Best Inflatable Kayaks

For those of you who are pining to paddle but simply don’t have space or funds for  hard-shell kayaks, now is the time to consider inflatables. We’re here to tell you to show you are of the best inflatable kayak options and give insight into lesser-known paddling alternatives. It’s difficult to summarize our love for inflatables in a single sentence.

These inflatable boats offer all the benefits of traditional kayaks without any of the portability drawbacks. There are even inflatables that are engineered for fishing, touring, and other custom uses. We carefully evaluated the top-rated kayaks before honing in on 10 premium selections. Then, we spent hours analyzing the crafts to provide you with thorough and honest reviews.

KayakWeightMax WeightWhereRating
1. Advanced Frame
Convertible Kayak

(Best Rated)
Advanced Elements Convertible
52 Lbs 550 Lbs Coasts
Lakes
4.5/5
2. Sea Eagle 370
(Best Tandem)
Sea Eagle 370 Little
32 Lbs 650 Lbs Lakes
Rivers
4/5
3. Intex Challenger K2
(Budget Pick)
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33.5 Lbs 400 Lbs Lakes
Calm Water
4/5
4. Intex Explorer K2
(Budget Tandem)
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30.6 Lbs 400 Lbs Lakes
Calm Water
3.5/5
5. Coleman Colorado
(Fishing Pick)
40.5 Lbs 470 Lbs Lakes
Calm Water
3.5/5
6. Advanced Frame Sport
(Best Single)
Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Sport
26 Lbs 250 Lbs Coasts
Lakes
4/5
7. Sea Eagle 393rl
(Speed Pick)
Sea Eagle 393 RL
35 Lbs 500 Lbs Coasts
Lakes
4/5
8. Intex Excursion Pro
(Budget Fishing Pick)
41kr7rhaVsL. SL160
35 Lbs 400 Lbs Lakes
Rivers
3.5/5
9. Sevylor Big Basin Pro
(Best 3 Person)
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46.4 Lbs 490 Lbs Lakes
Rivers
3/5
10. Airhead Montanta
(White Water Pick)
36.3 Lbs 500 Lbs Rivers
Whiterwater
3/5

How to Choose an Inflatable Kayak

Now that you’ve seen our top selections, you’re probably wondering what to look for when choosing a kayak for yourself. In this section, we discuss the differences between paddling platforms.

 

Where are You Paddling

You should know where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing with your kayak. Vessels that are made to lunge through white water are not the same as those that are intended to cruise around the perimeter of a still lake.

Small Fresh Waterways: If your target watering hole is a small, generally still lake, a slow-moving river, or a pond, then any wide, stable sit-in or sit-on-top inflatable should be a good choice.

Rivers: If your local river has a moderate to fast current, you need to opt for something a bit wider and shorter. This sort of situation also calls for a sit-in kayak. If your target waterway is a bit angrier, then opt for a whitewater-specific kayak.

Oceans: Most inflatables do not perform well in marine currents and surf. If you’re looking to take your inflatable into saltwater, make sure it has some sort of tracking aid, such as a skeg or a rudder.

Price

Several factors impact the price of a kayak, including materials, capacity, and brand.

For example, a kayak like the Intex Challenger Kayak Series offers many of the same perks as the Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Kayak. Both of the products have seating for two paddlers and weight limits of 400 pounds. However, the Intex is made from vinyl. As a result, it costs a fraction of the price of the PVC-based Sea Eagle. Neither boat comes within the price range of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible  Inflatable Kayak. That’s because this boat is made from a combination of double-layer PVC and triple-layer polyester.

Setup Time

Since you’ll be inflating and deflating your kayak during each session, it’s important to consider setup times. Consider the number of pieces that you’ll need to drag to and from your launch points. Some boat and accessory pairing can be shoved into a single carry bag. Others, like the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak and the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Inflatable Kayak, have more complicated assembly requirements.

Portability

For many consumers, the main appeal of inflatables is portability. While inflatables are undoubtedly easier to transport than hard-shell yaks, it’s still important to consider a boat’s weight and dimensions when packed. Even the functionality of the carry bag plays a part in an inflatable’s portability. At 26 pounds, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Inflatable Kayak

Best Single Kayak

is the lightest kayak on our list. That’s a whopping 20 pounds less than the 46-pound Sevylor Big Basin Three-Person Kayak. A boat like the Advanced Elements is more suitable for backpacking. However, boats that weigh more than 30 pounds should only be carried short distances.

