15 Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews – What’s the Best Inflatable Kayak of 2021

best inflatable kayak

A day spent kayaking is a day well spent. There are no downsides, only benefits. You will leave the water feeling happier and more peaceful. If you go with loved ones, the bond between you will be stronger—not to mention the memories made.

Renting a kayak every time can prove to be costly in the long run. You want a craft that you can call your own. One that you can use whenever and wherever you feel like. That is what makes an inflatable kayak a great option. Other than being portable, most of them are made with premium materials.

But how do you pick the best inflatable kayak from the hundreds of choices? By comparing the most important features. See the premium kayaks below.

Inflatable Kayaks Compared

Inflatable Kayak
# People
Sizes
Weight
Capacity
My rating
1. Advanced Elements Expedition Best Inflatable Kayak
1. Advanced Elements Expedition <b>Best Inflatable Kayak</b>
1
13’ x 32”
50 lbs
450 lbs
4.5
2. Driftsun Rover
2. Driftsun Rover
1
8.5’ x 36”
22 lbs
300 lbs
4.8
3. Goplus Inflatable Kayak
3. Goplus Inflatable Kayak
1
8.9’ x 27.5” x 13.5”
18 lbs
176 lbs
4.0
4. Intex Challenger K1
4. Intex Challenger K1
1
9’ x 2’6” x 1’1”
23.9 lbs
220 lbs
4.4
5. Sevylor Quikpak K1
5. Sevylor Quikpak K1
1
8.5’ x 17.7” x 9.4”
18 lbs
400 lbs
3.9
6. Advanced Elements Angler
6. Advanced Elements Angler
1
10’6” x 38.5” x 13”
45 lbs
400 lbs
4.5
7. Advanced Elements Lagoon
7. Advanced Elements Lagoon
1
8’4” x 34”
23 lbs
250 lbs
4.4
8. Driftsun Rover
8. Driftsun Rover
2
12.5’ x 38” x 13”
28 lbs
600 lbs
4.8
9. Goplus Tandem Kayak
9. Goplus Tandem Kayak
2
11.3’ x 27.5” x 14”
24.5 lbs
352 lbs
4.0
10. Sea Eagle 3 Person
10. Sea Eagle 3 Person
3
12’6” x 2’10”
32 lbs
650 lbs
4.4
11. Advanced Elements Convertible
11. Advanced Elements Convertible
2
15’ x 32” x 10”
56 lbs
550 lbs
4.4
12. Sevylor Big Basin
12. Sevylor Big Basin
3
12’3 x 37”
35 lbs
490 lbs
4.2
13. Driftsun Voyager 2 Person
13. Driftsun Voyager 2 Person
2
10’ x 35” x 16”
27 lbs
450 lbs
4.2
14. Intex Challenger K2
14. Intex Challenger K2
2
11’6 x 2’6 x 1’3
33.5 lbs
400 lbs
4.2
15. Advanced Elements Island Voyage
15. Advanced Elements Island Voyage
2
11’2 x 37”
31.5 lbs
400 lbs
4.3

Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews

Read on for our inflatable kayak reviews:

1. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Elite – Best Inflatable Kayak

Advanced-Elements-AdvancedFrame-Expedition-Elite-Kayak

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Elite may be the best inflatable kayak on the market. From the design to performance to the smaller details, the AdvancedFrame kayak proves to be a superior product.

Build Quality

The bow and stern feature an aluminum-frame technology while the floor is made using Dropstitch construction. Undoubtedly, this expedition yak is built to last.

Performance

The Advanced Elements kayak is made with a low center of gravity. This enhances stability. The hull design enhances speed and tracking capabilities. Its streamlined shape facilitates speed too.

Storage

The frame of this kayak folds for storage and transportation. This being a touring kayak, it comes with plenty of room for your essentials and a paddle guard.

Design

The Advanced Elements kayak features 9 chambers which enhance buoyancy. It has a lumbar seat that is adjustable and comfortable for hours in the water.

Package

The AdvancedFrame kayak comes with a repair set and duffel bag. The bag has removable straps.

Features and Specifications

  • Aluminum-frame technology for bow and stern
  • Floor features Dropstitch construction
  • 9 compartments improve buoyancy
  • Reinforced bow and stern
  • Folding frame
  • Plenty of room for storage
  • Has a paddle guard
  • Comfortable lumbar seat
  • Features Rudder mount
  • Measures 13’ x 32”
  • Weighs 50 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 450 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Adjustable seat and foot brace
  • More than enough storage room
  • Tracks well
  • Comes with bag and repair set
  • Does not come with pump or paddle

Customer Feedback

Every user is saying nice things about the AdvancedFrame Elite kayak. Inflation is usually a tiring activity but, surprisingly, they say that this one is easy to inflate. It is well-made and customers are confident that it will last. The tracking is also commendable going by the comments. There are no complaints about this kayak.

Check Price of the Advanced Elements Expedition

2. Driftsun Rover 120 Inflatable Whitewater Kayak

Driftsun-Rover-120-Inflatable-Whitewater-Kayak

Inflatable kayaks can be suitable for whitewater paddling too. The Driftsun Rover is enough evidence that they can perform just as well.

Build Quality

The bottom is made using long-lasting PVC tarpaulin. This makes it hard for objects to damage the kayak. The side-tubes are made with reinforced PVC too. The whole body is tough and super durable.

Performance

There is a fin to help with tracking when on flat water. The huge rocker makes the Driftsun Rover easy to control when the water is rough. It also enhances stability. This kayak will perform well in up to class IV rapids.

Storage

The Driftsun can be stored anywhere, especially when deflated. It comes with a travel bag that you can put it in.

It features numerous tie down points for gear as well as a Front Action Camera Mount.

Design

The design of this kayak features three chambers; one floor chamber and two side chambers. There are five self-bailing ports, tie down points and a camera mount. The seat is padded and has high back support.

Package

The Driftsun Rover comes with a lot of nice things. They include a 2-piece aluminum paddle, travel bag, tracking fin and a hand pump.

