Suggestions on Inflatable/Folding Kayaks

I’d like to purchase an inflatable, or folding kayak just for the ease of transportation. Any suggestions on boats that would suffice for flatwater/recreational surf, single seat? P.S. Feathercraft is a little to pricey at this time, yet I may consider poppin the 2k for one. Thanks

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They have several types of inflatables-I might get their dive yak.

I Have Stearns and Sevylor

– Last Updated: Apr-01-04 1:05 PM EST –

I have a Sevylor RiverX single for whitewater. Well made, but an awful pain for flatwater. The double might not be so bad.

The Stearns 500 is good for the money. I have the Mad Dog in Camo. I also have the 119 to make a pair. They perform about as well as a 9' rec kayak, but wet. You need to be well under 200# for one. I still use it on small lakes in the Sierras when I don't feel like racking boats, or I need to take more than three boats.

Contact Stearns via email. They say they do not sell direct, but they do sell demos online for way cheap.

The Sea Eagle seems popular these days, but I don't know anything about them.

Really serious IKs like the Aire Sea Tiger are way more expensivce that hard shell boats in the same class. So are folding boats.

Inflatables on flat water are
going to be very painful compared to either a hardshell or folding kayak. However,

they do shine heading downriver or for those quick pond/small lake outings.

I have grown fond of always having one rolled up in the back of the van. No more roof rack or trailer for a short spin.

Currently paddling a Sevylor SVX100, SVX200, and a AIRE Tomcat tandem in addition to 3 standard kayaks (and one Cataraft). I’ve got to do something about this madness.

Had a few responses to the Sevylor product reviews where people were considering either a Sea Eagle or Sevylor. Most people have stayed away from the Eagles. Actually the last person stayed away from both and went with a full fledged AIRE Lynx.

Aire Is Excellent
Aire Products are excellent I used a buddy’s Aire Force Once. But a lot more expensive.

Folding kayaks
I hunted around and bought a used Klepper Aerius 1 and it is a terrific boat, but even used expect to pay more than $2000 for one. Feathercraft are generally sleeker and faster, but not quite as easy to assemble. Folbot is also worth considering as their boats are reasonable quality and comparatively inexpensive. Folbot customer service is outstanding and they have a fun website and discussion board. A Folbot enthusiast near you might volunteer to meet you at a nearby waterspot and demonstrate assembly and let you paddle it. This happened to me when I asked for advice at their website.

Folders are not for everyone, but they really do some things exceptionally well. Inflatables I can’t help you with.

BTW, if you are anywhere near West Palm Beach, FL, I would be happy to demonstrate my Klepper for you.



I have an Innova Safari
and it’s great to keep in the car for spontaneous trips, poking around in backwaters, etc. I do a lot of birdwatching. It’s also a great “guest” kayak.

They are slow, though, and catch the wind. Mine’s self-bailing, so it’s also a little wet, but not bad. I always wear a wetsuit anyway, because I live up north and the water is ALWAYS cold.

The Innova boats are not priced at the lower end, but they are very good quality.


Innova Helios, Sunny or Safari are the best flatwater inflatables for the $$$. They are reasonably fast, as IKs go, and well-made. All three models run less than $800, which make them cheaper than most plastic hardshells. Folboat makes several decent, affordable folding kayaks.

I have a Sea Eagle and a few others.
For flatwater, I don’t recommend the Sea Eagle. It’s great fun downstream, but on the slow end and bulky enough to catch wind for flatwater purposes. Very comfortable though…I take it out on a local lake and hang out once in awhile. You could fish from the Sea Eagle.

It also is more bulky than some other IKs. My personal favorite is the Innova Sunny. It tracks and paddles on the faster end of IKs, and packs up very well.

I’ve also used an Innova Safari, Innova Helios, and Sevylor Eskimo, in addition to an Aire IK or two that was offered on guided trips.