Inflatable kayaks have made the kayaking easier than ever before. It has brought kayaking to the reach of people who are living in apartments and does not have any additional storage spaces or racks.
You might be thinking that there is always a risk of punctures, tears, rips, or any unwanted event with inflatable kayaks; however, the reality is contradictory to that. Inflatable kayaks are extremely durable, puncture-resistant, UV resistant and offer exactly same experience like a hardshell kayak.
So for you guys, I am going to list some of the Best Inflatable kayaks along with some of their types. All of these inflatable ‘yaks are listed on the basis of performance, price, stability, tracking, and durability.
Advanced Elements Expedition is convertible Inflatable kayak which is very rigid and close to hardshell kayak.
It’s built-in aluminium ribs which provides additional rigidity which offers great tracking and excellent speed. Bottom of this kayak features “drop stitch” construction which makes it extremely rigid when inflated.
There are three layers of material used which makes it extremely puncture resistant. It comes up with two comfortable seats with high back letting you paddle for hours. There are three different seat location allow you to paddle either solo or go tandem.
It is 15 feet long reducing the center of gravity and making it greatly stable while maneuvering in the water.
It is a perfect kayak for whole day comfortable kayaking either for fishing or touring.
Being a convertible kayak, there are variety of options to try. You can convert it to solo from tandem or sit on top kayak from sit inside.
The Package includes; duffel bag to store your kayak , 2 folding seats, repair kit, and owners manual.
Intex Excursion is another one of the best inflatable fishing kayak under 500 made up of using super-tough laminate PVC with a polyester core making it puncture resistant .
Despite of being made from puncture resistant material, there are two air chambers give you more peace of mind that if your vessel get punctured, in any situation, will remain afloat with the help alternate chamber.
You can enjoy long hour of paddling in the sun without worrying about the durability of your inflatable tandem kayak as it is 100% UV protected.
It also features high pressure spring loaded valves for easy inflation and fast deflation. High pressure inflation makes the kayak rigid and strong.
This amazing 2-person kayak has two removable skews for both deep and shallow water. It’s two floor mounted footrests, 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders, and 2 adjustable bucket seats makes your whole day paddling experience great.
There are also removable and adjustable mounted bracket for additional accessories, such as GPS systems, fish finders, swivel fishing rod holders, etc.
This kayak has got almost everything to spend a full day on water.
Sea Eagle Pro is one of the best tandem inflatable kayak for touring as having a whooping weight capacity of 650 lbs. You can easily fit in three people inside this kayak along with your gears and stuffs. Sea Eagle Pro is extremely durable and saltwater resistant.
Sea Eagle 2-person kayak is suitable for both still water and ocean surfing. It also features spray skirt that keeps you and your gears dry while maneuvering on rough water. There are two movable, super comfortable deluxe seats which give you improved back support and make your touring comfortable.
Having so many features make this, one of the best inflatable kayaks under 500 which is very light in weight and easy to transport to or from the water. There are 2 skeg at the bottom resulting better speed and tracking.
Being sun resistant, make this kayak complete it’s without losing its originality even exposed to sun for long hours. This inflatable ocean kayak comes with 2 AB30 7’10″” 4 Part Paddles with asymmetrical blade, aluminum shaft and carrying bag.
Intex Explorer K2 is among the best cheap inflatable kayak and have always been our favorite as it is perfect for flatwater i.e; lazy rivers and lakes.
There are two inflatable seats with back support offers great level of comfort for long hour paddling. Its bright yellow color increases the visibility and adds to the safety feature. This double kayak is extremely light in weight with a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds perfect to fit in two people.
It’s removable skegs offer great tracking and speed. Being a lightweight kayak makes it easy to transport to or from the water. With simple design and greater stability, Intex K2 is best beginner tandem kayak.
The kayak has got enough storage spaces to store your stuffs and gears. There are almost six mesh pockets let you load up your stuffs that can be exposed to water or pack them into a waterproof bag. There are three air chambers adding further to its security as if one get punctured then there are still two to get you to the shores safely.
Intex Challenger K1 is one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks. It is best one-person functional kayak that has amazing sporty look. Being a sporty kayak, it has a long nose devoted entirely to the storage with mesh net covering the entire nose. You can fill up your kayak with all the storage
It features inflatable seats with backrest offering utmost comfort level to the paddler. K1 has inflatable I-beam floors which add rigidity and stability to another level. It is made up of durable welded material making it puncture resistant.
