Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe?

Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe?

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You might have heard of an inflatable kayak and thought it was a toy for a pool. So many people make the same mistake. However, inflatable kayaks are the real deal. They are made to get you through tough rapids.

Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe?

Since the name of the product has the word inflatable in it, most of us tend to think about our inflatable pool toys and how easy they are to pop.

So it is not a surprise that so many people are questioning whether or not inflatable kayaks are safe. However, inflatable kayaks are safe. In fact, in some ways, they are even safer than hard plastic kayaks

We know many of you might be a little skeptical of inflatable kayaks. So, we are going to go through the features of inflatable kayaks and assess whether or not they are safe to take to the roughest of waters. 

Table of Contents

Durability Of Inflatable Kayaks

Most of us assume that inflatable kayaks are going to be very easy to puncture and pop. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Inflatable kayaks are made with durability in mind. They have to be since they are filled with air. Of course, the durability of inflatable kayaks varies from brand to brand. However, we are judging the durability of inflatable kayaks based on the best-made ones. 

Compared to other inflatable objects that are only made with a single layer of plastic, inflatable kayaks are made of layers of different materials and fabrics.

The higher-end inflatable kayaks are usually made up of more layers of material to reinforce the durability of the kayak. 

In terms of the design of inflatable kayaks, most of them have the same basic design. They are made up of a fabric layer that provides the shape of the inflatable kayak.

There might be a rubber layer or a synthetic rubber layer that gives protection from abrasions and gives airtightness. This synthetic rubber layer might also provide resistance to chemicals and UV rays. 

Depending on the material they use for the synthetic rubber layer, you could have an incredibly durable inflatable kayak. 

Are Inflatable Kayaks Puncture Proof? 

The last thing we are going to do is tell you that inflatable kayaks are puncture-proof, because the truth is, they are not. However, it is quite hard to puncture them. 

You might be under the impression that they are going to puncture easily, but that is not the case with well-made inflatable kayaks. Inflatable kayaks are made to be durable, so the materials they are made from, keep this in mind. 

Most inflatable kayaks are made from thick layers of strong material. This means they are not easily punctured. They are able to be brushed against rocks without causing any damage to the kayak. 

However, if you try your hardest you will be able to puncture them. This means that if you are kayaking somewhere that is rocky if a rock hits the kayak in just the right way it could cause a puncture.

That is why it is a good idea to keep a puncture kit with you when using an inflatable kayak.

Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe?

Capsizing An Inflatable Kayak

You might be under the impression that if you have an inflatable kayak you can only take them out on calm water. This might be out of fear of them capsizing. 

Actually, inflatable kayaks are really hard to capsize. They are wider than normal kayaks which means that the weight is distributed evenly, even if you lean to one side of your inflatable kayak. 

Inflatable kayaks are very stable. A lot of people might think that if you stand on an inflatable kayak it would bend, fold and collapse but that’s not the case. They are very sturdy. 

Of course, it is not impossible in an inflatable kayak to become capsized. Though it is quite easy to get back on your kayak if you do because they are so sturdy. 

Can An Inflatable Kayak Sink?

Another great thing about the inflatable kayak is that if you somehow manage to flip it when you fall off, it won’t sink.

Since they are so lightweight and are filled with air, it is very difficult to sink an inflatable kayak. Even if you manage to puncture your inflatable kayak, it is very unlikely that it will sink. This is because there are different chambers of air in an inflatable kayak. So if you puncture one, the rest should be fine. 

The only time an inflatable kayak might sink is if you have a lot of punctures in it, in all the different chambers of air.

Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe?

When To Be Cautious

Like many activities, they are not a hundred percent safe. Therefore, you need to take precautions. The same applies to inflatable kayaks. Whilst they are safe for certain activities, there are some you should debate whether it would be safe. 


There are many reasons you shouldn’t take an inflatable kayak out on the oceans. There is a lot of wind which can be difficult to navigate in an inflatable kayak since they are light.

If you do decide to go out on an inflatable kayak, then it is best to have all of your safety equipment. Though, when going out on the ocean, it should really only be done from vessels that are equipped for handling the ocean. 


Something to consider when deciding to take your inflatable kayak out is that they are very lightweight. This can be great when trying to carry it around, however can be dangerous in windy conditions. 


Inflatable kayaks tend to be quite slow. This isn’t usually an issue for most when kayaking, as they tend to take it slow. However, if you take your inflatable kayak out in a place where you might need to get out of the way quickly, this can be a problem. 


Something that is a little strange about inflatable kayaks, is that they can be quite difficult to maneuver. This is because they are lightweight, meaning when you row, your kayak might go to one side rather than being straight. It might take some time to get used to rowing in an inflatable kayak.

This does depend on the type of inflatable kayak you get. Newer models are coming up with ways to combat this problem. 

Final Thoughts

Inflatable kayaks are safe to use as long as you use them in the right conditions. If you are worried about rocky waters, high-end inflatable kayaks are usually designed to withstand them. 

That being said, the safety concerns about using an inflatable kayak come from how lightweight they are. For this reason, it is usually better to avoid using an inflatable kayak when there are strong winds. 

Other than this, if you use an inflatable kayak when the conditions are right, they are safe to use as they are unlikely to capsize, puncture, or sink.

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