Best Fishing Kayak Under 500 2020
In this Guide
Fishing on a kayak is one of the best ways to relax both your mind and body while engaging in a healthy activity. It can be a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of routine life. The best part is that it isn’t too expensive to get started. Whereas boats can be quite expensive and burdensome to maintain, kayaks are quite affordable and easy to transport overland. In this article, we’ll be focusing on the best fishing kayak under 500 dollars. These are great kayaks for beginners as well, because of their affordable price points. if your budget is more than 500 you might want to check our guide for the best fishing kayak under 1000.
How to Choose a Kayak? – Video Guide
We recommend you to watch this four-minute video before choosing a kayak from XgearHub top kayaks under 500.
Best Value Fishing Kayaks
The kayaks reviewed in this buyer’s guide have been selected after thorough market research. The reviewed kayaks are all great options for anyone looking for a budget fishing kayak. They do differ slightly on features but largely offer the same kayaking experience. The differing features of these kayaks give you a great variety of options at affordable prices.
Best Fishing Kayak Under 500
1. Lifetime Tamarack 120 – Best Sit-On-Top Kayak
|Durable Material||Slow Speed|
Lifetime is a well-known brand, mainly due to the fact that they produce high-quality models at reasonable prices. A kayak is a long-term investment for many, so it’s absolutely important that you get one from a well-known brand.
- The Tamarack 120 is a high-quality kayak made from robust and durable materials. It has a polyethylene construction that is noted for its strength and rigidity, which is something that you would want in a kayak.
- The kayak is also UV-protected which means that it won’t ‘decay’ under extended exposure to sunlight.
- This sort of construction also allows it to be lightweight; an average adult will be able to carry it no problem.
- This kayak also demonstrates admirable performance in the water. It has a flat bottom which aids in stability and allows you to stand on top of the kayak without the fear of it tipping over.
- It features deep hull channels for superior tracking performance and chine rails for stability.
- Despite being a budget kayak, Lifetime has not skimped on features for this kayak. It comes with bungee ropes both on the front and back, which is useful for holding equipment in place. There are also front and rear T-handles for ease of transport overland. The kayak comes with two flush-mounted fishing rod holders, which is adequate for a single user. There are also a couple of 6-inch storage compartments located on the front and rear of the kayak.
- The kayak also offers reasonable comfort, thanks to an adjustable padded seat back and seat pad. The Lifetime Tamarack 120 comes with a 5-year warranty, so you can purchase it without any worries about quality and longevity.
Some reviewers mentioned that the kayak doesn’t track well.
- High-quality polyethylene construction; UV-protected
- Very light, can easily be carried on the go
- Durable and robust design
- Highly stable in water thanks to flat bottom
- Adjustable seat back for comfort
- Weight capacity of 275 pounds; can easily accommodate larger adults
- 5-year warranty
Video Review of Lifetime Tamarack
2. Sun Dolphin Journey – Best Sit-in Kayak
|Dry Storage||Not for tall|
|Adjustable Footrests||Average Tracking|
|Light & Portable|
The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 is a very promising option for those looking for a smaller fishing kayak.
- It measures 10 feet long, which makes it very light and portable. It is the smallest model available in Sun Dolphin’s sit-on-top kayak range.
- Its diminutive size is noteworthy, as it allows it to weigh just 44 pounds. The smaller size of this kayak means that anyone taller than 6 feet will face issues fitting comfortably in this kayak
- . The weight capacity of this model is 250 pounds, which is reasonable given the size of this kayak. It will still carry an adult with complete confidence.
- The Journey 10 offers decent tracking in water, although it’s not as good as the larger Journey 12 model.
- This is a kayak that is more suited to beginners who want to learn kayaking and fish as well
- . It’s reasonably well equipped too; it comes with two flush-mounted fishing rod holders behind the seat, as well as a swivel fishing rod holder at the front.
- To ensure you get the most comfort out of this kayak, the company has equipped it with adjustable footrests.
- It should be noted that the seat on this kayak isn’t the most comfortable, but that is a problem with most budget fishing kayaks as a whole.
- There’s also a paddle holder so you can simply put away the paddle when it’s not being used, without the fear of it sinking into the water.
- There’s a storage space on the rear of the kayak, which can be a bit tricky to access while you’re in water. It is however very secure so you can store valuables and sensitive goods without any fear.
- The kayak is stable enough for fish, however we wouldn’t recommend standing on top of this kayak.
- The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 is a nice entry-level fishing kayak for anyone on a budget.
- It doesn’t have the most features or the best tracking performance, but these small drawbacks are largely offset by the bargain price of this kayak.
