Best Duck Hunting Kayaks – 2019 Buyer’s Guide

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Duck hunting kayaks are becoming increasingly popular amongst hunters. A small watercraft has always been essential for a successful waterfowl hunt, but recent innovations in kayaks have made them an invaluable tool and the perfect option for watery hunting grounds.

However, with so many models available today, selecting the best kayak is often a difficult task. To ensure you make the right decision, the following is a list of the best duck hunting kayaks. No matter what hunting style you prefer, you’ll certainly find something here to suit your needs!

Comparison Chart of the Best Duck Hunting Kayaks

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

  • Durable, welded material makes the Intex Challenger the best overall kayak on our list.
  • Cockpit is designed for maximized space, while the inflatable I-beam floors add stability.
  • A repair patch, a Hi-output manual hand pump, and an 84-inch aluminum oar is also included.
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Lifetime 10’, Two Person Tandem Kayak with Paddles

  • The model has a 500 lb. weight capacity and can seat up to 3 people.
  • Designed with high-density polyethylene, this unit is the runner-up on this list.
  • UV-protected polyethylene HDPE construction prevents cracking, peeling, and fading.
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Intex Explorer K2 2-Person Kayak

  • Removable skeg ensures directional stability.
  • Inflatable I-beam floors make this unit the best for the money.
  • The model is designed with an adjustable inflatable seat with backrest.
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Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Kayak

  • 18-gauge PVC construction makes it perfect for lake use.
  • Designed with a 1000D tarpaulin bottom and an 840D nylon cover.
  • Multiple air chambers allow the kayak to stay inflated, even if one of the chambers gets punctured.
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SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Kayak

  • The unit has a 250 lb. weight limit.
  • Seating area comes with an adjustable padded seat.
  • Designed with one swivel fishing and two flush mount rod holders.
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Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost

  • Pre-installed toe controlled rubber system provides optimum control.
  • Includes four integrated gear tracks and two flush-mount rod holders for customized rigging.
  • Watertight dual-hinged console with cargo bags, magnetic tackle tray, front oval hatch, and rear hatch.
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Can Any Kayak Be Used for Duck Hunting?

There are several different types of kayaks available today, and each is designed for a specific purpose. Some of them include:

Sit-on-Top Kayaks

Sit-on-top kayaks are not designed with a closed cockpit and are easy to get in and out of. They’re wider than other kayaks, so they have good stability. They can be used for both fishing and duck hunting, as all of your gear is easily accessible.

Recreational Kayaks

Recreational kayaks are typically designed with a small area to store essentials, a wide hull, and a large cockpit for easy access. They’re perfect for flatwater streams and lakes protected from wind and waves. However, they’re not as fast as touring kayaks as they don’t track quite so well.

Touring Kayaks

Touring kayaks usually have smaller cockpits and measure 12 feet or longer. These models are most commonly used for long trips across large bodies of water and are not ideal for family afternoon trips.

Fishing or Duck Hunting Kayaks

As kayak fishing and duck hunting become popular, more kayaks are designed with features such as pontoon stabilizers, pedal-powered water wheels, pole rests, and a flatter hull for stability. These models are available in both sit-in and sit-on style.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Kayaks

A kayak is a big investment, so it’s essential that you choose only the best. The following are some aspects that differentiate a great model from a poor one:

Durability

The durability of a kayak depends on the material used in its construction. Most kayaks are made out of polyethylene. It’s essential that the material used is lightweight, durable, and does not absorb water.

Storage

A hunting trip requires a certain amount of gear. Hence, a quality model is designed with more storage capacity to allow hunters to carry as much gear as possible. Some units are also designed with a waterproof compartment so that any essential equipment does not get wet.

Stability

Stability is probably the most important feature of a quality duck hunting kayak. To ensure a proper and accurate aim, it’s essential that the kayak remains steady and stable. A sturdy platform helps ensure that stability is not compromised.

