logo for Lifetime Emotion kayaks

From humble beginnings in 1986, Lifetime products have expanded exponentially. Although its origin comes from a family garage in Utah, Lifetime is now a global manufacturer, providing a vast array of products across 70 different countries.

While initially focusing on building adjustable and portable basketball hoops, the company has diversified, manufacturing picnic tables, sheds, and finally, kayaks. In fact, Lifetime is one of the largest kayak manufacturers in the U.S. With high levels of quality and affordable price points, the company strives to make kayaks accessible for consumers across all ages and skill levels.

Although the product line has certainly changed, the company values have remained consistent. Lifetime strives to provide durable, dependable, and affordable products for consumers and their families. By using innovative technology and manufacturing methods, Lifetime has pioneered the production of blow-molded plastic, integrating high-density polyethylene plastic into all their products.

With a strong commitment to value and integrity, Lifetime Kayaks are amongst the most popular kayaks on the market today. Built with convenience in mind, these kayaks are sturdy enough to accommodate beginners and seasoned kayakers alike. Their stable and durable design make them ideally suited for paddling trips across lakes, ponds, or slow-moving rivers.

Kayak Models

When considering purchasing a kayak, there are two different types of kayaks to choose from: sit-on-top kayaks, and sit-inside kayaks. Although Lifetime kayaks focus solely on sit-on-top models, it’s helpful to understand the difference between the two types of kayaks.

Sit-on-top models function exactly as the name suggests. These kayaks feature an open cockpit, which allows for unrestrained entrance into and exit from the kayak. Paddlers can sit on top of the kayak without being encumbered by restraints, making for a much more comfortable paddling experience.

While their shapes and sizes vary, sit-on-top kayaks are generally wider and have greater stability, making them ideal for leisurely paddling, fishing, or beginners.

Sit-inside models, however, have a more traditional look. These kayaks feature a cockpit for paddlers to sit inside, with their legs fitting below the deck. They are typically more streamlined than sit-on-top models, meant to cut through water quickly and efficiently. This makes sit-inside models great options for paddlers who want to traverse longer distances in shorter amounts of time.

For use in cooler climates, the cockpit is also ideal for providing shelter from the elements. Sit-inside models are generally best-suited for intermediate skill levels, as they will be slightly less stable than sit-on-top models.

The Top-Rated Lifetime Kayaks

While Lifetime kayaks tend to speak for themselves in value and quality, it can be difficult to determine which kayak is the best choice for you. This review will take a close look at the top-rated Lifetime kayaks that consistently gain high praise for their performance.

Although each kayak comes with high levels of quality, no kayak is the same. As each kayak is made with different levels of performance, skill level, and function in mind, each consumer should have a clear idea of what type of performance they need from a kayak, and what kind of environment they will be using it in.

To provide expert guidance when searching for the best Lifetime kayaks, our review has highlighted the top five Lifetime kayaks. Each component of these kayaks is closely analyzed to pinpoint qualities that set these kayaks apart from the competition.

  1. Lifetime Muskie Sit-On-Top Kayak

Key Features:

  • Stable, flat bottom
  • Multiple footrest positions
  • Two storage compartments
  • Three mounted fishing rod holders

For anglers who are looking for a dependable, functional kayak, the Lifetime Muskie kayak is a perfect option. Engineered with fishing in mind, this stable sit-on-top kayak comes with two flush mounted fishing rod holders and one top mount fishing rod holder, providing multiple options for convenient and easy fishing.

This kayak is ideally suited for longer paddling trips, with a padded backseat to provide comfort. The stable, flat bottom is designed with safety and stability in mind, providing optimal levels of both. The shock cord straps across the front and rear provide additional stability, ensuring that impacts from logs, rocks, or other obstacles are quickly and efficiently absorbed.

Made of high-density polyethylene, this kayak is not only durable, but it is also UV and impact resistant. With the addition of two storage compartments, this Lifetime kayak offers high levels of performance, functionality, and versatility.

2. Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak

(Read our full review)

Key Features:

  • Fits up to 3 people
  • Unique hull design for increased stability
  • Multiple footrests
  • 5-year manufacturer warranty

If you’re looking to include a few friends or family members on your kayaking adventures, the Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak is an excellent way to bring your favorite people out on the water. With multiple footrests to accommodate varying heights, each person can be as comfortable as possible while paddling. At a 500-lb capacity, this kayak is incredibly strong and stable.

Part of this stability comes from the tunnel hull design. This unique form makes it easy to sit or even stand without tipping the kayak over. For beginners, or for anglers who prefer to vary their fishing positions, this is a great feature.

Not only does this kayak come with high levels of stability and durability, but it comes with tons of extra features, too. Two padded backrests ensure comfort throughout longer paddling sessions, and a total of three contoured seats makes it easy to add a third person. This kayak also comes with two double-sided paddles, paddle clips, three fishing rod holders, and a storage hatch.

  1. Lifetime Daylite Sit-On-Top Kayak

Key Features:

  • Includes 1 kayak paddle
  • Self-bailing scupper holes for drainage
  • Unique hull design for added stability
  • Storage compartment with bungee covering

One of the best features of the Lifetime Daylite kayak is that it focuses on easy and convenient transportation. At 38 pounds, this is one of the lightest kayaks available, making carrying the kayak much more manageable. A molded center carry handle and strap make for easy transportation out of the car and into the water.

Its sleek, compact design also makes storing much easier. At 8 feet, the kayak can easily be stored in a closet or a garage. The design also allows for the kayak to be stored upright, ensuring that you won’t have to sacrifice space in order to keep your kayak at home.

With an extremely flat bottom and a unique hull design, this kayak features enhanced stability and security when out on the water. For beginners, this is an important feature. Even intermediate kayakers will appreciate the smooth and reliable performance from the Lifetime Daylite kayak, making it the perfect choice for getting out on the water and enjoying nature.

  1. Lifetime 8-foot Lotus Kayak

Key Features:

  • Handle for easy transport
  • Scupper holes to drain cockpit area
  • Adjustable backrest
  • Multiple footrest positions

For those who are looking for their very first kayak, the Lifetime Lotus kayak is an excellent choice. This kayak is perfectly suited to keep beginning kayakers feeling confident and stable when out on the water. The hull design and the flat bottom ensure that paddling movements can be freely made without worrying about tipping over. In fact, users will find that this model is nearly impossible to tip over!

The list of built-in features makes this an incredibly versatile kayak, including a paddle cradle and a mast receiver. This allows for users to attach a sail to the kayak, enhancing their experience through creating a personal boat. As an added benefit, the Lotus kayak comes with a molded child seat placed directly in front of the adult seat.

Made of durable polyethylene plastic, this kayak will last through years of wear and tear. This includes damage from the sun, as the brightly colored finish is also protected from UV rays. For a versatile and dependable kayak, it doesn’t get any better than the Lifetime Lotus.

  1. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

    #1 Kayak Choice for Kids

Key Features:

  • Suitable for ages 5 and up
  • Includes 1 youth paddle
  • Lightweight design
  • Molded finger handles on the side

Luckily, age doesn’t have to be a deterrent for enjoying watersports. Children as young as five years old can be safely introduced to kayaking through the incredibly popular Lifetime Youth Wave kayak.

The smooth, one-piece plastic construction has no protruding hardware, ensuring that tiny hands won’t accidentally get hurt. The rear deck is formatted to benefit smaller bodies, as it provides easy entrance and exit from the kayak.

With maximum stability in mind, the Youth Wave kayak comes with a unique hull design, making it much more difficult for the kayak to tip over. Additionally, it also features a double-wedge fin to further ensure support and stability.


If stability and durability are key components to your kayaking experience, then Lifetime kayaks are the perfect option. With enhanced features like added storage, paddle rests, and comfortable seating, paddling through the water has never been easier.

When looking for your own kayak, it can be helpful to analyze the top-rated kayaks currently available. Lifetime kayaks are widely recognized as some of the most valuable kayaks to invest in, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Each of these top-rated models has gained high amounts of praise for their long-lasting durability and performance.

No matter which Lifetime kayak you choose, you can rest assured that you are investing in a long history of dedication and quality.