* If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Best Inflatable Kayak

Last Updated: 26th March 2020
Adam
Product Review by Adam

Kayaks have been used for thousands of years, but only recently have inflatable kayaks surged on to the market.

Their compact nature makes them much more practical than traditional hard shell kayaks.

They also tend to be a cheaper option than their hard shell counterparts and endure a similar level of stability once in the water.

Additionally, the durability of inflatable kayaks has improved continuously over the years, to a point where they can almost compete with hard shell kayaks.

Inflatable kayaks are so sturdy now that they can be used for fishing or even white water rafting!

Today at Top Review Zone we’ll be taking a look at ten of the best inflatable kayaks currently on the market, let’s get straight into the round-up and see what these products are all about!

Our Reviews

1

Intex Explorer Inflatable Kayak

Next up is the Intex Explorer Inflatable Kayak, an ideal option if you require a budget-friendly option for two people. 

This product is one of the more affordable options of this roundup but still features plenty of the perks of higher-priced models. 

The first feature we like is the air pump and paddles coming free with the product; this is great as some of the more expensive inflatable kayaks don’t come with these included. 

Consumers have reported that the handling of this kayak is surprisingly good. The addition of the removal skeg can also help contribute to better overall stability too. 

The material used for the kayak is puncture-resistant vinyl, however many consumers have reported getting punctures rather easily. 

Despite this, the kayak does feature a three-chamber system, which ensures other areas of the kayak remain inflated after a puncture. The product does come equipped with a patch kit for punctures. 

The kayak comes in a small duffle bag for ease of transit, and at 30lbs weighs slightly less than its sister product, the Intex Challenge Inflatable Kayak. 

Despite the issues with durability, this product is excellent value for money, especially if you are new to kayaking and aren’t planning anything too ambitious. 

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Quick inflation and deflation
  • Three separate air chambers
  • Removable skeg for directional stability

Cons

  • Lack of legroom for person in the back seat
  • No repair glue included for punctures
2

Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak

The Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak is an excellent option if you require a budget-friendly kayak for two people. 

This product is the most budget-friendly option of this roundup but still features plenty of the perks of higher-priced models. 

The first feature we like is the air pump and paddles coming free with the product; this is great as some of the more expensive inflatable kayaks don’t come with these included. 

Consumers report that the kayak handles well and rides low in the water which makes it more stable. 

However, the comfort of the kayak has been questioned, with some consumers suggesting that it is best suited to shorter excursions as the seating becomes uncomfortable after a while. 

The set up of the kayak is easy and features two separate compartments to inflate. These are comprised of the sides/hull and the floor of the vessel. 

The product comes in a small duffle bag for ease of transit; however, at 34lbs, you won’t want to be carrying this around for too long. 

Some consumers have questioned the durability of this inflatable kayak, but it does come with repair patches. 

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Pump and paddles included
  • Low and stable

Cons

  • Lack of durability
  • Reports of water leaking in
3

Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak

The Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak is an excellent choice if you require an inflatable kayak with a similar design to its hard-shell relative. 

This inflatable kayak can be transformed into several different formats depending on your requirements. 

The first format allows for two people, the second accommodates one person, and the final format gives the kayak a standard open deck format suitable for up to three people.  

Manufacturers Advanced Elements suggest a max weight of 550 pounds, easily enough to hold two adults. 

The hull is designed with built-in aluminum ribs to define the bow and stern and help improve tracking. The kayak features three layers of puncture-resistant material to add to its durability. 

The kayak comes in a duffle bag for easy transportation. One issue we don’t like with this item is that paddles and a pump are not included with the product.  

For the price of the product, it would be nice if paddles and a pump were included. However, the product is excellent value for money and is from a company that specializes in this industry. 

Pros

  • Great design flexibility
  • Highly-rated
  • Reasonably priced
  • Available in two different colors

Cons

  • Max weight could be higher
  • No paddles or pump included
4

Sevylor Quikpak Inflatable Kayak

Next up is the Sevylor Quikpak Inflatable Kayak, a perfect option if you’re on the hunt for a one-person kayak at an affordable price. 

Despite being budget-friendly, Sevylor has kitted out this inflatable kayak with many of the features that you would expect from a premium-priced model. 

When it comes to handling, this is one of the better inflatable kayaks for tracking in a straight line. Although we do recommend, you paddle gently to maintain a straight line. 

One feature we like is the air pump and paddles coming free with the product; this is great as some of the more expensive inflatable kayaks don’t come with these included. 

This model has a comfortable design for its user, and the cockpit is nicely shaped to fit around one person. 

The kayak itself takes just five minutes to set up and is housed in a small, easy to carry backpack. 

Once fully inflated, the backpack becomes the base for the seat, a smart feature that we like. 

Our favorite feature of this model is its durability. This inflatable kayak is very well made, which is surprising considering its slender price tag. 

24-gauge industry-standard construction PVC makes up the kayaks inflatable base, and multiple air chambers allow for another chamber to remain inflated if one is punctured. 

