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Costco kayaks can offer convenience and affordability. But are they any good? And do they offer good value for money? We’ve checked out the main features of these recreational kayaks to see how they stack up.
If you don’t care about the rest and want to skip straight to our top pick, the best one is the stable, easy-to-paddle Pelican Rustler 130T tandem kayak. It has a third seat for a child or you could bring along your dog instead.
- Pelican Rustler 130T (Best Overall)
- Bote Zeppelin 10 Inflatable Kayak (Best Inflatable)
- Tobin Sports Wavebreak Inflatable Kayak (Best Budget)
- Length: 13 foot
- Width: 34 inches
- Depth: 25 inches
- Weight: 73 pounds
- Weight capacity: 500 pounds
The Pelican Rustler 130T is a tandem kayak that’s built for recreational paddling and comes with two paddles. This offers excellent versatility as it can be paddled by either one or two paddlers. It also has a third (smaller) seat for a child. Or you could bring along your dog.
This is a durable kayak. It’s made from high-density polyethylene, which makes it tough and resistant to impacts and abrasions. This can make it ideal for new paddlers. But it’s pretty heavy, so you might find it difficult to carry on your own.
It also has a high level of stability, with a twin-arched multi-chine hull. This provides a stable platform for navigating flatwater environments, such as lakes and slow-moving rivers. But it also has enough secondary stability to handle small waves at the beach.
The affordable Rustler 130T has a handy rear cargo deck with bungees for securing extra gear to the deck. You’ll also find a smaller storage area at the bow, with a small bungee cord. There are two bottle holders and a storage hatch.
For back support while paddling, there are two Ergoform seats with adjustable backrests and padded seat cushions. However, these are probably not the most comfortable seats if you plan to spend a lot of time in the kayak.
- Great for families
- Two paddles included
- Seats aren’t the best
- Length: 10 foot
- Width: 38 inches
- Depth: 10 inches
- Weight: 46 pounds
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
The Bote Zeppelin 10 is a durable inflatable kayak that can be ideal for traveling and taking on vacation. One of the best things about this kayak is that it can be carried in its own backpack. This means you can hike into remote and exciting backcountry locations.
However, you might not want to hike too far with it, as it’s not the lightest inflatable kayak.
Another great feature of this kayak is its stability. The drop-stitch technology in the floor provides a rigid platform and a flat, non-slip surface that you can stand up on, just like a stand-up paddleboard (SUP).
The hull design also lends itself well to fishing, as the deck is very spacious despite its compact length. There’s room for a fishing crate or cooler at the back, with bungee storage at the front to keep additional gear secure.
The inflatable seat is designed to provide support but it can be removed if you’d prefer to stand.
This kayak is easy to paddle, quick to inflate using the included hand pump, and it comes with an adjustable paddle. But it’s pretty pricey for a Costco kayak.
- Room for a cooler
- Very stable
- Drop-stitch construction
- Not cheap
- Length: 10 foot
- Width: 34 inches
- Weight: 30 pounds
- Weight capacity: 440 pounds
The Tobin Sports Wavebreak is an affordable inflatable kayak that can be an ideal option if you want to stick to a tighter budget. This is a tandem inflatable kayak so it offers good value for money for two paddlers, especially beginners.
It’s not particularly spacious for two people. But it can be great for recreational paddling if you don’t need to take a lot of gear with you. But there is a removable mesh storage bag that fits at the bow, which can be useful for securing a small dry bag. However, this may restrict the legroom for the front paddler.
This kayak can also be paddled solo, which gives you extra room for equipment and a decent capacity for a solo kayak.
This is lightweight and compact, so it can be easy to carry, fits inside small cars, and is easy to maneuver on the water. However, because it’s lightweight, it can be affected by wind and currents, so it’s not the best choice for moving water or exposed lakes and coasts.
The Wavebreak comes with two seats that have storage pockets on the back. It also comes with two paddles so you can get on the water right away.
