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ometimes, there’s nothing better in life than paddling along through a gently rolling river. That is of course unless you prefer to hit those breakneck speeds hurtling through the nastiest of river rapids. Some don’t want a hard-shell, traditional kayak, as they lack adequate storage space and vehicle storage space is minimal Even if you’re just looking for a more portable and compact fishing boat, you should give inflatable kayaks some thought

It doesn’t matter if Lava Falls along Colorado River is more your thing, or you prefer the great old Mississippi. We’ve got something to more than meet your needs. Whatever your favorite or dream kayaking spot, what’s stopping you?

Now, we know what you’re going to say: “Aren’t inflatable kayaks unsafe and a waste of money?”

Actually, inflatable kayaks have come a long way in the last couple of decades.

Rather than just being something you stick your kids in at the swimming pool or small lagoon at the local beach, many of the inflatable kayaks today are amazing pieces of equipment. They’re full of features and made from highly durable, robust materials.

They’re made with advanced construction techniques and feature multiple layers and air chambers. Meaning, punctures are few and far between. If they occur, you can still continue to paddle in many kayaks.

Put those images of lugging a cumbersome and clunky boat on and off your car rack and then down to the riverside, to one side. It no longer has to be like that. Not when you can purchase a 450 to 500lb capacity inflatable kayak that costs less and deflates for easy storage.

With many available, we wanted to help. Thus, we put a list together.

1) Intex Explorer K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set

Length
10’3″
Product Weight
31.13lbs
Weight Capacity
400lbs

The first inflatable kayak on our list is from Intex. At 40 years old, they’re full of experience producing spa and pool related furniture, accessories, and boats. The Explorer K2 is a lightweight and affordable entry-level kayak.

It’s constructed with quality, using robust vinyl that is resistant to punctures. Inflating and deflating is an absolute breeze thanks to the two different air chambers at each side of the boat. Each has their own Boston valve.

For safety, there’s grab handles and lines at either end of the kayak. This helps moving it in and out of the water with ease. If necessary, they’ve even included a skeg at the bottom that can be removed.

This offers additional stability, something particularly important if you’re new to kayaking.

This model is designed for two people, so you and your partner/buddy can hit the water together. For comfort, the seats are adjustable and include backrests, and there’s even a cockpit with extended legroom. The kayak is part of a full package that includes nearly everything you need to get started.

This includes the pair of aluminum 86-inch long oars and the company’s own high-output air pump. For safety, it comes with its own patch repair kit. This comes in yellow, making you easy to spot when you’re in a bad way.

We love this addition, because who could hate it?

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  • Adjustable seats with headrests
  • Kit includes air pump
  • Tough vinyl used
  • Easier to paddle due to streamlined design
  • Oars could be improved
  • Pump feels low quality

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2) Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Convertible Inflatable Kayak

The Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Convertible Inflatable Kayak is quite a jump in price compared to the first item. However, taking a look at it, we can see why this is. At 15-foot in length, these inflatable kayaks are suitable for up to 2 people.

It even has an open-deck design that makes it even easier to get on and off.

Due to being convertible, you can even transform it into a single deck, double deck, or closed deck boat. Advanced Elements take it one step further. You can benefit from their own BackBone accessory or improved high-pressure flooring thanks to drop-stitch technology.

Individually, they offer different benefits, but both enhance the experience of using this kayak. They help to make tracking and the rigidity much better.

Tough nylon is incorporated in three layers that provide the kayak with superior resistance against punctures. It also includes a special hull design, consisting of aluminum ribbing that defines the stern and bows for improved tracking.

That’s even without the aforementioned BackBone accessory.

Setting this inflatable kayak up involves three easy steps – unfold, inflate, then attach the seats where you prefer. After that, you’ll be ready to hurtle down river rapids or take a leisurely row around the local lake. The Advanced Elements kayak is surely perfect for multiple experiences,

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  • Built-in aluminum ribs give a more defined stern and bow
  • Three layers of material for high resistance to punctures
  • Three different seat locations
  • Adjustable and high support seating
  • Not easiest to carry around
  • Tricky to dry after use

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3) Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe Package

The Sea Eagle 330 inflatable kayak comes in at a low price, making it hard to pass up. If you’re looking for a lightweight, affordable option perfect for use on the Tuolumne or Salmon River, then this might be what you need.

