Best inflatable kayaks of 2024

Best inflatable kayaks of 2024

We are big proponents of getting people to the water by any means available, and Fishing boats It has opened up a great way for anglers to access more water without breaking the bank. One of the great options available to anglers and paddlers alike now are inflatable kayaks as well as folding and packing kayaks. With an inflatable, foldable or packable boat, you can take it with you in any vehicle and explore more of the waters around you. So we thought we’d share some of our thoughts and experiences with what we consider to be the best inflatable kayak and packable kayak options available for 2024. While we’ll primarily focus on inflatable kayaks since they’re the most widely available, there are some good folding options now too.

Our picks for the best inflatable kayaks

Boat Rackham Aero Inflatable Paddle Board, Kayak Boat

Best inflatable kayak overall

Rackham Aero boots

You can read our full review of the hybrid inflatable fishing kayak in the link above. But here’s a quick recap of this amazing inflatable.

The redesigned BOTE Rackham Aero offers a hybrid kayak capable of having a pedal drive making it another attractive option for anglers who want to fish from paddleboards with greater access to the water. The APEX pedal motor is sold separately, but it’s what makes this hybrid paddleboard so attractive. Now you can get the best of both worlds with this offer. A simple paddleboard, or a small sophisticated almost pedal boat for more serious fishing. Everything you want from a paddleboard with everything you need from a kayak. It’s powerful, stable and functional with relatively easy setup and plenty of options to add. A very fun way to fish in the warmer months for sure.

Positives

  • Ultra-fast setup
  • Pedal drive
  • Lightweight

cons

(Length: 12’4″ | Weight: 45 lbs (79 lbs in bag) | Capacity: 400 lbs | $1,549 (Top: $899))

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Buy from Bot

NRS Bike Inflatable Kayak

Best value for inflatable boats

NRS Bike 12.6 Pro

I didn’t even know NRS had inflatable kayaks until the summer of 2023, and a good friend of mine let me test and review his NRS Pike 12.6 Pro. I immediately found it to be one of the most impressive inflatable kayaks I’ve tested. Not only does it pop up and pack up faster than anything else I’ve tested, it was also the most stable I’ve ever tested out of an inflatable kayak. Features a 4-inch drop stitch surface that flaps independently of the 10 1/2-inch side rails. You vent all three and you have a super stable platform to fish from in minutes. Keel padding improves your tracking on flat water and the EVA foam deck will protect your kayak from hooks and snags. There is a fish scale built into the deck. Combined with the suspended aluminum framed mesh seat, YakAttack accessories, and adjustable foot pegs, and you have a great fishing platform that transports easily and holds fish well for an inflatable kayak.

Positives:

  • Great price
  • It comes together quickly
  • Very rugged
  • Lots of open space for gear

cons:

(Length: 12 feet 8 inches | Weight: 48 lbs | Capacity: 375 lbs | $995)

Buy from the back country

Oro Beach Sport LT Folding Fishing Kayak

Best folding kayak

Oro Beach LT

I’ll admit I was skeptical about folding kayaks, but one of the fastest growing segments of the fishing kayak space is the more portable options like inflatables and now folding kayaks. The unique design of the Oru Beach Sport LT gives you a folding kayak that assembles quickly and has impressed me with its performance. Even on my first attempt, I put it together in 15 minutes. When I got in the first time, I really liked the way it sat in the water, how maneuverable the kayak was, and I really liked the way it sat at water level. I can effortlessly skip baits under sinks and overhangs.

I’m a big guy and have never had to worry about water intake and my weight has never slowed down in this kayak. Haven TT’s sturdy rod system allows you to seamlessly mount all types of accessories from fishing rod holders to camera gear without the hassle of adhesives. The new gel cushion seat system makes for a comfortable day of fishing. The open cockpit design allowed me to drop my gear and go without it being in the way.

