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Submitted: 04-16-2013 by Southwestrick
I have both the Poly and the Aerolite 17 ft versions. I prefer the poly due to the fact I kayak in sharp rocky areas. The Aerolite is more easily damaged. The weight difference isn't enough to offset this issue. One negative of the poly though, is the fact I live in the desert southwest. The heat of my garage, as well as tied down on a roof rack (in the dead of summer) causes the poly boat to fold or deform. In most cases it will pop back to its original shape rather easily.
The 17ft Eclipse is great for a larger person. I am 6ft 230lb. The cockpit area is very roomy. The load capacity is around 400lbs. Plenty of storage. I have used these kayaks on extended multi-day, 60 mile+, yakpacking trips carrying camping gear, food, etc. I have been in rough water and found this design to be very stable. I have never rolled accidentally.
I have used this design for 6+ years and have never had a hatch leak, or a bulkhead partition leak. I have loaded these down, with folding chair and sleeping bag lashed to the deck, and easily can paddle 20 miles a day on flat water. Hands down in the wind it out performs any canoe.
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