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Best Fishing Kayak Under 500 (2018) – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide


In this extensive buyer’s guide, we’ll rank and provide overviews for the best fishing kayaks under 500 in 2018. The guide separates the fishing kayaks by feature-set to help you find the best fishing kayak for your needs.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person
Best Budget

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    Rod and paddle holders great for fishing
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    Great for fishing on lakes

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 
Best Bang For Buck

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    Spacious cockpit area
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    Sits tall people very well
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    Very easy to enter or exit
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    Very stable

Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish n Dive Package
Best Quality

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    Several spots for mounting gear
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    Front and rear bungees
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    Great for tall people

Best Fishing Kayak Under 500

Do you want the best fishing kayak on the market? Well, the good news is that, in our opinion, you don’t have to spend over $1,000 to get a very decent one. That’s because of the fishing kayak reviews we have done, some of our favorite kayaks are in this sub-500 price range. 

These include the Old Town Vapor, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2 and the Malibu Sierra kayaks. You might be surprised to see that we included an inflatable kayak among our recommended list, but trust us that the Coleman-2 is as good if not better than many other more expensive fishing kayaks out there.

In terms of price-to-performance, the Old Town Vapor and the Colorado 2 are all considered to be fantastic fishing kayaks. In the end, this price range is full of exceptional kayaks that aren’t overpriced but still get the job done. Just as we hoped.

Comparison Chart

Below is the table that shows the top fishing kayaks under $500 for 2018. Each and every kayak was chosen after careful reviews by specialists.

Fishing Kayak






Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Kayak

(Editor's Choice)






Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish n Dive Package 






Deeper Smart Soner PRO+





sun dolphin journey fishing sit on top kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey 10'

Sit On Top




By keeping this list updated and taking feedback from the community, this will be a great resource for anyone looking to get a fishing kayak. I also highly recommend you read my Fishing Kayak Buying Guide as well as our more detailed guide of the top fishing kayaks before making a purchase.

1.  Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak


There's really only a few names atop the sub-500 range... and the Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10 is definitely one of them.

If there is a fishing kayak out there that beats out the Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10, it isn't by much, and among the other top kayaks in this category, the Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10 is priced better than most of them. NOTE: The shipping cost might tip your final cost over the $500 price.

    NOTE: The shipping cost might tip your final cost over the $500 price.



  • Glide Track foot brace system
  • Stern day well
  • Molded-in cockpit tray with cup holder
  • Molded-in paddle rest
  • Built in carry handles
  • Thigh pads
  • Drain plug
  • Skid plate

LENGTH:  10'

WIDTH:  28.5"

WEIGHT:  47 Ib.


DECK HEIGHT: 16.75" 

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

The Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10 is perhaps one of the best entry-level fishing kayaks currently for sale. And, at just under $400 for the boat (or a little over $500 including shipping) the Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10 is easily one of the most affordable kayaks available. 

There’s a lot to like with this kayak, as it’s fairly easy-to-use, it offers a lightweight shell, and its cockpit space is very generous for your fishing gear. 

For the price, the Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10 also offers good quality polyethylene and can accommodate up to 325 Ibs easily.  Some big pluses with this kayak are features including knee pads, paddle holders, carry handles and glide track foot brace system.  

We, however, were not completely wowed by the Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10 because we found the seat and the drain plug lacking.  The seat has thin padding that makes long travel on the kayak a challenge, thus we recommend looking into getting elevated seats instead.  This is, however, an easier problem to fix compared to the drain plug issue – it is a permanent problem that you need to be aware of and make adjustments for. Because of its location, the boat doesn’t drain water effectively.

In the end, the Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10 is a solid kayak for the price and will serve as the perfect entry-level fishing kayak for you to learn more and get your feet (not your bum) wet in the fun sport of kayak fishing. 



  • Spacious, big cockpit and accommodates big and small anglers
  • Cup holder
  • Very easy to get in and out of the boat
  • Very stable
  • Storage is limited
  • Seat design and padding makes it unsuitable for long sessions
  • Difficult to drain because of location of drain plugs. Take a sponge along

2.  Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish And Dive Sit-in


In our review of the Sierra 10 Pro, we were surprised with how easy it is handle and how much room and storage it offers for the price. If you can look past the thin seat or buy a better seat and you have a decent amount of money to spend, then we highly recommend that you go get this kayak. 



