Comparing Budget Kayaks [Video]

woman kayaking

(photo courtesy of @cakejaggaley)

In this video, Headwaters Kayak’s Dan Arbuckle compares two sit-on-top kayaks with a $250 price difference. What are the differences and why might you choose one over the other?

Dan says, “My goal in this video is to bring you guys along and show you the details I notice between two comparable entry-level fishing kayaks. I hope this helps your buying process.”

The comparison Dan explains in the two kayaks featured in this video can be applied to other kayaks as well. His main point is to know the differences, know what’s most important to you, and make your decision from there.

Here are the main details from Dan’s review:

Size and Weight Load

Lifetime’s Tamarack Pro is 10-3 in length, 31 inches wide and can hold 300 pounds (including gear). It weighs 57 pounds, which is relatively light.

Feelfree’s Moken 10 is 10 feet long, 33 inches wide and can hold 440 pounds. It weighs about 70 pounds, so is a little beefier than the Tamarack.

Material and Molding Process

Both these models are made from the same material: polyethylene plastic.

The Tamarack is “blow molded” using a plastic mold and air. The process is efficient and, therefore, inexpensive.

The Moken is “roto (rotational) molded.” It’s a longer process that allows for more detail and features, so it adds cost to the end result.

Kayak Features

There are differences in the details of these two kayaks:

CARRY HANDLES—The Tamarack’s handles are added by drilling holes in the tips, whereas the Moken’s handles are built into the plastic ends in the molding process.

FRONT END STORAGE—The Tamarack has a depression in the front with bungees to hold down a dry bag or other item in place. The Moken has a well in its front end, so whatever you place there is in rather than on.

compare two budget kayaks

Comparing the features between the Tamarack Pro and Moken 10 fishing kayaks

FEATURES NEAR THE KAYAK COCKPIT—Both these models have adjustable foot braces and side tracks to mount pole stands and other gadgets. These are plastic on the Tamarack and intended for light use, and includes a basic rod holder. On the Moken, the foot braces are a little more heavy-duty and the side tracks are metal.

The Moken features a larger covered storage area in the center, and also a reinforced standing deck with a stand-assist leash, which the Tamarack doesn’t have. The Tamarack has a ruler built into the floor of the cockpit to easily measure your catch.

The Moken is designed to be able to add a rudder system if you want one.

KAYAK SEAT—The Tamarack’s seat is very comfortable, especially for a $400 kayak, but the way it’s attached to the kayak may not last over time, and the seat is not height-adjustable. The Moken’s seat is steel-frame that’s height-adjustable. It has a more secure attachment system to the kayak itself.

The Moken offers tackle storage on each side of the seat and the seat itself is a bit wider than the Tamarack’s.

BACK OF THE KAYAK—This is the “pickup end” where you’ll store most of your fishing gear, extra rods and more. Both feature a couple rod holders and a tank well. The Moken is a slightly deeper boat, so it’s rear storage is slightly deeper.

The Moken has additional tracks along the back edges, ready to take more gear. The Tamarack does not, but its sides are flat, so tracks can be added.

The Moken has a pretty hefty wheel-in-the-keel, making it easy to drag it from your vehicle to the water and back.

KEEL—Both these models are tri-hulled. The Moken’s keels are deeper and more defined. Both are extremely stable on the water.

compare budget kayaks

THE PRICES have changed since this video was produced. As of January 2021 the Tamarack Pro is $599.99 and the Moken 10 is $714. Some features have probably changed in both models, too, so it’s time for your own research!

What questions do you have about our paddles or packrafting? Contact our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

More for you...