Best Inflatable Kayak

Are you new to kayaking and want to buy the best inflatable kayak? With so many inflatable kayaks on the market, finding the one that best suits your needs can be overwhelming. Don’t worry, this article will help you make the entire buying experience straightforward.

While inflatable kayaks share the advantage of being light enough to be carried with folding kayaks, they are still more lightweight, easier to use, more robust, and cheaper. After deflating and rolling them up, you can store them in the basement or place them in the closet.

With inflatable kayaks, you can travel to distant destinations without worrying about your travel bag. Since they are not specialized, you can use them for whitewater kayak fishing expeditions, rafting, and inflatable kayaking excursions in coastal areas. 

If you are ready to own the inflatable kayak, keep reading!

The 8 Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews

Favorite Inflatable Kayak: Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak


The Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak is ideal for tight budgets but wants a high-quality product and dependable functionality. This inflatable kayak is made of robust and vinyl that’s puncture-resistant, so it can endure water challenges. The inflatable two inflatable seats come in adjustable backrests. Since it has excellent back support, paddlers have no problem even on longer sessions.

This inflatable kayak comes in multiple air chambers, each chamber is equipped with a Boston valve to promote quick inflation. The streamlined hull helps increase the speed while making the paddling a lot easier. It has a very spacious cockpit floor, enabling the many paddlers to pack plenty of camping gear.

Pros
  • Two top-notch quality paddles
  • Includes air foot pump
  • Bright graphics and colors for better visibility
  • Comfortable and spacious cockpit
  • Has two adjustable seats
  • Features removable keg to ensure better tracking
  • Streamlined and low-profile hull for easier paddling
  • Has I-beam floor for extra stability and rigidity
  • Heavy-duty puncture-resistance vinyl construction
Cons
  • Flimsy attachments
  • The paddles tend to be small for some people

Fastest Inflatable Kayak: Sea Eagle 3-Person Inflatable Kayak


The Sea Eagle 3-Person Inflatable Kayak is designed to withstand up to 650 lbs body weight. With the large I-beam tubes on the bottom part, a durable floor is created. These tubes also improve tracking and speed. The hull is made of high-quality PolyKrylar PVC that promises impressive durability.

This inflatable kayak features two extra comfortable deluxe seats, helping the paddlers enjoy the ride all day long. The cockpit is huge, so there is plenty of room for three persons. That space is also usable for packing fishing gear. It has an impressive draining system built with an open/close drain valve for easy draining the splash from the cockpit.

Pros
  • Easy to carry and high weight capacity
  • Has front and back lines to handle the shallow water easily
  • Features excellent quality one-way valves to avoid air leaks
  • Designed with two kegs to enhance speed and tracking
  • Has self-bailing drain valve to prevent flooding
  • The hull is made of tough PolyKrylar
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Features I-beam construction floor for rigidity
Cons
  • No support to keep the seats upright
  • The rings that secure the valves to the body are made of hard plastic

Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak 


The Intex Challenger Portable Kayak has bright and green color to stay visible no matter where the location is in the water. It is made of durable and rugged vinyl material to avoid damage from sun rays and punctures. Besides the attractive look, it is also an excellent choice for someone looking for a functional and high-quality one-person kayak on a budget.

This inflatable kayak comes with a large nose, allowing a full storage space. The backrest forms to the back to give a comfortable seat. Then, the spacious cockpit provides enough room to move around easily. This kayak is highly stable and can pass the tests of time. Plus, the double-welded seams can hold stronger than the traditional glue.

Pros
  • Has multiple air chambers
  • Ultra violate resistance
  • Approved by the US Coast Guard
  • Large mesh storage
  • Double-welded seams
  • Made of durable vinyl that’s puncture-resistant
  • Eye-catching graphics for enhanced visibility
  • The cockpit offers maximized space and comfort
  • Has grab line on both ends
Cons
  • Feels a little vulnerable
  • The sidewall is a little bit big, so paddlers may rub it when they paddle

Two Person Kayak: Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak 


The Driftsun Voyager Kayak is ideal for on-the-go lake adventures. This two-person tandem kayak is portable and lightweight. It fits adults weighing below 400 lbs. The bottom is made of heavy-duty PVC, while the top is made of thick, robust 840D coated nylon oxford fabric.

