Inflatable kayaks users

After a lot of thought. I have decided an inflatable for my 5th wheel be the best option. Now I need help in picking one. I have been online and to multiple stores. I can tell you that REI, DICKS, and BASS PRO SHOPS do not have displays and they keep very little box stock. I did see that the advanced element units have an optional back bone accessory that suggest they sink in the middle. I am looking for something that will actually hold up and be fun to use. Any help from actual users would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advanced

That’s what the “REVIEWS” are for.

Easier method

– Last Updated: Dec-29-14 9:40 PM EST –

is to use the search bar at the top of the page, instead of going to the Reviews section. Just enter "inflatable kayaks" in the search bar and it will take you to 10 archived pages on inflatables.

On the seventh page I did find one thread (from 2011) actually discussing inflatables:

And this thread from 2009:

This might interest you:

Search for:


Packraft reviews

Forrest McCarthy packrafting

In Google Images: packraft


I have couple of Innovas
the Safari and the Helios 2. Both about 15 years old and holding up well. Also have had Feathercraft folders and like them alot. I Safari is decent on class 3, fun to surf and with the skeg, tracks well but is a bit slow on flat water. The Helios is nice, moves at 3 knots easily and can be outfitted with a simple rudder

Innova here also
I’ve got a Safari also, but I’ve got the older model with the 24" beam. Has remarkable glide for a 10’ boat, but it will never do as well as a long boat. It does have drainage holes, which I like a lot. Very well built, someone paddled a gazillion miles in Africa with one. Look it up on their site.

Inflatable kayaks users
Thanks for the info. Please do not be offended. I have been reading the reviews. That is why I asked for responses from people who actually have 1st hand knowledge and experience with inflatables. Many of the old reviews are just that, old. I have been unable to locate actual units to see for myself. At this point, I will be using the internet to hopefully make a good blind purchase online. I will spend up to 2k for a good unit. The 1200-denier NitrylonTM and the Hypalon material sound like the best choices. Weight needs to be for a 280 LB 6’ tall man and smaller. I really hope I can find something that the family can feel comfortable with and enjoy. Again, Thanks for any 1st hand info.

You may want to consider
a larger folding kayak. Take a look at a Folbot Aleut or a Klepper Aerius I. They can be found used and reasonably priced.

what type of use?

– Last Updated: Dec-30-14 5:39 PM EST –

Unless I missed it, you didn't say, such as: whitewater, up to class IV, solo, day trip only;
or something altogether different?
Please say a bit more about intended use.

Edit: These folks carry a few and say more than the manufacturers' marketing departments.

The boatpeople carry AIRE products, but maybe not the whole product line, so here is a link to AIRE.
(Some of their IKs are more flatwater/touring oriented and some are pure whitewater machines -- you did not indicate your typical likely use.)

consider a folder
I think for your size you will get better function from a folding kayak. Your weight is going to cause any inflatable to deflect deeply in the middle which will affect performance a lot. A rigid frame will support you better and keep the hull profile. They are as light as most inflatables and as compact to store.

Look at Folbot and Pakboat, especially the Pakboat XT-17 or XT-16 and their Quest 155.

There is also a forum site for inflatables and folders, though not a very active one, at

Sea Kayaker
printed an upbeat review of a folder with a center beam providing tautness.

Actually a different subject but apro…is posture with a soft bottom.

I don’t know but expect…

In packraft paddling, the motions may be diverse, energetic so muscle groups may not object to less support from a soft floor

Inflatable kayaks users
Thanks for the inf again. I will not be doing any white water as I’m old and tired. :slight_smile: The folding kayaks are looking like the ticket. Thanks again

If price is no object, look at Feathercraft folders and inflatables (their new Aironaut is amazing). But they will cost you as much as a decent used car. You can find them for sale used sometimes (folding kayak adventures in Colorado has a free Feathercraft “for sale” want ads listing on their site) but you are still looking at $2000 and up. I’ve owned 3 Feathercrafts and 2 Pakboats – they are great for us “geezers”. Pakboats are easier to assemble, though the Aironaut inflates in 5 minutes (and weighs under 25 lbs) so it’s been on my radar since they came out with it this year.

advanced elements
I personally own two advanced elements. Mine are the Advanced Frame convertible this one I have owned for 4 years and have paddled over 120 miles on the Salmon River up to Class two rapids. In 2011 I started at the base of Bolder Dam on the Colorado river and finished at Davis dam about 60 miles. Every winter sense I continue the trip total of around 250 miles. This winter I will finish past Yuma Az…

I’m 6’ 4" 220 lbs. and carry a other 180 lbs. of gear food, water during these trips I use the back bone on these trips. On day trips my advanced frame convertible. converts to a double witch carries me and my friend without backbone close to 450 lbs. with no sagging. The kayak is rated for 500 lbs… I got mine at REI.

I highly recommend The Advanced elements convertible for you.

My other kayak is a Advanced Elements AE1012 I recommend this kayak for people 5’ 7" and under this kayak can also carry a big load for it’s size. I can also get both in my hatchback car with gear.

Although the backbone does help the tracking and handling but not necessary.

hope this helps

Share and Enjoy


PS contact me for any questions

A suggestion:
Go on and ask under one of the many forums.

There are dozens and dozens of fifth wheelers and motor home RV’rs that have inflateables and you might get some decent reviews there.

just make sure you read between the lines though since there are some that have the $99 toys that will give “great reviews”

Jack L

on the used
car…where are you buying ?

what’s Feathercraft’s advice on puncture repairs ?

Feather offer factory service ?


– Last Updated: Jan-08-15 10:22 PM EST –

Feathercraft has outstanding and very personal customer service. It's a small factory/HQ which I've visited twice in Vancouver (they are right on the harbor inlet and I stopped in while on vacation and they loaned me a $4,000 demo kayak and paddle and let me take them out for as long as I liked.) They keep stock on parts for older models and everything is made on site. Excellent company, pretty much considered the Rolls Royce of folders due to quality of design, manufacture and service. Their dealers are also great -- Folding Kayak Adventures in Colorado being the one I have dealt with most often.

Each boat comes with a complete repair kit but after owning 3 of their kayaks since 2002 and using them on every type of water from gravelly streams to the Great Lakes to rocky seacoast I have never had to repair one. I bought two of them used, and never had any problems. You really get your money's worth with their products. They hold their value too -- I sold my first two for 60% of their original price after years of use.

Not sure what your first question refers to: "used car"? Can you clarify?

Feathercraft for sale on Ebay
There’s a “no reserve” auction ending in 9 days on Ebay for a Feathercraft Big Kahuna (has oversized cockpit for larger paddlers). I doubt it will go cheaply but it might be worth bidding if you want to take a shot at it. My first FC was the Kahuna. Fine and versatile boat, stable for beginners but performs well in all conditions.

I am the last
standing Volvo 544 owner in North America.

driving down the Interstate drives me bats.