7 Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks of 2021 (Buyer’s Guide and Reviews)

Inflatable fishing kayaks are every angler’s dream. Keep it deflated for easy transporting and storage. Then inflate the kayak when you’re ready to hit the water. Kayaks make it easy to get into the best backwater spots to catch that trophy fish.

When shopping for the best inflatable fishing kayak, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure your kayak has, including durable material, pouches for tackle, room for a trolling motor, and stability.

In this handy buyer’s guide, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about picking the perfect inflatable fishing kayak. We also have seven fishing inflatable kayaks reviews to help start your search. Let’s get to it. 
(You should also find Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks worth reading )

The Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak Reviews (Editor’s Picks)

We’ve collected seven of the best inflatable fishing kayaks to feature for this article. We would like to point out that although we use a number system, the numbers in no way represent a ranking order. Number one does not mean the best pick. It’s just the first product on our list.

1. Most Storage – Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Hit the water in style with the classic yellow and gray Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak, made of multiple layers of PVC tarpaulin material. The aluminum frame around the bow and stern provides stability while abrasion pads protect your kayak in rough water.

And if this raft does hit a sharp rock, there are multiple air chambers, meaning if you get a hole in one area, the whole kayak doesn’t deflate. 

This kayak comes with an accessory frame where you can install your fishing rods, fishfinder, and other equipment. But unfortunately, you can’t fit a trolling motor to this kayak. You’re stuck paddling around, once you buy the paddle separately.  

This kayak has a high seat that gives you plenty of room for the perfect cast. And it also comes with inflatable lumbar support for extra back protection and comfort. 

When not in use, this kayak deflates small enough to roll up and fit into the included knapsack for easy carrying and storage. Just make sure you buy a pump that you can use to inflate your kayak, as one doesn’t come with your purchase.

Pros

  • Double rod holders
  • High seatback
  • Durable and rugged
  • Mounting rail
  • Inflatable lumbar support

Cons

  • Doesn’t include a paddle
  • No mounting rack
  • Does not have a pump

2. Best Rapids Kayak – Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak

The second inflatable fishing kayak we want to review is the OD green and black Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak. This raft, made of 1000D reinforced layered PVC is durable enough for rough waters up to class III rapids and has a drop-stitch flooring that lets you stand up for casting. You can even put this boat in salty or brackish water without damage.

Self-opening drains keep you safe and dry—no need to do anything if you take on water. You have five different mounting positions for your rods, bait tray, fishfinder, and other attachments. Get around with ease using the two 90″ collapsable paddles and removable skeg. But there are no holders or straps to keep the paddle secured while you’re not using it. 

There’s plenty of storage in the bow and stern for all your extra gear. Plus, there’s some extra room in the bungee cargo area at the front of the boat. This kayak glides effortlessly through the water with firm plastic nose cones on the front and rear tips.

This kayak inflates in minutes using the included hand pump and rolls up to fit into the included backpack when not in use. Toss the pack on your shoulders with the adjustable backpack straps and head anywhere you want to go. Or move the boat in and out of the water using the convenient handles on the bow, stern, and sides.

Enjoy the comfort of a padded high back adjustable EVA seat and adjustable footrest so you can fish all day long without getting achy. The dimensions of this boat are 39.5″ wide, 10.10′ long, and 13″ tall. This boat weighs 40 pounds and can hold a cargo weight of up to 400 pounds, including one person and all your gear.

Pros

  • 1000D reinforced layered PVC for durability
  • Lots of storage
  • Heavyweight load
  • Padded highback EVA seat
  • Includes backpack and air pump

Cons

  • No straps to secure the paddle to the boat
  • Side air chambers aren’t removable
  • No internal bladders on side tubes

3. Best Two Person Kayak – Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is a two-person, inflatable kayak made of 3-ply sturdy laminate PVC material with a polyester core, making it ideal for fishing in fresh or saltwater. When not in use, this kayak can be rolled up and stored in the included storage bag with dimensions of 30″ long, 20″ high, and 16″ wide.  

When you’re ready to hit the water, this kayak has high-pressure spring-loaded valves that allow for quick inflating and deflating using the included hand pump. Enjoy plenty of room with 12.7′ length and 3.1′ high. The maximum weight capacity is 400 pounds. 

