If you need a fishing kayak and already made up your mind to settle for an inflatable model, this is the right place for you. Inflatable kayaks are as stable and performance-oriented as their solid counterparts. Even more, the best inflatable fishing kayaks come with some fantastic features that you may not find in solid models, and you will be lucky to find inflatable kayaks under $500.
Notably, choosing an air kayak over a rigid model comes with a lot of soul-searching. While many novice paddlers think that these models are prone to puncture and cannot stand the test of time, this is just a misconception. Manufacturers of modern air kayaking vessels use high-quality materials and excellent technology to manufacture these versatile water vessels.
One of the most primary reasons why you might opt for an inflatable kayak is portability and storage. These simple kayaking vessels pack small and will conveniently fit into your car or van, making it unnecessary to use a car rack or trailer. Besides, you can store them in a corner within your home; hence no need for a storage garage.
But that said and done, choosing the right inflatable kayak is no mean feat. There are several brands and models to choose from, and this can be confusing. We make the work easier for you by reviewing some of the best models in the inflatable category. In addition, we have a brief buying guide that will help you choose the right product for your needs.
Top 8 Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
Editor’s Pick for Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible
This fishing kayak is a 15-inch long vessel featuring an open deck design for maximum flexibility and convenience. Of course, the open design also gives you room to handle the boat more conveniently and embark or disembark when you deem fit. Still, you can quickly convert this product into a closed-deck design if you want your cockpit and body to stay dry and warm.
Key Features and benefits
It performs well in different water sources. Therefore, you will find it pretty useable in oceans, mild rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams. The body is well built and durable to resist puncture. The hull design in this fishing kayak is essential to improve the tracking system. So, it is a kayak that you can steer at relatively high speeds without losing your course.
There is an optional decking component that you can purchase separately. This optional component comes in solo or tandem decking options. Either way, it covers the entire top of the fishing kayak except for the cockpit. It adds on the weight as well as the physical presence. Also, this extra accessory offers protection from external elements.
If comfort is a factor you would consider when buying a kayak, you can count on the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible’s seat. The seat is pretty tall and will give you the support and comfort you need while puddling for an extended period.
Storage space is available that can hold small bags of luggage. With these storage spaces conveniently located under the decking in front and at the back of the vessel, you have your gear in perfectly accessible areas. In addition, you can secure more gear on top of the decking, or you can choose to tie it down with some good clips.
The package also comes with a carry bag made of nylon with heavy-duty handles. The inclusion of a carry bag ensures easy storage when deflated. You can also use this to carry your gear and other essentials you need when going fishing.
- It is fast and easy to paddle.
- It has good maneuverability.
- The incredible tracking system ensures that you do not lose track when paddling the vessel.
- It is spacious enough and will comfortably fit tall people.
- It takes a longer time to set up as compared to other inflatable kayaks.
- At 56 pounds, it is one of the heaviest models you can find.
The Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Convertible kayak is the best and most premium inflatable kayak that you can order. If you can afford to pay, this is a suitable vessel that is worth every penny. The device is waterproof and robust enough to withstand any conditions subjected to it.
The Most Stable Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO
While we rarely review more than a single product from a single manufacturer. However, another product from Advanced Elements makes it to the list, and it is none other than the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO. Interestingly, it does not ride on the brand name to get here.
Take your fishing experience to the next level with StraitEdge Angler PRO. It features a wide beam and Drop-stitch floor technology, two features that give the yak its stability and balance. In turn, this gives you the confidence you need.
Key Features and benefits
Some fishing kayaks may experience the problem of flex in their hulls. But this kayak has the solution. It features a frame fitted to the bow and stern that improves entrance and exit. Besides, stabilizing bars at the forehead and deck enhance the rigidity and make it easy to connect accessories.