- Constructed from high quality materials
- UV-protected which fights against fade and peel caused by sunlight
- Storage space sealed with a hatch that is well protected
- Affordable price
- Small size makes it easy to carry and store
3. Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak
|Durable material||Average Tracking|
|Comfortable Back Rest|
|Multiple Storage Spaces|
This is yet another small kayak that will suit the beginners. It’s quite affordable and built to a high-quality standard.
- The 10-foot length makes it incredibly light and easy to carry around.
- This kayak is suitable for a single user and can carry the average adult with ease.
- The kayak features a comfortable back rest which means you can use this fishing kayak for extended periods.
- The kayak features a high-density polyethylene construction which gives it impressive strength and durability, while keeping the overall weight low.
- There are multiple storage spaces where you can store gear and valuables. There’s also a sealed storage space to store sensitive items like electronics.
- The tracking performance in water is adequate, if not very impressive. This is a small kayak and if you want better performance it would be a good idea to move to fishing kayaks with a 12-foot length.
- Small size, highly portable and easy to carry overland
- High quality construction from polyethylene for superior strength and durability
- Accessory package includes paddles
- Plenty of storage space for a single user
- Sealed storage space for electronics
4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado – Best 2-Person Kayak
|Durable Material||Slow Speed|
|Two Person||Rod Holder Position|
|Air Tight System|
So far, the budget kayaks that we have reviewed have one thing in common – they are all designed for a single paddler. This is often a necessary design choice as inexpensive kayaks cannot be made for more paddlers without raising the price. That’s where the Sevylor Coleman Colorado fishing kayak comes in. This is a budget fishing kayak that can easily support two paddlers in tandem.
- The Coleman features a very reasonable quality as far as its construction is concerned. It has an 18-gauge PVC construction that means it is highly rugged, while also being light. The bottom of the kayak is protected by 1000D tarpaulin and 840D nylon, which means this kayak is highly resistant to punctures which can be caused by sharp rocks.
- This kayak also features multiple air chambers for failure resistance. If one of the air chambers gets punctured, the other will stay inflated to ensure that the kayak stays afloat on top of the water. The kayak also features Airtight® System, so there will be no leaks.
- Sevylor have made sure that the two users who will be using this kayak will not be deprived of essential accessories – which is a fear we had due to the budget price of this kayak.
- It features Berkley® Quick Set Rod Holders, which greatly facilitate the user in hands-free fishing. And in case you’re not using your paddles, there are paddle holders to ensure that the paddles don’t get lost in the water.
- The inside of the kayak has multiple mesh storage pockets which keep essential gear and utility items close at hand.
- There are also multiple D-rings which means you can easily attach other equipment to this kayak.
- The seats on this kayak are inflatable and very comfortable. You can inflate them to the amount you feel is comfortable.
- There are a couple of carry handles, one each for the front and rear of the kayak for ease of transport overland.
- The weight capacity of this kayak is 470 pounds, which is more than enough to accommodate two large adults and all their gear.
- The kayak doesn’t have a electronic trolling motor so its speed is slow.
- Some fishing enthusiasts have reported that the center rod holder is misplaced and it blocked them while they were fishing.
- Can be easily used by two paddlers
- High quality PVC construction
- Resistant to punctures and air leaks
- Very light, can be easily carried by a single person when fully deflated
- 470-pound weight capacity ensures use by two adults
- 1-year limited warranty
5. Emotion 90259 Renegade XT
|Durable Material||Less Wide|
|Stable & Light Weight|
The Emotion Renegate XT fishing kayak comes just under 500 USD. Looking at the price, we would expect this kayak to offer a good mix of budget and mid-range features.
- The Renegate XT is constructed from high-density polyethylene which promotes superior strength and durability while keeping it light weight. T
- his kayak can easily withstand scrapes with sharp rocks without getting damaged.
- It also features a special ST Performance hull which ensures superior stability and tracking. You don’t have to worry about fishing on this kayak, it is extremely stable and even allows you to stand on top of it.
- The Emotion Renegate XT is light-weight kayak, weighing just 49 pounds.
- It also features front and rear handles for ease of transport overland.
- There’s plenty of storage space to store valuables and fishing gear. You can secure some luggage on the front of the kayak with help of bungee cords. At the rear, you have an elastic mesh which can again be used to hold some luggage. There’s also a sealed storage compartment to store sensitive equipment like electronics.
- There are two flush-mounted rod holders as well.
- They kayak is a baby-friendly unit as it has safety features for babies.
