Inflatable kayaks are quite possibly the best choice and most cost effective way for someone to get started in kayaking. For someone who has never owned a kayak before, it’s a great starting point to find what type of kayaking you plan to do and how often you do it. Inflatable kayaks are very popular for another of reasons. They are cheap, lightweight, and most importantly, they are extremely portable. An inflatable kayak can begin as a small carry bag no bigger than a grocery bag and transform into an amazing 12 foot kayak. Inflatable kayaks have grown so much in popularity that they now are designed for all types of kayaking, whether its recreational kayaking, white water kayaking or kayak fishing. The prices of inflatable kayaks are generally cheaper than that of hard-shelled kayaks and in recent years have become extremely strong and durable. There are a lot of different opinions on which is better, an inflatable kayak or standard hard shelled plastic kayak, each has their pros and cons, and each would suit different types of kayak users. We have created an extensive list of what we feel are the best inflatable kayaks available right now.
The Best Inflatable Kayaks 2017
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
- Low-profile for lakes and mild rivers
- Sporty graphics for high visibility
- Adjustable inflatable seat with backrest
- Removable skeg for directional stability
- US Coast Guard I.D
- Amazon Best Seller
- Incredible value of the price
- accessories included
- Quick to assemble/disassemble
- A little heavy and awkward to store away
- Can be a tight squeeze for some 2 large people
- The paddles are too short
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
- Nimble, durable kayak is made of durable welded material with eye-catching graphics for added safety on the lake or slow-moving river
- Cockpit is designed for comfort and maximized space, and inflatable I-beam floors add stability
- Cargo net to store extra gear, and grab line on both ends of kayak; inflatable seat with backrest
- Comes with 84-inch aluminum oar, repair patch and Hi-output manual hand pump
- Measures 30-by-15-by-108 inches (W x H x D), with 27.2-pound weight and 220-pound maximum capacity
Intex inflatable kayaks are a great option for families looking to enjoy the great outdoors via their local waterways without a lot of expense or hassle. This kayak is so easily packed away, in fact it stores away into a little 20Ib 2 x 1.5 Ft bag. How cool is that? You can easily set up this kayak in 15 minutes with the pump provided. The plastic ruler takes the guess work out of inflation pressure. The material of this kayak is very tough, especially for an inflatable kayak. The skeg with this kayak gives you that extra little bit of confidence, keeping you tracking nicely and remaining stable while paddling. From some further research online, we found that many of the negative reviews were nearly all due to shipping issues or defective, these are common among all products and often do not relate to the product itself. One of the main issues with this inflatable kayak is the skeg falling off. This is very common among many inflatable kayaks. A handy solution to prevent this is using waterproof tape to make sure it’s help firmly in place. A really nice kayak that deserved it’s spot as one of the best inflatable kayaks in 2017.
- Small storage net at the front
- Very cheap
- So easily stored away and extremely compact
- Quickly assembled
- Skeg falling off – Often the main issue with inflatable kayaks. We recommend using waterproof tape.
- Paddle provided isn’t the best.
- Takes some time to deflate (15-20 mins).
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
2 used from $ 248.39
- Heavy-duty PVC construction is rugged for lake use
- Tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection from punctures
- Multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured
- Airtight® System is guaranteed not to leak
- Boston Valve is double threaded for easy inflation/deflation
This is an awesome kayak. Once again you can’t compare this to a standard hard plastic kayak, this is a review of the best inflatable kayaks. For an inflatable kayak and also being a 3 person inflatable kayak, it tracks extremely well thanks to it’s tracking fins. This is a 3 person inflatable kayak but it can be difficult to fit 3 fully grown adults; but it will fit 2 adults and a child/pet no problem. The kayak 3 Boston valves for all three chambers. Seats are decent once inflated and are adjustable which is a nice bonus for an inflatable kayak. The inflated seats also provide good back support. The quality of this inflatable kayak is extremely strong and durable thanks to it’s Heavy-duty PVC construction. The kayak has some nice little features also. For example each seat has a bottle holder. Overall it is an excellent kayak. The only downsides to this kayak is that it can be difficult to pilot this one solo. It’s hard to criticize here since it’s designed for up 3 people. It’s just something to think about when buying that you will have a partner to drag out on to the water with you. Another downfall is the lack of a storage net or shock cords to hold some items. However, there are some storage room behind the back seat though. This is an excellent kayak and ideal for partners and families who will venture out in the water on your family trips.
