9 Best Inflatable Kayaks In Australia 2021

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9 Best Inflatable Kayaks In Australia 2021

We have focused a lot of time and energy on things like highlighting the best rivers to kayak in the United States and the kinds of river fishing kayaks you might like to use in those settings.

Today, we are going to shift our focus nearly as far to the southeast (or southwest depending on where you begin your voyage) as possible to highlight the best inflatable kayaks in Australia.

From Sydney Harbour to the Katherine Gorge in the Northern Territory, there are some epic places to see from a kayak throughout the Australian continent. We will probably come back to highlighting those locations later on.

For today, let’s talk about inflatable kayaks in Australia!

Photo by Evgeniya Moroz via Shutterstock

Best Inflatable Kayaks in Australia

  1. Intex Challenger K2
  2. Intex Excursion Pro
  3. Intex Explorer K2
  4. Intex Challenger K1
  5. Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe
  6. Soarrucy Inflatable Kayak
  7. AQUAGLIDE Backwoods Expedition 85
  8. AQUAGLIDE Backwoods Angler 75
  9. AQUAGLIDE McKenzie 125

Jargon Buster

Photo by marekuliasz via Shutterstock

A proper place to begin is to cover some of the kayaking terminologies that are unique to inflatables. Hopefully, defining these terms now will give you a better understanding of what you are looking at when you read through our kayak reviews later on in this guide.

PSI (or kPa)

This term stands for ‘pounds per square inch’ and it is a measure of the amount of pressure a given air chamber can hold. Think of other things like your vehicle’s tires that should be inflated to a specific pressure for optimal performance.

Since Australia uses the metric system, it may be more helpful to translate PSI to kPa (which stands for kilopascals). Here is the standard conversion:

1 PSI = 6.89 kPa

Drop Stitch

This term refers to a stitching technology that weaves multiple strands of fabric together to create a woven design that can inflate to higher pressures. This technology has been used for years in whitewater raft design.

It is more recently beginning to become more popular and widespread in the best inflatable paddleboards and kayaks. By allowing air chambers to hold higher pressures, drop stitch technology allows manufacturers to create kayaks that more accurately mimic the performance of a plastic rotomolded or fiberglass kayak.

Removable Skeg

Think of the fin on the bottom of a surfboard. It helps you control the direction of your board and, without it, you’d be enjoying a washing machine-like experience on every wave you tried to catch.

On kayaks, the skeg usually slides or clips firmly into place in the hull towards the stern (back) of the kayak. This helps keep the kayak tracking straight instead of veering from side to side every time you paddle on one side or the other.

The reason it is called a skeg (instead of a rudder) is that it is stationary once it is installed. Kayak rudders, on the other hand, can be moved (usually using foot pedals) to provide additional steering control.

Inflatable Kayak Buying Guide

Now that you understand a little bit more about the terms and features that define inflatable kayaks, it is time to dive deeper into how to pick one that is right for you. So let’s address the top factors you should prioritize when shopping for a new inflatable kayak.

Single or Tandem (Or Both?)

Photo by Oleg Mayorov via Shutterstock

The first factor that will help you narrow down your options is whether you need a kayak for one or two paddlers. If you are looking for a vessel to help you keep up with your kayaking friends, you probably want a smaller single kayak.

If, on the other hand, kayaking is a primary activity that you and your partner like to enjoy in your free time, you are most likely looking for a tandem kayak. There is, obviously, plenty of middle ground between these two extremes as well.

Fortunately, many of the inflatable kayaks out there these days come with removable kayak seats. That allows you to set them up for one or two paddlers depending on your needs.

In the long run, it is useful to prioritize a model that can safely and efficiently be paddled by one or two people. This will provide the most flexibility for you to get on the water whether your partner is feeling it that day or not (or if you happen to meet a new paddle partner that doesn’t have his or her own vessel!).

Does It Include Some Kind of Foot Rests?

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The best kayaks for beginners usually boast molded-in footrests while the best sea kayaks are typically designed with adjustable foot pedals. Either way, this feature is essential to help you maintain a good body position while you are paddling.

Having something to push your feet against will allow you to engage your core muscles and take some of the strain off your arms, shoulders, and upper back. Over time, this greatly reduces fatigue and will also make you a more efficient paddler.

