Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews – Buyer’s Guide of 2017
Today you’ll understand something that most inflatable kayak reviews fail to mention. It's the why, how, and where of inflatable kayaks as a sports gear for the adventurer.
If you didn't already know, anyone could go kayaking at ocean waters, lakes, and white waters. So it doesn’t matter if you're taking a trip for the weekend or you live close to the sea.
So finding an inflatable kayak that is reliable and efficient shouldn't be a problem.
Regardless of what you buy, you need to make sure what you're buying is foolproof. That's where we come in.
Some might say inflatable kayaks aren't as flexible as plastic hull kayaks. But you should know that they're the best kayaks for calmer waters. And they're very portable and durable.
We've done tons of research online for the best inflatable kayaks which you can buy right away. But before you start looking into our recommendations, you'll find our buyer's guide. This will help you navigate and make sure you're buying the ideal inflatable kayak for a very long time.
Quick Comparison: Top 7 Inflatable Kayaks
* Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see customer reviews and current prices on Amazon.com
The Ultimate Inflatable Kayak List
The main aim of buying an inflatable kayak is to make your life much simpler when you want to go kayaking. When you buy an inflatable kayak, factors such as the type, design, and portability play a crucial role.
There are many suitable choices out there that keep you safe, rapid, and comfortable. So you can sit in dry while having fun paddling on open waters or flat lakes.
Why buy an overpriced kayak when inflatable kayaks are better and less complicated to use? They're compact, efficient, and last for a very long time. Once you find your favorite pick, there's no need to carry around hard shell kayaks anymore. These are cost-effective and help you master the art of kayaking from scratch.
1. Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak - The Best Inflatable Kayak for Everyone
No other inflatable kayak can be as efficient and accessible as this one. It's the Intex Challenger K1 featuring a comfortable seat with backrest. It's perfect for calm rivers, thanks to the durable material and ergonomic fit. (Tips for beginner sea kayakers)
The low profile design of this inflatable kayak feels more personal and lightweight. On top of that, vinyl is weather resistant as well as damage-proof. You can collapse it in tight spaces after deflation. Plus, the I-beam floors support adds both balance and stability when inflated.
For extra storage, it features a cargo net in front of the seat. So it’s easier to access essential items. The grab lines get you back on safe in case you happen to fall out of the kayak.
All these features meet the criteria mentioned in most inflatable kayak. But it's not built for tougher waters. If you're planning on buying something for raging waters, opt for a hard shelled version.
- It weighs only 27 pounds, hence easy to carry around.
- The grab lines, I-beam floors, and cargo net add safety.
We Don't Like
- It is not built for fast-moving waters.
2. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak - One of the Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews for Ease of Use
The Sea Eagle SE370K_P is the perfect companion for outdoor activities. It offers an incredible PVC design that's longer lasting and resilient than ever. It also features a rugged I-beam floor support and two inflatable seats with backrest.
The design will inflate and deflate in minutes, thanks to the five deluxe one-way valves. That's not only it because it also features sturdy foot pump for inflation. It even helps objects out with the self-bailing drain valve. And for balance, the dual carry handles are essential.
If you're a first-timer, this 2-person kayak is all you need for speed and stability. The UV and saltwater resistant material properties are hard to miss. For a solid, well-balanced kayak, nothing beats the Sea Eagle SE370K_P.
Despite keeping the boat stable, the dual skegs cause the boat to slide with heavy winds. This can be a noticeable trait when you compare the Sea Eagle to other typical hard-shelled kayaks.
- The design offers faster assembly.
- It provides adequate space for storing gear and other items.
We Don't Like
- The boat slides sideways during heavy winds or on fast-moving waters.
How to Inflate and Use the Sea Eagle Sport Kayaks?
3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak - The Most Durable Inflatable Kayak for Wavering Waters
If you're looking to invest in a more rugged model, choose the Sevylor Coleman Colorado. It is capable of handling shaky waters without breaking a sweat. The 18 gauge PVC body can handle minor pricks or pinches as well.
We don't know where to begin when talking about the positives of this inflatable kayak. It features a tarpaulin bottom and a nylon cover for protection against punctures. For quick and easy inflation, the many air chambers are hard to miss.
