The best inflatable fishing kayak is the ideal solution for avid anglers who have neither the budget for a hard-shell kayak nor the means to transport it.
You will find plenty of choices from one-seater to triple-seater kayaks made from durable plastic materials, such as PVC and tarpaulin.
You can easily assemble, disassemble, and carry these inflatable water vessels, too, while their wide range of features makes fishing such an enjoyable activity.
The Best Inflatable Kayak Is Characterized By Its:
- Good stability – The kayak should remain steady on the water while also allowing for leaning over the side without tipping over.
- Satisfactory maneuverability – The kayak should be able to move well through the water while also able to stay steady, when necessary.
- Great features – The kayak should have ample storage space, fast inflation and deflation, adjustable seats and footrests, and backrest, among others.
Inflatable Fishing Kayak Comparison Table
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak Reviews
Here are five of the best inflatable kayaks for anglers, which have been chosen based on my personal experiences with the products and on dozens of customer reviews.
1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set
You may be unable to stow a week’s worth of gear and supplies in it, not to mention that it’s not suitable for rugged conditions like whitewater and open oceans, you will find it satisfactory in many ways.
Your best uses for it are in mild rivers, lakes and shallow seas. Bring a friend on your weekend fishing trip although you can also use it for solo trips – the other seat can be used to stow your gear.
You will find that its light weight and compact dimensions allow for its easy assembly, disassembly, and storage, a must for the best inflatable fishing kayak.
Made from thick, sturdy, and strong vinyl, the K2 features an I-bean floor for added rigidity so that the kayak has reduced risks of tipping over.
You can use the removable skeg for better directional stability and maneuverability, while the two adjustable seats with backrests provide comfort while paddling and idling on the water.
Inflation and deflation are so easy with the Boston valves, one on each side of the kayak, and the high-output pump.
Carrying and storing the fully deflated kayak is just as easy as pulling a fully inflated kayak in and out of the water, thanks in part to the grab handle and grab line. Paddling is great, too, with the two 86-inch aluminum oars included in the package.
- East o assembles and de-assemble
- Tough and durable
- Easy to deflate and inflate
- Not so spacious for a longer trip
2. Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
You will have peace of mind while on the water, thanks to its thick tarpaulin bottom and nylon cover providing sturdy protection against punctures from various sources.
You don’t have to panic even when a puncture happens, too, since the multiple air chambers’ design reduces the risks of sinking.
This is because the rest of the non-punctured air chambers will stay inflated, thus, ensuring the kayak stays afloat until the puncture can be remedied onshore. The Airtight System adds to the no-leak guarantee.
Your kayak fishing jaunts will be more enjoyable with the inflatable kayak’s fishing-specific features. These include the adjustable Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders for hands-free fishing and the Sevylor trolling motor fittings for enhanced fishing.
You can troll the waters, go where other inflatable kayaks cannot go, and possibly catch more fish, although keeping a slow speed is a must for safety. You can also try kayak helmet for safety purposes.
The kayak also has features for storage, comfort and convenience. You can stow your gear, food and drinks, and fishing equipment in the mesh storage pockets and D-rings with the second seat as a possible storage area.
You don’t have to strain your muscles getting the kayak in and out of the water because of the carry handles. Your sitting posture will be more comfortable with the adjustable backrest and comfortable seat. Accessories include a pressure gauge and carry bag.
- Puncture resistant
- Has a large storage space
- Allows for hands-free fishing
- Comes with trolling motor fittings
- Getting the kayak in and out of water is easy
- Comes with an adjustable backrest for maximum comfort
- Does not come with a paddle
3. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
This is a strong, sturdy and stable inflatable kayak made from thick vinyl material, which has been welded for added durability.
Your worries about inflatable kayaks sinking in rougher conditions end here, especially with the I-beam floors for added rigidity and stability.
Aside from the attractive graphics, your eyes will also be attracted to the kayak’s streamlined design from stern to bow. Your paddling through water will be smoother, too, a must in fishing for the big ones when stealth is necessary.
You will find the cockpit to be comfortable and roomy, a great feature when you’re on the water for hours at a time.
When fully inflated, the kayak measures 30x15x108 inches and weighs 27.2 pounds. You can use it even when you’re on the heavy side, thanks to its 220-pound limit including rider and gear.
