Navigating the world of inflatable fishing kayaks can feel like you’re adrift in a sea of choices. But don’t fret—we’re here to simplify the process. We’ve rigorously researched, tested, and reviewed the best inflatable fishing kayaks available today, so you can invest your time and energy in what you love most: casting a line and reeling in your next great catch.
Whether you prioritize overall performance, versatility, affordability, or a perfect blend of all three, we’ve got you covered. For more information on our selection process, be sure to check out our comparison and analysis section.
The Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
Here are our top picks for the best inflatable fishing kayaks. Scroll down for in-depth reviews of each model.
- Best Overall Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130
- Multiple Setup Options for Various Needs: Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler
- Balance of Performance and Affordability: Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro
- Premium Pick for Duo Anglers: Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 160
- Excellent Pedal-Powered Option: BOTE LONO Aero
- Great Value for Beginner Anglers: Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler
- Economical Choice for Tandem Kayaking: Intex Excursion Pro K2
Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130
Best Overall Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Length: 13′ | Width: 38″ | Weight: 41 lbs | Capacity: 650 lbs
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What we like
What we don’t like
With its impressive length of 13′ and a generous width of 38″, the Blackfoot Angler 130 is an inflatable fishing kayak that excels in function and style. The robust Duratex reinforced PVC material offers an unmatched combination of durability and lightness, weighing in at just 41 lbs while maintaining an impressive weight capacity of 650 lbs.
With plenty of space to accommodate your gear or an additional seat, the Blackfoot 130 is an ideal companion for both solo and tandem fishing. We found the stability excellent, whether subjected to a stealth approach on calm waters or taking on rough surf in the open ocean.
The kayak has also shown outstanding resistance to wear and tear—from scraping against rocks to enduring the harsh edges of docks, it held up exceptionally well without any visible damage.
The Blackfoot Angler 130 has been designed to streamline the setup process. Despite the slight learning curve with the seat setup, we found it easy to inflate and stow away, but we recommend purchasing an electric pump for an even quicker setup. Also noteworthy is the inclusion of mounting options for gear, including fish finders, tackle boxes, and other accessories, making it easy to customize your angling platform.
However, we found the kayak’s performance can suffer in windy conditions due to the high rocker. Despite this limitation, the Blackfoot Angler 130’s features and overall performance make it our top pick for the best all-around inflatable fishing kayak.
Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler
Multiple Setup Options for Various Needs
Length: 12’6″ | Width: 36″ | Weight: 45 lbs | Capacity: 635 lbs
What we like
What we don’t like
The Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler Series offers remarkable versatility, accommodating various setups, including a motor, different seats, and the option to paddle solo or in tandem.
Crafted with 1000D reinforced polyester, the 385fta has excellent durability. Its substantial weight capacity of 635 lbs ensures that you can confidently bring all your fishing gear, and with dimensions of 12’6″ by 36″, this kayak provides plenty of room for a relaxed fishing experience.
We especially like the NeedleKnife keel design for its smooth paddling and outstanding tracking. Unlike some inflatable kayaks that struggle to maintain course, the 385fta’s tapered bow allows it to glide effortlessly through wind and waves. Coupled with its excellent stability, this kayak ensures a comfortable and secure ride on the water.
Nevertheless, the 385fta has some areas for improvement. We found that the rod holders at the bow and stern could be more secure. Additionally, the durability of the carrying bag is disappointing, given the price of the kayak. The lack of backpack-style shoulder straps also made it less portable over longer distances.
However, these cons don’t overshadow the 385fta’s overall performance. And the rod holder issue can be addressed by using a kayak crate with built-in holders.
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro
Balance of Performance and Affordability
Length: 10’6″ | Width: 38.5″ | Weight: 45 lbs | Capacity: 400 lbs
What we like
What we don’t like
The Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro is an ideal solution for anglers looking for a balanced mix of performance, value, and user-friendliness. With its length of 10’6″ and width of 38.5″, this kayak serves both beginners and experienced anglers well.
The kayak comfortably holds up to 400 lbs, and courtesy of the durable PVC tarpaulin material, it’s sturdy and suitable for diverse users. The broad beam and drop-stitch floor ensure excellent stability, letting you confidently stand or reel in a big catch.
The kayak’s maneuverability is another selling point, making it easy to navigate, even for those new to the sport. Despite its compact size, its aluminum rib frame adds to its tracking capability.
