Best fishing kayaks under 1000 in 2021 | Top Picks & Reviews

Fishing kayaks aren’t the same as recreational kayaks, because they come with stuff like built-in rod holders and comfortable seats that help with the extended hours of fishing. In essence, they’re optimized for kayak fishing as the name already suggests.

If you’re shopping for a fishing kayak under 1000$, it can get a little exhausting with virtually all manufacturers claiming only they make the best fishing kayaks. How is one supposed to pick one from hundreds of the self-proclaimed best fishing kayaks? What would give you the best fishing experience?

But fear not, I’ve rounded up some really good models for you. I’ll also be explaining what makes each of them the best fishing kayak under 1000 in their own segments.

Without further delay, let’s begin.

List of 8 best fishing kayaks under 1000

Comparison of 8 best fishing kayaks under 1000

Budget Pick
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on top 
  • Seating: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Length: 8 feet 7 inches
  • Width: 3 feet
Most Compact
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on top
  • Seating: Solo/tandem
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Length: 12 feet 7 inches
  • Width: 1 feet 6 inches
Best Tandem
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on top
  • Seating: Tandem
  • Weight Capacity: 470 lbs
  • Length: 10 feet 11 inches
  • Width: 3 feet 4 inches
Most Durable
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on top
  • Seating: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 395 lbs
  • Length: 9 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 2 feet 6 inches
Best Overall
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on top
  • Seating: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 2 feet 7 inches
Best Handling
  • Cockpit Type: Sit inside
  • Seating: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Length: 10 feet 5 inches
  • Width: 2 feet 8 inches
Most Comfortable
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on top
  • Seating: Solo/tandem
  • Weight Capacity: 770 lbs
  • Length: 12 feet 8 inches
  • Width: 2 feet 10 inches
Notable Mention
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on top
  • Seating: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 375 lbs
  • Length: 12 feet
  • Width: 2 feet 8 inches

Detailed Product Review of Best fishing kayaks Under 1000

Sevylor Quikpak K1 (Budget Pick)

Sevulor Quikpak K1 is a great choice at this price point for anyone who wants to get started with kayak fishing on a budget. Despite the low price tag, it’s packed with quite a few decent features that not only novices, but expert kayakers would appreciate too.

Kayaking is all fun and games, but who really wants to spend half an hour on just the setup? Well, Sevylor has been considerate enough to integrate a 5-minute setup process with Quikpak K1. Thanks to this, you can get on the water in minutes!

As it comes with multiple air chambers, you can make it to shore even if one of them gets punctured.

Another notable feature of this kayak would be its portability. The whole kayak can be carried in the backpack that comes with it, and the backpack also folds out into the kayak’s seat. The weight capacity also allows you to carry a sufficient number of fishing gears.

Cool, right?

It’s a fun and safe fishing kayak for novices on a budget. Considering the low price, this is the best fishing kayak you can get.


  • Doesn’t break the bank.
  • Takes minutes to set up.
  • Multiple air chambers for more safety.
  • Beginner-friendly.


  • Plastic connectors of stock pedals are flimsy.
  • Tracking system isn’t good.
  • Not suitable for rough weather conditions or very windy days.

Intex Excursion Pro (Most Compact)

When it comes to inflatable kayaks and swimming accessories, Intex is a household name. Most of their kayaks are bestsellers, Excursion Pro is no different either. And I can see why.

This sit on top kayak is so hard to not fall in love with if portability and compactness are some of your concerns. The polyester fabric coated PVC build material promises rigidity and toughness while not making the kayak too heavy to carry around at the same time.

You can even reconfigure the cockpit depending on whether you want to kayak alone or go for some tandem fishing.

Overall, Intex Excursion Pro is a great entry-level fishing kayak for weekends. The portability makes it a wonderful hiking buddy as well. As long as you’re not planning on kayaking often and for long hours, this is one of the most compact fishing kayaks under 1,000 dollars and I would say this is if not the best one of the best fishing kayaks under $200 dollars.


