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Inflatable Kayak - Printable Version

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Inflatable Kayak - PODebbie - 10-03-2019

I went for the extended length of an expedition kayak to give the kayak more stability in large bodies of water like the Great Lakes, oceans, and deep reserves.   I purchased this model at REI for $799.   It has a high-pressure dropstitch floor like a standup paddle board.  It weighs 42 pounds, but by separating the floor and seat I can remove about 6-7 pounds for transport from the car to the body of water.  I am a female in my 60's and can carry the un-inflated kayak or drag the inflated kayak on the grass/sand.  It is easy to inflate and rides great.  It has a fin in the rear and metal supports for the hull and stern.  It tracks well and rides over the waves on Lake Michigan.  I have 4 hard shell recreational kayaks and this kayak is comparable.  With the 13 foot length and fin and dropstictch floor, this tracks as well as a hard shell.  

I like the ride quality.  You do not sway from side to side with each paddle stroke like I've seen with the cheap, or smaller size inflatables.  It handles like a regular kayak.  It comes with a repair kit that is used for permanent repairs. I purchased a "TearAid" brand repair kit for instant repair.  I also purchased a pump.  It takes about 10 to inflate the kayak and about 15 minutes to de-flate the kayak.   

The big con is drying the kayak.  You have to dissemble the kayak.  There is fabric on the top which will dry in the sun.  The problem is with the tubes.  They have a material covering them which has to be taken out of the kayak to dry all the sides.  It is very time consuming.  At home, I put milk crates inside the kayak to to dry it out and put the tubes on a patio lounger.  Out in the field, you have to rotate the pieces in the sun.  It takes several hours to tear them down and put it back together.

I try to avoid sticks, branches and rocks.  But that is not always possible. I have landed the kayak on a rocky shore with waves causing me to rub the bottom while I disembarked.  I have had river currents push me over large logs.  I have been stranded on logs and have had to bump my rear fin over a log.   So far, after 5 trips, I have not experienced any holes.  I am nervous going down rivers and I want to be able to see the shore when I am on the Great Lakes.  I am planning on using it down in Florida in both their clear and dark rivers and along the ocean coast.

I forgot to mention that there are 2 main air chambers for the boat, plus the floor.  In addition there is a bag that is about a foot square that is placed in the back of the boat to keep the stern elevated.  So, that is 4 separate areas that will keep you afloat.  

On my hard shells, I carry a life jack in the rear storage.  I don't carry a life jacket in the inflatable, but I do carry the pump and a repair kit.
I would buy this item again.

RE: Inflatable Kayak - maki2 - 10-03-2019

nicely done product review.

RE: Inflatable Kayak - HalfShadows - 10-03-2019

I have 3 hard shell kayaks. Their awesome but are too big to haul without getting a trailer. I purchased an inflatable inexpensive 2 person kayak from amazon for about $79.00.  If it only lasts me a winter in the SW It will be worth it.

RE: Inflatable Kayak - PODebbie - 10-03-2019

Thanks Maki, a compliment from you is quite the honor.

HalfShadows: I think the $79 kayak will be just fine. I saw a y-tube video with Adventureman and a bunch of people were going down a slow part of the Colorado River. I saw the folding kayak made by Oru and probably a $79 kayak. The folding boat did just fine. The person on cheap kayak had to work a lot harder than others in the group. The boat would turn with each paddle pull. Nothing wrong with that, though. I also saw Pam the Van, when she was van living, and she had a small inflatable kayak. It either slid down the embankment, or the wind picked it up, but she had to swim out into a reservoir to retrieve it. I would have set it free. I'm not swimming in deep water by myself.

RE: Inflatable Kayak - Qxxx - 10-04-2019

(10-03-2019, 11:12 PM)PODebbie Wrote:  Thanks Maki,  a compliment from you is quite the honor.

Maki is becoming the has-done-everything and knows-all-there-is-to-know person on this forum, lol. Heart

Debbie, I am wondering whether the inflatable kayak you bought is stable like those fleixble rubber duckies, which people take through fairly large rapids, or more like a regular hard sided kayak where you need rather good technical ability and must be able to do an Eskimo roll?

Also, anyone tried any of the SeaEagle boats?

RE: Inflatable Kayak - Skyman6529 - 10-04-2019

Great review.
I run inflatable pontoon boats with tough rubber skins. I'm deciding wether or not to bring them or something more like you're using.

We fish and explore on the water and aren't dragging a boat with us, thank you for the write up.

*edit* how heavy and how much room do they take up torn down.

Thanks again.

RE: Inflatable Kayak - Gypsy Freedom - 10-05-2019

another vote for the better quality inflatable kayaks. i have a sea eagle 380 with the high pressure drop stitch floor. like yours it is miles ahead of the cheaper pool toy inflatables. mine does not have the metal frame or internal bladers and seams to dry much quicker. i love it.

just a heads up for everyone. federal law requires taking a life jacket with you when on the water, inflatable kayaks are no exception. some local jurisdictions require they be worn when in canoes and kayaks or on certain bodies of water. just wouldnt want anyone getting a ticket.

then i would highly recomend actually wearing your life jacket when caanoeing or kayaking. by the time you realize you need it you may well be to far from your craft to get to it and get it on

RE: Inflatable Kayak - PODebbie - 10-08-2019

Sorry I missed the posts. The grand kids spent the weekend with me. I would sign in, and then get distracted and leave the computer on. I usually use the button, View Today's Post, so I missed the questions.

Qxxx, The inflatable has a flat bottom and a wide opening like a recreational kayak and not rounded like a ducky. I can mount a hard shell from deep water, but I don't think I would be able to do that with the inflatable. I don't think there is anywhere I could place the paddle, or grab on the kayak where I would not be afraid of tearing something. It is composed of heavy duty rubber like the dinghys on the back of yachts or the Coast Guard Zodiak boats.

Skyman: My van is called VIV - Vacation in a Van When we built the van, we planned on an upper bunk for me with a garage under and a bed for my husband. We originally planned to put 2 Oru foldable kayaks and 2 bikes in the "garage". The kayak weighs 42 pounds, and technically both should fit in the garage. Because they are "soft" and heavy, they lean against the bikes. When you open the back door, the bikes want to fall out. We store one under the bed and one standing on the side in the garage. We made the garage tall enough so we could take the front wheels off the bikes and they would fit. On the first trip, we took the seats off, lowered the handlebars, removed one of the pedals--and therefore was too lazy to want to put them together to bicycle. So, on our van build, we made the upper bed tall enough for the bikes to stand, and the kayaks do fit in that area. I think the website tells the folded dimensions.

Gypsy Freedom: Thanks for the heads up on the life jackets. I thought is was just outfitters who required a life jacket for their insurance. I didn't know that there were laws for adults. I do have the life jackets in the van, just haven't used them.