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The evolution of the inflatable kayak has been impressive. From being considered only for fun in the pool, it has now transformed to a serious, advanced sports item and has even been raised to be at par with its hard shell cousin! Having said this, if you have started browsing for an inflatable kayak, you may feel inundated with the many varieties, from material used and techie jargons, to portability as well as functionalities of products on offer. How do you choose the perfect brand that suit your needs?
If you want to enjoy your weekend or holidays, an inflatable kayak will add much fun to your experience. In comparison to hard-shell kayaks, these ones offer you much ease in usage with high portability. And if you are worried about stability and safety, you won’t have to compromise them either. Here, have a look upon our take on some of the most famous inflatable kayaks brands available out there.
Best Inflatable Kayaks Reviewed
Our team compiled a list of the best inflatable kayaks reviewed to help you pick the perfect brand for a guaranteed safety to enjoy your outdoor adventures:
1.Sea Eagle Rozorlite
Sea Eagle Boats, Inc. is a business that a family runs and manages. The company has been a part of this field for producing premium quality, inflatable boats since 1968. At Sea Eagle, the team has introduced new models and expanded the advertisement and selling promotions to make it possible for everyone to have access to their high-end inflatable boats and kayaks. With every passing year, they have succeeded in expanding their line-up tremendously. They have dedicated their careers to the creation, installation, and close analysis of all of their items in order to offer you the very best version.
Whereas, when we take a look at the brighter end of the Sea Eagle Rozorlite inflatable kayak, there are numerous aspects in which it wins the hearts of the customers. Whether it is about quality or longevity, everything is on point. The drop stitch technology of this equipment makes its construction robust. You do not have to worry about the seams, and they are overlapping, hence, more protected. As the main material used in the making of this kayak is 1000 Denier Reinforced PVC, you do not have to stress about punctures or tears. The kayak is exceptional in resisting the rough surfaces and sharp edges.
One thing that you want your kayak to be is lightweight. This product is particular comes in two different styles. You can either have the double-seated Rozolite, or the single seat. The solo weighs 35 lbs, and the other one weighs only 45 lbs. Moreover, one can support up to 500lbs of weight while the other manages up to 750lbs of weight. The lightweight of this gear will help you take to carry it easily, whether inflated or not. It also comes with a backpack, so that you can have convenience in transportation while the product remains safe as well. Sea Eagle is well known as one of the best inflatable boats manufacturing in the industry since more than 50 years and worth investing for a high quality gear.
The large removable rear skeg ensures that you get all the stability or balance during your ride. Furthermore, the high-pressure pump that comes with it will make it possible for you to inflate it quickly. The six D-rings ensure that your seat does not move away from its place. With the help of the three one-way air valves, the kayak remains even sturdy and functional. The two open and close drain valves provide you ease in taking any additional water out as well. Plus, there is also an adjustable footrest that ensures a comfortable adventure for you above the water.
As the bottom line of this product by Sea Eagle, we have to say that this option in one of the most decent and functional choices that you may come across in the sector. Sea Eagle manages to offer you everything in a single product. The drawbacks are still there, but none of them can bring down the bright image of this gear, as the features of this kayak make it promising and appealing. The lightweight, good weight-capacity, high-end quality, and quick inflating time, you may find your new favorite kayak while exploring this option.
|Drop stitch technology|
|1000 Denier Reinforced PVC|
|Light in weight|
|Three one-way air valves|
|Two open and close drain valves|
|Adjustable foot brace|
|Backpack for storage|
|Large removable rear skeg|
|Available in two types|
|Difficult to dry|
|Hard to pack|
|The seat is not too comfortable|
Check It Out On SEA EAGLE Store
2.AIRE Super Lynx
AIRE Super Lynx by AIRE is one of the most famous options out there. Everything at AIRE gets manufactured in Meridian, Idaho, United States. Each raft, kayak, cataraft, and SUP is designed to reach whitewater enthusiasts’ requirements. Their squad at AIRE involves many professionals who want to serve exceptional gear to the people so that they can have an experience of a lifetime. They are designing innovative options for you to get the best facilities in a single product. The passion of this brand can be seen in its products. From the vast line-up of successful products by AIRE, here is what the AIRE Super Lynx offers to you.
