All About Inflatable Kayaks

If you love outdoor sports, you will be really enthusiastic about kayaking. There is hardly anything better than spending a day on the water.

Kayaking is at the same time an excellent strength and swagtron t3 amazon endurance training as well as a moment in which you can really switch off – no wonder kayaks are so popular.

For the explanation of how it works, the comparison to the air mattress is practical. In fact, modern inflatables – as inflatable kayaks are also called – are rock hard.

Advances in production processes have turned the initially wobbly inflatable boats into robust and durable kayaks, whose driving characteristics increasingly resemble classic fixed kayaks.

The great advantages of inflatable kayaks lie in transport and storage. Unlike fixed kayaks, an inflatable does not require a free-standing garage or elaborate harness systems to always attach the boat to the wall or ceiling.

Everyone will find space for another backpack at home. If necessary, the bag fits safely under the bed.

The low price provides additional temptation. The cost of a fixed kayak quickly goes into the hundreds to thousands of euros. Excellent inflatable kayaks, on the other hand, are already available for around 100 €.

The manufacturers have recognized the great demand. After all, the inflatables now make up the majority of the kayaks sold.

Guide: Choosing an Inflatable

With kayaks you can ride on all kinds of waters. From calm lakes in the neighborhood to rivers with gentle currents to coastal waters with waves or whitewater passages, everything is possible with the right equipment.

The lightweight and comfortable transport of inflatable kayaks will benefit you because it makes it easier to get to the water or transfer the boat.

Especially beginners often wonder which kayaks are suitable for which purpose. In fact, there are different types of inflatable kayaks as well.

In addition to these types of applications, a number of other properties play an important role. If you want to buy an inflatable kayak, you also have to pay attention to the material used.


The material has a great influence on the weight, robustness, and durability and also affects the driving characteristics of inflatable kayaks.

Furthermore, the shell should be as thick as possible to withstand collisions and sharp objects.

PVC is most often used in the construction of inflatable kayaks. The robust material withstands the constant folding and unfolding. Kayaks made of PVC are inflated to fairly large air pressure. Polyvinyl chloride (the full name of PVC) is a multi-layer structure.

A crack or hole in one of the layers can be easily repaired with a PVC patch. PVC is considered a cheap and durable material. For this reason, many beginner kayaks are made of it.

Fairly new material is polyurethane. It has not been used for long in the construction of water sports equipment but is still convinced with its enormous robustness and longevity.

Polyurethane is particularly resistant to punctual loads and abrasions. Compared to PVC, however, repairing a kayak made of polyurethane is more complex. In addition, the purchase of polyurethane kayaks is more expensive.


Weight plays an important role in the choice of a canoe. It determines how complex the transport is. Inflatable kayaks fit in a backpack, but not much is said about the weight yet.

The weight varies from model to model. The size significantly influences how much a kayak weighs.

Inflatable kayaks weigh 7 to 20 kilograms. If you are traveling without a car and have to carry the backpack with the kayak over longer distances, you should look for a light kayak.

On longer kayak trips that require a transfer of the boat, a lightweight kayak is also handy.


A typical inflatable kayak is 2.75 to 4 meters long. Multi-person kayaks are longer than solo kayaks. The more elongated the design, the higher speeds can be achieved.

However, stability suffers somewhat. Beginners and still inexperienced kayakers, therefore, choose a shorter and wider kayak for the start in the best case.

Maximum payload

Most inflatable kayaks carry between 100 and 300 kilograms.

If you want to buy an inflatable kayak, you should consider your own body weight, the weight of the equipment, the provisions, the luggage, the life jacket, and of the (wet) clothing when planning.

Kayak anglers, for example, have to plan an additional 10 to 20 kilograms. The fishing equipment alone can weigh around 5 kilograms. The carrying capacity indicates the highest possible payload.

It is also not helpful to exhaust this upper limit to a few kilograms. If the load is too high, the driving characteristics suffer. The kayak behaves sedately.

It is less maneuverable and high speeds can only be achieved with great effort.


Storing an inflatable kayak is straightforward. A fixed kayak quickly measures more than 3.5 meters. In their living space, probably only a few find space for such a large object.

Most kayakers use wall mounts or harness systems to attach fixed kayaks to the wall or ceiling.

An inflatable, on the other hand, can simply be rolled up and stowed in a (large) backpack. And after all, everyone has enough space for another backpack.

Solo or Tandem Inflatable?

Choosing between one and two kayaks is the basis for finding an inflatable kayak. If you often go on tour with someone anyway, it is best to use a tandem kayak.

However, we would like to note that driving a kayak together is quite challenging. The paddle strokes of both paddlers must be synchronous.

Otherwise, you will only zigzag or constantly collide with the paddles.

If you are primarily planning solo adventures, one kayak is the right choice. the small kayaks can be easily driven by a single person. Inflatable solo kayaks don’t weigh much, are maneuverable, and are easy to paddle.

Small families or a group of friends can now also ride on inflatable kayaks for three people.


In addition to kayaks, a number of accessories are included in the scope of delivery. When buying, make sure that the following things are mentioned in the product description:

Air pump: A kayak air pump is needed in any case to make the kayak ready for use.

Paddle: Up to two kayak paddles are included. Good double-sided paddles are as stable, durable, and light as possible.

Finn: Some kayaks come with a removable fin. A mounted fin improves the directional stability of the kayak.

Paddle holder: Paddle holders for kayaks are small clips into which a paddle can be clamped. It’s a handy extra that benefits kayak anglers in particular.

Fishing rod holder: The rod holders also increase the comfort of kayak fishing. The fishing rod can be attached to the holders. This way you have your hands free or can fish with several fishing rods at the same time.

Life jacket: For beginners, advanced, and paddlers who are traveling in turbulent waters, a life jacket is highly recommended. In an emergency, the Vests are real lifesavers.

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