Features and Specifications

  • Inflates in less than 10 minutes
  • Made using reinforced PVC
  • Rigid Dropstitch floor
  • Ample rocker profile
  • Ideal for up to class IV rapids
  • Features a front-action camera mount
  • Enough tie down points
  • Five self-bailing ports
  • Seat is padded with high back support
  • Adjustable/removable footrest
  • Comes with paddle, bag, pump and fin
  • Measures 8.5’ x 36”
  • Weighs 22 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Adjustable seat with high back support
  • Adjustable/removable footrest
  • Self-bailing ports
  • High-quality accessories
  • Stable and durable
  • Not very fast

Customer Feedback

Even if you haven’t been working out, you will find it easy to inflate this kayak. Users say that it is a piece of cake—something they did not expect. Other than that, it is easy to control and is very stable. Given its size, you may think it is not suitable for tall people. However, kayakers as tall as 6’4 have used it and it is perfect. There are no negative reviews.

Check Price of the Driftsun Rover

3. Goplus Inflatable Kayak

Goplus-Inflatable-Kayak

This is a simple kayak that promises outstanding performance. There is a tandem variation (reviewed below) if you like to paddle with a friend.

Build Quality

The Goplus kayak is made using durable PVC material. You can use and abuse it as much as you want and it will still hold.

Performance

The V-shaped bow enhances speed making this kayak suitable for long distance touring and light racing. It has a compact design and is, therefore, maneuverable even when it is windy.

Storage

There is a net bag at the front for storing all your luggage. It is pretty convenient because it allows you to reach for what you want without moving too much. The Goplus itself is easy to transport and store. Once deflated, you can fit it anywhere.

Design

One of the notable features is a screw safety valve that prevents leaking. The seat is adjustable and has a comfortable backrest. This Goplus kayak is designed with a spacious cockpit to suit riders of all sizes.

Package

For the price, this kayak’s package is amazing. It comes with a repair kit, hand pump and an aluminum tri-folding paddle.

Features and Specifications

  • Made with durable PVC material
  • V-shaped bow
  • Brightly colored hence high visibility
  • Net bag for luggage
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Two tracking fins
  • Features a screw safety valve
  • Adjustable seat with backrest
  • Has a comfortable multi-position footrest
  • Comes with a pump, repair set and paddle
  • Measures 8.9’ x 27.5” x 13.5”
  • Weighs 18 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 176 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Cockpit is spacious
  • Net bag for luggage
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Good for speed
  • Does not come with bag

Customer Feedback

Users love their Goplus inflatable kayak. It is easy to deflate and inflate. Many people have mentioned the lightweight. There are also many comments about how well this kayak is made. Many accessories that come with kayaks are usually low quality. However, kayakers are saying that the aluminum paddle included here is awesome.

Check Price of the Goplus Kayak

4. Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak Review

Intex-Challenger-K1-Kayak

If you love the color green and beautiful graphics, the Intex Challenger K1 may be great for you. The design is really attractive but the specific features are even better.

Build Quality

The kayak has been made using welded material making it suitable for all kinds of conditions. The rugged vinyl construction makes it extremely hard to puncture the Challenger K1.

Performance

This boat features a streamlined shape that lets it knife smoothly through water. You can be confident when using it in any kind of kayaking environment. It is stable, has speed and is easy to control.

Storage

You will notice a cargo net in front of the cockpit for all your storage needs. It is big enough for all your essentials and is conveniently located.

Design

The graphics not only make your kayak look cool, but they also make you visible. Other than that, the cockpit is spacious and comfortable. The floors are inflatable which adds to the yak’s stability. There is a removable skeg (fin) for tracking.

Package

In addition to the kayak, you will get a three-piece aluminum paddle, a high-output pump, repair patch and a carry bag. For the price, this is worth it.

Features and Specifications

  • Beautiful graphics
  • Rugged vinyl construction
  • Has a streamlined shape
  • Cargo net for your essentials
  • Spacious and comfortable cockpit
  • Inflatable floors
  • Features a removable skeg
  • Comes with a pump, paddle, bag and repair patch
  • Has grab lines at the ends
  • Inflatable seat is removable/adjustable
  • Features a backrest
  • Two separate air chambers
  • Boston valves
  • Measures 9’ x 2’6” x 1’1”
  • Weighs 23.9 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 220 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Cargo net for storage
  • Rugged vinyl construction
  • Inflatable floors for extra stability
  • Low-quality paddle

Customer Feedback

Generally, many kayakers are glad they bought the Intex Challenger K1. It is easy to inflate and use in the water. They love the net bag and the overall size of the kayak. Thanks to the shape, it offers great speed. Other things that were commended include comfort and stability. Some users wish that the paddle was better.

Check Price of the Intex Challenger

5. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

Sevylor-Quikpak-K1-1-Person-Kayak

For the kayakers that prefer sit-on-top kayaks, the Sevylor Quikpak is for you. It has a simple but impeccable design and lots of features that will make you happy.

Build Quality

The Sevylor kayak is made with 21-gauge PVC construction which makes it tough and sturdy. On top of that, it has a tarpaulin bottom that is puncture-resistant. You can use it anywhere.

Performance

This kayak offers unmatched stability—something that you will love if you are a beginner. It is super responsive to paddling.

Storage

For a day out in the water, the sevylor offers ample storage room with bungees. There is also a drink holder that you can easily access.

Design

This inflatable kayak features an easy-to-carry backpack that quickly turns into a seat. This is super cool. There are multiple air chambers that contribute to buoyancy. When you are tired of paddling, the design allows you to stretch yourself and enjoy the sun.

Package

The package includes a backpack, paddle and pump. The bag is very spacious and you can bring anything you need.

Features and Specifications

  • Sit-on-top design
  • 21-gauge PVC construction
  • Puncture-resistant tarpaulin bottom
  • Enough room for storage and a drink holder
  • Backpack turns into kayak seat
  • Multiple chambers
  • Multi-position footrest
  • Comfortable backrest
  • Double lock valves
  • Measures 8.5’ x 17.7” x 9.4”
  • Weighs 18 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Large backpack
  • Sufficient legroom
  • Ease of set up
  • Multiple chambers
  • Great weight capacity
  • No gauge in pump

Customer Feedback

The happiest customers seem to be the taller ones. There is enough room for them to get in, get out and stretch without issues. Inflating the Sevylor is easy and you will set it up in minutes according to the reviews. The main complaint seems to be about speed. It is a little slow compared to hard shell kayaks.

