Costco Kayaks Reviewed

Did you know that Kayaks were invented thousands of years ago by the Inuit and Aleut tribes of Arctic North America? Built with driftwood and animal skin, the original kayaks were used predominantly for hunting. Interestingly, the word ‘kayak’ itself translates to ‘hunter’s boat.’ The kayak’s stealth nature allowed the hunters to creep up slowly behind their unsuspecting prey and catch them in the water. In those days, they also used ‘umiaq’s which were large kayaks as long as 60ft that were used to carry entire families and their belongings. 

It was not until around the 1800s that kayaks were used for sporting purposes and it wasn’t until 1936 that it was introduced in the Olympic Games. Today, kayaking remains one of the most popular, mainstream water sports in the world with the Olympic Games featuring more than 10 different white-water kayaking events. Not only is it a competitive sport but a recreational activity that can be enjoyed by all members of the family. Kayaking is an extremely versatile sport and the kayaks themselves can be used for various purposes. They are highly accessible and generally easy-to-maneuver, but they can take you to some incredible places that are not accessible by foot or car.

Costco Kayaks Reviewed

Whether you are looking for something to take you on a peaceful expedition around the local coast or something to accommodate you on a wild pursuit of adventure, the Costco kayak market will have something for you. You will see that there is a huge variety of kayaks to choose from so before making your decision, you should ensure that you are fully informed so that you do not waste any time or money on a kayak that is not right for you. Kayaks are designed for several different purposes, so you need to consider exactly what experience you are looking for. In this guide, we will review the top 5 Costco kayaks currently on the market and provide you with the information you need to make the right decision. 

 Best Costco Kayaks Reviewed

OUR TOP PICK

Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak, Tan, 120', Model:90237

If you’re on the market for the ultimate fishing kayak, then there is probably no need to look any further. This kayak is constructed of UV-protected high-density polyethylene, meaning it is not only extremely strong and durable but relatively lightweight and easy to manoeuvre.

This kayak has deep hull tracking channels for increased stability, a sharp bow for enhanced speed, and a tracking skeg which works to allow for steady, balanced paddling. 

This kayak was manufactured with anglers in mind as it is equipped with several highly-convenient features such as 3 fishing pole holders, multiple footrests, and an adjustable, padded seat. 

It can hold up to 275lbs of weight, making it a great option for the older, more experienced anglers looking to bring home a few catches. As it is 14ft long, there is plenty of legroom, ensuring for a pleasant and comfortable paddling experience. This boat also comes with two storage hatches, providing a generous amount of space for food and other belongings to set you up for the day. Weighing only 50lbs, this kayak is manoeuvrable both in and out of the water. It turns with ease and is light enough to be carried around without the help of another person. 

Lifetime, are a brand that is dedicated to creating affordable, functional products of high-quality and durability. Their mantra is exemplified in the construction and design of their Tamarack Angler Kayak. This is a wonderful option for all you fishing enthusiasts looking for a reliable and practical sit-on-top kayak. 

Pros

  • Includes carry handles
  • Generous amount of storage space
  • Large cockpit for comfortable paddling 
  • Easy to use
  • Tracks straight in the water

Cons

  • Requires scupper plugs
Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak, Tan, 120", Model:90237
  • Constructed of UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene. Stable Flat Bottom. Deep Hull Tracking Channels. Stability Chine Rails
  • Multiple Footrest Positions for Different Size Riders. Adjustable Padded Seat Back and Seat Pad for Comfort. Front and Rear Shock Cord Straps
  • Two Flush Mounted Fishing Rod Holders. One Top Mount Fishing Rod Holder
  • Two 6" Storage Compartments in Rear and Center. One Paddle Keeper with Shock Cords. Front and Rear T-Handles for Easy Transport
  • Durable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Construction. 5-Year Limited

EDITORS CHOICE

Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak, Paddle Included (Blue, 10-Feet)

The sun dolphin Aruba kayak is a wonderful option for anyone looking for an on-budget boat that is both easy to transport and paddle. Constructed of high-density polyethylene, this highly durable kayak can withstand all sorts of underwater abrasions and impacts. 

This kayak features a large open cockpit which ensures both comfort and generous storage facilities for all your fishing bits and bobs. It comes equipped with an adjustable padded seat with high back support and adjustable foot braces for added comfort and adaptability. The narrow stern and bow of this boat mean that it tracks straight through the water and travels at a steady, stable pace. Weighing just 40lbs, this kayak can easily fit on any car-top carrier or in the back of any large truck. Despite its light design, it can hold up to 250lbs of weight, which is extremely impressive for a boat of its size. It also comes with carrying handles for easier portage and a water bottle holder for that little bit of extra convenience.

Designed to work fast best on flat, gentle waters, this kayak is a wonderful option for any water enthusiasts looking to explore their local lakes and rivers. 

