The best inflatable kayak Australia has makes those day trips or weekends away so much more enjoyable! Whether you’re a family, a couple or a group of mates, it just adds a whole other element to your trip being able to get out and paddle on the water.
Sure many places hire out kayaks these days – but those fees soon add up. If you have one of the best inflatable kayaks Australia has, you can go paddling whenever you like without being concerned about having money to hire one or being sure to return it in the allocated time frame.
But why look at an inflatable kayak for sale? Why not just go all out and buy a hard shell kayak? Well, we feel like we are pretty qualified to answer this question – because we had a hard shell kayak for years! While we loved our hardshell kayak – it was such a nightmare to load up and it wasn’t possible to take it everywhere – like where weight or space was an issue.
Since we sold our hard shell kayak and now have a super portable inflatable kayak, we get so much more use out of it. We even recently took it over to Great Keppel Island with us – can you imagine doing that with a hardshell kayak? While you certainly were permitted too – imagine lugging it on and off the boat!!!
So if you want to buy a kayak and wondering are inflatable kayaks worth it – then this guide is certainly for you. In this best inflatable kayaks 2021 guide, I take you through all the things you need to think about so you purchase the best rated inflatable kayak, which is perfect for you. Then in the review section, we’ll look at some of the top rated inflatable kayaks currently on the Aussie market.
No matter what sort of inflatable kayak you’re after, whether it be the best single inflatable kayak or the best 2 person inflatable kayak for sale, even just the best cheap inflatable kayak, hopefully after reading this inflatable kayak reviews Australia guide, you’ll be well on your way to buying one that’s right for you.
So let’s get into it and find you the best inflatable kayak 2021 has!
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- 1 Our Pick for the Best Inflatable Kayak Australia 2021: Challenger Intex Inflatable Kayak
- 2 Are Inflatable Kayaks Worth it?
- 3 Best Inflatable Kayaks Australia 2021 Comparison Chart
- 4 Inflatable Kayak Reviews Australia 2021
- 4.1 Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak Review
- 4.2 Intex Excursion PRO Inflatable Kayak Review
- 4.3 Sevylor Colossus 2 or 4 Person Boat Review
- 4.4 Hydro Force Lite Rapid X2 Bestway Inflatable Kayak Review
- 4.5 Sevylor Rio Canoe Review
- 4.6 Zambezi Inflatable Kayak Review
- 4.7 Komodo Inflatable Kayak Review
- 4.8 Where to get Inflatable Kayaks on Sale
- 4.9 Related posts:
Our Pick for the Best Inflatable Kayak Australia 2021: Challenger Intex Inflatable Kayak
Don’t fancy reading our entire inflatable kayak guide and just want to know our recommendation for the best air inflatable kayak? We recommend the Challenger Intex inflatable kayak – this is the kayak we have and just love it.
The Intex Challenger comes as a single or double kayak and includes everything you need – paddles, a pump and a carry bag. The kayak is lightweight, durable and all at a reasonable price too. We find it easy to inflate and deflate and packs down very compactly, so it’s easy to take wherever we go.
Keep reading below for our full Challenger inflatable kayak review or click here to check it out now.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Worth it?
When Andy first brought up the idea of selling our hardshell kayak for an inflatable one, I thought the whole idea was crazy! I mean, how could an inflatable portable kayak be any good? But I suppose when I heard the term “inflatable”, I was thinking of inflatable pool or beach toys.
I did agree with Andy that our hardshell kayak was a real nightmare to take anywhere with us. I mean, we all loved it once we were out on the water in it – but dragging it from the side of the house to the car and then putting it on the car, tying it down and doing the same at the other end just made it hardly worth it.
So I started doing some research to find out are inflatable kayaks durable, and are inflatable kayaks any good and if so, what is the best inflatable kayak to buy. I read various articles on inflatable vs hard kayak and eventually decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a go.
Well, the fact that I’m here writing this article tells you that in my view, it’s a resounding yes – inflatable kayaks are worth it.
Here are my thoughts on why I think inflatable kayaks are better than hard / rigid kayaks:
- You can take them anywhere! Given a good inflatable kayak packs up so compactly, you can throw them in the back of the car and take them wherever you go.
- They are lightweight – so easy to pick up; this is also super important when camping and you have weight limits to abide by.
- No need to tie them down, like a rigid kayak. Just throw them into the car and away you go.
- Easy to store. Unlike a rigid kayak which can take up a stack of room, an inflatable kayak takes up next to no space at all.
