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Hunt Like a Pro: The Best Hunting Kayaks for Waterfowlers

The Best Hunting Kayaks for Waterfowlers

The Best Hunting Kayaks for Waterfowlers

Updated on 11/19/2023
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail đź‘‹ Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott

Every hunter understands the importance of having the appropriate gear to succeed in the field. This includes ammunition, firearms, camouflage gear, decoys, calls, and hunting kayaks, according to the most recent developments in waterfowling. Your objective is to get to places where other hunters cannot go and find birds that, once again, other hunters cannot see.

Investing in the most fantastic duck-hunting kayak in this situation makes perfect sense. But I was wondering whether such a thing as a kayak was explicitly designed for duck hunting. And if there is, what choices do you have at this point? Discover the solutions by reading this guide!

If you click a link on this page and proceed to make a purchase, we may be eligible for a commission, but doing so will not result in any additional charges. Discover more by reading on.

Why Use A Kayak For Duck Hunting, Anyway?

Duck Hunting Kayak

Duck Hunting Kayak

You might hesitate to try duck hunting from a kayak if you're an old-school duck hunter. But hear me out - there are some pretty sweet benefits to using a kayak for duck hunting!

Lightweight and Easy to Transport: Kayaks are smaller and lighter than most other vessels, making them easy to transport and launch almost anywhere. This means you're not limited to where you can hunt, whether open water, marshes, little coves, or secluded spots.

Stealthy and Quiet: Kayaks are also stealthy and can move quickly over the water while being almost entirely silent. This makes it easier to sneak up on ducks while paddling in a kayak than a louder Jon boat.

Affordable: Even the cheapest Jon boat is often more expensive than a duck-hunting kayak. You can get a lot more bang for your buck with a kayak, making it an easy choice for those on a budget.

Versatile: Kayaks have the potential to be more versatile than other watercraft. You can outfit your kayak with all your preferred equipment and accessories and transform it into a hunting rig, go kayak fishing, or enjoy leisure paddling.

So, if you're looking for a new way to hunt ducks and enjoy the water, consider trying duck hunting from a kayak!

When Choosing The Best Hunting Kayak For Duck, What Are The Important Features You Need To Look For?

Duck Hunting Kayak

Duck Hunting Kayak

Because kayaks come in various forms and sizes, specific models are more suited than others for hunting waterfowl. As a first step, you should determine your needs, and then we can determine which kayak would be the best choice. To ensure you pick the right kayak, identify your needs first.

However, you shouldn't restrict your search to specialized duck-hunting kayaks unless necessary. As long as they possess the appropriate characteristics and features, kayaks that can be used for fishing and hunting may be as remarkable as the best.

Durability: Kayaks Used For Duck Hunting Should Be Able To Withstand A Few Knocks And Scratches

When looking for the finest kayak for duck hunting, you should prioritize selecting one that is both long-lasting and of high overall build quality. Your kayak will be put through its paces if you paddle through waters with shallow depths in pursuit of prey, as you will most likely collide with rocks, logs, and other obstacles presented to you by the surrounding environment.

It only makes sense to look for a durable, trustworthy, and long-lasting kayak if you want it to withstand that kind of punishment and emerge unscathed from experience. In light of this, I would suggest a structure made of high-density polyethylene, ideally rotomolded, with a layer that is resistant to the effects of ultraviolet light to provide hull protection during those many hours spent on the water.

And unlike what you would think, this does not rule out the possibility of using inflatable hunting kayaks. These days, inflatable kayaks are surprisingly sturdy and long-lasting, which can surprise you.

Improve Your Hunting Performance Through The Use Of Camouflage

Waterfowl Hunting From The Kayak!

You must take refuge in your plastic boat to avoid being seen by the ducks. And as utterly absurd as it may have sounded, the first rule of duck hunting is always to have an element of surprise in mind:

It is essential for successful hunting to sneak up on prey unaware of your presence and make your move without being seen.

Therefore, you are going to require a kayak that has a low profile and can fit in with the natural environment.

Likely, a coat of camouflage paint or, at the least, a hull painted tan or green will be sufficient to complete the task at hand. This will depend on the surroundings. On the other hand, if you want to take your camouflage skills to the next level, you may turn some kayaks into an on-water version of duck hunting blinds by adding the appropriate accessories.


