From their humble origins, today’s inflatable kayaks have come a long way. Originally, these kayaks were more than just pool toys. Now modern inflatable models are made with rugged materials that can withstand sharp rocks and high waters.
The unique design is best for adventure with limited storage space. It can be folded to fit in a backpack, small car, or a box in the back of the closet. The inflatable kayaks provide a portable and space-saving option to bulky and cumbersome hard-shell versions.
Not all inflatable kayaks come with the same degree of quality. Some models will give a longer time of satisfaction and enjoyment while others will only give you disappointment.
Let us give you a comprehensive guide of the more popular inflatable models available in the market today. With the basis of user rating and expert reports, we picked the models that stood out in terms of quality, price, features and customer satisfaction.
SE 370 Pro Inflatable Kayak
The following are the three of the best inflatable kayaks on the market today!
Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame
- A hybrid folding frame model with combined performance and portability.
The AdvancedFrame kayaks are a hybrid of a folding frame and inflatable models. It is a combination that mix performance with portability. Therefore, it is not mainly inflatable.
This inflatable kayak provides owners to save space without sacrificing the tracking and speed of hard-shell kayaks. It is because of the built-in aluminum ribs in the bow and stern.
It is very easy to assemble, simply unfold the frame, inflate it, and attach the seat. According to the buyers’ report, it only takes 10 minutes to set up and break down the kayak.
The hull is also built with three layers of high-quality materials. These include a heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin. The seams are welded and are added on the bow and the stern.
The dimensions of the solo AdvancedFrame is 10 feet, 5 inches long and 32 inches wide. The weight is 36 lbs and has a maximum carrying capacity of 300 lbs.
- The AE1012-R offers the best of both worlds to people with limited budgets or storage space. Its performance rivals the many hard-shell models. It can be easily packed in a large suitcase or the trunk of a car.
- It is the next best option for a more expensive fiberglass model because of the smart hybrid construction feature. The kayak steers, handles, and performs far beyond its cost.
- The setup procedure is very impressive. It is very easy to arrange and inflated and very easy to store.
- Reports say that the AdvancedFrame exceeds expectations in tracking and speed. The performance is quite stable and difficult to tip over without trying to. The performance of this kayak is very much impressive as it rides and performs identically to a traditional hard-body model.
- The durability along the bottom of the AdvancedFrame is also impressive. Many kayak owners reported that the inflatable lasts for years of extensive use.
- The rugged material is built to withstand the test of time without ripping or puncturing. Other fabric models can’t handle gravel push offs. Some owners say that the fabric shell to the internal valves was sturdy and reliable.
- In order to have better performing kayak in the water, you must purchase the Advanced Elements “backbone”. The backbone is a metal bar that can be positioned along the floor of the boat to improve speed and tracking. It is a disadvantage because you must do an extra purchase.
- Another disadvantage is that you have to input extra time to let the inflatable kayak to dry before packing it away. If you pack the kayak while damp, the fabric can become moldy.
Aire Lynx II
- Luxurious and longer lifespan.
The Aire Lynx II is one of the most expensive units in the market, but it is our top-quality pick and it is well worth it. This self-bailing inflatable kayak can easily maneuver one person but also large enough to fit two people. Because of its length and shape, it is known as one of the best inflatable kayaks for extended river trips.
The Aire Lynx II is much faster and easier to maneuver compared to most inflatable kayaks.
The Lynx II is a large and stable kayak best suited for rivers with a size of 12 feet and a width of 39 inches. It comes with PVC-coated tubes and floor for a rugged hull that can withstand up to Class IV rapids. Isn’t that seriously tough for an inflatable model?
The inflatable kayak features comfortable seating with adjustable seats features stiff backrests for superior support. There is enough space to store cargo, and optional thigh straps to get more out of your paddling. In general, it’s more ergonomic and more pleasant to use than other inflatable kayaks we recommend.
