Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide
Fishing from a kayak is something that interests many anglers. It doesn’t only challenge your tackling skills, but also your paddling and pedaling skills.
Kayaks can help you have a quiet fishing experience, not to mention, they’re environment-friendly, unlike boats that use gas motors.
Not everyone can afford an expensive kayak, and whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you can find a high-quality yet budget-friendly kayak.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the best fishing kayaks under $500 that you can currently find. Without any further ado, let’s jump right into it.
List of the Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500:
- Intex Challenger K1 Kayak – Best Fishing Kayak for Beginners
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado – Best Fishing Kayak for Professionals
- Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak – Best Sit-on-Top Kayak
- Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 Foot – Best Value Fishing Kayak
- Sevylor Quikpak K1 – Best Airtight Kayak
|Kayak||Type||Dimensions||Weight||Material||Maximum capacity||Personal Capacity|
|Intex Challenger K1||Inflatable-sit-in||108 x 30 x 13-in.||25 lbs.||30-Gauge vinyl||220 Ibs.||1 person|
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado||Inflatable-sit-in||120 x 36 x 19-in.||41 lbs.||18-Gauge PVC with a tarpaulin bottom||250 lbs.||2 person|
|Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100||Solid-sit-on-top||120 x 31 x 14-in.||51 lbs||High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)||275 lbs||1 person|
|Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 Foot||Solid-sit-on-top||120 x 30 x 11-in.||44 lbs.||High-Density Fortiflex PolyethylenE||250 lbs.||1 person|
|Sevylor Quikpak K1||Inflatable -sit-on-top||103 x 36 x 30-in.||18 lbs.||21-Gauge PVC fabric with a tarpaulin bottom||400 lbs.||1 person|
The 5 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 in 2021
1. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak – Best Fishing Kayak for Beginners
Intex is one of the top kayak manufacturers that always incorporate advanced construction methods and use high-quality materials.
The Challenger K1 is one of their top-selling kayaks not only because it’s affordable but also because it’s one of the most durable kayaks currently available.
Because it is an inflatable kayak, it is lightweight and easy to carry around, which makes it a great choice for anyone who walks to a nearby lake or pond.
The kayak is made from braided 30-gauge vinyl, which is known for its rigidity. Moreover, it is UV-protected, so its color won’t fade with time, and it will always look brand new.
When it comes to the design, Intex made sure not to compromise comfort, despite being a single person sit-in kayak. It doesn’t have the maximum onboard space, but it does maximize the available space owing to the cargo net in front of the seat.
Regarding stability, Intex decided to go with I-beam floors, which drastically enhances the balance of the kayak in the water. Also, this means that you can stand while fishing without worrying about a sudden dive in deep water.
Furthermore, the Challenger K1 comes with its own pump and oar. You won’t have to shop for any equipment to prepare it to go into the water.
One thing to point out, though, is that the oar isn’t of the best quality; yet, I wouldn’t ask for more, especially that this is a budget kayak.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that the warranty is only for 90 days. However, you can get an additional warranty, and it won’t cost you much.
- Enhanced stability
- Excellent use of the available space
- Comes with its own pump and oar
- The paddle is of low quality
- A 90-day warranty is relatively short
Intex Challenger K1 makes an excellent fishing kayak under $500. It is ideal for beginners who are looking for a lightweight kayak with functional storage space.
2. Sevylor Coleman Colorado – Best Fishing Kayak for Professionals
Sevylor Coleman Colorado is another excellent kayak under $500 that meets professional use requirements.
For starters, it is made of high-quality 18-gauge PVC that is covered with a dense tarpaulin base. The construction is strong enough to withstand bumps and sharp rocks that are found in lakes. Besides, there are multiple airtight systems that ensure the kayak won’t leak.
In terms of design, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado kayak comes with comfortable and adjustable seats that are suitable for even the tallest anglers. In addition, the robust design and durable hull make it ideal for both calm and choppy waters. Regardless, the kayak isn’t stable enough for oceans.
