If you don't have an inflatable kayak, it might be time for you to invest in one. Having spoken beginner paddlers and advanced kayakers, an inflatable kayak is one of the best investments you can make. These forms of kayaks offer a unique blend of portability, ease of use, and exciting exploration.
The hassle of storage, trailers and roof racks has seen many water enthusiasts turn to inflatable forms of water activities. This article presents a curated selection of the top 10 inflatable kayaks that promise to enhance your aquatic escapades.
From serene lakes to rushing rivers, these inflatable kayaks have been chosen based on their durability, stability, ease of setup, and overall performance. Whether you're looking for an exhilarating ride for the whole family or a relaxing solo paddle, this collection has something to offer everyone.
We pumped these inflatable kayaks using the Airbank Puffer Pro and Topump Rechargeable SUP pump which saved us hours of manual exhaustion especially when rating all these kayaks. We recommend buying an electric pump and if you are interested in finding out more then check out our collection of rechargeable SUP pumps.
We explore each inflatable kayak's features, benefits, and unique attributes so that you can make an informed decision. Find out how inflatable kayaks bring your waterborne excursions to a new level.
If you are in a hurry, here is a quick summary of the best inflatable kayaks below in our order of preference. You can also check the prices of them by clicking on the buttons as some of them are currently on sale.
1. Intex Challenger Kayak
If you are a kayak enthusiast then you will have heard of Intex before, they are probably the most popular brand when it comes to inflatable kayaks. They have various different options you can go for but from our testing and feedback, this one is the best option.
The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak offers sporty excitement with an easy-to-paddle, streamlined design. Its vibrant green color and graphics ensure high visibility on the water. Designed for solo lake and river adventures, this lightweight kayak assembles effortlessly and inflates swiftly through the Boston valve.
Crafted with rugged vinyl and an inflatable I-beam floor, it balances stability and performance. The low-profile deck and high-buoyancy chambers add comfort. The kayak boasts a removable skeg for direction, an adjustable inflatable seat with a backrest, and ample storage options like a cargo net.
Overall, this is another fantastic option and one that could very easily top the list. It’s pretty much pumped up in 5 minutes and you’ll be ready to get on the water. When you consider how cheap it is as well, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
2. Aqua Spirit Inflatable Kayak
If you are one of our regular readers, then you will recognize Aqua Spirit from our best paddle board review article. The brand is one of the leaders when it comes to paddle boards and has recently introduced a new inflatable kayak range and they have come onto the market with a power hitter!
The Aqua Spirit Inflatable Kayak Board is available in 10'5" and 13'5" variations for beginners and enthusiasts. This complete kayak kit includes an adjustable aluminum paddle, a spacious backpack, a comfy kayak seat, and practical paddle holders.
The double-action pump with a pressure gauge simplifies inflation, while removable central fins ensure stability. Bungee storage ropes and a 2-year warranty complete the package for a seamless water adventure.
Overall, the introduction of inflatable kayaks to their range has been a welcomed addition that goes straight to the top. Easy to pump up and a very comfy experience out on the water.
3. Bluefin Scout and Ranger Kayak
Another popular brand that’s famous for its paddle boards! Bluefin has been around for a long time and has developed a reputation for producing not only durable inflatables but also cool designs. Even looking at the marketing material, you can see how much emphasis they have placed on standing out.
Bluefin Scout and Ranger Kayaks are ideal paddles for beginners and experienced kayakers. Available in versatile sizes, these kayaks promise stability and ease of use. Crafted with durable materials, they ensure long-lasting performance.
They are perfect for exploring lakes and rivers and have comfortable seats, ample storage, and user-friendly features. Whether embarking on solo adventures or paddling with a partner, the Bluefin Scout and Ranger Kayaks offer a reliable and enjoyable water experience.
Overall, another high-quality option with some fantastic features and accessories. There’s lots of leg room with this one especially for you tall ones out there. The rucksack is high quality and can easily fit all your different bits and pieces.
4. Sevylor Tahaa Kayak
Sevylor is another well known brand when it comes to inflatable kayaks and offers quite a wide range of options.
The Sevylor Tahaa Kayak offers a remarkable inflatable canoeing experience for two people. Crafted with a robust PVC outer shell, it ensures durability and stability on the water. With built-in straps for securing luggage and a bar construction for enhanced strength, this kayak is designed for a comfortable and secure journey.
