10 Best Inflatable Kayaks (Easy to Use & Affordable)

Best Inflatable Kayak

The inflatable kayak is a fun boat that can be used for a wide range of activities, ranging from recreational family outings to competitive kayaking.

One of the best things about the inflatable kayak is that it is very easy-to-use, quick to set up and is relatively affordable for a boat.

Moreover, the inflatable kayak is one of the rare types of boats where you absolutely do not need a permit to operate.

If you are fresh on the market for the best inflatable kayak for the money, we have you covered! Here are our impressions on a few hand-picked kayaks that are worth the consideration.

You can also read other product reviews on the same niche such as touring kayak, recreational kayak, inflatable sup, sit on top kayak, tandem kayak, and many more.

Product Name

People Capacity

Weight Capacity

Rating

Current Price

1. Sea Eagle SE370K-P Inflatable Kayak

3

650 lbs

4.4

2. Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak

2

400 lbs

4.3

3. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak

2

500 lbs

4.0

4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Inflatable Kayak

2

N/A

4.1

5. Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak

2

450 lbs

4.7

6. Advanced Elements Convertible Inflatable Kayak

2

550 lbs

4.3

7. Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak

1

500 lbs

4.2

8. Intex Challenger K2 Inflatable Kayak

2

400 lbs

4.1

9. Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak

1

220 lbs

4.3

10. Sevylor Quikpak K1 Inflatable Kayak

1

400 lbs

3.8

1. Sea Eagle SE370K-P Inflatable Kayak

Sea Eagle SE370K-P Inflatable Kayak
  • People Capacity: 3
  • Kayak Weight: 55 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 650 lbs

The Sea Eagle SE370K-P is the highest capacity inflatable kayak in terms of people. Indeed, this model can safely accommodate up to 3 people with ease.

Moreover, you get 2 quality paddles with this purchase. The paddle has an aluminum shaft and a hard plastic blade for durability. Further, the seats of this inflatable kayak can easily be adjusted. The backseat is quite comfortable which will prevent back pain for those who paddle for an extended period.

Best, this model has the biggest weight capacity of 650 lbs which allows it to accommodate a lot of weight with great ease.

All in all, we elect the Sea Eagle SE370K-P as one of the best inflatable kayaks because it has an excellent weight capacity as well as the ability to accommodate up to 3 people.

Pros:

  • Can accommodate 3 people with ease
  • 2 quality paddles included in this purchase
  • High weight capacity of 650 lbs

Cons:

  • The blue webbing dye on the seat is not of good quality. It bleeds easily
  • Pockets at the back of the seats are small offering limited storage

2. Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak 

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak
  • People Capacity: 2
  • Kayak Weight: 35 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs

The Intex Explorer K2 is a popular inflatable kayak solution. This model is fit for 2 people and is fairly lightweight at 35 lbs when deflated. This shows that it is portable and can easily be carried to the kayak site.

Its weight capacity of 400 lbs is decent and plentiful since most people will not exceed this limit. Additionally, the yellow color of this inflatable kayak is actually a security feature which allows you to see the kayak from a distance. Very helpful in case you use the kayak or in an emergency situation.

There are removal skegs at both sides of the kayak that provides it with stability and excellent tracking. Moreover, this is a complete kit that comes with 2 paddles, the inflatable kayak as well as a heavy-duty manual pump.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective. Value for money
  • Has removable directional skegs for stability
  • Striking color for visibility in case of emergency
  • Comes with 2 paddles and a manual heavy-duty pump

Cons:

  • None

3. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak 

Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak
  • People Capacity: 2
  • Kayak Weight: 26 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs

We know Sea Eagle for their high-quality inflatable kayak. This Sea Eagle 330 is no different. It is made from a heavy-duty Polykrylar material with a reinforced bottom for durability.

What we like the most about this model is that it weighs only 26 lbs. when deflated and is highly portable. Quite an achievement considering that this kayak measures a length of 134 inches which is quite long when inflated.

Moreover, the weight capacity of 500 lbs makes it an excellent choice for those who pack a lot of accessories on their inflatable kayak. The only caveat is that we would have wished that it had a better people capacity as well as a more cost-effective pricing.

Pros:

  • Excellent build construction from Polykrylar. Cleated bottom for durability
  • High weight capacity of 500 lbs.
  • Lightweight at 26 lbs when deflated. Easy to carry around

Cons:

  • The price could have been a little bit more cost-effective

4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Inflatable Kayak 

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Inflatable Kayak
  • People Capacity: 2
  • Kayak Weight: 41.2 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: N/A

One of the things that distinguish the Sevylor Coleman inflatable kayak from the competition and is its excellent build quality.

