Best Single Person Kayak Review & Buying Guide

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Last Updated on May 13, 2021 by Debra

Over the past several years, kayaking has become a rapidly increased recreational outdoor activity in the USA. Here is the best single-person kayak for you to get started.

Do you want to explore nature in a whole different way? Or want to pass the quality time on the weekends far from the busy life? Among several ways of spending quality time, kayaking is one of the best outdoor activities undoubtedly. In 2019, more than 16.62 million Americans participated in kayaking which was approximately a 10% increment from 2015.

The best single-person kayak is often the best option for kayaking. These kayaks are durable, stable, provide the highest comfortability and safety. More importantly, unlimited fun when kayaking. That is why those who are driven by an adventurous life-force and enjoy discovering both lakes and rapids, either alone or as a group, should opt for these kayaks.

There are thousands of single-person kayaks available in the market. As a result, finding the best is always a daunting task if you don’t research the market before buying. In order to help you find it, our research team searched intensively. They recommended the best kayaks that we reviewed in this article.

Best Single Person Kayaks

What Are the Best Single Person Kayak?

Every kayak comes with distinctive features. In this section, we will look into the key features of the listed 5 kayaks so that your decision becomes precise.

Best for the Money: Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars

It is uniquely designed and offers high-end performance, while you don’t need to break your bank to buy this kayak.

Best for the Construction: Pelican Sit-On-Top Kayak – Sentinel 100X

With RAM-X material construction, this kayak promises to deliver long-term efficient service.

Best Versatile Kayak: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak

A well-pointed and longbow glides through water that you can use for versatile uses.

Best for Recreational Use: AQUAGLIDE Navarro 110 Convertible Inflatable Kayak

This pontoon-style hull kayak is a combo of comfort, well-construction, and relaxation that it becomes an ideal choice for recreational use.

Best for Entry-level Kayakers: ADVANCED Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak

This kayak is much roomy and spacious, comes with a tracking fin, comfortable inflate and deflate process, making it easy for entry-level kayakers to paddle.

5 Best Single Person Kayaks Reviewed

A good kayak gives you the freedom to get out on the water and explore nature. Read the review section intently to find the best-suited kayak for your next kayak session.

1# Best for the Money: Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars

Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars
Key Features:
  • Heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl
  • 2-separate air chambers
  • Inflatable I-beam floor for rigidity
  • Boston valves for quick inflation/deflation

The Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars combines impressive design and high-end quality to give you an outstanding experience on the water. You will love to know that this is the best single-person kayak and earned the spot of our top pick with great comfort and stability.

It is durably built of welded material so that you can get many years of service. Its rugged vinyl construction ensures that you will not get a single leak after using it several times. The best thing is, when you are on the lake or slow-moving river, its eye-catchy design adds safety. You will never be out of sight when kayaking with this kayak.

The kayak weighs only 20lbs. good enough for a single-person kayak. You can easily carry it to the river or lake, keeping it in the trunk of your vehicle. It is so compact that it provides additional benefit when carrying it from one place to another. Pumping and assembling it is extremely straightforward. The assembly process will take only 2 minutes. Moreover, it is pretty perfect on the water also.

The space for the legs is good enough since a person of 5’8” – 5’11” will not feel any discomfort when sitting in the kayak. You will love to know that it shows a little bit of resistance when going opposite the wind. It features backrests with an inflatable seat for the highest comfortability. The cockpit is designed in such a way so that you don’t feel discomfort when sitting for a long time.

Pros
  • Maximum capacity of 220 lbs.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Designed to provide utmost comfort
  • Easy inflation and deflation process
Cons
  • The kayak carrying bag is of inferior quality

2# Best for the Construction: Pelican Sit-On-Top Kayak – Sentinel 100X

Pelican Sit-On-Top Kayak – Sentinel 100X
Key Features:
  • Added floatation inside the hull ensures the safety and buoyancy of the kayak
  • It offers better speed and excellent tracking
  • Made of premium-quality RAM-X material to ensure durability
  • Foam blocks between the hull and deck add additional safety

The Pelican Sit-On-Top Kayak – Sentinel 100X comes at an affordable price and features almost everything you need to make your kayaking session memorable. In fact, it is promised to provide you some severe reeling sessions. Its stability is pretty incredible, plus, it is lightweight that you will not face any hassle to carry it.

