Let our guide take the hard work out of your inflatable kayak comparison
Inflatable kayaks are convenient and easier to transport than traditional kayaks—or at least they should be. Luckily, there are plenty of inflatable kayaks on the market to choose from. These boats come in various sizes and price points. They might offer plenty of stability for rough currents and open waters, or they might be the perfect boats to float on a calm lake.
Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Inflatable Kayak
Our favorite for 2017
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
A great value option
Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
Fantastic value for money
Before buying a kayak, the buyer should determine his or her needs. Where will the kayak be used? Will the kayak need to be carried long distances? What type of waters or currents will the kayak sail upon? Many kayaks at lower price points are perfect for navigating calm waters; similarly, many of the higher end kayaks are meant for open waters.
The one common feature that all good kayaks possess—regardless of price or purpose—is comfort. A kayak should be easy to carry and easy to inflate. It should also provide back support and seats that adjust to accommodate all riders. Below is a list of some of the top inflatable tandem kayaks of 2017.
Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak – This 19-pound kayak is perfect for lake use or on rivers with mild currents. The PVC construction is 21-gauge and features several air chambers; should one chamber become deflated, the back-up chambers can take over. This kayak is guaranteed to never leak thanks to the Airtight System. Two lock points allow the kayak to be easily inflated or deflated. Both seats are adjustable to fit both adults and small children. The spray covers keep both passengers dry while the backrests allow for a comfortable ride. Users love the durability of this kayak. They also love that its lightweight to make transport, set-up and breakdown even easier.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminium Oars and High Output Air Pump – The Intex Explorer K2 is 37.8 pounds of pure freedom on the water. This budget tandem kayak is perfect for floating on the lake or along a mild river. The canary yellow color allows others to see you from miles around. The skeg allows for additional stability and steer and can be removed easily. The seats are adjustable to fit passengers of every size, and the backrests allows for optimum comfort on the water. This kayak also comes with a US Coast Guard ID for emergency scenarios. Owners of this kayak love the easy paddling and quick inflation and deflation process.
Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package – The Sea Eagle is a versatile 32-pound kayak that can be used on lakes and rivers but was created especially for open water. This kayak inflates in only eight minutes and can be transported easily. The spray skirts are inflatable and lashed down to keep passengers dry and comfortable throughout the entire ride. The kayak also comes with three one-way valves and a self-bailing drain valve to keep water where it should be—in the ocean. This kayak is also NMMA certified. The hull is even strong enough to hold dogs, so Spotty can enjoy the ride too.
Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak – One of the toughest tandem inflatable kayaks on the market, the Advanced Elements AE1007-R has aluminum ribs to ensure steady tracking. This kayak weighs in at 51.5 pounds, yet it is still light enough to transport easily. The hull has three layers of reinforcement material to ensure punctures won’t slow this kayak down. The kayak comes completely assembled. Kayakers only need to inflate the kayak and insert the adjustable seats before setting sail. The seats are high backed and cushioned for extended trips. Both seats can be inserted in one of three locations.
Lagoon2 – A great middle-of-the-road kayak, the Lagoon2 offers stability for lakes, rivers and closed seawaters. The kayak can be easily inflated or deflated thanks to the Twistlok technology. This 40.92-pound kayak can be transported easily. It can hold up to 350 pounds. The seats have high back supports. Rubber grip handles ensure even the passengers’ palms will be comfortable throughout the ride. The Lagoon2 comes with a one-year warranty.
Buyers guide – how to choose the right tandem inflatable kayak for you
Size is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a kayak. All kayaks have weight restrictions, so buyers should consider who will be paddling along. Some kayaks are even reinforced specifically to handle dogs. Most of the more expensive models are designed to be used on open or rocky waters. An inflatable white water kayak will cost more than one meant for a placid lake.
Kayakers should consider the waters they will be navigating when searching for a two person inflatable kayak. Most kayaks at low price points are not appropriate on open waters, turbulent rivers or even closed bays. Kayakers who want to head out to such waters should look at reinforced boats with back-up chambers and self-bailing valves to ensure safety on the water.
Those heading to open or rocky waters should consider the stability of the kayak. Many kayaks come with built-in skegs that offer better steering and stability. Even kayakers who are planning to stick to calm lakes should consider the stability of the kayak. Passengers like children and dogs can compromise the stability, so it’s not a bad idea to look for kayaks that can withstand turbulent passengers.
Most kayaks come with adjustable seats that can be inserted in several locations. Inflatable seats should have plenty of padding and high backs. Most kayaks are under 50 pounds, yet many of the high-end kayaks exceed that weight. Since many of the pricier options come with features like aluminum ribbing to ensure stability, the weight is justifiable. Kayakers should consider how far they will need to carry their kayak before buying a heavier model.