Best Kayaks for Kayaking With Toddlers

Best Kayaks for Kayaking With Toddlers

Many parents ask whether they can go kayaking with toddlers. The answer is yes, you can even go kayaking with baby, but certain conditions have to be met. Children love water sports and recreational activities. Tell you what, your child can learn scuba diving, but in the pool, with a professional trainer. Now, if a toddler can learn scuba diving under PADI or NAUI programs, he or she can certainly come for kayaking.

And they will love it. Because kayaking with your family is a lot of fun. It is not as risky as stand up paddling, which requires some mastery. Good thing though is that you can start kayaking with kids in calm lake waters. You will need a kayak with toddler seat.

For every parent the fear of having to shout “Man Overboard” is always imminent especially when you are kayak-cruising on waters that are not too calm. Well, while you cannot allow your toddler to scuba dive, perhaps you can take them kayaking.

But hold on a bit, before you put the cart before the horse. Are you even supposed to bring a child along when kayaking? Definitely, you can. However, as we would say in the old mail running ways, you can only bring a kid a long to ride shotgun, that is, as a bow rider.

For you to enjoy kayaking with baby, you will need the best kayaks for the job. Now, many people think that a kayak is a kayak is a kayak. But nothing could be further from the truth. There are kayaks that have been made with children’s safety in mind.

7 Kayaks for Kayaking with Toddlers

Youth Wave Kayak With Paddle – Best Toddler Kayak

Youth Wave Kayak With Paddle

The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak has been designed with features ideal for use by kids of all ages. This kayak has been constructed from high-grade polyethylene material that is UV protected and very durable. This material neither cracks nor fades due to exposure to the elements. It offers maximum safety to your kids when they are on the water.

This kids kayak is light in weight and easily maneuverable in water. It’s cockpit is designed to offer maximum stability to the kayak. In addition, the cockpit offers different footrest positions that enhance the comfort and flexibility of your kid. Remember, for the safety of your baby in the kayak, he or she is supposed to sit in front of you.

Another thing with this kayak… it is designed with the ultimate comfort of your kids in mind. It is very comfortable and its lightweight construction enhances easier handling by the kids.

The twin fins ensures that the kayak has accurate surfing and tracking capabilities. The scupper holes incorporated on the kayak allows easier draining of water from the cockpit area. The swim up deck makes it easy for the kid to access the kayak when they want to climb up onto it or when they want to re-enter the kayak when they are done with swimming.

This kayak is big enough to carry your snorkeling masks, wetsuits for diving and snorkeling and any other gear you might have brought along.


  • Lasts a long time when given good care
  • Compact in design and light in weight
  • Ample space for up to three kids
  • Very comfortable
  • Very stable in the water


  • The wide design enhances speed and tracking
  • May be too big for some kids to carry

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle

The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is ideal for kids who are five years and older. It has been designed to support weight of up to 130 lbs. It comes in a lightweight construction because it only weighs 18 pounds. It is also very sturdy and durable and it does not fade or crack even after being exposed to the sun for long.

To enhance its portability, this kayak manufacturer has included molded finger handles on both sides, which also helps the kids to hold themselves onto the kayak when they lose balance.

This kids kayak scores highly when it comes to balance and stability. This kayak is among the most stable, best toddler kayaks in the market. This is mostly because of its unique design that incorporates reverse chine (sprays the water outward, away from kayak) to enhance its stability and dryness when in use.

To enhance your kid’s safety while they are on the water, this children’s kayak is designed with a wide stance to give kids a stable platform for paddling. The ergonomic cockpit is made in such a way that it improves your kid’s motor skills and balance.

It is a comfortable kayak and the twin fin design boosts the kayak’s surfing and tracking abilities. The swim-up rear design makes entering and exiting from this kayak simple for children and grownups.

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle


  • Durable
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent stability
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to enter and exit


  • Not ideal for kids under five years

Lifetime 10 Foot 2 Person Tandem Sit-on Kayak

The Lifetime 10 Foot, Sit-on Kayak with padded backrest is designed for comfort. It has been designed for single or tandem use. This kayak comes with multiple features that make it very versatile and ideal for both the beginners and the experienced kayakers.

This kayak comes with molded seats that have padded backrests. This makes it a very comfortable kayak and especially when you are going to be on the water for long. It is able to accommodate a weight of up to 500 pounds. There is space for other personal effects on your adventure. You can stash your dive travel bag in the kayak. If you have brought your drysuit for kayaking, you can keep it there until you wear it.

This kayak has been designed with multiple footrest positions, keeping you comfortable regardless of the size of your legs. It is also sold with two lightweight aluminum paddles that are adjustable to various angles to suit your paddling style. The paddles have a nice, anti-slip grip that lets you be in total control of your paddling.

The cargo storage space with bungee cords on the bow end allows you to carry anything that you would love to bring along on your adventure. The kayaks tunnel hull is uniquely designed to enhance stability and tracking when paddling. It is a safe kayak for kayaking with toddlers.

