Kayaking is an activity that you should consider engaging in at least once in your lifetime. The thrill of paddling through water at crazy speeds is just too great to pass. And you know what? You do not need to be an expert. There is time to learn and it is not as hard as you may think. How easy or hard you find it depends on a few things and one of them is whether you have the best inflatable kayak. And that too should not be too hard to find in the market since you just need to read the inflatable kayak reviews.
Kayaking serves a number of purposes which includes: kayaking for recreation, as a hobby, sport, adventure and using it to bond with your family or lover. It really does not matter what you use the kayak for; so long as you know how to use it you are good to go.
Talking of using the kayaks, you need to make use of kayak reviews before you can buy yours. Read as many reviews as you can. These reviews will help you choose the right kayak; one that is affordable and worth your money. You will avoid buying poor quality equipment thus saving your money. Reviews give you a balanced analysis of different kayaks in the market thus quickening your decision-making process. These reviews also help you as you do your research on the different brands available in the market. When you look online, every kayak supplier describes theirs as the best. It is only through user reviews like this one that you get a better, balanced understanding of different brands.
In this simple inflatable kayak buying guide, you will find reviews of 5 kayaks that you can choose a good one from depending on your needs.
Among the many kayaks in the stores, these ones do stand out:
- 1. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
- 2. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum paddles and High Output Air Pump
- 3. Sea Eagle 370 Kayak Pro Package
- 4. Coleman Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
- 5. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
- Types of kayaks
- Factors to keep in mind when shopping for kayaks
- Types of kayaking sites
1. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
This inflatable kayak is constructed to accommodate two people at a time. The Sea Eagle 330 is manufactured to ensure you are comfortable as you go out kayaking. If you are looking for a kayak that is stable on waters, then go for Sea Eagle. Its sturdy structure ensures it is strong enough to stand your weight. Besides, its weight is concentrated on the floor and not on the sides thus boosting its stability.
The Sea Eagle can be used on white water which basically refers to the rough, fast flowing water. Therefore you are limited in terms of the type of waters to go kayaking. This is essential if you are a person who likes such waters. If you are not, then you can still enjoy the cool waters in the lake.
This is easily the best inflatable kayak because it is spacious enough for your feet, therefore you can easily maneuver your legs in case you get tired sitting in a given position. You do not want to experience a muscle pull when kayaking.
The 3 valves that come with this kayak ensure that the water that accumulates in the kayak is gotten rid of whenever necessary. The 3 valves ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the kayak. In case the water cannot go through one valve the other helps. Three are better than one or two.
Eagle is light making it portable and easy to carry around this helps a lot if you are going for different kayaking adventures. If, for instance you are leaving your car away from the waters, then no need to worry.
- Measures 136 x 34.4 inches (340 x 86 cm) on the outside.
- The interior measures 119.2 x 15.2 inches (290 x 38 cm).
- Weight capacity is 500 lbs (227 kg).
- When deflated it measures 24.4 x 16.4 x 3.6 inches (61 x 41 x 18 cm).
- Has three chambers – port, floor, and starboard.
- Made of 33 mil polykrylar material.
- Has 5 one-way air valves.
- Saltwater and sun resistant hull.
- Sold with a repair kit, pressure gauge and a manual.
- Has inflatable skirts lashed down.
- It is NMMA certified.
- Floor is made of I-Beam construction.
2. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum paddles and High Output Air Pump
This is actually one of the highest rated inflatable kayaks on Amazon, with more than 600 reviews and 4.5 stars out of 5. Therefore, we would be right to say that it is the best inflatable kayak. If anything, the design alone tells you that this is a kayak that has been made for sporting activities on the lakes or rivers. It is a two person, as its name suggest and with the seats coming with headrests for extra comfort, you can be sure that riding out into the waters in this kayak is an experience that you will never forget.
It has several air chambers, just in case one fails. As you will see from the many inflatable kayak reviews posted on the internet, this one is defies all descriptions. You have to ride in it to believe it. It is awesome. It is sold with aluminum paddles and it is so easy to assemble. In addition, you will notice that it has a raised nose and as you will see, this one has a purpose, and that is to keep the water spray from splashing into the boat.
- Has 3 one-way valves that keep the air in.
