5 Of The Best Recreational Kayaks Of 2022

Exploring the outdoor world with a kayak is an adventure that you shouldn't miss. A lot of people are already trying to experience this kind of excursion, and I bet that none of them will feel disappointed.

Kayaking, as a recreation, is undeniably fun. It is for that reason why many individuals--even the amateurs--are investing in the best recreational kayak. The latter is considered as a boat for "everybody." Usually, recreational kayaks don't have too many technicalities that you need to learn. If you know a thing or two about paddling, you would be able to maneuver these kayaks efficiently.


Regardless of the route you choose, it is essential that you have a kayak that can readily take action. Fortunately, you don't need a "bad boy" when it comes to recreational kayaking. An ergonomic but straightforward kayak is already enough to make you comfortable and relaxed.

Here are your options for kayaks for recreation.

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Kayak

The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Kayak is an impressive choice for kayakers who are looking for a boat for recreation. With a large and stable construction, this kayak is capable of bringing leisure to any flatwater application. It features a comfortable seat so that the paddler will not get agitated at all. The seat is adjustable too so that you can find the best sitting position.

In the world of kayaking, the Tarpon 120 is definitely known for its tracking capability. Even if it is designed for angling, this boat still features an impeccable ability to move on straight lines. But don't worry a thing; the maneuverability of this boat has not been compromised.

You can use it on rivers and streams so that you can experience its responsive. This kayak also features a manageable weight. Transporting it will never be a problem.


  • Features the Phase 3 AirPro seating system for maximum comfort
  • The trim size makes it an excellent choice for oceans and seas
  • Maneuverability was not lost on its specifications
  • Rugged construction makes it resistant to the elements
  • Offers decent storage space.


  • No known issues.
Dagger Roam 11.5 Kayak

I probably won't close out this list if the Dagger Roam was not included. It is definitely an excellent recreational kayak, especially for those who want to go on expeditions on the deep blue sea. The kayak has a good balance between speed and maneuverability. I have tried this kayak before. It didn't give me a hard time controlling it even when the waves are rough. Of course, the kayak has a durable construction. You can expose it to the heat of the sun and expect that the UV rays won't damage its structure.

Another key feature of the Dagger Roam is that it is capable of Class III rivers. It means that this kayak can conquer rapids without jeopardizing its paddlers. This kayak has been fitted with an extensive storage system for our amenities. Meanwhile, the seat of the kayak has a contoured design. It gives the paddler constant support and comfort while he/ she is gliding the waters. Overall, this kayak is definitely great for recreations.


  • Comes with a manageable weight for easier transport
  • Can gain great speeds with minimal effort
  • Features a decent maneuverability
  • Works well on rough waters
  • Outfitted with an adjustable and comfortable seat.


  • Might not be suitable for large people.
Ocean Kayak Frenzy One-Person Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

The stability and responsiveness of the Ocean Kayak Frenzy are indeed one of the reasons why it is a good choice for recreational kayaks. Furthermore, it is not as expensive as most of its competitors, so it is an option that you shouldn't miss out. The boat is downright versatile, as it can be used on both on surfing waves or flat waters. Honestly, such a feat is something that surprised me because this kayak is on the entry-level value.

The Ocean Kayak Frenzy features the combination of primary and secondary stability. This is due to its proprietary Tri-Form hull construction. Noticeably, this kayak has a long central heel. The latter optimizes the tracking capability of the kayak. As a recreational kayak, the Ocean Kayak Frenzy offers ample storage and comfortable seats. You can travel with it without experiencing inconvenience!


  • Displays a balance in primary and secondary stability
  • Remains comfortable even in an all-day kayaking adventure
  • Inside handles are present so that you can carry it easily
  • Works well on seas and flat waters
  • Rugged and durable construction.


  • The seat is somehow too straight and too narrow for some paddlers.
Hurricane Skimmer 116 Ultimate Kayak (Frame Seat)

If you are looking for a premium recreational kayak, I do recommend that you check out the Hurricane Skimmer 116 Ultimate Kayak. Arguably, it is one of the best options that you can have for solo kayaking and other water leisure. Apparently, this kayak is usable for various applications such as fishing, cruising, or a mild speed race. It is a versatile kayak that has exceeded the boundaries of ordinary recreational kayaks.

Furthermore, this kayak prides itself as a speedy boat. The reason for this is the combination of the Trylon construction and Skimmer touring hull. It became an exceptional vessel that can outclass other kayaks that are on its class. Moreover, the First Class Frame Seat of this kayak can provide guaranteed comfort while paddling. Of course, the boat can offer space for your other kayaking amenities.


  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Can be used in different kayaking applications
  • Spacious enough to hold different paddler sizes
  • Speed and traction are its main selling points
  • Provides balance and stability to its users.


  • No known issues.
AIRE Tributary Tomcat Solo Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable boats are widely accepted now in recreational kayaking. In fact, it is one of the most sought options by paddlers who don't want to deal with the weight and price of PVC and hybrid kayaks. Despite the negative notions that surround inflatable kayaks, they are growing in popularity. The AIRE Tributary Tomcat is proof that inflatable kayaks can take tough challenges without any compromises.

