Inflatable fishing kayaks are increasingly popular and are a great alternative to hardshell kayaks. They are lightweight, affordable, and easy to store, but they also offer the excellent stability you’d expect from more expensive kayaks.
All of this means you can enjoy kayak fishing without breaking the bank. In addition, inflatable fishing kayaks can be used on various waterways, giving you a versatile vessel to catch some fish.
If you are in the market for the best inflatable fishing kayak, you are in luck. Our comprehensive guide will show you the unique features of each kayak to help you make the right decision for your needs.
If you are in a hurry, here is our top pick:
Our Top Pick
Capacity: 1 paddler, 575-pound capacity
Weight: 51 pounds
Durable PVC construction
High-pressure drop stitch floor
Comes with pump, your choice of paddles and seat options, repair kit, and carry bag
Best inflatable fishing kayak
An inflatable fishing kayak is a wise choice for many reasons. An inflatable is a great way to go if you don’t have a garage, shed, or backyard to store a hardshell kayak. With that, let’s jump right in!
- Intex Excursion Pro Kayak made with low profile Polypropylene to maintain color and...
- Kayak with built-in footrest and adjustable seats for comfort, able to hold maximum...
- Versatile 2 Person kayak featuring 2- 86 inch aluminum oars, 2 detachable fishing rod...
- Inflatable and foldable kayak comes with US Coast Guard ID and TUV certifications,...
- Lightweight and equipped with carrying handles on the front and back for easy...
Kayak fishing is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors, but it can be hard to find the right boat.
You don’t want to spend time fishing from a kayak that doesn’t fit your unique requirements. You also don’t want to spend money on expensive boats that you’ll only use once in a while.
The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is perfect for anglers of all levels. This inflatable kayak has plenty of storage space for gear, tackle boxes, and rod holders, so you have a spot for your fishing pole as you paddle.
It’s lightweight and easy to transport, so you can take it wherever you want to go fishing. Plus, this boat is designed with three-ply construction to give you superior durability.
The kayak is excellent for tandem or solo paddlers and supports up to 400 pounds.
The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak has removable adjustable foot braces, allowing you to stretch your legs or sit comfortably while paddling and fishing.
This boat can be inflated easily using the included high-output pump.
The built-in fishing rod holders on each side of the kayak and the adjustable footrest are two features that make this one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks.
Another unique feature is the mounting bracket that can be used for GPS, a fish finder, extra rod holders, etc.
The kayak includes everything you need to hit the water, including two footrests (one for each paddler), two removable skegs, paddles, a pump, a carry bag, and a repair kit.
Intex Excursion Pro Fishing Kayak is an intuitive, durable design that packs a lot of value for the price.
If you’re serious about kayak fishing, this boat is an excellent choice because it gives you the versatility and convenience to maximize your fun on any trip.
Built-in rod holders
It has paddles, a pump, a carry bag
Lots of room for storage
Great for one or two paddlers
Rod holders are in the way of the rear paddler
Seats are not as good as other models
- INFLATES QUICKLY- The Elkton Outdoors Inflatable 2 Person Kayak inflates in only...
- RUGGED & DURABLE- Elkton Outdoors tandem fishing kayak is constructed with 18-Gauge...
- ACCESSORIES INCLUDED- Includes all the fishing kayak accessories you need to hit the...
- GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO CONVENTIONAL KAYAKS- Our Inflatable fishing kayak is compact and...
- EASY TO REPAIR AND ADJUST- Three separate removable air chambers allows for quick and...
If you’re looking for an inflatable fishing kayak that’s easy to transport and store, look no further than Cormorant 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak by Elkton Outdoors.
This tandem inflatable fishing kayak is perfect for two people or can be paddled by one person who wants extra storage space. The kayak has a weight limit of 450 pounds.
The Cormorant has three separate air chambers, so if one gets punctured or damaged, the other two will keep you afloat.
The kayak is durable and rugged, made from 18 gauge 1000D PVC. Not only will it stand up to abrasions from rocks, tree stumps, etc., but also fish hooks.
It inflates quickly in minutes and includes all the accessories needed for a day of fishing on the water. The inflatable kayak comes with two adjustable seats, two paddles, a dual-action pump, and a carry bag.
