Custom Flotation Bags

Where can I purchase heat sealable nylon to make bags for my SOF Kayak that is a work in progress?


…I really don’t think the DIY person is gonna be able to acquire that kind of product, certainly not in the very minute quantities that one needs. I would start a Google search to begin with. otherwise…there is a wide range of bag sizes/shapes available on the market that should work well for you, they don’t have to be a picture perfect fit to be effective. again do a google search to start with.

Seattle Fabrics

– Last Updated: Apr-21-10 7:05 AM EST –

You may also want to check in over at QajaUSA where folks organize group purchases every so often.


Mayb try PVC or clear vinyl

– Last Updated: Apr-21-10 7:26 AM EST –

I made custom bags using instructions from Yostwerks:

I'm impressed that they've never lost any air. As opposed to the special order PVC shown, you could also make them of clear vinyl sold at Walmart (I hear), once you have the glue, which is heat activated.

But, like the other poster, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble, and for further projects, have switched to commercial bags via NRS:


– Last Updated: Apr-21-10 7:35 AM EST –

Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics sells it. There was a great article in SeaKayaker Mag several years ago on how to make them. Contact SK and you can probably purchase a back issue.


Ooops. My mistake. OWF does not appear to have it. Quest Fabrics does.

Seattle fabrics
I just ordered some from Seattle Fabrics to make floatation for my daughter’s skin on frame. They sell it as small as 1/8 yard increments. I think I paid about $10 for much more material than I’ll need for a pair of bags.

Clear vinyl
will work from Wal Mart, I hae done it. Glue it up with HH-66 glue. You can find it many places including EBay.

Seattle Fabrics?
Which fabric did you order?

Fabric choices
Ripstop is probably good for lightweight drybags etc.

Taffeta is OK for flotation if not subjected to abuse.

Oxford is probably just right.

Pack cloth is probably too heavy.


Float bags
Use the lightest weight heat seal fabric sold by Seattle Fabrics. Mine are 5 years old and still as good as ever. There is little stress on the float bags, so it isn’t necessary to use heavier fabric.

Seattle Fabrics will include instructions on how to make them. It’s very easy. Use the hottest setting on a household iron. Experiment first with scrap material. When done, inflate as much as possible and check for leaks. If you find leaks, heat the spot again with a lot of pressure on that point.

which fabric
I ordered FHSO, “heat sealable oxford”, $13.25/yd (58" wide).

On the website click on “fabrics”, then click on “coated and uncoated nylon . . .”

There are about half a dozen heat sealable fabrics to choose from, and you can request that they send you a free copy of an article from SeaKayaker about making drybags with heat sealable nylon.

The skin boat school also sells storage/float bags for SOF (Greenland style or Baidarka). It’s nice to have a second compartment for storage separate from the floatation chamber:

I believe they will make them to order as well, as the ones I have are a different size, made to fit in a Cape Falcon boat.