The 12 Best Hunting Kayaks

First came kayak fishing as a draft of fresh air that helped modernize the good old canoe and pier based fishing. Now, the versatility of kayaking has spread over other river and lake sports.

After all, there are many types of lunch lurking around the lake, and not just beneath it. Kayak hunting is now promising to expand the market and bring a new wave of people to share the hobby with. These are the best hunting kayaks to use for recreational or professional use.

VIBE Sea GhostVIBE Sea Ghost

The sit-on-top VIBE Sea Ghost is usually marketed as a saltwater-resistant fishing kayak, but it doubles as a hunting kayak perfectly.

Large, wide, and stable, the Sea Ghost offers a solid piece of boat from which to shoot at whatever comes your way. Its superior tracking means that you can also stalk your prey silently and accurately for several miles.

Its crafter, VIBE, is an up-and-coming adventure gear maker that understands that accuracy requires an edge of convenience. That is why the vessel’s multiple mounts and accessories, even if designed with rods and nets in mind, are well-made and easy to adapt.

The Sea Ghost is 11 feet long, 32 inches wide. It weighs 62 pounds, but can carry up to 425 pounds. It’s available in different color combinations, including factory-made unique camo patterns.


Beavertail-Phantom-Duck-Hunting-KayakBeavertail Phantom Duck Hunting Kayak

The Beavertail Phantom is one of the top hunting models from a company that specializes in hunting. This is a sturdy and resistant catamaran-style kayak with superb stability and a practical non-skid surface, which will allow you to shoot, throw decoys, and move with freedom all around the spacious vessel.

Furthermore, this kayak was designed for low-depth waters. It only needs four inches of water to float. The back storage cabin is also spacious and will fit all your gear without feeling like you’re playing Tetris. Add some of Beavertail’s own pit covers or ammo racks, which are available from the seller, and you get a little sailing tank.

The Beavertail Phantom is 9 feet long, 32 inches wide, and weighs 55 pounds. It has a total carrying capacity of 365 pounds.


Malibu X-FactorMalibu X-Factor

Malibu calls its 2-person sit-on-top X-Factor the “pickup truck” of kayaks, and thanks to its resilient materials, solid construction, and huge carrying capacity, the nickname feels very appropriate.

Thanks to its chops, this is a very stable kayak that can keep you on your feet even through choppy, rough waters. Seawater resistant by design, the X-Factor provides a very smooth sail while on a lake. The interior layout is very organized, with cup holders, ammo cases, and a 4-point rear hatch.

At 14.4 feet long, 33 inches wide, and has a total capacity of 550 pounds, the X-Factor is heavy: it weighs 97 pounds – so you will want the second person around to help you carry it!


Feelfree Lure 11.5Feelfree Lure 11.1

Type: Sit on top kayak

Here’s another fishing model that performs very well when chasing life on the surface of a lake. The Lure sit-on-top kayak is wider than average. If you’re looking for a kayak where you can move around without capsizing or catching any duck’s attention, this is a perfect choice.

In addition, the Lure has a big, comfy and adjustable seat that can easily come out if you ever want to maximize the amount of available space. Not that capacity is tight by any means. The Lure is spacious enough to compete with many canoes. A good sonar and tracking pod round out this great hunter-friendly kayak.

The Feelfree Lure weighs 74 pounds, but can carry up to 425. It’s 11.5 feet long and 34 inches wide.


Native Watercraft Slayer PropelNative Watercraft Slayer Propel

The name of this kayak leaves little room to doubt their manufacturer’s intentions. The Slayer Propel is a well-rounded, resistant option for those who need to be able to move around quietly, paddle their way to lost corners, and abruptly start a thrilling chase.

Native Watercraft is a hunter’s favorite brand thanks to their attention to detail. This shows greatly around the sit-on-top Slayer, where nothing was skimped in the name of versatility. The kayak comes with an easy-to-switch double pedal mechanism. The paddles are also light, silent, and padded, so they won’t detract any attention from your rifle or bait.

The Slayer Propel is a relatively small kayak as it’s only 10 feet long and weighs 62 pounds. However, it can carry up to 400 pounds — enough for a bountiful harvest.


NuCanoe PursuitNuCanoe Pursuit

Open space is a highly sought-after quality in hunting kayaks, and NuCanoe doesn’t believe this should come at the expense of somewhere to sit. The sit-on-top Pursuit has, therefore, a rotating back seat that still provides plenty of space across most of the hull.

Stable and quick, the Pursuit feels just at home in shallow waters and deep lakes alike. Internal holders and a spacious dry box all find their place alongside a wide hull that you can rig up whichever way you prefer. This kayak is also fully compatible with any of NuCanoe’s waterfowl camo covers.

This kayak is 11.feet long, 35 inches wide, and weighs just under 82 pounds.


VIBE Skipjack 9-90VIBE Skipjack 9-90

Although small and able to fit just one person, the Skipjack sit-on-top kayak makes it very easy to go unnoticed by the riverside. It was meant to pack as many accessories as possible — and since VIBE’s hunting gear is renowned for their durability and smart design, the end result puts everything you need within hand’s reach.

Storage is plentiful inside the Skipjack. In addition to wide space on top of the hull, it has two separate water-tight hatches. Their curiously-designed “paddle parks” take up a lot less space than standard paddle holders. In addition, as with any VIBE kayak, the vessel is stable and fast.