The StraitEdge offers generous storage space, accommodating a full cooler or tackle box without making the kayak feel overcrowded. And the bungee deck lacing and stainless steel D-rings provide plenty of attachment points for your gear. The accessory frame system also lets you add aftermarket 1″ rail mounts, allowing you to customize your kayak to suit your fishing needs.
However, the kayak does come with a couple of drawbacks. Although comfortable enough for a full day on the water, the seat tie-down points and backrest straps could use some improvement. Also, compared to other kayaks we tested, the StraitEdge Angler takes slightly longer to dry, which can be somewhat inconvenient. However, these issues don’t detract from the kayak’s overall performance and value for money.
Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 160
Premium Pick for Duo Anglers
Length: 16’4″ | Width: 38″ | Weight: 50 lbs | Capacity: 800 lbs
What we like
What we don’t like
The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 160 shines as a high-performing inflatable tandem fishing kayak. Its 16’4″ length and durable Duratex-reinforced PVC construction offer generous space and resilience for your angling escapades.
The kayak comfortably supports up to 800 lbs, making it the perfect vessel for two adults, a kid or pet, and a heap of fishing gear. The adjustable, plush seats add to the comfort, ensuring a pleasant experience during extended fishing trips.
One of the Blackfoot 160’s greatest strengths is its stability. It handles choppy waters and sudden shifts in weight with ease. And with its drop-stitch hard-bottom floor, you can confidently stand and cast your lines.
Storage and portability are well-thought-out aspects of this kayak’s design. Not only does it offer mounting capabilities that rival hard-shell kayaks, but its 50-pound weight makes it easy to transport. However, keep in mind that the weight increases when the seats are added.
With its lengthy design and included skeg, the Blackfoot 160 excels in tracking. However, this length can become a disadvantage in environments that require tight maneuvering, such as narrow waterways or around obstacles.
BOTE LONO Aero
Excellent Pedal-Powered Option
Length: 12’6″ | Width: 35.5″ | Weight: 73 lbs | Capacity: 400 lbs
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What we like
What we don’t like
The BOTE LONO Aero stands out for those seeking to combine hands-free propulsion and versatility in their fishing kayak. Built with military-grade PVC material, it’s designed to stand up to the rigors of the outdoors.
Its distinguishing feature is the option to pair it with the APEX pedal drive, adding a layer of convenience by freeing your hands for casting and reeling.
The LONO Aero provides excellent stability, enabling comfortable standing fishing. Its roomy design accommodates everything from your fishing gear to your four-legged friend or even your young ones. And despite this extra room, it maintains good tracking and maneuverability, gliding smoothly across the water.
However, it does have a few drawbacks. The setup process is somewhat time-consuming compared to the other kayaks we’ve reviewed. The included manual pump, while functional, can be a bit of a workout, so we recommend opting for the electric pump for convenience.
And while it’s more portable than a hard-shell kayak, its packed weight is around 73 lbs which can be an issue for solo trips. Also, while the seat is at a good height, it could be more comfortable and supportive. Still, with its unique pedal drive option and excellent stability, the LONO Aero is a worthwhile investment for anglers who prefer a pedal experience.
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler
Great Value for Beginner Anglers
Length: 9’8″ | Width: 35″ | Weight: 41 lbs | Capacity: 300 lbs
What we like
What we don’t like
For budget-conscious anglers or beginners looking for a quality inflatable fishing kayak, the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler offers an excellent solution. At 9’8″ in length and 35″ wide, this kayak provides stability on the water, even when bringing in a big catch or moving around in the kayak.
Its removable accessory frame is the standout feature, allowing you to personalize the kayak. You can add aftermarket 1″ rail mounts for rod holders, fish finders, or other gear, truly making it your own.
Remarkably easy to set up, you can inflate and assemble the StraitEdge Angler in less than 5 minutes. This ease of setup, combined with its portability and rugged durability (thanks to the PVC tarpaulin construction), make it an appealing option.
Despite its strengths, the kayak has some limitations. Although the high back seat and inflatable lumbar support provide comfort for extended trips on the water, it might feel a bit tight for taller or larger paddlers.
Its compact size also affects tracking performance, but on the flip side, it makes the kayak more maneuverable. And, after use, the kayak can take a long time to dry due to water getting trapped in various crevices. If not dried properly, this can lead to a moldy odor. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it’s something to consider.
Intex Excursion Pro K2
Economical Choice for Tandem Kayaking
Length: 12’7″ | Width: 37″ | Weight: 39 lbs | Capacity: 400 lbs
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What we like
What we don’t like
The Intex Excursion Pro K2 is a great choice for budget-conscious anglers. Its durable PVC vinyl laminate build, combined with impressive stability, ease of setup, and portability, makes it an excellent value kayak for its price point.
