BEST Canoes & Kayaks 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

July 12, 2017

Choosing Your Canoe or Kayak

If you’re looking for an affordable watersport which is accessible to all, canoes or kayaks are the way to go.

Fishing, camping, star gazing, relaxing, exercise, touring and sightseeing are just a few of the activities that can be enjoyed with canoes and kayaks.

Except for just carrying people and supplies, they are ideal for leisurely paddles around calm lakes or competitive watersports, such as racing and whitewater riding.

For the first time time buyer, there are a vast number of choices available.

The following guide should help you to navigate the water when purchasing a canoe or kayak.

Size

First of all, you must determine the number of individuals that will likely be using the canoe or kayak.

When determining the size of your canoe or kayak, bear in mind that you need to have an idea about the amount of cargo you will probably be carrying. If you are planning on taking on longer trips, you will obviously have to use a craft that has ample storage space for what you intend to carry. The wider the boat is, the more stable it will be.

If you choose to buy a solo craft, it will be more agile, carrying no passengers and few supplies. The shorter the craft you purchase, the more manoeuvrable it will be, offering the perfect choice for racing or white-water riding.

Material

The 5 most prevalent canoe/kayak materials to choose from are aluminium, composites such as fiberglass, Kevlar, molded plastic and, of course wood.

  • Aluminium

Reasonably priced and requiring no maintenance, aluminium canoes and kayaks will not break down with exposure.

Aluminium gets both hot and cold in cold water, can be heavy to lift, and is noisier than plastic. It will also stick to rocks instead of sliding over them.

  • Fiberglass

Fiberglass may be very inexpensive and it is quite lightweight. It cracks easily if it hits a rock, but it is also fairly simple to repair.

  • Kevlar

Kevlar is very much the same as fiberglass, except it is far more durable and substantially more costly.

  • Plastic

Plastic canoes and kayaks are moderately priced, quite flexible, and resistant to damage.

Unfortunately, they usually feature heavy hulls and have to be stored away from direct sunlight.

  • Wood

Wood is the classic material for canoes and kayaks. A wooden canoe is beautiful to see and use.

On the other hand, wooden canoes are extremely pricey, less durable, and they require constant maintenance.

Accessories

Make sure to invest in extra paddles with your vessel. Whenever you lose one (usually on faster stretches of water), you will probably be happy to have spares close-to-hand.

Never forget to wear a buoyancy aid such as a PFDs or life jacket as well. Never go boating without them.

It is also very important to get a patch kit for your boat.

Canoes & Kayaks Reviewed

Bic Sport Rigid Bilbao Fishing Kayak...
Bic sport - Misc.
£640.79
BLUEBORN Boat Frontier SKC330-2 person...
BLUEBORN - Sports
Currently not available
Sale
Sevylor canoe inflatable Adventure Kit...
Sevylor - Sports
£419.99 - £157.53 £262.46
BLUEBORN Boat Indika 2-2 person canoe...
BLUEBORN - Sports
£132.73
Sale
BLUEBORN Boat Indika 1-2 person canoe...
BLUEBORN - Sports
£139.00 - £73.45 £65.55
XQ Max Inflatable Canoe - Red/Black
XQ Max - Sports
£61.94

 

We are ready to introduce the…

Best Canoes & Kayaks for 2018

Weigh your options, check your budget and choose wisely.

 

Bic Sport Rigid Bilbao Fishing Kayak

At a Glance

  • Dimensions: 300 x 78 cm
  • Weight: 23 kg
  • Maximum load: 120 kg
  • Colour: Green & Brown
  • Integrated footrests
  • Safety grab lines
  • Reserve buoyancy
  • Carry handles & Front hatch
  • Paddle attachment
  • Seat EVA foam cushioning
  • Stern protector & wheel
  • Inserts for backrests
  • Mooring straps
  • Rear hatch
  • Self – draining scuppers
  • Drink holder
  • Bow protector
  • Accessory stowing mesh
  • Rod holders

Description

Fishing from a kayak is a sport that has developed rapidly in the last few years. A kayak allows you to get off the beach easily unlike a big, heavy boat. In a kayak you can go fishing where and when you want, solo or with friends.

With the Bilbao, Bic Sport tries – and succeeds – to leave its mark on the fisherman’s world.  With its minimum draught, optimum on-water glide, stability and superb handling due to reserve buoyancy, Bilbao Fishing is the ideal boat to approach fish easily and silently.