Remember, you’re going to be hauling a bundle of gear to the water. If your paddles, pump, and other paddling essentials don’t fit in your carrying bag, they’re going to become a hassle. Not to mention, over-the-shoulder backpacks are going to be more ergonomic than handless sacks and duffel bags.

Materials

The price of a kayak usually reflects its material makeup. Vinyl and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) models tend to cost the least. These materials are durable, flexible, and inexpensive. Inflatables made of these materials can be welded and patched. With a little care, you can easily extend the life of an inexpensive inflatable. However, there’s little you can do to fend off UV damage.

Midrange inflatable yaks tend to be made from some sort of PVC-coated composite. Stretchy materials, such as polyester and nylon, are buried under layers of durable PVC. The combo tends to be durable and flexible. Boats made layered materials tend to inflate easily.

The most expensive blow-up boats are typically made from materials like Nitrilon and Hypalon. These proprietary polymer fabrics offer unmatched durability and resilience. They are often reinforced with a rubbery PVC coating. As such, they are the best choice for people who engage in frequent or extensive paddle sessions. It’s always a good idea to see what additional accessories that the kayak comes with such as Kayak paddles, pumps etc. 

best inflatable kayaks cover

Handling

A kayak’s handling is dependent on its tracking and maneuverability. Kayaks that track well hold its course for extended periods. Since they make good speed, these boats are excellent for racing and touring. However, their inability to turn makes them a poor choice for recreational paddling. Skegs and rudders can be added to the bottom of the boat to improve its tracking.

TheSea Eagle 370 Inflatable Kayak tracks well thanks to its two skegs and rigid l-beam construction. Meanwhile, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak’s short, squat hull is better suited for abrupt maneuvers.

Length and Width

A kayak’s dimensions have a huge impact on its overall performance. For example, the length of a kayak often impacts its tracking potential. Long boats tend to maintain more direct trajectories. Short boats can make sharper turns and abrupt maneuvers. The average length of an inflatable is 9 to 12 feet. However, tandem models may be as long as 15 feet.

An inflatable’s width also impacts its performance. Thin boats have excellent secondary stability. Meanwhile, wide boats tend to be more stable on flat water. Most inflatables are between 2 ½ and 3 feet at their widest point.

Comfort

A poorly made kayak seat will leave you with a soar back and bottom. But, what does a thoughtful kayak seat design look like? Models like the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible  Kayak stand out immediately. The seats boast inflatable back supports and adjustable support straps. They can be rearranged and reclined to meet each paddler’s personal preferences.

Then, there’s an example like the Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak. Sevylor has added mesh bags to the back of their seats. In doing so, they’ve elevated an otherwise one-dimensional boat part.

Paddlers should also have enough space to stretch out their legs. The lower extremities are underused during paddle sessions. Cramped cockpits often cause paddlers to develop pain, cramping, and numbness in their legs and feet.

dog in an inflatable kayak

Stability

A stable boat is one that poses very little risk of capsizing. A boat with initial stability will not become tipsy in flat water. A boat with secondary stability will not roll under the pressure of moving water. The length, width, and displacement of your boat all have an impact on its stability. Long, narrow kayaks are generally less stable than wide, short ones.

Hull shape also has an impact on your boat’s ability to roll. Boats with flat or pontoon shaped bottoms are very stable in still water. Meanwhile, rounded and V-shaped hulls offer better secondary stability. If you’re a beginner, opt for something with plenty of initial stability.

Where to Buy

Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, it is time to decide where to do your shopping. There are a large number of kayak retailers. There are various benefits and drawbacks to shopping in a specific place. In this section, we discuss kayak options at four different major retailers, including Amazon, REI, Austin Kayak, and local retailers. They range in price from $329 to $3,499.

Austin Kayaks sells a variety of kayak brands, including Advanced Elements, BOTE, Hobie, and Aire. Prices are consistent with other online marketplaces. However, the stock at Austin is pretty limited. The company does have a dedicated customer service line. Shipping costs for kayaks and other vessels range between $125 and $300. The average time frame for shipping is between three and 15 days. The fees and time frame only apply to items shipped within the 48 contiguous states.

