Evrwild Kids Kayak Review

When we first decided that our oldest was ready to kayak solo, I scoured the market for a kayak that would provide the safety and durability I required along with the “cool features” my kiddo craved. It wasn’t until I attended The Big Gear Show in Colorado last year that I finally found what I was looking for. The Evrwild Kids Kayak checked all the boxes and then some, but would it perform as well as I was hoping? Read on to find out!

If you are looking for some more family kayaking info, make sure to check out our Kayaking With Kids post or our How to Choose a Family Kayak.

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A purple Evrwild Water Bear Kids Kayak at the beach

About the Evrwild Kids Kayak

History of the Company

The idea behind the Evrwild Kids Kayak stemmed from the glaring gap in the market for high-quality kids’ kayaks. The founders, Ruth and Matt, were searching for a kayak that was built for kids and included features that not only keep kids safe but also comfortable and happy while exploring the water. What they found was not up to their standards, so they set out to craft the product they were searching for.

Throughout the process, the main goal was to get more families outdoors enjoying nature with quality, kid-specific gear. Ruth and Matt believe that engaging with the outdoors stimulates sensory learning, builds resilience, and encourages independence in children. They set out to create a kayak bursting with kid-friendly features while also boasting quality and design equal to what is expected for adult kayaks.

Evrwild Water Bear Kids Kayak

Through much research and collaboration with a team of experienced US-based engineers and manufacturers, they accomplished their goal, and the Evrwild Water Bear Kids Kayak was born. Named after one of the toughest (and tiniest) animals on earth (officially known as the tardigrade), this kayak is durable and loaded with cool features. Their attention to detail provides an enjoyable experience and promotes independence as kids explore nature with their families.

A young Child paddling an Evrwild kids kayak at the beach wearing a Sunday Afternoons sun hat

Product Specifications

Starting with the basics, the Evrwild Water Bear Kids Kayak currently comes in two vibrant colors: Sunrise Peak Purple and Grinnell Glacier Blue. It is built for one paddler (though my youngest often goes along for a ride with his older brother). Here are the main product specifications:

  • Price: $599.99
  • Length: 6.5 feet
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Deck Height: 9 inches
  • Weight: 31 pounds
  • Max Weight Capacity: 130 pounds
A purple Evrwild Water Bear Kids Kayak on a roof rack on top of a Toyota Highlander

Evrwild Kids Kayak Key Features

This youth kayak is loaded with kid-centric features that enhance the kayaking experience for even the youngest solo paddlers:

Molded Footrests

The molded footrests are ergonomically designed to grow with your child, with multiple size options built in. My son boasted that they provide ACTUAL foot support rather than the useless foot notches found on other kayak brands. This helps kids to maneuver better, especially when turning or paddling through small waves.

Treasure Tray and Cup Holder

In the center of the kayak, there is a treasure tray and cup holder built right in. If your kiddos are like mine, they like to collect nature finds as they go, and the tray allows them to do so easily. Also, having a built-in cup holder is convenient, especially for longer adventures. The cup holder fits most standard-sized water bottles but is not wide enough for the large Nalgene-style water bottles.

A close up of the treasure tray and water bottle holder on the Evrwild kids kayak

Swim-Up Deck with Handles

This fun feature allows kids to explore the water and easily return to the kayak using the wide swim-up deck and conveniently placed handles to pull themselves back up. It also allowed my youngest to “ride” with his brother by sitting on the deck.

Non-Slip Seat Pad

The addition of this pad allows kids to stay put while paddling rather than sliding around on a hard plastic seat. It also provides some comfort for those longer paddling adventures.

Front Storage

The convenient front storage area includes a bungee to secure items such as snorkeling gear, a small dry bag, shoes, etc.

Three Carry Handles

Rather than just having the front handle, this kayak also has a sturdy handle on each side of the hull. This makes carrying and attaching extras super convenient for both adults and kids.

Scupper Holes and Drain Plug

There is a drain plug located towards the back of the kayak (this is useful to prevent pressure build-up in the sealed hull from elevation or temperature changes). There are also two scupper holes to drain water while paddling.

Paddle Rest

There are notches built into the kayak to rest the paddle while taking a break. My son mentioned that the location of the paddle rest notches was more convenient than on other youth kayaks because he could easily notch the paddle without having to unseat himself (other companies position their paddle rest farther forward on the kayak).

Properly Sized Paddle Included

There is a sturdy 218 cm paddle included. It detaches into 2 parts for easy transport and includes a paddle leash that can be attached to the kayak or the paddler.

Performance and Experience

We had the opportunity to test out the Evrwild Kids Kayak in multiple different settings and with multiple different ages in Coastal Virginia. We tested the maneuvering, stability, and usefulness of the key features. My main tester was my 8-year-old son, but my almost 5-year-old also got in on the action.

Beach Settings

A boy paddling an Evrwild Water Bear Kids Kayak along the beach

We took this kayak for a spin at a nearby beach that stays relatively shallow and calm due to breakwaters along the shore. The first day had very little wind, so my son was able to easily maneuver through the water and get a feel for the kayak. His first comment was, “Wow, this is really stable!”. He even tried to tip it over and was unsuccessful. He also took full advantage of the treasure tray, collecting cool shells and rocks he found along the way.

My younger kiddo, who was about 4.5 years old at the time, also took a turn and was able to paddle a bit along the coast with some encouragement from his brother. He was still a little short for the foot notches, but I was pleasantly surprised that he was able to paddle at all! They also had fun riding together with my younger kiddo “fishing” off the back or big brother holding onto the back to “propel” his brother forward.

Two children on an Evrwild kids kayak at the beach

The next few times we took it to the beach, the wind was stronger, which caused the waves to be larger (though still relatively mild). My older son was still able to maneuver relatively well and had no fear of tipping over. He did mention that quite a bit of water splashed up at him through the scupper holes, but this was his only complaint.

