Which Dog Kayak Is Best For You?
Kayaking with your dog can be a fun experience as outdoor recreation has always been a popular pastime from time immemorial for man and his companion/friend, dogs.
Thus, the desire of finding ways for your dogs to join in outdoor exploration. Dogs, do not only love but enjoy long lazy days on a lake or being a fishing companion, from the ripples to the rapids of a river.
However, how do you ensure your dog is safe? Or how do you ensure you buy a kayak that’s suitable for you and your dog? Making use of the right kayak for your dog and you, depending on your chosen environment is a key prerequisite.
Thus, we’ll be looking at some of the best models of kayaks that would keep you and your dog safe. Read through our professional opinion on the kayaks, likewise a run-through of what you should know when kayaking with your dog. Enjoy!
1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- Brand: Intex
- Item Weight: 35 Pounds
- Material: Polypropylene
- Colour: Yellow
- Style: 2-person
- Seating Capacity: 2
- Dimension: 10 feet 3 x 3 feet x 1 feet 8 inch
- Maximum weight capacity: 400 pounds
- It is comfortable for anyone as Kayak includes an adjustable inflatable seat with a backrest. Also, the cockpit is designed for comfort and space.
- SKEG is removable to aid directional stability
- The bright yellow colour helps increase visibility most importantly in cases of emergencies.
- Explorer K2 is made for smaller bodies of water such as lakes and mild rivers
2. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
- Brand: Intex
- Material: Polypropylene
- Length: 12’7”
- Weight: 39 pounds
- Item Weight: 46.73 Pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
- Its super tough laminate PVC with polyester core makes it light weight and highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact and sunlight
- High pressure inflation provides the extra rigidity and stability needed for easy inflation and fast deflation, with high-pressure loaded valves for this.
- It includes two (2) adjustable bucket seats, two (2) floor-mounted foot rests, two (2) integrated recessed fishing rod holders, two (2) removable SKEGS for deep and shallow water.
- It has adjustable and removable mounting bracket for additional accessories, such as fish finders, GPS systems, swivel fishing rod holders etc. It has a carry bag and repair patch.
- The storage space in bow and stern with stainless steel and rings for tying dry bags and gear down.
- It has a 3-ply super tough construction employing a high molecular PVC which is unaffected by gasoline, oil and salt water. It is extremely resistant to damage from abrasion, impact and sunlight. Also, it permits more air pressure for rigidity.
- It includes an 86-inch Aluminium Oar(s) and high-output pump
- It is designed to resist damage from water hazards
- The durability helps it resist your dog’s claws as well
- Due to being an inflatable, it is easy to store, transport and fairly light for one person to carry easily
- It inflates quickly and features adjustable footrests for comfortable paddling
- The rear seat’s back can be removed to give your dog more room to lie down or stand
- It is easy to store and transport
- It inflates quickly
- Its rear booster can be removed for more dog space
- It provides a good bang for your money
- May have long term durability issues as it is inflatable unlike a hard-shell boat.
3. Pelican Sentinel 100x Exo Recreational Kayak
- Brand: Pelican
- Length: 9 feet 6 inches
- Material: Polyethylene
- Weight: 42lb
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 275lb
The Sentinel 100X EXO is designed for the recreational paddler who is looking for a comfortable, stable and easy-to-store boat. Its non-slip mat would easily accommodate your pet on-board.
With an inclusive paddle, this kayak also has a front storage platform and a spacious rear tank well with bungee cords. It comes equipped with a moulded bottle holder, two (2) paddle tie downs and convenient carrying handles.
The added scupper holes at the bottom of the Kayak is to help drain excess water that might get into it. The hull design provides stability. Thus, a safe ride.
The seats are adjustable and come with extra-thick cushioning, an extra high and wide padded backrest. It is lightweight. Thus, ease with transportation. This kayak is sure to create memorable moments along the waterway.
