Kayaking

The 7 Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks – [2020 Reviews]

Kayaks are a great way to enjoy the water for a huge number of people. They’re small, affordable, agile, and fun to use.

On top of all that, for anglers, a kayak can get you places no other boats will reach. If a conventional kayak isn’t the right solution for you, inflatable kayaks might just fill that need.

In this article, we’re going to take a serious look at the top inflatable fishing kayaks on the market today.

We’ll cover what you should look for, what to avoid, and which boats might be right for you. Don’t forget to pay close attention to our “how to choose” section and the FAQs later on!

Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

 Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead FishingADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler
editors choice
Length:12’ 7”12’ 6”9’ 8”
Seating:1 - 21 - 2 1
Paddles:Yes - 2Yes - 2None
Capacity:400 Pounds600 Pounds300 Pounds
Rod Holders:2x
(Scotty mounts)2x

For more of my top kayak gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Electric Kayak Pumps, Kayak Fish Finders, Fishing Life Vests.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Inflatable Kayaks For Fishing

  1. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
  2. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak
  3. ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler
  4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2
  5. Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak
  6. Elkton Outdoors Cormorant 2 Person
  7. Sea Eagle PF7K PackFish Inflatable Boat

Our reviews of the top rated inflatable fishing kayaks with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right one for you.


Inflatable Fishing Kayak Reviews

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Intex has been making a serious breakthrough in recent years. They’ve really come through to take a big part of the market with happy customers, affordable boats, and good designs.

There’s a lot going on here, so let’s get it all. Whether you’re in shallow or deep water you can choose from the two available skegs for stability on this boat.

These attach to the I-beam style floor that is designed to add extra rigidity to the boat. With two rod holders, two paddles, and two seats you’re good to go on a duo fishing adventure.

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Additionally, the included high-pressure pump and pressure gauge will make sure you’re inflated and ready to go as quickly as possible.

Don’t worry about durability either, the boat is made from 3-ply abrasion-resistant material. It also features 3 chambers for redundancy.

Best for duo fishing adventures on a budget.

 

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak at a Glance:

  • Length: 12’ 7”
  • Weight Capacity: 400 Pounds
  • Seating: 2
  • Paddles Included: 2x
  • Rod Holders: 2x

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Nope, this boat isn’t just for fishing after the famous steelhead. It’s a solid choice for two-person fishing trips in any water.

With premium features and great build quality, however, you’ll have to be ready to shell out top dollar.

This boat uses a sturdy drop stitched floor to provide excellent stability. That’s aided by the removable skeg which helps keep this boat tracking even in rough conditions.

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While there aren’t any rod holders included, there are a total of 7 hard mounting brackets.

These can accept anything from rod holders to RAM mounts or fish finders. Feel free to experiment and customize to your liking!

It’s worth pointing out that the seats on this kayak are some of the better stock seats I’ve seen on a boat. You won’t be disappointed in the comfort and ergonomics.

Best for a customizable fishing setup on a two-person boat.

 

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak at a Glance:

  • Length: 12’ 6”
  • Weight Capacity: 600 Pounds
  • Seating: 2
  • Paddles Included: 2x
  • Rod Holders: 0

ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Let’s take a step toward the solo boats for a moment. With tons of options, features, and high-quality goodies I think this boat deserves a serious look from any solo angler.

It can’t be said enough that this boat is loaded with possibilities. With two rod holders mounted on the back of the high-back seat, your rods are only a reach away.

Additionally, the front of the boat has an optional hard mounting rail. Clamp-on rod holders, fish finders, or anything else you want!

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Using built-in aluminum ribs and high-pressure structures this boat is rock solid. It also takes advantage of a wide beam for tons of stability.

While it’s not a critical feature, I do like the built-in fish measuring ruler printed on the floor of the boat between the angler’s legs, it’s convenient.

If there’s any criticism to be had here, I feel like the velcro rod holders could have been improved at this price point, but it’s a minor consideration.

Best for solo operations when you need stability and customization.

 

ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler at a Glance:

  • Length: 9’ 8”
  • Weight Capacity: 300 Pounds
  • Seating: 1
  • Paddles Included: No
  • Rod Holders: 2x

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Back to the duo boats, this super-durable boat is made to tackle tough challenges.

