Your Source for Daily Outdoor Inspiration
Heart for Outdoor uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more

The 10 Best Inflatable Kayaks for Easy Storage in 2022

Last updated May 24, 2022| Gear

Inflatable kayaks are boats made from multiple PVC layers with a multi-air chamber hull design providing buoyancy. They share a similar outline with hardshell kayaks, with comparable performance and durability levels. Inflatable (motorized) kayaks are widely used by the military during special missions and are an affordable recreational watercraft option for beginners and skilled paddlers.

Inflatable kayaks have become immensely popular among recreational paddlers and anglers over the past few decades. Their versatility opens up exciting new outdoor adventures like whitewater kayaking and sports fishing.

The 10 Best Inflatable Kayaks for Easy Storage in 2022

Inflatable kayaks have a collapsible hull that folds into a carry bag for easy storage. It is a design feature allowing owners to transport their kayaks inside a car trunk and carry them to the lake or river without requiring a roof rack or large cargo beds. Some inflatable kayaks can also be folded into backpack-like bags and carried on a hike to the next river or waterhole after deflating. Perhaps, the best advantage of inflatable kayaks is they are more affordable than hardshell kayaks. The best inflatable kayak prices are generally less than half the cost of a hardshell kayak of similar dimensions and performance.

Here is the information you need to purchase the safest, most durable, puncture-resistant, and easy-to-store inflatable kayaks. These may range from the best kayak at any price to the best inflatable kayak under $500.

Inflatable Kayak Categories

Inflatable kayak manufacturers divide them into three categories based on their design materials.

Category 1

These are inflatable kayaks built from a single layer of thin vinyl fabric similar to the type used for inflatable mattresses. Some higher-quality kayaks like the Sea Eagle 370 also belong in this category. Category 1 kayaks are inexpensive, and here is where you find the best inflatable kayak under $500.

Category 2

Kayaks in the second category consist of multiple air chambers made from inexpensive vinyl covered with a protective nylon layer to prevent UV light damage. A distinguishing feature of category two kayaks is a fabric-type outer material with zippers. Kayaks in category two are more expensive than category one kayaks, with prices ranging from $300-$800, and here’s an excellent example of the best inflatable kayak under $500.

Category 3

Category 3 kayaks are highly durable kayaks produced from PVC or rubber materials. If you are looking for the best inflatable kayak, here is where to find one. Category 3 kayaks can withstand severe abuse without significant damage, and they are ideal for whitewater rafting. These kayaks command premium prices, with high-quality models starting from $900.

The 10 Best Inflatable Kayaks for Easy Storage in 2022

Things To Consider Before Choosing The Best Inflatable Kayak

Here is a list of the vital things to look out for when buying your next inflatable kayak.

Weight Limit: it is good to inspect the maximum weight limit whether you are shopping for a solo or tandem inflatable kayak. You should look for a solo kayak with a larger weight limit if you have a plus-size physique or a tandem kayak to accommodate the extra weight of the friend or partner you are thinking of bringing along for the ride.

Materials and Durability: Inflatable kayaks may look like toys to most people, but under the supposedly flimsy material is a rigid boat that does not concede much to the elements. The best inflatable kayak has an average lifespan of more than ten years. Inflatable kayaks do not puncture easily, and they are abrasive and fade-resistant. Without fear of damage you can use them in thick mangrove swamps or drag them along a sandy or rocky beach. Taking care of your inflatable kayaks according to the manufacturer’s instructions will make them last longer and give you several years of valuable service.

Materials and Construction: the best inflatable kayaks typically have multiple PVC air chambers with outer nylon covering, providing additional protection. High-quality kayaks often feature multiple vinyl layers, reinforced hulls, bottom skid plates, and threaded air-tight valves for extra security.

The 10 Best Inflatable Kayaks for Easy Storage in 2022

Stability: is determined by the width of the inflatable kayak. Wider inflatable kayaks like sit-on-top kayaks tend to be more stable – but slower than sit inside kayaks which are narrower but faster. More stable inflatable kayaks are suitable for beginners who learn the basics of paddling and kayak maneuvering before moving on to faster kayaks.

