Best Single Person Inflatable Kayak in 2020 – Guide & Reviews

The best single person inflatable kayak can be yours when you take the time to compare the features and functions of at least a few kayaks.

When you have made the right choice, you can then take it out to the water and enjoy the numerous benefits of kayaking on flat and rugged waters.

You can improve on your cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, and bone health, even as your mind and body enjoys the peaceful exhilaration that comes with being outdoors.

The beauty of a single-person kayak lies in its greater control, stability and maneuverability since you only need to work with yourself, so to speak.

You can, however, go on extended kayaking trips with your family and friends with each person on single kayaks or a few in tandem kayaks.

No matter your preferences – riding the waters solo or riding with others – you will find a single-person kayak that will fit your needs and wants in it.

​Quick list of Kayaks:

Best Single Person Inflatable Kayak Review

These are the single-person kayaks that rank as the best in their category, according to my books. Your best single person inflatable kayak can be here so keep on reading.

This is a steal because of its affordable price, especially in comparison with a hard-shell kayak in the same size.

While Intex Challenger K1 price may be low, its quality is high from its sturdy material to its ease of use. Even when you’re a novice kayaker, you will find that it handles well on flat water, such as lakes, rivers, and estuaries.

Made of thick PVC material with welded seams, the white-and-blue inflatable kayak can withstand a few hours of use on flat water conditions.

Just be sure to inflate to the right pressure using the high-output manual hand pump (included in the package) and a pressure gauge.

Keep in mind that under-inflation and over-inflation will adversely affect the overall performance of the inflatable kayak, such as lower responsiveness to paddling.

The kayak has a low-profile design so that you sit close to the water, an effective paddling position for novices.

You will sit on the comfortable cockpit with its inflatable seat and paddle with the 84-inch aluminum oar (included in the package). Even with an hour or two on the paddle, your rear will stay comfortable, thanks to the cushiony feel of the seat.

But it’s not all cushioned feel either. The Challenger K1 has an inflatable I-beam floor, which adds a certain level of rigidity and stability to the setup. Unless a large wave comes, you shouldn’t worry about tipping over your kayak and into the water.

The only downside: The cargo net for storing extra gear isn’t as useful as it should be.

Pros

  • High stability
  • It is sturdy
  • Easy to handle
  • It is comfortable
  • Considerably priced
  • Allows you to be close to the water

Cons

  • If not well inflated it is hard to maneuver

​Nothing feels good like having the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Kayak. This is a single person kayak that comes with a lot of incredible features. The kayak features an integrated pressure valve. With this feature, you can regulate the air pressure in the kayak's air chambers.

For better maneuverability, the kayak comes with a skeg tracking fin. This implies that, newbies can use the kayak without any issues. This kayak comes with a foldability characteristic. The actual measurements of the kayak are 126 x 32.3 x 9.8 inches. You can fold the kayak’s size down to 30 x 17 x 10 inches.

This kayak can be a bit bulky. It weighs 36 pounds. That can make carrying it to the waterside all by yourself difficult. However, for two people, the weight is just perfect. The product comes with rubber handles. They are useful in easing transportation.

​The kayak features 7 air chambers. Inflating the chambers does not take too much time. However, it will depend on the type of pump you are using. If you have a good pump, it will only take you less than 15 minutes. Its storage area is not very big but it is enough for you to carry food and a few items.

Pros

  • ​The kayak is made from high-quality material for durability.
  • ​Setting up this kayak model is quick and straightforward
  • ​Its foldable designs save on the storage space

Cons

  • ​The storage compartment could be a bit bigger.
Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak Pro Solo Package

This is considered as the best single person inflatable kayak in terms of versatility.

You can actually use Sea Eagle SE330 for both flat water fishing and touring as well as for Class III rapids rafting!

You will not find many inflatable kayaks that can actually withstand the extreme demands of whitewater rafting multiple times over its lifetime.


Such durability comes from its thick 33-millimeter Polykrylar material for its hull, a sturdy and strong material that has been tested for its high resistance against sharp objects.

The high-frequency welded seams keep the inflatable kayak together even under the weight of two adults and their cargo, as well as the rigors of a ride down Class III rapids. The I-beam construction also contributes to its stability under stress by adding a semi-rigid frame to the kayak.

When at its full inflated weight of 26 pounds, the kayak can carry two adults and their gear for up to 500 pound. Again, be sure to check that the kayak is inflated to its proper pressure for best on-water performance and safety.

When fully deflated, however, the kayak is small enough to be packed into its carry bag, carried on your shoulders, and stowed in your car’s trunk. You can hike with it in its carry bag for several miles, which cannot be said of a heavy and bulky hard-shell kayak.

The Pro Solo Package comes with an AB30 paddle, a foot pump, a repair kit, a kayak seat, and a carry bag.

