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Suggestions for an entry level kayak

I am interested in purchasing a kayak for lakes, reservoirs and for class I and II rivers.  I would like something that is easy to transport and to use.  I would like something in a lower to mid price point.  Sturdy and utilitarian.  What would your suggestions be?

2 Replies

@JKD thanks so much for reaching out for advice on an entry-level kayak! We've had a few similar discussions recently in the community - you might check out our Watersports board, specifically this thread and this thread. In addition, we'll tag a few of our avid kayakers for their advice on specific models you might consider: @REI-JohnJ @REI-EricP any suggestions?

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi @JKD and glad to hear that you are getting into kayaking! Let's start here with an article on how to choose a kayak. This is a great place to start,  and in fact it's where I started when I really got into kayaks a few years back.

The biggest decision initially is to decide whether you want a sit-in kayak like the Eddyline Sandpiper or a sit-on-top kayak like the Tarpon 120 , which is the kayak I use. I personally prefer the sit-on-top varieties because of being able to hop in and out easily.

Both styles have advantages and disadvantages. As far as transportability, you have to find the sweet spot between having good kayak length so that the paddling is enjoyable without getting a kayak so large that it becomes difficult to transport. I think something in the 120 range (12ft) is a good option. 

I hope this helps at least a little, and if you need more help or have questions about specific models, let us know!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.