10 Best Kayaks for Dogs (Sit-on-top, Tandem) and Tips
If you love to kayak and your dog loves the water, then there is no reason why you cannot take your dog along with you on your kayak. Indeed, this is possible but before you do this, there are certain precautions and basic conditions that you need to take into account.
Stability: First of all, you will need a dog-friendly kayak that is specialized to accommodate a dog. It needs to have a sufficiently large cockpit so that your dog does not feel claustrophobic and be stable on the water so as to not stress your dog.
PFD: For safety reasons, your dog needs a PFD (personal floatation device) in case your kayak rolls over. Moreover, the dog must feel comfortable in the PFD and not all dogs do. You can build-up PFD tolerance in your dog with proper training.
Training: You must never assume that all dogs like the water or will let you fit a PFD on them. This is where proper training comes into play. Before your dog can even step foot on the kayak, you must ensure that it is properly trained and has no problem being in or around water wearing a PFD.
Age: Just like humans, dogs behave differently depending on the age. The younger your dog, the more difficult it is to control. Before you embark your dog on your kayak, ensure that it has a reasonable age because a mature dog will be more docile and disciplined.
Keeping those basic conditions in mind, let's now go over some of the best kayaks for dogs available on the market and see how well they perform!
- 10 Best Kayaks for Dogs - Reviews
- #1. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak With Pro Package
- #2. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
- #3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak
- #4. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit On Top Kayak
- #5. Perception Pescador Pro Kayak
- #6. Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Kayak
- #7. Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit On Top Kayak
- #8. Perception Tribe Sunset Kayak
- #9. Sun Dolphin Journey Sit On Top Kayak
- #10. Old Town Predator PDL Kayak
- How to Buy a Kayak for Dogs
- Tips for Kayaking with Dogs
10 Best Kayaks for Dogs - Reviews
1. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Kayak
2. Advanced Elements Convertible Inflatable Kayak
3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak
4. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit On Top Kayak
375 - 425 lbs
5. Perception Pescador Pro Kayak
325, 375, 475 lbs
57, 64, 85 lbs
6. Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Kayak
7. Sun Dolphin SS Sit On Top Kayak
8. Perception Tribe Sunset Kayak
9. Sun Dolphin Sit On Top Kayak
10. Old Town Predator PDL Kayak
#1. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak With Pro Package
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 650 lbs
- Weight: 32 lbs
The Sea Eagle SE370K_P is a large and spacious sports kayak that can also be used as a dog kayak. The large cockpit provides you with excellent maneuverability and space for your dog to roam.
The large space is beneficial to the user, especially when accommodating 2 kayakers as the paddle will not get in the way of your dog.
Moreover, this is a 2-seater kayak that comes with 2 high-quality paddles. Indeed, the paddles have an aluminum shaft and a thick plastic blade with a deep angle so as to paddle more efficiently with less effort.
Since this is a flat bottom kayak, it is very stable and will not stress your dog too much, especially when navigating over rough waters. Moreover, there is ample space at the front for your dog to sit and enjoy the view.
When it comes to weight capacity, this model is definitely the best kayak for dogs of any breed, whether it is big or small. Indeed, at 650 lbs it can comfortably accommodate 2 oversized individuals as well as a big dog with ease.
#2. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 550 lbs
- Weight: 56 lbs
Despite being an inflatable kayak made from a high-grade inflatable PVC material, this model from Advanced Elements looks like a polyethylene molded kayak. Indeed, this is a professional grade inflatable sit-in kayak that is highly efficient and can easily accommodate a dog.
You have the choice of either placing your dog at the front of this long kayak or inside the shallow cockpit at the front. Whatever be your choice, your dog will always have an excellent view of its surrounding.
One of the most striking features of this model is definitely its long length of 180 in, which is the longest you will find in this review. At such a length, you can expect it to track very easily and move through the water with great efficiency due to its streamlined form factor.
Best, you get a high-quality pump with this purchase and inflating this kayak is extremely easy and can be done in a matter of minutes. When fully deflated, the folded size is only 35-in long which is highly portable.
