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The Best Kayak For Kids For Their First Water Adventure 2022

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Published March 2, 2021 | Updated April 19, 2022

During a family getaway, it’s not just the adults that should be enjoying the waters. The kids should also be taking part in the fun. Getting them a kayak would surely make family moments even more remarkable for them. So what is the best kayak for kids? As much as you have the money and knowledge on how to buy a kayak for adults, it’s a little different when it comes to the youngsters’ kayaks. You have to make sure that they’re having fun without the expense of safety.

Kayaking improves the critical thinking of kids, as they have to come up with a plan on how to navigate without capsizing. They also get to make decisions on their own under different environmental pressures. It develops their sportsmanship and the idea of rewards and accomplishments. (Just watch out as it can be very competitive!)

Still, kayaking for kids isn’t without its downsides. The safety of the youngsters is a concern especially if they don’t know how to swim yet. But all these could be prevented with the right supervision and safety gears. The right kayak would make the biggest difference.

The Best Kayak For Kids For Their First Water Adventure 2022

The Best Kayak For Kids

Lifetime Youth Kayak

Lifetime Youth Kayak

If you have a youngster aged five and up, the Lifetime Youth Kayak would be the best choice. Many parents trust this and true to its ergonomic promise, the kids would have a fun time with utmost safety. The features are nothing but grand as it has a reverse chine for less chance of capsizing. But to be sure, let your kiddie wear a life vest.

Every part of this kayak is perfectly contoured to accommodate kids up to 130 pounds. But remember that this is just a single boat and such weight limit is for kids alone. Once the child is on it, he can maximize the different foot positions. It’s for sure that the first rides would be bumpy and the kayak might be splashed with water. You don’t have to worry as this boat has self-bailing drain holes to ward off the water that may sink the little sailor. What is the best kayak for kids? The Lifetime option could be the one!

Lifetime Youth Kayak being rode by 2 kids

This Lifetime kayak is great for basic paddling but if your kid is a swimmer, he will surely love the swim-up deck at the stern of the boat. Such patented feature will allow easy re-entry without toppling the vessel.

When it comes to the quality of the material, this is made of high-density polyethylene that’s lightweight at 18 pounds as much as it’s durable. Even your kids can lift it off the water.

This already comes with a paddle but I suggest that you get a backrest so your kiddie won’t slouch or have back pains after long hours of use.


-One big thumbs-up to this is its affordable price. For less than $100, you can get your child a safe and durable kayak that will last for years.

-It has an ergonomic cockpit that promotes better balance while your kids improve their motor skills. What is the best kayak for kids? This is it!

-The kayak has a two-fin design that improves the tracking as well as the stability when paddling on strong waves.

-It measures six feet and can still be suited for pre-teenage years.


-You have to buy the backrest and life vest separately.

-The paddle is a little brittle and it might break if used during a strong current.

-There’s no dry compartment where your kid can place some stuff.

-There are no scupper plugs to secure the kayak even if it’s self-bailing.

-You might have to drill holes to attach the backrest.

Sun Dolphin Journey Sit On Top Kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey Sit On Top Kayak

Yes, one of the most famous kayak brands is also producing equipment for kids! So you ask, what is the best kayak for kids? One of these is the Sun Dolphin Journey Sit On Top Kayak that offers a highly adventurous experience for your youngster. Unlike the Lifetime model, this one is packed with extra features like an already installed backrest so your child will have a good start on the water.

One of the most prominent features of this kayak is the built-in flush mount fish holders. Imagine being on the lake with your child while the two of you tries to have the day’s catch. It’s like a smaller version of the kayaks for adults as it even has a storage compartment and small add-ons for tinkering like the portable accessory carrier.

Sun Dolphin Journey Sit On Top Kayak

What makes this stand out among other kid kayaks is the shock cord rigging. Your kid has something to grab during an abrupt toggle or when the vessel capsized. This is added security feature that comes handy during in times of self-rescue.

Like the first option, this is made of polyethylene that’s UV stabilized so the color, which may come in a very adventurous sand or olive, won’t fade and the material won’t crack up easily. Adults can also use this if ever the kids aren’t in the mood for paddling. Overall, this is a wise investment that won’t just get stuck in the storage room.

One good thing is even adults can fit into this kayak comfortably. It has a weight limit of 280 pounds so it’s going to be a kayak that your child will grow up to. There’s also a paddle that comes with it that, so far, is more sturdy than what’s included in the Lifetime kayak. What is the best kayak for kids and adults? The Sun Dolphin just nailed it.


-It has the best features for its price of less than $400. A bit pricey at first glance but the build is exceptional!

-Fit for kids and adults that have beginner to intermediate paddling level.

-The rod holders are more than enough to get a kid busy.

-There are retractable carrying handles that make it easy to transport or drag back to the shore even by your little one.

-It comes with additional thigh pads and adjustable braces for the feet.


-A little difficult to drain if ever the water splashes into the kayak or when it’s raining.

-It could be a little expensive for a kid’s kayak.

-The user might experience minor stability issues so it’s advisable to always wear a life vest.

-The life vest isn’t included in the package.


Between the two, what is the best kayak for kids? It’s up to you to choose which one you’ll get for your youngster. These two are for the money but I won’t deny that the Sun Dolphin has a charm to it. It’s packed with features that even the adults would die for at such a friendly price.

On the other hand, the Lifetime kayak is a good choice for those who are on a budget. It’s a basic but safe choice for your little one who also wants to take part in the paddling game. It lacks some features and gears but the price tag will allow you to purchase it along. Do you already have a choice in mind? Let’s discuss it below in the comment section!

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

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. 

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