Kayaks are one of those things that most people don’t own because of the space needed to store and transport them. However, in recent years more companies are releasing portable kayaks that are lightweight and easy to store. They are designed to unfold or inflate for use, and easily deflate and fold for transport and storing. Now, these kayaks can get expensive, so below is our list containing the best cheap portable kayaks and their features under $500.
This is a 8 foot kayak, weighing 23lbs when dry. It can handle up to 250lbs and is suitable for kayakers up to 6’2” on lakes, inland bays and slow-moving rivers. When deflated and folded it measures 29”x18”x5” so it is easy to carry and store. This inflatable kayak has an inner tube and a stiff bow and stern for durability and stability. The rip-stop outer fabric helps to protect the inner tube from punctures, and it also comes with a tracking fin, folding seat, and foam floor. Set up is fast and easy with spring valve technology.
This 10 foot kayak weighs 23lbs and folds into a large backpack carry case. Every part of the backpack casing is used in the functional kayak. Additionally, this inflatable kayak comes with a pump and paddle, however, they may not be suitable for all users. The pump easily fits inside the kayak once inflated, which means you can take everything with you on your journey, making it perfect for day trips. It is suitable for kayakers up to 250lbs on lakes, bays and slow to medium moving rivers. This kayak is made of heavy-duty polyester with a reinforced PVC laminate bottom, however, the fabric is not waterproof, which makes the kayak heavier after use. This also means that drying out the kayak can take longer than other inflatables.
This foldable kayak is made of thick HDPE or High-Density Poly Ethylene, with carbon fiber reinforced fold lines. Now, this kayak is not inflatable, instead, you simply unroll, then fold into a hard-shell kayak. Set up is quick and easy, requiring less than 5 minutes once you know how. It has 6 clamps to hold everything in place, and also comes with a foldable seat and tracking fin. When assembled this kayak is 10 feet long, and when rolled is around 48”x15”x9”. Weighing in at 28lbs, it is heavier than some of the other options available. However, this kayak is rated for up to 300lbs and is suitable for use on all waterways. It also meets and exceeds the US Coastguard manufacturing and safety requirements.
This is the most affordable option available. It is a 9 foot kayak, weighing in at 27lbs. When deflated and folded into its carry bag it is 25”x16”x9”. Suitable for slow, deep waters, and sheltered bays, it is perfect for those just learning to kayak. It has a 220lb weight capacity and includes a small amount of storage space on the bow. Similar to an inflatable boat, this kayak is made from vinyl and is not suitable for rocky areas. It comes with both an oar, pump, and puncture repair kit. The cockpit offers a surprising amount of legroom, and the inflatable seat is comfortable. Additionally, there is also a tandem version if you want a 2 man option under $500.
The world of portable kayaks is continuing to evolve every day. Ensure you read all reviews, and do your research before purchasing. Many inflatable portable kayaks are only safety-rated for Class I or II, so if you are looking for a more durable option, consider a folding kayak instead. It may be more expensive than the cheap portable kayaks above, but will be more suited to your needs.