Best Inflatable Kayaks and Canoes 2022

10 Best Inflatable Kayaks and Canoes for 2022

Have you ever tried to fit a kayak INSIDE your car? Well you can – and your life will never be the same again once you experience the amazing possibilities of owning an inflatable kayak. Here are our picks for the best inflatable kayaks in 2022.

One of the greatest things that has happened to the world of paddle sports in the last 20 years has been the widespread development and adoption of inflatable canoes and kayaks. They are easy to transport and store, giving more people the opportunity to get out on the water than ever before!

To help you make the best decision and to purchase the best inflatable kayak for your needs, we’ve compiled this easy to read and understandable guide to help you.

Planning a kayaking trip, here are other posts you will find helpful:


What are the Best Inflatable Kayaks?

There is such a variety of inflatable kayaks on the market today made from a wide range of materials that can meet the needs of practically anyone looking to get out on the water. Whether you are looking for the best fishing kayak, ocean kayak, best inflatable kayak for 1 person or 2 people or even 3, here are our reviews of the best inflatable kayaks and canoes for 2022.

When you purchase a product through our links, we may earn a commission. There is no extra cost to you – and it allows us to provide free gear and travel guides to our readers.

  1. Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Inflatable Kayak
  2. Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak
  3. Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak
  4. AIRE Lynx II Inflatable Kayak
  5. Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak
  6. Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak
  7. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Inflatable Kayak
  8. Elkton Outdoors Comorant 2 Inflatable Fishing Kayak
  9. STAR Challenger Fish Inflatable Kayak
  10. TAHE Beach LP3 Inflatable Kayak
Deschutes River Bend Oregon-2

Best Inflatable Kayaks – 1 Person


1. Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Inflatable Kayak – Our #1 Choice

Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Inflatable Kayak
  • Seats: 1
  • Weight: 36 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Best Use: Flat water ocean long distance touring, lakes and small rapids

One of the most unique features of the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame is that it is a sit inside style of kayak. The sit inside feature, which is usually only present in hard sided kayaks, is ideal for bracing your legs against as you paddle. This creates a much more efficient paddle stroke, as it helps you use your entire body in each stroke! For those looking to do some ocean touring over long distances, look no further than this quality boat!

This is the Inflatable kayak we chose for ourselves. It combines the portability of an inflatable kayak, it’s easy to inflate and deflate, and it feels the most like a hard shell kayak. We can even fit our small dog inside with us comfortably. It’s also well priced – not the cheapest but the best price for great quality.

Pros:

  • Sit inside design allows for highly efficient paddling.
  • Wide body helps stabilize the kayak in choppy conditions.

Cons:

  • Limited storage on the deck of the boat.

2. Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak– Easiest to Use

Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak
  • Seats: 1
  • Weight: 23 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Best Use: Long distance paddling over flat water or small choppy sections of water

For those who are looking to cover some distance on the water, look no further than the Driftsun Almanor. The shape of the hull promotes straight tracking through the water with the bottom of the kayak creating a slight keel underneath. This is something that is very rare for inflatable kayaks, because most have a flat bottom.

If you’re looking to do some serious distance, be sure to attach the skeg (fin that goes on the back of the boat) to help you get the most out of each paddle stroke.

Pros

  • Seat is adjustable to customize your comfort for long trips.
  • Lightest inflatable kayak on this list, easy for one person to set up and take down.

Cons:

  • The cockpit of the boat is a bit cramped, which may be a problem for larger paddlers.

Best Inflatable Kayaks – 2 Person


3. Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak – Best for Beginners

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak
  • Seats: 2
  • Weight: 35 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Best Use: Tandem kayaking on flat water for short distance

For those looking to get out on the lake or other small body of water and are on a budget, look no further than the Intex Explorer K2. This is one of the most affordable two person inflatable kayaks on this list and it has a decently high weight capacity, which means that you can take plenty of gear and someone you enjoy to be around for an all day paddling adventure!

The Intex K2 comes with a removable skeg to help with tracking, however it is a bit flimsy, so be careful when paddling in areas with rocks or other underwater hazards.

