Innova Helios II Kayak Review – Sinker Or Pleaser?

Innova Helios II Kayak Quick Facts

Type: Inflatable
# of Seats: 2
Weight Capacity: 396 lbs

Innova Helios II Kayak Quick Facts Juicy Details

The Helios II EX tandem inflatable kayak is a 12’ 6” kayak that is has a carrying capacity of 2 people (396 lbs). It has a total weight of 36 lbs. and folds easily to fit into the included drybag/backpack. The Helios II EX is made of rubber coated 1200 denier nitrylon fabric thus making it rugged, easy to clean, fast drying and resistant to puncture and abrasion. Helios EX also has a deck netting and gear bungees together with an adjustable footrest.

Key Features of the Helios Inflatable Kayak

The Helios Inflatable Kayak has small uninflated dimensions and a weight of 36 lbs. thus easy to carry in the included backpack. Also, Helios EX is easy to set up and inflate since each Helios tandem kayak comes with the necessary attachments and a pump to ensure you attach it and get it into water easily. It uses push button air valves for inflation to make sure that no air is lost during this process. This feature makes inflation faster. In fact setup and inflating takes 10 minutes on average.

Has a high stability. The Helios II EX kayak has a well-balanced hull allowing good tracking and stability. Even at high speed, the hull is still well balanced thus giving you full traction. In fact, it remains stable even if you paddle standing.

innova helios II ex inflatable kayak

Helios Inflatable Kayak Quick Considerations

Pros

  • Highly stable; has river rating of class
  • Comfortable
  • Has a spacious storage space
  • Light in weight
  • Durable; it is resistant to puncture and abrasion

Cons

  • Has no seats and sitting on the kayak’s floor can make you wet

Should You Buy the Innova Helio II Inflatable Kayak?

The Helio Ex II inflatable is a good buy and an extremely stable kayak with plenty of storage room, and not to mention, maneuvers well.

Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 Inflatable Kayak – Hit or Bust?

Kayaking is a sport that is enjoyed by many people of all shapes, sizes and ages. The biggest problem that is faced is the unwieldiness of the traditional kayak. There is a solution to the problem on the market: the Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 Inflatable Kayak (one person) is a cost effective and lightweight way to have fun on your family’s favorite body of water.  (The two person option can be found here).

Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 Inflatable Kayak Basics

The Tuff Stinger kayak is made from heavy duty PVC and consists of three reinforced chambers which inflate to full rigidity. There is a removable seat and two splash covers to keep you comfortable and as dry as you can be as you navigate your favorite body of water. The package includes a foot pump, inflation ruler, a 87 inch paddle and two fins as well as a backpack for easy packing and storing of the kayak.

outdoor tuff stinger 3 inflatable kayak 1 person

Features of the Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 Inflatable One-Person Kayak Portable

The Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 Inflatable Kayak only weighs twenty five pounds. It folds away into a relatively small package that you can easily fit into your car or trailer. This makes it far easier to transport than a more traditional rigid kayak which requires a roof rack. The backpack which is included in the package makes for easy storage and transport.

The kayak is constructed of three layers of PVC which has been treated to ensure maximum puncture resistance. This PVC gives the Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 Inflatable One-Person Kayak the same resilience and stiffness of a traditional kayak once it has been properly inflated. With maximum durability comes the cost effectiveness, which makes it a personal favorite of all buyers regardless of their spending power.

Does the Stinger Inflate FAST?!

The kayak only has three chambers to inflate and comes with a foot pump as well as the various attachments that you will need to inflate it. The foot pump works well and inflates the kayak quickly and efficiently. The end result is properly rigid and stable.

Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty

The kayak comes with a one year limited warranty from the manufacturer. This should give you some peace of mind and recourse should the kayak develop a puncture within the first year of normal use.

Maneuverable and Stable?

User of the kayak found that it was extremely stable, even in water also in use by jet skis and motor boats. The included paddle is easy to handle and offers speed and efficiency so that the kayak can be used by children as young as twelve years old. The fins which are also included in the package add even more stability to the kayak. Since the chambers of the kayak inflate to a good pressure, the end result is a rigid kayak that is comparable to traditional kayaks.

Downsides to the Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 Inflatable Kayak

For some reason not all the valves on the kayak are the same. The foot compartment requires a different attachment for the foot pump than the other two compartments. This means that there is an extra piece to keep track of and not lose. This can be overcome with some care and ensuring that you take note of where you place the attachments and adaptors as you inflate your kayak.
Seat not as comfortable as advertised

Some users of the Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 inflatable kayak have found that the construction of the seat is not as comfortable as the manufacturers claim. The method of attachment to the kayak, a strap that wraps around the back of the seat, changes the form of the seat and causes some discomfort in the back.