For those looking for a professional, high speed, and yet portable kayak when deflated, this model from Advanced Elements is definitely one of the best inflatable kayaks for dogs.
#3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 470 lbs
- Weight: 41.2 lbs
Not everyone can afford an expensive dog kayak. This is where models like the Sevylor Coleman comes into action. This is a fairly compact but wide kayak that offers decent space for your dog.
This model is an inflatable 2-seater kayak but can easily be operated by only one person. Moreover, one of the best things about this model is that it has a trolling motor fitting at the back where you can connect a motor.
This kayak is made from 18-gauge PVC which is tough and durable. Your dog will not be able to puncture it, even if it has sharp nails. Additionally, it can even withstand light bitting from playful dogs.
For additional safety, it has a 1000D tarpaulin bottom that protects it against scratches and punctures when navigating shallow waters.
Best, there are multiple technologies that work in this model like Airtight that was specifically developed by Sevlor. This will prevent the whole kayak from sinking or deflating in the event that it gets one puncture.
#4. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit On Top Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 375 lbs to 425 lbs
- Weight: 57 lbs
The Malibu is a popular kayak used by many people to carry their dogs. This is a 2-seater that can comfortably be used by one person. Moreover, the whole build construction is made from a molded polyethylene which is extremely durable and long-lasting.
When it comes to accommodating your dog, the seat at the front or the back can easily be removed to provide for space. The cockpit is open space in large so your dog will not feel cramped in a small space.
Additionally, you have the choice between 3 different colors to suit your preference. Further, one of the best things about this model is that it weighs only 57 lbs, which is quite lightweight and can easily be carried.
Furthermore, you will have no problem carrying this kayak on a kayak trailer as it is of standard size with its 144-inch in length.
When it comes to stability, this Malibu dog kayak delivers. Indeed, it has a flat bottom which stabilizes the whole surface and provides a comfortable and smooth experience for both you and your dog.
#5. Perception Pescador Pro Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 325 lbs, 375 lbs, 475 lbs
- Weight: 57 lbs, 64 lbs, 85 lbs
The Perception Pescador is a heavy-duty dog kayak that despite its compact and small size has excellent efficiency. For more flexibility, this model is available in no less than 3 different sizes based on your purpose.
It comes equipped with various accessories like rod holders if you decide to go fishing in it.
Moreover, it is made from a high-density polyethylene material that is very durable and resistant to sunlight, saltwater, and even dog scratches. In addition, you get a high-quality paddle with this purchase.
This is a fully equipped kayak that is easy to transport and can be used for a wide range of activities, from recreation to fishing. One of the most striking features of this model is definitely its ultra-comfortable padded seat that is easy to adjust and offers a lot of maneuverability.
The only caveat we have with this model is that there is a large space only at the back of the kayak and not at the front. This can be a problem as you do not have eyes on your dog if you place it on the back.
#6. Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Kayak
Editor's Rating: (3.8 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 500 lbs
- Weight: 60 lbs
If you have a large dog and need a wide space for it, this Lifetime kayak may be the answer. Indeed, this tandem kayak offers a wide area to comfortably accommodate a dog regardless of its size.
Even better, it has a high weight capacity of 500 lbs which means that both you and your dog can be on the large size and it will still be able to carry both with great ease.
Moreover, it is made from a heavy-duty Polyethylene material that is very durable and will make your kayak last a long time. If you want to take it out fishing, there are multiple rod holders for convenience at the back.
Despite being a tandem fishing kayak, this Lifetime kayak can still be navigated by only 1 person with relative ease.
One of the best things about this kayak is definitely the multiple footrests inside the cockpit that allows you to get a better position while kayaking. It will drastically diminish fatigue over time.
#7. Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit On Top Kayak
Editor's Rating: (3.5 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 395 lbs
- Weight: 44 lbs
One of the things we like the most about this Dolphin Bali kayak is its excellent size to weight ratio. Indeed, at only 44 lbs, this model is one of the lightest in this review. It can very easily be transported and carried by one person.
