15 Best Inflatable Kayaks in 2023 | 1 & 2 Person Inflatables

Inflatable kayaks have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their convenience and versatility. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned paddler, inflatable kayaks offer an accessible, low-barrier option for getting out on the water.

With so many brands and models on the market, choosing the right fit for you can be overwhelming. This is why we’ve tested the most popular models on the market to give our honest feedback on the pros and cons.

First, it’s essential to get clear on where you want to paddle, who you’re paddling with, what you want to take with you, and how much you’ll be paddling your inflatable kayak. In addition to our reviews, check out our Inflatable Kayak Buyers Guide for an in-depth understanding of selecting your ideal inflatable kayak.

The Top 6 Inflatable Kayaks in 2023

All the Inflatable Kayaks We've tested

Lightest Touring Kayak

The Cirrus Ultralight 110 is not intended to be your lakeside cabin go-to, although, of course it could be. The Cirrus has been designed as a performance inflatable kayak with touring at the forefront. At 14.75 lbs, this kayak can be hauled one-handed down to the water or swung over your shoulder in its compressible dry sack, along with your expedition gear.

The most significant advantage of the Aquaglide Cirrus Ultralight 110 is that it weighs the same as a pack raft and packs down as compact. But it’s designed as a touring kayak that tracks well so you can travel greater distances more comfortably.

Thanks to the TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)/Nylon construction and TPU drop-stitch floor, the Aquaglide Cirrus is incredibly robust for its weight. This advanced technology creates strength without adding weight to the craft.

Specs & Features

  • Material: TPU/70 denier nylon
  • Length: 11’35″
  • Width: 33”
  • Tube Diameter: 9.5”
  • Weight: 14.75 lbs

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

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    Ultralight
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    High-performance touring kayak
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    Crazy small packability
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    Bungees and multiple D-rings for attaching gear
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    Easy to attach fin
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    Easy to set up
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    Adjustable seat and footrest
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    Comfortable and lightweight inflatable chair
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    Great maneuverability
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    Center carry handles for easy transportation
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    Center carry handles for easy transportation
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Things we don't like:

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    Pump not included
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    Paddle not included
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    More expensive than other single inflatable kayaks
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    Drainage valve sticks out from the bottom of the hull
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    Straps on the chair are hard to adjust
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Where to buy:

Aquaglide Cirrus Ultralight 110

The Intex Challenger K2 is an 11’6 inflatable tandem kayak that’s good for easy set up and transport. It’s a budget model that works better, for one or two paddlers, than similar boats. And with a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs., it can carry some extra gear on top of two paddlers.

This affordable kayak tracks better than cheaper competitors and is easy to maneuver. Everything you need for your session is also included in the Challenger package.

Made of just a single-layer vinyl there’s nothing impressive about this inflatable boat as a performance boat. There are better models for touring. But for its price, the Intex Challenger K2 comes off very well compared to similarly priced inflatable boats.

Specs & Features

  • Material: 30-Gauge Vinyl
  • Length: 11’6”
  • Width: 2’6”
  • Height: 1’3”
  • Weight: 38.24 lbs.

Our Overall Review

4.6

Things we like:

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    Tracks better than similarly priced inflatable kayaks
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    Provides an introduction to kayaking
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    Easy to set up
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    Pretty maneuverable and stable
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    Spacious cockpit and secure bungees
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    You can paddle solo or as tandem
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    Easier to dry than more complicated inflatable kayaks
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Things we don't like:

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    Single-layer inflatable kayaks are less robust
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    A little cramped for two 6-foot paddlers
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    No mounts
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Where to buy:

Intex Challenger K2

Wider, More Rigid

The Aquamarina Tomahawk Air-K 375 is a 12-foot 4-inch inflatable kayak for solo sessions. It’s a high pressure inflatable boat that does performance better than almost any other inflatable kayak on the market.

Hovering below and above the $1000 mark, the Tomahawk Air-K (also available in tandem size) is best-suited for intermediate-plus kayakers that want speed and distance in their sessions.

Based on performance alone, it’s a great kayak. While it rocks rivers and lakes, it can only cope with limited big wave waters due to its canoe-like open boat design.

Some other redeeming features worth reading further about are to be found in this package.

