Pedal kayaks are a great way to get around on the water. They’re stable, easy to maneuver, and you can go pretty much anywhere you want. They’re also a lot of fun to paddle.

If you’re in the market for a pedal kayak, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, what kind of kayaking are you going to be doing? There are different kayaks for different purposes. Second, what is your budget? Pedal kayaks can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Third, what are your preferred features? Do you want a kayak with a lot of storage space? One that’s easy to transport? One that’s specially designed for fishing?

Once you’ve considered these factors, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and find the perfect pedal kayak for you. So, without further ado, here are the best pedal kayaks for 2023.

Popular Choice

Mirage Passport Kayak HOBIE


Hobie Mirage Passport 12 Pedal Drive Kayak with MirageDrive GT Kick-Up Drive

Top PickMost Popular

Pescador Pilot PERCEPTION


Pescador Pilot Kayak with mount

Best Value

Crank 10 Kayak PERCEPTION


Perception Crank 10, Sit on Top Pedal Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat


PERCEPTION Pescador Pilot Pedal Kayak


Pescador Pilot Kayak with mount

General Impression

When looking at the best pedal kayaks, we are often looking at pedal fishing kayaks. When that is the case, the Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is the absolute top pick for a kayak paddle boat. This foot paddle kayak comes along with an enormous amount of storage and four different rod holders, making it difficult to not choose it for the top. Use is simple, as recreational fishing should be. 

Another great feature of the Pescador Pilot is the luxuriously comfortable chair design that allows for you to sit back, relax, and pedal away. It is made of breathable mesh rather than the typical hard plastic design of most kayak seats. This lets you stay out on the water all day long without a broken back the next day. 

The rotational pedal system is completely removable so you can transition over to practicing paddling form without the drag from the propellor, which tucks into the hull perfectly. The switch is simple, and versatility is a huge key to happiness with any product you ever buy. 

A rudder in the back of the kayak pairs with a hand lever right next to the paddler’s side to make 360° turning a cinch on flat water and steering in slower moving rivers that much easier. 


BRAND: Perception
PEDAL TYPE: Rotational
DIMENSIONS: 12′ L x 33.75″ W
FEATURES: Huge amount of storage, easily converted system
WARRANTY: 5 Year Limited Warranty (Parts: 1 Year)


  • Mesh-backed chair leads to huge comfort
  • Easily removable pedal system
  • Huge amount of storage
  • Four fishing rod holders
  • Rudder and lever system for steering


  • Front storage not designed to be dry
  • All the accessories can lead to more problems or maintenance

PERCEPTION Crank 10 Pedal Kayak


Perception Crank 10, Sit on Top Pedal Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat

General Impression

Shorter kayaks are far more dynamic and so a lot of fun to play around with in the water. The Perception Crank 10 is a ten-foot pedal boat that brings a lot of the same features as Perception’s Pescador, but in a shorter package for less money. 

The Perception Pedal Drive is fast, and the new line of 2023 models have proven to be quicker than their predecessors. With this model, the drive allows you to move forward and backward without removal which makes the kayak easy to use. Just like the Pescador, the Crank has an incredibly comfortable chair with enough storage to make enjoying an entire day on the water fully possible. 

One of the best things about this pedal kayak is the size. It can fit inside a lot of cars with just a bit hanging out the back hatch, and it can effortlessly fit on top of most cars. It is easier to maneuver around when you’re out by yourself and will store much better than its 2-foot longer companions. 


BRAND: Perception
PEDAL TYPE: Rotational
DIMENSIONS: 10′ L x 35″ W
FEATURES: Perception pedal drive, comfortable captain’s chair
WARRANTY: 5 Year Limited Warranty (Parts: 1 year)


  • Short size for fun play and easy transport
  • Tough carry handles for transportation
  • Perception Pedal Drive is top-notch
  • Comfortable captain’s chair


  • Short size isn’t for everyone
  • People report it being sent with missing parts

HOBIE Mirage Passport Pedal Kayak

General Impression

The Hobie Mirage Passport utilizes the Hobie push-pedal drive system with fins rather than a rotational system. This makes this kayak an incredible choice for anyone looking for something easy to use. The Hobie push pedal system lets you move easily through shallow waters that a lot of other kayaks can’t get you through.

