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12 Best Kayaks For Scuba Diving in 2022 (With A Valuable Buying Guide!)

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Wondering what are the best kayaks for scuba diving? 

You might be overwhelmed by the many kayak options out there with various shapes, sizes, and weight capacities, especially if you just started to venture into the world of kayak scuba diving

Or maybe you are planning to look for a new kayak with better features that suit your preference since you have some experience with paddling to the diving site. 

If it sounds like I have read your mind, it means that you have come to the right site. 

By the end of this article, you will learn more about the 12 best kayaks for scuba diving, their respective pros and cons, and a detailed kayak buying guide that will help you to make the right kayak choice. 

Let’s dive in!   

Our Picks: Best Scuba Diving Kayaks

If you are short of time, here are the top pick for kayaks for scuba diving based on the following category: 

Summary: 12 Best Kayaks For Scuba Diving

  1. BOTE Zeppelin Aero
  2. Lifetime Tamarack Angler
  3. Lifetime Beacon Tandem
  4. Brooklyn Kayak Company FK184
  5. Brooklyn Kayak Company TK122
  6. Brooklyn Kayak Company RA220
  7. Perception Kayaks Pescador 12.0
  8. Perception Kayaks Access 11.5
  9. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead
  10. Sevylor Quikpak K1
  11. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL
  12. Intex Excursion Pro
best kayak for scuba diving
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1. BOTE Zeppelin Aero – Our Top Pick

  • Length: 12 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 38 inches
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Load Capacity: 600 pounds
  • Number of divers: 1 to 2 
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If you do not have much storage space back home to keep the kayak after your diving trip, the inflatable BOTE Zeppelin Aero might be a good fit. 

With a weight capacity of 600 lbs, BOTE Zeppelin Aero is stable enough to carry 1 or 2 tall or plus-sized divers. 

Its big dimension also offers ample space to store your scuba gear, without jeopardising your comfortability.  

One unique feature of BOTE Zeppelin Aero is the magnetic MAGNEPOD system

This feature comes in handy for those who prefer to sip on their favourite beverage without worrying the BOTE thermos from knocking over by the current while paddling out to the diving spot. 

This impressive kayak comes with drainage holes at its cockpit too, so you can easily drain the buildup water caused by the paddling action.   

The purchase of a BOTE Zeppelin Aero is inclusive of several accessories; an inflatable paddle seat, hand pump, detachable centre fin, travel bag, and a pair of rac receivers.  

In its deflated form, Bote Zeppelin Aero is conveniently packed into the given waterproof wheeled cargo bag. 

Thanks to the compact size, most airlines allow it to be checked in just like any other bag. 

Hence, this feature makes it one of the best kayaks for scuba diving, especially for frequent divers preferring international diving trips. 

Tip: Make sure you are sufficiently covered with travel and diving insurance before flying.

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What We Like:

  • Versatile
  • Durable and stable 
  • Easy to transport and carry around
  • Can carry up to 600 lbs
  • Has drainage holes
  • Has an inflatable paddle seat for additional comfort and easy dive in
  • Can climb in and out of the kayak with ease

What We Don’t Like:

  • Paddle is not included
  • Second inflatable seat is not included

2. Lifetime Tamarack Angler – Beginner-Friendly 

  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Weight: 51 pounds
  • Load Capacity: 275 pounds
  • Number of diver: 1
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Lifetime Tamarack Angler has a weight capacity of 275 lbs, making it a top choice among beginner solo divers. 

Made from UV-protected high-density polyethylene material, Lifetime Tamarack Angler is durable and can withstand harsh sunlight for a long period. 

Tip: Check out my helpful article on crucial scuba diving tips for beginners if you are new to this interesting water adventure.

This plastic kayak also comes with adjustable padded seating, so one can adjust the seat according to their height for a pleasant ride.

Though Lifetime Tamarack Angler is small built compared to other kayaks in this list, it boasts high stability and manoeuvrability, even when the water is choppy

Besides, this durable kayak comes with two watertight compartments where you can store your personal belongings.

