Keep it Dry – The 4 Best Dry Bags for Kayaks, Boating, Surfing and More

kayak dry bagDry bags have always been an important piece of kit for those of us who take part in any sort of water sport. If there is any chance of coming into contact with water, then you need one of the best dry bags to ensure that the contents don’t get wet, or worse, damaged. Our devices have become an integral part of everyday life. The chances are, you’ll want to take something electronic, whether that is a specific water sports device such as a fishfinder to take out on the sea, or is just something as simple (but important) as a cell phone. Whether you need a dry bag for fishing, kayaking, boating or scuba diving, we have some options included within this article.

Choosing a Dry Bag

The process certainly isn’t as simple as just grabbing the first dry bag you see. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to buying a dry bag. Your own individual needs are vital, too. Giving a little thought to the circumstances in which the bag will be used can help you make the right call. There are certain criteria by which we judge the best models of backpack or waterproof bag.

Material. The material that a dry bag is made of is key to its effectiveness. The two most common types of material we see are vinyl and nylon. Vinyl tends to be used for smaller items and holders for devices such as phones and tablets, though some of the bigger models are vinyl. Nylon is the most popular, as well as being lighter weight and very durable. The density of the nylon can be measured so if you need a tougher bag you can judge by the “D” value in the description of the bag.

Size. Naturally, as with any bag, you need to think about the size you need before buying. You may just need to take a few items out and can get a five liter bag or smaller, or you may need to think about the best option for sleeping bags, changes of clothing and more. Dry bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with 20 liter, 30 liter, or even 40 liter models not uncommon.

Durability. Most of us expect these items to get beat up a little when we take them out with us. Nobody goes on a kayaking trip without expecting to take a few bumps. The bags all need to be pretty durable in order to make sure they don’t rip and expose whats inside or not give enough protection to the contents.

Straps: Dry bags vary a great deal in which type of straps they have. You can have a duffel type which goes over the shoulder, or backpack straps, and some even have replaceable or changeable straps. As more companies innovate, more types of strap become available and the one to suit your needs is easier to find.

D-Rings: This is one of the more unique features we see over and over again in dry bags. D-rings are of course a D shape and are attached to the bag, they then make it easy to string the boats up either to the side of a boat or elsewhere. This makes it a lot easier if a boat or kayak should capsize, and will be easy to grab the bags rather than looking around in the water for them.

So, the criteria have been set out. Time for a dry bag review or three!

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

The first review is a dry bag that has truly taken the market by storm, and received endorsements from some really big names. The Earth Pak brand has a lot to offer, and seem to have thought of everything in designing their waterproof dry bag.

Features of the Dry Bag Include:

  • Durability and protection. These are designed to be waterproof even in the most testing conditions, and are built to last for a long time.
  • A single shoulder strap design, adjustable from 24-42 inches. They also come with backpack style straps and a sternum strap.
  • Comes with a certified waterproof phone case designed to fit pretty much any phone you can imagine. They work with phones up to 6.5 inches in size.
  • Available in sizes including 10L, 20L, 30L and even a massive 40L, one of the biggest dry bags you can imagine.
  • Comes with sturdy D-rings for strapping to the side of boats or elsewhere.
  • A roll top and buckle closure system means this is totally air tight and water tight.
  • Padded shoulder straps for your comfort.
  • Can even be used as a camping pillow and are designed to be comfortable when used as such.

The Earth Pak team have really thought of everything when it comes to these dry bags, and in our opinion they are definitely worth considering. The fact that they come in different sizes means they fit a variety of needs including fishing, kayaking and more. Convenient, durable, flexible and easy to use, it is easy to see why these have become one of the most popular models.

You don’t just have to take our word for it, either. The vast majority of reviews on amazon and elsewhere on the internet are not just positive, but glowing. Not only are these such high quality, they are good value too. The price is far from extortionate, especially when you consider the fact they are built to last years rather than months.

Odyssey Waterproof Dry Bag

Another good option for fishing, camping or other outdoor or watersport activities. The Odyssey waterproof dry bag also comes with a phone container to keep your smartphone from damage, and has some similar features to the Earth Pak.

These are made of 500D PVC, in their words “the toughest waterproof material known to man”. There’s little denying that these bags are protective and they even have heat resistant, stain resistant and temperature resistant qualities. It is almost impossible to tear and easy to lead, with easy to use straps. A cheap option perhaps, these certainly don’t cost the earth, and though the only model we’ve seen is a 10l, this is a good option for those who don’t need massive capacity.