Its blue color adds a touch of style, while the included repair kit ensures you're always prepared. The kayak's maximum weight capacity of 160 kilograms makes it suitable for various users.
Whether exploring serene lakes or navigating gentle rivers, the Sevylor Tahaa Kayak guarantees an enjoyable and reliable water adventure. With its thoughtful features and construction, this kayak is a trusted companion for outdoor enthusiasts seeking quality and comfort.
Overall, we thought it was very quick and easy to inflate. You’ll be on the water quickly and feel safe with its construction. The only room for improvement that we found with this one is the seats as they could be designed slightly better.
5. Intex Explorer Kayak
Another mention on the list for Intex and this one is a two-seater kayak. If you have a partner or friend, you want to relax with on the water then this is a great little option.
The Intex Explorer™ K2 Kayak offers exciting tandem adventures on tranquil waters. You can count on its sporty graphics and vibrant yellow color to guarantee maximum visibility.
With adjustable seats, rugged vinyl construction, and an inflatable I-beam floor, comfort and stability are prioritized. The removable skeg aids in precise maneuvering. Boston valves allow for fast and convenient inflation and deflation. The package includes oars, a pump, and a repair kit. U.S. Coast Guard I.D. and NMMA Certification ensure safety.
Overall, another high-quality inflatable kayak from Intext that is easy to assemble and inflate. Even just feeling the kayak, you can tell straight away that it’s made from high quality durable materials so should last you for a long time.
6. Bestway Hydro Force Kayak
Another well-known brand in Bestway that has a great reputation for its inflatables such as hot tubs, air beds and pools. It’s earned a reputation for providing excellent value for money and the Hydro Force kayak is no different!
The Hydro‑Force™ inflatable kayak by Bestway is essential for outdoor enthusiasts. Ideal for exploring coastlines, river cruises, fishing, or lake outings, it's versatile for various water adventures. The set includes:
- The kayak.
- Two lightweight 230 cm (91") aluminum paddles.
- An Air Hammer™ hand pump.
- Two fins – all in a convenient carry bag.
With cushioned backrests, the spacious 2-person kayak offers comfort. Its streamlined form-fitted design keeps you dry by preventing water from entering the cockpit. The kayak glides smoothly through the water, aided by removable fins for directional support. The Inflata‑Shield™ material ensures durability, while large carry handles make transportation easy.
Overall, this is priced very competitively, sitting in-between the luxury and budget options. You’ll get the best of both worlds as this inflatable kayak provides a sturdy and durable kayak at just a fraction of the price.
7. Aqua Marina Memba
Aqua Marina is another brand that is famous for its inflatable paddle boards that has been around for a long time and you may have encountered in some of the well-known supermarkets.
The MEMBA kayak offers a sleek design, exceptional tracking, and speed with an extended waterline. Featuring AQUASHELL™ fabric tech for durability, ECO-PRINT™ for lasting graphics, and a drop-stitch deck for stability.
Weighing 13.4kg (solo) and 17kg (tandem), it's easily transportable in the redesigned backpack. Notable features include adjustable bungee, self-bailing valves, an upgraded pump, and a high-backrest seat.
Overall, a fantastic all round inflatable kayak that is sturdy and easy to steer. We did notice it was a little on the heavier side once it was pumped up but not much difference compared to the others.
8. Sevylor Tahiti Kayak
Another mention for Sevylor on our list and this one is the first three-man kayak to make it on here. Not many companies offer a three-man inflatable kayak as they are quite a niche offering.
The Sevylor Tahiti Kayak, a timeless classic, now features the innovative Backpack System for enhanced portability. Designed for water adventures with friends and family, the Tahiti Plus model accommodates two adults and one child with its extra seat. It boasts a broad shape for exceptional stability, three adjustable inflatable PVC seats, and integrated spray decks at both ends.
In addition to facilitating quick inflation and deflation, Sevytest pressure gauges facilitate easy inflation monitoring. The kayak's efficient drainage system prevents water accumulation. With two ergonomic carry handles, the Sevylor Tahiti offers convenient transportation for memorable water-bound experiences.
Overall, if you are going with friends or family, this is a fantastic group kayak where you can all enjoy the water. Like the Tahaa, the seats could be designed a little better but it’s nothing that will spoil the experience.
