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Submitted: 03-07-2011 by qayaqgirl
I'm only 5'9" but chose the Isle for three reasons:
Just returned from a 9 day, 8 night trip in Everglades and Keys in the Gulf of Mexico. The Isle handled all the gear (plus 10+ gallons of water) with ease, I definitely feel that the Isle could haul as much gear as I could ever need on a kayaking trip. The large hatches easily fit large dry bags and gallon jugs of water. There was also room behind my seat (for water bottles/sponges etc) and at my feet behind the foot braces for gallon jugs or dry bags. The hatches are well designed, very secure but also easy in/out. The foot braces are very user friendly- easily adjusted while in the boat. The seat is as comfortable as any I've ever experienced in a kayak.
- because of being a "hippy" woman (the Isle's cousin the caribou was just too tight for me)
- after three knee surgeries I wanted a larger cockpit that would be easy to enter/exit
- I wanted a large "expedition" boat for lengthy trips.
The largest waves we experienced were 2 ft (ie 4 foot from crest to trough) and the Isle handled with total ease. A few waves were large enough to break over my torso and yet the Isle never felt squirrely or unstable. I'm sure the Isle could handle larger water than I want to paddle. The Isle turned well when on edge but with the skeg down tracked well too.
I'm thrilled with the Isle, really have no complaints at all. It is stable without being a tub, large capacity, very well designed. I've taken out empty for day trips and while it sits a bit high in the water then, it still handled well. I have the kevlar option and appreciate the reasonable wt for a full length boat, and also no fears as I dragged it over oyster shells. I would recommend the Isle for larger paddlers who want some serious carrying capacity.