The Best Inflatable Kayaks in 2023: A Complete Guide

Not everyone has the space to store a hard-shell kayak or the means to transport it to the water. That’s where inflatable kayaks come in.

These kayaks are compact, lightweight, and easy to store, making them an excellent choice for those with limited space. They’re also a great option for those who want to take their kayak on the go, whether it’s on a camping trip or a weekend getaway. 

Whether you want it for whitewater or ocean use we have all the best inflatable kayaks here. Why trawl through all the options when we’ve done the groundwork on your behalf?

This guide includes the top inflatable kayaks for one, two or three people. It includes kayaks for ocean trips, white water, and for use when fishing. We’ve even included the best kayaks for dog owners, too.

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Reviews and Recommendations for the Best Inflatable Kayaks
Beginner Guide to the Best Inflatable Kayaks

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What’s the best inflatable kayak overall?

Our overall best blow up kayak is the Intex Excursion Pro. It’s a great all-rounder at an average price point which you can see here.

Why buy the Intex Excursion Pro?

The Intex Excursion Pro can seat two, is great for fishing and can also cope with unsettled waters. This product from a top inflatables brand is Pro by name and professional by nature.


The Best Inflatable Kayaks Comparison Chart

For quick reference, check out this comparison table. All the top inflatable kayaks are listed here according to price range, capacity and our score.

If you are reading this on a mobile device, you might need to swipe to scroll across.

NameImageTypeCapacityOur Score (/5)Price
Intex
Excursion
Pro


N/A

Fishing,
sit in kayak,
good for ocean,
good for dogs
2-person4.8CHECK NOW
Aquaglide
Deschutes


N/A

Sit in top
kayak
1-person4.7CHECK NOW
Intex
Seahawk
boat


N/A

Fishing,
boat
3-person 4.5CHECK NOW
Advanced Elements
StraitEdge
Angler PRO


N/A

Fishing,
Sit in kayak
1-person4.3CHECK NOW
Seyvlor
Quikpak K1


N/A

Sit on top kayak1-person 4.2CHECK NOW
Advanced
Elements
AirVolution


N/A

Sit in kayak 1-person 4.4CHECK NOW
Intex
Explorer
K2


N/A

Sit in kayak,
good for dogs
2-person4.5CHECK NOW
Swimline
Solstice
Durango


N/A

Sit in kayak1- or 2-person 4.1CHECK NOW
Intex
Challenger
K2


N/A

Sit in kayak2-person4.4CHECK NOW
Sevylor
Big Basin


N/A

Sit in kayak,
good for dogs
3-person 4.0CHECK NOW
TAHE
Beach LP3
TAHE Beach LP3 Tandem Inflatable KayakSit in kayak3-person4.5CHECK NOW
Seyvlor
Kwikpak K5


N/A

Sit in kayak,
good for ocean
1-person 4.3CHECK NOW
Advanced
Elements
Lagoon


N/A

Sit in kayak,
good for ocean
1-person 4.4CHECK NOW
Advanced
Elements
AdvancedFrame


N/A

Sit in Kayak,
good for white water
1-person 4.5CHECK NOW
Sea Eagle
FastTrack
Deluxe


N/A

Sit in Kayak,
good for white water
1-person 4.3CHECK NOW


Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak

The best inflatable kayaks for fishing we found and tried are these three best fishing kayaks:

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

We highly recommend the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series 2-person Kayak Set for anyone looking for the best inflatable kayak for fishing. It’s a durable and versatile inflatable kayak that is great for fishing. 

Pros 

  • The kayak is made of super tough laminate PVC with a polyester core, so it’s lightweight and highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact, and sunlight. 
  • The high-pressure inflation provides extra rigidity and stability
  • The high-pressure spring-loaded valves made for easy inflation and fast deflation. 
  • The seats are comfortable. I have a bad back and we were out on the water all day and my back was fine!

Cons 

  • The kayak is relatively heavy at 46.73 pounds, which was OK, but I can imagine that this could make it difficult to carry for some users. 
  • When the wind picked up in the afternoon, it was a little more difficult to steer. 
  • The kayak does not come with a pump, so we needed to purchase one separately.  You can get a pump here.
  • Doesn’t have webbing to tie down extra gear.

We found the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series 2-person Kayak Set to be an excellent choice for both recreational and fishing use.

We were impressed by the kayak’s stability and maneuverability. It has 2 adjustable bucket seats, and we found it to be comfortable to sit in for extended periods.

The kayak included various accessories that made it easy to customize the kayak to our specific needs. It includes 2 removable skegs for deep and shallow water, 2 floor-mounted footrests, 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders, and a removable and adjustable mounting bracket for additional accessories, such as GPS systems, fish finders, swivel fishing rod holders, etc. 

The storage space in the bow and stern with stainless steel D-rings for tying down dry bags and gear is a nice touch, and the kayak’s total weight capacity of 400 pounds meant that it easily accommodated two adults and our gear.

This kayak is made from ultra tough PVC.  Plus, it comes complete with a pair of aluminum oars.

Overall, we think that the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series 2-person Kayak Set is an excellent value for the price, and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality inflatable kayak. 

