Best Kayaks for Kids in 2021

Before we get started let me say that any links you click on in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I may get a commission from your purchase. It will not change your purchase price at all.

Are you looking to take your children out on the lake or the river with you?

Why not? Let’s get them started, so they too can learn the joys of kayaking and being out in nature. We are going to take a look at the best kayaks for kids in 2021.

Two children paddling a kayak

Quick Pick Guide

Lifetime Youth 6′ Wave

Intek Challenger

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

Maxkare Youth 6′ Kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali 10′ Sit-on-top

Ascend D10 Sit-in

Get the Kiddos Outside

Kids are natural explorers. They spend their whole day learning and exploring their surroundings, even when we don’t realize that they are. Remember back when you were a child. I know it’s hard for some of us older folks to remember back that far.

But remember, how we were so intrigued with the outside world? Everything was big and new and exciting. We can get some of that feeling back if we take our kids out and watch them explore and see everything again through their eyes. Let’s face it, if you add water then the fun just doubles.

Children exploring the river with fish nets

Imagine the first time they experience seeing a deer on the bank of the river from a tiny boat, or catch that first fish by themselves and land it in their boat.

Just think of the memories they will build and the Kodak moments you will have!

Why a Kids Kayak

If you are already a kayaker, then you may just be looking for a way to get the kiddos out of your kayak and into their own. If you are new to all this, then let me help you get your kiddos out in the river with you and enjoy everything nature has to offer.

Obviously, if the kiddos are still very young, you will probably want to keep them in your kayak with you for safety reasons, but sooner or later they are going to want their own boat and that is why I am writing this post.

I want to share some kid friendly products on the market and help you choose the proper kayak for your needs and the needs of your children.

There are a lot of options out there and I want you to make the best decision for you and your child.

We are going to look at:

  • Style and function
  • Weight and capacity
  • Length and width
  • Budget or cost

Style and function are important for a kids kayak, just like an adults kayak. They have to function for the little person that will be operating them and kids like style as much as anyone. For them it is almost always about color.

Weight and capacity is vital. Whether you are thinking of now or into the future. You do not want a kayak that your child can’t grow into for a bit, or one that they cannot handle with little effort.

Length and width of a kids kayak is going to obviously be shorter, unless your child is taller or going to need an adult kayak sooner than later. Width also plays many roles, from stability to keeping your youngins elbows and knuckles safe.

Cost or budget is always on our minds. Most of us are not looking to spend a small fortune on something they may not even like or grow out of in a week.

Best Kayak for Kids Reviews

Before we get started let me say that any links you click on in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I may get a commission from your purchase. It will not change your purchase price at all.

Lifetime Youth 6′ Wave

This cute little kayak was designed specifically with kids in mind. This kayak is ideal for kids 5yrs and up, or up to 130 lbs. Although, several of the reviews stated that children younger use it just fine, as long as they are supervised. Also, several small adults claimed to have used it as well.

It comes in three basic colors, green, pink and orange. You know the girls are going to want the pink one, LOL.

Weighing in at 18 lbs, it is ideal for those kids that are independent and want to do it themselves. It sports molded, finger side handles for easy carry as well as a tow handle in the front.

I think the best feature is the step-up back of this kayak, designed for easy re-entry into the kayak if they decide to jump in for a swim. Be prepared though, kids are apt to use it for a diving board, if you know what I mean.

The Specs of the Lifetime 6′ Wave

  • Length – 72 inches
  • Width – 24 inches
  • Depth – 9 inches
  • Weight – 18 lbs
  • Capacity – 130 lbs

Key Features

  • Made of high-density polyethylene for strength and durability
  • Molded, finger side handles and a tow handle on the front
  • Light-weight
  • Wide bodied for stability
  • Multiple foot rest positions for growing legs

This is a great option for the littles as a beginner kayak. Best for recreational kids play. It can be used in a swimming pool, pond, lake, stream, pretty much anywhere you feel comfortable allowing them to learn. Best of all, it will not break the bank. It does typically come with a paddle.

