Best Ocean Kayaks in [year]

So you want an ocean kayak.

But there are so many brands and different types of kayak that finding the right one can be mind-boggling.

That is why we created this guide.

In this guide, we list our top picks for the best ocean kayaks and dive into the pros and cons of each one.

Without further ado, here are our top picks:

Perception Pescador Pilot 12 Ocean Kayak

Riot Escape 9The Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is a solid kayak for the oceans. It is different from other ocean kayaks because it has pedal drive. Pedal drive allows you to cruise all day. The kayak remains stable in waves, choppy water and ocean swells. It comes with a rudder that makes turning easy. The turning radius is tight thanks to the rudder.

The fun part is that the pedal drive can work both in forward motion and reverse. Some users mentioned getting jealous looks while they used the reverse motion in their kayaks. The Pilot 12 sure is a head-turner.

Similar pedal drives ocean kayaks cost a whole lot more than the Pescador Pilot 12. Although you would be surprised to see the price so low for a pedal drive, it sure packs a lot of value and provides everything you’d wish for.

Anytime you feel like paddling, you can turn off the pedal drive. Just make sure you get a 96 inch paddle, given the length and width of the kayak (12’5” x 33.5”).

One thing to note is that the kayak is very heavy at 95 lbs. So you will need a kayak trolley to haul it up to the shore. This also indicates its solid build quality. The kayak can hold a staggering 475 lbs of weight, so you can bring in all your gear and enjoy a long day in the ocean.

The benefit of getting a pedal drive kayak is that you can go much farther than you could go in a paddle kayak and you can go in much rougher conditions. Users mentioned that they could do a 16 mile round trip in just half a day at an average speed of 4 mph.

The alternative is the Hobie ocean kayak, which has a couple better features, but is also a lot more expensive than the Pescador Pilot 12.

Another thing to note is that when stowing, the pedal drive system completely pulls up into the hull on the top of a rubber gasket. So the boat stays secure when you want to park it on the beach.

The boat has amazing stability on water. You can stand on it for fishing and it won’t budge. The chair is made from breathable mesh material which feels comfortable while sitting. It has an ergonomic support system and front/back adjustment that allows you to stay comfortable and find the perfect position to sit. The backrest can be tilted as needed.

If you need to adjust the distance between your leg and the chair, you can move the seat back and forth on the go. Paddle kayaks don’t come with this feature. Note that the seat is also removable, so you can store it easily in your car and put it back onto the kayak when you want to use it.

The kayak is easy to maneuver. On the left side of the chair is the rudder control. It is a small lever that can be set in either left or right position and allows you to make turns. Maneuvering doesn’t get easier than this.

But for maximum benefit out of the rudder, you need to install it properly. You can see the detailed instructions in the manual. The main thing to remember is to make the cables tight. This is the key to make the rudder responsive.

The kayak has built in tracks that allow for easy mounting of rod holders and a fish finder. There is a good amount of storage with the tank wells. It will suit the most demanding angler. The covered storage at the front is easy to access and can hold plenty of items. The rear tankwell comes with bungee cords to secure your gear. The front storage area has a mesh cover that can be removed to keep your items.

The downside is that there is no dry storage in the boat despite it being a high-end model. You will have to use dry bags for everything such as phone, wallet or food items. Another noteworthy thing a user mentioned is that the seat is designed to be in a slightly reclined position by default. So you cannot set it to a fully upright position when needed. However, this could be a subjective concern since most users felt that the seat was great.

The kayak tracks well and the rudder makes it easy to turn it anywhichway you want. Another thing to note is to distribute the weight of your gear evenly in the kayak. The kayak itself is quite balanced, so if you put too much weight on one side, it will be unstable.

The Pescador Pilot 12 has great customization options. Customization is something that not all kayaks offer, but makes a kayak much more enjoyable. This kayak has a universal mounting rail system, on either side of the kayak. You can access it sitting in your captain chair. It doesn’t get better than this.

If you are wondering whether to get a pedal drive kayak or a traditional, manual kayak, you need to understand the core differences between the two first. The pedal drive kayak has mechanical components like a rudder and a propulsion system that offer great benefits but are also prone to technical fault.

On the other hand, a traditional paddle kayak is lightweight in comparison and almost maintenance free when compared to pedal drive kayaks.

