Best Inflatable Kayak: Reviewing the Top 5

Image of the front of a fishing kayak on a lake
Image of the front of a fishing kayak on a lake

We use affiliate links which means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you.


Durability is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing an inflatable kayak. Since these kayaks are made from materials like PVC or other synthetic fabrics, understanding their durability can help ensure a longer lifespan and better performance. Here are some aspects to consider:

Material Quality:
  • Denier Rating: This measures the thickness of the fabric. Higher denier ratings generally indicate increased durability. Look for kayaks with higher denier ratings, especially on the hull and floor, as these areas are more prone to wear and tear.

  • PVC vs. Hypalon: PVC is a common material for inflatable kayaks and is generally less expensive. Hypalon is more durable but often comes at a higher cost. Consider your budget and how frequently you plan to use the kayak.

  • Seam Construction: High-quality kayaks have well-sealed seams to prevent leaks. Look for welded seams rather than glued ones, as welding tends to be more durable over time.

  • Reinforcements: Some kayaks have additional layers or reinforcements in high-stress areas such as the keel, where abrasion is more likely to occur.

Chamber Design:
  • Multiple Chambers: Inflatable kayaks often have multiple air chambers. This design ensures that if one chamber is compromised, the others can keep the kayak afloat. It's a safety feature that can prevent complete deflation in case of a puncture.

UV Resistance:
  • Sunlight Exposure: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can weaken inflatable kayak materials. Look for kayaks with UV-resistant coatings or materials to help prevent sun damage.

  • Stability is a crucial feature to consider when purchasing an inflatable kayak, especially for those who are new to kayaking or prefer a more stable experience. Here are some factors to consider:

Kayak Design:
  • Width: Wider kayaks generally provide more stability. Look for inflatable kayaks with a wider beam (the width of the kayak) for better stability, especially if you're a beginner or plan to kayak in calm waters.

  • Hull Shape: Generally, kayaks with a flat bottom or a pontoon-style design tend to be more stable. They provide better initial stability, making them suitable for recreational paddling.

Floor Design:
  • High-Pressure Drop-Stitch Floor: Some inflatable kayaks come with high-pressure drop-stitch floors. These floors are rigid and provide a more stable platform, similar to hard-shell kayaks. They are often found in higher-end inflatable kayaks.

Weight Capacity:
  • Match to Your Weight: Ensure that the kayak's weight capacity accommodates your weight along with any additional gear you might be carrying. Overloading a kayak can compromise stability.

Tracking and Maneuverability:
  • Balanced Design: A well-balanced kayak design contributes to stability. Look for kayaks that offer a good balance between stability and maneuverability. Some kayaks sacrifice a bit of stability for increased maneuverability, which may be preferable for certain activities.

Sit-In vs. Sit-On-Top:
  • Sit-On-Top Kayaks: These kayaks often have a broader and more stable design, making them suitable for beginners and recreational users. They are easier to re-enter if you happen to capsize.

  • Sit-In Kayaks: While sit-in kayaks can be stable, they may have a narrower design. They are often preferred by more experienced paddlers and are suitable for various water conditions.

Inflation Pressure:
  • Proper Inflation: Ensure that you inflate your kayak to the recommended pressure. Underinflated kayaks may feel less stable, so it's crucial to follow the manufacturer's guidelines.

  • Portability is a key feature that makes inflatable kayaks popular among outdoor enthusiasts. When considering the portability of an inflatable kayak, there are several factors to keep in mind:

  • Lightweight Design: One of the primary advantages of inflatable kayaks is their portability, often facilitated by their lightweight construction. Look for kayaks that are easy to carry, especially if you plan to transport them to and from the water frequently.

  • Packability: Consider how compactly the kayak can be packed when deflated. Some inflatable kayaks can be folded down to a small size, making them convenient to store in a backpack or the trunk of a car.

  • Carrying Bag: Quality of the Bag: A durable and well-designed carrying bag can enhance the overall portability of the kayak. Look for a bag with sturdy handles, backpack straps, or wheels for easier transportation.

Inflation and Deflation Time:
  • Quick Setup: A kayak that inflates and deflates quickly can save you time and effort. Look for models with efficient inflation systems, such as high-flow valves or included pumps.

Transportation Options:
  • Backpack Straps: Some inflatable kayaks come with backpack-style carrying straps integrated into the bag, making it easy to carry the deflated kayak on your back.

  • Wheeled Bags: Some high-end inflatable kayaks feature carrying bags with wheels, providing an effortless way to transport the kayak over longer distances.

Ease of Assembly:
  • Simple Setup: Consider how easy it is to set up the kayak. User-friendly designs with straightforward assembly procedures can enhance the overall portability by reducing the time and effort required to get the kayak ready for use.

