Best Inflatable Kayaks Under $500

Kayaking is one of the most thrilling outdoor sports anyone can practice. All you need is a love for the sun, the water and the adrenaline, a good-quality kayak and the rest will follow. Inflatable kayaks have become more and more popular as people strive for a more convenient and flexible experience for less money. Inflatable kayaks offer just that because they can be easily packed and stored, and you can get a high-quality one for less than $500.

However, as it’s often the case, there are just too many options available on the market. Whenever you set out to buy something, you have to browse through many choices and it can get overwhelming to make the right decision. Because we want to make the process easier for you, today we bring you some of the best options available so you can make the right call without too much work.

We’ve researched and tested many different inflatable kayaks under $500 and we’re happy to introduce what we think are the best options on the market depending on your needs

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Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak

Our top pick for today is nothing but the best; the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak is super versatile, it offers high performance and speed, and it’s overall a lot of fun.

Advanced Elements have actually become pioneers in the manufacturing of inflatable kayaks because they employ an aluminum frame ribbing that makes the kayak a light, foldable hard-shell boat.

In our experience, this kayak is super fast and it offers great tracking. Not to mention it features tons of cargo space, which makes it perfect for people who enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, paddling, fishing, and more.

One of the many things we loved about this kayak is that it’s an efficient combination of folding frame kayaks and inflatable kayaks. As a result, this kayak slides through water and it tracks as well as hard shell kayaks.

Maneuverability is incredible and it’s overall a high performance inflatable kayak. It’s also reinforced with three layers of puncture-resistant advanced PVC. This doesn’t only make it sturdy, it makes it incredibly durable because you won’t have to worry about any possible leaks.

This kayak is 15 feet long, which makes it a little bit longer, and therefore a little bit heavier than standard inflatable kayaks. When deflated, this kayak folds down into the perfect size and it fits in its own duffel bag which makes it super portable and convenient.

Overall, the Advanced Frame inflatable kayak has everything you need at a super affordable price, made with not only the most efficient design, but also the best materials.

Main Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • Great rigidity, tracking, and speed
  • Extremely durable and portable

Our Top 5 Picks

Top Pick

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak

  • Aluminum frame
  • Great rigidity, tracking, and speed
  • Extremely durable and portable

Runner Up

Sea Eagle SE370 Sport

  • Amazing cargo capacity
  • Versatility
  • Durability

Best on a Budget

Intex Challenger K2

  • Inexpensive
  • Durable, comfortable, stable
  • Includes paddles, repair kit, and pump

Other Recommended Choices

Sevylor Quikpak K5

  • Lightweight
  • Super portable and easy to carry
  • Versatile

Other Recommended Choices

Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Suitable for two adults and a child or dog
  • Comfortable, stable, and safe

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Sea Eagle SE370 Sport

Sea Eagle is today’s runner-up and it’s very well-known because of all the features they manage to pack into their inflatable kayaks. The SE370 Sport is a great example of that and it offers a ton amount of value for your money.

When we tried this kayak, we were amazed to find out it inflates in less than 10 minutes, which is great. And even though it’s on the lighter side at 32 pounds, it can carry up to 650 pounds of cargo. In our opinion, this is the perfect kayak for larger people, people with dogs, and families.

The Sea Eagle SE370 Sport only comes with two seats, but there’s enough room for three people. This kayak also features an extremely durable I-beam floor which makes it one of the most rigid inflatable kayaks we’ve tried. However, what we liked most about this is that it’s extremely versatile.

It’s NMMA certified, it can withstand up to class 3 rapids, and it features front and rear self-bailing drains, which makes it perfect for whitewater, while it also features two molded-in skegs for speed and tracking, which makes it perfect for calm lakes or rivers as well.

Its PolyKrylar construction protects it against punctures of any kind, whether that’s rocks on the way, fishing equipment or your dog’s claws, and leaks will not be a problem thanks to its one-way valves. It’s also resistant to UV rays and saltwater abrasion, so you can count on this inflatable kayak to last you a long time.

Main Features:

  • Amazing cargo capacity
  • Versatility
  • Durability

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Intex Challenger K2

If you like kayaking but it’s not something you do often enough to justify getting a pricier inflatable kayak or if you’re just getting started, the Intex Challenger K2 might the best option for you.

Of course, at this price range there are some compromises to keep in mind. You won’t be getting the performance of our top pick or the comfort of our runner-up, but this is an inflatable kayak that will allow you to enjoy your day in the water. Its vinyl construction makes it durable and resistant to UV damage, tears, and leaks.

What we liked most about this inflatable kayak is that even though it’s quite inexpensive, it still comes with two aluminum paddles, a repair kit, and a high-capacity pump. It has more than enough room for two people and there’s enough cargo netting for you to take your gear with you.

In our experience, the Intex Challenger K2 is the perfect option for more casual users and for people who engage in this activity to seek relaxation instead of thrill or adrenaline. One thing’s for sure: you’ll be surprised with the quality and the overall performance of this kayak.

Main Features:

  • Inexpensive
  • Durable, comfortable, stable
  • Includes paddles, repair kit, and pump

Other Recommended Choices

If you’re not satisfied with the previous options, here are a couple more you

should definitely consider!

Sevylor Quikpak K5

Sevylor Quikpak K5

The Sevylor Quikpak K5 is an incredible inflatable kayak that manages to stand out from the rest because of its ingenious design. It’s clear that this kayak was conceived with portability in mind, and one of the features we love most is that it folds into an actual backpack that only weighs 25 pounds. How cool is that?!

This makes it perfect for travel or to take camping, hiking, or on expeditions of any kind. It includes a hand pump and it doesn’t take long to inflate, which is always nice. Overall, it’s a great inflatable kayak for the price.

Main Features:

  • Lightweight
  • Super portable and easy to carry
  • Versatile

Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

This 3-person inflatable kayak is a great option for people who want to bring kids along. In our experience with this one, it fits two adults and a child or a dog, not three adults, so that’s something to keep in mind.

This kayak is stable enough and it offers great tracking. What we liked the most is that it’s made of heavy duty PVC and it features a tarpaulin bottom, which means it’s not only durable, it’s resistant to abrasions and punctures. With its three separate chambers, it’s also safe, and overall it’s a great option and you’ll be getting a lot of value for your money.

Main Features:

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Suitable for two adults and a child or dog
  • Comfortable, stable, and safe

Advanced Elements Attack Whitewater Kayak

Advanced Elements Attack Whitewater Kayak

The Advanced Elements Attack whitewater kayak is a tough inflatable kayak made from 840-Dernier PVC tarpaulin featuring a zippered outer shell. This makes it both durable and sturdy. Additionally, it includes abrasion rails to absorb any impacts. Perfect for whitewater kayaking, this option is both small and light, which will provide you with the control you need. We enjoyed the fact that the seat is adjustable and that it can be secured. The thigh straps also sport good design and they keep you firmly in place, even when it gets rough.

Main Features:

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Comfortable and safe
  • Small and light

Conclusion

Having an inflatable kayak will make your kayaking experience a lot more convenient and comfortable, provided that you make the right choice. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to narrow it down, but we hope this list will provide the clarity you’re looking for.

Any of the options on this list make for a great acquisition, so keep in mind your needs and make the best choice possible. These high-quality items will improve your experience and make it possible for you to share your kayaking with your loved ones as safely and comfortably as possible. Not to mention they will help you be better and have a more fun experience!