Indeed, this model is made from an 18-gauge PVC material that makes it one of the most durable inflatable kayak that you can buy. This allows you to use this boat in treacherous waters like white water rapids.

Moreover, it has multiple technologies that would prevent it from leaking or deflating in case of a puncture. Indeed, this inflatable kayak has multiple chambers that will not all deflated once when punctured in one location.

Best, the manufacturer has made provisions for a trolling motor at the back in case you want to use this inflatable kayak on the next level. Like a fishing boat, for example.

Pros:

  • High-quality 18-gauge PVC construction material. Durable and long-lasting
  • Multiple air chambers for security. Will not deflate in case of puncture
  • Will not leak and the interior will always remain dry thanks to Airtight technology
  • Motor mounting system at the back for more versatility

Cons:

  • The price. This inflatable kayak is on the expensive side

5. Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak 

Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak
  • People Capacity: 2
  • Kayak Weight: 27 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 450 lbs

There is no doubt that the Driftsun Voyager is a good inflatable kayak. It has all the features necessary to make it a true demon when it comes to kayaking.

However, it has a price as this model is also the most expensive inflatable kayak solution in this review. But, the excellent build construction from a heavy duty PVC speaks for itself.

What really separates this kayak from others is its ability to get inflated faster than others. Indeed, the manufacturer claims that this inflatable boat can be inflated in less than 5 minutes. However, in all likelihood, this is because of the heavy-duty pump included with this model.

Moreover, the bottom is cleated with a thick tarpaulin material to prevent puncture and rips.

Pros:

  • Excellent hydrodynamics. Will glides efficiently on water
  • It inflates quicker than other inflatable kayaks
  • Comes with directional skegs, 2 paddles and a heavy-duty pump for the price

Cons:

  • The price

6. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak 

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
  • People Capacity: 2
  • Kayak Weight: 56 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 550 lbs

This 2-person inflatable kayak from Advanced Elements is not meant for everyone. Indeed, this is a professional model that is built for efficiency, performance, and speed. It is not your average recreational kayak.

Moreover, to make it more heavy-duty this kayak is built from durable and tough PVC material that makes it literally resistant to any type of puncture.

For more comfort during extended kayaking, the seeds are adjustable and padded so as to provide maximum comfort to the user.

Lastly, since this is a professional inflatable kayak, tracking is excellent making it ideal for kayaking in small streams and rivers.

Pros:

  • Excellent 3-layer build construction. Extremely durable
  • Seats are large, comfortable and adjustable
  • Excellent tracking due to aluminum rims and quality skegs

Cons:

  • The price. It is the most expensive inflated kayak in this review
  • The cockpit is small and offers limited maneuverability

7. Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak 

Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak
  • People Capacity: 1
  • Kayak Weight: 26.5 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs

The Sea Eagle SE330 is almost the same as the 330 model we have reviewed above with one major distinction. This particular model is meant for one person only.

You get only one paddle with this inflatable kayak and the included accessories remain the same as the 330 unit. It still sports the same 33 mils Polykrylar build construction that makes it extremely durable and can be used for Whitewater kayaking.

Moreover, assembly and handling of this inflated kayak are very easy as it tracks exceptionally well despite its relatively large size.

Pros:

  • Durable 33 mil Polykrylar built material
  • Tracks well on water despite its large size
  • High weight capacity of 500 lbs

Cons:

  • None

8. Intex Challenger K2 Inflatable Kayak 

Intex Challenger K2 Inflatable Kayak
  • People Capacity: 2
  • Kayak Weight: 37.7 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs

By far, the Intex Challenger K2 has one of the best prices to performance ratio in this review. This is a heavy-duty inflatable kayak that was designed to deliver maximum performance.

Its shape is long and streamlined and it can easily accommodate 2 people. Despite a small cockpit, this inflatable kayak offers excellent maneuverability. Moreover, it is painted with a vivid green that makes it visible at a distance.

What we like the most about this 2-person inflatable kayak is its build construction from a super tough vinyl. This material is extremely durable and will protect you against puncture and UV damage.

Moreover, its high weight capacity of 400 lbs is impressive especially considering that this is not a very wide inflatable kayak.

