Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Fishing Kayaks Under $400 Reviewed

Want an affordable, safe & secure, high-quality kayak? We have reviewed & compared the best fishing kayaks under $400.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Fishing Kayaks Under $400 Reviewed

Want an affordable, safe & secure, high-quality kayak? We have reviewed & compared the best fishing kayaks under $400.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Kayaking is an extremely fun outdoor activity, and when you pair that with fishing and the possibility of a catch for your evening meal, you’re onto a winner. It may feel a little overwhelming when searching for a fishing kayak in an over-polluted sea of kayaks on the market today.

You’d think budgeting yourself to $400 or less would make the process easier, but there’s still such a choice for you even at this price point. We have reviewed and compared some of the top brands of fishing kayaks that won’t cost you a fortune.

Preview

Product

Type

Dimensions

Max Capacity

Check Price

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional...

Intex

Excursion Pro

Inflatable, Single or Tandem Use

12'7" X 3'1" X 1'6"

400 Lbs.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing...

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Sit-in, Inflatable, Tandem

30.1 x 11.6 x 19.2 inches

470 Lbs.

Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe 3 Person Inflatable...

Sea Eagle 370

Deluxe

Sit-in, Inflatable, 3-Person Kayak

34 x 19 x 11 inches

650 Lbs.

Solstice by Swimline Durango Kayak

Solstice Swimline Durango

Sit-in, Inflatable, Single or Tandem Use

32.00 X 18.75 X 9.75 Inches

440 Lbs.

Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak

Sevylor

Quikpak K5

Sit-in, Inflatable

10 Feet X 2 Feet 10 Inches

250 Lbs.

Perception Kayaks Zip 9.5 | Sit on Top Kayak...

Perception

Zip 9.5

Sit-on-top, hard shell, Single

9' 6" X 32” X 12.5" Inches

250 Lbs.

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top...

Sun Dolphin

Journey

Sit-on-top, hard shell, Single

120 x 30 x 11 inches

250 Lbs.

7 Questions Before Buying A Low-Range Fishing Kayak

What’s the main purpose of your yak?

Kayaks come in all shapes, sizes, prices, and for different uses, too. Knowing what your primary purpose will be will help you narrow down your choice. Serious anglers may be looking for a kayak that will allow them to cover more ground, so a longer slimmer fishing kayak will be needed. Whereas, an angler whose purpose is to get a loved one out on the water for an evening of fishing will require a tandem model. 

Which water system will you be fishing in?

Slow moving in shallow lakes or will require a lot fewer features than if you're going against choppy tides. If you're fishing in saltwater with harsh water and weather conditions, you'll need a yak with a little more durability and is a lot more stable and safe. If you're unsure about where you'll be fishing, check out which closeby water systems are available to you before making your purchase.

Which type of kayak do you want?

Sit-in or sit-on-top? Hard-shell or inflatable? Is portability necessary for you, or do you have a truck to transport a hard shell kayak?

These are all great questions to ask before focusing on brands or warranties. Sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks have many pros and cons, and will mainly be based on personal preference. If you’re entirely new to angling, then consider a sit-on-top model over a sit-in kayak. You’ll get a better view of the water, and they are generally safer, especially in case of flipping.

What size kayak & weight capacity will you need?

A kayak’s length and width can hugely impact its ability to move well when on the water. If you get a shorter kayak, you’ll find it will move easier on the water, generally getting good tracking. Kayaks over 10 feet are faster and can cut through the water easily, but may not suit tall or heavier anglers as the max weight capacity is lower. If you need a fishing kayak with a higher capacity than 250 lbs, for example, then don’t worry. There are plenty of fishing kayaks under $400 that go as high as 650 lbs, but they tend to be tandem or 3-seater models.

Do you need stability & mobility or propulsion speed?

If your new fishing kayak is determined to get you where you need to go, and quickly, then it’s side to side maneuverability and stability is jeopardized for its speed. Novice anglers should consider stability and mobility in this case as there’s nothing worse than getting your yak stuck in vegetation or muddy waterways. Wider, shorter kayaks tend to be more stable, whereas longer, thinner yaks are great for speed. If you’re more experienced, then give speed a try. It’s a lot of fun.

How are the comfort & safety features of the yak?

