Let’s clear up a doubt: the inflatable canoe is not a toy. Many still think that an inflatable product is a poor quality product, more suitable for children to use, for example, than for hiking or fitness. In the case of canoeing, things are not exactly this way. Even if in this post we don’t talk about it, on the market – but also on this blog – you can find inflatable canoes whose price touches a thousand euros.
Why? Well, these are canoes made of high-tech materials, which can reach high speeds and withstand a certain type of impact. Clearly they are canoes suitable for those who practice canoeing at a certain level.
But besides them, there are many people who want a canoe for fitness, to explore parts of the coast where you can only go swimming, or even to sail on the lake. Thinking about them, we have compiled this definitive guide to the inflatable canoe. Read on, because you’ll find: our reviews of the eight best models of inflatable canoe an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of the inflatable canoe some tips on how to use the inflatable canoe at its best and make it last longer
1. Intex Explorer K2
# BEST QUALITY / PRICE. With its cheerful but very dynamic design, the Intex Explorer K2 is an inflatable canoe for the whole family. The little ones will love the black stripes on the sides, while the older ones will appreciate the splashbacks at the bow and stern, which greatly reduce the volume of water entering the canoe.
Designed for two people, the Intex Explorer K2 is 3.12 meters long and 91 centimeters wide. So it can be used by two adults or even by an adult with a child or a teenager. Its maximum capacity of 160 kilos makes it safe in any case. The inflatable bottom increases the rigidity of the canoe, ensuring good stability.
The package includes:
- a manual pump
- two inflatable seats
- a directional fin
- two removable aluminum oars
The Intex Explorer K2 , unlike other similar models, has not three but five air chambers, which must be inflated separately. The assembly of the canoe is very easy: it is a model that we have already reviewed, so if you have doubts about the assembly or otherwise we invite you to read our complete review of the Intex Explorer K2 , where you will find many other information and also a video illustrates how to mount this canoe.
2. Sevylor Tahiti
# BEST CHOICE. Sevylor is a company known for its excellent canoe production, and the Tahiti model is no exception. The concept behind this canoe is simple: Sevylor really wants to reach everyone, even those who use canoes on vacation, or occasionally. So we have a cheap but good quality model.
The Sevylor Tahiti is very compact: prior to inflation measuring 61 x 20 x 40 cm. Its maximum capacity is 155 kilos, for a weight of 11 kilos. The canoe is equipped with two inflatable seats with a high back, very comfortable. At the bow and stern there are two handles to carry the canoe in the water – even if with its really light weight you can also carry it on your shoulders.
The Sevylor Tahiti rather holds up well small strusciature and shocks because it is made of a very sturdy PVC. Obviously it is still an inflatable canoe, so we do not guarantee that the hull will hold up to pieces of glass, sharp rocks, or other. But there, it is simple common sense. Thanks to the Boston valve, inflation and deflation are not difficult, nor do they take too long.
In our opinion, this canoe is perfect for those looking for a robust and good quality model at affordable prices.
3. Intex Challenger K2
The Intex Challenger K2 thanks to its comfort and functionality is one of the most frequent choices for those who want to practice recreational rowing. Another particular is the price of this canoe, accessible to all budgets.
The Intex Challenger K2 is a very compact inflatable canoe , measuring 3.51 meters in length, per 76 cm in width. You can load it in the trunk of your car, or carry it in your comfortable backpack. Its maximum capacity of 160 kilos allows the transport of two adults, and a good stability. The strength of the Intex Challenger K2 is increased by the 0.75 thick cover, made of scratch-resistant vinyl.
It is a perfect inflatable canoe for salt water, but also for white water. In the package you will find, in addition to the canoe:
- two adjustable seats with backrest
- two 1.22-meter oars, which can be joined and transformed into a single 2.44-meter paddle
- a directional fin
- a pump for inflation and deflation
4. Sevylor Adventure
# OUR FAVORITE. Available inSevylor AdventureandSevylor Adventure Kitversions, this model of a two-seater canoe is recommended for those who want a canoe of excellent quality and equipped with all the accessories and options, but which does not cost an arm and a leg.
A little secret we reveal to you is that not all canoes – especially the inflatable models – are equipped with the same details and accessories.
