You might want to head out onto the water in a standard kayak, but may not be able to afford the cost of one. Or maybe you don’t have the ability to transport a standard kayak to your preferred launching point. Should this happen, one question tends to be asked: are inflatable kayaks safe to use?
Most inflatable kayaks will be in the $300-$500 price range, which is much more affordable than a standard kayak. Do they have the same durability? Or are they more of an expensive pool toy better suited for a backyard adventure? Here are the pros and cons to consider.
What Are the Pros of Inflatable Kayaks?
- They are equal in performance in most circumstances. Although there are always exceptions to every rule, most inflatable kayaks perform just as well as any other model. You can take them out for an adventure as long as the water/weather ratings are followed.
- They are extremely portable. If you love to go camping and don’t have a lot of space, then an inflatable kayak is perfect. It will fit into most standard storage containers and will fit into most trunks. Even if the kayak has a metal frame which supports an inflatable body, you’ll still receive this level of portability.
- You still have storage options. Many inflatable kayaks allow you to transport a small cooler or other supplies so that you can paddle somewhere and enjoy an afternoon on an isolated beach. You can also bring a live cooler for fishing from an inflatable kayak if you prefer, though you’ll need to follow local ordinances to do so.
- Inflatable kayaks are extremely lightweight. Virtually anyone can transport this product and use it. That’s a definite advantage.
What Are the Cons of Inflatable Kayaks?
- Lower end models may puncture easily. If you are serious about getting out in a kayak on a regular basis, then it will pay to invest into a top-shelf inflatable model. The entry level models, some which only cost $100-$200, are usually intended for light use only.
- There can be tracking issues with some inflatables. Depending on your weight and the weight of the inflatable, there may be difficulties for some users with navigation. You’ll want to use the best inflatable kayak reviews to determine weight tolerance ratings before finalizing a purchase.
- The seating can sometimes be uncomfortable. If you can afford a seat upgrade, then most inflatable kayaks will benefit from this. You can also look through some of today’s top inflatable accessories for head rests and other features which will add to your comfort levels.
- You really do get what you pay for with this category. Inflatable kayaks with rubber coatings over low-stretch fabrics are sometimes even more durable than a rigid standard kayak. Entry-level models are sometimes just a step above sitting in a shower curtain. Quality matters for durability with this product.
Have you used an inflatable kayak? Do you currently own one? What do you see the strengths and weaknesses of this product being?