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08-06-2020, 11:44   #16
Calculator123
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Does anyone have experience of inflatable canoes or kayaks?

I didn't know they existed until this week. And the good weather lately and seeing several people out and about in canoes on the canal has me yearning to get back to recreational water activity. But I haven't got the space or transport for a canadian canoe or multi person kayak. I'd like to take my boys and dog along the canal.

A high quality inflatable seems an option. Pros/Cons?

Something like these...
https://www.outsidepursuits.com/best...kayak-reviews/

Thanks.
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08-06-2020, 11:53   #17
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Originally Posted by Calculator123 View Post
Does anyone have experience of inflatable canoes or kayaks?

I didn't know they existed until this week. And the good weather lately and seeing several people out and about in canoes on the canal has me yearning to get back to recreational water activity. But I haven't got the space or transport for a canadian canoe or multi person kayak. I'd like to take my boys and dog along the canal.

A high quality inflatable seems an option. Pros/Cons?

Something like these...
https://www.outsidepursuits.com/best...kayak-reviews/

Thanks.
Pros - They roll up relatively small

Cons - Pretty much everything

I'm guessing this has been sparked by the lidl inflatable canoe sale. I think it has been widely agreed they're no better than a rubber ring and equally dangerous in open water. I would imagine along a canal they would be fine and perhaps even a flat slow river. I wouldn't dream of bringing them anywhere near the sea though and certainly don't let kids away unsupervised as was unfortunately highlighted with last weekends tragedy.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-new...-39253923.html

https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/...in-open-water/
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08-06-2020, 12:04   #18
Calculator123
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Pros - They roll up relatively small

Cons - Pretty much everything

I'm guessing this has been sparked by the lidl inflatable canoe sale. I think it has been widely agreed they're no better than a rubber ring and equally dangerous in open water. I would imagine along a canal they would be fine and perhaps even a flat slow river. I wouldn't dream of bringing them anywhere near the sea though and certainly don't let kids away unsupervised as was unfortunately highlighted with last weekends tragedy.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-new...-39253923.html

https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/...in-open-water/
No, I'd be interested getting a top end model for day trips and camping. Definitively nothing from lidl. I hadn't heard about those. I just noticed inflatables when researching prices for regular canadian canoes.
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08-06-2020, 12:09   #19
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No, I'd be interested getting a top end model for day trips and camping. Definitively nothing from lidl. I hadn't heard about those. I just noticed inflatables when researching prices for regular canadian canoes.
I don't know much about high end ones I'm sure they exist. Regarding camping though I'd say you will struggle with space and stability in an inflatable. An open canoe is made for those kind of trips as you can carry a decent load in them. It might be easier for you to hire one if it was only going to be random trips on the odd occasion.
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10-06-2020, 22:23   #20
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@Calculator123
I'm paddling over 35 years I've done whitewater, surf, polo, Canadian, off-shore etc but I've never paddled an inflatable and ordinarily I wouldn't go near them. Not because they are inflatable as such, but because the performance characteristics of an inflatable would be something akin to driving a building site dumper truck, instead of a car on your daily commute. So broadly speaking, I'm in the same boat (pardon the pun) as iwillhtfu.

That said, I was impressed by some of the high end inflatables in Decathlon in France (soon to open here I believe) and was very tempted to buy. The reason being that we have a campervan but with the kids, all our bikes and gear it's just not possible for me to carry my boats. (17.5ft sea kayaks.) Thus, I've often found myself by the waterside, in France, wishing I could get out for a bit of a paddle.

In the end, I didn't buy and niggling doubts about an inflatable were a part of that. However, it was more down to the fact that even though it deflates and can be packed away, the bag was still very big and heavy and I just didn't have room. I'd still love to try one out and I know of other campers (who's only experience of kayaking is an inflatable) who swear by theirs. I however, have had to resign myself to renting when I am away. BTW - When I say I'd like to try one out, I mean a 'high end' inflatable. I wouldn't get into a 'low end' one ever.

For a recreational paddle where no real distance is involved, wind and tide or current are not going to be an issue (like a canal) and a rigid road is not a possibility, then I think a good inflatable has it's place. Obviously, with lifejackets, good swimming capability and good safety procedures etc. If you have no paddling experience then you should get some with somebody who has.

