This summer, inflatable kayaks are one of the simplest ways to go floating, and they’re not only for newbies, which is why they’ve been flying off the shelves. (If you still need convinced, see our why buy an inflatable kayak blog.)
However, with so many fantastic options available right now, we understand that it may not be an easy decision. Fortunately, we’ve broken down your options below to help you pick the ideal kayak.
First, let’s look at the brands:
Aquaglide has been in the industry for almost 30 years, and part of their brand is commercial aquaparks, in addition to inflatable kayaks. This may appear to be just a fun little tidbit of knowledge, but it also implies these guys really know how to develop a powerful product, as an aquapark will handle thousands of visitors per day, hundreds of thousands per year, and easily one million over the product’s lifetime. So, if you’re seeking for a high-quality, long-lasting kayak, you’ve come to the correct place.
The Aquaglide series has been entirely rebuilt for 2020, with the same quality drive driving them to incorporate additional features and use even better materials, resulting in an amazing line of inflatable kayaks that more than hold their own against their hardshell counterparts.
The Z-Pro Tango is the most rated and discussed kayak on the market, yet it has remained virtually untouched for the past decade – why fix what isn’t broken? It’s highly popular and inexpensive, yet the quality is on par with the Aquaglide Chinook.
The Tango 200 is the only boat with a colour option, and the Tango 300 is the market’s only full 3-person adult boat.
From the the popular French company Sevylor, the Colorado Inflatable Kayak offers an unrivalled combination of manoeuvrability, stability, and comfort, as well as unrivalled ease of inflation. Inflation and deflation are now exceedingly simple thanks to the Boston valves and Easy Inflation Manometer. Furthermore, the broad design and covered seat keep you comfortable and secure on all of your kayak outings.
Discover the Sevylor inflatable kayak or canoe that’s right for you, whether you want to cut through water or simply have fun with your family. Sevylor inflatable kayaks and canoes are rigorously tested to thrill and surprise our clients. Our kayaks satisfy the highest standards of quality and customer satisfaction thanks to Sevylor technology. A Sevylor inflatable kayak or canoe is designed with high standards and comfort in mind, allowing people to get the most out of every outdoor excursion.
We all share a simple goal at Sevylor: to create high-quality, inexpensive inflatable water sport and entertainment goods that encourage people to get outside and have fun.
We’re happy to have created a global reputation as a market leader with innovative designs, inventive technologies, and imagination at the forefront of everything we do since our first international triumph in 1949. Our PVC inflatables are suitable for a wide range of activities, including kayaks and boats. Sixty years of experience, along with cutting-edge design technology, enables us to create cutting-edge solutions that satisfy the highest quality standards and deliver client satisfaction.
All of our products are portable and functional, with one goal in mind: to encourage people to get outside and enjoy themselves. We take enjoyment seriously.
The path that began with Sevylor’s inception in 1948 as the dominating supplier of a wide range of PVC inflatables ranging from river running kayaks to brilliantly coloured beach balls continues to this day, with distinctive designs, inventive ideas, and ingenuity.
The first inflatable to garner rave reviews was a little bathtub known as the “Dou Dou.” The inflatable tub was ideal for postwar France because it was portable, convenient, practical, easy to clean, sturdy, and, most importantly, less expensive than its wood or metal competitors.
Sevy quickly outgrew its Vitry premises, so it relocated to the charming Alsatian village of Buhl. After building its new headquarters and realising its gold potential, the corporation changed its name to “l’or” (French for gold). The company grew into the production of valves, pumps, boats, inflatable pools, and a wide range of water toys.
Which kayak is the best fit for me?
The Lunchtime Paddler
We propose the Aquaglide Chinook or the Z-Pro Tango for simply getting out on the water and having fun. Both are ideal for a relaxing weekend of paddling for a few hours at a time. Though not the fastest on the water, these boats are extremely durable and stable, making them ideal for families.
The main disadvantage is that the outer skin makes them heavier and slower to dry, and the normal pressure (rather than high pressure) makes them move slower through the water.
The Afternoon Explorer
The Aquaglide Deschutes will be ideal for more experienced paddlers (or river). It’s a high pressure boat, which means it’s a little sleaker, more stiff, and moves through the water more smoothly.
It’s still better suited to shorter journeys because it doesn’t have a cover, so if it rains or splashes, you’ll get soaked. This alternative, like the RIB, has no skin and is made up of a single durable Duratex bladder.
The main disadvantage of greater pressure boats is that the thicker material adds weight. The Deschutes, on the other hand, is lighter since it has a floor bladder and instead relies on tension from inflatable supports between the seats. This actually works rather nicely, so you’re not missing out on anything by not having the floor bladder here.
The Day Traveler
For far more serious paddlers who will be spending a lot of time in the boat, the Aquaglide Navarro and Aquaglide Chelan are your touring or sporting options. With industry-leading drop stitched floors, HexShell coated pontoons, and removable zip on decks, this economical series of boats delivers a watercraft that takes to the water rain or shine.
Of course, this means it’s also the most costly option on the market, but you get what you pay for, and it’s difficult to argue that it’s not preferable to a sturdy kayak.
All inflatable kayaks can be found here.
Here are some inflation suggestions to help you get the most out of your new kayak.
Remove the pressure gauge. They are rarely useful at this low pressure and frequently cause more damage than solutions.
Never use a compressor for inflating; instead, a manual pump provides you complete control.
Fill the left and right bladders to 75% capacity, then the floor to 75% capacity. Ideally, walk up and down the floor to press it back into its original shape; this is important because the boats may have been folded up in the box for up to nine months. Pump the sides to 100%, then the floor to 100%, and you’ll be set to go in 99% of cases.
Don’t be surprised if the kayak looks out of place on your kitchen floor. It will appear correct when weighted in water, but it will be lopsided on land, making it simple to discover fictitious faults.
Do not leave your kayak inflated in the sun for more than five minutes, as one degree difference in air temperature might cause the bladders to expand by one PSI. If you stop for lunch and leave your kayak on the shore, deflate all of the bladders. Over-inflation is the most common cause of leaks in new bladders, and this is NOT a warranty replacement and is extremely easy to see, so be cautious.