Best 3 Person Kayaks – Reviews & Buying Guide [Updated: July 2023]

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In the last few years alone, tonnes of new kayaks have entered the market – we have reviewed almost all of them to answer your question of which is the best 3-person kayak?

 

In this guide, we have reviewed the good, bad, and ugly options on the market to save you and your family from having a bad time on the water… But not only this, we have also searched the web to find the best discounts on our recommended models.

Recommended products

Directional tracking

Robustness and stability

Suitability for 3 people

Price / Discounts

Overall Score

465ft FastTrack Inflatable

465ft FastTrack Inflatable

Ease of Paddling

5 out of 5

Robustness of Kayak‚Äč

5 out of 5

Extra Features

5 out of 5

“Best for 3 people”

5 out of 5

5/5
best choice

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer

Ease of Paddling

4 out of 5

Robustness of Kayak‚Äč

4 out of 5

Extra Features

4 out of 5

“Best for white-water”

4.7 out of 5

4.7/5

Sea Eagle 370

Sea Eagle 370

Ease of Paddling

3.5 out of 5

Robustness of Kayak‚Äč

4 out of 5

Extra Features

4 out of 5

“Best all-rounder”

4.5 out of 5

4.5/5

Sevylor Big Basin

Sevylor Big Basin

Ease of Paddling

4 out of 5

Robustness of Kayak‚Äč

3 out of 5

Extra Features

4 out of 5

“Best for tight budgets”

4 out of 5

4/5

Table of Contents

3-Person Inflatable Kayaks Review:

Our #1 Pick! > Best for 3 people

Sea Eagle 465ft FastTrack‚ĄĘ Kayak Review:

Editor's Rating

5/5
465ft FastTrack Inflatable

The 465ft is our top recommendation for a 3-person kayak, providing that extra capacity to allow three adults to sit comfortably, plus with excellent tracking thanks to its unique keel. 

If you ever used the 385ft FastTrack, you will love the new 465ft kayak. The latter has all the great features of the former, but it has more room to carry more people and loads.

The new 465ft FastTrack inflatable Sea Eagle Kayak has the latest streamlined design that promises easy navigation: the NeedleKnifeTM Keel. The new kayak also comes with two open-close drain plugs.

Even though 465ft is larger when compared to the previous 385ft, it remains lightweight. Besides, we found the 465ft kayak fits into a carry bag almost half its size.

 

Product Summary‚Äč

  • Capacity: 795 lbs or 3 people
  • Inflation and assembly time: 8 minutes
  • Rated for Class II rapids
  • Material: 1,000 denier woven base cloth¬†

Key Features

Streamlined Shape And The NeedleKnife Keel

We loved the NeedleKnife keel. The manufacturers built 465ft kayaks in with a unique keel shape, allowing the boat to easily break through waves and move swiftly.

The shape also means the kayak can move with improved balance and stability, unlike previous models.

The Drop Stitch Floor

Like other products of the Sea Eagle, the 465ft kayak also comes with a drop-stitch floor. This feature sits right on the exterior covering. 

This model has a separate high-pressure drop-stitch floor which we found provides excellent rigidity. I found that once inflated to 11psi, the floor was very solid.

Detachable Skeg

Either deflated or inflated, you can detach the skeg at the rear end of your kayak. When you do that, you will enjoy kayaking along turbulent water. For calm water bodies like the lake, you can leave the skeg on for balance.

Pros

Additional capacity – simply put the 465ft has more space for more people and more gear.

Paddling – We tested this model on lakes, rivers, and in the ocean, and with three people on board and we can confirm this ‘yak tracks well.

Comfortable seats Р465ft kayaks come with 20 D-rings. 

There is a discount found here:

>> Click here for discount

Cons

– If you are mainly using for two people, we felt the 385 was easier to handle compared to the 465

РThe hard-shell keel makes it harder to fold, but I felt it is worth that sacrificing for the improved tracking.

Actual 465ft 3 Person Inflatable Kayak Reviews from Customers

‚ÄúSolid boat, use it every weekend in summer. Many times 3 of us plus our 2dogs!”

