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Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews: The Top Boats To Buy


You could spend thousands of dollars to purchase a standard kayak. Since the average person has less than $1,000 in their savings account, that isn’t really a feasible expense. Enter in the idea of the best inflatable kayak to get you out onto the water. Not only are inflatable kayaks a fraction of the cost, you can still tour, fish, and explore just as you would in any other kayak. Are you ready to see the shore in a whole new way?

The Best Chart for Inflatable Kayaks

Some inflatable kayaks really aren’t worth talking about. You could float in a newspaper boat better. We’re not going to focus on those. These top-rated inflatable kayaks will give you a durable user experience so you won’t have to worry about finding your repair kit any time soon.

PictureNameOur RatingNo. of personsPrice
Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak 4.3
Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak 4.2
Coleman Quikpak Inflatable Kayak 4.2
Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package 4.4

Coleman Quikpak K5 Inflatable Kayak 4.1
Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak 4.6
Sevylor Fiji Kayak 4.0
Outdoor Tuff Stinger Inflatable Sport Kayak 4.1
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Inflatable Kayak 4.4
Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak 4.0
PictureNameOur RatingNo. of personsPrice

What Are the Advantages of the Best Inflatable Kayaks?

The best inflatable kayaks are incredibly lightweight. Even when they are fully inflated, you’ll find that you can haul it to your launch point with ease. This is because for most kayaks in this category, their structure has no rigidness to it. You can just inflate it, launch it, and then deflate it when you’ve finished exploring.

You’ll also find that there are these additional advantages which can be realized when you make an investment into one of today’s best inflatable kayaks.

  • They are easy to upkeep. The best kayaks in this category have a strong hull surface which will be resistant to punctures, scrapes, and other damage that can occur when you’re out on the water. Even if you do get a puncture or tear, it is easy to repair the issue by applying a patch or some adhesive.
  • They are really easy to clean. When you’re finished on the water, all you need to do to clean your inflatable kayak is to spray it down with a simple rinse. Then just make sure it is fully dry before storing it to avoid mold or mildew formation.
  • They provide you with the support you need. When fully inflated, an inflatable kayak is nearly as firm as a standard hulled kayak. This is especially true for the models that have a skeleton frame to support the inflated hull. This allows you to board the kayak quickly, track well in sometimes difficult conditions, and have a great time overall.

Tracking is the primary complaint discussed when owning the best inflatable kayaks. Turning and tracking in an inflatable kayak can be difficult when there are severe crosswinds or other adverse conditions. Otherwise the performance of these kayaks is on par with their standard hulled counterparts.

What Are the Prices of the Best Inflatable Kayaks?

You’ll find entry-level inflatable kayaks are priced between $100-$200 for most brands. Compare this to the entry level plastic hulls of a standard kayak and you’ll be able to save about 50% on the cost of getting you out into the water.

Premium inflatable kayaks may be priced up to $1,000. The upper end of this price spectrum are the kayaks that are suitable for fishing and other common water activities. The savings you’ll receive is about the same percentage as compared to the entry-level models.

What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?

Intex Explorer

This two-person inflatable kayak is a solid option for those who want to see if this type of water sport is right for them. It has a low profile, which makes it perfect for lake use, yet it is durable enough for some low-flow rivers as well. Adjustable seats are included, also inflatable, so that everyone can be as comfortable as possible when paddling along. A removable skeg is also included with the design for added stability and the aluminum paddles and a pump come along with the purchasing price.

Click here to compare prices on Amazon and buy now.

Coleman Quikpak

This single-person inflatable kayak proves that a surprising amount of value can be put into a small, affordable package. We especially loved the backpack carrying system which comes with this design, as it turns into your seat once the kayak is fully inflated. The 21-gauge PVC construction is rugged enough for most general use, though medium surf and above may cause this kayak to struggle. Multiple air chambers and a patented stay-tight system help to make sure your kayak doesn’t leak at the worst possible time. The price is nice and it’s fun for everyone, so give this inflatable kayak a look today.

Click here to compare prices on Amazon and buy now.

Sea Eagle SE370KP

When you look at the top reviews of inflatable kayaks on the internet today, you’ll find that this particular model keeps coming up in conversation. It’s easy to see why once you get the chance to use it for yourself. It inflates in just 8 minutes and is NMMA Certified, keeping the air chambers pressurized properly thanks to three one-way valves. Inflatable spray skirts are also part of this design, as is a self-bailing drain valve. If you want a sport kayak, but don’t want to pay for a traditional hull, then we highly recommend this model to you today.

Click here to compare prices on Amazon and buy now.

Outdoor Tuff Stinger

Out of all the inflatable kayaks in this category, we found the tracking with this particular model was the most consistent. It inflates quickly, yet deflates into just 36 pounds that needs to be transported. When properly deflated, it can fit into virtually any vehicle trunk. You’ll also receive two paddles, fins, and inflatable seats so that you can be as comfortable as possible. We just wish the warranty was a little better on this model: it’s a 1-year limited warranty, basically against craftsmanship, and there are qualifications that must be met. For size and value, however, you’ve got to take a look at this kayak.

