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Best Inflatable Kayak for 1-Person Solo Paddlers

Mark Armstrong
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Ready to hit the water solo but don’t want to be weighed down by bulky gear? Look no further! 1-person inflatable kayaks are a great solution.

These boats are lightweight, easy to transport, and can be stored inside your home.

If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed with options, we’ve made a list of some of the best solo inflatable kayaks out there to narrow it down your choices.

Too busy to read the whole list? The best one is the Sea Eagle 300X. It’s versatile, stable, can handle all types of water, and it can be ideal for all skill levels.

Ok, let’s get to it!

> Read our guide to all the best inflatable kayaks

Top 11 Best Inflatable 1-Person Kayaks Reviewed

1: Sea Eagle 300X Explorer (best overall)

Sea Eagle 300X ExplorerPin
  • Length: 9 foot 10 inches
  • Width: 39 inches
  • Weight: 31 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 395 pounds

The Sea Eagle 300X is an extremely versatile inflatable kayak. This solo kayak can handle just about anything you throw at it, from mirror-like lakes to Class IV whitewater and everything in between.

This is a stable kayak that’s compact and easy to maneuver on all types of water. It features a drop-stitch floor for improved performance, offering a similar level of rigidity as a hardshell kayak. However, this is not built for speed, thanks to its compact length and wide beam.

This can be an ideal whitewater kayak for experienced paddlers. But it can be just as good as on slow, meandering rivers.

You’ll find storage space at the back if you want to load it up for a kayak camping trip. There are bow and stern spray covers that have bungees, providing additional storage. There are also 18 D-rings on the kayak so you can secure your belongings (and the seat) to the deck.

This is a durable kayak that can be great for all skill levels. It has three air chambers, glued seams, and is made from 1100 Decitex reinforced fabric. It also has 16 floor drains for easy self-bailing while you’re riding rapids or navigating surf.

> Read our Sea Eagle kayaks roundup


  • Self-bailing
  • Great maneuverability
  • Whitewater rated
  • Drop-stitch floor
  • Versatile


  • Not very fast

2: Aquaglide Chelan 120 (best runner-up)

Aquaglide Chelan 120 in Blue/Gray Fade colorPin
  • Length: 11 foot 3 inches
  • Width: 32.5 inches
  • Depth: 11.5 inches
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

The Aquaglide Chelan 120 is a one-person kayak designed for touring. This is a high-performance inflatable kayak that can be best suited to intermediate paddlers but it can be good for all skill levels. However, it’s not the cheapest kayak on our list.

The Chelan 120 is a quality inflatable kayak that’s made from Duratex fabric, a reinforced PVC. For enhanced performance, it features a rigid drop-stitch floor. It’s stable and can handle flatwater as well as rough water. 

This is a lightweight kayak, so it can be easy to carry on your own. It comes with a backpack-style carry bag for added convenience. It can be inflated quickly when you get to the water but the Chelan 120 does not include a pump.

The seat is designed for comfort on long trips. It has an inflatable seat cushion and a padded backrest. There’s also a storage pocket on the back.

There’s ample room for gear, both at the front and back, with bow and stern spray covers providing a little protection. The spray covers also benefit from having bungee rigging that can be used to secure additional gear.

> Read our full Aquaglide kayaks review list


  • Drop-stitch floor
  • Performance touring kayak
  • Backpack-style bag included
  • Lightweight


  • Pump not included
  • Not cheap

3: Sea Eagle Razorlite 393RL (best for touring)

Sea Eagle Razorlite 393rl Inflatable KayakPin
  • Length: 12 foot 10 inches
  • Width: 28 inches
  • Weight: 33.5 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 500 pounds

The Sea Eagle Razorlite 393 is one of the best inflatable kayaks in terms of touring performance and speed. This is the first kayak in the world to be made entirely from drop-stitch construction with patented technology.

The all drop-stitch construction helps to give this kayak its rigidity which means improved glide and more efficient paddling. This is designed to rival a hardshell kayak on performance, making it an ideal choice for experienced paddlers looking for a portable kayak.

This is not a beginner-friendly kayak. It is much narrower than most inflatable kayaks, which can affect its initial stability. It’s designed for speed and to cut through waves, with rigid bow and stern molds to reduce drag.

It has good tracking and plenty of storage space to load it up with camping gear for an extended trip. It has an adjustable seat and adjustable foot braces for comfort.

> Full Razorlite 393RL kayak review


  • Fast
  • All drop-stitch construction
  • Space for camping gear
  • Good for open water


  • Not good for beginners

4: Aire Tributary Tomcat Solo (best for whitewater)

Aire Tributary Tomcat SoloPin
  • Length: 10 foot 10 inches
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight: 34 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 375 pounds

The Aire Tributary Tomcat Solo is a whitewater kayak that is built for stability and maneuverability on fast-moving rivers.