Ease of Storage: a primary advantage of the best inflatable kayaks is that they are easy to store in your garage or basement, incurring storage costs associated with conventional sailboats. Inflatable kayaks can be folded up and packed in a bag or an integrated backpack.

Versatility: the best inflatable kayaks should offer excellent performance in different water or paddling conditions depending on your watersports preferences. Most owners will use their kayaks for fishing trips across the lakes or the occasional recreational paddling. Check for its whitewater grade if you intend to paddle in fast-moving waters, choppy inland bays, or foaming rapids.

Cost of the Kayak: how much you should pay for your kayak will depend on how you use it. Cheap and good quality inflatable kayaks for under $100 are suitable for beginners and the occasional recreational paddlers who use their kayaks a couple of times each year. Anglers may want to consider inflatable fishing kayaks with fishing rod accessories and enough space for their gear, but those are generally more expensive than budget kayaks.

Seat: the best inflatable kayaks come with adjustable padded seats with backrests which will be needed after an entire day of paddling. Check if the seats offer enough lumbar support and avoid hard plastic seats.

The 10 Best Inflatable Kayaks for Easy Storage in 2022

Accessories: manufacturers often include essential accessories such as paddles, skeg tracking fins, and an air pump when buying an inflatable kayak. Sometimes, the quality of these items may be subpar in budget kayaks. However, you can purchase good-quality accessories from third-party suppliers if necessary.

The Best Inflatable Kayaks Under $500

For those looking for a quality inflatable kayak without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled a list of the best options under $500.

#1. Intex Challenger K1 kayak

01RmK+J4pJL. SL500 - Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: Intex
  • Style: Sit Inside kayak
  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 12.3 kg (27.2 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 99.7 kg (220 pounds)

Jump into the durable Intex Challenger K1 inflatable kayak for a memorable day at the lake or your local stream and discover the incredible features that make it the best inflatable kayak for individuals on a budget and the best inflatable kayak under $500. A few minutes inside the Challenger K1 Kayak’s roomy and high-quality cockpit will instantly dispel your misgivings about buying the cheap inflatable kayak. We were impressed by the high high-quality materials used in its construction, and the striking graphics ensure that you stand out in the lake. Check out the Intex Challenger K1 inflatable kayak, the best inflatable kayak under $500, with the performance and versatility of kayaks more than twice its cost.

Product highlights:

  • Great for calm lakes and slow-moving rivers.
  • Removable skegs for directional stability.
  • Inflatable seat with backrest.
  • Generous cargo storage space with net cover.
  • Grab lines on both sides of the kayak.
  • Rugged vinyl construction, the inflatable I beam floor provides extra stability.
  • Available with an 84-inch aluminum oar, air pump, and repair patch.

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: 2 hours ago

#2. Advanced Elements PackLite™ Inflatable Kayak

416IQVjnHAL. SL500 - Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: Advanced Elements
  • Style: Sit-On-Top kayak
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Weight: 1.8 kg (4 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 113 kg (250 pounds)

Explore remote glacier lakes and slow-moving rivers with the Advanced Elements PackLite Kayak, a compact inflatable kayak. Built from PVC-free, eco-friendly materials providing ruggedness and stability, the PackLite kayak is lightweight and highly maneuverable. Several features provide comfortable and safe paddling moments out on the water. The Advanced Elements PackLite kayak is the best inflatable kayak under $500 for recreational paddlers who desire a no-frills compact budget kayak for sunny days out on the lake.

Product highlights:

  • Super lightweight design weighing 4 pounds.
  • Twistlock and military-style valves for fast inflation/deflation.
  • A mesh carry bag also doubles as an onboard storage bag.
  • Triple air chamber design for safety and reliability.
  • Built-in seat with backrest.
  • Available with a repair kit, a carry bag, and owner’s manual.

