Finding a durable yet affordable fishing kayak is in fact a very tough task, especially when there are tons of things to consider.
To ease you from that fatigue, we have reviewed and compiled the best fishing kayaks under 300. These are our team’s hot favorite fishing kayaks after vigorous testing.
Now, that we have reviewed the best ones, let’s look into detailed reviews of each and our top 10.
Best Fishing Kayak Under 300 – Top 10 Reviews
Let’s see our top 10 best fishing kayaks under 300
#1: Most Durable Fishing Kayak – Intex Excursion Pro Review
This 2-person kayak is one of the most durable fishing kayaks. Tough laminated PVC with a polyester core makes it lightweight and protects it from abrasive damage.
Not only this, it comes with two paddles, has incorporated rod holders and mounts, and quickly inflates and deflates.
Features of Intex Excursion Pro
- Construction material is tough PVC with polyester core
- Features high pressure spring valves for easy inflation and fast deflation
- Includes shallow water and deep water skegs
- Adjustable seats and footrests
- Includes 2 fish rod holders, adjustable mounting bracket to carry GPS or camera, carry bag and repair kit
- Storage space in bow and stern with capacity of 400 lbs
- Includes aluminum oars and high-output pump
If you are someone who loves kayaking with their significant other or their best friend this fishing kayak is for you. It comes with all the features necessary for fishing may it be rod holders, finder mounts or storage space.
Most durable fishing kayak
The most durable fishing kayak is Intex Excursion Pro because it is made of 3-layered high-impact material. It is resistant to any damage caused by abrasion, water, oil, etc.
#2: Best One-Person Fishing Kayak – Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review
This kayak for fishing is one of the best one-person crafts available to kayakers.
It is an inflatable kayak with a durable construction material and I-beam floor for maximum stability for the rider.
The cockpit is designed to offer maximum comfort and space for a comfortable fishing trip.
Features of Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
- Rugged vinyl construction material
- Removable and adjustable seat with removable footrests
- It has a closed deck and cargo net storage
- Two separate air chambers and Boston valves for quick and easy inflation and deflation
- Dimensions are 9ft x 2ft 6in with a weight capacity of 220 lbs
- Includes a paddle, repair kit, hi-output pump and carry bag
- Includes one skeg
This one-person kayak is for you if you like to travel light when you go on your fishing adventures. Since it is inflatable you do not need to carry the whole thing, you can just pump it at the site.
Best one-person fishing kayak
The best one-person fishing kayak is Intex Challenger K1 because it provides more than enough leg room, a comfortable seating and ample cargo space for all your fishing gear.
#3: Best Two-Person Fishing Kayak – Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Review
This is the sister-kayak of Intex Challenger K1. It is designed on the same steps, except that it is a two-person kayak.
Now here is the thing:
It is a sporty kayak, but what makes its paddling easy is its streamline design. In addition to this, its constructional material is UV and abrasion resistant vinyl which makes it long-lasting.
Features of Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
- Rugged vinyl as construction material
- I-beam floors for maximum balance
- Adjustable and removable seats and footrests
- Dimensions are 30 x 15 x 138 inches (W x H x D) when inflated, with 400 pound weight capacity
- Includes two aluminum oars, hi-output pump and a carry bag
- Boston valves and two air chambers make setting up and disassembly easy
This kayak offers an unforgettable experience to you and your partner if you two are fond of kayaking. Highly stable and super easy to get in and out.
Best Two-Person Fishing Kayak
The best two-person fishing kayak is Intex Challenger K2 because of how low it sits on water and is super easy to set up.
#4: Best Inflatable Kayak – Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review
This kayak by Intex is one of the best inflatable kayaks out there. It offers super ample space and super comfortable seating. The bright color of this kayak also increases visibility, in case of bad weather.
It is not specifically designed for fishing as it does not come with any storage space.
However, here is the deal: It has proved to work very well as a fishing kayak, especially if you want to go with your partner. This is because it has a very high weight capacity and is spacious to keep your things.
Features of Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- Made from heavy-duty puncture resistant vinyl
- Grab handles and grab lines on both ends
- Adjustable and removable seat with backrests and I-beam floor
- Three air chambers with boston valves for quick setup and deflation
- Includes 2 paddles, carry bag, repair kit, removable skeg and hi-output pump
- Weight capacity of 200 lbs
If you are someone who enjoys fishing and kayaking adventure with their partners on a sunny bright day then this kayak is for you.
