Paddle in Style: Top 10 Inflatable Canoes of 2023

Inflatable Canoe

Inflatable Canoe

Abigail Scott

Abigail Scott
Mother, Professional Kayaker, and Software Engineer

Updated on 3/21/2023

Almost every aspect of modern life demands a lot of space. There are so many vehicles in garages that they are relegated to the driveway. It is possible that people living in cities do not have access to a garage at all. With all the traveling we do these days, roof racks quickly fill up with bikes and roof cargo boxes.

Paddlers with limited space can use inflatable canoes. They are incredibly portable and packable. It is easy to take an inflatable canoe along on a plane or in the trunk of a car. Inflatable canoes fit in a closet and can be carried in a car trunk or checked in a car.

There is a rapid expansion of the inflatables category. Unlike flimsy rubber crafts suited for pools, buyers are no longer limited to heavy-duty whitewater boats. Recreational canoes and boats for remote expeditions are both available as blow-up canoes. The inflatables take on more complex shapes thanks to new technology, such as drop stitching, and are made of materials that are durable enough to withstand heavy use. Although used inflatable canoes may be available, they present a number of unique considerations. You can find more information about these and other tips below.

Shopping for a used inflatable canoe?

There are fewer used inflatable canoes on the market than rigid canoes. Their popularity is still relatively low, and they aren't widely available. Local paddling groups or outdoor classifieds such as MEC Gearswap are good places to find used inflatable canoes.

Sea Eagle, for example, sells returned or repaired inflatables on their website, which have been professionally repaired and inspected.

If you are buying a used inflatable canoe, make sure it holds air by blowing it up first. Ensure that all the parts are included, including the pump and patch kit. Get to know the current owner's storage habits, how often the canoe has been used, and why they are selling it.

Learn more about what to look for when buying a used canoe in our article How To Buy A Used Canoe.

Inflatable canoe buying guide

The construction, comfort, and performance of inflatable canoes vary greatly. The difference between a $500 blow-up floater and a $3,000 inflatable tripper is like that between a beach cruiser bicycle and a full-suspension mountain bike. The two items serve different purposes, but they are nearly entirely different.

Lower-end inflatable canoes are perfect for days at the beach or at the cottage. Rather than dragging them along the shore, they should be carried into the water instead.

 

For added comfort, rigid seats are used in more expensive canoes. Using more robust materials, they are made of reinforced PVC. A drop stitched canoe holds a stiffer shape and performs better on the water due to higher air pressure.

Make sure the intended use of the canoe is compatible with your paddling style when you are shopping. Take into account the canoe's packed size and weight as well. Be sure it is easy to carry if you intend to hike it into remote lakes.

What is drop stitching?

Inflatables have flat surfaces and corners thanks to drop stitching. There are thousands of fine fibers woven into each piece of material. An airtight seal is then applied to the stitching, and the seam is taped. A rigid, robust inflatable boat with previously unimaginable shapes is the result.

Although drop stitching is a relatively new development, it is used in many shaped inflatable products, including aircraft wings, which require a high level of durability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of inflatable canoes over traditional canoes?

Inflatable canoes are more convenient to transport and store, and are also more versatile in terms of usage on different terrains.

How durable are inflatable canoes?

The durability of inflatable canoes varies based on the material and design. Generally, high-quality inflatable canoes made with PVC or other strong materials can last for several years with proper maintenance.

Can inflatable canoes be used in rapids or rough waters?

Inflatable canoes are not recommended for use in rapids or rough waters as they are not designed for such conditions.

How much does an inflatable canoe typically weigh?

The weight of an inflatable canoe can vary from around 20 pounds to over 70 pounds, depending on the size and features of the canoe.

How long does it take to inflate an inflatable canoe?

The time it takes to inflate an inflatable canoe depends on the size of the canoe and the type of pump used, but most can be inflated within 15-30 minutes.

What is the maximum weight capacity of an inflatable canoe?

The maximum weight capacity of an inflatable canoe varies depending on the make and model, but most have a capacity of around 500-600 pounds.