Best Inflatable Kayaks In 2022 [Reviews]

Looking for the best inflatable Kayaks out there? Let’s face it, an adventure with some water fun is always great. While your car may not have adequate storage for a traditional kayak or boat, we’re sure it will fit an inflatable kayak. Inflatable kayaks are small and portable, taking up only a tiny space, yet can instantly spring to life and get your adventure started.

But how can you decide the best inflatable kayak that is ideal for you, when there are so many options? We’ve done the research and compiled the best inflatable kayaks in 2022 to save you time and make your life easier. Continue reading to discover the inflatable kayaks worth investing in.

Woman sitting in an inflatable kayak

Which Is Better: Inflatable or Hard Shell Kayaks?

Kayaks have long been in existence, and their mobility is one of their most appealing features. Larger boats, after all, require towing or boat tracks to get to the water. However,  Kayaks can be transported without using any additional equipment or tools, sometimes by a single person. Companies have taken the kayak even further by developing inflatable kayaks that take mobility to a different level.

There are many discussions about which kayak style is best in several kayaking groups on inflatables or hard shells. While these have their advantages and disadvantages, choosing which kayak is preferable is a matter of personal preference.

  • In terms of speed, traditional hard-shell kayaks have the advantage. They can move over the water much faster than inflatable kayaks, making them an excellent choice for kayak racing competitions.
  • Alternatively, inflatable watercraft are typically less expensive, lighter, and more stable on the water. Peradventure, if you’re a frequent traveler who enjoys bringing your kayak on escapades, an inflatable kayak is an option to consider.

Top 7 Best Inflatable Kayaks

Before you decide to buy the kayak of your choice, it is essential to read this article thoroughly. While you might look through the list of the best inflatable kayaks, it is vital to check important factors to consider when buying. If you find an attractive kayak here, you can skim through the factors to see if it suits what you want.

However, we believe the kayaks on this list are the best you can find on the market. We consider several things before coming up with this list. If you have a limited budget, don’t worry because these best inflatable kayaks here are affordable and portable. Without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars – Best Overall Product

Undoubtedly, this kayak is one of the best inflatable kayaks, measuring a length of 9 feet and a width of 2 feet 6 inches. It weighs 26 pounds when deflated. Intex’s K1 inflatable kayak is made of strong vinyl and can withstand anything from unruffled waters to whitewater rapids.

With several sit-in kayaks available, the K1 inflatable kayak is ideal for whitewater adventures because its closed deck keeps most of the water outside the cockpit.

Intex opted to include I-beam floors to increase its overall stability. This style of flooring increases the kayak’s stability while also allowing it to cut through troubled waters in a single direction.

With an overall weight size of 220 lbs, the K1 can carry a single passenger. If you need a double kayak or one with a higher weight capacity, you must opt for other Intex products.

Technical Specifications

  • Color: Green and blue
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Kayak Dimensions: 9′ x 2’6″
  • Kayak Weight: 26 lbs
  • Materials: PVC
  • Person Capacity: 1 person

What we like

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Suitable for new kayakers 
  • Two-chamber vinyl hull design
  • The addition of a removable skeg increases tracking
  • Numerous storage spaces
  • Comes with paddle, pump, and repairs kits

What we don’t like

  • Limited leg space
  • The paddle is manufactured with poor material
  • Not suitable for professionals

2. Driftsun Rover 120/220 Inflatable Tandem White-Water Kayak – Best for white waters

The Driftsun Rover sits as the second-best inflatable kayak on our list. Although it is expensive, it is worth the investment if you consider all of its design features, specifications, and attachments.

The Rover kayak was built by Driftsun out of 1000D reinforced multilayer PVC with a heavy-duty vinyl bottom to protect it from punctures.

It comes with an added high-pressure drop stitched floor to match the tarpaulin bottom, which improves the kayak’s overall tracking and speed. The Rover is a single-person sit-on kayak that can withstand a weight of 300 pounds.

Driftsun designed their kayak to be adaptable, so it’s suitable for recreational paddling and capable of handling class III and IV rapids. When completely inflated, the Rover measures 8 feet 5 inches in length against 36 inches in width.

