Best Fishing Kayak Under $1000 in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide


Do you want to go fishing without having to pay a considerable sum of money on buying a boat? You can do that now if you buy a kayak.

Yes, kayaks were expensive a few years ago, but now you can easily get an excellent one T less than $1000. With the recent advancements in technology, there are a lot of excellent materials by which manufacturers can make durable and stable kayaks at a reasonable price.

Fishing using a kayak is not only great money-wise, but it also allows you to access shallow bays and small rivers. This way, you can reach many more spots where fish hide than you would with a motorboat. Moreover, kayaks are noiseless, which means that there is no way you could spook fish away.

Finding a fishing kayak is not an easy task because there are many aspects that you should consider. For example, you must know what type is better for you. You should also check its maximum weight capacity, storage area, and many more features that we’ve included in the buying guide below.  

We have also compiled a list of the excellent options on the market. And we are sure that you’ll find the best fishing kayak under $1000 that suits you the most among them.

Comparison Table:

KayakType Weight Seating Capacity Maximum weight capacity
Perception Pescador Pro 12Sit-On-Top 64 lbs.1375 lbs.
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90Sit-On-Top 46 lbs.1300 lbs.
Sevylor Coleman ColoradoInflatable 41 lbs. 2469 lbs. 
Lifetime TamarackSit-On-Top 52 lbs.1275 lbs. 
Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable 43.6 lbs.2400 lbs. 

The 5 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000 in 2020

1. Perception Pescador Pro 12 – Longest Kayak 

Perception Pescador Pro 12

Measuring 12 feet long, Perception Pescador Pro 12 is the longest fishing kayak on this list. Despite this, it still enjoys a minimal footprint -144 x 32.5 x 14.5 inches, allowing you to store it in small places. 

This one-person kayak accommodates up to 375 pounds, which is pretty great compared to its counterparts. It’s also the only kayak whose removable seat can be adjusted on two levels, where you can raise it for better casting or lower it for relaxed paddling. Moreover, the seat features breathable mesh so that you can comfortably use it in warm weather. 

The comfort-providing features of this sit-on-top kayak do not end with the seats, as it also features quick-adjust footrests that are suitable for paddlers of all sizes. Moreover, you can enjoy free-hand fishing thanks to its two integrated rod holders. 

Plus, you can bring all your gear on board because it will easily fit in the large front and rear storage. It also features a molded-in cup holder and a paddle park to hold your paddles while you fish. Moreover, it has a fish-finder console, making it an excellent fishing kayak. 

If you are not new to the kayaks’ market, then you already know how durable the Perception kayaks are. Pescador Pro 12 is not an exception. Made of high-density polyethylene, it offers maximum durability. It’s also UV, abrasion and impact-resistant thanks to its one-piece roto-molded construction. 

Moreover, you can use it in saltwater with no worries as it features saltwater-optimized stainless steel and brass hardware on the Pescador pilot and drive that prevent corrosion. 

Even though it’s the heaviest kayak on the list, coming at 64 pounds, you can easily drag it without causing any damage due to the presence of a replaceable skid plate.

Pros:

  • Comfortable adjustable seat
  • Rod holders and paddle parks 
  • Excellent for river fishing 
  • Fish-finder console
  • Quick-adjust footrests
  • Large storage area 

Cons:

  • Expensive 
  • Heavy 

Bottom Line 

Perception Pescador Pro 12 is one of, if not the best, fishing kayak under $1000 for many reasons. It allows you to install fish finders and features comfortable seats,multiple footrest positions, as well as a large storage area.

2. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90  – Most Lightweight Hardshell 

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 is the lightest, and thus most portable hardshell kayak on this list coming at 46 pounds only. Besides its lightness, it features four handles at the sides, facilitating its transportation by hand. 

It’s also very durable, as it’s made of the ultra-stable rotomolded single-piece polyethylene and its built-in buoyancy ensures safety. Thanks to its impressive construction, you can use it in lakes, rivers and oceans. It’s ideal for use in slow-moving waters because of its two lightweight paddles that are comfortable to grip. 

