Top 10 Best Cheap Kayaks for All Paddlers with Complete Buying Guide

Top 10 Best Cheap Kayaks | Top Budget Picks – Buying Guide

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As an angler, you must be aware of why kayaks hold quite a lot of importance. For a variety of reasons, anglers are enthusiastically drawn to kayaks. First off, kayaks allow a degree of access and stealth that conventional motorized boats cannot. Paddling increases the chance of successful catches, particularly in shallow or calm waters, because it is a silent form of propulsion. 

Another important element is the maneuverability of kayaks, which enables fishermen to travel through narrow passageways and discover remote fishing locations that are inaccessible to bigger vessels. The affordability of kayaks in terms of both purchase and maintenance adds to this sense of exploration. Because they don’t need gasoline or sophisticated engine systems, kayaks are more affordable. Thus, if you are looking for the best cheap kayaks, then this article is for you. 

Beyond the obvious benefits, kayaking’s physical challenges, its use of paddle power to connect with nature, and its sense of camaraderie among kayak anglers all add to its appeal. Kayak fishing also supports conservation efforts because it has no negative influence on the environment. An all-encompassing and satisfying fishing experience is created by the difficulty of kayaking. The sense of accomplishment one feels after mastering it, and the seclusion it provides are its other rewards. 

So, are you ready to learn about the best kayaks in terms of affordability? Let’s take a deep dive into it.

Best kayaks in terms of affordability

There are numerous options for kayaks available on the market. All are best in one way or another. So, you must be confused about which one to get that won’t burden your pocket and you won’t have to compromise the quality. If so, you are in the right place. After careful research, we came across some top kayak options in terms of affordability. These cheap kayaks will help you have an adventure without breaking the bank. So here they are:

1) Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

A wonderful 2-person inflatable kayak alternative that combines affordability and high-caliber performance makes the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak the overall best cheap kayak. It has cemented its status as a bestseller in the kayaking industry, with an amazing -stars rating from over 28,000 reviews. Two sturdy aluminum oars, manual and electric pumps, and other necessary equipment are included in the package, guaranteeing a convenient and pleasurable experience right out of the box.

Overall best cheap kayak
Overall, the best cheap kayak

The bright yellow design of the kayak prioritizes safety by increasing visibility on the sea while also enhancing its visual appeal. It is ideal for travelers with little room due to its small size and inflatable nature, which makes it simple to transport and store. The kayak’s durable design guarantees stability, and the supplied oars provide for effective paddling.

The Intex Explorer K2 delivers outstanding value for its quality at a cost-effective $125. It serves both novice and seasoned kayakers looking for an affordable yet dependable watercraft for recreational adventures as the finest overall inexpensive kayak. This inflatable kayak is a great option that doesn’t sacrifice performance or price, whether it’s for a tranquil lake adventure or a calm river excursion.

When compared to other kayaks, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak succeeds because of its remarkable blend of value and quality. It has a strong rating and provides performance and dependability for a reasonable under $200 price. Its worth is further increased by the presence of aluminum oars, manual and electric pumps, and durable construction. It outperforms rivals in its class thanks to its 2-person capacity, simple inflation process, and visibility-enhancing bright yellow color. So, long story short, it would be the finest kayak you will have. 


  • Because the kayak is inflatable, it is very portable and convenient to store.
  • It has a two-person capacity, making tandem kayaking a perfect alternative because of this.
  • Aluminum oars, manual and electric pumps, and other accessories are included with the kayak
  • In spite of being inflatable, the kayak is built to be sturdy and stable on the water.
  • The color is more visible and improves safety on the water.
  • It offers a cheap entry into kayaking


  • Quick setup
  • Tandem option
  • Stability
  • safety


  • Repair complexity

Related article: Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000

2) INTEX Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak Series

For fishing aficionados on a budget, the INTEX Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak Series stands out as the best cheap fishing kayak. It’s understandable why it has a 4.3-star rating from more than 6,000 Amazon customers and the coveted “Amazon’s Choice” title, given its amazing features and reasonable price.

best cheap fishing kayak
Best cheap fishing kayak

With luxury 86-inch aluminum oars and a high-output pump, this kayak delivers a complete solution that makes setup simple. The kayak is made of Super Tough PVC, which offers durability and abrasion resistance, making it perfect for navigating a variety of waterways. Long fishing expeditions are made more comfortable by the adjustable bucket seat, and fishing rod storage makes angling activities more convenient.

