Best Kayaks for Dogs 2020: Top-10 Dog-Friendly Yaks
Author Robert Herrera Reading 1 min Views 88 Published by
An idea of sharing your hobby to your best friend is great, even if this friend has four legs and a ringtail. If you enjoy kayaking why not let your pup accompany you in your overwater travels? This is simpler than you can think: all you need is a good kayak for dogs and a couple of basic accessories. In this article, we are going to review top-10 dog-friendly yak options, which are going to make your trips comfortable and safe for you and your canine.
Table of Contents:
What is a Kayak for Dogs and How It is Used
The Best Kayaks for Dogs in 2020: a Comparative Chart
Things to Consider When Choosing a Kayak for Dogs
How We Selected the Best Kayaks for Dogs
The Best Products in the Category of Kayaks for Dogs: Our Choice
1. Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak Pro Package
2. Aquaglide Chinook XP Tandem XL 585215034
3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
4. Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak with Paddles
5. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
6. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130
7. Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu
8. SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS
9. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
10. ADVANCED ELEMENTS Strait Edge Inflatable Kayak
Safety Tips for Kayaking with Your Dog
Frequently Asked Questions
Verdict and Recommendations
Everyone knows what a kayak is. But what on earth is a dog kayak? Of course, no kayaks are made specially for dogs: all of them are designed for people. That said, some of them are better suited for traveling with dogs than others. To choose the best kayak or canoe for dogs one needs to know what types of these watercraft exist and what their strong and weak points are.
These are relatively wide-open kayaks – stable and comfortable. Their large open surface is spacious enough for dogs of various sizes. If your dog loves swimming, with a sit-on-top kayak, it will jump to the water without hassle.
As the name suggests, these kayaks have a closed construction with a seat for one person (a single kayak) or two seats (a tandem kayak.) They are smaller, narrower, and less stable than the sit-on-top options. That said, it is not impossible to use them for traveling with a dog, especially if the pup is small or very timid.
These are, probably, the best kayaks for big dogs, as they are wide and stable. They are quite slow and not too manoeuvring, but they are perfect for lazy, quiet walks in the calm water. If speed is not your priority, you’ll appreciate the benefits of fishing kayaks for traveling with a dog by water.
Sea kayaks are designed for water sports, such as paddling. They are fast, lightweight, and manoeuvring while been too narrow and small to kayak with dogs. Also, they tend to be less stable than other types of kayaks, which can be a problem for the owners of active dogs.
They are great for adventurers but not for dog owners. Whitewater kayaks are the smallest and the narrowest option around. They are intended for white-water rafting and other extreme water sports. Your pup will definitely feel uncomfortable with such a watercraft.
|Sea Eagle SE370|
|Aquaglide Chinook XP Tandem XL 585215034|
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado|
|Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak|
|Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak|
|Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130|
|Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu|
|SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS|
|Intex Explorer K2 Kayak|
|ADVANCED ELEMENTS Strait Edge Inflatable Kayak|
So, kayaks are not made equal. But how to select the best kayak for people with dogs? In fact, it is quite easy if you know what features to look for and what features to avoid. Here are some important things to consider.
This is simple: tandem kayaks are designed for two people while single kayaks are made for one person. If you travel with a large dog, a tandem kayak has a benefit in the form of an extra separate seat where your pup can rest. Keep in mind, however, that tandem options are heavier, bulkier, and more expensive, so think twice whether you really need it.
Conventionally, beginners tend to believe that plastic kayaks are sturdier and more reliable. However, the best inflatable kayaks for dogs today are extremely durable. They are made of strong PVC or rubber and have a multi-layered structure, which makers them tear-resistant. On top of this, inflatable boats are more stable and can carry a larger load. The only thing you need to make sure of is that your pup doesn’t have too sharp claws.
Try to calculate the total load on a kayak in advance and choose the watercraft that can carry a little more than that. To calculate the load you need to summarize your body weight, your dog’s body weight, and the weight of all the gear and personals you are going to carry. Logically, larger kayaks commonly have a larger weight capacity and vice versa.
We’ve already touched upon the pros and cons of both options. The choice here will depend on the size and temper of your pup. As a general rule of thumb, sit-on-top watercraft are beneficial for larger and more active dogs, while sit-in kayaks are more comfortable for small or very calm pets.
It goes without saying that wider kayaks are more comfortable and stable. If you are looking for some extra storage space and stability choose a wide watercraft. That said, they can be bulky and quite heavy, so the best approach is to find the happy medium.
Our guide was born as a result of a comprehensive research conducted by passionate dog fanciers. We thoroughly studied the specifications of popular kayak models and estimated them from the point of view of dog-friendliness. Of course, we analyzed tons of kayak for dogs reviews and compared our conclusions with real customers’ opinions. Finally, at least, two of us have a practical experience of kayaking with dogs, so you may be sure that we know what we are speaking about.
