacturers will usually state the acceptable weight range for users which is all you need to make your choice.
If your child has a lighter weight than the weight recommended, it could mean that he is not yet ready for kayaking and need to grow a bit. Also, if your child’s weight is above the recommended weight, you may need to choose a larger kids kayak.
Sit-on Top Kayaks
This kayak style varies distinctly from the traditional sit in adult kayak. Sit on top kayaks are ideal for kids with its simplicity and durability.
Designed from molded plastic with the seat placed on the deck. It’s quite easier for kids to mount and get off the boat. It offers stability as it holds kids in place and prevents them from accidentally flipping or rolling into the water.
If water enters the kayak, it has self-draining holes that siphons the water away and prevents it from accumulating. However, if your preference is for a traditional sit in boat, you could still find some of them.
Read more: Best sit-on top kayak reviews 2019
Adding a Tow Rope
A decent number of kid’s kayaks are pre attached with a tow rope or similar feature.
Why is this important?
Think about you being a mile into a 6 mile trip on water and your kid decides to abruptly stop paddling. Then imagine there is no way to rescue or speed up your tired, scared and upset kid.
Ensure you tie a 20ft rope permanently kids’ kayak front so it will be easy to pull them off the river bank, bush, or wherever they are stuck or tired. This is essential for your kid’s safety while kayaking.
The width of your kayak to a large extent determines the stability of the boat. Wider kayaks generally offer greater stability and are less prone to flipping. This is an important feature to consider in a kids boat.
The hull design too is important just like the width. While most kayaks come with a round bottom, the double hull is the most stable hull shape for your kids’ safety.
Other Stability Features
Some other features need to be considered for kid’s safety aside from the boat width. The chines are located on kayak hull and help to stabilize it. Kid’s kayaks could come with reverse chines.
Essentially, these are fins that assist in the boat lateral stability and it keeps a straight track as your child paddle. Watch out for kayaks with chines, fins and skegs as they all enhance the boats stability and tracking.
Buyers often overlook this simple but useful feature in a kayak. Paddle holders are hollow parts in the plastic which comprise of a shock cord which helps to hold the paddle in place. They appear simple but they are useful.
Best Kids Kayak Reviews
1. Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak
The reason this kayak is top rated and reviewed as the best kayak for kids isn’t a surprise any longer. Affordability, portability, efficiency and simplicity in it answer it all. This is exactly what we look for in a good kids kayak. The youth kayak makes for easy maneuverability and steering without stress as a result of its short length.
Kids tend to experience difficulty while paddling and steering in a straight course as a result of the strength of short kayaks. This makes the youth kayak peculiar because it is built to enable lateral support through a backward chine while paddling.
The Wave kayak, similar to other plastic kids kayak in this category, has features like an intimidating design for the hulk, intended to maintain stability. At the bottom is a hulk designed with both a pontoon and reversible chines. This enables the safety of your child, avoiding irrelevant falls.
The paddle included in it is one of the most amazing features of this kayak. It is common in kids kayak because it is somewhat difficult to get paddles for kids anywhere. Another cool feature of the Youth kayak for kids is its step-up design. It is built in such a way that it is sloped down towards the waterline to enable children get on the kayak easily in case they get off to swim or fall by accident.
Numerous unique features of this kayak make it a good choice for kids. It is simple, safe and easy to use. Its weight is 18 pounds but about 130 pounds of gear can be carried on it comfortably.
It is suitable for children who are beginners in kayaking and are learning. They should also be below 130 pounds.
- Has a weight of 18 pounds
- Long lasting shaped design
- Presence of paddle
- Firm hull design
2. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
Kayaks such as this that can be inflated have numerous advantages over their counterparts. Another amazing kid’s kayak from Intex is an inflatable one designed for just one rider with a hand pump with relatively high pressure, included in it to get it ready for a cruise at any time.
A peculiar feature to this particular kayak is deck support. Apart from its inflatable feature, deck rigging is very good.
Your kids grow and going on long trips with them may not be business as usual. They may want to carry their own belongings as well. Extra space is made available by the deck rig on this kayak to enable them put their gear, food etc.
Boats that can be inflated are a good choice for so many reasons. They occupy less space when stored because they can be deflated. This therefore means that in a situation where your kids make use of their kayak just once in a year, you won’t bother about it occupying space in your garage.
You should note that the Challenge kayak is somewhat big in size; therefore it is advisable for kids who are bigger or a bit older. It is capable of taking 220 pounds comfortably on it, thus can be used by adults. It is suitable for storage and ease of transport in an inflatable kayak.
- Has a weight of 27 pounds and can carry 220 pounds of gear
- Has an air pump with high pressure
- Presence of paddle
- Numerous deck rigs
3. Best Choice 6 inches Kids Kayak
The Best Choice Sports kayak is your best option if you want your children to be able to paddle easily on a kayak that isn’t stressful.
Not your popular brand but definitely the best choice for your recreational kayaks. They have a good number of leisure kayaks to choose from. It is similar to a well-known adult kayak that helps children learn paddling.
It weighs just 18 pounds generally making it easy for you to handle. The seats are padded and arranged such that long paddles can be comfortable.
The experience of discomfort just after a few minutes of a long trip can be frustrating. It is the same for kids as well. A well-padded seat is always a good thing. They can easily learn to enter and leave the kayak because it is a sit on kayak. This helps build their confidence levels and makes for easy adaptation to bigger kayaks when they get older.
It is suitable for instructing children on using kayaks and is a great choice for kid’s kayaks.
- Has a weight of 18 pounds
- Inclusion of a paddle
- Comfortable seat with padding
- Can carry about 115 – 130 pounds of gear
4. Ocean Banzai Kids Kayak
This is a kayak that has both the features of a regular kayak and a sit in kayak. It has many great features that make it a smooth transition into adult kayaking for children.
The Banzai kayak is more advanced than the traditional kayak. Kid kayaks are usually short and wide but this somewhat ocean kayak has a more old fashioned design.
Learning with this kayak can be challenging, nevertheless, it prepares kids for advanced boats when they start using adult kayaks. The towing system incorporated into it makes it more exciting as kids tend to get tired while kayaking despite its design.
You won’t see a paddle though. It is not included on this boat but one can choose to get a good children boat paddle. Another interesting feature is the cup holder on the kayak. Kids also get thirsty while paddling thus they need a drink. Seeing such comfortable features on this kayak is a great thing. It is suitable for grown up kids who can handle advanced paddling.
- Has a weight of 36 pounds
- Designed as a single piece
- Towing system that can be dragged
- A skid plate that can be replaced
5. Old Town Junior Kids Kayak
Another beautiful kayak on our list of best kid’s kayaks is the Old Town Canoes & Heron Junior. It is a sit in kayak, quite different from other kayaks made from polyethylene. This makes it easy to be turned and steered, one feature a sit on top kayak can’t do. Stability and support is taken care of with the presence of shaped skegs.
It also has front and back handles for easy carriage and movement in and out of the water. It is made specifically for kids and is padded at the seat to give the child comfort while paddling, making the experience worthwhile.
If the child becomes tired from paddling, the kayak has a towing mechanism to enable you tow the boat at your back. The disadvantage of this kayak is the absence of a paddle. It is the best choice for a less expensive sit inside kids kayak to teach your kids to paddle.
- Has a weight of 26 pounds
- Towing mechanism to enable them tag along
- Comfortable seats, contoured with padding
- Designed cockpit
Regardless of your kid’s age, and preference, these five kayaks will definitely meet your need. From the Lifetime Youth Kayak which tops our list as the best overall for its amazing features, ease of paddling and quality while the Intex Challenger is the best budget product.