Which kayak should I buy?

Hi all,

Hoping to get some good suggestions. I want to buy my husband a kayak for his birthday and I am clueless about kayaking. He will be using it on a kettle lake in PA. He is new to kayaking. While he might want to use it occasionally to fish, it’s main purpose would just be for paddling around the lake. I would like to get him one at our local Dunham’s or Dicks Sporting Goods. Could also do amazon. Some of the brands I keep seeing are pelican and future beach. I would like to stay at or under around $300 since he has just mentioned this as a new interest. Any suggestions for a decent kayak for a beginner to use on the weekends? He is about 5’10 if that makes a difference. Thanks so much!

Also interested to hear if you would advise against buying these brands for whatever reason and why. Just looking for general thoughts on getting started without breaking the bank. Thanks!

A shop in CA did a review of kayaks under $300. Here is a video on it: https://youtu.be/cZ8aP4zljPM

The kayaks in question are recreational class kayaks which are decent for small bodies of water, which I believe kettle lakes would be. Basically, he needs to be able to swim to shore should he flip, as the kayak won’t be re-enterable on the water. The same guy did a another video with the Pelican (maybe same bat from this first video) showing what happened when it floods, and then grabs a higher end kayak and shows the difference. https://www.facebook.com/headwaterskayak/videos/360697151471483/

Truthfully, kayaks are often like pets - each person has their pwn preference. I’d more advise getting him a gift certificate for an intro to kayaking class at a kayak shop. Or a gift certificate to let him buy the kayak he wants. And make sure you allow a bit more for a comfortable PFD (life jacket) and paddle.

Along those lines, a good paddle and comfortable life jacket he’ll wear are almost as important as the boat.
You can get a good Aquabound paddle from Campmor.com for a bit over $100 . The life jacket many of us wear is an Astral V8 because it’s comfortable and cool, temp wise.Those run about $125.