There are two things you need to consider when looking for an inflatable kayak – how well it performs, and how well it packs down.
Let’s face it, the weather isn’t always kind enough for it to be Kayak season. Also, you need to consider how you’re going to get the thing in the trunk of your car. All that is secondary to the equipment itself. An inflatable Kayak needs to be tough, resilient, and perform under pressure.
Some of the options might seem a little overwhelming, but they shouldn’t be. Inflatable Kayaks offer a more affordable way of enjoying the waters of the great outdoors. Once you get it up and running, you will want to find any excuse you can to get back out on the water.
First of all, let’s find the right inflatable Kayak for your needs.
Best Inflatable Kayaks – Reviews
10Intex Explorer K2
There’s a reason this 2-person inflatable kayak is a best seller. The cockpit design has been made to ensure the comfort of everyone who uses it, the adjustable seats with backrests will ensure a smooth experience.
The bright yellow design is also good in case of an emergency. It comes with two aluminium oars, repair kit, and a pump which makes this reasonably priced kayak such a good investment. It is made for the more casual kayaker and is better suited to smaller bodies of water. With a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds, it should be fine for most couples. It is made from puncture resistant vinyl which will make sure the fun lasts for a long time. The upturned nose reduces water splashing. A convenient, and versatile inflatable kayak, the Intex Explorer K2 is a fun piece of kit, that will last for many trips.
9Ztotop 2-person Inflatable Kayak
A favorite for many people thanks to the funky design and shape, but also the toughness and durability. This inflatable kayak fits up to two people in the adjustable seats with a maximum capacity of 400 pounds. The vinyl material is puncture resistant and the storage bag behind one of the seats is a neat addition that you won’t always find. One of the best features is the easy inflation/deflation through the Boston valves and the foot pump that is included. You also get two paddles and a thorough instruction manual.
Then, there is also the trio of air chambers which reduces the risk of sinking in the event of a puncture. Something that will please anyone who likes to take a kayak for a long paddle is the seat cushions which add an extra layer of comfort. Combine this with the tow rope and grab line and you have a great kayak on your hands.
8Intex Challenger K1
A one person inflatable kayak that is so popular, you might end up buying one for your partner as well. It is the sort of kayak you will throw in the boot and take out with ease. Lightweight, but sturdy it is much easier to set up and pack away because it is designed for one person. the cockpit is stable thanks to the inflatable beam floor and you get a lot more space than when you take out a multiple person kayak.
The design is complemented by the cargo net which means you can store extra equipment and goods in the front of the kayak. The tough vinyl material is built to last and with a grab line at both ends, it is built with the user in mind. There are two separate air chambers and inflating and deflating is fast thanks to the Boston valves.
7Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
An inflatable Kayak that shows how you don’t need to compromise on quality materials. With aluminium ribs that are built in, this is a kayak that offers great tracking helping you to guide your way in tough terrain. This will help you to negotiate your way through the waters with ease. When the waters get rough, or if there are some rocky patches ahead, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame will help to keep you buoyant, thanks to the triple layered material which will help to prevent punctures.
Three seats fit easily as it is partially built upon opening. The seats are adjustable making your paddling more comfortable. Convert the deck to fit your needs. It is easy to set upend condenses down into a compact duffel bag. It also comes with a puncture repair kit to give you peace of mind.
6Sevylor Big Basin 3-Seater Kayak
Sometimes, you just need a bit more room. When the opportunity to paddle as a trio arrives, there is no better companion than the Sevylor Big Basin. Made from tough PVC it is designed to be able to cope with the rugged demands of a lake. This means your adventure can be taken almost anywhere.
Your peace of mind on the water is essential, this kayak is airtight so you never have to worry about leaks. In the event of a puncture, there are multiple air chambers. This means if one goes down, you’re not going to sink. What we have come to like about this inflatable kayak is the removable spray covers that stop splashes from ruining the fun. A well designed, built to last kayak, it offers adjustable seats for you and your two companions to enjoy the waters in comfort.
5Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
The laminate PVC material is as good as you can get in an inflatable kayak. It makes this product rugged when it comes to rough surfaces and even provides a layer of protection against sunlight which can ruin the appearance of other kayaks. It is made to be used on fishing trips thanks to the dual rod holders which make your trip more pleasant. The seats are the bucket type and are adjustable to make sure both users can be comfortable at all times.
The mounting bracket is adjustable and can be used for a variety of accessories including a GPS system, fish finders, swivel rod holders and more. There is even a shallow water directional Skeg included. It is so well thought through there is even a removable seat booster and a pressure gauge. It’s not surprising this is such a popular inflatable fishing kayak.
4Sevylor Quikpak K1
This single person kayak looks great and has some neat features that make it a good addition to any top ten inflatable kayak list. Most people will find they can set it up within 5 minutes which leaves more time for you to enjoy the product. When you are finished, it folds down into a compact backpack that can be carried to and from the water with ease. The 21 gauge PVC material is strong enough to cope with the demands of a lake which means it is a really versatile product.