What makes this one of the best inflatable kayaks for fishing is how it’s set up. You have two vertical rod holders and four trolling rod holders.
You will never lack a spot to put your fishing pole if you need to paddle. Or, set one pole down while reeling in a fish on another line.
Bow, cold storage, and four carry handles round out this inflatable fishing kayak. The kayak also comes with a removable skeg, a must-have for an inflatable if you want to paddle straight.
The Elkton Outdoors Cormorant is an excellent kayak for camping, RV’ing, or any place you want to do flatwater kayak fishing.
The downside of this kayak is that the rod holders might not be positioned in the best spot for your paddling stroke, and it can be pretty tight to fit two paddlers and a boatload of gear.
This inflatable fishing kayak is designed with anglers in mind and is an excellent alternative to a hard kayak, and has the rigidity of a sturdy, rigid hull.
Plenty of built-in rod holders
High-back adjustable seats
Front, rear, and side carry handles
Bow and stern storage
The rod holders in the back are not well placed for a second paddler
Not as roomy as other models
Kayak fishing is an excellent way to spend a day on the water. But it’s not always easy to find just the right vessel. You want something lightweight, comfortable, and durable.
The Sea Eagle 350fx Fishing Explorer is the perfect fishing kayak for one person. It’s lightweight, easy to assemble, and has plenty of storage space for all your gear.
This inflatable fishing kayak is designed specifically for anglers looking for an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice quality or performance. You’ll love how easy this boat is to transport and store when you’re not using it.
The Sea Eagle 350fx Fishing Explorer is excellent for fishermen of all skill levels. This inflatable fishing kayak offers plenty of storage space for your gear and six built-in rod holders to keep your rods nearby while you fish.
The Sea Eagle 350fx also features a removable high-pressure drop stitch floor, making this boat incredibly stable. You can stand up to cast and reel in your fish. Your range of motion is not limited by sitting in the bottom of the kayak.
One great thing about the SE 350fx is that you can accessorize the kayak to fit your needs. For example, you can add a trolling motor and a swivel seat for a customized fishing kayak.
In addition, the first and rear spray skirts are set up with rod holders and fishing lure storage.
The Sea Eagle 350fx is suitable up to Class IV rapids – perfect for those who love white water.
Another feature that not all inflatable kayaks have is the FlexBrace adjustable footrest. You can adjust the position of your legs, so you can stretch out when you need to or have more leverage if you need to paddle harder.
The Sea Eagle 350fx is an impressive fishing kayak that can be customized to the angler’s needs.
Customizable options available
You can stand up on the high-pressure drop stitch floor
Spray skirts have built-in rod holders, out of the way of your paddle stroke
You can add a swivel chair and trolling motor
More expensive than other models
Designed for one paddler
- 18-gauge PVC construction is rugged for lake use
- 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover provide durable protection from punctures
- Multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured
- International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from...
Finding the best inflatable fishing kayak can be a challenge. You want a kayak that is easy to lightweight, durable, and easy to set up.
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is perfect for both beginners and experienced anglers.
It’s made from 18 gauge PVC construction and has a durable 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover, so this boat can stand up to the rigors of kayak fishing.
The adjustable seats take some getting used to and be aware that you will sit very low in this kayak. If you have bad knees or trouble getting out of a kayak, you may want to choose a different option.
This kayak can be set up nicely for a solo paddler and has fittings for a trolling motor. There is plenty of room for a solo paddler’s trolling motor, battery, and other fishing gear.
If you mount a trolling motor, it’s best to use rigid support, like a 1 x 6 treated with a marine coating. Also included are paddle holders, which are handy when reeling in fish or using a motor.
The kayak has six fishing rod holders, including two Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders. So there are plenty of places to set your fishing rod, even if you are paddling with a partner.
The kayak is big enough for two adults and gear, or maybe one adult and two kiddos. You can replace the kids with your dog if you so desire :).
Setting up is quick and easy. The kayak deflates in a matter of minutes. It’s easier to use an electric pump.
Another great feature of this inflatable fishing kayak is the storage pockets inside the boat. Sure, it’s not a ton of storage, but it’s nice to keep a small tackle box, water bottle, etc., handy if you need it.
