Best Kayaks Under $1000: Premium Features, Best Performance
Not all kayaks are made equal.
When you buy a kayak under $1000, there are many things to consider.
Some kayaks lack stability, others lack performance.
But don’t worry. You don’t have to research hundreds of hours to find the right one.
We have already done that for you.
In this guide, you will find the top 10 kayaks under $1000. We selected them with our stringent testing methods while rating them on the basis of build quality, comfort, performance, customizability and stability.
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130, 13 ft. Angler One-Person Kayak
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 is a high-quality kayak under the $1000 price segment. Apart from its superior build quality, it has many features that you won’t see in any of the budget kayaks. Whether you are looking for comfort, performance or customizability, the Sea Ghost 130 has got it all.
The kayak is made with a single sheet of rotomolded high-density polyethylene. The material is sturdy and makes it resistant to knocks or potential dents from boulders or tree branches.
On top of that, its unique pontoon style hull design makes it easy to maneuver. This hull design also makes it fast and nimble. If you don’t want to limit your experience to calm waters and love the thrill of tackling rough waters, this kayak is for you.
The kayak has excellent stability. You can stand, sit and even try to rock it, but it will never feel tippy. The kayak is heavy-duty too, it supports a staggering 550 lbs. of weight. So you can bring your camping or fishing gear without feeling restrained. Stability is especially important for fishing, since you would want to stand a lot of the time you are fishing.
You can go to the edge of the boat without tipping it over. Some kayakers even sit on its bow with their feet dipping in water to relax and unwind. The Sea Ghost sure comes at a higher price than most kayaks you see out there, but it also offers unparalleled value. Your fellow kayakers are sure to turn heads once they see what this beast is capable of.
The best thing about the Sea Ghost 130 is that not only it is capable of being super stable, it is also fast and nimble. This is amazing since most highly stable kayaks tend to be somewhat slow. The hull is designed in such a way that the kayak catches speed fast. The tracking is good, so you can cruise without worrying about having it move in a straight line.
Cruising through water is easy since you can use the toe-controlled rudder to change directions. It also helps you save energy which would otherwise go into paddling hard. Using a rudder also means the kayak is more beginner-friendly and doesn’t require a lot of expertise to maneuver. Even with the rudder stowed, the kayak tracks well. This shows how easy it is to handle.
To make things easy for you, the Sea Ghost kayak comes with scupper holes to drain accumulated water out of the kayak. This keeps you and any gear on board dry.
The Vibe Ghost is super comfortable. It comes with a hero seat that can be adjusted in two positions. The seat is breathable, so you don’t get hot and sweaty when kayaking for longer periods. The hero seat in the new version is a step up from the previous one. It gives more support to your back and hips. This makes the Sea Ghost perfect for longer use and more challenging adventures.
Apart from the seat, we liked the four carry handles that make it easy to transport. The boat weighs 75 lbs, so by no means you can carry it on your own. However, the carry handles definitely come in handy when loading or unloading it on your car or a kayak cart. It comes with adjustable foot braces that accommodate paddlers of all sizes.
The kayak deck is comfortable and its slip resistant surface ensures that you don’t trip. There is a huge attention to detail gone into the Sea Ghost that makes it fit for pro anglers. It also comes with a paddle park that lets you store the paddle when it is not being used. There is a cup holder you can use to keep your beverage.
Apart from the comfort features, the Sea Ghost provides a lot in terms of customizability. It comes with a lot of accessories and mounting options so that you can add accessories and customize it as you want. There are two flush mounted fishing rod holders, a universal mount for fish finder transducer or other rectangular base accessories, six top-loading gear tracks to customize as you please and two side bungee paddle parks.
Next, the kayak offers a lot of space for storage. After all, you need space to use all of its 550 lbs. of weight capacity. A large storage tank well in the rear allows you to keep your items secured with bungee cords. It comes with an 8 inch sealed V-wave deck plate with waterproof cargo bags to let you store your belongings and keep them dry. There is an oversized front cargo tank well with flex top gear cover that keeps your items secured and an integrated paddle park that is easily accessible.
It comes with a dual-hinge console that is watertight, lets you keep your stuff in cargo bags and comes with a magnetic tackle tray. The magnetic tackle tray is a nice touch since it allows you to put metal objects without letting them slip off. The waterproof bags that it comes with let you keep things like car keys, camera or cell phone. There is a quick tackle toss tray as well for quick tackle changes.
There is also a lot of space inside the kayak hull, you can store gear or supplies but be mindful of its weight capacity while putting a lot of stuff inside. Such an extensive list of storage options allows you to carry all sorts of stuff – you can carry camping gear, beach chairs, coolers and fishing gear.
Just because the Sea Ghost 130 is comfortable, doesn’t mean it doesn’t know how to go rough. It can handle almost anything without batting an eye – be it standing waves or winds. It handles them with grace – so much that no water gets over the bow and into the kayak.
To top the amazing list of features this kayak offers, the company offers excellent customer service. Whether you want to get coupons or resolve an issue with the product, you will get a prompt and satisfactory response.
It is also worth noting that the kayak is packaged in multiple layers of packaging for maximum safety. It is covered with fibre blanket, bubble wrap and heavy plastic to ensure that the kayak arrives at your doorstep without any damage.
Overall, if you are ready to challenge yourself, have more fun and join the league of pro-kayakers, the Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 is a perfect option. It is remarkable in terms of stability, comfort, storage and performance. There is nothing more we could ask for!
- Solid build quality
- Accommodates big and heavy paddlers
- Supports 550 lbs.
