I think you will agree when I say that being a kayaker is expensive. It is not only the cost of the kayak that you have to consider but also the cost of its maintenance, storage and transport.
However, we have an answer that will make your life easier. Although not identical to hardshell kayaks, inflatable kayaks do offer a very close experience.
You do not have to worry about proper maintenance, the cost of the kayak itself, portability and storage space and even durability when it comes to an inflatable kayak
We have gathered for you our team’s favorite best inflatable fishing kayaks.
Now that we have reviewed the best ones, let’s look into detailed reviews of each.
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks – Top 6 Reviews
Let’s see our top 6 best inflatable fishing kayaks in detail:
#1: Best Affordable Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review
Here is the thing:
Do not be fooled by the low price of this kayak. It may be inexpensive but it is not cheap.
Intex Challenger K1 is one of the most affordable fishing kayaks when it comes to inflatable crafts. The reason is its well-welded material and I-beam floor for rigidity and stability.
Moreover, sufficient cargo space and grab lines on both ends contribute a ton on your fishing adventure. To make it even more user friendly, Boston valves installed make the inflation and deflation process super quick.
Features of Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
- Heavy duty puncture resistant vinyl as construction material
- Weight capacity of 220 pounds
- Dimensions: 9 ft. x 2 ft. 6 inches
- Two air chambers
- Spacious cockpit, closed deck and I beam floor
- Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation
- Adjustable seat, removable skeg and cargo net to carry your gear
This kayak is for you if you are someone who is just starting out with kayaking. Intex Challenger K1 is one of the best inexpensive options for beginners to polish their skills.
Best Affordable Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The best affordable inflatable fishing kayak is the Intex Challenger K1 because of the durability and features that it offers at such a low cost. .
#2: Best Hybrid Inflatable Fishing Kayak – ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak Review
This inflatable kayak is one of our favorites because of its exceptional design idea. It is a compact hybrid of a foldable frame kayak and an inflatable kayak.
Here is the best part:
It has inbuilt aluminum ribs that form the shape of stern and bow. The streamlined pointed stern mimics the function of a skeg. This improves tracking and provides the experience of a hardshell kayak.
Not only this, it also offers amazing durability for an inflatable kayak. It consists of three layers of construction material that offers the ultimate protection against punctures and abrasive damage.
Features of ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak
- Dimensions: 10 feet 5 inches x 32 inches; Weight: 36 pounds
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
- Comprises of 7 chambers
- Aluminum rib frame design to increase tracking
- Multiple layered PVC Tarpaulin Hull: Polyester sheet between two sheets of vinyl as construction material
- High support and comfortable footrests and seats provide
This hybrid kayak is the perfect inflatable kayak for those who want a good-tracking kayak with ample maneuverability for their inland water adventures.
Best Hybrid Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The best hybrid inflatable kayak is AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak as it offers portability of an inflatable kayak and maneuverability and tracking of a hardshell kayak.
#3: Best Durable Double Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak Review
This inflatable fishing kayak is one of our favorites because of its features that assist incredibly in fishing. This kayak is the one that will get you to the excluded fishing spot while proving extreme comfort.
In addition to this, it is very durable. It has a tough tarpaulin bottom and polyester cover with 18-gauge PVC construction, to tackle any submerged obstacles.
The features that we are most excited about are its fishing rod holders and flush mount. There are two rod holders that are recessed and a mount for a swivel rod holder or even for a fish finder.
Features of Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
- 18-gauge PVC as construction material
- 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D polyester cover for additional protection
- Multiple air chambers allow added safety if one of them gets damaged
- Leak-proof airtight system
- Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders allow hands-free fishing and can be adjustable
- Paddles holders and flush mount to mount fishfinder or camera
- Sevylor trolling motor can be incorporated for easy movement
- Storage areas: Mesh pockets and D-rings
This fishing kayak is for you if you love to go fishing with your partner or your children. It can easily take two full grown ups, that too while offering maximum comfort. It can also take a grownup and two children quite easily.
