By Shannon Serpette
Kayaking lets you carve out your own piece of paradise. It’s just you and your kayak against the elements, as you enjoy all the quiet time and nature around you.
To make the most of these adventures, though, you need to choose your kayak wisely.
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This 13.5-foot Perception Tribe tandem kayak, with a 500-pound capacity, gives you a great option for taking your partner and small child all in one vessel. There are two official seats and a mold-in center seat where your child or dog can stow away. It has integrated footrests, storage wells on the front and back, a built-in spot for your drink, and a center storage hatch for little things like lip balm or keys. It’s best for slower moving water like rivers and lakes. GET IT HERE.
If you’re embarking on a journey rather than a short jaunt, Wilderness Systems’ Tempest 165 will do the trick. At more than 16 feet and performing well in faster-moving water, it’s still light enough for you to carry by yourself. There’s plenty of storage room for all the gear you’ll need unless you plan to channel your inner diva and bring half your possessions with you. GET IT HERE.
If you don’t have much money to spend, an inflatable kayak, like the Intex Challenger, can open up the world of water travel to you. While not as sturdy as a solid kayak, it can hold up to a lot. You get a pump and paddles with this kayak, so all you need to add is a life jacket and you’re good to go. GET IT HERE.
When you’re trying to introduce a younger child to the joys of kayaking, you need one that’s easy to maneuver for their size, like the Lifetime youth kayak. It holds up to 130 pounds and only weighs 18 pounds. If your child falls out in the water, they can easily get back into the kayak by using the swim-up step. GET IT HERE.
Sit-in kayaks aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. Some people feel confined and worry they wouldn’t be able to exit the kayak if it flipped over. With sit-on kayaks, like this Pelican model, you’ll feel free to move around and won’t be trapped if you flip over. The extra high and comfy backrest means you’ll be comfortable on longer trips as well. GET IT HERE.
Fishing fanatics might like the Perception Outlaw kayak, which is excellent for a peaceful day of trying to catch that whopper. It comes with a lawn chair-like seat that sits five inches above the deck. If you don’t want to use the seat, fold it up and take a cooler instead to sit on. It features two double-barrel rod holders, a wide deck, great standing platform, tank wells, and more. GET IT HERE.
SHANNON SERPETTE is an award-winning journalist, having received 10 Illinois Press Association writing awards across a wide variety of categories. An avid metal detectorist, Shannon spends most of her vacations at the beach searching for buried treasure. Follow her daily adventures on Twitter.