$305.78 $329.99

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
-7%
Last update: 2 hours ago

#3. Rave Sports Sea Rebel 153

511YrvXQWjL. SL500 - Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: Rave Sports
  • Style: Sit-On-Top kayak
  • Material: PVC
  • Weight: 9.97 kg (22 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 200 kg (90.7 pounds)

The Rave Sports Sea Rebel 153 is the ideal inflatable kayak that offers a thrilling paddling experience for you and your mates yet folds down to fit into a small car trunk or strap on a bike. Weighing only 22 pounds, the Sea Rebel 153 has a rugged PVC construction and a reinforced bottom for extra durability and stability. Check out the adjustable and removable backseat, which features an integrated bag to store your items. The Rave Sports Sea Rebel 153 is great for teens and youths, and it is the best inflatable kayak under $500 for lakes and other flatwater paddling adventures.

Product highlights:

  • Good quality one-way air valve ensures fast inflation.
  • High-quality back seat with integrated waterproof zip bag for essential items and a bottle holder.
  • Four foam handles are wrapped in nylon covers and set in reinforced neoprene to prevent chapped knuckles.
  • Stern bungee tie-down cords to secure gear.
  • Available with a kayak paddle, a carry bag, and a high-pressure air pump.

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: 2 hours ago

#4. Aquaglide Noyo 90

41HGyscSEMS. SL500 - Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: Aquaglide
  • Style: Sit-In kayak
  • Material: Polyester
  • Weight: 9.5 kg (21 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 113.3 kg (250 pounds)

Named after Northern California’s Noyo River, the Aquaglide Noyo 90 inflatable kayak is the best inflatable kayak under $500, with an enclosed cockpit for cruising along meandering rivers and lakes. The closed cockpit design of the Noyo 90 Inflatable kayak keeps paddlers dry while in the water, making it the best inflatable kayak for long paddling excursions or solo day trips for beginners seeking to improve their paddling skills. Recreational paddlers looking for a lightweight, fast, and durable all-weather inflatable kayak to play around with during the occasional weekend should take a good look at the Aquaglide Neyo 90 Inflatable kayak.

Product highlights:

  • A quick-release tracking fin provides excellent directional stability.
  • Boston valve for faster inflation/deflating.
  • Molded handles for convenient transport.
  • Dry storage compartments with zipper and D ring attachments to secure gear.

$344.62 $449.99

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
-23%
Last update: 2 hours ago

The Best Inflatable Kayaks Under $750

If your budget is a little bit higher and you are looking for something that will offer more features, better performance, and durability, then you should check out the following inflatable kayaks that cost under $750.

#5. TAHE Beach LP2 Premium Inflatable Kayak

- Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: TAHE OUTDOORS
  • Style: Sit-On-Top kayak
  • Material: Blend
  • Weight: 13.6 kg (30 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 149.6 kg (330 pounds)

Enjoy beautiful sunsets on the lake or fun fishing adventures with your partner, sibling, or friend on the TAHE Beach LP2 Premium Inflatable Tandem Kayak. This sit-on-top inflatable kayak for two people has a lightweight and rugged hydrodynamic hull and triple air chamber construction providing stability, durability, and reliability. Designed for solo or 2-person paddling, the Beach LP2 Inflatable Kayak offers superior straight-line performance and control with three removable skegs and inflatable seats providing comfort. TAHE OUTDOORS LP’s range of premium inflatable kayaks is renowned for its versatility and comfort. The Beach LP2 Premium Inflatable Kayak offers convenience and value in a compact and lightweight package to paddlers of every skill level.

Product highlights:

  • Triple air chamber construction for safety and reliability.
  • A pair of high-position adjustable inflatable seats provide ergonomic comfort.
  • Stern deck tie-down cords for securing gear.
  • Carry handles installed fore and aft.
  • Adaptable for 1 or 2 people paddling.
  • Available with two paddles, a pump, and a carry bag for storage.

$599.95

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: 2 hours ago

#6. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak

412+NvN9 5L. SL500 - Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: Advanced Elements
  • Style: Sit Inside Kayak
  • Material: Rip-Stop Polyester/PVC Tarpaulin
  • Weight: 11.7 kg (26 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 113.3 kg (250 pounds)

Designed for optimum performance in all waters, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak is a fusion of aluminum rib-frame technology and inflatable PVC to create a hybrid kayak offering the performance of a hard shell with versatility of an inflatable kayak. The AdvancedFrame Sports Kayak features a lightweight and compact hull with an aluminum bow and stern rib frames allowing easy movement and excellent paddling and tracking performance. The roomy and comfortable closed cockpit has a large opening facilitating easy entry/exit. Your next water adventure is just a few pumps away with the AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak, the best inflatable kayak design from Advanced Elements.

