Best Inflatable Kayaks in 2023 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Recently, inflatable kayaks have become so popular thanks to their compact storage size, ease of use, and comfort.

That being said, there are so many different options out there that sometimes it can be challenging to determine which one is the best inflatable kayak for your needs. This article will guide you in finding the best inflatable kayak that best suits your requirements.

The Best Inflatable Kayaks

1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set

Intex Explorer Best Inflatable Kayak

Whether you are a beginner or professional, Intex Explorer K2 kayak has all the requirements to serve a wide range of individuals. This best inflatable tandem kayak is an unbelievably inexpensive yet quality product from the house of Intex.

Explorer K2 is a budget-friendly best inflatable kayak where two persons can go on a tour on the lolkayak. The kayaks made by Intex are the best quality inflatables.

Explorer K2 is one of the best selling two-person kayaks. This kayak has vinyl construction chambers, which are puncture resistant. This kayak has all the properties of vinyl, which include being strong, durable, and rigid. It can withstand rust and corrosion. It is moisture and abrasion-resistant.

In terms of quality of material, it may not be super-strong, but it does the job. If you are around on this in lakes with trees and bushes sticking out, it will fare well against them.

However, over some time, it will be more prone to punctures and holes. As it comes with some repair patches, you can fix the hole then and there.

Budget-Friendly, Stability, And Portability

The Explorer K2 manufacturer has designed two separate air chambers. Therefore, even if one chamber gets punctured, the kayak would not sink. The other air chamber would help you reach the shore safely.

For a kayak that comes at this price, K2 is exceptionally stable in calm water due to its width. K2 is wider than average kayaks that prevent it from flipping and wobbling. This makes the kayak stable. But this is not the case when it comes to choppy waters.

And since it is lightweight, even a little tide can push this kayak off course. This should not surprise you because, for a price like this, you can get only so much.

In terms of maneuverability, the lightweight of the kayak makes it simple and easy. In terms of speed, the Explorer K2 is more or less average. It is just enough for simple recreational trips.

Unlike other lightweight kayaks, K2 Explorer tracks well with a skeg. It stays on the intended path and does not go off course. This is due to the removable skeg that the user can install in the base of the kayak.

Explorer K2 comes with two removable inflatable seats. The leg space for the rear seat is limited. So if a tall person sits in the front, he will find plenty of space, but at the back, they may find it to be congested.

On the whole, this lightweight kayak is best suited for two to three hours of touring on calm waters.

The K2 Explorer has a capacity of 400 pounds. It can easily carry two average adults and a medium-sized dog in it.
It has quick inflation and deflation. The I-beam floor provides stability and rigidity. The bright yellow color provides good visibility.

Explorer K2 is perfect for beginners. It is easy, simple to use, to assemble, smooth tracking, and maneuverability. It comes with an easily operable pump to inflate.

It is easily transportable. When deflated, Explorer K2 is compact enough to be stored in a shoulder bag. The quality of the carrying bag is not good.

The accessories that accompany this kayak are not of good quality. But for a price like this, it is no less than a wonder.

2. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Are you interested in kayaking but worried that it is difficult to store and transport? Then Intex Challenger K1 is one of the brands that break down barriers and make everyone enjoy the water.

The Intex Challenger K1 is one of the best-valued kayaks available today. It is a perfect choice for beginners, and it is easy to use. You can get out on the water and have some fun. Intex Challenger K1 is the best choice for the price.

If you are on a tight budget, but you want to go kayaking, then this is the best buy. It is not a high-end kayak, but it does the job of making you get out on the water and letting you experience kayaking.

It is not too durable, and it does not track well either, but for the amount you pay, that is to be expected. We recommend taking it to lakes and calm rivers for the best possible experience.

The Intex Challenger K1 inflatable kayak is highly durable. The sturdy I-beam floor makes the boat firm and rigid. The Intex Challenger K1’s use of color makes this kayak to stand out from the crowd.

The Intex Challenger K1 has a large oversized inflatable seat. The seat has been designed to provide maximum comfort, and it is super adjustable. This best inflatable kayak has a front cargo area that allows for accessories and shoes.

Lightweight And Highly Stable

The Intex Challenger K1 has a removable skeg included, which is ideal for providing directional stability and helping the kayak to track in a straight line.