This kayak is puncture-resistant and features three separate chambers. It is designed with a reinforced carry handle and corrosion-resistant hardware. The two bungee systems at the rear and front provide plenty of room to keep all gear. It also features a removable skeg, two aluminum paddles, and two adjustable padded seats.

Pros
  • Portable and easy to carry
  • Performs well in both rough and flat water
  • Easy to adjust aluminum paddles
  • Includes deluxe high-flow double action hand pump for quick inflation
  • Features corrosion-resistant hardware and padded high-back seats
  • Removable skeg for easy transport and storage
Cons
  • It does not dry easily on a damp or cool day
  • Requires defiant valves
  • Little too short for two adults (for some users)

Advanced Elements Frame Convertible Inflatable Kayak 


The Advanced Elements Frame Convertible Inflatable Kayak comes in aluminum ribs, making it an ideal rigid option. The built-in aluminum ribs also improve tracking and define the bow and stern. It is made of three-layer material to ensure extreme puncture resistance.

This kayak is highly comfortable and enables the users to paddle for long hours without getting sore. It offers flexibility and convenience for all gear, thanks to its 300-pound capacity. It has a dry compartment, which is perfect for storing non-waterproof items. The sturdy bungee deck allows quick gabbing of packed lunch or fishing rod. Despite its inflatable characteristics, it is still designed with an open cockpit for easy movements around the deck.

Pros
  • Three-seat locations for solo or tandem paddling
  • Easy to adjust, high support padded seats for long hours of comfortable paddling
  • Three-layer materials for high puncture resistance
  • Built-in aluminum ribs for improved tracking
  • It has an open cockpit for easy movements around the deck
  • Includes user manual, a repair kit, two folding seats, and carrying a duffel bag
Cons
  • A little bit heavy for some people
  • It feels a bit tippy when the broadside faces the wind

One Person Kayak: Sevylor Quickpak K5 Inflatable Kayak


The Sevylor Quickpak K5 Kayak is another best inflatable kayak for solo adventurers. It is quick to set up, approximately five minutes, enabling to get on the water as fast as possible. Plus, it takes less time to inflate compared to most rigid inflatable kayaks out there. The innovative design and entire system enable the kayak to fit into a backpack. Then, turn that backpack into a kayak’s seat.

Since this one-person kayak is made of durable 24-gauge PVC tarpaulin, paddlers have nothing to worry about scuffing. It can even deal with an occasional rocky shoreline. The layer at the top of the kayak is made of polyester material that makes it softer against the skin and extremely puncture-resistant. It also comes in multiple air chambers to stay on the water surface in a catastrophic situation.

Pros
  • It has a double lock valve for quick and easy inflation and deflation
  • Quick setup, about 5 minutes
  • Features a small compact carrying system design
  • Made of 24-gauge PVC construction for a perfect lake use
  • Polyester cover and tarpaulin bottom provides puncture resistance
  • Features airtight system to prevent leakage
Cons
  • The kayak’s front is not streamlined enough

Airhead Montana Inflatable Kayak 


The Airhead Montana Inflatable Tandem Kayak is ideal for any water adventure trip. It is designed for tandem paddling. It is a multi-purpose inflatable kayak and is suitable for multiple terrains. Durable and rugged 840D nylon enclose the three air chambers with water and UV-resistant coatings. 

With the bright orange color, this kayak ensures visibility if something goes wrong with the water. It is easy to spot this kayak even in cloudy or dark conditions. This kayak comes in a stretch net that provides plenty of room to store items. The six D-rings enable the paddlers to attach the essential belongings. Plus, the neoprene elbow improved the entire whitewater kayaking experience because of the comfort it provides while paddling.

