Best River Kayaks for Beginners: Top Reviews & Buying Guide

If you want to learn how to use a kayak in a river, you should, first of all, find your best river kayak model. This way, you can have some of the most memorable experiences anytime you step onto your kayak and into the river.

However, kayak models are many today. You can easily hit the wrong model. That’s why I am giving the best river kayak for beginners today. These reviews have been properly researched and will give you the best experience.

We have tested some, compared to other models, and followed what the users say. In addition to that, we have included a comprehensive buying guide. That’s why you should read it to the last word.

Additional Information

Apart from the buying guide that we have seen, there are many other things that we can still learn if we wanted to have a great experience with our best river kayak brands. These tips are vast and will include the following.

Proper Care and Maintenance

The first thing that you must learn is how to take proper care of your river kayak. To do so, there are a number of things that you can always start with. These include the following tips that I will give you.


Have a routine cleaning plan for your kayak. This will ensure that the kayak is always in great shape and that it performs best. Routine cleaning will enable you to remove any dirt, pebbles, and dust that may either dull, tear or prick the kayak.

With proper cleaning routine, you can keep your kayak going for a very long time, and as such, you will enjoy the value for your money.


Another important thing is to follow the instructions to use fully. Most of the best river kayak brands will come with a comprehensive user manual. Following this user manual to the last word will guarantee a great experience with an even better touch. Ensure that you follow the instructions fully.


With an inflatable kayak, the right storage makes the absolute difference. You must restrict yourself to ensuring that you store your kayak properly. Follow the user manual or simple do the following.

  • Clean your kayak
  • Allow your kayak to dry
  • Fold your kayak accordingly
  • Store in the carry-on bag

NOTE: If you have a foldable kayak such as the inflatable model, you must make sure that you store you roll your kayak when storing. Folding the kayak in a specific line will eventually trigger damages along that line.


Repair should be timely so that the damage doesn’t spread. The inflated kayaks are prone to tear or puncture sometimes. When a small puncture is unattended, it tears on and further causes so much damage.

As such, you must make sure that you fix the puncture in time. The same applies to any scratch that you suspect may trigger leakages.

Top Best River Kayaks Reviews in 2022

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

The first best river kayak that I highly recommend is the Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak. This kayak is easy to use and will give any learner an ample time when they are learning their basics.

With this kayak, you will easily enjoy all the beauty of going through the water in a rather formidable kayak. Even so, it is the features that make this model a superior option for any new user.

Sit-On-Top Design

First and foremost, this kayak offers a smooth sit-on-top convectional design that will blow you off your feet. Thanks to its inflatable touch, the watercraft will, therefore, offer the same touch of the comfy traditional kayak with a sit-on-top design.

Compact Technology

More importantly, this inflatable kayak is easy to pack. It will easily fold up for any road trip and can be folded quickly into its integrated backpack. This makes it an ideal kayak for any beginner that intends to go for longer hikes without getting a tiresome baggage.

This means that the Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak will easily fit inside any type of car trunk when you want to go for a perfect outdoor experience.

Padded Shoulder Straps

Even better, this kayak model also offers some of the best paddings around the shoulder straps. This is better since you won’t experience any bruises or injuries around your shoulders. Instead, you will have a comfortable touch even for longer carrying experiences.

Storage Compartment

As if that’s not enough, this kayak also comes with an incredible storage compartment for its rider. The cargo compartment, like it, is referred to sits at the front part of the kayak and offers an incredible storage touch for drinks, fishing lines, and first aid kit, among other things.

You can double up the cool experience by using the nearby cup holder to keep your drink even closer.

Easy Lift Handle

Apart from the lightweight touch, the easily kayak lifting experience is also boosted by the inclusion of the lift handle technology. This handle makes it easy for you to quickly lift the kayak out of the water without necessarily getting wet or splashing any water on you.

Thick PVC and Reinforced Bottom

Durability is nothing to worry about too. Thanks to this kayak adorning, a thick PVC touch that gives it a rigid floor. The flat bottomed touch comes with a three-chamber design that will easily enable you to maintain a solid shape to the kayak.

More importantly, it offers the best safety for the kayak when on the water and minimizes its chances of getting snagged. Thankfully, the model doubles up with a reinforced bottom that guarantees an even better touch of durability.