4. Perception Tribe 9.5
- Style: 2020 – Framed Seat Back
- Brand: Perception Kayaks
- Item Weight: 46 Pounds
- Material: Polyethylene
- Colours available: Dapper, Déjà Vu, Funkadelic, Sunset
- It is Perception’s bestselling sit-on-top kayak which was made in the USA. It is considered a top choice for beginner to intermediate paddlers.
- To enable paddling with greater comfort it comes with a new adjustable framed seatback with cushy padded seat pan.
- There is the molded knee/thigh areas for added comfort/fit
- Foot-rests are integrated to accommodate paddlers of different sizes
- The front and rear tanks well storage with a bungee tied owns
- There is accommodation for keys and other small items, a built-in drink holder in the centre storage hatch
- There are the bow and stern toggle handles for easy conveyance
- It is perfect for lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers, and streams. Scupper holes provide drainage while the boat remains buoyant
- The Boat length is 9.5” while the width is 31.5”
- The Boat weight is 46 lbs while the maximum capacity is 300 lbs
This kayak affords plenty of space for you and your dog. It has two spacious seating areas with adjustable backs for comfortable paddling. There is also a moulded centre seat designed for dogs or kids.
Depending on the size of your dog, this kayak could theoretically carry two people and a pup. It holds up to 500 pounds, that is, even giant breeds can take to the water in this boat.
The Perception Tribe 9.5 is easy to handle and steer, significantly for its size. This kayak may be too heavy for one person to manage, especially for lifting on top of a car, irrespective of having two carry handles.
It is best suited for areas with light waves such as gentle lakes and rivers, this open-top boat features a hardy polyethene hull made for stability.
- There is plenty of space for even giant dogs
- It is easy to manage in the water
- It may be too weighty for one person to carry.
5. Perception Tribe 11.5
- Length: 11.5 feet
- Width: 30.25 feet
- Boat Weight: 52 Lbs
- Deck Height: 16″
- Maximum Capacity: 350 Lbs.
- It has an adjustable framed seatback for superior support and numerous recline positions
- Comfortable padded seat
- Moulded footrests accommodate paddlers of multiple size
- It has large open storage areas in front and rear with bungee lashing to secure your gear
- The center hatch offers storage and is a great place to stow keys, wallet and other important items (for waterproof protection, we recommend using with a sealed dry bag)
- Scupper holes provide drainage while still ensuring your boat remains buoyant. Scupper plugs can be added if desired as they’re often made use of in colder waters
- Solo mount recesses, enables you to easily add accessory holder or mounts without drilling
- It has rigid one-piece side carry handles for easy transport and lockable storage
- It also has front and rear toggle handles
- Has two bungee storage areas
- Roto-molded construction resists abrasion damage, impact and UV.
- Comes with a variety of accessories, including a cushioned seatback, multiple footrest options, etc.
- Available in three lengths with clear-cut “funkadelic” patterns: 9.5, 11.5, and 13.5 feet.
- It’s psychedelically styled and is offered in three sizes, letting you choose what works best for you and your dog’s needs.
- The 13.5-foot vessel weighs only 52 pounds
- It is of a higher weight limit than most kayaks, making kayaking with bigger dogs a breeze
- Its roomy deck space keeps you and your canine comfortable
- It comes with a 5-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
- Expensive (particularly the largest option)
- Its open storage areas can make toting tasty items hard to deal with a canine.
6. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak
- Brand: Sea Eagle
- Item weight: 26 Pounds
- Colour: Blue / White
- Seating Capacity: 2 persons and a small dog.
- Item Weight: 26 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
- Material: Puncture-resistant extra-thick K-80 polykrylar (inflatable) hull material
- It is rated up to Class III white-water as it comes in nine-inch tubes, I-beam construction, and high-frequency welded seams
- It comes with inflatable spray skirts, two oars, reliable foot pump, carrying bag, inflatable front and rear seats
- It includes a limited three-year manufacturer’s warranty
- It is inflatable as such, can be inflated at the water edge. Thus, making it easier to transport
- It comes with two paddles, a step-operated inflating pump, and a repair kit
- It has two removable inflatable seats included in it
The Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe 2 Person Inflatable Sport Kayak is a great choice for kayakers looking for stability and performance in an inflatable option. Essentially, it is sold with its own air pump. This choice is perfect for people and dogs with limited space.
