How to Choose the Best Inflatable Boat without Spending a Fortune
With an inflatable kayak, you have a versatile “boat” that’s light enough to transport, carry or store your things. If you are thinking of getting an inflatable kayak any time soon, there some things you have to consider which are all discussed here.
The type of kayaking you want determines, in part, the kind of kayak you should buy. Inflatable kayaks have a range of designs so you’ll definitely not have a hard time finding one that you like. But you first have to decide on the kind of paddling you plan to do because these designs come in both sit-in performance-oriented and sit-on-top types.
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
Our favorite one person kayak for 2016
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Our favorite tandem kayak for 2016
Coleman Quikpak(TM) K1 1-Person Kayak
Slightly more expensive than the others but a great 'yak!
If what you want is to paddle in locations that have a lot of current, wind or waves, the best investment you can have is in an inflatable kayak that is performance-oriented. If, however, paddling in flat water on rivers and lakes is more your preference, any inflatable kayak will be suitable for this kind of activity. Another thing you have to consider is whether you will go kayaking in tandem with other people or solo.
Tandem inflatable kayaks are perfect if you want to share it with a partner. If you want your own from time to time to explore hidden coves and such locations, it may be difficult to maneuver a tandem kayak on your own because you aren’t sitting in the middle. A tandem-solo convertible is your best bet because it is designed to address issues such as these by enabling you to do adjustments to the seats.
If you plan to carry or transport an inflatable kayak on a plane or in your backpack, remember that weight and size vary in a deflated kayak. Weight will be another issue if you paddle solo since you need to get into and out of it by yourself. Additionally, inflatable kayaks vary in price points. If the kayak that you plan to buy is out of your budget at the moment, what you can do is just get a cheaper one and stick to less challenging waters for now.
Sevylor Tahiti Classic Kayak – The Sevylor Tahiti Classic Kayak by Coleman has multiple air chambers to allow one chamber to remain inflated in case another gets punctured. This kayak is constructed with a 21-gauge PVC that can be safely used to paddle in rugged lakes. Inflation and deflation are easy to do with the Double Lock and Mini Double Lock mechanisms.
It has a comfortable backrest, spray covers that block water splashes to keep you dry, and carry handles that make it a breeze for you to put it in or out of the water. Its Airtight System guarantees that there will be no potential leaks in this particular model. Its yellow color helps to keep it visible while you are out with it on the water.
With a maximum capacity of 360 pounds and dimensions of 10 feet and 4 inches of length, 2 feet and 9 inches of beam, and a weight of 19 pounds, this kayak can be quickly assembled and disassembled. Moreover, its pointed bow complements steady paddling regardless if you do so solo or in tandem with a partner.
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak – This durable, nimble kayak, with attractive graphics, is constructed of welded, sturdy material for safety on slow-moving rivers or lakes. Its cockpit has maximized space and inflatable I-beam floors for stability while in use. It has a grab line on both of its ends plus a cargo net for storing additional gear.
Measuring 30 inches (width) by 15 inches (height) by 108 inches (depth), the Challenger K1 Kayak’s inflatable seat is equipped with a backrest and has a maximum capacity of 220 pounds. It comes with a repair patch, a hand pump with high output, and an aluminum oar that measures all of 84 inches.
This inflatable kayak by Intex, at 27.2 pounds, has been streamlined with a low profile design that is ideal for individuals who want to go solo kayaking. The inflatable I-beam flooring is designed for both rigidity and comfort while it is in use. Refolding it is easy; all you have to do is fold the kayak in thirds (long way) and roll it up.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak – The Explorer K2 Kayak by Intex is designed for two persons and is low profiled for use on mild rivers and lakes. The newest model of the Sport Series from Intex, this kayak features a thick, 30-gauge and solid I-beam floor that is resistant against salt water, oil, sunlight, and gasoline.
It has a backrest – with a hidden compartment behind it – that has an inflatable, adjustable seat. Simply remove its middle seat to convert it into a solo kayak. You stay afloat in this kayak because it has separate air chambers, one in its main hull and the other one in its floor.
It also has a removable skeg for the user’s directional stability. Measuring 23 inches by 36 inches by 20 inches and weighing 30.4 pounds, this kayak comes with a couple of 86-inch aluminum paddles, a repair kit, two fully-adjustable seats with backrest, a dual action air pump with triple nozzles that can interconnect, and a carrying bag.
Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak – This kayak from Advanced Elements has a compact design with unique features like the fixed rigid forms of the stern and bow that cut through waves to keep you on your course while increasing your performance and an out cover that provides additional durability.
It has lacing on its bungee deck, a skeg tracking fin, rubber molded grip handles, and an accessory pocket. Additionally, it has advanced inflation valves, a landing plate, splash diverter, and a welded perimeter seam. Measuring 7 feet 10 inches (length) by 35 inches (width), the Firefly weighs 16 pounds and has a capacity of 250 pounds.
This kayak, built with a heavy-duty main chamber of PVC, high-flow spring valve, and Twistlok valves comes in yellow with blue and includes an owner’s manual, a repair kit, and a duffel bag when purchased. It is easily stored in your home closet or carried in your car’s trunk once it has been deflated.
Coleman Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak – Pack food and additional gear in this kayak’s cargo net while you keep a drink in its cup holder. With its lift handle, you can carry this kayak easily even over shallow water. The kayak’s shape is kept solid by the flat bottom, rigid floor, and three chambers which provide additional security in case snagging occurs.
Measuring 8 feet 7 inches by 3 feet, this kayak has a holding capacity of up to 400 pounds. Purchase of the Quikpak includes a hand pump with high pressure and a paddle which can be broken down for convenient storage. The backpack system, incidentally, is convertible to become the seat.
Its reinforced, thick PVC bottom is an integral part of its Airtight System® that guarantees no leaks. Inflation or deflation is easy and quick with this kayak’s Mini Double Lock and Double Lock Fast Valves. Moreover, its tarpaulin bottom guarantees reliable protection against punctures.
Buyers Guide – How to Choose from the Best Inflatable Kayaks if You’re on a Budget
If you have never owned an inflatable kayak before, remember the first rule of buying: buying cheap does not necessarily mean buying twice because there are, in fact, excellent kayaks that fit budgets. You just have to be sure you know how to separate the chaff from the wheat. There kayaks which are workhorses on rivers and lakes and there are those which are limited as mantle décor for your home.
The best beginner’s kayak is the inflatable kind. It’s portable and versatile. You can use one regardless of what activity you plan to pursue for the day. Inflatable kayaks are less expensive than the hard-sided versions. Additionally, they are really exceptionally durable and are simpler and easier to maneuver. An inflatable kayak, by the way, may prove ineffective if you prep it up with unnecessary accessories or gear.
Deflated and folded, you can store your inflatable kayak in your car’s trunk or take it when you travel via airplane. You can store it practically anywhere when you aren’t using it because it is amazingly lightweight. You might be asking yourself, “are inflatable kayaks safe?” Yes, they are; none have been reported to this date to have sunk, unless there are big holes in more than one of its chambers.
One way to find out which type of kayak will be suitable for your needs is to give those you have shortlisted a try before you even think of purchasing one. This you can do by simply renting one out and doing comparisons. Some kayaks are great performers on rolling rivers but not when there are windy conditions that are up and about. Determine what kind of kayaking you plan to engage in first then figure out the budget.