11 Best Pedal Kayak Reviewed in 2023

Pedal Kayak

A pedal drive in a kayak has become more popular in recent years. While it doesn’t mean leaving the paddle on shore, it’s certainly been great for fishing.

Using pedal power to propel the boat forward or reverse gives the angler an advantage when fighting with a fish, for example.

A pedal kayak is something entirely different from a recreational or more professional standard type. Mostly sit on top designs dominate the market, with more brands joining a crowded field.

That means there’s a lot to choose from. And it’s not easy to find the right model for ocean kayaking vs lake and river activities.

We’ve curated a list to help you find the best pedal kayak. Read the reviews for each water craft.

The Top 5 Pedal Kayak in 2023

All the Pedal Kayaks We've tested

The tri-powered kayak by Wilderness Systems is a beast that can be operated by a beginner and a kayak professional. This watercraft features S.M.A.R.T technology that stands for; Stability, Maneuverability, Acceleration, Responsiveness, and Tracking, that can be observed throughout the whole boat.

It is compatible with Helix PD Pedal Drive and Helix MD Motor Drive (that have to be purchased separately), which provide you with the latest operational advancements that will satisfy all your electronics cravings. You have got a defined kneel line that helps to track, an upswept bow that promotes a dry ride, and a rockered chine that is responsible for steering.

The AirPro max seat built into the kayak is one of the most comfortable seats found on the market – it is crafted from durable mesh and includes an ergonomic 3D foam which provides you with a great level of airflow and back support.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 12 foot 3 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Dimensions: 140 x 34.5 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 88 pounds

Our Overall Review

4.8

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    It has a removable Flex Pod OS that foster fish finding
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    SlideTrax rails help to keep your fishing essentials close to you

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe price tag is high
Read full review

Where to buy:

wilderness systems pedal kayak sit on top fishing kayak

Wilderness Systems

Most Portable

Not everyone needs a long boat to be able to sail on the weekends. Sometimes a 10-foot pedal kayak like the Crank 10 by Perception Kayaks is a better alternative. It works great on a variety of water surfaces including lakes, coastal waters, and ponds.

Featuring a breathable mesh seat that can be removed and a new generation pedal drive, this watercraft is hardly short of anything.

This kayak can effortlessly pedal back and forth through calm waters without the need to remove the drive before going back.

The deck of this kayak has plenty of storage room – the large back tankwell can hold the kayak crate, a dry bag, or a cooler with no additional conditions. This means you can go cruising around all day, and have quick and easy access to all of your onboard essentials at any point.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 35 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
  • Weight: 87 pounds

Our Overall Review

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The tough carry handles help in safely transporting the gear from A to B
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    The groove along with the bungee cord makes it easy for you to store your essentials while resting

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe short length of the kayak might not be the optimal choice for some
Read full review

Where to buy:

perception-crank-10-pedal-kayak.jpg

Perception Crank 10

Best for Fishing

The Pilot Drive propeller system installed into the Perception Pescador pedal kayak is what draws the attention of the outdoor enthusiasts. It is what allows kayakers to have their hands free for taking pictures, sipping water, and actually enjoying nature.

The sit-on-top design is further embraced by the removable chair with front and back adjustments for comfortable fishing. The large storage area is composed of a cooler, tackle, and other accessories that supply your kayaking experience with the necessary attributes.

The stability you have when roaming around is of a high level – you are free to stand up and angle your fishing rod down in the water without worrying about falling over.

The four molded-in rear rod holders constitute the finishing touch that holds the standards high for other kayak manufacturers.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 12 feet 5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 475 pounds
  • Dimensions: 150 x 33.8 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 85 pounds

Our Overall Review

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    There is additional storage space under the seat, which comes in handy more often than not
  • check-mark
    The drink holder stops your beverage from spilling no matter how intensely the boat is shaking

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe price tag is high
Read full review

Where to buy:

perception pescador blue pedaling kayak

Perception Pescador

Highest Weight Capacity

The slender pedal kayak developed by the Brooklyn Kayak Company is the perfect equipment to use when cruising at high speed. The smooth pedals integrated into the gear make you propel at light speed, while the adjustable foot straps keep your feet in place.

