5 Best Kayaks For Dogs – The Ultimate Guide to Kayaking With Your Dog
Many kayakers prefer to go solo or with just one other person. However, there are many kayakers--whether they prefer to be out alone or with friends--who enjoy having their furry companions sitting with them on the boat.
While it is incredibly enjoyable to have your dog with you while kayaking, it is also important to purchase a kayak which allows your dog to be as safe as possible. The following kayaks are among the best of the best when taking your dog with you.
Most of them are sit on top kayaks, which means there is not a cockpit covering the kayaker’s legs. This allows for a safer exit for your dog and you in case of an emergency.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Kayak for Dogs in 2017
- 1.0.1 1. Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak
- 1.0.2 Pros
- 1.0.3 Cons
- 1.0.4 2. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak
- 1.0.5 Pros
- 1.0.6 Cons
- 1.0.7 3. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak
- 1.0.8 Pros
- 1.0.9 Cons
- 1.0.10 4. Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
- 1.0.11 Pros
- 1.0.12 Cons
- 1.0.13 5. Perception Kayak Tribe
- 1.0.14 Pros
- 1.0.15 Cons
- 1.1 How to Choose the Best Kayak For Dogs
- 1.2 Our Final Review for Best Kayaks for Dogs
5 Top Kayaks for Dogs in 2017
Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak
Dagger Kayaks Axis 10.5 Kayak
Martini GTX Solo Modular Kayak
Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
Perception Kayak Tribe Sunset
When considering kayaking with your dog, there are several features one must consider. The first is the room in the kayak compared to the size of your dog. If you have a large dog breed, you will certainly want to purchase a tandem kayak. A tandem kayak is designed to fit two people, which would provide your dog with a seat to himself.
If you have a small dog breed, a tandem kayak may not be ideal for you--in fact, you may not even need a sit on top kayak, but just a kayak with a large enough cockpit for you and the dog.
Next, you must consider weight capacity. This is much in the same vein as room on the kayak--if you have a large breed dog, you want to ensure the kayak you purchase can haul that dog.
Additionally, you want to check on storage options. When bringing your dog out on the lake, ocean, or rivers with you--you MUST make sure you keep them hydrated. This often means carrying extra water with you in the kayak.
Finally, you want to ensure your kayak has a wide beam, which makes it sturdy in the water. If you do not have a wide beam and your dog gets excited about a duck or other animal on the coastline--into the water you (both) go!
The Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak is a sit on top kayak. As explained previously, sit on top kayaks are excellent when bringing a pet with you. They ensure that you and your pet can safely escape a tipped kayak.
If your kayak is not a sit on top, you run the risk of having to perform an eskimo roll. This is very difficult and requires training to be able to do well.
That being said, this is also a tandem kayak, which means it is designed for two people. However, the Sport Fisher can actually haul three people--or two people and a pet.
In addition, the weight capacity for this boat is a whopping 500 pounds. At 500 pounds, most dog breeds will be acceptable! It may be a little more difficult if you are planning on taking two people and a large dog, but ultimately this makes for the perfect boat for you and your pooch.
The beam on this boat is also the widest of all the boats on this list--coming in at 36 inches. This makes this the most stable kayak on the list. Even if your dog is huge and hyper, you should be safe in this boat.
Keep in mind, the wider the beam, the more difficult it is to steer your kayak. That being said, this kayak can be very difficult to steer if the water gets difficult. This is because the kayak has a beam of 36 inches.
There are a lot of “extra” perks with this boat. First, if you hope to use your kayak for fishing as well, the 3 molded fishing pole holders will be of advantage to you. This gives you a place to rest your pole while you are paddling, or even while you are fishing.
The boat also comes with two paddles, both are traditional kayak paddles. The boat has paddle clips that allow the paddle to be stored along the length of the boat. This is a major perk, as many kayaks only have paddle rests which put the paddle across the boat.
The Sport Fisher also has molded foot rests for both seats. Some consider this a major advantage, as it allows for kayakers of varying heights to use it. Others dislike the molded foot rests. This is strictly personal preference.
Seating is also very comfortable, as the kayak has two padded backrests which are adjustable. This allows for maximum comfort in the boat.
This boat does not have much in the way of storage, however. There is one very small waterproof compartment in the stern, any other gear you hope to bring must be stored in the open top of the kayak.
However, if storage is important to you, you could use this kayak as a solo kayak and use the tandem seat for your pet and any extra gear. This kayak has lots of versatility!
