Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
Every serious adventurer needs an inflatable kayak in the garage.
You can throw it on your back and trek into the middle of a jungle. Take it to the lake when you go camping. Hit the white water rapids on weekends when you need an adrenaline rush.
The best inflatable kayak will bring you tons of joy. If you buy a two person model you'll be able to share your experiences with someone else. I'm sure you might be wondering if inflatable kayaks are good enough for your specific needs.
We're going to look at a few benefits you'll get from owning one. Afterward, we'll look at some of the top inflatable kayaks for sale at the moment.
Advantages Of An Inflatable Canoe / Kayak
- A Portable Kayak Comes In Handy
- It Can Withstand Plenty Of Abuse
- Delivers An Excellent Performance
- Extra Comfort Is A Massive Bonus
- Cheap Kayaks Will Save You Money
A Portable Kayak Comes In Handy
You'll be able to carry a two man kayak on your back, which comes in extremely handy as you will soon find out. If you don't own a car you can take it on the bus. It's easy to take on an airplane with you too. Even if you are driving you'll be able to stick a blow up canoe safely in your trunk.
It won't be a problem if you need to walk through rough terrain for hours until you reach a river. You will actually be able to carry one into the middle of a jungle although I doubt you ever will. It's still nice knowing you'll be able to take your portable kayak anywhere with you.
It Can Withstand Plenty Of Abuse
Don't be fooled into thinking a blow up kayak can't withstand lots of abuse. You'll be able to take the best models into white water rapids and bounce off rocks. Most of the time you won't even notice you've hit anything. If you're in the sea wild waves aren't going to break your inflatable ocean kayak in half.
Have confidence that your kayak will stay in one piece no matter what you do. Unfortunately, it's going to end up damaged at some point if you're a crazy adventurer. At least it won't crack and bend. It should be fine once you've covered any holes with a puncture patch.
Delivers An Excellent Performance
Even the best inflatable kayak won't be able to keep up with a rigid model. If something is harder it's going to flow through the waves quicker when the wind is blowing in your face. Fortunately, an inflatable kayak will still deliver an excellent performance thanks to advanced modern technology.
A single person kayak is even better due to its smaller size. Unless you're an Olympian I doubt you'll notice much of a difference between old school and inflatable kayaks.
Extra Comfort Is A Massive Bonus
Have you watched movies where someone flies off a gigantic waterfall in a kayak? Sometimes they don't even fall out, so I know what you must have been thinking. Once they climb out of the kayak they won't be able to sit down for a week because their bum will be in so much pain.
Things are a little different when you're in a lightweight inflatable kayak. They're a million times better at absorbing shock. It's fantastic when you're bouncing up and down on rapids and waves. You'll feel completely relaxed while you're being thrown around like a rag doll.
Cheap Kayaks Will Save You Money
An inflatable sit on kayak will be cheaper than a rigid model if all other things are equal, so you'll save a lot of money straight out the gate. A cheap inflatable kayak will suit the majority of people, especially when you take all the other benefits into account.
It's cheaper to keep your kayak operational too. You won't have to spend much money when it comes to getting it fixed. Look after it properly and it will last you many years. Also, once the day comes when you do need a new one you won't need to spend as much money replacing your old kayak.
Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews
Before you can begin your adventures you'll need to find the best inflatable sit on top kayak for your needs. Let's look at some of the top kayaks on the market at the moment. We'll discuss the main benefits of each one to give you a rough idea what you'll get.
Click on the individual links if you want to research the kayaks in more detail. It's also a good idea to read all the unbiased reviews over on Amazon to see what everyone else thinks.
- Intex Challenger K1 One Person Kayak
- Intex Challenger K2 2 Person Kayak
- Intex Explorer K2 Two Person Kayak
- Sevylor QuikPak K1 Blow Up Kayak
- Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak
- Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame 2 Man Kayak
- Sevylor Big Basin 3 Person Inflatable Kayak
- Advanced Elements AE1012-R One Man Kayak
- Sevylor QuikPak K5 Single Man Kayak
- Sea Eagle 330 2 Person Inflatable Kayak
1 – Intex Challenger K1 One Person Kayak
If you want a cheap one man kayak they don't come much better than the Intex Challenger K1. It's the ideal choice if you're only looking to tackle lakes and slow moving rivers. The I-beam floor adds lots of stability to the Intex inflatable kayak, so it's unlikely you'll end up toppling out.
It comes with a couple of other safety features you'll appreciate too. The kayak is unlikely to be torn apart because it's been constructed using a durable welded material. There are grab lines on each end of the kayak, which you'll be able to grab onto should you end up in the water.
