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Hey friends! BOTE sent me a Zeppelin Aero inflatable kayak for review! It’s always fun to get a new toy to play with. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was greatly pleased.

Let me tell you about the pros and cons of the BOTE Zeppelin Aero inflatable kayak!

Zeppelin Aero comes in two lengths. The 10-foot solo model which is the one I have and the 12-foot 6-inch tandem model which can also be set up for solo paddling. They are rugged and rigid boats. No flimsy blowup pool toy here. This kayak is built to take years of abuse.

I’ve seen manufacturers put rigid, drop-stitch inflatable kayaks up on saw horses and sit in them to prove their rigidity. I wanted to see if the Zeppelin Aero could pass the test. It did! I took an added risk and stood up in the kayak. It showed little give under my weight. In case you are wondering, I’m 6’1″ and 180 lbs.

Rigidity is a great feature, especially if you are used to hard-shell kayaks. You won’t be disappointed here! But what about performance?

I’ve got a Pros and Cons bullet list for those who want a quick lowdown on my thoughts, then I’ll get into the performance aspects and specs of this inflatable kayak.

Best For:

Popular BOTE Zeppelin Aero Kayak Packages

BOTE Zeppelin Aero Review Ratings



The BOTE Zeppelin Aero is a great inflatable boat for flatwater kayaking. The solo and tandem models are rugged, feature-rich kayaks with excellent performance capabilities. These well-constructed boats are durable and designed with multiple air chambers for added safety. All this and they pack down into a bag that can be easily transported and stored in the trunk of your car.


Pros and Cons of the BOTE Zeppelin Aero

Shoulder carrying the BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10' is easy.


  • Excellent performance in flatwater conditions.
  • Impeccable stability.
  • Rigid due to the drop-stitch inflatable floor chamber.
  • Light and compact and easy to carry.
  • Easy to transport and store.
  • High load capacity.
  • Three inflation chambers and two-chamber, inflatable seat(s) for safety and ease of inflation.
  • Comfortable high-position seat(s).
  • Rac receivers for conveniently adding accessories.
  • Magnepod feature for securing BOTE magnetic drinkware and other magnetic items.
  • Self-draining.


  • A second Magnepod should be installed for tandem models.
  • The velcro paddle holder requires two hands.
  • When installed, the seat prohibits shoulder carrying with one hand on the solo model and tandem kayak when the seat is installed in the solo paddling position. I just unhooked the front two tie-downs and let the seat hang while carrying it to and from the water.
  • Its high stance in the water leaves it vulnerable to being pushed around on windy days.
Shoulder carrying the BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10' is easy.

Performance of the BOTE Zeppelin Aero

The BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10' being paddled on a lake.


The stability of the Zeppelin Aero is excellent. I would fall out leaning over the side before the boat would show any signs of tipping. I honestly don’t know how you could flip this kayak on flat water.


The Zeppelin Aero has well-designed front and rear keels that help it cut threw the water and it tracks straight with the help of two 2″ skegs that are permanently installed and a removable 6″ skeg that can be removed when in shallow water.

The kayak has a high position in the water so you can be blown around on windy days. If you happen to be out on a windy day you might want the wind at your back when coming home.

The bow keel and front keel guard of a BOTE Zeppelin Aero.
The stern keel and skegs of a BOTE Zeppelin Aero.
The bottom hull of a BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10'.


I found the Zeppelin Aero 10′ easy to maneuver. It was very responsive and turned quickly. I didn’t even notice resistance when turning with the 6-inch skeg installed.


The Zeppelin Aero has three inflation chambers and two-chamber, inflatable seat(s). The kayak won’t sink in the unlikelihood of a puncture.

Its extremely rugged inflation chambers are made of fabric-reinforced PVC material with a rigid drop-stitch floor covered in a cushioned non-skid BVA foam.


