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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all:

I am normally a white water hardshell kayaker, but I was thinking about getting 1 or 2 inflatables kayaks (either 1 or 2 person) to have for my wife and kids. It would be used for the town run on the poudre and and various class 1 and 2 runs we could hit on weekend trips and longer vacation/camping trips. I am just looking for something compact that I could bring along on trips extended camping trips to use occasionally. I often bring along a couple of hard shells but if I had a couple of ik's that would allow all your of us to do some easy stuff.

It would probably only be used 3 or 4 times a year and I can't really justify (or have the cash flow) spending $1000 on a IK.

So there seems to be dozens of cheap brands on the market. I suspect most of these are junk, but thought there might be a chance that a couple of brands might meet my needs.

So my question:
Does anyone have good luck with a cheap (less than $400) IK that can:
1) steer reasonably well down a class 1-2 river ( maybe a class 3 rapid every now and then) and maybe occasional lake use.
2) comfortable to paddle
3) hold up without leaking while being used 5 or 6 times a yr for a few years.

Thanks

Chris
 

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Paddling in to the Future
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NRS outlaw fits your budget and requirements. its not the fastest bailing, but for class 1 and 2 it won't have to be. I paddle one on class 3 - 4 runs and my only complaint is that the floor is too tight against the tubes that the water can't get to the bailing holes fast enough. but it still gets the job done. (I've found that if I take a couple straps and wrap around the floor forward and behind the seat before inflating, that I can create a large gap for water to rush under the floor and out of the boat) not sure if my strapping the floor could cause damage yet though, I've only done it a few times and so far its doesn't seem to have done anything adverse.

There are also used boats out there that would fall in to your price category. just keep your eyes open.
 

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For that infrequent use .... why not just rent some good ones .... see if it is even for you before you waste your money ..... inexpensive. ... oftens means junk or worn out equipment

Scott
 

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Aire's Tributary Tomcat's have a great reputation as an economy IK. Full price might be a bit above your budget (but likely worth it); I believe I got my tandem Tomcat used from a rental place for $450 a few years ago.
 

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cheaper but decent IKs

The sevylor SK100DS would fit your budget and expectations....very decent IK for the price, [I got mine on Amazon for < 300$], and more than capable for upto 3+ at least.
 

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Jared
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Frankly, you are not leaving yourself a good upgrade path. I'd buy a good boat. (Trust me, I cannot throw gobs of money around) If one of them or all of them take a liking to it and want to paddle harder stuff, you'd most likely want them i a WW IK made by a reputable manufacturer. I just picked up a 16 year old Lynx in really good condition for 350 bucks. I'd start looking for some good used boats if I were you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey y'all

Appreciate all the comments and tips.

A used tomcat (if I can find one) sounds like it may be a good way to go. Or an nrs outlaw. Or a used one from one of the other reputable makers.

The sevylor sk100ds sounds like a good find out of the cheapies, but is it still being made? I do not see it on sevylor's website and I only see it listed as out of stock on other sites. Is there a newer sevylor model that is similar to the old sk100ds?

Thanks again.
 

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The Sevylors are like cheap pool toys and will not survive whitewater use for long. I wouldn't even get one for lake use.
 

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Check rockies craigslist--I just saw a used Tributary (Aire) Strike tandem on there a couple of days ago. We have a couple of IKs, one of which is a solo Strike that we picked up off CL a few years ago and it is a fantastic little boat, much nicer than our tandem Tomcat (which is still a fun boat, just a bit of a barge compared to the Strike, especially when paddled solo).

We're primarily a rafting family, but it's amazing how much fun we've had with our IKs. They get packed along on just about every summer trip, which has opened us up to all kinds of unexpected water. In many ways, they've been the best bang-for-the-buck of any outdoor gear we've ever purchased.
 

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Paddling in to the Future
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The Sevylors are like cheap pool toys and will not survive whitewater use for long. I wouldn't even get one for lake use.
you've obviously never seen the SK100DS. (nothing like the tahiti) more in line with the Aquaglide Klikitat. a little heavier fabric. (heavier than Aire actually) nice drop stitch floor, bails insanely fast. punches great, surfs awesome.

