When you are searching for the right inflatable kayak, you may be surprised by the large variety of options out there. It may be overwhelming to find the perfect model for your needs with so many choices available. This is where you will need an expert for advice.
Being a kayaker for over 2 decades, I have tested a lot of models over the years. So, in order to help you, I have created a list of some of my favorites and best inflatable kayaks for under $500 that you can buy this summer.
If you are interested in a kayak but don’t want to spend a lot of money, then an inflatable kayak is the way.
Here I have created a list of the best inflatable kayak under $500. These kayaking options are great for people on a tight budget or beginners who want to test out whether or not they like paddleboards and kayaks.
The Advanced Frame Sports Inflatable Kayak is the #1 kayak on my list of the best kayaks under $500. It is lightweight, easy to control, and perfect for everyone. This kayak is designed with a strong frame; this means that it can handle whatever conditions come your way, no matter how rough or calm those waters may be.
Size: 12 feet 5 inches long, 2 feet 8 inches wide
Material: PVC Tarpaulin
Weight: 26.4 lbs
Seating Capacity: Single Person
The AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak is an excellent choice for someone looking to get on the water without taking up too much space. This inflatable kayak is 12 feet 5 inches long and 2 feet 8 inches wide, making it easy to paddle in all types of waters.
It’s made of a durable aluminum alloy frame that’s easy to maneuver, so it’s perfect for beginners who want a lightweight boat that can handle whatever the water throws at them. Its sleek, lightweight design makes it easy to transport, while the roomy cockpit provides a comfortable paddling experience.
This kayak is made of PVC Tarpaulin materials and has a strong frame. Its tough exterior and sturdy frame mean that this kayak will give you many hours of enjoyment, whether you’re paddling around the lake or navigating white water rapids.
The advanced frame kayak has a weight limit of 250 lbs. This means that it’s stable enough to accommodate one person up to around 110 kg. You’ll be safe on this kayak if you’re an average-sized adult.
Handling this kayak is very simple. The aluminum-made frame provides enough support to operate paddles at any position. This means you can easily operate the kayak in any water or in any condition.
There are no permanent storage options on this inflatable kayak, but you can keep your belongings safe inside the large cockpit area. You can use plastic bags and cable ties to keep your items safe from water.
This Advanced Frame Sport kayak is made of high-quality, tough materials like Rip-stop Polyester and PVC Tarpaulin coatings, which means it can withstand years of use in the sun and on rocks, sand, and other debris.
Its large cockpit area ensures that you have plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy your kayaking adventure. You’ll never feel cramped or uncomfortable as you glide through the water.
In addition to the large cockpit, this kayak features an adjustable and padded seat. With its built-in padding and padded backrest, the seat will keep you comfortable for hours.
The Advanced Elements Frame Sport Kayak is safe to use by anyone, even if you have never used a kayak before. Its large cockpit area will keep you secure and prevent you from falling out, making it ideal for small children and adults who might be worried about their balance. The rugged construction also ensures that the kayak can handle a variety of water conditions without fear of damage or leaks.
· Comfortable Seat
· Ideal Size
· Easily Foldable
· Easy to Inflate and Deflate
· Air Pump not Included
The second best inflatable kayak under $500 is Aquaglide’s Noyo 90 Inflatable kayak. It is specially designed for those kayakers who don’t want to get wet while kayaking. Its comfortable and secure cockpit ensures the rider does not get wet so that you can enjoy kayaking in all weathers.
Size: 9 feet long, 2 feet 11 inches wide
Weight: 21 lbs
Seating Capacity: Single Person
The Noyo 90 is 9 feet long and 2 feet 11 inches wide, which means that it’s long enough to comfortably fit the average adult and wide enough to be stable at the same time.
The design was made with recreational paddling in mind: it’s got a quick-release fin for extra convenience and a drain plug and Boston valve for quick and easy drainage. It also has a paddle keeper, so you won’t have to worry about losing your paddle. It has a removable skeg, tracking channels, and a carrying handle to make your kayaking experience as enjoyable as possible.
