Want to spend days paddling through rivers or fishing in a spot you cannot possibly reach with your boat? Or perhaps you want to explore regions flowing with streams, rivers, and mountains?
Most likely the only way to do this is by using the best inflatable kayaks. Back in the day, you could only purchase such kayaks as toys for kids. But right now, you can buy well-designed, high-quality kayaks for long expeditions in such locations.
You’re probably wondering “are inflatable kayaks safe?” The old days when you couldn’t find an affordable and quality inflatable kayak are behind you. There are now many sturdy and durable kayaks that will turn your outdoor activity into the most memorable you have ever had. At this point, many an outdoor lover uses an inflatable kayak as one of the accessories for a nice and exciting time spent in the mountains. And while there are two main options for kayaks – standard and inflatable – the second comes with a variety of benefits you should definitely learn.
Our Top 10 Picks for Inflatable Kayaks
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Looking for two-person inflatable kayaks? Well, then this set will be a perfect fit for your needs. With a highly affordable price and a streamlined yellow design, this kayak is about to provide you with a great adventure on your kayaking activity.
Featuring sporty graphics in combination with that yellow color, the Intex explorer kayak is highly visible from almost anywhere. This makes it great for experiencing rivers and lakes with a partner. Due to its compact and lightweight form, this item is simple to assemble and easy to carry around. If you’re planning to visit tamer rivers, it should keep you safe and happy wherever you go.
The materials used in the production are rugged vinyl, an l-beam inflatable floor, and a grab handle and line. These all provide more comfort, rigidity, and stability. A removable skeg will improve your safety, while the seats that include backrests will provide you with comfort.
With the Boston valve located on each side, inflating and deflating takes only minutes. A high output pump is included in the package, together with two oars of 86’’ aluminum.
- Easy-to-spot kayak for two adults
- Includes inflatable and adjustable seats with backrest
- The cockpit is comfortable and spacious
- Provides directional stability thanks to the removable skeg
- Made of rugged vinyl and l-beam inflatable floor
- Made for smaller bodies of water such as lakes and mild rivers
The second Intex inflatable kayak in our list has room for only one person. This kayak has graphics that are eye-catching and will provide you with the additional safety on your kayaking adventure. You can use it in slow-moving rivers or lakes.
The cockpit of this product is specially designed to maximize space and keep you comfortable, while the l-beam floors provide you with the stability you need. You can store your gear in the cargo net and enjoy your kayaking experience on the comfortable inflatable seat with a backrest.
This item comes with a repair patch, 84-inch aluminum oar and high-output hand pump for manual inflation of the kayak. The measurements are 30x15x108 inches.
The Intex Challenger is not just an affordable inflatable kayak for sale, but it is also very lightweight. Its maximum capacity is 220 pounds, while it weighs 27.2 pounds on its own.
Finally, the Intex Challenger has grab lines on both kayak ends for more flexibility. Its cockpit design makes it extremely easy to exit and enter the kayak.
- Easy-to-spot kayak for one adult (up to 220 pounds)
- Can be used in lakes and mild rivers
- Spacious and comfortable cockpit
- Inflatable l-beam floors for more stability
- Storage room for your extra gear
- Inflatable seats for more comfort, backrest included
- Lightweight and small in size when deflated
- Grab lines on both kayak ends for flexibility
The Sevylor Quikpak K1 is a kayak that can be used by one person. Instead of purchasing used inflatable kayaks, you can opt for this highly affordable new version that includes a paddle and hand pump as a bonus. The inflated dimensions of this kayak are only 8x7x3 feet, and the kayak is made of high-quality materials for more durability.
In only five minutes, you can set up this kayak and start your new adventure. The 21 gauge PVC is rugged and perfect for lake use, while the bottom is made of tarpaulin for more protection against punctures. If it is somehow punctured, the kayak has multiple chambers that will keep it inflated and on the water. Look at it as a safety net – unless you somehow manage to deflate and puncture all air chambers, the kayak will stay inflated.
Thanks to the airtight system, this kayak won’t leak. The double lock valves offer easy deflation and inflation, while the backrest on the seat makes for a very comfortable ride. If you still need help finding the most comfortable position, you will surely enjoy the multi-position footrest.