Specs & Features

  • Material: PVC
  • Length: 12’4″ / 375 cm
  • Width: 28″ / 72 cm
  • Weight: 36.6 lbs / 16.6 kg
  • Max Load: 282 lbs / 128 kg

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

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    Excellent performance and speed
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    Ultra-rigid
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    Double fin and V-shaped molded keels for superior tracking
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    Simple to set up
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    Great maneuverability
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    Center carry handles for easy transportation
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    Water drains away from cockpit to catchment while paddling
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Things we don't like:

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    Hard to drain water from beneath the floor chamber
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    No bungees to attach gear to the deck
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    Small protected storage area
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    Footrest should be easier to install
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    No paddle included
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Where to buy:

Tomahawk Air-K

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame tandem inflatable kayak is a popular choice for kayakers who are looking for a portable touring kayak for day trips or even expeditions. This kayak is made of high quality PVC tarpaulin and is compatible with the BackBone flooring accessory and Drop-stitched flooring upgrade for rigid high pressure floors.

The Advanced Element tandem inflatable kayak is portable and easy to set up after the first time. It provides kayakers with a reliable level of stability and maneuverability compared to many other similar boats.

Overall, the Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak is a choice for kayakers who like to get out on the water in calm conditions or protective waterways but don’t have the space to store a rigid boat.

Specs & Features

  • Best Suited For: Beginners/Day touring/Expedition touring
  • Material: PVC tarpaulin
  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Capacity: 550 lbs (249 kg)
  • Dimensions: 15’ x 32”

Our Overall Review

4.8

Things we like:

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    Converts from single to tandem
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    Great for flatwater and lakes
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    Can deal well with formidable weather conditions
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    Very durable and tracks very well in the water
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    Has paddle holders at the sides
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Things we don't like:

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    Not suitable for heavier kayakers
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    Takes a long time to dry
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    Will take on water if underinflated
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Where to buy:

Advance Elements AdvancedFrame

Most Stable Tandem

The Blackfoot 160 Tandem Kayak is Aquaglide’s highest capacity and most stable kayak. Packed with features for fishing enthusiasts, this quality inflatable kayak is made with commercial-grade materials, enabling it to perform like a hard-shell boat.

Built to perform in a variety of conditions, the Blackfoot 160 can be paddled in rougher waters thanks to the scupper draining holes that allow for self-bailing and a splash guard designed to keep water out of the cockpit.

The open-cockpit design is ideal for casting and snagging the perfect catch, and allows for easy entry and exit of the craft. The adjustable seats also allow each paddler to decide whether they want to sit low in the boat for greater stability, or higher up for ease of standing. You can even use them as beach chairs when you reach the shoreline.

Versatility is the Blackfoot 160’s number one feature from seat position to gear storage. The kayak has 36 webbing loops along the floor for flexible seating positions, cooler attachment and other gear. It also has adjustable velcro straps and MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) pads that allow each paddler to organize their gear in a manner that suits them.

The universal attachments can be used for rod holders, anchor points, cameras, cup holders and other gadgets. Whether you’re paddling for speed or enjoying a lazy picnic on the water, the Blackfoot 160 can be customized to suit all your adventure needs.

Specs & Features

  • Materials: Duratex™ reinforced PVC & Drop-stitch Floor
  • Weight: 50 lbs.
  • Length: 16’
  • Width: 38”
  • Height: 13.5”

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

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    Ideal for fishing
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    Packed with features
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    Versatile and comfortable seating
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    Durable
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    Stable
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    Great tracking
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    Comes with cooler bag
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    Scupper holes allow for self bailing
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    Can be paddled tandem or solo
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Things we don't like:

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    Takes a little longer to inflate than other inflatables
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    Pump not included
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    More expensive than other tandem inflatables
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    Heavier than other inflatables
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    Bow and stern storage areas are not waterproof
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Where to buy:

Aquaglide Blackfoot 160

Mid-range Daytripper

This is a mid-range, affordable tandem inflatable. The Aqua Marina Betta is a lightweight, no-frills kayak that tracks decently with a noticeable rocker.

It’s ideal for families and couples on calmer waterways. The quality and design of this inflatable kayak match and slightly exceed its price. Some notable drawbacks will affect or limit its use for longer paddling trips, but it’s generally a boat that acquits itself well.

Most novices and paddlers with little experience will appreciate this for getting out on the water. But a fully-inflated seat can seem a little tippy for nervous newbies.

Specs & Features

  • Material: PVC
  • Width: 31" / 80cm
  • Weight: 26lbs / 11.8kg
  • Max Load: 396 lbs / 180 kg
  • Max Passengers: 2

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Things we like:

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    Lightweight
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    Transportable
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    Double fin for improved tracking
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    High rocker makes it very maneuverable
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    Collapsible paddles included
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    Simple to set up
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    Affordable and good value
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    Center carry handles for easy transportation
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Things we don't like:

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    Narrow cockpit
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    Seats sit high and affect stability
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    Foot pump is slower than a hand pump
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    Hard to drain water from completely
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    No bungees to attach gear to the deck
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    Footrest is too wide for the cockpit and only available for the front seat
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Where to buy:

Aqua Marina Betta 412

Best Hybrid Kayak and SUP

The Switch is a SUP kayak hybrid from Isle Surf & SUP. This is one of the most versatile inflatable craft we’ve seen in the last few years.

