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The Inflatable Kayak For This Summer

Posted on June 17, 2021 by Sarah Lefort

We always look forward to the summer vacations but this year more than the previous ones. After being confined, we want to enjoy the fresh air and move. The kayak is perfect for that. However, owning a kayak is not always practical. Have you thought about an inflatable kayak? Ideal for people who want to go on occasional trips but don’t have the space to carry or store a rigid kayak. Did you ever give it a go?

What is the difference between an inflatable and a rigid kayak?

Inflatable kayaks are generally made of PVC, while rigid kayaks are made of fiberglass and carbon.

Inflatable kayaks are, contrary to what one might think, durable. Advances in production methods have led to extremely sturdy kayaks. High quality PVC kayaks are resistant to collisions and even sharp-edged objects such as dog claws.

The advantage of the inflatable kayak is that it can be easily transported and also stored. It takes up little space and is lighter in weight. Most inflatable kayaks can be carried in a bag, a trunk or even a boat. In just 10 minutes, your kayak will be ready for use in the water.

Inflatable Kajak Rockside Vulcain Supercharged, nootica.com

What are the uses for the inflatable kayak?

There are inflatable kayak models for every occasion:

  • For leisure (i.e. less than 2 hours per trip)
  • For more sporting activities such as hiking to remote areas or around a lake
  • For fishing
  • For rivers.

Choosing the right inflatable kayak

To choose a good inflatable kayak, you have to look at: the construction method, the number of passengers, the weight and the size.

The construction method

PVC: This material is used as a coating on polyester or nylon to increase strength. It is cheap, durable, easy to repair but not as resistant to chemicals and high temperatures. It is also not environmentally friendly.

Hypalon: This is the material chosen by many inflatable boat manufacturers as their exterior covering. It is the most durable choice available and resists UV rays and environmental factors better than any other. The disadvantage is its very high price.

Nitrylon: Some manufacturers have started to eliminate the use of PVC and use Nitrylon instead because it is a more environmentally friendly material. It is also stronger and more resistant, but heavier.

The number of passengers

Inflatable kayaks are available for 1, 2, 3 or 4 people! For couples, friends or even with children.

The weight

The main advantage of an inflatable kayak is that it is light. Compared to a rigid kayak, you will weigh about half, or 15 kilos less! In general, this type of kayak weighs about 13-15 kilos, which makes it easier to carry. The lightest ones can weigh as little as 7 kg, so they are very easy to transport.

However, choosing the right weight also depends on the number of people who will be embarking and the equipment you bring along.

The size

The longer an inflatable kayak is, the faster it glides.

If you are planning a kayak excursion in the river or if you simply want to use it in the sea, a shorter kayak is recommended. For a single person for example, it should measure between 2.40 and 3.90 meters.

For faster kayaks, they will measure between 4 and 5 meters long.

What equipment should I bring with me to use an inflatable kayak?

To be ready for a kayak session, to have fun while being safe, here’s what you need:

  • A kayak life jacket or PFD (Personal Flotation Device).
  • A pump to readjust the pressure in case of a long trip (favor an electric pump with a pressure gauge if you want to save time).
  • A storage bag adapted to your kayak (it is usually delivered with).
  • The leash that allows you to attach your paddle to your wrist. This will prevent it from disappearing into the water if you drop it.
  • You can also equip yourself with a waterproof bag and a waterproof phone pouch to load accessories, dry clothes and a picnic.

Take home message

There are many inflatable kayaks to choose from, so it’s important to be informed beforehand.

To get an idea of what inflatable kayaks are available, the online water sports store Nootica offers a wide selection of inflatable kayaks for all tastes.

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