There are two adjustable, removable bucket seats and two adjustable floor-mounted footrests for maximum comfort. There’s even a detachable seat booster if you’re taking along a child or someone short (such as myself). 

There are also two recessed fishing rod holders so you can have hands-free fishing. There’s even a removable, adjustable mounting bracket that can store accessories like your fishfinder, swivel rod holders, and tackle gear.

You have extra storage in the bow and stern and mounted stainless steel d rings for securing your kayak or gear. The floor is an I-beam design that provides stability and rigidity. And the integrated drain plug makes it easy to remove any excess water that fills the boat. 

There are two kegs on the bottom, one for controlling the direction and another for help traveling through shallow water. These fins are removable, so you don’t have to worry about snags when you’re going through rocky bottoms. This kayak also comes with two oars for paddling, which is the only way you can move the boat. You can’t use a trolling motor with this kayak. For more two-person kayaks, check out this article.

Pros

  • One or two people kayak
  • Three chamber ply PVC material design
  • Dual removable kegs
  • Comes with storage bag, air pump, and two paddles
  • Optional storage rack

Cons

  • Can’t use with trolling motor
  • Weight capacity of 400 pounds (might not accommodate two large adults plus gear)
  • Only two built-in rod holders

4. Best Motor Capable Kayak – Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon 

If you’re a hardcore angler that wants to use a motor with your boat, you can’t do any better than the Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon. This boat has two nine-foot inflatable PVC bottom, nylon- topped tubes surrounding the plastic padded foldable seat. You can inflate these using a hand pump, which is optional when you buy this product. 

This boat has a ton of excellent features, including dimensions of 108″ length, 56″ Width, and 28″ height, a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds, a rear storage platform that holds two insulated drink holders, and a whopping twenty pockets. The removable side pockets can be combined to make a portable gear bag. 

However, there is nothing to keep your feet out of the water except for two adjustable footrests that are nothing more than metal bars. Your legs might get tired of the uncomfortable position long before you’re ready to leave the water.
(if you are interested in reading about the other Pontoon Boats, please visit: Best Inflatable Pontoon Boats)

Moving your pontoon around can’t be done as easily as some of the other kayaks on our list, as it doesn’t fold down small enough to fit into a storage bag. And it weighs 77 pounds. But there is a wheel on the bottom that allows you to roll your boat to your chosen spot. 

Brass oarlocks keep your 7′ two-piece aluminum paddles secure, and a powder-coated steel tube frame provides stability. There’s a two-position weatherproof motor mount so you can install a trolling motor and wire storage and battery platform to keep your mechanics dry and safe. 

In addition, there is a removable stripping basket for lap or side mounting and two detachable foam fly patches. A multi-position rod holder provides for hands-free fishing. When you find a hot spot, toss out your fillable mesh bag anchor from either side of the boat. The cleat and pulley system makes it easy to pull the anchor up when you’re ready to move.

Pros

  • Built-in motor mount
  • Tons of storage
  • Two durable inflatable pontoons
  • Comes with two oars
  • Transport wheel for easy moving

Cons

  • Can’t be folded up for easy storage
  • Uncomfortable footrests – no leg support
  • Only one-rod holder

5. Best Lake Fishing Kayak – Sevylor Tahiti

The fifth option on our list is the Sevylor Tahiti, It has enough room for up to two people, with a weight capacity of 360 pounds with inflated dimensions of 10.4′ length and 3.1′ height. This kayak is made of 21-gauge PVC, with three separate air chambers, so if you spring a leak in one area, the whole boat won’t sink.

Each air valve has double-locks for easy inflating and deflating using an electric or hand pump, which you will have to buy separately. The seats are adjustable so you can have plenty of room, and the high backrests provide plenty of back support. Double spray covers help keep you dry. 

When inflated, this kayak has dimensions of 10’4′ length and 3.1′ width. When you’re not using it, it collapses down to fit into a backpack for easy carrying. Built-in handles make it easy to tote this kayak while inflated. 

This is a basic kayak without a lot of extra features. You can’t use a trolling motor, and there are no built-in rod holders. You also have to buy your paddles separately. And don’t expect to stand up in this kayak. Although it has enough stability to get you around, it doesn’t provide enough balance for standing. 

There are no skegs, so some users might find it challenging to navigate in rough or deep waters. But if you want a simple kayak to move around a calm lake, this could be the kayak for you. 

