Kayaking is a fun hobby that’s ideal for anyone who appreciates adventure, leisure, or exercise, on the water. Whether you want to tour a surrounding aquatic habitat, do some fishing, or spend a recreational afternoon floating away on a pond, river, lake, or ocean. Below you will find the best kayaks in the UK for 2020 currently on the market to help you find the best kayak to let you enjoy the fun of the great outdoors to the fullest
While the prospect of owning a new kayak can be exciting, the fact that there are many options out there makes choosing an ideal kayak quite a complex process. Finding the best kayak can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know what features to look for.
Do you want to get into the kayaking world, but have no idea how to choose the best kayak for beginners? In this article, we show you the basics of buying a new top-quality kayak that is right for your skill level. Let our pro tips inform you on what features you need to look for when choosing the best kayak 2020. Read up this comprehensive guide to help you make the right investment decision.
What is a Kayak?
A kayak is a small, slim, and very light watercraft designed to hold a maximum of 3 people. They sit low in the water, and are propelled by a double-bladed paddle. Kayaks are mostly for leisure and recreational purposes, including fishing, whitewater rafting, and surf kayaking (for those who enjoy surfing the ocean waves).
But don’t confuse a kayak with a canoe. It is common to hear people mistake canoe for kayaks, and vice versa. Even though both boats are quite similar, the difference between them is quite significant. A kayak has the paddler sitting with legs forward and using a two-bladed paddle to propel the boat, while a canoe sets a paddler in a kneeling position and uses a single-bladed paddle for steering.
Types of Kayaks
There are many types of kayaks available in the market. You need to understand the different types of kayaks to help inform your opinion in selecting the most ideal watercraft for your skill level and budget. Sit tight as we feed you delicious tips on the best options to go for when buying these sought-after pieces of equipment for your next water adventure.
From the word itself, inflatable kayaks are named so because you can easily inflate them. They are not only portable, but extremely durable too, since they are solidly built with layers of plastics. Inflatable kayaks are an ideal choice for those who lack large storage.
This is a common type loved by beginners, since they are easy to use; you only have to sit on top of it and float away on the lake. The design makes is easy for kayakers to get on and off the boat easily. Sit-on kayaks feature scupper holes for draining out the water.
This type has a cockpit with enough room for you and your legs. The sit-in kayak is ideal for water sport activities, since it is easy to use and navigate.
This type features 2 to 3 seats, allowing you to enjoy the kayaking experience with a partner(s). It has adequate space for you to sit in and accommodate your legs as well.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Kayak to Buy
There is a lot you need to consider when buying a new kayak. Are you planning to use it on calm or rough waters? How often will you use it? Do you have the storage space for your kayak? Will you paddle alone or with a partner? Answering these questions will help you identify the best kayak to buy for a beginner. Read up this buying guide to learn more.
Different kayak types have different weight capacity. You need to consider the total weight a kayak can hold, as this will affect your kayaking experience. Do you plan to kayak alone or with a partner? You may even want to bring your pet along to share the experience with you. As such, the weight capacity is a crucial criterion to check out, and it is usually listed on the specifications.
The length and width is important to consider, because it affects the speed and stability of the vessel. Long and narrow kayaks offer speed, while short and wider kayaks offer stability. For beginners, a wider kayak is recommended as it is stable and easy to navigate.
Type of Hull
This refers to the shape of the kayak’s bottom. A kayak with a flat hull is stable and is ideal for calm waters. One with a rounded hull is fast and is perfect for choppy waters. A kayak with a v-shaped hull is ideal for rough waters. For beginners, a kayak with a flat hull is recommended as it is stable and easy to navigate on calm water bodies.
