13 Best Inflatable Kayaks & Canoes 2021 (2, 3, Blow Ups)

Are you looking for the perfect inflatable kayak for your next water adventures? Then look no further as this article highlights the best inflatable kayaks and canoes currently on the market!

Ahh, the gentle sounds of lapping water, the soft breeze, the unparalleled tranquility. Kayaking has a special place in our hearts. There’s something extraordinarily relaxing about paddling on peaceful waters. Of course, some enjoy the rush of white water over flat water paddles. But that’s the beauty of kayaking – it offers a world of possibilities and adventures. We think it’s one of the best outdoor activities for nature lovers, adrenaline junkies, and leisure seekers alike.

But if you’re hoping to get into the wonderful world of kayaking, the first thing you will need, obviously, is a kayak. There are many different types of inflatable kayaks to choose from, in a myriad of forms and styles. From 3-person inflatable kayaks to smaller blow-up canoes, trying to wade through them all to find the right one for you can be daunting.

So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to make a list of the best inflatable kayaks we could find. Why inflatable? Glad you asked! Inflatable kayaks have seen huge improvements in recent years. Once they were more of a gimmick than serious gear. But today’s inflatable canoes and kayaks offer all of the comfort and functionality of hardshell kayaks, with the convenience of inflatability.

Say goodbye to cumbersome roof racks and unreasonable storage solutions. Inflatable kayaks pack down to a carry bag, so you can store them easily and pop them right in your trunk.

This list will include some brilliant budget options, some seriously impressive premium options, and inflatable kayaks that suit a range of purposes.

TLDR: Our Editors choice for the top inflatable kayak in 2021 is without a doubt the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. It’s a highly-affordable option, yet it handles like a dream, and is impressively durable and rigid.

If you’re looking for an affordable, high-quality inflatable kayak, this is your best bet by a mile .

Best Inflatable Kayaks & Canoes Reviewed

Are you short on time and in need of an inflatable kayak? Then take a look at these top picks for various categories below. Each of the inflatable kayaks are reviewed in detail in the sections to follow.

  1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak – Best Overall Inflatable Kayak
  2. AquaglideMcKenzie 105 Inflatable Kayak Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak
  3. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person KayakBest 3 Person Inflatable Canoe or Kayak
  4. Intex Challenger K1 KayakBest Inflatable Kayak for Under $500
  5. Sea Eagle 330 Kayak – Best 2 Person Inflatable Kayak
  6. Aquaglide Deschutes 130 Inflatable KayakBest Inflatable Kayak for the Ocean
  7. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak – Best Heavy Duty Inflatable Kayak
  8. Star Paragon Tandem Inflatable Kayak – Best Inflatable Whitewater Kayak

Top Inflatable Kayaks and Blow Up Canoes

Our pick for the best inflatable kayak is the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, but there are some other fantastic options out there.

Our other top choices are:

  1. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
  2. Aquaglide Chinook 120 Inflatable Kayak 

Check out our in-depth review of the Intex Challenger K1.

Best 2 Person Inflatable Kayaks

Our favourite 2-person kayak is the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak comfortable and well made, the extras are sure to make this a favourite.

Our other choices are:

  1. Star Paragon Tandem Inflatable Kayak
  2. Sea Eagle 330 Kayak

Best Inflatable Kayak for Fishing

The best inflatable kayak for fishing is the AquaglideMcKenzie 105 Inflatable Kayak, this one-person kayak has all the stability and comfort needed for a brilliant day of fishing.

Another great option is the:

  1. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Best Inflatable Whitewater Kayaks

The Star Paragon Tandem Inflatable Kayak is most definitely one of the best inflatable kayaks for whitewater. Strong, sturdy, and incredibly well made, it won’t let you down.

Our other top choice is the:

  1. Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak

Best Inflatable Kayak for the Ocean

The Aquaglide Deschutes 130 Inflatable Kayak is one of our favorite inflatable kayaks for the ocean.

Our other choices are:

  1. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Best 3 Person Inflatable Canoe or Kayak

The best inflatable 3 person kayak we could find was the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak, made from heavy-duty PVC. It may not be able to handle itself on strong waters, but the tarpaulin bottom will help prevent punctures while you take a leisurely paddle down the river.

Inflatable Kayaks for under $500

The cheapest and our pick for a kayak for under $500 is without doubt the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak. Affordable and reliable, this kayak is ideal for paddlers on a budget.

