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Save Space With The Best Inflatable Canoes
Last updated: 12 Sep 2022
Sailing in a recreational boat is something many people dream of. The idea of cruising in a yacht, Jet Ski, or ski boat sounds amazing, but so does a trip across a calm lake in an inflatable canoe. Inflatable canoes or kayaks are way more fun than many people make them out to be. They are great for paddling in slow or rapid water and can be used for camping trips. Plus, you can choose to ride solo on an inflatable canoe or explore the waters with one or more partners. Over the years, different models of inflatable canoes have flooded the market, making it difficult for novices and even experts to select the best. To untie this knot, we have highlighted the best inflatable canoes in 2022 for you to choose from.
Riding on an inflatable canoe is an amazing adventure, but to reach its climax, you must select one that suits you, your skills, and the waters you will be paddling on. Selecting the right inflatable canoe for you will not only improve your skills but also keep you safe, so it is super vital.
The Sea Eagle 370 Pro inflatable canoe weighs only 32lbs. but can carry a weight of up to 650 lbs. It is built to carry up to 3 people and their gear/supplies and it is safe enough for dogs to ride on. It is lightweight, but rugged, courtesy of its 38-millimeter claw-resistant PolyKrylar hull and I-beam construction floor. Other features on the SE370 include front and rear rope handles, inflatable spray skirts, a self-bailing drain valve that will come in handy on whitewater or oceans, and removable inflatable front and rear seats. The S2370 is portable and can fit into a storage bag for transportation, comes with a bow and stern grab line, a pressure gauge, repair kit, and other accessories.
This inflatable canoe is great for camping and recreational activities like skin diving, fishing, yacht tending, and paddling and it can handle whitewater levels of up to class III. It has two molded kegs for tracking and speed too. Although it can carry up to three people, it can only be operated by one adult/expert.
The 27 lbs. Driftsun Voyager inflatable canoe can carry up to two paddlers, with a weight limit of 400 lbs. The vessel features a removable tracking fin, a “V” shaped hull, a bow nose entry, and a continuous rocker profile that all contribute to its exceptional performance on calm and rapid waters. The two aluminum paddles on this vessel have ergonomic grips adjustable between 0 and 60 degrees. The Driftsun Voyager has front and rear bungee compartments that provide enough space for gear and supplies, and tough-coated 840D nylon Oxford fabric tube covers that are rip and tear-resistant. A tough PVC Tarpaulin bottom makes it puncture-resistant, while its bow and stern handles allow put-ins/ take-outs. It can execute both tandem and solo paddling and is built for touring, fitness paddling, and comfort paddling. The Driftsun Voyager also features adjustable EVA padded seats and a travel bag. Lastly, it is compact to carry.
This inflatable canoe features a double-action pump and double-threaded Boston valves that make it ready to hit the water in no time by significantly improving its inflation time. A rear drain plug in its design makes it easy to drain and clean.
The 16” Sea Eagle TC16 inflatable canoe is a high-pressure inflatable canoe that features dual traditional wood/web seats that you can stand in, courtesy of its unmatched stability. It has a water entry and exit system with hundreds of friction-reducing dimples on a full-length flat planning surface area, and a full-length double quadruple chine system to amp track-ability, stability, and portability. It is rigid, but incredibly lightweight compared to other canoes of the same class, because of its unique 33% weight reduction. Other features of the SETC16 include a repair kit, one volume/high-pressure piston pump, a removable rear fin, a pressure gauge, and bow/stern molds that slice through the water to enhance track-ability. This vessel weighs 65 lbs. and carries up to 3 paddlers, with a weight limit of 915 lbs. It is also easy to pack and can fit in the trunk of a car.
If you are looking for a fast inflatable canoe, look no further. The entire hull waterline length of the TC16 allows paddling speeds of up to 5mph, which is faster than most models.
Inflatable canoes are steadily becoming the norm for exploring calm and slightly choppy waters. They are different and better than the old hardshell kayaks that take up a lot of space and are quite heavy. These inflatable watercraft are portable, lightweight, and some models can house up to three people.
A kayaker that selects the right inflatable canoe for the waters will enjoy a safe, easy, and fun adventure. However, there are many variations of inflatable canoes today, and this makes it quite difficult to make the right choice. Prior to this, we have highlighted a list of the best inflatable canoes with innovative designs and features, but how do you make your pick? What are the factors to consider? To clarify things for you, we have compiled this buying guide that highlights everything you need to know about inflatable canoes and the factors to consider when making your selection.
What Are the Factors to Consider When Buying an Inflatable Canoe?
Like a jigsaw, many elements make up the quality of an inflatable canoe, and you need to consider all of them before making your pick. When you do cop the right one, you get to soar the waters like an eagle gliding in the skies.
What Are the Types of Inflatable Canoes?
Inflatable canoes are perfect for all forms of cruising on calm and choppy waters, but some are well-suited for certain conditions than others. There are different types of inflatable canoes based on what they are designed for, and you should consider this before making that inflatable canoe purchase.
Touring inflatable canoes
These canoes feature a long, streamlined design suited for traveling on flat water. Most touring inflatable canoes come with rudders that boost steering, plus, they can be used on both ocean and freshwaters.
Sea inflatable canoes
Sea inflatables are similar to touring inflatable canoes in terms of shape and design. However, they are custom-made for the seas. They feature extra elements like scupper holes for draining water.
Just like the name suggests, sit-on-top kayaks will allow you to sit on top of the kayaker rather than inside it. Its ergonomic design provides more comfort, especially if you have long legs, a large body, or limited movement.