To further erase the problem between inflatable and rigid kayaks, a powerful solid seat is in place to provide powerful paddling as you enjoy the comfort. As you progress, the boat needs to be on course, and a rigid bow and stern are essential to maintain the course. Together with the skeg, the boat exhibits amazing tracking.
It also features short water lines that are essential to keep the boat spinning on top water. Angler Pro resembles other inflatables that sit high on the water but still remain stable. However, it features low-profile gunwales that cheat the wind.
The motor is perfect, and you won’t experience any challenges on your fishing tracks. This improves the level of tracking and the stability of the boat. If you need to fish the skinny stuff, you can disconnect the motor and get the vessel to a halt.
The included drop-stitch floor technology gives you the courage and confidence to stand up and enjoy a wider viewing angle. This allows you to create a high-pressure form that is firm. It ensures you have more stability when you’re in rough conditions.
- It comes with well-matched ElectraFin motors.
- An inflatable lumbar keeps your body conformed to the kayak seat.
- A drop-stitch floor provides stability when standing and improves the maneuverability of the craft.
- The deep fin provides valuable tracking information.
- The storage space is quite limited.
- You may need to handle it with care to avoid the spring valves from leaking.
If you are enthusiastic about fishing or recreational kayaking, then StraitEdge Angler PRO is here for you. It is a premium model that you can use anywhere. You can consider purchasing this kayak fishing boat if it is in your price range and meets your fishing goals.
Best Kayak for Flat Water Fishing: Sea Eagle 385FT FastTrack Deluxe
With over 40 years of experience in marketing inflatable kayak, Sea Eagle’s FastTrack inflatable kayak range improves and becomes stable. One of the company’s most advanced fishing kayaks is the Sea Eagle 385FT FastTrack Deluxe.
It is a single-user kayaking vessel that is as stable as it is versatile. It has a length of 385ft and solo paddles that you can use when needed. Sea Eagles provides you with a comprehensive warrant to boost confidence about the brand and the product. Of course, a five-year warranty is enough proof of reliability.
This is one of the favorite products in Sea Eagle’s line of inflatable boats. It stands out when it comes to stability and lightweight nature. Besides, whether you are a novice or seasoned paddler, Sea Eagle 385FT will give a comfortable and easy ride.
Key Features and benefits
The patented NeedleKnife Keel enhances a smoother paddling experience. Besides, a high-pressure Drop-Stitch keel gives it the ability for self-bailing. In turn, these features allow Sea Eagle 385FT FastTrack Deluxe to move faster in different open water conditions. You can paddle it against wind, waves, and currents.
The floor and walls are firm, and a rigid hull enables it to withstand the rough conditions of the external environment. Moreover, the two screw-type drain valves open at will, ensuring you stay high and dry.
The drop stitch outside keel provides you with buoyancy and aid in stopping the natural yaw of an inflatable kayak. This creates side chines under the pontoons to enhance easy paddling. In addition, there is a removable rear skeg that maintains your kayak in a straight direction.
Some may wonder about how durable this inflatable kayak is, but that should not be a concern. Its floor and walls are made of 1100 Decitex reinforced material, strong to service any form of wear and tear. It is still light enough to allow good fishing performance and kayaking fun with all the materials in place.
It doesn’t limit you if you like traveling with your pet. Irrespective of the dog’s size or the length of its claws, there is no chance of any damage on the 385ft’s resilient hull.
- It is stable and will not topple over.
- It features spacious storage units to keep your gear and pets.
- The vessel can accommodate up to two people comfortably.
- It is lightweight and easy to transport.
- It does not perform well in whitewater.
The prices are not high, and it’s the best inflatable kayak to purchase. Also, it works well in flats but can handle up to class II rapids. The size is ideal for solo and tandem paddling. It comes with a larger version ideal for family use for those who like to paddle with a lot of gear.
Best Inflatable Kayak for the Money: Sevylor Quikpak K5
This is a recreational kayak that is unique and quite reasonably priced. But despite being a recreational model, it also performs reasonably well as a fishing vessel. It is pretty easy to set up, and a single person will quickly transform it from a backpack in 5 minutes.
