Inflatable kayaks are becoming increasingly popular despite their old reputation of being outdated and unreliable. They are now being used by the novice paddlers and the pros!
Technological advances have made these vessels a lot sturdier, more durable, and faster.
Choosing an inflatable kayak provides many benefits. The best one, however, has to be the portability! Being able to fold up a whole kayak and transport it in a backpack is a huge advantage for long distance travellers and those with limited space.
Top 5 Inflatable Kayaks in the UK
Inflatable kayaks are quite easy to use but the best ones are not always easy to find. It requires that you do a little bit of research to make sure you get the one that will enhance your experience.
Let’s take a look at five of the best inflatable kayaks in the UK!
1. Sevylor Riviera Inflatable Kayak – Best for Value
This inflatable kayak offers the best value for your money! It is portable, sturdy, and versatile. The Sevylor Riviera can be used for fishing in calm water or an exciting adventure in choppy whitewaters!
Thanks to the hull and side chambers made of PVC along with the sturdy I-beam floor, the stability and durability of this kayak is almost unbeatable. That extra layer of PVC also keeps your kayak leak free.
Despite the Hefty materials used, the Sevylor Riviera inflatable kayak is still portable, weighing in at only 8.4 kg. You’ll have no problem carrying this kayak around in the backpack that is included in the accessory kit!
The Sevylor Riviera is surely the best inflatable kayak in the UK when it comes to value.
Pros: lightweight, portable, includes repair kit
Cons: only includes one paddle in accessories package
2. Andes Inflatable two-person Kayak – Best for Budget
The Andes Inflatable Kayak is an affordable option for pairs or solo kayakers.
This kayak is able to comfortably seat two people with a maximum weight capacity of 160kg. Kayaking alone? No worries! The Andes is suitable for solo travelers too.
Made with heavy duty PVC, the Andes Inflatable Kayak is ideal for water sports like fishing and snorkeling.
This kayak provides a durable structure, amazing comfortability, double paddles, a repair kit, and a storage bag, all while being extremely affordable! This is definitely the best inflatable kayak in the UK if you are on a budget but want amazing value.
Pros: lightweight, portable, made from heavy duty materials
Cons: can be difficult to inflate
3. Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak – Best for Mild Rivers
The Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak is designed for easy paddling in lakes and mild rivers.
This kayak’s design makes it highly visible in calmer waters. You’ll easily be able to spot the bright green color and prominent, sporty graphics from a distance!
The lightweight and compact nature of this kayak makes it easily portable. It is also amazingly easy to assemble, inflate, and deflate. This gives you more time to enjoy your kayaking experience instead of fumbling with your user manual.
The Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak’s sturdiness is attributed to its vinyl construction and inflatable I-beam floor. Equipped with a low-profile deck and high-buoyancy side chamber, this kayak offers much comfort as well as support.
The high visibility and streamlined design make this the best kayak in the UK for mild rivers and lakes!
Pros: easy to inflate/deflate, spacious, durable, highly visible
Cons: not suitable for rough waters
4. Advanced Elements Lagoon Inflatable Kayak – Best for Comfort
The Advanced Elements Lagoon Inflatable Kayak offers incredible comfort and durability.
It is lightweight and is able to be carried with ease in the duffel bag provided. The high-support seats are equipped with tons of padding and supportive backs. These features allow you to enjoy hours of comfort!
This kayak is constructed with high-denier polyester and PVC laminate. Not only is the kayak designed to take a beating, but it is made with safety in mind. The PVC material makes it extremely difficult for punctures to occur, meaning less leaks!
If you do spring a leak, however, the Advanced Elements Lagoon Inflatable Kayak comes with a handy repair kit and user manual.
This kayak is spacious, highly padded and is easily portable making it the best kayak in the UK for those seeking maximum comfort!
Pros: easy to carry, durable, extremely comfortable
Cons: not suited for choppy or rough waters
5. Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak – Best for Quick Inflation
With the Sevylor Quickpak K5 Inflatable Kayak, you’ll be able to hit the water in just five minutes!
