Best River Kayak Reviews and Buyer’s Guide 2023

Are yo looking for best river kayak? We’ve compiled this list of best river kayaks to help you make up your mind. Whether you’re looking for freshwater fishing, a relaxing afternoon paddling along a wide, slow river, or a challenge with whitewater, we’ve got you covered.

Kayaking is an art. When you use the top river kayak, you can experience a safe and enjoyable journey.

River kayaking is an activity that requires a great deal of skill and knowledge.

Flatwater kayaking is a great way to explore the world. The water doesn’t get much calmer than it does on flat waters. And solo paddlers can easily cut through the waves in their kayaks. Recreational kayaks are perfect for this kind of exploration. But any other type would work as well, depending on what you plan to do out there!

River fishing kayak requires unique knowledge about paddling. You will need to learn how to read the water, where to cast, and where to paddle. River inflatable kayak must be a specialized kayak, which can handle the changing variables along a river.

In comparison to coasts, rivers are one of the most accessible types of water, and that makes them a great place to hone your kayaking skills! When it comes to picking the best river kayaks, the rules are a little different than they are for other bodies of water. That’s why we’re here to walk you through the process of choosing out the perfect whitewater cruiser for you.

Our Top Picks


BKC PK14 14′ Tandem Sit On Top Pedal Drive Kayak

BKC PK14 14' Tandem Sit On Top Pedal Drive Kayak

  • High storage capacity
  • The seats are adjustable and comfortable
  • Never lose your paddle due to Deluxe Paddle Leash
  • Use for different purposes



Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Motorized Fishing Kayak

Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Motorized Fishing Kayak

  • SPOT LOCK technology holds your position
  • Premium seating for all-day comfort
  • Large open cockpit shape
  • Controlled i-pilot remote with the touch of your thumb



Leo2020 Tandem 2 or 3 Person Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Leo2020 Tandem 2 or 3 Person Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

  • Large storage capacity
  • Use for a different purpose, but perfect for fishing
  • Keep your league reliable dry, and safe


Best River Kayak Reviews:

The best kayaks are designed for all types of water. Kayaking is a sport that can be done on calm, slow-moving rivers or fast-flowing rapids. The best river kayak reviews will help you find the right one for your needs.

ModelKey FeaturesRating 
BKC RA220 sit on Top angler fishing kayak
BKC RA220 sit on Top angler fishing kayak
High storage

4.1 out of 5 stars
BKC PK14 14' tandem sit on top kayak
BKC PK14 14' tandem sit on top kayak
4.3 out of 5 stars
Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Motorized Fishing Kayak
Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Motorized Fishing Kayak

5 out of 5 stars
Elkton outdoors tandem fishing kayak
Elkton outdoors tandem fishing kayak
Keep your
Easy to
4.1 out of 5 stars
Leo2020 Tandem 2 or 3 person sit on top kayak
Leo2020 Tandem 2 or 3 person sit on top kayak
storage capacity

4 out of 5 stars
Driftsun Teton 120 hard shell recreational tandem kayak
Driftsun Teton 120 hard shell recreational tandem kayak
safe and
4.5 out of 5 stars
FUJGYLGL Folding Kayak - 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
FUJGYLGL Folding Kayak - 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
High weight
4 out of 5 stars
Medison 2 person inflatable kayak
Medison 2 person inflatable kayak

3.9 out of 5 stars

1. BKC RA220 Sit on Top Angler Fishing Kayak

BKC RA220 11.6 ft Single Fishing Kayak


The Brooklyn Kayak Company manufactured the best river fishing kayaks. They have everything an angler needs for adventures on the water. But they don’t have a reel, bait, and a bit of luck.

These river kayaks come with a lot of accessories. Including pedal-operated rudder, two paddle parks, adjustable aluminum paddle, an ergonomic aluminum frame seat, two flush-mount rod holds, three waterproof hatches, and one bungee cargo tie-down. However, they have all accessories you need during touring.

Roto-adjusted single-piece high-density polyethylene material is superior to tandem river kayaks. And up to 550lbs weight is supporting on lake, ocean or river. Its 34-inch beam makes it balanced in choppy waters or swift currents. And strong enough to stand for casting and reeling.

This kayak has two-rod holders. Those give a lot of support during paddling, makes transport easy. A foot pedal-operated rudder feature makes the control in all water conditions.

It has three watertight storage hatches. BKC river kayak is suitable for multiple-day adventures. At the same time, its high storage area will hold all of your fishing staff and outdoor gear.