Our other choices are:

  1. Aquaglide Chinook 120 Inflatable Kayak
  2. Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak

Best Inflatable Canoe

Our favourite inflatable canoe goes to the Sevylor Big Basin 3-person canoe. Great for families or anyone looking to take up canoeing as a hobby, it’s well made, well priced, and very reliable.

Our other choices are:

  1. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Canoe
  2. Airhead Montana Two Person Inflatable Kayak

Best Heavy Duty Inflatable Kayak

The best heavy duty inflatable kayak on this list the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak. Made from heavy duty 18 gauge PVC, it is rugged and tough and designed to withstand harsh conditions and use.

Our other choices are:

  1. Airhead Montana Two Person Inflatable Kayak
  2. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

Best Blow Up Kayaks for Sale on Amazon Prime

The best inflatable available on Amazon Prime is the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak. This one person kayak is the best kayak for beginners, kids, or someone wanting to try out an inflatable for the first time.

The kayak is also incredibly well priced and it is very easy to replace if it is damaged beyond repair, once again, making it ideal for beginners.

Our other choices are:

  1. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
  2. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
  3. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable Kayak Comparison Table

KayakImageBest ForPrice OverallBuy Now
Intex Explorer K2 KayakTandem$$9.5/10 Check Price
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Canoe Review3 People $$9/10 Check Price
Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable KayakSpeed and Tracking$$9/10 Check Price
Advanced Elements Advanced Frame KayakSpeed and Control$$$9/10 Check Price
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Twin KayakSeasoned Kayakers$$$8.5/10 Check Price
STAR Rival Sit-On-Top Inflatable KayakFishing$$$$9/10 Check Price
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Canoe ReviewHunting and Fishing$$8/10 Check Price
STAR Raven II Tandem Inflatable KayakAll-round$$$$9/10 Check Price
AIRHEAD AHTK-2 Montana Performance 2 Person Canoe ReviewCasual Paddling$$8/5/10 Check Price
Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe PackageTandem$$7.5/10 Check Price
Aquaglide Chinook 100 Inflatable KayakGeneral$$$8.5/10 Check Price
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person KayakConvenience$7/10 Check Price
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak SetBudget$7/10 Check Price

Best Inflatable Canoes & Kayaks Reviewed

Now that we’ve had a quick overview of our top inflatable kayaks, we’ll take an in-depth look into each one.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review

  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Removable skeg
  • Two adjustable seats for tandem paddling
  • Made with Intex quality
  • Suitable for children and adults
  • Suitable for solo or tandem paddling
  • Made for gentle and small bodies of water
  • Sometimes prone to leaks

The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a two person kayak that, much like the K1 Challenger, is a favourite among casual kayakers. Made with the same quality materials as the Challenger, the Explorer is also impressively rugged for the price.

Once again, the price is a definite selling point if you’re looking to get a two person kayak for casual paddles.

The Explorer comes with a removable skeg that allows for maximum control and direction while out on the water, and being removable, adds to how compact this kayak really is.

It is not advised to take this kayak on fast-moving bodies of water as its rigidity is limited and you may encounter difficulties. But for calm, gentle waters, and relaxed paddling sessions, it is ideal.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

 Aquaglide Chinook 120 Inflatable Kayak Review

  • Lightweight packable design – includes duffle-style storage bag for effortless transportation
  • Perfect for both a solo paddler
  • Built to last
  • Open cockpit design for easy entry and exit
  • Among the best fishing kayaks
  • Easy setup
  • Not suited to rough water conditions / whitewater paddling
  • No pump is included

The Aquaglide Chinook 120 is a well-made and durable, open cockpit, blow up kayak that is suitable for two to three paddler. It handles well on relatively calm waters and is comfortable all round. Though it isn’t ideal for rough waters or two larger paddlers.

It’s made with Hexshell 600-denier ripstop polyester that gives the kayak excellent durability and strength. It also offers UV protection and puncture resistance.

This is a wonderful portable kayak. When deflated, it weighs only 28 pounds, and rolls up easily into the included storage bag. So you can comfortably carry it in the trunk of your car, eliminating the need for roof racks. Storage is a breeze, too.

One drawback is that the kayak doesn’t come with its own pump. So you’ll have to purchase one separately. The manufacturers recommend using a 12-volt electric pump to keep the process easy and convenient. But a double action hand pump or foot pump will do the job, too.

With a 12-volt pump, you can fully inflate the vessel in minutes.