The best deal with the Lynx II is the ten-year unlimited warranty it features. This gives you the assurance that you will be out on the water for years to come.
- The Aire Lynx II has gotten a lot of positive reviews all over the internet with everyone claiming it is worth the investment.
- The product is very much durable. A lot of people are claiming that they used kayaks for years without any significant damage to the hull.
- The kayak is extremely portable. With the weight of 32 lbs, it can be easily set up and breakdown. According to users, once deflated, the Lynx II is compact enough to be strapped to a backpack.
- In terms of speed, performance, and control, the Lynx II stands out from the others. With the continuous curve shape of the hull, the kayak becomes faster and more responsive, easily skimming over the top of the water.
- The ten-year unconditional warranty is also a terrific upside of the Aire Lynx
- One prominent downside of the Lynx II is the price, it is twice the cost of the most inflatable kayaks.
Sea Eagle 370
- An affordable and high-quality tandem kayak that doesn’t cut back on quality.
The Sea Eagle 370 is the best recommendation if you are looking for an affordable inflatable kayak for two people. Yes, it can fit two adults with a maximum capacity of 650 pounds. The kayak weighs 32 lbs. and is light enough to be carried by a single person. The set up takes about 6 minutes.
The material used for the body of the Sea Eagle 370 is made of durable puncture-resistant, K-80 polykrylar material. The hull can withstand up to Class 3 whitewater rapids, and the seams of the material are welded at a high heat to prevent leakage.
This inflatable kayak is compact that it can provide a bigger storage space, enough to enjoy several days of camping. The Sea Eagle 370 comes with both essential features in ocean surf and rapids. These are the inflatable spray skirts for the front and back of the kayak and a self-bailing drain valve.
- Sea Eagle 370’s entry-level price point and ease of use are two of the most attractive features of this kayak. The kayak is very easy to set up and take down.
- This inflatable kayak is durable. It can withstand not only the abuse from sharp river rocks but also the general wear and tear of time. The hull’s good material and the high-quality seams allow owners to tackle up to Class 3 rapids with confidence.
- This inflatable kayak is perfect for calmer waters than whitewater rapids.
But it does speak to the durability of the hull to note that this kayak can hold on its own in such conditions. The inflatable kayak is also versatile enough that many users use it as a multipurpose kayak, paddling it through rivers and lakes.
- The Sea Eagle has attached two skegs to the 370 in order to enhance speed and tracking. It maneuvers easily and more stable on different water conditions, whether you go solo or two onboard.
- The Pro Package version of this model comes with a repair kit, a foot pump, a carrying bag, and paddles. It is an addition to the boat itself and the inflatable seats. It is a good deal where you’d pay a lot more to buy everything separately.
- The inflatable kayak lacks back support for inflatable seats. Users with back problems may find it a challenge to paddle for extended periods of time.
- The quality control of the Sea Eagle is less than spectacular.
What is the best inflatable kayak for you?
The Advanced Elements AE1012-R is the best choice in terms of price. This is the kayak that doesn’t sacrifice performance for portability. This inflatable kayak is highly recommended by beginner and experts due to its durable design, collapsible frame, and good tracking and speed in the water. If you are looking for the kayak with the best value at an affordable price, this is the best choice.
The highest quality and the top-rated Aire Lynx II have unparalleled durability, speed, and maneuverability. If you are not strict on your budget and you are on water regularly, this is worth the purchase. The kayak allows superior cargo space and comfort when compared to other inflatable models. All these features and quality are backed by a ten-year unconditional warranty. By far, this is the most expensive equipment we had recommended, but if you can afford it, it is well worth your investment.
The Sea Eagle 370 suits the weekend warriors or kayakers on a budget. This Sea Eagle 370 has earned high ratings among owners and is a lot more durable than the competition. It is affordable, ergonomic and perfect for starters. Though we think that the ardent paddlers should spend more for a kayak, we are confident that the Sea Eagle 370 is the best in its price bracket.