The Sevylor Quickpak also has a storage area that is secure and allows you to store your items with bungee cords. There is also a cup holder that you can use to keep your beverage close and handles that help you carry it into and out of the water. This kayak holds up to 400 lbs. in weight.
- 1-person kayak made of quality materials
- Paddle and hand pump comes with the package
- Setup takes only five minutes
- 21-gauge PVC construction for safe lake use
- Tarpaulin bottom for puncture protection
- Multiple chambers that keep the kayak inflated
- Airtight system that allows for no leakage
- Double lock valves for simple inflation and deflation
- Storage area and a cup holder
Racing down a river in this Sea Eagle Inflatable Sport Kayak is a piece of cake. This kayak can hold up to 650 pounds, while it weighs an incredibly low 32 pounds. This makes it easily portable and available for use for up to three people at a time. So if you’re searching for a 2 to 3 person inflatable kayak, this is a great option for you.
The durability of the materials used is so high, it is often used by kayak enthusiasts who go on this adventure with their dogs. When inflated, the kayak has space for all your supplies and camping gear, and you can use it for fishing, paddling, skin diving, and yacht tending. Since it can handle Class III rapids, you can take this kayak on wilder rivers.
Featuring a thick PolyKrylar hull of 38 millimeters, inflatable spray skirts, l-beam construction floor, and removable rear and front seat, this is the most versatile kayak in this list in terms of features. Add to this the rope handles at the front and rear end and the self-bailing valve for draining in whitewater rivers, and you can freely use this kayak on even the most adventurous activity you have planned.
- Lightweight but suitable for up to 3 people and 650 pounds
- Can be used up to Class III whitewater
- Includes removable SEC seats, carry bag, paddles, and a foot pump
- Five deluxe inflation and deflation valves
- Skegs located on the bottom for better speed and tracking
- Inflatable spray skirts
- NMMA certified
- Features l-beam construction floor and Rugged PolyKrylar hull
The fifth item in this list is another Sevylor kayak. Designed specifically for lake use and fishing, this is a highly durable 2 man inflatable kayak. The construction is made of 18-gauge PVC, while the kayak bottom is 1000D tarpaulin. The 840D nylon cover in combination with these two features keeps the kayak protected from punctures. Just in case your kayak is punctured, there are multiple chambers that will keep it inflated. In addition to this feature, the airtight system guarantees no leakage.
Good news for every fisherman out there – this kayak has the Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders which enhance the fishing experience. These are adjustable, making it possible for you to fish hands-free. Moreover, the Sevylor fittings for the trolling motor will expand the capabilities for fishing you already have.
Paddles are secured using the paddle holders and out of the way when you are trying to catch a big one. You can keep your snacks close at hand in the mesh storage pockets, while the D-rings are right there for you to attach your equipment. And the best part of all is that you can adjust the seats to fit you specifically.
This is a lightweight model when deflated, but can hold up to 470 lbs. when inflated. The Boston valve is double-threaded, which makes it easier to deflate and inflate.
- The 2-man inflatable kayak that is NMMA certified to hold 470 lbs.
- 180-gauge PVC construction
- Perfect for lake use
- Features 1000D tarpaulin bottom for protection from punctures
- Has 840D nylon cover and multiple air chambers to keep it inflated
- Airtight system for preventing leakage
- Better hands-free fishing thanks to the Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders
- Sevylor trolling motor fittings
- Paddle holders and D-rings for attaching paddles and equipment
- Adjustable seats and mesh storage pockets
The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak is suitable for use for one or two people. It has a size of fifteen foot and an optional deck-or-two feature. This means that you can either use it on your own or convert it into a double deck kayak in no time.
This is a very new design that combines a stern frame and a rigid bow, as well as an interchangeable deck. The package includes two folding seats, a carry duffel bag, a repair kit, and a manual for use.
Measurements of the AdvancedFrame kayak are 15’ in length, 32’’ in width and 56’’ in weight. In total, it can support 550 lbs., while the deflated version is extremely easy to carry.
Thanks to the built-in ribs made of aluminum, tracking is highly improved on this item. There are three separate layers of quality material that resist puncture, while the padded seats will provide you with just the right amount of comfort you need when you spend hours paddling on the kayak.