Stability And Maneuverability Are Also Essential For The Shooting Platform You Choose

If you have any prior experience with kayaking, you already know how unstable and top-heavy some of them can be. I won't bother trying to convince you otherwise. However, the last thing you want to do is get into an unstable kayak prone to capsize before heading out on a hunting excursion. Unstable kayaks are a liability for any paddler, but they are especially problematic for hunters who want a steady platform from which to aim.

This gets me to the second point I want to make:

When searching for the ideal kayak for duck hunting, stability is almost certainly the most critical quality.

Remember that the beam's width and the hull's form will determine how stable or unstable the kayak will be. It's as easy as that; the more broad and flat the bottom of the kayak's hull is, the more balanced and stable it will be.

Although you shouldn't sacrifice too much of the boat's maneuverability—a problem that sometimes arises with bigger kayaks—stability should still be your first concern.

Consider All Of Your Hunting Gear When Thinking About The Onboard Storage And Weight Capacity

Regarding duck hunting kayak setup, a kayak without dedicated onboard storage space will not do you much good – or serve its function very well – on a waterfowl hunting excursion. This is because specialized onboard storage space is necessary for duck-hunting kayak setup. Said, a kayak that doesn't have any storage space isn't going to be very useful. However, while you are out in the field hunting ducks, having additional space for your equipment — and a lot of it – becomes even more critical:

On top of your personal belongings, your kayak needs several practical storage compartments where you may keep things like ammunition, a gun, baits, decoys, and lures.

In a perfect world, the possibilities for onboard storage would consist of watertight hatches, bungee deck rigging, cargo nets, gear mounts, and tank wells.

It is of equal significance to determine whether or not the kayak has the maximum load capacity required to carry all of that additional weight. The most fantastic duck-hunting kayaks can take more than 500 pounds of gear, but anything that weighs more than 350 pounds should be enough in capacity.

The Top 8 Kayak Options For Duck Hunting Compared And Analyzed

1. Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Duck Hunting Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • A large cockpit with a storage hatch in the front and bungee rigging in the back
  • A satisfactory balance between dependability and performance
  • Option for hunters on a tighter budget that is still affordable

Things we don't like:

  • It's possible that larger paddlers or those who carry a lot of gear won't be able to handle the 300-pound limit.
  • It does not have sufficient support for standing on it.
  • There are few solutions available for dry storage.
  • There are moments when the tracking is a little bit sloppy.
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Read full review
  • Award: Best Budget Duck Hunting Kayak
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars is our rating.
  • Cost: Five out of Five Stars

The Escape 12 Angler from Riot Kayaks is one of your best alternatives if you want a kayak that offers good value for the money without requiring too many concessions. I do not doubt that your purse will agree with me. This sit-on-top kayak is 12 feet long and weighs 68.2 pounds. It is constructed out of rotomolded polyethylene, which gives it both rigidity and strength. However, despite its general durability, weight distribution, and breadth of 30 inches, the Escape 12 is not sturdy enough to support stand-up hunting.

In addition, the maximum weight of 300 pounds is not something that excites me very much. It has a front hatch and back deck rigging, but for a significant person like myself, who weighs 230 pounds, the capacity isn't enough to hold us together with our belongings.

Specifications And Data

  • Construction made from rotomolded polyethylene
  • The dimensions are 12 feet by 2.5 feet.
  • Weighs 68.2 pounds
  • 300 pounds of carrying capacity

Even though it has certain flaws, the Escape 12 Angler is still a worthwhile investment in most circumstances. It is inexpensive and makes few concessions regarding the product's overall quality.

2. Brooklyn Kayak Company - BKC PK13 Duck Hunting Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • A total of many storage possibilities and a carrying capacity of 550 pounds
  • Hunting and fishing are also successful uses for it.
  • The platform for hunting is very steady.
  • Hands-free propulsion is possible thanks to the pedal-drive system.

Things we don't like:

  • Because of its relatively large size, stowing it away and transporting it could be difficult.
  • Due to the size of the vehicle, maneuvering in confined locations might be challenging.
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Read full review
  • Award: Overall Best Duck Hunting Kayak
  • Rating: Five out of five stars
  • Cost: Five out of Five Stars

When you're in the heat of a hunt, you might have difficulty keeping track of your paddle, decoys, and shotgun. The pedal-powered Brooklyn BKC PK13 is ideal for you if you want to paddle without using your hands and remain completely undetected by other paddlers.

