Best Inflatable Kayak And Best Inflatable Boat Reviews

Before you buy a boat, often you will have a sweet and nice problem; that of choice. What shall I get? Do I go for an inflatable boat or a traditional hard boat? The scenario is changing fast. Year after year, more and more buyers are preferring inflatable boats and kayaks over the conventional classic ones made of wood, plastic, or aluminum.

Statistics are now showing that inflatable boats are taking approximately 10% of the total global boat park, 3 times higher than a decade ago This success can be attributed the unique nature of the inflatable boat.

Some inflatable boats and kayaks have been designed in a way that you can disassemble and pack them into a small compact portable package. This way, you can easily store and transport them as needed. This makes them ideal if you have limited storage and when you want easy and quick access. When inflated, the inflatable boat stays rigid crossways by a removable foldable thwart.

If you are considering kayaking, fishing or a water-skiing outing, and indeed lots of other water activities like whitewater rafting, think of buying an inflatable boat. It is suitable on rivers, lakes, and oceans.

If you are considering kayaking, fishing or a water-skiing outing, and indeed lots of other water activities like whitewater rafting, think of buying an inflatable boat. It is suitable on rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Having noted the above, let us now look at some of the best inflatable boats currently in the market. These have also been highly rated by Amazon inflatable boat reviews.

Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews and Recommendations​

1. Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame

image of best inflatable kayak with case

Advanced Elements AE1007-R Convertible Inflatable Kayak lets you enjoy many cutting edge kayaking challenges. According to Amazon inflatable kayak reviews, this is undoubtedly one of the best inflatable kayak units in the market today.

Why the high rating?

  • In-built aluminum ribs define the kayak bow and stern, improving tracking
  • ​3 layers of material provide extreme puncture resistance
  • ​Comes factory pre-assembled; simply unfold the kayak, inflate, and get the seats attached
  • ​Adjustable, high support padded seats provide long-term comfort when paddling
  • The 3-seat locations AdvancedFrame can be paddled tandem or solo.

With the open deck design of the AdvancedFrame® AE1007-5, entering and exiting is easy. In a matter of seconds, you can easily convert your kayak to a closed deck from an open one. It comes with a duffel packing bag for boat, seats, paddles and deck cover.

Video of Setup of Inflatable Kayak - Advanced Elements AE1007​

2. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package

The affordable SE370K_P is very portable as it is very light, yet still remarkably durable and stable. When packed, a Sea Eagle Sport Kayak packs into a small fraction of their actual inflatable size. You can easily carry it to almost anywhere you want to go on your back. The setting up can be done in less than ten minutes!

For that river running voyage, camping adventure or long weekend fishing trip, you will easily take along all the gear you need as it can support heavy baggage. The Sea Eagle 370’s form and function have made inflatable kayak reviews rate it the 2nd most popular inflatable kayak in the US.

  • Very lightweight and highly portable
  • Weighs only 32 pounds
  • Salt water and sun resistant hull material
  • ​Inflates in 8 minutes
  • Has drain valves that are self-bailing
  • NMMA Certified.

This inflatable sport kayak is great fun for both the experienced paddlers and beginners. Coming with an efficient hull shape and lightweight design, the Sport Kayak offers you swift paddling and is easy to handle for both old and young.

Based on inflatable kayak reviews, when you take into consideration the cost against how you can use it, the Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak truly represents one of the best boating values today!

3. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person

The 2 person Challenger K2 Kayak has been made using super-tough rugged vinyl for durability. The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak cockpit is comfort and space oriented in terms of design. The seats are inflatable and have backrests. When on open waters, others will easily see you because of the high visibility graphics.

Key features of this folding kayak include:

  • Spacious and comfortable cockpit with seats that have backrests
  • High visibility graphics provide maximum safety on the water
  • ​Easy carrying as it has grab lines on both ends
  • Comes with high-capacity pump, double 86-inch aluminum oars, and repair patch kit
  • Approved by the US Coast Guard.
  • Spacious and comfortable cockpit with seats that have backrests
  • High visibility graphics provide maximum safety on the water
  • ​Easy carrying as it has grab lines on both ends
  • Comes with high-capacity pump, double 86-inch aluminum oars, and repair patch kit
  • Approved by the US Coast Guard.