Pros

  • Can hold two people with a maximum weight capacity of 360 pounds
  • Dual spray covers to keep you dry
  • Folds into the included carry bag for secure storage and transport
  • Multiple air chambers so you don’t sink if you get a hole
  • Double lock air valves for faster inflating and deflating

Cons

  • No skegs
  • Doesn’t come with paddles or pump
  • No storage or rod holders

6. Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 

Our sixth pick for the best inflatable fishing kayaks isn’t so much a kayak as it is a paddleboard with a swivel, foldable plastic padded seat. The Sea Eagle FishSup 126 paddleboard is made of 1000 Denier drop stitch material with a quadruple overlap and one-way air valves.

The dimensions are 12.6 foot in length, 40″ in width and 6″ thickness with a weight capacity of 500 pounds. When deflated, this board has dimensions of 45″ by 15″ x 10″ and fits into the included backpack. This board can carry one or two people. 

It holds 12 to 15 psi air pressure for a sturdiness that allows you to stand up while fishing quickly. Inflation only takes seven minutes using a hand or electric air pump that isn’t included. 

This board has a tapered design with the width narrowing from the bow to the stern. In addition to the board, this purchase also comes with a storage box, manual air pump, paddle, repair kit, and a motor mount that can hold up to a 55-pound electric motor. 

A convenient handle in the middle of the boat makes for easy carrying while inflated. When you get tired of standing, have a seat in the comfy chair, which swivels around so you can work your motor or cast from any direction. 

And an attached bungee strap offers you slight storage. But there isn’t a dry storage area or a rack that you can use to install a fishfinder or extra gear. 

Pros

  • The rigid design provides buoyancy and stability for standing or sitting 
  • Has the option to attach a trolling or electric motor up to 55 hp
  • Carry handle in the middle of the boat for easy toting
  • Folds down small to fit into the included backpack
  • 500 weight capacity

Cons

  • No storage compartments 
  • Board design instead of a boat so there’s no sides
  • Does not come with an air pump

7. Most Amount of Room – Sport Tender Fishing Dinghy by Pexmor

Our final inflatable fishing kayak recommendation is the Sport Tender Fishing Dinghy by Pexmor. This boat is larger than a kayak and can hold one or two people with a weight capacity of 660 pounds. 

On the outside, this boat has a triple layer of 0.9mm thick 1100D PVC material that’s wear and sun resistant with two separate air chambers to provide safety and stability. If you get a hole in one chamber, it continues to float, so you have time to get to safety. The product weight is 67 pounds with dimensions of 7.5′ length, and 4.2′ width.

There are two fishing rod holders built-in to the sides so you can enjoy hands-free fishing. Sit back and relax until you have a bite. Need to stand up to reel in your catch? This boat has a five-board floor so you can move around while standing without worrying about flipping over. The interior space has impressive dimensions of 62.4″ length and 26.4″ width.

You can even install a trolling or electric motor that has up to 4 HP if you want to take a break from rowing using the included aluminum oars. Unfortunately, this dinghy does not have a seat other than a flat bench that is mounted across the boat. Some people might not like that you don’t have back support. 

Each boat has a nameplate and hull number on the stern. Check with your state laws to see if your dinghy has to be registered. The rules are different for this type of watercraft in each state. But there are no storage compartments, so you’ll have to tie any extra gear up using the installed rope on the sides.

Pros

  • Built-in rod holders
  • Five boards to create a stable floor
  • Double air chambers
  • Wide interior space

Cons

  • Might require registration in some states
  • No actual seat to provide back support
  • Doesn’t have storage areas

Inflatable Fishing Kayak Buyers Guide (Know What You Need)

When you’re trying to decide which inflatable fishing kayak to buy, it helps to know what features you need. Buying a kayak that doesn’t have everything you want can be a waste of your money and lead to unsatisfactory results. Get ready to learn all about inflatable fishing kayaks. Let’s go.

Types of Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

There are different types of inflatable fishing kayaks available. You should know the differences so you can decide which one would work best for you. Let’s look at the various features of each type so you can understand each kayak. 

Expedition

With Expedition type inflatable kayaks, the possibilities are endless. This type of kayak has a large weight capacity and works great in rough terrain. Most Expedition kayaks are class rated for rapid use, meaning they’re pretty dang tough.

