Kayaking is an excellent way to enjoy the great outdoors, but traditional kayaks can be expensive. Fortunately, you can enjoy the water with an inflatable kayak. These lightweight and affordable vessels require no complex assembly and allow paddlers to explore the water without a lot of hassle.

You can kayak on lakes, slow-moving rivers, or the ocean with an inflatable kayak. In fact, inflatable kayaks are just as stable as hard kayaks, and they’re often much easier to carry to a launch location. An inflatable kayak can be stored in the trunk of your car and takes up little space when deflated. Here you can find our review on the best inflatable kayaks for 2022.

Popular Choice

SE300X Explorer Kayak SEA EAGLE

★★★★★

Sea Eagle SE300X Explorer Inflatable Kayak

Top PickMost Popular

Advanced convertible ADVANCED ELEMENTS

★★★★★

ADVANCED ELEMENTS Advanced convertible Inflatable Kayak for water sports

Best Value

370 Pro Inflatable Kayak SEA EAGLE

★★★★★

Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat w/ Paddles

BEST INFLATABLE KAYAKS 2022

ADVANCED ELEMENTS Advanced frame convertible

OUR TOP PICK

ADVANCED ELEMENTS Advanced convertible Inflatable Kayak for water sports

General Impression

When researching the best inflatable kayaks it’s hard not to notice how often Advanced Elements comes up. Their kayaks are not only known for having some of the best performance on the market but the features seem to be endless. The Tandem Advanced frame convertible model is the perfect example of this and finds itself as our top pick for the best inflatable Kayak.

This kayak offers all of the best features that top of the line inflatables do and more. Utilizing aluminum ribs throughout the hull design provides incredible tracking that is seemingly effortless. Not only is the hull rigid but additional supports in the bow and stern create a hydrodynamic streamlined body that slices through the water.

 

This 2person inflatable kayak arrives with top of the line performance, but users also have the option of further improving the kayak with the purchase of upgrades. The Advanced frame convertible is compatible with the conversion decks, which turn the design into a closed deck, and the drop stitch floor which further enhances rigidity and tracking.

Specifications

BRAND: Advanced Elements
PADDLERS: 1-2
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 550 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 15 ft. (L) x 32 in. (W)
FOLDED SIZE: 35” x 21” x 12”
WEIGHT: 52 lbs.
MATERIAL: 3 layer Polyurethane
TRACKING FIN: Yes, 1 removable skeg
SUITED TO: Flat water, upto class III rapids
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: Aluminum ribs, adjustable seats, dry storage, D-ring and bungee tie downs

PROS

  • Aluminum Ribs
  • Excellent tracking
  • Optional Add-Ons

CONS

  • No footrests
  • Carry case is awkward to handle

SEA EAGLE 370 Pro Kayak

BEST VALUE

Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat w/ Paddles

General Impression

For the kayaker who wants to bring along friends, family, dogs, or just have plenty of room to spare the Sea Eagle 370 pro can do it all. This kayak offers an exceeding level of stability and with a weight capacity of 650 lbs. It allows for the option of extra passengers.

Even though this Sea Eagle kayak is suitable for up to 3 people it can still be operated by a single user. This feature, in addition to being rated for use in up to Class III rapids, is what makes it a great kayak for all occasions and solidly places in our top ten inflatable kayak review.

The Sea Eagle 370 Pro finds an excellent balance between durability, portability, performance, and price. Buyers are sure to fill their days with hours of relaxing on calm waters or fast-paced adventures while navigating rapids.  Also with a few quick additions, this kayak is a contender for the best inflatable kayak for fishing.

