Inflatable or Hardshell?

Whether you're considering buying your first kayak or your 51st, weighing all the options in kayak design and materials can sometimes overwhelm even the most water-soaked enthusiast. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is "What makes inflatable kayaks better than hardshell models?" We believe that there are many benefits to choosing inflatable models but whether inflatable is better for you would depend on what your goals are and personal preferences. That being said, we have found that inflatable kayaks offer the following features:

  • Ease of use. Recognized as being more stable in the water, inflatable kayaks are simply easier to use. With just two steps to get it ready for water - unroll and inflate - inflatable-style kayaks are convenient. They are also credited for being easier to learn with. 
  •  Convenient storage and transport. No roof rack needed. Inflatable kayaks come in a compact-sized bag that fits easily in backseats or trunks. Inflatables won't take over your garage with their need for bulky racks either. Closet storage would suffice. 
  • Weight. Being more compact and free of extra bulk, inflatables weigh just a few pounds making it able to be carried by just one person. 
  • Versatility. Specifically designed for both calm and whitewater scenarios, different inflatable models are available for a variety of uses. 
  • Affordability. Generally you'll find that inflatable kayaks run cheaper than hardshell types. 

Ultimately, choosing a kayak comes down to personal preference, boating needs and long-term goals. If you should have any questions however please call Air Kayaks at 707-998-0135; we would love to help you in making that final choice.

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