inflatable kayaks are good or waste of money?

This thread branched from "Solo Kayaking in Hauraki Gulf - Am I Nuts?" on . Explore the branch.

Also, are inflatable kayaks any good or is this a waste of money? Are they difficult to inflate/deflate and are they durable? I’m thinking portability key for me because I’m pretty small and it’s hard for me to be throwin’ stuff on the roof of my car…especially heavy stuff. I don’t want to bother my husband for help every time I want to go paddling at the beach. I’m rather light too at 112 lb. And I’m 5’3" Thanks again, Sprite
You get what you pay for. The $20 Warehouse ones are kids toys. Paddling at the beach why not but watch the wind and tide. There have been a couple of recent incidents overseas of kids being rescued off inflatable toys many kilometers out to sea. The $700 ones will do the job reliably but still heavy and saggy when sitting in them unless you have a goo pump. Proper pack rafts start around $1200.
There are also semi-rigid ones - which is what I assumed the OP meant. When I was looking it was a toss-up between those and a packraft both at the $1500 price start price. Got a pack raft so cant comment on the kayaks
"Inflatable Kayak" includes an enormous range of products and prices. There's also packrafts as madpom said. I wouldn't go for a $20 one from The Warehouse. There are thousand dollar + ones with some frame structure that makes them more rigid, presumably more capable on the water and heavier and harder to get set up. I had a Sevylor Tahiti for a while, paddled around north eastern Germany (Meclenberg) with my daughter and camping gear for a couple of weeks. It wasn't too bad for seaworthiness, though I wouldn't try to paddle one around Stewart Island. [Audrey Sutherland](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/06/obituaries/audrey-sutherland-overlooked.html) did some big trips (more than 8000 miles) in Alaska and BC in one, for exactly the reasons you mention above - she was lightweight/not strong enough to carry a heavy rigid kayak up and down a beach. I'd consider something similar to start, perhaps something like one of these https://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/komodo-kx2-inflatable-kayak/34654185?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3-LB99Pm7wIVRauWCh0kQglXEAQYAiABEgI12_D_BwE It's hard to tell quality looking at the picture, but probably it would hold up for quite a while with reasonable care. It's not going to last forever, but should give you some fun for shortish paddles off the beach. Just editing to add: The big problem with these kinds of kayaks (and this price range) is it's hard to see in advance what quality you're getting for your money. The Sevylor I had was good for what it was (11kg, $300), lasted long enough for the kinds of things I was doing with it. The one I linked to above looks similar but it's hard to be sure how it would hold up. I'm also not sure on the plusses/minuses of this style of kayak vs a packraft. Definitely a decent packraft will be much lighter, well constructed and made of much more durable materials (and cost a lot more), but I'm not sure how they compare in A-B and adverse conditions performance.

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Started by emiliasteward
On 4 April 2021
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