This inflatable fishing kayak has spacious cockpit let you move around with ease. It features Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation. Paddling K2 is exactly like paddling a rigid vessel because of its amazing stability and speed.
Sevylor Big Basic is 3-person inflatable kayak can let you fit in three person very easily. Despite of being a long kayak, it offers great stability on the water and tracks like hardshell kayak.
This tandem inflatable kayak is made up of heavy duty PVC whereas it features tarpaulin bottom making it puncture resistant. If you have a dog then this is best inflatable kayak for dogs as its pawn won’t impact the body of this kayak.
Sevylor Big Basin is designed for the flatwater and not perfect for whitewater rafting. Do remember, the package does not come with the paddles or pumps which means you have to purchase them separately.
It features multiple air chambers that to its safety as if one gets punctured then there are other which keep the vessel afloat. Sevlor Big Basic three person kayak is definitely among the best inflatable kayak for money.
Driftsun Voyager is among the best tandem inflatable kayak for money which is recreational and specially designed for the families. Full size inflating make it 10 foot tandem kayak in less than 5 minutes using deluxe high flow double action hand pump.
Being an inflatable kayak, it is very easy to transport it to or from the water. It is extremely lightweight and yet very stable on the water. It is made up of Heavy-duty PVC and Tarpaulin bottom making it puncture resistant. And tough 840D coated nylon oxford fabric top cover which is rip and tear resistant.
It also features double Boston air valves which make sure that air doesn’t leak. Moreover, there are three air chambers adding to the safety of this boat as in case it get damaged or punctured then you can safely make to the shores.
This inflatable tandem ‘yak gets almost everything get on with paddling like; two adjustable EVA padded seats, two Aluminum paddles with ergonomic grip handles, Deluxe double action hand pump, Rear tracking fin, and Travel bag.
The Advanced Elements Frame convertible Inflatable kayak is another amazing inflatable tandem kayak out in the market. It’s aluminium ribs makes it durable and strong as any hardshell kayak. The hard bow and stern let you track smoothly with great stability.
There are three material layers used to make this kayak puncture resistant and keep you afloat all time. It’s adjustable padded seats let you paddle for long hours. Moreover, there are three seating location you can opt as per your convenience. It has spacious cockpit let you stretch your legs and doesn’t make you feel stuck.
The kayak has got almost everything required to get you on water – it includes; a carrying duffel bag, two folding seats, a repair kit, and the owner’s manual
Driftsun Rover 220 is an inflatable kayak designed to get utmost thrill out of it. 1000D reinforced layered PVC material and a high-pressure drop stitch floor makes it extremely durable kayak available in the market. It is perfect for whitewater. It features Halkey Roberts valves which make sure that it doesn’t leak.
Rover 220 offers great stability and tracking even on rough water. It has long sharp nose which cuts through the water and provide great speed whereas removable fin keeps it straight in rough water.
This 12.5 tandem style kayak features 8 Self Bailing Ports which drain the water out of the cockpit while surfing against rough waves. It is the feature that is rarely found in any inflatable kayak.
Rover has almost got everything required for paddling – which includes; two adjustable EVA Padded Seats with High Back Support, two adjustable aluminum paddles, deluxe double action hand pump, rear tracking fin, and travel bag.
Sevlor Quickpak solo inflatable kayak is specially designed for camping and considered as one of the best inflatable kayaks for camping. It takes less than 5 minutes to setup and allow you to spend more time on water. Its 24-gauge PVC construction is rigid and perfect for lake use. It features tarpaulin bottom and polyester cover which protects the ‘yak from punctures.
Despite of rigid construction, it can easily fit into a bagpack making it easy to transport to or from the water. Quikpak K5 has multiple air chambers which makes it secure inflatable kayak as if one chamber get punctured then other chambers keep it afloat.
It also features Double Lock valves which uses two locking points making it easy to inflate and deflate. Adjustable seat makes your paddling experience comfortable and let you paddle for long hours without getting tired. There is also a spray skirt that keeps you dry from water splashes. Secure storage space let you store your stuffs easily with bungee.
