The 5 Best Inflatable Kayaks For Whitewater: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Which inflatable kayak is the most effective one to Utilize for whitewater?

After that, you’ve pertained to the appropriate area. We have listed all our preferred blow-up kayaks that are great for whitewater to assist you in narrowing your selection. Expect you’re still locating a kayak ideal for rapids vs. simply a routine inflatable kayak. Because instance, we cover a variety of functions and also benefits, like their toughness, excellent buoyancy, and high weight capability, that make inflatable kayaks so prominent with whitewater kayakers.

So, before we get on to our top listing of the most effective inflatable kayaks for whitewater, we’ll jump into our buyer’s guide to talk you through every little thing you require to understand before you acquire one.

Best Ranked Inflatable Whitewater Kayak Reviews

Since we have covered some of the essential things you require to search for in an inflatable kayak for whitewater, we’ll check out numerous of the ones we suggest in our inflatable whitewater kayak.

1. Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Kayak


Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Kayak

Brand: Sea Eagle
Length: 12 ft. 6 in.
Width: 2 ft. 10 in.
Load Capacity:
Material: Synthetic
Color: Blue/White



  • Lashed down inflatable spray skirts w/ storage underneath
  • 2 skegs on the bottom for better tracking & speed
  • Self bailing drain valve and Three deluxe one-way valves
  • Removable inflatable seats
  • Sun & saltwater resistant hull material
  • Molded Skegs for Better Tracking
  • 5 Tube I-Beam Floor Construction

The Sea Eagle SE330 inflatable kayak for whitewater. As you would certainly get out of a credible brand name like Sea Eagle, it’s incredibly long-lasting, with consumers reporting that it has lasted for decades. Once again, this is an excellent sign of the developed quality and anti-puncture solid materials you want to see on an inflatable used in rapids.

Unlike the Sea Eagle 300x Explorer, the SE330 is a tandem kayak, so you can enjoy running the rapids with a buddy. Please do not fret about overwhelming it either, as it has a significant weight capability of 500 lbs, plenty for you and a friend, and great gear deals.

In conclusion, one of the most prominent inflatable kayaks on the planet and a simple recommendation for us to produce paddlers looking for a lightweight, mobile, and durable whitewater kayak.

    2. Driftsun Rover 120/220 Inflatable Whitewater Kayak

    Driftsun Rover 120/220 Inflatable Whitewater Kayak

    Inflated: 12.5’ft. x 38”
    Deflated: 24.5”x 21” x 10”
    Weight: 28 Lbs.
    Capacity: 600 Lbs
    Inflation Time: 9 Mins.
    Material:Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)



    • Rocker Profile
    • High Pressure Drop Stitch Floor
    • Reinforced Layered PVC Construction
    • Removable Rear Tracking Skeg
    • (7) Rapid Self Bailing Drain Plugs

    If you’re looking for one of the best-rated kayaks for wild water rafting, we recommend trying the two-seater Driftsun Vagabond 120/220 inflatable kayak. It’s made for rough water and also can handle as much as class III and IV rapids.

    It’s developed with a solid and resilient strengthened layer PCV that provides two layers of protection to jump off rocks and other obstacles you’ll likely encounter on a river. In addition, despite being constructed of robust PVC, it’s remarkably light, weighing in at only 28 pounds, making it very simple to deliver and require to more remote places without needing carts or a second pair of hands to aid.

    It does well with excellent monitoring and stability when remaining in the water. In addition, it features two adjustable seats that are very comfy, giving you exceptional back sustain with footrests that could be better created but are still really useful.

    If you have been in whitewater, you’ll recognize that much water can get in the yak, yet the Wanderer 220 has self-bailing plug openings that let all the water out (without allowing any water in) like magic. And we also love that it has a cam mount at the front of the kayak to film whatever for posting on YouTube later.

