Innova Kayaks – Compare and Review

Innova kayaks have been a major brand name in the inflatable kayak world for many years. They are well known for excellent quality and construction as well as for high performance inflatable kayaks. They are a favorite for many and for good reason.

Facts About Innova Kayaks

Innova has 8 different models of inflatable kayaks that are great for recreational flatwater use, to paddling through ocean surf, to charging down a raging river. There is a boat for everyone and each comes with a great 2 year warranty.

Innova kayaks are sturdy and rugged and very resistant to abrasion. They can take quite a beating with little more than a scuff mark to show for it. It is important though to protect the kayak from UV rays. A UV protectant will help keep the color of the boat as well as help minimize the scuff marks.

Innova is working hard to make all of their kayaks PVC free. This is really important and speaks to the integrity of the company. PVC has been shown to be extremely harmful to the environment as well as to our own health. At the moment all but four of Innova’s models are PVC free and the rest will follow suit soon.

Innova Kayak Models

Helios I & II – The Helios comes in a solo version (I) and a tandem version (II). It is a phenomenal closed in kayak that will handle ocean kayaking as well as lakes or calmer rivers (up to class II). It offers lots of storage space and also comes with an optional rudder that really helps for tracking in open water. It is extremely light weight as the solo weighs only 24 pounds and the tandem weighs 33 pounds. This makes them totally ideal for traveling and camping.
K1 & K2 – The K1 (solo) and K2 (tandem) are super rugged whitewater inflatable kayaks. These kayaks offer great control as they come equipped with foot rests, thigh straps and a decent backrest. This kayak has large bailing holes so it will never get swamped with water. It is excellent for expedition river kayaking.
Orinoco – The Orinoco is a very unique kayak. Its design makes it ideal for river trekking up to class IV rapids. It weighs 55 pounds and can be paddles from a kneeling position using thigh straps or from a seated position on the bench. It is not recommended for excessive flatwater paddling as there is no real back support. However for long river runs with tons of gear, the Orinoco is sure to deliver.
Safari – The Safari is an extremely popular whitewater kayak that often seems to be sold out (due to popularity). It is extremely light weight and compact and is ideal for traveling. It can handle up to class II rapids and is really best suited for an intermediate to advanced paddler due to its narrowness and lack of stability. You need to know how to control this kayak and if you can, it will perform beautifully.
Seaker I & II – The Seakers are high end expedition sea kayaks. They are pricey and worth every penny. They were not designed as a light weigh inflatable kayak (they weigh 60 pounds or more). They were marketed to compete with more expensive high end folding kayaks. They are a specialized boat for a specialized paddler.
Solar – The Solar is an open style inflatable kayak that weighs a mere 24 pounds. It is an affordable, highly portable and easy to use kayak that would suit beginner kayakers best. The backrest is not the greatest and I would recommend adding in a more comfortable seat. It comes with a removable tracking fin that is important for better performance.
Sunny – The Sunny is my personal favorite of the Innova kayaks and in my opinion one of the best tandem inflatable kayaks on the market. For under $ 1000 this kayak deliver speed, great tracking, comfort, lots of room for gear, kids or dogs. It weighs only 29 pounds and easy to bring with you anywhere in the world. It comes with a removable tracking fin.
Traveler – This kayak has a semi rigid cockpit coaming as well as a spray skirt which makes it great for sea kayaking. It would not be best used in rough water though as it is not self-bailing. It will paddle best on flatwater and provide a lot of protection from the elements. The traveler is light weight and great for traveling.

Final Thoughts on the Innova Kayaks

In my opinion Innova makes some of the best inflatable kayaks on the market. They are not the top of the line but they do offer excellent quality for a fairly affordable price. There is a boat for everyone and with a little care they will likely last a lifetime. Innova kayaks can be used for recreational paddling, whitewater paddling, sea kayaking, fishing, traveling, camping, families and dogs. Compare the Innova kayaks to other inflatable kayak manufacturers to find the best one that will suit your needs.