While on the other end, when we get to discuss the upside of the AIRE Super Lynx by AIRE, there are several points that you cannot ignore to appreciate. The fact that this boat is available in different colors allows you to have freedom of choice. Moreover, the material used in the making of this product is heavy-duty PVC. Due to this content, the product becomes able to stand firm against punctures, abrasions, and UV as well. Hence, your future will remain secure if you choose to buy this specific kayak. As it features cheetah chair seats, you can have endless hours of kayaking with utmost comfort. The trouble-free installation makes it even better.
Furthermore, the handy storage pockets at the back of this kayak allow you to put many of your things in there safely. The cargo loops are present as well. They secure your gear so that you can free from all sorts of worries. The removable aluminum skeg offers you more versatility and helps in enhancing the tracking of the boat as well. The leafield C7 valves ensure that you do not face any problems in the long run. The AIRE Super Lynx possesses three air chambers too. Other than this, the boat only weighs 46 lbs. Thus, it won’t be a problem for you to take it anywhere. As the manufacturers have designed it for two paddlers, you are going to have a fun experience with your mate.
The AIR Super Lynx is yet another amazing product that the NRS Company offers. With numerous benefiting points, this inflatable kayak allows you to have a great time in the water. The quality of this product is indeed commendable. Moreover, it also comes with a backing warranty retail warranty of 10 years and a commercial warranty of five years. However, do remember that you will have to invest much in this option and still won’t get the additional accessories.
|Available in different colors|
|PVC outer skin|
|Cheetah Chair Seats|
|Handy storage pockets|
|Removable aluminum skeg|
|Leafield C7 valves|
|Three air chambers|
|Light in weight|
|10 Years Retail and 5 Years Commercial warranty|
|ExpensiveDoes not come with a pump|
|Does not include a bag|
Check It Out On OutdoorPlay Store
3.NRS MaverIK II
Since the manufacture of the first purpose-made dry bag designed for boaters in 1974, the label NRS has stood for durable, robust equipment designed to the specifications of their toughest customers: professionals and guides. Worldwide professionals rely on NRS frames, life jackets, boats, and accessories to satisfy their clients’ safety. The brand is passionate about continuing its successful legacy. The approach that the team holds makes it able for the company to prosper in the competitive market. Here, we are going to present our two cents on the MaverIK II by NRS.
However, the upside of NRS MaverIK II inflatable kayak succeeds to justify the hefty price tag. As the product comes with a hand full of facilitating and attractive factors, one may opt for it because of its worthy promising nature. The material of this kayak makes it highly appealing to the customers. The manufacturers have chosen heavy-duty Pennel Orca material to construct this unit so that it can bring long-term joy and fun into your lives. This material is both chemical and UV-resistant. Plus, it stands firm against punctures and abrasions as well. You can use this boat to track like a pro as the extended waterline is there to give you a non-sluggish feel.
The stability that this option offers you is truly matchless. If you are used to hard-shell kayaks, you don’t worry at all regarding the stability. With this choice, you will not have to compromise on this factor. Another major plus about this is the featuring of the self-bailing floor that allows you to easily maneuver the boat. The inflatable thwart seats are there to provide you all the comfort while you are boating. With the help of the trouble-free leafield C7 valves coupled with leafield A6 pressure relief valve, you will get more convenience and facility while using this kayak. It comes under a 10-year wholesale and 6-year retail warranty as well.
All in all, the MaverIK II by NRS will undoubtedly hook you to itself. The features of this product make it possible for the customers to have an exceptional experience. If you want quality, performance, and longevity, all in one, the MaverIK II can serve to be the perfect pick. The lightweight nature of this product makes it easier for you to take it along from place to place. However, you will have to invest a lot in buying this product, but the investment will undoubtedly pay-off in the long run.
|Heavy-duty Pennel Orca material|
|1000 Denier Reinforced PVC|
|Inflatable thwart seats|
|Trouble-free Leafield C7 Valves|
|Leafield A6 Pressure Relief Valve|
|10 years of retail warranty|
|Six years of the commercial warranty|
Check It Out On Outdoor Play Store
4.Oru Coast Xt
The owner of this brand concludes that communicating with nature is a fundamental human necessity — also for those of us who reside in towns. They love to explore the world around them and draw inspiration from all kinds of experiences. They are running a platform, but their real objective is to affect how people interact with water. The quality products by Oru result in enhancing your experience. The brand holds a massive portfolio filled with successful launches. Here is our take on one of them, known as the Cost Xt by Oru Company.
