I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
Being on the water be it a calm serene lake, rushing rapids of the river or bouncing off wave swells is a feeling that is indescribable. It is no wonder that a number of enthusiasts opt to purchase their own device so that whenever you have the urge, you can immediately get going.
However, quite a few people do not have the luxury of an extra area not to mention the cash to spurge on conventional boats. Do not let the lack of storage space or budget deter you!
Read on and we hope you will select a product that will accompany you on your river, pond or ocean adventures – be it fishing, hunting or simply enjoying nature.
Best Inflatable Boats Reviewed
We have listed an array of the best inflatable boats for fishing & ocean reviewed by experts to help you pick the right portable dinghy for budget:
1.Sport Boats Dinghy 330
For freshwater, saltwater and extremely hot and humid conditions, this is a worthy buy! It ease of assembly and well thought of design, packing to only 80 pounds and 137 pounds assembled, the Sports Boats 330 will cater to your needs, be it fishing or simply enjoying the outdoors.
One of the best features of this product is its design. Many have raved about the seams, which are heat-welded. This makes this boat the best option for those living in extreme humid conditions as the parts stay together. The fact that the aluminium floors are made with the assurance that there are poky, rough edges minimises unwanted punctures.
You get quite a lot with the Sports Dinghy 330. There is a storage bag to fold the deflated boat into, and for maximum portability the carrying handles are well placed. A seat comes with it, with its own bag too, but there is space to add another is you so wish. Oars and oarlocks are also included with this.
The Sports Boats Dinghy 330 meets all your needs! It is portable, well thought of design, sturdy and built to withstand quite a lot and therefore much suited to whatever activity you intend to use it for. The welded seams are a plus point, as also the price point.
|For extreme humid conditions|
|A lot of compartment for gear|
|Easy assembly – 10 minutes|
|No poky edges on floor|
|Stable and well made|
|Packs small and easy storage|
|Portable as not heavy|
|Comes with storage bag, oars, oarlocks|
|Floor assembly difficult|
|Need electric pump for faster inflation (not supplied)|
|Only one seat included|
|Better instruction for correct assembly needed|
If you are one who enjoys the company of others in embarking on your water adventures – the BRIS inflatable boat is indeed for you. Its ride-ability and the fact that it handles up to 4 people well while maintaining stability makes this a great choice!
For anglers, this is the boat to get. It is extremely stable and can handle quite a lot of weight – including for example an engine, fuel and your fishing gear. There are a number of D-rings for you to secure your stuff to and you can attach a gas tank in the slot made for it.
This comes in sleek black, looks great, and is very roomy, with good quality, strong and stable aluminium floors. While it is on the larger type, two people can still carry it ashore with the handles placed on the outside of it. The three individual chambers are great for added security, meaning that you will get to shore in the unlikely event of a puncture in one of the chambers as the other two remains inflated. The package is generous as you get three seats, a set of oars, foot pump, repair kit and a carry bag with this.
Supercool in sleek black, this is a roomy, sturdy boat much suited to the fishing enthusiast. It is very stable with the aluminium flooring and it can take in a lot of weight i.e. four people plus your gear!
|Roomy – fits 4 adults and gear|
|Good for fishing trips due to stable floor|
|Light enough to be carried by 2 people|
|Three individual chambers for security|
|Handles for easy carrying, with storage bag|
|Three seats included|
|Oars, pump and repair kit comes together|
|30 Days money back guarantee|
|Back seat makes handling tiller difficult|
|Middle seat placement not well thought|
|Flimsy self bailing plugs|
A versatile item combining a dinghy and the kayak, this fits the bill for those wanting flexibility in an inflatable. For the speed demons out there, the Saturn SK470 inflatable fulfils your dreams of going fast on water. It is good as a speedboat when an engine is attached, but also easily and comfortable towable when you wish to do so. Ticks the boxes!
With a shallow draft, this item makes a great fishing canoe/boat and river floating. With its narrow shape, you are able to get to smaller water nooks, and areas where a heftier product will have trouble to reach. It holds a lot of weight, for example three adults and a cooler is not a big deal with the Saturn. Its drop stitch floors means you can fish while standing as this is built to be very stable.
For maximum portability, this is easily set up. Inflation is done with the accompanying hand pump but you also can use your own electric pump where it will take about 10 minutes. It is foldable and will fit nicely in the trunk of your car.
The SK470 inflatable kayak comes with three aluminium seats, a set of oars with oarlocks, a repair kit as well as D rings and grommet PVC strips for you to attach accessories needed for your adventure.
