Best Dog Kayak
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Best Dog Kayaks

The best dog kayak is Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak.

Water adventures can be exciting. But safety and comfort while you are on water are paramount. If you love bringing your canine pal on board, the surety that your ride will be fun and safe becomes even more compelling.

So, what type of kayak lets you include your canine pet while keeping both of you safe and comfortable on water? We review 7 best dog kayaks that fit this criterion and tell you the value and unique features of each.

Budget Conscious Pick

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Our Top Pick

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak

Readers Pick

Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak

01 Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak

If you love taking your dog for your water adventures, the AdvancedFrame is the ideal kayak. This convertible 15ft kayak has 3 seat locations and can take a maximum of 550lb. You can paddle solo or in tandem, and your dog can take one seat.

You can easily convert this kayak from the open-deck design to closed-deck design. The standard open-deck design lets you enter and exit with ease. The closed-deck design allows you to quickly turn the AdvancedFrame convertible to a single or double deck. You can paddle comfortably for hours while sitting on the high-support padded seats, which can be adjusted to be close or away from each other.

The outer layer of the kayak is made of PCV Tarpaulin material, making it strong, durable, and puncture-resistant. The bow and stern rib-frame are made of aluminum for easy tracking.  Since everything is pre-assembled, you only have to spread the frame, inflate, and attach the seats. And your kayak is ready for the water!

 

Pros
  • A kayak with ample space to include your dog in your water adventures is what the AdvancedFrame Convertible offers you. You’ll be choosing a puncture-resistant option with padded seats for your comfort while paddling.

02 Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Intex Explorer K2 is made for smaller water bodies such as lakes and calm rivers. The 2-person (or one person and a dog) kayak is 10ft 3in with inflatable and adjustable seats and a cockpit for extra space and comfort. The streamlined design of the kayak makes paddling easier, and the removable skeg gives directional stability.

The kayak is made with puncture-resistant rugged vinyl and has an inflatable I-beam floor that is sturdy and comfortable. The bright yellow color and sporty graphics ensure visibility in case of an emergency.

Other defining features of the kayak include 3 separate air chambers, Boston valves for fast inflation or deflation, and grab-handles on both ends for easy transportation. The kayak takes up to 400lb.

 

Pros
  • If you are looking to save on a reliable kayak, the 2-person Intex Explorer K2 is a good deal. You can quickly inflate your kayak through the Boston valves and have a comfortable ride on the inflatable seats with a backrest.

03 Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak

This one-person kayak is created for recreation. The sit-in kayak has a 275lb (125kg) capacity. Persons with smaller dogs can keep them on their lap without overloading the boat.

The kayak’s special features include T-handles on both ends for easier transportation and a storage hatch with a bungee cord and a mesh deck cover to safely carry your gear. There’s a bottle holder on the cockpit table that keeps your drinking water at hand.

This kayak has inbuilt footrests. The adjustable seat has a padded cushion for better support. The hull’s shallow V chine design provides stability and excellent maneuverability.

 

Pros
  • Anyone looking for an exclusive on-water escapee with their toy dog can enjoy a perfect one on the Pelican Maxim 100X. The extra luxuries on this kayak like the comfortable cushioned seat and the footrests are irresistible.

04 Perception Sound 9.5

The Perception Sound 9.5 is a sit-in kayak with a 300lb capacity. The ample foot space allows you and your medium-sized dog to stay comfortably in the vessel. The kayak is specially designed for your fishing water outings. You have two rod-holders and big rear storage.

You and your pet can enjoy the fresh smell of fish as they come out of the water and are placed in the fish crate. You have a gear tray in the front where you can safely place your phone and other small items. 

The Tri-keel design of the kayak gives stability and allows easy maneuvering. You have a comfortable seat, an adjustable backrest, and adjustable footrests. You will easily transport your vessel with the built-in handles at both ends. The kayak is best used in calm river and lake waters.

 

Pros
  • If you are looking for fun while fishing, the Perception Sound is your recommended choice. You have a comfortable ride on a cushy seat with adjustable footrests and your fishing paraphernalia is all molded-in, ready for your fishing adventure.

05 Vanhunks Manatee

This jungle-green 9ft kayak is built with high-density grade Polyethylene. It is a single-seater kayak with a 330lb capacity. A medium to a large dog can fit between your feet without overloading the kayak.  

For its special features, the kayak comes with a paddle and a swivel fishing rod holder. The hardware in the kayak is made of marine graded stainless steel, including the frame of the seat on which the cushion is fastened. 

The kayak is designed for calm river and lake waters, but the Vanhunks Manatee would still resist the force of white water. You have big rear storage and secure straps on the bungee.

 

Pros
  • The Vanhunks Manatee is exclusive for those seeking lone-time fun on the water. You can enjoy the ride and fish at the same time. The solid Polyethylene construction on the exterior is complemented by marine-grade hardware in the interior.

06 SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba

Water enthusiasts seeking private time on water have their desire fulfilled with the Sun Dolphin Aruba. The 10ft space lets a dog of any size sit comfortably at the front without blocking your sight.

Constructed with rugged UV-stabilized fortiflex high-density polyethylene, the kayak has a comfortable adjustable seat with back support. The adjustable foot braces enhance your comfort as you paddle.