This can be a great kayak for both beginners and advanced paddlers. It’s versatile, so can be ideal for multi-day river trips as well as running rapids.

It features an inflatable seat. However, the seat is just a backrest, which can be great for inflatable whitewater paddling. But it may not be the most supportive for long paddling sessions on flatwater.

The Tomcat has three air chambers and a self-bailing floor for quick and easy drainage. There are D-rings at the bow and stern to secure gear to the deck.

This is a durable inflatable kayak that benefits from having a touch PVC outer shell with vinyl bladders. It also has welded seams.


  • Durable construction
  • Great for all skill levels
  • Ideal for rivers
  • Easy to maneuver


  • Basic inflatable seat

5: Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler Pro (best for fishing)

Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro AE1055 KayakPin
  • Length: 10 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 38.5 inches
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 400 pounds

The Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler Pro is an inflatable fishing kayak that’s designed for long days on the water. Compared to traditional fishing kayaks, this one is much lighter, making it easier to carry on your own and you can easily load it inside your car.

This is a wide, stable kayak that features a drop-stitch floor for added rigidity. This provides a flat deck so you can potentially stand up to fish.

A great feature of this inflatable kayak is the aluminum rib frame, which helps to improve tracking and allows for more efficient paddling through waves and currents. However, this does add a little extra weight, making it heavier than other inflatable kayaks.

This is built for comfort, with an aluminum frame seat with breathable mesh fabric. The seat lets you sit slightly elevated off the deck to keep you a little drier and more comfortable.

Another good feature of the Straitedge Angler Pro is the Accessory Frame System. This lets you mount rod holders and other accessories more easily. However, the rail mounts are not included.

You’ll find space for gear at the bow and stern, where you’ll also find bungee rigging for securing smaller items to the deck. A pump is not included.

> The best inflatable fishing kayaks reviewed


  • Excellent stability
  • Aluminum frame
  • Built for fishing
  • Drop-stitch floor


  • Pump not included
  • Rail mounts not included

6: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak (best budget)

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable KayakPin
  • Length: 10 foot 5 inches
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Depth: 11.5 inches
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame offers excellent value for money and has an affordable price tag. This can be a good budget kayak for all skill levels. However, complete beginners may find the cockpit a little compact.

This is an inflatable sit-inside kayak that’s crafted to handle flatwater conditions. It can be a good choice for exploring calm coastal waters, as it has an aluminum frame at the bow and stern to cut through waves.

There’s a decent amount of storage space for day-tripping, with zipper access to the hull and bungee rigging on the deck.

The cockpit features a high-back seat for support but you might find it’s not the most comfortable or supportive if you plan to paddle for several hours at a time. The cockpit is not the most spacious, especially if you’re on the tall side.

This does not include a pump.

> The full Advanced Elements AE1012-R review


  • Stable
  • Sit-inside inflatable kayak
  • Aluminum frame
  • Access to covered storage


  • Pump sold separately
  • Not the best choice for larger paddlers

7: Sea Eagle 350FX

Sea Eagle 350FX Fishing ExplorerPin
  • Length: 11 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 39 inches
  • Weight: 51 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 575 pounds

The Sea Eagle 350FX is one of the most versatile inflatable kayaks on our list. Not only is it an excellent inflatable fishing kayak but it can be just as good for recreational paddling and running rapids.

The 350FX is rated to handle up to Class IV whitewater, so it is an incredibly stable and durable boat. It can be ideal for all skill levels. However, this is a pretty heavy kayak for an inflatable.

For increased stability while fishing, you’ll find a drop-stitch floor with non-slip padding, so you can stand up to fish more easily. The durable floor is also reinforced to withstand dropped hooks and lures, as well as dogs’ paws. 

This has a huge capacity and plenty of space for fishing equipment. There are front and rear spray covers with built-in rod holders and tackle storage. You’ll also find space for gear underneath as well as on top.

There are multiple air chambers for added safety. And you can even attach a trolling motor (not included) if you want to take your fishing game to the next level (motor mount sold separately).


  • Durable
  • Fishing features
  • Great for all waters
  • Standing platform


  • Heavy

8: Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler Fishing Kayak 130Pin
  • Length: 13 foot
  • Width: 38 inches
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 650 pounds

The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 is an incredibly spacious inflatable kayak that has a whopping 650-pound capacity. This can be an excellent kayak for anglers, larger paddlers, or if you want to take your dog kayaking.

Being 13-feet long, this is longer than most inflatable kayaks on our list. This means extra leg room and extra space for gear (or even a second person). There is ample storage at the stern, whether you want to bring along a fishing crate, cooler, or several days’ worth of camping gear.

The bow and stern spray covers have bungees for additional storage. And the kayak comes with a fishing cooler that benefits from having built-in rod holders.