You can see Austin Kayak’s shipping charges and options here.

Amazon

Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace. A simple search for inflatable kayaks reveals hundreds of offerings. The marketplace offers plenty of search tools. The extensive pool of consumer reviews is also a valuable tool for prospective shoppers.

All customers get free shipping on orders that are $25 or more and are shipped by Amazon. Prime members also receive free shipping on many products. Most sellers offer a spectrum of shipping services, including the standard U.S., expedited U.S., two-day, one-day, and international standard shipping. Many of the items in this online marketplace are backed by Amazon’s generous return policy.

REI

REI is a popular brick-and-mortar and online marketplace for outdoor gear and clothing. They currently stock 200 top-brand kayaks, including 21 different inflatables. At this time, they carry Advanced Elements, Aquaglide, and STAR products.

Most boats can be shipped to a brick-and-mortar store for free. Items that are shipped directly to a customer are subject to additional shipping fees. REI has a carefully curated inventory of outdoor products. The prices tend to reflect the high quality of the products.

Austin Kayak

Austin Kayak is an extensive online marketplace for outdoor gear. They sell everything from kayaks to camping equipment. Currently, they have 219 kayaks in stock. Their inflatable kayak collection consists of 24 boats. The current offerings include sit-inside, sit-on-top, and pedal-powered options.

Local Retailers

It is always a good idea to shop locally. For one, salespeople at outdoor stores tend to be highly knowledgeable about the items they are selling. In-person shopping is a full experience. You can see, touch, and even test out products. Ask your local kayak dealer if they will let you take a sample paddle. Many outdoor stores offer educational seminars for customers of all ages. These sessions usually highlight products from the store’s showroom.

Most brick-and-mortar retailers send you home with your product at the time of your purchase. You do not have to pay shipping fees or wait around for a delivery. On the downside, most local retailers have higher prices than those of online marketplaces. What’s more, most in-person stores have limited offerings.

 

Top 10 Best inflatable Kayaks reviews

1. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak (Best Rated)

Advanced Elements Convertable

4.5/5

Specs

  • Length: 15 feet
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Weight: 52 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 2
  • Packed Dimensions: 35 x 21 x 12 inches

If you’re looking for a vessel that is comparable to a hard-shelled traditional kayak, then the Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatble kayak is the boat for you. This two individual kayak is suitable for extensive recreational and touring expeditions. It holds up well in flat water and mild surf.

Rigid aluminum ribs rival the support and tracking capabilities of conventional kayak shells. Adjustable seats enable you to instantly switch between solo and tandem setups. The boat also has a generous amount of onboard storage area. The roomy cockpit does not disappoint.

 

Customers are pleased with this boat’s exceptional safety features. A combination of multiple air chambers and Twistlok valves ensures leaks don’t make a big impact. The durable triple-layer polyester is reinforced with a double layer of puncture-resistant PVC. Welded seams serve as an additional fortification. With a boat surface this resilient, you’ll never have to leave your furry friend at home.

At 15 feet in length, the boat has a well-established center of gravity and ample legroom. Its 3-foot cockpit boasts stability-reinforcing l-beams. Aftermarket spray skirts enable you to transform the boat into a sit-inside watercraft. If your target waterways are chilly, you might want to invest in these accessories.

The cockpit is equipped with two seats that are padded. Remove a seat, and the Advanced Elements becomes a spacious solo touring kayak. A generous weight capacity, bungee lacing, and D-rings ensure there is always enough space for overnight gear and plenty of refreshments. The ample onboard storage area is complemented by a large array of tie-down options.

>>What Customers Think<<

Plus, the Advanced Elements inflatable is super easy to assemble. All elements fold up easily into the provided duffel bag. You can pop the boat into your trunk without a struggle. The yak’s spring-loaded valves are compatible with most conventional air pumps. However, you made need to purchase aftermarket adapters.