Specifications

BRAND: Sea Eagle
PADDLERS: 1-3
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 650 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 12 ft. 6 in. (L) x 34 in. (W)
FOLDED SIZE: 31” x 19” x 8”
WEIGHT: 32 lbs.
MATERIAL: K80 PVC
TRACKING FIN: Yes, 2 removable skegs
SUITED TO: flatwater, up to class III rapids
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: drain valves, spray skirts, pressure gauge, paddles, foot pump

PROS

  • All-inclusive
  • High weight capacity
  • Fits 3 people
  • Lots of space for storage

CONS

  • Decreased tracking
  • Longer setup time

SEA EAGLE SE300X Explorer

General Impression

The Sea Eagle SE300X explorer was designed with white water kayakers in mind and it delivers. Having the stability, drainage, and durability to handle up to class IV rapids buyers can go on endless adventures without worry.

White water aside this kayak is still versatile enough for flat calm waters or even moderate ocean conditions. Boasting an impressive 16 fast-acting drainage valves and a highly durable hull design that is only enhanced with the addition of a separate drop stitch floor and deep setting skeg.

This inflatable kayak packs high performance in a small package making it extremely maneuverable and fun for all users. The Sea Eagle 300X also includes a high-performance paddle for improved power when navigating rapids and they have also improved the seat with a taller backrest for added comfort.

Specifications

BRAND: Sea Eagle
PADDLERS: 1
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 395 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 9 ft. 10 in. (L) x 38 in. (W)
FOLDED SIZE: NA
WEIGHT: 30 lbs.
MATERIAL: 1100 Decitex reinforced
TRACKING FIN: Yes, 1 removable skeg
SUITED TO: flatwater, up to class IV rapids
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: dual floor system, Drain valves, very stable, great tracking, maneuverable

PROS

  • High-performance paddle
  • 16 drain valves
  • White water design
  • Heavy Duty

CONS

  • Carry bag can be difficult to handle
  • Minimal storage

DRIFTSUN Rover 120 Kayak

General Impression

The Driftsun Rover is an exceptionally tough inflatable kayak that easily finds itself in top inflatable kayak reviews. Whether you’re relaxing in calm waters or thrill-seeking in Class IV rapids this kayak will do the trick.

Exceeding in all aspects that we look for in inflatables the Driftsun Rover 120 comes fully stocked with a few extras. The package includes everything you need to start your adventures with a large tote bag to fit kayak, paddles, and pump for easy travel. It even has a ready to go action camera mount so kayakers can document their epic adventures.

Specifications

BRAND: Driftsun
PADDLERS: 1
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 300 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 8.5 ft. (L) x 36 in. (W) x 13 in. (H)
FOLDED SIZE: 28” x 21” x 9”
WEIGHT: 22 lbs.
MATERIAL: 1000D Layered PVC
TRACKING FIN: Yes, 1 removable skeg
SUITED TO: flatwater, up to Class IV rapids
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: Adjustable seats, adjustable foot rests, camera mount, paddle, Hand pump, travel bag

PROS

  • Performs well in rapids
  • Kayak and accessories fit in the travel bag
  • Easy to set up and put away
  • Heavy duty

CONS

  • Drains slowly
  • Velcro footrest

AQUAGLIDE Navarro 145 Kayak

General Impression

Although the Aquaglide Navarro comes with a hefty price tag in comparison to some other brands the price does not come without some added benefits and increased durability.

This kayak goes above and beyond with ruggedness and resilience. Constructed from 24 gauge PVC with an accompanying 600D hex ripstop polyester, and included drop stitch flooring, the Navarro 145 is a tempting option for kayak enthusiasts who may need a product that can withstand a beating. Having such resilience also makes it a great inflatable 2 person fishing kayak.

Added features also include the option of a closed deck conversion, ample storage space, boston valves, and velcro paddle keepers. This kayak also offers a substantial skeg on the bottom for some of the best tracking you can find in an inflatable kayak. The Aquaglide Navarro 145 is built to last with an emphasis on fun which is why it lands in our review for the best inflatable kayaks.