Technical Specifications

  • Color: Orange or blue
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Kayak Dimensions: 8’5″ x 36″
  • Kayak Weight: 22 lbs
  • Materials: PVC and tarpaulin
  • Person Capacity: 1 person

What we like

  • Action camera mount in the front
  • Changeable footrests and EVA-padded seats
  • Excellent handling and control
  • Features seven self-bailing drain valves
  • Removable skeg for flatwater tracking
  • Super tough

What we don’t like

  • Highly expensive
  • Not much storage space
  • Catches wind during a heavy storm

3. Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak, white, 12 ft – Best 2 Person Kayak

Airhead Montana Kayak Two-Person Inflatable Kayak is a kayak you can use for anything and anywhere. Interestingly, it is strong and durable for your water activities.

Built with three air chambers; each of the chambers has a Boston valve, and is wrapped in more robust 840-denier nylon and an ultraviolet and water-resistant defensive covering. It’s difficult not to appreciate the Montana 2.

With a length of 12.3 feet, there is enough room for two paddlers to sit comfortably. The 39-inch beam guarantees steadiness in rough waters. Finished with a tubular I-beam floor and four fins that give outstanding buoyancy and tracking.

It also contains inbuilt footrests, corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and elbow protectors. Although many have reported water entering the AIrhead Montana 2, it is not authoritatively suitable for whitewater – so you should consider that.

As seen by its construction quality and finishing, the Montana 2 is a middle-priced kayak in terms of pricing. These aren’t deal-breakers, but they should be considered. Finally, it’s a shame it doesn’t come with a high-pressure bottom, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a superior kayak for this price.

Project Specifications

  • Color: Bright orange with black features
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Kayak Dimensions: 12 foot
  • Kayak Weight: 36 lbs
  • Materials: PVC
  • Person Capacity: 2 person

What we like

  • Lightweight and spacious
  • Corrosion stainless steel hardware
  • Leak-free Boston valves
  • Tough puncture resistance design

What we don’t like

  • On board storage is limited
  • Built quality can be better

4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak – Best Entry-level tandem inflatable kayak

Manufactured using thick-gauge PVC with a 1000D canvas base and 840D nylon cover, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado is a rugged fishing machine. Its dual air chamber design provides some puncture resistance and ensures that you remain submerged should the unexpected occur while on the lake.

It’s 10.75 feet long and has a 39-inch beam breadth, so there’s plenty of room and stability. Standing up fishing in this inflatable kayak isn’t an option because it lacks a firm drop-stitched floor — unless you want to get wet.

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado inflatable kayak comes equipped with changeable Berkley Quick Set rod holders. It also has an inbuilt mounting area for a trolling motor, which is a bonus feature of Colorado. You can stop paddling and turn the kayak into a fully functional motor-powered kayak.

Technical Specifications

  • Color: Army green
  • Weight Capacity: 470 lbs
  • Kayak Dimensions: 10’9″ x 3’3″
  • Kayak Weight: 41 lbs
  • Materials: PVC and tarpaulin
  • Person Capacity: 2 person

What we like

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Suitable for two people
  • It has a large beam width, which helps improve stability
  • Multiple air chambers to provide safety
  • Inbuilt mounting spot

What we don’t like

  • It doesn’t come with paddles and a hand pump
  • Not suitable for camping gear or larger paddlers
  • Not suitable if you want to use the kayak as a stand-up fishing platform
  • The rod holders location obstructs paddling

5. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Best Fishing Inflatable Kayak

Elkton Outdoors’ inflatable fishing kayak is a great alternative to traditional kayaks. We believe it is among the best inflatable kayaks available today.

The Steelhead is a remarkably rigid fishing platform made of 1000-denier reinforced multilayer PVC. It’s a little heavier at 40 pounds, but it has a 400-pound capacity and adequate storage room, including a wide bungee cargo area. You can overlook that if that is an issue for you.

It also has solid plastic cones on the front and back tips, a three-chamber construction, and a drop-stitch floor for increased structural integrity, allowing you to move around and stand up when necessary.

Technical Specification

  • Color: Army green
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Kayak Dimensions: 10.8 x 3.3 feet
  • Kayak Weight: 40 lbs
  • Materials: 1000-denier layered reinforced PVC hull construction
  • Person Capacity: 1 person

6. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Blue – Best Sit-on-top kayak

This kayak comes with a weight capacity of 400 pounds. Sevylor built their Quikpak K1 kayak out of a 21-gauge PVC with a cover bottom to prevent it from puncturing. It can withstand rough lake conditions while remaining in outstanding condition. Even though it can carry a lot of weight, this kayak is among the smallest you will find.