Our ranking of top watercrafts for kayaking with dogs includes ten options. We tried to cover various types of kayaks that meet the needs of different dog owners. Each review consists of a brief general description, our thoughts about the kayak, and the list of pros and cons.
Sea Eagle SE370 is a great option to consider for those looking for the best kayak for large dogs. This is an elegant tandem watercraft with plenty of storage space, which can carry up to three persons or a person and a dog. Its outer is PolyKrylar (K80 PVC) – a tear-resistant material, which can withstand pups’ claws. While being large and durable, this kayak is very lightweight and easy to transport when non-inflated. It comes with a repair kit and a gauge.
Though the kayak is marketed as an option for 3 persons, in fact, there are only two separate seats. We suppose that the third person can be a kid who will sit between the legs of one of the passengers. Speaking about traveling with dogs, this is an awesome option – roomy, comfortable, and stable. An anti-splash inflatable skirt is very nice. If your dog loves water trips, it will love this kayak.
This is a good tandem kayak for dogs and their owners. It is designed for up to three passengers; however, there are only two separate seats. That said, there is enough room for two persons and a dog or two adults and a child. The boat is pretty long but not too wide, which prevents it from looking and feeling bulky. The material is strong and durable. The kayak comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Aquaglide is an excellent option for relaxed family trips on calm water – lakes or calm rivers. It is easy to assemble and inflate: the whole process takes 8-10 minutes. Both seats are adjustable: you can regulate the backrest angle and change their positioning in the boat as you like. The watercraft features a rear fin that provides an easier steering. It’s a pity it comes without paddles and the pump.
It is believed that fishing kayaks are the best type of kayak for dogs. You can share this point of view or not, but Sevylor Coleman Colorado is definitely worthy of trying. This boat is made of dense tarpaulin and ultra-strong nylon (1000D and 840D respectively.) It is puncture- and tear-resistant, which is important when you travel with a pup. But even if you happen to puncture the kayak, chances are it won’t sink thanks to its clever 5-chamber construction. If one chamber is deflated, you’ll be able to get to the shore on the remaining 4 chambers.
Being a fishing watercraft, Sevylor Coleman Colorado is more stable than sport and recreational options kayaks. Other great options include dedicated fittings for the trolley motor and handles for paddles. We don’t like the placement of rod holders, which get in the way of padding. Otherwise, it is an awesome lightweight dog-friendly kayak.
Looking for the best sit-on-top kayak for dogs? Consider this marvelous product from Lifetime designed specially for comfortable water trips. The boat is made of durable UV-resistant polyethylene of high quality. Thanks to its large top and plenty of storage space, the kayak provides enough room for traveling with dogs of all sizes. It comes with soft padded backrests and two paddles, which makes it a great option for the money.
The material is great: no odors, no fading, scratch- and UV-resistant. The boat looks robust and well-made, and we believe it is really so: the limited 5-year warranty from the manufacturer is an extra evidence of it. The only thing we’d like to improve is the backrests: they tend to be small and not comfortable enough, so if possible, we recommend replacing them with full-sized seats.
If you can’t find the answer to the question “is a sit on top kayak better for dogs or not?” try this hybrid option from Advanced Elements. By default, it comes as an open-deck boat. But you can easily convert it into a single or tandem closed-deck kayak with the help of optional decks. The inflatable boat has a reinforced construction with aluminum ribs that make it even sturdier and 3 layers of durable puncture- and tear-resistant material. The boar comes pre-assembled; all you need is to inflate it and attach the seats.
We love the versatility of the boat: not only can you convert it from an open-decker to a closed-decker, but also choose between the single and tandem design. There are three positions of seats available: you can place just one of them in the middle or both, forming a well-balanced construction. The kayak is relatively heavy and expensive but performs great on float.
If you are hunting the best of the best fishing kayak for dogs, Sea Ghost 130 is the one that will exceed your expectations. It is made of a single-piece polyethylene of high density, which makes it an extremely durable all-weather boat that is equally great for fishing and recreation. The boat is speedy, comfortable, and versatile. Plenty of pro-grade details make, such as a toe-controlled system for easier padding, flush-mount rod holders, and four gear tracks that allow to customize the rigging, add a premium touch. Finally, it is very stable, and there is a lot of storage place.
It’s really hard to find any serious drawbacks in the boat of this grade. All in all, it is fantastic! It is not intended for two people but there is enough space for one paddler and a dog. That said, you need to keep in mind that the kayak is really large and heavy, so there can be problems with its storage and transportation.
