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Here Are 19 Portable Kayaks To Get You Into The Water

Portable Kayaks

Portable Kayaks

Updated on 7/10/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
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If you've been looking for ways to spend time outside while still having fun this summer, you probably have a good idea of where I'm going with this. Kayaking is an excellent activity for maintaining physical fitness, getting out on the water, gaining a fresh point of view on familiar surroundings, and maintaining a social distance from other people. You can always spray them with water if someone goes a little too near, and that would be the equivalent of firing over the bow in maritime law if fired from a kayak. (Probably.)

But for those who live in urban settings, transporting a kayak about and finding a place to store it hasn't been a workable option, at least not until very late. The advent of inflatable or collapsible portable kayaks has made it possible to transport these watercraft in the back of a car and then stow them away in a closet when they are not in use (or leave them in the trunk of your car like this editor). As a result, we felt it was our duty to evaluate many of the most well-known portable kayaks on the market right now, covering a range of prices and offering varying degrees of challenge. 

Under $500

Intex Challenger K1

Intex Challenger K1

Intex Challenger K1

  • $95
    For the hard worker who wants to relax and have some fun in the sun on the weekend

Inflatables are not foreign territory for Intex; they manufacture various inflatable goods, ranging from boats and air beds to air pools and mattresses. This kayak won't get you over Class V rapids on a river but will provide countless hours of entertainment on the lake. The K1 is constructed from heavy-duty vinyl to protect against bumps and tiny pebbles. It comes with everything you need to start rolling, including an aluminum oar, a pump, and a repair kit, just in case.

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.4

Things we like:

  • Exceptional Durability: Made from high-quality vinyl, this kayak is built to withstand the test of time.
  • Convenient Inflation: Includes a pump for effortless inflating and deflating, ensuring quick and easy setup.
  • Lightweight Aluminum Oars: Crafted from quality aluminum, these folding oars are incredibly lightweight, providing ease of use and maneuverability.
  • Designed for Rapids: Developed specifically for use in rapid rivers and paddling under challenging conditions, this kayak offers optimal performance in adventurous environments.
  • Portable and Easy to Transport: With its lightweight design, this kayak is perfect for vacationing and allows for hassle-free transportation to your desired water destinations.

Things we don't like:

  • Construction using a single layer of skin: This design choice may not offer the same durability and longevity as products with multiple layers of material. Over time, the single layer may be more susceptible to tears or punctures. For a reliable and long-lasting option, consider products that feature reinforced construction or multiple layers.
  • Challenging to repack into the carrying bag when sandy or damp: If you plan to use this product in beach or damp outdoor environments, you may encounter difficulties when it comes to repacking it into the carrying bag. This inconvenience can be frustrating, especially when you're trying to quickly pack up and move on. Consider alternative options that offer easier and more convenient packing features, ensuring hassle-free transportation and storage.
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Two-Person Inflatable Kayak From Intex Named The Explorer K2

Intex Explorer K2 Two-Person Inflatable Kayak

Intex Explorer K2 Two-Person Inflatable Kayak

  • $140 
    You can go kayaking with someone you care about, a close friend, or even someone you just met.

The K2 from Intex is an excellent choice for married couples considering taking kayaking but wanting to get their feet wet first (pun intended). The primary selling factor for this product is that a robust tandem kayak with a pump and oar is included in the purchase price. It is ideally suited for use with flat water, such as leisure paddles, and simply lounging in the sun. According to one of the owners, "When you remove both seats, two persons may easily sit on the inflatable floor facing each other and spend a leisurely day on the water." How about that for a romantic gesture? I'm serious when I ask you this because I have no idea.

Our Overall Review
4.5
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Tucktec Foldable Kayak

Tucktec Foldable Kayak

Tucktec Foldable Kayak

  • $350

This product can benefit anglers and campers who use their cars to fish and camp.

The Tucktec is reminiscent of a paddle that Lara Croft may have used in the 1996 PlayStation edition of Tomb Raider. However, this kayak has excellent agility, stability, and speed because of how it is designed. It is fitted with "carbon-fiber reinforced fold lines" that "will not rip, pierce, or split. Ever." and weighs only 28 pounds. It can go from folded to functioning in under two minutes.

Our Overall Review
3.9
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Rave Sports Molokai Inflatable Kayak

Rave Sports Molokai Inflatable Kayak

Rave Sports Molokai Inflatable Kayak

  • $399

For those who are young or who are searching for a good time on the lake:

The Rave kayak is not designed for long-distance paddling or paddling in harsh weather; nevertheless, if you are looking for a difficult-to-flip, bottle-storage, and can accommodate two people, this is the kayak for you. When using it at the cabin, deflate it and store it in the sturdy carrying bag until the next time you use it. In addition to that, you will receive a pump and two portable paddles.

Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak

  • $450

This is the board for you if you're a solo paddler searching for a comfortable and secure ride in an enclosed cockpit.

This kayak is nine feet long and is fully inflated; it has a cockpit cover, a fast-release fin, zip pockets for dry storage, and D-rings for gear storage. Additionally, it is just for single paddlers, so if you want to bring a friend, you should get two at this discounted price.

Under $1,000

Kokopelli's Moki I Inflatable Kayak

Kokopelli's Moki I Inflatable Kayak

Kokopelli's Moki I Inflatable Kayak

  • $799

Flatwater, rivers, and oceans—something there's for everyone who wants it all.

The adaptability of the Moki I is what makes it such an appealing product. This specific watercraft is equipped to handle the challenges posed by the river or the ocean due to the kayak's high-denier construction, which translates as "durable" and "thick and sturdy." It has a spacious cockpit with plenty of places for your belongings and three air chambers, so even if something goes wrong, you can be assured that you will remain above water. The Moki measures a length of 12 feet and a weight of 37 pounds, and oars are available independently.

Aquaglide McKenzie 125 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide McKenzie 125 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide McKenzie 125 Inflatable Kayak

  • $1000

For individuals who enjoy navigating whitewater rapids with a companion. While paddling a kayak

Whitewater rafting fans who wish to invite a friend for the ride will find the McKenzie an excellent option. You should do this; after all, why else would you go whitewater rafting by yourself? You won't ever have to worry about it again now that you have this kayak. It is 12 feet long, has enough space for two people, is made of durable material (so it won't pop or break on you), has four mesh drains for efficient water removal, and is made of durable material. The only drawback is that? If you wish to bring a buddy along for the voyage, you must pay for an additional seat. Oh, look, it is there in front of you.

The Oru Inlet.

The Oru Inlet.

The Oru Inlet.

  • $899

For the individual who is interested in purchasing a portable kayak of a reputable brand at an entry-level price point

Oru is a pioneering brand of portable kayaks in the business. Oru's Inlet is their entry-level and most affordable kayak model, and it is geared for leisure paddlers who want to spend their time paddling around lakes or mangroves (read: flatwater). It is also the shortest kayak they produce at 10 feet, but it is still manufactured with the same high-quality materials as the rest of their portfolio despite its shorter length. The most outstanding feature is that you can take it from the trunk of your car to being ready to use with water in under five minutes.

Kayak By Advanced Elements Called The StraitEdge

Kayak By Advanced Elements Called The StraitEdge

Kayak By Advanced Elements Called The StraitEdge

  • $759

If you want to go whitewater rafting on class III rapids followed by fishing afterward, you'll love this.

That's correct, the inflatable StraitEdge can navigate rapids as brutal as Class III, and it is outfitted with bungee deck lacing to ensure that your stuff stays in place as you move through the water. And because you will most likely be hungry after waging war against Mother Nature, store your fishing pole in one of the built-in rod holders while you secure a drift anchor to one of the steel D rings. It is around 10 feet long, weighs 34 pounds, and comes with a seat, a repair kit, and a duffel bag for carrying it after the day is done.

Kayak Fishing Using The Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler.

Kayak Fishing Using The Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler.

Kayak Fishing Using The Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler.

  • $870

For those who genuinely like the AE StraitEdge but feel that it should have been optimized for fishing a little bit more:

With the Angler, you will have a more oversized frame for increased stability, an accessory frame on the bow (for attaching your tackle and gear), and bungee lacing at the bow and stern to keep your belongings (read: cooler) securely throughout the day. If you want to use your kayak for fishing, you should purchase one with a fishing seat.

The Raven is known as STAR.

The STAR Raven

The STAR Raven

  • $995

Rapids are the perfect activity for anybody looking for excitement on the whitewater.

It's hard to believe, but this is an inflatable kayak, and it's capable of managing Class IV rapids. The Raven has a self-bailing construction, which means that any water that gets in will flow straight back out, as well as an advanced-formula PVC material that offers high abrasion resistance and air retention. These qualities contribute to the fact that the water will not pool within the backpack. Are you feeling unsure about your ability to handle Class IV rapids? It would be best if you weren't concerned about it. This little boat is perfect for relaxing on the water in whichever water you choose. In terms of dimensions, it measures 9 feet in length and weighs 38 pounds.