Pros

  • These Kayaks Come with a repair kit and durable storage bag
  • Multiple bungees and D-ring tie-downs across the deck
  • Aluminum Ribs for better tracking in the water
  • Removable seats enable you to convert it from a single to a double vessel with ease
  • Rated as the best inflatable kayak for its high quality materials
  • Made from ultra-durable triple-layer polyester and double-layer PVC
  • Aluminum frame for greater stability and tracking

Cons

  • The aluminum frame is difficult to take apart

2. Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Kayak (Best Tandem Kayak)

Sea Eagle 370

4/5

Specs

  • Length: 12 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 2 feet 10 inches
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 650 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 3
  • Packed Dimensions: 31 x 19 x 8 inches

The Sea Eagle 370 is a remarkable two-man inflatable. We found it difficult to identify any of its shortcomings. To say the least, we weren’t expecting to find an inflatable this rugged and efficient.

When packed up properly, the Sea Eagle inflatable kayak is just 31 inches long, 19 inches wide, and 9 inches tall. That’s saying a lot for a boat that packs into a small duffel carry bag at the end of the day. A trio of inflatable chambers gives this boat a major safety advantage.An ultra-durable 38-mil PolyKrylar (K80 PVC) construction keeps the boat’s price low while upping its overall durability. The white and blue exterior holds up well to UV rays. The seams are welded shut for added strength and security.

The yak’s set of five one-way fill valves prevent air from leaking out in the middle of a paddle. They also help to keep inflation times under the 10-minute mark. .The Sea Eagle inflatable kayak performs best under an inflation pressure of 1.1 PSI. Serious paddlers should invest in a high-out air pump. An l-beam drop stitch floor and pair of skegs help to improve the boat’s handling.

The boat’s spacious sit-in cockpit is a sight to behold. There are two seats that are removable  with inflatable backrests and seats. Either seat can be removed to make room for gear or a four-legged passenger. The seats have built-in storage bags. Adjustable straps enable you to change the position of the backrests. The Sea Eagle deflates quickly. You can fold it up and place it in the provided storage bag in just a matter of minutes. If you’re looking for a premium tandem kayaking experience but simply don’t have the space for transportation for a hard-shell kayak, you need to check out this boat.

>>What Customers Think<<

It also boasts a lashed-down inflatable spray skirt. The skirts keep choppy water from making its way into the cockpit. The kit also includes two aluminum paddles, a foot pump, a repair kit, and a rugged drawstring storage bag.

Pros

  • Durable PVC-coated hull
  • Inflates in less than 10 minutes
  • Self bailing drain feature
  • Lashed-down front and rear spray skirts
  • Suitable for up to Class III whitewater
  • Three air bladders and five one-way fill valves.
  • Pair of skegs made from indestructible plastic

Cons

  • Comes with foot pump (may want to replace with a high-powered alternative)
  • Some customers had issues with tracking

3. Intex Challenger K2 (Best Budget Kayak)

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4/5

Specs

  • Length: 11.5 Feet
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Weight: 33.53 pounds pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 2
  • Packed Dimensions: 11’6 X 2’6 X 1’3 inches

The Intex Challenger is a budget-friendly inflatable kayak with rave consumer reviews. This nearly 12-foot boat has a cockpit with room for two paddlers. It is made of rugged vinyl. The hull is resistant to both UV-damage and punctures. The kit is priced low, and it comes with all the essentials. The included set of 86-inch aluminum oars, high-capacity air pump, and repair patch kit ensure that you won’t have to spend more money after your initial purchase.

The Intex Challenger‘s cockpit boasts a pair of inflatable seats. They offer plenty of comfort and stability on long paddles. However, some consumers suggest that you only inflate the backrests. Overall, the boat can handle loads as heavy as 400 pounds. As such, you can easily bring a pair of adults and gear aboard the craft. The inflatable seats can be removed and adjusted for optimal paddler comfort. Front and rear grab lines add convenience to launch times. A front cargo net serves as the perfect space for a small gear pack or soft-shelled cooler.

Don’t let this inflatable boat fool you. It is quite fast in flat water. Removable plastic skegs boost their overall touring potential. The Intex Challenger tracks and turns nicely. You can expect it to stay on course in fair weather. However, intense winds and waves tend to challenge the boat’s stability.

