Inflatable kayaks are fun and versatile boats.
- They are easier to learn to paddle and more stable than hard boats. They are compact, easy to transport and easy to store.
- They inflate quickly. They are low maintenance. The good ones are as tough as a hard boat.
- They can be used in whitewater, calm water, ocean surf…just about any kind of water. They are available in a wide range of quality and cost.
Sounds like the perfect boat. For many people, an inflatable kayak is the perfect boat.
If you are a hard driving and frequent boater, you are probably better with a hard boat. For the rest of us, an inflatable kayak is a great choice.
It can be hard to choose the right boat for you. I’ll try to help guide you to the best fishing kayaks.
I’ve owned over 100 of these fun and versatile boats over the past 18 years of operating a whitewater rafting business. I’ve used boats from at least 15 different manufacturers.
Some of the boats were great, some were duds. Some of the manufacturers were great to work with, some were a little difficult.
Once you get your boat (or if you already have one), I’ll help you with care, maintenance and operation.
Safety is critical. Many inflatable kayakers do not have as much water experience as hard boaters. You need to be extra aware of safety. Never boat alone. Review the safety suggestions on this site. Be aware of local conditions and rules. The fun ends when someone gets hurt. Take the necessary precautions including wearing the best shoes for kayaking.
Aire Inflatable Kayak Review the Lynx
This Aire inflatable kayak, the Lynx is a great boat, but is it the right boat for you?
Is the Aire inflatable kayak a good value?
Yes, but… Let me explain. The Aire Lynx I & II are great boats, some of the best made.
The Lynx I is a tough and sporty one-person inflatable kayak. It is easy to control and stable.
The Lynx II is a sleek inflatable kayak with the carrying capacity of a river barge. The Lynx II is the boat of choice for our raft guides.
They carry all the gear they need for the group, easily get where they need to on the river, and are still able to pluck a guest out of the water and carry them down stream.
But… The Lynx Aire inflatable kayak may be more boat than needed for many non-commercial uses. Some of the boats made by Hyside, NRS, and Custom Inflatables can give you all the boat you’ll ever need and save you a few hundred dollars.
The Aire Lynx I and II are great inflatable kayaks. They are tough and versatile and have good resale value. They are easy to control and stable.
The Aire Lynx (like all Aire inflatables) is made in two layers. An inner bladder holds the air. An outer layer gives the boat protection and structural strength.
This system has some advantages. It makes the boat more resistant to air loss from a puncture. And, the ability to switch out air bladders can be helpful.
This two layer system makes maintenance and repair of the Aire inflatable kayak much more difficult than most other rafts.
While the Aire Lynx is priced very fairly, you can get a boat from other manufacturers (Hyside, Custom Inflatables, NRS) that will cost you a few hundred dollars less and still do anything a non-commercial user would need.
What can you do with this inflatable kayak?
Is this Aire inflatable kayak a good pool toy?
You could use it for that, but you would have a serious case of under achieving.
Would I use this boat on a lake?
I certainly could, but it’s not the best use of an Aire Lynx. There are better boats for a lake. This boat has good stability and tracks well for a whitewater inflatable kayak. That makes it ok for a lake.
Please note that most inflatables don’t perform well on lakes. The exceptions are those inflatables built for touring and/ or sea kayaking.
Inflatables give you more stability. The trade off is more drag. You’re going to work harder to move an inflatable on a lake. And, if you get a windy day, you could be fighting to make much progress at all.
Would I take this Aire inflatable on a calm water river?
Absolutely. It will do great. The Lynx is stable and tracks well. It has great carrying capacity. On a calm river, you could carry extra weight and/or an extra person.
Would I take this inflatable kayak on Class II whitewater?
Absolutely. I do it all the time. The Aire Lynx inflatable kayak is great at this.
This is a great way (and a great level of difficulty) for beginners to try whitewater on their own. Go with an outfitter or with experienced friends.
Can the Aire Lynx handle Class IV whitewater?
The boat certainly can.
The question is: Can you?
The penalty for falling out, flipping, pinning and other river hazards increases dramatically in Class IV and higher whitewater. Go with an experienced group.
Just because the boat can handle the river, doesn’t mean you can.
Can this inflatable be used for fishing?
It could. It’s stable and handles well.
Could the Aire Lynx be used for an overnight or multi-day trip?
The Aire Lynx II would be great for an overnight or multi-day trip. It has lots of carrying capacity and handles well even when loaded with lots of gear.
Just remember, you and your gear will usually get wetter in an inflatable than you would in a hard boat. Take precautions to keep your gear dry.
Can I resale this boat if it doesn’t work out for me?
Any Aire inflatable kayak has very good resale value. You are going to lose money as soon as you paddle it off the lot. But once it loses that initial “new” value, it holds the rest of its value very well.
Aire inflatable kayak has the best “brand recognition” of the outfitter quality inflatable manufacturers. When it comes to resale, “brand recognition” matters.
Oh yeah, they are a great boat. Buyers know this.
The Lynx is a great Aire inflatable kayak. It is priced fairly, but it is more boat than is needed for many non-commercial uses. With proper care you could hand it down to your kids and grand kids.
You can save a few hundred dollars and get all the function you need from some of the boats from Hyside, Custom Inflatables and NRS
(Don’t confuse the Aire Lynx with the Aire Tomcat. These boats have more differences than similarities. The Aire Tomcat has its place, but it is a dramatically inferior boat when compared to the Lynx.)
Maintenance and repair are more complex and difficult for the Aire than for most other quality inflatable kayaks.
The ability to switch out air tubes is unique and can be valuable in some situations.
All in all, if the price is not an issue, you’ll be very happy with your Aire Lynx inflatable kayak.