The great outdoors! Inflatable fishing kayaks are really useful when it comes to storage, since due to their inflatable nature, they are easier to put away. In the following review, readers can learn more about the best products and the most important features, types, materials when it comes to such kayaks.
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak
- Offers ample cargo and bungee storage for keeping equipment
- Dual-action pump for easy inflation
- Comes with an inclusive travel bag
- Has a rigid drop stitch floor
- The EVA seats are fully adjustable and offer comfort
- One year warranty
Buyers have been amazed at how amazing this fishing kayak is. It comes with a solid drop stitch floor that allows for a very solid bait-casting position. It also allows anglers to position themselves accurately and stand firmly on the ground. All this enhances the experience of baitcasting for the angler.
Moreover, the model is specially designed for fishing purposes and hence can be used professionally. It is known for offering a plethora of storage space for keeping fish and other fishing equipment. There is front bungee storage and some extra storage space at the bow and the stern of the vessel that enhance your experience.
Comfort is another main feature of this unit. There is a very stable and padded seat that allows you to relax your back and avoid any fatigue during longer routes. Moreover, we were impressed by how strong the unit is. The rough build is powerful enough to resist any harsh or rough waters. There is also a self-bailing floor that is perfectly positioned and allows for water drainage in case of high tides.
Not just that, but the unit also doesn’t disappoint in terms of durability. This steelhead kayak is made with a 1000D reinforced layered PVC. This makes the model safely bounce off against any rocks or logs on the way. Inflation and deflation are also extremely easy. The package offers a dual-action hand pump that aids in this.
So if you are looking for an efficient model that also offers very comfortable and easily adjustable seats, then this is the kayak that you need to invest in.
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
- Offers an amazing weight capacity of 400 pounds
- Allows extra air pressure for rigidity
- Includes an 86-inch aluminum oar and high-output pimp
- Offers 3-ply tough construction
- Lightweight body allows for good portability
- More prone to damage by UV light
When we talk about powerful and professional kayaks, this model usually makes the list. The best thing about it is that it is extremely strong and durable and lasts for a very long time. Super tough and laminated PVC is used alongside polyester core for the construction of this kayak. The material is resistant to impact and abrasions.
High-pressure inflation is also worth noting. This allows for extra stability and rigidity for the floor, preventing the kayak from falling or flipping in harsh climates. Not just that, but the model also deflates as quickly as it inflates. This means that the time taken for setting up is very minimal. Moreover, the overall lightweight body of the unit allows for easy portability.
The unit also includes two removable skews that can come in handy for both deep and shallow water. There are also two floor-mounted footrests and two specially integrated fishing rod holders that aid in fishing. The model comes with 86-inch aluminum oars and an excellent high-output pump that allows for easy setup.
Another great thing is the comfortable seats. You won’t feel tired even if you sit inside your kayak for hours. There is also a removable and adjustable mounting bracket that allows putting additional accessories. Moreover, you can use GPS systems and fish finders with this kayak easily.
The storage capacity is also worth mentioning. There are stainless steel D-rings that come in handy for tying down gear and dry bags. On average, this model provides a total weight capacity of around 400 pounds. So if you want to have an unmatched fishing experience whilst also having fun, then this model is definitely for you.
SeaEagle 350fx Fishing Explorer
- The rear and front come with a built-in rod
- EVA foam padding offers extra comfort
- Include self-bailing drain valves for added safety
- Separate independent air chambers
- Offers a non-slip and rigid floor
- More weight means less portability
This is one of the best inflatable kayaks because of the high level of comfort and convenience that it offers to users. For starters, it is a very robust model that offers high speeds and unmatched strength in the water.
The unit is specially designed for fishermen who want to indulge in an adventure whilst also catching as many fish as they can. You will not experience any smell of gas that can possibly deter any fish in your vicinity. You will also be playing your part in protecting the environment by reducing your overall carbon footprint.
