Inflatable kayaks are slowly replacing traditional kayaks because they are more affordable, versatile, and easier to store. You can safely store your inflatable kayaks in a cramped area after deflating them, which makes them excellent vessels! However, blowing these kayaks back up later can be a pain, leaving many wondering if you can leave inflatable kayaks inflated while storing them.
It is safe to leave an inflatable kayak inflated if it’s thoroughly cleaned and the psi is lower than the maximum. Inflated kayaks are difficult to puncture. They are also durable and nibble-resistant, protecting them from rodent attacks and strengthening the kayak’s seams.
So, let’s discuss why it’s safe to store an inflatable kayak while it’s still inflated. I’ll also discuss how to take care of it and when and how to deflate your kayak. Then, I’ll show you where to find an inflatable kayak.
Should You Deflate Your Inflatable Kayak When It’s Not in Use?
While most people prefer storing their kayaks after removing air from them, there are a variety of reasons why others prefer keeping them inflated. If you’re on a trip at the beach, a resort, or even camping near the riverside, you might want to keep your kayak inflated, so you don’t have to re-inflate it every few hours or days.
Inflated kayaks are rip-resistant and difficult to puncture, especially when full of air. That is because when the kayak is inflated, the air tightens and stretches the rubber sides, making them firmer and smoother.
The only downfall to storing a kayak inflated for extended periods is that its walls can rupture and become weaker due to any changes in air pressure. It’s similar to your car tires – when it gets hot, the air expands, putting too much pressure on the inside of your kayak.
So, when storing an inflatable kayak, leaving room for air expansion is critical.
How To Store Your Inflated Kayak for Reuse
If you want to store your inflatable kayak while it’s still inflated, there are some general best practices you should follow. Otherwise, you might risk damaging your boat!
So, here’s what you’ll need to consider when storing your kayak while it’s still full of air:
- Keep your inflated kayak away from direct sunlight. Inflated kayaks are more prone to damage from the sun because the air inside expands after heating up, causing the psi to increase and the rubber to burst. Plus, sunlight can make rubber more brittle.
- You should always clean your kayak after taking it out of the water. If you were just out in the water, rinse it with clean water to remove the salt and sand particles. Salt residue can cause your kayak to corrode, and if you leave sand particles on your vessel for a long time, they can wear away the rubber and break it.
- Before storing your inflated kayak, you should let out some air. Not too much – just a tiny bit. If the air inside expands due to warm weather, your kayak will have enough space to accommodate it. That will prevent it from rupturing or bursting. When you’re taking the kayak out into open water again, take 2-4 psi (13.79-27.58 kPa) out and reflate your kayak with new air.
- Find a safe storage spot. If your kayak is still full of air, you’ll need to ensure it can’t blow away and protect it from sharp objects. So, place it in a shed, barn, or other building to keep it just how you left it.
This video can help you learn how to leave your inflated kayak and take care of it:
How To Deflate an Inflatable Kayak?
If you intend to store your kayak away for weeks or months, you might want to deflate it.
Here are a few steps to prevent damage to your inflatable kayak, even when you store it away for months or years:
- Clean your kayak. As mentioned above, storing your kayak without removing sand, gravel, or salt can cause it to rupture, crack, or leak. If you are in a hurry, you can rinse your kayak with fresh water before loading it in your trunk, and later on, wash it properly to clean off all the salt and dirty water residue.
- If your kayak is too muddy or dirt and soil are stuck on it, use a soft sponge and mild soap to scrub it off. Then rinse it off with clean water. Make sure that you thoroughly wash and clean your kayak from the inside as well. If you don’t do that, any leftover debris can create holes in your kayak.
- After thoroughly cleaning your kayak, let it dry over a clean wood plank or leave it in a cool place to dry. Don’t use a hairdryer or other tool to dry the kayak off. You can use a dry towel to wipe off all the water droplets on the surface and then allow the kayak to dry out by itself.
- Never store your kayak while it’s wet. If you store your kayak while damp, it may develop mold and mildew.
- Deflate your kayak by opening all the valves and letting all the air out. This process can take minutes or even an hour. You can quicken the process by repeatedly applying some pressure on it to help release the air.
- Once all the air is out, you can roll your kayak before storing it. First, fold the kayak’s sides, then roll it from one end to the other. Make sure to align the spray kits at the center. Ensure that there are no sharp corners while folding your kayak, as this can cause your kayak to rupture or tear over time.
- Don’t try to cram your kayak into the bag. If it doesn’t fit, try refolding it again. Once you’re done, close all the valves to prevent air from entering them.
Here’s a short tutorial to help you easily clean, deflate, and pack up your inflatable kayak:
Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe To Use?
Inflatable kayaks are known for being easily portable. You don’t need a truck or van to carry your inflatable kayak. You can quickly deflate it, keep it in a bag, and inflate it whenever you want.
An inflatable kayak is best for you if you are an explorer or only go kayaking every once in a while.
Inflatable kayaks are safe, and you can perform all water activities in your inflatable kayak. Contrary to common belief, inflatable kayaks are very stable in open water. Since they are inflatable, they remain afloat on the water even if they roll over.
Inflatable kayaks are very easy to use. Hence, most beginners might want to purchase these as it’s easy to learn to kayak on them.
Furthermore, stability in open water makes it a perfect beginner’s kayak! Besides this, Inflatable kayaks are also quite versatile. You can quickly get back up on them if you fall, as they return to their original position, even after rolling over.
You can also use them on calm waters as well as turbulent ones.
Where To Find an Inflatable Kayak?
There are a variety of inflatable kayaks that you can purchase both online and in-store. You can buy a heavy kayak or a light-weighted one based on your needs.
Here’s a video that can help you decide what type of kayak you should purchase and its advantages:
You can also check out the Intex Store 2-Person Kayak (available on Amazon.com). The package includes an inflatable kayak bundle with a manual and electric pump, aluminum paddles, and an inflatable kayak. Kayaks like this one are a great example of how durable these inflatable boats can be!
If you have an inflatable kayak, you need to inspect it. I recommend reading my guide to learn more about why and how you should do so. [Do Inflatable Kayaks Need to Be Inspected?]
Storing your inflatable kayak properly, even if you leave it inflated, is critical to get the most out of your boat. Keeping it clean, letting out the air pressure, and keeping it in a dark, cool place will help increase the longevity and durability of the kayak.
Besides, it will also help you save a good chunk of money if you take care of your kayak correctly.
- Hide-Away Storage: How to Store an Inflatable Boat or Kayak
- Gili Sports: Inflatable Kayaks | Ultimate Guide
- Kayak Help: How to Properly Care for Your Inflatable Kayak
- Gili Sports: How To Properly Store A Kayak
- Boating Guide: How to Clean A Kayak