Best Inflatable Kayak in 2022

Best Inflatable Kayak

Have limited space but want a kayak? After researching 90+ foldable, packable, and inflatable kayaks, we selected 6 that we tested on the water for hundreds of hours. We paddled across lakes, over waves, and down rivers for months to push their limits. The capacity and comfort of each model were thoroughly tested with help from friends, dogs, snacks, and kids. Expert and novice paddlers helped us try how easy each boat is to set up; you can handle it on the water and pack it back into the trunk. We have the best inflatable kayak for your aquatic adventures, regardless of your skill level.  

Kayaks are among the most common water sports vessels, yet they are not the same. The kayak is a highly versatile watercraft that can be used for adventure, exercise, leisure, or even fishing, depending on its type, capacity, and features. Here, you will find some facts to help you choose a kayak that meets your needs. We are excited to see you on the water soon, so check out our list of top kayaks for all types of paddlers and activities.  

What To Consider When Buying A Inflatable Kayak  

You shouldn’t just look at the cost. Some things are often overlooked:  

Comfort  

If you are going to far-off places, comfort is vital. Your boat can be very uncomfortable if it’s uncomfortable. This metric received the same weight as the handling metric since these two give you the best picture of how a kayak will perform on the water than any other metric. As part of our handling tests, we asked questions and conducted tests to assess the comfort of each kayak.  

Capacity:  

When buying a kayak, whether it will be used by your entire family or just you, consider its weight capacity.  

To calculate the weight capacity, it would be helpful to account for a little more weight than the heaviest user. The extra weight can be added by camping gear, for example.  

Ease of Setup  

Assembling and disassembling your watercraft every time you use it shouldn’t be a burden that discourages you from using it. For every kayak, we incorporated both the setup and take-down process.  

Inflatable kayaks require reading directions for the first time. To see how helpful the rules were, how easy they were to follow, and how intuitive the process was, we followed the directions included with each kayak. Additionally, we gauged each kayak’s learning curve from its initial setup to when we were confident and swift in assembling it. Making the origami Oru Beach LT initially seemed confusing, but it quickly became the easiest and fastest boat to build. A paddling kayak often resembles this shape. The segments are held together with stainless steel clamps, and a towel is included to keep the seals clean.   

Portability  

In this review, all the kayaks are more portable by nature than traditional hardshell kayaks, so we didn’t give too much weight to this comparison metric. The size, weight, and awkwardness of something will impact how far and what bodies of water you can access.  

Durability  

We put these kayaks through typical use scenarios to evaluate their durability over months of use. We considered both their construction and our observations during service in terms of durability. Over the years, we have paddled a few of these boats, noting any issues and areas in which they continue to impress.  

Storage and Transport:   

It is easy to forget that it has to be transported and stored in the excitement of purchasing your first kayak. It is pointless to buy a 15-foot touring kayak if you have no place to keep it. You’ll also need to bring your kayak home, which can often mean attaching it to your vehicle. With our guide, you can make a kayak roof rack yourself or purchase a specially-made one. 

7 Best Inflatable Kayaks 

 

1. Pelican Sentinel 100X 

Best Inflatable Kayak

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Length: 9 ft 6 in | 2.9 m 

Width: 30 in | 76.2 cm 

Weight: 42 lbs 

Best Use: Recreational kayaking, fishing 

Pelican Sentinel 100X kayaks are great beginner kayaks, whether you bring your dog along for the ride or not. Often, animal companions have more space to ride on sit-on-top kayaks, and this model has enough stability to allow some movement. It is easier to transport because each end and side are equipped with handles. For those interested in using it for fishing, they make an angler-specific version of this kayak.  

Despite sitting on top, the top has plenty of storage space. Access to storage is made easy with bungee cords and a removable compartment. Most customers complain that their kayaks were damaged during shipping when they ordered from Amazon. 

