What Are Kayak Float Bags For? Benefits – 2022

Kayak float bags, or buoyancy aids as they are sometimes called, are devices that help kayakers maintain their kayaks’ buoyancy. In the event of a capsize, an afloat bag can keep the kayaker’s boat afloat long enough for them to re-enter it. There are many different types of float bags on the market, so it is important to choose the right one for your needs.

In this article, we are going to discuss what are kayak float bags used for.

What Are Kayak Float Bags For?

Float bags are usually attached to the kayak in one of two ways. They can be used as part of the seating, where they act as a watertight floatation aid that keeps the kayak afloat. Alternatively, they can be used to supplement airbags or other buoyancy aids within the kayak itself.

Kayak Float Bags: Different Types Of Uses

There are two types of kayak float bags: 

First Type:

The first type of bag is a simple mesh pouch that is filled with foam so it easily slides into place against your backrest. When the kayak capsizes, the bag will inflate with air so it acts as a watertight floatation device.

They are attached to your kayak by using some bungee cord or neoprene strap that is fastened to the back of the seating unit. A similar attachment point across the front of the seating unit ensures that it is secure, and won’t move around as you paddle.

Float bags for seating may be used on single-person kayaks, or they can also be attached to two-person sit inside kayaks.

Float bags can either be pre-filled with foam so they are ready to use, or they can be empty bags that can be filled when required. Some empty kits are designed specifically for the purpose of supplementing airbags in your kayak, and these usually come with a small hand pump.

Second Type:

The second type of kayak float bag is designed to be attached to the hulls of self-draining, open cockpit kayaks. They are usually fitted under the outer skin of the boat, and serve as a permanent buoyancy aid. They help keep both sides of the hull afloat so that you can reenter your kayak quickly after a capsize.

These bags are usually made from neoprene, which makes them very durable and resistant to punctures. They cannot be reused, so they must be fitted when you buy your kayak. However, they will not affect the performance of your boat in any way because they are placed beneath the skin of the hulls.

How To Use Kayak Float Bags?

Float bags are normally used when you are out kayaking alone. However, they can also be used if you are with another person in your two-person sit-inside kayak. If you capsize, your partner will hold the bow of the kayak while you reenter it from the stern. They can keep the kayak afloat with a single or double-person self-draining boat by hanging onto your float bag.

It is important to attach the float bags in a way that they won’t interfere with your paddling, and it is also important to check they are properly inflated before you start your kayak. The float bags must also be backup safety devices, so they should not affect the performance of your boat.

The Benefits Of Using Kayak Float Bags

There are many benefits to using kayak float bags. When you capsize, these pouches inflate with air so they can serve as a backup safety device. They keep your boat afloat for long enough so you can reenter it, and they also make a great backup buoyancy aid for kayakers that are using single or double-person self-draining boats.

Float bags can also be used as part of the seating, so they are especially useful for solo kayakers. You would usually use them on the front of your kayak, but you can experiment to find out what position works best for you.

How To Choose The Right Kayak Float Bag For Your Needs?

Before you make a decision and buy a kayak float bag, there are some things that you might want to consider first. Some people prefer to buy complete kits, but others prefer to purchase their own foam and inflate their float bags when they are ready to use them. Some of the factors that might influence your decision include:

  • Price: Some kayak float bags are very expensive, so choosing a cheap set of foam will be more affordable. You can then buy an empty bag and inflate it whenever you need to use it.
  • Size: Kayak float bags will usually be either small or large, and you might want to consider where you will be using them before choosing a size. They are normally available in small, large, and extra-large sizes.
  • Type: Some kayak float bags are specific to certain types of boats, such as sit on top kayaks, whereas others might be designed for single or double-person kayaks. You need to buy the right type of bag for your boat.
  • Material: Float bags are normally made either from neoprene or lightweight nylon. Neoprene bags are great because they are very durable and resistant to punctures. They can also be reused, so you might want to consider getting a neoprene bag if you kayak often. Nylonylon bags are more affordable, but if they get punctured they they can not be repaired.
  • Colour: The color of your float bag might also matter other of the things you should look out for when you are buying a kayak float bag that is suitable for your needs.


At the end of this article, I hope it has given you a good idea of what are kayak float bags and the purpose that they serve.


Why do kayaks have floating bags?

Kayaks have floating bags in them to provide extra buoyancy and stability in the water. The bags also help keep the kayak from tipping over if it gets hit by a wave or other object.

Are float bags necessary?

No, float bags are not necessary. However, they can provide extra buoyancy and stability, which may be helpful, especially in rough waters.

Q3. How many kayak float bags do I need?

The number of bags you will need depends on the size and number of kayaks that you have.

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