Click here to compare prices on Amazon and buy now.

Advanced Elements Firefly

Unlike other inflatable kayaks, this particular model offers built-in rigid panels that help with your navigation. The bow and stern are better defined, so you have good tracking in virtually any weather or wave conditions. A spring valve and twist-lock valve combine to create a fast setup time for this kayak, while the landing plate and tracking plate give you an overall improved performance over basic entry-level inflatable kayaks. It’s comfortable, fast, and built to last.

Click here to compare prices on Amazon and buy now.

A Quick Guide to Inflatable Kayaks

There are plenty of things to worry about when looking at what your inflatable kayak may need. You can add bungees, skirts, mounts, seats, fishing gear, and plenty of other stuff to personalize your kayak. Before you do that, however, you will want to consider the actual hull shape of your kayak when it is fully inflated.

This is because there are four common types of hull design that are available in this category right now. The design of the hull will help you fulfill a specific purpose. Many of the complaints that are discussed about inflatable kayaks tend to involve this very issue. Match your purpose of ownership to these common hull designs.

  • Rounded Hull. This hull design offers a rounded edge for the kayak. This creates a shape that is reminiscent of a torpedo. The goal of this design is to improve the speed you can achieve with each paddle. You’ll also find that this hull design tends to provide you with more stability and maneuverability.
  • ­V-Shaped Hull. This design is similar to the rounded hull, but with a more pronounced point at the bottom center of the kayak. This sharpness allows the inflatable kayak to track better because the shape is able to cut through difficult waves more effectively. Their speed is nearly equal to the rounded design as well, but there can be issues with stability for beginners.
  • Pontoon (Tunnel) Hull. This is the type of hull you’ll want to have if stability is your primary concern. You get the stability benefits of the rounded and flat hulls so that you are stable in virtually any water conditions. This also means you receive a reasonably good tracking experience. Speed is sacrificed with this hull design.
  • Flat Hull. This type of hull gives an inflatable kayak an average experience in all rating categories. It’s fairly stable, offers decent tracking, and speed isn’t bad either. Maneuverability can sometimes be an issue if waves are catching you other than head-on, but that’s the only real complaint about this hull design. It is a good all-around option, especially for those who may never have been kayaking before.

Once you’ve determined what type of hull will best fit your needs, then it is time to look at some of the other feature variations that can be built into an inflatable kayak. Different configurations can help improve tracking, comfort, or speed for your inflatable kayak so that you can have the user experience that you want.

  • The chine is defined as the “way the kayak meets the water.” Hard chines provide more angles to the hull, which gives you more of the V-shaped hull experience. A rounded chine, on the other hand, gives you more of the rounded hull experience. This applies to whatever hull design the inflatable kayak may have. Harder chines track better, but provide less stability.
  • This is the curvature of the hull as measured from bow to stern. When there is more curvature in the hull, then the inflatable kayak is more likely to rock back and forth from bow to stern. Having less rocker in your hull design will give you better tracking. No rocker, in fact, is your best option if maneuverability is your primary concern. Rocker can also be present in only one portion of the kayak’s design.
  • The design symmetry of an inflatable kayak is also important to consider. When the weight balance is off because of the design, then it takes more effort to keep the kayak upright. If the floor is not rigid in a symmetrical way, then it can affect the tracking. A lack of symmetry can also change the water entry line and how you move within the kayak itself.

Once you’ve determined the size and shape of your inflatable kayak, then you’re ready to find the one which best meets your needs. Look through the best inflatable kayak reviews which offer an impartial look at the hull design, features, and composition of each make and model for best results. Then choose the one with the hull design which best meets your needs.

You’ll also want to look for an inflatable kayak that has the features which will match up well with the activities you are planning. Fishing from an inflatable kayak means needing bungie straps for your tackle box, rings for your gear, and other specific needs for the type of fishing you do.

If you are touring more with your inflatable kayak, then you may wish to consider paddle placement options, cooler storage, and expanded webbing to help you keep track of the supplies you may need for your day away.

Are You Ready to Enjoy Life with the Best Inflatable Kayaks?

You might not have a lot of cash in the bank, but you don’t need a lot of cash to get yourself out on the water.  Even if all you have is a small lake to enjoy, an inflatable kayak is a simple and easy way to make sure you can finally get off of that crowded sandy beach.

Inflatable kayaks are easy to transport, with most models fitting into a standard trunk. They take up very little storage space as well. You may have a few additional steps to take in order to make sure you store a dry kayak instead of a wet one, but the many positives of inflatable kayak ownership far outweigh that one small negative.

Why keep renting a kayak when you want to have some water fun when it is so affordable today to own? The best inflatable kayaks are waiting for you right now. Pick your preferred make and model, grab a paddle, and go explore the Great Outdoors.

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