The Best Inflatable Canoe: Reviewing 3 Top Choices

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The Best Inflatable Canoe: Reviewing 3 Top Choices

What is the best inflatable canoe? If you’ve been searching far and wide for an inflatable canoe that fits your criteria, you’re in luck. Your search ends here. Red Beard Sailing is your expert authority on all things inflatable boating - and today, we’re going to unveil the three top choices for anyone buying an inflatable canoe. Whether you’re seeking the best inflatable canoe for fishing, the top inflatable canoe for whitewater rapids, or even the best inflatable canoe for dogs, you’ll find it here on this list!

Not only will we share our three favorite inflatable canoes with you in this in-depth guide - but we’ll help you pick the right boat for your preferences and budget. Moreover, we’ll explain why inflatable canoes are the way to go these days. Sure, we all have a special place in our heard for traditional canoes. But, we can no longer deny the fact that inflatable boats offer advantages that leave them as the clear #1 choice. Before we get into our review of the top inflatable canoes, let’s start with why you should stick with an inflatable boat in the first place.

Why Inflatable Canoes Are The Best Choice These Days

Inflatable boats in general have been around since 1839 when the Duke of Wellington first tested them.

best inflatable canoe review

However, they have very recently surged in popularity. These days, they’ve overtaken canoes as the premier choice for just about any situation - and for good reason. We’ll make the case for picking an inflatable canoe over traditional wood, aluminum, plastic, or fiberglass styles.

Storage Made Simple

Traditionally, canoes were hard to store. After all, they can range in length from 14’-20’ long - and that’s just the average. Factor in an average width of over 3’ and you can see why people struggled with storing their boats. Who has that kind of space to spare? The options were slim: store the boat outside and subject it to the elements, buy a storage unit, or try and make space for it in your garage. And if you lived in an apartment, you had even fewer choices.

But with an inflatable canoe, storage is made simple. You break down the boat at the end of each day. When not in use, you can place it on a shelf, store it in a closet, under your bed - you name it! A fully broken-down inflatable boat has a very small footprint, and you’ll have no trouble storing it. This leads to the next point we want to make… 

Transportation Is Easy - Bring Your Boat Anywhere

Along with storing your canoe, transporting it will be a chore - unless you go with an inflatable canoe as we suggest you do! No need to buy (and store!) a trailer. Just throw the boat in your trunk and head out to the water. This also makes an inflatable boat a great choice for pairing with your camping set, as you can keep it in a bin with your tent.

Furthermore, an inflatable boat greatly expands the places you can go. Want to cross some destinations off your bucket list? Flying with canoes wasn’t possible before - but now, you can check your boat as luggage. Trying to get to hard-to-reach-water? You can take your boat down a hiking trail in the mountains and launch from places other boats could never. The point is, you can’t beat the versatility these boats offer. And, they’re no slouches when it comes to comfort and performance either.

Unprecedented Comfort & Performance

Many traditionalists claim that inflatable styles just can’t compete with the classics in terms of comfort and performance. But these days, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

These inflatable boats are just as comfortable - if not more. Rather than being forced to squat down low to sit, you can sit at chair height in inflatable kayaks. And, you can switch between sitting and kneeling with ease. Because the floor is soft, it won’t cause pain or discomfort from kneeling. And once you’ve experienced the performance these boats offer, you’ll never second guess them again.

Self-Bailing & Spray Covers Keep Your Boat Dry

Many inflatable boats come standard with self-bailing integrated or available as an optional upgrade. This allows any water that comes in to escape the boat from the back in fast-moving situations. Add in a spray cover and you can easily keep the entire boat dry - along with everything inside it!

Stability & Safety You Can Count On

We love canoes because of the stability they offer. And, at first, you may have doubts about the stability of inflatable boats. Once you get out there on the water and experience how stable they are, though, your worries will be put to rest once and for all. This is due to the design, which features built-in positive buoyancy. This is important for solo excursions and family paddling outings alike. And when it comes to self-rescuing, you’ll love how easy it is to re-enter inflatable canoes - even in water you can’t stand in! The safety these boats provide grants you peace of mind as you paddle, allowing you to fully enjoy your time on the water.

Incredible Warranties Available

There is a stigma around inflatable boats that they’re less durable than their traditional counterparts. And frankly, this narrative is unfounded - these boats are just as strong and durable, if not more! And you don’t just have to take our word for it. Most manufacturers offer incredible warranties to protect your purchase and help you feel confident buying a boat. You can find 7-year warranties on the skin, and 2-year warranties on the boat.

Upgrade Your Canoe With Ease!

If you’re like us, you love tinkering around with your boat trying to make it more comfortable, increase performance, etc. Well, you’ll be delighted to know you can upgrade your inflatable canoe with ease! There are extensive inflatable boat accessory kits that help you make the best ever better. And if you want to really kick things up a notch, add an electric motor for when you need to head back upstream after a long day cruising down the river.

The Whole Family Will Love It - Even Your Dogs!

When you’re shopping for a canoe, you need to factor in not just yourself - but the entire family. 

And you can trust that your whole family will love this new toy. That includes your four-legged family members! It’s true - inflatable canoes are pet-friendly. You can bring your dogs along for the adventure without worry. The skin is puncture-proof - so you don’t have to feel the despair of leaving them at home!

What Is The Best Inflatable Canoe?

By now you should be sold on inflatable canoes. Now, the question becomes - what is the best inflatable canoe of 2022?

inflatable canoe

And it’s time we ended the suspense and introduced you to the three top inflatable canoes currently on the market. Grabner inflatable canoes are the premier choice. Why? Simple - impeccable craftsmanship paired with eco-friendly materials. These boats are built to last a lifetime of memories. And when you factor in their commitment to sustainability, this is a purchase you can feel good about! 

