Best Kayak Float Bags

Flipping a kayak can be scary. But Best Kayak Float Bags can make getting back in your kayak much easier. Float bags keep your kayak floating high on the water, even when filled with water. This makes it easier to flip the kayak back upright and climb back in.

Best Kayak Float Bags

 Choosing the right Best Kayak Float Bagsfor your kayak and needs is important. Here we review the best kayak float bags to help you pick the right one. With the proper float bag, flipping your kayak doesn’t need to ruin your trip.

Related Article: Best Kayak Deck Compass

Top12 Best Kayak Float Bags & and Price

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AnTrOxfHvdIBSuzmqvDXaF16Wvv97D5bMCy5owf8T G6weyv5I1eV TdNRSNRS HydroLock Kayak Stow Float Bag
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NRSNRS Float Bag Valve
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3 Best Kayak Float Bags

  • Best Overall: NRS Standard Kayak Flotation Bag – Top choice for general use.
  • Best Budget: Harmony Gear Floatation Bag – Great value for the price.
  • Best Float-Dry Bag Combo: Watershed Futa Stow Float Bag – Best for combining floating and keeping gear dry.

Best Overall: NRS Standard Kayak Flotation Bag

NRS Standard Kayak Flotation Bag

As one of the best-selling float bags, the NRS Standard has a few downsides. It costs more than the basic options. And some find the inflation tube wears out over time. But for reliable all-around performance, it’s a top choice to consider.

The key advantages are the 3 size options, durable urethane material, generous inflation tube, and secure D-ring attachments. For paddlers seeking a versatile and rugged float bag, the NRS Standard Kayak Float Bag is a winner.



  • Fits most kayaks without a central pillar
  • Made of strong 10 gauge urethane
  • Best Kayak Float Bags Has 2 D-rings to attach it
  • The long tube makes it easy to inflate


  • Some concerns about inflation tube durability
  • Best Kayak Float Bags are More affordable options exist

You can also use the best fishing kayak crates instead of these bags. They are also helpful in fishing.

Best Budget: Harmony Gear Floatation Bag

Harmony Gear Floatation Bag

The Harmony Gear Floatation Bag delivers quality without the high price tag. It has the same great design as pricier options, for a fraction of the cost. Harmony uses thick vinyl material for durability. The vinyl is temperature-regulating too, so it resists bursting or ripping on hot days.

This Best Kayak Float Bags has a twist valve on the inflation hose for a tight seal during setup. It also has a high-capacity dump valve to quickly empty water at takeout.

A drawback is it only has one grommet anchor point, so securing it can be tricky. And it only comes in two sizes, not ideal for longer kayaks. But if you want a reliable float bag on a budget, the Harmony Gear is an excellent choice. It delivers the key features without breaking the bank.


  • Best Kayak Float Bags has an Affordable price
  • Thick vinyl is very rugged
  • Material won’t burst in hot temps
  • Easy to inflate and deflate


  • Best Kayak Float Bags Only come in 2 sizes
  • Not ideal for longer kayaks
  • Has only 1 tie-down point

The main pros are the budget price, durable vinyl material, temperature resistance, and easy-to-use valves.

The cons are the limited sizing, lack of fit for long kayaks, and only having one anchor point.

Best Float-Dry Bag Combo: Watershed Futa Stow Float Bag

Watershed Futa Stow Float Bag

The Watershed Futa Stow Float Bag has a unique hybrid design. It works as both a float bag and a dry bag for gear. Watershed uses a specialized UV-resistant nylon material. This makes the Futa extra durable on the water. It also has an extra-long inflation tube for great buoyancy control.

The dry bag design, with a ZipDry seal, keeps your gear dry even when submerged. So the Futa pulls double duty. The downsides are the high price tag, and it lack of numerous tie-down points. But for a 2-in-1 float and dry bag, the Watershed Futa is a versatile choice.


The key features are the hybrid float/dry bag design, specialized UV-resistant material, and long inflation tube. It’s a pricey but unique option for paddlers seeking versatility.