The manufacturer included the hand-operated rudder to give you full control of the craft’s direction without you having to put too much effort. At 550 pounds weight capacity, this boat is able to hold enough essentials to last you until the end of your kayaking trip.

The rear cargo area is equipped with bungee cords that can keep your duffle bag, cooler, and other items safe. The aluminum-built chair has a padded backrest, which helps to protect your back muscles from becoming sore. You can adjust your chair according to your preference and stay back and relax while pedaling or fishing.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 13 feet
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds
  • Dimensions: 156 x 33.2 x 14.8 inches
  • Weight: 80 pounds

Our Overall Review

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Bungee cargo combined with the extra storage spread throughout the boat allow you to bring plenty of items on board
  • check-mark
    It comes with a paddle in case you want to get an arm workout out of your kayaking journey too

Things we don't like:

  • check-markOnce the warranty expires, it becomes hard to get fixes from the manufacturer
Read full review

Where to buy:

brooklyn pk13 pedaling kayak

Brooklyn PK13

Most Versatile

The angle fishing kayak by Old Town is a hands-free water gear that is easy to maneuver and stabilize in every weather. It utilizes the forward/reverse PDL Drive along with the easy-docking system for optimal performance during fishing.

The tank has an impressive capacity of 450 pounds, which allows you to fit a lot of onboard essentials without having to compromise anything.

The beach-like ElementAir seat is made to be adjustable and comfortable to the point where it doesn’t feel any different than your couch at home. The EVA foam floor pads provide additional support when fishing from the standing position.

You will find enough storage to keep your belongings safe at any point throughout the trip – the two rod holders and tackle storage are the proof. The transducer mounting system installed into the craft makes it easy to catch the fish of your choice.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 12 feet
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Dimensions: 126 x 36 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 76.5 pounds

Our Overall Review

4.4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    It features a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
  • check-mark
    The trucker-style rudder control knob is easy to turn

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIf you want to interchange between paddling and pedaling, you will need to purchase paddles separately
Read full review

Where to buy:

old town angler pedal fishing kayak

Old Town Angler

Built from roto-molded Polyethylene, the sit on top Hobie Mirage Outback pedal fishing kayak is a durable piece of fishing equipment that gives you hands-free angling. 

Featuring the hi-tech Mirage Drive 180 Turbo drive system, it transforms your trip into a leg workout that makes you efficient and well-toned. It’s a win-win.

The construction of the boat is both beginner- and seasoned kayaker-friendly. It’s got a comfortable seat that can be adjusted, lower-back support, and a scupper for mounting a transducer.

At 12-feet long, it’s easy to transport regardless of its heavy weight. If anything, its weight is compensated with the 425 pounds of weight capacity – a hefty number signaling a high amount of storage space and a proven capability to withstand fishermen of all shapes and sizes.     

 

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit-on-top
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight Capacity: 425 lbs.
  • Weight: 103 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.2

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The hull is wide, which allows for better floating
  • check-mark
    Comes with the Mirage Drive 180 Turbo drive and kick-up fins
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    Stable and maneuverable
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    The adjustable Vantage CTW chair helps customize your seating position

Things we don't like:

  • check-markDoesn’t include rod holders
Read full review

Where to buy:

hobie mirage outback white pedal fishing kayak top and side view

Hobie Mirage Outback

You shouldn’t be alarmed by the hefty price tag put on this watercraft – its performance completely justifies the cost.

Native Watercraft Slayer kayak is everything you would want from a boat and more. It is stable, lightweight, easy to maneuver, and filled with jaw-dropping features.

Its low profile means excellent performance in windy conditions, whereas its Propel Pedal Drive mechanism means high speed that reaches over 5 mph. This kayak has a seat that is padded so you are comfortable during the entire trip. You can adjust it to face any direction you want, which increases your chances of catching fish in a particularly ‘fertile’ spot.

Whether you are standing up while fishing, or sitting down, you have equally good prospects of having a successful fishing expedition.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 62 pounds

Our Overall Review

4.1

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    There is a huge bow storage hatch and a bungee cord located at the back of the boat
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    The cockpit is quite spacious and its deck is fully lined with the non-slip material

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe price tag is high
Read full review

Where to buy:

pedal kayak native watercraft slayer propel max black

Native Watercraft Slayer Propel Max

This award-winning fishing kayak by Old Town is the cream of the crop in the world of watercrafts. You don’t need to paddle – the forward/reverse PDL drive system does the work for you (well, you will have to do some pedaling).

