Best Sit On Top Kayak For Beginners

Best Sit On Top Kayak For Beginners In 2021 | Affordable & Durable

You got to be a little hesitant while purchasing any sit-on-top kayak for beginners because of so many models and specifications out there. You need to know which will fit your needs and is the most stable one. You also have to consider the best sit-on-top kayak for beginners and value for the money as well and which brand you are buying. As you are just starting out you shouldn’t have to break the bank and buy the high price tag kayak, instead you need something which you can train properly in the first few months.

Kayak fishing is slowly gaining popularity among people. If you are looking for an affordable, easy to use and transport fishing vessel, you can go ahead and get a kayak. It is also the perfect vessel for anglers and beginners. It will help you learn faster, and you can easily access hard-to-reach areas.

We have compared top 5 beginner friendly kayaks in the below table, if you are in a hurry you can check them out as well. If you have time continue further and we have detailed review on them which will help you decide better .

Comparisons on Top 5 Best Sit On Top Kayak For Beginners

Image Product Name Specification   Price
1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak Weight: 52 lbs
Maximum Weight: 275 lb (124 kg)
Length: 10 Ft.
Width: 31 inch
Material: Polyethylene
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Perception-Pescador-10-Sit-on-Top-Fishing-Kayak 2. Perception Pescador 10 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak Weight: 57 lbs
Maximum Weight: 325 lbs
Length: 10 Ft. 6 inch
Width: 32 inch
Material: Polyethylene
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BKC-PK11-Angler-10.5-Foot-Sit-On-Top-Solo-Fishing-Kayak 3. BKC PK11 Angler Sit on Top Solo Fishing Kayak   Weight: 60 lbs
Maximum Weight: 420lbs
Length: 10 Ft. 6 inch
Width: 34 inch
Material: Polyethylene
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Pelican-Sit-on-Top-Kayak---Sentinel-100X 4. Pelican Sit on Top Kayak Weight: 44 lbs
Maximum Weight: 275 lbs
Length: 9 Ft. 5 inch
Width: 30 inch
Material: Polyethylene
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Lifetime-Lotus-Sit-On-Top-Kayak 5. Lifetime Lotus Sit-on-Top Kayak Weight: 38 lbs
Maximum Weight: 250 lbs
Length: 8 Ft.
Width: 30 inch
Material: Polyethylene
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What is A Sit-On-Top Kayak?

A sit-on-top (SOT, in short) kayak is exactly how the name sounds- you have to sit on top of this kayak.

Differences Between The Sit-On-Top and The Sit-in Kayaks

The key difference between a sit-on-top and a sit-in kayak is the cockpit, yes, the cockpit basically sets them apart. A sit-in kayak is featured with a closed cockpit whereas a SOT comes with a large, open cockpit. 

You will get the desired freedom to move around because of the open deck of SOT kayaks which is missing in a sit-in one.  SOT is a great choice for beginners because it’s pretty easy to use. Sit-in kayaks require more skills to operate. And, sit-on-top kayaks come in an enclosed design, they are less likely to sink.

However, SOT is cheaper and typically recommended for calm waters close to shore. Sit-in kayaks are higher-quality and cost more. In a harsh environment, a sit-in kayak is what you need.

SOTs come with self-bailing scupper holes. What are they for? Well, the incredibly versatile vessels allow the water to drain out.  In sit-in kayaks, you will get a fair amount of space inside them which will allow you to store equipment or supplies. You will not get this advantage from a SOT.      

Overall, sit-on-top kayaks are pedal-powered, inflatables, suitable for fishing, versatile, beginner-friendly. And, about the sit-in kayaks- they move fast, track straight, provide you greater control, ensure you safe kayaking in harsh weather and at long-distance paddling.  

Things to Consider Before Buying A Sit On Top Kayak


The most essential consideration to make when choosing a kayak for beginners is stability. Beginners tend to lose their stability at first while learning, and they can easily flip over. So you need to ensure that your kayak can stand moving through water.

Weight capacity

Kayak’s weight capacity varies from one kayak to another. The capacity will include the kayaker and all other kayak accessories. If it is a one-person kayak, get a kayak that will match your weight and accessories. For a two or three-person kayak, you need to look for the kayak that can handle the most weight so; you have no worries when you need to add a plus one.

Read More: Best Two Person Fishing Kayak of 2021

Length and Width

Whether you are experienced or a beginner, you need to determine its length and width. The length and width greatly determine its stability and performance. A long and narrow kayak is faster and better when going straight. A wider and shorter kayak, on the other hand, is more stable and easier to turn. However, it is slower. So, for a beginner, get a wider kayak; this will enhance your stability.

