Written by 12:04 am Kayaking, Kayaking Boats

My 10 Best Inflatable Kayaks (Comparison & Buying Guide)

Reading Time: 7 minutes(Last Updated On: January 23, 2021)

QUICK ANSWER: MY BEST INFLATABLE KAYAKS

MY BEST INFLATABLE KAYAKS COMPARISON:

Product:
Features:
Pros/Cons:
Price:
Best for fishing
Best
ADVANCED ELEMENTS EXPEDITION KAYAK
  • Length: 15 ft
  • Paddlers:  1 or 2
  • Kayak weight: 56lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 550 lbs
  • Features: Aluminum ribs for great rigidity, Convertible, 3-layered for extreme puncture resistance, Adjustable padded seats, 3-seat locations for tandem or solo use, Multiple air chambers
    • high resistance to extreme punctures
    • versatile
    • comfortable
    • several air chambers
    • fast and quick inflation
    • stays wet for a while
    Best as easy to set up, single person inflatable kayak
    Best
    ADVANCED ELEMENTS LAGOON
  • Length: 8.4 ft
  • Paddlers:  1
  • Kayak weight: 23 lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 250lbs
  • Features: Single person inflatable design, Built-in rigid panel to enhance tracking, Well padded high support seats, Molded rubber grip handles, Bungee deck lacing
    • Incredibly light
    • stable
    • easy to set up
    • doesn’t track well
    • no enough storage for gear
    Best for whitewater use
    Best
    SATUN WHITEWATER KAYAK
  • Length: 13 ft
  • Paddlers: 3 
  • Kayak weight: 50 lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 700lbs
  • Features: Seven air chambers, Self-bailing drop stitch floor, Leaffield C-7 valves
    • self-bailing
    • incredibly stable
    • rigid and tough
    • Doesn’t track well
    • quite heavy
    Best for rugged lake use
    Best
    SEVYLOAR BIG BASIN
  • Length: 12.3 FT
  • Paddlers: 3
  • Kayak weight: 34.8 lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 490lbs
  • Features: Heavy-duty PVC construction, Tarpaulin bottom for great protection, Airtight system, Adjustable seats, Easy to grab handles, Spray covers to protect you from splashes
    • Enough space for three adults
    • lots of storage space
    • stable
    • easy to set up
    • Relatively low maximum capacity
    Best for fishing and day time kayaking experience
    Best
    NRS PIKE
  • Length: 12.8 ft
  • Paddlers:  2
  • Kayak weight: 35lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 330lbs
  • Features: 3 air chambers, Pressure relief valves, Easy to carry handles on both sides, Removable skeg to enhance tracking, Adjustable seat
    • Very stable
    • roomy for two adults
    • lightweight but tough
    • comes with a carry a bag
    • A pump not included
    • seat height is said not to be optimal
    Best for fishing
    Best
    ELKTON CORMORANT TANDEM INFLATABLE FISHING KAYAK
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Paddlers:  1 or 2
  • Kayak weight: 27lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 450lbs
  • Features: 18-gauge rip-resistant PVC for durability, Three separate removable air chambers, 2 adjustable seats, Rod holders, Double-sided oars, Carry back
    • Super tough
    • great fishing kayak
    • Inflates really quick
    • lacks enough storage
    Best for rugged lake use
    Best
    SEVYLOR QUIKPAK K5
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Paddlers: 1
  • Kayak weight: 25.5 lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 250 lbs
  • Features: Airtight system, Tarpaulin bottom for rugged lake use, Multiple air chamber, Double lock valves for easy inflation/deflation, Easy to carry a backpack
    • Quick inflation/deflation
    • sturdy
    • durable lining for rugged use
    • Quite slow if you are looking for speed
    Best for serious whitewater kayaking
    Best
    SEA EAGLE INFLATABLE 380X EXPLORER
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Paddlers:  1
  • Kayak weight: 27lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 220 lbs
  • Features: Durable welded materials for toughness, Rugged vinyl construction for durability, Large cockpit for easy entry/exit, Cargo net to store your gear, Includes an 84-inch aluminum oar
    • reasonably priced
    • lightweight
    • easy to set up
    • stable
    • doesn’t track well
    • inadequate storage space
    • takes time to dry
    Best for storage and quick set up
    Best
    DRIFTSUN VOYAGER 2
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Paddlers:  2
  • Kayak weight: 27 lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 450lbs
  • Features: Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin bottom for heavy use, Removable skeg to improve handling, Two spray skirts, Great storage in bow and stern, Adjustable for single use, Comfortable seating
    • easy to set up
    • comfortable seats
    • stable
    • great storage space
    • Not as tough as most alternatives in this price range
    Best for budget inflatable kayak
    Best
    INTEX CHALLENGER K1
  • Length: 12.6 ft
  • Paddlers:  3
  • Kayak WEIGHT: 40lbs
  • Kayak maximum capacity: 750 lbs
  • Features: 1000 denier reinforced  seam for toughness, Comfortable seating, Plenty of room, Equipped with pressure gauge, Quick inflation/deflation
    • Tough construction
    • stable
    • equipped with inflation gauges
    • Quite pricey