It gets you to your favorite fishing in a matter of minutes as you are given the opportunity to have full control of the pedal. If you can comprehend the technical peculiarities, 5.5 miles per hour, and a 10.3:1 equipment ratio for efficiency will tell you all you need to know.

Predator has a sturdy platform that facilitates hands-free, stand-up fishing and eliminates the risk of falling over. You get plenty of storage to keep your fishing essentials close to you, including a cooler box, a large hatch with a click seal cover, and a hatch under the seat.

There are also 6 removable mounting plates for mounting your accessories without the need to drill holes in the boat.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 13 feet 2 inches
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Weight: 117 pounds

Our Overall Review

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The 500 pounds weight capacity allows you to bring a furry friend and plenty of fishing essentials on board with you
  • check-mark
    The reputation of the brand on the market makes it a credible investment

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe boat is heavy
Read full review

Where to buy:

old town predator pedal fishing kayak

Old Town Predator

If you are looking for a brightly colored boat that will have the same high-quality features of an Old Town kayak, you won’t go wrong with this recreational watercraft released by Ocean Kayak.

The PDL pedal mechanism makes it glide smoothly over the water surface while also stabilizing it for when you are planning on fishing in the stand-up position.

It is built from the almighty Polyethylene that is rigid in structure and obedient in performance. You are in control of the boat’s direction thanks to the hand-controlled rudder that is installed in the kayak.

Although there is nothing fancy about the hull’s design, it does offer you sufficient leg-space and a tilting backrest for seating. You will find bungee-cord storage areas on both ends of the gear for keeping your inventory secure. In addition, there are padded handles for easy transportation of the equipment.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 34.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 450 pounds
  • Weight: 100 pounds

Our Overall Review

3.9

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The chair built into the gear has a pocket and a hatch under it for additional storage space
  • check-mark
    The bungees are removable so that you are able to bring your furry friend aboard

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe boat might seem a little too short for some users
Read full review

Where to buy:

ocean kayak malibu recreational pedal kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu

If you are transitioning from a paddle kayak to a pedal one, the Feel Free Lure model might be your best bet. With 11.5 inches of length, it represents the sweet spot between an abnormally long boat and a short-ish watercraft.

The Overdrive pedal mechanism offers the speed that is not often met on amateur kayaks, which puts it into an attractive position for those who are not willing to compromise time for quality.

You will find a removable Gravity seat with multiple position settings to be handy when switching between fishing and resting.

The core elements necessary for a successful fishing session are there too – 2 fishing rod holders and a Uni-Track system for mounting your accessories are present for your convenient use. The padded standing platform allows you to feel your most comfortable when fishing in the standing position.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 11.5 feet
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Weight: 96 pounds

Our Overall Review

3.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The wheel in the keel combined with the side handles enables you to easily transport the watercraft
  • check-mark
    The Gravity seat built into the kayak is claimed to be one of the most adjustable seats on the market

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe hand-operated rudder is not of great quality, according to users
Read full review

Where to buy:

pedal kayak feel free lure 115 green camo

Feel Free Lure 11.5

Surely, Native Watercraft gear is not cheap, but it is well priced for the quality you receive. The 10.5-inch model will most likely be up everyone’s alley no matter if you are an amateur kayaker or a kayaking expert.

The Plastifoam technology integrated into the equipment adds flotation for safety purposes and increases the stiffness required for an excellent performance. The company is known for its exceptional quality products, which gives you confidence in the durability of this watercraft.

This Titan model in particular provides you with the stability that enables the sight casting of the platform while also equipping it with sufficient leverage to reel in the catch.

What’s more, you will find the horizontal rod storage entailing the rod tip protection to be accessible from every angle regardless of whether you are sitting or standing up.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 10.5 feet
  • Width: 37.5 inches
  • Depth: 13 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

Our Overall Review

3.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    It features a Power-Pole Micro Anchor mounting system for the optimal fishing experience
  • check-mark
    The first-class chair allows you to comfortably alternate between sitting and standing positions

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe price tag is high
Read full review

Where to buy:

pedal kayak native watercraft titan propel fishing kayak

Native Watercraft Titan

Related Reviews

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is the best pedal kayak?

