The Ultimate Guide to Kayak Storage for Inflatables and Hardshells

October 18, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Kayak Storage for Inflatables and Hardshells

Hello there, fellow kayak enthusiasts! Today, we're diving into the world of kayak storage. Whether you're the proud owner of an inflatable or a hard shell model, we've got some top-notch tips to keep your kayak in prime condition. So, let's get down to business with our ultimate guide on kayak storage.

First things first, why is proper kayak storage so important? Well, storing your kayak correctly extends its lifespan, prevents damage, and ensures it is ready for your next adventure. Plus, a well-organized garage or shed just looks better, don't you agree?

Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are a marvel of modern outdoor equipment. They're compact, lightweight, and incredibly versatile, making them a popular choice for many water enthusiasts.

After cleaning and drying your kayak, you have two options for storage: lightly inflating it or deflating and rolling it. To safeguard against abrasion, especially on the corners, we recommend using a boat bag if you choose to roll it. Ensure that your storage spot is shielded from the elements, ideally a shady, cool, and dry location, to minimize potential damage from the sun, moisture, or heat.

But, despite their convenience, storing them properly is critical to keeping them in top-notch condition. Let's dive deeper into each aspect of inflatable kayak storage.

Roll, Don't Fold

When it comes to packing away your inflatable kayak, rolling is the way to go. Folding may seem like the more intuitive option, but it can actually cause creases that weaken the material over time.

To roll your kayak, start at the stern (the back) and work your way to the bow (the front). Make sure to deflate the kayak fully before you start rolling, as any leftover air can make it harder to roll and take up more storage space. Once rolled, secure it with straps or bungee cords to keep it in place.

The Importance of a Quality Storage Bag

A high-quality storage bag is an investment in the longevity of your inflatable kayak. It protects your kayak from dust, sunlight, and pests when not in use.

When choosing a storage bag, look for one that's made from durable material, like nylon or polyester. These materials are resistant to tears and abrasions, ensuring your bag will last as long as your kayak. The bag should also have sturdy zippers and handles for easy transport.

In addition, consider the size of the storage bag. It should be large enough to fit your rolled-up kayak, but not so large that the kayak moves around inside. Too much movement can lead to unnecessary wear and tear.

Storing in a Cool, Dry Place

Extreme temperatures and moisture are the enemies of inflatable kayaks. They can cause the material to degrade faster, reducing the lifespan of your kayak. That's why it's crucial to store your inflatable kayak in a cool, dry place l, such as a garage or storage cupboard.

A climate-controlled area, like your basement or a closet, is ideal for this. These areas typically have consistent temperatures and low humidity levels, which are perfect for inflatable kayak storage. If you don't have access to a climate-controlled area, consider investing in a dehumidifier or a fan to keep the storage area dry.

AIRE Inflatable Kayak Storage Bag

The AIRE Inflatable Kayak Storage Bag is a top-notch, comprehensive storage solution that makes transporting and storing your inflatable kayak along with associated gear like pumps and paddles, an absolute breeze.

This duffel-style bag, equipped with a 2-way zipper, ensures easy loading and unloading and can accommodate most solo and tandem inflatable kayaks.
With its rugged PVC body and sewn seams, the bag offers increased durability, while the mesh top provides ventilation, speeding up the drying time for your kayak.

The bag also features interior and exterior pockets for holding smaller essentials, compression straps to keep everything secure, and top carry handles along with removable padded backpack shoulder straps for versatile carrying options.
So, for your next water adventure, the AIRE Kayak Storage Bag is a must-have companion.

NRS Inflatable Kayak Storage Bag

The NRS Inflatable Kayak Storage Bag is an excellent investment for any kayak enthusiast, offering protection, convenience, and durability.
Designed to fit both solo and tandem inflatable kayaks, the bag is made from durable PVC material reinforced with rugged nylon webbing, ensuring long-lasting use.

Its zippered closure on each side simplifies the loading and storage of your boat, while breathable mesh vent strips help expedite drying time, preventing the growth of mold or mildew.

The addition of backpack straps and a carry handle offers multiple transportation options, making it easy to get your boat to and from the water.
Furthermore, the bag shields your kayak from harmful UV rays that can accelerate aging and keeps it free from dirt and debris while in storage or during transit. This NRS storage bag truly stands out as a comprehensive solution for storing and transporting your inflatable kayak.