Read additional reviews for the Intex Excursion Profishing kayak HERE


Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler PRO inflatable kayak

If you’re looking for a durable and versatile fishing kayak, the ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak Khaki is a great option. 

Pros 

  • The drop-stitch floor construction provides rigid stability, and the built-in aluminum ribs define the bow and stern, improving tracking. 
  • The unique Accessory Frame System allows you to mount aftermarket rod holders, a fish finder, and other equipment. 
  • The high support, adjustable AirFrame PRO seat provides comfort for hours of paddling. 

Cons 

  • Inflating the floor is difficult, and the valve does not want to close. 
  • Putting the kayak back in the bag is a little difficult. 

We recently took the ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak Khaki out for a spin, and we were impressed with its stability and durability. The drop-stitch floor construction and built-in aluminum ribs define the bow and stern, improving tracking.  

We were able to mount aftermarket rod holders, a fish finder, and other equipment using the unique Accessory Frame System. This kayak also comes with built-in paddle holders, stainless steel d-rings and bungee deck lacing for gear storage.  It also includes a heavy-duty repair patch and a duffel bag with shoulder straps for easy carrying. 

The high support, adjustable AirFrame PRO seat provided comfort for hours of paddling. My back is not the best and I was comfortable even though we were out on the water all day. 

However, inflating the floor was difficult, and the valve did not want to close. Putting the kayak back in the bag was also a little difficult. Despite these issues, we still think the ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak Khaki is a great option for those looking for a durable and versatile fishing kayak. 

Read additional reviews for the StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable fishing kayak HERE


Intex Seahawk inflatable boat

Instead of looking only at kayaks, why not consider an inflatable boat for fishing trips?

If you’re looking for a versatile and durable inflatable boat that can handle fishing, relaxation, and rowing, the Intex Seahawk 3 Boat Set is a great option. 

Pros 

  • The heavy-duty, puncture-resistant PVC material ensures comfort and durability. 
  • It’s more stable than a kayak. The inflatable I-beam floor adds rigidity to the boat.  
  • With three air chambers, the Seahawk 3 is designed to be safe and stable on the water. 
  • The set comes with two 48-inch aluminum oars and an Intex high-output pump, making it easy to inflate and deflate the boat quickly. 

Cons 

  • At nearly 10 feet long and weighing over 30 pounds, the Seahawk 3 may be too bulky for some users to transport and store. 
  • While the boat is designed to hold up to three people, it may feel cramped with a full load. It’s great for two people, though. 
  • It does sometimes lose a little air through the valves after a couple of hours – take the pump with you and top up while you’re in it. 

We recently took the Seahawk 3 out on a local lake and were impressed with its stability and ease of use. The boat felt solid and secure, even with three people on board, and the oars provided plenty of power for maneuvering around the water. 

It was a little cramped with three of us – it was definitely possible, but it would be more comfortable with just two people.  

One thing to keep in mind is that the Seahawk 3 is not the most compact or lightweight inflatable boat on the market, so it may not be the best choice if you’re looking for something that’s easy to transport and store. However, if you have the space and are looking for a versatile and durable boat that can handle a variety of activities, the Seahawk 3 is definitely worth considering. 

Overall, we would recommend the Intex Seahawk 3 Boat Set to anyone in the market for a reliable and affordable inflatable boat. 

Read additional reviews for the Intex Seahawk inflatable fishing boat HERE


Best One Person Inflatable Kayak

If you’re looking for the best single person inflatable kayak, then these are the best 1 person inflatable kayaks we found and tried.

Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak

We recommend the Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak for those who want an easy-to-carry, easy-to-setup kayak that is rugged and durable for lake use. 

Pros 

  • The backpack system makes it easy to carry and the kayak can be set up in just 5 minutes. 
  • The tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection against punctures. 
  • The multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured. 

Cons 

  • The multi-position footrest was OK for us, but it may not be comfortable for all users. 
  • The kayak may dip into the water when paddling if not inflated enough. 
  • The paddle included in the package is not the best quality. I’d recommend getting your own if you plan to use the kayak much. These paddles are inexpensive.

We recently took the Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak for a spin and we were impressed with its ease of setup and portability. The backpack system is a game-changer and makes it easy to carry the kayak to the water’s edge. The kayak can be set up in just 5 minutes, which is perfect for those who want to spend more time on the water. 

The tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection against punctures. The multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured, which is a great safety feature. 

Overall, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak is a great option for those who want an easy-to-carry, easy-to-setup kayak that is rugged and durable for lake use. 

Read additional reviews for the Sevylor Quikpak K1 one-person kayak HERE


Aquaglide Deschutes 130 Inflatable Kayak

If you’re looking for lightweight inflatable 1 person kayaks, the Aquaglide Deschutes is a great option.  

Pros 

  • The low rocker hull design results in better tracking, more glide, and effortless paddling. 
  • The kayak is lightweight and packable, weighing only 22 pounds despite being 13 feet long and having a 400 pound capacity.  
  • The duffle-style storage bag made for easy transportation. 
  • The kayak includes quick-release seats, adjustable footrests, velcro adjustments for personalized seat positioning, paddle keepers, quick-release fin, Halkey-Roberts Valve adaptor, and cockpit drain. 