The ‘high and dry’ seating design keeps you far from the kayaks floor and the scupper holes helps in draining the excess water from the cockpit. Finally, this kayak is easy to carry since it weighs only 66 pounds and it comes with carry handles at the rear and at the front.

Lifetime 10 Foot 2 Person Tandem Sit on Kayak


  • Stable in the water
  • Carry handles
  • Comfortable ride
  • Durable construction
  • Sold with aluminum paddles
  • Spacious


  • Not very fast on the water

Ocean Kayak Malibu – Sit-On-Top Kayak

The Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu is a roomy kayak that comes with three sitting positions and hence ideal for a couple with one kid. It has been designed to accommodate a load weight of up to 425 pounds. although it is designed for use by two or three people, it still works perfectly when you are riding solo.

The kayak has two extra comfortable seat backs. These make your ride as enjoyable as possible. It has overlapping foot wells designed uniquely to allow the kayaker to sit comfortably in any position regardless of their legs size.

This youth and toddler kayak comes with a skid plate that minimizes the chances of your kayaks keel being damaged. The skid plate is replaceable if by any chance yours gets lost. It is very stable on water and the scupper holes help to drain any excess water from the cockpit section.

It is made from high quality material that is highly durable and does not fade or form cracks even after long exposure to the sun. Lastly, the kayaks has side carry handles that makes its portability a bliss.

Ocean Kayak Malibu Sit OnTop Kayak


  • Very comfortable
  • Very spacious
  • Stable on water
  • Durable construction
  • Easily portable with carry handles


  • Pricier when compared to most of its counterparts
  • Not very fast

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

If you are looking for a kayak with great stability, the Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak is an ideal choice. It comes with a Tri-form hull that increases the tracking and stability. This feature also ensures that you enjoy a great and comfortable kayaking experience. Because of the advanced features, this kayak is good for both kids and adults.

It is easy to pack or store the kayak since it comes in a lightweight design and it does not occupy too much space. It also comes with carry handles on both ends and sides. This makes it easy to carry around. To enhance your comfort while paddling, the kayaks seat is well padded, which allows you to paddle for long without experiencing a backache.

The kayak has multiple foot wells that provide the paddler with ample sitting position that is ideal for their height. To help you enjoy your favorite moment on board, this kayak has a cup holder where you can place your drinks. The bungee cords at the front and on the rear enable you to bring along various supplies that you require for your adventure. You can even secure your tank for scuba diving and other diving gear to the kayak.

To enhance its durability, the kayak comes with a rear skid plate that is replaceable. The scupper holes help in preventing your kayak from flooding so that you can enjoy a dry comfortable ride.

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit OnTop Recreational Kayak


  • Stable on the move
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Lots of legroom
  • Very comfortable
  • Lightweight


  • Not ideal for wide bodied riders

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak

If you are looking for a superior quality kayak for your kids, the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak is a perfect choice for you. This kayak is specifically designed for kids only since it has a maximum load capacity of only 110-115 lbs.

It is made from high quality polyethylene material that is tough and durable. It comes in a lovely molded design. The front part of this kayak has a foam material that improves its stability and flotation on water. This kayak scores highly when it comes to stability and tracking, which makes it very safe for the rider.

This kayak is agile and maneuverable by design, making paddling very easy for your kid. The stern carry handles and a bow makes it easy for you to move around with the kayak. Your kid’s comfort on this kayak is not compromised since it has a contoured and well-padded seat that keeps your child very comfortable throughout the ride.

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak


  • Very stable and safe
  • Great maneuvering and tracking
  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight
  • Very comfortable


  • Paddle not included
  • Lower weight capacity

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Ft Kayak – Best for Kayaking with Toddlers

The Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot sit-on-top Fishing Kayak is good for riders who want to enjoy a great time on water fishing, without carrying a lot of gear. It supports a maximum weight capacity of up to 250 lbs.

Although it is quite compact, it still manages to offer ample storage options, which includes the dry storage behind the seat that keeps your gear dry and safe and the storage space at the bow. The two storage options have bungee cords that help in keeping your supplies safe and intact. In addition, the kayak has a cup holder at the front of the seat that allows you to continue enjoying your drink while riding.

This kayak weighs only 44 pounds, which makes it quite lightweight and hence easily portable. The retractable carrying handles further enhance the kayaks portability. When it comes to stability, this kayak does not compromise; it is very stable and does not easily tip over.

It is also very comfortable. It has an adequately padded seat back that keeps you comfortable for long ensuring that you do not experience back fatigue. The molded seat is however not raised off the kayaks floor and hence you will most find yourself getting a little wet. Lastly, this kayak comes with foot braces that are adjustable in order to keep your feet in a more comfortable position.