The chambers are fast to inflate with the high volume pump. Deflating is fast and easy by opening the valves. It allows the air to be released quickly. It comes with a good pump, a repair kit to fix any problem, and a paddle.

It is designed for recreational use and not performance use. It is not suitable for choppy and open waters.

3. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Inflatable Kayak

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak is a great kayak for those looking to have some fun. It is a single person kayak. It is easy to balance and stable, making it the best inflatable kayak for beginners. However, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 does not come with a tracking skeg.

The Quikpak K1 is a hybrid between a floater and a kayak. The highlight of this kayak is that it is easy to get in and out of water.

Lightweight And Durable

It is a lightweight kayak. It comes with a paddle, pump, and backpack. Thus it has everything that you need to get out on the water. It is great for a leisurely float. The paddle is of poor quality. It is not recommended for rougher water.

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 has a clever and unique design to lessen the impact of puncture wounds; the kayak is made up of multiple air chambers.

If the kayak gets punctured at some point along your kayaking journey, only the air chamber with the puncture would lose air and deflate. While the others will remain inflated, and the kayak will stay afloat, and you will be able to reach the shore.

4. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set

This best inflatable tandem kayak from Intex is a great option as it is easy to use the product, and you can quickly get out onto the water. This package contains everything you need to start kayaking. It includes a high-output pump, one double blade paddle, and a patch repair kit suppose any damage occurs.

The inflatable seats of this tandem kayak are surprisingly comfortable and fully adjustable. The seats are also removable so you can convert this two-seat kayak into a single-seat version with extra storage space.

The length of this kayak is 11ft 6 inches, and the width is 2 ft 6 inches when it is fully inflated. Otherwise, it folds up into a much smaller space. So it is highly portable. Moreover, the Intex Challenger K2 is delivered in a thin and light transport bag.

If you want to paddle with someone else, you need to buy another paddle. And also you need to purchase life jackets.

The transport bag is not made of good material, but it has a wide opening, so it is easy to get the boat out of the bag. The front paddle has a little air cushion that is used as a footrest. This footrest gives better support to the front paddle.

The greatest advantage of the Intex Challenger K2 is the unbeatable price along with the accessory. And that is why this kayak is so popular.

Hence for this low price, you should not expect a high-quality kayak. Intex kayaks look professional and great in terms of the design.

The material of the boat skin is too thin, and the operating pressure is quite low. Hence it is best suited for the calm and small lake where you can relax, but this boat is not a good option for anybody looking for a real kayak.

If you want to go regularly on longer tours, you should invest in a high-quality kayak. The kayak is difficult to dry and clean due to the missing drain valve. It has a short warranty period of 90 days.

5. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Usually ignored by seasoned canoe lovers, the Coleman Colorado 2 Person Fishing Kayak by Sevylor offers various advantages to its users.

While traditional kayaks make noises as you move, the inflatable ones assure you to have a silent and calming experience out on the water. This is very important while fishing, as you wouldn’t want to scare off the fish even before you have a chance to cast your line.

Inflatable kayaks are considered to be inferior by some. Many people associate them with the quality of inflatable beds and pool pieces instead of the rugged and durable materials they are made of. The Coleman Colorado is built of 18 gauge PVC material, which makes this tandem kayak pretty much durable and indestructible.

The nylon cover and Tarpaulin shield make the base even stronger. The overall structure makes this salt-water proof, puncture-proof, and sun-resistant. The industrial, double-ended drop stitch and I-beam construction make this a versatile hull.

The Coleman Colorado tandem consists of two softback seats on board. The seating onboard provides plenty of leg space for both riders.

The fully adjustable seats, which are in easy reach of the storage compartments, ensure the utmost comfort during your kayaking experience. The rod and paddle holders ensure that everything remains secure during your journey out on the water.

Based on performance, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado inflatable kayak is solidly built. Though this might not be the best option for professional racing, it is a great option for recreational kayaking.

The inflatable kayak us rigid as well as flexible this is where it counts. It is also simple to maneuver, making it great for beginners. While this tandem kayak is designed for flat surfaces, it can be used on a variety of surfaces; however, it is recommended that you avoid white water.

