Inflatable kayaks are good to have if you like to have a whole day of safe water recreation experience. Back in the early days, the best inflatable kayak that is available as an inexpensive floating toy for kids. It was created from low-quality materials and does not have the best design as well. Luckily, those days are behind us now. Due to the evolution of technology, manufacturers are now creating pretty durable inflatable kayaks which are made of sturdy and resistant materials that you can use for your outdoor activities.
Our main objective is to make your life easier when buying your inflatable kayak. There are heaps of manufacturers and models out there so making the best choice isn’t always easy. Here, we’ve curated inflatable kayak reviews to help you in staying dry while having a good time, and save some money along the way.
- Best Inflatable Kayaks Reviews
- 1. Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak
- 2. Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak
- 3. Advanced Elements Convertible Inflatable Kayak
- 4. Advanced Elements StraitEdge Kayak
- 5. Coleman QuikPak K1 Kayak
- 6. Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak
- 7. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak
- 8. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
- 9. Coleman Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
- 10. Intex Explorer K2 2-Person Kayak Set
- Highly Recommended Inflatable Kayak Accessories
- Are Inflatable Kayaks Any Good
- Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe
- Buying an Inflatable Kayaks
Best Inflatable Kayaks Reviews
Below our favorite selection of inflatable kayaks that we have tested on multiple rivers and lakes, and reviewed to make your choice easier.
1. Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak
Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak is our choice for the best inflatable kayak. It provides adequate space for tandem riding. It has a weight capacity of 500 lbs. and an interior dimension of 9’6” x 15” when inflated. At 26 lbs, it is very light to carry. This kayak works best on white waters. Inflating the kayak and attaching the seat can only take 10 minutes or less. It can take you in the water in no time.
Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
- The framework can resist the sun and saltwater.
- Includes a foot pump and two skegs to give you excellent tracking.
- This kayak has a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- The seat is not comfy.
2. Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak
Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak is our pick for the best inflatable fishing kayak. If fishing is your favorite adventure then you should consider buying this kayak. It has durable construction and rugged design and can accommodate two persons. There are diversified air chambers to make sure that you will not sink just in case you’ll obtain a small hole in your kayak. It includes a trolling motor and paddle holders to provide you with additional fishing capabilities.
- It is roomy and robust.
- Includes a trolling motor and paddle holders.
- Pump and paddle are not included.
3. Advanced Elements Convertible Inflatable Kayak
Advanced Elements Convertible Inflatable Kayak is our preference for the best tandem inflatable kayak. If you love kayaking with a friend or a loved one then you will definitely enjoy this kayak. It is incorporated with aluminum ribs to specify the bow and stern. This kayak has excellent tracking. The three layers of material can provide you with superior protection against holes. The seats are padded to ensure that you and your partner will feel comfortable all the time. Additionally, the seats can be adjusted so that it will be easier for you to paddle.
- It is sturdy and easy to set up.
- This kayak has good tracking.
- It has no paddle or pump.
- This kayak is a bit weighty.
4. Advanced Elements StraitEdge Kayak
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Kayak is our prime selection for the best whitewater inflatable kayak. If you are planning to go kayaking on white waters then it is vital to have an inflatable kayak that is capable of handling the task. The Advanced Elements StraightEdge is the inflatable kayak that is fitted for the job. It includes aluminum ribs and can do self-bailing. The tracking is superb and most of all it is built of heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin material. This can guarantee you that your kayaking trip will not be devastated by minor holes. It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. When folded, it can fit into a duffle bag.
Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
- It is a self-bailing kayak.
- This craft is very comfy and tracks excellently.
- Pump or paddle is not included.
- It is a bit hard to dry.
5. Coleman QuikPak K1 Kayak
Coleman QuikPak K1 Kayak is our best choice for the best inflatable kayak for beginners. As a neophyte, you need to feel confident and secure in getting into an inflatable kayak especially since it’s your first time. You do not need a kayak that has all the bells and whistles since you are not yet an intermediate kayaker. This is why Coleman QuikPak K1 is the best choice. Installing everything can take as little as five minutes. This particular kayak can only fit one person and it works best on lakes. The best thing about this watercraft is that its bottom is made of tarpaulin which can avoid any holes.
