I’m buying a kayak for my wife soon and I’m considering these two. Any thoughts or suggestions? Is there a better kayak in the $350-$400 price range? Thanks.
Way more info needed
If your wife is my size, approx'ly 5'4" and 135 lbs, and wants to use this boat to do things like learning to paddle whitewater or roll, it's bad choice because there will be no contact for her thighs in the cockpit of either of these boats.
If she wants to paddle with others on flat water that have somewhat longer, more straight-going boats than the 10 footers tend to be, it's not a good choice because she won't be able to keep up.
If she wants to take longer trips solo, across a large lake that can get wind or waves, she'll need float bags in addition to the the boat itself to replace the water in front should there be a capsize. And she'll likely want something longer than 10 ft.
If she wants to putter around closer to shore in some quiet water, either of these boats could be great choices.
So - what would be the purpose here?
Vapor has the better seat.
Better comfort there. Both good starter boats for class 1 or 2 waters. Which one does she like? That usually plays the biggest role at my place. If I were going to paddle ponds I would go with the Vapor. If mostly rivers, the Glide. My reason is because the Glide has more deck and smaller cockpit. I like OT quality. But there isn't really a lot to consider here except comfort, color and personnal preference. Good little starter boats all the way around.
Answer to your question
I am a recreation kayaker. I paddle in rivers with class 1&2 rapids but I also enjoy bird-watching at large lakes. My wife has never been in a kayak before but she wants to go with me sometimes. She’s about 5"10 and 165 pounds. Hope that helps.
With more info…
Your wife is a good bit bigger than me, mostly taller by 6 inches, so she’ll be able to find contact in boats that I couldn’t. Proportionately longer thighs. She could feel comfortable in a lot of boats that I’d be swimming in.
What caught my eye is that your wife hasn’t kayaked before but wants to come along with you sometimes, and that you bird watch on large lakes. With that tends to come more wind and more distance from shore. Is she comfortable enough on the water that a capsize and re-entry on the water, assisted by you, would be easy? Or could that be a challenge? If the answer is the latter, you may want to look at things like lower decks and perimeter lines, stuff that make it easier for someone to climb back into their boat.
(I am going to assume you’ll learn/have this down if you guys are going to be kayaking together…)
Ah geesh shucks.
We are already talking about tipping over. Get one of these nice fat rec kayaks and don't think about that much. Stay on nice water on nice days in your wide little new kayaks and you will never have to scare your wife with that kind of thought. These boats are going to be rock stable for the most part. You would have to be pretty drunk to tip one over. I mean really really drunk.
My wife would like the Vapor because she likes to dangle her legs out over the sides on hot days. It looks like that would be pretty easy in the Vapor.
I like the Glide because of the deck rigging and more closed in cockpit. I could store my stuff under deck and keep it dryer. Not much place to store dry stuff on the Vapor.
Of coarse it still could get damp below deck, just not splashed as much in the Glide. If I really thought I would be spending much time in class 2, Glide with a skirt would be my choice.
You haven’t met my relatives
Try someone who raises their hand to wave “Hi” and capsizes a Swifty, happened right in front of me… or the cousins who we found out couldn’t swim when we were in the middle of a lake. This stuff shouldn’t happen but does.