Even if you’re looking for something more relaxing and peaceful, this is ideal.

Despite its 26-pounds weight, it has a maximum capacity of 500lbs. This could fit 2 average size people and their gear. Plus, it only takes one person to actually take it to the body of water of your choice

Constructed from ultra-thick polykrylar K-80 material with flooring made using I-beam techniques, you’re unlikely to suffer a puncture. This is proven due to being cleared for Class 3 whitewater runs.

This kayak likely won’t make you feel cramped either.

The interior section of the boat itself takes up 9’6″ and has a width of 13″, enough room for 2 people to have an enjoyable time. The Sea Eagle 330 also comes with a self-bailing valve, two skegs, and front/rear handles.

All ideal for traversing through rapids.

Construction wise, it has been made to an impeccably high standard with the seams being welded using 10000-volts of power to fuse the body into one complete structure. Finally, it comes with a tough bag that keeps things perfectly compact and easy to carry, without a struggle.

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  • Fully certified by the NMMA
  • Very Durable
  • Two skegs for better speed and control
  • Self-bailing drain valve
  • Awkwardly designed storage bag
  • Can feel heavier than 26lbs

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4) Intex Excursion 5, 5-Person Inflatable Kayak Set

Intex is at it again, this time with the Intex Excursion 5. As the name suggests, this beast is built for a maximum of five people. This is a really fun kayak for a small family or group of friends to enjoy time on the water.

There are three air chambers with an additional in the hull to provide extra buoyancy. The Boston valves utilized on the two hull chambers makes inflation and deflation incredibly easy. The seating is comfortable, with the one to the front and rear of the boat consisting of high backs.

You’ll hardly notice you’re afloat. However, this kayak is only cleared for calmer waters.

A grab line is included to help you stay with this kayak in a possible freak storm. It runs around the boat keeping you safely on board. With sturdy, lightweight welded aluminum oars, you’ll be able to cut through the water with ease.

You could be forgiven for thinking it was a hard-shell boat, as it looks like one. Like other inflatable kayaks, this is incredibly easy to inflate and deflate using the included hand pump.

If you’re on the search for a great way to get friends or family the water, this could be what you need. Roomy, robust, and a whole lot of fun. You’ll truly love it.

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  • Enough space for five people
  • Additional buoyancy from the air chamber in the hull
  • Three padded seats for comfort, two with high backs
  • Weighs only 53-pounds
  • Hand pump could be better
  • Instruction manual needs to be improved

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5) Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-person fishing kayak certainly looks like it was designed to land that awesome fish catch. With its 18-gauge PVC build, it’s the perfect choice for low or medium challenging lakes.

The bottom of the kayak is made from 1000D tarpaulin and includes an 840D nylon cover.

This provides an additional robust layer of protection against punctures.

If a puncture occurs, don’t worry. Multiple chambers allow it to stay afloat with other areas remaining inflated even when one is letting air out.

Due to being designed for fishing, included are the adjustable Berkley rod holders that can be set quickly. They provide you with the ultimate hands-free angling experience. Meanwhile, the Trolling Sevylor motor fittings on the boat help you to give your boat great functionality as a fishing vessel.

The paddle holders included help to keep the oars out of the way.

The Colorado 2-person kayak has multiple D-rings that give you places to keep the rest of your equipment and accessories within arm’s reach. You’ll also find the mesh storage pouches easy to use and helpful for organizing any bait or snacks you have.

This kayak is not the fastest or best at tracking, but it’s a very affordable and easy to use option. We feel it provides everything needed to enhance your fishing experience.

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  • Berkley Rod holders for hands-free fishing
  • 18-gauge PVC, thick tarpaulin and robust nylon
  • D-rings
  • Mesh pouches
  • Position of the rod holders
  • Tighter for larger people

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6) BicSport Nomad HP1 Inflatable Kayak

Length
14’5.2″
Product Weight
38lbs
Weight Capacity
440lbs

The Nomad HP1 inflatable kayak is a solo vessel from BicSport with a beloved flexible decking and higher bow section. It’s a bit expensive, but we feel it might very well be worth it.

When you’re out in the middle of the sea or a lake, you want to know you’ll be safe, secure, and reasonably dry. BicSport was able to produce great inflatable kayaks with high-pressure bottom and keel sections of a truly dynamic-shaped hull in this model.

