Lifetime Kayak - good brand?

My dad saw a Lifetime sit on top kayak at I think either Sam’s or Costco the other day for only $150 and I was wondering whether it’s a good brand?

You get what you pay for
At the price of a fancy pool toy that’s what you got

Ok for ponds where you can swim to shore

Don’t expect it to last long before it cracks or warps

No it isn’t

– Last Updated: Aug-14-16 11:31 AM EST –

Don't waste your money. Even $150 is too much for one of those discount store things. LIfetime makes boat-shaped pieces of plastic and that's about all they are. As the previous poster said, they are no better than a pool toy. Flimsy plastic, poor design, cheap fittings, basically disposable and won't paddle worth squat. Lifetime makes plastic lawn furniture and tool sheds. They are NOT a watersports company.

If you want a real kayak, go to a proper dealer. Or if your budget is small, look on Craigslist for a used boat. A decent brand of kayak will hold up well so used one is just as good as a new one. Most new kayaks under $400 are junk. Also beware of the cheaper models by Pelican, Future Beach and SunDolphin. About the lowest priced decent kayaks are by Perception Sport, found at big box sporting goods stores like Dick's and Dunhams.

Not all kayaks fit all people or are suitable for all waters. Larger people need larger kayaks (longer and wider). And for any water that is deeper than over your head or fast moving, kayaks need safety features that are lacking in cheapo models.

Sams and Costco
do not sell good brands of kayaks. They are what they are, discounters.

good brands
The most common good brands of mid-priced plastic kayaks are Perception, Dagger, Necky, Wilderness Systems, Jackson, Venture, Elie and Current Designs. Look for those brands in used boats on Craigslist. Though, as I mentioned, you also need to know what style of kayak is appropriate for the waters you plan to paddle and for the size and skill of the paddler.

I commented on this to Tamia Nelson
And she made the point that these cheap boats get people into the sport at a reasonable cost.

If they hate paddling, no big cash-loss.

But if they like paddling, they quickly upgrade to a decent boat.

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Costco-specific brand?
I don’t know if they have exclusive rights to the Lifetime brand, but last year I bought their small plastic shed kit for my patio, and was pleased at the small details in the construction. Holding up well.

That said, it does not track well in a crosswind.

not necessarily
Unfortunately if the boat is a lousy match, or very poorly made, it can turn newbies off from the sport.

I know a newbie who thought he got a great deal on a whitewater kayak, just to get on the water. Bad choice because he wanted to use it on lakes. He went out with a group and could not keep it straight and no way could he keep up even with rec kayaks. He was spinning the boat and going in circles.

He was so frustrated that after two times on the water he was through with kayaking and sold the kayak.

It is a worthy goal
Cheap access to get people on the water is great. Unfortunately the question often comes in with tones similar to this post, where it seems that there is an expectation on the part of the father or person who posted it that this also be a good boat. These folks may not understand that this is not doable at that price point new.

One of the values of getting someone to start with a used boat is that it reduces the expectation a given boat will be the end all of what a new paddler will need. It is hard - people prefer shiny and new to beat up serviceable and loyal. But it makes that first boat less precious if, as most of us managed, that first boat or two is not really the ultimate ride.

I’m curious where people find these bargains on Craigslist. I know I’ve been looking to upgrade for a year (but can’t afford $1000 for a yak). Everything I see on Craigslist is either ancient models that arnt sold anymore (and makes me wonder how much life they have left- especially if plastic) or they’re less than 10 years old but the seller is trying to recoup what they paid in the first place.

I’m not paying $750 for a used boat that was $800 new even if it’s only been used for 2 seasons. I expect more than a 5% discount for the fact I can’t take it back to store if something is wrong.

I’m not sure where people are getting good deals on kayaks but around here everyone seems to be asking almost full price for a used boat. Craigslist has not been my friend.

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Haggling on price
Things may change from area to area, but lots of people post high prices on facebook knowing that lots of people are going to low ball them on price. Unless it’s an exceptionally good kayak in mint condition, if its older than 2 or 3 years you are fine to offer 1/2 the retail price used. Make them an offer, if they don’t like it they don’t have to deal with you, if they come down a reasonable amount go ahead and buy it.

