Why Buy An Inflatable Kayak, Instead Of A Hard Shell?
So you’ve made the decision to purchase a kayak, but you’re undecided between an inflatable and a traditional hard shell kayak. You need not be concerned. Even the most experienced kayakers are divided over which of the two kayaks is the best.
Both inflatable and hard shell kayaks have benefits and drawbacks, but I prefer inflatable kayaks. Due to their affordability, stability, storage, and portability, they are excellent choices for beginners. That’s not all; I’ve listed the top eight reasons why an inflatable kayak is preferable to a hard shell kayak below. I hope that the information on this list will assist you in making an educated decision.
8 Reasons Why an Inflatable Kayak Is Better Than a Hard Shell Kayak
When compared to their hard-shell counterparts, most inflatable kayaks are less expensive. While a high-end inflatable kayak is not cheap, it is always less expensive than a high-quality traditional hard shell kayak. You get what you pay for once again. If you stretch your budget too far, you may end up with low-cost inflatables that will let you down. Even if it means spending more, go for high-quality inflatables. As a result, if you’re looking for an inflatable kayak under $500, make sure you’ve done your homework.
Ease of storage and portability
With inflatable kayaks, you don’t have to worry about storage or transportation. You can own and keep an inflatable boat even if you don’t have a large storage room, such as a shed or garage, or if you live in an apartment. You can easily deflate it, fold it up, and store it in your closet or under your bed.
Inflatables are also very easy to transport. While a traditional hard shell requires an expensive roof rack or trailer to transport, an inflatable kayak can be folded up and tossed into your trunk or backseat. Loading a hard shell kayak onto the vehicle’s roof and dragging it to the shore is, once again, a stressful experience. This is not the case with inflatables, which can be easily transported and inflated right at the beach.
A high degree of water stability
If you are a beginner, paddling a traditional hard shell kayak can easily capsize you. When you hit rocks, or when there are strong currents or storms, they quickly lose their stability.
Inflatable kayaks, on the other hand, have a higher level of water stability. They have wider beams and multiple air-filled chambers, making them more buoyant and difficult to flip. Inflatables bounce back when hit by hard surfaces like rocks, making them ideal for river paddling, whitewater kayaking, and beginners.
While hard-shell kayaks are known for their longevity, better-built inflatable kayaks can outlast them. High-pressure ‘drop-stitch technology,’ which creates a tough surface when the kayak is inflated, is used to make high-quality inflatable kayaks. In addition, the outer layers are made of polyvinyl chloride and rubber (PVC). The materials are abrasion-resistant, and they bounce back from obstacles to reduce punctures.
If you want to enjoy the durability of inflatable kayaks, don’t skimp. Invest more to get high-quality vessels, depending on the purpose. You can choose from inflatable fishing kayaks that can handle knives, fins, and hooks, or whitewater kayaks that can withstand a lot of abuse.
You’ll be sitting on hard surfaces in rigid kayaks, which can make you numb and uncomfortable after a few hours of paddling. Inflatables have a soft sitting surface that allows you to paddle for hours without losing your sense of balance.
In a kayak, the backrest plays a role in your comfort. Short backrests are common in rigid kayaks and can be extremely uncomfortable. Inflatables with a clip-in seat, on the other hand, provide back support while paddling. Furthermore, when taking a leisurely paddle, you can always recline the chair for a bit of rest.
After a swim, it’s also easy to climb back into an inflatable kayak. The pleasant and gentle edges are gentle on the skin. Rigid kayaks, on the other hand, can cause aches as you toss back to the boat due to the hard edges connecting the torsos and shins.
Lighter thus suitable for travel and best choice for women and children
Inflatable kayaks typically weigh between 25 and 30 pounds, making them easy to transport. You can easily travel with it because all you have to do is fold it up and put it in a checked bag. Traveling with your kayak will also save you money on rental and storage fees.
Kayaking is also suitable for children, women, and people with back problems. Inflatables are lightweight and easy to transport with little or no assistance. Hikers can also use inflatables to access awesome paddling spots that would otherwise be inaccessible with standard hard shells.
Super easy to repair
If you get a puncture while paddling an inflatable kayak, all you have to do is pull out your repair kit and patch it up. However, any damage to a traditional hard shell will necessitate professional assistance. Even rigid fiberglass boats, which require few repairs, will cost a lot of money to repair if they are damaged.
Buy an Inflatable Kayak: High load capacity
Don’t be fooled by an inflatable kayak’s lightweight; it can carry the same or even more weight than traditional hard shell yaks. It has a weight limit of 400-750 pounds, allowing it to accommodate large-bodied kayakers and their gear without sacrificing stability. Inflatable kayaks have a higher load capacity than traditional hard shell kayaks due to their buoyancy and wider beams.
Can you store inflatable kayaks in a garage?
Yes, an inflatable kayak can be stored in a garage. Indeed, having space in your garage allows you to keep the kayak inflated, which is recommended if you are not planning on keeping it for an extended period of time. The following are some of the benefits of keeping an inflatable kayak inflated:
- Less vulnerable to rodent damage. Rubber that has been deflated is much easier to nibble than rubber that has been inflated.
- As the air inside allows it to hold better, it protects the attachments and seams.
- Protect the tubing from punctures caused by sharp objects. Punctures are common in deflated tubes.
If you intend to keep the kayak for an extended period of time, it is best to deflate it, clean it, dry it, and place it in a storage bag before storing it. It will take up less space in the garage and can be stored in any dry and cool location away from the sun.
Buy an Inflatable Kayak: Can you kneel in an inflatable kayak?
Inflatables can be paddled while kneeling or sitting, just like a traditional hard shell boat. Paddling an inflatable kayak while kneeling is far more comfortable than paddling a hard-shell kayak. The air-filled bottom is soft on the knees and keeps cold water out.
Buy an Inflatable Kayak: Key Insights & Takeaway
Because of the numerous benefits they provide, inflatable kayaks are gradually taking over the market. Because of their lightweight, they are easy to store, transport, and use by women, children, and people with back problems. Furthermore, you do not need to spend a fortune to enjoy comfortable kayaking without having to worry about durability, stability, or load capacity. Also, don’t be concerned about bringing your dog on your inflatable kayak because they are extremely durable. However, if you want to make sure that your dog’s nails do not puncture the kayak, read some reviews of inflatable kayaks for dogs.
However, if you want to get the most out of your inflatable kayakers, you must be willing to spend a little more money for quality and an unrivaled experience in the water!
About the author:
Name: Ally Mash
Bio: Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through Adventures Pursuit. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.