“We have had 465ft for 5years. We have had this boat in big water, flat water, and rivers and never felt unsafe. I weigh over 200lbs, and with the floor blown up hard, I can stand up in the kayak and go all over the place.” – Verified customer, March. 5, 2020.

Recommended for
  • People that go padding mainly with 3 people
  • Kayakers who need extra storage
Not recommended for
  • If you mainly go paddling with 1 or 2 people, this may not be the best choice.

Best for > All-rounder

Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe 3 Man Kayak Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe

Editor's Rating

4.7/5
Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport Kayak Pro Package

This is a great all-rounder kayak to use for one or two people, with the occasional third person or pet.

From our first three person paddling adventure around Channel Islands National Park, this kayak impressed us.

The SeaEagle 370 is over a foot longer than SE330, allowing more space and greater kayak’s capacity for gear, kids, or dogs.

The Sea Eagle 370 kayak can fit into the smallest storage places. It is also easy to set up and needs only one person to carry it.

Whether you want to go fishing, on adventurous trips, skin diving, yacht tending, or riving running, this sturdy boat can take you. It can even handle up to grade three white waters.

Product Summary‚Äč

  • Capacity: 650 lbs
  • Weight: 49 lbs
  • Inflation and assembly time: 8 minutes
  • Material: K80 PolyKrylar‚ĄĘ hull¬†
  • Rated: for Class III rapids¬†

Key Features

Skegs

The skegs ensure that your kayak moves in the direction you want them to move. They not only make tracking easy, but they also improve the speed at which your boat moves.

Comfortable seats

We found the adjustable seats super comfortable, with good back support, allowing you to sit for an extended period without issues.

Carry bag

You don’t need to worry about how to transport your 3-man inflatable kayak since the package includes a carry bag. You can package it into this carry bag and travel with it or store it until you are ready to use it again.

Pros
  • Great all-rounder
  • Very stable
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Good discount found here:
    >>    Click here for discount
  • Quick to inflate.
  • Fits into the trunk of my sedan
Cons

– Susceptible to winds when only one person is using

Actual SE370 3 Person Inflatable Kayak Reviews from Customers

‚ÄúI have been using this boat for almost three years now, and it has given me good value for my money. I am happy that you can use this boat in many situations, and it is compact enough to be stored in your car‚Äôs trunk.‚Ä̬†Verified customer, August 1, 2021.

Recommended for
  • People who go on kayaking trips on white waters.
  • A group of up to three people
  • People who want an easy-to-store kayak.
Not recommended for

‚Äď I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who needs to bring camping equipment as there is not a large amount of cargo space for say fishing gear.

Best for > White waters and rough waters

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer 3 Man Inflatable Kayak Canoe Review

Editor's Rating

4.5/5
Sea Eagle 420x Explorer

Need a fast, inflatable, lightweight, and versatile kayak that can handle white water and rapids? Then, try the all-new 420x Explorer Kayak.

The 420x Explorer is a truly great all rounder kayak, which is perfect for paddlers who want both adventures in white-water and the calm of paddling across lakes and slow rivers.

When comparing against earlier models from 2012, they only had 4 automatic draining valves, which were poorly positioned. However, the manufacturer SeaEagle has improved the design in the latest model with the 16 automatic draining valves, which I found to be vastly improved.

Even with the lightweight, the kayak has a carrying capacity of 855 lbs. That means it can carry three people conveniently.

Product Summary‚Äč

  • Weight: 42 lbs
  • Capacity: 885 lbs or¬† 3 people
  • Inflation and assembly time: 9 minutes
  • Rated: Class IV rapids¬†

Key Features

Automatic Operating Drain Valves

As mentioned, this model has vastly improved 16 automatic drain valves. The aids help to get water out of your kayak and to stay afloat.

Rigid And Protective Flooring

Another unique feature of the 420x Explorer is the design of its flooring. It has a drop-stitch, high-pressure, rigid interior floor that matches the exteriors.

We found it stable and rigid enough to stand up with no issues.

Removable Skeg

To experience even more fun on shallow and/or white waters, you can remove 420x Explorer’s skeg. However, we found using the 420x in white water without the skeg that the directional tracking was difficult.

If you switch to flat water, we would recommend you fit back the removable skeg.