Despite its compact and lightweight design and build, it’s by no means a small vessel.

The paddles are well-placed for a comfortable and effective rowing experience. It’s a very slick and exciting kayak to ride along on, mostly due to that flexible decking and higher bow.

Another area of this kayak that makes it a stone-cold stunner of a purchase is the fact it has a large area of space to store all the equipment you need. You never need to feel underprepared when taking on those challenging waters again.

For additional comfort, there are adjustable footrests and backrests.

You’ll feel the difference there when you set your oars up and take a break.

There are numerous grab lines for safety, and they even include an abrasion protector that keeps the boat from ripping. It also has carry handles to make it easier to move, with a carrying bag to keep it all organized.

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  • Adjustable footrest and backrest
  • Comfortable storage space
  • Flexible decking system
  • Higher bow for improved protection
  • Expensive
  • Not for beginners

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7) Outdoor Tuff Stinger 4 Inflatable Two-Person Sport Kayak

Anything with the name Stinger gets our seal of approval from the get-go, even without looking into the finer details. The Outdoor Tuff Stinger IV Inflatable Two-Person Sport Kayak is a great way to take on adventures on the relatively-not-too-high seas.

It only weighs 36-pounds, allowing the Stinger IV to benefit from triple layers of heavy-duty PVC that ensures it’s not just portable, but incredibly hard-wearing. The three high-quality air chambers are reinforced and can inflate the Stinger kayak in just a few minutes.

It’s so incredibly tough and rigid that you’ll be constantly amazed that it’s an inflatable boat.

To help enhance your experience with the Stinger more, Outdoor Tuff comes with 87-inch long rotatable oars. Perfect for a quick, durable and efficient paddling adventure. Comfort is not forgotten, thanks to the inflated seat and the additional footrest.

It can carry up to 425lbs, so there’s plenty of storage space for a comfortable time away from dry land for you and a friend. The fins on the hull help to provide you with a more stable and controlled paddle as well.

Outdoor Tuff is a company you can trust, thanks to their experience in the industry.

That said, we cannot recommend this model enough.

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  • Durable and tough construction
  • Lightweight and rotatable paddles
  • Two fins for increased stability and control
  • Triple layer heavy-duty PVC material
  • Foot pump is not the best
  • Could benefit from increased legroom

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8) Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Inflatable Kayak

The Driftsun Voyager 2 Person inflatable kayak is among the ultimate water exploring inflatable kayaks. Driftsun knows a thing or two about aquatic equipment, with their inflatable kayaks born and bred on the waters of Northern California.

It helps that they’re designed and built by a team who love to paddle. They know how kayaks work because they do it. They know what it feels like, why people do it, etc. Meaning, they’re always looking to better, innovative designs.

These inflatable kayaks are ideal for calmer waters and trickier rivers. Due to its pointed nose bow, V-shaped hull, the rocker profile, and removable fins, it’s ready to go immediately. These components when working in unison provide a very stable and tough vessel that won’t let you down.

Further to that, the side tubes with their higher volume offer amazing buoyancy.

The bottom is protected from punctures thanks to the PVC tarpaulin, while the double-threaded Boston valves ensure it will not leak. The 840D nylon Oxford covers also prevent tears and rips to the air tubes.

This kayak will hold up regardless of what it faces seemingly.

Included handles to the bow and stern to help make getting the boat into and out of the water incredibly easy. You’ll also find that there are enormous amounts of storage in the rear and front bungee compartments.

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  • Resistance against punctures and other issues
  • Boston double threaded valves prevent leaks
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Small for two people
  • Kegs don’t always stay on

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9) Blue Wave Sports Nomad 1 Person Inflatable Kayak

The Blue Wave Sports Nomad has a lower weight capacity than other inflatable kayaks. This is due to being designed for one person. This really looks the part with a highly visible bright yellow and black color scheme.

If you’re ever in trouble, you’ll be easily spotted.

It benefits from 24-gauge PVC in its construction that’s been reinforced using welding to seal the seams. This ensures it won’t leak. Along with the included I-beam floor design, it’s a very durable and comfortable kayak to paddle in.

Comfort and control have really been taken care of with the design of this kayak, as the footrest and seat can be removed and adjusted as necessary. The oar that comes with the kayak is made from strong aluminum, with tubing made from polypropylene that’s reinforced to produce reliable and effective blades.

