This is my first post here. I’m looking to upgrade my current Advanced Elements Expedition inflatable to a hard sided touring kayak. I would like something that slices through the water better and isn’t as affected by the wind as the inflatable.
Most of my kayaking is done on Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra lakes, but I would like the option to take it to the coast and paddle on the ocean. I do occasional short 2-3 day trips where I have to carry gear, but I’m also a backpacker so I can pack fairly light and don’t need a huge carrying capacity. Wind is always the issue here, especially in the afternoons, so I’m looking for something efficient and with a skeg or rudder to help out in that respect.
The big problem (or rather, small problem) is that I’m 5’2" and only 105lbs, so finding a used kayak in my price range that will fit me and allow me to load it on/off a vehicle by myself is a challenge. I have been doing some reading and have started a list, but I was wondering if I could get some feedback from fellow small paddlers on the options that I have available within a 4 hour drive, as I won’t really be able to test any of them.
Nimbus Solander Plus (I guess this is the older Solander) - fibreglass (looks in good shape from pictures & is the closest)
WS Tempest 165 - plastic (seems heavy @ 55lbs)
Valley Avocet - plastic (this one looks like it has some wear and the hatch covers are missing)
Mariner Coaster - fibreglass (long drive for this one & it’s at the top of my price range)
Current Designs Solstice GTS - fibreglass (long drive again)
Thanks for any help.