What Are The Best Pedal Kayak On The Market In 2020? 

 September 1, 2020

By  Tricia Hale

Kayaking is fun! It can be exciting or adventurous, and it can even be relaxing depending on what the buyer is looking for. 

Similarly, there are different types of kayaks for different types of users. When considering buying a pedal drive kayak, there are many factors to consider. Whether to buy an expensive or inexpensive model, one or two seats, small or large, serious enthusiast or hobbyist level, basic or outfitted for fishing, are all matters to look into when considering the best pedal kayak for you. 


Top 5 Best Pedal Kayak On The Market

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Things to Look for in a Pedal Kayak


The size of a kayak can vary considerably based on the intentions of the manufacturer. Kayaks can be as small as eight or nine feet and weigh as little as 25 pounds, or they can be as long as 13 or 14 feet and weigh in at upwards of 100 pounds, making the larger ones more challenging to store and haul. 


Many kayaks, particularly smaller and more lightweight models, are one-seaters. They are meant to be operated by one person using pedals and an oar, and it is essentially impossible for another person to ride in them. Amongst the longer ones, many tandem models can be enjoyed and operated by two people at once. 

Fishing Accessories

Some kayaks come with accessories such as fishing rod holders, fish finding transducers, and tackle storage that make them attractive options for fishermen. These extras are unnecessary for the non-fisher and casual enthusiast. 


Depending on size and design, storage capacity can seriously vary on a kayak. Those who plan to go on a casual jaunt may not need much cargo space except perhaps for a cooler and life jackets; those who fish or plan to go on a long excursion in the water may want more extensive cargo space. 


Some seats have more padding, back support, and ergonomic design than others. It may not be necessary to have the best seating to spend an hour or two on the water. Those who want to take longer trips will require more comfortable and supportive seating, which is often found on larger and more expensive models. 


For many, particularly fishermen and those going on long journeys, stability is a serious factor to consider. A good kayak should always have stability when the operator is sitting, and many of the larger, more expensive models are advertised as stable in reasonably calm waters when the user is standing for activities such as fishing. 

Those interested in purchasing kayaks need to consider primary stability (relating to back-and-forth motion) and secondary stability (relating to how easily a boat flips or capsizes) when making a kayak purchase. The last thing anyone wants is to finish up in the water. 


This may be one of the least important aspects of buying a kayak for some, but there are those who like to consider the visual aspects of the item. Many kayaks come standard in camo finishes, black, or basic primary colors such as red, blue, and yellow. Custom finishes are available, although often these are found on more pricey models. 

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Pedal Drive Types

There are two main types of drives for pedal-driven kayaks: push-pedal and rotational pedal. Each has its advantages and drawbacks. 

  • Push Pedals — the action is similar to that of a hand water pump, only operated with the feet. It is a quick way to get forward momentum. However, the repetitiveness, rigidity, and stress of the motion can result in health problems, including cramps in the legs and feet, damage to muscles, and even some types of back pain. 
  • Rotational Pedals — this style is more common to pedal-driven kayaks. As the name suggests, the pedals rotate with an action similar to a bicycle’s pedal mechanism. Rotational pedals seem to be a better option generally as they put less stress on the legs since the emphasis is not on pushing and strength, and it takes less effort to continually supply the propulsion system with nonstop energy. 

Major Brands to Watch For

  • Brooklyn Kayak - Brooklyn Kayak Company is another maker of larger, high-end kayaks for the serious enthusiast. Their 13- and 14-foot models are well known in the kayaking world for their stability of design, cargo space, and comfortable seating. Some BKC models also accommodate the fisherman, such as with multiple flush-mounted rod holders. 
  • Native - Native is a maker of mid-sized kayaks, in between the beginner models and the professional outfits. Native’s kayaks are known for being durable, especially stable, reasonably spacious, and somewhat useful for fishermen. They are made for those who perhaps aren’t looking to go into a high-level kayak purchase but want something that is long-lasting and very stable and allows the operator to enjoy just an hour or two or a full day on the water. 
  • Old Town, Ocean, and Wilderness - Systems are all trustworthy makers of small, lightweight, basic kayaks for beginners. There are many models available and those wanting something compact, simple, and inexpensive for occasional or casual use would do well to investigate the products of these companies. 

Buying Advice

As with so many large, serious purchases, shipping is free with many online stores. This may make for the best buying option, particularly if it is difficult for the buyer to take home large objects due to transportation, disability, or other issues. Many online stores also have competitive pricing on these options, making it easy to find a good price. 

Buying a kayak is not a matter to be taken lightly whether the buyer is looking for something small and easily stored in the garage or a major-sized boat for adventuring and fishing. There are many options available, and it always pays off to take some time and carefully go over the options available. 

