Best Inflatable Kayaks Reviews in 2018 – Have Fun on the River

Best Inflatable Kayaks Reviews in 2018 – Have Fun on the River

There is nothing quite like experiencing the adventure offered by open waters through the cockpit of an inflatable kayak. And, no one can argue that the best inflatable kayaks will make you experience the best out from the activity. When you use an inflatable, you can be sure to have the most fun with the least hassle.

Since they are lightweight and have no hard parts, inflatable kayaks are highly portable and do not take up a lot of storage space. You can stuff them in your car or your backpack and even carry them in public transport.

Their simplicity does not necessarily make them inferior compared to hard-shell kayaks. You can explore calm rivers, high seas, and nearly everything else in between.

Before you start shopping around for a kayak for your next trip, let us help you make up your mind. Here are our reviews of some of the best inflatable kayaks you can find on the market today.

At A Glance: Our Choices for Best Inflatable Kayaks

Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package - The SE370K_P is very much worth its relatively hefty price tag. Its hull alone is made of UV- and saltwater-resistant 38 Mil K-80 PolyKrylar. Also, it comes with features that no other kayak on this list has.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak - We like the Coleman Colorado because it delivers exactly what it promises. It has trolling motor fittings, rod holders, and everything else you can ask for in a fishing kayak.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak - has three layers of materials that protect it against abrasions and punctures. It also has several features that work together to offer a comfortable and high-performance experience.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak - While the AdvancedFrame Convertible is dedicated to performance, the AdvancedFrame Sport is designed for leisure and fun. It has just the right specs at just the right price for the average recreational kayaker.

Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak - The Sevylor K5 is a good starter kayak. It has just what the novice user needs and wants in a kayak and is equipped well enough for a relaxing day on flat waters.

2017’s Reviews of the Best Inflatable Kayaks





Editor's Raitings


Sea Eagle

10 x 19 x 34 inches

NMMA certified, 38 Mil K-80 PolyKrylar hull, self-bailing drain valve, inflatable spray skirts, deluxe one-way valves



19 x 11 x 30 inches

NMMA certified, 1000D Tarpaulin bottom, 840D nylon cover, multiple air chambers, Airtight System, Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders, Sevylor trolling motor fittings, Boston valves


Advanced Elements

15 x 15 x 20 inches

Aluminum bow and stern ribs, the triple-layered material, double-coated fabric


Advanced Elements

15 x 15 x 20 inches

Aluminum bow and stern ribs, large cockpit, four air chambers



20 x 8 x 33 inches

NMMA certified, tarpaulin bottom, polyester cover, multiple air chambers, Airtight System, Double Lock valves

#1. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak

Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak

Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak

Sea Eagle’s inflatable kayak is an excellent investment. Its hull is made out of the sun and saltwater resistant K-80 PolyKrylar while the rest of the watercraft is coated with PVC, which is extremely durable and takes a lot to puncture.

It is easy and quick to set up, inflating in just eight minutes. Its drain plug is also located at the stern, where you can easily reach it in case the kayak gets splashed too much.

Weighing a mere 14lbs, it is by no means weak. In fact, it can accommodate up to three people, or a total weight of 650lbs and withstand even moderate to strong currents.

It is also NMMA-certified, which means that it is built up to the established industry safety standards. However, we are not so sure about the color of the kayak, which is a mix of white and blue--exactly like water against a bright sky.

It includes two paddles measuring 7ft and 10in each, two deluxe inflatable seats, a foot pump, a carry bag, a repair kit, two carry handles, a self-bailing drain valve, five deluxe one-way valves, and two skegs.

What We Like

  • NMMA certified
  • Quick assembly
  • Can handle heavy weights
  • Very light
  • Can handle moderate to strong currents

What We Didn't Like

  • The color (white and blue) are not likely to stand out at sea

#2. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

The Coleman Colorado fishing kayak is the lower middle price range brother of the Quikpak, and it delivers what is expected of it. It is constructed out of strong 18-gauge PVC and has a 1000D Tarpaulin bottom and an 840D nylon cover that provide rigidity and protection against punctures.