The maximum weight capacity of this sit-on-top kayak, which is 300 pounds, is pretty nice, given that it features one seat only. I’m also delighted to inform you that you’ll be completely safe because Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 features four adjustable safety straps. 

You can rest assured that you’ll have a comfortable time fishing due to the cushioned seat with ergonomic backrests and four molded-in comfort foot braces. You can also enjoy drinking anything during your trip thanks to the built-in cup holder. 

What’s more, your valuables are going to be safe in the removable water-resistant bag. As for the rest of your equipment, you can keep them in the front and rear storage area with bungee tie-downs. Plus, it comes with a tackle toss tray, allowing for quick tackle changes. You can also attach the paddles to the kayak whenever you don’t want to hold them thanks to the paddle parks.  

Last but not least, this incredible kayak comes with four flush-mounted fishing rod holders so that you can enjoy hands-free fishing. It also allows you to install a transducer or other rectangular-base accessories thanks to its universal mount bracket. 

Pros:

  • Comfortable seats and footrests 
  • Durable 
  • Lightweight 
  • Affordable 
  • Features a cup holder and rod holders 
  • Comes with paddle parks 
  • Suitable for beginners and professionals

Cons:

  • Features one seat only 
  • Cannot handle more than 300 pounds 

Bottom Line 

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 is an excellent lightweight one-seater fishing kayak under $1000 for its durability, comfortable seats and additional accessories. Such accessories include cup and rod holders, paddle parks and a tackle toss tray.

3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado – Highest Weight Capacity 

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Sevylor Coleman Colorado is your answer if you’re looking for an inflatable kayak with a huge weight capacity. It features the highest maximum weight capacity on our list as it accommodates up to 469 pounds. 

If you’re worried that this entails it being heavy, I’m glad to inform you that Sevylor Coleman Colorado is the lightest kayak on our list. So, rest assured that you can easily transport it from one place to another. Also, its 10-feet compact size makes it pretty portable while at the same time enables it to accommodate two people. 

It’s also one of the most durable fishing kayaks under $1000 thanks to its 18-gauge PVC construction, 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover. These materials ensure that it can survive several hard-core impacts. 

What’s more, it comes with multiple air chambers and an airtight system, which serve to prevent any air leaks. They’re of high quality to the extent that if the kayak hits any hard object, it won’t deflate.

The adjustable seats will allow you to paddle comfortably. If you don’t want the paddles to get in your way, you can put them in their convenient holders that are found on each side of the boat. Moreover, to enjoy hands-free fishing, the kayak allows you to install a Sevylor trolling motor.

You can rest assured that you’ll have a pleasant fishing experience with Sevylor Coleman Colorado thanks to its ample storage space that features mesh pockets and D-rings to keep your gear from falling off the kayak.

Sadly, it doesn’t come with a pump or paddles, so you’ll have to buy them separately. However, if you already own them, this kayak is an excellent option because you won’t have to pay extra money for them. 

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Excellent for lake fishing 
  • Survives hard conditions 
  • Features the highest maximum weight capacity 
  • Protects your gear with the mesh storage
  • Rod holders
  • Durable 

Cons:

  • Does not include paddles or a pump
  • Not suitable for one angler 

Bottom Line 

Sevylor Coleman Colorado is a perfect inflatable kayak with high weight capacity. It can easily accommodate two people and a lot of gear up to 469 pounds. It’s also very affordable, durable and lightweight. You can even add a trolling motor if you want to fish with your hands free! 

4. Lifetime Tamarack – Most Stable 

Lifetime Tamarack

Lifetime Tamarack is the most stable hardshell kayak on our list thanks to the stability chine rails it features, deep hull tracking channels and table-flat bottom. It’s also pretty durable, as it’s made of UV-protected high-density polyethylene. 

This sit-on-top kayak includes many features that make it convenient for fishing, including coming with three rod holders, where two are flush-mounted, and the third is top-mounted. This way, you can enjoy hands-free fishing. 