    MY BEST INFLATABLE KAYAKS REVIEWS:

    ADVANCED ELEMENTS EXPEDITION KAYAK

    • Length: 15 ft
    • Paddlers:  1 or 2
    • Kayak weight: 56lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 550 lbs
    • Features: Aluminum ribs for great rigidity, Convertible, 3-layered for extreme puncture resistance, Adjustable padded seats, 3-seat locations for tandem or solo use, Multiple air chambers
    • Pros:  high resistance to extreme punctures, versatile, comfortable, several air chambers, fast and quick inflation
    • Cons: stays wet for a while

     

    ADVANCED ELEMENTS LAGOON 1

    • Length: 8.4 ft
    • Paddlers:  1
    • Kayak weight: 23 lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 250lbs
    • Features: Single person inflatable design, Built-in rigid panel to enhance tracking, Well padded high support seats, Molded rubber grip handles, Bungee deck lacing
    • Pros: Incredibly light, stable, easy to set up
    • Cons: doesn’t track well, no enough storage for gear

     

    SATURN WHITEWATER KAYAK

    • Length: 13 ft
    • Paddlers: 3 
    • Kayak weight: 50 lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 700lbs
    • Features: Seven air chambers, Self-bailing drop stitch floor, Leaffield C-7 valves
    • Pros: self-bailing, incredibly stable, rigid, tough
    • Cons: Doesn’t track well, quite heavy

     

    SEVYLOR BIG BASIN

    • Length: 12.3 FT
    • Paddlers: 3
    • Kayak weight: 34.8 lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 490lbs
    • Features: Heavy-duty PVC construction, Tarpaulin bottom for great protection, Airtight system, Adjustable seats, Easy to grab handles, Spray covers to protect you from splashes
    • Pros: Enough space for three adults, lots of storage space, stable, easy to set up
    • Cons: Relatively low maximum capacity

     

    NRS PIKE

    • Length: 12.8 ft
    • Paddlers:  2
    • Kayak weight: 35lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 330lbs
    • Features: 3 air chambers, Pressure relief valves, Easy to carry handles on both sides, Removable skeg to enhance tracking, Adjustable seat
    • Pros: Very stable, roomy for two adults, lightweight tough, comes with a carry a bag
    • Cons: A pump not included, seat height is said not to be optimal

     

    ELKTON CORMORANT TANDEM INFLATABLE FISHING KAYAK

    • Length: 10 ft
    • Paddlers:  1 or 2
    • Kayak weight: 27lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 450lbs
    • Features: 18-gauge rip-resistant PVC for durability, Three separate removable air chambers, 2 adjustable seats, Rod holders, Double-sided oars, Carry back
    • Pros:  Super tough, great fishing kayak, Inflates really quick
    • Cons: lacks enough storage

     

    SEVYLOR QUIKPAK K5

    • Length: 10 ft
    • Paddlers: 1
    • Kayak weight: 25.5 lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 250 lbs
    • Features: Airtight system, Tarpaulin bottom for rugged lake use, Multiple air chamber, Double lock valves for easy inflation/deflation, Easy to carry a backpack
    • Pros:  Quick inflation/deflation, sturdy, durable lining for rugged use
    • Cons: Quite slow if you are looking for speed

     

    INTEX CHALLENGER K1

    • Length: 9 ft
    • Paddlers:  1
    • Kayak weight: 27lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 220 lbs
    • Features: Durable welded materials for toughness, Rugged vinyl construction for durability, Large cockpit for easy entry/exit, Cargo net to store your gear, Includes an 84-inch aluminum oar
    • Pros:  reasonably priced, lightweight, easy to set up, stable
    • Cons: doesn’t track well, inadequate storage space, takes time to dry

     

    DRIFTSUN VOYAGER 2

    • Length: 10 ft
    • Paddlers:  2
    • Kayak weight: 27 lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 450lbs
    • Features: Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin bottom for heavy use, Removable skeg to improve handling, Two spray skirts, Great storage in bow and stern, Adjustable for single-use, Comfortable seating
    • Pros:  easy to set up, comfortable seats, stable, great storage space
    • Cons: Not as tough as most alternatives in this price range