  • 8 ft. 7 in. x 3 ft. (2.62 m x.91 m) kayak
  • 400 lbs
  • 18 pounds
  • High-pressure hand pump
  • Heavy PVC design
  • Airtight technology

best river kayak


  • Airtight System that warrants the best leak proof touch
  • Double Lock Fast Valves for quick inflation and deflation
  • Wide and spacious touch for comfort and freedom
  • Huge weight capacity that guarantees the best user experience
  • Comes with a collapsible paddle for easy storage touch
  • Durable with longer lifespan – thanks to the heavy PVC touch


  • No room for two kayakers

Best River Kayaks for Beginners: Top Reviews & Buying Guide

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

The next best river kayak for beginners is the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak. This is a professional series inflatable fishing kayak that also doubles up as a great kayak for use around the river when relaxing.

The kayak offers some of the best features and will guarantee an even better user experience, among other things.

Laminated PVC Design

For starters, it provides a super tough construction design. The model uses a laminate PVC that’s combined with a polyester core to get the high-grade touch.

This polyester core offers a 3 ply material that’s compacted together to provide a high impact abrasion resistant touch. As such, it gives this kayak a super lightweight touch and a high resistance to damage.

You won’t worry about any form of abrasion and the impact that the sunlight’s UV rays may pose.

High-Pressure Valves

Apart from the great design with a durable touch, this model also enjoys a high-pressure valve technology. The use of these valves will guarantee quick and reliable inflation that provides the required extra rigidity and also stability to your kayak.

According to the best river kayak brands reviews, the use of the spring-loaded valve technology with high pressure will make it easy for you if you wanted to inflate or deflate your kayak quickly.

2 Removable Skegs

For a smooth use on the deep and even shallow waters, this kayak is also equipped with 2 removable skews to its design. This makes it highly efficient for new users who want the perfect touch will learning their kayaking course.

Floor Mounted Footrests

Your feet don’t have to remain at a single point anymore. Instead, you can easily move them around the kayak and set them off the comfortable floor-mounted footrests. This kayak comes with two of these footrests so that you enjoy a smooth touch.

Drain Plug

Again, this model also comes with an integrated drain plug. In short, you don’t have to worry about rain or water setting up in your kayak. If it does, simply use the drain plug to run the water out.

Two Seats with a Booster

The kayak is also designed for use with two people. It offers simple to use 2 adjustable seats with a bucket design. The model also incorporates a removable seat booster that you can use to enjoy better comfort around the kayak.

Directional Skeg

More importantly, this model also comes with deep and shallow water directional skeg. You can use the skeg to get an even better ride across the vast waters. That’s why we highly recommend this model for both new and experienced users too.


  • Laminated PVC Design
  • Polyester core
  • High-pressure valve technology
  • 2 Removable Skews
  • Floor Mounted Footrests
  • 3-chamber construction technology

best river kayak


  • Removable and adjustable brackets for additional accessories
  • You can use with GPS systems and fish finders
  • Includes an easy to use carry bag with a repair patch
  • Folds up well for easy storage
  • Has a stainless steel D ring technology for tying it down
  • Supports a huge weight capacity of 400 pounds


  • Skegs may wear out fast, depending on the river bed.

Best River Kayaks for Beginners: Top Reviews & Buying Guide

Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe 2 Person Inflatable Sport Kayak

The Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe 2 Person Inflatable Sport Kayak is the best model for any beginner who is looking for a recreational or sporting kayak.

It comes with a great design and is stylish enough to trigger the adrenaline upon crossing the finishing line. The model is also ideal for normal practice and offers several cool features like the other top-rated models.

Huge Weight Capacity

With a two-person design, there is no surprise that this kayak will fit you well with an additional training partner. It, therefore, covers a huge weight capacity of about 500 pounds when on maximum capacity.

Wide Range Kayaking

Apart from the huge weight capacity, owning this kayak guarantees a wide range of kayaking experience. You will easily enjoy quicker and faster rides with the best control experiences too. Indeed, this kayak is suitable for the class III white water kayaking too.

Light in Weight

While it is slightly weighty than the models that we have seen above, it is not entirely a heavyweight kayak. At 26 lbs, this kayak still falls squarely within the lightweight range and will leave you with the best user experience when going on a road trip.

You can easily fold it up and pack it in its carry-on bag before setting it in your trunk. The kayak will fit smoothly and with no hiccups at all.