Final Verdict

Overall, the Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 Inflatable One-Person Kayak is a very good value for money purchase and you can find reliable service and best prices from several vendors here. The kayak is durable and easy to transport, already giving it an advantage over traditional kayaks. Users have found it to be stable and easy to maneuver, even for children with minimal experience. There appear to be very few downsides to this inflatable kayak. The two different kinds of valve are a bit of a complication and the seat may not be the most comfortable but the kayak makes up for this in a number of different ways, including its simplicity. If you are looking for a well priced alternative to a traditional kayak, then the Outdoor Tuff Stinger 3 Inflatable One-Person Kayak definitely needs to be a consideration.

All The Details You Can Get: AIRHEAD Montana Performance Kayak (AHTK-1)

airhead montana 1 personWow! It has been a while since I posted an update but you know what? The time sounds about right since it’s mid summer and you all can benefit from exercising–especially in the form or canoeing or kayaking >:)

Today, I’m critiquing the Airhead Montana Performance kayak, another inflatable kayak with a terrible name (AHTK?) To be honest, right from the start, the Airhead one person kayak will run you around $220-$275 on average, making it not the most expensive option but also, not the least expensive option.

Is it worth your money, though? You decide. Let’s slice and dice this baby.

The Basics

This kayak is a one person seater with plenty of space coming in around 9 feet long. Its build is compact and lightweight, designed specifically for lakes and easy white water shenanigans. The build of its three chambers is lined with a strong 840 denier nylon. It also comes with 4 bottom fins making it easy to steer. As is typical, the Airhead Montana Performance kayak comes with ultra-violet and water resistant coatings.

The Meat Of the Airhead Montana One Seater

To be honest, this inflatable kayak has quite a few things going for it but there is a common complaint about it. Some folks seem to absolutely love the Airhead Montana while others wish they hadn’t purchased it.
Let’s start with the durable material. Even though I mentioned that you can go white water rafting on it, the kayak has been tested in medium waters and has performed well (read more Amazon reviews here).
One thing you can’t do is compare any inflatable kayak to a hard shelled kayak, neither when it comes to build nor speed… and well, nor trekking.

boat

Even though this inflatable boat comes with 4 fins on the bottom, trekking seems to be an issue. Moving with the downstream, it seems to move well. However, going upstream or in slightly rough waters, the kayak has trouble being maneuvered and some reviewers have mentioned it to be a challenge to go in a straight line. Due to that, the speed is kind of slow or average at best.

To be fair, for the price point of around $240, this inflatable kayak will proudly take a few bruises without receiving much of any damage. Compared to a hard shell, the price is somewhere in the middle (not cheap nor expensive) and that reflects the quality of the product. It performs and is built better than the cheaper inflatable kayaks I have reviewed (check out detailed extra reviews here).

One major drawback with this product is that the valve isn’t tethered to the boat itself. There doesn’t seem to be any good reason for this. In fact, there is danger in losing the value as it needs to be removed in order for the kayak to be deflated.

Verdict

In Conclusion, the Airhead kayak can be used by a beginner or intermediate kayaker in mild waters and really, for recreational or exercise purpose and with the price, many folks will find this option appetizing.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak – Expensive Or Well Worth It?

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak FullIn case you haven’t noticed, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible kayak is one of the more expensive inflatable kayaks we’ve taken the time out to review. After all, coming in around $550, why should one invest in one of these inflatable kayaks rather than shell out money for a hard-shelled kayak?

That’s one of the bigger questions we will be answering in this review but first, let’s start with the basics and move our way through this sexy option (I’m not biased, I promise!)

The Basics

Now, if you don’t know what to look for in an inflatable kayak, then check out our inflatable kayak guide.  The AdvancedFrame Convertible kayak is a two seater kayak and comes in around 15 feet long (much longer than the standard inflatable kayaks that I’ve checked out). Its frame is built with aluminum ribs that shape the bow and stern. Due to the ‘weightiness’, this kayak also treks straight and well (which can be a little bit of a problem with light inflatable kayaks). While the trekking is not as well as a hardshell kayak but it comes very close to it. That says a lot about an inflatable kayak!

