Looking for a concise, comprehensive, and accurate review guide on the best kayaks you can buy for under $300? That’s what we try to do here at Kayak Help. If you are completely new to buying a kayak, please read our kayak buying guide first to learn the basics first.
The first thing you should realize is that there is large gap in quality between kayaks under $200-$300 and kayaks around $500. If you have the patience we recommend saving a couple dollars here and there and then purchasing a higher quality kayak at the next price level (see Best Kayaks Under $500).
If you’ve got your mind set on spending $300 or less than consider buying a used kayak. It can be risky but if you’re careful you might just find a gem of a deal of craigslist.
If you’re set on buying a new kayak, here are the top three kayaks that we are confident you will be satisfied with.
Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak
|Length||8ft||Material||High Density Polyethylene|
- UV – Protected
- Multiple footrests
- Adjustable backrest
- Tankwell storage
- Sit on top
Here are the main pros and cons of the Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak that we’ve consistently heard about. Trust me – ask around, read around, or go into your local outdoors shop and you will hear the same thing.
- Stable – This kayak has a wide base and a sit-on-top cockpit so it’s easy to get in and out of the boat.
- Easy storage – These kayaks are short and easy to store. If you have multiple they are designed to be able to be stacked on top of each other.
- Slow – Don’t try to win a race with one of these because they are not the fastest kayaks out there.
It’s the little things that will affect your kayaking experience down the line. Here are a few details about the Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak that you might have overlooked.
- It has a great paddle holder that can be used while you need your hands for other things!
- The grips are hard to hold for long periods of time. If you’re planning on carrying this kayak far you might have trouble.
Is this kayak right for you?
If your planning on hanging out with the family on a calm lake or a slow river AND you’ve got a tight budget, this is one of the best kayaks you’ll find on the market. The stability and durability it’s easy to get in and out of the water on a hot day and great for kids to play on.
- Multiple air champers – This kayak was designed so if one area of the kayaks pops the other ones will keep you a float!
- Comes with paddle and pump
- Bungee storage
- Cup holder
Here are the main pros and cons of the Sevyor Quickpak K1 kayak that we’ve consistently heard about. Trust me – ask around, read around, or go into your local outdoors shop and you will hear the same thing.
- Light weight – At 18lb this kayak is extremely easy to carry around and ideal for carrying to the water from your car.
- Good stability – Many inflatable kayaks around this price do not offer the greatest stability. This kayak is definitely an exception.
- Durability – Even when fully inflated this kayak can lack rigidity and durability. There have been reports of the kayak seams ripping from time to time.
- Tracks Poorly – Hard to paddle in a straight line compared to other non-inflatable kayaks.
It’s the little things that will affect your kayaking experience down the line. Here are a few details about the Sevyor Quickpak K1 that you might have overlooked.
- Weak paddle – Paddle has been known to break.
- Pump time – This kayak can be pumped or deflated under 3-5 minutes with the pump they include with the kayak.
- Sun Faded – Don’t leave it out in the sun or it will fade over time.
- Weigh rating is closer to 300lbs rather than 400lbs.
Is this kayak right for you?
It’s no secret that inflatable kayaks are easier to transport than rigid plastic kayaks so if you’re someone that needs to easily transport your kayak, this is one of the nicest inflatable kayaks for the price. People have even used this kayak to go hiking! In addition, this kayak has great stability and the set up and break down time is relatively quick. The biggest downside to this kayak is its durability. These kayaks are known to rupture at the seams from time to time.
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
- Cargo net
- Comes with hand pump and 84” paddle
- 220 lb maximum capacity
Here are the main pros and cons of the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak that we’ve consistently heard about. Trust me – ask around, read around, or go into your local outdoors shop and you will hear the same thing.
- Light weight – This kayak is slightly heavier (26.5lb) than the Sevyor Quickpak K1 but still much lighter than a plastic kayak.
- Great price – At around $70 this kayak has a lot of bang for your buck.
- Slow inflation and deflation – Compared to the Sevyor Quickpack, this kayak takes a couple minutes longer to inflate and deflate.
- Durable – Unlike the Sevyor, this Kayak seems to have a better track record for rupturing.
It’s the little things that will affect your kayaking experience down the line. Here are a few details about the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak that you might have overlooked.
- Hard to dry out – Almost everyone says that it’s an ordeal when it comes to drying.
- Seat it too high – The seat sits too high in the kayak which can bother some people.
- Leans to the right – At first we thought it was in our heads but we’ve heard from many people that the kayak actually tends to lean right when paddling.
Is this the kayak for you?
If your main concern with buying a kayak is price, this is probably the best cheap kayak on the market.
At Kayak Help we are here to help you with your kayaking experience. So please, if you have the patience and the means, we recommend that you save some additional cash and buy a kayak that will give you a positive experience every time you paddle.
For kayaks under $300, we are confident that these are the three best kayaks on the market.