Additionally, despite its compact form factor it still has decent space inside the cockpit for your dog to roam freely. Further, there are multiple footrests at the bottom so as to provide you with a better position while paddling.
Since this kayak has a flat bottom, it is very stable on the water providing you and your dog with a smooth experience. Best, you can choose between no less than 6 different colors based on your user preference if you choose to go with this model.
#8. Perception Tribe Sunset Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 500 lbs
- Weight: 67 lbs
The Perception Tribe is a heavy-duty kayak that is versatile and can be used for a wide range of activities from recreation to fishing. It is available in different colors and sizes to suit individual needs.
Moreover, this model can easily fit one adult and a dog with the room to spare. Navigating in it is efficient due to the streamlined form factor and the flat bottom offers good stability in calm water.
The seat in this unit is quite comfortable and can be used for an extended period without experiencing hand fatigue. Moreover, there are multiple footrests so that the user has a better footing while paddling.
When it comes to space for the dog, there is ample space at the front or at the back so that your dog can have a clear view of its surrounding. This is a model that despite its fairly simplistic look will offer you and your dog with hours of great fun.
#9. Sun Dolphin Journey Sit On Top Kayak
Editor's Rating: (3.7 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 280 lbs
- Weight: 40.8 lbs
The Sun Dolphin Journey is a well-constructed and solid dog-friendly kayak. Despite the cockpit being quite small, it is still spacious and offers good real estate for both you and your dog.
Moreover, the build construction is simply superb and will last a long time. But what differentiates this model from the rest of the competition is definitely its weight.
Indeed, at 40.8 lbs, this kayak is one of the lightest you will find in this review. Unfortunately, it does not have the best weight capacity as it is rated at only 280 lbs. This is somewhat average to below average but it will work just fine for most people and a small dog.
But what makes this model one of the best kayak for dogs on the market is definitely its price to weight ratio which is one of the best. For those looking for a budget kayak that has excellent tracking, decent cockpit space, and good stability, the Sun Dolphin Journey is a serious model to consider.
#10. Old Town Predator PDL Kayak
Editor's Rating: (5 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 500 lbs
- Weight: 117 lbs
In every type of review, there is a model that is so spectacular and so good that it stands out from the rest of the competition. In this review, the Old Town Predator PDL is such a model and holds the title as the best kayak for dogs in this review.
This kayak has a brown camo skin throughout that makes it almost invisible to wildlife and allows it to camouflage well while you are performing activities like fishing. Moreover, the build construction is heavy-duty and it can withstand shocks without taking damage.
One of the good things about this kayak is that it has a lot of space, both at the front and at the back to accommodate your dog. In addition, there is a large storage area at the front for your various accessories like dog food or fishing devices.
The seat is found right in the middle and is very comfortable even when used for long hours. Since this is a sit-on-top kayak, it will offer both you and your dog an excellent view.
When it comes to stability, it has been engineered with precision and offers one of the best stability that you can find in any kayak on the market.
How to Buy a Kayak for Dogs
#1. Sit-On-Top or Sit-In Kayak
The sit-on-top and the sit-in kayaks are 2 of the most popular types of kayaks available on the market.
Sit-on-top: This type of kayak has a large cockpit which provides you with better maneuverability when paddling and free movement for your dog. It is the ideal type of kayak for dogs who do not like confined spaces, especially those who are still at a young age of fewer than 4 years old.
In addition, the sit-on-top kayak is regarded more as a recreational type of kayak where you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
Sit-in: On the other hand, the sit-in kayak has a smaller cockpit and is used mainly for speed. It can be a fun experience especially when you carry a dog.
Similar to traveling in a car, some dogs have a tendency of putting their head outside so as to cool down. The sit-in kayak is an excellent choice especially for those kayaking in the hot summer.
However, since there is limited space you must make sure that your dog is not claustrophobic and used to traveling in confined spaces. Not all dogs can.
#2. Single or Tandem Kayak
Single: As its name suggests, the single kayak has only one seat and is intended for one person only. This type of kayak is also generally more compact than other types of kayaks and most of the time, you will have to hold your dog on your lap or in a small space to navigate.
