Kayaks are a great way to get out on the water, no matter whether that’s for fishing or just to have a paddle with your friends. However, some of the more traditional hardshell kayaks are heavier than their inflatable counterparts. They also come at a hefty price tag if you’re opting for some of the more durable models.
An inflatable kayak is a great alternative to these hardshell kayaks, and are also much easier to transport. But how can you find the best rated inflatable kayak for your needs?
There’s no need to worry. We’ve done all the hard work so that you don’t have to. We looked at hundreds of inflatable kayaks to find the best rated models on the market. You can rest assured that the below products are suited for your needs, as they all come tried, tested, and highly recommended by other customers.
Take a look at the best rated inflatable kayaks down below.
Best Rated Inflatable Kayak
The Intex Explorer K2 kayak easily earns the spot of our top pick. This particular kayak comes with a range of great features that will make it one of your favorite additions to your family trips. Intex has a fantastic range of inflatable kayaks, but the Explorer K2 easily ranked as the best rated out of them all.
What’s really great about this inflatable kayak is its versatility. It’s suitable for everyone to use, and has been designed with your comfort in mind. The Explorer K2 kayak features an inflatable seat complete with backrest, which will be handy for those long days you spend in the water. The cockpit has also been designed with ample space for your comfort.
A great feature of this inflatable kayak is its bright yellow color. This makes it easy to spot in a crisis. The easy visibility will be crucial for the emergency services should you ever need them while out paddling. Especially during choppy weather conditions!
The Intex Explorer K2 kayak has been designed with smaller bodies of water in mind. This kayak is perfect for use on lakes or while out fishing in mild rivers. The maximum weight capacity that this inflatable kayak is able to handle is 400 pounds.
- Large weight capacity – capable of supporting up to 400 pounds
- Vibrant – bright yellow color will be helpful in an emergency situation
- Comfortable – includes an ergonomic design with an inflatable backrest
- Time consuming – can take up to 20 minutes to pump by hand
The Sea Eagle 370 is a fantastic choice for those who want a larger inflatable kayak. This particular kayak can sit up to 3 people in it. It has an impressive large weight capacity of up to 650 pounds. This makes it a great fit for families who want to get everyone involved with kayaking on holidays.
This inflatable kayak is much more portable than the solid hardshell variant. The Sea Eagle 370 weighs just 32 pounds, and can easily be deflated for easier portability. The lightweight design of this inflatable kayak makes it easy to control when on the water. It’s suitable for up to class III whitewater.
You’ll get everything you need to use this inflatable kayak included as standard. It comes with a foot pump to help you inflate it, a carry bag for easier transportation, 2 movable seats with improved back support, and 2 paddles. All you’ll need to source are the lifejackets you need for safe paddling!
The Sea Eagle is super easy to inflate or deflate as needed. This model comes with a range of deluxe valves to make the inflation process even easier without you losing any air.
- Portable – features a lightweight design weighing only 32 pounds
- Large weight capacity – suitable for 3 people or a combined weight up to 650 pounds
- Easy to use – everything you need is included as standard
- Expensive – one of the more expensive options
The Intex Challenger kayak is the perfect choice if you want a kayak that’s able to fit a single person. This kayak is large enough to accommodate any user, and has a large weight capacity of up to 220 pounds.
A handy feature is that you can also choose their 2 seater model if you want your inflatable kayak to be on the larger side. The smaller stature of this single person kayak makes it easy to control when out on the water.
An interesting feature of this particular kayak is the included cargo net. This makes it easy to store gear in while you’re out paddling either on your own or with family and friends. There’s also a grab line included on both ends of the kayak. This will help you or a friend or family member stabilize the kayak should you need to, for example in the event that you capsize and have to get back into it.
The cockpit of this particular kayak has been designed with your comfort in mind. The space has been maximized so that you will have plenty of legroom while out on the water. The inflatable kayak itself features rugged vinyl construction for added durability.
The Intex Challenger inflatable kayak includes everything you need to get out on the water. It comes with an 84 inch aluminum oar for you to use. It also includes the foot pump you need to inflate the kayak, as well as a repair patch for any accidents that might occur.
- Heavy duty – uses a durable, heavy duty material to keep you safe
- Storage – includes a cargo net for storing equipment
- Lightweight – only weighs 27.2 pounds for easier portability
- Pumping – the included foot pump is smaller than competitive models
The Sea Eagle 330 is the perfect choice if you’re looking for an inflatable kayak that can seat more than a single person. This inflatable kayak is capable of holding up to 2 people, or a combined weight of up to 500 pounds. This makes it the perfect fit for those holidays where you want to get out on the water with family and friends.
You’ll get everything you need included with this inflatable kayak. It includes 2 paddles, a foot pump, 2 inflatable and removable seats, a repair kit, and a carry bag with a handy shoulder strap. So you won’t have to worry about buying any additional extras to get you out on the open water! This particular inflatable kayak is suitable for use on up to class III whitewater.
This inflatable kayak includes 2 skegs to help you stay true on the water. Other kayaks which don’t include skegs or only have 1 skeg tend to weave more on the water. These 2 skegs work together to keep your inflatable kayak on course for better tracking and speed.
Another handy feature of this kayak is that it includes lashed down inflatable spray skirts. This helps to keep any splashes of water from entering your kayak from in front or behind. The lashed down spray skirts also serve to give you added storage while out on the water.