The steering system of the Passport is another easy-to-use design feature of this kayak. The rudder is controlled with one hand while paddling, yet with a simple twist and turn it stows away quickly and is out of the way.

If you decide to keep on buying Hobie kayaks, the hull is designed to stack easily with others. This may be a great option to investigate if you are running a business that will gather up many boats. Or maybe your family is just filled with 10 different pedal kayak enthusiasts.

This pedal kayak isn’t designed for speed. Hobie sets out to design kayaks that will provide fun, and that’s all. They don’t worry about putting their energy into areas like speed because they are focused on delivering a positive experience for users of all types and skill levels. This is the biggest reason as to why this kayak takes its high-ranking place on our list.


BRAND: Hobie
DIMENSIONS: 10′ 5″ L x 34″ W
FEATURES: Push-pedal system, stackable hull design


  • Designed for fun
  • Hobie push-pedal system is easy to use
  • Lets you go places others can’t
  • Stackable hull design


  • Push-pedal isn’t made for hard workout
  • More difficult to remove pedal system

LIFETIME Tamarack Angler 100 Pedal Kayak

General Impression

This is one of the few pedal kayaks we have come across that is able to move backward due to its unique pedal-drive system. The entire pedal drive system is designed with the user in mind. The pedals themselves are padded and help to create a quiet ride that won’t distract you from a peaceful day on the water.

The Lifetime is an overall impressive piece with a huge deck that allows for free-range and space to stand comfortably, the seat is even fully adjustable so it will fit paddlers of all heights. The one issue that arises is the length of the boat. At thirteen feet long, this can be more difficult to maneuver in and out of the water. The length can also be more difficult to manage alone and may require some help to move around.

Overall, this kayak is a great choice for a solid pedal kayak that will perform well on the water. It has plenty of storage for your fishing gear or anything you want to bring with you on a long day or overnight trip. However, if you are looking for a shorter size, there are other sizes available in the Lifetime line.


BRAND: Lifetime
PEDAL TYPE: Rotational
KAYAK WEIGHT: 56.5 lbs
DIMENSIONS: 120 x 31 x 14.1 inches
FEATURES: Unique pedal-drive system, large amount of storage
WARRANTY: 5 Year against manufacturer defects, 2 Year Top to Bottom


  • Unique user-friendly pedal-drive system
  • Large deck that lets you stand comfortable and spread out
  • Fully adjustable seat
  • Large amount of storage space


  • Bulky build with one of the longer lengths on the market
  • Difficult to steer due to size


General Impression

The first impression on this is that the Wilderness Systems Radar 115 is a great boat for a great price. When you look at it, it’s an incredibly durable and reliable kayak which comes with an unbelievable low price. The catch is that the pedal drive system is sold separately. Remember to add the Helix Pedal Drive to your cart as well, or you aren’t buying a pedal kayak at all.

The adjustable seat, storage space on the bow and center of the boat, and the tie-down system in the back make this a well-accessorized boat. It will do what you need it to do when out on the water fishing or just having fun.

Aside from the required additional purchase, this is a great deal for a kayak. Wilderness Systems strives to create innovative and reliable products at a good price. They are capable of getting you where you want to go on the water without needing to break the bank. We find this kayak pretty appealing to those that want something long-lasting but affordable.


