Kayaking is a fun and versatile way of spending a good time on the water. From fishing, sports, to photography, there are lots of things to do with your kayak.
However, kayaking required the use of a lot of upper body strength, making it difficult for people who don’t have enough power to control it. This issue informed the decision to introduce pedal kayaks. This type of kayak has solved that issue making the sport accessible to everyone.
People who want to keep their hands free to take photos or fish can do these conveniently. Pedal kayaks are increasingly becoming many people’s favorite because you now paddle with your legs. The paddling can be considered a good leg workout.
The 7 Best Pedal Kayaks In 2020
- Hobie Mirage Compass Duo Tandem Pedal Kayak
- BKC UH-PK14 14 Foot Sit On Top Tandem Fishing Pedal Drive Kayak
- Old Town Top Water 106 PDL Angler Fishing Pedal Kayak
- Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel Pedal Fishing Kayak
- Perception Kayak Pescador Pilot
- Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak
- Hobie Mirage Outback 12 Pedal Kayak
If you want to invest in a new foot pedal kayak, you will be spoilt for choice. That is a good thing, but the unlimited number of them on the market also makes it difficult for you to identify the best one for you.
We are sure you will appreciate it if someone listens to your description of your ideal pedal powered kayak and then picks it out for you.
Well, we are going to do that but in, a different way. We have compiled a list of the best pedal kayak along with the reasons why they are part of this list.
With this information, you can quickly identify the product that best suits your needs.
Below is a list of the top ten best Pedal Powered Kayaks in 2020, as well as a buying guide to further help you in your researching and purchasing journey.
Pedal Kayak Reviews
The Hobie Mirage Compass does not allow you to compromise on your priorities. You don’t need to choose between speed and stability. You will get both. This 2-person kayak stands out because it comes in three attractive colors. The colors include Seagrass, Papaya Orange, and Slate Blue.
This kayak is designed to make your kayaking trips more comfortable. This seating area features a comfortable, ergonomic seating. The seats are also breathable making it more comfortable.
The cockpit is also designed to accommodate a lot of storage compartments. You can even store some of your gears under the seats. Since the kayak is for two people, the storage space has also been made to accommodate two users.
This kayak is also equipped with a sleek waterline and kick-up Rudder system. The rudder is controlled with the feet, and this allows you to pedal for a long time without getting tired.
The Rudder system makes it easy to steer, and it is also responsive. You don’t need to be an expert to get on the water with a kayak. You can enjoy a fantastic kayaking trip as a beginner because this boat is easy to use.
Once you invest in this kayak, you won’t need to think about buying another one anytime soon because it is durable.
This kayak comes with a two-piece paddle. You can increase the speed of your kayak by combining the pedal and the paddle. You can also easily switch to the paddle when you get to really shallow waters.
This Hobie model is 13 ft 6 in long, and it weighs 127lb. It has a capacity of 475lb.
This sit on top kayak allows you to get a better view of your environment and also spot the fishes quickly in case you are fishing.
The good thing is that even in events of strong currents and winds, you can still pedal your way through with less stress.
The Hobie Mirage Compass allows you to customize your gear space since you have a lot of options. This stable kayak is slip resistant, whether you are standing or sitting.
This BKC pedal kayak is designed to make your fishing and cruising trips memorable. This 2 person pedal kayak is an excellent combination of stability and speed.
It is easy to control even if you are on a solo journey. The Tandem kayak boasts of a sizeable watertight storage area to ensure that you carry everything along.
You can increase the speed of your kayak by combining paddle and pedal power. This BKC kayak features rod holders that will secure your fishing rods when you go fishing.
There are also Scupper holes that allow you to drain your kayak. The boat has also been designed for easy transportation. The pedal kayak has four handles that make it easier for you to move it onto a trailer or roof rack.
This BKC model is 14 feet long and 2.8 feet wide. There is a rudder control system at the rear seat, and this system makes it easy for you to make precise turns without the use of a paddle. The body has been designed to provide excellent tracking.