They stopped making them in 2011 and they are sold out just about everywhere. I have 3 of them they are great little boats. I would have recommended them to the OP, as they are in his price range, but they are almost impossible to find. People are price gouging on ebay right now.($949)
 

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sk100ds

Phillip is dead on....I think I got one of the last few that were being advertised on Amazon last fall. I checked that site yesterday to see if any were still left....nada. This is a very fun, solid boat. I have used it upto cl 3 so far, absolutely no problem. I have it in my basement about 70% inflated for storage since before Xmas and there is no sign of any air leakage at all. The poster who made the negative comment may not have paddled this boat.
 

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I have been on several multi day trips were some of the group used the less expensive Sevlors (Tahiti) or other similar boats. Rivers like the San Juan, easy class II stuff. Most of the 'pool toys' didn't complete the trip.

They just don't have the durability needed and when they do fail they are much harder to repair successfully. In the hands of a novice these fragile boats fell to willow branches, cactus spines, even had one pop when parked too long on hot sand. The valves are often off brands and you can't find replacement parts.

I think you are better off finding a used IK from a quality manufacturer.
 

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I killed a 15 year old Sevylor last summer. Used it a ton on class 3 over the years. Just saying.

But its hard to beat NRS cheep outlaw IKs for the price. I am going to get one for my daughter this summer to replace the sevylor.
 

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What a couple of us are trying to convey on this thread is exactly that the sk100ds is light years better than the tahiti era model. Many years back I used the Tahiti on the Mckenzie and Rogue, the scenic section, in OR. There is just no comparision bet. that and the sk100s.
 

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Paddling in to the Future
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I killed a 15 year old Sevylor last summer. Used it a ton on class 3 over the years. Just saying.

But its hard to beat NRS cheep outlaw IKs for the price. I am going to get one for my daughter this summer to replace the sevylor.
And they are very sturdy boats. like I said earlier, they don't bail very fast. but they ride up over most stuff, so they don't take on a ton of water like some other IK's. they definitely bail faster than a tahiti though. (but not as fast as the SK100DS) really not a bad boat for the price. I'm happy with mine and found ways to make it bail faster.
 

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I think you should seriously consider a tomcat. I picked up a used one a couple years ago, and it has spawned 2 more IKs since then. They are loads of fun, and as noted previously, once you have one, you will likely find yourself using it way more than you thought. There are lots of great local places to go aside from the poudre, and it has been a great way for me to get my kids out.

I think you should also consider REI, if you hit it with your 20% coupon coming up, you can get a new one for $480 to $600 depending on solo vs tandem.

REI – Top-Brand Clothing, Gear, Footwear and Expert Advice for Your All Outdoor Adventures

or keep an eye out on craigslist.
 

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Another vote for the Aire Tomcat. Picked up two used ones from an outfitter for $400 a piece and it was money well spent. Dozens of multi-day trips, and lots of day runs in class III-IV. Finally bought thigh straps for extra stability and do a lot less swimming in bigger Rapids, but never thought about it when I was boating all of the time. You will get your money's worth.
 

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I'm one of the folks who often recommend the Aire Tributary Tomcat, especially for "value." I have no experience with the NRS Outlaw, so I don't speak about it. That may be part of what we're seeing here -- Tomcat's have been around, and therefore many folks can recommend them. The Outlaw may get more recommendations after more folks have experience with them. Seems like the few who have experience with them, like them. (I do like that the Outlaw has the better Leafield valves vs. the Summit valves on the Tomcat.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey Thanks on all the comments.

A friend recommended the Sea Eagle SE330 out the cheaper models. There are a lot of them for sale all over the place. Has anybody used that one on rivers? Is it very durable? I noticed it has these mini-skegs (minature like attachable keels) on the bottom. I wonder what a shallow cobbly river would do to those?

thanks again,
chris
 

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Paddling in to the Future
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sea eagle 330 is the same as the sevylor tahiti. the skeg's are not removable on them but they are soft and bendable. I would go with their explorer series rather than the sport series. but for a couple hundred $ you could get a couple seasons out of the 330 I understand they put a 3 year warranty on them, so maybe you could get 3 years out of it. :)
 
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