Storage Compartment

As if that’s not enough, this kayak also comes with an easy to access storage compartment. The kayak has cool spray skirts with the lashed down an inflatable touch and a wide storage underneath it.

You can easily carry your sportswear, drinks, and many other accessories whenever you want to and still remain with enough space to move around easily in your kayak. That’s what makes this model an ideal sporting kayak.

Valve Technology

This best river kayak for beginners like the other previous models also comes with a set of valves for easy inflation and deflation. The open and close drain system of its valve allows for an easy experience.

It is incorporated with a highly efficient one-way system that makes your inflation, and also deflation needs very easy to work with.

Tracking and Speed Skegs

The other feature that gives this best river kayak a plus rating is the availability of 2 skegs underneath it. These two skegs are designed for better tracking and speed when using the kayak on the river.

Welded Seams

Finally, there is a guarantee for longevity to anyone who buys this new model. Thanks to the high-frequency seams that are welded to provide the perfect durable touch all along the way.


  • NMMA certified
  • Three deluxe one-way valves
  • Self-bailing drain valve
  • I-beam floor construction
  • Two bottom skegs
  • Pressure gauge
  • Bow and stern grab line

river kayak


  • Carries two-adults easily
  • Offers a huge weight capacity of 500-pounds
  • Light in weight with a highly portable touch at 26 pounds
  • Three inflated chambers that work in the port, starboard, and also on the floor
  • High frequency welded seams for durable touch
  • Quick assembly and disassembly in approximately six minutes


  • Shite color may dull up fast if not properly cared for

Best River Kayaks for Beginners: Top Reviews & Buying Guide

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

For the best river kayak brands Lifetime, Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayaks are some of the best. They are easy to work with and will provide some of the most durable designs for any type of user.

The brand is great for fishing and has been celebrated among the most seasoned kayak anglers too. But what makes this kayak click?

Wide, Spacious Design

Once your kayak is set up for your next ride along the river, you will realize that the kayak is very spacious. It offers an incredible space that gives you more comfort when you paddle. The spacing also allows you to easily stretch out your legs and your back when you need to.

Your arms will move easily, and you will hardly experience any fatigue. Thanks to the 103 x 36 x 30 inches in the dimension that this kayak offers.

Multiple Footrest Positions

Again, this kayak takes every type of rider into consideration; it offers multiple footrest positions that are customized for riders of different sizes.

Comfortable Seating

In addition to that, the kayak also offers it uses the most comfortable seating experience. Thanks to the simple to use and easy to adjust the padded seat with soft padding on the back rest for additional comfort.

Two Storage Compartments

When it comes to offering the best storage capacity, this model beats most of its peers to the trophy.

It offers two 6″ compartments for easy access and storage. There is one at the rear and the next at the center. You can, therefore, easily store your drinks, baits, reels, and many other fishing accessories in the compartment of your choice.

T-Handle Design

Additionally, the kayak also comes with T-Handles technology. These handles are designed to fit your hands easily and comfortably rest on your palms. They are simple to use and will offer one of the most reliable transportation experience.

As such, once you are set up for the next kayaking experience, you can easily use the T-handles to get the kayak into the river.

Stable Flat Bottom

More importantly, this kayak also comes with a stable flat bottom design that guarantees a smooth ride with a rather stable touch on the high-level waters. As if that’s not enough, it also incorporates the deep hull tracking technology with under design channels.

This type of tracking also works with the chine rails to maximize stability when using this kayak model.

High-Grade Design

Finally, this best kayak for the river also enjoys a high-grade design that guarantees the best durability. It is designed with durable and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) design technology that will offer better


  • 120 x 31 x 14 inches
  • 52 pounds weight
  • 400 lbs
  • T-handles
  • High-density polyethylene

best river kayak for beginners


  • Multiple Footrest Positions for comfort
  • Adjustable and softly Padded Seating backrest
  • Easy to use Front and Rear Shock Cord Strappings
  • Two large 6″ Storage Compartments for your fishing accessories
  • Front and Rear easy to access T-Handles for quick transportation
  • High-end durability, thanks to the High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) design
  • Longer 5-year warranty for any manufacturing defects


  • Comes with no speed or tracking skeg technology

Best River Kayaks for Beginners: Top Reviews & Buying Guide

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak – the Inflatable Professional Fishing Kayak

While it is rather pricier that most of the other models, this fishing kayak is the best for the pro anglers that require an easy kayak to work with. It is well built and offers an impeccable user experience along the way.