Pros

  • Pedal drive makes things easy and fun
  • Adjustable seat
  • Rudder for easy maneuvering
  • Great stability
  • Forward and reverse motion
  • Switch to paddling when you want
  • Customizable: universal mount rail
  • Tracks well
  • 475 lbs capacity
  • Plenty of storage with lid and with bungee cords

Cons

  • No dry storage
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Perception Rambler 13.5 Ocean Kayak

Riot Escape 9Perception Rambler 13.5 is a versatile kayak that can let you have a lot of fun on the ocean. Made in America, the Rambler is 13.6 inches in length and 34 inches wide. It is not a lightweight kayak by any means since it weighs 78 lbs.

The Rambler is designed in such a way that it is perfect for all skill levels – whether you are a beginner or a seasoned kayaker.

It is by no means a lightweight kayak. It weighs 78 lbs, so you would need a kayak cart or trolley to haul it around. The Rambler is good enough for ocean bays, lakes and slow rivers. It has an amazing build quality – the boat can support a staggering 550 lbs. of weight.

The Rambler 13.5 is super comfortable. It comes with a cushioned seat and an adjustable back support. In the front, there is enough space to extend your legs. Multiple footwells make the kayak comfortable for people of all heights.

It comes with a molded-in center seat that can accommodate a kid or a dog. Paddling becomes more fun when you have someone to share the joy with. This is why the Perception Rambler is such a great option – it is a tandem kayak and has a third seat for bringing a dog or a baby.

The Rambler has decent room for storage. There is a tankwell in the rear secured by bungee cords. Yet, users felt the space lacking, especially with no dry storage compartment to keep a phone, wallet or food items.

The company has built molded-in carry handles on the front, rear and side. So you can easily carry the kayak but would still need help because of its weight. Keep in mind that the kayak doesn’t come with a paddle. This isn’t a drawback, since many high-value kayaks don’t.

Note that the kayak doesn’t come with pad eyes for the middle seat. You will have to buy your own, which may not be clear from the product page.

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • 550 lbs. capacity
  • Two seats + third molded-in center seat
  • Multiple footrests
  • Carrying handles
  • Removable seat
  • Good for lakes, rivers, ocean bays
  • Tracks well
  • Stable
  • Adjustable back support

Cons

  • No pad eyes
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Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak

Riot Escape 9Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Sport Kayak has many features that make it our top pick for ocean kayaks.

The amazing thing is that the kayak has a 650 lb capacity. It accommodates up to three adults and still weighs just 32 lbs when inflated. So when you are out kayaking with friends, it will be easy to carry.

Since it is an inflatable kayak, people often wonder whether it can really perform to a good level. Well, the good news is that the Sea Eagle 370 can even ride in up to class III whitewater. If you are wondering what class III whitewater entails, it consists of waves up to four feet and narrow passages that send the kayak shimmying and water gushing over its sides. As you can see, the 370 Pro can take you through a high-level of excitement.

The kayak comes with two skegs on the bottom that improve its tracking and speed. Not many ocean kayaks come with skegs and that affects their ability to move in a straight line.

One thing we liked is how spacious the kayak is. The paddles that come along with it are collapsible and work well. The paddles are lightweight and sturdy. Each paddle comes in four pieces and all pieces float – so if accidentally dropped in water, you have nothing to worry about. The seats come with storage pockets on the back and have a quick-snap button to close/open them.

You also get a repair kit, an inflation chart to fill it up to accurate levels of air, an inflation pump. The inflation pump is good but it is a foot pump and takes about 15-20 minutes to fully inflate the kayak. However, the pump works really well.

A great advantage of buying the Sea Eagle SE370 is that you get two 7’10” paddles with it, with asymmetrical blades and an aluminum shaft. It comes with a drain valve so that you can easily drain the accumulated water out of the kayak.

Since it is an inflatable kayak it is easy to transport. Once deflated, you can just fold it and throw it in the car trunk. You don’t need a roof rack or kayak cart. This is not just convenient but also a cost-saver.

The kayak performs really well on water. Even in open ocean with a couple foot swells, moderate current, moderate winds or choppy waters, the kayak stays stable and tracks well. This is no small feat since even many hardshell kayaks lose their tracking when confronted with challenging conditions on the water. The kayak is super comfortable even for long rides.

