Are you fond of the exploring the sea or rivers? Do you wish to enjoy every moment by doing all the paddling yourself? If so, you need a kayak for this purpose.
In the article, we shall explore the 10 best kayaks under 500 in 2020. Users will also learn about the following topics:
- Types and uses of a kayak
- Difference between kayaks and boats
- Features to look for in kayaks
- Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
People like to travel in seas and rivers for various purposes such as fishing, exploration or just entertainment. Ships and boats are good options but they are expensive and do not have a personalized feel as in kayaks. The joy of paddling the kayaks and moving with the waves of water is unparallel to other means of transport. To help you choose good, affordable products, we will dive deep into the best inflatable kayaks under 500. So, let’s start with this guide!
What is a kayak?
A kayak is a small means of transport for water which is narrow in width and usually seats one or two persons. The paddling is done manually by the occupants. The earliest kayaks date back to the 16th century. The Inuit and Aleut tribes used them on lakes and rivers in the Northern islands. Initially, they were constructed from animal skins. Native people built them according to their requirements so the kayaks differed from region to region. Wood material was also quite popular in these things till the 1950s. The modern kayaks are made from special plastics like polyethylene which is light and waterproof.
Types of Kayaks
- Recreational Kayak
These kayaks are made for casual, entertainment purposes on water. They can be used for fishing or strolls on the lakes and rivers. Most companies design these types of kayaks because they are in high demand. The main cockpit is kept large in size so that people can get in and out easily. Width is generally 25-40 inches and the length is around 12 feet at maximum. They are popular in resorts and water parks.
- Sea Kayaks
Sea kayaks are relatively tough and larger in size. They are designed for one to three people and usually have some space for cargo as well. The journeys can range from few hours to several days so the kayaks have provisions for storage and several straps on top to tie stuff. The length can vary from 10-25 feet and width is 18-30 inches. Most sea kayaks are made from materials like fiberglass, polyethylene or carbon fiber.
- Surf Kayaks
Surf kayaks are usually made from hard materials to resemble surf boards. They have flat bottom structure and are smaller in length as they are designed for single person use. They have special fins to enable fast maneuvering in waves. Most of them are made from fiber glass and some expensive ones are constructed using carbon fiber. Contrary to surf boards, users sit on these kayaks and navigate through high tides and waves mostly with the help of a paddle.
- Whitewater Kayaks
Whitewater kayaks are tough and rigid watercrafts designed to work in rough weather conditions. They are mostly made from high grade plastics like polyethylene. Majority of these kayaks are single person devices because they are made for rapid water currents and can travel through steep gradients. Play boats and creek boats are 2 of the common types of whitewater kayaks. There are several other variants as well which are designed for racing, sprints and other purposes.
- Inflatable Kayaks
These are lightweight, portable kayaks which can be carried around easily. They are usually made from PVC material with nylon, tarpaulin and rubber for the various parts inside. They can be easily inflated and deflated using normal air pumps. Most of them are made for casual uses along lakes or seas in calm conditions however; they have strong construction so you can use them in rough conditions as well.
10 Best Kayaks Under 500
This is an inflatable kayak that can seat 2 persons easily. The length is 10 feet and width is 3 feet. It comes in a bright yellow colour with gray accents at the back. The maximum weight capacity is 400 pounds so you can carry a decent amount of stuff as well. The seats have backrests and can be adjusted as well which keeps you comfortable on long journeys. Moreover, there are straps on either side of the seats that support the user to hold on in rough conditions. It is made from a strong, puncture proof vinyl material which keeps the kayak safe in all conditions.
The kayak comes with 2 long paddles, air pump and a carrying pouch as well. Using the special air valves, it can be inflated in few minutes. With a weight of just 30 pounds, you can carry this kayak anywhere in your bags while you are travelling. Priced at $93, this is one of the best inflatable kayaks under 500. Enjoy the adventures on lakes or rivers with your companion because this kayak will suit everyone with it great features.