Quick Take | Best Duck Hunting Kayaks

Review of the Best Duck Hunting Kayaks  

A kayak is a big investment, so it’s essential that you choose the right one. To help you with your decision, the following are reviews of some of the best duck hunting kayaks available today. So, give them a read before making your purchase!

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump

PROS

  • Included cargo net provides extra gear storage.
  • Incredibly lightweight and compact when broken down.
  • Grab lines are perfect for connecting and towing decoys.
  • Can be set up quickly and is extremely easy to transport.
  • Material is extremely durable, so you don’t have to worry about a puncture.

CONS

  • Only has a 220-pound weight capacity.
  • Overall size is small, offering minimal storage capacity.

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the people who invested in this kayak were satisfied with their purchase and were shocked at how easy it was to transport. They were particularly impressed by its lightweight and compact design. However, some users stated that the instructions were unclear and the boat did not have good maneuverability in the wind.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Since the Challenger K1 is the best overall product on our list, it goes without saying that there are quite a few things we like about it. But it primarily stands out to us because of its ease of use. Weighing only 27 pounds, it’s incredibly light and portable. Also, the inflatable I-beam floors provide additional stability, further ensuring your safety.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is perfect for paddling around lakes, slow-moving rivers, and local wetlands. However, it is not suitable for use in currents or the open ocean. Also, this unit has a 220-pound weight capacity, so it may not be the ideal option for heavier sportsmen.

What Could Be Improved and Why

According to some reviews, the instructions were unclear and difficult to follow. So, Intex could improve their instructions manual. Also, be sure to inspect your kayak immediately after purchasing it; a small number of buyers report receiving defective boats that had perforations in the hull.

Bottom Line

The Intex Challenger K1 is certainly one of the best models available in the market today. The inflatable I-beam floors add stability, while its compact and lightweight design makes it extremely easy to store and transport. However, the instructions are a bit difficult to follow, and the unit has minimal storage capacity.

Lifetime Sport Fisher Single or Tandem Kayak, 10 Feet, Olive Green

PROS

  • Sit-on-top design is extremely stable.
  • Comes with a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty.
  • High-density polyethylene ensures superior strength, durability, and longevity.
  • Designed with multiple footrest positions to suit different size riders.
  • Comes with two padded backrests, two double-sided paddles, and a 6’ storage hatch.

CONS

  • A bit heavy.
  • Could be designed with more features.

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were extremely satisfied with the Lifetime Tandem Kayak and recommended it to other potential buyers as well. They particularly liked the spacious seating area it offered and stated that it was extremely stable and durable. However, some users found the kayak to be slow and reported that the backrests were not very comfortable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Lifetime Tandem Kayak stands out to us because of its large, spacious interior. The two seats are padded, further adding comfort. The unit also features multiple footrest positions, making it perfect for riders of different sizes. The footrests further ensure that you stay comfortable during the entire hunting trip.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is designed for fishing and duck hunting and is not a long-distance fast cruising machine. It allows you to track ducks easily, so you can take your shot when you’re close enough. If you want to hunt near the launch point or want to paddle with your friends for fun, then this is the model for you!

What Could Be Improved and Why

As the unit weighs 60 lbs. and only features one side handle, it is a bit difficult for a single person to carry. Hence, it could be designed with two handles to make the job easier. Specialized hunting features, such as camouflage attachment points, could also be included.

Bottom Line

The Lifetime Tandem Kayak certainly deserves a place on our list. With its 500 lb. weight capacity and multiple footrest positions, the unit is extremely comfortable and stable, making it perfect for duck hunting. However, it is a bit heavy and difficult to carry.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump

PROS

  • Bright yellow color increases visibility.
  • Extremely easy to enter and exit out of.
  • Uplifted bow allows more powerful padding strokes.
  • Spacious interior and superior weight capacity makes it perfect for two people.
  • Comes with a repair kit, bow and stern covers, aluminum oars, and a Hi-output pump.

