The 6 Best Duck Hunting Kayaks Tested & Reviewed By Hunters [2021]

Duck hunting from a kayak is becoming more and more popular each season and that is because of the many advantages that kayaks provide.

Kayaks are better than bigger boats because they can blend well with the environment which allows you to stealthily get closer to your prey. They’re also swift and stable enough to allow you to shoot with accuracy.

There are many kayak designs with different features, however, choosing the best duck hunting kayak isn’t necessarily difficult, as long as you know exactly what features you’re looking for.

To help you further, here’s a compilation of the best duck hunting kayaks available on the market along with a detailed review of the features each kayak has to offer.

NameMaterial WeightWeight
Capacity
Size
Brooklyn Kayak Company PK13High-Density Polyethylene80 lbs.550 lbs.13’ X 2’9”
Sun Dolphin Journey 10High-Density Polyethylene44 lbs. 250 lbs.10’ X 2’5”
Perception Pescador 12High-Density Polyethylene64 lbs.375 lbs.12’ X 2’6”
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14High-Density Polyethylene 144.5 lbs.600 lbs.13’8” X 3’1”
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak3-Ply PVC39 lbs.400 lbs.12’7 X 3’1”
Pelican Sentinel 100XRAM-X with UV finish44 lbs.275 lbs. 9’6” X 2’5”

List of the Best Duck Hunting Kayaks in 2021

Best Overall – Brooklyn Kayak Company PK13

The top recommendation on our list is the Brooklyn Kayak Company PK13 Duck Hunting Kayak.

The kayak is constructed from a rotomolded high-density polyethylene which makes it durable and UV-resistant. It’s available with a camouflaged paint job that allows the kayak to be well concealed.

The hull design makes it highly stable in a variety of water conditions allowing you to stand up while shooting.

It comes with an adjustable aluminum paddle and it’s also equipped with a pedal-driven propeller system that allows the kayak to move at a great speed along with a hand-operated rudder to improve control and tracking.

It weighs 80 pounds with an impressive weight capacity of 550 pounds. It has several on-deck storage options including two watertight hatches and a tank well with bungee tie-down to secure your hunting gear.

It features an ergonomic aluminum frame adjustable seat to increase your comfort and multiple accessory plates to support a gun mount or any other hunting gear you need.

Pros VS Cons

Pros
  • It’s made from durable UV-resistant material
  • It’s equipped with a pedal-driven propeller system with a hand-operated rudder
  • It has excellent stability, speed, and tracking
  • It comes with an aluminum paddle
  • It has a high weight capacity
  • It has multiple watertight storage options and bungee tie-downs
  • It comes with a comfortable adjustable seat and multiple accessory mounts
Cons
  • It’s heavy in weight which makes it difficult to transport
  • It’s difficult to maneuver in tight spaces because of its size

Bottom line

The Brooklyn Kayak Company PK13 is the best option if you’re looking for duck hunting kayak that combines comfort, durability, stability, and speed.

Second Runner – Sun Dolphin Journey 10

The second recommendation on the list is this Sun Dolphin Journey 10 kayak. It’s specifically designed with extra features for fishing and hunting.

The kayak is made from a high-density polyethylene material which makes it UV-resistant, durable, and able to withstand strong impact from hitting rocks or logs when hunting shallow waters.

It is available in an olive color which allows you to blend in well with the surrounding environment providing you with the stealth you need for duck hunting.

The open cockpit allows for easy entry and the wider hull frame provides more stability and safety if you’re a beginner. It’s also light in weight and easy to transport because it comes with retractable carrying braces.

This sit-on-top kayak ensures your comfort as it comes with a padded seat, adjustable foot braces, and built-in protective thigh pads.

What makes it ideal for duck hunting is that it comes with multiple storage compartments for your hunting gear. However, it has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds.

It also comes with a portable carrier that can be used as extra storage as well as two built-in flush mounts and one swivel mount for mounting or any other hunting accessories.

Pros Vs Cons

Pros
  • It’s durable and UV resistant
  • It blends in well with the environment
  • It provides a stable platform for hunting
  • It’s light in weight and easy to transport
  • It has multiple storage options and built-in accessory mounts
  • It comes with a portable accessory carrier
  • It comes with a comfortable padded seat and adjustable foot braces
Cons
  • It has a low weight capacity
  • It doesn’t come with a paddle

Bottom line

The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 kayak would be the option for you if you’re looking for a high-quality kayak that satisfies all your needs as a hunter.

Best on a Budget – Perception Pescador 12

The Perception Pescador 12 kayak is one of the best duck hunting kayaks. It comes with many great features at a cheap price.