The build quality of this kayak is excellent for a few reasons. One, it is made out of high-quality materials, which improve its lifetime. Two, included with this kayak is also a rental grade high-pressure floor for maximum rigidity and grab handles for easy use.
This kayak’s maximum carrying capacity or weight limit is approximately 250 lbs, as per claimed by the company. But it is advised not to put more than 220 lbs of weight as it may make the kayak unstable in shallow waters.
Handling this kayak is easy. You won’t have to make extra efforts to take turns because of the sharp Hull design. There are two paddle hooks on both sides for you to keep your paddles safe while kayaking. This makes handling and operation easier.
It comes with two zip open dry compartments that are easy to access while on the boat. These pockets are perfect for storing any personal belongings you may want to bring with you out on the water, such as a phone and wallet or even snacks and drinks. No matter what you put in these compartments, they will be safe from any puddles that may form inside the boat.
The premium design and build quality made this kayak super durable for long-term usage. I’ve been using Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak for more than 2 years, and there has been no damage or leakage till now. Although, there are some scratches and dents that have been formed over 2 years of usage.
The seat of this Inflatable Kayak is crafted with comfort in mind. With a huge cockpit compartment given for you to keep yourself dry from puddles and a comfortable seat, this inflatable kayak is sure to be your home away from home.
This Kayak is safe and secure for all types of kayakers. The build quality is excellent and provides protection against harsh and rough waters. Besides, it is designed in a way that there is no chance of flipping the rider. So, the Aquaglide Noyo 90 Inflatable Kayak can be used by amateurs as well as seasoned kayakers.
· Ideal for Recreational Paddling
· Medium Size
· Premium Build Quality and Design
· Two water-resistant storage compartments
· Paddles and Pump are not included
The third kayak on my list of best inflatable kayak under $500 is Advance Elements’ Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak. This is an idle Kayak for those looking for a Tandem Kayak with a minimal budget. This inflatable kayak has an extra length and increased size. It can hold up some more pounds, which is ideal for two adults.
Size: 11.2 feet long, 3 feet 1 inch wide
Material: PVC Tarpaulin
Weight: 31.5 lbs
Seating Capacity: 2 Person or Double Seated Kayak
If you are a tall person or just someone who wants some extra room, then the ADVANCED ELEMENTS Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak is for you!
It comes with an increased size of 11.2 feet long and 3 feet 1 inch wide. This makes it ideal for tall people and everyone out there.
This sturdy, lightweight kayak is made from high-quality PVC material, so you can be sure it will last season after season. The overall hull design is sharp and sturdy, so it cuts through the water easily as you paddle around.
The overall build quality is above average, and the material withstands harsh waters and strong UV sunlight. It will not fade in color or wear out. The construction of the kayak is solid and does not require much upkeep. The kayak can be inflated within 5-10 minutes once you get the hang of it.
The Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak is designed to comfortably accommodate two people, with a total weight limit of 400 pounds. This kayak is perfect for you and a friend to take out on the lake for some paddling fun.
This inflatable kayak is so much easier to handle. You and a partner can easily take turns moving across a lake, river, or even the ocean. Just paddle softly, and you’re on your way.
This kayak doesn’t have any dedicated spaces for storing your personal items. You’ll have to keep everything you want to bring in a waterproof bag and place it under the seat. If you’re planning on bringing fishing gear, there are 2 mesh pockets on the front and back of the kayak that will easily hold fishing rods, nets, and bobbers.
The Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak is built to last. This inflatable kayak’s overall design and material are durable and long-lasting. The PVS material is resistant to UV lights and will not easily get damaged.
The seats that come with this kayak are easy to install and very comfortable. You can adjust them easily to get the perfect amount of support for your back as you paddle.
Not only that, but the inside of the kayak is roomy enough to keep your legs from getting cramped if you’d like to stretch out a little bit.
The ADVANCED ELEMENTS Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak comes with a lot of safety features. It has a rigid bow and stern for better tracking and also for keeping the rider safe. So, you can easily handle it even if you are a beginner.
