Who wouldn’t want to partake in an ancient Inuit activity with man’s best friend? For thousands of years kayaking has been a gateway for humanity to access remote places, fish in deeper waters, and help us reconnect with nature. Inviting your furry friend to come aboard only seems natural. To do so, you’ll need to find the best kayak for dogs and that’s where we come in!

There are plenty of kayaks to choose from, all with unique applications in mind and at a variety of price points depending on what options you want and/or need. Throw a dog on board and the whole equation becomes even more complex.

Thankfully, we’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing which kayak is best for you and your pup and have done the hard work for you. I know, not all heroes wear capes. You’re welcome. Below you’ll find our top 10 best kayaks for dogs, each with a specific purpose in mind. Because let’s face it, we all have different goals and different dogs!

Pro Tip: Wondering what the numbers next to the model name mean? They’re a quick way to know the length of the kayak. A 9.5 means the boat is 9 ½’ feet long and a 136 means that kayak is 13’ 6” in length.

For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out the Best Sea Kayaks

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Kayaking Gift Guide

 

Quick Answer - The Best Kayaks for Dogs

  1. Eddyline Sky 10
  2. Perception Tribe 13.5
  3. Pelican Premium Argo 136XP
  4. Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II
  5. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120
  6. Delta Kayaks Delta 12 AR
  7. Pelican Sentinel
  8. Ocean Kayak Malibu 9.5
  9. Aquaglide Chinook XP Tandem XL
  10. Dagger Axis 10.5

 

Comparison Table - Best Kayaks for Dogs

PictureNameLengthWidthStyleTypeWeight CapacityPriceRating
Eddyline Sky 1010’26”Sit-InSolo250 lbs$$5.0
Perception Tribe 13.513’ 5”33.75"Sit-On-TopTandem500 lbs$$4.8
Pelican Premium Argo 136XP13’ 6”31.75"Sit-InTandem500 lbs$$4.75
Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II12’ 9”34” Sit-On-TopSolo550 - 600 lbs$$$4.7
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 12012’ 3”30”Sit-On-TopSolo350 lbs$$4.65
Delta Kayaks Delta 12 AR12’26.5"Sit-InSolo320 lbs$$$4.6
Pelican Sentinel10’30”Sit-On-TopSolo300 lbs$4.5
Ocean Kayak Malibu 9.59’ 6”33”Sit-On-TopSolo325 lbs$4.3
Aquaglide Chinook XP Tandem XL12’ 10”36”Sit-InTandem550 lbs$4.2
Dagger Axis 10.510’ 6”28.5"Sit-InSolo300 lbs$$4.1
PictureNameLengthWidthStyleTypeWeight CapacityPriceRating

 

Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Kayaks for Kayaking with Dogs

Eddyline Sky 10

Specs
  • Length: 10’
  • Style: Sit-In
  • Type: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Width: 26”
Features
  • 2 Color Options Available
  • Bow And Stern Hatch Semi-Dry Storage (to keep your belongings secure and dry while paddling)
  • Deck Rigging For Quick Access To Gear

BEST FOR: SMALL DOGS

The Eddyline Sky 10 is a top-of-the-line hybrid, blurring the lines between recreational kayaking and day-touring. It’s a wide, stable boat that’s perfect for slow moving rivers and easy paddling lakes, but the added storage hatches upgrade it’s abilities to tackling full day trips. With a plethora of raving reviews, this is an immensely popular boat that lives up to the hype!

Considering its nimble size and lower weight limit, this kayak is ideal for the paddler bringing along a smaller sized dog. Keep it casual and you can’t go wrong.

Perception Tribe 13.5

Specs
  • Length: 13’ 5”
  • Style: Sit-On-Top
  • Type: Tandem
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Width: 33.75"
Features
  • Padded Seats (for all day comfort)
  • Bow And Stern Rigging (for maximum storage potential)
  • Small Third Seat For Children

BEST FOR: BIG DOGS (OR TWO SMALLER DOGS)

Perception is a quality manufacturer with a wide offering of kayaks – the Tribe 13.5 is a delightfully surprising find. It’s perfect for those with big dogs who just can’t stand leaving them behind. The Tribe is a beefy yet agile boat that boasts a 500 lb. weight capacity!

