Inflatable kayaks have been a favorite choice for many kayakers due to their convenience, and affordability. However, for the price you pay for them, there are some drawbacks too. If you think you can overlook the drawbacks, they are still good to go for many reasons.
So, what are the cons of an inflatable kayak? Alongside the lack of high-end support and durability, there are other disadvantages of inflatable kayaks. Today, we will share all about it so you know what you are purchasing.
Why Is It Called An Inflatable Kayak?
By the name, you can easily understand its design. An inflatable kayak is inflated with air, rather than solid, hard-shell materials. So, they don’t use materials like fiberglass, plastic, or wood, to build an inflatable kayak. Instead, materials like PVC, nylon, or Hypalon are used to make inflatable kayaks.
What Are The Cons Of Inflatable Kayak?
Alongside the advantages, there are some drawbacks to these kayaks that you mustn’t overlook. Here are some of them:
Inflatable kayaks are typically less long-lasting than hard-shell kayaks. Also, they are more prone to damage due to the mechanism. You need to use these kayaks very carefully because sun exposure, extreme temperatures, and repeated folding and unfolding can damage them.
Unlike regular kayaks, inflatable kayaks move slower and it’s quite difficult to control. They are not as maneuverable as hard-shell kayaks. Besides, if you are in windy weather, they can be tough to handle as paddling becomes more difficult.
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Punctures And Leaks
Due to the mechanism, these kayaks are more prone to leaks and punctures if you hit a sharp rock or other hard objects. So, unless you remain very careful, the kayak may deflate due to the puncture.
You won’t get the best stability from these due to the construction. So, if you are used to paddling hard-shell kayaks, this might bother you in rough water or strong currents.
More Time To Set-Up
As these are portable, they take a lot of time to rebuild. As a result, it might waste a lot of your time even when you are in a hurry. Besides, you will have to carry a pump with you all the time which can be annoying.
Storage And Transportation
Inflatable kayaks take up more space than other kayaks. Also, you need to take additional tools like paddles, s, and repair kits whenever you want to take them anywhere.
See More: What Type of Kayak Paddle Should I Buy
Benefits Of Inflatable Kayaks
Although there are some disadvantages, there are several reasons why people still choose inflatable ones. Here are a few:
Most people tend to buy inflatable kayaks because of their portability. As you can easily fold and unfold, these are easy to carry in a carrying case. When you want to kayak on trips, this can be your perfect solution on the go.
To ensure portability, these kayaks are usually lighter than other ones. So, this makes it easier to carry and set up without having to spend too much effort.
Easy to store
You can fold the kayaks anywhere you want after deflating them. Some of them can be stored in a small space like a closet or under a bed as well.
If you choose a good quality inflatable kayak, you can use it roughly in any weather condition. So, you won’t have to worry about the place or the weather before going out.
You will get additional features like adjustable seats and backrests in many inflatable kayaks. This makes them super comfortable when you are out kayaking for a long time. Some include padded floors which keep you away from foot soreness as well.
Another reason why people choose inflatable kayaks is that they are way more affordable than hard-shell ones. So, when you are new to kayaking, you won’t have to spend a lot to buy the kayak.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Worth Buying?
Whether or not an inflatable kayak is worth buying depends on your preference mostly. But if you are seeking convenience, affordability, and portability- these will be a good option for you. The main reason why most people buy these is that they are easy to store and transport.
You can buy an inflatable kayak if you move your location frequently and you have limited storage space. Besides, if you are interested in camping trips, it will be a good choice for you. Due to the affordability, beginners also prefer using inflatable kayaks as they don’t break the bank.
However, if you are a professional kayaker, you might need something more reliable. In this case, our suggestion will be to use a hard-shell kayak as inflatable ones may not be as good as them for professionals. These are way less suitable for racing or long-distance paddling.
Who Should Buy Inflatable Kayaks?
Inflatable kayaks can be a great option for a wide range of people. Especially people who have limited storage in their house to keep the kayak. Also, if kayaking is like a hobby to you, you can buy an inflatable one to use occasionally while storing this inside at other times.
Moreover, if you tend to travel a lot and have a thing for trips, camping, hiking, or outdoor adventures, this will be the right option for you to explore different bodies of water. This is also a good choice for beginners who are just learning and can’t break the bank to buy a hard-shell kayak.
Mostly, inflatable kayaks benefit people who enjoy kayaking as a recreational activity and want a kayak that is easy to transport and use. As they can be easily deflated and packed into a compact carrying case, they are ideal for road trips, flights, and other forms of travel. Inflatable kayaks can also help families to enjoy their outdoor activities together.
Also Read: Best inflatable fishing kayak
Hardshell Vs Inflatable Kayaks: What’s The Difference?
Hardshell kayaks and inflatable kayaks can be different for many reasons. So, here are the brief differences that you are more likely to see:
- Maneuverability: The main difference here is that inflatable kayaks are much more portable than hardshell kayaks. You can deflate them and pack them to travel which cannot be done with the hardshell kayaks. Hardshell kayaks also require more space to store.
- Performance: You will get a professional and better performance from hardshell kayaks than inflatable ones. They offer more stability, and speed and handle better in rougher conditions.
- Durability: Hardshell kayaks are more durable due to their construction. They can easily handle rough weather. But inflatable ones will not provide you with good longevity.
- Cost: Due to the mechanism, hardshell kayaks are often more costly than inflatable kayaks. But inflatable kayaks can be costly too if you choose the high-end ones.
Let’s Gather More Knowledge
1. Are inflatable kayaks as good as regular?
Inflatable kayaks can be pretty good when it comes to portability. But when you are looking for a high-end approach, this might not be good for you. They offer an average performance if you compare them to regular kayaks.
2. Do inflatable kayaks last?
An inflatable kayak usually lasts between five and 10 years. But you have to ensure proper maintenance to keep it good to go. Besides, when you want a good durability from your inflatable kayak, you have to buy the high-end ones that cost more. The cheaper ones won’t last longer than 4-5 years.
3. Can I use inflatable kayak in ocean?
Yes, you can use the inflatable kayak in the ocean but it will be hard to control if there are strong currents. However, if you are an expert, you can take your inflatable kayak to the ocean. Besides, buying a high-end inflatable kayak will make it easier.
4. Are inflatable kayaks safe?
Yes, they are safe if you use them in calmer water. But they are not that suitable for extreme weather conditions due to the lack of stability. You can still get a good outcome if you spend more bucks buying a good quality one.
Let’s Close It Off
Now that you are aware of what are the cons of inflatable kayak, you might get to your decision easily. Our suggestion will be to stick to it unless you want to race or compete. However, if you spend more, you can buy an inflatable kayak which will be as good as the hard-shell kayaks.