Recommend kayaks for 1 and 2 people.
September 13, 2020 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Our venerable inflatable kayak has developed more holes than I care to patch, and I'm tired of inflating it anyway. What kind of hard shell kayaks should I be looking at for casual day paddling on flat water? Needs to fit both 1 *and* 2 people since sometimes I'll be solo and sometimes my kid will be with me, but he's young enough that I'm typically doing all the work anyway so either way it's basically a solo for now.

One of the most things about our old kayak (Intext K2) is I could move a seat to the center for soloing. I guess I'm not picky because I have no complaints about using it that way.

Cheaper is better, but I don't mind paying a bit more for a kayak I'll use for years instead of one I'll be done with after a year. I have no desire to do anything but simple flatwater trips, and I plan to get a nice canoe for overnight trips in the next couple years, so I think a very basic kayak will work so long as it can do tandem and solo.
posted by Tehhund to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My family has an Oru Haven that we really like. It can be converted from a tandem to a single. We got it mostly because it's easy to transport, but I've found it very enjoyable to paddle. Once you get the hang of assembling it and breaking it down it's pretty quick to set up.

We got ours for a steal at the REI garage sale and I see them posted on Craigslist for under $1,000 every so often (Seattle area).
posted by mollywas at 5:58 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]

I had an Ocean Kayak Malibu Two that was perfect for what you describe. Easy to configure for 1 or 2 paddlers depending on where you attach the seat. We even fit two adults + a toddler. Only downside is that it’s big - pretty tough to move it around and rack it by yourself.
posted by gnutron at 6:43 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed the Hobie Mirage Drive kayaks, life's too short to use your arms. It also helps if you have the sail attached, and if you're in the Keys with a stiff breeze...
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:06 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]

You should look at sit on kayaks, there's no cockpit to make it difficult for bringing your kids along. You should also consider a stand up paddle board, some of them come with a set up for sitting.
posted by evilDoug at 6:52 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

I have a Hobie Mirage Drive and I can't fathom how you'd fit your kid on it with your legs moving. The tandem versions are huge and very heavy.

Our other kayak is an older Old Town Loon that we bought from someone who said he used to take his son out in it. It's a sit-inside, but it has a very long cockpit opening, so with the seat all the way back you could totally fit a child in between your legs. We paid maybe $200 for it, used. It's easy to handle by yourself.
posted by MonsieurBon at 7:59 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

I have an Oru and love it, it will be as portable as your inflatable because it folds. I don't however have the Haven, I have a single, but I can vouch for what a great kayak they make. The downside it that they are quite expensive new.
posted by starfish at 2:35 PM on September 14

We have an Ocean Kayak Malibu Two. We've used it at lakes and rivers, while Florida shore diving at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Blue Heron Bridge / Phil Foster Park, and while visiting the mangroves at Robbie's of Islamorada.
It works well for two kayakers and my husband has used it solo with a dive flag and anchor, or by towing it while diving.
We put it on top of the Honda Odyssey rack and use a DIY hand trailer to get it to the beach. It comes with toggle handles to carry it across the sand and straps and side handles to tie on gear while paddling. We bought the padded seats and the collapsible paddles (add spiral wrist straps and fasten to the kayak when not using). A dive light inside the storage hatch makes our orange kayak easier to see while diving.
I like the molded foot wells, the husband does not.
posted by TrishaU at 12:15 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]

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