Maybe you’ve been meaning to go kayaking with friends or family.
Perhaps you’re just curious about kayaks in general.
Either way, the thought raced through your mind, “What is the best inflatable kayak?”
The short answer is that it depends on your plans and preferences, so let’s get to the details in this article!
Let’s start with more straightforward questions.
Are inflatable kayaks any good?
Are Inflatable kayaks safe?
And, are Inflatable kayaks stable?
Many people use hard-shell kayaks and consider inflatable kayaks less safe.
People also thought of them for a long time as nothing more than fancy pool toys, but that just isn’t the case.
If you know how to choose the right one, inflatable kayaks can be as strong, safe, resistant to punctures, and long-lasting as hard-shell kayaks.
Even the Navy SEALs deploy inflatable boats under dire circumstances.
Ducky kayaks are famous for whitewater kayaking, too.
There are more we can list, but this just shows that it works for a good reason.
There might have been a time when inflatable kayaks were just fancy pool toys.
In the last few years, things started to improve as manufacturers began to pay attention to kayaking trends and step up their game.
I’m not saying there aren’t any differences between the two, because there are.
But, depending on your needs, getting the best inflatable kayak could have more benefits than getting a hard-shell kayak.
So, let’s take a look at why inflatable kayaks are good:
- The construction is light and usually weighs between 25 and 30 pounds.
- Even though they are lighter, they can often carry up to 600 pounds, which makes them great for kayak fishing.
- You will also enjoy increased stability when the hull is wider.
- They take up less space to store because when deflated, they are usually about the size of a regular duffel bag.
- Because it is lightweight and small when deflated, it is easier to carry around.
- Most of the time, good-quality inflatable kayaks cost less than hard-shell watercraft.
- Most inflatable kayaks are wider than hard-shell kayaks, float better, and are more stable because of their thick, air-filled tubes.
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Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
It’s not often that one of the best-performing models in any category is also one of the best deals for shoppers on a budget.
Still, the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame is precisely that.
Made of metal, you can also buy this for a reasonable price.
The aluminum-reinforced keel makes a V shape that cuts through the water much better than most other models’ flat bottoms.
The bottom of the Advanced Frame is made of a plastic-like material that doesn’t let water in.
This makes it easier to move through the water and helps you move faster with less effort.
When paddling on the water, this inflatable boat goes faster, tracks better, and catches less wind than the others.
It has a thick, comfortable, and adjustable seat that can easily fit some extra gear, a medium-sized dog, or a small child.
Most inflatables are made so that the left and right sides inflate separately, leaving you stuck if one side gets a hole.
The AdvancedFrame, on the other hand, has inner and outer chambers.
Even if the outer chamber pops, you can still get back to shore.
One issue is that it is hard to put this boat away.
The AdvancedFrame doesn’t have drain holes at the bottom as many others do.
Because of this, it keeps water in for a long time and is hard to take apart and dry out before putting it away, making it easier for mold to grow in storage.
It also has seven air chambers that you can fill with air, but five of them need a special adapter or your lungs to do so.
Also, the bag isn’t big, which makes it hard to put the boat and all its parts back in unless you fold the boat the right way.
The weight of the AdvancedFrame is the same as that of many tandem bikes.
But let’s say you’re willing to put in a little more time and effort to dry and store this boat.
In that case, it’s an excellent inflatable model for flat water and even a few waves, and it’s a good deal for what you get.
Bote Lono Aero
The Bote Lono Aero is one of the best inflatable kayaks for people who want one boat to do everything.
You can use the Bote Lono Aero for many different reasons.
This inflatable kayak is the most useful one because you can use it for all three scenarios.
You can use this boat as a kayak, a stand-up paddleboard, or a kayak for fishing.
With the APEX pedal drive feature, you can do anything from fishing to working out.
The Bote Lono Aero is an excellent choice for solo or group activities.
For example, the SUP and paddle versions have a ton of storage space or room for kids for family trips.
With the APEX pedal drive, you can use the power of your feet instead of your arms to move the craft.
You have to purchase this separately, but it lets you rest your arms on longer paddles or allow people with disabilities to move the boat.
The Bote Lono Aero is bigger and heavier than most inflatable kayaks because it has more features than most.
Made of AeroULTRATM military-grade PVC, this is 12’6″ long and weighs a whopping 51 pounds.
The weight is worth it because you get three different kinds of boating in one.
It also comes with its own rolling carrying case, making it easier to move than other boats.
Kokopelli Moki I Inflatable Kayak
Kokopelli Packraft is a relatively new kayak company. It has only been around since 2014.
The Moki I Inflatable stands out among the competition and Kokopelli’s five inflatable models because it is made well and can be used for multiple scenarios.
This narrow inflatable kayak is 12 feet long and can be used well on lakes, rivers, and coastal waterways.
A detachable spray deck is helpful when paddling in rough water or bad weather.
A rigid drop-stitch material supports the inflatable floor to make it more stable and last longer.
With a weight limit of 500 pounds, the Moki I is a good choice for almost anyone who wants to paddle alone and bring a lot of gear.
The color scheme and design make it easy to know where to put the seat, footholds, and fin.
When you’re done for the day, all you have to do is pull out the drain plug, detach the above parts, and deflate the mattress.
It will then fit into a 31 x 20 x 8 inches bag.
The free Moki carrying bag is easy to move around because it can be rolled or worn as a backpack.
Aire Tributary Tomcat (Both Tandem or Solo)
There is the Aire Tributary Tomcat if you need an extra durable inflatable kayak.
This kayak excels in both durability and is recommended as one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks out there.
The Tomcat has vinyl bladders and a tough PVC shell that are both made to stand up to UV light, storage, and years of use.
New Tomcat sports an inflatable seat, improved bow and stern dodgers, a mesh drain system, flip handles, and welded seams.
It also has a bow and stern D-rings to haul and set up gear easier.
The Tomcat is a stable boat that is 10’10” long and weighs 34 pounds.
It is suitable for beginners who want an inflatable whitewater kayak or people who want to paddle around on lakes with flat water.
It doesn’t have those extra features that most people don’t actually need.
This helps keep the price down.
The Tomcat is a wonderful option for beginners who don’t want the weight or storage issues of a typical hard shell kayak.
No matter what, moving around on the water the whole time is easy on this boat.
Given how it moves when the wind picks up, this could be a problem in waters with more waves.
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Ultimately, it all depends on whether you want a kayak for a specific activity.
Alternatively, you could purchase a kayak that you can use for all scenarios.
Just make sure that the kayak you choose can withstand the elements, perform well, and suit your preferences.