Last Updated On March 25th, 2020
If you love kayaking, but you don’t have a place to store a kayak in your home or garage, then inflatable kayaks could be the perfect solution for you. With the best inflatable kayak, you get all the fun of a standard river adventure, plus the extra portability and convenience that a foldable vessel delivers.
Once they’re deflated, inflatable kayaks can come with you on almost any excursion, as all you need to do is roll them up and place them in the trunk of your car. When you’re not using them, your inflatable kayak can sit safely in a closet, or in your basement, without taking up too much room.
There are many different kinds of inflatable kayak available to choose from today, and the one that’s right for you will depend on a number of factors, including where you plan to go, how many people you’ll be kayaking with and more. Also, consider what activities you will be doing. Will you be fishing, whitewater rafting, relaxing on the water or going on a long adventure? Since choosing the best inflatable canoe is crucial to making sure that you have a safe experience on the water, we’ve explored all of the inflatable kayak reviews we could find to put together a list of the best kayaks available on the market today.
By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll know everything there is to know about deciding which inflatable kayak is right for you. What’s more, you’ll have a list of the top-selling boats on the market to get you started!
Our Favourite Inflatable Kayaks Compared
Top 7 Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews
If you’re looking for something that’s fun, streamlined and sporty to brave the elements with just enough room for you and your best friend, then you can’t go wrong with the Intex Explorer K2. This colourful inflatable double kayak is excellent for when you want to take to the waters with your loved ones, and its streamlined design makes it great for paddling too.
The sporty graphics and banana yellow colouring are great for people who love standing out. If you’re new to kayaking, it’s worth remembering that the brighter your colours are, the better off you’ll be. This neon yellow shade might not be your favourite colour for evening wear, but it will help the rescue team to find you if you end up drifting into dangerous elements.
According to the inflatable kayak reviews we read, the Intex Explorer is perfectly sized for two adults, but it still manages to be very lightweight and compact. Assembling the boat doesn’t take very long, so you can easily carry it with you wherever you go, just in case you come across a river that you want to explore. There’s a removable skeg included to give you more control over the direction that you move in, and two adjustable inflatable seats provide you with plenty of spine support on the water. Additionally, it comes packed with some extra gear, including two 86-inch aluminium oars!
If you’re looking for the best inflatable canoe or kayak, then you’re bound to come across plenty of options by Intex. This brand is responsible for some of the most respected inflatables on the market, including the Intex Challenger K1 – a luxury-grade inflatable vessel. If you’re an avid kayaking fan and you’re wondering which inflatable kayak is right for you, the Intex Challenger K1 comes with anything that a dedicated athlete needs.
Designed with a solo cockpit for individual adventures, the Challenger K1 is ideal for both advanced kayakers and beginners alike. One of the features that separate this craft from other options on the market is the extra room in the cockpit. If you’ve got long legs, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem here.
The 9-foot long canoe includes inflatable i-beam floors to increase the stability of the craft when you’re out on the water. It can hold up to 220 pounds of weight, and there’s an attached cargo net available where you can store extra supplies. The Kayak Challenger K1 comes as part of a complete package, with an inflatable pump and 2 high-grade aluminium panels.
There’s a common misconception in the world of kayaking that the best inflatable kayak needs to be a single-person vessel. While there are plenty of people who enjoy kayaking alone, there are also athletes that like to explore the water as part of a couple. Fortunately, for those who love a little bit of company during their fishing or whitewater rafting adventures, there are two-person kayaks available. You can even get inflatable kayak 3 person models, but we’ll come back to that later.
The Sevylor Colorado is one of the highest-quality 2-man kayaks available on the market. Designed for sturdy tandem experiences on the water, this kayak is perfect for fishing, high-octane whitewater thrill-rides and lazy river expeditions too. The craft comes equipped with Boston valves to support fast deflation and easy inflation, as well as a manometer for pressure control. Additionally, the two inflatable kayak seats included are easy to adjust, and even fully removable if you decide you just want to use the canoe solo one day.
One thing we must mention in this inflatable canoe review is how attractive the Colorado is. Although it includes the bright colours familiar with any kayak, it also has a very streamlined shape that is sure to aid aerodynamics when you’re in the water. What’s more, the compact canoe also comes with a durable polyester hull and a strong tarpaulin shell for greater safety on the water.
If your idea of the best inflatable canoe is one that supports relaxation and comfort, rather than something that was designed for competition, then the Sevylor Riviera could be the ultimate double kayak for you. According to reviews online, this delightful vessel is sturdy, comfortable and spacious – giving you everything you could want for a fantastic kayaking experience or a relaxing fishing trip.
