Best Fishing Kayak Under 1000$ | Affordable Angler Crafts for 2021

You enjoy fishing and have spent enough time doing it to know what you want next – a fishing kayak. Nothing takes fishing to the next level like moving from the shore to the water. It might seem like an easy purchase to make, but after looking at the wide range of prices, types, and features you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Choosing the right kayak for fishing is no small task, whether you’re looking for beginner kayaks or more advanced ones. There are plenty of factors to consider and the right choice will mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful fishing trip. Coming home wet, miserable, and without a fish is probably one of the worst ways to end a day out on the water.

Even if you had all the time and money in the world you would have a hard time testing out all the products available on the market – but luckily you don’t have to. We have gone ahead to compile a list of some of the best fishing kayaks under $1000. Whether you prefer stand up kayaks, long hull kayaks, inflatable kayaks, or budget kayaks, you will be able to find something that suits your needs!


TLDR: If you don’t have time to read through this guide, you can skip straight to our number one choice – the Intex Challenger Series Kayak. This is a budget-friendly inflatable kayak that combines many great features. It is highly maneuverable, stable, and very easy to transport.

Although this might not be the most professional kayak, it is the best cheap fishing kayak available and has everything a beginner fishermen would need to get a taste of kayak fishing.  


10 Best Fishing Kayak Under 1000 Reviewed

  1. Star Rival Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak
  2. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak
  3. Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak
  4. Intex Challenger Series Kayak
  5. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
  6. Wilderness Systems Tarpon Sit-On-Top 120
  7. Wilderness Systems Tarpon Sit-On-Top 105
  8. Perception Outlaw Sit-On-Top 11.5
  9. Perception Joyride 10.0
  10. Old Town Dirigo 106 Kayak

Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000 Comparison Table

For a quick overview of the best kayaks under $1000, we have compiled this table. It provides you with all the basics, but there are more in-depth reviews just after – so make sure to keep reading!

Fishing KayaksBest For
STAR Rival Sit-On-Top Inflatable KayakStand-up fishingSit-On-Top9$$$ Check Price
ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable KayakTandem fishingSit-on-top with optional conversion8.5$$ Check Price
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person KayakCapacity vs sizeSit-on-top8$ Check Price
Challenger Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak with Oars & Air PumpRemovable skegsSit-in10$ Check Price
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing KayakTandemSit-on-top9$ Check Price
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Sit-On-Top KayakLengthSit-on-top9$$$ Check Price
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 Sit-On-Top KayakSpaceSit-on-top9$$$ Check Price
Perception Outlaw 11.5 Sit-On-Top KayakElevated Seating
Sit-on-top8.5$$ Check Price
Perception Joyride 10.0 KayakAll-roundSit-in8.5$$ Check Price
Old Town Dirigo 106 KayakDay fishing tripsSit-in8$$$ Check Price

Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak

If you know you are looking for a stand up fishing kayak, you should consider the Star Rival Sit-On-Top inflatable kayak. It has a raised seat, a stable deck, and ample space for storage.

Some of the other best stand up fishing options are:

Top Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Under $1000

Our number one choice for inflatable fishing kayaks is the Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak. It is a small, easy-to-carry kayak that can be stored in the included convenient backpack.

The other top options are:

  1. Intex Challenger Series Kayak
  2. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
  3. Star Rival Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak

Longest Fishing Kayaks

If you plan on purchasing a long hull kayak, look no further than the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak. It has a 15’ hull and is suitable for tandem fishing missions.

For other long kayak options, you can choose from:

  1. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
  2. Wilderness Systems Tarpon Sit-On-Top 120
  3. Perception Outlaw Sit-On-Top 11.5

Best Budget Fishing Kayak Under $1000

The best affordable fishing kayak on our list has to be the Intex Challenger Series Kayak. Despite its low cost, it has everything to get you started in kayak fishing.

Alternatively, you can also try out one of these other options:

  1. Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak
  2. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
  3. Perception Joyride 10.0


Top 10 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000

Now you can through our detailed reviews of the best kayaks under $1000.

Intex Challenger Series Kayak Review

  • Inflatable
  • Sit-in
  • Closed-deck with cargo net
  • Removable/adjustable inflated seat

The Intex Challenger is our number one choice for best kayak under $1000. Although you might find the other options more suitable to your needs, this boat has everything a beginner or experienced fishermen would need.

The main selling point is the excellent value for money. It might be small, but with ample capacity you should still be able to carry enough gear for your day trip. The sit-in hull and skeg make it much easier to control than many other inflatable kayaks in this price range.

The tracking is quite good and even though you might not want to take this kayak out onto choppy waters. It is more than capable of handling flat water bays, lakes, and rivers.