Specifications

BRAND: Aqualglide
PADDLERS: 1-2
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 500 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 14 ft. 5 in. (L) x 40 in. (W)
FOLDED SIZE: 26” x 24” x 11”
WEIGHT: 33 lbs.
MATERIAL:  24 Gauge PVC
TRACKING FIN: Yes, 1 removeable skeg
SUITED TO: flatwater, touring, up to Class III rapids
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: Drain plug, deck conversion, adjustable seats, footrests, dry storage

PROS

  • Drop stitch floors
  • Storage compartments
  • Cockpit drain
  • Hexshell Deck Cover

CONS

  • Halkey Roberts Valve adapter not included
  • Closed deck conversion not included

ADVANCED ELEMENTS Advanceframe Ultralite

General Impression

Advanced Elements have managed to make a blow up kayak that looks and tracks like a hardshell with the release of the Ultralite. As with all advancedframe products you can expect quality and performance when on the water.

The Advanced Elements Ultralite incorporates aluminum supports within the hull design giving this kayak the improved handling and rigidity that so many inflatable models lack. The reinforced areas in the bow, stern, and paddling areas increase longevity and reduce any concerns of tears or punctures.

Another reason the Advanced Elements Ultralite is in our list of the best inflatable kayaks of 2021 is that it is exceptionally lightweight, even within the realm of inflatables but still manages to retain the durability and ruggedness that the company is known for.

Specifications

BRAND: Advanced Elements
PADDLERS: 1
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 225 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 10ft. 5in. (L) x 32in. (W)
FOLDED SIZE: 31” x 18” x 6”
WEIGHT: 17.5 lbs.
MATERIAL: 3 layer polyurethane
TRACKING FIN: Yes, 1 Fixed Skeg
SUITED TO: Flatwater, up to class II rapids
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: foot rest, storage compartment, adjustable seat, duffel bag, extremely light

PROS

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Tear-resistant
  • Excellent tracking
  • Comfortable seat

CONS

  • Paddle and pump not included
  • Limited height and weight capacity

INTEX Excursion Pro

General Impression

For those who are searching for inflatable kayaks that comfortably seat two, are easy to use, and come at a reasonable price the Intex Excursion Pro is a great option. Intex offers a vast range of models yet the Excursion pro stands out as an inflatable tandem fishing kayak.

Offering a quick setup and inflation of about 15 minutes the Excursion Pro will get explorers on the water quickly and safely. Being one of the more heavy-duty models offered by Intex this kayak can easily accommodate two people with room to spare. Having such a high level of stability allows people to comfortably traverse through the water without worry. With the bonus of fishing rod holders and plenty of space to store tackle boxes, gear, or even an anchor the Intex Excursion Pro is well rounded and the best inflatable fishing kayak in our review.

Specifications

BRAND: Intex
PADDLERS: 1-2
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 400 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 12ft. 7in. (L) x 37 in. (W) x 18 in. (H)
FOLDED SIZE: 25” x 24” x 13”
WEIGHT: 39 lbs.
MATERIAL: 3 ply PVC and polyester core
TRACKING FIN: yes, 2 removable skegs
SUITED TO: flatwater, calm oceans, up to class II rapids
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: two paddles, hand pump, mounting brackets, adjustable seats, carry bag, rod holders

PROS

  • Rod holders and mounting brackets
  • All-inclusive
  • Spacious
  • Various D-Rings for attachments

CONS

  • Rod holders angle inward
  • Carry case wears quickly

SEVYLOR Quickpak K5

General Impression

The Sevylor Quikpak K5 has earned its place in our inflatable kayaks review due to the fact it’s highly compact, easy to transport, and has a fair amount of space considering its size. Sevylor has managed to create such a kayak without sacrificing durability which is quite the feat.

Arriving as an all-inclusive package there is no need to worry about purchasing separate paddles or pumps. When buyers begin to set up the Quikpak K5 it will soon become apparent why it is known for its unique design and portability. Everything from the travel pack becomes incorporated into the kayak itself, even the backpack itself unfolds and doubles as the seat.

Lastly, given this Sevylor Inflatable Kayak has a relatively wide appearance, it tracks and handles quite well considering the design. The manufacturers have aided the tracking with the addition of two skegs on the bottom which helps kayakers sit back and enjoy the day.

