The most expensive kayaks on the market are a result of innovation and modern technology.
These premium vessels only use the highest quality materials to ensure durability.
They also adopt cutting-edge techniques to reconstruct past kayak types. As such, you can expect a more robust vessel that meets your expectations.
Furthermore, many of these expensive kayaks come with numerous features. They include high weight capacities and vast storage spaces for your convenience.
With all these benefits in mind, they warrant a high price tag.
But depending on your needs, they might be worth the investment.
Below, we will take a look at the most premium kayaks today. These products are either fishing or recreational vessels, ranging from $900 up to around $8,000.
We also included a brief explanation of the differences between the two and a buying guide to help you make the right purchase.
Without further ado, let’s dive right into the article!
Most Expensive Fishing Kayaks on the Market
6. Jackson Coosa FD
Source: Jackson Adventures
Established in 2004, Jackson Kayak is one of the leading brands that offer quality fishing kayaks.
The Coosa FD is one of their most premium kayak models.
It borrows the hull design and deck layout found on Jackson’s best-selling Coosa line. As such, it can handle both deep and shallow waters with ease.
The main highlight, however, is the Flex Drive 3D. This system allows hands-free propulsion that makes it easier to navigate waters for fishing.
There is also an option to upgrade to a Flex Drive E motor system. It is ideal for those who prefer using a motor-powered fishing kayak.
What’s more, the Coosa FD features a fore-aft trimming and High Ergo Seat Frame. These give you the most comfortable position inside the vessel.
The high-end kayak even includes a hatch seal for keeping your storage space dry. It ensures your items are safe from water intrusion and damage.
On top of these features, it includes a universal rod staging solution from YakAttack. It enables you to store most fishing reels, from spinning to casting types and even fly rods.
The Coosa FD is not only among the most expensive, but it’s also one of the best fishing kayaks on the market.
5. Jackson Big Rig
Source: Jackson Adventures
The next expensive boat on our list also comes from Jackson Kayak.
The Big Rig boasts the best stability among Jackson’s line of kayaks. It can handle weights up to 550 lbs, ideal for heavier individuals.
It also features dual rod tubes on both sides of the kayak and large rod troughs. Together with the thermoformed rod-staging risers found beside the seat, these protect and organize your fishing gear.
Moreover, there are large and easy-open latches for storing personal items.
The bow even includes a hatch bin to keep items safe while preventing them from sliding out of reach. It’s the ideal place to stash baits and other fishing essentials.
But perhaps the best selling point of the Big Rig is its versatility. It allows you to convert a pedal kayak to a paddle-driven boat and vice versa.
All you need to do is remove eight bolts and drop the alternate pod to enjoy the best of both worlds.
With these features, it’s no wonder the Jackson Big Rig is among the priciest kayaks on the market.
4. Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 136
Source: Old Town Canoe
Since 1898, Old Town has been creating top-notch kayaks that meet every user’s demands. Their commitment makes them among the leading names in the industry today.
One of their most expensive models is the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 136 and for good reasons.
First, this premium sea kayak features a 45 lb. thrust 12V Minn Kota motor.
There is no need to pedal or paddle your way across the water anymore. With the Autopilot 136, you can navigate most bodies of water, including whitewater and saltwater, with ease.
Old Town also boasts Spot-Lock technology. It ensures the kayak stays in place, despite strong winds and currents. Thus, it is easier to maintain your position and catch fish.
As for storage, the Autopilot 136 includes ample in-hull space for keeping your items secure.
What’s more, it offers four flush mount rod holders. Two of these are front-facing, while the other two are rear-facing. Thus, they do not get in your way when fishing.
Finally, this kayak angler has a premium seat for all-day comfort. The 3D and dual Textilene material ensure durability without compromising breathability.
Overall, the Sportsman Autopilot 136 is truly a top-of-the-line whitewater kayak from Old Town.
3. Hobie Mirage Oasis
Established in 1950, Hobie is a company famous for its outstanding sailboats. But the brand has also made its impact in the kayak industry, thanks to its robust products.
The Mirage Oasis is among their most impressive pro angler kayaks.
It boasts the revolutionary Dual MirageDrive 180s with Kick-Up Fins. This pedal-powered kayak uses this modern technology and other advanced elements for charging through the water like never before.
The Mirage Oasis also comes with adjustable Vantage CT seating. It offers unparalleled flexibility for utmost comfort when navigating waters.
Additionally, this Hobie kayak features a Twist and Stow Rudder that you can remove if you don’t need it. Just pull one of the T-shaped control handles for engaging or disengaging the rudder system.
