Submitted: 09-15-2010 by C. West
The SOAR 12 is a great river boat for a single user plus LOTS of gear. I have owned it for a couple of years & just recently used the boat on a 4 day float trip down the Rio Grande River. It would handle two or more people just fine, but you would sacrifice room needed for camping gear.
As stated by other reviewers, this boat is really perfect for rivers with moving water. Straight tracking in a current is a challenge (using a kayak paddle), and if there was a stiff wind, it was really difficult. At one point in the trip, the wind blowing down the river was over 20 MPH & I could not paddle downstream against the headwind in the SOAR - while my friends in regular canoes & kayaks did just fine.
Also - in open water it is very difficult for one person to paddle in a straight direction in moderate to high winds.
Paddling single, the boat does feel heavy & is slow on flat water. Two paddlers in the boat might make a difference though....
Boat is VERY stable & made me feel bomb-proof going down rapids.
The boat packs well & is easily set up by one person. Definitely lay the boat out to completely dry & clean it before long-term storage. I will upgrade to a 14 or 16 SOAR in the future so that I can have two people in the boat WITH LOTS OF GEAR.....