best-inflatable-kayak-for-whitewater

Best Inflatable Kayak for Whitewater – River Adventure Crafts 2021

Whitewater rafting has got to be one of the most exciting things you can do on a river. Rushing down the rapids, dodging rocks, and paddling at high speeds is an amazing experience – but it’s only really fun if you know your inflatable whitewater kayak is right for the job.

Inflatable kayaks come in many shapes and forms. For any avid whitewater rafters, this is the most essential piece of equipment. Your entire experience is shaped around the type of kayak that you use, so you need to make sure to choose the right one for your adventure.

So, what makes the best whitewater inflatable kayak? Which one to choose? We will explore this all in our in-depth inflatable kayak reviews below.


9 Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews

  1. Driftsun Rover Inflatable Tandem Whitewater Kayak
  2. Advanced Elements AdvanceFrame Sport
  3. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
  4. Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak
  5. Star Raven II Tandem Inflatable Kayak
  6. Airhead Montana Two-Person Kayak
  7. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Kayak
  8. Aquaglide Navarro 145 Convertible Inflatable Kayak
  9. Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set

Inflatable Kayaks Comparison Table

We have put together a table below to make comparing our inflatable kayak reviews easier. This should help you to get a good understanding of the best kayaks available for certain situations.

Inflatable KayakBest ForImageRatingPrice
Driftsun Rover Inflatable Tandem Kayak White-Water Kayak 
Overall Best9.5 Check Price
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Inflatable Kayak $399.00Best 1 Person Kayak8.5 Check Price
Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak SetBudget Friendly7.5 Check Price
AQUAGLIDE Noyo 90 Inflatable KayakBest for Rapids9 Check Price
STAR Raven II Tandem Inflatable KayakMost Comfortable8 Check Price
Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable KayakBest Tandem Kayak8 Check Price
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable KayakMost Versatile8.5 Check Price
AQUAGLIDE Navarro 145 Convertible Inflatable Kayak
Most Durable
9 Check Price
Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak SetBest Beginners7 Check Price

Our Favorite Inflatable Whitewater Kayak

Looking for the overall best inflatable kayak available? Out of all the top inflatable kayaks we reviewed, the Driftsun Rover inflatable tandem white water kayak came out on top. The kayak is thoughtful in its design and includes everything you need to get straight onto the water. With all of the innovative features and its highly durable build, inflatable tandem kayaks just don’t get better than this.  Other great options include:

Best 2-Person Whitewater Kayak

Sifting through inflatable tandem kayak reviews can be exhausting. To make things easier for you, we have rated the Airhead Montana Two-Person Kayak as the best tandem kayak. This is the best blow-up kayak for two due to its excellent stability. Other great tandem kayaks include:

Best Value Inflatable Kayak

Choosing the best inflatable kayak can be an expensive business, but it doesn’t have to be. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak offers the best value for money. This kayak is still a quality product, but you don’t have to break the bank to get on the water. Other good value inflatable kayaks include:

Toughest Inflatable Kayak

The best inflatable kayak needs to be durable and long-lasting. Through extensive reviews, we found the Aquaglide Navarro 145 Convertible Inflatable Kayak to be a particularly strong model. This kayak is made from high-quality materials and is certainly built to last. Other durable kayaks include:

Best Single Person Kayak

If you are looking for the best inflatable kayak for a single person, we would have to recommend the Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak. This kayak is agile, durable, and comfortable for single paddlers in pretty heavy rapids. Another excellent single inflatable kayak would be the:


 

Best Whitewater Inflatable Kayak Reviews

Ready to hit the rapids and enjoy the great outdoors? Well, you will need the right inflatable river kayak to do this. We have rounded up some of the absolute best options below for all types of paddlers. You can’t go wrong with one of these kayaks.

 

Driftsun Rover Inflatable Tandem Whitewater Kayak

  • Durable reinforced PVC material
  • A two-seater whitewater kayak
  • Stable and maneuverable
  • Includes everything you need to get paddling

If you are looking through any inflatable kayak review, you will always notice the Drifstun Rover. When it comes to white water inflatable kayaks, the Rover offers one of the most stable and streamlined experiences. This awesome kayak includes two adjustable EVA padded seats with high back support. This makes it a comfortable vessel for two paddlers.

The kayak has a rigid high-pressure drop stitch floor to improve stability. The removable flatwater tracking fin and superior rocker profile give you unmatched stability in both still or rough waters.

This adventure-ready inflatable kayak comes with a double action pump, aluminum paddles, rear tracking fin, and a handy travel bag. This makes it a great kayak for easily getting started, and it is very travel-friendly

Pros

  • The material offers superior durability
  • Plenty of tie down points for gear
  • Stable and easily maneuverable
  • The two seats are comfortable and well supported

Cons

  • Instructions could be better
  • Packing it back into the travel bag can be a challenge

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Advanced Elements AdvanceFrame Sport

  • Triple-layer polyester coating with PVC material
  • A 1 person kayak with a removable seat
  • Underside tracking fin for better handling
  • Comes with a repair kit and duffel bag

The AdvanceFrame Sport inflatable kayak is one of the best options for single paddlers. With its easy-to-use spring valves and twist-lock vales, this kayak can be pumped up in no time with basically any pump. The kayak doesn’t take much to set up or deflate, and it comes with a convenient heavy-duty duffel bag for easy transportation.

