Folding/Inflatable Kayak for day use…?

I am looking into buying a kayak for mostly day use on lakes in the nearby area and possibly in the ocean. Purpose would be mostly recreation and fishing. Would an inflatable kayak be worth it? They seem less inexpensive than the folding brands. I am looking to stay below $800, but willing to spend $1200.

4 thoughts on “Folding/Inflatable Kayak for day use…?

  1. HOUND10393 Post author

    For recreation and fishing I would suggest a short recreational boat of 8-10 feet. They are usually no more than $450 and will last forever.

    Inflatable kayaks are okay, but are rendered useless by even the slightest breeze. you will spend more paddling against the wind, without much success, than you will catching fish.

  2. c_kayak_fun Post author

    Look at the folding models by Pakboat.

    Both the 12′ Puffin and the 14′ Swift are under $1000 at most dealers. You can use them with or without the deck (like an open canoe or a kayak). These are hybrid frame and inflatable kayaks with a collapsible aircraft aluminum frame and inflatable tubes on the side.

    I have owned high-end folding kayaks by Feathercraft for years (but these start at over $3000) — recently my boyfriend got one of the larger Pakboats (the XT-15) on sale and I am very impressed with the quality and performance of the boat. These are very lightweight boats that are easily assembled and paddle fast and straight, unlike most cheap 100% inflatables. Most inexpensive inflatables are not suitable for ocean use because of their tendency to weathercock and not track straight in wind and surf. It is too easy to get swept out farther than you will be able to paddle back in also. There are ocean-worthy inflatables like the Feathercraft Java, but these cost over $4000.

    The Pakboat Puffins would be suitable for some coastal ocean use in light surf. They may be your best bet, value wise. You’ll find them terrific for lake and river use, even in some mild whitewater. They are also incredibly light and easy to transport compared to plastic kayaks — and of course they pack down into a duffel bag. The seats are extremely comfortable. You can find youtube videos of people paddling them (search on “Pakboat Kayaks”).

    Actually, I think the larger Pakboat XT-15 (normally $1800) may be on sale right now at several dealers, including REI. And the 14′ Swift is less than $800, including the removeable spraydeck — a super good deal.

    I don’t have any financial connection with Pakboat — I just think they make really nice kayaks for a good price.

  3. alimac Post author

    I have been kayaking in an inflatable kayak for several years and think it is totally worth it. I have two… the Sea Eagle 380X and the Sea Eagle FastTrack. Both cost roughly $1100. There are lots of options for inflatables now and you should have no trouble getting a good quality kayak for under $800 or around there. Check out this website as it offers reviews and info on all the different types of inflatable kayaks. Good luck.

    Also on a side note an inflatable kayak has a far quicker setup time than a folding kayak and are easier to transport and store in small spaces. Cheers.

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