Kayaks are fantastic at getting one or more people out and paddling on the water. They can be lightweight, easy to transport and provide a lot of durability and resilience. If you’re planning to take on a calm lake or heady white water rapid, you’re going to need the best seafaring equipment money can buy. If you don’t have the room or physical ability to use a solid kayak or canoe, why not try an inflatable model?
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Inflatable kayaks may sound flimsy to some people, but innovation and design have evolved massively over the years. Seasoned paddlers all over the world use inflatable kayaks to take to some of the world’s choppiest waters. However, you may just be wanting to take a simple sail downstream. Regardless of where or how you’d like to take to the water, an inflatable boat may be right up your street.
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Inflatable Kayak Buying Guide For 2020
In this buyer’s guide, we will take a look at all the essentials you’ll need to know. At the end, we will also be answering some frequently asked questions posed by first-time shoppers.
Inflatable Kayak Types
As with everyday kayaks and canoes, inflatable boats are generally split into categories. These can be used to identify where they will be most perfect for use.
White water kayaks are streamlined to offer the best stability in quick, choppy waters. They are relatively slow to manoeuvre, but this is because ease of navigation is a must. The last thing you want is a kayak which is too fast to handle turbulent waters.
Recreational kayaks are more of an all-around choice. These are great for beginners and are typically built to be very wide for ease of use. The wider the kayak, the less likely it will capsize. These kayaks are also often the most affordable and are perfect for gentle, everyday trips on the water.
Touring kayaks are the next step up for more confident paddlers. These boats are built for long trips, or for those which require enhanced speed. They are long and thin and are often low on storage options. They are made to tackle more dangerous waters such as open seas. However, you should always think about using a white water boat for those specific adventures.
Why Buy an Inflatable Kayak?
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to invest in an inflatable kayak. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned paddler, you may find that this type of boat completely changes the way you look at taking to the water.
• Inflatable kayaks are lightweight and easy to compact.
• They are also very easy to transport and to store. Many can be flattened down and/or folded up.
• Some can be converted from one person to two people and back again. They can be very versatile.
• They are very easy to set up and get started with – simply inflate them to full size, and away you go!
Things to Consider
However, there are also a few points you may wish to consider, too. While inflatable kayaks offer plenty of manoeuvrability on the water and will pack down easily, there may be a few reasons why they may not be appropriate for your adventures.
• Inflatable kayaks are not always the most robust or durable.
• Some may pale in comparison to full kayaks in terms of directional capability.
• Some inflatable kayaks may not be too comfortable for two or more people.
However, these issues may vary from boat to boat. Be sure to compare them and to choose the right model which fits your needs. Read verified reviews, too, to get a good idea of what to expect once you’ve made your purchase.
When buying an inflatable kayak, you should think carefully about when and where you are likely to use it. The following features are what you should be ready to compare when shopping around.
For ease of manoeuvre and ease of transport, you should be thinking carefully about the weight of your inflatable kayak. Be sure to look for the total weight of a boat once inflated and set up, and pay attention to what other users have to say.
Ease of Setup
Most inflatable kayaks are very easy to set up and take to the water. This is one of the major factors people bear in mind when buying them. However, some are more complex than others to get up and running. Therefore, do look out for simpler models if you are just getting started.
Not all inflatable kayaks will have room for much storage. Those built for streamlined, speedy sailing may not be best for paddlers with plenty to carry. Recreational kayaks, generally, will support you in this way.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are likely to be lots of questions you want to ask when you are buying an inflatable kayak for the first time. Here are just a few of the more common queries posed by buyers.
How Much Should I Pay for an Inflatable Kayak?
This will depend on the type of kayak you wish to buy, and whether or not you opt for the biggest brands. Generally, a good inflatable kayak should cost you between £50-£100 at opening range, extending to more than this for the best features.
Why Should I Buy an Inflatable Kayak?
As mentioned, inflatable boats have lots of positives. They are easy to store, transport and set back up again. They are ideal for people who don’t have much room!
Which Type of Kayak Should I Buy?
This will depend on what you are hoping to use it for! If you are going for gentle paddles, buy a recreational boat. More advanced trips will likely need touring kayaks.
While it may not seem that an inflatable kayak is the best way to take to the water, you’d be surprised. Take a look at the choice of boats available and get exploring the wide-open waters around you!