The kayak has grab handles for extra usefulness and simple carrying, making it a useful choice for lone adventurers. The INTEX Excursion Pro doesn’t skimp on performance or quality, despite its low price. It’s without a doubt one of the best inexpensive fishing kayaks on the market because of its excellent reputation, affordable price, and features designed for fishing adventures.


  • The kayak’s SuperTough PVC construction provides toughness and resistance to abrasions.
  • It has a pretty long lifespan, enabling it to be used in a variety of water situations.
  • The kayak includes a high-output pump and quality 86-inch aluminum oars.
  • Ideal seating position thanks to the adjustable bucket seat, making it comfortable for long fishing trips.
  • Fishing equipment may be stored conveniently in built-in rod holders.
  • The kayak can be moved easily on land and in the water thanks to well-placed grab handles.


  • Convenience
  • Excellent features
  • Versatility 
  • Best budget fishing kayak


  • Limited weight capacity

3) INTEX 68305EP Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak Set

if you are a beginner and wish to try kayaking without breaking the bank, the INTEX 68305EP Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak Set is a widely regarded choice. With over 19,000 evaluations and a 4.4-star average, it stands out as the best cheap kayak for beginners. The set comes with a high-output pump and a luxurious 86-inch aluminum oar, which makes setup simple. For extended amounts of time when kayaking, comfort is assured with the adjustable seat and backrest. 

best cheap kayak for beginners
Best cheap kayak for beginners

The detachable skeg improves tracking and stability, especially for beginners who are still perfecting their paddling methods. The kayak, which is made for one person, has a weight capability of 220 pounds, making it perfect for people of all body kinds. The inflatable nature of the kayak makes it convenient to transport and store when not in use, while the sturdy and robust design increases its dependability.

The INTEX Challenger K1 is among the best inexpensive kayaks available, yet it doesn’t skimp on the necessary features. Its place as a top entry-level option for novices who wish to experience kayaking without making a substantial investment is cemented by its cost, the included accessories, and favorable user feedback.


  • The kayak’s inflatable nature makes it simple to carry and store.
  • The kit comes with a high-output pump and an 86-inch aluminum oar.
  • An adjustable seat with a backrest provides comfort during lengthy paddling periods.
  • By enhancing stability and tracking, the removable skeg helps newcomers stay on course.
  • The kayak can support up to 220 pounds of weight and can accommodate a variety of body shapes. 
  • It is intended for one person.
  • The kayak is constructed using materials that can handle various water conditions.


  • Easy setup
  • Cheap and best for beginners
  • Comfortable
  • User-friendly


  • Durability concerns in harsh setting

4) INTEX 68306EP Challenger K2 Inflatable Kayak Set

For individuals looking for a two-person inflatable kayak that is both economical and dependable, the INTEX 68306EP Challenger K2 Inflatable Kayak Set is the best cheap 2 person kayak. With an alluring price of $159 and an amazing 4.3-star rating based on over 12,000 reviews, this kayak provides exceptional value for the qualities it has to offer. In order to ensure effective paddling, the set comes with luxury 86-inch aluminum oars that are both lightweight and strong.

best cheap 2 person kayak
Best cheap 2 person kayak

The bundle includes a high-output pump that makes inflation simple and rapid. Long paddling periods are made more comfortable by the movable seats with backrests, which also improves the whole experience. The retractable skeg in the kayak’s design helps with directional stability and control, especially in a variety of water conditions. It has a 400-pound weight limit and easily holds two people, making it a wonderful option for tandem expeditions.

The inflatable shape of the kayak, which makes transportation and storage simple, is one of its distinguishing qualities. People with little storage space or those who prefer the ease of mobility would particularly benefit from this.


