Looks like my summer vacation plans for the family is cancelled, and also the kids will be stuck at home instead of at daycare/summer camp. Fortunately I live by a reservoir so we were thinking of taking up recreation kayaking for the summer and hopefully beyond. Started doing some research, even ventured to newly reopened Dick’s yesterday, and have concluded that choices can be overwhelming, and also the big box stores are all out of kayaks for the moment. So I got onto this forum for some advice.
My current plan after a week of internet research is to get a tandem kayak plus a larger single kayak. I was thinking a tandem for me (6 ft, 200 lbs) and our 50 lb 5.5 year old son, and a large cockpit single for my wife (5’10, 150 lbs) and our almost 3 year old. I’d prefer not to get anything shipped, so I’ve been looking at things I can buy and pick up locally. These are some of the possibilities:
Pelican Argo 136 EXP 13’6" (was at a somewhat nearby REI, but now out of stock) - $750
Old Town Twin Heron - $1000
Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus - $1450
Hurricane Santee 140T - $1350?
Single with big cockpit:
EDIT: BOUGHT A HURRICANE SANTEE 120 SPORT AS MY SINGLE KAYAK
Old Town Vapor 10 - $500 (48" long cockpit)
Old Town Loon 120 - $1000 (56" long cockpit)
Hurricane Santee 110/120/126 Sport - $1200 (55" long cockpit)
Wilderness Pungo 120 - $1000 (52" long cockpit)
Wilderness Aspire 105 - $829 (52" long cockpit)
I’d appreciate any advice or recommendations you all can give me.
First of all, is it at all feasible to get a long cockpit single for an adult plus toddler like I was planning? I’m not too worried about safety since we’ll all have life vests, and we’ll be limiting use to lakes like the very tranquil one next to our house.
As to the specific kayaks. I am drawn to the Santee’s because they seem well designed and are significantly lighter than the other choices (especially that tandem). I don’t know too much about specific brands so I don’t know how good Hurricane rec kayaks are in general. The 140T seems to have some pretty good reviews on this site, so I’m leaning toward it at the moment. Almost pulled the trigger on the cheap Argo ($750 plus 15% dividend at REI), but it’s out of stock, so I’m looking at the more expensive alternatives.
For the singles, I did read a lot of good reviews on the Pungo (and I’m assuming the Aspire would be very similar), and those may be in stock at my local LL Bean, so I can potentially get say an Aspire 105 for $663 after 20% off if I get their credit card, or the Pungo for $800.
EDIT: The LL Bean didn’t have any Pungos despite what their website says. However, they did have one very pretty blue Hurricane Santee 120 Sport on sale for $925 ($740 after I applied for their credit card), so I pulled the trigger on it today.
Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for your help and advice!