Såk Gear Premium Waterproof Dry Bag

Okay, so looks certainly aren’t the priority, and they’re not something we are judging the top dry bags on. However, if you do want something that stands out a bit in terms of aesthetics, the Såk gear waterproof dry bag could be for you. It has a reflective trim for high visibility, very cool branding, and is available in loads of different colors. This has a functional benefit too, if more than one of you are buying the bag, you can ensure you have different designs to not get them mixed up.

Besides the awesome look and feel of this dry bag, the features are good too.

  • Available in both 10l and 20l sizes
  • Protective in all sorts of weather and immensely strong material to ensure it is watertight to keep your equipment and clothing dry.
  • An outer pocket for quick access items such as identification or money.
  • Reflective to help with visibility, good for not only whoever is wearing it, but for finding it should it go overboard.
  • Removable shoulder strap. Choose whether you want to put it over your shoulder or just use the attached handle.

Best Small Dry Bag

Binmer Sports Waterproof Dry Bag

We wanted to include a smaller option within our list of top dry bags. The Binmer is available in multiple sizes, but they tend to be a little smaller, and perfect for day trips and those who don’t need to carry a lot of stuff.

This comes in 2 liter, 5 liter and 10 liter sizes. It may not have all the features of some of the models already mentioned above, however it is a decent option, especially if you want something small. The PVC material is pretty durable, and though this may not be the most professional, all singing, all dancing model some of us need, for a beginner or hobbyist who just wants to take a few items out with them then this might fit the bill. The Binmer dry bag reviews elsewhere online are pretty positive, and it is worth a look.

Conclusion

We all want our dry bags for different reasons. People from motorcyclists to fishermen, swimmers to surfers and kayakers all have some need for a dry bag. As such, there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. This article is designed to be a guide, and assist in working out which is the best for you, and all of the models of waterproof dry bag mentioned are commendable. If we had to pick one ‘best’ option, the Earth Pak brand fits the bill in so many ways, and the brand have thought of everything.

Choosing a dry bag can be an important choice, and can save a lot of hassle and even expense in the long run by preventing damage to your treasured items.

 

The Best Kayak Seats for Comfort, Back Support and Stability

best kayak seatsKayaking is a very popular sport, and is becoming more and more popular. It is a great way to see new sights, stay fit and active and is great for fishing and many other hobbies including ocean kayaking. Having the best kayak seat on your kayak is key, especially if you’re looking for a kayak with back support, extra storage or any of the other benefits many of them offer. If you’re also a cyclist you’ll know that comfort is key, and just like a poorly cushioned uncomfortable bicycle seat will really hinder your fun and enjoyment on a bike, an uncomfortable kayak seat will take a lot away from your fun and achievements on the kayak.

Comfort is not the only aspect of what makes a good kayak seat, and stability is hugely important too. One little movement on the wrong seat and you can find yourself in the water, plus knowing you’re in a seat that adds more of a durable, stable platform to your ride can give you a lot of confidence.

Fortunately, we live in an age of ergonomics, quality manufacturing and choice on the market, which has led to there being a lot of choice to suit your own needs. The world of Kayak seats is actually quite varied, and can be tough to navigate on your own, which is why we have created a buying guide to help you work out the features on offer. We have also put together some individual kayak seat reviews.

Features to Look For in Kayak Seats

  • Durability and Stability – In any product, you don’t want something that is going to break straight away, but as briefly mentioned the durability will have an extra level of importance in the world of kayaking. You should be able to shift your weight and sit comfortably without having to worry constantly about ending up in the water. You should be able to move a little without this concern.
  • Comfort – I don’t even just mean being able to think ‘this is comfortable’ or have a seat that doesn’t cause a sore butt after an hour or so. Some people suffer with joint pains or back pains, finding the best kayak seat for back pain is nothing short of essential for some of us to make sure that our health isn’t at risk from sitting in a seat that isn’t well designed, with the correct lumbar support and ergonomic design for your body.
  • Storage – Some kayak seats also come with storage, which can be at a premium when you’re in such a small mode of transport!
  • Cushioning – Being cushioned is also part of your comfort, but can help with joints too and sometimes the cushioning is optional and removable so you can adjust to your preference.
  • Adjustability – Some of the best models of seats are adjustable so can be perfected as per your own preferences and of course your body shape and size. Adjustability also ensures that it will fit most models of kayak.
  • Price – This is likely to play a part in any purchase you make in life, and nobody wants to pay over the odds for something. Just going for the cheapest kayak seat may not be the best option, and the best value for money is more what you should be looking for.

