Ahh, the gentle sounds of lapping water, the soft breeze, and the unparalleled tranquillity. 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 countless options to choose from, in a myriad of forms and styles. And 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 kayaks and canoes offer all of the comfort and functionality of a hardshell kayak, 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 tunk.
This list will include some brilliant budget options, some seriously impressive premium options, and kayaks that suit a range of purposes.
- Top Inflatable Kayaks and Blow Up Canoes
- Best 2 Person Inflatable Kayaks
- Best Inflatable Whitewater Kayaks
- Best Inflatable Kayak for the Ocean
- 3 Person Inflatable Kayak/Canoe
- Inflatable Kayaks for under $500
- Best Inflatable Canoe
- Best Blow Up Kayaks for Sale on Amazon Prime
- Inflatable Kayak Comparison Table
- Best Inflatable Canoes & Kayaks Reviewed
- STAR Rival Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak
- Aquaglide Chinook 100 Inflatable Kayak Review
- Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak Review
- Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review
- Star Raven II Tandem Inflatable Kayak
- Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak Review
- Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe Package Review
- Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Review
- Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak Review
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Canoe Review
- AIRHEAD AHTK-2 Montana Performance 2 Person Canoe Review
- Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Canoe Review
- Inflatable Kayak Buyers Guide
Top Inflatable Kayaks and Blow Up Canoes
Our pick for the best inflatable kayak is the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak, but there are some other fantastic options out there.
Our other top choices are:
Check out our in-depth review of the Intex Challenger K1.
Best 2 Person Inflatable Kayaks
Our favourite 2-person kayak is the Sea Eagle inflatable with the deluxe package, comfortable and well made, the extras are sure to make this a favourite.
Our other choices are :
Best Inflatable Kayak for Fishing
The best inflatable kayak for fishing is the STAR Rival Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak, this two-person canoe/kayak has all the gear, attachments, and comfort needed for a brilliant day of fishing.
Another great option is the:
Best Inflatable Whitewater Kayaks
The STAR Raven II Tandem 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:
Best Inflatable Kayak for the Ocean
The Aquaglide Navarro 130 Convertible kayak is our favourite for the ocean.
Our other choices are:
3 Person Inflatable Kayak/Canoe
The best 3 seater inflatable kayak we could find was the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Canoe, 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 :
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 :
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 :
Inflatable Kayak Comparison Table
|Kayak||Image||Best For||Price||Overall||Buy Now|
|Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak||Seasoned Kayakers||$$$||9.5/10|
|Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Canoe Review||3 People||$$||9/10|
|Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak||Speed and Tracking||$$||9/10|
|Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak||Speed and Control||$$$||9/10|
|Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set||Tandem||$||8.5/10|
|STAR Rival Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak||Fishing||$$$$||9/10|
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Canoe Review||Hunting and Fishing||$$||8/10|
|STAR Raven II Tandem Inflatable Kayak||All-round||$$$$||9/10|
|AIRHEAD AHTK-2 Montana Performance 2 Person Canoe Review||Casual Paddling||$$||8/5/10|
|Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe Package||Tandem||$$||7.5/10|
|Aquaglide Chinook 100 Inflatable Kayak||General||$$$||8.5/10|
|Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak||Convenience||$||7/10|
|Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set||Budget||$||7/10|
Best Inflatable Canoes & Kayaks Reviewed
Now that we’ve had a quick overview of our top kayaks, we’ll take an in-depth look into each one.
STAR Rival Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak
- Advanced-formula PVC construction
- Perfect platform for sitting and standing (while fishing)
- Comfortable fold up seat
- Includes pump, carry bag, removable fin, and repair kit
If you’re after a high-quality fishing kayak that’s made with a keen attention to detail, the STAR Rival is a winning option. It’s an impressively sturdy, sit-on-top kayak that’s purpose-built for fishing and flatwater kayaking.
At 12 ft 6 inches, it’s a long boat for a single paddler, allowing plenty of room for gear storage and handling. The sit-on-top design is ideal for fishing, as there are no sides to the kayak that could otherwise hinder mobility. It also features 5 mounts that can be used to attach fish finders, rod holders, and other bits of essential gear.
The seat is incredibly comfortable and perches right on top of the centre platform. But if you prefer to stand while you fish, the platform is an impressively sturdy base for that, too.
If you’re hoping to tackle whitewater rapids, though, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The Rival is built for peaceful paddles on flat water.
The kayak comes with a tracking fin, which is useful, though not the most effective system in our opinion.
That said, it handles really well for its designated purposes. The kayak inflates quickly and easily, and after a trip on the water, packs conveniently into its included bag. The whole thing weighs in at around 31 pounds and is easy to carry in your trunk.
While the Rival is a bit on the pricey side, it really is your best bet if you’re looking for an inflatable fishing kayak.
Aquaglide Chinook 100 Inflatable Kayak Review
- Made with 600-denier ripstop polyester
- Perfect for both a solo paddler or two smaller paddlers
- Suitable for fishing, with two rod holders and gear pockets
The Aquaglide Chinook 100 is a well-made and durable, open cockpit, blow up kayak that is suitable for one or two paddlers. 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 kayak is also wonderfully portable. When deflated, it weighs only 23 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 hand 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!
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
The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak is different to other blow-up 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 bouyant, offers great tracking, and comes with a seat that is adjustable and removeable.
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 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.
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review
- Nimble, quick, durable
- Very reasonably priced for a decent quality kayak
- Great for adults and kids alike
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 its 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 from of you for extra storage. The floor has inflatable beams for additional stability.
This one person kayak has a maximum 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.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review
- Incredibly comfortable
- Removable skeg
- Two seats for tandem paddling
- Made with Intex quality
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.
Star Raven II Tandem Inflatable Kayak
- Two folding, removable paddle seats
- Quick and easy inflation
- Includes repair kit, carry bag, and pump
- Advanced-formula PVC material ensures durability and air retention
The STAR Raven II is an awesome 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 on calm water as well as 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 adjustable folding seats, means you’ll be just as comfortable in the Raven II as you would be in a standard hardshell.
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 Raven II 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.
Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak Review
- Built in aluminium ribs improve tracking
- 3 layers of material for extra puncture protection
- Simple to unfold and inflate
- 3 seat locations for solo or tandem paddling
Another cracking krayak from the folks at Advanced Elements, this inflatable 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 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.
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
Another great kayak from Sea Eagle, this kayak 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, diving, or taking it on in whitewater on the river.
The I Beam construction flooring increases rigidity and strength, the kayak also has inflatable side skirts, inflatable and removable seats, a self-bailing drain valve. The skegs add control as well as speed and allow 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.
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
The Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak is one of the quickest and easiest to blow up 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.
Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak Review
- 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
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 that 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.
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing 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
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 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, allow you to expand your fishing capabilities. The paddle holders also ensure your paddles stay out of your way.
The canoe is fitted with mesh pockets to allow 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.
AIRHEAD AHTK-2 Montana Performance 2 Person Canoe Review
- 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
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.
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person 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
Like the other Sevylor inflatables, the Big Basin comes with multiple air chambers to inflate individually 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 allow 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.
Inflatable Kayak Buyers Guide
When purchasing an 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. 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 back rests 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.
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 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 would’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 something cheap 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 and 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.