It also has separate air chambers that can keep you afloat even if the body gets punctured. Moreover, it has the no-leak Airtight system to give you, even more, peace of mind.

What exactly makes the Coleman Colorado a fishing kayak? It has the adjustable Berkley Quick Set Rod holders for hands-free fishing, trolling motor fittings, and paddle holders.

Since fishing can take hours on end, Sevylor made sure to make the seats fully adjustable, so they fit you, instead of the other way around.

When setting it up, you will be using double-threaded Boston valves that allow for easy inflation and deflation. It also has carry handles that let you pull it in and out of the water, D-rings for attaching equipment and mesh pockets for keeping your gear.

When inflated, this inflatable measures 129in x 39in and is NMMA-certified to support weights of up to 470lbs.

Although the manufacturer suggests using the Coleman Colorado on lakes only, this inflatable is actually stable enough to be used in oceans and beaches too.

It comes with a carry bag, a pressure gauge, and a one-year limited warranty.

What We Like

  • NMMA certified
  • Highly stable
  • Has all you need in a fishing kayak

What We Didn't Like

  • Rod holders tend to get in the way when paddling

#3. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak

AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak

AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak

This mid-range inflatable from Advanced Elements is quite a looker. It combines the appearance and rigidity of a hard-shell kayak and the portability and lightness of an inflatable.

Like the AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible, it also boasts of a three-layered body that actually protects against scrapes and punctures: the PVC bladders, the zippered fabric, and the outer shell.

Because of its solid construction, this inflatable can face Class I and II rapids, sharp rocks, and tree limbs and make it out unscathed and stand right side up. Moreover, it tracks straight even without a backbone.

It offers the same ease of use as its slightly more expensive brother does. The kayak comes pre-assembled and only has to be inflated and fitted with the fully adjustable high-support seat.

This inflatable kayak is as easy to maneuver as it is to set up, having aluminum ribs that make tracking easier and define the bow and the stern.

Then item measures 15ft long and can support up the to 300lbs. Comfort is definitely a priority, having adjustable padded backrest in double-coated fabric covering.

It also has a storage compartment and bungee deck lacing for your equipment. The manufacturer makes a lot of accessories for this model, but if none of those satisfy you, you may be glad to know that most standard kayak accessories fit the AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak.

We notice just one miss with this model. The cockpit is not spacious enough for a person above maybe 5ft5in to have enough leg room, which may lead to exhaustion.

What We Like

  • Appearance
  • Durability
  • Stability

What We Didn't Like

  • Cramped cockpit

#4. AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak by Advanced Elements

AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak by Advanced Elements

AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak

The AdvancedFrame Sport gives flatwater paddling a new name. Designed after the AdvancedFrame, the Sport has a more streamlined look and caters to explorers of tamer waters.

What are the differences between the original AdvancedFrame and the Sport? First, the Sport weighs less and supports slightly less weight compared to the AdvancedFrame.

Measuring 120in x 5in x 32in, the Sport can support a total weight of 250lbs while the bigger AdvancedFrame can handle up to 300lbs in weight.

Second, you may not be able to use a spray skirt on the Sport because the coming in the cockpit is too thin. On the plus side, it is easier to get in and out of the Sport’s cockpit because of its larger opening.

Other features of the sport include four air chambers, giving you a lot of backup in case of punctures. The familiar aluminum ribs for the bow and the stern can also be found in this model, enhancing movement, paddling, and control.

The Sport is a good option for you if you are looking for a lightweight, compact, and affordable inflatable for use during trips with family or friends. It does the job and lets you have fun, but it stops there.

