Inflatable Kayak for Family (w/ a Tall Dad)

Hi, I am searching for an inflatable kayak to use as a tandem with my young kids and also have the option to go solo on my own. I am 6’5" and concerned that when going tandem I will be really cramped. Finding the interior dimensions seems to be hard besides the Sea Eagles I have looked at. Here are a few I am considering right now -

Advanced Elements Convertible AE1007
AquaGlide Chinook 120
Sea Eagle 370
Sea Eagle 380x
Seylor Big Basin
Intex Excursion Pro K2

Being my first inflatable and primarily for 2-3 hour recreational use every few weekends I am bit hesitant to invest as much as the Advanced Elements and Sea Eagle 380x would require. I’d appreciate any feedback from your experiences.

Have you considered a canoe?

I have not. I’m not sure how that would be for solo trips but for storage and transport I need an inflatable.

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Folding kayaks offer the transport and storage compactness with versatilty and performance, but sunce you have budget concerns that is probably not a realistic option. Otherwise I would have suggested you consider PakBoat, which has models of convertible folding kayaks and canoes that can be set up to paddle solo or as tandems.

Since you are so tall, I am guessing you are proportionally also a rather heavy guy. One big obstacle to optimal performance in inflatables is that the cheaper models will flex and sag under a heavier user and become very hard to handle and effortful to paddle. This is even more problematic in a multiperson boat where one passenger is much heavier than the other(s). So unless you are an unusually gracile tall guy you probably should narrow your choices to those boats with full drop stitch floors and/or those with metal longeron inserts of some kind to maintain structural rigidity along the keel.

Grabner is another manufacturer of quality inflatables. Not apt to find a local dealer but they will promptly send you a catalog if you go to their website. Since inflatables can be shipped easily buying them in person is not a limitation.

Dealers like AirKayaks have staff that can help you choose too. They specialize in inflatables and have a large range of brands and models.

You can pick up a used 380x at resonable price

There are several folks on these boards who solo paddle canoes. I’ve also paddled with some folks offline. Transport isn’t a problem, you get roof racks. However, the storage problem makes it’s a non-starter for you.

I have a used Grabner “Holiday 3” that I’m interested in selling.

I have the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak ($390 from Amazon) but, at 6’ 1" found it pretty cramped with two people onboard.
So I purchased an expandable Point 65 Tequila Angler. Although mine is solo and I have never tried expanding, you can expand these to accommodate two or more people. I even saw a video where they connected over 20 into a single kayak! Mine fits comfortably into the rear of my Highlander.

We’ve had a Sevylor Big Basin for over a year now…works great! Inflating was easy. I used the car to get it up most of the way with the pump link below, then used a hand pump to finish it off. With the skeg in place, it tracked well. We put our 10 lb dog up in the front and then my wife was in the front seat and I was in the back. We used longer paddles because of the width of the kayak being wider than a regular kayak. One thing to watch: make sure your plug, underneath in the back, is put in place before kayaking or you’ll fill up with water! Let me know if you have any other questions.




I have just bought the Intex Excursion Pro K2. For the price, it is a great value. Very comfy, easy to paddle and steer. I am 5’6’ as is my companion and we were comfy. The seats are adjustable somewhat to allow more leg room for one of them.

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I appreciate all of the responses. I found a like new Advanced Elements Convertible AE1007 for a great price including pump, paddles, and more that I ended up purchasing. I am excited to try it out and will keep in mind all of your recommendations if I ever look for a different kayak. Thanks!

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For what it’s worth, I’m a heavier guy (250lbs) though not as tall (5’11"). I bought the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Convertible AE1007 and found it folding in the middle on me - even though it was rated for 550 lbs. I returned it (thank you SunnySports!). I’m going to have to stick to a hardshell.

I just purchased my first Advanced Elements last month. I’m 5”8, and can fully extend with room to spare behind seat (could move seat back to create more room). Easy to inflate, great quality. I do have the optional drop-stitch floor, so if you do not have that I highly recommend it. Happy paddling!

Go with the Sea Eagle 465Fast Track. Weight limit is 795lbs. Can actually hold three people but still be paddled solo. Very durable. Best for flat water and tracks very well. Both my wife and I were heavier paddlers but it handled us and gear with no problem

Here is an excellent overview of inflatable kayaks. Kind of long, but very informative.

Yes, it’s a good overview … however, the comment about the AE floor sagging is only applicable to the basic model … if you get the additional dropstitch floor the difference is phenomenal and makes it a far superior ‘beast’ … I’m surprised the reviewer didn’t mention it. I’ve had mine for four years, now … two with the soft (original) floor and two with the ds floor … the latter in white water, on the sea, rivers and lakes … wonderful! And … I don’t have a problem with drying it out … just the technique to spread it so that sun/air can get into all the nooks and crannies … do the two ends with a towel and prop open for air circulation … hey presto.

AE also offers a backbone as an alternative to the DS floor. It works well, but it can be a PITA to get it aligned properly.

Indeed! Is why I got the drop-stitch.

We just got my son a Star (NRS) solo kayak, and the drop stitch floor is a huge improvement over our old Tributary Strike with ‘regular’ inflatable floor.