Some other nifty features include the quick-release fin, which prevents weeds from getting caught on it. As well as the paddle holders, which come in handy when you need to use your hands for anything other than paddling. They’re a welcome relief – in our experience, trying to balance a paddle across your kayak pretty much always ends in tears!

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review

  • Nimble, quick, durable
  • Very reasonably priced for a decent quality kayak
  • Great for adults and kids alike
  • Very well priced
  • Impressive quality
  • Inflation and deflation can take time
  • If water gets trapped inside once folded up, it can start to smell

Much like the Intex Challenger K2, the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is one of the most highly reviewed and loved inflatable kayaks on the market. With its incredibly low price, clever design, and impressive build-quality, we can see why it’s a firm favourite.

Ok – this thing isn’t a professional standard paddling machine. It’s not going to serve you well on white water, and it’s not the most comfortable craft around. But for the price, it really is a solid piece of gear. It’s incredibly nimble and impressively durable, capable of holding its own on a lake or river.

The cockpit is designed for comfort and does a pretty good job of it. It also has quite a lot of space to allow you to store essentials, as well as having a cargo net in front of you for extra storage. The floor has inflatable beams for additional stability.

This one person kayak has a maximum weight capacity of 220 pounds, perfect for most kayakers or beginners, and comes with a 84 inch aluminium oar, a repair patch, and a high output pump that allows you to blow it up in minutes.

Click to Check Lowest Price

Advanced Elements Convertible Inflatable Kayak Review

  • Built in aluminium ribs improve tracking
  • 3 layers of material for extra puncture protection
  • Simple to unfold and inflate
  • Inflatable tandem kayak with adjustable seats allows for solo or tandem paddling
  • Built in ribs add rigidity to the bow and stern, improving stability and tracking
  • Very easy set up
  • Very expensive
  • Definitely more for a seasoned kayaker and not for beginner or casual kayakers

Another cracking kayak from the folks at Advanced Elements, the Advancedframe convertible kayak is made with the AE precision, quality, and strength the brand is known for in the kayaking world. Sturdy, rugged, and simple, this kayak is up there with one of the best inflatables on the market.

Much like the AdvancedFrame Kayak made by Advanced Elements, this awesome kayak comes with built-in aluminium ribs that add a lot of rigidity to the bow and stern, increasing overall control and strength to the kayak.

The kayak is made with 3 layers of material for a very high level of puncture resistance. The kayak is pre-assembled, and to get started it is as simple as unfolding, inflating, and placing in the seats, which can be done in a matter of minutes.

The seats are incredibly comfortable and come with high support, keeping you comfortable for hours on end. The seats are also adjustable, there are 3 seating locations allowing for solo use, or in a tandem.

Click to Check Lowest Price

Star Paragon Inflatable Tandem Kayak

  • Two comfortable, high-back seats and two sets of foot braces
  • Quick and easy inflation
  • Includes repair kit, carry bag, and pump
  • Advanced-formula PVC material ensures durability and air retention
  • Excellent handling
  • Impressively rigid PVC floor
  • A comfortable and durable boat
  • No tracking system
  • A little heavier than some of the other options
  • May be a bit pricey for some

The STAR Paragon is the best inflatable tandem kayak in our humble opinion. It ticks off all of the boxes, from durability and comfort to convenience and versatility. It can comfortably accommodate two fully grown paddlers. It fairs well on calm waters and is also one of the best tandem inflatable kayaks safe for whitewater. And if you’re paddling solo, there’s plenty of room for gear!

It features an inflatable, drop-stitch floor insert that’s incredibly rigid. This, along with the two high-back seats, means you’ll be just as comfortable in the Paragon as you would be in standard hardshell inflatable kayaks.

The open cockpit design makes for easy entry and exit from the kayak, and gives it a relaxed, leisurely feel. And the whole package rolls up perfectly into an included carry bag.

When deflated, the craft weighs in at around 38 pounds. So it’s a little heavier than some of the other options, but this is by no means a game-changer. What may bother some is the lack of a tracking system. But we’ve found that tracking systems are really more of a bonus than a necessity. And this thing handles beautifully despite its lack of tracking fin.