Specifications

BRAND: Sevylor
PADDLERS: 1
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 250 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 10 ft. (L) x 32 in. (W)
FOLDED SIZE: 33.5” x 20” x 8.5”
WEIGHT: 23 lbs.
MATERIAL: 24 Gauge PVC
TRACKING FIN: yes, 2 fixed skegs
SUITED TO: flat water, up to Class II rapids
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: Backpack carry case, adjustable seat, , paddle, hand pump

PROS

  • Backpack design
  • Good maneuverability
  • Everything included
  • Highly tear-resistant

CONS

  • Holds water
  • Difficult to drain

SOLSTICE Durango

General Impression

The Solstice Durango kayak is a quick and easy to use option for those searching for the best inflatable kayak to suit their needs. It’s fun, simple, and can easily be converted into a 2 person inflatable fishing kayak for added fun.

What makes the Durango stand out is the drop stitch flooring that improves so many of Solstice’s products. This helps to increase the stiffness of the hull in turn enhancing the tracking and ability to withstand rips or tears from scrapes.

The pontoons are constructed from K80 PVC that in conjunction with the 1000D nylon cover and heavy-duty flooring increase the longevity of the kayak and can help to relieve concerns of wear over time. Also, the Durango has various D-rings and bungee tie-downs at various spots providing plenty of attachment points for gear and moorings.

Specifications

BRAND: Solstice
PADDLERS: 1-2
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 440 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 11 ft. (L) x 37.4 in. (W)
FOLDED SIZE: 32” x 19” x 10”
WEIGHT: 29 lbs.
MATERIAL: K80 PVC
TRACKING FIN: Yes, 1 removable skeg
SUITED TO: flatwater, up to class II rapids
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: nylon cover, D-rings, adjustable seats, foot pump, carry bag

PROS

  • Various carry handles
  • Drain feature
  • Very quick setup
  • Rigid floor

CONS

  • Seats could be improved
  • Nylon straps wear over time

INTEX Explorer K2 Kayak

General Impression

Intex offers a vast range of models yet we can’t ignore the Explorer K2 in our inflatable kayak review. Although it may not offer the highest performance on the market it is a great product that is durable and comes at an undeniably low cost.

The explorer K2 excels in ease of use and comfort. Quick and easy setup makes this a perfect option for beginners and drain valves with raised seats will keep users comfortable during their explorations. For this reason, many people have converted these into an inflatable 2 person fishing kayak.

For those researching the best inflatable kayaks to be used in reasonably calm conditions at an extremely affordable price, the Explorer K2 is worth considering. Intex has managed to maintain tracking performance, durability, and portability which can be sacrificed in other models falling in the same price range.

Specifications

BRAND: Intex
PADDLERS: 1-2
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 400 lbs.
DIMENSIONS: 10 ft. 3 in. (L) x 36 in. (W) x 20 in. (H)
FOLDED SIZE: NA
WEIGHT: 37 lbs.
MATERIAL: Heavy Duty Vinyl
TRACKING FIN: yes, 1 removable skeg
SUITED TO: flat water, minor rivers
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES: adjustable seats, high visibility color, Paddles, Hand pump

PROS

  • Comfortable
  • Stable
  • Easy entry and exit
  • All-inclusive

CONS

  • Not as durable as other models
  • Not rated for rapids

BEST INFLATABLE KAYAKS
Buyer's Guide

When buyers are looking for the best inflatable kayak it’s important to consider various aspects. Whether it be price, performance, purpose, or anything else, it’s key to find the kayak that is right for you. To help with your choices we have created the following buyers’ guide.

Material

Inflatable Kayaks have evolved to become quite durable contrary to common belief. The best kayaks in 2021 tend to use variations of heavy-duty vinyl, polyurethane, PVC, nylon, or a combination of the sorts. 

When considering which material will withstand time and nature, buyers will need to understand the purpose in which they will use the kayak.