The rotomolded high-density polyethylene used in constructing this 13-footer pedal kayak offers it the much-needed durability it requires, even though it weighs a not-so-lightweight 80 pounds. Kayaks are camouflaged in marsh colors, so they have a pattern resembling marshes' design. The weight, however, should not be a deal-breaker due to the stability provided by the 33.25-inch-wide hull and the on-deck storage room.

It has a tank well with bungee tie-downs that can serve as vegetation straps and two hatches, accessory plates capable of holding a gun mount, and a remarkable 550-pound weight capacity overall. Both hatches may be used to access the inside of the vehicle.

Specifications And Data

  • Construction using rotomolded high-density polyethylene material
  • Measures 13 x 2.8 feet
  • Weighs 80 pounds
  • 550 pounds of carrying capacity

I confidently recommend the Brooklyn BKC PK13 to everyone, even those who like hunting or fishing. It is trustworthy in every manner, and a dream for someone passionate about hunting comes true.

3. Pelican Sentinel 100X Duck Hunting Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • Good maneuverability and stability for casting.
  • The cockpit is well-appointed, and there are several onboard storage space choices, including a compartment that can be removed.
  • It contains a variety of rod holders in addition to two eyelets for securing accessories.
  • Standard motor compatible.
  • The hull design provides a lot of stability.
  • It is lightweight.

Things we don't like:

  • The seat does not have nearly as much padding as other seats.
  • A paddle is not included and must be purchased separately.
  • When used for fishing, the weight capacity might be somewhat increased.
  • Storage space is limited.
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Read full review
  • Winner of the Award for the Best Duck Hunting Kayak for Beginners
  • Result: Four out of Five Stars
  • Cost: Five out of Five Stars

Pelican's Sentinel 100X Angler is yet another choice that is adaptable enough to be used as a duck hunting kayak, and it is immediately apparent why this is the case:

Its 30-inch width and multi-chine flat bottom hull ensure the kayak's stability, contributing to the RAM-X polyethylene construction that maintains its weight at a modest 44 pounds.

It comes with a detachable ExoPak pocket, bungee rigging, and a mesh deck cover, in addition to other storage choices that are satisfactory enough. On the other hand, the maximum weight capacity of 275 pounds isn't something that excites me. With that kind of weight restriction, it will be a tremendous effort for one person to accommodate all of their gear; it will be an even bigger issue if you are a large man or a hefty guy.

To suggest that Pelican failed to meet expectations in this regard is an understatement, given that the Sentinel 100X was intended to be used primarily for fishing.

Specifications And Data

  • Construction made of polyethylene
  • It is 9.5 feet long and 2.5 feet wide.
  • It weighs a total of 44 pounds
  • a maximum load of 275 pounds

Pelican's Sentinel 100X is a rigged but lightweight kayak. It might be an option for you to consider if you are starting kayak duck hunting and are looking for something a little more beginner-friendly.

4. Lifetime Duck Hunting Kayak, 10 Feet In Length

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • The hull is both comprehensive and sturdy.
  • A tandem kayak that is relatively short and low in weight
  • It contains a deck rigging, as well as a storage hatch on the back
  • Suitable for solo and tandem paddling
  • Installation for a trolling motor mount

Things we don't like:

  • Because of the way the hull is constructed, speed might be altered.
  • It's a little tight for two duck hunters here, to be honest.
  • It is difficult to proceed linearly.
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Read full review
  • Award: Best Tandem Duck Hunting Kayak
  • Result: Four out of Five Stars
  • Cost: Five out of Five Stars

The rotomolded polyethylene construction of the hull and the 36-inch beam width of the Lifetime 10-foot tandem kayak work together to ensure the kayak's stability. You will need to sacrifice some speed in exchange for this, but given that it already includes a mount for a trolling motor, I don't think that will be a problem for you.

The tandem kayak weighs only 73 pounds, which is surprisingly light for a vessel of this type. Regarding the onboard storage space available to you, there is a hatch with a diameter of 6 inches, bungee deck rigging, and a capacity of 500 pounds. Its brown marsh color will make it easier for the kayak to blend in with its surroundings, and if combined with a quiet trolling motor, it will provide a level of stealth comparable to that of a ninja.

There isn't much space for criticism here since Lifetime developed a pretty strong kayak. In comparison, I thought it was too congested for two people to be there simultaneously.