Pros:

  • Most budget friendly tandem kayak on our list!
  • Seats are adjustable to customize your comfort.

Cons:

  • Don’t leave in the sun for too long as the material it’s made out of breaks down with consistent exposure to UV rays.

4. AIRE Lynx II Inflatable Kayak – Best 2 Person Kayak for Rapid Running

AIRE Lynx II Inflatable Kayak
  • Seats: 2
  • Weight: 52 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 475
  • Best Use: Tandem kayaking and river running

For those looking to get off of the flat water and run some rapids, the AIRE Lynx II is a great option to go get some white water! This inflatable kayak is self-bailing, which means that there are several small holes in the floor of the boat that will allow water to drain out of the boat without you having to do anything.

This is exceptionally useful when running white water rapids as you are guaranteed to get splashed as you go down river. The seats are removable, which means that you can go with 2 paddlers or set up for 1 paddler and make room for plenty of gear for overnight trips!

Pros

  • Excellent for river trips.
  • Customizable seating arrangement to fit your needs and comfort.

Cons

  • Flat bottom isn’t the best for tracking, which makes it difficult to paddle on flat water sections.

5. Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak Set – Budget Friendly with 1 or 2 Person Versions

Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars
  • Seats: 1 or 2
  • Weight: 25 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Best Use: Flat water short to medium distance touring

The Intex Challenger is one of the best inflatable kayaks for beginners. It’s one of the most affordable, easy to inflate, comes with a removable skeg to help improve tracking through the water, and there is a large bungy cargo area in the front of the boat to help pack along plenty of gear for a day of fun on the water!

The low price point is great for those who want to try out inflatable kayaks and water sports without pouring a ton of money into a kayak before you know if you’ll enjoy the sport or not! Also comes in a one person kayak version.

Pros:

  • Extremely budget friendly.
  • Easy to pump up and deflate for beginners.

Cons:

  • The material is very delicate, so be careful when moving the boat in and out of the water.

Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks


6. Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak

Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak
  • Seats: 2
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Best Use: Fishing, long distance touring, and ocean paddling on flat water

A great boat for getting out on the ocean to do some fishing is the Intex Excursion Pro. It comes with 4 rod mounting points, attachment points in the seating area to set up for tackle prep stations or fish finder, and the hull construction is tough enough to go through oil, gas, and salt water completely unaffected.

The seats are adjustable for maximum comfort while paddling and are removable if you want to set it up to create a massive single paddler fishing set up!

Pros:

  • Ideal for paddling in saltwater environments.
  • Plenty of space to set up accessories.

Cons:

  • No bungy tie down points, so you’ll need to get creative with how you’ll secure your gear.

7. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Inflatable Kayak

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Inflatable Kayak
  • Seats: 1
  • Weight: 40 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Best Use: Fishing and long-distance paddling over flat water or small choppy sections of water

This is a great option for those who are looking to have an inflatable kayak that will be comfortable for all day fishing trips! The I-beam floor construction along with the removable skeg promotes efficient paddling because it helps channel the water under the boat in the direction that you’re going, which will help you be able to stay out paddling all day long!

There are 2 areas to attach rod holders and a large space behind the seat to store your fishing tackle, making this the ideal entry level fishing kayak.

Pros

  • Plenty of storage and accessory mounting points.
  • Front bungy cargo net for additional, easy to reach storage.

Cons

  • Does not come with rod holders and must be purchased separately.

8. Elkton Outdoors Comorant 2 Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Elkton Outdoors Comorant 2 Fishing Kayak
  • Seats: 2
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 450 lbs
  • Best Use: Fishing and long-distance paddling on flat water or small choppy sections 

One of the best parts about going fishing is being able to share the experience with someone else. The Elkton Comorant 2 will help you get out on the water to fish with your favorite fishing partner with ease!

What’s better is that it comes with 6 rod holders to attach to your boat which will help you get out on the lake or pond with your partner as soon as you receive your kayak!

Pros:

  • There are 3 removable air chambers that inflate the kayak, making it easy to repair any leaks that may happen.
  • Plenty of rod holders to increase your odds to catch as many fish as you can!

Cons:

  • Storage is limited when two people are paddling together.