  • Length 11’6”
  • Width 34”
  • Kayak weight 68 lbs
  • Weight Capacity 550 lbs
  • Kayak dimensions 148 x 32 x 12 inches
  • Ample watertight storage and a large cargo area
  • Keep your supplies dry and reliable in the water.
  • Use for multiple-day adventures
  • Steady and stable in all water conditions
  • The BKC RA220 foot pedal-operated rudder provides ultimate control in all water conditions without paddle steering.
  • Perfect for standing up to casting and reeling
  • The BKC sit on top fishing kayak is highly stable and durable.
  • ROTO Molded single-price high-density polyethylene material makes it more superiors kayak.
  • Waterproof storage
  • Aluminum frame seat designed for comfort and support
  • Seat quality is poor

2. BKC PK14 14′ Tandem Sit On Top Pedal Drive Kayak

BKC PK 14 14 Tandem Sit on Top Pedal Drive Kayak


BKC tandem fishing kayak is perfect for outdoor enjoyment. This tandem kayak has extra space to fit three persons. And this feature making it for family adventures and fishing trips.

Its bicycle-style makes it more efficient. And paddlers can use hands-free. At the same time, this style enhances your steering capabilities and easy to turn.

A Tandem fishing kayak comes with many accessories, including two ergonomic aluminum frame seats, three waterproof hatches, two adjustable aluminum paddles, two paddle parks, three built-in rod holders, and one bungee cargo tie-down.

It has a dual paddling capacity.

It has 670 lbs weight capacity. Kayak is built with Roto Molded single Piece High-density polyethylene material. In all water conditions, it offers excellent durability and stability.

It has high-quality waterproof storage. The weight of the item is 68 pounds.  BKC’s KC274 includes a rolling chair. Instead of working hard, it can use smartly.


  • Length 24’
  • Width 34”
  • Kayak weight 74 lbs
  • Weight Capacity 670 lbs
  • One of the Best tandem inflatable touring kayak
  • Best tandem kayak for beginners and intermediate
  • High storage capacity
  • The seats are adjustable and comfortable
  • Never lose your paddle due to Deluxe Paddle Leash
  • Use for different purposes
  • Difficult to carry in the car due to its large size

3. Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Motorized Fishing Kayak

Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 Motorized Fishing Kayak


You can use AutoPilot’s motorized river fishing kayak in saltwater. And it has GPS enable Minn Kota trolling motor. You can also connect I-pilot remotes to this river kayak via Bluetooth.

It has spot lock technology to maintain your position on the water. In this way, your hands are free for casting and reeling.

Old Town Sportsman river fishing kayaks are equipped with a variety of features. Including cushioned floor pads for better grip and comfort, a custom tackle box, plenty of rod holders, and customizable accessory tracks.

The Best river kayak has removable seats for transport and stays cool on the water. This kayak has a 12-foot length. And 558-pound weight capacity. The large open cockpit shape provides a platform for plenty of fishing and river kayaking.


  • Length 12 feet
  • Width 37 inches
  • Assembled Hull Weight 128 pounds
  • Total Weight Capacity 558 pounds
  • High weight capacity
  • Controlled i-pilot remote with the touch of your thumb
  • Custom made
  • Comfortable for whole day river kayaking
  • Difficult to repair

4. Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak


This river fishing kayak is perfect for fishing for rivers and oceans. Its rotomolded injected body protects it from cracks and punctures.

With two carry handles it’s convenient to transport. Kayak has two storage areas on each end of the kayak. Its ice chests design makes it unique. Ice chests mean you shouldn’t leave anything on the beach when using a fishing kayak!

It measures 12.2 feet long and 3 feet wide, which is large enough for two people. In contrast, it contains all gears you need.

The perfect way to get started in canoeing is with this great starter kit! It includes everything you need for a day on the water, including two paddles, two seats, and rod holders. All that’s left is finding your favorite body of water!


  • Length: 12’2”
  • Width: 3’
  • Dimensions 2′ X 3′
  • Kayak Weight 72 lbs
  • The easy handling of the kayak boat makes it ideal for beginners.
  • It has comfortable adjustable seats
  • An inflatable boat is suitable for fishing or boating.
  • Keep your valuable safe and dry
  • Easy to transport
  • High storage capacity
  • Very stable kayak
  • Very durable material
  • Lots of attachment points
  • Expensive

5. Leo2020 Tandem 2 or 3 Person Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Leo2020 Tandem 2 or 3 Person SIt On Top Fishing Kayak horizontal


Leo’s tandem kayak is perfect for river fishing kayak. This tandem kayak has extra space fit 3. You can enjoy family adventures easily. The kayak comes with a lot of accessories. There are two adjustable aluminum paddles, two soft padded seats, four-rod holders built into the seats, two paddle parks, two waterproof hatches, and one bungee cargo tie-down.

It has 770 lbs weight capacity. In comparison, 34-beam inches balanced it on the water at all conditions. Built-in fishing rod holders make it steady and stable during paddling. Kayak has a waterproof storage system. It keeps all your valuable things dry during kayaking.


