Category 1 Inflatable Kayaks Details
So let's talk about category 1. These are great kayaks to have relaxed shorter paddles in good weather. If you're evaluating how much you will actually use a kayak, get one of these. They are really cheap and you might score a used one for close to nothing. However, I would advise getting a good big manual pump and a good pedal if you feel like you will use it often enough. Usually what comes with them is not good on the pumps. Many people assume that electric pumps are faster and easier than manual ones and that's usually not the case. Electric pumps need your car nearby, are really noisy, slow, and just annoying. There are good electric pumps but they're usually really expensive. These pumps will cost you more than a category 1 kayak. A lot of times you might want to spend more money on the paddle than you would on one of these kayaks and it's okay. That paddle might stay with you for the rest of your life and you can change kayaks while keeping it.
Another great advantage of category 1 boats is the fact that they're really small when folded. For example, category 3 kayaks take a whole big storage shelf while the same space could fit probably six of these. The disadvantage of these boats is they're usually quite slow and many of them don't track well. This means they have a hard time going straight, so with every paddle stroke you rotate the kayak and waste your energy spinning rather than moving forward, but if you get one of these you're probably not going really far anyway. They also often have inflatable seats which is something that, at first, does not seem so bad, yet it is actually quite annoying and uncomfortable. These seats often have super annoying tiny valves that are really hard to inflate and even harder to deflate. They only make these seats because they are cheap to manufacture. If you can avoid these seats or replace them with normal kayak seats. Intex is the company that dominates this category and they make surprisingly good value kayaks for the money. They might be more kayak per dollar than any other kayak. A simple rule to follow, don't buy a kayak if it does not have a skeg, which is a tracking fin.