- Great value budget kayak
- Two seats and paddles included
- Ideal for beginners
- Best for flatwater conditions
- Not the most spacious tandem
- Not ideal for moving water
- Length: 8 foot 5 inches
- Width: 29.5 inches
- Depth: 10.5 inches
- Weight: 37 pounds
- Weight capacity: 225 pounds
The Lifetime Volt 8.5 is a lightweight solo kayak that is sold by Costco as a pack of two. This makes it an ideal choice for families or couples looking for affordable twin kayaks.
The Volt 8.5 is a very compact kayak, so it can be better suited to children and small adults. The small size of this kayak makes it easy to maneuver in small bodies of water and easy for kids to manage.
This is a recreational sit-on-top kayak that can be easy to transport in the back of a pickup and easy to carry down to the water (using the center handle).
It’s not the most comfortable kayak and features only a plastic backrest and a molded seat – no padded seat cushion. But it’s not designed for comfort. It’s a basic kayak with basic features. It does, however, have bungee rigging at the bow and stern, providing space to store a couple of small bags.
This little kayak also has molded footrests and a bottle holder. Two paddles are included with the pack of two Volt kayaks.
- Great for kids and smaller adults
- Easy to maneuver
- Seat is not great
- Not for large paddlers
- Length: 10 foot
- Width: 30 inches
- Depth: 14 inches
- Weight: 47 pounds
- Weight capacity: 275 pounds
The Lifetime Guster is a recreational sit-inside kayak that’s aimed at beginners and casual paddlers. It comes with a paddle so you can hit the water as soon as you get it.
This is an affordable kayak that can be a good choice for year-round paddling in bays, lakes, creeks, and slow-moving rivers. It has a good level of stability, providing new and nervous paddlers with a little more reassurance on flatwater.
The ST Performance hull is designed to combine speed, maneuverability and tracking in a variety of different waters. But because of its compact design, it’s not built for high speeds. However, it should be easy to paddle if you’re a beginner.
The large cockpit is designed to be easy to get in and out of. But because of the overall size of the boat, it might not be the best choice for tall paddlers. The adjustable footrests might not extend enough for longer legs.
The seat features a padded seat cushion and an adjustable backrest. You’ll find thigh pads on the cockpit rim for added comfort.
For a basic kayak, it has decent storage. There’s a storage hatch in the stern (but it’s not watertight) and there’s space on the front deck to stash other gear.
- Ideal for beginners
- Easy to paddle
- Sit-inside cockpit
- Storage hatch
- Not much legroom for tall paddlers
- Not the fastest kayak
- Length: 10 foot
- Width: 29 inches
- Depth: 13.5 inches
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
The Pelican Mission kayak is a budget sit-inside kayak built for recreational paddling on flatwater. It has a twin-arched multi-chine hull for enhanced stability on calm lakes, bays, and slow-moving rivers. But it’s not built for rapids or large waves.
This is a lightweight kayak that can be easy to paddle for beginners. It’s also compact, making it ideal for narrow rivers. But you’re probably not going to win any races in the Mission. It prefers life in the slow lane.
An interesting feature of this kayak is the dash cover. This features a transparent case to hold your phone, and you can still touch the screen through the case while you’re on the go. The dash cover also features bungee cords and a tie-down to secure a speaker – perfect for some music on the water.
The cockpit features an Ergoform seat with backrest that is padded and adjustable. There are also molded footrests and adjustable knee pads.
There’s space to bring along a cooler in the rear tank well. And there’s a paddle holder to keep your paddle safe while you’re checking your phone or snapping photos.
- Tech storage
- Good for beginners
- Rear tank well
- Not the speediest
- Not for fast-moving water
- Length: 10 foot 4 inches
- Width: 31.75 inches
- Weight: 54 pounds
- Weight capacity: 275 pounds
The Equinox 10.4 is a sit-inside kayak that’s built for recreational kayaking. But you may struggle to find one, as it is no longer available.