If you compare the Sevylor Adventure with other canoe models, you can immediately notice how the Adventure has a whole series of accessories that the other canoes don’t always have. Here’s what: the splash guards integrated with elastic cords, where you can store a water bottle or other small objects inner rings to fix the essential for navigation, for example a GPS, a hat for the hottest days, or even a camera the drain plug, which is not always present in models below a certain price
As for the sizes and weight of the Sevylor Adventure , it is a canoe over 3 meters long, weighing only 12 kilos, and when deflated it has dimensions of 61 x 20 x 48. We have dedicated an in-depth review to this model, so if you want more information you can read our description of the Sevylor Adventure , and maybe even make a comparison with the Sevylor Adventure Kit.
5. Zray Tortuga
If you are looking for a streamlined design inflatable canoe , our advice is to take a look at the Zray Tortuga. With its pointed line that cuts through the waves, and a length of 4 meters and a maximum capacity of 170 kilos, the Zray Tortuga holds up well to smaller waves, and allows you a fairly fast navigation.
The maneuverability and response of this canoe are improved by the two directional fins, which are included in the package. Those who go out in a canoe in two, and perhaps have a partner with a different level of experience, or who paddle at a different pace, will find the directional fins very useful to compensate for the lack of coordination in the paddling. Then, you can take some precautions, like sitting on the back seat in the canoe.
The Tortuga Zray package includes:
- a convenient carrying bag
- a foot pump
- two adjustable seats
- two paddles of 2.21 meters
- two footrests
Unlike other models, the Zray Tortuga has a two-year warranty. In our opinion, this inflatable canoe is especially suitable for recreational use, or even for small excursions.
6. BIC Sport Kalyma
If you are looking for a very versatile inflatable canoe , it’s worth taking a look at the BIC Sport Kalyma. This canoe is a two-seater, but if you remove one of the seats then it becomes a single-seater. It is also very light, with its weight of only 15 kilos. Don’t be fooled by the lightness of this canoe, as it has a maximum capacity of 200 kilos.
Thanks to this feature, the Bic Sport Kalyma is very stable, but also easy to maneuver. 200 kilos of capacity are more than enough for two adults and one child. In the pack of this canoe you will find:
- a backpack for transport
- a pressure gauge
- a kit for the first repairs
As for the accessories, the Kalyma is equipped with two large storage pockets and a storage compartment. Then, we have the exhaust valve, and two accessories that you almost never find in inflatable canoes, that is a directional system and a rear drift. These are very important accessories to make navigation easy, directing the canoe where you prefer.
Thanks to its three independent air chambers, the Kalyma is a very safe canoe: if one of the rooms is punctured, it manages to float and bring you back to the shore in complete safety. Ultimately, it is a canoe made by Bic Sport , a brand that has offered quality guarantees for over 50 years.
7. Sevylor Uni Alameda
Those looking for a high-end product, on the other hand, can consider the Sevylor Uni Alameda. Here too we have an inflatable canoe, but with a slightly higher price. Our readers will have realized that inflatable canoes are not necessarily cheap canoes. It is a new product, often made with quality materials, which have their own cost.
In the case of the Sevylor Uni Alameda , known as a once-inflated canoe, this canoe seems to be a rigid canoe. In fact, not only does it have a low hull that allows you a very comfortable paddling, but it is also equipped with a convenient storage area and a large bow deck. On the bridge, then find an elastic net where you can safely store all your items.
At the stern instead there is a splash guard, which is one of the most useful accessories for those who want to use the Sevylor Alameda especially at sea. This canoe has three air chambers: two are arranged at the sides, while the third is at the bottom. The inner tube on the bottom is reinforced, so as to give further stability to the canoe.
The Sevylor Uni Alameda weighs 20 kilos and is about 3 meters long, so even if it is not too heavy, it must be transported by two people. Thanks to the front and rear handles, transport is really child’s play. It is a very comfortable canoe, with two handles where you can rest the paddle and seats with a padded back.
In our opinion, the Sevlor Uni Alameda is the right choice for those who are looking for a durable product, with which to make a little more demanding outings than walks just a few meters from the shore.
8. Sevylor Colorado
We close the first part of our definitive guide to the eight best inflatable canoes with the Sevylor Colorado model . Why are so many Sevylor models all together, wondering? We want to present you the best models of inflatable canoe, and Sevylor is among the best manufacturers. There are many others but some of them – such as Bic – mostly produce rigid models. But no more talk.
With the Sevylor Colorado we have a 3.33 meter long and 90 cm wide canoe, with a capacity of 200 kilos, for only 14 kilos in weight. It is a very stable canoe, which does its duty, and which can be used by two people. There are those who also carry a small child on two-seater canoes – ultimately with a capacity of 200 kilos you could also use it in three, as long as the third member of the crew is a very light person. Obviously the use of the inflatable canoe in three must not involve excursions or coastal explorations.