The paddles are 87-inches, relatively good size for paddling anywhere. Thanks to Blue Wave Sports’ use of the double-locked airtight seal and the foot pump that’s included, it’s easy to deflate and remove from the water.

Due to its well-thought-out design, it packs away nicely to fit into a rip-resistant polyethylene bag. Considering this beauty has a relatively low price tag, we think it’s a great starter kayak.

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  • Affordable
  • Rip and puncture resistant features
  • Easy inflation and deflation
  • Lightweight
  • Not ideal for anything more than regular river use
  • Seat won’t suit everyone

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10) Airhead Montana Kayak, 2 Person

Do you and a friend want to tackle some moderate whitewater action? A good inflatable kayak can be useful. The Gauley River in West Virginia isn’t easy to get through, ya know. The Airhead Montana inflatable kayak might just be what you’re looking for.

This model is 12-foot long. These extra inches are important. Just ask your girlfriend.

Despite its length, this kayak is lightweight and easy to transport. The kayak uses the common and reliable Boston valves. The kayak itself has a very sturdy heavy-gauge PVC construction that ensures it won’t easily puncture or tear.

Additionally, the three main air chambers are protected further by the 840D nylon that also has been coated with special water-resistance and UV-resistance chemicals.

On the actual water, the kayak should provide you with easy tracking and low amounts of drag for a fun ride. This is thanks to the inclusion of four fins on the underside.

You’re likely to have a lot of gear with you, there’s a total of six D-rings at the stern and bow for attaching gear securely.

The seats can be adjusted or removed, allowing you to tweak at the setup on the interior. This helps to offer the perfect balance in comfort and remaining securely inside the kayak at all times. As you’d expect you’ll find sturdy gear handles that make pushing the kayak out or jumping back in easy.

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  • Constructed well
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Holds air pressure well
  • Takes long to dry
  • Takes on lots of water

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11) Bestway Lite Rapid 2 Person Kayak

Are you on the search for a self-bailing inflatable kayak that is available at a great entry price? The Bestway Lite Rapid could be a match made in aquatic heaven.

This model has a drain hole and plug that helps to reduce the amount of water you take on.

Especially in tricky waters and the removable fin that improve tracking, speed, and control through the water.

As you’ll have noticed from our guide, adjustable seating is something of a standard in most inflatable kayaks. It’s also something this particular model offers. You’ll be able to tweak things and tailor it for you and your paddling partner to get the most comfortable kayaking experience possible.

Considering it’s available for under $100, it’s not some high-class kayak. That said, if you’re looking for a truly sophisticated and complex inflatable kayak set-up, you’d be best looking elsewhere. However, if you’re out for a bit of fun, don’t mind getting thrown in the deep end a little, the Bestway Lite Rapid will give you just that.

Just don’t take it near anything more than gentle and calm lakes and bodies of water. This little beauty, as good as it is, was not meant to hurtle at 40mph down whitewater river rapids.

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  • Exceptionally affordable
  • Lots of harmless fun
  • Practical and lightweight
  • Skegs that help with control
  • Seats aren’t very comfortable
  • Width is a little short

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12) Sea Eagle FastTrack Inflatable Kayak Pro Angler Package

Sea Eagle is back again, this time with the FastTrack Pro Angler Inflatable Kayak. Although designed for fishing enthusiasts, it’s not made for bashing side to side and hitting dangerous rocks.

It has a weight of 45lbs that can handle a load capacity of 635lbs or up to 3 people. However, it depends on how much stuff you use as an angler. As amazing as the capacity of this kayak is, you need to factor in your gear.

This will surely offer a comfortable experience on the water while trying to land massive fish. If the idea of an inflatable boat combined with sharp fish fins and hooks makes you nervous, it shouldn’t.

Sea Eagle took proper precautions for that and still made a great angler boat/kayak.

The 1000D material is incredibly tough. It benefits from EVA foam padding in the pontoons and flooring, preventing slips, It even guards against punctures. The name is not just a marketing ploy when you find there are a built-in lure, hook, and rod holders in the spray skirts.

This kayak has a practical fish ruler built-in for seeing the size of that big catch. Sea Eagle covers you well too, with a fully patented, inflatable, and rigid knife kneel. This works in conjunction with the tapered, narrow, and sharper bow on the kayak. Allowing you to navigate easier.

