There are a lot of people out there who are interested in kayaking but don’t know exactly what the best budget for it is.
So in this post, we’ve brought you the Top 10 best fishing kayaks under $500.
Table of Contents
10 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 In 2023
|Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak
|Lifetime Hydros Angler 85
|Perception Kayaks Sound 9.5
|Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
|Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak
|Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado
|Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
|Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
|Intex Challenger K1
1. Pelican Sit on top Kayak
Weight: 42 lbs
Dimensions: 114″ X 30″ X 11″
Pelican has been in this kayaking business for quite a long time now and has undoubtedly one of the best kayaks in the market. They introduce new technology in each of their kayaks that make kayak fishing more fun and easy
This Pelican Sentinel 100X is nothing less, it is a kayak equipped with facilities such as a comfortable seat and paddle that makes it suitable for beginners as well.
It is a lightweight and portable kayak and comes up in two versions named 100X angler and 100X EXO. both versions are equally good with the Angler having additional storage space and EXO providing greater stability and comfort.
The sentinel 100X is good for both intermediates and beginners but is a wholesome choice for beginners since it’s made out of durable material that could resist possible accidents or bumps that starters might experience.
Another reason why this kayak is best for beginners is that it’s lightweight and easy to take from one place to another. It has a really wide hull for better stability, which might cause its speed to slow down but safety comes first!
Despite being a compact and portable sit-on-top kayak, this pelican sentinel 100X still offers storage space of around 300 pounds which was quite shocking to us at first. This means that you can bring along your additional stuff and fishing gear for a perfect trip but make sure to not get carried away.
Being a sit-on-top kayak it’s important that the seat is as comfortable as it possibly can be and pelican doesn’t lack behind here. The sentinel 100X comes along with a well-cushioned seat and backrest so that you won’t have to deal with any fatigue or back pain later.
The kayak is really user-friendly as it’s equipped with cup holders to hold your water bottles or other beverages and a stable hull that reduces the chances of you falling.
2. Lifetime Hydros 85
Weight: 38 lbs
Dimensions: 101 x 29 x 10.5
Lifetime hydros are one of those manufacturers that pay more attention to making their kayak as stable as possible. It is done to make sure that the time you spend on the water is secure and smooth in general. Every inch of the design of this kayak is molded by having the user’s safety in mind and thus we couldn’t resist complimenting it over and over again.
The lifetime hydros 85 kayak has a lot of storage space and is made out of high-quality polythene for longer durability which means that you won’t have to worry about any bumps and knocks while kayak fishing on a Stoney water surface.
But this doesn’t end here, lifetime hydros have also added an additional layer of UV protection to make the surface more resistant.
Apart from the amazing design, which we cannot stop drooling over, this kayak has a lot of other benefits as well. And to start, let’s talk about its portability
Weighing just 41 lbs, lifetime hydros angler 85 is really easy to move in and out of water. But to make it even user-friendly, the manufacturer has attached T handles on each side and a central handle so you can load it in and out of your car easily.
The only drawback that came into our consideration regarding this kayak was that the seat is not really comfortable. It is well adjusted and padded but it is highly doubtful that it would keep you comfortable for longer periods. You can use easily any saltwater baitcasting reels on this kayak.
All in all, this is a durable and well-built kayak and a cost-effective choice for anyone looking for a stable fishing experience however if comfort is your top concern then this might not be the best choice for you.
3. Perception Kayak Sound 9.5
Weight: 38 lbs
Our third kayak among the best fishing kayaks of 2023 is the perception kayak sound 9.5 which comes from a brand that has earned the name of putting out the most beginner-friendly kayaks in the market. And the best part is that their kayaks are really affordable as well as durable.
This kayak was not one of those fancy fishing kayaks adorned with high-end features but it still had a lot of attractive points and the first one was its durable build quality.
Being Made up of high-quality material, this Kayak is not only resistant to substances such as stones and knocks that often comes in your way during kayak fishing but it can also endure UV rays which we will admit is truly exceptional.
As a cherry on the top, the hardware is also adapted to seawater so you won’t have to worry about the beauty of your kayak being ruined
Another feature of this kayak is that even it is small in size, it does give you space to store your stuff. It has a dashboard at the front of the kayak which has spaces for storing small items such as your bungee wires.
Other highlights of sound 9.5 include the comfortable seat, stable hull, and portability of the kayak itself.
However, we did find some things lacking in the kayak such as the infrastructure is not suitable for anglers to stand on it and there are no side handles attached to the kayak. Also, you will have to watch out for your paddles because it has no carrying case for them.
This poses that it’s not the most secure fishing kayak in the market nowadays but a good and durable choice for people on a budget.
4. Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
Weight: 44 lbs
Dimensions: 120 x 30 x 11
Nexc Sun Dolphin has been in this business for years now and we are convinced that they know all too well that what are the components that make a great fishing kayak and journey 10 SS is the perfect example for it.