Pros

  • Generously sized cockpit
  • Very lightweight at just 40lbs
  • Can carry up to 250lbs
  • Choice of highly visible colors
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Not to be used amongst waves
Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak, Paddle Included (Blue, 10-Feet)
  • Large open cockpit with adjustable padded seat with high back support
  • Convenient gear storage with shock cord deck rigging
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene
  • Spray deflector collar

BEST VALUE

Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat w/ Paddles

Whether you are looking for a kayak to accommodate you on a leisurely paddle around the lake or a wild journey down some Class III rapids, the Sea Eagle is a wonderful option for you. This inflatable kayak is not only extraordinarily lightweight and manoeuvrable, but it can hold up to a whopping 650lb of weight! This means that up to 3 paddlers can fit comfortably on this sturdy, rigid boat. Its impressive weight capacity makes it the perfect kayak for those paddlers who are looking to take their furry friends out on the water. Its 38-millimeter Polykrylar hull and I-beam constructed floor ensures that you don’t have to worry about dog claws and paws puncturing holes. 

What’s great about this kayak is that it not only inflates in less than 8 minutes but can be packed down to fit into your bag and easily stored. This makes it a great solution for anyone who wants to avoid the hassles that typically come with the older, more traditionally built kayaks. Between the inflatable seat cushions and its 12ft length, the Sea Eagle is one of the most comfortable kayaks you are likely to come across. With easy inflation, impressive weight capacity, and exceptional portability, this kayak is a wonderful option that should not go amiss in your search. 

Pros

  • 3 person or 650lb capacity
  • Inflatable and easy to carry/store
  • Great for beginners and experienced paddlers alike
  • Very well made
  • Extremely comfortable and ideal for long journeys

Cons

  • Some buyers reported issues with kayak valves
Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat w/ Paddles
  • 3 person/650 lb capacity, weighs 32 lbs, suitable for up to Class III whitewater
  • 370 Deluxe Kayak Package features two movable, super comfortable Deluxe Kayak Seats for improved back support and 2 paddles, foot pump, and carry bag
  • 2 AB30 7'10"" 4 Part Paddles with asymmetrical blade and aluminum shaft
  • 2 skegs on the bottom for better tracking & speed
  • Open and close drain valve, 5 deluxe 1-way inflation/deflation valves

RUNNER UP

Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak, Red, 12'

If you’re looking for a high-performing kayak that will take your paddling experience to the next level, the Red Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak would be a fantastic option for you. This sit-on-top kayak is blow-molded and is composed of high-density, UV protected polyethylene. Its impressive, sturdy construction ensures that it will cope incredibly well in all sorts of aquatic conditions.

With quick-release seats and large footwells, this kayak will be sure to keep you comfortable all day long, whilst its incredible offering of storage space makes it a particularly good option for anglers. Due to the boat’s innovative, easy-roll skeg wheel, you will be able to enjoy effortless tracking and control. Its narrow, 12ft body means that you will be able to travel with speed through the water and make sharp, fast turns when needed. Whilst not the lightest of models, this kayak features quick-release seats which ensures that you won’t be carrying any unnecessary weight. It is also equipped with four carry handles to assist with transport.

This sit-on-top kayak is an extremely advanced watercraft that does not compromise on practicality or durability. If you are looking for the perfect boat to accommodate you and a friend on the waters, the Red Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak is one you should definitely consider.

Pros

  • Plenty of storage capacity
  • Easy to use and maneuver
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Adequate space for two adult paddlers
  • Equipped with carrying handles

Cons

  • Not as lightweight as the other models
Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak, Red, 12'
  • Two built-in padded crs + ultra Lite seats. Rear tank well with cargo net lacing for storage
  • Skeg wheel for enhanced tracking and easy transportation. Storage hatch for added storage beneath the deck
  • Molded-in footwells for comfort and secure foot bracing. Four carry handles to assist in transport
  • UV-Protected high-density Polyethylene construction
  • 5-Year limited warranty

RUNNER UP

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump

The Intex Explorer K2 is one of the best-selling inflatable kayaks on the Costco market. It performs extremely well in both durability and stability due to its super-tough and flexible construction. This kayak might be inflatable, but it can hold an impressive 400lbs of weight, making it a great option for anyone looking to experience lakes and mild rivers with a friend or furry companion. It is also a model that has been certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which of course, is always a great sign. 

This boat is extremely rigid, equipped with an inflatable I-beam floor, and composed of heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl. For your convenience and peace of mind, this kayak comes with a repair patch kit and a U.S Coast Guard I.D, although it is very unlikely either of those things will be required.

This kayak is a brilliant option for anyone looking for a simple but fun paddling experience. It would be perfect for the younger water enthusiasts out there who are looking to dip their toes in the world of kayaking.