The backpack design enhances portability and makes it a piece of equipment that you can carry wherever you go. You can transport it in a public bus, a small car, or ship it.
Key Features and Benefits
It is built with three air chambers. They include the hull, inside, and I-beam floor. The primary chambers feature a 24-gauge PVC construction which is pretty sturdy. Even more, a heavy-duty 900 D polyester fabric covers the PVC to boost its strength and longevity. The cover makes the kayak strong to resist any puncture. You can take your dogs with you, and the polyester fabric will protect the air chambers from dog nails.
You can remove the cover when you need to patch the PVC air bladders. At the bottom, the hull is covered by a 1000 D tarpaulin, so if you hit rocks in shallow water, it will cause no damage to the kayak. This increases your fishing territory as you can cross anywhere for a new fishing spot.
Primarily, the cockpit is pretty different from those of other fishing kayaks. Its design is unique for one individual to fit precisely and paddle. You can navigate the Coleman K5 easily. The spray skirt on the cockpit is nice and ensures that you and your cargo are dry during your daily routine. Of course, you can remove it when you deem fit.
The design further gets more exciting and allows you to turn your backpack to become a seat. You need not worry more when you’re in the water, and that gives you ample time to plan your fishing strategies. It features a unique color, which is appealing to the eye. And unlike vessels that come with annoying labeling, labels are pretty minimal in the Sevylor Quikpak K5.
The numerous D-rings in Quikpak K5 are primarily available to secure your fishing rod. In addition, it comes with a quality carry bag backpack and a high-pressure hand pump.
- It is fast and simple to inflate and set up.
- The spacious cargo space can hold a lot of supplies and fishing gear.
- It is one of the most durable models you will find on the market.
- The construction quality is unbeatable.
- Back seat pads are not comfortable for long excursions.
- It’s difficult to store correctly and pack down. But with a few trips, you will learn how to fold and pack the fishing reel.
If you are enthusiastic about deep-water fishing, the Sevylor Quikpak K5 is best for you. With a backpack carrying case and lightweight construction, it is perfect for any outdoor adventure. It’s a fantastic gift for friends or family who love fishing.
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak for Group Fishing: Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
Airhead Angler Bay is a portable and lightweight inflatable boat. It takes only a few minutes if you need to inflate or deflate. It’s great for lakes and streams to enjoy fishing with friends. It carries around five people with fishing gear.
Key Features and Benefits
There is also a 6-person version. Ideally, this version will conveniently fit a group of friends or a small family. Besides, you can also have two smaller, 3- and 4-person versions. All these versions are pretty spacious to include your supplies.
When purchasing the Airhead Angler Bay, it comes with a battery storage bag, a ditty bag, and two inflatable seats. It’s good to check on the best air pump you need since they don’t include such accessories. It means you will have to purchase it separately.
The wall tubes on the boat are high enough to lean on it without letting water inside. On the other hand, it provides you with a spacious room that enables you to paddle the boat easily. The inflatable seats are incredible, but they lack a backrest.
If you need to take your experience to a new level, you can get a trolling motor for your boat. It will help if you acquire a motor mount supplied by Airhead to provide space to hold the engine. The motor is powerful and will serve you well and increase your fishing efficiency. Most of these motors don’t require many installation skills and will make it fun for your family.
When you’re likely to experience discomfort from the scorching sun during a sunny day, you may choose to install a mod for SIBs. Doing this will serve you well in the Airhead Angler Bay boat and keep you cool. All you need is to buy a separate canopy that you will glue at the base of your inflatable boat.
- It takes less than 10 minutes to inflate.
- The giant version can carry up to 6 people.
- Fixing a trolling motor increases speed and efficiency.
- It features a solid 32-gauge heavy-duty vinyl construction.
- The seat lacks a backrest
The inflatable boat performs well and is easy to haul around with the whole family. With about $500, get to experience a significant change in your fishing expeditions. You can consider this if you have a family or a group of friends who loves to move with new fishing trends on the market.
Best Portable Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Saturn 13′ Pro-Angler FK396
Your fishing excursions are not complete without taking trips in water with a 13′ FK396 inflatable boat. It’s easy to carry, making it ideal for any fisherman, including those without a personal means of transport. If you love standing on a kayak to enjoy a wider viewing angle, it works perfectly. It keeps you fishing in at a moment’s notice.
Key Features and Benefits
The floor of the Saturn 13′ Pro-Angler FK396 is strongly rigid when inflated because of the high-pressure air deck. There is a double layer of PVC fabric on top of the tubes and air floor to prevent an accident that might occur while fishing. The boat is stable because of rigid high buoyancy tubes that enable you to stand and fish if needed.
Because of its stability and versatility, the Saturn Pro-Angler FK396 has a variety of uses. You may paddle your way through the waves using the free aluminum benches or adding a vertical plate. You can as well attach an optional electric motor to your inflatable boat.
The design of this kayak is best to use in slow rivers, lakes, oceans, and bays. You can use it in whitewater river rafting experiences. But you will need to cut self-bailing holes in the kayak’s bottom. It’s simple to paddle because of its buoyancy.
If you love to customize your kayak with a unique sunshade, this model is customizable. Having a sunshade provide you from the sun and rain. It measures 13 feet long, 3 feet wide, and weighs 43 pounds. It can support a maximum weight of 700 pounds, which is incredible.
- High-quality and durable material is used throughout the vessel.
- It doesn’t take time to set up the kayak.
- You can carry it anywhere once you deflate it.
- The design is unique, sleek, compact, and easy to store.
- It’s not the best choice for a rigid paddler.
The kayak is a great performer with a highly sturdy build quality, premium appearance, and numerous additional amenities. If you’re looking for a perfectly versatile fishing kayak, this kayak is an excellent choice for you. It’s a good value and does not require any maintenance needs.
Best Premium Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak
A high-end inflatable kayak can provide a comparable experience to a hard-shell kayak in some situations. Yet, it still comes with the convenience associated with air kayaking vessels/
This kayak provides a premium experience, particularly for anglers. Some may not anticipate inflatable kayaks to be as safe and stable as traditional kayaks. However, this is not the case.
Elkton Outdoors are strong and can withstand harsh outdoor conditions. It works well in flat water, rivers, and even the ocean, without any incidence of sinking or tipping. In addition, it is ideal for beginners and advanced paddlers too.
Key Features and Benefits
The kayak is solid and light. It takes less than 10 minutes to inflate into a full-sized kayak. It weighs 28 pounds when inflated. Moreover, the 1000D Reinforced Layered PVC side tubes provide resistance to any possible puncture effects.
This inflatable kayak has a well-made, solid drop stitch floor, which is ideal for anglers. You may leverage your body and enjoy stable fishing and bait throwing thanks to the sturdy floor. Also, the stitching floor provides some protection if you wind up bringing your kayak into harsher waters.
Steelhead kayaks have 1000D Reinforced Layered PVC, which is exceptionally durable. Even if you scrape your kayak against a log or run into hard rocks, it will usually bounce back without a rapture. Still, it will help if you exercise particular caution when using an inflatable kayak near sharp edges.
The floor has outlet drainage that helps in case of any rapid splashing of water into the kayak. If you get into a tough fight with a fish or are fishing in choppy conditions, the self-bailing floor will help you stay above the water surface.
- The drop-stitch floor, like the seat, is pleasant and supportive. Its design is primarily fishing and providing a relaxing fishing experience.
- Durable inflatable kayak
- Plenty of attachments and storage
- Comfortable seats for day-long fishing.
- Not ideal for two or more people.
