duck in water

12 Best Duck Hunting Kayaks Reviewed 2019 for Top Hunting Experience

Kayaks have come a long way in the last 50 years.

These days they’re more versatile and affordable than ever before.

They’ve skyrocketed in quality, too.

And many outdoor enthusiasts are turning to kayaks as an inexpensive alternative to boats or other watercraft.

With fishing kayaks becoming increasingly popular, it was only a matter of time before the duck hunters wanted in on the action.

So, I’ve put together this review to try and find the best duck hunting kayak out there, with a complete buyer’s guide and FAQ section to follow.

TOP 12 Best Duck Hunting Kayaks 2019

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Review: Now don’t be too concerned when most of these kayaks say “fishing” in the title. They’re just as good for duck hunting otherwise I wouldn’t include them here. First up is the Sevylor Coleman Colorado model.

A tandem inflatable kayak that’s packed with features at a very affordable price.

It’s a super-sturdy build, made with 18-gauge PVC construction which is rugged for lake and marshland use and a 1000 denier tarpaulin bottom and 840 denier nylon cover that provides durable protection from punctures.

It’s also capable of being fitted with a trolling motor for extra stealth among the reeds and keeping your hands free for the hunt.

Pros

  • Excellent price.
  • Solid construction.
  • Super lightweight.

Cons

  • Fishing hardware might get in the way.
  • Limited storage if you’re not hunting solo.

Takeaway

An excellent kayak for hunting at the entry-level of the sport. It won’t break the bank if you decide it’s not for you, and still doubles as a great fishing yak, too.

SunDolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

Review: This SunDolphin kayak is a really versatile model that is suitable for a variety of different water-based activities.

Use it as a recreational kayak, a fishing kayak, or – in this case – a hunting kayak.

It’s got a lot of things going for it including a large, removable storage container to the stern – which is ideal to pack all your hunting gear inside.

It’s a great all-rounder, tracking and paddling well while still being compact and lightweight enough to get you onto the water in double-quick time.

A large, open cockpit doesn’t restrict your movement and it’s easy to enter and exit safely and quickly if required.

Pros

  • Great price for the make.
  • Simple but practical design.
  • Easy to blind because of its size.

Cons

  • Too small for larger hunters.

Takeaway

A great little yak that is inexpensive yet highly versatile. You’ll be hard-pressed to find something better for the money and from such a reputable kayak company.

Lifetime Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak

Review: This is a tandem fishing kayak that continually crops up on reviews for just about anything to do with kayaking.

It’s definitely one of the best kayaks for dogs, anyway – but check out that link for more yaks that are awesome for our four-legged friends.

You’ll get the most out of duck hunting with a trusty pooch by your side, and the Lifetime tandem craft has plenty of space for you and Fido.

It can manage up to 3 people with a weight capacity of 500 lbs. It’s solidly built, with excellent stability for shooting/reeling in, and has multiple footrests for paddlers of all sizes.

You can’t go wrong for the price here, either.

Pros

  • Spacious and stable.
  • Ideal for dogs.
  • Paddles included.

Cons

  • Limited storage options.
  • Not built for speed.

Takeaway

Built like a tank, you’re getting a lot of yak here for your hard-earned cash. It’s great for sharing your favorite sport/pastime with a loved one – either furry or otherwise.

Beavertail Phantom Marsh Brown Duck Hunting Kayak

Review: I might be cheating slightly with this entry as it’s not strictly a kayak, but it’s got enough kayak features to warrant inclusion.

It’s super-stable with a catamaran style hull, so you’ve got peace of mind when shooting or throwing out lures and decoys.

The one-piece hull is foam filled for added strength, while the rugged polyethylene construction will certainly take a beating.

It has a huge, watertight storage box to the stern, a non-skid floor should you wish to stand up, and a weight capacity of 360 lbs. For the price, this could well be the best kayak for duck hunting available. If you can call it a kayak.

Pros

  • Quality construction.
  • Excellent storage.
  • Super-stable hull.

Cons

  • Comfortable seating is sold separately.
  • Weight capacity could have been higher.

