Buying a kayak for the first time can become a complicated process due to the myriad brands out there. Just like buying anything with hundreds of competing variations, the only way to whittle it down is through online suggestions.
We’re here to help you make a smarter kayak buying decision. Take a look at our list of the current best kayak brands based on what kayakers buy on Amazon.
Just about every professional kayaker places Perception as either the #1 brand, or at least in the Top Three.
Their kayaks are some of the most diverse on the market with every conceivable feature, plus designed for pro and amateur alike. While they aren’t cheap to buy, their attention to quality makes it worth the money.
They produce everything from tandem kayaks to sit-on models for you beginners. Plus, they have a major 40-year industry history to back up their innovations.
A popular Perception kayak seller on Amazon is the Perception Hi Life 11. This is a sit-on type if you don’t feel overly comfortable with sit-ins yet. They’ve also made it a hybrid type to give you a choice on features. One of those is a big storage area under the seat.
While the Hi Life is a little heavy, it’s made specifically for flat and calm waters if not yet ready to take on rapids.
Many other kayakers place Dagger at the top because of how extraordinarily stable they are to control on any body of water. This is quite the contrast from other longer kayaks since they aren’t always so maneuverable on rapids.
One of the standout versions of the Dagger is the 14.5-foot Stratos. However, on Amazon, one of the bestsellers from Dagger is their Phantom model. This one is much shorter at 8 x 11, plus designed for whitewater kayaking in particular.
The ability to rapidly change direction on any class of rapids is why Dagger continues to lead. Weighing under 50 lbs besides makes it easy to carry to any location.
Even better, it can hold up to a 255 lbs. person.
Usually cited in the Top Three kayak brands is Pelican. Amazon sells numerous Pelican kayaks, despite other similar top brands sticking to their own websites to sell their boats and accessories.
As one of the oldest kayak manufacturers in the world, they’re still renowned as designing the lightest kayaks available on the market. They do this through their trademarked RAM-X technology, a trade secret that’s hard to match.
The diversity of their kayaks is also well-noted. On Amazon, one of the top Pelican sellers is their Maxim 100X Sit-In kayak for recreational use.
Maximum weight capacity on this is up to an unbelievable 275 lbs.
Other kayak experts often place Wilderness Systems at #1. Why? Because their kayaks are also very light, stable, and tough enough to take on more challenging waters.
They continue to win awards for their innovative designs, especially for their famous sit-on models.
If you buy a Wilderness Systems kayak on Amazon, one of the bestsellers there is the Systems Radar 115. This is a popular fishing kayak with state-of-the-art outfitting, plus pedaling capability.
You can get all that in a boat weighing only 82 lbs.