Patent pending design, which accommodates the speedboat user and the paddler, this is a flexible product, stable and good for most of your water needs, especially the anglers!
|Dinghy and kayak combo|
|Good to row, good with engine|
|Slim design for reaching nooks|
|Easy set up|
|Folds small to fit trunk of car|
|Seats, oars and repair kit and bag provided|
|Features for fishing and other accessories|
|Stable enough for stand up fishing|
|Hard to carry – need handles on front|
This is a heavy duty inflatable – able to fit 8 persons, PLUS your equipment as well. It is built with the aim to withstand a lot of abuse, especially using heat to weld the seams together. This is the right inflatable boat for those wanting to rough it out on the waters!
Close to being invincible, the Mercury hypalon boats withstands a lot. These include not only extreme conditions but also UV rays heat and flame, it doesn’t fade, can take abrasions and also hydrocarbons. It is thus a good value for the money you spend as it may well be the only boat you will need in your lifetime.
The aluminium floors makes this vary sturdy and stable, therefore you can even drop dive tanks and it wouldn’t budge. You can also be safely on shore in the event of unlikely unwanted incidents, as this comes with three chambers internally. Tracking is made easy and smooth with an inflatable keel.
For portability, you have the non-slip patches and grab ropes, and a good number of carry handles – 6 in total. For added gear, points are attached for this purpose. Another plus point is the freeboard, together with soft tubes. The aim of this feature is to allow you to easily roll-off to swim or dive.
This inflatable dinghy will most likely last a lifetime, and more – the Mercury 430 is indeed invincible. Made really strong, enough to fit 8 people and gear, this is what you will need for diving or even just for swimming as it takes you over easy or rough waters.
|For heavy duty use|
|High capacity – for 8 person and gear|
|Invincible – withstand abrasion, heat, flame etc|
|Strong aluminium floor|
|Portable with 6 carry handles|
|Three separate chambers for security|
|Inflatable keel helps with paddling|
|Freeboard for ease in roll-off swim/dive|
|Does not seem to come with oars/oarlocks|
|Seat not included|
|Basic package – no extras|
5.Seamaxx Ocean 320
This is an excellent inflatable for those who love the outdoors, especially the elements of the ocean that can be unpredictable. Compact with 4-seater capacity, this V hull designed inflatable makes it a good item to take you on the water, for whatever activity you embark on, be it to fish, hunt or other commercial uses.
The Seamaxx Ocean 230 is an inflatable made for the ocean, and purposely built for heavy-duty use. This is apparent in the materials it uses, as well as the features included. For example, D-ring installations on the sides, a total of 3 towing and 2 transom rings, as well as stable and strong aluminium floor with side joiners. The fuel tank compartment fits to the floor for added security.
For added security, there are two heavy-duty lifelines – one on the outside and another secondary lifeline is located in the inside section. An equally robust rubbing strake is placed around the boat and the bottom of the keel.
The front towing cables are an additional extra that you do not get with other inflatables. This is a great addition, which comes with the boat, including the benches, oars and oarlocks, as well a heavy-duty carry bag. In addition to the repair kit, there is also a spare parts kit, which is a great bonus!
For sea lovers who intend to rough it out, the Seamaxx 230 is intentionally made for you. You have the peace of mind that this takes you on your fishing, hunting or commercial trips and get you back to shore safely.
|Made for the ocean|
|Tough design, heavy duty use|
|Generous package – benches, oars, bag, repair kit and spare parts kit included|
|Comes with front towing cables|
|With two heavy duty life lines, well placed|
|Has multiple D-rings and transom rings|
|Aluminium floor with side joiners|
|Not very roomy|
|Tie down style handles|
|Tedious to move/transport|
6.Sea Eagle STS 10
For the soloist angler – the Sea Eagle STS 10 is made for you. Easy to handle even individually and small enough to manoeuvre to nooks where the fishes are – you can cast your rod whenever, wherever, with the peace of mind and enjoyment you deserve. Bring anther person along too if you so wish – as the Sea Eagle STS 10 inflatable boat has the room for it AND your gear!
This inflatable boat comes with two swivel seats and these are very comfortable – thus making it good for the long hours of fishing. The rod holders are well placed as well, it does not interfere with the seats and accommodates both adults on-board with ease. Another plus point is the easy inflation, with the provided foot pump, as it takes only about 15-20 minutes to do so.
For the fly fisher, you can stand easily and remain stable in the middle of a lake or calm water as the floor of this inflatable is made for this purpose. Durability is also good – you can risk dragging this along rocks without puncturing it, although do care to not look for sharp object to test it! You get a foot pump, repair kit and a storage bag with your purchase.