     

    SEA EAGLE INFLATABLE 380X EXPLORER

    • Length: 12.6 ft
    • Paddlers:  3
    • Kayak WEIGHT: 40lbs
    • Kayak maximum capacity: 750 lbs
    • Features: 1000 denier reinforced  seam for toughness, Comfortable seating, Plenty of room, Equipped with pressure gauge, Quick inflation/deflation
    • Pros:  Tough construction, stable, equipped with inflation gauges
    • Cons: Quite pricey

     

     

    HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR INFLATABLE KAYAK:

    TYPE

    Inflatable kayaks, just like the rest, do also come in different types. Each comes with their own share of advantages and you can choose which one to go for depending on your specific needs. Here are three common types of inflatable kayaks you will find today in the market.

    • SIT ON TOP: Just like their solid counterparts, these ones do not come with an enclosed cockpit. All you have to do is sit on top as you paddle away. This is the best option for fishing as you will have great movements and you can easily access your gear and casting. It is also the best option for warmer weather conditions.
    • SIT INSIDE KAYAK: With this, you get an enclosed cockpit and you can sit right in the inside. This option tends to stay drier because you are usually protected from splashing water. This is the best boat for rougher conditions, especially cold weather conditions. However, with this option, a spray skirt is highly recommended.
    • SELF BAILING KAYAKS: This is another type of inflatable kayak that is fast becoming very popular among many kayakers. This option usually comes with a hole or port right at the bottom of the kayak, which helps drain water just like a solid kayak. This is the best choice for white water fishing. Although these boats can allow you to drain water that normally gets into the boat, they do come with a few issues. First, they don’t track so well when you are paddling on a river or lake. So if you are looking for great tracking, this option may not be the best choice for you.

    MATERIALS

    These types of boats come made from different materials and there are a number of things you can use to determine which one you should actually go for. We have three popular materials and each comes with its own share of properties. To help you make an informed choice next time you go out shopping for an inflatable kayak, let’s take a quick look at each one of them.

    • PVC: Also known as Polyvinyl Chloride, this is one of the most popular materials in the market today. It is normally bonded to nylon to give you that extra tear resistance. PVC is not great when it comes to resisting UV. If left exposed for a considerable length of time, it will start to break down. So should you go for it, ensure you have your boat covered when you are not using it.
    • NITRYLON: When compared to PVC, this particular material is more eco-friendly. This rubber is usually bonded to polyester fabric. This material does a better job than PVC. It is incredibly tough and comes with the best puncture resistance properties. It also comes with great abrasion resistant.
    • HYPALON: This one is quite pricey. It sits right at the top of the price range. However, it comes with some cool features. First, it is more resistant to UV. It is more resistant to abrasion than the two materials we have mentioned. If you don’t have the money to go for a boat made from this material you can actually save money by going for one that combines both PVC with Hypalon coating. They are much cheaper than those made from pure Hypalon.

    ENTERING AND EXITING THE BOAT

    The ease of getting in and out of the boat is important and must be considered as well. After all, who wouldn’t want something they can get in and out with great ease? If you don’t want any trouble when getting in, a sit on top inflatable kayak may be the best option. Sit on top kayaks are incredibly easy to get in and out. However, such boats come with a few disadvantages. First, they are prone to tipping because they do have low center gravity.

    PASSENGER CAPACITY

    Are you looking for a solo ride or you just wanted to tag your best friend along? Whichever the case, you will find a perfect boat for you. Just like those solid kayaks we see in the market today, inflatable kayaks do also come with different passenger capacities. We have those made for a solo ride and also tandem boats that can take in more than 2 people. So before you make any choice, you first need to figure out how you will need to use the boat and make a choice basing on that.

    Additionally, we have seen other convertible boats in the market. They can be used for a solo ride and can be transformed into a tandem. 

    MANEUVERABILITY

    There is nothing more frustrating when you are kayaking than failing to properly handle your boat because of poor maneuverability. So when you are choosing an inflatable kayak, you need to ensure you are getting the best maneuverability possible. As a general rule, the shorter the boat the better maneuverability you would get. Longer boats will track better than shorter boats.

    COMFORT

    How comfortable the boat must also be taken into great consideration, especially if you know you are going to do those very long journeys. Ensure the cockpit is large enough to allow you to move freely. The seats must also be well padded for great comfort. The seat should also be adjustable to allow you to customize the seating area to suit your specific needs.

    Last modified: January 23, 2021

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