It’s got cargo features and accessory options that are designed in unique ways. As a tandem kayak, these features really shine through. As a stand up paddle board, the Switch is a pretty awesome touring board that has the maneuverability to match the best all rounders too.

Just to top it off, the Link System allows for more attachments, while eliminating all the D-rings used by other boards. That makes this one of the best yoga boards as well.

Specs & Features

  • Material: AirTech Fusion Lite Drop Stitch Construction
  • Board Height: 11’6”
  • Board Width: 35”
  • Thickness: 6.35”
  • Weight: 19 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.9

Things we like:

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    Doing yoga, fishing, tandem kayaking, tandem SUPping
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    Most comfortable 2-in-1 seat
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    One of the most lightweight models out there
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    The seat can also be used as a trekker chair
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    Looking forward to future accessories with the 40 loop Link System
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    The Isle Link System removes D-rings, making space for yoga
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    There's a foot brace (inflatable pillow) for better core training
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    Paddle holder for yoga sessions
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    A good paddle
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    Super stable for beginners and when going tandem
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    The unique material is easy to roll up and pack away
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    You can connect multiple boards
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    Suede-like deck pad is very nice on the feet
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Things we don't like:

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    Currently no Action Mounts
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    As a trade-off, the more comfortable deck pad takes longer to dry=longer packing time
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Isle Switch Product Image

Where to buy:

Isle Switch SUP & Kayak

Easiest to Set-up

The Razor Kayak R1 is a high-performance, top-quality inflatable kayak that is best suited to flatwater conditions with minimal turbulence or waves. The construction of the craft makes it one of the most durable in its class, meaning it will outlast the majority of other brands while withstanding a large amount of punishment.

This kayak is perfect for beginner to intermediate paddlers either looking for a relaxing day puttering across a lake or down a river or for the more advanced paddler looking to face some lower-class white-water or choppier waters along the coast.

Specs & Features

  • Materials: Tech-Stitch™ inner floor, 1000 denier PVC & toughened mesh
  • Hull Weight: 18 lbs.
  • Length: 9’4”
  • Width: 33”
  • Weight Capacity: 395 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Things we like:

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    Quality construction and durability
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    Performance
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    Comfort
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    Easy to transport and store
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    Versatile in a variety of conditions
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    A very decent kayak for fishing
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Things we don't like:

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    Backpack is big, but a bit bulky
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    Pump not included
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Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Product Image

Where to buy:

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra

Most Versatile


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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • Material: PVC Tarpaulin, 840D Nylon, EVA
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 450 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10 ft. x 35 x 16 inches
  • Use: Recreational

Our Overall Review

4.8

Things we like:

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    The heavy-duty construction allows you to continue using it for many years
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    Aluminum paddles, hand pump, rear tracking fin, and carry bag are all included in the packaging
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Things we don't like:

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    Not suitable for professional kayakers due to the lack of features
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Where to buy:

Driftsun 2-Person

Best for Beginners


Whether you go kayak camping, exploring new places, or practicing for races, this 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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • 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

Our Overall Review

4.2

Things we like:

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    The air chambers are protected by the Nylon fabric for the highest level of durability
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    The elbow guards provide additional comfort for those long paddling expeditions
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Things we don't like:

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    Not suitable for windy weather conditions
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Where to buy:

Airhead Montana


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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • 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

Our Overall Review

4.1

Things we like:

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    The rigid panels ensure the ultimate stability when in the water
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    The bungee deck lacing allows you to bring a jacket or other essentials with you
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Things we don't like:

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    It is prone to tipping
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    The weight capacity is quite low
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Where to buy:

Advanced Elements FireFly

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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • 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

Our Overall Review

4

Things we like:

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    The hand pump shortens the inflation time to 6 minutes or less
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    The sling seat has an adjustable backrest
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Things we don't like:

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    The weight capacity is low
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Where to buy:

Rave Sports


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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • Material: 1000-Denier layered PVC
  • Length: 10ft. 10 inches
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds

Our Overall Review

3.9

Things we like:

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    The footrest is adjustable, and the back is padded for your comfort
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    The dual-action hand pump allows you to inflate the equipment in a matter of minutes
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Things we don't like:

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    The manual with instructions doesn’t have all the required information for the gear installation
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Where to buy:

Elkton Outdoors


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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • Material: PVC, Tarpaulin
  • Capacity: 3 people
  • Weight: 34.8 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 490 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 10 inches

Our Overall Review

3.9

Things we like:

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    The construction of the gear is made to be resilient
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    It can easily fit 3 people
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Things we don't like:

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    No pump is included
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Where to buy:

Sevylor Big Basin


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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • Material: PVC, Tarpaulin
  • Length: 12 ft. 6 inches
  • Capacity: 2 people
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 600 pounds

Our Overall Review

3.7

Things we like:

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    It takes less than 10 minutes to fully inflate the kayak
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    The high capacity allows you to bring plenty of essentials on board
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Things we don't like:

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    The fin is hard to remove
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Where to buy:

Driftsun Rover


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

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.