The Best Kayaks 2020
In this guide, we bring you a curated list of our top selection of the best kayaks 2020 to buy for your skill level and budget. Take your kayaking experience to the next level with the best kayaks of 2020!
|PRODUCT||BRAND||TYPE||WEIGHT CAPACITY||BEST FEATURE||RATING||PRICE|
|Intex Challenger K1
|Intex||Inflatable||100Kg||Hand Pump||4.5/5||Check Price|
|Intex Explorer K2
|Intex||Inflatable||200Kg||2 Adjustable Seats||4.6/5||Check Price|
|Intex Excursion Pro K2||Intex||Inflatable||180Kg||Mounting Bracket for Fishing Accessories||4.4/5||Check Price|
|Sevylor Colorado Kayak||Sevylor||Inflatable||200Kg||Ultra-durable Tarpaulin Shell||4.1/5||Check Price|
|Aqua Marina Laxo 320
|AM||Inflatable||150Kg||UV Protection||5.0/5||Check Price|
|Point 65 Tequila GTX||Point 65 Sweden||Tandem||240Kg||Air Seat||3.8/5||Check Price|
|Aqua Marina Tomahawk AIR-C
|AM||Tandem||260Kg||3 Passenger Load||4.8/5||Check Price|
|Aqua Marina Tomahawk AIR-K
|AM||Sit-in||128Kg||Double Fin System||5.0/5||Check Price|
|Cambridge Single Kayak||Cambridge Kayaks||Sit-in||130Kg||Padded Seat||4.7/5||Check Price|
|Riber Deluxe Sit on Kayak
|Riber||Sit on||180Kg||Bucket Storage Hatches||4.9/5||Check Price|
|Cambridge Unisex Single Sit-on Kayak
|Cambridge Kayaks||Sit-on||130Kg||Mounting for Fishing Accessories||5.0/5||Check Price|
|Riber Junior Sit on Kayak||Riber||Sit-on||60Kg||For Children||5.0/5||Check Price|
Best inflatable kayaks (Single seat)
If leisure means spending quality time alone relaxing on your kayak as you float in the water away from the shore, then a one person kayak for beginners would be a great choice to buy. The 2019 model of the Intex Challenger K1 inflatable kayak has all the right features any beginner kayaker would appreciate.
The watercraft comes with a hand pump so you can inflate it in minutes. Not only will you quickly inflate the cockpit’s high-buoyancy side chambers for enhanced stability, but also its adjustable, inflatable seat with backrest that assures you of comfortable seating as you tour the aquatic surroundings.
Made of highly durable Intex “Super-Tough” vinyl, the Challenger K1 kayak can withstand extreme sunlight, abrasion, impact, and it is not affected by salt water, gasoline or oil. The kayak’s sturdy material promises longevity, so you can enjoy extensive kayaking experience.
The kayak is portable; it is lightweight and weighs just 11.8kg when packed in the compact-size bag. It features 84” aluminium oars with streamlined design for easy paddling, and its 100kg weight capacity makes for a great solo experience on lakes and mild rivers.
If utmost comfort in kayaking is what you want to experience as a beginner kayaker, this sporty single-seat vessel that is easy to assemble will give you that, plus much more. The Intex Challenger K1 is built for performance!
- Rugged vinyl construction for durability
- Inflatable high-buoyancy side chambers for stability
- Adjustable inflatable seat with backrest for comfortable seating
- Streamlined design for easy paddling
- Hand pump to inflate quickly
Best Inflatable kayak (Double Seat)
Are you the type that loves to go on adventures with your significant other? Kayaking with your partner would give you the thrill of a lifetime. The best watercraft that will elevate your kayaking experience with a partner (or friend) is the Intex Explorer K2 inflatable kayak that comes with 2 adjustable inflatable seats.
With a weight capacity of 200Kg, the kayak can comfortably accommodate two adults for a great kayaking experience in lakes and mild rivers. The seats are adjustable and have a backrest, and the cockpit has enough legroom for maximum comfort. Also, its strong vinyl material guarantees durability; you can be sure that the kayak will give you service for a long time, so can enjoy kayaking without worrying about damaging the boat.
The kayak also features a sporty and fun look, with a streamlined design for easy paddling. It has a removable skeg for directional stability, and it includes an 86” aluminium oars. The sporty graphics improve visibility in the water, providing a safe kayaking experience any beginner kayaker will appreciate. If you want to enjoy kayaking experience with a partner, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak would be an ideal choice to buy.