Pros:

  • Made from a durable and long-lasting vinyl material. Will not puncture easily
  • Designed for performance and speed
  • Decent weight capacity of 400 lbs for its width

Cons:

  • None

9. Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak 

Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak
  • People Capacity: 1
  • Kayak Weight: 24.6 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs

The Intex Challenger K1 is similar to the K2 above but it accommodates only one person. It has the same build construction from a super tough vinyl but is shorter.

Moreover, at 24.6 lbs, it is lighter than the 37.7 lbs of the K2 model. Therefore, it is extremely portable and can easily be carried around by only one person.

However, what makes this cheap inflatable kayak one of the best solutions in this review is definitely its price. Indeed, on a price to performance ratio, the Intex Challenger K1 is literally unbeatable.

Pros:

  • Highly affordable. Value for money
  • High-performing inflatable kayak. Can be used for sports in whitewater
  • Lightweight at 24.6 lbs. Can easily be carried
  • Tracks exceptionally well on water
  • Very durable build construction

Cons:

  • None

10. Sevylor Quikpak K1 Inflatable Kayak 

Sevylor Quikpak K1 Inflatable Kayak
  • People Capacity: 1
  • Kayak Weight: 18 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs

If we had to rate the best inflatable kayak in this review, we would say it's the Sevylor Quikpak K1. This model is made from a heavy-duty 21-gauge PVC that is rugged and will not puncture easily.

Moreover, it is cleated with a tarpaulin bottom that protects it from puncture. Additionally, there are many technologies that work in this inflatable kayak that is geared toward security.

For one, it uses Airtight technology that prevents leaks and makes it safer to use. Additionally, it has a double lock valve system that makes it easier to inflate and deflate.

But best, despite being a 1-person inflatable kayak, this unit still has an impressive 400 lbs weight capacity.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective. Value for money
  • Most lightweight inflatable kayak at 18 lbs
  • Heavy-duty tarpaulin bottom to prevent puncture
  • Excellent weight capacity of 400 lbs despite being it one person kayak
  • Security technologies employees to prevent leaking

Cons:

  • Due to the thick 21-gauge PVC construction, this inflatable kayak is difficult to inflate manually

How to Buy an Inflatable Kayak

How to Buy an Inflatable Kayak

Before finding the best inflatable kayak for the money, there are some important factors to take into account. Here is an overview of some of the most important ones:

1. Types of Inflatable Kayak

There are several types of inflatable kayaks, eat particular suited for a purpose. Here are some popular kayak types that you will encounter.

Self Bailing Kayaks: The self-bailing kayak has holes at the bottom. Those holes are also known as ports and they are there so as water is drained when it gets inside the kayak.

Indeed, this type of kayak will need those holes as it is made for whitewater rafting. It sounds pretty weird that an inflatable kayak is used for whitewater rafting as this is normally reserved only for hard-shell kayaks.

However, the self-bailing kayak has a very durable build construction with a heavy duty cleated bottom that allows it to raft those dangerous waters.

Sit on Top Kayaks: The sit on top kayak has an open cockpit so that you can freely move around. Additionally, you have a bird's eye view over the waters around you do due to the fact that this kayak is also tall.

The only problem with the sit on top kayak is that when water gets inside, it is very difficult to get it out.

Therefore, this type of kayak is mostly used on calm rivers and lakes where there is little possibility for water getting inside the cockpit.

Sit Inside Kayaks: The sit inside kayak has a closed cockpit. Therefore, this type of kayak is better suited for rapid waters and sports rafting since the inside stays dry. Nevertheless, maneuverability is not as good as a seat on top kayak since the cockpit is smaller and limits movement.

Canoe-Kayak: As its name suggests, that canoe-kayak is a hybrid between a regular canoe and a kayak. The end result is a short and wide kayak that is very stable on the water.

This type of kayak is generally meant for recreational purposes and can accommodate any type of people, big or small with equal ease.

2. Size

Size is one of the most important considerations for an inflatable kayak. The bigger the size of the inflatable kayak the better stability you will have.

In addition to the overall size of the kayak, take into account the size of the cockpit as well. You do not want an excessively small cockpit as it will be awkward and you will have difficulty paddling.

3. Material

The build construction is an extremely important factor as you do not want a puncture to happen because of poor build quality. Ensure that your inflatable kayak is made from high-quality and durable materials like PVC.

Additionally, the material needs to be made in such a way that it will not lose durability when inflated and deflated over time.

