Best Kayak Brands Reviews

In this guide we go through our Best Kayak Brands that manufacture good quality inflatable kayaks. We will also be giving you vital information about each company. Things like their customer service stats, warranty and returns information, who the brand is gear towards and what products they make

And of course we will be letting you know the best places that frequently have good deals on these kayak companies. 

We have put over 26 hours of research combined with the sum of our inflatable kayak paddling experiences to recommend who’s kayaks stand out.

 Ready? Let’s get into it!

The 6 Best Kayak Brands for Inflatable Kayaks List

The kayaks selected here are top of the notch kayak brands and manufacturers that span across many budgets. Most of the kayaks here are Category 2 (PVC surrounded by a Protective nylon covering) and Category 3 (Thick PVC and some drop stitch elements like the floor. 

All of these kayak brands are listed in alphabetical order. 

The Review Price Scoring Goes as Follows:

$$  -$400

$$$ – $600

$$$$ – $800

And so On.

Below is a comparison on the Best Inflatable Kayak Brands List that also acts as a Table of Contents. Click the kayak companies Names to go over each overview. 

Kayak BrandActivityProduct LinesCustomer ReputationWarranty/ ReturnsWhere to Buy
Advanced ElementsRecreation/ Touring/  Fishing/ WhiteWater194.2 – 4.6/ 5 Stars
1 Year Warranty/ 30 Day ReturnOutdoorplay
AquaGlideRecreation/ Touring/  Fishing/ WhiteWater173.6 – 4.9/ 5 StarsAmazon2 & 1 Year Warranty/  30 Day ReturnOutdoorplay
BoteRecreation/ Fishing/ SUP Hybrid34.2 – 5/5 Stars Facebook
2 Year Limited Warranty/ 30 Day ReturnBote Website
Intex Recreation/ Fishing54.4 – 4.5/ 5 Stars Amazon90 Day Warranty/ 30 Day WarrantyIntexAmazon
NRSWhiteWater/ Fishing/ Recreation144.4/ 5 Stars Facebook3 Year Warranty/ 120 Day ReturnOutdoorplay
Sea EagleRecreation/ Touring/  Fishing/ WhiteWater114.2/ 5 Stars Facebook
4- 5 / 5 Stars Amazon
3 Year Warranty/ 120 Day ReturnSea Eagle

Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayaks

Advanced Elements is a company that focuses on innovation and design for their inflatable kayaks. They are definitely one of the better lookers on this page!

Most of their kayaks can be classified as category II (kayak bladder wrapped in nylon) kayaks but they are the most advanced company in that classification range. Due to some of the technologies they implement in their inflatable boats. 

Who is Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayaks For

Advanced Elements spans all sorts of users from adventurous tourers to white water and angling enthusiasts. This company mainly sells midtier kayaks that balance the tight rope of affordability and good on water performance. 

The most common makes that customers purchase are the AdvancedFrame models. These kayaks range from recreational (1-3 hour paddles) to intense multi day tour experiences. They also have specialty lines for fishing and White Water Kayaks. 

Advanced Elements Customer Service

I couldn’t find very much on specific customer service ratings on Advanced Elements other than Yelp that had 2 reviews. What we did see is that their kayaks had a 4.2 – 4.6 star rating on Amazon. The recurring negative comments from customers were that their kayaks were heavy and hard to dry. 

The compliments were that they were stable and pretty durable for the most part. Similar things were also said about the Convertible on  

Advanced Elements Kayak Reviews

Advanced Elements use technology, like conversion decks, drop stitch flooring, backbones that act as a keel and aluminum rib frame technology to cut through the water.

KayakDimensionsWeight Max CapacityActivityPrice
Firefly AE10207’10 X 35”16 Lbs250 LbsRecreation$$
Packlite AE30217’10” X 35:4 Lbs250 LbsPackraft$$
Lagoon1 AE10138’4” X 34”23 Lbs250 LbsRecreation$$
Island Voyage 2 AE302311’2” X 37”31.5 Lbs400 LbsRecreation$$$
AdvancedFrame Sport AE101710’5” X 32”26 Lbs250 lBSRecreation/ Light Touring$$$
AdvancedFrame Ultralite AE302210’5” X 32”17.5 Lbs225 LbsRecreation/ Light Touring$$$
Airvolution AE302913’ X 33”39 Lbs300 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$$$$$
Airvolution AE303014’6” X 37”52 Lbs550 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$$$$$$$
AdvancedFrame AE101210’5” X 32”36 Lbs300 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$
AdvancedFrame AE1009- XE13’ X 32”42 Lbs450 LbsTouring$$$$$
AdvancedFrame Convertible AE100715’ X 32”52 Lbs550 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$$
AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite AE1007-E15’ X 32” 52 Lbs550 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$$$
Airfusion Evo AE104213’ X 24”32 Lbs235 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$$$$
Stratedge AE10069’8” X 35 Lbs34 Lbs300 LbsRecreation/ Rivers/ WhiteWater$$$
StraitEdge213’ X 35”41 Lbs500 LbsRecreation/ Rivers/ Light Touring$$$$
StraitEdge Angler AE10069’8” X 35”41 Lbs300 LbsRecreation/ Fishing$$$$
Straitedge Angler Pro AE105510’6” x 38.5”45 Lbs400 LbsRecreation/ Fishing$$$$$
Attack Pro AE10519’9” X 35”25.5 Lbs225 LbsRivers/ Whitewater$$$$

