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8 Best Kayaks For Dogs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

8 Best Kayaks For Dogs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks


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Dr. Nia Perkins

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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dog on an orange and white kayakOutdoor recreation has long been a popular pastime, but interest in activities like biking and kayaking has increased even more during the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many restrictions and concerns around indoor activities, outdoor adventures are even more sought after, and kayaks provide an easy way to socially distance.  For dog owners, finding ways for their pups to join in the outdoor exploration is always preferred. So, what if you want your dog to join you on a kayaking adventure? The first step is to buy a kayak suitable for both you and your dog. To help you out, we’ve collected reviews of what we think are the best kayaks for dogs this year. Before you hit the water, read through our thoughts on the boats, as well as an overview of what you need to know when kayaking with your dog. Happy paddling!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (Updated in 2024)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit On Top Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit On Top
  • Easy to handle in the water
  • Plenty of space for even giant dogs
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
  • Inflates quickly
  • Easy to store and transport
  • The rear booster can be removed for more dog space
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    DriftSun Teton 120 DriftSun Teton 120
  • Stable, smooth ride
  • Plenty of space and storage
  • Designed for longer excursions
  • Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
  • Easy entry and exit
  • Stable and easy to paddle
  • Easily adapted for single paddlers
  • BKU TK122U Fishing Kayak BKU TK122U Fishing Kayak
  • High weight capacity
  • Very stable in the water
  • Comfortable seats and deep interior
  • The 8 Best Kayaks For Dogs

    1. Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit On Top Kayak – Best Overall

    Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit on Top Tandem Kayak for All-Around Fun Large Rear Storage with Tie Downs

    Kayak Length: 13’5”
    Kayak Weight: 79 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

    Our choice for the best overall kayak for dogs is the Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit On Top Tandem Kayak. This kayak offers plenty of space for you and your dog. It offers two spacious seating areas with adjustable backs for comfortable paddling. There’s also a molded center seat designed for kids or dogs. Depending on the size of your dog, this kayak could theoretically carry two people and their pup. The kayak holds up to 500 pounds, so even giant breeds can take to the water in this boat. The Perception is easy to handle and steer, especially for its size. While it has two carry handles, this kayak may be too heavy for one person to manage, especially for lifting on top of a car.

    • Plenty of space for even giant dogs
    • Easy to handle in the water
    • It may be too heavy for one person to carry and lift

    2. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak – Best Value

    INTEX Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak Series

    Kayak Length: 12’7”
    Kayak Weight: 39 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 400 pounds

    Our pick for the best kayak for dogs for the money is the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak. This inflatable kayak is made of tough PVC material, designed to resist damage from water hazards. This same durability will help it resist your dog’s claws as well. Because it is inflatable, the Excursion is easy to store and transport and light enough for one person to carry fairly easily. It inflates quickly and features adjustable footrests for comfortable paddling. The rear seatback can be removed to give your dog more room to lie down or stand. Because it is inflatable, this kayak likely won’t last as long or be as durable as a hard-shell boat but it still provides good bang for your buck.

    • Easy to store and transport
    • Inflates quickly
    • The rear booster can be removed for more dog space
    • May have durability issues long term

    3. DriftSun Teton 120 Kayak – Premium Choice

    DRIFTSUN Teton 120 Hard Shell Kayak

    Kayak Length: 12’2”
    Kayak Weight: 72 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

    Super durable and versatile, the Driftsun Teton 120 comes in at a higher price point than the rest of our list. Designed for long days on the water or multi-day excursions, this kayak features multiple fishing rod holders, built-in cup holders, and plenty of storage, including a sealed dry storage compartment. The double padded seats plus center seating area offer plenty of room for you, your dog, and maybe even another human friend. Wide and stable, this kayak can handle flat or choppy water and provide a smoother ride, helping your dog feel secure onboard. While it’s lighter than some other hardshell kayaks, this boat still might be tough for one person to carry and load.

