Need help buying kayak!

Hello all,

I am new to this and want to buy an inflatable kayak/canoe. But I have no idea what is best for me.

My needs are as follows:

-Around $500 max.

-For 2 adults or if poss. 2 adults and one child.

-Suitable for coastal kayaking, lakes, slow rivers.

-Long lasting.

And advice will be appreciated!

check out an article

– Last Updated: Jun-04-15 8:20 PM EST –

Check out an article on kayaks and small living places in California Kayaker Magazine. Issue #9. Can be read online at Give you a feel for the pros and cons of various options, including inflatables.

Look for one with three air chambers


– Last Updated: Jun-05-15 8:36 AM EST –

Honestly, your budget is a little low for a large IK ( inflatable kayak) that would be good quality and have the performance features you need for coastal use. Strong waves and currents require a boat with some structural rigidity that will support all that weight without sagging and bogging down. I suggest you try to double the amount you are willing to invest. Unless you have the patience and good luck to find a suitable used IK in good condition you will need $800 to $1500.

Among boats you should consider are:
- the new Sea Eagle 473RL which is $1499 in a package with paddles and all accessories.
- Advanced Elements 1014' at $920 for boat and paddles
- Aquqglide Columbia Tandem HD which has on sale for $799 ( without accessories or paddles). This model is listed as being suitable foe 2 adults and a child.
- Airis Play tandem at $1000

Actually, probably has the best selection for you to make comparisons. I notice they even have a used tandem on sale for $260 though it is not a more durable or rigid model so I would hesitate to recommend it for coastal use. Fat tube flexible boats can be frustrating and even dangerous in coastal conditions because currents and winds can make them susceptible to being swept out farther than you can easily get back to shore when a storm comes in.

There is also a forum specifically for folding and inflatable kayaks at, though it does not have as many active posters as here so it may take days or weeks to get responses. Folders are another light and portable option. Used Folbot tandems regularly appear on Craigslist and Ebay . Folders are more seaworthy but more hassle to set up. The Pakboat Puffin Saranac is a nice tandem folder and inflatable hybrid that runs around $1200. It can be used with or without a spray deck.

For $500 max, be careful !
Last week we were putting in, and there was an inflatable at the launch with a large rip in it.

Need I say more ?

Jack L

Thanks for yours and the other replies! :slight_smile:

SInce you did not post a profile, I can’t tell where you are located, but “accesscrimea” suggests Eastern Europe? If so, both Folbot and Pakboat have large European distribution. Might be easier to find over there than in the USA.