There is plenty of big, bulgy kayaks. But sometimes you feel like going out in the water in a lightweight, easy-to-ride kayak. So it would be best to have them, especially when you are at home and want a little timeout on rivers and protected lakes. This is when you need a shorter kayak.
You may get a different storage facility and speed than kayaks with more significant construction. Still, shorter kayaks are helpful when using them in certain situations. In that case, look out for options in the 8-foot kayak category. The most significant advantage of a shorter kayak is that you can make it turn fast than a longer one.
If you are looking for a shorter kayak for recreation and fishing, this is the right place. This post comprehensively reviews some of the best 8-foot kayaks on the market. These kayaks perform great for casual use on sheltered, calm water. Check out the options below to choose the suitable model for your needs without wasting your time.
OUR BEST PICKS
Because we know that time is essential to you, below are our best picks on 8-foot kayaks. If you like a detailed review of these kayaks, you can continue scrolling and find out what the post has for you.
- LIFETIME HYDROS ANGLER 85: Best Fishing Kayak
- LIFETIME LOTUS 80: Best Sit-on-Top Design Kayak
- FIELD AND STREAM BLADE 80: Best Sit-In Design Kayak
LIFETIME HYDROS ANGLER 85: BEST FISHING KAYAK
LENGTH: 8 feet 5 inches|WIDTH: 29 inches|WEIGHT: 43 pounds|CAPACITY: 225 pounds
Although higher than the 8-foot kayaks in this list, the Hydros Angler 85 from Lifetime is easy to carry because of its lightweight design. The extra inches combined with the narrow beam means you can maneuver the boat faster.
While you can’t become a speed racer, it will help you quickly get close to the fishing hole. Fishing kayaks add accessories to make your journey easier. However, the Angler 85 comes with customizations you don’t even find on some large kayaks.
This kayak has included a rod holder mount, with one located in the mid-section of the kayak. Regarding dedicated storage, this kayak has 225 pounds load capacity. You will get hold in the kayak’s stern. The deck’s open space means you can have some fishing gear near the cockpit.
The Hydros Angler 85 comes with excellent stability. It comforts you as long as you keep the kayak in quiet water. Going out in the ocean isn’t recommended. The bottom part of the seat is rugged and made of plastic. The back is padded well, and it can be adjusted. The footwells provide the necessary support while allowing the paddler to settle comfortably.
* Remarkable stability
* Paddle included
* Equipped with three-rod holders
* There are no customization options
LIFETIME LOTUS 80: BEST SIT-ON-TOP DESIGN KAYAK
LENGTH: 8 feet |WIDTH: 30 inches|WEIGHT: 38 pounds|CAPACITY: 250 pounds
Another lightweight kayak that paddlers, irrespective of any experience, will find easy to steer and maneuver. The narrow beam and short keel make the Lifetime Lotus 80 a favorite choice for many paddlers. In addition, the Lotus 80 makes it easy to manage the kayak effectively.
This fantastic short kayak can make a quick turn without any trouble. So, the Lifetime Lotus 80 is a great kayak that you can use in congested areas. Squeezing your way out of the tight corner or spots will be fine in the future when you use the Lifetime Lotus 80.
In general, kayaks with a sit-on-top design and low price tag of this size need more stability. But the Lotus 80 has stood out from the rest in its class. It proved that capsizing is not an issue anymore. The secret lies in the twin skegs and hull on the kayak’s underside.
These features will provide fantastic stability for the kayak, while the twin skeg is helpful for tracking. Unfortunately, this is one of the common problems that many kayaks in this size range need help with. Remembering that the kayak can’t handle challenging water or prominent crossings would be best.
Instead, the kayak should remain in protected, calm water. Besides, remember to keep the kayak from the shore. Regarding storage capacity, you can only expect a little from this type of kayak. There is no dry storage on the boat, either.
The kayak’s open stern will provide some storage space for day trips. So, the area can accommodate your backpack well. It includes the bungee cords stretched along the stern so that the items are securely placed while you paddle.
There is nothing special about the seat in Lotus 80. The bottom is made of toughened plastic, and the back has some padding. You can make adjustments to the seat as well. The multiple footwells will provide some support when you paddle. They are comfortable for your feet if you travel short distances.
* Weighs around 38 pounds
* Solid tracking
* Modest storage space
* Most suppliers include paddle
* The top speed isn’t impressive
* Load capacity too low
FIELD AND STREAM BLADE 80: BEST SIT-IN DESIGN KAYAK
LENGTH: 7 feet 10 inches|WIDTH: 28 inches|WEIGHT: 35 pounds|CAPACITY: 260 pounds
Squeezing accessories and intuitive features into small kayaks can be tricky. But, as it appears, the Field and Stream Blade 80 has done something remarkable. Speaking about the accessories first, the Blade 80 has an in-built camera mount that makes your short trips memorable.
