Submitted: 10-10-2007 by fishwinican
I have owned the solar for six months and been out in various conditions several times in calm and moderate salt water. My Solar is the older design model. The Solar is light at 25 pounds and easy to carry, inflate and set up. I use a Bravo foot pump and can easily inflate and set up the Solar in 10-15 minutes. The boat is comfortable, but you do sit on the inflated bottom of the boat, so you will get wet if any water at all gets into the boat...and some always will! It is not fast, but paddles and cruises well enough for short-trip recreational use. I am 6'2" and weigh 225. I find the boat comfortable and it easily holds my weight. It also has room for fishing and other gear for short trips. If I were going to be in this boat for more than a few hours I would want to add a better seat with more back support. The front and rear deck cords are nice as are the front and rear carry handles. The boat can easily handle small waves of 1-2 feet, but will fill with water if you try to power through higher surf with it. Once past the surf, it will ride the swells very well and is very stable. The tracking fin is big help in control and I would not try to paddle this boat without it. The biggest advantage of this boat is that it packs down esily into a nice back pack, which is provided. It takes up little space in the house and can be transported in the trunk of a car or checked as airline baggage. One challenge of any inflatable is getting sand, dirt and water off the boat before returning it to the pack. I usually do a basic cleaning at the place where I am boating and then do a detailed cleaning and drying at home before returning the boat to the pack for long term storage. All of that is a lot of work, but then so is loading a heavy rigid kayak on and off the rack or truck. All in all, a fun, tough, lightweight, reliable, very transportable and reasonably priced boat.