Specs & Features

  • Material: PVC, Tarpaulin
  • Length: 11 ft. 2 inches
  • Capacity: 2 people
  • Weight: 31.5 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds

Our Overall Review

3.6

Things we like:

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    The supportive backrest allows you to sit comfortably and focus on the path ahead of you
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    The back drain plug enables you to efficiently drain the water before storing the kayak away
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Things we don't like:

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    Some users complain about the unequal inflation on both sides of the boa
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Where to buy:

Advanced Elements Island


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.

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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • Material: PVC, Tarpaulin
  • Length: 8ft. 7 inches
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Dimensions: 103 x 36 x 30 inches

Our Overall Review

3.5

Things we like:

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    The airtight technology guarantees leakage-free kayaking sessions
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    The backpack can be used as a seat
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Things we don't like:

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    The tracking is not great
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Where to buy:

Sevylor Quikpak K1


Distinguished by its portability and comfort, the Sea Eagle RazorLite is a high-quality, reliable inflatable kayak that has acquired a loyal fan base over the years

The construction of the kayak is superb. It features a drop-stitch PVC material, a removable skeg, and an adjustable seat and foot braces. The bow and stern storage areas are designed for keeping your belongings dry and are compatible with spray skirts. 

Besides the kayak itself, an air pump, a double-paddle oar, a patch kit, and a carry bag are all included in the Sea Eagle RazorLite package, eliminating the need for any additional purchases. Measuring at 22 by 22 inches when deflated, this kayak appeals to kayakers who also happen to travel a lot.

The Sea Eagle RazorLite Inflatable Kayak is the perfect kayak for travelers who want a well constructed, comfortable, and convenient inflatable kayak with a high capacity. 

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit on Top
  • Person Capacity: 1
  • Material: 1100 Decitex Reinforced
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Weight: 33 ½ lbs.

Our Overall Review

3.4

Things we like:

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    The stern molds and the stiff bow enable quick and easy entry and exit.
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    The inflatable construction makes it one of the most portable kayaks in this guide.
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Things we don't like:

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    Not as long-lasting as a hard shell kayak
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sea-eagle-razorlite-inflatable-kayak.jpg

Where to buy:

Sea Eagle RazorLite


The Aquaglide Navarro Inflatable Kayak is an easy-to-transport, 2-person boat intended for getting out on the water and enjoying yourself.

This kayak is a favorite of many paddlers who want a portable and robust kayak.

Built from durable HexShell 600-Denier Polyester material, the Aquaglide Navarro features non-removable bow and stern decks that are further equipped with zippers for quick access. 

The seats attached to the kayak are also made of heavy-duty materials. They are installed via D-ring straps with velcro that runs along the kayak floor and the bottom of the seats. For versatility and good value for money, you can’t go wrong with Aqualide’s Navarro inflatable kayak. 

The Aquaglide Navarro inflatable kayak is a brilliant choice for kayakers looking for a durable and portable kayak. Always be aware of the time required to dry the yak when done paddling.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Person Capacity: 1-3
  • Material: HexShell covered pontoons w/ drop stitched floors
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Weight: 40 lbs.

Our Overall Review

3.4

Things we like:

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    You can fit up to 3 people in this kayak.
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    There’s a 1-year limited warranty on the kayak.
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Things we don't like:

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    Pump and attachments have to be purchased separately.
Click to see more
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aquaglide-navarro-146-inflatable-kayak.jpg

Where to buy:

Aquaglide Navarro 14’6”

Though it’s not very ambitious as a paddling boat, the Intex Explorer K2 is an affordable, inflatable kayak that will get people out on the water.

It’s really an advanced beach toy that offers a glimpse into what kayaking can be. The best thing about this cheap inflatable is its portability and stability on flat water.

Kids will enjoy paddling in circles within view of their parents. Two adults can hop in with a cooler bag and spend a few hours piddling about too.

But whereas there’s no performance to rave about, it’s a complete set that offers some exercise for two or one paddlers.

