Kayaks made in the USA are known for their premium materials and craftsmanship, resulting in long-lasting enjoyment for you.

American Made Kayaks

Kayak ownership has grown at an enormous rate, especially during the COVID pandemic when one of the few ways of enjoying the outdoors was by getting out on the water.

Kayaking is a fun, outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by a wide range of people of all ages and skill levels. Those who enjoy nature, water sports, and outdoor adventure are likely to find kayaking to be a fulfilling and exciting experience.

Kayaking is also an excellent way to exercise and stay fit, as it involves paddling and using core muscles to propel the kayak through the water. People who are looking for a low-impact, full-body workout may enjoy kayaking as a way to stay active.

In addition, kayaking is a great way to explore new areas and see wildlife up close. People who enjoy birdwatching, fishing, or simply being in nature may find kayaking to be a peaceful and calming activity that allows them to connect with the natural world.

If you're a fishing or adventure junkie and are ready to challenge the waters, there are different types of kayaks, for you, too.

When it comes to kayaking, having a high-quality, USA kayak is essential for a fun and safe experience on the water. With so many different kayaks on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.

Related article: Outdoor Gear Made in the USA For Family Adventures

Watch the video below to see how Old Town kayaks are made in Old Town, Maine.

What to Consider When Buying a Kayak

Here are some things to look for when searching for a high-quality kayak.

1.  Type of Kayak: The first thing to consider when choosing a kayak is the type. There are recreational kayaks, touring kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, inflatable kayaks, and more. Each type is designed for a specific purpose, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs.

2.  Size and Weight Capacity: Kayaks come in different sizes and have different weight capacities. Make sure to choose a kayak that can accommodate your weight and any gear you plan to bring along. A kayak that is too small or can't support your weight can be dangerous.

3.  Material: Kayaks are made from a variety of materials, including plastic, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and even wood. Plastic kayaks are durable and affordable, while fiberglass and carbon fiber kayaks are more expensive but offer greater performance and maneuverability. A wooden kayak is extremely light while performing with the same efficiency and comfort as its composite counterparts.

4.  Stability: The stability of a kayak is important, especially for beginners. Look for a kayak with a wide base or a flat bottom for better stability on the water.

5.  Comfort: Sitting in a kayak for an extended period can be uncomfortable, so it's important to choose a kayak with a comfortable seat and enough legroom. Look for kayaks with adjustable seats and footrests.

6.  Maneuverability: Depending on where you plan to kayak, maneuverability can be important. Look for kayaks with a rudder or skeg for better control in rough waters or strong currents.

7.  Storage: If you plan to bring gear with you on your kayaking trip, look for a kayak with ample storage space. Many kayaks have storage compartments or bungee cords on the deck for securing gear.

8.  Price: High-quality kayaks can be expensive, but it's important to invest in a kayak that will last and provide a safe and enjoyable experience. The best kayaks are American-made kayaks.

Solo Skiff Kayaks Made in the USA via USALovelist.com
Photo courtesy of Solo Skiff, made in Florida. The Solo Skiff is completely made in the USA and follows the FTC guidelines for “Made in the USA.”

Types of Kayaks

Some of the most common types of kayaks include:

  • Recreational Kayak: Recreational kayaks are designed for use on flat, calm water and are perfect for beginners. They typically have a wider, more stable hull and a large cockpit opening for easy entry and exit. Recreational kayaks are typically shorter in length and slower than other types of kayaks, but they are easy to maneuver and offer a comfortable ride.
  • Touring Kayak: Touring kayaks are designed for use on open water and are ideal for long trips. They are longer and narrower than recreational kayaks, which allows them to travel faster and more efficiently. Touring kayaks typically have large interior space to store gear and are designed for stability and comfort over long distances.
  • Sit-inside Kayak: Sit-in kayaks are made with the seat inside the hull. The rider lowers himself into the kayak with his legs situated under the deck. Whitewater kayaks are made with a sit-inside seat.
  • Sit-on-top Kayak: Sit-on-top kayaks are a popular choice for beginners and are designed for use on calm, flat water. They have a wide, stable hull and a large, open cockpit that makes them easy to enter and exit. Sit-on-top kayaks are great for fishing and recreational paddling and are typically made from polyethylene or roto-molded plastic.
  • Whitewater Kayak: Whitewater kayaks are designed for use on fast-moving rivers and rapids. They are shorter and more maneuverable than other types of kayaks and have a planing hull that allows them to ride over waves and currents. Whitewater kayaks are typically made from high-density polyethylene or composite materials and are designed for maximum maneuverability and control.
  • Fishing Kayak: Fishing kayaks are designed specifically for fishing and are typically wider and more stable than other types of kayaks. They have built-in features such as rod holders, storage compartments, and even live wells for storing fish. Fishing kayaks are typically sit-on-top kayaks and are available in both single and tandem models.
  •  Inflatable Kayak: Inflatable kayaks are a great option for those with limited storage space or who need a kayak that is easy to transport. They are typically made from PVC or other durable materials and can be inflated and deflated quickly. These inflatable boats are available in a range of styles, from recreational to whitewater, and are a great choice for beginners.
  •  Tandem Kayak: Tandem kayaks are designed for two people and are a great option for couples or families. They are available in both sit-in and sit-on-top models and are typically wider and more stable than single kayaks. Tandem kayaks are great for exploring calm lakes and rivers and can be a lot of fun for two people to paddle together.
  • Pedal Drives: One of the latest innovations in kayak technology is a pedal drive. This type of kayak has a pedal system that allows you to pedal like a bicycle to glide through the water. Many individuals who enjoy fishing or just floating on the water choose this type of kayak.

