Want to bring your furry friend out on the water with you? Here are the best inflatable kayaks for dogs that keep you and your dog happy!
Why the best inflatable kayaks for dogs? Well, even though it’s not always easy to kayak with a dog, this is one of the best experiences you will have with your canine friend. That is why it’s essential to look for a kayak with a lot of room, the one that can provide comfort and safety for both of you.
And you probably wonder whether an inflatable kayak can be used with a pet. Oh, yes, even with a large dog!
What Kind of Kayaks are Good for Dogs?
For this to be an unforgettable experience, one should consider safety issues and choose an inflatable kayak that will meet your and your dog’s needs. It has to be able to handle weight capacities and to have enough room.
Kayaks are great for dogs given that they are light and easy to handle and transport from one place to the next. Your best friend will also be less bothered by the engine noise of the larger vessels.
How to Prepare for Kayaking with Your Dog:
- Bring plenty of water and some treats. I usually feed my dog a can of dog food before heading out for the day. When she has a full belly, she’s more relaxed and less anxious.
- Make sure your dog is comfortable and will stay calm. I’d recommend starting on a lake or small body of water where you can exit the water easily. I took my dog on a kayaking excursion one day, not knowing ahead of time that it was over 3 hours long. She started to get very anxious during the last hour and we ended up stopping for several potty breaks making the trip last even longer!
- Purchase a life vest for your dog and keep them on a leash. My dog has accidentally fallen out of the kayak before. It’s a lot easier to pick her up when she’s wearing a life vest because it has a handle on the back of it.
- Avoid keeping your dog out in direct sunlight for more than an hour or two. Most dogs won’t wear hats or sunglasses like humans do but they can still get too much sun exposure like us!
- Make sure your dog’s nails are trimmed down. I use this nail grinder to make my dog’s nails short and rounded so they’re not sharp!
Best Inflatable Kayaks for Dogs
Now let’s go over some of the inflatable kayaks that are the most dog-friendly, plus the pros and cons of each kayak.
Note: We don’t list the prices here because they change from time to time and sometimes Amazon will list some of these kayaks on sale. But the general prices range from $150 to $600, and I did my best to list them in order of least expensive to most expensive. Keep that in mind while you read through this list.
1. Best Kayak for Small Dogs: Intex Challenger K2
This is the kayak that I personally use. I decided to purchase the two-person kayak because it surprisingly has plenty of storage space (for one adult and one dog).
I removed one of the removable seats and place a small cooler there instead! Which makes it perfect for a relaxing day out on the lake.
My dog weighs less than 15 pounds and sits on the front of the kayak very comfortably.
|Relatively light to carry||They move well but not fast|
|Fast to inflate and deflate||It can get difficult to put in a bag when it’s wet and sandy|
|Very steady for a dog to hang out and lay down||Not easy to clean when it gets covered in sand and dirt|
|Plenty of space for you, your dog, and some supplies|
|Easy to control on calm waters|
2. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
This one is very practical since the seats are completely adjustable and removable. There are two Velcro strips on the bottom that allow placement adjustment. The weight limit is 330 pounds and you can even take another friend with you besides your dog. Your ride will be steady and smooth.
|It’s safely packed when you are camping and can’t be stolen||Inflation valves could be changed|
|This inflatable kayak can get short for two adults but it’s perfect for you and your dog||Floats away a bit too easily|
|Re-entering is easy, it won’t flip||Quite shallow|
3. Best Kayak for Larger Dogs: Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
This kayak is just right for a person and a dog. It’s not that big making it easy to control but it’s big enough so that both of you can almost move freely. It’s very maneuverable. Seats can be adjusted or removed and replaced so that you can bring a snack for you and your canine friend. It has a polyester core for high strength and durability. A high molecular PVC is unaffected by gasoline, oil, and saltwater. It comes with an adjustable mounting bracket for additional accessories. You might want to bring your fish finders.
