Looking at both of these kayaks used. Need one that I can load myself (woman, 140 lbs, age 60). Want stability, decent tracking, comfortable seat, quality materials. Mainly lake/slow river kayaking. Occasional fishing but not a priority.
couple of comments
I'm a 64 year old, 145 lb woman whose used/owned lots of different kayaks so I 'll offer my two cents. First, neither of those models is going to track very well. Second, both will be inefficient and sluggish for somebody your size to paddle because they are so wide. Third, if you are planning to carry your kayak on a roof rack, short fat boats are more difficult to wrangle than longer narrower ones. Because short boats have to be wide to get enough volume for a range of paddler weights, the cockpit ends up being sloppy for smaller folks. "One size fits all" boats are not great for our size. Also, these boats lack sealed bulkheads, which is a safety concern. If capsized or swamped they will sink. If you are serious about paddling, short rec boats like this will not enable you to develop good skills plus you will have trouble keeping pace with others in regular kayaks in group outings.
None of these factors may be of concern to you but I thought you should be aware of them.
Do you have budget constraints? If not, There are great quality lightweight kayaks, like the Eddyline Sky . Take a look at its features. I 'm a big fan of folding kayaks. You are nearing retirement age si you might want to think about a kayak you can carry in a duffel bag on a plane to travel destinations. Not only that but they are super light, many being under 30 lbs. Look at website specs for the Orukayak, the Pakboat Quest 135 and the Feathercraft Kurrent.
If you are limited to under $600 and want to buy new, the Perception Sport Conduit 13 is only 2 lbs over the Vapor, has dual bulkheads and is a better size for your frame. It is easier to load a longer boat like this - you lift the bow up onto the rear roof rack, then pick up the stern, lift and shove it forward.
If you prefer to simply choose between these two boats, they really are not much different at all. Pick whichever one has the seat you like best or that looks the least beat up. Do flip them over when you inspect them to assure they are not oil canned (flattened areas from leaving the boat on racks or hard surfaces in hot weather')
And invest in a good lightweight paddle, not a cheap aluminum one. A good paddle makes a huge difference in comfort and paddling enjoyment, no matter what the boat.
Thank you, willowleaf! That was great information and I will definitely look into your suggestions. I do want to stay under $400 if possible, at least for my first kayak. I was looking at the Vapor and Manatee because those are the ones I have found used.
I forgot to add, if you do choose to go with one of those two used kayaks, pick up or order a set of inflatable flotation bags to stuff in the bow and stern spaces. Harmony and Seattle Sports are two companies that make them. Be sure to deflate them at least partially when you are not using the boat (they will expand in the hot sun and can rupture a seam, as I discovered early on.) And tie them inside to the seat frame (they usually have a grommet for a cord) so they don’t fly out when you are driving down the road with the boat on the roof rack (another “oops” moment from my early days with kayaks).