Moreover, it is designed in a way that it doesn’t flip the rider in shallow waters. Its hull design adds to its stability and also makes it very comfortable. You can easily sit on this kayak for long hours comfortably.
· Tandem Kayak
· Adjustable Seats
· Designed for more Stability
· Bigger Size
· Easily Foldable and Portable
· The rider can get dry in it
· Air Pump and Paddles are not included
This inflatable tandem kayak can take you and your partner out on the water for an adventure you’ll never forget. The Sea Eagle Tandem Inflatable Sport Kayak is equipped with 2 seats, so you can spend time on the water with your closest friends.
Size: 12 feet 6 inches long, 2 feet 10 inches wide
Weight: 44.25 lbs
Seating Capacity: 2 Person or Double Seated Kayak
The Sea Eagle Tandem Inflatable Sport Kayak comes in a handy size: 12 feet 6 inches long and 2 feet 10 inches wide. The kayak is both large enough to take on the water but small enough to fit into a bag and carry easily.
It is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. It comes with a speed and mold-free drainage valve for quick operation and five air valves for quick inflatability.
Sea Eagle Tandem Inflatable Sport Kayak is made to last longer. The materials used to make this kayak are Synthetic and eco-friendly. It is crafted in a way that there is no chance of internal leakage if used properly.
The Sea Eagle Tandem Inflatable Sport Kayak is designed for two people. It can handle a maximum weight of 650 lbs, which means that both you and your partner will be able to enjoy the ride with plenty of room for all your gear.
This Kayak is easy to handle, thanks to its two high-quality skegs, one on either side. Right away, you’ll notice how smooth the kayak is to operate and that you can easily handle and control it without putting in any extra effort.
There is no dedicated storage space on this Kayak; however, you can use a water-proof bag and cable ties to keep your belongings under the seat.
The sleek design and high-quality materials that make up the Sea Eagle Tandem Inflatable Sport Kayak mean that it is durable enough to last for many years. The kayak is made with high-quality PVC material.
It comes with a very comfortable and padded seat that you can adjust. It is easy to adjust to any height to ease your back. This will make you comfortable as you enjoy the time with your partner.
The Sea Eagle Tandem Inflatable Sport Kayak is safe in the way that it is almost impossible to flip over or fall out of the boat.
It has a ship-like bottom, which improves stability and prevents tipping, and its speed makes it easy to handle.
· 2 Person Sports Kayak
· Paddles and Air Pump Included
· Easy to Handle due to double Skegs
· Durable Materials to withstand sun rays
· No Storage Space
Here is another best inflatable kayak under $500 from Advance Elements. This is a high-performance kayak that will keep you going all day long. It has a compact design that makes it easy to store and lightweight construction that will make it easy to get around on the water.
Size: 8 feet 4 inches long, 2 feet 10 inches wide
Material: Rip-stop Polyester
Weight: 23 lbs
Seating Capacity: Single Person Sit-In Kayak
This compact kayak comes in at 8 feet 4 inches long and 2 feet 10 inches wide, yet the comfortable design allows the user to enjoy their time on the water. Due to its size, it can handle calm waters like lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams.
It is designed to help you turn and maneuver smoothly through the water. With a curved stern and bow, this kayak is built to turn swiftly and efficiently, so you can enjoy the waters for hours on end.
The build quality of this kayak is one major reason why it has a good reputation among kayak lovers. This kayak is made with high-quality PVC material that lasts for a longer time. Besides, the drain valves and other small items used in this kayak are of good quality. This makes this kayak build last longer.
As per the company’s claim, this Kayak can hold a maximum of 250 lbs. But it is recommended for persons weighing less than 210 lbs because there will be other items that you may bring with you on the boat. So, it will be easier and safe for you if you weigh less than 210 pounds.
The Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 Inflatable Kayak is a great option for those who are looking for an easy-to-handle kayak. It comes with a skeg, which helps keep the kayak on course and makes it easier to turn.
