Inflatable fishing kayaks’ popularity is rising as time passes by. They are light, compact, and easy to use, making them perfect for beginners. Plus, the friendly price tag puts them in the crosshair of the budget-conscious anglers.
You will find many different models, with different lengths and widths. So, it might take a while for you to find the one for you. Don’t worry. Here you have 10 of the best inflatable fishing kayaks that you can find on the market.
Comparison Table of 10 Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
|Weight (pounds)||Dimensions (feet)||Capacity (Pounds)||Number of seats||Type|
Our Reviews: 10 Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks In 2020
Colorado by Sevylor is a 2-person inflatable fishing kayak with an 18-gauge PVC upper construction. It is durable, rugged, and, more importantly, puncture-free.
On the other hand, the hull has 1000D tarpaulin (a PVC variant) with a thick 840D nylon coating. As the upper half, the hull on this inflatable fishing kayak can handle sharp objects without breaking. But if somehow something manages to puncture the structure, the multiple air chambers will keep the kayak afloat. Of course, you won’t be able to keep fishing. But at least you can find your way back to the shore without sinking.
The Sevylor Colorado inflatable kayak comes with two adjustable seats. They are comfortable enough and provide good back support. On either side of the kayak, you will find the paddle holders. Use them to keep the paddle out of the way as you fish or transport the kayak.
Additionally, you get two adjustable rod holders for hands-free fishing. Their placement is not the best. But at least you have them. At the bow side, you have a set of mesh storage pockets as well as some free space for bulk storage. Take advantage of the D-rings to secure anything you place on the deck. If you need additional space, you can find some at the stern.
You can upgrade this into an inflatable fishing kayak with a trolling engine by purchasing Sevylor’s electric motor. It doesn’t have exceptional autonomy. But it is more than ok for lake fishing. Always bring a paddle in case the battery runs out!
Only a handful of inflatable kayaks yell fishing as the StraitEdge Angler Pro does. It has an aggressive, fishing-driven design that makes it stand out from the rest of the models on this list.
First, it has a meshed seat that provides enough back support to keep you fishing longer. You can find a fixed rod holder on either side. In contrast to the previous model we review, these rod holders don’t get in the way as you paddle.
Another feature that sets the StraitEdge apart is its aluminum frame. It enhances the kayak tracking while giving some rigidity to the structure. All of this makes this a perfect option for long trips and harsh waters. The multi-layered PCV, polyester, and the vinyl hull is strong enough to cope with the occasional rock or tree. Plus, the multiple air chambers guarantee floatation in the case of a puncture.
But that’s not all. The StraitEdge Angler Pro inflatable fishing kayak features a drop-stitched floor. Its high rigidity makes it possible for you to stand up for casting, something that you can’t do on most inflatable kayaks.
You can add a fish finder or extra rod holders on either of the aluminum frames that come with the kayak. Plus, the 400 pounds capacity and enough storage space make it a strong candidate for the best inflatable fishing kayak title.
The Sevylor Quikpak is a superb option for those looking for a budget inflatable fishing kayak. It is not the best in terms of construction or add-on. But you will hardly find anything better at this price point.
It features a single seat with an inflatable backrest. It is comfortable enough for short fishing trips. But not for long sessions.
The whole inflatable kayak has a 21-gauge PVC construction with a tarpaulin hull, which is more than enough for lake fishing. Like most inflatable fishing kayaks, the Sevylor Quikpak has multiple air chambers. It will keep you afloat even after one section gets pierced.
In terms of storage, this 8×3 foot inflatable fishing kayak holds up to 400 pounds. The downside is that there is not much space for your gear. The QuikPak features a single storage area at the bow. Sadly, it is only large enough to fit a small box or bag. Forget about bringing a lot of tackle with you.
The Sevylor QuikPak inflatable fishing kayak doesn’t come with rod holders or D-rings to fasten your gear. The only thing that you get is a single paddle holder on one side of the craft. It is not much. We know that. But for less than 150 dollars you can’t complain.
The main advantage, besides the price, is that the QuikPak inflatable fishing kayak comes with a bag and pump.
Sitting in the middle between expensive and affordable, we have the Excursion Pro inflatable fishing kayak by Intex.
It features a PVC construction with an l-bean hull for increased rigidity and balance. The 3-layer hull is strong enough for lake use. The three independent air chambers guarantee floatation even after a puncture.
