There are two kinds of kayaks: solid-built kayaks and inflatable kayaks. Solid kayaks are generally the best but they do tend to be quite expensive. That said, the more affordable inflatable kayaks are surprisingly good and in some cases even perform better than solid-build kayaks.
Scroll down to read our take on the best inflatable kayaks.
You may also like our take on the best inflatable pontoon boats!
1Best INFLATABLE KAYAKS Review 2020
Here are some of the best inflatable kayaks currently available.
One of the best kayaks out there.
Reasonably priced full-size kayak.
BEST OF BEST AIRE Lynx II Tandem Inflatable Kayak
If you have money to spend, the best kayaks are generally solid builds. But if you have money to spend and also want convenience and easy storage, this might be the solution for you. This is a beautiful kayak and you even have your choice of colors. Although those new to kayaking might enjoy this, it’s a particularly good choice for experienced kayakers and those planning to paddle in some more challenging conditions. Two can fit comfortably in this kayak, up to a maximum weight of 475 lbs. There is even room for storing some extra items. For the solo paddler, you can even set it up as a single with space to store cargo.
- Dimensions: 12’6″ x 39″ x 15″
- Weight: 43 lbs
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 475 lbs
- Material: PVC tubes and floor, urethane bladders
- Seats: 2
Although there are no reviews for this kayak yet on Amazon, elsewhere buyers are pretty universally happy with this kayak. They describe the kayak as working impressively well in a variety of conditions. By account, this kayak performs admirably, even in rocky areas and in whitewater rapids.
- 10-year no-fault manufacturer warranty
- attractive design, available in range of colors
- fast and responsive
- self-bailing drain holes keep you dry
- can be set up as solo kayak with extra cargo room
- paddles not included
- no fins
The AIRE Lynx II Tandem Inflatable Kayak is one of the best kayaks out there. It’s beautiful and it performs extremely well.
EDITOR’S PICK Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Inflatable Kayak
Kayaking is more fun with a friend and this 2-person kayak comfortably fits two paddlers, up to a maximum weight of 400 lbs. This is a full-size kayak and it’s not as cramped feeling as some other inflatable options. There is room for storage in both the front and rear, with bungee compartments to hold onto your belongings.
When deflated, it is quite compact and it fits nicely into an included storage bag. This kayak has a rear fin for superior tracking. The tracking fin, combined with a pointed nose entry and a V-shape hull make this kayak suitable for rougher, choppier water. While it is extremely durable, a repair kit with everything you need is also included.
- Dimensions: 10′ x 35” x 16”
- Weight: 27 lbs
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
- Material: Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin bottom with 840D-coated nylon oxford fabric top cover
- Seats: 2
Several buyers report that the kayak is easy to inflate and that it performs well on the water. As of this writing, Amazon buyers have given this kayak a 4.8-star average. Buyers also celebrate the overall comfort and how easy it is to store and transport. One of the only complaints buyers have is that it’s hard to get this kayak going at great speed. That said, buyers do report that the tracking is good even in choppy water. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself
- attractive design
- comfortable, full-size
- includes rear fin
- tough, durable construction
- easy setup and deflation
- transport and storage are a breeze
- it’s hard to go particularly fast
- Amazon listing includes a few inaccuracies, as of this writing
The Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Inflatable Kayak is a reasonably priced full-size kayak that offers a very comfortable ride and the ability to handle choppy water.
BUDGET OPTION Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
For the price, you might be incredulous that this kayak would even float. Despite the low cost, this is a surprisingly effective kayak that will let one paddler enjoy some time on the water. It is made from a very durable heavy-duty vinyl. A high-output manual air pump will have you fully inflated and paddling away in around 10 minutes. An inflatable seat with backrest makes this is a pretty comfortable ride. Deflation is almost as quick and easy as inflation though that does typically take a bit longer.
- Dimensions: 108″ x 30″ x 15″
- Weight: 27.2 lbs
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
- Material: heavy-duty vinyl
- Seats: 1
Buyers pretty universally praise the shockingly low price of this kayak. As one reviewer on Amazon points out, the “fun per dollar ratio is extremely high.” In addition to the great value, buyers also praise how easy it is to set the kayak up, how great it is for storage, and how lightweight it is. The negatives that buyers point out include the fact that it is on the small side, with the hull being particularly cramped. Some reviewers also complained about the paddle. Overall, buyers are very happy with this kayak, giving it a 4.3-star average on Amazon as of this writing. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself
- incredibly affordable
- easy set-up and deflation
- doesn’t take up much storage space
- good tracking
- it’s a bit cramped, especially in hull
- while the vinyl is quite strong, there’s still risk of puncture
- the paddle could be better
The crazy low price of the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak alone makes it one of the best inflatable kayaks but in addition, it also performs admirably well.
2More Kayaks Worth Considering
The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak is unique in letting you convert between three very different seat positions. This allows you to operate it as a single or tandem kayak.
For the kayaker looking to spend a lot of time in whitewater rapids but don’t want to spend a fortune, the Advanced Elements Attack Whitewater Kayak is a good option.
Which one of these inflatable kayaks do you have your eye on?