The fact of the matter is, if you are keen on kayaking, investing in a top kayak seat is worth it. They certainly are not the most expensive piece of equipment, and the benefits they can have both for your own enjoyment, avoiding fatigue and even avoiding injuries. Most models of kayak seat are under $100 but you can even buy seats under $50 which will do a very good job, so the cost isn’t too high, especially if you are a regular kayaker and are looking to get a lot of use out of a seat.

Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Seat Review

One of the best models we’ve come across is the deluxe kayak seat from Leader Accessories. A quick look at it will tell you that it isn’t cheap and flimsy, and the molded foam seat combines comfort and durability which is exactly what you need. A look at the customer reviews on Amazon and other online retailers show that this is very highly regarded in kayaking circles, so what are the features that set this seat apart?

  • Luxury seat made of firm, comfortable molded foam.
  • Solid, hard wearing connecting snaps which ensure it stays firmly in place. 
  • 2 straps on the front, 2 straps on the rear give a loads of adjustability to ensure it fits your kayak and keeps you comfortable.
  • Great support for both your back and backside with customer reviews showing that this is very comfortable.

Many people with sit on top kayaks have opted for this product, either as a replacement for a broken model or for an upgrade, as this is better than many of the built in kayak seats, or you may have even bought a kayak without a seat. A huge amount of people have given this very positive reviews, so the masses have truly spoken. The comfort and padding that this offers whilst remaining rigid and firm is a big plus point, and it isn’t the most expensive model, so the value for money is definitely good. If you’re setting up for a long day of fishing on your kayak then this is a positive option for anyone who spends a lot of time out on the water.

Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat

An option which (at the time of writing, at least) is a little more on the affordable side, and for one of the cheapest kayak seats we’ve found offers some very good features and good value.

  • Adjustable front and back straps for a good fit and comfort.
  • Non slip surface with padding for comfort and to keep you stable.
  • Made of Neoprene with a padded back area offering good support for those with back ailments.
  • Strong copper hooks to keep it in place.
  • Detachable backpack for added storage.

The detachable backpack is a huge plus point. Storage isn’t something that is easy to come by in kayaks, and on a sit on top kayak with a seat which you’re not really able to wear a backpack whilst sitting on, you can find yourself a little bit stuck for somewhere to bring your lunch or put more equipment if you’re out on a fishing expedition. A few kayak seats have this feature allowing you to clip the detachable backpack on if you want to (or leave it if you don’t need it).

This is another model of kayak seat which has been reviewed well and many people are reporting it as a huge upgrade on the stock model which comes with kayaks when you buy them, depending on the brand you opt for. This can provide some good comfort for long term trips on the water, even if you are out for a few hours at a time. This is a good option for many of us and though it could be a little sturdier, it is great value for money.

Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back

As you might guess, this is designed with ocean kayaking in mind, but is also great for taking out on lakes or other bodies of water. As you might expect from the Comfort Plus label this comes with, it is indeed a very comfy model of kayak seat, even for longer periods of time. The UV resistant material is also hard wearing, and generally it is a pretty rigid model. The reinforced stays give a lot of back support and keep you firmly in place.

 

As well as the comfort, this has four very hard wearing straps to adjust and fit the seat with ease, further adding to the comfort as well as the compatibility with your own model of kayak.

Another very good model of seat which has a lot to offer at a very affordable price tag. It has a lot of five star reviews on online retailers. Some have reported this as a huge upgrade on their built-in seat, and has a lot to offer in terms of comfort and ocean kayaking. You don’t have to look far for reviews recommending that you add this to your kayak routine, and your butt will thank you for going with the comfort plus model.

High-Back Gel Paddle Saddle

The paddle saddle can be used on boats and more, but is very popular among kayakers. It is relatively unique as it offers gel in the padding which truly does make a big difference to your comfort, and it even acts to insulate and avoid you sitting on a cold surface of the kayak. It is designed to stay in place and the material ensures it doesn’t slip along the kayak which can be very annoying. The design has even taken into account pressure points and truly is designed with back pain and other ailments in mind, making it one of the best for those who have a lot of discomfort.

A huge amount of positive reviews tend to mention the comfort, making this a contender for the most comfy kayak seat on the market, and is certainly up there among the best. It comes with a big thumbs up from us at the watersporter but it does have a slightly bigger price tag than some of its competitors.