 

Pros

  • Quick setup
  • Double lock valves
  • Affordable
  • Established brand
  • Durable

Cons

  • Only available in one color
5

Driftsun Rover Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Next up is the Driftsun Rover Tandem Inflatable Kayak, an excellent choice if you require a high-quality inflatable kayak and have a mid-range budget. 

The price is higher than other comparable models; however, this inflatable kayak is rugged enough for white water kayaking, so it does represent a savvy investment.

Our favorite feature of this inflatable kayak is the durable material used in its build. 1000D reinforced PVC side tubes add real durability to the kayak. 

This should help limit punctures to the kayak; however, we do recommend you purchase a small repair kit just in case you run into any trouble while out on the water.  

One feature we like is that you get several products included with the price of the kayak. Some of these include two aluminum paddles and a deluxe double action hand pump. 

The kayak comes in a small bag for easy maneuverability, and at 22lbs isn’t too heavy to carry around compared to other products.  

Overall this is one of the better inflatable kayaks on the market if you intend to do any white water kayaking. 

Pros

  • Three chamber design
  • Paddle and pump included
  • Durable
  • Removable skeg

Cons

  • Lack of storage space
  • Repair kit not included
6

Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak

Next up is the Sea Eagle Inflatable kayak, a great choice if you require a two-person kayak and have a low range budget. 

This product is one of the more affordable options of this roundup but still features plenty of the perks of higher-priced models. 

The first feature we like is the skegs on the bottom of the kayak. This model features two skegs on the bottom for better tracking and speed. 

We like this feature as not many inflatable kayaks feature two skegs.

A max weight of 500lbs ensures two large adults can comfortably fit in the kayak under the weight limit. 

The kayak is certified by NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association), this essentially means that they believe this product is of excellent quality. 

A three-chamber design is featured on this kayak; this is relatively common for inflatable kayaks. Inflation time should take around 8-10 minutes. 

An air pump and paddles come free with the product, this is great as some of the more expensive inflatable kayaks don’t come with these included. 

When it comes to durability, Sea Eagle is a brand you can trust; the hull is made up of 38 mil PVC, which should help significantly against punctures. 

For portability purposes, the kayak comes in a large bag. However, some users have complained that it becomes uncomfortable to carry over your shoulder for long periods. 

Despite this, the product is excellent value for money and would be ideal for a great number of different activities. 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable seats
  • Paddles and pump included
  • Suitable for class III whitewater

Cons

  • Not ideal for one person
  • No D-rings to help fasten gear
7

Airhead Montana Inflatable Kayak

Next up is the Airhead Montana Inflatable kayak, an excellent option if you require a budget-friendly kayak with a lightweight build and exceptional durability.

Despite being very lightweight, this kayak has excellent durability. It’s made up of 840-denier nylon with UV protection to ensure maximum strength.

There isn’t a great deal of storage room in this kayak; however, you wouldn’t expect that from a one-person kayak.

When it comes to performance, an excellent hull design makes for very stable paddling. Its wide design also means that the kayak will not flip over.

The kayak does feature a three-chamber system, which ensures other areas of the kayak remain inflated after a puncture.

One aspect we dislike is that this product does not come with much additional equipment. A bag, pump, and paddles are not included with the product.

This is a real shame; however, you are getting an excellent quality kayak for a very reasonable price.

Overall you’re getting a well-made kayak for a competitive price from a brand you can trust.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly option
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Great handling

Cons

  • Only available in one color
  • No storage bag, pump or paddles included
8

AIRE Lynx Inflatable Kayak

Next up on our list is the AIRE Lynx Inflatable kayak, a great choice if you have a generous budget.

The kayak is one of the more expensive tandem kayaks on the market, but we believe it justifies that price tag.

The first feature we like is the kayak’s versatility. It can function in most bodies of water thanks to its Aircell system two-layer construction.

This is made from 24 oz./1100 denier outer PVC tubes and a 27 oz./1100 denier outer PVC floor, which features 14mm inner urethane bladders, double-zipper access, and welded seams.

However, despite the solid build, we recommend you don’t take this kayak any further than class III rapids as the length of the vessel will make it challenging to handle.

The kayak does feature a three-chamber system, which ensures other areas of the kayak remain inflated after a puncture.

Manufacturers AIRE has also included a repair kit with the product should you run into any difficulties on the water.

An impressive 10-year no-fault manufacturer warranty is included with the kayak, which gives you peace of mind given its premium price.

Given the price of the kayak, it would be nice to see a bag, pump and paddles included. You’ll need to buy these separately.

Overall this is a solid choice, but it is premium-priced.

Pros

  • 10-year no fault manufacturer warranty
  • Large storage area
  • Great manoeuvrability
  • Repair kit included
  • Can be used as a solo-kayak

Cons

  • Premium price
  • Bag, pump and paddles not included
9

Elkton Outdoors Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Next up is the only fishing kayak of this roundup, the Elkton Outdoors Inflatable Fishing Kayak is aimed at the fishing market; however, can still be used for touring.

