Everyone loves a fun day out at the park, on the beach, in the mountains, or in the woods. The taste of adventure is what keeps these experiences fresh in our memories. The same also applies to a day out on the ocean or lake.
Going for adventures on water bodies has become easier than it used to be. Now, you don’t have to own a rigid boat or canoe that could cost thousands of dollars. All you need for a fun day hovering on the blue seas is a kayak.
A kayak is a boat shaped like a canoe but in which the rider can sit front-faced. The paddle of the kayak is specially designed to pull against the water on one side and then rotate on the other, a dynamic mechanism to keep the kayak stealthy on the waters.
Kayaking has become more of a sport recently, which has led to the advent of various kayak designs and structures. inflatable kayaks are about the best of such innovations—a kayak that can be folded into a carry bag and can be easily inflated into a boat on-the-go.
The best inflatable kayaks are made of strong, puncture-resistant materials. They are designed to move fast and silently on water and to be durable. The best part is you get all these qualities even from the best inflatable kayaks under $500.
The only challenge most kayakers have is choosing the right inflatable kayak. In this guide, I’ll quickly take you through the 10 best inflatable kayaks to buy in 2020, then I’ll show you what to look out for in choosing the best inflatable kayak for a perfect day out.
How to Choose Best Inflatable Kayaks (Buying Tips)
When planning a kayaking trip, choosing the right kayak for your trip determines to an extent how well you would enjoy your ride. This means the peculiarities of your trip would determine the best inflatable kayak for your trip.
Here are a few general qualities to help ease your decision-making:
The weight of your inflatable kayak when it’s deflated and folded up determines how portable the kayak is. If you plan on going for a trip on a path that’s not motorable, then you should go for a lightweight and compact inflatable kayak.
On the other hand, you must also take cognizance of the weight capacity of the kayak. Your kayak choice should be informed by your decision to ride solo or in tandem. And that would also help you not pack overweight while going offshore.
ocation of your planned expedition on the water should inform the material of your choice kayak. For grade 2 and 3 waves, a PVC is okay. But for rocky waters, a tougher option like Nitrylon (nylon fabric), or Hypalon (combination) might be more expedient.
The price of an inflatable kayak is about the major determinant in choosing a kayak for most kayakers. Be that as it may, there are decent kayaks under for as low as $150. However, you should be more particular about the inflatable kayak properties that would deliver a safe trip for you.
- Kayak Type
This is not far-fetched—your kayaking preferences should determine the type of inflatable kayak you would go for. Do you prefer fishing all alone, or do you want to bring some company?
The available inflatable kayak options include
- Solo kayaks
- Two-person kayaks
- Three-person kayaks
Now, let’s explore the best inflatable kayaks to choose from.
10 Best Inflatable Kayaks to Buy in 2020
The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is a two-man inflatable kayak with a design made for flat water surfaces. This is easily one of the best inflatable kayaks to buy in 2020 because it has a modern design adapted to mildly turbulent waters with a length of almost 13 feet.
This Pro Kayak is spacious enough to carry the necessary equipment for your water escapade. The storage space is sufficient enough to convey catches from your kayaking, and it can carry a weight up to 400 pounds cumulatively.
Made from high-tensile-strength PVC laminate and covered with polyester material, the Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak is sturdy and durable. After inflation, the kayak is tough such that it withstands impacts with edges like rocks, abrasions, and also heat from the sun, which may lead to tenderness.
- Super tough laminate PVC with polyester core: light weight and highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact and sunlight
The Intex Excursion Pro is a safe inflatable kayak perfect for first-time kayakers. It is lightweight which makes for easy maneuverability, and yet due to high pressure when inflated, you get a rigid and quite stable kayak.
This means you need to worry less about the waves and just focus on navigating through with your paddles. More so, the accompanying pump and pressure gauge ensure you get the kayak pressure right.