Pros
  • Good discount¬†found here:
    >>    Click here for discount
  • Versatile¬†– the 420x Explorer suits either calm or white water.¬†
  • Rigid¬†– the interiors and exteriors have drop-stitch protective layers.¬†
Cons
  • The drain valves can sometimes leak. So, that means you’d constantly check the plugs. Else, you need to remove and dry the floorings often.

Actual 420x 3 Person Inflatable Kayak Reviews from Customers

‚ÄúGreat little boat. Extremely convenient. We use it on rivers and lakes often. And I am impressed with the overall strength of the material. After several rivers run, I was worried about all the times I’ve hit large rocks and dragged the bottom of the boat. However, you can barely see any scratches. People are stunned to see us inflate a kayak twice the length of my car and jump in the river. Fun stuff.‚ÄĚ – Verified customer, Sept. 12, 2019.

Recommended for
  • People that want a kayak that suits all kinds of paddling
  • Great versatility¬†
  • A group of two to occasionally three people who enjoy rapids and white water
Not recommended for

– Without the skeg, the directional stability is poor

 

Sevylor Big Basin 3 Person Kayak

Our #4 Pick!

Editor's Rating

4/5
Sevylor Big Basin

Need something on a tight budget? This is our recommended budget three person kayak.

This Sevylor kayak is a durable construction boat is designed to give you a complete sense of safety and security on your kayaking trips.  It is made of heavy duty PVC construction to ensure that the kayak does not get punctured easily.

If you want a kayak that will keep you and your partners comfortable, this fits the bill. This model has adjustable seats to ensure that you fit into it properly. This three person inflatable kayak is easy to deflate and inflate due to the double-threaded Boston Valve.

The outstanding features make this model one of the best 3 person inflatable kayaks.

Product Summary‚Äč

  • Weight: 44.3 lbs
  • Carry capacity: 490lbs NMMA certified.
  • Manufacturing materials: PVC and tarpaulin.
  • Product dimensions: 18 x 10 x 24 in.¬† 34.8 pounds.

Key Features

High-quality materials

This three-man inflatable kayak is made of high-quality heavy duty PVC construction and tarpaulin. These materials make it difficult for your inflatable kayak to get punctured. Even if it gets punctured, the multiple air chambers will prevent your boat from deflating completely.

Comfortable seats

The fabric on the seats feels comfortable on the skin. Adjustable seats are included so that it is not too small or too big for you, which is ideal for youths or kids who want to go for a paddle. 

Leak-proof system

The Sevylor Big Basin inflatable kayak features an airtight system with multiple air chambers. This prevents even the smallest amount of water from penetrating. With this kind of system, kayakers can be sure that there will be no leaks.

Convenient valve

It is easy to inflate this kayak thanks to the Boston valve being double-threaded. When it is time to deflate, it can be done with very little stress.

Pros
  • Easy to store.
  • Durable protection.
  • Perfect for 3 person kayaks
  • Lots of room for storage
Cons
  • I felt it could be better for more stability when paddling.

Actual Sevylor 3 Person Inflatable Kayak Reviews from Customers:

‚ÄúI have used this kayak four times already, and I am impressed. It is easy to carry, easy to store, and you can set it up quickly. I recommend it‚ÄĚ. Verified customer, July 7, 2022.

Recommended for
  • People who want an inflatable kayak for up to three people, or who intend to do some light fishing from the kayak.
  • Kayakers who ride on calm waters and white waters.

Not recommended for
  • People looking for a premium three person kayak

Other 'yaks we thought worth a mention

Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak

The Driftsun Almanor is a great all-round family inflatable kayak. We found it to be relatively lightweight and easy to transport, but yet it still has a decent 500 lbs capacity. When comparing to our top three person kayak pick for 3-people we found it to not have the same space for three adults to sit comfortably.

BKC TK122K Inflatable Kayak

We couldn’t write up a buyer’s guide on the top ‚Äėyaks we reviewed without mentioning the BKC TK122K. This is a great all-round boat, with plenty of space for cargo or fishing. However, when we compared this model to the others mentioned it was far heavier, making transporting it on our trips quite tricky.¬†

My Personal Thoughts and Recommendations:

Our whole team agrees that any inflatable kayak from the manufacturer SeaEagle is a wise choice. The company has been in business since 1968 and offers a 4-month trial guarantee, with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty, so that you can purchase with total peace of mind.