Check Price of the Sevylor Quickpak

6. Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak

Advanced-Elements-StraitEdge-Angler-Pro-Inflatable-Kayak

The Advanced Elements StraitEdge makes for a very good touring and fishing kayak. Its features are meant to keep you comfortable for a long period of time.

Build Quality

The hull is made with PVC tarpaulin material making it strong and durable. The floor features drop stitch construction which protects it from damage.

Performance

This kayak has a streamlined shape which enhances speed. The stability is commendable too and you can use this boat for fishing. It tracks surprisingly well in water.

Storage

The storage room in the Advanced Elements kayak is more than enough. You can fit two bags at the front and back and you will still have some space left. Additionally, there are two accessory frames included.

Design

There are two storage compartments with bungee cords for storage. This inflatable fishing kayak comes with an AirFrame PRO seat with mesh panels. You will be comfortable sitting on it all day long. The boat also features five air compartments and paddle holders.

Package

The Advanced Elements StraitEdge does not include much in the package. You only get a duffel bag and repair set. Unfortunately, you will have to buy a paddle separately.

Features and Specifications

  • Ideal for fishing and touring
  • PVC tarpaulin hull
  • Drop stitch construction floor
  • Streamlined shape
  • Ample storage space with bungee cords
  • Has paddle holders
  • Features two accessory frames
  • Great seat with mesh panels
  • Five air compartments
  • Comes with a repair kit and duffel bag
  • Aluminum rib-frame technology
  • Measures 10’6” x 38.5” x 13”
  • Weighs 45 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of storage space
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Stable and durable
  • Has accessory frames
  • Does not come with pump or paddle
  • A bit expensive

Customer Feedback

The most noticeable and praised feature is the amount of room in this kayak. One user was able to get in with his kid and dog. Kayakers say that it is easy to inflate and set up. While in the water, it is stable and tracks well. Everything works as it should and even with the price, buyers do not regret buying it.

Check Price of the Advanced Elements Angler

7. Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 Inflatable Kayak

Advanced-Elements-Lagoon-1-Inflatable-Kayak

The Advanced Elements Lagoon is one of the best if you are looking for a kayak that tracks well. It is amazing for solo kayakers.

Build Quality

Like every other Advanced Elements kayak, the Lagoon 1 has multiple air chambers and is made using the unmatched drop stitch construction and heavy-duty materials. It is ideal for rough conditions.

Performance

This one person boat has a tracking fin and landing plate that help in tracking. The pointed bow facilitates speed and you will enjoy participating in races.

Storage

There are bungee straps installed on the deck for your luggage. They are within reach so you can conveniently reach for what you want.

The kayak itself can be folded into a small package for storing in small places.

Design

Both the stern and bow have fixed rigid forms for cutting through waves. For added rigidity, the manufacturer has included inner tube covers. The handles have moulded rubber grips. To add to that, the Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 has a unique outer cover for added durability.

Package

When you buy this one person kayak, you will get a duffel bag and a repair kit. For some reason, it does not come with a paddle or pump. However, it is still a pretty good kayak.

Features and Specifications

  • Has a landing plate and tracking fin
  • Pointed bow
  • Bungee straps and mesh accessory pocket
  • Fixed rigid forms for bow and stern
  • Inner tube covers
  • Molded rubber grip
  • Unique outer cover
  • Comes with a duffel bag and repair kit
  • Features six air chambers
  • High-flow Spring and Twistlok valves
  • High support seat
  • Measures 8’4” x 34”
  • Weighs 23 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Super rigid
  • Easy to control
  • High-quality and durable
  • Great speed
  • Does not come with bag and paddle

Customer Feedback

The valves make it easy to inflate and set up. Users confirm this and say they have not encountered any issues. It is a light kayak that tracks just fine in the water. Customers also say that the Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 is stable and performs well. They recommend it.

Check Price of the Advanced Elements Lagoon

8. Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem White-Water Kayak

Driftsun-Rover-220-Inflatable-Tandem-White-Water-Kayak

This article about the best inflatable kayaks would not be complete without this tandem kayak. Driftsun have made a tandem that caters for all your needs as you will see below.

Build Quality

The Driftsun Rover tandem is made using reinforced PVC for durability. The tarpaulin bottom makes it hard to puncture this inflatable kayak.

Performance

The Driftsun Rover tandem is marketed as a whitewater kayak, suitable for up to class IV rapids. Its ample rocker profile offers unparalleled stability. It also makes it easy to control and maneuver in tough situations. There is a removable fin that helps in tracking.

Storage

Being a 2 person inflatable kayak, it comes with enough tie down points for all your gear. There is also a front action camera mount.

Storing this tandem is the easiest thing ever. Once you remove the seats and fin, you can fold it to fit in its bag. You can then throw it under the bed.

Design

The Driftsun tandem comes with a number of grab handles for carrying it to the water. The interior is spacious for both paddlers. Additionally, the seats and fin are removable. The seats are adjustable (with high back support) and so are the footrests.

Package

You will most definitely love the Driftsun tandem package. It comes with a travel bag, rear tracking fin, double action hand pump and two aluminum paddles. The paddles are adjustable and made of aluminum.

Features and Specifications

  • Made with reinforced PVC
  • Has a tarpaulin bottom
  • Whitewater kayak suitable for up to class IV rapids
  • Ample rocker profile
  • Features a removable skeg
  • 8 self-bailing ports
  • Sufficient tie down points for gear
  • Has a camera mount
  • Three inflatable chambers
  • Grab handles are attached
  • Adjustable seats with high back support
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Comes with two aluminum paddles, bag, pump and fin
  • Measures 12.5’ x 38” x 13”
  • Weighs 28 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 600 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Comes with accessories
  • Self-bailing ports
  • Easy to inflate
  • Well-made and durable
  • Unclear instruction’s manual

Customer Feedback

Kayakers are happy they bought the Driftsun tandem inflatable kayak—they are not regretting. So far, it has served most of them well. They find it easy to inflate and deflate it. One user says that you can convert the tandem to a one-person kayak anytime you want. The quality of the Driftsun is high and kayakers say that it is worth the price. Some users had issues with the instruction’s manual, especially the folding bit.

