With the advent of time, kayaks have evolved, in terms of their functionality and overall durability, as well as their overall quality and construction.
Our guide aims to help you with your decision making when it comes to best inflatable fishing kayaks. For such purpose, we have shortlisted for you the best inflatable kayaks out there in the market.
Do not forget to read on regarding some basic information relating fishing kayaks, key features that you should be considering during your purchase, and lastly, a compilation of certain frequently asked queries from like-minded readers – all of which you may find useful.
What is the Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak?
Based on our review and research, “Elkton Outdoors Inflatable Fishing Kayak” is one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks. This 1 person fishing kayak is the perfect equipment for your upcoming water adventure. Some of the key features include durability, adjustability and state of the art designing and functionalities.
Best Overall Inflatable Fishing Kayaks tested by AtlanticCoastKayak’s Experts
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
This 3 person inflatable kayak is made from the heavy-duty PVC for lake usage and has a rugged tarpaulin bottom that affords the vessel durability and protection from punctures. This ensures that this inflatable kayak is apt for anything from a still lake to easy whitewater. It has an ‘Airtight System’ that guarantees there will be no leakages within it.
In the untoward situation of hitting a snag, the kayak’s multiple air chambers will keep the fishing kayak inflated and hence can be lifesavers. This can assure you that you get back to the shore safely.
It has adjustable seats that provide the kayakers with ultimate comfort for those long (or short) fishing trips. Its specially designed spray covers will block any splashes of water and will help you stay dry and clean throughout the trip. The carry handles on the side make it easy for the kayaker to handle it in and out of the water, and add to its portability.
Sevylor Big fishing kayak is strong enough to withstand a weight of 490 lbs, as certified by the NMMA.
- Heavy-duty PVC construction is rugged for lake use
- Tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection from punctures
- Multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured
- Boston Valve is double threaded for easy inflation/deflation
- Adjustable seats move to fit you; Carry handles make it easy to carry in and out of the water …
Sea Eagle 393RL RazorLite Inflatable Fishing Kayak Pro Package
The patented Sea Eagle RazorLite High-Performance Ultra Light Fishing Kayak takes great pride in being the first and only inflatable kayak that is carved from Drop Stitch Technology completely. In specific, it uses 3″ Drop Stitch material for the floor and 4″ Drop Stitch material for the side walls.
The Sea Eagle FlexBrace is completely adjustable and has an ergonomic foot brace. This brace can guarantee you hours of comfort and take out the stress associated with those long fishing trips in the water. There are 20 different positions to choose from and for varying sizes of paddlers that can be adjusted quickly and easily.
It weighs less than 60 pounds and has 2 open and close drain valves, as well as 3 one-way air valves.
It is a high-performance kayak with key features including removable rear skeg, 4 part performance paddle, tall seat back, backpack for storage and transport, front & rear spray skirts with carry handles, 6 D-rings to secure seat and footrest, and high-pressure pump with inline gauge.
The kayak’s rigid bow and stern molds provide a super speedy entry and exit system by creating lift and reducing friction and drag.
The tapered drop stitch sidewalls give the kayak a firm chine at the waterline and added buoyancy and stability. These features add up to give this fishing kayak an efficient output by gliding swiftly and easily through the water.
ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak
This inflatable kayak is designed specifically for anglers and is made out of multi-layer material and patented aluminum rib frame.
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Kayak is a sit-on-top inflatable fishing kayak and designed with kayak anglers and their requirements in mind. The angler’s wide beam affords optimum stability when making those big catches. It has built-in aluminum ribs on the bow and stern to enhance the tracking feature. It is made out of heavy-duty material, has abrasion pads for greater durability, wide beams that enhance the kayak’s stability, and also comes standard with multiple air chambers for greater durability during tough water conditions. The removable Accessory Frame is a revolutionary design that allows you to customize the kayak with fishing rod holders, fish finders, or any other related fishing equipment.
