Kayak In a Bag: How I Gave My Husband the "Best Birthday Ever" With an Inflatable Kayak by Elisa Schmitz

Kayak In a Bag: How I Gave My Husband the "Best Birthday Ever" With an Inflatable Kayak

After being cooped up in our house for the last few months, all my husband, Dieter, wanted for his birthday was to take a break, get on the water and go kayaking. With the coronavirus pandemic, quarantine, travel restrictions, protests, riots and finances, among other complications, I had my work cut out for me, as far as gifts go. But I wanted to make it happen for him, so I got creative.

I started by researching kayaks. Wow, are there a lot of options out there. From the basics for novices to the serious for professionals, there's a kayak for just about everyone. We needed a kayak that was easy to transport, lightweight, affordable and – most of all  fun and fit for two.

Once I learned about inflatable kayaks, I knew I was heading in the right direction. With an inflatable, you can literally take it anywhere, and carrying it won't break your back (or your bank). After googling top inflatable kayaks, one seemed to be near the top of every list: the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump. I simply call it our Kayak In a Bag because it's lightweight, compact and a breeze to assemble. You can literally take the fun and adventure of kayaking with you wherever you go. Even the two included 86-inch aluminum oars fit in the bag (easy assembly required)!

This super-amazing, uber-economical inflatable kayak kit comes with everything you need to get it out of the box and into the water in 15 minutes. Seriously! It's made of heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl, and a repair kit is included in case you need it. There are several separate air chambers that you inflate one at a time. The inflatable I-beam floor keeps the kayak rigid, and Boston valves provide quick inflation and deflation, thanks to the high-output pump (also included).

Here's the description from Amazon, along with my notes about each line item:

  • Comfortable for Anyone: Kayak Includes an Adjustable Inflatable Seat With Backrest; Cockpit Designed for Comfort and Space  It was definitely comfortable for us. Plenty of room for two (with space leftover for water bottles and a small backpack), and the inflatable seats were firm enough to hold us upright. It has a 400-pound weight capacity, which was plenty for us. Easy enough to get in and out of it, too.
  • Dimensions: Inflated Size 10 Feet 3 X 3 Feet X 1 Feet 8 Inch; Maximum Weight Capacity: 400 Pounds  We found it easy to carry, both in the bag and after it was inflated. Each of us carried one end using the attached handles and, at around 30 pounds, it was pretty easy.
  • Directional Stability: Removable SKEG for Directional Stability  We found the standard directional skeg (fin) easy to install on the bottom of the kayak, and also easy to remove when putting the kayak back in the bag. It seemed to help keep the kayak on course.
  • Increased Visibility: In Case of Emergency, Bright Yellow Color Helps Visibility  We like the bright color, and I bought yellow life vests (made specifically for paddle sports) to match, natch!
  • Made for Smaller Bodies of Water: Explorer K2 is Made for Smaller Bodies of Water Including Lakes and Mild Rivers  We used the kayak on Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes, which is not a small body of water. However, we made sure to use it on a day when the water was calm. A few small waves came up every now and then, but we felt safe in the kayak. That's not to say we would use it on a wavy day. We would not! And, we did not go out very far. We plan to use it for paddling fairly close to shore, up and down the lakefront, on calm water and weather days. Such great exercise, and a wonderful way to connect with nature! A solid mindfulness activity.

The best part of this whole experience was my husband's reaction: “Best. Birthday. Ever.” Grab your own kayak in a bag and get out there!

Step 1: Made it safely to the beach!

Step 2: Got everything out of the bag!

Step 3: Inflating it with the heavy duty pump (fills air on the up and the down)!

Step 4: So easy, even a novice can do it!

Step 5: Almost done filling the kayak!

Step 6: Filling and placing the seats!

Step 7: Seats are in, ready to cast off!

Step 8: Off we go (someone is excited)!

Step 9: Enjoying his new kayak, Dieter says: “Best birthday ever!”

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Dieter Schmitz
Yes, Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds is perfect for paddling through life - whether choppy or calm waters!
Dieter Schmitz
And, I love the kayak❣️
Donna John
Ya'll are so cute! Love that you do things like this together. Glad you had such a great birthday, Dieter Schmitz !
Elisa Schmitz
Thank you so much, Donna John ! We try to support each other's interests and be true life partners (throughout the ups and the downs). I kayak with him, he gardens with me! :-) Dieter Schmitz
Donna John
You need to write a tip about that.
Elisa Schmitz
I'm so happy you had a great birthday and love your new kayak, Dieter Schmitz ! I love being your first mate for life! xoxo
Donna John
That's the way it should be. :-)
Dieter Schmitz
Si! I’m so lucky ... wondering if I can paddle Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds in my new kayak all the way to Puerto Rico!
Elisa Schmitz
Oh, that would be nice. We could use an island getaway, haha! Dieter Schmitz Donna John - let's get one for you and Martin and you can come with us! ;-)

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