Best Kayaks Under 300 Dollars

Are you tired of renting or borrowing kayaks every time you want to go for a float but cannot spend hundreds of dollars on one? 

Fret not! Because in this article, we will help you find the best recreational kayaks under 300 dollars that best suit your needs.

Many affordable kayaks on the market come with some amazing features.

Whether you want the ease of transportation that comes with an inflatable kayak, or the sturdiness that hard shell kayaks give, you can get any without breaking the bank. There are various recreational kayaks, such as sit-in or sit-on-top ones. You can get anything from a single sit-on-top kayak to tandem fishing kayaks at affordable prices.

Before you decide which one you want, here is a small guide to help you decide.

Recreational Kayaks in a river

The Best Recreational Kayaks Under 300 Dollars

1. Intex K2 Challenger Kayak

Features at a glance:

  • Person Capacity:  2 passengers
  • Sit-inside Kayak
  • Inflatable
  • Construction: Vinyl
  • Dimensions: 11.5 feet x 2.5 feet x 1.25 feet
  • Weighs: 35 pounds
  • Maximum weight capacity: 400 pounds
  • Adjustable seat with backrest
  • Net cargo compartment at the front
  • Attached paddle supports
  • Detachable skeg
  • Comes with a repair kit, air pump, and 2 Aluminum paddles.

The K2 Challenger Kayak by Intex is one of the best inexpensive tandem kayaks on the market.

‎It is a spacious inflatable Kayak measuring 30 x 15 x 138 inches. Built with high-grade Vinyl to ensure durability, the K2 Challenger will give you all the essential features necessary for a good float without breaking the bank.

Pros you should know:

It packs durability, stability and functionality without compromising on looks. The bold green and blue colors give it an appealing look and increase its visibility during low vision environments to add to your safety. 

For stability, comfort, and utility, this rugged Kayak features an  I-beam floor. It comes with adjustable seats, with backrests that you can remove according to your preference.

It boasts 3 air compartments with Boston valves that make inflating and deflating easy.

An added plus in the K2 Challenger is the accessories that come with it. An all-purpose repair toolkit, 2 Aluminum paddles to go along with the boat and a pump to inflate the boat are all amazing additions that will ensure you have everything you need for a good float. After deflating, it also comes with a carrying bag to put your Kayak in.

The K2 Challenger might not be the best option for rapid waters, but if you are starting and plan on taking it slow, this Kayak is a great one to take on mild rivers and flatwater.

Cons to consider:

However, there are some cons to this Kayak. For starters, it takes some time to dry off completely. You might have to wait a long time before deflating and packing it up.

The vinyl body does make the boat lightweight, but it also makes it heat up during hot summer days. Since it is a sit-inside kayak, the hull can get uncomfortably hot too.

The K2 Challenger is one of the best kayaks for under 300 dollars.

2. Intex K1 Challenger

Features at a glance:

  • Person Capacity:  1 passenger
  • Sit-inside Kayak
  • Inflatable
  • Construction: Vinyl
  • Weight: 28.3 Lbs.
  • Dimensions: 16.25 x 23.13 x 8.50 inches
  • Maximum weight capacity: 220 lbs.
  • Removable skeg
  • Sturdy I-beam floor
  • Comes with an 86 inch aluminum paddle
  • Comes with Intex high-output pump
  • Includes a cargo net at the back

The Intex K1 Challenger is another inflatable sit inside Kayak from the Intex brand. It features almost similar specifications as seen in K2 Challenger, except for some features; therefore comes at a lower price point.

So if you loved the K2 Challenger but could not justify spending that much on a kayak, the K1 Challenger is cheaper compared to K2.

However, do not take its lower price as an indication of lower quality. The K1 is a high-quality, budget-friendly Kayak.

Built with rugged, high-quality Vinyl, this Kayak is sturdy and reliable. This Kayak has NMMA certification from the U.S. Coast Guard I.D., a reliable option.

It weighs just 28.3 pounds, making it one of the lightest kayaks on the market.

Pros you should know:

The Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak comes with an Oar, so you will not have to spend more money.

You do not need extra gear such as kayak trailers or roof racks to haul your boat as an inflatable kayak. Just bring it to the waterside and inflate it right there. It also includes a Hand Pump that makes inflation and deflation very easy.

The Kayak also comes with a repair patch so you can quickly fix your Kayak by yourself if a repair is required and not waste your precious fun time trying to get your Kayak repaired.

The bright green color will defiantly be a statement, but it also serves a more practical purpose. The bright colors of the Kayak increase its visibility, adding to your safety.

Cons to consider:

Although the lightweight body provides easy transporting, it also means that when the wind is blowing at a higher speed or the water is running fast, and this Kayak will be difficult to maneuver.