Notable Mention: Luxfit Premium Coccyx Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion

Your butt will thank you! There are loads of uses for a memory foam seat cushion, and it can be used in tandem with a kayak seat. Of course if you do end up in the water you might have to wave goodbye to it (though it will probably float and be retrievable) but it can add to the comfort of the seats already mentioned.

Conclusion

In terms of an investment, considering the fact that these can be purchased for under $50 if needed, they add a lot of stability and comfort, and may even save you medical problems and injury. The question of whether to buy a separate seat and upgrade the one that came with your kayak should be relatively straightforward, and hopefully the guide we’ve created make the decision on which one is best for you a lot easier. Enjoyment is paramount when you go out on a kayaking trip, whether you like to go fishing or just go out for leisure and to see the sights, nothing ruins it more than pain, a sore backside or a seat that doesn’t stay firm and in place.

If you have any experience with other kayak seats and have further reviews or opinions you would like to add, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below.

Best Fish Finder for Kayaks and Small Boats

best fish finder for kayakingTechnology has changed everything. Things that would have been reserved for science fiction 10 or 20 years ago are at our fingertips now, and this has affected everything, even fishing. Finding the best fish finder is tough, there are a lot of different models available, and it is relatively new technology, certainly since being made available easily to the average consumer. The industry is changing fast, just like every other area of fishing, so we’ve tried to dissect it with fishfinder reviews and a run down of what we think are the top models of fish finder for taking out on a boat or kayak.

What is a Fish Finder?

This is the first thing to establish, what even is a fish finder, and how does it work? The clue is in the name, and the product is designed to show a fisherman where they’re likely to have success. The instrument detects tiny sound reflections and represent this on a screen, where whoever is fishing can see where there is movement, and potentially a lot of fish. The tech is not dissimilar to sonar. This can be integrated with a GPS system for instance, to provide the most help possible when out on a boat or kayak.

Some of these instruments aren’t the smallest, but as with most tech, they’re getting smaller, and some are compact enough to take out on boats and even kayaks without any issue at all, and some are even compatible with smartphones and tablets. More on that later.

What Makes the Best Fish Finders?

What are some of the features we’re going to be looking for in our reviews? Some of these products are vastly different, and the features of course depend on what you are looking to spend as well as the brand making the product. If you’re buying a fish finder for the first time, knowing what attributes make it a positive purchase can be the biggest challenge, so we’ve listed some things we’re going to be looking out for in our kayak fishfinder reviews.

Display – The display is how you’re going to interact with the instrument, and how you can read and know what is happening, and as such it has to be easy to use. As well as that, you need to consider the fact that while you are out and about, the weather is subject to change, and glare can become an issue on some screens, so finding one which takes steps to avoid this can help.

GPS Chart Plotting – This is a key feature, and wow, it can certainly make your life a lot easier, charting out where you have had success and mapping your fishing journeys, sometimes even having external SD card slots for more storage space.

3D Imaging – Some fish finders can map out what is going on below and even give an accurate 3D image of the water and what you may be dealing with below, this can make it easy to read and give you even more success.

Mounting – This can be key when it comes to a fish finder for kayaks or smaller sized boats. Having somewhere to mount it and an easy way to do so is an option, and that means you’re going to need something that is simple to mount and read on the go. Of course, this is optional and you don’t have to have it mounted on anything if you don’t want.

Depth Range – Some of these products will stay accurate up to 100m, some 200m, it depends on which model you opt for. If you’re just in a small lake and don’t need something to read over 100m then you may not need a huge depth range, but if you want to go out on the sea for instance or fish in deep waters, then the higher depth range, the better.

Controls and Intuitiveness – As with any sort of electronic gadget, it is important that it is easy to control. If you’re going out on the water, or are already out fishing, you don’t want something that is going to be difficult to control and work out. Clear instructions and intuitively designed controls are a massive plus point.

Transducer/Sensor – The Sensor is the part that will tell you where there are fish to find. This is pretty complex technology, but it is easy to use. Some sensors are better than others, some are more hard wearing, and some are easier to cast off into the water. This is something we’ve looked at in our reviews of fish finders for kayaking.

Battery – A few variations with the battery, not only how long the battery will last, but which type of batteries it takes, and whether your fish finder can be ‘charged’ or whether it takes AA or AAA batteries.

Hawkeye FishTrax Fish Finders – The utmost in portability.