You should be careful about maintaining the kayak’s balance on the water when stowing your gear since you can easily tip over otherwise.
The grab line plus the kayak’s light weight make it easy to pull the kayak in and out of the water. The cargo net can also be used to store your extra gear while the inflatable seat with the backrest makes it so easy to paddle and idle in comfort.
Accessories include an 84-inch aluminum oar, a high-output manual hand pump, and a repair patch kit. Both inflation and deflation, which happens in 5 minutes or so, can be done with the hand pump.
- Stable and very rigid
- Easy smooth paddling
- Stable and very rigid
- Comfortable inflatable seat
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy and quick to inflate and deflate
- Not ideal for long trips
4. Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat
You will be impressed by its outstanding sturdiness, thanks to its strong nylon tops and abrasion-resistant PVC bottoms, a combination that ensures several years of use with proper care.
Your needs for durability and longevity are also addressed by the powder-coated steel tube frame, which also adds unparalleled rigidity to the inflatable kayak.
Fishing for days at a time isn’t an issue with the pontoon boat. You will love the huge storage capacity where you can stow your weeks’ worth of gear, supplies and equipment.
You have 20 pockets, 2 insulated drink holders, and removable gear bags on board, aside from the usual drag-your-stuff-behind-your-kayak style.
Be sure to use a manual pump for inflating and deflating the inflatable kayak; an electric pump can cause it to blow up in your face. When fully inflated, you can easily move the kayak from land to water due to the transport wheel – no assistance required. When deflated, your muscles will not protest at the weight of carrying it.
Your inner fisherman will rejoice at the removable stripping basket for lap and side mounting, adjustable fishing rod holder with six positions, and detachable fly patch.
You will love the integrated anchor system with its mesh bag, cord and pulley for mounting either from the back or side. You can ride high, too, with its high-profile design, weatherproof motor mount, and battery platform with wire rear storage.
- Super sturdy
- Large storage capacity
- Has plenty of leg room
- Comes with a trolling motor fitting
- Using an electric pump can cause it to blow up
5. Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak
Your fishing jaunts will be more enjoyable when you have the Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak as your vessel because of their tested durability, functionality, and beauty. The 21-gauge PVC material is among the thickest in inflatable kayaks, thus, its popular use in rugged lake conditions.
You have to be careful, nonetheless, of using it in rough conditions, such as whitewater rapids. The risks of sinking even with a puncture are reduced due to two features.
First, the multiple air chambers allow the kayak to float even when one air chamber has a puncture. Second, the Airtight System provides a no-leak guarantee.
Setting up the kayak is easy-peasy, too. You should use either a hand pump or foot pump to inflate it, adjust the seat to suit your preferences, and carry it to the water.
You can easily carry it from shore to water because of its carry handles and light weight, especially when you have a buddy to assist.
Carrying and storing the kayak is also just as easy. Your portable pump can also be used in deflating it while rolling it afterward takes minimum effort. You can place the folded or rolled kayak into its carry bag, stow it in your car, and off you go with your catch.
- Puncture resistant
- Easy to assemble and set up
- Lightweight and portable
- It is made of a heavy dense material
- Can withstand rapid water conditions
- Has a big weight limit of 360 pounds
- Without a skeg its stability is affected
Buying Guide For Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Before buying an inflatable kayak for yourself, you need to consider a few basic things.
How much kayaking experience you have can determine what type of kayak you choose. If you are a newcomer, you can find kayaks that are suitable for you. If you are a veteran in kayaking, you will surely find one suitable for you as well.
How much money you want to spend can also determine which kayak you want to buy. They are usually priced at around $150. But if you have any special requirements, you can find one cheaper or costlier according to your requirements.
What type of fish you want to catch can change the type of kayak you will need. Suppose someone wants to catch smaller fishes, and someone wants to catch bigger ones. The amount of space each fisher needs will not be the same.
Before buying an inflatable fishing kayak, you have to consider the type of waterbody you want to fish in.
This is an important factor as choosing the wrong kayak can ruin your whole kayaking and fishing experience altogether.
Now that the basics are out of the way, let us talk about more advanced features of an inflatable kayak.