Sun Dolphin Journey 10 Ft Kayak


  • Very stable
  • Spacious
  • Light in weight
  • Durable – made to last a long time
  • Very comfortable


  • Low weight limit
  • Poor tracking

Choosing the best kayak for kayaking with toddlers

You do not just arise in the morning and say, “ahoy there! Time to go kayaking fellas. Get your stuff ready,” like captain Barbossa. When you are going kayaking with baby, or even with youths, you have to take extra caution. What should you consider before buying the best kids kayak? This does not necessarily mean buying a kayak that has been designed to be used by kids alone, but one in which your kids can ride with you. Safely. Comfortable as possible.

Here is what to consider:

Kayaking experience

Ocean kayaking is a lot of fun, and indeed, it will be a time to remember for a long time. However, one thing that you ought to know is that you need a lot of experience! As a parent, you are charged with the duty of taking care of your kids. If you do not have enough experience, do not go kayaking with kids. Gain some experience first.

Kayak price

Well, inflatable kayaks are very convenient but they sell at a high price. However, you should not break the bank just to buy a toddler kayak that they will soon outgrow. At the same time, you should not be too set on the price and forget the features. It is best to find a balance between price and features. It would be better to pay more and get more features than pay less and get fewer features.

Kayak safety

Kids kayak, or even a family kayak should be safe for your children. However, it is your mandate to enhance the safety of your family when they are on the water. One of the ways to do that is to ensure that your kids bring all their gear. Kayaking vest or even a safety vest for snorkeling is good, in case the drop into the water.

Kayak safety also means safety for your gear. For example, if you brought along your diving gear like the BCD and scuba weights, your diving computer and fins, you want to make sure you keep it safe. So consider a kayak that has a bungee line to secure your stuff.

Kayaking gear

Apart from the kayak itself, you will need other gear. Just as you would need a scuba tank for diving, a regulator for your scuba tank, you need the right gear to go with your kayak. Depending on where you are going kayaking, you will need to suit up properly in a wetsuit. It can even be a dry suit if you are going kayaking in cold weather. Buy a kids kayak paddle too, and get them to start learning the technique of paddling early enough.

Kayak weight

From the Kids kayak reviews above, you have no doubt seen that these vehicles come with different weights. Some can weigh as much as 60 pounds, perhaps more. The bigger it is, the heavier it will be. The best kayak for kayaking with kids must be light in weight, must be easy to paddle a long and must be able to hold your weight, and that of your kids. To solve the problem of weight, just buy n inflatable kayak. You will be glad you did.

Kayak Length

A shorter kayak is easy to handle, even when the kid is paddling alone. Thus, a kids kayak should never be longer than 8 feet, maximum 10 feet. However, if you are going to ride with your kids, you can make it big enough to fit everyone aboard.

Kayak tow

When you buy a kayak for your kid, you may want to consider a towing option. The most important thing about this is that you can paddle in your own kayak. Your child can also ride in his or her own kayak but to make sure they do not run off with the tide, attach a towline and pull them along. Should he/she feel too tired to paddle, you can just pull him along.

Kayak stability

It is best to buy a stable kayak for kids as opposed to buying a fast kayak. Unless you want your kid capsizing over, forget about that slicing in the water speed. It is simply not going to work. Thankfully, you will find kayaks rated for their stability by users. Buy one that is recommended for beginner users.

Scupper holes

A kayak should have scupper holes because as you paddle along, you will realize that the kayak fetches a lot of water. Thankfully, most kayaks are designed to be self-draining, through the scupper holes. If you are buying a sit-on-top kayak for kids, it had better have scupper holes because it will fetch on some water.

Kayak cockpit

Truthfully, this does not matter all that, but consider instances where your kid falls out of the kayak. It would be a good idea to have him enter as easily as possible. A wide cockpit would allow the kid to get back on easily as opposed to a small and narrow cockpit.

Paddles and accessories

One of the most important accessories for your kayak is the paddles. Do you get them with the package or do you have to buy them separately? That could cost you some substantial amount of money. Anyway, you must have paddles to move your kayak to speed. Find out whether the kids kayak that you intend to buy comes with paddles.

Kayak seats

If it is a kayak for kids, then you very well know that even the seats have to show that it is for kids. Small seats, just the perfect size for your child, with padded or just comfortable backrest should be ideal. Look for a kayak with child seat. That way, you know that it is height and weight rated for a child.

Kayaking with toddlers destination

It is best to take to the calm waters when you have kids. This means starting at the bays, calm lakes, and the slow flowing rivers. It would be a bad idea to go wild water kayaking when you have your kids with you. As your kids gain more experience, you can definitely start considering other wilder destinations. Before you can leave for kayaking, study the currents and the tides. You should also never go to isolated rivers or lakes to kayak, for the safety of the family.


Buying the best kayaks for kayaking with toddlers is now easy since you know everything that you ought to know. Remember, by letting your children learn how to scuba dive, kayak, snorkel and take part in other water activities, you will be building their confidence. That way, they can face the hurdles of life with courage. Besides, a family that kayaks together bonds for a long time. If you take care of the kayak for kids, you will not go back to the shops in a long time.