For a kayak to be considered the best in its class, it has to combine comfort, stability, buoyancy, and maneuverability.

Check out the list of our favorite pedal kayaks:

  • Wilderness Systems Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak
  • Old Town Angler Fishing Kayak
  • Perception Pescador Pedal Kayak
  • Brooklyn PK13 Pedal Kayak
  • Hobbie Mirage Outback Kayak
  • Native Watercraft Slayer Propel Max Kayak
  • Old Town Predator Fishing Kayak
  • Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak
  • Perception Crank 10 Pedal Kayak
  • Feel Free Lure 11.5 Pedal Kayak
What is a pedal kayak?

A pedal kayak is a kayak that has pedals that move the kayak. Unlike the paddling used in traditional kayaks, a pedal kayak is operated using the kayaker’s legs, either pushing or rotating the pedals to generate thrust.

How does a pedal kayak work?

A pedal kayak works by using the force of your feet to power the fins or propeller that is directly under the hull of the kayak. The kayaker’s legs do the work instead of the kayaker’s hands and fins or propellers are used to generate power instead of paddles or oars.

What are the two types of pedal kayaks?

There are 2 types of pedal kayaks – push pedals and rotational pedals. The main difference is in the mechanism behind these kayak use for propulsion. Push pedal kayaks require you to pedal with your feet in order to move forward. Since you are using your leg muscles to push the pedals back and forward.

Rotational pedal kayaks, on the other hand, feature a bicycle-like system that activates once you start pedaling the gear. These are easier to use than the push pedal system and is better suited for beginners.

Should I wear a Personal Flotation Device when kayaking?

Legally you should have a PFD on board with you whenever you are kayaking. This is no different for pedal kayaks. It is particularly important for those who have difficulty swimming. Check out our list of best life vests:

  • O’Neill Men’s Superlite USCG Life Vest
  • Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Jacket
  • Stohlquist Fit Life Jacket
  • O’Brien Men’s Biolite Traditional Life Jacket
  • Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Infants
  • Mex’s Flex V-Back Neoprene
  • O’Neill Men’s Assault USCG Life Vest
  • Stohlquist Men’s Trekker Life Jacket/Personal Floatation Device
  • O’Brien Focus Neoprene Life Jacket
  • Astral Ronny Fisher Life Jacket PFD

Related Reviews

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Christos
Christos
Reply to 

Hi Kenny,

There are many kayaks that have reverse functionality, however, the Old Town Kayaks use an innovative forward/reverse PDL Drive system.

Hope this helped.

Christos
Christos
Reply to 

Hi Cindy,

One of the most stable kayaks on this list is the Native Watercraft Slayer Propel Max Kayak. It should remain stable and help you keep your course when kayaking through wavey water.

Hope this helped.

Christos
Christos
Reply to 

Hi Susan,

Most pedal kayaks have adjustable seats in order to accommodate the kayaker’s height and body size.

Hope this helped.

Christos
Christos
Reply to 

Hi Larry,

Sorry to report that we have yet to try the Stroke Escape, let us know if you get a chance to try it out!

Thanks,

Christos
Christos
Reply to 

Hi Joe,

Thanks for writing in to tell us about the Big Fish 108.

The Big Fish 108 didn’t make our list as we haven’t yet had a chance to test it out.

Hope this helps.

Kenny A
Kenny A
Reply to 

Are the OldTown kayaks the only ones with reverse? Thanks

Cindy
Cindy
Reply to 

Of these, which is the most stable in wavey water?

Susan Reese
Susan Reese
Reply to 

I’m wanting to get into pedal kayaks along some coastal inlets. So I’m defiantly a beginner, and I’m just under 4’11”. So I’m wondering if I’d actually be able to reach the pedals? Or do the seats adjust enough to allow to me enjoy this sport?