In respect of stability, you will be impressed with the performance of this kayak. In fact, you can even use it in coastline conditions without having any issues. It’s important to note that it’s not the best when it comes to speed, merely because it’s a little bulky.
This kayak has a lot for your convenience. It is easy to use and comes with Berkley Quick Set fishing rod holders that allow hands-free fishing. You will find D-rings in the mesh pockets that are extremely functional when it comes to storing your kit and valuables during fishing.
Additionally, you can find more attachments like paddle holders and trolling motor fittings. However, unlike the previous model, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado doesn’t come with a pump or a paddle. Instead, it comes with a bag and carrying handles that will help you get the kayak into and out of the water.
- Robust construction
- Can be used in calm and choppy waters
- Allows hands-free fishing
- Extended storage capacity
- Comes with many attachments and extras
- 1-year limited warranty
- Bulky and slow
- Not suitable for oceans
- Doesn’t come with a pump
Sevylor Coleman Colorado is the perfect choice for professionals. It offers a lot for its price range. With the rugged construction, large storage capacity, and the many extras that come with this kayak, it won’t fail to meet your professional specifications.
3. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak – Best Sit-on-Top Kayak
The Tamarack Angler 100 is one of the superb Kayaks that excel in different circumstances. Usually, a sit-on-top kayak isn’t the best option for challenging water streams. The main issue that anglers face with this type of kayaks is the lack of security and stability.
However, Lifetime did a brilliant job with this model and ensured that it is stable enough to be used in ocean bays.
It is made from high-density, UV-resistant polyethylene, which contributes to the sturdiness of its base. Actually, the base is the main reason it withstands some choppiness, although rougher water requires using a faster kayak.
Regarding the design, as we just mentioned, the high stability of the kayak is at the expense of speed. Yet, the design is terrific when it comes to other aspects. For instance, the hull of the boat offers a high resistance, which is needed for deep tracking channels.
Moreover, it has an adjustable seat back that is padded to give you even more comfort. The footrests have multiple positions as well to promote fishing for extended periods.
With the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100, you will get sufficient storage space in addition to two flush-mounted rod holders to allow hands-free fishing. And the best part is, it comes with a 5-year warranty!
- High stability
- Strong construction with UV-protection
- Ample storage
- 5-year warranty
- Not fast enough for rough water
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing makes an excellent bargain. It is relatively lightweight, robust, and the 5-year warranty is proof enough that it is top-notch despite being one of the fishing kayaks under $500.
4. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 Foot – Best Value Fishing Kayak
This is another solid kayak under $500 that is great for fishing. Being made from high-density Fortiflex polyethylene, you should expect this kayak to be strong and durable. The Fortiflex polyethylene protects against the hazards of saltwater and helps with the resilience of your boat.
Still, it’s worth mentioning that it is a little prone to scratches and flexing.
What Sun Dolphin is offering here is a model that suits all tastes. The kayak is available in different colors, with blue being the most popular. Also, they made sure that it weighs less than other models that are made from the same material and around the same dimensions.
Although it’s a one-person kayak, it is wide enough for you to take your child or dog with you. You won’t be getting the highest weight capacity with this kayak; yet, 250 lbs. are more than enough for you to store your valuables and fishing tools. Not to mention, there is a dry storage compartment for the items you need to keep away from the water.
The design of Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 Foot is simple, and just like the previous model, it prioritizes stability over speed. The goal is to have a wide and stable kayak that can easily move through lakes and calm water without jeopardizing control.
The hull design is decent and sturdy. Also, its open cockpit makes it easy to enter and exit. The seating area is wide and comfortable with protective pads and food braces.
Furthermore, it allows you to paddle and track effortlessly, which again, maximizes the control that you have over the kayak.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with any rod holders, but it does come with paddles holders and a deck rigging.