9. Andes Inflatable Kayak
Andes is one of the less recognized brands when it comes to inflatable kayaks but when it comes to value for money and the price you’ll be paying, it’s among the top of the list. Initially, we were shocked at how cheap these were so couldn’t wait to test them.
The Andes Inflatable Kayak offers versatile water exploration for two people, ideal for lakes, rivers, or beaches. A comfortable design featuring 5 air chambers and 2 inflatable seats ensures a relaxed experience. Inflation is hassle-free with the included foot pump.
Crafted from heavy-duty PVC, this kayak is CE-approved and built to last. The package includes a complete set: 1 inflatable kayak, 1 double paddle, 1 air band, 1-foot pump, and a repair kit for longevity.
With a maximum load of 160kg (353 lbs) and dimensions of 320cm (11ft) x 70cm (27.5") x 40cm (16") (L x W x H), it offers ample space. A dedicated kayak storage bag is also available for added convenience.
Overall, if you are on a budget and need one that is safe and ready to get you on the water, then you can’t go wrong with this one.
10. Hydro-force Rapid Elite
Another mention for Hydro-force and this is their two-person offering that like the others comes with all the accessories needed to get on the water.
Hydro-force inflatable kayak set with 2 seats, 2 paddles, one hand pump, two removable fins, 2 seats, a storage bag, and a repair patch. Its spacious cockpit features inflatable seats with cushioned backrests, a firmly inflated floor, and a form-fitted construction to prevent water entry.
Crafted from premium material with Inflata-Shield Pro technology, it provides excellent puncture resistance, rigidity, and enhanced grip. The kayak includes two removable fins of varying sizes for directional support and stability across different water conditions. With dimensions of 3.12m x 98cm (10 ft. 3 in. x 39 in.) and a weight capacity of 180kg (397 lbs), the Hydro-Force™ Rapid Elite promises enjoyable aquatic adventures.
Overall, if you are going out on the water with a friend, then this is a fantastic all-round option that will be kind on your wallet. It is very easy to assemble, and you’ll have a great time on the water. We did notice the bag with this one wasn’t the best but again, nothing that will cause you great amount of distress.
How Did We Pick the Top Inflatable Kayaks?
Our editorial team conducted extensive research to identify the top inflatable kayaks, considering our own experiences and insights from experts in the field. Our selection process took various factors into account, including:
The dimensions of the inflated kayak were assessed, considering the number of occupants it can accommodate. We analyzed the length and width to gauge stability and maneuverability. Striking the right balance is vital – a kayak that's too bulky might be sluggish, while an unbalanced one could increase the risk of tipping.
Travel-friendly features were scrutinized, including weight, the presence of a carrying case, and any specialized elements that facilitate easy transportation. Our aim was to provide insights into how effortlessly a kayak can be moved, enhancing the overall convenience of your outdoor adventures.
We examined the ease and speed of inflating and deflating the kayak, especially considering the convenience of doing so near a water body. If you are planning to transport the pump on the kayak, its portability is also crucial.
Given the potential challenges of navigating water bodies filled with debris, we prioritized inflatable kayaks crafted from robust PVC material with multiple layers. Such construction helps prevent tears and ensures the kayak's longevity. Additionally, we looked for models with multiple air chambers for added flotation in case of minor damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are inflatable kayaks durable?
Yes, modern inflatable kayaks are crafted from sturdy materials like PVC with multiple layers for durability. It makes them resistant to tears and abrasions during water adventures.
How do I inflate an inflatable kayak?
Inflating an inflatable kayak is typically done using a pump, often included with the kayak. Attach the pump, inflate to the recommended pressure, and secure the valves.
Are inflatable kayaks safe?
Yes, inflatable kayaks are designed with safety in mind. They often have multiple air chambers to ensure flotation even if one gets punctured, and they're stable for various water conditions.
How do I store an inflatable kayak?
Deflate the kayak fully, clean and dry it, and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Most inflatable kayaks come with a storage bag for convenience.
In conclusion, inflatable kayaks offer adventure and exploration on the water. From tandem kayaks for family fun to sleek touring kayaks for long-distance journeys, these top 10 options cater to various preferences and skill levels.
With their portability, durability, and complete sets of accessories, these inflatable kayaks are your gateway to unforgettable aquatic experiences. Get ready to paddle, explore, and create lasting memories with the best inflatable kayaks on the market.