  • Tank well
  •  Extra large cockpit
  •  2 rear flush rod holders
  • Bow and stern carry handles
  •  Adjustable foot-peg footrests



WEIGHT: 45 Ibs  





Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish And Dive Sit-in

When we reviewed the Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10, we came to the conclusion that lacking a very comfortable seat isn’t the end of the world for a fishing kayak. We also learned how valuable having a kayak with a very spacious cockpit and ease-to-use is for fishing.

The Malibu Sierra sits in the same boat as the Old Town Canoes & Kayak 10 in that it is also well built, incredibly easy to use and comfortable to fish from for several hours. It boasts generous storage space inside the cockpit with bungees on the front and the rear of the boat thus giving the angler ample storage for fishing gear.  It is definitely on the shortlist of candidates for the best fishing kayak for beginners on a budget. 

So, while it lacks a dry hull storage, it kind of compensates with some other great features including two flush rod holders with mounts for fish finders, extra cockpit space for fishing crates to hold your gear and a generous weight capacity of up to 325Ibs. In addition, expect to enjoy the adjustable foot braces and seats of the Malibu Sierra.

So, ultimately, if you value ease-of-use, reliability, some functional features to make your fishing experience fun without emptying your pocket, then the Malibu Sierra is definitely an option you’ll want to consider. 



  • Several spots for mounting lots of gear
  • Ample storage in cockpit
  • Front and rear bungees to hold extra cargo
  • Enough room for tall people
  • No dry storage

3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak


You will be excused if you mistook the Coleman Colorado fishing kayak for a canoe rather than a rugged fishing kayak. Sevylor, the manufacturers of the kayak, did a great job rigging this boat particularly for fishing. Just don't get carried away and try to stand while casting.  For the ultimate experience using the Coleman Colorado, consider mounting a trolling motor to the kayak so that you can even pack in more hours on the water and fish to your heart's content.



  • Berkley quick set rod holders
  • Paddle holders
  • Carry bag and pressure gauge
  • Sevylor trolling motor fittings
  • Mesh storage side pockets
  • LENGTH:  10'9"

    WIDTH:  39" 

    WEIGHT:  41 Ibs 

    MAX CAPACITY:  470 Ibs

    Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak

    The Coleman Colorado 2-Person Kayak is an inflatable fishing kayak, easy to store, transport and maintain. It can easily be operated by one person, and it is great for fishing trips on the lakes, slow rivers, ponds or bays.  

    The kayak comes packed in the bag, and it is easy to inflate and deflate it and pack it again. However, unlike other leading inflatable kayak models, the Coleman Colorado does not come with a pump, but you’ll get a pressure gauge which is equally very useful.

    The Coleman Colorado has multiple separated air chambers, which prevents the boat from deflation if one of the chambers is punctured by accident. However, that is not likely to happen because this kayak is made of waterproof tarpaulin with PVC nylon cover that provides additional protection.

    The designers of this kayak took every precautionary measure to make it safe by adding the double-lock inflation system that is guaranteed by the manufacturer not to leak air. In addition, it has the capacity to carry 470 lbs. which is more than enough for two people and some fishing gear.

    The Coleman Colorado’s seats are removable and adjustable, and you can position them anywhere in the boat. If you want to make your fishing experience more comfortable, you can add the trolling motor and you also have paddle holders that can secure the paddles and rod holders that provide hands-free fishing.

    Sevylor Colorado Kayak is equipped with many useful accessories like pockets that can keep your accessories dry and a lot of D-rings where you can attach your dry-bags or equipment.

    The biggest problem with this model is that it does not come with the paddles or the pump so you have to get them separately. The seats also do not provide enough back support for taller people, but they work great for women. Some customers also complain about having trouble with casual paddling because their paddles were always hitting the pop up rod holders. 

    The Coleman Colorado is easy to set up as it takes only a couple of minutes. So you can bring it with you to any location. After the fishing, it dries out very fast so you can pack it in almost immediately without wasting any time. It is also easy to get in and out of the water.

    In conclusion, we find the Coleman Colorado to be very stable and is easily maneuverable on rivers and lakes and since it has the width of 9 ft it is almost impossible to flip it. It works well for both tandem and single paddlers. It is is a great solution if you have to travel a long time to get to your location and it will make your life easier.



