Best Amazon Kayaks For 2024

Paddling Buyer’s Guide

You can buy anything on Amazon, including more than 700 different kayaks. The variety of kayaks sold on Amazon includes inflatable kayaks, fishing kayaks, folding kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks and sit-inside kayaks. There are high-quality kayaks and low-quality kayaks, $100 kayaks and $4,000 kayaks. All those options can be overwhelming.

In some ways, the extensive inventory of kayaks on Amazon combined with the marketplace’s one-click ordering function means purchasing a kayak has never been easier. On the other hand, it wasn’t so long ago that a paddler interested in buying a new kayak would have tested a handful of contenders at the nearest paddleshop and bought the kayak that felt best. In fact, the biggest wild card when purchasing a kayak from Amazon is that you won’t be able to paddle it before purchase and are taking a gamble that it’ll be the right match for you in fit and comfort. In this guide to the best Amazon kayaks, we’ll help you navigate some of the concerns around buying a kayak online from Amazon and what to consider to find the right kayak for the type of paddling you like to do.

While many premium brands sell their kayaks on Amazon, the kayaks most commonly purchased on Amazon are cheap inflatable kayaks aimed at beginner kayakers who will paddle in sheltered waters. Like other inexpensive kayaks, budget blow-up boats on Amazon don’t offer the same performance, comfort, safety features and manufacturer support that come along with premium kayaks from reputable manufacturers. Simply put, you get what you pay for. Read on to discover how to get the most value for your money when buying a kayak from Amazon.

Top picks: Best Amazon kayaks for 2024

The following Amazon kayaks have received the highest star ratings from reviewers in our Paddling Buyer’s Guide. See and review all Amazon kayaks here.

Best Amazon Kayaks

Brooklyn Kayak Company

BKC RA220 Sit On Top Angler Kayak

Old Town Canoes and Kayaks

Sportsman Salty PDL 120

Shop for Amazon kayaks

Let us help you narrow down the selection of kayaks on Amazon. The links in this section will take you to our comprehensive Paddling Buyer’s Guide, where you’ll find all the best kayaks on the market, including reviews, ratings and where to buy. You can filter kayaks by type and application, such as fishing or lakewater, or by the number of paddlers (one-person or tandem), and so much more.

Then, click on specific models to see specs, prices, reviews and where to buy. We’ve also narrowed down the best kayaks at the most popular retailers, including sporting goods stores, outdoor stores, and big box department and hardware stores. You will not find a better kayak buyer’s guide resource online.

Shop by number of paddlers

Amazon kayak buying guide

The first question to ask yourself when looking to purchase an Amazon kayak is what type of paddling you want to do most often. Will you paddle solo or tandem? With kids or a dog? Will you paddle on sheltered ponds and bays or on exposed larger lakes? Will you paddle only on flatwater or rivers too? Do you paddle to fish, for fitness, or just to hang out with friends?

Know The Local Hazards
  • Check navigation charts before you launch.
  • Check with those who have local knowledge of man-made and natural hazards, e.g. low-head dams; sweepers, strainers and undercuts; tides and currents; and rocks and shoals.

The purpose of your paddling and the environment you want to paddle in will affect which kayak is best for you. That’s because kayaks come in a variety of shapes, sizes and constructions, and these design elements vary depending on the kayak’s intended usage. Design and construction affect how the kayak looks, performs and holds up over time. Beyond the important considerations of performance, aesthetics, cost, durability, weight, and ease of transportation and storage, it can also influence the pleasure you get from paddling the kayak.

Learn more: Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each type of material will help ensure you choose a kayak material that best suits your needs and preferences—learn more about kayak construction materials here.

The right kayak will also be the right price. Kayaks on Amazon vary widely in cost, so it’s best to establish a budget before browsing. Of the more than 700 kayaks for sale on Amazon, the kayaks most commonly purchased through the online retailer fall into the following categories:

Inflatable Amazon kayaks

The most popular type of kayak to purchase on Amazon is an inflatable kayak. Quality inflatable kayaks are popular for their portability, ease of storage, durability and versatility. The cheapest blow-up kayaks on Amazon are little more than glorified pool toys, but there are many affordable inflatable kayaks ideal for sheltered lakes and slow-moving rivers. There are also touring inflatables available on Amazon, which are kayaks designed for longer trips with better performance on the open water. Discover the best inflatable Amazon kayaks here.