This is a stable little boat that can be ideal for beginners and intermediate paddlers alike. It has a large cockpit, so it can be easier to get in and out compared to some sit-inside kayaks. The seat is wide, with an ergonomic backrest for support. There are adjustable footrests for stability and posture.
The multichannel hull means it’s designed to track well, in addition to being stable on lakes, bays, and other flatwater areas.
It has ample storage for gear for a day trip. There’s a small day hatch with a mesh insert. Plus, you’ll find an oval hatch in the stern. There’s also bungee rigging at both the bow and stern for stowing extra gear on top of the deck.
However, this is a basic kayak that’s designed more with affordability in mind rather than speed or performance.
- Spacious cockpit
- Improved tracking
- Budget recreational kayak
- Good storage
- Basic features
- No longer in production
- Length: 9 foot 6 inches
- Width: 50 inches
- Depth: 18 inches
- Weight capacity: 594 pounds
Ok, so it’s not a kayak. But the Tobin Sports Canyon Pro Boat can be a good option if you’re looking to carry a little more gear with you. This is a spacious little boat that’s easy to transport in your car.
It could be a good alternative to a kayak if you want to take a couple of kids with you or go fishing with another adult. It even has fishing rod holders built into the hull.
This is a stable inflatable dinghy that can be ideal for a range of waters, including lakes and rivers. It comes with a set of two oars and oarlocks so it can be easy to paddle on your own.
It features two inflatable seat cushions that can be removed. However, these seats are not the most comfortable, especially if you plan to be boating for several hours.
It also features a perimeter grab line for safety and comes with a pump and storage bag.
It’s designed for up to three adults. But you might find there’s not a lot of room for three larger adults because of the placement of the oarlocks. It can be best suited to one or two adults or one adult and one or two children.
- Ideal for fishing
- Great for paddling with kids
- Easy to transport
- Not the most spacious boat
- Seats are not the most comfortable for long trips
- Length: 11 foot
- Width: 34 inches
- Depth: 5.4 inches
- Weight: 24 pounds
- Weight capacity: 320 pounds
Again, this one is not a kayak. But this Body Glove Performer SUP could be ideal for recreational paddling. You could also potentially add a kayak seat to the deck, as you’ll find D-rings to use as attachment points. A seat is not included.
You may also want to swap out the paddle if you want to use this as a kayak, as it comes with a single-bladed SUP paddle, not a double-bladed kayak paddle.
This is a lightweight inflatable paddle board that can be easily transported in a car. It’s easy to carry to the water and a convenient size to store at home.
It features drop-stitch construction for a rigid feel and a wide, stable platform. It has EVA traction pads for comfortable, non-slip standing, and a wide, roomy deck.
This SUP comes with both an electric pump and a hand pump for extra value. It also includes a storage backpack, a three-piece SUP paddle, and a repair kit. You’ll also find a waterproof cell phone case included.
- Inflatable paddle board
- Lightweight and compact
- Stable, flat platform
- Non-slip deck
- Seat not included
- SUP paddle included, not kayak paddle
Most kayaks available at Costco are made for recreational use. This means they are built for flatwater paddling, such as on calm lakes and bays, and slow-moving rivers or creeks.
Recreational kayaks are generally not known for their speed and high performance. They are built more for stability and ease of use. This makes them ideal for beginners and good basic starter kayaks if you want to stick to a budget.
A solo or one-person kayak can be great for exploring lakes and rivers on your own. You may find that you have more space in your own kayak compared to sharing a tandem with a paddling partner.
Sometimes you might find single kayaks sold in packs of two. This can be useful if you and a friend or family member want to paddle together but don’t want to share a boat. Twin packs of kayaks can be useful for families as they can offer good value.
Tandem kayaks from Costco can offer great value for families and couples looking to explore local waterways together.