Check Price of the Driftsun Rover

9. Goplus Inflatable 2 Person Kayak

Goplus-Inflatable-Tandem-Kayak

Here is another tandem kayak that is perfect for two paddlers who want to enjoy the water together. In addition to being well made, this boat has some amazing features.

Build Quality

The Goplus tandem inflatable kayak is made using 18-gauge PVC. This heavy-duty material does not get punctures easily. You can use your craft in any kind of situation. Other than that, it comes with a screw safety valve to keep it from leaking.

Performance

Whether you are in choppy waters or in a calm lake, the Goplus tandem kayak will deliver exceptional performance. It has a pointed nose and streamlined shape that helps it glide smoothly—giving you speed and efficiency.

Storage

The deck has a net bag for storing your luggage and essentials. The paddler at the front can reach it without having to stand or move too much.

When you are done paddling, deflate the kayak and fold it. Deflating takes a few minutes. It folds into a neat pile that can fit into smaller spaces.

Design

This blue/yellow tandem inflatable kayak comes with three independent blow holes. The seats have high back support so you can enjoy the water for as long as you like. The cockpit is spacious— designed for comfort for people of all heights. Both the seats and footrests are adjustable.

Package

The Goplus 2 person inflatable kayak comes as a full package. It includes a bag, two paddles, hand pump and a repair kit. With a package like this, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on necessary accessories.

Features and Specifications

  • Made with 18-gauge PVC
  • Features a screw safety valve
  • Streamlined shape and pointed nose
  • Net bag on deck for luggage
  • Has three blow holes
  • Seats with high-back support
  • Adjustable seats and footrests
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Comes with a bag, paddles, pump and repair kit
  • Measures 11.3’ x 27.5” x 14”
  • Weighs 24.5 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 352 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Comes as a complete package
  • Comfortable seats and footrests
  • Big net bag for luggage
  • Easy to set up
  • Low weight capacity

Customer Feedback

The general feeling is that this is a good inflatable kayak for the price. First of all, it is light and two people can handle it without any trouble. Many users like the design and color. They also say that the yak and included accessories are of high quality. The performance is commendable as well. Most negative reviews are from people who say that it is slow compared to hard shell kayaks.

Check Price of the Goplus Tandem

10. Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak

Sea-Eagle-370-Pro-3-Person-Inflatable-Portable-Sport-Kayak

With the Sea Eagle se370 Pro, you can have more people on board. They say, “the more the merrier”. This Sea Eagle inflatable kayak aims at bringing you more joy by allowing a party of three in the water.

Build Quality

The Sea Eagle kayak is made using super tough material that promises to hold even though you hit obstacles. It can also withstand your dog’s paws. Despite this, the Sea Eagle kayak is lightweight and easy to handle.

Performance

The Sea Eagle se370 Pro 3 person inflatable kayak glides through water seamlessly. It offers speed and smooth tracking. The design of the Sea Eagle kayak makes it suitable for up to class III rapids.

Storage

The Sea Eagle 370 Pro has space made specifically for your luggage. The cargo space is enough to fit all your gear for fishing or camping.

Despite being large and spacious, this Sea Eagle inflatable kayak can fit into its storage bag when deflated. You don’t need a large storage space for it.

Design

The Sea Eagle se370 Pro comes in a clean white color with a little blue. It has two removable seats for two paddlers. The third person can sit in the middle. The Sea Eagle has two skegs which help with tracking. You will also notice a self-bailing drain valve and inflatable spray skirts.

Package

This Sea Eagle kayak comes with two paddles, a bag, hand pump and repair kit. The paddles are 4-piece, made of aluminum with asymmetrical blades.

Features and Specifications

  • Made with strong PVC materials
  • Suitable for class III whitewater
  • Comes with cargo space
  • Features two removable seats
  • Has two skegs
  • Self-bailing drain valve
  • Comes with paddles, bag, pump and repair kit
  • Seats have improved back support
  • 4-piece aluminum paddles with asymmetrical blades
  • Lightweight
  • Features inflatable spray skirts
  • Two rope handles
  • Measures 10’8” x 1’1” (interior) and 12’6” x 2’10” (exterior)
  • Weighs 32 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 650 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Three-person capacity
  • Comes as full package
  • Included spray skirts
  • Can withstand dog claws
  • Third seat is sold separately

Customer Feedback

People love the Sea Eagle se370 Pro. Inflating the Sea Eagle is a simple task and so is deflating. It is spacious and one user was able to get with another adult and two small dogs. There are complaints about the storage being small. Other than that, users agree that the Sea Eagle is a good kayak for adventurous kayakers.

Check Price of the Sea Eagle

11. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak

Advanced-Elements-AdvancedFrame-Convertible-Inflatable-Kayak

Some people like cool stuff. If you are one of them, you will definitely love this convertible kayak.

Build Quality

The manufacturer, Advanced Elements, has used three layers of tough material. This makes it virtually indestructible and ideal for all kinds of water conditions.

Performance

This inflatable kayak is long and slim—a great shape for speed. It knifes through water with outstanding agility. If you have kayaker friends, you can get this boat and participate in races.

Storage

There are bungee cords on the deck for your luggage. Like with many other inflatable kayaks, the position of the bungee cords is convenient and within reach even when you are seated.

Design

The AdvancedFrame has built in aluminum ribs that define the stern and bow for better tracking. It comes assembled and all you have to do is inflate then attach your seats. These seats are adjustable and have high back support.

The fact that this inflatable kayak is convertible means that it can go from being a tandem kayak to a solo kayak in seconds. There are three seat locations for this purpose.