Another added advantage of investing in this kayak is that it allows you to stealthily glide right into the heart of where the majority of fish are. The setup time is also very minimal, which means that you can inflate and deflate the boat within no time. The inclusion of ample storage space also increases the model’s worth and makes it a must-have for anglers.
In addition, the excellent construction leads to unmatched durability. The use of an indestructible hull material and non-slip tough protective padding means that you can enjoy strength without feeling uncomfortable. The front and rear are also customized to ensure total comfort for the user.
Lastly, this kayak is super-fast, and this speed isn’t compromised even in harsh climates or relatively high tides. So if fun is all you are looking for, then we suggest you go for this kayak.
Guide to Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
Buying inflatable fishing kayaks can be a bit of a hassle. Hopefully, the following guide can help you out!
Types of Inflatable Kayaks
The type of kayak you end up buying will influence just how much you enjoy your time in the water. Different kayaks are suited for different bodies; you should know about your options before you make the purchase.
Sit on Top Kayak
When choosing an inflatable kayak, one of the most popular options is the sit on top kayak. Such models come with a large and wide-open deck. You can sit on top of these kayaks and have your legs completely enclosed in the cockpit.
One of the advantages of investing in this type is that it offers self-bailing features. These kayaks come with scupper holes that allow water to drain off the deck. The kayaks are also great warm-weather paddling boats that allow the paddler to get wet without filling the whole kayak with water.
Another benefit of a sit on top kayak is that you don’t have to be very proficient. You can also get in and out easily without much effort. Plus, these units offer a lot of stability and durability and should be considered for long-duration travels.
However, sit-on-top kayaks often get very wet. This isn’t a problem in warm weather, but in colder weather, people can get really uncomfortable in a wet kayak. Moreover, handling such a unit is not very easy in challenging or windy conditions.
These also have a higher center of gravity, which makes them more prone to flipping. On top of all of that, they are relatively heavier than other types and offer less portability.
Sit Inside Kayak
This is yet another popular type of kayak and is mostly preferred by slightly experienced anglers and travelers. It is also one of the oldest types and is mostly popular in cold-weather areas. One of the best things about this kayak is that it offers a kayak skirt that goes around the unit and helps keep the water out.
But the reason why most people prefer this type is the unmatched agility and speed and better maneuverability. Moreover, the design makes it easier to paddle. The relatively low weight makes it highly portable and allows you to carry it around. There is also less surface area exposed, so you don’t have to worry about your kayaks blowing around.
Another added advantage of investing in this type is that it reduces your exposure to adverse air and extreme water temperatures, which helps to keep you safe. Moreover, if you like to fish in colder temperatures but don’t like to be exposed to cold a lot, then such a kayak will be perfect for you. Sit inside kayaks help retain maximum heat in the cockpit whilst also providing you with the benefits of cold-weather fishing.
But just like with other types, this one also has some major cons. The most obvious problem of this type is that it leaves you very low on the water’s surface. This makes catching fish harder. You also need to be proficient at kayaking. Moreover, you will find it harder to enter and exit this kayak. An unpleasant smell can also build up inside the cockpit. There is very little ventilation inside, and it can get hot and stuffy inside, especially during hotter climates.
These haven’t been around for a very long time, but people feel drawn to them because of their unique design and shape. Inflatable canoe-style kayaks are very similar to blow-up versions of many hard-shell canoes. What makes these kayaks different is that they come with relatively higher walls than other types. Moreover, in contrast to many other options, paddlers will have to use a single-blade paddle rather than a double-blade for paddling.
The main materials used in the construction of canoe style models include nitrilon. This material is a lighter version of the fabric used in other boats. It also allows the model to dry quickly and be ready for storage in no time. Moreover, the use of nitrilon ensures a lightweight body.