The Intex Excursion Pro comes with two fixed rod holders. But if you happen to need more, you can add some to the removable bracket that comes with the inflatable fishing kayak. Alternatively, you can use it to fix a fish finder or a cup holder if you happen to need them.
The 12×3 foot deck is big enough to accommodate two anglers and up to 400 pounds of gear. Both seats have adjustable backs and foot support for increased comfort. If you are going solo, take one seat out to increase storage space!
The bow and stern are the main storage areas. Take advantage of the D-rings at either side to secure your tackle in place.
Fortunately, the Intex Excursion Pro inflatable fishing kayak comes with its pump, two aluminum oars, a pressure gauge, and a bag. Plus, you get two removable skegs: One for shallow and one for deep waters. In short, you get tremendous value for your money!
The Steelhead inflatable fishing kayak by Elkton Outdoors is another suitable option for those anglers looking for a mid-range craft. It is available with a single seat or in a tandem version.
Both models feature the same PVC reinforced construction with a drop-stitched deck. Therefore, casting and reeling the line from a standing position is a reality with this inflatable fishing kayak.
Fishing-wise, the Steelhead inflatable kayak comes with 7; 2 if you purchase the single-seat version, modular mounts for rod holders, fish finders, or bait trays. Sadly, none of them come with the purchase. Thus, you must purchase them separately. You also get adjustable padded seats and footrests.
The tandem version has an impressive 600 pounds capacity (400 for the single-seat model). And you get plenty of storage space thanks to its 12×3.3 feet deck. Plus, both the bow and the stern cargo areas come with spray shields.
The deck on the Steelhead comes with self-bailing drains to purge the water that gets inside the craft. A rare addition when it comes to inflatable fishing kayaks.
Driftsun inflatable kayaks are some of the best ones in the market. It has a durable 1000D PVC with reinforced side tubes and a heavy-duty PVC deck. It is not rigid enough for you to stand up. But it is more stable than most inflatable fishing kayaks.
The open deck design offers plenty of space to organize all your gear. The plastic rings help you to keep everything in place. However, the Driftsun Rover doesn’t have an impressive carrying capacity. It only handles 300 pounds.
But not everything is bad news. The Driftsun Rover inflatable kayak comes with an EVA padded seat. Additionally, you get an adjustable footrest for extra comfort during long fishing sessions.
The removable skeg and short deck enhance maneuverability, even on class IV rapids. The Driftsun Rover is more than capable of handling white water and calm lakes alike, making it some of the most versatile inflatable fishing kayaks on the market. It is perfect for anglers who like to reach those stranded fishing spots. Besides, it only weighs 22 pounds, which means that it won’t break your back if you need to walk from stream to stream.
The price and the lack of fishing accessories are the two main drawbacks of this option.
The next item on our list is the Sea Eagle Fasttrack inflatable fishing kayak. It has a 12×3 feet deck, capable of holding up to 635 pounds of weight. It is a lot for a single-seat fishing kayak.
Like most inflatable fishing kayaks, the Sea Eagle Fasttrack has a PVC construction. The 2000 denier reinforcement is virtually indestructible. On the other hand, the drop-stitched floor is strong enough to stand up and walk around. Plus, the non-slip EVA foam covering provides a great grip, even when the deck is wet.
The Fasttrack features an inflatable seat that has a rod holder on either side. It is remarkably comfortable. Plus, as it spins, you can reach any item on the deck.
Both the bow and stern come with spray skirts, so your gear doesn’t get wet. Nevertheless, if water finds its way inside the inflatable kayak, the drain valves will handle it.
The Sea Eagle Fasttrack comes with an inflatable keel and removable skeg. The first improve buoyancy, while the latter helps with maneuverability. The result is a fast inflatable fishing kayak that tracks well, perfect for long voyages.
The Challenger inflatable kayak by Intex is another great option for the budget-conscious angler.
The puncture-resistant vinyl is enough for the occasional lake fishing trip. It has two separate air chambers. Hence, you can stay afloat if one or the other gets pierced. However, we don’t recommend using it for fishing on rapids.
The Intex inflatable kayak comes with a bag, aluminum oar, pump, and removable skeg. The small footprint, only 9×2.5 feet, weighs 24 pounds. However, the downside is that it has a mediocre carrying capacity of only 200 pounds. Besides, you can’t take too much gear since the Challenger comes with a closed deck.
The price, portability, and superb maneuverability are the main advantages of the Intex Challenger kayak.
