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Reviewed by our gears Geeks:

BEST BUY INFLATABLE KAYAKS IN 2020

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Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job: Test 22 different Inflatable Kayak and write reviews of the best.

The result is 12 of the best Inflatable Kayak on the market today.

Anastasia Hamurari

Travel and Gear Writer An ambitious writer with a thirst for content creation through storytelling.
torben lonne

Torben Lonne

Editor at DIVEIN.com Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for traveling and gear.

Inflatable kayaks are now becoming a trend for people enjoying the summer kayaking. Aside from the low price tag, these are extremely portable and lightweight.

Traveling with inflatable kayaks are convenient as these are easy to set up. It can also save you a few bucks, instead of renting in each destination you go. There are lots of inflatable kayaks in the market to choose from. Each with different features depending on the needs and budget of a kayaker.

To guide you in selecting the best inflatable kayak models for your next kayaking adventure, we’re giving you the lists of things you need to consider.

  • What features should I look for in an inflatable kayak?
  • Can an inflatable kayak pop easily?
  • Are inflatable kayaks slow?
  • How do you spot a leak in an inflatable kayak?
  • How do I clean an inflatable kayak?

The Best Inflatable Kayaks In 2020

See our quick top 10, or go further down and read our in-depth reviews.

​Still unsure as to what inflatable kayak to choose? We have answered the most popular questions about inflatable kayak in the last section of the guide.

You can enjoy paddling in this inflatable kayak by Driftsun both solo and with another person. Choppy waters are no longer an obstacle to a pleasant time in the water – the boat’s pointed nose, removable tracking fin, and a rocker profile are the reason behind it. 

Driftsun 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Driftsun 2-Person Inflatable Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: PVC Tarpaulin, 840D Nylon, EVA 
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 450 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10 ft. x 35 x 16 inches
  • Use: Recreational

  

What we like:
  • The heavy-duty construction allows you to continue using it for many years
  • Aluminum paddles, hand pump, rear tracking fin, and carry bag are all included in the packaging 
What we don’t like:
  • Not suitable for professional kayakers due to the lack of features

The rugged PVC Tarpaulin bottom, along with the coated 840D Nylon Oxford material provides protection from tears and prolongs the life of the gear. You are able to see the return on your investment in a year’s time with continuous use. 

The back seats are padded, the skegs are removable, and the bungee storage is spacious – there is hardly anything else you would need from a kayak. Make use of the paddles that are adjustable between 0 and 60 degrees and sail from one shore to another with confidence in your skills. 

You don’t need to be a professional kayaker to do so – beginner’s skills and a high-quality kayak like this is more than enough.  

This inflatable tandem kayak that looks like a banana is the real deal – it doesn’t cost much, and is as efficient in use as a high-end kayak. Made from rugged vinyl, this model is proven to be sturdy and durable. Unlike non-inflatable kayaks, the Explorer K2 by Intex is lightweight, compact, and easy to assemble in a matter of minutes. 

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: Rugged Vinyl
  • Air Chambers: 3
  • Skegs: Standard Directional
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Dimensions: 123 x 36 x 20 inches
What we like:
  • The repair kit that comes with the kayak is handy should unexpected damage-related events occur
  • The seats are adjustable and removable, which makes it easy for you to paddle in complete comfort
  • The bright yellow color helps in emergency situations
What we don’t like:
  • It is not suitable for large bodies

The l-beam floor provides you with rigidity, while the removable skeg gives the kayak the stability it needs in windy weather conditions. The 2 built-in seats are inflatable, which means they can be easily aligned with your body shape for ultimate comfort. 

Whenever you feel like you’re starting to lose your balance, grab onto the handle located at each end of the kayak and you are safe and sound again. It comes with 2 paddles, a high-output pump, and a carry bag thus eliminating the need for making separate purchases. 

Whether you go camping, exploring new places, or practicing for races, the inflatable kayak by Airhead Montana will be a great option for you. It fits in the back of your car, in a suitcase, and in a duffel bag with no problems.

Airhead Montana Inflatable Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Airhead Montana Inflatable Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: 840D Nylon, Stainless Steel
  • Length: 12 ft.
  • Weight: 36.3 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Dimensions: 28.5 x 19.8 x 11.9 inches
What we like:
  • The air chambers are protected by the Nylon fabric for the highest level of durability
  • The elbow guards provide additional comfort for those long paddling expeditions
What we don’t like:
  • Not suitable for windy weather conditions

The 12-foot beast is built from 840D Nylon and is coated with the UV water-resistant layer that ensures the ultimate long-lastingness. The 6 d-rings at the stern and the bow of the kayak help in securing the gear, while the tracking grab handles allow you to quickly get in and out of the boat. 

