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Lifetime Payette 116 Sit-In Kayak Review

Mark Armstrong
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​The Lifetime Payette is a compact sit-inside kayak that is designed for a single paddler. It has a spacious cockpit and comes with a seat back for added comfort while you’re paddling.

Lifetime Payette 116 KayakPin
  • ​Length: 9 foot 8 inches
  • ​Width: 30 inches
  • ​Weight: 44 pounds
  • ​Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

The Payette 116 is a 9 foot 8 inch boat that’s built for durability, with impact resistance and UV protection in the tough polyethylene hull.

It has a flat, stable hull, which could make it a great boat for beginners, including both adults and kids.

​What To Consider Before Buying A Lifetime Payette

The Lifetime Payette is a lightweight, single sit-in kayak. This can be great for year round paddling, as the enclosed cockpit can give you a little more protection from the elements compared to a more exposed sit-on-top.

While this yak has an enclosed cockpit, it’s pretty large so it may be a good option if you’re looking for a more open cockpit for a less restricted feel.

The yak has a flat bottom which can improve the boat’s initial stability, which can be ideal for beginners as it can usually feel less wobbly than a more rounded hull. This can make it great for flatwater paddling but it may not perform as well on rough water.

However, this flat bottom may mean the Payette covers water less efficiently. This could have an effect on its speed which may be an issue for more experienced paddlers.

The short 9 foot 8 inch hull is made with maneuverability in mind, meaning it may be easier to navigate around rocky shorelines or small rivers.

​Lifetime Payette 116 Kayak: Main Features

​Larger Style Cockpit

The Payette features a very spacious cockpit, which could make it great if you’re new to sit-insides, as this might feel less claustrophobic than some sit-insides.

The cockpit measures 44 inches long by 22 inches wide, so there should be plenty of room to get in and out easily. You may even find there’s room for your small dog to join you.

However, with the cockpit being so large, you may find that this yak is not suitable if you want to attach a spray skirt and you might struggle to find one that fits.

​Stable Design

The Payette features a flat bottom hull that benefits from having deep channels that can help with tracking. This can make it easier to paddle straight on flatwater, which could be useful for children and beginners.

The hull also features hard chine rails that can also improve tracking as well as help to maintain stability on calm water.

​Storage Options

While storage options might be a little limited on this compact craft, it does offer some space for your gear.

At the back there’s a handy storage compartment that benefits from having a lid so that you can keep your gear dry. However, the compartment is not completely watertight so you might want to think about putting items into a dry bag first.

On the front deck the bungee rigging can let you tie down additional gear, and there is a cup holder conveniently located in the cockpit for your favorite beverage.

You may even be able to customize this boat for extra storage and adding accessories, which might be useful if you plan to use it for fishing.

​Video: Lifetime Payette 116 Storage Mod

​Comfort Features

The Lifetime Payette features footrests inside the cockpit which are designed to suit multiple paddlers, allowing for different positions for various leg lengths.

The seat is a molded-in seat with a plastic seat back that can be folded down for storage. If you plan on using this vessel for long trips, you may want to think about investing in a seat pad or an upgraded seat for improved comfort.

​What Are The Alternatives?

​Perception Sound 9.5

Perception Sound 9.5Pin

The Perception Sound 9.5 is a similar price to the Payette. It’s 9 foot 6 inches long and benefits from a spacious cockpit, a tri-keel hull for stability on a range of waters and a padded seat.

This yak also has a large amount of storage, including rod holders and room for a fishing crate.

​Sun Dolphin Excursion 10

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 KayakPin

This Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 is a 9 foot 6 inch yak that is in the same price range as the Payette. It’s a fishing kayak that features three rod holders and a covered rear storage compartment.

It has a stable hull and a roomy cockpit. It also comes with a molded seat, similar to the Payette, but with a padded seat back.

​Old Town Vapor 10

Old Town Vapor 10 KayakPin

The Old Town Vapor 10 is a 10 foot yak that could be a good alternative for larger or taller paddlers because of the larger cockpit (48 inches long). It’s designed to be easy to paddle and stable on flatwater.

It also benefits from having an adjustable padded seat for improved paddling comfort. It has a small storage deck at the stern and comes in at a similar price to the Payette.

​Final Verdict

Lifetime Payette 116 KayakPin


  • ​Affordable
  • ​Durable
  • ​Easy to maneuver
  • ​Ideal for beginners


  • ​No padded seat
  • ​Not built for speed

The Lifetime Payette 116 can be a great kayak if you’re looking for something that’s easy to maneuver and stable for flatwater paddling adventures. With its large cockpit, it can be ideal if you’re new to sit-inside boats.

The Payette can be a great kayak to learn in, whether you’re a child or an adult. Click here if you want to check it out for yourself and let us know what you think of it.

Lifetime Payette 116 Sit-In Kayak Review - Pinterest ImagePin

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