Just like any inflatable kayak, the Intex K1 Challenger will take some time to inflate before you can enjoy afloat.

When planning a trip, you have to incorporate some time before and after a trip for inflation and deflation.

However, the Intex K1 Challenger is a good option for inflatable recreational kayaks for under 300 dollars.

3. Sun Dolphin Aruba (10 Foot)

Features at a glance:

  • Person Capacity: 1 passenger
  • Sit-inside Kayak
  • Construction: UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene
  • Dimensions: 10 x 2.5 x 1 feet
  • Hardshell kayak
  • Weighs: 40 pounds
  • Maximum weight capacity: 250 Pounds
  • Keyhole opening
  • Adjustable padded seat with back support
  • Carrying handles on sides for easy transportation
  • Water bottle holder at the front

If you are looking for a hard shell kayak to save yourself from

Sometimes inflating and deflating your Kayak every time you go for a float can be a hassle. If you want to save yourself time, a hard shell kayak would be the way to go. However, you do not have to go over your budget to get one!

There are many inexpensive recreational kayaks on the market. The Sun Dolphin Aruba is one of the best kayaks under 300. 

Pros of this Kayak:

This bright red, 10 foot long sit-inside Kayak gives you a luxurious feel while staying within your budget.

It has a comfortable adjustable seat with a high backrest and adjustable foot braces, as well as a robust UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene hull.

It weighs just about 40 pounds and can bear a considerable weight of 250 pounds.   

There are carrying handles, a storage compartment, and a water bottle holder to make transport easier.

Despite being shorter, it doesn’t seem tight, even for taller paddlers. It features a large keyhole opening just above 1.4 feet in width and 3.1 feet in length, making it easy to get in and out.

It has shock cord deck rigging, a bottle holder in the front, and a storage compartment in the back.

Cons to consider:

With so many benefits, there are some downsides to this Kayak.

Unlike some other kayaks in this range, it does not have paddles or any additional accessories. It also does not have a bottom seat cushion, making longer trips uncomfortable.

The Sun Dolphin Aruba can be a good option if you are looking for a single-person hard shell sit-inside kayak for under $300.

4. Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe Inflatable Sport KayakBest Overall

Features at a glance:

  • Person Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Sit-inside Kayak
  • Inflatable
  • Inflation time: 6 minutes
  • Construction: 33 mil Polykryla
  • Dimensions ( inflated): 340 X 86 cm
  • Dimensions (deflated): 61 cm x 41 cm x 18 cm
  • Weighs 26 lbs.
  • Maximum weight capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Whitewater Rating: Suitable for up to Class III
  • Sturdy I-Beam Floor

The Sea Eagle 330 is a flexible boat. It just weighs 26 pounds and folds up tiny enough to fit in even the tiniest car trunk. Don’t be fooled by its low weight; it’s a tough kayak that can handle two people or 500 pounds while being light enough to be handled and paddled by one passenger.

It has a spacious hull measuring 290 cm long and 38 cm wide, ensuring enough space for two individuals. It can carry an adult and a kid comfortably at a time. However, if you are tall, you might find the hull difficult to fit in with another adult.

 For people who do not have a kayak trailer or roof rack or want to avoid the physical strain of hauling a heavy kayak Sea Eagle, 330 will per perfect for them. You can inflate it just by the side of the river. It shirks down to just 61 x 41 x 18 cm and fits perfectly in car trunks.

The Sea Eagle 330 features five deluxe one-way air valves to ensure safety and fast inflation. The valves reduce inflation time significantly to just 6 minutes. Along with these reliable air valves, the high-frequency welded seams ensure that the Kayak will remain intact upon collision trees or rock forms along the course. 

The Sea Eagle 330 is a very durable option if you are planning on embarking on some very strong rivers. It is safe to be used on challenging white waters with up to Class III rapids.

This durable yet lightweight Kayak is another amazing option for recreational kayaks under 300 dollars.

5. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Features at a glance:

  • Person capacity: 1
  • Sit on top Kayak
  • Hardshell body 
  • Construction: UV protected High-density Polyethylene
  • Dimensions:
  • Weighs:  52 lbs.
  • Adjustable Padded Seat Back
  • Deep Hull Channels for Tracking Performance
  • Chine Rails for Stability
  • Shock Cords on front and rear
  • T-Handles on both ends for easy handling
  • Adjustable footrest settings for different size paddlers
  • The detachable fishing rod hook
  • Flat and stable bottom
  • Two fishing rod holders, flushed in with the wall
  • Additional storage beneath the deck in two compartments.
  • Comes with a paddle

The Tamarack Angler Kayak from Lifetime is a 10 feet long fishing kayak. This hardshell Kayak comes with a comfortable padded seat and backrest giving you the maneuverability of a sit-on-top Kayak without the discomfort that usually comes along with it. You can go for lengthy paddling or fishing trips on this Kayak.