The seats are movable and are comfortable to use, which comes in handy when paddling for long hours at a time. You even get Neoprene elbow guards – this is a nice bonus to have. 

The bright orange exterior helps to make you visible in case of an emergency and differentiate you from other kayakers.

You have probably heard about Sea Eagle if you are into water sports. If you haven’t, however, read through our description and get ready to invest in equipment ASAP. Similar to Intex, this kayak is inflatable and is made from saltwater and sun-resistant material. Weighing merely 32 pounds, this piece of equipment can hold much more than you would think. 

Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe Inflatable Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe Inflatable Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: Molded Plastic
  • Length: 7ft. 10 inches
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 650 pounds
  • Dimensions: 34 x 19 x 11 inches
What we like:​
  • This model of the kayak can hold up to 3 people
  • It is easy to haul because of the low weight
  • You can inflate/deflate it within the span of 8 minutes
What we don’t like:
  • The stability is not great in windy conditions

Not only can it withstand up to 650 pounds, but it can also carry your onboard essentials and possibly even a pet. Featuring 2 molded skegs, this kayak won’t be damaged by the rocks that suddenly appear out of nowhere. These skegs are built from molded plastic that stands the test of time, and so are the other elements of the kayak. 

The integral 5-tube l-beam floor is there to help you speed up when you want to and stop when you feel like taking a break.

If you are not willing to spend a lot of time assembling your water gear and would rather spend more time kayaking, Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person kayak model is your best bet. All it takes to inflate it is 5 minutes – the high-pressure hand pump is there to help you. 

When you are finished with your trip, you can fold your kayak into its own integrated backpack that has padded shoulder straps for convenient transportation.

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: PVC, Tarpaulin
  • Length: 8ft. 7 inches
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Dimensions: 103 x 36 x 30 inches
What we like:​
  • The airtight technology guarantees leakage-free kayaking sessions
  • The backpack can be used as a seat
What we don’t like:
  • The tracking is not great

Built from 21 gauge PVC fabric with Taurplain bottom, it is bound to last you several years without developing any points of leakage. 

Multiple air chambers further ensure the puncture-free construction of the kayak – if one is punctured, the other ones will come to the rescue to keep the equipment afloat. 

The backrest and the multi-positioned footrest allows you to sit back and relax while you are drifting in the waters of a river or lake.  

Beginners and recreational kayakers alike will come to appreciate this low-maintenance FireFly inflatable kayak designed by Advanced Elements. 

It has built-in rigid panels for smooth tracking that put it on the same level with some of the toughest hard-shell kayaks.

Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: 600-Denier Polyester
  • Length: 7ft. 10 inches
  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Dimensions: 94.5 x 34.6 x 9.8 inches
What we like:​
  • The rigid panels ensure the ultimate stability when in the water
  • The bungee deck lacing allows you to bring a jacket or other essentials with you
What we don’t like:
  • It is prone to tipping
  • The weight capacity is quite low

The easy inflation is backed by the Twistlock and Spring valves, whereas the rugged exterior is the result of the 600-Denier Polyester material. 

For your convenience, it features molded rubber-grip handles, a tracking skeg, and a bungee cord that work together for delivering the best kayaking trip of your life. Bring your family on board with you, pack your kayaking essentials, and you are set for a weekend of adventures.

When it’s just you kayaking on the weekends, an inflatable kayak like the one from Rave Sports seems like a good idea. With 200 pounds of weight capacity and a 423-Denier Nylon cover combined with the 500-Denier Tarpaulin bottom, it can be used in any type of water regardless of the currents.

Rave Sports Inflatable Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Rave Sports Inflatable Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: 423-Denier Nylon, 500-Denier Tarpaulin, 24 gauge PVC 
  • Length: 8ft. 6 inches
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 200 pounds
  • Dimensions: 103 x 35 x 8 inches
What we like:​
  • The hand pump shortens the inflation time to 6 minutes or less
  • The sling seat has an adjustable backrest
What we don’t like:
  • The weight capacity is low

Don’t let the relatively small size of the boat scare you from using it – instead, make the most out of it. The miniature size means you can throw a deflated version of it in your car or on your back (packed in the backpack) and carry it to your destination without any issues. It also means you will likely spend less time assembling your kayak and more time actually kayaking. 

The 4 carry handles make it easy to transport your kayak on long distances, while the 1-year warranty gives you a sense of security in case something happens to your boat.

The Tributary Tomcat Solo inflatable kayak by AIRE is the perfect boat for two kayaker enthusiasts. The PVC material is UV-resistant, thus making this kayak sturdy and long-lasting.