The Paragon is certainly a bit on the pricey side, but you’re paying for a professional kayak that will serve you well and stand the test of time. We’re strong advocates of investing in gear that lasts – so the additional cost is a bullet we’re usually willing to bite.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

AIRHEAD Montana 2 Person Inflatable Kayak Reviews

  • 12 foot inflatable, made with extra space
  • Designed for lakes and moderate white water
  • Incredibly compact, lightweight, easy to transport
  • Heavy duty, semi rigid, PVC design
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Very easy to inflate and deflate
  • Unstable in slightly rough water
  • Does not include paddles

The Airhead Montana inflatable kayak is a 2 person, ultra-lightweight and compact kayak.It is perfect for taking on road trips or spontaneous trips to the river or lake.

This 12 foot canoe has a semi rigid, heavy gauge PVC construction, giving it strength and durability. The tubular I-beam flooring adds comfort and stability, as well as tracking. The moveable and removable seats add comfort and back support. The canoe also has two Boston valves or quick and easy inflation and deflation.

The 3 air chambers are made from strong 840-denier nylon, and have been treated with UV and water resistant coatings. The bottom of the canoe is fitted with durable tri-laminate reinforcements to add stability, strength and control to the canoe. This canoe is designed for lakes and moderate rivers, great for beginners.

The canoe comes with some great extras, there are padded elbow pads for comfort, it’s incredibly easy to inflate and deflate, the stainless steel and nylon hardware will not corrode, there is also a stretch net on the bow to store packs, equipment, or any other gear you may have.

Click to Check Lowest Price

Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe Package Review

  • Very affordable 2 person kayak
  • Can hold up to 650 pounds
  • Assembly and inflation can be done in 8 minutes
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Removable skeg allows for improved control and tracking
  • Can hold 3 people or 650 pounds
  • Very well priced
  • Has been described as awkward to carry and transport
  • Can’t be used in saltwater

This inflatable kayak from Sea Eagle that comes with the deluxe package is a brilliantly made kayak made from highly durable and strong material that can take a beating out at sea, and even withstand dog claws and paws if you’re taking your buddy out with you on the river.

The kayak can fit into the carry bag provided, with extra space for camping gear or whatever other gear you may need for your trip. You can use it for fishing, out on the ocean or diving. It also serves as one of the best whitewater inflatable kayaks.

The I Beam construction flooring increases rigidity and strength, the Sea Eagle kayak also has inflatable side skirts, inflatable and removable seats, a self-bailing drain valve. The removable skeg adds control as well as speed and allows for smooth tracking no matter the water conditions.

The Deluxe Package comes with the kayak, two inflatable seats, a foot pump, a pair of oars, a repair kit, a carry bag that everything fits into, as well as instructions. The perfect all in one inflatable kayak set.

Click to Check Lowest Price

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2 Person Inflatable Canoe Review

  • Made from rugged 18 gauge PVC
  • 1000D tarpaulin bottom, 840D Nylon Cover
  • Multiple air chambers to prevent complete failure in the instance of a puncture
  • No leak Airtight System
  • equipped with rod holders
  • Incredibly rugged and strong
  • Airtight System is guaranteed to stop leaks
  • Seating can be uncomfortable
  • Not the easiest inflatable to row

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-person Fishing Canoe is inflatable, and made from heavy duty 18 gauge PVC, designed to be rugged and tough. The bottom of the canoe is made from 1000D tarpaulin, and the cover is made from 840D nylon. This canoe is built to withstand harsh weather and use.

This blow-up canoe is made with multiple air chambers, this means that even if one chamber gets punctured, the canoe will stay afloat and you can make it back to shore. The inflatable canoe is also made with Sevylor’s Airtight system, which prevents leaks, keeping you dry all day long.

This canoe comes with Berkley rod holders, which are adjustable and allow for easy hands-free fishing. The canoe is fitted with Sevylor’s trolling motor attachment, allowing you to expand your fishing capabilities. The paddle holders also ensure your paddles stay out of your way.

The inflatable canoe is fitted with mesh pockets to allow you to store either equipment, food, or anything else you may need for a day out on the lake. There are also additional D-rings that allow you to attach any additional equipment you may have. The seats are also incredibly comfortable, great for prolonged stays on the water, they are also adjustable so you can fit them to your needs.

Click to Check Lowest Price

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak Review

  • Built in aluminium ribs for improved tracking
  • 3 layers of material designed to be puncture resistant
  • Easy to set up
  • Paddles like a hardshell
  • Repair kit included
  • Very similar to a hardshell kayak but with the ease of an inflatable
  • Built in ribs offer improve tracking and stability
  • Takes longer to rinse and dry than most traditional hardshell kayaks

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak is different to other blow-up or inflatable kayaks as it comes with built in aluminium ribs that define the kayak and add extra strength and durability that many other inflatables don’t have.

