Best Small Kayak Reviews and Buyer’s Guide 2022

The best small kayak will be different for everyone, but one thing is sure – the best small, lightweight kayak will be the one that suits your specific needs and lifestyle.

Whether you’re looking for something inflatable kayak that performs like a hard shell, and maybe you’re on the platform for a fishing kayak with all the latest bells and whistles, we have it here!

We know how difficult it is to find just what you need to get out there on the water.

Choosing on a kayak is no easy task, and even if you’ve narrowed in on wanting a lightweight and small design, there are still a thousand options to choose from.

Our Top Picks

 

Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak

Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak

  • Front and Rear Handles for Easy Transport
  • Hull Design Provides Ultra Stability and straight Tracking system

 

 

Sevylor Quikpak K1 Sit On Top  small Inflatable Kayak

Sevylor Quikpak K1 Sit On Top  small Inflatable Kayak

  • Tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection from punctures
  • The back seat lets you lean back and enjoy the ride

 

 

Emotion Guster Sit Inside Kayak

Emotion Guster Sit Inside Kayak

  • Very Stable
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Easy to stow and handle
  • It comes with fishing rod holders

 

Short Lightweight Kayak Reviews

ModelKey FeaturesRating 
ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak
ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak
Comfortable
Easy to use

4.3 out of 5 stars
Perception Sit On Top kayak
Perception Sit On Top kayak
Easy to transport
Lightweight
4.3 out of 5 stars
Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak
Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak
Comfortable
Durable
4 out of 5 stars
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
Comfortable
Lightweight
4.3 out of 5 stars
Oru Foldable Kayak
Oru Foldable Kayak
Stable
Easy to paddle

4.5 out of 5 stars
Emotion Guster Sit-Inside Kayak
Emotion Guster Sit-Inside Kayak
Stable
Ample storage space
4.5 out of 5 stars
BKC PK14 14' Tandem Sit On Top Pedal Drive Kayak
BKC PK14 14' Tandem Sit On Top Pedal Drive Kayak
Adjustable seats
High storage capacity
4.3 out of 5 stars
Bluefin SUP Inflatable Kayak
Bluefin SUP Inflatable Kayak
Secure
Reliable
4.5 out of 5 stars
YTRFD Inflatable Kayak
YTRFD Inflatable Kayak
Secure
Steady
3.8 out of 5 stars

1. Advance Frame inflatable kayak ( best light-weighted kayak)

ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak

When it comes to the best small kayaks, the Advanced Frame inflatable kayak tops the list. Its weight is just 36 pounds; this sturdy choice is both foldable and inflatable and makes it an excellent choice for those looking to save kayaking.

This lightweight kayak is easy to use and perfect for a variety of water bodies. The three-layered PVC shell offers durability that hard shells are known for, while the inflatable design makes it versatile enough to take on any body of water with ease. There are built-in aluminum ribs and a reinforced stern that acts as a skeg on this kayak, which includes comfortable seating inside its spacious cockpit, making it easy to enter and exit wherever you choose to go, whether in nature or at your local pond!

Specifications:

Length: 10’5”

Width: 32″

Weight: 36lbs

Max Capacity: 300lbs

Folded Size 30″ X 17″ X 10″

Pros
  • Super comfortable
  • Deflation takes less time
  • Easy to put away
  • Awesome tracking system
Cons
  • Not a fast kayak
  • Not for lighter people

2. Perception Sit On Top Kayak  (Best Budget-Friendly Small Kayak)

Perception Sit on Top Kayak

The stable and straightforward designs of this sit-on-top kayak make it an excellent choice for paddlers. The molded seat and footrests allow different leg adjustments, while the ample open storage space will enable you to store gear easily with its incorporated bungee cord lashings.

You can also be comfortable in your cockpit as they are made specifically for people of various sizes! This is perfect for calm environments like lakes or ponds since these places have slow-moving rivers that will not cause any trouble when navigating through them.”

Your favorite beverage is always close at hand with this convenient center cup holder. The short length and lightweight design make it simple to transport, store, use in the water or on dry land!

Self-draining scupper holes keep you floating high while keeping your drink dry. Cleaning of kayak has never been easier, thanks to a drain plug that allows for draining any excess liquid from inside your boat seat cushion.