Hull Type

The design of your kayak’s bottom is also essential since it makes a significant difference in performance and stability. There are different types of hulls; they include flat hull, rounded hull V-shaped, Pontoon, and chine.

  • Flat Hull-These hulls offer primary stability. They are perfect for recreational kayakers in flat water conditions, and they are also an excellent choice for beginners.
  • Rounded Hull- The rounded hull has round corners that increase speed and increases secondary stability, but they can be less stable on flat water.
  • Pontoon-The pontoon hulls are very stable and are primarily used on fishing kayaks, and they allow for standing up on the deck.
  • V-Shaped-This hull improves tracking and speed. However, they are pretty unstable on flat water.


When purchasing any product, the first question we ask ourselves – how much is it? The price will determine what product to buy. There are also times when the price will determine the quality of a product. However, this is not always the case. Some people tend to overprice poor-quality goods. So, when it comes to price, never compromise quality for the price; otherwise, you will come to regret it later.

So buying the best sit on top kayak for beginners which is the best in budget and all-around performance is a tough ask for new-comers. To make it easier our detailed review on most stable sit on top kayak review is below.

10 Best Sit On Top Kayak For Beginners Review

1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

best sit on top kayak for the money

The Lifetime Tamarack fishing kayak has a length of 10 feet, and the width is 31 inches. If you are a beginner and are looking to become a pro kayaker, then this is the kayak for you.  It has a weight of 52lbs and a weight capacity of 275lbs. So, you can carry it in water, out of your storage rooms, and out of the water easily. Its transportation is also made easier by the front and rear t-handles.

It is sturdy and built to last too. It is constructed of UV-protected high-density polyethylene material and has a flat-bottom hull that ensures its stability. It also has a sharp bow for speed and tracking. The seat is adjustable and padded, providing comfort. There are also two flush-mounted fishing rod holders and a top mount fishing rod holder so you can enjoy hands-free moments when sailing or fishing.

The kayak also contains multiple footrests positions, so you don’t have to worry about the size of the riders. It can accommodate both big and small-sized people. It also contains front and rear shock straps and two 6” storage compartments in the rear and center so you can carry all your accessories.


  • Lightweight
  • Perfect size for everyone


  • The warranty is limited
  • It does not accommodate a trolling motor

2. Perception Pescador 10 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

best sit on top kayak for beginners

This perception Pescador series has the best all-around kayaks for the money. This specific kayak is 6′ long and has a width of 32″. Its weight is 57lbs, and it can hold a maximum weight of 325lbs. It is one of the most comfortable kayaks due to the ergonomic seating system with thick cushioned padding. The seatback also reclines forward and backward, enhancing your support.

This sit-on-top fishing kayak is wide, so it is highly stable in water. This makes it the perfect kayak for a beginner since most beginners mostly struggle with balance. It has been tested to be among the safest kayaks available. Some other safe kayaks include the Pescador 12, Pescador pro 10, pescadorpro 12 and pescador pilot.

It also features maximum storage capacity with a rear open storage area and bungee lashing stores that ensure all your belongings and kayak accessories are secure. The durability of this kayak is impeccable due to the solid construction. The high-density polyethylene material provides UV impact, abrasion resistance, and impact, making it the most stable sit-on-top kayak. It also has ocean and salty water-optimized hardware, so you are not limited to any type of water.

There are also replaceable skid plates that allow you to drag the kayak easily without fear of it getting damaged. It also contains two molded-in rod holders so you can engage in other activities while in water. The footrests are also adjustable, so they can accommodate people of different sizes. It also contains convenient drink holders that keep your favorite drink from spilling.


  • Easy transport
  • Can withstand a weight of up to 325lbs
  • Adjustable footrests


  • There is no dry storage
  • Short rear storage

3. BKC PK11 Angler Solo Fishing Kayak  

best budget sit on top kayak

This one-person sit-on-top kayak is made for stability. It is made of high-density polyethylene material to be used in lakes, oceans, and rivers. It comes with a pedal-driven propeller system allowing your kayak to move faster even without using a paddle. You can also stop on a dime or go on the reverse by pedaling backward and also add a trolling motor. It is 10’ long, has a width of 34”, and weighs 60lbs. Its carrying capacity is 420lbs.

The ergonomic aluminum seat offers excellent support and comfort. The kayak also has a wide and flat bottom so; it will not flip even when you are riding through currents. There are also three flush mount rod holders so that you can have multiple baited lines in the water at once. It also has a large storage capacity. There is a front watertight hatch and a rear cargo area so you can carry your accessories even formultiple-days adventures.

Some improvements to this kayak include PK12, PK13 and PK14.  They are an advancement of the PK11. They are longer, wider, and have a greater carrying capacity.


