Regular kayaks are expensive which puts them out of the reach of a lot of people. If this is the case for you, yet you love the idea of kayaking out on the open water, then an inflatable kayak may be just what you need.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Any Good?
You may be worried that inflatable kayaks are limited in their use or won’t last but that’s just not true as long as you buy a reputable brand. The best inflatable kayaks are incredibly durable, stable and easy to use.
And in fact, inflatable kayaks have many things going for them, some of which can even make them a better choice than a regular kayak, depending on your circumstances. For example, here are some of the pros of inflatable kayaks…
Inflatable Kayak Pros
- As we’ve just discussed, inflatable kayaks are much cheaper than rigid kayaks.
- Despite their cheaper price, they’re very sturdy, tough and durable.
- They’re very portable and light making them easy to transport around. This is great not only for transporting them long distances, but also if there is a walk from your camp to the water, for example.
- As well as being light and portable, they’re also much easier to store than rigid kayaks, due to the fact you can deflate them and pack them away.
- Depending on the model you buy, you can still take them into white water rapids or out to sea.
- They’re a great option for those just starting out, as they let you try out kayaking without investing too much money before you know if it’s really for you.
- Inflatable kayaks are also suitable for any body shape and size due to their flexibility, so they can be a lot more comfortable than rigid kayaks.
- There’s less maintenance required than for rigid kayaks.
So all these advantages make inflatable kayaks a great option for the beginner or those on a budget. With that in mind, let’s review some of the best inflatable kayaks on the market in 2016.
Best Inflatable Kayak Reviews 2016
Sea Eagle SE 370 Pro
This high quality inflatable kayak is a two-seater and has the added benefit of coming with a couple of two-piece paddles and a foot pump. Both inflation and deflation are a breeze taking only a few minutes. And once deflated, the kayak packs up to a fraction of its inflated size (79 cm x 48 cm x 20 cm) making transporting it around no problem at all.
The Sea Eagle SE 370 Pro is very comfortable, and is incredibly stable in the water while remaining easy to manoeuvre. As its name suggests, it’s suitable for use on the sea as well as on lakes, canals and rivers.
The maximum load is 295 kg and the exterior dimensions when inflated are 360 cm x 86 cm.
If you’re looking for a seagoing inflatable kayak that’s reliable and rugged, while at the same time being light and portable, then the Sea Eagle SE 370 Pro is a great option.
Sevylor Tahiti Plus
In our opinion, the Sevylor Tahiti Plus is the best multi-seater inflatable kayak. It comes well packaged, complete with a puncture repair kit. Made from heavy duty PVC, its construction is very tough and sturdy, more than enough to stand up to banging against rocks and jettys.
One problem that some cheaper inflatable kayaks have is that they bend when you step in or out of them. There’s no such problem with the Sevylor Tahiti – it takes your weight very well with no noticeable warp. It’s also very stable in use, and is easy to steer too. Following a straight line is no problem, and neither are quick, sharp turns. Because this kayak is so stable and manoeuvrable, it lets even the novice relax and enjoy the pure fun of kayaking without worrying about sinking or capsizing.
And another big plus for it is that it inflates very quickly – always great for those who can’t wait to experience the fun of kayaking!
The kayak incorporates a backpack system making it easy to transport, and includes carry handles on the stem and the bow to make it easy to carry when inflated too. And when you’ve finished your kayaking, it deflates quickly and easily. Deflation is obviously quicker if you have a pump to help. And on that point, it’s important to note that this kayak doesn’t come with a pump or paddles included.
The size of the inflated Sevylor Tahiti Plus kayak is 385 cm x 90 cm, and the maximum load is 200 kg which is more than enough to safely carry two adults and a child.
All in all then, this is a highly recommended kayak which is great for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. There are good reasons why it’s one of the top selling and highest rated inflatable kayaks on Amazon. Great fun for all the family!
Intex Challenger K1
The Intex Challenger K1 single seat inflatable kayak is a great choice for those on a tight budget. Made from Intex “Super-tough” vinyl this is a very strong and rugged kayak for its price and is suitable for lakes and calm rivers.
It gives a very comfortable ride, and includes a detachable rudder for the beginner to help keep them in a straight line. And of course, if you prefer, you can remove the rudder for a more traditional ride.
The K1 Challenger measures 274 cm x 76 cm when inflated, and supports a load of up to 80kg.
If you’re a novice kayaker who doesn’t want to spend too much money initially, then the Intex Challenger K1 is a great option for you. It’s very affordable yet offers a more stable and comfortable ride than many more expensive kayaks. We consider this to be the best inflatable kayak under £200.