  • Compact yet sturdy design that offers great stability.
  • Adjustable seats and comes with footrests.
  • Takes only 10 minutes to inflate the kayak.
  • Ample cargo space.
  • Two integrated fishing rod holders.


  • Gets unbalanced when both seats are installed.
  • Paddles are too short and lack rigidity.
  • Doesn’t handle choppy water or strong headwinds well.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado (Best Tandem Kayak)

The first thing you’re going to notice about Sevylor Coleman Colorado is its color. Unlike many other kayaks, Coleman Colorado’s color doesn’t demand attention. Now, how does that help for a fishing kayak?

It doesn’t spook fish out. That’s definitely something you’d want for kayak fishing.

On the note of fishing, the long hours of looking at the water can get boring quickly. And that is something this kayak can help with as well. Since this comes with two seats, tandem fishing is possible too.

Apart from the inconspicuous color and tandem seating arrangement, this tandem kayak also offers fairly good stability along with handling even with two persons on board. The maximum weight capacity is fairly good, so you can carry plenty of fishing gear with you as well.

If kayak fishing with a friend is your idea of a perfect trip, Sevylor Coleman Colorado is one of the best fishing kayaks under 1000 for you.


  • Trolling motor can be installed.
  • Three-layer construction makes it very less likely to puncture.
  • Good maneuverability and stability.
  • Multiple air chambers for more safety.
  • Quite spacious, also has plenty of clips and pockets for more storage.


  • Not made for fast pedaling.
  • Doesn’t come with an air pump.

Sun Dolphin Journey (Most Durable)

Sun Dolphin Journey is the toughest fishing kayak under 1000 on my list. For which, the credit goes to the build material which is rugged high density polyethylene. When a company goes the extra mile to even have the material UV-stabilized, you know this kayak is designed to last.

The almost perfect length and width combination allow the fishing kayak to be both agile and highly stable while you’re enjoying your kayak fishing trip. It also has three fishing rod mounts, which is nice.

You can take this fishing kayak anywhere, whether lakes or rivers. An adjustable padded seat makes sure you stay comfy even when you’re staying on the water for extended hours.

The self-bailing feature is a nice touch, and there are ample storage compartments so you don’t have to worry about the weight of your fishing gear.

For those who are tired of getting their fishing kayak punctured or damaged, Sun Dolphin Journey can be a worthy contender compared to other kayaks. Especially when it comes to durability.


  • UV-stabilized high density build material ensures extreme durability.
  • Lightweight and carrying handles make it easier to carry.
  • Adjustable foot pegs and padded seats for more comfortability.
  • Spacious cockpit.
  • Two flush mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder.


  • Tracking system could be better.
  • No tandem seating configuration.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler (Best Overall)

Lifetime Tamarack Angler, as the name suggests, is a fishing kayak. That’s all, nothing else. No bells and whistles. No fancy features. Does it really deserve the best overall verdict?

Yes, and let me tell you why. All fishing kayaks have some advantages and disadvantages. But at the end of the day, if all you want is a standard, fishing kayak that is reliable, your desired model should have a good balance between its pros and cons. Lifetime has been in the game for long enough to know that.

And I can see that in their one of the most selling models, Tamarack Angler. It’s not poorly built by any means, the rugged build material protects this sit on top fishing kayak from most rocks and monsters under the water. The seat and backrest are comfortable enough for even all day long kayak fishing trips. Multiple footrest positions are another plus.

It’s very stable on the water and has an adequate number of mounts for fishing accessories as well. The maximum weight capacity is good enough for one person.

Last but not the least, there’s also plenty of room for custom accessories that allow you to upgrade your fishing kayak as necessary.