If by camping you mean loading up the inflatable and heading off out to an island on a lake or something like that the I would say absolutely not! Don't even think about it. That is not what they are designed for. But if you mean heading off somewhere say like Lough Key camping in the site and a spot of paddling around the lake shore then sure. So long as you are certain you are not going to get blown into the middle of the lake

Best of luck with it.
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11-06-2020, 11:44   #21
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@Calculator123
I'm paddling over 35 years I've done whitewater, surf, polo, Canadian, off-shore etc but I've never paddled an inflatable and ordinarily I wouldn't go near them. Not because they are inflatable as such, but because the performance characteristics of an inflatable would be something akin to driving a building site dumper truck, instead of a car on your daily commute. So broadly speaking, I'm in the same boat (pardon the pun) as iwillhtfu.

That said, I was impressed by some of the high end inflatables in Decathlon in France (soon to open here I believe) and was very tempted to buy. The reason being that we have a campervan but with the kids, all our bikes and gear it's just not possible for me to carry my boats. (17.5ft sea kayaks.) Thus, I've often found myself by the waterside, in France, wishing I could get out for a bit of a paddle.

In the end, I didn't buy and niggling doubts about an inflatable were a part of that. However, it was more down to the fact that even though it deflates and can be packed away, the bag was still very big and heavy and I just didn't have room. I'd still love to try one out and I know of other campers (who's only experience of kayaking is an inflatable) who swear by theirs. I however, have had to resign myself to renting when I am away. BTW - When I say I'd like to try one out, I mean a 'high end' inflatable. I wouldn't get into a 'low end' one ever.

For a recreational paddle where no real distance is involved, wind and tide or current are not going to be an issue (like a canal) and a rigid road is not a possibility, then I think a good inflatable has it's place. Obviously, with lifejackets, good swimming capability and good safety procedures etc. If you have no paddling experience then you should get some with somebody who has.

If by camping you mean loading up the inflatable and heading off out to an island on a lake or something like that the I would say absolutely not! Don't even think about it. That is not what they are designed for. But if you mean heading off somewhere say like Lough Key camping in the site and a spot of paddling around the lake shore then sure. So long as you are certain you are not going to get blown into the middle of the lake

Best of luck with it.
Thanks for your insight and thoughts.

Yes, the Decathlon range look very impressive and seem ideal for my needs. I've been reading the reviews and watching YouTube reviews and in the main, are very complimentary. They seem to have taken all the best bits from other brands and combined them in to a decent product that's good value for money. E.g. drop stitch floor for excellent rigidity. No pricing for Ireland yet but I'll try to visit the store after it opens this weekend. UK website has the range between about £300 and £1500 sterling.

I also spoke to a colleague in the UK who loves her inflatable and said they are now extremely popular over there.

I'm thinking of basic pleasure paddles along canals and slow rivers or indeed the likes of Lough Key as you've mentioned. I don't need super performance. Just reliable, portable, safe and steady.
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19-06-2020, 01:08   #22
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Has anyone been in to Decathlon yet, thought I heard it opened this week or last. Do they have a big range?
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19-06-2020, 18:04   #23
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Has anyone been in to Decathlon yet, thought I heard it opened this week or last. Do they have a big range?
I haven't been in the one in Dublin but I have been in the one in Belfast plenty of times. They've a lot of boating equipment not so much paddling specific more sups, dinghy, heavy sailing clothing. They have some inflatable canoes there and basic paddles,wet suits.

As a store goes it's like a walmart of sporting and outdoor goods I typically use it for there outdoor deals fleeces etc. It's certainly worth a stroll around and you'll undoubtedly pick up something.
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19-06-2020, 18:09   #24
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Yeah was planning to pop in to see what it is like in the coming weeks. I had a look at their Irish website though and there is not a lot there in terms of kayaks, only inflatables and then one single touring kayak. Hopefully there will be more in store.
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19-06-2020, 18:14   #25
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Yeah was planning to pop in to see what it is like in the coming weeks. I had a look at their Irish website though and there is not a lot there in terms of kayaks, only inflatables and then one single touring kayak. Hopefully there will be more in store.
That's pretty much all they will have in their kayak range in store. They won't have anything like icanoe for example if that's what you had in mind.
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19-06-2020, 18:25   #26
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ah right thanks, I thought they might have a bit more than that and was surprised when there was so few kayaks on their website. Guess I'll try iCanoe for something second hand. Had intended to get on the water this summer but with the lockdown I couldnt organise to buy anything so will likely leave it till next spring now anyway.
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19-06-2020, 19:52   #27
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One of my mates was in the new Decathlon on Wednesday and sent me their kayak prices. See pics.... im still toying with the idea. Not sure how much I would use it tho....
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20-06-2020, 21:00   #28
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Im not up to date with how good inflatables are but dont think Id ever be comfortable using one. When I do get back on the water it will be largely on my own so Id be just too fearful of it hitting something and its gone down in no time.

Are they supposed to be really rigid or something. What would happen if they hit a sharp rock?
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