Easiest to Set-up

The beauty of owning an inflatable kayak is you can grab it from your closet, throw it in the trunk of your car, and be on the water within five minutes of arriving at your destination. You can be living in an apartment, own a small car or no car at all, and still have the ability to own a kayak and get out on the water.

There are dozens of inflatable kayaks on the market, all consisting of the basic features of an inflatable hull and side tubes, possibly an inflatable or detachable seat, and valves used to pump and release the air. So how do you know what is the best inflatable kayak for you?

Razor Kayaks is an Australian company that specializes in producing quality transportable kayaks. Their manufacturing process focuses on using high-quality materials to produce inflatable kayaks that are durable, long-lasting, and high-performance.

Overall, I was impressed with the kayak’s performance. Its responsiveness, speed, and maneuverability were far superior to other inflatable kayaks I’ve paddled. I also appreciated the ease with which I was able to set up the boat in under five minutes without the need for excessive muscle power to inflate the craft.

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:

  • check-mark
    Quality construction and durability
  • check-mark
    Performance
  • check-mark
    Comfort
  • check-mark
    Easy to transport and store
  • check-mark
    Versatile in a variety of conditions
  • check-mark
    A very decent kayak for fishing

Things we don't like:

  • check-markBackpack is big, but a bit bulky
  • check-markPump not included

Where to buy:

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Product Image

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra

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.
  • Packed Dimensions: 31” x 20” x 14”
  • Water Rating: Calm / Choppy
  • Cost: USD $949.00
See the complete list of the best Inflatable Kayaks here!

The Razor Kayak R1 Ultra gets its 4.6 star rating from its performance, ease of set-up, and its quality construction. The quality of this boat can be its downside, too, as the high-quality materials drive up the price and weight of this craft. If you’re looking for an inflatable kayak to putter on the lake a few times a year, the Rave Sports inflatable may be a better option. But if you’re looking for an inflatable kayak that will perform well in more challenging conditions and can take a beating, then dive in to our review.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra On Waters

Materials

From the moment I unwrapped the R1 Ultra kayak, I could tell it was well-made. I was honestly surprised that a recreational inflatable kayak would be constructed of such high-quality, long-lasting materials. In most of my experiences with inflatable kayaks like the Airhead Montana or the Advanced Elements Firefly, which are made from Nylon and Polyester respectively, the materials simply don’t last more than a couple of seasons of heavy use.

The construction of the Razor Kayak R1 is comparable to the Elkton Outdoors inflatable kayak, which are both made from 1000 denier PVC. The heat-treated thermoplastic construction is used to build top-quality white-water rafts and safety boats used by companies and outfitters that put a lot of wear and tear on their gear from daily use. So you can almost guarantee the R1 Ultra will outlast any of its counterparts.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra On Beach

The Tech-Stitch™ floor is virtually indestructible. I wouldn’t recommend dragging any kayak along the ground, but your kids can pull this boat over stones and rough surfaces without the fear of creating a puncture.

The downside to using such high-quality, robust materials is the weight and packability. An adult can easily carry the R1 Ultra, but I wouldn’t call it lightweight, and your kids would likely need to drag this boat along the ground to get it to the water. At 18 lbs. you could hike with it on your back up to an alpine lake, but it might be a struggle if you’re lugging overnight gear and all your belongings as well.

Set-up

What I loved about the R1 Ultra was the ease of setup. Even without the instructional card, I was able to figure out how the kayak should be put together. I was also impressed that it didn’t take a lot of muscle power to blow up the floor and side chambers.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Set Up

Having been used to pumping up inflatable paddleboards like the Isle Switch SUP & Kayak, I was expecting that sting in my biceps from having to inflate the board to a psi of up to 15. But the R1 has a recommended psi of 7, which means the floor and side tubes inflated easily within a couple of minutes.

Seat

The R1 Ultra comes with a double padded foam seat that folds in half for easy storage and connects to the side tubes using four separate D-rings. Because of the multiple anchor points, the seat remains secure in the boat, even if you need to tip it on its side or upside-down to attach the fin or dump out water. The cinch straps are adjustable, meaning you can tighten the straps so that you’re sitting upright and can lean forward for greater performance or lounge back while you fish or float downstream on a river.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Seat

I find the padded seats more comfortable than inflatable seats like in the Intex Explorer K2. Inflatable seats tend to bend if they’re not fully inflated and don’t have the same rigidity as a foam seat to support the paddler.

Some inflatable kayaks like the Sevylor Quikpak K1 will combine a padded seat on top of an inflatable base. I prefer the higher back of the R1 Ultra’s seat and prefer to sit lower in the kayak, which gives the paddler much more stability than sitting directly on top.

Footrest

The adjustable footrest is rather ingenious because it’s so simple to use. It’s essentially a nylon-padded strap with Velcro that you can tighten or loosen depending on the length of your legs.

The footrest allows for comfort and also leverage which enables the paddler to use their leg and back muscles in addition to their arms to perform a strong and efficient paddle stroke.

