Top 11 Best Kayak Under 500: Experts Opinion

Best Kayak Under 500
Best Kayak Under 500

Kayaks are a pretty affordable vessel, but the sense of affordability isn’t the same for everyone. For example, some people can afford apartments in Manhattan, and I have to sell my organs for that.

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t own any apartments at all, and things are the same with kayaks.

It may have happened that you browsed through all those kayaks that are expensive, but they have everything you want. Sometimes it is hard to find substitutes for your favorite things as you’re fascinated by them. 

Therefore, I am taking the responsibility to introduce you to the best kayak under 500 that can finally give you the kayaking thrill you were craving.

Top 12 best kayaks under 500:

Wilderness System Ripper

A. Wilderness System Ripper


With 8 feet length and 30 inches width, this kayak is extremely stable and quick. It provides a playful experience and helps you to ride the water without any fear of capsizing. 

As this kayak is a sit-on kayak, so there is no way of getting water on your cockpit. It has an adjustable seat with backrest that ensures no cramps after you are done with your kayaking. Moreover, it comes with a molded-in footrest that allows various users of different heights to accommodate with ease.

It is a very light-weight kayak and comes with an excellent loading capacity of 220 lbs. The midship hatch of this kayak gives you dry storage is, and the rear storage has a bungee net to hold your gears. Moreover, it has six scupper holes for drainage, so you do not have to worry if any water gets inside somehow.

There are molded-in handles on the rear and front side for easy transportation. Because of its compact size, you can take this to any small water areas for a cozy kayaking trip. It is also one of the best fishing kayak under 600.



Perception Zip 9.5 sit-on-top kayak

B. Perception Zip 9.5 sit-on-top kayak


If you want a kayak with outstanding stability and straight tracking that comes within a cheap price range, I would like to suggest you this particular sit-on-top kayak.

This kayak has got a spacious cockpit, so any kayaker will be able to sit comfortably. It has an easy entry and exit process that allows you to get out of the kayak without any problem in the capsizing events. Moreover, it has molded footrest and enough space for a user to accommodate comfort and paddle without any trouble.

The short length and compact design of the kayak make it easy to transport and store in your house without wasting much space. This design also allows you to cut through the water very fast and makes the maneuvering process easy for everyone.

It comes with a self-draining system so, and the scupper holes make sure that you have dry kayaking experience. Moreover, the drain plug allows you to clean and maintain the kayak without much hassle.

In addition to that, this kayak comes with excellent storage spaces on the front and rear sides, and you get a bungee cord to secure your loose items. It has a center cup holder to keep your beverages safe. And his kayak comes with convenient molded handles that allow a single person to carry this kayak anywhere they want.



Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak

C. Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak Best Kayak Under 500


This rugged inflatable kayak has a 24-gauge PVC construction that comes with pioneering compact design and fits in a backpack that comes with it. Its tarpaulin bottom and polyester cover protect the kayak from getting punctured by any obstacles.

It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to inflate or deflate, so you can quickly get into the water as soon as you are at the spot. When you inflate it, the backpack system turns into a sit. Multiple air chambers keep the kayak afloat even if one of the chambers is compromised.

There are spray skirts in this kayak that protect you from any water splash. There are easily accessible D-ring storage area and bungee net to secure your gears. Though this kayak isn’t self-bailing, it comes with two plug holes on the line for an easy drainage process.

The seat of this kayak is comfortable and has a backrest that helps you to paddle with ease. It is a quite narrow kayak that makes it even easier to cut through the waters. It has a weight capacity of 220 lbs, which is enough for a one-person kayak.



Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

D. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak


Yes, it is another youth kayak on my list because I said I would tell you about some of the best kayaks under 500 bucks. So some great youth kayaks fall under this category.

Like any other youth kayaks, this kayak can be used by five years old kids or more. This kayak is safe for any kind of water except white waters. But not many of the parents allow their kid near whitewater, isn’t it?

As it has 130 lbs weight capacity, even some older kids enjoy kayaking on this one too. It is only a recreational kayak, and your little kid can enhance their angling skill with this kayak. 

