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Are Inflatable Kayaks Any Good?

Updated on June 4, 2020
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Rebecca loves sharing what she knows about alternative medicine, health, frugal living, fun, animals, and how to live a better life!

Water sports of any kind are good for the soul!

So you love water? Love boating, maybe fishing, and just generally seeing the world from another angle? But buying a boat or a trailer and all the other gear is not in the budget? We contemplated a boat. We have a truck to tow it. But need a trailer, need the boat, and then maintenance and storage were other issues to consider. Not to mention boats are usually money pits and A LOT of effort to maintain. If you live in an area that gets snow, you'll also be limited by the time you can spend on the water. The expense sometimes just doesn't make sense! have no excuse to put off your hobbies anymore. Inflatable rafts, boats, kayaks even hot tubs have come a long way!

Inflatable kayaks are affordable. They're fun! And they will fit just about any budget or lifestyle.

If you're debating getting a hard shell or an inflatable, don't anymore. Try out an inflatable, you won't regret it!

Being on the water is relaxing, it's great exercise and it doesn't have to be a hassle or cost a lot of money.

Intex Challenger K1 worth every penny!

Just a day out!
Just a day out!

Inflatable vs. Hard Shell

So let's just jump right into this! Are inflatable kayaks any good? Are they worth it? Absolutely yes!

On one hand, you may struggle to compare the inflatable vs. the hard shell. But for ease of transport and so many other reasons inflatables are amazing!

If you're just starting out to the world of kayaking why would you invest hundreds of dollars on a hardshell, racks, foam blocks, etc? Hardshell kayaks are expensive & they are very hard to transport. You have to make an entire day of it when you have a hard shell. loading, unloading, storage. Also a bit scary on a freeway if you don't tie them down properly. With an inflatable, you can go paddling on a whim or spur of the moment. You can easily blend in with other kayak enthusiasts and friends regardless of hard shell or not. Hardcore kayakers are always asking me about my inflatable.

Inflatables are a lot cheaper, super easy to pack up on the go. Travel with them, camp with them, do whatever you want with them! Well...almost anything. Some won't be good for rapid rivers but a day paddling on a lake or canal, they fit the bill!

People ask me all the time when I'm out on my kayak if I like it. Inflatables are time savers! Have a busy life? No big deal with an inflatable, you can kayak almost anytime and not worry about towing it. And they are way more durable than you'd think. I used my kayak five times the first month I had it. No issues what-so-ever. I'm a small person and carrying it to the launch points I can easily manage.

You can easily find a decent inflatable kayak for $100 or less even if you're over 200 lbs. By the time you use it 3-4 times, it will pay for itself, even if it does pop! My son, niece, and nephews love to use it too.

If you're limited by the car you drive, the area you live, or just on a budget and new to this activity, inflatable may be the perfect option for you and your family.

Allow me to introduce you to the K1 Challenger by Intex!

This inflatable kayak is incredible. Straight out of the box it includes just about everything you need to get out on the water paddling. So no more excuses! Sure this one is inexpensive, but you have to start somewhere. And why not start with something inexpensive before you know you'll commit to this hobby.

Short of a life jacket and maybe a waterproof bag for supplies all you have to do is unpack this and you're ready to go. This kayak is good for up to 220 lbs, includes a carry bag, kayak, removable skeg, paddle, seat, air pump, and patch kit. There is even a netted storage area for other gear, snacks, towels, whatever you want to put in it. You won't need the patch as long as you don't get too crazy with this thing. It is absolutely perfect for small lakes, canals, rivers, just don't think you're going to go white water rafting on it! There are multiple air chambers too, so even if you did pop it, you'll be able to limp back to shore until you can patch it.

I store all the parts easily in the trunk of my car, so when the urge strikes to get on the water, it's just a short drive and I'm in!

It's durable, takes about 8 minutes to inflate, and the same to break down. It fits easily in the trunk or back seat of a car. And it's super affordable! $70-$90 USD on Amazon.

This is a great kayak for newbies, kids, camping, and it doesn't have 5000 nearly 5-star reviews for nothing!

Intex makes a lot of inflatable items, so you're not limited. You can find the perfect inflatable for your needs.

Looking for a stronger ride? A bit more pricey, but it can handle rougher terrain!

Just another day on the lake

Apps and Groups

Don't forget to check out the app GoPaddling, it lists most local launch points that are free or very cheap. It's a great app for beginners because it will show you where calm waters are.

And social media is full of kayaking groups, everyone is as excited about kayaking as you are and more than happy to help you with any questions.

Get your inflatable and get on the water!

Don't put off something you love doing because of money. Life is to short. There is always a way to make something happen!

It doesn't matter how you get on the water, just do it!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Rebecca


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