Whereas, when it comes to the opposite pole, the Oru Coast Xt kayak also features some attractive characteristics that can succeed in appealing to you. This boat is available in three different styles so that you can get the one that fits the best to your requirements. The easy handling nature of this kayak makes it somewhat appealing, as many people look out for greater control. Furthermore, the quick assembly design of this boat makes it convenient for you to deal with it. As this kayak does not need any kind of inflation, you will not have to deal with pumps as well.
Moreover, as this kayak possesses a smart design, it will be easier for you to maneuver it and deal with tough conditions as well. Other than this, the lightweight nature of this product makes it even easier for you to carry around. As this kayak can be folded into a compact shape, you will be able to easily fit it into your car. Hence, during transportation, you will face no issues at all. The company claims this boat to be tested thoroughly so that it can satisfy the standards and expectations of the customers. Additionally, the brand backs it with 12 months and 30 days of a money-back guarantee.
In a nutshell, the Oru Coast Xt kayak has both aspects to it. You will have both flaws and advantages. All the brilliant features of this boat will keep you hooked to it. However, in terms of durability, stability, and sturdiness, this kayak does not impress you at all. Still, you will love the fact that it is highly portable and easy for you to handle. So, all in all, the Oru Coast Xt is great for people who want easiness and not suitable for those who go for longevity.
|Available in three different styles|
|Easy to handle|
|Quick assembly design|
|Light in weight|
|12 months of warranty|
|30 days of a money-back guarantee|
|The case is sold separately|
Check It Out On OruKayak Store
5.AIRE Outfitter II
For 30 years, AIRE has been into the filed for producing whitewater boats. It brings major developments growing year, new boat styles, new materials, and new technologies. The boat designs might have evolved through the years, but their priorities and fundamental principles have not evolved. Their principles include to create the finest boats, give the best commitment and customer satisfaction, treat the workers well, and make it possible to serve a memorable water experience. With numerous launches, the brand has made an impressive reputation in the sector. Here, let us tell you what you can take away from this model known as the AIRE Outfitter II.
However, on the flip side, when it comes to the pros of the AIRE Outfitter II kayak, we have many of them to mention here. You will be able to find this option in multiple color choices. In this way, you will be able to get freedom in selecting your favorite one. As the boat comes suitable for two paddlers, you will be having immense fun with your partner over the ways. As the outer skin of this boat comprises of tough PVC material, you do not have to worry about any tough conditions. This sturdy material makes the kayak resistant to punctures and UV so that it can last much longer to serve you.
The self-bailing floor of this product serves as the main highlight. With a greater mesh opening, you will be able to bail the water more quickly. Moreover, this will also protect your boat from debris. With the featured cheetah chair seats, you will have long hours of comfortable riding with this kayak. Furthermore, it consists of seventeen pairs of cargo loops so that you can tie your gear safely. The rugged leafield C7 valves allow you to get ease in both inflation and deflation. The stability that this boat offers is matchless. Due to this specific trait, it is great to use in whitewater. As it is too light in weight, you do not have to stress about moving with it. The manufacturers back this product by 10 years of retail and five years of commercial warranty.
Overall, AIRE Outfitters II is one of the most stable options in inflatable kayaks that you can have. With multiple advantages, this product holds the potential to serve you as per your needs for a longer time due to its incredible quality and long-lasting nature. The robust material and construction work as the main foundation for this sturdy, stable, yet lightweight choice. You will have to invest more for having this product, but the features will prove it to be worth every penny. Additionally, the backing warranty makes this unit even more appealing and reliable.
|Multiple color choices are available|
|Tough PVC outer skin|
|Cheetah Chair Seats|
|17 pairs of cargo loops|
|Rugged Leafield C7 Valves|
|Light in weight|
|10 Years of Retail and 5 Years of Commercial warranty|
Check It Out On Outdoor Play Store
6.Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
Advanced Elements is yet another brand that has been in the business for many years. Their goal at Advanced Elements is, engineered in California, is to create fresh and novel paddle sports products that can enhance the outdoor experience of their customers. Their emphasis is on developing and making inflatable, state-of-the-art kayaks, and offering outstanding customer support. With proprietary technologies, they are profoundly embedded in product growth, seeking to create inflatable kayaks, iSUPs, and accessories for paddle sports that satisfy you in all aspects, including performance, price, and portability. All of our items are built to provide paddlers with the equipment they need at the cost they expect.