Because many inflatable kayaks are designed for recreational paddling, however, they tend to leave this feature off. If you can find one that does come with some kind of footrests, however, it is definitely worth spending a little extra on it in the long run.

How Small Does It Pack Up?

Photo by Heather Wharram via Shutterstock

Take a look at the packed dimensions of the kayaks you are honing in on as well. This will tell you how much storage space you will need in your car or apartment when you are not actively paddling.

One of the greatest things about inflatable kayaks is that you won’t need roof racks or a kayak trailer to transport them. You also won’t need to build an outdoor kayak storage rack or figure out how to create wall kayak storage in your garage.

That is why this type of kayak is usually best for folks with smaller vehicles or limited storage space at home. That said, there can be some differences amongst inflatable kayaks when it comes to how small they really pack up when you deflate them.

Just make sure you feel good about the packed dimensions you will be working with when you go to shove your kayak into the trunk of your sedan or the corner of your closet at home.

What Else Does It Come With?

Photo by Asier Romero via Shutterstock

Some of the kayaks on our list are standalone models. That means you will need to purchase things like a kayak paddle, high-output hand or foot pump, life vest for kayaking, and dry bags before you are truly ready to paddle.

Other models offer more of a one-stop shopping experience because they come with nearly everything you need to get on the water. There is nothing wrong with choosing a model that doesn’t come with any added accessories.

You will just need to factor in the added cost (and time spent finding them) of those additional accessories to make sure everything fits in your budget. In some cases, it may wind up being cheaper to buy a slightly more expensive kayak that comes with everything versus a more affordable model that comes with the kayak only.

Best Inflatable Kayaks in Australia

1. Intex Challenger K2

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air-Pump, Grey/Blue (68306NP)

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 351 centimeters
  • Width: 76 centimeters
  • Weight: 14.85 kilograms
  • Weight Capacity: 180 kilograms
  • Packed Dimensions (L x W x H): 68.5 x 45.7 x 28 (centimeters)

The Challenger K2 is a fun and easy-to-use tandem inflatable kayak. It comes with a removable skeg that attaches to the hull and two inflatable kayak seats that strap into the cockpit.

The cockpit measures 337 centimeters long by 44 centimeters wide to provide plenty of legroom. There is also a little space behind the stern paddler for gear storage if you can’t fit all of your stuff in the mesh netted storage area on top of the bow deck.

The bright green color of this kayak will make you highly visible to other kayakers and boaters on the water. This is especially important if you plan to paddle in bays or harbours where there is a lot of motorized boat traffic.

In addition to the kayak and the skeg, the Challenger also comes with two 218-centimeter adjustable kayak paddles, a high-output pump for easy inflation, and a zippered carry bag with a handle for easy transportation and storage.

2. Intex Excursion Pro

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 383.5 centimeters
  • Width: 33.7 centimeters
  • Weight: 19.79 kilograms
  • Weight Capacity: 180 kilograms
  • Packed Dimensions (L x W x H): 62 x 58 x 32 (centimeters)

The Intex Excursion Pro is a slight step up from the Challenger K2 and it is designed for slightly more experienced paddlers. Inside the cockpit, floor-mounted footrests help you maintain good posture, and inflatable buckets seats provide all-day comfort.

This kayak is also great if you want to get into kayak fishing because it comes with integrated recessed fishing rod holders and an adjustable mounting bracket for attaching all sorts of kayak fishing accessories.

The seats are also removable and adjustable so you can paddle this kayak with one or two people. It also features covered storage areas at the bow and stern that are perfect for shoving a dry bag up into.

This kayak is also made of a super tough laminate PVC material that makes it more resistant to punctures, abrasions, and UV damage. Plus, it comes with integrated bow and stern carry handles that make it much easier to carry from your car down to the boat launch.

3. Intex Explorer K2

Intex Explorer K2 Two-Person Kayak with Oars + Pump

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 312 centimeters
  • Width: 91 centimeters
  • Weight: 13.91 kilograms
  • Weight Capacity: 180 kilograms
  • Packed Dimensions (L x W x H): 68.5 x 45.7 x 28 (centimeters)

The Intex Explorer K2 is very similar to the Challenger K2, but it boasts a different color scheme and a few minor feature variations. This kayak is a bright yellow color with a more open cockpit design that makes it great for paddling on calm lakes and slow-moving rivers.