  • Easy to inflate
  • Great maneuverability
  • Ultra light
  • Ample storage space


  • Not very fast
  • Skeg difficult to remove
  • Only two separate air chambers

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Star Rival Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak Review



  • Inflatable
  • Sit-on-top
  • Large deck for standing
  • Mesh / suspension seat

The Star Rival is one of the best angler kayaks under 1000. It is a well-designed sit-on-top kayak that is perfect for sitting or standing. It is a large kayak that can inflate to 12.5ft and can be easily stored in the included carry bag.

The 38 inch width ensures a lot of stability while paddling. It is only suitable for one person, but there is ample space to store all of your goods with the large deck, tie downs, and attachment points for rod holders, fish fingers, or anchor locks.

This is a great kayak to enjoy a day out on calm water. The suspended-mesh seat is raised which gives you a great position for paddling, looking for fish, and casting.


  • High-pressure deck
  • 9’’ side tubes
  • Easy storage in carry bag
  • 5 Scotty Mount accessory bases
  • Very stable


  • Not suitable for rough waters
  • Low capacity compared to size and width
  • Exposed to elements

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Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak Review



  • Inflatable
  • Sit-on-top with optional conversion
  • Optional deck conversion
  • Adjustable padded seats

This kayak is a unique entry on the list – one that can convert from a sit-on-top kayak to a sit-in kayak. The default version is an open deck sit-on-top kayak with two seats. Thanks to the seats’ positioning, you can easily paddle this long 15’ kayak by yourself.

If you opt for the conversion, you can change this kayak into the sit-in version. The closed deck has d-rings and a mesh pocket which increases your available gear storage space. The deck conversions are available in either single or tandem, making this the best tandem fishing kayak on our list.


  • Compact and easy to transport
  • Optional deck conversion available
  • Single or tandem – moveable seat
  • Great capacity


  • Travel bag is a bit too small
  • Takes long to inflate/deflate
  • Skegs bend over time

Check Price on REI


Check Price on Amazon


Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak Review



  • Inflatable
  • Sit-on-top
  • Small deck
  • Inflatable backrest with padded seat

If you’re looking for a budget fishing kayak, then Sevylor Quikpak K1 is one of the best options around. It might be small, at only 8ft, but it still offers a very good maximum capacity of 400lb. The seat design is basic, but it is very comfortable and holds up well on longer fishing trips.

This boat might not be suitable for open water, but it is a great beginner choice for kayak fishing. It can be used in almost any flat water environment and is a very fun way to enjoy a day out on the lake or river.


  • Durable
  • Backpack storage bag
  • Budget friendly
  • Quick to inflate


  • Middle of boat sinks slightly
  • Not the best tracking
  • Not very stable

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Intex Excursion Pro Kayak


  • Inflatable
  • Sit-on-top
  • Open-deck
  • Tandem removable/adjustable seats

If you’re looking for a budget tandem kayak then the Intex Excursion is a good choice. It is a high-pressure blow-up kayak that is surprisingly stable. There is ample space for two people as well as removable mounting brackets for additional accessories.

Most of the storage space is found in the bow and stern with steel D rings for tying down gear. This boat can carry up to 400lb. The material is strong and very thick and should maintain its integrity for a long time.

This kayak comes with two skegs – one for shallow and one for deep waters. These skegs come in handy and ensure that the tracking on this boat is very good. This is definitely one of the best fishing kayaks under 500.


  • Comfortable seating
  • Deep water and shallow water skegs
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Good tracking


  • Inward pointing rod holders
  • Pressure gauge sometimes faulty
  • Seams sometimes need replacing

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Wilderness Systems Tarpon Sit-On-Top 120 Review



  • Hardshell
  • Sit-on-top
  • Stable deck for standing
  • 3-point adjustable mesh seat

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 is the first hard hull kayak that made it on our list. It is a well-known mid-range kayak that is popular among beginner and more experienced kayakers. The seating is very comfortable and can be adjusted according to your preference.

There is ample storage space on the large 12’ kayak, including the front storage hatch and large rear storage well. If that’s not enough, the SlideTrax accessory rails are a great way to customize your kayak.

Despite its length, it is slightly narrower (30’’) than other options in this size. This means you will need to get a bit accustomed to the feel, but it is still a very stable kayak that can be used in all flat water settings.


  • Phase 3 AirPro seating system
  • Straight tracking
  • Dog-friendly
  • SlideTrax accessory rails
  • Quick park paddle holder


  • Heavy to carry
  • Large size difficult to transport
  • Not suitable for rough waters

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Wilderness Systems Tarpon Sit-On-Top 105



  • Hardshell
  • Sit-on-top
  • Stable deck for standing
  • 3-point adjustable mesh sheet.