- The kayak comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
- The kayak doesn’t have a skeg – A skeg keeps a kayak running straight in crosswinds and stormy conditions.
- The experienced paddlers know that kayaks tend to turn into the wind.
- Renegate XT is not wide and can spin in high winds and rough waters.
- High-quality polyethylene construction for durability and lightweight
- Easy to transport
- ST Performance hull makes it very stable and ideal for fishing
- Comfortable seating position
- 3-year warranty
6. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot Angler
|Great Maneuverability||Slow speed|
|six scupper holes & plugs||Seat a bit uncomfortable|
|4 carrying handles||Limited Mounted Points|
It is a 9-foot long sit-on-top lightweight fishing kayak. Skipjack 90 is one of the top kayaks in the competitive fishing kayak market right now and is rightly so.
- The kayak has a very innovative and sleek design that glides smoothly across all sorts of water conditions. It is suitable for fishing anywhere even in surf conditions, moving rivers or lighter waves.
- Skipjack 90 has all the qualities that anglers rely on such as stability, maneuverability, storage and gear compatibility.
- The hull edges make the ride on this kayak extremely smooth. It does not trip or sway while you are busy catching fish in the water.
- It weighs only about 46 pounds which makes it really portable. T
- he kayak also has a keel which runs along the length of its hull and offers better tracking during your fish hunt.
- The Skipjack 90 is made up of roto-molded single-piece high-density polyethylene that makes it exceptionally durable.
- Apart from this, the kayak includes comfortable backrest, a V-wave center hatch, storage wells in the bow and stern, 4 molded-in grip handles, 4 fishing rod holders and an easy access cup holder.
- Length: 9 feet
- Width: 32 inches
- Weight: 46 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
- Rod Holders: 4
- Type: Sit-on-top
7. Air Head Montana AHTK2 – Best Inflatable Kayak
|Comes with four bottom fins which provide superior tracking||Paddle & pump|
|Light-weight, compact and portable||Seat a bit wobbly|
|Highly visible color (orange) for safety|
|Easy to maneuver|
|Solid material quality|
It is a tandem inflatable kayak which is designed to accommodate two paddlers. Air Head Montana performs best in white waters and lakes.
- It is light in weight and comes packed with all the accessories that kayak anglers look for.
- This fishing kayak model is definitely one of the most comfortable inflatable kayak designs in the market.
- Air Head Montana is made up of heavy gauge PVC material and fortified I-beam construction method that makes this fishing kayak extremely durable unlike other inflatable kayaks.
- It has a large cockpit that is an additional advantage for beginners as it allows you to enter and exit the kayak easily in emergency situations.
- Air Head Montana has two inflatable seats which are ultra comfortable and adds convenience to your overall fishing experience.
- It even allows you to adjust these seats according to the water conditions and your comfort. Kayak’s neoprene elbow guards allow you to sit and balance your weight in the kayak easily.
- It also comes with front and back spray covers which will keep you dry while you are on water.
- AHTK2 comes with six stainless steel D-rings that are meant to help in securing the cargo nets and tow it when needed.
- It has multiple air chambers which serve as a safety net so even if the kayak gets damaged, it still floats and takes you to the shore safely.
- Its flat bottom hull may not allow great tracking on water but it does offer excellent navigation.
- Length: 12 feet
- Width: 32 inches
- Weight: 36.3 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
8. Lifetime Lotus Sit-on-top – 2 Pack
|Lightweight & portable||Speed is not that great|
|Aesthetic design & color||Seat is not comfortable for longer rides|
|Good stability and maneuverability|
|Comes with a paddle|
|Solid material quality|
It is a well-designed fishing kayak and is available in bright blue color. Lifetime Lotus has a strong hull which is made up of high-density polyethylene that is really durable.
- Contrary to other construction materials, polyethylene will not get rusted with time which means that this is a one-time buy and it lasts for years.
- The hull of this kayak is well-designed for better stability, paddling, and effective tracking.
- It is comparatively a small kayak which is only 8’ long and 30” wide. But the smaller size of this kayak improves its maneuverability and efficiency in the water.
- The kayak comes with scupper holes in the cockpit area which allows you to get rid of the excess water during paddling.
- Lotus also has an adjustable backrest and multiple footrest positions so that it can accommodate people of different heights.
- Apart from this, it also has a tank well storage in the back with bungee cord lacing where you can store your accessories like fish finders, fishing rods, and other personal belongings.
- A paddle cradle is also conveniently available in the kayak so that you can hold your paddle in place.
- Lifetime Lotus is available as both a single person and two-person kayaks so you may choose it according to your requirements.