This kayak comes with an ergonomic cockpit design that provides an excellent motor balance. It has a high-density polyethylene construction that makes it durable and safe in the water. This kayak can efficiently perform in salt water so you can take it to the sea for an adventure.

The hard shell is UV-resistant, will not peel or crack, and you can the twin-fin design allow you to do tracking and surfing without any trouble. And it has got multiple footrest positions so kids of all heights can have a comfortable accommodation.



Red-Eye Inflatable boat set - inflatable kayak

E. Red-Eye Inflatable boat set - inflatable kayak


It is a heavy-duty fishing kayak that can also be used for recreational trips. This kayak is made of premium quality PVC, and it can resist tearing. I know it is hard to get a kayak that comes with unique features for fishing. Now you can have the best fishing kayak under 300.

This fishing/recreational kayak is one of the most durable kayaks as it can resist UV-rays and cold. It comes with a double valve design that allows you to inflate and deflate boats very fast. Moreover, this kayak comes with a fantastic loading capacity of 555 lbs.

It is an easy to fold boat and light-weight, so you carry this kayak anywhere you want. As it is a three-person kayak, you can go kayaking with your family, friends, and pets. But if you are going fishing, it is better to take only one companion so you can take as much as gears you want to take on your fishing trips.



CO-Z 7.5’ Inflatable Kayak

F. CO-Z 7.5’ Inflatable Kayak


Constructed with military-grade PVC, this kayak is exceptionally hard-wearing and reinforced collision-resistant stripe. This kayak has one of the most durable hulls out there, and it can resist any damage.

With an excellent loading capacity of 600 lbs, it is a two-person kayak. It has got aluminum floorboard and seat to make it more durable and steady. Moreover, it has ample storage spaces, so don’t mind taking as many cargos you want to take.

This kayak is tremendously oxidation and wear-resistant. You don’t usually see this kind of service from any kayak of this size. Moreover, it has got three separate air chambers for extra buoyancy and safety. If one chamber gets punctured, you have got another one to protect you from capsizing.

It has a reinforced transom board that is robust enough to mount a motor up to three hp. You can take this sturdy kayak for fishing, surfing, or in any kind of sea ventures.

This kayak has a very quick and easy deflation and inflation process. And the most fantastic part is that once you inflate it, you are good to go for one whole week. Moreover, the manufacturer offers a one year service contract. So, if anything wrong happens, you can get it repaired for free or get your money back.



Sevylor C001 Tahiti Hunt Fish 2 Person Kayak

G. Sevylor C001 Tahiti Hunt Fish 2 Person Kayak


It is another fishing kayak and has also got a sturdy construction. This kayak is made of 24-gauge rugged PVC material. It comes with multiple air chambers, so you are safe from capsizing even if one of the chambers doesn’t perform well in the water with obstacles.

This kayak has got airtight technology that ensures that your kayak stays inflated, no matter what happens. And there are double-lock valves with two locking points to make the inflate/deflate process a lot easier.

It has adjustable seats with backrest so you can adjust it according to your comfort all day long. Moreover, it comes with spray skirts to protect you from water splashes.

This light-weight fishing kayak is compact and comes with a carry bag. The seats are removable, so if you want to go solo, you can just remove one seat and get yourself some excellent cargo space. 

It is a very affordable kayak, and you get the service, which is much more valuable for the price you pay. Though it comes with paddles, you have to buy other kayaking accessories you may need in your kayak fishing trips. In fact, it is one of the options for the best fishing kayak under 400 bucks.



MaxKare Youth Kayak

H. MaxKare Youth Kayak


Though it is a youth kayak, MaxKare youth lave has got some impressive features. And that’s the reason it made my list. I mean, kids are allowed to have fun too, right?

This kayak is a versatile one; you can use it in rivers, lakes, seas, or in the pool that you have in your house. It’s not one of those kayaks only for little kids, though. Bigger ones can go for kayaking on it as it has a loading capacity of 121lbs. 

MaxKare youth kayak is made of sturdy HDPE materials and comes with excellent durability. The corrosion-resistant body and the ergonomic design of this kayak have turned it into a great recreational kayak. 