Accessories and Additional Gear:
  • Included Accessories: Check if the kayak comes with a repair kit, a pump, and any other necessary accessories. Having these items included in the package can contribute to the overall convenience and portability of the kayak.

  • Tough Materials: While you want the kayak to be lightweight, it's essential that it's made from durable materials that can withstand transportation, including potential abrasions during storage and handling.

Compatibility with Various Transportation Methods:
  • Suitable for Different Vehicles: Ensure that the kayak can be easily transported on various vehicles, including cars, buses, or even airplanes if you plan to travel with your kayak.

5 Best Inflatable Kayaks

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable KayakAdvanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak


  1. Exceptional Build Quality: The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak stands out for its superior construction and durability. The multi-layered material used in its design ensures that it can handle various water conditions without compromising on performance. The kayak feels robust and stable, providing a sense of security whether you're navigating calm lakes or tackling more challenging rivers.

  2. Versatility in Performance: One of the standout features of this kayak is its versatility. It handles well in both flatwater and mild whitewater, making it an excellent choice for paddlers with varying skill levels. The rigid aluminum frame contributes to its tracking ability, allowing for smooth gliding through the water. This kayak truly adapts to your paddling needs, offering a reliable and enjoyable experience in different environments.

  3. Compact and Portable Design: The inflatable nature of the AdvancedFrame kayak makes it incredibly convenient for transportation and storage. It can be easily deflated, folded, and packed into the included carrying case, allowing you to take your kayak on road trips, hiking adventures, or even on vacations without the need for a roof rack. This level of portability is a game-changer for those who crave spontaneous water escapades.

  4. Comfortable Seating: The adjustable padded seat in the AdvancedFrame kayak ensures a comfortable and supportive paddling experience. The high-backed seat provides excellent lumbar support, allowing for extended paddling sessions without discomfort. Additionally, the adjustable footrests accommodate various leg lengths, enhancing overall comfort during your water adventures.

  5. Quick Inflation and Deflation: Setting up and breaking down the kayak is a breeze thanks to the high-flow spring valves. The kayak can be inflated in a matter of minutes using a standard pump, and deflation is just as quick, allowing you to spend more time on the water and less time with the setup process.


  1. Weight for Some: While the kayak's weight is reasonable for most users, some may find it a bit heavy when compared to other inflatable kayaks. This could be a consideration for individuals who plan on carrying the kayak over longer distances or have mobility constraints. However, this minor inconvenience is overshadowed by the kayak's overall performance and durability.

Tandem model also available.

Tandem model also available.



  1. Portability and Storage: One of the standout features of the Sea Eagle 370 Pro is its incredible portability. The kayak is lightweight and easy to carry, making it perfect for solo trips or adventures with friends. Additionally, when deflated, it packs down into a compact size that fits neatly into the included carrying bag. This portability is a game-changer for those who love spontaneous kayaking trips or have limited storage space.

  2. Durability: Despite being an inflatable kayak, the Sea Eagle 370 Pro is surprisingly durable. The high-quality materials used in its construction provide excellent puncture resistance. I felt confident navigating through different water conditions, including rocky areas and mild rapids. The kayak's durability is a testament to Sea Eagle's commitment to producing reliable watercraft.

  3. Versatility: The Sea Eagle 370 Pro is incredibly versatile, suitable for various water activities. Whether you're into calm lake paddling, river exploration, or even mild whitewater adventures, this kayak can handle it all. The removable skeg provides stability and tracking, enhancing the overall paddling experience. The versatility makes it a great choice for kayakers of all skill levels.

  4. Comfortable Seating: The adjustable inflatable seats in the Sea Eagle 370 Pro ensure a comfortable and enjoyable ride. The seats provide good back support, allowing for extended paddling without discomfort. This feature is particularly appreciated during longer kayaking excursions.


  1. Weight for Some: Same as the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame we just reviewed.

INTEX Excursion Pro Inflatable KayakINTEX Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak

Tandem model also available.



  1. Durability and Build Quality: The Excursion Pro boasts a robust construction with a super-tough laminate PVC material, making it durable enough to withstand rough waters and occasional scrapes against rocks. The kayak's three-ply polyester mesh core adds an extra layer of protection, ensuring longevity and resilience.

  2. Comfortable Seating: One of the standout features of this inflatable kayak is its adjustable and comfortable seating. The two removable and adjustable seats provide excellent lumbar support, allowing for extended paddling sessions without discomfort. The high-back design adds an extra level of comfort, making it perfect for long journeys.

  3. Stability and Tracking: Despite being an inflatable kayak, the Excursion Pro offers impressive stability on the water. The high-pressure inflation provides a rigid structure that minimizes rocking, providing a secure feeling even in choppy conditions. Additionally, the adjustable footrests contribute to improved paddling efficiency and tracking.