Thanks to its broad shape, this versatile craft offers excellent comfort and stability when you’re out on the water. If you’re looking for an adventure that can continue even in some of the most blustery days, then the Riveria is strong enough to withstand various elements. What’s more, the inflatable seats are easy to adjust and remove according to your needs.
For people who want to carry their kayak with them during afternoon treks, hiking trips, and camping adventures, the Riveria comes with an advanced backpack system, so you can fold your entire kayak up and carry it on your back to your next destination. When it’s fully inflated, the kayak features a durable PVC hull, an i-beam construction floor chamber, and two PVC side chambers, all to support better stability on the water.
If you’re a beginner in the tandem kayaking world and you want to explore the sport without breaking the bank, then you need an inflatable double kayak that’s both economical and reliable. Intex, one of the best-known inflatable canoe brands in the world, has delivered exactly that with the K2 two-person kayak, made with super-tough vinyl for exceptional durability and tear- resistance.
Though not intended for rough waters or competitions, the K2 two-person still holds up well on most water-based adventures. The cockpit is a great size, with a backrest and inflatable seat that’s big enough to comfortably fit most people. Additionally, the 3-compartment construction makes the K2 easier to inflate and deflate at will. The system comes with a pair of welded paddle supports, a grappling rope (just in case) and an extra grip. There’s also a handy repair set included as part of your package, and 2 aluminium paddles to make sure you stay on course.
One of the best features of the K2 two-person craft is the netted section at the front that allows you to store extra gear like water bottles, sandals, or anything else you might need. The combination of black, green and blue colouring is also lovely if you’re looking for something outside of the standard bright yellow for inflatable kayaks.
If you want to take your kayaking adventure to the next level, why not make it a group activity? With an inflatable kayak 3-person canoe like the Sevylor Unisex Adventure Plus, you can take the family with you on the water. The craft is very rigid and delivers a stable experience in some of the toughest elements.
The high side walls with this inflatable canoe also offer extra protection during your whitewater adventures, while the adjustable seats allow you to quickly transform your boat into a two or three-person vessel at a moment’s notice. Importantly, when this inflatable sit on top kayak is set up for three people, it’s meant for two adults and one child – not three adults but it can hold a maximum weight to 200 kg.
Like many popular inflatable kayaks, the Adventure Plus comes with Boston valves for easy deflation and inflation, as well as a manometer for pressure control. This compact canoe also comes with an impressively robust polyester hull and a floor chamber with sturdy I-beam construction. If you’re looking for a craft that will keep you comfortable while you’re fishing or exploring, this could be the kayak for you.
When you’re deciding which inflatable kayak is right for you and your family, often the easiest option is to choose a brand that’s well-known in the industry. For years, Sevylor has been earning a reputation as a purveyor of high-quality canoes and kayaks, ideal for keeping adventurers happy around the world. The extensive Tahiti series of kayaks is a particularly successful selection. Almost every inflatable canoe review we read for it was glowing.
The Tahiti Plus 2+1 was one of the most impressive on our list, featuring a durable and lightweight construction ideal for the advanced athlete. This sturdy kayak boasts enough room for one child and two adults to explore rivers, lakes, seashores and more. There’s even an enhanced backpack system included so that when you’re finished on the water, you can just roll up your kayak and go.
Though there are many inflatable 3-person kayaks on the market today, the Tahiti is one of the most impressive because it can handle up to 200 kg of weight at once. Other inflatable kayaks can begin to sink when you add the third person into the mix – even when you’re exploring with a small child. Additionally, the Tahiti doesn’t ask you to compromise on your one and two-man journeys either. You can quickly remove and adjust the inflatable seats and balance your kayak for almost any adventure.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Any Good?
Fitness enthusiasts try to maintain their healthy lifestyle by engaging in different physical activities. Some use indoor machines like treadmills, exercise bikes or rowing machines while others prefer the outdoors and enjoy water sports like kayaking. Inflatable kayaks are great ways to explore the water and develop your skills if you don’t have enough space or time to deal with a full-sized, advanced level kayak. Inflatable kayaks offer convenience to modern athletes, as when they’re deflated, they can be carried by hand, on your back, or simply thrown into the boot of your car. When you do decide to use your canoe, there are plenty of foot and electric pumps to help you get it water-ready in no time.