- It is perfect for road trips, as storage and transporting come easy due to the ability to deflate and store in bags
- It is an essentially lightweight design
- It comes with two double-ended paddles
- It can handle rougher waters
- It is not as durable as hard-sided options
- A few kayakers weren’t thrilled with its ability to handle rougher waters
7. Old Town Vapor 10
- Length: 10 feet
- Weight: 47 pounds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 325 pounds
The Old Town Vapor, a sit-in kayak with an oversized cockpit, allowing room for your dog to join you. There is a storage space behind the cockpit that could serve as a sitting space for a dog.
While this kayak only has a 325-pound max weight limit, Chances are a giant dog wouldn’t fit in due to the 325 pounds’ maximum weight capacity limit. Its length makes it easier to store than some of the larger tandem options.
Being a sit in kayak, it often feels more secure to paddle. Thereby, making it a good balance between security and space for your dog.
- It is lighter and smaller than a tandem kayak
- It is easier to carry.
- It is also easier to paddle
- Its 325pounds weight limit is rather little
- It has a somewhat limited interior space
8. Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem Kayak
- Brand: Ocean Kayak
- Item Weight: 57 Pounds
- Material: Plastic
- Colour: Yellow and Sunrise
- Seating Capacity: 2
- Weight Limit: 375 Pound
- Enjoy sun and surf with a furry companion with the kayak’s three seating positions, which support solo and tandem paddling with a pet.
- The comfort plus seats provide four-way adjustability, generating a custom fit and greater slip prevention over moulded seats.
- Patented overlapping foot wells allow center-seated kayakers to comfortably settle in and brace their feet.
- The open sit-on-top hull makes it easy to get on and off the kayak which includes a pair of moulded-in handles and skid plate.
- The maximum capacity is 425 pounds; it measures 12 feet long and 34 inches wide. There is a lifetime warranty on the kayak.
The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a tandem kayak that is made with the capacity to hold two paddlers plus a small child or a dog. It has a tri-hull construction, which adds to its overall stability, most especially in small ocean waves or temperate river currents.
The sit-on-top design makes it easy for both you and your dog to jump on and off the kayak. It can be paddled solo with different seating positions, giving you more room to potentially take two well-behaved dogs.
Also, it features straps at the bow and stern where you can fasten some of your gear if you’re off on an adventure. For ease, the Malibu Two comes with two padded adjustable seats and an option of adding dry storage if you wanted to modify it.
There are two side-carrying handles. Inclusively, a bow and stern toggle handle to make it easier to lift and take to the water. You and your dog will enjoy hours on the water in the heavy-duty Ocean Kayak Malibu Two.
This sturdy-yet-comfortable choice offers the durability you need to stand up to your dog’s nails with a polyethylene frame, yet the comfort to sustain you for hours in the outdoors with moulded footrests and a roomy sit-on-top design.
- It is a very good entry level kayak
- There is plenty of room for your dog(s) as seats can be arranged or removed to accommodate your dog.
- It is easy to paddle on your own
- It has two seats
- Super sturdy thus, perfect for all types of trips, from the longer journeys on choppy waters to relaxing floats in tranquil lakes
- It is highly stable
- Kayaking with larger dogs is a breeze with its impressive weight limit
- It is not the highest capacity there is.
- It is a bit heavy and thus, physically demanding to carry
- Due to its large size, it can be trickier to transport on your vehicle
9. Driftson Teton 120
- Brand: Driftsun
- Item Weight: 72 Pounds
- Material: Polyethylene
- Colour: Blue/White
- Seating Capacity: 3
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
- Seating Capacity: 2 persons + centre seat for child or pet (as the case may be)
- The hull is constructed from single piece roto-molded UV resistant high density polyethylene for peerless strength and durability.