In case, it gets closer to the shore and you’ll obtain a small hole, there’s no need to worry since it is equipped with numerous air chambers to make sure that it will not deflate before you can get back to where you want to be. If you’re just starting out then we recommend this inflatable kayak for you.
- It has a lower price.
- Getting in and out from the kayak can be done effortlessly.
- Its weight capacity is a bit higher.
- It does not have good tracking.
- The paddle is poorly made.
- It has a limited warranty.
6. Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak
The Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak is without a doubt an economical choice than wood or fiberglass kayaks. Aside from being sturdy, it is also simpler to use, transport, and put aside since it has a convenient design. Typically, it is a kayak for beginners who have not experienced the sport before. However, it can also work well for pros who just want to enjoy kayaking on the lake. It can give you an instant ride on calm waters. It has built-in rigid panels dedicated for bow and stern to give you better steering and speedier padding. This kayak is made from sturdy but lightweight material to ensure that you won’t get holes while riding on rougher waters. Setting up can be done effortlessly since it has high flowing Spring Valve and Twistlok Valve. It comes with a built-in fin and landing plate for enhanced tracking and gliding easily.
- It is very easy to set-up.
- This kayak is very lightweight and can fit into a duffle bag after deflating.
- It offers the best performance on waters.
- It is made of durable material and can even withstand collisions.
- It has limited space.
- This kayak only performs well on calmer waters.
7. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak
The Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak is not only best for whitewater but also in calmer waters. It has the ability to resist rapid waters yet it can also handle calmer waters. It is lightweight and only weighs 30 lbs. However, it can carry up to three persons since it has a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs. This kayak is very easy to use, store and transport. The Sea Eagle 370 is safe to use since it is certified by the National Marines Manufacturers Association.
The self-bailing drain valve is very useful in active waters but not so much in calmer waters. The PolyKrylar hull is solid yet it is also lightweight, making it ideal for rugged speedy rafting. It features I-Beam Construction Floor and Inflatable Spray Skirts, making it hard to puncture a hole and it won’t tip over easily.
Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
- It is very easy to transport.
- This kayak is durable for any situation.
- Setting up can be done in less than ten minutes.
- It is a budget-friendly kayak.
- It has a tendency to zigzag a little rather than going in a straight line.
8. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
If you are looking for a low-cost kayak for slower rides then Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is the best option. So what sets it apart from the rest? Since it is specially created for lakes then it is considered as a softer kayak with regards to its tracking and durability. It is sturdy, portable and convenient. The inflatable I-Beam floors ensure stability. It is made of a durable welded material that won’t puncture in collisions. The cargo net is placed comfortably in front of you, making it easy for you to store and get the things that you need quickly. In case, you fell off from the kayak, just use the grab lines in climbing back. It is found on both ends. The seat comes with a backrest to make you stable and comfortable.
- It is lightweight and portable.
- This kayak is sturdy enough to handle rough waters and rocks.
- It is safe to use since it can handle collisions.
- The oars are a bit shorter.
- This kayak is not meant for whitewater rapids.
9. Coleman Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
If you are on the lookout for a sturdy yet affordable kayak then you should check out Coleman Big Basin 3-Person Kayak. After inflating, you can have a 12 ft. x 3 in. kayak. It has the capability to carry 490 pounds and can even accommodate three persons. It has adjustable seats which are detachable. It can glide smoothly in a straight line while paddling due to its 2 directional strakes and tracking fin. This is a low profile kayak that is perfect for those who are looking for budget-friendly watercraft with a good value.
Weight Capacity: 490 lbs
- A budget-friendly inflatable kayak.
- It can accommodate three persons.
- The adjustable seats can make you feel comfortable.
10. Intex Explorer K2 2-Person Kayak Set
The Intex Explorer K2 2-Person Kayak Set is the most economical kayak for two persons. It comes with aluminum oars as well as a high output pump. It is specifically designed for calmer waters. This kayak is the perfect choice for your mild river cruising. It can conveniently accommodate two persons. Otherwise, you can go solo and detach the extra seat.