The body is long and narrow, and the bottom is grooved to ensure that the kayak moves straight until you want it to turn.
The Old Town Top Water pedal is made for the regular angler who loves fishing. This pedal kayak quietly moves through the water, which is great for people who want a rather quiet atmosphere.
The kayak itself is stable enough for stand up fishing. The pedals can be installed in a matter of seconds, and they are also responsive. The pedal drive tips quickly for shallow water docking.
The Old Town Top Water fishing kayak comes with rod holders that allow you to carry up to 4 fishing rods. With the breathable air seats, you are assured of comfort throughout your kayaking trip.
This pedal kayak is 36 inches wide and 10.6 feet long. It is easy to operate the drive. All you need to do is to pedal front or back when you need to, and it will respond instantly. This Old Town kayak holds up well in saltwater.
This capability ensures that you don’t need to maintain it even after sea trips. It is relatively light in weight making it easier for you to transport it. There is enough storage space for kayakers who want to spend a lot of time on their trip.
Native Watercraft’s Slayer 10 model has a great weight and size balance. It weighs 62 Pounds without the pedal, and it is 10 feet long. If you are looking for a pedal kayak that is easily movable, this should form part of your list. Even one person can put it on their roof racks or into a truck bed.
Although the Native Watercraft Slayer 10 is small, it has a lot of storage space, which is impressive. You will have space to mount a gear if you decide to.
The kayak also comes with trackers. They are strategically placed at either side of the kayak, the stern, and the front part of the deck.
If you love fishing, you will want to choose a kayak that can hold your rods. The Native Watercraft Slayer 10 comes with inbuilt rod holders. This kayak also features an extra-large rudder, stable hull, and a wide open deck.
The seat itself has pockets for you to keep some stuff that you want to pick easily. Stuff such as your binoculars goes in there.
One of the highest selling points of this kayak is the capability to be pedaled in reverse. You can adjust the seat forward or backwards whenever you want to.
The Perception Kayaks Pescador Pilot is stable and great for people who love to stand while they fish. The size makes it easy for you to transport it. In fact, you can easily strap it to the top of your car.
The seat is comfortable, and it is also adjustable. Irrespective of your body you can adjust the seat to make you extremely comfortable. The way the seat has been placed in the kayak improves visibility. You will be seating high above the water, and you can see better.
The propeller system is responsive. It pops in and out when you need it to. It also folds up into the hull when you need to paddle over shallow water or when you need to cast off.
If you want a kayak that is great at navigating through shallow water filled with debris or tidal waves, the Perception Kayak Pescador Pilot is a great option. We say this is because when you disengage the prop, it does not add any draft to the kayak.
This kayak model comes with a lot of features such as gear wells, and rod holders. There are also lots of storage compartments. The storage on the bow can accommodate large items such as coolers. This means that irrespective of the kind of items you want to take on your trip, you can pack all of them without stress.
The design of this kayak also makes it easy for you to connect it to any electronic device such as the transducer. It is also easy to customize this boat. The Perception Kayak Pescador Pilot weighs 85 Pounds, and it is also 12 feet long.
The kayak is a great option for people who want a stable boat for their photography and fishing trips. This kayak has a 600 Pounds weight limit, which means you can carry a lot of stuff without issues. The Hobie Mirage Pro is 13.8 feet long and weighs 120 Pounds when you don’t attach a pedal drive.
This kayak provides impressive performance and stability. Fisher folks appreciate this boat a lot more because of the large storage space. There is a space for you to keep four rods horizontally on deck and another for you to keep two vertically.
The boat also features an impressive gear capacity that includes a bungee, bow hatch, and a rectangular hatch. These storage spaces make this boat worth considering if you are the type of angler who travels with a lot of accessories.
The Hobie Mirage Pro features hull holes for easy wiring. This is for kayakers who want to add electronics to their boat.