CONS

  • Not ideal for coastal conditions.
  • Black material is susceptible to over-inflation.
  • Carry bag and paddles are not of the highest quality.

What Recent Buyers Report

Most customers were shocked by how budget-friendly this kayak is and were satisfied with the value for money it offers. They were particularly impressed by its ease of use and stated that it could be set up in less than 10 minutes. Most buyers also felt that this model was comfortable enough to take on day trips. However, some buyers did not like the included accessories and reported that they were of poor quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This boat primarily stands out to us because of the incredible value it offers. It is budget-friendly and is extremely durable and stable. The Explorer K2 is built with internal tubes and a 30-gauge vinyl over a 1200 denier nylon-shell.

Who Will Use This Most

The K2 is the ideal option for casual paddling in calmer waters like bays, slow-moving rivers, and lakes. It can comfortably fit two adults weighing under 200 lbs. and a small dog or child. It is also perfect for kids to paddle, as its bright yellow color increases visibility, allowing parents to keep an eye on their children easily.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Although the K2 has received positive reviews, there are some things that could be improved. The paddles and carry bag could be designed with better quality materials to ensure durability and reliability. If this issue is resolved, then this will certainly become everyone’s favorite kayak!

Bottom Line

The Intex Explorer K2 is extremely budget-friendly and offers excellent value for money. The two separate air compartments ensure ease of use, while the inflatable I-beam keeps the kayak stable and rigid. However, the included accessories are not of the highest quality.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

PROS

  • Comes with a one-year limited warranty.
  • Included paddle holder, which enables hands-free hunting.
  • Impressive 470 lbs. weight limit with good gear capacity.
  • Leak-proof Boston air valves allow easy inflation and deflation.
  • High-quality materials and construction ensure durability, reliability, and longevity.

CONS

  • Sidewalls are a bit bulky.
  • Seating is low inside the kayak.
  • Pump and paddles are not included.

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the people who invested in the Coleman Colorado were impressed by its functionality and durability. Some customers even turned it into a fully functional fishing vessel. Users reported that it was rover-friendly; they also appreciated the rod and paddle holders it came with. However, some felt that the kayak was not suitable for taller people.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The durability of the Coleman Colorado is what makes it stand out from the crowd. The 8-gauge PVC construction, along with the 840D nylon cover and 1000D tarpaulin bottom make this one of the toughest vessels of its kind available today. These materials and design further ensure that an accidental hook jerk won’t puncture the kayak, making it suitable for most environments.

Who Will Use This Most

This is specially designed for lake use and is the perfect option for anyone who wants a durable and easy to set up duck hunting kayak. It is also suitable for fishermen and hunters who want to stalk their prey silently. Although shooting from the boat is not very practical, it is still the perfect option for transporting gear to your hunting spot.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Since the Coleman Colorado is one of the best duck hunting kayaks, there is little room for improvement. However, according to reviews, the rod holders get in the way of paddling strokes, so the design could be improved.

Bottom Line

With an impressive 470 lb. weight limit, the Coleman Colorado certainly deserves a place on our list. Designed with high-quality materials, it ensures durability and longevity, while its innovative design makes it extremely easy to use. However, the product does not come with a pump or paddles.

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak (Olive, 10-Feet)

PROS

  • Provides excellent value for the price.
  • Designed with a stable base to avoid capsizing.
  • Open deck allows quick and easy customization.
  • Incredibly lightweight, making it easy to transport.
  • Portable accessible carrier can be used for different duck hunting purposes.

CONS

  • Polyethylene hull is thin and might wear if abused.
  • Hull has tracking issues and keeps spinning while braking.

