Folding Kayaks: Pakboat Quest 150 vs. Neris Smart Pro S

Hey all,

Looking for some insight and advice as information is a little sparse. Thanks!

Location: Washington state

Main use: flat/open water and tame rivers (class I, maybe class II a year from now). Hopefully can handle some adverse conditions while touring. Traveling. What inspired me to look at foldables was my trip to Japan. I got to kayak on a feathercraft. The model I was on felt just like hardshells I’ve used. Unfortunately feathercraft is no more.

Skill level: novice

Key points: looking for durability, speed, tracking and storage. Regarding durability Neris = PVC and Pakboat = materials coated with PU. I’ve read that the quest is pretty fast comparable to hardshells. I really haven’t found anything regarding speed and tracking for Neris, but the quest seems to be pretty on par with hardshells. Storage seems adequate for both, with Neris having more capacity by weight. Assembly time looks similar to both.

Other notes:
I know Neris has only recently made a local US presence. So information is definitely sparse. I just reached out to the distributor before writing up this post.


Other sources:

Youtube vids demonstrating paddling and assembly.

I have a Pakboats Quest 135 (little brother of Quest 150) and like it for its light weight.

Its bottom is stiff (and fast) for a folding kayak, but less stiff than a hard shell kayak and less responsive (slower as well). You may or may not like that feel, once you paddle a good hard shell.

Please note Quest 150 is not a wide kayak though (24 inch or 610mm wide, much narrower and lighter than Neris Smart Pro S) . If you are big and tall and do not have a good sense of balance, you may need some paddle time to get used to The Quest 150. The Neris would be much slower and more stable.

I have not assembled my Q135 many times, but I have found that I need at least 30-40 minutes for assembly. When I go paddling with a group (and don’t want other to wait for me to assemble the kayak), I would strategically tie down the kayak on my car roof (with front, rear, and two side straps).

When I got my Quest 135, I installed the air bladders too low and made the kayak very unstable (I dumped myself into water twice). But once I pulled up the air bladders, it feels pretty stable (I have never flipped afterwards).

I did an overnight kayak camping using my Quest 135 and it took tons of gears (which were enough for 2 adults).

For reference, I am 5’9", 140lbs, pretty fit and paddle aggressively for fitness. I prefer my Epic 16x hard shell kayak (16’ long, 22" wide) over my Quest 135. But both are very nice kayaks.

Thanks for the feedback! I plan on making one of these kayaks my first buy. I’ve done rentals for awhile now.

Since Neris is close by, I plan to demo their kayak. From what I’ve read skin on frames are pretty comparable to hardshells in terms of tracking and speed. And if either are anything like the feathercraft I paddled, then this is probably fairly accurate. I was considering an inflatable for portability as well, but saw issues with speed and storage.

Still being a novice, the Neris might be a better fit for now, but I’ve heard great things about the durability and spare parts support for pakboats. So I hope they’ll stick around through all this covid stuff.

Hey mate. May you please update me on where are you with your choice?
I am at the point where i am choosing my 1st kayak. I am considering the Neris Pro Smart, the Puffin Saranac and the Advanced Elements AirVolution 2.