Best Cheap Fishing Kayaks


Kayak fishing is one of the most interesting and exciting types of recreational fishing. This game has gained popularity worldwide over the past few decades. With this popularity, most top brands have been producing various kayaking boats. Kayaking boats are a special type of watercraft that anglers use for kayaking. The boats range from high-end to cheaper alternative ones. However, you shouldn’t break the bank to purchase a feature-packed and cool boat. 

Manufacturers are working on producing more budget-friendly alternatives. If you’re new to the sport or working on a tight budget, these models can help you save a few coins. While most kayaking boats cost approximately $1000, you can still get a high-end one for less than $500. Regardless of the lower cost, you’ll be sure of the best features and quality. As a new kayaking fishing enthusiast, you might find it challenging to choose the best one. 

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the top-rated kayaking fishing boat under $500 for 2023.

Our Topmost Picks

  • Lifetime Tamarack Angler (best value)
  • Intex Excursion Pro (best overall)
  • Pelican Sentinel 100X
  • Vibe Skipjack 90 (best throw and go boat)
  • FeelFree Move Angler (best for kids)
  • Perception Sound 10.5 (best sit-inside under $500)
  • Sevylor Coleman Colorado (best capacity)
  • Pelican Argo 100XP Angler
  • Sun Dolphin Journey
  • Aquaglide Chinook 100

1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler

Specifications● Length – 10′ (305 cm)
● Capacity – 275 lb (124.7kg)
● Weight – 51 lb (23.1kg)
● Width – 31″ (78.7 cm)

Lifetime Tamarack Angler

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler remains among the most outstanding and affordable fishing kayaks. It’s the best fishing kayaking boat when working on a budget. This fishing kayak has the necessary features you need for kayaking. Thus, it’s the ideal option to enhance your kayaking experience. While this fishing kayak may lack some modern features, it has the most appropriate and important ones.

Why do most experts recommend the Tamarack Angler? This alternative weighs 51 lbs (23 kg), making it relatively lightweight. What is the significance of the lightweight? Lightness makes it easy to handle on your cartop or outside water. While there is minimal storage space, this model offers two dry storage. You can have one in front of its seat and the other behind.

Manufacturers craft this model from UV-protected high-density polyethylene. This material makes it rigid and durable. Thus, it can perform well on water bodies. Most prior users have revealed that this fishing kayak offers enough stability. The stability allows you to stand while fishing. In addition, the 10′ (304.8 cm) length makes it the best option for kids and budget-minded individuals.

● Lightweight
● Good stability
● Great maneuverability

● Seat lacks padding
● Limited capacity



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2. Intex Excursion Pro

● Length – 12’7″ (384 cm)
● Capacity – 400 lb (181 kg)
● Weight – 39 lb (17.7 kg)
● Width – 37″ (94 cm)

Intex Excursion Pro

An inflatable kayak offers various advantages while kayaking. For instance, it’s the best model if you prefer traveling light. In addition, inflatable kayaks are the best options if you want to reach the furthest reaches in search of your preferred game fish. The Intex Excursion Pro is the best inflatable fishing kayak. It’s the best choice if you’re looking for an affordable and entry-level inflatable fishing kayak. Besides the affordability, it’s a durable design and can accommodate two anglers.

Manufacturers create the Intex Excursion Pro with a strong case, making it a top option. It comes from reinforced 3-ply PV and top-pressure spring-loaded valves. What is the benefit of this design? The designs allow for solid rigidity and quick inflation. Thus, you’ll enjoy a rotomolded kayak when handling and feeling this model. Unlike other options, you can use the Intex Excursion Pro in freshwater or saltwater. It has features and a design that prevents deterioration.

In addition, the Excursion Pro comes with adjustable and removable mounting brackets. Why are the brackets necessary on this kayaking boat? These brackets allow you to install various accessories. Camera gear, rod holders, and fish finders are the common accessories you can install on your kayak. It’s the best option for couples or an RV. You can easily pack your fishing gear in your vehicle and start your journey.

● Good handling
● Highly portable
● You can use it as a solo or tandem
● Quick inflation time
● Low seat position
● Lacks storage capacity

3. Pelican Sentinel 100X

● Length – 9’5 (290 cm)
● Capacity – 275 lb (125 kg)
● Weight: 45 lb (20.5 kg)
● Width: 30″ (76 cm)

Pelican Sentinel 100X

Pelican is one of the popular kayak brands. The brand specializes in producing high-quality and cheap kayaks. The Sentinel 100x is one of the best low-budget options for young or entry-level anglers. So why is the sentinel 100x a top choice? This kayak is compact and super light. These features make it easy to cartop or have it into the bed of your pickup truck.