- Two padded seats that you can mount or remove within seconds
- Stern frame and rigid bow
- Aluminum built-in ribs for better tracking
- Three layers for puncture resistance
- A deflated version is lightweight and compact
- Comes with a carry bag, two seats, a manual, and a repair kit
Thanks to the construction of Sevylor Quikpak K5, you can get in the water in less than five minutes. There’s no need to even throw this kayak in your backpack, because it can be carried like a backpack when deflated. Its system is quite innovative, allowing you to inflate the kayak in no time and ultimately fold everything out, using the backpack frame as the seat.
Made of 24-gauge PVC, rugged tarpaulin and polyester, this kayak is characterized by longevity and strength. If you hit a snag along your kayaking trip, there are multiple air chambers that will keep it inflated and get you back to the shore. The spray covers added to the product will keep the user dry from the splashing water. There is also bungee storage and D-rings that allow you to store more gear.
Sevylor Quickpak K5 is NMMA certified and can hold up to 250 lbs. of weight. The package includes a paddle and a hand pump, while you can use the attached handles to it to carry it in and out of the water. Not available at Walmart or Target.
- 1-person kayak that takes five minutes to set up
- Backpack system that turns into a seat
- Tarpaulin bottom and 24-gauge PVC construction
- Polyester cover for protection from punctures
- Multiple air chambers that keep the kayak inflated
- Airtight system to prevent leakage
- D-rings for attaching equipment and storage area
- Spray cover blocks to prevent spraying
- Includes a paddle and a hand pump
Complete with All Accessories, 2 Paddles, 2 Seats, Double Action Pump and More.
Are you looking for a kayaking solution that you can use to explore streams and rivers in addition to lakes? For more comfortable two person inflatable kayaks that are still safe for paddling and exploration, you don’t need to transport those heavy and high shell models. With the Driftsun Inflatable Kayak, you can have both flexibility and reliability.
This two-person kayak can transform into a single-person kayak in no time, too. Its bow, the continuous profile, V-shaped hull, and removable fin for tracking will allow you to use this item in both choppy and calm water. The side tubes are high-volume, making it possible for you to enjoy buoyancy and stability.
Thanks to the PVC tarpaulin bottom, the kayak is very unlikely to suffer from punctures. Double threaded Boston valves allow for no leaking and there are extra 840D nylon oxford covers that resist tears. For easy pulling in and out of the water, there are handles placed right there on the kayak. Storage is available in two compartment areas – rear and front.
- Two-person kayak that you can use in lakes, rivers, and streams
- Light wear and compact with deflated dimensions of 26” x 16” x 8”
- Weighs only 27 lbs.
- PVC tarpaulin bottom for preventing punctures
- Removable padded seats and high back support
- Hand pump included
- Removable tracking skeg
- Weight limit of 450 lbs.
Sevylor Big Basin Kayak is the perfect vessel to take on your family vacation or kayaking adventure with friends. Suitable for three people, this kayak is perfect for everything from a calm lake to whitewater rapids. Thanks to its tarpaulin bottom and heavy-duty PVC construction, the kayak is highly durable and has protection from punctures. In the case that there is a puncture, there are multiple air chambers that will keep it inflated. Moreover, the spray covers resist water splashing, so don’t worry about getting wet during your trip.
The seats of this kayak move around to fit you, so you can adjust them as you wish. Sevylor Big Basin is certified by NMMA and holds up to 490 lbs. It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
- Three-person kayak that holds up to 490 lbs.
- Spray covers to block splashes
- Heavy-duty PVC construction and tarpaulin bottom for protection from punctures
- Multiple air chambers that keep the kayak inflated
- Airtight system that allows for no leakage
- Adjustable seats
- Includes a carry bag
The Airhead Montana two person inflatable kayak is a perfect solution for your vacationing, camping and cruising adventure. You can use it to paddle around in moderate white water or lakes. These white water inflatable kayaks give you the best of the both worlds Due to its small size, you can easily fit it in a duffel bag, the trunk of your car, or the suitcase. Featuring tubular l-beam floor, this kayak offers superior comfort and great tracking. The item is made of highly visible orange PVC for extra safety.
The heavy gauge PVC construction protects from punctures, while the spray covers keep you dry on your kayaking trip. Thanks to the 2 Boston valves, you can inflate and deflate the kayak in minutes. All chambers are enclosed by an 840-denier nylon which has UV-resistant and waterproof coatings. For more comfort, the seats have neoprene elbow guards.