The Hobie Mirage Outback 12 offers a good balance between stability and functionality. This foot pedal kayak is great for all purposes; fishing, photography, leisure, and sports.
It offers the stability you need to stand to take photos or fish. It is perfectly stable when you stand to do something. There are also several storage options. There is an on-deck storage area, storage hatches, and even rod holders.
The seat is also comfortable, and you can avoid getting wet. The seat is high, and you can get an excellent view of the fishing area.
You can also adjust the seat forward or backwards for you to get the angle you need. It is also comfortable even if you sit sideways. The seat also provides support for your back.
There is a cup holder in the cockpit area for you to keep a drink at arm’s length. The Hobie Mirage Outback 12 also comes with a fish finder feature. This feature helps you to spot and catch fish easily. This kayak is also fast.
This kayak weighs 99 lbs, and it is 12.1 feet long. It has a 400 lbs carrying capacity which is impressive. If you are looking for a kayak that can be used in any type of water, this boat should be on the list. The Hobie Mirage Outback 12 works well on oceans, fresh water, and inshore waters.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pedal Kayaks
When it is time to choose a pedal-powered kayak, you will definitely want to make choices that will meet your needs. Some kayakers think that once they choose the top brands, they are good to go but that is not true. The fact that the boat is highly rated does not mean that it is best suited for you. Here are some things you should look at when choosing a foot pedal kayak.
Level of Experience
Have you been using the kayak for a long time? Or you just heard about the craft, and you want to try it out? Whatever your situation is, there are kayaks designed based on the angler’s level of experience. If you are a beginner, look out for ones designed for such kayakers. Some kayaks are designed with every angler in mind irrespective of the experience level.
You may consider getting a two person pedal kayak if you are a beginner and you have a partner who is willing to help you on your initial trips.
Beginners must also choose models that are more stable. While experts can focus on speed than stability since they have mastered the craft and can easily balance themselves on boats that are not extremely stable.
There are two points of stability, often called primary and secondary points of stability. The primary point is provided by boats with flat hulls. They maneuver better, but they are also known to work better on calm waters.
Although these type of boats are ideal for beginners, they can cause dangerous situations when you move to rough waters. They can easily capsize on rough waters since they are not built for such waters.
The secondary point of stability is often provided by v shape kayaks. These types of boats do not only provide final stability; they are also great for tracking. They are best for rough waters and mostly used by experts.
Most experienced kayakers prefer boats that provide more speed. If you are that kind of kayaker, look out for boats with longer hulls. Long hulls enhance speed.
Also, the kind of materials used for the hull affects the speed. Hulls made of fiberglass, thermoformed plastic, and Kevlar make your kayak move faster.
Number of seats
You need to consider the number of people who will be using the kayak before choosing one. If you are going on single trips all the time, then the solo kayak will be a good option.
A tandem boat will be great for people who love company for their fishing, photography, or sport kayaking trips. Such people tend to invite others to join them, and a 2-person kayak will be excellent for them.
Purpose of the Kayak
Kayaks for fishing, photography, or sightseeing have certain features that improve the experience. Some of them are also built to withstand long trips.
There are kayaks that are also built for the sea and do not get damaged even when it comes in contact with the sea water for a long period. If you are spending a lot of time on the high seas, you should also look for a kayak that can withstand high sea waves and windy situations.
Consider the number of goods you will putting onboard the kayak. Are you a heavy person yourself? Will you be taking long trips which will require that you pack a lot of things? Or you are that kayaker who prefers short trips?
Check the capacity of the pedal kayak you want to buy. When calculating the estimated weight that you will bring onboard, including the weight of the passengers as well as that of all your gears.
Before buying that pedal kayak you want so much, you should consider how you will transport it. Pedal kayaks are heavier than paddle kayaks because pedal kayaks have wider hulls. This gives you enough reason to pay close attention to the weight of the boat you intend to buy.
The weights of kayaks are often stated in their product descriptions. Some of them can be moved by one person and can even be transported on a car roof rack. The essential thing is for you to think about the available mode of transportation.