- Adjustable, breathable seat
- Toe-controlled rudder makes it easy to handle
- Fishing rod holders
- Maneuvering is easy
- Stable yet fast and nimble
- Customizable with fishing accessories and mounting options
- Large space for storage
- Waterproof storage available
- Adjustable foot braces for paddlers of all sizes
- 10 scupper holes with plugs included
- Customer service is excellent
- Slip resistant deck
- Rear storage compartment can catch some water
Perception Outlaw 11.5 Sit-on-Top Kayak
If you are looking for a high-end kayak, the Perception Outlaw 11.5 is one of the best sit-on-tops you can buy. It can accommodate paddlers of all sizes. Its elevated seating allows you to stay comfortable. The seat can be folded for compact storage and can also be removed. The high seating is so comfortable that you feel like paddling while sitting in a la-z-boy chair. The mesh seating is super comfy and it is raised 5 inches above usual height.
The boat can support a staggering 425 lbs. of weight. Since this is a solo kayak, this weight is enough for one adult paddler and plenty of gear. Since the kayak hull is wide, it isn’t particularly fast but allows you to cruise without any hassles.
If you store the seat, you can add a 35 liter cooler to the boat and use it as a seat. This is cool since you can keep your favorite beverages and snacks to help make those long fishing sessions more enjoyable. On top of that, you can also buy Outlaw saddle bags to get piano box storage. It also provides easy access to gear.
The tracking is good, so you can handle the kayak without any hassle. The area where this kayak truly shines is comfort. You can spend hours and hours on the Outlaw 11.5 and you won’t sore or feel the need to stretch your legs. The kayak has amazing stability on water which makes it perfect for long fishing adventures. It is in fact so stable that users mention going through Class I and Class II rapids on this kayak while standing.
There is plenty of storage to accommodate your camping gear, fishing gear and other belongings. There are large tank wells both on the front and the rear. The rear tank well secures your gear with bungee cords while the front tank well has a mesh net to secure smaller items and prevent them from falling out. The front tank well is further secured by bungee cords.
The only thing it lacks is dry storage. There is no dry storage hatch like there is in the Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost – although its ability to stay waterproof is questionable. When buying an expensive kayak like this, you would want to have a safe place to keep your cell phone, wallet or camera.
The kayak has a lot of features to add fun to your fishing adventures. It comes with two ‘double barrel’ rod holders that provide easy access to your fishing rods. Its user-friendly design also keeps the rods out of your way when you are paddling. The two double-barrel rod holders can hold up to four fishing rods.
There are many accessory points that make the Outlaw 11.5 perfect for rigging and customizability. Apart from rod holders, there are three solo mount recesses that allow you to add mounts and accessory holders without drilling or riveting holes into the kayak deck.
Apart from the accessory options, the kayak comes with molded-in trays and cup holders to keep snacks, beverages or other belongings handy.
The kayak is easy to transport, although it is not exactly lightweight. On the bottom, there are replaceable skid plates that allow you to drag it on the beach or the ground without worrying about physical damage to the kayak. Sturdy side handles allow you to carry it from one point to the other and load it to your car and vice-versa. The side handles also work as gear tracks, so you get more points to mount your fishing gear.
One thing worth noting about the Perception Outlaw 11.5 is that it is a bit bulky for a solo paddler. So loading or unloading without a kayak cart can be difficult. Another thing is to check your paddle length and pick an appropriate size since the elevated seating is different from what you see in most kayaks.
If you want to save the hassle of paddling for long hours, you can even add a trolling motor to provide automatic thrust to the kayak. Without a trolling motor, paddlers can often spend more time paddling and less fishing.
Overall, the Perception Outlaw is a stable kayak with outstanding levels of comfort and many customizability features. It is easy to handle especially if the currents aren’t too strong. If you want a fast kayak, this is not for you since it rides more like a tank than a speed boat.
- Superior build quality
- Highly stable
- Elevated seating
- Removable, foldable seat
- Supports 425 lbs. of weight
- Fishing mounts and rod holders
- Plenty of storage space
- One can paddle or fish while sitting or standing
- 35 liter cooler can fit if you stow the seat
- Carry handles
- Skid plates
- A bit bulky
- No dry storage
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
It is built with super tough laminate PVC polyester core. The material is sturdy yet lightweight and protects the kayak against abrasion, impact and sunlight. The I-beam floor is one of the most prominent features of the Excursion Pro. It makes the kayak highly stable on water.
The kayak comes with three air chambers that make it safe on water and make it capable of holding large volumes of weight. If either of the air chambers pops, the other two keep the boat floating, hence ensuring water safety. The Excursion Pro is built with 3-ply material that can stand the toughest of conditions and doesn’t get damaged due to gasoline, oil or salt water.
The kayak comes with a high output pump that inflates the kayak at a fast speed. The kayak’s material is able to hold the air at high pressures which brings rigidity and strength to its structure. High pressure spring loaded valves allow you to easily inflate and deflate the kayak.
The kayak comes with two removable skegs that you can attach to improve the tracking and speed of the kayak. These removable skegs also help you tackle deep and shallow water with absolute ease. Two floor mounted footrests also allow paddlers to rest their feet and stay comfortable over long hours. The footrests are adjustable so that paddlers of all sizes feel comfortable once seated inside the kayak.
It comes with two adjustable bucket seats for optimal comfort. The kayak is quite comfortable for long distances and doesn’t leave you sore or cause strain in any body part. The backrest is ergonomically designed to make the seat comfortable. Since the seats are inflatable, they provide a firm back support and soft seat bottom for comfortable rides.