It contains a dual-action pump, repair kit, two 81-inch paddles, two adjustable highback seats, and a bag too.

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  • 88-percent copper nylon content
  • Only available in black

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13) NRS Outlaw I Inflatable Kayak

Length
9’10”
Product Weight
26lbs
Weight Capacity
250lbs min

The NRS Outlaw I is a cool looking and practical 1 person inflatable kayak. The design makes it stable for newbies while providing exhilarating fun for adrenaline junkies.

Abrasion-resistant polyester with a high-quality PVC coating makes up this model. These inflatable kayaks were meant to take on the might of rapids like the Middle Fork along Salmon River in Idaho.

It features an inflated drop-stitch flooring that is both rigid and removable, making it easy to clean.

With its 18-inch tall rocker, the kayak can handle huge waves. Meanwhile, the 4-inch self-bailing floor and 10.5-inch tubing ensure you’ll stay afloat. The seating has been well-designed with the thwart seat being fully inflated and adjustable.

It connects securely into drain holes in the floor, meaning you can put it exactly where you need for comfort and security.

NRS has also considered the fact you’ll need to take water bottles and other accessories along for the ride. Thus, there are two sturdy D-rings made from stainless-steel.

The addition of high-performance Leafield C7 valves means you’ll have an easy job inflating and deflating this bad boy. Although it does look like a toy, this rides the waves and rapids perfectly. You’ll find the Outlaw I easy to carry thanks to the stern and bow handles.

Although expensive, the quality workmanship and major protection it provides makes it quite a steal.

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  • Awesome value
  • Excellent protection against punctures
  • Adjustable and removable seat for increased comfort
  • D-rings
  • Expensive
  • Made for one

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14) Aqua Marina KO Inflatable Kayak

Length
13’9″
Product Weight
30.9lbs
Weight Capacity
Approx 300lbs

The appropriately, if a little worryingly named Aqua Marina KO inflatable kayak is an awesome, affordable choice. Though we don’t want to think of the word “KO” when going fast down a river. It’s a perfect model for kayaking enthusiasts or those just getting into it.

It benefits from three layers of laminated PVC-coated fabric throughout and a sturdy I-beam floor design. It has a multi-chamber design, meaning if a puncture ever happens, the rest of the boat will stay afloat.

As it has a slick look, you’ll draw attention to yourselves as you paddle frantically, for all the right reasons. To give you more choice over the level of comfort you have, both seats are adjustable and removable. This includes inflated backrests made for comfort and posture alike.

Remember to note that the paddles are not especially good quality. Thus, if you’re already making waves, you may already have decent oars.

Ultimately, the proof is in the tasting or experiencing in this case. These inflatable kayaks handle extremely well on the water and easy to maneuver in different directions and at speed, as required.

You can spin and race forwards or backward to your heart’s content.

With included safety handles, you’ll be able to hold on when your kayak is going fast down the rapids. It also comes with a repair kit for patching on the go, as well as a secure bag.

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  • Great for beginners and intermediates
  • Easy to control
  • Comfortable
  • Pump doesn’t work very well
  • Paddles included aren’t high quality

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15) BicSport Kalyma Inflatable Kayak

We finish out guide with this awesome looking, orange, yellow and black creation from BicSport. The Kalyma inflatable kayak is a lightweight, strong, and very stable vessel. It’s incredibly easy to transport when in its bag.

Inflation or deflation, this is a light model.

Inflating the kayak takes 10 minutes, thanks to the high-pressure pump BicSport includes in the kit. This is a great kayak due to the specially made shape and practical features as well as fittings.

Materials with resistance against abrasion and puncture and have three completely independent air chambers make up this model. This means if one gets a puncture, the others keep you afloat. Paddling is easier with the removable hull fin at the rear and the guiding skeg, which helps you to steer effectively.

It’s designed for either one or two people, so the seats are fully adjustable and removable. There’s a rear storage bow that features a watertight bag on the inside where you can keep your valuables while exploring rivers and lakes.

The seats also have built-in pockets for extra storage space.

If that wasn’t enough, the elasticated strapping on the boat is also great for storing the more cumbersome and bigger items. BicSport has a reputation for designing and building great quality sports equipment and these inflatable kayaks are no exception to the rule.

