Hard-shell kayaks used to be the boat widely used for water explorations, and other popular water-oriented pursuits. While driving on the highway, you would typically see them strapped on a camper van’s roof securely.
As the 21st century came, hard-shell kayaks started to become less favored due to the impracticality of transporting them from one location to another. Besides, these water vessels are challenging to carry or transport without the assistance of a 4X4 vehicle.
Contemporary inflatable kayaks have changed the norm. Plus, new technology has produced the best inflatable boats for white waters. They do not get punctured easily. Moreover, these state-of-the-art boats can remain afloat in various water environments, including choppy ones, without sustaining abrasions.
Thanks to the premium-quality and waterproof construction materials that manufacturers utilize today, durable inflatable water vessels have successfully superseded the popularity of hard-shell boats. Also, you will notice that inflatable boats are no longer the traditional swimming pool toys for children.
If you want to experience the best water journeys, you may be looking for the best inflatable boats available today. This online discussion tackles nine of the highly rated ones, which are the following. They give great value to buyers’ money for being versatile, durable, and features-loaded.
Top 8 Best Inflatable Kayaks Reviewed
- Voyager 2 Inflatable Kayak by Driftsun
- Montana One-Person Kayak by Airhead
- AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak by Advanced Elements
- Challenger K1 One-Person Sit-In Kayak by Intex
- 330 Inflatable Kayak by Sea Eagle
- Quikpak K5 One-Person Kayak by Sevylor
- STAR Outlaw I Inflatable Kayak by NRS
- Tributary Spud Inflatable Kayak by Aire
- Length: 10 feet tall
- Width: 35 inches wide
- Weight: 27 pounds
- Person Capacity: 2 passengers
- Weight Capacity (Maximum): Up to 400 pounds (2 paddlers)
- Material: tube covers made of 840D Nylon
- Color: Blue, with white, grey, and black hues in the body
- Designed for: Recreational paddling, Choppy waters, Calm waters, Cruising, Streams, lakes, and rivers exploration, Comfort paddling, Fitness paddling, Touring
You surely must have heard so much about the Driftsun Voyager 2 Inflatable Kayak from your friends or family members who are kayaking enthusiasts. This inflatable water vessel is among the best inflatable boats today. The Driftsun Voyager has earned the love of paddling fans who demand a hard-shell kayak’s quality and sturdiness.
These paddlers also love the Voyager for being highly portable and easy to use as an inflatable boat. The Voyager 2 Inflatable Kayak by Driftsun is genuinely comfortable. It tracks excellently in various water bodies, and it is rugged. The manufacturer infused considerable thoughtful specifications that make it an extraordinary watercraft.
You will not have a hard time setting up and deflating the Driftsun Voyager because of the Boston Valves. It also offers substantial amounts of storage, thanks to the rear and front bungee compartments. You can take out and pull the water vessel effortlessly as well via the bow and stern handles.
In terms of durability, you will feel wowed with the Driftsun Voyager 2 Inflatable Kayak’s sturdiness. Its manufacturer utilized tube covers made of 840D nylon oxford fabric that is tough-coated. This advantage makes the inflatable boat tear and rip-resistant.
Besides, you get more dependable protection for your boat against punctures through the heavy-duty, Polyvinyl chloride tarpaulin bottom. The Driftsun Voyager 2 Inflatable Kayak delivers unparalleled buoyancy and stability via the high-volume side tubes as well.
The 27-pound-light Voyager Kayak originated from Northern California’s rivers and lakes. Also, expert paddlers poured in substantial thoughtfulness on this ingenious product. The Driftsun Voyager boat features top-notch accessories, premium-quality materials, and artistry that make it the best inflatable boat today.
The Driftsun Voyager 2 Inflatable Kayak offers the ultimate experiences if you love touring, fitness paddling, cruising, and comfort paddling. Above all, it is the go-to inflatable watercraft for exploring various water bodies, including streams, lakes, and rivers.
|Fast and easy to set-up and deflate||Expensive|
|Generous weight capacity
- Length: 9 inches and 9 feet tall [or 9’9” tall]
- Width: 32 inches wide
- Weight: 27.7 pounds
- Person Capacity: 1 paddler
- Weight Capacity (Maximum): Up to 300 pounds
- Material: Water-resistant and ultraviolet full Nylon
- Color: Highly visible orange / high-visibility orange
- Designed for: Camping, Vacationing, Exploring remote areas, Cruising yachts, Lakes. Moderate white water, Recreational paddling
A safe and comfortable paddling experience will be within your reach if you avail of the Airhead Montana One-Paddler Performance Travel Kayak. This fantastic inflatable water vessel is among the best inflatable boats today.
