The 10 Best Inflatable Kayaks - 1 Person for 2022

Canoes and Kayaks

When the words’ inflatable kayak’ is mentioned, images of cheap pool toys popping on their first encounter with sharp rocks or a tree branch spring to mind. However, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Inflatable kayaks have recently come a long way regarding build quality and functionality. They now provide a great alternative to hardshell kayaks where portability and access to remote areas are issues.

We take a closer look at the best inflatable kayaks for 1 person to help you decide what’s right for you.

Table of Contents

Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe?

The durability of inflatable kayaks has increased significantly over the years. They’re designed to be used in various conditions and can withstand flat water, rivers, or even ocean trips without fear that they’ll pop and sink you!

Do Inflatable Kayaks Tip Over Easily?

Some people worry that an inflatable kayak might be unstable and prone to tipping over. The truth is, inflatable kayaks are just as stable as their hardshell counterparts. The inflatable sides provide an extra measure of stability by absorbing wave energy and making it less likely for the kayak to tip.
When you lean against one side of a hardshell kayak, the force is transferred throughout the entire kayak creating a rolling movement. However, in contrast, the side walls of a kayak will absorb most sideways movement without transferring the force through the whole length of the boat.

What safety features to look for in an inflatable kayak?

When it comes to inflatable kayaks, safety is always a top priority. A few key features to look for will help keep you safe on the water. First, make sure that the kayak has a durable hull. Durability helps protect against punctures and wear and tear. Second, look for inflatable kayaks with multiple air chambers. This way, if one compartment springs a leak, you’ll still have enough buoyancy to stay afloat.

Do inflatable kayaks puncture easily?

Inflatable kayaks are pretty tough and designed to withstand rocks and other obstacles. Of course, you should always be careful when paddling areas with sharp objects. But as long as you’re cautious, your inflatable kayak should last for years.

How to store an inflatable kayak

One of the best things about inflatable kayaks is that they are so easy to store. You can deflate them and put them away until you’re ready to use them again. However, keeping a few things in mind when storing your inflatable kayak would be best. 

First, ensure that the kayak is completely dry before deflating it. Otherwise, you may end up with mold or mildew. 

Next, try to store the kayak in a cool, dry place. Extreme temperatures and UV can damage the material. 

Finally, consider investing in a storage bag designed explicitly for inflatable kayaks. This will help to protect the kayak from dirt and scratches. With a bit of care, your inflatable kayak will be ready to hit the water whenever you are.

Are inflatable kayaks suitable for beginners?

Inflatable kayaks are ideal for beginners for several reasons. Firstly, when correctly inflated, they are rigid and provide a stable vessel that is extremely difficult to capsize – even when you try to! This makes them ideal for beginners to master the basics of paddling and feel comfortable in a kayak. Secondly, inflatable kayaks are much lighter and easier to transport than traditional hardshell kayaks, making them more convenient for those who don’t have easy access to water. Finally, inflatable kayaks are typically much less expensive than their hardshell counterparts, making them an excellent option for budget-conscious beginners.

The Best Inflatable Kayaks - 1 Person

If you’re considering purchasing a kayak, you may be wondering if an inflatable kayak is right for you. Inflatable kayaks are becoming more and more popular, and for a good reason – they’re affordable, easy to store, and portable. However, not all inflatable kayaks are created equal. 

So, which one should you buy? We’ve compiled a list of the best inflatable kayaks (1 person) of 2022 to help make your decision easier.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame

inflatable kayaks advanced elements

Technical Specs

  • Length: 10’5″
  • Width: 32″
  • Weight: 36 Lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 300 Lbs.
  • Chambers: 7
  • Folded Size: 30″ x 17″ x 10″

If you’re looking for an inflatable kayak that performs more like a hardshell kayak, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame is an excellent option. It’s built with aluminum ribs in the bow and stern, which helps it cut through the water and track better than other inflatable kayaks. In addition, the three layers of material make it quite durable, so you don’t have to worry about punctures or tears. The high-end components make this kayak a great choice for serious paddlers.

