Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Reviews and Buying Guide [2019]

Humans have been fishing from kayaks for thousands of years. This connection between kayaking and fishing was fostered back when our ancestors needed to fish for survival. While most anglers today fish solely for recreational purposes, many have still kept the tradition of kayak angling alive.

With improvements in modern-day kayaks, kayak angling is growing more and more popular—and inflatable kayaks are no exception. In the past, they had a bad reputation for developing leaks having an overall flimsy feel to them. As I said, though, that’s a thing of the past now. Most inflatable kayaks today are highly durable and resistant to leaks and punctures.

They give you an edge over hard-shelled fishing kayaks because they are much lighter, ergo more portable. You can carry them in your bag and take them with you wherever you go.

Since the market is crowded with inflatable fishing kayaks, and not all of them are created equal, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with their workings and which factors affect quality before you make a purchase. To help streamline that process, here’s a roundup of some of the best inflatable fishing kayaks. You’ll also find a buying guide toward the end of the post, which will teach you what you’re looking for when you shop for your next kayak.

 

 

Top Pick

If you’re short on time because those fish need seeing to and would like to know my first choice. It’d be the Advanced Elements Straitedge. It excels at comfort, durability, performance, and weight capacity.

 

 

The Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Reviewed

Advanced Elements Straitedge

This inflatable kayak outstrips its competition when it comes to comfort and features. It uses a high-quality, durable fabric which is augmented with an aluminum-rib frame, which means this kayak excels in tracking and performance.

 

Key Features

  • PVC Tarpaulin construction
  • Maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs.
  • Weighs 44 lbs.
  • Aluminum-rib frame

 

What I like about this product

This kayak features abrasion pads, which combined with the double-layered fabric, maximize its durability. Since most kayaks don’t have similar abrasion pads, you can expect it to last you longer than its competitors.

The width of the kayak affects its stability; the wider it is, the more stable it is, too. This kayak comes with a wide beam to add to its stability. The patented rib frame doesn’t just make the kayak more stable, but also stronger. Great strength and stability aren’t something a lot of inflatable kayaks offer.

Comfort takes precedence when you’re fishing all day. If your kayak makes your legs sore and causes you discomfort, your fishing trip will hardly be pleasant. This kayak comes with a high comfy backseat to make your trip as pleasant as possible. It also provides inflatable support to your lower back.

Owing to these features, it comes as no surprise that this one of the best inflatable fishing kayak models of 2019.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The only gripe I have with this kayak is that it takes a while to dry after you lug it out of water. It can often take much longer than other inflatables.

 

 

Pros

  • Has a self-bailing design which keeps it from flooding
  • Tracks well, even on choppy waters
  • Comfy seats which can be adjusted to your liking
  • Resistant to punctures
  • One-year manufacturer’s warranty

 

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Takes longer to dry

 

In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a durable and strong kayak that will last you many, many fishing trips with comfort and stability to boot, this model is the answer. It’s a bit pricier than other options, but if you can swallow its price tag, the quality and features this kayak offers are unmatched.

 

Overall Rating – 4.8/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

The Coleman Colorado is a twin-kayak, which means it has plenty of room if you’d like to fish with a buddy. Its PVC construction is meant to perform well on rough waters. Sevylor claims this kayak will never leak, and so far, I’ve been hard-pressed to find air-leakage complaints about this model.

 

Key Features

  • 18-gauge PVC construction
  • Kayak’s bottom is 1000D tarpaulin and 840D nylon
  • Multiple air chambers
  • Quick Set Rod holders
  • Can be fitted with a motor for faster speeds

 

What I like about this product

Although the model is puncture resistant, if on the off chance it does get punctured, it’s multiple air chambers will keep you afloat and you should be able to make it back to the shore to make repairs. This is tremendously helpful because often when kayaks sink, they’re damaged beyond repair.

It features rod holders which, as you might have guessed, hold the fishing rod for you, leaving your hands free to tend to other things—searching for a piece of equipment in the storage, perhaps? Considering its weight (which is only 41 pounds, by the way), this kayak can support an impressive amount of cargo, 470 pounds, which makes it ideal for two-person use.