The streamlined, deluxe design makes paddling easy on both mild rivers and lakes, all while remaining compact and lightweight. Grab that pal of yours and spend your day out on the open water in the INTEX Challenger K2 Kayak 2 person kayak. You will simply love this inflatable folding kayak!

4. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person

The streamlined vessel easily slips through the water. The K1 Kayak cockpit has been designed for your comfort through maximizing on space. The durable, nimble kayak is made of welded strong material along with eye-catching graphics for extra safety on a slow moving river or when on the lake.

The Intex Challenger provides an excellent way of getting out on open waters and is rated as one of the best inflatable boat units by inflatable boat reviews. Notable features include

• Low profile design 1-person kayak

• Rigid inflatable floor for comfort

• Both kayak ends have a grab line

• For easy cruising, it has an inflatable seat plus backrest

• Has a cargo net for extra gear storage

• Comes with a repair patch.

Inflatable boat reviews note that the Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak cockpit has been designed with your comfort in mind. It has been maximized for space and the inflatable I-beam floors bring more stability to your folding kayak.

5. Coleman Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

This 1-person inflatable watercraft from Coleman works in a similar way like the standard sit-on-top kayak. The difference is when you're packing up after you are done. The K1 folds up nicely into its integrated backpack that has padded shoulder straps for easy carrying. It also fits inside any car and setting up takes less than 5 minutes.

While in the water, you'll paddle in comfort as the kayak design allows easier stretching of arms, legs, and the back. The available multi-position foot-rest allows you to find the most comfortable position. The convenient backrest allows you to lean back and truly enjoy the water adventure.

The Coleman Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak has a cup holder that lets you keep your drink close. With such amenities, it’s no wonder this is rated among the best inflatable fishing kayak units on Amazon folding kayak reviews.

• The easy-to-carry backpack system conveniently turns into a seat

• Carry handles make portability easy

• It has a 21-gauge PVC construction, rugged enough for lake use

• The tarpaulin bottom offers durable protection against punctures

• Available multiple air chambers allow your vessel to stay inflated in case one chamber gets punctured

• Double Lock™ valves employ double locking points for easy deflation/inflation

• Airtight® System guarantees against leaks

• The secure storage area allows you to safely store items away.

When you think of the Coleman Quikpak K1 kayak, what promptly comes to the mind is good craftsmanship. If you are worried that your inflatable can’t handle your weight, you will be pleasantly surprised that the Coleman K1 will comfortably hold up to 400 lbs.

It comes as no surprise that folding kayak reviews have rated the Coleman K1 as one of the best inflatable boat units on the market today!

History of Kayaks

The Guinness Book of Motorboating records that the inflatable boat goes way back to 880 BC., when Ashurnasirpal II, the Assyrian King ordered his troops to make a river crossing using greased animal skins

According to Nicole Munoz, kayaks were used at least some 2,000 years ago They were used by the Inuits for various activities like moving from place to place, hunting, and fishing. Those early Inuit kayaks typically weighed around 12 kilograms (26 pounds). They were about 18-20 feet (5.5-6 meters) in length, and 20 inches (51 centimeters) wide.

Towards the close of the 19th century, people started using kayaks for pleasure on rivers and lakes. During the 1936 Germany Summer Olympic Games, kayaking was introduced as a competitive sport.

Nowadays just about anybody can take to kayaking!

Types of Inflatable Kayaks

The inflatable kayaks of today come in all sizes and shapes, designed for different applications. For example, a suitable choice for rapid whitewaters will not necessarily be an excellent choice when you are in the open sea.

There are in general 4 main kayak types, each built for a particular location and use.

1. Sit-In Kayaks – the most traditional kayaks types. They comprise of a cockpit that conceals your lower body and high walls. Although a tighter fit, it is one of the best inflatable whitewater kayaks.