  • The kayak is ideal for tandem paddling excursions since it can fit two people in comfort.
  • The kayak’s inflatable nature makes it simple to carry and store.
  • The 86-inch aluminum oars that come with the boat give it effective propulsion on the lake.
  • The kayak can be quickly and easily inflated thanks to the high-output pump.
  • The backrests on the adjustable seats provide comfort during lengthy paddling sessions.
  • The kayak’s tracking and stability are improved with the detachable skeg.  
  • The kayak has a weight limit of 400 lbs, so it can hold two people and some gear.


  • Easy storage
  • Stability while tracking
  • Complete set
  • Durability


  • Limited performance in strong currents

5) INTEX Excursion Inflatable Boat Series

You can have an outstanding water adventure at a reasonable price with the INTEX Excursion Inflatable Boat Series. This inflatable kayak has a respectable 4.5-star rating from around 3,000 reviewers, making it the best cheap inflatable kayak for enthusiasts on a tight budget. The bundle, which costs only under $200, comes with premium 54-inch aluminum oars and a high-output pump to ensure a hassle-free setup.

best cheap inflatable kayak
Best cheap inflatable kayak

The kayak’s endurance to handle a variety of water conditions is a result of its durable construction with SuperStrong PVC material, boosting both its lifetime and performance. Moreover, the kayak provides adjustable seats with backrests to provide comfort while you travel on the water. For anglers, the extra fishing rod holders are a clever addition that increase the kayak’s adaptability. The welded oar locks add to the boat’s overall stability and safety, giving you peace of mind as you go across the water.

The INTEX Excursion Inflatable Boat Series stands out as an appealing alternative for individuals looking for a reliable, affordable inflatable kayak. This kayak is made for travelers who wish to explore rivers on a budget thanks to its alluring price point and great features.


  • The kayak’s SuperStrong PVC construction delivers durability and puncture resistance.
  • Strong construction of this kayak gives it a longer lifespan.
  • Deluxe 54-inch aluminium oars and a high-output pump are included in the kit.
  • The kayak’s seats include backrests, which make them comfortable during lengthy paddling sessions.
  • For those who enjoy fishing, built-in rod holders make it simpler to partake in angling activities.
  • Welded oar locks reduce the possibility of unintentional separation during paddling.
  • This kayak is known for its stability and safety in the water.


  • Easy setup 
  • Sturdy construction
  • Compact storage
  • Versatility 


  • Flexibility issues

6) Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sports Kayak

For those looking for the best cheap ocean kayak adventure, the Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sports Kayak is an excellent choice. It delivers excellent value for its features with a price point of $259 and a solid average rating of 4.4 stars from over 1900 reviews. This inflatable kayak, which can hold 1-3 people, is amazingly lightweight and portable, making it simple to move about and store. The set comes with seats, paddles, a pump, and a handy storage bag, giving you everything you need to begin your ocean adventures.

best cheap ocean kayak
Best cheap ocean kayak

Despite being inexpensive, the SE370 doesn’t skimp on quality. Its sturdy construction components guarantee that it can withstand the difficulties of ocean kayaking while providing stability and maneuverability. Because of how simple it is to put up and inflate, the inflatable design of the kayak, you can spend more time enjoying the water and less time worrying about elaborate preparations.

The Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sports Kayak offers an affordable entry point into ocean kayaking, even if it does not have all the high-end features of more costly versions. It’s a dependable alternative for novices or those searching for a cheap way to experience the ocean’s splendor.


  • The inflatable design of the Sea Eagle SE370 makes it simple to move, store, and set up.
  • Its overall portability is improved by this design.
  • The kayak’s capacity for 1-3 people makes 
  • The set includes the gear seats, paddles, a pump, and a storage bag.
  • Despite being inexpensive, the kayak is built to last and function well.
  • Its sturdy materials, which can withstand the rigors of ocean paddling.
  • The design delivers good stability on the water.


  • All-inclusive package
  • Easy setup 
  • Durable construction
  • Suitable for ocean currents


  • Limited comfort features

7) Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak 

For fisherman looking for a dependable sit-on-top kayak, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is a the best cheap sit on top kayak.  With 4.4 stars and over thousand reviews this kayak with its variety of features and a focus on comfort and functionality is one of the most sought-after kayak among fishermen. High-density polyethylene with UV protection, used in the kayak’s strong construction, assures lifespan and durability.

best cheap sit on top kayak
Best cheap sit on top kayak

Long fishing trips are made comfortable by the cushioned seat’s adjustability, and there are many different footrest placements to accommodate different paddler sizes. The Tamarack Angler 100 has several storage choices, including a front and rear storage door as well as bungee-corded storage spaces to keep gear and equipment secure. 