 

What I don’t like about this product

It doesn’t come with a pump, so setting it up can be a bit of a hassle, not to mention more expensive. You’ll have to buy a pump separately, which unfortunately means extra bucks out of your wallet.

 

Pros

  • Adjustable and comfortable seats
  • Highly durable and puncture resistant
  • Allows for hands-free fishing
  • Guaranteed not to leak

 

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a pump included

 

Whether you’re hunting for your first inflatable or looking to make an upgrade, this reliable and feature-rich kayak fits the bill for one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks out there.

 

Overall Rating – 4.7/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Sea Eagle SE370

If you’re on the hunt for a compact and lightweight, yet highly durable and reliable kayak, this inflatable should be on your short list. Here’s why.

 

Key Features

  • PolyKrylar construction
  • Weight capacity of 650 lbs.
  • Three air chambers
  • AB-30 paddles
  • Five inflating and deflating valves

 

What I like about this product

This kayak is roomy enough to accommodate three people, not to mention a generous amount of gear. It also has a staggering weight carrying capacity of 650 lbs. It comes with three inflatable seats which can be removed, swapped around, and adjusted.

To help with stability and tracking, it has two skegs on the bottom. The hull is constructed out of high-quality materials, making it resistant to both sun and saltwater. These aren’t its only features that add to this inflatable’s durability; it’s also a low-pressure vessel. Unlike most inflatables, which are high-pressure, this kayak won’t get punctured unless it hits the rocks very hard.

This inflatable fishing kayak review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the pair of double-sided paddles for covering longer distances. With a price just south of $500, this affordable kayak has value to spare.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The inflatable seats don’t provide enough lumbar support, which can cause some discomfort, especially if you’ve been fishing all day. I’d also not recommend kayaking in freezing waters with this inflatable.

 

Pros

  • Can accommodate three people
  • Impressive weight capacity, 650 lbs.
  • Exceptional tracking and stability
  • Safety against punctures
  • Resistant against sunlight and saltwater

 

Cons

  • Won’t fare well in colder waters
  • The seats aren’t as comfortable as I’d like

 

To bottom-line this model for you, it’s a spacious kayak which offers great stability, durability, and tracking. Although it lacks a bit when it comes to comfort, at $500 for the whole package this kayak is a steal.

 

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Driftsun Voyager

Safety and quality for any watercraft can hardly be overemphasized. These two crucial features are where this twin-kayak excels.

 

Key Features

  • PVC tarpaulin construction
  • Double-threaded Boston Valves
  • Weighs 27 lbs.
  • Can support up to 450 lbs.
  • Three air chambers

 

What I like about this product

The Voyager can be set up very quickly thanks to the double-action pump, which can get your kayak ready to go in just under five minutes. Once it has been inflated, it features double-threaded Boston valves to prevent any air leakages. Crafted from PVC tarpaulin, and covered with 840D nylon, this two-seater is highly durable with tear and puncture resistance.

Its hull is narrow in shape and comes with two removable skegs or fins, which let it slice through the water and cover longer distances. Its paddles are lightweight and double-sided to help ease the paddling process when you’re covering these long distances. It also comes with a repair kit, so in the event of a puncture or a tear, you can make repairs yourself, which means extra money left in your wallet.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Compared to other inflatables on this list, this kayak stands out as substantially heavier and bulkier, which means lugging it in and out of the water can be a bit cumbersome.

 

 

Pros

  • Outstanding performance, thanks to its narrow hull design
  • Provided with a double-action pump and a repair kit
  • Tear and puncture resistant construction
  • Performs equally well in every kind of water

 

Cons

  • Weighs more than its competitors

 

If you’re on a tight budget, I would recommend skipping this one. However, if you’d like to buy a near-flawless kayak that will last you for years to come, this inflatable is the right one for you.

 

Overall Rating – 4.7/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Sevylor Tahiti – Best Budget Inflatable Kayak

With a price tag just north of $100, this inflatable kayak is easily one of the most affordable fishing kayaks on the market. While it’s usually true that you get what you pay for, this kayak has plenty of value to offer, especially when you consider its inexpensive price point.

