If you’re into outdoor water activities, you may have already tried kayaking. Whether you do it as a sport or just as a recreational activity, kayaking is a great way for you to enjoy the water and get some exercise as well.

If you’d like to level up this experience, it’s about time to try clear kayaking. Clear kayaking involves the use of clear bottom kayaks and it is becoming increasingly popular for many different reasons.

What is a Clear Bottom Kayak?

A clear bottom kayak is a kayak with a clear or transparent bottom or hull, allowing you to see underwater. Don’t think that these kayaks are not sturdy at all just because they have a transparent or clear bottom – that is not the case. A clear bottom kayak is usually made of durable plastic composite that makes the kayak even more lightweight than a typical kayak.

Benefits of a Clear Bottom Kayak

Whether you’ve been using a regular kayak for all your kayaking activities or you are trying kayaking for the first time, using a clear bottom kayak provides a lot of benefits.

It allows you to experience a whole new level of exploration

The bottom of a regular kayak is non-transparent which means you have no visual at all of what’s underneath. Your view is limited to what appears at your sides or at the front. On the other hand, a kayak with a clear bottom gives you an experience similar to that of a glass-bottom boat.

A clear bottom kayak allows you to see everything that’s beneath you which is a truly exciting and amazing experience to have. This is especially beneficial while exploring locations that have very clear water and great visibility. It’ll be a very interesting visual experience to discover what’s under the water and see the many beautiful and unique fish, corals, and other marine

It can improve your fishing game

Fishing is one of many other activities you can do while on board a kayak. This can be quite challenging when you have to deal with glare and thus need to wear polarized sunglasses. However, you get to avoid this problem when you use a transparent kayak. It will be a lot easier and less time-consuming to find the perfect spot to fish – just look down and you will immediately see if there’s fish to catch.

A transparent kayak is more lightweight than a regular kayak

One of the most common concerns when using a kayak is its weight. The heavier it is, the more difficult it is to lug around. However, this is not the case with a clear kayak. Clear bottom kayaks actually weigh less than regular kayaks because they usually make use of a lighter polycarbonate blend. What’s even better is that this polycarbonate material is just as durable as typical polyethylene kayaks too.

Choosing a Clear Bottom Kayak

While clear bottom kayaks can add a new dimension to your paddling game, they can be quite an investment too. This means that you need to consider several things before purchasing.

The things you need to consider when choosing a clear bottom kayak is similar to that of buying other traditional kayaks.

Shape and Size

Shape and size must be considered because this affects speed and stability. For instance, longer kayaks cruise more efficiently while those with shorter hulls can turn more quickly. Longer kayaks also offer more storage space. Kayaks with wider hulls tend to be more stable but narrower ones can go faster.


The material of your kayak matters because it affects both durability, weight, and price. Aside from being easier to carry, a lightweight transparent kayak can also allow you to bring more gear. Clear bottom kayaks use polycarbonate which is durable, lightweight, and shatter resistant. For the best clear bottom kayak, check to make sure that its polycarbonate material makes it UV-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and has anti-yellowing features.

Weight Capacity

This refers to how much total weight the kayak can handle which includes itself, you, and your gear. This matters if you wish to bring a lot of gear with you. An overloaded kayak will add pounds and thus affect your paddle efficiency. There are also clear bottom kayaks designed for two people.


Transparent kayaks can include many different features so it’s important to choose one that has what you need. Don’t waste your money with features that are unnecessary for you. Common accessories include skegs, tracking fins, rudders, extra paddles and seats, among others.


The price of your kayak will vary depending on its features, materials, and accessories included. A transparent kayak that is made of more lightweight materials will surely be more expensive than others. Extra features and accessories can also add up, so you need to make sure you need them before buying.


The warranty can also vary so it’s important to always read the fine print. It’s common to find a 5-year warranty on deck and hull and a 2-year warranty on parts.

Best Clear Bottom Kayaks

Ready to get your own clear bottom kayak? We checked some options and found two of the best ones.

Crystal Explorer by The Crystal Kayak Company

Length: 11′ 1”

Width: 33.5″

Weight: 48 lbs (21 kg)

Weight Capacity: 425 lbs

This 1- or 2-seater kayak is a totally crystal-clear kayak that features a computer-designed advanced polymer hull and corrosion-resistant hardware. It’s very easy to stack, store, and transport with its removable frame, seats, and inflatable chambers. Plus, it comes with 2 paddles and a 2-year warranty.

Driftsun Crystal Clear

Length: 11′ 1″

Width: 35″

Weight: 48 lbs (21 kg)

Weight Capacity: 425 lbs

This ocean kayak is durable, lightweight, and made from 100% UV resistant polycarbonate sheeting and marine grade corrosion-resistant hardware. Comfort is key and you can be assured of that with its 2 adjustable EVA padded seats with back support and its two adjustable aluminum paddles with ergonomic comfort grips. A retractable aluminum tracking skeg and 2 high visibility buoyancy pouches are also included.

A kayak with a clear bottom definitely adds a whole new dimension to your paddling experience. Choose one wisely so you can enjoy exploring the water in a different light.