10 Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews – The Complete Buyer’s Guide in 2017

Do you have a zeal for sailing in new waters? An undeniable passion for conquering the waves and the hunting down fishes? Are you a traditional fisherman or more of a modern angler?

A water-lover perhaps?

If your answer is “yes, yes, yes, this is so me!” Then kayaks are just the thing for you my dear angler! And inflatable kayaks to be more exact.

However, which inflatable kayak is the best for you? Perfectly well-suited for your needs? Designed just for you? No two people are exactly alike and no two kayakers can be either.

Today, you have a market that is over populated with lots of different companies and brands and that come with different features and unique points.

So, how do you know which product to choose, out of so many? How do you know, which one is the best for you? The decision can be overwhelming and mentally strenuous. Especially because so, a huge part of your outcome from your fishing, depends mainly on the vessel you are in, while you are fishing.

Do not worry no more, with this challenge of picking out the right inflatable kayak for yourself.

For we at Fishingrex.com have put together this article that is a review on the best inflatable kayaks.

We have carried out extensive research and online market instigation, checked customer feedback and expert opinion to bring to you, this review, on the best inflatable kayaks.

So, read along and chose the best inflatable kayak for you. Go on, go, and start reading!

You may also like to check out another article of ours, that we’ve already reviewed the best fish finder for kayaks , Best Trolling Motor Battery and Best Spinning Reel.

Before we start, what is a kayak? A kayak is a slender, small boat-like- structure that lets one float and paddle across open waters.

List of 10 Best Inflatable Kayak for 2017 - Comparison Table

Rankings

Inflatable Kayaks

Dimensions (inches)

Capacity Max

Seats

Editor’s Rating

Check Latest Price

#01

Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak

10 x 19 x 34 

650 pounds

2

#02

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame

15 x 15 x 20

300 pounds

2

#03

Inter Explorer K2 Kayak

20 x 36 x 123

350 pounds

2

#04

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

9' X 2'6" X 1'1"

220 pounds

1

#05

Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak

30 x 36 x 103

400 pounds

1

#06

Intex Mariner 4

129 x 57 x 19

880 pounds

4

#07

Intex Excursion 5, Latest Model

24 x 12 x 22

1300 pounds

5

#08

Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak

11.4 x 21 x 34

500 pounds

2

#09

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

16.25 x 23.13 x 12.5

400 pounds

2

#10

Sevylor Inflatable Sit-On-Top Kayak

17 x 10 x 23

600 pounds

2

#1 Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak

This inflatable kayak is manufactured using the best of material and is well-built and extremely sturdy and firm. Customers have even approved of the hard, reliable material by stating that they brought their dogs along for the fishing trip and the dogs’ claws and nails did not bruise or pop the material.

This inflatable kayak comes with an excellent convenience to the “inflating it up” part. It has a built-in inflation gauge that exerts adequate pressure on the side tubes. With this, you can quickly inflate up the whole thing in an easy half an hour.

Best Inflatable Kayak

It has a foot-pump that is used for blowing up the kayak and it has been reviewed as quality parts. It has the right “oomph” to bloat up the thing.

The storing of this inflatable kayak is really worry-reliever. After is has been fully deflated and folded properly, you can easily fit it in your closet in neat manner. It will just stay there and wait for its next trip. This is quite the advantage for apartment-occupiers.

This kayak promises stability. It will not lose balance and then tumble over. So, not-so-skilled-swimmers out there, fear not.

Things we like:

a) You can rearrange the seats to turn it into either a one person kayak or a tandem placement. In other words, major solution to awkward sitting problems.

b) Practical design: a drain plug at the bottom and a tow point.

c) The space inside the kayak is just luxurious. Tall people with larger built bodies will find this to be useful.

Things we don't like:

a) There are no foot pedals for one to relax their feet while they are paddling.

#2 Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Convertible Kayak

With the advanced features that this kayak comes with, you also call this the “recreational kayak”.

Best Inflatable Kayak

Firstly, the setting up process is extremely effortless. There are 7 chambers to fill: the two main chambers, the floor and then the deck lift chambers and then you have the combing part for the skirt. The first chambers takes about 10 minutes highest and the rest of it will take no longer than 5 minutes. The whole thing set up in 15 minutes.

This kayak guarantees durability. The varnish on the bottom gray area have been proven to be hard enough for long-term use.

Users have said that this kayak feels nothing less than a hard shell kayak once fully inflated and on water. Owing to quality materials is does not angle or lose its strong grasp on the water surface.