How long a kayak will last mostly depends on what it is made out of. Inflatable kayaks are made out of three types of materials, and each has its unique qualities.
The first-ever kayak was made out of PVC, and to this day, it remains the most affordable kayak. Though the quality has improved significantly compared to the old ones, it still has its weaknesses.
Kayaks made out of PVC are vulnerable to excessive sunlight and corrosive elements like gasoline. You can extend its lifespan by using UV protectants regularly.
Kayaks made out of Nitrylon are more strongly durable compared to the ones made out of PVC. These kayaks are stronger, easy to repair, and perform much better in harsh weather, especially during the cold.
But being stronger comes with a price. Because of their durability, these kayaks tend to weigh more compared to the traditional ones.
Kayaks do not get any better than the ones made out of Hypalon. These kayaks are strong enough that the U.S militaries have been using them for quite some time now.
The Hypalon kayaks are the most durable and expensive inflatable kayaks out there. So, be ready to pay a steep price if you are looking for a top of line quality and durability.
The amount of available space can be divided into two categories. One is how many people it can fit, and the second is how much weight it can carry.
You will also need to consider your height and body measurements as well. Usually, manufacturers add a maximum weight limit to their kayaks to give you a general idea about their weight capacity.
But you will also need to consider your fishing instrument’s weight in this equation too. Kayaks can be of three types depending on their capacity.
The white-water kayaks are shorter and can not carry much weight. These kayaks are for one person and are not suitable for fishing.
As they cannot carry much weight, you will not be able to carry your fishing instruments inside of them. While you can choose them for fishing but we do not recommend them.
You can find two types of White-water kayaks. One that is self-bailing and another that is not. The difference between these two is, one has holes to keep the interior dry on its own, and the other needs to be manually bailed.
As the name already suggests, these are made to carry one person. Though they are generally shorter in size, you can find bigger kayaks depending on the purpose it serves.
Tandem kayaks are made for two people. They usually have a higher weight limit and can be a suitable option if you prefer a partner while fishing.
How To Choose An Inflatable Fishing Kayak?
We know we have mentioned a lot of information here, and it can be quite hard to process all of these at once.
So in this segment, we will try to explain what type of inflatable kayak you need base on your need. We will try to keep things as simple as possible.
The first and foremost thing about buying a kayak is the price. While it is the most important one, it is not the only thing you should keep in mind.
You can get an inflatable kayak for as low as $150, but getting the cheapest option might not always be the best one. The product you buy should fulfill your fishing requirements and habits.
Other things to consider are the capacity of the kayak, how much weight it can carry, how many people it can carry, and how durable it is.
Usually, it is better to get a balance kayak that can perform well under any type of situation and also consider the price and performance you will get for that price.
Pros And Cons Of An Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Inflatable kayaks are made out of multiple air chambers. So even if there is a leak or puncture, it will still not sink.
A regular kayak can cost up to $3000, an inflatable kayak can cost something between $150-$1000.
Due to their wider body, the inflatable kayaks are much more stable compared to regular kayaks.
There is a reason why the U.S militaries use Hypalon kayaks and not any regular kayaks. While it is true that inflatable kayaks made out of PVC are not that durable, the Hypalon kayaks are top-notch when it comes to durability.
Storing and carrying around an inflatable kayak is its most important feature. Inflatable kayaks are suitable for any type of waterbody just like it is suitable to carry around anywhere.
Unless you want to participate in a race, an inflatable kayak will always serve you better in all other situations.
When it comes to performance, a regular kayak can be more stable and provide much superior overall performance.
While it is easier to carry around an inflatable kayak, you usually need to spend a lot of time preparing the kayak beforehand.
Vulnerable To The Wind And Water Flow
As inflatable kayaks are lighter than regular kayaks, they are more affected by the flow of wind and water.
Which is the best inflatable fishing kayak from among these five choices? You have to decide for yourself since your needs and wants in it will be different from your fellow recreational fishermen.
You may want the Challenger K1, for example, since you’re a beginner or you may want the Colorado XT because of your grand plans.
Each one of these inflatable fishing kayaks, nonetheless, can address your needs for a durable, strong and sturdy product with fishing-friendly features.
Buy one or a few of them now and see where you’re fishing adventures take you down the road – or more appropriately, down the river.