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Inflatable Kayaks

There are many types of inflatable kayaks. Which inflatable kayak should you buy?

Inflatable kayaks have both pros and cons, but I was surprised to find out that the materials and technology used in today’s inflatables have come a long way. In fact there are some paddlers out there who will argue that an inflatable kayak is not just as good as a hard boat, but better!

My main issue with inflatables is tracking. How could an inflatable boat possibly track as well as a hard boat? Well the new crop of inflatables mostly come with either a hard spine that stabilizes the boat’s keel and/or a skeg attached to the stern to create optimal handling.

The “pros” of inflatable kayaks… Inflatable kayaks typically:

  • Weigh under 30 lbs,
  • Hold up to 500 lbs,
  • Are easy to transport, no need for a rack or trailer
  • Are easy to store, great for those of us in condos and apartments,
  • Can handle up to class 3 whitewater,
  • Have plenty of inflatable accessories such as spray skirts and seats,
  • Offer most of the features of a standard, hard body kayak,
  • Offer as good as or even superior performance and tracking than a standard kayak,
  • Come with a warrantee,
  • Are great for beginners and experienced paddlers,
  • Provide a more comfortable, more cushioned ride.

The “cons” of inflatable kayaks…

  • Can be more expensive than comparable standard kayaks, but prices are leveling out,
  • Can be punctured, but materials are improving constantly. Also, most inflatables are constructed in a compartmentalized fashion so even if you get a hole or tear most likely it will only effect part of the boat. You’ll be able to make it to a place where you can either take out or repair it on the fly,
  • Not as maneuverable as a hard boat, but most inflatables come with fins or skegs which can actually make it track better than a standard boat,
  • Increased drag / harder to paddle. True, in some of the less expensive models this can be an issue. But again, as materials are improved this also is becoming less of an issue,
  • Take a long time to inflate. Actually with either a hand pump or an electric pump, most inflatables are ready to go in about 5 minutes.

Honestly, I wanted to not like the idea of an inflatable kayak – ’cause I love my current boat so much. But as you can see even the cons are turning into pros. Truth is, I can’t think of one reason NOT to get an inflatable boat. If you’re thinking the same, take a look at some of these inflatable kayaks offered from Sea Eagle, Innova, Zoik and NRS:

340xd Explorer SE330 Deluxe Kayak SE370 Deluxe Kayak
340xd Explorer Kayak SE330 Deluxe Kayak SE370 Deluxe Kayak
Sea Eagle 330 Sport Sea Eagle 380xd Sea Eagle FastTrack
Sea Eagle 330 Sport Kayak Sea Eagle 380xd Inflatable Kayak Sea Eagle FastTrack


Innova Kayak Helios I Inflatable Kayak in LitePack Blue / Gray

Innova Kayak Helios II EX Inflatable Kayak in Green / Gray

Innova Kayak Helios II EX Inflatable Kayak in Red / Gray

Innova Kayak K1 Inflatable Kayak

Innova Kayak Safari Inflatable Kayak

Innova Kayak Sunny Inflatable Kayak


AIRE Outfitter II – Inflatable Kayak

AIRE Sea Tiger Inflatable Kayak

NRS Bandit I Inflatable Kayak

NRS MaverIK I Inflatable Kayak

NRS MaverIK II Inflatable Kayak

NRS Rascal Inflatable Kayak


AlterEgo I Kayak

AlterEgo II Kayak

EgoTrip Kayak

RF Solo Kayak

RF Tandem Kayak


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