This inflatable kayak is a great option for those looking for a compact and lightweight kayak that is easy to set up and store. The kayak’s inflatable design makes it easy to transport and sets up in just a few minutes, while its large cockpit provides plenty of room for extended trips. 

The kayak has many handy features, such as onboard storage for gear and supplies and an adjustable back support.

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak is an excellent choice for those looking for a versatile and user-friendly kayak.

PROS

  • The Aluminium Ribs and thee-layer material design
  • The adjustable seat for extra support and comfort
  • Seven separate air chambers
  • 300 pound capacity

CONS

  • Not the cheapest kayak around
  • Not the easiest kayak to dry

Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak

Technical Specs

  • Length: 9′
  • Width: 30″
  • Weight: 36 Lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 220 lbs.
  • Chambers: 3
  • Folded Size: 28″ x 16″ x 12″

The Intex Challenger inflatable kayak is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a stable, comfortable ride. The bright green color and sporty graphics make it highly visible in the water, while the inflatable I-beam floor and low-profile deck provide excellent stability.

The removable skeg also allows for exceptional directional movement. Additionally, the kayak includes a collapsable 86″ aluminum paddle which you might want to upgrade if speed is your thing. The Intex Challenger is made from durable PVC material and comes with a high output hand pump that’s a little too small and flimsy for our liking. The kayak is covered by a 30-day limited warranty.

Paddle and pump aside, the Intex Challenger inflatable kayak is an excellent option for beginners or experienced kayakers alike for a fun and safe experience on the water.

PROS

  • The low budget price
  • Suitability for beginners

CONS

  • Hand pump is a bit flimsy
  • Provided paddle is not great
  • Limited weight capacity
  • Limited storage

ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak

Technical Specs

  • Length: 10’5″
  • Width: 32″
  • Weight: 26 Lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 250 Lbs.
  • Chambers: 4
  • Folded Size: 31″ x 19″ x 11″

The AdvancedFrame Sport kayak is a lightweight, inflatable kayak that is perfect for anyone looking for a sporty design. Although it is nearly identical in shape and form to the original AdvancedFrame, it has an oversized cockpit opening for easy entry and exit and is 10 pounds lighter to carry. The lighter kayak weight, however, reduces the overall occupant capacity to 250 lbs.

Like its big brother, the AdvancedFrame Sport kayak has three layers of material for extreme puncture resistance, and the welded seams make it even more durable. In addition, the neoprene paddle guard protects your hands from the elements, and the adjustable back support ensures a comfortable ride. A skeg tracking fin also helps keep the kayak on course, and the included bag makes it easy to transport.

PROS

  • The open cockpit area
  • Very light to carry
  • 3 layers of material durability
  • Cheaper than the Advanced Element AdvancedFrame 

CONS

  • No drain valve
  • Not the easiest to dry

Advanced Elements lagoon inflatable kayak

Technical Specs

  • Length: 8’4″
  • Width: 34″
  • Weight: 23 Lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 250 Lbs.
  • Chambers: 6
  • Folded Size: 29″ x 18″ x 5″

The Advanced Elements Lagoon Kayak has a comfortable inflatable seat rest and a foam floor that makes it stable and comfortable to paddle. It also has paddle loops and a tracking fin for easy maneuvering.

One downside of this kayak is that there is very little stern behind the paddler, creating excessive yaw on each paddle stroke. This can make it difficult to control the kayak, especially in windy conditions. It’s also not the fastest kayak around.

The Lagoon Kayak has a spray skirt attachment so you can stay dry in colder, wetter weather. Made with a unique outer cover, designed to give it extra durability, plus Twistlok™ and high flow Spring™ valves help inflate and deflate the kayak in no time.

All up, this is a reasonably decent lightweight kayak great for use on flat waterways on calm days.