The kayak is construed from a durable rotomolded polyethylene material which makes the kayak leakproof and UV resistant.

It’s light and easy to transport as it comes with carrying handles positioned on the bow and stern. It comes with a replaceable skid plate on the bottom that allows you to drag the kayak to transport it without worrying about damaging the bottom.

It’s designed with a long length and a wide hull design which adds to its speed and allows for good tracking and high stability while hunting.

It comes with adjustable foot braces instead of footwells to improve your leg position. The seat is ventilated and well-padded on the bottom and backrest to increase your comfort.

It has a very high weight capacity of 375 pounds and multiple open storage spaces including a deep tank well with secure bungee cords and a large dry hatch in the front of the kayak.

It is adapted for hunting as it comes with two gear tracks for mounting your gun and any additional accessories.

Pros Vs cons

Pros
  • It’s made from durable materials and resistant to UV damage
  • It’s faster than most sit-on-top kayaks
  • It offers great stability and tracking
  • It has a high weight capacity and extra storage space
  • It’s light and comes with carrying handles for easy transport
  • It comes with dual gear tracks
  • It has a padded ventilated seat
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with a paddle

Bottom line

This Perception Pescador 12 kayak would be the best option for you if you’re on a budget and looking for an affordable hunting kayak without sacrificing performance or comfort.

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 – The Most Powerful

The Mirage Pro angler 14 kayak is considered one of the best high-end kayaks. It offers many benefits that cater to the needs of all duck hunters.

It’s made from a durable polyethylene material. It’s designed with a high-quality pedal drive system with ST Turbo Fins which provides impressive control when steering the kayak along with a retractable rudder system to improve tracking.

It’s can also be powered with the Evolve electric motor that comes with a lithium-manganese battery that lasts up to 8 hours. It also comes with its own charger.

It’s equipped with an adjustable Vantage seat with lumbar support to maximize your comfort level and a non-slip deck to allow you more stability to shoot while standing up.

The maximum weight capacity of the kayak is 600 pounds and it has many storage options for your hunting gear including a large rectangular hatch with a tackle management system, horizontal rod storage, and a sealed bow hatch with a removable liner, and a large rear cargo area bungee tie-downs to increase security.

It also comes with a two-piece paddle, and multiple mounts to install your gun and any additional accessories.

Pros Vs Cons

Pros
  • It’s made from a highly durable material
  • It features a non-slip deck that allows you to shoot while standing up
  • It’s excellent when it comes to stability, maneuverability, and control.
  • It comes with a built-in pedal drive system and retractable rudders.
  • It’s compatible with a powerful electric motor
  • It has a very high weight capacity and several storage options
  • It comes with a paddle and mounts for additional accessories
Cons
  • It’s very heavy in weight and difficult to transport

Bottom line

The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler kayak is the perfect choice for professional hunters looking for a high-end kayak that combines an efficient pedal drive system and a powerful motor.

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak – Best Light Tandem Kayak

The Excursion Pro kayak is one of the best inflatable tandem kayaks. It’s equipped with many features and accessories that make it perfect for duck hunting.

The Excursion Pro is manufactured from a strong 3-ply PVC material which increases its durability and makes it more resistant to impact. This material also allows for high-pressure inflation which increases the kayak’s stability.

It’s designed with 3 air chambers with spring-loaded valves and comes with a high-output pump to allow for quick inflation and deflation.

The design also includes 2 removable skegs to enhance your stability and balance when hunting in deep or shallow waters along with 2 adjustable seats and 2 floor-mounted foot-rests to ensure your comfort while hunting.

It’s light in weight, weighing only 39 pounds, and comes with a carry bag to facilitate transport. It also comes with 2 aluminum collapsible paddles and a repair patch kit.

It has a high weight capacity of 400 pounds and comes with extra storage space in the bow and stern as well as stainless steel D-rings to tie down and secure your hunting gear.

It also comes with a built-in mounting bracket for your gun and any additional hunting gear.

Pros vs Cons

Pros
  • It’s very durable and resistant to impact
  • It offers excellent stability and control
  • It can be quickly inflated and deflated
  • It features 2 adjustable seats and 2 adjustable footrests
  • It’s lightweight and comes with a bag for easy transport
  • It has a very high load capacity
  • It has extra storage space with d-rings tie-downs
  • It comes with essential accessories such as paddles, a pump, and a repair kit
  • It comes with a mounting bracket to install additional accessories and gear
Cons
  • The material of the carrying bag is not very durable

Bottom line

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is the perfect choice if you prefer hunting with a friend and looking for a light tandem kayak with many great features at an affordable price.

Pelican Sentinel 100X – Best for Beginners

The Pelican Sentinel 100X is mainly designed for fishing purposes but it can also perfect for duck hunting.