AIRE Tributary Tomcat Solo Inflatable Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the AIRE Tributary Tomcat Solo Inflatable Kayak:
Our recommendations
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: PVC
  • Length: 10ft. 3 inches
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 375 pounds
What we like:​
  • The construction of the gear is rugged
  • The manufacturer offers 10 years of retail and 5 years of commercial warranty
What we don’t like:
  • The price tag is high

The star of the show is the self-bailing floor – its construction allows you to quickly bail the water and protect the boat from debris. The whopping 17 pairs of cargo loops are there for you to tie your gear securely, whereas the C7 valves ensure easy inflation and deflation. 

You can use the kayak in whitewater as its stability is not compromised, but rather enhanced by the 20 gauge vinyl bladders and 3 air chambers. 

Surely, the investment is hefty, but you won’t wait long for a return on it. With consistent use, you’ll grow rapidly fond of this kayak and will even start recommending it to your friends.

Originally built for fishing, the Elton Outdoors kayak has since become a ‘go-to’ of many outdoor enthusiasts. It is an excellent choice for both shallow and deep waters, salty and brackish waters.

Elkton Outdoors Fishing Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Elkton Outdoors Fishing Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: 1000-Denier layered PVC
  • Length: 10ft. 10 inches
  • Width: 39.5 inches
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
What we like:​
  • The footrest is adjustable, and the back is padded for your comfort
  • The dual-action hand pump allows you to inflate the equipment in a matter of minutes
What we don’t like:
  • The manual with instructions doesn’t have all the required information for the gear installation

The 5 hard modular mounts enable you to stuff your gear with rod holders, downriggers, and bait trays. It is crafted from the durable 1000-Denier reinforced PVC with multiple layers that ensure the longevity of the boat. 

The Hi-Rise EVA seats are adjustable, the cargo and bungee storage is spacious, and the tracking segs are removable. You can easily change your positions while in the kayak, from sitting to standing, thanks to the solid drop stitch floor. 

The watercraft is just as simple to set up as it is to pack it in the backpack that comes with it, and head out the door. The 1-year warranty from the manufacturer gives you additional peace of mind, which is always a nice bonus to have. 

When looking for the 3-person kayak, Sevylor has got you covered. Its Big Basin model is built from the rugged PVC with a Tarpaulin bottom that is as tough as it can get. 

You can rest assured no punctures will pose a problem for you because of the strong and sturdy construction of the equipment.

Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: PVC, Tarpaulin
  • Capacity: 3 people 
  • Weight: 34.8 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 490 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 10 inches
What we like:
  • The construction of the gear is made to be resilient
  • It can easily fit 3 people 
What we don’t like:
  • No pump is included

It comes with air chambers that help avoid sinking in the middle of the ride. To our regret, we know first-hand how frustrating it is to experience any mishaps when in the middle of the lake. 

The Boston valves built into the kayak are responsible for quick and easy inflation and deflation. The three seats are not only adjustable but also comfortable for all-day kayaking with no breaks. 

Whether you prefer to sit down the entire time or stand up every few hours to stretch your legs, this gear will help you maintain your stability. Use the spray covers that come with the kayak to keep yourself dry and you are bound to have a trip of your lifetime.

Built with a traditional outline of a river runner, Driftsun Rover inflatable tandem kayak is a speedy boat. It has the ability to handle rough waters and bad weather conditions while keeping you afloat. 

The high-pressure drop-stitch floor makes it rigid yet lightweight, which means more fun kayaking.

Driftsun Rover Inflatable Tandem Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Driftsun Rover Inflatable Tandem Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: PVC, Tarpaulin
  • Length: 12 ft. 6 inches
  • Capacity: 2 people 
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
What we like:
  • It takes less than 10 minutes to fully inflate the kayak
  • The high capacity allows you to bring plenty of essentials on board
What we don’t like:
  • The fin is hard to remove 

The layered PVC construction protects your watercraft from getting damaged – it will bounce off the rocks and similar “obstacles” with no punctures. The carry handles make it easy for you to transport the equipment from A to B. 

They are built from high-quality material that won’t rip apart halfway through the ride. The EVA seats are adjustable, the footrests can be modified too – basically, you are given the all-inclusive boat that will do its job well. 

There is no need to make any separate purchases before venturing out for a ride as the Rover comes with aluminum paddles, a rear tracking fin, a hand pump, and a travel bag.

Designed for calm waters, Advanced Elements Island Voyage kayak is a recreational piece of equipment with sturdy multi-layered construction.