It is a light-weight kayak with only 20.5 lbs weight, and the maximum height level is 6 feet. It comes with molded paddles and has drainage holes, so you don’t have to remove the water from the cockpit in any case manually. 

It has got a grooved cockpit that keeps your kid safe and comes with a folding backrest. So, your kids can enjoy kayaking as long as they want while seated comfortably. 

This sit-in kayak also has two cup holders, front and rear storage space, and bungee straps to protect any loose cargo. It also has convenient handles on both sides so it can be transported in various positions. 

As this kayak has multiple footrest positions, your kid can use this for a long time as they grow up. So, this kayak is an excellent investment, to be honest.



Index Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak

I. Index Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak


To be honest, I love inflatable kayaks because I can take them wherever I want. And thus, Index Challenger K1 is on the list of my favorites because it’s so cheap yet offers excellent service for the price. 

This ultra-portable kayak 9 feet long and has an overall width of 2.6 feet. Because of its excellent width-length ratio, it is one of the most stable kayaks of this budget. Moreover, it has a loading capacity of 100 kg so that you can take a lot of gears and cargo with you. 

This sit-in kayak has a removable seat that you can adjust to sit comfortably. It comes with a cargo net on the front where you can secure your extra gears and stuff. Additionally, it has an 84 inches aluminum oar and high output manual hand pump. 

It is constructed with hard-wearing vinyl and has two separate air chambers for better flotation on the water. The rigid I-beam floor construct allows us to stand up without any chance of tripping.

The Index challenger K1 comes with Boston valves that allow you to have a quick inflation and deflation process. And when I say that it the most portable kayak I have ever had, all the other users will agree with me on this term. 

You can store this kayak on the smallest space of your house and carry it anywhere you want as the deflated size of this kayak is not bigger than a regular gym bag. 

Though you can take this kayak anywhere because of its compact size, this kayak gives you a better performance on the flat waters. But this kayak is a versatile one because you use this for fishing too! 



Perception Hi-Five - Sit on Top Kids Kayak for Kids

J. Perception Hi-Five - Sit on Top Kids Kayak for Kids


Sit-on-top kayaks are the safest types of the kayak because there are minimum capsizing choices because of the cockpit design. So, if you want to buy a kayak for your kids, you can choose this option.

You kids can paddle this kayak in both seating and standing positions. It comes with paddles to fit in their hands so they can maneuver this kayak without any problem. Moreover, it has an elevated seat that helps your kid to paddle comfortably while seated as long as they want.

The front deck is perfectly designed for standing up and fish. And the rear swim-up deck is a great storage area for gears, or your kids can take their pets while kayaking. Additionally, it comes with a kid hitch and tether system attached to you, and you can pull it for fun!

The maximum weight capacity of this kayak is 120 lbs, which is perfect for a kid’s kayak. It is a very light-weight kayak that weighs only around 20 lbs. So, you can carry this kayak to your favorite water arena anytime you want.



Intex Tacoma K2 Inflatable kayak

B. Intex Tacoma K2 Inflatable kayak


This two-person kayak is constructed with puncture-resistant vinyl, which makes it heavy-duty and highly durable. Three separate air chambers help it to stay afloat no matter what happens in the water.

You get two paddles with this kayak, so you don’t have to spend extra money for that. It is easy to carry light-weight kayak that you can take for fishing or recreational purposes.

It has got a rigid I-beam floor that provides this kayak the much-needed stability, and you can stand up on this kayak without any trouble,



As you can see, there are some best recreational kayaks and fishing kayaks available under 500 bucks. So, it is high time you knew that how to recognize the most efficient kayaks.

How to buy the best kayak: The buyer’s guide

If you are willing to spend an enormous amount, undoubtedly you will get a fantastic kayak with fantastic features. But when you are on a tight budget, especially trying to get the best kayak under 500 bucks, things aren’t quite buttery. So, always look for these features in a kayak that I am mentioning below. This kayak makes it the best one, trust me.

Purpose of your kayak:

Yes, it is no shocking thing that you have to figure out the things that you are going to do with your kayak. Different types of kayak don’t perform the same for every task. A kayak made for whitewater sport will not perform well on fishing trips.