What’s more, it offers plenty of storage space, as you get two round compartments: one large deck at the stern and a small one at the bow. Plus, to make sure your tackle won’t fall off, each deck has bungee cords.

Additionally, this one-person kayak is suitable for people of different sizes because it has multiple footrest positions. It also enjoys a padded seat with an adjustable padded seat back. However, people claim that the seats aren’t as comfortable as they should be. 

Its 275-pound maximum weight capacity is relatively low compared to the other kayaks on our list. But it is still good enough for a one-seater. 

Lifetime Tamarack is also very easy to transport thanks to its lightness at 52 pounds, T-handles and compact size that measures 10 feet long only. 

Pros:

  • Five-year warranty 
  • Wide storage 
  • Portable 
  • Includes three rod holders 

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable seats 
  • Not suitable for use in rough waters 

Bottom Line 

Lifetime Tamarack is an excellent fishing kayak under $1000 for those looking for stability (who isn’t?). Its stability chine rails, deep hull tracking channels, and table-flat bottom ensure it stays stable so that you enjoy peaceful fishing trips.

5. Intex Excursion Pro – Budget Choice 

Intex Excursion Pro

If you’re looking for an excellent inflatable kayak that comes at a reasonable price, Intex Excursion Pro won’t disappoint you. 

This kayak is as durable as its hardshell counterparts. For example, it has a three-layered construction, where the top and bottom are made of Super tough laminate PVC, and the middle part features a polyester core. Moreover, it features an I-beam floor. These materials increase the kayak’s strength as well as make it abrasion and UV- resistant.

Besides, it features three air chambers, so that if one gets punctured, the other ones will allow you to reach the shore safely. There’s also a drain plug that helps drain water out of the kayak, boosting safety and stability.  

Even though Intex Excursion Pro is a bit heavier than the other inflatable kayaks, coming at 43.6 pounds, it’s still very portable to the extent that you can easily transfer it from one place to another. Plus, the included carry bag facilitates this process.

What’s more, it’s a lovely kayak for those who enjoy company, given that it comes with two seats and accommodates up to 400 pounds. In case you want to go solo fishing, you can easily remove one of the seats and enjoy the extra storage space. 

Speaking of the seats, you’ll enjoy Intex Excursion Pro’s comfortable bucket seats with backs designed to support your body. It’s also suitable for different-sized people thanks to its two adjustable floor-mounted footrests. 

The features that make it one of the impressive inflatable fishing kayaks under $1000 include the removable and adjustable mounting bracket, allowing for additional accessories such as a GPS or fish finders. Plus, it comes with two paddles and swivel fishing rod holders so you can place the rods on them and enjoy hands-free fishing. 

The vast storage space in bow and stern allows anglers to catch as much fish as they would love. What’s more, the storage space has stainless steel D-rings, allowing you to tie down dry bags. Plus, it features a direction skeg, assisting the kayak to move in a straight line.

However, some people claim that Intex Excursion Pro deflates after a few hours of inflation, and the oars are of low-quality. 

Pros:

  • Includes a repair patch and a pump 
  • Wide storage area
  • Affordable 
  • Safety-providing three air chambers 
  • Allows you to install GPS or a fish finder
  • Comfortable seats 
  • Adjustable footrest positions 
  • Can be used in shallow and deep waters 

Cons:

  • Quick deflation 
  • Low-quality oars 

Bottom Line 

The durable construction as well as the comfortable seats and footrests of Intex Excursion Pro render it one of the excellent inflatable kayaks under $1000. What’s more, the rod holders, wide storage area and adjustable mounting bracket are excellent for fishing trips.

How to Pick the Best Fishing Kayak Under $1000

When choosing a fishing kayak, there are crucial aspects that you should consider. To make sure you don’t forget any of them, I advise you to make a checklist. The buying guide below includes the essential features that you should tick off your list.

Type 

The two main types of kayaks are sit-on-top and sit-in. Let’s briefly discuss them below. 

