Inflatable Kayaks vs. Traditional Hard Shell Kayaks

There has been a misconception that inflatable kayaks can be easily punctured and are therefore unsafe. This is absolutely untrue. Today Inflatable Kayak vs. Traditional Hard Shelled Kayakinflatable kayaks are durable, rugged and very safe. They are actually totally shock absorbent and many would be surprised to know that they are not as affected by major impacts as a rigid kayak is. If a puncture to an inflatable kayak ever did occur, they have multiple chambers to ensure that should one deflate, the others would allow you to get safely back to shore.

Compared to traditional kayaks, inflatable kayaks are:

  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • More practical
  • More portable
  • More economical
  • Very easy and quick to inflate
  • Great to travel with

I personally love that the inflatables don’t take up as much room as the hard shell rigid kayaks. Having used a traditional kayak for many years I am well aware of the amount of work it takes to load the kayak onto the roof rack (they can be quite heavy and I always preferred having someone with me to help). Then as anyone who has ever owned one would know, storing a hard shell kayak takes up a lot of room. If you don’t have a specific storage area or a garage, it will likely be very much in the way.

Inflatable kayaks are easily stored as they simply need to be deflated and packed away into their storage bags. They are easily transferred to the water in the back of your car or in your trunk and they can also very easily be taken on airplanes. Imagine being able to bring your inflatable kayak while on a road trip, camping or on a beautiful vacation. They are light weight and highly maneuverable.

These days they are made extremely strong and are constructed for all types of water conditions including flat water, ocean waves raging rivers and white water rapids. I find that I get much more use out of my inflatable kayak as it is so convenient and easy to use. If you would like a kayak that can go with you almost anywhere then an inflatable kayak is the boat for you.

See our list of the top online inflatable kayak retailers to get yourself suited up for the water.

OR read our detailed and comprehensive reviews of inflatable kayaks.


  1. beatrice Marx says:

    I just ordered a SeaEagle 380X mostly because I don’t have room to store a hard hull kayak. I am in the Seattle area and I hope to go in class I and Ii rivers and along the Puget Sound shores. Do you have a blog/link for inflatable kayak users where they could send invitations for outings such as with Meet up, but for inflatable kayakers?

    • Hi Beatrice,
      As of right now we don’t have a specific blog or link for inflatable kayaking invitations. However I love the idea and will definitely consider it for the future. Thank you for your comment.
      Cheers, Allison

  2. Do you think it would be ok to use the SeaEagle 370 on the Intercoastal Waterway in North Carolina? Not sure if I should get a hard shell kayak or if this would suffice.

    • I think you would be just fine with the Sea Eagle 370. I have paddled the 370 on lakes, rivers and around ocean bays. It handles well. I prefer the Sea Eagle FastTrack for extra weight and stability personally but the 370 is very popular and of course more affordable.

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