So, if your main goal is to go for kayak fishing, choose a kayak that comes with rod holders and other features that will specifically help you to fish. If you want versatility, there are amazing kayaks, and which are both great for fishing and kayak touring.


Maybe you are paying a cheaper price than regular but never compromise with the stability of the hull. Ensure that your hull is wide enough to stay steady in the water and prevent you from tripping into the water if you stand up.


If you want to buy the best kayak under 500 bucks, you need to check its material carefully. Different kayaks are constructed with different materials. You can get the hard-shell kayak or inflatable ones, that’s totally your choice. 

I have been kayaking for a long time, and I prefer inflatable kayaks for recreational purposes. These kayaks are compact, light-weight, and you can carry them with you in a carry bag. No matter how far you live, there is no problem taking your kayak to your favorite water spot.

But when it’s about fishing, I like hard shell kayaks as they are very rigid, and most of the specialized fishing kayaks are hard-shell ones. Though hard shell kayaks are high maintenance, they are pretty durable if you take care of them.

Make sure your kayak is puncture and damage-resistant, able to deal with UV-Rays, abrasion, collision, and rust. So, it will be easier for you to maintain its quality.

The seating arrangement of the kayak:

If we divide kayaks by their seating positions, we get two types of kayak. They are sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks,

Sit-on kayaks do not have an enclosed cockpit, so they are better for stand up and do fishing as they have a stable and spacious deck. 

On the other hand, sit-in kayaks are best for recreational trips as the cockpit covers you on this boat and safe from the exposure of elements. 

So, choose your seating position wisely as you have to spend a lot of time in your kayak.

Width and length ratio:

A perfect width and length ratio is necessary for the overall balance of your kayak. Shorter and narrower kayaks are fast but not stable enough. On the other hand, long and wider boats are slow but stable, and so, the choice is yours.

Loading capacity:

The loading capacity of your kayak depends on your preference. If you carry a lot of cargo and gears with you while kayaking, you can get a kayak with a bigger loading capacity. Or else, you can choose a kayak with moderate loading capacity.

If you choose a kayak for fishing, always choose a kayak with higher loading capacity as you have to carry a lot of gears, accessories, and a massive weight of all fishes you are going to catch.


Some frequently asked questions about the best kayaks:

All of the kayaks do not perform in the same way, and they have different speed than the others. While picking a kayak, you don’t really have to think about the speed. You should think about why you are buying this kayak.

If you are getting a kayak for recreational trips, you should get a slow kayak for a relaxed paddling experience. Otherwise, there are many sports kayak that is fast enough to give you the kayak thrill you want.

Yes, you will and especially when you are on a sit-on-top kayak. But you can get spray skirts to protect yourself.

Kayaks are pretty safe watercraft; they are almost unsinkable if you get inflatable or sit-on-top kayaks. As sit-on kayaks do not have a closes cockpit situation, there is no chance of getting water into it. Therefore, you are safe from capsizing.

The inflatable kayaks can remain afloat even if they get flipped because of the air chambers. So you can say that they are quite the unsinkable ones. And if it has multiple air chambers, it will still float on the water if one of the chambers gets punctured.

You can’t let a get use a regular size kayak, but you can take them if you have a tandem kayak. But you can always get youth kayaks, which are specially made for kids. You will get some great suggestions for kids or youth kayak in this guide.

But always keep an eye on them while they are kayaking, no matter how safe the surrounding is. And gear them up with personal floatation devices for preventing any unpleasant events.

Of course, you can if your kayaks material is immune to cold. And do not forget to take a life jacket, warm clothes, and even wear thermal underwear for better safety.

In conclusion:

It may have sounded impossible, but now you can see that there are actually some best options available for the best kayak under 500. So, even with the lowest budget, you can get a kayak for yourself to ride those waters. No matter what happens in our life, we should never take a step back from fulfilling our desires. If you really want to live your live to the fullest, there will be always some options that you can get without selling an arm or leg! Trust me on this one, I have been there, done that and I have tested victory.