There are several types of air kayaks available which is why choosing the best inflatable kayak in 2018 is very important. There are traditional, sit-on-top, pedal, twin hull and outrigger, fishing, standing-up paddling, and military style kayaks. Below we curated our top reviews, and other useful tips to help you choose the right inflatable for the money.
For us there is only one brand that kills it when it comes to inflatables. There are other good inflatable kayak brands, and we will highlight the one or two kayaks that are worth mentioning, but as a brand, there is only one that consistently ranks in every category, every time.
Sea Eagle is literally the #1 brand when it comes to inflatable boats of all kind. All their products are lightweight and affordable and can match their rigid hard-shell counterpart, any day.
They live and breath inflatables and every year they figure out ways to make them better, or add specialty models and custom packs to tailor to their customer’s need.
Whether you are on a budget or have some change to spare, each of these kayaks will give you the best bang for your money:
These guys have their hand on the pulse, and you won’t be wronged picking up one of their kayaks for yourself. That beings said, we isolated a few top picks from different brands and showcased them below.
|Sea Eagle SE370K w/ Pro Package|
|Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame||A+||Intermediate||Double|
|Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Pro||A+||Professional||Double|
|Sea Eagle 330 w/ Deluxe Package||A||Beginner||Double|
|Intex Explorer K2 w/ Oars & Pump||A||Beginner||Double|
|Sevylor Coleman QuikPak K5||A||Beginner||Single|
|Hobie Mirage i9S||A||Professional||Single|
|Advanced Elements FireFly||A-||Beginner||Single|
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado||A-||Professional||Double|
|Solstice Durango Kayak||B+||Intermediate||Double|
|Intex Challenger K1||B||Beginner||Single|
Inflatable ‘yaks are made out of different materials, either PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), haypalon, or nitrylon. PVC gives a kayak maximum durability and portability and gives the kayak a decent lifespan while being cheaper than Haypalon. Hayplon is a long lasting material that extends the life of a kayak and resists against mildew and fungus.
Since nitrylon can be heavy in weight, it’s mainly only used on the outer chambers of the kayak to support against wear and tear due to its puncture and abrasion resistant durability.
Even though there are other types of kayaks we recommend, purchasing an inflatable comes with the extra advantage of avoiding the maintenance and upkeep that comes from having a hard sided or rigid kayak.
These kayaks are also lighter than plastic kayaks and aren’t as costly to repair if they happen to get damaged. Inflatables are also less expensive than fishing kayaks and other recreational kayaks made out of fiberglass.
With so many choices, we made a handy quiz to swiftly go through the different options and find a the right fit inflatable for you, quick.Start The Quiz
This Sevylor inflatable is a two person kayak that’s made of heavy duty 26-gauge PVC with two air chambers for enhanced security and a tubular I-bean floor which gives stability.
It’s equipped with specially designed inflatable seats that have comfortable back support with two spray covers for protection with an optional directional skeg. This kayak can hold up to 400 pounds and measures 10’7″ by 2’7″. This is the very same kayak that had traversed the entire length of the Amazon, not just once but twice, and is ready to taken on adventures all over the world. However, I would recommend a Sea Kayak if sea adventures is your thing. It’s also guaranteed not to leak with Tahiti’s exclusive Airtight system that kayakers can feel rest assured with.
The Sea Eagle 330 is designed to hold up to two adults, which is why its our best inflatable tandem kayak pick in 2018. Their accompanying gear of up to 500 pounds of total weight. It’s made out of 33 mm Polykrylar hull I-beam construction with high frequency welded seams.
This kayak is safe for fishing, tending to a yacht, sky diving, and class 3 whitewater rafting. Equipped with inflatable spray skirts and two tandem seats, a foot pump, and an included carry bag for easy storage. This kayak in particular measures 134 inches long and 34 inches wide. Weighing only 26 pounds, it can easily be carried out to water by one person inflation and assembly takes only approximately six minutes. Comes with three chambers, in the port, starboard, and the floor and has three air valves and a deluxe one-way; you won’t have to worry about any air accidentally leaking out of a Sea Eagle kayak.
The Stearns Spree has a patented three-chamber air system that provides extra safety; the two main chambers are fully enclosed so that they provide a rigid body when the kayak is inflated. The spray deck aids in keeping the paddler dry over an extended time and can be pulled back for convenience when it’s not in use.
It’s easy to inflate within minutes and just as easy to deflate in a lesser amount of time. This kayak features a mesh zippered pocket that’s great for storing the needed gear, any valuables, and things of that sort. Padding and elastic cord with D-rings are supplied in order to tie gear down while out kayaking. The size of this kayak is 11’7″ by 35″ and weighs 31 pounds while being able to hold up to two people.
This Hobie inflatable kayak was created specifically for kayakers who my be shy about spare acreage but seek the enjoyment of angling, fishing, and or sailing. For those who like to sail, this kayak comes with an optional sail kit.
But if fishing is your thing then I would recommend taking a look at our fishing kayak reviews page. That being said, this kayak in particular is great for a one person kayaker with enough durability to hold up to 325 pounds of weight while only weighing 48 pounds itself when fitted and 66 pounds when fully rigged. Made out of 1000 Denier PVC, it fits in a storage bag that’s 30″ by 25″ by 12″ and is 9′ in length and 36′ in width.
This is our selection in the best inflatable kayak for fishing category. It comes with a drop stitch floor that refers to the method of construction used; it allows a much higher inflation pressure that results in remarkable structural rigidity in addition to an increase in performance all without sacrificing portability with the thousands of tiny threads that are used to connect the top and bottom layers of the kayak floor to counterbalance the air pressure of this ‘yak.
This Coleman inflatable kayak is a single person boat with a grab and go backpack storage unit while being made out of 1000D Polyester bottom laminated with 24-gauge PVC. This kayak is equipped with a double lock and mini double lock valves which prevent accidental air loss and keep the inflation.
There’s a large storage area with multiple D-rings and bungee lacing. It can hold up to 250 pounds in weight and measures 10 feet by 3 feet, just unpack from it’s backpack and inflate and you’re ready to go. Comes equipped with a spray skirt that provides protection and tracking fins that make the kayak easier to steer. It’s guaranteed not to leak and comes in the color of orange.
If you get a cheap inflatable kayak on a sale, just remember that most inflatables are made out of durable PVC material so don’t worry too much about whether the material is good enough (enjoy the savings!).
The types of valves that are on the kayak are also an important specification to pay attention to because the better the valves, the more airtight the kayak will be thus minimizing the risk of accidental air loss, which is not something you want to happen when you’re out there on the water, especially in white water rapids.
If you’re going to need compartment space, it’s important to note that each kayak will have different amounts of storage and you’re going to want to find the right kayak that gives you adequate space for yourself, an additional kayaker (if applicable) and all equipment and gear that you plan to take out on your adventurers.
When determining what is the best inflatable kayak in 2018, reading the specifications of each kayak is important so being knowledgeable in what it all means plays a key role is finding the right kayak. So make sure to check out the above inflatable kayak reviews for proper specs. If you are curious about the most popular brands of inflatables check out this page.