Skip to main content
POV from seat of pedal kayak on a Missouri lake at dusk. Trees line the horizon. Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

The Best Pedal Kayaks of 2022

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

POV from seat of pedal kayak on a Missouri lake at dusk. Trees line the horizon. Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

Why trust Reviewed?

Reviewed's mission is to help you buy the best stuff and get the most out of what you already own. Our team of product experts thoroughly vet every product we recommend to help you cut through the clutter and find what you need.

Learn more about our product testing
Editor's Choice Product image of Hobie Mirage Lynx

Hobie Mirage Lynx

The lightweight Lynx is built for ease of transport without compromising all the bells and whistles of other Hobie models. Read More

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Can move in reverse
  • Sail Kit and Bimini compatible

Cons

  • None that we could find
Editor's Choice Product image of Pelican Getaway 110 HDII

Pelican Getaway 110 HDII

This is an excellent entry-level pedal kayak. It lacks some of the niceties of high-end models, but at a third the price, it's a great deal. Read More

Pros

  • Great value
  • Similar design to Lynx
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Can't lift or lower rudder from seat
  • No add-ons
Product image of Hobie Mirage Compass Duo

Hobie Mirage Compass Duo

This compass brings all Hobie has to offer in a two-seat configuration. Both riders can pedal and/or paddle from comfortable mesh seats. Read More

Pros

  • Holds two kayakers
  • Compatible with Hobie accessories
  • Dual MirageDrives

Cons

  • None that we could find
Product image of Bote Lono Aero

Bote Lono Aero

The Lono Aero is cool looking and comes with lots of bells and whistles, but durability could be a concern. The pedal drive is not included. Read More

Pros

  • Easy to transport
  • Unique design
  • Plenty of accessories

Cons

  • Pedal drive not included
  • Lots of warranty fine print
Product image of Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0

Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0

With four built-in rod holders and a camouflage design, the Pilot 12 is built for fishing, but is also makes a great recreational pedal kayak. Read More

Pros

  • Molded-in rod holders
  • 475-pound weight capacity

Cons

  • Heavy

Kayaks might seem to be very simple in concept, and they certainly can be. But in 1997, Hobie complicated water sports for the better with the introduction of the first pedal drive made for kayaks: the MirageDrive. Since then, the design has been riffed on by several other brands, but the MirageDrive remains at the forefront of this technology.

The benefits of a pedal drive are numerous, but the common-sung praises are enhanced speed, freed-up hands for fishing, and a good leg workout. Pedal drives are also a great option for those with limited upper body strength, flexibility, or dexterity. With these advantages in mind, it’s easy to see why pedal kayaks are growing in popularity, and the Hobie Mirage Lynx (available at West Coast Sailing) has brought something new to a fairly predictable line of kayaks.

We’ve rounded up six of the best pedal kayaks you can get right now, so let’s dive in.

Editor's Note

The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.

Best Overall: Hobie Mirage Lynx

Product image of Hobie Mirage Lynx
Hobie Mirage Lynx

Given the brand’s 25-plus years of experience making pedal drives, it comes as no surprise that Hobie makes our favorite pedal kayaks. The design of the Lynx is a departure from their other models, as it’s built for ease of transport.

The Lynx only weighs 47 pounds, which makes it the lightest kayak on this list—even lighter than the inflatable Lono Aero. It also has rear skid pads and a stackable design to make loading it onto the roof rack or garage storage much easier.

As with most newer Hobie Mirage kayaks, the Lynx comes with the MirageDrive 180 with kick-up fins and rudder, which is a major upgrade from previous drives. The fins fold up and out of the way when you inevitably hit something in shallow water, and they also allow for propulsion in both forward and reverse.

And let’s not forget the many upgrades Hobie makes available, expensive though they are. The Lynx is compatible with the accessory mount, Bimini Sunshade, the very cool Hobie Mirage Sail Kit, and more.

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Can move in reverse

  • Sail Kit and Bimini compatible

Cons

  • None that we could find

POV gif of pedaling Hobie on lake
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

Hobie's MirageDrive makes kayaking possible for people who can't use a paddle.

Product image of Pelican Getaway 110 HDII
Pelican Getaway 110 HDII

The Pelican Getaway 110’s design is shockingly similar to that of the Hobie Lynx, and it sells for a third of the price. However, at 65 pounds, the Getaway 110 is 20 pounds heavier than the Lynx, and its weight capacity is 50 pounds less, at 300. The pedals cannot move the kayak in reverse, there is no included paddle, and there’s no easy way to raise and lower the rudder from your seat. Oh, and you also don’t have cupholders or holes for a kayak cart.

