Kayaks have been a recreational mainstay, and a necessary part of gear for indigenous tribes, for centuries. They’re small and relatively affordable in comparison to boats, don’t require much to transport, and are generally more than enough for one or two people to enjoy a voyage in.
However, a new type of kayak has been picking up steam over the last few years: Inflatable kayaks.
Inflatable kayaks are kayaks that can be aired up like balloons when you use them, but they can be deflated and packed away when not in use.
This allows for a number of advantages over traditional options, but when should you actually choose one over an old plastic or wooden kayak?
Let’s take a look.
1: To Save Money
Inflatable kayaks, even premium models with all the bells and whistles, are typically cheaper than hard options. This is because of the way they’re manufactured. The manufacturer doesn’t need to carve out large sections of wood, mold and pour plastic, or do anything else that’s complicated. They more or less follow the same simple production process as they do for inflatable pools or balloon playhouses; the difference is that an inflatable kayak is made a bit more robust.
If you’re looking to find a cheap entryway into kayaking, or you just can’t afford a solid fishing vessel, an inflatable can be the affordable entry point you need.
2: Transportation Requirements
Even though kayaks are a lot more portable than sailboats, bass boats, and other vessels, they can still be problematic to transport. If you’re only able to travel via a normal sedan or similar small vehicle, you might have to get creative to transport a kayak; if you’re able to transport it at all.
An inflatable saves the day in this regard. You can fold the deflated kayak up into a pretty small package, stow it in the backseat or trunk of your car with ease, travel to the body of water you want to kayak on, and then use a portable inflator to inflate your kayak on the spot.
Obviously, this means that you’ll need to have a portable compressor, and you’ll have to spend a little time inflating it before you can get on the water, but it does resolve the issue many people have with getting a kayak to the water in the first place.
3: Weight Limitations
Kayaks, even the smaller ones, are quite heavy. This is especially true if you use a traditional wood kayak. That can create some major problems if you’re older, suffer an injury that prevents you from lifting a lot of weight, or are otherwise unable to lift substantial amounts of weight without serious problems.
Inflatable kayaks are easier to carry by far. They can be somewhat heavy, especially if you buy the bigger models, but they’re way lighter than traditional kayaks, and almost everyone will have no problem getting their inflatable kayak into the water.
Try an Inflatable
Old-school kayaks still have a place in the recreational world. They’re more durable, and they can last practically forever. However, inflatables have a number of benefits to traditional options, and for many, it’s worth picking up an inflatable kayak.