- It is adventure-ready as it comes with four (4) flush mount capped rod holders, two (2) mounting points for scotty accessories, rear tank well storage with bungee, dual water-tight storage hatches with inserts and built in cup holders
- It is fully outfitted as it comes with four (4) fixed carry handles for easy transportation, two (2) paddle park holders to secure paddles when not in use, and moulded centre cockpit seat
- The package includes two (2) adjustable EVA padded seats with high back support, two (2) anodized aluminium performance kayak paddles with ergonomic grips and eight (8) scupper plugs for self-bailing ports.
- The 12’ foot two-person tandem kayak is perfect for fishing, travel, or family recreation
10. Sundolphin Bali SS 12
- Brand: Sundolphin
- Model: BALI 12 SS
- Item weight: 48Lbs
- Material: Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene
- Length: 143.5”
- Width: 30.75”
- Height: 12.75”
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 395Lbs
- It has a Limited Lifetime Warranty
- It is a proficient ride for lakes and rivers
- It is lightweight and has an easy-to-carry design
- It tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability
- A portable Accessory Carrier can be used an extra storage compartment
- It has a large, comfortable seating area with protective thigh pads
- Its open cockpit allows the easiest of entry
- It has adjustable foot braces
- It has a storage compartment
- It has retractable carrying handles
- It has a paddle holder
- It has a shock cord deck rigging
Types Of Kayaks That Accommodate Dogs
Sit-on-Top and Sit-In Kayaks
- Sit-on-tops (SOTs) are regarded as the most user-friendly because they are stable, and easy to get in and out of with no restraint. This offers a big advantage to dogs who can easily climb into position.
- Sit-on-top kayaks are self-bailing i.e. water drains through holes in the kayak. However, this means that you are much more likely to get wet.
- Sit-inside kayaks are ideal for cooler water as they make certain that you and your dog stay dry. However, the disadvantage is that these types of kayaks are more burdensome for an inexperienced dog to get in and out of.
- Recreational kayaks are a great go-to for dog kayakers as they are very stable and usually enclosed (with exception to the cockpit segment).
- This type of kayak is best suited for lap dogs or dogs that are contented with sitting in the enclosed storage space.
- This is the best option for you and your dog when in search of a little more space.
- They are the perfect option for fair weather kayakers as they proffer splendid solutions in terms of storage and transport.
- It is loved by many dog owners as they can be stored within the home. With this, the dogs get acquainted and won’t be anxious about kayaking as it’s a familiar object.
- Disadvantageously, they are not suitable in choppy water conditions nor good for navigating in wind despite being durable.
Categories Of Kayaks To Avoid When Kayaking With Dogs
- Sea Kayaks
They are not usually recommended for dog lovers because of their shape. They are mostly long with pointed ends, making them a narrower type of kayak that does not leave much room for two.
- White Water Kayaks
They are also not designed with a dog in mind because the user has to steer the kayak with their whole body. That is, they are extremely tight fitting and do not leave any space for a dog.
These type of kayaks are light weighted, sensitive to small leans and changes. Thus, far too responsive to have a dog on board.
What Features Do You Need In A Kayak For Your Dog?
Good kayaking practice for dogs starts as soon as you pick a kayak. You probably have your own needs and wants.
However, if your dog would be a frequent passenger, it is advised that you make certain his needs are equally weighed when you make your decision. Note these must-have features for a safe water outing with your dog.
Nobody wants their kayak to flip over while on water, most especially while travelling with your dog. Thus, the need to select a kayak that can handle your dog’s wiggles and jiggles. They typically would feature a broader deck and properly angled hull. Making use of a kayak dog outrigger can also be of help.
- Open-top Design
Equally known as sit-on-top or “ocean kayaks”. These kayaks do not enclose your legs thereby, leaving abundance of room for you and your dog to sail comfortably. They are the safest option for kayaking with a dog, as the risk of your dog getting trapped if the boat flips is lesser.
- Storage Space
You would most likely be carrying treats and water toys while enjoying a kayaking outing with your dog. Storing these in a hideaway storage is far more ideal than leaving them in your dog’s sight while rowing.