The Rave sports kayak is an inflatable single person watercraft. It is 8.5 feet in length and 3 feet in width. The maximum weight capacity is 200 pounds so it is limited to one person only. Being small and lightweight, it is very easy to maneuver in water and transport on your trips. The user sits on top and there is a backrest as well which can be adjusted using the straps at the side. At the back, you get elastic straps to hold various items like food, clothes, medical kit or any other stuff.
Users get different accessories with this device which includes a long paddle, air pump and a bag to carry the kayak. The tough PVC material keeps it strong under rough weather conditions. The small size makes it ideal for kids or beginners to practice kayaking. It costs $220 which makes it one of the greatest sit on top kayaks that you can buy today.
The Intex Excursion kayak is an inflatable kayak that can seat 2 persons easily. The length is 12.5 feet and width is 3 feet. It comes in red colour for the middle and grey on the front and back ends. The maximum weight capacity is 400 pounds so you can carry a decent amount of stuff as well. The seats have backrests and can be adjusted as well which keeps you comfortable on long journeys. There are footrests on the floor as well. Moreover, there are straps on either side of the seats that support the user to hold on in rough conditions.
Priced at $340, this is one of the best recreational kayaks under 500. It is made from a strong, puncture proof polyester material which keeps the kayak safe in all conditions. The kayak comes with 2 long paddles, air pump, pressure gauge and a carrying pouch as well. Using the special air valves, it can be inflated in few minutes. With a weight of just 39 pounds, you can carry this kayak anywhere in your bags while you are travelling. If you like to go on fishing trips, there are 2 mounts available to place fishing rods. The whole kayak can be lifted from the handles on both ends which make it easy to carry around.
The KLYLIMIT Litewater dinghy is an inflatable kayak measuring 76 inches in length and 46 inches in width. Made in bright orange colour, the product looks very attractive. It has a 350 pounds weight capacity which is enough for 2 persons or 1 person with some luggage. The material is polyester specially designed to work in tough water conditions. The shape of this kayak is made like a boat so users will have a comfortable feeling while sitting on it. When you sit at the back, there is special cushioning for your bottom to increase comfort. Legs can be fully extended in the front.
It can be mounted at 6 different spots all around the dinghy. You get a nice, waterproof backpack with the product in which you can put the kayak after folding. This makes it ideal for adventures like camping and trekking near rivers. It is priced at $170 which makes it a cheap fishing kayak under $200. You will get a pump with it as well with which you can inflate it within 2 minutes. There are 2 air intakes in this kayak. Overall, this is a great product for both kids and adults as it can be used as a normal floating boat as well as a fishing kayak.
The Sevylor Coleman Kayak is one the best inflatable kayaks under 500. Made from 18 gauge PVC, this is one of the toughest products that you can buy in this category. The bottom is made from tarpaulin and top side is constructed from nylon. Available in military green colour, users will definitely like the look of this watercraft. The black seats have back supports and side straps to keep the users tight at their spots. You will find mesh pockets with each seat that can store small items like maps, clips, mobile phone, snacks, etc.
On the both sides, there are standing mounts to attach any type of rod. It can be used for fishing rods or camera stands. The sides have also rings to keep the paddles in place. The front and back have straps to pick up the kayak with ease. This product has several chambers for air so that the risk of puncture damage is reduced. It costs $385 including the paddles. Professionals will find this kayak appealing because of it multiple hooks, storage spaces and extra strong construction.
The Rave Sports Rebel kayak is a compact, inflatable single person watercraft. It is 8.5 feet in length and 3 feet in width. The maximum weight capacity is 200 pounds so it is limited to one person only. Being small and lightweight, it is very easy to maneuver in water and transport on your trips. The user sits on top and there is a backrest as well which can be adjusted using the straps at the side. At the back, you get elastic straps to hold various items like food, clothes, medical kit or any other stuff.
