Inflatable Kayak Storage – How to Make Your Kayak Last Longer

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You got your boat and now you are wondering about inflatable kayak storage. We got you!

In this guide, I will be sharing the top inflatable kayak tips done by me and other seasoned inflata-yakkers (Did I just make up a new term!?) 

These tips will ensure that your kayak will last you as long as possible to give you the best use for your hard-earned money!

I will also be including folding instructions from popular inflatable kayak models to make sure you do everything properly!

Sounds good? Let’s get into it!

What You Will Need

You really don’t need anything fancy when it comes to packing up your inflatable kayak. The most important things you need are

  • Instructions (We will provide video instructions of popular models below)
  • Mild soap
  • Bucket
  • Fresh warm water
  • Soft scrub brush
  • Towel 
  • Tarp or Landing Mat
  • 303 UV Protection Spray

How am I supposed to bring all of that with me while kayaking!? I hear you ask. 

Well, you don’t! The main things you need to bring are a landing mat, towel, and maybe instructions (if this is your first few times using the boat).

While it is important to get your kayak clean (especially if it’s in salt water). You can wait until you get back home to have all the supplies you need. Unlike a lot of what you read about this particular subject, saltwater is not particularly corrosive to PVCs and plastics.

Conversely, plastics are inert to salts, which means floating ions pass right over the material without any negative effects. All plastics are inherently resistant to all salts. However, CPVC’s ability to work at higher temperatures than cheaper plastics, such as PVC, presents an area of distinction. Put simply, for applications dealing with salts, plastics should be the first choice to avoid unnecessary repairs.

Corozan Explanation

I’m not saying don’t clean your kayak of saltwater, I still think you should! Inflatable kayak seams are worth protecting at any cost. Anything you can do for them will make every bit of a difference.  But saltwater is not as corrosive to plastic as many may make out to believe. 

Wash Clean and Dry Your Inflatable Kayak

inflatable kayak cleaning

I’m not going to go into too much depth with this stage as we have written a whole post on How to Clean and Dry and Inflatable Kayak. It’s worth checking out because this post has different instructions for different types of inflatable kayaks

But here is a brief summary for those who like to skim.

  1. Lay Kayak out on a tarp or landing mat so it does not get dirty
  2. If you have an inflatable kayak that features a bladder in a protective layer pull the bladder out
  3. Rinse off the Inflatable kayak
  4. Use warm soapy water to blot out stains gently with a rag or soft-bristled brush
  5. If you are able to let the kayak dry, a little bit of sun will help with this but towels speed up this process.
  6. Every 1-3 times a year (depending on how much sun you get) spray Marine UV Degradation spray on the vinyl or PVC material. 
  7. Pack it away and you are ready to go

Folding Instructions

Something to avoid with an inflatable kayak or boat is folding it the exact same way tightly every single time. When folded tightly each time, it can wear out the material. Especially if there is a fold on one of the seams. 

So How do you fold your kayak? I can’t tell you this exactly because folds differ from kayak manufacturer to kayak manufacturer. But What I can do is link to some videos that I have come across of popular inflatable kayak models.

I will keep adding to this list as I find more!

Inflatable Kayak Storage Tips

Below are some tips as to what to do and what not to do when it comes to inflatable kayak storage

How Not to Store an Inflatable Kayak

First, let’s start with the don’ts! 

  • Don’t store your kayak while it’s still wet (mold and mildew can grow) 
  • Don’t just shove your inflatable kayak in the bag straight after paddling without some care
  • Don’t leave your inflatable kayak unclean for more than 24 hours after use
  • Don’t Leave the inflatable kayak in the sun for days on end (UV rays are some of the worst culprits to PVC Damage)
  • Don’t Keep Your Inflatable Kayak Outside without proper cover from the elements
  • Do not use bleach, steel wool, or solvent of any kind to clean your inflatable kayak
  • Don’t make your inflatable kayak easy for critters and crawlies to sneak inside (either have it in a secure bag or store it in a tote with a lid
  • Don’t leave the kayak stored under full pressure over a long duration

The biggest reasons for damage on this list would be proper storage of an inflatable kayak and UV damage over time. 

Proper storage is important because both the elements and certain critters will almost certainly damage your unprotected inflatable kayak. Mice and rats are big culprits here as they like to chew a lot of different things to keep their teeth from growing. 

Over a long period of time, the sun can greatly weaken PVC or vinyl, which of course shortens the life of your inflatable kayak. 

How to Store your Inflatable Kayak Properly

 Below are some tips on proper storage tips for inflatable kayaks.

  • Keep Your Inflatable kayak somewhere inside (the fewer critters and crawlies the better) 
  • Dry your inflatable kayak before storing it
  • Read the manufacturer manual on storage preferences
  • Spray with 303 UV protectant before winterizing it
  • If you must store it outside make sure a cover is securely fastened around the boat!
  • Make sure to clean your kayak after each trip (Ideally within 24 hours)
  • The looser your roll the kayak the less stress it will be on the material (solution for this below)

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Most inflatable kayak manufacturers will recommend that you store your inflatable kayak in their bag. This is fine but the problem with many inflatable kayak bags is that they are a tight fit. This means you have to fold the kayak tightly each and every time. 

This is fine for a few seasons but if you want to get the absolute most out of your inflatable kayak life span then either find a baggier bag or use a tote for storage!

DIY Tote Option

I came across some good advice from a Redditor (I wish I came up with this!). A good thing to do is storing your inflatable kayak in a Rubbermaid bin. 

When folded loosely your kayak will have an easier time fitting into a closed bin as opposed to the tight backpacks that many manufacturers often give you. 

It also makes sure that the folds are not making permanent creases on your kayak which could potentially lead to damage down the road.  If you want the tote to breathe, drill some small holes into it.

How Do You Store an Inflatable Kayak?

The best way to ensure that you get the most life out of your inflatable kayak is by:

  1. Have Supplies like soap, warm water, and towels ready
  2. Rinsing, washing, and drying your kayak after use
  3. Learn how to fold your kayak properly (but not too tightly)
  4. Switching up the folds from time to time
  5. Storing your kayak in a dry space away from outside elements and critters

Got any other suggestions? We would love to hear it! Let us know on our Facebook page!

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Hey, there! My name is Derek and I have been around kayaks and canoes all my life. The last 5 years I recently turned my attention to inflatable kayaks and my world has been a lot more portable since! When I'm not kayaking I like to watch motorsports, play hockey and work on this site!

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