Durability and functionality have increasing dictated that outdoor equipment be made from more and more sophisticated materials. Plastics dominate. Yet we're increasingly aware that many of these materials can carry serious long-term environmental and health issues.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is controversial for its toxins, but has long been utilized in the construction of inflatable boats. One company is changing that.
Innova Kayaks is now producing PVC-free inflatable kayaks in their design and manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic.
Though Innova still produces kayaks using a Nitrylon rubber material that has very low PVC levels, its newest material, dubbed LitePack, has no PVCs.
LitePack boats are built of rip-stop polyester fabric with a coating of natural rubbers on the interior for air retention. All Innova boats are guaranteed for two years and their toughness is indicated by their use in expeditions around the world.
Another plus for LitePack inflatables is their compact size when deflated, a plus for apartment dwellers and those flying to a trip put-in.
The Double Twist, a LitePack tandem with a capacity of 396 pounds, weighs 23 pounds and folds to a compact 16 by 10 by 8 inches.
Innova calls the Twist "the lightest, greenest, general recreation inflatable kayak on the market" and suggests that packed down to the size of a sleeping bag stuff sack it could be "easily backpackable" for the right packing-paddling duo ($599).