Whereas at the brighter side, this inflatable kayak by Advanced Elements also possesses some of the most desired and worthy features. First of all, you can choose your favorite color out of the options in which this boat is available. Furthermore, the built-in aluminum ribs in this kayak help it in getting more stability and enhance its tracking as well. The three layers of material ensure that the product does not get affected by the punctures of UV rays. This construction promises to make your boat stand strong against all the tough conditions.
Other than all these jaw-dropping points, another highlight of this product is that it comes with an installed adjustable padded seat. With the help of this seat, you will get endless time kayaking while having the utmost comfort. You can also adjust it as per your requirement. Plus, the boat comes pre-assembled, and you only have to inflate it. The spring valves and bungee deck lacing make it even more functional and worth your attention. As the product weighs only 36lb, you will get high portability as well. It can carry up to 300lbs of weight, and the welded seams make the construction even better.
In a nutshell, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame kayak is an option that offers you unlimited benefits and some flaws as well. Both aspects of this boat are of undeniable importance. You will love the fact that the boat is extremely light in weights, easy to carry, stable, and great for tracking. However, at the same time, you cannot ignore the fact that the air chambers leak air, and the product does not last long as well. But, the good thing is that it is low in cost, so you can always give it a try.
|Available in different colors|
|Built-in aluminum ribs|
|Three layers of material|
|Adjustable padded seat|
|Bungee deck lacing|
|Weighs only 36lbs|
|Advanced Elements Spring Valve|
|Maximum weight capacity of 300 Lbs.|
|Not durable at all|
Check It Out On Amazon
Driftsun is all about bringing out on the water adventure. In 2014 a bunch of thrill-seekers with a passion for adventure and water activities formed Driftsun. Their goal is to offer high-quality, adventurous items at a price that everyone can manage. Their product creation team is made up of enthusiastic designers who aim to provide you with uncompromised premium products. They also aim to look after their clients in the whole of their shopping trip. When you have a concern regarding a commodity, or you need assistance placing an order, their customer support team is here to support you.
However, there is much to mention at the upside of this inflatable kayak by Driftsun, ad this model brings much to your table. The fact that it does not take much time to inflate makes this model appealing as no one wants to invest much time. Other than this, the product weighs only 22lbs. This is one of the lightest options that you can find in the market. With such lightweight and travel bag that comes along, you can easily take it anywhere you want. The drop-stitch floor featured in this kayak serves as the main appealing factor. You will get a robust feel and high stability with this floor beneath you.
The combination of 1000D reinforced layered PVC side tubes and heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin bottom is worth the investment as this ensures a long-lasting experience for you with this product. It also features a removable fin that makes its tracking even better. The five self-bailing ports are present there as well, so that you get additional convenience in using the product. The tie-down points offer security to your gear so that you can enjoy a worry-free ride. In addition to all these pluses, another one is that it comes with a pump and adjustable EVA padded seat that will offer you comfort during your ride.
The Driftsun Rover inflatable kayak is all that you need for a nice weekend or a holiday trip. As the product offers high portability due to its lightweight and travel bag, you will be having no difficulty while traveling. The heavy-duty material that it comprises makes it even more promising for long-term use. With the EVA padded seat and five self-bailing ports, you will have more convenience and comfort while using this boat. It may be a bit hard to fold this kayak back, but that does not take away from the immensely loaded upside that it possesses.
|Weighs only 22 Lbs.|
|1000D Reinforced Layered PVC side tubes|
|Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin bottom|
|Drop Stitch Floor|
|Removable Flat Water Tracking Fin|
|5 Self Bailing Ports|
|Adjustable EVA Padded Seat|
|Difficult to fold|
Check It Out On Amazon
Their passion for outdoor activities at Aquaglide has generated the world’s best aquaparks, inflatable kayaks, and paddleboards. Designed by dedicated explorers in Bend, Oregon, their product array has been constructed with accessibility in over 70 countries to accommodate all your water sport’s needs. The brand is known to develop innovative designs that offer you a complete package in a single product. If you are looking for a perfect option out there, the Aquaglide may be the place for you to visit. Let us seek details on all the aspects of this Aquaglide Columbia kayak.
