Best Inflatable Kayaks for 2024

We are big proponents of getting folks on the water by any means available, and fishing kayaks have opened up a great way for anglers to access a lot more waters without breaking the bank. One great of option available to anglers and paddlers alike now are inflatable kayaks as well as foldable and packable 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 the best inflatable kayak and pacakable boat options out there for 2024. While we’ll focus mainly on inflatables as those are the most widely available, there are some good foldable options now as well.

OUR PICKS FOR BEST INFLATABLE KAYAKS

Bote Rackham Aero inflatable paddle board skiff kayak

BEST OVERALL INFLATABLE KAYAK

BOTE Rackham Aero

You can read our full review of this inflatable fishing kayak hybrid boat in the link above. But here’s the quick rundown on this awesome inflatable. 

This reimagined BOTE Rackham Aero offers a paddleboard kayak hybrid capable of having a pedal drive which makes it another attractive option for anglers wanting to fish off paddleboards with a little more access to water. The APEX Pedal Drive is sold separately but it’s what makes this paddleboard hybrid so inviting. Now you can have the best of both worlds with this offering. A simple paddleboard, or an evolved almost pedal skiff for getting after fishing a little more seriously. Everything you want out of a paddle board with everything you need out of a kayak. It’s sturdy, stable and functional with a relatively easy setup and lots of options to add on. A very fun way to fish in the warmer months for sure. 

PROS

  • Super fast setup
  • Pedal Drive
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Price a little higher

[ Length: 12 feet 4 inches | Weight: 45 pounds (79 pounds in bag) | Capacity: 400 pounds| $1,549 (Apex: $899) ]

BUY FROM AMAZON

BUY FROM BOTE

NRS Pike Inflatable Kayak

BEST VALUE FOR INFLATABLE KAYAKS

NRS Pike 12.6 Pro

I wasn’t even aware that NRS had inflatable kayaks until summer of 2023, and a good friend let me test and review his NRS Pike 12.6 Pro. Immediately I found it to be one the more impressive inflatable kayaks I’ve tested. Not only does it blow up and assemble faster than any other I have tested but it was easily the most stable I’ve ever tested of the inflatable kayaks. It features a 4-inch drop-stitch deck that inflates independently of the two 10 1/2 inch side rails. You air all three up and you have a super stable platform to fish out of in minutes. The keel insert improves your tracking on flat water and EVA foam deck will protect your kayak from hooks and snags. There is a fish measuring board integrated into the deck. Along with a suspended aluminum framed mesh seat, YakAttack accessory mounts, and adjustable foot pegs, and you have a great fishing platform that transports easily and fishes stable and well for an inflatable kayak.

PROS:

  • Great price
  • Assembles quickly
  • Very rugged
  • Lots of open room for gear

CONS:

  • Paddle only

[ Length: 12 feet, 8 inches | Weight: 48 pounds | Capacity: 375 pounds | $995 ]

BUY FROM BACK COUNTRY

oru beach sport lt foldable fishing kayak

BEST FOLDING KAYAK

Oru Beach LT

I will admit, I was skeptical about a foldable kayak, but one of the fastest growing segments of the fishing kayak space is in the more portable options like inflatables and now foldables. The unique design of the Oru Beach Sport LT gives you a quickly assembled folding kayak that impressed me with its performance. Even on my first try, I put it together in 15 minutes. When I got in the first time, I was really impressed with how I sat in the water, how maneuverable the kayak was and I actually really liked how I sat really level to the water. I could skip baits effortlessly under docks and overhangs.

I’m a big guy and I never worried about taking on water and was never slowed down by my weight in this kayak. The sturdy rail system from the Haven TT 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 made for a comfortable fishing day. The open cockpit design allowed me to just drop my gear in and go without it being in the way.