The kayak is easy to set up despite being a heavy-duty boat. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to get started once you take it out from the back of your car. The PVC material that the boat is made of is sturdy and thick.

One thing to be careful about is checking if the inflation caps are secure in place. Otherwise your seat could get loose if the cap happens to rub against something.

Another thing to make sure is to dry the kayak with a towel after deflation. Otherwise you will get mildew over it. Keeping towels in your car and a big sponge can be handy when you are done kayaking and preparing the kayak for storage.

The best part is that the kayak holds its value after years of use. Even after years of use, it holds the air pressure consistently and delivers well.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty
  • Holds value over the long-term
  • Comfortable
  • 3-person capacity
  • Tracks well
  • Stable
  • Paddles included
  • Does well in rough weather and waters
  • Easy to set up and fold
  • Compact storage
  • Budget friendly
  • Great storage capacity

Cons

  • Inflatable, so takes time during inflation and deflation/drying
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Perception Hi Life 11 Sit on Top Ocean Kayak

Riot Escape 9The Perception Hi Life 11 Sit on Top is one of the best kayaks you can buy for the ocean. This is for many compelling reasons. This kayak is made for slow moving and flat waters. So you cannot ride it in big waves in the ocean but can take it on calm coastal waters.

Since this is a SUP kayak hybrid, its design is different from the other kayaks mentioned in this guide. Its design allows you to use it in many ways and have more fun. The front and rear swim decks allow easy re-entry if you slip in the water or jump for a quick swim. There are hand grabs on the sides to make this easier. They also help with easy transportation.

The boat is 11 inches wide and weighs 55 lbs. So depending on your physique, you may/may not need a cart/trolley to transport it to and from your car. The seat has an elevation that allows you to paddle with ease. The backrest can be folded down for easy storage or transportation. What we really liked though, is the thick padding all over the boat’s deck. If you take kids or a pet along, they can comfortably stand on the deck and have fun.

The kayak performs well on water. It has a removable fin underneath that helps move it straight through water. There is a seat cooler underneath to store your beverages, food items and other supplies.

The boat also comes with a gear track that you can use to mount your phone, camera, speakers and fishing gear. This also helps with carrying the kayak from the side. There is a beverage holder too, in case you want to sit back and enjoy a drink. It has carry handles not just on the sides, but also one in the center to help with transportation.

Overall, the Hi Life 11 hybrid is an attention grabber. It allows you to paddle while standing or sitting in a comfortable seat. It doesn’t have the best tracking as it can sway easily with incoming waves. This is why it is best suited for calm waters.

Another downside is the elevated seat. Sure it makes paddling easier, but it also exposes you physically to splashes of water and makes you susceptible to getting wet. Also note that it takes constant paddling to move straight when you are paddleboarding. This means it would take considerable effort to paddleboard with this SUP kayak hybrid.

Finally, we would have liked the cup holder to have a lid so that your drink has a better chance to stay in place.

What users really like though is the stability. You can have your kids rock on this boat back and forth and it will still stay steady. You can do fishing both standing and sitting. What differentiates the Hi Life from regular kayaks is how fun and versatile it is. The platform is user friendly with a cooler to store items and cushioned deck to stay comfortable. There is nothing like this that can convince your family or friends to go kayaking with you.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Versatile and fun
  • Stable
  • Plenty of storage
  • Cooler
  • Carrying handles
  • Sit or stand option
  • Comfortable seat
  • Superior stability

Cons

  • Sways easily
  • Elevated seat can get you wet from splashes
  • Not made for riding in waves or ground swells
  • Not lightweight enough to carry by yourself
  • Tracking isn’t great
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Perception Pescador Pro 10 Fishing Ocean Kayak

Riot Escape 9Perception Pescador Pro 10 is a high quality kayak that comes with many fascinating features. It is well built with one-piece construction that makes it leak proof. It also gives it buoyancy for added safety.

The boat has a comfortable mesh seat that can be adjusted in up to two levels. The lawn chair type breathable mesh seat makes the kayak perfect for long kayaking or fishing sessions.

