Best Inflatable Kayak

Chelan 120 is fantastic in every aspect. No internal bladders to trap water. Towel dry, fold up, done. Avoid any boat with fabric covered bladders and you won’t have any issues. This inflatable well exceeded my expectations.

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Agree completely. Excellent designed inflatable kayak.

I’ve been thinking about the Innova Safari for poking around in the Florida mangroves. I usually paddle a Feathercraft Aironaut inflatable, a rather nice boat but not the thing for the mangrove tunnels. Anyone here have personal experience with the Safari?

Thank you for this info! I’m compiling everyones suggestions which is going to make me feel far more confident when I finally decide. Thanks again :grinning:

I bought an Advanced Elements Advanced Frame kayak in 2019. It’s inflatable, but has some durability to it with the fabric and the three-layer hull. It has metal pieces in the bow and stern so the tracking is good too. It inflates in no time, but may take a while to dry out prior to folding it away for the evening if you have a splashy day. I’m 5’4" and 150, but my boyfriend who is 5’11" and closer to 220 said he found the inflated tubes a little tight to sit between. If you can try one out I recommend it. I’ve used it on the Maumee River in northwest Ohio frequently, as well as various lakes. I’ve gone over rocks and run aground too and have not had any punctures or rip issues. I wish you all the best in your search!

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I have a Feathercraft Aironaut that I paddle on Florida’s Gulf Coast in the winter. I actually preferred the Feathercraft Kurrent that I owned prior to the Aironaut but it was not an easy folder to assemble. That’s just the way Feathercraft boats are. The Aironaut weighs a mere 20 pounds and can be inflated in about six minutes, ten if you’re sipping a cup of coffee in between inflation valves. It’s only real liability other than paddling in windy conditions is drying the interior after paddling. The Aironaut is a decked inflatable which makes it difficult and time consuming to thoroughly dry after rinsing with fresh water. I’d love to find an inflatable with the efficiency of the Aironaut’s hull but without a fixed deck.

My Hobie i14T is worth almost the same as when I bought it 10+ years ago. Just ordered one from Nashville (the new SUP/Kayak 9 footer) and expect it’ll hold value in much the same way. Technology is awesome. As with many things, you get what you pay for and Hobie has been awesome.

Jim, Have you looked at the PakBoat Quest 150? I have its earlier iteration, the smaller scaled Quest 135, which does NOT offer the option to paddle without the deck – a distinct advantage of the newer versions of the 150.

I also have a Feathercraft Wisper (similar frame to your Kurrent) so I can report that the Quest (like all Pakboats) is far easier to assemble than any of the 4 FC’s I have owned.

And the Quest paddles favorably compared to the excellent Wisper. I do love the Wisper and so I put up with the “pretzel yoga” effort that it takes to put it together. But the Pakboats, which are assembled with an open hull (the decks are separate and optional in most models), require far less contortions and frustration, plus are easier to clean out and dry off after paddling.

Nice video of paddling a Pakboat 150 across open water (Hong Kong harbor). Testing Pakboats Quest 150 with greenland paddle - YouTube

If I ever acquire another folder it will likely be a Feathercraft. The Folbot doesn’t appear to be any less difficult to assemble than was my K-Light or Kurrent and all Feathercraft boats were made to exceptionally high standards. Now in my 80th year with a couple of after market hips in place, I find it just about impossible to scrabble about on the ground trying to put a folder together. This means finding an elevated platform, usually a picnic table where I can assemble the boat while maintaining a standing position. With an inflatable like my Feathercraft Aironaut, it’s simply a matter of attaching a pump to three inflation valves and, in a few minutes of vigorous pumping, picking up the 20 pound boat and carrying it to the water. The Aironaut’s only real liability is drying the interior after rinsing with fresh water. I just wish that the deck were detachable which would make it so much easier to clean and dry.