Offering endless hours of fun to adults, teenagers, and young children alike, inflatable kayaks are safe to use, simple to store, easy to transport, and relatively budget-friendly to boot! With so many makes and models on the market, choosing the best inflatable kayak for your needs can be a challenge. We know the struggle since we ourselves have done the search for the best inflatable kayaks, including researching the best 2 person inflatable kayak available for our family. In this comprehensive buying guide, we look at the best inflatable kayaks for both individuals and for families including, inflatable 2 person kayaks and inflatable 3 person kayaks.
The 8 Best Inflatable Kayaks: Summary Table
If you don’t have time to read the full reviews below, this table should suffice. It contains all of the key information you might need to make a decision on what to look for in an inflatable kayak for your family.
As you can see, we rate several inflatable kayak brands for their best options: Intex, Sevylor, Sea Eagle, Driftsun, Advanced Elements and Aquaglide.
In addition to single kayaks, we also cover inflatable 2 person kayaks and inflatable 3-person kayaks because kayaking is such a great family outdoors sport. And, we definitely wouldn’t want you to leave your dog behind either!
We have separated them into three price ranges:
- Inflatable budget kayaks are considered under $200.
- Mid-ranged priced inflatable kayaks hover around $400.
- High-priced inflatable kayaks can range from $500-$600.
Want to find out more about inflatable kayaks in general before committing to a purchase? Don’t forget to check out our complete guide to these convenient blow-up watercraft!
Below is our complete guide to the best inflatable kayaks summarised above.
The Best Inflatable Kayak – Reviews
With your family’s safety at the forefront of your mind (as well as your bank balance!), the last thing you want is to buy an inflatable kayak that’s unfit for purpose.
Thankfully, there are plenty of high-quality options available to help you avoid disappointment. In this section, we’re going to take you through 8 of the best inflatable kayaks.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
With a whopping 16,600+ 5-star reviews on Amazon at the time of writing, the Intex Explorer K2 is one of the most popular inflatable tandem kayaks available.
The Index Explorer is priced incredibly attractive at a cost that is a fraction of the cost of other inflatable 2 person kayaks on the market.
While it can’t claim to be of equal quality to pricier options (for instance, it isn’t designed for larger bodies of water or rougher conditions), the Explorer still boasts some top features that add to its appeal.
- This inflatable 2 person kayak is spacious, comfortable with 2 inflatable seats. It comes with 2 paddles, a hand pump, and a carry bag.
- In addition, the removable skeg improves tracking, the heavy-duty material’s puncture-resistant, and the wide base provides good stability.
- With a bright yellow design, you’ll always be able to spot your kids’ kayak in the water if they go out alone!
Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly inflatable kayak to muck around in as a family, then the Explorer K2 is hard to beat.
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak (Best Budget Inflatable Kayak)
If you don’t need/want a 2-seater kayak but like the idea of a budget-friendly first foray into the world of inflatable kayaks, then look no further than the Intex Challenger K1.
As the only option on this list that costs under $100, it’s hard to beat from a financial perspective.
The K1 Kayak is a basic design but has everything you need in a good inflatable kayak.
- It’s made from puncture-resistant vinyl, has 2 separate air chambers for increased safety, and an I-beam floor for rigidity.
- A long net at the front provides storage space and there’s an adjustable inflatable seat for added comfort on the water.
- Like the Explorer K2 above, it comes with everything you need: a paddle, a pump, a carry bag, and a detachable skeg.
One thing, however, to note with the Challenger K1 is its 220lb weight capacity. The weight capacity can be reached quickly with an adult male and some gear.
Sevylor Quikpak K1
The Sevylor Quikpak K1 is a slight step up from the Intex Challenger. With a higher price tag, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 delivers a 1 person inflatable kayak that’s higher quality as well.
Advantages of the Sevylor Quickpak 1:
- Sturdy but Light. At 18lbs, it’s the lightest option on this list but still boasts an impressive 400lbs weight capacity.
- The Quikpak K1’s made from durable 21-gauge PVC with a tarpaulin underside for added puncture resistance.
- It also has 3 air chambers (compared to the Challenger’s 2), which makes it even safer to use on open water.
- The well-designed carry bag is multipurpose. The carry bag goes from carrying your kayak to folding up into its seat.
- A multi-position footrest allows you to find the comfiest paddling position possible.
- The rapid setup time means you can inflate the K1 in as little as 5-minutes (with a little practice!).
In summary, the Sevylor Quickpak K1 is one of the best inflatable 2 person kayaks on the market.
Intex Excursion PRO K2
The Intex Excursion Pro K2 can be used as either an inflatable single kayak or a double kayak. Although a relatively straight-forward inflatable kayak good for multiple uses such as for a fishing kayak, this kayak is not recommended for white water or even choppy waters. We use our inflatable kayaks on the ponds of Martha’s Vineyard.
Advantages of the Intex Excursion Pro:
- Relatively lightweight at 34.6 lbs
- Spacious kayak that can be paddled by either one or two people.
- Lots of extras like adjustable seats, fishing rod holders and phone mount.
- The width is great for stability and easy entry.
- Easy to deflate and dry because of a drain in the bottom.
