Can You Leave an Inflatable Kayak Inflated (DIY in 8 Steps)

It is not recommended to leave an inflatable kayak inflated for an extended period due to potential damage and wear. Leaving an inflatable kayak inflated is convenient and easy to use but can lead to damage over time. Proper storage guidelines should be followed to ensure the longevity of the kayak.

Factors to Consider Before Leaving an Inflatable Kayak Inflated

  1. Storage Space: The amount of available storage space is a crucial factor to consider when deciding whether or not to leave an inflatable kayak inflated. If you have limited storage space, it may be more practical to deflate the kayak after each use.
  2. Frequency of Use: If you plan to use your inflatable kayak frequently, leaving it inflated may be more convenient and time-saving than having to inflate it before each use.
  3. Exposure to Sunlight and Heat: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and high temperatures can damage the material of an inflatable kayak, causing it to weaken and lose its shape over time. If you plan to leave your inflatable kayak inflated for an extended period, it’s important to store it in a shaded and cool area to avoid exposure to sunlight and heat.
  4. Transportation: If you need to transport your inflatable kayak, leaving it inflated may not be practical or safe. Inflatable kayaks can take up a significant amount of space, and their buoyancy can make them difficult to secure during transport.
  5. Type of Inflatable Kayak: Different types of inflatable kayaks may have varying recommendations for leaving them inflated. For example, some kayaks may be designed for long-term inflation, while others may require deflation after each use to maintain their shape and performance.

The Pros and Cons of Leaving an Inflatable Kayak Inflated

Leaving an inflatable kayak inflated has both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider:


  1. Convenience: Leaving an inflatable kayak inflated is convenient and saves time, as you can simply inflate it and use it whenever you want without having to go through the process of inflating it each time.
  2. Ease of Use: Inflatable kayaks are lightweight and easy to carry, making them a great option for those who want to enjoy kayaking without the hassle of transporting a heavy kayak.
  3. Ready to Go: By leaving your kayak inflated, it’s always ready to use, which can be especially useful in situations where you want to take advantage of a sudden opportunity to go kayaking.


  1. Potential Damage and Wear: Leaving an inflatable kayak inflated for an extended period can lead to damage and wear over time, especially if it’s exposed to sunlight, heat, or other elements. This can result in a shorter lifespan for the kayak and potentially costly repairs or replacements.
  2. Storage Space: Inflatable kayaks can take up a significant amount of storage space when inflated, which can be a challenge if you have limited space.
  3. Transportation: Inflatable kayaks can be difficult to transport when inflated, as they can take up a lot of space in your vehicle and may not fit on certain racks or carriers.

How to store an inflated kayak?

The best way to store an inflated kayak is to use a rack, straps, or a long table. The kayak needs to be fully inflated to prevent it from slipping off the rack or through the straps. Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, should be avoided during storage.

If the temperature inside the shed gets too hot, partially inflating the kayak is recommended. It’s also important to ensure that there aren’t any rodents in the shed. Building a framework for the rack with tarps for the kayaks and keeping the rack outside under cover from the sun is a good idea.

DIY kayak rack with tarps for storing inflated kayaks

Materials Needed:

  • Lumber (2x4s or 2x6s)
  • Screws or nails
  • Tarps
  • Rope or bungee cords


  1. Determine the size of the rack based on the number of kayaks you need to store.
  2. Cut the lumber into the appropriate lengths for the vertical and horizontal supports of the rack.
  3. Build the frame of the rack using the cut lumber and screws or nails.
  4. Hang tarps from the top of the frame down to create a hammock-like cradle for the kayaks to rest in.
  5. Ensure that the tarps are secured tightly to the frame using rope or bungee cords to prevent them from sagging or tearing.
  6. If storing the rack outside, make sure it is covered and protected from the sun and other extreme weather conditions.
  7. Slide the kayaks into the cradles and adjust as necessary to make sure they are fully supported and not at risk of falling or slipping.
  8. To remove a kayak, simply slide it out of the cradle and lift it off the rack.

Remember to regularly check the rack and kayaks for any signs of damage or wear and tear, and make any necessary repairs or adjustments to ensure the safety and longevity of your inflatable kayaks.

How long can I leave my inflatable kayak inflated?

It is generally recommended to not leave your inflatable kayak inflated for more than a few days at a time.

Can I leave my inflatable kayak inflated outdoors?

Yes, you can leave your inflatable kayak inflated outdoors but it is not recommended for prolonged periods of time. It can cause damage to the materials.

Can I store my inflatable kayak partially inflated?

Yes, you can store your inflatable kayak partially inflated. This can help alleviate some of the pressure on the seams and prevent damage caused by extreme temperatures.

How do I properly clean and maintain my inflatable kayak?

Use a mild soap and water to clean the kayak and make sure to fully deflate it before cleaning. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools that could damage the materials.