    3. Sea Eagle 300x Explorer



    Sea Eagle 300x Explorer

    Brand: Sea Eagle
    Length: 300 cm
    Width: 100 cm
    Material: Polypropylene
    Color: Blue/Gray
    Seating Capacity: 1



    • NMMA Certified
    • 16 High Capacity Self-bailing Drain Valves
    • Large Removable Rear Skeg for Flatwater Touring
    • Front & Rear Spray Skirts with Carry Handles and bungee cords
    • 18 D-rings to secure seat and gear
    • Separate Drop Stitch floor for rigidity
    • Printed Instructions


    If you’re seeking among the best blow-up kayaks for whitewater, look no further than the Sea Eagle 300x. It’s a perfect choice for whitewater kayaking as it’s ranked for as much as Course IV rapids because it is made from solid 1000-denier polyester-supported high-pressure PVC that is tough to damage. Additionally, if you saw the video clip in our acquiring guide above, you’ll see how reliable it is.

    Evaluating just 28 pounds, it’s mobile; however, regardless of being so lightweight, it’s obtained an ideal weight of 350 lbs. If you desire even more area for a second individual, you likewise have the Sea Eagle 380x, worth looking at.

    An additional factor we such as the Sea Eagle 300x one for our top selection is because it’s a complete package and includes a paddle, pump, seat, bag, skeg, and repair set. Altogether, it’s a superb inflatable kayak suitable for whitewater kayaking and at an affordable price. Get the very best rate by clicking the switch below.

    4. AIRE Tributary Tomcat Inflatable Kayak For Rapids


    AIRE Tributary Tomcat Inflatable Kayak For Rapids

    Brand: AIRE
    Weight: 45.76 Pounds
    Material:Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
    Color: Red
    Seating Capacity: 2



    • Double top-stitched seams
    • Airtight 20-gauge inner vinyl bladders w/ double-zipper access
    • 3 air chambers with Summit II valves
    • Adjustable inflatable seat
    • Mesh drainage system
    • 12 sets of cargo loops
    • Bow/stern carry handles

    Another good alternative for whitewater paddling is the AIRE Tributary Tomcat Tandem Inflatable Kayak. It’s an exceptional alternative for novices because of its large, resilient, steady design that can efficiently deal with up to Course IV rapids. With three air chambers for extra security, the hull uses AIRE’s Aircell System, which utilizes a 1000-denier outer PVC floor to prevent slits.

    It’s got all the other functions you’d expect to see on a blow-up kayak for white water with self-bailing holes, a high 450lbs weight capacity, and a consisted of bring a bag, a 1-year guarantee, as well as much more.

    5. Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Whitewater Kayak


    Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Whitewater Kayak

    Brand: Driftsun
    Weight: 27 Pounds
    Material: PVC Nylon
    Color: Blue
    Style: Classic
    Load Capacity: 2 person or 400 lbs



    • Most affordable kayaks on the market.
    • Resilient.
    • Two adjustable paddles included.
    • Super light weight.
    • Inflation time is super quick with the included dual action pump.
    • Quality valve for quick inflation and deflation.
    • Rear fin can be removed easily for storage and transport.
    • Seats are adjustable in position and recline.
    • Easy carry handles with bungee storage.

    At number 5 for inflatable whitewater kayaks is the Driftsun Voyager 2-Person inflatable kayak for whitewater. As you would certainly anticipate from a trustworthy brand like Driftsun, it’s.

    If you are trying to find a blow-up tandem kayak that is simple to establish, manages well, and has a sturdy construction that will last period after season, the Driftsun Voyager is an exceptional selection, with go-crazy reviews throughout the internet from professionals as well as amateurs alike.

    The Driftsun Voyager is a great inflatable kayak with a highly lightweight mobile layout and a generous, comfortable cockpit with a high weight rating. It is made from resilient, high-grade materials and has exceptional design information. It handles the water well and has everything you need to appreciate your water journeys comfortably and in style.

    How to Select an Inflatable Whitewater Kayak: A Customer’s Overview

    Before we cover the best kayaks for whitewater, we will look at several of the features and concerns you need to consider before getting one.

    Are Inflatables Helpful For Whitewater?

    The initial misconception is that blow-up kayaks aren’t appropriate for whitewater rafting. However, that could not be a better fact.

    Inflatable kayaks are sturdy; they can even compare to some hardshell versions. Nevertheless, thanks to their building, most people need to understand that inflatable kayaks nowadays are relatively stiff and stable on the water.