    • Rod and paddle holders are great for fishing
    • Great for fishing on lakes
    • Can be stored very easily
    • Easily customizable
    • Single or tandem paddler use
    • Very stable with generous maximum weight capacity
    • Windy conditions easily blows the kayak off 
    • Rod holders get in the way when paddling
    • Not fast 
    • Does not come with a pump nor a paddle

    4.  Sun Dolphin Journey 10' Kayak   


    We've have always liked fishing kayaks from Sun Dolphin. If you're a beginner or intermediate level angler, then this sit-on-top fishing Kayak might be exactly what you're looking for. For example, the 10 foot long and 30 inches wide solo seater is great for paddling through beautiful lakes and rivers, making your way to those breathtaking, excluded fishing spots.  And, compared to some of the Tier 2 and 3 SOT kayaks, it is priced fairly well. 



    • 2 Flush mount rod holders aft
    • One swivel rod holder
    • Hands-free electronic console (Bluetooth speaker & dry bag optional)
    • Shock cord deck rigging
    • Large open cockpit w/t adjustable padded seat.

    ENGTH:  10'

    WIDTH:  30" 

    WEIGHT:  44 Ibs

    Max  Capacity: 250 Ibs

    Deck Height: 11"

    Sun Dolphin Journey 10′ Kayak

    What gives this kayak incredible stability is the fact that it’s built using special UV-stabilised Foriflex High-density polyethylene. Its hard-shell structure and a large open cockpit with adjustable padded seating further appeals to many owners. 

    This gives it that extra bit of flexibility you will be thankful for. 

    A strong selling point is the seating area. It has well-protected thigh pads, ample storage, adjustable foot braces, short cord deck rigging and paddle holder. These are all features that add to the convenience factor of this beauty. 

    I tend to travel a lot and if you’re like me then you will love the lightweight of the kayak and how easy it is to transport. 

    On top of that, the paddler size also makes it ideal for the average or larger sized adult. Oh, the boat can carry a maximum weight of 250 pounds. Very cool. 

    Another big strong selling point of this fishing kayak is the fact that it’s not very expensive when compared with other models in its class. You can find it for less than $400, and that for me is money well spent. 

    So, if you aren’t looking for a purely recreational kayak, and you don’t mind the Sun Dolphin Journey’s tan color, then this sit-on-top fishing kayak competes well with other kayaks in this tier.  Our only reason for holding back on fully endorsing the Trio 11 is that the manufacturer hasn’t joined the high (elevated) seat trend as these kayaks would perform very well with them.



  • Great for lakes, rivers and flatwater
  • Great value for money
  • Seating area enhances comfort
  • Lightweight and easy to carry or transport
  • Good for larger paddlers also
  • Good stability
    • Seat could be elevated like most top sit on top kayaks
    sun dolphin reviews sit on top kayak
    sun dolphin journey fishing sit on top kayak

    Contribute To This List of The Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500

    If you have experience with a particular kayak and you want to contribute a kayak review to this list, please help us out and go to the comment section and post which kayak you have and why it's one of the best fishing kayaks in this price range on the market. With kayak fishing being an affordable hobby that can get expensive also and there being so many different kayaks out there, it's tough to get a chance to review all of the different options. 

    So, by helping us out and telling us about your experience with your fishing kayak, this list can be made even better and more extensive for those who are looking to get into kayak fishing.


    The fishing kayaks above are the best in the market right now in the under $500 price range. They all have incredible features, are durably designed and, have the ideal price to value ratios in our opinion. 

    With any type of kayak you are purchasing, whether it is an inflatable kayak or a hard sit-on-top kayak, we always recommend looking for durability above all else. What good is a kayak if after just the first few uses it falls apart? You need one built by a reliable company and one that is going to last you a long time, which all four kayaks above have in spades!

    If we had to choose our favorite fishing kayak from the list above it would be the Old Town Vapor 10 Kayak. We believe this kayak has an edge when compared to the others, just because of its rich features specifically for anglers. Whether you are experienced or a beginner, this kayak is going to do the job for you.

    We strongly encourage you to go to the store in person and check these out for yourself. While it is great to purchase them online, even more, it is great to test them out in person. This is going to avoid disappointment, so at least test them in store and then purchase them online if you can find a better price.

    We wish you all the best in your future kayak fishing and hope you make a purchase that you can feel happy about. Stay safe out on the water, and most of all, have fun!

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