This inflatable kayak uses a patented Airtight system for leak-free sailing. It also offers remarkable stability with the paddle holders and adjustable seats.
If you wish to take fishing to the next level, you can always rely on this kayak. It has secure motor fittings, mesh storage pockets and D-rings for better performance.
Inflatable kayak reviews like this one present a compelling case for both arguments. For this kayak, we found that it doesn't come with a proper paddle or pump like most other kayaks on the market.
- It is very adaptable in both calm and raging waters.
- It offers enough space for equipment as well as two adults.
We Don't Like
- Durable paddles or pumps for inflation are missing.
Sevylor Colorado Kayak - 2 persons
4. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak - One of the Basic but Practical Inflatable Kayak Reviews
We chose the Sea Eagle 330 for its versatility. It's safe to use this inflatable kayak for fishing as well as whitewater rafting. It can hold up to a total of 500 pounds, accommodating two grown adults.
The PolyKrylar hull and I-beam floor offer incredible support when sailing at night. The ergonomic design invites you to stay on waters for longer hours. Thanks to the inflatable spray skirts and welded seams are excellent additions.
But we did notice that its heavy-duty construction can cause some inconvenience. Inflatable kayaks are very lightweight to carry once deflated. But the Sea Eagle 330 might seem a bit bulky for some.
- It features a solid 3-year warranty.
- The inflatable seats are very comfortable.
We Don't Like
- It is too heavy to carry by hand.
- The paddles lack sufficient durability.
5. Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak - Great for Solo and Tandem Kayaking
The Advanced Elements AE1007-R shines for optimal support, durability, and portability. It is one of the lightest and more efficient inflatable kayaks we've seen.
With a durable aluminum frame, it tackles speed and tracking without capsizing (how to kayak faster). The fact that the design features three layers, it can handle fast-moving rivers.
The best part about 3-person kayaks is that they can work for solo and tandem kayaking. You can switch seats between two or three individuals or go solo by sitting in the center for paddling.
The adjustable seats help with this as they offer enough legroom and body alignment. It comes with built-in ribs for improving tracking performance on class III waters. This helps especially when you're whitewater rafting.
You should know that this is one of those inflatable kayak reviews with a minor setback. The construction of the kayak feels a bit too heavy for the shoulders to bear.
- It is puncture-resistant.
- The design is easy to assemble and deflate in minutes.
We Don't Like
- It is heavier to carry than most inflatable kayaks.
AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak Setup Video
6. Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak - The Best Inflatable Kayak for Optimal Directional Stability
With its heavy-duty puncture-resistant body, the Intex Explorer K2 is a practical choice. You can take it out on mild rivers and lakes. And thanks to its rugged body, class III whitewater rafting is hard to beat.
It features 1200 denier nylon shell and comes with internal tubes. This keeps the kayak steady on wavering waters. One of the drawbacks of inflatable kayaks is their ability to straight sail on open waters. This kayak addresses that issue headstrong with I-beam floors and removable skegs.
For smooth inflation, it features air chambers that also prevent punctures. This ensures that heavier weights don't flatten the bottom after months of use.
As is the case with all inflatable kayak reviews, we did find a negligible setback with this one too. It features non-adjustable paddles, which restrict maneuverability.
- It offers incredible directional stability.
- The aluminum oars is very durable and easy to handle.
We Don't Like
- The paddles are not adjustable.
- It is prone to over-inflation due to its sun-absorbent black color design.
7. Rave Sea Rebel Inflatable Kayak - One of the Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews for Beginners
It all ends with the Rave Sea Rebel which is a one-person inflatable kayak. If you want something simple to try, especially if you're a beginner, go for this one. It features a durable PVC body with a nylon cover for protection against punctures.
Getting on and off this kayak is easy, thanks to the adjustable seat and rugged bottom. For better angling, the four foam-filled handles and Boston valves are very helpful. And if you're kayaking at night, the bright yellow design keeps you visible.
We'd recommend this inflatable kayak for buyers who want something efficient and cost-effective. It comes with a one-year warranty with a 200 pounds weight limit.
