Many kayaks are manufactured in America, but nearly all of them have some parts sourced from overseas. Below, you’ll find our full list of kayaks made in the USA, along with extensive details about each product and some shopping tips for finding the country of origin. You can also scroll to the bottom of the article to find well-known kayak brands that aren’t made in the USA.
Full List of Kayak Brands Made in the USA
James Derbecker founded Georgia-based Crescent Kayaks in 2001. The kayak frames are made from powder-coated marine aluminum, and the textiles are milled in Georgia and hand-sewn in South Carolina.
Crescent produces a number of different kayak models in a variety of sizes and styles, making sure you find a kayak to suit your needs. Derbecker has been exploring lakes and rocky waters since before he could walk so is an expert in creating kayaks that ensure ultimate safety and comfort whilst on the water.
Lifetime Products got its start in a garage in Riverdale, Utah, when the founder decided to build a better basketball hoop for his family. The business, which launched in 1986, has grown to include picnic tables, folding tables and chairs, sheds, and finally kayaks.
Lifetime kayaks are manufactured in Utah and Missouri, with all materials sourced from the USA. Their kayaks are made from polyethylene plastic, ensuring that they’re lightweight and durable. They have a range of styles, sizes, and accessories for whatever your kayaking needs are.
Solo Skiff has created a unique type of kayak – one that has a skiff on the back and that is suited for fishing, all in one place. Solo Skiff only offers one type of kayak, but it’s intended to be the only one needed for those looking to kayak and fish.
The motorized kayak is an all-in-one piece made from high-density polyethylene, keeping it light but sturdy. It contains storage and rigging to help you get onto the water to catch fish quicker and easier.
Mark Eckhart, Owner and Master Boat Builder of Long Haul Folding Kayaks, has been building, repairing, and using kayaks for over 30 years. During this time, he wanted to create a durable, long-lasting, portable kayak.
Long Haul Folding Kayaks now offers five models as part of its range, each designed for different needs. Their kayaks can cater to those looking to day paddle or those on the water regularly or planning a longer-term expedition. Because every product is handmade at their workshop in Colorado, kayaks can be made to exact specifications depending on your needs.
Kamanu Composites kayaks are made in Hawaii, and they specialize in outrigger canoes. They were founded in 2007 and have an amazing team behind the brand. If you’re looking for a high-quality outrigger canoe and want to support companies made in Hawaii, check them out.
How to Find Kayaks Made in the USA
Kayaking is a popular summer sport, and if you are really starting to get into this activity, you may want to consider investing in your own kayak. But where do you begin looking, and how do you ensure you get a good quality kayak? One way to narrow your choices to quality kayaks is to look for kayaks made in the USA. With every purchase of an American-made kayak, you are supporting not just the company that produces them but also all of their American employees and suppliers. So let’s get started on how to find the perfect kayak made in the USA!
What Does “Made In The USA” Mean?
If you want to buy a kayak made in the USA, it’s important to understand what “made in the USA” means. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that a product labeled as “made in the USA” must be “all or virtually all” made domestically. In other words, for a kayak to be considered “made in the USA,” it must be designed and constructed (or assembled) entirely within the United States by a domestic company, using only domestic materials.
You can check out our detailed “made in the USA” guide for more information on the FTC’s guidelines.
To look for kayaks made in the USA, the first step is researching the materials used to construct the kayak. Knowing where these materials come from can greatly help determine whether or not you are looking at an American-made product.
Polyethylene is the most common material used to make plastic. The material is popular in kayaks because it is both lightweight and durable. Although China is the largest exporter of this polyethylene, the USA is not too far behind and is only second in the worldwide production market.
US companies have invested in their facilities to produce high-quality polyethylene that meets the highest standards and is certified for use in recreational and sporting activities. So, if you are looking for kayaks made in the USA, pay attention to what type of polyethylene is used and ensure that it uses domestically sourced materials.
