Imagine yourself paddling through the crystal clear waters where a lush marine life harbors. Do you just want to stare by your kayak and go home without getting into the amazing nature? A scenic view and stunning waters are something to be experienced and not just to be seen. The best kayak for snorkeling will allow you to do this so you can move around the boat with less hassle. This is usually a sit on top type with lavish compartments to accommodate your snorkeling gears.
Aside from the reliable kayak and paddle, you should also avail some accessories like an anchor to stabilize the vessel while you swim around. A usual kayak won’t include this but it’s not that expensive to purchase. As an alternative, you can use a rope tied to you and the kayak so you won’t lose your vessel. This rope should be easy to release.
Another basic of snorkeling with a kayak is mounting a dive flag on your boat. This is so the paddlers or other vessels will know that there’s someone in the water who owns the kayak. Just be mindful of the bystanders who don’t know what a dive flag is about!
When you already know some tips for starters, here are commercial options for you:
If you and your buddy want to dive into the waters, the Sea Eagle SE370K Kayak Pro Package should be on top of your purchasing list. This inflatable kayak is lightweight and easy to inflate for as fast as eight minutes. There are only two cushioned seats, which by the way are well-padded and super comfy, and the kayak can transport up to three people for snorkeling. This has a massive weight capacity of 650 pounds that is best for a small family.
The Sea Eagle has a self-bailing drain so you can go back to the paddling action even if you get splashed by a large wave. This best kayak for snorkeling is also equipped with two skegs for optimum speed and tracking even on strong currents. If you’re worried because it’s a soft, inflatable type, it’s amazing to know that the kayak’s hull is safe from the harsh nature of saltwater.
If you’re not convinced about the sturdiness of this kayak, try bringing your dog without trimming its claws. The material won’t even pop or puncture but with the exception of mild scratches.
The package of this kayak includes two inflatable seats, a foot pump, a storage bag for easy transport, and a repair kit whenever you encounter holes. I must admit that this kayak is surprisingly versatile considering its material and built. Just keep in mind that this isn’t best for very windy and wavy conditions. Besides, you may not like to dive into the waters during such dangerous situations.
– This best kayak for snorkeling comes with a repair kit which most kayaks don’t give.
-It can be at par with hard-shell kayaks for snorkeling.
-The seats are very comfortable considering that it’s a tandem kayak.
-It lasts long and you can use it numerous times on your kayaking weekends.
-During strong waves, the kayak seems to be lopsided on one side.
-When deflated and packed on the storage bag, the kayak is a bit heavy and awkward to transport.
-The paddles are a bit long for average paddlers and you have to achieve a certain angle to paddle your way to the water. It’s also rattling on the rod part which gives a feeling that the oars would come off.
-The blue color of the webbing tends to wash out into the white parts of the kayak.
If you’re serious about putting your money on the best kayak for snorkeling, I suggest that you invest in the Vibe Kayaks Sea 130 Ghost with Hero Seat. This solo sit on top kayak is actually geared for fishing but its features will definitely give a nice diving and swimming experience. It has the dual position hero seat that gives utmost comfort and stability.
There are a lot of things to be discovered inside the kayak. It uses a pre-installed rudder so you can take a break from the paddling once in a while. Such feature will also be your saving grace during very windy days and in the event of strong currents. Since it’s more of a fishing kayak, there are rod holders and cord riggings that you can use to swim back to the kayak after snorkeling.
One thing I love the most about this kayak is the very lavish storage compartments. There’s a 20-inch oval hatch in the front and rear as well as a large one near the tank. With that, you can toss your snorkel, flippers, and other gears securely into the vessel. Just pad it with a soft towel if ever you’re going to use a dive mask. Constant banging on the walls of the kayak during a strong current can shatter the glass part of it.
Another notable feature of this kayak is its aesthetic. You’ll know a Vibe Kayak the moment you see one as it has camouflage-like colors for every paddler.
-This best kayak for snorkeling packed with features that will give the value of your money. This kayak is also good for fishing if ever you decide to have a side trip after snorkeling.
-There’s room for the possible installation of a motor if you want to ditch paddling or stop using the rudder.
-Even if you’re a bulky 280-pound human, you won’t have any trouble standing up on the kayak. No wiggling or tendency of capsizing as long as you don’t overdo your movements.
-The seat is very comfortable even during long periods of paddling.
-The storage spaces are more than enough for fishing, snorkeling, or diving.
-Very expensive for approximately one grand
-Some features would be left unused if you’re solely going to use this for snorkeling.
-The oar could be a bit small for solo paddling.
