For me, riding on an inflatable kayak to go out fishing with my friends and/or family has been a really fun and exciting experience. Aside from giving me the mobility and utility I need to fish on calm waters, it’s also really convenient and lightweight, making it quite easy to carry.
If you’re also fond of fishing on a kayak, I recommend you my top 10 picks for the best inflatable fishing kayaks in the market.
Top 10 Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
We have listed the best kayaks above but if you want to know details of each product; please scroll below and explore them.
My Top Choices for the Best Inflatable Kayak for Fishing
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is a user-friendly kayak designed for fishing and a bit of recreation. This inflatable design is made of high quality PVC material which makes it extremely rigid and durable. This also protects it from punctures caused by fishhooks and rocks which can ruin your entire fishing day.
It has multiple air chambers to ensure that the kayak stays inflated in case of a puncture. The other best thing about the Coleman is that it is built with mesh storage pockets for storing essential items.
Additionally, it is equipped with paddle holders to make it easier for passengers to secure their paddles when out fishing.
The AdvancedFrame from Advanced Elements is an inflatable kayak that performs well in mild river, oceans, and flat water. It is known for its hard shell and extremely durable build that is puncture resistance. Its hull design defines the stern and bow which is significant in improving the tracking and speed.
Unlike most inflatable kayaks, this kayak is convertible so that it can be paddled solo or as a tandem. It has decks which are interchangeable and comes with 3 seating positions. They are also constructed with mesh pockets and d-rings for robust storage of enhanced gear.
The kayak sits rather low in the water to enable you to paddle and maneuver with ease. Also, it is built with adjustable padded back support for extra comfort. However, the seats are a bit lower on the back and can cause discomfort when paddling for a long period.
You can enjoy your outdoor adventures with this inflatable kayak made of a strong vinyl material to tackle lakes and rugged rivers. This also makes it resistant to punctures from rocks as well as UV rays. Compact and lightweight, the Intex Challenger K2 is easy to assemble and transport.
With a weight limit of 350 lb, the kayak is designed with inflammable seats to accommodate two individuals. It offers comfort and easy paddling to enable you to explore the lakes and rivers fully. What makes it the perfect choice is the fact that it is highly visible due to its vibrant colors.
It also comes with an aluminum paddle and air pump. Additionally, the kayak includes a repair patch kit and adequate cargo for storing essential supplies.
If you are looking for a light, compact, and highly durable kayak, then the Sea Eagle is a perfect choice. It is made of a high quality material and multiple air compartments which make it safer than other inflatable kayaks.
Unlike other kayaks, it is a low-pressure inflatable boat and is only prone to punctures when dragged across rocks and other sharp substances. However, this does not make this kayak any less durable.
The Sea Eagle also has an easy setup option and is a very affordable choice. The packages range from less than $500, and you can be sure to get a model that fits your budgetary needs.
The Sevylor Quikpak K5 is an easy-to-use model that can easily be turned into a backpack to allow you to carry it comfortably. It also inflates easily and quickly and will be up and running in less than 5 minutes. Its 24-gauge PVC construction and thick polyester cover enable it to withstand rough waters. Similarly, its separated multi-air chamber design ensures that one chamber remains inflated in case the other one hits a snag.
If comfort is an essential factor for you, then this kayak is a perfect choice. The backpack is inflated to serve as the seat and comes with a backrest to provide added support. However, it may not be the best inflatable kayak if you have long legs since it has limited leg room.
This product also features several spray covers which block the water splashes to keep you dry. It comes with a hand pump, aluminum paddle, and a secure storage area so you can safely attach other equipment.
6. Sevylor Tahiti
Known as one of the oldest kayak models, Sevylor Tahiti is a classic boat that is suitable for lake and river use. It is very affordable when compared to other traditional kayaks in the market. This inflatable kayak is made of 26-gauge PVC to ensure its durability and safety when it hits sharp objects. It can hold a weight of up to 400 pounds and a capacity of two people.
In case of a puncture, the Sevylor Tahiti kayak will stay afloat since it has multiple air chambers. It also includes a double lock valve that helps prevent air loss. The seats are inflatable and come with back support which is essential if you are looking to use the kayak for a while.
You can carry this kayak anywhere you go since it only weighs 25 pounds. Besides, it has a tubular beam and an optional skeg that provides you control over your kayak.
7. Advanced Elements StraitEdge
The Advanced Elements StraitEdge is a versatile kayak that is great to use in cold and calm water. It can also set up as self-bailing and can give a decent performance even in bigger waves. This kayak is incorporated with an aluminum bow as well as a stern frame which aids in tracking.
You will not be disappointed with the comfort of this kayak since it has adjustable padded seats. With high back support, you will enjoy long hours of paddling without experiencing backache. Apart from comfort, the Advanced Elements StraitEdge kayak is extremely durable. The product is constructed with heavy-duty tarpaulin material that makes the kayak withstand puncture.