3 Ply Design Technology

First, this model enjoys a three-ply design technology. The 3-Ply design offers a super tough construction which usually employs the use of a high molecular PVC to maximize the durability and longevity of the kayak.

The 3 ply construction is usually unaffected by salty water, gasoline, or oil. This means that you will easily enjoy an even better user experience with it.

Light Weight Build

Again, this kayak is light. It weighs just about 43 pounds. As such, you can easily carry it over any shallow waters for a continuous kayaking experience. Once you hit the bank, you can also lift it out of the water easily.

Inbuilt Fishing Design

If you are a beginner angler that’s looking for a fishing kayak to practice with and get as conversant as you can, this model got you covered too. You will get a set of integrated recessed rod holders that you can start to work with.

These holders will keep your rods in place so that you easily set them up in water or carry them around when looking for the perfect fishing spot.

Quick Set-Up Technology

Unlike the regular or even the traditional kayak models, this modern design offers a quick set up. The good thing about a quick set up technology is this. It offers more time on the water and thus accounts for pure fun and enjoyment.

Thanks to its inflatable design that allows you to put it up in less than five minutes. You can also regulate the amount of pressure that your quire for an even better experience when using the kayak.

High-Pressure Valves

As if that’s not important, this model also uses the high-pressure valves. The valves will guarantee good inflation levels that provide an extra rigidity and also stability. More importantly, these valves are designed with high-pressure spring technology that enables them to support heavy loaded designs technology for easy inflation and fast deflation.

Storage Space

There is also a spacious storage compartment that you can use to keep your fishing accessories, including the reels, fishing gear, bait, food, and drinks. Any beginner angler that boards this kayak will, therefore, have a very easy time.

Stainless Steel D-Rings

As if that’s not enough, there is also the inclusion of the stainless-steel D-Rings that you can use for tying down the kayak. These rings are highly resistant corrosion and will also work best for any water with high salinity levels.


  • Weight capacity: 400 pounds
  • High molecular PVC
  • 3 ply construction
  • 43 pounds
  • Recessed rod holders
  • High-pressure valves
  • Stainless streel D-Rings

best river kayak brands


  • Adjustable mounting bracket for additional accessories
  • provides extra rigidity and stability
  • resistant to damage from abrasion
  • easy inflation and fast deflation
  • maximum comfort with 2 adjustable bucket seats


  • Mostly pricey in several online shops than the other models

Best River Kayaks for Beginners: Top Reviews & Buying Guide

Best River Kayak for Beginners: The Buying Guide

When looking for the best river kayak for your personal use, one this is really important, ensuring that you nail a model that suits your needs. As such, the best river kayak should meet a certain buying guide. Take a look at what the guide entails.

Smooth Ride

The very first thing that any buyer should look for in their kayak for river rides is high efficiency when it comes to rides. Make sure that your kayak provides you with a smooth ride. The best way to guarantee this is to look for the best speed and tracking technologies.

One of the most formidable technologies to go with is the Skeg technology. It will give you the following:

  • Smooth rides
  • Best traction
  • Ideal tracking
  • Right speeds

Spacious Design

Next, you must make sure that you get a kayak that’s spacious. Enough space will provide easy movement for the whole body. Your hands will be freer, paddling easy, and also your reflexes fast.

Spacious design will mean that you have enough room for the intended number of riders and that you can also bring in other lifesaving gadgets without necessarily depriving yourselves of any space.

High Comfort Level

As if that’s not enough, you must make sure that you are comfortable whenever you step into your kayak. Though you will give your seat the right setting, looking for some cool features such as these will also help.

  • Padded seating
  • Multiple footrest positions
  • Paddle holders

Durable Technology

If the D-Rings for tying down the kayak are made of stainless-steel materials as we saw in the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, then they will definitely last longer. The same applies to a reinforced kayak flooring.

3 ply design technology ensures that you add a long-lasting touch to your floor and minimize or eliminate any form of abrasion. Make sure that you get a bottom that’s flat and which provides a smooth ride under the rocky surfaces of the river.

The use of the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) design technology is also another top-rated technology for the best river kayaks.