There is a high back seat that accommodates two-rod holders along with inflatable lumbar support that can guarantee you comfort and ease during those long angling days out in the water.
It has other practical features such as stainless steel d-rings and bungee deck lacing for added storage, and paddle holders that can allow your attention to be fixated on fishing. When you are done for the day, you can roll the angler up and store it in the trunk.
Its dimensions are 29.9 x 10 x 16.9 inches and it weighs 39.7 pounds. It is available in yellow colour only. It has a weight capacity of 300 lbs and comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
AIRHEAD MONTANA Kayak, 1 Person
Airhead Performance inflatable fishing kayak is ideal for camping, vacationing, exploring remote regions, and cruising yachts. They’re also suitable for paddling enthusiasts who do not intend to travel around with an oversized kayak on the top of their vehicle.
The AIRHEAD inflatable kayaks are compact when deflated and can easily into your car’s trunk, a duffel bag or even a luggage case. It is like having a reusable fishing kayak that is available to you whenever you feel like heading to the waters. It is specially designed for use in lakes and moderate white water. They are made from semi-rigid heavy gauge PVC and have durable tri-laminate reinforcements underneath. It also has a tubular I-beam floor that provides the kayakers with the much-needed comfort, buoyancy and tracking.
It is lightweight and portable and can be carried around with ease. The inflatable seats come with an adjustable support backrest and special mesh pocket. The kayak is highly visible and available in orange color so you can be spotted from a distance and enhances your safety too.
It has low drag and effective tracking with 4 bottom fins. The 3 air chambers are fully covered by rugged 840-denier nylon and also has UV and water-resistant coatings for longevity and durability. The tri-laminate reinforcements allow it to be used for a long time and multiple seasons – giving you good value for your money. The elbow guards are made from neoprene and offer superior comfort. It is easy to inflate and deflate and is aided by its 3 Boston valves that have nylon covers.
Some other features include stainless steel and nylon hardware that is non- corrosive, 6 D-rings at bow and stern for tightening the gear, stretch net in bow low drag, 4 bottom fins tracking, grab handles so you can move around with it and in and out of the water with ease, front and back spray covers, and threaded drain plug.
Its dimensions are 26 x 18 x 8 inches and it weighs 27 pounds. It comes with a price tag of $359.99. It has a capacity of 1 person who cannot exceed 300 lbs in body weight. The length of the fishing kayak is 9 feet and 9 inches.
Sevylor Tahiti 3-Person Fishing Kayak
Now you can inflate the Sevylor Tahiti within minutes and hit the water right away. That is how quick and easy it is to use – thanks to its Double Lock Fast Valves and Mini Double Lock Fast Valves. The advanced backpack system holds everything you require to get into the water and conveniently slip it under your kayak’s seat. It has a 21-gauge PVC construction and rugged tarpaulin bottom that ensures the lake currents are managed easily so you get a steady and safe experience and that there are no leakages.
In the unlikely event of bumping somewhere or hitting a snag, the multiple air chambers can get you back to the shore safely. The backrest and multi-position footrest cut your work drastically and make the expedition restful and enjoyable. It also comes with a drink holder and bungee storage area where you can store your gear and fluids in an accessible manner.
This inflatable kayak operates similar to a traditional sit-on-top kayak, with the exception that it folds up into its dedicated backpack that comes with the convenience of padded shoulder straps. This bag can also be fitted easily inside your car’s trunk. The design and comfort of this fishing kayak allow you to stretch your legs out and spread your backs and arms too. This takes away the stress and boredom of sitting in a confined spot that people generally associate kayaks with. The cargo net in the front can conveniently hold your packed meals or other fishing accessories that can be accessed easily. The lift handle allows you to carry it around on your shoulder with ease and in and out of the shallow water. The rigid floor, flat bottom and three-chamber design provides the kayak with a sturdy shape and give stability and security when in water, in case of a snag. The length of the kayak is 10 ft. 4 in. x 3 ft. 1 in (2.62 m x.91 m) and can accommodate up to 360 lbs. (163.29 kg). There is a built-in paddle that opens up for more storage and a high-pressure hand pump.