The drop-stitch floor provides a stable platform for standing, as well as added performance on the water. The framed seat is height-adjustable, so you don’t have to sit directly on the deck and can gain a better view of your surroundings.

A downside of this kayak is that it’s not cheap, especially since it doesn’t come with a pump.


  • Very spacious
  • Stable fishing platform
  • Fishing cooler included
  • Good for larger paddlers
  • Dog-friendly


  • Pricey
  • Pump not included

9: Aire Lynx I Inflatable Kayak

Aire Lynx I Inflatable Kayak in Green colorPin
  • Length: 10 foot 1 inch
  • Width: 37.5 inches
  • Weight: 33 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 350 pounds

The Aire Lynx I is a high-quality inflatable kayak that’s built for whitewater. This can make it a good choice for experienced paddlers looking for a portable kayak for river running.

This is a stable kayak with increased rocker that’s designed to be easy to maneuver in fast-moving water, such as rapids and surf. It also has low-profile sides to help you navigate difficult rapids more comfortably.

The seat has a backrest with a storage pocket, so you can keep your essentials within easy reach. There are also 12 sets of cargo loops so you can tie-down camping gear for weekend river trips.

The Lynx I is a durable kayak that could be a versatile boat for a range of paddlers. It also features a 10-year no-fault warranty. However, this is not a cheap kayak so it can be better suited to more advanced paddlers than beginners. 


  • Built for whitewater
  • Excellent river kayak
  • Easy to paddle
  • Space for camping gear


  • Not cheap

10: Advanced Elements AirFusion Evo

Advanced Elements AirFusion EVOPin
  • Length: 13 foot
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 235 pounds

The Advanced Elements AirFusion Evo is an inflatable sit-inside kayak that’s designed to perform like a hardshell touring kayak.

This is a very narrow kayak with a V-shaped hull. So it might not be the best choice for beginners, as it may not feel as stable as some of the wider kayaks. It’s also not great for very tall paddlers due to the smaller size of the cockpit. The maximum paddler height is 6-foot 2-inches.

This is built for speed and tracking on flatwater. It can be ideal for day touring and the inflatable coaming on the cockpit rim means you can also add a spray skirt (sold separately) for additional protection from the elements.

It features drop-stitch technology and an aluminum frame for added performance. It’s also rated to handle up to Class II whitewater.

There is some storage space, with bungees and D-rings to secure items to the deck. You’ll also find a small roll-top hatch in the stern.


  • Compatible with spray skirts
  • Built for speed
  • Portable touring kayak
  • V-shaped hull


  • Not great for tall paddlers
  • Not ideal for beginners

11: Sevylor QuikPak K5 1-Person Kayak

Sevylor Quikpak K5 Inflatable KayakPin
  • Length: 10 foot
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight: 25.5 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds

The Sevylor QuikPak K5 is a budget kayak. It is designed for calm waters, such as flatwater lakes and slow-moving rivers. It’s not recommended for ocean paddling, as it’s not built to handle strong currents or windy conditions.

This is a sit-inside kayak that can be ideal for taking on vacation or hiking into backcountry spots. It comes with a backpack case that folds out to become the seat.

This is a stable little kayak that can be good for small to medium paddlers. It’s also lightweight and easy to carry. It’s not built for high performance, but it can be ideal for exploring local waterways at a relaxed pace.

It has storage space with bungee rigging on the rear deck, as well as in front of the cockpit for easy access to gear while you’re on the water. You’ll also find a small storage compartment at the stern, which can be great for storing your lunch or snacks.


  • Storage hatch
  • Ideal for flatwater conditions
  • Stable recreational kayak
  • Great for vacations


  • Not for large paddlers
  • Not built for high performance

Features Of 1 Person Inflatable Kayaks To Keep An Eye Out For

Intended Purpose

Inflatable kayaks come in a range of different styles to suit different activities. So it can be important for safety and performance to choose one that is designed for the type of paddling you want to do.

Green Inflatable Whitewater Kayak on a Mountain RiverPin

For example, if you want to head down a whitewater river, it’s best to opt for a kayak that is built to handle rapids.

On the other hand, if you want to set off on a multi-day touring adventure on a large lake or slow-moving river, it can be better to choose a kayak that’s designed for flatwater touring (as this will usually have more space for gear and a more comfortable seat).

You’ll find inflatable kayaks designed for whitewater, fishing, recreational paddling, and touring. You can also choose between sit-inside and sit-on-top inflatable kayaks.

A sit-inside kayak can give you a little more protection from spray and harsh weather. But an inflatable sit-on-top can be easier to get in and out of, and can usually provide more space for legs and gear.   


Inflatable kayaks generally tend to be pretty stable vessels. They have a high level of buoyancy because they are filled with air. But the level of stability is usually not the same in every inflatable kayak.