Things we like:

a) 3 layers of material which withstand severe ruptures.

b) Modifiable, padded seats which provides to you, the exact support and comfort you need when paddling for long periods of time.

c) Very practical, well-thought design gives you the convenience of portability. You can fold it up after use and keep it in anything that is the size of a medium sized suitcase. It weighs 30 pounds, which makes it easy to carry too.

d) Versatility: Looks of a hard-shell kayak combined with the perks of an inflatable one, For example, it will rebound nicely if you hit against a rock.

e) Affordable prices making this an economic and budget-friendly purchase.

Things we don't like:

a) The nylon on the top of the kayak is not waterproof. Albeit you can manage this by covering the top with waterproof spray.

b) Your feet will graze against the sides of the kayak if you use short paddles. Using longer paddles will not cause this.

#3 Inter Explorer K2 Kayak

Best Inflatable Kayak

This stylish and smart kayak is refreshingly lightweight and is built ideally for two adults. Moreover, if you also just take out the two seats, two people can relax comfortably on the inflated kayak bottom facing each other, and just enjoy the water.

This kayak was designed to make it extremely light and so that it does not tumble over. And it does not.

The setting up procedure is easy to handle. Newbie users will take at most 20 minutes and then a quick 15 minutes the next time. You will not have to waste time on struggling with the inflating and the setting up.

Customers are thankful that this kayak crumples down into a compact enough size that you can easily load it into the small trunk of a car.

The exterior layer of this kayak has been praised. One will have to grate hard metal against it to make a rupture in it.

Things we like:

a) Seats you can adjust and which comes with a backrest.

b) Well suitable for limited bodies of water, for instance, lakes and small rivers.

c) The brilliant yellow color gives one excellent visualization of it and makes it easy to spot.

d) Very reasonable prices, making it an affordable purchase.

Things we don't like:

a) After deflating it, it is a bit heavy and weighty to put away.

b) It does not ride as speedy as a plastic, hard-shell kayak, however, we are willing to overlook this because the overall kayak is of quality considering the $100-200 price range.

#4 Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

This one-person kayak is very roomy and has sufficient space for you to sit comfortably. Customers who are as tall as 5’10’ and weighs 170 lbs. have testified for the spaciousness of this kayak.

Best Inflatable Kayak

This kayak is great for shorter voyages rather than longer trips across waters.

It is easy to manage the paddling in turbulent waters with flowing, active currents. Since it is inflatable, the kayak is not carried away by the waves, instead it floats on top of them. In addition, the skeg will support the kayak’s balance and keep it anchored and firm.

This kayak has its own pump that you can keep in the stern. Customers have said that they did not experience any leaks once after inflating it up.

Features also include the fact that you can set this kayak up in just about 15 minutes. Saves you time, saves you energy. Plus, there is a plastic measuring ruler that helps with the calculations when setting up.

­Things we like:

a) The slender structure smoothly glides through the water.

b) It has enough space for an average 5’6” tall person to lie down comfortably on her back and look up at the sky or just take a nap.

c) Prices are well affordable, ranging from $100 to $150 and sometimes even below $100.

Things we don't like:

a) The bloated up seats may be a little too high. You can just deflate them while keeping the backrest inflated, to enjoy maximum comfort.

#5 Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak

This inflatable kayak is incredibly firm after it has been fully blown up. You can stay stood up in the kayak, move around to adjust your position and keep straddling, and it will be just like you are standing on hard floor. This kayak comes with stability.

Best Inflatable Kayak

The material used in making the kayak is of extremely reliable high quality. The skin will not rip off or pop, so you have one major thing less to worry about. Dog owners have had no problems with those nails.

On water, the kayak is well- balanced as well, owing to the carefully-calculated design. There is no fear of flipping over or falling over; even in wavy situations. The skeg rotates on a dime and is easily adjustable.

Users who have kayaking experience of more than 40 years have praised the lightweight feature of this particular kayak. It will be effortless for you to carry it around, for example, when you get out of the waters or taking to the lake from the car.

Things we like:

a) The easy-portable backpack system will convert into the seats.

b) The tarpaulin bottom feature defends the skin against extreme ruptures and pierces.

c) Multiple air chambers (2 big ones and 3 small ones) ensures that you stay afloat even after one of your chambers get pierced.

d) The prices of this kayak are fairly reasonable.

Things we don't like:

a) The middle portion of the kayak tends to sink a bit.

#6 Intex Mariner 4

Best Inflatable Kayak

The material of this boat is extremely sturdy and is reliable. Customers with dogs and babies have had no complaints with the skin getting snagged or punctured. This kayak has been paddled over fallen tree branches and it did not get any leaks.