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The best inflatable fishing kayak is Intex Explorer K2 because of its many features that make setting it up very easy. These features are its multiple air chambers and Boston valves on each side. These features also make deflation very quick when packing up.
#5: Best Sports Kayak – Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe Kayak Review
This kayak is one of America’s most favorite kayaks. Its tough puncture-resistant hull and immense directional stability makes it perfect for experienced kayakers.
Our team observed that his kayak can easily tackle Class III whitewater.
Let me put it in better words:
It means that you can ride this in large-volume rivers with turbulent and irregular currents.
Features of Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe Kayak
- Constructed from heavy-duty, puncture-resistant hull material
- Includes 2 paddles, 2 inflatable movable & removable seats, foot pump, repair kit, and nylon carry bag
- Includes self-bailing valve and three deluxe one-way valves
- 2 skegs for better stability
- Weight capacity of 500 lbs
- Inflated I-beam floor
If you are someone who has experience in kayaking and is passionate about it then it is for you. It is especially perfect for people with heavier built, thus its higher weight capacity.
Best Sport Kayak
The best sport kayak is Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe Kayak because of its ability to show unwavering directional stability.
#6: Easiest-to-Carry Fishing Kayak – Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak Review
This one-person fishing kayak is one of our team’s favorites because of its design technique.
Want to know the best part?
It’s literally ‘backpack – unpack – kayak’.
The seat converts into a backpack which actually carries everything. You unpack, inflate the kayak and the backpack then folds into the seat for you.
It has a tough tarpaulin bottom, and a polyester body cover designed to provide robustness to PVC structure. In addition, multiple air chambers provide greater longevity.
Features of Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak
- Polyester cover and tarpaulin base with PVC body structure
- Multiple air chambers to stay afloat in accidentally punctured
- An airtight system ensure zero-leaks
- Double lock valves that use two locking points
- Spray cover to help you stay dry
- Includes D-rings and bungee storage area
This fishing kayak is one of the easiest to transport. If you are someone who does not want to carry their hard-shell kayaks on top of their cars, this is for you
Easiest-to-Carry Fishing Kayak
The easiest-to-carry is the Sevylor Quikpak K5 because it can literally be carried on your back like a backpack with all its contents.
#7: Best Easy-to-Set Up Fishing Kayak – Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Review
This sit-on-top fishing kayak is Sevylor Quikpak’s another great product that is very popular among our team members but to its packing and unpacking.
This is crazy:
For a 1-person kayak, this craft can hold upto 400 lbs of weight.
Moreover, all the kayak equipment can be carried in a bag. The bag then folds into your seat after you have set everything up. Not only this, setting takes not more than 5 minutes.
Features of Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
- 21-gauge PVC built for rugged lake use
- Multiple air chambers to keep it afloat in case of puncture
- Tarpaulin base for additional durability
- Double lock valves use two locking points for easy set up
- Footrest offer multiple positions for maximum comfort
- Includes drink holder and bungee storage area
- Includes paddle and high-pressure hand pump
- Weight capacity: 400 lbs
If you are someone who finds carrying your craft and all the accessories to the kayaking site troublesome, then this kayak is definitely for you. With its backpack carrying system, it allows you to stay organized and have a fun day at the lake.
Best Easy-to-Set up Fishing Kayak
The best easy-to-set up fishing kayak is Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak because it does not require more than 5-7 minutes to set up and get going.
#8: Best Affordable Fishing Kayak – Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Review
Moving on, this kayak is lightweight, easy to carry and run thanks to its proper design. It’s weight is adequate to counter the waves and runs well.
Our team has concluded that you can use it on rivers and easily cuts through water. Alongside, there are adjustable foot pedals and covers your legs and lower body from splashing in water. Hence, a great transport it is.
Features of Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
- Built from UV-stabilized High Density Polyethylene
- Adjustable cushioned seat foot supports
- Incorporates one swivel and two flush mount rod holders and paddle holder
- Includes dry storage compartment, shock cord deck rigging, bottle holder and thigh pads
If you are someone who goes to lakes and small water bodies for you fishing adventures then this kayak is for you. It has proven to be very stable despite its smaller size and that too at an affordable price.