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  • Adjustable and removable seating
  • Three independent air chambers
  • Removable hull fin and guide skeg
  • Lightweight
  • Could be a tight fit for two tall people

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Now you know the best inflatable kayaks in the market, we need to get to some FAQs out the way to make sure you make the best choice before heading out.

What are the Main Things to Consider when Buying an Inflatable Kayak?

With all the number of different sizes and types, there are out there right now, trying to pick one inflatable kayak can be incredibly overwhelming. Particularly if you’re a complete kayaking newbie. Therefore, to help make your choice a little easier, let’s look at some of the main things you need to consider before buying one of these awesome boats.

Type:

First and foremost, you need to think about the type of inflatable kayak you want. This will greatly depend on the kind of activities you intend to do.

There are four main varieties of kayaks to look out for, including:

Weight:

For nearly everything, weight is incredibly important. Even deflated, inflatable kayaks can weigh as much as 30lbs. Though you can find lighter models that weigh approximately 17lbs, the fact that it’s lighter means you’re sacrificing something somewhere.

Much like when choosing the type, there’s a ton to consider with the weight. What you’re intending to use it for and how you intend to transport it are indeed big to know. This is crucial, as kayaks are ideally supposed to be mobile. Even the inflatable kind.

If it is too large to transport or too big for what you need, you need lighter options.

Meanwhile, you need heavier options for more rigorous activities. As they will hold up far more than a smaller, lighter option. That means if you’re going to be in water that is rough, you’ll need more weight. Meanwhile, if on a mere camping trip, lighter is often better.

Storage:

How particular inflatable kayaks are stored plays a vital part in whether they’re suitable for your needs or not. After all, these kayaks are designed to be portable. Although, it’s always worth remembering that not all are made equal.

Most come with a bag of some kind that they can be compactly stored in.

Storage is essential as mobility can be involved if it is small enough. If it is too large, storing can be far too difficult. However, the biggest thing inflatable kayaks offer is their amazing storage. The entire idea is that they can be inflated when you need them!

Passenger capacity:

Obviously, you need to give some thought to whether you’re kayaking solo or with friends. As well as finding the right kayak with enough space for all in your party, you need to find one with the appropriate capacity too. This can also be essential for proper supplies.

If you’re camping, you need to something to carry supplies. Meaning, if you are needing an area to put your backpack among other things, this could count as a passenger.

How Safe are Inflatable Kayaks? What are the Main Safety Considerations?

Many people assume that inflatable kayaks are unsafe. In the past, some might think it’s insane to use one of these kayaks on rough and choppy river rapids. Today, thanks to their improved designs and construction using high-quality materials, inflatable kayaks are actually very safe.

Choose the right type of kayak and build quality for the activities you have in mind. Not all inflatable kayaks are the same and some designs suit rougher waters than others.

The things most people tend to worry about from a safety standpoint is.

As in, will they burst and deflate easily, are they buoyant and are they durable?

The answer to all those questions really depends on the specific kayak. Some feature dual and multiple chamber systems that make sure the interior will still stay inflated if the exterior gets deflated. Further to that, some are made from high-quality tough nylon, featuring sections made from aluminum to help improve their robustness and durability.

Buoyancy is often connected to passenger capacity. Pay attention to that capacity number, as it could be a factor that keeps your kayak upright.

There’s also a number of different safety precautions you can take to ensure you always get to dry land in one piece. Always fully inspect your kayak before and after inflation before heading out on the water.

You need to make sure there’s no serious holes or leaks.

Be sure to take the advice above to heart, and only use an inflatable kayak appropriate for your activities. Punctures are quite a rare thing in modern inflatable kayaks, but it makes sense to have a puncture repair kit just in case. It could make all the difference between having a safe and exciting adventure and having a nightmare experience.

Where Can I Use Inflatable Kayaks?

In the past, you may have just be told to “use it on water, ya moron.” However, that is not the case any longer as there are many uses for them. Plus, taking it with you to just use on water is obvious. You have to know the legal places to use them, the amount of water you need to use one, etc.

Modern inflatable kayaks are suitable for all kinds of use in various conditions. As we’ve mentioned a number of times, you need to figure out the best one for the activities you want to participate in.

You don’t always need a better quality or tougher inflatable kayak to get good results.

However, it’s a good rule of thumb to use.