Ready for action right out of the box, it comes complete with aluminum paddles and a pump. However, we found the paddles somewhat short for the kayak’s width, causing you to lean slightly to reach the water.
While the kayak features an adjustable mounting bracket for storing fishing gear and well-placed D-rings for attachments, its maximum weight capacity is 400 lbs, which could be limiting for heavy loads while paddled in tandem.
Unfortunately, the kayak underperforms in terms of tracking and speed, particularly in windy conditions. Also, the stock inflatable seats lack comfort and support, so we recommend replacing them if you’re going to spend a long time on the water.
Moreover, the inward-facing rod holders’ design means rods cross over each other. That said, this problem can be remedied with aftermarket rod holders, which work great with the included accessory rail.
Comparison and Analysis
In the following section, we delve into a comparative analysis of the best inflatable fishing kayaks available on the market. Our aim was to rigorously evaluate these kayaks, focusing on a variety of critical features:
- Tracking and Glide
- Ease of Set Up
- Build Quality
To reflect the needs of kayak anglers, we weighted our rating categories based on their importance to the overall kayak fishing experience. For instance, we gave tracking and glide, and maneuverability 10% of the overall score each, as these factors determine how easily and efficiently a kayak can move through the water. Stability, which is paramount for maintaining balance while casting lines or reeling in catches, was given a higher weightage of 20%.
Comfort and storage, each contributing 15% to the score, were prioritized to ensure a pleasurable fishing session and sufficient space for all essential gear. The ease of set up and build quality—elements critical to the kayak’s longevity, dependability, and convenience—were allotted 10% of the overall score. Lastly, given the appeal of inflatable kayaks lies significantly in their transportability, we attributed 10% of the overall score to portability.
In the following analysis, we’ll unpack each category, sharing our findings and the top performers in each area.
|Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130||Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 160||Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler||Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro||BOTE LONO Aero||Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler||Intex Excursion Pro K2|
|Tracking & Glide (10%)||5.5||6.0||6.0||5.0||5.0||4.5||4.0|
|Ease of Set Up (10%)||7.5||7.0||7.5||7.5||7.0||8.5||8.0|
|Build Quality (10%)||8.0||8.0||8.0||7.5||7.5||7.0||6.0|
|Weight||41 lbs||50 lbs||45 lbs||45 lbs||73 lbs||41 lbs||39 lbs|
|Weight Capacity||650 lbs||800 lbs||635 lbs||400 lbs||400 lbs||300 lbs||400 lbs|
|Material||Duratex-reinforced PVC||Duratex-reinforced PVC||1000D reinforced polyester||PVC tarpaulin||Military-grade PVC||PVC tarpaulin||PVC vinyl laminate|
Tracking and Glide
One of the primary factors to consider when evaluating any kayak is its tracking and glide performance.
Tracking refers to a kayak’s ability to maintain a straight line and direction in the water without veering off to one side. It’s influenced by the kayak’s design, including its length, width, and hull shape. Generally, a longer kayak tends to track better than a shorter one due to its extended waterline.
Glide, on the other hand, relates to how smoothly a kayak moves through the water after a paddle stroke, and how long it maintains forward momentum without additional paddle strokes. A kayak with superior glide capabilities allows for extended travel with less exertion, making it ideal for longer fishing expeditions.
In our evaluation of a broad selection of inflatable fishing kayaks, a few stood out.
The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 and 160 models particularly impressed us. The 130, with its great length and width, presents a versatile option suitable for various conditions. Its larger sibling, the 160, offers even better tracking and glide due to its increased length.
The Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler is designed with a NeedleKnife keel that enhances its tracking ability. This feature allows it to maintain a straight course while also contributing to a more fluid glide across the water. This design makes it a pleasure to paddle, even over long distances.
Lastly, the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro, though shorter in length, offers competitive tracking ability. It achieves this through its innovative aluminum rib-frame design, offering a balanced performance that doesn’t compromise maneuverability.
When assessing maneuverability, we looked at factors such as the kayak’s response to paddle strokes and its ability to execute tight turns.
Two models stood out significantly for their impressive maneuverability: the standard Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler and its pro version. Compact in size and boasting a sharp bow and stern, these kayaks effortlessly navigate through tight spaces or around obstacles. This feature proves particularly beneficial in congested waterways.