 

Key Features

  • Crafted from 21-gauge PVC material
  • Weighs only 19 lbs.
  • Maximum weight capacity of 360 lbs.
  • Multiple air chambers
  • Double lock valve and Airtight system

 

What I like about this product

The Tahiti can be set up pretty quickly and without much hassle. It deflates just as quickly, too, which saves you both time and effort. Once it has been inflated, the manufacturers made sure that it won’t leak. It features an anti-leak Airtight System along with double-lock valves to prevent leaks while you’re on the water.

Despite its lower price range, it’s built to take a bruising. It won’t get punctured from the occasional scuff or impact with a rock or tree branch thanks to its robust and tough PVC build. Its weight capacity is a bit lower than other inflatables in this roundup, but it is spacious enough for two people and some fishing gear. As far as comfort goes, its seats are padded and have backrests with decent lumbar support.

 

What I don’t like about this product

For the $100 price tag, you only get the kayak. The skegs, pump, and paddles aren’t included; you will have to buy those separately. It does come with a carry case, however, so portability isn’t an issue in the slightest. It weighs only 19 pounds, which is pretty impressive since most kayaks in this roundup weigh much more than that.

 

Pros

  • The airtight system prevents air-leakage
  • Double-lock valves make inflating and deflating this kayak a breeze
  • Multiple air-chambers
  • One of the lightest, if not the lightest inflatable kayak

 

Cons

  • The weight capacity isn’t as high as competitors
  • Doesn’t come with fins, paddles, or a pump

 

If you’re trying kayak angling on for size, this inflatable can be a great first kayak, and it won’t cost you a small fortune.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Elkton Outdoors

With its four trolling and two vertical rod holders, this one-of-a-kind inflatable kayak allows for hands-free fishing. You can kick back, relax, and let the kayak hold the rod for you.

 

Key Features

  • 10ft long
  • Two-seater
  • Constructed out of 18-gauge tear and hook resistant PVC material
  • Supports up to 420 lbs.
  • Comes with vertical and trolling rod holders

 

What I like about this product

What if you could cut the time it takes to inflate your kayak? This one can inflate and deflate in a couple of minutes and is among the fastest inflating kayaks I’ve ever reviewed. It’s also fairly stable, and since it’s only 10 feet long, it is pretty maneuverable too. One caveat though, it can be inflated quickly with an electric pump, but if you’d like it to last you longer, consider inflating it with a manual foot pump which won’t overinflate your kayak as easily.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Although its build quality is excellent, I can’t say the same about its weight capacity, which is only 420 pounds. There’s room for improvement in that department.

 

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Inflates and deflates quickly
  • Decent maneuverability

 

Cons

  • Lower weight limit

 

If you’re looking for a compact and highly portable kayak that can be inflated and deflated quickly and easily, this might be the right pick for you.

 

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Intex Explorer K2

This two-seater is an absolute steal priced at $100. It offers comfort, acceptable stability, and tracking, and plenty of space.

 

Key Features

  • Two-seater design
  • Two chambers
  • Weighs 33 lbs.
  • Supports up to 400 lbs.
  • Removable fins

 

What I like about this product

This twin-kayak has two air chambers which keep you afloat in case of a puncture and features a cockpit design. The seats have a backrest and are fairly comfy. It can support up to 400 pounds, which is nothing short of incredible considering its remarkably low price tag.

 

What I don’t like about this product

This kayak is designed for calm lakes and easy-going rivers, so it won’t perform well in choppy waters. I’d recommend keeping this inflatable limited to smaller bodies of water only.

 

 

Pros

  • Enough room for two people
  • Supports a generous amount of weight
  • Comes with skegs and aluminum oars
  • Seats are comfortable

 

Cons

  • Can’t withstand rough waters
  • Best suited for lakes and placid rivers

 

If you’ll be fishing in calm lakes and such, this kayaks features combined with its affordable price make it tough to beat.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Saturn Pro Angler FK396

Although it features an unconventional seating configuration, this inflatable still manages to impress.

