The number of people who love paddling has increased over the last few years. These days, people prefer to use canoes, not just to explore the water bodies but also wilderness around them. However, instead of using the solid ones, many others prefer the inflatable ones. When you’re choosing an air-filled canoe, it is essential to look at its features to make a wise decision.
To help you out further, we even rake through the internet to write this ultimate buying guide on how to find out the best inflatable canoe for you. Read on!
Which type of canoe do you need?
Picking one is not as easy as you may think. There are quite a lot of options out there and you don't want to reach a decision so quickly just to regret making it later on. When you’re looking to buy an inflatable canoe, it is essential to look at the types of canoe available and ideal for your area. You can surely research about them online to find the best one, but only when you are aware of the various choices available, can you shortlist the right one. The two options which you may come down to choose between are:
Raised seat canoe:
The general perception among paddlers is that when you’re buying a canoe, especially an inflatable one, you will have to choose one on which you have to kneel on the floor. However, this is not the only type you can choose. There is another one which has a proper seating space. The seating space is raised from the floor. So, it becomes easy for you to use the canoe consistently.
This type of canoe is the most common one. In this canoe, you have to kneel on the floor while paddling the canoe. The advantage of this canoe is that it is comparatively lightweight. Owing to this very reason, paddling and maneuvering it around is easy.
These are the first two options that are available when it comes to picking a canoe. You have to decide on which position you will be more comfortable. Once you are clear about that, you can go ahead and look for specific models in that category.
Which water body do you plan to use it in?
The beauty of an inflatable canoe is that you can take it anywhere. It means that no water body is far away from you. However, the type of canoe that you choose should be according to the water body which you plan to use it in. When you’re selecting an air-filled canoe, it will help you have a comfortable experience. Some of the questions which you need to ask yourself before choosing such a canoe:
- Do you usually use the canoe in the ocean?
- Are you most likely be using it at the nearest lake?
- Do you plan on using it in the streams?
When you get the answers to these questions, it becomes easy to choose the canoe. If you plan on using the canoe in the streams, you need highly maneuverable one. It will provide you with complete stability and control. Such a canoe can also help you avoid underwater objects and make swift turns, especially in streams. If you’re buying a canoe to ride in unstable waters, it is better to get one with scupper holes. These will ensure that you can drain off the water if any.
On the other hand, if you often traverse large water bodies like lakes or slow-moving rivers, it is better to buy one with fins. These can help you ride stably for longer distances. Also, such canoe often comes with long paddles. The advantage of such paddles is that you have greater control over the direction of the canoe.
Thus, when you get the answer to the question which we have highlighted above, it will become simple to shortlist the right options while choosing a canoe.
How long do you usually paddle?
You might be thinking about what this question has to do with the choice of a canoe. However, it has a definite impact on the color you choose. If you use your canoe to get away from the beach for a couple of hours, you can probably choose any durable one. It will fulfill your requirements.
However, if you would like to use one in bigger lakes, it is essential to choose a highly comfortable canoe. Choosing one which has a raised seat is a good option. Similarly, if you use a canoe in stable streams or water body, you have to choose one which doesn’t rock back and forth.
Similarly, if you go for overnight excursions in the streams, it is better to choose one which has plenty of storage space. It will help you store the essentials so that you have a comfortable trip. Many canoes come along with a storage box and also the bungee cord fixtures. It means that you can create a storage mesh as well. If you go for longer excursions, this is the one which you should choose.
Thus, when looking for inflatable variants of canoes, the average duration for which you use the canoe has a detrimental impact on the type which you choose.
How many people usually use your canoe?
The variations available when it comes to size aren't plenty, but is definitely critical. You can choose between:
- Solo canoe
- Two-person canoe
- Three-person canoe
These days, there are canoes available which can carry not just three persons but have space to bring a pet along as well. It means that you can enjoy the company of your pet during your outdoor excursion. The exact variant which you choose will depend upon whether you usually use the canoe alone or whether you go on such an outing along with your family and friends. Accordingly, you can choose the canoe with the right capacity.
Is the canoe easy to assemble?
You need to keep in mind that we are speaking about the inflatable ones. Therefore, when you reach the shore of the water body, you would have to assemble it. Some of the questions which you need to ask yourself are:
- What is the inflation time of this canoe?
- How many air Chambers does it consist of?
- Is there any other assembling required?
- Does it come along with a storage bag?