Although the rigging is limited for securing supplies and gear, there is an ample amount of room on board making this kayak more like a self-bailing canoe. The seats are also easily adjustable and can be quickly removed to accommodate your “paws-atively” awesome fur-buddy.

Pelican Premium Argo 136XP

Specs
  • Length: 13’ 6”
  • Style: Sit-In
  • Type: Tandem
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Width: 31.75"
Features
  • 4 Water Bottle Holders
  • Dry Storage Hatch In Rear
  • Side Rigging For Holding Paddles
  • Keel Extension Improves Tracking (to keep you going in a straight line)

BEST FOR: 2 PEOPLE AND A DOG (OR TWO!)

All aboard the party boat! It’s always better to paddle with friends and the Argo 136XP is a great choice for hanging out on the water. This kayak is by far the biggest boat on the list and is able to hold up to 500 lbs. It will easily hold 2 humans, 2 dogs, a cooler, radio, and more!

Each paddler also has their own cockpit table, making lunch on the water a breeze. The rear cargo day hatch boasts 60 liters of room, making it easy to pack snacks, dog treats, and frisbees for fun-filled pit stops on sandy inlet beaches.

Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II

Specs
  • Length: 12’ 9”
  • Style: Sit-On-Top
  • Type: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 550 - 600 lbs
  • Width: 34”
Features
  • Adjustable Foot Pegs (for adjustable comfort)
  • Stern Rigging (to hold coolers or tackle boxes in place)
  • Self-Bailing Scupper Holes (to prevent getting too much water in the boat)
  • Bow Hatch Semi-Dry Storage
  • Includes Paddle Holder And Cup Holder

BEST FOR: FISHING WITH FIDO

Designed specifically for the angler, the Prowler Big Game II is a beast of a boat that boasts enough room for you, your gear, and your best friend. Able to hold a whopping 600 lbs., this kayak has the girth for reeling in the big catch without sacrificing any speed.

The most unique feature on this aggressive boat is the seating system; it has 2 positions, one for paddling and one for fishing. Better yet, the entire seat can be flipped out of the way for casting or sighting. It also has several attachment points for adding your own fish finder and a battery shelf to keep your battery dry when powering your gear and gadgets.

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

Specs
  • Length: 12’ 3”
  • Style: Sit-On-Top
  • Type: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Width: 30”
Features
  • Comes In 2 Color Options
  • Self-Bailing Scupper Holes (for easy removal of water from the boat)
  • Rear Deck Bungees For Stowing Gear
  • Slide Rail System For Attachable Mounts
  • Water Resistant Bow And Midship Storage Hatches

BEST FOR: DAY TRIPS

It’s a Dog’s Day on the Tarpon 120! Wilderness Systems has nailed down every feature to a T that you might need for a day trip with your best friend. With ample leg room in the front and a sizeable bow, your pup has the perfect perch to hang out.

Constructed from a high-density polyethylene, this tough boat can handle a variety of conditions and tracks amazingly well without sacrificing speed. It also sports an ergonomic seat and adjustable footpegs, lending itself to the perfect fit for any body type.

Delta Kayaks Delta 12 AR

Specs
  • Length: 12’
  • Style: Sit-In
  • Type: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 320 lbs
  • Width: 26.5"
Features
  • Front And Rear Bulkheads (to store lots of extra belongings for overnight trips)
  • Adjustable Seat With 5 Different Position Options
  • Water Resistant Bow And Stern Storage Hatches (for dry storage of gear)

BEST FOR: OVERNIGHT TRIPS

Characterized by it’s uniquely large cockpit, the Delta 12 AR has ample room for you and your dog. This boat is an excellent choice for overnight trips as it has two semi-dry hatches, one in the bow and one in the stern where you can store all the camping gear you need.

This combination makes multi-day trips a breeze as you’ll be able to pack enough gear for you and fido without compromising on stability or space! The extra wide cockpit also ensures that you and your four-legged co-pilot will be cozy without being cramped.

