7 Best Kayak for Kids – Lightweight Kayaks for Kids & Youth

Kids these days are no alien to adventure activities. But taking them on such activities and excursions presents oneself with extra things to take care of. Especially so, when the activity is kayaking. Buying the best kayak for kids can be a hustle.

Unlike adults, kids have certain needs that if not seen to correctly can not only ruin the kayaking experience for them but also lead to injuries and other safety issues. If you are looking for the ideal kayaking experience for your child, then you surely have come to the right place.

In this article, we will be covering an extensive guide on how to select the best kayak for kids and what are the things that you need to keep in mind while buying the kayak. Also, we will be listing all the great options available in the market in depth. So do have a look at the article and have a fun day with your kids in the waters.

How to buy lightweight, youth kayaks?

Length of kayak 

Kayaks for kids are shorter in length compared to the adult kayaks. Shorter length kayaks are ideal for the kids as they tend to be in gentle waters and quiet rivers. They have better maneuvering and turn better than other kayaks. Usually, such kayaks don’t have a length option as they are made to fit the size of the kids. Just ensure that the kayak is able to fit in the legs of your kids properly and you are good to go.


Most manufacturers have a weight range that can help you select the ideal kayak for your kids.  It is advisable that you do not buy the kayak for your kid if he/she is not grown up enough to be able to ride in a kayak.  If your kid is a bit heavier than the given maximum weight rating, then go for a bigger and larger kayak. You may need to buy another kayak with time as your kid grows in size, so take that into consideration as well. You may need an upgrade for the existing one. 

Types of kayak 

Usually, it is sitting on top kayak for the kids where the kids can comfortably sit inside the kayak. Sit on top kayaks are perfect for kids of any age as they hold their bodies together very effectively. They are also very durable and perfect as they are crafted from a single piece of plastic.

Some kayaks have self-draining holes that keep the kayak dry. Because of these features, their simple design and durability make for an ideal choice for the kids. But you can also go for other styles if you wish. There are other specialized kayaks as well for the kids and you can check them out too.

Tow Rope

Many kids kayaks have a rope attached to it already. For safety reasons, though, you should ensure that you tie a 20 ft length of rope in the front of the kids’ kayak. This will be of great help when you are out of the waters and can pull the kids out of the river when needed and they tend to lose the balance or to help tow them in case they are unable to paddle and fall asleep. It is a must, regardless of the level of skill your child has.

Width of Kayak

The width of the kayak boat is extremely important for kids. For any child a boat that is wider in length very efficient to handle. these boats are ideal as they are very stable and easy to maneuver. A wider length will ensure your child’s safety and it would also be very easy for your child to control it. But with the width, you also have to look into the overall design of the hull of the kayak.

Usually, a double hull design is more common in the kids’ kayak but there are several other designs that will enable the kayak to be stable when your child is paddling. They sit on top kayaks come with such designs and as discussed previously, these kayaks are the ideal ones for your child.

Now that you have got a fair idea about what to look for in the kayaks, let us have a glance at some of the best options that you can choose from and gift your kids.

List of Best Kayak for Kids in 2019

Kayaks for 4 to 8 yr old kids

Lifetime Youth Wave kayak

First up is the Lifetime Youth Wave kayak that is designed especially for the age group of 5 years and above. This kayak is very lightweight weighing at just 18 lbs that will be very easy to handle for the kids. It has molded finger handles on each side for easy transport of the kayak.

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle

The kayak is crafted in a high-density polyethylene material that gives it great durability and strength.  There is also a slope at the end that allows one to re-enter the boat from the water. This 6 ft kayak has a wide stance that makes for a stable paddling platform for your kids. To keep the kayak dry, there is a scupper hole in the kayak. The entire kayak is designed in an ergonomic manner such that it gives great comfort, also having multiple footrest positions for different size riders and a reverse chine for enhanced stability.

A black double-sided paddle is provided with the boat. The Wave has UV- protection that will protect it from the wear and tear from the environment. There is a special twin-fin design that is fantastic for tracking and surf riding. The dimensions of the kayak are 72 x 24 x 9 inches and overall, it is a great choice and a must-have a kayak.

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Best Choice Sports kayak

Featuring on the second position is the Best Choice 6 ft kids kayak. This sports kayak comes with built-in storage that can be utilized to store a cup or a bottle holder.

There is a rear cargo storage compartment that has a net lacing and a front storage area with a bungee cord. The kayak is crafted in a tough UV-resistant plastic material that makes it extremely durable and resistant to wear and tear. It has an open cockpit area with a front toggle handle, a skeg wheel and also molded-in footwells for extra security to the rider.

The kayak’s comfortable padded backrest provides comfort while riding and one can also fold it when needed. The dimensions of the kayak are  72 x 26 x 7 inches with a weight-bearing capacity of 121 lbs and the total weight of the kayak is 18 pounds.

This means that this kayak is light enough to be carried anywhere with ease. It is indeed a great choice for your kids and comes in two exciting color options and hence highly recommended by us.

