Best inflatable kayak Reviews & Buying Guides For 2017-Top 10 Models

Imagine driving by a lake and having the urge to just go out on the sea. You pull up, open your trunk and pull out a kayak. Yes, that’s right- a kayak in your trunk. That is what the best inflatable kayaks can offer you- the flexibility to sail when and where you want. While this is true, you must be careful not to buy substandard products that don’t last or won’t hold the air in.

Whether it’s for fishing or leisure, inflatable kayaks, also called air kayaks, are very convenient. While this is true, getting the best product may prove difficult. This is why I have put together a review of the best inflatable kayaks on the market. This will help you make a choice when you need to buy a good kayak.

Top 10 Best Inflatable Kayaks – Reviews

1. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Intex Challenger K1 KayakThis is an inflatable kayak built for one user. You enter into a world of your own with this streamlined but roomy kayak. It cuts through water easily with its slim design and yet large enough to provide balance on the water.

It comes with two air chambers on the sides for easy inflation and deflation, with extra features such as a hand pump, and a line on both sides to grab for safety.

The floor is also inflatable, to provide comfort and firmness. It can carry weight up to 220 pounds. This one has a 4.3 out of 5 stars rating.

Pros :

  • Extra tools can be stored in the attached cargo net.
  • Takes only about 3 minutes to inflate the main kayak.
  • Comes with an adjustable, inflatable seat and added a backrest for comfort.
  • Repair kit and high-capacity hand pump included.
  • Made with tough materials for durability.
  • Eye-catching graphics for enhanced visibility and safety.
  • Weighs 24.6 pounds and can be carried around.

Cons :

  • Only one person can fit in.
  • Does not include a carry bag.
  • Meant for recreation alone.

2. Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak

This is another 1-person kayak with an even sleeker and more attractive design. Built with high-grade PVC for added toughness, you can be sure of its durability.

The amazing part of this is that it weighs only about 18 pounds (easy to carry around), yet can hold weight up to 400 lbs. Improved air-tight system ensures the air stays in.

It is also built with your comfort in mind as you can place your legs in any of the multiple positions that suit you. You can also carry this one easily out of the water with attached handles. This is what makes it one of the best inflatable kayaks.

Pros :

  • Included carry bag for portable transport.
  • Multiple air chambers ensure you can inflate and deflate easily.
  • It is puncture-proof with its tarpaulin bottom.
  • Added cup holder feature helps keep your drink close.
  • Requires less than 5 minutes to set up.
  • It comes with a high-capacity hand pump.
  • The backpack is designed for use as the seat. More use, less weight.

Cons :

  • Complaints about the middle sinking a bit.
  • Some users also thought the paddle wasn’t good enough.

3. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak


Just so you have the much-needed company out on the water, the Intex Challenger introduced the K2. Built to comfortably sit 2 people, it is made of super-tough vinyl for added strength and durability.
Space and comfort are unbelievable you can even have a date with that special one out on the water.Sharp, eye-catching graphics ensure you’re visible on the water in case of an emergency.

It is approved by the United States Coast Guard and can carry a maximum weight up to 400 pounds. The seats are inflatable, adjustable and include backrest for support.

Pros :

  • Can seat 2 people for a perfect recreational day out.
  • Puncture resistant with a tough vinyl material.
  • Tough but portable. It weighs 37.8 pounds.
  • Added safety with bright, eye-catching graphic design.
  • Streamlined design for enhanced movement on the water.
  • Includes two 86-inch aluminum paddles and high-capacity pump.
  • Can conveniently carry a combined weight of 400 pounds.

Cons :

  • Does not include a carry bag.
  • Restricted to use for recreational purposes.

4. Advanced Elements Frame Convertible kayak

As the name implies, the Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak is convertible. You can adjust the deck to accommodate one or two persons.

So you can sit solo or in tandem and have an open or closed deck, depending on your preference or need. The durability of this brand is top notch. It stands in a league of its own.

Built with multiple layers, the kayak has an inflatable tube (chamber) within the outer material that actually pumps up. The design is sleek and classy. Talk about sleek, style, convenience and comfort, this one has it all.

Pros :

  • Six chambers for added durability.
  • Comfort is ensured with adjustable back support.
  • Carry bag is included for easy movement.
  • Also, includes a skeg tracking fin.
  • Multiplayer materials for increases resistance.
  • You can choose to kayak solo or with a partner.
  • Bow and stern seams reinforced for support.
  • Can hold a combined weight of 550 lbs.

Cons :

  • Little or no storage space.
  • This version may not hold you if you’re beyond 6 ft tall.
  • Purely for recreational purposes.

5. Sevylor QuikPak K5 kayak

With a backpack to move with, you simply need to find a good water spot, unpack, inflate and kayak. What’s more? The backpack folds out into a seat. This is as easy and convenient as they come.

The high-grade PVC construction and tough tarpaulin bottom can easily withstand tough terrains.

It also contains multiple air chambers, so that you don’t worry when there’s a leak on one of them. The others will easily get you to safety.

