Eddyline equinox vs. Journey

I am looking for my first Kayak. Currently I have narrowed it down to an Eddyline Journey or Equinox. I am leaning toward the Journey as I like the greater capability, greater speed and much of the stability of the Equinox. I am a beginner who is about 5’9" tall in my mid 50’s and currently 255 lbs (down from 350 in December and working hard to get to 200). I like the larger cockpit of these boats as I am larger but also have a leg swelling problem due to cancer surgery 10 years ago. I will be paddling with my wife (mostly) who is also a beginner and looking at smaller (12ft) kayaks. I will be mostly paddling on lakes, sloughs and local rivers. I realize I have some special circumstances and will be trying these boats out before deciding but thought I would seek the collective wisdom on the listed choices as well as soliciting other possible kayaks I should consider.

Thanks in advance for your input. I have read some older threads on this but thought an update would be useful as new models are sometimes available and due to my special circumstances.

Try before
you buy is the best thing you can do. That way you can see how each fits and feels to you. To me proper fit and comfort is the most important aspect of a kayak.

Good luck

2 very similar boats
I ahve owned a paddled an Equinox for 5 or 6 years and a friend has a Journey and I have paddled it several time. In my opinion, if you were to sit in the two boats with your eyes closed you could not tell the difference. Same cockpit, same seat. When paddling the boats also feel very similar. The Journey seems to be a bit faster. The Equinox will handle your weight but you are pushing the upper weight limit a bit. The only downside I see to the Journey is that it is a 5 lbs heavier and you have another foot of boat to load and unload. I suspect you will be happy with either by there are some advantages to the Journey. Paddle them and see.


Hope this helps
Have you paddled either of these kayaks? Have you sat in the cockpit?

I have the Journey. Once you’ve paddled the Journey you won’t want the Equinox. The Equinox is slow by comparison due to the extra inch in width.

Eddyline kayaks have a drawback that concerns me in your case. Although the cockpit is quite large compared to other sea kayaks, they are also fairly low in the thigh area, and the low height and downward angle of the thigh braces might be a problem for your leg swellig. I have normal legs and found the thigh braces actually painful. I cut them out and glued a strip of neoprene to cover the sawed edge. That helped a lot. You can order the kayak without the thigh braces. I don’t miss them and find that I have good contact with my knees against the underside of the deck.

I wouldn’t say the Journey is more “capable” than the Equinox except for speed. I would consider both very stable in all kinds of conditions. The Journey is suitable for a beginner in terms of stability, so don’t worry about that.

If you’re looking primarily at thermoformed kayaks (which I think is the best material, in my opinion), the next brand to look at would be Delta, specifically the 12 or the 14. The Deltas have a much deeper cockpit and MUCH more volume at the bow and stern than the Eddylines. Deltas are amazingly stable boats in rough water. They feel difficult to tip over and don’t require a lot of skill even in waves. They have a ton of carrying capacity for camping.

The main drawback for you of a Delta is that the cockpit is smaller than the Eddyline cockpit (2.5" shorter), but the greater depth at the front of the cockpit compensates to some extent for that. Exit is the challenge. Your toe has to clear the front of the cockpit. Both length and depth of the cockpit help that. Excess body weight hinders exit because it’s harder to bend your knee back.

Deltas are hard to find but worth looking at. You ca find them used on Craiglist. I own a Delta 12.10. The deck shape is not as good as Eddyline—Eddylines have raised structures built into the deck to stiffen it. I find that the Delta plastic is thinner and/or softer and depresses more readily, but the quality is still quite good. Eddylines are stiffer and esthetically superior, no doubt about it.

I found the Delta 14 and 15 quite slow and not maneuverable. The Delta 12 is very maneuverable—like in and out of coves in a marsh—and has surprisingly good speed for such a small boat. It’s probably as fast as the Equinox, with better turning.

SEATS: The Eddyline seat is, well, awful. I replaced mine. The Delta seat is better than most, especially if you add a simple foam pad.

