10 Best Inflatable Fishing Boats In 2019 [Detailed Reviews + Guide]

best inflatable fishing boat

Fishing used to involve lugging a heavy boat onto your car roof, driving to the lake or river, unloading the boat and getting it into the river. The whole journey requires at least two people and can be a pain from beginning to end.

The emergence of portable and easy to use inflatable fishing boats revolutionized fishing for many. This article helps you decide on the best inflatable fishing boat that best fits your lifestyle, and also contains a FAQs section and buying guide.

best value

  • Very durable
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Seats up to 4 people
  • Suitable for choppy water

Premium

  • high load capacity
  • Self-bailing
  • excellent stability while turning
  • Check Circle
    2-year warranty

Inflatable fishing boats make your fishing experience more comfortable and faster. The time it takes to load and unload a regular-sized boat is significantly reduced, and even one person can lift the inflatable boat. These boats are also very durable and long-lasting, and some can fare on practically all water bodies.

Inflatable fishing boats have hulls constructed from a lightweight material such as PVC, Hypalon, and polyurethane and bows made from flexible tubes filled with pressurized gas. The boats have rigid aluminum or plywood sheets that provide structure and a position for a motor.

Top 10 Table of Comparison

We have designed a comparison table below for your easy reference. However, it is important to note that the positions are in no particular order of importance.

ProductSpecifications & FeaturesOur Rating


Intex Seahawk 4-Person Inflatable Boat
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Kayak Capacity: 4 Adults

Dimension: 11 feet 6 in x 4 ft 9 in

Maximum Capacity: 1050 lbs

Weight: 37.5 lbs

4.5/5.0



Price: $

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Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube
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Kayak Capacity: 1 Adult

Dimension: 47 x 17.5 x 56 inches

Maximum Capacity: 350 lbs

Weight: 14 lbs

4.8/5.0



Price: $$


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Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat
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Kayak Capacity: 1 Adult

Dimension: 108 x 56 x 26 inches

Maximum Capacity: 400 lbs

Weight: 71.5 lbs

4.5/5.0



Price: $$

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Newport Vessels Dana Dinghy
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Kayak Capacity: Up to 3 Adults

Dimension: 106 x 60 x 18 inches

Maximum Capacity: 1067 lbs

Weight: 107 lbs

4.6/5.0



Price: $$$$$

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Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler Kayak
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Kayak Capacity: 1 Adult

Dimension: 9 ft 8 inch x 35 inch

Maximum Capacity: 300 lbs

Weight: 41 lbs

4.4/5.0



Price: $$$$

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Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable
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Kayak Capacity: 2 Adults

Dimension: 12 ft 6 inch x 40 x 6 inches

Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs

Weight: 48 lbs

4.7/5.0



Price: $$$$$

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Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
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Kayak Capacity: 2 Adults

Dimension: 12'7" X 3'1" X 1'6"

Maximum Capacity: 400 lbs

Weight: 39 lbs

4.2/5.0



Price: $$

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​Elkton Outdoors Cormorant 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak
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Kayak Capacity: 2 Adults

Dimension: 118 X 35 X 16 inches

Maximum Capacity: 450 lbs

Weight: 27 lbs

4.3/5.0



Price: $$$

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AIRHEAD Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
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Kayak Capacity: 3 Adults

Dimension: 96 X 54 inches

Maximum Capacity: 450 lbs

Weight: 6 lbs

4.0/5.0



Price: $

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Sea Eagle SE9 Inflatable Motormount Boat
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Kayak Capacity: 4 Adults

Dimension: 11 ft X 4 ft 8 inch

Maximum Capacity: 1200 lbs

Weight: 76 lbs

4.2/5.0



Price: $$$

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10 Best inflatable fishing boats Reviewed

1. ​Intex Seahawk 4 Review

The Intex Seahawk 4 is made of a heavy-duty, puncture-resistant 30-gauge PVC material that is very durable, sunlight-resistant, and comfortable. The boat can seat four people comfortably and also comes with inflatable cushions that increase seating stability.