If you get a good quality fishing kayak, they often have built-in back support and footrests accompanying your yak. Having enough space for your legs to move around nicely is essential, so getting an adjustable seat is a great bonus. Inflatable kayaks tend to be easier to use and pack if you're new to the scene. There are fewer pieces to play around with, and they’re easier to transport, too.

What fishing storage & extra features does it come with?

When you’re not using your kayak, you'll need to store it properly to avoid damaging the exterior. If you buy a beautiful hard shell yak and you leave it in the sun for months on end, you risk warping the overall shape and damaging the color.

Many kayaks on the market will come and will have a cover included. Some other things you could expect along with your kayak are:

  1. 1
    A hand pump and=PSI reader
  2. 2
    Rod holders (higher priced fishing kayaks may have swirl-able holders)
  3. 3
    Carrier bag (for inflatable models)
  4. 4
    Repair Kits
  5. 5
    Paddles and footrest

Not all models will have these added extras, but many of our reviewed kayaks below have a number of these perks and more. Continue reading to find out our top picks for the best fishing kayaks below $400.


7 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $400 Reviewed

1. Intex Excursion Pro

best fishing kayak under $400

Type

Inflatable, Single or Tandem Use

Primary Material

PVC with a polyester core

Dimensions

12'7" X 3'1" X 1'6"

Max Capacity

400 Lbs.

Kayak Weight

39.01 Lbs.

The first kayak on our list is the Excursion Pro within the Professional series range. It’s a lightweight, travel-friendly sit-in kayak that can fit two riders easily. It has a great max load capacity for an inflatable model, coming in at a total weight capacity of 400 pounds. And there’s plenty of room for your fishing tackle either upfront or at the rear of the kayak.

The seating options for the Excursion Pro are adjustable so that you can use it as a single rider or as a tandem kayak. Depending on your height and size, you can easily adjust or remove the seats by its strong velcro and position them further forward or backward.

Another thing we loved about the Excursion Pro was its tough exterior with a polyester core. It allows you to not worry about damage from abrasion, impact, or sunlight. Intex designed this kayak to have high-pressure inflation as well, so it helps to provide additional rigidity and stability in numerous waterways.

The Excursion Pro kayak is surprisingly priced as many single-person kayaks, but with the option of making it into a tandem model. As it’s inflatable, it’s perfect for its usability for touring, watersports, and of course, as a fishing kayak, making it our top pick for the best fishing kayak under $400.

Pros
  • Super lightweight
  • Inflatable booster pad for elevated seating
  • Two integrated fishing rod holders
  • Footrests are also included
Cons
  • Only covered with a 90-day warranty against defects

2. Sevylor Coleman Colorado

best tandem fishing kayak under $400

Type

Sit-in, Inflatable, Tandem

Primary Material

18-gauge PVC

Dimensions

30.1 x 11.6 x 19.2 inches

Max Capacity

470 Lbs.

Kayak Weight

41 Lbs.

If you’re looking to be the leader of any lake in the US and want to experience the freedom with a loved one, consider this tandem, sit-in rugged fishing kayak. The Colorado by Sevylor Coleman has a rugged exterior.

It is constructed of 18-gauge PVC, with the bottom covered in a thick tarpaulin that withstands jabs and scratches from underwater obstacles like sticks and rocks. The kayak is NMMA certified, and the manufacturer has gone so far as to guarantee that this air system in this kayak is leakproof, to give you the ultimate peace of mind.

What makes this kayak special for two riders is its incredible amount of space for storage. This isn’t a common occurrence when it comes to tandem kayaks. This model features numerous sewn-in mesh pockets, so you and your rider can access snacks or lures for your catch. There are also the Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders in place so you can adjust your rods’  angle fish hands-free.

If you need more storage, then the Colorado comes with durable D-rings. The max capacity is a whopping 470 lbs, so you won’t have to worry about leaving anything behind. And the multiple air chambers allow different chests to stay inflated if one becomes punctured.

Finally, if you’re into troll fishing, then this kayak is a rare find for you. The Coleman Colorado can also be mounted with an appropriate trolling motor, giving you a range of fishing capabilities. All these features and more led us to pick this model as the best tandem fishing kayak under $400, as it’s perfectly matched for any schools of fish in lakes and rivers.

