The 5 Best Inflatable Kayaks for Beginners

Best Inflatable Kayaks for Beginners

Inflatable kayaks have gained popularity in recent years, making kayaking more accessible to a wider range of people. With their lightweight design and easy-to-carry nature, these versatile vessels allow you to explore the great outdoors in a fun, affordable, and hassle-free way. As a beginner, finding the right inflatable kayak can be the key to a safe and enjoyable experience. Here is our pics for the 5 best inflatable kayaks for beginners.

Inflatable kayaks are perfect for beginners because they’re generally more lightweight, portable, and user-friendly than their hard-shell counterparts. They’re also easy to store, which makes them a great choice for those with limited space. With more people appreciating the convenience that inflatable kayaks offer, there’s been a surge in options tailored specifically for newcomers.

When it comes to selecting the best inflatable kayak for a beginner, pay attention to factors like stability, ease of maneuverability, and weight capacity. These key factors ensure the kayak is suitable for beginners who are still in the process of learning and improving their paddling skills. Keep in mind the intended use of the kayak, such as calm lakes, rivers, or ocean waters, as this will also influence the model that suits your needs best.

After extensive research and testing, we’ve compiled a list of the top inflatable kayaks for beginners that tick all the boxes in terms of functionality, ease of use, and safety. So let’s dive in and discover the perfect inflatable kayak to kickstart your kayaking journey!

Best Inflatable Kayaks for Beginners

So, you’re ready to dive into the world of kayaking, and you’re looking for the perfect inflatable kayak to start with? As you may know there are Different Types of Inflatable Kayaks, but you are a beginner and want to know where to start. Well, You’ve come to the right place! In the list below, you’ll find our top picks for the best inflatable kayaks designed with beginners in mind. Trust us, with these fantastic options, you’ll be navigating the waters like a pro in no time!

HotMax 2 Person Inflatable Kayak for Adults Beginners

HotMax Inflatable Kayak

The HotMax 2 Person Inflatable Kayak is a decent option for beginners who want a lightweight, easy-to-use kayak, but it has some drawbacks to consider.


  • Compact and portable design
  • 325-pound maximum capacity
  • Comes with a waterproof phone bag


  • Constructed with thin PVC material
  • Seat may not provide ample support
  • Paddle quality has been reported as poor

The HotMax 2 Person Inflatable Kayak offers a portable and lightweight solution for beginners looking to enjoy the water. You’ll likely appreciate the compact size and easy storage options this kayak provides. The 325-pound maximum capacity makes it great for solo trips or spending time with a friend on the water.

That said, the HotMax Kayak is made from ultra-light PVC material, which may not be as durable as some other options on the market. You’ll feel comfortable knowing the boat can resist saltwater, oil, ozone, and low temperatures, but it’s best to avoid sharp objects and rough terrains to ensure longevity.

While it’s designed to accommodate two people, the inflatable seat may lack the comfort and support needed for extended use. Users have reported that the paddle is prone to breaking, so investing in a sturdier paddle could be a wise decision.

In conclusion, the HotMax 2 Person Inflatable Kayak is an accessible entry point for beginners in inflatable kayaking but does have some limitations. Weigh the pros and cons before deciding if this is the right kayak for your water adventures.

Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak

The Aquaglide Noyo 90 is an excellent choice for beginners looking for an inflatable kayak that’s comfortable, portable, and easy to use.


  • Great stability and comfort for beginners
  • Lightweight and portable for easy transport
  • Quick and straightforward inflation process


  • Limited weight capacity of 250 lbs
  • Some users report issues with the Boston valves
  • Inadequate instructions and unclear nozzle usage

As a beginner in kayaking, you’ll appreciate the stability and comfort that the Aquaglide Noyo 90 inflatable kayak provides. During your first few trips, it’s essential to feel secure and relaxed in your kayak, which this model certainly offers. The design is tailored for recreational paddling, making it suitable for quick day trips or longer excursions.

One of the most significant advantages of the Aquaglide Noyo 90 is its portability. Weighing only 21 lbs, you’ll have no problem carrying it to and from the water. Plus, setting it up is a breeze, allowing you to spend more time enjoying the water and less time on preparations. However, keep in mind that the kayak’s weight capacity is limited to 250 lbs, so it may not be suitable for heavier individuals or those with a lot of gear.

While inflating the Aquaglide Noyo 90 is relatively straightforward, some users have reported issues with the Boston valves. It’s crucial to ensure that the valves are closed correctly, or you may experience air leaks. Unfortunately, the kayak comes with poor instructions and unclear nozzle usage, which may lead to some initial confusion. Despite these minor drawbacks, many users have enjoyed their experience with the Aquaglide Noyo 90.