It comes with two 28-inch aluminum oars, a heavy-duty grab handle, and two built-in rod holders. This boat is very portable. It weighs 37.5 pounds and has a maximum weight capacity of 800 pounds.

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2. Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

This float tube from Classic Accessories weighs only 14 pounds. It comes with adjustable carrying straps, making it perfect to transport your boat if you don't have a car or if you're fishing in a remote location. It seats one and is designed for a solo backcountry fishing trip.

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3. Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat

This pontoon rig has a tough frame made from powder-coated steel tubes. The 9-feet pontoons are made of heavy-duty scratch-resistant PVC at the bottom and nylon on top. This rugged boat allows you to explore the roughest waters without any fear of punctures and scratches.

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4. Newport Vessels Dana Dinghy - Best Inflatable Boat For Ocean

The hull of the Newport Vessels Dinghy is made from tough 3x layer 0.9mm/1100D UV-Coated PVC that is US Coast Guard rated. Its frame and floor panels are made from wood and aluminum, and advance adhesives have been used to make it. The company offers a 30-day guarantee and a 2-year warranty.

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5. Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler Kayak

This unique inflatable sit-on-top kayak is one of the best inflatable fishing boats available, and it was designed with serious anglers in mind. It features a removable accessory frame in front, which allows you to mount extra fishing rods and fish finders

When fully inflated, this kayak is 9 feet long, but it deflates to just 30 inches, making it compact enough to fit into the trunk of a small car.

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6. Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable

This stand-up paddleboard from Sea Eagle is at the top of the list of good SUPs for fishing. The boat is 12½ inches long, 40 inches wide, and 6 inches thick when inflated, and deflates to a 45-inch size that can fit into a backpack.

It is made from 1000 Denier with reinforced drop stitch and quadruple overlapped seam. The one-way air valves keep the air inside.

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7. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is made from a very tough laminated 3-ply PVC with a polyester core. It is lightweight and resistant to sunlight, impact, and abrasion.

This sit-on-top kayak seats two people comfortably and has high-pressure inflation that adds high stability and rigidity. When inflated, it measures 12 feet, enabling it to go fast.

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8. ​Elkton Outdoors Cormorant 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak

The rugged hull of the Elkton Outdoors Kayak is made with 18-Gauge 1000D PVC, a sturdy tarpaulin, and a nylon cover. It is so tough that it can’t be punctured by your fishing hook or by rocks in shallow water.

The kayak has quick inflation and deflation within minutes, into its 10 feet frame that seats two people.

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9. AIRHEAD Angler Bay Inflatable Boat

The Airhead Angler bay inflatable boat is one of the best inflatable fishing boats for fishers who enjoy slow-moving waters and still lakes. The boat is a 3-seater, has a wide and comfortable, movable seat and a soft inflatable floor. This boat has a unique design, and it is easy to steer.

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10. Sea Eagle SE9 Inflatable Motormount Boat - Fisherman's Dream Package

Sea Eagle’s SE9 inflatable motor mount boat offers you portability and stability without compromising performance. The boat’s hull is made from 38 mil polykrylar (k80 PVC), with a high-frequency weld seam.

It is a puncture, abrasion, and sunlight-resistant. The floor and seat are both inflatable and removable, and they are made from reinforced double layer 4-inch thick I-beam, with an additional protective sheath to prevent punctures.

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Inflatable Fishing Boats Buying guide

Going from a traditional hard shell boat to an inflatable one isn’t always easy, especially if it is your first time. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a skilled fisherman, this buying guide will take you through the different steps to pick the best inflatable fishing boats for your needs and personality.

Inflatable boats significantly reduce the time and energy it usually takes to get a boat into the water. You need to inflate it, and you're ready to go in the water.

They are also portable and easy to store. Inflatable boats come in several different designs, sizes, and types, and there are certain factors you should consider when purchasing your inflatable fishing boat.

