The best inflatable kayak for whitewater can be used in the extreme conditions of raging rivers and rapids characterized by their turbulent waters, large rocks, and precipitous drops.
You can use it for paddling down rapids, maneuvering around large rocks, and performing crazy tricks, which aren’t possible on flat water.
You also have the benefit of greater control, stability and maneuverability in a whitewater kayak, which can also be used on calm waters like lakes, bays and estuaries.
The best inflatable whitewater kayaks also provide other benefits. You can easily carry and transport them to your destination, quickly inflate and deflate them in 10 minutes or under, and learn basic and advanced rafting skills.
You must, however, set realistic expectations since these rafts can be harder to maneuver, paddle slower, and break down faster than hard-shell kayaks, especially when abused.
Inflatable Kayak For Whitewater Comparison Table
Best Inflatable Kayak For Whitewater Reviews
With the extreme rigors of whitewater kayaking, I took great care in choosing the best inflatable kayaks especially since your life can be on the line.
You want to choose the best whitewater kayak since the raging river with its rocks, holes and whirlpools can be without mercy.
1. Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak Pro Solo Package
The Sea Eagle SE330 kayak may seem small and light but don’t let appearances fool you! The convertible kayak can carry as much as 500 pounds, both the two riders and their cargo, even with its 26-pound hull weight.
You don’t have to feel confined since its spacious dimensions will provide sufficient room for two average-sized adults.
When it’s deflated, you can easily store it in its carry bag, carry it on your shoulders, and set it up on the shore. You don’t even have to purchase an overhead cargo system to stow it on your car – the trunk will suffice for it.
As a whitewater inflatable kayak, it has been tested by both the manufacturer and the users for durability in the rough conditions of Class III rapids.
I tested it, too, and I found it such a durable kayak that I used it for several more trips during the kayaking season. I found the thick PVC and tarpaulin hull able to withstand repeated exposure to sharp rocks and the like.
You can also use it out of the box although I also recommend setting it up at home to iron out possible kinks. The package includes the inflatable kayak, a carry bag, a removable kayak seat, a four-part paddle, a high-pressure foot pump, and a repair kit.
- Petite, lightweight and portable
- Can withstand the class II rapids
- Handles and paddles very well
- Offers a well-balanced boating experience
- Spacious enough to comfortably fit two adults
- Resistant to punctures, extreme impacts, and conditions
- The cost is on the high
2. Advanced Elements Attack Whitewater Kayak Review
You can attack Class III whitewater with gusto, partly due to the knowledge that it can withstand the rigors of the sport.
You can even use it in calm waters although the overall feel will be different because of the whitewater-specific design.
The inflatable kayak is designed with stability in mind, too. In general, the wider the kayak, the more stable it is – and the Attack’s 35” width does the job well. The 12” rocker also contributes to its above-average stability.
Your practiced eye will also observe that the combo of independent PVC bladders and PVC tarpaulin hull increased the kayak’s overall durability.
The two are combined to form a double-layer material with improved resistance against sources of punctures. The three air chambers work well in keeping the kayak afloat even when one air chamber has one or two punctures.
You will also find the series of self-bailing drain valves useful since you don’t want to be constantly bailing water out of your kayak.
You will also appreciate the adjustable thigh straps, hull abrasion rails, molded grab handles, and adjustable seat. You can stow your gear in the cargo bay located at the rear.
- Puncture resistant
- Wide enough to offer stability
- Adjustable thigh straps and seat
- Can withstand up to class II waters
- Does not track well in lakes
- Slightly slower for lake distances
3. Solstice Rogue Kayak Review
With its heavy-duty puncture-resistant 26G K80 material from stern to bow, it can withstand several trips to raging rivers and rapids. Solstice Rogue Kayak radio frequency-welded seams will not fall apart even with the water’s force pushing and pulling against the kayak.
Its I-beam construction contributes to its stability even in turbulent waters, thanks to the added rigidity of the kayak.
The bottom line: The Solstice Rogue can be in rogue waters yet still survive the rigors. As its rider, you should know the basics of whitewater rafting, too, so that you can put it to good use.
As a convertible kayak, you can go solo or bring along a friend on your whitewater rafting adventure. You and your friend should have sufficient room in the kayak for yourselves and for your gear.
You must keep within the 360-pound limit for better control, stability and maneuverability of the inflatable craft.
While you will likely get wet during whitewater rafting, you want to limit your wet parts to your upper body. You can use a spray skirt to protect your lower body while the kayak’s front and back sprays covers will provide added protection.
- It is durable
- It tracks well
- Maneuvers so easily
- It is puncture resistant
- It is very stable in raging turbulent waters
- Can be converted to a solo or two-person ride
- Folding it back to the bag is a hassle
4. Solstice Flare 1 Person Kayak Review
Once there, you will be delighted to see that the thick hull is made from durable 1000 Denier nylon, which has been chosen for its puncture-resistant quality.
