The nose of a kayak

​​Inflatable kayaks are one of the best ways to enjoy the water while travelling light. If you're interested in starting your kayaking adventures down lazy rivers or sending it through some white water, you'll want to check out your options! In this article, we'll be exploring why you should choose an inflatable kayak!

For all your kayaking needs, take a look at Wetsuit Centre! We stock kayaks, paddles, PFD's and much more! For more information, check out our blog, where we offer out some handy tricks and tips to get you started!

A man on his kayak during golden hour

What are the Benefits of Inflatable Kayaks?

When it comes to kayaks, you have two main categories: inflatable kayaks and rigid kayaks. We're going to discuss some of the many benefits that inflatable kayaks can offer. Check out our points below:

Lightweight and Easy to Transport

An inflatable kayak is lightweight; unlike hard kayaks, which have a rigid structure, inflatables are much easier to transport and can pack down to much smaller sizes, making them easier to store.

Thanks to an inflatable kayak's compact storage space, they're also fantastic for taking abroad, so your adventures can continue as you explore exotic waters!

Short Set-Up Time

You might be surprised to know that setting up your inflatable kayak won't take as long as you think! The time it takes to demount a rigid kayak from the car is the same as it takes to blow up an inflatable, so you won't lose time from any faff.


Inflatable kayaks are more durable than most expect. An inflatable kayak cover is made from materials that are specially designed to be resistant to punctures.

It's also worth noting that they absorb shock much better than solid kayaks, which can make for a nicer ride.


Inflatable kayaks are much cheaper compared to rigid kayaks, making a much smaller dent in your wallet. However, that doesn't mean that inflatable kayaks cost next to nothing; their high quality is still represented in their price.


If purchasing a rigid kayak, you will need to buy your kayak according to its use - for example, a sea kayak or playboat. Inflatable kayaks are mostly not specialised, making an assortment of kayaking excursions possible, from coasting or rafting to even fishing!

Inflatable kayaks are also available in a variety of shapes and styles which make them more specialised in certain fields. However, because inflatable kayaks are designed to resist punctures and bounce off rocks, they are much more liberal when it comes to paddling styles and types of excursions!

Great Starting Points

Inflatable kayaks work wonderfully for beginners. Their design is forgiving to the mistakes that beginners will often make. They're easy to use, control, spacious and stable.

A woman standing on her inflatable kayak

How Stable are Inflatable Kayaks?

When paddling in an inflatable kayak, you're less likely to tip when compared to using a rigid kayak or canoe. Inflatable kayaks ride low in the water and provide a smaller seating space, preventing you from being off centre or balance.

Inflatable kayaks are less angled; their flat bottom surface makes it difficult to tilt from one side to the other, so you'll be less likely to tip out of your boat!

Types of Inflatable Kayaks

Some kayaks are a little more specialised than others, which can be useful for embarking on certain expeditions or outings!

Fishing Kayaks

Fishing inflatable kayaks are specially made from ultra-durable materials that can endure sharp hooks. To allow for stand-up casting and reeling, the floor of the kayak is made from slip-resistant material.

Whitewater Kayaks

Whitewater kayaks are designed to be much shorter than standard; they are specifically built to survive hard impacts from rocks, falls and waves.

When looking into whitewater kayaks, you'll want to check out if it's self-bailing. Self-bailing kayaks prevent the kayak from filling up with water.

Solo and Tandem Kayaks

Solo kayaks are designed to hold one paddler, whereas tandems are designed for two.

Solo kayaks are shorter and can be used for whitewater, recreation and fishing.

Tandem kayaks are often much longer when compared to solos. However, customisable tandems can be used for solo paddlers who need a little more space or capacity.

Recreational Kayaks

A recreational inflatable kayak is a great starting place for beginners. They're often below 12ft in length and are great for leisurely paddles in lakes, bays, slow rivers and other friendly environments.

How to Choose an Inflatable Kayak

When picking out your kayak, there are a few things you should consider - these include:

  • Length
  • Type
  • Stability
  • Where you will be using the kayak
  • Whether you need a sit-on-top or sit-inside

Sit-on-top kayaks are a more user-friendly option when compared to sit-inside.

Sit-on-top kayaks are:

  • Stable
  • Easy to get in and out of
  • Self-bailing

Sit-inside kayaks are better suited to colder water and offer a little more security to those who want to stay a little dryer. However, recovering from a capsize isn't as simple a process compared to sit-on-top kayaks.

A group kayaking in a lake

How Much Does a Good Inflatable Kayak Cost?

The price of inflatable kayaks will often vary. You can easily find kayaks for £100, but the quality will be reflected in this price. A high-quality inflatable kayak can usually be found for around £400.

Is an Inflatable Kayak Worth it?

A lot of beginners wonder if it's worth investing in an inflatable kayak; this is mainly due to an assumption that an inflatable kayak might not be durable or safe. The great news is inflatable kayaks are safe and fairly durable pieces of kit.

Inflatable kayaks are available in a great range of shapes and styles to suit your purpose. Thanks to their durability and design, inflatable kayaks can be used for a great range of excursions and activities!

For more information and advice about kayaking, please refer to our blog, where we explore some of the essential accessories you need for kayaking.

For any further questions, contact a member of our team. Here at Wetsuit Centre, we're always happy to help!