Submitted: 07-06-2011 by MC
I was looking for a low-cost way to get a kayak, paddle, and PFD, and the Rebel was my choice. I had worked out a few other options (not package deals, like this) that would have saved me $30ish, but when I sat in those kayaks at the store I determined that they sucked. So, first off, I think this package is a great deal at $249. I've taken the kayak out twice now. Given this, my review does not consider the durability of this kayak.
Relative to other cheap kayaks, the seat in this boat is great. It adjusts easily, and is very comfortable.
The weight - At 37ish pounds, it is reasonable to carry a couple hundred yards if you're dropping in at a spot that doesn't have convenient parking.
Again, the price - Let's be clear, this is a lower-end kayak. But, it is at the very bottom of the price spectrum, and performs like a kayak a good bit above its price point.
The PFD doesn't seem to be designed for kayaking. It is a bottom of the line, just satisfy the law type of thing. If you're not going to wear it, it is fine. If you're planning to head in to hazardous waters, and will need to wear your life vest all the time, plan to buy something else. With that said, you pay damn near nothing for it, so it is acceptable for an entry-level kayaker like me.
Tracking - I'm not super experienced, but I have been in a few other kayaks. This one tracks well enough to be usable, but not great. Again, if you plan to use your boat on calm water, it is totally fine. If you're heading out into 2 foot swells, it will still work, but plan on some extra elbow grease.
Storage - This boat does not have a dry storage compartment. That didn't matter to me, but maybe it does for you. I prefer the pretty good access that this boat allows to the area behind the seat. More importantly though, the bungee tie-downs suck. The way they are designed simply isn't good. It is too hard to explain here, but if you need to attach much gear to the top of your kayak, plan on doing some modifications. Those modifications won't be difficult, but still...
Not to keep harping on the price, but if you're looking at buying this boat, I'd bet it is a concern to you - just like it was for me. So, for $300 or less, I'd say this kayak is great. More than that, ehhhh... It is a great way to get going without spending a bunch of money.
On calm water, the Rebel is excellent, and you'd be a fool to spend more. On serious rivers, it will do the job, but may leave something to be desired.
Reading over my review you may think that my 8 out of 10 rating doesn't jibe with what I've said. And if this kayak package were $400, I'd say you're right. But again, remember what you're buying. This is an entry level boat, with a basic paddle and PFD. Given this criteria, I'd advise you to buy one. If you're just looking to cheapskate your way into serious kayaking, it ain't gonna work.