Sit-on-top 

This type is the best one for fishing for many reasons. For example, such kayaks have a lot of space, offering you enough room for extra fishing gear if you want to go on long fishing trips. 

Moreover, some models allow you to stand on them so that you can have more control. Plus, some have scuppers in the cockpit that help get rid of any excess water. This means that it’s very unlikely for the kayak to topple over. 

Sit-In

This type of kayaks is less preferred for fishing activities for two main reasons. First of all, it’s hard to get water out of it, which means that it can topple over. Plus, it has limited space, so there’s not enough room for your fishing gear. If you want a kayak for racing activities, then this type is the best to go for. 

Stability

The stability of the kayak is an essential factor and determines whether you’ll have a successful fishing trip. To avoid getting toppled over, avoid kayaks with V-shaped hulls. Instead, go for ones with a tunnel or flat-bottom hull. 

Also note that the shorter the kayak, the more sluggish it is. So, it’s better to pick kayaks around 10 feet long as they can stand up to waves and cut smoothly through the water. 

Portability

Take care not to be blinded by length and forget about weight. Buying a lightweight kayak is an excellent plus because this helps you transport it without needing any help. This is especially important if you’re not going to use a car for transportation. In case you’re far away from the lake and will surely use a means of transportation, this becomes less important. 

Storage Space 

Any good fishing kayak should have enough storage space for fishing gear, paddles, an icebox and more. You wouldn’t love it if you can’t take all the equipment that you need for a successful fishing trip just because the kayak doesn’t have enough room for them. 

Comfort

Making sure you’re comfortable during the fishing trips is of paramount importance. Certain kayak features indicate that you’ll be comfortable. For example, pick a kayak that offers multiple footrest positions, so that you can adjust it until you reach the position that provides you with most comfort.. Moreover, some kayaks come with padded seats with the adjustable back position. 

Seating Capacity and Maximum Weight

If you love fishing on your own, buy a solo kayak. But, if you enjoy having company, go for a tandem kayak, as it accommodates two or three people. However, you must take care of the maximum weight capacity of each kayak. This feature indicates the maximum weight that the kayak can hold without getting toppled over. 

Around 250 pounds would be good for a solo kayaker and all their equipment. And in all cases, you should aim to make the weight on board around 50 pounds less than the kayak’s stated maximum weight capacity.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Maximum Weight Capacity for Most Kayaks?

This varies from one kayak to the other. However, few kayak brands exceed the 500-pound weight limit. 

Can I Use the Kayak for Long Periods on Water?

Usually, yes. However, if you intend to do that, make sure the seats are comfortable enough. You should also consider the storage area because you’ll probably take gear, water, food and other necessities on board. If you buy an inflatable kayak, make sure that it has multiple air chambers and an air system, guaranteeing it won’t deflate mid-trip. 

Are Kayaks Safe for Children? 

Kayaks are safe for children over four years old. If you want to take your child with you, get a two-person kayak. However, bringing a child on a one-person kayak is very dangerous.

Final Thoughts 

Now that we’ve reached the end of the article, we hope that you’ve found the best fishing kayak under $1000. Once you’ve found out the most important aspects to check, it’s smooth sailing.. However, in case you’re still confused, let’s highlight some of the products above..

You can go for  Sevylor Coleman Colorado or Intex Excursion Pro if you need an inflatable kayak. However, I believe that the latter is the better option because it accommodates up to 469 pounds, which means that you can safely pack as much gear as you need. It’s also the most lightweight option and features very comfortable seats.

If you want to stay away from inflatables but still need one with a considerable weight capacity, go for Perception Pescador Pro 12. It’s also 10 feet long and offers a wide storage area. What’s more, you will enjoy its extremely comfortable seat that can be adjusted on two levels.

For paddling in oceans, there’s no better option than Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90. It’s also the lightest hardshell kayak on our list, so you can easily transport it without using a car, for example. It’s also pretty comfortable and safe thanks to its four adjustable safety straps.  

Categories Kayaks