Pelican Sentinel 100x has a vast storage space. As a result, you can easily place your fishing gear while kayaking. In addition, you’ll also find most features that are common in high-end fishing kayaks in the Pelican Sentinel 100x. Studies show that this model outperforms the other average and cheap kayaks. It also maintains the brand’s reputation for being lightweight and easy to maneuver.

The features and design allow you to stand while fishing. However, you must be in calm waters. This kayak has various extra storage compartments. The additional storage compartments are essential for seasoned anglers with a decent amount of fishing gear. Regardless of your skill level, this model will suit your needs. It’s the best choice when looking for a top kayak under $500.


  • Adjustable seat
  • Good storage capacity


  • It doesn’t support standing in choppy conditions
  • Lacks dry storage

4. Vibe Skipjack 90

● Length – 9′ (274 cm)
● Capacity – 3000 lb (136kg)
● Weight: 46 lb (20.9 kg)
● Width 32″ (81.3 cm)

Vibe Skipjack 90

It’s a great option for anglers preferring a wider and shorter boat. Besides having a shorter and wider frame, this boat is lightweight. Thus, you can easily load it into your truck bed or car top. The 274 cm length makes it the ideal model for kids. Why is it ideal for entry-level anglers or kids? The length makes it easy for beginners or kids to handle it in the water. This way, you can focus on fishing instead of struggling to get the right position for the kayak.

The Skipjack 90 has a comfortable and high-quality seat. Manufacturers add an adjustable backrest on the seat to provide a better reclining position. This position and design are ideal for all-day fishing trips. Prior users reveal that you can stand while fishing in most conditions. However, some users find standing up and getting back down challenging. The low seat position restricts this frequent movement.

Experts reveal that the kayak’s wide and lightweight frame is ideal for novice anglers. It keeps them safe and offers protection from flipping over. However, the lack of proper speed makes it unsuitable for experienced users. Despite lacking the desired speed for experienced users, this kayak model is easy to maneuver. You’ll always feel safe in slow-moving rivers and calm reservoirs.

● Good stability
● Lightweight and compact
● Moderately comfortable seat


● Low seat position
● Lacks speed

5. FeelFree Move Angler


  • Length – 9′ (274 cm)
  • Capacity – 242 lb (109.7 kg)
  • Weight – 40 lb (18.1 kg)
  • Width – 30″ (76 cm)

FeelFree Move Angler

The FeelFree Move Angler is one of the top inexpensive kayak options. The kayak comes with various features and specifications that suit most anglers. Experts reveal that its compact 9′ (274 cm) body is ideal for experienced and novice anglers. In addition, it has a handy and short design. With this design, you can take the kayak to any location you want to go and enjoy the kayaking experience.

The weight of 40 lbs ( 18.1 kg) makes it the most outstanding lightweight option. What is the benefit of a lightweight kayak? This property allows you to transport the kayak easily to any location. Besides being lightweight, the manufacturer designs this kayak with a patent wheel in its Keel. The wheel enhances the model’s maneuverability. Even a teenager can move it around without any issues.

However, there may be better models than the FeelFree Move Angler when covering a significant amount of water. It ranks below the other options regarding the amount of water you can use on it. Its short hull limits its navigation in a significant amount of water.

● Compact and lightweight
● Good stability
● Good maneuverability

● Limited storage space
● Slow

6. Perception Sound 10.5


  • Length – 10’6″ (320 cm)
  • Capacity – 335 lb (152 kg)
  • Weight – 46 lb (23 kg)
  • Width – 29.5″ (75 cm)

Perception Sound 10.5

Most novice and experienced anglers prefer sit-on-top kayaks. The increasing preference has made these models popular. Why are these models popular? These sit-inside kayaks are becoming as you can use them for fishing or recreation. The Perception Sound 10.5 remains one of the top sit-on-top kayaks. Besides the numerous features, this model offers exceptional speed and tracking than the other alternatives.

It’s a compact model you can use in rivers, lakes, and other places you wish to visit. So what makes it a top choice? With the 46 lbs (23 kg) weight and 10’6″ (320 cm), you’ll enjoy your kayaking. Thus, you’ll find handling the kayak outside the water easy while launching it. However, experts warn against standing up when using this model. Therefore, perception Sound 10.5 remains the top option when looking for speed.

● Gear tracks and ample storage
● Good speed
● Lightweight

● No skid plate
● Not suitable for standing



7. Sevylor Coleman Colorado

● Length – 10’7 (326 cm)
● Capacity – 470 lb (213.2 kg)
● Weight – 32.9 lb (15 kg)
● Width – 36’5″ (92.7 cm)

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

It’s an outstanding alternative when working on a tight budget. The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is the best option for anglers who love to bring a lot of fishing gear on the water. Manufacturers create this two-person kayak from a thick 18-gauge PVC. In addition, the kayak also features a tarpaulin bottom. These features allow it to take you anywhere you go.