- Sold with the repair kit and its pressure gauge.
- Has 2 skegs for speed and easier tracking on the bottom.
- Has spray skirts lashed down, inflatable.
- Floor made of strong I-Beam construction.
- Measures 13 x 114 inches (32.5 x 285 cm) on the inside.
- Measures 34 x 134 inches (85 x 335 cm) on the outside.
- Hs a weight capacity of 500 lbs (229 kg).
- Made of 33 mil polykryal material.
- High-frequency seams – welded for extra strength.
- It weighs 26 lbs (11.8 kg).
- Takes about six minutes to assemble.
- Sold with a limited 3-year manufacturer’s warranty for defects in workmanship and materials.
3. Sea Eagle 370 Kayak Pro Package
When looking for air kayak reviews online, you will notice that the Sea Eagle 370 Kayak features top on the list of the best of them all. This is for a good reason as you will see in this review. With more than nine hundred reviews on Amazon from satisfied users, there is every reason why you should buy this one for your white water kayaking adventure. Sea Eagle is a name that is most renowned in the kayaking sports for their prowess.
With a weight capacity of 650 lbs (295 kg), this kayak can be able to carry two adults comfortably and you may even bring your dog on it. This one is a racer, and it is easy to carry and bring along with you on that kayaking trip because it weighs only 32 lbs (14.5 kg). But a kayak is as good as its features and as you will see with this one, there are many features that will give you an exhilarating experience.
Made of a strong hull, 38-millimeter polykrylar which is strong enough to withstand many scratches even from your pets. It has two inflatable seats and it also has a drain valve (self-bailing) has a stable and rugged design that makes it look sporty. It also stands out among other craft in the water.
There are many benefits of buying this kayak and the chief one being that it can handle the weight of three people. Another thing is that it is so easy to assemble. You can also control it easily when it in the water and you will love its sporty, rugged look.
Are there any cons? Maybe one or two. For example, some users say that tracking is not very comfortable even though the inflatable kayak comes with two skegs. It also has no ropes for you to tie your stuff to the side.
- Measures 128 x 13 inches (320 x 32.5 cm) on the inside.
- Measures 150 x 34 inches (375 x 85 cm) on the outside.
- When deflated, it measures 31 x 19 x 8 inches (77.5 x 47.5 x 20 cm).
- Weighs 32 lbs (14.5 kg).
- Has a capacity to carry three people weighing not more than 650 lbs (295 kg).
- Has 5 one-way air valves.
- Can be assembled in 8 minutes.
- Has three air chambers – floor, port and, starboard.
- I-Beam construction for the floor.
- It is NMMA certified.
- It is covered by a 3 year manufacturer’s limited warranty for defective materials and workmanship.
4. Coleman Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
The Coleman brand name is popular in the recreation industry. As you will also see from some of the inflatable kayak reviews left online, it has some good inflatable kayaks in its name. Unlike some of the kayaks that reviewed in this article, this one is a one-person kayak.
It is easy to set up this Coleman kayak. You do not need any special skill or training. All you need is your hands. This makes this brand very much user-friendly. You do not need a kayak that gives you a hard time setting up when you should be busy enjoying yourself in water or winning if you are involved in kayaking as a sport.
The bottom part of any kayak is very important when looking for a kayak. It should be well designed to ensure your safety. Coleman Quickpak has a strong bottom designed with special material to make it strong, stable and safe.
When you are setting down this kayak, it is an easy activity as well. The air chambers help in deflating the kayak thus making it easy to handle. Remember, after kayaking you will be so tired such that a kayak that gives you a hard time folding is very discouraging.
The other feature that makes this air kayak efficient is the fact that the valves are double locked. This ensures that no water comes into the kayak as it offers extra protection against infiltration by water. It also ensures that the kayak is inflated throughout your kayaking experience.
For instance, when kayaking as a sport, you need water or an energy drink. You need space for such so that your paddling is not interrupted. You cannot afford to lose a race just because your own stuff came into your way. The storage space in this kayak model offers adequate room for your essentials. If you went racing alone, you do not worry about who will hold your items for you. You are okay on your own.