The high-visibility orange hue of the Montana One-Paddler Performance Travel Kayak by Airhead ensures that you are safe in the water. You can expect to get spotted easily from a distance, and you can always stay safe with this benefit. The three Boston valves make it easy to set up and deflate this inflatable water vessel.
Furthermore, the lightweight Airhead inflatable travel boat promises you tremendous comfort. The tubular I-beam floor is cozy and lets you achieve optimal tracking and flotation. Plus, you get more comfortable with the neoprene elbow guards, inflatable seats, and adjustable foot brace. Paddling and exploring the waters is genuinely relaxing with this water vessel.
The Airhead inflatable boat is also highly portable, with the padded shoulder carrier allowing you to carry it around with ease. Besides, its compact nature lets you store it in your suitcase, car, or duffel bag quickly. Hence, if you feel the itch to go kayaking, your Montana watercraft is with you. Take it out, assemble it, then go!
This durable water vessel features a tri-laminate bottom, giving you a lifetime of use. You can genuinely depend on this product for being the National Marine Manufacturers Association or NMMA-approved. The all-around Airhead Montana One-Paddler Performance Travel Kayak is perfect for various activities that involve journeying into the water.
You can relish it in moderate white waters, lakes, cruising yachts, and remote region explorations. The Airhead inflatable kayak is ideal for camping, vacations, and if you merely want to carry an inflatable boat on your vehicle’s rooftop.
|Excellent performance in various water environments||Minor customer complaint about water seeping in through the seam|
|Enjoyable to use in different weather conditions
|Easy to assemble, disassemble, and stow
- Length: 15 feet tall
- Width: 32 inches wide
- Weight: 55 pounds
- Person Capacity: 2 paddlers [Tandem]
- Weight Limit: 550 pounds
- Material: Double-coated, durable, and rip-stop nylon fabric
- Color: Red, Apple Green
- Designed for: Tandem paddling, Solo paddling
If you want comfortable paddling and enjoying peace of mind in the water, you should avail of the inflatable kayak by Advanced Elements. The AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak is among the best inflatable boats today because it offers excellent value for the customers’ money.
This 15-feet-long inflatable water vessel has three seating locations that facilitate tandem or solo paddling. You have the option to paddle it by yourself or with a pal or family member.
This versatile watercraft is a bit expensive, costing in the neighborhood of $800. However, you will not regret it because it is cozy with high-support, adjustable, and folding padded seats. Hence, even if you paddle for hours, you will still feel relaxed.
Furthermore, the AdvancedFrame Convertible inflatable watercraft by Advanced Elements is highly durable. The manufacturer utilized three layers of material, comprising heavy-duty, double-coated, and rip-stop nylon fabric. Thus, you can feel assured against the inconvenience caused by unwanted punctures.
The 32-inches-wide inflatable boat by Advanced Elements comes with built-in aluminum ribs. This hull design enhances tracking and defines the stern and bow. You can also bring your favorite items and use the bungee deck lacing and a series of D-rings. A carrying bag, paddle holders, low-profile and molded rubber handles, and a repair kit are parts of the package.
The inflatable boat by Advanced Elements is easy to assemble. Once you receive the package, it comes pre-assembled at the manufacturer’s plant. Thus, you simply unfold it, get it inflated, fasten the chairs, and then, voila! Off you go to a beautiful day out in the lake!
|ives options of solo or tandem paddling||Paddle and pump are not parts of the package|
|Handles and tracks very well in the water||Heavy|
|Packed with helpful features
- Length: 9 feet tall
- Width: 30 inches wide
- Weight: 28.4 pounds
- Person Capacity: 1 passenger
- Weight Limit: 220 pounds
- Material: Heavy-duty, puncture-resistant, and rugged vinyl
- Color: Grey, bright green, blue hues, and sporty graphics on the body
- Designed for: Lakes, Slow-moving or mild rivers
You may sometimes want to destress and leave the pressures you get from your daily life at work. The Intex Challenger K1 One-Person Sit-In Kayak is among the best inflatable boats that can help you escape the hustle and bustle of city life and relax with nature’s beauty.
This one-person inflatable watercraft comes with eye-catching and highly visible sporty graphics and a bright green hue. These features let you stay safe in slow-moving or mild rivers and lakes.
Moreover, you can leave all your cares away for a while and relax while paddling using this boat’s adjustable and inflatable seat. You can feel pure relaxation with this advantage of the compact Intex Challenger inflatable boat because it is cozy.