Advanced Elements Warranty and Returns Info

Advanced Elements has a 1 year warranty on all of their products. It does not cover products used for rental or tours. It also does not cover punctures and cuts from normal use. 

Returns need to happen within a 30 day period. You also get a 14 day order cancelation policy. 

Where to Get Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayaks 

You can purchase Advanced Elements Kayaks from the following online retailers:

AquaGlide Kayaks

AquaGlide calls the North West home. And you can see the inspiration based on how their inflatable kayaks are designed for touring inspired on water performance.  

AquaGlide designs a variety of different inflatable kayaks that range in different price points and hull designs. 

Who AquaGlide Inflatable Kayaks are For:

Despite their kayaks being touring centered, AquaGlide does make a bunch of different kayaks for different uses. 

They range from recreation (Navarro, Chinook, Noyo) all the way to WhiteWater(Mckenzie) to Touring (Deschutes, Chelan) to the more expensive Blackfoot series for kayak anglers who want some performance. 

The more expensive touring shaped models are relatively hassle free compared to other kayaks because they are made of Duratex PVC, which means they dry quicker.

AquaGlide Kayak Reviews

On top of being made by Duratex PVC Chelan, Mckenzie Deschetes and Blackfoot line also feature drop stitch floors which adds extra rigidity for both stability and hydrodynamics that allow the hull to perform more like a hardshell kayak. 

The cheaper series like the Chinook and Noya series are Category II kayaks which feature 600 denier hex ripstop polyester. A similar idea to the Advanced Frame models. 

The good thing though is that these cheaper inflatable kayak models do have an Evo Beam floor. It is shaped like a V bottom to make these cheaper lines of kayak perform adequately. 

KayakDimensionsWeight Max CapacityActivityPrice
Noyo 909’ X 34”21 Lbs250 LbsRecreation$$
Chinook 909’ X 35”19 Lbs250 LbsRecreation$$
Chinook 10010’ X 36”23 Lbs400 LbsRecreation$$
Chinook 12012’ X 37”28 Lbs550 LbsRecreation$$
Navarro 110 11’ X 35.5”28 Lbs250 LbsRecreation$$$
Navarro 13013’ X 37.5”30 Lbs300 LbsRecreation$$$
Navarro 14514’4” X 39”36 Lbs500 LbsRecreation$$$
Deschutes 11011’ X 36” 18 Lbs300 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$
Deschutes 13012’10” X 37.5”22 Lbs400 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$
Deschutes 14514’7” X 38”25 Lbs600 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$
Mckenzie 10510’6” X 39”19 Lbs300 LbsRecreation/ White Water/ River$$$
Mckenzie 12512’2” X 34.5”30 Lbs600 LbsRecreation/ White Water/ River$$$$
Chelan 12011’3” X 32.5” 28 Lbs300 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$$
Chelan 140 13’6” X 35”35 Lbs400 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$$
Chelan 15515’1” X 36”38 Lbs600 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$$$
Blackfoot Angler 13013’ X 38”41 Lbs650 LbsFishing/ Touring/ Recreation$$$$$
Blackfoot Angler 16016’4” X 38”50 Lbs800 LbsFishing/ Touring/ Recreation$$$$$$

AquaGlide Customer Service

While there are few tell tale reviews that reveal customer service AquaGlide does have 3.6 – 4.9 Stars on Amazon for their inflatable kayak lineup. 

A cool website called Review Meta actually takes the average of these Amazon reviews (out of 238) and gives the company an average of a 3.5 rating.

AquaGlide Warranty and Returns Information 

AquaGlide features a 2 year warranty that covers manufacturing defects that includes workmanship, Seam Failures and material failures. The cheaper models like the Noyo, Chinook, Navarro all have a 1 year warranty.