Package

The AdvancedFrame comes with an instruction’s manual, repair kit, 2 seats and a duffel bag. The seats are foldable for storage.

Features and Specifications

  • Comes in two colors: green and red
  • Made with three layers of material
  • Bungee cords on deck for luggage
  • Convertible from tandem to solo kayak
  • Features three seat positions
  • Inbuilt aluminum ribs
  • Comes assembled
  • Adjustable seats with high back support
  • Comes with a bag and repair kit
  • Measures 15’ x 32” x 10”
  • Weighs 56 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 550 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Convertible
  • Two colors to choose from
  • Great design
  • Well-made and durable
  • Does not come with paddle and pump
  • A little heavy

Customer Feedback

The set-up process is easy. Users say that even if you have never done it before, it will take you about 10 minutes. It tracks well in water and they love the sufficient space. Generally, the AdvancedFrame makes a great family kayak. The main complaint is about the weight. Compared to other inflatable kayaks, this one is on the heavy side.

Check Price of the Advanced Elements Convertible

12. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

Sevylor-Big-Basin-3-Person-Kayak

Here is another inflatable kayak for people who like to have company. This one allows you to bring two more people—and there is a seat for everyone.

Build Quality

The Sevylor Big Basin features heavy-duty PVC construction. You can use it pretty much anywhere. On top of that, it has a tarpaulin bottom that offers protection from punctures.

Performance

This inflatable kayak has been designed to offer exceptional performance; whether you are paddling on calm waters or whitewater. It has amazing tracking capabilities and the streamlined shape helps with speed.

Storage

The Sevylor three-person kayak is spacious and offers plenty of room for all your luggage.

To store the Big Basin kayak itself, remove the seats, deflate it then fold and store in a bag. It may look big but it folds so well.

Design

The Sevylor Big Basin comes with three seats for three kayakers but, unfortunately, no foot braces. There are multiple air chambers to ensure that the kayak stays afloat and spray covers to keep the paddlers dry.

There is a double threaded Boston valve for easy inflating and deflating.

Package

This kayak does not have a great package (but at least it is a three-person kayak). In the box, you will get a repair kit and a pressure gauge.

Features and Specifications

  • Heavy-duty PVC construction
  • Has a tarpaulin bottom
  • Spacious
  • Three removable/adjustable seats
  • No foot braces
  • Includes multiple air chambers
  • Has spray covers
  • Double threaded Boston valve
  • Comes with pressure gauge and repair kit
  • Airtight System will not leak
  • Measures 12’3 x 37”
  • Weighs 35 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 490 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Great for three people
  • Tough and durable
  • Seats are adjustable and removable
  • Comes with spray covers
  • No foot braces
  • Does not come with bag, paddles and pump

Customer Feedback

The positive reviews far outweigh the negative ones. Buyers feel that they made a wise decision buying this kayak. Many bought it for family use and, so far, it has served its purpose well. The Sevylor Big Basin is easy to inflate and set up. Kayakers say that it is comfortable and they are not having any trouble managing it. The main complaints are about the fact that it does not come with accessories.

Check Price of the Sevylor Big Basin

13. Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Inflatable Kayak

Driftsun-Voyager-2-Person-Tandem-Inflatable-Kayak

Driftsun never disappoints. You can see from their reviewed products above that all their products are outstanding. The Driftsun Voyager is no different.

Build Quality

The top cover is made using heavy-duty 840D nylon oxford fabric. It has a tough tarpaulin bottom that is not easily punctured. Add to that the double threaded Boston valves that prevent leaking.

Performance

The Driftsun Voyager 2 person inflatable kayak is lightweight and maneuverable. It also has a pointed nose, removable fin and rocker profile. You can, therefore, expect excellent performance wherever you will be paddling.

Storage

There are bungee cords at the front and rear for storing luggage. You will also find additional space in the kayak for any extra stuff you may want to carry.

When deflated, you can take your Driftsun Voyager anywhere. It is light and fits well into the provided bag.

Design

This kayak has a rear drain plug to make cleaning easier. The seats have high back support and are EVA padded. The high-volume tubes are designed to give exceptional buoyancy and stability.

Package

The Driftsun Voyager comes as a full package. You will get a carry bag, double action hand pump, removable fin, two aluminum paddles and, of course, the removable seats. The paddles have ergonomic grips.

Features and Specifications

  • Tough PVC tarpaulin bottom
  • Double threaded Boston valves
  • Rocker profile and pointed nose
  • Bungee compartments for luggage
  • Features a rear drain plug
  • Seats with high back support and EVA padding
  • High volume tubes
  • Comes as a full package
  • Lightweight design
  • Measures 10’ x 35” x 16”
  • Weighs 27 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 450 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Full package
  • Performs well
  • High-quality and durable
  • Rear drain plug
  • May not be ideal for whitewater

Customer Feedback

According to kayakers, setting up the Voyager 2 person inflatable kayak is easy—and this includes inflating it. Once inflated, it is super firm. It tracks well and some think it is fast (this depends on what you are comparing it to). It works well as a family kayak. There are users who seem to have received a faulty product, hence the few negative reviews.

Check Price of the Driftsun Voyager

14. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Intex-Challenger-K2-Kayak

The Intex Challenger K2 is a perfect kayak for two adventurous friends. It allows you to be safe and confident as you explore the water.

Build Quality

This kayak is made using super tough vinyl that is UV- and puncture-resistant. Feel free to use it wherever and however you want.

Performance

The Intex Challenger K2 sporty kayak has a streamlined design which makes it responsive to paddling. It is made for mild rivers and lakes. There is a removable fin that helps with tracking.

Storage

The deck has a net bag that will fit all the luggage you may want to bring. The location is great and you can quickly reach for your phone or whatever you need at the moment.

Design

The Intex Challenger K2 has awesome graphics. They are beautiful and also help with visibility when you are in the water. This kayak features two air chambers.

It features Boston valves to make sure that inflation/deflation is a breeze. The seats and skeg are removable. Both ends have grab lines for carrying the yak.

