Equipment for inflatable kayaks

Essential Equipment for Inflatable Kayaks

If you are thinking of getting an inflatable canoe or kayak you will need to make sure you have, or the boat comes with, certain accessories and equipment. Here is our list of those important things.


This is obvious, of course. In order to paddle your kayak you are going to need paddles. There are two types, canoe and kayak paddles – there is a difference.

Canoe paddles

Canoe Paddles
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Canoe paddles have only one blade, that is the flat bit at the end of the paddle which is used for pulling through the water. They will have a grip on the other end of the shaft.

Kayak paddles

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Kayak paddles have blades on both ends and are used on both sides of the boat alternately. You will find that most have the blades at an angle to each other, so you have to swivel your wrist as you paddle one side.

Some paddles can be taken apart at the stem and a canoe grip or kayak blade can be added, so you can swap or change according to which type you wish to use.


In order to use your inflatable kayak, you are going to need to inflate the air chambers. For this you will need a good quality pump. Hand pumps are best and it is recommended that you get a double action one, this will inflate in the up pull and down push, meaning you inflate your boat in half the time.

Air Gauge

Inflatable kayaks are quite particular about the amount of air you blow into the chambers. It is important to get it right, too little and your craft won’t have enough rigidity and too much, you risk bursting it.

I have used my inflatable kayak with too little air in the floor air chamber and it is not only uncomfortable but risks getting water around your body and getting cold and wet.

Be sure to inflate your canoe or kayak as per the instructions.

Carry Bag

Ease of transport is one of the key features of a blow-up kayak, so a good sturdy carry bag is important.

Most inflatable kayaks will come with one as standard. Most are a two handles carry-bag type but some of the more sophisticated come with a back-pack style bag. This can be necessary if you wish to tramp or walk your boat to a remote waterway.

Repair Kit

Hopefully, you won’t need this piece of equipment, but it is advised to make sure that you have a good repair kit. These should come with the kayak when you purchase it, so make sure yours’ does.

If not, it is possible to buy replacement inflatable kayak repair kits, it is advisable to have one, especially if you are on a long trip.

Buoyancy Aids

It is important to consider your safety whilst on the water, and good quality life-jackets or buoyancy aids are essential, especially if you have children paddling with you.

Please make sure you are wearing one.


If you have any comments about this guide, please feel free to leave them below, we look forward to hearing from you.






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