With tons of options for everything from trolling motors to rod holders galore, this kayak is ready to land some brutes.

While I have to ding this one a bit for lack of specs (the manufacturer just doesn’t list some information) it makes up some ground for value.

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At a low price, you’ll get a solid, durable two-person kayak. It comes with at least two rod holders and has room for more.

Yes, you can even mount a trolling motor on this beast. However, you’ll need additional attachments and, of course, the motor. I do like the solid rod holders on the side of the kayak as well.

Please beware if you buy this boat, you’ll have to get your paddles separate which is good for people who already have paddles.

On top of that, this boat does not come with a pump but you can buy the pump you need separately. Best for a budget-priced two-person kayak with tons of aftermarket options.

 

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2 at a Glance:

  • Length: 10′ 9″
  • Weight Capacity: 470 Pounds
  • Seating: 2
  • Paddles Included: No
  • Rod Holders: 2x +

Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak Fishing Package

If you want a simple, reliable boat design for your solo adventures, look no further. They’ve kept things affordable and streamlined with this build.

Sure, this kayak is affordable, but they didn’t skip the necessities either. With 3 redundant chambers, the kayak is made to be durable no matter what.

It takes 8 minutes to inflate this boat with the included foot pump. While the boat does say it’s rated for 3 people, it only has a single seat so don’t be mislead.

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Underneath this boat has two molded skegs which add tons of stability in tracking.

When you add in the storage box and two rod holders it makes this boat a reasonable option for anglers.

I will say that I wish this kayak had a paddle holder because balancing your paddle and fighting a good bass is just a pain.

Best for a minimalist approach that’s light on the water and light on your pocketbook.

 

Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak at a Glance:

  • Length: 12’ 6”
  • Weight Capacity: 650 Pounds
  • Seating: 1
  • Paddles Included: Yes
  • Rod Holders: 2

Elkton Outdoors Cormorant 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak

What can beat a small, lightweight, tandem fishing kayak? One that’s affordable and inflatable, that’s what!

At just 27 pounds deflated this is a nice lightweight tandem kayak. That said, it’s pretty compact so if you’re someone with long legs this isn’t the boat for you.

I love the mesh storage bags, tons of rod holders (seriously there’s room for 6), and the great adjustable seats. Additionally, you get a storage/transport bag and two paddles with this boat.

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If there’s anything to add to this boat, it’s possibly an upgraded set of paddles but that’s about it.

1000 denier PVC inflatable chambers make this boat rugged, durable, and redundant thanks to great design.

Best for two small people, or a solo angler who wants lots of room and options.

 

Elkton Outdoors Cormorant 2 Person at a Glance:

  • Length: 9’ 10”
  • Weight Capacity: 450 Pounds
  • Seating: 2
  • Paddles Included: 2x
  • Rod Holders: 6

Sea Eagle PF7K PackFish Inflatable Boat Deluxe Fishing Package

If you haven’t found something that suits your needs yet, check this out.

Compact, lightweight, and portable make this pack raft/kayak an awesome option for float fishing or wade fishing.

This boat is absolutely loaded with features for the solo angler. Molded oarlocks double as carrying handles.

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No less than 3 separate storage compartments leave room for tackle, line, and extra gear. To round it out there are two built-in rod holders and printed rulers for measuring fish.

On the bottom are four molded tracking strips. Essentially skegs, this helps stabilize the boat and prevent being blown or dragged around.

Included is a pump and a packing bag with straps so you can hike it into remote areas if you want!

Best for float or wade fishing remote locations.

 

Sea Eagle PF7K PackFish Inflatable Boat at a Glance:

  • Length: 7’
  • Weight Capacity: 225 Pounds
  • Seating: 1
  • Paddles Included: Yes
  • Rod Holders: 2

Inflatable Fishing Kayak Comparison Table

Inflatable Fishing Kayaks LengthCapacitySeatingPaddlesRod HoldersRating
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
12’ 7”400 lbs22x2x4.5 / 5.0
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead12’ 6”600 lbs22x04.7 / 5.0
ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge9’ 8”300 lbs1No2x4.2 / 5.0
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2
10' 9"470 lbs2No2x +3.6 / 5.0
Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable12’ 6”650 lbs1Yes24.7 / 5.0
Elkton Outdoors Cormorant
9’ 10”450 lbs22x63.5 / 5.0
Sea Eagle PF7K PackFish7’225 lbs1Yes23.8 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Buyers Guide best tandem inflatable fishing kayak

Number of Seats

There’s nothing mysterious here. The number of seats is really just a consideration if you plan to take more people along.

