Inflatable kayaks are also known as air kayaks or blow-up kayaks are gaining huge popularity of late. Popular brands are improving their construction and materials so that they’re no more considered just as a fun boat. They are the best alternative to solid kayaks.
In today’s guide, we will review the best one person inflatable kayaks, check out their pros and cons, things to consider when buying, and various uses. Doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or professional paddler, here we provide you the list of the best inflatable kayaks to help you make the right decision.
Inflatable kayaks are a bit simpler to travel with. No matter whether you are getting across the street or traveling overseas, you may easily pack them in your bag without any need for the roof rack and trailer. This buying guide on the top inflatable kayaks will help you look for important things before buying one for yourself.
How to Know Which is the Best Inflatable Kayak for You?
Today’s guide will help you buy the right inflatable kayak based on the comparisons of the highly-rated brands. We have carefully evaluated them on ease of inflation, stability, value, portability, and how simple they are to paddle.
If you’re concerned about the leaks, all our reviewed one-person inflatable kayaks come with quick repair kits and pump. But with the modern materials being quite tough, leaks are unlikely. Without wasting any time let us check the best personal inflatable kayak:
Buying Guide for One Person Inflatable Kayaks
Stability & Safety
It is an important area where the inflatable kayaks are just fantastic. As they are a little wider than the hard shells, because they are buoyant at edges, they are highly stable.
Actually, the designs are highly resistant to tipping compared to other recreational kayaks out there. They are generally simple to right & re-enter from water. The combination makes them the most stable and safest boats.
Another important thing you need to consider before selecting one person inflatable kayak is the type of kayaking you prefer to do. Whether it is exploring slow-moving rivers and sheltered lakes or bays, kayaking trips, fishing, jumping down the sea in the choppy conditions, and hitting whitewater? All these kinds of kayaking are feasible in the inflatable, but, some are well-suited to specific things than others.
There is a little more upkeep needed with the inflatables than hard shells.
Dry it before packing – For getting the best from the kayak, you have to take good care of it. Whenever you are done with the paddle, make sure to give your inflatable kayak one quick rinse with the clean water & let this air dry before you pack it. Folding this up wet can encourage mold & mildew or shorten the life of your kayak. Also, it will lead to foul-smelling boats!
Most of the one-person inflatable kayaks are designed from the following materials although some may combine two different materials to balance their durability with a price.
- Hypalon: Hypalon material is generally used in high-end kayaks and is more resistant and durable to harsh weather & UV rays compared to other materials, but is a bit expensive.
- Nitrylon: The main downside of Nitrylon is it is a heavier material. But, it is tougher, eco-friendly, and highly durable.
- PVC: It is one common material that is used is polyvinyl chloride. It is cheap and durable and also resistant to tears. This is UV resistant but can get damaged when you leave them in sun for a long time.
Another thing to check out is how simple they are in transport. Whereas some models are heavier than others, so it is very important, no matter what weight, they have the carry bag. It must be simple to carry — with the shoulder straps. But the decent handle.
Realistically, your inflatable kayak may come across several bumps and bruises in its entire lifetime, hence durability is very important. It can hit rocks on the beaches, be dropped on the ground, or get crashed around in the car, and more. So make sure you buy the quality product and do not settle for the random cheap inflatable kayak. Most of the kayaks include repair patches or kits and other pieces in an event it is damaged.
7 Best One Personal Inflatable Kayaks
Now as you know a few important things to look at before buying an inflatable kayak, here are the top-rated inflatable kayaks available at present.
Intex Challenger Kayak is fun and sporty with a streamlined design for simple paddling. Its sporty graphics and bright green color make this kayak visible even in the water. Good for experiencing mild rivers and lakes solo, the Sports Series kayak will be ideal for one adult. Compact and lightweight, this inflatable kayak is simple to assemble and, built-in Boston valve, it can easily inflate & deflate within minutes.
Intex Challenger is the biggest inflatable kayak right now from the popular manufacturer Intex. The kayak measures 11ft and 6in. Also, the boat is accessible as 1 person kayak, called the Intex Challenger K1. Almost all customers have given positive feedback on the Intex Challenger Kayak.