This inflatable kayak is one of the more durable kayaks of this roundup. It features 1000D reinforced PVC material to help avoid punctures.

Consumers report that the kayak handles well and has excellent stability due to its two skeg design.

Comfort is critical for long periods fishing, Elkton Outdoors have included comfortable Hi-Rise EVA seats which can be adjusted for maximum pleasure.

One aspect we don’t like about this product is the storage. For a fishing kayak, we would like to see some more storage room for equipment.

The kayak can handle a load of 600lbs but doesn’t leave much room for storage; storage space is available in the bow and stern of the kayak.

Despite this, we like this kayak’s versatility. If you aren’t fishing, you can use this kayak just like any other vessel.

Manufacturers Elkton Outdoors suggest this model can be used in shallow water, deep water and even up to class III rapids.

When it comes to portability, the kayak comes in a travel bag with backpack straps, perfect for handling. Paddles and an air pump are also included.

Overall a great option if you require an inflatable fishing kayak.

Pros

  • Two skegs for improved stability
  • Great durability
  • 30 day guarantee on returns
  • Can be used for fishing, touring and other activities
  • NMAA certified

Cons

  • Not a great amount of storage
  • Premium price
10

Aquaglide Tandem Inflatable Kayak

The Aquaglide Tandem Inflatable Kayak is a great choice if you require an inflatable kayak for one to three people.

The max weight for this kayak is 550lbs, this is a reasonable figure for three adults, however, I would suggest this model is better suited to two adults and a young child.

One feature we like about this kayak is the comfort, consumers have reported that the seats are comfortable, but suggest the vessel is better suited to two people.

Despite this, the kayak features a fishing rod holder on the back of the two main seats, giving it dual purpose.

Manufacturers Aquaglide offer a one-year limited guarantee with the product, this is great as it shows real confidence in the product from the supplier.

This kayak features plenty of storage space, with mesh pockets on the back of two of the seats.

For maneuverability, the kayak can be carried in a duffle bag with two carrying handles.

The kayak weighs approximately 31lbs, which is very light for a kayak suitable for up to three people.

Also included with the item are a repair kit and hand pump which saves you money. Overall a great investment, ideal for slow-moving rivers, lakes and some light whitewater.

Pros

  • Suitable for one to three people
  • One year warranty
  • Trusted brand

Cons

  • Does not include paddles or pump
  • Only a three star rating

Buyers Guide 

Purpose

When purchasing an inflatable kayak the first thing you will want to consider is what you intend to use it for.

Recreational kayak – more affordable and better suited for beginners.
White water kayak – shorter than most kayaks and better suited to intermediate to advanced level users.
Touring kayak – tend to be longer and better suited for covering long distances.
Fishing kayak – ideal for fishing but most can be used for other uses too.

These types of kayak then come into subcategories based on their seating style:

Sit-on-top – the seat is usually almost level with the top of the sides.
Sit-in – sides tend to be higher than the seat.
Canoe-style – more like a canoe and therefore has a much deeper center.

Materials

The materials that make up your kayak are pretty important, after all, you don’t want to end up too wet!

Most inflatable kayaks are made up of polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as PVC. The strength of this is measured in denier, this reflects on the thickness of the material.

The other material used in inflatable kayak constriction is Hypalon, this is more durable but is used a lot less frequently as it’s expensive.

Size

Most inflatable kayaks support one to three people. The size can determine how well an inflatable kayak will handle.

For instance, a one-person kayak will usually handle better than a two-person kayak, but a two-person kayak may provide better stability.

Three-person kayaks are available, although they tend to be aimed at two adults and a child or pet. These are ideal if you require a two-person kayak with additional storage space.

Portability

Inflatable kayaks have excellent portability when compared to their hard shell counterparts. When choosing an inflatable kayak to make sure you’re aware of how much the product weighs.

Most inflatable kayaks weigh anywhere between 15lbs and 60lbs, sometimes even heavier. You don’t want to be carrying that around for too long.

Most kayaks will come with a bag included to carry the product, however, some of these may be low quality so you may want to consider buying your own.

Additional extras

As mentioned above, bags are frequently included to help maneuver the kayak to the water.

Another extra you may want to look out for are paddles, not all kayaks will come with paddles so make sure they’re included before purchase.

Different variations of pumps are included with most inflatable kayaks, but not all will include pumps.

The final extra you’ll want to look out for are repair kits. You can probably buy a higher quality puncture repair kit elsewhere but some kayaks do come with some great repair kits.

Recap

Overall our favorite inflatable kayak is the Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak.

Manufacturers Advanced Elements have made a high-quality inflatable kayak for a very reasonable price.

We like the fact the kayak can be transformed into three different formats.

This product would be the perfect addition if you require a kayak for solo use or up to three people.

Share the Love

If you found this post useful, please let others know about it by sharing it.