Inflatable kayaks have come as a game-changer in the kayaking industry. They have solved the issue of storage and transport, among other concerns associated with rigid kayaks. Also, they are far less expensive than traditional hard shell kayaks. So, if you are looking for your first or additional kayak, the inflatables are a great option to consider.
Read below the 9 great reasons inflatable kayaks are the way to go.
9 Great Reasons to Choose Inflatable Kayaks
The number one advantage of inflatable kayaks is their ease of transporting. The inflatables are lightweight and can pack down to small sizes, making them highly portable and travel-friendly. Check below what you will enjoy with inflatable kayaks in terms of portability:
You do not need a roof rack to transport it
With an inflatable kayak, you will forget the hassle of hauling and securing your kayak on a roof rack. When deflated, the inflatable kayak folds up into a rolling duffel bag or a backpack which you can easily put in your car trunk. You won’t have to worry about losing your kayak off the car’s top due to improperly securing or theft, which is the case with hard-shell kayaks.
Allow you to combine kayaking with backpacking, backcountry hiking, and camping
Due to their portability, inflatable kayaks allow you to combine kayaking with backpacking, backcountry hiking, and camping into a grand adventure. This cannot be attained with a hard-shell kayak as you will not be able to hike with it to many places. Inflatables allow you to paddle and even fish in unexplored remote areas that other kayakers only dream of.
Inflatable kayaks allow you to go for kayaking adventures anywhere around the world. You won’t have to worry about checking in at the airport or paying extra to transport your kayak.
Lightweight, thus good for children and women
Inflatable kayaks are easy to handle due to their lightweight. A solo inflatable kayak weighs about 32lbs, almost half the weight of traditional kayaks. You will even find lightweight models that weigh 10lbs. This means you can easily carry and store it wherever and whenever.
Inflatables also make it easy for women and children to enjoy kayaking with less hassle. They can carry the kayak on their own with little or no help.
Easy to store
Many kayak owners stress about where to store their kayak after exploring the waters, but this isn’t the case with inflatable kayaks. You can easily deflate and fold up an inflatable kayak and stow it in a small place; under your bed, in a closet, or on a shelf in the shed or garage. And, when it is time to go out you can stow your kayak in your RV, camper, or vehicle, as they don’t take much space.
Highly stable on waters
Inflatable kayaks feature wider beams, flat bottoms, and air chambers, making them buoyant and highly stable on the water. When you hit hard surfaces while paddling, the inflatables bounce off to prevent flipping. This makes the blown-up kayaks suitable for beginners and river paddling.
Quality inflatable kayaks are surprisingly more durable than traditional ones. They are made of extremely durable materials such as denier ripstop polyester AIREcell urethane, HD40 gum, Pennel Orca, and aluminum frame reinforcement that are abrasion- and puncture-resistant. Besides, the inflatables can bounce off hard surfaces, making them difficult to puncture. Therefore, don’t worry about dog nails as there are inflatable kayaks for dogs.
The areas that receive the most impact are purposely reinforced with extra layers of fabric to make them sturdier. Structural integrity is further enhanced through construction techniques such as drop-stitch technology and PVC welded seams.
Comfortable with the ability to adjust body positioning
Unlike the hard-shell kayaks, where you will be sitting on hard surfaces, inflatables offer you a soft sitting floor that is more comfortable to paddle for long hours. The air-filled frames mold to your weight, making it possible to adjust your position accordingly. The clip-in seats also support your back to prevent back pain after long hours of paddling while allowing you to recline for a leisurely paddle.
Hauling back to the kayak after a swim is also comfortable due to the nice and soft edges that are easy on your body. The hard shells don’t have this advantage as the hard edges can cause pain as you haul back to the kayak.
You can use inflatable kayaks in a wide range of water bodies, from serious currents and rapids to slow, flat rivers. The inflatables also perform well in varying water depths, unlike the traditional kayaks, which are difficult to paddle in very shallow waters. Just choose one designed for the waters you intend to explore for a fun-filled experience.
Has high load capacity
Despite being lightweight, inflatable kayaks can carry more weight than rigid kayaks due to their buoyancy and wider beams. Some have a weight capacity of 750 pounds, meaning they can be used by big-bodied paddlers with their gears while maintaining stability.
Despite the many benefits of inflatable kayaks, they come at a far lower price than their hard-shell counterpart. Forget about the cheaper models; you can buy quality, durable inflatable at half the price of traditional kayaks. Aim for an inflatable kayak under $500 if you are looking for quality without breaking the bank.
How long do inflatable kayaks last?
The durability of inflatable kayaks is dependent on many factors, such as price and purpose. Cheap kayaks are made of substandard materials that can get damaged after a short time. However, there are quality inflatables that can handle rocks and fishing hooks for several years. Generally, a quality inflatable kayak will last you 5-10 years if you take good care of it.
Below are some care tips that will improve the durability of your inflatable kayak:
- Always clean and dry your kayak before storage
- Store when deflated
- Fold your kayak in a different style each time
- Avoid keeping your vessel in direct sunlight
- Pack in the storage bag before stowing it away
- Keep the inflatable kayak in a cool and dry place free of rodents.
Do inflatable kayaks pop easily?
Quality inflatable kayaks don’t pop, tear or puncture easily due to the durable material and state-of-the-art technology used in their construction. However, if you focus on price and end up with a cheap inflatable kayak, you might be disappointed as it might pop easily after a few trips. That said, recent inflatable kayaks feature multiple air chambers so that the kayak stays afloat even when punctured. This gives you enough time to safely get to the shore and inspect the damage.
How long does it take to inflate an inflatable kayak?
Inflating a kayak is very simple and takes less time, depending on how you blow it up. If you use an electric pump, it will take about 2 minutes to fully inflate your vessel. However, if using a hand or foot pump, it will take you 5-8 minutes to get the job done, depending on the size of your kayak. Thus, it all depends on having the right pump for inflatable kayaks.
Key Insights & Takeaways
Gone are the days when kayakers believed so much in rigid kayaks! Inflatable kayaks are quickly taking over the paddling industry due to their amazing benefits that rival their counterparts. They are lightweight, making them highly portable, travel-friendly, takes less storage space, and allow you to explore remote places without much hassle. Besides, you will not have to break your bank to get one; the kayaks are pocket friendly yet more stable, have high load capacity, are comfortable, and are highly versatile.
About the author:
Name: Ally Mash
Bio: Ally is a wilderness explorer who has backpacked throughout South America, Iceland, and Europe. He loves sharing his adventures with others at Adventures Pursuit because he believes that everyone should be in the mindset of protecting our planet’s beauty as much as they can!