The kayak is made from Pelican’s specialized material RAM-X that consists of a triple-layer of high-density polyethylene which makes it extremely durable and UV resistant.

The design is wide with a multi-chine flat bottom hull which provides great stability and tracking. The large cockpit allows for easy entrance and it’s suitable for hunting on calm, flat waters.

It’s light in weight, weighing only 44 pounds, which makes it easy to carry. It also comes with four handles positioned on the bow, stern, and gunwales to make transporting it a lot more convenient.

It has a maximum weight capacity of 275 pounds and comes with a 13L removable storage compartment with bungee cords to secure all your hunting gear.

It comes with many other features that enhance your comfort level. This includes a paddle tie-down and molded footrests that can be adjusted to fit your needs. It also comes with a large seating area with a padded adjustable seat and an anti-slip floor mat for added grip and stability.

Pros Vs Cons

Pros
  • It offers great stability for hunting
  • It’s light in weight and easy to transport
  • It’s made from a durable and UV resistant material
  • It has a secure, easily accessible, and open storage area
  • It’s constructed with a comfortable seating system
Cons
  • It has a relatively low weight capacity
  • It doesn’t come with a paddle or accessory mounts

Bottom line

This Pelican Sentinel kayak 100X would be the best option if you’re new to duck hunting kayak and looking for a simple but efficient kayak to get you started.

How to Choose the Best Duck Hunting Kayak?

two of the best duck hunting kayaks

When choosing the right duck hunting kayak for you, there are some key factors you need to consider:

Material Durability

Your duck hunting kayak needs to be durable enough to withstand any kind of impact from rocks or logs as you’ll often be hunting in shallow waters.

The durability of the kayak is affected by the material used to manufacture, so you need to make sure the kayak you’re buying isn’t made from poor materials as this will make the kayak more likely to get damaged or wear out from prolonged use.

You also need to make sure that your hunting kayak is UV-protected so it doesn’t fade, crack or peel from sun exposure.

Kayaks that are manufactured from a hard plastic such as polyethylene are usually more durable but they’re heavier in weight.

While Kayaks made from composite materials such as carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass are a lot lighter in weight but they’re also more expensive. You can learn more about Fiberglass kayaks here.

Camouflage Ability

The color of your kayak has an affect on your success when duck hunting.

Brightly colored kayaks are easier for birds to spot so, you need to make sure the kayak can blend well in with the environment. It’s recommended to go for a tan, green, or even a camouflage paint job.

The right color choice can also vary depending on the location you’re hunting in. If you are duck hunting on a sandy beach you might want to go for a lighter color kayak rather instead of a dark one, however, if you are duck hunting in a swamp, it’s better to go for a darker kaya.

Stability and Maneuverability

Duck hunting requires a range of movement. You need to have enough balance to be able to stand to shoot or throw out decoys.

That’s why the stability of your kayak is one of the most important features you need to look for as you’ll need a sturdy and stable platform to be able to move freely.

The width of your kayak directly affects its stability. A wider kayak will be more stable; however, it won’t go very fast. Also, a wider kayak will be less affected when firing your gun because the recoil will be absorbed better and won’t tip your boat.

In addition to stability, maneuverability is also a very important feature you need to consider.

The best duck hunting kayak should allow you to move smoothly in the water without especially in rougher conditions. If you want something that is quite easy to keep stable, check out these ducky (inflatable) kayaks. These kayaks are almost too easy to stabilize and keep balanced and are perfect for beginners.

Weight and Size

The weight of the kayak affects how easy it is to carry and transport the kayak.

Having a lightweight kayak will help you reach places that are untouched and full of ducks as it will be easier to haul your kayak from one body of water to another.

The size of the kayak, on the other hand, affects its performance, mainly its speed and tracking. Longer and narrower kayaks are usually faster. While shorter and wider kayaks are more stable and track better.

Onboard Storage and Weight Capacity

The more onboard storage space you have on your duck hunting kayak, the better as you’ll need to bring a lot of hunting gear with you.

It’s recommended to go for a hunting kayak that comes with at least one dry storage compartment for storing your phone, keys, and hunting items that are sensitive to water. It should also come with a bungee system for easily storing items like backpacks or dry bags.

All storage spaces need to be easily accessible with a spot for your shotgun so you can swiftly switch between paddling and shooting without much effort.

Your kayak also needs to be able to handle a good amount of weight. The weight capacity should be 100 pounds more than your weight and the weight of your hunting gear in order to avoid overloading your kayak.

Budget

It’s necessary to set your budget before shopping for a kayak in order to find the kayak that effectively suits your needs and offers you the best value for your money.