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the people who purchased the Sun Dolphin appreciated the value it offered for its very reasonable price. They particularly liked its stability and storage compartments. However, some users reported that the scupper holes let more water in than out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Sun Dolphin’s affordability and ease of use are what make it worthy of a mention. This product is incredibly lightweight, making it easy to carry, while the open cockpit allows trouble-free entry and exit. Despite its small size, it comes with a portable accessory carrier and a bungee cord storage area, so you can easily store all your essentials.

Who Will Use This Most

The Sun Dolphin is the ideal option for those looking for an economic duck hunting kayak. The unit is designed with features perfect for waterfowl hunting. Although it is not suitable to shoot from, it is great for transporting you and your gear to your favorite wetland hunting spots.

What Could Be Improved and Why

As the polyethylene is susceptible to wear, a better quality material could be used for its construction to ensure durability and reliability. The kayak could also be designed with a higher weight capacity to make it more feasible for larger built sportsmen. If these issues are resolved, then the Sun Dolphin could easy become a best-seller.

Bottom Line

One of the best models by SUNDOLPHIN, this kayak is perfect for rivers, lakes, and hard-to-reach places. Designed with a portable accessory carrier and fishing and flush mount rod holders, it is extremely easy to use. However, the polyethylene hull is susceptible to wear if it is not maintained properly.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 11 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Hero Comfort Seat & Transducer Port + Rod Holders + Storage + Rudder System Included (Smoke Camo)

PROS

  • Four handles make it extremely easy to carry.
  • Slip-resistant deck platform ensures stability.
  • Hero seat and adjustable foot braces make it comfortable to use.
  • Scupper plugs are included, so you don’t have to purchase them separately.
  • Innovative design allows you to save your energy during windy days, strong currents, and long paddles.

CONS

  • Maneuvering can be a bit difficult.
  • Large center console leaves little space to stand.

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost all of the people who invested in the Sea Ghost were extremely happy with their purchase and recommended it to other potential buyers as well. They were particularly impressed by its durable design and comfortability. Users also reported that the manufacturer’s customer service was incredibly helpful and fixed any issue they had.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Sea Ghost is one of the best of its kind available today, and there are quite a few things we like about it. This kayak is incredibly lightweight and can be managed easily by a single person. Its innovative design is another reason why it stands out to us. It features four different storage spaces, along with gear track and two flush-mounted rod holders, allowing you to store all the essentials easily.

Who Will Use This Most

The Sea Ghost is the perfect option for duck hunting and fishing. It is large, wide, and stable, allowing you to shoot whatever comes your way. The unit’s superior tracking further enables you to silently and accurately stalk your prey for several miles.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Since the model has mostly received positive reviews, there is very little room for improvement. However, one thing that could be improved is Vibe Kayak’s quality control, as some customers reported receiving defective products.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Sea Ghost certainly deserves a place on our list. Its innovative design makes it suitable for windy days and strong currents, while its high-quality construction ensures durability, reliability, and longevity. However, maneuvering might be difficult for some.

Pros and Cons of Duck Hunting in a Kayak

Below are the main pros and cons of using a kayak while duck hunting:

Pros

Stealth

Since kayaks do not have a motor, they can quietly slice through the water. This allows you to sneak up on ducks and make accurate, precise shots.

Allows More Access

Kayaks allow you to access areas that cannot be accessed by motorboats. This further makes it easier to reach remote areas where you’re more likely to find ducks.

Economical

One of the biggest advantages of a duck hunting kayak is its affordability. A state-of-the-art hunting kayak costs almost the same as a low-range john boat. Furthermore, you don’t have to buy any expensive gas to power it.

Cons

Size

Kayaks are not very big in size and can only fit two or three people. On the other hand, john boats allow you to mount blinds to the side easily and are able to store more gear.

Difficult to Cover Large Distances

Since kayaks do not come with powered motors, it is difficult to travel greater distances. They’re also less stable than canoes and john boats.

Conclusion

To put it simply, a kayak is a big investment and one that requires careful consideration. For us, the best model is the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, but make sure you go through all the reviews to find the kayak that suits you best!

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