The kayak’s flat bottom design promotes stability, and integrated fishing rod holders are thoughtfully positioned for convenience. As a result, it is appropriate for both calm and somewhat rough waters. This kayak can support up to 275 pounds, making it suitable for a variety of fisherman and their gear. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak offers a well-balanced combination of features at the reasonable price of $378 regardless of your level of experience.


  • High-density polyethylene that has been UV treated is used to provide resistance to sun damage.
  • An adjustable, cushioned seat with a backrest makes lengthy fishing sessions comfortable.
  • Have front and rear storage hatches and the bungee-corded storage spaces.
  • Multiple built-in rod holders for fishing gear
  • The hull’s flat bottom makes it suited for both calm and somewhat rough conditions.
  • Able to support up to 275 pounds, making it suitable for a range of fisherman and their equipment.
  • You can secure your paddle when fishing or taking rests thanks to the built-in paddle rest.


  • Excellent tracking
  • Money value
  • Compact storage
  • Stability 


  • Limited stability under extreme rough conditions

8) Driftsun Rover Inflatable Kayak 

For those wanting an economical white water kayak without sacrificing quality, the Driftsun Rover Inflatable Kayak stands out as the best cheap whitewater kayak. This kayak has over 300 reviews and a stellar 4.5-star rating on Amazon. It costs under $599 and has excellent performance and features.

best cheap whitewater kayak
Best cheap whitewater kayak

The kayak comfortably fits 1 to 2 persons and is intended for both solo and tandem use. Because of its high-pressure floor, which guarantees stability and agility, it can easily negotiate difficult white water rapids. Even on lengthy outings, paddling is pleasant and fun thanks to the integrated cushioned seats.

The built-in action camera mount is one of the unique features that enables kayakers to record their spectacular excursions and enjoy the adrenaline later. Aluminum paddles and a pump are also included in the bundle, giving novice kayakers a full setup.

The Driftsun Rover’s acceptance as an Amazon Choice product further confirms its dependability and admiration from buyers. The Driftsun Rover Inflatable Kayak stands out as a good choice if you’re looking for an affordable yet reliable white water kayaking alternative. It combines cost, dependability, and a variety of features for an enjoyable aquatic experience.


  • The inflatable design of the Driftsun Rover makes it very transportable and movable. 
  • It can be deflated and compressed into a small size, making it ideal for storage and transportation.
  • This kayak has a high-pressure bottom that improves stability and maneuverability in choppy water. 
  • It is built for white water excursions.
  • The kayak’s adjustable design allows it to carry one or two persons
  • The cushioned seats that come with the kayak ensure comfort during lengthy paddling sessions
  • With the built-in camera mount, users can document their kayaking adventures 
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum paddles offer effective water control and propulsion.


  • Portability
  • Adaptable capacity
  • Comprehensive package
  • Unique features


  • Certain set-up time

9) Pelican – Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak 

The Pelican Maxim 100X is the best cheap recreational kayak for anybody looking for a high-end yet reasonably priced recreational kayaking experience. This one-person kayak delivers a pleasant and stable ride that’s ideal for both beginners and expert paddlers thanks to its sit-in design and lightweight build. The Maxim 100X, which is 10 feet long and balances tracking and maneuverability, is appropriate for a variety of water conditions.

best cheap recreational kayak
Best cheap recreational kayak

Its 4.5-star rating, which was calculated from over 400 reviews, demonstrates the consumers’ preference for and trust in it. Its status as an Amazon’s Choice product further supports its standing as a trustworthy alternative. The kayak’s layout allows for plenty of gear and possession storage, making it appropriate for day expeditions or leisurely explorations. Its small size makes storage and transit simple.

Despite being inexpensive, the Pelican Maxim 100X doesn’t skimp on features or quality. It’s a great entry-level kayak with adjustable footrests, a comfy cushioned seat, and several accessory mounting options for personalization.