Highly Recommended Inflatable Kayak Accessories
Advanced Elements Rapid Up Sail
Have you experienced a strong wind to your back? The RapidUp Sail is solid, portable, and easy to set up. It can quickly deploy and tucks flat on the deck of your kayak. It has a unique shape that matches to kayak decks. With an instant flip of the RapidUp Sail, it can give you an additional push to get you to your desired destination.
Advanced Elements Pump with Pressure Guage
This Double Action Pump with Pressure Guage can quickly inflate and deflate your kayak. It is durable and has a high flow of inflation. This pump has numerous adaptors. It also has big handles and footplate to make you feel comfortable while pumping.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Any Good
The best thing about inflatable kayaks is that you can easily deflate it and toss it over in the trunk of your car. During the weekend, when you’re driving your car on a road trip and you happen to come across a ravishing lake then you can just park your car and inflate the kayak. In just a matter of minutes, you can jump into the tranquil water and enjoy having a nice time of relaxation. For just a small amount of money, you can unwind and enjoy your greatest lake adventure. Isn’t it a great deal?
Today, kayaking is not just a challenging sport for any adventurer. In fact, anyone can go kayaking at open waters. Nonetheless, you must be completely prepared so that you can enjoy having the best ride possible. Inflatable kayaks are the ideal choice since they are sturdier compared to wooden or plastic kayaks. Also, they can easily bounce off on rocks.
When it comes to finding the best inflatable kayak, it boils down to the one that is reliable and easy to use. Inflatable kayaks may not be good in maneuverability but they work great in calmer waters. Deflating the kayak is even much simpler. Just pop out the plug, and fold it.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe
Inflatable kayaks are the simplest and easiest watercraft that are available in the market right now. Let’s face it, all watersports or fishing sports are conceivably perilous. However, you have to accept all the hazards and responsibilities that come with it. In order to stay safe there are some vital threats that you need to be aware of:
Hidden Currents – Most likely, hidden currents can be experienced in rivers and coastal waters. They are excessively dangerous to kayaks as well as to the swimmers. If you are not aware of this then you should consult an expert.
Winds – Inflatable kayaks are extremely lightweight, making it susceptible to the effects of winds. Specifically, if you are kayaking in coastal waters, you should be very careful of offshore winds.
Coldness – The blending of wind and water can make you feel severely cold even on sunny days. Therefore, it is advisable to wear a windproof outfit when necessary. It is also wise to bring along some spare garments when needed.
Waves – Ocean waves are excellent especially when you are surfing. Nonetheless, it is highly hazardous on rocky shorelines.
Sunburn – You might not notice it, but while you are on the water the dangerous effects of sunshine are amplified because of the reflection from the water’s surface. If you are kayaking in sunny weather, don’t forget to cover your skin. You can also use sunscreen if possible.
Sharp and hard objects – You must stay away from sharp and hard objects at all times. This is not only hazardous to you but it can also destroy your kayak.
Whenever you are in doubt, it is always wise to ask an expert or a lifeguard. But above all, you can use some good judgment and common sense.
Buying an Inflatable Kayaks
If you have not bought an inflatable kayak ever then it’s important to know that they are not kid’s toys but a watercraft. You can use it in traversing the rivers, lakes, and seas. There are even some inflatable kayaks that can compete with solid kayaks with regards to performance and durability. The major benefits of inflatable kayaks are pretty obvious. It is portable and lightweight. There’s no need of carrying a weighty boat or purchasing a roof rack for placing it on top of your car. With a compact inflatable kayak, you can easily carry it or even place it inside your backpack.
Inflatable kayaks are great fun, and no drill needed for creating one. It is also very useful for fishing. But before you get into the water, be sure that it is safe and the weather is fine in order to avoid any untoward incidents.
James Haden is one of the owners of the Skateboarder community, together with Nash Gibson – his co-owner. He works as a full-time copywriter for a private company and also a true adventurer. He is an avid reader, writer, traveler, and extreme sports junkie. During his free time, he researches interesting content for their blog and continuously writes for their audience.