Intek Challenger Inflatable

While the Intek Challenger was not specifically designed for kids, it is a good alternative for those that would be moving into an adult kayak quickly.

This kayak is really quite affordable and super easy to transport and comes with everything you need to get it on the water.

The Intek is a sporty little one-man kayak that is easily seen in the water with its bright green graphics. This kayak is made of a rugged vinyl with an inflatable I-beam floor for structural rigidity and comfort. It sports a low-profile deck and high buoyancy side chambers for stability.

It comes with an inflatable seat with a backrest that can be adjusted to just the right position. It sports a cargo net for extra storage and grab lines on each end for your convenience.

The Specs for the Intek Challenger

  • Weight – 23.9 lbs
  • Weight Capacity – 220 lbs
  • Inflated Dimensions – Length = 9ft Width = 2.5 ft Depth = 13 inches

Key Features

  • Rugged vinyl construction
  • Removable skeg for directional stability
  • Grab line on both ends
  • Sporty graphics for high visibility
  • Low profile for lakes and mild rivers
  • U.S. Coast guard I.D. – NMMA certified

That is just a few of the key features hat make this inflatable a great value. Also, worth another mention is the fact that it has a 220 lb capacity. So if your little is approaching young adult, this would make an easy transition.

The kit also comes with a paddle, repair kit and a pump. This is a quick and easy way to get started with your kids for an affordable price.

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a great little kayak to start your kids out on, and the 10′ length gives them room to grow. If you are looking for a reasonably affordable kayak this is your boat. They come in a variance of colors and have some fun features.

They are made of a durable Fortiflex high-density polyethylene material that is UV resistant. They come with a limited one-year warranty. Not a bad thing in my book. One of my favorite features, they are made in the USA!

The Aruba 10 Specs

  • Weight – 40 lbs
  • Weight Capacity – 250 lbs
  • Length – 9.5 ft (292 cm)
  • Width – 29 inches (74 cm)

While young children will need help transporting this model, your older children shouldn’t have too many issues getting it where they want it.

Key Features

  • Adjustable padded seat
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Storage compartment
  • Carry handles
  • Protective thigh pads
  • Paddle holder
  • Large cockpit

This little kayak has some great style for the budget. It even has a water bottle holder.

Maxkare Youth 6′ Kayak

This little kayak has style! The kiddos will feel like they are in a big kids kayak with this one. It comes in either red or blue and sports some great features.

This youth 6′ kayak was designed for anyone 5 yo and up weighing up to 121 lbs. with a max height of 5′-3″.

This kayak is a light-weight kayak constructed of environmentally safe HDPE materials that are wear resistant and anti-corrosion. It will be able to handle the pounding that kids can dish out.

Specs of the Maxkare Youth 6′

  • Length – 6′-1 inches
  • Weight – 20.5 lbs
  • Width – 24.6 inches
  • Height – 8.8 inches
  • Weight Capacity – 121 lbs

Key Features

  • Safe and Sturdy – the ergonomic design and the use of HDPE materials provide a durable and corrosion resistant product.
  • Grooved Cockpit + 3 foot rest positions, allowing your child to grow a bit.
  • Folding Backrest
  • Cup holders and multiple storage areas and compartments
  • Front pulling handle as well as side handles for easy transport

This kayak is perfect for pools, lakes, rivers, etc.

Sun Dolphin Bali Sit-on-top

This version of the Sun Dolphin comes in two great sizes. For the littlest of littles there is the 6-foot version, The Bali 6 Sit-on.

The Bali 6 Sit-on is perfect for children up to 140 lbs. It sports a large open seating area and a back swim deck. This kayak is light-weight and durable. Perfect for lakes, rivers, ponds, etc.

The Bali 6 has a carry handle and is light-weight. It sports graduating, molded foot braces, and a molded paddle holder.