If you want something super portable, even pocket size, then you can opt for a Hawkeye FishTrax model. There are a few different versions, some have a display that is just icons and looks a little bit like an old school video game. The others have clearer displays with sonar being shown either in black and white or color. They’re not even the most expensive models out there and they have a lot of features, especially when you consider they fit in a large pocket!

The Best Hawkeye Fish Finders for Kayaks

HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display

My recommendation if you’re looking for a Hawkeye Model is the FT1PXC, probably the top portable fish finder in terms of being pocket sized. Its duel frequency sonar and display which shows the depth of the fish can be extremely helpful, and it is easy to use both in terms of transducer and the buttons on the surface.

The transducer can work for kayaks of course, but even shore fishing and ice fishing work just fine. It has an adjustable sensitivity so you can get the right kinds of readings for the water you’re fishing in.

On top of being easily handheld, this product is easy to mount on the front of a kayak too or anywhere in a small boat, making it a superb option. The reviews you’ll find elsewhere online are extremely favorable, and the cost of the FT1PXC isn’t extortionate. That said, if you are looking for a cheaper option and are willing to sacrifice on the display, it does have a little brother or sister that is perfect for the job, and an icon display fish finder can be found for under $100.

Garmin STRIKER 4 fishfinder

Garmin is a name you are probably familiar with, and they’re a massive electronics and GPS brand who you may know from their sat navs and dash cams. They are more widely recognized for their car products, but they’ve entered the market for fishfinders with the Striker 4, and as you’ll see in this review, they’ve done a very good job of creating a real competitor.

As you might expect, the built in GPS feature on this is among the most exciting things about it, and it can even tell you the speed you’re going and help you ensure you’re going the right speed for trolling.

The waypoint map is a great way to mark out different points on the map to help your fishing pursuits. The high frequency sonar is easy to see and the display on the fish finder is very easy to use. The controls are super simple and there are dedicated buttons for each control, meaning you won’t get mixed up or end up fiddling around when out on the water when you could be fishing!

The Chirp sonar which is built in sends a different range of frequencies which provides a larger amount of info to build a picture of what is going on down in the water. This is one of the cheapest models of Fish Finder Garmin offer, but it still has some very good features, making it top value for money. It has a bigger sibling, the STRIKER 4dv, which offers more power in the transducer and can work at larger depths, it is sort of an ‘elite’ model of the striker, and as such costs a little more money, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it, and if you’re looking for the best of the best, this could be an option.

iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

It is very little surprise that there is a fish finder available for the iPhone and for android, and it can avoid the need to add another device to take out and about. You can use these types of device via bluetooth and on the iPhone and Android, and they’re controlled by apps, which link up to the transducer and provide the info straight to your phone. iBobber isn’t the only model that uses this type of tech, but it is possibly the best known and best selling, hence our review of the iBobber Wireless bluetooth smart fish finder.

The plus side of all this is that we know how to use our phones, and putting another app on them and using it to control our fish finder is very simple, and the apps work very well in terms of display and ease. It does however add some challenges and difficulties to the process. Some of these smart phones have notoriously low battery life, and can be drained very quickly, not ideal for a long day out fishing. The app does have some cool features including being able to share data and take photos and mark things on the map for future reference.

The iBobber is effective do a depth of 135′ and has a pretty effective sonar. The ‘bobber’ itself has a light to indicate when the battery is getting low, and the battery itself is easy to recharge. The patented sonar technology is something the company are really proud of. It also comes with a digital scale and fishing multi tool to increase your abilities to fish effectively, whether you’re going ice fishing, out on the kayak (as mentioned in the rest of this article) or you just want to fish on the shore.

The product isn’t as well reviewed as some of the other best fishfinders on the market, however it makes an excellent gift and many have reported that this really adds to their fishing trips and helps them to find more fish, as is of course the ultimate goal! It is a relatively cheap option in comparison to a lot of the other products, and it is very simple to install and get up and running. Of course it depends a little on the smart phone or device you’re going to pair it with, and if your technology is ancient it may not work as well (or at all if the OS is dated). It is great to not have to take another whole device out and about with you, being able to do it all with just the phone and transducer is a real plus point. There are many competitors to the iBobber cropping up, and some of them offer similar, excellent features, though this is perhaps the best selling, and has been available for years now, hence it being the model that has made our list.

Conclusion

Whether you opt for something that you can link to a smart device, or a standalone fish finder, there are pros and cons to either choice, but ultimately for the very best features, and for those who are serious about their fishing, a good quality fish finder that doesn’t require a smartphone may well be the best option, whereas for the more ‘casual’ fisherman, something to use via an app is perfect.