AquaGlide also features a 30 day return on all of its products

Where to Get AquaGlide Inflatable Kayaks

You can purchase Aquaglide kayaks from:

Bote Kayaks

Originally a Stand Up Paddle Board Manufacturer, Bote has cleverly moved into making full drop stitch inflatable kayaks. These are some of the most unique inflatable kayaks that you will ever see in the water and they are also some of the best designed, especially if you are an avid fisherman. 

Who Bote Inflatable Kayaks are for

Bote inflatable kayaks are for folks who want to combine the skill set of stand up paddle boarding with kayaking. They are also great for those stand up paddler fisherman who want a super stable board to spot-fish on while having the capabilities of bringing all the amenities that comes with kayak fishing. 

Bote Inflatable Kayak Reviews

All of the below boards are made of AeroBote Fusion composite drop stitch technology which makes them durable as the dickens. 

KayakDimensionsWeight Max CapacityActivityPrice
Dues Aero 11’11′ × 33″41 Lbs300 LbsRecreation/ SUP Hybrid$$$$$$
Lono Aero 12’6”12′6″ × 35.551 Lbs400 LbsRecreation/nFishing/ Pedal$$$$$$$
Zeppelin Aero 12′6″12′6″ × 38″41 Lbs600 LbsRecreation/ Fishing$$$$$$

Bote Customer Service

From what we’ve seen Bote has pretty good customer service as noted by their 4.2 – 5 Star Facebook Reviews. Some threads in Reddit also complimented Botes customer service capabilities. 

For complaints there were a few on the BBB (Better Business Bureau). But to Botes credit they have been responsive to most of these requests. 

Bote Warranty and Guarantees

Bote features a limited 2 year warranty that covers repairs and replacements of parts that are defective. The warranty does not apply to misuse, cosmetic flaws or punctures. 

Botes has a 30 day return policy which features a 20% restocking fee and items must be returned in “like new condition” with little cosmetic wear. 

Where to Get Bote Inflatable Kayaks

You can Bote kayaks from the Bote Website and the following Online Retailers:

Intex Inflatable Kayaks

Chances are if you have gone to any big box retailer you have found this brand name in anything from patio furniture to pool toys. Well they also make kayaks. And surprisingly they are really not too bad for the price tag!

Who Are Intex Inflatable Kayaks For

Intex kayaks are made for a very specific purpose. To get beginner paddler experience on the water at a very affordable price. They also make fairly decent kayaks (Excursion Pro) for fishermen who don’t want to spend a lot on a boat.

Intex Kayak Reviews

Intex kayaks are the only manufacturer made almost exclusively from Category I Vinyl construction on this list. Some of these kayaks also feature an Ibeam floor which allows the paddler to sit up high. The exception to this rule is the Intex Excursion which is made of more durable PVC laminate with a polyester core. 

KayakDimensionsWeight Max CapacityActivityPrice
Challenger K19′ X 30”23.9 lbs400 lbRecreation$
Challenger K211’6″ X 30”33.53 Lbs400 LbsRecreation$
Explorer K210’3″ X 3630.60 Lbs400 LbsRecreation$
Excursion Pro12’7″ X 38”39.01 Lbs400 LbsFishing/ Recreational$$
Dakota K210’3″ X 36”30.60 lb400 LbsRecreation$

Intex Customer Service

Intex’s Trust Pilot score is extremely low at 1.6 out of 5 stars. However we shouldn’t be so quick to judge because a lot of these relate more to Intexs other products. A lot of the bad reviews are also about fake scam sites using Intex’s name and scamming unknowing customers. So it’s best to buy either from Amazon or Intex’s main website

Intex has more reviews than any other inflatable kayak manufacturer so if you were looking for some grain of truth in how all of their kayaks perform its best to scan through the Amazon Reviews. Most of their kayaks range between 4.4 and 4.5 star reviews. The Challenger and the Explorer series have 19,000 and above customer reviews each!

Intex Warranty and Returns

Intex has the shortest warranty of any of the inflatable kayak manufacturers on this list. They only have a 90 day limited warranty on their products. This is because most of their inflatable kayak lines are made of vinyl material which is the least durable material. I have heard stories of paddlers saying their Intex kayaks last anywhere from 1 use to 5 years. 

Intex features a 30 day return policy on its products and must be in its original packaging and resalable condition. 

Where to get Intex Kayaks

The Best place to buy an Intex product is from Amazon but you can also purchase from Intex themselves. Although the shipping from Intex will probably be slower and the customer service would be less responsive. 

NRS Kayaks

It’s hard to talk about kayaking gear of any sort without mentioning NRS.They are no strangers to paddling and river expeditions as they’ve been around since 1972. They are also currently 100% employee owned which makes the company more efficient in its operations.  