The Coleman Colorado has adjustable seats. You can also use the kayak in tandem or solo mode. This kayak boat has numerous mesh pockets despite lacking similar storage capacity in most models. You can stash your fishing gear in these mesh pockets. This kayak is the best model if you’re looking for the best option to move or take you anywhere with fewer difficulties.

● Solid feel after fully-inflating
● Includes rod holders
● Great portability

● You can easily over-inflate
● Limited storage

8. Pelican Argo 100 XP Angler

● Length – 10′ (305 cm)
● Capacity – 300 lb (136 kg)
● Weight – 41 lb (18.5 kg)
● Width – 29″ (74 cm)

Pelican Argo 100XP Angler

It’s another top sit-inside kayak model. The Pelican Argo 100 XP offers good speed when kayaking. In addition, it has a hull design that makes it easy to cut or maneuver into the water. Thus, it allows you to cover significant amounts of water or places during your fishing trips. It’s the best model for recreational kayaking across lakes and down rivers.

You can also use this model as a simple fishing kayak in different water bodies. The Pelican Argo 100 XP is a top lightweight and super compact boat. Additionally, it has a surprising overall load capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg). Argo 100XP doesn’t offer the best stability compared to the sit-inside kayaks on this list. However, its excellent tracking and speed make each paddle stroke count.

● Limited lifetime warranty
● Solid tracking
● Excellent speed

● Limited storage space
● Limited stability

9. Sun Dolphin Journey

● Length – 9’5 (291 cm)
● Capacity – 250 lb (113.5 kg)
● Weight – 44 lb (20 kg)
● Width – 29.5″ (75 cm)

Sun Dolphin Journey

Manufacturers create the Sun Dolphin Journey with various top features. These features make it a go-anywhere kayak boat. Thus, you can use it on serene freshwater lakes, coastal regions, and swift rivers. In addition, its hull design allows it to cut through the water appropriately. This way produces a massive drag resembling the most widely designed kayaks.

However, the 250 pounds capacity makes most users seek alternative options for a capable option. This capacity is only ideal for small adults or kids. However, it provides everything you need during casual fishing trips. Most entry anglers prefer this model because of its oversized dry storage stern hatch. In addition, the manufacturer designs the Sun Dolphin with adjustable foot pegs. These foot pegs give you extra leverage while paddling. 


  • Ample storage
  • Quality features
  • Good tracking and speed


  • Limited capacity
  • Lacks seat padding

10. Aquaglide Chinook 100

● Length – 10′ (305 cm)
● Capacity – 400 lb (181 kg)
● Weight – 23 lb (10.4 kg)
● Width – 37″ (94 cm)

Aquaglide Chinook 100

The Aquaglide Chinook 100 is another model that can function in tandem or solo mode. Manufacturers design this model with top features and specifications. These specifications make the fishing kayak adaptable in lakes or rivers. Compared to other cost-effective models on this list, there may be more stable choices. However, it’s relatively sturdy when riding in sturdy waters.

Experts recommend it for young or novice anglers just entering the kayak fishing sport. You can easily inflate and deflate the kayak in a few minutes. In addition, it also comes with a weedless fin. This fin functions like a rudder to help improve tracking. The breathable and comfortable seats keep users dry. Thus, you can concentrate on catching fish all day as you maneuver across lakes and rivers.

● Easy to inflate and deflate
● Breathable and comfortable seats
● Improved tracking

● Limited stability

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Budget-friendly Fishing Kayak Under $500

With the numerous options, you might find it challenging to choose the best budget-friendly fishing kayak under $500. Below are factors to consider when choosing the best fishing kayak under $500:

Where to fish

The above fishing kayaks are suitable for fishing on smaller rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. These models lack extra storage features and capacity you may require for multi-days or extended journeys. Thus, consider the water bodies you plan to fish when choosing the best kayak. Ensure your chosen boat has proper stability to keep you on the water. Experts recommend kayaks with a high level of stability if you usually fish on rivers. These models can also be suitable in places with choppy and rough waters.

Kayak type: sit-inside vs. sit-on-top

They’re the most popular options for fishing kayak models. Why are they gaining popularity? Most anglers prefer these models due to better stability. The stability may allow you to stand up while fishing. While kayaking, standing provides you with a distinct advantage. It provides you with a greater visibility field and enhances longer casts.

In addition, most anglers find it easy to get back on top of the vessel and quickly out of the water if they tip over in this kayak type. Experts recommend the sit-on-top kayak for novice anglers. They favor novice anglers as the features help them have a higher sense of confidence. Thus, you can focus on fishing rather than struggling to stay afloat.

Sit-inside kayaks
These kayaks are more of the traditional design and versions. These versions make the angler seats much lower or closer to the water. This position enhances a low center of gravity to provide more leverage when the user is paddling. The increased leverage allows users to attain a greater overall speed than the widely-built sit-on-top versions.