Besides, you do not have to feel stressed with paddling this watercraft because of the removable skeg. This feature lets you relish the unprecedented directional movement of the water vessel.
Furthermore, you get more comfort, function, and stability with the Intex water vessel’s other features. These properties include high-buoyancy side chambers, a spacious cockpit, an inflatable I-Beam floor, and the low-profile deck.
This product is undoubtedly durable, too, so you obtain more value for your hard-earned financial resources. The manufacturer utilized heavy-duty, puncture-resistant, and rugged vinyl. You will never complain when you use the 84-inch aluminum oar of this highly rated inflatable boat. It adds to the pleasure of paddling solo to enjoy the mild rivers and lakes.
Also, you can bring your additional belongings and keep them in the cargo net. The Intex Challenger K1 One-Person Sit-In Kayak is a sturdy, quick, enjoyable, and sporty watercraft. The US Coast Guard approved this product with certification.
|Handles in the water quite well||Less well-protected compared to expensive versions|
|Packed with useful features
- Length: 11 feet and two inches or 340 centimeters tall
- Width: 34 inches wide
- Weight: 26 pounds
- Person Capacity: 2 passengers [1 Adult and one child; 2 smaller adults]
- Weight Limit: Up to 500 pounds or 227 kilograms
- Material: K80 PVC or Polykrylar
- Color: Blue and white hues in the body
- Designed for: Suitable up to Class 3 rivers
- Other features: Close and open drain valvem Two skegs, Five pieces of deluxe, one-way valves
The Sea Eagle watercraft is one of the most popular inflatable kayaks available today. Buyers have lauded it as among the best inflatable boats because of its plenty of convenient features.
First of all, this inflatable boat by Sea Eagle is very light. Buyers commented that this 26-pound watercraft is easy to set up and assemble. Besides, the Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak is effortless to carry. It packs down and is sufficiently tiny to fit in the smallest vehicle’s trunk.
Moreover, you can expect the popular watercraft to deliver exceptionally well in the water. This 11 feet and two inches tall water vessel is highly sturdy. Sea Eagle utilized 33-millimeter K80 Polyvinyl chloride or PVC or Polykrylar for its construction. Plus, the hull features saltwater and sun-resistant treatment.
The Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak has also obtained the certification from the National Marine Manufacturers Association or NMMA. Hence, you can truly count on this inflatable kayak. The inflatable boat by Sea Eagle also does not want you to feel alone on the water vessel. It can accommodate two smaller adults or one child and one adult.
Therefore, why do you not invite your friends and family members for a lovely day out in the water today? After all, you and your loved ones can enjoy the Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak in various water environments, especially up to Class 3 rivers.
|Offers tremendous value for customers' hard-earned money||Challenging to use in windy conditions|
|Seats have comfortable back support
|Well-constructed and rugged
- Length: 10 feet long
- Width: 36 inches or 3 feet wide
- Weight: 25.5 Pounds
- Person Capacity: 1 passenger
- Weight Capability (Maximum): Up to 250 pounds
- Material: 24-gauge Polyvinyl chloride or PVC
- Color: Grey
- Designed for: Lakes, Slow-moving waters, Teenagers. Adults
If you are a financially savvy kayak enthusiast looking for the inflatable boat that offers excellent value for your hard-earned cash, you should try Sevylor’s boat. The Quikpak K5 is among the best inflatable boats sold today. It comes with plenty of features that undoubtedly give you tremendous value.
The Quikpak water vessel is ideal for one paddler. Transporting and setting it up is quite effortless. Assembly time is quick and will merely take five minutes of your sweet time. Besides, this watercraft is a comfortable and easy-to-carry backpack system. You can disassemble it to become a boat seat. Plus, the carry handles make this watercraft easy to pull from and towards the lake.
The Sevylor Quikpak K5 water vessel will never strain your budget because it is highly durable. The manufacturer utilized 24-gauge Polyvinyl chloride or PVC to construct it. Also, the Sevylor inflatable boat comes with a thick polyester cover and a tarpaulin, rugged bottom. You do not have to get disturbed by a punctured boat and buying another. These advantages make the Sevylor watercraft a money-saving purchase.
Nevertheless, since accidental punctures are unavoidable, you can still have your peace of mind with the Sevylor Quikpak K5 kayak. After all, it comes with many air compartments. Hence, you can safely return to the shore, since the boat remains inflated even if one of its parts gets punctured.