Specifications:

Width: 32”

Length: 9′ 6″

Deck Height: 12.5″

Max Capacity: 250 lbs

Boat Weight: 45 lbs

Pros
  • Simplified and easy-to-use
  • Lightweight for a hard-shell
  • Ample space for open cargo
Cons
  • You’ll have to buy a clip-in kayak seat separately
  • It doesn’t come with a paddle

3. Emotion Spitfire Sit On Top Kayak (Best Short kayak)

Emotion 90244 Spitfire Sit-On-Top 8 Foot Kayak

The Emotion Spitfire 8  small Kayak is designed for stability, affordability, and performance. While its  Performance, Hull gives this shorter kayak a surprising amount of speed and tracking without sacrificing stability.

It comes with great features like our CRS padded backrest + molded-in seat for comfortable paddling as well as rear tankwell cargo bungee lacing to secure loose items all. In contrast, the molded-in handles make it easy to transfer from place to place.

Weight capacity is up to 240 makes this kayak the best small affordable kayak. Its paddler size is for both kids and adults.

Specifications:

Length: 8 ft.

Width: 31.5 in. (80 cm)

Height: 15 inch

Weight: 39 lb. (18 kg)

Maximum Weight Capacity: 240 lb. (108 kg)

Pros
  • Durable
  • Easy to maneuver​​​​
  • Comfortable
  • Good tracking
  • UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene Construction
  • Molded-In Freedom Footwells for rest and Secure Foot Bracing
Cons
  • Ships in low-quality packaging

4. Sevylor Quikpak K1 Sit On Top small Inflatable Kayak (Best small kayak 2022)

Sevylor Quikpak K1 inflatable kayak

The Sevylor Quickpak K1 is a small and lightweight sit-on-top kayak. Kayaks of this size are small. It’s designed for flat, white water. It is best for beginners who start kayaking. It’s very easy to set up. It may take less than  5 minutes to boost up. It has four independent air chambers. If one air chamber is not in working condition, the other will remain afloat. It is comfortable and easy to set up. It has a comfortable seat and backrest for stability and keeps up. In, this kayak is an affordable and well-made design. The Sevylor K1 Quikpak, a tandem kayak, is also loaded with an innovative and efficient design. It comes with an elegant design, neat-looking, and light packaging.

With rugged PVC material, this river kayak is affordable and durable.  A tarpaulin reinforces the bottom of the kayak. That adds extra features like preventing punctures, making it very stable and reliable for your partner.

The storage area is covered with bungees to secure your belongings. The kayak’s adjustable seats maybe make it more durable and comfortable. The Sevylor has managed to equip the K1 with adjustable footrests, making the trip more comfortable. One person can use this kayak. The storage capacity is relatively large. It is 9 feet long, and its width is composed of three fits. The vehicle can carry up to 400 pounds.

Specifications:

Person capacity: one

Weight capacity: 400pounds

Size: 6ft x 3 ft

Inflatable sit-on-top inflatable kayak

kayak Dimensions ‏: ‎103 x 36 x 30 inches

Weighs: 18 Pound

Pros
  • Comfortable to use
  • Lightweight
  • Take less time to set up and allows you to spend more time on the water
  • East to transfer
  • PVC 21-gauge construction is rugged for lake use
Cons
  • Not for an experienced person
  • It starts leaking within few months

5. Oru Kayak Beach LT (Best small kayak for beginners)

Oru Kayak Foldable Kayak horizontal

The Oru Kayak Beach LT is a small folding recreation kayak. It has a beam of 28 inches and an expansive cockpit; the Beach LT is very stable, making it great for starters and families.

It’s made for day trips to beaches, allowing room for up to one adult and one child in Addition to cargo space underneath its deck.

Its foldable size down measures 12 x 33 x 29–inches making it highly portable with backpack-style straps included along with weight at only 28 pounds, including an additional attachment that converts into a fishing rod holder once you’re on the water! The hardwearing polypropylene material comes treated with ten-year UV protection against future damage.

Specifications:

Hull Material – Polypropylene

Length – 12’

Width –  28”

Weight – 26 lbs.

Cockpit Size – 48” x 25

Pros
  • Wide cockpit makes for easy access
  • Wear it as a backpack
  • Stable and easy to paddle
  • Can accommodate an adult and a child
Cons
  • There is no paddle included in this package

6. Emotion Glide Kayak (Best small Kayak for fishing)

Emotion Guster Sit-Inside Kayak

Kayak fishing is a solo activity, so the kayak must be light enough for one person to move and store. The Emotion Glide weighs just 39 pounds, and its dimensions are less than 10 feet in length, making it easy for people to mount on top of their car or carry into the water when needed. It has two lateral pole-holders, which makes room inside of boat space available where users can fit in gear with ease and provide stability while casting platform from this great recreational fishing kayak allowing beginners to improve skills without worrying about capsizing throughout experience because very stable.

