Are Inflatable Kayaks Any Good? Measuring The Pros And Cons

Are Inflatable Kayaks Any Good? Measuring The Pros And Cons

Are inflatable kayaks any good? Yes, they provide many benefits for users. Many sports lovers, especially beginners, choose this type of kayak since it's portable, durable, stable, and versatile.

The equipment has many advantages overwhelming other water gear. Let’s consider its detailed pros and cons before making an informed purchase!

What Are the Benefits of Inflatable Kayaks?

Are inflatable kayaks any good? There are reasons why the answer is yes. Here are the advantages that make them overwhelm others:

  • Lightweight nature

Due to their heavy weight, hard shell kayaks are difficult to carry, particularly when loading or unloading from car roof racks. It especially poses challenges for older people. Meanwhile, inflatable kayaks offer lighter weight and ease of carrying. They usually weigh between 30 and 40 pounds, making it a suitable choice to save your physical strength for water activities.

  • Weight capacity

Compared to hardshell kayaks, inflatable kayaks can support much heavier loads—up to 400 pounds on average and up to 1000 pounds on more expensive versions.

  • Compact size

Inflatable kayaks are popular due to their compact size. Users can easily fold them into a backpack or store them in a limited space. They are also suitable for small cars and do not require any roof racks or crossbars.

  • Durability

It's a common misconception that inflatable kayaks are easily damaged or punctured because of their air-filled construction. But thanks to modern technology and strong rubber and PVC materials, they are sturdy and resilient enough to survive such challenges.

  • Stability

Unlike pool floats that split in half under heavy weight, inflatable kayaks are not the same. They can be strong, rigid, and stable if the air inside them is sufficiently full (measured in pounds per square inch, or PSI).


Plus, they usually feature wider beams, which make it hard for them to capsize and offer necessary stability in water.

  • Versatility

Thanks to its compact size, you can bring your inflatable kayaks anywhere and access some spots where a hardshell is impossible.

  • Ideal choice for novices

Are inflatable kayaks any good? Yes, they have many advantages that a beginner can benefit from. Since inflatable kayaks are inherently buoyant, stable, and portable, it's easier for newbies to learn kayaks.

  • Affordability

Inflatable kayaks are cost-effective compared to traditional hardshell kayaks, making them an excellent choice for budget-conscious individuals or beginners uncertain about investing heavily in the sport.

What Are the Disadvantages of Inflatable Kayaks?

Everything has its pros and cons, and so does the inflatable kayak. Some users may find issues with it, including:

  • Controlling issue

Heavy hard shell kayaks offer better control under wind, strong currents, and choppy water conditions. But thanks to the improvement in inflatable technology, "higher-end" inflatables aren't far behind.

  • Limited onboard storage

Inflatable kayaks have mesh pockets, tie-down spots, and bungee cords. However, there is no space for a dry storage hatch.

  • Extra preparation

Unlike heavy hardshell kayaks, inflatable ones require one more preparation step: inflating. The process takes only a couple of minutes, but it also prevents you from jumping in the spot immediately. Plus, you must bring a pump with you to inflate your kayak before using it.

  • After-use required caring

You can't just strap your inflatable kayak on the car's roof and head home. You need to let it dry before deflating to avoid unwanted smells when you use it next time.

Are Inflatable Kayaks a Good Investment?

Considering all the pros and cons, purchasing an inflatable kayak is a good investment. It provides the necessary performance and other side benefits, making the 10 minutes of inflating the kayak worth it.

Are Inflatable Kayaks a Good Investment?

The market has various options, ranging from $60 to $2000. If you haven't decided what to get, take a look at iROKCER's inflatable kayaks. We offer high-quality products for portability, convenience, and performance.

Inflatable Kayaks Vs. Hardshell Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are a popular choice for those looking to get on the water. They are affordable, easier to transport, and store. Though they might not be seen as status symbols like costly boats, they are great vessels for discovering the waves.

Inflatable Kayaks Vs. Hardshell Kayaks


Are inflatable kayaks any good? Since they are wider, inflatable kayaks are usually more stable than hardshell kayaks. However, they are slower and may not move as straight as hardshell kayaks.

Inflatable kayakers should paddle more carefully to avoid punctures. While inflatable kayaks are a good choice for flat-water adventure, hardshell kayaks are better for whitewater.

Inflatable Kayak Vs. Inflatable SUP

Inflatable stand up paddle boards are typically slower and more difficult to maneuver than kayaks. Since SUPs are easy to capsize, using them as a splashing and workout tool is preferable during warm weather. In colder weather, inflatable kayaks will keep you fairly dry.

Inflatable Kayak Vs. Inflatable SUP

Stand-up paddle boarding requires more core strength, while kayaking can bring you to the same destination with less effort. However, many people still prefer SUPs owing to their aesthetic appeal, health benefits, and trendy look.

One more difference is the price tag. Paddle boards often cost more than kayaks.

So to find out what equipment is suitable for you, you need to consider several factors such as your preferences, purposes of use, practicality, and budget.

⇒ Maybe you’ll be interested in: Paddle Board Vs Kayak: Which is Best?

Inflating and Deflating Your Kayak

Users need more preparation for inflatable kayaks than hard shell kayaks, mainly for the inflating and deflating process. A pump is required to provide the desired PSI. Filling up the air will take around 10 minutes.

Also, ensure the kayak is dry and clean before deflating and storing it. Otherwise, it will be wet and have an unpleasant smell next time.

Final Words on Are Inflatable Kayaks Any Good?

Are inflatable kayaks any good? Yes, they are. They're suitable for those looking for durability, mobility, and ease of use. Their compact size makes them ideal for long-distance travel and limited space storage. Though inflatable kayaks are not as tough as premium hardshell kayaks, they're still a good option because of their cost and versatility.

If you're considering which water equipment to use, visit iROCKER to choose an option and have a wonderful experience.


An inflatable kayak has many benefits. If you’re still wondering about its usage and storage method, here are some FAQs with answers to clear your doubt.

How Safe Are Inflatable Kayaks?

Inflatable kayaks are safe when used correctly and in suitable water conditions. They include several air chambers for flotation, making them strong and reliable. But it's important to pay attention to the weather and shield the kayaks from sharp items like oysters since they can be punctured.

How to Store Inflatable Kayak?

After deflating your kayak, fold the sides first and then roll it up so you'll not create any fold line. Unroll it at home, rinse it in clean water, and let it air dry before rolling it up again.

How Easily Do Inflatable Kayaks Get Punctured?

They can be punctured, but you can use it safely for a long time with proper use and care. Modern inflatable kayaks can last 7 to 10 years with adequate care. Yet, your kayak won't survive longer than two years if you don't give proper maintenance.

Is Fishing from an Inflatable Kayak Possible?

Inflatable kayaks are a convenient and portable option for fishing, especially for those seeking remote locations. They are comfortable and simple to set up for a day on the water, with features like adjustable seats, rod holders, and plenty of gear storage.


 Inflatable kayaks are a great option for any river since they offer a stable platform for landing large fish. These kayaks are a great option for people who want to enjoy the sport on the water since they are frequently more portable and sturdy than standard hardshell kayaks.

Are Inflatable Kayaks Stable and Easy to Paddle?

Yes, they are stable, thanks to their large and flat hulls. They're also easy to use and suitable for beginners.

Are Inflatable Kayaks Suitable for Ocean Use?

Inflatable kayaks are ideal for exploring ocean beaches and estuaries due to their lightweight, portable, and easy maneuverability. However, to ensure durability and safety, you need to select a kayak specifically made for this purpose. Research the conditions where you plan to kayak to choose a suitable one and take safety measures while exploring.