10 Best Inflatable Kayaks 2020 – Top Inflatable Kayaks Review
Are you looking for the best inflatable kayaks?
Inflatable kayaks have come a long way to become popular among the mainstream kayakers. They are lightweight, packs tons of features, cheaper, and offers incredible performance. Ten years ago, people would prefer hard-shell kayaks over inflatable kayaks any day. But, the time has changed, and the inflatable kayaks are offering almost anything with better performance. They can be used for all types of kayaking, for instance: fishing, recreational, touring, white water kayaking, and more.
However, not all of the inflatable kayaks on the market are worthy of your time. Some of the cheap inflatable kayaks on the market actually makes it tougher for the users to choose. To save you some money and time, we decided to review the inflatable kayaks on the market by using our in-depth knowledge and share it here on kayak base. We shared a chart to find the type of inflatable kayak you might be interested in for your next kayaking trip. If you already know the type of your kayaking, you can easily grab one. You can also check the individual inflatable kayak reviews we posted after the chart.
Check the best inflatable kayaks of 2019. #Kayak #kayaking
- Best Inflatable Kayak Review 2020
- Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak
- Sea Eagle 370 Pro Package
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- Airhead Montana Kayak
- Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak
- Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
- Advanced Elements FireFly
- Intex Challenger K1
- Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
- Sea Eagle S300X Explorer
- Saturn 13' FK396
- How to buy the best inflatable kayak?
- Final Verdict
Best Inflatable Kayak Review 2020
|Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak||10 Feet 5 inches||36 lbs||300 lbs|
|Sea Eagle SE370K_P||12 Feet||32 Pounds||650 lbs|
|Intext K2 Kayak Review||10 Feet||16.3 Kg||350 lbs|
|Airhead Montana||9 feet 9 inches||27.7 lbs||300 lbs|
|Intex Excursion Pro Kayak||12'7"||39.01 lbs||400 lbs|
|Coleman QuikPak K5||10 Feet||28.6 pounds||250 lbs|
|Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Review||12 Feet||4 KG||350 lbs|
|Advanced Elements FireFly||7'10"||16 pounds||250 lbs|
|Rave Sea Rebel||8.5 Feet||24 pounds||200 lbs|
|Sea Eagle Explorer 300x||9'10"||28 lbs||350 lbs|
|Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 OTF-2751PK||9 feet 1 Inch||27.4 pounds||275 lbs|
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak
Advanced Elements claims to be one of the first companies to start the evolution of inflatable kayaks. They produce both tandem and solo inflatable kayaks for the outdoor lovers. The advanced frame kayak is one of their top products, and it gained a lot of praises from the kayak community for its innovative design. This kayak from Advanced Elements comes with built-in aluminum ribs which define the bow and stern to offer excellent tracking. To make it easier for the users, they preassemble the kayak at their factory. All you have to do is to unfold, inflate, and attach the seat to enjoy this beauty.
Three layers of material are used in this kayak for extreme puncture resistance. The aluminum frame reinforced stern acts as a skeg while improving the tracking performance. The rigid bow of aluminum reinforcement slices through the water like hardshell kayaks. You will get a good amount of onboard storage space without compromising the legroom. You will get an adjustable padded seat which comes with high support. This ensures comfort to the users who paddles for a long time. Also, the neoprene paddle guard at the sides will protect the knuckles.
Despite being an inflatable kayak, this actually provides a decent storage option. The bungee deck lacing and the D-ring attachment can be used to stow or attach gears. Also, the water-resistant zippers provide hull storage access to essentials or personal items. The molded and low-profile rubber handles can come very useful to transport it to and from the water.
You will also get a repair kit with a heavy-duty duffel bag to transport your kayak into your favorite destination. Just make sure that you inflate it properly with a 12V electric pump. Considering all of these cool features, I can safely say that this is the best inflatable kayak for a single person.
Length: 10 ft 5 inches
Weight: 36 lbs
Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Best For: Recreational
Overall, the best inflatable kayak.
Sea Eagle 370 Pro Package
Established in 1968, Sea Eagle has positioned themselves as one of the best manufacturers of the kayak industry. They are one of the leaders in the inflatable kayak market, and it shows in their products. Sea Eagle S370 is one of the best inflatable kayaks available on the market which can be used by up to three people at the same time. Thousands of water sports lover have loved enriched inflatable kayak. This lightweight inflatable kayak offers great stability and durability, thanks to the 38 mil PolyKrylar (K89 PVC).