It has a mesh pocket for onboard storage. While this will keep your belongings from falling out, it doesn’t do a very good job of keeping them dry. You need to keep your belongings in a waterproof bag if you want to make sure they stay dry.
It is made of a tough and durable material that will stand up to the elements. And you don’t have to worry about being out in the sun for hours on end because this kayak has UV protection.
The seat of this kayak is adjustable according to your body posture: you can adjust the height and backrest position according to your needs. This makes it comfortable for all types of users.
The ADVANCED ELEMENTS Lagoon 1 Kayak is very safe for both beginners and experienced kayakers. For extra security, it has multiple air chambers, so it will not sink if one chamber is damaged or deflated.
· Compact and Handy Size
· Easy to Handle
· Robust Build Quality
· Mesh Storage Pocket
· Handles are given for easy transportation
· No Paddles and Air Pump Included
· A rider can get wet
The Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak Pro is great for day trips or fishing expeditions. It’s sturdy and stable, so it won’t tip over if someone leans too far out of their seat.
Size: 11 feet and 2 inches long, 2 feet 10 inches wide
Material: 33 mil Polykrylar
Weight: 44 lbs
Items Included: Dual action hand pump with two paddles
The Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak Pro’s size allows you to haul it with you on your next adventure. The kayak measures 11′ 2″ x 34″, and the interior measures 9′ 6″ x 15″. The tube diameter is 10″, and when deflated, it measures 24″ x 16″ x 7″.
The kayak is designed to be very convenient, making it easy to transport from place to place. It is also designed for quick inflatability for users.
The kayak is made with 33 mil Polykrylar, which is a highly durable material. The seams are high-frequency welded, and the floor is I-beam constructed, which means it’s extremely sturdy and great for rough waters.
The most important feature of this kayak is its weight limit. It can easily handle 500 lbs without losing stability. This is greater than other single-person kayaks available in the market.
This kayak is easy to handle, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. The 2 skegs (one at each end) give it extra stability and make controlling it easy.
There is no on-boat storage compartment given in this kayak. So, you will have to use plastic bags in order to keep your belongings safe from water.
When it comes to durability, this kayak is rock solid. It’s made of high-quality materials that will not easily wear out. Besides, the build quality is exceptional. This makes it durable and idle for long-term usage.
There is a single padded seat given to give you a comfortable ride. Besides, the floor is designed in a way to provide extra convenience.
When it comes to safety, the Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak Pro is designed without compromise. It’s built with a tough exterior and multiple air chambers, so you don’t have to worry about a puncture or leakage ruining your kayaking fun.
· Increased Weight Limit
· Strong and Sturdy Build Quality
· Easily Inflatable and Deflatable
· Convenient Size
· Not recommended for salt waters
Here is another best inflatable kayak under $500. It’s made with 24-gauge PVC construction, which makes it incredibly durable, so you can depend on it for your long-term kayaking needs.
Size: 10 feet long, 3 feet wide
Material: PVC & Polyester
Weight: 25.5 lbs
Seating Capacity: Single Person Kayak
It measures 10 feet in length and 3 feet in width, which is right for all your kayaking needs.
The overall design is excellent as it is made with polyester material. Multiple air chambers are given to help you quickly inflate this kayak in under five minutes.
The build quality of the Sevylor Quikpak K5 kayak is excellent, as it is made with 24-gauge high-quality PVC material. There are multiple air chambers and drainage valves given that enhance durability.
The weight carrying capacity of this Kayak is around 250 lbs.
Even if you are a beginner, handling this kayak is super easy. There are skegs given for smooth operation and stability. Besides, the hull is designed to make it easier for you to sail in the waters.
It has a built-in storage chamber that’s perfect for keeping your phone, wallet, and other small items safe and dry. The storage chamber is located behind the seat, so it’ll never get in your way as you enjoy your time on the water.
The overall design and build quality are up to the mark, making it durable and long-lasting. I have used this Kayak a couple of times, and I have never faced any leakage or puncture.
