Originally Posted by dirtbagkayaker
I really don't know a lot of people who use float bags.
I've only been boating for 3 years, but I also found this statement surprising. I didn't really know anything about float bags during my first season, but once I started talking to paddlers, and finding out what these bags were all about, it became clear to me that these should not be considered "optional" accessories. If you can prevent even 25 gal. of water from being inside your boat during a swim/rescue, you have just reduced the mass of your boat by about 200lbs! This makes pushing, pulling, or dragging that boat MUCH easier. I really see it as my obligation to have floats for the safety of the people I'm boating with. I don't do an inspection of every person's boat who I'm out with (maybe I should), but if they don't have floats I'm going to tell them they should, and why, and if they don't get them, I won't be paddling with them much longer - it just shows a lack of respect for the water and one's peers.
Anyway, I really wanted to post because nobody has mentioned Jackson's Creek Float (Creek Float - Jackson Kayak Store
). These are, imo, the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to stern floatation. The U-Shape means that there is virtually NO risk of it coming out (though I do tie it in, because why not), and it also means that you have filled the entire stern. The only negative is that they can be tough to get in if your boat is long. We have one for each of our creek boats so we don't have to swap them out. Easiest to put in by pushing them down one side with something that is not sharp (we used a meter stick), then inflate a little, then grab at the little bit that will stick through the other side either with your hand, the meter stick, etc. Getting them out is a little trick too, but if your gentle and take your time, you can do it. You just want to make sure you don't pull or you could tear the bag at the bend/U.
We use them in a Karma S, Villain S, and Hero, so it should fit well in your Z-One (which is a bit longer than the Hero, but lower-profile in the stern). They also make a smaller version called the Fun Float (Fun Floats - Jackson Kayak Store
), which I use in my All-Star, but this is likely too short for the Z-One.
They do cost a bit, but you get what you pay for in this case. There are a handful of reviews and some videos out there if you're interested.
As far as overinflation due to heat, we just open the valves when not in use or make sure they aren't very full. We also try to inflate just before we paddle. Inflating them hours before, especially on a cool summer morning, might mean the temp goes way up and then you risk them popping.