Outdoor sports activities have gained quite a lot of popularity of late. If there is one activity that is safer and more fun outside – it is kayaking. It certainly has boosted huge interest among the people.

If you‘re a beginner and searching for the best kayak for your kayaking trip then you will find yourself loaded with a lot of information and buying guide. As many kayakers are now spouting out quite conflicting information regarding different types of kayaks and endless benefits, you will feel lost in the end.  There are many pros and cons of owning and using the inflatable kayak model. Let us check them out below:

Pros of Inflatable Kayaks

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak

Easy to Store

An inflatable kayak can be deflated & packed in a storage bag and is easy to store in the closet. A person living in a small space can easily store the kayak away with no problems.

Highly Portable

Did you ever haul any hard shell kayak over the roof rack or to a trailer? It is the most tiring work. Think of repeating the entire exercise when you have rowed and paddled for more than five hours. It is the hard shell kayak. But, an inflatable kayak can easily be stored in the car & inflated in just 10 minutes close to the lake. Suppose you’re headed to the international waters, then inflatables can be your luggage allowance. Also, you do not have to pay anything extra.

Rugged Construction

There are a lot of inflatable kayak brands today that design the best quality and rugged kayaks, which will take the real beating & last a long time. They’re no longer pool toys, they’re the real boats that will withstand any wear and tear which includes dog paws.


That depends on the model you choose, most of the branded kayaks are made with a broader base and, are highly stable. The beginners & experienced kayakers like this feature. Most of the inflatable kayaks have a pump (hand pump, foot pump, and electric pump), some have got built-in gauge. Suppose yours does not include it, then you must buy the pump that will measure psi and ensure air chambers are rightly inflated (ensure you are not over-inflating that will damage its internal septums).


There is an inflatable kayak for everybody. You will find them in different shapes, sizes, and features. There’re sit-on and sit-in models, open-styled, solo, family kayaks, canoes, paddle boards as well as self-bailing kayaks. They are highly versatile and used for everything rihgt from rowing, paddling, white waters & fishing.


The better quality inflatable kayaks practically are unsinkable, providing the inflatable kayak that you choose has got multiple air chambers included. Suppose you happen to puncture its air chamber, then other chambers will stay inflated & keep your vessel afloat, although you likely cannot paddle your boat until it is repaired.

Extremely Lightweight

The best thing about the inflatable kayak is it typically does not way much but will hold a good amount of weight. Solo inflatable kayak usually will be carried easily by a person & is simple to get to water than the hard-shell kaya.


Inflatable kayaks have been much cheaper than the hard shell ones. But, it is recently that this gap in the performance got bridged by the introduction of newer materials such as Nitrylon and Hypalon. Today, it’s possible to get a good inflatable kayak for 50% of the cost of the hard shell kayak option. Be aware that the quality of your kayak depends highly on its price.

Also Read: 7 Best One Person Inflatable Kayaks

Cons of Inflatable Kayaks

Intex 68310VM Dakota K2

Tough To Maneuver In Rough Terrain

Standard kayak is normally much faster & simple to maneuver in rough conditions than the inflatable one. As an inflatable kayak sits over the top and not much in it they will get buffed over by the strong winds. But, an upside is it makes them to fish the shallower waters.


Another valid cons about inflatable kayaks is that they generally tend to be a bit wider than the regular kayak. Width may allow more stability but can take away its speed. I do not mind as I do not desire to get dunked underwater, however, there are a few kayakers who like their long paddling machines.


Inflatable technology now has come a very long way. Though you can get an efficient and speedy inflatable kayak model for activities such as kayak touring, when it is about an average inflatable kayak, generally paddlers will not get the same performance as the hard-shell kayaks.

For instance, other factors being quite equal, a hard-shell kayak can be much faster than the inflatable kayak. It is in part because of an inherent flex in the inflatable designs that translates to the loss of speed. But, for an average recreational user, it is not an important factor.

Loss Of Air

Even though these products normally are quite durable, punctures or leaks can or do happen on several occasions. There’re ways you can repair them hence it does not mean you will need to buy a brand new kayak. It will be inconvenient sometimes, though.

Get Affected by Strong Current Winds

Like a light kayak or canoe may get pushed over more by waves and wind, the inflatable kayaks that are lighter-weight than the hard-shells—will be highly impacted by the adverse conditions on the water. The shape of the inflatable kayaks contributes to the susceptibility to waves and wind compared to the hard-shell kayaks that have much sleeker profiles, which allow them to readily cut over such conditions.

Final Words

Perhaps the highly valuable benefit that many local retailers offer is the ability to demo various models. Nothing can give you enough confidence about making the right purchase than trying out the kayak that you have in your mind. Make sure you check out these pros and cons before going ahead with your purchase.

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