Its dimensions are: 124.8 x 34.8 x 24 inches and weigh 22.8 pounds. It is reasonably priced at $128.02.
Intex Challenger Fishing Kayak Series
The Intex Challenger K2 tandem fishing kayak is sporty looking and fun to use. It has a streamlined design for easy paddling, which is ideal for longer journeys and takes away a lot of stress and tiredness.
The bright green color and sporty graphics are designed for kayaker’s safety and make them visible from a distance.
It has two 86 inch aluminum paddles and an Intex high output pump that makes it super easy for you to inflate or deflate it, at your convenience. There is also a repaid patch kit included in the product, so you can quickly and easily fix any patches if need be.
The rugged and super tough vinyl material makes this product sturdy and resistant from UV rays damage and hence enhancing its durability.
Its dimensions are 12.5 x 23.1 x 16.2 inches and it weighs 35 pounds. It has a weight limit 400 pounds, making it ideal for kayakers of all sizes to benefit from it.
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
This two person Sevylor Colorado Kayak lets you enjoy your catches of the day with your companion. It is made from 18-gauge PVC (NMMA certified), 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover – affording it durability and longevity for multiple water adventures. It can also reach those out-of-the-way fishing holes that you have been meaning to get to. Airtight System assures you that there will be no leakages.
In case you hit a snag, the multiple air chambers will help you get back to where you started safely. The multiple air chambers act as a safety valve so that other chambers can stay inflated if one or the other is punctured.
The adjustable seats will keep you comfortable and easy whilst you paddle away in hunt of your fish all day long.
In case you do not want to paddle or want to cut out your physical work, you can also incorporate the Sevylor trolling motor and stow away your paddles in the holders provided for your convenience and ease. The Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders allow you to tweak your pole angle and offer you a hands-free fishing trip that can make your life easy on the waters. The hands-free option can allow you to concentrate on other things or just sit back and relax and enjoy the scenery around, whilst the rods do the work for you.
The Boston Valve is double threaded and allows for convenient and easy inflation/deflation of the kayak. The mesh storage pockets can safely place your gear away and also store the snacks close by in case you feel hungry. The D-Rings are also another easy option that allows you to attach other fishing equipment.
Its dimensions are: 30.1 x 11.6 x 19.2 inches. It is reasonably priced at $385.41.
Sevylor Fiji 2-Person Kayak
You can now get up close and personal with water and fish your heart out with a Sevylor Fiji 2-Person Kayak. This inflatable kayak works similarly to a traditional sit-on-top kayak, except that it can be packed and folded into its integrated backpack. It can be set up as quickly as in 5 minutes. The design allows you to stretch your legs, arms and back more conveniently. The cargo net in front and the cup holder can easily and accessibly store your food, fluids and other fishing accessories items.
You can easily move around with it and in and out of the water at your pace. The rigid floor, flat bottom and three-chamber design afford the kayak with safety and security features in case of a snag. In case you do with a snag, the air chambers will ensure that you keep afloat and return to where you started from safely.
The thick PVC and reinforced bottom are standard features of the Airtight System that prevent leakages. The Double Lock Fast Valves and Mini Double Lock Fast Valves allow you to quickly inflate and deflate the kayak.
Its dimensions are 124.8 x 34.8 x 35.5 inches and it weighs 23.5 pounds. It is reasonably priced at $119.93. The kayak is 10 ft. 4 in. x 2 ft. 9 in (2.62 m x.91 m) and can accommodate up to 400 lbs. (181.43 kg), making it ideal for a range of kayakers. It also includes a paddle that opens up for a compact storage area and a high-pressure hand pump.