Like most inflatable kayaks it has multiple air chambers which secure the user when a leak might occur and stops it from sinking. This is if a puncture can get past the tough tarpaulin bottom. The upright seat design is super comfy making it an ideal choice for longer paddles.
Super easy and fast to inflate, the Driftsun Voyager is a good entry point into the world of inflatable kayaks. Easy to transport, this is a compact, lightweight option that is more sturdy than a lot of the other kayaks on the market. We like that it is reasonably priced and with a strong tarpaulin bottom, you aren’t going to be getting an unwanted leak any time soon.
The tough nylon coated top cover is resistant to rips and tears which helps to inspire trust on the water. It comes with a pointed nose which not only looks good, but it prevents splashing and protects the person at the front. The EVA padded seats are comfortable, and adjustable making your paddling as fun as it should be. This product comes with everything you need to get going including a pump, two paddles, and a carry bag.
2Airhead Montana 2 Person Kayak
The vibrant colours of this sleek looking kayak make you easy to spot in an emergency. When you’re paddling, you can do so in comfort thanks to the tubular l-beam floor that prevents any unwanted movement. The Airhead Montana is rugged enough to cope with some tough waters including moderate white water.
Like with the better designs, inflatable kayak comes with a triple-layered air chamber to protect you in the event of a puncture. Your comfort is guaranteed thanks to the neoprene elbow guards which make paddling more enjoyable. With spray covers at both ends, it isn’t just the person at the front who is protected. There are neat additions like the 6 D-rings that you can attach your belongings to this fun and vibrant kayak. A quality product that proves you don’t need to drive with a kayak on the rooftop of your car.
1Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2
One to look out for this inflatable kayak is made by the reputable Advanced Elements and contains some useful features. Its durable polyester tube covers, combined with the PVC outer for extra protection offer security on the water, and a tough layer that prevents punctures.
The seats can be moved into 3 different locations which means you can be sure of a comfortable paddle when you get on the water. One of the biggest benefits is the fast set up time and easy deflation. The Island Voyage 2 is made with fun in mind so it is no surprise that this is becoming a popular inflatable kayak. It feels sturdy on the water, stable when you get going and will last a long time. Worth the investment when you clock up hours of fun on this durable kayak.
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Inflatable Kayak Guide
Imagine you are in the middle of the lake, or out at sea and having the time of your life, only for a sub-par inflatable kayak to let you down, sending you rushing for shore. Although this will end up being a funny story to tell, there is nothing worse than feeling ripped off by a low-quality product.
If you do your research, this is a problem you shouldn’t face, certainly not through the fault of the inflatable kayak. To make sure you get this fun purchase right the first time, the following guide should help.
What To Look For In An Inflatable Kayak
- Quality Materials – Not only will a well made inflatable kayak last longer but it will be safer. This is all down to the materials used, from the stitching on the body (make sure it stays rigid when inflated) to the bars and ribs that separate different sections. Common materials for the body include PVC which is the most common and fairly durable, Nitrylon which is tough and eco-friendly and Hypalon which is often more expensive.
- Weight Capacity – This is what can sway your purchase as you want to be able to take your partner or a friend out on the water with you. Outside of the one-person kayaks, most brands are sturdy enough to give you a decent amount of weight and some even hold up to 650 pounds.
- Passengers – Sometimes, this can be adjusted by moving the seat if possible. Because of this, a one-person kayak can comfortably be made into a two or even 3 person kayak if the product offers the space and seating. Before purchasing, consider whether or not you need the extra room.
- Storage – You always need somewhere to store your keys and other items but how about your lunch. A relaxing kayak down the river can be made twice as good when there is food involved. The better inflatable kayaks will include more than one storage area and most of the time will be waterproof so the likes of phones and electronics can be taken out.
- Stability – Everyone wants to feel secure on the water so to avoid feeling as though you’re going to tip at any moment, a stable kayak is vital. This comes from having a low center of gravity which some models are better at offering than others.
- Patch Kit – Although a quality inflatable kayak will be made of tough stuff, accidents do happen and some of them are beyond your control. If you get a puncture in one part of the kayak, you’ll want to fix it quick. The better products will include a patch kit that has everything you need to restore the kayak and make it waterproof once again.
- This extends the fun, increases the lifespan of your purchase, and means you won’t have to buy another for some time.
- Lightweight – If you are going out on your own, the inflatable kayak you choose will need to be light enough for you to drag or carry on your own meaning two people should find it easy. When deflated this should be easy when folded into a backpack (often included).
Inflatable Kayak For Fishing
The intended use you have for your inflatable kayak will determine the durability you need. An inflatable kayak that can be used for fishing will be made from stronger materials that are less likely to be punctured. The PVC material should be rip-resistant to keep you safe on the waters.
Expect to find multiple rod holders and adjustable seats in an inflatable kayak designed for fishing.
Inflating A Kayak
Most of the reputable inflatable kayak brands include a foot pump with their product and whilst this is great, it still requires some leg work and patience. This is why some people invest in an electric inflator that will make light work of a kayak. They can often be plugged into the cigarette lighter of your vehicle and are easy to use.
Otherwise, take the kayak down to the water before inflating so you don’t have to drag it which can cause it to scratch if it goes over a rough surface.