The other two thermoform kayaks available in the U.S. are Hurricane and Swift. I don’t recommend the Swift hull—Eddyline and Delta are both far more stable in rough water. Hurricanes are significantly cheaper, but the plastic is also very noticeably thinner and softer, easily felt in the flexing of the whole kayak in the water. So that brings you back to Eddyline and Delta.

You see, it’s hard to find the perfect kayak so you have to choose your priorities. In your case I think the cockpit fit should come first, especially with respect to your weight and your leg swelling. If you have doubts about the greater length of the Journey, I would get a Delta 12.10 rather than an Equinox.

Feel free to e-mail with any questions about Eddyline and Delta.

Cockpit size
I have actually sat in the Equinox cockpit and fit fairly well (I was a bit surprised but it was pretty good). I have VERY short legs with an inseam of only 28-29 inches, so maybe that contributes to my not noticing a problem? I will be paddling both in the next few weeks (I want to test them in decent weather so I need my schedule and Oregon Weather to cooperate!) so hopefully I will get a better feel. I appreciate all the answers (and would be happy to get more opinions/suggestions!). I am not really worried about the 4 lb. weight difference out of the water, with my legs a bit less useful than they would normally be I have gotten used to using my upper body to assist so I am in pretty good shape from the waist up despite my weight.I lifted a Journey at a local shop and did not find it difficult to maneuver or carry. Quality of construction is also an issue for me and it sounds like the Eddyline is the best built of the group that has been mentioned. I will see if I can find a Delta near me, but the smaller cockpit may be a problem.

Thanks for the input so far it has been very helpful!

Thanks for the extra info
When you demo the Eddylines just pay careful attention to how your knees/thighs fit under the thigh braces and ask yourself if it would be comfortable for a few hours.

If the answer is yes, and you’re okay with the 49 lbs of the Journey, then the Journey is the best kayak mentioned so far.

You should not worry about the stability of the Journey for a beginner. 24" wide is plenty. Eddyline makes a very good hull, with a great combination of tracking, speed, stability, and maneuverability in the Journey. But there are negative comments in the reviews about the turning ability of the Equinox—it looks in the photo to have less rocker than the Journey.

I think you will fit in the Delta cockpit, if you can find one to try. Cockpit fit depends in part on your joint flexibility (hips and knees).

I paddle a Journey while my wife paddles an Equinox. Both cockpits are the same. The Journey hull is faster and has a skeg. The Equinox has no skeg but is a comfortable relaxing boat, not as fast as the Journey but requires added care to compensate for weathercocking. Either boat would fit your needs. The Journey would be there long after you outgrow the Equinox.

Don’t fit…
Waited until my legs were good and swollen… I sat in a Journey and two things became apparent…when truly swollen I don’t fit…feet are slightly tight but not too bad but swollen legs/thighs pushing out of top of cockpit…

Back to square one. I may be limited to sit on tops…looked at some Hobies at he same shop…need to do some more research. Thanks for all the input…

Next step: Delta
I suspected that the Eddlyine cockpit would be too low for you. I hope you’ll be able to try a Delta—you will have about 2" more room above your thighs.

Don’t forget that you can also cut the thigh braces out if that would help. It’s a simple operation. You saw the braces off, file the edge smooth, and finish it off with something like a square of neoprene.

Also, you don’t always need to have your legs under the coaming. You can bend a knee and bring your leg to the center of the cockpit for relief if the conditions aren’t too rough.

Current designs Kestrel
Another kayak to look at is the Current Designs Kestrel in composite or kevlar. It used to be made in thermoformed plastic (called TCS) and you can still sometimes find a used one in TCS. Old Orchard shows a used TCS in stock for $1000: http://oakorchardcanoe.com/usedkayaks.php


–Very large cockpit (18.5 x 39; depth 14")

–Light (43 lbs in composite or TCS; kevlar 39 lbs)

–Excellent glide

Main drawback: It’s 26" wide. But it paddles nicely for that width.

Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ofl3VFu0EI