Best Pedal Kayak for Long Distance: BKC PK13 13’ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak

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Pedal kayaks have a multitude of uses and are a favorite among many hobbyists. They’re much easier to use, speedy, less fatiguing, and quieter than their pedal-powered counterparts. 

It’s great to have an idea of some of the best options out there before deciding on a purchase. We think the BKC PK13 13’ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak is a great kayak. 

Key Features

The Brooklyn Kayak Company brand is one often associated with exceptional boating quality — they have a long history of manufacturing water-based products, geared especially to pedal-powered kayaks. They claim their PK13 13’ kayak has a number of features: 

  • Pedal Drive System — utilizes a rotational pedal drive system that drives a propeller beneath the kayak. No paddles are needed, and you can even have an optional trolling motor for more fishing capabilities. The propulsion system can also be removed to allow for easier transport.
  • Designed for Maximum Distance and Stability — the 13-foot-long sleek, lightweight design, coupled with the efficient propulsion system, provide the ability to pedal for miles without exhaustion. It is quick and comfortable to use.
  • Ergonomic Seat — lightweight, padded, and adjustable. This seat provides maximum comfort; perfect when out for long hours on the water. 
  • Rod Holders — flush mount rod holders make for hands-free fishing whilst paddling or trolling. The pedals come in handy for control too when holding your rods.
  • Storage Areas — built-in storage hatches provide watertight storage, whilst the two front and rear surface cargo areas have bungee straps to hold down any additional items (bags and fishing boxes). 

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What We Like

All the features of the kayak worked perfectly. There are a number of features that stand out on the PK13 kayak. 

  • Exceptional Propulsion — the pedal system makes moving the kayak effortless, like riding a bike but much quieter and arguably more relaxing. It’s easy to pick up speed and maintain control without sacrificing too much energy. Compared with push paddle kayaks, it’s easy to see how easy it is to go further in the PK13. 
  • Great for Fishing — the ultra-quiet operation makes the PK13 great for sneaking up on fish. With rod holders and plenty of cargo space for equipment and tools (or a cooler for beers), it’s the ideal kayak for many different types of fishing.
  • Comfortable Experience — the pedals have adjustable straps for your feet and the chair is adjustable in position as well as padded, making everything extremely comfortable and effortless. 

What We Don't Like 

The only thing we could find a complaint with is that there isn’t easy access to the inner hull. If you want to be making additions to the kayak yourself it’ll be hard for this reason, as drilling holes to make attachments is useless if you can’t get inside to screw.


Overall, this is a great kayak and is heavily geared for those who enjoy long-distance fishing with rods or light trolling. It’s suitable out at sea or on quiet lakes — whatever your style may be. The quiet operation and effortless pedaling make for a great long-distance fishing experience.

Best Pedal Kayak for Fishing: Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak

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The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak is an exceptional pedal kayak due to its unique design. The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak has been expertly machined to get maximum stability and performance. It also comes with all of the great angler features you would expect from a fishing kayak. 

Bonafide describes the SS127 as having been designed for “Ultimate Fishability.” This kayak has a comfortable design as well with ergonomic contours specially designed to make it glide through the water with as little effort as possible. 

One can expect quality from this fishing kayak and Bonafide delivers with this beautiful kayak. It does come in a grey color only which is a bit of a drawback but the two-tone grey and dark grey styling are very sharp looking. 


The high-quality materials of this Fishing Kayak are lighter than comparable kayaks and the Bonafide SS127 weighs only 75 pounds. It is a 12’ 7” fishing kayak with a width of 33.5.” 

The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak utilizes a Hybrid Cat Hull design that has more angled contours as opposed to smooth arcs. 

This fishing kayak is designed to store the most gear possible while remaining able to cut effortlessly through the water. There is no better kayak for taking on fishing trips when it comes to comfort, storage, and luxury. The Bonafide SS127 performs on every front. 


The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak is loaded with additional features for anglers including a Fat Grip bow handle with comfort insert and a Fat Grip retractable stern handle with comfort insert. There is also a YakAttack Aluminum GearTrac for attaching all your favorite fishing tackle or even a cooler or backpack. 

It has a sliding under-seat Junk Drawer and a DryPod with transducer through-hull scupper.

There is also a bow hatch with Doubleheader hinges and multi-rod and paddle management points. 

There is always a great amount of storage and value that one can expect from a Bonafide and the SS127 is no exception. It has a capacity of 475 pounds inside its Hybrid Cat Hull design. 

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There are few things that cut through the water better than a Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak. The Hybrid Cat Hull design is the most optimal for cutting through the water with the least amount of paddle power possible. 

Although it is powered by paddles, it will not sap a whole lot of energy to propel this 75-pound fishing kayak through the water. It is quite easy to work up momentum and get the pedals rolling to the point where you are cruising miles in just an hour or two. Get to your favorite campground faster than ever before with the Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak. 