It can be a fun experience but this type of kayak is mostly reserved for those who have a small dog.
Tandem: The tandem kayak allows you to kayak with 2 people and a dog. If you want to kayak with an additional person along with your dog, the tandem kayak is a good choice.
One of the main advantages of the tandem kayak is that it is longer than the traditional kayak and thus, it can easily accommodate a dog.
You should consider the weight capacity of the kayak especially if your dog is on the heavy side. Simply add your own weight to that of the dog and compare it to the weight capacity of the kayak to know if it is safe or not.
Moreover, if you are planning to carry accessories with you on your kayak then you need to take it into account as well.
The dimensions of the kayak remain the most important factor to take into consideration. It is important that your dog has sufficient space to move around in case you are not planning to hold your dog on your lap while kayaking.
Most of the time, when it comes to a dog-friendly kayak, the length of the kayak is more important than the width.
Stability is also an important aspect. The more stable the kayak, the less stress your dog will endure. When it comes to kayak, stability is obtained in 2 ways.
Either by navigating very calm waters or by using a kayak that has a flat bottom. A flat bottom will ensure stability and you can even stand up without your kayak rolling over. A flat bottom kayak is useful to those bringing a playful dog who likes to jump around.
#6. Drain valves
It is a fact that while kayaking, water normally enters the cockpit. This is especially true for those who use a sit-on-top kayak as it has a large cockpit which increases the chance for water getting in.
However, too much water getting in is not a good thing as you and your dog will remain wet which is very uncomfortable. Moreover, it also increases the weight of the kayak which can have negative effects.
This is where drain valves come into action. They will allow you to drain your kayak quickly and easily thus helping your cockpit remain dry.
Tips for Kayaking with Dogs
The PFD is an essential part of security when having your dog on a kayak.
Obviously, a PFD made for human will not fit a dog so you will need a specialized model for your dog.
Additionally, the size of the PFD matters as well as the quality of the construction. Some dogs like to chew on harnesses so it needs to be tough and durable.
#2. Kayak type
As a general rule, the sit-on-top kayak is usually better than the sit-in kayak for accommodating your dog. That's because the sit-on-top kayak has a larger cockpit that will not frustrate and stress your dog especially when navigating at a fast pace.
#3. Build construction
The build construction of your kayak is extremely important when kayaking with your dog. That's because dogs have sharp teeth that can potentially chew and cause punctures in your kayak.
Moreover, not forget that dogs have claws that can easily cause a puncture. This is especially true if you are using an inflatable kayak made from a PVC material rather than a molded Polyethylene.
#4. Build technology
In case you are not going with a kayak that is made from a molded polyethylene, then you need to ensure that it uses a technology that will not sink the whole kayak in case there is one puncture.
For example, many manufacturers who use PVC to make kayaks use a multi-chamber technology which means that if one part of the kayak gets a puncture, it will still not deflate the entire inflatable kayak and it will still remain afloat.
#5. Calm Water
Dogs are known to experience less stress when they are navigating calm waters. That's because the boat rocks less and is more stable.
As far as possible, you should never use your kayak to navigate whitewater as it can cause high-stress levels on the dog and force it to jump over.
#6. Voice commands
Your dog should be able to understand a few basic voice commands and obey. Training your dog to behave on a kayak is very important and will prevent any health and security hazard from happening.
You should always have your dog at a safe distance whenever you are paddling so as not to accidentally hit it with a paddle. Additionally, your dog should be sitting at the front of the kayak so that you can always see what it is doing. Never place your dog at your back on the kayak!
There is simply no reason that you can't enjoy a nice day out with your dog while kayaking.
Indeed, the kayak for dogs is made from high-quality and durable materials that can withstand bitting from your dog. Moreover, it has a large cockpit that will not stress your dog and provide you with excellent maneuverability when paddling or fishing.
However, you just need to make sure that your dog is mentally equipped and trained enough to be on a kayak. We've seen that not all dogs can.
If you have still not found a good kayak model above, we recommend you go through our kayak for dog review again. In there, you will find a kayak that will make both you and your dog spend hours of fun together.