5 Best Inflatable Kayaks in 2023

5 Best Inflatable Kayaks in 2023

Are you thinking of going kayaking on a lake or river, but are looking for a convenient option? Well, look no further, inflatable kayaks are a great option to look into. A lot of people never try kayaking, because the simple thought of transporting a small boat not being possible. But in today’s day and age, an inflatable boat allows for more people to enjoy the waters.

There’s nothing better than paddling a kayak through the water to relieve some stress or maybe to get some exercise. With the option to buy an inflatable kayak, it gives the casual paddler an option to get on the water!

5 Best Inflatable Kayaks in 2023

In this guide, I will cover the best inflatable kayak you could feel comfortable investing in. With each product listed below, I will mention the key benefits and pricing. I believe this is important to mention so that you can be informed on why I determined these to be the best inflatable kayaks of 2023.

Please note, for the purpose of this guide, only solo inflatable kayaks will be listed not tandem inflatable kayaks. A tandem inflatable kayak is a great option, but they will be covered in a different guide.

Our Pick

Aquaglide Chelan 120

The first on the list of the best inflatable kayak is the Aquaglide Chelan 120. When you first glance at this inflatable kayak, you’ll notice the stylish look. This lightweight inflatable kayak is 28 lbs and can carry up to 300 lbs.

Aquaglide Chelan 120

Aquaglide Chelan 120 Inflatable Kayak

The first on the list of the best inflatable kayak is the Aquaglide Chelan 120. When you first glance at this inflatable kayak, you’ll notice the stylish look. This lightweight inflatable kayak is 28 lbs and can carry up to 300 lbs. Also, it is 12 feet long. The seat is also padded, which adds a level of comfort to your adventure. I always prefer a padded seat rather than an inflatable seat.

This inflatable kayak is ideal for lakes, bays, slow rivers, moderate whitewater or a light surf. The hull on this kayak is extremely rigid, that you can compare to a rotomolded boat. Except this inflatable kayak is much cheaper! Lastly, it is designed to easily lift over waves which allows you to stay dry and in control.

Key Benefits

  • The bow rocker lifts over waves and rough water.

  • 16 webbing loops on the floor, which allow you to anchor your seat and gear. Also comes with bungee straps on the stern deck to provide storage for dry bags and gear.

  • Adjustable foot brace attaches to the floor.

  • Easily maintainable for years.

  • Extremely durable due to the material at the bottom of the inflatable kayak.

Pricing

This inflatable kayak is $919.89. Rei is one of the few outdoor companies that offer discounts often with certain codes. If the initial price is too much for you, consider looking for a discount code from time to time.

Pike Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Pike Inflatable Fishing Kayak

I absolutely love this inflatable kayak when it comes to fishing. This kayak is the one you get if you are planning on going to a lake to go fishing. This inflatable kayak is 48 lbs and can carry 375 lbs. It is 12 ft 8 inches long, and 38 inches wide.

The seat is also comfortable and perfect for fishing. It props you up and is a mesh-like material. A key feature is its rigid drop-stitch floor, which aids in achieving an ideal paddling and casting position.

It has a self-bailing floor, coupled with five YakAttack SwitchPad Flexible Surface Mounts, which adds to its practicality for anglers. Additionally, its design includes D-rings and mount bases for securing rod-holders and other equipment.

Key Benefits

  • Portable and durable design

  • Enhanced stability for fishing

  • Compact and easy to transport

  • Customizable for angler needs.

Pricing

This inflatable kayak is $995.00 On Backcountry.com. However, Backcountry allows the option for you to use “Klarna” to pay with 4 interest-free payments if you choose to do so.

Aquaglide McKenzie 105 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide McKenzie 105 Inflatable Kayak

Are you into whitewater adventures? Well, this kayak is perfect for you! This kayak is very durable and has 4 mesh drains for rapid water evacuation. It also has a comfortable seat that comes with tie-down straps.

It is a lightweight inflatable kayak that weighs 24 lbs and can carry up to 300 lbs. This kayak is also equipped with 3 tubes for increased safety. The main floor tube has specific inflation pressure which increases the kayak’s stability and buoyancy.

This is the kayak you want for whitewater adventures.

Key Benefits

  • Designed for Whitewater and recreation use

  • Allows for quick water drainage

  • Great stability and durability

  • Easy inflation and deflation due to the design of the valves.

  • Comfortable Chair

Pricing

This inflatable kayak is $849.99. However, if you purchase it on Dicks Sporting Goods, you can use the 4 interest-free payment methods as well using “Affirm” or “Afterpay”.

Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO

Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro

This inflatable kayak is another great option if you’re looking for a fishing kayak. This Kayak comes equipped with holders for your kayak paddles. The seat on this kayak is also comfortable, which allows you to sit for hours while you enjoy your favorite hobby.

It also comes with D rings to carry your fishing gear while you are paddling. Who doesn’t love convince?

Key Benefits

  • Holders for paddles and fishing gear.

  • Aluminum rib frame that improves tracking.

  • Tough drop switch floor that makes this kayak very durable.

  • Great valve for inflation and deflation.

Pricing

This inflatable kayak is $1,199.99. If you are short on money, Dicks Sporting Goods does allow you to use “Afterpay” which allows you to pay $300 with 4 interest-free payments.

Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 Sit-on-Top Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 Sit-on-top Inflatable Kayak

This Kayak is an all-around fantastic inflatable kayak. It is an ideal solo angling kayak that has plenty of space for gear or even an extra seat. This inflatable kayak is lightweight and weighs 41 lbs and can hold 650 lbs.

Due to the material of the drop-switch floor, this kayak is extremely durable that allows you to go almost anywhere. A cockpit splashguard also keeps you dry. This inflatable kayak is perfect for fishing or moderate water conditions.

The deck has bungees on the bow and stern that offer secure gear storage. Lastly, 5 scupper drains open easily for quick water drainage.

Key Benefits

  • Cockpit splashguard

  • Very durable floor

  • Lightweight packable design

  • Adjustable seats

  • Fishing cooler

Pricing

This inflatable kayak is $1,349.99. It is a fantastic kayak to invest in if you want a kayak to be around for years to come.

What is an Inflatable Kayak

As a seasoned kayaker, I’ve explored different types of kayaks, but inflatable kayaks hold a special place in the world of paddling. Unlike hard-shell kayaks, inflatable kayaks are constructed from high-tech, durable materials like PVC, Hypalon, or Nitrylon, offering a blend of flexibility and resilience. These materials offer great durability, that resists tears and punctures and are often coated for UV protection to withstand the harsh elements of the outdoors. You can be assured, that even though these products are inflatable, it is still a very durable inflatable kayak.

They are designed to be deflated for easy transport and storage and can be quickly inflated at your destination using a pump. When deflated, they can fit into a compact carrying bag, making them perfect for those with limited storage space. Inflation is easy, often taking no more than a few minutes with a hand pump or an electric pump. I recommend using an electric pump, due to the speed and low amount of effort needed.

Benefits of Using an Inflatable Kayak

As someone who loves kayaking, I’ve found that inflatable kayaks are really something special. They’re very easy to carry around. You can fold them up, put them in a bag, and carry them in your car or even on your back. This is great if you don’t have a lot of room at home for storage or if you want to hike to a cool spot to paddle.

Most inflatable kayaks are great for all sorts of places – calm water, rivers, and even a bit of whitewater. They’re really comfy too. The seats are usually cushier and you can adjust them to fit you just right, which is great for long trips on the water.

Another big plus is that they don’t cost as much as the solid kayaks. So, if you’re just getting into kayaking or watching your budget, these are a great option.

They’re also tough. Made from strong materials, they can take a lot of wear and tear and have different sections for air, so if one part gets a leak, you’ll still stay afloat.

Stability

When you’re out kayaking, whether you’re a beginner or have been paddling for years, feeling steady and secure in your kayak is important. That’s where stability comes in. If you’re sitting in a kayak; you don’t want it to feel like it’s going to tip over with every move you make, right? That’s what we call primary stability.

Most inflatable kayaks are really good at making the paddler feel stable. They’re usually wider, which makes them feel more stable and less wobbly, especially when you’re just starting out or if you’re paddling on quiet waters like lakes or slow-moving rivers.

But there’s more to stability. When you’re dealing with waves or moving around a lot in the kayak, you want to know it’s not going to tip over easily. This is called secondary stability. It’s about how well the kayak can handle rougher water or sudden movements.

Maneuverability

When we talk about maneuverability in kayaking, we’re talking about how easily you can steer and move your kayak around. This is important because when you’re out on the water, you want to be able to control where you’re going. Whether it’s turning quickly to avoid a rock or steering smoothly around a bend in a river, being able to maneuver your kayak well makes a big difference.

Inflatable kayaks are really good at this. They’re often shorter than regular kayaks, which makes them easier to turn. Think about it like driving a small car compared to a big truck. The small car can make sharp turns and easily move through tight spaces.

Also, if you’re into kayaking where there are a lot of other people or boats around, like on a busy lake or near the beach, being able to steer your kayak well helps you avoid bumping into others and keeps everyone safe.

Materials

Inflatable kayaks are usually made from tough stuff like PVC, Hypalon, or Nitrylon. These materials are strong and can handle a lot of wear and tear. Think about it like a pair of heavy-duty boots compared to regular sneakers. You want something that can handle rough conditions without falling apart.

These materials are also important because they keep the kayak light and easy to carry. Nobody wants to lug around a super heavy kayak, you want a lightweight boat. Plus, if you accidentally bump into rocks or scrape along the bottom in shallow water, you don’t want your kayak to get a hole easily.

Lastly, the material of your kayak affects how it moves in the water. Some materials can make the kayak more stiff, which helps with speed and stability. Others might make it more flexible, which can be good for comfort.

Weight Capacity

When you’re picking a kayak, one thing you really need to look at is how much weight it can carry. This is called the weight capacity. It’s super important because it affects how safe and stable your kayak will be in the water.

The weight capacity isn’t just about your weight. It also includes all the gear you bring along, like your life jacket, cooler, fishing gear, or anything else you need for your adventure. So, when you’re choosing an inflatable kayak, you’ve got to think about everything you’ll be taking with you.

Conclusion

Choosing the best inflatable kayak can be a difficult choice sometimes. Due to some many options being available. Start by deciding what you plan on doing on the waters. From there, decide which inflatable kayak you like most on the list. My goal here was to narrow down the selection for you to choose the best inflatable kayak.

I hope this guide was able to provide you the information you need to make the best choice on choosing the best inflatable kayak! With any of these inflatable kayaks on the list, you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Editorial Note: We may earn a commission when you visit links on this website. This does not affect Mike’s opinions or evaluations.

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