best Inflatable Canoe

Which Inflatable Canoe is the Right Choice for You?

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases...

Last Updated on July 12, 2021

When I bought my first inflatable canoe, I did not know the features to look for. So, you can guess that my first buy was a big disaster.

However, now, as a seasoned paddler, I know that the best inflatable canoes should be durable, buoyant, resistant to abrasions and punctures, lightweight, compact, and performance-oriented.

That is why I have selected a few inflatable canoes that you can take a closer look at.

While the reviews of the inflatable canoes are unbiased and honest, I have ensured that you also get access to a buying guide that explains to you the most important features. If you see, the features listed in the buying guide are also present in the canoes that I have reviewed.

Table: The Best Inflatable Canoe
Product Name Price
#1 Sea Eagle Travel Canoe 16 Two-Person Standard PackageCheck Price »
#2 Sea Eagle TC16 Three-Person Electric Pump PackageCheck Price »

The Best Travel Canoes Reviewed

1. Sea Eagle Travel Canoe 16 Two-Person Standard Package

best best Inflatable Canoe #1

This two-person canoe is the standard package offered by Sea Eagle. It is affordably priced considering the performance of the canoe. It is fast and not bulky. You will find that it is easy to carry and transport.

Product Specifications

  • Made from 1100 Decitex reinforced material
  • Length is 16 feet
  • Width is 38 inches
  • Two web and wood seats
  • Carry bag
  • Foot pump
  • Repair kit
  • Three-year warranty

Our Verdict

You will find that this canoe is quite portable, thanks to its light weight. You can easily fit it at the back of your car or SUV since it comes with a carry bag. It is extremely stable and buoyant. It is certified by NMMA.

The maximum weight-bearing capacity of the canoe is 319lb. Its bow and stern have molded plastic that allows it to cut through the water without affecting speed or performance. It has a removable skeg that you can use to guide the canoe through calm waters. The hull is resistant to impact and abrasions and you will find that it does not keel over very easily. It has a large skeg that is removable and allows the canoe to track straight in open water and in windy conditions. The skeg helps the forward motion of the canoe and you do not expend energy in ensuring speed.

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Extremely rigid
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Extremely fast yet stable
  • Rigid hull after full inflation
  • Easy to store and carry
  • Hull is resistant to abrasions and impact
  • Well-constructed
  • Highly buoyant

Cons

  • The seats do not have backrests

Tip: If the canoe capsizes due to a wave or heavy current, you can easily reenter the canoe without a problem. 

Info alert: Unlike other inflatable canoes, TC16 comes with thinner but high-pressure walls that make the hull rigid like a hard shell canoe and also quite buoyant.

2. Sea Eagle TC16 Three-Person Electric Pump Package

best best Inflatable Canoe #2

This three-person canoe is designed for speed. It is spacious and can easily accommodate three people, making it perfect for a family trip. It is spacious and has sufficient legroom for people of varying heights.

Product Specifications

  • Made from 1100 Decitex reinforced material
  • Length is 16 feet
  • Width is 38 inches
  • Three web and wood seats
  • Three paddles
  • BP12 electric pump
  • Carry bag
  • Foot pump
  • Repair kit
  • Three-year warranty

Our Verdict

This canoe is certified by the NMMA and it has a massive load-bearing capacity of 915 lb. You can carry plenty of gear and a couple of family members or friends. The bow and stern have a patented plastic mold that improves the tracking ability of the canoes, letting it slice through water without resistance.

Since it is an inflatable canoe, you can easily deflate and carry or store it in the bag that comes with it. It hardly takes up any space. The BP12 electric pump can inflate the canoe within no time.

Just set the gauge to the desired pressure and the pump will do the rest. You will find that the canoe is stable and the flooring is rigid. So, you can easily stand up without worrying about falling over or capsizing, making it a great inflatable fishing canoe.

Related article: best inflatable fishing kayak

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Stable and rigid
  • Hardly takes time to inflate
  • Fast and performance-oriented
  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Well-constructed
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Resistant to abrasions and impact
  • Electric pump with attachments for quick inflation
  • Three paddles
  • Handles on the prow, rear, and center for easy carrying

Cons

  • Mesh and wood seats may not be very comfortable for extended trips

Tip: You can store your gear under the front and rear spray skirts with relative ease.

Info alert: The double chine hull design allows the canoe to go fast and also makes it stable while paddling.