The Intex Challenger K1 kayak is great if you plan on exploring uncharted territories throughout the day. You'll be able to carry lots of supplies like food and water thanks to the cargo net. Also, the blow up kayak has lots of space, a backrest, and it's been designed for comfort.
- Includes an 86 inch aluminum oar
- A cargo net lets you carry supplies
- The I-beam floor increases stability
- Maximum capacity of 220 pounds
- Blow up canoe is on the low end
2 – Intex Challenger K2 2 Person Kayak
You won't have to worry about banging into any rocks when you're gliding along in the water. This two seater kayak is made from heavy duty puncture resistant vinyl, so it's not going to rip apart without a fight. Luckily, there are a couple of air chambers just in case something does happen.
The material is UV damage resistant too. If you take it out when it's sunny the 2 man kayak is still durable enough to last years. I think you'll be surprised by how quick you'll be able to speed through the water. The K2 kayak has a streamlined design for easy paddling in rough conditions.
It obviously helps when two people are using the 86 inch aluminum paddles that come with the 2 seater kayak. Boston valves allow you to inflate and deflate it pretty quickly in case you're in a hurry. This model also comes with a few grab lines + a cargo net for essential supplies.
- The kayak is highly visible in water
- It comes with a repair patch kit
- Removable skeg for better tracking
- Maximum weight limit of 400 pounds
- Thinner vinyl than expensive kayaks
3 – Intex Explorer K2 Two Person Kayak
When you're gliding through the water at max speed you don't want anything to hold you back. That includes your two seater kayak heading in the wrong direction. Thankfully, you'll get a removable skeg that offers directional stability. It's still extremely useful in the lakes and mild rivers you'll be tackling.
The seat and backrest are adjustable to ensure you're as comfortable as possible. When you step into the cockpit you'll notice there is lots of space available, which increases your comfort level even more. You won't have any difficulties carrying the 31 pound inflatable tandem kayak around.
You'll want to stay safe at all times even if you don't plan on taking your two man kayak into rough seas. There are a couple of safety features to help you out. Not only is there a grab line at each end of the Explorer K2 kayak, but there is a grab handle too. Plus, the yellow is so bright people will see it from a mile away.
- Fast inflating/deflating with Boston valve
- It comes with two separate air chambers
- An inflatable I-beam floor offers stability
- Shouldn't be used in rapids or large waves
- Maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds
4 – Sevylor QuikPak K1 Blow Up Kayak
The Sevylor QuikPak K1 was designed to stay above the waterline at all costs. It's packed with features to help make this a reality. The Airtight System is guaranteed not to leak, so air won't escape like it might on a really cheap inflatable kayak. Air is pumped into multiple chambers too.
If you do end up with a puncture your one person kayak isn't going to disappear underwater. The tarpaulin bottom and 21 gauge PVC construction should stop you from getting punctures in the first place. Just make sure you don't treat it like an expensive inflatable whitewater kayak.
You should be able to set up the Sevylor QuikPak K1 sit on kayak in roughly 5 minutes. It's simple to inflate and deflate using the Double Lock valves. You'll end up spending a lot longer on the water. You can bring all your supplies along and slide them under the cargo net.
- Multiple air chambers keep it afloat
- Airtight System won't let air escape
- 400 pound maximum weight capacity
- The paddle isn't absolutely fantastic
- There are faster kayaks on the market
5 – Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak
If you're serious about taking your adventures to the next level the Sea Eagle SE370 portable kayak is a great place to start. There is enough room to squeeze 3 people into it. Even though the kayak weighs 32 pounds it comes with a maximum weight capacity of 650 pounds.
The inflatable water kayak has the ability to handle Class 3 rapids, which should satisfy almost anyone without a death wish. You will find it hard to break the 38 millimeter Polykrylar hull apart. Even if you take your dog out on the water its sharp claws won't be able to puncture the 2 or 3 person inflatable kayak.
When you take the kayak into the ocean or down rapids you'll need to be able to handle a lot more speed. Tracking with become a much bigger issue too. There are two skegs on the bottom of the inflatable sit on top kayak to help you, plus the I-beam construction floor will keep you stable.
- Bow and stern grab lines for safety
- Comes with lashed down spray kits
- Includes a self bailing drain valve
- Takes 8 minutes to assemble kayak
- You'll have a high center of gravity
6 – Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame 2 Man Kayak
Most cheap kayaks only have one layer of material to protect you from punctures even though it might seem thick. Advanced Elements uses extra layers of material to offer maximum durability. You won't need to worry about ending up in the water if you accidentally hit anything.
When you pump air into the inflatable sea kayak it will end up in 6 different chambers, which is more than any other model we've looked at today. Just because it's not going to sink doesn't mean you won't fall out. The open deck design means you'll be able to climb back into it easily.
