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.
1. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set
137.8 x 29.9 x 15 inches
2. Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak Pro Solo Package
133.9 x 33.9 x 13.4 inches
3. 108" Inflatable Single Person Kayak
108 x 30 x 19 inches
4. Wave 6 Ft. Youth Kayak
5. Explorer Kayak Towable
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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.
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!
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. The kayak also comes with the standard 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
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.
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.
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.
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.