PROS

  • Affordability  
  • stability 
  • Large storage capacity  
  • Very lightweight 

CONS

  • Recommend for calm waters only 

 

2. Sun Dolphin Journey SS Fishing Kayak 10-foot 

Sun Dolphin Journey SS Fishing Kayak 10-foot  

 

SPECIFICATIONS

​Hull Material: Polyethylene 

Hull Type: Sit-on 

Length: 10′ 

Width: 30″ 

Weight: 44 lbs. 

Sun Dolphin Journey uses the same basic hull as the Bali and has many positive features while adding two flush-mounted rod holders and one swivel rod holder for fishing convenience.The large, comfortable seating area, protective thigh pads, and adjustable foot braces help keep the kayak angler comfortable, and the Journey’s width makes it easy to stand up and cast from the kayak. 

P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) can be used as bait or catch holder. The trailer can be towed behind the boat, while the tank well can be used to store more fishing gear.The Journey is missing only the fittings that would allow a fish finder to be mounted without drilling into the deck. 

PROS

  • It is equipped with a portable accessory carrier 
  • and plenty of storage space 
  • as well as multiple footrest positions 
  • Rod holders on both sides of the wall, plus one swivel rod holder 

CONS

  • The vehicle is not very maneuverable, and it does not come with a fish finder. 

 

3. Sun Dolphin Aruba Kayak 10-foot 

Sun Dolphin Aruba Kayak 10-foot   

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Hull Material: Polyethylene 

Hull Type: Sit-in 

Length: 10′ 

Width: 30” 

Weight: 40 lbs. 

A stable and durable kayak, the Sun Dolphin Aruba features a wide cockpit and a spacious hull. The boat is 10 feet long and 40 pounds, so it can easily be carried to the water’s edge or attached to a car rack. 

There is bungee cording on Aruba’s deck and a large hatch at the rear for bulky items. 

Adjustable foot braces, padded thigh pads, and a padded seat make the Aruba comfortable for extended paddling trips and allow the paddler to maneuver into tight turns with their lower body.Due to its long waterline, Aruba can pick up speed and track straight; however, its low rocker makes it challenging to maneuver. 

PROS

  • Beginners will have no probing storage Storage capacity 
  • Easy to use for beginners 

CONS

  • The maneuvering is rather challenging. 

 

4. Perception Carolina 12.0 Kayak 

 

Perception Carolina 12.0 Kayak  

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Hull Material: Polyethylene 

Hull Type: Sit-in 

Length: 12′ 

Width: 26” 

With the Perception Carolina, a beginner can enjoy their first touring kayak. It has a soft chine and a long profile, making it stable, but its narrow profile allows good top speed.You’re more stable in the cockpit and more comfortable on longer trips with Adjustable Zone DLX seats. There are two watertight hatches on the outer hull where the gear is rigged with bungee cords. 

Its narrow hull makes it suitable for saltwater and freshwater use since it can cut through rough water. Although it has a low rocker, making it less maneuverable, its long waterline allows it to track straight and move quickly. 

Carolinas have a large cockpit that makes entry and exits more accessible, but water can leak over the sides during rougher weather. Spray skirts can prevent this. 

PROS

  • The storage space is ample 
  •  it as well as stability in rougher comfortable seating 

CONS

  • A little difficult to maneuver 

 

5. Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak 10-foot 

Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak 10-foot  

SPECIFICATIONS

Hull Material: Polyethylene 

Hull Type: Sit-on 

Length: 10’ 

Width: 30″ 

Weight: 44 lbs. 

Sun Dolphin Bali is a simple, easy-to-use sit-on kayak. With its wide beam and multi-chine hull, the boat is highly stable, while a large, comfortable seating area with protective thigh pads and adjustable foot braces assures the paddler’s comfort.There is a large amount of storage on the Bali, including a built-in watertight compartment, paddle holder, and shock cord deck rigging. Also comes wails included with the Bali is a P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier), which can be detached from the boat and towed behind the kayak. 

This large amount of storage makes the Bali an ideal kayak for those looking for a kayak for camp. There is ample storage for all the camping gear you might need for an extended trip, and the Bali is stable enough to handle whitewater, provided you don’t plan on running it. Rip. 

Despite the wide beam and multi-chine hull of the Bali, turning it is a little sluggish because of its wide beam. 