Once inflated, you can enjoy the comfort of this kayak by sitting in the adjustable seat which is included. You will also have plenty of room for your legs.
This is one of the safest kayaks out there in the market. There is a waterproof cover that protects your lower body from water splashes and also prevents you from falling in the water. So, Sevylor Quikpak K5 Kayak is one of the safest kayaks.
· 24 Gauge Durable PVC Material
· Strong and Sturdy Build
· A protection Sheet is given to keep yourself dry from water splashes
· The paddles that come with it aren’t comfortable for long trips
With the Valwix 2 Person Inflatable Kayak, you can share the fun of paddling with a friend. This strong but lightweight kayak is easy for recreational paddling on a lake or in a pool, and it’s small enough to be easily packed and transported to go somewhere further.
Size: 11 feet 2 inches long, 3 feet 1 inch wide
Weight: 44 lbs
Seating Capacity: Dual Seats or 2 Person Kayak
The Valwix 2 Person Inflatable Kayak is 11’2″ long and 3’1″ wide.
The Valwix Inflatable Kayak is made from heavy-duty PVC, which makes it extremely durable, even in rough water conditions.
It is made of durable PVC tarpaulin with a sturdy, high-density polyethylene floor. The floor has I-beam construction for rigidity, while the inflatable cushions offer improved comfort and lumbar support.
The Valwix 2 Person Inflatable Kayak is great for two people who want to take a leisurely spin on the water. The kayak can hold a total weight of around 600 lbs.
With the help of paddles, you can easily handle this kayak while on the water. This kayak has a skeg that provides extra stability and control. The hull of this kayak is designed in such a way that it helps you smoothly cut through the waters.
This kayak has 2 net pockets to help you store extra items and a waterproof storage bag that you can use to keep your personal items safe from water.
You can count on the durability of this kayak to last for many years to come. The material used to build these kayaks are environmentally friendly and do not harm marine life
Seats are made from super-soft weatherproof fabric, so you’ll be as comfortable as if you were sitting on a cloud.
The Valwix 2 Person Inflatable kayak is safe and secure for all riders. It is designed in a way that it automatically stabilize itself when roaming in shallow waters. The kayak has a removable skeg that stabilizes the boat while paddling in a straight line.
· 600 lbs weight limit
· Strong Build Quality
· Net Pockets for Storage
· Canopy Hooks
· Canopy, Air Pump, Paddles, and Storage Bag Included
· Water splashes can make the rider wet
This Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is designed for easy and comfortable paddling. It is ideal for one person to enjoy kayaking, but it can hold some extra weight for your pet or dog.
Size: 9 feet long, 3 feet wide
Weight: Approximately 22 lbs
Seating Capacity: Single Person Kayak
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak has a compact size of 9 feet in length and 3 feet wide, which makes it easy to carry it around.
The streamlined design makes this boat easy to paddle, and it’s also compact enough to throw in a backpack or the trunk of a compact car.
It is made of rugged vinyl and PVC construction, which means it’s built to last. There is a grab line on both ends of your kayak, so it’s easy to get in and out of the water no matter where you are.
The weight limit of the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is 220 lbs, which means that you can be an average size adult, and your pet or dog can join you on your kayaking trip as well.
Handling this kayak is similar to other kayaks given in the list. You will never face any problem while taking turns or roaming in the waters. There is a removable skeg given for extra convenience while handling.
A huge net pocket is given on the front to store your belonging while kayaking. But, the water can get through the net, so if you want to store your personal things like mobile, wallet, etc. You will need a waterproof bag.
The kayak has a tough vinyl construction with welded seams that makes it last longer. This kayak can be used in lakes or calm rivers and can be used for multiple hours.
The comfortability of this Kayak is what makes it such a great choice for relaxing on the water. The adjustable seat back comes with a backrest that can easily be moved into position while you are in the kayak.
The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is made for your safety and security. It has multiple air valves and drainage valves so you can stay afloat, even if your ride gets a little bumpy.