  4. Versatility: This kayak is versatile and suitable for various water conditions. Whether you're navigating calm lakes, slow-moving rivers, or slightly rougher waters, the Excursion Pro handles it all with ease. The removable skeg enhances tracking, allowing for better control and direction.

  5. Ample Storage Space: The kayak comes equipped with a variety of storage options, including a front and rear storage area with bungee cords for securing gear. The inflatable I-beam floor adds extra rigidity to the kayak and creates a stable platform for securing your belongings.


  1. Inflation Time: While the inflation process is relatively straightforward, it does take a bit of time to fully inflate the kayak. Some users may find this slightly inconvenient, especially if they are eager to hit the water quickly. However, the trade-off is the kayak's robustness and stability, so it's a minor inconvenience considering the overall performance.

Sevylor Colorado Inflatable 2-person kayakSevylor Colorado Inflatable 2-person kayak


  1. Durability and Build Quality: The Coleman Colorado is constructed with heavy-duty PVC, making it incredibly durable and resistant to punctures. The multiple air chambers ensure that even if one is compromised, the kayak remains buoyant and stable. I took it through some rocky waters, and it held up admirably without any issues.

  2. Easy Inflation and Deflation: Setting up and taking down the kayak is a breeze, thanks to the Double Lock and Mini Double Lock valves. The included high-pressure pump allows for quick inflation, and deflation is equally efficient. It takes only a few minutes to get the kayak ready for your next water adventure.

  3. Versatility: The Colorado is designed for versatility, making it suitable for various water conditions. Whether you're paddling on calm lakes, exploring slow-moving rivers, or even navigating mild rapids, this kayak handles well. The adjustable, inflatable seats provide comfort during extended paddling sessions.

  4. Ample Storage Space: One of the standout features of the Coleman Colorado is its storage capacity. With multiple D-rings and mesh storage pockets, you can bring along essentials like snacks, sunscreen, and a dry bag without worrying about space constraints. There's even a designated storage area for a cooler, perfect for a leisurely day on the water.


  1. Tracking in Windy Conditions: While the Sevylor Coleman Colorado performs admirably in various water conditions, it can be a bit challenging to maintain a straight course in windy conditions. The inflatable design makes it susceptible to wind resistance, requiring a bit more effort to keep it on track. However, this is a common trait among inflatable kayaks, and it's manageable with proper paddling techniques.

Aquaglide Chelan Inflatable KayakAquaglide Chelan Inflatable Kayak

Tandem model Chelan 140 also available.



  1. Durability and Build Quality: The Chelan 120 impressed me with its robust construction. The high-quality PVC material used in its construction seems more than capable of handling various water conditions. It handled rocky shores, mild rapids, and even a few accidental bumps without showing any signs of wear or tear. The reinforced PVC material instills confidence in the kayak's durability, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced paddlers.

  2. Easy Inflation and Deflation: Setting up the Chelan 120 is a breeze. The kayak comes with a high-pressure pump that efficiently inflates the chambers, allowing you to get on the water quickly. Deflation is just as easy, and the kayak folds down to a compact size, making it convenient to transport and store. The overall setup process is user-friendly, which is great for those new to inflatable kayaks.

  3. Comfortable Seating: The adjustable, padded seats provided excellent comfort during my paddling sessions. The backrest support and adjustable straps allowed me to find the perfect position for long hours on the water without feeling fatigued. The seats also remained stable and secure, enhancing the overall kayaking experience.

  4. Impressive Tracking and Maneuverability: Despite being an inflatable kayak, the Chelan 120 showcased remarkable tracking abilities. The rigid, drop-stitch floor design contributes to its excellent stability and responsiveness in the water. Paddling felt smooth and controlled, even in slightly choppy conditions. The kayak's shape and design also make it easy to maneuver, providing a satisfying experience for both beginners and experienced kayakers.


  1. Limited Storage Space: While the Chelan 120 is suitable for day trips, the storage space may be a bit limited for those planning longer excursions or camping trips. The kayak lacks a dedicated storage compartment, and the available bungee cords on the front and back may not be sufficient for larger gear. If you're looking for a kayak specifically designed for extended trips, you may need to consider additional storage solutions.

Inflatable Kayak Accessories You Need

Sea Eagle 370 Pro Inflatable KayakSea Eagle 370 Pro Inflatable Kayak

When it comes to recreation on the water, inflatable kayaks have become increasingly popular. They're the perfect go-to choice for fishing enthusiasts seeking a blend of convenience and performance.

Let's take a glance at our picks for best inflatable kayaks, review key features that you'll want to consider before buying an inflatable kayak, then we'll provide additional details on each kayak listed.

Key Features to Consider