Submitted: 05-17-2004 by Doug Lais
I've used my Mainstream for three years, and have just upgraded to another boat. I've taken it on lakes, streams, rivers, and up to Voyageurs National Park for a four-day trip. It's a great boat for the price ($369), and has features found usually on more expensive boats. It has a large dry storage compartment with a fairly watertight, large rubber hatch. Perfect for camping. The main drawback is that the boat is short and wide. Read that as slow. I finally stopped going paddling with people with sea kayaks. They'd glide easily thru the water, and I'd be kicking up a froth, paddling nonstop, just to keep up. I don't mind trading some sweat for some dollars, but it was hard work. Anyway, I've immensely enjoyed having this plastic kayak. I've been out on the water with the big boys, but at about half their cost. Cool. It's a good choice if you want the versatility of camping, but a poor choice if you need to keep up with the sleek boats. Also, for me, the seat was uncomfortable. I haven't paddled any other boat as far as this one, so it just may be that my back can't take it. Also, the foredeck is quite low, forcing the paddler tilt his feet outward to make room - tiring. A plus - the low profile keeps the boat from weathercocking in the wind. Another great feature - the one that sold me on this boat - was the lengthwise channels molded into the bottom. They cause this tubby little kayak to track very well. Good paddling!