The answer to that question, “Are inflatable kayaks any good?” depends on your perspective. If you’re an advanced level kayaker planning on using your craft to compete in races around the world, then even the best inflatable choices won’t be able to handle the pressure. However, if you’re merely looking for something to support your favourite hobby, an inflatable double kayak or a single kayak has a lot to offer.
The Benefits of Inflatable Kayaks
Getting the most out of inflatable kayaks means knowing which to purchase. If you choose the right craft for your needs, then you can be out on the water enjoying an amazing pastime much faster than you’d think. Some of the benefits of an inflatable kayak include:
Inflatable kayaks are lightweight and portable. You can fold or roll yours up at a moment’s notice with no rigid structure to worry about. That means that carrying your kayak or storing it is much easier.
Just because you love kayaking doesn’t mean you have space at home to store an entire canoe. Fortunately, if you can deflate your craft, you’ll have a much easier time finding a space for it within your property.
Great for beginners
Read through a few inflatable kayak reviews, and you’ll discover that these kayaks are often best for beginners because they’re strong, comfortable and easy to manoeuvre.
Inflatable kayaks are tough against the elements. They don’t break when they hit a hard object in the water and they’re flexible enough to bounce. If you’re learning and unsure of your skills, an inflatable kayak is much more forgiving.
What to Look for When Buying an Inflatable Kayak
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for choosing the ultimate kayak, but it’s a good idea to go into the purchase with a clear knowledge of what you want to get. For instance, remember to evaluate the following things.
Think about your needs, are you searching for an inflatable double kayak to support you and your other half? Do you want to take an extra companion with you on your journeys, such as a pet or a child? If so, then you may need an 3 person vessel. Even if you’re planning on sticking to solo adventures, you might find that a double kayak is the best choice, as it provides extra space for gear and equipment. If you think you’ll need to take a lot with you, like your fishing gear, don’t be afraid to look at the next size up.
Just like most purchasing decisions, while price shouldn’t be the most important thing you look at when you get an inflatable kayak, it is something that you’ll need to consider. A low price can be great, but it sometimes indicates that you’re paying for a lower quality material. Make sure that both the budget and the right features align to give you the ultimate inflatable kayak.
There are many different types of advanced material on the market used to make an inflatable kayak. Some of the most common are PVC and Nitrylon. PVC is one of the cheapest options, but it doesn’t provide the best level of protection against elements like the sun and abrasions from rocks. On the other hand, harder materials like Hypalon (Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene) and Nirtylon (Nitrile Rubber) offers a more durable option, but you will need to pay more for it. As well as examining the type of material, it’s worth checking how thick the sections are, which may be listed in “denier.”
It’s also worth considering the design of your inflatable kayak. For instance, do you want to get a kayak that is long and aerodynamic, or short and sturdy – ideal for fishing trips? A narrow kayak will give you more speed on the water, while a broader kayak will help you to maintain your stability. Additionally, think about whether you want short or tall sides for your canoe. Taller sides give you more room for your legs, but they also catch more wind, making it harder to kayak through rougher elements.
Choosing the Right Kayak: It Depends on You
Ultimately, the right choice of kayak for you will depend on your preferences as an athlete, and what you plan to do when you’re out on the water. The kind of vessel that you get for a whitewater rafting trip will be entirely different for the canoe that you would get if you were going to take your wife and child out on an afternoon fishing expedition.
The best way to start your search is to make a list of all the things you need from your kayak. If you’re planning long trips, for instance, you’re going to need a kayak that’s comfortable enough that you can relax in it for hours at a time. Additionally, if you plan on taking a lot of gear for fishing or any other outdoor adventures, then you’ll need your kayak to include a storage net and other cargo options too.
Good Luck Finding Your Inflatable Kayak
As you can see from the inflatable kayak reviews above, the best inflatable kayak can come in many different shapes and sizes. Some come equipped with extra gear, like free paddles and boat repair kits, while others are designed specifically for a certain kind of kayaking. If you know what you want to accomplish with your kayak before you begin shopping, you’ll improve your chances of making the right choice.
We prefer the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak for its sporty design, ideal for almost any kind of water. This fantastic kayak is great for making kayaking a two-person sport, and the canoe comes with everything you need for your first journey, including robust aluminium oars. This two-person kayak combines durability and convenience with comfort, which makes it great for beginners and advanced kayakers alike.
Of all the kayaks we’ve reviewed today, which one is your favourite? Is there another kayak you’d love to get that we haven’t mentioned? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section, and good luck buying the kayak of your dreams!