- 2 adjustable inflatable seats with backrest
- 200Kg weight capacity
- Streamlined design for easy paddling
- Rugged vinyl construction for durability
- Hi-output manual hand pump
Is fishing a great marine hobby for you? Whether you like to go fishing alone or you prefer bringing a partner along in your fishing excursion, kayaks can provide a great fishing platform. To start kayak fishing, you need the Intex Excursion Pro K2 2-person fishing kayak that has a mounting bracket for your fishing accessories.
This small, thin watercraft is easy to use and manoeuvre, providing a fun and effective choice for fishing. Made of 3-ply high impact and abrasion-resistant material, the strength and durability of the watercraft are unmatched; it is really tough and perfect for sea basking. The mounting bracket is perfect for your fishing accessories, such as fish finders, GPS system, swivel fishing rod holder, and much more.
The kayak has a 180Kg weight capacity, so you can bring a friend along to experience fishing in the great marine world. It comes with 2 adjustable inflatable seats with backrest and the cockpit has adequate space and legroom, plus adjustable footrests.
The kayak has a streamlined design for fishing. It comes with 2 paddles and directional skeg for easy manoeuvrability. If you are considering taking up fish kayaking, the Intex Excursion Pro K2 kayak would be a great choice to start with.
- Mounting bracket for fishing accessories
- 180Kg weight capacity
- 2 adjustable inflatable seats with backrest
- Large cockpit with footrest
- Hi-Output pump for quick inflation
As a beginner kayaker, it is absolutely normal to be concerned about safety in the water. But don’t let your fear of a possible hull crack or puncture on an inflatable kayak prevent you from venturing into the amazing world of kayaking. You only need a kayak with an extra level of safety, especially if you want to try whitewater rafting. The best inflatable kayak to buy for rough waters is the Sevylor Colorado 2-man inflatable kayak with ultra-durable tarpaulin shell.
The design of this 2-person inflatable kayak provides an unrivalled sense of safety. It features three independent chambers with a durable polyester cover, with the hull made of fabric-reinforced material (tarpaulin) to protect the watercraft from abrasion and damage. With this unit, you will enjoy extreme whitewater rafting on rough waters without worrying about damages or puncture.
It has a weight capacity of 200Kg, which means it can comfortably accommodate 2 adults. It also comes with 2 adjustable inflatable seats with backrest. The seats are removable, so you can easily adjust the vessel from a 2-person kayak to a one-man show in no time. In addition, the paddles and welded directional strakes allow for high manoeuvrability, giving you an easy time on the rough waters. It is a great investment for any beginner looking to try out white water rafting or rough water kayaking.
- 200Kg maximum load capacity
- Removable, adjustable inflatable seats with backrest
- Ultra-durable tarpaulin shell
- Four carry handle
- Foot pump for quick inflation
When you invest in a kayak, you will want to buy a boat that is easy to maintain; one that will not get damaged by being exposed to the sun for long. If you didn’t know, here’s a crucial fact: the sun’s heat can fade the colours on your kayak, and over time the PVC material will become damage-prone to ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, you should consider getting a boat that has UV protection. Your best option here is the Aqua Marina Laxo 320 inflatable kayak.
What makes this unit attractive is the fact that it is made of extra-strong polyester that greatly enhances its durability and rigidity. The hull and floor covers feature the ultra-durable polyester for long-lasting UV protection. As such, you will spend more time enjoying your kayaking experience than worrying about the vessel getting damaged by the sun’s UV.
What is more? The Aqua Marina 2-person light boat is designed for performance in rivers and lakes. It has a removable double fin system that enhances its manoeuvrability. You will have an easy time navigating the waters with this sleek kayak. With a maximum payload of 155Kg, this watercraft lets you bring a friend with you on your water adventures, plus it has 2 adjustable inflatable seats with backrests for maximum comfort.