Light Weight Build

As if that’s not enough, many users prefer to buy a kayak that’s light in weight. A lightweight touch will ensure that the kayak is easy to transport for any river hikes. It will also ensure that you can easily handle the kayak alone when the need arises.

This may include when you intend to clean the kayak or when you want to move the kayak in for storage or out of water.

Quick Set-Up

A technology that enables you to quickly set up your kayak without losing much time is also an idea. The reason for this is simple. When you quickly set up your kayak, you get enough time to enjoy the ride on the river.

Make sure that you get such a technology that minimizes the time that you will spend to set up your kayak for use. One of the best technologies that I prefer on an inflatable kayak is the use of high-pressure valves. Such valves last longer. They also provide quick inflation and deflation.

Storage Space

Finally, ensure that you have enough storage space. Any awesome kayak model will offer you a spacious design, but on top of that, it will also leave you with the best storage space. An ideal storage compartment will give you enough space to carry the following things.

  • Food and drinks
  • Fishing reels
  • Fishing gears
  • Fishing baits
  • Extra clothes for piling
  • Sunscreens

NOTE: Whenever you want to buy the best kayak brand for river use, looking at these quality tips will go a long way in setting up the right pace for your work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apart from looking at proper care for your best river kayak, you should also look at the concerns that most people have when they this type of kayak. Here are a few that I have compiled for you.

Where can I buy my best river kayak for beginners?

Buy your kayak online. Buying online means that you will easily enjoy a variety of models to choose from. You will have some of the most affordable prices and get the best offers on accessories. Thanks to the zero middlemen that you have in this chain of purchase.

As if that’s not enough, shopping for your kayak is made easy as you do it in the comfort of your home. The shipping is done within a short time and delivery made right at your doorstep.

What other things should I consider when buying a kayak?

Apart from what we have listed on the buying guide, you should take your time to look at the price and ensure that it’s within your comfort zone. Take a look at the user reviews and find out if it gives you hope of a better experience. Again you can pay attention to the following.

Which is the best river kayak for a beginner?

The best kayak for a beginner is one that allows them to spend comfortably without feeling the pinch. It should meet their budget while at the same time sort out their needs. A beginner shouldn’t invest in a very pricey kayak unless they are sure that they want to paddle kayaks for a very long time.


The reviews of the best river kayak for beginners that I have laid out there are awesome. Even so, we want to go the extra mile and give you the very best options that you can go with, depending on your needs.

Our intention is to make your work easy to give you a quick chance to smoothly choose a straight-up model that you’d get right up without second thoughts. Make your choice easier by following our recommendations.

Premium Pick: Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

First, we reviewed the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak because many uses celebrate this model. When we looked at it, we found out that it has the most formidable designs.

It is the one model that uses the toughest materials for design. It uses the Durable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Construction. On top of that, you get 5 years in manufacture warranty.

This means that there are assured quality and, more importantly, a design that will last longer and serve you better.

Editor’s Choice: Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak

The editor’s pick was reached at after we saw the efficiency, design, and again reliability. While this model didn’t match up to the premium pick above, it will give quality features on a rather affordable pricing.

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak is easy to use and again carries more than a single person. As such, if you are two people who want to learn how to fish, this is the best choice.

Value for Money: Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak

Finally, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 kayak gives us the best value for money. The model is easy to work with. However, you will get high-end features on an affordable pricing. It is again best for learning since it is designed for a single rider.

If you budget tighter and you want a great kayak for your usage, you must consider such a new model like the above.

NOTE: We make a top choice depending on how we evaluate the products that we have reviewed for you. While most of these products are awesomely cool and are indeed the best of the pack, we again specified the best three models for you that you can easily work with.


While we have seen the best river kayak brands that you can buy for your use, sometimes you may fall short of the price. In case this happens, choosing the guide to help you will be very much in order.

You should follow the best river kayak for beginners buying guide and get a model that will suit your needs. As if that’s not enough, you can again double up with several new tips that we gave you so that you don’t miss out on anything.

The most important thing to do is to ensure that before buying your best kayak, you take your time to shop around for the best models. It will help you to make a great choice and also to exhaust many other features.

Eventually, you will have the best kayak for your needs and quickly enjoy some of the most memorable user experiences. Newbies should learn how to start at an affordable price.

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