Few other fishing kayaks on the market offer so many features. The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak takes the cake and even has a side carry handles with paddle storage. It even has low profile deck fittings and a SeatRack positioning system that is proprietary to Bonafide.

Best Lightweight Pedal Kayak: Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 Pedal Fishing Kayak

The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10, generally designed for fishing on lakes, is one of the most convenient pedal kayaks on the market.

Native Watercraft is one of the top brand in its sector, and its professionalism and experience are evident in this product. The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 is a high performance, multi-purpose kayak with excellent stability.

It comes in four beautiful designs:

  • Blue lagoon
  • Copperhead
  • Hidden Oak
  • Lizard Lick

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Key Features

The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 is the lightest 10’ pedal fishing kayak in the market, weighing in at only 62 pounds (without the drive unit). This very light weight means that the kayak is easily maneuvered and very practical to carry and store. It could be stored on the back of a pickup or on top of almost every car.

A kayak that is light like this is also very fast; this kayak can cover 4.2 miles per hour with relaxed pedaling and go up to 5.2 miles per hour! The pedal system works both forward and backward; there are no more awkward turns of the boat in water in order to change direction.

This kayak is also very comfortable to sit in and feels rock-solid stable. It’s designed both for small and tall people; nobody will feel out of place or uncomfortable on this kayak. The seat is horizontally adjustable in order to fit everybody. 

It’s possible to bungee cord the paddle to the side of the kayak in order to have it handy and to not lose it. The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 has also an open bow trunk for storage and comes with scuppers for drainage that are very useful in case of waves. 

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What We Like

The lightness of the Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 Pedal Kayak is one of its best features. It’s easy to transport it and it’s very fast on water. It’s important to note that this product is also very solid and stable, and has a significant capacity (400 pounds). This means that everybody can be comfortable on this boat and that many accessories and other requirements can be brought on board during fishing excursions. 


The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 is a top pedal kayak and perhaps the best lightweight kayak for solo fishers. Its lightness and speed are its best features. 

Best Pedal Kayak for Shallow Water: Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 Foot Pedal Fishing Kayak

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Beginners often search for the best fishing kayak under $1000, but at just under $1,400, the Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 Foot Pedal Fishing Kayak is the best one can find around this price. It is a kayak by which all others can be judged. The Hobie Passport is easy to use and great fun. 

It is designed for relaxation with the features to make kayaking by pedal enjoyable and easy. With just moderate pedaling effort and a little concentration on the steering, it can go through any waterway. It has an easy-to-use steering system, and it navigates easily with fingertip control over a twist-and-stow rudder. The rudder adjusts easily with the fingertip control and even novices can get a handle on how to steer this kayak fairly quickly. 

The best thing about it is that it moves easily through shallows and weeds, which allows the kayaker to reach the most remote parts of every waterway. It is “easy on the legs,” requiring only moderate effort to pedal through the most challenging aquatic environments. When faced with a shallow grassy section of a waterway, the kayak can seamlessly drift over the shallow waters without getting stuck, and it only requires a modicum of increased effort to pedal through these types of straits. 

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The Hobie has Mirage Drive and a suspended mesh aluminum frame seat. It also has two accessory mounting racks, which can be used for fishing poles or even as tripod mounts for camera work. It is well equipped for nearly every usage one could think of. 

The Mirage Passport is also promoted as a fishing pedal kayak, so it is definitely aimed at this niche of the outdoorsman. It is also fairly lightweight at just 75 pounds, which includes the seat and pedal drive. Removing those drops 10 more pounds, and at 65 pounds, it can easily be transported onto a car roof or carried by two people. It is more cumbersome than heavy, but with proper management it can be moved anywhere and stored on top of a car or in a truck bed with great ease. 


The portability and durability of this kayak make it the easy choice, and it can also be affordably placed onto a 12-month payment plan to make it easy to pay for. One certainly will have few to no regrets after paying off this beautiful kayak, which is durable to last and if it does not, it comes with a warranty from Hobie. 

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The kayak at first seems a bit costly since it is well over a grand, but for all it offers, it is actually quite a bargain. It promotes such an easy and relaxing time, and it is the perfect kayak for navigating many freshwater ecosystems. 


The Mirage Drive Classic is aimed at providing an easy pedaling experience with all the tools to stay on path with a great steering system. It enables the users of it to pedal to places other small crafts cannot reach, which can be a tremendous advantage in some fishing situations. 

Fish like to go places boats cannot, but the Hobie takes fish up on that challenge and provides a way to find the fishes’ nests and reel in the real monsters that hide in the shallows. What more could a kayaker ask for? 

Tricia Hale

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