Specifications And Data

  • Construction made from rotomolded polyethylene
  • 10 feet long by 3 feet wide
  • Weights 73 pounds
  • 500 pounds of carrying capacity

Check out this Lifetime kayak available at a low price if stability is one of your top considerations, as it should be, and you are planning duck hunting outings for two people—one of the most effective kayaks for going out birding with a friend

5. The Sevylor Coleman Colorado Hunting Duck Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • Construction that is resistant to puncturing and the use of many chambers
  • Inflatable and low-weight for convenience in portability
  • Extremely broad in comparison to its length.
  • A trolling motor may be installed if desired.

Things we don't like:

  • Larger paddlers may find that the 470-pound capacity is insufficient for their needs.
  • There is not enough stiffness in the floor for standing.
  • There are insufficient storage possibilities for two persons carrying hunting equipment.
  • A shooting pain looking for something lightweight, portable, and affordable may find that the Sevylor Coleman Colorado is an appropriate entry-level duck hunting kayak for their needs.
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  • Award: Best Inflatable Duck Hunting Kayak
  • Result: Four out of Five Stars
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars for the price

You remember that I mentioned the existence of inflatable duck-hunting kayaks, don't you? The Coleman Colorado from Sevylor is an inflatable duck-hunting kayak designed for two hunters with excellent portability and user-friendliness. This Sit-On-Top kayak is designed to withstand the rigors of hunting situations thanks to its 18-gauge P.V.C. construction, several air chambers, nylon cover, and tarpaulin bottom. Despite all, it only weighs a scant 32.9 pounds.

The kayak's spaciousness and stability are enhanced by the kayak's width of 39 inches. The lack of firmness in this inflatable kayak makes it impossible to photograph while standing up in it, and thus that option is not available. Regarding capacity, a weight restriction of 470 pounds for an inflatable kayak appears to be about right unless you are two huge men carrying a lot of supplies.

Specifications And Data

  • 18-gauge P.V.C. construction
  • 10.75 feet in width and 3.25 feet in depth
  • Weighs 32.9 pounds
  • 470 pounds of carrying capacity


6. Hobie 2020 Mirage Pro Angler 14 Duck Hunting Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • They are designed with a pedal-drive system for hands-free, silent propulsion.
  • Large amounts of storage space on board, in addition to a load-bearing capacity
  • It has a steady and dependable vibe.

Things we don't like:

  • The price tag could end up being a deal-breaker for some people.
  • It's very hefty, particularly when loaded to its maximum capacity.
  • You will probably need a trailer for transportation.
Show more
Read full review
  • Award: Best Pedal-Drive Duck Hunting Kayak
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars is our rating.
  • Cost: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Experienced hunters may discover that entry-level kayaks aren't up to the task at hand; for these hunters, the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 might be the best duck hunting kayak available:

This Sit-On-Top pedal kayak is a beast because of its rotomolded polyethylene structure, which is as durable as a nail, its 38-inch-wide beam, which boosts stability, and its camouflage-colored, rigged-and-ready design. In addition, it is equipped with the MirageDrive 180 technology, which allows for silent and hands-free propulsion.

It features many storage possibilities, including numerous hatches, and most importantly, it has a weight capacity of 600 pounds to go along with all of those storage options. However, the kayak weighs 124.5 pounds, which does not include any attachments; this might be a deal breaker for some people.

Specifications And Data

  • Construction made from rotomolded polyethylene
  • It has dimensions of 13.6 feet by 3.2 feet.
  • Weighs 124.5 pounds
  • a capacity of 600 pounds

Do you need a high-performance pedal kayak that is stealthy, has enough space, and has everything you need for successful hunting trips? Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 is your best bet! It's one of the best kayaks you'll find anywhere, period.


7. Final Assault on the Beavertail – A Portable Pit Blind Duck Hunting Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • A low-profile design that is multi-functional and may be used both on land and in water
  • Wheels that are built into the product make transporting much simpler.
  • Allows for the installation of a motor
  • Extra-wide deck with exceptional balance and support

Things we don't like:

  • It does not come with any specialized storage compartments of any kind.
  • There are no mounting or fitting points for hunting equipment.
  • The additional breadth results in increased resistance and makes it more challenging to manage.
  • It's a seat that's a little awkward to sit in.
Show more
Read full review
  • Award: Best Multi-Functional Duck Hunting Kayak
  • Result: Four out of Five Stars
  • Cost: Five out of Five Stars

I know this dark object, which resembles a coffin with a lid, does not appear like a kayak. However, give the Beavertail Final Attack Pit Blind an opportunity to wow you with its versatile design by giving it a shot:

The rotomolded polyethylene hull has a low profile design and an extra-wide beam that measures 44 inches, making it suitable for land and water usage. How's that for adaptability and fitting in with the environment?