River Kayaking

A child paddling an Evrwild Kids Kayak in a river tethered to another kayak

We were also able to test out the kayak at a nearby river access with a kayak launch. This time, we attached a leash from the back of our 2-person inflatable kayak to the front carrying handle of the Evrwild Kids Kayak. This was to ensure that our kiddo didn’t panic when paddling around larger boats in the water. It also allowed him to take breaks as needed on these longer excursions.

Even with patches of stronger currents (both natural and caused by larger boats), our son was able to maneuver the kayak well. He felt so sturdy and comfortable that he would zone out and do his version of meditation with his eyes closed while we towed him along. His favorite part though was being able to observe wildlife along the shore and search for turtles, hermit crabs, and sea birds.

A young boy meditating while sitting in an Evrwild Water Bear Kids Kayak in a river

When it came time to head back, I was surprised at the ease with which he was able to maneuver himself back onto the kayak launch. He has had trouble with this in the past with other youth kayak brands, especially when the current picks up. His confidence in hitting the water solo has increased tremendously while testing out this kayak!

Best For… Kids Ready to Hit the Water Solo

Their suggested range is from 4 years old up to 130 pounds. That means this kayak can grow with your kiddo, and even be used by adults on the smaller side! The multiple footrest options allow paddlers to find a perfect fit to feel stable and secure when paddling in variable conditions.

While we waited until our kids had some paddling experience in 2-person kayaks before they ventured out solo, the features on this kayak allow even inexperienced kayakers to feel safe and stable on the water. The front carrying handle provides a good anchor point for tow lines as kids gain strength and confidence with paddling.

The swim-up deck allows for easy re-entry if adventurous kids want to explore the water along the way. The imaginative kiddos will love how the treasure tray adds a fun and whimsical aspect to the adventure, making for a memorable experience on the water. There really is something for everyone with the Evrwild Kids Kayak!

A young boy pointing up river while sitting in an Evrwild Kids Kayak

What We Love About Evrwild Kids Kayak

There is a lot to love about the Evrwild Water Bear Kids Kayak! Here are a few key aspects that make this kayak stand out.

The Kid-Centered Features

You can tell that every aspect of this kayak was designed with adventurous kids in mind. From the treasure tray to the molded footrests to the swim-up deck, this kayak was made for making memories and growing with our kids. The vibrant colors add to the appeal and help parents easily spot their kiddos on the water.

Stability

The wide hull of this sit-on-top kayak along with the padded, non-slip seat creates a super stable platform for paddlers to navigate the water. Even on waves, this kayak showed superior stability. At one point I asked my son to try and tip it over in the water to see just how stable it was, and it took a helping hand from Dad to even make that happen. He could stand up and rock it back and forth and he still felt safe and secure.

Maneuverability

The super lightweight design (it’s only 31 pounds!) along with molded footrests help paddlers to easily maneuver in various bodies of water. The included kid-sized paddle is also lightweight and built with smaller paddlers in mind. My son was able to easily maneuver around other vessels on the water and navigate smaller waves and currents without a problem.

Storage Options

My son loved that the water bottle holder kept his water within reach and the treasure tray allowed him to admire his finds rather than stuffing them in his pockets. The bungee-secured storage space at the front of the kayak was also super convenient. He kept his snorkeling gear and water shoes secured in this area when not in use. It is also a great spot for a dry bag to carry essentials for those longer adventures. It’s close enough to the front carrying handle so items can be attached with a carabiner for extra security.

A close-up of the storage options on the Evrwild Kids Kayak

What We Aren’t So Crazy About

We found it tough to find things we DIDN’T like, and we had to get a little nit-picky about these features.

The Seat Pad

I love that the seat pad offers some extra padding for my boys and creates a non-slip surface while paddling. However, the adhesive used to secure the padding to the seat is starting to come off. The pad itself is still in perfect condition, but it is starting to come up, off the seat. This is likely due to the super-wiggly nature of my kiddos and is an easy fix with some waterproof adhesive.

 Location of the Scupper Holes

When I asked my son to be as picky as possible, he mentioned that the location of the scupper holes wasn’t ideal when paddling through waves. Since the holes are larger and located right under the paddler’s legs, he would frequently get splashed when paddling in rougher waters. This is a very minor complaint and didn’t take away from the fun adventure of solo kayaking.

A young boy paddling an Evrwild kids kayak at a beach
The Scupper Holes are Large and Located Right Under the Paddler’s Legs

Evrwild Kids Kayak is Recommended

I highly recommend this kayak for kids who are ready to set out on the water solo. While it may be priced higher than other popular options on the market, the attention to detail and kid-centered features make it well worth the purchase. The molded footrests and 130-pound weight capacity ensure that the kayak will grow with your child. The treasure tray, swim-up deck, and secured storage area ensure that this kayak will enhance family water exploration, no matter which type of water adventure your kids prefer. You can’t go wrong adding this piece of youth adventure gear to your lineup this season!

A young boy pulling an Evrwild Kids Kayak onto shore at a beach

Where to Buy Evrwild Kids Kayak

The Evrwild Kids Kayak can be purchased straight from their website (use code MTNMAMA to save $50 when buying direct!)

You can also buy it from various online retailers such as Amazon and Target.

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Evrwild Water Bear Kids Kayak Review

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Author

  • Rebecca has lived in five different states in the last decade with her Navy submariner husband and two boys. A former science teacher turned home educator, she now focuses on exploring her surrounding area (currently Virginia Beach) with her family as much as possible before life sends them on another adventure elsewhere. Their favorite outdoor activities include hiking, kayaking, camping, and paddleboarding.

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