Pros
  • Travel-friendly- perfect for anglers
  • Multiple rod holders and storage areas
  • Leakproof and NMMA certified
  • One-year warranty
Cons
  • Must buy a paddle and pump separately

3. Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe

best 3 person fishing kayak under $400

Type

Sit-in, Inflatable, 3-Person Kayak

Primary Material

38 mil PolyKrylar

Dimensions

34 x 19 x 11 inches

Max Capacity

650 Lbs.

Kayak Weight

32 Lbs.

You can enjoy peaceful paddles on a lake or ride class III rapid white waterways with the 370 Deluxe inflatable kayak. You’ll be able to take up to 2 other riders with you along on your adventures. This 3-person model can be used as a tandem, or for solo kayaking as it’s wide, sturdy and light in weight for even one person to use.

Its overall weight is a low 32 lbs, and its max load is 650 lbs, making this one of the most affordable 3 person sports kayaks on the market today. You can take along enough gear for that long weekend fishing trip, camping adventure, or river running voyage.

Once you unbox your Amazon delivery, you’ll find 2 movable, super comfortable kayak seats, 2 paddles, a foot pump, and a carry bag for your kayak. A third seat will have to be bought separately, but it can be added with its strong velcro lining.

The paddles that accompany this kayak are incredibly durable and great value for your money. They are constructed with an asymmetrical blade and with an aluminum shaft, making them perfect for choppy or hard waterways. Inflating and deflating the 370 deluxe sports kayak will be a breeze with its 5 deluxe chambers, which all have 1-way inflation and deflation valves. You’ll have your kayak on the water within 10-15 minutes. 

There’s not a lot to fault with this model as a whole, but in terms of fishing, a few rod holders and D-rings would've been great for some additional equipment. If you don't mind holding your rod, then this 3-person inflatable kayak is a steal and could be a great way to get more of the people you love to accompany you on future fishing adventures.

Pros
  • Two rear skegs for tracking and speed
  • Light & easily portable
  • Durable paddles included
  • Full, 3-year warranty
Cons
  • There are no ropes on the side to tie down your fishing gear

4. Solstice Swimline Durango

best rated for beginners under $400

Type

Sit-in, Inflatable, Single or Tandem Use

Primary Material

22 gauge K-80 PVC

Dimensions

32.00 x 18.75 x 9.75 Inches

Max Capacity

440 Lbs.

Kayak Weight

35.7 Lbs.

As a beginner fishing kayaker, it’s crucial to think about every new aspect before taking your floatation device to the shore. From the ease of transportation, carrying, and overall use, the Solstice by Swimline Durango Kayak will be your new best friend.

This convertible, 2, or 1 user inflatable kayak has a thinner diameter than some of its competitors, but it still has plenty of room for long-legged users. The smaller diameter is also great for reaching higher speeds to get to your fishing destination faster. It has a tough 600 denier nylon cover with triple layer bottom, and a sturdy PU coated 840 Denier nylon oxford fabric top cover. It’s great for choppy waterways and for hard to reach areas.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any paddles that accompany this model, but you will receive two sturdy nylon-covered bucket seats that are fully adjustable, and sit perfectly within the kayak. Some other features include Heavy-duty D-rings for securing your fishing gear and a detachable skeg for better performance and tracking. It truly is an excellent kayak for beginners, and you can bring a friend or loved one with you to make the whole day more enjoyable.

Pros
  • Repair kit included
  • Easy to carry handles for transportation
  • High-quality D rings
  • Perfect for a beginner
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Seats are connected with a zip; if the user is heavy, it will unzip by itself

5. Sevylor Quikpak K5

best sit in fishing kayak under $400

Type

Sit-in, Inflatable

Primary Material

24-gauge PVC

Dimensions

10 feet x 2 feet 10 inches

Max Capacity

250 Lbs.

Kayak Weight

25.5 Lbs.

Could you ever imagine carrying your kayak, in your backpack, straight to the water? With the QuikPak K5 one-person kayak, the unimaginable can come to life. It takes portability to a whole new level as the backpack holds an inflatable kayak, and the backpack itself converts into a seat and skirt. This pack is incredibly lightweight and convenient for solo anglers who love to travel to enjoy their favorite water activities.