>>What Customers Think<<

The bright green and blue graphics stick out against foggy, dimly lit backdrops. The hull consists of a rigid l-beam floor and inflatable sides. Each side of the boat has an air chamber. As such, a single puncture is unlikely to cause the entire craft to sink. Due to the Intex’s limited cockpit space, some consumers feel it is better suited as a solo craft. When two paddlers occupy the deck, the rear paddler can expect to keep their feet folded or extended over the sides of the boat.

Pros

  • Includes a repair kit, 86-inch aluminum oars, and a high-capacity pump
  • Large, spacious cockpit with a 400-pound weight capacity
  • Low price for a comprehensive package
  • Bright green/blue colorway offers enhanced visibility
  • Inflatable l-beam floor offers exceptional rigidness
  • Two puncture-resistant air bladders

Cons

  • Limited foot space

4. Intex Explorer K2 (Best Budget Tandem Kayak)

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3.5/5

Specs

  • Length: 10 feet 3 inches
  • Width: 3 feet
  • Weight: 30.6 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 2
  • Packed Dimensions: not available

The Intex Explorer K2 is an affordable inflatable kayak with room for two adult passengers. It boasts a roomy cockpit with super comfortable inflatable seating. The compact boat is suitable for small, relatively still bodies of water, including lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers.

It has a 400-pound weight capacity. As such, it can accommodate a set of adults and some gear. The Intex’s bright yellow exterior helps it stand out for safety’s sake. The sit-in cockpit is a pleasing dark gray color. The seats are a paler shade of gray. They lock in place with the help of adjustable back straps.

While the K2 is not the most exceptional craft for touring, it tracks pretty well. The boat’s inflatable l-beam floor and removable plastic skeg improve its overall directional stability. We had no trouble maneuvering around curvy shorelines and aquatic obstructions. The 10-foot hull might be considered short when compared to some hard-shell alternatives. However, we find that the stout body of this two-person boat improves its overall rigidness and stability.

Both ends of the boat boast drag lines. There is also a fabric loop on the top of the bow and the hull. With three separate air bladders, this vessel is not at risk for sinking. Boston valves offer quick inflation.

>>What Customers Think<<

The boat is made from puncture-proof vinyl. Repairs patches and aluminum paddles are included in the kit. It also comes with a carry bag and a high-output air pump. All you need is a Coast Guard-approved life jacket and a fun paddle partner.

Check the Review on the Explorer K2 

Pros

  • Grab lines and handles on both ends
  • Comes with all sorts of complementary accessories like a repair kit
  • Removable skeg for enhanced tracking capabilities when you need them
  • Made from puncture-proof vinyl
  • Room for up to 400 pounds

Cons

  • Not suitable for wind or surf

5. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak (Best fishing Pick)

3.5/5

Specs

  • Length: 10 feet 9 inches
  • Width: 3 feet 3 inches
  • Weight: 40.5 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 470 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 2
  • Packed Dimensions: 30.1 x 11.6 x 19.2 inches

Sevylor’s Coleman Colorado excels as an inflatable fishing watercraft. First off, this vessel has unmatched stability. We wouldn’t hesitate to stand up or fight a big catch. It can even be fitted with Sevylor kayak trolling motor, should you want to increase your speed. The 18-gauge PVC core holds up well to regular lake use. The 1000-denier tarpaulin bottom can handle being dragged to shore. The 840-denier nylon top is durable enough to withstand hours of exposure to the elements.

The Colorado’s airtight chamber system ensures that leaks will not be a problem. The boat can carry quite a load. There’s room for two passengers and their gear. This boat can hold up to 470 pounds. So feel free to your cooler, your dog, or your friend.
The seating arrangement in the cockpit is quite comfortable. The seats are adjustable. Plus, there is plenty of room to stretch out between catches. We all know that fishing is a game of patience. Rest assured that the Coleman Colorado will support you for the long haul.

The boat has a few basic storage amenities. There are side-mounted metal D-rings for tie-downs. Onboard mesh bags are perfect for grab-and-go items. The front and bow of the boat also boast extra space for gear essentials.

>>What Customers Think<<

You can trust the Sevylor Coleman Colorado to carry you and your fishing gear through lots of angling expeditions. The boat is extremely stable. What’s more, it maneuvers well considering its size. The materials are durable enough to withstand the pressures of freshwater. However, we wouldn’t feel very confident about taking this boat into the ocean.