You need to be comfortable as you paddle. The seat in a kayak is very important. The manufacturer of this model had that fact in mind; the seat is comfortable enough to ensure you have fun whenever you go out kayaking.
Does it have any cons? It is a lightweight craft and that means it might not be stable in heavy waves. In addition, the paddle will throw some water into the kayak, so you will have some wet moments.
- When inflated, it measures 103 x 36 inches (257.5 x 90 cm).
- Easy to set up, takes only 5 minutes.
- 21 gauge PVC material.
- The bottom is made of a tarpaulin to protect against puncturing scrapes.
- Air-tight system to prevent leakage.
- Can hold up to 400 lbs (181 kg).
- Sold with 90-day limited warranty limited.
- Has a backrest.
- Double lock valves for easy inflation and deflation.
- Has many air chambers to keep you afloat even if one is punctured.
- It is NMMA certified.
- Has a secure area to store your items.
- Has ergonomic carry handles for taking it out of the water.
- Sold with a paddle and hand pump.
- The backpack system will turn into a seat.
5. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
I have already reviewed a few two-person kayaks, but we are not done yet. The Intex Challenger K1 is a one person inflatable kayak that is sold with its aluminum oars and a high-quality pump. Intex is a renowned outfitter when it comes to outdoor recreation. When you love solitude and you want to get it on the white water kayaking, well, this is one of the best inflatable kayaks for one person to go for. And for a good reason as you will see here. One thing that you ought to know about this inflatable kayak is that it is made to make you feel secure in the water. This does not in any way mean that you will feel secure and not stay secure, but you will indeed be secure. Because it is a one-person kayak, it is smaller, and thus more manageable. For example, it will fit in the boot of your car easily and leave some space too. It is very easy to set up, in a few minutes, say about 3 to 5, you will be done and ready to hit the water for some crazy fun.
Inside the kayak, you can attach a cargo net so that you can stash your items away. This cargo net is attached at the front so that your stuff can be in your view all the time.
How would you also like to get enough leg space to stretch out for a comfy feel? Even if you are really tall, you know, the American height kind of thing, this kayak will accommodate you easily enough and leave some room to spare too. Read any of the inflatable kayak reviews and you will see this is true.
And even if it is a one-person kayak, well, you should know that it has been rated at a weight capacity of 220 lbs (100 kg). on the average, that is a good weight as many active people fall below that.
When you are done kayaking, you will just deflate the kayak and pack it away in your backpack. And then you will carry it comfortably on your back. There … no strain at all after having a good time on the water. The carry bag has good handles and shoulder straps so that you can be comfortable with the weight on your shoulders. And by the way, it is not as if this kayak really weighs much because it is only 27.2 lbs (12.3 kg).
The Intex Challenger K1 kayak is one of the kayaks that you buy and you know that it is going to last a long time. It has tarpaulin bottom that can withstand scratches from pets and will not puncture easily when you hit debris in the river. It is definitely a keeper and that is why it is highly rated on Amazon and other sites.
In addition to the many features that you will enjoy from this kayak, it is also relatively inexpensive. Now, for a kayak that many people say has lasted them more than three years, well, this is a deal that you really do not want to pass. The low-lying streamlined design makes it easy to handle on rivers and lakes.
The Intex Challenger K1 kayak seems to have many pros, but it also has a few cons as well. For example, it has a removable rudder which many people say has a tendency of falling off even when you are in the water.
It is sold with a rigid handle, meaning you cannot adjust according to your height.
- It is made of a high quality, rigid inflatable floor – I-Beam construction.
- Setup time is 5 minutes, give or take a little, even for a first-timer.
- Has many air chambers meaning you can still kayak even when one is punctured.
- It is sold with an aluminum paddle, a manual pump operated by hand as well as a repair kit.
- It measures 108 x 30 x 15 inches (270 x 75 x 37.5 cm).
- It has a cargo net for storing your extra items in the back and in the front.
- Has a weight capacity of 220 lbs (100 kg).
- Weighs 27.2 lbs (12.3 kg) only.
- The safety of the user is enhanced by the grablines feature.
- The inflatable seat has a comfortable backrest for total relaxation.
- The couple of skegs of plastic at the bottom makes the kayak easy to control and track.