It is not as high performing and as versatile as the original AdvancedFrame, as its poor tracking makes it ideal for no more than flatwater paddling.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Has multiple air chambers
  • Sporty look

What We Didn't Like

  • Not too versatile
  • Poor tracking

#5. Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak

Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak

Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak

The Quikpak K5 is one tough and rugged inflatable, being constructed out of 24-gauge PVC with a tarpaulin bottom and a polyester cover. It also holds up well against sharp objects.

In case an air chamber gets punctured, though, it has others that can keep the kayak buoyant. Just like the Quikpak K1, the K5 is fitted with Double Lock valves that let you inflate and deflate it quickly and easily.

It also has the Airtight System, which offers a no-leak guarantee. Also, there are spray covers to keep you from getting too wet.

The K5 also keeps kayaking convenient. It has D-rings, storage areas, and carry handles. Assembly takes five minutes, and the entire thing folds up to fit in the seat, which doubles as a backpack.

Measuring 120in x 24in x 10in, the K5 is NMMA certified to support a total weight of 250lbs. It comes with a one-year limited warranty, a high-output hand pump, and a paddle.

What We Like

  • Five-minute setup
  • NMMA certified
  • Sturdy and durable

What We Didn't Like

  • Does not come with a skeg

#6. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak - 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Explorer K2 Kayak

Explorer K2 Kayak

This cheap inflatable kayak from Intex matches an affordable price tag with actual value. What we like the most about the Explorer is the inflatable I-beam floor that improves rigidity while keeping you comfortable together with the adjustable inflatable seats.

Measuring 20in x 36in x 123in, this inflatable kayak can support a total weight of up to 348lbs.

The manufacturer also went the extra mile to make paddling as comfortable as possible. They have streamlined the design, leaving only what is necessary for optimal performance and user experience.

Assembly, deflation, and transportation should not be a problem, as the Explorer is extremely lightweight and comes with a Boston valve on both sides and a grab line and a grab handle on each end.

There are also safety measures in place. This two-person inflatable kayak’s bright paint and striking graphics make it highly visible in the water while the two separate air chambers keep the kayak afloat even if it gets punctured in one area.

The Explorer’s very attractive price make it an ideal starter kayak for exploring lakes and calm rivers. However, since the kayak is made of highly durable and rugged vinyl, you can take it out on stronger waters, and it will perform just as fine.

It comes with a removable skeg, a U.S. Coast Guard ID, a repair patch kit, two aluminum oars and an air pump. The said oars have plastic connectors, though, so they can snap easily.

What We Like

  • Comfortable
  • Highly visible
  • Compact, lightweight, and quickly inflated and deflated
  • Sturdy construction

What We Didn't Like

  • Oars can snap at the connectors
  • Black paint at the back can attract sunlight which can lead to over inflation

#7. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Challenger K1 Kayak

Challenger K1 Kayak

Just like the Explorer K2, the Challenger K1 also comes with inflatable I-beam floors that add rigidity and stability to the vessel. We also like the spacious cockpit with a backrest that minimizes pressure on your body even during a long sailing session.

One more thing it shares with the Explorer K2 is the material it’s made out of: tough and rugged vinyl that is puncture-proof and does not get damaged easily by ultraviolet rays.

It measures 30in x 15in x 108in and can handle loads of up to 220lbs in weight. The Challenger K1 is made of solidly welded rubber that makes it ideal for calmly moving waters.

It comes with a skeg, a repair patch, an 84in aluminum oar, a hand pump, and a cargo net to hold your gear. This inflatable also has a grab line on each end, allowing for convenience and portability.

However, despite being so similar to the Explorer K2, the Challenger K1 cannot risk being taken out if there is even a moderate current. You will likely have a difficult time maintaining traction.

It also has the same problem with the oar as the Explorer K2. The plastic connectors make for an easily breakable item.

What We Like

  • Comfortable
  • Highly visible
  • Sturdy construction
  • Compact, lightweight, and quickly inflated and deflated

What We Didn't Like

  • Oar can easily break
  • Not versatile; restricted to calm waters

#8. Advanced Elements AE1007-R

AE1007-R AdvancedFrame

AE1007-R AdvancedFrame

The AdvancedFrame Convertible from Advanced Elements is a premium inflatable kayak within the upper middle price range. It has several impressive features in place to combine user comfort, performance, and durability.