You may be wondering if you need to register your inflatable kayak or obtain a special license. Unlike typical boats, kayaks are not powered by a motor. That means it’s unlikely that you’ll need a license or even need to register it. The best thing to do is to check with your local courthouse about different rules for their city.

Do the same for cities you might use the kayak as well.

You may need special permissions or licenses to use it in certain areas. However, this is clearly obvious. Places like parks with small bodies of water may be off-limits, yet your average river is likely fine. These are just a few examples.

Always check with local officials before kayaking in places to avoid any issue.

Are Inflatable Kayaks Even Any Good?

If you’re still not sold on inflatable kayaks we’ve discussed so far, it may be that we’ve not sold them hard enough. Are they actually any good? That’s a very subjective question because it depends on what you’re looking for. Compared to hardshell boats, inflatable kayaks offer numerous benefits.

You may very well like them more than you think.

Portability:

Most inflatable kayaks are incredibly portable. Not only can they normally be packed into a small, handy bag,  they’re also extremely lightweight. This makes it easier to pack them into your car, motorhome, or to carry along with your backpack if you’re hiking or camping.

This is great to have, especially when camping. Think about it, you may need to walk a long way down river or stream. How cool would it be to get to your location an hour before you would have on foot?

This is possible with inflatable kayaks.

Practical:

You may be thinking that by the time it takes to pump up an inflatable kayak. Meaning you could have already bought and begun to use a traditional kayak by the time one is inflated. However, with many models, it’s actually a lot quicker.

Basically, normal kayaks have to often be stored on your vehicle top. Many have racks there for things like kayaks.

However, by the time you pull it down, the inflatable kayak could be out of its handy storage bag and nearly inflated completely. Of course, it could already capable of being on the water. All while you’re still fidgeting with getting a normal one unstuck from the roof of your car and then having to drag it near the water.

Easy to Use:

Though there’s not much difference, inflatable kayaks are often made with beginners in mind. That means, they do not require a lot of skill or experience to steer and paddle them effectively. If they were not easy to use, what would be the point in having them?

They literally inflate and go like a regular kayak. That’s how complicated this is.

Affordable:

This is one of the biggest selling points, along with the fact that they can be packed away into a small package. Compared to hardshell traditional kayaks, the inflatable kinds aren’t nearly as expensive.

Don’t let that put you off them though, as they are just as durable and safe in many ways.

The reason for the lack of expense is that most of these kayaks are made with cheaper materials. Not cheaper in the idea that they are made with terrible products. Rather, kayaks often use wood, hard plastics, etc. These can be relatively expensive to make over time.

Labor alone has to be intense.

That said, inflatable kayaks merely use things like nylon, vinal, etc. All of it made to last and to hold up in major conditions. Not only are they made just as good, but the materials are man-made mostly. Meaning you do not need to cut down a tree to make one.

That is the biggest change, making them cheaper despite doing the same job just as well.

Time to Pick up those Paddles!

There you go, buddies – the Men’s Gear guide to the best inflatable kayaks has come to a close. If you’ve yet to give kayaks a go, it might be time to change that.

Especially with one of the more budget-friendly items featured in our guide.

If you’re a seasoned professional (or plucky adrenaline junkie intermediate), there’s also a wide selection to choose from to meet your needs. Even if you’re just a humble fisherman looking to do a little off-shore angling,  looking to catch trout or some pike, you’ll find the inflatable kayak for you above.

Remember, there’s more to choosing a kayak than just choosing the most expensive or conversely the cheapest. While cost may factor into your decision, it shouldn’t determine the kayak you choose.

The inflatable kayak that’s right for you, is the one that offers the experience you’re after.

If you’re ready to take on the might of Lava Falls or the Middle Fork of Idaho’s Salmon River, you need an appropriately designed kayak. One that’ll cope with the speed and treacherous nature of such rapids. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a lightweight option to enjoy the scenery with your lover or buddy, you need something different.

You’ll need to invest in something built for comfort and luxury rather than speed.

There are also options for larger groups, in the form of the Intex Excursion in our guide. When buying one of these awesome kayaks, remember to choose wisely. Choose based on what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be going, how many people you’ll be taking along for the ride, and how much stuff you’ll need.

Keeping all of that in mind will ensure you’re experiences and adventures with your new inflatable kayak are memorable, and safe!