Best Inflatable Kayak

Living on the Milwaukee River with plenty of public places to doc makes it only natural I eventually wanted to invest in an inflatable kayak.

For the price that it costs to rent one you, can find one that is cheaper to own, which means your return of revenue is almost instant.

I didn’t want to drop big bucks and buy a hard standard kayak so I started researching inflatable ones.


Why buy an inflatable kayak over a hard one?

For those who live in apartments or condos with limited space, inflatable kyaks allow you to own a kayak without having to worry about where or how to store it.

They also give you the benefit of being compact which makes them easy to transport have it be via walking, in a packed car for camping, or even over your shoulder while biking.

I love mine because I can deflate it just enough to put in my car alongside my golf bag!

Inflatable kayak detials

Inflatable kayaks are all unquie to the seller but have a common theme to them.

They typically come in a pack with an oar, air pump, and some type of bag to store items.

They will come in one or two-person styles. I have both and it depends on the day which one I feel like using. If I am in a lazy mood then I like to do the double and make my significant other do more of the work while I concentrate on important things like drinking my wine.

Below are all my top picks for inflatable kayaks that will get you out on the water in no time. carrying bag eafadf

Inflatable Kayaks At A Quick Glance

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
  • 1 person kayak
  • It comes with a carrying bag, collapsible aluminum oars, and high output air pump
  • Inflatable seat with backrest
  •  Durable vinyl construction
  •  220-pound maximum capacity
  • Bottom balance fin
Sevylor Quikpak K1

  • 1 person kayak
  • Drink holder
  • 5 min set up
  • 400 lb capacity
  • The carrying bag is in a backpack style
  • Airtight System is guaranteed not to leak and has a backup air chamber, so if one leaks the other will keep it inflated
  • Multi-position footrest 
  • Secure storage area
Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak
  • Adjustable EVA seats
  • Paddle straps
  • Splash guard
  • Reinforced carry handles
  • Removable skeg
  • 450 lb capacity
  • 3 chamber construction
  • Pump with gauge
Sevylor Rio Fish/Hunt 1-Person Inflatable Kayak
  • 8-gauge PVC construction is rugged
  • Multiple air chambers
  • D-Rings are an easy way to attach other equipment
  • Hold up to 350 lbs
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Mesh storage pockets keep gear and snacks close at hand
  • Adjustable seats move to fit you
Sea Eagle 393rl Razorlite 1 Person Inflatable Kayak Package,
  • Tapered, hard-nose bow
  •  Drop Stitch hull enables kayak to cut through waves – great for ocean
  • 500-pound load capacity
  • Made of  PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • 3 year limited warranty
  •  World’s first all drop stitch patented RazorLite inflatable kayak

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

challenger kayak

This is the first inflatable kayak I ever bought. My sister-in-law actually owned these first. We took them out on the lake one day and I was shocked because previously I had only ever used hard ones.

This is a one-person kayak, as you can clearly see from the picture. The cage net on the front can be used to store extra gear like a towel, fishing pole, snacks, booze, Bluetooth speaker, and anything else you could possibly need to float.

It holds up to 220 pounds and measures 30 by 15 by 108 inches.

I personally like this bright green design because if I have too many cocktails at the bar I know exactly where I tied it up. I also feel a bit safer since I do take it on the Milwaukee river which is a hot spot for small boats all the way up to giant vessels. I feel like the bright green stands out to other people on the river which makes me feel a bit safer.

Collapsible oars make it super easy to travel with and saves space which is great because my storage isn’t that big.

This pump is designed so air only goes one way so you don’t have to worry about covering the top right away as you do with a car tire or a bike tire. It is a bit small but it works super well.

If you don’t want to sit so far on top of the kayak with the inflatable seat then only inflate the back and leave the bottom part deflated. I’m short so I like it inflated but taller people prefer to keep the bottom deflated. I find this feature to be nice and helps suit everyone’s style.

I take my dogs in here and their nails haven’t put any damage to it!


I wish the carrying bag was made out of a sleeping bag type of material instead of a tote bag type of material.

two person kayak challenger

Available in a two-person style.

This two-person version has two seats and comes with two oars!

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

sevlor single person kayak

This is a one-person kayak.

It has both an inflatable seat with a hard seat cushion/backrest. This hard backrest can be more comfortable for some people and can give you more support. Ideal for people with back, neck, or spine issues.

Can set this up in 5-minute or less.

Multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured, wich is great for those who want to take long rides.

This has a drink holder whichis great for water…or more realisticly a white claw or a tumbler of wine.

It has a weight capacity of 400lbs which is great for a wide range of people and those who want to row with larger dogs or heavy gear.

The design of this makes it ideal for those who are taller and need lots of legroom.

Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak

driftsun tandem kayak

Two-person kayak.

This has the dimensions of your standard full-size kayak.

 Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection from punctures and gives you a sturdy ride. pressure

This pump comes with a pressure gauge so you know exactly what to blow the kayak up to. This takes out any guesswork and should put your mind at ease when you are out on the water.

Make sure you read the owner’s manual and follow instructions on how to fold this back up when you want to put it back into its bag. If you try to just wing it on your own it can be a bit tricky.

Seats are made out of hard material so they are more comfortable on older or hurt backs.

Comes with a carrying case, two seats, and two oars.

What to wear when kayaking

Once you buy your kayak you are going to wonder what to wear. The answer to this will depend on what kind of kayak trip you plan to do.

I have worn both cute and athleisure clothing when I kayak. It’s smart to wear layers so you can take off and put more on as needed throughout the day. This is especially helpful if you plan on doing a day kayak trip.

Something like a windbreaker or hoodie is super helpful because it can get a bit chilly on the water compared to the temperature on the shore.

Waterproof Clothing

It can be a good idea to wear waterproof, water-resistant, or quick-drying material. You can get a bit wet when paddling if water conditions change and get choppy or if the wind increases.

You want to make sure whatever you wear can dry fast since there is a change you tip and go for a swim. Wet clothes can be quite uncomfortable to paddle in.

A hat can be useful to keep your eyes shaded but if you want to get some sun on your face then I suggest just using sunglasses.

If it is windy or cool I suggest wearing a light windbreaker and gloves.


Footwear is going to be up to your personal preference. I have worn sandals and sneakers like converse. A shoe that can be tied to your feet is always a safer option in the event you would tip.

What to bring kayaking

The type of kayak trip you plan on doing is once again going to determine what to bring kayaking.

A day trip kayaking might require more like layers of clothes, a cooler, a Bluetooth speaker, or even a tent.



A rope is essential for kayaking and will be a real-life saver.

Use it to tie up your kayak when you stop at piers or docks. It can also be used to tie it to a tree if you are in nature.

Remember to check the docks you pull up to because not all of them are open to the public.

Life Jacket

life jacket for kayaks

I go back and forth with wearing one of these. I am young, athletic and a great swimmer so if I tip I am always able to get back in with a breeze. I also typically only use my kayak on calm rivers so I usually have my lifejacket in the seat behind me.

If you aren’t a great swimmer or are a bit older you should always wear one.

If you plan on going rafting or into big waves, like the ocean, it is a good idea to wear one as well.

Waterproof Bag

Listen, I have been there thinking I didn’t need one of these. Want to know what happened?

I tipped and lost my phone, wallet, and car keys. I had to wait over an hour for someone to drive my second set out to me and to this day I still only have one set of car keys because Volkswagen keys are just too damn expensive. So yeah, get one of these.

These come in tons of fun colors and they are really a game-changer. Oh did I forget to mention I also lost my phone and had to buy a brand new one the next day…yeah it was fun.

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