    Many models use solid and hard-wearing materials that successfully withstand leaks, making them more delicate. However, the adaptability of blow-up kayaks also makes them much less susceptible to harm from collisions with obstacles.

    Another excellent reason inflatables can be great for whitewater is that they’re unbelievably mobile and compressible. This implies you can decrease the kayak and fold it into a highly compact package, which permits you to move it from one location to another or fit it inside your vehicle to reach more remote launch websites.

    Being lightweight, inflatable kayaks are easy to take to the water’s edge. This is a massive plus for whitewater kayakers because hardshell kayaks are frequently relatively hefty and inflexible, making them challenging to carry far away and a hassle to transport by car.

    Vital Functions to Watch Out for.

    If you’re searching for an inflatable kayak, especially for white water, after that, there are a couple of attributes you’ll want to ensure the kayak you go for has.

    Strong Anti-Puncture Materials.

    When choosing a kayak for whitewater and rapids, longevity should be near the top of your top priority checklist.

    It’s easy to understand why longevity is a significant problem for many individuals thinking about inflatable kayaks; nevertheless, this is a kayak filled with air meant to face rough currents and clash with rocks.

    This is precisely why inflatable kayaks are made using extremely thick anti-puncture, much tougher products than you would see on other inflatable products.

    As a result, these kayaks are incredibly sturdy and are developed to endure central contact with rocks and other sharp obstacles. Look at the video below to see just how strong they are.

    Numerous Air Chambers.

    Despite the extensive protection used by the robust building of inflatable kayaks, the possibility of obtaining punctures should constantly be observed. Yet, unfortunately, the danger is always there, so coming prepared is brilliant.

    A function that makes inflatable kayaks well-suited to whitewater has numerous air chambers.

    There are many benefits to possessing a design with numerous air chambers. The most noticeable is working as a backup if one obtains a puncture. This prevents the air from escaping outside the kayak, so it stays afloat sufficiently for you to reach the shore.

    Several inflation chambers likewise increase the overall rigidness of the kayak’s building, which means it’ll have superb stability and a more significant weight capacity and usually provide far better performance out on the water.

    An inflatable kayak featuring only one air chamber is most likely to flex between, like a beach lounge seat. Unfortunately, this leaves you with a flimsy kayak that’s tough to steer and reduces gain speed.

    Scupper Holes (Self-Bailing)

    Ambush holes are among the attributes that can be found helpful on an inflatable kayak, mainly if it’s suggested to handle whitewater. With the splashes that are ensured to take place, you’ll likely wind up with water getting involved in your kayak.

    This is where scupper holes are available; these structures will undoubtedly aid drain pipes out of the water so it does not develop inside your blow-up kayak to the point of sinking.

    For the same reason, kayakers rarely need scupper plugs on a blow-up whitewater kayak since it’s merely inescapable to have loads of water raiding your kayak.

    Some people use a kayak bilge pump to remove water from their watercraft manually. While they’re easy to identify, these pumps are exceptionally impractical on whitewater because your hands will be active, and you will need the ability to steer the kayak.

    Scupper holes, however, will undoubtedly do the draining job independently so you can maintain steering without worrying about the water entering your blow-up kayak.


    As discussed above, transportability is one of the most considerable benefits of inflatable kayaks over hardshell designs.

    Hardshell kayaks are recognized to be testing to bring or transfer. Still, on the other hand, inflatable kayaks are remarkably mobile because of their lightweight building and building and construction and the reality that you can decrease them.
    To a small dimension. This permits you to reach more remote areas with a lot less effort. A larger tandem blow-up kayak would be simple to lug with someone.

    Naturally, these kayaks won’t be as light as a swimming pool blow-up due to the thick products that provide kayak resistance versus slits and accidents.

    Remember to search for a kayak that blows up and decreases quickly to save yourself the waiting time. For included comfort, consider buying a durable lugging bag to make transport in and out of the water much more accessible.


    Like all kayaks, security is critical when selecting a blow-up kayak for whitewater, especially when dealing with hard water where your equilibrium will be evaluated.