The cockpit measures 267 centimeters long by 48 centimeters wide and boasts small covered storage areas at the bow and stern. This kayak also comes with two four-piece adjustable kayak paddles that measure 218 centimeters in length.

It also boasts an inflatable I-beam floor that provides slightly more rigidity than the Challenger (but less than the Excursion Pro). That provides a more comfortable paddling experience and, in conjunction with the removable skeg, better tracking ability, and overall performance.

In addition to the kayak, paddles, and skeg, the Explorer K2 comes with two inflatable kayak seats, a high-output pump, a compact carry bag, and a patch repair kit.

4. Intex Challenger K1

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air-Pump, Grey/Blue (68306NP)

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 274 centimeters
  • Width: 76 centimeters
  • Weight: 11.8 kilograms
  • Weight Capacity: 100 kilograms
  • Packed Dimensions (L x W x H): 63.5 x 40.6 x 23 (centimeters)

While all of the models before this one are technically adjustable to be paddled by one person, this is the first truly solo kayak on our list. The Challenger K1 features a compact cockpit design that makes it best for smaller paddlers or even kids.

Speaking of that cockpit, it measures 153 centimeters long by 58 centimeters wide. There is ample storage space on top of the deck of this kayak (at the bow) in a large, mesh-netting area.

The inflatable kayak seat that comes with this kayak makes it easy to adjust to your preferred seating position. It also comes with one of the same four-piece adjustable kayak paddles that come standard with all of the Intex kayaks on our list.

Additionally, this kayak comes with a convenient travel bag, removable skeg for better tracking, a repair kit, and a high-output pump. You will find its best use will be on calm lakes and rivers.

5. Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe

Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe w/ Paddles

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 376 centimeters
  • Width: 86.36 centimeters
  • Weight: 11.8 kilograms
  • Weight Capacity: 295 kilograms
  • Packed Dimensions (L x W x H): 78.74 x 48.26 x 20.32

The Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe really earns its name by having one of the highest weight capacities you will find on any inflatable kayak. It can technically handle up to three people (or two people and a furry paddle companion), but it only comes with two kayak seats.

Despite its larger carrying capacity, this kayak is still very lightweight in and of itself. That makes it great for longer paddling trips or journeys that will require you to learn how to portage a kayak over a stretch of land between bodies of water.

This Sea Eagle 370 is also suited for up to Class III whitewater rapids if you like to paddle on larger rivers sometimes. It is just as capable of being a comfortable kayak for recreational paddling on your local lake or pond, however.

This kayak is a nearly complete package too. It comes with two 238-centimeter adjustable kayak paddles, two removable and adjustable kayak seats, two removable skegs for better tracking, a carry bag, and a high-output foot pump for easy inflation.

6. SOARRUCY Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable Kayak Inflatable Boat Canoe - 2 Person Inflatable Kayaks for Adults and Kids-Portable Touring Kayaks Set with two Paddles and High Output Air Pump Fishing Kayak Raft Dinghy Rafting Pontoon

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 320 centimeters
  • Width: 76.2 centimeters
  • Weight: 13.8 kilograms
  • Weight Capacity: 181 kilograms
  • Packed Dimensions (L x W x H): 74 x 41 x 23 (centimeters)

This bright orange tandem inflatable kayak is sure to attract some attention when you are on the water (or even on the shore). Its bright design makes it perfect for couples that like to do most of their paddling in places with heavy boat traffic.

It is primarily designed for calm lakes, protected coastal bays and harbours, and wider rivers, but it may handle some gentle whitewater as well (nothing more than Class I or II).

It comes with two removable and adjustable kayak seats that inflate to your preferred air pressure. It also comes with two kayak paddles that break down and fit into the carry bag with the kayak.