PROS

  • Can attach a spray skirt
  • The adjustable seat for extra support and comfort
  • Seven separate air chambers
  • 300 pound capacity

CONS

  • Not the cheapest kayak around
  • Not the easiest kayak to dry

Aquaglide Deschutes Inflatable Kayak

Technical Specs

  • Length: 11′
  • Width: 34″
  • Weight: 21 lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 300 Lbs.
  • Chambers: 3
  • Folded Size: 30″ x 18″ x 15″

The Aquaglide Deschutes Inflatable Kayak is a great choice for those looking for a recreational touring kayak that can also handle all-around use. The minimalist design is perfect for flatwater and chop, and the unique “feather frame” provides rigidity while keeping the kayak body lightweight. In addition, the inflatable thwart and stiffening bar create a sturdy yet lightweight kayak that is easy to carry and store.

With three military valves, inflation is quickly and easy. The position of the front and rear spray guards help keep paddlers dry, while the room behind the thwart provides ample storage space or the ability to bring a canine companion. The commercial-grade, smooth-skin Duratex hull material is flexible, rugged, and dries quickly.

It’s easy to set up and deflate with a minimalist, open-cockpit design. The Deschutes 110 is perfect for those who want to paddle without all the bells and whistles. The Deschutes 110 is ideal for smaller to average-sized paddlers (Under 6 feet tall). For larger paddlers or those needing more space, the 13-ft Deschutes 130 is a great option. It has all the same features as the 110, but with more room to move around and an extra 100lb weight capacity.

The Aquaglide Deschutes inflatable kayak has one of the best customer ratings on Amazon we can find for this type of kayak.

PROS

  • Good space behind the seat for a K9 friend
  • The adjustable seat for extra support and comfort
  • Easy to dry after use 
  • 300 pound capacity

CONS

  • Not suitable for kayakers over 6 feet tall
  • Paddle not included

Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak

Technical Specs

  • Length: 11′
  • Width: 34″
  • Weight: 23 Lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 300 Lbs.
  • Chambers: 3
  • Folded Size: 24.5″ x 21″ x 10″

If you’re looking for a Kayak that can do it all, the Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak is a great choice. Its rigid I-Beam floor design provides superior tracking and handling, while its lightweight design makes it easy to transport and store. In addition, with a 300 lb capacity, it can handle even the heaviest loads, making it ideal for fishing, hunting, or just exploring your favorite river or lake.

This kayak includes paddle holder straps, paddle guards to protect the paddlers hands and kayak from wear, a removable skeg, and an adjustable footrest to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.The high-back seats provide comfort and support, and the dual-blade paddle ensures you’ll make good time on your journey. Plus, the included pump makes inflation a breeze.

The only drawback we could see is the narrowness of the cockpit area (14″-15″), making it unsuitable for larger paddlers. Overall though, the Almanor 110 is a fantastic option worth considering.

PROS

  • The padded seat with high back support
  • Easy to inflate in 6-8 minutes
  • Good storage areas
  • 300 pound capacity

CONS

  • The seat straps can press into your legs
  • Priced around the $700 mark

Elkton Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Technical Specs

  • Length: 10’10″
  • Width: 39.5″
  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 400 lbs.
  • Chambers: 3

If you’re an avid fisherman, you know the importance of having a good kayak. The Elkton Steelhead inflatable fishing kayak is specially designed to help anglers get a good catch. This single-seater kayak has a solid drop stitch floor so the rider can stand and cast. The floor also features a self-bailing system with well-positioned ports all over the kayak floor to drain excess water.

This kayak comes with five Universal Hard mounting points so you can easily attach your fishing rods, rod holders, fish finders, or camera. It also comes with ample handy bungee storage. The Elkton Steelhead design has a long waterline and two skegs for long, smooth glides and sharper tracking.

If you’re looking for an inflatable kayak that can help you catch more fish, the Elkton Steelhead one of the better inflatable kayaks for fishing.

PROS

  • Solid drop stitch floor allows paddler to stand for casting
  • The hard mounting points to attach rod holders
  • Self bailing system
  • Specifically designed for anglers

CONS

  • May require a longer paddle due to the kayak width.

Sevylor Quikpak K5 Kayak

Technical Specs

  • Length: 10’5″
  • Width: 34″
  • Weight: 23.4 lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 250 Lbs.
  • Chambers: 3
  • Folded Size: 33.5″ x 20″ x 8.5″

The Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak is a decent inflatable kayak for anyone on a budget. It’s made of heavy-duty polyester and 24-gauge laminated PVC, so it’s durable and can withstand plenty of wear and tear.