Airhead Montana 2 Person Inflatable Kayak is a perfect kayak for calm water to moderate whitewater. It is one of the best multi purpose inflatable kayak which can be used for camping, vacationing, exploring remote areas, and cruising yachts.
Its 3 air chambers and orange color add to the safety of this kayak. It is made up of neoprene elbow guards that ensure the utmost comfort while paddling. For securing your gears, there is a stretch net in the bow and 6 D-rings which can be used to tie up your gears.
Why this multi purpose kayak?
Multi purpose kayak
Bright Orange color
3 Air chambers enclosed by 840-denier UV and water-resistant nylon
Advanced Elements Lagoon is one person inflatable kayak designed for mild rivers and lakes. The rigid panels on the bow and stern helps to improve tracking.
It let you quickly inflate the kayak and make it ready for paddling because of its Quick-inflating and Twist lock . Its padded seat add comfort level to another level. There is a bungee deck lacing which can be used to chord in your gears.
Length: 8.4’ Weight: 36 lbs Maximum Capacity: 250 lbs
What are the Inflatable Kayaks?
Before moving ahead let me address the most basic query and that is “what actually are the inflatable kayaks?”
Inflatable kayaks or blow-up kayaks are same as the name suggested. They are inflated before use and deflated after the use. There are multiple air chambers making it secure inflatable ‘yak. These kayaks are perfect for flat or low tide water and can give you greater stability while tracking.
Inflatables are very budget-friendly and perfect for the people who are just starting up with their kayaking journey.
Pros and Cons of Inflatable Kayaks
Now let’s discuss about the pros and cons of inflatable kayaks and what makes them best.
Easy to Transport!
It is one of prime advantage of inflatable kayak that it is easy to transport. You can deflate the ‘yak and make it fit into small bag.
Moreover, expandable kayaks are always lighter than the hardshell kayaks which makes it easier to transport even with the air filled.
Stability is another amazing feature of blow-up ‘yak as it is offers great stability while manoeuvring. Wider base and taller side walls make them sturdy and stable in the water.
Expandable ‘yaks are very cheap in price as compared to hardshells. It is because the material used for making an inflatable is much cheaper.
If you are beginner and just starting with kayaking, then inflatable is the one you should start with.
Being an inflatable kayak, there is always a risk of sinking even though blow-up kayaks are made with great engineering and technology. It can sink like any hardshell or tough kayak.
There are blowup kayaks which are made with UV and puncture resistant materials even though they can get weaker over the period of time. In order to avoid the punctures, I would recommend you to go with kayaks with multiple air chambers.
Sinking Kayak Video
⚠️ Warning: Always wear PFD while kayaking or paddling.
Life and Durability:
The life of the inflatable is not as much as hardshell, but still they can last longer as compared to their price.
Material used in making inflatables makes them weak over the period of time which makes them less durable. Over the period of time, you may see leaking in the material which is needed to be repaired immediately.
How to Choose Best Inflatable Kayak – Buyer’s Guide
There are various factors to consider before purchasing an inflatable kayak. So I will be discussing each and every factor which will help you to decide which inflatable kayak to buy?
Material is the first thing to consider before buying an inflatable vessel. Since you will be taking it to the open water so the material is supposed to be highly durable. It needs to be highly flexible as well as deflating and storing it.
Most of the inflatable kayaks are made up of PVC that enable it to be inflated at high PSI. PVC is extremely light weight and can be folded and reused without damage. Inflatable kayaks made up of PVC are welded rather than glued making them rigid construction vessel. This is why you should look for inflatables made up of PVC.
Another most popular material used is Nitrylon. It is much more eco friendly than PVC. Nitrylon is essentially synthetic and natural rubber coating a 1200D fabric making it puncture abrasion resistant which is much stronger than PVC. However, it is much heavy as compared to PVC that is why it is only used in the floor and sides of the kayaks.
Weight of Kayak
Inflatable kayak is preferred due to its light weight and easy to transport feature and that is why you must consider this factor while making a purchase decision.
You need to make sure that your inflatable should be light in weight and can be transported easily.
Usually, the inflatable kayak is 12 feet long making them greatly stable in the water while having room for two paddlers. However, the length ranges from 10 to 16 feet – different sizes allow them to do different things. Do remember that if you are solo paddler and would be doing all work alone then you should consider the shortest length kayak.