When you get the answers to these questions, it becomes easy to understand how much time this canoe will take to assemble. When you’re on the shore and longing to get into the water, it becomes difficult to wait for a long time. That is why; a much better alternative is to choose a canoe which can be assembled easily.
At the same time, you should not compromise on the number of air chambers. The more the air chambers, the safer will be your canoe. Usually, when searching for an inflatable one, it should consist of at least two air chambers. However, you have to prefer the canoe which has at least three air chambers or more. So, it will be easy to choose a safer one.
Thus, when speaking about the assembling time of the canoe, it has a delicate balance which you need to achieve between safety and the time spent.
What is your budget?
It is the most obvious question which you need to ask yourself if you want to choose the right air-filled canoe. Whether you’re buying a canoe, kayak, or any other inflatable, you always have to determine the budget first. When you do so, it will be easy for you to shortlist the right options.
While comparing the different canoes, you might think that the expensive option is the best one, but that is not always the case. You need to understand that buying a professional canoe is not necessary. If you plan on using it occasionally, there is no need to buy a professional variant. You need a simple one which has all the essential features you need. That is why you have to try and choose one within your budget. Some of the factors you need to consider while choosing such a canoe include:
- Accessories which come along with it
- Inflation time
Once you check these factors, it becomes easy to buy the right canoe. You will not have to inflate your budget.
Which accessories does the canoe come with?
To use a canoe effectively, you will need some of the necessary accessories. These accessories can include:
- Life jacket
- Inflation pump
- Fill gauge
- Bungee cord
If you think about buying them separately, you might end up spending a significant amount of money. Without these essential accessories, you will not be able to use the canoe in its entirety. There will always be something or the other that will be lacking. As a result, you will not have the right experience. On the other hand, when buying a canoe which comes along with these accessories, it will become easy for you to use it in its entirety.
Moreover, most of the inflatable ones come along with their carrying case. It means that you will not only be able to get these accessories, but also you will be able to carry them around. When you can take the entire kit around in a portable bag, it will be easy for you to travel to wherever you want. Hence; you should look at the number and type of accessories which come along with the canoe.
What is the material of the canoe?
Another essential question to ask while choosing the canoe is the material. Since we are discussing the inflatable one, the material will determine its durability and safety. Generally speaking, three material variants are commonly used. These include:
PVC: The advantage of the PVC material is that it is available in the tear-resistant option. It is UV resistant, which means that you can use it outdoors consistently. Due to these properties, it is one of the most widely used materials for inflatables.
Nitrylon: This material is a variant of synthetic rubber. It is eco-friendlier than PVC. It is a mix of natural rubber along with polyester fabric. It is sturdy and also puncture-resistant. It is abrasion-resistant as well. That is why; it is used in many inflatables.
Hypalon: Hypalon is UV resistant, and also abrasion-resistant. It is more durable than the above two options. However, since it is more expensive, very few canoes use it.
These are the three materials which you can choose between when choosing a canoe. Finding out about the material of the canoe is one of the primary things which you need to do while choosing one.
Do you go fishing on a canoe?
The trend of using the canoe for fishing is ever increasing. However, if you plan on doing the same, it is better to opt for one which has comfortable elevated seating space. When that is the case, it will be easy for you to fish for hours together. It is not possible to fish using a canoe if you have to kneel on the floor. Hence; if you plan on using it for fishing, the answer to this question will help you select the right canoe.
What is the weight carrying capacity?
Of course, the weight carrying capacity of a two-person canoe, three-person canoe and solo canoe will be different. Nevertheless, it is essential to look at the load-carrying capacity. It will help you understand how large an individual it can accommodate. Only when it can handle at least 150 lbs to 200 lbs individuals, you should think about buying that canoe. You have to also look at the dimensions of the canoe to understand whether you can comfortably use that canoe or not.
While most of the canoes are quite sturdy and can handle a large amount of weight, but it is always better to find out about the load-carrying capacity of the canoe. Once you do so, choosing the right one becomes quite easy for you.
So, instead of going through every model of the canoe, you should find answers to these questions. Once you do so, it will be easy for you to shortlist the right options. Choosing from 3 to 5 canoe models is quite easy as compared to comparing tens of different options available.
With the help of our guide above, the task of choosing the right and inflatable one becomes quite easy for you. Also, since you will be making an informed decision, you can select the best available option. It will help you have a pleasant experience when you use that canoe in the outdoor water bodies.