This kayak is a great hybrid between an inflatable kayak and a folding kayak, offering the best of both to give you a compact, lightweight, yet strong and rigid design. Made with 3 layers of highly durable material, it also does a good job of preventing rips and tears.

The kayak has two separate air chambers that spread the air across the entire kayak to add a high level of stability.  It’s impressively buoyant, offers great tracking, and comes with adjustable padded seats.

Even with the built in ribs, this kayak is still incredibly compact and can be taken out on any trip. It packs down to just 26 pounds in it’s duffel bag. A repair kit is also included for patching up any menacing scratches or holes. With the extensive onboard storage, you can also take along any gear that you may need for a day out on the water.

For the price, this thing is unbeatable in our opinion. There are some more expensive inflatable kayaks that offer more bells and whistles (which we’ll get to later in the list). But this kayak is all about bang for your buck, and it’s certainly got us convinced.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Inflatable Canoe Review

  • Heavy duty PVC construction
  • Tarpaulin bottom provides protection against punctures
  • Multiple air chambers prevent canoe from deflating if one chamber gets a puncture
  • Airtight System prevents leaks
  • Very rugged and heavy duty inflatable kayak
  • Can fit 3 people
  • No pump included
  • Sevylor customer service is sometimes not very helpful

This 3 person blow-up canoe by Sevylor is made from heavy-duty PVC, made to last and be durable out on the lake. It may not be able to handle itself on strong waters, but the tarpaulin bottom will help prevent punctures while you take a leisurely paddle down the river. Perfect for some family fun.

Like most inflatable kayaks by Sevylor, the Big Basin comes with multiple air chambers. These inflate and help prevent the canoe from sinking. In the instance you do get a puncture, you will be able to stay afloat and paddle to shore. The Airtight system that comes with the canoe is also almost 100% guaranteed to prevent leaks.

The canoe has Boston valves installed that allows for very easy and quick inflation and deflation. The seats are also adjustable so you can easily change them to suit your needs. Spray covers are also installed to ensure you stay dry.

This canoe comes with a 1-year warranty, as well as a carry bag and a pressure gauge. The carry bag makes it incredibly easy to transport this canoe, whether you carry it, put it in your boot, or just store it for the next summer, making it super easy to go on a spontaneous paddle mission.

Click to Check Lowest Price

Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak Reviews

  • Built in rigid panels define bow and stern and improve tracking
  • Outer cover improves durability while keeping the design lightweight
  • Twistlok valves and high flow Spring valves for quick set up time
  • Landing plate and tracking fin improve overall performance
  • Quick set up time
  • Rigid panels define the bow and stern and improve stability
  • Sometimes prone to tipping
  • No backrest takes away from comfort

The Advanced Elements Firefly Inflatable Kayak is a great, family-friendly kayak that has all the basic features and durability that you’d expect from a high-quality inflatable. This super compact kayak is ideal for a lazy paddle down the river.

The kayak has built in rigid panels that help define the bow and stern and allows for smooth tracking and for the kayak to cut through the water with ease, much like a hardshell kayak.

The kayak is made with highly durable material, has grip handles, bungee deck lacing, a pocket for equipment, and a tracking skeg to improve direction and control. The heavy duty PVC main chamber is built to last.

This super compact and easy to use kayak is the perfect fit for a family or for an easy to transport kayak when traveling. Store it anywhere you need it and have it set up and ready to go in a matter of minutes.

Looking for more info? Check out our in-depth review of the Advanced Elements Firefly review.

Click to Check Lowest Price

STAR Pike Inflatable Fishing Kayak

  • Advanced-formula PVC construction
  • Suspended seat provides raised position for fishing and paddling trips
  • Two rudder options maximizes control and tracking in the water
  • Self-bailing floor allows excess water to drain to stay afloat
  • Includes 5 mounts, suitable for rod holders, fish finders and other gear
  • Amazingly stable platform for fishing
  • Plenty of room for storage and gear
  • PVC has a tendency to get scratched
  • Not suitable for rough waters

If you’re after a high-quality fishing kayak that’s made with a keen attention to detail, the STAR Pike is a winning option. It’s an impressively sturdy kayak that’s purpose-built for fishing and flatwater kayaking.