1) Budget

One of the first things you need to have in place before acquiring anything at all is your budget. Apart from helping you to avoid making a wrong purchase, having a budget enables you to weed out the ones you can live without, and helps you make a well-informed and more satisfying choice.

Generally, inflatable fishing boats are a lot cheaper than their hard shell counterparts that can cost up to $10,000. Also, there is an inflatable boat for practically every budget.

The price of an inflatable fishing boat largely depends on the size, type, and features. A smart way of eliminating options that are way over your budget is applying the price filter.

2) Type of boat

An inflatable fishing boat is made for fishing. This means several different boat types fall under that category. You can’t say this is better than the other as they have different strengths.

Float tubes can be as basic as a covered inner tube with oars, or the more recent U-shaped tube. They are perfect for a solo fishing trip on a slow and gentle stream or lake because they aren’t very easy to maneuver.

It involves you sitting up to your waist in the water and propelling the boat with your feet, much like riding a bike. Here's a video on how to get in and out of a float tube.


Sit-on-top kayaks are very commonly used for fishing, especially by those new to fishing because they can easily be flipped back up if they tip over.

They are easily maneuvered and usually have enough storage space for your gear. These boats can be used in rivers, but not in rapids. Using this boat puts you in constant exposure to the water, so you’re advised to wear a wet suit.


Sit-inside kayaks are designed for fast rivers and some rapids. As the name implies, you sit with your legs tucked in below the hull. These boats tend to have a lot of storage space, and they are very stable. Sit-inside kayaks with a self-bailing floor recover faster when they capsize.


Rafts come in handy when you want to go fishing with more than one friend because they are much larger than most of the other options. You can find inflatable rafts of almost any price, from the cheap regular raft to the much more expensive whitewater raft.

If you like to spend a lot of time on rough waters, you might have to go for the costlier versions because of durability.


Dinghies are usually designed to carry an outboard motor and have reinforced floors and seats. They move well in large lakes, rivers, and coastal ocean waters. Some of them even come with oarlocks if you want to row, and they keep you relatively dryer than most.

They are good to use in cases of emergency, and they are mostly made from reinforced material that makes them durable.


Pontoon boats are bulkier, costlier, and heavier than many other inflatable boat options, but for some, the benefits outweigh the cons. Firstly, pontoon boats are incredibly stable and easy to maneuver.

They also tend to have a lot more accessories and features than others. Paddlers will prefer the pontoon boat because of the decent seat and leg support, and excellent positioning. They perform well even with strong currents, and they do an excellent job of keeping you dry.


Stand up paddleboards are great, but they require you to have a remarkable balance to be able to fish in them. If you’re one of the lucky people, then you get to enjoy a dryer and more traditional fishing experience.

The SUP is lightweight and very portable, it gives you better propulsion and viewpoint, and keeps you away from the water, as long as you don’t fall off. They are generally made for flat water, but some can fare well in rivers.


Inflatable canoes combine the advantages of a hard shell canoe with the benefits of inflatable boats. They are perfect if you always have company because they are spacious and are maneuvered better by two people. Inflatable canoes are very stable and can fare well in fast-moving water.


3) Features

In many cases, features determine the cost of the product. It is not always true when it comes to inflatable boats. You can find a variety of boats with a range of prices and features. However, you should always look out for those features which are mandatory.

Some boats come with rod holders attached to the hull, extra gear compartments, grab lines, and an emergency survival kit. A few of them come with oars, and you can always find some that come with detachable inflatable seats.

4) Size of the boat

Your fishing habits and body of water should determine the size and design of the boat. Big boats are not as easily maneuvered as smaller boats, while small boats are not as stable on the water as larger ones.

Bigger boats tend to have more storage space for your fishing gear, and a higher load capacity. The size of the boat after deflation should be considered as regards to storage, and also, if you fish with friends, several boat options seat two people and above.

5) Durability

Inflatable fishing boats are made with lightweight synthetic materials such as PVC, Hypalon (CSM), and polyurethane so that they retain their portability.