Last update was on: May 1, 2022 4:58 pm
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Emotion Sparky Youth kayak

The Emotion Sparky Youth kayak is the perfect kayak that your kids will surely love. The Sparky comes equipped with built-in side handles and a front toggle handle that allows for quick and hassle-free transportation anywhere.

Emotion Sparky Youth Kayak

It is an extraordinary kayak having a “V” hull that ensures easy maneuvering without affecting the stability of the boat. It is a sit on top model with self-bailing scupper holes for easy drainage. This kayak has excellent tracking ability and is ideal for kids aged 5 and above.

The entire kayak is designed and blow molded with a high-density polyethylene material giving it superior strength and durability. The maximum weight-bearing capacity of the kayak is about 140 lbs and the overall weight of the kayak is around 22 lbs only.  

The Emotion Sparky has got all that is needed to enjoy the outdoors and river waters with your kids.  It also features a specially designed tank well having ample storage for all the kayaking essentials that your child desires. Hence, a really great product worth the price and something that you won’t regret investing in.

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Last update was on: May 1, 2022 4:58 pm

Kayaks for 8 to 12 yr old kids

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Ocean Kayak Banzai Kids’ Kayak

Featuring on the first position in the category of the kayaks suitable for 8 to 12 yr old kids is the Ocean Kayak Banzai kids’ kayak. It is a kid-friendly kayak that has molded-in side handles and bow toggle handles that make the kayak easy to be maneuvered from the car to the water.

Ocean Kayak Banzai Kids' Kayak

The kayak has contoured seats that enable easy mobility and easy movement for small bodies. There is also a tag along with a system which allows easy towing of kids when paddling becomes too boring for the kids. The kayak measures 9 feet and 6 inches and the weight of the kayak are about 36 pounds with a weight-bearing capacity of 230 pounds.

One can keep the hydration close using its molded-in cup holder. The most exciting part is that this kayak has a lifetime warranty on the hull and hence a must-have. Overall, it is a great kayak to have for your kids.

Last update was on: May 1, 2022 4:58 pm
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Sun Dolphin Bali SS 8 kayak 

The Sun Dolphin Bali SS 8 kayak is an ideal kayak that is so versatile and lightweight, your kids will never want to come out of it. A perfect kayak for family, it tracks and paddles with ease.

Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 8-Foot Sit-in Kayak

It is a sit-in kayak that offers great stability to the boat. Adjustable padded seat , a dry storage compartment and spray deflector are also provided with the kayak. Other features of the kayak include a recessed drink and paddle holder. The overall dimensions of the kayak are 96 x 28 x 16 inches with a maximum weight-bearing capacity of 260 lbs.

The weight of the kayak itself is 27 pounds.This kayak is excellent in both rivers and lake waters alike.  On the whole it is great choice for all the grown-up kids.

Last update was on: May 1, 2022 4:58 pm

Kayaks for 12 yrs and up old kids

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Vibes skipjack sit on top kayak

The vibes skipjack sit on top kayak is a kayak that will grab the attention of kids instantly due to its marvelous look. It is a lightweight fishing kayak with paddles and seats and 2 flush rod holders and a built-in storage option. It is a one-person sit on the top fishing kayak that includes 4 flush-mount rod holders for all your accessories.

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot Angler and Recreational Sit On Top Light Weight Fishing Kayak with Paddle

The ergonomic backrest cushion in the kayak provides comfort while kayaking and is extremely efficient in any types of waters, be it rivers and lakes. The kayak is fast, stable and ready to roll whenever you want it to be. This kayak can fit in perfectly in your van making it very portable to carry along on your adventure.

The molded-in foot braces of the kayak can fit any size paddler. The construction of the Skipjack 90 is such that it is durable with built-in buoyancy for safety purpose. The sleek hull design makes tracking faster and comfortable. It is leak-proof , sturdy and totally value for money and hence totally recommended by us.

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Intex Challenger K1

Last up we have the Intex challenger K1 that is made up of durable welded material that is sure to mesmerize anyone. This kayak is ideal to take in slow-moving rivers and lakes.

Intex Challenger  Inflatable Kayak for Kids

The kayak has inflatable seats, I beam floors and it comes with an 84-inch aluminum oar, repair patch and also a Hi output manual hand pump. The kayak measures 30 x 15 x 108 inches in length and has a rugged vinyl construction. A cargo net is also given to store all your essential things while kayaking. The super-tough airbed of the kayak gives great comfort, stability, and support to the user.

The kayak is smooth and puncture resistant as well as extremely convenient to use.The weight of the kayak is 27.2 pounds with a maximum weight-bearing capacity of 220 pounds. Overall, it is one kayak that is built for the kill and totally on the money.

Last update was on: May 1, 2022 4:58 pm

There is no dearth of kayaks in the market that will satisfy your kids’ needs. Before buying any kayak keep in mind all the requirements that your child may need. Select the kayak based on the age and the skill level of your child. Also, never compromise on the safety aspects of the kayak.

We hope that this article will help you to select the best kayaks for your kids. So go out there and have a fun time with your little ones.

David Donal is the chief editor at BBHQ. He is living example to show the age doesn’t matter to stay fit & do exercises daily. With many years of experience in the health industry, he reviews products and writes about them here to help every end-users.

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