On the positive end of the Aquaglide Columbia kayak, there is much to mention as well. The product brings lots of beneficial points to serve the customers fantastically. This boat offers you a maximum weight capacity of 600 lbs. Thus, there I no need to worry about having gear with you while riding. As it is made for two paddlers, you will have a fun-filled time with your friend. The long waterline featured in this product helps in delivering you a better tracking experience. As this product weighs only 42lbs, you can easily carry it around as well.
The exceptional tracking ability of this kayak makes it a must-have for many people out there. In addition to the long waterline, the flat rocker and piercing bow also help this kayak to deliver you the best tracking ability. With the 600D polyester material construction, this boat is able to last longer than your expectations. It stands firm against punctures, abrasions, and sunlight to ensure that you can get a longer period of quality kayaking. In addition to all these brilliant points, you will also be delighted to know that the company backs this product by a limited warranty of one year.
All in all, the Aquaglide Columbia is yet another robust and lasting option that you can avail when searching for the best kayak. The long water, in combination with other features, offers you the best tracking ability as well. The material of this boat ensures a long-lasting period of use. Plus, the backing warranty is also there to put you at ease. However, at the downside, you may not like the fact that the product catches the wind and retains water as well. If you have struggles with wind we advice you to get a high quality kayak sail for better direction.
|Maximum capacity of 600 lbs.|
|Weighs 42 lbs.|
|Exceptional tracking ability|
|600D polyester material|
|1 year of the limited warranty|
Check It Out On Amazon
Airhead is yet another famous brand from the field. The company is known for producing quality gear so that it can fully satisfy the needs of its customers. With numerous qualities and exceptional designing, the Airhead products are bound to offer you all your needs and live up to all your expectations. With several products on the line-up, the brand has created a tough time for the rivals in the sector as well. The Airhead Montana is an inflatable kayak model, and the details are mentioned below.
To be fair, the Airhead Montana also has a massive upside with plenty of fantastic features. You may feel as if this boat is made for you due to the presence of multiple desired specs. This inflatable kayak has been designed for the use of two paddlers so that you can have immense joy with your mate or partner. The lightweight nature of this product makes it convenient for you to handle and take around. As it is compact, traveling with it will not be a hassle at all. All these factors contribute to making it highly portable and ease-delivering. As it is available at a lower cost, you will not have to disturb your budget at all.
The three air chambers present at this boat allow you to easily deflate and inflate it while investing lesser time. All these chambers are secure with the rugged 840-denier nylon coatings. These coatings make the shell sturdy so that the customers can enjoy a reliable and stress-free adventure. Furthermore, there are six D-rings present in this boat that allow you to tie you additional gear securing while riding on the highs and lows of waves. A great plus point is the presence of neoprene elbow guards that make you feel more comfortable. The comfortable seats of this kayak allow you to sit in there kayaking for hours without any problem.
In a nutshell, the Airhead Montana inflatable kayak is all that you would want to enjoy a great and fun day at the beach. With a handful of facilitating factors, this product is able to impress many. The level of convenience and comfort that this option offers is truly matchless. But, when it comes to the drawbacks, no one would be pleased to know that this option is unlikely to last too long. Plus, air also leaks out, causing the kayak to get flattened. However, the low cost of this product makes it easier for people to invest in it.
|Three air chambers|
|Rugged 840-denier nylon coatings|
|Neoprene elbow guards|
|Does not stay inflated|
Check It Out On Amazon
10.Intex Excursion Pro
Intex Corp. delivers airbeds, baths, spas, boats, and much more at a global level. It is a part of a family of companies around the world with over 40 years of history behind it. Their goal is to offer goods of the best standard at a reasonable price; all built for convenience, protection, and enjoyment. With impeccable customer service, they are proud to bring you their outstanding merchandise. The dream is to become the most recognized, trustworthy, and creative company in the industry. They test final goods to ensure they meet high-quality standards.
