Originally Posted by Dr.AndyDVM
Lynx. Plus 2
Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
Has anyone paddled/compared Aire Lynx 2 vs Aire Outfitter 2?
The reviews here favor the Outfitter 2:
AIRE Lynx II inflatable kayak
AIRE Outfitter II Inflatable Kayak
I have not been able to find an Outfitter 2 to borrow or rent in UT, ID, or WY; I'd love to try one, or hear your opinions.
(Disclaimer/background: I'm coming from many years of hardshell kayaking, so I have a fairly good brace, river reading etc, and appreciate some maneuverability; I would also like to try some moderate class 4 with the girlfriend in a two person IK (as well as big water Idaho class 3+ in the spring), with minimal-to-no-swimming, hence the interest in the Outfitter 2).
The past couple summers I've paddled the following, in order of my preference:
Sevylor K2 River XDS- The most obvious thing about this boat was the slow drainage; it would fill up with water in big wavetrains, and stay full. Felt like a barge trying to keep in on line (specifically on Trestle rapid, Cabarton run, Payette river). Worked fine in general though, no flips in big water class 3+.
Tributary Tomcat 2- First impression was a high seat position, and a fairly long length (12'9" x 38.5", and 2" Waterline: 109.5"), made this feel a bit unstable and a bit of a struggle to turn. Worked fine though, and this and all Aires/Tributaries drain much better than the Sevylor K2 River XDS.
Bow Rise and Stern Rise: 15", 12" tubes.
My summary would be: A solid boat, but not particularly maneuverable, or exceptionally stable.
Aire Strike 2- Its a crossover boat (lakes and whitewater), so 12'5" x 37" a bit narrower, only 10" tubes, 2" Waterline: 106". At first this boat felt unstable compared to a Lynx or Tomcat, but after a couple weekends on the Snake's Alpine Canyon, we got pretty used to it, and managed to punch Kahuna without flipping, after a couple tries
. The extensive flatwater sections and headwinds actually favored the flatwater features (Bow Rise and Stern Rise: only 12.5"). Swapped with our friend's Aquaglide Klickitat Two HB Inflatable Kayak for a couple rapids, and that one drains as slow as the Sevylor, and inch narrower than the Strike, noticeably less stable, also a crossover boat but more of a flatwater kayak to me, although it worked fine for late summer (lower flow) class 3.
Aire Lynx 2- Boise State Outdoor Center is the only place I have found to rent one of these, in UT/ID/WY. Loved it. 12'6" x 39", and particularly:
2" Waterline: only 91", this boat turns way better than a Tomcat 2. We managed to snap into one eddy on the Main Payette almost like a hardshell kayak. 11.5" tubes felt quite stable. Bow Rise and Stern Rise: 15". (on all of the above I used some thigh straps from a Sevylor K1 XDS that I have).
Which brings us to the Outfitter 2 that TheBoatPeople like so much.
12'5" x 41", although TheBoatPeople measured theirs at 40" wide, one inch wider than a Lynx, Bow Rise and Stern Rise: 18.5",
2" Waterline: 100". TheBoatPeople mention "a deep seating position", making the boat very stable, need to raise your elbows a bit while paddling, but aside from that, 100% positive reviews from all their customers, and its their best-selling IK. I like the looks of the specs, and the reviews. Wish I could paddle one before pulling the trigger, but if I can sit in one next time I get to Boise, that may be enough.
Another note: I have not checked all those specs myself. It doesn't really make sense to me that the Lynx 2 is one inch longer than the Outfitter 2, has 3.5" less bow and stern rise, but somehow has 9" less length at the 2" waterline? I would expect the Outfitter 2 to have a similar or shorter 2" waterline. If anyone has an Outfitter 2 I'd be curious how the specs actually measure.
Thoughts on your favorite tandem IK for big water? Does anyone run their floor in a Lynx 2 or Tomcat with a bit less air, to lower the seat position?