Pros :

  • You only need 5 minutes to set up.
  • Includes spray covers to protect and keep you dry.
  • Carry handles for easy movement in and out of the water.
  • Convertible backpack aids transport of the kayak.
  • Durable materials for puncture resistance.
  • Comes with a high-capacity hand pump and paddle.
  • Has a manufacturer’s 1-year warranty.

Cons :

  • Much of the accessories do not work well.
  • Many users complain that there is not enough leg room.

6. Sea Eagle SE 370 with Deluxe Package

If you are looking for an inflatable kayak that go down Class Rapids and can also be used during leisure to paddle around the lake, the incredible Sea Eagle SE 370 might be your perfect pick.

Apart from the fact that this Kayak is incredibly versatile, it is also rugged and highly durable.

It features a 38 mil hull that makes it withstand sharp claws and prevents tearing of the kayak.
Although this kayak weighs just 32 pounds, it has the capacity to comfortably carry about 650 pounds cargo and passenger combined! It also features 3 detachable seats, an I-beam construction, inflatable spray skirts, drain valves and rope handles to ensure easy mobility.

Sea Eagle is easy to set up, in fact, you can set the kayak up in less than 8 minutes. With its high capacity foot pump, the kayak is fully inflated and ready to go in just 100 pumps. With this kayak, you can rest assured you’d get the value for your money. This one stakes its claim as one of the best inflatable kayaks on the market.

Pros :

  • The Kayak is Certified by Natural Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)
  • It is very rugged and lasts long
  • Easy to assemble.
  • It can carry about 650 pounds of cargo and passengers.
  • Features molded skegs for speed and tracking.

Cons :

  • The inflatable seats do not provide as much support as plastic seats of other relative kayaks.

7. Airhead AHTK-2 Montana Performance Kayak

This is another incredible inflatable kayak basically designed for moderate whitewater and lakes. This comfortable and spacious two-person kayak makes camping and vacation experiences amazing.

It is designed with wonderful features that ensure comfort, speed and more importantly, safety. This kayak is about 12ft long, making it more spacious than lots of other similar kayaks.

It features an I-beam floor for comfort and has a general weight capacity of about 500 Ibs which comfortably accommodates two people.
For a paddler that doesn’t want to spend on a solid shelled kayak, airhead AHTK-2 Montana performance is a perfect option.

Pros :

  • The Kayak is durable and safe
  • Easy to set up and inflate
  •  Smooth tracking
  • Comfortable and relatively spacious
  • It is portable, easy to maintain and store.

Cons :

  • It does not feature a pump and a storage bag.
  • The kayak might experience slight deflation due to cold water.

8. Sevylor Big Basin kayak

If you are looking for an inflatable kayak that is big, spacious and very comfortable, you should look towards the direction of Sevylor Big Basin kayak. This kayak is one of the very few kayaks that accommodate three people comfortably.

It is built with strong PVC and also has a tarpaulin base that prevents puncturing by sticks or other sharp objects. And if it ever gets punctured, it features three chambers that will enable you to paddle to shore for safety.

It features 3 adjustable seats, a cup holder for each of the seats, Boston Valves, a spray cover that helps keep out water and two directional strakes that guarantee smooth paddling and tracking.

Pros :

  • Spacious and comfortable
  • It has wonderful tracking
  • Durable and safe

Cons :

  • It does not come with a pump or paddles

9. Advanced Elements Firefly

If you set eyes on Advanced Elements Firefly for the first time, you’d think it is no more than a tube or some kiddie’s toy.

It is extremely lightweight and perfect for that child who can go kayaking on his own.

Although perfect for kids because of its lightweight, it can carry weight up to 250 pounds, so even an adult can use it. A firm landing plate and tracking fin keep you on course. It is also very easy to inflate with its dual valve option.


Pros :

  • It is durable and can withstand some beating.
  • Easy to set up and inflate.
  • Lightweight for ease of movement.
  • It is also very portable and can be stored easily.

Cons :

  • There’s not enough leg room.
  • May not withstand tough currents.

10. Sevylor Fiji Kayak

You can get the convenience of both worlds with the Sevylor Fiji Kayak; the inflatable advantage and the space of an actual boat. Built to hold two people comfortably, the seat at the rear is fixed while the one in the middle is removable

. It is durable with thick PVC material to withstand wear and tear and also ensure that the air stays in.

Again, it has multiple chambers, so there’s always a support to get you back to shore if you do hit a snag.

 

Pros :

  • Certified to hold up to 400 lbs.
  • Includes spray covers to keep you dry from splashes.
  • Can be used by one or two persons, since the middle seat is removable.
  • Comes with a 90-day limited warranty.
  • Multiple air chambers for safety assurance in case of a puncture.
  • Comes with a paddle and carry bag.

Cons :

  • May not be comfortable if ridden by 2.
  • Restricted use; for recreational rides.

