There’s tons of different options for kayaks out there. We know it can be overwhelming trying to decide how a given kayak will work for what you want it to do.
If you want to use your kayak for multiple activities, it can make the research seem even more daunting.
We get how hard it is, but you can relax and take a look at some of our Costco kayak reviews. We’ll share our favorites for anything you could think to do in a kayak.
Whether you’re looking to fish, paddle with someone else, or just get on the water, we have a recommendation for you.
Our Favorite Picks
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#1 Best Inflatable - Advanced Elements
#2 Best Tandem - Lifetime Beacon Tandem
#3 Best Fishing - Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
The Top 5
#1 Best Inflatable - Advanced Elements
When you hear about any awesome, new inflatable kayak, you’re probably skeptical if it can actually stand up in any sort of real-life scenario.
What makes Advanced Elements kayak so great is that in addition to the benefits of an inflatable kayak, it also has aluminum ribs on the bow and stern to keep its shape and help you go where you actually mean to go.
And, that’s only one of the things that make this kayak so good.
The Advanced Elements kayak uses state of the art conversion technology making this one of the most, if not the most, versatile kayaks you can get.
Whether you want to kayak solo or tandem or have an open or closed deck, there’s an option for you.
We mentioned the aluminum ribs earlier, but that’s not the only design element meant to help this kayak last. The Advanced Elements boasts multiple layers of outer materials along with different air chambers.
This kayak is built tough and won’t go down easily since many of the compartments are separate.
The Advanced Elements kayak does a good job of making sure you’re comfortable on your paddle. They provide high support and adjustable seats so that you can enjoy being on the water in maximum comfort.
Another aspect that stands out for the Advanced Elements kayak is their weight capacity to actual weight ratio. At only 52 lbs, this kayak is light enough for a single person to handle, but it can carry up to 550 lbs.
That’s over a 10:1 ratio which means that you’ll be able to use the Advanced Element kayak in any situation you can think of.
One awesome feature of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame convertible kayak is its ease of use. Everything is pre assembled so all you’ll need to do is unroll it, inflate it, and place the seats where you want them. Then you’ll be off and on the water in no time.
#2 Best 2 Person Tandem - Lifetime Beacon Tandem
If you’re looking for a tandem kayak, the Lifetime Beacon Tandem kayak is a great choice.
It’s packed with features and design elements, which we’ll get into, that make it ideal for tandem kayaking.
One of the problems that other tandem kayaks have is difficulty maintaining a balance between stability and maneuverability.
One of the ways that the Lifetime Beacon Tandem kayak addresses this problem is by including a skeg, or fin, on the bottom.
This will help balance you and increase your ability to track a path through the water which is always a bonus.
Not only will this skeg help you track, but it also retracts into the body of the kayak. You’ll find that you’ll easily be able to transport your Lifetime Beacon kayak and not worry about any of its benefits getting in the way of getting to the water.
When you go kayaking with anyone else, you want to make sure that you have room to carry enough gear for the both of you. With storage space and netted covers on the bow and stern of the kayak, you’ll find that you will never lack a spot to place your gear.
The Lifetime Beacon Tandem kayak is built with heavy duty UV-protected polyurethane so it will last. The material is even shaped into an ideal shape for use. There is a dedicated seating area for two kayakers along with molded foot wells for maximum comfort and paddling efficiency.
This kayak is best suited for tandem use. Though it can be used by only one person, you will notice less maneuverability as more weight will be placed in the rear of the boat. As long as you want to kayak with someone, you’ll find that the Lifetime Beacon Tandem kayak is hard to beat.
The main downside of the Lifetime Beacon Tandem kayak is that it is on the heavy side weighing about 90 lbs. If you are using it as a tandem kayak, you’ll be able to split the weight and find that it’s easy enough to transport with two people.
#3 Best Fishing - Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
When you fish, you end up placing most of your focus on fishing, which is what you really want to do. You don’t want to spend time worrying about your kayak. Fortunately, Lifetime understands that and has made the Tamarack Angler 100 for fishing.
This kayak stands out in how easy to use it is. It is remarkably stable, tough, and relatively lightweight for one person to use. We’ll look more closely at each of these characteristics, but suffice to say that all of these make it a great option for fishing.
The Tamarack Angler 100 has a flatter bottom than many other kayaks. This keeps your kayak from rocking back and forth so that you can have a stable platform for casting and reeling in your catch as well as working with your lines and hooks.
The Tamarack Angler is made from polyethylene. This material provides a durable casing for the kayak as well as keeping it lightweight. It only weighs about 50 lbs, so you’ll have little problem getting your kayak into the water.
This kayak is also packed with storage options. Bungee cords on the bow and stern supplement the two 6” storage compartments in the hull of the kayak. You’ll find that you will have plenty of room for bait and whatever other gear you might end up needing.
The Tamarack Angler is so dialed for fishing that it even boasts two fishing rod holders and a paddle holder. These let you store your paddle as you fish and offer a place to put your rod down while you wait for your next bite.
#4 Best Sit On-Top - Sun Dolphin Boss SS
The Sun Dolphin Boss SS is designed along the same principle as a catamaran boat.
It’s pretty scientific, but the main thing for you is that it makes for a very stable platform.
The stable deck of this kayak gives it unmatched cockpit comfort. The seat on this kayak sits slightly above the deck of the kayak.
