I was wondering if anyone had any advice/experience with either/both of these and could give a recommendation between the two?
EDIT - to give more of a background...I am new to kayaking and will mostly be on rivers without much current (Sesquahanna and Swatara in PA). I have no intentions of taking it white-water and I am just looking for a good starter recreational kayak.
I like Potomac es100
I have a Potomac 100es and like it very much. I think it was around $190 on a huge sale a couple years ago. I also have a $1,900 kevlar kayak that I like very much. I use both on the Susquehanna River. I live on Front Street in Harrisburg and paddle the river almost daily. Many people will give you a big lecture that you should not buy an inexpensive recreational boat. They will say it is impossible to paddle and that you will immediately regret it. My personal experience tells me that you can enjoy the Potomac 100es quite a bit if you are like me. But all I can do is speak from my own experience since I don’t know you or your goals. I have frequently paddled about 2 miles upstream on the susquehanna in the Potomac 100es, up to the area north of the Wade bridge. It’s a strenuous paddle, but when the river is around 4 feet or so, it’s doable in the Potomac. It is much easier in my Current Designs Vision 120, but fine in the Potomac. I have done multiple overnight camping trips using the Potomac. I’m an ultralight backpacker so I don’t need lots of gear storage space or weight capacity. In the Potomac, I don’t worry about bashing into rocks or dragging over the bottom of the very shallow, rocky Susquehanna. In my Vision 120, I almost break down and cry when I hit a rock and chip or scrape the gel coat. The Potomac is a tough boat that stands up well to the abuse of this rocky, shallow river. Because I kayak so much, and because I decided to do multiple day long paddling trips, I bought the Vision 120, and it is easier to paddle and in many ways more enjoyable than the Potomac. I paid about 10 times more for the Vision than for the Potomac. Thank heavens I have a good job and was able to spend so much on that boat. It’s sort of crazy to spend 10 times more on a boat that does largely the same things as the Potomac. But for me it was worth it. I really believe you will enjoy the Potomac and a couple years from now if you want to upgrade, you will have had many enjoyable trips in your Potomac and you can retire it. Heck, 5 or 6 rentals/shuttles around here would cost you what the Potomac will cost you. So go for it. Buy an entry level boat. Enjoy it. Don’t let anybody make you feel bad for not spending a fortune on an exotic boat. In the Susquehanna, you can have a great time in the Potomac. Check out Blue Mountain Outfitters. I am pretty sure they have a boat that is almost identical to the Potomac priced to compete with that boat’s price, and they’re great people and a great local business so you might feel good about spending your money with them instead of with an anonymous national chain store. Whatever you do, buy soon and enjoy every minute of the summer’s paddling season in this beautiful area of the country.