Whether you want to fish on a lake or go on a kayak touring trip, a lake kayak is what you need. The best kayak for lakes is built to facilitate easy tracking and stability on lake waters. These kayaks are designed to cruise in a straight line thanks to their relatively long length. This mechanism allows them to weather through harsh conditions such as whitewater ways.

Thanks to their comfortable construction, lake kayaks are ideal for use on both short and long distance kayaking trips. So below, we’ve compiled the list of the 8 top best lake kayaks that you definitely should own this year. Pick a boat that suits your needs to begin enjoying superior kayaking performance.

How To Choose A Kayak For Lake – Buying Guide


Sit In vs Sit On Top

When choosing the best kayak for lakes, you will come across sit in and sit on top styles. Sit in kayaks, also known as sit inside kayaks, are designed for lakes that offer different conditions. So if you plan on cruising on a lake that may experience calm, flat, and wavy waters, a sit-in kayak is a better option. 

Most sit in kayaks come with or are compatible with spray skirts to protect you from water splashes and wind. The downside to these kayaks is that they’re not easy to get in or out of if they flip over. 

Sit on top style kayaks are a more popular choice amongst paddlers. Sit on top kayaks are ideal for individuals who are only beginning to kayak as well as seasoned fishing kayakers. Sit on top style kayaks are designed to facilitate easy entry and exit.  Additionally, they offer better balance and stability; making it easy to control them during paddling. However, they don’t offer enough protection from wind and water splashes.

Single vs Tandem

The difference between single and tandem kayaks is that tandem kayaks accommodate two or more people. So if you want to ride with someone else, a tandem kayak is what you need. These kayaks come in handy if you are a beginner and want to ride with someone who has more experience.

Additionally, if you have a dog or a small kid, a tandem kayak allows you to easily accommodate them on your rides. Thanks to their larger sizes, tandem kayaks normally have large storage spaces to allow you to go for longer trips. However, they may not be the easiest to transport, especially if they are not inflatable.

Size & Storage 

The size of your vessel is important to consider when you plan on kayaking on lakes. If you plan on going for long or overnight trips, the best lake kayak would be a larger sized one with more storage space. The same applies for when you want to ride with a friend or your pet.

You want to look for a kayak that offers multiple storage options such as storage hatches, bungee cords on the deck, and under seat storage space. You can easily find out the weight capacity of your kayak on its feature information. Typically, the best lake kayaks support a load capacity of between 250 to 600 lbs.   

Length & Weight

A long kayak length offers better tracking, navigation, and speed. However, due to its long length, you should expect to struggle with maneuverability in tight spaces. A shorter length offers better stability and maneuverability. 

When it comes to weight, the lighter, the better. A lightweight kayak is not only easy to handle but easy to carry and transport. Whilst you can find lightweight hardshell kayaks that you can easily move, inflatable ones tend to be the lightest.

Inflatable vs Hardshell

Inflatable kayaks are lightweight and easy to carry and store. In fact, if you have limited space in your home or have no garage, an inflatable kayak is the way to go. You can easily deflate and fold down the kayak into a storage bag or backpack. 

Because of their simple construction, they tend to be cheaper than hardshell kayaks. But this is not to say that inflatable kayaks are of poor quality. Thanks to their durable construction, these kayaks survive the harshest conditions. 

Hardshell kayaks are rigid and made of strong materials. Due to their heavier build, they offer you more control during paddling. However, they do not deflate thus, making them difficult to transport and store. To transport a hardshell kayak, you need a car rooftop rack.



Q: What Type Of Kayak Is Best For Lakes?


The best kayak for lakes can be either a sit on top or a recreational sit-in kayak. Typically, you want your kayak to be short and stable to allow for easy maneuverability and turning on the lake. However, if you are looking for a lake touring kayak, you want it to be a little longer to give you more speed.

Q: What Is The Difference Between Lake And Ocean Kayak?


Whilst there may be a slight overlap when it comes to their length; ocean and lake kayaks still differ due to their length. Lake kayaks tend to be shorter; measuring between 8 and 14 feet long. Ocean kayaks on the other end are longer and narrower; measuring between 12 and 24 feet.

Q: What Is The Difference Between Lake And River Kayak?


Whilst you can use some river and lake kayaks interchangeably, they boast differences based on their design. A river kayak features a shorter and flatter hull to facilitate quick maneuverability and responsiveness. Although the difference is not very significant, lake kayaks tend to be longer and allow for better paddling for long distances. Yet, they still maintain some level of stability.

Globo Surf Overview

The kayak for lake reviews prove that investing in these vessels improves your overall performance. Whether you plan on fishing or day touring, the best kayak for lakes doesn’t only enhance your performance but it ensures that you are safe as well. Imagine cruising on whitewater on a super narrow and long ocean kayak, the results will not be good! So pick your favorite option from the 8 best lake kayaks above to begin enjoying kayak cruising at the nearby lake.

More Kayak Reviews:

Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!