The EDPM tire rubber used is abrasion-resistant, weather-resistant, and UV-stable. Along with being ultra-durable, this material is free of PVC, toxic plasticizers, poisonous chlorine, and more. In fact, these boats are manufactured to the highest EU environmental standards in Germany! And this material isn’t just eco-friendly - it’s as durable as it gets. With an unsurpassed lifespan of several decades, you will no doubt get your money’s worth out of your Grabner canoe! Here are some more highlights that make Grabner the clear choice for the #1 inflatable canoes in 2022:

  • Vulcanized rubber skin made of renewable, natural rubber
  • The most eco-friendly boats on the market
  • Carefully crafted by hand in Austria in accordance with the strictest EU standards
  • The unique tapered shape allows for maximum safety & stability
  • Small pack-down bags fit in your car - and depending on the model, on your back!
  • Practically unsinkable due to the large volume of air used during inflation
  • 7-year warranty on boat skin, 2-year warranty on structural defects

Pretty incredible, right? But, with three styles to choose from, what is the best inflatable canoe by Grabner for you? Let’s take a look.

1) Grabner XR Trekking - The Best Introductory Canoe/Kayak Hybrid

best inflatable canoe for fishing

  • Assembly time: 9 minutes
  • Crew capacity: 2 adults
  • Weight capacity: 772lbs
  • Speed rating: 5
  • Stability rating: 8

The Grabner XR Trekking Canoe is the best introductory canoe/kayak hybrid. If this is going to be your first inflatable canoe, you can’t go wrong with this choice. It offers the best functionality and versatility in the lineup. To us, this is a worthy consideration for the best inflatable canoe for fishing - but you can use it to take the kids out paddling on a local river, too! It doubles as a canoe and a kayak, making it a great choice for someone who wants the best of both worlds in a single watercraft.

2) Grabner Adventure Series - The Best Traditional-Style Canoes

best inflatable canoe for dogs

  • Assembly time: 10 minutes
  • Crew capacity: 3 adults
  • Weight capacity: 992lbs
  • Speed rating: 6
  • Stability rating: 8

(Stats shown for Grabner Adventure Canoe - see specific models for accurate details)

These canoes are the best traditional style inflatable canoes. If you love your traditional canoe and are having trouble upgrading to an inflatable, this is the series for you. The Grabner Adventure Series consists of three individual models:

  • The Grabner Adventure Canoe - The world’s most popular inflatable canoe
  • The Grabner Adventure Expedition Canoe - The Adventure plus a grommet rail
  • The Grabner Adventure SL Canoe - The Adventure on steroids
  • The ideal choice for you will be dependent on your paddling preferences, the crew capacity you want, and your budget. If you’re looking for a canoe that can do it all while still fitting in your boat, the Adventure is for you. It does everything a traditional canoe does, but better.

    If you’re looking for all that the Adventure has to offer - but with a full-length grommet rail (from bow to stern) for flexible storage and the ability to add oars, opt for the Adventure Expedition Canoe. Now, if you plan on bringing the entire family along for the adventure, you’ll be best off with the Adventure SL. This is essentially the same boat as the traditional Adventure canoe but stretched to accommodate 4 people and more wait. It will also be a bit faster.

    3) Grabner Outside - Best Whitewater Canoe

    best inflatable canoe for whitewater

    • Assembly time: 9 minutes
    • Crew capacity: 3 adults
    • Weight capacity: 728lbs
    • Speed rating: 5
    • Stability rating: 8

    Are you looking for the best whitewater inflatable canoe? If so, look no further than the Grabner Outside Canoe. This is the personal whitewater canoe/raft hybrid of your dreams! It offers similar performance and stats to the Grabner Expedition Canoe we talked about in the previous section - but has been optimized for whitewater rapids. This has been done with larger tubes and a purpose-built bow and stern for the toughest of whitewater.

    In fact, this beast is rated for up to class 5 rapids! You and a friend will have the time of your lives on this canoe - over and over again for decades to come. Whether you want to push the limits in the arctic or the Amazon, this is the boat for you. And for those days when you just want to relax and enjoy the serenity of a lake, pond, or the coast, you can paddle this boat like a kayak! It’s incredibly versatile - and a no-brainer choice for any paddler seeking the best inflatable whitewater canoe.

    Which Of These Is Right For You?

    Now that we’ve broken down our review of the best inflatable canoes for sale right now, you are probably thinking to yourself - what is the best inflatable canoe for you? The truth is, you can’t go wrong with any of the models we discussed above. However, you can easily make the right choice by simply asking yourself two questions:

  • What is your budget?
  • How will you use the canoe?
  • By answering these two questions you can then compare the options above, assessing how well they fit your criteria. Our guide to buying inflatable boats will offer additional insights if you’re still a bit uncertain. 

    And if you want some one-on-one help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Red Beard Sailing. We don’t just have small catamarans for sale - we’re your one-stop-shop for all things inflatable boats, including canoes. Our passion is helping fellow boaters get out on the water and experience the bliss it has to offer. We have a tool on our home page that will help you find the right boat based on your priorities. But if you just want a simple recommendation, get in touch with us. We’re eager to help you start making memories in your new watercraft!

    Wrapping Up Our Review Of The Best Inflatable Canoes For Sale

    That concludes our best inflatable canoes review - and we hope you find it useful in your shopping journey. Remember we’re here to help if you want a specific recommendation based on your preferences and budget. Whether you’re looking for an inflatable canoe you can take with you to the best fishing spots in the US or an inflatable canoe you can rip down intense whitewater rapids, we’ve offered suggestions that will exceed your expectations - start shopping now and treat yourself to the boat you deserve!

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