  • Sit-in design increases stability and splash protection
  • This kayak’s controllable weight makes it simple to carry to and from the water
  • The 10-foot length creates a balance between tracking and maneuverability
  • The kayak has a rear tank well with bungee cords 
  • The soft, cushioned seat guarantees a comfortable and supportive seated experience.
  • Paddlers of different heights can use the adjustable footrests, improving comfort and reducing fatigue.
  • Multiple accessory mounting locations on the kayak enable anglers to customize their configuration.


  • Beginner-centric
  • Comfort
  • Wide adaptability
  • Storage space


  • Limits the skilled anglers ability

10) Sevylor QuickPak K1 

For those looking for the best cheap kayak with advanced features, the Sevylor QuickPak K1 1-Person Inflatable Kayak is a great option. This kayak delivers outstanding value, as seen by its impressive 4.2-star rating from over 2000 reviews on Amazon and designation as a “Amazon Choice” product. The QuickPak K1 is distinguished by its unique design, which marries mobility with ease. The kayak may be conveniently transported and stored by folding it into a backpack.

best cheap kayak with advanced features
Best cheap kayak with advanced features

Both novice and seasoned kayakers can easily put it up in 5 minutes, allowing you to spend more time paddling and less time getting ready. The kayak’s sturdy structure can withstand a variety of water conditions since it is made of resilient 21-gauge PVC. The hand pump and paddle are included in the deal, so you won’t need to make any other purchases and can have the whole kayaking experience.

Given its high-tech features and its under $200 price tag, this kayak is a great deal for those on a tight budget. The Sevylor QuickPak K1 1-Person Inflatable Kayak delivers on its promise of a budget-friendly choice without losing performance or simplicity, appealing to both solitary travelers and those seeking a practical method to explore waterways.


  • The inflatable QuickPak K1’s design makes it simple to store 
  • This kayak’s 5-minute setup time enables you to be on the water quickly 
  • The kayak’s 21-gauge PVC construction provides durability and resistance 
  • A hand pump and paddle are included in the kit
  • The kayak is portable and light when deflated, making it simple to carry and move 
  • During your kayaking excursions, the adjustable seat provides comfort


  • Easy setup
  • Inclusive package
  • Wide versatility
  • Great for all skill levels


  • Speed restrictions due to design

Buying Guide: Best Cheap Kayaks

Kayaking is a fun and exciting way to explore the water, enjoy nature, and get some exercise. But buying a kayak can be a daunting task, especially if you are on a tight budget. There are so many options and features to consider, and you don’t want to end up with a kayak that doesn’t suit your needs or preferences. That’s why we have created this buying guide to help you find the best cheap kayaks that won’t break the bank.

What should I look for in a cheap kayak?

When shopping for a cheap kayak, there are some factors that you should pay attention to, such as:

1. Type of Kayak

There are different types of kayaks, such as sit-on-top, sit-in, inflatable, fishing, touring, whitewater, etc. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the water conditions, your skill level, and your preference. For example, sit-on-top kayaks are easy to get on and off, but they offer less protection from the elements. Sit-in kayaks are more stable and comfortable, but they require more skill to maneuver.

Inflatable kayaks are convenient and portable, but they are more prone to punctures and leaks. Fishing kayaks are designed for anglers, with features like rod holders, storage compartments, and pedal or motor systems. Touring kayaks are long and narrow, with good speed and tracking, but they are less maneuverable and more expensive. Whitewater kayaks are short and agile, with good responsiveness and durability, but they are not suitable for calm or open waters.

2. Size

The size of the kayak affects its performance, stability, storage capacity, and portability. Generally speaking, longer kayaks are faster and track better, but they are heavier and harder to transport. Shorter kayaks are more maneuverable and easier to carry, but they are slower and less stable. The width of the kayak also matters, as wider kayaks are more stable and spacious, but they create more drag and reduce speed. The height of the kayak affects the wind resistance and the center of gravity. 

Higher kayaks offer more room for your legs and gear, but they catch more wind and tip over more easily. Lower kayaks are more aerodynamic and stable, but they may feel cramped and wet.

