10 Best Inflatable Kayaks Under $500 In 2021 – Budget Options Reviewed

Can I get an inflatable kayak for under $500? Are they worth buying? Yes, many famous brands develop versatile and user-friendly inflatable kayaks under $500. These budget-friendly inflatable kayaks feature plenty of useful features like quick setup, flexible cockpits, storage areas, skegs for easy tracking, and backpack style for easy transportation.

Kayaking is one of the most loved sports because it combines adventure, exercise, and fun in one spot. Inflatable kayaks have made this sport more common and easier. They are easy to carry around and require small storage rooms, as they fold down to the size of a rucksack when not in use. Moreover, they are also available in backpack styles, have convenient storage areas, and handle easy transport.

While roaming around the market, you will come across many options under $500. But all of them are not worth buying. To make your way easy, we have selected 10 best-selling inflatable kayaks under $500 and reviewed them in detail. Give a read to this article and find your perfect match.

Top 3 Picks

TOP PICK
Sevylor Quikpak K1
9.7
  • Lightweight and handy
  • Comes with a kit
  • Quick setup
  • 21-gauge PVC construction
TANDEM CHOICE UNDER $500
Sea Eagle SE 370 Pro
9.5
  • Ideal for all level kayaking
  • Wide and versatile cockpit
  • Rugged construction
OUR CHOICE
Intex Dakota K2
9.6
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Two skegs for better tracking
  • Carry handles for transportation ease

Ten Best Inflatable Kayaks Under $500

1. Intex Excursion Pro – Best Cheap Inflatable Kayak

Our first pick for the best inflatable kayak is Intex Excursion Pro. This inflatable kayak features an excellent durable construction. It features lightweight yet durable PVC material coupled with high-quality polyester. This 3-ply quality construction lets you explore the tough environments in all seasons.

The PVC material used in Intex Excursion Pro is highly resistant to impact, heat, salty water, oils, petroleum, chemicals, and other tough environmental conditions. This sit-on-top inflatable kayak also comes with a sturdy, strong frame and can bear a maximum weight of around 400 lbs. Moreover, high-pressure inflation makes it more rigid and tough, taking its stability and performance to the next level.

Plus, it offers convenience, comfort, and stability in all conditions, thanks to its amazing design features. These features include a footrest, adjustable seats, fishing rod holders, a carry bag, and a mounting bracket. Mounting brackets allow you to organize your additional accessories like GPS, fishing swivel, etc., in an organized way. On top of all, its bright orange color makes the kayak spottable in case of emergency.

It comes with two high-pressure spring-based valves that help in quick inflation and deflation. Plus, a high output pump and two 8-inch aluminum paddles are also included making Intex Excursion Pro a complete package.

What We Liked

  • High-pressure inflation for stability
  • 400 lbs weight carrying capacity
  • Durable PVC construction

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only compatible with its own pump

Intex Excursion PRO, featuring a PVC construction, is an excellent option for tough environments like warm and salty waters. Its useful design features like bright visible color, accessory mounting, storage areas, adjustable seats, and footrest help it stand out as the best inflatable kayak under $500.


2. Sevylor Quikpak K5 – Best 1-Person Kayak

If you are looking for a handy yet durable 1-person inflatable kayak, consider this amazing option by Sevylor. It comes in a hand backpack style, with only a 5-minute set-up. It means it only takes 5 minutes to turn into a one-person kayak from a backpack. This feature makes it suitable for people who love to explore nature in multiple ways.

Sevylor 1-person kayaks come with plenty of useful features, making it the most suitable option under $500. The most standout feature of its design is its compact storage. The paddles break down and are attached to the side. Plus, there are multiple storage areas to keep pumps and other accessories. There are D-rings on both of its sides, where you can attach your additional equipment.

Sevylor inflatable kayak takes pride in highly durable 24-gauge PVC construction. Unlike rubber kayaks that are highly prone to damage and punctures, this one is ready to explore the tough lake environments. Plus, it has a tarpaulin bottom to avoid punctures and a polyester cover for added strength and safety.

Another useful feature of this kayak is its division into multiple air chambers. This division is useful, as, in case of a puncture in one chamber, other chambers would not deflate, keeping the kayak stable. As the name indicates, it’s a quick pack kayak; it features a two-point locking valve.

These valves allow quick inflation and deflation and keep the kayak airtight for a safe and secure adventure. The only downside noticed by the users is its uncomfortable seat. It feels like seat comfort is compromised due to its backpack conversion style.

What We Liked

  • Durable 24-gauge PVC construction
  • 5 minutes quick setup
  • Multiple air chamber design

What We Didn’t Like

  • The seat is not comfortable

Sevylor quick 1-person kayak lets you explore the tough environments like a pro. Its durable PVC construction, a tarpaulin base, and polyester cover prevent abrasions, impact, and punctures. Moreover, a quick and easy setup allows you to spend more time in the water.


3. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak – Best Budget Inflatable Kayak

Sevylor Big Basin 3-person Kayak is another worth buying product under $500. Sevylor big basin kayak is a 3-person kayak that is also highly suitable for transporting pets like dogs and cats. The most standout feature of this 3-person kayak is its durable construction. It features a heavy-duty PVC construction.

This material is highly resistant to abrasions, salty water, extreme temperatures, and other environmental factors. Its strong tarpaulin base gives you the confidence to explore the most rigorous environments. Plus, a polyester cover prevents punctures, keeping your adventures safe and secure. Moreover, its rugged PVC construction allows you to transport pets like cats and dogs with sharp claws.

Want to take your furry friend with you? Check out the Best Inflatable kayaks for dogs

Sevylor big-basin kayak comes packed with plenty of useful features like a comfortable and user-friendly design. The most loved part of its design is that it is quite spacious. It has a wide room to accommodate three adults and features a weight carrying capacity of 490 pounds.

Plus, it has a pretended Sevylor airtight technology, making it highly rigid and stable. The locking valve system is also very reliable. The safe and secure threaded valves help in quick inflation and deflation. Moreover, the kayak is divided into two air chambers. If one chamber gets deflated for some reason, the other would remain inflated and provide stability.

Also, there are d-rings for accessory attachments and separate storage areas to keep your game safe and secure. Plus, there are straps on the sides that hold the paddles when not in use. For added convenience and comfort, it has a versatile cockpit.

Seats are adjustable so that you can make the most suitable position. Skegs that help you tracking in deep waters may obstruct you in shallow waters. Thankfully, the skeg is removable, and you can take it out in shallow waters.

What We Liked

  • 490 pounds weight capacity
  • Rugged PVC construction
  • Adjustable seats
  • Two chambers and an airtight design

What We Didn’t Like

  • It does not come with a pump and repair kit

If you are looking for an affordable yet spacious inflatable kayak for your family, Sevylor big-basin would be an excellent choice. It features a PVC construction coupled with a tarpaulin base making it one of the best inflatable kayaks under $500.


4. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak – Cheap Blow Up Kayak

Sevylor quick K1 is another 1-person kayak by Sevylor. It is one of the most lightweight and handy inflatable kayaks under $500. Despite its lightweight and affordable price, it doesn’t compromise safety, reliability, stability, and adventure.

Quick K1 has a quick 5-minute setup, giving you more time to explore nature. It also deflates into a compact backpack for easy transportation. The most standout feature of this kayak is its weight carrying capacity. Surprisingly, this 1-person kayak can carry 400 lbs of weight. It means it would accommodate all of your gear and adventure-related accessories.

Rugged construction is something that it takes pride in. 21 gauge PVC construction and a polyester cover coupled with a tarpaulin base make it highly resistant to abrasion, impact, and punctures. This quality construction gives you the confidence to take more challenging and tough adventures.

Moreover, it has d-rings on both sides, where you attach the accessories, safe storage space to keep your gear safe, and an airtight system to prevent leakage. Locking valves are double-threaded for quick deflation and inflation.

It has a versatile cockpit that allows seat and footrest adjustment so that you can sit in the most comfortable composition and enjoy the adventure in the best way possible. The only downside of this 1-person kayak is that it has flimsy and low-quality skegs. Instead of helping you in tracking, they might obstruct your way and bother you badly.

What We Liked

  • 5-minute setup
  • 21-gauge PVC construction
  • Adjustable footrest and seat

What We Didn’t Like

  • Flimsy skeg

If you are looking for a backpack-style 1-person kayak for tough lake environments, consider this amazing option by Sevylor. Its 21-gauge PVC construction, coupled with a tarpaulin base and polyester cover, helps it stand out as one of the best inflatable kayaks under $500.


5. ADVANCED ELEMENTS Lagoon 1 Kayak

Advanced element lagoon 1 is another 1-person inflatable kayak that promises stability, safety, and durability. It is a lightweight yet rugged kayak with a total weight capacity of 250 pounds. The kayak itself weighs around 23 lbs and measures 8x4x23 inches. These figures suggest that it is a handy and portable adventure gadget for young enthusiasts.

The feature that impressed us most is its quality construction. The premium quality nylon, paired with double coated PVC, makes it exceptionally rugged and tough. Plus, a ripstop tarpaulin fabric prevents puncture and lets you explore tough environments like lakes, mid rivers, and oceans.

Check out the best inflatable kayaks for ocean and sea use.