To know more about what sort of modifications you can do, check this video out

In a nutshell, Lifetime Tamarack Angler may look basic but the cons are totally outweighed by the pros. It may be capable of doing few things, but those are done in a great way. If you’re looking for a standard fishing vessel within a reasonable price range, this is one of the best fishing kayaks under 1,000 that fits those criteria.


  • UV-protected high density polyethylene has been used in construction.
  • Two flush mount rod holders, one top mount rod holder.
  • Soft padded seat with an adjustable backrest which is also padded.
  • Adjustable footrests.
  • Highly customizable.
  • Decent luggage space along with storage hatch.
  • The flat bottom and chine rails offer great stability.


  • Only comes in one color.
  • Doesn’t allow tandem fishing.

AdvancedFrame Sport (Best Maneuverability)

Some may say this fishing kayak looks way too flashy. I have to disagree though, I find the bold design philosophy of AdvancedFrame Sport to align well with what it’s made to do, allowing you to have loads of fun on your trip.

But that’s not even the best part about it.

What this fishing kayak excels in is maneuverability. Although this is an inflatable kayak, its tracking ability is surprisingly good because of the high performance hull design that boasts built-in aluminum ribs in the bow and stern. Combined with the robust construction material and light weight body, it’s one hell of a fun-to-ride fishing kayak.

AdvancedFrame Sport’s features include the spacious open cockpit with comfy sits that’d let you spend all day on the water. And needless to say, this fishing kayak is pretty easy to transport. One thing I particularly didn’t like about it is its storage space, which isn’t that good compared to other models.

Entry-level kayaks aren’t usually known to have a decent tracking system. However, if you do desire a highly maneuverable one anyway, AdvancedFrame Sport would be a very good fishing kayak under 1000.


  • Paddles and tracks well.
  • Lightweight and compact. Fits in the trunk of a small car.
  • Three-layer construction makes it very less likely to puncture.
  • Comfortable seat with adjustable back support.
  • Appealing design.


  • Limited storage space compared to other models.

BKC TK181 (Most Comfortable)

BKC TK181 might not look so from the outside, but it’s actually one of the roomiest kayaks in its segment. The same goes for the padded seats with backrests, they don’t look special but when combined with the spacious cockpit, the comfort level is unparalleled.

Forget about spending your kayak fishing trip in a cramped environment, there’s so much space in the cockpit of this sit on top fishing kayak that you wouldn’t hesitate even a little bit to invite your buddy to the trip.

And speaking of trip mates, a smaller kayaker can also join you two provided (s)he’s fine with sitting in the storage area. The maximum weight this fishing kayak can carry is more than enough for three occupants with a boatload (no pun intended) of fishing gear. There are enough fishing rod holders to make sure no one misses out on the fun.

To wrap it up, BKC TK181 is one of the best fishing kayaks under 1000 in terms of comfortability. Want to enjoy the long hours of tandem fishing in comfort? It won’t disappoint you.


  • Soft padded adjustable seats and backrests.
  • Seven rod holders in total – four flush mounted and three articulated.
  • Waterproof large storage compartments.
  • Impressive stability.


  • Heavier than similar models.
  • No standing platform.

Perception Pescador 12.0

Before I get started with how amazing Perception Pescador 12.0 is, here’s a friendly warning. This fishing kayak costs more than a thousand bucks, so it may be out of your budget. The question is, why have I purposely added this to the list then?

For one, this mightn’t be a kayak under 1000, but it is worth every damn penny. Secondly, it might be possible for some of you to spend a bit more than what your budget is, only if I tell you – no, show you why. You’ll thank me later.

When Pescador 12.0 was designed, I’m pretty sure Perception was like “Find out what anglers want. Gather every awesome fishing kayak feature that’s ever come into existence. Put them all in Pescador 12.0!” And the engineers did.

It’s fast. It’s stable. As users say, the seat is so comfortable that people should get this kayak if only for the seat. This kayak even has cup holders!

The longer length helps it track straight even in rough water conditions. If you can increase your budget a tad bit, Perception Pescador 12.0 would be the best fishing kayak for your next fishing adventure, hands down.