Nevertheless, the main issue with sit-inside kayaks is that they lack features to enhance fishing. In addition, unlike their sit-on-top counterparts, they’ve got limited storage space. Some models also lack flat space on top. This flat space allows anglers to install electronic equipment, camera gear, rod holders, etc.

Hard-shell vs. inflatable
Technological and design advancements have brought various benefits to the kayak industry. Most top brands in the industry use these advancements to produce inflatable kayaks. These kayaks offer numerous features and exceptional on-the-water performance. Some top professional anglers predict that inflatable kayaks will be the future of this sport.

The ability to move them easily makes them the most preferred option. Manufacturers create top inflatable kayaks from puncture-resistant and rugged PVC materials. These materials make the kayak stand up any encounter on the water bodies. Nonetheless, the main drawback of inflatable kayaks is inadequate storage capacity and comfortable seats.

In contrast, manufacturers make hard shell kayaks from polyethylene plastic. Polyethylene plastic is a lightweight, flexible, and tough material. With these features, manufacturers create a great fishing kayak that can last long. Most anglers prefer thermoformed models. Manufacturers form these models by posting the materials in a mold before rotating.

Despite the emergence of inflatable models, they still dominate the industry. With the advancement of the methods of producing thermoformed kayaks, most major brands create more efficient models each year.

When choosing the best kayak, it’s good to consider portability. Understanding how you’ll get to and from the water body’s edge will be wise. Portability is a key consideration in getting the most appropriate fishing location and gear. It’s good to choose a lightweight and compact model. This alternative model is easy to mount on your car top or secure in your pickup truck’s bed. Survey shows that most anglers opt for inflatable kayaks due to the ease of portability. You can easily carry them in your backpack-style bag.

Ensure you consider the kayak’s overall capacity. The overall capacity indicates how much fishing gear you can carry into your boat. Experts reveal that capacity should be a key consideration if you weigh more than 225 pounds. You must take a comprehensive inventory of your fishing gear and the total weight you’ll place on the kayak. Most of the above models offer limited capacity. There needs to be more than the limited capacity for large anglers or if you’ll likely bring a lot of gear.

While considering budget-friendly kayaks under $500, you might have to bear with certain features missing in some models. The most popular high-end fishing kayaks come with all the whistles and bells. Nevertheless, kayaks under $500 usually feature the bare minimum fishing features. In addition, these budget-friendly models have less comfortable seats than the high-priced models. Thus, picture yourself being comfortable in the kayak’s seat for several hours when looking for the best option. Experts advise you to get one with more padding.

Besides the seats, storage is vital to a good fishing kayak. It’s good to choose a kayak with adequate space. The huge space will allow you to bring your cooler, bags, tackle boxes, and other essential items. Some popular models have dry storage hatches. These storage hatches allow anglers to keep various items inside and protect them from weather elements. Check the kayak model closely before purchasing. Consider one with smaller gear pockets or spaces to store fishing tackles.

Most anglers have found it challenging to install electronic equipment, like fish finders on cheap kayaks. These kayak models have a limited surface area and challenging mounting electronic displays. In addition, it might take a lot of work to install things like cables, batteries, and transducers. Thus, consider a model offering enough space for mounting additional equipment.

Final Verdict
Regardless of your budget, you’ll still get the best boat for kayak fishing. With a few hundred bucks, you can get a good fishing kayak. This kayak will have the best features and designs to allow you to explore new fishing places and catch new trophies. In addition, it enhances a greater outdoor experience in new and exciting ways. Above are the top-rated fishing kayaks for under $500 in 2023. Choosing the best fishing kayak enhances your experience on the water.

Cheap Kayak Comparative Table

Kayak Length Width Weight Seating Capacity Cockpit Type Structure
Pelican Argo 100X 10′ 28″ 36 lbs 1 275 lbs Sit-Inside Hard shell
Pelican Sentinel 100X EXO 9’6″ 30″ 42 lbs 1 275 lbs Sit-on-top Hard shell
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two 12′ 34″ 63 lbs 1, 2 or 3 475 lbs Sit-on-top Hard shell
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 10′ 31″ 51 lbs 1 275 lbs Sit-on-top Hard shell
Intex Challenger K1 9′ 30″ 28 lbs 1 220 lbs Sit-Inside Inflatable
Sea Eagle 370 12’6″ 34″ 32 lbs 1, 2 or 3 650 lbs Sit-on-top Inflatable

Welcome to our comprehensive guide,

where we have tasked our Review Team with a singular objective: to identify and review the top-rated and most sought-after products on the market today. We take great pride in the quality and reliability of our reviews, which are carefully crafted with your satisfaction in mind.

Our team of experts always takes into account key factors such as durability, price, quality, and overall value when conducting their assessments, so you can rest assured that you are getting the most accurate and relevant information possible.

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