Fin

The fin is attached last once you’ve set up your seat and footrest. The fin simply slides into the recess on the bottom of the boat and secures with a clip. The fin can be attached just before the boat enters the water, especially if you’re dragging the boat any distance along the ground. The fin will allow for better tracking, especially in the wind, but the boat will also function without it.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Fins

Deck and Storage

The two storage areas at the bow and stern of the boat are incredibly handy. They’re not watertight, but they’re essentially splashproof, so you can store your shoes, a packed lunch, or a dry bag full of spare clothes and other items you don’t want to get wet. For additional storage, you can use the bungee deck lacing on top of the boat to secure other items you don’t mind getting wet, like a throw bag, flip flops, or any other waterproofed item you might want within arms reach.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Deck And Storage

I have paddled other inflatables that have similar splash-proof storage areas, like the Driftsun 2-Person and the Elkton Outdoors, but the R1 Ultra has more storage space in both the bow and stern.

Carry Handles

The carry handles on the R1 Ultra are as comfortable and well-made as the handles on most hard-shell kayaks. The plastic handles are rounded to fit comfortably inside the palm of your hand and can be gripped easily for long hauls without chafing or slipping.

Backpack

The R1 Ultra comes with a backpack-style carry bag to store and transport the kayak in when it’s deflated. The bag has plenty of room to store the boat, seat, and fin, as well as a pump so you have everything you need in one place. It has a draw cord on the top and two clips that criss-cross to secure your items, and adjustable straps to make carrying the kayak and accessories as comfortably as possible on your back.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Backpack

As mentioned above, because of its durable PVC construction, the R1 Ultra will not pack down as small as some inflatable kayaks like the Advanced Elements FireFly.

Performance

The streamlined underside of the R1 Ultra makes it an incredibly responsive inflatable kayak. It’s easy to maneuver, making it a great boat to take on fast-moving flat water, lakes, estuaries, or protected inlets and coastlines.

The durable side tubes offer excellent stability so that even a first-time paddler will feel stable and secure when paddling this boat on flat water.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Performance

I wouldn’t recommend the R1 Ultra for open seas or white water because it isn’t self-bailing, which means if water enters the open cockpit of the kayak, you need to either pump, sponge, or tip it out. You could take this kayak down a river with rapids if you have the skills, but you would need to empty the boat frequently as you paddle or on dry land.

Thankfully the R1 Ultra comes with a screw cap at the stern of the boat called the bung, which enables you to tip the boat up with the bow elevated and facing the sky on dry land to empty any water that’s trapped under the decking like you would with a white-water kayak.

If you plan to paddle in rapids or choppy water, I would absolutely recommend taking a pump or at the very least a sponge with you when you paddle. This is the type of kayak you have to expect that you will be getting a little wet in, even in flat water, because you don’t have a dry skirt to protect your legs from water droplets from your paddle. You’re also likely going to get in with wet feet, which will ultimately make the floor wet from the get-go.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Not Self Bailing

Maintenance

The R1 Ultra comes with a repair kit containing a valve wrench to tighten or replace the valves of the boat and a few small sheets of PVC to patch any punctures.

Inflatable kayaks should never be left in the sun, one because of UV damage, and two because air expands in the heat, which could cause the boat to pop. You can release air from the valves by pushing the white button in the center of the valve, but because they are not specially designed pressure-release valves, it’s quite easy to let out too much air and the need to pump the chamber up again to 7 or 8 psi. Similarly, you may need to pump up the chambers a little if you’re launching into frigid glacial water, which would cause the air to contract.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Maintenance

It’s a good idea to rinse the kayak with fresh water and clean off any debris after each paddle. You should also ensure that the boat is completely dry before deflating and rolling it up to be stored. Moisture will cause mold and make for a nasty surprise the next time you want to paddle.

It’s not recommended to use strong solvents on the fabric either when cleaning the boat. Fresh water should be sufficient, or you can use a mild soap if necessary.

Do We Recommend It?

Yes, if you like to get out on flat water regularly, the higher cost of this kayak is definitely worth it due to its great build and durability.

The Razor Kayak R1 Ultra is a high-quality inflatable kayak designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear. This is a kayak that can be manhandled, dragged over rocks and beaches, and bumped into docks, pylons, and rocks without the fear of damage or puncture.

Razor Kayaks R1 Ultra Kayaking

The performance of the kayak is excellent for an inflatable boat. The seat and footrest enable you to be seated upright with sufficient leverage to power your blade through the water. The pointed bow is also designed to cut through the water while the streamlined hull helps you to glide and maintain speed.

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.

Related Reviews

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:

  • check-mark
    Quality construction and durability
  • check-mark
    Performance
  • check-mark
    Comfort
  • check-mark
    Easy to transport and store
  • check-mark
    Versatile in a variety of conditions
  • check-mark
    A very decent kayak for fishing

Things we don't like:

  • check-markBackpack is big, but a bit bulky
  • check-markPump not included

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Bradley Axmith
Member
Bradley Axmith
Reply to  Lapo

Hi Lapo. The 18 lbs is the weight of the boat itself, minus the paddle and seat. So we’re up over 20 lbs, but still pretty light and backpackable. Many inflatables aren’t so fun to carry due to their transport bag.

Lapo
Lapo

Cool review. I’m confused on the comments on weight. I’ve been researching tons of kayaks, probably 60 or more, and it’s the second lightest one aside from pakraft type inflatables.

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