- They are comfortable – this is one thing that really surprised me. Unlike a hard rigid kayak, I find the cushioning of an inflatable kayak way more comfortable.
While yes, you do need to inflate and deflate an inflatable kayak overall, they are just way less effort than a hardshell kayak.
Best Inflatable Kayaks Australia 2021 Comparison Chart
In the inflatable kayak comparison chart below, we’ve listed all the kayaks reviewed in this guide. The chart provides a quick and easy way to compare inflatable kayaks and their features side by side so you can determine which inflatable kayak is best for you.
For further detail about these top inflatable kayaks, keep reading the reviews below.
|Brand||Image||Capacity / Weight||Kayak Weight||Inflated Size|
L x W x H
|Intex Challenger ||Single - 100 kg|
Double - 180 kg
|274 x 76 x 33 cm|
351 x 76 x 38 cm
|Intex Excursion PRO ||Single- 120 kg|
Double - 180 kg
|305 x 91 x 46 cm|
384 x 94 x 46 cm
|Sevylor Colossus||2 Person - 197 kg|
4 Person - 381 kg
|208 x 114 cm|
282 x 130 cm
|Bestway Hyrdro Force Lite Rapid X2 ||Double - 160 kg||8.5 kg||321 x 88 cm||Check Price|
|Sevylor Rio Canoe ||Single - 158 kg|
Double - 226 kg
|277 x 94 cm|
332 x 94 cm
|Zambezi ||Single||Unknown||Unknown||Check Price
|Komodo||Single - 80 kg|
Double - 165 kg
|274 x 77 x 48 cm|
330 x 81 x 53 cm
Choosing An Inflatable Kayak for Sale
When it comes to buying the best blow up kayak, it’s different for everyone as it really depends on what you want to use it for and a range of other factors that are unique to you. So that you buy inflatable kayak that is perfect for you, consider the following factors.
Single Kayak vs Tandem Kayak
Probably one of the first things you’ll want to consider is whether you want to purchase a single or tandem kayak. If you’re a single person, then this is easy to decide – however, for families they may find this a harder question to answer.
We’re a family of three and have always had a double kayak – this was great when our daughter was tiny as we could easily squeeze all three of us in. Now she is much older; this is no longer possible.
We still have an inflatable double kayak and I think for families or couples, I’d certainly recommend this. It’s just easier and more efficient paddling an inflatable 2 person kayak then inflatable 1 person kayaks – particularly if you’re all going out on the water at the same time anyway.
Now our daughter is older, we’re in the market for a second kayak, but this time will look for the best 1 person inflatable kayak. Together with our 2 man inflatable kayak, all three of us can go out on the water together and go on longer trips.
It is also possible to buy three or four man kayaks. But for larger families with tiny kids, you may even want to consider an inflatable canoe Australia has or even a small inflatable boat.
When buying a kayak, also look at the weight capacity. There is no point in purchasing a tandem kayak to discover it won’t hold the combined weight of the people intending to use it. Also, if you plan on going for longer trips in your kayak, you’ll want to factor in any gear you plan on bringing with you.
Next up, you’ll want to consider what you plan on using it for? For us, we take our kayak on our camping trips when we know we’ll be near a lake, creek, river or calm water at the beach. We don’t tend to go too far, just enough to paddle out on the water and explore the area for a different perspective.
However, others may like to get an inflatable kayak to go on day long trips or even half day trips. Maybe you’re a fisherman and want the best inflatable fishing kayak? Will you be sticking to calm water or occasionally go river kayaking and need a kayak durable enough to go over the odd rock or stick?
The kind of water activities you have planned for your kayak will guide you when determining other factors, such as how durable you need your kayak to be. So do keep this in mind as you make your way through this guide.
Durability / Material
When it comes to the best quality inflatable kayak, this really comes down to what it’s made from.
A kayak made with a single layer of fabric, of course will not offer the same level of durability as a more expensive kayak with a double or even triple layer of fabric. The more layers of fabric, the better the kayak can resist tears or punctures.
The most common materials used to make inflatable kayaks are PVC and Hypalon, although Nitrylon is also becoming more popular these days. I’ll briefly cover each of these materials below:
PVC is the most common type of material used to make kayaks. Here are a few points about kayaks made with PVC:
- Strong and durable
- Easy to inflate
- Packs down nice and compactly.
- Can be welded, so no need for using glue or stitching together, which makes for a sturdier construction.