Its dimensions are somewhere around 10 ft in length and 30 inches wide. The size is ideal enough to enable the kayak to run at a good speed. The next thing is its superior exterior which is made out of durable material to resist all the knocks and bumps that might come along the way.
Talking about the performance, we must say that we were quite impressed because this kayak not just knows how to pull off a great speed on water but also offers stability which is very important assuming that you are kayak fishing for the first time or is still a beginner.
Another highlight of its versatile performance is that it’s really easy to paddle in both rough rivers and calm lakes.
Lastly, let’s talk about the storage space of this kayak. Unlike other kayaks in this price range, journey 10 SS does provide adequate storage space. It has a compartment on the back where you can store all your fishing accessories such as fishing rods along with other essentials. It also has a dashboard kind of storage area in the front for temporary storage.
The kayak is also very stable to sit on, the seats are well cushioned and aligned to keep you comfortable for hours and the adjustable foot braces take the rest of the worry away.
5. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
Weight: 54 lbs
Dimensions: 120 x 31 x 14
Next on our rundown of best fishing kayaks under $500, we have Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 which is again a very affordable kayak performing the best of its potential. It is a very efficiently designed kayak it is made out of tough material and durable polythene to last for years to come.
Along with its sturdy and robust surface, it is also resistant to UV light rays which is a feature hard to track down in such cost-effective kayaks.
Another impressive feature of this kayak is that it has both side hulls and chine rails so that your ride could be as stable as possible and it features a storage capacity of around 270 pounds which means that you can store all your camping gear in it.
There are two separate receptacles allotted to store your stuff out of which one is at the front of the seat and the other is near the stern.
Apart from these spaces, it also has three specific pole holders where you can store your fishing rods.
Concerning the comfort, Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100, unfortunately, couldn’t meet our expectations. Although it does feature an adaptable back and padded seat.
A lot of customers complained that it failed to keep them comfortable for a longer period of time. However, one thing we found impressive is that it has adjustable foot braces so you can play around with whichever position you are most comfortable with.
Lastly, we cannot leave without complimenting the stability and portability of this kayak. We even came around a lot of reviews saying that the hull is stable enough to allow them to stand.
And the kayak is only 10 ft long and lightweight so it can be carried anywhere easily.
6. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
Weight: 43.64 lbs
Dimensions: 12’7″ X 3’1″ X 1’6″
Next up we have intex Excursion latest kayak model intex excursion pro. Looking from the outside it looks awfully similar to its previous model K2 but since we started noticing it came to us that this pro model has a lot of advancements in its structure.
First of all it’s an inflatable kayak so you won’t have to worry about transportation since you can carry it almost anywhere with you whether it be on a beach or a lake. Secondly, it comes along with a really robust pump that can help you set up your kayak in a few minutes.
Not to forget, it has 3 chambers to store air so that you have additional options just in case one of them runs out of air.
Talking about its dimensions, it measures around 12 feet and 7 inches which is a reasonable size for a kayak like this one.
Coming to the most important point is how durable and sturdy it is on the outside. As for most inflatable kayaks, customers are often worried about getting any holes. But with intex excursion pro kayak you won’t have to worry about it at all.
Its triple-coated layer makes sure to prevent any harm or damages and the high molecular PVC makes it resistant against aginst saltwater as well. And as a cherry on the top, it is also resistant to UV Rays.
Despite being an inflatable kayak, it is really stable and can hold up to 400 lbs of weight. It also has a dedicated place for storing your flush mount holders and fishing rods
Ease of use is also well taken care of as it has two handles on each side of the kayak and is quite easy to paddle.
7. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
Next up we have a really fun kayak, it is relatively small in size as compared to other kayaks. It is a splendid choice for paddlers and beginners who are looking for a little fishing fun this summer.
It is an inflatable kayak but is well-protected and shielded from top to bottom using the latest innovations. It’s coated 840D nylon to save it from getting punctured from any holes that might come along the way.
Talking about stability then unlike many other inflatable kayaks, Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak provides you a lot of stability to shift from one place to another.
Since it’s an inflatable kayak, it does not provide a lot of storage but has adequate space for storing your fishing rods, flush mount holders, and paddles.
All in all, this kayak is a really easy-going and reliable choice for paddlers and even for anglers who aren’t much interested in a lot of accessories.
8. Air Head Angler Bay
Next up we have a really impressive choice for fishing enthusiasts and individuals who are always pumped up to go out on vacations and play around with nature. If this all sounds familiar. Then angler bay is your way to go.
First up, angler bay comes along with some accessories to assist your fishing experience. These accessories include:
- Storage bag
- Battery holder
- 2 inflatable additional seats
However, what we found missing were the pump and the oars which was quite a drawback for this kayak since you will have to spend an extra 100 dollars to buy those. The kayak is really comfortable due to its high walls which prevent any water from making its way inside the boat but again this reduces the amount of space you will have to sit.