With its sleek design and pedal-powered option, the BOTE LONO Aero also demonstrated remarkable maneuverability. Its pedal system paves the way for hands-free operation, allowing you to concentrate on steering and control while simultaneously freeing up your hands for fishing.
Similarly, the Intex Excursion Pro K2 displayed commendable maneuverability, quite noteworthy for a tandem kayak, proving itself nimble and easy to control in diverse conditions.
The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 and Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler struck a balanced blend of maneuverability and tracking, performing admirably in most conditions. However, these models proved slightly more challenging to handle in tighter spots, requiring additional care and control.
However, the Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 160 faced certain hurdles regarding maneuverability. Although its extended design contributes to superior tracking and stability, it limits agility in narrow or obstacle-filled waters, demanding skilled handling and careful navigation.
When evaluating inflatable fishing kayaks, stability stands as one of the critical factors for consideration. It can significantly impact your overall fishing experience.
We assessed each kayak under various conditions—calm and turbulent waters—and during different fishing activities such as casting, reeling in a catch, or sight fishing while standing. We also examined their stability when subjected to sudden shifts in weight or movement, such as during rapid turns or position changes.
The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 stood out for its remarkable stability. Its generous dimensions contribute to a reliable performance under various conditions, maintaining its stability even during sudden weight shifts or when standing.
Similarly, the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler excelled in our stability tests. Its thoughtful design and substantial size offer a confident, secure experience on the water, standing its ground even against winds and waves. The Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro and the BOTE LONO Aero also feature drop-stitch floors that significantly enhance stability, allowing you to confidently stand.
For those who prefer fishing with a partner, the Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 160 is an excellent option. Its sturdy, hard-bottom floor and spacious design easily handle choppy waters and sudden weight shifts, making standing fishing comfortable and worry-free.
For budget-conscious or beginner anglers, both the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler and the Intex Excursion Pro K2 offer commendable stability. Their designs enable a steady presence on the water. However, without drop-stitch floors, these models do not facilitate standing, which could be a limiting factor for some.
A day of fishing often means hours on the water, so comfort in your kayak is a vital consideration.
Our evaluation of comfort incorporated factors such as seat quality, checking for padding, adjustability, and removability, and the support these seats provide over long periods of sitting. The available cockpit space, too, significantly contributes to comfort, as ample room to adjust seating positions or stretch your legs can help prevent stiffness during lengthy outings. We also considered the presence and adjustability of footrests, which can enhance the maintenance of a comfortable position.
The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 and 160 models stood out in the comfort department. Their adjustable, plush seats ensure a pleasant experience even during long fishing trips, while their generous dimensions add to the overall comfort factor.
The Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler also offers a comfortable fishing experience thanks to its spacious design. For maximum comfort, we recommend opting for the swivel seat package. However, if you prioritize stability while paddling, the high-back seat package might be a better fit.
While the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro provides ample comfort for a full day on the water, its comfort could be enhanced with improved seat tie-down points and backrest straps. The BOTE LONO Aero has a nice chair-like position, but its inflatable seat is a bit lacking in comfort and support.
For budget-conscious anglers, the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler and the Intex Excursion Pro K2 deliver decent comfort, although they lack the plushness of more expensive models. The StraitEdge Angler might feel a tad tight for taller or larger paddlers, and the Excursion Pro K2’s stock inflatable seats don’t provide sufficient comfort and support for longer expeditions.
It’s worth noting that comfort can be highly personal, and what feels comfortable to one person may not be the same for another. Therefore, it’s essential to consider your personal preferences and body type when assessing a kayak’s comfort.
For avid kayak anglers, storage capacity is a critical feature. The ability to accommodate all your fishing gear, personal items, and additional equipment for extended water excursions can significantly elevate your fishing experience.
Our storage evaluation involved analyzing the weight capacity of each kayak to gauge how much gear they could realistically carry. We examined their storage compartments, assessing accessibility, capacity, and ability to securely hold gear while navigating waters. Moreover, we took note of additional storage options like bungee lacing, D-rings, and gear mounting systems.
Among the models reviewed, the Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 stands out with a remarkable weight capacity of 650 lbs, providing ample space for solo or tandem fishing and gear. Its sibling, the Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 160, comfortably supports up to 800 lbs, an excellent choice for two adults armed with plenty of fishing gear. Both models are thoughtfully designed with various storage options, including mounts for gear such as fish finders, tackle boxes, and other accessories.
The Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler also scores high in storage capacity, boasting a substantial weight limit of 635 lbs and copious room for equipment. However, its rod-holder design could benefit from some improvement.