Furthermore, the Mirage Oasis can accommodate another person. A tandem kayak like this one is ideal for those who prefer company when fishing.
This Hobie pro angler even includes a sail mount. It gives you the option to add more power without any difficulty.
Finally, there’s enough storage space for keeping your items in the hull. You can choose to store fishing gear in the large bow hatch or the rear cargo area.
The Hobie Mirage Oasis is among the best and most expensive tandem fishing kayaks.
2. Blue Sky Boatworks 360 TriCat
Source: Jackson Adventures
Blue Sky Boatworks is another reputable brand that offers an impressive collection of kayaks. They manufactured the second most expensive angler kayak on our list.
The 360 TriCat features a generous deck that can accommodate up to four individuals. This trimaran has a total weight capacity of 650 lbs. Thus, it is ideal for adventurers, families, and pro anglers.
There’s also enough storage space to store all your essentials in the boat. Plus, the included gear tracks and rod holders help organize your fishing gear.
Besides the sizable capacity, the 360 TriCat also boasts stability. It allows any kayaker to stand on the deck with confidence. This ultimately gives you freedom of movement, which is crucial when fishing.
Moreover, the Tri Cat has adjustable swivel seats. These provide maximum comfort for long periods.
On top of all these benefits, this top-of-the-line kayak offers multiple driving options.
The standard outfitting has dual Flex Drive pedal systems. But there’s also an option to add the new Flex Drive E motor system. You can either go with one pedal and one motor or cruise fully electric with two Flex Drive Es.
Overall, the Blue Sky Boatworks 360 TriCat is an excellent hybrid kayak that warrants a high price tag.
1. Hobie Mirage Tandem Island
The Hobie Mirage Tandem Island is the most expensive fishing kayak on the market.
Powered by the dual MirageDrive 180s, this angler kayak can navigate waters with ease. It lets you cruise at trolling speeds, which help catch even the most challenging species of fish.
The primary highlight, however, is the expansive and easily tended mainsail. Once the wind blows, it allows you to fly across the water quicker than other pro angler kayaks.
The patented Kick-Up Fins further help you charge through the water. It instantly “kicks-up” on contact with any underwater obstacle so anglers can fish peacefully.
Additionally, this rotomolded polyethylene kayak includes a lever-operated rudder. It allows you to steer the angler boat with relative ease.
What’s more, Tandem Island includes state-of-the-art CT seating. It ensures breathability and better visibility.
Finally, it includes a central hull with impressive features. The multiple Twist and Seal hatches and large bow hatch provide ample storage space for your essentials. Meanwhile, the rear cargo area with bungee tie-downs is ideal for storing other kayak fishing gear.
If you want the ultimate fish hunter, look no further than the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island.
Most Expensive Recreational and Touring Kayaks on the Market
Besides fishing kayaks, some recreational and touring vessels are also among the most expensive watercraft on the market. Below are the top 5 premium fun boats from various kayak brands.
5. Ocean Kayak Malibu XL
Source: Ocean Kayak
Ocean Kayak started in 1971 as a manufacturer of fiberglass kayaks. Today, the company also uses rotomolded polyethylene to produce vessels, unlike any traditional kayaks. Among their best-selling models is the Malibu Two XL.
This recreational kayak accommodates paddlers of all ages and abilities, thanks to its large deck lashings. The Malibu Two can fit either solo paddler or two individuals plus a kid or pet, making them an excellent choice for families.
The boat also includes two Comfort Plus seats to ensure maximum comfort when paddling.
It even features molded-in seat wells and overlapping footwells. These give the center seated paddler a comfortable bracing position when maneuvering the recreational kayak.
Moreover, the Malibu Two comes with paddles holders on both sides of the kayak. Just pull on the tab for releasing and attaching the bungee tie-downs to the button.
Lastly, it has a replaceable rear skid plate. This feature comes in handy if the kayak starts to show signs of wear.
Overall, the Malibu Two XL is a great recreational kayak to bring to water excursions.
4. Old Town Loon 120
Source: Old Town Canoe
The Loon Series from Old Town changed the way paddlers viewed recreational kayaks.
First of all, it features the Active Comfort System 2.0 (ACS2) seat. The result is a genuinely comfortable and the best-fitting cockpit available on the market.
The Loon 120 also includes a removable work deck. It offers customization and space for travel essentials, such as cameras, food, and water.
Besides the work deck, this paddle kayak also has a click seal hatch with a bulkhead. It provides additional storage for your items.