Sea Eagle 370 weighs only 26 lbs but has a maximum capacity of 650 lbs. SE370 features an open and close drain valve for easy maintenance. Also, the five deluxe one-way inflation/deflation valves come very handily. Two skegs on the bottom of the kayak ensure better tracking and speed. The hull material is both sun and saltwater resistant. So, if you want to kayak in the sunny days in the ocean, you are good to go. The I-beam construction floor offers great durability and stability. You will also find lashed down inflatable spray skirts, Bow & Stern Grab Line in this kayak. On top of that, it is NMMA certified.
This is an excellent package for tandem inflatable kayaking. This package also includes AB30 paddles, inflatable movable and removable seats, foot pump, and a carry bag with shoulder strap. If you are planning on kayaking with your friends or partner, this is the best 2 person inflatable kayak for you.
Length: 10 ft 6 inches
Weight: 32 lbs
Weight Capacity: 650 lbs
Best For: Recreational
The best inflatable kayak for tandem use
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Intex is a pioneer when it comes to manufacturing air mattresses or PVC inflatable products. Intex Explorer k2 is an inflatable kayak with a very cheap price. If you want to paddle with your friends, but don't want to spend a lot, Explorer k2 Kayak is the best choice for you. This inflatable kayak comes with an inflatable seat which has backrest. The cockpit has been designed to offer a considerable amount of comfort and space to the users. This kayak has a dimension of 20x36x123 inches.
Explorer K2 weighs only 30.60 lbs but has a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds. Intex used heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl in this kayak. To provide more protection, two separate air chambers are used in this kayak. So, if anything happens to one chamber, the kayak can still perform. The inflatable I-beam floor has rigidity and allows stability too. You can use the Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation.
K2 kayak uses removable skeg for directional stability and improved tracking. Please note that Explorer K2 kayak has been made for calm waters like lakes and mild rivers. You will find this kayak in a bright yellow color, which is easy to spot in case of an emergency. You will also find grab handles on both ends to carry comfortably. In a nutshell, this is a great cheap inflatable kayak for occasional kayakers.
Length: 123 inches
Weight: 30.60 lbs
Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
Best For: Recreational
Best cheap inflatable kayak
Airhead Montana Kayak
Airhead Montana is a nine-foot-nine-inches long single person inflatable kayak. It has been designed to be used in lakes and moderate white water. If you love paddling on both calm and white water, you may love AirHead Montana. However, this is advised not to use in choppy water. You need to check the class of the river, and paddle if it has moderate rapid. This inflatable kayak comes with three air chambers which have been enclosed by rugged 840-denier nylon. The semi-rigid heavy gauge PVC construction ensures high durability. Also, the durable tri-laminate reinforcements on the bottom make it even better.
This inflatable kayak weighs only 27.7 pounds and has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds. There are two Boston valves included for quick inflation and deflation. It comes with a movable and removable inflatable seat which offers great back support. The highly visible orange color increases safety as it is easy to spot on the water. Grab handles are provided for an easy take on or off from the water. The low drag or super tracking with four fins will be amazing if you love speed. You will also find other features like the neoprene elbow guards or the D-rings at the bow and stern to attach more gears. In a nutshell, this is one of the best inflatable kayaks for moderate whitewater.
Length: 9 feet 9 inches
Weight: 27.7 lbs
Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Best For: Recreational and moderate white water
Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak
Sevylor Quikpak K5 is a one-person inflatable kayak from Coleman. Primarily made for lakes and rivers, K5 has gained popularity among Stillwater kayakers. Setting up the Sevylor Quikpak K5 is super easy, and it takes only five minutes to start kayaking. Coleman used 24-gauge PVC construction in the kayak, which is great for lake use. You can also use the K5 in the river, but I suggest to use it in a calm river. Coleman reinforced the bottom with tarpaulin with polyester cover to prevent puncture.
Just like other top manufacturers, Sevylor's Quikpak also comes with multiple air chambers to keep the kayak floated even if one is punctured. The Airtight system is guaranteed not to leak. The spray covers will prevent splashed, and keep you dry. The double Lock valves use two locking points for easy inflation/deflation. There are bungee cord storage in the front and rear to keep your gears or personal items. Also, you can take advantage of the D-Rings to attach more gears.
Weight: 24.35 lbs
Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
Best For: Recreational
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
Intex's Excursion Pro is a tandem inflatable kayak for fishing. It is tough to find an inflatable tandem kayak for fishing. Intex used Super-tough laminate PVC with a polyester core which is very lightweight yet highly resistant to damage from sunlight, abrasion, and impact. It has three chamber construction to ensure more safety. It includes two removable skews for deep and shallow water.
Anglers will appreciate the two integrated recessed fishing rod holders. Also, there are removable and adjustable mounting brackets to use additional accessories like a GPS, fish finder, swivel fishing rod holder, and more.
The high-pressure inflation of the kayak ensures extra rigidity and stability. Also, the high-pressure spring loaded valves provide easy inflation and fast deflation. I-beam floor adds extra rigidity to the kayak. The mounted footrests will allow the paddlers to relax while paddling. There are storage spaces in the bow and stern with stainless steel with D-rings to attach more gears like a dry bag.
Advanced Elements FireFly
We couldn’t make this list without including Firefly, one of the most popular inflatable kayaks on the market. Advanced Elements is the manufacturer of this yellow colored kayak. This recreational inflatable kayak is great for paddling on the lake, river, or any type of slow-moving water. Setting up the firefly kayak is very straightforward, and takes a very short time. The Twistlok valves along with the high flow spring valve reduce the setup time. It has a length of 7 ft 10 inches, weighs only 16 lbs, and has maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds.
Durable materials are used to make the Firefly. As a result, it gets amazing puncture resistance while offering great durability. Also, the unique cover adds extra strength to it. The landing plate and tracking fin improve the overall performance of the FireFly. The bungee deck lacing allows you to attach gears easily. There is also molded and low-profile rubber handles allow for easier transport of this inflatable kayak. You will also find a duffel bag and a repair kit with this package.
Length: 7 ft 10 inches
Weight: 16 lbs
Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
Best For: Recreational
Intex Challenger K1
Intex Challenger K1 is one of the best cheap inflatable kayaks you can find on the market. Despite the cheap price tag, Intex Challenger K1 packs a lot of cool features. It comes with a vibrant color combination of green and blue. These eye-catching graphics ensure a great amount of safety. The cockpit has been designed in such a way that the user gets to paddle comfortably.
The front of the kayak has a cargo net to store gears or other essentials like a dry bag. There is a grab line on both ends of the kayak. The seat of the kayak comes with a backrest to sit back when needed. This package comes with an 84-inch aluminum oar, repair patch, and Hi-output manual hand pump. The rugged vinyl construction ensures that the kayak can be used on the lake or slow-moving river.
Length: 108 inches
Weight: 27.2 lbs
Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
Best For: Recreational
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
Got a big group? Want to kayak with more than two people? You are in luck! Sevylor's Big basin is a three-person inflatable kayak which can be used in the lake or slow-moving rivers. Sevylor used multiple air chambers in this kayak to keep it inflated if one is punctured. However, the airtight system used in the Big Basin ensures no leaking. Coleman used heavy-duty PVC construction with reinforced tarpaulin bottom to offer more durability. As a result, you can also use it for a little bit of white water kayaking.
The adjustable seats can be moved to you properly. Sevylor uses Boston valve which double threaded to offer easy inflation or deflation. It also comes with spray covers which can block splashes to keep you dry. It has a length of twelve feet three inches, weighs 34.76 lbs, and has maximum weight capacity of 490 lbs.
Length: 12 ft 3 inch
Weight: 34.76 lbs
Weight Capacity: 490 lbs
Best For: Recreational
Sea Eagle S300X Explorer
Love whitewater kayaking? Gone are days when the hardshell kayaks are the only choice for white water kayaking. Nowadays, inflatable kayaks are also used for rapids. Sea Eagle SE300X is one of the best inflatable kayak for whitewater. It has a whitewater rating of Class IV. The dimension of the kayak is 9'10"X3'3". It weighs 30 lbs and has a maximum weight capacity of 395 pounds. There are three air chambers available on this inflatable white water kayak for extra security. They are in the port, starboard, and floor. Sea Eagle used three recessed one-way air valves to ensure easy maintenance.
1000 Denier Reinforced material ensures that the durability of this kayak is extremely high, and it can withstand harsh environments. 16 valves have been used in this kayak for super-fast-bailing in white water. There is also a removable skeg for improved tracking on the open water. When deflated, you can store this kayak in the trunk of your car or a small plane. This package comes with a tall back seat, stern storage bag, and a high-performance AB40 paddle which improves the power and reduces fatigue. The separate drop stitch floor offers excellent rigidity. Additionally, there are 12 D-rings to attach more seats of gears. In a nutshell, this is the best whitewater inflatable kayak on the market without a doubt.