Whereas, on the flip side, there are numerous pros opposing that one drawback. The Intex Excursion Pro brings so much to your service. With the help of the laminated PVC with polyester core, you will find sturdy and long-lasting products for use. This material is resistant to abrasions, punctures, and UV rays as well. Moreover, this kayak is extremely light in weight so that you can easily carry it around and face no difficulties during transportation. Other than this, the spring-loaded valves featured in this product allow ease in both inflation and deflation as well. Hence, you will not have to invest much time in the inflating or deflating process.
The mounted footrests, in combination with the comfortable seats, are there to provide you comfort while you are riding. With the aid of adjustable and removable mounting brackets, you will be able to securely place your gear in the kayak. Moreover, there is ample storage space at both the front and back of the kayak as well. This product comes with a repair patch so that you do not have to buy an extra for repairing the boat is needed. Plus, you will also get a carry bag with the whole package that will enable you to take the boat along with you conveniently while traveling. Furthermore, you will be able to load this inflatable kayak up to 400 pounds of weight, as this is its maximum load capacity.
All in all, the Intex Excursion Pro is one of the most popular choices for inflatable kayaks. The multiple benefits that this product offers will make you feel as if you have got all the desired elements in a single product. You can easily store additional gear in this boat at the storage areas or tie them down securely as well. With the lightweight design and carry bag, it will be easy for you to travel with it too. However, do remember that air leakage is a primary problem regarding this product.
|Laminate PVC with a polyester core|
|Light in weight|
|Adjustable and removable mounting bracket|
|Includes a carry bag|
|Repair patch comes along.|
|Total weight capacity: 400 pounds|
Check It Out On Amazon
Buyer’s Guide: How To Have The Best Inflatable Kayak?
Buying an inflatable kayak will definitely lead you to fun-filled adventure above the water. Whether you want to go fishing or just enjoy the weekend over the beach with your family or friends, a kayak can serve as just the right choice. But, the buying procedure for such a product is not so easy. Above the water, you have to be quite precise and conscious. So, a safe experience demands you to pay a little extra attention to the details of the product. Here is a buying guide with the utmost information that will help you in getting the best and the safest option available.
The ease of transportation is definitely the advantage an inflatable kayak has over hard shell ones. Sure, some might argue that nothing compares to control and glide of the traditional ones, but if you live nowhere close to a body of water or have little to no storage space, not to mention a mode of transporting a regular one, then the best choice for you would be the inflatable variety.
Kayaking has gained popularity throughout the years, and bearing in mind that portability is an issue for most, a wide selection of inflatable products are now out there for you to choose from. This is definitely is a good thing, BUT with the advanced technology in terms of design and material it is constructed with as well those nifty elements that are now part of such products, selecting one can be an overwhelming process.
Now, how do you choose among these inflatable models, with the varied specifications?
This is what we are here for! We have done the research, carefully reading up user experiences and technology advancements as well material and construction updates to come up with a fast and easy guide to get the most of one, with your needs in mind.
We are going to tackle this by first laying out to you, the types available and then proceed to guide you in making a choice by listing questions that can shed some light on your preference and need.
Self-bailing ones are most suited to activities in rapidly streaming water, namely white water rafting. This is as these have strategically placed holes on the base, which serves to let water move in and out. You will definitely be paddling wet in these, unless it comes with plugs to cover the holes. If you mostly have your activity in flat water, this does not perform as well, due to its design.
Sit-on top kayak, as the name suggests, means you do not have to get into it, but merely sit on it. If you are someone who hates feeling trapped then this is for you. As water will splash on you as you paddle, this might be best suited in warmer conditions.
For the next type, again, as the name suggests, a sit inside is one that is more of the traditional variety with an enclosed cockpit. Since you will be inside, coupled with an optional splashguard, this type makes it the best in cold conditions.
Canoe style on the other hand, is designed to look like regular canoes, which has high walls and where your seat is elevated. This comes with canoe paddles as opposed to double sided ones. Open style is also almost similar to canoe ones, with high walls together with high seats.
Moving on from types, which we hope have served the purpose of giving you a bit of a background to what are available out there, we can now move on to your specific needs.
Question yourself on these:
Are you a solo kayaker or you prefer company, or you want the flexibility to do both?
If you prefer going solo, get a solo kayak! If you want the flexibility to change your options, there are also inflatable kayaks that allow the seats to be moved and or added on to accommodate an extra passenger. Even for with fixed seats for two people, you can still go at it solo as you can sit at the back.
Next question: Where do you intend to enjoy your kayak?