The Tarpon 105 is another great affordable kayak released by Wilderness Systems. This particular option is 10.5ft long making it more maneuverable than the Tarpon 120. Despite being shorter, this kayak has been made slightly wider – improving overall stability. This is still a suitable kayak for fishermen who prefer standing.

Wilderness Systems have also done very well to ensure a good capacity with this boat. It can handle up to 325lb thanks to its large rear storage well, front hatch, mesh cover, and SlideTrax™ accessory rail.

  • Phase 3 AirPro seating system
  • More maneuverable than Tarpon 120
  • Straight tracking
  • Quick park paddle holder
  • Slower than Tarpon 120
  • Heavy to carry
  • Not suitable for rough waters.
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Perception Outlaw Sit-On-Top 11.5



  • Hardshell
  • Sit-on-top
  • Large stern deck for standing
  • Adjustable mesh seat

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 is a great value for money fishing kayak that is suitable for beginners or more experienced fishermen. This boat offers a very high carrying capacity of 425lb. This is thanks to the wide hull (35’’). There is a large stern deck which is great for standing and fishing. Thanks to the incredible stability, you won’t need to worry about falling over.

The seat is very comfortable and it is easy to stay many hours out on the water with this boat. If you prefer, you can even remove the seat. There isn’t a dry well but with the rigging, 3 solo mounts, and gear tracks you should have no problem storing all your fishing gear.


  • Removable stowaway seat
  • Great stability
  • Value for money


  • Mounting knobs unscrew
  • No dry well
  • Very slow

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Perception Joyride 10.0 Review



  • Hardshell
  • Sit-in
  • Closed deck
  • Padded foam seat

The Perception Joyride is a great sit-in kayak option that is available for a decent price. The hardshell, size, and weight make it a little bit difficult to carry by yourself – but it should fit on the back of most trucks.

It is a 10ft boat that is very maneuverable and can be used in calm or slightly choppy waters. It is quite a fast boat despite its length, but make sure not to overload it. It can carry up to 275 pounds and has ample storage space.

There are 2 solo mount recesses, a patent-pending Selfie Slot™ and an easy-to-open hinged hatch cover. There is also an extra compartment in the rear of the kayak, inside the bulkhead wall. They have added safety flotation for peace of mind.


  • Very stable
  • Good tracking
  • Good carrying capacity


  • No drain plug
  • Bit heavy
  • Slow when overloaded

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Old Town Dirigo 106 Kayak Review



  • Hardshell
  • Sit-in
  • Closed deck
  • Cushioned, adjustable seat

This short hull sit-in kayak offers a great balance between stability, speed, and comfort. The seat can be adjusted and is suitable for day fishing trips. With a 300lb weight capacity, you will be able to store plenty of gear.

There are plenty of storage options, including the small glove box hatch, the stern hatch seals, and stern bulkhead. There is also plenty of bungee deck rigging used on both the bow and stern, allowing you to secure extra gear. The paddle keeper is a great bonus feature that helps secure your paddle while fishing.


  • Stable
  • Good tracking
  • Good maneuverability


  • Not suitable for tall people
  • Not suitable for rapids
  • Foot peg location is not ideal

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Fishing Kayak Buyers Guide

When choosing the perfect fishing kayak, you should consider the following points.

Sit-on-top vs sit-in kayaks

SOT kayaks are the safer self-bailing option. Fishermen won’t need to worry about tipping over and sinking their boat. These kayaks are generally more comfortable because your legs don’t have to be confined inside the boat for long periods of time. You will, however, be sacrificing performance and maneuverability. SOTs are best suited for calm water or close to the shore.

SIKs are generally used by more advanced fishermen. They require more skill to pilot and can take some time to get used to, but once you have mastered them they are a great choice for any environment. Their low-centre of gravity and light weight ensures that they can move fast. There are skirts to prevent water from getting into the cockpit, but there is a chance of sinking your boat if not careful.


The width of a boat directly affects the stability. The wider the angling kayak, the more stable it is. Narrower boats, usually sit-in kayaks, are much faster and more maneuverable. The narrower boats are, however, less stable and might require some practice before you feel comfortable fishing on one.


When choosing the length of your boat, you need to consider how fast you want to go. If you are going to be fishing in large open waters where it is important to be able to cover distance quickly, then you should go for a longer angler kayak.

You will, however, lose out on maneuverability. Shorter kayaks are easier to turn and are better for smaller bodies of water. If you plan on tackling some rapids during your fishing, you will also need smaller fishing kayaks.


The capacity of a fishing kayak is the total weight that the kayak can handle. This number is listed in pounds. The bigger boats have larger capacities and allow for bigger fishermen and more gear. Depending on your size and the amount of gear you want to bring along on trips, you will need to adjust your boat accordingly.

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Now that you know the important things to consider when buying an affordable fishing kayak, you are ready to make your choice. We wish you great experiences and plenty of time with your line in water.

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