I have a bad back, so comfort is paramount when I’m out on the water for extended periods of time. The inflatable seat with its high back is wonderful! I can be out on the water for hours with no discomfort. A plus to the inflatable seat is that you can adjust the firmness to your liking as well as the angle of the seatback. It even has the same non-skid BVA foam as the floor. You won’t slide around on it while paddling or fishing.

The only issue I had with the seat was the back folded down every time I got out of the seat. The solution was to secure the top of the seat to one of the D-rings. No big deal but a slight hassle when moving back to the seat after standing.

It doesn’t have footrests (not uncommon in inflatable kayaks) but with my height and the shape of the bow, my feet braced adequately against the side tubes.


Carrying a BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10' and gear in a backpack.

The BOTE Zeppelin Aero packs down into a travel bag that can easily store in a car trunk or closet in your home. The backpack can get a little heavy at 50ish pounds fully loaded with kayak and gear, though the adjustable sternum strap, hip belt, and ventilated back offer flexibility and comfort for those walks to your put-in.

The carry bag for a BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10'.
The carry bag with backpack straps for a BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10'.
The kayak and gear inside the carry bag of a BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10'.

BOTE Zeppelin Aero Specifications

Best UseFlatwater Lakes, Bays, Calm Rivers, Fishing, Camping
Skill LevelBeginner – Intermediate
Structure TypeInflatable
Cockpit TypeSit-on-Top / Open Cockpit
Chambers3 (Port, Starboard, Floor)
Tube Diameter9″
Air Valves3 Recessed, One-Way Halkey-Roberts (HR) Air Valves
Inflation time5-10 minutes
SeamHeat-Pressed (glued) and Taped
MaterialMilitary-Grade PVC w/ Drop-Stitch Floor
FloorRemovable, High-Pressure, Drop-Stitch Floor
Whitewater RatingModerate Water Only
Floor Inflation10-15 psi
Pontoon Inflation2-3 psi
Seat Inflation7-10 psi
Grab Handles4 (bow, stern, port, starboard)
WarrantyLimited 2-Year (standard)

Boat Specific Specifications

Zeppelin Aero 10′Zeppelin Aero 12′6″
Seating ConfigurationSoloSolo or Tandem
Paddler SizeUp to Large AdultUp to Two Large Adults
Load Capacity1 Person or 300 lbs2 Persons or 600 lbs
Hull Weight37.5 lbs41 lbs
Dimensions10′ L × 38″ W × 10″ D12′6″ L × 38″ W × 9″ D
Deflated38.7″ H × 18″ W × 11″ D38.6″ H × 28″ W × 14.2″ D
Drain Valves8 Self-Draining Scupper Holes12 Self-Draining Scupper Holes
D-Rings10 D-Rings12 D-Rings

BOTE Zeppelin Aero Key Features

BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10′ Classic Seafoam Inflatable Kayak diagram.
A BOTE Zeppelin Aero inflatable seat.

Inflatable Seat

BOTE’s proprietary inflatable seat is not only comfortable with no rigid parts it packs down into a small space. Take it off and use it as a chair on the beach or at your campsite.

A BOTE Zeppelin Aero inflatable seat back storage pocket and two MOLLE chains..

Seatback Storage

The seatback has an easy-to-access storage pouch and two MOLLE attachment chains for smaller items you want close at hand.

The non-skid BVA foam deck pad of a BOTE Zeppelin Aero.

BVA Foam Deck Pad

Water-resistant and lighter than traditional deck pads, the multi-textured BVA foam deck pad is heat-sealed to shed water and provides anti-slip traction for secure footing and cushion comfort for reducing fatigue.

The self-draining scupper holes of the BOTE Zeppelin Aero.

Self-Draining System

Water that enters the cockpit won’t bog you down. It drains quickly through the self-draining scupper holes in the bottom of the boat.

The Magnepod of a BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10 holding a pair of pliers.

MAGNEPOD Compatible

With the Magnet system, losing a drink or other tools while kayaking is a thing of the past! Easily secure beverage containers and accessories like MAGNEBoom speakers.