The inflatable kayak comes with necessary adjustment accessories to fit your kayaking specifications. It has two fishing rod holders and two detachable skegs, each specific for deep- or shallow-water kayaking, a carry bag, and a repair patch.
The two seats of the Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak are adjustable with complimentary adjustable backrests. Your comfortability is assured with the seat bolsters available to give you better positioning.
This is a rather small but mighty three-person inflatable kayak. Sea Eagle 370 pro inflatable kayak is one of the best inflatable kayaks for ocean owing to its extremely streamlined body and length.
With a weight of just 32 pounds, this water voyage vessel can carry a weight of up to 650 pounds on water.
The inflatable kayak comes with two adjustable full-size kayak seats with back support. This kayak is specially designed for white water kayaking, starting from its paddles designed with asymmetric blades and a metal shaft. The skegs on the bottom of the kayak are also well positioned for better speed and tracking.
- 3 person/650 lb capacity, weighs 32 lbs, suitable for up to Class III whitewater
Made from polykrylar material that offers better resistance to sun heat and submerged obstacles, this kayak makes for one of the best inflatable kayaks. To work in tandem also is its drain valve, handy to steady the kayak while on water.
Another feature of the Sea Eagle 370 that makes it stand out is the five deluxe one-way inflation valves. Using the accompanying hand pump, it takes roughly 15 minutes to inflate the kayak to optimum pressure; and faster for deflation.
The Sea Eagle 370 is arguably the best inflatable kayak under $500 you can get. The kayak is durable, spacious, fast, and easy to operate. You are guaranteed a stable kayaking experience with this inflatable kayak. All you need to worry about is catching the fish.
One of the best two-person inflatable kayaks, the Intex Challenger K2 comes with a weight capacity of 400 pounds. With a length of about 11.5 feet, the challenger K2 does a good job hovering around water bodies on a sunny day.
The inflatable kayak is designed with a sunray resistant vinyl material. This also makes it puncture-resistant, as is needed in a quality kayak. The kayak is easily controlled with its two accompanying aluminum paddles.
- The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is sporty and fun with a streamlined design for easy paddling
Also in the buy pack is a portable high-capacity pump for inflating the kayak at a rapid rate. The valves of the inflatable kayak are also quite large. This allows for faster deflation when packing up.
The full package also includes a repair patch kit, making the Intex Challenger K2 one of the best inflatable kayaks to buy in 2020.
The resistant and blending-green coloration of this inflatable kayak is another eye-catching feature of the product. The Challenger K2 is no doubt a quality kayak for the cheap price at which it comes. You get a safe kayak with decent storage space, all you need for a cool day out kayaking.
Sevylor, another household name among kayak makers, made this masterpiece inflatable kayak—one of the best solo inflatable kayaks on the market. The Quikpak K5, as the name implies, is known for both the convenience of a fast setup and also its speed on the water.
The Quikpak K5 can be set up in just 5 minutes, from unpacking to pumping. The inflatable kayak comes in the form of a backpack, lightweight and completely portable. This is why it’s the best inflatable kayak for camping.
- 5-minute setup lets you spend more time on the water
Made from tough 24-gauge PVC, the Sevylor Quikpak K5 is made to withstand abrasions. It is also layered on top with polyester and on the bottom with tarpaulin material for better turgidity and a more comfy feel.
With double lock inflation/deflation valves, the integrity of the kayak is preserved. This is backed up with a multiple-chamber air-pressure system. Hence, rest assured you have a backup in case of any unforeseen incidents.
This 25-pound inflatable kayak is 7 feet long and able to carry even up to a 250-pound person. It comes with a single paddle, a hand pump, and D-rings attached to carry along some personal belongings on your kayaking trip.
Another Sevylor giant among the best inflatable kayaks for ocean. The Big Basin is a three-person inflatable kayak designed for rugged conditions. It comes in a heavy-duty PVC, weighing roughly 35 pounds and able to bear about 490 pounds in weight.