Types of kayaks
There are a number of classifications of kayaks. Ones are based on the number of persons it may carry, for example:
Another classification is based on the purpose and kind of water it is designated to be used in, for example:
- White water
- Flat water
- White and flat water
Factors to keep in mind when shopping for kayaks
- The cost of a kayak is important. Ensure that you go for one that you can afford. There is no need to strain. However, this does not mean that you go for low quality kayaks. That is risking your life in terms of safety. There are high quality kayaks at affordable prices. Not every kayak that is cheaper is of low quality. Make an accurate analysis when shopping.
- As mentioned above, quality is a key factor. It is better that you pay more but get a high quality kayak; one that is durable and which will ensure your safety when kayaking. Your life is important and you cannot afford buying a poor quality kayak just to save a few coins.
- Portability is another factor. Whatever kind of kayak you settle for should be easy to carry around. Kayaking is supposed to be fun therefore a heavy kayak is an extra burden. Go for lightweight kayaks that you can easily move with from one kayaking site to another.
- User-friendliness is essential when acquiring a kayak. Go for one that is easy to operate, one with an easy manual to comprehend; one that you can learn to set up by observing someone else fix it.
- Bear in mind also the number of people that can be accommodated. If you love company, then the 2-person kayak fits you. However, if you want some alone time when kayaking then the single kayak is best for you. You have the freedom to choose to ensure that you do not buy something that will inconvenience you or make you feel uncomfortable.
- The weight of the kayak you settle for should be reasonable meaning it is should be easy to carry when out of the water. What is the use of having a quality kayak yet it gives you a hard time carrying? Unless you are ready for such a kayak, it is good that you avoid it.
- The kayak you choose should cover small or say reasonable storage space. You do not want to have a kayak that takes up space for other items in your store. Therefore keep in mind the size of the kayak before buying one, it is worth it in the end.
- Look at the type of water on which the kayak is usable. If you like the white waters, buying a flat water kayak is a waste of money. Therefore, read the product descriptions well. If in doubt ask the attendant at the store.
- You also need to consider the use into which the kayak is put. Is it for fishing’ sailing or both? This will definitely guide your purchases. Why buy a kayak that serves both purposes yet you are only interested in sailing or fishing. If you are interested in both activities, there is no problem.
- Look out for certification. The brand you settle for should be certified or say legal. This guarantees you safety as you enjoy kayaking. There are lots of counterfeit products in the market that is why you need to consider kayaks being certified by relevant authorities.
- When it comes to manufacturers and models, consider going for those that are popular to avoid counterfeit or low-quality kayaks. However, this does not mean that new brands are not good for you. All you need to do is be more inquisitive when buying this equipment. As mentioned earlier learn to research on your own. It is not enough to depend on what your friends tell you or even colleagues. Dealers in the kayak industry like to promote the brands they deal with. You can trust their judgment but not entirely.
- Product reviews are helpful in research. They offer diverse views on given products. Why buy a product that has every user complaining about one or more of its features? However, there is no kayak that is perfect however much users speak well of it. Each one of them has a shortcoming thus do not be over expectant about the efficiency of a given kayak. This does not, however, mean that you hold negative views about kayaks. There is always one that is better than the other.
For those who engage in kayaking as a sport, putting in mind factors discussed above is beneficial. You will be safe, be competitive, avoid capsizing and eventually win if not perform well. You cannot afford to lose that simply because you have a low-quality kayak when there are lots of quality kayaks to choose from.
Types of kayaking sites
- Public areas such as beaches
- Remote areas
When choosing between rivers and lakes, factors such as safety and accessibility come in. You may want to go kayaking yet it is not safe or the site is too far from you. Choosing between open areas and remoteness depends on your personality and needs.
When you like having alone time then the remote area would help. You will be away from distractions.
If you are the hyperactive type, then the open areas should be your choice. Here, you will meet new people and have more fun.
When you need to bond with your family then the remote area is the best. You will have time to concentrate on the real issues to be addressed. Public places are likely to cause destruction especially to children and you do not want that.
Kayaking is an illness as I say. Once you get ill with it, it is nearly impossible to get rid of this illness.
Go ahead and leave a comment below – share your kayaking experience and let us know which equipment you use.