Best Fishing Kayak Under 500 – Review 2021
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. If you want to spend a little more, however, read best fishing kayaks under $1000.
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
Best buck for the money
|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
Best for stability
|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
- 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.
- 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. Sevylor Tahiti Fishing Kayak
Best for comfort
|Good Durability||Slow speed|
|Very Rigid||Seat a bit uncomfortable|
|Good Valve positioning||If out of sync, paddles collide|
|Yellow color, easy to spot|
Sevylor Tahiti is a well-known name in the world of kayaks, especially when it comes to comfort and practicality.
- The adjustable seating and padded backrest on this kayak make it the perfect kayak for long fishing trips, however, the seats themselves aren’t the most comfortable.
- The kayak comes with two spray covers that can be a lifesaver if you want to keep dry in wet conditions.
- The carry handles on this kayak are firm which provide great ease of use whether you’re carrying the kayak in shallow water or pulling it out after your trip.
- The double lock valves, with there two locking points, help the kayak to have very convenient inflation and deflation.
- The kayak has a 21-gauge PVC build that makes it one of the most durable kayaks in the market.
- The kayak has an Airtight system that effectively prevent leakages from happening, and in the event of a leak, the air chambers are there to make sure you get to the shore safely.
- Length: 10.4 feet
- Width: 34.8 inches
- Weight: 19.36 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 360 pounds
- Capacity: 2 people
- Type: Sit-in kayak
7. Old Town Vapor 10 Angler
Best for every condition
|Very well built||Doesn’t come with a paddle|
|Trolley System||Speed could be better|
|Rounded hull design|
|Good for all conditions|
If you are a beginner kayaker, and you are looking for a compact, affordable and durable kayak, the Old Town Vapor 10 Angler is a great one for you.
- The kayak has a relatively more open cockpit, which is great for people who do not want to feel confined for long fishing trips.
- The kayak has amazing stability, which takes a major worry off your shoulders if you are in rough waters.
- The kayak has a robust build which gives it amazing durability. You do not have to worry if you collide with rocks because you can rest assured, they won’t dent the Old Town Vapor 10.
- It has a very comfortable cockpit with adjustable seats and plenty of room. You can easily fit your gear and still sit comfortably.
- It weighs only 49lbs making it one of the most lightweight kayaks out there. It has two carrying handles which makes it very easy to carry.
- It also has good tracking and moves with a lot of speed so that you can run after your catch easily.
- Length: 10 feet
- Width: 28.5 inches
- Weight: 49 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 325 pounds
8. Pelican Premium Sentinel 100XR
Best for portability
|Lightweight & portable||No Dry Storage|
|Durable and Robust||No Rod Holders|
|Good stability and maneuverability|
|Best for beginners|
Ease of maneuvering, compactness, and durability are some of the reasons why the Pelican Premium Sentinem 100XR is one of the best beginner kayaks out there.
- The pelican weighs only 42lbs and has inbuilt carrying handles making it very easy to transport and carry around.
- The kayak is made of RAM-X™, a durable triple-layer high-molecular-weight polyethylene, on top of that Pelican offers a limited lifetime warranty on the hull and deck, meaning this kayak will be with you for a good long time.
- The storage platform and tank on the Sentinel both come with bungee cords, making sure you have plenty of space to bring along anything you might need.
- The Pelican Sentinel has the ErgoLounge™ seating system which provides extra cushioning, furthermore, it has a high and wide backrest, making sure that you are very comfortable sitting in it and in no hurry to go back.
- ExoShell 13L removable storage compartment allows you to pack your gear at home for quick loading once you get waterside
- It is compact and easy to maneuver both on and off the water, as well as being lightweight for easier carrying. Its 30-inch wide hull can also help provide stability. However, this may hinder its performance when it comes to speed.
- Length: 9 feet 6 inches
- Width: 30 inches
- Weight: 42 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 275 pounds (for one person)
- Material: RAM-X Premium polyethylene plastic
9. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
Best for versatility
|Very Durable||Weighs a lot|
|Handles very well||Difficult to drain|
|A very stable vessel|
|Made from water-resistant fabric|
|Really easy to setup|
The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem is a high-performing and versatile vessel, and one that doesn’t dent your pockets.
- The AE Convertible handles really well for a kayak made from fabric and filled with air. Its 15-foot length with multiple 2-4 inch tracking fins and one small skeg help it stay true to course as you enjoy the sights along your route.
- The Kayak has high seatbacks that are great for lounging. Also, the kayak is lower, which makes it more stable, easier to paddle, and reduces wind resistance.
- The AdvancedFrame comes with a thorough manual, which helps you set up the kayak very easily.
- Its high weight of 55lbs makes it a very tough kayak in terms of transportation and carrying around.
- The kayak is extremely durable where the bottom of the hull is made from PVC tarpaulin which is puncture resistant. It has internal aluminum ribs that provide it with more durability. It also has a drop-stitch floor and three layers of ripstop material to keep you floating above the waves.
- Length: 15′
- Width: 2’8″
- Weight: 55 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 550 pounds
- Capacity: 2 persons
10. Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak
Best for calm waters
|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
Sit-in vs Sit-on-top kayaks
The biggest decision you need to make before choosing the right kayak is between these two types. Both of these have completely different uses.
These are for stable waters. If you want to relax and unwind on a lake and do some casual kayaking, these are the way to go. One thing you need to consider is that there is a huge chance of you getting et on these. Also while sit-in kayaks may cause claustrophobia, these won’t have that problem. These are a bit heavier than sit-in ones, draining is very easy using scupper plugs and, it’s very to get into and out of these.
These are good for tracking and if you want speed. You can get to places fast using paddling. Since you are sitting in, they will also give you better protection during wet waters. They also carry a risk of capsizing so you need to learn how to do a wet exit. If you are an angler, this might be the best way to go.
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.
Lucky for you, we have some great content that can help you decide the perfect kayak for you, read: