Whether you’re going fishing or water hunting, you certainly want to work with a kayak that’s light in weight and stable. Inflatable kayaks are quite good at that. Unlike hard-shell kayaks, you can simply deflate them and carry them in the trunk of your car and then inflate them when you’re just next to the water body.
That makes them quite convenient to own. Unfortunately, there are so many of them available these days and it can be difficult to choose the best inflatable kayak for the money.
And that’s why we compiled this guide to help you make an informed choice.
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Inflatable Kayaks For 2021 – Comparison List
As is tradition, we’d like to start this write-up by sharing our latest list of top inflatable yaks for fishing. Here you go.
|1||Sea Eagle 370 Pro Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak||34 x 19 x 11 inches||54.6 pounds|
|2||Advanced Elements Advanced-Frame Inflatable Kayak||180 x 32 x 12 inches||55.3 pounds|
|3||Intex Explorer K2 Kayak||123 x 36 x 20 inches||35.6 pounds|
|4||Intex Excursion Pro Kayak||151 x 37 x 18 inches||46.3 pounds|
|5||Driftsun-Rover 220 Inflatable Kayak||150 x 38 inches||51.8 pounds|
|6||Sea Eagle-385FT FastTrack Inflatable Kayak||24.5 x 21 x 10 inches||51.8 pounds|
|7||Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak||33.5 x 8.5 x 20 inches||33.4 pounds|
|8||Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak||18 x 10 x 24 inches||46.4 pounds|
|9||Advanced Elements-Lagoon Inflatable Kayak||100.4 x 34.2 x 9.8 inches||28.1 pounds|
|10||Rave Sports-Sea Rebel Inflatable Kayak||–||26 pounds|
1. Sea Eagle-370 Pro Inflatable Sport Kayak 3-Person w/ Paddles
This kayak is a product of Sea Eagle which has been in the business of Kayak manufacturing since 1968, improving their innovations over time. It is fit for up to Class III white water rafting. You can use it for solo, tandem or three-person kayaking.
A purchase includes the kayak, a carry bag, a foot pump, and two paddles.
This hull is designed with a hull shape for efficient paddling. Manufactured from a K80 PolyKrylar material, the hull is sturdy and resistant to the sun and salty waters. The rugged build makes it resist tearing, collisions, punctures and abrasion.
The kayak can withstand the claws and paws of your four-legged friend. In this regard, you can bring along your pooch on your water adventures.
The inflatable kayak weighs 32 lb, as such, it is lightweight and convenient to carry. With a weight capacity of up to 650 lbs, it can carry up to three persons. Alternatively, you can carry only two persons and take enough gear on your trip.
The inflation and deflation process is fast and easy taking less than 10 minutes with the inflation process taking only 100 pumps.
Other Features and Benefits
Other highlights include carry handles, a drain valve, and inflatable seats with back support. On top of that, it has two skegs which make it stable on the waters improving its speed.
This is a value for money kayak. The kayak is designed in the company’s white and blue colors.
Its deflated size is small and packs easily into the included over-the-shoulder carry case, making portability a breeze. Moreover, it is also a space saver during storage.
- Durably constructed
- Can be paddled by a solo kayaker
- Easy to set up and pack
- Its carrying capacity is one of the highest in the market at 650 pounds, it can carry three persons
- Lightweight and small for ease of portability and storage
- Sturdily built
- Carry bag included
- Three year’s manufacturer’s warranty
- No backrest for the third passenger
2. Advanced Elements- Convertible Advanced-Frame Inflatable Kayak 2-Person Kayak
Whether you are a newbie paddler or a seasonal paddler, there are many benefits that an inflatable kayak offers kayakers including affordability. You can use the Advanced Elements- Convertible AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak for solo or tandem kayaking. It is a convertible kayak meaning that you can comfortably do solo or tandem kayak.
With a hull fitted for white water rafting, you can use this kayak in Class III water rapids.
This kayak has a closed-deck design, therefore, apart from looking like a hard-shell, it comes with the added advantage of giving you more protection from the elements.
Manufactured with triple-layer materials, the construction makes it thicker than regular kayaks and it can resist punctures for longevity.
It is easily maneuverable with two passengers, because of three main features. First and foremost, it has built-in aluminum ribs for trackability. Secondly, its deck is interchangeable. In addition to that, the kayak’s skeg helps in maneuvering tight turns.
Moreover, solo paddling comes with the challenge of the kayak sagging in the middle. However, the built-in aluminum ribs help in overcoming this challenge.
The kayak weighs 52 pounds and it has a weight capacity of 550 pounds. Although it has a high weight capacity, it can carry only two persons. The good thing is that this kayak allows you to take more gear and more items on your water adventures.
It has a removable seat design, with three different points to install the seats which makes it a roomy kayak.
Noteworthy, it rides low in the water and therefore water will splash on you.
Other Features and Benefits
Setting it up is a breeze because it is factory-assembled. To set it up, simply inflate it and then attach the seats.
Like all inflatable kayaks, it comes with the benefit of being light in weight for easy transportation. It also folds to a fraction of its size for easy storage.
- Convertible between solo and tandem kayaking
- Light in weight for ease of portability
- Built-in aluminum ribs
- Constructed with triple-layer materials for durability
- Multiple air chambers
- Quite roomy and therefore comfortable
- Removable seat design
- Low carrying capacity
- A bit slow when paddling
3. Intex-Explorer K2 Inflatable Two-Person Kayak, Aluminum Oars
No matter how old you are, you can have fun kayaking in an inflatable kayak. The Intex-Explorer K2 Two-Person Inflatable Kayak is an affordably priced kayak boasting other likable features.
It makes a perfect sit-on kayak for a newbie at using an inflatable kayak.It is a two-person kayak making it possible to go on your fishing adventures with a kayaking buddy or loved family member.
You can use it in small bodies of waters including mild rivers and lakes.The kayak is certified by the National Marine Standards in the USA. A purchase includes the kayak, a pump, two paddles, and a carry bag.
The kayak is constructed from a heavy-duty vinyl that is puncture resistant for durability. The floor of the kayak is inflatable which gives the kayak rigidity. Moreover, it has a removable skeg.
It has a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds, although this is on the lower side in comparison to other brands in the market.
Two separate air chambers serve as security featuresbecause if one side gets punctured, the other side will function and help you paddle back to the shore. Designed in a bright color, the color also serves as a safety feature because it makes the kayak visible.
The kayak has an adjustable backrest seat. The adjustable seat gives the cockpit area ample room for comfortable paddling. Besides that, it comes with Boston valves that make inflation and deflation convenient. In this regard setting up is easy and also packing it up is easy.
Other Features and Benefits
Carry handles on each end of the kayak make carrying it easy. Additionally, it has grab lines. Apart from that, it is light in weight and as such portable. Just as importantly it folds to a fraction of its size for space-saving storage.
- It is a popular customer choice
- Conspicuous color
- Affordably priced
- Two separate air chambers
- Two paddles and an air pump included
- Boston valves for easy setting up and packing
- Low-weight capacity
4. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Inflatable Fishing Kayak Two Person Professional Series
This is a moderately priced kayak that can be used for fishing or other water and outdoor adventure activities like camping.It is a two-person kayak with a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs. A purchase includes the kayak plus two fishing rod holders, a carry bag and an air pump.
Constructed from a three-ply tough laminate PVC material for durability. In addition to that, its core is polyester. This makes this kayak resistant to damage from salty waters, sunlight rays, impact, and abrasion. It has an I-beam floor for rigidity.
The seats are removable, adjustable and have a backrest for a comfortable ride. For additional comfort, it has mounted footrests.
Designed with three air chambers, multiple air chambers serve as security features on an inflatable kayak. Because if one chamber gets punctured, the other two will continue functioning and help the kayakers paddle to the shore.
Featuring spring-loaded valves, their high pressure makes inflation and deflation easy. Moreover, it has an integrated drain plug.
Other Features and Benefits
It was constructed with ample storage spaces for mounting accessories and dry goods. It has mounting brackets where you can mount various accessories like swivel fishing rod holders, a GPS, fish finders among others.
There is storage in the kayak’s bow and stern, as such, you can easily fit a cooler in the kayak. You can use the steel D-rings to tie down your dry bags goods. On top of that, the kayak has two fishing rod holders for convenience.
Besides, it has a pressure gauge which helps in monitoring the condition of the kayak. Two removable skews are provided for shallow and deep waters.
- Durable construction
- Three air chambers
- Easy to inflate and deflate it
- Ample storage including fishing rod holder and removable mounting bracket
- Footrests and Comfortable seat
- Some brands in this review can carry up to three persons because they have a higher carrying weight capacity
5. Driftsun-Rover 220 Inflatable Kayak 2-Person Tandem White-Water Kayak
This kayak has a lot to offer adventure kayakers. It is a two-person kayak and therefore you can tow a friend along. You can use it in Class III and Class IV rapids because it performs well in both flat and rough waters.
An order includes a fin, two adjustable aluminum paddles, a hand pump, a travel bag, and adjustable padded high back seats. The provided hand pump is a high-pressure pump that has a pressure gauge.
Manufactured from a 1000D reinforced PVC with layers, it is sturdily built. The kayak’s bottom, on the other hand, is constructed with a more rugged PVC tarpaulin. In addition to that, the bottom has a drop-stitch floor for rigidity. The rugged construction protects the kayak from punctures.
Its 600lbs maximum weight capacity provides ample space to carry your gear.It is fitted with 7 drain plugs that are rapid and self-bailing. They should be left open when kayaking in white waters while they should stay closed when one is navigating in flat waters.
On top of that, it has removable rear tracking skeg which increases its trackability on flat waters. However, the skeg can cause distractions when navigating white waters and it should be removed.
Besides, it has three air chambers which serve as safety features in case of a puncture.
For comfort, it has adjustable footrests and adjustable seats. It has space for mounting a camera. It also has carrying handles.
Other Features and Benefits
Setting up the kayak and deflating it is an easy task that takes under 10 minutes. The lightweight kayak weighs only 28lbs making it easy to be carried by one person. For storage, it folds up into a fraction of its size.
- Up to Class IV white water rapids
- Durably constructed from a rugged material
- High weight capacity of 600lbs
- An orderincludes a pump, travel bag and two paddles
- Some brands in the market have a carrying capacity of three passengers
6. Sea Eagle-385FT FastTrack Inflatable Two Person Kayak Pro Carbon
You can have fun with your friends or family members using this kayak. It is designed for up to Class II rapids. As such, it can be used for kayaking in mild whitewater, lakes and ocean bays. You can use it for solo or tandem kayaking.
It is certified for quality and safety by NMMA. It weighs only 32 lbs and its weight carrying capacity is 635 lbs.
The following accessories are included in a purchase namely, nylon carry bag, a repair kit, two paddles, and an air foot pump.
As its name suggests, Sea Eagle-385FT FastTrack Two Person Kayak Inflatable is indeed a fast tracker, it is stable and easy to paddle. It is asymmetrically designed with a narrow bow and wide stern. And thanks to its tapered bow and sleek design, entering through water, waves, and the wind is smooth and fast.
Moreover, its patented NeedleKnife keel adds to its stability and speed.
This kayak is constructed from 1000D reinforced material. Therefore the hull material is resistant to salt waters and the sun. It is also reinforced with overlap seams.
It inflates in about 7 minutes and it also deflates fast for your convenience.
Other Features and Benefits
This yak has two self-draining valves. It has storage below the kayak. For additional storage, you can use the provided elastic rope lacings and D-rings to secure your gear.
Like other inflatable kayaks, this kayak folds down sprucely to a fraction of its inflated size when it is being packed for storage or transport. As such, it is perfect if you live in apartments or a condo.
It has two carry handles which makes transportation easy also.
- Very fast
- Three-year manufacturer’s warranty from Sea Eagle
- The hull material is resistant to salt and the sun
- Various accessories provided
- It combines stability and good performance
- Protected storage
- It is limited to Class II water rapids
7. Sevylor-Quikpak K5 1-Person InflatableKayak
All inflatable kayaks come with space-saving designs making them perfect for apartment or condo dwellers. In this regard, this kayak folds into a small size to fit in the provided backpack. The well-designed backpack has padded shoulder straps for comfort when carrying. As such you can take it backpacking, camping or on your fishing trips.
With a weight capacity of 250 pounds and weighing 26 pounds, it is one of the best solo inflatable kayaks in the market. It is light in weight for ease of portability.
A purchase includes a hand pump, a paddle, and a carry bag.
It is constructed from a 24-gauge PVC material making it suitable for lake use. Additionally, it has a polyester cover and tarpaulin bottom for protection from punctures.
It is easy to set up kayak, taking under five minutes, thanks to the double lock valves for inflating and deflating. The folding and packing process is equally easy and fast, with the kayak turning into the seat.
Moreover, it has multiple air chambers to keep the kayak afloat when punctured. On top of that, it has spray covers to help you dry fast from water splashes.
Other Features and Benefits
This affordable inflatable kayak’s front and back sides are covered providing ample storage for your gears, snacks and dry goods. In addition to that, the storage area has bungees which keep your items secured. Apart from the provided storage, it has D-rings where you can attach other equipment and keep it within easy reach.
Provided carry handles make carrying the kayak from the water to the car convenient.
Worth noting, this is a solo kayak. In case you need a two-person or three-person kayak, you can check other kayaks in this review.
- Acomfortable seats with a backrest
- Ample storage
- Easy set-up and easy packing of the kayak with five minutes set up time
- Durably designed
- Multiple air chambers
- It is not self-bailing
- Not really a con but it is a one-person kayak
8. Sevylor-Big Basin Three-Person InflatableKayak
This is a perfect kayak for a family of three persons. The kayak is certified by NMMA to hold a weight capacity of 490 lbs. Although it is a three-person kayak but it has a weight which is on the lower side.
The kayak is constructed from a heavy-duty PVC, for reinforcement, the bottom is made from tarpaulin. The construction protects it from punctures, abrasions that can result from sticks and rocks or other objects that are common in water bodies.
What’s more, the rugged construction makes it resistant to a dog’s claws. Therefore you can take your four-legged friend on-water adventures with you.
It is fitted with two-directional strakes which make the kayak stable for trackability. Just as significantly, it has adjustable seats that also have a backrest for comfort. Designed with three separate chambers, you can easily paddle to the shore for safety in case of a puncture.
Additionally, the kayak has splash guards which keep water out of bay. As much as it has boston valves that make inflation and deflation easy, it is quite a big kayak. Therefore, an electric pump or a high volume or high-pressure pump is required if you want to cut down on the setting up time.
You can store your cooler or other fishing gear in the rear of the kayak.
Other Features and Benefits
Other unique highlights of this kayak include a bottle/cup holder. In addition to that, it features an airtight system which prevents leaking.
Carrying it is easy, thanks to the provided carry handles. It is a space saver because it folds to a fraction of its size.
- Three person kayak
- Tracks well and it is stable on the waters
- Durably constructed from strong materials
- Boston valves to make inflation and deflation easy
- One year warranty
- Pumps and paddles are not provided
- To hasten inflation, you require a large volume pump
9. Advanced Elements-Lagoon InflatableOne-Person Kayak
This is a small one-person kayak and as the name suggests it is ideal for kayaking in lagoons which are generally calm waters. In this regard, it is great to use this kayak when you are doing flatwater kayaking. You can use itin oceans, lakes, bays or mild rivers.
A purchase includes the kayak, a repair kit, and a carry bag.
Made from rip stock fabric and electronically welded seams, it is designed for durability. In addition to that, the top is reinforced with a durable lightweight cover. It is designed innovatively with built-in panels which make it rigid enhancing its tracking and stability.
The removable padded seat has a backrest for comfort, furthermore, the bottom is soft enhancing your comfort.
Just as importantly, it has six air chambers which will enable you to get to paddle to the shore in the event you get a puncture.
Its maximum weight capacity is 250 pounds. However, it is limited in terms of storage space. In this regard, you can use the bow bungees to secure your gear. Also, the kayak has a paddle holder for your paddle.Moreover, if you want a kayak with more storage capacity, you can purchase one of the convertible tandem person kayaks.
It can be set up in no time because of the twist lock and high-flow spring valves.
Other Features and Benefits
Like other inflatable kayaks, it is easy to store it because it easily folds to a fraction of its size.
Moreover, the moulded carry handles are provided making it easy to transport it from the water and to where your car is packed. However, boarding or getting off can be a bit of struggle.