- One-person inflatable kayak with the low profile design
- A cargo net for storing additional gear
- Grab line included on both the ends of this kayak
- Inflatable floor for rigidity and comfort
- Inflatable seat for the total backrest
- Comes with an 84” aluminum oar, repair patch, and high-output pump
- Handy cargo net
- Sufficient space for paddlers and luggage
- All accessories included
- Carry handles are missing on bow & stern
- Difficult to dry & clean because of the missing drain valve
With outstanding handling, comfortable and long lifespan, this kayak can carry a good distance. The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame kayak is a folding frame kayak & inflatable kayak. Using aluminum ribs in its bow and stern, the kayak slices through the water and challenges the trackability of the hard-shell kayaks. Its stern acts as a skeg, improving its tracking performance. The kayak uses durable materials in three-layer construction as well as features high-end components. There’s a lot of storage room for the extended trips and sets up within a few minutes & is compact to take on the weekend adventure.
This AdvanedFrame comes well-equipped with the built-in pressure relief valve, thus you can adjust air pressure when out. Suppose overinflated, the kayak’s performance will be affected which makes it the convenient fix without going back to the shore. Its skeg tracking fin will make maneuvering this inflatable kayak simple for the novice and expert.
- Advanced Elements comes with a spring valve
- Has attached inflatable rim over its cockpit that is the spray skirt
- Comes with a built-in pressure relief valve on the floor
- Molded rubber handles give a good touch
- Adjustable back support
- Durable and double-coated fabric
- Modular design and simple to repair
- Good speed for one person inflatable kayak
- Good directional stability
- Generous interior and best for a taller person
- Good workmanship & strong boat skin
- Water-permeable zippers
- Takes a long time to dry because of its nylon material
- High weight for 1 tube kayak
- Footrest is missing
Many people love the inflatable kayaks for their convenience and ease of taking them to various places, but Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-person kayak takes the portability to a completely new level. It set unfolds from the backpack, converting your backpack in the seat and the entire kayak converts in the backpack once you’re done. With the room for included pump & paddles, the pack is very lightweight, convenient, and efficient to enjoy all types of water activities any time you want.
The Quikpak K5 kayak is a rugged inflatable yak that you can take anywhere. The kayak comes as the complete kit with included pump and paddles, which pack very neatly together in a backpack. This takes minutes to set up, for a durable, simple, and fun way of enjoying water activities anywhere you are.
- Includes foot pump and 2 skegs that give you best tracking
- The framework will resist the sun & saltwater
- Double Lock™ valves make use of 2 locking points for simple inflation or deflation.
- The airtight system will not leak.
- The kayak has a 3year manufacturer’s warranty
- Quick and easy to inflate
- Highly portable
- Durable in design
- Enough Cargo space
- Hard to pack down & store correctly
- Isn’t comfortable
Elkton Outdoor Steelhead Fishing Kayak can well be the top inflatable kayak, especially for fishing. This awesome device is made with minute detail, being suited for fishing purposes. Suppose you’re looking for a kayak meant for a serious fisherman, then it is the right choice for you! The best feature of the product is its hard floor, which allows for stand-up casting. There are hardly any inflatable kayaks that are rigid or sturdy enough, and it is something that Elkton Steelhead kayak leads in. The kayak has a lot of style mount attachment & storage compartments. It is ideal for all your gear when out on the sea.
Besides this, the Elkton kayak is made to last and comes with a hard plastic nose & tough 1000D reinforced PVC. You may paddle the kayak even in tough conditions without worrying much. With a lot of small details, which make this kayak well-suited to fishing, and coupled with quality materials & craftsmanship, it needs to be the top inflatable model for any fisherman.
- Designed for Fishing, Attachments & storage – has several Scotty style attachment points, Paddle parks, and Front bungee storage
- A strong drop stitch floor enables you to stand when casting. Self
- Simple setup and portability, which includes a pump and travel back
- Comes with a guarantee on the workmanship and material
- The long waterline and 2 skegs for the long glides and great tracking and has firm plastic cones on front & rear tips and 1000D Layered PVC
- Durable material and strong plastic nose
- Cast standing up
- Plenty of attachment points
- Good storage room
- Have comfortable seats
- Simple to maneuver
- A bit costly
Specially designed for the waterways like meandering Aquaglide Noyo 90 kayak is made for a person wanting to get in the water & stay dry. With the enclosed cockpit, Noyo provides complete dryness and a safe paddle for the beginner who is looking to feel more comfortable.