Tandem inflatable canoes
These canoes are built to hold you and one other paddler at a time. They also come as convertibles that will give you more legroom and space for your gear.
Solo inflatable canoes
Solo canoes are designed to hold one paddler at a time, so you will find them relatively shorter than their tandem counterparts. You can select from a range of solo inflatable canoes built for specific activities such as touring, fishing, and white water kayaking.
White water kayaks
These should be at the top of your list if you will be paddling white waters. In contrast to touring and sea inflatable canoes, these kayaks feature a short, broad design with a limited weight capacity. This framework gives you extra buoyancy and maneuverability to swiftly steer clear of obstacles.
Choosing this canoe is a no-brainer if you want to go fishing. They are retrofitted with features such as bait buckets and anchor cleats that support fishing activities. You will find fishing kayaks available in long and short lengths too.
What Are the Different Sizes for Inflatable Canoes?
The size directly affects the number of people you can paddle the canoe with at a time. If you will be paddling the waters as a lone wolf, a solo inflatable canoe is an ideal option, while Tandem inflatables are built for paddling with one or two people, or a pet.
One of the selling points of inflatable canoes is how easy they are to transport when deflated. This feature varies between inflatable canoe models, but a general rule of thumb is that they should be portable enough to fit a storage bag.
What Materials Are Inflatable Canoes Made From?
Most inflatable canoes are made of one of three materials namely; PVC, Nitrylon, and Hypalon. Each one has unique features and downsides, so pick the one you’re most comfortable with.
PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride, and it is the material component of most inflatable canoes. PVC is a durable plastic material that can be welded, glued, or easily repaired. It is abrasion-resistant and is highly economical. However, PVC material is susceptible to damage by extreme temperature, UV rays, and chemicals. Plus, it has questionable impacts on the aquatic environment.
This is the material found in many advanced inflatable canoes. This synthetic plastic is durable and highly resistant to damage by extreme temperature, UV rays, and chemicals. However, it is not as resistant to abrasion as PVCs.
Nitrylon was introduced as an eco-friendly alternative to PVCs. It is stronger and more puncture-resistant, but heavier than PVCs. Nitrylon inflatable canoes are perfect for cold waters, so consider this when you’re making your purchase.
Now that you know the pros and cons of each of these materials, it should be fairly easy to choose the one you can roll with.
All the inflatable canoe perks and features in the world will not matter if you’re not comfortable inside it. An inflatable canoe is mostly a recreational vessel, and nothing about recreation says pain or discomfort. For maximum comfort in your canoe, you need to consider two factors: internal space and seats.
A general rule of thumb is to select an inflatable canoe with more space than it is intended for. Selecting a kayak with enough legroom is vital, especially if you are a tall person. Tight spaces and knee cramps are not ideal for recreational trips, and you know what to do to avoid them now.
Consider getting a canoe with adjustable seats. You can shift these seats forward or backward to positions that you feel comfortable in. You should also consider inflatable canoes with some elevation off the floor and other ergonomic features such as backrests. These features will make your kayaking adventure comfortable, safe, and fun.
Inflatable canoes are generally stable and buoyant enough for amateur paddlers. However, if you are looking for more stability, go for something short and broad. The maneuverability potential will be limited, but it will feel stable and safer on water. If you’re a Pro or you simply want more canoe maneuverability, then long and thin canoes should be your choice.
Inflatable canoes are generally lightweight, but some are heavier than others. If you will be hiking with your inflatable canoe, you might want to consider its weight before buying it. Check the material components and select the most lightweight if you will have to carry your canoe over some distance.
People Also Asked
What are the advantages of an inflatable canoe?
Inflatable canoes can be deflated to a super portable size and this is a major advantage over hardshell canoes. When deflated, they can fit into small storage bags with straps or handles, making it easy for them to be stored and transported.
Inflatable canoes come with multiple air chambers that make them practically unsinkable. If one chambergets punctured, the rest will keep the canoe afloat till you get on land and get it repaired.
The durable and flexible design of inflatable canoes makes them suitable for a variety of conditions. You can use them for various activities such as skim diving, fishing, kayaking, exploring, and so on. With inflatable canoes, you don’t have to worry about transitioning from flat waters to rivers because they are punch-resistant and will easily bounce off rocks if you mistakenly bump into some.
While some inflatable canoes are heavier than each other, due to differences in size and material, they are generally lighter than hardshell canoes. By being lightweight, they are less likely to sink and are easier to carry than hard shell inflatable canoes.
Where and how should I store my inflatable canoe?
Deflate and roll your canoe into a storage bag and place it in a cool and dry place. Avoid keeping it somewhere extremely hot or cold. It shouldn’t be stored under direct sunlight either.
How do I take care of my inflatable canoe?
Wash it with eco-friendly household products at regular intervals.
Rinse it with fresh water after each paddle in seawater. The combination of sunlight and salt will corrode the material of the canoe over time and it won’t matter how durable it is.
Dry properly before folding and storing it. It will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew on it.
Apply 303 Protectant spray on the body of your inflatable canoe once or twice a year for protection against damage by UV radiation. Depending on how much you use it, you can apply it more times.
This goes without saying, but don’t drag it on rocks, gravel, or any sharp materials.
Watch out for debris popping out of shallow waters. They may not puncture your canoe at once, but eventually, it’ll happen.
How much do inflatable boats cost?
The price range of inflatable boats varies widely because of the various types, designs, and features of these vessels today. There is an inflatable canoe for every budget, so make a list of your preferred inflatable boat features and go for one within that price range.
SAIL Magazine Review Team reports on best-selling products in sailing and boating. The SAIL Magazine editorial staff is not involved in the creation of this content. SAIL Magazine is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.