Bali 6 Sit-on Specs

  • Weight – 28 lbs
  • Weight Capacity – 140 lbs
  • Length – 6 ft (183 cm)
  • Width – 25 1/4 inches (64 cm)

The Sun Dolphin Bali also has a 10-foot version. It offers a few more options for the bigger kids and can carry them into adulthood.

This version of the Bali also has multiple storage compartments, adjustable foot braces, protective thigh pads and easy carry design.

Bali 10 SS Specs

  • Weight – 44lbs
  • Weight Capacity – 250lbs
  • Length – 9.5ft (251 cm)
  • Width – 29.5 inches (75 cm)

Both kayaks are constructed of the same UV-Stabilized Fortiflex high-density polyethylene material. Also, like the Sun Dolphin Aruba, these are made in the USA!

Both of these Sun Dolphin kayaks are great options for the littles to get started in the water.

Ascend D10 Sit-in

The Ascend D10 is the sit-in version of my kayak the Ascend 10T. While I consider this an adult kayak, it fit the criteria I was looking at for the littles as well. This would be an awesome kayak for the older littles that are really into kayaking and looking to keep up with the adults on the water.

This kayak has a great look and has several great features. It starts with an advanced tunnel hull design for stability and ease of paddling.

It comes with the deluxe steel framed seating system that is removable in case you need a seat on the beach for lunch. This kayak is also designed for all day comfort while paddling.

The Ascend line of kayaks are also made in the USA!

Ascend D10 Specs

  • Weight – 45 lbs (with seat, 50 lbs)
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Length – 9′-10″
  • Width – 29 inches

The D10 also has an extra large cockpit that is 68″ x 23″. This makes it easy to get in and out and gives you plenty of room to have freedom of movement when paddling. Also, it is great for accessing and storing your cooler.

Key Features

  • Custom – crafted tunnel hull design
  • Steel frame padded seat system
  • Large cock pit
  • Dual position paddle holder and molded cup holder
  • Hands free adjustable foot braces
  • Bungee secured storage in the bow and the stern
  • Molded – over rubber grip carry handles

That is just a few of the great features this kayak has.

There you have it!

These are my choices for the best kayaks for kids. I think if you are looking to get the littles into their own little boats, the options I gave you today are worth a look.

I hope that I have helped you in your search. If you have any questions or other recommendations, please leave them below.

Remember, if you click on any of the links on this post and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. It will not affect your pricing at all, but it may buy me a smoothie to keep me going.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to come hang out with me again for some of your other kayak needs.

Until Next Time!

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6 thoughts on “Best Kayaks for Kids in 2021”

  1. Wow! This is simply great to see. You know being able to actually make use of kayaks for a cruising period is great. Also, seeing all you have shared here, it would also help to give the feeling of kayaking to them. this is great here and surely if I can afford it, I will like to get 1 for my son.

    • Hi Nath,

      I am glad you found the article helpful. How old is your son? I am sure that he would love to have his own little boat. The kayaks that I shared are all pretty affordable options. I hope you decide on the perfect one for him and you. Thank you for stopping in.

  2. This is a really interesting article,it is good to always allow kids have their own time for fun and recreation, it makes them healthy mentally. It’s very true that kayaking is very interesting but it’ll be more cool to see my kids  in their own, enjoying what the river has to offer, I love the kayaks here, they are of good features, I’ll check them out. Thanks

    • Kayaking is definitely a good way to connect with your kids and nature. I would agree that them having their own kayak would make the trip more fun for them and you. So glad you found the article helpful. You will have to let me know if you en up with one and what adventures you have.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. You are appreciated.

  3. Hey. Thank you for introducing me to the Kayak Concept. I t is really beautiful , my kids would love this , I am excited of the idea already. We normally find this Kayaks( learned the name here) at different holiday places but i guess it wont hurt to own one for convenience. I have to start looking for the family one first, until everyone is comfortable with the idea, 

    • Bogadi,

      Thank you for stopping in. You might find my articles on kayaking basics and styles intersting as well. I think that you and your family would love to have your own kayaks. It is definitly more convenient than renting in most cases.


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