Once out of the water and deflated, it fold up to a size small enough to fit inside a duffel bag.

The space inside the kayak is sufficient, comfy and cozy enough. In addition, you can also carry an adequate amount of baggage with you, for instance, ice carriers, towels, back packs. A family of two adults and two little ones can easily sit together.

The setting up stage take about at the highest, 12 minutes; according purchasers. Plus, the non-automated air pump that is of high output hugely assists with the inflating up process.

If you as an owner, take care of this kayak the way you are supposed to and treat it right (wash it after use, dry it up and fold it neatly), it will last for fairly a quit long period of time. It has been built of durability- as told by buyers.

Things we like:

a) Economical, practical and value for money prices.

b) The sides of the boat will support any person with a tall-physique, and he or she can sit relaxing.

c) The plastic is of molecular structure that gives protection against harm, tear or sunlight.

Things we don't like:

a) The duffel bag that is supposed to carry the deflated kayak is comparatively light and thin, considering what it has to carry in it.

#7 Intex Excursion 5, Latest Model

The sturdiness and the tough exterior of the boat is noteworthy, thanks to the thick vinyl is bulkier than an air mattress.

This kayak has enough room for two adults and 2 children easily, so it very suitable for short, quick family trips in the weekends.

Best Inflatable Kayak

It is built with 3 air chambers including a supplementary air chamber to provide structure for extra ability for it to float in water.

Unlike your hard boats, this kayak once after has been deflated, will crumple up into a decent, easy-to-carry size and will fit into any back packs or suitcases. A great feature is that, it already comes with a carry-bag that also has carry handles.

Manual pump: a single manual pump is all it takes to assemble and blow up the individual inflatable sections, bottom and seats. Moreover, separate structures only tells you, that a single rupture will not cause any major problem, plus, there is an extra vinyl bag to keep the small parts safe in.

The smooth bottom makes it effortless for one to push the inflated kayak from the ground and onto the waters. This kayak has been testified to be easy to get to the water and bring back.

Things we like:

a) Plastic fastener locks the oars and prevents them from falling in the water.

b) Low seats; giving you luxurious comfort and firmness.

Things we don't like:

a) Price ranges may be a bit high. However, the overall quality of the boat makes that worthwhile.

#8 Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe Package

This particular kayak has been stood against the test of versatility. From shooting down white river water sprays while your heart is racing, to floating still on a clear, calm lake on a lazy evening and only gently paddling across. Yes, all of this is possible if you own a Sea Eagle 330.

Best Inflatable Kayak

It only takes a mere 7 minutes for you to set it up, if you are using the foot pump that comes included. Now, you can enjoy more time actually in the water and not on inflating the boat. However, you may need a little practice the first few times; a little bit more time on it.

Buyers have tested its resistance and are well satisfied. Try rubbing the exterior against rocks, small branches or gravel and you will not see a hole made anywhere. Long-lasting and strong material.

It also has a carrier-bag for you to carry it in its fully deflated version.

This kayak has proven itself against challenges such as- strong current, tree branches and logs floating under the water or being hurled in the wind. The Sea Eagle 330 is an amazing performer; as said by buyers.

Things we like:

a) It itself weighs 26 pounds, however is capable of carrying a load of 500 pounds.

b) No worries of the kayak tumbling over. You can even dive into the water, take a little swim and climb back up.

Things we don't like:

a) It does not have enough room for two adults and addition gear, however has sufficient room for one adult and baggage.

#9 Intex Challenger K2 Kayak set with Aluminum Oars

Best Inflatable Kayak

This inflatable kayak promises portability. You can carry it around easily thanks to the lightweight nature of the boat. This is true for when you are taking it down to the water and also after when it breaks down for you to take home.

Buyers have also utilized this kayak for fishing and have been very pleased with the results. This material have been brushed against hooks, poked with sticks and floated across rocks- not a hole made, no rupture caused. Very tough material indeed.

A great convenience is that there is also a mesh area in the front that is suitable for some on-top baggage. Customers have used it for keeping their life-jackets or flip-flops. The storage stays dry and there are ropes around the edge, which you can use to grab and control the kayak.

There is also some space under both the front and back edge, for carrying your flatter items. For instance, you can keep your flip-flops, life jackets or fishing tarps under the front edge and carry your extra seat, pump and bag under the back side.

The skeg provides excellent steerage and navigation. Albeit, not going as speedily as a hard-shell kayak, but it does give a smooth, fast enough ride. Moreover, the skeg is far from ever coming loose.

­Things we like:

a) An affordable alternative to buying a pricey hard-shell kayak. Also, an alternative to the hard-shell kayaks for which you do not have room.