How to choose an Inflatable Kayak

We have compiled a list of factors for you to consider before putting down your hard-earned money on any kayak.

The following are some of the essential factors to consider when buying an inflatable kayak.

1. Portability and Storage

Inflatable kayaks, in general, are lighter than their hard-shelled counterparts. Not only are they lighter, but also compact enough, and can be stored into a small package. So when you are on the move, it folds away and is easier to carry.

It also weighs less.

Do you need to go on a long-distance tour? You want to fly to the other side of the continent or the planet? Well, you can pack up your inflatable kayak and check it into the hold-all.

If you’re driving, you can just throw your deflated kayak into the trunk, and you’re off on your way.

Whereas in the case of having a hard kayak, you would need to fix it onto a rack on the car/truck. So there’s all the hassle of buying a roof rack. Then every time you need to go somewhere, you need to lift the kayak onto the rack and affix.

The main advantage that inflatable kayaks offer over the hard-shell types is easy portability and little storage space. Thus at the end of the day, blow-ups are much more convenient and portable.

2. Stability

A lot of inflatables have generally wider hulls. Think of whitewater kayaks for a moment. These have taller sidewalls and a wider base. This makes them much more stable and sturdy.

3. The Material Of The Kayak

The best Inflatable kayaks are made using one of three materials, namely; Nitrylon, Hypalon, and PVC.

Hypalon -Hypalon is a kind of synthetic rubber, which is mainly used in the construction of high-end kayaks. The benefit of Hypalon is that it is durable, and it offers resistance against chemicals, extreme weather, the intense UV rays of the sun, and impact.

PVC -PVC is obtained from vinyl polymer plastic. It is not as durable compared to its Hypalon counterpart. However, it is cheap and thus makes it a cost-effective option for kayakers with a limited budget.

Nitrylon- Nitrylon inflatable kayaks are relatively new in the market. Nitrylon is considered an eco-friendly material for kayak construction. Additionally, it is resistant to punctures and abrasion and performs well in cold environments.

4. Weight

The weight of an inflatable kayak is also an important aspect, especially for hikers who carry the vessel around.

Heavy-duty kayaks are made of thick material and are thus more resistant to punctures. However, taking a heavy inflatable kayak might be wearisome; hence, you need to purchase a lightweight kayak.

5. Seating

According to the structure, an inflatable kayak may have different types of seating, namely triple, double, or single seating. The seats are the present one behind the other along the length of the kayak.

Usually, white water kayaks have space for just one kayaker. On the other hand, touring kayaks can accommodate up to three passengers. Therefore, if you intend to go kayaking with a friend, you should opt for kayaks that offer double or triple seating.

6. Inflatable Kayak Accessories

Some accessories are essential for kayaking activity, and they include air pumps, paddles, repair kits, and PFDs. Depending on the model of kayak that you purchase, these extras may or may not be included in the package. Preferably, you should opt for high-quality paddles and dual action air pumps.

Types Of Inflatable Kayaks

Starters and consumers should understand that there are different types of Inflatable kayaks available in the market. Depending on our usage and requirements, we have to choose a particular kayak model. Each kayak is designed for a particular purpose.

1. Touring Kayaks

Inflatable Touring kayaks are long and thin in shape. This design helps in traveling through flat water. Touring kayaks are versatile as they can be used in both ocean and freshwaters. Also, most touring kayaks have a compatible rudder to boost steering.

2. White Water Kayaks

Unlike the touring kayaks, whitewater inflatable kayaks come with a wide and short design. Due to its structure, less effort is required in steering as the moving water tends to move the vessel.

Additionally, the large design ensures that the kayak is stable, while the reduced length helps in navigation around obstacles like rocks.

The main selling point for white water kayaks is the presence of scupper holes, which help in draining water from the cockpit and d-rings.

3. Sea Kayaks

The best inflatable kayaks for the ocean are similar to touring kayaks as they are long and thin. However, they are specially designed for use in sea waters. They also have additional features such as scupper holes.

4. Fishing Kayaks

Inflatable fishing kayaks or best inflatable kayak for ocean come in different lengths, ranging from short to long.

The distinct feature of this vessel is its round shape at the front and back, which gives them stability. They also come equipped with unique features geared towards fishing activities such as anchor cleat, rod holders, and bait buckets.