The Elkton Outdoors Steelhead boat isn’t inexpensive, but it’ll keep you entertained for years. It’s an incredible gear that will boost your fishing experience to the next level. It’s a saltwater-resistant fishing gadget for surf casters who find their reels swamped or splashed with seawater.
Best Durable Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Sevylor Coleman Colorado
This Coleman is one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks you can find. Its design and maneuverability allow it to reach a remote fishing spot that would typically be inaccessible by foot.
Kayaking, a canoe-like activity with a lower water level, is frequently thought of as a solo activity. However, two-person kayaks exist, allowing you to share the fun of kayaking with a companion. It has silent movement as you don’t want to scare away the fish.
Key Features and Benefits
Its three-layer design makes it durable and puncture-resistant. The inflatable chambers are protected from all types of weather, including punctures and the sun’s rays, by a durable 840D nylon top. This kayak is made of 18-gauge PVC and is quite durable.
Hands-free fishing is made possible by Berkley’s quick set fishing rod holders. When you don’t want to use your hands, paddle holders lock the kayak paddles. You can attach a Sevylor trolling motor to the kayak to enhance its capabilities, performance, and enjoyment.
Inflating and deflating this boat is easier because of the Boston valve’s double threading. Seatback pockets and mesh storage pockets on the sides keep gear and drinks close at hand, while D-rings allow extra items you need to include. This kayak has adjustable seats and handles, making it simple to transport to and from the water.
- Incredibly tough for inflatable because of double-wall construction.
- Easy to carry when you want to relocate.
- It allows the use of trolling motors and batteries with no trouble.
- The boat does not come with a pump.
Whether you’re fishing with a friend or alone, this boat will make your journeys across the water a delight. You will be able to deploy your kayak in regions that are inaccessible to rigid hull kayaks by carrying simply a bag that weighs roughly 41 lbs. and possibly another one with your equipment. You can also wear it as a backpack with the addition of specific valuable attachments.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing Your Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
Inflatable fishing kayaks differ in terms of size, weight, design, and width. But most of these fishing products work well for fishing. Still, you will need to consider certain features before buying.
Let’s look at them.
Before you can conclude to purchase, it is essential to find an inflatable fishing kayak that will not topple over. Fishing is action intensive. Hence, consider a steady model that you can lean on fairly without tipping. Ensure to check on the overall kayak design and hull design as you progress with your research.
Ideally, depending on where you intend to use your inflatable fishing kayaks, you need to have one that handles wells and sharp corners. An ideal kayak should respond to track if you want to get to the right fishing spot accurately. You need to note that the shorter the kayak, the faster the response. On the other hand, longer and slimmer models move faster when there is a good balance.
If you like to spend long hours fishing, comfort is essential. During that period, you need to relax, sit, and enjoy fishing without worrying about your convenience. Check on the area where you can sit, and let your legs rest. Having long kayaks is an added advantage for spacious legroom, particularly for tall paddlers.
Before proceeding to process your purchase, check if it comes with an air pump. In case a pump is available, it should be powerful to provide a high volume of air. Also, a good pump should include a high-pressure gauge and a pressure adjustment system.
Inflatable boats are not like the traditional rigid case boats. They are more portable. This makes them more interesting as you can fold them and carry them wherever you want. They are also easy to store as they pack small and take up small storage space. As a result, consider getting one that suits your portability and storage needs.
As mentioned early, analyzing the key features of your inflatable kayaks will help you get the best model for your use. Most of these kayaks have different needs and preferences, so your choice when ordering depends on how you intend to use it. It would help if you consider the durability, safety, and availability of the product to gain a kayak fishing experience. But if you think that inflatable fishing kayaks will not work for you, you can consider other options in our picks for best fishing kayaks.
Anthony has been an angler for the past 15 years. His experience makes him an invaluable asset to FISHING GEN and writes on fishing expeditions as well as fishing gear.