This speedy setup is complemented by a backpack that folds out into your seat, so there is no extra hassle. This Kayak is made from PVC and thick polyester to ensure safety on a rigorous lake. Multiple air chambers add extra protection to help bring you back to shore in case your kayak hits a snag.
Another amazing feature is the accessibility of your gear. Equipped with D-rings and bungee storage, you are able to carry more equipment and retrieve it easily.
The Sevylor Quickpak K5 Inflatable Kayak is definitely the best inflatable kayak in the UK for an easy and quick set up!
Pros: great for rugged use, easy set-up, portable
Cons: not the best quality paddles
Buyer’s Guide to Inflatable Kayaks
It is critical that you’re aware of the type of kayak you are purchasing, the material it is made of and its weight. All of these things, if chosen wisely, can enhance your overall kayaking experience!
The type of inflatable kayak you purchase should align with the activity you have planned.
Touring kayaks are long and thin and can travel through the water with ease.
White water kayaks are short, wide, and very stable. They often contain many scupper holes to drain water from the cockpit.
Fishing kayaks generally have a round front and back for added stability, and usually come with fishing gear.
Sit-on-top kayaks have elevated seats on top of the vessel instead of the cockpit. These kayaks also feature many scupper holes.
Inflatable kayaks are generally made using one of the three materials: Hypalon, Nitrylon and PVC. Hypalon is a synthetic rubber that is extremely durable and resistant against extreme weather.
PVC is made from vinyl polymer plastic and is the most common material used for inflatable kayaks. It is not as durable as Hypalon but results in a more affordable kayak.
Nitrylon is a fairly new material that is eco-friendly, fares well in cold temperatures and is resistant to punctures.
The weight of your inflatable kayak is extremely important. If you are backpacking and plan on taking your kayak with you, you’ll want to chose one that is a lighter weight. However, keep in mind that heavier inflatable kayaks tend to be more durable due to the materials used.
At this point, you can be confident that you know which is the best inflatable kayak in the UK. But you may still have a few questions before you make that purchase. Let’s take a look!
1. Are inflatable kayaks safe?
Yes! Inflatable kayaks have three features that make them amazingly safe: a wide base, pontoon-like sides, and three air chambers. The wide base adds stability, the pontoon-like sides decrease your chances of tipping over and the three air chambers make sinking incredibly difficult!
2. Are they hard to care for?
Not at all! All you need to do is hose your kayak down with fresh water, dry it off with a towel or let the sun do the job, deflate it, and roll it up! Make sure to always store it in a dry location away from extreme temperatures.
3. How do I find a leak?
Finding a leak is quite simple!
- Make sure your kayak is inflated, make a soapy mixture and
- Put mixture into a spray bottle
- Spray the mixture all over your kayak
- Watch for areas where the water starts to bubble or starts to hiss.
4. Found the leak! Now how do I repair it?
Depending on the severity of the leak, you have a few options:
A tiny, pin hole tear only requires waterproof glue.
For tears larger than a pin hole, make sure to dry the area, apply waterproof glue and add a patch for extra protection. Let the are dry for a couple of hours.
For even larger tears, you need to contact the manufacturer or take it to a professional to get it repaired.
Purchasing an inflatable kayak can be a great investment.
The price range is perfect for all budgets! Through every price range, you can expect excellent quality and ease of use. Some kayaks can be set up in only five minutes and most are made out of super tough, durable materials.
The versatility of inflatable kayaks is also noteworthy. From mild rivers to choppy waters, you can be sure your kayak will withstand the elements!
The best kayaks in the UK offer amazing value, a great price, speedy set up, excellent comfort and versatility of kayaking environments.
About the author: Chris loves the outdoors and has developed a love of gadgets and inflatable toys, from kayaking and paddle boarding to relaxing in his hot tub at home. The founder of WhichInflatable and has been the editor for 7 years.