I am looking to buy an inflatable kayak, but I would like to hear some first hand opinions about the various choices out there.
The model I’ve got my eye on is the Sea Eagle 330. I’m looking to paddle on a calm lake, and maybe occaisionally calm sea bays or slow rivers. I need space for two people and camping gear for a couple of nights max.
I am a beginner, but have been canoeing, kayaking and sea kayaking a handful of times.
My main question is; I have seen other 2 person kayaks for about half the price of the Sea Eagle 330, - is it worth paying more (retail price $279) for the sea eagle. It has good reviews, but I’m struggling for find reviews for the cheaper inflatables.
Any advice or first hand accounts with inflatables would be much appreicated.
IMO, the 330 is at the very bottom
end of what would be acceptable for flat or slow moving water. Even then, it would a hard sell to put me in one and I would hesitate to recommend one. The AIRE Tomcat is much more boat and can be found for roughly $400 new on eBay. Be aware also that on flat water, all IK’s tend to be piggish compared to a canoe or kayak.
It’s a glued boat so will eventually come apart at the seams, even with the newer glues.
www.theboatpeople.com has some down-to-earth reviews and FAQ’s when it comes to inflatables.
I also forgot to add that you will be
pushed to carry 2 people + gear unless:
Most inflatable tandems are really day-trippers for 2 or solo with gear.
Dec issue of Canoe and Kayak (04)
has a section on inflatables that is pretty complete.
Thanks for the replies -
Me and my partner are both quite small and light, (less than 280lbs together) - but I need something that will have the capacity for a small tent and some camping gear too.
I doesn’t need to be high performance, - just something that will allow me to get out on the lake and explore.
I read good things about the Sea Eagle 330 - so was hoping this might be what I was looking for.
Word Of Caution
Inflatables have a hard time dealing with high winds. For that reason I would not recommend them on any really open water, like the ocean.
If you are set on the eagle, look at the X series boats. More money but much better boats. A 340X is probably what you really need.
Penny wise, pound foolish I think
I have some friends with Eagles who feel that buying their Sea Eagles were the most foolish thing they ever bought. Once, I tried paddling down a river in a sea kayak with my friends and it was a losing battle – their Eagle kayaks were so slow that I was drifting faster than they were paddling. Even my son in a low end Perception Swifty was literally paddling circles around these things.
That said, I love inflatables – but the nicer ones like Feathercraft, Folbot, and Aire. I have a 2nd kayak, a Feathercraft Java and I love it, but it is expensive. Folbot strikes me as a great compromise between price and performance and you can often find used Folbots for reasonable prices on EBay or the net.
There’s room for two
but you’d better leave the camping gear on shore. Some of the larger tandems by SeaEagle might be a better choice for packing two paddlers and gear. Other than that, the price is right. Maybe you could buy his & hers 330s and split the gear between the two of you.