  • Versatility.
  • Has gear tracks.
  • Decent storage.
  • Ergonomic seating which includes ventilated padding and adjustable padded seat back ensures great comfort.
  • Offers superior stability and tracking. Doesn’t get unstable even at high speed.
  • UV-stabilized high density build material ensures extreme durability.


  • The kayaker can’t stand or cast from it.
  • No paddle holder.

How to Pick the Best Fishing Kayak for Yourself

picking the best fishing kayak under 1000 ultimate guide

Size and Stability

Length and width have a direct effect on the handling of the kayak. The ones with longer length (12 feet and above) tend to have a shorter width. They’re faster and track better. On the other hand, shorter kayaks usually have a greater width and offer higher stability. If you plan on doing standup fishing, the latter would be a better choice because of added stability.


There’s no doubt that inflatable kayaks are the best in terms of portability. All of them would fit in the trunk of your car with ease. However, if you’re going for a hard-shell one, make sure to check if it’s light enough for you to carry. Carrying handles are a blessing, so that’s something good to have too.


Most kayaks are somewhat comfortable these days. But at the end of the day, what it comes down to is where you would be using the kayak, and for how long.

To answer the first question – if you’re not going to fish in cold or rainy weather, sit-on-top kayaks would be fine as you wouldn’t probably mind the higher exposure to water or wind. On a hot summer day, you might even appreciate the splashing.

However, a sit-inside kayak offers protection from the elements making it more suitable for cold weather/water.

As for the second question, if you plan on kayaking for long hours, do make sure the seats are padded and the cockpit is spacious enough to spend a few hours comfortably. Otherwise, don’t bother trading something more important for those features.

Storage Space

When you’re trying to find yourself the best fishing kayak, you’d definitely want something that has enough storage for all your fishing accessories including your favorite tackle box.

Built-in rod holders are a norm now, some have flush mounted rod holders, some have swivel mounted rod holders and both have their pros and cons.

Storage hatches keep your snacks or electronics dry and safe from the water.

It’d be a good idea to check the weight capacity as well, especially if it’s a tandem kayak so you know how much stuff you can carry even with multiple persons on board.

Frequently Asked Questions on Best fishing kayaks

How’s a Fishing Kayak Different from a Regular Kayak?

Fishing kayaks are specifically designed and optimized for fishing. They come with amenities like fishing rod holders, tackle storage, storage hatches, etc. that are very helpful for anglers. Moreover, fishing kayaks tend to be wider for better stability as anglers often need to stand up for casting.

Regular kayaks lack these features as they’re not really made for anglers.

What’s the Best Way to Transport a Kayak?

If it’s an inflatable kayak, the answer is obvious. Fold it, throw it in the trunk of your car and you’re good to go. Once you’ve reached the destination, take it out from the trunk and inflate it using an air pump. That’s as simple as it gets.

Hard-shell kayaks aren’t that portable, but they can be transported with ease too. A roof rack on your vehicle is a must for this method, and ideally, you should have someone to help you.

Go to one end of the kayak and lift it by grabbing the handle. Have the other person do the same in the end. Lift it up together and place it on the roof rack. Use cam buckle straps to tie down and secure the boat on the rack.

For a more detailed explanation, you can watch this video

If you want to transport more than one kayak, this guide might be of help.

Do Kayaks Ever Tip Over?

Generally, no, they don’t. Kayaks are fairly safe and they rarely tip over, unless you do something wrong. For example, if you turn your head and body (e.g. to look behind), your weight will shift to one side. That will make the kayak severely unbalanced and it might tip over as a result.

As long as you’re sitting straight and keeping the kayak balanced, chances are pretty low it would capsize. Even if it does, you can get back into your kayak if you know the procedure, which isn’t very difficult to master. Here is a short video to learn how to re-enter a kayak in deep water.

Also, read our best fishing gear series:

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