For those favoring hands-free propulsion, the BOTE LONO Aero offers a spacious design suitable for everything from your fishing gear to your furry companion, albeit with a slightly lower weight capacity of 400 lbs.
For those looking for more affordable options, the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro provides generous storage space, while the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler caters to budget-friendly needs, offering a compact yet sufficient storage solution. Both models also feature a removable accessory frame, allowing you to customize the kayak with aftermarket 1″ rail mounts for rod holders, fish finders, or other gear.
Rounding out our selection, the Intex Excursion Pro K2 impresses with an adjustable mounting bracket for gear storage and well-positioned D-rings for attachments. However, its maximum capacity of 400 lbs can limit heavy loads, especially for tandem paddlers.
Ease of Set Up
No angler wants to spend more time preparing the kayak than actually fishing. We considered a few factors during our evaluation:
- We assessed the clarity and usefulness of the manufacturer’s instructions.
- We took into account the number of components required for the setup, as fewer parts usually mean a simpler and quicker assembly.
- We checked how intuitive the assembly process was and if any special tools were required.
- We timed how long it took to get the kayak from the carrying bag to the water.
The Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler distinguished itself with an impressively simple setup process. Thanks to its intuitive design, inflating and assembling this kayak took less than five minutes. The Intex Excursion Pro K2 was also quick to set up, but its longer length added slightly to the assembly time. Because these models lack drop-stitch compartments, their inflation PSI is lower, requiring less pumping effort.
The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 and 160 models also provided straightforward transport and setup processes. Naturally, the larger 160 model required additional time due to its 16’4″ length. The Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro and the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler also proved easy to assemble.
On the other hand, the BOTE LONO Aero required a bit more time for setup due to its five separate chambers. Although it comes with a manual pump, we found that an electric pump made the process significantly quicker and more convenient.
In our reviews, we dove deep into each kayak’s build quality. We scrutinized factors such as the material used, the manufacturing methods employed, the kayak’s durability, as well as users’ experiences. In particular, we were interested in how the kayaks held up to regular use, harsh weather, and any unexpected encounters with underwater obstacles like rocks or submerged branches.
We tested kayaks from various brands, including Aquaglide, Sea Eagle, Advanced Elements, BOTE, and Intex. While each brand has its own unique design and materials, we found that all provide respectable build quality. However, some models stood out for their superior durability and toughness.
Notably, the Blackfoot Angler series and the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler impressed us. The resilience of these kayaks against wear and tear, such as scraping against rocks or withstanding rough dock edges, underscored their superior craftsmanship.
On the other hand, when examining more budget-friendly options like the Intex Excursion Pro K2, the quality understandably tapered off a bit. Although this kayak is durable and can last a long time with proper care, it necessitates more caution, especially around rocks or during rough landings. In particular, we noticed the attention to detail was slightly lacking, particularly around the seams and valves. However, given its affordability—costing roughly a fifth of some premium options—this is somewhat expected.
A prime benefit of inflatable kayaks is their superior portability—they can deflate and fit neatly into a bag, ready to be transported in a car trunk or even on your back. However, the level of portability can vary based on factors like the kayak’s weight, its pack-down size, carrying handles, and the design of the storage bag.
Two of the lightest options, the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler and the Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130, shine in the portability department. Both weigh 41 lbs and come equipped with high-quality carry bags, making them easy to transport.
We found the Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 160, the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro, and the Intex Excursion Pro K2 also highly portable. Although the 160 is larger, its weight is still manageable at 50 lbs, and it includes a convenient carry bag. Similarly, the Angler Pro and the K2, both under 50 lbs, make them all suitable options for easy transportation.
While offering acceptable portability, we would prefer if the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler came with a higher-quality bag with backpack straps, akin to the Aquaglide and Advanced Elements models.
Surprisingly, despite being one of the heavier kayaks at 73 lbs, the BOTE LONO Aero maintains reasonable portability. It is equipped with carrying handles and comes with a handy wheeled bag. While it’s certainly more challenging to manage single-handedly, it’s significantly more portable than most pedal-driven or hard-shell kayaks.
The selection of an inflatable fishing kayak significantly depends on individual needs and preferences. Factors such as your budget, fishing style, intended use, and necessary comfort levels play a significant role in making an appropriate choice. The reviewed kayaks each present unique strengths and certain limitations that should be considered.
However, if we had to pick just one, the Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 takes the crown as our top overall pick. With its excellent stability, great storage options, easy setup, and lightweight yet durable construction, it’s a kayak that truly delivers the best of all worlds.