Submitted: 02-29-2008 by ts
For class-1 to low-3 streams; hour long jaunts to 1-2 day floats, I can't imagine a single boat that meets my needs any better than the Zydeco. I've used several others (Otter, Acadia, Sierra, Swifty) numerous times, but they all (except the Swifty) have major drawbacks. I found the Otter very uncomfortable, and all boats over 10 ft. much less maneuverable.
The main difference between the Zydeco and the Swifty is that the Swifty doesn't plow through calm water quite as much, but the Zydeco tends to handle low class-3 water just a little better. Paddling a little more in calm water is an inconvenience, whereas handling rougher water is more of a safety concern during unexpected thunderstorms.
A friend of mine with Jr. High boys w/friends borrows my Zydeco to supplement his rec boats. He says there's always an argument as to which boy gets the Zydeco. Although I could personally care less, the Jr. Highers definitely think the Zydeco is the "cooler" of the several boats.