A lot of people have begun taking a closer look at inflatable boats and kayaks. Why not? They are more affordable and nearly as dependable as a traditional, hard shell boat or kayak. Technology is constantly improving to ensure that these inflatables are stronger than ever before. That is why we feel it is important that you gain a better understanding of which boat or kayak style you want. We will tell you the difference between a rib inflatable boat vs inflatable kayak and in doing so, will help you make the right choice for your next adventure out on the open water.
The Rib Inflatable Boat
This type of boat is also commonly referred to as a rigid inflatable. It is a boat that is made of rubber and air, the same as all other inflatables, but it also has stronger framework. They are very durable and in some cases, faster than you may expect. They are sea worthy and can handle even rough waves without you having to fear that they will tip over. If you have a desire to go white watering, the rigid boat may be more able to stay afloat without tipping over and they are certainly more able to handle it than hard shell boats or kayaks. They also do not need to be deflated every time you take them out of the water if you have a way to carry them when inflated.
The downside is that the rib inflatable boats are going to be heavier than other inflatables. They will also be more difficult to carry and wont fold down as compactly as inflatables normally would. You should also expect to pay more for a basic rib inflatable boat. It will be as costly as a top of the line standard inflatable kayak.
The Inflatable Kayak
Most inflatable kayaks are designed for portability. They fold up small enough to fit into a backpack and can be kept inside of a trunk without taking up too much of your car’s trunk space. They are very lightweight and many weigh around 20 pounds. They inflate and deflate quickly so that you can be on the move in a very short timeframe. Many of them are also priced at around $100, but if you want a higher quality one, you can expect to spend $4-500 on it.
The price you pay for having a cheaper kayak is that punctures are more likely to happen when you are in a lightweight inflatable kayak. You lessen the risk by spending a little more for a thicker fabric. Since inflatable kayaks are so lightweight, you also should consider the way it handles. They are not as easy to use as an inflatable boat. They are more likely to tip over and high winds can make them very unstable. The bonus is that because they are so lightweight, you can expect them to go faster.
See An Intense Inflatable Kayak Race
The truth is, everyone who wants an inflatable will have a personal preference. Inflatable boats are larger than inflatable kayaks, but nowadays, kayaks can carry three people. Rigid inflatable boats are more easy to handle, but inflatable kayaks are faster. Beyond all of that, you must choose your boat based on the quality that you can afford and this is perhaps what makes it the hardest choice to make.