If entries and exits are from piers, jetties, or sandy areas there won’t be too much stress on the bottom of the kayak and lighter materials should suffice. On the other hand, if users will likely encounter rocky river beds, barnacles in the ocean, or possibly the unknown it’s better to opt for a more durable and resistant material to avoid unwanted punctures or tears.

When looking for the most resilient inflatable kayaks, consider a hull that is manufactured from high-grade PVC or polyurethane that is accompanied by a nylon cover. The addition of what’s called a drop stitch floor can also enhance the durability and performance of the kayak.

Size

The size of a kayak will dictate certain limitations within its use. These primarily relate to the number of passengers, weight capacity, storage space, and stability.

Longer inflatable kayaks tend to be capable of accommodating more passengers, providing more room for comfort, and also offering additional space for storage. On the same topic is the width of a kayak. The best inflatable kayaks are notorious for excellent stability yet the wider the kayak is the more stable it tends to be.

The downside to choosing a kayak that is larger than necessary is that the increased length and size can be detrimental to tracking, handling, and speed. These become especially apparent with only a single paddler.

It is worth researching the weight capacity of the inflatable kayak you are purchasing to be sure it will withstand your intended purpose in regards to passengers, gear, pets, etc. That being said, if you choose a kayak based on the number of paddlers you would like it to hold, many models have a corresponding weight capacity that is more than enough.

Weight and portability

Although one of the main appeals of an inflatable kayak is its ease of transport and storage, buyers should still consider the weight of the kayak when deflated, the dimensions when packed, as well as the dimensions when inflated. This will give users a good idea of what to expect when transporting the kayak. 

Whether it be the amount of storage space available, the size of the trunk of a car, or the ease of getting the kayak to the beach when you arrive, it’s key to make sure the portability suits your needs.

Additional Features

Aside from the basics above it can be nice to have a few extras on your inflatable kayak to improve your experience on the water. 

Ample drainage, closed-deck options, and spray skirts are a great way to help keep dry and improve comfort.

D-rings, storage compartments, and bungees are excellent for bringing along additional gear and providing plenty of attachment points for additional items such as anchors, moorings, and dry bags.

Also don’t underestimate the added fun of having mounting brackets for action cameras, dog platforms, or any number of exciting additions that users can use to customize their inflatable kayaks.

Many people also enjoy inflatable fishing kayaks. Some models are advertised specifically as an inflatable fishing kayak but keep in mind that most are easily converted without much extra cost or hassle. In fact, many buyers prefer to choose based on performance, storage, and space, and then turn them into a fishing kayak that is inflatable. This allows anglers to choose the rod holders, tackle boxes, and gear that best suits them and fully customize their inflatable kayaks for fishing based on their needs.

BEST INFLATABLE KAYAKS
FAQs

What is the Best 2-Person Inflatable Kayak? Do you Get 3-Seat and 4-Seat Kayaks?

There are various 2-person inflatable kayaks on the market that are quality products. Most if not all inflatable kayaks designed to carry 2 people will likely have sufficient weight capacity to support 2 adults with room to spare yet it’s worth double-checking it is enough for your intended use. Other factors to consider and help narrow your choices will be durability and performance. In our best inflatable kayaks review, our top pick is the Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible tandem kayak. It’s an excellent fit for all users and purposes.

Some inflatable kayaks do fit up to 3 people however it is usually with limited space. These kayaks tend to be better suited to fit 2 adults comfortably with a bit of room for storage. To accommodate 4 people buyers will likely need to consider an inflatable boat rather than a kayak.

Are Inflatable Kayaks Good for Fishing?

The short answer is yes. There are many inflatable kayaks available designed for the intent of fishing yet many can be easily converted. 

A great approach is to find the best inflatable fishing kayak is to look for one that offers a heavy-duty material to provide resilience as well as the appropriate hull design for the environment you will be using it in. Following that, if the kayak does not already have rod holders included it is an easy addition to make.

Consider a kayak that has various attachment points and mounting brackets along with some additional storage space. This will make traveling with additional gear such as tackle boxes and coolers much easier as well as assisting in the use of an anchor. At the end of the day, the best inflatable kayak for fishing can easily be created with a few simple upgrades.