Basic Info of Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
The options for inflatable fishing kayaks are many, and you will surely be spoilt for choices when you set out to buy one. But before you do, you must understand and appreciate some basic concepts and features associated with these inflatable watercraft. This will help you make an informed decision, and will also make you appreciate the finer details and requirements of this equipment. That way, you are bound to get a more accurate kayak that fits the style and requirements that you have.
The three most important components that you should consider when educating yourself about fishing kayaks include the varying types of inflatable kayaks available in the market, the multiple benefits or merits that you can derive by opting for an inflatable device, and lastly, the quality of the fishing kayak that is reflective of the type of material it is made of. Let us consider all these three aspects in more detail.
Types of Fishing Kayaks?
Inflatable fishing kayaks (like traditional kayaks) come in varying categories and shapes. It is important to ascertain the specific or day-in-day-out personal usage of this kayak and then decide which type of fishing kayak is best suited to your requirements. We have explained some of the styles of inflatable fishing kayaks that are readily available in the market, and designed for usage in specific scenarios. Let us consider them in some more detail.
Sit on Top Kayak
This is the type that allows you to sit at a higher position as compared to all other styles of a kayak. It is best suited for people who require a long-range view or casting or even for those who are claustrophobic and do not like the feeling of being in a covered shell as if they are trapped. The feet are outside the hull and hence it is way easier to get in and get out of the kayak.
However, bear in mind that you may be exposed to splashes of water and you do not want to get soaked in it at the end of the strip. For such reason, it is suggested that this model is opted for warmer and summer months, and preferably for water that is still and calm. It is also meant to be less stable than other kayak models and hence will require a lot more technical skills and core muscle workout from the kayaker to steady it, time and again.
Sit Inside Inflatable Kayak
The sit-inside type aesthetically looks similar to a typical kayak and performs in the same manner too. It is ideally designed to keep your body dry, even during the toughest and roughest of weather conditions, as your feet are covered within the kayak. This design permits a more sophisticated bungee system as there is space above your feet to work with. Certain models will also give you the option to add a spray skirt to be used in rougher water conditions and colder days.
Canoe style kayak is best suited for kayakers looking for a partner. The shape is similar to that of a regular kayak but it comes with the added portability advantages of an inflatable. It comes fitted with two seats and ample storage space and allows you to explore places that are otherwise harder to access with a regular boat. There is an option of using the dedicated canoe paddles (one-sided only), in place of the regular kayak paddles.
The open style has higher sidewalls and lower seats (giving it added stability) and is quite similar to the shape of a canoe. These types of fishing kayaks are generally for 1 person and provide for the dedicated fishing kayak paddles. It has a completely open deck allowing you to absorb the outdoor surroundings with ease, and a spray cover usually comes as standard, so you can use it for the high wake.
Advantages of an Inflatable Kayak
Apart from being lightweight, easy to store anywhere and portability, some other advantages of an inflatable fishing kayak includes:
- Versatility – They can be used in lakes, rivers or even whitewater. They are super convenient to store and transport and do not require huge storage spaces.
- Easy Maintenance – They certainly do not require as much maintenance as a rigid kayak. The inflatable options will bounce off the rocks but may get punctured with harder impacts. For this reason, they come standard with a repair kit. Always dry it up before you fold and pack it away – this keeps mold and mildew at bay.
- Security – This is a massive advantage of an inflatable kayak, as these can be easily and conveniently stored inside your house or car – without you worrying about it getting stolen when you leave it unattended. You also do not need to worry about going straight home after the trip to drop it off. You can take detours or have as many stops over as you like, with the inflatable kayak now neatly and safely stored in your trunk!
- Single or More – The fishing kayaks come in options of 1, 2 or 3 persons. These will have dedicated seats for the kayakers, and you should ascertain this requirement or need right at the outset. The benefit of having others with you is that the paddling exercise is much easier and gets distributed, you have company to keep you entertained, and it is always safer and better to have someone with or around you when you are out in the waters for longer durations or do not have much skill kayaking on your own. This type of fishing kayak will also allow you to add more gear and fishing accessories, and you can even bring your dog along if you like.
