Gaining more and more popularity with every new summer, inflatable kayaks certainly demand some consideration. To plenty of potential buyers, the inflatable profile doesn’t underline too much quality – a serious misconception! In fact, coming at a cheaper rate and feeling just like a hard kayak, there’s no surprise behind the popularity of these models.
An inflatable kayak is exactly what you think it is – a basic kayak that can be inflated before use and deflated after. If ten years ago they were mostly recommended to children, these days they are surprisingly similar to hard kayaks in quality, durability and performance due to a series of innovative improvements.
Just like with everything else in life, inflatable kayaks have both pros and cons. So, what should you know before making a decision?
Pro – Weight and Size
An inflatable kayak can be up to three times lighter than a hard kayak. It doesn’t mean it’s weaker though. In fact, the weight distribution is often better, so the unit is more durable. The best part is you can deflate the kayak and stick it into a backpack. You don’t need a garage or a shed to store it, just like you don’t have to buy a roof rack or a trailer to transport it.
Pro – Durability and Stability
Inflatable kayaks have multiple benefits over their hard alternatives. For example, they can withstand a good beating without taking any damage. They can bounce off hard things like rocks, so a collision will not crack, bend or scratch them. Check out the best inflatable kayaks reviews from Dreamguides.
It’s important to look for a kayak made with the drop stitch technology. In other words, the fibers in its composition interlock for a tougher surface. When properly inflated, such kayaks feel like hard shells.
Con – Inflating and Deflating
Inflating and deflating will be a challenge. Most kayaks come with a manual pump, so you don’t have to buy any extra equipment. It will make a good workout though. Therefore, plenty of users choose to invest in a small electric pump instead. It will get the job done within a few minutes only, with no effort at all.
Also, the kayak must be thoroughly washed before being folded or packed or it will go damp and smelly.
If you have plenty of storage space, proper transportation or you live close to a water, it pays off leaving it inflated.
Con – Control
Control is similar to hard kayaks, but with some differences. Keep in mind an inflatable kayak can easily be a few times lighter than a hard one. This is what makes control slightly more difficult. For this reason, a rigid kayak will always perform better, especially if the water is fast.
Luckily, inflatable kayaks have diversified lately, so you can also find specialized models for fast waters.
Bottom line, it’s easy to tell why inflatable kayaks are so popular these days. They’re ideal for both beginners and experienced riders. They bring in a series of advantages, as well as a few cons. Make sure they can match your needs before deciding on one.