- Two-man inflatable, spacious kayak of 12 feet
- Designed for moderate whitewater and lakes
- Visible color for increased safety
- Lightweight and compact
- Spray covers keep you dry
- Two Boston valves for quick deflating and inflating
- Neoprene guards for the elbow and improved comfort
- Superior tracking and low drag
- Grab handles for easy take out and put-in
- A capacity of 500 lbs.
Why an Inflatable Kayak?
The first and biggest advantage of such a kayak is the size and weight. You won’t be able to simply pack a standard kayak and go hiking with it or take it with you on your exciting excursions and road trips. Due to the lightweight and the small size when deflated, you can lug a small inflatable kayak around with you in a backpack and blow it up when you actually need to use it.
One other benefit is the increase in storage options. Since you can store an inflatable kayak in your trunk or your backpack, you can use it wherever you go, even if you are in for a completely unplanned adventure.
A good inflatable kayak will be stable and rugged, so you still won’t have to worry about safety. The kayaks in the list that follows have hulls that take bumps, scrapes, and logs without reducing the safety levels. And if there is a chance that you puncture your kayak somehow, there are many maintenance kits that fix this within hours.
What to Consider
Before you go into choosing the best inflatable kayaks, you need to consider the most important factors. The first of these is the type of kayak you need for your outdoor activities.
Best Self-bailing inflatable kayak
Used in whitewater activities, self-bailing kayaks have holes and ports located in the very bottom. When you find yourself in a fast-moving situation, water will enter it and pass back out. This will make sure that the boat doesn’t fill up, but you are in for a very wet ride.
Sit on top inflatable kayak
This design is best for those who are a bit claustrophobic or live in warm climates. If you don’t want to be enclosed, this open design kayak will allow water to splash in and keep you feeling outdoorsy.
The canoe-style kayak features an open design with higher seats and walls. Riders use similar paddles to those of canoes rather than kayak paddles.
Sit inside kayaks
This is a more traditional version that features an enclosed cockpit. It will keep the water out of the kayak and expel both water and wind with the attached spray skirt.
Another canoe-style version of a kayak, this type features lower seats than the canoe-style, but higher side walls than the sit on top kayak type. It is a hybrid that provides an open design and easy entry.
Tracking fin kayak
When the kayak has a fin located on its underside, this fin prevents side-drift and keeps the paddles straighter.
Top Standup paddleboard kayak
The latest item in the market of inflatable kayaks, the standups paddle board kayak lets you inflate the board and make it rigid. You can then stand up while doing the paddling job as usual, and use the kayak for downriver whitewater rafting, fishing, racing, and even surfing.
Questions to Ask When Choosing the Top Inflatable Kayaks
Now that you have determined which is the best kayak type with the features you are looking for, it is time to answer some basic questions that will help your search. Here is what you should ask yourself before looking at our top-rated inflatable kayaks:
Do you wish to paddle solo or with a partner? This will determine if you need a single kayak or one with more seating positions.
What water conditions are you expecting to encounter? This will determine if you need a more open or enclosed kayak.
How much weight will the kayak need to carry? This will determine the width, design, and legroom of the kayak you’ll choose.
How much gear are you going to carry? This will determine the amount of storage on the kayak, as well as its size.
Do you need it for all-day use, a couple of hours, or long excursions? This will determine the supplies and room you need, as well as the kayak type.
What range of temperatures are you expecting to encounter? This will once again determine if you need a more open or enclosed kayak, as well as a spray skirt.
Do you need an option for self-bailing? This will determine if you need a self-bailing kayak for whitewater situations.
How much are you willing to carry around? This will determine the weight of the kayak when deflated.
Do you prefer to use a canoe paddle or the traditional kayak paddle?
How much are you willing to pay?
Once you have these questions asked and answered, you are ready to take a look and choose one of the best inflatable kayaks under $500 we have found for you. Pricing doesn’t have to be a problem. If you want quality and a good price, these are the best combinations of both sold on the market.
Wrapping it All Up
Have you taken a close look at this list? It has everything you need – kayaks of all sizes and types, so all you have to do is choose. These are the most promising products for kayak enthusiasts out there, all of them lightweight and simple to set up. Enjoy the benefits of having a quality inflatable kayak!