Related article: American Made Fishing Gear: The Ultimate Source List

Why Consider Kayaks Made in the USA?

Kayaks made in the USA have a number of advantages that simply make them a better choice.

Kayaks made in the USA are typically produced under strict quality control standards. Many US-based manufacturers use premium materials and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to ensure that their kayaks are built to last and perform at the highest level. This attention to detail can result in a kayak that is more durable, comfortable, and efficient than other options.

Find kayaks made in the United States at a variety of price points. Kayak manufacturers also provide add-ons at an extra cost.

Buying a kayak made in the USA supports the domestic economy and helps to create jobs in local communities. By purchasing from a US-based manufacturer, you can be confident that your money is staying within the country and supporting American businesses.

Another advantage of kayaks made in the USA is the availability of local customer support and repair services. If your kayak needs repairs or maintenance, it may be easier to find a local repair shop that can quickly and efficiently address any issues.

Kayaks made in the USA often come with strong warranties and customer service policies. This can provide added peace of mind for buyers, as they know that their investment is protected and that they have access to support if they need it.

Choosing a kayak made in the USA offers advantages that make your purchase a better choice!

Related article: Made in USA Hiking Gear & Backpacking Gear: A Source Guide

What’s the Difference Between “Made in the USA” and “Assembled in the USA?”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has set forth a standard for manufacturers who claim their products are made in the USA. To be labeled as such, “’Made in USA’ means that ‘all or virtually all”’ the product has been made in America. That is, all significant parts, processing, and labor that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. Products should not contain any — or only negligible — foreign content.”

Unfortunately, many companies claim their products are made in the USA when they’re either built or assembled in the USA, meaning these companies source materials from outside America and have them shipped here.

While USA Love List strives to support manufacturers who comply with “all or virtually all” its components sourced and made in America, we sometimes do include American manufacturers who source outside the USA but employ hardworking Americans at domestic facilities. We also distinguish, as much as possible, between those who comply with the FTC in its description, and those who go offshore for its materials. We leave the choice to you, the buyer, as to whether or not you choose to support these companies.

If you’re unsure about the product, please reach out directly to the company from its website. Most list a phone number or email address.

Read more in this article: What Does the Made in the USA Label Mean? Your Questions Answered

Kayaks Made in the USA

Do you know of an American company that makes kayaks in the USA but isn’t included on our list below? Leave a comment below!

Other Brands

Research by USA Love List shows these other popular kayak brands ARE NOT MADE IN THE USA:

  • Bonafide Kayak – emailed 3/9/23
  • Brooklyn Kayak Company – made in China
  • Cobra Kayak – made in China
  • Confluence Outdoor – only the hulls are made in South Carolina, USA. All the other parts and materials are sourced outside the USA, then everything is assembled stateside. Confluence Outdoor kayak brands include Dagger Kayaks, Perception Kayaks, and Wilderness Systems.
  • Crystal Kayak – made in China
  • Delta Kayaks – made in Canada, North America
  • Eddyline Kayaks – made in Washington and Mexico; the company confirms there's no way to tell the difference between the two.
  • Hobie Cat – assembled in California; only the hulls are American-made
  • Hurricane Kayak – assembled in North Carolina from materials shipped offshore
  • Oru Kayak – once made in California, these kayaks are now imported
  • Sun Dolphin – These are molded, then assembled in the USA
  • Vibe Kayaks – made in China

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Kayaks Made in the USA via USALoveList.com