Cons 

  • The footrest is fixed to the floor, so it can’t be adjusted easily 
  • The floor of the kayak is too soft, making it less stable than some other inflatable kayaks. It is not suitable for whitewater or rapids. 

We recently took the Aquaglide Deschutes Inflatable Kayak 130 out for a spin and were impressed with its lightweight and packable design.  

It was easy to transport to our desired location and quick to set up. The kayak felt stable and secure on calm waters. The kayak also includes convenient paddle keepers and a quick-release fin for easy maneuvering. 

The adjustable footrests are fixed to the floor, so were more difficult to adjust than most of the kayaks we tried. However, the seats were comfortable. 

The other main thing we noticed was that the floor of the kayak was a bit too soft for our liking, making it slightly less stable than some other inflatable kayaks we’ve tried.  

Overall, if you’re looking for a lightweight and packable inflatable kayak for touring purposes, the Aquaglide Deschutes Inflatable Kayak 130 is a solid option to consider. 

Read additional reviews for the Aquaglide Deschutes 1-person kayak HERE


Advanced Elements AirVolution Inflatable Kayak

If you’re looking for a versatile inflatable kayak that offers great performance and durability, the Advanced Elements AirVolution is a solid choice.

Pros 

  • The high-pressure drop-stitch air chambers provide a hull speed comparable to hardshell kayaks, ensuring excellent performance on the water. 
  • The 2-air chamber design with pressure relief valves for proper inflation makes for a fast and easy setup, and the included dual-stage pump with gauge and battery inflator ensure you can inflate the kayak quickly and easily. 
  • The heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin material offers a smooth, hydrodynamic outer skin that is highly durable and resistant to punctures and abrasions. 
  • It’s very sturdy. The drop stitch floor is so stable you can stand up on it and use it as a paddle board.

Cons 

  • The kayak is on the heavier side for an inflatable, weighing 39 pounds, which I found kind of difficult to carry, since I was alone.
  • The open deck design, while great for ease of entry, can make the kayak more susceptible to splashing and taking on water in rougher conditions. 
  • The kayak’s length of 13 feet made it more difficult to maneuver in tighter spaces. 

We recently took the Advanced Elements AirVolution out on the water and were impressed with its performance.  

This Advanced Elements inflatable is one of the fastest one person kayaks we’ve tried. It has high pressured drop-stitch chambers that give it an extra boost of speed and durability. 

The kayak tracked well and was easy to maneuver, even in choppy conditions. The adjustable high-back seat and foot brace ensured a comfortable ride, even on longer trips. 

One of the standout features of the AirVolution is its portability. The included backpack roller duffel bag makes it easy to pack up and transport the kayak, and you don’t need a roof rack to do so. This makes it a great option for those who want to take their kayak on the go, whether it’s on a road trip or a flight to a remote destination.  

The kayak comes complete with a battery-operated inflator for fast high-volume/low-pressure inflation, a dual-stage pump with pressure gauge. The high pressure relief valves also helped provide quick inflation. 

Overall, we would recommend the Advanced Elements AirVolution to anyone in the market for a high-performance, durable inflatable kayak. Its ease of use, portability, and solid construction make it a great option for both beginners and experienced kayakers alike. 

Read additional reviews for the AirVolution one-person kayak HERE


Best Inflatable Tandem Kayak

If you’re looking for the best 2 man inflatable kayak, here are the top inflatable tandem kayak reviews.

Intex Explorer K2 kayak

The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a top tandem inflatable kayak that is a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable and easy-to-use inflatable kayak. 

Pros 

  • The cockpit is comfortable and has plenty of space. I especially liked the adjustable inflatable seat with backrest which makes it comfortable for anyone to use.
  • The removable skeg provides directional stability, making it easier to maneuver. 
  • The bright yellow color of the kayak improves visibility in case of emergency. 

Cons 

  • The kayak is made for smaller bodies of water, so it may not be suitable for more challenging environments. 
  • It was a bit difficult to inflate the kayak fully, especially without the electric pump. Definitely don’t forget a pump! 
  • The kayak was fine for our trip on a calm lake, but may not be as durable as other more expensive models. 

We recently took the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak out for a spin on a calm lake, and we were pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to set up and use.  

The adjustable inflatable seat with backrest made it comfortable for both of us to sit in. We were out on the water for several hours and my back didn’t start to play up, which is a huge bonus for me. We also liked that the cockpit is designed with enough space to move around in. 

The removable skeg provided directional stability, which made it easier to control the kayak and keep it moving in the right direction. The bright yellow color of the kayak also made it easy to spot from a distance, which could be helpful in case of emergency. 

Overall, we think the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a great option for those looking for an affordable and easy-to-use inflatable kayak. While it may not be as durable or suitable for more challenging environments as other models, it’s a great choice for those looking to enjoy a relaxing day out on the water. 

Read additional reviews for the Intex Explorer K2 tandem kayak HERE


Solstice by Swimline Durango kayak

If you’re looking for the best 2 person inflatable kayak, the Solstice Inflatable Kayak is both durable and versatile. 