Buying Guide for the Best Inflatable Canoe

Before you rush to buy an inflatable canoe, you should consider the following things:

  • Where will you be paddling – lake, rivers, or ocean?
  • Will you encounter whitewater during the trip?
  • How many people do you want to take with you on each trip?
  • How much gear will be carrying?
  • Do you want to fish while you are on a canoe trip?
  • How will you transport the canoe?
  • Do you have a budget in mind?

It is best to jot down the answers to these questions so that you have a canoe not just for today but also for the future. Remember, you should invest in an inflatable canoe that is right for each trip. Once you have answered the questions, these are the things to look for.

Use:

Your choice of the canoe will depend on whether you want to cruise slow-moving rivers, calm lakes, sheltered bays, or go to your favorite fishing spot. Will you be staying overnight and whether the water, namely the ocean, will be choppy? You need to make sure that the canoe is suited for the use you have in mind. Inflatable canoes are apt for all these situations and scenarios.

Weight Capacity:

The maximum weight-bearing capacity of the canoe is more important than you think. In case the canoe cannot hold a lot of weight and you load with gear, it will sit low in the water. That not only decreases the speed of the canoe but also makes it difficult to control and could cause it to sink.

Physical Space:

The canoe should have adequate space to comfortably accommodate you or multiple people along with your gear, equipment. It is prudent to remember that inflatable canoes have less interior space compared to hardshell canoes as they have wider gunwales and hulls.

Weight:

Compared to a hardshell canoe, an inflatable canoe is much lighter. However, be mindful of the weight of the canoe before and after inflation. Sometimes, you may have to carry the canoe for a long time before you reach the paddling spot. Under such circumstances, you do not want to be lugging a heavy canoe, especially if you have to hike to reach the water body.

Construction:

Most inflatable canoes are well constructed and come with multiple air chambers. So, if one chamber gets punctured, you will still be able to paddle your way to the shore and use your repair kit to fix it. Most inflatable canoes are made from heavy-duty PVC and that makes them durable, strong, and impact-resistant.

Look for an inflatable canoe with drop-stitch construction. That ensures that the canoe is rigid and you can not only stand on it but it will have better speed and tracking compared to a regular inflatable canoe. Also, rigid inflatable canoes can be used for fishing without worrying about falling or the canoe keeling.

Paddle Length and Weight:

Many people do not focus on the paddle length and weight when they are looking to buy the best inflatable canoe. However, the length and weight of the paddle are important when it comes to performance and maneuverability.

If the paddle is too long, you will not be able to control the canoe and it will not cruise in a straight line. On the other hand, if the paddle is too short, you will have to put in a lot of effort to keep the canoe moving forward.

A heavy paddle will make it difficult to maneuver the canoe. Usually, canoes are not as wide as canoes. Hence, they require shorter-length paddles compared to canoes. That makes it easy to maneuver them.

Portability:

Look for inflatable canoes that come with carry bags. That will make it easier for you to carry everything to the waterfront to inflate the canoe.

Ensure that the shoulder straps of the carry bag are broad to distribute the weight and the bag should be big enough to carry your deflated canoe and other items that you need. Alternatively, make sure that the canoe has handles that allow you to carry an inflated canoe from your vehicle to the water.

Material:

The material used to make an inflatable canoe will determine whether it is long-lasting, durable, and resistant to impact and abrasions. Most inflatable canoes are made from PVC, the heavy-duty kind, and that makes them resistant to abrasions and impact, and also durable.

Above all, PVC is an affordable material and this makes the canoe also affordable. Sea Eagle uses heavy-duty Denier, which is reinforced. That makes inflatable canoes by Sea Eagle completely resistant to punctures and you do not have to worry about the canoe popping due to a sharp rock or debris.

Stability:

Most inflatable canoes are quite stable but look for ones that are rigid after you completely inflate them. A rigid canoe is usually stable and that is why when you are looking for an inflatable fishing canoe, rigidity should be your first consideration.

Comfort:

When you are out in your canoe, you want to be comfortable. The last thing you need is a canoe that causes your buttocks to go numb or has insufficient space. You want to opt for a canoe that comes with a seat.

If it has a backrest, it is better. However, do not focus on that. Ensure that the seat is elevated from the floor so that you do not get wet and have adequate roam for paddling. Also, when you have an elevated seat, your legs will not feel cramped while paddling.

Ease of Getting In and Out:

Inflatable canoes can be difficult to get in and out if they are not rigid and stable. That is why check that you can easily get into the canoe and out of it, especially if you fall into the water while canoeing.

In Conclusion:

Now you know which are some of the top inflatable canoes on the market. Read the reviews and the buying guide to choose the best inflatable canoe for your paddling needs.