Best Cabela’s Kayaks For 2024

Buyer’s Guide | Kayak Angler

For almost any outdoors person, entering Cabela’s is like being a kid in Santa’s workshop. The giant box store is so big that, standing at the front doors, you almost can’t see the walls. Acres of camping, boating, fishing, hunting and shooting gear stretch in every direction. Taxidermied fish and game hang from the ceiling, decorate the walls and populate life-like wilderness displays. Huge aquariums hold trophy specimens of local sportfish swimming slowly, staring wistfully at the aisles of fishing tackle surrounding their habitat.

To live your best outdoor life, you can buy a bass boat, side-by-side four-wheeler and meat smoker, along with camouflage and blaze orange clothes for every season. Once you’ve drained the bank account, grab lunch at the in-store cafeteria and hit the virtual shooting gallery. With a huge inventory in a mega space, Cabela’s can offer a wide range of products covering a variety of outdoor pursuits.

When it comes to purchasing a Cabela’s fishing kayak, you’ll find a diverse selection of sit-on-tops, sit-insides, inflatables and paddleboards from reputable brands. Options range from basic, bare-bone kayaks at great value to top-of-the-line kayaks with the most advanced fishing features. Cabela’s has a little bit of everything—it stocks fishing kayaks powered by paddles, pedal drives and motors, and boats suited for everything from quiet, marshy backwaters to rough coastal seascapes. No matter what kind of fishing you like to do, Cabela’s has a kayak to match.

Read on to discover the best fishing kayaks at Cabela’s, and our comprehensive buying guide to find the right one for you.

Top Picks: Best Cabela’s Kayaks for 2024

The following Cabela’s kayaks have received the highest star ratings from reviewers in our Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide. See and review all Cabela’s kayaks here.

Best Cabela's Kayaks

Shop for Cabela’s Kayaks

The one thing you can’t do at Cabela’s is test drive a kayak. The next best thing is to read the user-generated reviews in the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide. Follow the links below for a comprehensive database of every kayak sold at Cabela’s, including reviews, specifications and prices. You can also use the links below to filter your search results by type of kayak, brand and purpose.

Cabela’s Kayak Buying Guide

Buying a kayak from Cabela’s is an exciting experience. Not only can you buy a kayak, life jacket and paddle, you can also find all the paddling and fishing accessories you could possibly need under one roof. Cabela’s carries a variety of types of kayaks, including sit-on-top kayaks, sit-inside kayaks and inflatable kayaks. You can purchase a Cabela’s kayak at one of their megastores or buy online and have the boat delivered to your door.

Wear A Life Jacket
  • Everyone, even strong swimmers, needs to wear a life jacket at all times when on the water. It is extremely difficult to put a life jacket on once you fall into the water. Even a light wind can blow any paddlecraft away from you, faster than you can swim.
  • Always wear a USCG-approved Level 70 or Type III life jacket designed for paddling.

The downside to purchasing a Cabela’s kayak is not being able to take the kayak for a test drive. At Kayak Angler, we think trying before you buy is the most critical factor in finding a boat that suits your needs in fit and function. Unfortunately, you can’t drop a Cabela’s fishing kayak into the huge aquarium and drop a jig to the eight-pound largemouth bass. However, local outfitters and paddle shops often allow prospective buyers to demo models, so keep that in mind if you decide to purchase from a different retailer.

Of the 40 or so kayak models sold at Cabela’s, most are focused on fishing. There are also a handful of choices for recreational, whitewater and touring kayaks. The brand with the widest variety of kayaks sold at Cabela’s comes from the Ascend brand. Ascend is Cabela’s house brand and it specializes in low price and high value. Cabela’s stocks the full Ascend line-up, which includes five fishing kayaks, two sit-inside recreational kayaks, two hybrid kayaks, and a canoe.

In addition to the Ascend house brand, Cabela’s stocks kayaks from nine other manufacturers, including Old Town, Advanced Elements, Pelican and Intex. The cheapest sit-on-top kayak available at Cabela’s is the Pelican Sonic ($219.99), while the most expensive is the Old Town Autopilot 136 with Minn Kota trolling motor ($4,849.99). Cabela’s carries a full range of kayaks, from models aimed at beginners fishing sheltered waters to kayaks aimed at tournament anglers focused on performance.

While you’re choosing a Cabela’s kayak, don’t forget to pick out the best paddle, life jacket, safety light and whistle, along with other safety gear. Before you leave the store, you’ll have all the equipment required for safe kayaking.

Carry A Whistle (And A Light For Night Use)
  • Every paddler should have a whistle attached to his/her life jacket.
  • Carry a light at night. Consider carrying a distress signal device.

FAQ for Buying a Kayak from Cabela’s

Cabela’s is a big box store with a wide selection of outdoor gear. Unlike a smaller kayak shop with an expert staff, you can’t rely on Cabela’s staff to provide answers to your questions. We’ve answered the most common questions about Cabela’s kayaks below.

  • What types of kayaks are for sale at Cabela’s?

    Cabela’s kayaks are focused on fishing and recreation. Most of the kayaks available at Cabela’s fit in the sit-on-top category and feature an open deck and elevated seat. Cabela’s also has a selection of inflatable and folding kayaks, which are great for people with limited storage and transport options.