Best Durable Double Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The best durable double inflatable fishing kayak is Coleman Colorado 2-person fishing kayak because of its highly tough construction material. Moreover, it has a tarpaulin bottom and additional polyester cover to offer maximum protection.
#4: Best 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Sea Eagle 330 Pro Kayak Review
Moving on, next up we have one of the ideal 2-person kayaks. Sea Eagle 330 Pro is a kayak suitable for up to Class III white waters. In addition to its portability, it is also very comfortable. With a weight capacity of 500 pounds and movable and adjustable seat, it makes the fishing trips super fun.
Moreover, it also features a 5-tube I beam floor that not only adds to its stability but also provides a suitable sturdy floor.
Features of Sea Eagle 330 Pro Kayak
- Weight 26 pounds and has a weight capacity of 500 pounds
- Includes two Deluxe kayak seats, two paddles, pump, and carry bag
- Includes two skegs at the bottom for better tracking
- 5 deluxe one-way inflation/deflation valves and one open and close drain valve
- Large I-beam 5-tube floor for additional rigidity and durable floor
If you are someone who loves going kayaking with your partner or pet then this kayak is for you. The two deluxe adjustable seats are very comfortable for your long hours of kayaking.
Best 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The best 2-person inflatable fishing kayak is Sea Eagle 330 Pro Kayak because of its ample weight capacity and space, comfortable seating and durability.
#5: Most Portable Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak Review
Sevylor Quikpak K5 Kayak is another great Sevylor kayak, and you can call it somewhat a close cousin of K1 kayak. It follows the motto ‘backpack – unpack – kayak’. Its special design allows you to carry the folded deflated kayak in a backpack, that turns into a seat for your kayak.
Another amazing feature is kayaks tarpaulin bottom and polyester cover to provide protection against any abrasive damage and punctures. The airtight system guarantees zero leaks.
Features of Sevylor Quikpak K5 Kayak
- Dimensions: 33.5 x 8.5 x 20 inches; Weight 25.5 Pounds
- 24-Gauge PVC construction with tarpaulin bottom and polyester cover
- Multiple air chambers to keep you afloat in case of puncture
- Double lock valves use two locking points for easy inflation and deflation
- Leak-proof air system and includes spray covers
- Easily accessible D-rings and bungee storage area
This kayak is especially for you if you are someone who does not have a proper storage space for your kayak. Since it folds up and can be stored in the backpack, you can easily store it in your apartment or condo.
Easiest-to-Set up Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The most portable kayak is Sevylor Quikpak K5 because of its rugged 24-gauge PVC construction, tarpaulin base and polyester cover to tackle rigours of fast water.
#6: Best Puncture-Resistant Inflatable Fishing Kayak- Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Review
This Intex kayak is yet another product that we love when it comes to going kayaking with your friend, partner or significant other.
This has a sporty design with a streamlined structure and is for two people. This makes it easy to ride on water. Moreover, heavy duty puncture-resistant vinyl as construction material and inflatable I-beam floor for added rigidity, makes it even more suitable for two people.
Features of Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
- Puncture and UV damage resistant vinyl construction; Material gauge: 30
- Dimensions: 11 feet 6 inches x 2 feet 6 inches
- Weight capacity: 400 pounds
- Removable and adjustable seats in a closed deck
- Cardo net to secure goods and grab lines on both ends
- Includes high-output pump, carry bag and two paddles
This kayak is for you if you love to travel light with your partner for an adventurous kayaking trip. It is very durable, easy to carry to the fishing site and super spacious even for two riders.
Best Puncture-Resistant Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The best puncture-resistant inflatable fishing kayak is Intex Challenger K2 because of its rigged durable construction material which makes it a perfect choice for two people on a fishing trip.
#7: Best Easy-to-Carry Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
This inflatable kayak is one of the most easily portable kayaks. We love it because of its innovative design. The carrier backpack turns into the seat for your kayak when inflated and on water. It can then be converted back to the carrier bag after your sighing trip.