Pros

  • It is sturdy
  • It is durable
  • Resistant to sharp objects
  • Accommodates two people
  • Can withstand rough waters
  • Can be used for fishing and touring

Cons

  • It is heavy

For individuals that like kayaking alone, having a 1 person inflatable kayak is the best idea. The kayak will not feel too big. Lucky for you, we have an excellent option for you, the Advanced Elements Firefly Inflatable Kayak. This kayak’s combination, bright yellow and blue is perfectly visible even in dark conditions.

This kayak is made from premium quality material. The upper layer of the kayak is made from 600 D polyester. The manufacturer uses PVC material to make the main chamber and tarpaulin for the hull. The construction of the kayak is also very sturdy. All these indicate that the kayak will last for a long time.

Just as most advanced elements kayaks, this model also features spring valves and twist lock. This will allow you to deal with inflation and deflation in the easiest and fastest way possible. This single person kayak weighs 16 pounds. Isn’t that super light? Well, you can therefore, carry it from one place to another with a lot of ease.

​It also has a foldable design. You are capable of folding it down from 94.5 x 34.6 x 9.8 inches to 23 x 18 x 5 inches. This indicates that you can store the kayak in the smallest place like a closet. You may not like the fact that there is no inbuilt seat. However, you will feel comfortable in the kayak.

Pros

  • ​The kayak is very portable due to its lightweight
  • ​Its bright colors combination makes it highly visible
  • ​The kayak will last for a long time

Cons

  • ​It is less suitable for big waves kayaking

Well, get ready to be amazed by the versatility of this kayak. It works great as a single person kayak and also as a tandem. The kayak comes with an inbuilt seat. The seat has a backrest so that you can feel comfortable. The kayak's length is 12 feet. That gives ample room for two adults to ride in the kayak.

The kayak weighs 22 pounds. It is not too heavy for an adult to carry it from one place to another. The kayak can handle a weight capacity of 300 pounds. This Driftsun's kayak is suitable for kayaking on rough waves or flat waters. It has great stability that will ensure the riders are safe throughout their kayaking adventure.

This product is perfectly constructed. The manufacturer was wise enough to use layers of PVC material just to ensure that the construction and durability are on point. The kayak is abrasion, wear, and tear-resistant.

Do you want to know the most amazing thing about this kayak? Well, imagine if you can carry your camera during kayaking. I mean the experience will be more enjoyable. The best thing is that the kayak feature a Camera mount at the front. Just carry your camera, mount it firmly, and capture the moments.

Pros

  • ​The kayak is highly portable
  • ​It comes with a camera mount at the front
  • ​You can adjust this kayak’s paddles
  • ​The kayak is perfect for rough waves and also flatwater kayaking

Cons

  • ​The kayak’s price is relatively high

This is an eye-catching inflatable single kayak because of its black-and-orange color scheme, which can easily be seen against a blue background.

You will want a high-visibility kayak for your child so that supervision becomes easier although the usual safety measures should still be implemented.

Your kid, for example, has to wear a life vest and stick close to the shoreline.

Your child can be comfortably seated on the roomy cockpit while paddling the kayak through flat waters like lakes, estuaries and slow-moving rivers. The kayak’s streamlined design – its dimensions are 19x30x108 inches – makes it slice through calm water especially with the right paddling techniques. You may want to teach him these techniques through modeling – you can be in your own adult’s kayak and show him the right way to paddle, for example.

With a weight limit of 175 pounds, the kayak is sufficiently sturdy and strong to accommodate a child 6 years old and above. The kayak is made from thick vinyl, the same kind used on adult-sized inflatable kayaks, too. Your teenager may not fit into it anymore but there’s always an adult-sized kayak for the purpose.

Even an older kid can set up the kayak on site. You can teach him the proper use of the foot pump, which will inflate or deflate the kayak within 5 to 10 minutes depending on the speed of pumping.

Pros

  • Safe for kids
  • It is comfortable
  • It has a strong material
  • Appealing to the eye
  • Easily visible from far
  • Takes little time to inflate and deflate

Cons

  • Designed for kids only

Yet another kid-friendly, single-person kayak for children is the Wave Youth Kayak.

The design allows for fast and easy climbing on and off the deck although younger kids may require assistance.

The kayak can also be inflated on site within 5-10 minutes using a manual pump, as well as easily deflated for storage in its carry bag.

You may want to teach your kid about the proper way of using the paddle, too. Keep in mind that mastery of the basic paddling skills will contribute to better control, stability and safety, thus, enjoyment for your child.

You should also point out the uses of the twin fins for better surf riding and tracking, one of the first skills a beginner learns on the water.

Your child will also appreciate the uses for each feature on the inflatable kayak. The paddle cradle is used for keeping the paddle in place when it’s not in use.

The scupper holes can be opened to drain water out of the cockpit area, which means keeping yourself as dry as possible.