- Can have an added UV protective coating which reduces damages from repeated exposure to the sun. However, out of all the fabrics mentioned here, PVC is more likely to break down after long periods of time in the sun.
- Is relatively cheap
Hypalon is a synthetic rubber that is incredibly durable. Here are a few points about kayaks made with Hypalon:
- It’s more expensive than PVC.
- It’s incredibly durable but not overly flexible or bendable. So it’s great for keeping its shape, but it means it doesn’t pack down as compactly as PVC.
- It is far more abrasion resistant than PVC or Nitrylon.
- Much heavier than PVC.
- It is more UV resistant than PVC and will last much longer than PVC.
Nitrylon is a fairly new player in inflatable kayaks and has mainly come about due to the negative impact PVC has on the environment as it is a synthetic material with a coating of natural 1200D rubber. Here are a few points about kayaks made with Nitrylon:
- Tends to be more durable and stronger than PVC
- Resistant to punctures and abrasions
- Much heavier than PVC
Inflation / Deflation
A good quality kayak is easy to both inflate and deflate. Most good quality kayaks will have airtight values, which means that once air goes in, it won’t come out.
A high quality inflatable kayak should have multiple inflation chambers so that in case of a puncture in one part of the kayak, the remainder of the kayak will remain inflated. This means you can stay afloat until you get back to shore to repair the tear. Unfortunately, it also means multiple chambers that you’ll need to inflate – usually the floor and sides.
Generally, kayaks will come with their own hand pump, which may be fine for you, but if you plan to use your kayak regularly, you may want to invest in a good quality electric pump – this will make your inflation time fast. We just use the hand pump that came with our kayak and find it more than sufficient.
The larger and wider the kayak, the more stable it will be – but this doesn’t necessarily equate to a lightweight, compact kayak. Plus, if you want to glide through the water quickly, then the narrower and longer, the better.
When it comes to your kayak stability, consider your level of experience and what you plan on using it for. For those just starting, then stability is probably more important then gliding quickly through the water. Plus, for those just planning on using their kayak for light recreational purposes, a fast moving kayak is really not important.
Performance / Tracking
Tracking refers to how well your kayak goes straight when being properly paddled. If you’re purchasing a kayak for light recreation use, then the tracking may not be an issue for you. However, for those planning on taking their kayak for long trips, definitely consider how well the kayak tracks.
One important factor in tracking is whether or not the kayak comes with a skeg or a tracking fin. A top quality kayak will come with a detachable skeg made from a solid piece of plastic or inflatable. These attach to the bottom of the kayak and help the kayak from being impacted by crosswinds and cross currents.
A kayak that is uncomfortable to sit in is no fun for anyone! As I said above, we were quite surprised to find that our inflatable kayak was way more comfortable than our hardshell kayak.
Unfortunately, you won’t really know how comfortable your kayak is until you take it for a spin. However, a few things that I recommend looking for to increase the chances of your kayak being comfortable include:
- Kayaks with seats – sometimes we’d forget to take our seats with our hardshell kayak, which was the worst! With our inflatable kayak, they are always in the bag, so we never forget. Look for seats that are adjustable and have heaps of padding, including a supportive backrest.
- Space – the taller you are, the more important the space in your kayak is. We’re all fairly short in my family, so we don’t find this an issue – but perhaps that’s because we have plenty of room to get our legs into a comfortable position and have the ability to stretch them out from time to time as needed. Some more expensive kayaks even come with footrests.
If you plan on going on lengthy trips in your kayak, then you’ll want some storage in your kayak. Most storage in kayaks come in the form of a cargo net on the front of the kayak. This enables you to pop in snorkelling gear, fishing gear or whatever it might be that you want to take with you. Also, look for various hook points so you can secure your gear to the kayak by way of carabiners.
Portability / Weight
As you know, the main reason we sold our hardshell kayak for an inflatable one was due to portability. An inflatable kayak is just so much easier to transport. However, there are a few factors that can make one inflatable kayak more portable than another.
Weight, of course is the number one factor. Better quality inflatable kayaks do tend to be heavier than cheaper kayaks. Don’t necessarily go for the lightest inflatable kayak you can find, but consider this when weighing up your options.
Also, consider how compact the kayak packs down too. Again more durable kayaks are likely to be bulkier than cheap ones, so keep this in mind when you’re comparing different options.