Would this be in hot or cold temperatures, open water like the sea or coast, or flat water such as lakes? Or are you more for rapids and fast streaming rivers? By answering this question, you can then decide whether you want a kayak with a cockpit or if you need storage space for long expeditions as well as how comfortable you can be in facing the elements.
The next question to ask is your physique?
A person with long legs, long torso vs. someone with petite built and height requires a different kayak altogether. Also consider your paddling partner and take note of the combined weight of the both of you, in addition to what other gear you will have with you, should you so wish to go on long trips. Make sure to compare the combined weight to the manufacturer’s specification.
Regardless of whether you go solo or with a friend, the perfect inflatable kayak you choose needs to be one that you will be able to transport either in your backpack or if it comes with a trolley etc. Portability is really a major draw to why people consider inflatable kayaks so make the best of this when choosing.
Additionally, the ease of how you inflate your kayak is also to consider. You might need an extra gear that is the pump, and its weight combined has to be taken into consideration.
In a nutshell, we have guided you through what to look for, starting with types available out there, to the criteria to zoom in on, namely, your usage intention, your physique and gear, it weight and portability as well as ease to inflate. These are some of the basics that we think will be able to help in you choosing the perfect product.
Material is the basic and most important part that you need to focus upon while buying an inflatable kayak. When you are off to the purchase, you will find these kayaks made with different materials. Most commonly, you will be able to find PVC, Nitrylon, and Hypalon materials. All of these possess certain beneficial points that you might feel interested in. The details about each of these contents are given below:
• PVC material:
If we talk about the most commonly used material for making inflatable kayaks, PVC is the one. Most of the kayaks that you will come across in the market will possess PVC as the main or leading content. However, for higher strength and more puncture-resistant nature, PVC is used in combination with nylon. The material is known for its utmost durable nature. When it comes to exposure in sunlight, PVC is fairly resistant to UV rays, but it cannot bear direct sunlight for longer duration and will eventually break down.
It is a blend of nitrile synthetic rubber and tends to be more environmentally sustainable than PVC, and polyester-bonded natural rubber. This material is known to be very tough and resistant to punctures in comparison to PVC. Moreover, Nitrylon also has better resistance to abrasion. Hence, having a kayak built from this content will definitely make it last longer for you.
When it comes to the lasting nature of an inflatable kayak, the material plays a key role. Hypalon is one of the best serving contents used in the making of such products. It is more resistant to UV than PVC but is more costly as well. The expensive nature of this material is because of the fact that it is not simple to work with. Furthermore, it is more immune to abrasion than PVC or Nitrylon. A few inflatable kayaks help in saving extra cash by combining a Hypalon coating with PVC.
The stabilization of inflatable kayaks is close to hard-shells kayaks — and paddlers can feel that an inflatable kayak has greater stability in certain instances. Typically that is because inflatable kayaks have a larger and flatter foundation than other hard-shells. However, if the paddler does not make sure whether the air chambers are filled completely, this can subtract from the stability of the kayak on the surface.
You will come across options having built-in psi-gauges so that you can be aware of the air chamber position. However, if you do not have a kayak with this feature buying a pump that can help you in calculating the psi will be of great help.
Weight of the kayak:
The mass of inflatable kayaks differs according to scale and content, but they are relatively lighter in weight than hard-shell kayaks in general. There are several variations, although a solo inflatable kayak weighs typically between 8 and 40 pounds, and a duo between 35 and 65 pounds. By comparison, a single hard-shell kayak usually varies from 40 to 70 pounds, and as for the double kayak, the weight is between 60 to 90 pounds. The low weight of inflatable kayaks ensures one person can comfortably move it from one place to another.
Storage and portability:
Since it is possible for you to deflate an inflatable kayak, if you do not have a yard or garage, you can still easily store it in small, indoor spaces. Transporting these kayaks from one place to another is also easier because there is no need to use a trailer or a roof rack; you can simply deflate it, fold it and easily store it in your car’s trunk.
You can also purchase a storage bag having backpack belts or grips so it could be convenient for you to carry the product from your home to your car, and from your car towards the put-in. This is also useful when you are trying to reach an overgrown access point or rough terrain, as it will be pretty difficult for you to get on such tracks with hard-shell kayaks.
