Many of us dream of owning our own fishing boat. But if you don’t have lots of storage space – or a large trailer – that dream can feel out of reach.
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case! There are now lots of inflatable fishing boats on the market. And when they’re not in use, you can fold them down until the next time.
If you’re interested to find out more, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to look at seven of the best inflatable fishing boats available right now. And we’ll walk you through their pros and cons, so you can make the perfect choice.
Intex make two models of inflatable boats in their Mariner series, one for three and one for four people. The three-person version measures 117 inches long by 50 inches wide and 18 inches high. The four-person is a foot longer and 7 inches wider.
The plastic is very strong, designed to resist scuffs and punctures. It’s also UV-resistant, so won’t degrade in strong sunlight. And there’s a durable rock guard around the circumference of the boat.
The main chamber has four Boston valves, making it quick and easy to inflate and deflate. And the keel is inflatable too, with a rub strake for easier handling.
The three-person model will carry a maximum of 880 pounds. For the four-person, the maximum is 1,100 pounds. In both cases, seating is on two inflatable benches.
There are welded rotational oarlocks, and a heavy duty plastic floor. Note, however, that the instructions don’t cover installing that floor. Be prepared to spend some time working out how to do that.
There’s a fitting for a motor mount, and a battery pouch. There are two built-in rod holders and a gear pouch too.
Also included are two oars, an Intex high-output pump, and a patch repair kit. Note that while the boat also includes a carry bag, that’s rather flimsy. You might want to invest in something heavier duty to keep everything safe.
Inflatable keel with rub strake for great tracking
Comes with built-in rod holders and a gear pouch
There’s a fitting for a motor mount and a battery pouch
The instructions don’t cover installation of the plastic floor
The carry bag included in the package is rather flimsy.
The PackFish from Sea Eagle is a single-person fishing boat compact enough to fit into its own backpack. It’s a great choice for anyone who enjoys heading to remote spots to fish.
It will carry a person weighing up to 225 pounds. The total capacity of 300 pounds accounts for all their gear too.
The bladder has two chambers made of 30-mil Polykrylar, and there’s a protective cover made of 840 denier nylon. There’s a thick, tough vinyl floor. And the seat is inflatable, and can be removed if you want to use it on land.
Fishing features include molded rod holders and a 36-inch fish ruler. There are side hook and loop straps too, for additional rod storage. Also included in the package is the backpack, a foot pump, a set of oars and a small repair kit.
There are handy built-in cargo compartments at either side of the boat. They’re positioned beneath the oars, though, so can make things awkward if they’re full.
The boat needs to be inflated to a pressure of 1.1 psi. That will take only about five minutes. Once inflated, it measures 84 inches by 39 inches. The interior measurements are 54 inches by 13 inches.
One drawback is that the backpack itself is rather basic. There’s no padding on the shoulder straps, and no belt to help take the strain. That might limit how far you want to carry it.
Fits into its own backpack for portability
Tough vinyl floor
Includes molded rod holders and a 36-inch fish ruler
The position of the cargo compartments can make rowing awkward if they’re full
The backpack doesn’t include padded straps or a belt, so you won’t want to carry it too far.
The Excursion series from Intex comes in either a four or five-person model. The four-person boat measures 124 inches by 65 inches, while the five-person version is an extra 20 inches long.
Depending on your chosen model, it will carry up to 1,100 pounds or 1,300 pounds. Both models have inflatable backrests to the seats, for extra comfort. You’ll get two built-in rod holders with the smaller boat, and four with the larger. Both also offer a gear pouch.
One thing to bear in mind is that both boats are pretty big. That can make rowing tough work, especially if there’s a current.
Investing in a trolling motor will be a good choice. Note that the maximum output for both models is 1.5 horsepower. Fortunately, they come with fittings for a motor mount.
There are also handles at the bow and stern, for easier transportation. And there’s a grabline which goes all the way around the edge. You’ll also get welded oar locks and oar holders. And two 54-inch oars are included in the package.
Both boats are made of heavy-duty vinyl. Each have three air chambers, including an auxiliary chamber, for added resilience. Boston valves allow quick inflation and deflation.
They come with their own storage bags, but they’re a little flimsy for such large boats. You may want to buy something heavier duty.
Spacious and tough, with a choice of two different models
Both options come with rod holders and a gear pouch
Include fittings for a motor
Pretty heavy – makes hard work of rowing
The storage bag included in the package is rather flimsy.
The Colorado from Classic Accessories is a fishing pontoon designed for one person. It has a PVC bottom, a nylon top, and a powder-coated steel tube frame. There are two oarlocks made of bronze, and the bladders are resistant to both cold and heat.
Also included in the package are two aluminum oars. They’re 7 feet long, and separate into two pieces for easier transportation and storage.