  • Length 12.9’
  • Width 5’
  • Dimension 12.9’ x 5’ x 4.41pounds
  • Kayak weight 74 lbs
  • Weight capacity 770 lbs
  • The cockpit is designed for comfort.
  • Multi-person inflatable water sports for gentle rivers.
  • Inflatable floors and cushions give you comfort.
  • Waterproof storage
  • Adjustable seats
  • Stable in all water conditions
  • Long-lasting
  • The soft padded with adjustable straps for multiple seating positions.
  • The TK remains stable in all water conditions
  • Deliver quality is not too good

6. Driftsun Teton 120 Hard Shell Recreational Tandem Kayak

Driftsun Teton Recreational Tandem Kayak


Driftsun Teton 120T is the best tandem kayak package for spectators to paddle, fish, and explore with a friend. Make it comfortable to sail, fish and tour. This package combines the best materials, workmanship, and top-quality materials. Driftsun Kayaks were born in the lakes and rivers of Northern California. Well thought out, designed, and tested by the team that lives around.

You can use this 2 Person Kayak for tandem or solo paddling. Equipped with three chairs, it can easily hold two adults + children or four animals. Great for all levels of experience. It performs exceptionally well on rivers, ocean currents, flat waters, and storms/floods. The wide hull hinges are stable and keep track for a good ride.

They are equipped with four suction rod holding bars and two common holding rod joints. Truck bungee tankwell storage. Park and lounge area. Built-in cup holder and self-bailing scupper plug. These kayaks are perfect for lake and water exploration, sea fishing trips, or multi-day camping. The Teton 120T can handle everything, whether you are looking for a day out at the pool or something a bit more challenging.


  • Passengers: 2 adults + 1 child
  • Air Chambers: 4
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • size: 8 x 81.2 cm
  • Kayak Weight: 32.6 kg
  • For most adventure kayak
  • Comfortable seats
  • Stable and safe
  • More storage capacity
  • Long length makes it harder to move

7. FUJGYLGL Folding Kayak – 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

FUJGYLGL Folding Kayak 2


It is 2 person kayak to enjoy a fun summer. This kayak has two separate air chambers.  If one chamber is stopped working, it may be possible to use the other. It can reduce the risk of an accident.

You can use it for a different purpose, maybe fishing, relaxing, or row on the lake. This inflatable kayak is great for making your experience exciting and entertaining. This kayak is designed with puncture-resistant PVC for comfort and durability. And use an inflatable I-beam floor for rigidity.

The dimensions of this kayak are 230 cm by 120 cm. This kayak is capable of carrying 300kg/661lbs. Several accessories are included with it. The boat has a 12-volt electric motor, an Outboard engine, and two aluminum oars. With aluminum bracing, they are fixed in solid construction.

It is comfortable due to stable construction.


  • Passengers: 2
  • Air Chambers: 2
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • size: 230 x 120 cm
  • Kayak Weight: 0.04 Ounces
  • Comfortable.
  • There are two separate air chambers, which reduces the risk of an accident.
  • It has provided different accessories.
  • It can use for different activities.
  • Having low weight capacity.

8. Madison 2 Person Inflatable kayak

Madison 2 Person Inflatable Kayak


Madison Inflatable kayak is a comfortable, robust, and reliable kayak. That gives everyone a chance to get out of the water. With this simple inflation and carry-on bag, this kayak will be ready quickly. And you can easily store it at home and transport it. Stabilization in this Inflatable kayak is just as safe. The wide shape makes it stable on the water. Make it smooth and easy to move with the mobile finch and directional paddle. This Inflatable kayak is perfect for beginners.

The Inflatable kayak kit is made of Sevy-Strong (TM) tarpaulin, which protects against liquids. The wide shape adds stability to the water. And have 2x removable seats – this kayak may have 1 or 2 person kayaks. For more control and movement, the movable finch and the steering wheel are off. Proper Drainage Carved side containers can also be used as paddles. Carry a bag for easy storage and transportation—foot pump with manometer for rapid inflation.


  • Length 327 cm
  • Width 93 cm
  • Size 329.5 x 94 cm
  • Weight – 15.6kg
  • Best inflatable kayak
  • Upgraded structure
  • Suitable for fishing
  • Prevent leakage
  • Steady and stable
  • Low weight capacity

Key Features for Buying a River Kayak

Naturally, there are many considerations to keep in mind when picking out the perfect river kayak.


Kayaks are divided into two types. It’s essential to buy the correct type of kayak for the activity you planned.

Sit-On-Top Kayaks

A sit-on-top kayak is a fun and easy boat to use. We recommend this type for fishing or as an introduction to the sport of kayaking because they are more stable than you might imagine! The added mobility also means that you can quickly readjust without feeling trapped inside if your momma ship flips.

Sit-In Kayaks

A sit-in kayak has many advantages over a standard stand-up one. Suppose you’re looking for stability and safety. In that case, the enclosed cockpit is perfect because it shifts your center of gravity lower than in an open design that will keep your boat from flipping if tipped sideways and makes escaping more difficult when overturned.