  • Made of durable nylon material
  • Works as a dry bag for extra gear storage
  • Waterproof with welded seals and ZipDry closure
  • The long tube makes inflation and deflation easy


  • Very expensive price tag
  • Lacks numerous tie-down points

Kayak Float Bag Buying Guide

Kayak Float Bag Buying Guide

Here are some simple explanations of the key features and characteristics to look out for when shopping for a kayak float bag:

  1. Float Bag Shape & Size: The shape and size of the float bag should match the shape and size of your kayak. It’s important to choose a float bag that fits snugly in the kayak’s compartment to prevent it from shifting around during use.
  2. Inflation System & Ease of Set Up: The inflation system should be easy to use and set up. Some float bags come with an inflation tube that can be easily attached to the bag, while others require a separate pump. It’s important to choose a float bag with an inflation system that works best for you.
  3. Materials & Durability: The float bag should be made of durable materials that can withstand the rigors of kayaking. Look for float bags made of high-quality nylon or urethane-coated fabric that can resist punctures and abrasions.
  4. Extra Features: Some float bags come with extra features such as D-ring attachment points, reflective strips, or mesh storage pockets. These features can add extra functionality to your float bag and make it more versatile.

Float Bag Shape & Size

Float bags come in different shapes and sizes to fit various kayak models. You need to pick the right shape and size for your specific kayak.

There are two main float bag shapes:

  • Standard – The most common style. Wide to fill large front and rear hatches. Don’t work with central pillars.
  • Split – Made for kayaks with a central pillar. Long and narrow to fit on either side. Also good for narrow kayaks.

To get the right size:

  • Measure your kayak compartment first.
  • Manufacturers offer multiple sizes. Pick a size slightly bigger than your compartment.
  • The oversized bag will inflate securely in place.

The key is first knowing if you need a standard or split-style bag. Then measure your kayak and get a size slightly larger for a good fit after inflation. Picking the correct shape and size ensures your float bag will work optimally for your kayak.

Inflation System & Ease of Set Up

Float bags are important pieces of gear for kayaking. When shopping for a float bag, it’s important to look for one that is easy to set up and pack up. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Inflation tube length: Look for a float bag with a longer inflation tube. This will make it easier to get the proper buoyancy during the setup process. Since float bags need to be positioned in your kayak’s hatch or compartments before inflation, having longer inflation tubes can make the process a whole lot easier.
  1. Deflation and packing: Consider how easy it is to deflate and pack up a float bag before committing to a given model. Some float bags only have one nozzle for inflation and deflation, making the packing-up process slow and tedious. However, others, like the Harmony Gear Flotation Bag, have high-capacity dump valves so you can quickly deflate your float bag and pack it up after a long day of paddling.

Materials & Durability

Float bags need to be durable to handle inflation and outdoor use. When shopping, look for bags made with tough materials.

Thick urethane, vinyl, and coated nylon ripstops are good options. These rugged fabrics will last for years.

Also, check the bag’s seams. Seams are often weak points under tension when inflated. Look for things like:

  • Large seam allowances
  • Welded seams
  • Reinforced stitching

These features strengthen seams and prevent air leaks.

The takeaway is to pick float bags made of thick, reinforced fabrics. And check that seams are well-constructed to withstand inflation pressure. Durability ensures your float bag will perform reliably for many seasons on the water.

Extra Features

Dry Bag Functionality

  • Some float bags double as dry bags for gear storage.
  • Let you pack clothes or supplies and inflate for flotation.
  • Convenient 2-in-1 bag saves space and weight.

Multiple Attachment Points

  • Most float bags have at least one tie-down point.
  • But single points may not hold in capsizing.
  • Bags with multiple points attach more securely.
  • Keeps the bag firmly in place if you flip.


  • Not always needed: Float bags are crucial for whitewater or rough conditions, but optional for calm, sheltered waters.
  • Safety boost: They keep your kayak afloat if it capsizes, making rescue and re-entry easier, especially solo or far from help.
  • Peace of mind: Paddle with confidence knowing your gear stays dry and your kayak won’t sink in unexpected situations.

Float bags in a kayak are placed in the front and back compartments to take up space and help the kayak stay afloat. They’re positioned to fill empty areas, boosting buoyancy and aiding in preventing sinking if the kayak flips or gets water inside.

A kayak airbag is a buoyant device designed to displace water in a capsized kayak, aiding in flotation and making it easier to rescue and recover the kayak.

It’s essentially an inflatable bag that helps prevent the kayak from sinking and assists in keeping it afloat during emergencies.

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