    Inflatable kayaks are just one of the most resilient and steady kayaks you can obtain. This is because of the air inside them and their broader hulls, suggesting they’ll provide more exceptional security on the water.


    There might be much better options than inflatable kayaks for whitewater kayaking. But, nowadays, improvements in the products’ use mean they’re incredibly durable and more than adequate to take on even the higher-class whitewater sections.

    While there’s a more significant opportunity that you’ll ultimately suffer a leak, whitewater kayaks are made using top-quality PVC plastics that are tough to puncture and frequently have abrasion resistance. You can likewise obtain easy-to-apply puncture repair packages if you do require them.

      Set up and also Rising Cost Of Living Time

      Among the main drawbacks of blow-up kayaks vs. hardshell kayaks are the configuration and rising cost of living time. You can launch almost immediately with thick skins. However, inflatable kayaks call for a bit longer. Additionally, it would help to inflate each air chamber independently, which can take a while.

      Fortunately, numerous ideal inflatable kayak pumps can speed up this procedure by blowing up promptly. However, it will still take about 5 mins at the quickest to get going and, afterward, another 5-10 mins in the end to empty your kayak of air.

      Weight Ability

      Another element to consider is the weight ability of the kayak you’re considering. It needs to hold you, various other travelers, and some gear without sinking. This is where inflatable kayaks enter their very own as they have one of the most famous weight capacities of all kayaks.

      The disadvantage to a significant weight ability is that you’ll usually shed some ability to move as they are typically bigger kayaks. However, if you’re searching for an inflatable kayak for whitewater, the likely hood is you will not be taking tons of equipment, so you can go with a smaller one and surrender a little bit of ability.

      The Whitewater Rapid Classifications

      Blow-up whitewater kayaks are designed for, well, whitewater. However, not every one of them will undoubtedly provide the same efficiency on the rapids. Whitewater is a broad term defining any river with enough disturbance to produce a bubbly white.

      However, not all rapids are produced equally, and also there is a category system to identify their severity. For example, six problems vary from Course I (the easiest) to Class VI (one of the most difficult). Right here’s a brief breakdown of the classes:

      • Class I– Relocating water with riffles and small, quickly stayed clear of waves—a couple of or no challenges.
      • Course II– Rapids with even more riffles and regular or considerable waves that are simple to prevent or go through. Some understanding of paddling as well as maneuvering is required.
      • Course III– Rapids with more substantial uneven waves (4 feet and higher) and expanded whitewater durations. Narrow passages need additional paddling knowledge and also precise handling.
      • Class IV: Rapids are long with narrow passages calling for advanced handling. Waves are huge and irregular, with an opportunity of declines as much as 5 feet. Scouting is commonly needed.
      • Course V: Harmful, long, facility, and highly violent rapids. Large drops over 5 feet are often anticipated. Possibility of injuries or death in case of accidents.
      • Course VI– Very hazardous and also borderline challenging to run. Requires specialized training as well as equipment for professionals only.

      Under each course, there are subcategories to explain the rapids even more. However, initially, describe your inflatable kayak’s requirements and check if it fulfills the quality of rapids you prepare to overcome.

      Brand names

      When it comes to looking at which are the very best inflatable kayak brand names for whitewater, there are a few companies that stand out. The initial is Sea Eagle, which has a superb online reputation for quality and at a highly economical rate. After that, you likewise have Driftsun, AIRE, Advanced Components, and Intex.

      FAQs Concerning Inflatable Whitewater Kayaks

      Are Inflatable Kayaks Helpful For Whitewater?

      Are blow-up kayaks ideal for whitewater? This is a typical concern numerous new purchasers ask. In the past, inflatable kayaks were less durable than affordable swimming pool playthings. Still, multiple product growths indicated that inflatable kayaks could withstand the stresses of rapids and whitewater.

      What is essential to note is that a blow-up kayak will undoubtedly be much less intense or made of the same material as a hardshell kayak. In addition, the products used in a blow-up kayak suggest damaging them will be much less complicated if they strike rocks.

      And other barriers too much. Maintenance requirements are likewise more significant– there will almost certainly be some patching done on the boat to repair leaks after many usages.