It is pretty easy to tell if fiberglass
is in good shape. Plus it is easy to repair. I picked up a 30 year old fiberglass Mariner for $400. Had a few dings but it is a fast, fun and well made kayak that is no longer made. Just have to know what you are looking for.

Funny - Celia, you say “discounters” like it is dirty:) Of course, I am reading into it with your “voice”… which may not be true.

The thing that I find odd is that I think of Costco as quality at good prices for volume discount. I buy very specific things at Costco all the time in bulk - Organic Quinoa, Brown Rice, Avocado’s, Pineapples, Mango’s, toothbrushes. I see loads of good brand names just in big boxes. That to me gives the connotation that I am buying quality stuff at a special price because I am willing to buy more of it.

THEN you move to the "seasonal’ aisle and they sell “kayaks”, “paddleboards” and quality hoses and outdoor furniture. If I knew nothing about kayaks and paddleboards, I would assume that the “quality” thing held true for those things. BUT, it doesn’t. Not sure why it doesn’t but I think it is because a seasonal buyer (at Costco), who normally buys pool toys and hoses and outdoor furniture isn’t discerning enough to know that the plastic crap they are selling isn’t worth the money UNLESS you are simply using it for a pool toy or “cottage” toy.

Off to Costco to fill my car up with good quality “high performance” gasoline and get a fresh pineapple:)

Discounters per se not bad
I have spent plenty of time taking advantage of steals at places which specialize in selling at steep discounts. The reason I rarely do now is a simple matter of quantity.

Just me doesn’t consume enough food or anything else that the larger quantities they feature make any sense. As to household stuff, I am more in the mode of getting rid of things. The bit of it that I do need I usually prefer to walk downtown to a local store. For sports again I am pretty decently set. For the most part I don’t need enough that I save critical amounts by going thru a Costco for household hoses, tools etc, already have a bunch.

That does not mean I never roam thru Aldi… just try to resist it because it is more tempting than I will consume.

But discounters for things like kayaks is another matter entirely. As you mention, and it is what I was trying to say in my post further down, the problem is when people expect the pool toys they get from Costco to give them the service of a better quality kayak. The original poster didn’t ask if the kayak would work OK for just knocking around, but whether it was a good brand. That suggests an expectation of quality that is not likely to be realistic from a source like Costco.

Of course there is a philosophical debate about shopping locally versus big stores. I have settled on a personal balance with which I am comfortable. But I would be lying or stupid to claim that someone trying to raise a family or do work that requires consuming large amounts of stuff has the same flexibility in saving money as a single skinny aging female with most of my"stuff" needs met.

pdf paddle
plus yak. 2 paddles. waterproof key case. hat. sunglasses. solar block. eyeglass frame holder. floating bow rope ( painter) . neoprene socks.‘waterproof’ $andal$. strap on bag for stuff, water container. lunch box.

soon adds up to realmoney. by time I add up the hauler, boats, equipment and storage area …

so off course yes.

there is a caveat. multiple drownings this seasons appear caused by what is called a hard chine…a sharp n short transition in the hull edge from bottom to deck. This is cost effective ie cheap but causes hull to FLIP over the verb is FLIPPING …


basically what happens is the hull is stable paddled conservatively but horsing around or in dire straits as over your head…the hull FLIPS.


if you buy this cheap piece of XXXX, n enjoy paddling the other equipment is use able buying a used Eddyline.

buy a good paddle. spend 2x the hull.

The LIFETIME name produces plastic stuff. I assume the plastics into the kayak are leftover’s from their space program.

I like this post
…because you asked BEFORE you bought.

hard chines dont cause drownings
again an unfounded in fact theory

The Prijon Seayak was a fine boat. Hard chined

The original CD Caribou the same.

Chines have nothing to do with drowning. Failure to wear a PFD does:

“Where cause of death was known, 76% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 85% were not wearing a life jacket.”

Junk Science…
I have NEVER flipped a hard chine boat except on purpose and then it wasn’t easy. I’ve had four of them.

The suggestion
To the OP, was take a look.

Yawl been into Wal scope Wal’‘s chines ?

Wal’'s chines are less is mo$e whereas your HC may not bear exclusively in profit.

However, in the beginning, I wasn’t convinced chines are relevent to SOT, as I have not looked there.

I jus wanted tuh dredge the subject again.