The kayak can be set up easily with the preassembling done by the manufacturer. You just need to unfold it, inflate, and then attach the seats. Lastly, its bright yellow color makes it highly visible.
This is the perfect kayak for casual paddling in calm waters like rivers and lakes. The Intex Explorer K2 is also for children due to its bright yellow color which enables parents to keep watch on them. This inflatable kayak is also remarkably light at only 30lbs.
Compared to other inflatable kayaks, it has adequate space for two individuals to sit comfortably. The rear section has space for storing fishing equipment, food, water, and other supplies. For extra comfort, the seats have adjustable backrests.
In addition, it has a removable tracking skeg in order to ensure directional stability. If you are on a tight budget, there is no better kayak in the market other than the Intex Explorer K2.
This kayak is ideal if you enjoy hiking and camping. It is made of PVC at the sides and tarpaulin at the bottom to provide puncture protection caused by rocks and other objects. It has a few air chambers to ensure that the kayak stays inflated if one chamber is damaged.
Its collapsible design allows easy hauling from one place to another. Besides, it is extra large and can hold a capacity of up to 490 pounds. Inflating and deflating is easy as it comes with double threaded valves and a pressure gauge.
You will also be assured of comfort in this three-person inflatable kayak. Just like the name suggests, it has adjustable seats to fit your height and shape. Spray covers also ensure that you stay dry during your kayaking adventure.
The FireFly is a well-designed recreational vessel that does a perfect job on flat waters. It is the perfect choice if you are looking to have fun while fishing in the water. It offers high levels of durability to allow you to continue kayaking even when you hit the rock.
This kayak also features a rigid bow and stern that aids in tracking for increased performance. It uses aluminum frames to give the kayak both form and direction so you can get to your destination fast. Besides, it is highly portable, weighing just 16 pounds and can easily fit in your car boot.
Also attached are mesh pockets for storing extra supplies and equipment. The handles are rubber-molded to provide a firm grip for anyone who will be using the kayak.
Why Use Inflatable Kayak for Fishing
There are multiple types of fishing kayaks on the market today, and finding the appropriate one for your needs can be daunting. However, inflatable fishing kayaks have tremendous benefits compared to other fishing vessels like hardshell kayaks. Here are some reasons why you should use an inflatable kayak for fishing.
- Increased Accessibility
An important reason why you should choose an inflatable kayak over large boats when fishing is accessibility. Kayaks are more likely to take you to remote fishing spots on any water body. This gives you an advantage over other fishers since you will be able to catch more fish while having an exceptional experience. Besides, if you choose to use a large boat, you can carry your kayak to help you access isolated and smaller channels.
A distinctive feature of any inflatable fishing kayak is that they are extremely light yet are able to hold substantial weight. It is, therefore, possible to carry them from your car to the water without much difficulty. However, there are those that are a bit heavier as they are constructed from thicker and more puncture-resistant material.
Regardless, inflatable kayaks are more portable than those which have a hard shell. Besides, most of the heavier kayaks come with compact packaging for easier transportation. These kayaks are becoming popular for fishing since you can transport them on your truck or backpack to your desired fishing location.
- Extremely Customizable
Majority of the fishing kayaks in the market can be customized to meet the exact requirements of the fisher. The versatility of a kayak enables you to turn it into a vessel that meets your fishing needs and provide you with an exceptional experience. For instance, you can upgrade it to suit your preference and style of fishing.
- Comfortable and Fun
Not only is an inflatable kayak for fishing highly customizable, it is also super comfortable for long fishing trips. Most kayaks have adjustable seats and backrest for additional support. Besides that, they are fun to use and suitable for all individuals irrespective of age. They usually come with safety features and stability when fishing.
Guidelines in Buying an Inflatable Kayak for Fishing
Inflatable kayaks differ in weight size, length, and design. Before you make your purchase, you need to do some research to find the most suitable for your needs. The following are some guidelines when a fishing kayak.
- Solo or Tandem
When buying an inflatable kayak, it’s important to decide whether you want a kayak for solo or tandem use. While solo kayaks are suitable for only one person, the tandem kayaks allow you to bring a partner or pet on board. Besides, there are kayaks that have a convertible design which can carry up to three persons and can be converted for solo fishing. Therefore, the size you choose will greatly depend on your needs as well as your budget.
Inflatable kayaks are constructed using three types of material: PVC, Hypalon, and Nitrylon. These materials differ with durability, quality, and price, and your choice can affect the functionality of your kayak.
PVC originates from vinyl polymer plastic and is a great choice if you are on a budget. Although it has the benefit of being cheap, it is not as durable as Hypalon.