But, people do love this model as an affordable way to get into pedal kayaking. It’s reasonably priced and has very similar basic functions to some of the higher-end models currently on the market. You’ll sacrifice the little niceties Hobie offers, but their absence won’t keep you from getting out on the water, so the Getaway 110 might be the best budget pedal kayak to start with if you’re not ready to go all-in just yet.

Pros

  • Great value

  • Similar design to Lynx

  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Can't lift or lower rudder from seat

  • No add-ons

Product image of Hobie Mirage Compass Duo
Hobie Mirage Compass Duo

If you see kayaking as more of a team sport, it might be worth the extra money to upsize to a tandem kayak. They’re generally less expensive than buying two single kayaks of similar quality, and, in most cases, it’s easier to transport one tandem than two singles.

Hobie’s Mirage Compass Duo is one such tandem kayak that integrates many of the features we love from other Mirage models: the kick-up fins and rudder protect your MirageDrive from shallow-water damage, pedaling can move the kayak forward or backward, there’s a decent amount of storage, and it has Mirage Sail Kit compatibility.

Pros

  • Holds two kayakers

  • Compatible with Hobie accessories

  • Dual MirageDrives

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Bote Lono Aero
Bote Lono Aero

Though we’re convinced that Hobie takes the crown in the pedal kayak category, we admit we were drooling over the Bote Lono Aero inflatable kayak. You’d be hard pressed to find another kayak that looks quite this cool.

But the Lono Aero is more than a pretty face. It has an impressive feature set as well: it can move forward and backward, the Apex Pedal Drive articulates in and out of the water easily, it has an opening to hold Bote’s Kula cooler behind the seat, there’s an accessory-mounting port on the nose of the boat, and it’s made of four separate air chambers (which is comforting if you’re worried about air leaks).

Speaking of durability, Bote offers a two-year warranty, but we found its fine print didn’t inspire much confidence. Some items the warranty does not cover:

  • Any puncture, cut, or abrasion sustained in normal use or damage from unreasonable uses or improper storage.

  • Damage by extreme weather or environmental conditions.

  • Normal wear and tear and aging of product.

These exceptions could leave you high and (not so) dry in most situations where damage and punctures could occur. We haven’t dealt with Bote’s customer service, and it could be that they’re more helpful than these stipulations imply, but it’s always good to know what guarantees you have—or don’t have—when buying an expensive product.

Also note that the Apex pedal drive is sold separately from the kayak itself for nearly $900.

Pros

  • Easy to transport

  • Unique design

  • Plenty of accessories

Cons

  • Pedal drive not included

  • Lots of warranty fine print

Product image of Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0
Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0

The Pescador (or “fisherman,” in Portuguese) Pilot is a solid, no-frills kayak built for—you guessed it—fishing. It can reverse back out of that sweet little cove you couldn’t quite cast to before, and you can stay hidden with your choice of three different camouflage designs. The four molded-in rod holders are always ready to catch The Big One.

The Pilot Drive propeller system on the Pilot is powered by moving the pedals in a bicycling motion (as opposed to the stair-stepper motion of the Hobie pedals), and the kayak has a max weight capacity of 475 pounds. The only other kayak we reviewed that has a weight limit at or above 450 pounds is the tandem Hobie Compass Duo.

Though the Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is the best pedal kayak for fishing, it's also much beloved as a recreational pedal kayak for its stability, comfort, and value.

Pros

  • Molded-in rod holders

  • 475-pound weight capacity

Cons

  • Heavy

Product image of Wilderness Systems Radar 115
Wilderness Systems Radar 115

As with the Lono Aero, the pedal drive is sold separately from the Radar 115, so keep that in mind when you see the kayak’s low price. With the pedal drive, it ends up being one of the most expensive rigs on this list.

Be that as it may, there are some things to love about the Radar 115. If you want some power to back you up when you’re tired, Wilderness Systems makes the Helix MD Motor Drive, which locks into the same spot the Helix MD Pedal Drive does, and it can motor you across the water effortlessly.

The company also makes a Silent Traction Kit that keeps your paddle, poles, and other gear from making noise when they tap or rub the boat’s hull. The pedal drive is even designed for stealth, with the ability to lock the drive in a zero-draft position without removing it completely.

The Helix Pedal Drive nearly doubles the price of this kayak. For not a whole lot more, you could get our top pick, the Hobie Lynx. But if you want the option of the Helix MD Motor Drive or prefer the Radar 115’s 450-pound capacity to the Lynx’s 350-pound limit, it might be better to go this route and forego Hobie’s cool add-ons.

Pros

  • Compatible with motor drive

  • Zero-draft pedal drive

Cons

  • Expensive with pedal drive

  • Heavy

Meet the tester

Sarah Kovac

Sarah Kovac

Editor, Accessibility

@sarahkovac

Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and accessibility editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.

See all of Sarah Kovac's reviews

Checking our work.

Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.

Shoot us an email