Inflatable paddleboards saw a huge surge in popularity last summer – and there’s growing interest in inflatable kayaks for summer 2021. Both trends reflect rising demand for accessibility, affordability, and convenience in water sports.

Kayaking used to mean hiring equipment by the hour or investing in an expensive and cumbersome plastic kayak yourself. However, the arrival of inflatable kayaks means you can pack yours into the car like any other piece of luggage and inflate it on the shore or bank of a lake – often for a fraction of the price.

Here are the best inflatable kayaks on the market in 2021.


1. ITWIT Touring Kayak

Price: £229.99 (one-seater) or £269.99 (two-seater)
Skill level: beginner
Suitable for: small bodies of water, mild rivers

The ITWIT range of kayaks is sold exclusively by sports goods franchise Decathlon.

As well as one and two-seater versions, Decathlon has created several other ITWIT kayaks designed to suit all skill levels and functions. These range from recreational use to touring on larger bodies of water (if not open water).

Decathlon has a strong reputation for producing a comprehensive range of good-quality products, so any ITWIT kayak guarantees value for money.

The ITWIT Touring Kayak is a great entry point into kayaking, as it’s wide and stable on the water. ITWIT’s kayaks’ seats are comfortable, too, which mitigates the issue of discomfort on lower-end inflatable kayaks. If that’s not enough, the kayak can be inflated in an impressive seven minutes, and its patented bow shape means it offers good glide performance in the water.


2. Intex Explorer K2

Price: £210.83
Skill level: beginner
Suitable for: small bodies of water, mild rivers

If you Google ‘inflatable kayak’ and hover over the ads section at the top of the page, the Intex Explorer K2 is one of the first kayaks you’ll see.

Its price point is arguably the main factor behind its popularity. The demand for inflatable kayaks largely comes from people with a fledgling interest in kayaking, so the cost of the K2 makes it a low-risk purchase. It’s also available at a price-point that hard-shell kayaks can’t compete with.

To say that the K2 only offers affordability does it a massive disservice, though. It’s equipped with everything you need to enjoy a relaxing day of rowing on a calm lake. It has high sides for stability, it can carry two people, and it comes with oars and a pump.

The Challenger K2, another kayak by Intex, is also available if you have trouble finding the Explorer K2 in stock. The kayaks are very similar, but here’s a helpful side by side video so you can make an informed purchase.


3. Z-Pro Tango


Price: £419.99
Skill level: beginner
Suitable for: small bodies of water, mild rivers

The Z-Pro Tango has been in production for over a decade, with a new version being released to tweak and improve the design every so often. This is the 2020 version.

The Tango is available in red and blue and can be modified for one and two-seater variations. But this kayak’s build quality distinguishes it from others on the market.

The Tango is a beginner kayak, but it features 840-denier fabric with a polyurethane coating top and 100-denier bottom to make it a little more rugged than its competitors. This will come in handy if you skim the bottom of a river in shallow waters or when disembarking at the shore.

Additional directional fins also help keep the kayak straight in the water and enable you to pick up more speed as you row.


4. Sevylor Adventure Plus

Price: £369.99
Skill level: beginner
Suitable for: medium-sized bodies of water, moderate rivers, easy white-water

The Sevylor Adventure Plus is a three-seater kayak that’s perfect for families looking to take to the water and explore together.

The Adventure Plus features the Sevylor signature Easy Inflation System, which prevents you from having to fiddle with multiple valves or compartments to inflate the kayak. This is a godsend if you’re new to kayaking and just want to have a paddle.

The Adventure Plus is made from durable polyester with additional seam taping to increase strength and air and water tightness. You can also configure the seats however you like, so you can set up the kayak in a way that’s most comfortable for everybody on board – or make room for some light backpacks.


5. Aquaglide Navarro 13

Price: £799
Skill level: intermediate
Suitable for: large bodies of water, moderate rivers, touring

Now it’s time to look at the more intermediate inflatable kayaks, starting with the Aquaglide Navarro 130.

Aquaglide is led by a team of water sport enthusiasts from Oregon, USA, who specialise in stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and aquaparks. Therefore, the company knows a thing or two about inflatable watercrafts.

The most striking thing about the Aquaglide Navarro 130? It isn’t obvious that it’s an inflatable kayak. And with its drop-stiched hard-bottom floor, it also gives hard-bodied kayaks a run for their money in terms of durability.

The Navarro 130 features some neat design touches that kayakers will appreciate, too. For instance, the zip-on deck cover and zipped pocket, and bungie storage netting. It also comes with oar straps and a foot brace to prevent you sliding around while you row.


6. Aqua-Marina Memba

Price: £419 (one-seater) or £441.02 (two-seater)
Skill level: intermediate
Suitable for: large bodies of water, moderate rivers, touring

The Aqua-Marina Memba kayak comes in two forms – the 330 and the 390. These numbers indicate the length of the kayak in centimetres, with the 330 being designed for one person and the 390 for two people.

The Memba range has shaken up the inflatable kayak market with its impressive rigidity. This kayak’s hull cover is made from durable polyester with in-built UV resistance, while the custom-made drop-stitched double wall fabric gives the kayak a 7cm hard floor. There are also multiple storage pockets, and special care has been taken to provide a premium seat that you can set up in a way that’s comfortable for you.

These features make the Memba range perfect for mid to long-range touring down wide rivers or over vast lakes.


7. Sea Eagle Explorer

Price: £949 (one-seater), £1349 (two-seater), £1449 (three-seater)
Skill level: experienced
Suitable for: white-water rapids, lakes and rivers, open water, touring

The final inflatable kayak on our list is tailor-made for the more seasoned kayakers out there.

Sea Eagle has produced high-quality inflatable boats since 1968, and it represents the best in class when it comes to inflatable kayaks.

The Explorer range comes in four forms:

  • The 300x, which is for one person.
  • The 380x, which can be for two people.
  • The 420x, which can be for three people.
  • The 350fx, which is a fishing kayak.

In a nutshell, the range includes something to suit every kayaker's needs.

Each of these kayaks has undergone testing to ensure they’re suitable for class four white-water. They’re even constructed from 1100-decitex material, so there’s a slim chance of a puncture as you weave through and over rocks. That isn’t to say they’re only suitable for more extreme forms of kayaking – they’re perfect for open water, lakes, river, and touring, too.


Specialist sport craft insurance from Insure4Boats

If you’re a keen kayaker, it can be deflating to suffer a puncture and watch all those sunny days you could be out on the water pass you by. It would equally frustrating if your inflatable kayak was lost or stolen.

That’s why you need to make sure it’s protected with specialist sport craft insurance.

Our sport craft insurance protects your inflatable kayak against loss, theft, and damage. We’ll even replace it on a new-for-old basis if your kayak was purchased new in the last three years. We also offer European and Worldwide cover, so you’ll be protected wherever kayaking takes you.

Click the above link for more information or get an instant online quote.



Our Guide To Kayaking In The Lake District

The Top 10 Boat Navigation Apps

The 10 Best Kayaking Accessories For Summer