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DIVEIN’s guide to

11 Best Pedal Kayak Reviewed in 2021

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:
Test 34 different Pedal Kayak and write reviews of the best.

The result is 11 of the best pedal kayak on the market today.

Anastasia Hamurari

Travel and Gear Writer
An ambitious writer with a thirst for content creation through storytelling.

torben lonne

Torben Lonne

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for traveling and gear.

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. 

 

Top 10 Best Pedal Kayaks In 2021

See our quick top 10, or go further down and read our in-depth reviews.

To find the pedal kayak that meets your particular needs, skim through our in-depth guide that gathered the best-rated models available on the market. Additionally, make sure to consult the Q&A section at the end of the article for some tips and tricks on getting the most out of your pedal kayak.

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.

Where to buy:
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
What we like:
  • It has a removable Flex Pod OS that foster fish finding
  • SlideTrax rails help to keep your fishing essentials close to you
What we don’t like:
  • The price tag is high

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.

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.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 12 feet
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Dimensions: 126 x 36 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 76.5 pounds
What we like:
  • It features a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
  • The trucker-style rudder control knob is easy to turn
What we don’t like:
  • If you want to interchange between paddling and pedaling, you will need to purchase paddles separately

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.

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.

Where to buy:
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
What we like:
  • There is additional storage space under the seat, which comes in handy more often than not
  • The drink holder stops your beverage from spilling no matter how intensely the boat is shaking
What we don’t like:
  • The price tag is high

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

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.

Where to buy:
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
What we like:
  • Bungee cargo combined with the extra storage spread throughout the boat allow you to bring plenty of items on board
  • It comes with a paddle in case you want to get an arm workout out of your kayaking journey too
What we don’t like:
  • Once the warranty expires, it becomes hard to get fixes from the manufacturer

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.

Every fishing expedition you can think of is possible with a Hobie Mirage Outback kayak. Having earned a great reputation in the field of watercraft, Hobie takes pride in supplying its customers with high-end machines that continue to sweep them off their feet with the gear’s innovative features.

You get a wide view of your surroundings thanks to the extra-wide standing deck. The multi-dimensional sight you receive allows you to do ‘mirror fishing’ before you load up your rod and immerse it into the water.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 12 feet 9 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 425 pounds
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 103 pounds
What we like:
  • The adjustable Vantage CTW chair helps customize your seating position
  • Shallow water can be easily navigated with the built-in kick-up rudder mechanism
What we don’t like:
  • This model is considerably heavier than the other kayak models on this list

The four molded-in rod holders along with high-capacity storage compartments and several H-Track mounts ensure that all of your fishing essentials are there for your disposal. The MirageDrive 180 with Turbo Fins and ARC Cranks make this boat a fast yet quiet solution to your fishing needs. The Kick-Up rudder system further helps to combat drifting and navigate tight water with little effort.

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.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 62 pounds
What we like:
  • There is a huge bow storage hatch and a bungee cord located at the back of the boat
  • The cockpit is quite spacious and its deck is fully lined with the non-slip material
What we don’t like:
  • The price tag is high

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

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.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 13 feet 2 inches
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Weight: 117 pounds
What we like:
  • The 500 pounds weight capacity allows you to bring a furry friend and plenty of fishing essentials on board with you
  • The reputation of the brand on the market makes it a credible investment
What we don’t like:
  • The boat is heavy

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

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.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 34.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 450 pounds
  • Weight: 100 pounds
What we like:
  • The chair built into the gear has a pocket and a hatch under it for additional storage space
  • The bungees are removable so that you are able to bring your furry friend aboard
What we don’t like:
  • The boat might seem a little too short for some users

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.

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.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 35 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
  • Weight: 87 pounds
What we like:
  • The tough carry handles help in safely transporting the gear from A to B
  • The groove along with the bungee cord makes it easy for you to store your essentials while resting
What we don’t like:
  • The short length of the kayak might not be the optimal choice for some

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.

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.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 11.5 feet
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Weight: 96 pounds
What we like:
  • The wheel in the keel combined with the side handles enables you to easily transport the watercraft
  • The Gravity seat built into the kayak is claimed to be one of the most adjustable seats on the market
What we don’t like:
  • The hand-operated rudder is not of great quality, according to users

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.

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.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Length: 10.5 feet
  • Width: 37.5 inches
  • Depth: 13 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
What we like:
  • It features a Power-Pole Micro Anchor mounting system for the optimal fishing experience
  • The first-class chair allows you to comfortably alternate between sitting and standing positions
What we don’t like:
  • The price tag is high

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.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about pedal kayaks

If you already have a Pedal Kayak or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

28 Comments

  1. Lee Hill

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

  2. Torben Lonne

    Hi Lee,

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

  3. Kay

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

  4. Gil Gilmore

    how do you adjust a pedal kayak from seat to pedals

  5. Reneda Basson

    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

  6. Bradley Axmith

    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.

  7. Mary Trapp

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

  8. Jennifer Fonda

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

  9. KH

    Are there any sit IN peddle kayaks?

  10. Mark A Weber

    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)….????

  11. Torben Lonne

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

  12. Torben Lonne

    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.

  13. Torben Lonne

    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.

  14. Christos Nicolaou

    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!

  15. Christos Nicolaou

    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!

  16. Christos Nicolaou

    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!

  17. Steve

    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.

  18. Christos Nicolaou

    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!

  19. Joe Tallman

    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

  20. Larry Hall

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

  21. Susan Reese

    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?

  22. Cindy

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

  23. Kenny A

    Are the OldTown kayaks the only ones with reverse? Thanks

  24. Christos

    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.

  25. Christos

    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,

  26. Christos

    Hi Susan,

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

    Hope this helped.

  27. Christos

    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.

  28. Christos

    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.

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