The built-in camera mount can accommodate almost every action camera without issues. So now, you can take out your GoPro and capture every moment while paddling. Small kayaks only have a little storage space for several reasons, and the Blade 80 is no exception.
Although there is not enough space for storage in this kayak, the deck space has been laid out efficiently. As a result, you see bungee cords stretching all over the kayak’s stern and bow. That makes securing the gear on your deck easier without fearing losing them.
The storage in the stern area of the kayak is well-designed and can fit a 5-gallon bucket with ease. The front part of the boat has an in-built console for storing small items that you can keep safe from certain elements when paddling.
Many people may not like the load capacity, but it has a catch. The 260 pounds load capacity can take little, but the Company has worked hard to ensure that the kayak should have ample storage space. As a result, the Blade 80 has made storage convenient and an easy affair.
And the online reviews from satisfied customers tell everyone about the convenient storage space. There isn’t something special about the seat on Blade 80. But the inclusion of abundant foam along with substantial padding will keep paddlers comfortable.
It is important to note that big paddlers may need help fitting into this narrow, small kayak. If Blade 80 does not provide you right, consider buying kayaks that accommodate you well. Moreover, sit-on-top kayaks are good options that you can explore.
* In-built cupholder
* Well-managed storage space
* The drain plug will prevent water from gathering
* Some paddlers might find the kayak a bit cramped
Comparison Table: The Best 8-Foot Kayaks for Fishing and Recreation
BUYING ADVICE FOR 8-FOOT RECREATIONAL AND FISHING KAYAKS
The kayaks mentioned above are built with the most commonly used material for kayaks. The hard plastic used to make kayaks is called polyethylene. This type of plastic is quite heavy compared to other materials you often find in making kayaks.
When it comes to durability, kayak manufacturers prefer using polyethylene. That way, the kayaks have superior durability and last many years with some maintenance. However, the best part about using polyethylene on kayaks is the strength it provides to the boat.
The kayaks can easily absorb unfavorable beach landings or rough drops. You may be surprised, but the kayak still performs well after the impact. You have put in great strength to make a hole in these boats.
Regarding maintenance, there are no complex procedures involved. There is minimum maintenance, and anyone can do that effectively. If you take due care while ensuring there won’t be deep scratches around the hull, these kayaks will last many years.
SIT-IN VERSUS SIT-ON-TOP
Narrowing down your choices between a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak is the first thing that buyers do. Hence, you must decide if you want a sit-in kayak like the Field and Stream Blade 80 or a sit-on-top kayak like the Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 or Lifetime Lotus 80.
Both these designs have their advantages and disadvantages that you should consider. Kayaks with sit-inside designs have cramped and defined cockpits. The deck of the kayak will cover your lower torso and legs. You will be seated on the boat’s hull while remaining close to the water.
Although the sit-inside kayaks are pretty narrow, you don’t have to worry much about stability. As a result, it makes the kayak more efficient to maneuver. Additionally, these kayaks offer protection from certain elements when you are paddling.
That’s because most of your body stays below the deck. Make the cockpit a safe enclosure by setting up a spray skirt. It covers the entire kayak, not allowing water to reach the cockpit and your lap while paddling.
The downside of this design is that you will need more space or room to move your legs. If you are taller or more extensive, there could be issues. This problem is in the Field and Stream Blade 80 because it is a narrow and short kayak.
Although relatively stable, sit-inside kayaks can make you uncomfortable, especially if you are a beginner. And this is because of the narrow hull of the kayak. It will make you move backward and forward compared to the sit-on-top kayaks. So, you will feel uncomfortable when you are new to kayaking.
Whereas the kayaks with sit-on-top design give you more comfort regarding stability. You get a feeling of being firm while paddling. This is why they are famous for riders regardless of experience level, even when swimming in shallow water.
You can find the seat on top of the kayak’s deck. It will place you high above the water level. You will need a wide beam to achieve the desired stability while paddling. While it will decrease the kayak’s speed, it can make the ride adventurous.
For example, you can feel the thrill when paddling with Lifetime Hydros Angler 85. You can maneuver the kayak with great accuracy while locating plenty of fish. Because the cockpits stay open, it gives you more space to move and stretch your legs. Even large kayakers can ride on them without thinking about getting wet.
As said earlier, these short kayaks won’t deliver great speed like high-end kayaks. In short, remember that kayaks in this size range won’t help you break speed records. This is because when the kayaks are on the water, there is a relationship between how fast they can go and the overall length of the kayak’s keel.
You can maneuver the boat faster if your kayak has a long keel. However, the width of the kayaks plays an important role when speed is a concern. The Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 has a long keel and has every chance to outrun other models listed above.
But the difference is almost negligible in terms of speed. All the kayaks listed in this post may need help competing with longer keels. If you like to use the kayak in shallow water and lakes or rivers, opting for the best 8-foot kayaks is your best bet.
