Feathercraft Jet Stream ?

Is anybody familiar with Feathercraft Jet Stream, a “folding touring surfski” ? Any experience with other boats from their Air Line? I guess that Java may be the most popular.


I am starting to think about traveling by air and doing some fast paddling (day or a few days with light camping), e.g., retracing some of my trips from 30 years ago in Poland or just going to Florida for some paddling/racing without driving from Colorado.

Of course, I am thinking about many other new boats as well …

FeatherCraft Java
I acquired a FeatherCraft Java with visions of toting it to far away paddling venues. I soon learned that there were several things about that particular kayak that made it somewhat impractical for serious expedition style paddling. The first was that it doesn’t fold up into a very compact, and thus, transportable package. Try as I may, it still ended up a somewhat bulky, unwieldy load that would have been a real bear getting it on and off airplanes, busses and shuttle ferries. Second, an inflatable kayak does not turn into a sleek, efficient paddle craft. No matter how taut I made the air chambers, there was still a lot of flex, which caused the boat to be sluggish on the water. Third, set up time, even with some practice, was not the easiest nor quickest task in the world. I wondered if I was ever under the stress of dealing with foul weather or a tight schedule, if this factor might just be a game breaker. And last, since there is no real“storage” area for gear, everything had to be placed in dry bags and lashed top side . . . leaving gear subject to getting wet or worse, falling over board.

On the positive side, it is ingeniously engineered and very well made. Its really a fun boat that was fine for car trips and impromptu day paddles. But that isn’t what I got if for . . . so it’s no longer in my “fleet.”

air line kayaks vs traditional folders?
Thank you for you comments. I wonder if you have any experience with more traditional folding kayaks. Is Feathercarft Jave any worse than other folders from your perspective?

I’ve found another review of Java used with Pacific action sail on www.foldingkayaks.org pages:

http://www.foldingkayaks.org (see “longer reviews”)

My old style Feathercraft K1 expedition is quite heavy and bulky: 57 lb and 38x20x12" in its nice backpack without a paddle or anything else.

Well, I spent 20 years of my paddling life with even heavier double folding kayaks paddling lakes and rivers in Poland:



– Last Updated: Mar-13-05 2:27 PM EST –

So, nobody have seen Feathercraft Jetstream?!
She looks quite cute on Feathercraft video:

I mean both the boat and the paddler ...

Yost folders
You mentioned that you were considering other new boats as well. Are you familiar with the Yost folding kayaks? They look like they are more performance-oriented than some of the other folders, which sounds like something that might appeal to you. You have to build one instead of buying it, but a number of folks on the kayak forum builders board seem to have had pretty good luck with them.


For what it’s worth . . .

I’m a proud user of the Featehrcraft K1 foldable kayak. Since 4 years, I’ve clocked a few trips on it, either alone or with some other rigids kayak on the party. I worked with an airline so I do get to travel quite often.

The bulk of these tipe of craft is real. No matter how you put it 38lb (the weigh I believe the Java is), 44 or 55lbs of weigh can NOT be hidden. But the rewards make it worth it to carry it. We’ll be getting a second type, the Katsalano (sleekier, faster, more performing boat) for my wife. These crafts R fast, reliable, strong & worry free. I use mine in the ocean , leave it unattended for months then take it for another trip somewhere & never had any problem. Can stuff them, use them & abuse them…If any problem on the field…repairs R as easy to do as a flat tire on a bycicle.

Check them out on the web: feathercraft.com