So what are you waiting waiting for? Grab some s’mores and doggy treats for those evening fires by the river, because this boat will push the boundaries and take you two farther than you imagined!

Pelican Sentinel

Specs
  • Length: 10’
  • Style: Sit-On-Top
  • Type: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Width: 30”
Features
  • Bottle Holder
  • Stern Rigging
  • Comes With A Paddle

BEST FOR: BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET!

You don’t always need something fancy or highly specific, but you definitely deserve adventure. Built on a wide and stable hull, the Pelican Sentinel is a prime choice for getting you and your dog out on the water without breaking the bank!

Sporting a minimal design with a few key features, the Sentinel values quality over quantity. The low-profile seat design also increases flexibility and maneuverability within the boat, meaning that you don’t need to struggle to turn around and grab gear from the rear.

Ocean Kayak Malibu 9.5

Specs
  • Length: 9’ 6”
  • Style: Sit-On-Top
  • Type: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 325 lbs
  • Width: 33”
Features
  • 3 Cup Holders
  • Easy Adjustable Seat
  • Bow And Stern Rigging (to keep belongings secure on the boat)
  • Midship Semi-Dry Hatch (for extra dry storage space)
  • Rear Lock Bar For Secure Storage

BEST FOR: EASY RECOVERY

Fun, compact, and easy to paddle, the Malibu 9.5 is a comfortable ride at a great price point. If you have a dog that’s prone to jumping out to chase fish (sticks), or if you tend to find yourself sideways in a rapid more often than not, then this kayak is for you! The sit-on-top style of this boat and the addition of self-bailing scupper holes in the bottom of the kayak that remove water automatically makes this vessel supremely easy to flip back over and keep paddling after you and your pup accidentally capsize.

There’s also plenty of space up front for your furry friend to hang out while you paddle. Keep a cooler with lunch in the rear or remove the stern bungees to make a perfect dog-sized pocket!

Aquaglide Chinook XP Tandem XL

Specs
  • Length: 12’ 10”
  • Style: Sit-In
  • Type: Tandem
  • Weight Capacity: 550 lbs
  • Width: 36”
Features
  • Includes A Compact Storage Bag
  • Inflatable Design Makes Storage A Breeze
  • Quick Release Skeg For Better Tracking And Easy Removal

BEST FOR: LIMITED STORAGE OPTIONS

Real talk: sometimes having a garage or a shed to store your gear isn’t in the cards, and not everyone has a car that’s able to transport a 12-foot kayak. But that shouldn’t ever discourage you from being able to paddle! That’s where the inflatable kayak comes in. The technological advancements used in inflatable kayaks have drastically improved in recent years, making for some fierce competition and high quality products as a result.  

The Aquaglide Chinook is no exception as it incorporates a super tough material to keep your hull durable, even beneath Fido’s claws. The flooring also boasts durability as its made of a stiff PVC beam, preventing it from sagging in the middle. There’s also plenty of space aboard this kayak, making it a great choice for bringing your dog, a few friends and loads of snacks along. It’s important to note that this kayak doesn’t include a pump for inflation, so you will need to purchase one separately.

Dagger Axis 10.5

Specs
  • Length: 10’ 6”
  • Style: Sit-In
  • Type: Solo
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Width: 28.5"
Features
  • 2 Color Options Available
  • Stern Hatch For Dry Storage
  • Deck Rigging For Quick Gear Access

BEST FOR: SMALL WHITEWATER

Some adventure seekers just can’t resist the temptation of a little whitewater, even if their puppy pal is with them. The Dagger Axis is a great crossover that’s ideal for lakes but also has the ability to handle some light river-running when the occasion strikes.

This boat has a large enough cockpit to securely hold you and your four-legged friend and it also has a wide, stable hull that will keep you floating steadily and securely even with a bouncy pup on board.  At just over 10’ feet in length, this boat can nimbly handle whitewater up to class II. Just make sure you’re both wearing personal flotation devices and keep a few extra treats handy!

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING KAYAKS

TYPE

There are two basic types of kayaks and which one you choose to use all depends on your specific needs and skillset. Each have their advantages.

