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5 Best Kayaks For Dogs in 2018 | Kayaking With Your Dog

Do you love kayaking in the great outdoors with your furry friend? You’ll be happy to know that the best kayaks for dogs keep both you and Fido safe, while having fun on the water.

In this guide, we’ve listed the best kayaks for dogs in terms of comfort and stability. Most of them are sit-on-top kayaks, which means there’s no cockpit covering the paddler’s legs.

Sit-on-top kayaks also allow for a safer exit for you and your dog in case of an emergency. Let’s dive into our list of the best kayaks for dogs.

5 Best Kayaks for Dogs in 2018

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Kayak Name

Length

Weight

Capacity

Price

Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher 10 feet 65 lbs 500 lbs Check Current Price
Dagger Kayaks Axis 10.5 Kayak 10 feet 49 lbs 325 lbs Check Current Price
Martini GTX Solo Modular Kayak 10 feet 40  lbs 250 lbs Check Current Price
Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu 12 feet 57 lbs 425 lbs Check Current Price
Perception Kayak Tribe Sunset 12 feet 62 lbs 350 lbs Check Current Price

When you’re heading out on the water with your pup, there are a few things to consider. The first is the amount of room in the kayak, compared to the size of your dog.

If you have a large dog, a tandem kayak might be the best option. A tandem kayak is designed to fit two people, which provides your dog with plenty of space.

For small dogs, any kayak with a large enough cockpit will work.

Next, it’s important to consider weight capacity. For example, if you have a large dog, you need to ensure the kayak you purchase can cope with the weight.

Additionally, be sure to check on storage options. When taking your dog out on lakes, oceans, or rivers with you, it’s crucial to keep them hydrated. This often means carrying extra water with you in the kayak.

Finally, ensure your kayak has a wide beam, which makes it sturdy in the water. If you don’t have a wide beam and your dog gets excited about a duck or other animal on the coastline, you could tip the kayak. While cooling off is usually a good thing, always consider safety first.

The Best Kayaks for Dogs in 2018

1. Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak

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. That’s fine if you have the training and expertise to deal with it, however recreational and beginner paddlers are best to stick to a safe option.

This is also a tandem kayak, which means it’s 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, this is one of the best kayaks for dogs that are larger breeds.

The beam on this boat is also the widest of all the boats on this list, coming in at 36 inches. This makes it really stable, even if your dog is the huge and hyper type.

Keep in mind though, the wider the beam, the more difficult it is to steer your kayak, so you’ll need to use that arm power!

Extra Perks of the Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher

There are a lot of extra perks with this boat. Firstly, if you hope to use your kayak for fishing as well, the 3 molded fishing pole holders are an advantage. This gives you a place to rest your pole while you’re paddling and fishing.

The boat also comes with two traditional kayak paddles, with paddle clips that allow them to be stored along the length of the boat. This is a major perk, as many kayaks only have paddle rests which place paddles 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.

In terms of storage, there is one small waterproof compartment in the stern and any other gear you bring is stored in the open top of the kayak.

If more storage is necessary for you, use this kayak as a solo kayak and use the tandem seat for your pet and extra gear.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Higher price range
  • Not suitable for very rough water
  • May be difficult to steer

Check Current Price

2. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

The Old Town Canoe and Kayaks Vapor 10 is a kayak designed for recreational activities and is good for all-purpose kayaking. It’s a great choice if you’re a beginner and you’d like to take your pup out on the water with you to practice paddling.

This kayak is 49 pounds in weight, 10 feet long, and the beam is 29 inches. The 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.

More on the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10

The Vapor provides excellent comfort for you, which is a real plus as you’re likely to have your dog sitting on or in between your legs.

Additionally, the Vapor has easily adjustable foot braces and an adjustable seat. It also has braces for your knees and thighs, so if you do have a large dog and often find yourself cramped, you’ll be comfortable.

There is uncovered storage behind the seat of the kayak, which is a major benefit. As your dog will be across or in your lap, it’s sometimes difficult to access bow storage. Stern storage means you don’t have to reach across your dog to get what you need.

Pros

  • Thigh pads
  • Knee pads
  • Seat is adjustable
  • Foot braces are adjustable
  • Stern storage is easy to access
  • Large cockpit opening

Cons

  • Stern storage is uncovered

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3. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-Top Kayak

The Bali SS is a sit-on-top kayak that allows the kayaker to sit in a molded seat on top the kayak, instead of inside of the cockpit.

These are among the best kayaks for dogs, as your pup has more room to sit, so he or she won’t be cramped on your lap. Should the boat capsize, your dog can escape safely.

The beam on this kayak is 30 inches, which means it’s very stable in the water. This should also be wide enough to prevent your excitable dog from tipping the boat over.

The Bali has a weight capacity of 250 pounds, which is perfectly suitable for smaller dogs weighing about 75 pounds or under.

Like the Vapor, this kayak comes with many comfort features. For example, if you struggle to get in and out of traditional kayaks, the Bali is much easier to climb in and out of as a sit-on-top kayak.

Extra Features of the Sun Dolphin Bali SS

Adjustable foot braces and an adjustable seat are also included with the Bali. Like the Vapor, the Bali comes with thigh and knee pads.

There is also a cupholder and an electronics holder in this kayak. The storage options on the Bali are quite unique. A 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 the seat. This storage well is covered with shock cords, allowing everything to stay in place.

