If we all had unlimited storage space and money, then having to choose the right inflatable boat among the myriad available wouldn’t pose a problem. But alas, few of us suffer from this “problem.” As such, most people are forced to choose just one inflatable boat that best meets their needs.
The Sea Eagle Inflatable Canoe is a highly versatile inflatable boat that’s superb for a wide variety of uses for two+ paddlers. More info at Sea Eagle.Com
Sometimes this choice might be easy. Other times, though—especially for people who do a range wide of water borne activities—the choice proves agonizingly painful.
While this article can do nothing about the “pain,” it can help people shopping for an inflatable boat more simply choose the best inflatable boat for their needs.
To accomplish this, I came up with a neat idea, at least I thought it was.
To make sorting through the multitude of options available in the world of inflatable boats, this article compares each type of inflatable boat to how well it does a particular activity.
The types of inflatable boats examined are listed below. If you want more information about a particular type of inflatable boat, please follow the link for each to read an in-depth guide about each type of boat.
Finally, I’d like to stress one thing.
There is no such thing as the “Best Inflatable Boat,” despite what many click-bait websites try to tell you. Instead, the “best inflatable boat” is whatever boat best meets your needs. As such, it is imperative to know what you want to use a boat for before buying one.
Quick Recommendation on Where to Start | Begin With Versatility
If all else fails and you’re still confused about where to begin your search for the “perfect inflatable boat” for your needs, I’ll offer two recommendations. I base this recommendation on the assumption that you want an inflatable boat that provides the most versatility and you aren’t shopping for the cheapest piece of floating junk around. At a minimum, these recommendations offer a good “starting point” in your search for a boat that best meets your needs.
Maximum Versatility for Couples : Inflatable Canoes or Inflatable Expedition Level Kayaks are good boats to first begin your search.
Maximum Versatility for Solo Paddlers : Inflatable Expedition Level Kayaks are the best boat to look at first in your search for a boat that meets your needs.
For running powerful, Class IV and Class V rapids on a frequent basis.
Dedicated Fishing Boat for Rivers
A “dedicated fishing boat” is aimed at anglers who seek many fishing friendly features to increase comfort and productivity. I’m assuming fishing in rivers with a max of Class II rapids, although several boats are capable of running Class III or higher.
Dedicated Fishing Boat for Lakes & Flat Water
Using a motor for lake fishing is always helpful, as it saves significant time and allows the angler to cover more water.
Long Distance or Frequent Flat Water Paddling
For people who plan to take frequent day trips across large expanses of flat water, such as lakes, stagnant rivers and sheltered ocean bays. This is for longer trips, greater than three+ miles or so, with 5-20 mile trips not being uncommon.
Multi-night or multi-week floats on remote rivers
Assumes paddler will encounter Class III rapids along the river, as is often found in remote areas.
Multi-Night or Multi-Week Paddles Across Lakes and Flat Water
This activity assumes no use of a motor.
Fun at the Beach
Boats that both the kids and their parents can play with when visiting the local beach.
Backcountry Fishing or Floating
Requires walking in, usually over a considerable distance, to reach a particular body of water for fishing or recreational floating.