As a boating enthusiast, I am all about finding a vessel that meets my needs. To do it, I performed extensive market research and found several products, some budget-friendly and others high-end, that can perform wtabell in both calm and rough waters.
Throughout this article, I will present the list of the best inflatable kayaks featuring the highlighting points and downsides of the products that I went for. Let’s get started.
Inflatable Kayaks Reviews
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak
The first model on my product is suitable for solo and team use. It is available in a Single and Tandem design, making it a perfect choice for a weekend adventure. It can be used for recreational touring and fishing, given its simple-to-maneuver angler structure. Most importantly, it is made to withstand heavy use in saltwater and freshwater.
Firstly, I want to discuss the specifications of this kayak. The single model is set at 10’10” by 3’3”, weighing at around 40 lbs. The coolest point about it is that this kayak offers a load capacity of 400 lbs which is more than enough for one rider.
On the other hand, the tandem kayak is set at 12’6” by 3’3” and weighs 4 lbs more than the previous model. The load capacity that it offers? 600 lbs, once again, more than enough for a pair of boating enthusiasts. Apart from the size and the design specifications, there aren’t any differences between the kayak for one and two riders.
Both are made from a 1000D reinforced layered PVC which is a perfect material if you are looking for a kayak that can withstand bounces and rough waters. Furthermore, it features seven hard mounting points that are well-positioned for effective water drainage. Additionally, a rigid floor supports casting from different positions.
Among the strong points of this product is the fact that it is able to inflate within minutes using the dual-action hand pump. Not only that, but it is as simple to deflate it and put it away in a transportation bag that comes with this offer. Discussing its portability, I find it necessary to mention that the side carry handles make the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak a convenient choice.
Why is it such a good choice for a fisherman? Firstly, there are hard mounting points and spacious bungee storage in which you can put the action camera, rods, and bait. Also, I was pretty impressed with the ergonomic padded seat that makes casting while sitting down more enjoyable.
In terms of reliability, it is great to know that the manufacturer offers a one-year warranty on all built-in defects. There is also a 30-day moneyback guarantee in case you aren’t satisfied with the product.
Any downsides? The fact that the user’s manual doesn’t include the necessary instructions. It is also pricey and not suitable for budget-friendly enthusiasts. Other than that, this is a product that holds great value and that I would recommend to anyone interested in boating/fishing.
- Made out of 1000D reinforced PVC
- For rough and calm waters
- Rigid floor
- Spacious bungee storage
- Dual-action pump
- 1-year limited warranty
- User’s guide not detailed
Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak
After trying out the Elkton vessel, I was eager to discover a more affordable duo kayak. This is when I came across the Voyager 2 Person Tandem, which is manufactured by a well-known brand (Driftsun) and is made beginner-friendly. Although it doesn’t allow as much versatility because it comes in just a single color/design, it is advertised to offer superior performance for touring adventures.
The main point with every vessel is its specifications. The Driftsun Voyager 2 is set at 10’ by 35” by 16” and weighs just 27 lbs. On the other hand, it offers a load capacity of 400 lbs. When deflated, this vessel is more convenient, sitting at 26” x 16” x 8” and suitable for any kind of transportation.
In terms of the setup, I didn’t have a lot of issues as the high output pump ensures 5-minute inflation/deflation. With that in mind, I think that it is a great choice for newbies that are getting used to how kayaks work. Yes, it doesn’t have side handles, but its sleek profile and lightweight construction allow for proper portability.
It seems that the manufacturer focused on creating a rigid kayak with the 840 D oxford fabric set as the top cover. I found it to be tear-resistant and reliable even when touring in rough waters. Most importantly, this kayak features double-threaded valves, which are very important for preventing leakage.
Apart from the transportation bag, paddles, and a high-output dual action pump, you will receive a removable deep fin that goes a long way in terms of improving maneuverability. It supported the pointed nose design of the Voyager Tandem kayak and allowed me and my partner to have more control over the direction that we are going in. Furthermore, the EVA padded seats make for a comfortable environment to stay in for hours.
The only issue that I had with it? The fact that in comparison with the Elkton vessel, it is a bit short for two people. Still, I see it as a worthy choice given the price and the innovative structure that highlights it.
- Reasonable price
- Easy setup
- Rigid construction
- Great maneuverability
- Dual valves
- EVA padded seats
- A bit short for some
Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars
Moving on with my list of the best inflatable kayaks, I want to present a product that is just perfect for those on a limited budget. Available in two designs, the K1 (single) and K2 (dual), the Intex Challenger kayak is one of the best choices for starters. Most importantly, it includes all of the necessary equipment, such as a high-output pump and aluminum paddles.