- Light in weight
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- A reasonable weight limit for one person
- Rugged for durability
- One year warranty
- A paddle and pump are not provided
- For solo use only
10. Rave Sports-Sea Rebel One-Person Inflatable Kayak
This is a one-person kayak that you can use for recreational kayaking on flat waters in lakes, streams, and rivers. It is a sit-on-top kayak making it easy to get in and out of the kayak.
An order includes a hand pump, carry bag and a paddle.
The cover is constructed from a 420D nylon. The bottom, on the other hand, is reinforced with materials made from a combination of 500D tarpaulin and a 24-gauge PVC for durability. It has three fins attached to its bottom which enhances its trackability.
The seat has a sling-seat with a backrest, however, it can get uncomfortable if you are paddling for extended hours. It weighs 22 pounds and it has a maximum carrying weight capacity of 200 lbs. The weight capacity is reasonable for one person’s weight and gear. It is also easy to carry the kayak because of its lightweight.
There is storage on the rear of the kayak. Additionally, there is a bottle holder and a water-resistant dry goods bag on the seat.
Its yellow color is bright which acts as a security feature for visibility.
It is easy to assemble, easy to inflate, a process that should take under 10 minutes. The one-way air valve makes inflating it a breeze. Unfortunately, one air chamber means that if it encounters a puncture, you have to swim to the shore.
Other Features and Benefits
To ensure it is fully inflated, don’t take under ten minutes inflating it. Failure to fully inflate it will result in the kayak sagging in the middle which will cause the kayak to be filled with water. Besides, it is also easy to deflate it.
Its folded size is small for easy carrying in the trunk of your vehicle and also space-saving storage. In addition to that, it has four handles which can be used as support or for lifting the kayak.
- It is affordable
- Bright in color and easy to spot
- It is durably constructed
- Seat with backrest
- Water-resistant dry bag
- Very light in weight at only 22 pounds
- It is a budget-priced kayak
- It is a one-person kayak
- Single air chamber
Buying Guide for Best Inflatable Kayak
There are several things you need to consider before investing your money in an inflatable kayak. Here are some of them.
Anything that is inflatable is only as good as the material used to construct it. Currently, the most popular fabrics used to make inflatable kayaks include Hypalon, Nitrylon, and PVC.
Each of these materials comes with their own benefits and drawbacks. To minimize drawbacks, manufacturers are now combining these materials to gain maximum performance, durability, and strength.
As humans, we come in different shapes and sizes, and so do fishing kayaks. When choosing the best inflatable kayak, ensure that you pick the one that can accommodate your weight and height.
The law dictates that manufacturers must indicate the maximum weight capacity that an inflatable kayak can take. This should include the weight of the passengers and whatever else they have onboard.
To be on the safe side, ensure that your overall load does not exceed ninety percent of your kayak’s capacity.
If you are planning to purchase a kayak, you should know that most of them do not come with a patch kit, air pump, or paddles. The few that do are not of first-rate grade. You can always get accessory products separately.
Most fishing kayaks in the market cost $300 to $1000 unlike costly, hard-bodied fishing kayaks that can go for up to $ 3000. If you are like most buyers, the buying price is always a primary concern and rightly so.
Nonetheless, it is also important to balance safety, performance, and price prior to making your final decision.
Most experienced anglers will go for a kayak model that can only accommodate one passenger even though having someone else on board offers companionship and a pleasant paddling experience. This is because things can get out of hand when the fish start to bite.
If you intend to have someone else in your kayak, it would be best for one of you to handle the paddling while the other handles the fishing pole. You will get full benefit from your partnership this way.
How to Care For Your Inflatable Kayak
If you want to extend the life of your kayak, there are several care tips you have to put into place.
Dry It Off After Using It
While it is easier to just pack up and leave after a hectic day of fishing, you need to properly dry off your kayak. Failure to do so can significantly shorten its lifespan.
Have several dry towels at hand to dry out your kayak and wipe off any excess water before wrapping it up. This is particularly important if you intend to use it in the next couple of days.
Be keen enough to ensure that your kayak is completely dry if you are going to have it stored for a long time. This keeps mold away. You can pack up your kayak when it is wet from the lake if there are no amenities there. Just ensure you dry it out once you get home.