Not only this, although inflatable, it is very durable. It has the Sevylor Quikpak signature tarpaulin bottom that provides protection from pictures if you hit rocks on water.
Features of Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak
- 21-gauge PVC construction
- Multiple air chambers for added safety
- Airtight system which is leak proof
- Double lock valves with two locking points for 5-min set up and tear down
- Comfortable backrest and adjustable foot braces
- Drink holder and easily accessible bungee storage area for your gear
This kayak is one of the best inflatable kayaks because of its innovative design. This makes it super portable and perfect for people who like to travel light for their fishing trip.
Best Portable Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The best portable inflatable fishing kayak is the Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak because of it’s easy-to-carry and seat-cum-bag feature that makes it super easy to carry.
1. Inflatable Kayaks vs Hardshell Kayaks
Obviously there is no match for hardshell kayaks, but inflatable kayaks have their unique pros that are unmatched by the hardshell crafts. Moreover, a good inflatable kayak can perform just as well as a hardshell kayak.
Let’s first talk about the advantages of inflatable kayaks:
There is no doubt that the portability that inflatable kayaks offer has no competition with that of hardshell. With this, inflatable kayaks also require much less room as compared to your conventional hardshell kayak. Moreover, they are also much easier to take care of and maintain.
This feature makes them a very good choice for apartment or condo dwellers.
In addition, lightweight is an added perk. Do not be fooled though, this light weight allows them to have an increased weight capacity threshold. This allows kayakers to carry more goods and gear with them on water.
Many hardshell kayaks start weighing from around 55 pounds, this means that there is only so much weight they can carry. Therefore, having a lower capacity threshold.
As of today, many inflatable kayaks are made from much more durable and safe material to provide you a fun experience on the water.
In contrast, there is no doubt that hardshell kayaks perform very well on water. The tracking and maneuverability that hardshell kayaks offer is loved by professionals. However, do not take inflatable kayaks lightly. they may not be identical, but they do fall very close to hardshell kayaks in performance, and that too at a very affordable price range.
However, one drawback that inflatable kayaks have is that they require time for set up and tear down. In case of hardshell kayaks, you can just unload it from your car and put it directly into water. This allows you more time on water.
Portability is a very important factor to consider. If you live close to your fishing site, it may not be a big deal but if you live somewhat further away, you would want your kayak to be portable.
Also, it is also important to consider the portability according to your vehicle, and how you like to travel.
Many inflatable kayaks include a carry bag in the complete kit so that they can be folded and stored or carried to the fishing site. This is one of the greatest advantages because you don’t have to worry about fastening your kayak to your car. Just grab it and go.
Don’t let the light weight of inflatable kayaks fool you when it comes to their durability. As of today, inflatable kayaks are made of durable materials such as rugged vinyl or PVC. Moreover, for added protection most of them have multiple layers of material, and additional tarpaulin layers and thick polyester covers.
In addition, in case of a puncture or any damage, PVC is very easy to weld or patch. You can not always repair hardshell kayaks so easily.
4. Weight Capacity
Weight capacity is a very crucial factor to consider when buying an inflatable kayak for fishing. You would want to buy a kayak that has a higher weight limit to hold you and your gear.
In addition, sufficient weight capacity is important to hold your camera, any additional snacks or stuf as fishing requires you to spend a lot of time on water. This is also one of the major points of difference between a fishing kayak and a recreational kayak.
5. Size and Dimensions
Size and dimensions are very important features of a kayak to take in consideration. Dimensions include length and width of your kayak.
A longer kayak tends to be fast and tracks well. Another advantage is that they glide farther with each stroke. This means very less effort is required as compared to a shorter kayak to cover distance.
However, longer length also means poor maneuverability. You need to be an expert to handle a longer kayak.
The width of your kayak is one of the important factors to determine the stability of your kayak. The wider the kayak, the more stable it is. In addition, a wider hull is easier to turn quickly.
Storage is one of those features that define if your kayak can be used for fishing or not. Longer kayaks tend to have more room for storage, however a shorter kayak may also have storage compartments.