But keep in mind that this kayak is only suitable as far as the water is calm and flat. The reason behind this limited application is its lightweight and compact design. Furthermore, it has many useful design features that add to user’s comfort and convenience. It comes with a repair kit, deck lacing, storage area, skeg, and molded rubber paddles.

Plus, it has twist lock and high-flow spring valves to prevent air leakage and also help in quick inflation and deflation. It also includes a skeg and tracking fins that help you track when you move into deep waters.

What We Liked

  • Quality construction
  • Quick backpack style
  • High-flow spring valves

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only for flat and calm water

Advanced elements lagoon is one of the handiest and portable 1-person kayaks under $500. Its quality PVC construction and ripstop PVC fabric resist abrasion, punctures, while twist lock and high-flow valves keep it air-tight for stability.


6. Intex Dakota k2

Intex Dakota K2 is a 2-person inflatable kayak with rigid construction and can hold up to 400 lbs. It features a rugged vinyl construction that is highly resistant to impact, abrasion, and punctures. When paired with a bottom I-beam panel in the bottom, this quality nylon material makes it one of the most reliable and safe inflatable kayaks for true adventures.

It has two skegs of different lengths. The longer one helps you move in a straight line, while the shorter one will guide you in quick and sharp turns. It also includes two 86-inch long oras and a pump for quick and easy startup. The most standout feature of this two-person kayak is its cockpit flexibility.

It has two adjustable seats with very comfortable foam padding. You can adjust the footrest and seats to take the most comfortable position. Moreover, it has a lot of storage space, two storage pockets, one dry carry bag, and two handlebars for easy transport. The kayak air column is divided into two chambers. This is pretty useful as if one chamber gets punctured, and the other would remain inflated and provide stability.

What We Liked

  • Adjustable seats
  • Storage area
  • Two-chamber airtight system

What We Didn’t Like

  • Flimsy paddles

If you are looking for a quick-setup two-person kayak at a reasonable price, Intex Dakota is undoubtedly the best choice. Coming from a reliable brand Intex, this inflatable kayak promises stability, safety, and durability even in rough conditions.


7. ADVANCED ELEMENTS Island Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak

Advanced elements Island Voyage 32 is one of the most reliable and durable inflatable kayaks under $500. The most standout feature of this inflatable kayak is its remarkable construction quality. Decks of this inflatable kayak use 600-denier ripstop material. This material is highly durable and resists abrasion and impact. The bottom is made of tarpaulin material that resists punctures.

Tarpaulin base is further backed by PVC tubing and a high-quality polyester cover, which takes its strength and durability to the next level. With such strong and remarkable construction, you can take chances to take this material out in rough waters like lakes and mid rivers.

Additionally, it has many design features that ensure the user’s comfort and convenience. It has a pointed bow with a rocker to guide the users and removable fins for tracking. You can remove the tracking fins in shallow waters when it starts obstructing you.

Moreover, it has versatile cockpits with three different seating positions. You can adjust high-padded seats according to your choice. Plus, it has a highly padded and supportive backrest that adds comfort and stability. Furthermore, there are storage pockets in the backrest where you can put your gear like bottles, goggles, pumps, etc.

What We Liked

  • Multi-layer construction
  • Removable tracking fins
  • Adjustable cockpit

What We Didn’t Like

  • Small storage area

Advanced elements Island Voyage 2 is a high-performance kayak with durable construction and a versatile cockpit. Its multiple-layer PVC construction, multiple seating positions, highly padded seats, and removable tracking fins make it one of the best inflatable kayaks under $500.


8. ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak

Advance Frame kayak is another best-selling inflatable kayak by Advanced elements. This inflatable kayak takes pride in its fantastic three-layer construction and superb design. This inflatable kayak’s internal structure uses an aluminum frame that provides stability and strength, even in the waves and fast-flowing waters.

Plus, the multilayer PVC construction, coupled with a tarpaulin base, helps it withstand rigorous environments and prevent punctures. This rugged construction gives you the confidence to take the kayak on more challenging adventures. This inflatable kayak comes pre-assembled. However, the seat is adjustable so that you can take a comfortable position before you start paddling.

This inflatable kayak is heavier than other 1-person inflatable kayaks because of the aluminum frame inside. Therefore it is pretty difficult to carry it with you on adventures. However, its heavy construction makes it more safe and stable in mid rivers, high flow, and waves, giving you the best kayaking experience ever.

What We Liked

  • Multi-layer rugged construction
  • Adjustable seat
  • Ideal for waves and mild rivers
  • Easy installation of electronics

What We Didn’t Like

  • No storage area

Consider this amazing option by Advanced Elements if you are looking for a rugged one-person kayak for some serious adventure. Its sturdy aluminum frame and tarpaulin base provide it the required strength and stability even when the water is not calm.


9. Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe 2 Person Inflatable Sport Kayak

Sea eagle is one of the most competitively priced inflatable kayaks on the market today. This is a high-quality inflatable kayak with exceptional design features, making it one of the best options under $500. Sea eagle 2-person kayaks feature 1-beam construction for maximum strength and stability.

Plus, premium-quality hull construction prevents punctures and makes it highly resistant to salt, abrasion, impact, and other environmental factors. Another standout feature of this inflatable kayak is that it comes packed with all useful accessories making it a complete package. These accessories include a convenient foot pump, a repair kit, a waterproof storage bag, and removable seats.

The weight carrying capacity of this inflatable kayak is around 500 lbs so that two people can easily go on an adventure, or you can carry your favorite pets with you. Plus, it features a straightforward airtight locking and drains valve system. These one-way valve drains allow quick and easy inflation and deflation.

Also read : Best tandem inflatable kayaks

What We Liked

  • Excellent construction
  • Quick inflation and deflation
  • Complete package

What We Didn’t Like

  • Bulky and heavy

If you are looking for a premium quality inflatable kayak with maximum weight and rugged material, Sea Eagle Deluxe 330 is the best option. Plus, it has many useful features like an adjustable seat, puncture, and salt-water resistance and comes packed with a full set of accessories.


10. Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak

Sea Eagle 370 Pro is a 3-person kayak with a maximum weight limit of 650 lbs. It is a sturdily built kayak that gives you the confidence to accept challenging adventure tasks. As it provides exceptional strength and stability, it is ideal for mature and beginner enthusiasts alike.

It uses a rugged hull material that helps it withstand rough conditions like waves, high flowing water, saltwater, extreme temperatures, and impact. Due to I-beam construction and a rugged base, it is highly resistant to leakage and punctures. The good news is that it comes pre-assembled and has a quick-10 minute setup.

This quick setup allows you to spend more time on the waters. It has high-quality one-way inflation-deflation valves, making the startup and pack up a real breeze. It has a wide and versatile cockpit with space for three seats and a lot of storage area. Plus, it includes a waterproof storage bag, aluminum paddles, a foot pump, and a complete repair kit.

What We Liked

  • Repair kit and useful accessories
  • 10-minute quick setup
  • Rugged construction

What We Didn’t Like

  • A bit bulky

Sea Eagle 370 pro is one of the best 3-person kayaks, featuring highly rugged construction and a maximum weight limit of 650 lbs. Its adaptable and wide cockpit, set of useful accessories, and one-way straightforward inflation valve systems are some of its features, making it a worth buying option under $500.


FAQs

Are inflatable kayaks worth buying?

Yes, inflatable kayaks are undoubtedly worth buying. Unlike hard-shell kayaks, they are easy to transport, take less storage space, and are pretty handy to take on adventures. Moreover, they have plenty of useful features like quick- setup, easy deflation, adjustable seats, footrest, and storage areas.

How long do inflatable kayaks last?

Inflatable kayaks last for up to 5 to ten years if maintained and taken care of properly. It also depends upon the type of construction material. Rubber inflatable kayaks are more prone to punctures, impacts, and extreme temperatures. On the other hand, PVC kayaks are resistant to impact, abrasions, punctures, and leakage, and they usually last longer than rubber ones.

What should I look for in an inflatable kayak?

The first thing to look for in an inflatable kayak is its type of construction. I always prefer PVC base construction with a rigid base. Then look for airtight locks and valves, storage areas, and accessory attachment sites. The other features include seat adjustment, type of paddles you prefer, repair kit, and other additional accessories like pumps, etc.

Can you leave an inflatable kayak inflated?

No, you cannot keep your kayak inflated after use. Keeping your kayak inflated for longer times severely damages the kayak’s air-locks, valves, and skin. It may also result in leakage and punctures. Therefore it is recommended to keep the kayak deflated when not in use.

Wrapping Up

Inflatable kayaks are much more handy and useful than hardshell kayaks. They are easy to carry, maintain and store.  All the products on our list of the 10 best inflatable kayaks come from reliable brands and offer great value for the money. Our top three picks from the list are:

  • Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak for ist 21-gauge PVC construction, exceptional weight capacity, quick setup, and competitive price.
  • Intex Dakota k2 for its airtight technology, two-chamber design, rugged construction, and versatile cockpit.
  • Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak for its wide and versatile cockpit, storage area, rugged hull construction, and one-way valve system.

However, you need to be investigative when you are looking for an inflatable kayak under $500 as low-budget products are often a compromise on quality. We are hopeful that this article would help you find your perfect match.

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