      Just how much Does a Blow-up Whitewater Kayak Price?

      One of the most common inquiries is: how much does a blow-up whitewater kayak expense? The solution to this inquiry will mainly rely on the materials utilized in construction. The thicker the material is, the stronger and extra little an inflatable kayak will be (and the much better for whitewater and rapids it’ll be).

      Several brand names are available, yet some are far better than others regarding layout strength. If you’re interested in acquiring a top-quality blow-up whitewater kayak, it will set you back around $800 to $1,800 for the best. Indeed, you can obtain them at that cost, yet the materials utilized will be less excellent.

      Comparison Table: The 5 Best Inflatable Kayaks For Whitewater

      Kayak Name Rating Reviews Price
      Sea Eagle SE330 721 reviews 
      Driftsun Rover 120/220 283 reviews
      Sea Eagle 300x Explorer 40 reviews
      AIRE Tributary Tomcat 6 reviews
      Driftsun Voyager 275 reviews

      Inflatable kayaks, also known as inflatable canoes or IKs, have become increasingly popular due to their portability, ease of storage, and versatility. In this video, you will learn everything you need to know about inflatable kayaks.


      Inflatable kayaks are an excellent option for recreational paddlers, beginners, and those seeking convenience and portability. They offer a fun and accessible way to enjoy kayaking without needing ample storage space or specialized transportation. As with any kayak, choose an inflatable kayak that suits your paddling goals, experience level, and the type of water you plan to navigate.

      Everything You Need to Know About Inflatable Kayaks

      What To Look For In Inflatable Kayaks For Whitewater Adventures


      Whitewater kayaking is an exhilarating and challenging water sport that requires the right equipment for a safe and enjoyable experience. Inflatable kayaks have become increasingly popular among whitewater enthusiasts due to their portability, durability, and improved performance. This article will explore the key factors to consider when choosing an inflatable kayak for whitewater adventures. We will compare and review several top-rated products available on Amazon to help you make an informed decision.

      Durability and Material

      When navigating through fast-flowing rapids and rocky terrain, durability is paramount. Look for Inflatable Kayaks For Whitewater constructed from rugged and puncture-resistant materials such as high-density PVC or reinforced fabric. Reinforced bottoms and sides can protect against abrasions and potential punctures from sharp rocks. Additionally, kayaks with multiple air chambers ensure that the kayak will remain buoyant and easy to maneuver even if one section gets punctured.
      Product Recommendation: Aire Tributary Tomcat Solo Inflatable Kayak

      Stability and Maneuverability

      Stability is crucial in whitewater kayaking to maintain control and balance while traversing turbulent waters. Opt for kayaks with a broader beam and a flat hull design, as these features provide increased stability. Additionally, look for models with removable or adjustable skegs or fins, as they enhance tracking and maneuverability. This allows you to navigate tight turns and technical sections with greater ease.

      Portability and Ease of Set-Up

      One of the significant advantages of inflatable kayaks is their portability. Look for lightweight and compact kayaks when deflated, making them easy to transport and store. Quick and hassle-free set-up is also essential, especially when you’re eager to hit the water. Kayaks with high-quality air valves and efficient inflation systems like hand or foot pumps can save you time and effort.
      Product Recommendation: Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sport Kayak

      Comfort and Seating

      Long hours on the water require comfortable seating. Look for inflatable kayaks with adjustable and padded seats that provide adequate back support. Adjustable footrests are also essential, allowing you to find a comfortable leg position and maintain balance during challenging maneuvers. Some models even offer inflatable seat cushions for added comfort.

      Safety Features

      Safety should always be a top priority when engaging in any water sport. Look for inflatable kayaks with sturdy grab handles on the bow and stern to aid in rescue or carrying. A reliable and secure attachment point for a safety leash is essential for whitewater kayaking. Additionally, kayaks equipped with spray skirts or splash guards can help keep water out of the cockpit, enhancing overall safety and comfort.