And at just 28 pounds, the Beach LT Sport weighs in at 300 pounds, making it the easiest kayak option ever to get in and out of the car and on and off the water. It went down faster than it did all together, and I was on my way within minutes. A highly innovative option for kayakers looking for maximum portability and efficiency. It is stated that it can be folded and opened more than 10,000 times before being worn. See more at orukayak.com.

Positives

  • The lighter option
  • Quick assembly
  • Less worry about punctures

cons

  • price
  • It almost feels like you’re below the waterline at times

(Length: 12 feet 1 inch | Weight: 28 lbs | Capacity: 300 lbs | $1,379)

Buy from Oro Kayak

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island

Best hybrid paddleboard

Island Explorer Pro

There is a growing segment of anglers who fish using paddleboards, especially on slow-moving rivers. They just love to dangle their legs in the water in the warm months and leisurely wander around and hunt. These hybrid kayaks are very great new options for anglers. The ISLE Explorer Pro inflates easily and we were able to fish in minutes thanks to the additional electric air pump.

The seat sets up quickly after the parts are inflated and attached via Velcro fasteners and carabiners to the straps with a loop stringer system that runs on either side of the paddleboard. Once the seat is in place, you simply sit on it and figure out where you want to place the footrest. Adjust it so your knees are bent, then attach the clips to the nearest ring and tighten. It’s very stable, and having a paddle board with a backrest and footrest is very nice if you don’t want to dangle your feet in the water. Additional elastic straps allow you to attach paddles and gear while fishing. I was very impressed with this unique offering for those looking for the cross between a paddleboard and a kayak. See more at Islesurfandsup.com. See other paddleboards on the Isle Amazon.com.

Positives:

  • reasonable price
  • Quick Installation
  • Extremely solid and sturdy construction

cons:

  • The seat is lower than most
  • Limited for accessories

(Length: 12 feet (14 also available) | Weight: 23 lbs | Capacity: 325 lbs | $995)

Buy from Island

Wild Systems ITAC 110

The best expatriate

Wild Systems iA.TAK 110 Angler Kayak

(Released on February 24, 2024)

We checked out the new iA.TAK 110 Angler kayak at the ICAST show in Orlando in July 2023. They told us they will be launching this new kayak in 2024 around February. But we have to check it on the day of the water show. It cuts and handles water well. It is a very sturdy design thanks to the stitched stringer design on the floor and sidewall giving it a more solid feel and like a cast kayak. It has a lot of accessory mounting options. It features a rigid keel and a tail fin system that helps it withstand the wind. Making it uniquely stable in windy conditions for an inflatable kayak.

The frame seat is unique and comfortable and folds down to be an upright platform for smaller anglers. It holds about 14 pounds of air pressure but has unique self-relief valves so that if pressure builds up due to heat, it will self-regulate. There are four universal mounting ports as well as a front bar for mounting charts, etc.

Positives:

  • Great hardness
  • Nice mounting options
  • Very stable

cons:

(Length: 11 feet | Weight: 50 lbs | Capacity: 375 lbs | $1,399)

What to look for in an inflatable kayak

Obviously, there are certain factors that influence any purchasing decision, and price is always one of them. Like most things, you should choose options that cover the most important features for your budget. With inflatable kayaks, the most important features are usually ease of setup, portability, stability on the water, and of course, durability. You don’t want to be halfway into the water and realize that your packable kayak is losing air or taking on water. So you want a kayak that offers very strong rigidity. The more rigid and inflatable your kayak is, the less likely it is to get punctured.

The inflatables that now come from top brands like BOTE, Isle, NRS, Hobie and others offer boats that have undergone rigorous testing and beatings to ensure that the boats will stand up to the wear and tear. The hybrid offerings we’re seeing now are part sailboat, part paddleboard, part kayak and even a park canoe. They offer so much for so little. The fact that you can get an inflatable fishing boat with a pedal motor is crazy, considering there was nothing like this 10 years ago.


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