Self- Bailing System
Self-Bailing system means there are holes at the bottom of the kayak that let the water out of the hull. It is usually available in whitewater inflatable kayaks since they faces the high tides and there is a possibility of water coming inside the hull.
However, you have make sure that self-bailing system should be one way or having valve to close it after taking the water out of the hull.
Normally, the weight capacity of inflatable kayak varies from 350 and 700 pounds. So while deciding on the weight capacity you have to look your requirements. If you want tandem inflatable kayak then you should consider one with high capacity. And if you will be paddling alone with some of your gears then low capacity ‘yak will work perfect for you.
If you are person who loves to paddle with a partner then you should consider buying tandem inflatable kayak for yourself. And if you enjoy solo rides then single inflatable is perfect for you.
Tracking, Speed And Handling
You cannot expect great tracking, speed and handling performance from an inflatable vessel. Mostly, the inflatables have high bows, stern, and gunnel which catch the wind very easily thus result in poor tracking. Therefore you should consider a kayak with relatively low bows, stern and gunnel to enhance the tracking.
Low weight of inflatables can be liability on the water as it can be very hard to handle even on small tides. Therefore, consider little high weight inflatable kayak if you want good handling and speed on the water.
Inflatable kayak comes in a whole package with lots of accessories which makes it affordable as all the basic required accessories come with the kayak.
You need to make sure that your inflatable kayak have the following accessories in it’s package.
A pump to inflate and deflate the kayak
Removable skeg for better stability
Up to two double sided paddles just like hard kayaks
If you are looking an inflatable kayak for fishing then do look for rod holders, trolling motors (if paying extra).
Life vests as safety comes first!
Are you Going to use Inflatable Kayak for Fishing ?
If you are going to get a blow up kayak for fishing then you should go for a kayak with rod holders as you don’t have to hold the fishing rod all the time. Usually, inflatable kayaks are sit on top design, although there are many more types, which makes it good for fishing as you can move around comfortably. However, you have to make sure that your boat is stable enough as you need some level of stability while catching a fish.
What type of Weather You will be paddling In?
It is one of the important factor to talk as you cannot avoid mother nature cruel side. If you are from Pacific Northwest then you should consider buying an inflatable kayak with bailing system which would help you to take out the rain water. Spray skirt should also be opted in order to stop water coming inside your kayak.
How comfortably you can fit In?
You must choose a kayak which you can comfortably fit in – you can perform a small exercise of sitting in and getting out to see how it feels. You need to make sure that center of gravity is lower so that your kayak does not roll over in rough water.
What are the Types of Inflatable Kayaks?
As inflatable ‘yaks are becoming popular among people, there are many types of blow up kayaks coming in the market with lots of extra features.
Self Bailing Kayaks
As I have discussed above, Self Bailing kayaks have holes or ports at the bottom to drain the water filled inside the hull due to rain or heavy tide. It is used in whitewater rafting and can handle hide tides smoothly.
Many of Self bailing kayaks don’t have fins at the bottom which undermine their tracking ability making them under perform on lake or river.
Sit on Top Inflatable Kayak
Sit on Top inflatable kayaks are exactly as the name suggests. On this kayak, paddler sits out in the open and can experience greater flexibility in terms of paddling. If you are the person who feels claustrophobic into closed kayak then you should definitely go for SOT inflatable kayak. They are highly recommended for warm weathers.
Sit Inside Inflatable Kayak
Sit Inside inflatable kayak has a cockpit for the paddler where paddler has to sit inside and paddle. It keeps the kayaker dry and protected. Sit in kayak is perfect for cold weather condition; however, not to forget the spray skirt to keep your cockpit dry from splashes.
These type of inflatables look like a canoe having wider walls and seats deep inside. Canoe style inflatable kayak have enough space to move around making it a perfect choice for fishing.
Stand up Paddle Board
Stand Up Paddle board are not the kayak in their true sense; however, became very much popular among masses due to their flexibility. It comes up with a seat or hardware slot to attach an external seat. It is extremely rigid and durable.
Inflatable kayaks are always the best choice for beginners as they come handy and very reasonable. You can go through this inflatable kayak guide and get all the information for choosing a right blowup kayak for yourself. If you have queries use the comment box to address your issue.