Boat Style (eg. SeaEagle 350fx Fishing Explorer)
As the name suggests, these kayaks are similar to boats and are extremely comfortable for long-term usage. They allow for light touring on the lakes and are mostly used for recreational purposes. The best thing about these types of boats is that they offer amazing diversity and versatility. They are also great for entry-level paddlers that don’t have a lot of experience.
Manufacturers also keep them slightly shorter in length and wider for added stability. One of the best boat style kayaks is the SeaEagle 350fx. This is a robust and extremely fast model that offers rugged and strong construction. It also offers a good amount of storage capacity and is recommended by many anglers.
This version of a kayak is very similar to a canoe, and anglers often find it hard to differentiate between the two. Open style units have very high side walls and allow for a sit on top position. They also come with lower seats than canoe kayaks. Paddlers will have to use double-sided kayak paddles in the water.
This hybrid has proven to be very successful for people who wanted to get in and out of their model easily. This open design has higher walls that ensure excess water does not enter the cockpit frequently. Moreover, some models have optional spraydecks that keep the water out. So if you are looking to enjoy the perks of both canoe style and sit on top kayaks, then this type is for you.
Benefits of Inflatable Kayak
The reason many people prefer inflatable kayaks is that they offer a plethora of benefits. They are also not very expensive and don’t require a lot of skills for maneuverability. Here are the top benefits that you will get when you invest in any of the options mentioned above:
The most important thing that many people look out for is portability. On more than one occasion, anglers need to travel some distance before they can reach their desired location. Having a unit that is both lightweight and portable can help them. There is also no rigid structure, and many kayaks are foldable. This has the added advantage of simplicity. An angler can simply place the unit on the shoulder.
Another major advantage of using a kayak is the freedom of usage it offers. You can easily inflate a kayak and use it for as long as you want. Moreover, boarding the unit is also not hard. You need to simply sit down on the back deck and place one foot into the cockpit and simply slide down into the seat. Since these units are much better at absorbing shocks, you will also find landing very smooth.
Ease of usage isn’t the only thing to look out for when using kayaks. You will also experience a lot of fun and pleasure when you are handling controls. This is majorly because the open and spacious interior allows you to sit comfortably and have all the controls within your reach. With slightly more experience, you can also move really fast with a kayak.
Diversity is one of the major advantages of investing in a kayak. People who prefer durability over stability can invest in a sit on top kayak, whereas people who appreciate portability and speed can invest in a sit-in kayak. There are also various other options that offer unique benefits to anglers.
Stability and Efficiency
Kayaks are very stable and are made with very strong materials. This allows them to offer greater speeds and efficiency in all kinds of water bodies. Moreover, you can add additional equipment for better control of the water.
You can have the best kayak, but if you aren’t comfortable sitting inside it, then all else becomes redundant. The best thing about kayaks is that they make you feel at home. You can enjoy using them without having your legs cramped up. Moreover, if you invest in a larger kayak, you can also have ample room to stretch your legs.
Materials of Inflatable Kayak
Inflatable kayaks are made of a variety of materials, but one thing common in all designs is unmatched durability. Some common materials include:
PVC is a vinyl polymer most commonly used in the construction of an inflatable kayak. The best thing about this material is that it maximizes durability without compromising on portability or convenience. Moreover, PVC is available in a variety of colors, which means that you can enjoy versatility. The material is also low-maintenance, and with the right care, you can have PVC kayaks last for a very long time.
It is also easier to patch and weld. However, some drawbacks of PVC include low resistance to various chemicals, abrasions, and UV rays. You may have to use a UV protectant spray with this kayak.
This is another very popular material used to make kayaks. It is a synthetic rubber mostly preferred for its unmatched resistance. Out of all other materials, Hypalon is known for lasting the longest time. It also offers good resistance against chemicals, abrasions, and even UV light. Moreover, it offers greater resistance against fungus and mildew. Another reason why many people prefer Hypalon kayaks is that when used with neoprene, it offers amazing air holding capabilities.
