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Are Inflatable Kayaks

Worth It? Should You Buy One?

Published September 13, 2022

Inflatable Kayaks are a new phenomenon in the recreational boating world. They’re relatively inexpensive, can be stored almost anywhere, and fold up small enough that they fit perfectly into your car when you’re done. 

With all these great things, it is understandable why people would want to try them out. However, another big question pops up in almost everyone’s mind “are inflatable kayaks worth it?”

If you are also wondering about inflatable kayaks’ worth, you are at the right place. Here you will find a detailed guide about inflatable kayaks that will help you know everything about it.

So let’s get started.

Are Inflatable Kayaks Worth It? Summary

What are Inflatable Kayaks?

Sea Eagle 2 person inflatable kayak on water

Inflatable kayaks are a great alternative to traditional kayaks. They’re lightweight, easy to store, and don’t take up much space in your garage or backyard. If you’re looking for a cheap way to enjoy the water but don’t have the space for a traditional kayak, an inflatable kayak is a way to go.

However, there are some differences between an inflatable and a traditional kayak. First is the material used in each one—an inflatable kayak is usually made of plastics that can be inflated with air, while traditional models use wood or fiberglass construction. Inflatable models also tend to be more rigid than their traditional counterparts, which makes them less comfortable when paddling around in rough water. 

Although this isn’t always true—many inflatable models come with extra padding around their hulls and seat areas which make paddling much more comfortable than those that don’t come with this kind of protection.

Are Inflatable Kayaks Worth It?

Driftsun Rover Inflatable Tandem White-Water Kayak

Are inflatable kayaks really worth it?

The answer is yes, but you must know what you’re getting into. Inflatable kayaks have come a long way in recent years, and they can be a great way to get out on the water without breaking the bank.

Inflatable kayaks are light, portable, and easy to store—they pack away like a carry bag and fit in your car’s trunk or luggage. They can be inflated by mouth or pumped with a foot pedal. If you’re looking for an easy way to get out on the water without breaking the bank, this might be your option!

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that will last for years and years to come, then inflatable kayaks will probably not fit your needs. Most inflatable kayaks are made from thin plastic material with little durability. They won’t stand up to rough conditions like wind or heavy waves—these boats are built for calm waters and flat lakes!

Inflatable Kayaks are Suitable For?

Inflatable kayaks are suitable for all ages, and people of any fitness level can use them. They are easy to transport, which is why they are popular with recreational paddlers. The inflatable kayaks are also used by divers who want to spend time underwater without the need to carry heavy equipment.

The inflatable kayaks are lightweight and stable, which makes them ideal for beginners who want to try out this type of boat before investing in one that is more expensive. These boats are also great for people who have been paddling for a long time but want something smaller or more compact than their current boat.

In short, inflatable kayaks are suitable for everyone except those who want a stable kayak that can withstand all types of water and weather conditions. Inflatable kayaks are ideal for those who want to enjoy the water without spending much money on equipment.

These boats are lightweight and portable, so they can be taken anywhere you go. The inflatable kayaks are also easy to assemble, so you don’t need special skills or tools to put them together.

Let’s discuss some advantages of inflatable kayaks so you can understand why they are worth your money.

Advantages of Inflatable Kayaks

Following are some advantages of inflatable kayaks that you should know:

They can be taken just about anywhere:

Inflatable kayaks are lightweight, portable, and easy to assemble. This means you can take them anywhere you go without worrying about the weather conditions or your physical strength. You can easily pack these boats into a backpack or a bag and carry them wherever you need them.

They are durable:

Inflatable kayaks are made of high-quality materials that are designed to be durable. The materials used in their construction are usually punctured resistant and can withstand minor bumps without getting damaged. So, they are durable enough to withstand small scratches, bumps, and other minor damages.

They are easy to store:

Inflatable kayaks are easy to store because they can be folded into a small size and placed in a backpack or a bag. They don’t take up much space, so you can easily carry them around with other items. You don’t have to worry about storing them because they will fit into any corner of your home.

These kayaks can be used on many different bodies of water:

Inflatable kayaks are designed to be used on different bodies of water. They can be used in oceans, lakes, rivers, and ponds. This makes them very versatile and useful for people who want to go kayaking but don’t have access to a body of water nearby.

This makes inflatable kayaks ideal for people living in areas with no lakes or rivers. They are also great for people who like to travel because they can easily be taken with them wherever they go.

Inflatable kayaks are quite affordable:

Inflatable kayaks are very affordable. They can be purchased for under $300, which is much less than many other types of kayaks. This makes them a great investment for people who want to purchase their first kayak or want one that won’t break the bank.

But on the other hand, you can’t find a good traditional kayak for under $300 because they are usually more expensive than inflatable kayaks. They also require a lot of maintenance and repair, so it’s important to factor this in when deciding which type of kayak is best for you.

They're easy to set up:

Inflatable kayaks are very easy to set up. You can inflate them in a matter of minutes using an air pump, and there’s no need for any tools or experience. This is something to consider if you want to take your kayak on the water immediately. On the other hand, traditional kayaks usually require some assembly before they can be used.

Disadvantages of Inflatable kayaks

Besides the advantages, there are also some disadvantages of inflatable kayaks. So, let’s discuss them in detail to understand their worth.

Inflatable kayaks can be less durable than hard-shell kayaks:

A hard-shell kayak is made of a durable material that can last for years, even decades. However, inflatable kayaks are made from PVC or polyester materials that can be punctured if you hit something sharp on the water. Most inflatable kayaks also have seams that allow water to leak into them when they get punctured by sharp objects like rocks or sticks.

That is why they are considered less durable than hard-shell kayaks, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy inflatable kayaks. You must be careful when you are on the water and ensure you don’t hit anything sharp. If you do, it might be time to buy a new kayak.

Inflatable kayaks are not as fast as hard shells:

There is no denying that inflatable kayaks are slower than hard-shell ones. They tend to be 10% slower, which may not sound like much, but it does make a difference if you are in a race or want to get somewhere quickly. Inflatable kayaks also don’t track as well as hard shells, which means they don’t go straight through the water and will drift off course even when there is no wind blowing.

Inflatable kayaks have limited storage capacity and do not offer dry storage:

Inflatable kayaks do not have a large storage capacity, so if you plan to take a long trip with your inflatable kayak, you may consider buying a hard-shell one instead. This is because hard shells easily accommodate extra gear, such as fishing rods and coolers. Inflatable kayaks also don’t come with dry storage, which means that anything inside your boat will get wet when the water starts to seep through the seams.

Inflatable kayaks are more challenging to maneuver:

Inflatable kayaks are not as easy to maneuver as hard shells. This is because they are less rigid and can’t be used in rough waters or on windy days. Inflatable kayaks also tend to feel more tippy than hard-shells and may take some getting used to before your first trip.

Should You Buy an Inflatable Kayak?

Inflatable kayaks are great for beginners and people who want to go on short trips. They are also a good choice if you want to take your kayak with you when traveling or camping. So, you should buy an inflatable kayak.

However, if you plan on going out multiple times per week, it’s probably best to invest in a hard-shell kayak (such as a Fishing Kayak) as they tend to last longer and hold up better in rough water conditions.


So this was everything about inflatable kayaks, and I hope you have got the answer to “Are Inflatable Kayaks Worth It?” And if you are thinking about buying an inflatable kayak, go ahead and do it. Inflatable kayaks are perfect for beginners, travelers, campers, and experienced paddlers who want to go on short trips.

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

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