  • Ergonomic seat for support
  • Wide and flat bottom


  • The kayak is heavy

Read More: Top 8 Best Kayak Paddle Holder

4. Pelican Sit on Top Kayak

lightweight sit on top kayak

This sit-on-top fishing kayak is a perfect choice for beginners who value stability over speed. The kayaks dimensions are 114″x30″x13.25″. It has a weight of 44lbs and a carrying capacity of 275lbs. This lightweight sit-on-top kayak is easy to transport or load and is built with a twin-arched multi-chine hull for stability. It is also equipped with spacious cockpits that make it easy to get in and out of the kayak.

This kayak resists impacts and breakages due to the durable high molecular weight polyethylene material. It also has removable storage compartments that fit perfectly into the tank so you can carry all your fishing equipment with ease.

You can comfortably ride on this kayak, irrespective of your size and height. This is because it contains adjustable footrests and an adjustable backrest, and the seat is also padded so ensuring your comfort even on long adventures.


  • Spacious cockpit.
  • Impact and abrasion resistance


  • Limited warranty

5. Lifetime Lotus Sit-on-Top Kayak

lifetime lotus lightweight sit on top kayak reviews

This adult kayak measures 96x30x10 inches weighs 38 pounds and has a weight capacity of 250lbs. It provides excellent stability and tracking due to the hull design and the twin skegs. It has a UV-protected high-density polyethylene construction that ensures its durability and strength.

It is also an easy-to-carry kayak since it is equipped with front and rear T handles. There are also self-bailing scupper holes that drain water from the cockpit and tank well. You can also carry all your accessories since a  tankwell storage with bungee cord lacing helps secure even loose items.

It is perfect for all-size paddlers since it has multiple footrest positions. The seat is also comfortable; the seat back is adjustable for your comfort. There is also a center carry handle that enhances easy transport to the waterfront.


  • Stable hull design and flip resistance
  • Carry handles
  • Multiple footrests


  • The bottom is flatter, so it does not track well
  • It is only 8 feet long

6. Riot Kayak Escape 12 Anglers Fishing Kayak

best recreational sit on top kayak

 This sit-on-top fishing kayak is made for fishing-minded kayakers with angler’s features. It measures 144x30x12inches and weighs 68pounds. 

It is highly stable and offers excellent performance. It also features five-rod holders, so you can hang multiple baited strings when fishing. The rod holder rotates at a 360 degrees angle and adjusts vertically for precise placement.

It also contains sliding foot braces, so you set your legs in whatever manner you find comfortable. There is also an adjustable rod holder so you can enjoy hands-free moments when fishing and sailing. They sit on top fishing kayak also contain an integrated console with a molded-in cup holder. A pilot rudder system is light and robust and is known for its smoothness of action. There is also a rear saddle that accepts all types of rod and reel combinations. You are assured of the safety and security of your rods since there is a swivel locking ring that prevents rod loss and allows easy rod positioning.


  • Five-rod holders
  • Molded-in cup holder
  • It is relatively long


  • The carrying capacity is not specified
  • It offers no protection from scrapping while loading

7. Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Sit On Top Fishing Kayak   

best cheap sit on top kayak by lifetime

The Tandem sit-on-top fishing kayak measures 120x36x19inches and, weighs 60 pounds, and comes with two fishing paddles. The weight capacity is 500lbs, and two people can comfortably sit on it. The 10-foot length allows for easy transportation and storage. It also has a stable hull design that ensures excellent stability in different types of waters. The sharp keel provides speed and tracking.

This sit-on-top kayak contains three fishing pole holders so that you can have multiple baited strings for easier fishing. There are also numerous footrest positions, so you can adjust your feet to your most comfortable position. Different-sized kayakers can also use it without having to worry about their heights.

It is made of high-density polyethylene materials that ensure its durability and strength. It also contains a rear storage hatch, so you are assured of the security of all your kayak accessories and fishing requirements. It has a five-year limited warranty, so you can always return a malfunctioned kayak or get it to mend if it is ruined. You can also add a motor to have an easier time sailing.


  • High-density polyethylene materials
  • Great stability
  • 500lb weight capacity


  • It gets challenging to fish when you are two in the boat

8. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Fishing Kayak

best 10 ft sit on top kayak

The Sun Dolphin sit-on-top fishing kayak measures 120x30x11inches weighs 44 pounds and has a weight limit capacity of 280lbs. This lightweight sit-on-top kayak is easy to carry and store. It also contains retractable carrying handles for easier carrying. It is made of high-quality UV STABILIZED Fortiflex High-Density material that makes it highly durable.

It also has two flush mount rod holders so that you can have multiple baited strings in the water while fishing. There is also a swivel rod holder that ensures the security of the rods. The fishing kayak also has a comfortable and large seating area. The seats are padded, providing maximum comfort while fishing and kayaking. It also has an open cockpit that makes it easy to get in and out of the kayak.