Things we don't like:

a) It does not have enough room for two adults and some baggage. However, for one adult and some gear- yes perfectly well.

#10 Sevylor Inflatable Sit-On-Top Kayak

The quality of its built and structure gives you a smooth ride, excellent steerage and a pleasant paddling experience.

If you are in larger lakes, do not worry about the waves generated by passing boats. The Sevylor Inflatable will just simply slide along on top of them, and it will not even disrupt your heading.

Best Inflatable Kayak

It takes a fairly short amount of time (roughly 10 minutes) to set up the kayak and also to deflate it, as purchasers have said. Do remember to use a manual pump and not an electronic pump with this one, if you want maximum convenience; as people have referred to the latter as time-consuming and hard.

The material is of a unique composition and is very reliable and long-lasting.

This kayak can handle still air and windy days.

Things we like:

a) Stable and very easy to pilot.

b) The paddles are lightweight and easy to control.

c) It will maintain its position in the wind and not get tossed around.

d) Not bulky feeling while in the water.

e) No fear of it turning over and you falling off.

f) Definitely value for money product.

g) Cup holder for convenience.

h) Dual-trailing fins for you to have greater steering control.

i) It comes with the “air-tight guarantee” feature. Assures you that there will be no leaks.

Things we don't like:

a) The paddles should have been about a foot longer, as one might get wet when trying to take them while paddling. Customers have suggested buying another pair.

Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Inflatable Kayak

  1. Your kayak should have good buoyancy. Does it smoothly bounce off of underwater rocks and other boats? Look into this when buying your kayak.
  2. Make sure that your kayak has lots of cargo space, especially at the front.
  3. ​Do remember to see if your kayak has easy paddling. Is it a challenge to use? Are the paddles rigid or smooth to control? You do not want to ruin the fun with a pair of poorly designed paddles, right?
  4. ​It is important that your inflatable kayak does not get ruptured if brushed against rocks or gravel. Ask if the kayak has been tested upon, perhaps dragged along rocky structures.
  5. A good kayak should have sufficient storing space and sitting area. Does the kayak you are going to buy have adequate room for your kayaking mate and gear?
  6. ​Another feature of the best kayak is good material. See what kind of material your kayak is made using. Take an expert with you perhaps.
  7. ​The best kayak should have the capacity to carry a decent amount of weight. For instance, 450 pounds.
  8. ​It should be designed to comfortably sit a huge-built, tall person.
  9. ​Your kayak should have speed in its ride. You should be able to go fast enough for an inflatable kayak, if not exactly fast enough like a hard-shell one.
  10. The structure and the design should account for a smooth tracking experience.
  11. ​The best kayak should have the feature of self- bailing set up.
  12. ​You should be able to set up your kayak in a fairly short period of time; ideally 10 to 15 minutes.
  13. ​A pump must come along with your kayak to help you inflate it up.
  14. ​Your kayak should have seats that are modifiable by the user. One can adjust them, according to how she wants it.
  15. A good kayak should be able to withstand the strong winds and blow in all directions. It should be able to firmly maintain its position.
  16. ​An ideal kayak can handle waves and currents and not get carried away by them. It should be able to smoothly float over them.
  17. ​It should have some room under its front and back edges, for extra storage.
  18. ​It must be of a lightweight nature. A bulky kayak causes nothing but distress and annoyance.
  19. ​Durability is another important feature of a good kayak. It must be made of materials and a design that promises long-time- lasting.
  20. While quality does go hand in hand with high prices, an affordable price range is still a factor to consider when purchasing your kayak.
  21. ​After deflating it, it should be manageable to store and take up a small amount of space.
  22. ​It should be versatile. You know it is one of the best kayaks, if you can take it out on gushing waves for sport or just floating across still waters.
  23. ​It should have skegs so that you have maximum control over your paddles and steerage.
  24. ​Check out the setting up procedure. Setting up your kayak should not be a challenge and take up a lot of time.
  25. Having a trolling motor choice with your boat is always a bonus.
  26. ​Portability is a must have feature for your kayak. See if the kayak that you are going has it.
  27. ​It should be designed to be visually and aesthetically pleasing. Maybe a combination of old-school designs and modern, funky and fun colors? And maybe also a touch of elegance. Up to you, really.
  28. ​­The seats should be deflated so that they are comfortable to sit in.
  29. ​See if it is easy for you to carry it in a “car to lake distance”. Especially on your own, because you may not always have someone with you to help.
  30. The skin and exterior of the kayak should be resistant to damage, such as dog nails and claws. Make sure your kayak does not pop.
  31. ​An extra air chamber built in means that you will not face problems or threats even if your kayak gets punctured. Check for the air chambers.
  32. ​How does the rubber and interior of the kayak feel against your skin? Does it stick? Is it bothersome? Or is it soft and pleasant?
  33. A supplementary carrier bag for you to carry your deflated kayak in is always a yes.
Advantages of an Inflatable Kayak