9. STAR Challenger Fish Inflatable Kayak – Best Sit On Top Kayak

STAR Challenger Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
  • Seats: 1
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Best Use: Fishing 

The ultimate inflatable fishing kayak is the STAR Challenger. There is plenty of storage space on the deck of this boat as well as a unique sit on top inflatable kayak design.

The seat that comes with this boat is adjustable and is aluminum framed with mesh making up the seat bottom and back, which will allow you to be out all day in comfort. There are 4 points for rod holders and a large, wide deck that allow you to stand up and maintain balance while casting and reeling. 

Pros:

  • Stable platform allows you to stand up with ease.
  • Comfortable seat for all day fishing adventures.

Cons:

  • Low weight capacity.

10. TAHE Beach LP3 Inflatable Kayak

TAHE Beach LP3 Touring Kayak
  • Seats: 3
  • Weight: 32 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 507 lbs
  • Best Use: Short distance touring on flat water with a lot of people or gear

If you’re looking to have a full day of family fun on the water in comfort, then the TAHE Beach LP3 is the 3 person inflatable kayak for you. With 3 adjustable seats and a lofty weight capacity, the only limitation that you’ll face in this boat is your imagination when thinking of how to fit all the gear and people you want to take paddling!

This boat is a bit heavier due to the fact that it’s able to carry more people, but the carrying handle in the front and back of the boat will help make quick work of getting it to the water without dragging it on the ground.

Pros:

  • Massive amount of space for people or gear.
  • Curved bottom design helps create a small keel to assist in tracking through the water.

Cons:

  • Only 1 bungy down point on the back of the boat limits the amount of gear you can bring when there are 3 people paddling.

What to Consider When Purchasing an Inflatable Kayak

Type of Kayaking – You need to choose the kayak that fits best with the type of kayaking you want to do. Are you planning short lake adventures or long ocean paddles? Rough water or calm water? Paddle on your own or tandem?

Tracking – Being able to control your kayak and effectively paddling makes a huge difference. Kayaks with a skeg will help as long as you watch out for hitting rocks. A kayak with a frame like the Advanced Elements will allow you to brace your legs for a more effective stroke.

Durability – We found that it’s almost impossible to avoid dragging our kayak over rocky shorelines and debris. If you are kayaking with kids, they will be rough on the kayak. It’s important to choose a kayak material that won’t rip. It’s one of the reasons we opted for a step up from the budget kayaks.

Ease of Use – The whole point of an inflatable kayak is that it’s easy to transport and set up and take down. Check out our inflatable kayaking adventures in Bend, Oregon if you want to see the set up process from car to water.


Final Thoughts About the Best Inflatable Kayaks & Canoes

The biggest problem that first time inflatable kayak buyers face is the number of kayaks to choose from and the technical overload that they find when researching. It can get overwhelming to say the least!

Whichever inflatable kayak you decide to buy needs to be properly cared for each time you use it. Make sure to inflate your boat to the manufacturer’s recommended rating so that you don’t risk putting too much strain on the air chambers and seams of the boat.

Remember to drain your boat and dry it off completely before deflating it and storing it to increase the life of your boat as well as to reduce the chance of growing mildew on it. And always wear a personal flotation device (also known as a life jacket) whenever you go out paddling!

Which inflatable kayak is right for you? Where will you go first? Let us know in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

You Might Also Like...

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Julie
    June 15, 2022 at 10:09 am

    I’m just looking for a kayak set. Thanks for recommending these good brands. Just bookmarked this post!

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      June 15, 2022 at 4:43 pm

      I definitely understand. We went with Advanced Elements personally and are so happy with the quality and ease of set up.

  • Reply
    Ananh
    May 18, 2022 at 8:01 am

    I really want Kayak🥺Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Emma
    April 13, 2022 at 9:03 am

    I’m looking for a Kayak set. Thank you for compiling this list, the information’s very helpful

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 16, 2022 at 6:11 am

      An inflatable kayak was one of our best pandemic purchases. Hope you find the perfect one for you.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    January 20, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    I really want a kayak!!

    Jennifer
    Curated by Jennifer

Leave a Reply