The Tamarack Angler is one of the best fishing kayaks for under 300 dollars. It features everything a good fishing kayak should have, like flush-mounted fishing rod holders on its walls. It also features shock cord straps and several footrest settings, ensuring a comfortable ride for people of all heights.

Pros you should know:

The Tamarack Angler features deep channels, a sturdy bottom and chine rails for a stable ride, designed for exceptional safety and stability.

The Kayak is made of sturdy, UV-protected, and impact-resistant blow-molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE). It will keep you safe in case of considerable collisions. The U.V.-protected body ensures a longer life for your Kayak. 

It’s easy to travel to, and from the waterfront thanks to the 52-pound design and front and rear carry handles. The two compartments in the body can carry all the essentials you need for a long fishing trip.

But that’s not enough! The Tamarack Angler comes with a paddle, too, so you get everything you need to go afloat.

Cons to consider:

Although there are many pros to this Kayak, it is not a very fast ride, so if you are looking for a kayak that you can take on whitewater, this might not be the one.

Another problem that some short heighted paddlers face with this Kayak is that the pole holder integrated with the body can be difficult to reach. The attached hooks and holders are a great plus to the Kayak, but they can also be unsuitable for some paddlers.

Nevertheless, the features of this Kayak are unmatched in this price range. It can easily challenge some of the high-end fishing kayaks on the market. If you want a sturdy fishing kayak for under 300 dollars, this one is the best.

6. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

Features at a glance:

  • Person Capacity:  1 passenger
  • Suitable for kids aged 5 and up
  • Sit on top Kayak
  • Hardshell
  • Construction: High-Density Polyethylene
  • Dimensions: 6x 2x 0.8 feet
  • Weighs 19 lbs.
  • Maximum weight capacity: 130 lbs.
  • Comes with a 6 feet long paddle
  • Has molded paddle groves in body
  • Has molded finger handles for easy handling
  • Three different footrest positions
  • Reverse Chine for Enhanced Stability
  • Scupper Holes to Drain Cockpit Area
  • Swim-Up Deck Design for easy Re-entry
  • Has twin fins for straight paddling

If you have children and search for a good kayak at a reasonable price, this is the finest option available. This Kayak is a budget-friendly option for children aged five and up. Build with U.V.-protected High-Density Polythene; this Kayak combines durability with ease of use.

The Kayak measures 6 feet in length and 2 feet in width. It weighs only 19 lbs making it one of the lightest kayaks on the market. 

It comes in many bright colors.

Pros you should know:

The Youth Wave Kayak has many features that make for an amazing float for your children.

The wide-body creates a stable paddling platform, ensuring your child’s safety in the boat. It also comes with a sloped back and a swim-up deck design for easy re-entry for the kids.

The bottom features reversed chine and double fins, making for a stable and easy ride for young beginners.

It is suitable to be rowed by children and carried by them. The lightweight body and molded finger handles make for easy handling, even by your little ones.

This Kayak features three different footrest positions, so the Kayak grows with your growing kids.

The U.V. protected body means the Kayak will last you a long time. If anything goes wrong, there is still a five-year warranty.

Cons to consider:

While many features tip the scale in favor of the Kayak, you should know that this one can get a little uncomfortable on longer floats like many sit on top kayaks. The flat seats come with no backrest or padding.

It also does not include any storage compartments, essential for longer trips.

The best use for this Kayak would be on calm lakes and flatwater for a short distance.

The Youth Wave Kayak is a budget-friendly recreational for under 300 dollars suitable for children.

7. Sevylor C001 Tahiti Hunt Fish 2 Person Kayak

 Features at a glance:

  • Person Capacity:  2 passengers
  • Sit-inside Kayak
  • Inflatable Tandem Kayak
  • Construction: 21-gauge PVC
  • Dimensions (inflated): 10 feet 4 inches  x 3 feet 1 inch
  • Maximum weight capacity: 360 lbs.
  • Guaranteed leak-proof airtight system
  • Two separate air chambers for added safety
  • Double lock valves for fast inflation and deflation
  • Features carry handles on both sides
  • Comes with a spray cover
  • Has a 90 days limited warranty

The Tahiti Hunt Fish is a 10 feet long inflatable tandem fishing kayak by Sevylor. It features a roomy sit inside the hull for two passengers and their gear. It can hold up to 360 lbs. with ease.