Tip: No bulkhead to seal off the hatches’ storage compartment so any items that you placed inside will slide around and be in a mess. So it is best to keep all your items in a small dry bag for easy access. 

If you need to store bulkier items securely, you will be glad that it has bungee cords on the bow and stern’s open compartment.

Since Lifetime Tamarack Angler comes with built-in rod holders too, you can attach a dive flag to improve kayak visibility. 

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Good manoeuvrability
  • Stable even on choppy water
  • Adjustable padded seating
  • Can attach dive flag to the built-in rod holders
  • Comes with a paddle and paddle keeper

What We Don’t Like:

  • Scupper plugs are not included
  • The storage compartments on the bow and stern are shallow
  • Low weight capacity

3. Lifetime Beacon Tandem

  • Length: 12 feet
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Weight: 90 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Number of diver: 1 to 2 
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Another Lifetime kayak that is great for scuba diving is Beacon Tandem

As the name suggests, this sturdy polyethylene kayak can carry up to two divers at a time. 

To compensate for its heavy weight and improve tracking, Lifetime Beacon Tandem is designed with a skeg wheel. 

It also comes with four handles for easy transportation, be it from your garage to the pickup truck or getting into the water before heading out to the diving site. 

This sleek-looking kayak has two storage compartments (centre hatch and rear-tank well), so you can store your kayak gear and personal items safely before you dive.

If you are particular about your legs’ comfort, then you will be glad about its moulded-in foot wells feature.

To prevent the paddles from drifting away while you are preparing for the dive, the two paddle keepers are another handy feature of Lifetime Beacon Tandem.  

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Has skeg wheel
  • Comes with 2 paddles and their keepers
  • High weight capacity
  • Moulded-in foot well feature

What We Don’t Like:

  • Harder for the solo diver to paddle due to its heavy weight

4. Brooklyn Kayak Company FK184

  • Length: 9 feet
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
  • Number of diver: 1 
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The next best kayak for scuba diving option is Brooklyn Kayak Company FK184

Brooklyn Kayak Company FK184 is suitable for short solo divers due to its small size and weight capacity. 

Nevertheless, this fishing kayak is stable and easy to manoeuvre even when the water condition is rough. 

The seat is fully adjustable and there is plenty of legroom to place the legs comfortably along with your scuba gear. 

You can also keep a handphone, wallet, and snacks in its two watertight hatches. For large-sized gear, you can place them in the storage space with bungee deck rigging at the back of the seat. 

5 fishing rod holders are included too, so even when you are paddling or scuba diving you can attach a dive flag or kayak lights to increase visibility. 

For enhanced portability, Brooklyn Kayak Company FK184 has four handles, so you can carry the kayak easily all by yourself from the cart to the water. 

And when you reach the diving site, you can secure the paddle to its paddle parks with ease before preparing for your dive. 

What We Like: 

  • Available in several colours
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to transport 
  • Stable
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Adjustable seat
  • Two watertight compartments and a bungee corded storage space

What We Don’t Like: 

  • May be too short for tall divers
  • Low weight capacity

5. Brooklyn Kayak Company TK122

  • Length: 12 feet 8 inches
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight: 74 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 770 pounds
  • Number of diver: 1 to 3  
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Brooklyn Kayak Company brand also designs tandem kayaks targeting plus-sized divers or adult divers with lots of scuba gear.

And kid you not, TK122 has a whopping 770 lbs weight capacity!

Aside from the impressive weight capacity, the back-supported memory foam seats allow divers to enjoy additional comfort, especially during a long ride.

This is further complemented with the moulded foot well, so divers can adjust to get that optimal footrest position.

The given scupper plugs help to keep the water from getting into the cockpit through the self-bailing drainage holes during rough water condition, so you do not have to kayak while sitting in a puddle. 

Tip: Remember to remove the plugs when the water condition is calmer for the excess water drained out of the kayak. 

