How to buy inflatable kayaks
An inflatable kayak buying guide
Kayaking is not only an excellent way to have some fun while out on the water but it is also a great form of exercise. Before you attempt to go kayaking, however, it's important for you to choose the best inflatable kayak for your needs. The materials, sizes and accessories available are all considerations to keep in mind when determining how to buy an inflatable kayak.
>> Where will you be using your inflatable kayak?
Your first consideration when you buy an inflatable kayak is where you will use it. Inflatable kayak brands design their boats for a variety of water conditions. For example, some are built specifically for calm waters. If you are planning on venturing out on streams or slow-moving rivers, a touring style may be the best inflatable kayak for you. Many also enjoy going out onto the rougher waters where kayaking becomes much more of an extreme sport. The best inflatable kayaks for navigating through rapids feature wider bodies for increased safety.
>> What are you using your inflatable kayak for?
Just as you need to consider where you will use your inflatable kayak, you also need to think about how you will use it. If you enjoy fishing and marine activities but live in an area with rough waters, you will want to buy an inflatable kayak that will perform well in those conditions. Along with its thin body, a sea kayak includes additional design features such as a spray cover to protect your personal belongings. On the other hand, perhaps you are looking to do some exploring on calm waters and don't want to be strapped in too tightly. In this case, one with a sit-on-top design will be the best inflatable kayak for you. As its name suggests, this style allows you to get in and out with ease.
>> Consider the types of inflatable kayaks
When determining how to buy an inflatable kayak, keep in mind that there are many different types from which to choose. An inflatable kayak comparison will result in a variety of sizes, accessories and features. Fishing kayaks, for example, are useful as fishing boats and are easily portable. They have a rounded design and are extremely stable. Fishing kayaks also offer additional useful features such as an area to hold your tackle box and rod holders. Whitewater kayaks, another type, are appropriate for those who enjoy rough water conditions. Because of their shorter length, you have improved stability around objects like jutting rocks and fallen trees. This design also features numerous holes that drain excess water to prevent the kayak from filling up. Those who enjoy venturing out onto the water with other people will also want to check out three-person kayaks. Even with the added weight of an additional person, this type of kayak features a slim design that allows it to slip quickly through the water.
>> Consider the materials
Inflatable kayak brands use a variety of materials in kayak construction, and each material plays a key role in cost, durability and weight. For instance, many top-rated folding kayaks are comprised of nitrylon rubber. This type of rubber is beneficial because it not only withstands extremely cold temperatures but it also offers resistance against many types of oils and abrasion. One of the most common types of materials used for inflatable kayaks is known as polyethylene. Along with its low cost, polyethylene is thick and flexible, which makes it very simple to repair. Another popular choice of material is PVC. This is often used because it resists abrasion and does not puncture easily.
>> What kayak size are you looking for?
Inflatable kayak brands offer boats in a variety of sizes that differ in terms of length, width and overall thickness. As far as length is concerned, buy an inflatable kayak that is appropriate for the level of stability and speed that you need. Whitewater kayaks, for instance, typically measure less than 12 feet in length. These shorter kayaks are easier to control when on the water and are typically lighter. Smaller-sized kayaks also work well for transporting smaller passengers like children because of their slower speed. Longer kayaks are over 13 feet in length. Kayaks with long lengths, such as touring kayaks, are able to carry heavier amounts of weight and also glide much more quickly through the water.
Keep in mind as you buy an inflatable kayak that widths can vary, as well. Again, this specification depends on your overall boating needs. For example, wide kayaks allow passengers to get in and out with ease, and they provide a bit more stability. Narrower kayaks, although much lighter, also require much less effort while paddling.
>> Think about comfort and seating
Comfort and seating are two other important aspects that you must also keep in mind when you buy an inflatable kayak. First of all, determine your desired cockpit size. The conditions that you plan to kayak in and the size of your passengers will determine the appropriate cockpit size. Those with smaller-sized cockpits will be the best inflatable kayaks for keeping small children secure. On the other hand, those with larger-sized cockpits will be the best inflatable kayaks for larger passengers. The extra room can also double as an area to store your gear.
The seat sizes in inflatable kayaks can also vary. The seats can easily be removed, and many even come with additional foam padding to cushion your back. Thigh padding can also be used to add a layer of protection between the boat and your thighs for added comfort.
>> Are you looking for additional accessories?
A final aspect to consider when you buy an inflatable kayak is if there are any accessories that you need or desire, as well. Many inflatable kayak brands also sell accessories to go along with your boat. A life jacket, for example, is an important accessory to have. As a matter of safety, each passenger should wear a life jacket at all times. You will also need paddles that are an appropriate size for the width of your boat. You may even choose portable paddles since these can break down into multiple pieces for easy transport. An air pump may also help to inflate your kayak more quickly. Lastly, in order to protect your kayak from the elements, you should always keep it in a waterproof storage bag when not in use.