Advanced Elements Island Voyage Kayak
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Advanced Elements Island Voyage Kayak:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs
  • Material: PVC, Tarpaulin
  • Length: 11 ft. 2 inches
  • Capacity: 2 people 
  • Weight: 31.5 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
What we like:
  • The supportive backrest allows you to sit comfortably and focus on the path ahead of you
  • The back drain plug enables you to efficiently drain the water before storing the kayak away
What we don’t like:
  • Some users complain about the unequal inflation on both sides of the boa

The air chambers are built with separators consisting of durable material in order to ensure the ultimate leakage protection. Additionally, the 600-Denier ripstop deck material backs up the already rugged kayak and makes it a long-lasting watercraft. 

Long paddling trips are a real possibility with this kayak – the padded foam seats along with the retractable skeg tracking system allow you to sit back and relax for hours. You can adjust the seat so that you are not employing too much energy when kayaking for a whole day. 

It is super easy to install – all you need to do is to unfold and inflate the gear and then attach the seats. Regardless of what turn the weather takes on a particular day, the high-volume side tubes allow you to stay afloat at all times.

Questions & Answers:

1. What features should I look for in an inflatable kayak?

To make a well-thought-out decision regarding what inflatable kayak to choose, you have to evaluate the quality of its material, the weight and seating capacities, the length, and the availability of accessories. 

Since you will be spending 99% of your time in the water, you need to make sure the construction of your kayak’s material is sturdy and durable. The most common fabric you will see inflatable kayaks using is PVC. When using it, there is no glue involved – instead, the manufacturers weld the seams, thus making the gear reliable and lightweight. Besides, it is easily foldable, which comes in handy when transporting it.

The typical weight capacity of an inflatable kayak ranges between 350 and 700 pounds, while the seating capacity varies from accommodating one person to accommodating three people. The more people are occupying an inflatable kayak and the more equipment you will be bringing on board, the bigger capacity your boat should have. Take into account that if you will be taking your furry friends with you, you will need more room so they feel comfortable.

You will find most inflatable kayaks to be 12 feet long, which is a great length for keeping them buoyant even in the windiest weather conditions. That said, there are kayaks as short as 10 feet and as long as 16 feet. The shorter ones are generally easier to maneuver, while the longer ones are more stable on the water.

Given the designs of two kayaks are the same, one can be differentiated from the other through extra elements such as removable skegs, a hand pump, paddles, and rod holders. Removable skegs are generally used to navigate easier through water, the rod holders are the required accessory for fishing, and the availability of a hand pump and paddles eliminates the need for additional purchases. 

2. Can an inflatable kayak pop easily?

The best competitive advantage of inflatable kayaks is their superb buoyancy. Since they are filled with air and are generally lightweight, the risk of them sinking is close to zero. 

In addition, these kayaks are built from the highest quality materials that are not prone to punctures. Thanks to the current-day technological advancements, the exterior of these boats might even be sturdier than the one of the hard-shell kayaks.

The possibility of an inflatable kayak popping is still there, but you can remove it by storing it away from sharp objects and taking good care of it. In case you do happen to get a puncture, there are patch kits that can help you efficiently repair it. 

3. Are inflatable kayaks slow?

If we compare the fastest hard-shell kayak with the fastest inflatable kayak, the former will be faster. However, you can’t assume that every inflatable kayak is slow. 

Models that are on the cheap price spectrum can indeed be sluggish, but as it is with any other piece of equipment, you get what you pay for. Many avid kayakers claim that they found some inflatable kayaks to outperform the hard-shell kayaks in terms of speed. It’s a matter of setting your priorities straight and investing in the gear that will entirely meet your needs. 

4. How to find a leak in an inflatable kayak?

The first sign of the leakage is the deflation of your kayak. To determine where the weak spot is, search for bubbles that will appear at the leak spot. Make sure you don’t float far from the shore while you are investigating your gear for the potential leakage, to prevent accidents. 

You should keep in mind that deflation doesn’t always mean leakage. If you don’t happen to  find any signs of tears, it might just be that your kayak has deflated throughout the day. All you need to do is to pump it with a bit more air to keep it afloat.

5. How to clean an inflatable kayak?

One of the main ways to preserve the quality of your water equipment is to take good care of it. This means inspecting your kayak for punctures, thoroughly cleaning it after every use, and storing it in a dark place. 

You should never postpone cleaning your inflatable kayak, as it prevents it from developing mold overtime. The cleaning process is very straightforward – hose your kayak with fresh water to get rid of the residue that has accumulated on the exterior of the equipment. Once it is clean, allow it to dry in the shade, and store it in a cool and dry place.

If you already have an inflatable kayak or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

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