The boat is 108 inches long, 56 inches wide, and 26 inches tall to the top of the seat. It packs in a lot of storage. There are ten mesh and twelve zippered pockets, and a large storage rack at the back with a mount for a motor.
There are plenty of other great features for anglers too. There are built-in rod holders, a dual-sided stripping apron with fish ruler, and a detachable fly patch. The seat is padded for comfort, and the footrests are non-slip and adjustable.
There are just a couple of limitations to be aware of. Although it’s a step up from inflatable bench seats, the seat here still doesn’t swivel. And the position of the motor mount at the stern is rather awkward. You can reposition it though – look online for videos showing how.
Lots of storage
Fishing-friendly features include rod holders, a dual-sided stripping apron with fish ruler, and a detachable fly patch
Padded seat and adjustable footrests for comfort.
The seat doesn’t swivel
The rear position of the motor mount is rather awkward – but it’s possible to move it.
If you’re looking for a tandem fishing kayak, check out the Excursion Pro K2 from Intex. It measures 151 inches long by 37 inches wide and 18 inches tall, and will carry up to 400 pounds.
It has spring-loaded high-pressure valves, so it can be inflated and deflated fast. There are three separate air chambers, and it comes with its own high-output air pump and pressure gauge. You’ll also get a carrying bag and two 86-inch paddles.
There are two removable skegs, one for deep and one for shallow water. And seating is made more comfortable with adjustable backrests and footrests, and an optional inflatable seat booster.
There are two built-in rod holders plus a mounting bracket for other fishing accessories. There’s also an integrated drain plug. And the I-beam floor provides greater stability.
There’s storage space at both bow and stern. Stainless steel D-rings allow you to tie things down, but you’ll need dry bags to keep out the water.
There are a couple of niggles to bear in mind. The design of the rod holders mean the rods tend to bend over your body. That’s a particular issue if you’re sitting at the back. And there are no clips or dedicated storage space for the paddles when they’re not in use.
Two removable skegs for tracking in deep or shallow water
Adjustable seating and optional seat booster
Comes with a good quality pump and pressure gauge, plus carrying bag and paddles
The Sea Eagle 285 is an inflatable fishing pontoon without any metal frame. That makes it quicker and easier to set up, and also means it requires less storage space than framed versions. You’ll be able to get it up and running in just 5 minutes.
The exterior measures 108 inches by 48 inches, with an interior of 74 inches by 16 inches. The tubes have a diameter of 16 inches. It comes with its own pump, repair kit and carry bag.
It can take an engine capacity of up to 3 horsepower or 55-pound thrust. It will need to have a shaft at least 30 inches long and weigh no more than 45 pounds.
It’s made of reinforced 1,000 denier nylon, with quadruple overlapping glued seams to prevent leaks. There are three independent air chambers for greater resilience. And there are wooden floorboards to provide a stable fishing platform.
The hull weighs 30 pounds. When you add in the wooden floorboards and motor mount, the total weight is 42 pounds. It will carry a load of up to 450 pounds.
It comes with raised oarlocks, two Scotty rod holders and mounts, plus a fish ruler and mesh stripping apron. The chair is padded on the seat and back, and swivels through 360 degrees.
The limitations here relate to the size. If you’re tall, you may not find it particularly comfortable unless you’re sitting facing directly ahead. And there’s not much width to get a secure stance for casting.
Padded seat which swivels through 360 degrees
Fishing features include two Scotty rod holders, a fish ruler, and mesh stripping apron
No frame, so easier to transport, assemble and store
Not the most comfortable for taller users
Fairly narrow, so difficult to get your feet far enough apart to cast.
The AQUOS 2021 is a single-person fishing pontoon with inflatable floats. It’s one of the pricier options on our list – but you get lots of features for your money.
It’s large and pretty heavy – 8.8 feet long and 68 pounds (and that’s just the hull). It can, however, be separated into different sections for easier transportation. Once deflated and separated out, it will fit into the trunks of most vehicles.
It will carry a maximum of 550 pounds. There’s a solid aluminum floor to provide stability. And there’s a deep-cushioned, adjustable swivel seat for comfort and ease of use.
It also comes with its own trolling motor. Note, though, that there are no wiring options here, and you’ll need to supply the battery yourself.
The motor is a Haswing 12-volt, 55-pound thrust model that can be used in fresh and saltwater. It features five forward and three reverse speeds, a battery monitor, and a foldable and extendable handle. There’s also a tilting bracket that allows for ten different positions.
Storage is provided by a fishing bag that can be hung from a stainless steel guard bar. It has holders for two rods at the front and two at the back. There’s also a pocket for a bottle, three for tools, stainless steel hanging rings and a bait bag.
Solid aluminum floor
Comes with its own trolling motor
Stainless steel guard bar with storage bag for rods, a bottle, tools and bait
Big and heavy – although it can be separated into different sections for transportation and storage