Kayaking is relaxing—a simple pleasure, paddling a boat out in nature. Before getting your kayak on any water, you need to get the kayak to the water, which is often less relaxing than paddling. If lifting 35 to 100 pounds overhead to the roof of a vehicle is outside your ability, you might assume kayak ownership isn’t for you. Perhaps storing the kayak is an issue; a small apartment and a large boat are a tough fit. If storage and portability are struggles for you, there are still a couple of options available.
Recently, folding kayaks have hit the market, and inflatable kayaks are also becoming more popular. Both offer easier transport and storage compared to a hard-shelled kayak. While the maintenance for all kayaks is similar in terms of drying off before storage, inflatable kayaks involve a bit more care during use to keep the kayak off rocks and other puncture risks.
Most inflatable kayaks are intended for flat water, with few rated for white-water use. In addition, while kayaks can be built for tandem or single paddlers, the weight capacity ranges depending on the style and manufacturer. If you picture paddling out with camping gear for an overnight stay, check the weight capacity before loading the boat. Finally, with any inflatable, checking the recommended pressure (psi) will help prevent damage to your kayak from overpressure.
To help you choose the right inflatable kayak, we dug through thousands of reviews for a variety of options available online. After examining the best (and worst) reviews, these are the best inflatable kayaks we found.