- Length: 8 feet
- Width: 30 inches
- Weight: 38 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 250 pounds (for one person)
- Material: High-Density Polyethylene
9. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
|affordable price||Low-quality oars|
|Comes with 2 paddles, repair kit, 1 pump and pressure gauge||Few leaks|
|Two removable skews for shallow & deep water||Not great for rough waters|
|Lightweight & easy to transport|
|Really easy to setup|
It is one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks in the market under 500$.
- Intex Excursion Pro is made up of 3-ply laminate PVC with polyester core that is puncture resistant and lasts a very long time.
- The kayak also has UV resistant coating on the top. So, you really do not have to worry about the integrity and lifetime of this inflatable fishing kayak.
- Excursion Pro offers great stability and rigidity.
- Its high pressure and the spring loaded valves make inflation and deflation of the kayak really fast and convenient.
- The kayak is also equipped with pressure gauge so that you don’t over-inflate it.
- It has two air chambers which make sure that if anything goes wrong, your kayak stays afloat and reach the shore safely.
- Another really cool feature of this kayak is its mounting bracket which is able to hand all kind of accessories like fish finders, GPS system, and so on.
- Apart from this, you will also have more than enough storage on stern and bow.
- Excursion Pro also comes with two integrated fishing rod holders which is a plus as well.
- Length: 12 foot 7 inches
- Width: 3.1’
- Weight: 39 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
- Material: Heavy Duty Vinyl with a Polyester core
- Capacity: 2 persons
10. Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak
|Super comfortable||Low-quality carry bags|
|Spacious||Not good for heavy waters|
|Good stability||Carry handles twist while handling|
|Quick inflation and deflation|
Intex Explorer K2 is a budget-friendly inflatable two-person kayak which works perfectly in calmer water such as lakes, slow moving rivers and bays.
- It is built with SUPER-TOUGHTM 30-gauge vinyl over a 1200 denier nylon-shell with an inflatable I-beam floor and internal tubes which makes it puncture resistant and exceptionally durable.
- It has two separate air chambers to keep you afloat if things go wrong.
- Explorer K2 is wider than other kayaks which helps in stability in the water and prevents it from wobbling and flipping.
- The light weight of this kayak makes it manoeuvrability easier.
- It also comes with a removable skeg that you can install in the base of the kayak to get better tracking results.
- Explorer K2 comes with two inflatable seats which remain comfortable for around 3-4 hours of kayaking.
- This kayak has a spacious space for fishing gears and your personal belonging but there are not any separate compartments.
- Length: 10’3”
- Width: 3 foot
- Weight: 35.31 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
- Material: High-Quality Vinyl
- 86” Aluminum Oars
Things To Consider Before Buying A Fishing Kayak
Budget fishing kayaks tend to be smaller in size than expensive models. The smaller space naturally means that you have limited space to store your gear. We recommend that the kayak you choose should have ample storage space for your carry-on fishing gear. A sealed storage compartment is an essential feature as you can comfortably store electronics and non-water resistant items.
Do not overlook the durability of a kayak. Budget kayak does not mean that the kayak can get away with being low quality. A kayak will always be a long-term investment, and high-quality construction means that it will serve you for some time to come.
Kayaks that are long and narrow are comparatively faster in water. On the other hand, short and wide kayaks provides more stability in water on the cost of speed.
So, which kayak length you should choose? It ultimately depends on what kind of water you would be fishing on. So, if you are planning to fish in large water bodies, a long and narrow fishing kayak will be more suitable as it will be faster. But, if you want to fish in ponds pr other small water bodies, you should opt. for small and wide fishing kayak.
Portability of a fishing kayak is an important factor. If your kayak is too heavy to carry around, then it will not be a pleasant experience for you. However, the accessories in your kayak will have a major impact on the weight of your fishing kayak. So, you will have to compromise somewhere.
For a single-person kayak, around 50 pounds is reasonable enough to carry on your own.
Whether you need an anchoring device or not, totally depends on the kind of the water you will be fishing on. If you are fishing in rough waters, you will most definitely need an anchoring device to make sure that your kayak is not carried away by streams.
However, if you are fishing on calm waters, there is no need to worry about any anchoring device as the kayaks mentioned above provide reasonably good stability.
Budget fishing kayaks are a great way for beginners to get into the hobby of fishing. They are a good alternative to boats as kayaks require less maintenance and are generally more portable. The kayaks we have listed above are all good options for anyone looking for a fishing kayak on a budget. You have to decide which model is best for you. Do thorough research before you buy a fishing kayak.