The price is $230 which places it on the list of top 10 kayaks that you can purchase today. Users get different accessories with this device which includes a long paddle, air pump and a bag to carry the kayak. The tough PVC material keeps it strong under rough weather conditions. The small size makes it ideal for kids or beginners to practice kayaking. The Sea Rebel lettering on front gives it a distinct look and makes this product quite attractive for youngsters.
The Sevylor Big Basin is a large kayak for 3 persons. It measures 12 feet in length and 3 feet in width. The kayak is made from white and blue colours on the sides and grey in the centre. It is made from advanced PVC material and tarpaulin base which prevents it from punctures. Seating cabin is roomy as it has 3 seats with backrests. The backs can be moved according to the requirements. Total weight capacity is 490 pounds so 3 adults can easily fit in it. Costing $345, this is truly one of the best inflatable kayaks under 500.
Even if the kayak gets punctured, no need to worry because there are multiple chambers for air circulation. Moreover, there are special covers which keep users dry in case of sudden tides or waves. With the help of an air pump, you can fill up the kayak within minutes. The best part is that you do not need to go alone on water adventures because you can bring 2 other companions with you. It can also increase your safety incase anything goes wrong. So, if you are looking for a large, spacious kayak, this is a great option to consider.
The Sea Eagle kayak is a beautiful inflatable kayak. It is in full white colour with blue accents which give it a very decent look. There are total 2 comfortable seats with back support. The weight capacity is 650 pounds is enough for 3 persons. You can carry your kids and pets on your trips as well. This is one of the best kayaks under 500 as it is a large watercraft with great looks overall. The paddles are in black colour and you get an air pump and carry bag as well which complements the kayak very well.
The front and back has a zigzag design with ropes which can be used to tie the kayak near surfaces. 2 skegs at bottom streamline the device very well so that you build up speed quickly with less paddle effort. The front and back sides have provisions to attach stuff like clothes, food and luggage. There are 5 tubes inside which help in good air flow and less chance for puncture. The price of this kayak is $350.
The Intex Seahawk is an all in one solution for your water adventures. It is made in the style of an inflatable boat and can be used as a kayak as well. Built in sea green colour, it measures 10 feet in length and 4.5 feet in width. The seating cabin is incredibly roomy as it can accommodate 3 persons easily. There are cushions on either side to increase the comfort of users. The maximum weight capacity is almost 800 pounds which is more than most kayaks on the market. Inside, you will find a small black pocket to store your essential stuff.
On the sides, you have holders for fishing rods, oars and camera stands. 2 aluminum oars are pre included with the kayak. Users will also get a pressure pump so that you can inflate or deflate the boat easily. Priced at $73 only, this is one of the best cheap fishing kayaks under $200. The high quality vinyl material will protect it from punctures. Even if it gets punctured by any reason, no need to panic because there are 3 air chambers which will stay inflated. There is also a repair kit available with this product. Overall, this is an excellent kayak for families and professionals.
The Airhead Montana is a 12 feet inflatable kayak. It comes in red colour with back accents which give it a bright look. It is made from high quality PVC material which helps the watercraft safe and stable in all conditions. There are 2 black seats with backrests which can be adjusted according to your requirements. With each seat, there are straps to hold on and neoprene patches to rest your elbow while you paddle. There are spray covers on both sides to prevent water splashes. Available at $400, this is one of the best recreational kayaks under $500.
You can tie up your stuff in the front and back with the strings. The air chambers are made from nylon so no need to worry in case of punctures. The tubular construction makes it very rigid in rough water conditions. Weighing only 36 pounds, it is easy to carry around and makes this kayak usable for people of all ages.
Important Factors & Buying Guide
Now that you have learnt about the best inflatable kayaks under 500, we will list here the main points you should consider before buying these products.