This is an ideal kayak for average paddlers with a compact design. It offers several features similar to expensive kayaks, such as a removable storage compartment, highest stability, etc. The 9’5” long kayak’s maximum load capacity is 275 lbs., making it a suitable kayak for average-weighted persons. Also, the hull design makes it a versatile kayak that provides the required stability for recreational kayaking.

Like other Pelican kayak models, it is also made of a sheet of 3-layer high-density polyethylene known as RAM-X material. This design gives it much durability, and you will get long-term service for sure. Additionally, it is manufactured following thermoforming technology. First, a RAM-X sheet is heated up. Then using a vacuum, it is stretched over a mold. Next, the hull’s 2 parts are melted together, assisting it in creating a solid bond.

The footrest and the backrest come with an adjustability feature to give you comfort when kayaking. At the same time, the backrest and seat are a little bit lifted from the deck to offer required back support. However, you may need to bring additional lumbar support and cushion if you plan to kayak for a whole day. With numerous versatile features, this kayak is appreciated by many beginners and professional anglers.

Pros
  • Highest load capacity: 275 lbs.
  • Adjustable footrest and backrest
  • Slightly lifted seat cushion for back support
  • ExoShell 13L detachable storage compartment
Cons
  • The paddle is excluded with this kayak

3# Best Versatile Kayak: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak

Best Versatile Kayak: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak
Key Features:
  • Durable double-coated Ripstop fabric
  • The back support can be adjusted according to your preference
  • It delivers the best result against wind
  • Much stable that capsizing is difficult

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak is a hybrid-kayak of an inflatable and folding kayak. It has patented aluminum ribs, a comfy interior, and a robust exterior. The best thing about this kayak is that you can use it not only for lake use but also for river trips. Moreover, if you are space-conscious, this kayak will be the perfect fit.

It consists of a military-grade valve allowing a high air volume to be pumped into the kayak regardless of the situation. You will also love to know; the air doesn’t go out of the kayak if the hose accidentally gets disconnected. The deflation process is also effortless with the twisting of the central spring. Another worth-mentioning feature is, its inflatable floor contains a valve, preventing overinflation of the kayak.

In order to give the highest durability, it is made from PVC-coated polyester, and a thick, waterproof layer covers the deck to protect it from accidents. The cockpit is large enough, allowing you to store a few gears quite conveniently. The best thing is, the cockpit comes with a zipper for comfortable entering into the kayak. Its bow is well-pointed and long that it glides through the water without much of a hassle.

When the discussion comes about the performance, it is a champion. This kayak is extremely stable. Also, the best option for beginners since capsizing is challenging in this kayak. You can paddle the kayak without difficulty. More importantly, it is a well-performer against the wind. A combination of the fins, backbone, and body shape keeps the kayak in a straight line. Its tracking is better compared to its competitors.

Pros
  • Built to last with aluminum ribs
  • Puncture resistant kayak
  • It provides comfort at the time of many hours of paddling
  • Versatile performer
Cons
  • The bright orange color fades away over time

4# Best for Recreational Use: AQUAGLIDE Navarro 110 Convertible Inflatable Kayak

Best for Recreational Use: AQUAGLIDE Navarro 110 Convertible Inflatable Kayak
Key Features:
  • Weight capacity is 300 lbs.
  • Plastic molded handle for superior relax
  • Velcro adjustable strips let you modify the seat according to your need
  • Suitable for recreational use

Are you looking for an efficient kayak for recreational use? Look no further; buy the AQUAGLIDE Navarro 110 Convertible Inflatable Kayak. It comes with a pontoon-style hull, making it a combo of comfort and solidity. It is promised to make your every kayaking trip enjoyable and memorable with all its brilliant features.