 

Specs & Features

  • Best Suited For: Beginners/Recreational/Family
  • Material: Rugged Polypropylene Vinyl
  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kg)
  • Dimensions: 10’3” x 3’ x 1’8”

Our Overall Review

3.8

Things we like:

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    Lightweight and portable
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    Good value for money
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    Converts from single to tandem
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    Ideal for 2 person recreational kayaking
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    Great way to introduce kids to basic kayaking
Click to see more

Things we don't like:

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    Not suitable for heavier kayakers
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    Basic paddles and accessories
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    Not suitable for longer kayak trips
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    More a beach toy than a kayak
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    Bad tracking
Click to see more
Click to see more
Read full review
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Where to buy:

Intex Explorer K2

Related Reviews

Inflatable Kayak Buyers Guide

Inflatable kayaks have rapidly increased in popularity over the past few years because they provide a low-barrier option to getting out on the water. Inflatable kayaks are lightweight, portable, and easy to store, meaning you don’t need a garage, trailer, or even roof racks on your car to transport your kayak.

inflatable-kayak-razor

Inflatable kayaks are most often used for recreational paddling in calm waters such as protected inlets, lakes, and slow-moving rivers. Some inflatable kayaks are also designed for white-water paddling.

Inflatables are typically made from PVC or other durable materials like vinyl or rubber designed to withstand bumps, scuffs and scrapes. They’re a fantastic option for families with younger children and pets because they’re not only durable, they offer more stability than a standard touring kayak.

Inflating these kayaks can be done using either a manual or electric pump. Typically, most inflatable kayaks we’ve tested take between 5-10 minutes to set-up, and a similar amount of time to pack down. Be sure to always rinse and dry off your inflatable kayak before storing it away to prevent deterioration from mold.

inflatable-kayak-pumping

With the increase of popularity, there’s been an insurgence of new brands and models of inflatable kayaks available on the market, making the choice tricky when you’re starting out. This guide is designed to illustrate what’s important to consider when buying an inflatable kayak to help you analyze the information provided in the reviews above.

Firstly, when buying an inflatable kayak, you need to consider where you’ll be paddling (location), who you’re paddling with (age, experience level, and number of people), how much gear you’re carrying (day trip or overnight adventure), and how much you’re planning on using your kayak (every week or only on vacations).

Asking these questions first will help define the qualities you’re looking for in an inflatable kayak. If you’re paddling in calm water like lakes and protected inlets, you wouldn’t need the option of a spray skirt like you might need for choppier conditions or white-water. If you’re paddling with your kids and pets, you may require a more durable fabric and greater stability than if you were paddling with your friends or partner.

inflatable-kayak-kayaking

If you’re only out for the day, you may only need a bag with extra layers, snacks, and a water bottle and camera. If you’re planning to camp overnight, you’ll need a lot more protected storage space for your gear.

Daily or weekly use may require more durable fabrics and a design that performs better than if you’re using your kayak less frequently.

In addition to the questions above, other important points to consider when purchasing an inflatable kayak include:

  • Materials
  • Set-up
  • Stability
  • Performance
  • Weight Capacity
  • Length
  • Deck and Storage
  • Carry Handles
  • Backpack or Storage Bag
  • Seat
  • Footrest
  • Fin
  • Maintenance
  • Additional Features

Materials

When choosing an inflatable kayak, the material construction is an important consideration. Look for kayaks made with high-quality materials that are resistant to punctures and abrasions. The most common materials used are PVC, vinyl, nylon, and rubber.

PVC or polyvinyl chloride, is a synthetic plastic polymer that is commonly used to make inflatable kayaks. The Aquaglide Cirrus is a great example of a PVC boat that’s both extremely durable while being exceptionally lightweight.

aquaglide-cirrus-ultralight-110-kayak

Instead of gluing, the manufacturers weld the seams of the PVC together making the construction lightweight and durable. It is a popular material because it’s both affordable and easy to work with.

Vinyl is a synthetic plastic material similar to PVC. Vinyl is cheaper and lighter than PVC and packs down smaller, but is also less rigid, which affects its performance.

Rubber is a natural material often used in inflatable kayaks. It is a durable material that is resistant to punctures and abrasions. However, rubber can be heavy and more expensive than synthetic materials.

inflatable-kayak-top-kayaks

Some inflatable kayaks are made from a combination of vinyl and fabric materials like nylon. Vinyl with fabric offers protection against the sun, but has the drawback of taking longer to dry, which adds to the risk of molding. Vinyl provides the waterproof layer, while the fabric provides additional strength and durability.

Set-up

The set-up of an inflatable kayak is important to consider, especially if you plan on using it frequently. Look for kayaks that are easy to inflate and deflate, with a pump included or available for purchase. Some kayaks can be inflated manually, while others require an electric pump.