PROS

  • Portable Accessory Carrier included 
  • Lots of storage room 
  • Multiple footrest positions 

CONS

  • A little difficult to maneuver 

 

6. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two 12-foot 

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two 12-foot 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Hull Material: Polyethylene 

Hull Type: Sit-on 

Length: 12’ 

Width: 34″ 

Weight: 57 lbs. 

You can kayak tandem with friends, children, or even your pet. The 12-foot long Ocean Kayak Malibu You can go one step further with the 12-foot Ocean Kayak Malibu Two, accommodating two adults plus one child or pet. 

A central seating position also allows you to paddle alone, giving you all the leg room you desire. 

The Malibu provides ample storage for gear thanks to its large open cockpit, three molded-in seat wells, and attached gear straps. Two comfort seats and multiple footrest positions make this kayak comfortable for paddlers of all sizes. While the Malibu’s length makes it stable and tracking on the water, its weight can make it difficult to maneuver if you’re paddling alone. 

PROS

  • Suitable for two adults and a child or pet 
  • Can be paddled solo 
  • Multiple footrest positions 

CONS

  • A little heavy for one-person transportation 

 

7.  Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak 

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Hull Material: Polyethylene 

Hull Type: Sit-on 

Length: 6’ 

Width: 24” 

Weight: 18 lbs. 

Although most kayaks are designed for adults, kayaking is a sport you can get into at a young age. Kid lifetime Youth Wave is specifically designed for children ages five and up under adult supervision.Young kayakers will find a host of features that make their lives easier. It features an ergonomically designed cockpit to improve balance and reverse chines to trap water under the boat, preventing capsizes. 

Using the specially designed swim-up step at the rear of the kayak in conjunction with the mounded finger grooves makes reentering the kayak a breeze.Scupper holes with self-bailing systems will deal with any water they bring in. It features multiple footrest positions to accommodate various paddler sizes, and twin fins mounted on the bottom assist with tracking and even surf riding. 

With a length of 6 feet and a weight of 18 pounds, the Youth Wave is easy to transport and store. Esterline is not a problem long as it’s above the waterline. It is stable and straightforward to use once it’s in the water. 

PROS

  • Children-specific 
  • Multiple footrest positions 
  • A swim-up step for re-entry 
  • Self-bailing scupper holes 

CONS

  • Not suitable for longer journeys or rivers 

FAQs 

Q. How good are inflatable kayaks? 

Ans:  While inflatable kayaks do not have rigid hulls, they are more portable and lightweight than traditional kayaks, making them ideal for vacations and travel. Most inflatable kayaks also perform exceptionally well in the water and are great for recreational kayaking. Some are also good for touring. 

Q. How safe are inflatable kayaks? 

Ans:  The safety of inflatable kayaks is the same as that of traditional kayaks. To stay safe while kayaking, you should wear a life vest and avoid whitewater. In the end, inflatable kayaks are made of a material that is sturdy, durable, and strong enough to handle most aquatic adventures. 

Q. How are inflatable kayaks made? 

Ans:  Depending on the inflatable kayak category, there are three types of materials used in its construction. Vinyl is used for light recreational kayaks. The second category is also vinyl but covered in a nylon fabric to protect it from the elements. The last material type is thick, rigid, durable, and more expensive PVC, sometimes with drop-stitching.  

Conclusion 

You have plenty of options on the packable and inflatable kayak market today, and it can be challenging to narrow it down to the right choice before you spend hundreds (or more) on a rig. Consider your intended use of your future kayak – where you plan to go, how much time you hope to spend on the water, and what you’d like to bring with you – when making your decision. Always research the water and weather conditions where you plan to travel, and don’t forget to bring life jackets for every creature on your boat. 

Inflatable kayak testing is fun. We can’t lie. Hopefully, our results will provide insight into the best way to integrate a packable yak into your lifestyle. Enjoy your time out there as much as we did – and remember to stay safe. 

You may Also Like  :

  1. Do Inflatable Kayaks Pop Easily?
  2. How To Store Inflatable Kayak?