5. Sit-On-Top Kayaks

A sit-on-top kayak has an elevated seat, which places the kayaker on top of the vessel. This feature makes the kayak more stable compared to the conventional design, where one has to sit in the cockpit. Sit on top kayaks also have scupper holes that help in self-draining.

Benefits Of Inflatable Kayaks

1. Easy To Store

Once they are deflated and rolled up, Inflatable Kayaks may be stored in the basement or placed in the closet. The total volume of a folded inflatable kayak depends on its quality of construction and length.

In general, inflatable kayaks take up the space of a kayaking excursion bag or a suitcase. The Inflatable Kayak shares this advantage with folding kayaks but is generally cheaper, lighter, more robust, and easier to use.

2. Inflatable Kayaks Are Portable

An Inflatable Kayak allows the paddler to travel to faraway destinations with his very own kayak. These are naturally used when you navigate to places where there is no opportunity to rent kayaks, or to places where shipping services are expensive or unreliable.

Inflatable Kayaks become simple baggage that can be stored for boarding. If shipping services are available, inflatable kayaks can be easily sent by carrier or mail.

If you are transporting your kayak, there is no need to load and secure the kayak onto the roof of the car. No need for poles, roof bars, or other costly accessories. You have to just put the inflatable kayak in the trunk or place in the back seat.

3. Freedom Of Usage

To put an inflatable kayak into use, one must first take time to inflate the boat. But the time taken to remove the kayak out of the trunk and to launch is not more than the time needed to take down a rigid kayak from the top of a car and carry it up to the water.

4. Boarding

To board an inflatable kayak, simply sit down behind the cockpit, place one foot into the cockpit, then slide down into the seat.

Because inflatable kayaks naturally absorb shocks, it is exceptionally easy to land quickly in the surf with an inflatable kayak, this being an advantage over ocean kayaks or other types of rigid kayaks.

5. Easy Maneuverability

If you are a beginner, then you can quickly learn how to direct and control the kayaks with the double kayak paddle. Inflatable kayaks are simple to re-board after being capsized.

6. Exciting Kayaking Excursions

Inflatable kayaks are not specialist vessels. They are stable, open, spacious, and easy to control. Inflatable kayaks forgive errors and are safe. Therefore, inflatable kayaks are ideal for beginners, including children and friends.

7. Versatility

Since most inflatable kayak is not specialized, they make it possible for various types of kayaking excursions, including rafting, coastal exploration, and even kayak fishing expeditions.

8. Maintenance

Inflatable Kayaks are very solid, and they support shocks well, although one must be careful of abrasions and sharp objects. In case of a puncture, simply apply a patch.

Keeping your inflatable kayak clean can be somewhat time-consuming, because rigid kayaks may be simply rinsed before being stored, while inflatable kayaks must be carefully dried before being folded.

9. Efficiency

All things being equal, the more rigid the boat, the more efficiently it can be propelled through the water. The fastest kayaks are composite kayaks, but with proper technique, experienced paddlers can maintain a healthy rate of speed with an inflatable kayak in non-extreme wind conditions and moderate seas.

10. Tracking

Speed is a weakness of inflatable kayaks, especially in adverse conditions. The rudder is known to provide better control to the paddler for directional changes. For tracking, the skeg is a simple device that helps in tracking and allowing the kayak to stay on course.

11. Comfort

Inflatable kayaks do not readily yield to pressure or weight and are not soft or flabby. Inflatable kayaks should be inflated to the appropriate pressure to get the proper nautical qualities.

Best Inflatable Kayaks – Our verdict

Having fun in the water with your family and friends or enjoying nature solo is really great. This is true, especially when you have one of the top 10 best inflatable kayaks in 2019 to use. These top-rated kayaks make water adventure a lot safer and more fun to do.

A kayak provides immense and exotic recreational experience in sightseeing, fishing, and watersports. Hence more and more people are turning towards it.

The price range of kayak starts from as low as $100 and reaches above $1000. Different kinds of kayaks are available under different brands. The inflatable kayaks are used in slow waters or lakes.

They are designed and manufactured using great construction materials. You need to go with the best available kayaks around, especially when you want to have maximum fun.