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Top 6 Best Kayaks for Rivers

kayak for riversKayak came from the word qajaq, an Arctic word that means a thing that allows hunting easier. The natives of the Arctic were said to be the one who created kayaks to make hunting easier for them. Earlier kayaks were designed to run after seals and walruses, hence it was a fishing kayak. The natives back then didn’t want to spend their time waiting for their prey. When they see one, they go after them. They were able to create the best kayak for rivers and oceans back then with the use of simple wood and trees designed to look like a boat.

Click here for the Best Kayak for Rivers available in 2020!

As time passes, the design and purpose of kayaks have evolved and now they are not just used for fishing. Kayaks are also used for touring, for recreation and for sports. Sports minded people are now using kayaks to test their physical strength and wit in maneuvering against rapids.

Here is a brief comparison table of the top river kayaks (article continues below):

Top Kayaks for Rivers Comparison Table

KayakCapacityPriceRating

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak
325 lbs$$$$

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4.9 out of 5 Stars

Click here to read from 17 customer reviews!






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Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
lbs$$$$

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4.3 out of 5 Stars

Click here to read from 33 customer reviews!






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Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
220 lbs$

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4.3 out of 5 Stars

Click here to read from 633 customer reviews!






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Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
400 lbs$$

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4.1 out of 5 Stars

Click here to read from 340 customer reviews!






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Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak
lbs$$$$

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4 out of 5 Stars

Click here to read from 59 customer reviews!






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Tube Pro TubeTracker Standard River Tube Kayak

Tube Pro TubeTracker Standard River Tube Kayak
lbs$$

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3 out of 5 Stars

Click here to read from 1 customer review!






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If you are looking for the best kayak for rivers, what would you be looking for?

  • The material it is made of. Do you prefer a composite made kayak or a polycarbonate made kayak? The most popular kayaks are made of polyethylene though but are heavier and are harder to fix when it gets punctured.
  • The seat. The seat is the most important part of your kayak. The best kayak for rivers should come with the best seat because imagine, you will be sitting for the most part of your day hence you want your backside to be as comfortable as possible. Seats that are adjustable are winners and if there is a comfortable back rest that comes with it, then you hit a jackpot.

6 best kayaks for rivers

Here are the top 7 best kayak for rivers that you can find in the market today!

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars from 612 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

For rivers with mild and slow flowing water, the best river kayak that you can use is Intex Challenger K1 Kayak. This is one of the few inflatable kayaks that you can use in rivers while other inflatable kayaks are recommended for lakes only. Being durable and stable, the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak’s price (click here for the price) makes it a reasonable option when it comes to the best kayak for rivers and lakes.

The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is made of durable welded materials hence it can stand mild rapids from rivers. The cockpit is spacious enough and comfortable enough to make paddling more enjoyable even for hours. You can simply sit on the inflatable I-beam floor and feel the rigidity of your kayak while cruising. For your additional things like food and water, just toss it on the cargo net that serves as an additional storage for this kayak. A complete kit of this package comes with 84 inches aluminum oar and a pump that you can use in inflating and deflating your kayak. This kayak can also carry a maximum weight of 220 pounds. The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak has a dimension of 14.96 x 29.92 x 137.8 inches.

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Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-On Kaya

Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars from 44 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

The next item on our best river kayak review is the Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak. This kayak is available in bright orange color. It is a single person kayak and it can be yours for less than $500 (click here for the price).

The Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak is one of the best river kayaks for me because of its tracks and paddle design that comes with the package. This kayak has a wide bottom just like any sit on top kayaks, offering maximum stability even for beginners. This kayak has a Portable Accessory Carrier or PAC as an additional storage for your things that needs to be kept dry. There is also a dry storage compartment with shock cord deck rigging to keep your gadgets like fish finder and phones safe from being wet. The cockpit design of this Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak is open to keep it easier for passengers to get in and out of the kayak. Another feature of this kayak is the large sitting area and protective thigh pads hence even if you get on rough water like in rivers, you can stay secure and protected on top of your kayak. The foot braces are adjustable as well as the paddle holder. This kayak has a dimension of 13 x 30 x 120 inches and it weighs 40 pounds.