Package

Other than the kayak, the box comes with a bag, hi-output pump, repair kit and two adjustable paddles. The paddles are made of aluminum.

Features and Specifications

  • Made with UV- and puncture-resistant vinyl
  • Streamlined design
  • Has a net bag for luggage
  • Features sporty graphics
  • Has two air chambers
  • Boston valves for quick deflation/inflation
  • Removable skeg and seats
  • Comes with bag, 2 paddles, pump, repair kit and fin
  • Has grab lines for carrying
  • Measures 11’6 x 2’6 x 1’3
  • Weighs 33.5 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Comes as full package
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Well-made and durable
  • Seats with backrests
  • Adjusting seats can be difficult

Customer Feedback

Compared to hard shell kayaks, users feel that the Intex Challenger is reasonably priced. That said, they love that it is sturdy and stable in the water. Having adjustable seats is great for many tall kayakers because now they are able to create more legroom. Most buyers advise you to buy an electric pump.

Check Price of the Intex Challenger

15. Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak

Advanced-Elements-Island-Voyage-2-Inflatable-Kayak

Yellow is a good color for water equipment. It is bright, fun and highly visible. Although the Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 is yellow/gray in color, there is more to it than just that.

Build Quality

The kayak is made using durable PVC material and a 600 D polyester cover. It is meant to last for a long period of time without punctures.

Performance

It had a pointed bow and rocker which, together with the tracking fin, enhance performance. You can use it in rivers and lakes—you will not be disappointed.

Storage

There are sufficient bungee cords attached to D rings for all your storage needs. They are situated at the front and rear—convenient for both paddlers.

This kayak is compact when deflated. It is the best choice for the kayaker that loves to travel all over for kayaking adventures.

Design

The Advanced Elements Island Voyage has three seat positions so you can use it as a tandem or solo kayak. The seats have a comfortable backrest with bottle holders and pockets. There is a rear drain plug that makes cleaning and draining easy. High volume tubes ensure buoyancy and stability.

Package

You get a duffel bag and repair kit when you buy this kayak. You will have to buy paddles and a pump separately.

Features and Specifications

  • Made with durable PVC material
  • 600 D polyester cover
  • Has pointed bow with rocker
  • Features a removable tracking fin
  • Bungee cords for storage
  • Three seat positions
  • Backrests with bottle holders and pockets
  • Rear drain plug
  • High volume tube for buoyancy and stability
  • Comes with duffel bag and repair kit
  • Features three chambers
  • Multiple grab handles
  • Measures 11’2 x 37”
  • Weighs 31.5 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs

Pros & Cons

  • Has pockets and bottle holders
  • High volume tubes
  • Convertible to a solo kayak
  • High-quality and durable
  • Does not come with pump and paddles

Customer Feedback

Buyers love their Advanced Elements Island Voyage and it is easy to see why. Inflation is a breeze even with a hand pump. Many noticed the pockets and bottle holders—they love them! This kayak is stable and easy to get in/out even for beginners. Apart from users who received faulty products, the rest highly recommend this kayak.

Check Price of the Advanced Elements Island Voyage

Conclusion

Choosing the best inflatable kayak for you and your family isn’t easy. But the 15 inflatable kayak reviews will hopefully help you decide.

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Elite is one of the best inflatable kayaks on the market and a great choice for most people.

If you’re looking for a 2 person inflatable kayak, consider the Driftsun Rover 220. The tarpaulin bottom makes it very durable and its ample rocker profile offers unparalleled stability.

As always, remember to have fun and enjoy the water.

How to Choose an Inflatable Kayak

All the above inflatable kayaks are awesome, but they are not the same. What would be perfect for one paddler may not be right for another.

So, how do you narrow down your options and decide upon the best inflatable kayak for you?

Here is a comprehensive guide.

Types of Inflatable Kayaks

Different kayaks have different designs suitable for different kayakers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Sit-on-Top Inflatable Kayak

The name explains the design. A sit-on-top kayak does not have an enclosed cockpit. Instead, it has an open cockpit on the deck where the paddler sits. It is actually more of a slight depression.

Your entire body is exposed.

A sit-on-top inflatable kayak would be ideal in warm weather or when paddling with a pet. When it is hot, you won’t mind getting wet—that happens with sit-on-tops. You and your pet can also jump in for a quick swim and easily get back on.

2. Sit-Inside Inflatable Kayak

Unlike a sit-on-top, a sit-inside has an enclosed cockpit. Your lower body goes into the cockpit, and you stretch your legs out under the deck.

This kayak design would be great for cold weather. With a spray skirt, you stay dry and warm.

3. Canoe Style Inflatable Kayak

This type of inflatable kayak resembles a canoe. It is like a sit-on-top kayak but with higher walls, giving it the canoe look. The seats are also higher and paddlers use canoe paddles instead of the typical kayak paddles.

A canoe-style kayak will have more storage room, like a canoe. It is ideal if you plan on bringing kids along.

4. Open Style Inflatable Kayak

The open-style kayak design is a lot like the canoe style. But in this case, the seats are not as high as in a canoe-style yak.

What Water Conditions Can Inflatable Kayaks Be Used on?

Inflatable kayaks are more versatile than many people realize. You can use them pretty much anywhere.

a. Whitewater

There are specific kayaks designed for use in rough conditions.

One thing that makes inflatable kayaks perfect for whitewater is their construction. They can take a good amount of abuse (more on that later).

Whitewater kayaks are short and narrow. This makes them responsive and maneuverable. The last thing you want is to lose control of your yak in a dangerous rapid.

Only buy a whitewater kayak if you plan on focusing exclusively on whitewater. You will not be able to use the blow-up boat on a lake or ocean. It will be unstable and won’t track properly.

b. Open Ocean

Good inflatable ocean kayaks are long.

Longer kayaks track well—which is a feature you will need when dealing with waves and currents.

If you will be using it for touring, you may want to get a longer and narrower canoe. The shape allows for great speed and tracking capabilities.

You should also look for storage options like bungee cords for your luggage.

c. Lake

Lake conditions are calm and predictable. So most kayak types will do well here.

