Inflatable Kayaks For Kids
Inflatable kayaks for kids have come a long way in the last few years. They’re cheap, more stable than rigid kayaks and easier to store and transport. Above all else – they’re great fun!
When your children were younger, you wanted them in the same kayak as you. It wouldn’t have been practical or safe any other way. Now that they’re a little older, maybe they’re not as excited about being in the same kayak. If you’re considering a gift for you kid or kids that will really make their day, month and year, an inflatable kayak is the ticket.
Is My Kid Old Enough?
Usually, 7 – 10 is a great age for your child’s first kayak.
It is not recommended for children below the age of 7 to have their own kayak. They are usually not strong enough, as confident, or developmentally ready to make the complex decisions required.
Tandem / Family Sized Kayaks
With a tandem kayak, you can take your kids out on the water from around 6 months of age (with an infant life vest). A 3 person or 4 person kayak lets the whole family get involved.
The larger three-person options are also nice if you have a larger child. Maybe they aren’t interested in their own kayak, or apprehensive because of fears they have.
They’re also great if you have an older child with a disability.
If your child is large and strong enough, they may be able to get away with a smaller adult inflatable kayak or even one of regular size. The grand majority of kayaks for kids are interchangeable with smaller adults.
Advantages Of Inflatable Kayaks for Kids
Here are some advantages of inflatable kayaks for your kids.
Inflatable kayaks typically are a little wider than hard kayaks. This means that your child will feel safer and more stable in the water. They’ll be less likely to take an unexpected bath which no one looks forward to.
Easy To Store
This one is especially important with a family when space is at a premium. They can fit in a space the size of a backpack for storage and some could even fit under a child’s bed!
Because of their compact size, they’re easier to take on family trips and vacations. Unlike with a rigid kayak, you can take them along while hiking – or even mountain biking! Even if you don’t use them (or the weather doesn’t play along) they can be stowed in your trunk and be ready to go in a few minutes.
Cheaper Than Hard-Shells
Inflatables are much cheaper than hard-shell kayaks. Prices start from under $100 and you can pick-up a top rated one like the NRI Rascal for around $700. Considering the price of kids rigid kayaks start at around $300 and a good one will cost more than $1000, they are a more affordable option for kids
No Trailer / Roof Rack Required
As an inflatable kayak compacts down you won’t need to buy an expensive trailer, roof rack or the ties and attachment that goes with it. This will also make setting off on a family adventure a much quicker affair with less hassle!
Inflatable Kayaks Are Cool!
Kids really enjoy helping to inflate and deflate their own kayak. They can also keep the kayak in their own room and even take it with them on a plane. This is sure to help them form a more lasting interest in kayaking as a hobby.
Tips for Purchasing a Kids Kayak
Many of the pros and cons of inflatable kayaks holds true whether purchasing for adults or for kids.
Try the Kayak Yourself
Whether you’ve ever used an inflatable kayak before or not, trying one for your child is a great idea. It will make you familiar with it’s characteristics and much easier to instruct your kids. It might also remove any nagging doubts you have over it’s water worthiness!
Get The Right Size
The size of your child’s personal kayak is critical. If it is too large, they won’t have the needed strength to maneuver it. If it’s too small, they’ll feel awkward and slow.
There are varying styles and sizes of inflatable kayaks. Not all children are the same and some models that work perfectly for one child may not work as well for yours. It’s best to read reviews to get the specifics of how a given kayak worked for a child of the age and size of yours.
Purchase Quality Kids PFDs
It cannot be overstated that your child should wear a PFD / life vest at all times.
Whether they are good swimmers or not, make sure they always have it firmly in place. Your child will need to be as comfortable as possible while paddling and maneuvering.
Trying some vests on with your child before a purchase is a great idea. Look for something that fits more like clothing than a bulky model.