In summary, the Intex Excursion Pro K2 is a great value buy for the causal paddler who wants everything straight out of the package. The only additional thing you will need to buy is life vests!
Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3-Person Sport Kayak
Boasting impressive ratings from legions of satisfied customers, this inflatable 3-person kayak from Sea Eagle 370 Pro is a good mid-price choice.
Advantages of this inflatable 3 person kayak:
- It comes with everything you need to hit the water: 2 paddles, a carry bag, and a foot pump to help you inflate it.
- While the Sea Eagle Pro only has 2 seats, its 650lb weight capacity and ample size mean it’s more than capable of carrying up to 3 people (plus gear)- making it ideal for family trips.
- The inflatable kayaks has moveable seats too, which is useful if you have an adult with long legs in the back and a child in the front (or vice versa!).
- Robust and durable this inflatable kayak is useful for up to class 3 white water.
- Yet, this inflatable 3 person kayak is relatively lightweight weighing a very respectable 32lbs.
As for the brand, Sea Eagle’s one of the most reputable and well-established names in the industry. You can buy with confidence because all Sea Eagle products come with a 3-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects too.
Driftsun Voyager 2 Tandem Kayak
The Driftsun Voyager 2 is pricier than the Sea Eagle. It’s attributes, however, makes it one of the best 2 person inflatable kayak options on the market today.
Advantages of the Driftsun Voyager 2:
- Weighing just 27lbs, it is light enough for one person to carry.
- It comes with a carry bag for ease of storage and transportation.
- We love the high flow double action hand pump that comes with the kayak as well. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to inflate the kayak in under 5 minutes!
- Its durable and hard-wearing because of its heavy-duty PVC on the underside, leak-proof double-threaded valves, an 840D coated nylon oxford fabric top cover, and reinforced carry handles.
- Lots of high end details for performance enhancement (e.g., rust-resistant buckles and splash guards, adjustable seats and removable deep fin for responsive tracking).
The Driftsun Voyager is one of the more expensive inflatable 2 person kayaks but loaded with extras that you may find useful.
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
Do you like the sound of the Sevylor Quikpack but need a bigger boat to cater to your family? Well, try the Sevylor Big Basin will set you back more money but it’s a fantastic option for family days out on the water.
The Big Basin’s advantages are similar to the Quikpak:
- It has a heavy-duty PVC construction and a tarpaulin bottom that makes it extra durable.
- It comes with a carry case (although maybe not the easiest to get back into its carry case)
- Safety is enhanced with the multi-chamber design.
- The Boston valves make it quick and easy to inflate/deflate.
The Big Basin, however, is heavy to carry. Coming in at over 40lbs, it’s by no means the lightest inflatable kayak on the market!
Moreover, the Big Basin doesn’t come with paddles which you will have to buy separately.
The Big Basin, however, still more than deserves its place on this list. If you want a robust, sturdy, and stable inflatable kayak for 3 people, then you can’t go wrong with the Big Basin.
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak
The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame kayak is arguably the best 1 person inflatable kayak on this list. Although expensive, the AdvancedFrame has impressive features, performance, and overall quality!
This inflatable kayak is s a bit different from those we’ve discussed so far.
- Rather than having a standard inflatable design, it also has an integrated folding frame- aluminum ribs at the front and back that make it extremely robust.
- Although the kayak’s unique frame makes it heavier as a result (36bs!), the added strength and 300lb weight capacity is a good payoff.
Ultimately, the AdvancedFrame kayak probably packs more quality than beginners and casual paddlers really need.
If you only plan on hitting the water very occasionally or simply want something for your kids to run riot on, then cheaper models will suffice. Having said that, you’ll struggle to find an inflatable kayak that’s as durable, high-performing, and fun to paddle!
Aquaglide Chinook 100 Kayak
The Aquaglide Chinook 100 is another expensive inflatable kayak. As a tandem kayak with a wide array of enviable features, though, we’d argue it’s worth the money!
Here are a few of the main selling points you could look forward to:
- Durable and puncture-resistant 600-denier ripstop polyester that delivers great protection against UV rays
- Can be used alone or as a tandem kayak
- A removable floor that facilitates cleaning and adds durability
- An open cockpit for easier entry/exit
- 3 air chambers for safety
- Quick-release fin to assist tracking
- D-rings, storage pocket, and bungees for securing your possessions
- 2 rod holders for anyone who wants to do some fishing
The only thing we wish the Aquaglide included is a pump! No hand, foot, or electric pump is provided, so you’d have to buy one separately. The lack of pump is disappointing given the price tag.
In all other regards, the Aquaglide Chinook 100’s an awesome recreational inflatable kayak.
Buy the Best Inflatable Kayak Possible
Have you decided to invest in an inflatable kayak for your family? Well, we don’t blame you!
These blow-up pieces of kit are awesome additions to any household for weekend or vacation fun. Ideal for camping trips near the lake or days at the beach, they provide hours of fun for big kids and little kids alike. Lightweight and portable you may even use your inflatable kayaks more than you thought you would!
We hope the suggestions in this buying guide will have helped you make up your mind on what it is you specifically want in an inflatable kayak. With 8 of the best inflatable kayaks to choose from, it shouldn’t be long before you and the kids are happily paddling around the local waterways in your area.
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