Hypalon is a synthetic rubber that is highly durable. Its durability helps protect the kayak from extreme weather, UV rays, and sharp objects. It is, therefore, used to construct high-end fishing kayaks.
Nitrylon is an eco-friendly material that is highly resistant to puncture and abrasion. It is a good option for constructing kayaks to use in cold environments.
The weight of an inflatable kayak will impact its portability. Different models have varying weights and sizes; hence, you should look for a lighter kayak so it can be easy to transport and carry around. Besides, this will be significant if you are planning to fish solo. On the other hand, weight may not be a key factor if you are planning to carry it in the truck.
- Sit-In or Sit-On-Top
An inflatable sit-on-top kayak has an elevated seat that will position you on top. This design makes the vessel more stable and gives you the convenience to reach for fish.
Sit-in kayaks, on the other hand, don’t have elevated seats. As such, you are required to sit in the cockpit. Although this design is mostly found in traditional kayaks, some inflatable kayaks come with seats to give you a great range of motion. If you are looking for kayaks with adequate space to store your gear and cargo, this might be perfect for you.
- How often you will be kayaking
In order to know which inflatable fishing kayak is right for you, it is vital to determine how much time you will be spending kayaking. If you’ll use it only once in a while, it is wise to invest in an affordable kayak. However, if you plan to use the kayak regularly, it’d be ideal to invest more.
When choosing a fishing kayak, stability is a key consideration. The stability of various fishing kayaks may differ with the overall and hull design. A good fishing kayak needs to be steady so you can lean over without tipping.
The other thing that may affect the stability of the kayaks is width. The wider the kayak, the more stable it will be as compared to narrow vessels.
Before you make a final buying decision, make sure you compare the prices of different fishing kayaks. This will also depend on your budgetary needs and requirements. The prices of fishing kayaks can range from $100 to $1500.
7 Incredible Benefits of Inflatable Kayaks
Inflatable kayaks have many benefits. Here are the 7 most incredible benefits of inflatable kayaks:
1. Inflatable kayaks are very popular for their easy to transport and easy to store features. Unlike the hard-shell kayaks, you can easily deflate an inflatable kayak and pack it into its storage bag and then easily store it in a closet. Moreover, you can easily transport an inflatable kayak with your car which is very convenient.
2. Almost, all of the kayaks those are inflatable; ensure effortless handling. We know that water vessels that are lightweight are easy to handle. Inflatable kayaks are lightweight compared to other types of kayaks. So, all types of kayakers regardless of their skills and experience can easily handle an inflatable kayak.
3. Inflatable kayaks are also known as tandem kayaks and they have adjustable seats. So., you can easily take you, friends or family, to a fun trip with your inflatable kayak. If you choose a 3 person inflatable kayak then you can easily turn it to a 1 person kayak.
4. You can use an inflatable kayak to transport you and your equipment safely and easily cross the river or lake. That means you don’t have to interrupt your trip because there is a river at the end of the trail. You can backpack an inflatable kayak with you and it will come very handy in this type of situation.
5. Inflatable kayaks are affordable in price and they offer excellent value for the money. Inflatable kayaks come with a lot of advantages and they are durable. Moreover, you don’t have to spend a fortune to buy an inflatable kayak.
6. Incredible stability is another big advantage of inflatable kayaks. An inflatable kayak has a versatile design and it is consists of multiple air chambers mounted on an inflatable hull and these chambers hold the gravity center low and provide excellent buoyancy. The buoyancy allows the kayak to float smoothly on the water surface.
7. This type of kayaks are suitable for all types of water conditions. Kayaking is limitless and you can use inflatable kayaks in lakes, open seas, rivers, etc. You can also use inflatable kayaks on shallow waters and they won’t bump on rocks. Moreover, inflatable kayaks are also a great option for harsh weather conditions like the wind.
What are the Types of Inflatable Kayaks?
Inflatable kayaks are available in a variety of types for different water conditions and activities. The most common types of inflatable kayaks are:
Inflatable Recreational Kayaks: These types of kayaks are best for day kayaking trips, light touring on lakes or slow-moving rivers, etc.
Inflatable Whitewater Kayaks: They have a short and wide design, and best for maneuverability in Class I to Class IV rapids. They don’t have any tracking fin.
Inflatable Self-Bailing Kayaks: This type of kayak has mesh drain holes and these holes let water back out of the kayak.
Inflatable Fishing Kayaks: Most of the inflatable fishing kayaks are sit-on-top kayaks and they are available on different sizes. Many of these kayaks are self-bailing and have extra-wide rigid floors.
Inflatable Sit-On-Top Kayaks: These types of kayaks have a wide, open deck. So you don’t have to enclose your legs in a cockpit-like traditional kayak.
Inflatable Sit-In Kayaks: This type of kayak is more of a blow-up version of the traditional kayak. It has a cockpit and you have to get inside of it.