Initially, I was concerned about the Final Attack's weight of 85 pounds; however, the integrated wheels simplify transport. Additionally, it has a weight capacity of 420 pounds, which works very well with the storage space there. However, do not anticipate the presence of any specific storage containers.

Specifications And Data

  • Construction made from rotomolded polyethylene
  • The dimensions are 3.7 by 8 feet.
  • Weights 85 pounds
  • 420 pounds of carrying capacity

The Beavertail Final Attack can be used as a "kayak" for duck hunting, and when necessary, it can transform into a land-based duck hunting blind that is portable, what I call a versatile waterfowl kayak.


8. Wilderness Systems Radar 135 Duck Hunting Kayak

Our Overall Review
Read full review
  • Winner of the Award for the Best Three-Power Duck Hunting Kayak
  • Rating: Five out of five stars
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars for the price

Did you believe I would bring this to a close without mentioning at least one Wilderness Systems tri-powered kayak compatible with paddles, motors, and pedal drives? Pedal kayak, tick. Motorized kayak, tick. Paddle kayak, tick. If only it had wings, this kayak could soar into the air!

It has a sit-on-top hull made of polyethylene in a camouflage pattern that is 13.5 feet long and 34 inches wide. Additionally, it utilizes S.M.A.R.T. technology, which emphasizes stability, mobility, acceleration, responsiveness, and tracking. This provides a valuable indication of the Radar 135's stability as a hunting platform.

It ships with the award-winning AirPro Max Seating system from Wilderness Systems, making it simple for any duck hunter to find the ideal posture for shooting. In addition, it has many storage choices, such as two dry storage hatches and a big tank well. 

It also has accessory rails, which are appropriate for a gun mount and a Flex Pod O.S. console system, and it has a capacity of 475 pounds—the perfect waterfowl kayak for duck hunters that need a lot of storage space for their gear. At ninety pounds, it is by no means a lightweight item, but the outfitting does some justification for the bulkiness.

Specifications And Data

  • Construction made of polyethylene
  • It is 13.5 feet long and 2.8 feet wide.
  • Weights 91 kg
  • 475 pounds of carrying capacity

When using the Radar 135, there is no need to choose between paddling, pedaling, or using a motor since you can do all three simultaneously. It's no surprise that this high-performance hunter kayak is so popular with all these qualities; it's undoubtedly a state-of-the-art kayak that any duck hunter should consider!


When it comes to duck-hunting kayaks, do you still believe that a waterfowl kayak cannot compete with your tried-and-true Jon boat (also known as a John Boat)? I guess I was wrong about it. Selecting the ideal duck boat is the most crucial step when hunting ducks from a kayak. The perfect duck boat is sturdy, robust, easily maneuverable, has ample storage space, and can carry significant weight. And yes, almost every kayak you saw today can fit that description, although to varying degrees, depending on the model.

However, only one kayak can call itself the finest duck-hunting kayak, the Brooklyn BKC PK13 Duck Hunting Kayak. It has a capacity of 550 pounds, is sturdy and durable, and depends on a stealthy pedal-drive system for silent propulsion. Additionally, it has a keen ability to blend in when it is required. It provides a very stable platform for hunting, which is perhaps the most crucial benefit of this device. It comes with everything a hunter of waterfowl from a kayak needs to have a good outing.



Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best kayaks for duck hunting?

Some popular options for duck hunting kayaks include the Old Town Castine 140, the Perception Pescador Pro 12, and the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120.

Do I need a special type of kayak for duck hunting?

While any kayak can be used for duck hunting, a sit-on-top kayak with a stable design and a comfortable seat is ideal for this purpose.

Can I use a pedal drive kayak for duck hunting?

Yes, pedal drive kayaks are a popular choice for duck hunting as they allow for hands-free propulsion and easy maneuverability.

Is it legal to hunt ducks from a kayak?

The legality of hunting from a kayak varies by state, so it is important to check the specific regulations in your area.

Can I bring a hunting dog with me in my kayak?

Yes, many duck hunting kayaks have room for a hunting dog and include features such as dog platforms or tie-down points.

Can I mount a trolling motor on my kayak for duck hunting?

Yes, some kayaks are designed to accommodate a trolling motor and can be used as a useful tool in duck hunting. It's important to check the regulations regarding the use of trolling motor in your hunting area.