2. Sit-On-Top – these are close to the traditional kayaks in their looks, although their “cockpit” is raised slightly. This gives you extra room to maneuver and easier access when getting in and out. This is the ideal choice if you are a claustrophobic rider or in case you have challenges riding the traditional kayak.

3. Self-Bailing – the typical inflatable kayak you find being sold at the majority of boating stores these days. They have pot-holes located at the bottom allowing water to pass safely in and out so that your boat doesn’t get flooded.

When in open waters, however, you will have to plug the holes, making this a poor option in case you are searching for an inflatable ocean or sea kayak.

4. Canoe Types – this is an inflatable 2 or 3 person kayak that is closer to a wide canoe. They have deeper seats and higher walls which give you extra space for moving around.

This is perhaps your best inflatable fishing kayak as it gives you additional open space for your equipment and more passengers.

5. Stand-Up Kayaks – also known as ISUPS, these are the latest types of kayaks. They are extremely rigid, so much so that you can stand up while still paddling. More often, they are used when you need relaxed paddling although you can still use them for downriver rafting and in boat races.

Why Buy an Inflatable Boat

Days are long gone when people only used inflatable kayaks as simply fun toys at the pool. With today’s dramatic evolutions in technology, inflatables have evolved from family recreational weekend fun to specialized high-tech watercraft – some even rivaling the performance of many hard shell kayaks.

There are endless reasons why you would prefer buying best inflatable kayak or boat.

Variety of Uses

Inflatable boats today can be used for a diversity of water-based activities. You can them for leisure and recreational purposes like fishing or for much more serious tasks such as tenders, life-boats or rescue-boats.

If you have a rigid inflatable boat, and you love fishing, the wooden floor allows you to stand while casting your lines. It gives your inflatable more stability. You can also to bring your pet dog along without fearing that his claws will accidentally puncture the boat’s rubberized flooring.


Once you deflate and fold your inflatable, the space it takes up is so compact that storing and transporting it is very easy. Even compared to the traditional boats, Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) are easier to launch or transport as they are much lighter. Your car or truck can tow a RIB more easily compared to a traditional boat.

Folding kayak reviews show that because people can easily travel with their inflatables wherever they travel, their appeal is growing daily. It can be tossed into the back of your RV or car, when backpacking to some remote corner or as you fly around the world.

Inflatables solve your storage problems –easily fits in a car trunk or closet at home. There will be no need for expensive car roof racks or cumbersome mooring when you own a folding kayak.

The majority of inflatables are incredibly stable, yet rugged and this would appeal to you if you are nervous around water. Many come with hulls which can handle bumps, scrapes, and submerged logs and sticks without a blip.

Greater Buoyancy

Compared to a conventional rigid boat of the same size, an inflatable boat’s load capacity is far greater because of the larger buoyancy tubes. These inflatables also cut more easily through the water due to higher buoyancy.

Folding kayak reviews note that the kayak hull shape makes it slice easily through the water even when the conditions are rough to give you a less bumpy, smoother ride.

More Stability

The rigid construction of the modern inflatable boat makes it stable even when you are at high speeds. It will stay buoyant even if it takes in lots of water, credit to the inflatable collars that surround your Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB).

Compared to other types of boats, an inflatable is easily maneuvered. The “Deep-V” design of the hull is excellent for hydroplaning. The best thing about an inflatable is that you can use it in all types of water. Often, the larger RIBs come with a wheelhouse that protects your navigational equipment plus yourself from the elements.

Enhanced Versatility

Rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) are extremely versatile crafts on the water that you can use for nearly any purpose. RIBs were invented in the early 70's Credit to the blend of solid materials like wood or aluminum and rubber fabrics, the modern RIB is faster, safer, and more seaworthy. They are not only more versatile and longer lasting but are easier in terms of maintenance compared their traditional hard-shelled rivals.

Fuel Efficiency/Power Ratio

Today, some inflatable boats are powered by a motor. Due to their light weight, they can give you excellent performance using smaller engines than you would normally require for a similar size traditional boat. This, of course, translates to greater fuel efficiency as well as lower engine purchase cost.

