Best Recreational Kayaks: 2021 Edition

Best Recreational Kayaks of 2021

  1. Oru Beach LT Kayak
  2. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
  3. Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5
  4. Old Town Vapor 10
  5. Perception Swifty Deluxe 9.5

Best Recreational Kayaks for 2021

1. Oru Beach LT Kayak

Oru Kayak was started to make the outdoors more accessible—and the Beach LT accomplishes that goal. Its fully-foldable nature makes it so easy to transport and, once you get the hang of it, set up time only takes about 5 minutes! Check out the deets:

Oru Beach LT info:

  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Length: 12 feet Width: 28″
  • Cockpit: 25″ by 48″
  • Storage: 140 liters
  • Max paddler height: 6’6″
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Kayak box: 33″ by 12″ by 29″
  • Set-up time: 5 to 10 minutes

This kayak is perfect for beginners and recreation, but doesn’t compromise speed and agility, and is best for day trips on smooth bodies of water.

What do Oru Kayak customers have to say?

Oru Kayak Reviews

oru kayak reviews
Oru Kayak reviews

Fun fact: I own this kayak and absolutely love it. It fits perfectly in the trunk of my Toyota RAV4 and offers more than enough room for me and my dog (and sometimes my nephews.) My one disclaimer is that if you go with Oru, be prepared for set-up to take a lot longer than 5-10 minutes your first few tries. It took me about 4 or 5 uses to really get the hang of unfolding and re-folding my Oru, but once I did, it was a piece of cake.

2. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a lightweight, easily transportable kayak perfect for beginner kayakers. The Aruba 10 is best for rivers and lakes, and is super budget-friendly.

The Aruba 10 comes in several colors, which offers some personalization you don’t get with many other brands. Its high-density polyethylene construction is fortified with UV protection, which means whichever color you end up choosing won’t fade in the sun.

Check out the deets:

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 info

  • Small, lightweight recreational kayak for easy transport and storage
  • Large cockpit and stable construction
  • Adjustable seat and thigh guards for comfort
  • Affordable option for new paddlers
  • Product Dimensions: 120 x 30 x 13 inches
  • Product Weight: 40 lbs

What do Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 customers have to say?

Sun Dolphin Kayak Reviews

sun dolphin kayak reviews
sun dolphin kayak reviews

3. Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5

Sit-on-top kayaks are becoming more and more popular among recreational kayakers because of their ease of use paddle-friendliness. Enter Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5, the king of sit-on-top kayaks.

The Malibu’s wide-open deck can accommodate even the tallest of paddlers and has storage for days. Store your gear in the oversized stern with shock-cord webbing or in the QuickStash dry hatch.

Are you more into performance? If so, you’ll love the super stable hull that cuts through waves like butter. You’ll also be pretty comfortable on the Malibu since it has multiple foot molds, a high-back seat, and convenient cupholder. Check out the deets:

Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5 info

  • Ample storage space in both bow and stern
  • Bow and stern handles, as well as side-mounted handles for easy carrying
  • High-back seat and multiple foot channels for top notch comfort
  • Product Length: 11′ 5″
  • Product Weight: 59 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 360 lbs

What do Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5 customers have to say?

Ocean Kayak Reviews

ocean kayak reviews
ocean kayak reviews

4. Old Town Vapor 10

Old Town kayaks have an amazing reputation, and the Vapor 10 is no exception. The Old Town Vapor 10 is absolutely one of the best sit-inside kayaks in its price range (under $500!) for accessibility and comfort.

A rare quality among budget kayaks, the Vapor 10’s roomy interior is big enough for taller paddlers to get in and out of pretty easily. Plus, if you’re a dog lover (who isn’t?), it’s also one of the best kayaks to bring along your lap-sitting pups.

The Vapor 10 is best operated in lakes and rivers, as the larger cockpit opening can take on water more easily than most sit-inside kayaks if you get into rougher waters. Check out the deets:

Old Town Vapor 10 info

  • Maneuverable and stable, with good tracking
  • Small and light enough to fit in the back of a large SUV or truck
  • Large, open cockpit for easy accessibility
  • Open rear gear well for quick access to cargo
  • Product Dimensions: 120 x 28.5 x 15 inches
  • Product Weight: 47 lbs

What do Old Town Vapor customers have to say?

Old Town Kayak Reviews

old town kayak reviews
old town kayak reviews

5. Perception Swifty Deluxe 9.5

The Perception Swifty Deluxe 9.5 kayak is a great option for both beginners and more experienced kayakers. According to reviews, a ton of people love how easy this kayak is to maneuver and the traction it gets on the water thanks to its stable hull design.

It’s also super comfortable for paddlers with an ergonomic seat (fancy!), a cup holder, and a storage hatch to keep your things dry. And if you’re a fisherman, this versatile ‘yak even works for you since it has dedicated fishing rod holders. Check out the deets:

Perception Swifty Deluxe 9.5 info

  • Ideal for paddling in lakes and ponds
  • Perfect for any skill level
  • Stable hull design
  • Nimble maneuverability
  • Ergonomic seat back
  • Molded-in dashboard, handles, and rod holders
  • 10″ round hatch
  • Length: 9’6″
  • Width: 28.5″
  • Weight: 44 lbs.
  • Max Capacity: 325 lbs.

What do Perception Kayak customers have to say?

Perception Kayak Reviews

Perception kayak reviews
Perception kayak reviews

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