What’s more, there’s a USB port for charging your electronic devices, even on water. You don’t have to worry about your phone or camera dying anymore! Feel free to snap nature photos as much as you want.
Finally, the Loon comes with a bow and stern deck bungees and carry handles. These make it easier than ever to paddle across the water.
With all these benefits in mind, it’s no wonder the Old Town Loon 120 is among the priciest recreational kayaks today.
3. Jackson Kayak Tripper 12
Source: Jackson Adventures
The Jackson Tripper 12 features a similar design as the versatile Kilroy hull from the same brand. But it lacks all the kayak fishing accessories from the Kilroy.
Instead, this boat has a simpler construction, which allows for customization. It is suitable for beginner kayak users, minimalist anglers, and recreational paddlers.
The Tripper 12 also offers an extra-large and stable cockpit. It can comfortably fit a solo paddler and a small kid plus pets. Thus, you can focus on spending leisure time with your loved ones instead of worrying about the boat’s stability.
And despite the wide hull shape, this recreational kayak can still travel across water at relatively fast speeds.
Moreover, the Tripper 12 provides ample storage space for your travel essentials. So whether you’re loading up for an adventure or fishing, it can keep all your things safe from water damage.
Lastly, it comes with a wide adjustable seat to ensure comfort, even in extended water crusades.
The Jackson Tripper 12 is an excellent sit-inside recreational kayak perfect for various activities.
2. Ocean Kayak Zest Two EXP
Source: Ocean Kayak
The Ocean Kayak Zest Two EXP is the ideal boat for a day trek or a spontaneous water adventure.
This recreation kayak is incredibly stable on the water, despite the narrow beam. It can accommodate two paddlers without a problem.
Speed isn’t also an issue with the Zest Two. This tandem kayak can navigate waters at relatively fast speeds.
And if you want to enjoy improved tracking, there’s an option to add a rudder kit. This extra feature makes a significant difference when turning the kayak.
As for the storage, the Zest Two offers plenty of space where you can stow away your items. Plus, the molded-in cup holders will come in handy for packing beers and other beverages.
Finally, it features two Comfort Plus seat backs with enough legroom for comfort.
Overall, the Ocean Kayak Zest Two EXP is a top-of-the-line kayak ideal for recreational activities.
1. Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus
Source: Old Town Canoe
The Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus is the most expensive recreational kayak for good reasons.
First, it boasts a breakthrough tandem kayak design with two generous cockpit openings. It can comfortably fit two paddlers, with an option to bring along a smaller third passenger in the removable child seat.
This paddle kayak also allows solo paddling for the independent adventurer. Just move the stern seat forward to obtain more space.
The two contoured poly seats in the Dirigo Tandem Plus ensures the comfort of passengers. With this boat, you can focus on enjoying your adventures instead of worrying about inconveniences.
What’s more, it includes a Glide Track foot brace system and thigh pads for stability inside the cockpit.
Lastly, this recreational kayak offers enormous storage spaces found on the stern and bow. There’s also a glove box hatch for keeping your keys, phone, and other essentials safe.
All these features contribute to the high cost of Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus.
Fishing Kayaks vs. Recreational Kayaks: What’s the Difference?
Now that you’re aware of the most expensive kayaks on the market, you’re probably curious about the difference between these fishing and recreational boats.
Below, we list down the factors that make them distinct from one another.
Angler or fishing kayaks, as their name suggests, are geared towards fishing activities. They have a flatter hull that provides excellent stability across different bodies of water.
Meanwhile, recreational kayaks usually feature a rounded hull. It allows the boat to cut through calm waters with ease, ideal for beginners. But they don’t offer high speeds and can be hard to control in rough seas.
Size and Weight
Fishing kayaks are generally shorter and wider. Some models are also lighter due to their smaller size. As such, they can maneuver in and out of the water with relative ease. The only con is that they require more energy when propelling forward.
Recreational kayaks are also short but with a narrower beam. This design makes it easier to steer in a particular direction. However, they are only suited for short trips across calm waters.
Angler kayaks mostly have pedal-powered water wheels. These allow you to keep your hands on your fishing pole. Some expensive models also offer an upgrade to a motorized system. The result is a faster kayak that can navigate waters at top speeds.
In contrast, recreational kayaks require paddles to maneuver across bodies of water. These give users more freedom to control the boat. Most individuals also find it more fun steering the boat by using a paddle.
Fishing kayaks have large deck areas. These give pro anglers space to stand when catching fish.