But Expedition kayaks aren’t just for riding the rapids. They also make great rafts to use in calm water like rivers or lakes once you install a skeg – a small fin that mounts on the bottom of the boat that reduces the rocking. 

These kayaks are easy to assemble and portable enough to take along on camping trips, or so you can take a quick fishing trip during your lunch break. Just pull the boat out of the bag, inflate it, and launch. 

Lake Paddling Kayaks

These kayaks are designed for the flat calm water of lakes. They have more speed and require less energy to maneuver. Anglers use this type of kayak when they want to cover a lot of distance, such as when you have that sweet honey hole tucked way in the way.

With a lake paddling kayak, your only means of moving is while you are paddling with the oars. Most of these kayaks can’t be used with a trolling or electric motor. But just about anyone can use this type of boat without issue as long as you can work the paddle. 

Recreational Inflatable Kayak

Most fishing kayaks will be of the recreational type. These kayaks are intended for day trips and aren’t usually used for long trips. An expedition type kayak will be better suited for that. 

But if you want to make a short overnight trip, some recreational style inflatable kayaks would make your trip a dream. And many recreational inflatable fishing kayaks come with accessories to improve your fishing trips, such as rod holders or storage for your tackle. 

Benefits of Using Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

There are plenty of reasons why you should consider purchasing an inflatable fishing kayak. Kayaks designed for fishing trips have special features that you won’t get if you are buying a regular recreational or white rapids kayak. 

And the versatility of inflatable fishing kayaks gives them a leg up on other boat types such as fiberglass boats or hard plastic kayaks. You can get an inflatable kayak into shallow water and tight spaces that bigger boats won’t go. 

And when you’re not using your kayak, you can deflate it and put it in a bag for convenient storage. Toss it in your trunk or under your seat, so you’re always prepared. Or pack it in your backpack during your camping trip so you can hit the water once you’ve gotten to your site. 

But with inflatable fishing kayaks, the benefits don’t stop at their durability and versatility. Fishing kayaks consider anglers’ needs and give you plenty of features to make your trip easier, including:

  • Built-in rod holders
  • Extra storage
  • Comfortable adjustable swivel seats
  • Motor mounts
  • Stability for standing
  • Skegs 

Drawbacks

There are always drawbacks to any product, and inflatable fishing kayaks are no exception. Most inflatable fishing kayaks are made of heavy-duty material that’s resistant to tearing, but that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. 

If your kayak gets damaged while you’re using it, it can put a real damper on your trip. Look for inflatable kayaks with separate air chambers, so if you spring a leak, you’ll still float. You should always keep your air pump and a repair kit with you in case of emergencies. 

Another drawback of many inflatable fishing kayaks is that they are not compatible with motors, so you’re limited to only getting around by paddling. But be careful when picking your kayak, as not all of them will come with paddles included.
(You might be interested in reading about Best Inflatable Fishing Boats)

How to Use an Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Inflatable fishing kayaks are so simple to use; even a child could do it. And many do. Both my nine-year-old and fifteen-year-old sons take their inflatable kayaks out on the lake for some no-wake fishing. 

Setting up an inflatable kayak should only take a few minutes, depending on how long it takes the boat to inflate. Some kayaks can be filled using an electric air pump, while others will require a manual one. Pay attention to the product details of any kayak you’re considering, as some of them need you to purchase an air pump separately. 

It’s best to read the instructions or watch a video before you attempt to set up your kayak for the first time. Kayaks have different methods for setting up, so it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

But the steps will be the same no matter what inflatable fishing kayak you choose. To set up your kayak, you will do the following steps:

Step 1 – Upack

The first step will be to unpack your kayak from the bag or box where you store it when not in use. Once you have your kayak out of storage, lay it on the ground and unroll it to full size. 

Step 2 – Hook up the air pump

Once you have your kayak spread out, it’s time to locate the air valve and connect the air pump. The location of the valve will be different for each product. Some inflatable kayaks only require one valve to inflate the entire boat. Others require air in separate compartments. 

Step 3 – Watch Pressure

As you are adding air into your kayak, be sure you pay attention to the pressure levels. Some pumps come with a gauge built it while others require you to use a separate gauge. 

The PSI (pound-force per square inch), or amount of pressure, will vary by kayak. Many need between 10 and 15 PSI. 