Recreational inflatable kayaks are especially ideal for lakes. They are moderately long (10 to 12 feet) and wide (28 to 32 inches).

A kayak for paddling the lake doesn’t have to be fancy. It only has to be stable and have enough space for what/who you want to bring.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Inflatable Kayaks?

As with everything else in life, inflatable kayaks have their benefits and downsides.

Advantages – Why Inflatables Are Good

1. Inflatable Kayaks are Easy to Carry and Transport Around

This is probably the most obvious advantage.

Hardshell kayaks can be heavy, more so fishing kayaks. Some weigh as much as 80+ pounds. That is not something anyone would enjoy carrying around, right?

Sea kayaks are not fun to portage either. Imagine struggling with an 18-foot kayak plus gear. It is not a pleasant situation at all.

This may not be a problem for kayakers who live very close to the water.

But what if you don’t? What if you’d like to explore different kayaking spots all over the country or even the globe?

Paddlers are adventurous people and, sometimes, bulky kayaks can get in the way of that.

Inflatable kayaks eliminate this problem. Once you deflate and fold one, it will fit in a bag. Then you can go with it wherever your heart leads you.

You won’t need a roof rack, a kayak trailer, or a truck. Whichever car you have will do. Besides, you can easily bring a deflated kayak on a plane.

It also helps that most inflatable kayaks are under 40 pounds.

2. Inflatable Kayaks Are Very Stable

If you have never used an inflatable kayak before, you’re probably skeptical about the stability.

How rigid are inflatable kayaks? Are they stable?

Inflatable kayaks are more stable than you think.

First, the stability of a boat is mainly determined by its width and hull shape. You will notice that most inflatable kayaks are wide with relatively flat hulls. It will take a lot to tip them over, even intentionally.

Quality inflatable kayaks are also quite rigid. Many people imagine that the floor will flex. But that is not the case—at least not with well-made kayaks.

Their drop-stitched floor is so rigid you won’t believe it is inflatable. It will not fold or even puncture easily.

3. Costs Are Generally Less

Compared to other types of kayaks, blow-up boats are cheaper.

A quick search online will show you inflatable kayaks going for less than $500. Other models cost less than $200 and they are from reputable manufacturers.

Rigid yaks, on the other hand, can get quite expensive. Most of the really good ones will see you part with $1000+. Sea, fishing, and pedal kayaks are even more expensive. Don’t be surprised to find some costing over $3000.

There are cheap solid kayaks and expensive inflatable kayaks. But when you compare them generally, inflatables are the better option for someone on a tight budget.

Disadvantages of Inflatable Kayaks

1. Inflatable Kayaks Can Sink!

There is always the risk of sinking with any vessel out on the water.

Your inflatable kayak could get punctured causing it to deflate.

Fortunately, this is not a likely situation.

Well-made kayaks are virtually indestructible and have remarkable buoyancy. And even in the event of a puncture, most of them have multiple air chambers. So you will still float.

Additionally, blow-up kayaks come with a repair kit. With a minor puncture, you will make it to shore and repair the boat in no time.

2. Inflatable Kayaks Are Not as Efficient to Paddle

Inflatable kayaks are excellent and all, but they just don’t perform as efficiently as rigid kayaks.

As mentioned above, blowups tend to be wider. This increases resistance which hinders speed. They don’t track as well as the hard shells too.

This is not to say that your inflatable will be zigzagging all over the place. The performance will most likely impress you.

But if you are looking for a vessel that glides with exceptional speed and tracking, try a solid kayak.

3. Takes Time to Set Up and Pack Away

Do you know what the best thing about a rigid kayak is? You take it from the car, straight to the water. And once you are done, you get it from the water, to the car, and to storage.

You will not enjoy this convenience with an inflatable boat. It is a price you have to pay for the portability and ease of storage.

Whenever you want to go paddling, you have to inflate it. This can be quite the task, especially with a manual pump. An electric pump may simplify the process. But it is still one more thing you have to do before you start kayaking.

When you are done, you’ll have to deflate it again and pack it in a bag.

It doesn’t sound like a lot of work if you only kayak every once in a while. But if you are a regular kayaker, it can be too much.

What Factors to Consider When Buying an Inflatable Kayak

a. Build Quality

Inflatable kayaks are made using PVC, Hypalon, or Nitrilon. Each of these materials has its pros and cons. What matters most is the construction.

PVC is super tough and durable but it deteriorates when exposed to UV rays. If you buy a PVC kayak make sure it has been treated to achieve UV resistance.

Hypalon and Nitrilon are tough and more resistant to UV rays. The only issue is that they are on the expensive side (compared to PVC). They are also heavy.

Nitrilon is eco-friendly so that is a plus.

The three materials are extremely rugged and long-lasting.

Many reputable manufacturers make their kayaks with a thick tarpaulin bottom. It is puncture-resistant and provides additional rigidity.

If you are wondering about the quality and durability of a particular inflatable kayak, check the price. More often than not, you get what you pay for.

When a kayak is too cheap, it means that the company cut the cost somewhere.

The warranty can also tell a lot. Manufacturers who are confident about their kayaks will have no problem offering a 2-, 3- or even 5-year warranty.

b. Performance

The performance of a kayak here refers to its speed, stability, tracking, maneuverability, and comfort.

Although inflatable kayaks are not exactly the best for racing, you can get some really fast ones. If you are looking for speed, find a long, narrow yak with a streamlined shape. It will glide smoothly on the water with minimum resistance and track impressively. This is very helpful for sea and touring kayaks.

Stability is important for beginners, people who want to bring a child/dog, and anglers. Wider kayaks with a flat hull are more stable. They have outstanding primary stability and they don’t wobble.

As for maneuverability, you want a kayak that you can handle without difficulties. Typically, shorter boats tend to be more responsive. That is why whitewater kayaks are short. But if you will not be paddling whitewater, don’t pick a kayak that is too short. It will be unstable.

A length of 10 to about 13 feet would be ideal for recreational kayaking.

All these factors won’t be useful if your kayak is uncomfortable.