    • Designed for longer excursions
    • Plenty of space and storage
    • Stable, smooth ride
    • More expensive
    • Might be too heavy for one person to load and carry

    4. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two

    Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

    Kayak Length: 12’
    Kayak Weight: 57 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 425 pounds

    The Malibu Two is an ocean kayak that also works on flat water such as lakes and calm rivers. The low sides make it easy for your dog to jump in and out. The kayak has two padded seats and a center area for your dog. Alternatively, single paddlers can sit in the center thanks to the design of the footrests. This boat doesn’t have as much storage space as the two hard shells we already reviewed but is less expensive and lighter. It is wide and stable in the water and handles fairly well despite its size. Paddles must be purchased separately.

    • Easy entry and exit
    • Stable and easy to paddle
    • Easily adapted for single paddlers
    • Not as much storage
    • Paddles sold separately

    5. BKU TK122U Fishing Kayak

    BKU TK122U Fishing Kayak

    Kayak Length: 12’6”
    Kayak Weight: 74 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 770 pounds

    Fishing kayaks tend to be a good choice for paddling with dogs because they’re designed to be extra stable in the water. The BKU TK122U offers a very high maximum weight capacity so you don’t have to worry about carrying even the largest of dogs. It has double dry storage compartments and sturdy, aluminum seats for comfortable paddling. The downside is the extra seat can’t be removed, although there should still be space for your dog. Although this is a sit-on-top kayak, the interior is a little bit deeper than others, which could help your dog feel more secure, especially when you’re just starting out on the water together.

    • Very stable in the water
    • High weight capacity
    • Comfortable seats and deep interior
    • Seats aren’t removable
    • More expensive boat

    6. Solstice Inflatable Kayak

    SOLSTICE Inflatable Kayak Boat Series for Adults & Kids 1 to 2 Person Tandem Raft Options

    Kayak Length: 11’
    Kayak Weight: 40 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 440 pounds

    A sleek, easy-to-maneuver inflatable kayak, the Solstice is light enough to be carried and paddled by a wide range of people. It’s easy to inflate and packs up small when deflated for easy storage and transport. The floor of this kayak is tough to withstand dog claw damage. While the kayak holds up to 440 pounds, it is about a foot shorter than the other kayaks we’ve reviewed and could be a little tight when paddling with a big dog. The seats are easy to move around to find the perfect paddling location and allow your dog room to stretch out. Users report this kayak is stable in the water and fast enough to run in whitewater (leave your dog at home for that one!)

    • Light, easy to paddle
    • Stable in the water
    • Easy to inflate, carry, and transport
    • Smaller than some other tandem kayaks

    7. SeaEagle Inflatable Kayak

    Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sports Kayak

    Kayak Length: 12’5”
    Kayak Weight: 32 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 650 pounds

    The Sea Eagle has the highest max weight capacity of the inflatable kayaks that we reviewed. It’s also long and roomy, designed to carry three people so plenty of space for your dog. This boat inflates in about 10 minutes and packs up small for easy transport. The seats in this kayak are movable, allowing you to figure out just the right arrangement to keep you and your dog comfortable. Some users found that the seats weren’t very sturdy, however, which decreased the comfort level when paddling. Like many inflatables, this kayak can have a tough time in windy conditions.

    • High weight capacity
    • Plenty of space
    • All seats are movable
    • Seats aren’t as sturdy
    • Can have issues handling windy conditions

    8. Old Town Vapor 10 Kayak

    Old Town Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

    Kayak Length: 10’
    Kayak Weight: 47 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 325 pounds

    The Old Town Vapor is a sit-in kayak but the cockpit is oversized, allowing room for your dog to join you. There’s also a storage space behind the cockpit that could serve as a sitting space for a dog. While this kayak only has a 325-pound max weight limit, chances are a giant dog wouldn’t fit in this boat anyway. As a single kayak, this boat is light enough for one person to carry and handle. It’s also shorter, at 10 feet in length, making it easier to store than some of the larger tandem options. Sit in kayaks often feel more secure to paddle and this is a good balance between that security and space for your dog.