Most Affordable Fishing Kayak Reviews
The most affordable kayak is Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak because it combines all the key features of a good fishing kayak. May it be rod holders, cargo space, mount space this kayak has got it all.
#9: Safest Fishing Kayak – Sevylor C001 Tahiti Hunt Fish Kayak Review
This two person kayak is one of our team’s favorites because of its comfortable seats with backrest and its design to keep the riders dry.
This kayak has multiple air chambers. Which means, in case of an accident or a rocky ride, if it punctures, you will still be afloat. This makes it easy to reach the bank of the lake or river.
Features of Sevylor C001 Tahiti Hunt Fish
- 21-gauge PVC construction with a non-leak airtight system
- Multiple air chambers for additional safety
- Tarpaulin bottom provides additional longevity
- Two locking points are used by double lock valves for quick inflation/deflation
- Adjustable seats and backrests
- Spray covers prevent water splashes
- Carry handles for easy transport in and out of water
This kayak is for you if you go on adventures with your partner. This two-person kayak serves as one of the best crafts because of its easy maneuverability and roomy built.
Safest Fishing Kayak
The safest fishing kayak is Sevylor C001 Tahiti Hunt Fish Kayak because of multiple air chambers, tarp base and spray covers to keep you safe and dry.
#10: Best Easy-to-Maneuver Fishing Kayak – Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 Review
Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 kayak is the one for you if you are looking to polish your paddling skills. Our team found this kayak to be very comfortable. It includes movable footrests so you can adjust them according to your height and posture.
Moreover, it also includes thigh pads on the side to prevent any discomfort during the ride. It is one of the ideal fishing kayaks for rivers and lakes thanks to its immense maneuverability.
Here is the best part:
Despite being a compact craft, it still has a lot of room for your stuff. It comes with a ‘Portable Accessory Area’ at the rear end that keeps your personal belongings dry.
Features of Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10
- Fortiflex polyethylene construction which is UV stabilized
- Three rod holders: Two flush mount and one 360-degree swivel rod holder
- Adjustable and comfortable foot braces and padded
- Open cockpit
- Includes a storage compartment, shock cord deck rigging, drink holder and thigh pads
If you are someone who is not an experienced kayaker then this craft is for you. It is perfect for calm water bodies and brings basic features that are needed in a fishing kayak. Also, we believe it offers the best value for money.
Best Easy-to-Maneuver Fishing Kayak
The best easy-to-maneuver kayak is Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 because of its reasonable size and maximum stability.
1. Sit-in or Sit-on?
Sit-in-kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks both have their own benefits and disadvantages. However, your decision is based on where you will be kayaking.
Sin-in kayaks provide a drier experience and offer better stability due to lower center of gravity. They are more suitable where you would rather use a lightweight kayak, which will provide better hold. Hence, more practical use will be in fast and turbulent waters. It takes riders some time to get used to getting in and out of these kayaks.
On the other hand, sit-on-top kayaks are the ones where the kayaker sits in an open cockpit. These are easy to get on and off. These can also prove to be pretty stable, as they are usually made slightly wider.
But here is the deal:
SOT kayaks offer more room for angler, easy movement when pulling out your hunt and are self-draining. This makes them better suited for fishing.
2. Size, Dimensions and Comfort
Length of a kayak is directly related to its speed. The longer the kayak, the faster it will be. However, it is a bitter trade with maneuverability in tight spots and transportation to the fishing kayak.
Width of the kayak affects its stability, but it is not the only factor that affects it. One advantage out of more width is more space and capacity.
The dimensions of your kayak affect your comfort greatly.
When deciding the size of your kayak, these are the things you should consider:
- Kayaker’s size
You should choose your kayak with respect to your size. For instance, for a person who is 6 ft tall and weighs around 200 lbs a 12-ft kayak may be a better choice than a 10 ft kayak.
Similarly for a person weighing 120-135 lbs, a 10 ft kayak will suffice.
Modern kayaks usually include adjustable footrests. These allow shorter kayakers to ride in longer kayaks and vice versa.
- Level of expertise
Longer kayaks are difficult to maneuver and do not allow rapid turns. These are usually more suitable for more experienced kayakers.
In contrast, shorter kayaks are slower, but more stable. These make the best choice for beginners.
3. Site of launch
While choosing your kayak, you need to consider the site where you will be kayaking.