Nine feet long and 46-pounds-light, the Skipjack fits in the back of any SUV or even a small pick-up truck.


Hobie Pro AnglerHobie Pro Angler

The 14-foot sit-on-top Hobie Pro is a routine sight in listings for best kayaks in general. It tracks well and is one of the most maneuverable models available right now. It also provides a lot of storage space and can resist fairly shallow waters.

All these qualities make it an excellent hunting kayak, in addition to a superb Angler. So don’t be discouraged by the name, and outfit it with a good camo cover, as this highly-ranked model is sure to continue gaining praise by kayaking experts and newcomers to the sport alike. Alternatively, simply get a sand or olive-colored version.

Fourteen feet long, 110 pounds heavy, and with a width of 38 inches, this is a royalty-worthy king sized kayak.


Sun Dolphin BaliSun Dolphin Bali

Unique among all the kayaks listed here, the sit-on-top Sun Dolphin Bali can fit 1, 2, or 3 people — or just one hunting expert alongside everything he or she needs to catch a succulent family-sized piece of loot.

This kayak has three separate dry storage compartments and fully adjustable seats. It also has paddle holders and mounts meant for rod holders. However, the smart shopper will find many compatible gun holders and ammo cases.

The Sun Dolphin Bali is 13.5 inches long, and thanks to its width of 34 inches, it is graded to carry up to 500 pounds. That’s a very good deal, considering it only weighs 70 pounds wet.


Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-11Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-11

The UH-11 is a great option for those who like to keep their hands free while seeking a good place to set up their base camp — or when in the middle of the hunt itself. This is thanks to its superior paddle system, which was designed with long smooth distances in mind.

And anybody who has ever tried to approach a duck without alerting the entire pond knows that a smooth sail is essential!

This sit-on-top vessel is fast and highly maneuverable, but its non-skid bottom will make it easy to move inside and find a comfortable position. The storage area is also roomy, and it comes equipped with seat, paddles, and rudder system.

It’s 10 feet long and 34 inches wide, but only weighs 60 pounds, so one strong person can handle it by themselves.


Wilderness Systems ATAK 140Wilderness Systems ATAK 140

A great heavy-weight option for waterfowl hunters, the ATAK 140 offers great tracking and easy customization options.

The ATAK 140 comes with a superb sit-on-top fishing throne, but if you are fond of catamaran-like surfaces in which to prowl about, you will find the ATAK to offer all the space you need. The kayak was purposely built with an open layout to accommodate those who need their gear to be just right.

The ATAK is 14 feet long, 34 inches wide, and weighs 95 pounds. It can carry up to 550 pounds.


Beavertail Final Attack Portable PitBeavertail Final Attack Portable Pit

The Final Attack by Beavertail provides an opportunity to bring your very own warship to the local waters. Although an intimidating site while at the store, the marsh brown paint and lidded “coffin-like” design will hide you completely from approaching ducks and deer.

Although not compatible with rapids or choppy rivers, this blind pit hunting model will be near-invisible next to a mangrove, in shallow waters, or behind a well-chosen piece of brush. A sniper-worthy ammo rack completes the package.

It’s 8 feet x 44 inches, with a weight of 85 pounds.



Why Hunt In A Kayak?

If you are an old school lake hunter who has grown used to you gear and methods, you may feel like kayak hunting is a fad that will pass away soon enough. However, even if temporary, it’s a trend worth experimenting with.

Kayak fishing offers many advantages from traditional duck boats or john boats. First and foremost, it is a much more affordable alternative — which makes it a lot easier to pass on the love of the sport to newcomers. A top-of-the-line hunting kayak can cost about as much as a low-range john boat.

If you already have a boat, though, you can still benefit from a hunting kayak’s easy transport and stealth. Sometimes, there is just no time to drive the big RV for a quick weekend hunt, whereas most kayaks can easily be boarded on a pick-up truck or even a large SUV.

Kayaks also tend to be easier to hide and to silence — and this is something that any experienced hunter can appreciate. With a good hunting kayak, you can stealthily reach that shallow mangrove where your other boat can’t fit.

What Makes A Good Hunting Kayak?

It’s still important to consider that kayaks come in many shapes and sizes — and if you feel like a kayak just doesn’t provide enough bang to go chase ducks, then you may have been looking at the wrong kind of kayaks.

Just like there are white-water kayaks meant to brave rapids or to serve as an excuse to get a shoulder workout, there are also many that target adventurers and survivalists in particular. Many hunting kayaks were designed thinking of hiding rifles, and some fishing kayaks are versatile enough to be adapted for hunting easily.

The first attribute of a good hunting kayak is that should be large and stable. You will need to keep things smooth and steady enough to aim properly. Lake hunting is not as much about chasing prey as it is about surprising it, so you will want wider models with good tracking rather than slimmer, faster kayaks.

You should also seek out models that provide good storage space, both on top and in a dry box. In general, 2-person models tend to be better here.

In addition, many models come with holders for your hunting gear and rifles. If budget is an issue, sometimes, the bungee can be adapted with some needle and thread. While there are many ways to add some camouflage to your kayak to help it go unnoticed, the chance to buy one with a factory-made camo paint job never goes amiss.