This model may be best suited towards flatwater rivers, but it doesn’t fare up well in mild white water. For great performance, the kayak has a rigid bow and stern with an aluminum frame reinforcement. The underside tracking fin offers excellent handling, and the durable PVC coating will be sure to last harsh conditions.

Pros

  • Well-supported with the aluminum frame
  • Very comfortable removable seat
  • Comes with a handy travel duffle bag
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Better suited towards flat and calmer waters
  • Does not offer a lot of cargo room

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Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

  • Two adjustable inflatable seats
  • 400 pounds maximum weight capacity
  • Removable skeg for directional stability
  • Extra spacious cockpit

The Intex Explorer K2  is one of the best air kayaks for anyone looking for great value. This inflatable kayak might not be one of the best options for very rough waters and heavy rapids. But, if you plan on paddling slightly more gentle rivers, this is a top choice. It is an ideal beginner kayak for white water paddlers.

This is an incredibly comfortable kayak with plenty of room in the cockpit. You can happily fit two large paddlers in this vessel. The inflatable seats come with well-supported backrests. There is also plenty of room to store gear and additional equipment.

This kayak has great directional stability with the removable skeg. This makes it easier to control heading into rapids. This is also a particularly easy kayak to inflate and deflate.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Includes two comfortable, well supported seats
  • Rigid inflatable floor

Cons

  • Not the best choice for very rough rapids
  • The material could be more durable

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Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak

  • A solo covered kayak
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Quick fin release design
  • Zip open dry compartments for storage

This is one of the best inflatable touring kayaks for single paddlers. The one-seater excursion kayak is fully covered which is a great feature for whitewater rafting. This allows the paddler and any gear kept in the kayak to stay dry in rough waters. There are also some useful zip open compartments for safe dry storage.

The touring kayak has a quick fin-release design, a drain plug, Boston valve, and accessory straps for attaching extra things. There is a molded handle to make carrying this kayak easy. The vessel is lightweight, compact, and easy to travel around with.

Pros

  • The ideal kayak for day trips and recreational paddling
  • Fully covered design
  • Excellent storage options
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver

Cons

  • Not the most spacious kayak

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Star Raven II Tandem Inflatable Kayak

  • Advanced formula PVC material
  • Drop stitch PVC floor insert for greater stability
  • Includes 2 removable padded seats
  • Quality C7 valves for easy inflation

This tandem kayak by Star ticks all the right boxes for avid river rafters. It has two very comfortable padded seats that can be removed and adjusted, as well as a drop-stitch PVC floor insert for a greater level of stability.

The advanced formula PVC material adds a high level of durability to this watercraft. This is also improved by the state-of-the-art seam welding that adds a better level of resistance. There are convenient carry handles and the kayak is easy to defalet ad store away. Of course, this kayak holds up well on the whitewater.

Pros

  • Durable and abrasion-resistant
  • Easy to carry, inflate, and store away
  • Includes very comfortable, adjustable seats
  • Great performance in white water

Cons

  • Not the best option for still water

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Airhead Montana Two-Person Kayak

  • A two-seater inflatable kayak
  • Made with highly durable, UV-resistant material
  • Neoprene elbow guards for comfort
  • Inflatable, adjustable seats

The Airhead Montana is a two-person kayak that has been designed for mild white water. The kayak is made from seriously durable 840-denier nylon. This is all UV coated for protection against the sun. There are also durable tri-laminate reinforcements on the bottom for greater stability and durability.

This kayak is incredibly user-friendly for traveling with or taking on vacations. The inflatable chambers fill up quickly, and the kayak is easy to deflate. The kayak packs up into a handy size for easy travel. There are also convenient carry handles.

One of the best features of this product is the comfortable neoprene elbow guards. This makes long paddling trips even more enjoyable. The 12-foot kayak is also much more spacious than many other options – making it a perfect choice for two people.

Pros

  • A solid and stable kayak
  • Comfortable neoprene elbow guards
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Very spacious

Cons

  • Only works well in more mild rapids

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Kayak

  • Rigid bow with aluminum frame
  • Easily switches from tandem to solo
  • Efficient to inflate and deflate
  • Fully adjustable, removable seats

The AdvanceFrame convertible tandem kayak is one of the most versatile options out there to suit all kinds of paddlers. The kayak is fully adjustable and can convert from a tandem to a single-person kayak easily. The seats can be removed and fully adjusted for your perfect fit. This kayak also handles really well under all types of conditions.