Star Raven I Kayak
Our Overall Review
5
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Aquaglide Deschutes 110 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Deschutes 110 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Deschutes 110 Inflatable Kayak

  • $650

Paddlers are looking for some extra space and speed on their own.

Even though it is 11 feet long, the Deschutes is designed to accommodate just one paddler. However, the additional space is ideal for storing your equipment for the day, such as a cooler, fishing pole, dry bag, or even another inflatable kayak. This particular model features a Duratex structure and an EVA bottom, which, in a nutshell, means that it is not only lightweight but also highly robust and swift in the water.

Aquaglide Deschutes 110 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Deschutes 110 Inflatable Kayak

Single-Person Inflatable Kayak From Advanced Elements

Single-Person Inflatable Kayak From Advanced Elements

Single-Person Inflatable Kayak From Advanced Elements

  • $649

Those seeking a watercraft for one person who paddles like a plastic kayak but is comfortable sitting on an air mattress might consider this option.

There isn't a tremendous difference between AE's tandem kayak and their single-person kayak. Aside from this being just for one person, the length and weight differences will most likely be the most striking. The length of the single is just ten feet, compared to fifteen feet, and it only weighs thirty-six pounds. But despite this, it still has all of the desirable characteristics, such as storage for fishing equipment or coolers, a strengthened hull, and an inflated cockpit coaming that allows for the additional installation of a sprayskirt.

Inflatable Tandem Kayak From The Advanced Elements Brand

Inflatable Tandem Kayak From The Advanced Elements Brand

Inflatable Tandem Kayak From The Advanced Elements Brand

  • $979

Those who paddle alone and want a bit more room for themselves or those who wish to invite a friend along

The pricing point of AE's tandem kayak places it among the top tandem kayaks currently available. The multi-chamber inflatable hull is one of its significant characteristics, and it assures the vessel's safety and dependability on the water if something goes wrong (it will remain floating). It is advised that you keep this one on flat water, but I'd be willing to bet that you would be fine in the bay or ocean as long as the weather permits. The entire thing is packed in a duffel bag weighing 55 pounds, and you will be responsible for purchasing a pump and an oar separately.

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.6

Things we like:

  • First, the AE1007 AdvancedFrame kayak has an advanced frame design that allows it to paddle more like a hardshell kayak than one might expect from looking at it. As part of its "advanced frame," AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak has built-in aluminum ribs in the bow and the stern to increase rigidity and tracking capability.
  • There is a "convertible" part to the kayak, which comes from its ability to convert from a tandem kayak to a solo kayak with just a few adjustments. AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak can be converted into a tandem kayak with two seat positions forward and aft for tandem paddling and one seat in the middle for solo paddling.
  • An essential difference between the middle position and many other tandem kayaks is that it can be converted to solo kayaks, particularly if the front seat is removed and a paddle is used from the rear kayak. When paddling a 15-foot kayak, paddling from the middle will provide much better control than floating from the ends.
  • Users love the looks of AE1007 AdvancedFrame kayaks, even though it might seem trivial. It is one of the most attractive inflatable kayaks I have ever seen (in my best Fat Bastard voice). With a length of 15 feet, you will find plenty of storage and legroom traveling in this RV! Aside from that, it's equipped with a 550-pound weight capacity, which puts most traditional kayaks to shame.

Things we don't like:

  • There aren't many negative reviews about the AE1007 AdvancedFrame kayak, but a few have taken the time to complain about the storage bag being a big issue. It's barely big enough to fit your kayak after using it, and it's more like an oversized tote bag than a convenient and dependable carry-on bag. The strappings are not long enough to take it over the shoulder, so carrying it by hand is a hassle.
  • A negative aspect of this inflatable kayak is that it is a bit heavy for a kayak in the inflatable category, weighing in at 56 pounds. There are better inflatable kayaks out there if you're looking for a lightweight alternative to traditional kayaks if you're looking for an inflatable option.
  • As well as paddles, pumps, and optional backbones and frames, you may need to pay extra for some extras that turn a reasonably-priced kayak into a higher-priced kayak after adding extras.  
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Above $1,000

Oru Beach Limited Train

Oru Beach Limited Train

Oru Beach Limited Train

  • $1199

For the explorer who spends their nights in the city but makes their home in the wilderness

If you go around the internet, you won't have any trouble finding people praising Oru's range of folding kayaks to the highest possible degree. Their products' longevity, quality, and condensability are the cornerstones of their business. The Beach is one of the most well-known locations on Oru; it has a length of 12 feet, and the cockpit has additional storage room for a cooler or fishing gear. Flatwater conditions will bring their full potential (lakes, slow-moving rivers, etc.).

