inflatable canoes

With limited ability to transport a traditional canoe, I am considering an inflatable by Stearns. I wonder if any members can comment on the usefulness of these inflatables. To avid paddlers they may be “gauche”, “trailer park trash” or worse but they sure appear to be convenient.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

There are some fairly fast and capable
inflatable kayaks. Inflatable canoes tend to be too wide, though they can be very good for whitewater trips where it is difficult to transport boats. Because whitewater paddlers want to be kneeling, the floor has to be wider than for kayaking, and so the outer flotation chambers bring the total width to something uncomfortable for reaching the water. Maybe others will know of inflatables worth considering. Grabner comes to mind, and it’s always worth looking at offerings from Innova.

Sea Eagle
would be on my list for an inflatable. Although I’ve figured out that a hardshell 'yak will serve me better, there’s definitely a place for an inflatable since my wife loves camping and wildlife watching on fresh water bodies.

There are several folding canoes too.

Here is one brand to look at:



I once did a five day, 65 mile river trip in an inflatable kayak. It was extremely maneuverable and handled class 2 rapids very easily. I rather liked it. However, it was also pretty slow in the slack water areas. I was fishing extensively, so the slowness didn’t bother me.

However, I think I might spend more money and get a better inflatable than a Stearns, which seems to be the economical, entry level inflatable…I kinda doubt its durability. NRS has some good ones. Their NRS brand is economical but probably better than the Stearns, and if you want to spend the money, they carry Aire brand inflatable kayaks that are pretty much top of the line.

Don’t limit yourself to only
inflatables labeled “canoe.” Most the are marketed as “kayaks” are really more like pack canoes. I suspect many can be paddled kneeling or sitting with a little imagination. I paddle my Innova with a double-bladed paddle, as the manufacturer intends. But I’ve seen pictures of a guy bass fishing from one while standing, so stability would not be an issue. Beam is 32" inches, so not that different from many canoes.