Many people are curious when they get to know about best inflatable kayak for the first time. The first thought which comes in their mind is the rips, tears, and punctures and eventually, sinking in the water.
However, this is not the case.Best Inflatable kayak work as best and durable as solid yaks. They give you the same level of comfort as you enjoy traditional kayaks.
In this article, we will explore the best inflatable kayak in the market along with its famous types like single, tandems, sea, rough, calm water, and vessels. I will bring cheaper options for you in this article.
PROS AND CONS OF AN INFLATABLE KAYAK
Let us investigate the detail about whether best inflatable kayak suit you the best or not. There are both pros and cons of these kayaks and it depends on your condition about whether to use inflatable ones or not. You must consider your distance from the water and type of water.
ADVANTAGES OF INFLATABLE KAYAKS
Easy to Carry and transport around:
You must be aware of this pro as generally, expandable yaks are lighter than solid ones. When you deflate them, they become even lighter and are easier to move from one place to another.
This makes them an obvious option if you have a long distance to travel. If you want to carry your kayak with you to remote places or in an airplane, you are left with the inflatable one.
Inflatable kayaks are generally with wider hulls. This increases the stability of yak. River tries its best to throw you out of your seat, and in this case, taller sidewalls of inflatable kayak protect you.
Since the material required for an inflatable kayak is cheap, they are available in less price than the hard ones. Many people, especially beginners, prefer it as the cost is the main aspect when buying a product. Even regular kayak users also keep an inflatable with them as a backup option.
DISADVANTAGES OF INFLATABLE KAYAKS
Any yak can sink but the ratio is higher among inflatable ones. This is because when people buy this, they usually look for cheaper options. Good quality kayaks are as reliable as hard ones, but it is a general opinion that inflatable ones are at a higher risk of sinking.
The most unwanted part of the journey is when your kayak leaks. If it happens, get ready for a swim to the land.
To avoid it, you should buy a kayak which has more air compartments. So, in any case, you keep floating for a longer time.
Efficient in paddling:
Generally, these yaks have slower speeds than harder ones. This doesn’t mean that these kayaks are very slow; however, if you are looking for the fastest, more efficient, and energy-saver option in the kayak, then inflatable one is not for you.
Many people want to paddle yaks for fun and want to burn their calories and dropping off some speed is not an issue for them. However, you should be aware of wind speeds as they are easily affected by wind.
More time required in setup:
This is the aspect in which hard kayaks get full marks. An inflatable yak needs to be inflated every time before use and deflated back after use. If you want to keep it for a long time, you need to dry it for 2-3 days. You can’t leave it in the river tied.
However, hard kayaks are at any time ready to use. You drag it in the water and are ready to use it. You can even leave hard kayak tied in the river for longer times making it more convenient to use.
Durability and expected life:
The life expectancy of inflatable kayaks is smaller unless you take complete care of them. You need to look for any damages and do time to time repair of your kayak. On the other hand, hard ones live longer and don’t require much maintenance.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING AN Best INFLATABLE KAYAK
In the market, PVC is more often used to make inflatable kayaks. It is light in weight and affordable, at the same time it is durable and is resistant to water. To get more strength and resist from puncture, some yaks also feature PVC blended with nylon or polyester. To minimize damages, UV protective coatings are also applied to it. You need to consider how much you are willing to pay.
Length is an important factor in kayaks. Long and narrow kayaks are usually faster in water than the opposite ones. However, they lose stability; so, you need to find a middle option.
A three-person yak will be longer than a two-person yak and the same for one person. So, you must also consider how many people you need it.
It means the maximum capacity a yak can hold. For optimum performance, you need to keep the weight lower than the upper limit. Because of their design, inflatable kayaks can hold more weight than the harder ones.
There are some things that are very useful in your kayak and you must not miss them. Some of them are:
Adjustable seatbacks for comfort.
Storage options for small things.
Rod holders to help you in fishing.
A repair kit in case of an emergency.
A pump to blow your yak at any time.
TOP TIPS TO USE YOUR INFLATABLE KAYAK
When you buy your yak, it’s important to know some tips to use it efficiently. I will be discussing inflatable ones below.
Getting in and out:
Getting in – Sitting in the inflatable yak is like the hard one. Position it in the water, keep your back facing the seat, hold it, and sit down.
While entering from the water, hold the side of your yak, pull yourself from the water using your legs, and push yourself into the yak.
Getting out – Getting out of the yak is simpler. Just paddle to the shore, swing your legs out of the kayak and stand up.
Edge of the water is the best place to set up your yak. This will allow you to keep the yak in its bag for a longer time.
Start inflating from the floor section first, and then go towards the sides. This way you will be sure that the floor part will be in the right place.