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible inflatable kayak is also constructed of three layers for safety reasons: if one layer gets punctured, you’re still safe due to the other two layers being puncture resistant.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible inflatable kayak Seating

Even though this baby is designed for tandem (or two people) kayaking, you can take the extra seat out (or use it as added back comfort) and take it out solo.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or an expert kayaker, setup is a breeze. The first time, it may take you a good 20 minutes to accomplish this but it gets easier each time. You simple take it out of the package, unfold it, pump it with air and set it up. Viola!

Just in case, here’s a demonstration video:

Storage Compartment

Unlike other kayaks, this one has a nice storage department for some serious gear. Here, take a look at the image: There is surprisingly a fair amount of storage and the deck lacing is just… super sexy. Go ahead and sprinkle your jelly beans everywhere! (Joking… keep it clean!)

Bonus Points for Puncture Resistant Build

When you’re out and about in one of these inflatable kayaks, the last thing you want to do is be worried if it can take a little bit of a hit (let’s face it: sometimes I don’t plan on rough surfaces but that doesn’t mean my kayaks don’t end up getting scratched!) As mentioned earlier, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible inflatable kayak kayak is built of three layers of puncture resistant material.

The kayak is so well-built that even through rough surfaces, it will, on average, last you 5-10 years (please keep in mind this depends on the usage). If you are using the Advanced Elements inflatable kayak in pretty rough waters, you should know that while it does well in heavier conditions, still, this isn’t a hard kayak! (Always remain cautious and go with a buddy to test how well a new kayak responds in an environment). If roughing it is a huge issue for you, then you will find the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible inflatable kayak one tough inflatable sob!

Is The Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak Heavy As Heck!?

One of the main complains on Amazon is regarding the weight of this kayak. If you examine this a bit, this is a good thing! The kayak comes in around 55 pounds which means it’s a bit heavy to carry. However, this kind of weight is good especially if you want to trek well and straight in the water. And that, my friends, the Advanced Elements inflatable kayak does really well. If you’ve shopped around for lighter inflatable kayaks, you’ll see that getting them to move straight can take a bit of getting used to.

Now, if you’re not very strong, then carrying this a fair distance could become a problem. If you know you’ll be in good company or are a strong person and don’t mind carry it, then you know this kayak is right for you. Additionally, you could purchase a dolly to help you carry this. I don’t want to blow this out of proportion; just know that the size could be an issue if you’re a very light person and need to carry this thing a mile to the lake or a river.

Is Cleaning Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak A Drag?

Okay, so inflating this baby takes around a good 5-10 minutes (for first timers, it can be longer). That’s not a problem. However, after you’ve used it, you’ll notice water collect at the bottom. Well, if you’ve invested in a $500 kayak, you also have to take good care of it which includes drying it off and folding it properly.

This means you have to empty out the kayak, let it dry off then unfold it. Frankly, this is the nature of most kayaks so if this bothers you, perhaps you should invest in a hardshell kayak.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible inflatable kayak Overview

Why is The Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Convertible Kayak a Great Investment?

If you’re like me and live in a cramped apartment, own a small car or hate carrying a hardshell kayak, then this is a solid investment. It’s not like a super lightweight inflatable kayak. It doesn’t come with the problem of a superlight inflatable kayak either. It has a bit of weight to it (55-60 lbs) but this also helps it move straight and speedier than most inflatable kayaks. If you have believe in quality products and want something more reliable than a $150 inflatable kayak (those have their own advantages), then you will definitely love investing in the AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak.

Still Torn About The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak …?

Still torn? Welp, seein’ IS believin’, they say. And if this doesn’t help, then check out our other reviews on the site 🙂

Verdict

The Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Convertible kayak is one of the more expensive inflatable kayaks on the market but is one of the best and sturdiest options available as well. Its pricing fluctuates around $500 so it’s a serious investment. For anyone looking for a sturdy inflatable kayak, this is a must buy.

For another Advanced Elements option, check out the Advanced Elements FireFly inflatable kayak.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak Features

InflatableYes
Inflation Time10-15 minutes
NMMA Certified?
# of Seats1
Maximum Weight Capacity300 lbs
Inflated Size10" x 5'

Is the Sevylor Tahiti Fishing/Hunting Inflatable Kayak Worth the Price Tag?

sevylor fishing hunting kayakUpdated 10/8/2016… Of all the kayaks I have reviewed, I am seriously excited about the Sevylor Tahiti Fishing/Hunting inflatable kayak.  First check out this handsome canoe:  It’s outfitted in that cool hunting green colour and style that screams. “Let’s take this baby out for some fishin’!”  All kidding aside, Sevylor nailed the design of this kayak (paint me vain).  The colour also helps blend in if you’re taking it out on a lake or marsh for hunting purposes.