The kayak comes with plenty of storage. There is a rear tankwell and a front tankwell both secured by bungee cords. Also, there is enough space to keep a cooler, tackle or other gear. If you want to relax while paddling, simply lower the seat. If you want optimum casting, raise the seat. The company has clearly put a great attention to detail. The kayak gives you a really stable ride so you can enjoy every bit of it.

The kayak is fairly easy to carry and you can do so without anyone’s help. The plastic indents are effective and allow you to transport the kayak easily to and from your car. It is a light boat, so transportation or storage isn’t going to be an issue. The kayak doesn’t come with scupper holes to drain the accumulated water. Nor does it come with a paddle holder to secure the paddle when you’re taking a break.

This boat is made for fishing. It has gear tracks, a console for fish-finder, and two molded-in rod holders that allow for hands free rod storage. The company has provided all the accessories you need for your fishing adventures on each gunwale. There is a skid plate on the rear that allows you to drag the kayak without worrying about potential damage.

It comes with quick-adjust footrests that accommodate paddlers of all sizes. The kayak is not made for waves or ground swells. It performs its best in lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers and calm coastal types.

Overall, the Pescador Pro is great fun on water. It provides stability and comfort while delivering an impressive performance. The removable camp seat makes it easy for fishing standing up or while sitting. It is short in length and light in weight which makes it easy to maneuver and transport.

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Adjustable mesh seat
  • Leak proof
  • Accessories for fishing
  • Quick-adjust footrests
  • Stable and comfortable
  • Carry handles for easy transportation
  • Lightweight
  • Rear and front storage
  • Easy to maneuver

Cons

  • No paddle holder
  • No scupper holes
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Perception Joyride 10 | Sit Inside Kayak for Adults and Kids

Riot Escape 9If you are looking for a kayak that not just looks good, but performs well on water, you should consider the Perception Joyride 10.

The kayak is well built – you will feel it the first time you ride it. It is, in fact, heavier than most budget kayaks out there. It can support 275 lbs. of weight which is enough for a single paddler and some additional gear.

The kayak has a long list of interesting features but it doesn’t come with a drain plug. This makes things difficult when you want to dry up the kayak for storage or drain the accumulated water inside. However, it can be easily fixed by drilling a hole yourself.

Unlike many other ocean kayaks, it comes with carry handles that allow you to easily transport it from your car to the water and back. The carrying handles aren’t flimsy like in many other kayaks and can even be used to lock the kayak for safety when needed. The rear storage compartment is large enough to store a range of gear and supplies. It is also completely waterproof.

It comes with adjustable footrests so that paddlers of all sizes can fit in. We really liked the seating system on the Joyride 10. The seats have thick and ventilated padding to keep your fresh and comfortable at all times.

The seat backrest is adjustable so you can find the best position to stay comfortable in. The cockpit rim has thigh pads to ensure frictionless contact with the kayak surface. It also helps you stay in a comfortable position when making different kinds of paddle strokes.

The kayak has a storage hatch with a lid in the rear. You can store things like your jacket, a bilge pump or fishing gear in this compartment. Not many kayaks come with storage compartments with a lid. So this is awesome.

The kayak is designed such that the bulkhead wall provides a storage compartment in the rear part of the kayak for storage. This is great since it provides a lot of space to store gear and supplies. The bulkhead is not just for storage, it also provides buoyancy – which helps the boat stay afloat in challenging conditions.

There is a beverage holder in the front that keeps your drink accessible. There are two accessory mounting points in the front that can help you customize this kayak for fishing adventures. There is also storage space tied up with bungee lashes to secure your gear.

The kayak is made with impeccable attention to detail. There is a slot in the front that holds your smartphone for clicking selfies and viewing anything interesting on your smartphone screen. But wait, there is more. The stepped ledges serve as a design improvement and help you adjust the viewpoint of the screen.

The kayak performs really well on water. It stays centered as you paddle through calm waters or mild waves. It is not the fastest kayak, but it is certainly fun, as its name suggests. Its seat is better than most ocean kayaks which allows you to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Overall, the Joyride is a practical kayak with a super comfy seat, a variety of accessory points in the front and large space for open and waterproof storage.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Comfortable, adjustable seat
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Plenty of storage
  • Storage hatch with lid
  • Carrying handles
  • Accessory mounting points
  • Beverage holder
  • Bulkhead for buoyancy
  • Selfie slot
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Durable
  • Stable

Cons

  • No drain plug
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Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak Kayak 10-Foot

Riot Escape 9The Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in recreational kayak is for those who want a lightweight and practical kayak for the ocean. The kayak is lightweight and easy to carry. It has t-handles both on the front and the rear, so that you can easily haul it around. It weighs just 36 lbs. so you can easily carry it without needing help.