Sevylor settled on various air chambers throughout the design phase to ensure that the paddler is not buried in water in the case of a leak due to sharp objects. You can fix the leak, but you’ll be able to stay afloat and return to the coastline dry and undamaged.

Sevylor installed dual lock valves for convenience, which utilize two locking points to inflate quickly and easily within five minutes. Besides this, the kayak seat is detachable and has a relatively high backrest for added comfort while out on the water. Foot braces have also been installed to support your feet up when paddling.

Sevylor added front bungee storage to keep vital gear or items because the cockpit is on the small side. They even went ahead to incorporate a paddle container to keep your paddle secure when not in use.

Technical Specification

  • Color: Blue and gray
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Kayak Dimensions: 8’7″ x 3′
  • Kayak Weight: 18 lbs
  • Materials: PVC tarpaulin
  • Person Capacity: 1 person

What we like

  • Three-chamber design for improved safety
  • Inflates and deflates quickly
  • Tough and puncture-resistant

What we don’t like

  • Poor quality paddle
  • It doesn’t track properly

7. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak – Best Budget Kayak

Another Intex inflatable kayak that made our top inflatable kayak list is the Explorer K2. We had to highlight more than one Intex inflatable kayak because they do so well on water.

The Intex Explorer K2, on the other hand, differs from the Challenger in that it is a sit-on kayak rather than a sit-in kayak. Sit-on kayaks, like this one, have an open cockpit that allows for more movement.

The Explorer K2 portable kayak from Intex is 10 feet 3 inches long and 3 feet wide. This extra length allows two people to sit safely on the kayak. You can tag along with another person while including your gear if it doesn’t exceed 400 pounds.

Many of the characteristics seen on the Challenger are also included in the Explorer K2. Both chairs are detachable and include inflatable backrests for extra comfort. Because the seats are removable, this tandem kayak may readily be converted to a single-seater. This option is ideal for people who require additional legroom or kayak fishermen who plan to fish from their kayak’s cockpit.

Technical Specifications

  • Color: Yellow and gray
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Kayak Dimensions: 10’3″ x 3′
  • Kayak Weight: 30 lbs
  • Materials: Polypropylene
  • Person Capacity:  2 person

What we like

  • NMMA-certified
  • Roomy enough for two
  • Detachable pump, skeg with aluminum paddles included
  • Low-profile vinyl hull

What we don’t like

  • Seats don’t have any back support
  • No dedicated storage space
  • It doesn’t steer well

Factors to Consider When Buying an Inflatable Kayak

Despite the prevalence of inflatable kayaks on the market, some things should be addressed to help you make an informed purchase. We will explore some of these factors you must consider to purchase the best inflatable kayaks.

Material types

Synthetic materials such as Nitrilon, PVC, and Hyand are used to make inflatable kayaks. PVC is the most common material used to make inflatable kayaks. Kayaks manufactured using PVC are rigid but vulnerable to ultraviolet rays. Inflatable kayaks made of Hypalon are also quite durable.

Hypalon-made inflatable kayaks are also resistive to harmful ultraviolet radiation. They are, nevertheless, more costly than PVC inflatables. Nitrilion is a modern material used in the manufacture of inflatable kayaks. Heavy-duty inflatable kayaks are made using Nitrilion and are among the most expensive kayaks in the world.

The kind of material used to manufacture an inflatable kayak will impact its overall durability. As a result, this element should be prioritized while purchasing an inflatable kayak.

Flexibility When Setting Up

Before buying an inflatable kayak, think about how easy it will be to set it up. You should search for a kayak that you can inflate and deflate easily.

Weight Capacity

Before spending your money on a new kayak, think about the weight capacity. You should examine the kayak’s weight capacity concerning the weight of everyone (gear, dogs, and people). If you surpass the kayak’s weight capacity, it will be easily damaged.


The speed and flexibility of an inflatable kayak are determined by its length. Inflatable kayaks that are longer are faster than those that are shorter. Shorter inflatable kayaks are easier to maneuver. As a result, think about what you want most from your kayak.