Check The Review on the Coleman Colorado Kayak

Pros

  • Multiple air bladders
  • Built-on rod holders
  • Side grab handles make it easy to carry to the water
  • Plenty of wiggle room
  • Self Bailing Drain feature
  • Durable PVC base layer with further reinforcements

Cons

  • Slow
  • Does not include pump

6. Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Sport Inflatable Kayak (Best Single Kayak)

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Inflatable Kayakimage 8792258 13735742

4/5

Specs

  • Length: 10 feet 5 inches
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 1
  • Packed Dimensions: 30.75 x 18 x 10.75 inches

The Advanced Elements Sport is an excellent boat for solo paddlers. This impressive inflatable performs just like a hard-shell kayak. Rigid aluminum bow and stern reinforcements compliment multiple airtight chambers. You get the same buoyancy, stability, and maneuverability as most solo hard-shell yaks. Its tracking and speed are also quite impressive.

The boat is quite compact, but don’t fret. An average adult paddler will have no trouble stretching their legs. The onboard bungees and D-rings serve as superb spots for excess gear. There’s also a good chunk of space behind the seat. That said, we wouldn’t consider the boat a good match for an extensive overnight trip. The aluminum frame improves the craft’s stability. It also helps the boat to track better in varied water conditions. However, the yak’s handling ceases to prevail when subjected to adverse weather. While a rear tracking fin does make up for some of its design shortcomings, choppy waves tend to tip the hull back and forth.

>>What Customers Think<<

PVC-coated, triple-layer polyester is an excellent match for the great outdoors. This boat shows very few signs of wear and tear after being exposed to the elements. Protective neoprene pads are positioned to protect the paddler’s arms from friction-induced chaffing. Low-profile rubber handles on the sides, front, and back of this vessel improve the boat’s overall portability. While this boat’s aluminum frame can be a bit cumbersome, it’s still our go-to choice for lengthy solo journeys.

Check the Full Review of the Sport Kayak

Pros

  • Triple-layer polyester base with PVC coating for extra durability
  • Aluminum bow and stern reinforcements for extra stability
  • Twist lock valves create airtight chambers
  • Bungee deck lacing and D-rings
  • Perfect for one-man adventures
  • Highly maneuverable

Cons

  • Limited weight capacity
  • Can not be converted into a tandem

7. Sea Eagle 393rl Inflatable Kayak (Best for Speed)

Sea Eagle 393rl

4/5

Specs

  • Length: 12 feet 10 inches
  • Width: 2 feet 4 inches
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 1
  • Packed Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 12 inches

The 393rl is the first-ever all drop stitch inflatable kayak. This ultralight watercraft is designed to respond to your paddling. It picks up lots of speed and offers incredible tracking. If you’re a solo kayaker looking for a lightweight touring vessel, this RazorLite will help you cover more miles.

On top of that, inflation and assembly couldn’t be easier. It takes less than 10 minutes to fill the boat’s three air chambers. The trio of recessed one-way air valves serves as one of this kayak’s biggest defense. Drop stitch seams further reinforce this floating construction.

The cockpit is comfortable enough for lengthy trips. Front and rear spray skirts keep water out of the seating area. Your feet get relief from the proprietary FlexBrace adjustable footrests. Not to mention a pair of drain valves serve as a convenient way to empty the hull during portage. The inflatable seat lacks the support needed for full-day paddles. However, the inflatable elements serve as an effective buffer. The lengthy cockpit offers enough space for outstretched legs and lots of extra gear.

>>What Customers Think<<

The 393rl’s narrow, hard nose, bow, and stern help it to pick up speed. You’ll cut a path straight through flat water. However, expect the stability wane a bit in the surf. The boat maxes out at 6 miles per hour. Since it lacks initial stability, we’d highly recommend it for intermediate paddlers. It will quench your thirst for speed without eating into your car’s overhead storage.

