Category Archives: Under $400

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.

Sea Eagle Sport 370 Pro Kayak Package Review

Sea Eagle Sport 370 Pro Kayak Package with Accessories
As named, this two person inflatable kayak really performs like a sea eagle.  When considering a new addition of an inflatable kayak, it’s hard to overlook the Sea Eagle Sport 370 kayak.  There is good reason that this kayak scores well out of this class of kayaks.  Read on and find out why this is a 4/5 star product and a favorite amongst kayaking enthusiasts, beginners, intermediates and experts alike.

Basic Measurements

Starting with the basics, The Sea Eagle Sport 370 Kayak (not to be confused with the 330!) is an inflatable kayak that is designed to seat two people.  It has a maximum weight capacity of 650 pounds (and has been tested with around 450 lbs and faired great!) and comes in around 150L x 34W x 13H inches.  (Boring stuff but gives you an idea of what to expect).

Before I get in-depth with this specific kayak, let me clarify something: if you’re JUST getting into kayaking or have a budget (or both), an inflatable kayak is a great investment.  However, if you’re used to taking out hard shelled kayaks, love being speedy or want to experience the rapids, then an inflatable kayak is NOT the way to go.  A good number of the bad reputation these kayaks receive is due to false expectations, so it’s important to clear the air here.  Be forewarned that buying a hard shelled kayak, an entry level one, will cost anywhere from $500-$1000 depending on your purpose for it.  If you just want to have some fun in the sun and don’t have an extravagant budget, stick around for this review.

Is the Seating Comfortable?

The 370 has room to seat two people and most people have found that to be pretty roomy (even tall folks) so room size isn’t a concern.  If you are on the heavier side, then the 370 has the room advantage over the 330.  If you are a tall person, I would consider buying two of these (especially if leg room is a huge concern).  With one person, there is plenty of leg room and storage room for a small cooler or supplies; with two people, there isn’t as much room but the leg room is comfortable and a small cooler, supplies or some snacks are pretty doable.  However, if you kayak for hours with two people in one of these things (tall people, ahem), then roominess could be a factor.  The best thing to do is to try this out for yourself.

The kayak itself is pretty easy to inflate.  Some people might find it a bit of annoyance to work with the valves (that seems to be a standard issue with inflatable kayaks!) but once attached, it’s a matter of about 10 minutes to get this baby inflated properly.

Even with dual skegs, it can be hard for a few folks to navigate ‘straight’ but give yourself a few minutes to adjust to an inflatable kayak and you won’t find navigating the 370 challenging at all.

Can the 370 Endure Strong Winds?

A lot of folks have tested the Sea Eagle 370 in decent wind conditions around islands and small lakes and have found it to be extremely sturdy (this is not to say that you shouldn’t test this kayak’s limits first on your own, cautiously).   The material seems nice and durable which makes me feel ‘safer’.

 

Is the Sea Eagle 370 Pro Package Worth My Hard Earned Cash?

Most people are more than ‘satisfied’ with the purchase of their Sea Eagle 370 Pro package and a lot give it a high ‘best bang for the buck’ score.  It’s not as cheap as a couple of the other options out there but the extra money is more than worth it if you want to invest in a stable inflatable kayak and take it out in calm waters and wind around the year.

NMMA Certified?

The 370 is also NMMA certified  which means this particular inflatable kayak meets the minimum manufacturing regulations set forth by the US Coast Guard.

Flexibility

The kayak comes in around 32 pounds.  An added bonus is that it’s a perfect fit for small cars and any other type of tight transportation.  Not only does it inflate and deflate reasonably well but it packs comfortably in the back of a small vehicle.  Storage is extremely important for people with small vehicles and living space and this kayak passes that check easily.

Verdict

The Sea Eagle Sport 370 Pro kayak is one of the best options available for tandem hiking. I give it a solid 4 stars and it averages 4.5/5 stars on Amazon, easily making it one of the most enjoyable inflatable kayaks available.

Sea Eagle Sport 370 Pro Kayak Features

Inflatable Yes
Inflation Time10 minutes
NMMA CertifiedYes
# of Seats2
Maximum Weight Capacity650 lbs
Inflated Size150L x 34W x 13H inches

AIRHEAD AHTK-2 Montana Performance 2 Person Kayak In-Depth Review

ahtk-2 2 person montanaMy Gosh! If you live somewhere perfect like Southern California or any where the weather is sunny and beautiful even in the “winter months”, then you may be looking for something as fun as a two person inflatable kayak. And, since you’re here, let’s dive into a review of the Airhead AHTK-2 Montana Performance Kayak.

Wow, that’s a mouthful and a handful to type!

Since one of the first things I do is shop by price (hey, no shame in admitting we have a budget!), this two person kayak comes in around $370-$390 on Amazon (which I believe is the best place price-wise and customer service wise to shop for something like this). Now, $390 isn’t very “cheap” and is considered a decent investment so let’s break this baby down bit by and see if it’s worth every penny of your hard earned dollars 😉

The Basics

Yes, the Airhead AHTK-2 Montana is a two seater inflatable kayak and comes in around 12 feet long. It is constructed of durable material making it ideal for kayaking in the lakes and moderate white river rafting. The floor is designed as tubular I-beam floor (typical) and weighs around 36.3 lbs. Some of you may love the orange colour and some may hate it but it’s a smart choice for safety enthusiasts as it makes the product high visibility. The tubular I-beam flooring does make it very comfortable to sit in. It contains two Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation.

And look: it can support upto 500 pounds! If size is an issue, this baby can definitely handle that. Have a look at this beaut:

ahtk-2 demonstration pic

The Meat of the Airhead AHTK-2 Montana Kayak

Patience, please 😉

In case you haven’t caught yet, if pricing isn’t an issue and you are looking for an inflatable boat that can fit tall people comfortable or upto 500 pounds, then this one is your lady. If that isn’t impressive, a reviewer on Amazon touts that AIRHEAD AHTK-2 Montana Performance 2 Person Kayakhe bought the AHTK-2 in 2006 for the purpose of roughing it (in 2006) and that it still hasn’t developed any leaks (review written in 2004!) This is due to the build of this superior kayak which is constructed from the nylon denier fabric shell. When it comes to leaks, this kayak is extremely durable.

Another cool thing about the Montana Two Person Kayak is that it looks very nice and doesn’t look “cheap” as some of these can. Of course, priced around $375, you’d think this would be standard but sadly, it’s not the case with all inflatable boats and kayaks.

Even with two people, there is plenty of space for you to store additional items (trust me, this comes in handy). It’s extremely easy and quick to inflate and deflate. Also, thanks to its build and the four fins it comes with, you’ll find the tracking to be consistent and the maneuverability to be better than most kayaks in its class.

The Cons…

I expect you to read this section before you read any additional reviews. That’s what I do 😉

The only two cons are that the Airhead two persona inflatable boat comes with straps which is fine for carrying but a tad bit cumbersome. It does NOT come with a bag to put it away which would’ve been ACE.

Because of that, the weight comes into factor. This two person kayak weighs 36 pounds and sometimes, you can feel it.

The Verdict

In all honesty, if you are looking for safety, room, durability, stability, and good tracking, this is the perfect buy. It has plenty of 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon (undoubtedly, my favourite way to check out sports gear).

AIRHEAD AHTK-2 Montana Performance 2 Person Kayak Features

InflatableYes
Inflation Time15-20 minutes
NMMA Certified?
# of Seats2
Maximum Weight Capacity500 lbs
Inflated Size12 feet

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.

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