Your kid can also adjust the foot wells for greater leverage when paddling. You should also point out the molded finger handles at the sides for hanging on and the T-handle at the front for pulling the kayak out of the water.

Since safety is a must for kids’ inflatable kayaks, you will be glad to know that there are no protruding hardware anywhere on the boat. The kayak has a weight capacity of 130 pounds only.

Pros

  • Easy to control
  • It is very stable
  • It is safe for kids to use
  • Occupies less storage space
  • Includes a cradle to keep the paddle in place

Cons

  • Too much force can break the cradle

Explorer Kayak Towable is a sit-on-top inflatable kayak, which means there are no seats to sit on while you’re paddling.

But this is also where its versatility lies – you can either sit with your legs outstretched or stand up on the inflatable kayak. You can easily paddle in either position.

While this is marketed as a single-person, sit-on-top inflatable kayak, you and five of your friends can actually stand up on it and paddle your way down the river.

You can walk across, so to speak, with it while on the water, which is as fun as it sounds. This is possible because of the vertical I-beams, which are configured in a way that six adults can actually stand on it and cruise down the river.

This is a large walkway with 10x6 feet dimensions. Since there are no hard parts to consider, it can also be deflated to a small roll, placed in a carry bag, and stowed in the car. You can also have it towed behind a motorboat albeit be sure to keep a low speed for safety reasons.

Pros

  • It is durable
  • Safe to use
  • It is light
  • Easy to deflate
  • Up to 5 people can stand on it
  • Allows paddling when seated or standing

Cons

  • Lacks seats to sit on

Things to Consider before buy ​best single person inflatable kayak

Looking for a single person inflatable kayak? The following considerations will help you choose the best.

Price

When purchasing any product, always ensure that it is within your power of purchase. This is important to help you avoid being in debt. When choosing a kayak for use, always consider the price and how much you are willing to spend on it.

Material

A good kayak should ensure that you are safe from not only falling off into the water but also from being hurt by harmful stuff that may be in the water like sharp stones. A tough material should be a consideration you make when you go to purchase a kayak. This gives you a better assurance of safety and durability. You get to use for long.

Convenience

When you want to purchase one choose the best with features that are convenient for you. Such include the number of people the kayak can accommodate at a time. If you are going to have fun alone, then you should get the one that has a single seater. For more fun with many people choose a kayak that can accommodate more than one person.

Color

When you are out in the open water having fun on a kayak, anything may happen and you may be swept off by a sudden wave. It is easy for people and the rescue team to spot you if you have a brightly colored kayak. When going to buy a kayak consider choosing the one with bright colors. They are not only noticeable from far but are also appealing to the eye.

Size after deflation

After enjoying time in the water using a kayak, it is recommended that you deflate it before keeping it in the storage bag. You may need to hike with the kayak to find the perfect spot to use it. A good kayak is easily folded after deflation and can fit in a small bag. When buying one, choose a kayak that easily fits into a bag for easy transport.

​FAQs

a) Are single person inflatable kayaks safe?

One person inflatable kayaks available in the market today are perfectly made. There is a very low chance of getting a leak or puncture. These can be the only risk associated with inflatable kayaks. That implies that you will be very safe. Again I can never think of a more stable kayak than a single person kayak.

b) How should I get in and out of my single person inflatable kayak?

Getting in and out of an inflatable kayak is easier than getting into any other kayak model. Most inflatable kayaks come with grab lines. All you need to do is hold onto the grab lines. Then slide to the seat.  When getting out, you should also use the grab lines. Be aware of sliding especially if your feet or the kayak are wet.

c) How do I choose a single person inflatable kayak?

There are a lot of factors that you should consider when choosing a single person kayak. There is a need to determine where you will be using the kayak to choose the best. Some models are ideal for flat waters, others rough water, or even both. Also look at the durability, portability, design, storage compartment, cost, and comfort.

​d) ​Do I need the training to use a single person inflatable kayak?

Most single-person inflatable kayaks are very straightforward to use. To begin with, you will not have trouble setting up the kayak. All you need is a pump, inflate different chambers of the one person inflatable kayak and you can start kayaking. For beginners, you can just read the manual that comes along with the kayak.

Final Verdict

When it comes to choosing the best single person inflatable kayak, I suggest choosing based on the users’ age, skills, and preferences since these are the primary considerations for enjoyment of the watercraft.

You can, for example, buy the Wave Kayak for your younger children and the Sea Eagle 330 for yourself and your teenagers.

You will find that with each family member using an age-appropriate inflatable kayak, everybody can have a good time. Indeed, there’s really no best single person inflatable kayak for everybody, no one size-fits-all kayak.

But I suggest buying these inflatable kayaks for your family so that you can introduce them to the joys of kayaking. You can then buy new ones, as suggested in my other lists, as their needs and wants change over time.

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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