The seat on this kayak is super comfortable. It has an ergo foam backrest with seat cushion to keep you comfortable for long paddling sessions. It comes with molded in footrests that accommodate paddlers of all sizes.

The kayak is made with a V-chine hull design. Because of this, the kayak is easy to maneuver and tracks well on the water. You can feel that it responds to each paddle stroke, which allows you to enjoy paddling and make turns or strokes more accurately.

The kayak looks sleek with its sharp curvy design but it is also made for practical use. There are storage compartments both on the front and the rear. The front storage has a lid on it to keep your belongings safe from water. The rear storage keeps your gear secured by bungee cords. The front storage bin, however, is too far in the front, to be accessible while paddling. Nor can you step in the front while on water to access supplies since it can tip over the kayak.

Note that the cockpit isn’t as open and wide as in other kayaks listed in this guide. So getting in and out of the kayak may be difficult in the beginning and take time to get used to.

The kayak is designed to not just keep you comfortable but also entertained. It has a cockpit table in the front with a beverage holder, molded footrests, foot braces to secure your feet and a drain plug that evacuates accumulated water out of the kayak and helps keep it dry.

It is worth noting that the kayak can be a little tippy because of its long and narrow design. However, you will learn to handle it with time. Moderating the amount of pressure you put on paddle strokes will help with stability. Also keep in mind that the kayak can easily sway with gusts of wind or waves, so it will take some level of skill to keep it stable. If you are a beginner, it is best to take this kayak on calm rivers or still coastal waters.

Since the kayak is lightweight, you can take it off your car and load it in by yourself. The kayak can be easily cleaned with a sponge and dish soap. The dirt doesn’t stick or get stuck into hidden crevices or corners, so maintaining this kayak is super easy.

It tracks well on water and doesn’t require much effort to move in a straight line, especially if you take it out on calm waters. For a kayak without a drop-down keel, its tracking is really good.

The stability of the kayak is a slight issue, so you can’t expect to rock back and forth on it and not tip over. The seat is positioned above the water level, which helps with paddling angle and allows you to stay dry if water accumulates inside the kayak. The sides of the kayak have soft molded strips to ensure there is no friction when your knees rub against the sides.

A downside is that the storage compartments fill with water as soon as you paddle into oncoming waves. This means that the storage areas aren’t waterproof although the company advertises them as such.

The front storage isn’t easy to use as the bungee cord opens from the front of the kayak instead of the rear part of the storage compartment, which is accessible to the paddler. We really wish the company had paid more attention to detail.

What we didn’t like is the huge space in the bulkhead that can hold water and swamp the kayak easily. You can stuff pool noodles into the bulkheads to resolve this issue. The styrofoam inserts that come with the kayak don’t do a good job of keeping it buoyant.

Overall, this is a great kayak if you don’t want to take it on choppy waters or windy weather as it is prone to tipping in those conditions. Other than that, the kayak has well-rounded features and decent storage. Its seat is more comfortable than most entry-level ocean kayaks.

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Comfortable seat
  • Lightweight, easy to transport
  • Carrying handles
  • Adjustable backrest
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Front and rear storage
  • Drain plug to remove accumulated water
  • Beverage holder
  • Molded footrests
  • Good leg room
  • Value for money
  • Tracking is good

Cons

  • Prone to tipping
  • Storage isn’t waterproof or accessible
  • Open bulkheads affect buoyancy
  • Requires a skilled paddler to handle it in waves or winds.
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Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

Riot Escape 9The Sea Ghost 130 stands out from regular ocean kayaks because it offers the right combination of speed and stability. The Sea Ghost isn’t cheap, but it is definitely worth the price you pay. It is sturdy and durable. The Sea Ghost can haul up to 550 lbs. of load, including the paddler’s weight and luggage.

Its stability is remarkable. So if you want to do fishing, you can either stand or sit, without worrying about it tipping over. In fact, users mention sitting on the bow of the Sea Ghost 130 with their feet in water to soak in the hot summer. Onlookers are going to notice its stability since it stands out among other kayaks.