Moreover, for best security, we recommend that you go with an inflatable kayak that has a reinforced cleated bottom. This will ensure that the kayak does not puncture or deflate when it comes in contact with the floor.

4. Kayak Weight

The weight of the kayak is important in the sense that it will dictate how portable the kayak years. If you constantly have to load and unload a kayak in your car for transport, it makes sense to go with a model that is lightweight.

However, you must not sacrifice functionality or capacity for lightweight.

5. Weight Capacity

The width capacity basically tells you the maximum weight that the kayak can withstand. Of course, the more people it can accommodate, the higher the weight capacity needs to be.

6. Accessories

Keep an eye out for accessories like a removable skeg, removable seats, cargo nets, and grab lines. All those accessories make your kayaking much more enjoyable.

FAQs

Are Inflatable Kayaks Durable?

The short answer is yes. Inflatable kayaks are made from a highly durable and long-lasting PVC material that will not puncture easily. Moreover, it can withstand sunlight for a long period without losing its elasticity as most kayak build construction material are also UV resistant.

In addition, many top rated inflatable kayaks have a cleated bottom for even more durability. What this means is that there is an additional thick layer of plastic, tarpaulin, or heavy-duty PVC that is glued to the bottom of the kayak so as to protect it from the floor.

How To Care For The Inflatable Kayak?

Of course, if you want to prolong the lifespan of your inflatable kayak then you need to take good care of it.

After each and every use, it is important that you deflate and spray your kayak with water so as to clean any impurities. Especially if you use your inflatable kayak on seawater where it is more prone for damage.

Do not forget to fold and pack your kayak afterward.

Additionally, it is important not to over-inflate your kayak as it may rupture or make the PVC material lose its elasticity over time.

What Type Of Pump Is Best For Inflation?

Unfortunately, many inflatable kayaks do not come with a quality pump. This is especially true for budget inflatable kayaks. This is not a big problem since a heavy-duty pump for kayaks is available almost everywhere for dirt cheap.

You can go the manual route or choose an electric pump for better ease-of-use. An electric pump usually consumes 12 V of power and can simply be connected to your car as it usually comes with a car kit. It is by far the easiest way to pump an inflatable kayak.

With a manual pump, it can be a little bit more difficult but still achievable. Beware that you will need to perform a lot of pumping can be exhausting if you go with a manual pump. You also need to take into account the build material thickness of the inflatable kayak.

An inflatable kayak built from an 18-gauge PVC is easier to manually inflated than one build from a 21-gauge PVC.

What Type Of Valves Do They Have?

Most inflatable kayaks come with 3 types of valves.

  • The drain valve
  • The one-way valve
  • The dual-lock valve

The drain valve is responsible for deflating the inflatable kayak. It usually comes as a screw system that slowly lets air escape so that the inflatable kayak can easily and safely be deflated.

On the other hand, the one-way valve is where you connect your pump to inflate the kayak. As its name suggests, it allows air in only one direction so even if you remove the pump valve, the inflatable kayak will not deflate.

The dual-lock valve system allows air to pass through one valve at a time only. This works as a security feature and prevents your inflatable kayak from deflating while you are inflating it.

How Long Will Inflatables Last?

Inflatable kayaks usually last a long time. This is mostly because of their high-quality and durable build construction. Especially if you go with a top rated inflated kayak that usually uses high-quality construction materials.

However, nothing last forever. In general, it will depend on your use. Sunlight is one of the primary reasons for degradation of the inflatable kayak.

Additionally, seawater causes more harm to the inflatable kayak than freshwater. Eventually, the lifespan of your inflatable kayak will depend on how and where you use the inflatable kayak.

What Kind of Wear and Tear Should I Watch for?

Wear-and-tear is a normal thing when operating an inflatable kayak. However, you need to pay particular attention to small punctures and rips as those can literally render your kayak use this over time.

Most good quality inflatable kayaks come with patches so as to secure potential punctures. If your chosen model does not come with patches, then you can buy a kit online. It is not very expensive.

Conclusion

As we have seen, even if you have never used an inflatable kayak before it remains a very easy-to-use boat. Indeed, this boat will provide you, your friends, or your family with hours of unforgettable fun.

Moreover, the inflatable kayak can be used for both recreational as well as sports activities. When compared to other types of boats, it is on the affordable side and price will never prevent you from getting a durable and long-lasting inflatable kayak.

If you have still not found a decent model in our inflatable kayak review, we recommend that you read through it one more time.

Allen Ethan