With its high-quality design and sturdy material, there is no doubt that the Aqua Marina Laxo 320 2-person kayak is built for performance. It would be a great choice to buy for any beginner wanting to join the kayaking world.
- Made of premium polyester for UV protection
- 2 adjustable, inflatable seats with backrest
- Double fin system for easy navigation
- Alloy 4 piece paddle
- Carry bag
- Hi-Output foot pump
Best Tandem Kayak
If you prefer going on a kayaking experience with your children, you will want to buy a kayak that is fun, versatile and high-performance. Such is the Point 65 Sweden Tequila GTX Tandem. This unit is designed for recreational kayaking, and you and your children will have extreme fan floating on the water. Whether it’s fishing, paddling, or just basking in the water, this unique tandem kayak provides the ultimate fun, since it is stable, sturdy and high-performance.
The highlight of this kayak is the super comfortable air seat with an adjustable backrest. This feature guarantees extreme comfort and the perfect seating position any paddler would appreciate. Furthermore, the seat covers feature highly durable patterned material that enhances the aesthetics of the build.
The point 65 snap-TAP technologies allow you to easily stick in the midsection to the kayak, which eliminates the need to have more than 1 kayak for the family to enjoy. Once you snap in the midsection, the boat easily converts from a single-seater to a top-performing tandem kayak. It is also lightweight, so it is portable and you can carry it with a smile.
Additional strength point is the high manoeuvrability the recreational kayak has. You will have an easy time navigating the waters whether you paddle the boat as a solo or tandem. The Point 65 Tequila GTX kayak is perfect for a weekend kayaking adventure with your kids or friends; a good buy if you are just starting out in the kayaking world.
- Air seat for ultra-comfort
- Portable and lightweight
- Easy to set up
- Keel for better tracking
While doing things by yourself can be fun, having friends around can amplify the fun and make things so much better. Same goes for kayaking. If your friends/family members are true adventurers, you will have an exciting time with them on a water boat that’s built for cruising in both calm and rough waters. The most ideal kayak to buy in this case is the Aqua Marina Tomahawk AIR-C, which is a performance machine for water adventurers.
First of all, this unique tandem kayak is fully constructed of drop stitch technology that features a stunning look and incredible quality. It collates speed, efficiency, stability and comfort, to provide a desirable cruising experience with a light load. It has a maximum load capacity of 260Kg, which means it can comfortably accommodate 3 adults, plus it is sturdy and faster compared to other traditional inflatable kayaks.
About safety, the kayak has 4 separate air chambers for extra-safety, allowing you to go on long-distance adventures without worrying about the kayak suffering any damage. In addition, it has a removable double fin system that provides an outstanding tracking ability. You will have an easy time navigating the rough waters when you take your friends out for a kayaking experience. The adjustable high backrest seats provide comfortable seating. The Aqua Marina Tomahawk AIR-C is a good option to buy.
- Heavy-duty drop-stitch PVC material
- Adjustable high backrest seats
- Double fin system
- Footpads and rest
Best Sit-In Kayak (Single Seat)
If you prefer spending quality time alone, basking in the water in your own kayak, then you will enjoy the service provided by the Aqua Marina Tomahawk Air-K 375. The boat is designed for true adventurers who appreciate speed and impeccable tracking performance.
The strong point of the kayak is the Double Fin System feature. The removable dual centre fin blends with the V-shape hull to give you a breathtaking tracking ability. When it comes to navigation, you will have an easy time moving swiftly on the water. Any beginner will appreciate the ease of control that this marvellous watercraft provides.
The floor and side chambers of the Tomahawk AIR-K 375 kayak is made of drop stitch technology that is a testament of its quality and sleek look. It employs the power of speed, stability, efficiency and comfort, to provide you with a remarkable cruising experience in calm and rough waters.
In addition, the soft, thick EVA adjustable foot pads and rest enhance comfort levels for you. If you are in the market for a kayak, you will not be disappointed if you get this model as your first kayak option.