- Dimensions – Always measure the dimensions of the kayak and compare those with the user/s. If you cannot fit or sit comfortably in it, you cannot use it. It is as simple as that! Your knees shouldn’t be bent when you are sitting inside and you should feel comfortable. You can also measure your legs when in a sitting position, to get the right sitting sizing of the kayak.
Materials of Inflatable Kayak
Given it is your (or your loved ones) lives that are in question here, it is important to establish that your kayak is highly durable and strong. One of the basic qualities that you should look for is the flexibility when you deflate and store it without breaking it when you bend it.
- Hypalon – is an exceptionally durable material that isn’t flexible or bendable. Due to this, it is meant to be heavy and can be hard to move around with. For a fabric type material, it is also rigid in texture and retains its shape for a lifetime. For such reasons, it may be appropriate for use in an inflatable, but not that much for inflatable fishing kayaks.
- PVC – is meant to be the commonest type of material that manufacturers rely on when constructing inflatable fishing kayaks. It is strong and can easily be inflated to a fairly high PSI. It is also lightweight and can easily be folded and reused, as required. It has seams that can be welded instead of stitching – this gives the kayak a sturdier construction as compared to using glue. It is also common to use UV protective coatings on PVCs to reduce damage and weakening in the fabric caused by prolonged or repeated exposure to the sun.
- Nitrylon – is also a widely used material for inflatable kayaks. From a safe environment perspective, it is the preferred choice as it is essentially synthetic and has a coating of natural 1200D rubber. For the mentioned reasons, this material provides a puncture and abrasion resistant system that is easier to patch if needed, and stronger than PVC material. It is, however, heavy and for that reason, it is generally used underneath the kayak only, i.e. the surface that regularly touches the ground.
How to Choose the Best Inflatable Kayak? – Things to Consider
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of kayaks is the ease of travel and the capability to cover long and hard to reach sections of the water. There is something about paddling within the confines of a kayak in open water, on a hot sunny day, that invokes peace and serenity.
Just imagine if you could carry and move around with your kayak in a bag pack, each time you head to the lake, river or a beach. A usual non-inflatable kayak measures around 12 feet in length that makes it difficult to transport or even store at home.
There are quite a few vital features that you should know about before you decide to purchase the one that is right for you. These features can often be at variance with their hard-shelled counterparts, and one should never presume that they will offer the same features, functionalities and experience. Let us look at some of the key features of an inflatable fishing kayak.
Portability is meant to be one of the best and high-selling features of an inflatable kayak. Although some of them may be heavier than the other models, it is vital to see that they come in a carry bag that is easy to carry; ideally with shoulder straps if possible.
They are lighter and easier to inflate and deflate. When not in use, they can be easily and conveniently stowed away into a small bag. This is an amazing feature to have particularly when you are on the move.
You will appreciate the utility and convenience of this foldable inflatable when you are traveling long distances (on a plane, bus, train or car) or even when flying around from one continent to the other.
Now compare this to the hard-shelled kayak that can only be carried around in the same condition and weight as they are. They are heavier and not that easy to move around. Moreover, they will require to be fixed onto a rack on top of your vehicle. That is an added chore, expense and hassle, each time you plan to hit the waters.
Inflatable fishing kayaks are generally designed to be tough, sturdy, and highly resistant to punctures. This is obvious from the fact that Navy S.E.A.L.s and professional whitewater guides regularly rely on inflatable boats in the most demanding of situations.
The best quality inflatable kayaks are constructed from super robust materials, have multiple air compartments system, and sporty air-tight valves. These items are usually enclosed with OVC rubber layers that are although not puncture-proof but can be sturdy in the toughest of conditions.