Like other Sevylor inflatables, this kayak comes with their Airtight system that guarantees no leaks…. And those are the type of guarantees I love to have when it comes to these lightweight toys.  The Tahiti is constructed of 26 guage PVC (measurement for thickness of the material that the kayak is made of) and a tubular I-beam floor for maximum stability.  It comes out to be 10 feet 9 inches by 2 feet and 4 inches and can handle a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds.  Two adults should fit into this kayak very well or one heavy/tall person.

Sevylor Tahiti Fishing & Hunting Kayak Easy to Maneuver?

Maneuvering the Tahiti is as easy as maneuvering any other inflatable kayak.  Once you test it out and get into the ‘rhythm’, you’ll find this Sevylor inflatable kayak glides quite nicely. However, we do recommend purchasing a skeg separately and utilizing it for a bit more maneuvering ease.

However, some people are stuck on this very issue.  There seems to be an issue where the kayak may go in circles instead of going straight.  This could be due to many reasons.  It could be because the heavier person may be seated in the front causing the light end/the back to not anchor properly.  It could also be wrong expectations transferring from having used a hard shelled kayak.

I do recommend purchasing a skeg for this kayak for added reliability.

Plenty of people have used this Sevylor inflatable kayak well and found it enjoyable.  However, please do not take it where there is a lot of swell, wind or high waves.  Inflatable kayaks are supposed to be enjoyed in calmer areas like a lake.  Any area where there are tree branches poking out, rough rivers or lots of rocks—keep away from all such areas!  Even though this kayak is built to take a fair amount of abuse, caution should be practiced.  For this reason, always keep a patch kit with you.  Some folks have found that their Tahiti did very well in areas that I’m cautioning you against.

Also, if you’re taking the Tahiti out for fishing purposes, then seriously consider taking a light anchor with you (for obvious reasons).  This is one of the more well known fishing kayak.

Construction of the Tahiti Inflatable Kayak

This bit is something pretty cool I observed about the Sevylor Tahiti Fishing & Hunting inflatable kayak.  There are three main compartments that need to be inflated to properly inflate it.  These three parts are all separate: two along the side and one underneath you.  It could very well be that if the sides deflated, you’d still float because of the bottom remaining intact.  (Please don’t test this in dangerous conditions!)

sevylor fishing and kayak in use

Another neat thing is that the seats are adjustable so depending on your and your partner’s weight and size, you can move them as needed.  Or you can position them to face each other.

Recommended Upgrades

If you have a little more spending money, definitely opt for more quality paddles.  The ones that come with this Sevylor inflatable kayak (the Tahiti) work okay but investing in a nice pair will pay off.  Another recommendation is buying a skeg because the main complaint people have had is they can’t get the canoe to trek straight (though I believe there are other reasons at play).  Invest in a skeg and you won’t regret it!

Quirks Pertaining To This Sevylor Inflatable Kayak?

The only quirk that I’ve noticed is the folks who had issues navigating the Tahiti properly.  As discussed in this review earlier, this could be due to inexperience or the lack of a skeg.  Opt for a skeg!  It only helps.  Also, remember to use it in calm waters with light wind as it’s meant to be utilized in those situations specifically.

Sevylor Tahiti Fishing & Hunting Kayak Summary

With an average rating of 4 stars and a great price of under $130, this inflatable kayak is a great purchase.  For another Sevylor option, check out the Sevylor Quickpak Coverless Sit-on-Top inflatable kayak.

Sevylor Tahiti Fishing/Hunting Inflatable Kayak Features

InflatableYes
Inflation Time15 minutes
NMMA Certified
# of Seats2
Maximum Weight Capacity400 lbs
Inflated Size10' 9" x 2' 4"

Sevylor QuickPak Coverless Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak Review [Updated]

Updated 09/01/2016…

Sevylor QuickPak Kayak With Accessories

Sevylor QuickPak Kayak With Accessories

For many reasons, the Sevylor QuickPak is one of the best rated inflatable kayaks on the market.  While it has a couple of cons (which we will go into detail down below), it has plenty of pros and the pros really shine.  I’ll be going into details about the price, seat issues, cargo details, comfort level, inflation time and much more.  The purpose of this review is to help you make up your mind so if you have any questions after reading the review, feel free to get in touch here.

