Best Inflatable Kayak For Whitewater in 2020 – Check Our Top Picks!

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.

best inflatable kayak for whitewater

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

Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak

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

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2. Advanced Elements Attack Whitewater Kayak Review

This is a great option for whitewater rafting enthusiasts who want the durability of a hard-shell kayak with the affordability of an inflatable kayak.

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.


  • Self-bailing
  • 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

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3. Solstice Rogue Kayak Review

The best inflatable kayak for whitewater is characterized by its durability and the Solstice Rogue Kayak meets the criterion.

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

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4. Solstice Flare 1 Person Kayak Review

The Solstice Flare 1 whitewater kayak is ready for use as soon as it arrives in your doorstep. You will already find everything necessary to use it include the inflatable kayak itself, the high-pressure pump, and pressure gauge. You can stow it in its carry bag to the whitewater location, read the owner’s manual along the way, and inflate it on site.

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 these 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

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5. Sea Eagle 453 Inflatable Kayak Review

Sea Eagle 435 Inflatable Kayak is one our top favorites because of its versatility in terms of its number of uses. You can use it in calm water for fishing, paddling and skin-diving as well as in Class III whitewater rafting, arguably the most challenging for any top-of-the-line inflatable kayak.

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

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6. Driftsun Rover 120/220 Inflatable Tandem White-Water Kayak Review

Driftsun Rover 120/220 is a solo person kayak that is perfect for both casual paddlers as well as thrill-seekers. It has a maximum capacity of 300 pounds and weighs 22 pounds. This kayak is made of high-quality PVC material.

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 manoeuvrability 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 allows for easier transportation and handling. Driftsun 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

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7. AIRE Tributary Tomcat Solo Inflatable Kayak Review

Tomcat Kayak is made of heavy-duty PVC material, and it weighs 40 pounds.  The PVC material makes it resist tear and abrasion, making it durable. The rugged vinyl bladder is enclosed using welded seams.

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 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 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 manoeuvrability


  • It is a bit heavy

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8. Sevylor Big Basin 3 Person Kayak Review

The Sevylor Big Basin is a 3-person kayak features a heavy-duty PVC material. The bottom is rugged tarpaulin to make sure that it withstands all-white waters as well as calm waters in a lake.

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

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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.

Scupper Holes

The kayak must be self-bailing. Almost always on super high rapids of class IV water will pour into the kayak no matter the skill of the paddler. So when shopping for a kayak for whitewater, ensure that it is one that drains and dries super-fast otherwise you will sink. Look out for the presence of scupper holes in the vessel; they are the ones responsible for draining water from the d-rings and the cockpit.

Short and Wide Design

The best design for whitewater kayaks is one that is short and wide. Such a design will require you to put less effort in steering the kayak since the moving water helps to propel the kayak. The shortness makes it easy to navigate through the objects like logs, rocks and other obstacles that you might come across. The wideness of the vessel guarantees its stability amidst the whitewater.


Portability is another factor to consider when buying a whitewater inflatable kayak. Being portability means you can easily carry it to the shore as well as easily fit into your car’s trunk.


They must be durable otherwise its expensive to keep buying given that they are subjected to extreme elements and chances of wear and tear are high. The kayak must have a very tough fabric that endures pounding and constant rock hitting without tearing or puncturing.

Final Verdict

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 in it – start by buying one of these products now.

Barry Robinson

Hi. This is Barry J. Robinson. I love to fishing, kayaking and blogging. I start fishing & kayaking when I was at the age of 18. I love to write about my fishing & kayaking review and parts review. Regularly writing about fishing and kayaking for various magazines, newspapers and websites.

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