First, the setup process will simply put a smile on your face since it doesn’t take much time to assemble. An instruction manual is available with it so that you can avoid all the confusion and hassles when inflating this kayak. Seat attachment is also straightforward, and the whole assembling process will take a maximum of 10 minutes.

A padded seat cushion delivers maximum comfort when kayaking for a long time. The breathable high rest offers the highest support to let you feel comfortable every single second. The kayak color is so beautiful that it will never fade away over time because of the UV-resistant material. More importantly, it is a puncture-proof kayak that provides superior safety. Besides, due to the plastic molded paddle, you will never feel fatigued in your hand when kayaking for an extended period.

The most amazing thing is that; the kayak comes with lots of storage features. You can store all the necessary gears to make your lake or river trip pleasurable. The kayak’s beneath is much spacious, where you can keep all your valuables. Thanks to the zippered feature, accessing the storage area becomes easy due to it.

Pros
  • Straightforward inflate and deflate process
  • Offers lots of space for storage gears
  • Cockpit drains allow you to drain water from the kayak without trouble
  • It assists you to enjoy the kayaking trip
Cons
  • Unsuitable for beginners

5# Best for Entry-level Kayakers: ADVANCED Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak

Best for Entry-level Kayakers: ADVANCED Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak
Key Features:
  • Universal kayak regardless of the water condition
  • Easy to control and move whatever the condition is
  • The setting up process is only 5 minutes
  • Easy to enter with large cockpit

The ADVANCED Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak is a combo of compact design, lightweight and quick setup process. Additionally, the design is so simple and streamlined that it will grab the attention of any kayakers or anglers. It is a decent performer and one of the best single-person kayaks for recreational use, traveling, or kids. The truth is, it is a better-performing kayak in its range.

A dense polyester is used to manufacture the outer layer of this kayak, and a 30-gauge PVC-made main chamber gives it a rugged construction. As a result, hidden rocks or other objects can’t damage this kayak. More importantly, a repair kit is also available to make some instances of repairing whenever necessary. Its dimension is 31” X 18” X 8”, and its weight is only 25 lbs., making it easier to carry into the water with ease.

Its weight capacity is 235 lbs., which means most of the body frames can easily accommodate in this kayak. It is much roomy and spacious, ensuring much comfort when kayaking. This kayak comes with twist-lock spring valves, allowing you to inflate it with any dual-action hand pump. The good news is that; inflation process will take a maximum of 5 minutes. Isn’t it time-saving?

This kayak is designed in such a way so that you feel the highest comfortability when seated in it for long hours. The cockpit is large well as features easy entry. The exceptional feature of this kayak is the tracking fin which is unavailable in most kayaks. Overall, this kayak is an entry-level kayak providing utmost comfort when passing quality time on the water.

Pros
  • Highly portable with only 25 lbs. weight
  • It consists of 4 air chambers
  • Modifiable back support
  • Molded rubber handle
Cons
  • It is a bit slower than other kayaks in its class

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Single Person Kayak

Single Person Kayaks Review

Buying a single-person kayak can be tricky, especially for beginners. To help you in this regard, read the below considerations that need to be noted down when buying the best single-person kayak.

Construction

Composite materials like carbon fiber, hard-wearing plastic, fiberglass, etc., or polyethylene plastic are commonly used in the kayak.

Kayaks that are made of carbon fiber and fiberglass are stiffer, which confirms better performance. These materials are durable enough than other materials. They show less responsiveness to deep scratches, dent, and damages.

While plastic kayaks lack stiffness and are heavier. Moreover, they don’t break easily when dropped or come into contact with the hidden rock.

Hull Shape

Generally, kayaks hull shape comes with 2 different designs: rounded hull and V-shaped hull.

The rounded hull shape is suitable for flatwater kayaks. You can comfortably glide through lakes, coastal flat waters, or calm rivers quite comfortably with rounded-shaped kayaks.