The drop-stitched floor has a rigid feel, an essential quality for stability and maneuverability in rough waters. The kayak also has a large detachable fin, which provides better control in rough conditions and better tracking in calm waters.
With the high-pressure pump, you can quickly inflate and deflate the Flare 1. You may also use an electric pump but many kayaking experts aren’t in agreement because of the risks of over-inflation. You can replace the H3 valves when they become damaged.
This is a one-person kayak with a maximum weight capacity of 145 kilos although it weighs a mere 12 kilos.
You should have sufficient room in it, thanks to its 114×35-inch dimension. Your trip will be more enjoyable with added features like screw-type drain valves, soft handles on the bow and stern cover, and elastic cords for securing cargo.
- It is spacious
- Puncture resistant
- Great tracking in calm waters
- Easy and fast to deflate and inflate
- Great control in raging turbulent waters
- Extra features like an elastic cord for cargo fastening
- It may be difficult to work the floor valve
5. Sea Eagle 453 Inflatable Kayak Review
Your worries about the kayak falling apart at the seams just when you’re barreling down turbulent waters are unwarranted.
The 33-milimmeter polykrylar hull has high resistance against punctures and tears from sharp rocks, overhanging branches, and underwater roots. The kayak’s I-beam construction reinforces its durability while the high-frequency welded seams can withstand the force of water.
You can take along a buddy since the kayak can carry 500 pounds, maximum, although it only weighs 26 pounds when fully inflated. You don’t need assistance to carry it from the shore to the water, and vice versa, so you may also leave your buddy at home.
You can fit it inside its storage bag and carry it to your destination – hiking with it on your shoulders shouldn’t be a problem. With the high-pressure foot pump, you can quickly inflate and deflate it in under 10 minutes.
In case your kayak gets punctured while you’re on the water, you don’t have to worry about sinking – the separate air chambers design will help it stay afloat for an hour or two more. You can then repair the hole using the provided repair kit as soon as you’re ashore.
You will have more control, directional stability, and maneuverability, thanks to the two fins located on the kayak’s underside. Other features include rope handles, spray skirts, and self-bailing drain valve.
- It is durable
- It is portable
- It is self-bailing
- Can be used in any water type
- Resistant to extreme weather and elements
- Deflating and inflating is quick, under 10 minutes
- Tracking is a bit of a challenge
- Can only be used in up to class III waters
6. Driftsun Rover 120/220 Inflatable Tandem White-Water Kayak Review
The material is 1000DEN, reinforced, and double-layered to protect it from any elemental as well as abrasion damage. It features a drop-stitch floor with great pressure of 6 psi, adding to the rigidity.
It has a maneuverability design making it ideal to use in white water races. It has a detachable rear skeg that aids in tracking plus control. The kayak is lightweight and allows for easier transportation and handling. Drift sun features own-draining plugs that help you in controlling water during class rapids.
Driftsun Rover 120/220 has an integrated high-pressure pump together with pressure valves. This allows you to inflate your kayak within 9 minutes. It has a sharp bow shape and a rocker profile to guarantee stability. This means that you can use the device during rapids without tipping over.
It comprises of all the important accessories that make kayaking expeditions a success. These include a travel bag, two paddles, rear skeg, adjustable footrests, and Eva padded adjustable seat.
- It is rip and tear-proof
- Has very comfortable seats
- Durable and lightweight material
- Travel bag included
- Has adjustable paddles
- Fits only one person
7. AIRE Tributary Tomcat Solo Inflatable Kayak Review
It has the best performance, and you can get it at a very friendly cost. It utilizes the AIRE cell expertise, and it is made with an ergonomic design for better kayaking. It has a 325 pounds load capacity.
It has three air chambers for security purposes and other two inflatable seats for comfort and support. The inflated seats offer back support, and they are adjustable. You will have a dry ride since the covers in the bow and stern shed water splash.
The self-bailing bottom comprising of mesh-drain holes allows for quicker draining of water. The AIRE Tomcat Kayak makes a solo craft when carrying a load using several trips. It features Summit II valves that are of great quality to ease inflation as well as deflation.
The stern and bow handles are strong to ensure easier carriage. There are 18 pairs of load loops to offer easy attachment of thigh straps, accessories, dry bags, and other devices. Also included is the repair kit. There are several D-shaped rings on the stern and bow to attach gear or to tie to shore.
- Ease of entry and exit
- Great load capacity
- More affordable
- Stable and comfortable
- Great maneuver ability
- It is a bit heavy
8. Sevylor Big Basin 3 Person Kayak Review
Several air chambers will protect you from any puncture since in case one gets deflated, the rest will prevent you from losing the balance.
Sevylor Big Basin is collapsible, so you can haul it easily from one location to the other. It is perfect for people who enjoy camping and off-road hiking practices. There is an effective bottle holder in each seat.
Seats are adjustable so you can have a comfortable ride, especially when exploring longer distances. The spray covers will assist in keeping you dry as you ride through waters. The handles are strong to ensure that you carry easily in as well as out of water.
