There’s nothing more rewarding than getting outside into the great outdoors with your kids. Drive to your favorite lake or river and getting out onto the water to have some good old-fashioned fun.
Whether you’re with your son, daughter or the whole family, purchasing a kayak for your children can open a whole new world of opportunities.
Purchasing a kayak for your child while they’re still young encourages them to love nature and the outdoors. Not only is kayaking fantastic exercise, it can help promote confidence and independence, which are skills your child will use all their life.
However, there are a couple of things you need to consider, safety being number one. With an extensive range of kayaks on the market, it can be a daunting task trying to figure out which one is best for your child.
If you are thinking of getting your child a kayak, but don’t know where to start, the following list features kayaks that are perfect for the whole family. I have also included a step-by-step buying guide to make sure that you have all the information you need to make a well-informed purchase for your children.
The Five Best Kayaks for Encouraging Physically Active Children
Are you ready to begin your aqua adventures? These are my top five kayaks for your kids:
Table of Contents
- The Five Best Kayaks for Encouraging Physically Active Children
- A Brief Buying Guide to Choosing The Perfect Kayak
1. Old Town Heron Junior Kids Kayak
Old Town is well-known for their high-quality kayaks and canoes that are built to be durable and safe. Their adult kayaks are some of the best available, so when looking for the ideal kayak for your child, the superior quality with the Heron Junior may be just what you are looking for.
With two vibrant, engaging colors to choose from, this kayak is specifically designed for your child and their comfort while on the water. One of the most lightweight kayaks on this list, the Heron Junior is fixed with a functional tow bar system, allowing you to easily keep your child tethered to you as you paddle.
What’s Great About It: The seat of the kayak is specially designed to be as comfortable. The thin mobile design allows for easy paddling and maneuverability. The Heron Junior is packed with foam on the inside, eliminating the risk of sinking in the event that the kayak does capsize, keeping your kids safe.
2. Sun Dolphin Bali 6-Foot Kayak
Another extremely popular brand in the kayak industry, Sun Dolphin is renowned for their adult kayaks that boast both high levels of comfort and durability. Taking the successful aspects of their kayaks, Sun Dolphin has created a kayak specifically designed for children that they will love.
The 6-foot kayak is a universal size, which means your child can sit comfortably when out on the water. The lightweight design allows easy transport on a vehicle or by hand. The carry handle makes it easy for you to move the kayak. The simple and intuitive design makes it perfect for younger children or beginners looking for a starter kayak.
What’s Great About It: There are two rod handles are perfectly placed for optimal use and the tucked-away storage compartment is convenient and easy to access. Available in three different colors, this kayak is perfect for fishing trips and building your child’s confidence on the water.
3. Best Choice Products Sports 6-Foot Kids Kayak
The Best Choice Sports Kayak is the weightiest kayak on my list, and is purpose-built for use with children. It provides outstanding comfort, safety and durability, so your kids can enjoy it for years to come.
Climbing onto the kayak is made easy thanks to the sloped rear and step-up function which allows your child to quickly enter and exit the kayak on land or in the water.
What’s Great About It: This affordable kayak package contains two 50-inch fins which allow your child to paddle through the water at their own pace. It is perfect for fishing trips or a fun day on the water. This is the ideal kayak for young children or children looking for their first starter kayak.
4. Sevylor QuikPak K1 1-Person Kayak
This inflatable kayak comes with a full range of features that are ideal for adults and children looking for more experience on the water. The 5-minute setup saves time and gets your child out onto the water quickly. The highly-developed backpack design allows for easy transport.
The kayak boasts a 21-gauge PVC build making it ideal for use on lakes, and the tarpaulin underside protects the kayak from unwanted splits and punctures. The kayak is constructed with multiple air chambers, so if there is a puncture, the kayak will continue to float as normal.
The Double Lock valve allows for easy inflation and deflation, making this one of the most portable and accessible kayaks on my list.
What’s Great About It: This kayak is extremely light-weight and is packed with features that many kayaks don’t have. From cup-holders and secure storage areas to extra seat padding and an NMMA safety certificate, this is a great all-inclusive option.
5. Lifetime Youth 6-Feet Wave Kayak
Whether your child is just starting out or is still too small for a bigger kayak, the Lifetime Youth is the ideal choice for children wanting to get out onto the water. This lightweight raft is portable, malleable and durable, meaning you can enjoy countless hours outside with your little ones.
Sitting in the mid-range price market, the kayak boasts specially designed finger handles for easy transport, and makes it easy to get in and out of the kayak.
The rear end of the raft is sloped with a platform, which allows your child to easily climb on and off, whether they’re by land or in the water. There is an adjustable footrest feature which you to set beforehand so the kayak can fit riders of different sizes.
What’s Great About It: Made from the highest-quality Polyethylene, this kayak is ideal for children of all ages and experience levels, and its lightweight body makes for easy transportation.
A Brief Buying Guide to Choosing The Perfect Kayak
Buying a kayak can be overwhelming when considering the different features, but purchasing the ideal kayak for your child is relatively easy. To ensure you’re making the best decision for your child, there are a few things to should consider.
The following guide will assist you when considering different kayaks:
The kayak needs to be light enough that both you and your child can transport it easily. Always make sure that the maximum weight limit is more than what your child weighs. You may find the ideal kayak but if that maximum weight limit is too low, the kayak may sink when your child enters the water.
The average children’s kayak weighs around 18 pounds. This is ideal for most children, and will provide all the support and security you need.
Length is a vital aspect to get right. If the kayak is too long, your child won’t feel safe as it may be difficult to maneuver. A kayak that’s too small will be extremely uncomfortable for your child to use. When choosing a kayak for your child, a six to eight foot kayak should be perfect. Not only are kayaks this length comfortable for children to use, but they are also a lot easier to transport and manually move.
If your child is very young or only just learning how to use a kayak confidently, a towing system may be ideal. These systems allow you to tether your kayak to your child’s. This ensures that they are always with you and won’t float into potentially dangerous areas.
Investing in a kayak that provides high levels of stability is important for children. When shopping for the ideal kayak, look for lightweight kayaks or kayaks that contain foam or internal material that distributes weight and provides extra stability.
By purchasing a high stability kayak, you’re ensuring that your child always enjoys themselves out on the water and they can build their confidence and skills.
Make sure that the kayak you purchase has the important safety features needed when being operated by a child. Features like stability and handles are important to consider.
Remember to buy an inflatable life jacket when you get your kayak. Some kayaks may come with one, but if they don’t, it is an important safety feature to protect your child.
Many of the kayaks available today house various features that can help improve the kayaking experience for your child. Some kayaks have cup holders, secure storage areas, extra padded seating and backrest support, all of which are worth considering.
If your child wants to get onto the water but feels uncomfortable doing so, consider purchasing a kayak with some of these features. By making your child more comfortable when they are in the kayak, the whole experience will be a lot more enjoyable for them.
The main thing to remember when encouraging your child to try kayaking is to try and make the entire experience as comfortable, safe and enjoyable as possible. With younger children, it can take a lot of encouragement to get them into a kayak and set off on their own for the first time.
By investing in the right kayak for your child, you can make sure that your child is having the best possible experience, opening the doors for a lifetime of outdoor fun and excitement. He’ll surely remember water differently (than what he’s usually accustomed to, i.e. bath time body washing) after he experiences all the joys that a kids’ kayak has to offer.