Takeaway

As a kayak/boat hybrid, this has got a lot going for it with excellent potential. You might have to spend a bit more cash really kitting it out, though.

SunDolphin Boss SS Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak

Review: The SunDolphin Boss is another exceptionally sturdy craft with a catamaran hull, non-slip pads and a stand-up strap.

It’s ideal if you need to be on your feet on the water for whatever purpose, either shooting, dropping lures or casting/reeling in.

This yak packs in some great storage options, with two large, stern and bow tank wells with bungee cords and a quick-lock waterproof storage hatch.

The seat is super comfortable offering dual height positions depending on your personal preference.

With a large, open cockpit for total freedom of movement, you can easily walk on the deck if required.

The Boss offers a 500 lbs maximum weight capacity – and I’m not talking about Bruce Springsteen.

Pros

  • Great price for what you get.
  • Catamaran hull.
  • Plenty of storage space and options.

Cons

  • The seat won’t be suitable for everybody – it might need an upgrade.

Takeaway

Another excellent, versatile craft from SunDolphin, you won’t find a better kayak for that price. An outstanding price considering you can pay much, much more for similar features.

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-FK184

Review: The BKC consistently manufactures quality kayaks at affordable prices and this single-seater is no exception.

It’s compact and lightweight, offering you excellent maneuverability in the water while being easy to transport.

With superb storage options offering two watertight hatches at the bow and midship, and a large tank well with shock-cord rigging to the stern.

If fishing is more your game there’s plenty of rod holder options, but truth be told this yak is equally at home when duck hunting. It’s remarkably stable given its compact size, and it offers a maximum weight capacity of 330 lbs.

Pros

  • Excellent performance/stability for its size.
  • Good storage options.
  • Paddle included.
  • Choice of colors (although best go for the green camo scheme for duck hunting).

Cons

  • Might be too small for some.

Takeaway

For a mid-range hunting and fishing kayak you can’t go wrong with this – especially if you’re looking for something a bit more compact and lightweight.

Beavertail Final Attack Portable Pit Blind

Review: Again, not strictly a kayak but this Beavertail Final Attack boat has a super low profile in the water and is the ultimate stealth craft for stalking your prey.

It’s made from 100% thick and rugged roto-molded polyethylene, with a foam-filled inner structure for added strength and durability.

It has a built-in transom, so you can attach a motor with ease, while internally it offers plenty of space to store all your hunting gear and equipment.

It also includes low-profile wheels, so you can transport the boat easily to and from the water’s edge.

The Final Attack will take a maximum weight capacity of 420 lbs.

Pros

  • Specially made for duck hunting.
  • Super-low profile in the water.
  • Easy to transport.
  • Highly customizable.

Cons

  • Not at all versatile – a recreational kayak it ain’t.
  • Expensive to properly kit out.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for a very specific duck hunting aid, then this could well be the boat for you.

Easy to use as a static blind, you’ll bag plenty of waterfowl with this baby. It’s just maybe not ideal for a splash about with the kids.

Beavertail 2000 Series Stealth Twin Gun Sneak Boat

Review: We might as well include the next step up in the Beavertail range here with this tough-as-nails, roto-molded polyethylene sneak boat.

Offering a weight capacity of 450 lbs, it has a catamaran-style hull for great stability on the water, double interior gun racks and shell holders, a 360-degree swivel seat with folding backrest, and an awesome padded dog-platform for the pooch to sit on.

It’s designed for two people or one person and a dog, and it can be propelled with a push pole, paddles or an electric trolling motor.

There’s a water-resistant storage hatch to the stern of the craft, with plenty of scope for customization. Probably the best hunting kayak there is.

Pros

  • Packed with features.
  • Padded dog seat.
  • Customizable.

Cons

  • Not versatile for any other use.
  • Weight capacity should be higher.

Takeaway

As far as duck hunting vessels go, this looks like it’s almost military-grade.