Most inflatable kayaks come in a good quality carry bag with handles. You’ll want to ensure it has durable zippers that don’t fall apart after a few uses. Make sure the bag is big enough to include the kayak seats and paddles too. If the carry bag it comes with isn’t ideal, you can always buy yourself one of those good quality Kings outdoor bags.
Inflatable Kayak Reviews Australia 2021
Hopefully, after reading the above, you better understand what would make the ideal kayak for you. Keep reading our best inflatable kayak review below to see which one meets your needs.
The Intex Challenger kayak is among one of the top ten inflatable kayaks currently on the Aussie market. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it is the top rated inflatable kayak. This is the inflatable kayak BCF stocks, so it’s super easy to get your hands on and it’s the one we have and so far, we love it!
The Challenger Intex kayak comes as either a single or inflatable tandem kayak and is a mid priced kayak. So it’s not the most expensive kayak but certainly not an inexpensive inflatable kayak either. It’s made from a tough, durable vinyl that’s punctured and UV damage resistant. Plus, it features two separate air chambers so it will stay afloat even if one part has a puncture.
This is a really easy kayak to use. It has a low profile and the inflatable skeg makes for easy gliding across the water. So easy that this is perfect if you’re after the best family inflatable kayak or kids inflatable kayak. It also has comfortable adjustable inflatable seats, which are removable.
The kayak is reasonably lightweight – even the kids can carry this kayak down to the water. It also packs up nice and compactly and comes in its own carry bag. The kayak has a cargo net for storage and grab lines at either end. It also comes with 86 inch aluminium paddles, a repair kit and an easy to use hand pump.
If you’re after the best inflatable kayak for the money – perfect for taking on trips with the family, then the Intex Challenger is a great choice. It is the perfect all rounder kayak – lightweight, compact, well priced – just a great affordable inflatable kayak.
If you like the Intex brand but are after the most durable inflatable kayak, which is long lasting, then the Intex Excursion PRO range of inflatable kayaks are worth considering. Made from super tough 3 ply PVC with a polyester core, these double layer kayaks are perfect for serious kayakers.
Just like the Intex Challenger – the Excursion PRO comes with the option of a one person inflatable kayak or double kayak. They are heavier than the Challenger – thanks to being made with more durable PVC, plus the single kayak also has a weight maximum of 120kg – which is 20kg more than the Challenger. The tandem is the same at 180kg.
This is an excellent kayak for those after the best fishing inflatable kayak with built in fishing rod holders and removable and adjustable mounting brackets for other fishing accessories. It also has adjustable footrests and removable, adjustable seats to ensure your comfort.
It has a three chamber construction which is easy to inflate with the included pump and has a pressure gauge, so you’ll know the precise PSI. Other great features of these kayaks include a directional and shallow water directional skeg, integrated drain plug, storage space in the bow and stainless steel d-rings to attach gear, aluminium paddles and it can also be easily packed away in the included carry bag.
Featuring more durable materials and additional features, these kayaks are one of the heaviest in these reviews – so certainly not something you’d consider if you’re just after something lightweight – but if something durable and long lasting is a priority – then the Excursion kayak is well worth checking out.
Ok, so certainly not a kayak, but something a little different you may like to consider is this Sevylor Colossus boat. Coming in either a 2 or 4 person boat, this could be a great alternative to those after a family or children’s inflatable kayak. Particularly for families with multiple super tiny ones who aren’t capable of paddling themselves.
This inflatable boat is super lightweight and cheap! The lightest and cheapest in these reviews. So it’s perfect if you’re looking for a cheap way to get the family out on the water. Plus, with a massive 381kg weight capacity (4 person boat), the entire family can fit in with ease.
These boats are made with a heavy duty 14 gauge PVC which is abrasion resistant. It features multiple air chambers, which provides peace of mind in the unlikely event of a puncture. However, it doesn’t come with a pump, so that is an additional expense – although you might already have one at home.
The boat comes with four or two oars (depending on boat size) and the moulded oarlocks keep the oars in easy reach while rowing and they won’t go anywhere if you let go. There is also a grab line all around the boat, making it easy to get in and out of.
So if you’re after something the entire family can sit in, a great alternative to an inflatable kayak is the Sevylor Colossus boat. It’s super lightweight and cheap and will make do until the kids are old enough to paddle a kayak themselves.
In terms of the best inflatable kayak brands, another brand you’ll regularly see is Bestway. Bestway makes a range of different inflatable kayaks, such as the Hydro Force Lite Rapid Kayak. This Bestway inflatable kayak is a 2 seater inflatable kayak that is super lightweight, compact and well priced.