Seat on Inflatable kayaks vs. Seat on Top Inflatable kayaks

Another key factor to consider before buying a kayak is the seat position. Inflatable kayaks have two seat options: sit in and sit on top. Do you like a vintage sitting position with an ample view of the surroundings or a kayak seat that shields your lower body from extreme weather conditions with a cockpit-like enclosure?

Your response to this question will aid you in deciding between the two options. The common drawback of sit-in kayaks is the restricted view they provide. On the other hand, sit-on-top kayaks have the downside of revealing the lower part of your body to harsh weather.

Inflatable Kayaks: Paddle vs. Pedal

To drive the kayak ahead, paddle inflatable kayaks use a double-bladed paddle. It is a resource-intensive choice. However, pedal inflatable kayaks are driven by inside-the-kayak pedals. They demand less energy and are more leisurely. However, compared to paddle-propelled inflatable kayaks, they are more costly and involve more maintenance.

Is It Safe To Use An Inflatable Kayak?

Inflatable kayaks have the best competitive edge in terms of buoyancy. They have a low risk of sinking because they are pressurized and usually are light. Furthermore, these kayaks are made of high-quality materials that are resistant to ruptures. The exterior of these boats may be even more durable than the hull of hard-shell kayaks.

The risk of an inflatable kayak leaking remains, but it can be minimized by keeping it apart from sharp objects and maintaining it properly. If you experience a leak, patch kits are available to fix your inflatable kayak quickly.

I have written a whole article dedicated to the question “How safe are inflatable kayaks“. I highly recommend that you give it a read if you’re thinking on purchasing an inflatable kayak.

Is It Possible To Kayak On An Inflatable?

When comparing the fastest hard-shell and inflatable kayaks, the hard-shell kayak will win. You can’t, however, conclude that every inflatable kayak is fast.

Affordable models can be slow, but like with anything you purchase, the quality is based on the cost. Many experienced kayakers argue that some inflatable kayaks surpass hard-shell kayaks when it comes to speed. It all depends on what you want and expect from a kayak.

What Is the Best Way to Discover a Leak in an Inflatable Kayak?

The first thing to notice is the deflation of the kayak. To identify the spot where it is leaking, look for bubbles within the kayak. To avoid accidents, ensure you don’t float too far from the beach while inspecting your gear for possible leaks.

It’s important to remember that deflation doesn’t always imply leakage. If you don’t see any indications of tearing, your kayak may have deflated over the day. You don’t need anything more than pumping it.

What Is the Best Way to Clean an Inflatable Kayak?

Maintenance is the first way if you want to preserve your kayak quality. This involves inspecting it to see if there are any punctures, washing it after usage, and storing it in a good location.

After each usage, cleaning your inflatable kayak can keep it from developing mold over time. The cleaning procedure is simple: spray out your kayak with fresh water to remove any residue on the equipment’s exterior. Take it to the shade for it to dry, and put it in a cool, dry location once it’s clean.


Do inflatable kayaks easily puncture?

They don’t. Even when you purposefully try to rupture a high-quality inflatable kayak, it is difficult to do so. They’re designed to be nearly impenetrable.

Are inflatable kayaks suitable for fishing activities?

They are, indeed. Inflatable kayaks are ideal for fishing in various water bodies, including lakes, ponds, and rivers, due to their extreme mobility.

How safe are inflatable kayaks on water?

Inflatable kayaks are equally as safe as standard kayaks. To keep safe while kayaking, take the necessary precautions, such as wearing a life jacket and avoiding whitewater. Finally, the material used to construct inflatable kayaks is strong, durable, and capable of carrying you on most water adventures.


Kayaks are a fantastic piece of equipment that, if properly maintained, may last for many years. Inflatable kayaks give people the ability to move them easily. You can now not only paddle around your neighborhood, but you can also pack up your kayak and travel to another country if you so desire.

We have reviewed the best inflatable kayaks available for your kayaking adventure. Whatever option you choose from our list, it will likely withstand any harsh weather conditions. If you have any kayaks you feel we miss on our list, feel free to let us know!

Vanessa Hopkins

Hi, I'm Vanessa. Long-time kayaker who's proud to be part of this community. I strive to provide our visitors with insightful guides with the aim to improve their kayaking experience. I've been working with SunshineKayaking for over 5 years, providing world-class services.

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