The Sevylor Quikpak K5 One-Person Kayak will make you smile more because of the other benefits it comes loaded with, like the Airtight System preventing leakage, the D-rings, and secure storage with bungees for your belongings, the included paddle, and the hand pump. You genuinely do not have to look any further if you want a budget-friendly and features-packed boat.
|Easy to assemble and disassemble||The fabric could retain water|
|Easy to transport||Challenging to drain
- Length: 10 inches and 9 feet tall [or 9’10” tall]
- Width: 38 inches wide
- Weight: 30 pounds
- Person Capacity: 1 paddler
- Weight Capacity (Maximum): Up to 275 pounds
- Material: Polyvinyl chloride or PVC and Drop-Stitch
- Color: Blue, Grey, Yellow
- Designed for: Lakes, Rivers, Beginners. Advanced
You can enjoy a versatile inflatable boat when you choose the NRS STAR Outlaw I Inflatable Kayak. This highly rated watercraft makes adrenaline enthusiasts and novice boaters smile from ear to ear because of its numerous features. This inflatable boat is ideal for rental programs, camps, and outfitters seeking to give their clients a sporty and enjoyable experience.
When you receive the inflatable water vessel by NRS, you will not have any problems setting it up and deflating it, thanks to the Leafield C7 valves. Aside from this top-quality feature, you can forget about kayaking troubles like abrasion because of this watercraft’s sophisticated construction.
The manufacturer utilized advanced-formula Polyvinyl chloride or PVC and the highest level of seam welding technology. Therefore, you can expect this inflatable boat to be long-lasting and retains air superbly. Besides, the NRS STAR Outlaw I Inflatable Kayak offers you comfortable rides via its thwart seat. You can stay cozy with the backrest and paddle with ease.
The stern and bow handles make this commendable water vessel easy to carry from and to the lake. This boat includes a repair kit for any troubles that can arise. Also, you can enjoy two-year commercial and three-year retail warranties.
As you can see, if you select the easy-to-maintain and premium-quality NRS STAR Outlaw I Inflatable Kayak, you will relish your water journeys more with comfort, peace of mind, and enjoy great value.
|Highly responsive||Isolated buyer complaint about the need for D-rings on the inflatable boat’s both ends|
|Easy to paddle|
- Length: 2 inches and 7 feet tall [or 7’2” tall]
- Width: 35.5 inches wide
- Weight: 21.5 pounds
- Person Capacity: 1 passenger
- Weight Limit: Up to 220 pounds
- Material: Polyvinyl chloride
- Color: Lime
- Designed for: Lakes, River running, White water rapids
The Aire Tributary Spud Inflatable Kayak is the best inflatable boat for your whole family, looking for high stability. This superb watercraft is ideal for you as parents and your children.
The wide inflatable kayak by Aire allows you to have a lot of adventure and fun through its responsiveness. Besides, you will fee genuinely excited about the agility of this inflatable water vessel. The Aire Tributary Spud Inflatable Kayak remains afloat in the most challenging water environments.
Moreover, this best-selling inflatable boat is suitable for children. They will love this product’s stability, similar to their parents. Your kids will undoubtedly relish twisting and turning the Aire Tributary Spud Inflatable Kayak that delivers excellent maneuverability. You can also motivate your children to enhance their kayaking skills in whitewater rapids and confront the running waves.
This inflatable boat also delivers comfort via the inflatable thwart seat. You and your family obtain excellent care for that back sides of your bodies. Plus, you can place this feature wherever it fits best for you and your children. The ideal kayak is also rugged and fitted. It is highly portable and easy to carry, featuring comfortable handles at the stern and bow.
The Aire Tributary Spud Inflatable Kayak is undoubtedly a very family-friendly boat that delivers the optimal balance. Aside from being highly forgiving and lightweight, it is highly easy to control in different water environments.
|Easy to maneuver||Pump not included|
Our Favorite Inflatable Kayak
The best inflatable boat we picked from the nine water vessels in this list is the Driftsun Voyager 2 Inflatable Kayak. This watercraft tops them all for having most of the features essential in versatile, safe, and comfortable paddling. Above all, the inflatable water vessel offers tremendous value for the buyers’ hard-earned money.
First of all, the Voyager kayak is worth purchasing for being versatile and useful for various water-oriented pursuits. You can also relish it when you engage in recreational paddling, fitness paddling, comfort paddling, and touring. Plus, it tracks quite well in both calm and choppy water bodies. The Voyager 2 inflatable boat is also ideal for cruising and exploring rivers, streams, and lakes.