It is ideal for one paddler and more fun. It is the best choice for recreational paddlers looking to have a good time out on the sea. Made for touring & all-around use, it is the fun kayak that you must consider buying. Aquaglide designs the Noyo 90 from the HexShell material. Its floor uses Aquaglide’s EvoBeam technology, which results in higher stiffness & performance.
An adjustable and comfortable Core 2 enhances your paddling experience with the inflatable base & high back support. Its seat has a lot of storage features like mesh pockets. So, kayakers of different sizes may move easily on their seat.
- Cockpit drain
- Fast release fin with Core 2 seat
- Molded handles
- Boston valve
- Zip open and dry compartments for complete storage – D-rings
- Accessory strap
- Good for all-day trips
- Drain plug
- Fast release fin
- The floor isn’t wipeable
With the drop stitch floor that gives added stability and inflation through waves, Aquaglide Navarro Convertible Inflatable Kayak is perfect for use through the choppy waters & traveling distances. To a stern, you have the zip-open compartment for storing all your gears, accessory strap at a bow comfortable and adjustable Velcro seat, as well as hex shell pontoons.
It is 13-foot yak and the top feature of this kayak is it is highly convertible. In good weather, you can enjoy the open and sit-on-the-top experience, however, to stay protected and dry, just add a zip-in deck that will turn this yak into a sit-in. At just 35 lbs, it is the lightest kayak out there in this class.
- The military valve on the floor
- 2 Boston valves on its side chambers
- Sturdy and molded handles
- Fast -release fin system
- Paddle holders.
- Adjustable foot support
- D-rings to attach gear
- Cockpit drain
- Attractive and stylish look.
- Quality design & materials.
- Comfortable handles.
- Low rocker for the distance kayaking.
- Drain plug.
- Spray skirt compatible.
- Paddles & pumps are not included.
- The Zip-in deck needs to be purchased separately.
Sea Eagle SE330 Kayak is one highly popular inflatable pro solo kayak in this range. With all-around durability, versatility, affordability, and convenience this fact comes without any surprise. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Sport is an ideal kayak for the beginners who are learning on this activity and having fun for the experienced kayakers. Because it is portable and simple to inflate, this can also be paddled by about anybody – from the young kids to even grandparents.
Besides 330 can easily be paddled on the flat water and white water, and also ocean surf, it is responsive as the solo or tandem kayak. With 330, you may go off on your own adventures, and invite a family member or friend to enjoy this fun.
- Self-bailing valve
- NMMA Certified
- Lashed down spray skirts
- 3 deluxe valves
- 2 skegs on the bottom for tracking and speed
- I-beam floor
- Bow and Stern Grab Line
- Pressure Gauge & Repair Kit
- Good value for money
- Rugged material & well-built
- Highly Versatile
- Convertible for solo & tandem paddling
- Includes 2 paddles & foot pump
- Seats have very good support
- Not good for windy conditions
Normally speaking, inflatable kayaks generally tend to be stable because of their high sides, flat and wide bottoms. Many inflatable kayaks offer good stability than regular kayaks. With this, they aren’t all made with a similar shape.
The inflatable vessels are generally simple to repair and need the patch kit for covering over the small puncture. This patch can be applied to the vessel when deflated.
Yes, they are completely safe for an entire range of waters & conditions. Its air-filled nature actually makes them buoyant and pretty stable. But, in the choppy conditions and for ocean journey, you might want the specialist vessel.
Definitely, you can easily go camping using the inflatable kayak, providing you have sufficient room for the gear that you would like to take. Also, you might want to use some dry bags for storing your food and clothing, since inflatable yaks might not have plenty of dry storage accessibility.
In an end, the best one-person inflatable kayak depends upon your needs and requirements. All the kayaks that we have mentioned here have fancy features that will help you in kayaking but you have to determine which is the best kayak for you. Can you use the kayak for going out on the fishing trips or will it be your companion in the hiking trips & keep up with the exercises? It depends on the design and strength of a kayak all along with the knowledge of which type of water body that you want this for, do your final purchase.