The Best Inflatable Kayaks in Australia [2019]

Kayaks Australia

Anyone who has used a traditional kayak knows how heavy they can be, not to mention being difficult to store and transport.

Thankfully, the recent rise in popularity of inflatable kayaks takes away a lot of these pain points. Inflatable kayaks are reliable, durable and safe. They’re also generally cheaper to buy, maintain, and repair, than the rigid varieties.

There are however, a number of different of options available to you when choosing an inflatable kayak so be sure to make sure you understand the key features before you buy.

After the summary table below, we discuss what you should look out for when choosing a kayak, followed by our detailed reviews.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
Our #1 Rated
OUR #1 RATED

ADVANCED ELEMENTS ADVANCEDFRAME

  • Great water tracking
  • High quality materials
  • Easy set up
  • Double kayak has adjustable seats for solo use


SEA EAGLE SE370 2 PERSON

  • Affordable
  • Suitable for class III rapids
  • Stable, open design
  • Large load capacity


ADVANCED ELEMENTS STRAITEDGE

  • Sit-on-top design
  • Self-bailing ports
  • Suitable for class III whitewater


ADVANCED ELEMENTS ATTACK

  • Suitable for any water conditions
  • Self-bailing ports
  • Manoeuvrable


ADVANCED ELEMENTS STRAITEDGE ANGLER PRO

  • Very stable
  • Drop-stitch floor
  • Removable deep fin
  • High backed chair with ventilation

How to choose the Best inflatable kayak

Here are the key things to keep in mind when shopping for an inflatable kayak:


Intended Use

Probably the most important question is what do you want to use your inflatable kayak for?

1. Surf or Whitewater

Be sure to choose a kayak designed for these activities and check with the manufacturer what rapid class (1-5) the kayak is suitable for. Personal preference will dictate whether you want an open or closed kayak. You will also need to decide whether you want a self-bailing kayak, that comes with drain holes built into the floor.

2. General family use

If people of all ages and abilities are going to be using the kayak, you will want to ensure you get something suitable. Many people prefer the open, sit-on-top variety of kayak for ease of use, however they are slightly less stable. You’ll also want to check the max weight capacity of the kayak to make sure it will be suitable for the people using it.

3. Fishing

There’s a host of extra features available to anglers. Most important is stability, and inflatable fishing kayaks are usually designed with this at front of mind. Other things to keep an eye out for are rod holders, additional storage, and a comfortable seat.


One Person vs Two Person Kayaks

Two person kayaking can be a great experience, particularly over longer expeditions.

However two person kayaks generally don’t work as well with only one person, so make sure you carefully weigh up your options. Two single person kayaks may be a better arrangement for some people.


Kayak Material

The most common materials used in inflatable kayaks are PVC, hypalon, and nitrylon, each coming with their own benefits and drawbacks.

PVC is the most affordable option, and provides a good level of durability, but is not very eco-friendly.

Hypalon is the most durable and long lasting option, but also the most expensive. It fairs best over time against sunlight, mildew and fungus. It is usually used as a coating over polyester or nylon.

Nitrylon is a made from a combination of synthetic and natural rubber. It provides superior performance and durability over PVC, and sits in between PVC and Hypalon for price.


inflatable kayak Reviews

#1 Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible Inflatable Kayak

Best Overall Inflatable Kayak

TOP PICK

There’s a reason most of the kayaks on this list are manufactured by Advanced Elements. Their stated goal is “designing and manufacturing inflatable kayaks with cutting edge technology”, and for more than a decade they have been doing just that, and producing the best inflatable kayaks on the market.

The AdvancedFrame kayak is their most popular model, and is available as both a single or double.

This product is a hybrid of a folding frame kayak and an inflatable kayak, with built-in aluminum ribs providing water tracking performance rivaling hard shell kayaks, while still being very easy to set up, and packing down to the size of a small suitcase.

Constructed with very durable materials and a 3-layer construction, this kayak is built to last.

A great feature of the
15 foot double kayak is that it also works well for solo paddling, and a single seat can be fitted in the middle of the boat.

Pros
  • Great water tracking
  • High quality materials
  • Easy set up
  • Double kayak has adjustable seats for solo use
cons
  • Suitable only for slow moving water (class I-II)

#2 ​SEA EAGLE SE370 2 PERSON INFLATABLE KAYAK - PRO PACKAGE

Best Affordable 2 Person Kayak

From one of the most popular inflatable kayak brands in the USA comes this great value, very reliable 2 person inflatable kayak.

Aside from the price tag, major advantages of this kayak include it being very lightweight, and it’s open design making entry and exit a breeze. It is also suitable for one person in calm waters.

It is however, still a very solid kayak, with a load capacity of 3 people or 295kg, providing a very stable paddle and suitability in up to Class III whitewater. It’s also very durable, manufactured with a sun & saltwater resistant hull material.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for class III rapids
  • Stable, open design
  • Large load capacity                                
cons
  • High profile means it may catch the wind easier

#3 ADVANCED ELEMENTS STRAITEDGE INFLATABLE KAYAK

Best Family Kayak

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​Available in both one and two person models, the StraitEdge represents another great option from industry leaders Advanced Elements.

Key advantages the StraitEdge has over other options are it’s sit-on-top design, and it’s self bailing ports.

Utilising aluminium rib-frames, this inflatable kayak also has great water tracking.

Pros
  • Sit-on-top design
  • Self-bailing ports
  • Suitable for class III whitewater                                                                                     
cons
  • Open kayaks mean you are more exposed to the elements                                                

#4 ​​​​​​Advanced Elements Attack Whitewater Inflatable Kayak

Best for White Water and Ocean

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​Suitable for the most extreme conditions, Advanced Elements rate this kayak for full whitewater, with river class determined by paddler’s experience/skill level.

Increased width provides advanced stability for rough conditions, while a raised rocker improves manoeuvrability.

Self-bailing ports mean any water that makes its way into the kayak can drain out, and a heavy-duty PVC hull and independent air bladders provide superior durability.

Pros
  • Suitable for any water conditions
  • Self-bailing ports
  • Manoeuvrable                    
cons
  • Open kayaks mean you are more exposed to the elements
                                                            

#5 ​​​​​ADVANCED ELEMENTS STRAITEDGE ANGLER PRO KAYAK

Best Inflatable Kayak for Fishing

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​Offering all the usual fishing specific features and more, this is the ultimate inflatable fishing kayak.

Stability is paramount with any fishing vessel, and Advanced Elements have held no punches in this area. Their drop-stitch floor construction (which comes as an optional add-on for their other kayaks) comes standard on the Angler Pro. This provides extreme rigidity, giving you the freedom and confidence to move around the vessel as you need to while out on the water.

A removable deep fin provides enhanced tracking, while a high-backed “AirFrame PRO” seat with mesh paneling offers superior support for extended sessions.

It is also very durable, made with high-quality materials and extra abrasion pads in high use areas.

Other features include front and rear bungee deck, paddle holders, 2 accessory frames
duffel bag with shoulder straps and a repair kit.

Pros
  • Very stable
  • Drop-stitch floor
  • Removable deep fin
  • High backed chair with ventilation                                           
cons
  • Expensive                                                  

verdict

At the end of the day, you need to choose an inflatable kayak that will suit your specific needs. From the list above we really like the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame for all-around use, including longer expeditions.