Simple Maintenance

An inflatable’s upkeep is cheap and simple - soapy water is all you need to keep it sparkling clean. Proper inflation with either a foot pump or an optional auto inflation pump is a breeze. The boat’s buoyancy tubes also imply you will not have to worry about scratches and dings during maneuvers and while docking.

In the odd chance that your kayak gets punctured, most are easily repaired using their special maintenance kits.

They Look Cool

The modern designs, sharp colors and crisp graphics of the new inflatable boats stand stall among the traditional boat crowd. That alone draws lots of buyers who simply want the best inflatable kayak, something different, a sharp-looking boat that is also cost-effective when it comes to the price.

Considerations before Buying an Inflatable Boat

Before you buy an inflatable boat or kayak you need to answer several simple questions about your lifestyle and boating needs. Answering these questions will be of great benefit towards determining which will be the best inflatable kayak for you. You will be pleasantly amazed at the broad range of inflatable boat choices available in the market today.

Some of the questions you need to answer include, but not limited to:

• What are your budget limitations?

• Will the inflatable be primarily used for sporting activities or as a runabout?

• Will you be spending more time out on the open seas or in sheltered, small water bodies?

• What storage facilities do you have?

The Cost

Obviously, when planning on buying an inflatable kayak, the first major factor that you must consider is your budget. Luckily, today, you can still get one of the best inflatable boat units for an incredibly cost-effective price. Of course, the prices will differ and vary depending on the kayak type you want to get.

Performance Needs

Are you planning to use your inflatable boat as the principal focus for all your sporting fun and activities or is the occasional alternative to, perhaps, your yachting experience?

First, you will need to think about your particular needs in terms of the passenger capacity. The majority of inflatable models have a carrying capacity of between 4 and 8 passengers. If you need a larger carrying capacity, a better choice will be a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB). Some RIBs can carry as many as 15 passengers.

For whitewater rafting or when dealing with other high-speed conditions, a self-bailing inflatable kayak is your best choice. A two person capacity is the best inflatable fishing kayak, suited for the calmer, open waters. Always remember that cheaper at the store may mean less carrying capacity.

Planning ahead for the conditions under which you will be using your inflatable boat could decide whether you need a RIB or a fabric hull boat model. Remember also that the weight and size of the inflatable affect its performance. Typically, larger inflatables perform better as they offer better comfort, improved stability, and faster panning.

Storage and Launching Needs

How are you planning on storing and launching your inflatable boat? In general, inflatable boats clearly come with an advantage as they provide you with numerous storage options. Some fabric inflatable models are extremely light in weight and are easily transported by car or hoisted on board your yacht. In addition, these can easily be stored in a tiny, limited space.

Rigid inflatable boats also offer easier storage solutions compared to the majority of hard-sided boats. Some RIBs have been specifically designed for storage spaces that are compact.

If you will be bringing lots of kayaking gear, your inflatable kayak will need to have lots of storage space. With sit-inside kayaks, you can clip on any extra storage around both hulls. However, the best choice when you need maximum storage space is the open type kayak, particularly when you’ll be using the large kayak alone.


Inflatable boats have been in use for quite some time. In recent years, however, manufacturers have been making great strides in terms of designing and developing comfortable, user-friendly, stylish boat models. They now come with lots of amenities that any recreational boater will love.

The inflatable kayak evolution over the last one decade has been, to say the least, dramatic. No longer are these water-borne vessels considered as "water toys." They have been transformed into serious paddling vessels.

Ranging from sea to whitewater kayaking, inflatable boats are now much better suited for their intended purpose. They are now giving great competition to the conventional hardshell boats in terms of performance.

Today, just about anybody can take up kayaking at rapid whitewaters or at open ocean waters. But for today’s athletic adventurer, kayaking is more than just a sport. It has become something to be truly excited about largely because of what the kayaks are now offering. If you’re into water sports, then you will definitely want the best inflatable kayak that the boating market can offer.

You want to ensure that the one you buy will last and serve you for many years to come. It has to be the most suitable for where you are intending to use, yet come at a cost-effective price.

Our inflatable kayak reviews have been done to help you make the best selection.

Product images sourced from

Best Inflatable Kayak And Best Inflatable Boat

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