Do you have a big track to convey your kayak if you choose a big and heavy one? Will you get a helping hand if it requires two people to move it? Once you answer these questions, you will know whether you should get a heavy or less heavy kayak.
Type of kayak
There are sit on top and sit inside kayaks. Some anglers do not mind getting a little water on their skin while fishing. They want to get a better view of the fishing area. If you are that kind of angler, choose a sit-on boat. If you want a drier trip, make sure you choose a sit-inside kayak.
The features of the boat should matter to you, especially if you use your kayak often. People who fish with their kayaks frequently should consider boats with several features. People who ride kayaks as a hobby once in a while can overlook the features when they are choosing kayaks.
Price of the kayak
Another thing that informs your buying decision is the price. Kayaks are quite expensive, but they are good investments, especially for the fisher folks. Pedal kayaks are even more expensive because of the cost of the pedals and the hull reinforcement.
Many kayak buyers also look at the price of the kayak they intend to buy. In most instances, the higher the price, the better the boat.
However, some really good kayaks fall within the affordable range. If you intend to use your pedal kayak frequently, consider a bigger budget. Buy one that can last a longer period. The expensive also comes with several features that fisher folks will appreciate.
Tracking and Turning
The pedal kayak is little more unstable compared to the paddle kayak. That is why pedal kayaks have wider hulls; to ensure better stability. Some kayaks are better for tracking and turning.
Most often, the long boats are built to track better. If you prioritize kayaks that tracks well consider v shape kayaks.
Water behavior during fishing
The problem with pedal kayaks is that it is very difficult to use them in shallow waters. The good thing about these boats is that you can remove the pedal and use paddles in extremely shallow areas. Hence, do not get discouraged when you want to buy a pedal kayak.
One of the best places to use a pedal kayak is larger lakes. You can get to the fishing spot pretty quickly with your kayak. Lakes are also calm, and you can stand to get a better view of the waters.
Pedal kayaks are great for the oceans when the conditions are right. It is ideal that you use them close to the shores since they are bulky, and it is difficult to move them into deeper waters.
It is also pretty dangerous since these kayaks are unable to absorb currents and stormy situations. There is also the danger of kayakers getting attacked by bull sharks and other dangerous sea animals.
Rotational or push pedals
There are two types of pedals; push and rotational pedals for kayaks. Push models are easier to use because you only need to be pushing the pedals to acquire propulsion. Although the ease of use is a winning point, there are disadvantages as well. Pushing the pedals for longer periods can cause muscle injuries, leg and foot cramps, and even back pain. This is mostly because you are not fully extending your foot when you use the push pedal.
The rotational pedal, on the other hand, is not easy to use, but once you get used to the way it is used, you will have no problem. The good thing is that this pedal type allows you to extend your legs fully; hence, it is less stressful.
Although the two pedal systems rely on human strength, the push pedal requires the use of more energy. The rotational pedals require movements that are similar to walking gestures and do not need you to exert a lot of energy.
You have the option of trading the ease of use for the use of more energy or vice versa.
Pedal kayaks are great investments, and you will even appreciate it more if you get to choose the one that meets all of your needs. All the kayaks mentioned above have their highest points.
For instance, if pricing is not a problem for you and you want a fast all-round kayak that works well on every water type, the Hobie Mirage Outback 12 is a great option.
In the same way, if you want an excellent fishing boat, you should go in for the Native Water Slayer and the Hobie Pro Angler 12.
The Perception Pescador Pilot is also a good option for people with a smaller budget. If you intend to use your kayak on sea water all the time, go in for the Old Town Top Kayak 106.
The BKC tandem fishing kayak is a good option for people who prefer kayaks for two people. The good thing is that even if you decide to use this pedal kayak alone, you will not have a problem. The Vibe Sea Ghost 130 withstands turbulent situations well.
In the end, all the pedal kayaks mentioned above are good options for pedal kayaks. Your choice should depend on the features you prioritize most.