Inflatable Vs. Folding Kayaks

Inflatable Vs. Folding Kayaks
Folding and inflatable kayaks are popular choices for water enthusiasts for a multitude of reasons. They are simple to use and are much easier to care for, transport and store than rigid kayaks.

Common Characteristics

Inflatable and folding kayaks are cheaper than their plastic counterparts. They need to be repaired more often than polyurethane kayaks because they do not have the same abrasion-resistance level. Both types of kayaks are easy to transport and store.


Inflatable kayaks lack rigid parts, so they often weigh less and fold down smaller than folding kayaks. Inflatables set up more quickly than folding kayaks.

Folding kayaks are faster and handle rough conditions and waves better than inflatables because you can roll them. They also have better gear storage capabilities than inflatables.

Which One to Choose

Your choice should be based on the type of kayaking that you like to do and where you like to go. For longer tours, choose the folding kayak, because of gear storage capabilities. If you will be paddling in rocky water, paddling for long periods or need speed, the folding kayak is your choice. Inflatables are great for paddling in rivers and short treks.

Article Written By Courtney Johnson

Courtney Johnson is a freelance sports writer and photographer based in California. Her articles and photos appear regularly in newspapers and magazines such as "Triathlete" and "Cross Country Skier." Johnson graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in media production and minor in writing. She is studying for her copy editing certificate at the University of San Diego.

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