If you are going to kayak in calm waters and weather is good, such as local lakes and smaller rivers, any kayak will do.
However, water bodies where winds, tides and currents are active, such as a coast a kayak with a skeg is a wise choice. If you are going to be in a warmer environment and dont mind a swim then a sit-on-top kayak is a good choice.
4. Built of Kayak
Construction material of your kayak is very important to consider while choosing a kayak for yourself.
Solid body kayaks are usually made from Polyethylene and inflatable kayaks from vinyl. Both construction materials have their own pros and cons.
Here’s the deal:
Polyethylene kayaks are solid and sturdy. Especially if they are rotomoulded, they can offer very promising durability. However, these can be heavier and you will need to consider your transport options. But on the other hand, inflatable kayaks are much easier to carry around.
You may be wondering that these are more prone to damage. But here is the kicker: Many inflatable kayaks are abrasion resistant and have multiple ply bodies for maximum durability.
Inflatable kayaks also tend to offer more stability due to their greater width.
We believe that storage capacity is what makes a kayak a fishing kayak. Ample storage capacity is necessary to hold all your fishing gear.
Fishing kayaks are usually sit-in kayaks, because they tend to have storage hatches and compartments.
This does not mean that sit-on-top does not have storage options.
6. How will you transport your kayak?
This is a serious thing to consider while buying your kayak. If you have a strong set of wheels then a longer, solid kayak is not going to be a problem for you.
Now, if you do not want to tie your kayak on top of your vehicle an inflatable kayak is a much better choice.
Similarly if you are a light traveller and do not have enough room to carry your kayak to the site, you would want to get an inflatable kayak. You can set it up right before launching.
On your way back, a solid kayak may require more cleaning up than an inflatable one. Inflatable kayaks take 10 minutes tops to deflate. You can then fold them up and put them in the trunk of your car.
1. How is a sit-on kayak better than a sit-in for fishing?
A sit-on-top kayak is better for fishing because it offers more room for movement and for anglers. It also gives you the advantage of standing while you angle. For a person who is not so skilled, in case of capsizing, it is much easier to get on than a sit-in kayak.
2. How do I determine the stability of my kayak?
Stability of the kayak can be determined by measuring the area under the stability curve. It is measured from upright out to the angle where the line meets the zero.
Larger area indicates greater chances of recovery after being hit by capsizing force.
3. Why does the length of my kayak matter?
The length of your kayak plays a very important role in determining the speed of your kayak. Longer kayaks cruise better and travel along a straight path. Longer hulls however, are harder to turn.
4. What is the best size for a beginner?
The best size for a beginner is 8 ft to 10 ft depending on the size of the kayaker. An 8 ft kayak is a good choice for kids as well as newbie kayakers. You can opt for a 10 ft kayak if you have a heavier built to drive it comfortably.
5. Can I use a two-person kayak for one-person?
A tandem kayak is a kayak that can be converted from two-person to one-person kayak. You can use a tandem kayak to loosen the rear seat and move it forward. You can change the hull profile by shifting your weight forward to achieve an efficient paddle.
6. What is the most affordable kayak for fishing?
Sun Dolphin Excursion SS is one of the most affordable fishing kayaks.
7. Can a heavy person kayak?
For a kayak to support a big person, its weight capacity should be at least 300 lbs.
8. Do kayaks flip over easily?
No. Kayaks are generally hard to tip over in a calm river or lake. However, if you are paddling in whitewaters and your kayak is light, there is a greater chance of capsizing,
9. Is it important to have storage compartments?
Yes, it is very important to have storage compartments. These are especially helpful in storing your fishing gear such as lines, fish finders, etc.
8. What is a scupper? Why is it important?
Scupper holes are an important feature especially in SOT kayaks. This safety feature allows water to drain out from top to bottom. This prevents you from sitting in a puddle and potentially causing your kayak to capsize.
9. Are cheap kayaks worth buying?
Very cheap kayaks are not worth it. We suggest that you spend a little more and get quality equipment such as paddle, backrest etc. A used kayak from a high end brand may perform better.
Our favourite out of these top ten is none other than Intex Excursion Pro. This 2-person fishing kayak is made from durable laminated PVC material with polyester core. This makes it ideally lightweight and resistant to abrasive damage.
With the storage capacity of 400 lbs, and fashioned to meet all your fishing needs, this craft is the one for your fishing adventures.