In conclusion, the Aquaglide Noyo 90 inflatable kayak is a great option for beginners looking for a comfortable, stable, and portable kayak. While there are some minor issues with the valves and instructions, overall it provides an enjoyable paddling experience for newcomers to the sport. So why not give it a try and embark on your kayaking adventure with confidence?

Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak

Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak

The Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak is perfect for beginner kayakers who want portability and durability at a reasonable price.


  • Super-tough construction for durability and resistance
  • Stable yet maneuverable in various water conditions
  • Spacious storage for keeping belongings secure


  • Dossier slightly soft compared to higher-end models
  • Not as perfect as hard kayaks, but suitable for casual use
  • Limited to one-person capacity

The Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak will surely impress any beginner kayaker, thanks to its robust construction featuring 3-ply laminate and SuperStrong PVC. It allows for optimum rigidity and durability when inflated, ensuring you get the most out of this kayak as you take on various watery adventures.

You’ll surely appreciate the kayak’s stability and maneuverability, all thanks to the high-pressure inflation and the inclusion of two removable skegs. It gives you the confidence to navigate both deep and shallow waters with ease. Plus, its extra space in the bow and stern allows room for essential items, making it an excellent partner for those essential weekend getaways.

Though the dossier may be a tad soft compared to high-end models, it shouldn’t deter you from enjoying this kayak. It is important to keep in mind that while this inflatable kayak may not perform as perfectly as a hard-shell kayak, it is still the ideal choice for those looking for an easy-to-transport option. Bear in mind, however, that this kayak only has a one-person capacity, which might be a deal-breaker for some.

In conclusion, the Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak is a solid choice for beginner kayakers looking for a portable, durable, and reasonably priced option for their first adventures on the water.

Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak

Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak

The Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak is an excellent choice for beginners looking for an easy-to-use, durable, and enjoyable paddling experience.


  • Lightweight and easy to inflate
  • Comfortable high-back seats with adjustable positions
  • Suitable for flat water and mild ocean chop


  • Might not suit users above 32-inch hip size
  • Carry handles can be uncomfortable on thighs
  • Proceed with proper inflation pressure for optimal performance

Driftsun’s Almanor Inflatable Kayak is aimed at those new to the world of kayaking. The lightweight design makes it easy to transport and inflate, ensuring you can jump right into the water with minimal setup. With a hull made of rugged 600d polyester and 24-gauge air bladders, this kayak is durable and UV-protected, ensuring a long-lasting and fun-filled paddling experience.

The high-back EVA padded seats offer a considerable level of cushion and support. You can adjust these seats to find the perfect seating position, allowing you to enjoy your time on the water comfortably. Although some users mentioned that the internal carry handles could dig into their hips, this kayak’s overall design provides an excellent experience for beginners and casual kayakers.

One aspect worth noting is the importance of proper inflation pressure. As the user manual might contain a misprint, make sure to follow the inflation pressure guidelines on the tags near the inflation valves. By doing so, you will ensure optimal performance and longevity of your Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak.

Overall, the Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak is a reliable and user-friendly option for those looking to get started in the world of kayaking. With comfortable seating, easy setup, and a durable design built for flat water and mild ocean chop, this kayak will provide countless hours of adventure and exploration.

Goplus Inflatable Kayak for 1 Person

Goplus Inflatable Kayak

The Goplus Inflatable Kayak is an excellent choice for beginners looking for an affordable and user-friendly option to explore the waters.


  • Durable PVC material
  • Quick inflation and deflation
  • Comfortable seating


  • Limited storage options
  • Paddles could be improved
  • Not suitable for taller people

The Goplus Inflatable Kayak has a durable PVC core that is both wear-resistant and airtight. Bright colors make it highly visible while out on the water. Its flexibility allows for easy storage and transportation, and the quick inflation and deflation process means you’ll be out on the water in no time.

The wide cockpit and detachable seating feature adjustable safety buckles. This kayak is comfortable even for extended trips, though it may not be suitable for taller users. Additionally, the paddles provided may not be the best quality, but they still get the job done.

While the kayak offers enough stability for beginners, its storage options are limited. There is basic waterproof storage on the seat’s back, but you might need additional dry bags for your belongings. There are built-in handles, making it easy to transport and move on land.

In conclusion, the Goplus Inflatable Kayak is an excellent option for those starting their kayaking journey, providing a lightweight, portable, and affordable choice. While it might have some limitations, its pros outweigh the cons, making it a great investment for first-time kayakers.