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Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars from 15 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

For kayakers out there, seeing the best kayak for rivers and lakes from Old Town is a treat that they consider as grand. The Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak is a single person kayak that can be used either for lake or rivers. It is recommended on slow moving body of waters such as ponds and streams too. The Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak is made of linear polyethylene, single layer but highly durable.

This best kayaks for rivers from Old Town Canoes & Kayaks features an Adjustable Comfort Flex seat, padded and comfortable to keep you in style and comfort even after whole day of paddling. When tired, you can put your paddle on the paddle rest rim. For moving rivers, you can take advantage of the Glide Track Foot Brace system that this kayak have.  With the Glide Track Foot Brace system, you can control how your kayak will move while supporting your thigh and knee with the thigh and knee pads. The Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak is my best kayak for rivers because of its design and price (click here for the price). It has a dimension of 16.75 x 28.5 x 122 inches and it weighs 48 pounds.

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Tube Pro TubeTracker Standard River Tube Kayak

Tube Pro TubeTracker Standard River Tube Kayak

Rated 3.0 out of 5 stars from 1 customer. Click the image for prices and reviews!

What is the best river kayak that doesn’t cost much? The Standard River Tube Kayak from Tube Pro fits this description so far.  With a seating space of 44″ x 15″, you can now sit comfortably with your stretched legs while paddling in this kayak.

This item in our best river kayak review comes with robust plastic tracking fins and a 70 inches paddle. The fins allow it to be easily controlled and maneuvered even in rapid flowing rivers. With the said fins, you can also make your turns easily. This is an inflatable kayak that is durable enough to face and survive slow flowing rivers and streams as well as calmer lakes. The shape of this kayak is streamlined, allowing it move with agility and buoyancy in rapids. After hours of paddling, you can rest comfortably by leaning on the supported backrest while sipping a beer from your cup. When paddling, conveniently place your cup on the cup holder and take your kayak to the next river stop. This inflatable kayak features a Boston valve for faster inflation and deflation process. The Tube Pro TubeTracker Standard River Tube Kayak has dimension of 24.2 x 17.2 x 6 inches. It is a lightweight at 14.7 pounds hence carrying and transporting it is not an issue at all.

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Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars from 324 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

What is the best river kayak from Intex that is good for two people? If you are looking for an affordable kayak that you can use in lakes and rivers, the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is the best recommendation I can give. Most river kayak reviews have Intex as one of their top brands in terms of kayaks and this is because of the Challenger series.

Just like the K1 Challenger, the K2 also has sporty designs and bright colors for higher visibility even from a distance. This inflatable kayak features streamlined design to make it easier to follow the flow of the river and for easier paddling especially if there are occasional rapids on the way. As a sports kayak, the K2 can fit two adults and they can feel safe with the grab lines surrounding the kayak.

This best river kayak from Intex comes with aluminum paddle and pump for your inflation and deflation needs. For your extra gear, you can use the cargo net on this kayak. This best kayak for rivers is made of Super-Tough vinyl material that promises to be puncture proof and UV damage-resistant.

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Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars from 33 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

The last item for our river kayak reviews is Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-in Fishing Kayak. The Excursion Sit-in Fishing Kayak is another top of the line kayak from Sun Dolphin and it is highly recommended for kayakers who occasionally paddle on lakes and rivers.

This one of the best kayaks for rivers comes with rod holders, two are mounted and the other is a swivel rod holder.  It has a dimension of 13 x 30 x 120 inches and it weighs 41 pounds. The design, performance and durability of this Sun Dolphin kayak is meant to be used in rivers and lakes so if you are looking for the best river kayak in the market today, check this product out. This can be yours for only $$$$ (click here for the price).

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Conclusion

Kayaking is a very safe sport and a very safe hobby to pursue. If you want some peace of mind, go kayaking. If you want to embark on an adventure, go kayaking. If you want to test your strength, paddle away. To make your best kayak for rivers safer to use, always bring your lifejacket with you along with your first aid kit and repair kit for your kayak.

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