However, the material increases the overall cost of the kayak. Moreover, it can be glued and not be welded, which may reduce durability in the long run.
Over the years, Nitrylon has gained popularity as a useful construction material for kayaks. The major advantage of investing in this material is that it offers puncture and abrasion resistance. Moreover, it is much stronger than PVC and can perform exceptionally well in cold weather. On top of that, it is much easier to patch than PVC and hence offers greater longevity.
However, Nitrylon usually adds to the weight of the kayak and reduces its portability.
How to Choose an Inflatable Kayak
Here are some important things to consider before you make the final call.
Capacity / Size (Solo or Tandem)
One of the first things that you need to look out for is the capacity and size that your kayak offers. Some of the questions that you should ask include whether you want extra length or extra room. You need to also assess how sleek and lightweight you want the model to be. There are also options that come with less or more storage space. If you are a professional angler who needs to keep gear and rods, then it is better to opt for a larger model with more storage space.
Knowing the answers to the above questions will tell you whether you want a solo option or a tandem. A tandem kayak is best for people who want to bring out a family member or a friend on their excursions. Meanwhile, a solo kayak is best for people who mean business and like to travel alone. You can save money if you invest in a solo model.
This is another important feature to consider. You need to assess the type of water that you will be paddling on. It could be rivers, ocean bays, or even lakes. Since all of these water bodies pose different threats, it is important to invest in a suitable kayak. Depending on the water type, you can either invest in a whitewater kayak or a touring kayak.
Some manufacturers sell their models under the pretense that they are suitable for all kinds of water bodies. That is rarely true, and you shouldn’t fall for the trap. For colder temperatures and larger water bodies, you need a durable kayak with a rigid floor. For smaller and safer water bodies, you can prioritize speed over other things.
We cannot stress enough the importance of this particular feature. You can have the best kayak, but without strong construction, you won’t be able to use it for long. There are a variety of materials like Hypalon and PVC that are used for the construction of kayaks. All of them offer durability; however, PVC offers more strength but less resistance to chemicals and abrasions.
You need to also look out for a unit that can withstand tough weather conditions. Weather in the sea can be unpredictable, and your kayak should be strong enough to bear and withstand all kinds of climates easily. Many good and reputable brands now offer units that do not flip or fall, even when you have higher tides in the sea.
Portability / Weight (Backpack or Toss)
A great benefit associated with almost all good inflatable kayaks is that they are portable. A unit that hardly weighs anything can bear the weight of people and gear. The shape is also compact, thus ensuring ease of transport. There are also some units that can be taken on an airplane or can be easily fitted in your suitcase.
Two popular types include the backpack and the toss type. The former, as the name suggests, can be placed inside your backpack and is very easy to carry. It can also be folded to ensure easy and effective storage. The other type is slightly difficult to transport; however, it is also lightweight and is easy to inflate and deflate.
Cost and Warranty
Warranty is definitely an important thing to consider when you are investing in an inflatable kayak. A good kayak may last for a very long time; however, the warranty mostly offered is about two years. Another thing to keep in mind is that some cheap brands offer a warranty of 6 months to one year only.
However, it is not wise to base your decision on warranty alone. You need to assess all other features and look at them holistically before you make a final call.
As for the price of a kayak, you can have an average model for less than $100. However, if you want to enjoy added benefits and higher durability, then you may have to invest around $300-$500.
For fishing and boat riding enthusiasts, the prospect of getting a good inflatable kayak is quite exciting. Contrary to what people believe, these units are extremely durable and can hold their form in tough weather conditions as well. Moreover, their rigid floors and good construction allows them to remain stable and firm and hence offer greater safety.
We have mentioned a plethora of benefits that you can achieve if you invest in a kayak above. However, it is important to remember that a lot of these benefits will only be guaranteed when you get the best inflatable fishing kayak. Look for important features like warranty, durability, and variability so that you can enjoy kayaking like never before.