The Best Lake Kayaks – See What’s Hot On 2022!

Are you a fan of kayaking in smooth and placid lakes? Do you like to bring your fishing gears in this particular water body? If that's the case, there's a need for you to have the best lake kayak!

Not all kayaks are designed for lakes. Some of them are made for the challenge of the winds and currents of the wide, open sea. Others are for streams and rivers. We also noted some models that are perfectly fitted for racing and other professional applications.


With all of these things given, it is entirely natural for me to be specific about the specifications and features of the kayak. It is the only way I can determine if the boat is suitable for the intended destination that I want. Of course, I do have a set of kayaks in mind that are worthy of being taken on majestic lakes. If you want to know all of them, better check the next section.

Let's get started!

Product Name



Our Rating

Dagger Kayaks Axis 12.0 Kayak


Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron 9XT Recreational Kayak


3. SUN DOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba - Budget-Friendly Pick

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak


Wilderness Systems 2019 Pungo 120 Kayak (New)


5. Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak - Best Tandem Kayak for Lakes

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak


Dagger Kayaks Axis 12.0 Kayak

I just love versatile kayaks even if we are only talking about cruising on peaceful lakes. They give me the confidence that I can go wherever I want without struggling too much. Maneuverability, after all, is quite important to me. It is the very reason why I picked the Dagger Axis 12.0 Kayak. It is simply easy to control. It ensures the paddler that he/ she can go to any part of the lake without struggling too much.

In fact, the quality of this kayak is suitable for other water bodies as well. You can take it on reservoirs, waterways, and even ponds! It has the right level of stability that gives you a sense of convenience and safety. Because of its exceptional features, the Dagger Axis has been recognized by the National Geographic as one of the best adventure gears today.


  • Highly maneuverable kayak
  • Provides a decent level of tracking and stability
  • Made from rugged material
  • The seat is both comfortable and adjustable
  • The deck comes with a covered compartment for extended kayaking trips.


  • No known issues.
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron 9XT Recreational Kayak

Kayaking in a lake requires a kayak that provides sufficient structural durability. While it is true that there are less physical obstacles present in lakes, you can't still put your guards down. You don't want to get on accidents where you can't conquer, right? I personally chose the Old Town Heron 9XT Recreational Kayak in response to this particular need. By far, it is one of the toughest lake kayaks in the middle-price category.

Specifically, the hull of the kayak is tailored from high-grade polyethene. This polyethene is almost impervious to damages. You can take it to deal with placid environments or areas where the currents and deliberately choppy. This kayak also provides excellent tracking and maneuverability at the same time. It is the perfect balance that you need from a kayak!


  • Durability and ruggedness are on-point
  • Features a comfortable seat for extended applications
  • Foot braces ensure control and maneuverability
  • Weight capacity is at 300 pounds
  • Comes with a carrying handle.


  • It is a heavy kayak.
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak

Inexpensive and lightweight. These are the two things that perfectly describe the SUN DOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba. This kayak quite amuses me. It doesn't complicate its users with a troublesome weight or complicated functionalities. Right from the start, you can already use this kayak smoothly. That goes well for amateurs in the kayaking world. Because it has an entry-level value, I suppose that investing in this kayak should never be a problem.

Looking at its features, it is pretty easy to say that this boat is brimming with quality. The cockpit has a large opening where the paddler can easily access. It is an excellent choice for claustrophobic individuals as they will never feel being choked by this kayak. There's also a padded seat so that you can paddle comfortably all day. The foot braces are also adjustable for better boat control.


  • Crafted from Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene
  • Lightweight construction makes it easier to carry
  • Provides utmost user convenience while paddling
  • Ideal for amateur kayakers
  • Open cockpit guarantees easy access and exit.


  • Can only be used on calm waters.
Wilderness Systems 2019 Pungo 120 Kayak (New)

The WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Pungo 120 Kayak is definitely an option you can't just ignore. After all, Wilderness Systems is a premier manufacturer of kayaks. Therefore, it is not a surprise anymore if one of their opuses perfectly suits this list. Specifically, their Pungo 120 Kayak is an excellent option for those who want to paddle in rivers. It provides reliable balance and stability, even if you don't paddle at all.

This kayak is also perfect for recreational activities. Because it has a lightweight design, there's no need for extra muscles to lock it on your vehicle. The kayak also has compartments for those who are carrying extra cargo and gears with them. Meanwhile, the seat has a premium design as well. Aside from being comfortable, it comes with a mesh cover to improve airflow. Your body will never feel hot while on this kayak.


  • Surprisingly lightweight construction
  • Guaranteed to a sturdy and durable kayak
  • Comes with extra space for item storage
  • Highly maneuverable boat
  • Ensures the comfort of the user.


  • No known issues.
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Are you going to paddle with your friend or special someone? Then you should look for a tandem kayak! And for this case, I will suggest the Ocean Kayak Malibu. The latter is one of the top-rated tandem kayaks today. It is an ergonomic watercraft that ensures both the performance and comfort of its users. You will enjoy your time in the lake while you are on riding in this boat.

This kayak features two patented Comfort Plus seats. These amenities have four-way adjustability so that you can find the perfect fit for you. The seats also provide proper slip-performance. They are a far cry from typical molded seats that you can see on conventional kayaks. This kayak is only capable of carrying a weight of up to 425 pounds. I cannot say that this kayak can handle two large-built paddlers. But it can certainly carry individuals with slim frames!


  • Accessibility to the hull is easy
  • Slip-proof seats for better paddler comfort and security
  • Highly stable kayak
  • Can be maneuvered easily
  • Features various compartments for item storage.