Hard Shell Kayaks: Storage Essentials

Hard shell kayaks, with their durability and performance, are a favored choice among many water adventurers. However, unlike their inflatable counterparts, they need a little more consideration when it comes to storage. Let's delve into the details.

Using Kayak Storage Racks

When it comes to storing hard shell kayaks, kayak storage racks are a game-changer. They provide a secure and stable platform for your kayak and prevent it from warping.

Hard shell kayaks should be stored on their side. Storing them on their side distributes the weight evenly, preventing stress on any one part of the kayak. Storing the hull up avoids deformations that could affect the kayak's performance.

There are many types of kayak storage racks available, including free-standing racks, wall-mounted racks, and ceiling hoists. Wall-mounted racks are great for saving space, while freestanding racks offer versatility and easy access. Consider your available space and needs when choosing a rack.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Storage

If you have room for it, indoor storage is the best option for your hard shell kayak. It protects your kayak from weather elements and UV damage and offers better security against theft or vandalism.

However, if indoor storage isn't an option, there are ways to safely store your kayak outdoors. Consider investing in a high-quality kayak cover to protect your kayak from rain, snow, dust, and UV rays. Also, ensure your kayak is stored off the ground to prevent damage from moisture or pests.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight

UV radiation can be harmful to your hard shell kayak. Over time, it can cause color fading and material degradation, reducing the lifespan and aesthetic appeal of your kayak.

If you must store your kayak outdoors, try to find a shady spot. If that's not possible, use a UV-resistant cover. These covers are made from materials that block or absorb UV rays, providing an extra layer of protection for your kayak.

Danuu Deluxe Kayak Storage Cover

The Danuu Kayak Covers are an exceptional product that effectively protects your craft from the elements and harmful UV rays, thereby extending its lifespan.

These superior covers are versatile, fitting not only kayaks but also surf skis, rowing shells, outriggers, and more. The covers are made of UV-resistant and water-repellent polyester fabric, ensuring optimal protection.

The easy on/off design is fully adjustable for a custom fit, with V-loops along the edges providing additional strapping points. Moreover, these covers are made from lightweight fabric with high-tech meshing, providing durability without compromising convenience.

Notably, there are no metal parts, eliminating the risk of rust damage. The covers also feature reinforced seams and cross-stitching at all pressure points, further enhancing their longevity.

The attached FlagBag is a thoughtful addition, enhancing safety during transport and serving as convenient storage.

With a 1-year manufacturer warranty against defects, the Danuu Kayak Covers provide peace of mind and reliable protection for your watercraft.

Malone 3 Kayak Free Standing Storage Rack

The Malone 3 Kayak free-standing rack is a high-quality, durable storage solution for your kayaks. The rack can conveniently store three kayaks, making it perfect for avid kayakers with multiple boats.

It comes complete with the frame, hardware, J-Style Holders, and lower frame kayak blocks, providing a comprehensive storage solution.

The rack is constructed with heavy-duty square tube construction, ensuring its strength and durability. The powder-coated finish provides corrosion resistance, allowing you to set it up either indoors or outdoors according to your convenience.

Additionally, the rack features six independent frame levelers, allowing level placement even on uneven surfaces.

The zinc-plated steel hardware prevents premature rust and corrosion, enhancing the longevity of the rack.

With a manufacturer's limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship, the Malone 3 Kayak rack is a reliable and robust storage solution for your kayaks.

Buy Your Kayak Storage Today

Well, it’s time to wrap things up. We have now gone over the wide world of kayak storage solutions for both inflatable and hard shell varieties!

Whether you want to keep your kayak safe indoors or out on a dock, there is a solution that will fit your situation. You can also find accessories to help you secure your kayak in one place as well.
Be sure to keep an eye out online for reviews of various solutions or get advice from friends and family who know firsthand what they recommend.

Above all, make sure you choose the option that best suits your needs—keeping in mind the environment, climate, and security of your stored kayak.

It takes a little bit of extra effort and planning to keep your kayak safe when it’s not in use, but the peace of mind you get knowing it will be perfectly fine when you take it out again is worth all the work!

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Brian MasseyHead of Catalog ManagementBrian is a foundational member of the team at Outdoorplay. For over 25 years, Brian has brought his expertise and passion for paddlesports and the outdoors to bear on both his work and leisure time. He is an active member of the paddling community in the Columbia River Gorge and beyond. Brian enjoys multi-day rafting trips, kayaking and biking - any way to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.