This inflatable kayak has a sophisticated construction. It features a highly rugged PVC hull and flooring to ensure that punctures won't damage it. It can't be impacted on the flooring either. The kayak features three air chambers so that it won't lose its buoyancy while carrying heavy loads. It is also a fail-safe design to prevent the boat from capsizing if ever the structure of the boat will be damaged.


  • An entry-level option
  • The outer shell is made from ultra-rugged PVC
  • Interior is quite spacious
  • Upturned bow design helps the boat deflect waves
  • Offers a decent level of maneuverability.


  • It is challenging to get paddling leverage because the center of the boat is somehow off.

How to Choose the Best Recreational Kayak

How to Choose the Best Recreational Kayak

In the past, I was able to talk about touring kayaks, which is commonly confused with a recreational kayak. These two, although having a similar purpose, are not the same. They have nuances that separate them from one another.

Recreational kayaks can be used in different courses. You can use them on rivers, lakes, and even oceans--as long as the waves are not that strong.

Furthermore, one has to know that recreational kayaks can either be a sit-on-top or sit-in kayak. The design doesn't really matter. A recreational kayak got its name due to its original intent--and that is to provide fun and leisure to various paddlers.

Technically speaking, all kayaks should be considered recreational. After all, we use them to enjoy the waters and witness the incredible beauty and grandeur of the outdoor world. I can make an exemption if the kayak has been designed for racing or commercial purposes. These boats have different tales to tell us.

Because of this given definition, it is safe to say that the term recreational kayaks are quite varied. You have a myriad of options to try. The ones that I have featured are just the best ones. If you want to settle to some other kayaks, you can discover a lot more boats to try.

But for starters, here's a guide that can help you choose your next recreational kayak.

Sit-In vs. Sit-On-Top Kayak

Don't get me wrong. Both the sit-on-top kayaks and the sit-in kayaks are designs that are generally accepted in the kayaking community. They are the staple schemes for kayaks. Throughout their existence, no significant modifications have been done to veer to these two.

For recreational purposes, a sit-on-top kayak is an attractive choice. This particular kayak is excellent for beginners. Even if you don't have experience in kayaking, a sit-on-top will not make you feel like a total mess. Furthermore, these kayaks are exceptionally stable. Whether you are in moving or steady waters, sit-on-top kayaks don't get toppled easily. You can even climb back to the kayak without the latter being disoriented.

A sit-in-kayak, on the other hand, keeps you dry all the time, especially if you fit a spray skirt on the cockpit. The cockpit is generally enclosed, so water entry is almost minimal as compared to sit-on-top kayaks. They are the right choice if you want your amenities and items to escape from being drenched by the water. A sit-in kayak is also great for recreation because of the number of dry storages that it has.

If the condition is calm, there's nothing wrong if you are going to use a sit-on-top kayak. They can make you feel more free and mobile. It gives you a fresh feeling, too, as there's nothing that shields your body from the breeze of the wind. Meanwhile, a sit-in kayak should work when the conditions are rough and if the weather is unfavorable. It can provide the necessary protection for unwanted disturbances.


Storage, or cargo, is among the critical considerations in choosing a recreational kayak. Just like its name suggests, a recreational kayak is something that is used to have fun and enjoyment while on the water.

Of course, the fun doesn't only involve paddling. There are a lot of things that you can do while you are on your kayak. For instance, take pictures, drink non-alcoholic beverages, fish, and even sleep!

In any of these scenarios, you have to come prepared. Aside from fulfilling your kayaking checklist, it is pivotal that your kayak has enough space to carry all your loads. The cockpit, specifically, should have extra large space so that you can store your items conveniently. For those who are planning to haul coolers or crates, your best bet is a sit-on-top kayak. It is the only kayak type that can handle these large items.

If you are carrying your dog, you need to have a specialized recreational kayak that is meant for your buddy. In this way, you and your extra passenger will not get cramped on the boat.

Weight Capacity

Corollary to the storage, you should also assess the weight capacity of the kayak. This is the very aspect of the kayak that actually dictates how many items you can carry. Kayaks that have a weight capacity rating of 300 pounds and above are the best choice for paddlers who love to carry a lot of things.

Of course, you cannot compromise this aspect. After all, you should realize that once you go overboard, the kayak will lose its buoyancy. That increases the risks of being capsized. Furthermore, overloading your boat causes the latter to lose its maneuverability and stability.

As a paddler, you are the one responsible for assessing the weight capacity of your kayak. Specifically, you need to take into account the items that you usually bring when you are kayaking for recreation. By then, you should be able to get the appropriate kayak for you. It is a pretty job, so I believe that even amateurs can do the check-and-balance stuff.


Kayaking is originally meant for recreation and leisure. A suitable proof of that is the number of people who are paddling for fun together with their friends and families. This particular function of a kayak is probably one of the reasons why it attracted many individuals to try it. For me, the adventure and enjoyment that you can get from kayaking are genuinely worth cherishing.

Of course, having the best recreational kayak makes the difference. With a good boat, all of the problems that are related to ergonomics and quirks are removed. It can also guarantee that you can remain stable and comfortable while on the water. Furthermore, they ensure that your kayaking trip will be intoxicated with delight and surprises.

That's it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, just 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, lake kayaks, river kayaks, ocean kayaks, 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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