Is Duralite any good/worth the price?

I’m considering buying a Wilderness Systems’s Tsunami 135. It comes in regular plastic (50lbs) or a different type of plastic called Duralite (43lbs).

  1. apart from weight, what are the major differences between the two types of plastic?

  2. is Duralite as tough and longlasting as the regular plastic

  3. will Duralite’s 7 lb lower weight actually be noticeable, and would it be worth the price differential (the duralite is about $250 more expensive)

    I won’t have the opportunity to personally test the Duralite vs. the regular version, so any advice you might provide would be appreciated. Thanks!


– Last Updated: Jul-20-08 7:20 AM EST –

I've paddled a Tsunami 145 in Duralite and a 140 and 165 in regular poly. Yes, the weight difference is moderately noticeable but if money is an issue, I think it's hard to justify the price's still a poly boat. I own a 165 in poly so I can't give any personal long term Duralite experiences but many other P-Net posters and even a few dealers I know usually knock if for "oilcanning" and becoming mishapen, especially under warm conditions. Check the archives for numerous Duralite post:

I owned a Duralite Tsunami 145 for 4 years and you have to be careful how you store it. It will dent even from it’s own weight if stored on racks sitting on the hull. The best way to store is on it’s side. The weight savings was nice and it took a beating from me. I am an ACA instructor and trip leader and am pretty hard on my gear. I will say I was not thrilled with the frequent denting that occurred, but as with any plastic a little time in the hot sun would bring it right back into shape. The foam pillar in the cockpit for added rigidity made re-entry from rescues a little more challenging, but you get used to it after a few practice sessions. If the weight savings is important, it is worth the extra money. The amount of flex in the plastic does make the boat a little less efficient, stiffer boats tend to be a little “faster”.

Like Trylon?
If Duralite is the same thing as Trylon (my Hurricane is Trylon), you’ll like it. It’s stiffer, tougher, and lighter than poly. It has a finish that’s as shiny as gelcoat. My Hurricane doesn’t ‘oil can’ or flex at all. It doesn’t care how hot the sun is or how you lay it down. It can be glued and epoxied, unlike poly. It’s thickness is uniform across the entire boat (made from one sheet of vacuum formed plastic) unlike a ‘roto-molded’ poly boat.

Other than cost, I really don’t understand why ALL kayaks aren’t made this way.

Glass/carbon/kevlar layups the exception, but cost is much higher.

for the insights!

Not trilon
Duralite and trilon aren’t the same thing. Duralite is a form of poly.

I suggest not to get it
I was able to press my thumb against the front side of a duralite tsunami 140 and it oil canned, quite easily, then upon release of my finger, it popped back out. This is not a problem on my WS Pamlico 140 made of their standard plastic. It is noticably much stiffer.

Stick with plastic
Good old roto-molded plastic will last quite some time if you store it out of the sun. Duralite is just a higher end type of plastic and yes, a lot lighter. I see the weight difference only when lifting the kayak up on the vehicle. In the water, the weight savings is slight when it comes to glide. Figure the extra $250 in—that does seem inexpensive to me.

what about the oil-canning??
notice that??