    At Cabela’s, you’ll see premium kayaks from big-name kayak companies, but many boats are from Cabela’s in-house Ascend brand. Many of the Ascend models are sit-on-top kayaks designed for fishing. Ascend has three main sit-on-top categories for fishing kayaks: full-featured, traditional and hybrid. The full-featured X models are large, stable and ready for rigging with electronics, fishing gear and motors. The T models are more traditional, with bow and stern storage areas and a flat deck for standup fishing. Ascend’s H model is a hybrid between a canoe and kayak with a frame seat from a sit-on-top kayak.

    Ascend also offers two sit-inside kayaks focused on fishing. They feature wide, open cockpits and covered storage in the bow and stern. The D model has a tunnel hull for better stability and the FS 10 has a more aggressive keel for better paddling performance. Both boats have wide, comfortable frame seats for all-day fishing.

    The Ascend line rounds out with a light recreational sit-on-top and a cool canoe. Many of the Ascend boats are available with a paddle and life jacket package deal, making them even more friendly to the budget. Just ensure the included life jacket and paddle fit properly.

interior of a Cabela's store in Wisconsin
Photo: Michael Steeber/Wikimedia Commons
  • What brands of kayaks are for sale at Cabela’s?

    Cabela’s fills in the gaps in their Ascend line-up with premium kayaks from major boat builders. Brands like Old Town, BOTE, Advanced Elements, NRS, Oru, Pelican and Aquaglide are well-known for quality and performance and are available at Cabela’s.

    Cabela’s offers a great selection of inflatable kayaks from BOTE, Advanced Elements, NRS and Aquaglide. They carry folding Oru folding kayaks, too. Many of Cabela’s hard-shell, inflatable and folding kayaks are available with free shipping.

    The most expensive kayaks at Cabela’s are Old Town’s premium motorized and pedal boats. Among kayak anglers, Old Town is considered one of the most respected brands and Cabela’s carries their flagship models.

  • Can you demo a kayak at Cabela’s?

    Unfortunately, you can’t test drive a kayak at Cabela’s. To predict comfort and performance, look for indicators like a wide flat hull for stability or a frame seat for all-day comfort. While researching, read Cabela’s kayak reviews on our Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide.

    If the kayak you’re interested in is available at your local Cabela’s store, pull it down and climb aboard. Grab a paddle, slip on a life jacket and then take a few test strokes to gauge fit. Sure, you’ll look ridiculous paddling a kayak on the linoleum floor in the middle of aisle 3, but you’ll get a feeling for the boat’s comfort and components.

  • Can you rent a kayak from Cabela’s?

    No, you cannot rent a kayak from Cabela’s. You can rent kayaks from REI. Or visit a local outfitter or paddle shop.

  • What is the price range for fishing kayaks at Cabela’s?

    Cabela’s boats range in price from less than $150 to almost $5,000. You can purchase an Intex inflatable canoe with two seats for $149.99. You can also buy an Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 136 with Minn Kota motor for $4,849.99.

  • What are the return policies for kayaks at Cabela’s?

    According to, you can return a new, unused kayak within 60 days. After 60 days, returns require an inspection. Altered or damaged items are not eligible for return. Returns require proof of purchase. Without proof of purchase, Cabela’s will exchange for a replacement or a gift card. You can return or exchange a kayak at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops. Cabela’s pays return shipping for online orders if the return results from a mistake on their end. If you’re returning a kayak you bought online because you don’t like the boat, your best bet is processing the return at a store. Be advised that return policies change and it’s best to confirm the policy at purchase.

  • When do Cabela’s kayaks go on sale?

    Cabela’s kayaks are already a great value, so when you catch a Cabela’s kayak clearance event, you get a great deal. Cabela’s Ascend kayaks are the most likely to go on sale, providing more savings than the usual bargain. Kayaks from other manufacturers are typically sold at MSRP. Scrolling through, you may find kayaks on sale for up to $500 off the original price. If you’re visiting a Cabela’s store in the fall, you have a better chance of encountering a clearance sale that is making room for new inventory.

  • What’s the difference between Cabela’s kayaks vs REI kayaks

    The most significant difference between Cabela’s kayaks and REI kayaks is selection. Cabela’s carries the store’s own Ascend line of kayaks and canoes, while REI doesn’t have its own bargain brand. Cabela’s carries more kayaks than REI. According to searches on both websites, REI produces 22 results while Cabela’s stocks approximately 40 kayaks. On the other hand, REI carries a larger variety of kayak manufacturers, including Hobie, Wilderness Systems and Eddyline. Many brands and models overlap between the two mega stores. Advanced Elements, Oru and Aquaglide are available at both REI and Cabela’s.

  • What’s the difference between Cabela’s kayaks and Bass Pro Shops kayaks?

    The good news is that Cabela’s kayaks are the same as Bass Pro Shops kayaks. The two mega companies joined forces in 2017. You find the same kayak brands at the same prices at both stores. If you purchase a kayak at Cabela’s, you can return it to Bass Pro Shops.

Education: Get Some!
  • Take a paddling safety course from the American Canoe Association (ACA), your local paddling shop or outfitter, or other reputable source.
  • Take a boating safety course from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons® or your own state’s boating agency.
  • Take on-the-water skills training.

Cabela’s Fishing Kayak Reviews

You can troll social media and search the web for information on Cabela’s kayaks, or you can just go to the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide for specs, features, comparisons, on-the-water tests and reviews of the best kayaks at Cabela’s.

Feature photo: M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons