The 5 Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks in 2022 – Buyers Guide

It was always a dream of mine to be able to access the backcountry fly fishing spots and use an inflatable kayak to fish my way back to civilization. Since having this dream I’ve personally tried 4 different inflatable kayaks and fished them in both large and small waters.

best inflatable fishing kayaks

Gone are the days of lugging your shelled boat to and from your favorite fishing spots and finding a place to store it when you get home since most inflatable kayaks deflate enough to fit into a tote bag (or become bags themselves).

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest for SpeedSea Eagle 385fta Fasttrack
  • 3 Persons Capacity
  • Front And Rear Decks
  • Comes With 4 Chambers
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest For Class III RapidsElkton Outdoors Steelhead
  • 600lbs Load Capacity
  • 1000D Reinforced Layered PVC
  • Removable Skeg
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest for Bonus FeaturesBOTE Zeppelin Aero
  • User-Friendly
  • BOTE Magnepod Technology
  • All Around Kayak
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest for CustomizationIntex Excursion Pro Kayak Series
  • Adjustable & Removable Mounting Brackets
  • 3-Ply High Molecular PVC
  • 400lbs Load Capacity
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest for Rough Waters Sevylor Coleman Colorado™
  • 470 lbs Load Capacity
  • Multiple Air Chambers
  • Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders
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Finding the perfect inflatable vessel for your needs and comforts can be challenging, so we rounded up the best on the market to get you back on the water ASAP. Read on for information on the best inflatable fishing kayaks, accessories, and benefits.

Detailed Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Reviews

Sea Eagle 385fta Fasttrack Inflatable Kayak – Best Overall

Sea Eagle 385fta Fasttrack

Check Price at Sea Eagle

Our rating: 5/5

Key Features

  • Load Capacity: 3 persons (288kgs)
  • Weight: 45 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12.6ft x 3ft
  • Storage: Underneath in the hull

The Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack inflatable kayak is your go-to option if you are looking for a fishing kayak with the perfect equilibrium of speed, stability, and performance. 

It features front and rear decks with an inbuilt hook, lure, rod, and elastic cord lacing on the top for holding your fly fishing equipment and additional storage beneath the deck for keeping your surplus gear and catches.

The Sea Eagle’s 385fta FastTrack comes with four chambers to keep the boat afloat should one of them get punctured while kayak fishing. Its most notable feature is the NeedleKnife Rigid Inflatable Keel which has a sharp bow and stern molds to keep the vessel moving swiftly through even the roughest waters.

The boat can ferry up to three people and has a reinforced 1,000 denier double-layered hull and floor that prevents damage from abrasions, sharp fins, hooks, and abuse. And, should you stand up during your fishing excursion, the Non-slip crocodile hides EVA foam padding on its deck to prevent you from sliding. You can use the rulers on both sides of the cockpit to measure your new catch.

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Best For Class III Rapids

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead

Check Price at Amazon US/UK

Our rating: 4.5/5

Key Features

  • Load Capacity: 600lbs 
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12.5ft x 3.25ft
  • Storage: Front and rear cargo holds

The Steelhead inflatable fishing kayak features a 1000D Reinforced Layered PVC construction to overcome most obstacles and punctures from sharp fins, hooks, and abrasions.

Another notable feature of this vessel is its solid drop-stitch floor that allows you to stand and position yourself for effective angling. Further, the deck features self-bailing ports for draining excess splash water from the hull.

Other efficiency-enhancing features of this model include:

  • Multiple storage options (five mounting points, bungee deck lacing storage, etc.) where you can keep your gear and fishing accessories
  • Adjustable padded seat and footrests to let you tailor your most comfortable paddling position 
  • A removable skeg for enhancing stability

Using the Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak is a breeze. The Dual-Action hand pump (included in the package) inflates the boat, and then all you need to do is board the ship. You can use it for fishing, waterfowling, and sporting up to class III rapids.

After kayaking, dry the Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak with a towel, then fold and pack it in its storage bag (which comes with the package).