It comes with a removable seat booster to help you elevate the seat to paddle from your preferred position and experience a smooth ride. This is an innovative feature and we usually don’t see it on most inflatable kayaks. To ensure the seats don’t jerk and stay firmly in place, you can lock them using the buckles.
The kayak comes with an integrated drain plug that allows you to drain the water accumulated inside the kayak. This also makes it easy to dry up the kayak after use. Without this feature, you would have to go to the shore disrupting your ride every time the kayak takes on volumes of water.
Another thing we like about the Excursion Pro is its stability. The kayak doesn’t feel tippy, so you can easily get in and out of the kayak. It can accommodate a staggering 400 lbs. of weight.
The good thing is that the kayak is easy to maneuver. There are two skegs under the kayak that make it move in a straight line. You can make turns without any hassle and the kayak will respond promptly to each stroke.
One thing to note is that the aluminum paddles aren’t as solid or sturdy as the rest of the kayak. They do the job but you may want to buy higher quality paddles for a better experience. However, the paddles are foldable so you can fit them into a carry bag. In fact, all of the kayak’s components can be packed in a single carry bag.
Another thing to appreciate about the Excursion Pro is how easy it is to set up. Inside the package, you get everything to get started – the kayak, the seats, inflation pump, removable skegs, and paddles. The kayak also comes with a pressure gauge to help you discern how much air to fill. Without a pressure gauge, you run the risk of overinflating your kayak.
We really appreciate how it rides like a hardshell kayak and has none of the “deficiencies” you hear that are common to inflatables. It is fast, stable and allows you to try many maneuvers. You can rock it, back it up, make turns through waves or simply move fast forward – the kayak will respond smoothly to your every command.
Another positive factor about this kayak is how portable and compact it is despite being large in size. You don’t need to have a huge garage or a car mount, it is easy to carry it along with you anywhere.
Also note that you can easily use an anchor with the kayak. Little things like this add up and show that the Excursion Pro is way better than most of the kayaks in its price segment.
- Multiple air chambers
- Booster seat for elevated seating experience
- Pressure gauge
- Anchor can be attached
- Easy to set up
- Adjustable footrests support all paddlers
- D-rings for more storage
- Supports 400 lbs.
- Easy to maneuver with two removable skegs
- Tracks well
- Drain plug
- Comes with a pump, paddles and a pressure gauge
- Paddles are average in quality
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
If you want a reliable kayak that has a lot of practical features, look no further and go for the Lifetime Tamarack Angler. It is made by a leading industry brand, so you get the best when you buy this kayak.
The Tamarack is made with high density polyethylene polymer that can absorb knocks and dents from boulders and tree branches on the water. The material is so strong that it protects the kayak surface against all kinds of damage. It also provides UV protection, so the kayak material won’t fade, crack or peel due to exposure to the sun.
Apart from its solid build quality, what we really liked is its performance. It tracks well on water and remains super stable. You can easily navigate through waves and make turns since it is quite responsive to each paddle stroke that you make.
The reason it is so stable is that it comes with a flat bottom and stability chine rails. Such hull design is known to impart a lot of stability to a kayak. On top of that, it comes with a molded-in skeg that allows it to track straight and not sway away easily when hit by waves or winds.
What helps it move fast is the sharp bow design. A blunt bow makes a kayak slow, while a sharp one helps slice through water. You can take it on a river and it won’t scrape over rocks and gravel. You can stand on it or sit down, it won’t ever feel tippy.
The Tamarack Angler is super comfortable. The seat bottom and backrest are comfortable even when you are on the water for long hours. This is because they have enough padding and the backrest is adjustable. There are multiple footrest positions you can choose from, which are molded in the kayak deck. The seat position can be locked in using the straps on the backrest. This allows you to sit in the most comfortable position.
The kayak has many features that let you customize and add accessories. This makes it not only suitable for recreation but also for fishing adventures. It comes with three rod holders. There is one swivel rod holder on the right side and two flush mount holders behind the seat.
If you want to take the kayak for fishing, you will be impressed. Multiple customers have reported how the Tamarack is comparable to high-end kayaks when it comes to fishing. To take the comfort up a notch, you can even add your own stadium seat to stay comfortable for long hours while paddling.
The kayak comes with t-handles on the bow and the stern for easy transport. T-handles allow you to drag the kayak to the water all by yourself. It comes with two storage compartments 6 inches each in the front and the rear. So you can bring your camping and fishing gear along with you.
The storage compartments are secured by bungee cords. There are two storage hatches as well – one in the rear and one in the middle – that allow you to keep your stuff dry. This is really great since many kayaks don’t come with dry storage.
Self-bailing scupper holes drain the accumulated water out of the kayak. Paddler keeper allows you to stow the paddle when it is not being used. Two water bottle holders on the kayak deck ensure you always stay hydrated and keep your beverages handy.
The kayak can support 275 lbs. of weight, which isn’t particularly impressive but enough for most average-sized paddlers. It weighs 52 lbs. which is neither too heavy, nor light. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler comes in two options – with or without a paddle.
Finally, Lifetime has excellent customer service. So whenever you have an issue or a query, you can expect a prompt response. The kayak comes with a five year limited warranty to give you peace of mind.
Overall, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler kayak is for you if you love kayaking and want something stable, fun and durable. It is meticulously designed to offer many features within a reasonable price. It is easy to maneuver and lightweight too. It sure doesn’t come with any bells and whistles but it is practical and allows you to have fun!
- Sturdy and Durable
- UV protection
- Excellent stability
- Tracks well
- Skeg for tracking
- Rod holders
- Front and rear tank wells
- Two dry storage hatches
- Multiple footrests
- Paddler keeper
- T-handles for easy transportation
- Fishing rod holders
- Self-bailing scupper holes
- Beverage holders
- Supports just 275 lbs.
