Kayak Air Bags in Canoe ???

I am going to be buying a couple of large air bags for my Mariner Elan kayak (16x21). I am thinking of getting the large NRS infinity bags (47"x24")which have attachment points at each corner.

I would like to make use of these same bags in my Wenonah Argosy canoe. I already have a triangle arrangement of anchor points in the canoe that I use for tieing down very large drybags. Assuming the bag tie-down points align ok with the anchors in the canoe, is there a problem with just tieing the bags into the canoe at the 3 points instead of having a rope cage. I intend to use the bags for open water paddling on the bay and larger lakes rather than for white-water. I want the extra floatation to help me with solo re-entry out in open water.

Bad idea or reasonable possibility ?


Not a great idea
Trying to secure air bags of any type in an open boat just using corner grommets or lash points doesn’t work well for 2 reasons.

The first is that the grommets very frequently pull out and you will see this a lot on older bags. If the bags are urethane nylon and have lashing points made from 1" nylon webbing sewn into the seam they will be a bit stronger. The metal grommets that are set into a flap of flat vinyl extending past the corner of the bag are not very strong at all.

The second is that the bags might remain attached to the boat, but they won’t stay down in the hull without a proper cage to restrain them. Water will flow below the bags and will bow them right up out of the hull.

If you have a reasonable bag cage to restrain them, it is fine to use bags designed for kayaks in the canoe. They just won’t fill up all the space with a single bag or fit the contours of the hull as well.

I tested a couple of smaller float bags
in my Wen Vag for the same quiet water self rescue purpose with just some fore and aft bungee line between the thwarts and they worked fine. Might also be able to inflate your empty dry bags and test yours with current tie downs in warm, quiet water. R

If you lace them in, you’ll be much
more pleased. We whitewater jockeys don’t go to all that trouble for nothing.