One thing we found a lot of users praising about this boat was its stability. Even though its an inflatable kayak, it boasts a really sturdy and solid floor which will allow you to make certain movements but not a lot of robust ones.
Another thing is that the entire kayak is PVC coated which ensures that any bumps or rocks along the way wont do any damage.
As it’s an inflatable kayak, it does not weigh too much and could be carried easily in and out of the land.
We also came across some negative reviews saying that the kayak ran out of pressure (air) after 6 hours of use which was quite dubious at first but we admit that your experiences could vary.
To sum up, angler bay is a pretty decent choice for both anglers and paddlers and could accommodate up to 6 people at a time however, many times you will have to sacrifice the seating space and a little comfort.
9. Intex Explorer K2
Weight: 6.06 lbs
Dimensions: 23.75 x 18.25 x 7.5
Our Next choice of top best fishing kayaks is Intex Explorer K2 which comes from a brand that is well known for putting out the best watercraft in the market.
Seeing this kayak, the first thing that clicked us was how appealing is the aesthetics and tone of the boat. The bright yellow shade of the boat goes well with the blueish beauty of the lakes and pounds making your kayak fishing experience picture-perfect.
The next concern is stability and durability and to be quite honest with you all, this intex explorer K2 does well in both aspects. It is coated with the latest vinyl innovation which is resistant to saltwater and UV rays as well.
As for stability, this kayak does provide you with solid ground to fish safely. This kayak is also the Best Kayak for kids.
Moving on to comfort, we must say that this kayak didn’t leave us unimpressed. It has a really roomy cockpit which allows you to sit and shift around easily. Also, it comes along with adjustable foot braces which means that people of all physiques can be accommodated well.
This intex explorer K2 is one of those few pioneer kayaks that come along with additional accessories as well. This kayak is accompanied by the following:
- Two inflatable seats.
- A storage duffle bag.
- A repair patch.
- A skeg.
- Two aluminum oars that go up to 86 inches with padded handles for comfortable paddling.
- A high output air pump.
One slight drawback that we came through related to this kayak is that the paddles are not up to the mark and could not compete with the high-quality manufacturers as the kayak itself does however if that is not your biggest concern then this explorer k2 is the perfect choice for you.
10. Intex challenger K1
Weight: 25 lbs
Dimensions: 9′ X 2’6″ X 1’1″
Last on our list of top best fishing kayaks under $500 we have intex challenger K1 which for your information is an inflatable kayak. It’s a really affordable choice for anyone looking to kickstart their kayaking career with a pleasant experience.
Let’s first talk about who is this kayak best suited for? We won’t feel guilty in admitting that this kayak is a pretty small one with a few precise features but lives up to its potential.
It is not best suited for a lot of robust and high yielding experiences but is a very good and preferable choice for anyone who is looking forward to spending their summers fishing under the bright sun
One thing that got our attention regarding this kayak was that it is really portable. Probably the most portable choice on this entire list. It could easily be deflated and folded up into a small package. The bag it comes in is spacious to store the kayak along with the paddles.
Moving on, let’s talk about the quality and performance of the kayak. Starting off with the quality, unlike most kayaks, this kayak is not coated with PVC and there is a major chance of punctures when collided with sharp or Stoney objects.
Another interesting detail about this kayak was that despite being such a cheap kayak, it is really good and steady in performance and according to some reviews it can make the paddling process a lot more fun.
Lastly, the kayak also does well when it comes to comfort it has ample space to stretch out your legs however don’t get too carried away as that could lead to some serious incidents.
To conclude, intex challenger K1 is a pretty good choice if you are considering having some good fishing experiences this summer and don’t mind missing out on a few premium features.
Buying Guide: How To Buy A Fishing Kayak
And now when we have talked enough about the best choices for fishing kayaks under $500 let’s throw a look at how to hunt down a good kayak for yourself. Here are a few things that you should ponder upon before stepping into the market as this will help you land a fishing kayak that will serve you for the years to come.
- The first thing first asks yourself where you will be fishing, trust me it plays a big role in deciding what type of kayak you want because the course of every water is different. So decide whether you are looking forward to peaceful rides in lakes or some daring challenges in the choppy water.
- Next, determine your expertise. By this we mean that decide which kind of kayak you can handle well. You should be extra wise in this matter since a beginner can never pull off a premium kayak. So buy one which would suit your expertise the most.
- This might sound unimportant or to be precise lame but you need to know how much and what type of gear you will be carrying in your kayak. This will help you in determining how much storage space you will be needing.
- Last but definitely not least, determine your budget. You need to be mindful about how much money are you willing to spend on the kayak. This will help you in looking for a model that can fulfill all your needs on a minimal budget.
We hope this guide will help you in getting yourself a worthy fishing kayak. Thanks for reading!