Hardshell vs. Inflatable Kayaks

Another vital point to keep in your mind when buying the best river kayak is whether you want a hard-shell or an inflatable.

Your choice of the inflatable is dependent on what you need. If this is your first time, we recommend using an easy-to-use and safe option like this one.

The inflatable kayaks are durable and can take a beating. The chances that you’ll hit an obstacle are minimal, as they bounce off most things if the speed is reasonable.


While not as thrilling or adventurous as white water rafting, river kayaking is a great way to explore more tranquil parts of the world. Occasionally river courses can get relatively narrow and, depending on terrain, may have many tight twists and turns that make specific models of touring sea kayak unsuitable for their length, making them far more likely to be caught up with obstacles.

For most, this means we recommend using an 8-10 foot long model instead, but it also helps because you will spend less time in muddy waters if your boat gets stuck at all!

Weight Capacity

If you plan on fishing, it is essential to find a kayak that can carry at least 400 pounds. This way, if the opportunity arises for reeling in some fish or other possible cargo, your weight will not be an issue, and the risk of damaging your boat will be minimized.

If you plan on spending hours and days by the river, make sure that your kayak can withstand 600 pounds of weight. The best way to avoid loading up too much knows how long it will be before you take a break from paddling.

Storage Space

Many river kayaks will have a storage area for your fishing spoils and personal gear, as is the case with most of our picks. As you might imagine, this is a critical selling point, so any marketplace can tell you whether or not a boat has one.

Storage units may come in the form of cargo nets or enclosed compartments that are only two feet long and wide, but it’s generally more common to find them on small boats, which means they’re often expensive extras.

Even if there’s not a dedicated storage unit in your kayak, you can try to make economical use of whatever space you’re not making up. You should keep an eye on the maximum weight capacity of a given boat so that when deciding how much gear and supplies to take with (which includes water!), carrying less is more!

Kayak’s Size

River kayaks are typically shorter than average because of the limited space on most rivers. The 10-foot length is ideal for maneuvering, and quick reaction turns as it doesn’t take up much water area, allowing you to avoid rocks in the riverbed without a second thought.

We have chosen some longer options that offset their larger size with high durability and outstanding handling on minor rapids or rocky sections, so don’t worry if your favorite spot has more obstacles than others.

Additional Accessories

When you go out kayaking, it’s important to remember that the world is your oyster! In other words, there are several add-ons for different types of water. If we’re talking about lakes and rivers specifically, then most people will have two key pieces on their boat: an anchor and skeg.

The former helps with stability while anchored in shallow waters. Such as bays or shorelines – perfect for those who don’t want any surprises when they get back into their vessel after exploring nearby reefs or coastal towns. Meanwhile, the latter prevents boats from veering off course (incredibly windy days) by ensuring good maneuverability through rapids without tipping over left/right repeatedly due to changes in the current direction, etcetera.

Another crucial part of your kayak is the rudder, which directs you in desired directions. The seat should also be comfortable for long days out on the water, so make sure to invest in one that fits well and meets your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions about River Kayaks:

If you still have some quirks about river kayaks, check out these FAQs!

1.What are the best kayaks to use for camping along a river?
In short, the smaller your kayak (while still having a fair amount of storage space), the better. The rest depends on whether you’re fishing or just paddling casually.
2.Can I use the same kayak on the ocean and river?
A lot depends on the weather and how deep you plan to go. If there is no wind and you stay close to the shore, a whitewater kayak can be used in the ocean.
3.What length kayak is best for Rivers?
A kayak with a length of 8 to 10 feet is ideal for the majority of river kayaking.
4.Is river kayaking dangerous?
Kayaking entails many risks, just like any other sport. It doesn’t take much for a day on the water to turn into something dangerous, from dangerous water features to dehydration and sun exposure. But kayaking does not have to be dangerous, even though there are risks involved.
5.Is it safe to kayak alone in slow rivers?
A kayak can be an excellent way to explore the river, but it’s essential to know that anyone who goes kayaking should always have their partner with them.
If you’re going solo and don’t want this option, then make sure you have the right kayak, and you are an advanced paddler on your own before heading out onto any rivers.


If you’ve been searching for the best river kayaks to take on your next outdoor adventure, then this article is just what you need! We spent hours researching and testing out different types of kayaks in order to provide an unbiased list of our top picks. From beginner-level boats that are perfect for a day trip with friends or family members all the way up to advanced models designed primarily for solo expeditions down dangerous rapids, we have it all covered here. Whether you’re looking for something affordable and lightweight or want the latest technology available, there are top 8 kayaks on this list that will suit your needs perfectly. So if you’re ready to make some waves, give these reviews a quick read before heading off.