Inflatable kayaks usually have the storage space in the form of a roomy cockpit or cargo net.
If you are looking for a fishing kayak, make sure it has ample storage to keep your fishing gear. This can include extra fishing rods, fish finder, additional snacks for yourself etc.
7. Fishing Features
For your inflatable kayak, it is important that it has features to assist you in fishing. These include:
- Sufficient storage to keep your fishing gear
- Fishing rod holder
- Flush mounts to mount camera or fish finder
- Comfortable seating as fishing requires you to sit in one place for hours
- Spacious cockpit to allow enough room to throw your fishing lines in water
1. Is it wise to spend money on inflatable kayaks?
Yes, it is wise to spend on inflatable kayaks – they are worth it. They are safe, durable, portable and most of all require very less maintenance as compared to their hardhell counterparts. They can prove to be just as good as traditional kayaks.
2. Is an inflatable kayak safe for fishing?
Due to its lightweight nature, an inflatable kayak tends to be more vulnerable to drifting in windy weather and turbulent water. So yes, you can drift away easily, but you can also stay very still in inflatable kayaks, thanks to their wider breadth. More width lowers their center of gravity, thus reducing any danger during fishing.
3. Do inflatable kayaks overturn easily?
No, inflatable kayaks do not overturn easily. Inflatable kayaks are wider than their hardshell counterparts. Increased width makes them incredibly stable even in larger waves.
4. Are inflatable kayaks slower?
Yes, inflatable kayaks are slower. Shorter length with respect to their width makes them slow. Increased width contributes to stability. So, they cannot reach the same speeds as hardshell kayaks of the same length.
5. Is an inflatable kayak good on river waters?
Yes. You can take an inflatable kayak on flat river waters. They are very durable and can withstand tough conditions. However, many inflatable kayaks are not built for rough waters and harsh conditions.
Be careful if you are paddling on a turbulent river with rapid waves. You may end up damaging your inflatable craft.
6. Is a two-person kayak better than one-person?
This actually depends on your usage. A single person can use it easily as it will be lightweight, hence loading and unloading will be hasslefree.
However, if you wish to go kayaking with your partner, you can get a tandem kayak. These are single-to-double convertible kayaks and vice versa. Make sure that it has a removable seat so you can use it as a 1-person kayak.
7. Are inflatable kayaks durable?
Yes, inflatable kayaks are very durable and can prove to be as good as a hardshell kayak. With the latest inflatable technology, inflatable kayaks continue to improve.
8. How do I dress for kayaking?
You can follow the following guidelines to dress for kayaking:
- Always wear a Personal Floating Device (PFD) such as a life jacket. Never take it off while in water.
- Always dress according to water temperature and not the air temperature. This can mean wearing a wet suit or a dry suit.
- Dress in layers, specially for your tops. You can always take layers off to your comfort level.
- Make sure you wear something that protects you from the sun, even if it is cloudy.
- Avoid cotton at all costs. Cotton tends to absorb water and stay wet. This can cause major discomfort and health problems.
- Choose comfortable clothing as you will be required to sit in a kayak for longer periods of time.
9. What is the lower temperature limit for kayaking?
15 degree Farenheit is considered a lower temperature limit for kayaking. Below it the water begins to freeze on your kayak and equipment, damaging it.
10. Can I leave my kayak out?
As long as your kayak is out of the water and is dried up from the inside, you can leave it outdoors for shorter periods of time. The best way to store kayak outside is to keep it out of the water and under some cover.
Without a doubt, the winner of this roundup is Intex Challenger K1 kayak. This inflatable kayak has all that it takes to provide you with a fun and comfortable fishing adventure.
Enough storage, comfortable seating, nimble movement on the water are some of the features that make it one of the best choices.
In addition to this, it is also a super kayak. Its bright color and heavy-duty puncture resistant construction makes it very durable. Not only this, multiple air chambers are essentially helpful in keeping the kayak afloat in case one of them is damaged.