Types of Inflatable Kayaks

Improvements have been made over the years on how kayaks are made. These have given rise to different types of inflatable kayaks. They include;

Canoe Type Kayak:

It is called a canoe type because it has similar features with a canoe. The walls are higher, it is larger, with much larger space and much deeper sitting area. They are becoming increasingly popular especially amongst people who require kayaks for fishing.

Sit Inside Kayak:

You’re probably already familiar with this type of kayaks. They are the ones that come with an enclosed cockpit that covers the lower part of your body while you sit inside. This one tends to protect you from water and other harsh elements.

Self Bailing Kayak:

These kayaks are built with holes at the bottom so you don’t have to worry about bailing water that splash in. This feature helps to prevent getting soaked and is suitable for white water rafting.

Sit On Kayak:

There are also kayaks made without an enclosed cockpit. There is no room to get into. Here, you’re required to sit on it and is a good option for fishing because of the room and freedom it provides.

Why You need an Inflatable Kayak

One of the most important benefits of my Sevylor QuikPak K1 is the fact that I can have it in my trunk wherever I go. You just can’t tell when you’d need to pull out your kayak and set it up. Whether it’s a flood or a strong urge to pull over and just get on a lake on a sunny afternoon, inflatable kayaks help you live in the moment.

The portability is another important factor that makes many people prefer inflatable kayaks to regular wooden or plastic ones. The fact that they are inflatable doesn’t mean they’re not tough. Materials used to make the best ones are tough and rugged, able to withstand toughness of the water and other objects around or beneath.

What to look out for in choosing an Inflatable Kayak

The best kayaks definitely have several unique features. However, there are some things that are common with them. Before you choose an inflatable kayak, consider the following;

Durability:

An inflatable kayak has to be durable. Otherwise, it won’t stand the pressure of the water and objects in and around it. The best inflatable kayak is made with tough synthetic material that can prevent puncture, wear and tear for a longer time. Also, ensure it can carry much weight.

Portability:

One of the reasons for wanting an inflatable kayak is its portability. However, some tend to be too heavy and may not even have carry bags. The best inflatable kayaks are those that can deflate, fold, and pack up easily into an included carry bag.

Size:

This might depend on what you need the kayak for, but it’s best to put it into consideration. Some kayaks are built to hold one person, some others two or more people. You should choose what suits your need at that particular time.

Comfort:

Comfort is key when choosing an inflatable kayak. You don’t want to go out kayaking and return with a back ache. The best kayaks come with adjustable seats and backrest and give plenty of room for your legs. You should look out for these.

Operation/Control:

It is also important to check if it is easy to control. Look out for the paddle system for easy directional movement and stress-free paddling. To know all these, you should check out reviews such as this one. You should also look out for the one that is easy to inflate.

Storage:

When out kayaking, you would want to be able to store your gears. For instance, if you’re fishing on a kayak, you’d need enough space for your catch and your fishing gears. Also, look out for extra storage systems that can keep things safe and dry.

Balance:

As safe as kayaks are, you should look out for the ones that you are less likely to fall off from. Some kayaks are built to be stable, so you can stand and fish without worrying about tripping over.

Specific Design:

You should also know that they are some inflatable kayaks designed specifically for fishing, some for sports or leisure, and some others for adventure. It is important to get the one that suits your needs.

How to choose an inflatable kayak

There are several factors you should consider before you make that purchase. They include;

Solo or Tandem?

You should decide how many people will be on board per time. Some kayaks are made for one person, some for two, and some others for more than two people.

Specific Usage

You should know what you want to do with it. Fishing? If that is the case, you should consider getting a sit-on kayak. However, any kayak can be used for fishing, but some are just more convenient. Other uses could be recreational or sports.

Height and Weight

Kayaks have stipulated dimensions and capacity. You should pick a kayak that comfortably fits your height and weight. Otherwise, you’re sure to have an awful experience.

Type of Water/Location

Some kayaks work better at flat, calm lakes and slow moving rivers, others can withstand the strong currents of oceans. Be sure to consider this factor before you get one.

Comfort

If you have a therapeutic condition, you may find it difficult getting in and out of a sit-inside kayak. A sit-on kayak is probably the best choice for you. Your comfort is key when choosing a kayak.

Some other factors may include whether consideration and whether you want a self-bailing kayak or not. If you’re an adventurous person and are not deterred by stormy weather, you should consider getting a kayak that is rugged, with provision for a spray skirt.

Advantages of the best Inflatable Kayaks

  • You can take them anywhere with you because they can be folded and packed easily.
  • They are also lightweight, and very easy to carry around.
  • It is also easier to secure inflatable kayaks, as they can be kept in your trunk.
  • An inflatable kayak is versatile and can be used for almost anything.
  • It is also easy to store an inflatable kayak. In fact, some of them come with carry bags.

Final Verdict

Getting the perfect inflatable kayak should no longer be a problem. With this review of the best products on the market, you can buy and enjoy the goodness of the best inflatable kayaks. Not having a truck or SUV to carry your plastic or wooden kayaks should no longer stop you from having a good and pleasurable ride. Get one of these, and you can thank me later.