Inflatable kayaks

Hi, I am looking to buy a new inflatable kayak. I will use primarily for lakes, slow rivers or on a calm sea. I’ve narrowed it down to 3 choices: Walker Bay Aris Velocity 12, Innova Sunny & Sea Eagle Fast Track 385.

Because they are all 12’ in length, hopefully they will track better. Price range is the same for all 3.

I recently sold my Emotion Temptation (10’3") Space & weight is a problem - this is why I am looking to buy an inflatable.

Any help would be appreciated.

thanks, march6292

a better tracking boat?
Since tracking is a concern, as well and weight and compact storage, have you ever considered a hybrid folder/inflatable like the PakBoats? They combine an aluminum frame, inflatable sponson sides and a PVC hull.

You could get one of their 12’ Puffins (25 lbs.) or a 14’ Puffin Swift (30 lbs.) for less than any of those three boats you’ve listed. It would be just as fast to set up and as easy to store yet (at least in my experience with them versus higher end inflatables) the hybrid would perform better than any of those 3 in terms of tracking, speed and resistance to wind-cocking. They also have more storage volume.

Or you could spend a few hundred dollars more for the Pakboat XT-15 (39 lbs) which performs as well as most hard shell kayaks. We have one and have even taken it in Class II whitewater. A very well made, versatile and fun kayak. I like the fact that you can paddle it with or without the removable deck, too.

I realize these may not be your cup of tea, I just like to point them out as a consideration to people who may not be aware of the brand, which is not heavily advertised.

If you do have your heart set on one of the inflatables, you’ll also find some good comparable feedback on most models of those over at

I’ve tried the Airis and the Sunny but not the Sea Eagle (though I have checked them out on the lake). I would say the Sunny is probably the best of the three. On the water it tracks very well, is comfortable, and fast for an inflatable (e.g. not so fast). But what really makes it a great boat is how quickly and easily it’s dried off and packed away in the backpack, and it only weighs 30lb. If space and transport is a concern I think the Sunny performs off water quite a bit better than the other two.

Good luck!

Thanks Willowleaf for the advice.

How hard are the puffins to assemble? I’m 67, in decent shape, with limited patience. The pakboat XT is to heavy.

I check out the puffins.

Thanks Paddlesheep.

I like the Sunny also. However it is a tandem, whereas the Airis Velocity is a single. Also the Velocity looks much more appealing.

Ah but that’s the beauty of the Sunny. You just remove one seat and turn it around to change from a double to a single! Very versatile.

Good luck with your choice!

Advanced elements
Also take a look at Advanced Elements. They are great quality and performance also excellent support.

Inflatable kayaks
Thanks again for all the help & info.

Does anyone know about the Airis Velocity kayak by Walker Bay. It seems to have everything I would like.

I’ve been out with a couple of the shorter Airis kayaks and they are very solidly put together. Probably the most rigid of any inflatable due to the technology. The major drawback, for me anyway, is the lack of storage capacity for overnight trips. Otherwise I think they’re pretty cool inflatables, just a bit pricey.

A few photos on my blog here:

Inflatable kayaks
Thanks Paddlesheep for the info. Great news. Storage space is not a concern

Happy holidays.

if you can wait until march
If you can wait until March, I am working on a review of the Advanced Elements AirFusion for the Spring issue of California Kayaker Magazine. On first blush, it looks like a good mix between inflatable (so ease of setup and storage) and skin on frame (so efficient on water). My reviewers are putting it through its paces, so should be interesting to see what they think.

AE Straitedge2
I have an Advance Elements Straitedge2. It is a great boat can be paddled tandem or solo. I highly recommend it for quality and paddling ease. I also have a Grabner Outside inflatable canoe and it is an AWESOME boat, but very pricey. I am over 70 and weigh less than 125 pounds so these two boats have kept me on whitewater.

Pakboat assembly
Sorry it took so long to get back to you on this (I missed your posting at first.)

The Pakboats are really very easy to assemble. Both my sweetie and I are over 60 and we had no trouble putting his XT together in less than 30 minutes the first time in the front yard. Didn’t even break a sweat. You do need to read the directions carefully.

I’ve owned three other very high end folding kayaks and the Pakboat was way simpler than any of them to set up. It even comes with a hand pump to inflate the tubes.