And at just 28 pounds, the Beach LT Sport has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, making it the easiest by far kayak option to get in and out of a vehicle and and on and off the water. It breaks down faster than it went together, and I was on my way in minutes. A very ingenious option for kayakers looking for maximum portability and efficiency. And it says that it can be folded and unfolded more than 10,000 times before it will wear. See more at orukayak.com.

PROS

  • Lightest option
  • Quick assembly
  • Less puncture concern

CONS

  • Price
  • Almost feels like you are below the water line at times

[ Length: 12 feet 1 inch | Weight: 28 pounds | Capacity: 300 pounds | $1,379 ]

BUY FROM ORU KAYAK

BUY FROM AMAZON

ISLE

BEST HYBRID PADDLEBOARD

Isle Explorer Pro

There is a growing segment of anglers who are fishing on paddle boards, especially on slow moving rivers. They just like to dangle their legs in the water in the warm months and just tool around leisurely and fish. And these hybrid paddleboard kayaks are very cool new options for anglers. The ISLE Explorer Pro inflates easily and we were up and fishing in minutes thanks to their additional electric air pump.

The Seat sets up quick after inflating the parts and attaching via velcro and carabiner clips on straps to the loop stringer system running down either side of the paddleboard. Once the seat is in, you simply sit on it and get a feel for where you want to put the foot rest. Set it so your knees are bent and then attach the clips to the nearest loop 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. Extra bungee straps allow you to fasten down paddles and gear while you fish. I was super impressed with this unique offering for those looking for a cross between a paddleboard and a kayak. See more at Islesurfandsup.com. See other Isle paddle boards at Amazon.com.

PROS:

  • Affordable price
  • Quick setup
  • Very durable, rugged construction

CONS:

  • Seat is lower than most
  • Limited for accessories

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

BUY FROM ISLE

wilderness systems iatak 110

BEST NEWCOMER

Wilderness Systems iA.T.A.K 110 Angler Kayak

(Coming Feb. 24, 2024)

We checked out the new iA.T.A.K. 110 Angler kayak at the ICAST show in Orlando in July 2023. They told us they were releasing this new kayak in 2024 around February. But we got to check it out at the one the water demo day. It cuts and handles the water nicely. It’s a very rigid design thanks to floor and side wall drop-stitched stringer design that give it a stiffer feel more like a molded kayak. It has a lot of accessory mounting options. It features a hard keel and back end fin system that helps it resist being blown off course by the wind. Making it uniquely stable in windy conditions for an inflatable kayak.

The frame seat is unique and comfortable and it can be folded down to be a standing platform for smaller angler. It holds about 14 pounds of air pressure but has unique self-relief valves so that if the pressure builds because of heat, it will self regulate. There are four univeral mounting ports as well as a front bar for mounting graphs, etc. 

PROS:

  • Great rigidity
  • Nice mounting options
  • Very stable

CONS:

  • Price a little higher

[ Length: 11 feet | Weight: 50 pounds | Capacity: 375 pounds | $1,399 ]

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN INFLATABLE KAYAK

Obviously certain factors influence any buying decision, price always being one of those. And like most things you want to choose the options that covers the most important features for your budget. With Inflatable Kayaks, the most important features are usually easy of setup and transportability, stability on the water, and of course durability. You don’t want to be half way out on to the water and realize 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 kayak becomes the less suscpetible it is to puncturing. 

The inflatables coming out now from the better brands like BOTE, Isle, NRS, Hobie and others offer boats that have been through rigid testing and beatings to make sure the boats will stand up to wear and tear. The hybrid offerings we are seeing now are part skiff, part paddle board, part kayak and even park canoe. They offer a lot of for a little. The fact you can get an inflatable fishing boat with a pedal drive is crazy considering nothing like this existed 10 years ago. 

As an Amazon Associate, we may earn income when you click on an Amazon link. We also earn affiliate commissions off of other partner links. For a list of our affiliate partners, visit our retail partners page. Your link clicks help us fund the work we do for the fishing community.