One of the best inflatable fishing kayaks on the market, the STAR Pike sits at 12 ft 8 inches. It is a long boat for a single paddler, allowing plenty of room for gear storage and handling. With its suspended mesh seats, the kayak is ideal for fishing.. It also features 5 mounts that can be used to attach fish finders, rod holders, and other bits of essential gear.

For your full-day adventures, the kayak features 16 steel D-rings to securely rig up your tackle box, cooler, and any other fishing essentials. There is also a carry bag that holds the extra fin, pump, and repair kit, adequately preparing you for just about anything the day might hold.

While the Pike is a bit on the pricey side, it really is your best bet if you’re looking for an inflatable fishing kayak.

Click to Check Price on REI

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Review

  • Very quick and easy to set up
  • Backpack system turns the carry bag into the seat
  • Tarpaulin bottom provides extra protection from punctures
  • Air chamber system means kayak will stay afloat if there is a puncture in one chamber
  • Airtight System guarantees no leaks
  • Bag can be used as seat to save weight and space
  • Doesn’t have the best tracking
  • Bag is prone to leaks

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak is one of the quickest and easiest to blow up inflatable kayaks on our list. The super simple design and the way you use the accessories makes this kayak incredibly compact and easy to use.

The kayak has multiple air chambers which ensures the kayak stays afloat even if there’s a puncture. The kayak only takes 5 minutes to inflate, quick inflation means more time on the water.

The kayak is made from 21 gauge PVC that is incredibly strong and durable. The kayak also has a tarpaulin bottom that provides protection against punctures in murky waters. The Airtight technology also prevents leaks.

The set includes an oar, an air pump, as well as a carry bag that doubles as the seat, saving you space and carrying weight, making this kayak even more convenient for traveling and storage.

Click to Check Lowest Price

Inflatable Kayak Buyers Guide

When looking for the best inflatable kayak, there are a few things to take into consideration, especially if you are only just getting into kayaking or you don’t have any experience with them. For example, should you be looking for the best sit on top kayak? Or is a sit-in kayak more your speed? This is a list of the 4 things to look out for when buying your first, or next inflatable kayak.


Like most things, your level of skill will determine which kayak you should buy. This is particularly important for beginners as experts or long term kayakers already have an idea of what they need out of a kayak and therefore know exactly what to buy.

Purchasing a very simple, inexpensive kayak is definitely the way to go as, if you get more into the sport, you will want to spend your money on a more advanced model, not your first one. Purchase a kayak that is a bit smaller, which makes it easier to control, and take it out on a gentle lake to get the hang of things.

Don’t get caught up in brand names, rather go for something simple and cheap, and learn before spending more.


Comfort is important if you are going to be spending extended periods of time out on the water. Hunters and fisherman would prefer a kayak that has high backrests and seats you can easily adjust. Blow up seats are also very comfortable and once again, can be adjusted to your needs.

You don’t want to get a sore back after 15 minutes of paddling, so when you purchase your kayak, the first thing to do is test the seats, no point in getting a great kayak if the worst part of it is sitting in it.

Tip: be sure to read our guide to finding the right size kayak for your needs!


Durability is vitally important when it comes to inflatable kayaks. You don’t want to buy an inflatable just for it to burst from the slightest graze on a log or the river bed.

Look for a kayak that has a strong outer shell, preferably reinforced with ribbing or treated with some sort of coating. Many inflatable kayaks are treated with UV or saltwater coatings so that they don’t degrade over time if you are using it on a regular basis. Reinforced or padded flooring is also something to take note of, since you never know how deep a river or lake may be and you wouldn’t want to get a puncture.


Lastly, the price. This is almost entirely up to you and your budget. Like we mentioned above, if this is your first kayak, buy something cheaper, something you can afford to replace. You are going to be having a few spills and accidents so spending big money right off the bat is not advised.

Practice first with a cheap inflatable kayak and get the hang of kayaking. If you only plan on kayaking a few times a year or on holiday, maybe spend a bit more as it will be an investment, but if you are going to be full-on and be in the water every day, cheap is the way to go. You can always upgrade when the time is right.


We really hope this guide has helped you see the differences in models, brands, and versatility. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a newbie, this guide is sure to help you see that kayaking is more definitely an affordable hobby to take up, or if you’re in the market for a new kayak, we are sure you have found your next one.

If you are looking for some accessories for your kayaking, check out our guide on what to wear kayaking or the best full face snorkel masks. Or, if you’re new to the sport, check out our best beginner kayaks reviews.

Extremepedia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.