Fiberglass is the second most common kayak material and is often seen in more expensive models because it is incredibly durable. In fiberglass production, China again leads the way. However, the USA is right on its heels in terms of the production of this material. Regarding quality, some claim that American-made fiberglass kayaks have a superior finish and feel to Chinese-made models. So if you’re looking for a kayak made with fiberglass, make sure to double-check the country of origin, especially if you’re after quality.
Carbon fiber is another popular material used to make kayaks. This material is often seen in professional-level models and is the most expensive type. The USA has a significant presence in carbon fiber production, making it easy to find kayaks made in the USA with this material. Pay attention to the source of the carbon fiber when looking for a kayak, as this can make all the difference in terms of quality and performance.
When looking for kayaks made in the USA, a big tip is to look at the product’s labeling. According to the US Code Title 19 Chapter 4 Section 1304, all products made abroad must be labeled as such. This law, in addition to the FTC’s protection of the “made in the USA” label, makes it much easier, in theory, to find American-made products.
However, in reality, the FTC has no pre-approval process for companies to use the “made in the USA” label. To put it shortly, it is up to each company to determine whether or not their products meet the criteria for this protected label. And ultimately, it’s up to the consumers to report any false or incorrect usage of the label to the FTC.
Another thing to watch out for is similar words or phrases that may be used in labels. “Assembled in the USA,” “manufactured in the USA,” and “made in the USA with imported materials” may all seem synonymous with “made in the USA.” But they are not. It is crucial to ensure that the label on the kayak says explicitly “made in the USA” if you are looking for a genuine American product.
Another misleading tactic is using patriotic symbols or flags to imply that the product is made in America. This can be very deceptive, so look for clear and verifiable “made in USA” labeling.
In addition to checking the label, there are other tips to help you make sure that your kayak is made in America.
Many kayak manufacturers have information about their products on their websites. Check the company’s website to see if they specify where the kayaks are made. Check its About Us page or FAQ section for more information. You can also check their social media posts, as many companies add information about their products in these posts. “Made in the USA” is a huge selling point, so if this is the case, companies should be loudly and proudly advertising it.
On the other hand, companies are not required to state the country of origin of their products when it comes to online or promotional materials. So if you can’t find the country of origin anywhere, it’s likely that it’s made abroad.
Call The Manufacturer
If you still have doubts about where the kayak is made, feel free to contact the manufacturer directly. Call their customer service line or email them to ask about their kayaks’ origin. The representatives should be able to provide you with accurate and reliable information regarding the country of origin.
Kayaks Not Made in the USA
- Brooklyn Kayak Company – Made in China.
- Vibe Kayaks — Designed and engineered in Kennesaw, Georgia, and manufactured in China.
- Seastream Kayaks — Made in Thailand.
- Jackson Kayak – Manufactured in Sparta, Tennessee, from both U.S. and foreign-sourced materials.
- Confluence Watersports — Made in Greenville, South Carolina. Some materials are sourced from overseas.
- Eddyline Kayaks – All kayaks currently are being manufactured in Burlington, Washington, but a supplemental factory in Mexico will begin production this year to keep up with increased demand. Materials are sourced from all over the world.
- Ascend – Manufactured in Lebanon, Missouri, with globally sourced parts and components.
- Lincoln Canoe and Kayak – Made in Peabody, Massachusetts. Gel coats and resins are sourced locally, the fabrics are from Canada, and the hardware is from Washington state and Finland.
- Hurricane Kayaks — Made in Warsaw, North Carolina. Most of the materials are sourced in the USA, but some seat components and fasteners come from outside the U.S.
- Bonafide – Made in Fletcher, North Carolina. Parts are sourced in the US in addition to overseas.
- Hobie Kayaks – Manufactured in Oceanside, California, from globally sourced materials.
- Sun Dolphin – Manufactured in Muskegon, Michigan. Most materials are sourced from the USA, but select component parts are sourced from China.
- Andis – Most kayaks are made in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, but some are produced outside the United States. Some parts are imported from China.