This kayak is equipped with accessories including front and back watertight compartments, and two built-in pole supports, mooring straps and rod holders. In addition, you can also add extra pole supports, a compass, GPS and signalling lights.

Its camouflage colouring of green and beige helps the kayak blend into the background.

The rear storage deck with integral elastic straps allows you to carry bags or cases with extra equipment. Stable and fast, the Fishing series gets you quickly to the best spots, and into very shallow or rocky water without risk.

The dimensions of the Bilbao Fishing, Bic Sport are 300 x 78 cm it has a weight of 23 kg and has a maximum load capacity of 120 kg.

For your comfort there are integrated footrests, seat EVA foam cushioning and a drink holder. There is also front foam EVA cushioning, a stern and bow protector and wheel.

There is also an accessory stowing mesh as well as safety grab lines. Other characteristics are carry handles a paddle attachment, inserts for backrests and self – draining scuppers.

Bic Sport Rigid Bilbao Fishing Kayak

Bic Sport Rigid Bilbao Fishing Kayak

Pros
  • Excellent stability
  • Manoeuvrability especially beneficial for use on the sea
Cons
  • Not ideal for white water or beginner waves

Our Opinion

With its very rounded hull shape and narrow tips, the Bilbao Fishing has great glide and excellent stability, guaranteeing you complete safety for your solo fishing trips.

The intelligent deck design and quality fittings allow you to carry any kind of load. Its reduced length and weight make it easy to store and transport.

 

Sevylor Inflatable Canoe

At a Glance

  • Single interface valve
  • Adjustable and inflatable seats with high backrests for comfort
  • Bungee cords for gear
  • Drain plug to easily evacuate water
  • Removable fin and welded directional streaks for extra manoeuvrability

Description

Sevylor always strives for a simple thing: to make high-quality, inflatable watersport and recreation products, all of which encourage people to get outside and have fun. This model surely meets expectations.

The Sevylor Adventure is a quality design that encourages two person adventure and fun on the water.

The Adventure’s high sided walls provide comfort and protection whilst the adjustable and removable seats ensure you have the ideal paddling position. Features include bungee cords and spray decks at the bow and stern to keep your gear secure whilst out exploring.

The adventure kit contains a pressure gauge, repair kit and instructions. It has a manometer and carry bag but not the pump. Unfortunately, the package does not include paddles.

The boat has 3 seats but it is only suitable for 2 adults and 1 child, not for 3 adults.

This very sturdy kayak is easy to inflate – even by the use of a simple foot pump and the included pressure tester which works perfectly as mentioned by buyers.

Although it is inflatable, it is not hard to handle when there are currents in a river. A buyer recently mentioned that the the handling was brilliant even in the open sea with waves, and it was easy to keep in a straight line.

It as a reliable choice and proving very popular. It folds up small enough to go into the boot of a small car for easy transportation.

We were impressed with how easy it was to pump up and get ready to use.

It has also been taken it out on several different rivers and canals with a few scrapes with thorns and bushes and has survived to date. It’s definitely durable!

Sevylor Inflatable Canoe

Sevylor Inflatable Canoe

Pros
  • It is very sturdy and stable
  • Easy to pack in your boot
  • Easy to inflate and deflate and get going
  • Although it’s a two man kayak you can adjust the seat position and paddle it on your own
Cons
  • Valves should be better on them as its very difficult to keep the air in, arrives without glue for repair patches, cramped for two adults
  • A two man boat in windy conditions

Our Opinion

A study inflatable canoe for quiet backwaters and canals. Stable, spacious for two people and a child and functional, with good looks too.

Children will love it and even your dog can use it too as it withstands claws!

Blueborn Boat Indika 2

At a Glance

  • Nylon hull
  • Dimensions: 325 x 80 cm
  • Load capacity 165kg
  • Classic canoe shape
  • Robust and hard-wearing SEMI nylon cover protecting the air chambers
  • 2 comfortable, detachable, inflatable seats
  • 3 air chambers ensure security
  • Primary colour: light blue
  • Secondary colour: orange
  • Shape: Classic canoe shape

Description

We have already mentioned the basics about Blueborn’s commitment to quality and exquisite design. This model is no exception – more like it is a prime example of the brand’s efficiency.

The quality of the materials is very good and the construction is durable making this canoe overall excellent value for money.

The boat’s main construction material is 100% PVC, its secondary material is 100% plastic, while externally the hull is made from 100% nylon. The craft’s floor is 100% Tarpaulin–PVC, ensuring both comfort and safety.

Once inflated, the canoe is stable and very comfortable for adults and children, and the two detachable inflatable seats only make things better. The load capacity of this canoe allows you to bring the necessary gear for you and your partner.

Other features are a SEMI nylon cover that protects the air chambers, and a stern with tension rubber for securing luggage and bug with tension rubber for securing luggage.

Blueborn Boat Indika 2

Blueborn Boat Indika 2

Pros
  • Seats two people comfortably
  • Durable, tough construction
  • Quality heavy duty feel to the canvas
  • Global testing and certification ensures security for people and luggage
Cons
  • Paddles / oars are not included, neither is a pump
  • If it sustains damage, expensive to repair

Our Opinion

If you want a comfortable well-constructed canoe that doesn’t damage as easily and rarely requires repairs, this is the one for you.

Blueborn Boat Indika 1

At a Glance

  • Equipped with spray – deck
  • Dimensions: 320 x 80 cm
  • Load capacity 165 kg
  • Made from sturdy PVC
  • Repair kit
  • 2 comfortable, detachable, inflatable seats
  • EN ISO 6185 conform
  • 3 air chambers ensure security
  • Easy driving
  • Primary colour: orange
  • Secondary colour: light blue

Description

It is safe to say that no one likes a leaky kayak!

Especially while you are exploring some beautiful and majestic lakes or out fishing with friends.

In such cases, the drier the better and in the case of the Blueborn this is not just possible, but guaranteed. Its splash-proof bud and stern-and-spray deck make sure there won’t be any undesirable surprises during your exploration ventures.

Blueborn Boat Indika was designed for touring and exploring lakes and peaceful river waters. It is not made for white rapids or for the ocean.

This sturdy kayak is made from 100% PVC, equipped with several safety features, such as the safety rope at the bow and stern.

It comes with 2 detachable inflatable seats that are comfortable enough for 2 adults that love paddling in areas of the world that are otherwise not accessible by car or even foot.

Blueborn Boat Indika is an excellent boat and offers you countless opportunities for outdoor adventures.

Blueborn Boat Indika 1

Pros
  • 100% waterproof due to PVC.
  • It boasts a water tight spray deck.
  • It does not require much maintenance.
  • ISO 6185 specifies the minimum safety characteristics required for the design, materials, manufacture and testing.
Cons
  • If it sustains damage, it is a bit expensive to repair.
  • Paddles / oars are not included.
  • Pump not included.
  • Not suitable for the open sea.

Our Opinion

A durable quiet 2 person kayak, which conforms to international safety standards. Will exceed your needs in all weather conditions.

XQ Max Canoe

At a Glance

  • Inflatable canoe
  • 2 oars are included
  • It has nflatable seats
  • Equipped with safety valves
  • Maximum load capacity: approximately 160 kg
  • Length: approximately 3 metres

Description

According to the manufacturer, the XQMAX 2 person inflatable kayak/canoe is the ideal choice for all those of you who seek the ultimate outdoor experience.

We don’t quite agree but it’s still it is a great option, for several reasons.

The XQMAX was designed for use on almost all environments, including open water, the beach, lakes and calm rivers.

It is constructed of highly durable PVC, it is highly versatile and it can be paddled solo or tandem.

Some buyers have claimed that it is not meant to be taken too seriously – meaning that you should avoid using far out in the open sea or through turbulent waters.

It is great for kids and adults who love exploring the beach and playing in lakes and serene rivers. It is also a good starting point for kayakers on the canal.

In such clam conditions and environments, the XQMAX Kayak Canoe is very stable and nice to paddle.

The package included 2 oars that can be also screwed together to make one paddle. That said, they are not quite as strong as we wished them to be.

Another great feature of this model is, of course, its unrivalled price. For less than £70 you can have an excellent craft to have fun with your friends. Unfortunately, the price is quite indicative as to what you should expect regarding construction quality and overall efficiency.

The canoe is well designed from the point of view of buoyancy and has many nice features.

The main reason we have included the XQMAX Kayak Canoe in our list is that it is an excellent value for money model – nothing more, nothing less.

XQ Max Canoe

XQ Max Canoe

Pros
  • Fun, easy to use
  • Fits well into a back pack when not in use
  • Good strong material
  • Surely, a value for money model
Cons
  • Suitable only for mild environments and weather conditions
  • Paddle is a bit flimsy
  • There is a tendency for your bottom to sink down creating a less than stream lined effect

Our Opinion

Recommended quality for the money. It is great in the harbour area but not suitable for open sea and rough weather conditions.