- Seat bottom could use more padding
Perception Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
Perception Pescador Pro 12 is a high-quality kayak with a host of features for comfort, maneuverability, storage and performance. If you want to take your fishing game to the pro-level, the Perception Pescador Pro 12 is for you. The kayak doubles as a fishing kayak and a recreational vessel, so no matter which one you want, it will be a great choice. So if you are looking for the best recreational kayak under $1000, the Pescador Pro 12 is an excellent option.
The Pescador 12 Pro is not meant for rapids or ground swells but it does well on lakes, ponds, slow moving rivers and calm coastal waters. It is a perfect way to spend a fun and relaxing evening in the outdoors. The kayak can support 375 lbs. of weight, which is enough for a single paddler and their gear or supplies. This weight capacity is better than many other high-end kayaks in the market.
Made by a premium kayak brand, the Pescador Pro 12 is as durable as they come. It is made with robust polyethylene material that can provide protection against abrasions and impact from rocks and underwater objects. A skid plate on the bottom not only allows you to drag it easily on ground but also protects the kayak keel.
The kayak is constructed as a single piece with leak-proof mechanism to ensure structural strength and prevent water from seeping into the kayak hull. Its built-in buoyancy makes it safe and ensures that it doesn’t swamp. The kayak comes with quick-adjust footrests that allow paddlers of all sizes to fit in.
The adjustable stadium-style seat allows you to stay comfortable. The seat is made with mesh material and designed in lawn chair style to let you cruise and enjoy your time on the water. The best part about the seat is that it can be raised for elevated paddling and lowered for coming into a relaxed position. An elevated position gives you more room to maneuver and allow for better casting. When transporting, the seat can be removed for easy storage and moving.
It comes with big storage compartments both on the front and the rear. These compartments allow you to store camping or fishing gear such as cooler, tackle, etc. The front compartment is covered with a mesh net and both compartments are secured with bungee cords. The front compartment is better suited to keep smaller items since a mesh net protects them from falling out. The kayak also has a cup holder to keep your beverage and stay refreshed while you spend long hours out on the water.
The kayak comes with little dry storage but it is sufficient to keep small items like your cell phone, radio, GPS, or car keys. For dry storage, there is a small storage hatch in the front of the seat. There is another storage hatch behind the seat.
The kayak also comes with integrated accessory rails on each gunwale to attach fish finders, rod holders and other accessories. The kayak also has space to keep batteries and wires stored away neatly. This is a great feature that allows you to customize the kayak as you like.
One downside of the Pescador Pro is that the rod holders aren’t good for holding fishing rods you are actively fishing with. They can hold fishing rods effectively when you are paddling though. We were surprised to see how an established brand could make such a grave mistake with their top selling product.
The good thing is that the kayak performs well. It steers easily and keeps you comfortable even when you are out there on the water for an entire day. It is quite stable so you can get in and out of it without worrying about tipping it over.
The kayak itself weighs 64 lbs. so it is not exactly as lightweight as many other kayaks in the market. But the good thing is that it is not large, so you can use the carrying handles to easily grasp it and transport it from one point to the other.
Overall, the Perception Pescador Pro 12 is a great kayak that offers a lot of comfort, performs well on calm and moderate waters, has plenty of storage and allows you to attach multiple accessories. Although it is primarily used as a fishing kayak, it also doubles as a recreational kayak and allows you to spend quality time outdoors.
- Superior build quality
- 375 lbs. capacity
- Easy to transport
- Can load/unload on car by yourself
- Very stable
- Adjustable footrests
- Large legroom
- UV protection
- Plenty of storage space
- Dry storage hatches x 2
- Easy to maneuver
- Glides smoothly through water
- Integrated gear tracks, accessory rails
- Mesh cover on front tank well
- Adjustable, lawn style, mesh seat
- Rod holders aren’t effective when you’re actively fishing with the rods
Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit on Top Tandem Kayak
If you are looking for a high-quality sit-on-top kayak that can accommodate you and another paddler, the Perception Tribe 13.5 is worth checking out. It is made in the USA adhering to the company’s high standards of production. This kayak is well-suited for having fun on the water. So if you are looking for the best recreational kayak under $1000, give it a look.
The kayak is made from high density polyethylene material that is robust and can protect the kayak against knocks and dents due to impact from external objects like rocks and tree branches. The kayak is made using rotational molding method, in which beads of polyethylene are poured into a mold.
As the mold heats up, it is rotated to ensure the polyethylene goes into every opening or crevice inside the mold. After it returns to room temperature, the product is a one-piece, leak-proof boat.
The kayak is quite robust – it can support a massive 500 lbs. of weight. This weight is usually enough for two adult paddlers as well as some gear. The kayak comes with a skid plate to protect the skeel for damage.
The kayak has t-handles on the bow and the stern and carrying handles on the sides. These handles ensure that you can move the kayak from one place to the other without any hassle.
The kayak isn’t exactly compact or lightweight, so you may or may not need a person to help you to load it on your car and move it to the shore.
The kayak has comfortable seats – the seat bottom has some padding but could use more cushion for longer trips on the water. The seat back is tall and supports your entire back from the tailbone to your upper back. The seat can be folded down for compact storage on your car roof rack.
There are multiple footrests that ensure that you can find a comfortable position no matter how long your inseam is. The knee or thigh areas are molded in an ergonomic shape to reduce friction and optimize comfort while paddling.