BRAND: Wilderness Systems
PEDAL TYPE: Push, Rotational
DIMENSIONS: 11′ 8″ L x 34.5″ W
FEATURES: Adjustable seat, plenty of storage, tie down system on stern
WARRANTY: Hull: Limited Lifetime, Parts: 1 year


  • Really low price
  • Durable and reliable product
  • Backed by a limited lifetime guarantee for the hull
  • Adjustable seat


  • Need to buy the pedal drive system separately
  • Only a one-year warranty for parts


General Impression

The 115’s bigger brother is the Wilderness Systems Radar 135. This kayak comes with most of the same features as the 115 but also includes a few more. While it is compatible with both the Helix motor and Pedal Drive systems, it’s another one where you need to remember to buy them separately!

The SMART technology Wilderness Systems utilizes is to boost Stability, Maneuverability, Acceleration, Responsiveness, and Tracking. The 135 stays true to this technology and performs well in all these categories. The Flex Pod storage is fully removable so you can easily unload the boat at the end of the day, which is a nice feature too.

With a comfortable and adjustable seat, hatches, sidetracks for angling, and Helix pedal drive, this kayak is a great option to then convert into a pedal kayak. It is however a huge boat and measures over thirteen feet. This is going to come along with all the difficulties that accompany longer boats, such as not being able to load it easily without help and more difficulty steering, especially with a paddle.


BRAND: Wilderness Systems
PEDAL TYPE: Push, Rotational
DIMENSIONS: 13′ 6″ L x 34″ W
FEATURES: Adjustable seat, Flex Pod storage
WARRANTY: Hull: Limited Lifetime, Parts: 1 Year


  • SMART technology
  • Compatible with Helix Motor and Pedal Drive 
  • Loads of features for easy fishing
  • Flat platform for standing
  • Hull has a lifetime warranty


  • Buying the pedal drive system separately
  • The huge length makes transport and storage difficult
  • Parts only have a one-year warranty

OLD TOWN Sportsman Bigwater

General Impression

In 2020 Old Town came out with a whole new line of kayaks ranging from paddleboats, to pedal kayaks, to motor driven kayaks. It was a huge unveiling that was kept secret for a long time because Old Town knew that they had something special coming out. And that’s exactly what they delivered, something special. 

Old Town’s PDL drive system is reportedly one of the best on the market for any pedal kayak out there. This is a huge pro in getting the Old Town Sportsman BigWater PDL 132. The crankshaft allows you to keep a good speed with very little effort. It has a flawless design that is worth the price tag. Thus, this may very well be the best fishing pedal kayak for out in the deeper waters of the ocean due to its great stability. 

All the features from the previous Predator are still included in the Sportsman Bigwater but have been fine-tuned to perfection. The maintenance is low, and the boat is completely sealed up with less padding on deck and a better gear system. 

Check out every feature the boat has to offer in this full walkthrough video


BRAND: Old Town
PEDAL TYPE: Old Town PDL Drive
DIMENSIONS: 13′ 2″ L x 36″ W
FEATURES: PDL Drive System, Adjustable and simple seat
WARRANTY: Hull: Limited Lifetime, PDL Drive: 5 year


  • PDL Drive System with 5-year warranty
  • Maintains good speed with little effort
  • Simple seats
  • Less padding on deck for better surface


  • High price tag
  • Large boat is hard to transport and store

OLD TOWN Predator Pedal Kayak

General Impression

Going backward just a little bit in time from the Sportsman Bigwater, we get to the Old Town Predator. Every reputable foot paddle review features the Predator. The Predator is incredibly feature-rich and has something for just about everyone. To start off with, the Element seating system is incredibly spacious, adjustable, and all-around comfy. This kayak has a large amount of storage space including mounting positions for just about any accessory you can buy. 

The stability of the Predator is impressive. The hull design allows for you to venture just a bit further out from shore, and while in the ocean you will set more comfortably in order to get to those deep-sea fish that are highly sought after. You’ll go out there well-equipped with all the accessories necessary to your day in the deep blue. Pair it with one of the Best Surf Fishing Rods, and you’re sure to find success. 

The weight of this is around the size of what you’re hoping to catch out there in the deep. The Predator comes in at a massive 117 pounds. This makes it incredibly difficult to lug around on your own and may push you to purchase a kayak carrier rack. Although it’s heavy, it is well worth the weight in features and quality. 