Pros

  • Can hold up to 400lbs
  • Bright yellow color for maximum visibility 
  • Perfect for kids and teens
  • Quick inflation/deflation
  • Removable and adjustable seats

Cons

  • Repair kit does not include everything you would need to repair a puncture
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
  • Comfortable for Anyone: Kayak Includes an Adjustable Inflatable Seat With Backrest; Cockpit Designed for Comfort and Space
  • Dimensions: Inflated Size 10 Feet 3 X 3 Feet X 1 Feet 8 Inch; Maximum Weight Capacity: 400 Pounds
  • Directional Stability: Removable SKEG for Directional Stability
  • Increased Visibility: In Case of Emergency, Bright Yellow Color Helps Visibility
  • Made for Smaller Bodies of Water: Explorer k2 is Made for Smaller Bodies of Water Including Lakes and Mild Rivers

Best Costco Kayaks Buying Guide

Whilst shopping for kayaks at Costco, it is necessary that you know exactly what you are looking for. Kayaks are not cheap, so you want to make sure you have done a sufficient amount of research before making any permanent decisions. There are many different types of kayaks on the market that are specifically designed to provide different experiences. Before choosing your boat, you need to establish exactly what experience you want from your kayak, where you are planning on using it, and how often you are going to be taking it out in the water. Here are a few things that you should be keeping in mind when browsing the kayak section of Costco:

Types of kayaks

There are two main categories of kayaks: sit in and sit-on-top kayaks. You will need to decide which of these types will work best for you before making any further decisions. 

Sit in Kayak: Sit in kayaks are the more traditional form of kayaks. They are designed with a cockpit that provides extra shelter against water and wind. They tend to offer more storage space than other kayaks despite what they might look like at a first glance. They also can be used with a spray skirt which will prevent water from entering the boat. These kayaks are better for rougher conditions where extra protection is required. 

Sit on top Kayak: Sit on top kayaks are extremely versatile and popular amongst beginners. They are generally very easy to get the hang of, making them a great option for families and anyone new to kayaking. This type of kayak offers high-stability and self-bailing (meaning the kayak will drain with ease). Sit on top Kayaks are ideal for warm environments as you are more exposed to the water. They are popular with the fishing community as their construction allows for increased flexibility and movement.

 As well as these traditional kinds of kayaks, there is also the option to buy an inflatable kayak. These are extremely lightweight, stable, and perfect for beginners. They are generally cheaper, more manoeuvrable, and easier to store than both sit in and sit on top kayaks, making them a great option for anyone looking for their first boat.

Size

The size of your kayak will have a direct affect on its capabilities in the water. Whilst wider, smaller kayaks will be slower and more stable, longer, narrower, kayaks will have the ability to travel a lot faster in the water. The longer boats have more potential for speed because they are further away from the bow wave that forms at the back of the kayak. Whilst they are faster, they are generally much more difficult to manoeuvre and take a lot longer to turn. The length of your kayak should depend on both your experience and body composition. You will need to refer to the Costco sizing guide to determine your ideal sized kayak. 

Hull

When choosing a kayak, you will need to consider its hull design. A hull is simply the shape of the bottom of the boat and it can have a huge impact on the boat’s performance and stability. There are 5 primary types of hulls: flat hulls, rounded hulls, v-shaped hulls, and chine hulls. Flat hulls are extremely manoeuvrable and stable, making them a great option for beginners. Rounded hulls can increase the speed of the boat whilst ensuring the kayak is easy to control. V-shaped hulls are perfect for long-distance kayak trips as they are incredibly stable and travel very well in straight-line motion. Pontoon shaped hulls tend to be slower than the other shapes, but they do combine all the great features of both the flat and rounded hull. They are the ideal shape of hull for beginners looking for a leisurely kayaking experience. 

FAQ’s

How do I store my kayak?

Kayaks are big and take up a lot of space. That being said, there are several ways you can easily store your kayak. Normally, you can store your kayak indoors and outdoors, but its best to check with the individual kayak instructions. Indoors is best because your kayak will be sufficiently protected from elements such as sunlight and rain. If this is not possible, you can store your kayak outdoors but you should ensure that it is placed in the shade and protected against moisture. This can be done by covering your kayak in tarp. It is also recommended that you do leave your kayak laying on the ground for long periods of time so some sort of suspension system such as a rack would work best. 

What equipment do I need to use my kayak?

There are a few essential things that you will need to buy before setting off in your kayak. In addition to the boat itself, you will need a paddle, a life jacket or life-preserving floatation device, a spray skirt to keep water from entering the kayak, and a helmet for protection. Some non-essential equipment pieces that are often recommended include booties, gloves, a rope bag, a wetsuit or rash vest, and a float bag to ensure your boat doesn’t sink if you were to get separated in an emergency.