The coat of the inflatable kayak is made of tarpaulin material, which serves as a double protection against tear, abrasion, and punctures. It’s supported by a guaranteed airtight pressure system, which makes use of high-integrity Boston valves.
The Sevylor Big Basin also uses multiple air chambers as a second-base safety precaution to provide kayakers a more sure guarantee of safe kayaking. This mini water vessel also comes with spray covers to protect you from splashing water from paddling.
Extremely lightweight for its weight capacity, the Big Basin comes with a carry handle and also with a carry bag for better portability. It is also relatively easy to pump up and to collapse, owing to the double-threaded air valves installed.
And for your comfortability, the seats are fully adjustable to suit your kayaking preferences, with enough space allowed for stretching one’s legs. The 12-foot long Sevylor Big Basin is the best inflatable kayak for ocean use available for three-person rides.
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is the best inflatable kayak specifically designed for lakes. The slim-bodied two-person inflatable kayak is suited to navigate through underwater rocks and any other form of hindrances.
Specially crafted from 18-gauge PVC, the Coleman Colorado is a tough kayaking boat. The outer cover is made from 840D nylon, which accounts for its durability and its bottom construct is made from thick 1000D tarpaulin, which offers the kayak extra protection from wear and tear.
- 18-gauge PVC construction is rugged for lake use , NMMA certified
As in other products from Sevylor, the Coleman Colorado also comes with multiple air chambers as a backup pressure system. The airtight pressure system is held in place with the installed Boston valves, which makes inflation and deflation relatively easier.
On this fishing inflatable kayak, you would find a set of rod holders alongside D-rings for attaching various needed materials. The kayak is also furnished with paddle holders.
All these in a bid to get you fully equipped before setting sail. You can also store goodies and eatables in the storage pocket mesh to keep going while kayaking.
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado comes weighs just about 40 pounds and is over 30 inches. It comfortably carries two passengers up to 470 pounds. The streamlined bottom allows it to move stealthily on water, helping get more catches than ever.
One of the masterpieces from Advanced Elements, the AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak is about the best inflatable kayak to buy in 2020. The slim inflatable kayak is enhanced with special components to enhance its tracking abilities.
The kayak is modeled with built-in aluminum parts called ribs, which define the shape and contouring of the kayak bow and stern. The kayak comes in a folded form with the ribs in place. So after inflating, you only place the seats in, and you are good to go.
- Built-in aluminum ribs define the bow and stern and improves tracking
With a length of 35 inches and a weight of 52 pounds, AdvancedFrame can carry a weight capacity of up to 550 pounds.
The whole kayak comes in a hard coat design, made from a three-layer thick and puncture-resistant material. Whereas, the ripstop and double-coated fabric are used to give you a more comfy ride.
Advanced Elements’ AdvancedFrame comes with a deck and three plausible seat positions. The padded seats in themselves ensure comfortability, and the arrangement you choose based on your body size allows you more dynamic options.
The great kayaking experiences associated with the best Advanced Elements kayaks are due to structural detail put into this make. This includes the use of spring valves, pressure relief valves, a skeg tracking fin among others.
An AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak comes with six chambers for air pressure, a design to keep the kayak very steady on the water. And to keep your gears close, the deck of the kayak is laced to help you hook various needed gears for quick access.
To top it all off, the AdvancedFrame compatible inflatable kayak is quite compact despite the aluminum ribs installed. It neatly fits into the duffel bag. This durable inflatable kayak is about the safest of the best inflatable kayaks considered here.
The Driftsun Rover Inflatable Kayak is a lightweight two-person inflatable kayak with a weight capacity of 300 pounds. With an ultralight weight of 22 pounds, this inflatable kayak moves quite fast on water and is handy for sport fishing.
Made from durable 1000D layered PVC, the thick coat of the Driftsun Rover is resistant to slight punctures from pointed edges. The bottom of the kayak is also layered with heavy-duty tarpaulin, which makes it more turgid and thick.
