How to Choose an Inflatable Kayak

How to Choose an Inflatable Kayak
For kayakers who don't have the space to store a hard-shell kayak or who enjoy traveling to different kayaking locales but don't want to pay the freight, an inflatable kayak is an excellent option. Today's inflatable kayaks perform almost as well as hard-shells and come with many options. Choosing an inflatable kayak is similar to choosing a hard-shell one: You will need to determine how you will be using the kayak in order to find the best one for you.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Consider the type of kayaking you enjoy. Inflatable kayaks are available whether you enjoy whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking or simple recreational kayaking on calm water. Most inflatable kayaks tend to do better in one particular type of water, however, so it's important to know ahead of time what kind of kayaking you plan to do.
Step 2
Ask yourself whether you will be kayaking solo or with someone else. Inflatable kayaks can be solo or tandem, or you can get one that coverts to either style. If you think you might enjoy bringing someone along with you from time to time, consider getting one that you can convert.
Step 3
Consider the weight of the inflatable kayak. The major reason for choosing an inflatable over a hard-shell is that an inflatable kayak is more portable and easier to store. While inflatable kayaks generally weigh less than hard-shell kayaks, this isn't always the case. It's important to check the weight so you don't end up purchasing a kayak that will be too heavy for you to carry.
Step 4
Determine your budget. There is a misconception that inflatable kayaks are cheaper than hard-shell kayaks. Inflatable kayaks can range in price from $200 for a basic model to more than $1,500 for a high-performance boat.

Tips & Warnings

If possible, see if you can test the inflatable kayak on water before you buy it.

Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen

Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.

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