Pros 

  • The Durango is built for performance and durability, with each internal bladder made of a 22 Gauge K-80 PVC material protected by a 1000 Denier, fabric reinforced, nylon cover for extra comfort and durability. We were out in it for most of the day and it was comfortable the whole time. 
  • This kayak is designed with Solstice inflatable Technology, so we were able to deflate it and fold into its included carry bag in minutes, making it easy to store in compact spaces. 
  • The Tri-chamber construction serves for ultimate balance & stability while kayaking, making it safe and stable on the water.  

Cons 

  • The Durango is a bit heavy, weighing in at 40 lbs, which can make it difficult to carry and transport. It was Ok with both of us helping, but if you wanted to use this by yourself, it is on the heavy side. 
  • Although the kayak comes with a detachable skeg for ultimate tracking, and it tracked well in calm water, it was still a little difficult to maneuver in strong currents and windy conditions.  

We took the Durango out for a spin and were impressed with its durability and performance. The reinforced D Ring tie-down locations and storage bungees made it easy to secure our gear, while the adjustable nylon covered padded bucket seats provided excellent comfort and support. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a durable and versatile inflatable kayak that can handle a variety of conditions, the Solstice Inflatable Kayak is definitely worth considering. 

Read additional reviews for the Swimline Durango Solstice tandem kayak HERE


Intex Challenger K2 tandem kayak

The Intex Challenger Kayak is one of the best 2 person inflatable kayaks on the market if you’re looking for an affordable and easy-to-use kayak. 

Pros 

  • The SuperStrong PVC material provides excellent durability and resistance to abrasions, ensuring that the kayak can handle some rough waters. 
  • The low-profile design of the kayak makes it easy to paddle, especially on lakes and mild rivers. 
  • The adjustable cockpit seats are spacious and comfortable, providing ample room for both you and your gear. 

Cons 

  • Some users have reported issues with the skeg falling off during use, which can make it difficult to steer the kayak. This didn’t happen on the test runs we did, but it is something to keep in mind. 
  • The kayak can be a bit heavy and cumbersome to carry when it’s fully inflated. 

Overall, we think the Intex Challenger Kayak is a solid choice for anyone looking for an affordable and reliable tandem inflatable kayak. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some more expensive models, it gets the job done and is a great option for beginners or anyone on a budget. 

In terms of performance, we found that the kayak was relatively easy to maneuver and paddle, even in choppy waters. The adjustable seats were comfortable and provided plenty of legroom, and the removable skeg helped to keep the kayak on course. 

Overall, we think the Intex Challenger Kayak is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable and reliable tandem inflatable kayak. It may not be the fanciest or most high-tech option out there, but it gets the job done and is a great value for the price. 

Read additional reviews for the Intex Challenger K2 tandem kayak HERE


Best 3 Person Inflatable Kayak

If you’re looking for the best family inflatable kayak, here are our picks for the the best inflatable kayak options for three people.

Sevylor Big Basin 3 person kayak

If you’re looking for a durable and spacious inflatable kayak for three, the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak is a great choice. 

Pros 

  • The heavy-duty PVC construction and tarpaulin bottom make it rugged and durable. 
  • The multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured, ensuring safety on the water. It’s also easy to inflate. 
  • The adjustable seats make the ride more comfortable for exploring. We were out for several hours and stayed comfortable the whole time. The spray covers help keep you dry during your trip. 

Cons 

  • The instructions not great (put the rudder in before you inflate it and know that the seat cushion inflates). 
  • It’s not as maneuverable as a hard-shell kayak, but that’s to be expected with an inflatable. 
  • It doesn’t come with paddles, so you’ll need to purchase those separately. 

We recently took the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak out on a calm lake and were impressed with its durability. The heavy-duty PVC construction and tarpaulin bottom provided peace of mind, knowing that we wouldn’t have to worry about punctures. The multiple air chambers also made us feel safe, knowing that if one chamber was punctured, we could still make it back to shore. 

The adjustable seats were a nice touch, allowing us to find the perfect position for exploring the lake. The spray covers also helped keep us dry, which was a welcome feature on a hot day. The kayak comfortably fits three people, making it perfect for a family outing. 

Overall, the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak is a great choice for families looking for a durable and spacious kayak for their next water adventure. 

Read additional reviews for the Sevylor Big Basin 3-person kayak HERE


Intex Seahawk 3 person boat

A kayak may not be your best bet when there are three or more people to seat – especially if you’re on a strict budget.

Pros 

  • The heavy-duty, puncture-resistant PVC material ensures comfort and durability. 
  • Because it’s a boat, it’s more stable than a kayak. The inflatable I-beam floor adds rigidity to the boat.  
  • With three air chambers, the Seahawk 3 is designed to be safe and stable on the water. 
  • The set comes with two 48-inch aluminum oars and an Intex high-output pump, making it easy to inflate and deflate the boat quickly. 

Cons 

  • While the boat is designed to hold up to three people, it may feel cramped with a full load. It’s great for two people, though. 
  • It does sometimes lose a little air through the valves after a couple of hours – take the pump with you and top up while you’re in it. 
  • The oars that come with it are not that great. Consider getting your own oars.

This great value inflatable boat by Intex can accommodate a family or small group and has an impressive 790lb capacity.  There are quick-fill Boston valves, a high output Intex pump and two aluminum oars included.

