Viper Kayak Review: Is this the best budget Kayak?

Canoes and Kayaks

Viper Kayak 10' 4" review

2023 Update:

The Viper Kayak sold at Menards has changed in design from the ones I purchased a few years ago.  The current design for the Viper 10 now is identical to the Sun Dolphin Arubu 10 Kayak currently selling on Amazon and Walmart for $220- $275 with a paddle included.  Both the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 and Viper are now made by KL Outdoors.

RELATED: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Review

This Viper Kayak review is based on my experience as I actually own two of these kayaks. I’ve included my thoughts and a pros/cons list below to help your buying decision.

viper kayaks menards

Many people buying their first kayak are going to try their best to stay at the shallow end of the price pool. It’s understandable, they’re starting a new hobby. It follows that they don’t want to commit a lot of money towards something they’re still not sure they’ll enjoy. 

Luckily however, there are numerous cheap kayaks on the market to help encourage folks to take the plunge.

Review of the Viper Kayak

If you’ve been in a Menards store within the past few years, there’s a fair chance that you’ve walked past a Viper Kayak. They currently come in two colors, Citrus Green and Ocean Blue. They are usually displayed up high on the wall (sometimes stood up vertical on the floor) making them hard to miss.

It was the wall arrangement and “On Sale” sign that finally convinced me to purchase one (actually two) and put them to the test.

Here is my pros and cons list of the Viper Kayak:

Viper Kayak Review
Viper 10.4 Review


Price: Currently available for around $225 at Menards, with a rebate sale. I got mine during a 11% rebate sale a few years ago so paid just under $180.00 with paddles.

Viper Kayak Weight: This Kayak is under 45lbs, allowing me to rest the inside of the kayak on my shoulder. I can carry it to and from the water without dragging it across the ground.

Weight Capacity: The Viper Kayak weight limit is up to 250lbs. I’m somebody who likes to take day trips in my kayak and go fishing. So its nice to know that I can load up with gear and not worry about buoyancy.

Durability: Surprisingly, this Kayak can take a beating: I’ve dragged this kayak up and down cement loading ramps. I’ve run into concrete boulders and stumps. However I’m still yet to spring a leak or rub a hole through the floor.

Room to add accessories: The Viper Kayak comes with a large built in drink holder. It has also has two molded trays on the front of the kayak. Still, there is plenty of room for other accessories on both the front and the back. 

Features: In addition to the cup holder and trays, the Viper Kayak comes with adjustable feet braces. It has a lightly padded seat and bungees on the front and back.


Cheap Hardware:  After a few uses I pulled the front handle off my kayak. Upon inspection I saw that the hardware securing the handle to the kayak didn’t go through the kayak. Rather they screwed into the plastic just enough to keep the handle in place.

I took a drill bit and finished the job and secured the handle with a bolt, washer and nut.

Bad Tracking: Going in a straight line on this kayak is tough. Each time you paddle you will slightly turn the nose of the kayak one way then the other. It definitely takes more time and effort on this kayak to get to where you’re going. It might be worth considering adding a kayak skeg to the bottom if tracking is a major issue for you.

Back section not closed off: If you open the lid on the back of the kayak and put a water bottle or any other small item in the back it will eventually make its way up to your feet. There is no guard separating the front of the kayak from the back.  Therefore items can get lodged on the side of your seat or even underneath.

Viper Kayak Review


Viper Kayak Review: Final Thoughts

The Viper Kayak 10 is a good option if you’re looking to float down a river or paddle around a small lake. For as little as this kayak costs, you get a decent number of features and have the option to add more accessories as you see fit.  See our list of great Viper Kayak accessories.

I would recommend this for anybody looking to get into kayaking or having a second kayak for friends and family to use. I would also advise you to check for cheapkayaks on Amazon as from time to time they have impressive deals going on with free shipping.

Viper Kayak 10"4
Viper Kayak Vs Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Kayak

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