7. AQUAGLIDE Backwoods Expedition 85

AQUAGLIDE Backwoods Expedition 85, Ultralight Inflatable Touring Kayak, 254 cm, Multicolor

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 254 centimeters
  • Width: 90.2 centimeters
  • Weight: 5.44 kilograms
  • Weight Capacity: 136 kilograms
  • Packed Dimensions (L x W x H): 57.5 x 41.05 x 36.5 (centimeters)

This is technically a packraft but it will work for certain specific kayaking applications as well. Primarily, however, the Backwoods Expedition 85 is designed for casual day touring or multi-day river expeditions.

This kayak is equipped with MOLLE plates and mesh bags inside the cockpit that make it easy to store and secure all of your kayaking gear. It is made with a heavy-duty TPU floor and cover that makes it highly durable and able to handle rugged paddling environments.

It also comes with an ultralight tracking skeg that you can easily install or remove as needed. That makes it great for covering distances on calmer waters or running rivers where you might encounter shallow waters unexpectedly and need to quickly remove the skeg.

The Expedition 85 also boasts paddle keepers on both side tubes to secure your paddle when you need your hands free. It also includes its own two-stage pump for quick inflation and a compact storage bag for when you aren’t using it.

8. AQUAGLIDE Backwoods Angler 75

AQUAGLIDE Backwoods Angler 75, Ultralight Inflatable Angling Kayak, 231 cm L

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 231 centimeters
  • Width: 123 centimeters
  • Weight: 4.4 kilograms
  • Weight Capacity: 136 kilograms
  • Packed Dimensions (L x W x H): 55.88 x 40.64 x 29.21 (centimeters)

If you are looking for a truly ultralight inflatable fishing kayak that can go wherever you want to take it, look no further than the Backwoods Angler 75. This kayak is specifically designed to provide the kind of extra buoyancy you will need to carry all of your fishing gear.

It features MOLLE plates to provide customized gear storage options and a removable skeg for better tracking when you are moving between fishing spots. It also features the same heavy-duty design as the Expedition 85 and includes deck cargo bungees for securing additional gear on top of the kayak.

You will need your own kayak paddle to go with this one, but it does come with an inflatable seat, two-stage foot pump, repair kit, and compact carry bag.

9. AQUAGLIDE McKenzie 125

Aquaglide McKenzie 125 Inflatable Kayak - 2 Person Whitewater Kayak

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Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 378 centimeters
  • Width: 87 centimeters
  • Weight: 13.6 kilograms
  • Weight Capacity: 272 kilograms
  • Packed Dimensions (L x W x H): 76 x 56 x 40

Those of you looking for an inflatable kayak that can handle up to Class III whitewater should check out the McKenzie 125. It is a tandem kayak that is a little more rugged than the Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe.

It can be adapted to solo or tandem paddling and is also stable and responsive enough to perform on calm waters. Its high rocker bow and stern design, however, make it super adept at blasting through waves at your local whitewater playground.

This whitewater inflatable kayak features four mesh drains in the cockpit that allows water to evacuate quickly. It also comes with a Posi-track skeg for better tracking on flat water and Velcro-style seats for excellent comfort and customization.

The only downside to this kayak is that you will need to purchase your own paddles and pump for it.

Our Pick – Intex Excursion Pro

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak

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The Intex Excursion Pro is our pick for the best inflatable kayak in Australia because of its versatility and affordability. It can easily accommodate two paddlers and all of your gear, but you can set it up to paddle solo as well.

It will also accommodate your kayak fishing needs and allow you to bring along plenty of freshwater or saltwater rod and reel combinations. It also comes with foot rests to help you actually maintain a more ergonomic paddling position that you will get with many other inflatable kayaks.

Plus, this model is highly available for shipping throughout Australia and you won’t pay extra for it because it needs to be imported over a long distance (unfortunately you will find that with some of the other models on our list).

Finally, the Excursion Pro gives you plenty of ability to customize your setup as you gain experience. You will have plenty of room to store a kayak cooler or tackle crate and it even has multiple attachment points for other accessories like a fish finder or kayak GPS unit.

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Best Inflatable Kayaks in Australia

Author: Peter SalisburyPete is the Owner of KayakHelp.com. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him skiing in the mountains, reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.

Welcome! I’m so glad you are here :-) I’m Pete. I am the owner of KayakHelp.com. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When I am not out on the water, you can find me skiing in the mountains, reading my favorite books, and spending time with my family.

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