Inflatable Kayak Buying Advice

Hey All,

New to the boards here. I just bought myself a Wilderness Systems Pungo 125 last summer and really enjoyed it. Now I’m looking at getting an inflatable kayak as a second boat for guests visiting my place primarily, or my own personal use for whitewater.

I’ve narrowed it down to two options, either Sea Eagle 380x, or Aquaglide Chelan 140 (2021). They are similarily priced from what I find online. Right now the AG 140 seems hard to locate in stock.

One major difference between the two is their load capacity ratings. The SE is rated for 750lbs, while the AG is 400lbs. I wonder if this has anything to do with the difference in materials used. Both mention 1000 denier drop stitched floors, but not sure of the difference in materials for the side tubes. My impression is that the materials quality is better on the SE. As also evidenced by the difference in warranty 3 year for SE vs 2 year for AG.

I considered the AG 155, but I want the flexibility to use the new boat for single and tandem use, so the AG 155 seems a little big for single use.

I like the flexibility of being able to use in whitewater and the SE is rated to class IV, whereas all I can find for the AG is “mild whitewater”.

I prefer the feature set of the new AG though, including the foot braces, higher seats, webbing loops, side handles for solo transportation etc.

Anyways, these are some of the things I’m considering between the two. I would greatly appreciate any input/insights anyone could offer.


Differences in air volumes make up the difference in capacity, not materials. They are both about the same length, so to get higher capacity the Sea Eagle is wider and likely has larger diameter side tubes. This might make it a little harder to paddle, as the paddler would have to reach over these to get the paddle blade into the water.

I think a lot might come down to whether you see the kayak mostly being used by a single person, or multiple people. If mostly single, then the lower capacity one may be better. If multiple, then the larger.

This guy has a good video on differences between types of inflatables that might be worth watching: Seems he has a second version/update, which I haven’t seen yet, at

Thanks for that. Yeah, that makes sense about the air volumes.

As for usage, I think it could be close to 50/50, with my parents or friends with partners, as well as single friends and even possibly myself would all be using it. But the larger tubes on the SE you point out, along with the lower seat position might combine for awkward paddling. I could reconsider the AG 155, which has higher load capacity, but at 15’ 1" vs 13’ 6" for the 140, might be a little long for one person to paddle, especially in any kind of wind.

Thanks for the video link, I’ll chech that out!