My husband and I are looking to invest in a reliable, durable, yet somewhat inexpensive, kayak we can take with us on long road trips. Specifically, we are looking to do some kayaing on Lake Powell and want soemthing we can just throw in the car and easy assemble once we are on site. I am about 5’4" 110 lbs. and he is 5’11" 160lbs. We are also looking for versatility. Any suggestions?
I have had one for 5 years. A good boat. Very stable and fast for an inflatable. Handles well in the ocean and on lakes. Takes about 20 minutes to set up, including attaching the skeg. It’s a little pricey, but worth it. Check out theboatpeople.com.
AE advanced elements convertible
ADVANCEDFRAME CONVERTIBLE KAYAK :: AE1007-R
Paddle it tandem or single. you can also decide whether or not you want a deck. I bought mine for $600, $620 w/pump. At 55-60lbs it’s heavy for an inflatable but probably wouldn’t be bad for two people to carry. Paddles well, was also pretty impressed with it’s speed. Does not take very long to inflate.
A second on the Sunny
It's about the fastest inflatable you can get for under 1000 - capable of a 20-mile day trip if you are. It's easy to switch from tandem to solo. It does well in the wind (important, I think, on Lake Powell) and OK in waves. Very durable construction. Quick to setup - setup as solo, I can go from car to water in 12 minutes. At your sizes, the Sunny will be plenty big enough.
Inflatables vs. folding
Are the inflatables the way to go when it comes to traveling with a kayak? I am planning an extended vacation to Europe this year and want to invest in something I can take with me on the road, planes, trains etc… and will hold up to pretty much all types of water (except fast water). Are inflatables better than folding kayaks for this?
Inflatable vs Folder
I have both an inflatable (Advanced Elements Airframe) and a folder (Folbot Cooper) - inflatables are generally easier and quicker to set up (5 mins to pump up) and may pack a little smaller. They are great for just getting out on the water and “putzing” about.
Folders take a little longer to assemble (15-45 mins, depending on model).
Performance on the water, however, is no comparison! Folders definitely outperform inflatables hands down! A good folder paddles like a hardshell.
Depending on the model, packed size and weight will be about the same.
Generally, inflatables will set up/take down faster than folder. Folders will perform more like a “real” kayak, and be faster on the water.
My 2 cents is that the setup is the biggest factor for what your doing - If you will be in the same place for a few days and can leave the folder setup, go that route. If your traveling and want to pull the boat out for a 2-3 hour paddle, then throw it back in the car, go with an inflatable.
Thank you all for the great advice. I think I am going to stick to the inflatable for now but maybe look into a folding one for later trips. I will check out both brands mentioned and see what fits the best for us.