The Perception Tribe comes with two tank wells – one on the front and one on the rear. They aren’t very large, but can hold your gear secured by bungee cords. The tank wells on the front and the rear can be used to store coolers, tackle and other gear. There is a dry storage hatch in the front of each seat that allows you to keep small items like car keys or cell phones.
It has scupper holes to automatically drain water out of the kayak. This is a crucial feature without which one would have to go back to the shore, disrupting their ride if too much water were to accumulate inside the kayak.
The Tribe 13.5 is best suited for slow-moving rivers, lakes, ponds and coastal waters with light waves. The kayak comes with a 5 year limited warranty which shows how durable the kayak is and gives you peace of mind when buying.
Overall, the Tribe 13.5 is a practical kayak that comes with a lot of practical features. The only improvement we would like to see is a third seat for a child or a pet.
- Sturdy, made with HDPE material
- Supports 500 lbs
- Adjustable padded seats
- Foldable seats for compact storage
- Beverage holders
- Multiple footrests
- Two tank wells and two dry storage hatches
- Side handles for easy carrying
- Bow and stern toggle handles
- Scupper holes for self-bailing mechanism
- Easy to maneuver
- Long warranty
- A bit too large to be moved by a single person
Pelican Saber 100x Angler Sit on Top Kayak
Perception Saber 100x Angler sit on top kayak is one of the best kayaks you can buy under $1000. The kayak is made with Pelican’s patented Ram-X material that is sturdy enough to absorb impact from external objects. The material is high-quality and will last a long time.
The kayak is lightweight and easy to transport. It comes with carry handles both on the sides of the kayak as well as the front and the rear. The cockpit is spacious and open, so you can get in and out of it easily. This is also because of how stable the kayak is. It is made with multi-chine flat bottom hull design, which gives it superior stability and good tracking. The multi-chine bottom keeps the kayak stable when casting lines or reeling in fish.
Pelican has a unique manufacturing process where they include extra flotation inside the hull of their sit on top kayaks. So you can stay assured that the boat meets the highest of buoyancy standards.
What we really liked is how the kayak just weighs 50 lbs, so you can carry it on your own. This seems like a small thing, but actually few of the kayaks in this segment are this lightweight. So it is a remarkable feature that makes it easy to transport and load onto your car.
The kayak can support 325 lbs. of weight, which is impressive for a one-person kayak. This capacity allows for one paddler along with some camping and fishing gear. The kayak is easy to maneuver and you can take it on your fishing expeditions. It is meant for anglers who are looking for a kayak rich with features.
There is plenty of room for storage too. On the rear is a tank well covered with mesh cover to prevent items from falling out. On the front, there is a 4-inch storage hatch to keep your belongings dry. It also has a storage bag inside to secure your gear.
The kayak comes with many fishing accessories too. The kayak comes with a swivel rod holder, an angler ruler and two flush mount holders. Fishing accessories and mounting points allow you to use the kayak not just for recreation but also for fishing adventures.
The seating is super comfortable since both seat bottom and backrest are padded, and the backrest is adjustable. Having an adjustable seat allows you to lean back when you want and sit straight when you want. You can set the position simply by using the straps attached to the kayak deck.
The kayak comes with a bottle holder to keep you refreshed when paddling for long hours. A paddle tie-down lets you stow the paddle when it is not in use.
Multiple molded footrests allow paddlers of all sizes to fit in. Secure foot braces ensure that your feet don’t slip and stay in place. We like that the company also provides six accessory eyelets so that you can attach your favorite accessories to the kayak. This feature is not available in most kayaks, so this is an added bonus.
Overall, the Pelican Saber 100x Angler is the perfect kayak for those who want to up their game and buy a kayak that can
- Superb build quality
- Sturdy and durable
- Multi-chine hull brings stability
- Hull is made for high buoyancy
- Beverage holder
- Comfortable seat
- Rod holders and angler ruler
- Adjustable backrest
- Fishing accessory points
- 325 lbs capacity
- Easy to maneuver
- Multiple footrests
- Some buyers may need a seat cushion
Sun Dolphin Boss SS Sit-On/Stand On Top Angler Kayak
Are you looking for a high-quality kayak that doesn’t disappoint? Perhaps all the kayaks you have seen till now look ordinary but you fancy owning something not only powerful but also reliable and practical. If this is the case, the Sun Dolphin Boss sit on top is for you. There are many reasons why it is in our top picks.
Sun Dolphins is a trusted name in the kayaks industry, so you know that you’re buying something reliable when you buy a Sun Dolphin. The kayak can be used in many conditions – both calm waters and moderate waves.
The kayak is sturdy and has a gigantic weight capacity for a single paddler. It is made with a high-density fortiflex polyethylene hull. This HDPE material is resistant to external impact and protects the kayak’s body from damage. The material is also UV-stabilized with a protective layer which means the yak won’t fade, crack or peel. However, many users have mentioned how the plastic is not as thick as seen in many of the premium kayaks. Due to this, when the kayak is exposed to the sun for a long time, the plastic heats up and moves more than you would expect. If you are not careful, you can cause a dent into it.
It supports 500 lbs. of weight in total, which means you can bring all your camping gear, fishing gear and other supplies when hitting the water. A huge weight capacity also means you can take the kayak on longer rides or even fishing expeditions, since you can bring a few day’s worth of luggage along with you. In fact, the Sun Dolphin Boss is the cheapest kayak you can buy that has such a high weight capacity.
The kayak is not lightweight, so you will need to buy a kayak cart to transport it from the shore to your car.
The first thing you’d love about the Sun Dolphin SS is its stability. Its hull is made in catamaran design which gives it a lot of stability. The tri-hull design also helps the kayak move in a straight line when paddling. The sit-on style allows you to get in and out easily or jump out quickly for a swim. There is a stand-up assist strap that allows you to get up easily.