Boats made with PVC are lighter, cheaper, and more portable than those made from Hypalon, but they require regular maintenance to last long. On the other hand, Hypalon is heavier, thicker, and more durable than PVC.

6) Fishing style

Some boats come with just paddles, but if you like speed, you can go for the models that have provisions for trolling motors. Also, when fishing on still waters and using a large boat, you may need mobility accessories.

A short boat is more comfortable to maneuver and make turns than in a longboat, but a long boat speeds up faster than a short boat. In any case, you should pick the boat that works well with your fishing lifestyle and habits.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are inflatable boats safe on the ocean?

That depends pretty much on the type of boat. Some are made to be used in slow-moving streams and lakes, while some types fare very well in faster bodies of water. However, dinghies are the best choice if you want to use your inflatable boat in coastal waters.

 

2. Is Hypalon better than PVC?

Hypalon is a thicker and heavier material than PVC. Although it lasts longer than PVC, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Hypalon is denser, so it doesn’t fold into a compact shape as PVC does, so the portability is limited.


PVC is cheaper and less durable than Hypalon, but it sits lighter in water, and it is easy to maneuver. None can be said to be better, and it just depends on your preference.


3. How long is their lifespan?

Inflatable boats do not last as long as hard-shell boats do. Boats made from PVC can last anywhere from 2 to 10 years, while those made from Hypalon can last up to 20 years or more, as long as you maintain them correctly.


Most durability problems arise when the owners of the boats don’t take care of the boat.


4. Can I take my dog on an inflatable boat?

If you want to take your dog out on your inflatable boat, make sure the floor of the boat is reinforced with a hard material, or made from a puncture-proof material.


Also, ensure your dog has on a life vest. Do not take a puppy on the water. Make sure your dog is mature enough to sit still so as not to rock your boat.


5. Are inflatable fishing boats safe?

As long as you maintain your balance on your inflatable boat, you are safe. They even recover faster than hard-shell boats if they capsize.


However, if you're not a very good swimmer, or you’re in a river with a strong current, make sure you wear a life vest. If you have children or pets aboard, ensure that they put on life vests, too.


6. How do I clean my inflatable fishing boat?

When cleaning your inflatable boat, make sure you stick to just mild soap and water. Wipe the boat down and dry it properly to avoid molding.


If the boat gets very dirty, you can take it to a boat maintenance shop to get it cleaned. Avoid using strong chemicals or solvents on your boat as they can compromise the glue at the seams of the boat and cause a leak.


7. How do I store my inflatable fishing boat?

An inflatable fishing boat can be stored inflated or deflated, but the latter is recommended. Before storing it, you have to dry it thoroughly to avoid any mold and mildew growth.


Do not dry your inflatable boat in the sun as constant exposure can damage the material of your boat.


FINAL VERDICT

Inflatable fishing boats have permanently changed the idea of fishing with their portability, versatility, and excellent performance. Choosing the best inflatable fishing boat requires you to have a good idea of what you want before you begin shopping because no single inflatable boat can claim to be the best. It all depends on your preference.

The Newport Vessels Dinghy Boat is the premium model that offers solid performance and very high load capacity. If you have the budget, we recommend you to go for this model, you will not regret it.

The Intex Seahawk 4, on the other hand, is affordable, portable, and suitable for choppy water. For us, our best choice would be the Cumberland from Classic Accessories as it has a very comfortable seat, portable, plenty of storage space and budget friendly.

Whatever your choice might be, proper care is the only way to make your inflatable boat last long enough for you to get value for your money. Say goodbye to the days of struggling with a heavy boat, and enjoy your new fishing experience.


4.8/5.0
Our Rating
Adam Parsons

Hi! I'm Adam Parsons - a fishing enthusiast. I have been fishing for more than 15 years now and I still strongly remember that the toughest part for me was during the learning process. Most guides I read during that time was too technical to understand. Therefore, I make sure that everything I post on dream-guides regarding fishing is written well and easy to understand even if you are a newbie.

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