|Responds quickly to paddling||Paddles are usable but not adjustable for different size arms|
|It includes everything you need for a day on the water||Parts are not under warranty if something breaks quickly|
|The solid area behind the rear seat and in the front|
4. Intex Dakota K2
If you would like to add some speed to your kayaking experience, you might want to check out this beauty. Its long skeg is great for straight-line tracking while you can easily turn. It’s a tandem kayak that can support weight up to 400 pounds. You can just grab its handles and bring it down to the water while your furry friend gets impatient to get in.
|It fits in a small bag; the paddles come apart||Materials are not very thick and going over rocks and sticks can result in holes|
|It inflates in minutes without much effort||Patches which come with the boat are sometimes useless|
|It can be reinflated while on the water as well|
|Getting in and out is easy|
5. Sea Eagle 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak
Dog owners will love Sea Eagle. It’s a bit larger with more space for you and your dog, but for all the things you need to bring. It has two movable kayak seats and 2 paddles, a foot pump, and a carry bag. You wouldn’t have to worry about your dog popping the kayak with its claws due to good materials.
|Great in calm waters||Dry it with a towel after deflating or you may get mildew|
|You can leave it inflated at home||No support to the seats to keep them upright|
|Quite a lot in the package||Not very good against tides or in high winds|
6. Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak
Driftsun Voyager is for those who like better performance. It can be nice in both calm and choppy waters because of its pointed nose entry.
As a 2-person tandem inflatable kayak, it will provide enough room even when your dog lays down. Inflating is easy with the double action pump. The kayak steady even when my dog rushed out for the first time and I tried numerous times to bring him back in.
|Very thick and durable||The bag in the package is uncomfortable for carrying|
|Easy to turn on the water||It doesn’t dry out easily on a cold day|
|Adjustable seats with back support that can be easily unhooked for sunbathing in the boat||It might include better instructions on seat installation|
7. Driftsun Rover 120/220 Inflatable Tandem
I was surprised that this one could be fully inflated in less than 5 minutes given its size. The material is strong and it’s super easy to set up. We had a lot of wobbles but it stopped after I added a little weight to the front. The bottom is very solid so that you can stand up. We had a comfortable morning on Driftsun Rover.
|Very stable, even when getting pummeled by waves||The skeg can get difficult to get in or take out|
|Durable materials||Once water gets in, it takes a while for the drainage holes to work|
|Responsive to oar input and direction|
8. Elkton Outdoors Cormorant
This inflatable kayak is a good idea if you are looking for a great alternative to conventional kayaks. This fishing kayak is light and easy to use. The fabric is good and it held up for several rounds.
We didn’t feel squished in this boat and my canine friend could always come near if she missed me. I was lucky to bring the pump with us since one of the sides leaked air on our first trip. It turned out I didn’t tighten the valve though.
|Nice storage compartment in the rear||Difficult to put the boat back in the bag|
|Excellent seats||Fishing pole holder gets in the way while paddling|
|Responsive to oar input and direction||No cup holders or pockets|
Bonus Pick! Intex Excursion Inflatable Boat
Not technically a kayak but this inflatable boat is a great option worth mentioning for multiple reasons: fishing, plenty of space for two, and a dog.
The maximum weight capacity is 725 pounds so you can invite some of your friends to make the ride even more memorable. Whatever recreation purposes you might have in mind, this raft can help make it happen.
|Lightweight and easy to set up||Tough to row, especially for a single person|
|Easy to upgrade||Included bag is too thin|
|Sturdy and well made||Oars feel weak|
Conclusion: Best Inflatable Kayaks for Dogs
Taking your dog on outdoor adventures with you is such a fun experience! But you do want to make sure you’re prepared with the right gear and supplies before heading out for the day.
As you can see, there are quite a few dog-friendly kayaks to choose from at different price points. My top pick for a smaller dog is the Intex Challenger K2; my dog weighs about 15 pounds but you can probably allow a dog that weighs up to 25 or 30 pounds on this kayak.
Be sure to explore our blog for more tips and recommendations for hiking gear.