The models we’ve listed above all fit the bill in terms of being great for use on a fishing kayak. Space is at a premium, and a fishfinder the size of a briefcase isn’t an option. These are all easily portable and other than the iBobber, they can be easily mounted and used on the water. Finding something compact and reliable is made a lot easier by the excellent brands such as Garmin and Hawkeye.

The Best Tandem Kayaks Reviewed. Fishing and Kayaking in Pairs!

tandem kayak reviewKayaking is a recreation that is fun to do on your own, but even more fun with two people, so giving yourself the option with a tandem kayak with two seats makes sense. Of course, you can still use the kayak alone if you want to, so this way the choice is up to you. We’ve got the best tandem kayaks reviewed here for you on thewatersporter.com as we look to find the very best equipment for your needs.

Tandem Kayaks tend to cost a little more than a solo kayak, which is not exactly a surprise due to the fact it is bigger and takes more material to build, but they come with so many benefits, allowing you to take a beginner out on the water or for a couple of you to go out on a tandem kayak for fishing and have a day out on the lake.

Things to Consider When Buying a Tandem Kayak

Working out what criteria you are looking for is the first step to choosing a kayak of any description, whether you need a tandem kayak for fishing, racing or just for leisure activities. There are a lot of different things to consider, and what is the best choice for one may not be the best for another. We’ve listed below a lot of the features, considerations and information you need to think about when you are shopping for yours.

  • Weight. The options for weight are quite varied, especially as some are inflatable and some aren’t. The weight isn’t just to be considered because of transporting the kayak, but of course you’re going to have to paddle or row the boat, so you need to think about what you (and your kayak partner) are capable of.
  • Portability. Obviously this is tied with weight to an extent, but you also need to think about if you need something you can put on a roof rack (probably the best way to transport) or even deflate and stick in the back of your vehicle.
  • Control. This is largely down to whether the kayak has a rudder or not. Depending on what type of body of water you’re going out on, you need to consider how much control you need and how challenging the water will be.
  • Sit-in or Sit-on-Top. This is down to personal preference, and is down to the design of the kayak. It is more to do with what you will be more comfortable with than having a big impact on the performance of the kayak.
  • How many people! Tandem, of course, implies two people, but there are kayaks out there that have three or more spaces on them. Many tandem kayaks can easily be used by one person too if they are ballast. You must use the rear seat if this is what you plan to do, but being able to use it with a solo pilot is a big advantage and gives more flexibility.
  • Price. This is always going to be a consideration. There are models of inflatable kayak which are pretty cheap, there are models of non-inflatable products out there for under $500 which can do a good job, but at the top end of the market you’ll do well to find one under $1000.

Top Inflatable Tandem Kayaks

We definitely need to talk about inflatables. The top inflatable kayaks have a lot of plus points. Of course there are pros and cons, and you’re going to be sacrificing a lot of stability and sturdiness if you buy an inflatable on top of introducing the chance of puncture, but the chances are you will be saving a huge amount of money by opting for something to inflate rather than a rigid kayak. On top of the cash saving you’re introducing the element of portability which is great for those who don’t want a roof rack or just want life to be as easy as possible when you head to the lake, coast or river. The models reviewed below include some inflatable models to let you make your mind up on what might be the best for your needs (and budget of course).

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review

This is an inflatable tandem kayak, and it takes a lot of beating. This has an excellent reputation and definitely deserves its place on our list of the best. It comes with everything you need to get started, and is very affordable when compared to a lot of the other models on the market.

This is 123 inches long and has a capacity of 350 lbs, so make sure that those riding it are coming within the capacity to stay safe. It has a removable skeg which is designed to help with the stability and steering. It is bright yellow for high visibility and the material it is made out of mean that it is hard-wearing and tough to puncture. One of the main benefits of course is the portability, but it isn’t just about whether it is inflatable, it comes down to how easy it is to deflate and inflate. Nobody wants to be inflating for hours before you get started, and the Intex explorer doesn’t take long to get up and running.

Intex are a brand with a lot of history of making these type of products, and this is well and truly one of the best reviewed products on the market. A quick look at the reviews and you will find a lot of people who are very happy having bought this kayak, with users speaking highly of the durability, ease of use and quality of the K2. The only reservation I have seen regularly is people discussing the removable skeg, though it has not been a problem on my model, many take a precaution of drilling a hole in it and running string through it to ensure it doesn’t fall out and get lost on the water, and if it should come loose then it will stay attached at least.

Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak Review

Another one of the top selling kayaks out there here, the lifetime 10 foot tandem kayak is flexible, well made and exceptionally reviewed, but is it the right model for you?

As you can see from a quick look on Amazon or other online retailers, buying a kayak that isn’t inflatable is going to cost more, but if you’re serious about it, the benefits are clear to see.

  • Great for single use or tandem with a weight capacity of 500 pounds.
  • Comes complete with paddles and backrests for comfort.
  • Extremely lightweight considering the size and comes with handles to carry it around.
  • Has a five year limited warranty which shows the faith the manufacturer have in their product.
  • Seating designed to keep riders off the floor of the kayak.
  • Can even fit up to three people.
  • Has a cargo area making it a great tandem kayak for fishing and allowing you to carry items with you.
  • Tunnel Hull for stability and is ‘virtually impossible to tip’.

This is probably the best kayak for fishermen I’ve ever seen and even has a fishing pole holder, it is amazingly well thought out, and if you want something for you and a friend or two to head out on the water for some fishing or paddling, this is a model you must consider. The fact that it is so hard to tip also makes it very good for beginners or those who are a little less confident on the water. This is so well thought out that it even has a cup holder!

Easy to transport and of course to store, as well as being simple to use and amazing for beginners and experienced paddlers. It isn’t hard to see why this is in our list of the top models of tandem kayak, and there are lots of positive reviews from consumers to support our opinion! Is this the cheapest product you’ll ever buy? No, but with an amazing warranty from the manufacturer and the fact that it is so well built mean that it is likely to last you a long time and many trips out on the lakes, rivers and even on the sea.

Useful UH-TK181 12.5 foot Sit On Top Tandem Fishing Kayak Review

Well, this model from Useful is truly a treat. Of course, on any list of products, I want to recommend what is the best for the money, and this is a bit more of a pricey addition, but it is packed with features to justify its price tag, not to mention how incredibly well made the UH-TK181 Fishing Kayak is. Just a look at this kayak shows you what detail has been put into its manufacture.

  • Weighs just under 70lbs with a capacity of 450 lbs.
  • Has two light paddles and deluxe, very comfortable seats.
  • Comes with paddle rests and three sturdy, impressive rod holders.
  • Has a set of four carry handles, two bungee paddle parks and even has cargo so you can take all of your fishing kit (and even some lunch if you want).

This is another model which describes itself as almost impossible to tip, this is great if you’re new to kayaking but is also wonderful for fishing as of course your mind may be on other things! It doesn’t have to be used for fishing and is equally good for simply paddling. The storage compartments are watertight and the numerous attachments and additions are all well-made, well positioned and well thought out.

The Useful model certainly lives up to its name. Some of the features, the size and the price may be overkill for a lot of people, but for others this will be the very best of all, and there’s little denying that the UH-TK181 is superb.

Conclusion

We are in a ‘horses for courses’ situation here, of course. What is best for you depends on what you’re looking for in terms of features, how many people will be using it, how portable it is and all of the other features we’ve mentioned above. The models we’ve picked out and reviewed for you are all, in our opinion, both reliable and good value for money. If you have more thoughts and experiences with the products we’ve pointed out, leave us a comment below!

Exploring the Best Ocean Kayaks for Fun and Fishing

kayakMany of us love to explore the sea, and more of us are doing so in an ocean kayak which can be used for either fishing or of course just paddling on the water and having fun. The sea obviously needs to be respected and there are a lot of health and safety regulations before you take to the water. Certain ocean kayaks are better than others, some come recommended for fishing, some don’t. It is important to know what you’re buying and what is the best sea kayak for your money before you purchase one and take the plunge.

There are certain features you should be looking for when buying one. We’ve put together some reviews below in order to help you find the top models, but it is important to be as educated as possible going into the process.

Going out onto the sea is amazing for so many reasons, the cool breeze can feel amazing and the thrill of the wind in your hair can be enthralling. If you are lucky enough to be visiting or living near somewhere that there is a tropical or just beautiful ocean, a kayak may well be something you want to invest in.

If you’re into sea fishing, the kayak offers a few advantages, of course if you have a kayak for ocean fishing you can move around and fish in areas up and down the coastline which you may not have otherwise been able to reach.

It is important to be experienced taking to the water and comfortable with a kayak, so make sure you’ve spent some time in it, perhaps even on a smaller body of water before you go out on the sea. It is also vital that you take the time to learn to use your kayak properly and that it is instructed correctly, and you respect the sea and of course any local rules. This excellent guide is good for introducing you to using it.

