Best Fishing Kayak Under 500

Going fishing on a kayak is one of the best ways to relax both your mind and body, while engaging in a health-benefitting activity. It can also serve as a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of routine life. What’s more, it isn’t terribly expensive to get into either. 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 best fishing kayaks under 500 dollars. These are great kayaks for beginners as well, because of their affordable price points.

Top 6 Fishing Kayaks Under 500

This list has been compiled after doing pains-taking market research. The models mentioned here 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 varying features of these kayaks means that you have a great variety of options even at the budget end of things.

1. Lifetime Tamarack 120 Sit-On-Top Kayak

Lifetime is a well-known brand in the kayak circles, mainly due to the fact that they produce high-quality models at very affordable price points. 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 a very light kayak; 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 into the water. It features deep hull channels for superior tracking performance and chine rails for stability.

Despite being a budget kayak, Lifetime have 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.

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

2. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

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.

The seating on this kayak is spacious and reasonably comfortable as well. To ensure you get the most comfort out of this kayak, the company has equipped it with adjustable foot rests. It should be noted that the seat on this kayak isn’t the most comfortable, but that is a problem that plagues 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 niggles 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

3. Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle

This is yet another small kayak that will suit the beginner users out there. It’s also 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 that might develop faults if exposed to water. 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

  • Affordable price
  • 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

4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

So far, the budget kayaks that we have reviewed have one thing in common – they are all designed for use by a single user. This is often a necessary design choice as cheap kayaks cannot be made to multiple users 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 users in tandem.

The Coleman features a very reasonable quality as far as its construction is concerned. It has an 18-guage 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 easy 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.

Notable Features

  • Can be easily used by two users
  • High quality PVC construction
  • Resistant to punctures and air leaks
  • Lots of storage spaces
  • 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 Fishing Kayak, Forest Green

The Emotion Renegate XT fishing kayak comes just under 500 dollars, so it’s sitting right at the bridge between budget and mid-range kayaks. Looking at the price, we would expect this kayak to offer a good mix of budget and mid-range features, and this kayak certainly delivers on that.

The Renegate XT is constructed from high-density polyethylene which promotes superior strength and durability while keeping the weight down. This kayak can easily withstand scrapes with sharp rocks while not getting seriously 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 while keeping its balance. This is also a very light 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 through the use 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 so you can store sensitive equipment like electronics. There are two flush-mounted rod holders as well.

The kayak comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

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

What matters in a budget fishing kayak

Storage space

Budget fishing kayaks tend to be smaller in size than pricier models. This smaller space naturally means that you have lesser ways of storing your gear. Make sure that the kayak you choose has ample amount of storage for the gear you’ll be carrying. A sealed storage compartment is also essential to store electronics.


Do not over look the durability of a kayak! Budget 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 sport of fishing. They are a good alternative to boats as they require much 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 under 500 dollars.

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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