SeaEagle has over 16,000 verified 5-star reviews via Shopper Approved website, as shown here.

Finally, I suggest purchasing directly from the SeaEagle site to ensure you get the full manufactures warranty; check out their website here.

What to Look for When Buying a Kayak for 3 People

Our team uses the below factors when assessing and researching the top kayaks avaliable.

Intended Use

Finding a kayak suited for your intended use is one of the paramount factors when selecting a ‚Äėyak. Think about things such as where you will intend to use the kayak, will you be fishing and how many people will be onboard.

Versatility

Many three-person inflatable kayaks are intended for use on flat calm water, so if you intend on paddling in rough rivers or white water, you should choose a canoe that is explicitly designed for more advanced waterways.

Weight Capacity

As a general rule of thumb, it is wise not to load your ‚Äėyak with over 80% of the manufacturer’s specifications. When you consider that you don‚Äôt want to load a boat beyond about 80% of its stated weight capacity for maximum performance.

Number of seats

If you intend paddle with three adults most of the time, then it would be wise to select a kayak designed for 3 adults such as the Sea Eagle 465ft or the 420x Explorer. Or if the number of passengers varies then consider choosing one with adjustable seats.

Stability

Generally speaking, the larger and fishing kayaks are more stable when compared to the smaller models. They will provide better stability and be able to handle choppy waters better.

Portability and Storage

Some of the larger kayaks can be quite a significant object to haul to the water and then back to your garage or place of storage.

However, inflatable kayaks are significantly easier to transport and store compared to a rigid hard-shell version.

Skeg

Using skegs is generally recommended for the majority of conditions. However, if you intend to do some white-water rapids or shallow paddling, then selecting a kayak with removable skegs is wise.

Pump (hand, foot, electric)

There are several types of pumps available, and most three person kayaks come with a basic manual foot pump. These are fine for most use cases but just be prepared to get a workout before you even get on the water.

Inflatable vs. Hardshell Kayaks

There are many significant advantages to inflatable vs. rigid kayaks, such as the ease of transport and storage. However, rigid-shelled kayaks do have some advantages over the inflatable types, such as improved robustness.

Features & Functionality

Kayak manufacturers offer a variety of features on their boats such as up to four fishing rod holders. Therefore it is worth considering which are essential to your need such as automatic drainage valves and carry bags.

Durability

Rigid-shelled kayaks generally offer superior durability compared to inflatable options. However, if you opt for a Sea Eagle product, they use high-quality PVC and tarpaulin, which has good durability, along with drop-stitch flooring to provide great rigidity and durability. Consider purchasing a repair kit.

Frequently Asked Questions:

A tandem kayak features two seats for two adults, while a solo kayak has only one seating arrangements. Two adults can sit in a tandem kayak, while a single kayak can only hold one. 

There is a maximum weight for each kayak. For reference, the weight capacity of a recreational kayak is usually between 250 and 300 pounds, that of a touring (sea) kayak is 350 pounds, that of a sit-on-top kayak is between 350 and 400 pounds, and that of a tandem kayak is between 500 and 600 pounds.

Kayaking is generally safe in any wind direction with speeds under 10 knots (11.5 mph). An offshore breeze makes it highly challenging to paddle back on an inflatable kayak, so keep that in mind.

Conclusion

We have spent many hours testing and reviewing the best 3 person kayaks on the market, and it is clear to us that the best in the market are manufactured by the brand Sea Eagle.

All three of the models we have listed are best-in-class 3 person inflatable kayaks, perfect for taking your friends and family out padding in safety.

Author:

Tom Oldham

Tom Oldham

Tom has a profound love for camping, kayaking and is a dedicated blogger about the great outdoors.

With a tent as his second home and a kayak as their trusted companion, he embarks on countless adventures to breath-taking destinations.

He has a vast amount of expertise from studying product design (Msc.) and working as a Product Engineer, combined with his camping and kayaking experience he is perfectly positioned to review gadgets and gear for outdoor pursuits.

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