Pros
  • Ideal for cruising yachts, exploring remote areas, vacationing, and camping
  • Portable, compact, and lightweight
  • Designed for moderate white water and lakes
  • The 6 D-rings at the bow and stern and stretched in the bow help secure all gear
  • Bright orange color visibility and safety on the water
Cons
  • Not suitable a long-distance trip with many luggage

Sevylor Big Basin Inflatable Kayak 


The Sevylor Big Basin Inflatable Kayak accommodates up to three persons. It boasts high-quality construction and is made of heavy-duty, robust OVC material. The bottom part is made of sturdy tarpaulin that ensures puncture resistance.

This three-person kayak is designed with Boston valves that makes inflation and deflation easy. It utilizes multiple air chambers to go back to shore safely. The spray covers keep the paddlers dry throughout the trip, and adjustable seats provide comfort.

Pros
  • High-quality construction and puncture resistance
  • Has tarpaulin bottom for an extra layer of protection
  • Features airtight system to prevent leakage
  • Has Boston valve for quick and easy inflation and deflation
  • Easy to adjust seats
  • Spray covers effectively block splashes
Cons
  • Not ideal for longer trips because of not enough back support


Do inflatable kayaks puncture easily?

It depends on what you are paddling on. Moving water can be difficult on inflatable kayaks.  Extreme rock gardens, log jams, or rapids are not conducive to inflatable kayaks. However, a pool or a pond with a sandy or muddy bottom is perfect for inflatable kayaks.  The material that is used to make inflatable kayaks is very durable and can withstand rocks without issue.

As long as you are using the correct class of inflatable boats for the type of water you will be paddling on, your kayak will be just fine.

Some people choose to do flat water or easy rivers in their inflatable kayaks while others opt for the hard stuff.  It is totally up to you!


Can you leave an inflatable kayak inflated?

It is not a good idea to leave your inflatable boat inflated for long periods.  If you do, it will start to sink as the material weakens over time. Most inflatable kayaks are made from an extremely durable material that is resistant to punctures and tears but if they are left inflated for too long, they will start to sink and fail.

To ensure your inflatable kayak lasts as long as possible, it is best to deflate and roll it up with the valve closed when you are finished with your trip.  This will prevent any material from pooling or gathering which can lead to holes over time.


How do you store an inflatable kayak?

Many people use a floatable container or pool to store their inflatable kayaks. If you do not have either of these, they can be stored in a garage or basement.

It is best to deflate them and let them dry before storing them if possible.  If you do not have time to let your kayak dry completely, you can put a few towels in the kayak to soak up any moisture before you begin your storage.

Inflatable kayaks are very durable and will last for years with minimal care, but if you store them properly, they can be reused for many seasons.


Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe?

Inflatable kayaks are designed with comfort and safety in mind for the paddler. They are made from materials that allow them to be very buoyant and stable.

It takes a lot of practice to gain confidence and skill on the water and inflatable kayaks can easily help you gain these skills so you can feel safe and stable when you are in your kayak.

There are many classes of inflatable kayaks to allow for different skill levels and paddling styles.  It is important to choose the right class for your current skill level so that you can stretch your limits safely.


What kind of maintenance do inflatable kayaks need?

Inflatable kayaks do not require much maintenance. Generally, it is recommended that you give your inflatable kayak a quick look over after each trip to make sure that everything is in order and there are no leaks or tears at all.  Replacing the valve periodically can help ensure good performance for many seasons.

The material that inflatable kayaks are made from is extremely durable and should hold up well if you follow proper storage guidelines. It does not take much to make sure your raft is maintained properly.  Keeping it clean, dry, and storing it away in an area where no one can bump into or kick your raft around will ensure longevity.


How do you repair an inflatable Kayak?

This is a tricky subject.  There are many different kinds of inflatable kayaks and you must consult the manufacturer if you have any issues with your boat to determine the best way to fix the problem.

It generally takes several hours to repair minor holes or tears in your inflatable kayak. You can use inflatable repair tape or patches to fix most issues with your boat.

You must read the instructions for whatever method of repair you are using so that you do not cause any additional wear and tear on your boat while trying to fix it.


How heavy are inflatable kayaks and what kind of transportation do you need?

Inflatable kayaks are generally very light and often come with a carry bag.  This makes them extremely easy to transport.  You can carry your inflatable kayak on your back or use the handles that are attached to some models.