- Size and Capacity
The first point that users should consider is the size of the kayak. Most of them range from 8-12 feet for single or 2 person seat capacity. The width is usually 3-4 feet. You should choose the product that has enough room for occupants and a weight capacity of at least 400 pounds. Always look for a kayak that has minimum 2 person capacity because it would be more enjoyable when you go out with a companion.
- Construction Material
Most kayaks are made from special plastics like PVC and polyethylene. The materials are fairly strong and waterproof so that they can be used in lakes, rivers or seas. Fiberglass, tarpaulin and nylon are also common materials on kayaks depending on the type of watercraft. You should always check that the quality of material is good which you can see from the types and grades of the plastics used.
- Availability of Hooks and Straps
While riding on the kayaks, it is very important to ensure safety and stability. In sit on top kayaks, you are more likely to fall in the water so there must be straps or hooks that you could hold on while sitting on the kayaks. Most products have at least 2 straps besides the seats that users can hold on to. This helps in making the ride more stable and comfortable, especially for newbies.
- Cargo Space
Although kayaks are not meant to carry luggage, you should at least buy a product that has some provision to store stuff. It can be inside pockets, compartments, meshes, straps or strings in which small items can be stuck. Stuff like snacks, drinks, sunglasses, caps, camera equipment, etc can be very useful for your kayaking adventures.
Most modern kayaks include paddles and air pump with the main device. These things are mandatory for using the product so you must look for these items in the package. Some even include puncture repair kits and extra straps which can be useful on the journeys. Therefore, it is always better to buy a kayak that has decent accessories with It because you would need to buy them anyway.
Frequently Asked Questions
. What type of kayak is safest?
Generally, the kayaks in which the seating compartment is a bit lower than the actual top level are considered safer because users have less chances of falling off. The sit on top kayaks can be a bit unsafe if you lose your balance because there is no boundary to hold you. The best practice is to hold on to straps or hooks in case of wild water currents and sit in an upright position.
- What is the best cheap kayak?
The affordable kayaks are listed below:
- Intex Seahawk Kayak
- Sea Eagle 370 Kayak
- Sevylor Coleman 2
- Airhead Montana
- Rave Sports Sea Rebel
- KLYMIT Litewater Dinghy
- Lifetime Tamarack Angler
- Sea Eagle 330
- Intex Explorer K2
- Sevylor Big Basin 3
- Are cheap kayaks worth it?
It is not a good option to buy cheap kayaks because you will be risking a lot. You should not compromise on the material used in the devices because it will protect you from any issues inside water. Moreover, paddles and air pumps are must for kayaks so you should buy a product that includes them even if it is a little expensive. Users must keep a minimum budget of $200 if they want a good quality kayak that does not break down after few trips in the water!
- Do longer kayaks go faster?
Yes, longer kayaks can definitely be quicker in certain conditions but it depends on the width as well. Generally, kayaks that have long lengths and narrow widths perform better in terms of speed because they experience less resistance through the water. The streamlined shape allows users to put in less effort by paddling and a smoother ride overall.
Water sports are a profession and hobby for people all over the world. Ships and boats are attractive but cost a lot so most people cannot afford them. However, kayaks are a good option for enthusiasts because they are cheaper to buy and more fun to ride. When you do the paddling yourself, you get to enjoy the whole experience of fishing, exploration or just leisurely cruise in the water.
In this article, we have looked at the 10 best kayaks under 500. The watercrafts were observed in terms of their sizes, capacities, materials, prices, pros and cons. Prices start from $70 and rise till $400 for the products considered. Most kayaks are made for dual person use but there are smaller and larger ones are available as well. All products were inflatable and most of them come with paddles and air pumps included. Overall, they are awesome things to enjoy in the water so you should definitely consider them if you are a nature lover.
We hope that you have gained interesting knowledge about the best kayaks under 500 through this article. The information may induce you to purchase a good product and start your waters sports adventures today. Please keep us informed about your thoughts in the comments section below.