Some inflatable kayaks are designed with more primary stability to handle flatwater conditions. Others are designed with increased secondary stability to handle rough water and rapids.

Many inflatable kayaks are designed to handle both flatwater and rough water, so can often have a combination of both primary and secondary stability.

Wider inflatable kayaks can usually offer more initial stability than narrower ones, which can be preferable if you’re a beginner. Narrow vessels often sacrifice initial stability for improved speeds, which can be beneficial if you’re an experienced paddler looking for more efficiency.

Inflatable kayaks that have drop-stitch floors can be stable enough to stand up on. This can be useful if you want to do some fishing. Drop-stitch floors can also provide a more comfortable platform if you’re bringing a dog with you.


Most quality inflatable kayaks will have multiple air chambers. This means that each chamber needs to be inflated separately. The advantage of this is that if one of the chambers suffers a puncture, the rest of the chambers should be unaffected and the kayak should remain afloat.

Durability should also be a key consideration for choosing the right solo inflatable kayak. Most inflatable kayaks are made using abrasion-resistant materials to make them tough enough to withstand knocks and scrapes.

PVC, nylon, and tarpaulin are often used in the construction of inflatable kayaks. Some will also feature additional layers to provide UV-resistance.

Woman on yellow inflatable kayak fishing at lake on sunny afternoonPin

Welded and glued seams can also add strength and durability to the fabric, helping to keep the inner chambers watertight.

Most inflatable kayaks are designed to be resistant to punctures. But this doesn’t mean that a puncture can never occur. Repair kits and patch kits are usually included with most inflatables so that you can easily repair any small hole during your trip.

Video: How to Patch an Inflatable Kayak


Inflatable kayaks will generally weigh less than traditional hardshell kayaks of a comparable size. But this is not always the case. Inflatable kayaks are not all as lightweight as you might expect.

This can be an important feature to look at if you plan to carry the kayak by yourself or hike it into remote spots.

As well as the weight of the kayak, it can also be important to think about the load capacity of the kayak. The maximum capacity of a kayak will give you an idea of who the kayak is for and how much extra gear it can carry.

Generally speaking, inflatable kayaks have a higher load capacity than hardshell kayaks of a similar size. This means they can usually be better for larger or heavier paddlers, as well as more suitable for carrying heavier loads, for example, camping gear.

The higher the capacity, the more weight the kayak will be able to carry. However, it’s best not to load up a kayak to its weight limit, as its performance and buoyancy will likely be negatively affected.


If you’re looking to bring a lot of gear with you, then space will likely be important. Similarly, if you’re very tall, then you’ll also want enough space for your legs and feet.

Some inflatable kayaks can be less spacious than similar hardshell kayaks. Because, despite their extra width, the sidewalls are also usually pretty wide, restricting the available space on the deck.

However, many inflatable kayaks are sufficiently spacious for both you and your gear. Sit-on-top inflatable kayaks can generally offer more space than sit-inside inflatables. This is both in terms of legroom and gear storage space.

If you’re looking to go kayak camping or take your dog on a paddling adventure, a sit-on-top inflatable kayak can be the best option. This is where a drop-stitch floor could be beneficial.

Inflatable solo kayaks with high-pressure drop-stitch floors can often provide more deck space. If the entire kayak is made from drop-stitch technology, then your usable space will likely be increased again, as the sidewalls will usually be narrower.

Solo Inflatable Kayaks: FAQs

Can 1 Person Use A Tandem Inflatable Kayak?

Yes, most tandem inflatable kayaks can be paddled solo.

Are 1 Person Kayaks Easy To Use?

Most solo inflatable kayaks are compact to be easy to use by one person. This means they’re usually lightweight and easy to carry solo, as well as being easy to maneuver on the water.

Should I Get A Hardshell Kayak Instead Of A Blow Up One?

If you plan to kayak frequently and you have enough space to store a hardshell kayak, you might find a hardshell is more suitable.

But if you want convenience of transportation and storage, as well as a higher capacity vessel, an inflatable kayak might be better for you.

Conclusion: Are Inflatable Kayaks For One Person Worth It?

Inflatable kayaks can be great for solo paddlers. We think the best one-person inflatable kayak is the Sea Eagle 300X because of its incredible versatility. It can handle just about anything and is easy to paddle, with a drop-stitch floor for added stability and performance.

If you’re after an inflatable kayak with a little more space for legs and gear, the Aquaglide Chelan 120 is our runner-up pick. It offers performance and comfort for touring, as well as a versatile hull that can handle a range of waters.

Experienced paddlers might prefer the roomy Sea Eagle Razorlite 393, with its efficient hull for fast touring.

Remember to look into these kayaks yourself to make sure they check all of your boxes. The solo inflatable kayaks on our list won’t all be perfect for everyone and it’s important you find the right one for you.

Read more:

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