- Can fit up to 3 people
- 500 pound weight capacity
- Molded foot braces
- Adjustable seats
- Paddle holders
- Molded fishing rod holders
- 36 inch beam
- Very stable in the water
- High in price
- Not good in rough water
- May be difficult to steer
The Old Town Canoe and Kayaks Vapor 10 is a kayak meant for recreational activities. This means it is not designed specifically for fishing or whitewater kayaking etc, but is sort of an all purpose kayak.
Recreational kayaks are wonderful for those who are just learning about kayaking and are not completely positive what activities they will specifically enjoy.
This kayak is 49 pounds in weight, 10 feet long, and the beam is 29 inches. This beam is decently wide, which means it should be able to handle some back and forth from your friendly pooch.
The Vapor 10 is not a sit on top kayak. However, it has a huge cockpit entrance, which is fairly rare among sit-in kayaks. This one is 48 inches by 20 inches, allowing you and your dog plenty of room.
One benefit to this size of a cockpit is, should you capsize, the dog can safely leave the kayak without getting trapped.
The Vapor 10 has a weight capacity of 325 pounds. If you have a dog above 75 pounds, be sure you and your dog, and any gear you may need, are below this weight limit!
The Vapor does provide excellent comfort for you--a real plus as you are likely to have a dog sitting on/in between your legs.
The Vapor has adjustable foot braces and an adjustable seat. These are both easy to adjust while you are kayaking. It also has braces for your knees and thighs, so if you do have a large dog and find yourself cramped, you will be comfortable.
There is storage behind the seat of the kayak--this is a major benefit. As your dog will be across/in your lap, it would be difficult to access bow storage. Stern storage means you do not have to reach across your dog.
The storage, however, is just a day well. This means that it is not a covered storage area. If covering your gear is important to you, or if you are concerned about tipping, this may be a negative for you with this kayak.
- Thigh Pads
- Knee Pads
- Seat is Adjustable
- Foot braces are adjustable
- Stern storage is easy to access
- Large cockpit opening
- Stern storage does not have any sort of covering
The Bali SS is a sit on top kayak. Sit on top kayaks are kayaks which allow the kayaker to sit in a molded out seat on top the kayak, instead of inside of the cockpit of a kayak.
These kayaks are ideal for you and your dog, as your dog has more room to sit (so he or she will not be cramped on your lap) and, should the boat capsize the dog can escape safely.
Additionally, you will not have to perform an eskimo roll if the kayak tips. Typically one must be trained how to do an eskimo roll, and this requires additional time and money.
The beam on this kayak is 30 inches, which means it is very stable in the water. This should be wide enough to prevent your excitable dog from tipping the boat over.
The Bali has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. Keep in mind, this is NOT a large weight capacity for you and your dog. If your dog is over 75 pounds or so, you will not want to purchase this kayak.
Like the Vapor, this kayak comes with many comfort features. First, if you struggle to get in and out of traditional kayaks, the Bali will be much easier to climb in and out of as it is a sit on top kayak.
Adjustable foot braces and an adjustable seat are also included with the Bali. Again, like the Vapor, the Bali comes with thigh and knee pads.
There are also a cupholder and an electronics holder in this kayak. The electronic hodler, however, is not waterproof. Make sure you phone or other devices are protected in some way!
Storage is more unique with the Bali. Most kayaks have storage on the kayak--which the Bali does. However, the waterproof container behind the rear seat pops out and can be towed behind the kayak or worn as a backpack.
Then, the kayaker has an additional storage well behind their seat. This storage well is covered with shock cords, allowing everything to stay in place.
- Waterproof storage
- Adjustable foot braces
- Adjustable Seat
- Sit on Top Kayak
- Thigh Pads
- Knee Pads
- P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier)
- Tow Behind
- Extra Storage
- Dry Storage Compartment
- Electronics holder
- Low Weight Capacity
By far the greatest benefit of this kayak is that it is a tandem sit-on-top kayak. This means that it is designed for two people to kayak in it. However, the Malibu is spacious enough it can haul two people and a child or two people and a small dog.
So, if you hope to kayak with a family member and your pet--this kayak is a perfect option for you.
In the way of comfort, the Malibu has the expected amenities. It has two adjustable comfort seats. It also has three molded in seat wells, allowing for seats for all three individuals in the kayak.
It also has molded foot wells. This can be a benefit or a negative, depending on your preference. Molded foot wells mean that your foot can only be placed at certain lengths, however, there is also no chance of a foot brace breaking.
The beam on this boat is 34 inches. This is very large for a kayak, but it also means that this kayak will stay extremely steady in the water. If you have a large hyperactive dog, this may be a perfect dog-friendly kayak option for you.