Buying Guide

So you’ve decided to dive into the world of inflatable kayaks, but you’re not quite sure where to start. Don’t worry! We’re here to help you. In this buying guide, you’ll learn what features to look for and how to choose the perfect inflatable kayak for beginners. Let’s begin!

Key Features to Consider

When you’re shopping for an inflatable kayak for the first time, there are some essential features that you should look for:

  • Material: Some common materials for inflatable kayaks include PVC, Hypalon, and Nitrylon. Each has its pros and cons regarding durability, weight, and ease of repair. Generally, you’ll want a kayak made with sturdy, puncture-resistant materials that can withstand the wear and tear of use.
  • Size and Weight Capacity: Consider how many people will be using the kayak and if you’ll be carrying additional gear. This will help you choose the appropriate size and weight capacity for your needs. A tandem kayak is perfect for two paddlers, while a solo kayak is more suitable for one person.
  • Inflation and Deflation Time: One of the most significant benefits of an inflatable kayak is its portability. Look for models with quick inflation and deflation times, so you can spend more time on the water and less time setting up and packing away.
  • Comfort: Adjustability and ergonomics are essential for all paddlers, especially beginners. Make sure the kayak has comfortable seats, adjustable footrests, and ample back support.

Price Range and Warranty

It’s crucial to determine your budget when acquiring an inflatable kayak. While you may be tempted by low-cost options, they might lack durability and performance. At the same time, expensive models might have features that you don’t need as a beginner.

Invest in a mid-range kayak with a reasonable price, and make sure it comes with a warranty. A warranty will come in handy if you experience any issues with your inflatable kayak.

Reading Reviews and Seeking Advice

As a beginner, you might be unfamiliar with the best inflatable kayaks available on the market. Make sure to read reviews and seek advice from experienced kayakers or industry blogs. This will provide valuable insights into the best inflatable kayak models for beginners like you, and you’ll be better prepared when making your purchase.

Keep these factors in mind when choosing your inflatable kayak, and soon you’ll be embarking on unforgettable paddling adventures. Enjoy the journey and happy paddling!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top features to consider when buying an inflatable kayak for beginners?

When buying an inflatable kayak for beginners, you should consider factors such as stability, ease of inflation and deflation, material durability, and weight capacity. A wider and flatter hull design ensures better stability for beginners, while a kayak with easy inflation and deflation valves makes it simpler for first-time users to set up and pack away. And of course, the kayak should be made of high-quality, puncture-resistant material and have a suitable weight capacity for the intended users.

Which inflatable kayaks are best for solo paddlers and tandem users?

For solo paddlers, a compact and lightweight inflatable kayak with a comfortable seating arrangement and good stability is ideal. The Sea Eagle 330 and Intex Challenger K1 are popular choices in this category.

For tandem users, you’ll want to look for a kayak that has adjustable seating positions to accommodate different paddling styles and sizes. The Intex Explorer K2 and Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak are popular options for tandem users due to their adjustability and comfortable seating.

How does the Intex brand compare to other beginner-friendly inflatable kayaks?

Intex is known for producing affordable and reliable inflatable kayaks. They offer user-friendly features such as easy setup, good stability, and lightweight designs that make them suitable for beginners. While other brands like Advanced Elements, Sea Eagle, and Aquaglide also provide beginner-friendly kayaks, their offerings might come at a higher price point. However, it’s important to consider individual kayak models before making a decision solely based on the brand.

What are the pros and cons of using an inflatable kayak as a beginner?

Pros of using an inflatable kayak as a beginner include its lightweight design, easy portability, and lower cost compared to hardshell kayaks. They’re also often more comfortable due to their softer, inflatable construction. In terms of cons, inflatable kayaks are generally less durable and can be more susceptible to punctures. Additionally, they offer less precise control which might pose a slight challenge for some beginners.

How do customer reviews rate the durability and performance of popular inflatable kayaks?

Popular inflatable kayaks generally receive positive reviews for their durability and performance. For example, the Intex Challenger K1 and Explorer K2 kayaks are praised for their strong material, easy setup, and stability on the water, while the Sea Eagle 330 receives positive feedback for its rugged design and excellent performance in various water conditions.

Where can I find the best deals on inflatable kayaks for beginners online?

To find the best deals on inflatable kayaks for beginners, you can start by checking online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and REI, which often offer discounts and sales. Additionally, browsing kayaking forums and social media groups can help you learn about any upcoming deals or promotions. Don’t forget to compare prices across various retailers and also consider purchasing a used kayak from websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for more savings.