Which is better? A hardshell kayak or an inflatable kayak? This mainly depends on a few things such as space, use, preference… read on!
Hardshell kayaks are better suited for more intensive adventures on the water, such as ocean or open water kayaking, and stand the test of time as they are extremely durable.
The downside is that you need to have the space to store your kayak, and also transport it to and from the water, usually strapped to the roof of a vehicle. They can also be fairly expensive as well.
Hardshell kayaks will usually sit deeper in the water and therefore track better than an inflatable kayak, which can be important when using the kayak on the ocean, whitewater or rougher waters.
An inflatable kayak is more suited to recreational use, touring and fishing. Inflatable kayaks also tend to be wider, so they have great stability which is especially useful for fishing when you need to stand up to cast or reel a fish in.
The bonus with an inflatable kayak is that it packs down into something that can be stored in a wardrobe, which is great if perhaps you live in the city and are limited on storage space.
Inflatable kayaks can fit nicely in the boot of your car which makes it extremely easy to transport to and from the water. You can even check your inflatable kayak on a flight as hold luggage to take it with you on your travels!
An inflatable kayak is also easy to maintain as well. You need to make sure your kayak is clean and dry for the best longevity, and you can also repair them if needed with either glue or patches. Repair kits also come with a few of the different brands.
The main things to think about are what you will be using your kayak for, how much storage you have, how you would transport it to and from the water. Thinking about these three things will give you a clearer idea of whether to go for a hardshell or an inflatable kayak.