You can also stand to fish – standing up on the kayak makes it easier to cast especially over long distances and reel in easily. The kayak is quite wide at 33 inches, so you don’t have to worry about it tipping.
The company has put a lot of attention to detail while making this kayak. The kayak deck is covered with a non-slip layer so that you can comfortably stand on it while fishing. This also makes it easier to get in and out of the kayak as you can have a better grip.
The second thing worth a mention is its elevated seat. You can adjust the seat to a high or low position, as to your liking. If you want to fish, an elevated position can increase your range of view and allow you to cast into farther areas with more accuracy.
Another advantage of the seat is that it can be folded. This really helps when you are transporting the kayak on your car roof or storing it in the back of your SUV. Folded seat allows for compact storage.
The seat is made with mesh material which is comfortable to sit on. The backrest is high, so your entire back feels supported, especially the lower back. This ensures that you don’t get tired or sore when paddling for more than a few hours.
The kayak also has a lot of storage for anglers who love to spend a lot of time on the water. There are two tank wells for storage, one in the front and one in the rear. Both tank wells are secured by bungee cords so that your items stay in place. However, you shouldn’t keep smaller items in the tank wells as they can fall out. The tank wells are large enough to store things like a milk crate or a bucket.
In addition to the tank wells, there are two storage hatches that allow you to keep smaller items in dry storage. You can keep things like car keys, cell phone or wallet. Watertight storage hatches are not seen in many kayaks, so this is a great feature.
The kayak also has a paddle holder that allows you to stow the paddle when the kayak is parked. It also has scupper holes for the self-bailing function – the kayak drains any water that accumulates in the cockpit.
The Boss SS is easy to maneuver – it responds well to each paddle stroke. It remains stable in waves and glides effortlessly on calm waters.
The Sun Dolphin Boss SS kayak comes with carrying handles for easy transportation. There are four handles in total, one on each side, one on the bow and one on the stern. However, the kayak is a bit heavy at 78 lbs of weight and quite long at 12’3” length, so having a single handle on the side may not be as convenient as you think.
The Sun Dolphin Boss SS comes with a lot of fishing accessories. It comes with flush mounted rod holders and a swivel rod holder that allows you to easily hook fishing rods. There are a total of 5 rod holders in total, so you can make the most of your fishing expeditions. Two rod holders are in the front, two are in the rear and one swivel rod holder is mounted on the side. It also has gear tracks that allow you to attach accessories like a fish finder, a transducer, an anchor kit or a camera.
You can even add a trolling motor to it to enjoy automated drive and focus on fishing rather than paddling. The kayak also comes with adjustable foot braces to accommodate paddlers of all sizes. They also allow you to find a comfortable position when you change the seat elevation.
One thing to note is that the dry storage hatches are not as deep into the hull so you cannot store a lot of stuff in watertight storage. If you usually bring a lot of water-sensitive stuff on board, it is better to choose a different kayak.
Another thing to note is that some of the scupper holes are too small to drain water effectively out of the yak. So you may need to do some manual drilling to resolve this issue as the holes can get clogged easily.
Also, the dry storage hatches aren’t completely watertight. Users mentioned that their stuff got damp when put in the hull while paddling.
Overall, the Sun Dolphin Boss SS Angler offers a lot for enthusiastic anglers. It has remarkable stability and large storage that allows you to take it on long fishing adventures. It can be customized with a range of accessories to take your fishing game to the next level.
If you want something more refined with better features, look for the Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 that is more expensive, but has everything a pro-angler wants in a kayak.
- Decent build quality
- Large weight capacity – 500 lbs.
- 5 rod holders
- Gear tracks for adding accessories
- Two tank wells, two dry storage hatches
- Dual seat position, foldable seat
- Non-slip deck pads
- Stand up strap
- Can add a trolling motor for all-day kayaking
- Adjustable foot braces
- Carry handles on the sides, front and rear
- Value for money
- Thin plastic material of the kayak can bend when it gets hot
- Small scupper holes
- Storage hatches aren’t completely watertight
- Heavy and a bit hard to carry with just one handle on each side
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 10-foot Angler
Not everyone wants a kayak that is too big and too complex to handle with ease. If you want something simple yet efficient, that you can bring along with you on a moment’s notice and is easy to carry, the Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 foot angler is the right one for you.
The Yellowfin 100 10-foot angler is lightweight enough for a single paddler to carry. It weighs 57 lbs. and comes with carrying handles to help you easily carry it with you. The deck is slip resistant which makes it easy to fish or padde both when standing or sitting. This also makes it easy to get in and out of the kayak. The kayak has a massive 375 lb. weight capacity, which is impressive for a one-person kayak. It allows you to bring along plenty of gear and add as many accessories as you like.
The kayak has a solid build quality and the moment you first sit in it, you will realize how premium it feels and that it will last a long time. It is made from rotomolded polyethylene material, which molds the kayak into a single piece of leak-proof hard plastic. There is a kneel underneath that helps it perform better than a lot of other kayaks. It also improves its tracking.
One downside is that there is no skid plate to protect the bottom of the kayak. So you will have to be careful when moving it from your car to the water. It will be better to carry it in your hands than drag it on the ground.
The kayak may be lightweight, but it has a large amount of storage space. There is a storage tank well in the rear that holds your items secured by bungee cords. There are two dry storage hatches, one in front of the seat and one near the bow. This is great since you can store items like smartphone, car keys, wallet and cameras in dry condition. The storage hatches are 9-inches in size and come with bag inserts, so you can store a lot of stuff.