Length: 9 ft 10 inch
Weight: 30 lbs
Weight Capacity: 395 lbs
Best For: White water (Class IV)
Best inflatable kayak for whitewater
Saturn 13' FK396
Saturn 13' FK396 is one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks you can find on the market. Due to the narrow profile and the oversized hugh buoyancy tubes, you can cover a lot more fishing areas on the water. This easy to carry inflatable fishing kayak has great portability. Saturn used heavy-duty 1100 Dtex PVC to make it. High-pressure air deck is used to to make the floor of the kayak, and it becomes extremely rigid when inflated, thanks to the high-quality materials. However, when not needed, you can be rolled up when deflated. On top of that, Saturn considered the accidental punctures that may happen with the fishing hook, and that's why they used a double layer of PVC in the air floor and on top of the tubes.
There are kayak oars holders on both sides with D-rings straps for security. Two removable aluminum platforms also provided for gear attachments. One large removable fin can be found on the bottom which offers great directional stability. As this is an inflatable kayak for fishing, you will need to store a lot of fishing gears. There is storage space on the front and bow under kayak seats. Hugging rope with handles can be found on the front and back.
Weight: 43 lbs
Weight Capacity: 700 lbs
Best For: Fishing
How to buy the best inflatable kayak?
There are a lot of things to consider when looking for an inflatable kayak. If you are investing a minimal amount of money, you may not want to look deep into the features. However, when someone is spending a good amount of money buying an inflatable kayak, it becomes way harder to land the best inflatable kayak for your type of kayaking. There are different types of inflatable kayaks for different purposes. Different manufacturers will use different types of materials to make the kayaks, and it is impossible to check all of them. This is why, in this article, we are going to share some of the important factors to consider when buying an inflatable kayak.
The first thing that one needs to check is the quality of the material used to manufacture the inflatable kayak. The most common type of material used to make the fabric is PVC. The PVC is a great material to be used in an inflatable kayak as they are durable, has the folding ability, and can be used for a very long time. This robust material allows being inflated to a high PSI.
On top of that, PVC seams can be both welded and stitched. As a result, it offers better strength than glue. There are other materials like Dtex which is used by Saturn in their inflatable kayaks. If you are concerned about the environment, you can choose kayaks that are made of nitrylon. They are eco-friendlier than the PVC, synthetic, has a rubber coating of 1200D fabric. Even though they are more stringent than the PVC, but they are used only on the bottom or sides due to its weight.
- High durability
- Cheaper than Hypalon
- PVC can be welded
- Easy to patch
- A wide variety of available colors
- Not resistant to temperature or chemicals
- If not coated, PVC material may get damaged by UV rays
- Puncture and abrasion resistant
- Easy to patch
- Stronger than PVC
- Bottom and side of the kayaks are reinforced by using Nitrylon
- Nitrylon material is heavy
Often overlooked, maneuverability can be a crucial factor for a lot of users. People who want to use their kayak for fishing needs high maneuverability. It means, they can quickly turn their kayaks when required. When fishing, you will want to move your kayak very quickly, and having high maneuverability will be a blessing to you. However, high maneuverability means that you have to sacrifice high tracking. If an inflatable kayak comes with high maneuverability, it will have lesser speeds than regular kayaks.
One of the biggest reasons to purchase an inflatable kayak is the portability. Hardshell kayaks are heavy, and the inflatable kayaks are lightweight. In some scenarios, one may not care about the weight of the inflatable kayaks. If you have a car, then you may not care about the weight, but for most people, it is a critical factor when buying an inflatable kayak. If you are going to carry the kayak in your backpack, you will love a lightweight inflatable kayak. We have mentioned some amazing lightweight inflatable kayaks in this list that you can choose for your next endeavor.
Most of the manufacturers will mention the maximum capacity of their inflatable kayaks. It is always good to check the maximum weight capacity of the kayak if you are planning to carry a lot of gears in it. Usually, recreational kayaks will come with little storage option, and that's why they don't offer a good maximum weight capacity. For heavy kayakers, try to choose a kayak which has high maximum weight capacity.
One of the reasons to buy an inflatable kayak is to reduce the hassles. You don't want an inflatable kayak which comes with high setup time. Inflatable kayaks should have a straight forward and easy setup system which takes a very little time. The inflation time and deflation time plays a great role in the setup process.
Most of the kayaks will come with a small pump to inflate it. Usually, it should take five to eight minutes to set up a kayak. Some of the inflatable kayaks may take around ten minutes to set up. One way valves like Boston valves are used to trap the air inside and prevents the air from escaping from it. However, this may increase the deflation time but offers you better security.