  • Limited weight capacity.

How to Choose the Best Lake Kayaks

How to Choose the Best Lake Kayaks

When it comes to kayaking, lakes sure do come into your mind. We automatically think of it every time the sport of boating and recreation are being mentioned. But of course, before you can paddle your way into lakes, there are things that you have to consider first.

The biggest of these factors is the type of kayak that you are using. Just like I said earlier, different kinds of kayaks exist today. From recreation up to racing, different kayaks are designed for them.

If you have been following me in this blog, you have probably read my recommendations about varieties of kayaks. I have talked about sit-on-top kayaks, tandem kayaks, and even kayaks for dogs! The niche goes down if you just dig deeper.

This time, allow me to specify the things that you should look for whenever you are planning to spend your time on your favorite great lakes.

The Environment

By far, lakes should be the easiest route for kayaking. Unlike rivers and seas, there are no challenges present in lakes. The water doesn't move in unexpected directions. There are no unexpected turbulence, too, unless there are storms. Furthermore, objects like rocks and ice that can damage your boat are less likely to be in the vicinity.

Because of this, it is the perfect training environment of amateurs. As long as you wear all the safety gears, kayaking on lakes should be safe. Moreover, I do recommend that you know how to swim and maneuver your way if your kayak got toppled over. The depth of these lakes can be extensive. A non-swimmer might find situations like this dangerous.

So what should you get whenever you want to kayak on lakes?

  • Recreational Kayak - This is the kayak that should be favorable for every kayaker. It is a type of kayak that can be used in multiple environments because of its user-friendly design.

    Most of the time, recreational kayaks do come in the form of sit-on-top kayaks. They are ideal for those who want to paddle without having half of their bodies being locked in a single position. Both adults and children can enjoy the service of recreational kayaks.
  • Touring Kayak - Another great option is a touring kayak. When we speak about touring kayaks, it could be either a sit-on-top kayak or a sit-in kayak. That doesn’t really matter that much. Instead, the critical feature of this vessel is the presence of storage compartments. It has a lot of space where you can store your essential items and gears.

    A touring kayak is a preferable choice for those who want to stay in the area for extended periods. Staying overnight in the boat or going on lengthy excursions will require the service of this particular kayak. But even if you don't intend to cover great distances, a touring kayak is still usable. Who wouldn't want a boat that caters your amenities in the first place?

    Take note a touring kayak is different from a recreational kayak!
  • Fishing Kayak - Some of us don't just go to lakes just to be mesmerized by its mystifying wonders. There are a lot of people out there who are eager to hop in their kayaks in the hope to catch bounties and trophies. You know what I am talking about, right? Anglers just love these lakes because they provide suitable grounds for fishing.

    Usually, the best kayaks for lake fishing have a sit-on-top design. The set-up of SOT kayaks offers the appropriate platform where they can do their thing. Fishing kayaks usually have a flat hull too so that the angler can stand whenever it is needed. Of course, such kind of stability is necessary so that you can perfectly balance yourself even if you are not paddling.

    Noticeably, a kayak for fishing is quite different from conventional recreational kayaks. Aside from having an extra compartment for your fishing gears and accessories, they do also come with mounts where you can place your fishing rods. Some units are even compatible with trolling motors or even fish finders.

    Watch this video on how to fish with a kayak:

Sit-On-Top Kayak or Sit-In Kayak

Don't get me wrong. Comparing these two kayaks doesn't mean that the other is better than the other. Each of them has been designed to fulfill a particular application or kayaking environment.

By knowing the difference between a sit-on-top kayak and sit-in-kayak, you will be able to decide which of them is suitable for kayaking in lakes.

Sit-In Kayak

Just as its name suggests, a sit-in kayak requires the paddler to sit inside the hull of the kayak. The cockpit is enclosed and works with spray skirts so that water won't come in. This particular kayak is perfect for those who have an incessant need for speed. They are great if you are treading white water or rushing rivers. They can also work on waters with choppy currents. If the lake is cold, a sit-in kayak can also be a good choice. After all, it can keep your body warm.

For ample protection against the temperature, you might want to try wearing a drysuit or wetsuit.

Sit-On-Top Kayak

For recreational purposes, I do recommend that you get a sit-on-top kayak. With this kayak, you can be flexible. Your body can literally do whatever it wants. Since you are not enclosed inside the kayak, you have much more freedom. You can stand or leave your kayak for a quick swim without encountering any difficulties.

Moreover, when this kayak does not absorb water whenever it gets capsized. This event usually happens to sit-in-kayaks. Whenever you are using the latter, you should learn to do the wet exit or other maneuvers that can save yourself from drowning.


The best lake kayak is indeed an amenity sent by heaven. By having this boat, you will be able to traverse any lakes with convenience and comfort.

I have featured a plethora of kayaks here that are worthy of being taken to lakes. Although they have different designs and set-up, they can fulfill the specific role of simplifying your paddling on vast waters. They are suitable for recreational purposes and can be used by both professionals and the typical weekend warrior.

That's it for now. If you have questions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

Now that you have acquired a piece of new knowledge about kayaking, I hope that you can do more in the water. Of course, let me emphasize that the right kayak will be able to change the way you can traverse the water and enjoy your time there. If you want to know the beginner's kayak, kayak for kids, river kayaks, ocean kayaks, touring kayaks, recreational kayaks, kayak for dogs, inflatable kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, tandem kayaks, pedal kayaks, and cost-efficient kayaks, I have them listed in this blog. Check out all the types of kayaks here and see what the market can offer to you.

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