      Weight Capacity

      Consider the kayak’s weight capacity to ensure it can accommodate you and any additional gear you may need to bring along. Overloading a kayak can affect its stability and performance, so choosing one that comfortably handles your weight and equipment is essential.
      Product Recommendation: Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak

      Wrapping Up

      Selecting the right inflatable kayak for whitewater adventures is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. Prioritize durability, stability, portability, comfort, and safety features when comparing different products. The Aire Tributary Tomcat Solo, Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible, Sea Eagle SE370, Intex Explorer K2, and NRS MaverIK I are all top-rated inflatable kayaks that excel in different areas. By considering these factors and exploring the recommended products, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect inflatable kayak for your whitewater escapades. Happy paddling.

      14 Tips for Choosing a Blow-up Kayak for Whitewater River Trips

      An Inflatable Boat Without People With Two Oars On The Water On

      When blow-up kayaks began the whitewater river-running scene, determined paddlers usually derided them as plaything boats or duckies (however, not playboats, which are outstanding) for novices that couldn’t strike a roll. Yet those days are currently gone. Inflatable kayaks (IKs) have proven highly beneficial and flexible for paddling almost all levels of whitewater. Present layouts excel on innovative whitewater and can even be rolled with upper leg bands.

      Below’s a guide to choosing a blow-up kayak for whitewater that works finest for your primary kind of river-running, whether you’re generally focused on multi-day trips, a mix of flatwater and whitewater, or Course III+ whitewater. (Plus, check out our guide to vital devices for blow-up kayaks.).

      Blow-up kayaks: Versatile fun for river-running

      Blow-up kayaks are hands-down my favorite whitewater craft. They are versatile, flexible for beginner/intermediate paddlers, suit some equipment, care for whitewater well, and take up relatively little area.

      Although blow-up kayaks are readily available for different paddling circumstances (for example, angling on a lake or using it as a diving platform), a whitewater IK– like its hardshell precursor– is created to navigate a moving river.

      Unlike a watercraft for lake paddling, the river present supplies a lot of the forward movement for whitewater kayaks. The longer the kayak, the better it tracks in calm water—the shorter the kayak, the better maneuverability with whitewater and rock yards. Hardshell kayaks got dramatically faster several decades ago with the introduction of playboats (for doing techniques in waves) and creek boats (which have rounded ends to lower the likelihood of pinning the watercraft under rocks when navigating steep declines). In the early days, blow-up kayaks often tended to be longer and stabler than stiff kayaks– however, much less maneuverable. However, current IKs use nearly as several mixes of maneuverability, security, as well as good tracking as hardshell kayaks.

      Blow-up kayaks created for whitewater keep improving as manufacturers improve the materials, the construction, as well as the designs to suit a variety of paddling circumstances. Here’s what to try to find when you’re evaluating IKs.

      1. Think of the sort of whitewater you’ll be paddling.

      Are you most likely to paddle your blow-up kayak on multi-day trips with many flat stretches intermixed with a few fun haystack waves? Or will you mainly be making day trips on Class-IV whitewater? It’s not necessarily an either-or concern. You can find an IK that works well for multi-day trips, holds suitable equipment, and browses Class III-IV rapids just fine. For example, I paddled a Tributary Tomcat on the Center Fork of the Salmon at low tide (about 2.4 feet), as well as it took the rapids like a champ. Yet my primary situation is paddling multi-day journeys on western rivers, which have plenty of sluggish miles, so I prioritized that use case when I went shopping for my IK. If you want an IK that does well in Course III-IV whitewater and can roll, select a boat like the Star Viper.

      2. Think about how much gear you’ll carry in your IK.

      Even if you paddle a lot of multi-day trips, you can bring a small amount of equipment to your watercraft. (That’s what the rafts are for, right?) If you need space for a small, completely dry bag and a canteen, the room behind the rear seat issues a bit, expanding your choices. Yet, if you have some self-supported IK trips in mind, the equipment area becomes a priority.