Sevylor big basin is NMMA approved to hold a maximum capacity of 490 pounds. It has an airtight system that prevents any leakage. It also features a double-threaded Boston valve to guarantee trouble-free inflation as well as deflation. Included in the device are pressure gauge and a carrying bag.
- Inflation and deflation is simple
- Its compacted design requires less storage space
- Made of durable material
- Adjustable seats offer total comfort
- Less storage space
- Large persons may cramp it
Things To Consider When Buying Suitable Inflatable Kayak For Whitewater
To help you end up with the right inflatable kayak for whitewater, consider the following things before you buy.
Is Inflatable Better Than Hardshell Kayaks?
In most cases, kayakers experience confusion over inflatable and rigid kayaks. But, now, inflatable kayaks are advanced in the race.
These kayaks have higher durability and stability than hardshell kayaks. Besides, its body is made of strong material for eliminating punctures.
Inflatable kayaks are also well- designed to remain almost perfect in case of a collision with rocks. Their flexibility renders such an enormous facility.
But hardshell kayaks are not as flexible and portable as inflatable kayaks. So, is there any chance of hesitation?
Being an extreme kayaking lover, you are aware of the danger, fun, and excitement of whitewater kayaking. It has a grading depending on the difficulties of kayaking. Let’s take a quick overview.
It is from grade I to grade VI. Grade I is easier and basically for the beginner whitewater kayakers. There are negligible obstacles, and water flow is relatively flat.
The severity will increase gradually by the grading. Grade VI is the hardest one, and this grade is only allowed for experts. It needs tremendous maneuvering, superb skill, and a great experience.
But, I am sure that despite all difficulties, you must be fascinated by kayaking after noticing it one time. Are you ready to confront the beauty of whitewater?
Essential Matters To Keep In Mind
If you have set your mind, then you may face the problem of choosing a suitable model. Whitewater kayaking is an acute type of sport. All kinds of kayaks cannot render equal service.
Inflatable whitewater kayaks are designed for whitewater. But you never expect that performance of all will be up to the mark out on the rapids.
You need to keep some topics in mind for this brainstorming job. Don’t worry. I am here for your support.
Whitewater kayaking is totally different from flatwater kayaking. Here, kayaking is extremely in upper-grade rapids. Most of the time, your kayak can be poured with water continuously despite your expertise.
So, you need to think about scupper holes for draining out water fast. It mainly plays the role of drying out your kayak. You may fall in great trouble by overlooking this matter.
It is one of the most important matters. Your kayak needs to be durable enough. It is very common in whitewater kayaking that your kayak collides with stone and rocks underwater.
So you need to be sure that your kayak can manage that hit. Now, inflatable kayaks are made of thick materials that can resist puncture.
It will not be a good thing for you to face hassles to move your kayak before kayaking. Easily portable kayaks are more popular for this reason. Consider that you can flexibly move it to the river and pack it in your vehicle’s back.
If you can inflate and deflate your kayak within a short time, it will be fantastic. So, portability has to be considered seriously.
Amid the acute rapid, kayakers need superb control over the kayak. But sometimes, you may suffer from the kayak’s design.
You must keep balance in the middle of the water. Wider vessels are useful for ensuring equilibrium. Again short designed kayaks are more convenient to control than the broader ones. So, don’t neglect design.
Inflatable kayaks need to be delicate enough for controlling and transportation facilities. You have to face immense hazards with heavy-weighted kayaks. Is it good for you?
Imagine a situation. A harsh current or rock punctures your kayak or causes severe damage. Now, what to do?
Some inflatable kayaks are designed with multiple air chambers. These chambers will support you in that hopeless condition.
They play a role in resisting air to go outside of the kayak. Thus, the kayak helps you to remain on track and experience the feelings.
Moreover, multiple air chambers will gear up your speed. You will be able to maneuver perfectly.
Multiple Inflation Chambers
You must feel the need for better weight capacity and rigidity while kayaking in whitewater. Multiple inflation chambers will be a solution to your problem. These also surely will enhance the performance of the kayak.
It is a universal challenge to cope up with your budget. You should balance your ability with your demand.
This is the last on my list, but not the least. You have to be aware of your ability and expertise in whitewater kayaking. From beginners to expert’s level, your choice must be different.
The best inflatable kayak for whitewater conditions should always meet your changing needs and wants in the vessel.
You may, for example, choose the Sea Eagle 330 when you’re learning the basics in relatively calmer waters and select the Advanced Elements Attack when you’re tackling Class III rapids.
You can consult me, too, about the why, how and where to find the best inflatable kayaks for your current skills. I must say that each one of these whitewater inflatable kayaks can be your next investment!
As an avid kayaker, I have also pushed my inflatable kayaks to their limits and, thus, push myself to improve on my knowledge and skills in the sport.
You will benefit from choosing the best kayak and pushing your limits on it – start by buying one of these products now.