The deck is slip resistant and comfortable to stand on. Pro anglers would love this well-engineered kayak.

The Sea Ghost 130 is made with super stable rotomolded single piece polyethylene. This material is sturdy enough to protect the kayak from accidental impact. The pontoon style hull design makes it easy to maneuver and gives it speed and agility. There are 10 scupper holes that automatically drain the accumulated water out of the kayak.

Most kayaks do one thing good – either they are fast and tippy or they are slow and stable. The Sea Ghost does it all. Its sleek hull allows you to move fast through water and enjoy nimble tracking. It has a toe controlled rudder that allows you to conserve energy and get through challenging conditions with ease. Having a rudder means you don’t have to use complex techniques to steer the kayak when you’re hit by incoming waves. It helps you with tracking, although the boat is designed such that tracking is great even if rudder is stowed away.

This kayak is as comfortable as they come. Its hero seat can be adjusted in two positions so that you can stay comfortable even during long paddling sessions.  If you are a previous kayak owner, you will feel the difference of comfort in your back and hips. There are four carrying handles that allow you to easily transport this boat from and to your car. Adjustable foot braces allow paddlers of all sizes to fit in. It comes with a cup holder to keep a beverage. It also has an easy access paddle park to store the paddle when not in use.

The Sea Ghost comes with a range of accessories to make your rides fun and versatile. There are various gear mounting options you can use. It comes with two flush mounted fishing rod holders, a universal mount for fish finder or other rectangular accessories mount, six top-loading gear tracks to help you customize the kayak as per your preferences and two side bungee paddle parks.

Storage is an important factor for recreational kayakers as well as anglers. Fortunately, it comes with a host of storage options, all designed to make things easy for you. There is a large storage tank well in the rear where your gear can stay secured with bungee cords.

Similarly, there is a large storage area in the front that is secured with a flex-top gear cover with integrated paddle park that is easily accessible. It has a dual-hinge console which is watertight, accommodates cargo bags and has a magnetic tackle tray. The magnetic tray allows you to place metal objects and it keeps them from sliding off the tray surface.

Water tight bags allow you to store car keys, cell phones or similar items. Inside the hull, there is enough space to store a number of items including rods, reels and camping supplies.

It also comes with an eight-inch deck plate with waterproof cargo bags to keep gear safe from water. There are two tackle tray holders and a tackle toss tray for quick tackle changes. As you can see, the storage options on the Sea Ghost are more comprehensive than any other kayak on this list.

You can carry along a slot of stuff including camping items, beach chairs, coolers and fishing gear. The best part is that it doesn’t shy away from standing waves or winds, it chews them up and hardly any water comes over the bow. We love the storage compartments because they are waterproof and offer a lot of features to haul up different kinds of gear.

Finally, the Vibe Kayaks company offers responsive customer service. Some users even mentioned getting coupons way before their sale periods upon request. The kayak is shipped in layers of fibre blanket, bubble wrap and heavy plastic to make sure your new kayak is free from damage.

Overall, the Vibe Kayaks Ghost 130 is the best all-rounder ocean kayak in the market. It offers an unparalleled set of features, which combined with its stability, tracking, extensive storage and performance, and ability to go through rough waters, make it a superior product.

Pros

  • Superior build quality
  • Good for big and heavy people
  • 550 lbs capacity
  • Toe-controlled rudder
  • Fishing rod holders
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Excellent tracking and stability
  • Fast and nimble
  • Feature-rich
  • Good for fast currents or winds
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Sufficient storage space
  • Gear mounts

Cons

  • Rear storage compartment isn’t exactly waterproof
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Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Riot Escape 9Ocean Kayak Malibu is another option for those looking for a quality ocean kayak. It is a two-person kayak and accommodates two paddlers with a third space for a child or a pet. It is quite long at 12 feet and can accommodate 425 lbs of weight. This weight capacity shows how sturdy and durable it is.

The kayak is easy to get in and off. Seating is comfortable with adjustable seats that can be adjusted in four positions. The seats don’t have a lot of cushion but are still better than typical molded seats. The seats are removable which helps with transportation and storage. It also allows you to use the kayak as a solo paddler. If you don’t have any back issues, the seats will be just good enough for you.