NRS design a wide range of paddling specific gear like PFD’s, gloves, dry bags as well as their STAR line of Inflatable kayaks

It should also be noted that NRS sells other top white water inflatable kayak brands like Aire and Tributary inflatable kayaks. 

Screen Shot taken from PaddleTV Youtube

Who NRS Inflatable Kayaks are For

The beginnings of NRS revolved around river running and inflatable rafts. But since then they have expanded to white water kayaks, fishing and recreational kayaks that all paddlers can enjoy. 

The STAR Raven, Outlaw and Viper series are made more specifically for white water paddling. Their maneuverability helps you make those quick decisions needed to maneuver around the river. 

For those who want a bit more flatwater performance the Paragon series gives you that pointed nose and skeg to give you some tracking for some enjoyable recreational kayaking.

For fishermen NRS has the more open deck concepts from the Challenger, Rival and the more enclosed Pike series. Their stable platform allows anglers to have the choice of sitting or standing when they paddle their kayaks. 

NRS Inflatable Kayak Reviews

All Star Inflatable kayaks are made of advanced formula PVC that uses advanced welding technology to be durable as all heck when encountering those obstacles you get from the river and the lake. 

The Challenger and Rival series feature a drop stitch deck. The Whitewater Rave, Outlaw and Viper series feature self bailing holes needed for the shower you will receive from the river!

KayakDimensionsWeight Max CapacityActivityPrice
Star Raven I 9’10” X 38”37 Lbs275 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$
Star Raven I Pro9’10” X 38”39 Lbs275 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$
Star Raven II12’2” X 38”44 Lbs400 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$
Star Outlaw I9’10” X 38”30 Lbs275 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$
Star Outlaw II12’2” X 38”40 Lbs400 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$
Star Viper9’6” X 36”33 Lbs200 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$$
Star Viper XL10’2” X 37”39.5 Lbs275 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$$
Star Paragon10’11” X 36”40 Lbs275 LbsRecreation/ Touring/ Rivers$$$$
Star Paragon XL13’6” X 36”48 Lbs 350 LbsRecreation/ Touring/ Rivers$$$$$
Star Paragon Tandem15’ X 36”58.5 Lbs400 LbsRecreation/ Touring/ Rivers$$$$$
Star Challenger10’8” X 38”27 Lbs275 LbsFishing/ Recreation$$$$
Star Rival12’6” X 38”30 Lbs300 LbsFishing/ Recreation$$$$
Star Rival Fish12’6” X 38”31 Lbs300 LbsFishing/ Recreation$$$$
Star Pike12’8” X 38”48 Lbs375 LbsFishing/ Recreation$$$$$

NRS Customer Service

NRS features a more than respectable 4.4 / 5 star rating on its customer service on Facebook. It should be noted though, that because NRS sells a wide range of paddling and outdoor gear. Most of the reviews are directed towards the other products they sell outside of the inflatable kayaks. 

NRS Warranty and Returns Info

Because of NRS’s quality of care and craftsmanship they go into their boats, they offer a 3 year consumer warranty on their STAR series of inflatable Kayaks. NRS also offers a 2 year commercial warranty (rentals, tours) on their kayaks which is the longest on this list for commercial use. 

For other brands like AIRE the warranty is good for 10 years retail, 5 years commercial. For the Tributary brand it gets a 1 year retail and 1 year commercial warranty. 

NRS features a 120 day return policy for their new products while any used products purchased from NRS have a 30 day return policy. 

Where to Get NRS Inflatable Kayaks

You can find NRS kayaks on the NRS website. And Local dealers that carry them. 

Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayaks

Sea Eagle is one of the oldest inflatable kayak manufacturers in the world. They’ve been making inflatable boats since 1968.  For context my parents were just in their teens at that age! So it’s safe to say these guys know a thing to two about inflatable kayaks.

Who Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayaks are For

Sea Eagle kayaks have kayaking packages for almost any kind of paddler you can think of. Their kayak packages range from the cheaper recreational makes like the 330 and 370, all the way to touring models like the Fasttrack or speedy Razorlite kayaks. 

They also have kayaks for whitewater paddlers and anglers in mind like the extremely versatile Explorer series all the way to angler specialties like the 350fx and 385fta.

These kayaks range all the way from $299 dollars for the 330 all the way to the $1,849 TC16 Travel Canoe

Sea Eagle Kayak Reviews

The thing that really sets Sea Eagle apart is the fact that for each model of kayak it has different packages that span different price levels that allow you to choose the custom kayak package of your choice.

