Pros & Cons of Decked Inflatable Kayaks

You may not know it, but Decked inflatable kayaks are the latest trend in water sports. They offer many advantages over traditional boats and can be found at a wide range of price points. But before you get too excited about picking up one for yourself, let’s take a look at some pros and cons to make sure that this is the boat for you.

What are Decked Inflatable Kayaks?

Decked inflatable kayaks use a hard shell to provide the boat with an extra level of rigidity and insulation. These may be more expensive, but they also offer convenience and performance that outshines conventional inflatable boats.


Inexpensive (usually) – The initial cost of an inflatable kayak may seem high, but you’re making a one-time investment. After that, you can enjoy your new boat without worrying about fuel costs and other overheads.

Convenient – The best-decked kayaks are lightweight and portable. You can inflate them in just a few minutes and take them anywhere with ease. Even if you’re planning on using your kayak regularly, it shouldn’t be too much of a burden.

Versatile – Most inflatable kayaks are designed to handle varying conditions. Whether you’re looking for something stable and smooth or want to ride waves with ease, there should be an inflatable kayak that meets your requirements.

Protective – The best decked inflatable kayaks offer protection from the elements and a smoother ride. You can even add additional features such as hatches, storage areas, and rod holders to your boat with ease.

Storage Areas – This may not seem like an important feature, but when you’re heading out on a trip, storage is key. You can easily store items such as fishing rods and other accessories in the hull of your inflatable kayak, which will keep them away from things like sand and saltwater.


Price – One of the main disadvantages of inflatable kayaks is their cost. Some are relatively inexpensive, but if you want a sturdy, durable and comfortable boat, expect to pay more.

Lack of Support – While inflatable kayaks offer great convenience, they may not always be as stable as you’d like. This can be especially true when it comes to paddling or cutting through waves. The best way to negate this problem is by purchasing a boat with a hard shell.

Water Seepage – If you’re not careful, even the best inflatable kayaks can leak water. The more hull compartments there are on your boat, the higher the risk of leakage. This is especially true if you choose to purchase an inflatable kayak that lacks a “spray shield”.

Long Life – While most inflatable kayaks are designed to last for a long time, some have been known to develop leaks after just a few uses. This may be due to improper storage or the wrong kind of material being used during manufacturing. In any case, it can be frustrating and might require immediate replacement from your seller or manufacturer.

Choosing the Right Inflatable Kayak for You

When it comes to choosing an inflatable kayak, you’ll need to consider several things. For example, where will you be using your boat, and how often? If you plan on using your inflatable kayak frequently and in harsh conditions (beach or sea) then you’ll probably want to spend more on a higher quality boat.

As mentioned earlier, inflatable kayaks come in different sizes and styles. There are many great brands of kayaks available, which you can check out for yourself here.


Many great hard shell kayaks ensure both functionality and comfort. If you’re uncertain about decked inflatable kayaks, consider the advantages they offer before making your decision.