How Long Do Inflatable Kayaks Last? Everything You Need to Know

When considering an inflatable kayak, the first thing you ask yourself is โ€“ how long do inflatable kayaks last? Is it going to support my weight? If you think about it, hitting a buoy or storing it inappropriately could get it punctured. Anything that is inflatable is associated with a fragile balloon.

The truth is inflatable kayaks come with multiple layers. They can resist abrasion in the long run, but they are also solid enough to take punctures. Sure, the degree of durability is varied and depends on multiple factors, such as the purpose, uses, quality standards and overall price.

How long inflatable Kayaks last?

how long inflatable kayaks last

Before digging into deeper details, you need to know that not all inflatable kayaks are made by the same quality standards. When discussing durability, expect to find different standards that can improve or alter the overall durability of your kayak.

Some of these factors are critical to understand, while others are related to you only โ€“ the age of a kayak, how often you use it, how well you store it and so on. If you are after a used kayak, make sure you know precisely how old it is.

No matter how good it is, plastics and other similar materials tend to degrade overtime, especially when exposed to saltwater. Then, certain parts of kayaks are glued together โ€“ just like materials, plastics face a particular degree of degradation.

Then, some materials are better and more durable than others. For example, no matter how common it is, PVC is relatively inexpensive. It will deteriorate faster than premium materials โ€“ hypalon is likely to last ages longer.

Just like most other things in life, inflatable kayaks come with different degrees of durability and the price could be a pretty good indicator. Indeed, the most expensive kayak on the market is not necessarily the best one, just like an inexpensive one may not always be bad.

Generally speaking, a more expensive kayak means the manufacturer has used higher quality standards โ€“ better materials, more layers into the overall design and so on. It is true that most brands rely on multiple layers, but then, having even more of them is better for the extra functionality.

To help you get an idea, an inflatable kayak based on hypalon will provide resistance to all kinds of chemicals, as well as resistance to abrasion. This is not necessarily a handy construction for someone who mostly uses the kayak on a peaceful lake, but the extra durability will certainly help when going whitewater kayaking.

With these thoughts in mind, there are some affordable, yet durable kayaks on the market. They provide excellent value for money and can easily pass the test of time โ€“ heavy-duty layers without costing you a fortune.

ย ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™€๏ธย ย Popping risks for inflatable kayaks

When something is inflatable, you automatically consider the popping risks. Long story short, an inflatable kayak coming from a reputable brand โ€“ even if it is not too expensive โ€“ may bring in little to no popping risks at all, but only when used accordingly.

For instance, if you use the kayak to go fishing, it may not be a good idea to have a few knives with you on it. Sure, they are handy when cooking the fish, but it might be wise to leave them in your car โ€“ accidents to happen. Other than that, inflatable kayaks can handle pretty much any popping risk on water.

As a general rule of thumb, you should not worry about popping your inflatable kayak, unless you are truly careless and you expose it to all kinds of risks. Again, if such issues occur, they are usually your fault. Bottom line, an inflatable kayak is way more resistant than a classic inflatable pool you can pick from any supermarket.

On the same note, despite the heavy duty materials used to make inflatable kayaks, you should still be careful while on water. Try to avoid contact with rocks, as some of them could cause punctures. The same goes for logs or other objects that might be on water.

ย ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™€๏ธย Durability standards for inflatable kayaks

So, how long do inflatable kayaks last then? Generally speaking, if you look after your kayak and give it the right level of maintenance, you should expect it to last between five and 10 years โ€“ it depends on how often you use it too.

Again, such aging standards depend on numerous factors. Expensive materials will last longer, of course. It is also a good idea to wash the kayak after each use, as salt and various chemicals could cause a faster degradation. Store it in a place with normal temperature โ€“ nothing too extreme.

No matter how careful you are with your kayak, degradation can and will occur at some point. Plastics will degrade naturally overtime, as well as the glue. If seams are held together with nothing but glue, it will normally degrade after about 10 years since the kayak was manufactured โ€“ not since you bought it.


ย ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™€๏ธย Materials that could influence durability in kayaks

PVC is the most common option out there โ€“ relatively cheap. However, UV rays and various chemicals are likely to cause degradation. You can still prevent such issues by keeping the kayak in a safe place and cleaning it after each use. These options are great for both beginner and intermediate users.

Then, you have premium materials like nitrylon or hypalon. They are used for high end kayaks โ€“ performance and designed with professional uses in mind. Such materials are not just more expensive, but also resistant to UV ray and chemical degradation. They can take days in the sun too, yet maintenance is still important for durability.


ย ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™€๏ธ Conclusion

As a short final conclusion, inflatable kayaks should never be associated with other inflatable things โ€“ such as balloons or pools. They are made with heavy duty uses in mind and they can provide years of constant use without too much hassle. Most issues are normally associated with human mistakes though, hence the necessity to be extremely careful when using or storing your kayak.

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