Where do you want to paddle?
Choosing an inflatable kayak heavily depends on the type of water you are going to explore. You may have seen a lot of youtube videos kayaking on different types of waters, and wondered if you can do that too. It actually depends on the type of inflatable kayak you have. You may want to kayak in a lake, river, paddle, ocean, or the backyard pond.
Kayaking in the white water is significantly different than kayaking in a slow-moving river. Besides the skill, you also need a kayak which can withstand the large waves. The waves of the ocean are large, and if you are not using an ocean inflatable kayak, you will be in trouble. If you decide to paddle on white water, you need to check the class rating of your kayak and match it with the river or stream you are about to go kayaking.
If you are kayaking in a place where you may submerge into the water, you better get a kayak with scupper holes or self-bailers which will drain the water from the inside. If you need a great amount of stability, maneuverability, or tracking, you need to choose your kayak wisely. If you are going to move or take a lot of turns, I prefer a kayak with excellent maneuverability. This types of kayaks are great for fishing in lakes or rivers.
Unlike the hard-shell kayaks, inflatable kayaks don't offer a significant amount of storage. This is one thing that you need to think before buying an inflatable kayak. If you are buying a kayak for fishing or touring, you will definitely need some storage to keep your gears. However, if the kayak you are buying doesn't come with ample storage, you can always use the D-rings to attach more gears or kayak dry bag.
Portability is one of the reasons to buy an inflatable kayak. Inflatable kayaks are best for providing high portability. You can deflate a kayak and put it on the backpack or the trunk of your car. However, inflatable kayaks that can be converted to a backpack is best if you are carrying them for a long time. Also, a lightweight inflatable kayak is preferable over a heavy inflatable kayak. Inflatable kayaks also take less space and can be stored in the trunk or garage more conveniently.
Buy the top inflatable kayaks which come with high-quality materials as they tend to offer better safety. By buying apuncture proof or multiple air chambers kayak, you reduce the chances of any accidents. Another suggestion is to choose the kayaks that come with highly visible colors like orange, yellow, or red.
You can find both expensive cheap inflatable kayaks in the market. If you are buying an inflatable kayak for recreational purposes, you can buy both expensive or cheap inflatable kayaks. However, if you don't have any budget restrictions, you can go for the costly kayaks as they offer more features and joy when paddling.
Usually, specialized inflatable kayaks for fishing, whitewater kayaking, and touring kayaks are expensive. These kayaks will come with better material and features. However, if you are not ready to break the bank, you can always find really cheap inflatable kayaks on the market. That being said, I request you not to put yourself in any situation to save some money.
Can I use inflatable kayaks for touring?
Yes, you can. Inflatable kayaks are now used for touring too. Touring inflatable kayaks comes with larger storage, and better tracking to cover more areas in a short time.
How many people can fit in an inflatable kayak?
Most of the inflatable kayaks on the market are for solo or tandem kayaking. Tandem inflatable kayaks are widely used for fishing and recreational purposes. However, there are inflatable kayaks which can be used by up to three people at the same time.
What type of kayak is best for me?
It depends. Have you considered the type of activity you want to do while paddling? Are you just buying a kayak for recreational purpose? Or you want to start fishing or want to face the white water? It totally depends on the type of activities you have in your mind. If you are new into kayaking, you may want to buy a recreational kayak to explore the calm water.
Recreational inflatable kayaks are widely used in lakes, slow-moving rivers, ponds, or even ocean. However, if you are into more than just paddling, for instance, fishing, you may better off with an inflatable fishing kayak. Nowadays, manufacturers are bringing sturdy inflatable kayaks which are made for fishing. You can attach fishing gears to the kayak, and start fishing solo, and sometimes with your partner.
There are some fantastic inflatable kayaks available on the market for white water kayaking. Manufacturers are offering great durability and functionality with these kayaks that they are offering the same performance as the hardshell kayaks. For touring inflatable kayak, they come with ample storage with high tracking than regular kayaks.
I hope this article on inflatable kayaks review helps you to find the perfect inflatable kayaks you have been looking for. I highly recommend reading the features of the kayak before making any purchase decision. Also, try to read the factors mentioned above which can help you in the buying decision. If you are confused about making a decision, you can check the individual inflatable kayak reviews to see if it meets your need. Buying a popular kayak is also an option as it proves they have been working fine for most kayakers.