Inflatable Kayak Pump

In addition to inflating and deflating, most inflatable kayaks will come with detachable chairs, footrests, and other accessories that either clip on or attach to the kayak. These accessories will add to the set up and pack down time.

aqua-marina-steam-412-high-back-chairs
EVA cushioned seat attached with the webbing straps on the incorrect D-rings

Stability

Stability is an important factor to consider when paddling with young children and pets. Look for inflatable kayaks with a wide, flat bottom or multiple air chambers, as these features can increase stability and prevent tipping.

aquaglide-cirrus-ultralight-110-bottom-kayak

The weight capacity of the kayak can also impact stability, so make sure the kayak can safely support the weight of both you and your gear. Additionally, consider the type of water you will be paddling in. Whitewater and choppier waters will require greater stability than lakes or flatwater.

Performance

With an inflatable kayak, length, width, bow shape, and material construction will affect the performance of the boat. Shorter kayaks will have better maneuverability, while longer boats will track better.

Ideally you want to find a good balance between good tracking (which can be enhanced by the use of a fin), maneuverability (which can be improved with a narrow or slightly rockered bow), and good stability.

Inflatable Kayak Performance

You should also inflate your kayak to the correct PSI to ensure it performs at its best. An underinflated kayak will be slower and less stable, while an over inflated boat is at the risk of puncturing or popping.

Inflatable Kayak Gauge

Weight Capacity

Inflatable kayaks typically have a weight capacity ranging from 350 to 700 pounds, which can accommodate one to three people. When choosing the weight capacity of your kayak, consider the number of people and the amount of equipment you plan to carry.

Inflatable Kayak Happy Kayaker

It’s important to ensure that the kayak can support the weight of both you and your gear. An overloaded boat could warp or sit too low in the water. Keep in mind if you plan to bring pets with you, you’ll need to factor in their weight and ensure they have enough space to feel comfortable.

Length

The length of an inflatable kayak can vary between 10 to 16 feet. This variance is usually due to the number of seats which can range from one to three. Shorter kayaks are generally easier to maneuver, while longer kayaks offer more speed, stability, and storage space.

inflatable-kayak-length

The length of your inflatable kayak should be based on your intended use and number of paddlers, as well as how much gear you’re transporting.

Deck and Storage

An inflatable kayak’s deck and storage options can impact its versatility and convenience. Look for kayaks with enough storage space for your gear, as well as features like bungee cords or D-rings for attaching additional gear.

inflatable-kayak-storage

Some inflatable kayaks also have spray skirts to protect you and your gear from splashes or choppier water.

Carry Handles

Carry handles make it easy to transport your kayak to and from the water. Look for kayaks with sturdy, comfortable carry handles that are located in convenient positions on the bow, stern, and in the center of the kayak if you’re planning to carry it by yourself.

aqua-marina-betta-412-handles
Carrying handles in the middle make carrying a kayak easier for a single person.

Backpack or Storage Bag

When not in use, inflatable kayaks are usually stored in a compact carry bag. Look for inflatable kayaks that come with a backpack or storage bag that is durable, easy to carry, and store.

Tomahawk Air K 12 4 Storage Bag

Seat

Comfort is key when kayaking, and a good seat is an essential part of the experience. Look for inflatable kayaks with comfortable, adjustable seats that provide back support.

inflatable-kayak-seat

Some kayaks have inflatable seats, while others have solid fabric chairs. Inflatable seats won’t provide as much support, but will reduce the weight of the kayak and set up time.

aqua-marina-betta-412-inflatable-seat

Footrests

Footrests are used to push against when paddling to enable full body rotation, rather than just using the muscles in your arms. They also offer stability and support while paddling.

inflatable-kayak-foot-rest

Look for inflatable kayaks with adjustable footrests that use velcro or other materials to accommodate different leg lengths.

aquaglide-cirrus-ultralight-110-adjust
Footrest of the Cirrus Ultralight 110

Fin

A fin is a crucial part of an inflatable kayak’s performance, as it helps with tracking and maneuverability. Look for kayaks with detachable or adjustable fins, which allow you to customize the kayak’s performance to different water depths and conditions.

aqua-marina-steam-412-fin

Maintenance

Proper maintenance is key to keeping your inflatable kayak in good condition. You should always rinse and dry your kayak thoroughly, and remove and dry all additional components like seats and footrests.

inflatable-kayak-cirrus

Avoid exposing the kayak to direct sunlight for extended periods of time, and store it in a cool, dry place when not in use.

