Best Fishing Kayak Under 500 2019

Going 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 best fishing kayak under 1000.

Best Fishing Kayaks Under 500

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.

Name & Type Shape Rating Price
Lifetime Tamarack 120 Sit-On-Top Kayak Check Now

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-On-Top Kayak Check Now

Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak Check Now

Sevylor Coleman Colorado: 2-Person Kayak Check Now

Emotion 90259 Renegade XT Check Now

1. Lifetime Tamarack 120 Sit-On-Top Kayak

best fishing kayak under 500

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Pros Cons
Durable Material Slow Speed
UV Protected
Light Weight
Dry Storage

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 light weight; an average adult will be able to carry it no problem.

This kayak also demonstrates admirable performance in 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.

Notable Features

  • 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

Check Lifetime Tamarack on Amazon

2. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-On-Top Kayak

best fishing kayak under 500

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Pros Cons
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.

Notable Features

  • 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

Check Sun Dolphin Journey 10 on Amazon

3. Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak

Best fishing kayak under 500

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Pros Cons
Durable material Average Tracking
 Comfortable Back Rest
Light Weight
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.

Notable Features

  • 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

Check Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top on Amazon

4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado: 2-Person Kayak

best fishing kayak under 500

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Pros Cons
Durable Material Slow Speed
Two Person Rod Holder Position
Air Tight System
Comfortable seats

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.

Notable Features

  • 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

Check Sevylor Coleman Colorado on Amazon

5. Emotion 90259 Renegade XT

best fishing kayak under 500

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Pros Cons
Durable Material  Less Wide
 Good Tracking
 Stable & Light Weight
Good Storage

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. This 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.

Notable Features

  • High-quality polyethylene construction for durability and light weight
  • Easy to transport
  • ST Performance hull makes it very stable and ideal for fishing
  • Comfortable seating position
  • 3-year warranty

Check Emotion Renegate XT on Amazon

What Matters in a Budget Fishing Kayak?

Storage Space

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 over look 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 a high-quality construction means that it will serve you for some time to come.


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.

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Michael Holding

Michael is an outdoor adventurer and a kayaking enthusiast who loves to share his experiences with others. He is the Chief Editor at XgearHub.

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