You need to make sure that every blade enters the water completely with each stroke. Paddling in an inflatable yak is different from the hard one because of its depth.
If you are paddling along with another partner, make sure to synchronize your moves to move efficiently.
Don’t leave your kayak in direct sunlight
Dry it before packing, preferably in the open air for 2-3 days
Clean it using kayak soap before storing it for a longer time.
It’s a while when AE1012 is in the market. It is very popular among the public because of its 3 layers of tough material. It helps to protect you against any damage and punctures. Durable to use in even class 2 rivers.
To enable tracking, skeg, and making paddling easier, aluminum ribs are pre-built with both ends. Safety is ensured by keeping 7 air chambers in it, so the yak floats for the longest possible time.
Zipped storage areas are there to keep your belongings safe and dry especially electronics gadgets in case of a leak. Repair kit, padded seat, and a bag are also there completing your accessory needs.
A spray skirt can be fitted in it to keep water out during paddling.
This one is designed to be buoyant so it can handle choppy conditions and be useful in lakes, rivers or even beaches. The material used is PVC along with tear-resistant nylon.
To enable you to carry extra weight, it has a high weight capacity of 450 pounds. You can adjust or remove the padded seats anytime. The kayak can also be paddled by one person, so you have enough space to keep your gears.
The skeg is removable so you have improved tracking. A hand pump and carry bag also come with this kayak.
This one is designed for a single person and can be used in a variety of waters including white water. It is light in weight, thanks to the nylon coating, is durable and has three air chambers so you remain safe in case of a puncture.
It is lengthier yet wider which adds to the stability of the kayak. You can easily pass through narrow or shallow rivers through it. The seat provides back support and can be easily removed.
Since it is for a single person, there is enough space available for all the gears. Bungee rigging is also there to add security. However, there is no pump.
This kayak is for one person, making it easy for traveling as you have enough space for all the gears. The design allows you to keep it in a backpack and unfold it any time you need it.
Setting up this kayak is very simple, only consuming 5 minutes. The backpack is easy to carry anywhere. It is 24-gauge PVC, so you can use it easily in the lake. To give extra safety from punctures, it has a tarpaulin bottom and polyester cover.
Airtight system to ensure you remain safe. Multiple air chambers to give more safety. Double lock system to ease you in inflation or deflation.
This one is very durable and is made of PVC. The inflation time is just 8 minutes. You have all the needed accessories like paddles, seats, pump and more. This one costs less than many other kayaks available in the market. This is the one of the best inflatable kayak.
This kayak comes with folding seat, fins, pump, repair kit to be used in an emergency and a carrying bag. It is suitable only for one person. The kayak is stable because it is made from durable PVC and has rigidity.
8. Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak
This best inflatable kayak enables you to paddle either with one person or two people. Family adventures on rivers, lakes or beaches were never easier. 440 pounds capacity allows you to only accommodate two people, but also enough capacity for all your gears and bags. Bow and stern storage with covers keeps your items dry which is helpful in keeping electronic items.
The yak features two padded seats which are adjustable, a carry bag and a repair kit for emergency use.
When we talk about a budget kayak, this one is the best of all. Keep in mind that it is not the top one but is worth buying at this price.
It has short paddles, may not track as well, the storage area is large and is enough for only one person. The kayak is not waterproof, so higher chances are that it will get wet depending on your paddling techniques.
It comprises just 2 air chambers, so if there is a sudden puncture, you are left with swimming and saving your life. Pump, paddles, removable skeg, and grab handles are there but not much as this one is meant for those who want a budget kayak.
This one is made from 26-gauge PVC and features two adjustable and removable seats. In the case of a solo ride, you can remove the other seat and place it in the center because it has a large space available.
It has an I-beam floor, so you get more stability. 2 spray covers keep you dry when you paddle your kayak. Although it is light in weight i.e. 25 pounds only, it can keep 400 pounds weight, enough for most needs.
Can I get a 4- seat kayak?
Generally, no. Kayaks are usually for single or two persons. Some of them have 3-seats but its maximum.
Can we use inflatable kayaks on the sea?
Yes, they are generally safe to use in the sea and other types of extreme waters. However, for ocean touring or other chopping conditions, a hard kayak is a better option.
Can I go fishing in an best inflatable kayak?
Yes, you can go fishing in it. However, it is recommended to select the tougher models, so it doesn’t leak or get harm using the fish rod.
Is repairing easy for an best inflatable kayak?
Yes, it is very simple and easy. You should deflate your kayak and apply a patch kit to cover any small punctures.
Are they suitable for dogs?
Many of them are suitable for dogs. You must select a stronger one, so it withstands dog paws.
Can I go camping using the blow-up kayak?
Storing the gear might be an issue, for which you need a kayak that has enough room. If your kayak supports dry space, there is no issue in going to camping.