How Much is an Ocean Kayak?

This is a bit of a misleading question, of course there are many options and of course they’re at different price points, so the budget you are on is going to inform which model of kayak you’re likely to buy. In general, the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is definitely relevant, but there are some cheaper options which can do a good job for you and you don’t necessarily have to get the most expensive. Most of the models out there are under $1000, but if you’re looking to go as cheap as under $100, you’re likely going to struggle greatly to find anything of real quality.

Ocean Fishing Kayak Choices:

Inflatable vs Non-Inflatable. This is a choice which it is important to make, it is a little cheaper to go to the inflatable end of the market, and of course helps a lot with portability, but then there is of course the construction. A lot of the inflatable fishing kayaks are really sturdy, so it may be a viable option.

One person vs Tandem. Choose the amount of seats required! I don’t like to go out alone but you can of course take multiple kayaks if you need to. Tandem fishing kayaks can provide a great way to head out on the water as a duo and keep each other company while fishing or just exploring.

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak

We’re starting with one of the better selling models of fishing kayak. It is a very sturdy model of kayak and though not inflatable, and a little tough to transport if this is something you need to do, it is a great option. This kayak is easy for those who aren’t the most experienced and is very forgiving when it comes to paddling. What I also love about it is the open cockpit, getting in and out is simple even if you’re a bigger person, and you don’t feel claustrophobic when you’re in it, and it is great for fishing where you need a little freedom of movement.

The dry storage compartment is great for putting things in which you need to keep safe, and the adjustable foot mounts are great for your comfort. Overall, an excellent option if you’ve got an SUV to lug it around in or can keep it relatively close to where you’ll be using it. I wouldn’t recommend taking it too far from the shore and of course you need to be safe at all times.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review – Two Person Inflatable Kayak

We’re looking at the Intex Explorer as more of a cheap option for a kayak, and of course an inflatable and more easily portable model. This is great for people on a budget, and comes with everything you need including some sturdy aluminium paddles to use. Again, it isn’t going to be the best kayak in the world at the price point, but it is more than adequate for what most of us need and it is great for taking on trips with you.

As well as being used in the ocean (close to the shore I would recommend) it can be used in lakes and everywhere else where kayaking and watersports are popular. You need to be more careful with an inflatable, naturally it is less hard-wearing.

These are best for lakes and other small bodies of water and you should always be aware of the weather also when taking it out, but if you’re on a budget when trying to find your kayak, this might be an option for you.

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-on-Top Kayak Review

The Ocean Kayak brand has become one of the most popular on the market, especially for using in the sea, hence the name! This is a one person kayak and you can sit on top of it, it is 9 foot long and can be stored on the top of a car or in the back of a truck or SUV. This is a little more expensive, but if you’re looking for a one person kayak then this is possibly the best you can buy.

It is relatively lightweight at just over 40lbs, but can handle the capacity of up to 325 lbs for somebody riding on top. It has enough mobility for fishing and of course is great just for recreational kayaking!

The design has come with a padded seat, and trust me if you spend any length of time in it you’re likely to be thankful for having a cushioned, padded seat to spend your time on. It is available in a few different colors and has been very highly regarded among those who have purchased.

A quick look on the consumer reviews on Amazon and other sites will show you just what people think of this. At the time of writing the vast majority of reviews are five star, showing what people have thought after taking this out of the water. It can pretty comfortably be used on loads of different types of water and is very sturdy and hard-wearing, especially when you consider how lightweight it is. The bright design colors improve the visibility, and some have even said they’ve taken it surfing on waves, which shows how good the control is.

Knowing the Safety Protocol

If you’ve never gone over in a kayak, you need to experience this. The safety practice when you’re in a kayak which overturns is as follows:

  • Lean forwards
  • Use the paddle you’re holding to push off from the kayak.
  • Release the affixation which holds you to the kayak so that you’re not tethered, this is called the ‘skirt’
  • Ensure it’s been totally removed and then push yourself away from the boat. You can of course go back to it later but your safety is the most important thing when you’re in open water.

Conclusion

There are a lot of different models on the market and it is vital that you take a little time to consider both where you’re going to be using it, whether you need space for one or two people, and how much you’re willing to spend, as well as the ocean kayak brands available.

The above models of kayak won’t see you far wrong, and as long as you abide by what people advise locally, and stick to the rules whilst staying sensible, you’re likely to have a great time on the sea.