 

Key Features

  • Heavy-duty PVC construction
  • Weighs 43 lbs.
  • Can support up to 700 lbs.
  • Aluminum benches, which also let you mount on accessories such as GPS

 

What I like about this product

This 13-foot long kayak is lightweight yet durable with exceptional strength to spare and is crafted from heavy-duty PVC. Its hull is nose-shaped and narrow which lets it slice through the water, while its tubing allows for high buoyancy.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Instead of regular inflatable or padded seats, this kayak features aluminum benches which can be moved around. It’s not a drawback in itself, but when you’re fishing for extended periods, the lack of cushioning could cause a lot of discomfort.

 

Pros

  • You can mount a trolling motor
  • The design is durable
  • The weight capacity is unmatched
  • Lightweight

 

Cons

  • It is not self-bailing and will flood on choppy waters
  • The aluminum benches can be uncomfortable

 

If durability and weight capacity are deal breakers for you, this inflatable should fit the bill perfectly.

 

Overall Rating – 4.4/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

NRS Pike Angler

This kayak is versatile enough to perform well in both salt and freshwater conditions. It has a novel feature which lets you remove the 4-inch drop stitch pad.

 

Key Features

  • PVC construction
  • Option to mount rod holders
  • Collapsible and comfortable seats

 

What I like about this product

This inflatable is fairly comfortable and spacious. It’s made out of scuff- and abrasion-resistant PVC. Its three Scotty Mount pads conveniently let you mount rod holders and other fishing gear. The seat is comfortable, collapses to make even more room, and can be adjusted to your preference.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Since the design uses a double-sided material, it’s heavy. Much heavier than most inflatables, even when deflated and stowed away, and because it has a wider hull, it travels at a snail’s pace.

 

Pros

  • Roomy
  • Durable, heavy-duty construction
  • You get the option to mount your fishing gear
  • Comfortable

 

Cons

  • Steeply priced
  • Slow-going
  • Bulky and heavy

 

If you don’t mind the price tag or the bulkier profile and appreciate the novel features this inflatable has to offer, this kayak might be an attractive option for you.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Inflatable Fishing Kayak Buying guide

Inflatable fishing kayaks have a certain edge over their hard-shell counterparts because they tend to provide better accessibility to tighter spots, they’re much lighter, and they can often be more comfortable. Whether your experience with an inflatable kayak would be a pleasant one depends on several different factors, though. I’ll walk you through a few. Want to see more fishing kayak options? check out some other options.

Solo vs. tandem

This one might be a no-brainer, but if you plan on fishing alone, consider investing in a solo kayak. It’s your budget that mostly dictates whether you can afford a tandem for kayaking. If you’re on a strict budget, I’d recommend going with the solo option. If you can afford a tandem, however, you can have your one or two pals tag along on your trip. You can also bring your pet on board, not to mention a lot of your fishing gear as well.

 

 

Weight

The weight of your inflatable will affect its portability. Inflatable fishing kayaks vary drastically when it comes to weight and size, so it’s crucial that you pick one that meets your size and weight requirements. I’d recommend sticking to lighter kayaks if you can because hauling around a heavy vessel can get burdensome.

 

Stability

If you’re making the switch from hard-shell kayaks, you might find that inflatable kayaks are a bit unsteady compared to their counterparts. There’s no way around it; it just takes some getting used to. As a rule of thumb, the wider the hull of the kayak, the more stable it will be. A caution though, a wider hull shape also means your vessel will be slower. You’ll probably have to make that trade-off.

 

Final thoughts

Now to wrap up this post and announce the winner for this roundup. The Advanced Elements Straitedge makes that cut, and it’s not difficult to see why if you’ve read these inflatable fishing kayak reviews.

It outperforms its competitors in almost every respect that matters. It’s stronger. It’s durable. It tracks steadily, even on choppy waters. It’s self-bailing, so you won’t have to worry about it flooding when it takes on rough waters—but above all, it’s very comfortable.

If you’d rather go for more budget-friendly options, the cheaper inflatables in this rundown have plenty of value to offer. You can check out our picks for fishing kayaks under 500.

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