Aquaglide Cirrus Ultralight 110 Fast

Additional Features

Inflatable kayaks can come with a range of additional features, including hand pumps, paddles, and rod holders. Rod holders are a great addition for fishing, while hand pumps and paddles can save you from needing to make additional purchases.

aqua-marina-betta-412-accessories

When choosing an inflatable kayak, consider your intended use, who you’re paddling with, how much gear you’re carrying, and how much you’re paddling. By considering the factors above and doing research on the different options available, you can choose an inflatable kayak that will meet your needs and provide you with the most enjoyable paddling experience.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is the best inflatable kayak?

The best inflatable kayak will depend on where you’re paddling, who you’re paddling with, how much gear you’re carrying, and how much you’re planning to use it.

Our Top 5 Inflatable Kayaks in 2023 include:

Best Budget: Intex Challenger K2

Best Mid-Range: Advance Elements AdvancedFrame

Best Hybrid Kayak and SUP: Isle Switch SUP & Kayak

Best for Fishing: Aquaglide Blackfoot 160

Easiest to Set-up: Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra

Check out our Inflatable Kayak Buyer’s Guide on how to choose the best kayak for your unique circumstances.

How durable are inflatable kayaks?

Inflatable kayaks can be very durable, especially if they are made from high-quality materials such as PVC, vinyl, or rubber. Inflatable kayaks can often withstand more bumps and bruises than fiberglass kayaks. However, they can be punctured or damaged by sharp objects, so it’s important to take proper care of your kayak and avoid exposing it to rough or rocky terrain.

Are inflatable kayaks safe?

Yes, inflatable kayaks are very safe when used properly. It’s important to always wear a PFD (personal flotation device), be aware of the weather and water conditions, carry a radio or cell phone, and stay within the limits of your skill level.

Be sure to inflate your kayak to the recommended PSI level to avoid warping or puncturing.

Can inflatable kayaks handle whitewater?

Yes, some inflatable kayaks are designed for whitewater rafting and can handle rough water conditions. However, it’s important to choose a kayak that is specifically designed for whitewater use and to have the proper skills and experience to navigate these conditions.

Can inflatable kayaks be repaired if they are punctured or damaged?

Most inflatable kayaks can be repaired if they are punctured or damaged. Many kayaks come with a repair kit that includes patches and adhesive, and there are also professional repair services available for more serious damage.

Are inflatable kayaks easy to transport and store?

Yes, one of the benefits of inflatable kayaks is their portability and easy storage. They can be deflated and packed into a compact carrying bag or backpack, making them easy to transport by car or even on public transport.

How long do inflatable kayaks last?

The lifespan of an inflatable kayak can vary depending on its quality, use, and care. With proper use and maintenance, a high-quality inflatable kayak can last for several years or longer. Be sure to carry rather than drag your inflatable kayak along rough terrain and always inflate it to its recommended PSI.

How long does it take to inflate an inflatable kayak?

The time it takes to inflate an inflatable kayak can vary depending on the size of the kayak and the type of pump being used. With a high-pressure hand pump or electric pump, most kayaks can be inflated within 5 to 10 minutes.

How good are inflatable kayaks?

Although inflatable kayaks are not as fast as touring or traditional hardshell kayaks, they are more portable and lightweight, making them ideal for people with limited storage space. Most inflatable kayaks perform well in a variety of conditions, and are a great option for recreational kayaking. They are also a great option if you’re paddling with your kids and pets.

What are inflatable kayaks made of?

The most common materials used are PVC, vinyl, nylon, and rubber. A light recreation kayak is often made of a single-layer vinyl, while a more robust and durable inflatable kayak would be made from PVC or rubber.

How do I find a leak in an inflatable kayak?

To determine where a leak or puncture is in an inflatable kayak, search for bubbles that appear when your kayak is in the water. You may also be able to feel or hear the air escaping from your kayak.

You should keep in mind that deflation doesn’t always mean leakage. Changing temperatures will affect the density of the air in your kayak. This is why you may need to re-inflate your kayak slightly once you have placed it in cold water.

How do I clean an inflatable kayak?

One of the main ways to preserve the quality of your inflatable kayak is to thoroughly clean and rinse your kayak with fresh water after each use. You should avoid bleach or harsh chemicals, use a soft rag or towel, and ensure you dry it thoroughly before stowing it away.

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Christos
Christos

Hello Shannon,

I would definitely recommend the Advanced Elements 10’5” Inflatable Kayak.

Depending on the conditions of the river, there should be no problem using this kayak. As long as the current of the river isn’t too strong and there are not so many big rocks, you should be ok.

Hope this helped.

Christos
Christos

Hi Man of sea,

For fishing, I recommend the Elkton Outdoors Fishing Kayak. It has reinforced material that helps avoid punctures from spears. Nevertheless, you should always try and have your spear covered, especially when using an inflatable kayak.