You must find an area to transport your boat that you can access easily. Many people store their inflatable kayaks on top of their vehicle or bring them along in the trunk if they are planning a camping trip with friends so they will have something fun for everyone to do together.

Many people choose to use inflatable kayaks as long as they plan on staying near the water.  You can deflate them and throw them in the trunk of your car before you leave home or when you get to your destination so they are not taking up much room at all.


What is the best way to paddle an inflatable kayak?

The best paddling technique for any boat will depend on its design, but it is generally accepted that you should lean forward slightly on your paddle to make the boat go straight.

Do not lean back too far, as this will cause the boat to turn sideways.


What are some of the different styles available?

There are many different styles available for inflatable kayaks.  You often have a choice between a tandem or a solo kayak, and there are other differences in terms of size, weight, and paddling style.

All inflatable kayaks share the same basic design and shape.  They all have a main chamber and an air valve to make sure they can be easily inflated and deflated for transport or storage.

It is important to make sure you get the right size inflatable kayak.  You should not be too cramped or have more space than necessary, otherwise, it will be difficult for you to enjoy your time on the water.


Is it worth buying an inflatable kayak?

If you plan to use your inflatable kayak occasionally, there is no reason not to buy it.  The cost is relatively low and you will have a quality product that can be taken with you on vacation or used whenever the mood strikes.

An inflatable kayak will always require a few minutes of preparation before it is ready for use, but this is a small price to pay for the convenience of having a boat that is easy to take with you anywhere.

Inflatable kayaks are great for camping trips and family vacations, as long as everyone knows how to swim well.

However, if you plan on regularly using your inflatable kayak or want it to last for years, you should look into getting a hard-sided kayak.  The cost of these models is much higher but they last for many more years and are often made from high-quality materials that will not wear out quickly or need to be replaced.

To store an inflatable kayak, it is best to deflate the chambers completely.  You can then roll them up and store them in the bag that comes with your kayak.  If you store inflatables for long periods, it is a good idea to check the plastic every month or so to make sure there are no signs of rust forming on the metal grommets.


How much do they cost?

The price of an inflatable kayak will vary based on the size, quality, and brand you purchase.  If you are looking for a high-quality model that is made of materials that will last longer and work well in most conditions, expect to pay somewhere between $250-$750.


How heavy are inflatable kayaks?

While many other types of kayaks are too heavy to carry by yourself, inflatable kayaks are lightweight and compact enough to be easily carried on the top of your car.  You can even carry it in a backpack if necessary, but make sure you are not overloading yourself when you do this.


How much space do they take up?

Inflatable kayaks are small and compact, so they can be easily taken with you or stored when not in use.  Most of them come in a carrying bag that makes it easy to transport them when they are deflated.  Even if you have limited space at home, inflatable kayaks will not take up much room at all.


How many people can fit in an inflatable kayak?

Inflatable kayaks are usually designed for one or two riders.  If you want to fit more people on the boat, a different model should be used instead.


Inflatable kayaks VS Hardshell kayaks

There are many advantages to using an inflatable kayak, but they lack the durability and performance of a hardshell kayak.  If you would like to use your boat regularly or on rougher waters, a hardshell model is usually your best option. However, if you are looking for something that is easy to transport and store or you don’t plan on using it often, an inflatable kayak may be the best choice.


Conclusion 

Inflatable kayaks have no rigid structure and are lightweight, they take a little space after deflating and folding. So, it’s no surprise why many kayaking enthusiasts prefer them due to their simplicity and portability. Hopefully, the reviews helped you choose the inflatable kayaks for your next water adventure. 

Table of Contents

Matt

Matt

I am kayaking looking to spend my life on the water, and as such, I've founded FishOnKayak.com in order to detail all of the gear that makes it possible for me to have a whale of a time while out on the waves!

About Me

FishOnKayak is a kayaking blog that provides reviews on kayaks and other kayaking-related items. Kayakers of all skill levels are welcome to visit our blog for the latest information on the sport. We hope you find our blog helpful in your pursuit of the great outdoors!

Recent Posts