Active Travel Adventure Travel

Decathlon Inflatable Kayak Review: The Ultimate Kayak for Travelers

Kayaks are one of the best ways to get out on the water, but traveling to your favorite body of water with one can be a giant hassle, requiring a car with a roof rack. And if you live somewhere without a garage or shed to store it in, it seems impossible to own a kayak. Enter Decathlon’s inflatable kayak, an ultra-portable vessel that transforms from the size of a backpack to a full two-person kayak within minutes.

Decathlon Inflatable Kayak Review:

Price and Where to Buy: The kayak is available on Decathlon’s website for $299.

How the Decathlon Inflatable Kayak Rates:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. I’ve only ever used rental kayaks before, and Decathlon’s inflatable kayak blew them all out of the water. It’s not made out of cheap plastic, but rather a strong outer fabric with plastic inflatable bladders, that make it extremely comfortable to sit in. The kayak comes with two seats (one can be taken out if you’re paddling solo) that are also inflatable and have a cushioned back for extra comfort. The kayak includes small rudders, which help make it easy to steer straight in the water.
  • Portability: 10/10. The kayak comes in its own carrying case, which is the size of a large backpack and weighs 31 lbs. I was afraid that I’d never get the kayak back in the bag once I used it for the first time, but the bag is deliberately over-sized, so it’s not a struggle to stuff it back in.

Decathlon inflatable kayak backpack

When taken out of the bag, the kayak looks like this:

Decathalon kayak deflated

In less than five minutes, it can be inflated to look like this:

Decathalon inflatable kayak

  • Durability: 10/10. The kayak has a tough outer fabric that helps to protect the inflatable plastic bags on the inside, and it’s held up well on the rocky waterways I’ve tested it out on. It does come with a repair kit, in case you need to do some patches.
  • Ease of Use: 10/10. Simply unroll the kayak and inflate it using the Double-Action hand pump, which inflates on both the up and down motion to fill the kayak in just a few minutes. You can also use the pump to quickly deflate the kayak.

Final Verdict: If you’re an apartment-dweller whose never had space for a kayak or just someone who hates dealing with transporting a bulky kayak, Decathlon’s Inflatable Kayak will change your summer!

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is always on the hunt for the newest and best travel gear. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

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