I especially love the dog platform.It’s simply an outstanding inclusion on a hunting boat – because bringing a dog along seriously ups your game retrieval.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Angler Fishing Kayak

Review: The Sea Ghost is never too far away from kayak reviews because it’s a beautifully made craft that is packed with features.

At 13 feet it offers a great balance of speed and stability, with a pre-installed toe-controlled rudder system for longer days on the water.

There are plenty of decent storage options, including a large center console, two inch front oval hatch, rear hatch and large bungee cord rear tank well.

It’ll pack in an excellent 550 lbs maximum weight capacity, with loads of hardware for mounting any other accessories you might need for a day of fishing or hunting.

Pros

  • Packed with loads of useful features.
  • Fully customizable.
  • Rudder system.

Cons

  • Small, fiddly storage hatches – but it’s a minor quibble.

Takeaway

A terrific sit-on-top kayak that is ideal for hunting or fishing, the Sea Ghost continues to impress.

But then, Vibe Kayaks know exactly what they’re doing.

Old Town Predator 13 Fishing Kayak

Review: Old Town is the oldest kayak company in the world and they enter the fray here with their Predator model – which nearly always shows up on such water sporting reviews.

Where do I begin with the features here?

It includes super-comfortable seating with high and low options, loads of innovative watertight storage and tank wells, a slip-resistant eco-ridge deck and a support track foot-brace system. This thirteen-foot kayak has an exceptional 425-pound maximum load capacity while offering excellent performance and stability on the water.

Fully customizable, you can pimp the Predator out until your heart’s content.

Old Town makes some of the best and most attractive watercraft around – they are the James Bond of the kayaking world.

Pros

  • Excellent features throughout
  • Style, stability and performance.
  • Plenty of opportunities to customize.
  • Beautiful construction.

Cons

  • Double-check the load capacity just in case.

Takeaway

A gorgeous-looking yak that is clearly at home on the water, packing in loads of features, excellent storage and great performance to boot. Old Town have done it again.

BKC PK14 Tandem Pedal Drive Kayak

Review: Another entry for the Brooklyn Kayak Company, this is an excellent craft that is always included in a selection of the best tandem fishing kayaks. If you want more tandem options, check them out.

This BKC model is up there with the very best, however, offering loads of bells and whistles for your money. With a dual pedal drive system, it allows you and/or your partner to stalk silently through the water completely hands-free.

This also gives you outstanding speed and stability through rougher swells, with excellent tracking thanks to the long and narrow hull.

It’s packed with more features than I can list here and you’re sure to have the best day out on the water with this yak.

Top-quality stuff.

Pros

  • Dual drive system.
  • Great features.
  • Choice of colors (again – camo is the way forward).
  • Excellent performance/stability ratio.

Cons

  • It’s getting pricey.

Takeaway

Probably one of the best tandem hunting/fishing kayaks around, this really is a beautiful machine from the Brooklyn Kayak Company.

If you’ve got the cash, don’t be afraid to splash.

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler Kayak

Review: There simply aren’t enough superlatives to cover the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler – for me the best sit-on-top kayak for hunting there is – whether that’s fish or duck.

Its main feature is the powerful and silent Hobie Mirage Drive 180, with retractable fins and rudder system. You’ll be slicing through the water like a knife through butter and as quietly as a mouse.

Then there’s the seating design, which is arguably the best money can buy with four-way adjustability and boa lumbar support to keep you out there as long as you possibly want.

There’s a rectangular hatch with pivoting tackle management, large front hatch, and under-seat tackle/shell storage. You can pimp this monster to within an inch of its life, too.

Pros

  • Outstanding build quality across the board.
  • Packed with features.
  • Mirage Drive System.
  • Impeccable seating design.

Cons

  • Exorbitantly expensive.

Takeaway

Hobie are top of the food chain when it comes to their watercraft, and this is quite simply the best kayak for hunting and fishing on the market. If you’ve got a spare a lot of bucks, it doesn’t get any better than this.

How to Choose the Best Duck Hunting Kayak

There’s a lot to consider before just diving in and purchasing a duck hunting kayak.

Here’s a list of what you need to look for before making your decision.