At just 8.5 kg, for a two seater inflatable kayak, this is one of the lightest in these reviews. This is due to the kayak being made with a durable PVC, which can still accommodate a weight capacity of up to 160kg despite being so light.
You’ll be comfortable in this tandem inflatable kayak thanks to the removable inflatable seats. The ultralight inflatable kayak is also quick and easy to inflate with the included pump and for easy deflation, there are quick release valves.
Other features of this kayak include wraparound grab lines to make it easy to get in and out of the kayak, a removable fin for directional stability and two lightweight 86 inch aluminium paddles. The whole thing then packs down compactly and goes into a carry bag for easy transporting and storage.
For a good all rounder double inflatable kayak – you can’t go wrong with the Bestway Hydro Force Lite kayak. It is definitely one to consider for anyone after the best two person inflatable kayak when something lightweight is the priority. However, just keep in mind that with a weight capacity of 160kg – this may not be suitable for everyone.
For those after a top quality inflatable for fishing expeditions, the Sevylor Rio inflatable canoe is one of the best. It comes as either a single or double and has a durable double layer construction to ensure it is long lasting.
The Sevylor Rio features an inner layer of 18 gauge PVC, an outer layer of 870 D nylon and a 1000D tarpaulin bottom; this makes this inflatable canoe incredibly tough and built to withstand everyday abrasions and punctures.
At 94 cms across, this is a reasonably wide canoe making it extremely stable, perfect for those starting out. This also provides plenty of room and space for all your fishing supplies. It has a huge weight capacity of 158 kg for the single canoe or 226 kg for the double to accommodate even the heaviest of fishing gear.
It is simple to inflate thanks to the double threaded Boston Valve. It also has multiple air chambers, so in the unlikely event of a puncture, the vessel will stay afloat. Other features include fishing rod holders, paddle holders, adjustable seats, mesh storage pockets, D-rings for attaching gear, directional skeg, and carry handles. Plus, it packs down into a carry bag for easy transporting.
The Sevylor Rio canoe is incredibly lightweight considering how durable it is and it’s various features. This is a great quality canoe – perfect whether you’re after something for recreational use or serious fishing expeditions.
For the best budget inflatable kayak, check out the Zambezi inflatable kayak. Unlike the previous kayaks we’ve reviewed so far, these are a sit on top inflatable kayak rather than a sit in style.
There’s not a lot to these kayaks – they are constructed with tough nylon and PVC materials and have a smooth bottom. A pump is included and baton inserts help make the kayak more stable.
The inflatable sit on kayak comes with a comfortable seat and backrest and a removable fin to aid with directional stability. A fold up paddle is also included and together with the deflated kayak, goes into the carry bag for easy storage and transporting.
If you’re not wanting to spend a lot of money and just after a cheap blow up kayak to take camping, then a Zambezi inflatable sit on top kayak may be what you’re after. They’re certainly not the most heavy duty inflatable kayak, but no doubt they’ll provide you with hours of fun while paddling out on the water.
The Komodo range of kayaks is another good option for those not wanting to spend a fortune and just after the best affordable inflatable kayak. These come with the option of either a double or single and are super lightweight, although they don’t have the largest of weight capacities – still fine if you’re just after something for the kids.
Again there is nothing too fancy about these Komodo kayaks. They are made from durable PVC, coming with multiple inflation chambers. One thing I quite like on these kayaks is the back storage bag. It completely zips up, so it is a great place for storing gear.
The kayaks also feature inflatable adjustable seats, front and back carry handles and grab lines and they come with paddles, a pump, a repair kit and a carry bag.
Just keep in mind that the weight capacity is much lower with these kayaks than others in this review. The single has a capacity of 80 kg and the double 165 kg. This should be fine for most people though.
Where to get Inflatable Kayaks on Sale
Above I’ve linked to various kayaks that were available for purchase when writing this article – but I also wanted to mention checking Groupon and Kogan. We ended up buying our Challenger kayak from Groupon a while ago for an incredible price!
I haven’t linked to any specific deals on Groupon or Kogan – but I recommend you go on over and have a look to see what they have available when you’re ready to purchase as you never know – you too might grab yourself a bargain!
And there you have it, our ultimate guide to the best inflatable kayaks. Perhaps you’re also interested in our guide on how to choose an inflatable SUP. We have plenty of other guides to help you with camping, including roof racks, pop up tents, camping fridges and we even have the ultimate camping checklist here.
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