The first point that I like about this vessel is its sportish and sleek profile. In my personal opinion, the green-blue color combination is pretty attractive and will allow you to be noticed by others in case you get stuck in the middle of an open sea. Before I get into its specifications, I want to point out that it isn’t ideal for rough waters.
Still, if you are interested in touring on a slow-moving river or a lake, the construction of this kayak will allow you to do so. It is made out of durable welded material that prevents leakage but can’t endure too many rocky bounces. Whether you go for the single or the tandem kayak, both offer a spacious cockpit and enough legroom.
I found that the main difference is in size. The K1 is set at 30 by 15 by 108 inches, weighing just around 27 lbs. On the other hand, the K2 is set at 30 by 15 by 138 inches and offers a load capacity of 400 lbs compared to 220 lbs of the former. Both include a pair of 86-inch aluminum oars that are suitable for easy paddling and newbies.
Among the coolest points is the cargo net which can be used both as a storage and a handle when you need to transport the kayak. Much like with the two products mentioned above, the setup with the Intex Challenger doesn’t take more than a few minutes (high-output pump).
Apart from the fact that it can’t be used for rough waters, the only other issue is that the transportation bag is pretty flimsy. In the end, the highly affordable price and innovative design that highlights this product are why I recommended it in the first place.
- Extremely affordable
- Best for slow-moving waters
- Cargo net
- Simple setup
- 86-inch aluminum oars
- Solid load capacity
- Not for rough waters
- Flimsy transportation bag
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Intex is a well-recognized brand, for which reason I enjoy trying out their products. Although this tandem kayak is similar to the one mentioned above and not suitable for saltwater touring, the comfort and maneuverability are pretty impressive.
Firstly, I want to discuss the design of this vessel. It is set at 10′ 3″ by 3′ by 1′ 8″ which means that there is more than enough space for two adult riders. It is highlighted by standard directional skegs and offers a load capacity of 400 lbs which is common for a tandem kayak.
What I was most impressed by in this product is the amount of cockpit space that I got. In my personal opinion, it is an ideal choice if you want to embark on a few hours of adventure at a lake or a slow-moving river. The fact that the EVA padded seats are comfortable and that there is a lot of legroom is what makes the Intex Explorer K2 a good choice.
The removable skeg goes a long way in terms of stability and maintaining the direction that you want. Furthermore, the fluorescent yellow design of the Explorer K2 is of great importance if I would end up stranded in the middle of the lake.
Apart from the kayak itself, I got a pair of aluminum oars, a high-output pump, and a kit for emergency repairs. What are my concerns regarding this product? The fact that it doesn’t withstand heavy use and it doesn’t feature a cargo net.
Still, this kayak is worth its affordable price and something that I would recommend to touring enthusiasts.
- Affordable price
- Standard directional skeg
- Comfortable seats
- Enhanced visibility
- Solid weight capacity
- Spacious cockpit
- Not for saltwater
- Lacks a cargo net
Challenger Kayak 1-Person Inflatable Kayak
Last on this list is another product from the Intex company. It is pretty similar to the Explorer that I discussed above. The kayak is highlighted by durable construction (double-welded material) and enhanced safety features, including a slightly pointed nose for more stability. I find it to be a solid choice if you are just starting out in the world of kayaking.
The most impressive point of this product is its stability. Yes, you shouldn’t expect that it offers superior performance on saltwater, but there are I-beam inflatable floors for maintaining direction and maneuvering. Also, the fact that it takes just a few minutes to inflate it with a high-output hand pump is why I see it as a good option for boating beginners.
Opposite to the product mentioned above, this one does have a cargo net that can be used both as a storage area and for transportation. In terms of comfort, I would say that the cockpit offers enough room for a single rider to enjoy hours of a touring adventure.
It is set at 30 by 15 by 108 inches and weighs just above 27 lbs. What I was most impressed by is that it offers 220 lbs of load capacity, which is pretty good considering its lightweight and sleek profile. In terms of what I got within the package, it was a pair of aluminum oars (84-inch), a high-output pump, and a kit for repairs.
In the end, although it is not a kayak for professional use and may break in rough bounces, I consider it a budget-friendly choice suitable for everyone that wants to tour in slow-moving waters.
- Great price
- Comfortable cockpit
- Cargo net storage
- Easy setup
- Attractive streamlined design
- Not as sturdy as similar models
- Not for rough waters
At the end of the day, I had a fantastic experience with all the products mentioned. My personal favorite? The Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Kayak as I found it to offer the most value for the price through its rigid construction and spectacular maneuverability. For those on a tight budget, I would recommend the Intex Challenger that is available in single and dual design and is perfect for lakes and rivers.