- Durable & Lightweight - Fully inflates to a full sized kayak in less than 10 minutes and weighs a manageable 28 Lbs. 1000D Reinforced Layered PVC side tubes, Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin bottom provides...
The design of this inflatable kayak is such that it allows stability and ease of maneuver. The kayak has a removable tracking fin, which accounts for the control when onboard. It also has a rigid, high-pressure floor design, which makes for its stability.
The body of the inflatable kayak is rife with needed designs to keep you afloat all day long. First, you get adjustable padded seats with back supports, and then multiple tie points for you to drag along all you can.
With a high-quality valve, the Driftsun Rover is easily inflated and deflated in no time. The double-action pump that follows it inflates the kayak in about 5 minutes. The aluminum paddles also make coasting through water surfaces a walk in the park.
The Driftsun Rover inflatable kayak is easily among the best two-person kayaks. With a length of about 8.5 feet, your comfortability is guaranteed. The overall size of the kayak allows for decent storage space, and the five self-bailing ports at the bottom keep water out of the kayak.
Much like the Driftsun Rover, the Driftsun Voyager is a compact, lightweight, and fast kayak designed for midrange water currents. The Driftsun Voyager has a length of about 10 feet, which makes for its easy maneuverability.
The inflatable kayak comes in a carry bag weighing just about 27 pounds. This means you get to carry it around without stress. When inflated, the kayak can carry two persons up to a cumulative weight of 450 pounds. And more interestingly, it takes around 5 minutes to get it all pumped up.
- INFLATES QUICKLY: The Driftsun Voyager Kayak inflates to a full size kayak (10ft. x 35” x 16”) in less than 5 minutes with the included deluxe high flow double action hand pump. Go from garage, to...
The Driftsun Voyager is made from thick 840D nylon oxford fabric, which is tear-proof. The bottom part is layered with high-grade PVC tarpaulin, which serves to protect against punctures. The kayak also comes with high-integrity Boston valves, all to guarantee you keeping afloat.
The streamlined body of the Driftsun Voyager, especially the pointed bow, allows it to easily coast through tidal waves without bumping. It also comes with a detachable deep fin, which gives you better trackability.
For your comfortability, the inflatable kayak comes with two adjustable padded seats with quality backrest. And for better water draining, it comes with a draining plug at the back to easily get rid of water from inside the kayak.
In total, the Driftsun Voyager package avails you with all you need for a great kayaking experience. This includes two premium aluminum paddles with well-structured handles for an easier grip. And of course, the double-action hand pump and travel bag are also perfect inclusions.
The Intex Explorer K2 inflatable kayak is yet another premium two-person kayak with the intricacies needed for a comfortable kayaking trip. With a length of about 10 feet and a weight of 31 pounds, this inflatable kayak can carry a cumulative weight of 400 pounds.
The Explorer K2 is the last product I’m nominating under the best inflatable kayaks under $500. The kayak comes with two adjustable seats with comfy backrests to keep you going on your kayaking adventure without threats of backaches.
- Comfortable for Anyone: Kayak Includes an Adjustable Inflatable Seat With Backrest; Cockpit Designed for Comfort and Space
This inflatable kayak from Intex is built for shallow waters like lakes and low-current rivers. The design of the inflatable kayak is such that it allows for easy gliding through smooth water waves.
The kayak is made from high-strength vinyl material. This makes it quite resistant to wear and tear from underlying water stones. This accounts majorly for its lightweight. It also means the inflatable kayak is easy to pump. The air chambers are however separated into three segments as a precaution against puncture.
The kayak board has six mesh pockets for keeping items needed while far away from shore. The storage capacity of the Intex Explorer K2 is quite impressive as there is space to keep a handful of materials and catches, and still get ample space to stretch your legs.
The two paddles with the inflatable kayak are long and easy to handle. The accompanying high-caliber pump is also easy to operate. The Explorer K2 is surely one of the best inflatable kayak options for newbies to kayak trips.