The BOTE Deus Aero inflatable fishing kayak is the only one on this list that transforms itself into a paddleboard. So, when you are tired of fishing, you can take the seat off and paddle from a standing position.
The inflatable fishing kayak features a single-layer military-grade PVC construction with four separate inflatable chambers. The construction is durable. Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem likely to handle sharp objects. As the kayak transforms into a paddleboard, the Deus Aero inflatable fishing kayak is strong enough to allow you to fish from a standing position.
The adjustable back and removable footrest increase comfort. You can take them off if you wish to transform your kayak into a paddleboard.
Sadly, this inflatable fishing kayak doesn’t come with rod holders or any other fishing accessories. However, the deck has enough space to accommodate all your gear. It can take up to 300 pounds of weight and has dedicated storage areas at the bow and stern.
The removable skeg improves tracking and maneuverability, making this a great option for fishing on lakes and rivers. However, keep clear or rocky bottoms.
Are you in the market for an inflatable fishing kayak for under 100 dollars? If so, look no further. The Hydro-Force Koracle is what you are looking for.
It has three independent air chambers, one being the backrest. The entire craft has the same durable PVC construction. But beware, this inflatable kayak is suitable for lake fishing only. We don’t recommend using it in fast-moving waters or near sharp objects. The structure doesn’t look like it can handle the strain.
Still, it is a superb option for beginners. It comes with a single rod and paddle holder, 2-level footrest, and cords to keep your gear secure and easy transportation. Everything you need to start fishing without breaking the bank.
Its open deck provides enough room to fit all your tackle. Despite being so light (under 20 pounds of weight), it can handle up to 330 pounds. However, the craft is not that stable. Thus, we don’t recommend pushing it to its limits.
The Hydro-Force Koracle comes with a paddle, removable skeg, pump, and a repair kit. All these for less than 100 bucks!
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro
The StraitEdged Angler Pro is, hands down, the best inflatable fishing kayak on this list. It has a decent capacity of 400 pounds, which is more than enough for one angler.
It features two aluminum frames to add extra rods or a fishfinder. This is something that you won’t find on any other kayak. Additionally, the StraitEdge gives you the possibility to add a trolling engine. Most of the other inflatable fishing kayaks on this list lack such a feature.
Like the Elkton and Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks, this one features a drop-stitched floor. However, we think that this one is more firm. Plus, the seat is perfectly placed so everything is within a hands reach.
Finding the Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak: What you need to know
Inflatable kayaks are fairly new. While some people don’t trust them, others crave for one. As a result, there are plenty of different models in the market. So, it is crucial to learn what to look for when searching for an inflatable fishing kayak.
Here we will give you some bits of advice on how to choose the best inflatable fishing kayak for you.
Why Inflatable Kayaks?
Before talking about detailed information, let’s take some time to understand the advantages of inflatable fishing kayaks.
Naturally, inflatable fishing kayaks are more portable than rigid kayaks. You can deflate the craft and keep it inside a small backpack. So, say goodbye to roof racks or kayak carts.
They require less storage space when not in use too! You can keep the kayak inside the closet, something that you can’t do with rigid ones. An inflatable fishing kayak is your best bet if you live in a small household or you don’t fish too often.
Inflatable kayaks are perfect for anglers that need to walk from stream to stream. They are lighter, making them more manageable.
Although some inflatable fishing kayaks are truly expensive, they are typically more affordable than rigid crafts. Thus, they are the way to go if you are tight on budget or you don’t fish regularly.
Ease of Maintenance
Inflatable fishing kayaks require less maintenance than rigid crafts. You only need to ensure that it is completely wet before packing it inside the bag. They are easier to repair too. Plus, most of them already come with a repair kit.
Most people think that inflatable kayaks are just suitable for the occasional paddle in the local lake. The truth couldn’t be more different. Nowadays, it is possible to find inflatable whitewater, touring, recreational, and fishing kayaks.
In short, we can say that you can find an inflatable version of any kayak type.
Understanding Inflatable Kayak Limits
Now you know that inflatable fishing kayaks have their perks. Still, it also pays to know their limitations and make peace with them.
Safety is the primary concern of most people. Inflatable kayaks are not as stable as their rigid counterpart. Plus, they are more likely to get pierced by rocks or sharp objects.
However, inflatable kayaks have evolved in terms of security. For instance, most of them come with multiple air chambers. They will keep you above the water even after one of them gets pierced. Of course, you should get out of the water as soon as possible. But at least you won’t sink.