BRAND: Old Town
PEDAL TYPE: Old Town PDL Drive
DIMENSIONS: 13′ 2″ L x 36″ W
FEATURES: PDL Drive System, Hull designed for stability
WARRANTY: Hull: Limited Lifetime, PDL Drive: 5 year


  • PDL Drive is best on the market
  • Impressive stability for out on the ocean
  • Full of features and mounting for accessories
  • Comfortable, spacious, and adjustable seat


  • One of the most expensive pedal kayaks on the market
  • Really heavy and hard to move on your own

Buyer's Guide

Pedal drive kayaks, foot paddle kayaks, paddle boat kayak, propellor kayak, inflatable pedal kayak, and kayak after kayak after kayak. 

It’s a lot. The first step is to take a deep breath and slow down. This is where we can walk through and simplify the best parts of a kayak with pedals to help land you in the right captain’s seat.

Pedal Type

There are two different pedal types for these pedal drive kayaks or even a fishing kayak with a foot paddle. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to know what suits your needs.

Push pedals are the simplest style of pedals that you can get on a kayak. They require the least amount of work from the paddler and aren’t the best option if you are hoping for a good workout. Just by pressing forward with your feet from the ankles down, the pedals will engage and start to move the boat. It has a lot more relaxation built into the system than our other option. 

Rotational pedals work similarly to bike pedals. Your legs are in motion and getting a good workout in order to move the kayak forward. These make for a faster kayak but will require much more work. This is the perfect option for a workout as you engage your entire lower body, and it puts the whole cardiovascular system to work. Alternatively, you can also choose to pedal slowly and have a relaxing day on the water. 

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of each kayak is a pretty firm number. They are in place for a reason, and you are likely to end up in the water if you choose to chance it. It is better to get a fishing kayak with pedals that has a higher weight capacity if you are having doubts that you and your gear will go over the scales. 

Hull Size and Shape

The hull of a kayak is the main “shell” of it all. The bottom of the boat and wrapping around the top, really the whole thing. The size and shape of the hull can greatly influence the way the boat acts in the water. The more hull in the water, the more friction, less control, and slower speed you will go at, in contrast – there will also be more balanced. 

Manufacturers design a kayak to give you a product made for different bodies of water. If you are hoping to be out on the open ocean with waves coming at you, a wide and stable U-shaped hull is going to better serve you than a V-shape designed to cut through the water. 

Stability and Speed

The hull isn’t the only part which affects the stability of your boat and how fast it can go through the water but is a large factor to consider. V-shaped boats are going to be far less stable than those with a wide base. Think about trying to balance on one toe versus both feet. 

A V-shaped boat is also going to go through the water faster. The kayak pedal drive system also has a huge impact on how fast you are going to be moving, in addition to the weight of the boat and what you put in it. 

Tracking and Turning

Tracking refers to the ability of a boat to follow the right course. It is a simple skill that can take a long time to really get down. In order to learn how to properly track, find some guides or a friend that has experience to help teach you hands-on. 

Turning in a fishing kayak with pedals is going to be a lot easier than when using a paddle. A fishing kayak with a foot paddle system always incorporates a rudder that is controlled by handle at your hip. The rudder just steers the kayak while the pedals do the propulsion. 

When paddling, your paddle must do both. 


What is a pedal kayak?

A pedal kayak utilizes a propellor or a set of fins to create motion with the kayak pedal drive hooked up to pedals (kind of like a bike). This makes for a paddling experience that is more handsfree but does require your hands to steer the kayak. The rudder makes steering simple and leaves you with a lot more freedom for your hands. Pedal kayaks are just like standard kayaks, with a different kayak propulsion system there is even a great inflatable kayak with foot pedals for those heavy travelers out there. They are great options for anglers that need to use their hands more and could lose a paddle easily by balancing it on the boat. 

