All About Kayak Float Bags
Although modern boats are engineered to remain buoyant even after filling with water, kayak floatation is an essential tool for a safe and efficient rescue of your kayak in the event of a wet exit. Kayak float bags are bags full of air, stored in the fore and/or aft compartments of your boat, designed not only to float your boat higher in the water when overturned, but also to displace hundreds of pounds of water which could make rescue of your kayak dangerous and unwieldy.
Kayaking float bags come in many different sizes that can fit everything from the smallest playboats to the largest sea kayaks. In a whitewater kayak, a pair of long, triangular-shaped float bags fit on either side of the kayak’s central pillar. Most boats over 8 feet will accept bags in the bow as well. Measure the compartment of your boat you’d like to fill and buy float bags that are a little larger than your measurements. Float bags are great for sea kayaks and canoes, too!
Some manufacturers have combined the idea of a dry bag with kayak floatation to produce the storage or stow float. Since your gear and the air surrounding it is less dense than water, the bag can do two important functions at once! Stow floats close like a dry bag and then fill the remainder of the compartment with air for a solid float bag that keeps your gear dry at the same time.
Having float bags in your boat is an important, proactive approach to minimizing your risk on the water. A boat with floatation is less likely to sink, pin, or wrap around rocks and other river obstacles. If you have ever clipped into a boat full of water or given chase to a buddy’s kayak as it bobbed just under the surface, you’re aware that rescues of gear and people can be dangerous for everyone involved. The best instruction will always come from an accredited Swift Water Rescue course mixed with lots of practice using your safety gear.
Putting floatation in your kayak is a simple way to keep yourself and your boating partners out of harm’s way and having more fun on the water. Remember that you’ll be rescuing someone else’s boat, so double-check the other kayaks that will be out on the river with you.
Make sure to check out our selection of top-quality kayak and canoe floatation bags from NRS, Watershed, and more! When you keep float bags in your kayak, your fellow boaters will have a lot less trouble rescuing your boat during your next yard sale!