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Reviewed by Gear Geeks:

The Best Pedal Kayak Reviewed in 2020

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.

No matter how experienced a kayaker you are, chances are you getting tired of paddling too. Do you identify? Well, you’re in luck, because now you can save your energy and glide in the right direction by investing in a pedal-powered kayak.

Well, there’s a solution – a motor-powered kayak that integrates both a fun ride and a leg workout. Now you can save your energy by investing in a pedal-powered kayak. With it, you will be able to enjoy the views and even take up fishing.

Before you purchase a pedal kayak of your own, however, you have to consider the following:

  • The features incorporated into the water craft;
  • The types of pedal kayaks available on the market;
  • The mechanism behind the gear;
  • The speed of the pedal kayak;
  • The overall advantage of it over the traditional paddling kayak.

The Best Pedal Kayak In 2020

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.
Wilderness Systems Sit-on-Top Fishing KayakWilderness Systems Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Wilderness Systems Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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
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.

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.

Old Town Angler Fishing Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Old Town Angler Fishing Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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
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.

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.
Perception Pescador Pedal Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Perception Pescador Pedal Kayak :
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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 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.

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.
Brooklyn PK13 Pedal Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Brooklyn PK13 Pedal Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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 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.

Every fishing expedition you can think of is possible with a Hobbie Mirage Outback kayak. Having earned a great reputation in the field of watercraft, Hobbie takes pride in supplying its customers with high-end machines that continue to sweep them off their feet with the gear’s innovative features.
Hobbie Mirage Outback Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Hobbie Mirage Outback Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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
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.

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.

Native Watercraft Slayer Propel Max Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Native Watercraft Slayer Propel Max Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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
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.

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.

Old Town Predator Fishing Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Old Town Predator Fishing Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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
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.

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.

Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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
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.

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.

Perception Crank 10 Pedal Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Perception Crank 10 Pedal Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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
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.

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.

Feel Free Lure 11.5 Pedal Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Feel Free Lure 11.5 Pedal Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
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
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.

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.
Native Watercraft Titan Propel Fishing Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Native Watercraft Titan Propel Fishing Kayak:
Our recommendations:
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
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.

Questions & Answers:

1. What features should I look for in a pedal kayak?

There are several elements that set apart great pedal kayaks from mediocre models. Depending on your intent for a pedal kayak, you will want to pay attention to the size of the gear, the storage space, the availability of fishing built-ins, and the level of stability when on the water. While some features will be more important than others, make sure you stick to your budget and find the best deal with the optimal price/quality ratio.

The key to finding the pedal kayak of the right size is to be confident in the objection of usage placed on the equipment. The marketplace is filled with pedal kayaks that are 8 to 9 feet short and 25 to 30 pounds light, which make it easy to pedal them with minimal effort. It is also filled with models that are 14 to 15 feet long and 80 to 90 pounds heavy that are great for longer fishing trips that require a significant number of onboard essentials.

Speaking about storage – the more time you spend in your pedal kayak, the more storage you will need. A short expedition will most likely not require anything else other than life jackets and a cooler, while the longer trip will definitely call for snacks, more storage for mosquito repellent and similar accessories, and perhaps even some space for a warmer jacket.

Surely, you won’t need any fishing accessories if you are planning on casually roaming around and exploring nature in your pedal kayak. If, however, fishing is on your schedule, make sure your water gear has fishing rod holders and fish-finding transducers along with some additional storage space for other accessories.

Long journeys inevitably require from the pedal kayak the best level of stability it can offer. For this reason, look for the gear that will facilitate enough stability for you to sit and not worry about falling over. When fishing, your pedal kayak should also accommodate standing even when it gets windy.

2. What types of pedal kayaks are there?

In general, there are 2 types of pedal kayaks available for the public to purchase – push pedals and rotational pedals. They do look similar from the outside, but the main difference lies in the mechanism behind these kayak models. Akin to the water pump, push pedal kayaks require you to pedal with your feet in order to move forward. Since you are using your leg muscles, be prepared to get some strain in your limbs after a long day of pedaling.

Rotational pedals kayaks, on the contrary, feature the bicycle-like system that activates once you start pedaling the gear. Unlike the push pedals models, this type of a pedal-powered kayak doesn’t cause your legs to become as tense. You don’t put that much effort into operating the kayak, which means that this version is better suited for beginners.

3. Is buying a pedal-powered kayak worth it?

This question might pop up when choosing between a paddling kayak and a pedal-powered kayak as the latter is more expensive than the former. And, because expensive doesn’t always mean better, your hesitation is normal. That being said, our team considers it to be a smart decision to go for the latest technological invention and thus benefit from the tool that is designed to bring your kayaking game to the next level.

Compared to the trivial paddling kayaks, a pedal kayak is considerably faster. From the anatomical point of view, your lower body has more strength than your upper body, which influences the amount of effort you are able to put in pedaling with your feet. As a result, you are moving much faster and crossing bigger distances than you otherwise would on a paddling kayak.

Besides speed, you get a hands-free control that is by default a revolutionary mechanism. Pedaling a kayak with your legs only provides you with the opportunity to take pictures, enjoy snacks, and FaceTime your friends without having to make any compromises. In the end, your energy is not drained, and you are able to carry on with your day with full speed.

4. How does a pedal kayak work?

A pedal-powered kayak works through transferring the force enabled by your feet to the propeller or the fins located beneath the gear. Instead of rowing the boat with your hands, your feet do all the work. The only time you might need to employ your hands is when you need to change the direction of the kayak by taking control of the rudder.

The mechanism of a pedal kayak is similar to the one used in bicycles where you have to pedal in order to move forward. The difference lies in the way you are pushing the pedal. With a bicycle, you push down the pedal and the force follows the same direction, whereas, with a pedal kayak, you push backward, and this is exactly where the force goes.

5. How fast do pedal kayaks go?

If compared with the traditional paddle kayaks, pedal kayaks are a little faster. They tend to have more drag than the traditional kayaks, although the thrust generated by the legs is quite significant. This makes them go as fast or even faster (depending on the efforts you put) than the paddle kayaks. You can compare the speeds of the two by organizing a race, which will give a good visual representation of the comparison.

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.

2 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.

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