The air-filled feature (that is often mistaken for an artificial and inflated pool toy for kids) can absorb hard impacts that can usually crack a hard-shelled watercraft. These watercraft can also withstand abrasions and hits from rocks, stumps, branches and other impediments. That is why navy assaults rely on these regularly.
The more you are willing to pay, the better the quality you are going to get. This is true for any product that you buy, generally speaking. These watercraft can be long-lasting and resilient, if you care for them and use them appropriately, according to their specifications.
Always make it a habit to inspect your kayak after each use, or even in the shallow waters by paddling and testing the inflation. Just be sure to repair any leakages or patches instantly, rather than sleeping on it.
Having said that, the blow-up options cannot offer you the equivalent longevity and durability that hard-shelled fishing kayaks do that are made with polyethylene.
These days, more and more manufacturers are incorporating aluminum ribs and exterior material coatings in their designing, to give their products more resistance to punctures and scrapes as well as UV protection.
Generally, inflatable kayaks are meant to be a cheaper watercraft option as compared to the hard shell ones. This is mostly attributable to the cost and construction of materials used in constructing them.
As inflatable ones are more economical and provide similar value and benefit as non-inflatable ones, it makes them more appealing to the masses. In particular, this is an attractive feature for those beginning or new to kayaking or even those who already have a regular kayak but want a 2nd or 3rd one for themselves or family as a back-up or just to diversify their options.
Inflatable kayaks can range in pricing anywhere from $150 to above $1000. This is reflective of the quality of the product and the features and functionalities you prefer. A sweet spot is where you can purchase the entire inflatable kayak package including a pump, carrying bag, paddles, and a patch kit within $550. All these prices are given to provide you with an idea and actual prices will vary depending on the brand, model and features you prefer.
Inflatable Kayak FAQs
Are Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Durable?
Yes, they are! As we see more and more people switching to these inflatable devices from the hard ones, the manufacturers are ensuring that they improve their quality on an ongoing basis. More often than not, they are constructed from high-quality military-grade PVC and are meant to last for a long period. This material is so strong that you can even fit in your dog with you on the trip. These fishing kayaks are easier to store and transport and hence less exposed to external damage as compared to the non-inflatable ones.
Moreover, these inflatable kayaks come standard with a patch kit in the unlikely event of it getting damaged or if you hit a snag. This is not reported to happen frequently but it is always better to be safe than sorry. These patch kits contain marine-grade super glue and all the required tools that you need to fix the kayak in no time. Just locate the hole and simply patch it up by applying the glue generously, and you are good to safely go back into the water.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Good for Fishing?
More and more anglers rely on kayaks for an effective and enjoyable kayak fishing trip. There are more models of inflatable fishing kayaks today then there were a few years ago. The kayaks are now more specialized and designed with custom-fit features and options for anglers looking to fish and kayak. One of the reasons that anglers enjoy them more than the fishing boats is the maneuverability, storage and the portability. The stability and storage (of fish and other essentials) are other factors that fishermen like about these inflatable kayaks.
The sit-on type (or the canoe style) model of an inflatable kayak is the best bet as it lets them move around in the best kayak and easily too when they are looking around the waters or just trying to change or access a gear item such as fish finders or rod holders.
Are They Stable and Safe?
Inflatable fishing kayaks can be safe for a variety of waters and associated conditions. They have an air-filled feature that makes them more buoyant and hence affords them a lot of stability. Having said that, in inclement weather or tricky conditions or for ocean touring purposes, you should play safe and get a more specialized vessel.
Inflatable kayaks can provide you with an amazing opportunity to go outdoors and enjoy nature’s bounty such as beautiful rivers, lakes, and coastlines. You can soak it all in and relax in the surroundings of the spectacular views on offer. A kayak (which has your preferred paddling) can take you across pristine beautiful seaways, or if you are feeling adventurous, then right in the middle of an adrenalin-pumping rapid.