Are inflatable kayaks any good? Are they as good as normal kayaks? Being inflatable, do they bend like pool toys?
These are questions we have been asked from beginners and expert kayakers alike, as they inquisitively ask about this advancement in kayaking. And for good reason.
How for so many years did most of us deal with lugging around heavy, polyethylene kayaks, straining our backs and having to worry about:
Where am I going to store my kayak?
How light a kayak can I get?
What is the easiest way to transport my kayak?
Welcome to the brand new 2019 Air Glide 385 by Bay Sports, a 100% drop stitch kayak designed here in Manly, Australia. The Air Glide 385 is a brilliant lightweight kayak with excellent tracking and build quality. But what makes this inflatable kayak so much more better than the rest? Read on...
What makes this inflatable kayak superior?
Advancements in inflatable water sport technologies, in particular drop-stitch manufacturing techniques, have developed in recent times, we are experiencing a fast transition into more practical, lightweight, yet sturdy watercraft.
This inflatable Drop Stitch kayak is faster, stiffer and stronger than any conventional air kayak. It can be easily transported in a compact bag. At just 13.9kgs, the material is much lighter than any polyethylene kayak on the market, whilst the boat shape is narrower and nevertheless provides more space. And with up to 10psi air pressure, so it is as stable and solid as a hard shell kayak.
The side chambers and bottom floor are made of high-denier (drop stitch) fabric for superior strength, high-pressure inflation, durability, and abrasion resistance in this patent-pending kayak construction.
Moulded V-shaped shape underneath bow and stern made of rigid, durable material for better tracking, easier paddling, and greater speed.
Drop-Stitch vs Normal Inflatable Kayaks?
You're not alone if you hear inflatable kayak and think the inside is just filled with air. Whilst your average camping air mattress is just that, Drop-Stitch inflatables like our Air Glide range (and also our inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards), contain millions of tough polyester threads that connect the top-to-bottom, and side walls of the kayak. This allows them to be inflated to high-pressures whilst giving them rock-hard rigidity and form.
The result? Hard shell kayak feel and performance, with easy transportation and storage of an inflatable.
Key benefits of Inflatable Kayaks & Canoes
Up to 50% lighter than their traditional counterparts plastic kayak, making for easy transportation to and from the water.
Folds up into a compact bag, making great for those living in apartments, or those with little room to store a plastic kayak - you can leave it in the boot of your car or store it away in your cupboard.
Remarkably tough and durable, being made from an abrasion resistant material, inflatable kayaks won't ding or scratch like a traditional plastic kayak.
Great performance and tracking capability, with huge advancements in the rigid V-hull, including a clever slide-in skeg, makes for a fast kayak that holds a straight line.
Key Features of Air Glide 385
Up to 4x higher operating pressure (10PSI) than regular inflatable kayaks.
2 side carrying handles, allows kayak to be used and transported easily by one person.
Adjustable 4-point high-back seat provides excellent back support and comfort.
Smart drainage system allows water to be channeled to an inner storage pod for easy water release, via dual drain plugs.
Detachable large skeg keeps kayak on a straight track while paddling
Tough, durable, compact, and lightweight, with great maneuverability and excellent stability.
Surpass the speed of a hard-shell kayak yet enjoy easy portability.
Multiple D-rings allow seat adjustments.
Deluxe, replaceable H3 high-pressure valves are reliable and airtight.
Large screw-type drain valves allow for fast, easy draining of the kayak and are easy to open and close.
Unique ultralight, universal design for all ages
Key Differences Air Glide 385 vs. KXone Slider 375
Whilst both are high build and construction quality, the Air Glide is a better value 100% Drop-Stitch inflatable kayak.
Bay Sports have further developed on the KXone design, adding 4cm extra width,4cm higher side walls, and 10cm more length to provide greater stability, tracking and better prevent water splashing into the boat.
We have also added 2 x side carry handles, for effortless carrying by one person. This is a huge benefit other inflatable kayaks lack.
In-built wind deflector and water shield - diverts water to channel off the kayak and back into the water, not in your kayak.
3 Year Warranty on Bay Sports Air Glide series, opposed to a 2 Year Warranty on the KXone Slider series.
Premium ballistic-weave nylon carry backpack with wheels and padded shoulder straps.
Slide-in 9” Skeg
1 x High Back Comfort Kayak Seat with large Velcro pouch.
1 x Footrest
1 x Lightweight Aluminium Paddle (4-piece)
The Air Glide is the ultimate inflatable kayak for use on rivers, light whitewater, on lakes and for kayaking for those demanding more than just a traditional inflatable.
L: 3.85mtrs W: 0.89mtrs H: 0.36mtrs Kayak Weight: 13.9kgs Maximum weight capacity: 200kg Capacity: 1 Adult Shipping Carton Size: 97 x 55 x 47 cm
"We absolutely LOVE our KXone Slider 485 double inflatable kayak. Perfect for our family of teenagers and young children as it fits 3 people easily in the kayak and inflates in less than 5 minutes. The bag on wheels makes it easy to pack in boot of car and wheel or carry to your kayak destination. No fuss. No bother. Means you can maximise your time on the water.
Tony’s customer service was outstanding - he made sure the delivery of the kayak got to our holiday destination."
"Not only did we track really well but our speed was not limited at all by the wind. We both found it very comfortable and as an extra bonus the distance between us meant that our paddles never clashed when we got out of sequence – another words the two of us could paddle at our own pace without interfering with each other. This is rare for double kayaks.
The kayak is extremely stable and easy to get in and out of and has huge capacity and plenty of legroom."