Inflatable Kayaks

Has anyone had experience with higher quality inflatable kayaks? I am looking at the Innova Helios at

It would be nice to have something I can easily transport by car or on a airplane.


I have an Innova Helios 1 and a Sunny. Both are great boats. If you’re primarily paddling solo the Sunny is a better choice over the Helios, in my opinion, since you can reposition the seats for a solo paddling position.

Inflatable kayak
Check out the website “”.

This site gives plans (free) for an inflatable kayak that can be built for about $300. My son recently built one and was amazed at how easy it was. The resulting kayak weighs in at 20 pounds, sets up in 10 minutes, looks and behaves like a real sea kayak. It’s compact enough to fit on the back of a motorcycle. The model you should look at is the “Sonnet 16”

I’m in the process of building an inflatable tandem from the same website.

If you’re going to solo - not the Helios
The Helios has an integrated thwart between the paddling seats. You cannot trim the kayak well for solo paddling without adding a bunch of weight to the front seat.

That said, Innova makes a good quality kayak. I bought a Safari for my daughter and wife to share. It was well used when I bought it and it doesn’t show it at all. Still inflates stiff, outer fabric shows no concerning scratches whatever, the valves are in good shape, etc. Innova builds well from good quality materials.

  • Big D

Check Out Boatpeople
Its a website for a shop in san Jose that specializes in IKs. Lots of info there