The 7 Best Inflatable Kayaks of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Inflatable Kayak at L.L. Bean

"A reliable and lightweight kayak that can take on a variety of water conditions."

Best Budget: Intex Challenger K1 at Amazon

"A perfect size for one person to explore calm waters, whether it's a lake or a lazy river."

Best Two-Person Kayak: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak at Amazon

"Includes two inflatable seats, two oars, a high output hand pump, and a repair kit."

Best Three-Person Kayak: Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak at Amazon

"Has three adjustable seats that you can move as you please."

Best for the Lake: Intex Challenger K2 at Amazon

"You can cruise on the lake easily thanks to its sleek design and removable skeg fin."

Best for Camping: Oru Beach LT at Overton's

"Comes with a carrying case and is lightweight, weighing only 26 pounds."

Best Whitewater: Aire Tributary Tomcat Kayak at Leisure Pro

"Features a rugged PVC outer shell with welded seams that's puncture-resistant on rougher conditions."

Our Top Picks

01 of 07

Best Overall: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Inflatable Kayak

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Inflatable Kayak

 Courtesy of Amazon

For a reliable and lightweight kayak that can take on a variety of water conditions, choose the AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak from Advanced Elements. This one-person kayak features a hybrid design that combines the durable folding frame found in plastic kayaks with an inflatable set up. It also has aluminum ribs that stretch from the bow to the stern to allow for more stability and paddling control. This kayak uses a spring valve to inflate and deflate quickly and is easy to inflate using an NRS Super2 pump, which is sold separately. Once the kayak is inflated, you only need to attach the seat before you can get onto the water. Reviewers noted that they were able to paddle long distances comfortably and found the boat was easy to get in and out of.

02 of 07

Best Budget: Intex Challenger K1

The small Intex Challenger K1 is a perfect size for one person to explore calm waters, whether it's a lake or a lazy river. And at a low price point, the kayak is ideal for beginners who are new to paddling and want a reliable ride. It comes in a bright green color at nine-feet long and weighs 25 pounds when not inflated. Because of the smaller size and load (220-pound carry capacity), the sporty kayak can cruise through water with stability and agility. It comes with a cargo net for gear storage and has grab lines on both ends. The kayak comes with one 86-inch aluminum oar, a high output hand pump and a repair patch kit.

03 of 07

Best Two-Person Kayak: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

With the Intex Explorer K2 kayak, you’ll get an inflatable kayak that will get out on the water quickly and easily, without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a hard-shelled, hard-to-transport kayak. The 10-foot kayak uses puncture-resistant vinyl in a bright yellow color for high visibility. It comes with two inflatable seats and has both front and back handles and grab lines. There is also a removable skeg to keep you tracking in the right direction in calm waters. When not inflated, the kayak weighs just 31 pounds to carry. When inflated, it can hold up to 400 pounds of weight. The kayak comes with two 86-inch aluminum oars, a high output hand pump, and a repair patch kit.

04 of 07

Best Three-Person Kayak: Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

Sometimes you don’t want a big boat, but you still want a vessel to glide through the water with your whole party. The Sevylor Big Basin is a three-person kayak that's still inflatable and portable. Users say that two adults fit extremely comfortably in the kayak; three adults might be a bit tight (but it's possible). It is 12-feet long with a dual-protected base to keep punctures at bay. The boat also comes with three adjustable seats that you can move as you please, as well as spray covers to keep riders at least slightly dry. When inflated, it can hold up to 490 pounds of weight. The kayak does not come with oars or an air pump. Included accessories include a carry bag and pressure gauge. It weighs around 45 pounds when not inflated.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Best for the Lake: Intex Challenger K2

The Intex Challenger K2 features a sleek design that lets you cruise on the river or lake easily thanks to its removable skeg fin. Although this two-person kayak is a bit heavier than some other options on our list, weighing 33.57 pounds when its not inflated, it has a longer length and a cargo net for hauling gear. The kayak is 11.5 feet long and holds up to 400 pounds of weight. There are removable and adjustable inflatable seats, as well as a grab line on both ends to haul the boat in and out of the water. Plus, the kayak is made from a puncture resistant and UV-damage resistant vinyl, so you can use it for all your lake excursions for years to come. The kayak comes with two 86-inch aluminum oars, a high output hand pump, and a repair patch kit.

06 of 07

Best for Camping: Oru Beach LT

Oru Beach LT

 Courtesy of Overton

Some of the most popular camping destinations are by a body of water, so bringing an inflatable kayak with you on your trip is a great way to take advantage of that perk. While the Beach LT by Oru technically isn't an inflatable kayak, it's a great option because it's lightweight at just 26 pounds and easily compresses down to 12 x 28 inches. It also comes with a carrying case that's convenient to take with you on your trip or stored away in the car for easy accessibility. This kayak can be set up in 10 minutes using side release buckles and is intended for calm waters. The Beach LT measures 12 feet in length and is made from durable double-layered polypropylene.

07 of 07

Best Whitewater: Aire Tributary Tomcat Kayak

Aire Tributary Tomcat Kayak

 Courtesy of Leisure Pro

If you're looking for an inflatable kayak to use in whitewater conditions, look no further than the Aire Tributary Tomcat Kayak. This single-person kayak features a rugged PVC outer shell with welded seams that is tear- and puncture-resistant. It also has a three-chamber hull design that offers stable tracking on the water, making this boat a great option for beginners who are just starting out on rougher conditions. If the kayak does happen to tip over while in use, there are handles on the underside of the boat that make it easy to tip the boat back over. The inflatable seat is comfortable, and there are 12 cargo loops inside that can be used to attach dry bags or any other gear you want to take with you. It uses Summitt II valves for inflation and has mesh drain holes to drain excess water out quickly. The Tributary Tomcat Kayak measures 123 x 36 inches and can accommodate up to 325 pounds.

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