We recently took the Seahawk 3 out on a local lake and were impressed with its stability and ease of use. The boat felt solid and secure, even with three people on board, and the oars provided plenty of power for maneuvering around the water. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the Seahawk 3 is not the most compact or lightweight inflatable boat on the market, so it may not be the best choice if you’re looking for something that’s easy to transport and store. However, if you have the space and are looking for a versatile and durable boat that can handle a variety of activities, the Seahawk 3 is definitely worth considering. 

Overall, we would recommend the Intex Seahawk 3 Boat Set to anyone in the market for a reliable and affordable inflatable boat. 

Read additional reviews for the Intex Seahawk inflatable fishing boat HERE


TAHE Beach LP3 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

If you want an inflatable sit in kayak for three people, the TAHE Beach LP3 is a great choice.

It has 3 air chambers that make it more stable and rigid. The seats are adjustable, removable and elevated for comfort.

There are carry handles, a bungee on the stern deck for extra storage and a drain plug so you can get rid of excess water easily.

It comes with three collapsible paddles, a repair kit and an inflation pump.

TAHE Beach LP3 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Pros:

  • Easy to inflate/ set up
  • Heavy duty/ durable
  • Seats are comfortable

Cons:

  • A tight fit for three tall adults

Best Inflatable Kayak for Ocean

Here are the top inflatable sea kayaks we tried so you can find the best inflatable ocean kayak for your needs.

Intex Excursion Pro kayak

We highly recommend the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series 2-person Kayak Set for anyone looking for the best inflatable sea kayak. It’s a durable and versatile inflatable kayak that is great on the ocean as well as lakes. 

Pros 

  • The kayak is made of super tough laminate PVC with a polyester core, so it’s lightweight and highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact, and sunlight. 
  • The high-pressure inflation provides extra rigidity and stability
  • The high-pressure spring-loaded valves made for easy inflation and fast deflation. 
  • The seats are comfortable. I have a bad back and we were out on the water all day and my back was fine!

Cons 

  • The kayak is relatively heavy at 46.73 pounds, which was OK, but I can imagine that this could make it difficult to carry for some users. 
  • The carry bag is not the same quality as the kayak.
  • When the wind picked up in the afternoon, it was a little more difficult to steer. 
  • The kayak does not come with a pump, so we needed to purchase one separately.  You can get a pump here.
  • Doesn’t have webbing to tie down extra gear.

We found the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series 2-person Kayak Set to be an excellent choice for use on the sea. This super tough kayak is designed to stand up to ocean conditions like salt water, abrasions and impact.

We were impressed by the kayak’s stability and maneuverability. It has 2 adjustable bucket seats, and we found it to be comfortable to sit in for extended periods.

The kayak included various accessories that made it easy to customize the kayak to our specific needs. It includes 2 removable skegs for deep and shallow water, 2 floor-mounted footrests, 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders, and a removable and adjustable mounting bracket for additional accessories, such as GPS systems, fish finders, swivel fishing rod holders, etc. 

The storage space in the bow and stern with stainless steel D-rings for tying down dry bags and gear is a nice touch, and the kayak’s total weight capacity of 400 pounds meant that it easily accommodated two adults and our gear.

This kayak is made from ultra tough PVC.  Plus, it comes complete with a pair of aluminum oars.

Overall, we think that the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series 2-person Kayak Set is an excellent value for the price, and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality inflatable kayak. 

Read additional reviews for the Intex Excursion Profishing kayak HERE


Sevylor Quikpak K5 kayak

If you’re looking for an inflatable kayak that’s easy to set up and carry, the Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak is definitely worth checking out. 

Pros 

  • The backpack system is incredibly convenient and makes carrying the kayak a breeze. 
  • The 24-gauge PVC construction is durable and can handle rough waters. 
  • The multiple air chambers provide extra safety in case of punctures. 

Cons 

  • It can be difficult to get in and out of the kayak due to the design of the backpack system. 
  • The paddle that comes with the kayak is not very sturdy. Consider this replacement

This is one of Seyvlor’s toughest kayaks, making it suitable for ocean excursions as well as traversing lakes or rivers with a rough, rocky bottom.  

We recently took the Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak out for a spin and were impressed with how quickly and easily it set up. The backpack system is a game-changer and makes carrying the kayak to the water a breeze.  

The kayak itself is also quite durable and can handle rough waters without any issues. There are built-in spray covers to protect you from splashes while moving about on the surface of the water and secure, bungee strap storage areas for your kit 

Overall, we would recommend the Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak to anyone looking for an inflatable kayak that’s easy to set up and carry. Just be aware of its limitations in choppy waters and consider investing in a sturdier paddle. 

Read additional reviews for the Seyvlor Quikpak K5 ocean kayak HERE


Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 kayak

We highly recommend the ADVANCED ELEMENTS Lagoon 1 Kayak for anyone looking for a lightweight, durable, and easy-to-set-up inflatable kayak.  This impressively designed kayak is suitable for use in bays, lagoons, lakes and rivers.

Pros 

  • The built-in rigid panels help with tracking and make it easier to paddle. 
  • The inner tube cover adds stiffness and abrasion protection. 
  • The unique outer cover provides durability in a lightweight design. 