Even so, we found that this inflatable kayak can't handle trembling waters. Given its fundamental design features, it's better for calmer waters such as rivers and lakes.
- This inflatable kayak is very portable and lightweight to use.
- It is adaptable.
We Don't Like
- It is not built for fast-moving streams or open waters.
The Ultimate Guide to Buying Inflatable Kayaks
So how do you decide which one of these inflatable kayaks is best for you?
All inflatable kayaks are so lightweight and portable for storage. You can take them anywhere, especially to remote locations. The most compelling part about inflatable kayak is to know how to buy one. That's where all the creativity and decision-making power lies.
If you're worried about falling for price over caliber, it's not a big deal. Most buyers get their ideal inflatable kayak after they understand the craft of one. Did you ask yourself why you need an inflatable kayak? What are the advantages of using one? And how well do you understand its features?
With that in mind, this guide will assist you to buy the best inflatable kayak you can use without a doubt.
Do you Need an Inflatable Kayak?
The main reason why you'd want an inflatable kayak is for better portability and ease of use. This is essential for people who travel a lot and don't wish to compromise on kayaking.
You need something that fits comfortably on top or in the trunk of your car. Plastic hulled versions are too heavy to lift and tie down. Plus, a plastic hulled kayak leaves scratches and dents over time.
An inflatable kayak's primary purpose is that it can be taken and stored anywhere. Furthermore, they're ideal for all types of different outdoor activities. You can use them for fishing, touring, camping, whitewater, and surfing.
The size and weight of the design are less difficult to handle on and off waters than the typical hard shell kayaks. While the former takes only minutes to inflate, hauling the latter is time-consuming.
How will You Benefit from an Inflatable Kayak?
Lots of factors come into play when we talk about the advantages of an inflatable kayak. Inflatable Kayaks are easy to transport because they're light in weight. You can carry them in your backpack, in the trunk of your car, or even by hand to open waters.
They are also incredibly comfortable to paddle to remote areas. That's why inflatable kayaks are so popular. You can paddle to narrow places where hard shell kayaks are lacking.
Moving forward, it takes only minutes to inflate a kayak with a pump. And since it’s constructed of a sturdy material, scratches or rust formation is a thing of the past. The only worry would be to keep away sharp objects to avoid punctures.
Inflatable kayaks are easy to clean once deflated. And about security, inflatable kayaks hardly ever get stolen. Thanks to its lightweight and adaptable design.
How to Choose the Best Inflatable Kayak for You?
Based on certain criteria can you buy the most fitting inflatable kayak for you.
If you're planning to go solo, a one-person kayak is ideal for you. But we'd recommend you go for the two-person kayak in case you have a dog or a companion on board with you. You can switch between tandem to solo by moving the seat to a center position. Finally, inflatable kayaks can accommodate up to 3 people. (Tandem kayak vs. canoe)
If you're going to use your inflatable kayak for fishing, a wider and sit-in type kayak is best suited for you. It allows you to make faster turns, store your fishing gear, and sit for longer hours.
Based on your body shape and height can you buy a smaller or bigger inflatable kayak. Plus, you want something rugged and durable. This makes sure you get in and out of your kayak faster, and there's enough legroom to support your body. Anything that feels even a little uncomfortable can have health risks in the long run.
That’s a Wrap!
If you're willing to invest in a practical and rugged inflatable kayak, we're glad to have you here. What you'll be missing out on other websites, you'll take notice with this detailed guide. This will help you make a better decision on some of the best brands for inflatable kayaks reviews.
Finally, we have something for those with bigger budgets and smaller budgets. And this one especially fits all expectations; the Intex Challenger K1. It is a well-designed inflatable kayak for beginners, intermediates, and professionals. It's lightweight, portable, and quick to assemble.
You want something with a sort of appeal that works for you even though you're not a professional. Kayaking is exciting for many reasons, but along with it comes safety. Inflatable kayaks are a safer alternative because they offer minimal cleanup. You do not have to rent a separate vehicle for its transportation. And it's much less expensive than the typical plastic hulled kayaks.
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