Some of these include:

  • Electric pumps
  • Carbon hybrid paddles
  • Upgraded seats
  • Rowing packages
  • Swivel chairs
  • motors, 
  • rod holder mounts
  • Sail packages
KayakDimensionsWeight Max CapacityActivityPrice
33011’ X 33.8”26.45 Lbs500 LbsRecreation$$
370 12.5’ X 33 Lbs650 LbsRecreation$$
300x Explorer9.8’ X 39.3” 30.8 Lbs394.6 LbsWhiteWater/ Rivers/ Recreational$$$$
350fx Fishing Explorer11.5’ X 38.9”50.7 Lbs575.4 LbsFishing/ Recreational/ Rivers$$$$$
380x Explorer12.4’ X 38.9”39.6 Lbs749.6 LbsWhiteWater/ Rivers/ Recreational$$$$
420x Explorer 14 X 39.3”44 Lbs855.3 LbsWhiteWater/ Rivers/ Recreational$$$$$
393rl Razorlite12.8’ X 28”35.2 Lbs500 LbsRecreational/ Touring$$$$$
473rl Razorlite15.5’ X 30”44 Lbs749.5 Recreational/ Touring$$$$$$$
385ft FastTrack12.5’ X 35.835.3 Lbs635 LbsRecreational/ Touring$$$$$
385fta FastTrack Angler Series12.5’ X 35.844 Lbs635 LbsFishing/ Recreational/ Touring$$$$$$
465ft FastTrack14’ X 35.8”44 Lbs793 LbsRecreational/ Touring$$$$$$
Travel Canoe 1616’ X 64 Lbs915 LbsRecreation/ Touring$$$$$$$$$

Sea Eagle Customer Service

Sea Eagle has a 4.2/ 5 star rating on their Facebook page out of 140 (at the time of writing this) reviews. A lot of the negative reviews, however, were during the midst of the 2020 pandemic where support was overloaded. 

On Amazon Sea Eagle has a range of 4 – 5 star customer ratings throughout their lineup. 

Sea Eagle Warranty and Returns

All Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks feature a 3 year warranty. If you own a commercial operation that uses these boats regularly then it goes down to a 6 month warranty. These warranties do not include negligence, accidents, color fading, customization and hauling damages. 

Where Sea Eagle gets quality marks is with its return policy. They have a 120 day return policy where the product can be used but must be cleaned by you and be in salable condition for them to resell the product as used. 

Where to Get Sea Eagle Kayaks

You can purchase Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks from Sea and on Amazon. 

Inflatable Kayak Companies by Type/ Activity

Got an activity in mind and quickly want to scan what brands are available? We got you!

Inflatable Sea Kayaks Brands

  • Advanced Elements
  • AquaGlide
  • Driftsun
  • Sea Eagle
  • ZRay

Inflatable Whitewater Kayak Brands

  • Advanced Elements
  • Air Kayaks
  • AquaGlide
  • Driftsun
  • Sea Eagle
  • Star
  • Tributary

Inflatable Fishing Kayak Brands

  • Advanced Elements
  • AquaGlide
  • Bote
  • Driftsun
  • Hobie
  • Intex
  • Sea Eagle
  • STAR

Inflatable Recreational Kayak Brands

  • Advanced Elements
  • AquaGlide
  • Bote
  • Driftsun
  • Intex
  • Sea Eagle
  • Sevylor
  • Zray

Inflatable Tandem Kayak Brands

  • Advanced Elements
  • Aire Kayaks
  • Airhead
  • Aquaglide
  • Bote
  • Driftsun
  • Elkton
  • Intex
  • Hobie
  • Innova Kayak
  • Oru
  • Sea Eagle
  • STAR
  • Tributary
  • Zray

Inflatable Kayak Brands to Avoid

At Inflatable Kayak Authority we are not about burning bridges (or getting nasty emails from manufacturers). 

So instead we will just state that if you see any of the inflatable kayaks above priced at a ridiculously cheap price (especially on places like Facebook). Then it’s probably too good to be true

So do your due diligence and check this list for legitimate companies that sell legitimate products. Or go to the manufactures site and look up dealers (all of these websites usually have a local dealers page) that are close to you. 

When looking at Online stores like Amazon or big box stores like Walmart are Target. Take a look at customer reviews before you purchase and do your due diligence. One website I really like to go to for this is Their customer reviews are usually very unbiased and extremely detail oriented.   

Wrapping Up The Top Inflatable Kayak Brands

The Best Inflatable Kayak companies go as follows:

Remember to look for warranty information, customer reviews and customer service before deciding what the Best Inflatable Kayak is for you.