But let’s get to the equipment of this canoe. In the package you will find:
the instruction manual, which in reality is not necessary because it is very easy to assemble the Sevylor Colorado
- a convenient carrying bag
- a pressure gauge
- a punching kit
- a removable fin
- two seats
- a K-Compact 230 paddle
In Sevylor Colorado we talked at length and in detail in an article where we explain everything you need to know about this model. So, if you are thinking of buying this canoe, our advice is to also read our review at Sevylor Colorado , for more information.
The Pros and Cons of Inflatable Canoe
Choosing an inflatable canoe does not pose any problems: once you know if you need a single-seater or a single-seater – or even a model with removable seats – just keep your budget in mind and find the model that’s right for you. In terms of price, but also of quality.
Before choosing an inflatable canoe, however, it’s worth understanding what the pros and cons of these models are. The three strengths of the inflatable models are: ease of transport. Many models can easily be carried on the shoulder, rather than on the luggage rack of the car, or with the special trolley the price. In principle, an inflatable canoe is cheaper than a rigid model ease of use . At sea or at the lake, the inflatable canoe is easy to use because it is light. Once out of the water, it takes only a few minutes to deflate and is easy to store. You will not need a special canoe area. You can simply store it in the garage, in the basement, or even in a closet or in a closet.
Like many other products, even inflatable canoes have their limits. Let’s see briefly what they are: the risk of tearing and puncturing. Many canoes are made of a highly robust PVC, which takes care of shocks and abrasions. But consider that no inflatable material is indestructible, so even the best canoe can tear during impact with sharp rocks, glass, or if you decide to throw yourself down along the rapids. These are factors to be taken into account for safe navigation the scope. Generally, an inflatable canoe has a range less than that of a rigid canoe. For some this is not a problem. Its all about what You wanna do with canoe. If its only for couple times per year You might consider buying it. Other then that it might be suitable to choose more wisely.
If you want to use the canoe for a few hour excursions, you don’t need a big course. But if you want to use it for fishing or even for day trips, then you will need a model with a greater range durability. Mind you: the inflatable canoe is a sturdy and durable product, but has a shorter life span than a rigid canoe. Again: this is not a problem if you want to use the canoe for recreational purposes. But if you intend to buy a canoe to practice canoeing, then you should move towards rigid canoe models .
Advice on the use of Inflatable Canoe
To best use your inflatable canoe and make it last, just follow a few simple tips: always deflate the canoe well after use, and store it in its case after sailing, the canoe must be rinsed to remove all traces of saltiness, which in the long run compromises the hold of the material the canoe should never be left swollen in full sun, because high temperatures increase the pressure of the air chambers, the canoe should always be used with a minimum of a life jacket, unless you decide to paddle in shallow water, where you can reach the bottom if you are thinking of choosing a canoe for your children or for your older children, remember that the use of the canoe must always take place under the supervision of an adult.
There are many cases of parents who, distracted by their mobile phone or tablet, found themselves having to call for help, to get their children back. the inflatable canoe is resistant, but not indestructible: for sailing in rocky areas or with sharp rocks, for very long excursions or even camping, the ideal is a rigid canoe.
What are the Best Inflatable Canoe Models?
There are different types of recreational flat water paddling kayaks and heavy whitewater canoeing. While some are designed for light day, some others can handle multi-day expedition adventures. One thing that is there is common is that they’re fun to paddle and store. Aire Traveler, Innova Orinoco, Innova Vagabond, Sea Eagle 370, Sea Eagle 330, Sevylor Colorado, Sevylor Rio and Sevylor Tahiti Classic. You have to do a comprehensive market research in order to understand which one is the best for your needs.
Who are the Inflatable Canoes for?
Inflatable canoes are probably the best things for people who prefer lightweight kayaks that are better than the hard-shelled kayaks. There are several exceptions but solo inflatable kayak ranges from 8-40 pounds. A solo hard-shell kayak ranges from 40-70 pounds. They are better for people who prefer compact kayaks that are basically unsinkable and that have a lower cost. They are also good for people looking for stable and durable canoes.
What are the advantages of the Inflatable Canoe?
An inflatable kayak is lightweight as there is no rigid structure and it takes very less space once it can be folded or deflated. There are several benefits of inflatable canoes. They are lightweight to be carried; they can be stored and kept easily by deflating and rolling it up. You can take these kayaks anywhere you go and they are practical and versatile to use.