The price of any kayak mainly depends on several factors such as the quality of its construction, the materials, size, weight capacity, storage space, and any additional accessories.

If your are looking for something that won’t cost you much at all, check out these great cheap kayaks that still provide excellent experience and won’t hurt your wallet.

Why Choose a Kayak for Duck Hunting?

Kayaks are considered ideal duck hunting vessels for several reasons:

  • Kayaks allow you to get closer to your duck prey without having them fly off immediately. That’s because they do not produce much noise because they use mainly paddles instead of a motor.
  • Kayaks provide you with more freedom to access better hunting spots in small rivers and a lot of backwater opportunities that bigger boats usually can’t reach or navigate
  • Kayaks are relatively small which makes them very easy to hide and conceal. The small size of the kayak allows you to easily get yourself into smaller coves and other tight areas where your prey might be.
  • Kayaks are lightweight which makes them easy to transport and ideal for getting out on the water quickly.
  • Kayaks are made for shallow water and they can go just about anywhere there is several inches of water.
  • Kayaks are a lot more affordable than a full-on duck boat. They’re also very durable and do not cost much money or effort to maintain in a good shape.

Pro Tips for Duck Hunting from a Kayak

Here some tips to follow when you’re ducking hunting from a kayak to help make your trip a lot more successful:

  • Make sure you’re always wearing your personal floatation device. You can find many different options available that will make it easy to paddle and will not interfere with your ability to shoot.
  • When you’re shooting from a kayak, avoid shooting in a position perpendicular to the hull because the kick from the can cause the kayak to tip over easily. So, always try to shoot within 10 and 2.
  • Keep your gun safely away from the water and make sure to pick up your spent shell casings from the water after shooting.
  • Avoid paddling with a loaded kayak in choppy water and strong currents as the additional weight will make your kayak less agile and you will need to paddle with caution.

Essential Gear Needed for Duck Hunting

Camo Canvas

  • The most important addition to your hunting gear is a blind cover or camo canvas as it can help to conceal your kayak to blend better in the surrounding environment.
  • It can be ordered in any length and it’s really cheap. The material is also easy to adapt to your boat with it can be cut or joined with Zip Ties.

Waterproof Bags

  • Waterproof bags are essential when it comes to protecting your personal belongings such as camera, keys, or phone from getting wet. You can also use safety bags to store any safety gear.
  • They are made in various sizes and colors and they are small in size so they can be easily stored in the hull of your kayak.

Floating Gun Case

  • This is another essential addition to your hunting gear. It is designed to float to keep your shotgun safe and dry in case of capsizing.
  • Some gun cases are usually made from a 600D polyester-coated material. This helps protect your gun from any mud, marsh, or rain.
  • They’re very durable and available at a relatively cheap price.

Decoy Bags

  • Decoy bags are also very useful when duck hunting. They are designed with multiple slots and their main purpose is to store your decoy ducks.
  • They’re made from durable water-resistant materials and they don’t take up much space on your kayak.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Conceal Your Kayak to Blend in With the Environment?

In order to conceal your kayak when duck hunting, you need to be quiet as possible when moving to avoid scaring away your prey. It’s recommended to use scent reducers and go for paddles instead of a motor. You can also use kayak blinds or a camo canvas to stay camouflaged on the water.

How to Protect Your Shotgun While Duck Hunting in a Kayak?

In order to protect your shotgun while duck hunting in a kayak, you need to make sure that you keep it in a waterproof and floating shotgun case. Floating shotgun cases are available for between $30 – $70 and they’re very important in case you happen to accidentally drop your shotgun in the water.

What Kind of Safety Gear Do You Need While Duck Hunting in a Kayak?

The most essential item of your safety gear is your PFD (Personal Flotation Device). Other safety gear items you need to pack include rope, a whistle, signal flares, gloves, a headlamp, a knife, a first aid kit, a paddle leash, and an emergency kayak repair kit. Make sure all your items are packed in a waterproof bag and that they can be easily accessed whenever you need them.

How To Increase your Kayak’s Stability?

To increase your kayak’s stability, you can decrease the height of your seat to strengthen the center of gravity. Try to distribute your weight and the weight of your gear equally throughout the kayak to increase your balance. You can also purchase a stabilizer that can be attached to your kayak which will help you create more stability.

What Are the Key Factors That Affect the Kayak’s ability to Track?

The key factors that affect the kayak’s ability to track are the kayaker’s paddling technique and body posture. Tracking can also be affected by how the kayak is built and whether it is in a good condition. There are other external factors such as wind and current conditions that can have a powerful effect on the kayak’s ability to track straight.

Kayak your way to Freedom

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