Advantages of an Inflatable Kayak

  • Who would not want to carry around a boat with them? You can carry a boat inside your backpack, load it onto the trunk of your car or take it with you when you travel by plane. It is right there with you! The convenience here is extraordinary.
  • Traveling has never been easier, now that you have a lot less weight to carry.
  • Say goodbye to storing problems! You do not have to have a little house in the forest and live like Tarzan to own a kayak. City and apartment dwellers can have one and keep one too!
  • ​But the space to store one? Where are you going to keep a freaking boat in your apartment? Well, just deflate it, fold it up nicely and keep it in your closet. Inflatable kayaks, anyone?
  • The lightweight-ness of these inflatable kayaks allow them to be quite manageable. And also because of this, one can use one, two or even three paddlers. Contributes to a great quality family fun!
  • ​These kind of kayaks are really easy maintenance. You can repair it like a pro and maintain it well, without any professional help really.

For example, washing it after every use, letting dry real nicely, folding it properly. And there you go! You have attended to your kayak like a pro.

How to Repair an Inflatable Kayak

If ever the very unlikely situation does arise that your kayak has been ruptured; given the fact that inflatable kayaks nowadays hardly get holes, fear not, there is usually a maintenance kit that comes with it and it is very easy to repair.

All you have to do is cut a portion or a patch, seal the hole with strong glue, apply adequate pressure so the glue sets properly and let it stay as such overnight.

Inflatable Kayaks Types and Brands

Kayaks Types

Self-Bailing Kayaks

Self-bailing kayaks have several holes in them at the bottoms and is used mainly in white waters. In a wavy ride, water can get inside the kayak and then pass out, without putting pressure on the kayak.

If you are on still water, water will get in and out of the floor ports. Unless it has plugs that can be closed. Reportedly, a self-bailing kayak does not perform that well in flat waters.

Sit-on-top Kayaks

This is design more of an exposed kind. This type of kayak is very suitable for people who a) have a hard time getting in and out of confined shells b) are claustrophobic and c) are from warmer climates.

Of course, you should be ready for some splashing on your face, unless you have a spray deck to prevent that.

Sit Inside Kayak

Its design is more traditional with an enclosed structure. This is very helpful for keeping out excess water, which is great for colder regions. A spray skirt can also be fastened to it, further cutting of any water or wind.

Canoe-Style Kayak

This design is the outcome of combining an open style with higher seats and higher walls. This type of canoe usually opts for canoe paddles which are one sided blades, instead of the kayak paddles that are double sided.

Open style kayak design

A kayak reflection on the canoe-style that comes with high side walls rather than a sit on top, however, lower seats unlike the canoe style.

Paddlers normally go for the traditional kayak double sided paddle.

This unique design is suitable for people who prefer an easy-entry and a more exposed design.

The great thing about this one is, the high walls blocks any water coming in but is still not confined in.

Stand Up Paddle Board

The boards can be geared up to extreme pressures and can be quite sturdy. Paddlers need to be standing up when paddling and this can be great for recreational paddling, surfing, fishing and even racing.

Tracking Fin

A fin that is attached to the underside of the kayak that helps it to glide better and stops any side drifts.

Kayaks Most Popular Brands

  • Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak
  • Intex Challenger K1
  • ​Advanced Frame Expedition Kayak
  • ​Advanced Elements StraitEdge
  • ​Sevylor Quikpak K1
  • ​Sevylor Tahiti Classic
  • ​Rave Sea Rebel
  • Advanced Elements FireFly
  • Rave Molokai
  • Stearnds Yukatat
  • Sevylor Rio Canoe

Final Words

Imagine you out in the open water, relaxing, floating across the mild waves with nothing but the sky above you.

Or you with your family and friends enjoying your weekends in the lakes together. A light snack, the children, friends and- the water beneath you.

Or maybe you blasting in directions as the waters toss you around and conquering the waves with your heart pounding against your rib cage and water splashing on your face and you loving every bit of that thrill, living every bit of that second!

All of these, and so much is possible with an inflatable kayak.

And since buying an inflatable kayak also comes with many possibilities; we have made this review on the best inflatable kayaks, just for you.

We are sure that you will be able to choose the inflatable kayak perfect just for you, once you have gone through this review.

Happy Kayaking!

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