Additional value features of this kayak include carrying handles on each end for convenient transportation and a water bottle holder at the front. You can store your gear in the rear storage that’s secured with shock cord deck rigging.

 

Pros
  • The strong built Sun Dolphin Aruba gives you a sense of safety as you enjoy your adventure on the water. Comfort is ensured by an adjustable seat and foot braces.

07 Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

The Lifetime Tamarack is a value-packed and feature-rich kayak constructed with UV-protected high-density Polyethylene. The kayak is perfect for those combining fishing with fun time on the water. Its hull has a flat bottom to enhance stability and a sharp bow underneath for speed and tracking. The tracking skeg enhances straight paddling.

The kayak has a 275lb capacity allowing you to bring along your small or medium-size dog, depending on your weight. The comfortable seat is adjustable and you have molded-in handles at both ends for easier transport.

The unique features of this kayak include a top-mounted and two flush-mounted fishing rod holders. You have two storage hatches, and a front and rear bungee. Multiple footrests enhance comfort while paddling. The vessel comes with an adult paddle and a paddle holder.

 

Pros
  • If you fancy unique items, this kayak is definitely for you. Its steady hull is distinctively complemented by multiple footrests, storage spaces, and fishing rod holders.

Buyers Guide

Dog Kayaks Buyer’s Guide

Safety is a condition of no-compromise during water adventures with kayaks. If you have your pet’s safety to take care of besides yours, it becomes a double responsibility.

But how do you ensure that the kayak you want to purchase is the best for you and your pet? Two things:

  1. Know what type of kayak you are looking for.
  2. Understand the features that should characterize an ideal kayak for you and your dog’s water adventures.

Types of kayaks

The American Kayaking Association considers kayaks to fit into two main categories: the flatwater and the whitewater kayaks.

Whitewater kayaks are those that are built for turbulent sea and ocean waters and require you to edge and maneuver to keep balance, especially when the boat starts to tip. Specific types of white water kayaks include the River Runners, Playboats Old School, and Creekboats.

Flatwater kayaks are built for calm lake and river waters, which allow you to keep it flat most of the time while requiring little maneuvering. Specific flatwater kayaks include sit-on-top, sit-in, pedaling, and touring kayaks.

The reviewed kayaks fit under the flatwater category and specifically within two types: sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks. We give a quick review of these types.

Sit-on-top kayaks

They are open and easy to get in and out of. They are wide and have good stability, often recommended for those who are novices in kayaking. They are easier to hop back into if you take a swim while kayaking.

Sit-on-top kayaks have ample space and can fit any size of dogs. They are good for fishing since you have all your fishing equipment accessible. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler is a good example.

Sit-in kayaks

These kayaks have a cockpit that may be enclosed (see the Pelican Maxim) or wide open but rising to your waist level or a little higher so your lower body is encased (see the Sun Dolphin Aruba). Sit-in kayaks can also be convertible, allowing you to use it as an open cockpit kayak or convert it to enclosed decks (see our top pick, the AdvancedFrame Convertible).

Sit-in kayaks have better performance compared to their counterparts, which explains why they cost more. They are good for experts in kayaking who want to do specific paddling styles. If your canine pet fears water, this kayak will offer some shield and make him/her less afraid.

Features of an idea kayak for you and your dog’s water adventures

While each of these two types has its pros and cons, choosing the best kayak for your water adventure with your dog can be decided on certain general features.

Space

A kayak with seats for you and your dog is ideal for comfort and safety. But dogs may prefer to sit in the cockpit between your legs. A 10-15ft sit-in kayak has more than enough space for you and your large-size dog. One that is a little shorter with an enclosed cockpit may only allow a small dog on your lap.

Durability

This refers to the material used to construct the hull and the interior. Kayaks made of PCV Tarpaulin material are durable. UV-protected high-density Polyethylene is also used often and is highly durable.

Storage

Being on water may require you to bring along swimming gear, some dog food or other necessities. Kayaks with large storage are handy, especially when you intend to be on the water for quite some time. Most kayaks have some storage, but others like the Lifetime Tamarack have plenty of it.

Weight capacity

If you are looking for a kayak that can accommodate you and your dog, purchase one with high weight capacity. Both our top pick (550lb) and budget pick (400lb) are ideal choices. A 275lb kayak like the Pelican Maxim may only allow a toy dog along with you.

Stability

Stability entails steadiness and how comfortable you are while paddling. Wider kayaks have better stability. Kayaks with poor tracking have compromised stability and are often fitted with a rudder or skeg (see the Intex Explorer K2). A stable kayak with good tracking will save our canine pet from anxiety and trauma if your kayak gets tossed or tips.

Other ideal features in a kayak include comfortable seats and footrests to aid paddling.

Conclusion

Kayaks should be chosen based on the intended purpose and the features that qualify them as ideal vessels for you and your pet’s water adventure. Ample space, stability, weight capacity, durability, and large storage are unique features that make a kayak ideal.

Our top pick, the AdvancedFrame Convertible, has most of these unique features. It is 15ft long, is made of aluminum for easy tracking, has a 550lb capacity, made of durable PCV Tarpaulin material, and has comfortable seats. Even though it is lacking in storage, you could consider its convertible design as compensation.

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