When you love paddling whitewater or even waterways, where deadheads and rough, broken trees dangling from the banks of the river are not unusual, you may think that using an inflatable kayak is only inviting trouble. But most inflatable kayaks of a good standard now are almost puncture-resistant. Nevertheless, you get what you’re paying for regarding durability; stronger and lighter weight components can cost more.
PVC is a popular material used in producing inflatable kayaks and is extremely puncture-resistant. Hypalon is also more robust and lightweight – and, therefore, more costly. Inflatable kayaks are mostly made of a mixture of these two items. There is a third most commonly used substance, and it is known as Nitrylon; it is incredibly durable, but it is heavier than the others due to the fact that it is quite tough.
While most inflatable kayaks have amazing endurance, they are not invincible. Users will take precautions not to drag their kayak across rocks and gravel, and while on the shore, stay clear of sharp items. It’s also crucial not to take for granted the longevity of your inflatable kayak — always have a tool kit with you in so that you get out of such conditions in which an air chamber becomes punctured.
Indeed the strength of inflatable kayaks makes them more versatile. Since they are made in such a way that they are resistant to punctures and made to bounce off the rocky surfaces, you will be able to easily switch from flatwater paddling to rivers without needing to worry about and cuts or scratches at all.
You can use multiple types of inflatable kayaks for multiple purposes. No matter if you want to go for a camping trip with your family over the weekend, surfing upon the waves of water, general recreation, whitewater, or even fishing, these kayaks are made to serve all these purposes.
Another significant factor is the convenience in the process of assembly, as people usually want a boat that doesn’t take much time to construct. Nor should it include more than one person in the configuration phase. Many inflatable kayaks come with a hand pump, foot pump, or an electric pump. The electrically powered pump is the best for this job as it won’t require much effort from your end and do the job real quick as well.
The overwhelming majority of makers of inflatable kayaks give a fixed one year guarantee. However, you can also expect to find longer warranty periods from different companies. In general, you will also be able to have a warranty of 3 to 10 years. It is always better to go for a product that has a long-term backing warranty so that your money does not go in vain, and you feel free from risky experiences.
Are inflatable kayaks worth it?
Inflatable kayaks, in reality, are secure, long-lasting, dependable, and as fantastic as many conventional kayaks, particularly as inflatable innovation continues to improve and develop new technologies. So, if you love to spend time on the water and have an experience of your life, an inflatable kayak can prove as worth it.
Are inflatable kayaks stable?
When it comes to stability, it is one of the most important aspects to consider when you are on the water. The kayaks that are inflatable are particularly meant to stand up to shakes and bounces. In the case when you collide, they bounce off the rocks and rough surfaces. Hence, inflatable kayaks are generally longer lasting and provide you the utmost stability.
Are inflatable kayaks hard to paddle?
Inflatable kayaks layout of the water far higher, so if you’re going to paddle on smooth water, you’ll probably stay as dry as if you were in a cockpit, if not more so. As these are light in weight, you won’t face any difficulties while paddling it.
Can you fish from an inflatable kayak?
There are multiple options when it comes to inflatable kayaks. These options also include fishing. The inflatable fishing kayaks are built with fishing as a specific goal in mind, so the other styles miss certain fisherman-friendly features.
How long do inflatable kayaks last?
Inflatable kayaks are particularly meant to stand up to bumps and collisions. In the event of a collision, they bounce off rocks and hard surfaces. Consequently, inflatable kayaks are typically even more reliable than hard-shell kayaks. The lasting nature of a product depends upon the quality and manufacturing. However, in general, these can last up to 10 years.
Inflatable kayaks come with multiple minor but important details that you need to pay attention to so that you can get yourself the best possible gear. You will come across multiple items in the market. Simply observe all the above-mentioned points and be a little skeptical about ensuring that you are making a worthy purchase
Are you now ready to get an inflatable kayak and start your new adventure?
We hope this is what this buyer’s guide has accomplished – provided some insight into what is out there, be it for the hard-core kayak adventurer, white water enthusiast or the keen fisherman. This range of products is selected for various activities and we hope that there is one that is perfect for you.
Now It’s Your Turn
Rest assured that we have tried our best here! Nevertheless, we would love to hear your comments and suggestions, even corrections – hey, we know our research is by no means exhaustive, so do help sort us out in the section below. We definitely welcome your input:
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