Sit-In

This traditional type of design has a host of benefits and is a great choice for the skilled beginner. Sit-In kayaks can come in a variety of models, including recreational, touring, and whitewater models.

  • Narrow and fast, traditional sit-ins increase paddling efficiency making it easier to reach farther destinations
  • Increased body contact with the boat provides greater control when turning or performing maneuvers to prevent capsizing
  • The ability to add a spray skirt can keep you drier and warmer when the temperature drops
  • Better for calm and well-trained dogs who have experience on the water

Sit-On-Top

Typically used in warmer weather, sit-on-top models are a great choice for beginners still learning their skills or for those who have fishing in mind.

  • Easy to get in and out of while on the water. If you plan to swim after paddling out, sit-on-top boats are the easiest to manage
  • Self-bailing scupper holes that remove excess water automatically eliminate the need for a bilge pump. If you capsize or have water wash aboard in rough conditions, sit-on-top kayaks will drain the water for you
  • Ideal for rambunctious pups who are more prone to jumping in the water or knocking you off-balance

 

CATEGORY

There are 6 major categories that most kayaks fall into. Each have specific uses in mind and are built and outfitted to fit maximize functionality for its intended activity. The two that we’ll cover here (inflatable and recreational) are best for dog pals. To learn about the other types of kayaks, click here.

Inflatables

Less expensive than their solid counterparts and better suited for those with limited space, quality inflatable kayaks can be a good choice when bringing your dog on the water. Most manufacturers use tough materials that can withstand puncturing, but keep in mind that not all inflatables are made equally. When in doubt, stick with our recommendations and avoid anything from big-box “budget” stores.

Solid

When it comes to paddling with your pooch, a solid construction kayak is going to be your most solid bet. These are the most durable types of kayaks and are sure to be long-lasting. They are able to withstand much more punishment than their inflatable counterparts.

 

LENGTH AND WIDTH

Kayaks come in a variety of lengths and widths that contribute to the overall specific purpose. Generally speaking, the longer and wider the kayak, the more stable the paddler will feel. This will be a key feature to keep an eye on when trying to find a suitable kayak for you and your dog.

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

BILGE PUMP

A tool used for bailing water out of a boat

BOW

The front of the boat.

STERN

The rear of the boat.

BULKHEAD

A bulkhead is a water-tight partition that divides sections of the boat. Some boats have two, one in the front and rear, while others just have one. It usually has a twofold purpose:

  1. By trapping air in the bulkheads, less water fills the boat after capsizing, thus making it easier to bail water after recovering
  2. The bulkhead also provides space for stowing gear in a water tight compartment

CAPSIZE

When a kayak flips upside down and the paddler exits or is separated from the kayak.

HULL

The bottom side of the kayak.

COCKPIT

The area of the kayak where the paddler sits.

DECK

The top side of the kayak.

HATCH

The opening for an enclosed cargo space.

KEEL

The longitudinal structure along the centerline of the bottom of a vessel’s hull. The more pronounced the keel, the more stability and the straighter a kayak will paddle.

RIGGING

A system of ropes or bungees designed to hold gear/fasten things to the deck of a kayak.

SELF-BAILING SCUPPER HOLES

When water washes onto your deck, these holes allow the water to drain back down through the boat without flooding it. It makes recovering after a capsize much easier and keeps your boat from flooding when conditions would otherwise cause you to sink.

SKEG

Sometimes your vessel needs a little help tracking (going straight). A skeg is a small fin in the rear of a kayak that drops down to provide more keel. Unlike a rudder, it stays in a fixed position.

SPRAY SKIRT

A waterproof piece of gear that paddlers wear. It attaches to the cockpit of a kayak to keep water out.

TRACKING

A kayak’s ability to continue in a straight line after a paddle stroke.

WET EXIT

When paddling a traditional sit-in kayak, a wet exit is the act of removing one’s self from the cockpit while under water after capsizing.

 

 

READ MORE

For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

Sea Kayaks | Kayaks for Kids

Inflatable Kayaks | Kayak Paddles for Beginners

2-Person Inflatable Kayaks | Kayaks for Beginners

Kayak Coolers

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