How do you pick a comfortable inflatable kayak?

The seats should have good back support so you don’t end up with back pain. Adjustability is another important feature—both for the seat and the footrests.

Lastly, check the size of the interior. You will appreciate sufficient legroom—more so for the tall kayakers.

c. Storage

You have to bring essentials when going kayaking. You will need drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, your phone, among other things.

Where will you put them? Think about this while choosing your kayak. Most inflatable kayaks don’t offer many storage options. But they include bungee cords and space inside the cockpit for you to bring what you need.

d. Design

Will you be paddling solo or do you have a partner?

Kayakers who like to share the experience will enjoy having a tandem kayak. It has two seats for two paddlers. Some of them allow you to remove one seat and move the other, converting your yak into a solo.

Look also for features like drain plugs, skegs, and carry handles.

Drain plugs, as the name suggests, drain water so it doesn’t fill the boat. You can’t stop water from getting into your kayak. This is especially true with a sit-on-top kayak in the ocean.

A skeg helps with tracking while grab handles are convenient for carrying an inflated kayak.

e. Package

People love inflatable kayaks for many reasons. One of them is the fact that most yaks come with accessories.

You will need a paddle, pump, and bag for your blowup boat. These are additional expenses—but not if you choose an all-inclusive package.

You will save both money and time.

Some of the kayaks listed above come with everything you require. The accessories may be basic but they are great.

How to Use an Inflatable Kayak

Using your inflatable kayak is easier than you think.

How to Get In and Out of an Inflatable Kayak

Getting into and out of an inflatable kayak isn’t any different from getting into a hardshell kayak. And it is super simple.

Place your inflatable kayak on shallow water, turn your back to it, sit first then pull your legs inside.

To get out, bring your kayak to shallow water. Take out the legs first then stand.

Check out these two videos showing how it is done.

And if you happen to fall into the water, here is how you get back on your kayak.

How to Paddle an Inflatable Kayak

The best way to learn how to paddle an inflatable kayak is by taking a lesson or two.

But here are some tips for a basic paddling technique. 

First, learn to hold your paddle properly. Hold it over your head and bring both elbows to a 90-degree angle. That is the correct hand position. Bring your paddle back down.

Keep your back straight—don’t lean back. Place your feet onto the footrests, with your knees slightly bent.

Now you can start paddling. Make sure you immerse your blade into the water completely with every stroke.

How to Clean an Inflatable Kayak

Once you are done kayaking, don’t be in a hurry to pack the kayak in a bag and throw it in storage. You have to clean it first, especially if you paddle in saltwater.

Remove any sand or debris and then rinse the boat using clean water. If you notice stubborn stains, use soapy water (avoid harsh chemicals).

Let it dry completely; you can use towels to speed up the process. Packing away a wet inflatable kayak could cause a mold problem, which is not something you want to deal with.

Inflatable Kayaks FAQs

Q: Are Inflatable Kayaks Durable?

A: Inflatable kayaks are unbelievably durable. Most manufacturers use military-grade Dropstitch PVC construction.

Just watch this inflatable kayak torture test and judge for yourself.

Q: Are Inflatable Kayaks Stable and Safe?

A: Yes, they are, as long as you take the necessary precautions.

Inflatable kayaks have wide and flat hulls. It takes a lot of effort to tip them over.

As far as safety is concerned, use your inflatable kayak for what it was designed for. If you are going whitewater paddling, use a whitewater inflatable kayak. The same applies to ocean paddling.

Watch the weather and water conditions carefully. If things start getting rough, paddle back to safety.

Q: Are Inflatable Kayaks Good for Fishing?

A: Yes. There are inflatable kayaks made specifically for fishing. They have excellent stability, some even allow you to fish while standing.

Additionally, an inflatable fishing kayak often comes with extra features like rod holders and gear mounts.

Q: Can You Get 4-Seat Inflatable Kayaks?

A: Yes. There are one or two models out there, but nothing from reputable brands. The most common tandem inflatable kayaks are one-, two- and three-person yaks.

Q: Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe for Use on the Sea?

A: Yes, you can get inflatable ocean kayaks. Those are meant to be used in the open sea and they are safe.

However, sea conditions can get serious very fast and an inflatable kayak may not handle well. If you love open ocean paddling, get a proper traditional sea kayak.

Q: Can I Go Fishing Using an Inflatable Kayak?

A: Yes, you can. Buy a fishing kayak and you are good to go.

If you already have one and it is not designed specifically for fishing, there’s the option of DIY rigging it. Check the video below.

Q: Are Air Kayaks Easy to Repair?

A: Inflatable kayaks are super easy to repair, more so if it is a small puncture. And many of them already come with a repair kit.

See how easy it is.

Q: Are Blow Up Kayaks Ok for Dogs?

A: Yes. Inflatable kayaks are dog-friendly. The material is comfortable for them and you don’t have to worry about the claws. The kayaks are tough.

Q: Can I Go Kayak Camping Using an Inflatable Kayak?

A: Inflatable boats make great camping kayaks. You can get a tandem and remove one seat for more storage space for your camping gear.

They are lightweight and easy to carry around. The only downside would probably be the speed. You may find it slow if you are looking to cover a long distance.

Q: Can an Inflatable Kayak Pop Easily?

A: No. As already discussed, materials used to make inflatable kayaks are tough. Punctures are possible but popping is very rare.

Q: Are Inflatable Kayaks Slow?

A: Blow-up kayaks are generally not slow but they are not as fast as the traditional yaks. They are wider and this affects their speed.

That said, there are some fast inflatable kayaks out there. So it depends on the model you choose.

Q: Are Inflatable Kayaks Worth It?

A: Totally! Quality inflatable kayaks are worth buying. They are safe, durable and you are guaranteed to have tons of fun. Besides, you won’t have to worry about portability and storage.

Q: How to Find a Leak in an Inflatable Kayak?

A: Wipe your board with soapy water and look keenly for bubbles. They will appear where there is a leak.

You can also listen to any sounds of air escaping, like a hissing sound.

Take your time and make sure you cover the entire kayak.