It has multiple footwells that allow the paddler to sit in the most comfortable position. The company has actually secured a patent for its overlapping footwell design. The sit on top design allows you to easily get off and in the kayak. If you want to jump in the water for a quick swim, the sit on top design makes it easy.

The kayak has molded-in carrying handles that help with transportation. The kayak weighs 57 lbs. but many users still reported being able to load it on the top of their cars by themselves. However, you will need a kayak cart to transport it from one place to the other. It also has skid plates so you can slide it on the ground to carry it by yourself.

The Malibu Two performs really well. It tracks well and stays stable. One thing that contributes to its stability is its width. This is especially good for beginners since they can get inside the kayak and try different paddle strokes without worrying about it tipping over.

The kayak is the jack of all trades, if not necessarily the master of any. It provides a stable platform to paddle while standing or sitting, it has a versatile deck and a solid hull that allows you to move in a straight line. It can handle the wind and doesn’t get pushed around easily. If you use it for a solo ride, there is sufficient space to stage rods and keep gear on the deck. However, when used in tandem, it leaves no room for you to store any gear or supplies except in the molded-in space for hatches – which is a bummer.

The Malibu Two is a classic because it has been a bestseller for more than 20 years. The kayak is so well-made that it can last as long as 20 years and still hold up fine. The kayak stays really stable even in rough choppy waters. Not many kayaks can be this stable.

It has a drain plug to remove the water accumulated inside the cockpit. If you want a kayak that you can take out in the water with your family aboard, the Malibu Two is a serious contender. To make it more usable, you can add more deck loops and pad eyes. This will allow you to mount accessories and use it in a variety of ways.

Since the seating position is high on this kayak and it is quite wide, you will need big paddles with the Malibu Two – think something around 250 cm long. One downside of this kayak is the lack of dry storage space – there is no closed storage compartment to store your wallet, smartphone or other valuables safe from water.

The best part is that the kayak is easy to handle and tracks really well. One user mentioned how their young daughter learned to steer it quickly and used it without any hassle.

Overall, the Malibu Two is a premium quality ocean kayak available at an affordable price. When used in tandem, it provides a way to have fun with your friends or family. When used as a solo, it converts into a roomy and versatile kayak you can use for relaxation and adventure.

Pros

  • Superior build quality, can last decades
  • Tandem or solo use
  • Third seat option for kid or pet
  • Four-way adjustable seats
  • Multiple footrests
  • Easy to board sit-on-top design
  • Stable
  • Tracks well
  • Supports 425 lbs
  • Molded-in carrying handles
  • Large storage when used as a solo

Cons

  • No storage when used in tandem
  • Gear straps aren’t effective
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10. Ocean Kayak Frenzy One-Person Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Riot Escape 9Another brilliant product from Ocean Kayaks, the Frenzy one-person sit on top is a compelling option. It is stable in calm waters and fun in the surf. It is made with a Tri-form hull that provides excellent primary and secondary stability.

If you aren’t familiar with these terms, primary stability is the measure of a boat’s stability when it is at rest on water. The secondary stability is its measure of stability when it is pushed from one side to the other. The kayak has a long center keel underneath that ensures that tracking is good.

The kayak’s seat is comfortable and four-way adjustable. So you can always find a comfortable position to sit regardless of your physique type. The Frenzy has a lot of room for storage, so you can bring all the gear you need. It has a storage tank well in the front, one in the rear secured by bungee cords. There are molded carrying handles on either side that allow for easy transportation. They aren’t flimsy like many other kayaks in the market.

The boat is 9 ft long and 43 pounds in weight. It is compact enough to be stored in the back of your car. Despite being lightweight, it supports a staggering 325 pounds of weight. If you were looking for a small but sturdy kayak, the Ocean Frenzy is the one to go for. The weight capacity allows you to bring your kids along, given that they are mature enough to sit still.

We liked the attention to detail that went into the construction of the Ocean Frenzy. Its finishing is remarkable, better than a lot of entry-level kayaks out there. The stitching on the padded seat is finished well too. The kayak tracks well on water. Even when you make large paddle strokes, it doesn’t sway and keeps moving in a straight line.

