Kayaking is a great outdoor family activity. It’s a fun way to create family memories. Kayaking adventures also help kids stay physically active, build their confidence and learn teamwork skills. It’s no surprise there are a ton of choices when it comes to kayaks for kids. But don’t worry – we’ve done the research and have listed the top seven Kayaks for Kids from 8 to 14 years old.
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Choosing a kayak for kids can feel like a daunting task. After all, you want to have fun on paddling adventures with the little ones but you also want to know they’re safe and will be able to handle themselves on the water.
By keeping several key factors into consideration, you’ll be able to settle on a good choice. First, consider the age and skill level of the child. This is going to answer one of the first major questions of what kind of kayak to get. Sit-on-top kayaks are generally easier for kids because they provide a more stable platform. They also tend to be easier for kids to clamber in and out of. On the other hand, more traditional sit-in kayaks may be more suitable for older, more experienced kids.
It’s also important to factor in the size and weight of the kayak relative to your child’s weight. You want them to be able to maneuver the kayak fairly easily, especially when they’re just learning.
Finally, decide whether your kid will want or need any additional features that add comfort, like adjustable footrests and padded seats.
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The Top 7 Brands for Kids Who Kayak
This well-established brand has earned a solid reputation in the kayaking community. Pelican kayaks are known for being well-made and affordable. They’re made from high-density polyethylene, which makes them lightweight and easy to maneuver. Pelican has both sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks designed specifically for kids. The most popular kid kayak models include the Pelican Solo, the Pelican Blitz 100X EXO, and the Pelican Bandit NXT 100.
Perception Kayaks have several kayaks designed specifically with the needs of children in mind. Known for their stability and ease of use, Perception kayaks are a great choice for beginners. Some popular models for kids include the Perception Tribe 9.5, the Perception Swifty 9.5, and the Perception Prodigy 10.
3. Old Town
Old Town is another longtime denizen of the kayak world. The well-known brand has a long history of making quality kayaks, and their kids’ kayaks are no exception. Since they’re known for being very durable, Old Town kayaks are a perfect choice for kids who may be just learning to paddle. Old Town kid kayaks have adjustable footrests and padded seats for added comfort. Among the most popular Old Town kayaks for kids are the Old Town Heron Junior, the Old Town Vapor 10, and the Old Town Castine 140.
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Known for its affordable and sturdy kayaks, Lifetime is another brand that brings the same quality to its kayaks for kids as it does to its adult kayaks. Since the kayaks are made from high-density polyethylene, they’re lightweight and easy to maneuver, especially for shorter, smaller arms and legs. Lifetime kayaks also have options for added comfort like adjustable footrests and padded seats. Popular models of Lifetime kayaks for kids include the Lifetime Youth Wave, the Lifetime Spitfire 12T, and the Lifetime Tamarack Angler.
5. Sun Dolphin
Sun Dolphin kayaks for Kids has everything you need to ensure your children learn to kayak safely and have fun. Sun Dolphin kayaks are known for their stability and durability, making them great for learning. They’re made from high-density polyethylene, making them lightweight and easy to maneuver, even for younger kids. They even have features for added comfort like adjustable footrests and padded seats. The most popular Sun Dolphin kid kayak models are the Sun Dolphin Bali SS, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 8, and the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS.
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Emotion kayaks don’t sacrifice any quality just because a kayak is designed for a kid. Their kayaks are made from high-density polyethylene, making them lightweight and easy to maneuver. Emotion kayaks for kids also give parents peace of mind since they’re known for their stability and durability. Popular Emotion kids kayaks include the Emotion Spitfire 8, the Emotion Guster 10, and the Emotion Stealth Pro Angler.
7. Advanced Elements
Advanced Elements offers inflatable kayaks for kids. But don’t let the air pump fool you – these kayaks are made from high-quality materials that make for a sturdy and durable watercraft. Once inflated, these kayaks can take on any environment, from lakes and rivers to even open ocean water. As you can imagine, Advanced Elements kayaks are easy to set up and use and, of course, extremely portable. Their most popular models for kids include the AdvancedFrame Sport Inflatable Kayak, the FireFly Inflatable Kayak, and the Lagoon 2 Inflatable Kayak.