Clean it properly before Storing
Drying out your inflatable kayak is not the only thing you need to do if you are packing it away for a long time. It is also important to clean it. Most of the time, using soap and water will eliminate all the grime and dirt from the water.
It is more important if you fish in salty water. While it is not compulsory to clean your kayak after each use, it is vital to get rid of grime and dirt before storing it. This will reduce the chances of damage. Ensure that the place you store your kayak is cool and dry.
Keep It Away from the Sun
A quality inflatable kayak should be UV resistant, but you can never be too careful. Ordinarily, there is only so much you can do to protect your kayak for sunrays while you are out there angling.
However, when the time comes for you to store your kayak, ensure that it is away from direct sunlight. If your kayak will be out in the sun for a long time, some manufacturers recommend the use of UV protectant. Do not leave your kayak to dry out in the sand or the parking lot just because its tag states that it is UV resistant. You could be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Do Not Over Inflate Your Kayak
If it is your first time using a kayak, chances are that you may go overboard with the inflation. However, it is a good idea to follow the instructions that come with it to avoid damaging it.
One common mistake made by most anglers is not releasing air when their kayaks over pressurize as they fish. This happens mostly when you inflate your kayak when the weather is cold and then stays out in the sun for long.
Granted, a quality inflatable kayak is able to handle pressure that is much higher than manufacturer recommendations. Nevertheless, doing that can have a negative impact on the lifespan of your kayak. Obviously, this is less likely to happen with a hand or foot pump, but do take extra care measures when using an electric pump.
Repair your Kayak as Soon as Possible
Your kayak can endure some wear and tear if it is of good quality. However, that is not a guarantee that it cannot get damaged.
In case your kayak gets damaged, ensure that you evaluate the extent of the damage and repair accordingly. The design of modern inflatable kayaks allows you to go back to the water easily even with a punctured kayak.
If you are lucky enough, your kayak will come with a repair kit that allows you to make small repairs. Do not worry if yours does not come with one as you can always get it separately. Regardless, ensure that you always have a repair kit at hand for those emergency cases.
Benefits of Inflatable Kayaks
Using an inflatable kayak to do your fishing comes with a host of benefits. Let us go through some of them.
They are Portable
You want something that is easy to carry around and that is what you get with an inflatable kayak. Folding kayaks share this benefit with inflatable kayaks so this is one thing to look forward to when you buy an inflatable kayak.
You will realize that most inflatable kayaks are not specialized. This makes it possible for you to use them for various tasks including fishing, rafting, and excursions.
Easy to Load
It is easier to load inflatable kayaks compared to rigid ones with watertight hatches and compartments. However, the absence of watertight compartments will require you to tie your excursion bags to the boat if you do not want to lose them in the event your boat capsizes.
An inflatable kayak is strong and handles shocks well though you must be careful to avoid abrasions. Simply apply a patch in case of a puncture. Al you have to do is dry out your kayak before storing it and you are good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Naturally, there will be queries in respect to inflatable kayaks. The following ones may be helpful in one way or another.
Can I use an inflatable kayak in the sea?
That is highly discouraged. True, inflatable modern kayaks are durable but that does not mean that they are perfect. They are not designed to withstand the harsh currents of seawater
Doesan inflatable kayak pop easily?
You might think that an inflatable kayak will easily fill up with water since it does not have an enclosed cockpit. However, a quality inflatable kayak is self-bailing.
Which is better canoe or kayak?
Kayaks tend to be smaller and lighter than which makes them easier to transport. It all depends on what you want to us them for. It is easier to get in and out of a canoe than it is with a sit-in kayak.
What color kayak is best for fishing?
You need to be visible while you are out in the water. As such, bright orange, fluorescent lime green and yellow kayaks are the best colors to go fishing. The colors you see on ambulances or fire trucks are best.
Which one is the Best?
The Sea Eagle 370 Pro is our favorite kayak. That’s because it comes with a generous carrying capacity and all the accessories you need to enjoy the ride. Highly recommended.
Leading Inflatable Kayak: Final Thoughts
While there is an assortment of good inflatable kayaks in the market designed for fishing, you need to remember that ‘best’ is a word that should be used subjectively.
The product that meets your expectations and needs is the only one that can be described as best. You can now make the right decision when it comes to buying an inflatable kayak.