For someone with a smaller build, the Sun Dolphin Sit on Top Camino SS Kayak would be the best kayak for snorkeling. It has a petite structure of eight feet with perfectly contoured graduated foot wells for the comfort of the paddler. Unlike other kayaks with pointed sterns, this one has a square structure for added stability and for you to swim back easily after the snorkeling adventure.
The famous brand never ceases to amaze paddlers with its open cockpit style that will allow ease of movement even if it’s smaller than the usual kayaks used for snorkeling. It already comes with a padded seat that you can also adjust for your comfort.
For your snorkeling trip, you can simply place your gears on the cord rigging on the stern while you stuff some smaller goodies in the storage compartment. It’s a basic and straightforward kayak but no less wonderful for typical paddling. Another thing that makes this a favorite among beginner kayakers cum snorkelers is the affordable price. I’m sure that not everyone can afford one as grand as the Vibe Kayaks so this model is a bit of a saving grace.
This Sun Dolphin kayak is self-bailing but you should still use scupper plugs when you’re on the water if you don’t want to sink your boat. The takeaway, as what the users say, is it can hold a grandma and two small grandsons that’s about 225 pounds overall.
If you want the best kayak for snorkeling for your snorkeling weekend, the Sun Dolphin wouldn’t be a shame.
-It’s basic and less intimidating for a beginner kayaker.
-Affordable and reliable for its price
-Comfortable to use and very stable in the water, even kids can use it with ease.
-Small and lightweight which makes it easy to transport if you’re going on a weekend out of town.
-There are handles in the front and rear so you can drag it back to the ocean easily.
-Ergonomics at its finest. Even if it looks simple, the cockpit has contoured surfaces for added grip.
-It tends to ride low on water as the deck plate isn’t insulated. The small gaps on the screws might let in some water.
-It’s not a good choice for speed. Still, this is the best kayak for snorkeling if you just want a vessel for a quiet afternoon paddling.
-The kayak is best for recreational than professional paddling activities. But if you got the skills in maneuvering kayaks even in the harshest waters, you’re still going to love this.
If the kids want to tag along on your paddling, you should be prepared with the Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK219 Tandem Sit On Top Kayak. This isn’t just a two-seater boat but it can accommodate up to three people in its 12.3 feet build. Such feature is a convenient one if you’re bringing the family on a vacation by the beach.
If you’re not into snorkeling during some days, this kayak can turn into a fishing boat where you can maximize the four flush mount rod holders plus two more adjustable ones. And where else will you store the catch or your snorkeling gears? Of course, this one has a watertight compartment. You can stuff this with small things and you can also utilize the corded rear area.
When you’re on the spot for snorkeling, you wouldn’t want to lose your paddles. One small, but definitely important, feature here are the paddle parks that will hold the two oars in place. Just put the dive flag and the whole gang is ready to experience the underwater beauty and the best kayak for snorkeling.
After the enjoying the snorkeling game, you can squeeze in a short fishing session with your family as this is also a powerhouse fishing vessel. You can even turn it into a game, but watch for those flying hooks!
When it’s time to call it a day, the four carrying handles on the side will make it easy for you and your buddies to drag it back to the shore. This BKC kayak is nothing but a solid piece of shark biscuit.
-This kayak is almost impossible to tip over even during a problematic case of paddling (you know how it goes in tandem paddling!)
-Nothing beats its capacity of carrying more than two people, perfect for family and friends use.
-The seats are such a beauty along with the aluminum oars that are unlikely to break while you’re on the water.
-It’s a bit cheaper than the Vibe Kayak but is at par with features.
-This best kayak for snorkeling can work even if only one of the tandem is paddling.
-For very tall users, the backrest of the seat may not be very comfortable for extended use. It also has the tendency to slide forward when you’re paddling. You have to fix it first to make the sitting more worthwhile.
-If you’re planning to go out solo, the tandem kayak might pose stability issues. Still, this won’t bring you close to tipping.
-Still a bit expensive compared to most models available in the market.
-If the three of you are going on a snorkeling trip, only two will have comfy seats. The other one has to endure the strain. Nevertheless, there’s enough leg room for a kid.
These four options are all wonderful for a snorkeling trip. But if you’re going to ask me who’s the winner for this roundup, I can give the credit to the Vibe Kayak. There’s nothing to hate on such model aside from the price and a few downsides of using it for a water adventure. But not to discount the features and stability of the remaining three, I’m torn to whoever will get the crown as the best kayak for snorkeling.
How about you? Which one do you find appealing? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!
Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you.