Like any other best kayak for scuba diving out there, Brookly Kayak Company TK122 comes with ample storage compartments; two hatches and a cockpit bungee deck rigging. 

 Also, this stable kayak has two paddles and their respective paddle parks. 

What We Like: 

  • Suitable for plus-sized divers
  • High weight capacity
  • Stable
  • Comes with 2 back-supported memory foam seats
  • Has moulded foot wells
  • Ample storage compartments
  • Comes with scupper plugs
  • Has 4 handles for easy transportation

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Might experience poor customer service

6. Brooklyn Kayak Company RA220

  • Length: 11 feet 5 inches
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight: 70 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 440 pounds
  • Number of diver: 1  
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If you need a kayak with a higher weight capacity for a single diver, then Brooklyn Kayak Company RA220 is your best bet. 

This impressive kayak boasts its sturdiness and stability, thanks to the high-quality polyethylene material and 34-inch kayak width.

Unlike FK184, RA220 has a foot-operated rudder system that helps in navigating your paddling course regardless of the weather and water condition. 

Aside from that, Brooklyn Kayak Company RA220 has three watertight storage compartments placed in front of the seat, so you can store and access your small-sized items (like snacks!) conveniently. 

To prevent your other large scuba diving items from sliding into the water, elastic cords are set in place on the open-air cargo area. 

This kayak has a spacious cockpit area too, so you can stretch your legs while paddling to the drop-in site. 

You can expect to see two carrying handles on the gunwales that aid in transporting the kayak between your kayak cart and the launching site. 

What We Like:

  • Available in several colours
  • Sturdy and stable
  • High weight capacity for solo diver
  • Comes with a foot-operated rudder system
  • Lots of storage compartments (3 watertight and 1 cargo with elastic cords)
  • 2 side handles for easy transport
  • 1 carved handle on the bow for easy launch
  • Adjustable seat
  • Comes with paddle

What We Don’t Like

  • Might be too heavy to carry by a solo paddler

7. Perception Pescador 12.0

  • Length: 12 feet
  • Width: 32.5 inches
  • Weight: 64 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 375 pounds
  • Number of diver: 1  
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Perception Pescador 12.0 is considered one of the best kayaks for scuba diving and is popular among solo larger paddlers too.

That’s because it has good stability, manoeuvrability and tracking due to its overall great design

This affordable kayak comes with a watertight hatch and a crisscrossed elastic cord tank well rear to store your personal and scuba diving gear.   

Since the kayak comes with a cup holder feature in the cockpit, you can place your water bottle or phone as you paddle to the diving site. 

One special feature of Perception Pescador 12.0 is the sliding foot braces. With that, you can adjust your footrest and achieve an optimal leg position for a better paddling experience.

Also, for personalised support and additional comfort, the adjustable seat comes with premium padding and a back-supported feature.    

Perception Pescarod 12.0 has scupper holes too to drain away excess water that entered the kayak due to paddling motion or rough water conditions. 

If you want to increase kayak visibility, consider securing a diver down flag onto one of the attachment mounts.

What We Like:

  • Stable and sturdy
  • Good manoeuvrability and tracking
  • High weight capacity 
  • Has sliding foot braces for optimal leg position
  • Adjustable seat with premium padding and back-supported
  • Comes with 2 side carrying handles and multiple attachment mounts
  • Comes with paddle and paddle park

What We Don’t Like

  • Small storage compartment (only 1 watertight hatch and open cargo storage area)

8. Perception Access 11.5

  • Length: 11 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Weight: 55 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Number of diver: 1  
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Another Perception kayak that made it to this list is Access 11.5.

Also made with polyethylene material, this durable kayak is manufactured using the rotational-moulding method to ensure zero leaking occurrences

If you have bulky scuba gear or dry bags for the dive, rest assured that Perception Access 11.5 has two big tank well rear storage compartments on both front and back sides respectively. 

To secure the items, both the open compartments come with bungee cord lashes too. 

