Inflatable Boat Tender

With so many kayak models available such as hardshell, inflatable, tandem, solo, recreational, tandem, fishing, etc. it can be hard to decide on which kayak boat type is the best. Earlier, hardshell kayaks were the number one choice, but now inflatable kayaks are growing in popularity among the people. Both of these offer great fun on the water and comes with both pros and cons. This brief guide is to help you decide which kayak boat is best for you.



What is A Hardshell Kayaks and Inflatable Kayaks?

Hardshell kayaks are constructed or molded using rigid material such as wood, fiberglass, or hard plastic, hence they have a rigid structure.

On the other hand, inflatable kayaks are PVC or soft plastic structures that are inflated into kayaks. Typically they have three air chambers for hull structure- two on the sides and one in the bottom.

Here are a few considerations to help you decide the kayak best for you:


Inflatable kayaks are lighter than hardshell kayaks. Solo inflatable kayaks can weigh under 20 lbs, while you will have hard finding solo hardshell kayaks under 40 lbs. You can find inflatable tandem kayaks around 25 to 35 lbs in weight, the hardshell tandem on the other hand will weigh about 50 to 80 lbs.

Remember not all inflatable kayaks are super lightweight. With the addition of drop-stitch floors, more length, rigid sterns, and bows the weight can increase. Overall inflatables are a great choice if you are looking for lightweight kayaks.

Ease of Use

Both hardshells and inflatables are easy to use. Once you reach the location, you can simple inflate your inflatable kayaks, mount the seats, and make the necessary adjustment. With hardshell kayaks, all you have to do is simply take it off the car and set out in the water. Since inflatable kayaks can be inflated and deflated, they are easy to transport around.

Ease of Paddling

Since hardshell kayaks have a rigid hull, they are much easier to move through the water. They don’t flex or bend around every wave. This problem may arise with inflatable kayaks if you are going through rough water.

The good news is, leading Inflatable dock mat manufacturer in China, like Beetles Outdoor, provide high tracking inflatable kayaks, which are made using high-quality keels and drop-stitch floors that are as rigid as the hardshell. Plus, they also track very well in harsh waves.


In terms of durability, both hardshells and inflatables can last for years with proper maintenance. After use, they should be properly clean with fresh water. Avoid storing under direct sunlight, as extended exposure to UV rays can dramatically decrease the life of both.


All kayaks have to be properly cared for and stored after use. Apart from washing hardshell kayaks require additional maintenance. The finish needs waxed and cleaned regularly, and if it’s wood than periodic repainting or refinishing is required. Inflatable kayaks also have to be washed and dried properly before storing to prevent mold growth on them during storage.


Inflatables are less expensive than hardshell kayaks. So, now you know the difference and pros and cons of it, hopefully, this will help you made a better choice in buying your kayaks. If you are interested in purchasing high-quality inflatable kayaks from a professional inflatable manufacturer, contact Beetles Outdoor. We are a leading professional inflatable manufacturer in China, esteemed to provide satisfactory products.