The QuikPak K5 is made with rugged materials, with a tarpaulin bottom, and 24-gauge PVC construction. It also has a polyester cover that provides extra protection from cuts and abrasions. As it’s created by the same manufacturer as The Colorado model, previously mentioned on our list, it has the same guarantee on its non-leaking capabilities. Its Airtight System on all 3 chambers guarantees each one won’t leak.

There may not be a lot of storage within this sit-in kayak, but there are integrated D Rings so you can attach your fishing equipment here, or on the secure cargo space with the bungee cords that are provided.

The complete kit consists of a paddle that disassembles for easy portability, and a hand pump for easy and quick inflation. Everything packs up neatly into the backpack at the end of your day, so within just a few minutes, you can be set up or packed up to give you more time on the water.

Pros
  • Extremely travel friendly- everything fits into a backpack
  • Double Lock valves for easy inflation and deflation
  • Exterior storage options
  • Perfect single-user kayak
Cons
  • Do not go higher than the recommended PSI or else it can pop a chamber
  • Only comes with a 90-day warranty

6. Perception Zip 9.5

best sit on top kayak under $400

Type

Sit-on-top, hard shell, Single

Primary Material

High-density polyethylene

Dimensions

 9' 6" x 32” x 12.5" inches

Max Capacity

250 Lbs.

Kayak Weight

45 Lbs.

Next on our list is a fun, versatile, and easy to paddle sit-on-top kayak by Perception. The Zip 9.5 wasn’t just the most fun to ride, but the color waves are pretty bright and playful, too. The Zip 9.5 comes in 3 fun colors and has a ton of amazing features. It’s our number one for the best sit-on-top kayak for under $400.

The boat is designed for low maintenance, simplicity, and ease of use. It has a hard shell that’s easy to clean; you can simply wipe it down with a wet cloth. It also has a drain plug for easy interior cleaning and draining.

The design of the kayak is exceptionally well done. It feels like every inch of this molded model has a feature. Firstly, there’s a molded-in seat and footrests so you can adjust your leg position for optimal support.  It also means that it’s suitable for a wide range of angler sizes. There are also molded handles that are perfectly placed to allow a single person to carry it to and from the water.

Perfect for lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers, and calm coastal environments. This ready for the water kayak will have no problem carrying you and your equipment to hard-to-reach fishing areas. The large rear open storage area with bungee cord lashes is an excellent way for storing fishing gear like coolers or fishing crates. Just make sure you and your equipment are below 250 lbs and you’ll be smooth sailing.

Pros
  • Sturdy hard-shell kayak
  • Fun colors to choose from
  • Exceptional durability
  • Made in the USA
  • 5-year warranty
Cons
  • No rod holders or D rings

7. Sun Dolphin Journey

most stable fishing kayak under $400

Type

Sit-on-top, hard shell, Single

Primary Material

High-Density Polyethylene

Dimensions

120 x 30 x 11 inches

Max Capacity

250 Lbs.

Kayak Weight

44 Lbs.

Anglers seeking a sturdy and reliable fishing kayak usually expect the price to go up a couple of hundred dollars. But, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10-foot Fishing kayak proves that stability doesn’t have to come with a high price tag. This sit-on-top, hard shell is incredibly sturdy, reliable as it’s made of  UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene, so sharp rocks or debris will be no match against the Journey 10 ss.

This kayak was designed with fishing in mind. It has two flush mount rod holders and one swivel holder on board with you. The large, comfortable seating area with an adjustable padded seat will be comfortable to sit in for hours of intensive fishing. You’ll have plenty of space for a cooler or tackle box, too, as it comes with self-bailing and storage compartments, along with Sun Dolphin's P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier). This can give you extra storage if needs be.

With shock cord deck rigging and protective thigh pads for ultimate comfort, it’s hard to think of anything Sun Dolphin missed when designing this kayak for anglers. There is one thing to note, the max weight limit on this fishing kayak is 250 lbs, including gear. Some anglers will find this easy to stay under, whereas others may find it difficult. Once you stay under 250 lbs, you’ll feel comfortable, and most importantly stable, on all of your fishing excursions.