There are two 8-inch V-wave deck plates that come with waterproof cargo bags to keep your gear secured. It also has two tackle tray holders that fit Plano 3600 tackle trays. It also comes with a tackle toss tray to manage quick tackle changes.
The kayak also comes with four flush mounted rod holders and a universal mount for fish finder, transducer or other accessories with rectangular base. As you can see, the Yellowfin aims to provide a lot of customization. There are four top-loading gear tracks that allow you to add a number of accessories. There are two side bungee paddle parks that allow you to stow the paddle when not in use.
The kayak scores high when it comes to comfort. It comes with a dual position, ventilated hero seat. Dual position allows you to paddle either at an elevated or a lowered position. Elevated position allows you to have a broader range of view and cast with accuracy. The breathable seat ensures you don’t get hot and sweaty when paddling for long hours.
The kayak comes with four Vibe carrying handles that allow you to transport the kayak from your car to the shore or vice-versa and also allow for easy loading or unloading from your car. It has adjustable foot braces that allow anglers of all sizes to feel comfortable. It comes with a built-in beverage holder that allows you to stay refreshed when you are on the water for long hours.
There are eight scupper holes which serve the kayak’s self-draining function. They drain any accumulated water out of the kayak so that you are not sitting in a pool of water in the middle of nowhere. Scupper plugs are included to ensure that water doesn’t come onto the deck from below.
The Yellow fin Angler is compact yet spacious. There is plenty of space in the cockpit to make yourself comfortable. The rod holders and storage tank wells and hatches are easily accessible.
The kayak is stable in water and you don’t have to worry about it tipping when standing up. After all, this is made for anglers. It is not only well-suited for lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers and calm coastal waters, but it also handles waves, boat wakes and winds with ease. The hero seat functions like a lawn chair and offers a lot of comfort.
The kayak is easy to maneuver but not as fast as some of its counterparts. Since it is not that long, you can turn with a small turning radius. Its maneuverability allows you to navigate through narrow spaces easily. It tracks well and is responsive to each stroke and maneuver. Tracking may suffer when it is too windy, but this can be resolved by adding a rudder.
Overall, the Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 Angler is a quality kayak. It is especially good for those who want something handy to hit the water quickly. It is not too big, easy to carry, customizable, stable, maneuverable and has plenty of storage space. The best part is it can even handle waves and winds despite being compact.
- Superior build quality
- Built-in kneel
- Slip resistant deck
- Massive 375 lbs. capacity
- Stable enough for use while sitting or standing
- Large storage space
- Carrying handles
- Dual position seat
- Easy to load or unload
- Dry storage hatches
- Easy to maneuver
- Good tracking
- Handles waves and winds easily
- Scupper holes for self-draining
- Not as fast as other kayaks
- No skid plate
Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler One-Person Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
The kayak is 13 feet long and is 28 inches wide. Its long and narrow design allows it to slice through water at an amazing speed. But it is not just its speed that makes it appealing, it is designed to be a practical kayak with many useful features. The kayak supports 325 lbs. of weight which is great for a one-person kayak. This capacity not only allows one adult paddler but also leaves room for a lot of cargo.
The sit on top design allows you to have more freedom of movement in the cockpit. The cockpit is large and spacious. You can jump out for a quick swim and climb back in because of the open design.
Although the kayak is narrow, it still has a good level of stability. In fact, its secondary stability is so good that it can easily tackle choppy waters, waves or the ocean. Its narrow hull design allows you to cover long distances without a lot of paddling, hence getting less tired than usual.
There is plenty of room for storage. There is a storage tank well in the rear where you can keep your gear secured by bungee cords. A 6-inch dry storage hatch with a storage bucket in the front allows you to keep your stuff dry and safe. You can keep your belongings safe from water. The storage tank well allows you to store coolers, tackle, crates and bait wells without any hassle.
The hatch allows you to store a whole lot of stuff since it provides access to the whole bow to stern internal storage. The hatch has a click seal lock that allows you to easily open it or close it.
On either side of the kayak, there are paddle holders that let you stow the paddlers when not in use. Two molded-in cup holders keep your coffee ready so that you can feel refreshed on long rides.
The seat is super comfortable as it can be adjusted in four ways. It is made with sturdy nylon fabric and is resistant to damage from UV rays. The brass and stainless steel buckles help you tighten it and keep it in a firm position so that it doesn’t move while paddling. So you can always find a comfortable position no matter what your size or physique type is. It also comes with two flush mounted rod holders to hold your fishing rods so that you can cast accurately from a stable platform.
The kayak is easy to handle and maneuver wells. However, if you want to take it up a notch, you can add a rudder easily using the accessory point given at the stern. Note that the Prowler 13 has excellent tracking, better than most kayaks we have tested in this segment. If you aren’t familiar, tracking is the ability of a kayak to move in a straight line.
Another thing worth a mention is how smoothly the kayak slices through water. Its pointed and narrow design helps it cut through water. If you look at the bow, its bottom is designed in a V-shape to glide through water effortlessly.
You might be wondering – if the kayak is long and narrow, then how is it stable? This is where the Prowler 13 shines. Its stability is due to the design of the kayak – it is 28 inches wide at the center that gives you a stable platform for paddling as well as fishing.
The kayak is fairly lightweight at just 56 lbs. so you can load and unload it from your car on your own. You can carry it to the shore using the handles on the sides. There is a skid plate under the kayak that allows you to drag it on the beach or ground without damaging its body. The side handles allow for easy carrying and the t-handles at the bow and the stern allow you to drag it.