· Strong and Rigid Construction
· Compact and Comfortable Design
· Removable Skeg
· Not Recommended for Rough waters as it can get punctured
The Intex Tacoma K2 Inflatable Kayak is lightweight, portable, and durable. It comes with two paddles for two people, a bag for easy transportation, and an air pump for quick inflation.
Size: 12 feet 3 inches long, 3 feet wide
Weight: 22 lbs
Seating Capacity: 2 Person Kayak or Double Seated
At 12 feet 3 inches long and 3 feet wide, this kayak is ideal for a couple of friends going out on a lake or river.
The Intex Tacoma K2 Inflatable Kayak’s design is simple yet innovative. The hull is sharp and designed to cut through the water easily, allowing you to paddle with ease.
The kayak is made from heavy-duty vinyl that is puncture-resistant, and it has multiple air chambers that ensure safety in the event of an accident.
The weight limit for the Intex Tacoma K2 Inflatable Kayak is approximately 400 lbs, but I recommend that you keep it closer to 350 lbs.
Handling and controlling the Intex Tacoma K2 Inflatable Kayak is a lot easier than you’d expect. The sharp hull will cut through the water, leaving you with a smooth riding experience. You can also take turns by using paddles as needed.
The back chamber is perfect for stashing things you don’t want to get wet, like cameras and wallets or phones. You can store anything in a waterproof bag and just throw it in there.
With premium quality valves for quick inflation/deflation and an inflatable strong floor, this kayak can go from box to boat in no time flat. So, it is durable enough to be used for multiple seasons.
This is an inflatable kayak, so the seats are not as comfortable as fully framed ones, but they still function well and do the job intended.
With Intex Tacoma K2 Inflatable Kayak, you’ll never have to worry about your safety. It comes with three air chambers for improved safety: one main chamber and two auxiliary chambers. If one chamber gets a leak, you can block it off and use an auxiliary chamber until you reach the shore.
· Made with Puncture Resistant Material
· Boston Valves used
· Strong and Rigid Floor for Extra Safety
· Paddles, Air Pump, and Storage Bag Included
· Works fine on Flat Waters and is not recommended for rough waters
You will have to consider the following while choosing the best inflatable kayak.
The material of an inflatable kayak is what gives it its strength and durability. Look for a kayak made out of high-quality PVC or rubber that’s designed to withstand the elements.
How big are you? Do you want your kayak to accommodate just yourself, or do you need space for two? Make sure the kayak is large enough to fit you comfortably and any passengers.
You’ll want something that can fit in your luggage or bag but is not too small that it sacrifices comfort and storage space. Find something portable and lightweight that still fits all of your needs.
Check weight limit. If it’s good for you, then buy it. If you plan on taking passengers along with you, make sure the total weight of everyone plus any supplies doesn’t exceed this limit.
A well-designed inflatable kayak will have safety features like grab handles and a drain plug, air chambers, etc. So, choose the one that has many safety features.
You need to consider what you’ll be using your inflatable kayak for and how much room you have to store it. For example, if you plan on paddling in the ocean with your inflatable kayak, then you’ll want a longer kayak so you can cut through waves more effectively.
But if you just want a kayak for paddling around lakes and rivers, then look into a shorter one. That way, it will be easier to maneuver and won’t take up as much storage space.
Yes, you can! One of the advantages of inflatable kayaks is that they are not restricted to warm waters like traditional hard-shell kayaks.
This means that you can use them in any type of water, even very cold.
Inflatable kayaks can flip easily if you are inexperienced or careless. However, these kayaks are designed to be similar to hard shell kayaks in several ways. They have a similar shape, and they have a seat that allows you to sit upright comfortably. With a little bit of practice, you will be able to avoid flipping your kayak.
If you are going to buy an inflatable kayak without spending a lot of money, look through this list first. These kayaks are a great choice for different people because each one is different, and it’s hard to go wrong with any of them.
The best inflatable kayak doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the most expensive unit but rather one that offers its users a great experience. If you’re searching for the best inflatable kayak under $500, you won’t find this list lacking.
Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you.