Carry handles, and a removable skeg round out this fine fishing vessel.
Plenty of fishing rod holders
Spacious for two people
Interior pockets for gear
D-rings to attach other equipment
Not much internal storage
Doesn’t include paddles or a pump
There are so many options for inflatable fishing kayaks that it can be hard to find the right fit. It’s not just about finding a boat that will hold up in rigorous conditions or has enough space for all your gear – you want one that’s comfortable too.
Enter the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack™ Angler Series. This boat is tough to beat.
With its NeedleKnife Keel, it is designed to be fast and smooth on the water. However, it doesn’t sacrifice stability for speed, either.
The 385fta is built with a high-pressure drop stitch floor and 1000 denier reinforced hull that can hold up to 635 pounds – plenty of room for you and your gear.
This boat has the option of bow and stern spray skirt with multiple rod holders, an inflatable seat with a backrest, and a built-in fish ruler.
The FastTrack™ Angler Series is perfect for anyone looking to get out on the water in comfort and style without sacrificing quality.
You can choose a package based on your needs. For example, the different packages allow you to choose different seating options and paddles, and you can add a trolling motor if you want.
Yes, this kayak is expensive – but it’s also extremely high quality. You are getting what you are paying for here. If you want the best inflatable fishing kayak out there
Each kayak comes with a carry bag, a dual-action pump, a repair kit, a seat, paddles, and a removable skeg. It’s up to you if you want to upgrade the seating or the paddles.
I highly recommend buying a Sea Eagle electric pump. It makes the inflation process a lot easier.
The Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack is more expensive than other options, but sometimes you get what you pay for. This inflatable is designed with anglers in mind.
Fits up to 3 people or 635 pounds
Inflatable keel for straight and fast paddling
Front and rear skirts with built-in fishing rod holders
Customizable options available
More expensive than other models
- Solid drop stitch floor for a solid bait-casting position. Cast your bait expertly!...
- Especially designed for fishing. From its front bungee storage to its multiple...
- Rough build to last rough waters. Features a self-bailing floor with well-positioned...
- Stress-free setup and storage. The package comes with a dual-action hand pump to...
- GUARANTEE ON WORKMANSHIP & MATERIALS - All Elkton Outdoors Kayaks come with a 1 Year...
The Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak from Elkton Outdoors is perfect for fishing enthusiasts who want an easy-to-carry kayak that’s lightweight and durable.
This inflatable kayak has everything you need for a day of fishing on the water – rod holders, bait casting option, mounts for action camera included, removable skeg for tracking, 1000D reinforced layered PVC durable enough to handle rocks or tree stumps.
With this inflatable kayak, you’ll be able to take your favorite spot on the lake without worrying about finding parking or lugging around a heavy kayak. The inflatable design makes it easy to use, transport and store.
This fishing kayak has been designed from the ground up with professional-grade tackle in mind. It’s an ideal solution for anyone who wants a reliable fishing kayak.
The high-performance drop stitch floor gives the Steelhead excellent stability and allows you to stand up to bait cast or fight a fish.
In addition, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak has plenty of storage space for your gear. Front bungee storage compartments for dry bags, tools and lures, and other gear.
The kayak has a 400-pound weight capacity and is designed for one paddler.
Backpack straps make it easy to carry all your gear to the water, and you’ll have everything you need, whether you want to catch some fish or enjoy an afternoon on the lake.
This inflatable fishing kayak is ideal for anyone who wants a lightweight, versatile boat that’s still rugged enough to handle rocks or tree stumps with a durable PVC construction.
The inflatable steelhead fishing kayak from Elkton Outdoors gives you a full day worth of fun on the water. This is an excellent option for camping or taking with you in an RV.
Drop stitch floor for rigidity
Comes with everything you need to hit the water, paddle, pump, seat, etc.
Front and rear storage for gear
Four mounting brackets for accessories
Mounts are a little close to the seats
- Inflatable kayak; designed for anglers; features multi-layer material and patented...
- Abrasion pads offer maximum durability; wide beam increases kayak's stability
- High-back seat with two rod holders and inflatable lumbar support; removable mounting...
