Caribou S vs Andromeda vs Ellesmere

I’m looking to buy one of three kayaks: a Current Designs Caribou S (Kevlar, 2001), an Andromeda (Fiberglass, probably a similar age), or a Boreal Designs Ellesmere (Kevlar, probably a similar age).

I want a narrow skeg boat that I can really control. Tight turning ability, rollability, and playfulness is a plus; speed is important but not paramount. I’m not interested in load capacity for overnights.

What thoughts do people have on these three boats? Also, how does the old Caribou S differ from the post-2010 redesigned Caribou? Would I notice a difference?


Andromeda does not play

– Last Updated: Aug-16-13 9:11 PM EST –

It has had its supporters including a guide here and there when it came out, but it was because it was pretty fast and had good capacity. It doesn't really play. Though it could depend on your definition... the Andromeda is likely to give you more opportunity to practice your roll than the others when you have to try and turn it on a wave.

Seriously, if you want some playfulness either of the other two will do you better.

I suggest that you sit in the Caribou before deciding - it is one of those cockpit fits that either works great (did for many I know) or is a full-out miss (for me).