- Double fin system
- Premium heavy-duty drop-stitch PVC for durability and stability
- Comfortable footpads and rest
- Max payload of 128Kg
Comfort is paramount when kayaking, so it is best for you to consider purchasing a model that will guarantee you ultra-comfort in your next kayaking expedition, especially if you are planning to ride out alone. The Cambridge Single Kayak features a comfortable padded seat, you will enjoy every minute you spend on it.
This particular model has everything you need for your first kayak. Peep this: not only does it come with a moulded fitted seat that’s padded for luxury and comfort, but also has 1 lightweight paddle that is in 2 parts for easy storage.
It also gives you enough storage space behind the rear seat for your picnic or rucksack. Other features include 2 fishing rod holders, tight storage for your wallet and phone, and also an adjustable footrest. The Cambridge Single Kayak is perfect for beginner water adventurers who fancy fun on rivers, lakes, and flat waters.
- Weight capacity of 130Kg
- Padded seat and paddle
- Large spacious cockpit
- Durable LLDPE material for durability
Best Sit On Top Kayak
Worried about where you’ll safely keep your essentials and valuables whilst out paddling? Why not get the Riber Deluxe Sit on Top kayak that features 2 unique bucket storage hatches? With a solid bottom of the storage hatch that is not exposed to the hull, this versatile watercraft will ensure all your items are kept safe as you float away on the water.
The kayak also features a backrest that provides for comfort while kayaking. And to enhance your comfort on the boat, there is a central drinks holder. You can enjoy your favourite beverage as you relax on the water in bliss. What is more? The boat has several footrest points on the kayak that provide additional comfort when paddling.
With a weight capacity of 180Kg, this unique 1 person sit-on kayak is the perfect equipment to get you started on an amazing kayaking hobby. The Riber Deluxe Sit on Top kayak is a great option to buy for any beginner who loves stability and speed on the water. It is an excellent value for money!
- 180Kg max payload
- Storage hatches for your essentials and valuables
- Removable skeg for easy manoeuvrability
- Central drinks holder
Fishing is one of the fun activities that can be done on a kayak platform, and if you enjoy relaxing on the water by yourself; then having a single seat sit-on-top kayak will accord you an amazing experience like no other. If this tickles your fancy, then consider acquiring the Cambridge Unisex Single Sit-on Kayak.
What makes this boat attractive for beginner fishermen are the features on it that serve to enhance your fishing experience. This particular sit-on watercraft comes equipped with a fish paddle, drinks holder, fishing rod holders, and water-resistant hatches, and much more. It is extremely stable and perfect for an angler.
And if you are concerned about its durability, then you’ll be pleased to know the boat is made of premium highly durable LLDPE PVC that is enhanced with a UV inhibitor. This material is sturdy and highly resistant to impact damage and UV effects. The Cambridge Sit On Top Kayak is suitable for all ages.
- Made of premium quality LLDPE that’s highly durable
- Equipped with holders for your fishing accessories
- Max payload of 130Kg
If you have kids that love splashing in the water, then we recommend you get the Riber Junior Sit on Top kayak that is perfect for keeping your children entertained on holidays. They are ideal for kids, especially if you want to introduce them to paddle sports.
This unit is easy to carry; your kids will have no problem carrying it to the river, lake or sea (depending on your holiday destination). It has two side carry handles making it portable.
Not only will your kids have a great time floating away, but also comfort as this unit features several footrest positions for maximum comfort. Also, the built-in keel provides smooth tracking and manoeuvrability. The Riber Junior Sit on Top kayak would be a great buy if you have kids who enjoy water sports.
- Compact and lightweight; portable
- Built-in keel for tracking and manoeuvrability
- Several footrest positions
- Equipped with 1 children’s paddle
Be it fishing, basking on the water or an adrenaline-filled adventure, there are literally so much you can do with kayaks, and if you are just getting into kayaking, you’ll soon discover that it is a great leisure activity that’s relatively simple for any beginner to pick up and learn. Our selection of the best kayaks in the UK should help you start your exciting journey of kayaking.