The kayak comes with scupper holes to drain accumulated water. This is a crucial feature without which you may have to sit in a pool of water and take the yak to the shore when there is too much water. Another praiseworthy feature of the Prowler 13 is its scupper holes can allow you to attach a transducer.
When buying from Ocean Kayak, you get a lifetime warranty on the hull and deck of the kayak. If there are any manufacturing defects, they will be covered under this warranty. Note that the Prowler 13 does not come with a paddle, so you will have to buy your own.
One thing to consider is its length. Since it is quite long at 13 feet 4 inches, you will need a kayak roof rack to transport it. You will also need to make space in your garage to keep it.
Overall, the Ocean kayak Prowler 13 is perfect for those who want to upgrade to a high-quality kayak that many of the experienced anglers use. It is the right combination of fast yer stable and has plenty of customization and storage options for it to be your pro-angler kayak. The best thing is how good it is on water, whether you take it on rivers or more testing waves on the ocean.
- Solid build quality
- Fast and nimble
- Lightweight at 56 lbs.
- Good stability
- Two flush mount rod holders
- Impressive tracking
- Two beverage holders
- Side carrying handles
- Four-way adjustable seat
- Click seal hatch for easy opening
- Hatch offers bow to stern hull storage
- Storage hatch and tank well
- Molded in foot braces
- Skid plate
- Lifetime warranty
- Paddle storage
- Optional rudder system
- Not as customizable as other kayaks
Buying Guide for Best Kayaks Under $1000
There are two types of kayaks under the $1000 range – sit-on-top and sit-inside. Both styles have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Sit-on-top vs. Sit-inside
Sit on top kayaks have an open cockpit design which makes it easy to get in and out of them. If the weather allows, you can also jump out for a quick swim and climb back in. Sit-inside kayaks, on the other hand, come with a closed cockpit design that has its own advantages. It protects you from splashes of water and keeps you warm in cold weather. However, getting inside a sit-in kayak requires some skill. You cannot just hop in.
Also, the freedom of movement is restricted since you cannot stand up to fish as many sit-in kayaks are prone to tipping. There isn’t much storage space either.
Sit-on-top kayaks come with dedicated storage space in the form of storage tank wells and dry storage hatches. The best part about sit-on-top kayaks in this segment is that they not only function as recreational kayaks but also double as fishing kayaks. This is because they come with options to attach rod holders, fish finders, camera, transducer and so on.
When buying a kayak, stability is one of the most important things to look for. If a kayak isn’t stable, you cannot enjoy your time on the water. When a kayak is stable, it is easy to get in and out of it, or jump out for a swim. You can confidently stand while paddling or fishing.
Tracking is the kayak’s ability to move in a straight line and not drift or sway on its own. You don’t want to paddle a kayak that moves in a zig-zag manner. It will be no fun.
When spending a couple hours or more on the water, it is important to ensure that you don’t get sore or exhausted due to lack of comfort. First, examine the kayak’s seat for sufficient padding both on the bottom and the backrest. Then check for adjustability – whether you can change the seat position.
Then check for adjustable footrests, whether you can extend your legs and stay comfortable no matter your size. Then check how spacious the kayak is, if it is too narrow, you may feel cramped inside.
Also, check if the kayak has carrying handles on the side to allow for easy transportation. They are essential when you are loading the kayak onto your car and unloading back from it.
Check if the kayak has enough room to store camping or fishing gear. Most sit on top kayaks come with tank wells on the front and the rear where you can keep coolers, tackle and other large items. They also tend to have one or more dry hatches to keep items dry and safe from water. Check if the dry storage hatches are actually watertight because in many cases, they can dampen your cargo.
Check if the tankwells are big or small. Not all kayaks come with large tank wells. Another thing to check is the weight capacity of the kayak. If you need to bring a lot of gear, choose a kayak with a high weight capacity. In this guide, you will find kayaks that can accommodate as much as 500 lbs. of weight.
Kayak Weight and Size
How big and heavy the kayak is determines whether you can transport it on your own or whether you will need help to carry it. If the kayak weighs around 40-50 pounds, you will likely be able to carry it on your own. If the kayak weighs around 80 lbs. or more, you will need a kayak cart to haul it around.
The size of the kayak determines how easy it is to carry but also whether it will fit in the back of your truck or car and your garage. Most kayaks in this price segment are about 10 to 12 feet long. Some are over 13 feet – they require dedicated space for storage. If you don’t have a roof rack on your car, you will need one to store a large kayak.
Speed and Maneuverability
A key factor that can make or break your kayaking experience is the kayak’s maneuverability. Read our product reviews in detail to find whether the kayak responds to each paddle stroke. Find whether you can navigate through narrow spaces and turn on a dime when needed.
Another thing to check is the kayak’s speed. As a thumb rule, when the kayak is long and narrow, it is fast and nimble. When a kayak is wide, it is stable but slow.
If you want to cruise and don’t care about the speed, you can go for a wider kayak that has superior stability. If you cannot compromise on either speed or stability, go for a kayak like the Oceak Kayak Prowler 13 that is fast, nimble and stable.
If you check closely, most of the kayaks in the under $1000 price category are fishing kayaks. They have a lot of customization features – you can attach rod holders, fish finder, transducer, camera etc. They also come with beverage holders or cell phone holders. This option to add accessories can enjoy the experience of paddling in a premium kayak. Check if there is an option to add a rudder.
There are many good kayaks under the $1000 category. To pick the right one for you, read the pros and cons of each kayak carefully. Know what you want the most in a kayak whether it is performance, stability or customizability.
And when you find the right kayak, make sure to buy a personal flotation device, if you don’t have it already.