- Everything included – inflatable kayak comes with 2 paddles, 2 inflatable removable seats, foot pump, repair kit, and carry bag
- Large weight capacity – capable of supporting up to 500 pounds
- 2 skegs – features 2 skegs to allow for better tracking and speed
- Inflating takes time – it can take up to 15 minutes to manually inflate the kayak using the supplied foot pump
The Intex Excursion Pro inflatable kayak comes with a range of great features. This particular kayak features a heavy duty construction with highly durable materials for longevity. The kayak has been manufactured using super tough laminate PVC combined with a polyester core. This makes the kayak resistant to damage from impact, abrasion, and sunlight.
This particular inflatable kayak makes use of high pressure inflation for added stability and rigidity. There are high pressure spring loaded valves included to make for easier inflation and deflation, making this kayak super easy to use. The Excursion Pro kayak has been designed to permit more air into the kayak itself to help with rigidity. You won’t have to worry about this kayak deflating while you’re out on the water or being too squishy to use properly.
What’s really great about this kayak is that it comes with a range of great features that lend themselves well to fishing. A removable and adjustable mounting bracket allows you to bring additional accessories with you, such as fish finders, GPS systems, swivel fishing rod holders, and many more. There are also 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders to help improve your fishing experience.
You’ll get everything you need included with this kayak for easier operation. It comes with 2 adjustable bucket seats, 2 paddles, a carry bag, and a handy foot pump. So all you’ll need to get are the life jackets you need for safer operation!
- Highly durable – manufactured using tough laminate PVC for added durability
- Accessories included – comes with the essential paddles and foot pump that you need
- Large weight capacity – suitable for supporting up to 400 pounds
- Expensive – one of the more expensive options
Searching for the best rated inflatable kayak can be a challenge. There are so many different models to choose from. They all come at such different price points and have different pros and cons. If you’re new to inflatable kayaks, it may be tempting to just buy the cheapest model you come across. However, there are a few factors that you will need to consider first.
We’ve collated all of our essential research criteria below in a handy buyer’s guide to help you. We’ve covered all of the factors that you will need to think about before you commit to buying your new inflatable kayak. As long as your chosen inflatable kayak has these points covered, you can rest assured that it will be perfect for your needs.
Take a look at everything you need to know about inflatable kayaks below, or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing an inflatable kayak is what size you will need. Are you looking for a kayak just to hold yourself? Or are you looking for a kayak that’s on the larger side so that it can hold 2 or 3 people? This will be an essential factor to consider if you want to go kayaking with family and friends.
The size of your chosen kayak will likely influence its price, too. The larger the kayak, the more expensive it will be. It might be worth considering your budget when choosing the best inflatable kayak for you.
Once you’ve found the right kayak size for your needs, you will need to think about things like weight capacity. You might think that all kayaks are born equal, but this isn’t the case. If you want to go paddling with a friend or loved one, you will need to ensure that your chosen kayak is capable of supporting the combined weight of the two of you.
If you want to go out fishing, you will also need to ensure that your chosen kayak can support the combined weight of you and all of your fishing equipment. This will be essential, as you won’t want your kayak to capsize or sink because you’ve packed too much stuff onto it.
Durability is an important factor to consider when it comes to choosing an inflatable kayak. You would be forgiven for thinking that inflatable kayaks aren’t as durable as hardshell kayaks. This isn’t the case of course.
Many inflatable kayaks on the market are made using durable materials to protect them from scrapes when out and about on the water. Several kayaks also include repair kits so that you can easily repair any punctures.
You should look for an inflatable kayak that has been constructed from heavy duty PVC or laminate materials. This is a thick material that will be resistant to damage from abrasions, impact, or even sunlight. The more durable the materials of your inflatable kayak, the longer it will last you.
Easy to inflate
The whole point of an inflatable kayak is to make your life easier. You should opt for an inflatable kayak that’s going to be super easy to inflate and deflate as you need it to. Take a look at how many valves are included on the kayak. Do these let air out each time you try to inflate the kayak? Or does your kayak feature different valves for inflation and deflation?
Another factor to consider is whether your inflatable kayak includes the pump you need to inflate it. You’ll be standing there for a long time if you try to blow it up with anything other than a pump! A hand or foot pump can cut down on how long it takes for your kayak to inflate. If you really want to cut down on time, you can invest in an electric pump.
Portability is another great factor of inflatable kayaks. When they’re deflated, they are easy to pack away in a carry bag to bring with you on your travels. The weight of the kayak will also be a crucial factor to consider. The heavier your inflatable kayak is, the more of a pain it will be to take with you on your adventures.
You should also ensure that you choose an inflatable kayak that includes a carry bag. You can easily pack away your kayak after use, ready to store in the trunk of your car or SUV. You should also consider how much space the inflatable kayak will take up in your trunk once it’s packed away.
Another factor you may not have considered is the color of your chosen inflatable kayak. In the unlikely event that you encounter any issues when out on the water, you will want to have a bright, highly visible kayak to help the emergency services find you. The brighter the colors of your kayak, the easier you will be to spot.
A brightly colored kayak could mean the difference between life and death depending on the emergency situation you find yourself in.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best inflatable kayak?
The best inflatable kayaks are:
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- Sea Eagle 370
- Intex Challenger Kayak
- Sea Eagle 330
- Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
How do I choose an inflatable kayak?
The most important factors to consider when choosing an inflatable kayak are: how easy is it to inflate and deflate? How easy is it to store away after use? How much does it weigh? How portable is it? What weight capacity does your inflatable kayak come with? How many people can use it at once? How durable are the materials used to construct it? Does it come in vibrant colors to help you during an emergency?
All of these factors will come into play when choosing the best inflatable kayak for your needs.