BOTE Zeppelin Aero Rac Receivers.

Slide-In Rac Receivers

The BOTE slide-in Rac Receivers allow for quick attachment of helpful accessories like the Bucket Rac, Mini Rocket Rac, Tackle Rac, and Grab Rac.

BOTE Zeppelin Aero velcro paddle straps.

Velcro Paddle Straps

Velcro paddle straps on both side tubes for securing paddles and other gear. You can have our kayak paddle on one side and a SUP paddle or fishing rod secured on the other.

Ergonomic grab handles on the BOTE Zeppelin Aero.

Grab Handles

Four ergonomically designed grab handles that better distribute pressure to improve hand comfort… bow, stern, and middle on each side.

BOTE Zeppelin Aero bungee straps.

Bungee Straps

Adjustable bungee straps on the bow floor provide easy and secure storage for extra gear.

BOTE Zeppelin Aero tie downs in the stern.


D-ring tie-downs for the rear deck pad are perfect for securing a BOTE Kula 5 cooler (or other gear).

The BOTE Zeppelin Aero has three Halkey-Roberts Air Valves for inflation.

Halkey-Roberts Air Valves

Three easy-to-operate air valves (port, starboard, and floor) are compatible with high-pressure pumps with HR valve adaptors.

The bow BOTE Zeppelin Aero accessory mounting points.

Accessory Mounting Points

Bow and stern accessory mounting points in the hard plastic end caps allow any 1/4:20 accessory attachment. This makes securing a GoPro with Ram Mounts or other attachment systems easy. (See: Best Kayak GoPro Mount)

A diagram of the AeroBOTE Technology used to create BOTE drop-stitch inflatable air chambers.

AeroBOTE Construction

Military-grade PVC floor chamber with an inner core made from tens of thousands of drop-stitch fibers that attach to the top and bottom of the air chamber to create an extremely rigid platform when inflated. Rigid means improved performance and stability.

The slide skeg on the BOTE Zeppelin Aero.

Removable Slide Skeg

In addition to the two 2″ permanently installed side fins, is a 6″ removable slide skeg that can be removed when kayaking in shallow water.

Keel guard on the front of the BOTE Zeppelin Aero.

Front Keel Guard

The front keel guard protects the kayak when running aground or when hitting something hard.

The false bottom of the BOTE Zeppelin Aero is revealed when the center floor chamber os removed.

False Bottom Design

The Zeppelin Aero has a false bottom design to allow self-draining and easy cleaning. When fully inflated, the side tubes securely hold the center floor chamber in place.

BOTE Zeppelin Aero Discount Kayak Packages

The Zeppelin Aero comes in two lengths and a variety of color schemes and packages.

Base Model

The base model includes:

  • One Zeppelin Aero Inflatable Kayak
  • One 6″ Removable Aero Center Fin
  • One Zeppelin Aero Paddle Seat for 10′ and two seats for the 12’6″
  • One Pair of Slide-In Aero Rac Receivers
  • One Aero Repair Kit
  • One Hand Pump
  • One Travel Bag

Standard Package

The standard package includes:

  • One Zeppelin Aero Inflatable Kayak
  • One 6″ Removable Aero Center Fin
  • One Zeppelin Aero Paddle Seat for 10′ and two seats for the 12’6″
  • One Pair of Slide-In Aero Rac Receivers
  • One Aero Repair Kit
  • One Hand Pump
  • One Travel Bag
  • One KULA 5 Cooler
  • One 5-Piece Kayak Paddle for the 10″ and two for the 12’6″
  • Bucket Rac included with Native Paradise Only
  • MAGNEBottle 36oz with Native Paradise Only
  • BOTE Inflatable Vest PFD with Native Paradise Only

Essentials Package

The essentials package includes:

  • One Zeppelin Aero 10′ Inflatable Kayak
  • One 6″ Removable Aero Center Fin
  • One Zeppelin Aero Paddle Seat
  • One Pair of Slide-In Aero Rac Receivers
  • One Aero Repair Kit
  • One Hand Pump
  • One Travel Bag
  • One AeroPump Auto Electric Pump II
  • One 5-Piece Adjustable Kayak Paddle

Suggested Accessories for the BOTE Zeppelin Aero

There are a lot of great accessories that can be added to the Zeppelin Aero. Here are some you might consider and if you are interested in adding a motor check out my review of the Boost Fin on my BOTE Zeppelin Aero.