If you like to go on fishing trips and are looking for an affordable kayak for family outings that can fit 2 adults, the Tahiti Hunt Fish is a good option to consider.

Pros you should know:

Although the Tahiti comes with an airtight design and double-lock valves that ensure leak-proof trips, It also features 2 separate air chambers that add to your safety. In case one chamber punctures upon collision, the other part will stay intact, and you can reach the shore safely,

You can also adjust the seats on the Kayak to match your needs. That way, you can also bring your children along on the ride.

An added plus is the stability this Kayak provides. You can let your children have their fun without restricting their movement a lot because this Kayak is stable enough to withstand a lot more movement than regular kayaks and will not capsize.

It also features spray covers to keep you dry while you enjoy fishing. With this boat, you may kayak in waterfalls, navigate rapids, and engage in leisure on-water activities. It paddles effectively against the wind.

The lightweight body makes it easy to transport to and from the waterfront.

Cons to consider:

With all the upsides this Kayak has, there are still a few cons you should know before you invest your money.

The fact that the Tahiti hunting and fishing kayak does not come with paddles is its biggest flaw.

Although this model is extremely stable, light, and agile due to its size, you need to use certain paddles and paddling tactics.

Because of its small weight, this Kayak can be susceptible to wind and rapidly moving water.

For optimal control, both paddlers of the Tahiti should use an offset, double-sided paddle. The paddles should be extra-long because the body of this Kayak is wider than a regular model.

The Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak is an amazing option for recreational fishing tandem kayaks for under 300 dollars. Budget-friendly and family-friendly, this Kayak will surely give you some memorable time atop the water.

8. Sun Dolphin Excursion S.S. Fishing Kayak

Features at a glance:

  • Person Capacity:  1 passenger
  • Sit on top Kayak
  • Fishing Kayak
  • Hard Shell
  • Construction: UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene
  • Dimensions: 120 x 30 x 11 inches
  • Weighs: 44 lbs
  • Maximum weight capacity: 280 lbs
  • Large hull for comfortable sitting
  • Adjustable padded seat
  • Thigh pads for added comfort
  • Attached Paddle holder
  • Water bottle holder on the front
  • Open tank well for expanded storage
  • Shock cord deck rigging
  • 2 flush mounts and 1 swivel mount for fishing rod

If you are looking for a non-inflatable fishing kayak for under 300 dollars, the Excursion S.S. fishing kayak by Sun Dolphin is a good option. This Kayak is great for fishing on rivers and lakes. It measures 120 inches in length and 30 inches in width. With just 44 pounds, this Kayak is comparatively lighter than other fishing kayaks on the market.

Pros you should know:

The Excursion S.S. is a great fishing kayak as it comes with all necessary fixtures required for a good fishing experience. It features three fishing rod mounts, of which two are flush-mounted and one swivels for greater flexibility. 

The Kayak features a spacious seating area with adjustable seats and foot supports. It’s light enough to be hauled to any waterside and comes with a storage section for your gear.

The storage box is detachable and can float along attached to the back of the Kayak, expanding your Kayak’s gear carrying capacity.

Protective thigh pads and adjustable foot braces keep you relaxed and secure for a long time when paddling and fishing in this Kayak. This Kayak was built keeping in mind the long kayak fishing trips.

The material used in construction is also U.V. resistant, which means this Kayak will last you a long time and will not need a lot of maintenance.

Cons to consider:

The only real issue with the Excursion S.S. is that it does not come with a backrest for a kayak intended for long fishing trips. When on long trips atop the water, it can strain your back.

But, if you are too sold on this one, you can easily add a padded seat and make it into the perfect fishing kayak.

All in all, The Excursion S.S. by Sun Dolphin is an amazing fishing kayak for under 300 dollars that features durability and storage.

Different Types Of Kayaks

Sit on top Vs. Sit inside Kayak:

  • Sit on top Kayaks are easier to maneuver on challenging waters
  • Sit inside Kayaks will shield you from the weather and are more spacious

Tandem vs. Single Kayak:

  • Tandem kayaks can accommodate two passengers but are difficult to maneuver due to their larger size
  • Single kayaks can only accommodate one paddler but are comparatively easier to row.

Inflatable vs. Hardshell Kayak:

  • Inflatable kayaks are easier to transport as they can be folded down when deflated
  • Hard Shell kayaks are safer in case of collision and will not puncture upon impact.

Vanessa Hopkins

Hi, I'm Vanessa. Long-time kayaker who's proud to be part of this community. I strive to provide our visitors with insightful guides with the aim to improve their kayaking experience. I've been working with SunshineKayaking for over 5 years, providing world-class services.

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