- Measures 9 feet 8 inches by 35 inches; weighs 41 pounds; has 300 pound weight...
- Covered by one-year manufacturer warranty
Kayak fishing is a great way to spend time, whether camping, RVing, or just getting out for an afternoon on the water. Unfortunately, finding the right inflatable kayak to fit your needs can be tricky.
The StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements is designed for anglers who want a stable platform on flat water or calm rivers.
It’s made of durable materials that are perfect for fishing. It’s lightweight, easy to transport, and has an inflatable design that makes it easy to store when not in use.
One great feature is the two fishing rod holders built into the back of the high-back seat. The high-back seat also gives you back support and allows you to relax while waiting for bites.
The kayak is designed with durable PVC material sandwiched between layers of vinyl to give the kayak a strong layer of protection.
One thing that sets this kayak apart from other inflatables is the aluminum rib frame. This frame gives you a sturdy and stable kayak that rivals the feel of paddling a rigid kayak.
There is plenty of storage for dry bags in the front and rear of the kayak and a removable mounting rail for things like a GPS, fishfinder, or more rod holders.
The StraitEdge Angler has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, less than other models, and it is designed for a solo paddler.
This inflatable fishing kayak is one of the best because of its sturdy aluminum frame, front and rear storage, built-in fishing rod holders, and accessory rail.
This is a solid option if you are looking for a lightweight inflatable kayak for one person.
Front and rear storage for gear
Durable, multilayer construction
Accessory rail for attaching gear
Only fits one paddler
How to Choose the Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak
When you are searching for an inflatable fishing kayak, there are things you should keep in mind before you make a purchase. You will want to look at things like the size and capacity of the kayak, durability, and accessories. We will cover this next.
What Size Kayak Should I Choose?
One thing to consider when selecting an inflatable fishing kayak is the size. Also, will you be the only person paddling the boat, or will you have other people fishing with you?
Sometimes it’s best to go with a larger kayak to have more room for gear or another person (or dog). Many inflatable fishing kayaks are designed so that either one or two people can paddle.
Also, consider the kayak’s weight capacity because it will significantly affect the vessel’s maneuverability. If you overload an inflatable kayak, it will be more challenging to paddle, and you risk capsizing.
Remember that when you add people, fishing gear, and all the other stuff you take with you, that weight can add up quickly.
Construction and Durability
When it comes to inflatable fishing kayaks, one of the most essential aspects is durability. The last thing you want is a leaky or damaged vessel when you are on the water.
Most inflatable kayaks are made from materials like PVC, Hypalon, or Nitrylon. PVC is one of the most common materials because it is economical. The downside to PVC is that it is not as durable as other materials. When left exposed to direct sunlight, PVC can break down quicker.
Nitrylon is more durable than PVC, easier to repair, and more resistant to punctures. But all that comes with a price, and you can expect to pay more for a Nitrylon inflatable fishing kayak.
Hypalon is the most durable but also the most expensive material. Inflatable kayaks made of Hypalon give you top-level performance.
You can read more about Hypalon vs. PVC if you want more nerdy details.
What Fishing Accessories Do You Need?
Everyone has their ideas about what fishing accessories they want or need. Some people are happy with a fishing pole, while others want all the gadgets under the sun.
The fishing accessories you choose will depend on what type of fishing you partake in. If you are a beginner, you might need a fishing rod and tackle box. But if you are more experienced, you might want to invest in a GPS or fishfinder to track down your prey.
A GoPro camera can also be a great addition to your fishing arsenal by allowing you to capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments on film. One thing that might be worth investing in is a portable battery pack so that your device doesn’t run out of juice when it’s time to take pictures or see where that big bass is hiding.
Some of the inflatables mentioned in this article include an accessory rail for a fish finder, GPS, rod holders, or cup holders.
Think about all the tools you like to have available when kayak fishing, and make sure the boat will accommodate you.
The stability of a kayak is important because it determines how easily the vessel can be maneuvered. The more stable a kayak is, the less likely it will tip over and capsize when paddling.
Weather and water conditions play a factor too, so if there are high winds or choppy water, you want a stable kayak.
A stable kayak means that you will have to put in less energy to keep your boat upright, and it also reduces the chance of injury from capsizing.
