What is the Price I have to pay to get a worthwhile inflatable kayak? Below is an approximate answer of the best inflatable kayaks that have been around for years and have accumulated good ratings.
- Recreational Kayaks: $146.99 – $599.99
- Tandem Kayaks: $144.00 – $1399.00
- Touring Kayaks: $699.99 – $1299.00
- Fishing Kayaks: $499.99 – $1220.00
- White Water Kayaks: $299 – $1999.00
- Folding Kayaks: $350 – $1999.00 (Oru starts at $899.99)
As you scroll below you will find the range of prices by inflatable kayak type. I have also calculated the averages of these kayaks and presented them in charts per each category.
If you are looking for kayaks strictly by price take a look at our bulleted list below.
Ready? Lets Dig in!
Average Cost of Inflatable Kayaks by Type
I thought I would do something a little different for this post. This time it actually involved maths! Ohh noo! Don’t worry, I did all the big brain calculations in a SpreadSheet (by big brain I mean typing in =Average in Google Sheets 😛 ).
Below are brands of inflatable kayaks that I personally recommend formatted in charts. I made sure to include brands that were on the lower end to the higher end of the price chart. In each of the 5 categories.
In these chart I did not take into account any sales or sale prices going on. So if the inflatable kayak you are looking for is cheaper than what I have in the charts, think of it as your lucky day!!
Later in this post I also compare these results to Hardshell and Folding kayaks to see what the price difference is for regular prices.
How Much are Inflatable Recreational Kayaks?
|Inflatable Recreational Kayak Type||Regular Price|
|Intex Challenger K1||146.99|
|Sevylor Quikpak K1||161.34|
|Sea Eagle 330 (Deluxe)||299|
|Itiwit Inflatable Recreational||319|
|Advanced Elements Packlite||349.99|
|Advanced Elements Firefly||349.99|
|Aqua Glide Chinook 90||399.99|
|Aqua Glide Noyo 90||399.99|
|Advanced Elements Sport||499.99|
|Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame||599.99|
According to my research done in the chart above the kayaks that are in this range go from $146 to the $599 range. With the Average Price being 352.00. Is that still too much for you to spend? Don’t despair!
At almost any point in the year you will find at least one of these recreational kayaks on sale. The sale price of the kayaks in the lower end of the price range can usually be found below $100 depending on where you buy. For these types of kayaks you can go to Amazon, Decathlon, or just about any big box store that sells sporting goods.
So what’s the difference in price range? As you go above $300 you start getting kayaks that have better materials. These materials upgrade from single layer vinyl like the Intex Challenger has to Multi layer construction. Multi-Layer Construction includes PVC and a protective outer layer of polyester or Nylon which is found in the more expensive Advanced Elements. Other materials used include Hypalon (Synthetic Rubber) which are used by NRS boats.
The Performance is also more noticeable as you go down the price chart. This is because these kayaks have a more defined hull which will help the kayak behave… Well like a kayak! In this category you won’t be winning any races against its hardshell cousins but it gets you out there on the water!
How Much are Inflatable Tandem Kayaks?
|Inflatable Tandem Kayak Type||Regular Price|
|Intex Explorer K2||144|
|Sea Eagle 370||349|
|Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2||499.99|
|AquaGlide Chinook 100||499.99|
|Decathalon Itwiwit X100||229|
|AquaGlide Deschutes 145||799.99|
|Sea Eagle 380X||899|
|Sea Eagle Razorlite 473rl||1399|
The average of this category is a little bit more deceiving because I put tandem kayaks that serve different purposes. In doing this I wanted to show the vast price range you could expect with these tandem inflatable kayaks.
On the lower end you could probably easily find a tandem kayak for under $150. And when sales come around you can even find some for just under $100! So why the price discrepancy from top to bottom?
As you go further down you get kayaks that are made of far more superior materials. While the Intex Explorer is made of vinyl the Razorlite is made of highly pronounced Drop Stitch Materials. This gives it a pronounced hull which actually allows it to match similar speeds to recreational-touring kayaks.
If this is your first kayak there is no shame in going cheaper. These kayaks can still give you good value for a few years if you take proper care of them.
How Much are Inflatable Touring Kayaks?
|Inflatable Touring Kayak Type||Regular Price|
|Aqua Glide Deschites 130||699.99|
|Sea Eagle FastTrack 385ft||949|
|Sea Eagle Razorlite 393rl||999|
|Aqua Glide Chelan 120||999.99|
|Advanced Elements AirFusion Evo||1299|
This is where things can start to get a bit pricey. In the kayak industry if you want some performance you have to pay to play. Starting off you can get a reasonable kayak in this range for $700. As you go up in price you get into the more serious touring category which can be done in oceans (like the Advanced Elements picture below)
While these kayaks do have ample tracking they won’t go as fast as their sea kayak cousins. Inflatable kayaks have come a long way but it’s still a hard job to manufacture something that cuts through the water like fiberglass/ carbon kayaks do. But hey! Maybe one day we’ll get there!
While you may not be able to go as fast these kayaks earn a big W in portability. Instead of portaging a heavy 14 foot long kayak for miles to the next lake, you can take some time, fold it up and strap it to your back!
How Much are Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
|Inflatable Fishing Kayak Type||Regular Price|
|Intex Excursion Pro||499.99|
|Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler||799.99|
|Star Challenger Fishing Kayak||895|
|AquaGlide Blackfoot Angler||999|
|Sea Eagle 350fx||1099|
|Sea Eagle 385fta||1149|
|Innova Halibut Kayak||1249|
|Mirage Itrek UltraLight||2199|
|Mirage Itrek 11||2799|
If you are a budget fisherman I apologize ahead of time for the averages I calculated. Because I added the “Ferrari” of fishing kayaks in there (Hobie) it brought the average way up. If I exclude them then the average would drop down $300 to about $900.00.