Cons 

  • The maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs may not be enough for some users. 
  • The kayak may not be suitable for rough waters or rapids. Also not ideal for strong wind because it’s so light 
  • The folding seat may not be as comfortable as a traditional kayak seat. 

We were impressed with the ease of setup and the performance of this inflatable kayak. The twistlok valves and high flow Spring valves make it quick and easy to inflate and deflate.

Although inflatable, it has the benefit of rigid panels to the front and rear (landing plate and tracking fin) to improve control and performance on the water. 

The kayak comes with a carrying duffel bag, a repair kit, and an owner’s manual, making it easy to transport and maintain. The mesh pocket and paddle loops are convenient for storing gear and accessories. 

Overall, the ADVANCED ELEMENTS Lagoon 1 Kayak is a great choice for anyone looking for a lightweight and durable inflatable kayak for recreational use on calm waters. 

Read additional reviews for the Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 ocean kayak HERE


Best Inflatable Kayak For Whitewater

Generally inflatable kayaks are not great for white water because of all the rocks. Only the toughest kayaks can cope with whitewater, so here are our top picks for the best whitewater inflatable kayaks.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame 

We highly recommend the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak for anyone looking for a versatile and high-performing inflatable kayak that’s tough enough for white water. 

Pros 

  • The aluminum rib-frame technology in the bow and stern, and rigid drop-stitch technology in the floor provide paddling performance that rivals that of a hard-shell kayak. 
  • 3 layers of puncture-resistant PVC Tarpaulin hull material. 
  • The upgraded lumbar seat provide comfort for hours of paddling. Even my bad back was fine. 

Cons 

  • The kayak can be a bit heavy to carry. 
  • Folding the kayak and putting it back in the bag can be a bit awkward. 
  • The dual action hand pump can be strenuous to use. 

Whitewater is rough and, of course, there are rocks. So, you need to have a very tough inflatable for these conditions. I took this out on Class 2 rapids mostly, but with a Class 3 as well and it perfoe4med great.  

This AdvancedFrame kayak has 3 layers of puncture-resistant material. The aluminum ribs help improve tracking, even in rougher conditions and the combination of aluminum rib-frame technology and rigid drop-stitch technology in the floor makes this kayak perform like a hard-shell kayak. 

The closed design also makes it suitable for white water.

There are even landing plates welded on to reduce the risk of puncture during beaching. Plus, the main inflation chamber is divided into two separate air chambers that encompass the entire kayak. I didn’t experience any tears, but if you did, this will help you get out of the water safely.  

Overall, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak is a great investment for anyone who wants a high-performing kayak that is tough enough for white water.  

Read additional reviews for the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame kayak HERE


Sevylor Quikpak K5 kayak

If you’re looking for a durable and easy-to-use inflatable kayak that is tough enough for white water, the Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak is definitely worth checking out. 

Pros 

  • The backpack system is incredibly convenient and makes carrying the kayak a breeze. 
  • The 24-gauge PVC construction is durable and suitable for mild white water. 
  • The multiple air chambers provide extra safety in case of punctures. 
  • It has a built in spray cover so it doesn’t get filled with water.

Cons 

  • It can be difficult to get in and out of the kayak due to the design of the backpack system. 
  • The paddle that comes with the kayak is not very sturdy. Consider this replacement

This is one of Seyvlor’s toughest kayaks, making it suitable for white water.  

We recently took the Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak out in Class II and a Class III rapids and it survived the trip fine. I wouldn’t take it into anything rougher, but for fairly mild rapids, it was a solid performer.

The kayak itself is also quite durable and the 24-gauge PVC construction and tarpaulin bottom means it can stand some rough rocks.

The kayak has multiple air chambers so the kayak can still stay inflated even if one chamber is punctured. I didn’t experience this, but always look for this in an inflatable kayak I take into white water.

There are built-in spray covers to protect you from splashes while moving about on the surface of the water and secure, bungee strap storage areas for your gear. 

Overall, we would recommend the Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak to anyone looking for an inflatable kayak that’s easy to set up and carry and tough enough for mild white water. 

Read additional reviews for the Seyvlor Quikpak K5 kayak HERE


Best Inflatable Kayak for Dogs

Taking your dog out on the water with you is a lot of fun, but you need a tough kayak with a strong floor and and open-top design with extra space when taking to the water with a canine. Here are the best inflatable kayaks for dogs we found and tried.

Sevylor Big Basin kayak

This kayak is a great all-rounder, making it suitable for pet owners as well as those who wish to travel as a small family.

Pros 

  • The heavy-duty PVC construction and tarpaulin bottom make it rugged and durable. 
  • The multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured, ensuring safety on the water. It’s also easy to inflate. 
  • The adjustable seats make the ride more comfortable for exploring. We were out for several hours and stayed comfortable the whole time.
  • It’s stable and durable, which is good for dogs

Cons 

  • The instructions not great (put the rudder in before you inflate it and know that the seat cushion inflates). 
  • The valve can leak a little over time (get a handpump so you can top it up)
  • It doesn’t come with paddles, so you’ll need to purchase those separately. 

We (two people and a dog) recently took the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak out on a calm lake and were impressed with its durability.

