Kayaks are very popular right now but do you really know your stuff? A common mistake people make is not knowing what to watch out for when on the lookout for a new piece of equipment. In this piece we’ll explain the key features to watch out for and which products we would recommend for you.
Inflatable kayaks can be easier to transport, stow and store than traditional models. And, if you like the idea of taking your boat out on lakes or rivers, but want something lighter for exploring creeks and narrow ravines, an inflatable kayak is probably right for you.
There are several brands out there that have made some incredible innovations in this category recently, so we rounded up a handful of options that will help anyone who wants to get closer to nature with a little less hassle. Whether you’re looking for speed or comfort, we’ve got it covered!
What do I need to know?
We’ll start with a brief overview of how kayaks work and what their benefits are so that you can feel confident in choosing one over all. We’ll then look at some of our top recommendations as well as some things to consider when making your purchase.
So how do kayaks work? Kayaks are more stable than other pieces of water equipment, making them perfect both for beginners and advanced users alike. They’re also pretty affordable if you compare them with other boats or inflatable vessels like canoes, rafts or even paddle boards, meaning they’re also great value-for-money pieces of technology!
You can use these small boats on any body of water, whether it’s a lake or a river thanks to their ability to handle difficult terrains and even rapids! There are three different categories when it comes to kayaks: recreational, touring and whitewater kayaking. This is something you should keep in mind as certain models may not be suitable for the activity.
The first product on our list comes from well-known manufacturer Intex, who offer us their Challenger K2 Kayak. It’s pretty durable thanks to its puncture resistant material but still feels light enough without being uncomfortable and difficult to manoeuvre! It’s also very easy to deflate and store away thanks to its convenient size once folded down – but don’t let this fool you because once inflated again it really can hold more than 500 pounds!
The design itself makes paddling effortless, mainly in part due to its wide design which allows everyone an easier time working while they’re out having fun! There are three seats included with this package which means three people can enjoy the water together without having any problems getting inside of their own seat. Each person has his/her own backrest where they can rest while relaxing during their trip around the lake or river.
This company offers some great value for money as well since everything about this model screams “quality” without forcing you to spend a lot of extra cash. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this one and is the perfect inflatable kayak to kick off our list.
|Can accommodate 2 large adults||Some users found that it can take on water if left in water for a prolonged period|
|No need to pay for expensive add-ons||A budget option so is very basic|
|Puncture resistant materials|
The Sevylor Quickpak K1 is our top pick for this list. It’s great if you’re looking to get started in recreational kayaking, offering a sturdy build and the ability to hold up to 330 pounds of weight! While this model is only really intended for single person use, the weight limit does mean that you could fit an extra person on, though you mightn’t be able to after lunch!
When not in use, it can be deflated very quickly so that you can store it away until your next trip. The PVC material with which it is built will ensure that you won’t have any issues with durability either. In fact, the only real problem we found was that the material can absorb water if left outside for too long! Overall though, this is a great option for those who are just starting out with kayaking and want something cheap but effective.
The Sevylor Quickpak K1, along with the Sea Wolf, is one of the best options out there right now when looking at inflatable kayaks. The design might be a tad basic and look a little bit aesthetically simple but does that really matter? It does the job that it was made for and you’ll struggle to find anything better than this at such an affordable price point!
|Great value for money||Can absorb water if left outside for a prolonged period|
|Easy to put together and take apart|
The AirVolution is the latest inflatable kayak from Advanced Elements, the original manufacturer of inflatable kayaks in the United States. This new model offers more improvements than any other similar model on the market today and offers a lot of performance and this is reflected by the inflated, pardon the pun, price. It isn’t cheap, but you pay for the brand to an extent and Advanced Elements are a top company.
Advanced Elements calls it an AirVolution, but don’t let that loose sounding name confuse you because this isn’t your typical frame kayak design! While other companies are making their inflatable kayaks that look like traditional hard shell kayaks, then attaching their own brand of frame to them, Advanced Elements is really doing something different here.
They have actually developed a true inflatable frame system for their boat. It is made entirely by them and mounted to each boat with fasteners designed specifically to attach it to this boat only. The result looks very sleek. It is quite an innovative design and really positions AE as a leader in innovation in this product category.
|Sleek design||Really expensive for an inflatable model|
|Highly durable||Only accommodates a single user|
|2-air chamber design|
This model, released by Bestway a couple of years back, is your stereotypical inflatable kayak. Despite looking very standard and run of the mill, The Hydro-Force Rapid X2 isn’t something you should turn your nose up at without giving it a chance first. It does exactly what it says on the tin and by all accounts is as reliable as they come.
The kayak is made out of a highly durable and long-lasting vinyl that is both sturdy and pre-tested, meaning that you can be sure that you won’t be encountering any defects once out on the water. This is absolutely nothing worse than getting out on a body of water only to find that you are taking on water from an unknown location and have to race against time to get back to shore. With this kayak, you won’t need to worry about that.
A handy inclusion with this inflatable kayak is that it comes with 2 seats and 2 sets of oars, meaning that you can have a tonne of fun when out with a friend, family member, or loved one. Many of the more budget oriented options will come with 2 seats but only 1 oar and so this inclusion by Bestway is much appreciated. Romantic kayaking trip anyone?
|2 seats and 2 oars||Very basic design|
|Pre-tested material||Not the most stable option|
|Removable fin included|
You will be sure to have a fun time on the water with this one. It comes with a paddle, so you don’t need to buy one in addition to the kayak, meaning that it represents great value for money, even if it is one of the more expensive models.
The kayak is made of polyester with UV protection and it has a high rating for durability. It also comes with a double bungee tie-down, a carrying strap and a footrest adjustment systems. It is built to last and also built to perform, meaning that the quality is something which you can rely on. This peace of mind is one of the most important things yo can have when you are on the open water.
It can support up to 300 pounds of weight and it includes a paddle holder which makes the kayak easier to carry around as you will not have to carry the paddle separately as you move from the shore to the open water. You will find it easy to store your gear in this kayak as there is plenty of space to the rear, making it ideal for days on the lake and also for touring.
|Ultra durable design||Very expensive|
|Built to last||Cramped cabin|
Did we miss anything? Make sure to let us know if you have bought any of these products and what you think of them. While you’re here. Don’t forget to read our other blog posts.