- Suitable Weight Limit
You need to be mindful of the combined weight of you and your dog as some kayaks have a weight limit of as low as 250 pounds. That can be a bit of a hassle if you have a big-sized dog
Most kayaks are made with hardy plastics that can resist some wear and tear, but inflatable kayaks could be at risk of dog nails and even teeth.
Make sure your dog’s nails are kept trimmed to avoid an accidental puncture. Ensure that you always pick a quality material that can handle UV exposure and minor scratching.
- Intended Function
Kayaks come in numerous styles, with a few meant to handle leisure lake journeys while others can handle bay excursions or rough rapids. Ensure, you review the manufacturer’s notes to know if a kayak can perform to your needs and expectations.
Details To Note Before Kayaking With Your Dog
Having learnt more about the best Kayaks for paddling with your dog, here is further information to help you and your pet enjoy your adventure safely.
Generally, the best kayaks for dogs are roomy, stable and have a high maximum weight capacity. The other features are majorly for you than your dog. After picking the right kayak, here is what majorly concerns the dog, its safety.
- Your Dog’s Ability
Not every pet is cut out for the job of being an adventure buddy. If your dog has shown no interest in water or is actively afraid of it, they may be less excited or enthusiastic about kayaking.
Although, a dog who has never been around water may turn out to be a wonderful kayaker. If your dog is well-trained, fairly adaptable, and socialized, chances are he/she can learn to be comfortable in the kayak.
- Getting Your Dog, a Life Jacket
Irrespective of knowing how to swim it is pertinent to wear a life jacket for you, same as your dog. Weather conditions can change swiftly or a reckless powerboat may shoot a dangerous wake across your path.
Despite being careful, the kayak could capsize in dangerous situations. It is thus, pertinent to keep your dog as safe as possible by fitting them with a life jacket.
- Starting On Dry Land
No one learns kayaking overnight neither would a dog do. Ensure you take your time getting your dog used to the kayak on the dry land before you move to the water.
The dog should be accustomed to the kayak. Let your dog(s) scrutinize the kayak and reward them if they climb in on their own. Make up your mind on where you want your dog to ride and start teaching them how to settle in the kayak.
The whole process would be easier if your dog already has a good understanding of basic obedience.
- Start Slowly in the Water
Once your dog is comfortable with the kayak on land, move to the water but take things slowly. If your dog seems overstretched at any point, slow down and continue to use rewards to teach your dog how to behave in the kayak.
The aim is to get them cushy and trained on where to sit or lay in the kayak on shallow water before you take a run at a longer trip.
- Being Prepared
When you are good to go for your first kayak adventure with your dog, ensure you are packed and prepared with all the gear you might need.
Ensure you have adequate water for you and your dog, keeping them cool if it’s hot out. Dogs with short hair or light skin might be in need of sunscreen for protection.
Taking a pair of dog goggles could make the trip more comfortable for your dog as it protects your dog’s eyes from water and sun.
Take your dog’s collar and leash but never attach them to the kayak as it could be disastrous in case of an overturn of the kayak, and your dog becomes trapped beneath it.
- Practising Water Safety
Importantly, practice water safety to keep yourself and your dog safe when kayaking together. Do not go out on the water during a thunderstorm or when forecasted.
Do not kayak under the influence of alcohol or other substances capable of causing impairment or hyper activeness. Beware of powerboats and Jet skis when kayaking on a multi-use body of water.
Do not violate state and local rules on leash laws as well as where you paddle and fish. Ensure your dog is up to date on vaccinations, flea, heartworm and tick prevention.
Kayaking with your dog can be a splendid way to spend time in the great outdoors while also bonding with your furry friend, your dog. Thus, the need to carefully select a perfect Kayak to aid your adventure and bonding with your furry friend dog.
We hope our reviews of these ten kayaks will help you pick the perfect piece for you and your dog. Your comfort and safety are our priority as that of your dog are.
We do hope to see you make optimal use of the information above in giving that Kayak a place to call home and your dog, a new adventure piece. Happy Kayaking! Have fun!