You'll be using this lightweight inflatable kayak in rough conditions, so you will want it to go in a straight line. The tracking is much better than other models because of the built in aluminum ribs. You will love the high support that makes it easy to spend hours in the water without feeling uncomfortable.
- Spring valve and pressure relief valve
- Molded rubber handles for extra safety
- Paddle holders to let you take breaks
- 52 pounds is heavier than other kayaks
- Duffel bag can't be worn as a backpack
7 – Sevylor Big Basin 3 Person Inflatable Kayak
It's possible to use the Sevylor Big Basin inflatable kayak in rapids, but you'll have to make sure they're not too wild. Most people who use the sit on kayak take it camping with them where there are lakes. The rugged tarpaulin bottom and heavy duty PVC construction helps you avoid punctures.
Hopefully you won't end up leaking air in the middle of a lake, but it's not the end of the world. You'll be able to make your way to shore because the air will only escape from a single chamber. The Airtight System guarantees no air will escape unless your three person kayak is punctured.
You should be able to relax relatively easily when you're in the lake. The spray covers will stop water from splashing on top of you. Your seats can be adjusted until everyone feels comfortable. If you do want to swim around for a while it's simple to climb back in.
- The spray covers will help you stay dry
- It's NMMA certified to hold 490 pounds
- Includes a carry bag and pressure gauge
- Best inflatable canoe for three people
- It doesn't include a pump or paddles
8 – Advanced Elements AE1012-R One Man Kayak
Do you want an unbelievable inflatable sea kayak that will let you explore almost anywhere? It's one of the best options in the world if you plan on venturing out alone. The Advanced Elements inflatable kayak is almost indestructible thanks to the multiple layers of material holding it together.
The AE1012-R comes with an aluminum rib frame design to help you fly through the water unlike most other sit on kayaks. You'll also find it a hundred times easier to keep going in a straight line. If you don't need to concentrate on tracking you can focus your efforts on going faster and faster.
Bungee deck lacing on the inflatable canoe means you'll be able to take lots of supplies on your adventures. It's possible you'll fall out even if your food and drink doesn't land in the water. If you grab onto the molded rubber handles you'll be able to pull yourself back into the kayak in seconds.
- Includes skeg tracking fin under kayak
- Air is pumped into different chambers
- The outer cover is strong and durable
- It can't be turned into 2 seater kayak
- Duffel bag is worse than a backpack
9 – Sevylor QuikPak K5 Single Man Kayak
An Advanced Elements inflatable kayak might cost a little more than you're willing to spend. The Sevylor QuikPak K5 is a good alternative one person kayak. This model does have an easy to carry backpack system, which actually turns into the seat when everything is set up.
It should take roughly 5 minutes until you're ready to venture into the water. The Double Lock valves make it easy to inflate and deflate your kayak in no time. Once you've pumped air into your blow up kayak the Airtight System will ensure it's not able to sneak back out through tiny gaps.
If you plan on taking your kayak for an adventure on the lake, I'm sure you'll want to take lots of gear with you. The Sevylor QuikPak K5 lets you do it in two different ways. You'll be able to stuff things into the bungee storage area, plus you can hang other supplies from the D rings.
- Spray covers designed to keep you dry
- The handles make it easy to carry around
- Includes a hand pump and kayak paddle
- It's not designed for rough conditions
- Paddle isn't really comfortable enough
10 – Sea Eagle 330 2 Person Inflatable Kayak
The Sea Eagle 330 deluxe package comes with a few additional extras you'll really like. Inflatable spray skirts will keep you dry when you're tackling Class 3 rapids. The front and rear seat will provide you with lots of comfort. This kayak for two people also comes with a set of reliable oars.
You're not going to sink underneath the waves when you bang into rocks. The 33 millimeter K-80 polykrylar hull material and high frequency welded seams will keep you safe. An inflated I-beam floor will keep you a lot more stable when you're gliding through rough water.
It's hard to find a 2 person kayak for sale that holds so much weight, especially when it's so lightweight. A 26 pound Sea Eagle 330 kayak can handle a total weight of 500 pounds. The company are so confident it's going to last you'll get a three year materials and workmanship warranty.
- Port, starboard, and floor chambers
- Bow and stern grab lines for safety
- Ready to hit the water within 6 minutes
- Doesn't have a cargo net to hold supplies
- Pro package seats are more comfortable
The Best Inflatable Kayak In The World
You'll find the best inflatable kayak within the list of models we've looked at today. Each one obviously comes with its positives and negatives, so you'll need to find one that suits your individual needs. It shouldn't be too hard if you make your way down the list.
If you see any kayaks you like it's worth clicking on the links to read the unbiased reviews on Amazon. It's always more helpful when you have lots of different opinions in one place.