For small valuables and first-aid equipment, you can keep them in the dry hatch compartment for easy access.

The ergonomic seat design paired with moulded-in footwells allows paddlers to fine-tune the optimal seating position, preventing tiredness and gaining more kayak control. 

Perception Access 11.5 also comes with two handles on the gunwales for easy hauling from the kayak storage room to the diving site. 

You can also find a handle on the kayak’s bow and stern, aiding the kayak launch to the water surface and vice versa. 

The good thing about the moulded-in handles feature is that it removes the possibility of scuba gear getting stuck when diving into the water. 

Besides, the replaceable skid plates offer additional protection to the stern from damage too, especially when hauling the loaded kayak to the launching site.

What We Like: 

  • Light
  • Durable and stable
  • Comes with a moulded-in cup holder
  • Ample storage compartments (1 hatch and 2 rear tank wells)
  • Adjustable seat with great padding and ergonomic feature 
  • Has moulded-in footwells
  • Comes with 2 moulded-in handles on the gunwales, 1 handle on the bow and stern
  • Has replaceable skid plates

What We Don’t Like

  • Lack of colour variety
  • Low weight capacity
  • Doesn’t come with the paddle and paddle holder 

9. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead

  • Length: 10 feet 10 inches
  • Width: 39.5 inches
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Number of diver: 1  
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Elkton Outdoors Steelhead boasts its rigid drop-stitch floor feature that aids in the kayak’s stability especially when you are standing. 

With the reinforced PVC layer, this nimble kayak has added protection against submerged sharp objects like rocks. 

You can store the diving gear in both the bow and stern storage compartments, where the former comes with elastic bungee to secure the items. 

Also, Elkton Outdoors Steelhead has multiple mounting points to place your Go-Pro, kayak GPS, and other accessories. 

Its self-bailing floor will come in handy too by allowing water to escape the drainage hole while paddling to the diving spot. 

The best part is the purchase of Elkton Outdoors Steelhead comes with a paddle and all sorts of kayak accessories, including adjustable foot rests and seat, dual-action hand pump, travel backpack, and removable skeg. 

What We Like:

  • Stable
  • Durable and easy to inflate
  • High weight capacity
  • 2 storage compartments on its bow and stern
  • Multiple mounting points
  • Self-bailing floor
  • Comes with the paddle, travel backpack, hand pump, adjustable seat and footrest    

What We Don’t Like:

  • No hatch-sealed storage compartment 
  • No paddle holder

Tip: Elkton Outdoors Steelhead has a tandem kayak too for a couple divers or two partners.

10. Sevylor Quikpak K1 – Most Affordable Kayak for Scuba Diving

  • Length: 8 feet 7 inches
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Load Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Number of diver: 1 to 2 
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Sevylor Quikpak K1 is among the most affordable kayaks for scuba diving out there. 

This easy-to-inflate kayak is recommended for solo paddlers who do not have much diving gear for diving excursions. 

Made from PVC material, Sevylor Quikpak K1 comes with a tarpaulin bottom that offers some degree of protection against underwater objects.

This lightweight kayak is designed with several air chambers too to prevent the user from sinking when it is accidentally punctured.    

Nevertheless, the one main feature that differentiates Sevylor Quikpak K1 from others is the unique backpack system. 

Before it is inflated, you can keep the kayak in the provided backpack, boasting portability and easy storage back home. 

Once the kayak is pumped, the unfolded backpack serves as a seat while you are paddling to the diving spot.

What an innovative way to make use of all of the kayak accessories!

What We Like:

  • Inexpensive inflatable kayak option
  • Durable and lightweight 
  • Easy to transport and store
  • Unique backpack system
  • Has several air chambers
  • Comes with paddle and hand pump

What We Don’t Like

  • The backpack seat might not be comfortable for some users
  • Tracking can be improved
  • Not suitable to use on the ocean

11. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL

  • Length: 13 feet 4 inches
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight: 70 pounds
  • Load Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Number of divers: 1 to 2