The heavy-duty PVC construction and tarpaulin bottom provided peace of mind, knowing that we wouldn’t have to worry about punctures and our pup was able to be in without worrying about punctures. The multiple air chambers also made us feel safe, knowing that if one chamber was punctured, we could still make it back to shore. 

The adjustable seats were a nice touch, allowing us to find the perfect position for exploring the lake. The spray covers also helped keep us dry, which was a welcome feature on a hot day. The kayak comfortably fits three people, but with a dog, two people was much more comfortable. 

Overall, the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak is a good choice for one or two people and a dog.

Read additional reviews for the Sevylor Big Basin kayak HERE


Intex Excursion Pro kayak

Are you taking your pet to the waters along with you?  Then once more the Intex Excursion Pro is one of our recommendations.

Pros 

  • The kayak is made of super tough laminate PVC with a polyester core, so it’s lightweight and highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact, and sunlight. Perfect if you’re taking your dog out with you.
  • The high-pressure inflation provides extra rigidity and stability
  • The high-pressure spring-loaded valves made for easy inflation and fast deflation. 
  • The seats are comfortable. I have a bad back and we were out on the water all day and my back was fine!

Cons 

  • The kayak is relatively heavy at 46.73 pounds, which was OK, but I can imagine that this could make it difficult to carry for some users. 
  • When the wind picked up in the afternoon, it was a little more difficult to steer. 
  • The kayak does not come with a pump, so we needed to purchase one separately.  You can get a pump here.
  • Doesn’t have webbing to tie down extra gear.

We found the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series 2-person Kayak Set to be an excellent choice for a lake trip with a dog.

We were impressed by the kayak’s stability and maneuverability. It has 2 adjustable bucket seats, and we found it to be comfortable to sit in for extended periods.

The kayak included various accessories that made it easy to customize the kayak to our specific needs. It includes 2 removable skegs for deep and shallow water, 2 floor-mounted footrests, 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders, and a removable and adjustable mounting bracket for additional accessories, such as GPS systems, fish finders, swivel fishing rod holders, etc. 

The storage space in the bow and stern with stainless steel D-rings for tying down dry bags and gear is a nice touch, and the kayak’s total weight capacity of 400 pounds meant that it easily accommodated two adults and a dog.

Overall, we think that the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series 2-person Kayak Set is an excellent value for the price, and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality inflatable kayak. 

Read additional reviews for the Intex Excursion Pro kayak HERE


Intex Explorer K2 kayak

While not as tough as the previous two, the Intex Explorer K2 is great for those with canine companions.

Pros 

  • The cockpit is comfortable and has plenty of space for two people and a pooch.
  • I especially liked the adjustable inflatable seat with backrest which makes it comfortable for anyone to use.
  • The removable skeg provides directional stability, making it easier to maneuver. 

Cons 

  • The kayak is made for smaller bodies of water, so it may not be suitable for more challenging environments. 
  • It was a bit difficult to inflate the kayak fully, especially without the electric pump. Definitely don’t forget a pump! 
  • The kayak was fine for our trip on a calm lake, but may not be as durable as other more expensive models. 

We (two people and a dog) recently took the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak out for a spin on a calm lake, and we were pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to set up and use.  

The adjustable inflatable seat with backrest made it comfortable for both of us to sit in. We were out on the water for several hours and my back didn’t start to play up, which is a huge bonus for me. We also liked that the cockpit is designed with enough space for a dog. 

The removable skeg provided directional stability, which made it easier to control the kayak and keep it moving in the right direction. The bright yellow color of the kayak also made it easy to spot from a distance, which could be helpful in case of emergency. 

Overall, we think the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a great option for those looking for an affordable and easy-to-use inflatable kayak for a trip with their dog.

Read additional reviews for the Intex Explorer K2 tandem kayak HERE


Best Kayak (Inflatable): Buying Guide 

When it comes to purchasing an inflatable kayak, there are a few critical things to consider. The first is the material. Look for kayaks made from durable materials like PVC or nylon, which can withstand the wear and tear of regular use. The second is the size and weight of the kayak. Make sure the kayak can accommodate your weight and any gear you plan to bring with you. Finally, consider the ease of inflation and deflation, as well as the overall stability and maneuverability of the kayak.  

Here are some factors to consider: 

Material 

The material of the kayak is important as it determines the durability and longevity of the product. Look for kayaks made with high-quality materials such as PVC or nylon. These materials are durable and can withstand rough waters and UV rays. 

Size and Weight 

Consider the size and weight of the kayak. Inflatable kayaks come in different sizes and weights, so it’s important to choose one that suits your needs.  

If you plan to use the kayak for solo trips, a smaller and lightweight kayak may be ideal. However, if you plan to use it for family trips or with a group, a larger kayak may be necessary. 

Capacity 

The capacity of the kayak is also important to consider. Make sure to choose a kayak that can accommodate the weight of all the passengers and their gear. It’s also important to check the weight capacity of the kayak to ensure it can handle the weight. 

Ease of Inflation and Deflation 

The process of inflating and deflating the kayak can significantly impact the overall experience of using it. If the kayak is difficult to inflate, it can take a lot of time and effort, leaving you feeling frustrated and exhausted before you even get on the water. Easy inflation and deflation can make it easier to transport and store the kayak, as it can be quickly deflated and packed away when not in use.  