      3. Think about whether you’ll be paddling solo or tandem.

      Selecting a tandem over a single IK is difficult: Tandem IKs are functional (most tandem IKs can be set up for a single person), helpful for suiting more individuals in fewer boats, as well as very enjoyable for starting paddling groups, especially children. If you intend to paddle primarily on multi-day journeys on calmer water, you’ll likely obtain more use out of a tandem boat over time. A tandem IK promptly becomes one of the most prominent watercraft on many multi-day journeys as they offer boating guests something different to do and are youngster magnets. If you find a paddling buddy you genuinely click with on the water, you’re in for unparalleled whitewater thrills and camaraderie. However, paddling solo is likewise exciting, particularly if you like to regulate your destiny. A solo watercraft is also one of the most maneuverable and mobile options. Below’s a short bit of Audrey (RiverBent founder) and me paddling Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River in a tandem Tomcat.

      4. Seek IKs made with sturdy materials.

      Blow-up kayaks are generally made of PVC or a variation of Hypalon, DuPont’s name for chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CP), which has ceased. PVC is cheaper than Hypalon variants and easy to patch but even more vulnerable to UV damage. Hypalon is much more pricey but more resilient– my family’s Avon boating (made from Hypalon) has been going solid for several multi-day trips a year since 1984. However, since Hypalon is no longer available, many IK manufacturers have looked to more recent CP types with similar top qualities. For example, NRS now uses a version of CP called NRS Pennel Orca. The distinction in longevity between PVC and CP is minimal for entertainment whitewater kayakers. If you follow reasonable maintenance standards (promptly shop it out of the sun and patch abrasions), a PVC inflatable kayak will undoubtedly last for years.

      5. Seek IKs with excellent construction.

      Although not a deal-breaker, if it comes down to watercraft with glued joints and also one with welded joints, go with welded joints as they hold up better with time to general river trip misuse, including being dragged on concrete, encounters with rocks, periods of getting too hot (which causes over-inflation), and other takeoffs.

      6. Search for laced-in flooring with an extra shutoff.

      Many IKs you examine nowadays will have laced-in feet with various valves so you can readjust the level of inflation to accommodate the type of whitewater you’ll be doing that day. Blow up the flooring for extra extreme whitewater so it will ride higher. For slow-water days, you can use less air to enhance monitoring.

      7. See to it the inflatable kayak can suit thigh bands.

      Thigh bands for blow-up kayaks are a game-changer, permitting you to paddle more aggressively by holding you firmly in the watercraft as you lean right into a wave. You can get thigh actions from NRS or Aire, or you’ll discover their part of the rigging in some ships, such as the NRS Celebrity Viper. Your IK should have loops in the floor lacing at regular periods so you can thread the upper leg bands in at the best placement for your legs. Explore upper leg straps in any IK you’re assessing to ensure it will certainly fit, establishing the straps in the right area. Your thigh band positioning is necessary for comfortable, assertive, and safe blow-up kayak paddling. My obsession with thigh straps for impact-up kayaks led me to produce this little fragment regarding rigging them so they can conveniently glide off your legs if the IK flips.

      8. Select a blow-up kayak with basic shutoffs.

      Nothing is more irritating than having a blow-up with weird valves requiring a unique pump. Undoubtedly, that special pump will be about when you need it most. So instead, obtain an IK with C7 shutoffs (likewise called armed forces valves or plethora valves) that accommodate a regular boating pump, as you’ll find a lot of those pumps amongst your river journey staff. Nearly every whitewater inflatable watercraft now uses these one-way valves, so if you’re contemplating an IK that doesn’t have them, you’re on the wrong track. As a side note, my preferred pump for blow-up kayaks (and complementing boatings) is the K-Pump. The K-100 can be strapped lengthwise into several IKs, so you’ll constantly have it helpful.

      The Celebrity Viper blow-up kayak has standard C7 valves, a flat backrest, and integrated upper leg bands.

      9. Check the comfort element of the kayak takes care of.

      The positioning and style of the handles at the bow and stern of an IK are surprisingly essential. For anyone who has had to haul a rigged tandem IK over rocks at a portage, inadequately positioned deals that require a comfortable hold are annoying. (Pro suggestion: Don’t utilize the take care of to link off the IK in camp, as strong wind or increasing water will place way too much pressure on hold, which wasn’t produced that usage, and also you’ll wind up without any manage in any way.).

      10. Look for a loop or ring for the bowline.

      Make sure the IK has either a loop or– preferably– a welded D-ring for your bowline.