Check the Review on the Sea Eagle 393rl 

Pros

  • Removable rear skeg
  • Front and rear spray skirts
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Three air chambers
  • 1000-denier PVC fabric
  • Quadruple-overlapped dropstich seams

Cons

  • Only suitable for intermediate and advanced paddlers

8. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak (Best Budget Fishing Kayak)

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3.5/5

Specs

  • Length: 12 feet 7 inches
  • Width: 3 feet 1 inch
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 2
  • Packed Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 16 x inches

Intex has constructed an inflatable watercraft that’s fit for tandem fishing. This 12-foot boat boasts a spacious sit-in cockpit with all sorts of angling amenities. Since it is an inflatable, you don’t need a kayak roof rack or any other complicated contraption to transport it to your favorite water destination.

The hull is constructed from an ultra-durable fabric laminate. The triple-layer material consists of one layer of polyester and two layers of puncture-resistant PVC. The wear-resistant material coating protects the yak against accidental punctures and abrasions. Alas, we have a finishing boat that can’t play victim to the contents of a tackle box. The yak’s designers didn’t drop the ball when it came time for onboard storage. The bow and

stern both boast unused spaces that are large enough to tackle containers. There are also multiple D-rings for dry bags and other gear items. Not to mention, a removable, adjustable mounting bracket sets the stage for angling add-ons. Recessed rod holders surround the cockpit.

The package also includes a set of 86-inch aluminum oars, a carry bag, repair patches, and a high-output air pump. That means fewer upfront costs and faster inflation times. While the packed vessel is quite compact, we wouldn’t want to carry the bundle long distances. The kayak features a pair of rigid bucket seats with adjustable backrests. Removable inflatable booster pads give paddlers the option to elevate their seating.

>>What Customers Think<<

Customers are all too pleased by the Intex’s low price tag. The PVC-shell makes us hesitant to take this boat on overnight journeys. Yet, we’re sure this budget-friendly fishing craft is a good fit for low-key pursuits in relaxed waterways. The boat’s stable hull feels nearly as rigid as a plastic one. Not to mention, you can track and turn without much trouble.

Pros

  • Plenty of tie-down spots for tackle plus two fishing pole holders
  • Room for two anglers
  • Made from triple-layer PVC fabric
  • Comes with all the essentials you need to get started
  • Bucket seats with inflatable boosters

Cons

  • Not suitable for standing

9. Sevylor Big Basin Three-Person Kayak (Best 3 Person Inflatable Kayak)

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3/5

Specs

  • Length: 12 feet 3 inches
  • Width: 3 feet 1 inch
  • Weight: 46.4 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 490 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 3
  • Packed Dimensions: 18 x 10 x 24 inches

If you’re looking to bring along a friend or two on your next aquatic adventure, check out the Sevylor Big Basin. This heavy-duty PVC inflatable is perfect for peaceful lake and pond paddles. The 12-foot hull offers room for up to three passengers. The boat’s semi-rigid PVC body is backed by a puncture-proof tarpaulin bottom. Since the boat consists of multiple air chambers, one accidental puncture will not necessarily cause it to sink. The seams are sealed to prevent air from leaking. Of course, Sevylor’s one-year warranty keeps paddlers from having to worry about air pressure issues.

The boat has exceptional primary stability. However, it is not intended to be used in surf. Despite its size, it pulls through when coming around turns. However, things can get a bit tipsy when the cockpit is at capacity. Side handles offer paddlers stability when getting in and out of the cockpit.

The Big Basin’s cockpit offers room for three adults. This is a great boat for families with multiple children or water-loving canines. Front and rear spray covers keep passengers dry. Adjustable seats set the stage for comfortable treks. Just be sure not to go over the boat’s 490-pound weight limit. What’s more, you aren’t able to fully extend your legs if you are in either one of the rear seats. Side D-rings serve as secure points for tie-downs.

The included pressure gauge helps you stay on top of the air pressure. However, you’ll need to purchase an air pump if you ever plan on leaving the shore. Inflation times vary. For the most part, paddlers can fill the three air chambers in less than 10 minutes. Front and rear grab handles make it easy to launch and dock the boat.

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This boat is exceptionally stable. We can’t think of a safer craft for parties of three or more. Three-person synchronized paddles require patience and skill. Both PVC and tarpaulin can handle a great deal of abuse. So, don’t worry if you’re not an expert. Just jump right in and enjoy your shared kayak experience.