Larry Hall
Larry Hall
Reply to 

Any one ever tried a Stroke Escape , it is a paddle drive and looks like a good fishing kayak , thanks for any feed back

Joe Tallman
Joe Tallman
Reply to 

Just pre ordered Big Fish 108. Lots of great reviews. Not to concerned about it being so heavy. I live on the Kankakee river in Illinois. So can keep at shoreline most of time. Wondering why it wasn’t mentioned. Thanks Joe

Christos Nicolaou
Christos Nicolaou
Reply to 

Hi Steve,
You want to look for kayaks that not only have hinged pedal mechanisms that tilt upwards but also that the propeller is easily shifted out of the way as well. This is quite specific, but there are quite a few kayaks such as the Old Town Angler fishing kayaks. Hope this helps!

Steve
Steve
Reply to 

I launch from the beach in the FL Keys to fish, lots of shallow flats also. Which kayaks have hinged pedal mechanisms that can tilt up and out of the water easily, rather than have to be removed or lifted out? Also, I need to be able to pedal backwards. Thanks.

Christos Nicolaou
Christos Nicolaou
Reply to 

Hi Mark

The Brooklyn PK13 is made to be used in both fresh and salt water environments so you shouldn’t need any extra maintenance. I do however always recommend washing your kayak down with fresh water after you’ve used it in salt water to keep it looking good and extend the product’s life.

Hope this helps!

Christos Nicolaou
Christos Nicolaou
Reply to 

Hi Mary,

There are a few good options for this, specifically the Brooklyn Kayak Co. models and the Old Town models such as the Angler that is featured on this guide. That said, most pedal kayaks have easily removable pedal kits for shore launches.

Hope this helps!

Christos Nicolaou
Christos Nicolaou
Reply to 

Hi Reneda,

You might want to try the Brooklyn PK12 Pedal Kayak as it only weighs 80 lbs. As far as exercise goes, push and rotational kayaks will work different parts of the same leg muscle groups, so whatever type of exercise you prefer (push/pull or bicycle style) will be best.

Hope this helps!

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Jennifer,

We’ve seen a few companies working on it, but not yet seen any on the market as of now. So, this might be something you’ll need to wait a bit longer to get your hands on.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Jennifer,

We’ve seen a few companies working on it, but not yet seen any on the marked as of now. So, this might be something you’ll need to wait a bit longer to get your hands on.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

No, it’s not something we’ve seen in our research or tested.

Mark A Weber
Mark A Weber
Reply to 

I Strongly Like the Brooklyn PK13 PEDAL Kayak. What if Anything, is The Extra Maintenance, Considering Salt Water Operation in Coastal Waters of Gulf of Mexico (Salt Water)….????

KH
KH
Reply to 

Are there any sit IN peddle kayaks?

Jennifer Fonda
Jennifer Fonda
Reply to 

Hi, Does anyone make a pedal kayak for 2 people? Thanks!

Mary Trapp
Mary Trapp
Reply to 

Hello – Which pedal kayak is the easiest to remove the pedal assembly in order to launch from shore.

Bradley Axmith
Member
Bradley Axmith
Reply to 

Hey Gil. Different pedal kayaks have different ways to adjust them. But almost of them are adjustable. The wilderness system model we have on our list here for example slides on a track so you can find your ideal position. Remember, it’s just like a bike: your legs should be almost fully extended at the furthest position of rotation. This is so you get maximum power potential in order to get maximum comfort.

Reneda Basson
Reneda Basson
Reply to 

Hi
I have had a Fluid Buddy paddle kayak for 3 years which I am able to put in and out of the water by myself and am considering a pedal kayak as I have problems with the use of my arm. I use the kayak for exercise on lakes and calm sea. What would you recommend that I could transport and handle single-handed and use for exercise as a 65 year old woman. Would a push or rotational kayak be better in terms of exercise?
Please advise.
Kind regards

Gil Gilmore
Gil Gilmore
Reply to 

how do you adjust a pedal kayak from seat to pedals

Kay
Kay
Reply to 

I want to buy a kayak for my son. He is 6’5″ . What should I look for?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Lee,

If it’s just a small paddle over the shallow parts, any of these will do.

Lee Hill
Lee Hill
Reply to 

Was wondering which one of the pedal kayaks is the easiest to paddle when the river is to shallow to pedal

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