The Edge’s light hull and vast, multi-chined body make it easy to move through the water but reduce its ability to track accurately. High winds make the problem worse since the boat veers off course.

Specifications:

Hull Material – Polyurethane

Length – 9’ 8”’

Width –  29”

Weight – 39 lbs.

Cockpit Size – 43” x 21.5”

Pros
  • Very Stable
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Easy to stow and handle
  • It comes with fishing rod holders
Cons
  • It can be blown
  • Poor tracking

7. BKC PK14 14′ Tandem Sit On Top Pedal Drive Kayak (best small kayak for ocean)

BKC PK 14 14 Tandem Sit on Top Pedal Drive Kayak

BKC tandem small 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. In comparison, 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. The weight capacity is 670 pounds. A kayak is made of high-density polyethylene that is rotomolded. During fishing in all types of water, it offers excellent durability and stability.

There is waterproof storage available. The weight of this tandem kayak is about 68 pounds.  A rolling chair is included with the BKC KC274. Instead of working hard, it can use smartly.

Specifications:

Length 24’

Width 34”

Kayak weight 74 lbs

Weight Capacity 670 lbs

Pros
  • High storage capacity
  • The seats are adjustable and comfortable
  • Never lose your paddle due to Deluxe Paddle Leash
  • Use for different purposes
Cons
  • Due to its large size challenging to carry in a car

8. Bluefin Cruise SUP Package Stand Up Inflatable Paddle kayak (short kayak)

Bluefin Cruise SUP Package Stand Up Inflatable Paddle Board

Blue Cruise SUP has come with carbon composite rail; pro wave drops a stitch, and exon surface laminate. This is a next-generation kayak offering advanced features and modifications with the FRS

FRS (Flex Reduction System) has benefited from the development of carbon railing. In further, separate the central-inflation loop chamber ensures that the ultra-rigid & high-pressure board is stronger & more stable than before. Kayak has a five-year warranty. It includes a lot of accesses you need during kayaking. Kayak conversion kit for seated paddling, padded backpack with outside pocket, integrated Go Pro mount to capture all the action, double action pump inflates Carbon in half the time.

Specifications:

Length 120”

Width 28”

Size 10’

Dimensions 120″ x 28″ x 4″

Weight capacity 220 lbs

Pros
  • Waterproof phone carry case
  • Contain repairing kit
  • Lightweight
  • Secure and reliability
Cons
  • Used for small riders

9. YTRFD Inflatable Paddle kayak (Best small paddling kayak)

YTRFD Inflatable kayak

YTRFD inflatable vertical adult paddle kayak has provided a high-quality thick solid kayak. The double-layer sidewalls make it stronger. 2 or 3 people can use it simultaneously. Through this kayak on the water, you feel relax and rewarded. Because an inflatable vertical adult paddle kayak is an excellent choice. You can use it for many purposes, like fishing, traveling, and yoga, etc. It is suitable for oceans, rivers, and lakes.

This kayak has the ability to provide a reliable platform for kayaking like traditional ones as its non-slip design makes sure a steady rid.  It’s easy to inflate and deflate. Professionals should use the product. The device is easy to transport and easily fits into the bag. Furthermore, it has a paddle, a coiled ankle, a pump, a carry bag, and aboard.

Specifications:

Size 320 x 76 x 15 cm

Gross weight 12 kg

Recommended air pressure 12-15 PSI

Dimensions 85 x 45 x 20 cm

Pros
  • Steady and secure
  • Large in size
  • Manufacture for professional
Cons
  • Repairing kit is not included in kayak’s package

Why choose a small Kayak?

Small kayaks are highly sought after because they’re easier to load and unload and don’t need a roof rack for transport; compact carrier makes them easy to store even in small spaces.

They also allow you the option of keeping up with a quick pace while paddling (and can be easily tipped back over if needed).

Lightweight kayaks will save you time and energy, which means that your outings on the water can be longer. You’ll also have more freedom to take it anywhere due to its ease of use.

Lightweight Kayak Buying Considerations

Here are some primary vital considerations to keep in mind when buying the best small kayak.

Type of Kayak

Kayaks come in many verities in shapes and sizes, each with its own unique set of benefits. Here’s a quick guideline to help you in a selection of which type might be best for your needs:

Sit-on kayak

Sit on top kayak has the smallest surface area of all types, so it is also lightest on water. They are perfect if you want to get an intense upper body workout while enjoying nature or need something that can fit into small spaces (like apartment hallways).