Blueborn Boat Frontier SKC330

At a Glance

  • Nylon hull 330 x 94 cm
  • Load capacity: 180kg
  • 2 adjustable seats
  • EN ISO 6185 conform
  • Fabric reinforced tarpaulin air floor
  • D – rings for securing
  • Nylon packsack
  • 3 air chambers ensure security
  • Fabric reinforced tarpaulin air floor for high stiffness and protection
  • Paddles / oars not included

Description

Blueborn claims that this kayak is not just made for frontier territory; it was meant for pushing back the frontiers of canoe and kayak efficiency and durability.

Let’s see if they managed it.

The Frontier’s main material is 100% PVC, while its secondary material is 100% plastic. Externally, it is covered with layers made from 100% nylon.

The Frontier SKC330 was designed for extra durability and, indeed, it is well made and sturdy, with 3 air chambers that ensure safety. Its beam construction also ensures stability and safety for its 2 passengers, while the provided D-rings will keep your luggage safe while you enjoy your tour.

In the unfortunate instance of you coming into contact with an unexpected rock there is an included pressure gauge and repair kit that you will find useful. The seats are comfortable enough and will allow you to go on far longer trips than you could on a solo kayak.

Suitable for touring, with a hard-wearing nylon cover, it features a fabric reinforced tarpaulin air floor for high stiffness and protection, it uses 1 fin for stabilization.

Unfortunately, you will have to buy the pump and oar because they are not included in the package.

Blueborn Boat Frontier SKC330

Blueborn Boat Frontier SKC330

Pros
  • Stable and secure kayak due to its 3 air chambers
  • Suitable for touring and leisure
  • Its beam construction ensures stability and safety for 2 passengers
  • Security for baggage with the provided D rings
Cons
  • Not as agile and fast as a hard-shell kayak
  • Pump and oars not included

Our Opinion

A comfortable and, most of all, secure 2 person kayak, ideal someone who loves touring and hates being flipped over in the water.

Aquadesign Kayak SUK Stand up paddle 9 ‘6″

At a Glance

  • Dimensions: 9’6’’ x 33’’
  • Thickness:  4″
  • Weight: 13 kgs
  • PVC tubes
  • PVC dropstitch 1100 DTEX – Max.18 PSI (1,03 Bar)
  • Anti – slip EVA foam
  • Inflation & deflation valve.
  • 3 fins (2+1 removable)
  • Elastic to fix baggage.
  • «D» ring for the leash.
  • Package includes:
  • backpack carry – bag
  • comfort seat
  • high pressure pump & nanometer
  • repair kit
  • Colour: Blue

Description

SUK 9΄6΄΄ was primarily designed to help you paddle the most difficult rapids with ease, either standing up or seated. It can be used in all types of paddling environments, such as seashores, lakes or rivers.

Made to be used as a kayak, SUK is equipped with 4 d-rings which allows a comfortable seat to be attached. which is included in this model, along with a high pressure pump and a nanometer.

Durable, constructed of PVC tubes with a PVC dropstitch of 1100 DTEX, it boasts a thickness of 4″ and a weight 13 kg. Other rather interesting technical characteristics include the Anti – slip EVA foam and the inflation and deflation valve. 3 fins (2 + 1 removable) and the elastic for fixing your baggage add to SUK’s efficiency.

The included repair kit will also ensure peace of mind, and the backpack carry bag is both useful and practical.

Aquadesign Kayak SUK Stand up paddle

Aquadesign Kayak SUK Stand up paddle

Pros
  • Light
  • Durable
  • Suitable for almost all environments
  • Easy to handle
  • Handy accessories
Cons
  • A bit pricey

Our Opinion

This model is intended for recreational paddlers or white water paddlers (not for professionals) and can be used in all types of environments such seashores, lakes or rivers. A good all-round craft.

Out Of Stock

 

Conclusion

How do you choose the best canoe for you? How will you use it? Are you going to carry two people or six? Will you be out for a day, or a week-long trip? Does the canoe need to be family-friendly, or are you into the whitewater solo?

There is no doubt, that no one canoe is right for all types of adventure. Only if you select the type that best fits your purpose, will you get the most out of your craft.

Hopefully, this article proves helpful!