The 4 Best Kayaks of 2020

Hit the lake, pond, or ocean in one of these watercrafts

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Our Top Picks
"Features a comfortable padded seat, an adjustable backrest, and easily accessible space for storage."
"Features an included paddle and "sit-on-top" design, so you can paddle comfortably in choppy waters."
"Comes with a manual hand pump, repair patch, inflatable seat, cargo net, and 84-inch aluminum oar."
"Designed for two paddlers, it has a transparent polymer hull that gives passengers a front-row view of underwater life."

Due to increased demand for online shopping, items in this article may be out of stock. Updates to this article will be made frequently with products we recommend.

Best Overall: L.L.Bean Casco 12 Kayak

If you're searching for a great, all-around kayak, the Casco 12 Kayak is the right choice for you. This kayak features a plush padded seat, a fully adjustable backrest, and thigh and knee pads for a comfortable ride. With a soft-chined, V-shaped hull, it's easy to maneuver, even for beginners.

It features two hatches that provide plenty of storage space for spare clothes and extra gear, with bow and stern bulkheads that keep water out and your possessions safe and dry. The kayak has a maximum weight capacity of up to 275 pounds, and the cockpit measures 39.5x21.5 inches, fitting most individuals.

Weighing in at around 49 pounds, the 12-foot kayak is easy to transport from your car to the water. The fun multicolored coating will make you stand out in the waves.

Best Recreational: Lifetime Hydros 8 ft 5 in Sit-on-top Kayak

Designed with safety and stability in mind, the Lifetime Hydros is a great kayak for any type of rider. Made from a high-density Polyethylene build, the Hydros features an included paddle and "sit-on-top" design, so that you can paddle comfortably in choppy waters.

The kayak's UV-protected material will stand up against impact over time, while the built-in tankwell storage and bungee cord keep your belongings secure. The kayak's adjustable footrests and shock cords also make this kayak fit for any sized rider, and at only 37 pounds, it's easy to transport to and from the water. It's important to note this kayak can accommodate up to 250 pounds.

Best Inflatable: Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Inflatable kayaks are perfect for people who live in apartments or don’t have a great deal of storage space in the garage. The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is made from puncture-resistant vinyl and features Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation. The kayak also comes with a manual hand pump, repair patch, inflatable seat, cargo net, and 86-inch aluminum oar.

People who own the Intex Challenger kayak say they like that there’s no worrying about needing to lift or carry a heavy kayak. In fact, you don’t need any assistance when toting the extremely lightweight watercraft to and from the lake. Multiple reviewers even agree that—considering how much fun they’ve had in the kayak and how little it cost them—this is one of the best purchases they’ve ever made.

Best Tandem: Hammacher Schlemmer Two-Person Transparent Canoe Kayak

For even more fun on the water, partner up in a tandem kayak. One to try is the Hammacher Schlemmer Two-Person Transparent Canoe Kayak. The canoe-kayak hybrid has a transparent polymer hull that gives paddlers a front-row view of underwater life. The boat seats two people, supporting up to 425 pounds with adjustable, quick-drying seats for customizable comfort. It also features seatback storage for all of your adventure essentials.

The transparent hull is made of 6 millimeter Lexan, which is the same durable material that's used in the manufacturing of cockpit canopies for supersonic fighter jets. Passengers can use the drop-down, adjustable skeg to keep the craft on a straight course when needed.

Weighing in at 48 pounds, the lightweight canoe-kayak is easy to transport and store. The watercraft comes with two 86-inch aluminum shaft/fiberglass bladed paddles and two flotation device pouches.

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