The above deck seat, along with an anti-slip deck, will help you stay dry on any excursion and even helps you stand if you so wish since the deck is so stable.
Not only does the style of an on deck seat provide comfort for your legs, the seat itself is also padded with options for different foot rests.
You’ll find that this kayak incredibly comfortable no matter where you decide to paddle it.
The seat even folds down so that you’ll be able to find an easy place to store it. You won’t have to worry about the seat hitting something it shouldn’t or getting knocked out of place on accident since it folds on top of itself and out of the way.
The Sun Dolphin Boss SS comes with tons of storage space and even a few fishing rod holders. You’ll find that your gear is not only easily stored, but also easily accessed due to the overall stability of the kayak’s design.
#5 Lowest Price - Sun Dolphin Excursion
For a hard-bodied kayak, it’s hard to find a cheaper option than the Sun Dolphin Excursion. Though it doesn’t exactly excel in any one area, it is still incredibly versatile and easy to use.
It’s on the small side for kayaks, but this keeps it lightweight and easy to use.
For a one person kayak, the Excursion is easy to transport and launch so that you can be completely self-sufficient on the water.
The Excursion has many of the same features as the more expensive kayaks.
The biggest difference is that the scale is smaller. The Excursion for instance has a smaller storage space and less fishing rod holders. But, it does still have these bonuses.
The Sun Dolphin Excursion has a sit-in cockpit giving it a slightly more cozy feeling than the larger open cockpits of other kayaks. However, this gives you as a kayaker slightly better control and is easier to paddle.
We already touched on how the Excursion handles, but it’s worth mentioning again. You’ll find that the Excursion is easy to control and tracks great through the water while still being very stable.
The Excursion, though, is not fully geared towards open ocean kayaking. This is one area that it may fall short in if you want a kayak that can truly do anything that you throw at it.
Which Style Kayak Should I Get?
When does price go down on items at Costco?
You’ll find that prices typically go down towards the end of the season for a seasonal product. If the product’s price ends in .97, the price has reached as low as it will go.
Does Costco have kayaks?
Yes! We have reviewed many of them above, but you can also find others.
How much is a new kayak?
New kayaks can range anywhere from $200 to $900 or more. Depending on the brand, construction materials and process, and the size of your kayak you’ll see a wide array of different costs.
Are inflatable kayaks safe?
Inflatable kayaks are safe, though like any option for going on the water there can be dangers. Make sure that your inflatable kayak is always properly inflated and free of leaks. Also it helps to avoid potential hazards that could harm your inflatable kayak.
Are kayaks safe?
Kayaks as an object are safe. That being said, there are dangerous methods and circumstances of operation that could lead to a kayak becoming unsafe. Be sure that you are comfortable and any place you take your kayak is within your limits. Another way to mitigate risk while kayaking is to make sure that you are always wearing a life jacket.
What is the best type of kayak for a beginner?
We recommend inflatable kayaks for beginners since they are often cheaper and easier to store. These kayaks are often more forgiving if you should slip on it.
Additionally, wider and flatter kayaks are often more stable to sit on which are beneficial to beginner kayakers.
Which is better sit on or sit in kayak?
The short answer is that it depends on what you are looking for. The longer answer is that sit on kayaks often have more storage, are easier to unflip, and feel less claustrophobic while sit in kayaks often paddle easier, have a lower center of gravity, and offer more resistant against the elements like sun and win.
What brand of kayak is the best?
Some of the top brands we’ve seen are Lifetime and Sun Dolphin. Besides these companies, Advanced Elements, Hobie, Ocean Kayak, and Cobra also are well known.
How long do inflatable kayaks last?
With proper care, you’ll find that an inflatable kayak can last you years. If you properly store your inflatable kayak and keep it out of the elements when not in use, you will find that an inflatable kayak will last you a long time.
Do kayaks flip easily?
The flatter the bottom of a kayak, the easier it will be to flip if you are kayaking through waves. Otherwise, with a wide base, you will find that kayaks are not easily flipped.
What are the most stable kayaks?
The most stable kayaks are wide on the bottom. If they are geared towards lakes, they may even be more flat on the bottom. The main thing though is that the wider the kayak, the harder it will be to flip.
Is kayaking a good workout?
Absolutely. As well as being a great cardiovascular exercise, kayaking is a great upper body workout. As you paddle, you will engage your core and work out your arms, shoulders, and back. If you consistently kayak, you’ll find yourself building endurance and muscle.
Is a Warranty important?
Warranties on newly purchased kayaks will help you solve any problems that may arise when you buy a product. A limited warranty is definitely a positive when looking for a new kayak.
Final Verdict - Which Kayak Should I Buy?
There’s a few good options, but our favorite is absolutely the Advanced Elements convertible kayak. The simple fact that it can easily convert for so many different uses makes it a no brainer for us.
Since it’s also an inflatable kayak, we know that it’ll be easy to store, transport, and use. Advanced Elements has even taken steps to mitigate many of the problems we’ve seen in other inflatable kayaks. With the added support and triple layer, you’ll find the Advanced Elements conversion kayak to durable and easy to paddle.
So if you’re looking to get on the water hassle free, look no further. We recommend the Advanced Elements conversion kayak and think you’ll have a blast on it.
Final thought, if you don't have a Costco membership, one of the best alternative options is a Walmart inflatable kayak.
OUR #1 PICK - Advanced Elements