Recreational kayaks, especially the most expensive models, also have spacious decks. But these are not made for standing. Instead, they are meant to give paddlers ample room for paddling and storage.
Both angler and recreational kayaks come with comfortable seats. The only difference lies in the type of seating they have.
Angler kayaks are available in either sit-in and sit-on kinds. A sit-on-top kayak allows you to get on and off quickly, ideal for boarding and swimming. The only downside is that you’re more likely to get wet.
Meanwhile, recreational boats are usually sit-in types in which your legs are enclosed within the cockpit. They protect you from waves and water splashes. But they can be challenging to exit and re-enter if the kayak happens to capsize.
Fishing kayaks offer plenty of storage spaces to keep your baits and other angler fishing accessories on hand. Most of them also include bungee cords to secure additional gear for fishing. Moreover, they have rod holders for organizing fishing poles.
The same could be said for recreational kayaks. But they lack rod holders to provide a more streamlined design. Instead, they offer cup holders, USB cords, and other convenient features.
What to Look For When Buying the Best Kayaks?
By now, you’re probably wondering what type of kayak you should buy. To help you decide which one to get, we gathered the things you need to look out for.
Besides the kayak type, one of the first factors to consider when buying one is the water environment.
It’s a given that all types of kayaks will float on water, but not each one can handle other bodies of water.
For instance, kayaking on a lake is an entirely different experience from rowing on the open sea. So you must choose your vessel carefully.
Here are some important things to remember in different water environments:
- Lakes and ponds – These bodies of water are typically serene, so you can go kayaking with little to no problem. However, take note that a larger lake creates waves that could pose a danger to you and your boat.
- Rivers and canals – These water environments vary greatly. Some rivers have peaceful downstream, while others offer rough waters. Regardless, you must be careful when navigating rivers because their speed and current can change in an instant.
- Seas and oceans – Like rivers, the sea and oceans’ activity level is constantly changing depending on the weather. It’s best to stay close to the coastline for a more manageable ride.
When buying a vessel for either fishing or recreation, you must consider the material used.
Polyethylene plastic is the cheapest option and can resist abrasion pretty well. But it’s among the heaviest construction materials. It can also degrade after extended exposure to the sun.
A slightly more expensive option than polyethylene is ABS plastic. It offers pretty much the same durability, but it’s slightly lighter with more resistance to UV rays.
The most expensive materials are composites such as lightweight fiberglass and carbon-fiber. These offer the best performance out of the three, and they can last you a long time.
You must buy a kayak that can handle you and any item you plan to bring along. This weight capacity is especially important if you plan to haul kayak fishing gear or buy a family vessel.
An overloaded boat increases the risk of capsizing since it sits too low in the water. It also compromises your padding and pedaling efficiency.
Finally, you must determine your kayaking goals.
Do you want to catch fish? Or are you looking for a vessel to take on fun adventures?
If your answer is the former, it makes sense to buy an angler kayak.
But for those primarily looking for fun, then it’s best to purchase a recreational kayak instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are kayaks so expensive?
A kayak is more than a plastic boat.
While it’s true that some models are made from plastic, there’s a lot of effort that goes into making them. But in fact, many products now use higher-end materials such as fiberglass.
Kayaks also offer several features like customized seats, storage space, and paddles that affect their price.
What’s more, kayak manufacturers usually offer patented technology exclusive to their products.
All of these factors contribute to the expensive costs of kayaks.
Are expensive kayaks worth it?
Yes, expensive kayaks can be worth the investment!
Since they only use the highest quality of materials, they deliver incredible durability, unlike other cheaper boats.
These premium vessels also have robust and convenient features that make kayaking a more pleasant experience.
And more often than not, these high-end kayaks are among the best products on the market. As such, they offer value for your money.
What is the difference between a kayak and a canoe?
The terms “kayak” and “canoe” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same.
Kayak requires the rower to sit in the close deck and use a double-bladed paddle to propel forward.
Meanwhile, a canoe tends to have an open top. The rower often kneels inside and uses a single-bladed paddle to get moving.
Is a longer or shorter kayak better?
It would depend on your needs and preferences.
If you want to maneuver and turn with ease, go for a shorter kayak.
But if you want less effort when paddling and staying in a straight line, buy a longer vessel instead.
What is the best type of kayak for a beginner?
A short, stable kayak best suits a beginner because it is easier to control and navigate across water.
That sums up the most expensive kayaks on the market! These products only use the highest quality of materials to offer unmatched durability and performance. Consider buying any boat on this list if you want the best kayaking experience.