Our best kayaks for dogs review would be incomplete without this awesome sit-on-top option from Ocean Kayak. It looks gorgeous, though design is not the only strong point of the boat. This is a versatile kayak that can be easily converted into a single or a tandem watercraft; it is also sturdy enough for family trips (2 adults plus a kid or 2 adults plus a dog). The seats’ position is adjustable. Two soft comfy seats are included.
We love the adjustability of this kayak. Several overlapped food wells let you feel comfortable regardless of how long your feet are. Dedicated gear straps provide safe storage. The open deck is spacious. All in all, the boat is versatile, lightweight, and easy to paddle even for beginners. It is perfect for calm water.
The best kayak for dogs doesn’t have to be large. If your pup is small or medium-sized and calm, you may be quite satisfied with this classic single kayak by SUNDOLPHIN. This is a sit-on the-top option made of UV-resistant polyethylene of high density. It features a large open deck, a convenient (non-removable) sitting place with a backrest, and regulated foot wells. While being lightweight and compact, it offers enough space for a medium-sized dog.
We love a smart dry storage container in the rear part of the deck, which is an indispensable when you need to transport a bag with personals or any objects that need to be kept away from water: food, clothes, or even a mobile phone or a camera. The downside of the boat is that it lacks a fin or something of this kind, so it is not very easy to track.
With this Intex kayak, dogs and people will get tons of pleasure and enjoyment. While being surprisingly cheap, this inflatable boat has everything you need for hassle-free family water trips. It features two inflatable seats and can easily carry two adults plus a dog. Thanks to the skeg (removable), it tracks very well, and paddling is quite easy. The kayak comes with two paddles and an air pump.
Though this kayak is not completely flawless, it is really great for the price. The removable fin is awesome. We also love that it comes with accessories. That said, it lacks the premium touch of the more expensive models: there are just two separate chambers, not four or five, and the outer is vinyl.
This boat from Advanced Elements is definitely one of the best inflatable kayaks for dogs. It is versatile, reliable, and very durable, thanks to the built-in aluminum ribs. The boat comes pre-assembled by the manufacturer; it takes no more than 5-10 minutes to inflate it and install the seat. The soft padded seat is comfortable enough for long hours of padding. The kayak features self-bailing ports that are indispensable under extreme conditions. The material is an extremely durable, tear- and puncture resistant PVC Tarpaulin.
This is a pro-grade solution with plenty of nice extras. Great for both calm and fast water. Spacious enough for traveling with dogs. Because of the aluminum ribs, it is heavier and bulkier than other inflatable boats, but it tracks consistently and smoothly on water.
Kayaking with a dog is fun. However, you always need to keep in mind that open water should be treated as high-risk environment. To provide a due safety level for your pup and you follow some basic safety rules.
In this section, we’ve collected answers to the popular questions about kayaking with dogs. If you are informed, chances are you won’t make a mistake. We hope you’ll find some useful information for yourself here.
A: Yes, surely, you can. Most dogs enthusiastically meet all types of water trips, and many of them are good swimmers. If your pup has health issues, such as a weak heart, you’d better consult a vet before kayaking. The same is about elderly dogs and very delicate breeds.
A: Yes, they can, but the boat should be of a due quality. Choose modern durable inflatable kayaks (some examples are mentioned above). The best inflatable boats are made of multi-layered PVC of high density and reinforced with aluminum ribs. They are puncture- and tear-resistant.
A: One of the popular kayak attachments for dogs is a special platform that is attached to the boat. A dog can lay or sit on it peacefully without scratching and swinging the kayak. There are a lot of great DIY options possible – for example, you may look for the instructions on YouTube. Specialists recommend buying a special waterproof mat or pad to add comfort for the dog.
A: It is not a problem is a dog is well-trained. Of course, it must understand basic commands – in this case, it will easily transfer the knowledge to the new environment. Be persistent but gentle and patient, and kayak-training will bring an exciting new experience to both you and your canine. Don’t forget to reward the dog for the correct behavior.
A: No matter whether you travel with a large hound or find a spot for small dogs on kayak, you need to care about basic gear for your four-legged friend. These essential things include a life vest, food or treats and water, toys, a leash and a collar (sometimes, a harness), and meds, especially if you are going to travel for a long distance.
If you can’t choose between a canoe vs kayak with dogs on board, you need to know that kayaks are much more versatile, lightweight, and affordable. But it’s important to select the right kayak model in order to get the most of the purchase.
In our review, we touch upon ten great kayak options. Each of them has certain advantages and disadvantages. Our top pick is Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130, which offers an exceptional build quality and a plethora of premium details.
If you need a cheaper option, consider another popular Sea Trek kayak dogs’ owners often rent: Ocean Kayak Malibu sit-on-top kayak. While being surprisingly cheap, it offers a rich feature set, stable performance, and bright design.