A Kokatat OutFIT Tour Personal Flotation Device in yellow.

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

PFDs are a boating safety necessity. They keep you alive and are required by law on government waters. Always take one with you!

A grouping of different sized Sea to Summit Big River dry bags.

Dry Bag

There isn’t a hatch in this boat. Dry bags are the answer for keeping your wallet, lunch, clothes, medications, and more safe and dry while out on the water.

A BOTE AeroPump Auto Electric Pump II.

AeroPump Auto Electric Pump II

An electric pump is the way to go if you want to speed up the inflation process and not wear yourself out before getting on the water.

A BOTE 5-Piece Adjustable Kayak Paddle.

5-Piece Adjustable Kayak Paddle

This boat’s standard package doesn’t come with a paddle. This paddle isn’t overly expensive, its weight won’t wear you out, and it easily adjusts to the perfect length for any paddler.

A BOTE Bucket Rac in Black.

Bucket Rac Black

This bucket rack is a great addition if you want rod holders and a secure way to take along the BOTE KULA 5 or a 5-gallon bucket.

The BOTE KULA 5 Cooler in Seafoam.

KULA 5 Cooler

Having a cold drink and food that hasn’t gone bad is always great! This cooler is the stylish way to go if you want Yeti-quality with a color scheme that matches your kayak.

A mushroom anchor and rope.

Mushroom Anchor Kit

There are times when having an anchor is great, especially when fishing. You want one like this that works well and doesn’t cost much.

A BOTE 3-Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle in Jade.

3-Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle

Don’t get this paddle unless you plan to stand up and fish or use this kayak like a paddleboard. How cool that this kayak is sturdy enough to stand up in!

BOTE Zeppelin Aero Review Conclusion

The bottom line… The BOTE Zeppelin Aero is a great inflatable boat for flatwater kayaking. Both the solo and tandem models have a large load capacity capable of handling 300lbs and 600lbs respectively. Whether you are a large adult or have a lot of gear. These boats handle the weight with ease.

This kayak is extremely stable, tracks well with the skeg installed, and the 10-foot model maneuvers very well. The 12’6″ model being longer would take a little more effort to maneuver due to its length. That said the Zeppelin Aero is not a fast kayak. An inflatable kayak made entirely of drop-stitch construction is a faster option. Look to the BOTE LONO or DEUC Aero or the Sea Eagle RazorLite for speed.

This is also not a whitewater inflatable kayak. The Sea Eagle Explorer would be a better kayak if you want an all-round kayak that is suitable for whitewater.

This Zeppelin Aero is designed for flatwater and it is a great kayak for those of your who will be kayaking flatwater lakes, bays, calm rivers, fishing, or camping.

TIP: When inflating the side tubes of the kayak, fill the tube to around one pound and adjust the floor chamber so it seats right in the false bottom of the kayak. Just pull up on the side tube and push down on the floor in a few spots along the side. I can usually feel when the floor slips into the proper place.

Thank you for reading my review of the BOTE Zeppelin Aero Inflatable Kayak! Feel free to leave comments and questions below, and if you buy a Zeppelin Aero let me and fellow readers know what you think!

The BOTE Zeppelin Aero 10 is rigidity test. It is strong enough to support a 180 pound man standing in the kayak while it's supported by only two saw horses. The graphic says "Does a BOTE bend? A rigid inflatable kayak".
Steve Hood

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