Consider going with a fishing kayak – https://www.divein.com/kayaking/fishing-kayak/

Hope this helped.

Christos
Christos

Hi Steve,

The reason that the Sea eagle 393L Razorlite didn’t make this list is that the material used in this inflatable kayak’s construction is quite fragile and we are worried about the durability level of the kayak. We only recommend inflatable kayaks that we know will last.

Hope this helps.

Christos
Christos

Hi Patty,

Although it is true that the Driftsun kayaks offer a good level of stability, there are other inflatable kayaks such as the Advanced Elements models that are just, if not more stable. For this reason we don’t think that the Driftsun stands out for stability.

Hope this helps.

Christos
Christos

Hi Sue,

The HO Ranger tandem kayak is a great option. It is made using high-quality material and also offers lots of space. The fact that it is inflatable also gives it an edge as it is more portable.

I would recommend giving it a test try before buying it as we haven’t tested this one out.

Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

Christos
Christos

Hi Cassey,

All of the kayaks on this list are made using high-quality materials, however, if I was to choose, I would recommend the Advanced Elements 10’5” Inflatable Kayak or the Aquaglide Navarro 14’6” Inflatable Kayak as they offer an outstanding experience at an affordable price.

Hope this recommendation helps you find your ideal kayak.

Christos
Christos

Hello Pat,

You should always check the kayak volume as it is the measurement that helps you to understand how much room the kayak has inside the cockpit. That said, the available space is relative to the dimension of your body. For this reason, we recommend testing kayaks out before buying them.

Hope this helps.

Christos
Christos

Hi Leonidas,

Your paddle of 2,35 meters should be suitable for the Sevylor ST 5656 sit-on-top kayak. I do not recommend purchasing a longer paddle as this might make paddling more difficult and less efficient.

Hope this helped.

Shannon
Shannon

I am wondering what type of Inflatable Kayak is a good option that I can bring out in the Ocean and in the river. I live near the Ocean but travel and go river rafting as well and am wondering if I could use a Kayak I buy for the Ocean on the river as well, or is this not a good idea.

steve
steve

Do you have any single person inflatables to recommend? Im looking at the Sea Eagle 393RL. Mostly because it looks better than the other inflatables and appears easier to paddle. .

thx

Man of sea
Man of sea

Is there a kayak for fishing. I’m worried my spear may pop the boat

Steve
Steve

I noticed you didn’t include the Sea eagle 393L Razorlite. This is the one I am seriously considering. Did you find something with it that you didn’t care for?
Thx

patty hart
patty hart

I heard the drift sun is most stable. true? And why is that not a key point in descriptions?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne

Thank you 🙂

Did it help you get out there?

Jane
Jane

Detailed & informative article. Thanks for sharing

Sue Rougeau
Sue Rougeau

I would like to know you thoughts on the HO Ranger tandem kayak. Living in Canada we do not have a huge selection but this one is available

Cassey max
Cassey max

It is a great explained of a article and quite intresting to read too but Which type of kayak I should buy that can be good in quality and also have a fair price range?

Pat williamson
Pat williamson

bought an Advanced Elements inflatable 5 yrs ago when grandkids visiting – i sold my heavy kayak and now using one of theirs; however, I’m 5’8″ and find it crunches my legs so i have to comfortably dangle them – so how do i know inside measurements? thnx

Bradley Axmith
Member
Bradley Axmith

Just to add another couple of options to Christos’, there are a few possibilities from Bote. They have inflatable kayaks and models that are somewhere between canoe and kayak. Check them out here.

Christos Nicolaou
Christos Nicolaou

Hey Victoria,

I personally recommend the Advancedframe Convertible Kayak: AE1007 for your parents, as it is super lightweight at 52 LBS and the seats are really comfortable. It’s difficult to find chair options for an inflatable kayak as this adds to the overall weight and portability of the kayak and for this reason, most manufacturers avoid having this option. You can always buy a Surf To Summit Elevated Kayak Seat from Amazon to add some height if these seats aren’t accessible enough. This kayak can be paddled both solo or tandem and is one of the most convenient and accessible kayaks on the market.

Hope this helps you out!

Victoria Nelson
Victoria Nelson

Hello,
I am looking for an inflatable Kayak for my dad. He is in his upper 70’s and loves to canoe; however, because of his health the canoes are getting too heavy for him to lug around. I was thinking about getting him an inflatable Kayak, but he is not able to sit down in them. Would you know of any inflatable canoes or kayak that have a chairs or higher seating option. If possible can fit two people, my mom likes to go with him.

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