For better reinforcement, the kayak has an aluminum frame. The material is a triple-layered polyester with PVC coating for increased durability and abrasion resistance. You also get a really handy heavy-duty duffel bag which makes this kayak easy to transport when deflated.

Pros

  • A fully convertible kayak
  • Very comfortable and spacious
  • Durable for all kinds of conditions
  • Excellent efficiency on the water

Cons

  • A more expensive kayak

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Aquaglide Navarro 145 Convertible Inflatable Kayak

  • Hex shell covered pontoons
  • Convertible two-person kayak
  • Superior drop stitched floor
  • Includes many dry compartments

If you are after the best inflatable kayak for whitewater, then the Aquaglide Navarro comes highly recommended. This kayak offers an industry-leading drop-stitched floor design for greater durability and stability. There are also zip-on decks and hex shell-covered pontoons for a more comfortable experience in the rapids.

While most two-person kayaks may feel a bit bulky or slow, this is a high-performance vessel. Even though the kayak is super spacious, it is streamlined and easy to maneuver in the water. There are plenty of clever zip compartments for dry storage, as well as a handy accessory strap.

The Navarro 145 comes with a quick-release fin, an efficient drain valve system, a footrest adjustment system, and velcro seats. Although it is a lightweight inflatable kayak, it performs like a professional kayak on the rapids.

Pros

  • A very solid and stable kayak
  • Spacious for 2 – 3 people
  • Full cover available
  • Includes great storage compartments
  • Easily maneuverable

Cons

  • The cover is optional and needs to be bought separately
  • Does not include paddles

Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set

  • A nimble single person kayak
  • Extra spacious cockpit
  • Includes a cargo net for extra storage
  • Includes a pump and oar

This is the perfect inflatable kayak set for single paddlers on the move. The Intex Challenger is an agile kayak made from durable welded material. The single-person cockpit is seriously spacious for maximum comfort. This includes a super comfortable, adjustable inflatable seat with a backrest.

This kayak is only really designed for fairly mild rapids. However, it is easy to control, fast to paddle, and very compact and lightweight to travel around with. There is also a handy cargo net on the front for extra storage.

Pros

  • A spacious and comfortable cockpit
  • Comes with an aluminum oar and repair patch
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Agile and fast for single paddlers
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • The pump is not the best
  • The bottom could be more stable

Click to Check Lowest Price


 

Whitewater Inflatable Kayak Buyers Guide

Finding the best whitewater inflatable kayak can be a daunting task, as there are so many different options available. Each product has its own special design features and specifications, so it’s important to know what you are looking out for when buying any top-rated inflatable kayaks. Below are some of the main things to consider.

 

Size

Are you looking for a 2-person whitewater kayak, or will it just be for you? Inflatable whitewater kayaks are available in all kinds of sizes to suit your needs. The first thing to consider is how many people will be using the vessel. The second thing is to think about the size in terms of maneuverability.

Big kayaks are great for comfort and storage. The downside is that they are not as quick and easy to paddle around. They are also more of a hassle to inflate, deflate, and pack up. How easy the kayak is to maneuver can also play an important role in whitewater safety.

 

Durability

The best inflatable whitewater kayak needs to be made out of strong materials. This is essential, because these kayaks may bump into all kinds of sharp rocks or obstacles in the river. These are kayaks that should be designed to take a beating. They will also face long hours of sun exposure, so they will require some kind of UV protection.

Make sure that the kayak is built to withstand whitewater rapids and heavy use. The material is usually some form of strong PVC. Additional protective covers and coatings are always a good idea.

 

Inflation and Deflation

The main aspect of any inflatable kayak is that it is inflatable. While this offers certain benefits, it also means you have to put the effort in to inflate and deflate it. The best rated inflatable kayak should offer an effortless inflation and deflation process. This depends on the valves used and the air compartments.

 

Portability

Does the kayak fold up small? Is it lightweight and easy to carry down to the water? These are considerations that can make a huge difference in your overall experience. Some inflatable kayaks fold up really well into a convenient travel bag. Some have comfortable carry handles for easier portability.

 

Additional Features

Different inflatable kayaks come with various features. Always look into any kind of unique “bonus” features that may come with the kayak. Some offer great storage compartments, some have easily removable fins. You could get a kayak with paddles included, one with bungee cords for storage, or ones with adjustable backrests.

These seemingly small details can make a major impact on the overall experience of the kayak. Understand what is important to you when using the kayak to find the best model for your needs.


Summary

Inflatable kayaks are a brilliant option for keen paddlers. Compared to traditional solid body kayaks, they offer many unique benefits and are just great fun in the water. Yes, inflatable kayaks are suitable for paddling whitewater rapids too.

While there are many different options out there, our guide above has covered the best inflatable kayak options available right now. Out of all our blow-up kayak reviews, these models are the top choices for all kinds of users. Happy paddling!


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