Amazon fishing kayaks

Fishing kayaks have become very popular due to their affordability and ability to access fishing spots difficult to reach with motorboats. Fishing kayaks come in a variety of configurations, including sit-in kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks, as well as with different propulsion methods, including pedal drive kayaks and motorized kayaks. All these options are available on Amazon. Key features for anglers looking to buy a fishing kayak on Amazon are stability, storage, potential for rigging and comfort. Discover the best Amazon fishing kayaks in our Paddling Buyer’s Guide.

Folding kayaks on Amazon

Folding kayaks offer easy storage and convenient transport to the water. Folding kayaks might be made from a skin-on-frame material like PVC or a foldable hard-shell material. These kayaks vary widely in performance and durability, but the category is equally popular with urban paddlers who want to reach the shoreline by city bus and those who want to explore remote waters and perhaps even check their kayak on an airplane as baggage. Folding kayaks require assembly and disassembly, and the time involved varies by model. Discover the best Amazon folding kayaks in our Paddling Buyer’s Guide here.

Once you’ve narrowed down what type of kayak you’re looking for, you can compare specific Amazon kayak models in our Paddling Buyer’s Guide.

Buyer beware: Fake Amazon kayak reviews

Pay attention to product reviews and ratings from other buyers to gain insights into an Amazon kayak’s performance and quality. However, take reviews with a grain of salt. Some Amazon reviews are fake—unscrupulous sellers pay for five-star reviews or offer their products at discounted prices for positive reviews. The best way to combat this dishonesty is to speak to other paddlers about a specific kayak model to get first-hand information, to test paddle a kayak at a local paddle shop before you buy it, and to only buy online from reputable brands and dealers, and not third party resellers. You can also read real and in-depth reviews of Amazon kayaks in the Paddling Buyer’s Guide.

Buyer beware: Seller reputation

Even if you haven’t been scammed personally, everyone knows someone who bought a dud on Amazon. Whether it was poor design, cheap materials, crappy craftsmanship or a knockoff masquerading as the real deal, Amazon’s marketplace is rife with phony products and counterfeit goods. After you’ve decided on a specific kayak model and found it on Amazon, assess the Amazon seller’s reputation to make sure the product is genuine. Look for trusted sellers with a history of positive and reliable customer experience. And remember, if the price seems too good to be true—it probably is!

Accessories for Amazon kayaks

Buying a kayak is just the first step to getting on the water. You’ll also need a paddle and safety gear. Some sellers will provide these items in a package deal, but you’ll most likely need to purchase these kayak accessories separately. Fortunately, there are even more kayak accessories on Amazon than kayaks.

In addition to a kayak and paddle, paddlers must have a life jacket, a buoyant heaving line, a bailer bucket or manual water pump for removing water, a sound signaling device, and a watertight flashlight. Paddlers without these essential safety items could face fines. It’s important to check your state or province’s local laws and regulations before getting on the water.

Wear A Life Jacket
  • Everyone, even strong swimmers, needs to wear a life jacket at all times when on the water. It is extremely difficult to put a life jacket on once you fall into the water. Even a light wind can blow any paddlecraft away from you, faster than you can swim.
  • Always wear a USCG-approved Level 70 or Type III life jacket designed for paddling.

How to buy the best Amazon kayak FAQ

Here are the most common questions we’ve heard about buying a kayak online from Amazon.

  • Which Amazon kayak is most stable?

    A kayak’s width and cross-sectional shape determine its stability. All other factors being equal, a wider kayak has more stability. For example, many fishing kayaks are around 34 inches wide, which can create a stable platform for the angler to stand and cast from comfortably. Meanwhile, narrow kayaks are generally faster and more efficient in the water. It’s common for an expedition kayak to be just 22 inches wide.