The Oru Coast XT Is In Play.

The Oru Coast XT Is In Play.

The Oru Coast XT Is In Play.

  • $1999

For individuals who would rather spend the day sailing across the broad ocean than relaxing on the shore of a lake

Oru's most seaworthy model is the Coast XT, designed with velocity and balance. Although it is 16 feet long when unfolded, it can be folded up and stored in a backseat or car trunk. The kayak has deck lines that can hold gear in place — for fishing or picnicking, for example — and a reinforced polypropylene shell that can withstand gliding over rocks or hitting underwater obstacles that you might not be able to see. These features make the kayak ideal for fishing and picnicking. In addition, the construction of the Coast makes it roll readily if it tips over while you are riding the waves.

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.3

Things we like:

  • Light weight 
  • Easy to Carry

Things we don't like:

  • Not suitable for tough conditions
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Kayak By Advanced Elements Called The AirFusion EVO

Kayak By Advanced Elements Called The AirFusion EVO

Kayak By Advanced Elements Called The AirFusion EVO

  • $1399

For experienced paddlers who like to spend a few days experiencing the outdoors on the river (or one very long, grueling day)

The EVO is a fully functional inflatable expedition kayak with all the bells and whistles. However, it has the mobility of a soft shell but has the feel of a hard surface. Bungee deck lacing inflated coaming (for when you wish to install a spray skirt), D-ring gear tie-downs, rear storage, and an aluminum frame reinforced by air chambers are some of the key features. It has a total of 12 feet in length but is just two feet broad, making for a paddling experience that is easy and swift, whether you are simply paddling around on the lake or want to paddle some distance offshore.

Pakayak Bluefin 142 Kayak

Pakayak Bluefin 142 Kayak

Pakayak Bluefin 142 Kayak

  • $1995

Those individuals interested in paddling out in a portable kayak constructed of "plastic resin that has been particularly designed for the kayak business."

Pakayak is responsible for developing a novel style of portable kayak that collapses into discrete plastic components that, when stowed, nestle snugly into one another like Russian dolls yet, when assembled, forge an airtight bond. You get a sturdy kayak designed to handle the waves of the ocean, but it can be folded up into itself and stashed away in your closet if you don't need it immediately. The entire concept is very brilliant. Getting the carrying case from the parking lot to the launch pad will be a pleasure, thanks to the wheels included in the design of the carrying bag.

Aquaglide Chelan 120 HB Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Chelan 120 HB Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Chelan 120 HB Inflatable Kayak

  • $1100

It is designed for paddlers who wish to explore longer paddling distances and experience more challenging adventures on the water.

The Chelan is the best choice if you're looking for quickness and agility. The kayak is 12 feet long, providing you with a long waterline, a flat rocker, and a delicate piercing bow in addition to these features. This indicates that the object in question moves quickly through the water. Although it does not have a covered cockpit, the kayak is intended to keep water out of the inside while you paddle. A seat (with an adjustable air cushion), mesh storage pockets, and integrated rod holders (more fishing!) are also included with the Chelan.

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.1

Things we like:

  • INFLATABLE KAYAK: The Chinook 120 is perfect for one to two people on short trips, exploring lakes and gentle rivers, and other recreational flat-water paddling.
  • EXTRA ROOM FOR DOGS OR GEAR: With its 12-foot open bow layout, the Chinook 120 is ideal for tandem paddling with the capacity to carry a child, pet, or extra gear.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT PACKABLE DESIGN: Chinook weighs only 28-pounds and includes a duffle-style storage bag for effortless transportation. Molded plastic carry handles on bow and stern allow for comfortable carrying or lifting.
  • DETAILS: 1 or 2 person 550 lb. (250 kg) max weight. Dimensions: 12’ (370 cm) L x 37” (93 cm) W x 12.5” (32 cm) H. Includes kayak, seats (2), footrests (2), removable child seat (1), quick-release fin, PVC rod holder sleeves (4), storage bag, and repair kit.
  • AQUAGLIDE: Our passion for water sports drives us to engineer some of the best boating technologies available so you get the performance you want combined with the hassle-free portability you need.

Things we don't like:

  • The Chinook 120 may not be suitable for more extreme whitewater or rough conditions.
  • At 28 pounds, the kayak may be considered heavy for some users.
  • The kayak may not provide enough storage space for those who require a larger amount of gear or equipment.
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This article talks about portable kayaks. Enjoy it, and you can read all about kayaking on our site.