Inflatable Canoe-Style Kayaks: The design of these types of kayaks is quite similar to the hardshell canoes. They have high walls and paddlers have to use a single-blade paddle rather than a double-bladed kayak paddle.
Can Inflatable Kayaks be used in the Ocean?
Many people consider inflatable kayak as the best option for flat water, calm waters, rivers, etc. But the reality is; you can also use an inflatable kayak even in the ocean. Inflatable kayaks are incredibly durable and they are built to withstand tough conditions. This type of kayak has a unique design that ensures excellent stability and maneuverability and is great kayaks for beginners to advanced paddlers.
Moreover, inflatable kayaks are made of thick coated materials, like vinyl and polyester and many use aluminum parts to increase structure and stability. These types of kayaks are built to last so you can use them in the ocean without fear of them popping and sinking.
What to Do if an Inflatable Kayak Gets a Hole?
Don’t worry if your inflatable kayak gets a hole. There are many ways you can fix a hole of an inflatable kayak. If the kayak has a small hole then you can easily repair it using high-quality waterproof glue. To do so, first deflate your boat, clean and dry the area where the hole is and then apply a small drop of glue on the hole. Let the glue dry for 12 hours. However, if the hole is big then the glue won’t be enough to fix it. You have to use a patch to fix the hole. Here are the steps:
First, identify the location of the hole
Now clean and dry the area
Finally, apply the patch on the area and then leave it for at least 30 minutes before you take the kayak out on the water
Who Makes the Best Inflatable Kayaks?
There are many brands available that make the best inflatable kayaks. Among them, Advanced Elements is considered as the best. Some other renowned brands are Aire, Airhead, Aquaglide, DriftSun, Elkton Outdoors Kayaks, Sevylor, Tributary, and Vanguard Inflatables.
Can you Roll an Inflatable Kayak?
An inflatable kayak isn’t designed with the roll in mind. So many kayakers asked what they will do if they bounce out of their inflatable kayak as they can’t roll. Well, it’s not that hard to get back in an inflatable kayak.
Many experienced kayakers have bounced back easily on an inflatable kayak and they have done it practice after practice. You can outfit your inflatable kayak with thigh straps and this way it reduces the chances of you falling out of your kayak.
How Tough are Inflatable Kayaks?
For the past few years, kayakers prefer the inflatable kayak and it has grown in popularity due to its excellent build quality and tough construction. Inflatable kayakers are more durable compared to other kayaks because these types of kayaks have redundant air chambers and they lower the risk of getting tears and leaks in the kayak.
Inflatable kayaks are made of materials that are puncture-resistant so they will easily withstand knocks and bumps.
Moreover, inflatable kayak bounces off rocks and hard surfaces in the event of a collision which is very convenient.
Is Inflatable Kayak Worth it?
Nowadays inflatable kayaks are very popular but the answer to this question depends on your purpose and requirements. Different types of kayaks serve a different purpose. Inflatable kayaks will cost you more than the traditional kayaks and they are also slow in the water.
However inflatable kayaks are more durable and they provide more stability, maneuverability, and excellent portability. So if an inflatable kayak worth your money depends on what kind of performance you want from your kayak as well as what model and brands you are interested in.
Can One Person Use a Two Person Inflatable Kayak?
In the beginning, kayaks were designed for one person so basically, if you want to kayak with your friend then it would need two separate inflatable kayaks. Therefore, nowadays tandem kayak is very popular and it allows two people to paddle in the same kayak.
The best part of a tandem kayak is; if your buddy doesn’t show up then you can use a two-person inflatable kayak. A tandem kayak has the ability to loosen the 2nd seat and move it forward. You can also completely remove the 1st seat if you want. So if the design of the tandem kayak allows then you can easily paddle a two-person inflatable kayak.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Slower?
The answer to this question depends on the kayaks being compared. However, if you compare the fastest inflatable kayak with the fastest hardshell kayak then the inflatable kayak will be slower.
So it is quite clear that the inflatable kayak is slower than other types of kayaks.
Are Inflatable Kayaks More Stable?
The answer to the question is yes. For most of the kayakers, stability is the biggest concern therefore inflatable kayak is very popular among the kayakers regardless of their skills and experience.
In general, inflatable kayak rides low in the water therefore it has less seating wiggle room to make you off-center and balance.
Moreover, an inflatable kayak has a less angled bottom surface compared to a hard shell and it also has more width.
So the flat bottom surface and extra width of an inflatable kayak ensure high-end stability in the water.
As seen above, analyzing the features of the inflatable kayaks will enable you to choose the right model for your needs.
Every kayaker has different needs and preference, and their choice of the best inflatable fishing kayaks will largely depend on how they plan to use it.
Consider the kayak’s durability, stability, safety, and accessories available. You will then be assured of an exceptional fishing kayaking experience.