Truthfully there’s a decent amount of inflatable kayaks you can use for fishing if you are a minimalist. Heck you can probably even get away with fishing from a budget kayak like the Intex Explorer (as long as you are careful with the sharp pointy things).
If you are more of an avid fisherman then I do recommend you go into the more serious inflatable fishing kayaks. These kayaks throughout these ranges are specifically designed to have pockets, rod holders or in the case of Hobie, add-on attachments to a wealth of different accessories.
The amount you spend on a fishing kayak is directly correlated to the amount of accessories you need and how much performance you need from the kayak. In the case of Hobie, you are paying for their Mirage Drive (Pedals) and rudder system and the fully adjustable ITrek seat.
How Much Are Inflatable White Water Kayaks?
|Inflatable White Water Kayak Type||Regular Price|
|Sea Eagle 330||299|
|Advanced Elements Attack Pro||699.99|
|Tributary Tomcat Solo||739|
|Star Raven I||745|
|Sea Eagle 300x||799|
|Aqua Glide McKenzie 105||799|
The Average here was about $884. I added the Sea Eagle 330 in here for some representation on the budget side for lighter rapids. But realistically for real white water inflatable kayaks the starting point is at about $700.
You may have noticed on the other side the Aire Force as being almost $1000 more expensive than the other models. This is because this particular kayak is more performance focused and made from serious White Water kayakers. It’s equipped with PVC material and has thigh straps that allows you to perform tricks in the surf.
How do Inflatables Compare with Hardshell Kayaks?
We went into a full detailed breakdown about the differences between inflatable vs hardshell kayaks here. But strictly speaking from price, Hardshell kayaks are more expensive.
|Kayak Type||Inflatable Average||Hardshell Average|
Especially if you get into the more specialty kayaks like your fishing, white water or sea kayaks. The construction of these is more labor and materials intensive so as a result the price can sometimes be at least double of what their inflatable siblings are.
For recreation the price difference is not nearly as bad, but the hardshell kayaks will end up costing you more and you will have the whole storage dilemma which is part of the reason you are here in the first place!
How Do Inflatable Kayaks Compare to Folding Kayaks?
|Inflatable White Water Kayak Type||Regular Price|
|Tutec Folding Kayak||350|
|Oru Coast XT||1999|
They are both portable, can be folded up and be stored for the winter so what’s the difference? As you can see in the above chart it’s the price! If you compare the individual folding kayaks to the ranges above they average to be a few hundred dollars more expensive.
- Tuctec Folding kayak, Oru Inlet = Recreational
- Oru Beach = Higher End Recreational
- Oru Bay, Oru Coast XT = Touring
Judging by that criteria inflatable recreational kayaks on average are $547 less expensive than the Oru Inlet, almost the same price as the Tuctec and almost $770 cheaper than the Oru Beach
In judging Touring kayaks inflatable kayaks come out to be on average $538 cheaper than the Oru Bay and $1038 cheaper than the Oru Coast XT.
Now just because we are named “Inflatable Kayak Authority” doesn’t mean we don’t see the value in folding kayaks like Oru! The main advantage of getting a folding kayak is the fact that you get similar on-water performance to a hardshell kayak. Now are you willing to pay more money for this is a question that is up to you!
Below are some commonly asked questions about inflatable kayaks and their price ranges.
How Much Does a Good Inflatable Kayak Cost?
With this question it depends on what you are looking for. “Good” usually insinuates quality materials. For those you will have to pay a bit more. In the above charts I have covered anything from “pretty good” to excellent. As you read further down the charts you will be getting into “good quality” kayaks.
When is The Best Time to Buy an Inflatable Kayak?
The great thing about these kayak price charts is that these prices are not absolute. Oftentimes there are sales and the kayaks can come down up to 50% in price!
But there is a time to pounce and that is usually in the winter or off season. Big box stores will have discounts throughout November and December.
Black Friday is also a great time to score some really good prices from all over the board. That’s what I usually look at when I’m eyeing up paddling equipment. Tune into this site and sign up to get email updates each month on which inflatable kayaks and paddling equipment are on sale!
Why Can Inflatable Kayaks Be So Expensive?
This is due to the materials that are used. Higher quality materials like drop stitch and pvc cost the manufacturer more to make which increases the price from materials used. If you are not into the whole expensive thing you can get some good quality kayaks that are made of vinyl.
Just know that they probably won’t last as long as if you bought a more expensive kayaks with better materials associated with it.
Another reason is the design of the kayak. As the material gets into better quality the craftsmanship of the kayak goes up. People who want to spend more money on an inflatable kayak want it to actually paddle similarly to a hardshell!
Should You Get a Used Inflatable Kayak?
The higher up you go on our price charts the less likely I am to say yes. With cheap inflatable kayaks, like those made of vinyl I would recommend you just buy it new. It will last longer and most importantly you know where it’s been.
For higher end kayaks like Advanced Elements or AquaGlide I would say it makes more sense. But before you purchase make sure that you inspect all the bladders! People are mostly honest but improper storage practices can make a perfectly good kayak become a lemon.
What Have We Learned?
I actually had a lot of fun sorting through data and comparing and contrasting the different kayak models prices. When starting out Recreational kayaks make sense both from an experience and price point perspective.
As you get into more specialist activities the average price of the kayak goes up. Sometimes by more than 100%!
Overall Inflatable kayaks are cheaper than hardshell kayaks. The price difference becomes even more apparent when you get into specialist activities.
Folding kayaks are a great alternative to inflatables if you are looking for something more performance based. But the downside is you have to pay more.