- Available in a variety of colors
- Smooth paddling
- Relatively lightweight
- Strong construction
- Prone to scratching and flexing
- Lacks speed
The Sun Dolphin Bali SS is an excellent value for money kayak. It’s ideal for beginners who are looking for a versatile, lightweight, and smooth kayak.
5. Sevylor Quikpak K1 – Best Airtight Kayak
Sevylor Quikpak K1 is the lightest and most compact kayak on our list. It is made from 21-gauge PVC with a tarpaulin bottom. The overall structure is rugged and fire-retardant.
In terms of design, the model comes with an adjustable sit-on-top seat that all anglers find quite comfortable. The storage capacity is outstanding, especially for a single-person kayak. Some will expect the high capacity to affect the speed or directionality of the kayak, but it doesn’t. Also, there is a cargo for you to store your fishing pieces.
The kayak is easy to maneuver through the water and features decent stability that makes it suitable for calm water and can somewhat tolerate strong currents. However, you shouldn’t use it on rough water and certainly not on the ocean.
Among the features that make this kayak stand out is the double lock valves that facilitate the inflating and deflating processes. It won’t take more than 5 minutes to set it up. Besides, once it’s deflated, you can easily fit it into a backpack and carry around anywhere you want.
You don’t have to worry about the accessories because the kayak comes in a full package that includes all the essentials from the high-pressure pump to the backpack that you will use for storing it.
The warranty is only for 90 days, but there’s a higher chance you won’t even need it, to begin with.
- Extremely compact and lightweight
- Adjustable seat and footrests
- Multiple air chambers
- Durable construction
- Easy to set up
- Comes with all the needed accessories including a hand pump
- Not suitable for rough water
- Warranty is only for 90 days
Sevylor Quikpak K1 is a perfect choice for beginners looking for a fishing kayak under $500. It is one of the most durable kayaks you can currently get. Also, it is the lightest on our list and the easiest to use..
What to Expect from a $500 Fishing Kayak
An expensive kayak will offer great versatility. However, when it comes to performance or build quality, you can find a decent model under $500 and sacrifice all the extra fancy features an expensive kayak would provide.
It’s all a matter of priorities, and what one angler finds essential might not be that necessary for the other. So the best thing to do is go through the features of each model and decide which suits your needs the most.
What to Look for When Buying an Affordable Fishing Kayak
You can find two types of kayaks: sit-on-top and sit-in. Deciding which one to get depends on the circumstances in which you fish.
Sit-on-top kayaks are more comfortable and offer more storage. Moreover, they are self-bailing, which reduces the risk of flooding.
On the other hand, sit-in kayaks are more secure, and despite being more prone to flooding, they’re unbeatable when it comes to choppy waters and challenging streams.
No matter how tempting a cheap kayak can be, if it’s at the expense of stability, it should be off the table.
Today, you can find a wide variety of stable models that will give you the chance to stand up for a while without toppling over. You can also check the best stand-up fishing kayaks here.
The only situation in which a less stable model is preferred is if you fish across a long distance. It is only because the stability always compromises the speed.
Even for a budget-friendly kayak, you can get decent storage to accommodate all your fishing pieces. As mentioned above, this is always a bounce with sit-on-top kayaks.
4. Other Features
There are many other features to think about when it comes to buying a kayak. Nevertheless, the ones we just discussed are the most essential, and you shouldn’t give them up, even when buying a cheap model.
The other features include dimensions, portability, weight capacity, accessories, maneuvering, and maintenance. However, they differ from one angler to the other and you can compromise some of them for the sake of affordability.
Making the right decisions may not be easy for people on a tight budget, but eventually, you find what you’re looking for among these best fishing kayaks under $500.
The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak makes an excellent choice for many anglers, especially beginners. Meanwhile, Sevylor Quikpak K1 is an outstanding alternative.
Professionals make better use of Sevylor Coleman Colorado, but, of course, you make the call.