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Jackson Kayaks Mini Tripper

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Jackson Kayaks Mini Tripper recreational kayak

This is an excellent little recreational kayak for kids, teens, and small women. It's good for flat water and for fishing. Light enough for small people to carry to the water, it's still well-made of tough plastic.


  • Light enough to carry solo
  • Good size for small people
  • Stable and comfortable


  • Looks big enough for an adult—but it's not really big enough for that.
  • This is a real boat that can get you out far from shore in danger when a storm blows in.
  • Minimal flotation, so I added some pool noodles.

This handy little recreational kayak was the prize I won at a paddle festival. What a pleasure the Mini-Tripper was to paddle! I used it for a year, and it's now owned by the teenage children of a friend.

I was not the person it was designed for, yet it still worked fine for me. At five feet tall, my height was okay, and the foot pedals worked fine. At 150 pounds, I was above the maximum weight recommended. The Mini-Tripper is a good size for children, teenagers, or even a small adult who weighs under 140 pounds. What I liked best was being able to carry a solid, well-made kayak by myself to the beach.

The Mini-Tripper reminds me of my old Pamlico kayak, an old version of the Pungo from Wilderness Systems, but the Mini-Tripper is scaled down to small person size. It would be a terrific kayak for a kid to use while fishing with friends, each in their own kayak. It feels very stable. The keel is long enough that the boat does not wag much while I'm paddling. I really liked the metal bar reinforcing the keel from inside.

What I did not like was that there was not much to float the kayak when it fills with water. I did some safety practise, tipping out at the beach with friends. I felt much better after I put two pool noodles inside the kayak. They fit inside from bow to stern, and were held in place by the sides of the seat.

I would advise parents to keep in mind that even a five-year-old could drag this light boat into the water and float away.

In my opinion, this is a good boat for flat water. I would not use it in whitewater rapids. I did not take it out of a very sheltered ocean bay into the currents running nearby, just past the point.

Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Jackson Kayaks gave it to PaddleFest at Ladysmith, BC)

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Price Historic Range: $343.20-$381.65
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