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Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe for Kids? (Explained for Beginners)

Inflatable kayaks are low-cost, easy to travel with, and convenient. You think your kids will feel comfortable sitting in an inflatable kayak, but are these boats safe?

Inflatable kayaks are safe for kids provided you take the necessary precautions while on water. You should always ensure the kayak is fully inflated and check for leaks before riding. Avoid harsh weather in an inflatable kayak as well.

Are you planning to take your kids kayaking but aren’t sure about inflatable kayaks? This article will clear up any misconceptions, so check it out!

Do Inflatable Kayaks Puncture Easily?

Punctures are rare in inflatable kayaks thanks to modern manufacturing technology and the materials used to make the boat.

Even if you scratch an inflatable kayak against rocks or logs, the heavy-duty exterior bounces back.

That doesn’t mean an inflatable kayak is completely impervious to damage. You may have to patch yours from time to time.

Unlike a balloon, you don’t have to worry if your kayak is punctured because it can’t explode or pop. Instead, it will slowly release air, thus giving you enough time to return to the shore.

How Stable Are Inflatable Kayaks?

The greatest fear of any parent is to put a child in an inflatable kayak and then watch as the boat collapses and your child sinks.

This is highly, highly unlikely to happen if you inflate your kayak properly.

Proper inflation makes kayaks stronger and more stable. Just don’t overinflate the kayak, as then it’s likelier to pop.

What Happens if an Inflatable Kayak is Filled With Water?

Inflatable kayaks don’t feature an enclosed cockpit. Thus, it’s hard for them to get filled with water unless you’re kayaking in very fierce waters.

Besides, modern inflatable kayaks are self-bailing thanks to the holes in the boat’s seam that drain any water that would get into it.

Inflatable Kayak Safety Tips (Do’s and Don’ts)

Here are some important safety precautions for an inflatable kayak.

Do’s For Inflatable Kayaks

•Carry enough potable water and snacks.
•Bring a hat to protect your head and face if it rains or the sun gets too hot.
•Learn and follow the local kayaking rules.
•Pack the inflatable kayak’s pump and repair kit. You probably won’t need it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
•Carefully load your inflatable kayak to ensure all the weight is evenly distributed. Less weight at the front is better than at the back.
•Bring extra clothing in case of a weather change.
•Carry a whistle. You will use it to notify others when you need their attention.
•Notify someone of your whereabouts before going kayaking.
•Bring sunscreen to safeguard your skin from the sun rays.

Don’ts For Inflatable Kayaks

•Do not disturb the wildlife or their environment but instead view from afar.
•Don’t take your kayak near sharp objects. You’re just tempting fate.
•Don’t leave your kayak too close to the water when taking a break. It could get swept away!
•Avoid getting too close to motorboats.
•Don’t exceed the authorized weight or number of kayakers.

How Transport an Inflatable Kayak

Transporting an inflatable kayak is easy because you can deflate it, fold it up, and put it in a car trunk or a large backpack.

When you reach your destination, you can inflate the kayak near the water and then send the kids on their merry way!

Why Choose an Inflatable Kayak For Your Kid

An inflatable kayak has many benefits compared to its hard-shelled counterparts. Let’s take a closer look.

Storage and Portability

This is the number one advantage of an inflatable kayak.

Once you’re done kayaking for the day, all you have to do is deflate the kayak and store it in your basement or closet. You can’t say the same about a hard-shelled kayak!


Most people argue that using an inflatable kayak takes lots of time because you first have to inflate it.

On the contrary, you will require less time and effort to take a kayak out of a car trunk and launch it than taking a rigid boat from the top of a trailer and carrying it to the water.


Inflatable kayaks are easy to control and suit both beginner kayakers and kids especially well.

The boats are also open, spacious, and easy to board and reboard in case one capsizes.


Inflatable kayaks are good at absorbing impacts thanks to their solid stability.

If the kayak is punctured, you only have to apply a patch, as mentioned. Keeping the kayak clean is also not difficult because you can wipe it down with a hose after you’re done having a ball on the water.

How to Choose a Good Inflatable Kayak For Your Child

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. You can choose from many types of kayaks, but narrowing down your options can be tricky.

Here’s a handy guide on how to pick high-quality inflatable kayaks.


Pick a kayak that’s commensurate with your kid’s size and weight for a comfortable kayaking experience. Remember also to check the size of the inflatable kayaks’ paddles.

If the paddles are too big, your child will struggle on the water.

Construction Material

Inflatable kayaks are made of various materials. Here are the three most common.

Hypalon: Hypalon is a strong synthetic fiber that can withstand sun rays, chemicals, and inclement weather. Kayaks made of this material are expensive because of their quality.
PVC: PVC is used so frequently because of its durable reinforcement and resistance to rough conditions.
Nitrylon: Admittedly not a very common material, but Nitrylon is eco-friendly, so it’s worth considering.

Bottom Types

Kayaks can have one of two types of bottoms that are suitable for various bodies of water. Let’s go over both types.

V-Bottom: Kayaks with this kind of bottom are used in fast waters because they help the kayak gain speed.
Flat-Bottom: A flat-bottomed kayak is suitable for shallow waters, and it’s stable as well.

Type of Seat

Whether your kid will be kayaking for an hour or the whole afternoon, you need to get a kayak with a comfortable seat. The seat should also be easily foldable for transportation and storage purposes. Pick a lower-set seat because it’s more comfortable for kids.


Inflatable kayaks are safe for kids thanks to their stability and controllability. Your child will navigate easily in the water, and you’ll worry less about them sinking. It’s a win-win!