Due to being a tandem kayak, the dog would even have its own seat if you are taking it out solo. This kayak is very easy to take out solo--it is not too long to be difficult to paddle.
Additionally, the weight capacity on this kayak is amazing. Coming in at 425 pounds, you have plenty of weight to play with.
However, the Malibu does not have very much storage. There are only two very small storage wells at the stern and bow of the boat. The only other potential option is using some of the extra seat as storage.
- Can fit two-three people
- Great in lakes
- Can solo kayak
- Sit on top
- Molded foot wells
- Three seat wells
- Two adjustable comfort seats
- Very heavy
- Very little storage
The Perception Tribe is another sit on top kayak. Again, this allows the kayaker and pet to quickly escape the kayak in case of emergency.
The beam on the Tribe is 30 inches. While this is not as wide as the Sport Fisher, it is still a decently wide beam for a kayak. Again, this wide beam ensures that neither you or your dog will tip this boat easily. For those of you with large dogs, this is a major plus
If you are a taller kayaker, this kayak may be ideal for you. The seat is a little higher than your standard kayak and is extremely easy to move around while you are kayaking. This provides extra comfort for those who are taller!
Another benefit, is that even though this is only a 12 foot kayak, as it is a sit-on-top, taller kayakers can leave their feet dangling over the sides. This provides an extra layer of comfort!
Additional comfort comes from the molded foot braces in this boat. There are multiple foot braces where you can rest your feet, making this boat great for many heights of kayakers.
The Tribe is also excellent in many different bodies of water. It is rather thin, which allows it to track very easily in the water. Feel free to take this kayak to the ocean, your local lake or even on a river!
The weight capacity on this kayak is pretty good, coming in at 350 pounds. Again, though, be absolutely sure that you, your dog, and all of your gear can fit comfortably in this kayak and not run the risk of taking on water.
Speaking of your gear, this kayak has two shock cord covered wells on the bow and stern of the boat. It also has a small waterproof compartment in the cockpit.
- Ocean friendly
- Decent weight capacity
- Seat is very easy to move around
- Sit on Top
- Lots of handles
- Shock Cord storage
- Great for tall kayakers
- Foot molds
- Mid-range price
- Foot molds
When shopping for a kayak for you and you furry friends, it is incredibly crucial that you have the perfect kayak to ensure the safety of you both. First, it is important to make sure the kayak is capable of hauling a dog the size of yours.
It is also important to make sure you are comfortable in the kayak--especially if the dog will be on your lap. As you have your pet with you, you also need to make sure you have the water and food your pet may need.
This means making sure your kayak has room for food and water or other necessities. Finally, most dogs are easily excitable when they see animals of any kind. If this is the case for your pet, it is important to ensure your kayak has a wide enough beam to prevent your dog from tipping it.
First, weight capacity. When looking at the kayaks on this list, the best is ultimately the Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak, coming in at 500 pounds. This kayak can haul almost any dog.
For many of the other kayaks--and most kayaks in general--it can be difficult to fit a dog over 75 pounds. If you have a dog of a breed which is very large, it is important to verify that the kayak you are considering can hold you both safely.
When kayaking, it is important to ensure you stay comfortable. When kayaking with a dog on your lap, it is crucial that you stay comfortable.
This means your kayak needs to have an adjustable seat, adjustable foot braces, and knee and thigh rests. Without those, it can quickly become awkward and uncomfortable for you both.
The best possible situation as far as comfort goes, would be a tandem kayak so your dog can have his own seat--this ultimately allows you the best amount of comfort.
When bringing a pet anywhere, you need certain equipment for their safety. As far as kayaking goes, you should not need to haul a cage or dog bed, but you certainly do want water and maybe dog food.
Make sure your kayak has the room to store what you need for your pet’s health and make sure your kayak also has the weight capacity.
Remember--the bigger your dog, the more water you will need and the more weight it will take up. It is not recommended to give your dog lake water, as duck and geese feces can cause sickness in your pet.
Finally, most dogs go through at least a hyper phase--and most are always hyper when they see wild animals, such as ducks, geese, deer, squirrels, etc.
Unfortunately for you, and fortunately for your dog, you will likely see at least one of these on your kayaking trip. Having a wide beam ensures that your kayak will be stable in the water and more difficult to tip.
The beam is merely the width of the kayak--if you know your dog is hyper or easily excitable, make sure you check on the width of your kayak
Bring your pet kayaking with you makes for an amazing day. You both get fresh air and get some bonding time out on the water. However, it is very important to make sure that you are both safe on the water and that you both have your needs met.
Be cautious in picking a kayak in which you plan on taking your pet--boating can easily turn dangerous.