Product highlights:

  • Durable three-layer material construction.
  • Bow and stern aluminum ribs allow exceptional water performance and foldable storage.
  • Compact design and easy storage without requiring a roof rack or truck bed for transport.
  • Good dry storage space and bungee lacing for strapping down gear.
  • Padded seat with adjustable back support.

$441.69 $549.99

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
-20%
Last update: 2 hours ago

#7. Sea Eagle 300X Explorer

41zFaShZ 4L. SL500 - Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: Sea Eagle
  • Style: Sit-On-Top Kayak
  • Material: 1000 Denier Reinforced/Seam: Overlapped Seams
  • Weight: 12.7 kg (28 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 179.1 kg (395 pounds)

Experience the fun and the stomach-dropping thrills of whitewater paddling in the Sea Eagle 300X Explorer Inflatable kayak. This sit-on-top kayak has a unique high-pressure drop stitch floor on top of a reinforced fabric floor construction for a more responsive paddling experience, additional rigidity, and extra protection against logs and jagged rocks. Its rugged 1000 denier reinforced PVC construction with quad overlapping seams is designed to withstand the battering of Class IV whitewater. Check out the removable skeg, which increases tracking-ability in flat water, and you are guaranteed to remain afloat in any environment with the 16 self-bailing drain valves. The Sea Eagle 300X is highly versatile and is the best inflatable kayak for short or long paddling trips on fast-moving whitewater, lakes, inland bays, and rivers.

Product highlights:

  • Fast unpacking and inflation allow you to hit the water within minutes.
  • It folds and packs into a handy carry-on bag for transport in a car trunk, garage, or basement shelf storage.
  • An efficient modular design allows quick removal of the drop stitch floor for easy cleaning.
  • The removable tracking fin can be detached either before or after kayak deflation.
  • Available with an air pump, repair kit, and carry-on bag.

$730.99

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: 2 hours ago

#8. Advanced Elements Straight Edge Inflatable Kayak

41e aUIaGIL. SL500 - Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: Advanced Elements
  • Style: Sit-On-Top Kayak
  • Material: PVC Tarpaulin
  • Weight: 15 kg (34 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 136 kg (300 pounds)

Another hybrid inflatable kayak to make our list is the Advanced Elements Strait Edge kayak which combines aluminum ribs in its bow and stern with five inflatable air chambers. The result is a high-performance inflatable kayak with the tracking and maneuverability of a hard shell kayak. Made from heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin, the Strait Edge Kayak hull consists of two PVC sheets with a mesh fabric underlay for durability and puncture protection. The long list of standard accessories includes a comfort seat with a breathable foam mesh backrest for support and comfort, two-rod holders, and self-bailing holes to keep you dry.

Product highlights:

  • Fits into a duffel bag for easy storage and transport in a car trunk or hikes to remote rivers and lakes.
  • Five air chambers provide reliability and safety while in the water.
  • Aluminum rib-frame design in the bow and stern allows fast speeds and excellent tracking.
  • Available with rod holders, folding seat, repair kit, duffel bag, and owner’s manual.

$608.00 $649.99

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
-6%
Last update: 2 hours ago

The Best Inflatable Kayaks Under $1,000

For those who want the best of the best, we’ve put together a list of the best inflatable kayaks under $1,000. These are high-quality kayaks that offer features and performance that rival their hard-shell counterparts.

#9. Advanced Elements Firefly

31zNKSZZnUL. SL500 - Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: Advanced Elements
  • Style: Sit Inside Kayak
  • Material: Rubber, Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Weight: 9.97 kg (22 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 113.3 kg (250 pounds)

The Advanced Elements Firefly is compact and lightweight watercraft for fun-filled adventures on the lake or river. A distinctive feature of the Advanced Firefly Inflatable Kayak is its rigid bow and stern allow the kayak to slice through waves effortlessly, and bottom landing plates offer increased durability. A tracking skeg provides directional stability, and the kayak easily folds into a duffel bag for storage and transport.