But if you are planning to stay outdoors for some time while taking long day trips, more than shorter kayaks may be needed. If you travel short distances, these kayaks won’t get you in trouble. However, kayaks with long keels from a different category should be the right choice for people who wish to cover several miles and need longer days.
MOST IMPORTANT SEA KAYAK BEGINNER SKILL?
For beginners in sea kayaking, the most essential skill to learn and master is the “wet exit” technique. The wet exit is a safety skill used to exit the kayak quickly and safely when it capsizes or rolls over in the water. It’s crucial because it allows you to free yourself from the kayak and avoid becoming trapped in the boat, especially in dangerous situations like solid currents or rough seas.
Practicing the wet exit in a controlled environment with the guidance of a qualified instructor is highly recommended for beginners. This skill will give you confidence and peace of mind while sea kayaking, knowing that you can safely exit the kayak in an emergency.
As you progress in your sea kayaking journey, other essential skills to learn include paddle strokes, bracing techniques, self-rescue techniques, and navigation skills, among others.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR THE 8-FOOT KAYAKS FOR FISHING AND RECREATION
Are you an avid angler or an adventure seeker who loves exploring serene waters? If so, consider investing in an 8-foot kayak for fishing and recreation. These compact and versatile vessels are perfect for navigating tight spots, exploring hidden coves, and reeling in your following big catch. This article will dive into 8-foot kayaks, comparing their features, functionality, and benefits. So, grab your paddle, and let’s explore the best options!
SIZE AND PORTABILITY
One of the critical advantages of 8-foot kayaks for fishing and recreation is their compact size, making them easy to transport and store. These kayaks are designed to fit in the back of trucks, on roof racks, or even inside smaller vehicles. Their lightweight construction allows for hassle-free maneuvering both on and off the water. If portability is high on your priority list, check out the Pelican Sentinel 80X or the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100, which excel in this category.
STABILITY AND TRACKING
Stability is crucial when fishing or enjoying a relaxed day on the water. Look for kayaks with a wide beam and a flat hull design, as these characteristics enhance stability. The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS and the Perception Sound 9.5 offer impressive stability, ensuring a steady platform for casting your lines or taking breathtaking photos of the scenery.
COMFORT AND ERGONOMICS
Spending long hours on the water demands a comfortable and ergonomic kayak. Look for models with adjustable padded seats that provide lumbar support and ample legroom. The Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak and the Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sport Kayak are comfortable, ensuring you can enjoy your fishing or recreational expeditions without discomfort or fatigue.
STORAGE AND ACCESSORIES
Fishing enthusiasts require ample storage space for their tackle boxes, fishing gear, and personal belongings. Opt for kayaks with multiple storage compartments, such as dry hatches or bungee-corded areas. The Perception Pescador Pro 10.0 and the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 offer great storage options, allowing you to bring all your essentials for a successful fishing trip.
MANEUVERABILITY AND TRACKING
Maneuverability and tracking are paramount When navigating tight spots or chasing after that elusive fish. Look for kayaks with excellent maneuverability, such as the Old Town Vapor 10 or the Emotion Kayaks Guster. These kayaks boast responsive handling and agility, perfect for exploring narrow waterways or rocky shores.
DURABILITY AND BUILD QUALITY
Investing in a kayak is an investment in your adventures, so choosing a kayak with durable construction is essential. Look for kayaks made from high-quality materials like UV-protected polyethylene or rugged PVC. The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak and the Perception JoyRide 10.0 are built to withstand the rigors of fishing and recreational activities, ensuring they will last for years.
Choosing the right 8-foot kayak for fishing and recreation is a personal decision based on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize portability, stability, comfort, storage, maneuverability, or durability, there is a kayak out there that will suit your requirements. Consider the models mentioned in this article as a starting point for your research, and remember to read customer reviews and check out additional information on Amazon to make an informed decision. With the perfect 8-foot kayak by your side, you’ll be ready to embark on countless unforgettable adventures on the water. Happy kayaking!
Quick Answer: The Best 8-Foot Kayaks for Fishing and Recreation
Lifetime Hydros Angler 85
|DICKS SPORTING GOODS
Lifetime Lotus 80
Field And Stream Blade 80
|DICKS SPORTING GOODS
So, it is clear that many short kayaks are available on the market. While they come at cheaper price tags, they aren’t worth your investment. It is essential to find a stable kayak without compromising speed. In that case, you can choose from the designs mentioned above.
The three kayaks have the right balance that most people look for. Choosing the perfect 8-foot kayak will depend on how you want to use it. The Field and Stream Blade 80 is an obvious choice if you live in warmer environments.
Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 and Lifetime Lotus 80 come equipped with competitive tracking. Additionally, they come with enough deck space intended for large paddlers. Whatever kayak you choose for your specific needs, this post helped you make the selection process manageable.