Additionally, some inflatable fishing kayaks feature a multi-layer construction. These crafts are more than capable of handling the occasional rock or tree without breaking.
In terms of stability, some inflatable fishing kayaks come with aluminum frames and drop-stitched decks. Some are firm enough to fish from a standing position. Something that was unthinkable a couple of years ago.
Lesser Carrying Capacity
Typically, inflatable fishing kayaks can carry less gear than a rigid kayak of a similar size. However, thanks to the structural improvements that we mentioned before, this gap continues to shrink.
Lack of Customization Capabilities
Serious anglers like to rig their fishing kayaks as they please. Rod holders, paddle holders, trolling engines, pedals, fish finders mounting, and custom seats are some of the modifications that anglers make to their crafts.
As you might imagine, this is a little harder to do in inflatable fishing kayaks. They lack frames and rigid panels that allow such modifications. Nevertheless, some kayaks that come with in-built rod holders, aluminum frames, and modular mounts. Naturally, these kayaks have a higher price tag.
Still, the level of customization you can achieve is always lower.
You should be able to tell if you want an inflatable fishing kayak after reading their pros and cons. Now, it is time to dig a little deeper.
Inflatable Kayaks Types
There are two types of inflatable kayaks: Sit inside and sit-on-top. On the first, as the name suggests, you sit inside the kayak. In other words, you wear it. The deck is closed, and only your upper half is exposed. Sitting inside inflatable kayaks are easier to maneuver and more stable. Yet, they lack storage space.
In contrast, sit-on-top fishing kayaks have an open deck. Your whole body is on top of the craft. As a result, you have more room to keep your gear. Plus, everything is within reach. But you have less stability.
When talking about fishing, we believe that sit-on-top inflatable kayaks are the best option.
Kayak Anatomy and How it Affects Performance
How the kayak performs depends on its length, width, and hull type. For instance, whitewater inflatable kayaks have a larger beam than any other type of craft. A wide beam means more stability, something that you need to cope with rapids.
Length: Maneuverability Vs Tracking
The distance between the bow and the stern is known as length. It directly affects tracking and maneuverability. A long inflatable kayak will track better and glide faster than a shorter one. That’s the reason why most touring kayaks are quite long.
Conversely, the shorter the kayak, the more manageable it gets. These are ideal for exploring narrow creeks as they respond faster to a change in direction. However, they are harder to keep rowing in a straight line. In other words, they have poor tracking.
Width: Stability Vs Speed
The width of the kayak is the longest distance between the sides. It is also known as the beam, which sits around the middle on most kayaks. Depending on how long the beam is, the kayak could be more stable or faster. Naturally, a broad beam means more stability but less speed. In contrast, a narrow kayak goes faster, but it is less stable.
Long and wide fishing kayaks typically handle more weight. Thus, they are more suitable for anglers that like to bring a lot of tackle. In contrast, anglers who prefer maneuverability and compactness are better off with a smaller craft. As you can see, it is a matter of preference.
Materials of Construction
Most inflatable fishing kayaks have a PVC construction. However, you can find others made with Nitrilon. Some brands offer a multi-layered composite construction. While these options are more expensive, they also offer the best from both worlds.
It stands for polyvinyl chloride. It is the most common material used in the construction of inflatable fishing kayaks. The main advantage of PVC is that it is cheaper than any other option.
However, it doesn’t handle abrasion well.
It is a synthetic rubber coated with polyester. Therefore, it is more puncture resistant and abrasion-resistant than PVC. Normally, high-end inflatable kayaks with multi-layer construction apply nitrilon as the outer covering.
Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Q&A
Are inflatable kayaks safe?
As long as you know how to control it, an inflatable fishing kayak is as safe as a rigid one. It might be a little unstable. But you will learn how to keep it steady in time.
Many people are concerned about sinking after the inflatable kayak gets pierced. Thankfully, this is not a common problem since most inflatable fishing kayaks have a multi-chamber construction. This means that the craft will keep floating even after such an event.
Keep in mind that inflatable fishing kayaks are more suitable for calm waters. If you wish to fish at the open sea, far away from shore or in rapids, an inflatable kayak is not the best option.
Are inflatable kayaks durable?
It depends on who you take care of and where you use them. For example, if you keep hitting it with sharp rock or branches, it won’t last long. But if you paddle with care, wait until it dries after storing it, and avoid using chemicals while cleaning it, an inflatable fishing kayak can last for a lifetime.