Now, before you dismiss this altogether, think about taking a friend or partner along.

You might typically go out alone, but if you want to bring a friend you’ll be out of luck if you don’t have an extra seat.

It’s possible to go out solo in a tandem kayak, but you can’t go out with two people in a solo kayak.

Of course, that said, a tandem kayak with just one person in it just isn’t as easy to control.

So, for the best results, try to match the size of your kayak to the normal amount of people going out.

Rod Holders

rod holders on inflatable fishing kayaks
Rod Holders on Elkton Outdoors Cormorant

These little beauties are critical for fishing success in the kayak.

Because you’ll often be juggling your paddle with your hands, you need somewhere safe and convenient for your poles.

Manufacturers offer rod holders of all types but there are a couple to look out for.

  • Built-in rod holders – These are manufactured into a specific area of the boat and can’t be moved.
  • Adjustable rod holders – These are either adjustable in height/angle or can be moved around to different locations on the boat to suit your needs
  • Accessory rails – These are hard rails onto which you can mount optional or aftermarket rod holders

Rod holders can either be for rod storage or for trolling. Trolling rod holders keep your rod in the right location and at the correct angle for fishing while you float or paddle.

If you love trolling, keep an eye out for these specific rod holders and consider looking for a boat that is trolling motor compatible (for ease of trolling).

Max Weight

Most kayaks are rated for maximum capacity or weight. This includes the angler and all gear.

When you think about this don’t forget things like:

  • Paddles
  • Tackle
  • Trolling Motors
  • Batteries
  • Fish Finders
  • Anchors
  • Safety Gear

Things like batteries and trolling motors, if they apply to the kayak you’re considering, can weigh quite a bit! Be sure to do your homework before you commit.

Length and Beam

inflatable fishing kayak beam
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

While length is an obvious measurement, the beam is more confusing. For boats, beam refers to the widest point of the boat.

Length affects how well a kayak tracks in a straight line. Of course, many other things also affect tracking, but the longer the boat the more resistant it will be to turning.

This means it won’t be blown around by the wind as much and, also, will be harder to turn with the paddle.

Beam affects lateral stability. Wider boats balance better side to side and are more forgiving when you lean or get pulled sideways.

This can be of particular importance to anglers who really want to be able to cast, fight, and land fish without tipping the boat.

Accessories

Paddles – I rate these very low on priority. Most included paddles are of low or moderate quality with package boat deals.

For this reason, getting a boat without paddles and buying your own aftermarket can be a better choice.

Remember, paddles should also be sized to fit you and selected based on your needs.

Mounting Areas – There seem to be two primary ways to go about this. Some boats use mounting plates while others use mounting rails.

Both are acceptable though the rail system seems to be more versatile. These are great for equipping fish finders, cup holders, rod holders, etc.

Pump – Be sure your boat comes with a pump or, if it doesn’t, make sure it clearly specifies which type of pump to use aftermarket.

There are high pressure and low pressure pumps available. These also come in foot powered, hand powered, or electric powered varieties.

If in doubt, contact the manufacturer because an inflatable boat is only as good as the pump that inflates it.

Skegs – These little fins mount under the boat to provide stability in the water. They help keep the boat tracking straight while you paddle or in heavy winds.

Skegs should be removable for transportation and storage, ideally. Additionally, it’s great to have more than one size of skeg.

Some boats come with long and short skegs so you can swap them out based on the water you’re exploring that day.

Construction Materials and Repairs

Inflatable boats tend to be made from one of two types of materials.

Either a two-layer material such as neoprene will be used or a plastic material such as PVC or a urethane composite will be used.

Knowing what your boat is made from will help you choose the best repair and patching methods.

Keep in mind that glue and patches made for neoprene boats won’t work on PVC or vinyl boats and vice versa.