On the other hand, a V-shaped hull is ideal for turbulent or tougher water.

Puncture-proof

This is a mandatory feature. The chance of puncture is high in inflatable kayaks, but it may happen if you use it outside of the recommended conditions.

The reviewed inflatable kayaks in this article have durable construction and come with a puncture-proof feature that you can buy any without hesitation.

Comfortability

This is another foremost consideration that you can’t avoid. Ensure that your selected kayak offers maximum comfortability when kayaking.

Thus you can have a memorable kayaking session for a longer time, and controlling the kayak will also be easier.

You will need to keep in mind that customizing the kayak according to your preference will ensure comfortability. This means, make sure that the backrest, seat, footplates are available with the adjustability feature.

Storage Option

When kayaking, you have to carry the kayaking gears in your kayak. So, the kayak has to come with the right amount of storage.

It is also advisable not to take a lot of gears with you when kayaking. First, load your kayak with the mandatory gears.

Also, make sure the storage area is easy to access. If you cannot access the storage area when necessary, then there is no point in having lots of storage options.

Weight & Portability

The portability feature of a kayak relies on the kayak’s weight. Kayakers who plan to carry their kayak from one place to another should buy a lightweight kayak. It would be best to buy a lightweight kayak since it offers many benefits. Since you need to carry the kayak anyway to the nearest lake or river. The lightweight feature will ensure that you can carry it quite conveniently.

Additionally, kayakers who go kayaking less often can go for a hyper-portable kayak or inflatable kayak.

Kayaking for Beginners Tips & Guide

How to Kayak?

In the beginning, kayaking may seem challenging, but it is extremely easy to kayak. Follow the below points.

  • First, choose calm water. Avoid kayaking in the rough water if you are new. Find a place where you can slope into the water with your kayak. It would be best to choose a place where rocks or other hidden objects are unavailable. Thus, you can quickly start kayaking.
  • Start paddling with the current once you enter into the kayak. Dip one side of the paddle into the water and pull it back. Repeat the same process with the other side of the paddle. Continue it to go forward. If you need to stop or slow down, the reverse process will let you do so.
  • Only one side paddling will let you turn the kayak. Moreover, you can follow the sweep stroke process. At the front of the boat, dip one side of the paddle. Next, pull it back and carve a curve through the water.

Frequently Asked Question

Question: Kayaking or Canoeing, which one is safer for 1 person?

Answer: For 1 person, kayaking is much safer and easier than canoeing. This is because maneuverability is quite tricky in canoeing since they are bulkier compared to kayaks. Moreover, the kayak contains a double-sided paddle. As a result, controlling is much more convenient with kayaking. Simultaneously, in terms of speed, kayaking is faster.

Question: What are the benefits of kayaking?

Answer: Kayaking helps to build strong muscle and lets you sweat a lot. You can quickly do quick cardio depending on the paddling speed. By increasing the kayaking speed, your chest, back, arms and hands will receive good exercise.

Question: What are the benefits of kayaking?

Answer: Kayaking offers numerous benefits.
1.Easy to maneuver
2.Easy to control
3.You can glide through the water quickly
4.Kayaking is faster

Final Words

After reading the whole article, I believe you gathered enough information to make your purchase precise. Make sure to choose the best single-person kayak that meets your requirement.

Among the 5 kayaks in this article, the Pelican Sit-On-Top Kayak – Sentinel 100X is the top pick. The features of this kayak will let you enjoy your kayaking trip. This kayak features enough space, which makes it easy to control since comfortability is confirmed. Additionally, it is lightweight, and thus you will never sweat to carry it into different places.

When kayaking, take safety precautions like wearing a kayak PFD, swimsuit, and water-proof shoes. Whatever outfit you decide to wear, regardless of the weather, ensure that you feel comfortable wearing it. Moreover, for beginners, don’t go for a solo kayak and leave your group. Stay closer to your group. This way, you can avoid unwanted accidents or incidents.

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