Basic Kayak Design

Let’s start with the basics: what I found great about this kayak is that it a is “sit-on-top” kayak (take a look at the images).  So, instead of sinking down into the kayak, you sit on top of it.  For a lot of people, this is a lot more comfortable for their backs.  Also, the backrest is adjustable and this is a very important feature as kayaking, if not properly prepared for, can be painful.  (I have a bad back so I take such things into consideration).  The Sevylor QuickPak Coverless Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak has comfortable seating; comfortable enough to take small waves.

Sevylor QuickPak Coverless Sit-On-Top Maximum Capacity & Size

In the very front, you will notice a small cargo area where you can store a few small items.

Obviously, much needed and handy.  The Sevylor QuickPak Coverless Sit-On-Top inflatable kayak has a maximum weight handling capacity of 400 pounds and is a comfortable fit.  Once inflated, the kayak comes in around 8’8”x2’4”.

One of the main questions with inflatable kayaks is whether they are “safe” enough to endure certain environments or, rather, if they will deflate due to an easy tear.  For this Sevylor Quickpak Coverless Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak, Sevylor has implemented their own exclusive AirTight system which pretty much guarantees no leaks.

With that said, it’s perfect for lakes or extremely light waves but shouldn’t be used in the ocean or rapids.  (And really, inflatable kayaks are not meant to be enjoyed in harsh environments).  I have heard of people grazing the kayaks on rocks lightly without any damage to them.  (Important Note: Inflatable kayaks aren’t meant to be used in tough conditions so please consider your safety before taking any questionable actions).

Sevylor Quickpak Coverless Sit on Top Kayak in Action

Sevylor Quickpak Coverless Sit on Top Kayak in Action

Sevylor QuickPak Maneuverability

With that said, the Sevylor Quicktop Sit-on-Top Kayak treks nicely in the water and I was able to navigate with it fairly well right off the bat.  An Amazon reviewer even mentioned that he would be comfortable enough to use this inflatable kayak for fly fishing.  A couple of reviewers on Amazon have complained that the kayak isn’t as sturdy or maneuverable as a regular kayak; they are missing the point.  If you’re looking for flexibility, ease of handle and a cheap price, then this kayak will defintely not disappoint you.  If you’re looking for something that can handle the rapids or if speed is a huge concern, then an inflatable kayak may not be your best buy.

Another thing to note is that the base of the kayak comes to be at the water level but this is how it has been designed and works really well.

There are plenty of pros for owning this little baby and a couple of cons so let’s dig a bit deeper.

One of the coolest things about this kayak is that once it is deflated, it can turn into an (integrated) backpack.  Imagine if you’re a bike ride away from a nice lake; grab your kayak (folded into a backpack) and head on over.  In that sense, the Sevylor QuickPak kayak holds true to its name.

Another great thing: on average, it takes about 5 minutes for it to inflate so if you’re looking for a lightweight kayak, then this will fit the bill nicely.

The QuickPak is also easy to inflate as it comes with a dual action hand pump with various sized nozzles.  If you’ve ever purchased an inflatable kayak before, you know that sometimes this part can be an annoyance but this part worked just fine for me.  A couple of other folks had a little bit of trouble with fitting the pump to the nozzles; for a quick fix, you can hold the hose around the nozzle with your hand or tape it.

Sevylor Quickpak Sit on Top Inflatable Kayak

Fun Features

A couple of fun features are a cup holder and a build in oar holder (some of the more expensive kayaks don’t have these in-built features).  These features aren’t perfect but are at least included in this budget raft.

One of the bigger complaints on the Amazon reviews has been that this kayak won’t paddle straight.  Well, if you’ve ever owned an inflatable kayak, this can be a concern.  Due to the “light” nature of the inflatable kayaks, even with skegs, it can be hard to steer them straight.  To fix the problem, easily, you can put something with a bit of weight (like a water jug or a weight dumbbell) in the front (where the cargo compartment is).

A couple people who have left unsatisfied reviews on Amazon probably came in with the wrong expectations.  For instance, you cannot expect a lightweight, inflatable kayak to do what a weighty kayak costing $500+ can do.

Sevylor Quick Sit-On-Top Kayak Verdict

If you’re looking for a get-up-and-go kayaking that’s compact, this kayak solution by Sevylor is one of the best ones on the market with a low budget.   The average rating for the Sevylor Quicktop Sit-On-Top kayak is 4/5 stars on Amazon and you can check out more details here.

For a roomier option, check out the Sevylor Tahiti Fishing & Hunting inflatable kayak!

Sevylor QuickPak Coverless Kayak Features

InflatableYes
Inflation Time5-10 minutes
NMMA CertifiedYes
# of Seats1
Maximum Weight Capacity400 lbs
Inflated Size8’8” x 3'