Are Inflatables Safe for Use on The Sea?

Although not many inflatable kayaks have the designation of a ‘sea kayak’, as that is a category of its own, as long as buyers choose an appropriate model they will be able to venture out to sea without issue.

The best inflatable kayaks for ocean use should be highly stable, offer multiple air compartments, and be rated for use in the intended water conditions. As many inflatable kayaks will have a rating for rapids it is safe to assume they can be used in ocean conditions that offer challenges equivalent to that of the rating.

For instance, if the inflatable kayak is rated for Class III rapids as long as the surface conditions in the sea are equal or less than Class III rapids the kayak should perform well.

However, always err on the side of caution and don’t stray too far from shore. If you’re ever unsure of the kayaks rating don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer.

How Do I Clean an Inflatable Kayak?

After use, it’s best to hose the kayak down with fresh water. Sometimes this is easier when it’s still inflated, however that’s not always feasible. Following the rinse gently remove any dirt or mud with a soft cloth.

Lastly, it is best to allow the inflatable kayak ample time to dry. This is an important step as if the kayak is still damp when stored mold can grow and it can deteriorate the material. It’s best to towel dry the kayak first and then allow it to air dry until all the moisture is gone.

How Do I Find a Leak in My Inflatable Kayak?

The best approach to find a leak in your inflatable kayak is to start with a bottle of water with soap, shampoo, or some kind of non-corrosive detergent. Then proceed to spray different parts of the kayak and if bubbles begin to form you have likely found the culprit.

Start at the Valves as this can often be a failure point in some models. Following that, if you can narrow it down to a certain part of the boat such as an individual compartment, or the flooring, try there. Visually scan the boat for any scratches or noticeable marks as this can indicate the point of puncture. Lastly, you can sometimes depend on hearing the leak however this won’t necessarily work unless it is quite substantial.

How Do I Patch an Inflatable Kayak?

Depending on where the leak is there are a couple of different approaches to fixing a leak.

If the leak is originating from one of the valves it’s best to check that the fitting is tight and secure. It may be as simple as a couple of quick turns. Badly damaged valves may need to be replaced and you should contact the manufacturer.

To patch an inflatable kayak that has been punctured you will need what’s referred to as a repair kit or patch kit. Many inflatable kayaks come with the necessary kit but if it’s not included they are readily available in many sporting good stores or from online suppliers.

The patch kit will come with instructions that you should follow but it tends to be quite straightforward. Patching usually consists of washing and drying the area around the puncture, applying glue to the patch and the area that needs to be fixed, and then applying the patch and placing a heavy object on top to ensure it seals. Usually waiting for about 24 hours you can then apply adhesive to the edges of the patch to ensure it stays in place and is sealed.

How to Get Back in an Overturned Inflatable Kayak?

Although inflatable kayaks are extremely stable it’s good to know how to right the kayak and get back in should a capsize occur.

After securing your paddle and any belongings swim to the boat. Placing your hands on the kayak boost yourself up using your arms and legs and lie face down on the bottom. You will then want to grab the far side with your hands, bring your knees up, and begin to shift your weight back until the kayak rolls over.

After the kayak is flipped upright it’s as easy as repeating the process to get inside. Grasping the side of the boat and kicking your legs enter the boat face down lying across the pontoons. Then when you feel stable you can roll your body and bring your legs under you into a seated position. Bare in mind you may need to bail some water after re-entering the kayak but the best inflatable kayaks have self drainage.

Reach Out

As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!

David Stefanoski

David Stefanoski is an avid outdoorsman who loves to explore the deepest, most exciting crevices of nature and then write about them. From the maximum depth that a scuba suit can go, to the maximum heights that his legs will take him, David enjoys the outdoors in its warmest, sunniest days on the prairie, to the iciest, dampest little spots in Eastern Europe. After 15 years of trudging, his favorite outdoorsman activity is still chopping wood due to his large body size. He says it's like splitting toothpicks!

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