Just what you need to satisfy your fishing needs. Comfortable swivel seats, fishing rod holders and an inflatable that is stable enough to stand on while casting. This ticks all the right boxes!
|For two pax, but can be handled individually|
|Two comfortable swivel chairs|
|Stable enough to stand and cast|
|Easy to inflate and set up|
|Comes with foot pump, repair kit and bag|
|Rod holders well placed|
|Heavy to carry|
|Chairs and board adds to weight|
|Bulky especially with chairs – need room|
|Issue with portability|
If planing is core to your what you want from a product – the NewPort is what you can consider. The air keel is made for this, as with the V-shape of it. You can rest easy – this is it! Easy set up, only 20 minutes of your time, and compact easy storage afterwards.
It has room for your fishing accessories too. Three D rings and self-bailing drain plugs are added to this inflatable boat. Its hull is made of PVC, and the aluminium/wood floor as well as the large tubes measuring up to 18 inches enables you to maintain its stability especially when turning. Another plus point to the large tubes is that it allows for the seating position to be higher, and almost normal height. With a footprint measurement of 8 feet and 10 inches, you can easily load and unload, as well as board it easily.
With such items, what is sought after is the portability, therefore the NewPort caters to this, as it comes with good, sturdy carry handles. You get an aluminium bench, a set of oars, a good carry bag and also a foot pump for inflating the boat with the package.
A compact product with two-person capacity – this is a worthy buy considering the plus points you get with it. Portable and with tubes big enough for maximum stability, its use makes fishing trips a breeze.
|Big tubes, 18 inches|
|Designed to be stable with large footprint|
|Strong handles to move boat|
|Easy to load and unload, board boat|
|20 minute set up and storage|
|Many D rings and compartment for gear|
|Accessories include oars, aluminium bench, foot pump, repair kit and bag|
|Good height in seating position|
|Issue with durability|
|Not very well built transom|
|Less than robust seams|
|Hard to plane with this boat|
You, your friends and even your dogs can join you on your water adventure on the Hydro Force! It is stable and sturdy and the perfect starter inflatable boat due to its compact size.
This is an easy to set up inflatable no extra tools are needed and you can do it, with a Air Hammer pump that comes with it, you will only need around 20 minutes and you can already be in the water. It has high buoyancy due to its construction, which consists of 4 separate chambers. These chambers makes it secure as if one unlikely punctures, you can still get to shore with the other three. The High-pressure keel that is also inflatable also makes this a good boat.
You get a repair kit and oars with the package. The sides also have oarlocks to secure it to the boat. Secure and well-placed handles makes the Hydro Force extremely portable. The pressure gauge is an added bonus so that you know how much is needed.
This is for heavy-duty use – as it is constructed to bear a lot of stress, namely UV rays, pollutants and abrasion. Rest assured that this would be with you for a long time of adventures!
Good value for money for whatever use you intend with the Hydro Force. It is strong and durable – with good PVC material and 4 chamber design. The additional accessories especially the pressure gauge and pump places this as an excellent choice.
|Constructed to withstand elements|
|Room enough for 4 pax|
|Air Hammer pump for fast inflation|
|Pressure gauge included|
|Comes with oars, seats and repair kit|
|Designed with 4 separate chambers|
|High buoyancy and inflatable keel for good handling|
|Oarlocks well placed|
|Difficult to move alone|
|Seat comes off easily|
|Heavy to carry|
|Needs D ring on the front to tie|
Direct to the point, easy to assemble and flexible for an engine or oars, the Solstice inflatable boat is worth every penny. Due to its size if you are a beginner this is for you. For the more advanced, this can easily be used for whatever adventure you want!
Rowing is also made easy as the swivel oarlocks allows for maximum dexterity of the hands and full oar movement. Stability in this inflatable boat is enhanced with the inclusion of aluminium slat floor constructed to marine standards. The Solstice is able to accept 3 people in capacity, together with 4 horsepower petrol or electric motor.
It has an all around rub strake, to make sure that it withstands hits, scrapes and bumps with abrasive elements in and out of the water. With the three chamber-design, you can safely get to shore in the unlikely event of puncture, as the two other chambers will survive and retain air. For ease of mooring and towing, there are heavy-duty D rings included.
You get an aluminium seat and foot pump as well as oars, together with a carry bag.
A good all rounder, stable and secure plus excellent capacity for three people this is what you need for a good day out on the water. Stick an engine on it or paddle away – you will be satisfied with this product.
|Good capacity for weight|
|Designed to withstand abrasion and rough use|
|Oars, seats, pump and bag comes with purchase|
|Swivel oarlock makes for easy rowing|
|3 chamber design for security|
|Stable with aluminium slat floor|
|D-rings for towing|
|All round rub strakes for extra protection|
|Not very spacious with three pax|
|Low quality pump supplied|
|Lack of robustness|
10.Intex Mariner 4
If security is your main concern when on the water, you can highly consider the Intex Mariner. It is made of strong stuff – with molecularly structured in order to make it stand hits and bumps, scrapes as well as sun exposure. Definitely a lifetime product!
