Inflatable Kayaks: 9 Reasons To Pick Them

Inflatable Kayaks: 9 Reasons To Pick Them

The introduction of inflatable kayaks has revolutionized the kayaking industry. They’ve figured out how to store and transport rigid kayaks, among other problems. They also cost a lot less than traditional hard shell kayaks. Inflatable kayaks are a great option to consider if you are looking for your first or additional kayak. Inflatable kayaks are the way to go for 9 great reasons discussed below. 

9 Great Reasons to Choose Inflatable Kayaks

1. Portability

Inflatable kayaks have a number of advantages, the most important of which is their portability. Because the inflatables are lightweight and fold up into small packages, they are extremely portable and travel-friendly. Check out the benefits of inflatable kayaks in terms of portability below:

  • You do not need a roof rack to transport it

An inflatable kayak eliminates the need to transport and secure your kayak on a roof rack. The inflatable kayak deflates into a rolling duffel bag or a backpack that fits easily into the trunk of your car when not in use. As opposed to hard-shell kayaks, you won’t have to worry about your kayak falling off the top of your car due to improper securing or theft. 

  • Allow you to combine kayaking with backpacking, backcountry hiking, and camping

Inflatable kayaks’ portability allows you to combine kayaking with backpacking, backcountry hiking, and camping to create a grand adventure. You won’t be able to do this with a hard-shell kayak because you won’t be able to hike with it to many places. Inflatable kayaks allow you to paddle and even fish in areas that other kayakers can only dream about.

  • Travel advantages

Kayaking adventures can be had anywhere in the world with inflatable kayaks. You won’t have to check in at the airport or pay extra for your kayak to be transported. 

2. Lightweight, thus good for children and women

Because of their lightweight, inflatable kayaks are easy to handle. An inflatable kayak for one person weighs about 32 pounds, which is almost half the weight of a traditional kayak. You can even find models that are only 10 pounds. This means you can take it with you wherever you go and store it whenever you want.

Inflatable kayaks also make kayaking more accessible to women and children. They can carry the kayak with little or no assistance.

3. Easy to store

Many kayak owners are concerned about where they will store their kayak after a day on the water, but this is not the case with inflatable kayaks. An inflatable kayak can be easily deflated and folded and stored in a small space, such as under your bed, in a closet, or on a shelf in the garage or shed. When you’re ready to go out, you can stow your kayak in your RV, camper, or vehicle because they don’t take up much room.

4. Highly stable on waters

Wider beams, flat bottoms, and air chambers distinguish inflatable kayaks on the water, making them buoyant and stable. The inflatables bounce off hard surfaces to keep you from flipping while paddling. The inflatable kayaks are therefore suitable for river paddling and beginners.

5. More durable

Inflatable kayaks are remarkably as durable if not more durable than traditional kayaks. They are made of abrasion- and puncture-resistant materials such as denier ripstop polyester AIREcell urethane, HD40 gum, Pennel Orca, and aluminum frame reinforcement. Furthermore, the inflatables can bounce off hard surfaces, making puncturing them difficult.

To make them more durable, the areas that receive the most impact are reinforced with extra layers of fabric. Construction techniques such as drop-stitch technology and PVC welded seams improve structural integrity even more. 

6. Comfortable with the ability to adjust body positioning

Inflatable kayaks, as opposed to hard-shell kayaks, have a soft sitting floor that makes it easier to paddle for long periods of time. The air-filled frames conform to your weight, allowing you to adjust your position. The clip-in seats also support your back and allow you to recline for a leisurely paddle, preventing back pain after long hours of paddling.

The nice and soft edges that are easy on your body make hauling back to the kayak after a swim very comfortable. Hard shells do not have this advantage because the hard edges can cause pain when hauling back to the kayak.

7. Highly versatile

Inflatable kayaks can be used in a variety of water bodies, including fast-moving currents and rapids as well as calm, flat rivers. Unlike traditional kayaks, which are difficult to paddle in very shallow water, inflatable kayaks perform well in a wide range of water depths. Simply select one that is appropriate for the waters you plan to explore for a memorable adventure.

8. Has high load capacity

Despite their lightweight, inflatable kayaks can carry more weight than rigid kayaks due to their buoyancy and wider beams. Some have a 750-pound weight capacity, allowing big-bodied paddlers to use them with their gear while maintaining stability.

9. Affordable

Despite their many advantages, inflatable kayaks are significantly less expensive than hard-shell kayaks. Forget about the less expensive models; you can get a high-quality, long-lasting inflatable kayak for half the price of a traditional kayak.

How long do inflatable kayaks last?

Inflatable kayaks’ durability is determined by a variety of factors, including price and intended use. Cheap kayaks are made of inferior materials that can be damaged in a short period of time. Quality inflatable kayaks, on the other hand, can withstand rocks and fishing hooks for several years. If you take good care of your inflatable kayak, it should last you 5-10 years.

The following are some maintenance tips for your inflatable kayak that will help it last longer:

  • 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?

High-quality inflatable kayaks do not easily pop, tear, or puncture due to the durable materials and cutting-edge technology used in their construction. However, if you only consider the price and purchase a low-cost inflatable kayak, you may be disappointed when it pops after a few trips. Recent inflatable kayaks, on the other hand, have multiple air chambers to keep the kayak afloat even when punctured. This will give you enough time to safely reach the shore and assess the damage.  

How long does it take to inflate an inflatable kayak? 

Inflating a kayak is simple and takes a short amount of time, depending on how you do it. It will take about 2 minutes to fully inflate your vessel if you use an electric pump. Using a hand or foot pump, on the other hand, will take you 5-8 minutes, depending on the size of your kayak.


The days of rigid kayaks are long gone! Inflatable kayaks are quickly taking over the paddling industry thanks to their incredible features that rival those of traditional kayaks. They are lightweight, making them highly portable, travel-friendly, and storage-friendly, allowing you to visit far-flung locations with ease. Aside from that, you won’t have to break the bank to get one; kayaks are affordable yet stable, have a large load capacity, are comfortable, and are extremely versatile. So, hopefully, you are able to make the right choice when it comes to an inflatable vs hard shell kayak.