Inflatable fishing kayaks offer lots of stability, especially those with inflatable keels and skegs (often removable), which provide additional support for tracking straight downriver or across choppy water.
Also crucial for a fishing kayak is the ability to stand up, cast, and reel in fish. Therefore, the kayak needs to be stable enough to stand up.
Motor or No Motor?
Some inflatable fishing kayaks are equipped to add a trolling motor, and some are not. It’s up to you whether or not you need a trolling motor.
The benefits of a trolling motor are pretty obvious. There is less paddling and more fishing. In addition, with a trolling motor, you can efficiently work your way back through a school of fish.
If you have to paddle your way back through the strike zone, it’s a little more challenging.
The downside of having a trolling motor is the added weight and gear you need to take with you. Not only do you have to transport your kayak, fishing gear, and motor too and from the water, but you also need a heavy battery.
Adding a trolling motor to an inflatable fishing kayak can be awesome, but remember all the extra gear and effort that might be involved. Make sure your kayak can accept a motor and that there is enough room for you, your gear, a motor, and maybe another person.
Benefits of an Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Owning an inflatable kayak certainly has benefits and downsides. We will discuss this next.
Portability is one of the major benefits of owning an inflatable kayak. You don’t need an expensive roof rack for your car, a kayak trailer, or a truck to transport an inflatable kayak.
Most inflatable fishing kayaks will fit in the trunk of your car or SUV. You can even take an inflatable along for the ride in an RV.
Storing an Inflatable Kayak
Compared to their hardshell counterparts, inflatable kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport because they deflate into compact bundles – perfect for storage.
You can store an inflatable kayak just about anywhere – your back seat, garage, or closet – and they’re easy to carry too.
This is one aspect that makes inflatable fishing kayaks so appealing. An inflatable is a great way to go if you don’t have a garage, storage shed, basement, or outdoor space to store a hard fishing kayak.
The Downside of an Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Of course, there are some downsides to owning an inflatable kayak, including cleaning, maintenance, and a few other nuances.
Cleaning and Maintenance
You can read more here for a complete guide to cleaning and maintaining an inflatable kayak.
One challenge with an inflatable is cleaning and maintenance. So, you have to pump the kayak up when you get to your favorite kayak fishing spot, dry it as much as you can when you are done for the day, deflate it and pack it up.
If there is a lot of water in the kayak, you may have to inflate it and thoroughly dry it before putting it away at home. If your kayak has a removable floor, water can get trapped under it, and it’s hard to get it completely dry in the parking lot.
This has been my experience. In the past, I would get home, take out the floor, reinflate the kayak, and let it sit overnight to completely dry.
Inflatables can require a lot more maintenance than a hardshell kayak.
Inflatable Kayak Safety
There are some safety precautions to take with an inflatable fishing kayak, so let’s get into that next.
Always Bring Your Pump
You never know when you might need to add air to your inflatable. One day, I was on the lake, and my son was paddling an inflatable. The water was rough, and the wind was blowing. He was struggling.
I swapped out his inflatable and gave him my hard kayak. The first thing I noticed was that the floor was not fully inflated. So I paddled to shore and quickly inflated the floor. It was like night and day. Adding more air to the floor was the key, and paddling the rest of the way was much easier.
Weather and water conditions can affect an inflatable, so you must always have a pump on board, especially if you spring a leak.
Always Bring a Repair Kit
That brings me to the next point. You always need to have a repair kit on an inflatable kayak. For example, you could bang up the bottom or sides at some point and need to patch them up.
Be sure that your inflatable kayak comes with a repair kit. If not, buy one or contact the manufacturer to see if they can offer one with your purchase.
You might not see all the obstacles lurking under the water, and you want to be prepared if you snag a rock, tree branch, or stump while kayak fishing.
Inflatable fishing kayaks are a great way to go if you have no outdoor space or storage for your hardshell kayak. They’re lightweight, easy to store, and affordable, making an excellent vessel.
Many inflatable fishing kayaks come with accessories like rod holders and accessory rails; some are set up to accept a trolling motor.
However, as with any boat, there are some downsides, such as maintenance and cleaning, which can be difficult.
Hopefully, you can make a solid choice from the kayaks listed in this article. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.