The inflatable’s body consists of three layers: the outer shell, which comprises of a laminate in a rip-stop material, the fabric cover, and the PVC bladders. This protects the kayak from punctures.

It also has aluminum ribs beneath the bow and the stern, allowing for easy tracking. Also, the padded high-support seats are fully adjustable, minimizing the possibility of fatigue.

There is room for up to three seats; this kayak can be used for solo or tandem paddling and still have plenty space for legs.

Since the kayak is assembled even before it is shipped, the only things left for you to do are to inflate it and put the seats in.

It does not disappoint in performance, either. You can use it on a calm lake, the ocean, and everything with up to Class II rapids in between.

However, although it can accommodate up to three seats, it can only handle a total weight of 300lbs. It is also a little on the heavy side, weighing about 50lbs to 60lbs.

What We Like

  • Roomy cockpit
  • Reinforced shell and ribs
  • Easy and quick assembly
  • Versatile

What We Didn't Like

  • It’s heavy
  • Can’t support much weight

#9. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

This 1-person inflatable kayak is not a top-notch vessel but gives good value for money just the same. It is made of tough 21-gauge PVC and has tarpaulin flooring that does not puncture easily.

The Quikpak also has the exclusive, no-leak Airtight valve system and multiple separate air chambers that enable the kayak to stay afloat even if one chamber gets punctured.

It is easy and quick to set up, inflating in just five minutes with the help of the trademarked Double Lock valves with two locking points. The kayak has carry handles and a seat that doubles as a backpack, making the Quikpak extremely portable.

Sevylor also has some features guaranteed to provide comfort and convenience. The cockpit has a backrest, a multi-position footrest, a bungee storage area, and even a cup holder.

When inflated, the Quikpak kayak measures 96in x 7in x 36in and is NMMA-certified to support up to 400lbs. It is safe for use on rugged lakes.

It comes with a 90-day limited warranty, a hand pump, and a paddle. The paddle, however, is poorly constructed and may come apart if used in rough rivers or open waters, so you better have a high quality one in tow.

Finally, while being lightweight is a plus, it needs to be balanced off with stability. We find the Quikpak lacking a bit in that area, as it can easily tip over.

What We Like

  • Double Lock valves
  • Portability
  • NMMA certified

What We Didn't Like

  • Not too versatile; restricted to calm waters
  • Can tip over easily
  • Poorly designed paddle

#10. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Challenger K2 Kayak

Challenger K2 Kayak

The Challenger K2 is one of the three best-selling inflatables from Intex. Just like the other two models, this kayak is made of rugged, sturdy vinyl that resists punctures and UV damage well.

The familiar inflatable floor is also here, allowing for rigidity and user comfort. Its design and structure make it an ideal vessel for calm waters such as lakes and mild rivers.

It carries the line’s signature streamlined design that allows for easy paddling and bright colors that provide maximum visibility on the water. There are grab lines on both ends, making it easy for you to pull the kayak in and out of the water.

When inflated, this kayak measures 30in x 15in x 138in and can hold up to 400lbs of weight (the heaviest among the three models).

It comes with a cargo net, a U.S. Coast Guard ID, inflatable seats with backrests, two aluminum paddles, an Intex pump, and a patch kit. Unfortunately, it is plagued with the same oar issue that the other models in the same line have: they can easily break.

Overall, the Challenger K2 is a great kayak for you if you are just starting out and not yet willing to shell out a huge sum on kayaking equipment. It does not have top-of-the-line features, and it does not perform like more expensive inflatables do, but it still gets the job done.