You can depend on the comfort and safety that the Driftsun inflatable boat offers. Its manufacturer used heavy-duty, Polyvinyl chloride tarpaulin to make its bottom. Plus, the tube covers made of 840D nylon oxford fabric make this water vessel rip and tear-resistant.
Paddling is very convenient with the two pieces of aluminum paddles as well. They come with truly ergonomic grip handles. Besides, you can sit comfortably with the adjustable and removable ethylene-vinyl acetate or EVA padded seats.
The Driftsun Voyager 2 Inflatable Kayak is for two paddlers. Thus, you can take your beloved dog, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or offspring with you. Together, you can enjoy the wondrous beauty of the waters and nature.
Some buyers may have criticized this inflatable boat for its price, the highest being nearly $600. Nevertheless, paying such amount returns excellent value because the Voyager kayak has so much to offer. Above all, its durability makes you save more money without replacing a broken boat with a new one fast.
Buyer’s Guide to Inflatable Kayaks
Inflatable kayaks are popular, and you benefit from them tremendously during outdoor seasons. Unlike their hard-shell counterparts, these boats are more affordable.
If it is your first time to shop for an inflatable boat, the following questions help you determine whether the watercraft is the excellent buy:
Is it affordable for you?
If you are a novice, you may find inflatable boats costing in the neighborhood of $50 to $400. These water vessels will not break the bank for you.
However, remember that cheap inflatable kayaks are usually unsuitable for whitewater rafting and ocean kayaking. On the other hand, inflatable kayaks costing above $500 are typically highly durable and safe.
Is it all-around?
It would be best if you find a water vessel that you can use for various water-oriented activities. Some of these inflatable boats are ideal for rowing down the rapids, while others are for fishing.
Furthermore, some inflatable water vessels can accommodate tandem paddlers, while some are for those going solo. You should read the features of the inflatable kayak of your choice to know your exact preferences.
Is it user-friendly?
The best inflatable boats are easy to keep when you are not using them. When deflated, you can fold down and keep these water vessels away quickly.
Moreover, user-friendly inflatable kayaks come with backpacks or travel carry bags. Therefore, you enjoy easy portability. These boats are highly convenient to carry wherever you are going.
You will arrive at the lake or river of your choice, pump the boat up, and then go. Yes, that is right. You can simply backpack, unpack, and then kayak!
When you answer these questions, and you get affirmative answers, then you can say that the inflatable boat of your choice is the right one to purchase.
Remember to read online reviews and ask questions to the sellers online and in physical stores. In this manner, you will, indeed, arrive at the product that is right for you.
The best inflatable boats come in various brands, dimensions, appearances, and features. However, their point of confluence is their capability to deliver and give the value of your hard-earned money.
The best inflatable boats that are worth your every penny do not get broken quickly. They are durable and can remain in excellent condition while in your possession for long periods. Plus, these high-quality water vessels can let you enjoy any water activity of your preference, whether it is touring, white water rafting, recreational paddling, river and lake exploration, and many others.
Finally, the best inflatable boats offer you plenty of other benefits. These features add to your comfort, peace of mind, and safety as you enjoy paddling various water bodies and engage in different water activities.
Finding the best inflatable boat should not be a problem. This brief review is among the plenty of online discussions that help possible buyers as you choose. Taking the time to read more online reviews will surely help you find the correct inflatable boat that is the best for you and suits your preferences.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
Q: What is the difference between a solo inflatable boat and a tandem inflatable boat?
Solo inflatable kayaks are for one paddler. They work well in different water-oriented activities. Plus, solo inflatable kayaks can maneuver excellently on whitewater rapids and tight spaces.
On the other hand, tandem inflatable boats are for two paddlers. They have more space and are ideal for low-key water activities, including fishing. Besides, tandem inflatable kayaks are more social since they can accommodate two people in them.
Q: What necessary accessories should I search for when availing of an inflatable kayak or boat?
Some of the essential add-ons or accessories in an inflatable boat that you should search for consist of the following:
b) Removable skegs
d) Life vests
e) Rod holders for fishing
Q: Is it safe if I take my dog with me on my inflatable boat?
You can take your furry friend with you in your inflatable water vessel. Nevertheless, you should ensure that he is well-trained. In this way, your beloved dog behaves well while aboard the inflatable watercraft.
Moreover, he should stay calm and stable while you are on your water adventure. Your inflatable kayak should also be durable. Its manufacturer should have utilized heavy-duty and puncture-resistant materials. In this manner, your water vessel can withstand your pet’s scratches.