Stability

Perhaps the most important thing when it comes to a duck hunting kayak – and a fishing kayak for that matter is how stable the craft will be on the water.

This is especially true when you’re taking your shot, possibly from a kneeling or standing position. The last thing you want is to be thrown off balance and potentially into the water.

Added to this, you need peace of mind when it comes to actually piloting the craft – perhaps through choppy waters or adverse conditions.

Here, you can easily sacrifice speed and distance and choose a hunting kayak that is going to be super-stable in the water.

While I’ve included a selection of very stable craft in the review above, for duck hunting, I’d personally lean towards a kayak with a catamaran-style hull.

And any kayak that specifically mentions you can stand in the craft is worth considering, too.

However, many hunters will drag their kayaks onto land or marsh – and shoot from a more stable position that simply out on the open water.

duck in water

Storage

Whether you’re hunting or fishing, for a day out enjoying either sport you’re going to need quite a lot of gear.

Your guns and ammo, your lures, baits, decoys, duck calls…whatever you like to bring out on your hunt you’ll want a place to store it.

Then there’s your own provisions, food, drinks and snacks – or anything else you like to bring with you for the day, such as extra clothing.

This is why I always advise looking at kayaks with both watertight storage hatches (the larger the better) and deep, wide tank wells with bungee cord webbing.

They’re excellent for storing tackle/ammo boxes, as well as coolers for your catch/game.

Stealth

One great advantage that kayaks have over many watercraft is how silently you can cut through the water in them.

As every hunter knows, stealth is a key skill to learn and master. It is essential to improve your chances of success – whatever you’re hunting.

And while for the most part you’re going to be still when actually shooting, it’s still worth bearing in mind that you should have a craft that isn’t going to upset the wildlife.

Kayaks with pedal drives are ideal in this instance. They’re silent, fast and hands-free.

Even sweeping with a paddle in the water makes a sound – and it’s much more effort which can take a toll at the end of a long day.

Of course, you’re always going to pay considerably more for the privilege, but if you’re really serious about kayak hunting or fishing, then this is the way to go.

And it’s also a lot more fun, too.

man preparing for kayak fishing trip

Blind/Camouflage/Kayak Color and Size

For a truly successful duck hunt, you should be near invisible on the water, in the reeds or marshland.

Having a luminous kayak is excellent for safety and recreational purposes – but it’s not going to do you any good here.

Kayaks with camo colors are ideal – browns, greens, sand, olive and other earthy tones that will suit the environment that you’re hunting in.

However, you’re going to need to ‘blind’ your craft if you really want to up your hunting game.

It’s a good idea to keep that in mind when choosing the size of your kayak – is it going to be easy to make it disappear?

You can make your own blind to fit your kayak, or you could buy a premade one. Just make sure it’s going to fit the craft you choose.

For a little more on this subject, check out the short but informative video below.

Room for the Pooch

Many duck hunters won’t leave home without their trusty four-legged-friend by their side.

Because they’re the ones that are going to collect in all your scores.

If you’re one such hunter, then you’ll need a kayak that caters for your dog as much as it caters for you.

Again, stability is an important factor, but so too is the actual amount of room you’re going to have on the yak for you, your dog and all your gear.

This is where I will always encourage someone to go for a tandem kayak. They’re larger, have a higher weight capacity and will ultimately be more comfortable for you and your dog.

Kayaks that say they are specifically built to cater for an animal also get my vote – so be on the lookout for those.

Versatility

It’s clear that certain hunting or fishing kayaks are purely designed for that activity alone.

Their soul purpose in life is for hunting, fishing or both.

Other models can be more of a hybrid however, and offer a variety of activities outside of just hunting and fishing (and yes, there are other things outside of hunting and fishing).

Take some time to consider what you’re going to be using the yak for. If it’s purely for the duck hunt, perhaps one of the stealth boats or coffin blinds would be better suited for you.

But if you also want to use it for recreational kayaking, those times when you don’t take the rods or guns out, then look for a kayak that will be suitable for other activities, too.