Its stability is off the charts. You can take it into ocean waves or ground swells and it will stay steady. In fact, it will be extremely hard to tip it over. You don’t have to postpone your trip whether it is windy out there or the waters are choppy – the frenzy can take it all.

The kayak comes with a lifetime warranty on the hull. So you can rest assured your investment will last a long time. A downside we noticed is that the kayak has no dry storage space, so you cannot store your smartphone, camera or car keys safe from water. Another drawback is that the footwells are slightly narrow, which may be problematic if you are big in size. However, on the positive side, there is enough leg room even for plus sized people.

The scupper holes near the footwells can bring in some water, although not much. It would be easier for you with scupper plugs installed in that area.

Pros

  • Robust construction
  • Superior stability
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Beginner friendly
  • Tracks well
  • Four way adjustable seats
  • Front and rear storage
  • Carrying handles
  • Easy to carry
  • Plenty of legroom
  • Stays steady in rough waters
  • Lifetime warranty on hull

Cons

  • No dry storage
  • Footrests are slightly narrow
  • May be too snug for plus-sized people
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How to Choose the Right Ocean Kayak – Buying Guide

Length

Kayak length can impact a lot of things. For one, long and narrow kayaks are faster than short and wide kayaks. Second, longer kayaks are harder to transport and may not fit in the back of your car like shorter lake kayaks.

Hull Width

The bigger the length, the more is the speed. Similarly, the wider an ocean kayak is, the more stable it is. This can help you to navigate challenging conditions easily. The increased stability of wider kayaks however comes at a cost. The cost is reduced speed.

So if you are a beginner and want stability above all, look for a wide kayak. If you have good paddling skills to stay stable on rough waters and want the best performance, look for a long and narrow kayak.

Tracking

Maneuvering a kayak on the ocean is a different ballgame. Although there aren’t obstacles like tree branches or rocks, you can still get deterred by waves and strong currents. To help overcome these obstacles, you need an ocean kayak that has good tracking. Some kayaks come with skegs, others come with a rudder for easy maneuvering.

Build Quality

Like it is with any other product, the build quality of a kayak can impact how well it functions and how long it lasts. From the building material, its strength and durability, to the stitching on the seats and other areas, the right ocean kayak will have superior construction to ensure the kayak not only performs well but also lasts long.

Comfort

An ocean kayak shouldn’t just be fast, durable and easy to handle. You can only enjoy the other features if the kayak is comfortable. So make sure it has a comfortable seat with good padding or cushion. Check if it has multiple footrests for paddlers of all sizes. Check if it has thigh pads on the sides to ease friction while paddling. Check if the storage areas are easily accessible.

Carry handles are an essential comfort feature that allow you to carry the kayak from one point to the other. Another thing that adds comfort is the ability to customize a kayak. Check whether the kayak has rod holders and mounting points for fishing accessories.

Storage

When kayaking on the ocean, you will need plenty of space not just to sit comfortably, but also to bring along your gear and supplies. If you plan to use the kayak for fishing, having ample space becomes even more important. Whatever the case, check whether the kayak has enough storage space.

Check whether the storage compartments are secured well or whether water can easily enter those compartments. Having at least one waterproof storage compartment makes things easier.

Most kayaks have tankwells at the front and the rear, that are usually secured by bungee cords. Some come with a compartment with a waterproof lid on it. Some have dry storage hatches to store smaller items like cellphones, car keys and cameras. Some have underseat storage as well.

Stability

A kayak should be stable so that it doesn’t capsize easily when challenged by mild waves or wind. To see if the kayak does well on the ocean, check for its secondary stability. Secondary stability is the ability of a kayak to stay in place when pushed from side to side.

Size and Weight

The weight and size of the kayak determines ease of transportation and storage. Check your own weight plus the estimated weight of the gear you will be carrying. Ensure that the ocean kayak you’re buying meets your weight requirements. Heavier boats are also hard to carry by yourself. If this is the case, you will need a kayak cart to move it from your car to the water.

Final Thoughts

There are many ocean kayaks in the market. But not all are worth your money.

Use this guide to check whether a kayak has the features you are looking for.

Want our top recommendation? Go for the Perception Pescador Pilot 12 Ocean Kayak. It has advanced features like pedal drive, rudder and reverse motion that give it the best-in-class maneuverability. It also has customizability features like a mount rail that you can use to attach your accessories.