Step Four – Install Addons

Step four may not apply to everyone. But if you have a removable seat or an accessory rack to hold your fishfinder and gear, you’ll need to add these onto the boat after it has been inflated. 

It’s usually easier to put all these things on while you’re still on dry land instead of trying to do it while the boat is in the water, where it has more movement. 

Features

Let’s look at a few features you would want in a high-quality inflatable fishing kayak. Some of these aren’t necessary for the occasional angler who will be using their kayak for recreational purposes, but they’re pretty handy if you want to set up a dedicated fishing rig. 

Seat

The seat is one of the essential parts that you want to consider. Most kayaks don’t have enough room for you to get up and move around, so you’ll want to ensure the seat you choose is comfortable enough to withstand long periods of sitting.

Many anglers prefer to find a seat that can swivel so that they can turn the chair while they’re casting or reeling in a fish. Swivel seats also make it easier to maneuver if you’re using a motor with your inflatable kayak. 

Rod Holders

Most inflatable fishing kayaks come with at least one mounted rod holder so you can leave your fishing line in the water while you paddle your boat to a new location. Or so you can have more than one line in the water at once.

You can find kayaks with optional racks that you mount to the top of the kayak. These mounts give you more storage, fishing rod holders, and a place to mount your fishfinder or GPS. Some kayaks come with these, while others require you to buy a rack separately. But some kayaks aren’t compatible with frames.

Storage

If you’re planning a fishing trip, you want to be sure your kayak has enough room for your gear. Some kayaks have minimal space, so you can take a small tackle box and your rods but nothing more. 

But many fishing kayaks have extra storage so you can have your tackle box, additional poles, cooler, and any other gear without being over cramped or exceeding the weight restrictions.

Capacity  

Something else you’ll want to consider when picking a kayak is the person and weight capacity. Many kayaks are for one person and with a weight capacity between 200 and 300 pounds. 

If you’re going to take along a friend, partner, or your kids, you’ll want to be sure you pick a kayak for multiple people. Trying to put more than one person in a single-person kayak can be dangerous. 

Safety Tips

Using an inflatable fishing kayak can be a safe method of transportation. But you should always use safety precautions when using any boat, including an inflatable fishing kayak.

One of the best safety tips is always to keep a lifejacket within reach. It’s not just a smart move, but it’s also legally required in most states, especially for minors. 

You should also always heed the manufacturer’s warnings regarding maximum capacity, weight limit, and air pressure of the boat. 

Before each use, check for leaks or damage to your kayak. Trying to use a damaged inflatable kayak can lead to unsafe conditions. 

Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak Comparison Chart

Product NamePriceSize in Ft (LxW)Weight capacity (Pounds)Distinct Features
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak$$$
9'x3.1'400
Has a high seat that gives you plenty of room for the perfect cast
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak$$$
10.10'x3.29'400
1000D reinforced layered PVC for durability and has massive storage
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak$$12.7'x3.1'400
Tow kegs on the bottom, one for controlling the direction and second for help traveling through shallow water
Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon $$$9'x4.6'400Built-in motor mount and has 2 inflatable pontoons and 2 oars
Sevylor Tahiti$-$$
10.4'x3.1'360Multiple air chambers so you don’t sink if you get a hole
Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 $$$12.6'x3.3'500Has the option to attach a trolling or electric motor up to 55hp
Sport Tender Fishing Dinghy by Pexmor$$$7.5'x4.2'660Has double air chamber and five boards to create stable floor

Wrapping Up

We’ve covered everything you need to know about kayaks, including the different types, features, and safety, as well as the seven best inflatable fishing kayaks. You must use your device correctly, so you don’t put yourself or other people in danger. 

We have an excellent interactive resource for US Drowning Statistics, Worldwide. Don’t become one of those statistics. Play it safe. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are inflatable fishing kayaks easy to pop?

Inflatable fishing kayaks are usually made out of PVC, a vinyl polymer plastic that’s exceptionally durable and budget-friendly. This material is considered heavy-duty and can withstand a lot of abuse before being damaged. 

Things like exposure to the sun, extreme weather, and some chemicals can break down the strength of the material, so it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s directions on cleaning and storage. 

If used properly, most high-quality inflatable fishing kayaks will last for years and can handle the occasional impact with sharp rocks or treats without popping. But they cannot withstand direct impact with a piercingly sharp object. 

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