Pros

  • Waterproof storage available
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Adjustable seat
  • Sit on top kayak
  • Thigh pads
  • Knee pads
  • P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier)
  • Tow behind
  • Backpack
  • Extra storage
  • Dry storage compartment
  • Cupholder
  • Electronics holder

Cons

  • Low weight capacity

Check Current Price

4. Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

By far the greatest benefit of this kayak is that it is a tandem sit-on-top kayak. This means that it’s designed for the comfort of two people. However, the Malibu is spacious enough to haul two people and a child or two people and a small dog.

Therefore, if you hope to kayak with a family member and your pet, this is one of the best kayaks for dogs.

In the way of comfort, the Malibu has the expected amenities. It has two adjustable comfort seats. This kayak also offers 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.

More on the Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu

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 for you.

Due to being a tandem kayak, your dog even has its own seat if you are taking it out solo. This kayak is very easy to take out solo, as the shorter length makes it a breeze to paddle.

Additionally, the weight capacity on this kayak is amazing. Coming in at 425 pounds, you have plenty of weight to play with.

In terms of storage, there are two very small storage wells at the stern and bow of the boat. You could also use some of the extra seat for more storage.

Pros

  • Can fit two or three people
  • Great in lakes
  • Good solo kayak
  • Sit-on-top
  • Molded foot wells
  • Three seat wells
  • Two adjustable comfort seats

Cons

  • Quite heavy
  • Very little storage

Check Current Price

5. Perception Kayak Tribe

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’s still a decently wide beam for a kayak. Again, this wide beam ensures that neither you or your dog will tip the boat easily. For those of you with large dogs, this is a major plus.

If you’re 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’re kayaking.

Another benefit is that even though this is only a 12-foot kayak, as it’s a sit-on-top, taller paddlers can leave their feet dangling over the sides, providing extra 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 varying heights of kayakers.

What We Love About the Perception Kayak Tribe

The Tribe is one of the best kayaks for dogs, as it’s a great choice for many different bodies of water. It’s quite 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. Just be sure that you, your dog, and all of your gear can fit comfortably in this kayak, to avoid the risk of taking on water.

Speaking of 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Mid-range price
  • Foot molds

Check Current Price

How to Choose the Best Kayak For Dogs

best kayaks for dogs

When shopping for the best kayaks for dogs, the most important aspect is to ensure the safety of you both. First up, make sure the kayak is capable of hauling the weight of your dog. It’s also important that you’re comfortable in the kayak, especially if the dog will be on your lap.

The next thing is to ensure your kayak has room for food, water and other necessities. Finally, most dogs are easily excitable when they see animals of any kind. If this is the case for your pet, choose a kayak with a wide enough beam to prevent your dog from tipping it.

Weight Capacity

When looking at the best kayaks for dogs in terms of weight capacity, consider the Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak. Coming in at 500 pounds, it can comfortably 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 your dog is a large breed, it’s important to verify that the kayak you’re considering can hold you both safely.

Comfort

The best kayaks for dogs are those that are the most comfortable. With a dog on your lap, this means ensuring you can adjust your position easily to get the right fit.

Make sure your kayak has an adjustable seat, adjustable foot braces, and knee and thigh rests. Without these, kayaking can quickly become awkward and uncomfortable for you both.

The best kayaks for dogs, as far as comfort goes, are tandem kayaks so your dog can have his own seat.

Gear

When you’re kayaking with dogs, you need certain equipment to ensure safety. This includes water, dog food and anything else your pup requires for a day out on the water.

The best kayaks for dogs offer enough room to store what you need for your pet’s health, with the correct weight capacity to hold your gear.

Don’t forget that the bigger your dog, the more water you’ll need and the more weight it will take up. Additionally, it’s not recommended to let your dog drink fresh lake or river water, as duck and geese feces can cause sickness in your pet.

Beam Width and Stability

Finally, choose a kayak that best suits your pup’s nature and the location. Most dogs become very excited when they see wild animals, such as ducks, geese, deer and squirrels.

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

Final Notes

Taking your pet kayaking with you is a great way to have bonding time in the fresh air.

Choose one of the best kayaks for dogs based on stability, storage and weight capacity. That way, you’ll enjoy many kayaking adventures in comfort and safety.

KayakBest
 

KayakBest.com is among the largest and most dedicated kayak review sites. We aim to help enthusiasts discover the best tips and products for an enjoyable paddling experience.

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Corinne - July 21, 2018

I cannot recommend highly enough the Bic Bilbao sit-on for kayaking with your dog. Firstly, sit-on kayaks are perfect for its stability if you have even a medium sized dog who has a habit of jumping around barking at every duck you pass, of which I have a lot of experience. Afetr a lot of research I found that the Bic Bilbao is one of only two single seater sit-on kayaks available in Europe that does not have the raised section between the leg. The other being the BIC Ouassou Kayak which is probable great for smaller dogs. This means that instead of two separated leg troughs you have a nice sized flat area the width of the kayak with raise sides to give the dog a secure feeling of being ‘inside’ of the kayak and allowing enough room for even a medium dog to lay down for a snooze. The dog is laying between your legs which will provide comfort to those dogs who have yet to discover their sea legs. For those dogs who want to stand up and take the lead there is a platform as the front with a foam insert for great grip for their front paws which leaves their back paws comfortably ‘in’ the bottom of the kayak so there is no danger of them slipping out. Just be warned that you will then become the subject of many photos of people passing by.

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