- 3 chambers with Boston valves
- Tracking fin
- Comfortable seats with back support and bottle holders
- heavy duty PVC design
- Tracks very well and very stable
- No shock cords or netting for storage
- Fits 2 rather than 3 people
- Difficult to manage on your own
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
- Built-in aluminum ribs define the bow and stern and improves tracking
- Three layers of material for extreme puncture resistance
- Pre-assembled at the factory; simply unfold, inflate, and attach the seats
- High support, adjustable padded seats provide comfort for hours of paddling
- Three seat locations allow for paddling solo or tandem
The Advanced Frame Convertible Kayak is a nice 15ft kayak that can be piloted solo or tandem (As a pair). The optional single or double decks you can easily convert this into a solo or tandem kayak in a matter of seconds, which is one of the main reasons why it’s made it’s on our list as one of the best inflatable kayaks. Other tandem kayaks are difficult to paddle solo, meaning you will need to have a willing partner to paddle with each time you want to go kayak. Going solo with this kayak is not an issue. The kayak is pretty heavy – 56 lbs. However, it fits in a nice compact carry case about the size of a shopping bag. But the carry design is not the best; it doesn’t fit around your shoulder so you will need to carry it with your arm fully extended. If you are paddling in a pair, no problem, take a scrap each with your partner and it’s a breeze. The kayak is very easy to set up, start to finish takes about 10 minutes with the pump that comes with it.
The performance of the kayak is excellent. This is one of the more expensive inflatable kayaks and you would expect to get a good performing kayak, and you do. The kayak has a nice welded keel and also a plastic welded spine. There’s an aluminum backbone in both the tips of the kayak which keeps the tips sharp and help it slice through the water and paddle at ease. These allow the kayak to track brilliantly. It’s also very nicely balanced and the stable. This extra stability gives you that bit of confidence that allows you to be a bit more adventurous. The kayak is very strong and durable. Designed with 3 layers of material for extreme puncture resistance, this is one tough kayak
The kayak is very comfortable and nicely designed for 2 people. The seats attach to the kayak with two buckle straps and I tightened mine to make it near straight back sitting. Other reviews have mentioned that the person who sits in the back of the kayak will have the most comfort and back support. Any kayak requires some fiddling with seating adjustments to fit correctly for each rider. After a few small adjustments this will make this kayak perfectly suited to you or your partner, but the dispute over the rear seat will be up for debate. This tandem kayak is an excellent piece of gear and that beats your expectations as a paddler, it truly deserves it’s place on our list as one of best inflatable kayaks in 2017.
- Can be paddled easily solo or tandem
- Tracks brilliantly
- Extremely stable
- High quality and premium design
- Very durable – 3 layers of material for extreme puncture resistance
- Dissembles into a carry case.
- Competes with hard-shell kayak
- Quick set up (10 mins)
- No footrest
- Water might get in as it’s open top
- Carrying case is badly designed and awkward to carry (ironic)
Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe Package
2 used from $ 187.84
- Affordable inflatable sport kayak is lightweight and portable
- Holds 3 people up to 650 pounds in total weight
- Inflation and assembly time is only 8 minutes
- Weighs just 32 pounds; measures 12 feet, 6 inches by 2 feet, 10 inches
The main thing to remember this is not hard-shelled kayak, but this is one of the best inflatable kayaks available right now. This is an impressive inflatable kayak. From when you take this out of it’s carry bag to dropping it into the water, it takes about 10 minutes. What we really like is how quickly it deflates. Many inflatable kayaks take some time (20 mins+) to deflate, but this one is different. A quick wipe down, 10 minutes to deflate and roll it up and you’re your way again. The kayak is a little heavy. With everything packed away, the bag weights +/- 40 ibs. But it’ still pretty cool that this tiny little package taken from the back of your car can turn into an amazing 12ft kayak. Like a few kayaks we have mentioned in this inflatable kayak guide, the carry bag is another issue. It’s strong to carry to weight but again so awkward to carry. Aside from the carry bag, the only other gripe we had is the seating. The lack of back support is a pity. It can get a little uncomfortable if you have been out on the water a couple hours. This is a well engineered and well built boat for a great price. However, it can be difficult to operate this one solo. So we hope you have a willing partner or big dog to bring out with you. It tracks and glides through the water so well when occupied with 2 people. A solution if you plan to go solo is place some heavy objects at either end of the kayak. This will weight it down and keep it more controlled for you. This is an excellent kayak and a true favorite among paddlers. Few would disagree that this one of best inflatable kayaks available to buy right now.
- Set up and take down only takes 10 minutes
- Extremely durable and well able to take the knocks.
- Great value for the quality product provided.
- Includes paddles and accessories
- Lack of back support
- Carry bag is tough to carry
- More shock cord tie downs would be nice.
- Doesn’t perform great on it’s own riding solo.
Inflatable kayaks are great entry level option to kayaking. For a small fee you can purchase an excellent quality inflatable kayak that can compete with some of the standard/rigid kayaks in the market. Our extensive review includes what we feel are the best inflatable kayaks. For a full list of inflatable kayaks you can find out more here