Pros

  • Has three removable, adjustable seats
  • Backed by a one-year warranty and guaranteed to not leak
  • Spray covers for added comfort
  • Comes with a pressure gauge, removable fins, and a carry bag

Cons

  • Not suitable for surf

10. Airhead Montana Two-Person Inflatable Kayak (Best Kayak For White Water)

3/5

Specs

  • Length: 12 feet
  • Width:
  • Weight: 36.3 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Number of Paddlers: 2
  • Packed Dimensions: n/a

Bet you didn’t know they made inflatables that could handle whitewater? The Airhead Montana is a tandem inflatable that is engineered to handle intense situations. The 840-denier nylon is reinforced with UV- and water-resistant coatings. As such, we think it’s safe to say that this watercraft can handle mild white water.

The seating arrangement consists of two incredibly comfortable inflatable chairs. The seats can be moved and removed. Adjustable back support cords enable users to sit upright or recline. The sit-in cockpit keeps them grounded and out of the way of spray. Neoprene elbow guards and spray skirts further improve the comfort and safety of paddlers.

A tubular l-beam floor serves as the boat’s foundation. It offers exceptional rigidness and stability in flat to moderate white water. The kayak walls are semi-rigid, and each one boasts an air chamber. The PVC is thick enough to handle being thrust into sharp rocks. However, a triple layer of laminate reinforces the bottom.

The 10-foot boat maintains a steady pace in water. You can thank the four bottom fins for its exceptional tracking capabilities. The bulky hull offers excellent primary and secondary stability. We wouldn’t even think twice about entering the water from the cockpit. A stretch net in the bow and a set of six D-rings serve as spaces for paddlers to secure their gear. Bring your essentials along for the ride. It’s difficult to surpass the boat’s 500-pound weight capacity. The boat’s front, rear, and side grab handles also make the list of onboard accessories.

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The boat is super easy to assemble. Since it is very compact when it is deflated, one person can carry it to and from a waterway. If you’re looking to take on some modest rapids, the Airhead is your kayak.

Pros

  • Neoprene elbow pads for added comfort
  • Six D-rings and a stretch net
  • Self Bailing Drain Feature
  • Three air chambers enclosed in 840-denier nylon
  • Suitable for flat and mildly white freshwater
  • Two Boston fill valves

Cons

  • Plastic skeg is sustainable to bending

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide serves as a helpful tool for anyone doing a little kayak shopping. Some paddlers are nervous to delve into the world of inflatable vessels. Yet, many of these boats perform just as well as, if not better than, the hard-shell alternatives. If you are in a rush, check out our top-rated inflatable kayak, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Kayak. This boat’s performance rivals that of many conventional hard-shell boats. Yet, it’s significantly less expensive and easier to transport. Do you have any unanswered questions or comments you want to share regarding inflatable kayaks? Let us know in the section below!

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5 thoughts on “Best Inflatable Kayaks”

  1. This blog about The Best Inflatable Kayaks is a really interesting post. You shear very impotent and informative information in your blog. T hanks for shearing this article.

  2. Many thanks for this article!

    What do you think about the kayak:

    Allroundmarin Force?

    Zray Drift?

    Aqua Marina Tomahawk 465?

    Many thanks

    Regards

    1. I don’t know too much about the Allroundmarin Force as it’s a German company but looking at all the designs they all seem like they would have great tracking. A good way to choose which kayak you want is dependant on your budget, your location and customer feedback about both the boat and the manufacturer. The Zray Drift is a manufacturer which specifically deals with paddle boards, kayaks while Aqua Marina is more of a “bargain brand” type of manufacturer. Based off of this Zray may be your best bet if you live outside of Europe.

  3. I’m about to pull the trigger on an IK. I am an experienced kayaker but will be kayaking in lakes and rivers in our area. Weight is an issue and I want a sit-in style. I have narrowed my search down to the AE DS-XL, AE Sport DS, and the Innova Swing 1 LN. I lean toward the Innova because of the weight and the construction.

    Do you have any thoughts on the matter? I would appreciate it. Really enjoyed your video.

    1. I typically prefer the AE Kayaks and would pick the DS-XL but if weight is a big issue then the Innova Swing 1 LN may be the one to choose. I personally prefer the Advanced Elements kayaks though and the Sport is only 3 lbs heavier and about $125 cheaper on airkayaks.com.

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