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Highly visible
  • Sturdy construction

What We Didn't Like

  • Low-profile design increases possibility of getting too wet
  • Oars can easily break


Best Overall

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

5th choice

Top-Rated Inflatable Kayaks

Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak
Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak by Advanced Elements
Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak


Sea Eagle


Advanced Elements

Advanced Elements



White & Blue

Green & Black

Red & Gray

Orange & Blue

Gray & Black

Supported weight

650 lbs

470 lbs

300 lbs

250 lbs

250 lbs







Get Started

Factors to Consider Before Buying an Inflatable Kayak?

  • Price

Think long and hard before ordering a kayak because it (and its accessories) can be costly. Regardless of how much you enjoy kayaking, you have to remember that you have a budget to follow.

Before buying, review the specs carefully and find an inflatable kayak that has just what you need. Comb through user reviews, so you know how the product did with the users who have already tried it.

  • Activity

Even the smallest design element in a kayak can drastically affect its function and determine the kind of activity it should be used in. A short and wide kayak, for example, is good at turning while a long one tracks better.

Meanwhile, sit-on-top kayaks are suitable for leisurely paddling on calm lakes and easy rivers. Sit-in kayaks, on the other hand, are designed for superior performance in areas with strong winds and currents.

  • Number of Persons

Leg room, storage space, backrests, and paddings may sound trivial, but they are anything but insignificant when you are paddling alone or with a friend for hours.

  • Material

The material, the fabric, and the coating largely determine the overall quality of an inflatable sea kayak. Make sure to invest in a well-made and durable product that will last years especially if you plan to take up kayaking as a serious hobby.

Choosing an Inflatable Kayak With the Right Coating

Inflatable kayaks are made from and coated with a broad range of materials including the most widely used Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Hypalon, and a relatively new player, Nitrylon.

  • PVC

PVC is a popular coating among manufacturers and kayakers because it significantly improves the kayak’s durability. Furthermore, it is cheap and comes in more colors than others of its kind.

Most importantly, though, repairing PVC is a no-sweat process. It can be quickly patched and can even be welded. With careful use, a PVC-coated inflatable kayak will last a long time.

Unfortunately, PVC is poor at handling certain substances and situations that more expensive materials can easily resist. These include gasoline, harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, and the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

If you would rather go for something that can withstand those, you may want to consider buying a Hypalon-coated inflatable kayak.

  • Hypalon

Hypalon was a type of synthetic rubber that was developed and patented by American conglomerate DuPont. It was notoriously expensive for several good reasons.

First, they could make your inflatable last the longest compared to kayaks coated with other materials. We’re talking about a lifespan of about five to ten years.

Next, it could handle UV light better and resist mildew, fungus, and the like. When it comes to kayaks, the last thing you want is an inflatable that the sun and fungi will render useless after just a few trips or weeks in storage.

If you do not believe in the reliability of Hypalon, the U.S. Military and the Coast Guard may be able to convince you otherwise. The only apparent downside to it is that DuPont has actually stopped manufacturing it.

As a substitute, kayak and boat manufacturers use Pennel Orca which is very similar to Hypalon.

  • Nitrylon

Finally, you may also want to consider going for Nitrylon, a lamination of a natural and a synthetic rubber over a polyester base. It was developed to address the issues surrounding PVC and its effects on the environment.

It holds well against abrasions and is stronger and easier to repair than PVC. However, it can be heavy, which is why manufacturers mostly only apply it to the exterior of the kayak.


The inflatable kayaks in this review have various types of features and accessories that make them fit for different activities, difficulty levels, and user types. However, we thought it made sense to choose a universal favorite, a kayak that has something for everyone.

After much thought, we have decided to declare the Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak as the best among the best inflatable kayaks. With a name like that, it is not surprising that it comes packed with features suited for pro enthusiasts. It is NMMA certified, super easy to assemble and carry. Can support up to 650 pounds, so we think that you are able to take everything you need on your water trip.

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One Comment

  1. hi,

    thanks for this wonderful posting you have posted here such a wonderful information for our adventurous life , with this various types kayaks it will get more more fun as well as exercise for our health ,

    so thanks for this posting ,


    mansi desai

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