      11. Check out the blow-up kayak seat (or backrest).

      Most whitewater IKs do not have seats; however, instead have an inflatable prevent that acts as a backrest. The obstruct method provides added flotation and offers side-to-side stability for the watercraft. The shape of these thwarts/backrests can make a huge difference in how upright you rest, influencing how strongly you can paddle. For example, the Tributary Tomcat has a rounded backrest, which I lean back on. The Celebrity Viper– an IK meant for severe whitewater paddling– has a level front side filled with an air backrest, holding me in a much more hostile (but comfortable) position. If you largely paddle on calm water, you’ll have IK choices with even more conventional seats. For example, the Celebrity Raven– planned for calm-water paddling– has padded, collapsible chairs. Try out a few different seat designs before you commit.

      12. Look for anchor points to strap in the equipment.

      Specifically for multi-day trips, having various anchor points to strap on duty, such as a completely dry bag, pump, toss ropes, water bottle, etc., comes in handy. On the other hand, tiny, whitewater-oriented IKs could require even more space, which is the tradeoff you make when prioritizing high performance over multi-use.

      Tributary Tomcat has lots of area before the back seat for gear.

      13. Select the ideal inflatable kayak paddle.

      Utilizing a paddle that’s the proper size will undoubtedly make a massive distinction in your efficiency and also self-confidence on the water. The even more whitewater you paddle, the shorter your paddle should be. A much shorter paddle facilitates a greater stroke rate, whereas a longer one accommodates the extra unwinded paddling you would do on tranquil river stretches. Overall, IK paddles are much longer than hardshell kayak paddles– about 230cm is a great average length to try. Paddles are typically economical to lease, so try various dimensions on some regional water before you get them.

      14. See if the IK fits in your car.

      One of the most substantial benefits of inflatable kayaks is their packability: You can stick one or occasionally 2 in any Subaru hatchback. First, however, the boat you’re evaluating will fit with all the other gear (or pet dogs) you need to move.

      Inflatable kayaks are sheer happiness in whitewater.
      In my experience, nothing (besides being part of a fracture paddle plethora team) brings as much pleasure as paddling a blow-up kayak in some vibrant whitewater– with or without a friend. In addition, the readily available choices for inflatable whitewater kayaks are now virtually unlimited. And also, they’re straightforward to assess because you can try boats on demonstration days or lease a model you’re considering.

      Benefit from possibilities to purchase IKs utilized: I got among my Tomcats at a high cost and had yet to get on the water. Constantly check GearTrade (associate link) before buying any new equipment, as you can discover precisely what you seek at a substantial price cut.

      Whichever IK you select, this boat sees much more river-running action than others.


      Quick Answer Table: The 5 Best Inflatable Kayaks For Whitewater

      Sea Eagle SE33012 ft. 6 in.2 ft. 10 in. 500 lbs.2 4.1View on Amazon
      Driftsun Rover 120/2209.5ft 36in300 Lbs.14.6View on Amazon
      Sea Eagle 300x Explorer300 cm100 cm179 kg14.5View on Amazon
      AIRE Tributary Tomcat10' 3"36" in375 lbs.24.6View on Amazon
      Driftsun Voyager10ft 35"in400 lb24.2View on Amazon


      Which One Should You Get?

      That’s it for our post on the most effective blow-up whitewater kayaks. We hope it offers you a better idea of what to search for when choosing your own. There are several blow-up kayaks, so knowing which one is suitable can be challenging.

      But if you’re still uncertain which one to opt for, we recommend the Sea Eagle 300x Traveler. Considering the rate, solid anti-puncture products, and also the truth that it comes with whatever you require to get started instantly, it’s quickly the best worth for money on the market today. Examine the most effective price by clicking the switch below.

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      where we have tasked our Review Team with a singular objective: to identify and review the top-rated and most sought-after products on the market today. We take great pride in the quality and reliability of our reviews, which are carefully crafted with your satisfaction in mind.

      Our team of experts always takes into account key factors such as durability, price, quality, and overall value when conducting their assessments, so you can rest assured that you are getting the most accurate and relevant information possible.

      Where to Buy


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