BOTE Zeppelin Aero Inflatable Fishing Kayak with Accessories – Best for Bonus Features

BOTE Zeppelin Aero

Check Price at Amazon US/UK

Customer rating: 4.5/5

Key Features

  • Load Capacity: 2 persons (600 lbs)
  • Weight: 41 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12.6ft x 3.2ft 
  • Storage: Bungees, Rac-Receivers

The Zeppelin Aero is a vibrant, accommodating, and user-friendly inflatable kayak ideal for experienced anglers and novices alike. Equipped with all the accessories you need to get your biggest catch yet, the Aero is an all-around winner. 

If you value comfort and function, the Aero series of inflatable kayaks is for you. It is compatible with patented BOTE Magnepod technology to keep your drinks in place as you fish, a Bucket Rac for carrying your catches, and includes cooler tie-downs so you can focus on fishing (instead of how thirsty you are). 

Upon its launch, the Aero fit one person. However, the Aero now comes standard with tandem seats – but the second seat is removable for solo ventures. The boat also features self-draining hulls to banish excess spray water. The Aero is one of the most comfortable tandem inflatable fishing kayaks available.

When out for a fishing excursion, you can attach your fishing accessories with D-rings, bungees, velcro paddle-straps, and other storage options featured on the Zeppelin Aero inflatable fishing kayak. However, Bote Zeppelin Aero doesn’t include rod holders or paddles, so those will be additional purchases. 

The Zeppelin Aero Inflatable Kayak package includes a travel bag, hand pump, center fin, RAC receivers, repair kit, and an aero paddle seat. 

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series – Best for Customization

Intex Excursion Pro

Check Price at Amazon US/UK

Our rating: 4.2/5

Key Features

  • Load Capacity: 2 persons (400lbs)
  • Weight: 43.64 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12.7ft x 3.1ft
  • Storage: Rod holders

If you love your fishing accessories and want to customize your inflatable vessel, the Intex Excursion Pro is your best bet. The Excursion Pro kayak features a 3-ply high molecular PVC construction to repel damage from the sunlight, abrasion, impact, and other unwanted elements.

It comes with adjustable and removable mounting brackets to let you attach your particular accessories like fish finders, GPS systems, and swivel fishing rod holders. You can arrange your gear any way you want. Its storage components make this kayak ideal for tandem ventures and ensure everyone has enough room.

Another customizable feature is the seats and the footrests that adjust to let you and your partner tailor your most comfortable sitting position. The bow and stern have additional compartments for storing accessories, gear, and catches.

A notable safety feature of this model is the high-pressure spring-loaded valves that make it easy to inflate and deflate the boat. The high-pressure inflation makes the base more sturdy and stable on the water.

The Excursion Pro Kayak package includes two removable skegs, bucket seats, floor-mounted footrests, a high-output pump, and a carrier bag. 

Additional tools include a pressure gauge, two paddles, and two integrated recessed fishing rod holders. It can ferry up to 400 pounds, including passengers and cargo.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak – Best for Rough Waters

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Check Price at Amazon US/UK

Our Rating: 4.0/5

Key Features

  • Load Capacity: 2 persons (470 lbs)
  • Weight: 37 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10ft x 3.3ft
  • Storage: Rod holders, D-rings, mesh pockets

With an 18 gauge polyvinyl chloride exterior, sturdy tarpaulin bottom, and strong nylon cover, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak is robust enough to overcome most obstacles in your fishing endeavors.

The dedicated inflatable fishing kayak comes with multiple air chambers, which promise a safe voyage back to the shore should they get punctured. The adjustable seats allow you to set your favorite paddling position to enjoy every bit of your journey.

Another notable feature of this model is the Berkley quick set rod holders, which allow you to tailor your pole angle to enjoy hands-free fishing.

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak features various storage compartments, including D-rings, mesh pockets, etc., which help you secure your tools to give enough space for fishing.

Need more speed? Connect the Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak to the trolling motor and store your paddles in their holders to enjoy the ride.

Buyers Guide: What to Consider When Choosing An Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Inflatable fishing kayaks differ from traditional shelled vessels in loading capacity, construction quality, size, and stability, making the selection process challenging for those new to the realm. Read on for what you should consider before choosing the best inflatable fishing kayak for your needs.

construction

Construction Material

Inflatable kayaks primarily derive from fabrics, and their overall value depends on the quality of the materials used during manufacturing.

The primary fabrics used for inflatable fishing kayaks include polyvinyl chloride (PVC), nitrylon, and Hypalon. PVC is the most commonly used due to its affordability.

However, PVC inflatable fishing kayaks tend to become vulnerable if exposed to sunlight. If you must place it in the sun, ensure that you spray it with a heavy-duty UV (Ultra-Violet) rays protectant to elongate its lifespan.

Hypalon is the sturdiest and most expensive of all materials, while Nitrylon comes second in quality and cost. So, you should expect the Hypalon inflatable fishing kayaks to be the most expensive and the strongest, followed by Nitrylon, and then PVC kayaks being the least priced.

If you are purchasing an inflatable kayak for the first time, you may want to try a PVC model first. That way, you are not out upwards of $1,000 if you end up not enjoying the boat. However, experienced kayakers should consider upgrading to Nitrylon or Hypalon if more intensive kayak adventures become expected. 

Capacity

Inflatable fishing kayaks come in different sizes and weights to support every angler. We recommend you go for a fishing-specific kayak that meets your height requirements. Going for the ones with an adjustable seat and footrests would be wise if you want an inflatable kayak for a family.

The total weight of a kayak refers to the load of the passengers and all other items on board. Be sure to check the recommended weight for your rig and limit your luggage to approximately 90% of the rated weight. 

Also, remember that the heavier the boat, the slower it moves. If you need a speedy boat, you may want a single kayak on hand and a tandem vessel.

Stability

Stability 

Though you will likely paddle while seated most of the time, you will have to stand at some point to cast your baits. Your inflatable vessel should be sturdy and stable enough to support you while standing. To find this type of craft, you should concentrate on inflatable kayaks with a broad base and other stability features like removable skegs and keels.

The most stable fishing-specific kayak listed above is the Elkton Steelhead. Its reinforced drop-stitch floor and removable keel make it safe for rough waters and newbies.

Accessories

Some inflatable kayaks come with miscellaneous accessories like fly rod holders, paddles, pumps, bimini tops, carriage bags, etc. Others sell these accessories separately. Your choice of either of the above will depend on your preferences and budget.

We highly advocate for kayaks with multiple accessories if you are low on budget, as you can get more bang for your buck. The Zeppelin Aero is the most well-accessorized on this list, but you pay more upfront – the bonus is only having to purchase paddles later.

how to take care of your kayak

How To Care for Your Kayak

Before inflating the boat, confirm the recommended pressure rating to prevent over or under-inflating. Remember, overinflating may damage the seams over time.

After using your kayak, clean to remove any sand, body oil deposits, and other forms of debris in the ducts and other areas and rinse the kayak with fresh water, then dry it using an old towel before folding it for storage.

Creasing the inflatable kayak while wet may result in mold and mildew, compromising quality and safety. If you do not have time to dry it by hand, you can let it air-dry in the sun. 

When folding inflatable kayaks for storage, avoid folding it the same way every time. Doing so may result in the seams weakening of the fabric tearing prematurely. After folding, place the boat in its storage bag and keep it indoors.

inflatable kayak conclusion

Final Words

Now that you have a list of the best inflatable fishing kayaks, the next step is choosing the one that best fits your specific needs. Our best overall product on the list is the Sea Eagle 385fta Fasttrack Inflatable Kayak

We chose it because it features a reinforced 1000 denier construction to overcome most elements. Additionally, it has the highest loading capacity, stability, and easy maneuverability. But, it comes at a cost – the more affordable kayaks on this list (such as the Sevylor model) work well and will not break the bank. Regardless of your skill level or budget, you can find the best inflatable kayak for your next adventure.

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