Pros
  • Stable and spacious design
  • Good quality materials were used
  • Additional PAC (portable accessory carrier)
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Not recommended for people over 200 pounds

Fishing Kayak Pricing Guides Explained

From $200 to $2,000, and everything in between. There's a range of fishing kayaks in all shapes and forms nowadays to suit many anglers' needs. There's no exact pricing system for fishing kayaks as they differ from brand to brand, but more expensive models tend to have a lot more added features, with some protective properties in the seat and footrests.

Higher priced kayaks can be made with newer, lighter materials, especially in hard-shell models. Yet inflatable kayaks are proving to be just as reliable nowadays, and they’re typically in the lower price points. Once you’ve got a good idea about where you’ll use your kayak, and how much you intend on carrying, it should seriously help you determine how much you should expect to spend.


Kayak Fishing Basics & Safety Tips

Once you start fishing from a kayak, your opportunities become endless. Not only will you cover more ground, but you’ll have the opportunity to find new schools of fish.

Owning your fishing kayak will take out a lot of the hassle of renting one, so you can get to the water faster, and whenever you want. Before you do, be aware of some of the following safety tips. They could help you in the long run.

  1. 1
    Being a good swimmer isn’t good enough, always wear a personal floatation device: Wearing appropriate attire along with a life jacket or also known as a PFD is essential on any kayaking trip.
  2. 2
    Check the weather and choose your route wisely: Planning will help you from running into any unnecessary dangers. Visit fishing trails that are all across the states for safe kayaking routes.
  3. 3
    Follow any boating rules in your area: This includes rules on the water before entering the water. When you’re docking your boat, be sure to do so at an appropriate pier. It may save you running into any legal issues.
  4. 4
    Stay below your max load capacity and check for damages after every use: Save yourself from the risk of sinking, and ruining your fishing rods. Weigh everything before you set sail so you’re not over the max load.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do I keep my fishing kayak in good condition?

Maintaining your new fishing kayak will differ from inflatable to hard shell. For most inflatable kayaks, it’s recommended to put it in a bucket of mildly soapy water. Rinse it off, making sure there aren’t any grit, sand, or leaves left behind. Once it’s dry, you can store it in your kayaking bag.

A simple inspection for damages and a wet cloth to the exterior will do the trick for hard-shell kayaks. Be sure to drain any water from the inside and rinse it thoroughly after every use. 

Is a sit on top kayak better for fishing than a sit-inside kayak?

Many anglers believe it's a lot easier to fish from a sit-on-top kayak than a sit-in kayak. It gives you more space to move, and many anglers fish freely while standing on some sit-on-top models. If you’re new to fishing from a kayak, consider looking at some sit-on-top models as well as the ones we’ve listed above.

Do fishing kayaks come with warranties?

Absolutely! Like buying a fishing boat or yacht, most manufacturers will offer a warranty of some sort when you buy your new fishing kayak. Some warranties last 30 days, other brands offer lifetime warranties, so it’s worth checking what you’re covered for, and for how long, before you buy.

Can I use my fishing kayak on both freshwater and saltwater?

Most fishing kayaks can be used for a variety of activities, and that also includes fishing environments in saltwater and freshwater. It’s wise to check how well the material your kayak is against corrosion if you intend to use it with seawater. It could be fine, but if it’s not suitable, then corrosion and wear-and-tear will become evident over time. 

Do kayaks tip easily? What happens if you tip over in a kayak?

Kayaks aren’t designed with flipping in mind, so it shouldn't happen too regularly. If you do end up flipping your kayak, then try to stay calm. You should be wearing your PFD, so your only focus is to get out of the yak as safely and calmly as possible. If you're flipping your yak a lot, check if your fishing environment is suitable for your kayak. 

Where is the best place to find good fishing kayaks under 400 dollars?

If you’d like to see your potential new fishing kayak up, close and personal, check out your local fish tackle store or outdoor adventure store. If there's none of interest to you, then there’s always Amazon. The customer reviews are honest and to the point and could help you finalize your decision once you read opinions from like-minded anglers.


Conclusion

Make your next kayaking adventure go by smooth sailing, with more fun, with one of our 7 best fishing kayaks under $400. The Intex Excursion Pro was our top choice for its range of capabilities. You and a loved one will have everything you need with this budget-friendly model so you can spend more money on equipment and time on how to find more fish.

Top