The backpack uniquely forms part of the kayak, is easy to carry, and is simple to inflate and deflate. This kayak is great for lakes, rivers, and even the ocean.

I recommend this kayak to anyone looking for a good entry-level inflatable one. The only downsides of this kayak are that the upper portion of the external fabric layer isn’t waterproof, which means it takes on water and gets heavy as you paddle. Additionally, the bow is pretty blunt, which limits the speed and tracking ability of the kayak. 

But, overall, the Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak is a good inflatable kayak for beginners and is priced reasonably. If purchasing, it would be worth investing in a pump with a pressure gauge and a better quality paddle.

PROS

  • Comes with a spray skirt
  • Affordable
  • Backpack becomes part of the kayak
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • No self bailing system
  • Poor quality paddle
  • No pressure gauge on the pump
  • Fabric is not waterproof and is difficult to dry

Airhead Montana Inflatable Kayak

Technical Specs

  • Length: 9’2″
  • Width: 35″
  • Weight: 32 lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 300 Lbs.
  • Chambers: 3
  • Folded Size: 26″ x 18″ x 8″

The Airhead Montana inflatable kayak is made of UV and water-resistant 840D nylon, so you can be sure it will last for years. It weighs 32 pounds, so it’s easy to carry and transport. The kayak has an open cockpit, which may be a plus on warm summer days but not so much during colder weather.

It has a 300-pound capacity to accommodate plenty of gear, but it would be beneficial to have more bungee systems to keep it secure. The adjustable backrest and foot brace provides comfort and support, and the drainage hole prevents water from building inside the kayak.

The lack of a skeg makes tracking in a straight line on still water almost impossible in this kayak. So you could probably find a better alternative if you intend to do only calm water paddling. However, if flowing rivers are in your kayaking purview, this inflatable kayak is worth a closer look.

PROS

  • Great for low level rapids
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Does not track well on still water
  • Minimal storage

Driftsun Rover Inflatable Kayak

Technical Specs

  • Length: 9’5″
  • Width: 36″
  • Weight: 22 Lbs.
  • Person: 1
  • Max. Weight: 300 Lbs.
  • Chambers: 3
  • Folded Size: 28″ x 21″ x 9″

The Driftsun Rover 120 kayak is made from reinforced layered PVC and features high-pressure valves for easy inflation in around 6 minutes, adjustable foot rests, and a removable skeg. In addition, the adjustable EVA seats make it comfortable to paddle for hours on end.

This kayak comes with a high-pressure pump with a pressure gauge to inflate it to your desired level of firmness (3 psi for the sides, 6 psi for the floor). In addition, the drop-stitch floor provides extreme rigidity, making it suitable for handling up to class III and IV rapids. In the rougher water, however, the open front design allows the kayak to fill with water quicker than it drains from the eight self-bailing points, losing some maneuverability.

The Driftsun Rover 120 has a front action camera mount so that you can capture all your adventures, and the adjustable footrests make it easy to find a comfortable position.
Overall the Driftsun Rover 120 inflatable kayak is an excellent choice for those who want a top-quality inflatable kayak.

PROS

  • Suitable for up to class III and IV rapids
  • The eight self bailing points for use in white water
  • 300 pound capacity

CONS

  • Minimal undercover storage
  • Inflation valve use is not well explained in instructions

Summing Up

Inflatable kayaks are an excellent option for those looking for something affordable, lightweight, and portable. Inflatable kayaks are easy to set up and take down and can be stored in a small space when not in use. When selecting an inflatable kayak, you must consider the type of water you will be using it in and your own kayaking abilities.

With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to know which inflatable kayak is the best option for you. However, by taking the time to do your research and read reviews, you can find the perfect inflatable kayak for your needs.

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About The Author 

Hi, my name is Andy and I am the creator and owner of Canoe-Kayaks.com. I’ve been into water sports for as long as I can remember and I love nothing more than spending a day on the water with my family. This website is a way for me to share my passion with everyone, through providing some helpful guides and tips for canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

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