    • Sit-in kayak
    • Lighter and smaller than a tandem kayak
    • Easier to carry and paddle
    • 325 weight limit
    • Somewhat limited interior space


    What To Know Before Kayaking With Your Dog

    Now that you’ve learned more about the best kayaks for paddling with your dog, here’s some other information to help you and your dog enjoy your adventure safely.

    papillon dog on an orange kayak
    Image By: gayleenfroese2, Pixabay

    Pick The Right Boat

    You probably noticed some common themes when reading our kayak reviews. Overall, the best kayaks for dogs are roomy, stable, and have a high maximum weight capacity. The other features are primarily for your benefit rather than your dog, who probably doesn’t care whether you have a cup holder or not. The first step in a successful water adventure with your dog is selecting the right kayak.

    Be Realistic About Your Dog’s Abilities

    No matter how much you want your dog to be your adventure buddy, not every pup is cut out for the job. If your dog has never shown any interest in water or is actively afraid of it, chances are they may be less than enthusiastic about kayaking. On the other hand, a dog who’s never been around water may turn out to be a fabulous kayaker. If your dog is well-trained and socialized and fairly adaptable overall, chances are they can learn to be comfortable in the kayak.

    Get Your Dog a Life Jacket

    Just like you should wear a life jacket whether or not you know how to swim, the same is true for your dog. No matter how careful you are, weather conditions can change quickly or a reckless powerboat can shoot a dangerous wake across your path. Even if you pick the most stable kayak, there’s always the change you could capsize. Keep your dog as safe as possible by fitting them with a life jacket.

    Start On Dry Land

    You didn’t learn how to kayak overnight and neither will your dog. Take your time getting your dog used to the kayak on dry land before you advance to the water. Place the kayak somewhere your dog will see it often and become accustomed to it. Allow them to investigate the kayak and reward them if they climb in on their own. Decide where you want your dog to ride and begin teaching them how to settle there. Again, the whole process will be easier if your dog already has a good grasp of basic obedience.

    Start Slow In The Water

    Once your dog is comfortable with the kayak on land, move to the water but again, take things slowly. If your dog seems stressed at any point, slow down and continue to use positive reinforcement to teach your dog how to behave in the kayak. The goal is to get them comfortable and trained on where to sit or lay in the kayak in shallow water before you attempt a longer trip.

    Be Prepared

    When you’re ready for your first kayak adventure with your pup, make sure you’re packed and prepared with all the gear you might need. Make sure you have water for you and your dog and a way to keep them cool if it’s hot out. Dogs with short hair or light skin might need sunscreen for protection.

    Bring your dog’s collar and leash but never attach them to the kayak. This could be disastrous if the kayak overturns and your dog becomes trapped beneath it.

    An optional item that could make the trip more comfortable for your dog is a pair of Doggles or dog goggles. This product protects your dog’s eyes from water and sun.

    Practice Water Safety

    To keep yourself and your dog safe, practice basic water safety when kayaking together. Don’t go out on the water during a thunderstorm or when one is forecast. Avoid kayaking under the influence. Be alert for powerboats and Jet skis if kayaking on a multi-use body of water.

    Follow all state and local rules when it comes to where you paddle and fish, as well as leash laws. Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations and heartworm, flea, and tick prevention.



    Our best overall kayak for dogs, the Perception Tribe is a sturdy, roomy, and easy-to-handle boat, ideal for canine water adventures. Our best value choice, the Intex Excursion Pro, is a lightweight, durable inflatable boat, a good option for solo paddlers and their canine co-pilots. Kayaking with your dog can be a fantastic way to spend time in the great outdoors while also bonding with your pup. We hope our reviews of these eight kayaks will help you pick the perfect boat for you and your dog to take on your adventure paddles together.

    Featured Image Credit: gayleenfroese2, Pixabay

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