Personally, I’d choose something that is as versatile as possible so I can get the most out of it – whatever I fancy doing in the great outdoors when the notion takes me.

two men duck hunting

Cost

As you can see, these kayaks can range from budget-friendly to outlandishly expensive.

How much you pay entirely depends on you – but think about your skill level, how much use you’re going to get out of it and how much you can actually spend.

The more expensive models tend to be those with pedal drives and rudder systems – consider if you really need those to enjoy yourself out on the water – and to hunt/fish successfully.

Always buy the best kayak you can afford – and take good care of it so it lasts you for many years to come.

FAQs

Which is Better for Duck Hunting a Sit-in or Sit-on-Top Kayak?

Without a doubt, I would say a sit-on-top kayak is better for duck hunting, which is why they are the only type you’ll find in this review.

They’re much more stable than sit-in versions, and generally speaking, will offer more room and storage options. They’ll also be a lot less restrictive with an open cockpit that’s easier to enter and exit.

It’s hard to “come up shooting” from the position you’ll be in if using a sit-in kayak.

That being said, it’s not impossible – especially if you’re using the yak to paddle to a better area of ground or marshland.

As mentioned, many hunters won’t actually shoot from the water – but find somewhere on the bank to post up instead.

What Size Kayak Should I Use for Duck Hunting?

A good question. It can depend on personal preference, how much gear you’re carrying and how many people/animals are hunting.

Obviously, with more than one person and/or a dog joining in the fun, you should look for a larger, tandem kayak.

If you’re going out solo, even something as small as 9 feet will be perfectly adequate.

You don’t need to be too concerned with tracking and speed – as it’s unlikely you’ll be traveling any great distance, so long, thin touring kayaks are unsuitable.

Also, remember that you’re going to need to be able to camouflage your kayak. With larger models, it might be harder and more expensive to do that.

kayak in lake

What to Use to Cover a Kayak for Duck Hunting / How Best to Camo a Kayak?

It is essential that you learn how to “blind” your kayak as best as possible, blending in with the environment to maximize your chances of success.

As previously mentioned, it’s a good idea to start with a kayak that is painted in a camo color scheme.

Then it’s up to you how you blend the lines in so they don’t look out of place in your chosen hunting grounds.

Pre-made blinds are made to buy – so you can just get the correct size and style for your kayak and fit it over the top.

Or, you can go the DIY route and attach grass and foliage to your yak yourself. It’s a bit more effort but it can be a lot of fun and much cheaper.

Just make sure you’re choosing the correct color scheme for the environment.

Have a look at the video below for some more advice and ideas on how to make you and your kayak disappear.

Do I Need to Use a PFD While Duck Hunting?

Yes.

You absolutely need to use a PFD while duck hunting. You need to use a PFD while doing any water-based activity – regardless of how deep the water is.

But don’t be disheartened about this, there are some seriously awesome Personal Floatation Devices out there that can store loads of your gear, are super-comfortable and unrestrictive, and have the potential to save your life at the same time.

Many deaths occur on the waterways of the US and the world because people who actually own a PFD just happened to leave it at home that day.

Don’t play fast and loose with this – you have been warned!

What Else Do I Need to Wear for a Kayak Duck Hunt?

You can start by checking out these amazing kayak shoes – which will make your day in your yak that much more fun and enjoyable. There are some really cool ones on the market right now.

Aside from that and your PFD, you’ll want to be as camouflaged as possible.

Keep things light and breathable. Layer your clothes in winter and always avoid cotton which can get horribly wet and takes forever to dry.

A good waterproof layer is important – both jacket and pants – if you’re hunting in wet or windy weather.

But don’t forget the sunblock, sun hat and glasses when out on the water on a beautiful day. Even a few moments of exposure can do serious damage, and there’s no shade in the middle of the lake.

Summary

I hope this review has gone some way to helping you find the best duck hunting kayak that really fits the bill.

It’s a fun sport that, along with kayak fishing, is seriously growing in popularity. I for one am totally down.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or if there is any kayak you have particularly taken a shine to and why.

After all, you’d be quackers to miss out on it.

Happy hunting!