Are pedal kayaks suitable for beginners?

Pedal kayaks are great options for beginners! Just like Scuba Diving, every age is going to be different and change how these pedal kayaks will fit the paddler. Pedaling the boat is incredibly simple and doesn’t require as much learning as a normal kayak. The rudder steering system is very self-explanatory and easy to learn. It may be that the best pedal kayaks end up being a better option for beginners and can help introduce them to the water environment to possibly get a standard kayak further on. However, beware, cheap ones that don’t work well can be demoralizing. 

This isn’t to say that pedal kayaks aren’t for experts. They are highly used by professionals, especially professional anglers. They are a great option that gives great versatility out on the water. 

What is the difference between push and rotational pedals?

Push pedals and rotational pedals both work to propel the kayak forward or backward (in some cases) through the water. They are, however, exceptionally different. The push pedal drive system uses two large fins underneath the kayak that move back and forth and push water backward. On top of the kayak, your legs are only being used from the ankle down, with your foot like a lever on the gas or brake of a car. 

Rotational pedals are more familiar to most people who are used to riding a bike. The rotational system works the entire lower body and provide a great workout. This spins a propellor underneath the kayak that pushes you forward. You can choose to work hard and go fast or take it easy and go slow. 

How to launch a pedal kayak?

The launching of a pedal kayak is the most difficult part of it all. A lot of the important features of a pedal kayak are on the underside of the boat. Many pedal kayak reviews can ease your worry and remind you that most manufacturers incorporate a way to tuck away the parts that would normally drag on the bottom when you don’t need them – which is incredibly helpful in the case of launching. 

When you are launching a pedal kayak, you need to make sure that these parts are all tucked away safely. Then, you need to get yourself out to a depth that is safe for the parts to be brought back out, which is normally at a depth of approximately one foot. When you are landing or beaching, the same process is necessary but just in the reverse. The best pedal kayaks make this process as easy as possible, as you just must remember to pull up the parts. 

How do you steer a pedal kayak?

A pedal kayak utilizes a rudder system to steer. Thus, kayak foot paddles only work to move you forward, and in a lot of ways this is simpler than steering a standard kayak. Many pedal kayak reviews will also include a how-to on steering. A rudder can be more intuitive than using your paddle to steer and requires a lot less work with your upper body. It also only requires one hand that pulls or pushes it side to side. Rudders allow you to make sharp turns or slight adjustments while moving through the water, the only downside is that it is more difficult to steer without forward motion. 

How fast can a pedal kayak go in comparison to a standard kayak?

Speed all depends on the kayak you choose and how much effort you want to put into trying to gain momentum. If you decide to get on a fast-moving river with a standard kayak, you’ll fly much faster than you will ever go in a pedal kayak. However, in flatwater if you are really working, a pedal kayak can get up to some respectable speeds. This is always going to be a sacrifice if speed is your goal as you will need to trade a bit of stability to get more speed. 

Is a pedal drive kayak more stable than a standard kayak?

Again, the stability is going to be influenced strongly by the shape and size of the kayak you purchase. Whether it is a pedal drive kayak or a standard kayak, a V-shaped hull is not going to be incredibly stable. A wide U-shaped hull will give you a lot more stability in either kind of kayak. 

The only way that these two will differ in stability is the motion of propulsion. Paddling a standard kayak requires more movement in the upper body. Your body shifts from side to side and can be less stable because of it. The best pedal kayaks will find a balance between stability and speed. 

Reach Out

As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!

David Stefanoski

David Stefanoski is an avid outdoorsman who loves to explore the deepest, most exciting crevices of nature and then write about them. From the maximum depth that a scuba suit can go, to the maximum heights that his legs will take him, David enjoys the outdoors in its warmest, sunniest days on the prairie, to the iciest, dampest little spots in Eastern Europe. After 15 years of trudging, his favorite outdoorsman activity is still chopping wood due to his large body size. He says it's like splitting toothpicks!

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