Most of the tandem kayaks sold by Costco are recreational kayaks so they may not be as spacious as longer tandem kayaks made for touring. This means you might be limited for space and legroom, depending on the model and the length.
Tandem kayaks can also usually be paddled solo, generally offering more space than a solo kayak. This means they can be great for kayak camping and can offer good versatility.
Inflatable kayaks are designed for portability and convenience. This means they can be ideal if you live in an apartment or have a small car. They can be transported easily and inflated at the water’s edge.
Inflatable kayaks can be either solo or tandem. Tandem inflatables can offer more space and can be paddled solo, which can be ideal for larger paddlers. Some tandem inflatables can be better suited to two smaller adults rather than two large adults, as the legroom tends to be limited for tall paddlers.
Most inflatable kayaks are lightweight but some can weigh as much as a comparable hardshell kayak.
You can buy both sit-inside kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks at Costco. The type you want will probably depend on your personal preference and comfort level.
A sit-on-top kayak can be easier to get in and out of than a sit-inside, as sit-on-top kayaks have open decks. Sit-inside kayaks have enclosed cockpits so your lower body will usually be protected from the elements.
But most recreational sit-inside kayaks that are sold at Costco tend to have larger cockpits than what you might expect on a narrow touring kayak or a whitewater kayak.
A sit-inside kayak will tend to keep you a little drier than a sit-on-top kayak. And you may be able to add a spray skirt. However, not all recreational sit-inside kayaks with large cockpits will be compatible with spray skirts.
A sit-on-top kayak can be better suited to summer paddling or warm climates, as you are likely to get wet from splashes and spray. But you may find it easier to move around in a sit-on-top kayak, such as if you want to fish or root around for gear.
Sit-on-top kayaks may also be more convenient and comfortable for your dog to come with you on kayaking adventures.
Affordability is a key feature of kayaks sold in Costco. They tend to be budget-friendly kayaks with basic features. And they are often aimed at beginners and families rather than experienced kayakers.
However, despite being affordable, Costco kayaks do vary quite widely in price. The kayaks at the more expensive end of Costco’s scale tend to have more features than the ones at the very lowest end of the scale.
Are Costco Kayaks Any Good?
Costco kayaks can be great for the price. Most of the time, these are not high-performance kayaks. These kayaks are aimed at beginners and recreational paddlers looking for basic features and affordability.
Can You Just Go To Costco Without A Membership?
You can go to Costco without a membership and join at a membership counter when you get there. Alternatively, you can join online or by phone.
Can I Get Free Costco Membership?
No, there are no free memberships. However, if you have a friend with a membership, you could accompany them to the warehouse as their guest.
Can A Normal Person Join Costco?
There are two types of memberships available at Costco: individual and business. Anyone can apply for an individual membership as long as you are over the age of 18, have a valid government-issued photo ID, and pay the membership fee.
Which Is Cheaper Costco Or Walmart?
It usually depends on what you’re looking for. Both stores offer similar deals on large items. Sometimes it can be cheaper to buy individual household goods or groceries from Walmart compared to buying in bulk from Costco.
The best kayak available at Costco is the Pelican Rustler 130T. It offers excellent value, it’s stable, and it has space for up to three people or two people and a dog. This is a durable tandem kayak that can be ideal for exploring a variety of waterways.
Another great kayak, and our runner-up pick, is the Bote Zeppelin 10. This is a compact inflatable kayak that offers a high level of stability that also allows you to stand up for added versatility. It can even be carried in a backpack so you can hike to remote lakes for backcountry exploration.
However, if you want to stick to a tighter budget, the Tobin Sports Wavebreak could be ideal for casual paddling. This beginner-friendly tandem kayak comes with two paddles, two seats, and a pump, so it’s ready when you are.
Remember, not all of these kayaks will be suitable for everyone. And if you’re after a high-performance kayak, you’re probably not going to find it at Costco. Think about the features you want from a kayak and the type of paddling you want to do. The best kayak will be the one that suits your specific needs and lifestyle.