Look for a repair kit with your boat which should include the materials necessary to do a field patch.

Finding your own repair materials and putting your own kit together takes an advanced understanding of the materials you’re working with.

Portability

How easy it is to lug around your inflatable boat is a big consideration for those looking to explore remote areas.

If, however, you’re simply going to throw it in the car and drive to the local water hole, portability may not be a big deal.

Those looking to hike with their inflatable boats should probably consider something more like a pack raft.

Inflatable kayaks excel for those who have limited space and would otherwise struggle to transport and store a hard-bodied kayak.

FAQs About Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

Q: Are inflatable kayaks safe for fishing?

A: Absolutely!

Remember that for anglers stability is a big key to success when fishing from any boat. For inflatable fishing kayaks this means looking for a wide beam and skegs.

Beam makes your boat more stable laterally by creating a wider footprint which helps keep you steady. Skegs help keep you tracking straight when fighting and landing a fish.

Most inflatable kayaks feature independent chambers. Many use 3 or more chambers in the construction of the boat.

This means if your boat has 3 chambers and one fails, you’ll still have two inflated and you can make an emergency exit to the bank of the waterline.

Q: Can I put a trolling motor on my inflatable kayak?

A: Only on some inflatable kayaks will a trolling motor be possible. Trolling motors are heavy and create a substantial amount of force and torque when they kick in.

For that reason, your inflatable kayak needs a reinforced area designed to hold and handle the trolling motor.

On our list the Sevylor Colorado 2 has a mounting option for a trolling motor. That said, if you plan to use a trolling motor I would look for an inflatable kayak purpose-built around the trolling motor concept.

Expect these to be heavier, larger, and more expensive than inflatable kayaks without this option.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning, that there are other inflatable boat types available which are substantially more ideal for using with a trolling motor should that be a priority for you.

Q: Are inflatable kayaks hard to paddle?

A: Inflatable kayaks are very similar in handling to their traditional counterparts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, a good hard-bodied kayak in the hands of an experienced paddler will outperform an inflatable every time.

That said, though, if you’re familiar with paddling any other kayak, you’ll find that inflatables are no different.

When it comes to ease of paddling, you’ll find a couple of things to be true:

  • Shorter boats are easier to maneuver but harder to paddle straight
  • Narrow boats are more efficient for paddling but less stable
  • Inflating your kayak to the proper pressure makes a big difference
  • Having the right size and weight paddles for you is very important

Assuming you understand those concepts, you’ll be pleased with the way your inflatable kayak handles.

Q: What is the best size kayak for fishing?

A: Personally I would go with the shortest, widest kayak that will comfortably fit you and your gear.

As anglers we all have a tendency to take a ton of gear so maybe reduce that for your kayak. Take two poles, a minimal amount of tackle, and keep your accessories in check.

Be sure that there’s enough leg room from the seat forward.

As long as you have enough room and pare down your gear, a nice short boat will be easy to transport and paddle.

Wider boats with good skegs are great for stability, casting, and landing. The less boat you have to buy the better for your wallet.

Of course, if you like to go out with a partner then you’ll have to bite the bullet and go up to a tandem kayak.

Double check that the boat you choose has enough leg room for the person in the back. There’s nothing worse than trying to fish all day with cramped legs.

Outside Pursuits Overview

Inflatable kayaks are great for anglers looking to get on the water without the ability to transport or store a traditional kayak.

These boats have come a long way and are much more than just an inflatable water toy.

Remember to read through our “how to choose” section to get some ideas of what to look for and what to avoid.

Before buying your inflatable fishing kayak take a few days to really consider how you like to fish.

Where you fish, what vehicle you use, and how you like to approach the water should be top considerations before buying your kayak.

Pick the right kayak and you’ll have a great way to access new, fun areas to fish!

Performance
Features
Value

The Intex Excursion Pro is our Editor's Choice for the best inflatable fishing kayak with its performance, features and value.

User Rating: Be the first one !

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Casey Fiedler

I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I’m a huge fan of punk rock. I have launched several start-ups. (or business ventures) When exploring the backcountry, I usually carry less than 10 pounds of gear. Years of experience have taught me to pack light. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing.

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