Several factors can affect how easy an inflatable kayak is to inflate or deflate. One of the most important factors is the type of pump that is used. A high-quality pump with a large capacity can inflate the kayak quickly and efficiently, while a low-quality pump with a small capacity can make the process slow and tedious.  

The valve system used on the kayak can also impact the ease of inflation and deflation. A well-designed valve system can make it easy to attach the pump and quickly inflate or deflate the kayak.  

The size and shape of the kayak can also play a role in how easy it is to inflate or deflate. A larger kayak may require more time and effort to inflate, while a smaller kayak may be quicker and easier to inflate.  

Finally, the material used to make the kayak can also impact how easy it is to inflate or deflate. A high-quality, durable material can withstand the pressure of inflation and deflation without becoming damaged or leaking air, making the process smoother and more reliable. 

Overall Stability and Maneuverability 

The stability of the kayak is crucial for ensuring a safe and comfortable experience on the water, especially for beginners. A stable kayak will be less likely to tip over or capsize, providing a more secure feeling for the paddler.

Maneuverability is also an important factor to consider, as it can affect the overall performance of the kayak. A kayak that is easy to maneuver can help you navigate through different water conditions and obstacles with ease, providing a more enjoyable experience. 

Several factors can affect the stability and maneuverability of an inflatable kayak. One of the most important factors is the shape and design of the kayak. A wider and flatter bottom can provide more stability, while a more streamlined shape can improve maneuverability.  

The length of the kayak can also impact its stability and maneuverability, with longer kayaks generally being more stable but less maneuverable than shorter kayaks.  

The weight capacity of the kayak can also play a role in its stability, with a higher weight capacity providing more stability.  

Finally, the quality of the material and construction of the kayak can also affect its stability and maneuverability, with high-quality materials and construction providing a more stable and maneuverable kayak. 

Features 

Inflatable kayaks come with different features such as adjustable seats, footrests, and storage compartments. Consider the features that are important to you and choose a kayak that has them. It’s also important to consider the ease of inflating and deflating the kayak, as well as the ease of transporting it. 

Price 

Price is also a factor to consider when buying an inflatable kayak. While it’s important to choose a kayak that fits your budget, it’s also important to choose one that meets your needs. Don’t compromise on quality for a lower price. 


Frequently Asked Questions when looking for the best rated inflatable kayak

Best Inflatable Kayaks

Are inflatable kayaks good?

Inflatable kayaks are increasingly popular. Why? They are light and easy to store and carry, and can be stored in small spaces. At the same time, they offer many of the same advantages as more rigid models. They are also often more affordable than hard-shell kayaks.
If your space and budget are limited but you want the freedom of owning your own kayak, then take a look at the great inflatable kayaks we list here.

Are there any alternatives to inflatable kayaks?

There are several alternatives to inflatable kayaks, including hard-shell kayaks, folding kayaks, and modular kayaks.
Rigid kayaks are obviously heavier and bulkier.
Another option is to go for an inflatable boat rather than a kayak, and we have listed a couple of those here. The boats can be more roomy and offer good value for money.

Why do kayaks vary so much in price?

The kayaks we include do indeed vary in price, with the most expensive costing around ten times as much as the cheapest.
More expensive models are designed to be tougher and longer-lasting. They may also have features to make them more comfortable and easier to steer. If you want a kayak that can withstand whitewater or ocean use, for example, then that will cost more than a budget model that’s designed for pottering about on the surface of a calm, deep lake.

Do I need to buy anything else?

Kayaks generally come with everything you need to get started – a pump, for example, and some include a carry bag or backpack system.
Lifejackets are always recommended (check out a selection on Amazon here), and it’s wise to ensure that everyone on board is a strong swimmer before setting off.
You may need also need to purchase paddles. Always double check.

What should I look for when buying an inflatable kayak? 

When buying an inflatable kayak, you should consider factors such as weight capacity, durability, ease of setup, portability, and additional features such as storage compartments and paddles. 

What are the pros and cons of inflatable kayaks? 

Pros of inflatable kayaks include their portability, lightweight, and affordability.
Cons include their susceptibility to punctures and potential for less stability in rough waters. 

What is the most durable inflatable kayak? 

The most durable inflatable kayaks are typically made with high-quality materials such as PVC or nylon and have reinforced seams and chambers.

What is meant by a ‘fishing kayak’?

Some kayaks have special features designed with fishing in mind – such as rod holders, storage compartments, and a stable platform for casting.
While not strictly necessary, these are very useful as they will reduce your chance of your rod falling in the water. They also provide you with the ideal place to store your rod while paddling.


Which is the top rated inflatable kayak for you?

This will depend to some extent on your personal choice – and, of course, on what you’re using it for and where you’re paddling. Hopefully, this guide has helped to steer you in the right direction.

Happy kayaking!


Do you have any other inflatable kayaks that you highly recommend? Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know.

If you found this review helpful but are not quite ready to buy yet, Pin It so you can find it easily!

Beginner Guide to the Best Inflatable Kayaks
Reviews and Recommendations for the Best Inflatable Kayaks

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About the Reviewer

James Ian Yosemite

James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.

He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks. 

Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.

As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.

Read more…


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