3. Weight capacity

The weight capacity of the kayak is the maximum amount of weight that it can safely support in the water. This includes your weight as well as any gear or equipment that you bring along. You should always check the weight capacity of the kayak before buying it and make sure that you don’t exceed it. Otherwise, you may risk sinking or capsizing the kayak. The weight capacity of the kayak also affects its buoyancy and stability. A heavier kayak will sit lower in the water, making it more stable and slower. A lighter kayak will float higher in the water, making it faster but also more tippy.

4. Material

The material of the kayak determines its durability, weight, cost, and maintenance. There are different materials used to make kayaks, such as plastic (polyethylene), fiberglass, carbon fiber, Kevlar, wood, aluminum, etc. Each material has its own pros and cons. For example:

  • Plastic is the most common and cheapest material for kayaks. It is solid and resistant to abrasion and UV rays. However, it is also heavy and prone to warping or cracking over time.
  • Fiberglass is lighter and stiffer than plastic, which improves speed and performance. It is also easier to repair than plastic. However, it is more expensive and fragile than plastic.
  • Carbon fiber is the lightest and strongest material for kayaks. It offers the best speed and efficiency. However, it is also the most expensive and brittle material.
  • Kevlar is similar to carbon fiber in terms of weight and strength, but it is more flexible and resistant to impact. However, it is also very expensive
  • Wood is a traditional material for kayaks that offers a natural look

5. Features and accessories

The features and accessories of the kayak affect its functionality, comfort, and safety. Some of the features and accessories to look for include:

  • Seats: The seats of the kayak should be comfortable, adjustable, and supportive. They should also have enough padding and cushioning to prevent soreness and fatigue. Some seats have backrests or lumbar support for extra comfort.
  • Footrests: The footrests of the kayak should be adjustable to fit your leg length and position. They should also have enough grip and traction to prevent slipping or sliding. Some footrests have pedals or rudders for steering control.
  • Paddles: The paddles of the kayak should be lightweight, durable, and ergonomic. They should also match your paddling style, skill level, and water conditions. Some paddles have feathered blades or adjustable angles for better efficiency.
  • Storage: The storage area of the kayak should be spacious, secure, and accessible. It should also have enough compartments or pockets for organizing your gear. Some storage options include hatches, bungees, deck bags, or dry bags.
  • Safety: The kayak’s buoyancy, stability, visibility, and rescue features should be sufficient to ensure its safety. Some safety features include flotation devices (such as airbags or foam blocks), grab handles (for carrying or towing), drain plugs (for removing water), scupper holes (for self-bailing), reflective tape (for visibility), or whistle (for signaling).

These are some of the things and features to consider before buying the best cheap kayak for your needs.


Where is the best place to buy an inexpensive kayak?

There is no definitive answer to where the best place to buy an inexpensive kayak is, as it may depend on your location, preferences, and availability. However, In accordance with our extensive research and insights gathered from seasoned paddlers, some possible options are:

1. Online retailers that offer a wide range of kayaks at different price points, such as Amazon, L.L. Bean, or REI. You may be able to find some good deals and discounts, as well as customer reviews and ratings, on these platforms.

2. Local sporting goods stores or outdoor outfitters that sell kayaks and accessories, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods or [Cabela’s]. You may be able to see and test the kayaks in person, as well as get some expert advice and recommendations, on these locations.

3. Second-hand or rental kayaks that are in good condition and fit your needs, such as [Craigslist] or [PaddleShare]. You may be able to save some money and avoid the hassle of storage and maintenance, by opting for these alternatives.
Whatever option you choose, make sure to do some research and compare the features, quality, and prices of the kayaks before making a purchase.

How much does a good kayak cost?

The cost of a good kayak depends on several factors, such as the type, material, features, and brand of the kayak. According to our research and some experts, the average price of a kayak is around $1000.

However, this can vary widely depending on the specific kayak you are looking for. For example, a polyethylene sea kayak can cost between $1800 and $2000, while a clear kayak can cost between $1500 and $2200.

A fishing kayak can range from $500 to $1300, depending on the size, quality, and accessories. Therefore, the cost of a good kayak can vary depending on your preferences and needs.

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