Because they sit high above the waterline, though, their storage capacity isn’t as large as other types; this means they aren’t great when there’s lots of gear involved like camping trips or fishing excursions where comfort may not matter much anyway! That

Sit-In Kayak

Sit-in kayaks are a fun and popular way to explore colder climates. They keep you warmer, dryer, more protected from the elements, provide better mobility than sit-on-top boats (more minor waves) while paddling in rougher waters; they also leave your hands free for photography or other activities!

Not only do these types of kayaks offer excellent protection but easy maneuverability as well, making them ideal for beginners who want an all-around good time on the water.

Sit-in Kayaks have excellent Protection against Cold Waters.

Recreational Kayak

These are your typical, all-around kayaks that make for a great experience across calm waters with little wind or waves. They’re spacious in the sense of being more comfortable than other kinds of kayaks and more accessible to maneuver due to their stability.

Fishing Kayak

Fishing kayaks are generally longer and wider than other models to provide stability for when you cast out. Sit-on-top fishing kayaks allow the angler easy reeling while giving enough space, though sit-in options are also available. Most fishing boats don’t skimp on features either; they come decked with all of their bells and whistles, including paddle, rod holders, and drink holders as well!

Sea Kayak

Sea kayaks are usually longer and narrower than recreational ones, making them easy to cut through waves. Most come with a skeg or rudder that helps them track in the water and have lots of storage space for overnight trips. They tend to be less stable when compared to other models since they have thinner designs; beginners may not find these boats very safe at times due to this reason.

Whitewater Kayak

If you’re taking on rapids, make sure to have a formidable vessel. Whitewater kayaks are designed with stability in mind and many sit-in options for your lower body while moving through rough water quickly. Even some inflatable types can handle the choppy whitewater without getting hurt!

Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable kayaks are a popular option for those who want to travel light. They come in various shapes, types, and sizes that can suit many different needs. Most inflatable kayaks can be packed away into a small bag or backpack, making them ideal for saving space and weight.

Folding Kayak

There are two ways to design folding kayaks. The first is to have an inflatable outer skin supported by solid inner ribs, and the second type has a flexible material that folds against itself to become rigid outer hulls. While neither design has any particular advantage over the other, some individual kayaks may have features that make them better suited for specific conditions or abilities of paddlers.

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Weight Capacity

If you want to bring heavy equipment on a kayak, consider investing in one that can hold more weight. However, if the lightweight gear is of more significant concern for your trip, make sure the specifications list allows it.

In any case, double-check before leaving so as not to be caught off guard by what’s possible with your kayak when out at sea!

Construction Materials of small kayaks:

Typically, all kayak hulls are polyethylene plastic or composite materials such as fiberglass and carbon fiber. Fiberglass boats tend to be stiffer, which leads to better performance while also holding their shape much longer without warping or developing dents and scratches. On the other hand, plastic boats tend to be heavier but have minor damage from hitting rocks than composites.

Hull Shape

On average, kayaks have either a V-shaped or rounded hull design. A V-shaped one is better at cutting through rough water and more appropriate for rivers, coastal flat waters, lakes, whereas a rounded shape is best suited to calm conditions like the ocean or river flats as it doesn’t cut through waves well.

Puncture Resistance

To prevent punctures, all the inflatable kayaks here feature a triple-layered outer skin. This is important if you plan to use your kayak outside of its recommended conditions.

Comfort

To ensure the kayak, you purchase will fit your shape, consider adjustable seats, thigh braces, and footplates. The key to a comfortable “yak” is adjustability which allows customization of its fit for anyone’s body type.

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Storage

If you’re planning on going out for several days, make sure your kayak has the right amount of storage space. To store gear, most large boats have a hatch on the front and a hatch on the back, while some come with bungee cords.

FAQs

1.Are small kayaks safe?
Small kayaks are easier to flip over and back into the water. They may even be safer than heavy ones because they take less time in case of a capsize, so you have more chances to right yourself before reaching land or rocks.
2.Do I need a PFD in a small, lightweight kayak?
If you are kayaking, it is best to wear a PFD.
3.What should I wear while kayaking?
If you are kayaking in rougher waters, it is best to wear a helmet. You should also dress in layers because wind near water can cause an overall chilly experience even if the weather seems nice. Always bring shoes and sunscreen with you as well! Now that you’ve gotten the rundown on lightweight kayaks (PFD included!), feel free to go out there without worrying about sacrificing quality for weight- some of them might just surprise you.