    How stable a kayak feels also depends on the experience level of the paddler and their size relative to the kayak. With more than 700 kayaks for sale on Amazon, it’s impossible to say which will feel most stable for you. The best way to determine which Amazon kayak you’ll feel comfortable and stable in is to test paddle the kayak you’re interested in before purchasing.

  • Is Amazon the best place to buy cheap kayaks online?

    Amazon offers more kayaks on its online marketplace than any other website. However, it’s up to the buyer to do their due diligence and ensure they’re buying a quality product from a reputable brand. You can review Paddling Magazine’s Paddling Buyer’s Guide, where you’ll find all the best Amazon kayaks on the market, including reviews and ratings. Costco, Walmart and other sporting goods chains also sell cheap kayaks online. See our guide to buying the best cheap kayaks here.

  • Should I buy a kayak from Amazon?

    With more than 700 kayaks in its online marketplace, you’ll find more options on Amazon than anywhere else. And, with all those options, you’re certain to find a kayak that fits your budget and matches the type of paddling you like to do. Amazon also offers easy price comparison,  the convenience of one-click ordering and doorstep delivery for some kayaks. But buying from Amazon is not without its drawbacks.

  • Why not buy an Amazon kayak?

    Nothing beats getting in a kayak before purchasing it and getting it on the water for a test paddle to see if you like the fit and feel. If you love how your kayak feels on the water, you’ll spend more time in it. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to demo a kayak when purchasing from an online retailer. On the other hand, paddlesports shops often offer the opportunity to demo their models and can provide ongoing support after your purchase. Additionally, paddlesports shops have knowledgeable staff who can provide insight on kayak accessories, safety, where to paddle locally and local paddling clubs to connect with the kayaking community.

  • How does Amazon ship kayaks?

    How Amazon ships kayaks depends on your location. The shipping information will be noted on the kayak’s product page. In general, Amazon uses its network of delivery drivers to get your new kayak to your doorstep. Larger hard-shell kayaks may be delivered by a transport truck. Some restrictions prevent Amazon from shipping certain products to some locations, including remote addresses, P.O. boxes, Amazon Lockers and military installations. When possible, do a thorough once-over of your kayak before accepting the delivery, checking for damage that might have happened during transport.

  • Can you return kayaks to Amazon?

    Many Amazon products have a surprisingly generous return policy. However, each Amazon kayak seller will provide information on whether a return is possible for each product. If a return is allowed, the seller will provide additional information on the steps necessary and the window of time available to make a return. Reviewing the seller’s return policy before purchasing is essential as returning a kayak can be challenging and prohibitively expensive.

  • Cost of Amazon kayaks and price matching

    The cost of Amazon kayaks varies greatly. At the time of writing this article, the cheapest kayak was just $37.75, while the most expensive was almost $10,000. According to Amazon’s customer service, “We constantly compare Amazon’s prices to our competitors’ prices to make sure that our prices are as low or lower than all relevant competitors. As a result, we don’t offer price matching.”

  • When do kayaks go on sale on Amazon?

    Amazon Prime Day is a sales event exclusively for Amazon members. Prime Day typically happens in mid-July and runs for 48 hours. In 2023, there was a second Prime Day in mid-October. This sales event might be the best time to save costs on your next Amazon kayak purchase, but the specific deal depends on the seller and product.

Education: Get Some!
  • Take a paddling safety course from the American Canoe Association (ACA), your local paddling shop or outfitter, or other reputable source.
  • Take a boating safety course from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons® or your own state’s boating agency.
  • Take on-the-water skills training.

Amazon kayak reviews

Over the years, the editorial staff at Paddling Magazine has reviewed many of the kayaks you’ll find on Amazon and can give you a clear picture of where these boards are meant to be paddled, what skill level they’re suited for and how they perform so you can make a purchase with confidence. Find in-depth reviews for some of the best Amazon kayaks at the links below.

Feature photo: Bryan Angelo/Unsplash