The addition of Boston valves in the design is what makes the Intex Mariner stand out as this allows for very quick air fill ups and rapid deflation – thus more time for you to be on the water. To allow good handling and steering, the inflatable keel has been added to this product.
If you live in rocky areas or wish to take it out to areas with puncture risks, the Intex is equipped with an all round guard made of nylon to prevent unwanted tears.
Fits up to 4 persons, there are 4 strong handles to help your friends and you carry it around. The oars included goes very well with the swivel oarlocks – making this a flexible item for the water. It also comes with its own bag for ease of portability, and you can opt to add an engine using the manufacturer’s motor mount sold separately.
For use in many types of activities – this is roomy enough for 4 persons, and is easy to travel with. All the things you need when buying such an item!
|Constructed to be robust and withstand elements|
|Inflatable keel to manoeuvre boat|
|For 4 person|
|Oars and oarlock that swivels|
|Boston valve design for air chamber|
|Protective features against sharp rocks|
|Fast inflate and deflate|
|Easy to carry with handles on front and back|
|Swivel oar lock breaks easily|
|Issue with quality – air chambers come leaky|
|Lack of durability|
Inflatable Boats Buyer’s Guide
For someone in love with being on the water but unfortunately do not possess the space to store a boat nor be in a close enough vicinity to water – does it mean you have to shelve your hobby? Fret not! The inflatable boat may possibly be the best option for you. You will get outdoors in no time!
These boats have become increasingly popular over the years, and for a valid number of reasons. Portability and storage are core points, and with a wide variety of products to choose from nowadays, these are what most manufacturers cater to. Furthermore, with the advancement in technology, the design and material of inflatable boats have been made for the discerning consumer – in order to suit every need. There is definitely something out there for you. However, the downside to this is that it can be a tiny bit overwhelming in the process of selecting one.
With such techie jargon and varied specifications, how to choose and where to begin?
Start with us!
We have done the research for you, and what we have here is a simple to understand guide for the novice and professional alike, in choosing an inflatable boat.
The best way to tackle this, in our opinion, is not to go for the “best” but rather, to ask yourself, what activity you need it for. Also the number of people you wish to include, the portability of your device and how you wish for it to be inflated. Your physique and additional gear for your trip should also be considered.
Type of Activity
You have to remember that different inflatables suit different activities. For example, kayak types often are discerned by its usability in calm or rapidly moving waters as the design differs. Self-bailing features suits white waters where there are holes made to let water flow in and out at the base.
Another consideration is where you will use it. If you pick sit on top boats – you do not move into it, as the names suggests, you merely sit on top. While this is good for those hating the trapped feeling, be aware that you will get water splashes, which may not be ideal in cold conditions. There is also the traditional variety that comes with enclosed cockpits, protective against splashes and very much suitable to cold weather conditions.
Another type of inflatable boat comes in the canoe style, and as the name suggests, looks like canoes with a higher seat for you, together with high walls.
Space for your gear is also a major consideration. For anglers out there – think about the room you will need to store your extra gear, plus additional features for fishing rods mounting and nets for tackle storage.
Those thinking about taking your inflatable in expeditions, solo or with company, room for equipment needs to be considered. Consider products that offer you the most flexibility for example seats that can be removed or are movable when more space is needed.
The ease of transportation – be it the space you have in the trunk of your car as well as how far you have to carry your inflatable boat before the start or end of an activity is very important.
Most products will offer a bag, some wheeled cases or bag pack type to help with transportation. Bear in mind too the space a folded and stored item will take – as it may not suit your mode of transportation or your garage storage area.
Take note of the weight of the product. You will not get to use it if you can’t carry it at all!
Being core to your choice – how your boat is inflated is also important. Look for the time it will take to inflate and deflate the item, as well as whether or not the manufacturer has included a pump, be it automatic or manual with your purchase.
And do not forget to add the weight of the pump together with the boat itself, as these have to be transported together.
For added security, some inflatable boats have separate chambers to be inflated. This is a feature to make sure that in the event that one chamber punctures, you will still be able to get to shore afloat.
Be it rain, shine, rough or calm waters – the inflatable boat functions as well as conventional types. Take it fishing, diving or swimming, this category of products offers you portability and flexibility and is worth considering.
Our array above is meant to cater to everyone’s needs – we have mentioned durability, material, added features, as well as time taken to inflate and deflate these items.
We hope this serves as a guide for when you make your decision – so leave us comments below in your experience to getting one!