Related Article: Better For Fly Fishing: Canoe vs. Kayak

This kayak contains a Portable Accessory Carrier that enhances the security of your equipment and fishing accessories. It is great for rivers and lakes. There is also a water bottle holder so you can carry your drink when out in the open.


  • Maximum stability
  • Lightweight
  • Storage compartments
  • Great on a budget


  • It does not come with paddles or an anchor

9. Emotion 90245 Spitfire Sit-on-Top Kayak

emotion sit on top kayak

This budget sit-on-top kayak is made for paddlers who are looking for quality. Great performance and stability. It is perfect for beginners and intermediate kayakers. The ST performance hull of this kayak gives it maximum speed and tracking without compromising its strength.

It is made of high-density polyethylene material that ensures its high strength and durability. It measures 96×31.5x14inches and has a carrying capacity of 245lbs. This makes it perfect for adults and kids under 245lbs. It also has a five years limited manufacturer’s warranty so you can return it in case of a malfunction. There is a Tankwell and cargo net lacing gear for easy storage. So, you can store all your accessories safely.


  • Exceptional stability
  • Great durability
  • It fits in the car


  • It limits taller persons due to size

10. Wilderness Systems ATAK Fishing Kayak

wilderness systems all around sit on top kayak

ATAK is an award-winning design so you can be assured of its quality and prevalence among people. It is loved for its increased manageability in and off the water. The ATAK 120 is an advancement of the ATAK 140. The kayak’s dimensions are 12″x35″x16″ and weigh 8lbs. It also has a maximum carry capacity of 400lbs.

It is compatible with the new Helix MD motor drive, so you can use the motor to ensure you are comfortable in the water. It is also highly stable and has a wind shedding deck. The seat is comfortable with a patented suspension, so you can sit all day without getting very tired. The seat also has a high, low, and recline position that allows you to have great vision and stability.

It also contains XL adjustable padded footrests that enhance support and comfort. It also has an easy-to-adjust locking lever. There is also a large rear tankwell with an adjustable bungee and two gear security straps. There is also a SlideTrax in the front, rear, and midsection of the boat that makes it easy to add and remove accessories.


  • Reasonable size so its perfect for tall people
  • Comfortable seat


  • A little bit overpriced

Frequently Asked Questions By Buyers

Q1. What type of Kayak is best for beginners?

Answer: When it comes to beginners, we need to get a kayak that is easy to learn. So you need to ensure it is stable and easily learn and go in the water easily. First of all, if you are a beginner, make sure the kayak is sitting on top. The next thing is to ensure the kayak’s stability. Short and broader kayaks are more stable. So if you are going kayaking for the first time, get a stable kayak.

Q2. What size kayak is best for beginners?

Answer: Recreational kayaks are the most common choice for beginners. A 10 feet long kayak is perfect for any beginner. They will not also have to worry about your height since a six feet tall adult will fit perfectly. On the other hand, a smaller kayak will work better for a beginner since it is more stable. Unless your height is a limiting factor, a wider and shorter kayak is the best.

Q3. What are the advantages of a sit-on-top kayak?

Answer: The advantage of owning a sit-on-top kayak is that they are the most user-friendly kayak. They are very stable in water so reducing the chances of flipping over. They are also easy to get in and out. Most of them are self-bailing, meaning they have small holes that allow water to drain through them. Another feature is that you can slip them on and off.

Q4. Is kayaking hard for beginners?

Answer: For a beginner, kayaking can be challenging since you need to master the art of being stable in Water and overcoming the fear of being in the water. However, with the right kayak and a good instructor, you will learn fast and overcome your fears. With the right gear, even a beginner will find kayaking easier.

Q5. Are Sit on top kayaks more stable?

Answer: Sit on top kayaks are more stable than sit-in kayaks. They have a higher center of gravity, and they are wider than most sit-in kayaks. These kayaks remain upright when the paddler is sitting in the kayak.  Their stability is also due to the enclosed hull that is unsinkable.

Q6. Our sit on top kayaks good for rivers?

Answer: Angler sits on top kayaks are the best when kayaking in the river. The good thing about kayaking in the river is that you get to experience different types of waters. One moment you will be sailing in calm and still water, and the next, you will be in moving waters. So, if you are wondering whether it is safe to go with your kayak in the river, then the answer is yes.

Final Thought

When deciding on the best kayak, you need to be very careful to avoid future disappointments. Nothing can be more frustrating than having your kayak fail you in the middle of the ocean or lake. For a beginner, you need to ensure your safety and security. We recommend the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 for its comfort and stability. The Lifetime 10 Foot, two-person tandem fishing kayak, is also a perfect kayak for a beginner since you can get a tutor as a plus.

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