Inflatable Kayak shopping - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-23-2009   #1
 
Great Falls, Montana
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Inflatable Kayak shopping

I am in the market for an inflatable kayak. I am not overly experienced but have been out a few times. I would like something durable and versatile that will not cost more than $1000. I have been looking at a Sea Eagle Explorer 380x as it has convertible drains so it can be used for whitewater or other. Any assistance on quality of this kayak or any other suggestions on good products would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

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Old 07-23-2009   #2
 
DurangoSteve's Avatar
 
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
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FUNNY stuff from the SeaEagle website:

"Explorer Kayaks Can Rocket Fearlessly Down Class IV Rapids!"

Sure, the IK can rocket down IV rapids, but as a rookie, you won't be in the boat! Or how about this crazy claim?

"How tough is the Explorer Kayak? In torture testing, we pounded it mercilessly with the claw of a claw hammer. It had no effect. Neither did stabbing it with a screwdriver. We simply couldn’t penetrate the “crocodile hide” hull."

Uh, bullshit. Even much more "serious" IKs get punctured.

Stay away from that SeaEagle crap. Look for a boat from Aire, Tributary or NRS. There are options under $1,000. Also follow the banner ad on the Buzz homepage. Slightly used Tributary Tomcats and Zoik IKs pretty cheap.
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Old 07-23-2009   #3
 
Steamboat, Colorado
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I got a Tributary Tomcat Tandem, not too expensive yet built very solid. It can handle class IV if you can, but I use it mainly for fun, class I to III runs and for that it is perfect. Sometimes I take it on camping trips where there is a lake nearby – kids like that. Sunday afternoon River floats…its good to have that thing around. Would buy it again!
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Old 07-23-2009   #4
 
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Denver, Colorado
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I met a guy with a SeaEagle duckie on Pumphouse last weekend. He gave me the same line about being able to beat on it with a claw hammer and stab it with a screwdriver. I offered to test it with my screwdriver, but he wouldn't let me.

I have an IK made by Downriver in Denver and I really like it. It's very stable and durable. It also bails quickly. I've done III's and one IV in it my first season and I stayed in when others in duckies were coming out. I put a 2nd thwart in it for foot bracing and that helps a lot. It's a good boat for a beginner. I highly recommend it.
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Old 07-23-2009   #5
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Check out Inflatable Kayak Specialists - The Boat People for reviews of solo and tandems -- some under $1000. Also try Guide to Inflatable Kayak...Reviews, Boat Selection, Care, Tips, & Trips for some ideas. It really depends on how you plan to use it. One or two person, do you want to approach hardside performance or is stability the highest priority? These two sites should help you think through that stuff.
Have fun researching!!
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Old 07-23-2009   #6
 
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Silt, Colorado
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I also have a Tomcat Tandem and a Force and would recomend them to anyone. Very well built, and great warranty. The Tomcat is big enough for a single person to camp off of, if you dont take too much stuff. I got mine from Gravity Play (top banner) for $500 and it looked brand new. If you plan on having an IK for a while stay away from all the cheap ones (Wal-Mart, Target) and get one of the name brands- Aire, NRS, DownRiver, Hyside. I have also seen alot of Vanguards on the river and they look very well built as well.
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Old 07-23-2009   #7
 
timbuktu, Colorado
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Tributary's are solid at a reasonable price. NRS, DRE and Aire's are better. I'd stay away from Sea Eagle.

Personally, I plan to buy two IK's in the next year and without any doubt I will be purchasing two SOAR's. Debating between two canyons or two pro pioneers. I like the way the seats sit at the top of the tubes. More like a canoe. No wet butt! You can also put a small frame on one.

The pro pioneer has a 1500 pound capacity, so fairly luxurious overnighters are easily accomplished. All of the SOAR owners I have talked too have said they love theirs and the people at SOAR are cool. I'm surprised you don't see more of them.

I'm buying two for ultimate versatility. I plan to have a custom frame built that will connect the two like a cat. Ton's of storage with two 16' x 48" wide boats

They are a little more than a Sea Eagle but you have a serious boat.

http://www.soar1.com/
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Old 07-23-2009   #8
Alaskagrown
 
Albany, Oregon
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I own a tomcat solo by Tributary and for the price it is a fantastic IK. It easily handles class III and I'm sure would have no problem with larger water. It is very stable and very durable. For the money you can't beat this boat. It retails for around $650 new but clavey.com has them on sale right now for $550. That would leave you plenty of cash to fully equip it with nice gear. Have fun!
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Old 07-23-2009   #9
 
3, Colorado
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I bought one of these last year and have loved it. Durable REALLY durable....and mine looked very new. I got my cheaper than they advertise them now but its a great value.....the best my research has found.

Xstream Gear - Tributary Aire Tomcat Tandem

They guy was easy to work with too.....great communication.
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Old 07-24-2009   #10
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeman View Post
I am in the market for an inflatable kayak. I am not overly experienced but have been out a few times. I would like something durable and versatile that will not cost more than $1000. I have been looking at a Sea Eagle Explorer 380x as it has convertible drains so it can be used for whitewater or other. Any assistance on quality of this kayak or any other suggestions on good products would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Geeman, I'm noticing that you talk about versatility and "whitewater and other." There is a trade-off between whitewater performance (quicker turning) and flatwater performance (tracking). This is especially tricky if you want to use your boat on a lake and in whitewater. Other folks may have specific suggestions for boats that are more versatile than others. It might behelpful if you described both ends of the water spectrum that you are looking for the boat to work on.
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