Product highlights:

  • Molded-in rubber grip handles allow paddlers to pick and carry the kayak.
  • Dry storage space with bungee lacing to secure large items.
  • Easy inflation with Twist Lock valves with a high flow spring valve.
  • A mini toolbox for storing personal items.
  • Available with carry bag, repair kit, and owner’s manual.

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: 2 hours ago

#10. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead

41c - Heart for Outdoor
  • Brand: Sevylor
  • Type: Inflatable kayak
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Weight: 19.5 kg (43 Pounds)
  • Weight Capacity: 213 kg (470 pounds)

Cast your bait this summer from the deck of the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak and experience the incredible balance of its rigid drop-stitch floor, which offers a stable fishing platform for anglers. Designed for rewarding days with a line and hook at the local stream or lake, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead kayak is the best inflatable kayak for anglers and sports fishing. It is equipped with modular hard mounts for your rod holders, fish finder device, bait trays, and other accessories you need to reel in your biggest catch. The Elkton Outdoors Steelhead kayak has an impact-resistant 1000D multi-layered reinforced PVC construction for protection against rocks and logs. Packing the Steelhead kayak takes a few minutes, and it folds inside a carry bag for easy transport and storage.

Product highlights:

  • Padded seat to keep paddlers comfortable while waiting for fish to bite.
  • Bow and stern storage space with a bungee cargo hold.
  • Solid drop-stitch deck area allowing anglers to stand and move around.
  • Forwards and backward Adjustable Hi-Rise EVA seat.

$849.99

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: 2 hours ago

Conclusion

Selecting the right inflatable kayak can be overwhelming, and you have to pout through a significant amount of information on specs, weight capacity, and whitewater class ratings. However, we have tried to simplify the process for you with our buyers’ guide. Caring correctly for your kayak will extend its lifespan and prevent unnecessary damage or repairs.

Please give us feedback on how helpful this article has been, and tell us about your adventures.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the waters.

Recommended reading

The 10 Best Fishing Kayaks for Big Guys in 2022

The 10 Best Fishing Kayaks for Big Guys in 2022

This is the ultimate guide highlighting the best fishing kayaks for big guys in 2022. Here, we will help you select the best kayak model based on your weight and budget.

The 10 Best Lightweight Kayaks for Beginners in 2022

The 10 Best Lightweight Kayaks for Beginners in 2022

Our 2022 best lightweight kayaks guide for beginners is the best online resource to help you select the best and safest kayak available for you at reasonable prices.

The 10 Best Recreational Kayaks in 2022

The 10 Best Recreational Kayaks in 2022

Our buyers' guide for the best recreational kayaks for 2022 buyers includes the top kayaks in each category suitable for exploring sheltered bays, slow-moving rivers, and thick mangroves.

The 10 Lightest Sit-on-Top Kayaks in 2022

The 10 Lightest Sit-on-Top Kayaks in 2022

Sit-on-top kayaks provide paddlers of all skill levels and ages with affordable and fun-filled water excursions. Here's the top 10!

The 9 Best Portable Fish Finders for Kayaks and Canoes in 2022

The 9 Best Portable Fish Finders for Kayaks and Canoes in 2022

Fish finders are one of the most important tools you can have with you on your next kayak or canoe fishing trip. Here are the ones we recommend purchasing, and what to look out for.

5 Best Tents for Kayak Camping in 2022

5 Best Tents for Kayak Camping in 2022

Kayaking is an extremely fun, active, energetic, and exciting outdoor sport or leisure pursuit. And while the tent you are going to use may possibly not be the first thing on your mind, without the...

The 10 Best Kayak Roof Racks for Cars Without Rails in 2022

The 10 Best Kayak Roof Racks for Cars Without Rails in 2022

Kayak’s irregular shapes make them difficult to strap onto a transport vehicle. The task is easier in vehicles fitted with roof rails that you can secure the kayak to but transporting kayaks in cars without roof rails can be challenging. 

Newsletter

Join others with a heart for the outdoors!

We want you to love the outdoor life as much as we do.
Our email content is full of value, void of hype, tailored to your interests whenever possible, never pushy, and always free.