Newer Paddler Specific IK comparison and advice needed - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 08-20-2015   #1
 
Moran, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Newer Paddler Specific IK comparison and advice needed

I'm looking to buy my first paddling boat and have settled on a couple of IK's as the best fit for my wife and I and would like advice. I would like comparison and or experience on these models. Also,construction difference/advantages between these 3 as I cant find a lot of specifics.

The Aire Tributary Strike 2 which I can get on a pro deal discount, the Sea eagle 380x, and the Aquaglide Klickitat (her favorite in the comparo because of the way the seating area looks/sets up).

These all seem to be decent boats. I have rafted on several Aire products and like them. Im looking for boats in the $600-$1000 range, Will be doing a mix of flatwater paddling and some tamer whitewater and rivers up to class 3+, I also will be travelling with the boat frequently. Mostly restricted to day trips with normal gear and plan on doing some fishing.

Any experiences or opinions are welcome, Thanks!

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Old 08-20-2015   #2
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Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennej0605 View Post
I'm looking to buy my first paddling boat and have settled on a couple of IK's as the best fit for my wife and I and would like advice. I would like comparison and or experience on these models. Also,construction difference/advantages between these 3 as I cant find a lot of specifics.

The Aire Tributary Strike 2 which I can get on a pro deal discount, the Sea eagle 380x, and the Aquaglide Klickitat (her favorite in the comparo because of the way the seating area looks/sets up).

These all seem to be decent boats. I have rafted on several Aire products and like them. Im looking for boats in the $600-$1000 range, Will be doing a mix of flatwater paddling and some tamer whitewater and rivers up to class 3+, I also will be travelling with the boat frequently. Mostly restricted to day trips with normal gear and plan on doing some fishing.

Any experiences or opinions are welcome, Thanks!
I have a Klikitat, and I like it. I have the single person. looks like you are looking at tandems. I'm not a big fan of tandem paddling. (I like to be in control) I believe they will all handle similarly. it's mostly going to come down to how much you want to spend, they all have similar warranties and are built out of similar materials, with the exception of the tributary having a vinyl bladder. (it has its advantages and disadvantages) I really like the drop stitch floor in the Klikitat, and they handle very well. But I like the cargo carrying capacity of the strike with the many lashing points built in to the floor. It really kind of depends on how you want to use the boat, and what style of paddling you plan on doing. I don't have any experience with the 380X other than watching a youtube video of one being run over by a jeep.
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Old 08-20-2015   #3
 
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Just to clarify, the Strike series of Tribs have urethane bladders like the full on Aire's not the vinyl ones like the TribTomcats; and a longer warranty than Tomcats -- 5 year vs. 1 for Tomcats.
Boatpeople speaks well of Strike (I have no experience). Aire is now calling it a crossover which usually suggests some compromise -- better tracking than a full WW, less maneuverability than a full WW which in your case MIGHT be an issue in class 3+ (which can be pretty big water such as Snake River Canyon north of Alpine, esp. at higher flows).
Sorry no direct experience with the three, but wanted to clarify bladder material mostly.
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Old 08-20-2015   #4
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Boatpeople has Strike 2 on sale -- may not beat your prodeal though.
Tandem Whitewater Inflatable Kayaks
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Old 08-21-2015   #5
 
Moran, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Thanks for those responses guys. I went around the boat rental places in Jackson today and while they all rent the WW specific kayaks for inflatables I did get a lot of good feedback from some guides. A majority of the people I talked to are kinda down on the Aire's and tributary's, one guy even let me watch while he patched one(and whined about it the whole time, lol) These things being said I am leaning toward the klickitat or the sea eagle(which would be the most expensive boat by $200). I was not crazy about the way the floor buckles up on the Aire kayaks too much, I know it helps with bailing but just seems uncomfortable. I do want a WW capable boat but that isn't the main factor for me, most of my paddling will probably end up being done on lazier river sections and some flatwater with some WW at times, I can rent or borrow a raft if I want to go crazy.
I hear you one the tandem vs. single but my wife and I have decided that for us one boat is the way to go.
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Old 08-21-2015   #6
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Boise, Idaho
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being an owner of a Klikitat who is extremely pleased with it. (I've run the middle fork of the salmon, the main salmon, Southfork payette (staircase), North fork payette (cabarton) and the main payette in it, and enjoyed every run in it. I've not had any maintenance issues in the two years that I've owned it. I do hose it down every time I get home to get all the sand out, then let it air dry for a day, then wipe it out before storing it until the next trip. I think you'll enjoy the Kilikitat 2 if you go that route. (my wife and I don't get along well enough to paddle tandem)
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Old 08-24-2015   #7
 
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Charleston, West Virginny
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I have no experience paddling the others but I have owned a SE380x for 7 or 8 years now. It's a good boat...the new ones have a better designed floor for bailing but I think you can still choose to run wet or dry-which I like and you don't find that option often. They have a massive carrying capacity, which works well for me and they handle class 3 well but it's not a great whitewater boat necessarily.

They track poorly but that is easily fixed with a skeg but they are kinda slow on flatwater. I do need a more whitewater specific IK but theses are good boats although they are priced pretty high any more especially when compared to other high end brand names.

Another thing is that I have never paddled a more comfortable boat than this...get the deluxe seats if you go this route. I have had no problems with mine and use it pretty often. I often call this the pickup truck of the IK world and are great for camping.
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Old 08-24-2015   #8
 
Florence, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
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Can give the comparison between the single Sea Eagle (older 300x) and trib Tomcat. As a side note, my SE has an nrs dropstitch floor and a cheetah chair, and I added some drain holes because only two high on the back, so it is now a permanent self bailer. SE doesn't track as well and always sit in a little water. The dropstitch floor helped dramatically with handling and I understand the new models are drop stitch. My primary use is Class II/III on the Ark. Doesn't maneuver nearly as well as the Tomcat. Tomcat is in my opinion, much more durable and I don't sit in water unless in rapids. Drains much faster (the SE has about 14 1" drain holes now). I can't vouch for the newer models, but SE isn't great on WW. Tomcat handles shallow water much better too: lot less rock dragging in low water areas.
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Old 08-24-2015   #9
 
Moran, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2012
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I ended up pulling the trigger and ordering the klickitat today. I feel like it has a combination of price, manufacturing materials, size, cargo options and weight capacity among other things that will work well for our uses. I will report back after the first time out.
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